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Bringing Your Body Into Balance

My 100+ pound weight loss is what grabs people's attention. However, my weight loss was merely a side effect of finally taking my health and happiness into my own hands and finding that perfect balance. Body, mind, spirit. It all matters.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Loss Over Christmas

Not all loss over Christmas is a bad thing. Last night I had an epiphany. I was a little bummed to step on the scales yesterday and only see a 0.6 pound loss for the week. Then it occurred to me....I LOST weight over Christmas! I actually did this a couple years ago too. The loss felt pretty significant after that because I (and most people) tend to GAIN over Christmas.

This just reinforces what I've known for a long time. When you're ready...you're ready! It may come in the middle of a day on Wednesday or, in my case, the week of Christmas. On the flip side, when you're not ready, it doesn't matter if it's a new week, of a new month, of a new year. It doesn't matter if you've just purchased a weight loss package of some sort or personal training sessions with yours truly, you won't succeed. Mindset is everything!

And my head is in the game! It is a combination of just getting to a point where I felt thick and gross and really flooding my brain with inspirational/informative material. And I'm happy to say that the thick feeling is officially GONE but my motivation isn't! I am so excited to once again see what I can do with my body. And to not have the self-limiting thoughts of "but what if my this-or-that never looks perfect" is so unbelievably liberating. This time around it's just to be the best I can be for ME ME ME! I want this body to do everything it can do for me as long as it can do it. Anything else is gravy....flour free, healthy gravy....if such a thing exists please inbox me!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Back on Track!

I just have to post about how excited I am to be back on track and to also share the things I've done to get back on track so quickly.

It's funny, in some ways it's way easier to get back in the swing of things now because not only have I adopted a lot of healthy habits that are either already in place or very easy to reapply but also because everything was sooooo much harder when I was really heavy. The movement, the cravings.

Now, that being said, there are a couple of things that I find actually harder to deal with now that I'm trying to lose so much less weight than when I've set out to do it in the past. One is that the weight drops a lot slower. I remember when I was 275, 250, etc., I could lose crazy amounts of weight when I first started. I'm talking like 6, maybe even 10 pounds in the first week! I could continue to see pretty big drops in the first few weeks to follow as well. Four maybe five pounds a week! Talk about motivation! Now I work hard, watch everything I eat, and lose one pound in a week. But I have to remind myself that this is what happened around this weight last time. Some weeks I would see no drops at all. The flip side is that I get to feel pretty good about myself NOW instead of working for months on end before I feel halfway decent so I guess I'll take the trade off.

The other thing that makes it a little harder is actually what I just talked about. I feel pretty decent about myself right now. While this is definitely a good thing, it isn't always the most motivating thing when it comes to depriving myself of things I want. This is where the lifestyle change comes in though. I'm slowly learning to shift my focus from "I can't eat that because I want to lose weight and/or look at certain way" to "I choose not to eat that because I want to feel good and energetic and live a long healthy life."

Sometimes it's hard to step out of the instant gratification mindset and think long-term. So here's what I've applied to my life in the past two weeks to help me get back on track:

  • Remembering that every day counts. Sometimes it helps to break weight loss goals down into days. As in, if I want to lose 1 pound per week, that means I have to lose .14 pounds per day. Sometimes just seeing this number makes me extra aware that every day, every choice really does count. Likewise, I like to calculate how much weight I gained per day when I slacked off, for the same reason.
  • Focusing on feeling good each day instead of the end result. It's a lot easier to say no to a 200 calorie candy bar because I know it will almost immediately make me feel crappy than to resist it because it will help me lose 0.05 pounds.
  • Have someone to which I am accountable. For my clients it's me. For me, it's my boyfriend. I like to call him on Monday morning after I've weighed and measured and share my successes.
  • Preemptive eating! Because I struggle with cravings and unstable blood sugar, it is sooo important to never let myself get too hungry. I always have protein rich snacks (like my Sunwarrior vegan protein blend shake) and low-sugar fruit w/ raw nuts to snack on. Likewise, I know not to pack snacks I enjoy TOO much. I could literally eat a 1/2 pound of raw cashews so I would be crazy to carry them as an emergency snack. However, raw almonds I will only eat until the hunger is gone because I'm not crazy about them.
  • Constant reminders. I love to watch documentaries, listen to podcasts, audiobooks, etc. to keep me informed and focused on what's important to me. For me it's nutrition. Exercise isn't a problem because I love it but for some people this might need to be included in your focus.
  • Water, water, water. When I'm dehydrated, I'm tired and hungry.
  • Plenty of sleep!! This is an area I've slacked off on lately but I'm officially back to a decent bedtime and I feel so much more in control.

So this is basically just a short list of everything that I've listed on my 5 Keys to Permanent Weight Loss link but apparently even being the creator of the list doesn't exempt me from needing to be reminded of it every now and then!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas to Me


This morning, after having my son wake me up periodically throughout the entire night, I finally decided that yes, we could call 5:05am "morning" and got up to see what Santa brought. I watched him open gifts, play with this and that for a few minutes before abandoning it for something else and then eventually he wandered off into his room. 

I sat sipping coffee, talking to Gino and looking at everyone else's Christmas on Facebook. This Christmas is a little hard on me. It is literally the first Christmas I'm not spending with my parents due to sickness in our family. The first time in 38 years. I guess I'm lucky that I had 37 years of uninterrupted family time each Christmas before this happened and, if we are all lucky, we will all be together next year.

As I looked at Facebook the little "memories" notification came up that allowed me to look at posts on Christmas day years past. That's when the embarrassment set in. The realization that just 6 short years ago (who knows, probably even more recently than that), I used to be one of those females I roll my eyes at. On Christmas day 2009, there it was...a vague passive aggressive post about how I was going to ask Santa for new shoes instead of a man next year. 

It all came flooding back to me. How unstable I was. How unfocused I was on my son. On myself for that matter. And the guy I was chasing?....That's the worst part! He wasn't just not worth chasing, I was nuts to want a life with this man. I will leave it at that because this isn't about him or any other unworthy guy I chased during that dark time in my life. They were symptoms of a bigger problem. My lack of self-worth. My need for distraction. 

So on to what this IS about. I think where my head was 6 years ago...and where it should've been. I was surrounded by my family. We were all healthy. I was in my early 30s instead of my late 30s. I was freshly out of a 12 year marriage that was toxic for the both of us and that was the beginning of what I should've perceived as my fresh new start. My little boy was only 16 months old. What I wouldn't give to be able to rewind to that time today. I wouldn't want to permanently rewind time because, despite any unhappy aspects of my life at the moment, I am thankful for where I am right now. I would just want to step back and turn my focus to all those people most precious to me and soak up every moment of Christmas cheer with them. Even though I remember how much I enjoyed seeing my son open his gifts, I'd love to go back and watch him again without the wasted thoughts of a passing infatuation in the back of my mind distracting me.

I'm all about lessons and using them to help me grow. This lesson is definitely not lost on me. Even though today is sad in that I am worried about family members (oh, and I'm sick), this is still a moment that I could possibly look back on in the future and regret not being fully present...except that isn't my life anymore. I am not going to claim to be fully squeaky clean, Buddha-ish, present 100% of the time but I am damn near close! 

This morning as I sat alone watching PJ open his first gift (Gino staggered in to join us around gift #3), I wasn't focused on the fact that I was sitting alone with my son on Christmas morning when I am usually surrounded by a room full of laughter and noise. I focused, instead, of that exact moment. That imperfect, exhausted, sick, uncertain, almost lonely moment that I would never ever get back later in my life. I barely even took pictures because I was so focused on that special, sweet moment. The way the lights from the tree reflected in his wide blue eyes when he looked up from each gift. The excitement as he tore open a present and almost threw it aside to open the next. He will never ever be 7 years old on Christmas again. He pretty much knows something very suspicious is up with this whole Santa thing. I feel like I almost slowed down time by being so ultra focused on every precious detail of this morning. Experience each moment as though it could be my last...because it could.

This is my life and 38 years of it are gone. I have no idea how many years (or maybe even just hours) I have left. I have spent so many minutes, hours, DAYS focused on things other than THE MOMENT and those moments are gone forever and I probably need to think about how much I regret that but...I just don't have time!

Monday, December 21, 2015

I Feel THICK!

I have now officially struggled with my weight for 30 years. Sometimes it's so disheartening to feel like I've come so far but still feel like I have so far to go. Maybe not physically as much as mentally....although somewhat physically as well lately. I'm currently up to 178 from my all time low of 145. I've said plenty that I have NO desire to be that small again. With the added muscle mass of the last few years, I know that probably isn't even possible to achieve and look healthy and I don't really have a desire to see that number again from an appearance aspect, a maintenance aspect as well as just how I felt.

However, I DO want to see a lower number. BUT for a very different reason than in the past. It's actually for the same reason I don't want to be 145 again. I JUST DON'T FEEL GOOD! I feel...YUCKY! I feel thick! And heavy! I don't like the way waistbands feel on me. I had almost forgotten what all this feels like and I refuse to live like this for long. So how long will I live this way? Exactly how long it takes to lose 3 pounds since these last 3 pounds seem to be completely piled onto my midsection.

But I also don't want to stay at 175 anymore either. It was nice to just to "coast" for a while. To not really think about my weight for once. But what I realized is that this just doesn't work long-term for me. A few months ago my family had a hard blow. I feel like I've been through an emotional rollercoaster. At times I literally could not focus on myself and my needs because other's needs were more immediate. And I started turning to food for comfort. Not on the grand scale I used to turn to food. Why? Because that feels HORRIBLE! When you're depressed and you fill yourself so full of garbage that your stomach feels like it's ripping open?!?! I can't even remember how that used to be comforting. No, it's way more subtle now. Dessert after lunch. Wine with dinner. Cheese on....everything. On top of all this, I am unbelievably aware lately that my hormones are shifting as I approach 40. My weight is being redistributed, away from my butt and arms, to my stomach and chest. Yay for the chest part but a big ole fat BOO for the stomach part! I am eating WAY less than I did to maintain this weight now than I did as a teenager and I'm positive I have more muscle mass now! Yeah, life is happening and it isn't pretty at times.

And I kind of went on autopilot with my workouts too. I still average a solid 4-6 days a week but I was going through the motions. Maintaining. So last week, when I started feeling thick, I really stepped it up. I got back to my sweat soaked workouts and stopped with a lot (not all) of the little extras. I'm down from 181 which is nice but I still feel thick. I'm guessing those 3 pounds were "threats" of fat that never got stored.

I feel re-inspired. Re-motivated. But, again, for very different reasons.

I used to want to look as fit and hot as possible. There, I admitted it. Then, somewhere along the way, that got really old. It helps (AND HURTS) that Gino thinks I'm as hot at 155 as 180. In fact, he prefers me a little thicker. And, besides, when I'm with someone, I tend to only care what HE thinks about me so doing it for male attention or to impress females holds very little interest for me. On top of the contentment of my relationship, there's another contribution for my lack of motivation. It, oddly enough, comes from a very healthy place. As I grow older, and become more spiritual, I have become acutely aware that we are not our bodies. These "shells" we live in are just that, shells. And to decorate them and try to impress other people with them has grown to feel so unbelievably silly and shallow to me. And being reminded as of late of my own mortality and that no matter what I do, if my life plays out as it should, my body will one day break down and I will die, has caused me to stagnate.

Very disheartening.

So I need new motivation. And I have it! I want to list it out here because I am officially back on the weight loss wagon.

  • First and foremost, the thick feeling needs to be GONE! I can't and won't live this way! I want to feel light on my feet again!
  • The best way to balance my peri-menopausal hormones (yes, I said it) is to eat healthy!
  • To have a long, productive life.
  • To be able to provide care for those in my life that need it.
  • To have all the energy I need to play with my son, put in a hard day's work and have energy left for my man when the day is done.
  • To inspire my clients.
  • To be my best self!! Always!
I think I would like to just get down to 165 and see how I feel and go from there. 13 pounds? After 130 pounds?! I got this shit!



It is really hard to admit to the everyone (clients, blog followers, friends, haters, etc.) that I still struggle with my weight. It is my lifetime struggle but I'm thankful for it. The feeling of thickness is more than a bother....it is my alarm system telling me, quite clearly, that I've gone off course. I wasn't nurturing my body the way I should and now it's time to focus on ME again! And that's okay. It's not selfish. It's extremely necessary. And, besides, it's actually really fun to lose weight! I kind of miss the thrill of stepping on the scales and seeing the smaller number and my old clothes sliding on a little easier! But this time around I need to make sure I stay focused on the important reasons for losing weight and not get caught up in the superficial stuff. It's so easy to get caught up in the bodybuilding, gym clique, what-supplement-is-hot-this-week world but it's not what's important and it doesn't sustain you when real life happens. I am now living proof of that.



Thursday, December 10, 2015

Where The Inside Meets the Light


This meme is so timely in a society where an 18 year old girl getting plastic surgery gets way more coverage than an 18 year old girl being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

We admire people and elevate them to some special status for winning a genetic lottery that provides them with symmetrical features, nice hair, good proportions, whatever. But I've always thought that the true test is when the inside starts oozing to the outside, in either direction, which just takes years of living. Mean, angry people become hard looking and have frown lines. Happy, positive people, who may have started early in life not looking significantly exceptional, develop gentle lines that hint at all the laughter and smiles that have taken place in their life. Their eyes twinkle with acceptance when they look at you. THAT has become real beauty to me. The beauty of youth can sometimes be a mask that will someday inevitably fall away so we had better make sure our souls are in order when it does.

Monday, December 7, 2015

For the Ladies!....We Need Some New Memes!

I've been seeing this meme going around lately, it's a slight variation of other memes I've seen actually. It starts out saying something like "I may not have a perfect body. I may not have a flat stomach...."


Enough!!!! I definitely haven't seen any men posting this. Why? Because the average man would NEVER think to qualify a positive statement about himself by acknowledging his self-perceived physical imperfections.


Now I totally get that this meme is supposed to be saying "it's okay that I'm not these things" but by simply stating them to begin with reduces us to our bodies, our appearance. So I'm going to come up with my own meme statement...except I'm way too unmotivated in this area to actually turn it into a meme....


"I am a holy creation having a human experience. Every day I try to maintain this vessel that has been bestowed on me for the purpose of sucking as many days as possible out of this amazing blessing called 'living on earth'. When I occasionally become distracted by superficial things like what society dictates my vessel should look like, I quickly steer my soul back to what matters: loving my fellow man, being gentle with the Earth, expanding my soul, guiding my child into adulthood with the tools he needs to live his own happy, abundant life and helping others nurture their own vessels in order to have the best experience on Earth they can."




We are ENOUGH. As is. In this moment. So, do I have a flat stomach? Absolutely not. And I've definitely struggled with my society-imposed "imperfections". Some days I still struggle but that's when I give myself a little talk about what's important and that my list of "imperfections" doesn't get to be in my "I am" statement because I'm waaaaay more precious than that. Now, that isn't to say that I don't strive to be as strong and healthy as I can be, but no longer is it so that I will look a certain way. It's so my body creates as few limitations as possible for living my most amazing life.


What should and shouldn't be in YOUR "I am" statement? Think what you would put in your daughter's or your mother's statement if you were writing it. Would you EVER start your teenage daughter's statement with acknowledging what society probably doesn't accept about her body?




Re-write your own "I am" statement to reflect the love and honor you deserve!

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