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Then to Now mind~body~spirit

Monday, September 05, 2011

Weight loss is more than inches.. pounds.. and the "physical body" it is something one experience's with the Mind, Body, and Spirit ~ During this journey of trying to reach my "goal" weight I realized that is a fluid number and my goal is health, positive body image, and balance in life. Spark has contributed some vital tools for me to use on this journey and I am thankful ... so I will always continue on this journey there will never be an "after" until I am no longer in physical form.

Below are my "notes" that I shared with my
support group via Face Book these past 13 months... and pictures.

Starting May 2010 - 175pound "ish" I was terrified of the scale.

16 lbs and 18 inches gone :-).
by Chrissy Kellems Silvas on Sunday, August 29, 2010 at 11:48am

As many of you know I have been spending the last few years just getting back to the core of being me …. And boy does it feel good. The last decade was a rough one but it was survived and I was taught many things along the way.

Now that I finally gotten comfortable just being me again - I have embarked on getting my body and health back to where it needs to be (there is a balance mind, body, and spirit) and I am 2/3rd s there! This isn’t about being pretty or being thin - this is about being healthy. I am 38 … 39 in January. I want to live my life fully and as a very active healthy person. I do not want diabetes; nor do I want high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke …. And the list goes on - and I want to be able to play with my great-grand babies in my 80’s and 90’s. So I am looking to keep this body of mine around for another good 40 - 50 years.

I have as of last weeks weigh in lost a total of 16 lbs and 18 inches!!!! I want to dedicate this 1st 16 lbs to quitting smoking! Yes I kicked the habit - cold turkey 20 months ago. Being totally honest; I can be an emotional eater - so once the cigarettes were gone and I was stressed out it was replaced even more than ever with food. Not anymore because with letting these 16 pounds and cigarettes go… I am letting go of a lot more “stuff”.

I started smoking when I was 13 years old - yes 13! I just wanted to be cool and be accepted and have a group to hang with. The first cigarette I smoked I stole from Dad when we were living in Lake Tropicana. I t was a Marlboro Red - I wanted to try it by myself; so I wouldn’t get made fun of the 1st time I let up around “friends”. I swear I turned green and nearly vomited - it was so freaking gross; but I did it, and then another, and another - I was truly addicted. I tried quitting so many times over the years but I always found an excuse to go back to it. Not anymore - never will I smoke again.

So as I let go of this 1st 16 LBS - I let go of that girl that was seeking acceptance; because I accept her just as she is. I let go of the need to have a crutch as I go through life’s ups and downs… and just ride it out. Cigarettes or food have never ceased a worry from existing or stopped a problem.

I am so happy to be in this place in my life as it is coming fully into balance ! Mind ~ Body ~ Spirit

September 2010:

October 2011:

The Big 30 :).
by Chrissy Kellems Silvas on Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 9:30pm

Okay my next big milestone (mentally) is another 7 lbs away ~ but today I hit the 30 lb mark! Yes, I have lost a total of 30 lbs. I am especially proud of the last 5-6 lbs. Starting the last week of September things got so crazy! Ron & I went to KS City to get his stuff *road trip*, did a slight detour to Las Vegas and got married (Ha! Ha! Still love that - so not me! being a true Capricorn who tries plan every second of her life, but hey very few times in my life have I truly know when something was absolutely right - with no doubt, and in those moments I need to act). Then when we got home the 1st week of October we were buried in “house” stuff. Trying to close on a house in this economy was maddening! Then throw in a few conferences and a move ~ oiy! It is enough to drive anyone to the nearest Dairy Queen.

Any who ~ I have been a total stress ball and not following my typical diet and exercise routine and I still managed to lose another 6 lbs. I am so proud of myself for not taking the few indulgence over the top with all the “excuses” I could have found these past few weeks. I am not sure if I will make goal by my Birthday but I am giving it my best shot. I am super thankful for finally getting back into my routine this week.

So that’s it the latest update ~ Hope everyone has a terrific weekend!

The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall. ~ Standing tall and proud :-).

by Chrissy Kellems Silvas on Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 8:56pm

Today I hit a major milestone on my weight loss journey… as much as I am focused on the actual weight loss so much of this for me has been what that weight represented.

Today, I officially weigh the same amount I weighed in 2003. This is huge! 2003 to 2008 was one of the darkest periods in my life, I hit low points that I never knew existed. I have imagined writing this “note” during my work outs and what this truly symbolizes to me. The is my way of letting going of the fear, the anger, the guilt, and the sadness that I felt for those years. This is me letting go of those people that hurt my daughter, my “other” children, and myself and taking that power away and owning it again. Those years I stuffed my emotions and sought comfort and shelter in unhealthy habits. Even when I recognized what I was doing I was paralyzed by fear and felt just defeated by life and the choices I had made.

I now am able to look back and understand my time in the darkness and why I went through that period. If I could change it I would ; but I can’t so I accept it. I have let go of it; and this is what these pounds have been. I have lost 37 pounds since I started this , the last 21 lbs I dedicate to 2003-2008. I was in an unhealthy/abusive marriage; my daughter was rebelling due to how awful her home life was. It has been this past year that I have truly seen really positive changes in her. When we left PA in 2008 I really felt in so many ways I was escaping our deaths. I don’t know what would have happened if I wouldn’t have moved to the other side of the country. Where my daughter and I would be or how what type of condition we would have wound up in if we would have stayed in PA. I do know for certain is we had to leave, and time was running out very quickly for us I don’t care to discuss the particulars but I do give Glory to God for showing me the path I was meant to be on and a way to finally get back on that path.

I have truly seen God act in my life not only by keeping Heaven and I safe but the many blessing we have received. Everyday I wake and I am amazed about how different my life is in such a short period of time.

Things were a bit rocky when we first arrived in PNW; but I was able to find a terrific job just as the recession really took hold on the country. I learned how to stand firm with my daughter again and became the Mother she once knew but who had lost her way. This was met with resistant but in love I held firm.

At a time when I felt like I may be breaking I met the most wonderful man - my new husband. In the time that we have been together I have been the happiest in my life. I always wondered how did people know when things were really right - and people would just tell me “you just know“. I was always looking for signs - but now I need none because I just knew that this was just meant to be.

I still have a ways to go on this journey, more pounds to lose - more issues to face; but I am so excited because by doing this I am freeing myself; my heart; and my spirit.

The journey continues - understanding self forgiveness and self acceptance :-).
by Chrissy Kellems Silvas on Monday, March 28, 2011 at 8:43pm

Wow – what can I say I never thought losing the last 10 lbs would be so hard! I have been stuck on the last 8 for the past few months and it has been a struggle to maintain. This past week in 7 days I have ridden 126 miles on my bike taken a belly dancing class and did yoga? What gives will maybe the oatmeal- raisin - walnut cookies or the 2 glasses of wine? I guess that might do it.

I have been looking at my weight loss as a release of hurts and renewal of the soul. There are some hurts that you can never let go, my father’s death. It will hurt till the end of time; watching him as he aged so rapidly with his illness; watching him fight and then let go when he knew he had been beat. There is no amount of letting go that I can do to heal that wound on my soul, it will always be a part of me. I can and have let go of the anger and guilt – the anger I had towards him for getting sick and the guilt for feeling angry. Yes in all reality in some ways it was his “fault”; and I was angry with him for many years and felt guilty for how I felt . My parents “came of age” in the 60’s – hippies? My mother maybe? My father no just an addictive personality and a need to be a bad a** .

They played with drugs and alcohol; overtime my father became a dealer and a junkie. He was a heroin addict and a criminal. I have some pretty terrifying memories of my childhood; much like flash backs. In time we fled MI in order to avoid my father going to prison just like so many of his friends; and thanks to an awesome person he kicked his heroin habit before we left MI. My “Aunt” helped my Dad kick his habit, she sat with him and helped him go through withdraws which took significant amount of strength and compassion for another human being. Over the years my parents divorced; my mother left; my father fought more addictions and won.

By my senior year in high school we finally had somewhat of a normal life. It really didn’t get there until my Dad and Step-mom moved to PGH. My Dad with the help of Grandma found his faith. He was truly the perfect example of a the lost sheep that was found. He worked closely with the prison ministry outreach programs; and worked in the projects of PGH and used everything he did and lived through as a testament to God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. He didn’t try to sugar coat his sins – he laid them out there on the table and God used them to reach others.

There we were, we finally achieved a “normal” family! My Dad was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. Just a little something left over from the days of being a junkie – dirty needles. My Dad fought a good fight for 5 years; he did all the treatments, had a liver transplant and more treatments. My step-mom, my sisters, and sister-in-law, and myself worked closely to get him to appointment and to help out in anyway. It was hard to watch the big, strong –larger than life person just shrink before your eyes and need your help. There was some good times amongst all of those Doctors appointments; I am honored that I got to help care for my father.

I was angry with my Dad for his habits and the choices he made that gave him the Hep C… but he was in his 20’s and he was making a ton of mistakes and he was nothing more than a mere human being. Just like I am – I have made huge mistakes over the years and will probably make at least a few more in my life time. I can’t even say I forgive him because there is nothing to forgive. I do forgive myself for being angry. I needed that anger to help me get through my loss, to give me strength to carry on.

In many ways my Dad was the only parent I ever had; him and my brother are the only two “constant” things in my life everyone else came and went and couldn’t be relied on. I remember when my Dad told me he had been removed from the liver transplant waiting list because he was too ill (waiting on a 2nd liver) that was his death sentenced we both knew it. I just looked at him and told him he was my everything… and that was the last real conversation I had with him. That night my step-mom had to admit him to the hospital. He mind went very quickly as he blood went sepsis and then he was medicated heavily until he passed a few days later. I’ll never forget my sister singing Amazing Grace to my Dad day as he slept on in ICU; it was beautiful and one of my Dad’s favorites.

The day my father passed away my biological mother was diagnosed with Hepatitis C too. Her body seems to be handling it much better and it is still dormant as far as I know. I wish her the very best but it is not the same thing as losing my parent. I lost her many times throughout my life starting at the age of 6 months; this past time was my choice to stop chasing a fantasy and just to be thankful for everything God has given me. A diverse and unique family where love is the key requirement to be a member; a unique background which allows me to see outside of the narrow world which I want to live in; and a sense of grace and forgiveness for all of us including myself.

So these last 10 pounds will come in time yet there is other ways to measure success – my endurance on the bike; the way I feel; my heart rate while working out; the way clothes fit and what size I am wearing - my body fat percentage (which is finally in the health range @ 30%, just barely there but there!) my waist size from a size 37 to a size 26 (11 inches!!). Losing a total of 43 lbs and still counting.

Most importantly is how I feel about myself and the choices I have made in my life. I feel like me – healthy, happy, and whole. Life has a way of beating us down if it is allowed to; we internalize all the negativity and we do not have to. Happiness is a choice, just like anger, and guilt. Forgiveness is a choice just like locking away all of our feeling or silencing that inner voice that knows the truth. I plan on living – just that living and being true to me.

Thank you for reading and supporting me as I move along this journey. I plan on doing my 1st bike ride next month the Tulip Pedal (40 mile loop) and then participating in one a month while I train for a Centurion ride on July 30 – Tour de Whatcom 107 mile loop around Whatcom County. Technically that should only take 7 hours ;-) what a Saturday that will be!

April 2011:

May 2011:

July 2011:

Tour de Whatcom! 105 MILES - I so totally rock!
I worked so hard to get there - I imagined this ride so many times.... just playing it over and over in my head. It was brutal! I see errors in my training, I wanted to quit! I pushed on. At the mid point I am out of water and almost out of might! I pushed on to the next rest stop ... I was so close to home, I could have been there with ice cold water quicker than the rest stop. I text my husband who is waiting at the last rest point ... tell him to go on without me, I may not make it. Ha! he says he will wait for how ever long it takes because I will make it! Knowing that man did the 25 mile loop just to encourage me and to ride in with me made me push on.

The ladies at the rest stop were awesome! Filled my water, got me snacks ... and gave me tons of encouragement! And I made it ... passed the last rest stop .. it was on the downhill totally missed it! But my husband realized it was me flying down the hill and caught up with me. I had at least one more break down but I finished in 8 hours! I am so proud of this accomplishment, and next year I will train for the Seattle to Vancouver ride! I will ride it in and make it to Vancouver!

TURTLE TOTEM my new Tattoo.
by Chrissy Kellems Silvas on Saturday, August 13, 2011 at 9:11am

I got my tattoo in honor of my 1st century ride ... my little turtle has been with me since last summer ... as I kept telling myself "Slow and Steady"

Turtle is the oldest symbol for the Earth.

It is the personification of goddess energy and the eternal
Earth itself. If you have a Turtle totem, you must be mindful of returning to the Earth what she has given you. Honor the creative source within you.
Use water and earth energies to create a harmonious flow in your life.
Ask the Earth for assistance and her riches will pour forth.

If a Turtle totem shows up in your life, slow down the pace of your life.
Bigger, stronger, faster are not always the best ways to reach your goals.

Turtle is fine teacher of the art of grounding. When you learn to ground yourself to Earth's power and strength, you place focus on your thoughts and actions and use the Earth's limitless energies rather than your own to accomplish your will.

Turtle is the keeper of doors and one of the ways into the Faerie Realm.

Today ~

The other night I was asked about my "goal" weight and I tried to explain is was no longer about the "weight" I have a ton of muscles, my legs are awesome but my lower back and ab's need work. Not to look good but to support my core during long bike rides, I am focusing on yoga to help with flexibility due to the amount of time I spend in the saddle. Winter is coming I need cardio so I am checking out local dance classes... it is now all about health and training my body to hit the goals I have set. I want to hire a cycle trainer to help me get ready for next years big ride. I will never be at my "goal" weight because that number is no more... but I will always be training and find my release from the days heart aches, problems, and stresses in working my body hard.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow, what a journey you have been on! Thank you so much for sharing this with others. You will bring hope and inspiration to many here!
    Keep on riding....that is a good addiction! emoticon
    2211 days ago
  • CHRISSY-50
    Thank you to each of you for your kind words and encouragement.

    My journey has truly just begun. I realized in 2008 when I walked away from all of my "material" baggage tied up in an very unhappy life with the only things that matter (my daughter, and the furry kids (3cats & a dog) that I get to create my life. I choose to create a happy, healthy, and balanced life.

    I come from a long line of emotional eaters and addicts. The only way I knew to change my eating habits and my life was to deal with the emotions and the addictions. I also believe I was "addicted" to the drama. Drama was all I knew ... my whole life I had been buried in drama. This is a choice and it was hard because friends who had been attracted to the drama seem to disappear but then you attract new friends who seek balance.

    In the 3 years of giving up everything for my "freedom" I have been able to create beautiful life that I could only imagine and one of the most beautiful things is the ability to love myself and to show myself love by providing healthy food, a physical outlet - I feel so free when riding - and the realization that my job allows me to live the life I want, it is not who I am - I can be a good friend/sister/mother etc without being part of the "drama" and sometimes just listening is the best guidance I can provide.

    Thank you all - wish you all a joyous day!
    2364 days ago
    What a story! You are a tough cookie. You have done great job.

    "Weight loss is more than inches.. pounds.. and the "physical body" it is something one experience's with the Mind, Body, and Spirit ~ "

    Getting a cycling program is the same, Mind Body and Spirit. So is life.

    I can understand the hurdles we have faced in life. We all face those in one way or another. Compassion is developed from suffering.

    This blog has more content, it must have been like dumping 20 lbs.

    You are appreciated.
    2364 days ago
    What a strong and beautiful soul you are. You are so right, it is all about balance: mind, body and soul. The trick is to keep it all in balance without neglecting a portion of the equation. Biking makes me feel "free". Yoga/meditation helps me search for answers and directions and my faith in God strengthens my soul. You have had such an amazing journey and so much wisdom to offer.
    2364 days ago
    Wow! Thx so much for sharing your journey and the wisdom you have gained as you lost your pounds! I especially related to: "I have been looking at my weight loss as a release of hurts and renewal of the soul. There are some hurts that you can never let go."

    I remember last year how wonderful it felt when I rode the MS City to Shore from Cherry Hill to Ocean City, NJ and back... 175 miles in two days...100 the first and 75 the 2nd. There isn't anything that compares to that feeling of accomplishment!

    Keep those wheels turning in EVERY which way!

    2364 days ago
    What am amazing journey! You are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your blog link on the biking group.

    Many blessings
    2364 days ago
    Congtratulations on your miraculous journey..mine is just beginning...I won't say you can do it, but rather, you do realize 'you have done it!!' have changed your life, your habits, your being and your focus..for that I say, "great job"..
    2365 days ago
    Congratulations. Kep focused for success. You can do it. Go for it.
    2365 days ago
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