Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It is all about choices!

Today it is all about the choices we make that impact our success. Every day you CHOOSE to get up out of bed and start your day. We tell ourselves we HAVE to, but really we are still CHOOSING to do what is necessary or what we have committed ourselves to do. In the end it comes down to choices.  It is the same with diet. We tell ourselves we CAN'T have this or we HAVE to eat that...but really that is just a way to make swallowing the choices we make a bit easier. We act like we don't have a choice in the matter, but we are choosing to or not to.

Being on a diet is hard. We try to change everything we eat and suddenly try to force ourselves out of our comfort zone with new foods, completely avoiding foods we love and try to exercise every day when we never did to start with. It is all very funny really. We choose to make our diet and exercise regimen impossible to stick to and as miserable as possible. Are we trying to punish ourselves for the poor choices we made to get ourselves to this place we don't want to be? Are we punishing the fat for sticking to our bodies? We are choosing to make it as unpleasant as we can and we are in turn setting ourselves up for failure. You don't have to starve and you don't have to eat macrobiotic food. You don't have to eat cardboard or work out for 6 hours every day to be successful. If you do that to get to your goal, and you are seriously miserable doing it, do you honestly think you are going to choose to stick to it after you meet your goals? No.

So, how do you make choices you won't be miserable sticking to and still find success?

Well that is all about personal preference. For me, I like to eat. I don't want to starve myself to get to my goals because I know that I will just gain it back later when I  no longer eat that way. So I have to find healthy choices that allow me to have a lot on my plate but that won't pack on the pounds. Because I do the Weight Watchers Points Plus program, it is easier for me to look at it from that perspective. I get 31 points for a day. Every food has a points value, fresh fruit and veggies (non starchy ones) are 0 points so I can eat as much as I want of those. I try to keep my breakfast at 6 or under so that I still have plenty for the rest of my day. But WHAT you choose to eat can make just as much of a difference as how much you eat can. I like as much food on my plate as I can get on it for the amount of points I am consuming. It makes me feel like I'm not starving (because I'm not) and it keeps me from feeling like I need to eat again in an hour.

For example:

1 piece of Rudi's Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread = 2 pts+
1 Teaspoon of butter = 1 pts+
Total points+ for breakfast = 3 pts+

Yeah, only 3 pts+ and with black coffee or tea with no cream and sugar and you think sweet I was WAY under points for breakfast......but you will be hungry WAY too soon. There is no way you will make it to lunch..... I know I won't. So how do you make a CHOICE that is going to keep you full and put WAY more on your plate and in your belly?

Like this:

1 piece of Rudi's Gluten Free Cinnamon raisin Bread = 2 pts+
1 teaspoon cream cheese = 0 pts+
4 egg whites scrambled (cooked with just a tiny spray of Pam), seasoned with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes for a little spice = 1 pts+
1 apple (fresh) = 0 pts+
Total points+ for breakfast = 3 pts+

Which would you rather eat?

It is all about choices. You have to find what you like and then figure out how to get the most out of it. I do the same thing with all meals and with activity too. I know that I can burn calories doing just about anything.....as long as  I'm not just sitting still. So if I vacuum I count it. If I rake the leaves in the yard, I count it. If I spend a half hour scrubbing the showers and tubs, then I count it. I get my exercise wherever I can....I'm not going to go out and suddenly run a marathon. My back can't handle it and my body isn't ready to train for it yet. Someday I know I will walk/run/jog/crawl my way through a half marathon but I'm not going to just be able to get up and do it today. lol So I CHOOSE to find  something in my day that can be exercise and make it as beneficial as I can.

I am CHOOSING to change my life, my health, my habits, my self esteem and my weight. Each choice I make, every single second of every day affects my success...for better or not....that CHOICE is mine.

"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch."

Monday, November 12, 2012

Witty Title Here

Today is a day I feel like I need to blog, but I'm not sure what to say. I guess I'm just struggling with getting motivated today, in every regard. I know I'm not alone in this, we ALL have those days. So how do we get past that and move forward? For me, I blog about it. It helps to vent it out and "voice" why I'm stuck or feeling like there is no real reason to keep moving forward with gusto.

First, we had my husband's birthday party this weekend with family and a few friends from the neighborhood. Always a tough one for me. The months of September, October and November are HARD to stay on track. We have my nephew's birthday party, then my daughter's, followed by my son's and my brother in law's, then my niece's birthday and Halloween rounded out by my husband's birthday....then we have Thanksgiving....all before Christmas. ::deep breath:: So  needless to say I either find myself throwing my program out the window entirely or I end up trying to starve myself all day so the points I have available to me for the day are used for the party. Yeah, not a wise idea.  This time I tried to do things a little differently. A novel idea really....stick to program. HA HA!
I did track, sort of. Which actually for me is way better than I usually do on the weekends. I normally just allow myself to eat with minimal thought and honestly no tracking. I still lose, usually...but not nearly as much as I probably would if I stuck to program EVERY DAY like I should be.

So today being Monday I would normally walk with my neighbor. BUT it is raining something terrible out there and the temperature is very quickly dropping. Tonight should get to a wonderfully brisk 28ยบ. Gotta love winter in Ohio. So I figure OK, I'll get my exercise another way today. Of course I have found every excuse not to get started on SOMETHING that doesn't involve just sitting here....including blogging. Yet here I am, writing instead of doing something even minimally active such as the dishes, vacuuming, dusting, dragging the Christmas Decorations out of the basement to figure out what is going to need to be replaced before we get everything up after Thanksgiving, or even.....::gasp:: getting on my treadmill or stationary bike my wonderful husband set up for me. ::hanging my head in shame now:: It is all there, available and waiting for me to just get up off my rear end.....so WHY do I find it so hard to get to it?

I have been having some GREAT success. And the weight is coming off faster than it has in the past now that we have figured out that I can't have Wheat. So why am I still feeling like I'm failing? I have gone down a full size since last summer. 20 pounds off and I'm down just over a size. Maybe it is because that "size down" is still larger than I want? Maybe it is because that "size down" is too big in many regards but the NEXT size down is still too tight to really be comfortable? It isn't that the NEXT size is too small per se, or that it looks horrible, but I am so uncomfortable and lack the self confidence to really wear it without drawing attention to the fact that I feel HUGE. Being between sizes is certainly contributing to that feeling of failure....so I am vowing to NOT put on that smaller size (that NEXT size) for another 5 pounds. I'm just going to have to DEAL with the saggy butt and thigh look of my pants until I can truly wear the NEXT size without feeling like I look like a stuffed sausage. ::sigh::

I think that is one of the hardest things. We look at each pound as a step closer to a goal, and a step closer to a smaller size. Then, we are clearly too "small" for that size and we excitedly try on the next size down....only to have that door slammed in our face and made to feel like the Staypuft Marshmallow Man. It doesn't help that I just don't have the clothing that I need for the impending weather....especially since I was 20 pounds heavier last year and now those clothes are hanging weirdly on me. It isn't that I'm swimming in them, but they do hang differently now. Knowing my luck they are probably hanging properly now and it just feels odd. I think mainly I just don't want to wear them because I feel like they are my FAT clothes and I shouldn't be wearing them now....they shouldn't fit me. REALLY they do fit me though. They were too small before I just refused to buy new clothes so I looked terrible in them and I convinced myself I didn't. Ah....denial.

With the holiday's fast approaching I think I might refocus myself on a smaller goal. I would love to lose another 10 pounds by Christmas...especially since I'm headed home to California for Christmas. But I find myself feeling less and less like that is a possibility. Which is sad really, because I COULD do it if I REALLY stuck to program every single day, every single meal, and I stuck to exercise on the days that I have already decided I was going to get it in. It is so hard to not feel discouraged when in 15 months you have managed to lose ALMOST 20 pounds. Last time the weight was much easier to take off over all....but I was planning a wedding, still had all my internal organs (don't let anyone tell you your gallbladder isn't necessary...removing mine messed me up big time....and God wouldn't have given you one if you didn't need it) and I worked full time. So, the *new* goal is to just feel comfortable enough in my own skin to not dread, or hide, from the camera. I'm going to need a lot of work on that one. I really don't like being on the other side of the camera.....that *eye* is so unforgiving. Photos force me to see myself for how others see me, which makes me feel bad about myself, regardless of how far I have come.

How we perceive the world views us, though it shouldn't carry much weight (no pun intended), can greatly skew our view of ourselves and our self worth. Even those who say they don't care, people can "blow it out their nose" or whatever....they aren't really being 100% honest. There are days where I can say, I truly don't care what you say about me....and though I don't, I still do. It is hard to explain. I know I can't be the only one who feels that way. It doesn't matter what others say, but it still hurts. It doesn't matter what they think, but it still hurts when they give you a disgusted look. It doesn't matter, but it does. The 'self' we project to the world isn't always what lies under the surface, nor is it always what is accepted by the world. There are some people in this world that won't like you, there are some who will go out of their way to make you feel small, defective, repulsive and make fun of you. They will deflect their own insecurities onto you and shine a spotlight on your flaws to distract others from their flaws. But we are all flawed. We tell our children it is OK to be different while killing ourselves to fit in. A vicious cycle too deeply ingrained in us all to break so easily.

And so I sit...pondering the complexities of my weight loss journey, convincing myself that I am not the only one who struggles. Telling myself I can't be the only one who feels that a success is just not a large enough success sometimes. I know there are no "quick fixes" and that losing weight won't "repair" the damaged psyche I have collected along the way. Other people telling me I'm pretty, or I'm an inspiration won't suddenly make me feel like I am....I know that. I just wish that I could flip a switch and change that feeling. I wish I could be like Genie and just cross my arms and blink ::poof:: thin again. But being "thin" isn't going to fix anything inside on its own. It will help, yes...in many ways....but it isn't the solution to it all. I'm imperfect just like everyone else....and I have to find my own beauty in that imperfection.

My desire to be thin isn't what drives me entirely. I think THAT is what I have to tap into to motivate me to get moving and get things done. Just 30 minutes of exercise....clean, scrub, move boxes, walk on the treadmill, do squats and crunches, ride the stationary bike..... I really don't have any valid excuses except maybe my back issues. And even then there are things I CAN do even when I can barely move. BARELY moving on a treadmill is still better than sitting on the couch or at the computer.

So how do you motivate yourself to get moving when you really just don't feel like it?!? You don't. You can't MAKE yourself motivated when you know you aren't. You just have to CHOOSE to get up off your butt and DO IT. Motivation has NOTHING to do with it really. At least, that's what I'm finding out.

"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch." ~ Anonymous

Friday, November 9, 2012

Keeping on: Keeping on

So yesterday was "weigh-in" day at my WW meeting. It was a good week. I lost 1.6 which means that since my heaviest weight Summer 2011, I have lost 20 pounds. Since rejoining Weight Watchers, I have lost 7.6 pounds...in 9 weeks. No, it isn't as "fast" as I would like it to be, but the important thing is that I do it. On the days that I don't do as well, I try to not let that feeling of failure set me up for a week of failure. I try to make my choices good and healthy ones, but let's face it, we aren't always going to be as successful as we want to be.

The biggest change I made from the previous week (where I gained .6) to this week (losing1.6) was to actually track. Tracking is something I don't really do very well at this point. I always mean to do it, I try to keep to it, but I haven't reached that point where it is a completely automatic thing I do just yet. I got there last time I was successful on WW but I just have to be patient until I get there again. Tracking what you eat is so important. It is SO easy to over eat or eat the wrong foods when you aren't really paying super close attention to the portions or the quality/content. Although it may not be a TON of over eating, or even terrible choices, it certainly does eventually show on the scale.

Another thing I really stuck to as much as I could this last week was to pre-plan meals for the week. i don't plan out EVERY meal for EVERY day, but I have dinners figured out for the week.  I also have a few lunches and breakfasts that I stick to so that I have variety but I never have to stand in the kitchen staring at the cabinets or the refrigerator trying to "figure out" what to eat.

And so, with the success from this last week, I am repeating what I did. :-) I'm going to just keep planning dinners for the week, and I'm going to keep having my "special" foods so I am not totally bored with food and therefore start just looking for ANYTHING.

Crossing my fingers for another loss next week!

"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch" 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The big picture: a step forward is still a step in the right direction

So last week on Thursday when I weighed in at my regular meeting I found that I was up just a little bit. It was only by .6 lbs but it still felt a bit like a failure. I *knew* that I would probably be up just a bit since I didn't track anything all week and had all that Halloween candy in the house. I didn't eat a ton of it, just 2-6 pieces a day, but I didn't track any of it. I also had a massive fast food craving all that week. It is hard to eat out when you are on a diet and you tend to tell yourself certain foods or restaurants are "off limits". Being gluten free doesn't make it any easier to eat out either. I'm a bit limited on what I can order, it takes forever to order unless the restaurant offers a gluten free menu, which most don't. I have to go online and research, or order a salad, read all ingredients in the dressing and get no croutons. McDonald's has a dedicated fryer for their french fries so I can get those.....and I had a huge craving for them all last week. lol so I "paid" for that. Feeling a bit "down" about gaining the .6, I had to stop myself from beating myself up for having "failed" that week. It isn't a huge gain, it isn't like I can't bounce back from that. So why do I have to make it a failure just because the scale was up a little? I was failing to see the bigger picture.

The bigger picture: I learned a lesson...which isn't a failure but a success!

I learned that I CAN have McDonald's french fries, I CAN order fast food with a little thought and planning. I HAVE to allow myself little freedoms within my diet and weight loss goals or I will have major cravings for a week, eat it every day or every other day, throw all my plans, knowledge and motivation out the window and then the cycle will continue. So, the SCALE might not show a success, but last week WAS a success.


I had a bunch of dental work down on Friday, including removing a broken crown and finding excessive decay. The tooth (or tooth nub) can be saved and will get a new crown in the very near future, however the neglect I showed my own teeth (let's face it, as parents we worry about our children's teeth first) has resulted in a lot of damage to the surrounding teeth. So by the end of Friday's visit I had had my teeth cleaned (the first time in nearly 20 years....lol but they were impressed at my gum health), I had a root canal and 3 fillings along with the tooth nub build up....all on the upper right side. Needless to say, it was difficult to eat for the rest of the weekend. lol So I resorted to soft easy foods like cottage cheese, refried beans with a little sour cream and pudding. Not really the best choices but at least I didn't just STARVE myself that day. I also found out at the dentist that I have even MORE extra wisdom teeth than originally thought....but the oral surgeon is going to have to tell me exactly how many I had to start with after they remove the ones still in there. (At this point I have had 3 or 4 removed). LOL So I guess I'm extra smart.


Saturday was a bit interesting. I was unsure what I would be able to eat since we had my niece's birthday party and I'm the only one GF in the family.  But my sister in law was great and provided snacks that were healthy (my MIL and FIL are on WW too) and also made sure that she could tell me what was in certain things, even had labels handy for me. :-) I ate a little cottage cheese before we left so that I wouldn't be starving and stuff my face and it also helped just in case my sensitive jaw still wouldn't allow me to put enough pressure on my teeth to chew. We had ice cream cake at the party, and I just didn't eat the cookie center, so that was fairly easy to do. But my tracking was still lacking that day. :-( I ended up feeling like I just didn't eat enough, so I figured I would probably gain.


It was a lazy day around here. I don't even remember what I ate, what we did.....but I know I didn't track. So on Monday I *knew* that scale would reflect my poor choices again......


Wasn't so bad. I woke up with a renewed sense of control and determination. I went on my walk with my friend "G" after the kids all were off to school, I tracked religiously, drank all my water and made a yummy dinner. :-) The scale was up that morning....but I'm choosing to focus on the fact that I have to keep taking a step forward, even if it doesn't seem to be making any positive progress, because a step forward is still a step in the right direction...right?


Being Tuesday, I hopped on the scale to get an idea of how yesterday went for me with the choices I made....I do this almost every day (yeah I know people say only weigh once a week but I need that visual to keep myself on track with making better and better choices). I was down 2 pounds from what MONDAY said. Now, I realize that might not be what the scale says on Thursday when I actually record my weight and count my loss/gain officially, but I weigh at the same time, in the same place, in the SAME clothing every day at home....so it is a pretty good guide for me on staying on track.

So, back on track, taking steps in the right direction even when the scale doesn't record that forward motion is still very important. I promised to keep a better blog, write more and even include more meals or recipes...so here you go:

Today's breakfast is 3 points plus on WW, and completely Gluten Free.

Rudi's Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread (2 pts plus), 1 tsp cream cheese (0 pp), 4 scrambled egg whites (1 pp) with a little salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, mandarin orange sections (no syrup or sugar) (0 pp).

"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sometimes you have to step back and get on track

I know, it has been a while since I was last on here posting. I have had to take a step back, recenter, refocus and get back on track. The important thing is that I did it and I'm back. :-)

7 weeks ago, I went back to my Weight Watchers meeting. Although I had managed to lose and keep off 12 pounds from last summer, when I was at my heaviest weight, the scale wasn't moving in the downward direction overall. I was dieting, counting calories,  making sure they were healthy calories and getting regular exercise. As a matter of fact I was doing an hour and a half of cardio and a half hour of strengthening exercises 3-5 days a week....with no real success. I was discouraged, depressed and ashamed of my "failures". I felt hugely fat and disgusting. I HATED what I saw in the mirror. So it was time to step back, and get back on track with Weight Watchers as my guide.

My doctor also told me he wanted me to be completely Gluten Free for the next two months. Great, so now what am I going to eat on Weight Watchers?!? Well it has made me really think more about what I eat, I snack less, and I have consistently lost weight EVERY week. (This week when I weigh in on Thursday, it will be my 7th week) I know there will probably come a point where being gluten free doesn't necessarily help with weight loss but at this point it is because there are a lot of things in my house that are "off limits" due to my dietary restrictions. When I see my Doctor later this month we will determine if being gluten free is the way I have to eat now. If it is, I don't think it will be too hard. I just have to keep options for myself in the house, check the nutritional content when I go to a restaurant etc.

So here we are, 6 full weeks at WW under my belt again and I am down 6 pounds. Although I haven't shrunk a size yet, nor have I seen a difference in my face and body, I FEEL better knowing that I'm doing something that will work long term. I have done it before, I can do it again. Yes, it will be harder this time. I am older (by 4 years) than I was when I lost all that weight for our wedding on WW, I started heavier than I did last time (by 5 pounds....though my HEAVIEST was summer 2011 and I managed to lose 12 pounds on my own...so I consider myself as starting 17 pounds heavier), I am down an internal organ....which mind you, they tell you your gallbladder isn't "necessary" but I ate BETTER and got MORE exercise than I did before it was out and I gained 40 pounds in about 2 months...so yeah. I know it won't be easy, but don't I owe it to myself to get healthy, feel good about myself and set an example for my kids? I think so.

As women we are always telling our friends and family, "your worth doesn't lie in a number on a scale or the size of your pants" and we always say "oh you aren't fat"...and then we turn around and belittle ourselves. Yes, my family and friends think I'm pretty....no I don't feel pretty. It doesn't mean that I'm not, it is just that I don't FEEL my best. It isn't putting myself down to say I'm fat, I'm admitting the truth. To an addict we say, "the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem", why do we insist that it is "self abuse" to say "I am fat" when clearly we are?!? My WORTH doesn't lie in the number on the scale or the size of my clothes, but my self esteem is damaged by it and by the way that we as a society shame those who are overweight. Shaming doesn't make those who are overweight lose weight by the way, it makes them eat their emotions. We are already ashamed, we are already eating our pain, the rejection, the judgemental stares....we already self medicate with food. It really isn't necessary to ADD to it.

When a friend or family member says "I'm fat and ugly" then why not respond with "you are beautiful, if you don't like your weight, change it". Now granted there are always going to be those who aren't really ready to change it. They usually will make an excuse as to why they can't lose weight. I struggle with it, it is harder because of my health conditions, but I'm still doing it....slowly and with LOTS of set backs, but I'm doing it. Not for you, not for "them" but for ME. So I can FEEL pretty, so I can feel like I stand out for reasons other than how heavy I am, so I can feel like the stares are for good reasons not my weight, so when I go out with my husband I don't feel like people are wondering why he is with someone so fat.

As women we need to encourage each other, not compete with each other. As women we need to hold our friendships close, and welcome those who seek friendship. We need to offer support in all our endeavors and openly receive it from others. We do not have to "go it alone", we do not have to be "super woman", it is ok to say "I fail" and "I'm flawed", most importantly it is ok to say "I need help".

"Imperfection is beautiful and beauty is imperfect....be beautiful today"~Me
"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch"~Anonymous

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

And the scale inches along....

This weekend I took some time off from my normal exercise routine and spent the weekend walking around Cedar Point with my husband and some friends. Had a BLAST! I decided to take some time off of "obsessing" over my diet as well because I just seem to get so hyper focused that I tend to not really ENJOY my life when it comes to food. I tend to look at food as the enemy. I like great food, have a chef for a brother, bake and cook as much as I can, and I love to enjoy it with friends. However, when we have a family breakfast or dinner I find myself stressing over how every tiny bite will make me fatter instead of enjoying the time with the people around me as much as I really want to be. Holidays are bad too because I want to make all these yummy and creative desserts and beverages but then I just start thinking of how HUGE I already am and that those things will just make me worse. I know this is normal to a degree and that everyone has those thoughts and stresses.

I worried that in "forgetting" about my diet (though I didn't completely throw it out the window), and not being anally committed to my workout and instead spent the time walking and taking lots of stairs, that I would see a gain on the scale yet again...because let's face it, that is usually how life goes for me. If I work my hardest, no "cheating", all the right workouts, tons of water..... I gain a pound to two or I stay the same. If I throw my "diet" and workout out the window and drink all sorts of other beverages then I gain 2-4 pounds or stay the same......either way I either gain or I stay the same. I could LOOK at a piece of pie and gain weight. My husband could eat a whole pizza and I would gain 5 pounds. SERIOUSLY it is discouraging.....but I promised myself I would make healthy choices but not fixate this weekend and just enjoy the time.

I got on the scale this morning to find that I had lost a pound! I broke through the plateau I was at and actually lost a pound. I know it is possible (and in all honesty fairly likely) that I will gain that pound back.....but as long as I am sticking to making healthy choices and keeping my body moving then even if the scale doesn't move in the direction it "should" then I am doing things right. I DID put on a pair of pants today that I wore to my grandfather's funeral back in February which were tight and I had to wear some girdle undies and they were STILL uncomfortably tight.....and they fit......without the girdle panties. :) Which  made me feel better about my progress. :)

I feel like I am seeing some positive changes in my life. I know that I just don't view myself in a healthy way, and try as I might to just shut that off I know that it will be a long time (if ever) before I can look at myself without picking myself apart. It is a process and some of us just have to spend our lives battling that inner voice and shutting up the negative "fat girl" on the inside. I think I beat myself up for being so heavy because I feel like I failed. I "used to be" thinner, I "used to be" cute, I "used to be" curvy in a sexy way not a lumpy way, I "used to be" , I "used to be", I "used to be".... There will come a point where I no longer feel the need to say "I used to be", but I'm just not there yet.

 I know that a lot of my friends don't think I have as much to lose as I do. They seem to believe that my goals are just too extreme. The truth is that I have ALWAYS weighed more than I looked like I do. It is just how my body is. I am "lucky" to carry my weight well and my large chest well. It is a blessing and a curse. Telling me I'm crazy for saying I have at least another 90 pounds to lose might seem like a "nice" thing to say, but really it just ends up feeling like sabotage. Contrary to what people seem to think (because they SAY it to me), I will NOT look anorexic or be "too skinny". I have a muscular, thicker, curvier body type with strong, toned, full curves over VERY petite, almost child sized bones. Just because you THINK you are paying someone a compliment by saying that they don't look like they need to lose what they need to lose, doesn't mean you are helping. You are actually HURTING their success because you aren't being very supportive of their efforts and the long journey they have ahead of them. I didn't set my goal for myself, it was set by my doctors after knowing my bone structure, type, density, muscular build, height, age....etc.

I will get there, the journey is long, hard and full of setbacks. But the important thing is that I am ON the journey and sticking to it...learning along the way that I AM worth it, I DO deserve it, and the work will be worth the pay off at the end of my journey...though my journey never really ends. lol

Every day I remind myself:

"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A "Non number" success: looking at the positives

So I have been trying to look at those successes that have nothing to do with the scale. Weight for me is difficult to lose, more so than the "average" person. Because of that I really spend a lot of my time fixated on what ISN'T happening with my weight loss and fitness journey. We all do it. We all look at that one pound gain and beat ourselves up. We fee like we failed, and like it is hopeless and pointless doing all this work for NO reward. For me it is a dangerous place to be in. I tend to go to extremes to get a quick result, I feel like I failed, and feel like others judge me because they see no success and therefore think that I must be lying about what I'm doing, or that I'm doing it wrong. It often seems that way with things people say. People try to tell me how to do it, tell me I need to do what it working for them etc. I know everyone means well but it just starts to get really aggravating because I AM doing it right. I am following my doctors' orders, checking my nutrition, getting my exercise and fixing the way I view myself. In all honesty, I might never "love" myself the way that I *should*, I might never see myself the way that my wonderful husband, amazing family and close friends see me....and you know what? I am ok with that. I am a work in progress. I will always be a work in progress. The important thing is that I'm WORKING on me.

That being said, I have found a few "non scale" successes to focus on. No, the scale hasn't moved much in the last couple months. I lost 3.5 pounds, then gained 2 pounds, lost 1, gained 3, lost 2....lost 1....lol. I have felt like giving up. I have felt like it is hopeless. I felt like everything I was putting in was pointless. The last 2 weeks have been the hardest. I have been SO devoted to being healthy and exercising. I watched my calories, got an hour (at least) of good sweating, heart pounding cardio every day, squats, crunches/leg lifts etc....every day. But that darn scale hardly moved in the direction I NEED it to. I could have stopped eating, I could have done some other dangerous and unhealthy things to get the scale to move....but I didn't. And that is ONE of the non scale successes. I have lost about 4-6 inches in the last 2 weeks, and THAT is a success. No, I haven't really gone down a FULL size just yet, but my clothes are fitting better and I am more "comfortable" in my clothes now. So that is another success. The BIGGEST success for me at this point is that I have STUCK to it. THAT is a bigger success than anything else because even when it is hard, even when we don't *see* results we have to keep going. EVENTUALLY the success that you desire and work for will be obvious.

"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch."

Friday, August 10, 2012

Blogging: Why I do it

I have health conditions that make weight slow to come off in the beginning. I know how to work out, I know how to eat right. I coached gymnastics for 8 years, was a figure skater, swimmer, dancer....so this isn't anything new to me. I have many friends who are personal trainers and a nutritionist at my disposal as well. My brother is an amazing chef I can call any time for advice and tips.

I didn't have a major weight issue until I was in my 20's, AFTER I had children and my hormones went awry. As a matter of fact I was always strong, fit, toned, curvy and a size 2-5 depending on the brand of clothes. At 18 I got married to my ex-husband, moved to the other side of the world and lived a very secluded life. He was hard on my self esteem and never allowed me to be as active as I was before, causing some weight gain. Which then in turn started the downward spiral. When he left 6 years later I was a young 20-something with 2 small children, working long hours to support the 3 of us. I lost a lot of weight and kept it off for several years...but it proved more difficult to keep off as I was unable to be as active as my body craved. Still, I was a good 80 pounds overweight when I met my current husband. When we started dating I guess I got "happy" and lost track of my weight for a while as a lot of us do. I gained about 30 pound that first year. I lost nearly 60 pounds in a year for our wedding. I CAN do this again. I only gained my weight back because I got sick, had emergency surgery, moved 2300 miles across the country and had my clinical depression creep back up. I have been battling a lot of health issues which regardless of the amount of work I do, weight will be slow going.

The point of my blog isn't to whine about what isn't going right and get "advice", or to get compliments from others when I'm feeling down. We all feel down at times, feel like we failed, pull ourselves back up and move forward. My POINT in doing this blog is to be HONEST about the feelings we ALL feel when trying to get healthy and change things in our lives that we have allowed to control us. It is about having that space in the world that I am able to simply be honest with myself. I hope that my honesty about how I struggle, find a way to pick myself up, find the motivation in myself and love myself more than I love good food, will speak to others who are on their own journey. I hope that it brings a sense of camaraderie for those who know what to do, know how to do it, have done it before and simply struggle with the motivation in themselves to keep going.

It is about being honest, not getting compliments or people to soothe my bruised ego. I am where I am because of choices I made. I am here because of circumstances out of my control as well, but my choices on how I handle those circumstances put me where I am. I have tried diet plans, workout regimens and having people tell me what I "have" to do to be successful. The truth is, that doesn't work for me. It doesn't work LONG term for most people. I HAVE it in myself. I know my body. I know what works and what doesn't work for me. I think for a lot of us, and most of us who have not always had a weight problem, we know what doesn't work for us. Seeking out someone else to "fix" what is broken in us and "make" us successful isn't the answer. We just have to apply what we know to our lives and not allow anything to derail us.

 I have a friend, I will just call her H, who always had a weight problem. We have been friends our whole lives...literally. We are like sisters, or super close cousins who lived down the street and grew up at each others' houses. She has always been one of the most beautiful people I know. She has the biggest heart, the sweetest spirit, the best laugh and the kindest nature. She was always a little bit bigger than the other girls, taller, larger boned, more muscular and a bit heavier. And then one day she found herself to be obese. She NEVER let others see the pain she was in. Those friends closest to her would hear a little from her about how she didn't like being overweight. H embraced the identity that was assigned to her by the outside world as the "big girl" and had such grace about it. Then she just decided she was DONE with that identity. She just got to that point that she decided she wasn't willing to accept the hole someone else put her in. H worked her butt off....literally. She never let anything get her down or derail her. We would all be hanging out, planning to go see a movie or something but she  would always decline if it was going to force her to skip a workout or reschedule it. No matter how much we prodded, told her it wouldn't kill her to do it later, she would refuse. "I work out at 8pm EVERY day" she would say. Either she had to be home by 7:45 pm or she couldn't leave until 9:30pm to see a movie. (Seeing as I was the only one out of HS at that point, we had to choose the first one unless it was Friday...lol) And you know what? She lost the weight. ALL of it. Years later she found herself back in the same situation. H had gained all the weight back, and then some. But she never gave up. She never complained. She just found a fix, told just a handful of family and really close friends what she was doing and did it. Now, her outsides match her insides again. Now the world sees the beautiful person we have always known she was. :)

So you see, like H would do, I am simply doing what I know works for me. It will be slow going. It always is for me in the beginning. The important thing isn't HOW if I'm healthy about it. It isn't about "getting right in the head" for me. My head is what it is, and even THIN and HEALTHY my head is a pain in the butt with the thoughts. I have major issues with my body, no matter my size. I have a few other friends who have dealt with similar issues with their bodies and have Body Dismorphic Disorder, BDD, and no matter how healthy they are, no matter what people say, or they tell themselves otherwise, they will forever battle the negative thoughts....just like I will. Only those who deal with BDD understand how these thoughts and "voices" never go away. You simply have to manage them. THAT is the reality of my every day life. I have to shut up the thoughts and "voices" by exercising or writing or venting to a close friend....though usually I vent to my Husband. :)

I write because it is therapeutic. It gets it out, allows me to SEE it for what it is and move forward. I recognize, acknowledge, dismiss and move forward. :)

 Because at the end of then day:

No matter how slow you go,  you are still lapping everyone on the couch.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Two steps forward, one step back

I have been really good about getting at least an hour of cardio and 20 minutes of crunches and squats in every day. I have also been great about watching my calories in to calories out. No snacking, no eating out of boredom.....and I have lost some weight. Only go gain some back every couple days. SIGH

I have reached that point in my weight loss where there just isn't any getting past it! I know that once I break that barrier (that perpetual plateau we all hit at various places in our journey) the weight will start to just fall off...until I hit the next perpetual plateau. But MAN is it irritating, frustrating and completely discouraging. I have lost 13 pounds since LAST August. In a year I have managed to lose 13 pounds. SIGH I should be happy for the success, because a loss is a loss and in the face of all I have had to deal with for the last year, I'm lucky I didn't gain 30 pounds. But it is so hard to feel like it is a success. This time last year I weighed the most I have ever weighed. I'm fighting to stay on track. I'm battling an overwhelming feeling of failure. But I'm battling and I guess that is a good thing.

There are times I feel like it is pointless. But I still get on the stationary bike and cycle my first 30 minutes. There are times I feel like it is hopeless. But I still get on the floor and start my crunches and do my squats. There are times I feel like a joke....just the fatty kidding herself into thinking she will ever be pretty. But I get back on that bike for my second 30 minute ride. Some days I want to stay in my PJ's, refuse to eat or just stuff my face all day.....but I FORCE myself to get in my workout clothes. Sometimes that is as far as I get in the morning and it isn't until after lunch that I can force myself to do my workout.... but I force myself knowing that after I'm done I will feel like I accomplished something, even if the scale says I gained the same darned 2 pounds I lost before.

It is discouraging when you KNOW you aren't "cheating", when you KNOW you are getting at least an hour of cardio to burn fat and sometimes push yourself for 2 hours of cardio. It is depressing when you put on clothes that should be too big (you think) now that you have been dedicated for a good month on the workout and diet......and they still fit. :( It is hard to feel attractive when everything out there tells us that being overweight or fat is unattractive. We are told Thin is beautiful and Fat is repulsive. We are taught to find our self-worth in our size....and we scrutinize everyone, holding them up against ourselves to see where we fall in comparison.

 I love fashion, I always have....but it is depressing to look at clothes and imagine yourself wearing cute outfits when you know they won't look  the same on you because you are overweight. Even "plus size" fashion is shown on women who are super tall. So even though they might wear the same size NUMBER as I do, they are tall and therefore have a flat stomach, shapely hips (but not large bulging hips), no double chin or chunky legs or arms. Sure they are "thicker" than skinny waif models but they certainly don't look like the majority of "plus size" women. So I know even THOSE outfits won't look right on me, I have too many areas that bulge and wobble.

All this is discouraging and frustrating, but at least I'm not giving up. I might be taking a step back for every 2 I take forward but at least I'm moving.

"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Taking a new perspective.....

It is pretty much given. We have all heard it a dozen times. We KNOW it in our heads and try to apply it in our lives, but until that moment that it 'clicks' we just can't seem to find success. After struggling quite a bit and starting to feel sorry for myself (which in turn creates my moments of silence with this blog of mine) I decided that I was done. My health doesn't allow me to do as much as I want to, but not pushing myself to do SOMETHING is simply making matters worse. I have tried to see if my issue is gluten, which going gluten free seemed to help my digestion and some of my arthritic issues, but it is far too expensive and restrictive for me to stick to long term....and lets face it, I BAKE as therapy. So I decided to keep myself at "gluten light", in that I am careful to not eat a LOT of wheat...and that seems to help.

A lot of people I know are on various "diets" that involve special shakes or drinks and though I am genuinely happy for them with their success, it gets very difficult to deal with the constant pleas from them to start drinking the shakes they drink. Let's face it, all plans like that are basically the same. A vitamin and protein rich flavored powder is mixed with water/soy milk/ fat free milk/yogurt and ice or frozen fruits or veggies etc. All those plans mean for you to replace 2 meals a day with their shakes. It isn't that these plans don't work...they do. You WILL lose weight. The hard part is sticking to the diet long term AND keeping the weight off. MOST people will return to their "normal" eating habits once they are off the program. And if they never go off the program, they still have to "maintain" with at least one of these shakes every day. VERY costly at the end of it all because you are still shopping for regular food....especially if you have a house full of people who don't eat the way you do....like I do!

THEN you have the "special foods" diets. These programs have you eat pre-measured, pre-packaged or delivered foods. The problem I find with these  diets is also that once you stop eating what they give you, once you go out to eat, or you start eating on  your own, you will gain weight. This is because you never really learned how to handle regular every day life and interactions with others and food.

And then you have things that are exercise focused. Exercise is crucial, exercise is necessary to losing weight. HOWEVER, specific programs and workouts are not better than others necessarily. Joining a fitness club, camp, attending a seminar on fitness, boot camps, fitness classes are all great ways to get in some daily exercise to help get you toned and burn fat. But NOT doing those isn't going to make me or anyone else UNsuccessful. The goal is to burn more calories than you consume every day.....THAT is how you lose weight.

At the end of the day it is about Calories in VS Calories out. That is all. Granted, eating junk and stuffing  your face and then working out to a point of exhaustion to make up your poor choices isn't good for you either, but paying attention to the nutritional content of the foods you eat, AND being sure that you burn around 500 calories a day MORE than you eat in a day, is the best way to lose the healthy 1 pound a week.

I appreciate the encouragement from friends and family who are on a weight loss and fitness journey as well. They understand and can relate to some of my struggles. However, what gets very aggravating is all the "advice" about  getting my head right, and that it isn't about being "skinny" (which I never said it was to begin with), or that I just need to focus on being "healthy" and that somehow all these people are now "experts" just because they learned something new. It is aggravating because all of these people have STRUGGLED too....with the same self esteem issues, they have all put their self worth into their appearance....I know them all well and have known them most of my life, I have seen it first hand in their lives. I know the intent is to be helpful, and to encourage, and to "save" me the struggles they have encountered...but the thing is that nothing is really changed for some of them. They STILL put their worth into their appearance and the only reason why they don't feel like they do is because they are starting to LIKE what they see in the mirror. I am genuinely happy for their successes, and I appreciate the sharing of things they learned recently or along their own journey....they just shouldn't talk to me like I don't know what I am doing. I KNOW how to lose the weight, I KNOW how to get healthy....my entire childhood was spent being active and eating healthy. Not focusing on my weight and losing it, simply focusing on my "insides" never helped me with the weight loss, it actually facilitated my weight gain.

cardio and 30 minutes to an hour of strength and toning then I  am going to eat closer to 1400-1500 calories that day. I try to have a deficit of no less than 500.

Ask any fitness guru (personally I like Jillian Michaels) and they will tell you, it is about calories in vs calories out. I hope all my friends and family find long lasting, forever success in their endeavors to get healthy and to lose some unhealthy weight. But I am done with gimmicks, fads, special drinks, pre-packaged foods or weight loss pills. And I am NOT into deprivation when it comes to food either. If I completely cut out something then I feel deprived and I just eat a ton of it later. Instead, I'm going to do what I learned in the ONLY program I have ever seen TRULY educate and correct a relationship with food. Good food in and burn more calories than I eat. :)

Good luck everyone.....sorry if I offended anyone, it isn't my intent. Just being honest and open...it is great that programs are so far working for each of you, I am just done with "fad" products.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A lesson to be learned...

Today's blog is about lessons. Sometimes the road we set out on to find ourselves, get healthy, change a bad habit, be happier, live a more fulfilling life (whatever your goals are) turns out to be different than the one we end up on. We have to learn to be flexible to those changes in that road that lead us down a different path.

I set out on this journey with the goal of a half marathon this year. Clearly my health and my doctors had a different plan for me. So my path changed. I still plan on completing a half marathon, it just probably won't be this year. My goal this year is now to get healthy once and for all, to better my mindset and to get myself ready for that OTHER journey...to complete the half marathon. :)

This entry is also about being patient. I have learned in my life that nothing happens immediately, that we have to be patient for the changes to happen. At the same time though, we have to learn to be patient with ourselves. We will fail now and then, and though we FEEL like a failure we have to view these moments as character shaping obstacles, whittling away the rough edges and smoothing us out to "perfection". It takes us time to reform good habits, to let go of the pain and regret, to look to the future and recognize the beauty in our personal triumphs.

You have to learn to be your own advocate, to fight for what your body needs, to look at your life and try new things to figure out what is going on in yourself that could aid in your success. Learning to step outside of your comfort zone can open a whole new world you didn't know existed. It opens your heart, your eyes and your mind to the possibilities and a whole new adventure.

To get away from medications I have taken my health into my own hands. Now don't get me wrong, I am still seeing my doctors, I still take certain medications (for now anyway) but I'm changing my relationship with wheat in particular. After much consideration and reading I have decided to try to go gluten-free. This isn't for everyone, as a matter of fact no one else in my family (at this juncture) is doing this with me. Wheat is a known contributor to inflammation in the body and having arthritis in most of my body (including my spine, feet, shoulders, elbows and hands) reducing my wheat intake, as I did at the start of the year, greatly benefits me. In addition to this fact, gluten can also contribute to headaches, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, dry skin, skin rashes, increased fatigue and weight loss/weight gain. I had watched a program that was talking about Celiac's and gluten sensitivities and suddenly it all made sense. This could very well be what is making me sick. So I have embarked on this NEW journey of going gluten free, in the hopes that it might be the "simple" solution for my health to get back on track.

My path has taken a turn, but the ultimate goal still remains the same. To find "me" in the middle of all this. To "fix' the areas of my life I want to fix. To be the best "me" I can, the healthiest, the happiest I can possibly be. I am learning to be patient, to be honest, to be flexible when the journey changes or I have a detour.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Getting back on waggon....when failure seems inevitable

This has been a long time coming. I have been gone from my blog, I would like to say because of various life circumstances, but that would not be entirely true. Yes, it is true that I have had some health issues, resulting in limited ability to do much, but the truth is that I managed to get out to class. My health didn't allow for any movement....so exercise was out. The REAL reason why I have been absent from my blog though is because I didn't want to be honest and forthcoming with how much of a failure I feel like I am. I have gained and lost the same 8 pounds over and over again. We all have those times I know...but it is hard to feel motivated and like you can and will succeed when no matter what you seem to do you can't lose much weight.

I feel like I failed. I feel like I'm powerless. It isn't that I over eat exactly. I eat 3 times a day...if that. The issue for me is that I have fallen into that terrible cycle that so many of us fall into. That circle of depression-guilt-motivation-failure-guilt-depression.....and on and on and on. So obviously I just end up feeling like what is the point? All the books  and articles I read about PCOS basically say that weight is an issue for us all. So I end up feeling like I might as well get used to be fat and feeling hideous for the rest of my life....love the skin you are in....or in my case just deal with it. I don't want to just "deal with it". I don't want to just "accept it". How can I be content with feeling ugly and disgusting because of the "skin" I'm in?

It is a dilemma so many of us find ourselves in. We want to feel secure and happy with the person we are, and to accept our bodies are merely vessels and not WHO we are. But the honest truth of it all is that the outside appearance does matter. We judge ourselves by it....and as much as we don't want to admit it, others judge us by it too. Studies have been done, where they take  a group of people, of all shapes and sizes and then they state what their first impressions are on the other people. Regardless of if a person is overweight or thin, they listed the thin people as "attractive, active, successful, energetic.....etc" and they listed the overweight people as "unattractive, lazy, failures, unmotivated....etc". Forget the fact that some of them were overweight themselves. I know many people who are very active and yet are a little overweight.

We all have things we don't succeed at....the hardest part is that when you are struggling with your weight EVERYONE sees your failures. As if it isn't hard enough to deal with your failures on your own, in your own head and heart....everyone else can see that you are losing the battle, and you can feel their scrutiny. I hate it when people who either don't have a weight issue or who are ok with their size tell you that people judging you is all in your head or to just not worry what others think. Try living every day with people inspecting you, judging you, giving you funny looks, and whispering. You hear whispering....you see them looking at you and laughing....they aren't as discreet as they think they are. It hurts, it is hard to deal with...but those who are overweight are supposed to just smile, laugh it off and move on. We are supposed to act like it doesn't hurt. But the honest truth is we are shunned, mocked and judged.

I hate that though. Society goes to great lengths to shame you for struggling with your weight, for having medical conditions that make you gain weight or make it difficult to lose weight. You are shamed for being depressed and told to just suck it up, get over and be happy, just "lose weight". They tell you that when you really want it you will go for it....it isn't always about wanting it bad enough, it is also about having support to do it, the tools to do it, the strength to do it. I have the support, the will, the desire, the tools....I think I just don't have the strength to fight anymore with the failure looming over me. Maybe that is the issue, I expect to fail now because all I have done is fail even though I have tried and worked for it with no success.

It is so hard not to feel like "maybe I should just stop eating altogether" because I know that won't work either.....nothing seems to. I can eat 1500 calories or I can eat 800 in a day... I gain and lose the same 8 pounds. I can cut out bread, or sugar, or soda pop, or meat.....I lose and gain the same 8 pounds. I can exercise, or not....I seem to gain and lose the same 8 pounds. But every time I feel completely defeated, and I want to give up...and just accept that I'm not ever going to be beautiful and thin again, I do a 180 and suddenly feel like "I can do this" and I dive head first again.

It is a never ending circle. I want to get off the cycle....I'm trying....but it is hard to remain motivated when you constantly feel like a failure.

Monday, April 30, 2012

The disconnect.....

We all have that disconnect between the self we see, the self others perceive and the self we feel. Sometimes the difference is truly great and it seems an impossible feat to find the middle ground and the way to see and show the self we feel. For some people, looking in the mirror is easy, for others it is torture. There are some people to begin to find every single flaw and pick it all apart. For those people, getting dressed, doing their hair, putting on make up  all feel like a pointless endeavor. It doesn't mean that they don't try, but they do feel like it is not going to help. These people are often the last ones you might expect.

My disconnect is quite large. The self I feel inside is not exactly the self I allow the rest of the world to see. It isn't just about size, though I will admit that is a part of it. Those of us who have not always had an issue with weight have a large disconnect between the "us" we feel and the "us" in the mirror. The issue for me in this regard is that I see one thing, others see another, and the mirror shows another. :( My point isn't to be "down" on myself, or to fish for compliments...it just honestly is how I see myself.

My friends will tell me I'm pretty and I'm talented, but it is much different when my husband says it. It is a different matter altogether when you look in the mirror and think "My goodness what are they smoking?!?" It sounds funny, I know...but I just don't see myself as pretty. Now I don't see myself as ugly per se, but I certainly don't think I'm anything special in the appearance department. When I look in the mirror I see someone who is plain, ordinary and overweight...I just assume at that point that the people who tell me otherwise are just trying to make me feel better, but that it isn't really true.

I say this because my blog is about being honest with myself...and "you"...with the harsh reality of what goes on in the mind of someone who is struggling with something....and trying to find themselves again. We ALL feel this way about ourselves, at one point or another in the least. We are ALL a work in progress and we are ALL learning what our strengths and weaknesses are. One of my weaknesses is certainly my self esteem. (As I established in my very first post!) When I "fail" or have a "set back" on the scale, I feel it...not just in the sense that I feel like I let myself down, not just in the way that I feel ashamed at the failure. When I "fail" I beat myself up. That voice in my head tells me that I will never gain control, I will be fat and disgusting and ugly forever, and that eventually everyone I love will realize this about me too. True or not, it is how my "inner voice" works. I emotionally abuse myself to the point that I feel that eating is pointless....and the depression sets in.

Emotional abuse is painful when inflicted upon you by someone you love, but I think it does far more damage when you do it to yourself. The words are not spoken out of hurt or anger, they are "spoken" out of shame and guilt of failure....a double edged sword that cuts deeply into your inner psyche. It is a cycle of self destruction that I have been battling most of my adult life. It is a war I am determined to not lose. I honestly believe that realizing the cycle and it's detriment is the first step to overcoming the pattern.

My goal is to find the little successes in my life and in myself. I want to find joy in that. I want to encourage others to not let the evil voice inside them tell them they aren't worthy of love. Don't wait to be "perfect" in your own eyes, you could already be perfect for someone else.

It is about loving yourself, in spite of all your flaws...those around you already do.
It is about finding beauty in yourself when the disconnect feels too great to do so.
It is about overcoming the obstacles we place in front of ourselves.
It is about proving to OURSELVES that WE are wrong about us...not about proving others right.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Just keep going....

The last couple weeks have been really challenging for me. They put me on medications and I had TERRIBLE side effects. I was moody (read depressed and irritable), gained 6 pounds within the first week of being on the medications (even though I was still watching very closely what I was eating and making sure to eat the RIGHT foods not just the right calories), getting 30 minutes of exercise every day etc. I also had several other ones that honestly are just way beyond TMI...so I'm sparing you the details. Needless to say after 2 weeks of this I took myself off of the one medication that was causing the issue. Now my body is trying to catch back up and lose what I gained.

I'm not giving up, but I think my goals have changed a bit. While I want to complete a half marathon or even just a 5k this year, I'm not sure that I will be able to realize that goal this year. It might have to be what I start off my new year with.....but I guess we will have to see how the rest of the spring and the summer go. My back has been giving me issues as well as some of my other medical issues, so I  have had to focus a bit more on those things than on others. My first priority MUST be my health and being safe about anything that I do in order to get healthy. I just can't push my body too hard some days. The weather has certainly made remaining mobile a bit difficult. As it rains and the temperature goes back and forth between chilly and warm, my joints get stiff and ache pretty badly....so some days I just rejoice in the fact that I can at least somewhat move. The arthritis will do that to me for the rest of my life so I might as well get used to it. Right? :)

The important part of all of this......of this whole journey....is to just KEEP going. I have to keep my goals in mind, try to stay positive and to not give up, no matter what my body throws at me, no matter what medications do to my body or how they set me back, no matter what anyone else says about me, about my methods (although it is important to note that I am under the direction of 3 different doctors), my progress or my attitude.

It is difficult, for all of us, to feel beautiful when the world tells us we aren't. For a "plus sized" woman it is difficult to feel pretty and often we feel like others are judging us because of the way that "fat" people are portrayed in the media, talked about in magazines or on TV, the way that clothing designers don't make clothing to fit us properly and because of the way that others look at us. Just because we are "working" on losing weight (or even for those who aren't) doesn't mean we can't feel beautiful in clothing that fits us. Why wait until I'm at a healthier weight just to feel good about myself? Isn't it time we encourage each other to feel our best regardless of size?!?

I guess my only option is to just keep going......just keep going.... two steps forward and one step back, it is still a forward motion....no matter how long it takes to get there.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Going about it all wrong....

So, I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) last week. I started doing some research immediate and found that there were things I didn't know about the condition. There are a lot of things still unknown about it, but most people when they hear "PCOS" think: Fat bearded women. While it is true that many women with PCOS suffer from higher levels of androgens (Male hormones such as testosterone) which can cause increased hair growth, not everyone does.

PCOS affects women differently. Some women have more severe symptoms while others don't. While I don't suffer from infertility (I have 2 kids as it is) many women do. PCOS affects my cycle and it isn't uncommon for me to skip it, but my estrogen levels are still within a "normal" range. I do have some body hair, but I don't have it to the degree that some women do. I don't shave my chin, or my chest...but I have hairier arms than most women and have had issues in the past with some thinning of my hair on my head.

When I got my diagnosis I immediately thought I was doomed to be fat forever. I was depressed and discouraged. I guess to a point I feel that way even right now. I know the cards aren't exactly stacked in my favor but I can't give up...right?

So the research began. I got a book on managing PCOS the natural way with diet and exercise. One of the things that brought me some hope on losing the weight is that it says that if you have PCOS then you have always had it. Interesting....because I haven't always been overweight. I went through my teen years quite thin actually, and started gaining weight when I was 19. I realized in reading the book's information on the history and the scientific information on PCOS, that my issues started when I stopped being as active as I was before.

You see, PCOS greatly affects one's insulin resistance and sensitivity levels. I have always thought that what I needed to do was reduce my calories. The truth is that while to a point that is true, there are things that I have to worry about that are much more important. Carbs and sugar. You see, I keep track of everything I eat every day. I eat about 1200-1300 calories a day. I eat lots of fruit and vegetables. I do NOT eat breads, grains or dairy. I found in reading the book that this is actually WRONG for me. I NEED those foods to lose weight, I just have to eat them in the right forms and in the right amounts. For me, cutting out bread or carbs in general isn't the answer....eating a lean protein, with the right carbs, several times a day.

Basically, I have been going about dieting all wrong. I have to eat a certain way due to my condition...a "special diet" is kinda needed...but life doesn't have to be so restrictive in order to get a handle on my weight and my health.

So....today I did 30 minutes on my stationary bike today.....my calf muscle did ok for it! YAY
I have managed to keep the carbohydrates down to the recommended daily amount for PCOS women with insulin resistance. And I have NOT been hungry all day! :) YAY!

A good dose of PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) and that eureka moment in reading the book has me motivated to keep educating myself and being proactive on my journey. :)

A lot of people lose weight to look good.....and while I want to look my best, I'm doing it for my health and for my life... I'm doing it for me.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The hits just keep coming.....

I tore my calf muscle the week after joining our local rec center so I could swim.....no exercising.  I was on crutches for a couple days and it was NOT an easy feat with all the stairs in my house. I ended up not using them at home, but kept my calf wrapped and have managed to improve to a point of being able to walk (rather well) now... I'm slow but I walk. :)

Tuesday I got a diagnosis that we suspected for years, but doctors had gone back and forth on. One doctor would say I had it, then another would say there was no indication that I had it. SIGH So after seeing my Gynecologist Tuesday for a follow up on some tests they did to try to find the source of all my pain I have been told that I have PCOS. Which means the pain I have been having, along with the weight gain, difficulty losing weight and several other symptoms, are all due to the PCOS. The doctor has put me on a couple of different treatments including hormone therapy (which is essentially birth control that regulates the hormone levels in my body) as well as a diabetes medication to help my body process insulin. Insulin issues are VERY common in women with PCOS and though I don't currently have diabetes, my risks of getting it are pretty high. It runs in my family, I'm overweight, and I have PCOS and already deal with blood sugar and insulin issues. FUN.

While happy to have a diagnosis, and relieved that I don't have cancer in my ovaries, I'm left wondering if I'm just never going to be able to get all these issues under control. The hormone therapy they put me on, being birth control, commonly causes weight gain. SIGH. So here we go again, another set of odd stacked against me. It isn't that I feel sorry for myself, it just starts to feel like maybe I should just get used to being fat, tired and in pain every single day of my life. But at the same time, I feel like that is such a defeatist attitude and I'm certainly NOT a defeatist.

It is hard to wake up every day in terrible pain, the pain meds that the doctors give you helps with the pain, but then you can't really function at full capacity...I can't drive on the narcotic pain meds for example. I guess I just choose every day to suffer through as much as I can manage. I don't like being "drugged" and I don't like missing out on life because of pain or weight. So I smile and just keep going.

I'm doing some research on how to diet when you have PCOS...the weight loss is truly necessary (as I stated in a previous post) because of my back issues.  I'm planning on getting back into the pool (hopefully today or tomorrow) and get my body moving. I just have to go slowly as far as walking or cycling goes due to the calf tear. I still have big goals for weight loss and I'm trying to remain optimistic about achieving those goals, I'm just finding it difficult to not feel so defeated right now.

The trick is keeping at it. Right? I might fail, but I'm not going to fail because I didn't try. Not working for it is the only guaranteed way to fail. The hits keep coming but I'm still standing.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A dose of reality....

So I had my appointment with my Spine Doctor last week and the news was a bit worse than expected. :( It turns out that the herniated discs I have are more than just bulging and 2 are basically "gone" as he put it. The arthritis just makes it worse and surgery is unavoidable. (sigh) He let me know that the weight has GOT to come off. Basically, if I don't take off at least 110 pounds, my life as I know it is over.

BIG dose of reality for me. It isn't just about looking better or feeling better in my own skin anymore. My way of life, the things I enjoy, my health...depends on this. So, time to get serious, no more excuses and to buckle down. I love life more than food.

I have started tracking my steps every day (I have an app on my phone that is free) and we have joined our local rec center with an indoor pool so I can swim laps like my Dr said. :) No more soda pop, no (or very rarely) fried foods, more fruits and vegetables, lots more exercise. I can do this... I can complete a half marathon this fall. :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A break in the weather.......

The perfect opportunity to take a 4.5 mile bike ride. :) Yup I did it, I took my fat butt outside and rode my bike for 4.5 miles with the husband, kids and 3 neighbor kids all in tow.....well ok, I was in tow since they were in front. lol But still I went. It is a start.

You gotta start somewhere....so that's where I started. The weather was being a bit of a pill (it IS Ohio after all) and we kept getting rain and thunder every time I tried to get the motivation to go ride. But I keep telling myself, it takes 4 weeks to see progress.....so HOW can I possibly give up when I haven't even TRIED for 4 weeks straight?!?

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you are right"

Saturday, March 17, 2012

No Excuses.........

You ever step back and realize that when you talk to people and you tell them that you used to be active and fit and strong (back in the day) their pupils get big and you realize that the fat chick ate her? Yup....that's me. People always seem so surprised when I tell them that I was a gymnast, figure skater, dancer, swimmer etc. I know they are trying to be polite and not say anything, but I have gotten really good at reading between the lines. The truth is, if I saw someone with the weight issues I have, and they said they used to be fit and active and thin, I would be a little surprised too. So honestly, I don't blame anyone for seeing me in the same light. The truth is, I see myself that same way. I look at myself and think "seriously? A fat chick ate me".

We don't wake up one day and decide to become lazy and complacent and just get fat. It sneaks up on you. You wake up one day and realize that you became fat and lazy and complacent. You look in the mirror and realize that you are staring at the "fat chick" and that the person you used to be was eaten somewhere along the way. You try and fail and try and fail. I think that happens because you don't remember exercise or "dieting" ever being that hard....you expect it to be easy because it was never hard before. The truth is that it was "easy" because it wasn't "exercise" to be thin, or fit...it was what you enjoyed. You didn't eat "crap" because you just didn't like it, not because you were "dieting".

I bake. I cook. And I'm going to toot my own horn here.....I am GOOD at it...DARN GOOD at it. I'm not going to stop baking or cooking. I enjoy  it, I love sharing my gifts in the kitchen with others. THAT isn't going to change. That being said, the only thing I can do to get the fat chick to "puke out" the fit, thin, strong girl inside  is to be active.

True, I have health issues that make it hard for me to be active. Sometimes the issues I have keep me from being able to walk easily....but they don't have to completely put me out of commission. They might put me on the sidelines as far as being fiercely active some days, but maybe I'm just trying to do too much too fast? Maybe I need to take a note from my friend Katie ( a marathon runner) and do exactly what she told me to do in the first place. "Walk...start there." It seems so simple and it is something I would tell anyone else to do who said " I want to run a half marathon". Especially if they have never been a runner...like me. lol

I was looking through Pinterest this evening (I'm highly addicted to that site) and was looking at some "Random Good Things" as I call them. (Just inspirational, motivating, sweet, funny saying and stuff I find on there.) I came across some good saying about exercise and weight loss. Several really struck me.....but one that really hit me was "Limitations only exist if you let them" another was "Yesterday you said tomorrow" and "Excuses are are Useless, Results are priceless." 

There are lots "valid" reasons why I "can't" do it......but I have to step back and ask myself if I want to see myself as a person who "can't" or if I want to be someone who OVERCAME?!?  I am tired of explaining to others, and to myself for that matter, why I "can't". I'm tired of hiding behind the excuses....though real and valid, I still use them as "excuses not to" instead of obstacles to overcome.  It is time to really just stop being such a pansy about it. It's time to stop saying "I can't because....."

"It will hurt.
It will take time.
It will require dedication.
It will require Willpower.
You will need to make healthy decisions.
It requires sacrifice.
You will need to push your body to its max.
There will be temptation.
But, I promise you, when you reach your goal,

Remember: "No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch"

Thursday, March 1, 2012

It has been a while I know....

It has been a while since I last posted...but for good reason. Had a whirlwind of stuff happen and unfortunately, blogging was NOT on the top of my list of things to do. But I am back now.

I had to go to California and the moment I got back I had to get started on a project for school. I managed to lose 3 pounds last week though. :) So that is a victory. The weather is starting to warm up (although we haven't really had a winter at all anyway) so it is time to get the bikes out and go riding. :) Goal is 30 pounds by  my birthday. :)

Remember people...positivity is contagious.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Picking up the Pieces

Haven't felt much like blogging lately. Had a lot going on too...

Between school and working on my back and foot issues, mix in the kids and their schedules as well as the husband's and I'm on busy lady. lol that being said, I'm back.

Just about through the quarter for school....getting ready to start physical therapy for my back soon and all geared up for some fun classes for the spring quarter. :)

I'm really excited to take a film photography class in the Spring with my wonderful hubby. We always like getting to take a class or two together and this quarter we will get to take two of them. :)

The "progress" is not going so well in the weight loss department, though I did lose 5 pounds last week. And I am just one step closer to being able to train for that half marathon. :)

We had a death in my family yesterday, and I will have to head home to California to be with my family in this difficult time. That being said, I might not be on here much in the next 2 weeks as I prepare for the cross country drive and the time with my family. I'm trying not to let it get the better of me. When I get depressed I either eat everything in sight (usually carbs...big no no) or I just kinda don't feel like eating. :(

I am an emotional eater. I eat when I'm happy, sad, lonely, celebrating etc. So far I am doing pretty good with not eating my emotions and instead I'm voicing them and standing my ground so I internalize less. But this is a hard time for my family as we say goodbye and I am trying to be strong for my kids. It is just hard because in order to hide some of what I'm feeling I would normally eat. So instead I'm singing and just trying to distract myself.

I think that is kinda my big lesson for the week. Just allowing something else to fill and process the emotions instead of food. I should sing when I'm celebrating instead of eating....but I'm thinking people might look at me funny. lol

Have a great week people....keep your chin up...don't eat the feelings, share them with someone else, grieve, celebrate....just let it out. One way or another. :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

FINALLY....getting it together... I think.

So here I sit, staring at another blank screen trying to figure out what to write. Music playing and singing along (because when am I not?) and trying to draw some inspiration. Lately I have been feeling a little discombobulated....a bit all over the place and dislocated in a way. Doctor visits and homework, class and kids commitments, still hurting but not quite so badly the last couple days...but still not able to exercise. I have let the close eye I keep on my food to become a little lazy and though I don't THINK I have gained any weight, I'm expecting that I have. I have felt, to be completely honest, a little defeated the last couple of days and just plain lazy about it all. And you know what?!? THAT IS OK.

I'm allowed to have times where I just don't want to do the work. I don't want to take the time to think of me and take care of me because I hate feeling like a burden on anyone else (Ben and the kids) or like I'm some sort of pessimistic complainer...which by nature I am not. But I can be honest that I just haven't kept track of my food because I just didn't feel like it. At least I own that. If the scale is up, at least I know why and don't kid myself into thinking it is muscle gain. lol So I was a little down and depressed and unmotivated this last week...ok....so where do I stand today?

Trying to get it back together. We have had a few set backs along the way, food and I....but I'm taking control again this week and getting back on track. There is NO way I'm going through ANOTHER summer feeling like a beached whale. Even if I don't look like one, I REFUSE to feel like one. That is one thing I know. Where to start....well since I can't workout (not like I want to anyway) I am going to start with maybe finding some Pilates exercises I can do at home without any special equipment. My Spinal Specialist (who is from CA by the way) suggest Pilates (oddly my mother did about 2 days before he did as well) as a means to strengthen my core muscles and hopefully stabilize the shifting of my spine a bit more...which in turn could keep me from needing any kind of surgery for a long time. :)

I'm optimistic about my progress in diet and health.....

Emotionally I have been trying to be really honest with myself and others...how I feel, how they treat me, how I treat me....all those lovely things we try to sugar coat for the benefit of others or to just avoid confrontation. To be honest, I have always had a hard time with that fine line...do you lie to save the feelings of another? Or do you lay it out on the line, honestly, as gently as you can, but with no malice and risk bruising their ego or hurting feelings? Usually I just choose option 3, to smile and just say ok or agree or politely try to bow out of a situation or conversation. Some who know me might find that difficult to believe...but it is honestly true. Usually I only state my mind when I am backed into a corner and left with no other option. Over the last couple years that is something I have worked on overcoming. I will never be a mean person.... I never have been.

It is so frustrating at times. I see through so many people now that I have dealt with people and their little facade. Now I realize that no one is perfect...and I for one am FAR from perfect, however, I usually can tell if someone is full of crap pretty quickly. I know far more about subjects that one would assume I don't....so when you try to sound like some sort of expert and you really have no idea what you are talking about, I can usually tell.... I just choose not to point it out. I figure if you are going to go to all the trouble of sounding like a moron, I'm just going to let you make the ass of yourself, you obviously don't need me to point out that you are one. :)

I have always been a girl with a lot of "friends"....friendly acquaintances if you will. People like me, are friendly towards me....generally face to face mostly. Sometimes they invite me out, or include me in their plans or random forwards on FB or email....but I only have a few very close friends who I know I can talk to. Looking back on my life I can honestly say that I tend to have one or two real friends at a given time. Not because I am unable to "share" my friends or because I just can't handle friendships. It is because people tend to be two faced...well girls do anyway. In general, girls have always made me feel like I didn't quite belong. No matter how hard I tried as a kid, the "popular" girls didn't seem to like me. I wasn't "one of them"...and it always left me feeling a little sad and a bit like there was something wrong with me.

I would love to say that this all changes when you get older....it doesn't. Girls are still mean...they still talk about you behind your back....they still make everything a "competition". Sadly I learned the hard way, many many times in my life, that it doesn't matter how nice, sweet, loyal, giving, forgiving, understanding and accommodating  you are, people will still talk about you, cause drama around you, tell people you are terrible and turn others against you.....if it in someway will "benefit" them. However, this isn't ALWAYS the case. I have been lucky enough to have some really great girlfriends in my adult years. It wasn't until I was in my 20's that I finally had that "group of girlfriends" that could all get together, have a great time, laugh, joke, sing at the top of our lungs, be silly and support each other...no backstabbing, no two faced comments...none of that. I had only had that with one or two girlfriends at a given time growing up and I longed for that connection that it seemed everyone else had with a group of girls. When I moved, it was hard on me.

One of my girlfriends moved to Colorado, one to Kansas, I went to Ohio and everyone else stayed in California. :( I miss them.....the late night pizza and karaoke, the random trips to LA with the kids, plays, BBQ's.....Movie nights.....I miss it all. I have lived in Ohio for 2 1/2 years now....and what took me 24 years to find in CA I am now struggling to find here. Don't get me wrong, I have met some wonderful people, made some friends I know I will have for the rest of my life (or at least many many years)...but I still feel like I don't belong. Not because it is Ohio and not California, but because I don't have the friendships I had in CA. Those emotional connections we need as women, to balance us out. There is something about the support of other women that nothing else can give you. My husband is great, he is my best friend in every way....but he isn't a woman. He doesn't understand some of my womanly quirks.

I am searching....trying to find that 'BFF" here in Ohio....and I have recently made a few new "friendly acquaintances" that I am hoping will grow into some lifelong friendships and maybe even my "Ohio Best Friend". I know that nothing and no one can replace the unique chemistry and dynamics that are my "Girls" back home (and in CO and KS now)....but things might not be so "lonely" in my kid-free and husband-free times if I had a place I "belong". Maybe that is why I dive headfirst into school...to give me something else to do. lol

Anyway, I'm happy which how far I have come in my life. Growing up didn't REALLY happen for me until I found myself 24 years old, a single mom of 2, working full time and going to school. It was THEN that my priorities got shifted and I learned what it meant to be an adult, a mom, a daughter, a sister and a friend. All the terrible experiences I have had over the years, I am not blind to the good though. The good certainly outweighs the bad. I have never let these bad things or experiences with people turn me into a bitter, angry, mean and vindictive person (note I have kept specifics out so that even those who know these people might not know who I'm referring to).

So, I'm getting it together....FINALLY... I think. Pulling together the desires of my heart and my aspirations...physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.....and finding where I fit by rediscovering me. :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Back on the waggon.....

So yesterday was weigh in day....NOT good. But I knew it wouldn't be a "losing week".  In fact, I gained weight this week. That is the bad news. But there is an upside....if you can say there is an upside...which I can because I tend to find the positive in any bad situation I can. :)

The upside is that I am starting to get some relief with my back pain. It isn't a lot of relief but it is improving. This makes just day to day tasks like rinsing a dish much easier. Which in turn keeps me from feeling like a burden on everyone else and therefore keeps me from snacking so much. :)

Today I decided to also limit my gluten consumption. A lot of people have tolerance issues with gluten and it has been suggested to me that I look into it. Now I like bread far more than the average person... I guess you could say it is kinda like "crack" to me. lol I LOVE to bake...bread,cakes, pies, cookies, rolls.....ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. My mother used to grind her own flour and bake her own bread from scratch...I CAN BAKE. lol But I also love to eat it. So limit my gluten, sure I can do that, eliminate it?? Probably not.

Today I had a very late breakfast...it was closer to 11:30 when I finally sat down to eat something (bad I know) so I had a little mini lunch. It was all of 3 points plus (on WW) and oh was it yummy and filling.

Quinoa with meatless crumble and veggies

Cook the Quinoa like rice. One serving is 1/2 cup....so I make 1 cup of uncooked Quinoa (with 2 cups of boiling water). 1/2 cup of cut up fresh zucchini, 1/2 cup carrot slices, 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, 1/4 cup meatless crumbles tossed in a skillet over medium heat with a spray or two of non-stick spray. When the veggies are hot and softened but not mushy, drizzle with 1 TBS of soy sauce (I use the low sodium kind) and toss. Dish out 1/2 cup or 1 cup servings of cooked Quinoa into bowls and top with 1/2 cup of the veggie mixture.

Serves 4

I then had the same thing around 4 pm for Lunch. lol So I had a very filling breakfast and lunch...both late.

When I got home from running around and getting my stuff done with the hubby, it was late but we were hungry. So I made a piece of whole wheat and flax seed toast...topped with just 1/2 Tbs of butter. ( I am a real butter person....I can't do margarine YUCK!)

For dinner I used the store brand Chipotle Shrimp (one bag serves two and is only 3 points plus per serving!) and some veggies (I used red bell pepper and mushrooms) and 1 cup of cooked pasta. Just tossed the cut up veggies with a little non-stick cooking spray in a skillet and then added the pre-nuked shrimp (in the bad per the directions) and poured one serving over the pasta. It was SO yummy.

So that was my food for the day so far.   Not bad choices and I'm choosing to be happy with that. I have plenty of points left to have some "Skinny" chocolates, or a  bag of popcorn (one of my go to snacks)...or even a half a sandwich later if I'm still up and feeling peckish. :)

In short, I'm back on the waggon.....in a better mind set today, and looking forward to the weekend with friends and family. :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Keeping the faith when giving up is easy

I have health issues. I have things going on with my body and these things make it difficult to function in normal day to day tasks sometimes....let alone exercise.  Since starting back on my WW program in August of last year, I have managed to lose about 15 pounds. Tomorrow is "weigh in" day and quite honestly I don't want to. :(

The last couple weeks have been really difficult for me. Emotionally, physically and mentally I am spent and basically shutting down in many regards. The health issues that have been plaguing me lately are my back issues. I have Spondylolisthesis, Stenosis, Spondylosis, 2 herniated discs and now Sciatica. I have been suffering in near silence for weeks (since Christmas). just hoping it decided to "stop" hurting. Needless to say it has simply only gotten worse. I can no longer drive, sit, stand, walk, lay down or sleep. I have had a couple trips to the ER just to have them give me some pain meds and send me home. After a DR visit today, I have an appointment with a specialist February 3rd. In the meantime though, I have to function. I have kids to take to and from their various important outings, school to get to, walk to, sit through, walk back from and drive to. All while not being able to stand, sit, walk, stoop, lay down...

I have tried stretches, heat, ice, rest etc...nothing helps. My Dr gave me some pain meds and some anti-inflammatory, but I still have to "deal with it" until the 3rd when I find out what tests the specialist wants to run. In short....I have to live with horribly debilitating pain throughout my whole body for a couple more weeks at least. Needless to say I am not looking forward to suffering through another 2 weeks of this. But, as it has always been in my adult life......I have no choice.

It is so easy when you live your daily life in debilitating pain, like I am right now, to just give up and say that there is no point in trying to exercise and lose weight. I physically cannot exercise to lose weight....I can't even STAND at the counter to make my son a piece of toast to go with his breakfast. My body shakes with pain, and my legs start to give out.

I could give up. I WANT to give up some days. I want to just sit on the couch (assuming I can sit there for more than 5 minutes) and watch TV all day eating anything and everything. I want to curl up in a ball and cry...because I'm just so tired emotionally, physically and mentally with the daily battle against not only my weight and my issues with food, as well as my self esteem issues, but now with the sheer physical pain and challenge I face every second of the day.

But giving up is EASY. Sticking it through, working what I CAN on WW, and just getting through my day is HARD WORK....so the scale probably won't show any of the progress I want it to.....not giving up and just keeping at keeping at it are currently my goals. Accomplishing that when my body is REFUSING to allow me to do anything else will be a success.

Sometimes you want to just SMACK someone

So it has been a while since I blogged last.....I have had a lot going on. Some good...some difficult. I will most likely blog twice tonight.

 I have not had the success that I wanted to in the beginning (do we ever?) and I was feeling a bit discouraged with the whole process. To be honest, I got a few comments from friends that I just sounded depressed and somehow implying that I am neither appreciative or grateful for the wonderful friends and family that I have. THAT is exactly why I tend to keep my feelings to myself when it comes to my self esteem. It seems that for some reason EVERYONE else is allowed to feel insecure, depressed about where they have allowed themselves to get to in their health/weight/life and to, quite bluntly "bitch" about everything and everyone in their lives that doesn't make them feel stellar....however, apparently I'm not allowed to.

I have bad days. I am insecure. I never learned to truly love myself, regardless of what anyone else thinks, sees (because I put on the good front) or the many attempts by my family and friends to get me to see what they do, I don't. It doesn't make me ungrateful. It doesn't make me unappreciative. It simply means that I have a hard time seeing my own value sometimes. I have a hard time with self esteem and that is just what it is.

Everyone struggles with self esteem at some point in their life. It doesn't mean that they don't appreciate all the kind words their friends and family offer. It just means exactly that...they struggle with SELF ESTEEM. I'm so sick and tired of people acting like me having self esteem issues, or struggling with my self worth is somehow reflective of how my husband views me, or how my parents raised me. It doesn't have anything to do with either!!

I have a wonderful and devoted husband who loves and cherishes me. He finds me beautiful, no matter what my current pant size is. He finds me sexy, in my own little way, no matter how much my "wobbly bits" actually wobble. I have issues with self esteem and self confidence....I feel insecure and awkward. But you see the operative word in these sentences is that I feel that way... I have those issues.....HE DOESN'T. Me having those issues doesn't somehow mean that I value his opinion less, or that I disagree when he pays me a compliment. Quite the contrary... I blush and I thank him....8 years later and I still blush when he pays me a compliment....because I APPRECIATE that he sees me in that light...in a way only HE does.

I am blessed with a very supportive and wonderful family, who always told me I was pretty with my red hair and freckles.....even when other kids said I wasn't. My family has always paid me compliments and supported my many endeavors in the arts....even when I couldn't hold a tune if you put it in a bucket and placed it in my hands....my family was supportive and encouraged me to PRACTICE and improve...and I did. But I still feel insecure and nervous when I sing in front of people....for fear that I am not good enough. Sure, I "know" I'm talented....but I still fear being judged....just like EVERY ONE ELSE!

I wish that it was "OK" for me to be truly honest without someone acting like I should just "get over it"....when they themselves have complained about similar issues time and time again. Why is it that everyone wants me to listen and be supportive of them when they are being "irrational" and reassure them that they are wonderful and beautiful and special....but if I even open my mouth (or blog...post on Facebook) anything that is anything besides "sunshine, unicorns, rainbows and glitter", then I'm having a "pity party" or that I am somehow in need of being "set straight" because I seem to be "forgetting" or "ignoring" that I have a wonderful life with wonderful people in it who love me for me and not what I look like...or don't look like.

I KNOW what I have... I KNOW I am blessed....I am very grateful and appreciative of what I have been given, the love I have in my friends and family and the support that I receive. But I am allowed to feel what I feel....and I should be allowed to voice that without being "set straight" as if I am an ungrateful child. I'm not a child....and I'm not ungrateful.

I am truly blessed to have such a supportive and loving husband....who reads my blog and listens to my inner demons rear their ugly heads and gnash their foul, sharp teeth at my tender heart and soul. A husband who simply hugs me, tells me he loves me and that I'm beautiful to him....and simply lets me feel what I feel, without it making him feel like he failed to "fix" me.

I am incredibly lucky to have parents who have endured my teen years (when these feelings were infecting my very core) and told me I was beautiful and talented and that they loved me...no matter what. Parents who READ this blog, in all its gross and painful honesty and see the beauty in that vulnerability....and commend me on my attempt to be strong and be honest with the one person I find it hardest to be honest with......myself.

I'm lucky to have that. I am blessed and I am grateful for it.....but I still feel insecure, I still see someone who is fat and unattractive....I see a plain jane

THAT is why I write this blog....for me. To work through these issues I have, to show others that it is ok to have the feelings you have, that you have to own them and process them. It is important to not feel GUILTY for having those feelings of insecurity. The things that people say, implying that I'm ungrateful and unappreciative....just makes me feel guilty...it makes me feel like maybe I'm not grateful enough....and so I PUT ON the happy face, put up the front and PRETEND that I'm not hurting....To  b completely HONEST with you all, I think that a truly supportive person, would not try to make me feel guilty for expressing real, honest and raw emotions like I am in this blog. I wish that more people would be the supportive and understanding friend/family that they expect/want others to be...."What you GIVE is all you DESERVE to get"