Thursday, December 31, 2015

End of Year Reflection

As we approach the end of 2015 in just mere hours,  I just want to take a moment to reflect on where I've been.  Over this past year, I have struggled with a serious issue with one of my children, which has brought me insurmountable stress.  That stress has spilled over into all aspects of my life, including my job, and my ability to really take care of myself the way I should.  In my last post, I talked about identifying myself as a binge-eater.  Binge-eating is an emotional disorder that is triggered by stress - at least for me it is.  I have let binge eating rule my life this last year, and I have gained 30 pounds.  

This picture was taken last week on Christmas Eve.
I knew I had gained those 30 pounds back, but it really didn't impact me until I saw the pictures for Christmas Eve.  Wow!   

What hurts so bad, is that between 2011 and 2013, I lost 40 pounds!
And now I've gained 30 of those pounds back.

So, they say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Well I have a few choice words to describe that picture, but moving forward, I promised myself to focus on the positive and not the negative.

Moving forward.....
2016 is going to be an 

How is it going to be awesome?
Well, I am focusing on more than just losing weight.  I am focusing on being healthy, both physically and mentally.  I am focusing on ME.  I don't mean being selfish....just less selfless.  My goal this year (and beyond) is to make more decisions based on what is best for ME and not what makes everyone else happy.  Also, in the past when I have tried to lose weight, I really only looked at how many "points" (calories) I was putting in my body, but not really where those calories were coming from.  My therapist really made me stop and think what I am actually putting in my body.  So now, before I eat something, I am asking myself if it is good for me.  Is it something I want to put in my body?   I'm sure some of you are thinking to yourself, "Well, DUH", right? But hey, we are all in different places on this journey called life, and it takes some of longer to figure shit out than others. LOL 
Sometimes it takes a lot more than words, to make someone realize what they need to do.

So here I go!  

How are you going to make 2016 a better year?
I'd love to hear from you in the comments!!!

Monday, December 28, 2015

No Apologies!

Wow!!! Time flies when you feel like your life is completely out of control and stress has gotten the best of you.  I haven't posted here in 6 months.  I'm done making excuses for not posting.  I have enough in my life to worry about and I'm not going to add blogging to that list.  

Where does this new attitude come from, you ask?  I started seeing a therapist for other reasons and she is awesome. Our biggest focus when we meet is working on myself and to stop overextending myself and trying to do everything for everybody.  We talked about my health goals in our last session and I told her about this blog, and our Skinny Girl Facebook group and she basically told me to stay the hell off of there. Here's the reason.  By worrying about posting on a blog or Facebook page, or feeling guilty for not, I am putting too much of my focus on making sure everyone else is happy.  I know it sounds silly, because I am positive your happiness does not in any way, shape or form depend on whether or not I post.  It's a self-induced guilt I place on myself, that is completely unfounded.  But it is there.  So my new attitude is, I'll post when I feel like I want to and if I don't want to or can't, I won't.  And I will NOT feel bad about it.  I know you guys are probably thinking I'm nuts for even saying any of this, because I know you understand that life happens and it is what it is, and all that.  Like I said, this is guilt that I put on myself and really has nothing to do with any of you girls.

Having said all that, I do want to talk about where I'm at in my quest to be healthier.  And I want to talk about it because it is cathartic for me, and if it helps you or encourages you to make changes, then all the better.

We are on the cusp of a new year. 2015 has not been kind to me.  I can't get into all of that because that would a blog post all on its own.  If you know me, then you know basically what has been going on in my life.  I am determined to make 2016 better!

I am currently reading 2 of Bob Harper's books and one of Jillian Michael's books.  They are very interesting and informative when it comes to the physiological aspects of weight loss and healthy eating.  The other book I grabbed from the library is Overcoming Binge Eating for Dummies.
Click here to find it on Amazon

  And there it it folks. 
The book that caused me to have an epiphany yesterday.   

I am a binge eater.  

I'm not saying I am expert or have the ability to diagnose myself.  However, if the shoe fits.....and it most certainly does fit.  I have never really thought about it before, but obviously there was something in the back of my mind that motivated me to even check that book out when I saw it.  

So what does this mean for me?  Well, it does somewhat alter my approach to my quest to be healthier, because it is helping me address the emotional aspect of my overeating, as well as the physical aspect.  In the past, I've never addressed the importance of my emotions and the part that they play in all this.  I'm not looking for a quick fix.  Just a better understanding so that I can make the changes I need to make.

I will check in when I can, and share strategies that are working for me, and update my progress.

Please feel free to comment, or even write a post.  Many of you are author's on this blog, so please feel free to post and let us know how you're doing!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Instead of Snacking, I can.....

Drawing is something I really enjoy!
When school is out during the summer, my brain finally has a little room to breathe and to be creative.  So each summer, I usually spend some time working on art project.

This year I have been exploring the art of creative lettering.
It is so much fun.

When I was trying to decided what type of word art I wanted to create, the Skinny Girl group popped into my mind.  So, without further are my results.

The lettering is my own drawings, that I scanned.
The borders were added using piZap .

If you are interested in creative lettering, there are plenty of resources online.  
Pinterest is a great resource.  You can also just go to Google Images and type in Creative Lettering.
Have fun!!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Difference Between Failure and Success

Last week was a good week.  I only lost 0.7 pounds, but I know I did everything I was supposed to do.  So I can live with 0.7.  A loss is a loss, right?

Then my birthday was this weekend.  Now for the record, I did not go completely nuts.  I did not count points either.  I allowed myself a slice of my birthday cake.  I allowed myself to have a few Miller 64's.  We went out to eat for my birthday, I still ordered grilled chicken and I still only ate half and brought the other half home....but I also ate tater tots.  I did drink Miller 64 though! LOL  So I used many of my weight loss strategies.  I tried to balance things.  I just wasn't perfect.  That's okay though.

It's my birthday, so I can have as many Rob gifs as I want!

Today is the pivotal point for me though.  Will I continue to slack off and get lazy about counting points?  Will I ignore my own good sense, and eat the rest of that cake in the fridge? It's so easy to do.

Or will I get right back into the good habits, that I know will help me succeed in my weight loss goals?

This is the major difference between success and failure for me in losing weight.  In the past, when I have had a great deal of success in losing weight, I have been able to enjoy a day or two of indulgences, but always get right back on track the next day.  I would say for the last year, I have not been able to do that.

So today, I am putting an end to the vicious cycle of failure that I've been in.  I am turning things around.  I indulged this weekend and that's fine. Today is a new day and I will eat the way I'm supposed to and count all of my points.  I will make good choices.  That is my goal for today.  It's my goal every day, but around here we take things one day at a time.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Instead of Snacking, I Can.....

.....write a blog post.

School is out for the summer, and I'm home all day.  Which is good and bad.
Good, because I have a lot less stress right now.  And less stress for me, means less stress eating.
Bad, because I have more time to eat and think about eating. So I was looking for some distractions.

Initially, I got back into working on my Weight Loss Smash Book.  That will be a post for another day.

As I was searching for ideas for my Smash Book, I came across this.....

Something I can cut out and glue into my journal.

"Write in a journal or on a blog" really caught my attention.  Here, I already have a blog.  Why not use it as a distraction.  And that is what I'm doing right now.  You know how you hit wall about a half hour before lunch, and you just want to grab something?  Well, that's where I'm at right now.  I also grabbed a big glass of water, which is helping too.

There are a few more things on this list that appeal to me.  I'll probably be trying them this afternoon, when I'm hungry waiting for dinner. ! LOL

What do you do when you really want to cave into those unnecessary snack attacks?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sometimes it's about perspective...

So countdown til *the* birthday...2 days (my birthday is Sunday...).  I'm sitting right around 145....and those last 5 lbs aren't going anywhere by Sunday.

Am I slightly disappointed that I didn't hit my goal of 140 by my 30th birthday? Yes.

But, here's what I've been thinking about this week as I approached the big day and realized that perhaps I might fall slightly short on my goal.

It's all about perspective.  Did I hit my goal completely?  No.  But here are some things that I've managed to accomplish in the year and a half since I started my journey.

I've lost 48 pounds.

I've run in at least 8 races and finished all of them (even my 4 mile hill course and the 10k).  I've even improved my times each time I go out.

I've registered for my first half marathon which will take place next weekend (eek!)...and feel absolutely certain that I will finish in the allotted time.

I've made serious changes to my diet and feel better every day.  I'm less tired, I'm less stuffy and allergy-ridden, I'm more mindful of what I put in my body.

I've also enjoyed this week and did not restrict myself.  We traveled for a short vacation to visit some of my husband's family.  My birthday is Sunday and we are going to one of my favorite restaurants and I will eat ALL of the things.  It's ok to give yourself permission to not care for a few minutes.  It's ok to enjoy a vacation.  It's ok to celebrate your birthday with abandon.  It's definitely ok.  :)

And all that said I'm SO happy about how far this journey has taken me that I can hardly be upset about that last 5 measly pounds.  I'm going to keep pushing and I WILL hit my goal.  It might just take me an extra week or two.  And you know what?  That's ok - because goal was to be healthier by my 30th birthday...and I've most definitely made changes, and am healthier and happier than I was when I turned 29...and that's worth all the changes in the world. shouldn't beat yourself up over what you haven't done...but instead celebrate what you HAVE done, and plan for what you WILL do!  You got this!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I went to yoga and...

...came home and roasted my own flax seeds.

This is not a sentence I EVER in my life thought I'd say or write.

I have to admit that this process...this journey that I've embarked on to become healthier and happier before I turn the big 3-0 has changed my life in so many more ways than I ever thought possible.

First, I've realized more and more recently, as I wear outfits I've always "liked" when I've seen them on others, but would have never had the balls to put on myself before, that I look like a different person today than I did a year ago.  At 5 foot tall, the 45lb that I've lost so far are a LOT.  I mean...45lb is significant for most anyone, but on my frame, it's more than noticeable.  And I'm fairly happy with the curves I've kept, but that are in better proportion to my frame.  Now this is the fairly obvious.  When you lose weight, you look different.  Duh.

Second, I feel better.  I don't hate the thought of doing laundry because it requires several trips up and down two sets of stairs, after which I'd generally be winded and annoyed.  Don't get me wrong, I still hate laundry...that's just not the biggest "why" of it anymore.  I truly just feel better.  I'm not as tired, I don't mind walking places/running errands/being out and about, where previously I would have mostly preferred to stay on the couch.  I'm getting to the point now where I don't particularly like the couch for long periods of time now and I get itchy to move after a little while.  Not something I expected.

But third - and this is the one I *really* wasn't expecting.  I'm turning into a hippie.  And I say that not to poke fun at anyone or make light of the term...but really...I'm turning into a hippie.

It started with eating better - thinking about what I was putting into my body.  Not just counting calories - because, to me, things like diet soda are scarier than some of my favorite "bad" foods because of the chemicals and other unnatural things in them.  So as I started thinking about what I was doing, I started reading more and more about nutrients and natural foods.  I don't follow a "diet" so to speak - I'm not "doing paleo" or trying Atkins or any of those fad type things - I just really try to pay attention to what's in my food...which has led to much more home cooking and much less picking something up on the way home.  And if I am going to grab something simple, I try to turn toward "real" foods - like prepared foods in our local grocery store (I love Wegmans!) where they cook and prepare the dinners in store with ingredients right from the store shelves.  I pay attention to snacking - if I want a snack I try to choose something with protein and real a trail mix...rather than something like chips.

I started doing smoothies for breakfast (I've had one for breakfast at least 5 days a week for seriously the last 10 months or so...).  Then I started really paying even closer attention to things I could add to get better nutrients out of the smoothies, greek yogurt, chia seeds, and now flax seeds.  I'm seriously roasting some flax seeds that I'll mill down to powder as I write this.  When did this become my life?
I started composting.  As I started eating more real food and cooking at home even more (I've always enjoyed cooking...but I'm *really* getting to fall even more in love with it now) I started having real food waste...peels of things, trimmings of veggies, apple cores from my smoothies...whatever it might be...and I felt terrible about throwing it all away.  Now, it gets composted under my sink (in this thing...which I LOVE and tossed in the back yard.  The squirrels and birds and other creatures often eat the compost or it decomposes into the dirt.  Either way - less in the landfill and it's good for the little ecosystem of my backyard.

Then, I started doing some "spring" cleaning and getting rid of old medications that were expired.  And I started thinking that if I had them around long enough for them to expired, maybe I didn't need to replace them because I obviously didn't use them that often.  Then a friend introduced me to essential oils.  I seriously haven't ingested an OTC medication since December.  I've used peppermint oil for my occasional headaches and some oil blends for minor aches.  I've used lavender oil to heal small cuts on my hands...hangnails, papercuts, nicks from cooking, etc.  I am ALWAYS congested in the winter.  I cannot remember a winter where I didn't want to have sinus replacement surgery so I could breathe.  The combination of being healthier in general, and my Breathe Again oil blend for those occasional stuffy days, I have not taken any decongestant this entire winter season...and it's been COLD and windy and snowy and all the things that normally screw me up.  I can breathe - during the day, when I sleep, everything!  It's amazing.  The company that I get oils through also sells a fruit blend drink that I've ordered to add to my smoothies in the morning.  Super powerful vitamins and minerals all from natural sources.

And today...I went to yoga.  I love my running.  I really do, but I wanted to add another component to things.  I love stretching - I used to do gymnastics as a kid and stretching was always my favorite part of class.  I also like the relaxation aspect - one of the only workouts I know where the end of your class is literally just laying down with your eyes closed.  There's something to be said for that.  I've taken yoga before...signed up for some classes when I was at college and such...but with my recent health kick this felt so much different.  It felt like almost a culmination of the changes I've been making.  I will still run...that's my favorite way to burn calories and have thinking time, but yoga is going to become part of this lifestyle too - I can see it.  I greatly enjoyed it and it's going to be a way to bring some strength and flexibility into things without, say, lifting weights.

And now I'm looking into crop shares for the spring as a way to get my hands on fresh, local ingredients for my cooking and also expanding my repertoire (cause they just give you what is ripe that week, so you end up with veggies you might not know to pick up at the store...).

Now my point with all of this is definitely NOT that this is how things will go or have to go to see success with changes in your life.  It was more for me to explain how it is a process.  Changing habits and mindsets takes time.  If I had said to myself last October - I'm going to start running, doing yoga, eating better, using oils instead of OTC meds, and composting I would have laughed at myself.  For several reasons.  First, taking on that many changes sets yourself up for failure.  Second, I would have though "what are you doing? Becoming a hippie?"  Third, I don't even know that I could have said that to myself all in one breath because I wouldn't know that all those things were available.  I knew next to nothing about essential oils.  I used to laugh at my grandmother for composting.  But the process took me here.  One change gradually led to another and I'm really very happy with where I am now.  I have about 5lb to go until my goal...and about 6 weeks til my birthday.  I'm an almost-30-year-old hippie...and I love it.

My message to you is to let it happen.  Learn, read, make the changes that make sense to you.  My happiness has increased in the past year and I think that's the biggest thing for me.  I'm happy.  Be happy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What are you giving up for Lent?

I will say this...I am Catholic.  I even went to a Jesuit college where attending mass was often a part of on campus activities.

I will also say this...I'm a relatively terrible Catholic.  I don't attend mass regularly.  I don't frequently participate in things like Midnight Mass at Christmas time or getting ashes on my forehead on Ash Wednesday.

But today is Ash Wednesday...the beginning of Lent.  For those of us who are Catholic, it's supposed to be a time of sacrifice and reflection, meant to prepare believers for the resurrection celebration of Easter.

As a time of sacrifice, Lent is often secondary only to New Year's for the time of year to make changes in ones life.  Often, you give up something you truly enjoy as a sacrifice with all intentions of limiting yourself for the 40 days of Lent and then resuming normal course of action when Easter comes around.

I have a proposal.  If you are like me, you often need an external motivator to really push yourself.  You need something compelling you to keep working hard...and sometimes that motivation is tough to find.  Use Lent as your motivator.  They say it takes 21 days to change a habit.  Lent is 40.

If you follow the practice of Lent, try giving up one thing for Lent that will make you healthier in the long run.  Stop drinking soda, give up your Tuesday night fast food habit, quit smoking, whatever it may be.  Don't try to take on everything - don't tell yourself that you're not going to eat *anything* bad for you.  But if you give yourself a goal...and if it's part of your faith and belief, it's something you might be more likely to commit to...and stick to it.

By this point in the year - mid-February - we've most likely given up on New Year's Resolutions.  Don't get down on yourself if you have...almost everyone does.  It's why I've given up on New Year's Resolutions all together - they just don't work for me.  But if you need a little motivation to maybe work a little harder as spring ('s freaking cold outside right now...) approaches, perhaps the start of Lent can be your jumpstart, your re-invigoration.  I mean really...what do you have to lose?

Since I asked the question I suppose I should answer it.  This year, for Lent, I'm giving up excuses.  I frequently make my own mental excuses for not running, not choosing the healthier food option, not making "good" choices.  I've been, in my own estimation, very successful on this journey, but I have NOT, in any way, shape, or form, been perfect.  For the next 40 days, I'm not going to make any excuses in response to my journey (other aspects of life can wait til later...but excuses for not working out and making my healthy choices will be the focus :-P).  I am going to set a plan for the next 40 days...and stick to it.  I'm not going to be "too busy" or rest on the fact that I was "good" yesterday.  I'm going to stop excusing myself because I've made so much progress already and work hard to make the rest of the progress I want to make.  Lent ends 10 days before my goal.  10 days before my 30th birthday.  10 days before I want to be at my goal weight, which is 6lbs from where I am now.  The last little bit is the hardest...and I think, maybe, for the first time in my life, I'm going to set something to give up for Lent, stick to it, and make a change for the better.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The final push....

So here we are...2015.  It's the year I turn 30...and the time of reaching my goal has arrived.  I have approximately 10 weeks until my 30th that point I hope to weigh in at 140lb (or maybe a little less).

According to my app, I'm 88.63% of the way to my goal weight-loss wise, and 86.29% of the way.  It's getting close.

I have found this last little bit to be the hardest part of the journey.  I'm feeling better, I like how I look in my clothes a lot more, I'm working a lot, and it's winter.  Those are all excuses I've made - either consciously or unconsciously - to "slack off" or slow down on my workouts or whatever it may be.

I need a little bit of motivation for this last push...10 weeks is plenty of time to lose about 6lbs...I just need to get my butt back in gear.  I got back on the treadmill yesterday and it felt awesome - even though I hadn't run in 12 days.  It's almost as if every now and again I need a little "vacation" so to speak...then getting back into the routine is that much easier.

I guess what I'm saying is this...sometimes the final push is the hardest...the last little bit of that journey is the biggest uphill battle.  There will be setbacks.  There will be struggles.  But the best advice I can give is to just keep working...have more good days than bad...and in the end you'll be successful.

This group of women, who are all working hard in their own regard, have given me so much inspiration, support, and have - perhaps without even knowing it - held me accountable.  I could not have done this without you all.'s time for the final push.

10 weeks.  6 pounds.

I got this.