Making it Work #wycwyc

So about a year and a half ago I read a book called “What You Can When You Can” given to me by one of my best friends. It was a quick and easy read (I highly recommend it) and I totally understood the message. At the time I was fully immersed in a lifestyle of “DO ALL THE THINGS: Plan a wedding, work out 6 days a week, cook for every meal, go, go, go!” Maybe I didn’t fully grasp the concept of the title of the book. I sure as hell do now!

Soooo, you all know I’m moving from Louisiana to Oregon in less than a month. HOLY CRAP. I’ve spent the last 28 years in the same place with the same people and never being more than an hour away from my family. and now I’m moving 2500 miles away. WUT?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited! I’ve learned that without risk in life you might not ever reap the reward that comes with taking a leap. My mental health has been far from normal and far from optimal. Living without your husband for 5 months while living on the floor on a mattress with your shit (what’s left of it) literally scattered around your parents’ house is no fun. I’m making it work. I’m pushing through. I’ve put aside my emotions for the better part of half of a year and now it’s all coming to a head. THIS IS HAPPENING.

In the meantime, I’ve been working a lot and spending a lot of time and energy on things other than my physical health. I’ve gained and lost the same 10 lbs since June. I was ABOVE WEDDING WEIGHT for a few weeks. Most people dream of getting back to their wedding day size while I swore I would never go back. The holidays were a nightmare for so many reasons. I was missing my husband; However, I was still meal prepping. I was still going to the gym on the weekends and I was walking at least a mile or two every day.

What You Can When You Can. I think I’m starting to get it…

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I went so far off the tracks since Thanksgiving I didn’t know where or how to get back on when the new year rolled around. I found some sort of stability in attempting to focus energy on getting my diet back in control the last month, but every emotion and all my anxiety has really come to the surface now that the move is upon us.

I’m not sleeping well (and if you know me, you know I LOVE to sleep and can for 10 hours with no issue), I’m not exercising but twice a week other than walking, but my eating has been under control this last week and I’m feeling a lot better. I’ve read so much about how diet affects mood and I’m here to tell you, that shit is true. I’m not following any “rules” this time around because I’ve learned to be gentle with myself and not set myself up for failure if I eat a freakin cracker or something. I’m listening to my body and eating when I’m hungry and fueling it properly (Imagine that?? It works.)

I went to secure my job and find a place to live last week and ate everything you could possibly imagine. I came home to my clothes not fitting, my anxiety higher, and was bloated beyond control. I got my head in the game the next morning and lost 6 lbs of bloat in a week. While I am still 8 lbs higher than my lowest weight last summer, I’m giving myself a freakin break.

This year has been a freakin crazy train! When I look back at the last 6 months, my whole world has been flipped upside down. Honestly, I’m just grateful. I’m blessed to have a roof over my head, a supporting family who has taken me in, a wonderful husband who has sacrificed so much and has been alone in Oregon working so we can afford this change, and I have some of the best friends in the entire world who have been there every time my crazy ass needs guidance, support, and love.
It’s not going to be easy to transition, but I have extremely high hopes. I’m more than cautiously optimistic. I actually expect to thrive. We are going to live on an acre and a half of land where I can finally attempt to turn my brown thumb green (I have my own orchard of apricot, cherry and apple trees-WOO!), and I’m going to be so close to so much outdoor beauty that will also include my love of hiking/biking and exploring. It is such a beautiful place and I’m beyond words when it comes to how happy I am that we are given such a wonderful opportunity.

When life stabilizes on the other side of this journey, I expect to have more time to devote to my fitness and I can’t wait to share the news with you as I travel these uncharted waters.

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Until then, just do What You Can When You Can. I know that’s my plan!

Catch ya on the flip side!

Over Eaters (Not So) Anonymous

Holidays. OOF.

I woke up this morning with the intention of making healthy recipes to get me through the work week. I knew it was Easter Sunday and that I would be tempted by not so healthy options. “I’m strong,” I told myself all day. I will just eat before I go over to the parents’ house and make my healthy dinner after I get home. I knew I wasn’t exercising today (gym closed for the holiday) and it was raining so I didn’t even go for a walk outside. I slept in. I had a healthy breakfast and lunch. I get to their house. IMMEDIATE FAIL. Usually when I go over there I’m not even tempted by the dozens of sweets, but today I went straight to the cookies. I ate at least 4 right away. It was like a time warp and I was 100 lbs heavier and living at home again. No self control and one cookie turns into another…

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I decided I was going to learn a recipe my mom has made my entire life handed down from my dad’s mom: Mexican mac n cheese. I’ve always eaten it at holidays and today I thought I would just learn to make it and not indulge. IMMEDIATE FAIL. I made it and ate a medium sized portion. With a roll. And ham. And potato salad. I ate a small serving of steamed broccoli to convince myself that it all balanced out. I was full. SO FULL. I don’t eat any of those things ever so eating them all at once was overwhelming. So obviously I ate peach pie, a small piece of chocolate cake and 2 more cookies. GET A GRIP ON YOURSELF!!

I know, I know, it’s a holiday and I don’t eat like that every day (not even really once in a while) so it’s no big deal, right? I get it. I used to eat like that every day (how else did I get to almost 275 lbs??) and I should be glad I take better care of myself now. I am glad. Days like this remind me how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I feel simply awful. Drag down, knock out awful.

I need Cher in my life to smack me around.

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I am not perfect. The struggle is real. Even when I make all the right choices I can be hard on myself.

Where’s Elsa when you need her?

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Striving for perfection is unrealistic and, frankly, exhausting. I just hate how I feel when I eat poorly. Right now I feel bloated, nauseated, and depleted. The real reason why I’m so disappointed is not that I feel gross right now or that I ate so much today. The real reason I feel badly is because one bad day sometimes spirals me into several bad days, or a bad week and so on. It’s ridiculous to think that because I ate poorly today that I predict I will eat poorly tomorrow, but sugar addiction is real. One taste and I want more. So first thing tomorrow morning my body will be saying that I NEEEEEEEED it. It will be a fight for a couple of days and that Easter candy I told my mom I didn’t need will be calling my name. Throw it away, you say? Yeaaaah, the fat kid in me struggles with that idea.

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I’m a fat person. Maybe I’m not physically obese anymore and I’m just overweight, but all the tendencies I have towards food and the way I think about it are just like that of an obese person. It is a process and maybe even when I’m a healthy weight I will still have those tendencies. It’s a lifelong struggle that I will be dealing with for years, and possibly the rest of my life.

You are probably saying that I’m overreacting and it was no big deal and I’m making a huge deal out of nothing. That’s all very true; I agree. The only “big deal” is that now I have introduced sugar back into my diet and after struggling all last week to get it out, I’m back on day 1. It’s like resetting the sobriety app on your phone when you are an addict. You have a drink and it’s day 1 all over again.

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Another reason I’m being so very hard on myself is I’m desperately trying to save myself from the pain caused by my endometriosis. I know how wheat, sugar, and dairy affects it and the pain I’ve been having is only going to get worse by feeding it with these inflammatory foods. It’s like poisoning myself when all I want to do is feel better. I like being in control of the things I can actually have control over. This is one of those things and I’m not in control. I can regain it and it will be fine, but for today I feel like I spiraled out.

On days like today I have to remind myself that it was just one meal on one day out of an entire week inside a month of an entire year where I was pretty damn healthy. I just never want to misrepresent to anyone that I’m perfect or that I don’t struggle like every one does. It’s been said to live by the 80%/20% rule. If you make healthy decisions most of the time, it is ok to enjoy things every once in a while. I have to tell myself that expecting perfection is putting far too much pressure on myself. In my heart of hearts I know I’m doing great. I just have to reset the metaphoric app tomorrow and start over on day 1 and tell myself that doing the best I can is damn good enough.

Holidays are celebrations and there will always be food as part of these gatherings. I need to realize that when these days come around I can enjoy the food in moderation and get right back on track afterward. In the grand scheme of things, I’m not gaining back the 100 lbs, right????

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Why My Failures This Week Don’t Make Me A Failure

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I’m going off the rails a little bit here. I had a grand plan for a blog topic this week and I’ve completely abandoned it. I needed to. I need to keep it real. If I’m going to be truly honest with myself I need to be honest 100%.

I put a lot of pressure on myself, and it’s not necessarily a new thing either. When you lose a bunch of weight and every one knows about it you want to come across as the  rockstar that they all think you are.

NEWSFLASH: I’m human. I make mistakes. Huge ones. I don’t follow my own advice all the time and I make bad decisions for my health regularly.  Why is this such a big deal? It’s because of the pressure. I want to live up to the idealized version of myself that I broadcast and project. I want to be that person who is a role model for others and I want to be proud of myself. Honestly, at the end of the day I AM proud of myself, but I am far too critical.

This week the struggle has been real. I don’t have a reason or an excuse. I did more physical activity than I have in 12 weeks prior, but my eating has been kinda all over the place. After the wedding 4 months ago, the inevitable happened: I stopped caring as much. 3 weeks after the wedding I had an unexpected surgery and I could not work out for a month. No big deal. Except I didn’t really start working out for 2 months. I mean, I went to the gym a handful of times after the Dr cleared me, but I wasn’t diligent. February rolled around and I decided it was time to get back into a routine. I was able to start going to the gym at least 3 times a week which was better than I had done since November. My eating was on track(ish) and after a few indulgent meals out I gained and lost the same 4 lbs. 2 weeks ago I decided to take the bull by the horns and really commit. I was going to stay under my calorie goal (I track calories when I really have been off track to help me figure out about how much I’m eating every day),  I was going to cut out refined sugars, be strict on my no wheat (I hate the way it makes me bloat), and I was going to be consistent with exercise. After all, these are the keys to my success in losing 100 lbs. I stayed strong for about a week. I was feeling freakin great! My energy was up, my routine was great, my clothes were fitting better, and the scale was kind of stagnating. Then last week I decided to eat some cake. The next day I decided to eat cake again. 4 days later and I had eaten a small piece of cake every single day. I don’t even keep things like that in my house because of this problem, but if it is near me at any point I totally lose will power and justify that it’s ok. On friday I ate an oreo, a mini reece’s peanut butter cup, and some cake and I almost burst into tears.

I know what you are thinking. That’s ridiculous. To me, it was such a disappointment. I was a disappointment. Here I was, kicking ass and feeling great and I let myself be defeated by sugar. I had been so strong for months and months in 2015 and now I just can’t get on board. The cravings are almost unbearable. After the 3rd day it usually gets so much easier to not even be tempted. Here’s the thing: I have become way, way too hard on myself. I am beating myself up over ONE oreo and a small piece of cake. (well, after 4 days it was a big piece total.)

Last week I was asked a very interesting question: Do you think you will ever get to a point where you eat something (off your “diet”) and not feel guilt?

Hmph. I was honest. I said “I really don’t know because I’m so far from that moment that I can’t even imagine it.” HOLY SHIT. It’s like a form of an eating disorder. It’s an emotionally traumatic experience to eat a freakin piece of cake or a cookie? WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUUUUUDGE? When did I let this happen and more importantly, how am I going to stop this way of thinking??

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Often people don’t realize that the emotional aspects of losing a bunch of weight and keeping it off is as difficult as the physical part of the journey. I have become a version of myself that I don’t recognize from the outside and sometimes from the inside. It’s the most bizarre feeling to look in the mirror and still see a morbidly obese person, yet that’s not you anymore. It’s even more bizarre when you feel such an insane level of guilt over eating something that was once a regular part of your life. It’s just a cookie. IT’S JUST A COOKIE. But it represents something. It means I’m not doing the best I can. It means my will power isn’t where it should be. It means all these tiny failures add up to over all failure. BUT IT DOESN’T MEAN I’M A FAILURE.

I’m a freakin badass. I lost 100 lbs. I’ve kept it off for 6 months. I work out and watch what I eat 90% of the time. Do I have a long way to go before I want to start maintaining? Yes. Do I have a lot to learn about being gentle with myself? Definitely. Am I going to give up? HELL NO.

It is days like these where it is critical that I stop and think about how far I’ve come. I’ve likely saved myself from many obesity related diseases and hopefully have added years to my life. All I know for sure is that I’m never going back. I’m going to eat cake at my best friend’s birthday party (or in last night’s case, a couple of pieces) and it’s going to be ok. I’m going to learn that it’s totally acceptable to not be the idealized version of myself and that no one is judging me. I am my own worst critic.

 

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Every day is a step towards my goal. Whatever that may be. Whether it is eliminating sugar (day 1 was today…again) or trying a new exercise that forces me out of my comfort zone (Cardio Fusion class today was a blast), I am going to move forward. I can’t sit around and regret decisions or wonder if I hadn’t eaten that cake how many pounds I would have lost. That’s a waste of energy . It’s doing a disservice to myself and AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR DAT. I want to be an example to others who are struggling to get started or who are struggling to find motivation, but I have to keep it real. Every day is a struggle. It’s never going to be easy. That’s the part you have to accept- when you challenge yourself, you grow as a person. If you work really hard and stay focused, you see the results you want. One oreo is not going to change that. 143

Loving yourself despite making bad decisions is essential to self care. When you treat yourself the way I have been treating myself you are being counterproductive. You end up placing all your energy on guilt and blame rather than focusing on what you are doing right and what you can do in the future. It isn’t about the number on the scale. It isn’t about crazy obsession over what you did/didn’t eat. It’s about making the decision to at least give a shit. Care deeply and passionately about yourself. Love yourself enough to decide that being the best version of yourself is worth all the challenges and bullshit to get there. When you feel like giving up, just be gentle on yourself. If a friend came to you and told you the things you tell yourself would you tell them that they suck and that they are a failure? I sure as hell hope not because you are not the kind of person I would want to be around.

 

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It’s like starting all over again every once in a while. I feel like I’m not doing enough. I feel like all my bad decisions are adding up. I feel like I’m a disappointment to myself and more importantly to the people who look up to me. I decided today that I don’t deserve the kind of treatment I’ve been giving myself. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to be perfect this week, nor does it mean that if I slip up I won’t be kind of disappointed in myself. It means that I’m human and I can’t live the rest of my life being afraid to eat the damn cake. It’s going to happen. I’m going to eat it and I will enjoy it. I want to get to the point where every single day I’m making decisions that lead me to the best and most healthy version of myself that I can be. I don’t just mean skinny. I mean emotionally healthy. I will get there. This isn’t the end of the line for me. I won’t just stop here and accept this as where my journey ends. Hell, my journey has just begun.

I’m a freakin badass and no piece of cake is going to make me think otherwise.