Captain, we are going down!

Like most people in this crazy world I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all that I need to do, especially on the weekends.  That time that I want to spend recharging and hanging out with family ends up being that crazy cycle of laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping and trying to fit that ever elusive “quality time” in with the kids.

One big hindrance in my life is my way over-developed sense of guilt…you know what I am talking about, the idea that I have so many things to do that I don’t really do any of them well and that everyone is disappointed in me.  There was actually another blogger who talked about this very thing this weekend…the title was something like how Having It All, Kinda Sucks.   I could relate, so well!  Now, I will take responsibility for my own guilt…those in my life don’t put it there and are in fact very encouraging.  I need to remember that I don’t have to be perfect to be remarkable.

It did get me thinking about expectations, mine, others, society and how this plays into what our expectations are. Maybe we need to give ourselves a break, maybe I need to give myself a break.  As with all other difficult emotions, my previous cycle would be to eat until the feelings of guilt went away…I don’t do that any more, but I did have really strong cravings for fried food this weekend.  The physical cravings take about two weeks to go away, but the emotional cravings of comfort still pop up, even after 11 months on the program.  My solution was to eat a couple gluten-free, sugar-free hotdogs…I am such a rebel.

I did manage to get most of what I hoped done and to spend some great time with hubby and the kids, but I have to be honest my striving to fit it all in stressed me out.  I went to bed last night reviewing my “To Do” list to make sure I hadn’t missed a trick, and slept like crap because I couldn’t shut my brain off. Maybe I need to admit that while I love the idea the “perfect life” it is just not realistic, or particularly healthy.  I shall bail the water out of my boat on and hope to find that balance between work, home and self.

Blessings,

NB

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Laughter and other Gifts

First, I have to say how much I appreciate the outpouring of support after my last blog.  I needed to just get it out there that even with all I have been able to do I still have those crummy days where my self-talk is really negative.  I am over it now, and I have, as the song suggests “Let it Go”.

I really love this picture that I included today because it shows one of my favorite things about my family…we laugh together.  One of the reasons that I embarked on this journey was so that I could be there for my kids, set a good example for them and really engage in family time. I must confess that I wasn’t always doing that because I felt poorly, tired and overworked.  Things were getting to be a huge effort, and that is not how I wanted to live my life.

Enter me, 10 months after starting my journey, and I have dropped 68 lbs and 65 inches…that is like shedding half a person, and I feel it.  I have more energy, I get more accomplished and I can engage with my kids, even after a long day at work.  Do I do it perfectly now…nope, but I have the energy to try.

I had to reset after last week too, and focus on what is more important, how I think I look or how much healthier I am compared to where I was last year…this is key.  It isn’t about how much I weigh or what size I am…I am doing my best to be healthy.

I hope that I haven’t given you whiplash with my up and down moods, but the whole point of my blog was to be honest and to own those feelings that I stuffed and ate before.  I believe that it is working, I feel better and healthier than I have in a really long time, and that is one of the greatest gifts of all.

Blessings,

NB

That Darn Voice Again…

Some of you may remember I wrote about that crazy, stupid, mean-girl voice in my head that sometimes comes out to attack and destroy…it is back, and it is not taking any prisoners.

We had family pictures done this weekend and I was really super-excited to see how they would turn out…the day was brisk, but everyone was in a good mood and when we got the pictures back…they looked amazing, except one thing…me.

The picture I included with the blog is the one that I wanted to see the most because I thought that it would highlight all the hard work I had done, all the hard work that my husband had done.  It shows off my husband amazingly, I can’t say that I am as happy with me.

I still look fat…I could blame it on the angle, or my outfit or really any number of things, but in my head I look no different then when I started this journey.

Truthfully, this really shouldn’t surprise me…I still have another 65 lbs to go, but I guess my expectation was me looking so much better in my head.  Do I have a distorted view of what I really look like….and if I look this big now, how much bigger did I look 65 lbs ago and not even realize it.

This is a bad head space to be in…not super encouraging I know.  I decided to write because I want to be real with how I am feeling, own it and learn to move on in a healthy way…not go to the mall for a poutine at lunch because I can’t deal. I don’t share this to be a downer, but this is all part of the struggle I deal with every day.

Take care of yourself today, and think good thoughts!

Blessings,

NB

 

 

Breaking News

The day has finally come that I can share with you some really exciting news!  I am finally out of the plateau state that has plagued me for the last few months.  I miraculously stepped on the scale on Sunday morning and had dropped 5 lbs…this puts me at 65 lbs and 64 inches gone.  I am comfortable in 1X/XL size clothes, and they are getting big fast.

There are a couple take-away items that I learned while pushing through my plateau.

  1. You have to persevere…it is easy to keep going when the weight is falling off, but the real test is pushing through the hard times.  I really needed to trust in my program and although I couldn’t see the results trust that my body was doing work on the inside.
  2. Support is key…I leaned hard on the encouragement that I got from my online community and my family.  I had a couple of tough moments that could have spelled disaster, but everyone kept pushing me to do better.
  3. Reassess your method…this plateau caused me to take a good look at what I was doing and if I could improve.  I really needed to focus on my stress levels and making sure that I was getting enough sleep…two key elements that I wasn’t really focused on.
  4. Eating right is its own reward…I feel better when I am eating the way I should, that alone should be enough for me to stick with things, the weight loss is just a bonus while I unveil the new me

So thanks for indulging my tirades against my body while I was struggling and thanks for the out-pouring of encouragement…I literally could not do this without you.

Blessings,

NB

The Scales on My Eyes

I love this image…butterflies are my signature insect.  Okay that sounded way cooler in my head but you know what I mean.  They are a symbol of rebirth, transformation and beauty that will always fascinate me.

The whole idea of transformation was brought home to me this past week.  I had been traveling, and since I was in The States, near a huge mall and with my Mom, shopping was on my list of things to do.  I was also feeling a little frumpy in my clothes, like they weren’t really reflective of who I am now.  I had wanted to wait until I was closer to my goal weight but frankly I needed some encouragement.

Most of you know that I am struggling through a rather extended plateau…not dropping any weight…I did go down inches though so not all is lost.  It was really becoming hard for me to push through and I hoped that some new duds would perk me up.

It worked!  I began trying on clothes and you know what…not having a saggy bum in my pants and going with shirts and jackets that fit really highlighted the progress I had made…I got a little weepy-eyed with the size of my hips and my dipped in waist.  I felt like I was looking in a magic mirror…the good kind.

I was beginning to see the transformation…it really was a beautiful moment for me, and one that I never dreamed of having just a year ago.  I have had to adjust my timeline for my eating program…short of cutting the fat off I will just have to follow the program and let my body do its thing…but it is doing it, slowly but surely.

The point being, I really hadn’t seen the changes in my body, or I didn’t think they were that noticeable…it took that stripping off of the old and putting on of the new to really see how things had changed.

Blessings,

NB

PS-I thought I would post a picture of one of the new outfits…love that green!

New duds

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

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