Tuesday, April 01, 2014
So it's now been a month since I decided to find my *SPARK*
In the past, success was all about numbers for me; number on the scale, number of inches lost. If I didn't lose my 10lbs a month, well I must have been failing.
This time around, I'm counting my 1st month back on Spark as a success simply because of one fact: I'm still here.
For the sake of tracking, here's my numbers for March 14:
Weight Lost= -6.6lbs
Inches Lost= -2.7'
There's some other numbers out there that I'd like to share.
I tracked my food 20/31 days in March. I haven't tracked anything in over 6 months so this was a big WIN for me.
My March Fitness minutes were 616. Now for some people, this is a drop in the bucket but again, it had been months since I'd worked out or been in the gym so WINNING. I also got some friends on board for weekly hikes so WINNING for them too
I started the WHOLE30 challenge (Paleo)!!! Discovering Paleo has opened up so many doors for me. The foods I've discovered. The number of times I cooked!!!
I journaled!! Not consistently but like I said in my first blog post, this was also something that I hadn't done in a while.
At the end of the day, this is a lifestyle change, a marathon and as long as I remember that I'm good. More than seeing the scale move (& God knows that I want THAT SCALE TO MOVE!), I really want to be consistent and committed in April.
My GOALS for April:
-Track nutrition 28/30 days
-Drink MORE H2O. 8 cups or more 15/30
-1000 fitness minutes
-Journal 2 times a week
Here's some of quotes/posts I've found super-motivational. Hope they motivate you all for an AMAZING SPARKTASTIC APRIL!!!!!
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
"Mary, Mary, quite contrary. How does your garden grow?" Isn't that how the nursery rhyme goes? It's been stuck in my mind ALL day, quite aptly if I do say so myself.
I don't have a garden but I can feel myself sinking into quite a contrary funk. I made the decision when I started the Whole30 challenge do to do daily weigh ins. It's something I've done in the past and its helped me stay focused. Of course last week, when the scale kept going down, down, down, I thought it was the best thing EVER! It was great to see a representation of my efforts but lo and behold, week 2 arrived.
This week the scale is all over the place, down, nowhere, even *gasp* up! Now believe you me, the workings of our bodies and fluid shifts and all that are not new to me so it wasn't as if I don't get it. I do. I guess, I didn't realize (or maybe conveniently forgot) how easy it is to get fixated on the scale. I'm going to try and write down one non-scale victory a day to counteract the weight loss blues I'm feeling.
NSV #1- I've eaten 99% clean for 12 days!!!! This may sound like a small number to some of you but for me this is a record. Even when I've lost weigh in the past, I would almost always have a bad food day or a binge once a week. Sure, I'd get right back in the saddle and restrict for a few days but I didn't feel like I was really changing my relationship with foods or how I saw food and nourishment.
Another reason I'm feeling kinda down is silly but I'll write it down because I'm sure if anyone can relate it's my SP friends is that the more I immerse myself in this healthier lifestyle, the more upset I become that I let myself get off track for so long. It's like 'WHY COULDN'T YOU DO THIS SOONER?!!!!!' Like the more I feel like this is doable, the more I wish I'd done it before and that I wouldn't have put the first 1/2 of my 20s on hold.
Another contributor to the blues, I have a big school event coming up on Friday and I'm going to see colleagues and professors that I haven't seen for about 2 years and I'm feeling bummed about my weight and size. It's supposed to be a blast but I almost talked myself out of going so I could do the comfortable thing and hide and maybepunishmyselfagainforgainingweight. Fortunately, I realized that I needed to stop that train of thought RIGHT THERE. I'm looking on the bright side of things and hopefully will blog on Friday about how AWESOME it was.
I know that this is a marathon and not a sprint. I know that I didn't put this weight on in a day or month and that it's going to take a long while to lose it. I know that I'm doing for my health and my future which is just as or even more important than my present. I know that if I continue eating clean I will see results.
Now I have to work on accepting these things. I have to translate the above knowledge to wisdom to guide my actions and it is very much a difficult battle.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
This a little ( a lot?) overdue seeing how it is now day 6 of Week 2 but I wanted to stay true to my goal of journaling twice a week and reflecting on a weekly basis.
Week 1 was a little rough food and exercise wise. My only goal food wise was to eat under 1500 calories. My assumption was to stay away from words like 'can't', 'not on the diet' and 'restriction' because I've always thought that if I abstained, I would turn into a rage monster or at the very least start feeling like I was in a food famine.
This is an aside but food famine is very a interesting concept. In her Martha Beck's book 'The 4 Day Win," she states, "[When we diet] we are putting our bodies and our very deep, unconscious brains in the position of believing there is a famine." Boy, does that resonate with me!
Back to my 1st week, well I wanted to avoid this so I thought moderation was the way to go and it was okay. Until day 3 when I bought cheese to make eggplant lasagna (which is low cal and delicious!). However, cheese is and will probably always be a trigger food for me- a fact which I ignored at the time. That was the beginning of my downfall (it also didn't help that I was PMSing-sorry for the TMI!). Fast-forward a few days and I was eating off the rails, and a lot of it was just ooey gooey cheesy goodness.
To make a long story short, I weighed in on Saturday and had the audacity to be surprised when I saw a big fat goose egg.
Thankfully all my deep emotional digging the week before came in handy. I was able to take a step back and see the big picture and sit down and figure out how best to move foreword.
As difficult as it was, I decided that I need to say good bye to my trigger foods, at least for now. I'm doing the Paleo 30 day challenge and its been a really fun journey so far. I've been cooking more and trying new foods. I had a really crazy food craving in the middle of the night but I was able to redirect myself-made a yummy deconstructed BLT with some hummus and went back to bed.
From the aspect of exercise, I only exercised twice last week and this week isn't shaping to be much better. I'm not really worried about this since food has usually been my biggest challenge when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.
I'll reflect more on this week after Saturday's weigh in (Spoiler Alert-I peeked and its looking fantastic!).
Take care everyone,
Sunday, March 02, 2014
It's 1 AM on Friday. I'm sitting in my dark room, downing a pint of Caramel Apple Pie Gelato (every bite tastes so good but makes me feel so bad) and trying to cope with the desolate feeling in my belly. This current binge (and lets face it, it's the middle of the night-its a binge) is the result of a combination of stress, anxiety, a realization that my fat jeans no longer fit and my sister suggesting I start going to the gym again. I'm feeling out of control and unsure and I'm attempting to silence that feeling with food.
It's 3 AM, same day, same thoughts. The ice cream clearly didn't work and I'm thinking maybe I just need to eat something else. Something salty? Maybe I should pair it with watching something mindless for an hour or two. That should fix it or at least take the edge off.
A little voice inside me whispers that maybe, just maybe I could take the time to face this ugly jagged wound inside me that has been doing nothing but festering and growing absolutely putrid for the past few years. It's because of my weight-I know that. I've been successful in every other avenue in my life so what else can it be? With every successful weight loss in the past, I've been able to put a band-aid on it, heal the hurt temporarily (even though I convince myself its completely closed-Look all gone I shout!) just to see it split wide open when I eventually gave up and all the weight came back on.
I've learned to ignore it. Put a happy smile on my face, laugh with my friends and family, even *GASP* make jokes at my own expense so no one does it first. Trust me, it hurts more when they do it first. (Like the time I was being silly with some friends playing tag and one close friend remarks "It's funny when Faye is it because you know she's never going to catch you." She'll never know how much those words stung. I haven't played tag since). I ignore the fact that my weight, actually scratch that, how I feel about my weight, impacts me at school and public settings. It makes me shy to answer questions about health and nutrition because I don't want people to look at me and go really? You, Ms. Size 20, is going to tell me about health? You think you know more than me?( the four years of medical school and the fact I've been reading diet books since I was 12 puts the odds in my favor). I love to talk, seriously I constantly suffer verbal diarrhea and I love to meet new people but now, I hesitate because what if you just see my weight and immediately assume I have nothing to offer ( and let’s face it, why wouldn't you?) I'm a youth group leader and it is one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. I love the group of kids I work with and we talk all the time about life, love, depression, mental health, family problems, weight, health, school and everything else under the sun and I constantly encourage them to reach for the moon, the stars and beyond. I tell them they can DO anything, BE anything. I tell them to be fearless and brave and strong and to get comfortable with discomfort. But I don't follow my own advice and I constantly worry that it shows. Actions speak louder than words and I never want my own inaction to negatively impact them. Maybe I'm overthinking my own importance but these kids mean the world to me and if I'm going to use the word leader in conjunction to another human being especially ones that are young and impressionable, I have to be aware of myself and my actions.
I've digressed (talker here!) but the point is my weight no longer fits into a square box called “Thing I Will Get to Someday". So many somedays have come and gone and the only thing that’s happened is my weight and weight loss struggles has oozed into every other part of my life. Its eroded my self confidence and made me more susceptible to anxiety and depression. Its made me doubt myself in things I know I’m strong at and led me to go from a pretty positive glass half full person to the most negative Nancy. But why, I finally ask myself? Surely being overweight can’t be the root of all evil?
Suffice to say, it’s this question that led to my messy emotional stream of consciousness 1st blog post on SP! I learned some things about myself and I’m learning more everyday. I haven’t started exercising or really changing my diet yet but boy, is the mental part of this journey ON!!!!
Friday, February 28, 2014
In fact, as much as I don't want to use the H word, I'm pretty sure I hate myself at times. If I'd have to describe the relationship between me, myself and I at its worst, I'd have to admit its a pretty nasty one filled with abuse-both verbal and mental and punctuated with doubt and apathy. Its the type of relationship I swore I'd never be in with another human being and the type of relationship, I'd probably break all sorts of laws to get a friend out of.
So why is it okay for me to subject myself to this? To call myself fat, ugly, stupid, worthless when I'm already feeling down? To tell myself I'm not worthy getting out of bed, not worth love, not worth happiness on my darkest days? To say to myself 'this is the life you will always live-a fat, lonely one so why even bother' when what I need the most is to give myself some love and encouragement? When I'm feeling down, I don't allow myself to do fun things. I recently went on a fantastic international trip with family and friends and I was (subconsciously) determined to punish myself for being back at over 240 lbs. I didn't try on any clothes (because in my head I was already too big and denied myself a once in a lifetime oppurtunity to ride a camel (In my mind, it was yet another activity not meant for FAT girls like me). I almost never recognize it in the moment, but I'm the queen of punishment, denial (everything except for food) and self-flagellation. One of the most interesting things I've ever read about yo yo dieters and people with weight issues is that as a whole if you take a lot at us, we're a pretty disciplined group. So many of us are crazy successful in other parts of our lives (for example Oprah, amazing at her job but also famous for being in a constant battle with her weight for more than 2 decades) . We've accomplished our professional goals because we are able to focus on the big picture and tell ourselves that the little sacrifices we make now will be worth it in the long run. But when it comes to weight, food, diet? We call quits, we self sabotage, we fail
The really sad part is that this mean drill sergeant abusive style self-talk is the reason why I'm continuing to gain weight and why it gets easier and easier to sink into the abyss of depression and harder and harder to shake it off. The crazy thing is my personality errs on the side of Tigger not Eeyore but honestly, these past few months, I've been more down than up. And worse, I've become resigned to it.
Other than my youth group, my love of kids and teens is evident in my career choice. I'm in my final months, weeks actually of school to become a physician-a healer of body and mind, and I've decided to be a pediatrician. I love kids, love teenagers, warts and all and want nothing more than to dedicate my life to helping them reach their physical, emotion and spiritual potential. It's just, the more I feel down, the more I feel I'm letting these kids down, even though they can't see it. I feel it when I awkwardly initiate weight talk with an obese 13 year old who clearly needs to change her health habits but I worry that I'm not as effective because of my own clear weight issues. I felt it when, my best friend's 15 year old sister, tried to commit suicide. Thankfully her family intervened and got her the help she needed, immediately and more long term. I went to visit her when she was in the hospital a month ago and though she was open to talking to a therapist, she was so angry and so distrustful. She felt like her family and community failed her. I've been wanting to see her and talk to her and shake her and tell her how beautiful and smart and awesome she is and how it would've have been the biggest loss to her family, friends and community if she'd managed to take her life but I haven't. I truly believe this- but I haven't reached out to her yet, because although I've thankfully never been suicidal, I worry that she'll see past my smiles and from one lost soul to another, recognize the hopelessness in me and call me out. That in her teenage wisdom and brutal honesty, see that I struggle to believe those things about myself and think that I'm yet another adult trying to pull the wool over her eyes. Sometimes, I think the solution is to keep to myself and just avoid all of this.
But I know that's not the answer. Avoidance may appear easier but it's not the answer.
So what is the answer? I have to learn to love me. I have to learn to appreciate me. I have to learn to honor my mind, my body, my heart and my soul. I have to remind myself that life is a gift. That this body I have, all 240+ pounds of it? It's a gift. I have to get up every morning and remind myself I'm smart. I finished high school at 16 didn't I? I have to remind myself I'm kind, compassionate. My family, my friends, my patients have all testified to this and doesn't that count for something? I need to remind myself that I do serve a purpose as a youth group leader; that I've read so many college applications and written letters of recommendation for internships. That I once sat in an ER room for hours with a kid who, for many reasons, needed to be admitted to the psychiatric ward but wouldn't do it without support. That I'm brave and strong, for being willing to start again even though I've fallen oh so many times. That the girl that I see in the mirror is beautiful, even though she weighs over 240 lbs because she's the one that's going to do all the hard work to get to the fit, healthy me of the future.
I'm not very good at loving myself but I'm willing to learn.
To me, more than the weight loss, this is what this journey is all about.
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