Seasons of …Disappointment?!?

I LOVE FALL!  I love the colours, the cool refreshing nights, the spicy smell to the air, no more bugs, being able to wear sweaters.  I don’t love that it precedes winter, but no season is perfect.  This year Fall has not brought the relief and joy I usually find.  It has been hot and sticky and then rainy and gross…not really the picture of fall crispness I was looking forward to.  Even the colours have not been as bright this year…frankly fall has been a disappointment.

My experience with fall is kind of how my journey for health is going right now.  By this point I thought I would be almost done with my shedding of pounds and looking forward to going to phase 2…the wonderful maintenance phase where my eating program is a little more relaxed.  I would be wearing cute little pants and tops to show off my new figure.  Instead I have stalled, I have clothes that are too big but I haven’t lost enough weight to justify a whole new wardrobe.

I need some momentum to keep me going, something that encourages me to keep on.  My husband, bless him, is insistent  about the fact that I am shrinking despite the imperial evidence to the contrary.  So how do a keep the course until these season has passed…I remind my self of a few things:

  1. I am not doing any harm by continuing my healthy eating.
  2. it took years to put on the weight, it will take time (please God not years) to get it off.
  3. I must remember that this is not only about eating, I need to look at exercise, getting enough sleep, keeping the stress down and feeding my spirit…I am after a holistic approach to wellness.
  4. My weight loss thus far is still a big accomplishment, be proud of what you have achieved and use it to push forward.

So if you find yourself stuck in a place, just remember to keep fighting the good fight.  I will be praying for your success and wellness.

Blessings,

NB

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The Art of Being Thankful

I have to be honest with you…this is my second attempt at blogging for this week.  I sat down to write one earlier, and it was dark, very dark.  I didn’t even know that had all that pent up in me, kind of dark.  Thankfully, I paused before I hit publish, and I am in a much better frame of mind.

Not that I want to hide the valleys from you all…but this was “call that girl some help, cause she is on the edge” kind of stuff and it didn’t really say what I wanted to say, but getting it all out was very cathartic.  What caused me to walk through the dark valley you might ask…simply, I was tired, exhausted actually.  All those who know me well, know that I don’t function well (read-at all) on very little sleep.  I have a really strict bed time and schedule to make sure that I am running at peak performance.  I deviated and by the end of the week I was done.

Enter the Thanksgiving long weekend and I desperately needed to be able to unplug.  We had family stuff, and work stuff and all kinds of stuff…except on Monday.  I did the unthinkable on Monday…I stopped…like everything.  In our busy obsessed world leisure time has really taken a hit.  You would think with more time-saving devices we would have oodles of free time to do as we please, but we have just scheduled away our free time until we are all over-worked, over-scheduled, over-committed and OVER WHELMED.

So as I look back on my weekend, I am thankful that I stopped. That my family was understanding enough to pick up the slack (my husband rocked).  I woke up this morning in a much better place.  But I needed to adjust so I could get into the frame of mind where I could be truly thankful.

Blessings,

NB

Lies, Lies…Truth

You all remember the kids game Duck, Duck…Goose.  Where everyone anxiously awaits for the goose to be called and the chase to ensue.  The moment of expectation and then the burst of energy is what makes the game fun.  My life over the past week has been a strange, somewhat frustrating, mirror of that game.

We are faced with information everyday that we need to determine if it is truth or not.  If it is truth, is it information that I can use…my thoughts through the past week went something like this:

“Why do I still look fat in my school profile picture?”

“Great, my new clothes are getting loose, must be taking off inches!”

“Why won’t these number on the scale go down????”

“I feel really healthy and I have lots of energy.”

“I just want a pizza or some ice cream already!”

“Healthy choices, bring healthy results…stick to the goal.”

I think that you get the picture, the constant push-pull in my mind has left me mentally exhausted.  I was constantly on edge about the next little surprise or lie to be thrown at me and I needed to find the truth!

All of the thoughts running through my head did have truth to them.  I haven’t lost a pound in about 2 months….I haven’t cheated and I am getting more active…so I have gained muscle and lost inches…the information was correct, but the truth needed to be ferreted out.

I would like to say that I am always fully committed to the program and in the sense that I haven’t had a cheat meal, this is true, but it doesn’t mean that I haven’t been tempted. I really wanted some ice cream last night, but when I said that to my son he said that I needed to “get my head on right” and proceeded to help me straighten it out.

It is so easy to get mired down in the crap that bombards us…we have to literally dig out to find the truth amidst the lies that we tell ourselves and that society feeds us on a daily basis.

Seek the truth, and it shall set you free!

Blessings,

NB

 

The Loop of Insanity

So just like the picture says.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  That Einstein guy was about more than just E=MC².  We know this to be true, but how many times do we jump on the dieting wagon with exactly this mindset and expect amazing results.  The terminology might be different but the basic principles are the same…then you get stuck on the yo-yo ride and have trouble getting off again.

When I started this, way back in January, I was diet weary…I had tried everything and although I might get initial results…the end game was the same.  It was time for something radical…to do something different. I cut out all sugar, honey, maple syrup, grains and starchy veggies.  I also follow a strict timetable of when I eat certain foods…radical? maybe…but that is what getting out of the loop is about, getting out of your comfort zone.

Now you would think after such smashing success with my program that I would have learned my lesson. But we are creatures of habit who like to wrap themselves up in the comfortable and familiar, rather then bother to make a switch, even if that switch is a good thing.  After about 7 months I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted…but it didn’t clue in to change things up a bit, I just kept plodding along.  Then it occurred to me that perhaps the plodding was the problem.  I had been really focused on my eating, which I believe is about 80% of the equation, but I was missing the other 20% to really kick things into gear.

So I have embarked on a pretty intense workout regime…and it seems to be working.  The first week was a bit challenging, as I was REALLY sore but I am well into my second week and I am seeing toning and better endurance.  I have another 14 weeks to go and I am really excited to see the results.

The take-away from this is…if you don’t like what is going on, change it!  Don’t go insane, break the loop by stepping out of your comfort zone.

Blessings,

NB

Just Keep Swimming

Motivation has played a big part in my being successful with weight lose.  I have the over riding goal of being healthier and living a longer more fulfilling life.  But I find that I have mini motivators too.  Looking good in a new outfit, having my husband comment on how nice I look, things like that, they make my days without potatoes bearable.

My second biggest motivator is my kids…they learn so much by watching was we do and so often they lessons that they do learn are not the ones you want them too.  However my kids have learned a lot about their mom in the last 8 months and I think that it has been a good thing.

I have also discovered my love of working out…I really like feeling strong and capable.  This honestly was a surprise as I am not really into sports.  It took me a bit to figure out what worked for me…now I work out 4-5 times a week…I just needed to find my groove, the thing that got me out of bed in the morning.  I actually miss my workouts if I haven’t had them in a bit.

Probably my best motivator though is my ability to stick with a program.  I have tried so many ways to get healthy.  They would all work for a few months and then they would fall by the wayside and I would gain the weight back, plus an extra five for kicks.  The sheer fortitude that it has taken to get to this point keeps me moving forward…because if I stop now, what a waste of 8 months.

So no matter what your motivation might be, just remember…Just Keep Swimming…and you will eventually get there.

Blessings,

NB

Crisis Point

Anyone who is overcoming an addiction comes to a point where they have to decided if they are going to fall back into the addiction or break free.  In fact, from what I have heard and experienced, this will happen several times in their journey to recovery.  Sometimes it is an hourly struggle to not give into our weakness, but we strive to carry on because we know that in victory lies a better life.

I had a crisis point last week as I was gearing up for my new job.  It had really been smooth sailing as I transitioned and prepped for the role, but the night before my first meeting I was shopping for a couple new outfits with my trusty entourage (Mom and my daughter). I just reached that point where I was overwhelmed, I had a mini panic attack.

My mom talked me down and my daughter was amazing in her encouragement (such a great gift to have at 9)…but I had to verbalize what I was feeling.  I grab my snack of grapes and deeply wished that it was a huge tub of poutine… when I said this out loud my Mom laughed…which was fine because it broke the tension after my little moment, but it just reminded me how far I had come.

I had to just keep swimming…keep powering on because the changes that I am making are leading to a better life…not just me but my family too.  We play more, get out of the house more, my kids see me making good healthy choices.

For those of you that are following along the new job is going very well and I have an incredible amount of support in my new role so the panic attack wan’t really warranted…but we all have our moments.

Blessings,

NB

Letting Go of the Shame

As I go through my journey and continue to be successful in getting healthy, more people have begun to notice that I am making changes and they ask me what I am doing.  I am happy to share and in doing so I am freeing myself from the shame of being fat.

I openly discuss my weight. How much weight I have lost. How many inches I have taken off my body.  I am not talking about using cute euphemisms either…I talk in cold hard numbers!  This would never have happen at the beginning of my journey, forget about a year ago.  I was ashamed of my lack of self control, and I showed that by trying hide my stats…it didn’t work well as my struggle was all too evident for the world to see.

What I also struggled with, frankly, were the comments that people-like literally strangers, who knew nothing about me other then what they saw walking by-would make.  It would all be done in a loud stage whisper…like they were talking to their friends, but they wanted me to hear what they were saying.  I won’t get into the comments, because rudeness like that really doesn’t deserve to be acknowledged.  What further struck me is that it never happened when I was with my husband…only when I was alone, or even worse, with my kids.  I would hear the comments and so would the kids…my face would burn and I would hurry along, never responding.  I don’t know which bothered me more, the shame of having someone make rude comments about you in front of your children or the fact that I did nothing to stand up for myself, regardless…it was demeaning, rude and offensive and it did nothing but tear me down.

It brought to light the fact that as much as our culture talks about tolerance and equality…there are still certain groups that can be ridiculed openly and publicly… and being fat is one of them. I am not talking about injustice on a large scale here…but I do like to talk about what is means to be overweight in our culture because that played into my identity for a really long time.

I have been able to let go of the shame, because I have taken control of my life, and I had to come to the place where I wouldn’t let others dictate my self-worth.  But I know that there are others out there who struggle with any number of things….and lots of people will offer their opinion…sometimes it is under the guise of advice…but let’s face it, they aren’t really there to help.

So two things to wrap up…if you can’t say anything nice, keep it to yourself and if you see or hear someone being torn down…speak up, you never know what that will mean to them.

Blessings,

NB

House of Mirrors

Have you ever been in one of those fun houses that has all the crazy mirrors?  My kids love looking at their crazy reflections, but I can’t help but get a little freaked out because sometimes I find those images aren’t reflections, by how I view myself in real life.

I have moments were I am really happy with the progress that I have made.  I like what I see when I look in the mirror, I feel strong and healthy and I know that I have made great changes in my life.

And then those other times come around…when I haven’t lost as much as I would have liked,  or I wonder if there is really a difference.  Sure it is great that I am a smaller size , but I still have to shop in the plus-size department and my stomach is still an area that really needs some work.

I also get overwhelmed with the amount I still need to go. I started out knowing that I was going to be in this for the long-haul, and I had said I needed a year to reach my goal. It looks like I may need more time to get there and while most days I am okay with that, sometimes I get frustrated with myself, my body and just my progress in general.

Those niggling voices are quieter than they use to be, but they still pop up.  What happens if you gain all the weight back?  What if you never reach your goal? Did you wait too long before making the changes and now you are stuck with a body that is a ticking time bomb of illness?

What gets me out of that place…it depends, different things work at different times, but the good news is I do get out.  Eating use to be an emotional roller coaster for me…the constant tug of needing to eat to survive and eating my feelings…that has slowly shifted and I am pretty confident in myself and my ability to say no.

What is harder to change is the emotional response…part of this is learned behaviour and part is me fighting the change.  It is easier to eat my feelings then confront and deal with them.  But I refuse to be emotionally crippled in that way anymore.  I am a strong, confident woman who is kicking butt at life…well that’s the end game anyway.

Blessings,

NB

Walking the Walk

Two things happened this past week that really made me evaluate my choice to get healthy and how that has impacted not only myself, but my family as well.

This past week my husband and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary.  He had to work, but we did get a sitter and go out for dinner.  We were in the car trying to decide where to go and once that was established, we talked about how we were both in the mood for a cheat meal.  I really hadn’t had this urge before but I was feeling pretty good about my accomplishments so far (down 60 lbs and 58 inches-thank you very much).  I felt like I was in control and could handle one celebratory meal . We got to the restaurant and got seated and decided what we wanted to have…we didn’t cheat…it had just become so ingrained in us to order a particular way that we didn’t think about it until after the fact.  We had a pretty good laugh at our walk on the wild side and then we were home by 9 PM…things change so much after you have kids.

The other thing that happened was I had been noticing that my daughter kept talking about our eating program…what is allowed and not allowed etc.  My little Banana does love to follow the rules.  I had been very conscientious though about how we presented this to our kids…we are setting an example that matters and they are watching, like a hawk.  I didn’t want this to be about body shaming and I certainly didn’t want my devotion to a really healthy eating style to impact my kids negatively.  I can hear some of you thinking “Well, how could that happen?”  But as you all know kids get funny ideas and you can never tell what they perceive to be the motivation behind the changes we were making. I didn’t want either of my kids to have negative ideas about food and health…we are trying to live this lifestyle because it is healthy and we feel better, it is not only about weight loss, although that has been a great motivator.  Right now we are on a strict program, but that will ease up considerably when we enter our maintenance phase.  It has really opened the door for us to have frank conversations about how we see ourselves and the right way to treat our bodies.

These things just prove that I have made the transition from a flash-in-the-pan eating program to truly embracing a lifestyle.  What once was hard for me has become a good habit…has it been easy? Not always, there were days that I would have given my left arm for a pizza. Once I have lost all the weight, then I need to be able to keep it off and learn from the lessons that I have traveled over the last 7 months (it will be just over a year by the time I reach my goal). I want to model a balanced life to my kids…body, soul and mind.  I started this journey with in being all about me, but it has really become far more encompassing than that.

Blessings,

NB

Gluttony and the other deadly sins

I had one of those “ah-ha” moments in church yesterday.  The topic was on living your life according the the wisdom in proverbs, specifically it was linked to drinking, but I felt like the message was speaking to me about my relationship to food.  Now this may be a touchy subject and frankly you may not agree with me…but I have said this before and I will say it again.  I am super happy that people read my blog and I hope that you find it encouraging, but frankly the blog is really about me and my journey.  It is just me working through my issues with food, body image and how I handle my emotional triggers…so it kind of falls under the following subject #sorrynotsorry.

The seven deadly sins are: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride.  Why these seven things I can’t say for sure, but if you look closely so will see that they have something in common.  They are all gifts from God, that when used for selfish, destructive ways end up severing your relationship with those around you.  Let me give you an example…the ability to rest is awesome, we all need those lazy days to recharge our batteries…taken to an extreme that can turn into slothfulness.  People learn that you don’t get stuff done, they can’t count on you and that you aren’t dependable. The gift has become something that can sever relationships and create unhealthy habits.

I believe that the same can be said for how we use food.  Good food and the enjoyment of that good food is a gift from God, this is talked about in both the Old and New Testaments. When we use food to stifle our emotions and create an unhealthy body we are guilty of gluttony.  I AM GUILTY OF GLUTTONY! I am guilty of many others things too…just ask my family and they will let you know that I am not perfect.  I bring this up because it has been a major spiritual issue that until very recently I have ignored.  I didn’t realize how this was impacting my relationship with others or my relationship with God…still working through the implications of what this all means.

This gets really controversial because people think that you are saying that all people who are overweight, just by virtue of being overweight, are sinning in some fundamental way.

I AM NOT SAYING THAT AT ALL…FULL STOP.

This is about how you use the gifts that God has given you and if we are using them in the way that God intended.

All parts of us are connected, that is why you can make yourself sick physically when you aren’t feeling well emotionally or spiritually.  I often focus on the physical aspects of my journey, but I am also working on getting healthy emotionally and spiritually too.  Those aspects are just a little harder to measure quantifiably.

Blessings,

NB