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

Re-Defining

Naming this blog alone was a challenge, but I kept it simple and somewhat general for a reason. This isn’t a memorial post about my Mom but more about redefining (after her passing) the many aspects of my life in which she touched on a daily basis.

While many in the nation are celebrating with Labor Day BBQs, picnics, pool parties, and one last vacation before the end of summer I’ve been spending the last five of them grieving and learning how to cope without my Mom physically present in my life. Labor Day weekend 2008 (ironically one of my Mom’s favorite holiday weekends because she planned and coordinated our block party every year) my Mom took her last living breath on this earth. I was blessed to be with her, my Dad and sister when this happened. I could tell you all the details but there are so many and its not necessary to relieve all that. The feelings don’t really relay anyways unless you’ve dealt with this kind of a loss anyway.

After grieving her physical loss (I’m careful to state “physical” because I know her spirit is always with me) I realized that there was no “going back to ‘normal'”–my ‘normal’ included her, physically, in my life. So I chose to “find my new normal” since then. Part of that was choosing not to spend every year on that date sad, as a recluse, and depressed. I want(ed) to strive to make new and happy memories every day I was blessed with and especially make it a point on that day. I feel that this is a good/positive way to celebrate her life.

The first year, it was somewhat unintentionally done, I started my first day of classes to finish my degree. The next year (again unintentional) I started my Masters program and the following I spent in LA. All of these events were placed in my life at this time beyond my control. Including this year when I was actually planning to intentionally do something.

You see, after completing my second half marathon in January 2013 in Walt Disney World, my Dad encouraged me to go after and achieve my Coast to Coast medal by completing a RunDisney event in one calendar year at both parks. After much conversation about this–primarily costs, I love half but its an expensive habit–I signed up for the DisneyLand half marathon. This year it fell on Labor Day weekend exactly–it was perfect! When I started my journey to be a healthier me, I started by walking–primarily because, at my weight, that was about as active as I could be without hurting myself. But I also chose it because it helped me feel closer to my Mom. Walking became therapeutic for me and helped me understand that I wasn’t as “far” from her as it initially felt. When increasing my distance seemed impossible, I heard her voice in my head encouraging me that I could do it and to keep going.

This weekend was an unusually hot and humid weekend in Anaheim and once the sun came up it was a physical challenge to keep on running my pace. But it was her voice (and my Dad’s) that I’d hear in my head when I’d just want to stop and walk the rest of the way. I could feel my legs cramping up (something I’d never felt on my runs and this was my 6th half in 12 months) and I felt voraciously hungry around mile 11 which was something new for me. I’d kept up my usual fueling practices–I run with two ten ounce bottles, one with Gatorade and the other with SmartWater, in addition to eating my SportBeans. But even in the end/aftermath I felt the effects of the weather. I stayed all of two blocks from the park and it took me over an hour to get myself back there because I kept having to stop and rest. I even got sick–I’ll spare you the gory details, but that was something new. I listened to my body and rested the remainder of the day.

I share all this because running (even for runners, which I consider myself to be) isn’t always “pretty and perfect”–much like life. Before losing my Mom I found myself quick to remember/recall harder moments in my life better than the happier ones. I’m now more grateful for everything in my life no matter the size or value. Each day is a priceless gift in my mind–even the harder ones. I know, as hard as its been without her physically, my Mom’s greatest gift to me (and all of my family) was her love, sacrifice and her life. It’s been through her actions (and those of my Dad) that I’ve had such a wonderful life. Shortly after her passing I came across a quote by Mother Teresa and I still keep it close (especially when life seems to be challenging) “I know God wouldn’t give me anything I couldn’t handle, sometimes I just wish he didn’t trust me so much”. So while I’ll be honest in that every day is NOT “sunshine and butterflies” and I still often wish she were still physically here, I know everything in my life happens for a reason and when it’s supposed to happen. I know she’s in a better place, no longer physically suffering, and I trust in God that I’m right where I’m supposed to be in this moment. God has blessed me with a life but it’s my CHOICE to live it!

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