Meaningful Maintenance rant…

What’s a “meaningful maintenance rant”?  Good question–begin rant here.

Maintaining my “healthy weight” has been just as big as a challenge as shedding the original 170lbs!  NO JOKE.  It’s easy to slip into the mindset of “I got this…I know what I’m doing…I’m FIXED…” and they go on.  TRUTH is, none of that is accurate or appropriate!  Maintenance is hard.  That’s probably why the percent of people who reach their goal weight and maintain it long term is lower than 5%.  CRAZY right??? We see these success stories all the time in media, on reality shows, and social media posts!  I know, I got caught as one myself.  But in doing that I started to lose focus on myself and my own well being.  Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about “not being fat” anymore.  Truth be told, a part of my mind still thinks/sees me as that 345+ lbs girl.

Tonight I did something I hadn’t done in a long time until this year.  Stress, lack of sleep, burn out, etc. got the best of me and I at anything that was edible and not nailed down.  Didn’t really like (or have) much at my house so I went over to my parents house to eat there.  I was tracking in the beginning of my day, even knowing that I was going to go well over my WeightWatchers daily PointsPlus target for the day.  But when I left my house, it was all bets off.  I ate to until the point where my head hurt, hurt to the point were it felt like the roots of my hair were being pulled out of my head.  Like my hair had 5lb weight attached to each strand.  It was pounding, my eye sockets felt swollen.  My mouth was dry and the taste in it was less than appetizing.  My throat even felt raw like I was getting a sore throat.  My ears felt like I was getting an ear infection and at one point I had a weird back feed like sound echoing in them.  Note, we’re still on just my head.  I wanted to take a pill for it but stopped myself.  Why?  Because I realized I wanted the pill for the same reason I wanted the food.  I wanted to stop feeling the pain.

Shall we go on?  My chest felt heavy. My belly felt bloated and the more I ate the more it felt like I had a big balloon in there filling up with helium gas.  I think i could feel my stomach getting so full with food that it was pushing my other organs out of the way and up to high parts inside my rib cage.  I felt tight and I was wearing yoga like pants…those “give” a lot and so the fact that I felt constricted in them is beyond a bad sign.  All this extra food weight made my legs feel like they couldn’t support the rest of my body.  My knees started to ache already like I’d instantly added 10lbs.

At one point I felt like if I could just stick my finger—NOPE! Stop.  That thought was just as bad/hurtful as the idea of me eating to make my feelings go away.  Both just as damaging even at opposite ends of the spectrum.  I turned to my 48oz water bottle and started sipping away.  Something had to help me end this slippery slope!  It all felt like an instant hangover.  Which with the drinking bouts I had in my younger days, I swore I’d never drink to that point again because of how miserable that feels.

I share this graphic thought process because I know I’m not alone out there in doing this.  I know because others are just as honest as I am about the struggle to be healthy.  This is not just about calories in versus calories out.  This goes much deeper.  I knew when I had satisfied my food as fuel need.  I went on for hours more of intermittent eating though.  I woke up tired, not wanting to get up out of bed this morning–not sure why.  I never made my bed (which is unusual for me) and to top it off, I walked less steps today than I did yesterday (and even if you added up both days, I still wouldn’t total up to 10K steps).

It’s 10pm PT now and I haven’t put food in my mouth for about two hours.  I’ve showered.  I’ ve continued to sip my water and my headache has reduced to a minor/dull ache.  I tracked (what I could remember) what I ate and pre-tracked for Saturday.  I’ve already declared it a new day and fresh start.  What bothered me so much that I did this? Good question.  Still haven’t answered that.  But i’ll get there.  Maybe a look into my “burn book” (more on that in my next post) will clue me in on what is “weighing me down.”

From one food addict to one who hasn’t realized they are one….

Food isn’t the answer.  You first have to know the question you are asking in order to find your answer.  STOP, PAUSE, REFLECT, ASK…be mindful to what is going on in you, around you, about you…you have the answer…the answer is in your heart.  So now I say good night.  I’m disconnecting for now to do that for myself.

Thank you and in good health,

Andrea

Seeing Clearly Now…

How about an update to this crazy no sugar thing I committed myself to?!

There’s a foggy haze that’s been lifted and I feel like I have something substantial to actually write about.  So during this “sugar detox” I’ve found some spiritual clarifty and practices.  I’ve gotten back to and better at meditating, I actually went out and tried hot yoga (thanks to my WeightWatchers friend Lula and my BFF Katie for the nudge), and I realized just how foggy I’d been operatering these last few months.

During my rebirth of my meditation practice, I came across this excerpt and felt the need to share.

The Final Obstacle Is Us

“The greater the crisis it seems, the swifter the evolution.”
~Elizabeth Gilbert
There has never been a better moment in human history than right now to be a woman. Nobody in the history of womankind ever had a better chance to manifest her own life than the modern woman … right now.

 Then why do we still battle the lingering doubts and prejudices in our own minds that convince us we are not worthy—not good enough, not strong enough, not talented enough, not brave enough?

Why are we holding ourselves back from greatness?

It’s from a Deepak Chopra daily reflection that I did a while back.  In cleaning out my inbox (yes, I do stuff like that) I came across it again and re-read it.  This speaks so much truth to me.  This whole process is really revealing how much I’ve been holding myself back.  I don’t sit here wallowing in regret about it, on the contrary!  I’m actually grateful for my new found clarity!  I didn’t know I was walking around in a fog.  I didn’t realize how much I’d been missing out on by being in that state of being.  I was more like a zombie then human.  I’d wake up, eat, work some, eat, want to nap (sometimes did), work a bit more, eat, and then sleep again.  It sounds depressing just reading that as I type it out!  To have a day like that, not a big deal in my book.  But to have every day like that, is NOT good!  But I wasn’t aware enough to realize that that is what I was doing.

It’s no wondering I wasn’t happy with myself.  It’s no wonder I put on 15 lbs over my goal weight–note that’s over my goal weight, that’s not based on the lowest I got down to.  Yes, I’m human and until I become superhuman or really accept and deal with my faults I’ll always fight this battle.  But with where I’m at now I feel like I’m in a place where I can do that.  Accepting you’re imperfections is easier said then done.  Actually, it’s almost as challenging to admit my imperfections–step one I guess.

We all “know” we aren’t perfection but who actually talks about it?  And why is it so hard to talk about anyways.  I just saw in the news how we are creating narciscistic kids but what about ourselves.  We start a petition because we don’t think it’s ok that Facebook has an emoji that allows someone to admit that they are feeling fat?  Why?  Who cares if that’s how they feel?  I feel fat sometimes–usually it’s when I’ve over indulged on food.  No we are being censored on admitting our feelings?  And the other thing…with this recent “International Womens Day” (do guys even get a day?) when did this start and why?  It’s like the feminist’s (uh oh, I’m going on a rant and I’m sure I’m going to get comments/emails about this but too bad it’s my blog I can say what I want) own Valentine’s Day!  Why do we need ONE day to celebrate ourselves as women?  Why do we need one day to “come together” and celebrate the amazing women in this world?  Why isn’t that happening every day?  Oh I know, because the other 364 days a year we are sitting in front of our screens and judging each other.  I’ve seen “plus sized” models go through fat shaming and celebration all in the same day.  I’ve seen thin women get praised for eating indulgently in public and shamed in the same day.  I’ve seen a self empowered corporate excecutive female get praised and criticized all in the same day for being a career minded female who also wants to be a mom.  What are we doing to each other?  Are we so unhappy with ourselves that we have to bring down each other too?  This does go back to my original point about admiting and accepting our own imperfections.  In today’s society you can’t be too thin or too fat because there’s going to be a group that comes together and bashes you for it.  BE YOU!  WORRY ABOUT YOU!  I don’t mean that in a selfish, self centered way but in a Michael Jackson “take a look in the mirror” way.

We are holding ourselves back and each other by living the way we are.  Let a kid get a gift they didn’t ask for on a list so they learn humility and gratitude.  Let a student fail at a problem so they can learn how to get it right on their own.  Let a baby fall while learning to walk so they learn how to get back up and try again.  Let a woman, man, girl, boy, etc. learn to pave their own path so that they may reap the reward for achieving their goal.  There’s always a reaction for every action we take–they may be unintended but it’s going to happen none the less.  What’s the better option–“Bandaid” the problem or find a solution?  I prefer the solution, personally!

So that’s why I’m sitting here in bed (at 915pm PT) and I’m ok with that.  Label me the old lady who’s in bed before some kids are.  I don’t care.  I know that I need sleep in order to function well and with this jump ahead an hour, “performing well” isn’t where I’m at yet.  I know I’m a littler bitter that I don’t wake up at 6am to daylight anymore because of daylight savins.  But the whole government isn’t going to change that just to please me–nor they should!  Plus, I’ll adjust and get there.  I’ll be happy when the weather starts to warm and I can go for an evening run after work outside because it’s brighter later now.  I’m just a little immature about it at the moment–I’ll get over–I learned that lesson young too and I’m better for it!

So what’s this rant (yep, I’ll admit that) have to do with inner reflection, imperfection, and appreciation?  We are all individuals part of a greater piece/system.  My place in this world effects others who come in contact with me–physically or socially.  I know that if I’m not offering my best self through taking care of myself first, i’m weakening the system as a whole.  So yes, some times I just suck it up and get up and do what I have to because the world isn’t going to stop revolving if I don’t want to get out of bed.  Plus, being in that state isn’t going to make me feel any better.  Getting up is hard sometimes, but it’s for the best in the long run.

I’m seeing clearly now that taking care of myself–first and foremost–allows the system as a whole to be better.  It allows me to offer my best self to those I love and care for.  I’m not an immortal superhero who can do everything, all the time, forever.  I’m perfectly imperfection me.  What I can’t do well, someone else can and I’m good to delegate to them.  I was put on this earth for a reason and I’ll work at vocation versus trying to fulfill other’s!

Be ok and accepting of who you are and why you are who you are.  Accept your imperfections as openly as you accept your assets–they all make up who you entirely are anyways.  I’ll share this one last bit with you.  Someone in my WeightWatchers meeting this week said something so simple and yet so profound.  She was going on a cruise and worried about making the healthy choices with the all you can eat options.  A friend told her to just enjoy herself AND (this is the part I love) to let enough be enough!

Unbelieveable Me….

I’ve been very aware–for whatever reason–this week when I’ve wanted to turn to someone, anyone, else for support and guidance this week.  From the smallest thing of “where/what do you want to eat…” to “…guess what just happened…what do you … Continue reading

It’s time…

“Whether you’ve seen angels floating around your bedroom or just found a ray of hope at a lonely moment, choosing to believe that something unseen is caring for you can be a life-shifting exercise.” ~Martha Beck I’ve been reading a … Continue reading

Shrove Tuesday–What is it, why do many “celebrate” it & what I’m confessing to you?

shrove

So as a kid we always had breakfast for dinner on Shrove Tuesday.  That’s how i knew it growing up “Shrove Tuesday”, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.  I did grow up Catholic so I partially fasted for Lent by observing the no meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays.  We didn’t call it “Fat Tuesday” or Mardis Gras but I knew others who did, and took it for all basically being the same–splurge before the fasting/cleansing period of Lent.

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My Mom would go all out for this breakfast/dinner feast!  We’d get home from school that afternoon and the griddle for the pancakes would already be set up.  She’d have a fresh dozen eggs in the fridge for us and fresh bacon from the local butcher!  Sometimes she’d even make fresh hashbrowns and fresh squeezed orange juice!  It felt like a bigger weekend breakfast on a weekday most times!  It was like a holiday breakfast on a random Tuesday night!  I have very fond memories of those evenings.

Now a days we’ve shifted to taking our “brinner” out to a restaurant.  Something just isn’t the same without her here to do it all with/for.  The griddle hasn’t seen the light of day for almost a decade.  It wasn’t so much a day of being gluttoness but a day of gathering and feasting together.  We didn’t go “hog wild” all day long.

Today, my Dad and I did breakfast for lunch instead since I had dinner plans elsewhere.  I love breakfast any time of day but I’m pretty standard and keep it usually to an egg white omelet with fixings and wheat toast, dry.  But I was feeling nostaglic and this is the one day I always go all out for my breakfast not at breakfast meal.  I ordered the pancake breakfast–two buttermilk pancakes with eggs (whites), and bacon! YUMMY!  With a busy morning of work and calls, the time away from my desk, visiting with my Dad was more than welcoming!  Even the walk down the hill in the chilly California weather was welcoming!

Afterwards I wondered though, what’s the real meaning of the term “Shrove Tuesday”–especially the shrove part.  So, typical Dad response, I Googled it!

This moveable festival is determined by Easter. The expression “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the word shrive, meaning “absolve“.[1] Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Roman Catholics,[2] who “make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God’s help in dealing with.”[3]

absolve

The part of the excerpt that stood out the most to me was the part at the end where it states that people make a conscious effort of self reflection–what they’ve done, what needs to change, and what areas they need help in.  I’ve been looking to do this, looking to find the time and effort to do just this!  2014 was challenging on many levels–physically, emotionally, personally and professionally.  I started 2015 with renewed spirit but not feeling completely in control and back on a good/healthy track.

I’m looking to change this.  I feel like I’ve been taking short cuts by looking for answers everywhere but to myself.  So as we wrap up this Shrove Tuesday, I’d like to renew me.  For a while I was doing something new and positive every Lent instead of giving something up.  But this year, I’m going to do a combination of these two practices.  I’ve found myself craving sugars and the not so good for me carbs.  I know “we can eat anything in moderation” but these things really do react with my body.  But much like a drug, they can be hard to quit and moreso when there’s an emotional connection there.  So for Lent I’ll be weening myself off of processed sugars/sweetners and the carbs that my body doesn’t like–white flours, bread, etc.  My addition of something positive will be my re-implementation of “me time”–quiet, self reflection time.  I’m also adding a “Move It, Love It” aspect to this by increasing my activity.  I did just sign up for my 20th half marathon after all!

I commit to this and to myself for 40 days, beginning Ash Wednesday.  It’s 40 days of taking care of myself…I worked so hard for so long to let go and forgive myself for all the burdens, hurts, and wrong doings I was “carrying” in weight for decades.  I’m not going to “repack”!  I’ve learned.  I’m going to forgive myself, no guilt, and move on.  Get back to my basics…self love, care, and patience.

Ash Wednesday Symbol

On a Quest for a RE-ReNewed Me

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I’ve seen and heard a lot of inspiring things over the course of the last couple of days and while I may be tired from the full schedule that I’ve been managing, I’m smart enough to know that I’m seeing and hearing all these things for a reason!  I’ve said it before and still believe “EVERYTHING in our lives happens for a reason and exactly when it’s supposed to happen.”

I’ve been working on this post for over a week now…Recently, I saw a good one “REAL > perfection”.  Why do I think this is so great?  Simple, there’s always a part of me that gets caught up in the whirlwind and strives for perfection.  But that’s not what it’s about and SURPRISE–I’m NOT perfect!!  The REAL me is far from perfect and perfect isn’t even realistic, so why even attempt at making it part of my goal(s).  I could sit here and point the finger at others, but that’s not realistic.  I’m the one who makes the choice.  And if I feel out of control then that’s a result of the choices I’ve made.

These last 12 months have been my first that my goal has been to maintain my weight and not lose it.  What a roller coaster this has been!  I learned quickly, that I knew how to lose but I had no idea what it was like to maintain a healthy weight.  At first I dropped some more, then I maintained my goal weight for a bit, but after that a series of events happened and I’ve been in a gain mode for a while.  Maybe it’s all the traveling I’ve been doing this year, maybe not.  Maybe it’s the personal struggle of trusting myself and my abilities, maybe not.  But even if it is due to all that, my goal has always been to live and lead a healthy life.  That involves being able to transition when those times arise in my life.  Making my new healthy habits fit.  How do we do that?

I said it in the beginning of the year and I’m realizing how today…2014 was a year of challenges.  Don’t get me wrong, challenges aren’t a bad thing.  They change us and often for the better–making us stronger, better, and wiser.  Those things that push us out of our comfort zone are what expand our comfort zone until it no longer exists.  I’ve done this before.  For example, I started this journey by walking to be active.  Then I tried going faster little by little.  I worked my way up to jogging a mile without stopping and I still remember to this day how great that felt…I ran, WITHOUT stopping, a whole mile!  Then I ran/walked my first organized 5K.  I’d intermittently throw in some 10Ks to kinda prove that I could do more.  Finally someone said to me, “You know you could run a half.”  I looked at her and thought she’d lost her mind or wasn’t talking directly to me!  LOL….love this woman though, then and still now!  She told me I could and I showed her (and myself) that I was able!  It’s the same in life.  Constant cycle of doubting ability (or assuring a confined comfort zone) and breaking those barriers down.  I’m realizing that I’m still going through these cycles and will until I no longer have barriers/a comfort zone to break through.  Is that realistic?  Maybe.  I may not live that long to find out though as it could take many many years to accomplish.

There’s another great quote that comes to mine as I type this…”It’s not who you are that holds you back; it’s who you think you aren’t.”  **I’ll pause to let you ponder that one**  OK, ready?  It got to a point for me when I realized the more people would challenge me to do bigger and better things.  The more people would start to see this new me and the potential that I was (apparently) exuding, would tell me and encourage me to think/do bigger and bolder goals.  It was this point in my life that I recognized that I was the one holding myself back and I was doing it every day, sometimes multiple times a day.  How?  Every time the words “I can’t…” came out of my mouth, I was doubting my own abilities.  I was saying couldn’t even before I tried.  The day I realized that was the last day those words ever came out of my mouth again.  It took a while to stop thinking them–especially when a certain trainer would have me do atomic push-ups on the TRX.  But it was challenges like that which made me stronger.  All this spread beyond my fitness and strength goals.

But since that peak, I feel as if I’ve lost sights of goal setting and achieving.  When I was losing there was always a goal out there–lose weight, hit my goal weight.  But since then…since then I forgot that I need to now set regular goals.  That this journey with my weight and health is never over and always present in my life.  That every choice I make ripples into the next and they all affect my wellbeing.  Now that I’ve said this, I need to focus forward and work towards a maintainance lifestyle.  Which requires regular self assessments, healthy choices all around, positive thinking, living life active and reflection/me time to rest and recoup.  My focus first is assessment which I’ll address in my next blog post.  Followed by a blog post about healthy choices, and so on.  This is what my “Quest for a RE-ReNewedMe will entail.  This is my choice, I will post about it (all–good, bad, and ugly) because I’m REAL and far from perfect.  And because the ultimate goal is really about continuing to strive and become a better version of my self while living my vocation to help others–BALANCE.

 

In Good Health,

@ReNewedMe, aka Dre

Focus Forward–Letting go of yesterday and embracing today for a better tomorrow!

Better tomorrow

Everyone carries something from their past into every day, I’m no exceptioni.  In fact, this is probably my greatest weakness and burden in my life.  I know that I’m the only one who has control over it.  In my day to day life, I’m a purger…can’t stand clutter!  But when it comes to memories and past hurts I can’t seem to purge as easily.

Throughout my weighloss journey I recognized that my weight was due to some of this “baggage” that I’d been carrying around for (years in some cases) too long and I wasn’t even conscious of it!  So as these pasts started to resurface, I”d deal with them and then purge.  My running actually helped a lot with this process because I was able to expell any energy these feeling/memories left in me and would enter a type of meditative state in the process.

Just like how my weight loss (I’m learning) is not a “one and done” process, the purging of these types of feelings and memories/experiences is an ongoing process.  2014 has been a challenging year, I said it was, something in me just knew that I’d have a year of overcoming ahead of me and boy was I right!  But Instead of wallowing in said challenges, I’m embracing them for what they are (growth/learning opportunities) and moving on.  I’m a firm believer that “everything in life happens for a reason” and at the time in our lives when it’s supposed to.  Our control is in how we handle these things that happen.

People often ask how I was able to find such success after a devasting loss and my answer is simple.  In my case (and in many others) I feel that you have two choices in those moments.  1) You can choose to get up (as challenging as that may be in itself), dust yourself off and learn/grow from what happened.  Or 2) you can stay knocked down and wallow in your loss.  I didn’t want to continue to feel the way I did after my losses–days of endless sadness and despair.  I wanted to feel happy again and not guilty for living my life.  But in that moment I also realized that I didn’t have much time left if I went back to living the way I was.  I was reckless and careless with my life and I wanted many years of thriving ahead of me.  So instead of “going back to normal” I sought out my new normal and embraced it.  It made for some defininte “growing pains” but those were good “pains” and they made me a better person.

I had that wallowing feeling rresurface the other day.  Like many, I’ve been struggling with maintaining a healthy weight and I found myself slipping back into old habits–and I”m not just talking about how/what I eat.  Seriously!  I had an aching pain in my stomach because of something that happened this weekend and it immediately flashed me back to my life about 7 years ago and I didn’t like it one bit!  It was a blessing because it was a very eye opening moment to how much I’ve changed both inside and out!  That pain made me realize that even though I may have slip ups every now and again moving forward, I’ll never be that girl that I once was, again!  I almost couldn’t believe how grateful for that I was.  I spoke my mind to the person(s) who needed to receive it and that was that.  Since that feeling, I’m continuing to move forward.  I see the rest of my 2014 and I embrace it with all it has in store for me.  I know it’s going to close on a happy note and I’m looking forward to that!

Most importantly, I feel empowered!  In that pain moment i remembered what it felt like to not feel in control or empowered of myself.  It shook me to my core and I needed that.  A gain of 15lbs is simply that.  But my choices and actions after realizing that are what count more.  I know that I’m not slipping back into the person I once was.  I found myself seated at a restaurant with friends at 10pm at night and I wasn’t even hungry but we ate because it was somewhere we can’t go at home and I was there.  I split an order with a friend and only ate half of my portion.  While i could easily get wrapped up and consumed in I ate even though I was not hungry. I chose to focus on the fact that I recognized that in the moment and while I made the choice to taste while there, I didn’t over indulge and moved on.  Before I would have never even done a “gut check” of if I was hungry or not and I probably wouldn’t have split a dish either!  So celebrating the little things!

This extra weight will come off with time.  I’m far from a couch potato…but it will take longer than it used to because I don’t crash diet.  I live and lead a healthy lifestyle…I will clean up this week and in time the weight will start to come off.  But–same as with my past–I’m not stressing over it!  My focus is forward and in order to keep it there, I’m letting go of yesterday and exciting for what’s ahead!

#TransformationTuesday–My First 5K to my 7th Half Marathon!

#TransformationTuesday–My First 5K to my 7th Half Marathon!

I LOVE #TransformationTuesday! I’ll admit, when I first saw this hashtag, I thought how egotistical are these people! But I realized that I was bitter and upset–not with the world–but myself. Now I recognize and realize that #TT isn’t about … Continue reading