How I lost 25 lbs...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

I am not about to tell you about an amazing pill, program, diet, or magic weight loss portal. I do not own a magic wand that can instantly make all your extra weight disappear. Boy I wish I did! The actuality, is that if I had such a wand, this post would be titled "How I lost 100+ lbs..." because let's be honest, 25 lbs is a barely a drop in the bucket for me.

Part of me didn't want to say anything about my 25 lbs weight loss, because hello! Still heavy. Normally when you shout "I lost 25 lbs!" women will crowd around you asking how you did it with jealousy dripping off of every word. But when you are as heavy as I am, 25 lbs doesn't get noticed by the outside world.

I certainly notice it. My go to jeans are now so big on me, MC Hammer sent his driver to collect them.

Kidding, they're still comfy! I'm keeping those pants...for now.

The truth is that I am afraid of the jeans I own that do fit.

I bought those "skinny" (HA!) jeans 6 years ago. They fit great for about a month before I found myself pregnant with baby two. When we moved I donated all of my clothes, too big or too small, except for those jeans. They were basically brand new, but really I just wanted something to gauge my progress or lack of by. Once every 6 months or so I'd try them on. At first, they wouldn't pass my thighs. Then later on, they got passed my thighs but asking them to button was like trying to walk from Florida to Australia. There was a huge gap!

Now that they do fit, my brain won't except it. They go on easily. They look good, or at least Robert says they do. But in my mind, they are about to explode into jean dust if I so much as breathe deeply. I put them on and I start doing lunges, squats, and complicated yoga moves daring them to evaporate. Then I take them off, put them back in the drawer and put on the jeans that I swim in.

Until last week when I wore them in public for the first time. My friends all commented on how nice I looked. Probably because they could see my face instead of being distracted by my saggy baggy elephant jeans. I spent that hour, distracted, wondering if I heard a popping sound or felt a breeze that I shouldn't be feeling. But the truth was, they aren't even tight.

This is why weight loss is a mental game. If it was purely physical it would be easy. Mental set backs, insecurities, and imaginary too tight jeans hold you back. They hold me back.

It is getting better though. I no longer binge eat. That took therapy and medication to kick. But I did it.

I am not afraid to wear my bathing suit to the gym anymore. I'm at a gym! I know how much I weigh. I know what I look like. That's why I am at the gym. I don't care if someone doesn't like it. I'm not there for them, I'm there for me. And it's hot outside...

Losing weight is a crazy roller coaster of emotions and set backs. It's not a nice straight descent from your highest weight to your goal weight. That line zigs and zags. It draws Elsa's ice castle. It mocks you.

That blue line? That's my progress. I stopped weighing myself constantly. I stopped counting calories (because that made me bounce between starving myself and binge eating once I couldn't take it anymore). I stopped worrying about those numbers.

My progress has been super slow. But it's progress and it's mine. Much like life, my weight loss progress is going to be all over the place and messy. My progress might not make sense to someone else, but I'm going to own it and be proud of it all the same. It might take me longer to get where I'm going, but eventually I will get there all the same. Eventually those jeans will also be too big and I'll have to convince myself to go down another size.

For now, I'm going to start working on the next 25 lbs the same way I did the last. At a slow zig.

Preparing for Speed Bumps

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Wouldn't be nice if life presented signs? Speed bumps ahead! We could prepare the way we do for the arrival of a new baby, making meals ahead, asking for help from others, choosing our activities carefully each day, and deep cleaning the house over and over again. The truth is, most bumps in life do not come with a warning. We're speeding along just fine and before we have time to react, we're slamming on the brakes. Unfortunately, those warning signs are not always present.

What if we change our way of thinking? What if instead of waiting for life to throw us off track and then getting upset over losing progress, we instead stay in constant prepared mode? For me, my medical concerns are what throws me off track the most. Strike that! My medical concerns are what I let throw me off track.

This time, my daughter and I ended up with Scarlet Fever but in the past it's been everything from my Fibromyalgia flaring, migraines that left half my body numb, kidney problems, to pneumonia. Could I just keep plugging along and exercising through these things? In most cases, no. But there are things I can do to continue my progress through those times. I can prepare ahead.

1. Stock your kitchen with lot of healthy foods. Be sure to keep easy to prepare items on hand for when you do not feel like cooking. One of our go to quick meals is a Southwest Salad prepared with avocado, corn, tomatoes, and black beans served over lettuce or spinach. Super easy and delicious.

2. Avoid stocking your home with comfort foods. I'll be the first to admit that when I don't feel well, I just want ooey gooey comfort foods. It's easy for me to turn to food to comfort my other pains. Truth of the matter is that many times, it's those same foods that cause these pain reactions in the first place. Not only am I risking gaining weight while I am down, I'm also delaying my recovery.

3. Water, water, water! I cannot stress the importance of water enough, especially when you're stressed or not feeling well...or any other time! Not only does water help prevent illness, but it'll also help flush toxins when you are ill.

4. Do not get too behind on your household obligations. I hate writing this one as much as you hate reading it. But let's face it, as hard as it is to keep up with the house when you're knocked down, it's even worse if that house is already a wreck. Next time the chores seem tedious, just tell yourself that you're doing it so that if something happens or you fall ill, it won't be as difficult later. Plus your house will be ready in case the in laws swing in as a surprise.

5. Find other ways to keep going. Can't exercise because you're sick? Eat better, reduce your calorie intake and increase your water intake. Can't eat well because ___? Find ways to keep moving and drink that water!

6. If all else fails, enlist the help of a friend or a family member. And don't beat yourself up.

Jealousy and Fear

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I'm going to take a turn from usual optimism, and let out my inner demons with some brutal honestly. Sometimes writing out the darker stuff and manipulating it into something positive helps to banish those feelings or at least dim them a bit.


Oh how I am good friends with jealousy. I've been trying to ignore her calls, but she keeps leaving messages and filling up my voice mail with her nasty negativity.

I have a few friends on Facebook that have lost amazing amounts of weight and others who just seem to be naturally fit. Some of them have worked hard for a long time through fitness and diets, some had surgery, some seem to have managed to lose the weight quickly through healthy changes. Deep down, I know that each and every one of them fought hard to get where they are today and continue to fight to keep it. I know that. However, when I see those before and after pictures, of real people, my jealousy becomes this gigantic monster.

See? If you had stuck to it and not let your health become an excuse, you could have done it too. 

You could look like that if you had actually made an effort.

You'll never achieve what they have. You're weak. You'll never stick with it.

Ha! They cheated! They don't deserve what they have because they cheated by ___.

The thing is, I admire these women. I see the hard work they put in and I respect them for doing what was needed to reach their goals. But there's those days, those moments, where I feel like I'm in quick sand and I'll never get out, that I'm suddenly fiery with jealousy. It's just not fair.

The difference between them and myself? I have given up. Time and time again. I let my excuses get the better of me.

I don't feel good.

I need to focus on my kidneys first. 

I'm too busy.

I'm too depressed.

I'm too tired.

I don't care anymore.

In the real world though? I know they must have struggled with these things as well. I'm sure they tried and gave up hundreds of times before it finally clicked.


On the flip side, I see these after pictures and I read the comments on them. "You look amazing!" "Look how skinny you are now!" "I can't believe how beautiful you are!" Fear stabs me like an icicle, straight through my gut.

I don't want these comments. Does looking great post weight loss mean I'm not worth looking at now? I don't want the attention, I don't want to be noticed. I gained this weight for a reason. I gained so I wouldn't be noticed, so I wouldn't be attractive. I've read that this is common in victims of abuse. If I'm not attractive, no one will want to hurt me in that way again.

I don't want who I am now, to be undervalued once I've lost weight. Losing weight is not going to change who I am on the inside. Losing weight is not going to make me worth more as an individual. But seeing those comments, scares me. I'm afraid of what people will say. I'm afraid of seeing someone after a long time and not being recognized. I'm afraid of not recognizing myself in the mirror. I'm afraid of becoming over confident and losing a grip on who I am. I'm afraid of change.

Here's the thing though, if I want to be here, if I want to become a grandmother and live a full life, I have to work through these feelings. I have to push through it and do it anyway. This is not a choice, it's a requirement to live. 

So here I am. These are my honest to God, true feelings. I'm taking this negativity, pushing it out and spinning the hell out of it until I start to feel optimistic. Yes, I'm jealous. But these women have something to give - inspiration. Yes, I'm afraid. But life is scary. Change is scary. Everything worth doing is scary. If it wasn't so frightening, the end goal wouldn't feel so victorious!

I'm going to fight these demons. I'm going to win.

Tasty and Healthy Food

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I'm chugging along on my weekly challenge. I've managed to fit in 30 minutes of exercise or activity each day and continuing to drink my water. My trust pink 32 oz has been with me everywhere I go and refilled several times a day.

Although I have not added nutrition into my weekly challenge, working out has encouraged me to eat healthier. It's defeating to work so hard physically, just to undone it through my diet. Plus, the thought of greasy food after exercise is just sickening.

I've started tracking my calorie intake and burn through Sparkpeople. I've found in the past that it's not a good idea for me to track my intake constantly. Watching those numbers makes me want to restrict myself in an unhealthy way. Never a good idea for a person struggling with an eating disorder! However, I find that it is good for me to track here and there so I have an idea on how I'm doing.

Since tracking this week, I've noticed the skipping breakfast has been throwing my calories off for the full day. One day, I had only managed to consume 1100 calories even though I had had snacks as well as lunch and dinner. Not nearly enough to support my body through exercise!

I went to Publix last night to grab a few things for lunches. In the checkout lane, I couldn't help to look at the items the customer ahead of me was purchasing. I play this game fairly often. Most times, I manage to stand there and beat myself up over my cart. Last night, however, I walked away feeling empowered and proud of my choices.

Thanks to my healthy choices at the store, I was able to make a delicious smoothie this morning with strawberries, bananas, spinach, carrots, oatmeal, flaxseed meal, almond meal and coconut oil. Very filling!

I'm really looking forward to making this Crustless Quiche later this week and this Avocado Breakfast Bake. While pinning these to my forgotten Pinterest, I came across this Creamy Avocado Pasta that I made about a few years ago. It was very good (with black pepper) with whole wheat noodles. Now I'm mad that I only made it that one time! So this is going on the menu very soon as well!

Mmm, and peaches are in season here. I love juicy peaches!

Don't tell, but I find healthy eating much more exciting than the millions of greasy, cheesy casseroles that used to grace our table. Cooking and eating new things is a lot of fun!

And I'm looking forward to my weigh in on Friday! Boy is it nice to look forward to the scale rather than being afraid of how much higher it's climbed!

Do you have a recipe to share? Email me!

My Motivation

Monday, March 17, 2014

Motivation Board. Picture of myself soon after the birth of my son. I have a rough pregnancy that caused me to lose 45 lbs. Although this picture does not represent my goal weight, I remember feeling good about myself when I took this picture. My daughter when she was 18 months, and my son who passed away just before his 2nd birthday.

I made this motivation board when I first started my journey. Seeing these things as my desktop background each day was a great reminder to keep going. Over time, I became used to the pictures in front of me and stopped seeing them. Times like this it's a good exercise to remind yourself of why the end goal is so important in the first place. With that in mind, here are 51 reasons why I'm doing this.

1. To be able to play with my kids, without wearing out instantly.
2. To not be the fat mom.
3. To not be the fat friend.
4. To never shop in a plus size store again.
5. To look in the mirror and know that I worked for my body.
6. To be able to proudly shout "I did it!"
7. To set a good example for my children.
8. To show others that when you set your mind to something, even when the end goal is daunting, it's possible.
9. To be excited to visit people I haven't seen in a long time, rather than worrying about them seeing what I've become.
10. To never have to tell the doctor that their scale doesn't go high enough. 
11. To never have to worry about weight limits.
12. To eat without guilt.
13. To pose in pictures without praying over the result.
14. To not cringe when Facebook notifies me that I've been tagged in a picture.
15. To no longer starve myself out of anger. 
16. To feel worth it.
17. To walk into a room and not notice the food.
18. To live an active lifestyle.
19. To not have people laugh and ask why I listed "hiking" as a hobby, as if I'm incapable of enjoying something active.
20. To jump rope, play hopscotch, play tag, and be a kid again.
21. To run.
22. To state my weight or clothing size without feeling mortified.
23. To make my husband proud to introduce me to his co-workers.
24. To wear that little black dress.
25. To dance.
26. To not fear lifting my arms above my head.
27. To hold a yoga pose with correct form.
28. To walk in a bathing suit without feeling like all eyes are watching my thighs.
29. To never stating "I just wish I could lose the weight..."
30. To never have to start again.
31. To feel like more than just a number on a scale.
32. To have energy.
33. To save my joints.
34. To inspire someone.
35. To be a good role model.
36. To go on a shopping spree.
37. To renew our wedding vows and having a huge anniversary party...while wearing a sexy dress and dancing the night away.
38. To fit.
39. To never receive a lecture about my weight at the doctor's office.
40. To never leave the doctor's office in tears because the doctor only sees my weight, and not my illnesses.
41. To be the friend that gets asked for fashion advice.
42. To be more than the funny girl.
43. To never hear "You have such a pretty face" again.
44. To go on all the rides.
45. To ride a horse.
46. To hike part of the Appalachian Trail.
47. To run a marathon.
48. To be asked to run a marathon.
49. To be remembered.
50. To not cry in a fitting room.
51. To be a success story.

Weekly Challenge - Week 2

Friday, March 14, 2014

Last week, I began the first week of my weekly challenges. I started with the one that I felt was most needed for my health; drinking more water. I was aiming for 5 bottles per day. 

I have definitely noticed a big difference in the days that I've done well with my water intake. I'm less tired, sore, less headaches, and just generally feel better when I drink enough water. My husband also decided to drink more water and cut out soda during this time. The past few days has been rough on him, he had gotten used to turning to a soda mid-day to help combat that mid-day slump and is now experiencing some caffeine withdrawal. I am so proud of him for sticking with it and thankful for his support. 

As a result of my increased water intake, I lost 4 lbs this week! This puts me at 14 lbs down from my highest weight with 142 lbs remaining to go. It's still a long weigh to go, but I know I can do this with the support of my readers and my dedication. I'm happy with this start.

Now onto week two! I will be continuing my increased water intake and add in a minimum on ten minutes of exercise each day. I know that ten minutes does not seem like a lot, but the purpose is to get myself moving. I actually set that 10 minute goal a few days ago and once I hit 10 minutes, I thought that was easy, so I did another 20. It's much easier to hit those larger numbers when the goal is just to move. As time moves on, I'll increase that minimum. So in short, the goal here is about movement. 

Do you find it easier to focus on the main picture or to break your goals up into smaller ones?

Little Steps, Big Changes

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I am guilty of beating myself up for not succeeding when I set goals for myself. The formula is typically the same. Big Expectations + Big Goals = Big Failure. There's been tons of articles about setting Smart Goals. I'll be honest, I've just always calculated out 2 lbs per week over x amount of time and got mad at myself when it didn't work out. Of course, by setting myself up with this formula, I'm leaving myself no room for error. And let's be real here, we're all going to make errors. I'm not saying that we should give ourselves permission to stray or give up, but sometimes it's that strictness that drives us to failure. 

I'm in the process of writing out my goals and breaking them down step by step. Every race starts with one step, one minute, one decision to do better

One thing I do know, is that I will be making weekly challenges for myself for motivation starting each Friday along with weekly weigh ins. This past Friday, I began a challenge to increase my water intake. This particular goal is especially important to me due to my chronic dehydration and kidney problems. Beyond that, water is good for you and stuff! Not only do our bodies need water, drinking water can boost your success losing weight.
Many good things to come. 

Questions? Suggestions for future posts? Comment below!

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