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Yesterday started as one of the worst days I have had in a long time

Thursday, July 15, 2010

So the evil that was July 14, 2010 started as soon as I got to work. Clients calling with problems, a strange millipede infestation that the exterminator told us "will take a few days to clear up" and a lot of other nonsense. Towards the end of the day my boss decided to send out an interoffice email making me the scapegoat for her own actions and making me look an incompetent moron. I feel completely betrayed and I do not know if I can recover the respect I once had for her. I feel so completely belittled and demeaned. I give my all to this company. I work much more than is required of me and certainly do not get compensated nearly enough for what i do . To then be slapped in the face like this is just devastating to me. I also managed to slam my own foot in the door (how is that even possible) and broke completely off 2 of my toenails. I know it is vain but I am upset I basically can't get a pedicure for months.

In the evening was a welcome party for my niece who just arrived her permanently from Colombia. Initially when I spoke to my brother in law he had said we would be going to a restaurant and I was not too worried about my food choices because I assumed there would be something I could find on the menu even if it was just a piece of chicken and a salad. When I arrived at their house I was told, no, we would be having appetizers only at their home. I knew at that moment I was doomed. If you know a lot about Colombian food it is delicious, however, they fry everything including pork belly aka Chicharron. I was presented with fried calamari, fried shrimp, a huge plate that they call Picata which is a huge pile of french fries covered in chicharron, fried hot dogs, fried chicken wings, cheese, and a tomato and cucumber garnish emoticon. The salads were a potato salad with cut up sausage (I despise this dish anyway, sausage does not belong in potato salad) and tuna salad in fried tortilla cups. I can picture you all laughing right now and it really was like a comedy sketch. I figured I could get away with just picking at the food and not really eating anything but nope. It was noticed I was not eating and I could tell it was really hurting their feelings. I never want make my new lifestyle something so selfish that it becomes an annoyance to my family and last night I really felt as though I was making a scene by not eating anything. This was by far the most difficult food situation I have been in in quite some time. How do you find balance for doing what is right for yourself when it is insulting to people you care about? I tried to explain I was eating better and losing weight but I really felt like it came off as "thanks for all the crappy food you are offering me, it isn't good enough for my standards".
I learned a good lesson last night. Sometimes you can be too zealous about a new lifestyle. I refused about 30 requests to have a beer but I did end up making a batch of margarita's for everyone and I had a small portion, around 8 ounces. It made me feel less like an outsider.
Last night was also new in that I was with my fiancé's family without him and I was the only none native Spanish speaker. Usually I feel pretty left out as they speak rapidly and his city uses a lot of unique slang so I tend to not understand most of it. Everyone was so sweet and accommodating helping me with words I didn't know. I even made a few jokes in Spanish got a lot of laughs. I never would have had the courage to do that before. For the first time I understood about 70 percent of what was being said. It was exciting to feel like it is starting to finally sink in. I love the language and it is useful to have be able to talk to each other privately while in a restaurant or other situation.
All in all I learned that when you fall on hard times it is family that is there for you and that doesn't always mean blood. After an awful morning and being presented with the meal of my nightmares I was able to eat a normal portion (and not beat myself up) and I left in a much better mood than before. I won't lie. I did jump on my scale this morning to reassure myself I did not blow up overnight and of course I had not. I did log all my food and was upset to see I was about 30 calories over my range but once in a while is not going to kill me. I packed a really healthy breakfast and lunch for today and I will be just fine. Ok that is the end of babbling rant.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEEMMOM 7/16/2010 7:13AM

    emoticon Wow! What a day! I think you did well to only go 30 calories over! I'm usually wrestling with a couple hundred when I deal with my family get togethers! I'm glad that you were able to laugh and enjoy yourself at the end of the tough day. I think you are doing great!

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BEARDMUSIC 7/15/2010 10:18PM

    You were only over by 30 calories - that is amazing. Family situations with food are tough! I think you handled it like a champ. As far as work goes, everyone has those bad days. Keep thinking about the glass being half full and things will get better!

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KRISTIEEASTWOOD 7/15/2010 10:25AM

  Man what a day you had...my husband brought home doughnuts and slurpee from 7-11 and i looked at him in a bad way, he smiled and said what...i said are you trying to ruin my diet...he laughed it off..man i guess im being more compulsive about my eating and it surprises people around me.I also had a bad day yesterday and just want to say keep your chin up and it will get alot better with hard work and dedication...happy for you..smiles and hugs

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MADEMCHE 7/15/2010 9:50AM

    I completely understand this situation with the food and I am so sorry to hear about the boss. Is she someone you can speak to privately about the situation and express your feelings or is is just going to make things worse? You did an really great job of mixing family demands and your new. Really. You did great and CONGRATS on the Spanish that is awesome. It just takes time and being put in the that situation is the only way that you will really challenge yourself and learn. WAY TO GO!

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HEALTHYASHLEY 7/15/2010 9:03AM

    I probably should have added I can actually cook Colombian better than they all do lol and I do know they offer healthy options. They just chose not too last night and I really thought we were going out so I did not just bring something with me. I usually do all the family cooking so I can control it but last night was a rarity. They are very supportive of me in general but it was a larger group and there we family friends I didn't know so I did not want to draw as much attention to my situation.

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 7/15/2010 8:58AM

    WOW, that's really hard to deal with sometimes. I'm sure they all know how you've changed your eating habits, but on the same hand I totally understand how you felt like you were being rude by not eating. My husband is Greek and it's all about food with them as well. You obviously had made some good choices with only being over 30 calories and today is a new day, it's all about you again! Chin up Ashley, things are looking good!
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LOSIN4MYSELF 7/15/2010 8:51AM

    There are some wonderful, fresh choices in Columbian food. Obviously that is not what they are making though. Do you know any of you fiancee's family well enough to ask if they could teach you a healthy Columbian dish to bring to family gatherings? I think they would be impressed that you are taking an interest in their culture.

Great job of keeping yourself in control, and allowing yourself to shed the food guilt over a few extra calories. You did great in a bad situation! I am proud of you!

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JOANG13 7/15/2010 8:40AM

    Wow! At least you made the best choices in that situation. I would recommend talking to some of the family later on and explaining about your health goals - not weight, but health - and politely request to be able to bring other dishes into a family function like that to share with everyone. Sounds like they would be open and respond lovingly.
Good job (and by the way, at least it wasn't 1000 calories over!)
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TYCA41458 7/15/2010 8:39AM

    I completely understand everything you have been going through! I'm glad you were able to still celebrate with your family, have fun and LAUGH, especially after the hellish day at work. Keep smiling! You've got this nailed!

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QUEENMAEVE1285 7/15/2010 8:34AM

    Wow!....that is difficult. I think that if you don't explain the lifestyle change choice you have made though this problem will just keep happening. I know how hard it is normally, add in language and cultural differences and it is compounded. Remember, one day of choices is not the end of your journey. Back on track and best of luck!

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Confessions of a people pleaser

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I grew up in a household of super overachievers. Grandpa went to Harvard and Wharton, Grandma has a Masters from BU, constant stories of how our family is the best and brightest and we always win and I damn well better too. I also better be thin and pretty as well. I can not remember a time when anything I did at home was good enough. It was constant criticism. So in my outside life I became a people pleaser. I was the friend who would say or do whatever my friends wanted to hear so they would like me. Even as an adult I am constantly seeking validation from bosses, coworkers, partners, and friends. Car breaks down at 2 AM? Call Ashley. Best friend who doesn't speak a word of English gets arrested on a holiday? Ashley will spend 2 hours at the precinct translating and get chewed out by the Bail Bondsman. I never say NO to my own detriment.
As I am slowly making my way down this path of changing my life I realize during all this time I never stopped to ask myself what I needed. Did any of these people give back to me the love and support I gave to them? A few did but most did not. I read a lot of blogs. I don't always comment but one pattern I notice is always that we as women speak about our constant obligations and often the sentiments that we have no time left for ourselves. It made me think it is time in my own life I learn to say no. Last week my best friend was throwing a party for his boyfriend and I knew it would start late. They always do. I timidly told him I could not attend and he shot back a text that he really needed my support. Of course I quickly said I would go. It bothered me all day. I knew it would be bad for me. I knew I had to leave early and would not even get to have dinner with everyone. Why was I so afraid to say no? Sick to my stomach I called him with a firm no, I would be not attending. He wasn't happy with me but he said he understood. After the party came and went he told me that everyone was over an hour and a half late and they didn't even sit down to dinner until 9PM. I am still so proud of myself for sticking to my guns and not giving in. I would have been furious if I would have sat in a restaurant for over an hour and then had to leave. It was the first small victory in taking back my life and self worth. Did the world fall apart because I didn't attend? No. Did our friendship end because I didn't attend? No. Frankly if it had it wasn't a strong friendship to begin with.
From this point forward I have decided to stop being a doormat and start doing things for me. It is hard to even admit that I let "friends" walk all over me. I never realized that weight loss would be accompanied by so many emotional ups and downs. I guess it really is mostly a mental thing. I do have my doubts sometimes and I do have my desires to binge. A fight with my fiancé Monday night almost sent me into an eating frenzy. I was able to recognize it and stop myself but I was a little stunned by how strongly my emotions compelled me to go back to my old ways. So many factors in my life contribute to my weight and I feel like I am cleaning out the closet of all my emotional baggage. It isn't going to be easy but I am going to do this. I don't see any other way anymore. I want to be healthy mentally and physically.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISHKALA 7/16/2010 7:14PM

    What a fantastic blog!! I have the same problem, and it is amazing how emotionally draining it is being a people pleaser. It turns into a vicious circle, because it never fails - our good nature gets taken advantage of. Kudos to you for taking that first step!!! emoticon

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ZANNE71 7/14/2010 9:22PM

    Great blog! I'm proud of you for sticking to your guns and saying no. That's something that I need to learn to do, and hopefully the next time I'm in that situation I'll think of you, and stand up for myself too. Also, thanks for the kind words about my brother's melanoma. I appreciate the support!

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HOPERISING 7/14/2010 12:49PM

    Great blog. I am in the same boat, but making some progress. I always thought if I did what other people wanted, they would love me, value me and treat me well. It took me a long time to realize that I had just made an open invitation for people to use me. What I got was definately not love and respect. A couple months ago I realized I had to put a stop in it. No, Work, I will not work any more 19 hour shifts. In fact, I think I will not work weekends any more either. Sorry Sister, I can not baby sit for you because that is my Karate class, and I do karate for ME. Sorry mother, you will have dump your emotional garbage on someone else. Its a lot easier said than done, of course. I am a sensitive person. I hate feeling like I am disappointing someone. But the longer I put it in to practice, the more I see people treat me with more respect... I've lost some friendships, but I've gained a new type of friends, and our relationships are much healthier, much more reciprical. Just keep working at it!

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TREASURINGLIFE 7/14/2010 12:08PM

    Stand up for YOU - no one else will! Be strong. Stay focused. Realize that saying "no" does not make you a bad person, or a bad friend, in any way. YOU CAN DO THIS!! And great job on victory #1! :)

- Michelle

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TWOFIN 7/14/2010 11:39AM

    Great blog!! You nailed it, the people pleasing thing does me in too. It's all related to time for yourself and fitness, because usually it'll come at the cost of something else (I'll have to cancel an exercise class or it gets to be too late to get to the gym, etc.). At work, I made a decision to stop feeling obligated to go to all the happy hours for new people arriving, people leaving, someone's birthday, etc. Now I just write a card if I feel like it and only attend when I think I want to sit around for an hour with coworkers on a weekday and spend $25+ on drinks and bar food. It's trickier with friends... I'm glad you used the example. Still working on that one.

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MILNE81 7/14/2010 11:38AM

    I'm glad you stood up for yourself. A good book you may want to check out is "Boundaries". It may help you set more limits with people around you and help you do more that you want. Just a suggestion.

Good luck to you!

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AMOHAME2 7/14/2010 11:38AM

    Fantastic, this is a huge step! Being able to take care of yourself first will make you better able to take care of others in the long run! It's not worth it to you or anyone else if you are spread too thin. It's awesome to realize that true friends and loved ones will still be your friends even if you say no once in a while!

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CHANLSURFR 7/14/2010 11:38AM

    As a fellow people pleaser, I salute you! My own family wanted everything in my life to be perfect and you know what? I'm not and neither are they. After a few tummy twisting "no"s, it does get a little easier. i have stronger friendships for it. I am slowly finding out who I am and sometimes I hit highs and lows along the way. But I just keep on trucking.

Go get 'em girl. You can do this! emoticon

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ELLE4PETS 7/14/2010 11:32AM

    Good for you

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Why I love SP

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I have tried every diet known to man, with the exception of South Beach because when that one came out I had enough of dieting and just said screw it. I remember suffering through the heartburn of the grapefruit diet, being shaky and cranky through Atkins , eating nothing but junk and then starving for the rest of the day on WW, or the constant gas and bloating from cabbage soup. You name it I tried it and quit eventually. One thing they all had in common was I was hungry all the time, irritable all the time and as soon as I plateaued, I quit. Who wants to feel like you are suffering everyday? No wonder most people gain the weight back!
I think SP is the only one that focuses on nutrition above deprivation. Sure WW tells you, "you can eat more if you pick healthy items" but who really does that? SP is so motivating and I truly believe it the support we receive from each other. This is easiest to follow plan I have experienced because it is on my time. No meeting to worry about attending and fitting into my life. I don't have to pay for services I don't receive. We are all safe here. Sometimes when I reread my blogs I can't believe I told those things to total strangers but I trust I am safe here. That you all understand me and care enough to try and help me. It is a great feeling to know that at almost anytime I could come on here and someone would be able to lift me out of a mood. It is sad to say but a lot of that is missing in our everyday lives. I wish I had people I could trust that way face to face. Thank you all for the love. It is what keeps me going.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWOFIN 7/14/2010 11:43AM

    Right on! This is THE place I go to with my successes AND failures. I have had so many setbacks, and have been able to bounce back because everyone on Spark is so honest, positive, and real.

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BEARDMUSIC 7/13/2010 9:45PM

    I completely agree with you. I think it is comforting to know that everyone here has been through what you are been through and most are working on losing a lot of weight right now. I also love how Spark People works so hard to motivate you to be healthier!!!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 7/13/2010 8:34PM

    I totally agree with you , I LOVE SP!!! The support from total strangers is amazing. We are able to talk with people who know and understand what we have and are going through. I hope I can be helpful throughout your journey, and I want to thank you for being so supportive of me in my efforts. Keep it going Ashley!
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HOPERISING 7/13/2010 2:58PM

    :) What else is there to say? You said it so well.

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NOT_BIG_BONED 7/13/2010 12:29PM

    DITTO. I couldn't have said it better my self girl. The people here are so supportive. I never would have imagined that I ever would have posted my weight here for everyone to see, or that I would have talked to strangers about my journey or concerns either.

Good luck to you, I just know you'll make your goals.

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MADEMCHE 7/13/2010 12:00PM

    Way to go! I feel the same way. I am really doing this this time. I went through all those diets too and same result, lost, then gain back more and it brought friends! You are doing so well and are really working through a ton of stuff, that is what SP is all about! You rock Ashley, keep it going!

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My body is my temple...so why did I fill it with trash?

Monday, July 12, 2010

I am a big over analyzer. I have spent hours since I was a teen going over every decision I have ever made big or small and torturing myself later if something didn't go well for me. As you can imagine I do this with my weight and eating now. Since I began my journey to better health I keep questioning "why did I chose to treat myself so poorly?".
Even as a child weight was a huge issue in my family. Almost every woman on my father's side is super morbidly obese and every woman on my mother's side places value on a human being based on weight. Fat people should be ridiculed and have less value as human beings. Both of my parents are extremely controlling and my father was emotionally abusive. He used to teach us to chant fat jokes about my mother. When I think back on it I never had a chance to be normal. My grandmother is so obsessed with weight that she used to so severely restrict the food she gave her children that my mother as a teenager was sent to school with half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and half an apple worth of apple slices. My mother was a 3 sport varsity athlete and she remembers being so hungry that her teacher used to bring her sandwiches to school.
Growing up my mother vowed to not be the strict parent she great up with and instead filled the house with soda, candy, frozen entrées and other treats she never had. I know she did not have bad intentions but I never learned any form of structure or moderation. With a largely absentee father she raised us like a single mother. She worked 3 full time jobs and I was left to take care of my brother when I was 12 and he was 10. We cooked all of our meals which were kid friendly items like mac and cheese or heat and serve chicken parmesan. I know she did her best to raise us and I do not blame her for any of my weight issues.

I really blame myself. I used food to fill an emotional void, to bury the abuse I suffered at the hands of my father, to control the only thing my family couldn't and therefore have so power over them. I look back and I really did believe someone only could love me if I was thin. That demon does sneak into my head even now but I do my best to stop those negative thoughts before they can take control of me. Only I can take responsibility for the years of binge eating and sneaking food (even in my own house). How strange is it that in a house I pay for I hide and eat food that I buy?? Well, I used to do that anyway. I always chose the fattiest foods. The largest portion I can fit on my plate. It was always accompanied by a cocktail and a dessert. It makes me sad and angry because I really don't understand why. Why did I chose to eat until I was almost ready to vomit? Why did I chose to eat a diet of take out and bag after bag of candy? Why did I pretend, even to myself, that any of this is normal? Why did I chose to be unhappy for the last 14 years?
Two weeks ago I made the choice to stop all this negativity and move forward. I am not a victim of my family or abuse or bad choices. I chose to be happy and free and to live my life to the fullest. To be healthy and happy. To be a good partner to by fiancé and to be a good mother when I have children. To give them the gift of healthy eating and joy of exercise. Most important to give myself the gift of happiness.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHYASHLEY 7/13/2010 11:26AM

    Thank you ladies! It is so nice to have so much support! I really appreciate all of you so much!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 7/13/2010 11:07AM

    You're an amazing person! It sounds like you've really worked through a lot of things and are COMPLETELY ready for this. We are all here to support you!
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MADEMCHE 7/12/2010 11:41AM

    Thank you for sharing this! And I am so proud of your decision to stop the negativity, it is empowering. I only wish you the very best on your journey and please know we are all here to support you every step of the way. There are so many things in your storey that are so familiar to me, I completely understand where you are coming from and I know what a huge change it is to go from thinking that someone can only love you when you are thin to actually liking who you are right at this moment no matter what size you are. Powerful stuff! Way to go!

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WANDAC2013 7/12/2010 11:32AM

    Great job! It does no good to analyze, re-analyze, etc. You realize your body is your temple....now treat it that way forever! Best wishes on your journey!!!

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Feeling smaller

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I have never been a small woman. Being 5'10" and a D cup in the 5th grade I get a lot of questions about if I am from viking heritage. Random, I know, but I have heard it enough that it bears mentioning. So, anyway, as a little girl I always wished I was tiny, petite and dark. My version of the grass is always greener. It wasn't until my mid-20's that I began to appreciate my stature. People listen when I speak, at work I find I don't tend to have issues with people questioning my authority, and on more than one occasion I have rescue a little old lady at the store who can't reach the can of cat food she wants on the top shelf emoticon. In the last few days I have for the first time in my life started to notice I am visibly smaller. I usually turn my head when I walk past mirrors, you know you guys do it too, and today I got a glimpse of myself in only undies and a tank top and I looked for the first time in a long time not huge. You could see a long straight line, my thighs looked more toned, I had a curve at my hip I haven't seen in years. It was amazing. Earlier my fiancé pulled me over to snuggle and he could wrap both his arms all the way around me and touch my other side and he said "wow, you really are so much smaller, good job baby". I wanted to cry. Even when we hug I feel like we can really be close, that my stomach doesn't keep him at a distance. I really don't care what the numbers on the scale say but if I keep feeling like this it is all the motivation I need!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHYASHLEY 7/12/2010 10:30AM

    Thank you everybody for all the support. It is a great feeling! I put on a skirt this morning that was really tight on me last summer and it is loose! Yeah.

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SMOOCHIEFACE 7/12/2010 10:15AM

    Such a great feeling isn't it!!!!! Maybe that's why I'm in such a good mood today. I pulled a shirt out of the closet this morning - one I hadn't worn in a while due to being just TOO tight and uncomfortable and I feel like I'm swimming in it now. Funny how such a small thing can make you feel soo good!

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EMPOWERED2DAY 7/12/2010 9:59AM

    I loved this blog!! I am very happy for you!

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MADEMCHE 7/11/2010 11:44PM

    That is awesome! So happy for you!

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MAMADWARF 7/11/2010 9:07PM

    I am so happy for you! how wonderful to see the progress and to embrace who you are! brava!!!

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HOPERISING 7/11/2010 7:22PM

    Awesome! I can't wait to have that feeling!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 7/11/2010 7:22PM

    And I've always wanted to be a blond amazon goddess. Go figure.

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TYCA41458 7/11/2010 7:16PM

    COngratulations! What an awesome feeling! Keep going!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 7/11/2010 6:59PM

    That's an amazing feeling, congratulations! Just think, you're only going to get smaller! Keep up the good work!
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