The Great Abyss

I need to go to my happy place…desperately!  I cheated last night, I cheated hard and for the moment it felt good and right, but in the cold light of day…it just wasn’t worth it.  All I am left with is a bloaty feeling, swollen fingers and the knowledge that I will have to work really hard to get back into my nutritional ketosis…and drop those last 48 pounds.

It was the perfect storm of events…a trying day at work, nothing planned for dinner, going to the grocery store hungry and then finding out they had not one ounce of the product I was looking for…so I reached for old habit food. The food that I have worked so hard to get out of my life, food that I thought would make me feel better. In truth I was grumpy with my kids, cranky with my husband and feeling just a little overwhelmed in my world…the grease and potato wedges did nothing to lift my spirits and frankly I felt a touch nauseous.

So this morning I am back on track, but at this point it feels a like an empty victory. I apologized to my kids and my hubby, because frankly they don’t like cranky me any more than I do. But I go back to why…why was that the response, I only need to stay strong until I got home and could decompress.  As I think about it I had reached my limit and like a pressure cooker that gathers too much steam…my lid hit the roof.

It just brings home the point that this journey is not just about doing the right exercises or picking the right foods…it is about wholistic health and I am still a work in progress.  It highlights that I don’t always manage my stress well and that I need to find a healthy way to decompress.  to add insult to injury I din’t even get the laundry folded…but I will need to let that go.

Be well my friends, and find ways to practice self-care today!

Blessings,

NB

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Sticks and Stones

Everyone remembers the phrase “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.  I think that we can safely say that is not true, in fact, words have a profound impact on our lives and in some instances change our path in life either for the better or the worse.

Last week, as I was visiting one of the primary classrooms, one of the little boys asked me if I had a baby in my tummy, when I told him no, he then asked why I was so fat.  One of his classmates quickly corrected him and told him to watch his words, she was very indignant on my behalf.  Kids can be cruel and kind all in the same moment!

I bring this up though because my response was not what it once would have been.  Even a little over a year ago I would have gone quickly to my office and had a good cry, vowed to get on track with eating and then probably stuffed my feelings with a supersized meal from some fast food chain.

This year, while it stun a bit because I have worked hard to get to where I am, I acknowledged it as truth…I do still have weight to drop…but I am a beautiful work in progress and that is what matters.  So while words do hurt, we can chose how we respond to them.  Will we let them bring us down and derail us? Sometimes we use the truth in words as excuses to stay where we are…and that might not be a healthy place.

So the take away is this…pick your words carefully, but pick how you will respond to words just as carefully.

Blessings,

NB

Beyond the Plate and Mirror

When I started this journey I had many different motivations for getting healthy and none of them were bad, but some came from a healthier place in terms of emotional well-being.  I started out much the same as I had with other programs tracking everything and really being a bit obsessive about following the rules.  To some extent, I think that was okay, because it allowed me to adjust my routines and change my habits.  But then something really extraordinary happened…I stopped.

I didn’t track my food and worry about calorie counting, I didn’t track my exercise and count every minute on my Fitbit…and I still lost weight, like a lot, and it keeps coming off.  I think that the success is due to a couple of things.  I finally found a program that is sustainable, I had amazing support and I was ready to work on my emotional health at the same time that I was working on my physical health.

I started to measure what I like to call non-scale goals.  Things like my skin looking better, having more energy, my digestive system working like it should and then last week the whopper came.  I had some routine blood work done and my doctor actually called my house to tell me how awesome the results were.  I had truly moved beyond looking healthier and feeling healthier but I had made myself healthier from the inside out.

That to me marks a huge change, not just in lifestyle, but in quality of life and being able to get the most out of life.  I have moved beyond focusing on what is on my plate or even what I look like in the mirror…although that is looking pretty good!

That is not to say that it is always perfect, I think that I have been pretty open with my struggles and those times were I am just not feeling the groove, but even that has shifted.  I have more good than bad days, my thoughts are more optimistic and I am working on less stress and worry in my life.

I hope that as you journey you can find that peace too.

Blessings,

NB

My Season of Contentment

Happy New Year!  Hard to believe that I have been doing this for a year already and I am still motoring on.  Thanks for all your support over the last year!

This holiday season something very special happened in my household…contentment settled on me like a warm blanket, and I was very happy. While it was true that things were going well in my world, they were not perfect, so I wanted to figure out where this wonderful sensation was coming from and bottle it up for those times that I need encouragement.

What I came to realize was that there really was no magical ingredient.  I was simply very content where I was in life, with my family and the world in general.  We had our normal Christmas traditions, but there was an extra glow of “this is exactly right”.

I think that is what I have been chasing all these years, not perfection, or even my version of perfect, but that feeling of being content.  I don’t think that this would have been possible even a year ago.  Even if every other variable had been exactly the same, I was so discontent with my body and my general emotional health that I am not sure I could have reached for contentment or even know what it was if it bit me in the butt.

Do I still have work to do…yep, always.  Can I still improve on myself? Absolutely! I have come to discover though that wanting/needing  to improve doesn’t have to come with a cost.  I can be content with where I am now with a vision to the future and the path that I want to travel.

So while I embrace my season of contentment, I do not want it to morph into complacency…that just isn’t who I am right now.

Blessings,

NB

PS-As an added bonus, hubby and I will be doing a Facebook Live post this week to show where we are a year into our journey to health!

The Holiday Hum-Bugs

I love the holidays, despite my annoyance at people who play Christmas Carols the minute they pack up the Halloween decorations, it is my favourite holiday. I have so many great memories of Christmas, the time spent with extended family, the giving and receiving of gifts…people being happy, many of my childhood Christmases were magical.

Enter my teens and early twenties and while my surroundings hadn’t really changed, I had.  Christmas was still my favourite time, because I could literally eat until I was sick and it was just seen as part of the celebration.  Stuffing down so much emotion with food, that the only relief I had was vomiting it all out again. Dark days for me, and I look back and I am sad that I was that self-destructive.

Christmas when you have kids of your own takes on a whole new meaning…my kids love Christmas…like really love it.  I have master lists of the gifts they are getting and from whom. There are dinners to plan and traditions to follow, it is a great, but busy time in our household.  My son has practically had a countdown going on since August…this does not bode well for his wake up time Christmas morning. I love the fact that they of course like getting gifts, but they are just as excited to give gifts as well.

I tell you this because you hopefully will begin to understand that my feelings at the holidays are complicated and layered…there is the magical aspect that I haven’t lost, the challenge of managing my food this year, when that has not been my go-to in the past and then there is the general crazy that comes just before the holidays, especially when you work in a school.

I have decided that taking a deep breath, and staying the course is what will help me through the holidays.  Eating healthy so that the early wake-up call on Christmas morning is not too harsh and so that I have the stamina to celebrate multiple times(Christmas lasts three days in our world).  Avoiding the vomiting for relief, because that is just not my relationship with food or my body anymore. Embracing all the magic that the season has to offer, with my family and my friends.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

NB

A Time of Transition

I have been thinking recently about the changes I have made over the past year.  These have been pretty monumental when i look back at where I was last December and where I am now, not just in my journey to health, although that has been big.  My career, my spiritual growth, even how my family stands from a financial perspective has changed.

When I think back to all that change I wonder when was the turning point?  What made this year so different and I can’t really say say that there was a huge epiphany in my life, but I was open to the transition.

Those that know me know that I am a girl who like a plan…a daily plan, a weekly plan, a yearly plan and even a 5 year plan.  I like lists and know the next steps, I am not super spontaneous. So being able to roll with the changes of this year has been a big learning curve for me, but it has helped me become a better person.

For those of you keeping track I am down 70lbs and 70 inches…I am now rocking a size 16, which hasn’t happened since high school and I am felling really good.  I still have about 50 lbs to go and I am feeling good and motivated. So different from when my husband introduced the idea to me last January.  Looking back , I was pretty dismissive about his ideas that this would work, maybe even a little smug in my belief that this would fail and he would know how hard it actually is to drop the pounds…I stand corrected honey…you were right!

I have grown in my career, taking on a new position…one I always wanted.  I must admit I didn’t really know what it would look like or how I would be received, but I must tell you that I love my job and I am blessed to work with a team of people who are truly dedicated to being the best teachers and staff.

I have started to learn to let go of the little things, not worry so much about my home been perfectly clean or making Pintrest quality cupcakes for my kid’s birthdays.  I love them with all of my heart and I am trying the best that I can to be a good mom.  My currency is snuggles, hugs and kisses and I am a rich woman.

So embrace the transition, you never know where it will lead you!

Blessnings,

NB

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

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