The winds of change are blowing pretty strong in our household. My hubby is always on the move, we are doing some renos and I have just been given a promotion at work. All good things, but that doesn’t stop us from feeling overwhelmed, tired and just worn out. I have lots more energy then I use to…so I tend to think that this is more an emotional or mental fatigue.
I need to remind myself that in amidst my work ethic and striving to be the best at what I do there needs to be time for rest. Not necessarily sleeping, but taking time to centre my self and refocus on my priorities. This is a good thing and it an important part of living healthy.
I recently got a Fitbit and it tracks pretty much everything…most was what I had imagined, but it did reveal that I am not getting as much sleep as I though I was. If you would have asked me before the tracking, I would have said about 7-8 hours a night…but the tracking revealed that I was often getting less than 6 hours a night…big difference. It has helped me to be more intentional about getting rest and not feeling bad when I take a break.
So, my encouragement to you is that you set some time aside for resting, it actually might make you more productive.
Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go right? That was me on Thursday…hubby was down sick, really sick…so I was not only worried about him but I was attempting to pick up the slack. He is a superstar and gets the kids off to school and picks them up most days. I had work, at work, that I wanted to get accomplished and just as I was getting going I locked the keys in the car at Costco…plus it was going to rain…very soon.
In my old life I would have called CAA and then soothed my frustration with life with a poutine. Thankfully, I called CAA and instead took a walk around the parking lot fervently hoping the rain would hold off until my car got unlocked.
It was a perfect example of how my relationship with food is changing into a much healthier one. I thought about binge eating for about 10 or 20 seconds…but it just didn’t have the draw for me that it once had. My day totally got derailed and frankly Friday wasn’t much better in terms of planned work getting accomplished…but it was a test of my growth that I passed…and I could feel good about.
Hubby is doing much better and things were mostly back on track by Sunday evening so it was a short-lived, mild storm, but it does give me hope that I can weather the bigger tests confidently too.
I had a wonderful Easter weekend, spent lots of time with family and really enjoyed the holiday. I was talking to one of my cousins about the changes that I have been making in my life and I had a revelation…this has made my marriage stronger.
Now before all the rumours get started…we were in a very good place to start with, but this whole process has drawn us closer together. My husband has always told me that I am beautiful…even when I was at my heaviest, so that really wasn’t between us. But I did keep a lot of my feeling about eating and even some of the binge eating I was doing, from him. I don’t think that it was creating problems, but I can tell you that it is a wall that no longer exists.
We talk about food choices, what we eat and when. We openly talk about weight and measurements and our goals for the eating program. What before was shrouded in shame for me has become a connection point for us. He is my biggest cheerleader and I am his. We hold each other accountable, but in the best possible way. I feel closer to him, because that last little part of me that I was holding back-because I was ashamed and felt guilty-is visible to him.
I am not even sure when the shift happened, maybe it was part of a process, but I see it everyday. Sure I enjoy the physical changes that we see as we continue on, but the closer emotional connection is something that is even better, and frankly unexpected.
Not every couple will have a spouse’s eating habits shrouded in shame…but they might have something else…so I want to encourage open communication, it has brought us an unexpected blessing.
So this past week was a rough one for me. We were silly busy at our house and my schedule was thrown out of wack. I developed skin irritations and my heartburn returned….what was going on? I hadn’t strayed from my eating program and these were issues that had disappeared after my first few weeks. I was bewildered as to why these things were coming back into play.
That was when one of the most important factors in my success thus far came into play…my support network came to the rescue. I belong to a closed Facebook page of others who are following the same eating program…there are those that are just starting out and those that have finished with the weight loss program and are maintaining their healthy lives…it is a treasure trove of knowledge, support and love.
I did some trouble shooting and what I came to discover, after some self-reflection, is that my schedule had been thrown off, I wasn’t getting as much sleep as I should and I needed to also focus on getting protein. I would have never known to make these adjustments or that what I was going through was part of the process…it all leads to me being ultimately successful.
I love that fact that my hubby is doing this journey with me, but without the support of my coaches and my online buddies I couldn’t be doing what I am doing.
I use to be afraid of my scale…when I wasn’t sure it was broken. It never seemed to go the way that I wanted it to…and if it did, that success never lasted for long. Things have changed…now I am obsessed with stepping on it because when I do it always seems to be going down, we have a new relationship.
The issue being that our relationship will be short lived. I am conscientiously making the choice to not weigh myself during my journey. I needed to at the beginning, as a sort of security blanket that I really was doing it, really was taking the weight off…but I don’t need it anymore.
I have grown confident in my body’s signals and in the way I relate to food…it is for nourishment, not comfort that I eat. I will still be able to track my progress through my measurements and how my clothes fit, but I am able to unburden myself from my fear of the the scale.
I didn’t come up with this all by myself, my eating program actually says to track this way. I am losing fat, but I am also gaining muscle so the actual weight gone is skewed. I have a website that explains all aspects of my weight lose program, plus it includes pictures of me when I started and me after 12 weeks…feel free to check it out www.fyf4good.com/nicolebrouwer
So when I began my journey to health I had been tracking my food for almost 5 years…sometimes more stringently then others. I needed to tame my body into control because it wasn’t. I would scoff at those who suggested that I simply listen to my body and stop when I was full. When I was emotional and wanting to eat or upset and wanting to eat or angry and wanting to eat…those cravings were real. My body could not be trusted…we were in a battle of wills! I was determined to “have some self-control” and my body was determined to remain in the patterns it had followed for years.
I continued this practice on my new eating program despite being assured that I wouldn’t need to. One of the mantras is “Don’t over eat, don’t under eat…eat until you are full and then stop” I didn’t know how to do this if I wasn’t tracking everything going into my mouth. I didn’t trust my body’s signals or my ability to stop.
I din’t track while on was on a recent vacation…had to stop “cold Turkey”. I decided that I would get back to it once I was again in my routine…but I had fallen out of practice and I din’t feel compelled to anymore…I realized that I felt in control and that I was trusting my body to send the right signals!!! This is a huge moment and accomplishment for me, the trust that my body is doing what it is suppose to do!
I now understand that holding on so tight to previous behaviours was holding me back…causing me to fall into old habits. With this new understanding, comes a great freedom. Plus my body and I are back on speaking terms…no longer engaged in battle, but working together for a better future.
This issue has been on my mind as Easter approaches and there will be a big family gathering at my Mom’s house. Most of my family know about my recent bid for health and all would be supportive so I am not super worried about it, but it has been bouncing around in my head for a bit and I decided to get my thoughts “down on paper”, so to speak.
I have had to change my perspective on Social Eating…not that eating as part of socializing is bad…it is almost blasphemous in my family to have any kind of gathering without at least snacks. Nothing wrong with it and I think that it is a great tradition…certainly better than the blood-sport that board games became so we banned them a good decade ago!
Here is why I had to change my approach…as someone who is truly addicted to food, it gave me a great excuse to over-indulge. This led from having a cheat day to a cheat week and then a cheat month…and let’s face it, after a cheat month you really aren’t watching what you are eating, you are just eating.
I needed to focus on the act of getting together, catching up with cousins, aunts, uncles and everyone else and not on the food. The people-the relationships-needed to become more important than my stomach…sounds easy, but was a really hard shift. You first have to admit that there is a problem, then you need to identify the problem and then be willing to do something about it. I had to reconcile myself to that fact that I was unable to have one day of eating and then go back to my routine…there are no cheat days in my world, there can’t be.
Tied up in this is how to gracefully decline certain foods that fall outside my eating program parameters. When you are eating snack and buffet style, no one really notices what you are doing. When you have a sit-down meal, you need to be able to say no to the bun or potato salad or the dessert at the end of the meal (or in my case, all three). I haven’t really had this tested too much, but I know that it will come up. In this instance it is not about me being strong, I just don’t want to appear rude or ungrateful. Any meal that I don’t have to cook is a gift, and should be treasured.
I would like to put this out there…if you know someone is making the effort to get healthy please don’t be the person to tempt them away from that path. What you might consider their one temptation of the day, might just be their 22nd…there is no glory in breaking down someone’s self-control.
When I began this journey I was determined to take stock of my life and get healthy…in ALL areas. The physical journey has been my focus, both in life and on my blog, but I have shared a bit about my struggles to continue to develop my spiritual health. I have been making small steps and I wanted to use a post to talk about how that has impacted my life.
I struggle with worry…to the point were I lose sleep and emotionally eat…it can make me sick. The verses in Matthew that talk about worry could have been(and most likely are) directed right at me. I am sure that all my neurosis can be traced back to one common element or personality trait…but frankly I am not really interested in that, I want to know how I tackle things now.
I decided that my first step was to get back to my quiet time with God. I have tried different times of the day and using different tools. I found that mornings were far too rushed, but just before bed was a perfect time to quite my mind and reflect on my relationship with God.
I was going to back to basics…at the urging of a very wise lady who I volunteer with at church…no devotionals, just reading from the Word. I downloaded a Bible app onto my iPad and started at the beginning of the New Testament. I read a minimum of one chapter each night and then I pray…nothing earth shattering, but the benefits have been visible.
I am currently at a crossroads when it comes to my career, I am waiting on news about a job…not much that I can do about it, as it is in the hands of others. This would normally send me around the bend with worry and rolling different situations over in my head…but that hasn’t happened.
I have been sleeping better…finding that once I turn my thoughts to reading the Bible and prayer it is much easier to drift into sleep. I am more in tune with my emotions, able to feel but not be overwhelmed by them…on an evener keel…it has been refreshing. This has spilled over into my physical and relational well being too…no emotional eating, better sleep so I feel well rested and more to give to my family and at my job.
This is not too say that I don’t have moments…as I shared in my last post…that negative self-talk can sneak up and bite you in the butt at the craziest of times. I see this as a direct attack on someone who is putting things back together and battling their demons.
I hope as you travel in your own journeys you don’t neglect your spiritual health…it is just as important as the physical.
I have shared previously that I have tried many weight lose programs and I want to share my frustration with that experience, because I don’t want people to think that I just woke up one morning, decided to go on an eating program and magically it all fell into place…THIS IS NOT THE WAY IT HAPPENED.
I have struggled with my weight since I was a teenager, I wasn’t huge, but certainly bigger then the average teen. My weight has slowly crept up since that point. I would go through stages where I would lose and then gain and be stuck in the yo-yo cycle. I was frustrated and thought that there was something intrinsically wrong with me. I asked doctors to do tests to make sure that everything was running right…they did so, and were supportive of me getting to a healthier weight, but none could come up with that magic cure.
I have even gone so far as to go on medication, available to me when I spent some time in the states…it was later recalled by the FDA for causing liver damage…thank goodness it didn’t impact me that way.
Before starting this current journey I was actively exploring surgical options…I was desperate to find a cure…I felt gross, I had no energy and I wasn’t living life the way I knew it was meant to be lived.
Still the question remains…WHY NOW? Why is it working this time? Why I am getting emails and messages about what I am doing this time around…I don’t have an answer, but everything seems to be falling into place. Maybe there were lessons that I needed to learn in order to make this journey the one that would work.
Please be encouraged by the fact that I am not perfect in my journey to health, please keep striving for your own healthy lifestyle.