Distractions are all around us. No matter where you look, they are out there. Waiting for you. When I was talking to a friend earlier today about an unrelated topic, she pointed out the obvious. I need to focus, and to help me to do this, I need to be keeping my eyes on the prize.
In the business world, I am seen as a bit confusing, as I have been told I am too diversified. When we talked about this, I explained that I thought it was what I was supposed to be doing, because the moment I declared that my jewellery business, Tish MacWebber Always Blinging would now be officially a hobby for me, someone wanted to buy Book Bling. I took it as a sign, telling me that I was right all along. I thought it meant to keep pushing forward, full speed ahead in all areas.
My friend wisely pointed out I misinterpreted the sign. It wasn’t telling me to keep doing all of the things, but rather, testing my declaration.
Hang on there.
Maybe I was wrong.
In that moment, I realized she was right. The sign wasn’t a sign at all. It was a distraction.
How many times have you misinterpreted a sign?
I can assure you, it is very easy to do. One minute you are feeling great about the choices you have made for the food you have eaten so far that day and the next minute you are looking at the tub of ice cream in your freezer. You didn’t open the freezer to get ice cream, but now that it is staring you in the face, it is the only reason you should have opened the freezer.
Or is it?
What you really opened the freezer for was to get the bag of frozen broccoli out to thaw because you want to make a casserole, and one of the ingredients is broccoli.
But the ice cream is just there. Screaming at you. Insisting that it needs you to eat it right now, so that you can get the instant gratification it always gives you. You imagine yourself eating all of the ice cream, and how happy you will be.
Until you realize that you ate it all and feel awful because you were doing so well and the ice cream DISTRACTED you from your goal. Oh, it is sneaky and mean and it wants you to eat it all every time you open the freezer.
So do you lock the freezer and never open it again?
You could. It is not the practical choice, and truthfully it is not very realistic.
Should you declare to never ever buy ice cream again?
Maybe. But we all know the second you do, your favourite flavour is going to be on an incredible sale the very next time you walk into the grocery store.
What is the right answer?
When I open the freezer, I need to focus on the broccoli. The ice cream is only going to be a temporary distraction. Ice cream has its time and place, as a treat, not as an everyday splash into guilty pleasures. As much as I love a bowl of ice cream, I need to remember that I am on a new path where I am being kind to myself.
I need to love myself more than I love ice cream
That right there is a bold statement. The love I have for ice cream is right up there with lobster and pizza. It includes chocolate. To be perfectly honest, there aren’t many foods which I don’t love. The struggle is most certainly real, and when you put broccoli up against ice cream, the broccoli doesn’t stand a chance if I am not committed to my goals.
Broccoli has one thing going for it in this equation. Me. If I choose to get the broccoli and continue making the casserole, I will be preparing a meal which can be the reason I open the freezer for. Healthy food is how I show myself kindness. I need to focus on the short term goals to be able to claim the prize I am aiming for.
I know I will falter from time to time. Being human means I am not perfect, and I will make mistakes. I will be tested and distracted. The point is to not stay there. If you picked up the tub of ice cream because it was on sale, it is going to be there until you eat it. Unless you need to eat your feelings, which is never the positive choice to make but might happen if you get dumped or fired, it is not going to go bad before you eat it. It can stay right where it is because it will be there when you do decide that you want a bowl of ice cream as a treat.
Indulgences are a privilege of being an adult
You are your own boss of your life. So get the broccoli out of the freezer, close the door and act like it. Set your goals, keep your eyes on the prize and focus.
As I am writing, I am also recognizing that I have steadily lost a pound or two in the last few weeks. I weighed in at 313.6 pounds yesterday. I am getting closer to taking the new picture for this blog, the one where I show myself and the world I can and will reach my goals, one pound at a time.
I have had a few things on the go in the last few weeks, and I wasn’t sure how to tackle this story until the night before last. What I have been working on includes one part of the journey is from my childhood.
I call it the salt cod incident.
If you have never eaten salt cod, I consider you among a lucky group of people. In my opinion, salt cod is gross, and it was in our meal rotation when I was a child.
I have shared that I would strive to be the first one to clean my plate at the supper table to get the desired dessert. It became my thing. To me, it was a daily reward for something I could do well. When I would ask what was for dessert and I was told to have fruit, I felt disappointment. I would still eat it, but it didn’t qualify as dessert to me, when I was a kid.
One night, I was about four, we had company for supper. And salt cod was the protein on my plate. There was not enough green tomato chow in the world to cover the taste of the salt cod.
I made a plan.
My four year old self wanted to get dessert. She also did not want to eat the salt cod. She decided that she would stuff as much of the salt cod as she could into her cheeks, go to the bathroom and spit the fish into the toilet. Really creative for a four year old, when I think back to it.
My parents were not fooled by the chipmunk cheeks. I was not allowed to go to the bathroom. Instead, I was taken to a bedroom and yelled at to swallow my supper. I defiantly yelled, “No!” for as long as I could stand to. I was having a battle of wills with my father. He was rightly concerned that I would choke on the fish if I kept stuffing it into my cheeks without swallowing it. We also did not waste food in my home.
Eventually, a tearful four year old returned to the kitchen table to finish her supper.
Why am I sharing this story?
In the VIBE Method of Emotional Weight Release with Coach Elaine, we work on the emotional side of our journey. After having a breakthrough in August, and continuing to work while learning the VIBE Method, things are looking better than they have in a really long time.
A few weeks ago, it looked like I had lost a significant amount of weight. As a result, I am not focusing on the fluctuations right now. Instead, I am focusing on being kind to myself, and making smarter choices. I no longer eat quickly. Dessert isn’t an option every evening. I am not letting food determine how I plan my day. (This is HUGE for me).
After I expressed the feelings of turmoil, I participated in a private coaching session. When the weight climbed up higher on the scale, I wasn’t sure I handled week three the way I was supposed to. I knew I would need help to find out why I felt like things were in turmoil. I used this word to describe how I was feeling in week four. It was our last week, and I didn’t understand why I felt that way.
We started what was supposed to be a 45 minute session with my uncertainty. I shared this with Coach Elaine, and she wanted to run through all four weeks in a recap with me. Not in the detail of each week as we worked in the group, but to review what I had worked on to find out where the bump in the road was.
Putting it all together
After our two hour long additional coaching session, I am really glad we scheduled an extra session. It was the right thing for me to do, to ask for help.
Upon further reflection and discovery, we worked through one of the processes again. I realized that when I was four, the battle of the wills was when I started feeling like I wasn’t being HEARD. I was screaming, but what I had to say didn’t matter, because in this instance, I was wrong. When I have something to say, I give up when someone is not listening to me. This is something I am working on.
I wouldn’t say I have ever lost my voice, however I have had to learn how to speak louder so that I can be heard, and more importantly, taken seriously. For this to be effective, I have to believe in myself.
During our coaching session, the words VALUE and WORTHY became a part of the conversation. I needed to explore why the salt cod incident was so prominent in my mind. We were working with the first memory we had when our feelings weren’t validated.
The screaming match is what I remembered. Not that it was abusive, not that it was meant to hurt me, but because what I was expressing was not being treated as a valid reason for what I was trying to do.
Where does the dream come into the picture?
The night before last, I had a dream. It was what I was waiting for to help me to write this entry. I was dreaming that I managed to spend time with a movie star. I won’t put a name to him, I will leave it to your imagination. He was telling me that he wished I wasn’t married.
Even in my dreams, I remain loyal to my husband. I have had other dreams, and I always put a stop to things before they get carried away, even in my subconscious mind. I love my husband so much, I couldn’t ever dream of cheating on him. Not even with a movie star.
This movie star was put into the friend zone, in my dream. The next part of my dream had me telling Roy that I was elated because this movie star found me desirable. Worthy of wanting a relationship with. We were talking about my feelings, and the word JOY came to my mind. I was feeling absolute joy that someone other than my husband found value in having a conversation with me. The next words I received were: Isn’t it obvious? Everything was clicking into place. The work I have been doing in my conscious mind has crossed into my subconscious and into my dreams.
Before I woke up, Roy and I were trying to find this movie star at the end of my dream. Roy was helping me because I really wanted to express my gratitude to him for the messages I was receiving. I woke up before I was able to complete this, but it wasn’t a necessary step for my own progress. I got the message.
What I have to say does have value.I am worthyof love, just as I am.
I may not have all the answers, but I am open to the messages I need to receive to be able to grow as a person and make the changes I need to reflect on the outside the work I am doing on the inside.
I need to clarify that my recent success is not as good as it appeared to be last week. I knew something was off on the scale, and I tried to believe it was true. It happened at least once before. My scale had a false reading. One I happened to take a picture of, coincidentally, but I have not lost as much weight as I thought I did. Which is both more realistic in terms of healthy weight loss, and beyond frustrating, simultaneously. The last time I checked I weighed in at 313.1 pounds. Still better than July, but not as good as it looked last Friday.
In the second week of working with Coach Elaine, I have not been as diligent. I did what I always do when I have success. I listened to the inner gremlin, which I previously wrote about in Part 56 of the Trust Your Gut category. It convinced me that I didn’t have to be so strict with what I was eating. Old habits creep in when I am doing well, which is why I have such a hard time finding success.
Self-Sabotaging Only Hurts Me
To understand why this happens, I fear I might have to go really deep inside. This inner reflection will take time, more time than I have if I want to publish on time this week. I have begun the process, and I have seen the results. They are positive. So why do I slip up every time I get something good going for myself? This is something I feel a lot of people like me struggle with.
It’s like when you need to take medication all of the time, and when you do, you feel better, so you stop taking the medication. First, it is never advisable to stop taking medicine without medical supervision. Second, for most situations, this does not allow you to continue to feel better because the medicine is the reason you were feeling better in the first place. The medicine as a general rule does not make anyone sick, it makes you better. I do understand this is a general rule and does not apply to every circumstance. Consequently, when you stop doing things that make you feel better, you relapse or feel worse than you did before you started.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. ALWAYS check with your doctor before making any changes regarding your health. I also realize that side effects can sometimes seem worse than the disease. I am not advising anyone to make any decisions about their own health without discussing all of the options with their doctor, or without being your own advocate for your own health without including medical professionals in that discussion.
When I take this concept, which usually refers to the treatment of mental health, or taking antibiotics for less than the prescribed number of days, and compare it to people like me who are morbidly obese, there are similarities. I slipped and got back into old habits last week. More fast food came in. It is like I am testing my body to find out how much it can take before I start putting on weight again, to fail at this healthy lifestyle.
When I slip up, the inner gremlin laughs delightedly.
Maybe that is why I hear ringing in my ears constantly. I am kidding; although I do have tinnitus, and it is another irritation I am contending with. Will I turn down my music when I bounce the house? Not a chance. I love music, and the louder it is, the more I love it. Maybe it is so I can’t actually hear myself singing along. Whatever the reason, I will always crank the tunes when I am listening to them. My hearing is not suffering that I can tell, so I will keep on the way I always have.
What I do mean is that when I slip up and make poor choices, misery loves company, as the saying goes. One poor choice is not so bad, and then I make another one. Before I know it, I have picked the easy way more than the healthy way, and the inner gremlin is cheering me on! When it is in charge, I don’t make the right choices. When I don’t make the right choices, I am not being kind to myself. Which I learned last week, is something I need to learn how to do better. When you don’t know why you make poor choices, it is harder to convince yourself to make better ones.
And when you do choose to be kind to yourself, and you are kind to yourself, the inner gremlin is threatened. It starts acting up and throwing temper tantrums like wild cravings into your mind, and the next thing you know, you give in and go to the nearest drive-thru. Because it is easier to feed the cravings and the inner gremlin than it is to be kind to yourself and make the right choices.
How does this all fit in with what I am doing?
In Trust Your Gut Part 56, the one linked above, I wrote about looking at myself in the mirror. As my week 2 takeaway from the VIBE method created by Coach Elaine, I decided that I was going to practice looking at myself with love when I look into my own eyes in the mirror. I want to see me, not a morbidly obese person with type 2 diabetes, just me, a person who is worthy of love.
In the session, I talked about how I feel when my husband looks into my eyes. He has always looked at me as a person, and it was one of the first things I found attracting me to him early in our relationship. It stayed with me from then and still does, as something we have always been able to do, to be connected to each other by looking into each other’s eyes.
It has been such a profound feeling for me while being in a relationship with him, that I wrote about it in the song I wrote for our wedding. (Don’t worry, I didn’t sing it for him). When I think about how our relationship started, and how we have managed to be together for 25 years, 9 of them married, I know the love I see in his eyes when he looks at me funny holds the answer.
As long as I keep trying to do better, I am winning. Maybe not on the scale every single week, but certainly in my heart, where it counts the most.
This week I will do better.
Yes, it is Thanksgiving on Monday here, in Canada, so I am not going to have a perfect week. I will indulge, eat too much, and try not to regret too many food choices. The food will be homemade, not fast food, shared with family in combination with spending time together. I may not have pie with every meal, but I may have some in moderation. Followed by a short walk if the weather cooperates.
I challenge you to look into your own eyes with kindness and love, to start healing yourself in your heart and soul. Seriously, take a look in the mirror without judgement, criticism or hate. Leave the inner gremlin under your foot on the floor, where it belongs. It doesn’t love you. You do, and you need to let yourself know that you are beautiful from the inside out. When you do this often enough, it will not only become a good habit, but you will start to see changes. A phrase came to me in my sleep a few weeks ago, and I didn’t know what it meant. I think it belongs here.
Be Your Own Inside Out
Find the love in your heart and treasure it until it grows so big you can’t keep it inside anymore. Let it radiate and glow, to be seen by and shared with everyone you meet. I am seeing this in different areas of my own life, and because I know it to be true, I know it is something we all can do. I believe in you. Start with yourself.
Since I last wrote a Trust Your Gut blog entry, I have been trying new things. I imagine myself to be lighter before I step on the scale. You might say I am manifesting through God, a lighter, healthier version of myself. I imagine all of the negativity that I keep within my body in the form of weight to be released.
To my complete and total shock, it is working.
Not only am I doing this, but I have started a month-long journey in a group coach setting. We meet in an online Zoom room, and Coach Elaine guides our sessions. There are also followup emails and activities for us to work on for the rest of the week.
To my complete and total shock, it is working.
We are learning how to use her VIBE method to help us achieve emotional weight loss. It is Coach Elaine’s own program, and it doesn’t involve a diet. Of course, she encourages to work on building healthy habits, but the focus is not on food.
The focus is on our emotions. We talk about feelings and share our emotional responses within the group. As there is a confidentiality agreement, I may only share my own experiences here.
I made some promises to myself when I started writing this blog category.
If you have been reading as I have been writing, you know I decided a long time ago that I wanted to mark significant goals in my journey. Specific rewards for becoming a healthier version of myself. With chocolate. Not the kind you eat. Chocolate diamonds, and a chocolate brown coloured dog. Things I really want to do for myself.
When my weight drops below 300 pounds, I will take a new picture of my feet on the scale, to celebrate my success.
When I got home from vacation in July, I had let the weight creep up to 326 pounds. It was at this time I decided to work towards Twoville and take a picture when I got there.
Other than one week since then, I have been watching the numbers on the scale drop. I am making healthier choices. Drinking less regular pop, drinking more water. Eating more Trim Healthy Mama recipes for lunch. When I am eating out, I try to compromise with a balanced meal instead of a carb-heavy meal.
My focus is not only on food, anymore.
When you change how you think about food, and stop obsessing about it, changes are bound to happen.
I am not letting food dictate my days any more. I do eat, but I am finding joy in other areas of my life, instead of trying to capture it in every bite.
There are two possible outcomes as a result of what I am doing. If I completely stop caring about what I eat and eat whatever I want all of the time, I would not see the weight going down. I am happy to say that I am seeing the other result. My weight is going down because I am thinking about my food in terms of choices, rather than obsessing about it and what I am going to eat next.
I am working on me, as I have been all year. This involves many appointments and a huge learning curve in some areas. One of the things I have started doing since working with Coach Elaine is to start being kind to myself.
What does it mean?
Being kind to myself involves making choices which are positively going to reflect on me as a person. It does not mean always taking the easy route, in fact, it involves pushing my limits, within reason. For example, it means I set aside the time to cook a healthy casserole for my lunches. The time it takes to cook meals is not always what I want to schedule. However, if I make the choice to do this for myself, I will have easy lunches for several days. I am choosing to invest time into something which is important. Something which allows me to not waste time or energy finding another choice for lunch which would not always be healthy.
It also means choosing to walk more, to try to be more active. In the last few weeks, I have started telling my husband that I am walking to the next store we need to go to, rather than driving there. I am making a conscious effort to add more steps into my day, as I found my smart band, and I am remembering to put it on.
Most importantly, I am not holding on to negativity. I am looking at the positive side of everything I can and reflecting it outward. It means I am choosing what is going to positively benefit me and my health, not what is going to give me an instant gratification which would always bring along guilt and shame with it. This is what I believe I am doing to be kind to myself, and to my complete and total shock, it is working.
I am seeing results from my work.
I have lost 23.5 lbs since July 10th, which means I am almost ready to take a new picture of my weight for this blog. Now that I am actually seeing results, I am excited to keep working on my health. In fact, I released 8.5 lbs since my second session with Coach Elaine two days ago, and I had lost 4.9 lbs in the previous week. I usually weigh myself on Wednesdays. When I weigh again on Fridays, I have noticed that I am seeing amazing results. It makes me want to follow this trend to see if I keep losing weight on Fridays. I don’t know if it is because of the training I am doing on Wednesdays which is helping the weight loss, or if it is something that will continue when I am done the program.
I damn near fell off the scale when I saw my weight today. 302.5 lbs! As I have signed up for an accountability group with a small prize for the top three weight losses in the next 3 months, I was only getting on the scale to get a picture of my weight for the contest. If I didn’t take the picture, I don’t think I would even believe I saw that number on the scale today. The changes I am making are adding up to be positive experiences, even if they require me to work on myself to get to the other side. With results like these, I would be foolish to stop.
Next week I will share what I decided to do this week after my session with our group led by Coach Elaine. It relates to a similar topic I have written about before, but it steps it up to be a whole new level of how I look at myself.
Until then, if you have any thoughts about this post, I would love to read them.
Just over a month ago, I had a breakthrough. Which I shared here with you, and I have to say, it is still having an impact. After gaining a few pounds (okay like 5) since I wrote that post, I am recovering by losing, even more, this week.
The scale was at 322.7 last week. Ugh. Having the breakthrough and seeing 318.1 the previous week was so encouraging! I was sure I unlocked the secret to weight loss for me. Then I went back up. I didn’t give up, though. The breakthrough was powerful, so I kept working, and when I got on the scale this week, I weighed in at 317.6.
I know I am doing something right.
A choice that is helping is that I stopped buying ice cream. Summer is over, so that is a logical choice. I was still tempted when I ran out to pick up a few things. I know this will be an ongoing struggle for me, however this time I didn’t give in. It helped that there weren’t as many sales in the ice cream section for sure.
Cooking For Two
When I am planning what to cook, it is hard to balance what I am going to eat with what my husband wants to eat. He is not a fan of the healthier lifestyle I am working on, so he sometimes has opinions which don’t make me feel good about what I have cooked. Some recipes he likes. Others are not an option for future meals.
He doesn’t mean any harm, but he is a fussy eater at times who does tell me when he does not like something. Radishes in the beef stew were not something he wants to experience again. He wants potatoes. I can accept that. He tried it.
When I overcooked the asparagus in the oven, he surprised me. He liked it because it was crunchy. I could make that again, and he would eat it. He doesn’t speak his mind about not liking what I make very often if I am being honest. After being together for more than 25 years, and married for 9 of them, I do know how to cook the food he likes.
The trick is in the compromise. If he says he likes something enough to eat it again, I ask him what frequency he would like to see it in our meal planning. Every two weeks is a common answer, sometimes once a month means he isn’t a huge fan, but he would eat it again.
Head Games Can Be Positive
Remember the start of the blog today, when I was referring to the breakthrough I shared in a previous blog? If you missed it, here it is. I wrote about not knowing how to deal with negativity. I am working on making healthier choices, of course, but it isn’t the only thing that is working.
Tuesday night, I tried to think about the breakthrough, and about letting go, and imagining myself feeling lighter. I had a loss on the scale the next morning. It worked. Is there a scientific explanation for this? I am trying to incorporate this lighter feeling into every day. It is about letting go of things that are weighing me down. I know there are other factors involved in the number I am seeing on the scale, but this is new territory for me, and I am open to working on it, especially if I keep seeing positive results.
When I saw the number on the scale, I was pleasantly surprised. While I am making better food choices, they aren’t always the best all the time. We have been snacking on chips and dip. We both know that there are healthier choices, but sometimes you have to give in to a craving, to get it out of your system.
The chips and dip are all gone. We are going to avoid buying them for a while. This is something we are working on, keeping less junk food in the house. Lowering our regular pop intake. Drinking more water, and I am choosing Zevia when I can for the pop cravings.
Can It Really Be This Easy?
I am going to find out. This journey comes with all sorts of twists and turns as well as ups and downs. I know that realistically I am not going to think away the weight. I realize that sometimes the scale is not going to show a loss and that there are plateaus and gains in my future.
But what if I can increase my chances of success by imagining myself as a little bit lighter, every day? It won’t hurt to give this method a try, to see what I can accomplish by trying a new tactic. A positive mindset is an important tool in anything you do, so why not apply it to the biggest struggle of my life? Focusing on myself feeling better, lighter and weighing less might just be what I need to tip the scale in my favour for real. I wrote that I was ready a few weeks ago. Now I am open to the possibility of change.
What do you think about this? Have you ever tried this method? Did it work for you? Let me know, I am curious to see if this breakthrough is a solo act or if it can be a group effort.
This week, I am reminding myself that minor setbacks are minor. I gained a couple of pounds after losing for a few weeks in a row. It is going to happen, and that is a fact of life. Fluids are going to be retained, no matter what plan you are on.
I am writing today to let you all know that I am still on the right path, even if I slipped a little. Some junk food made it into the house, and I am certain it is what caused this minor setback. It is okay, as long as I make a recovery plan.
It is summer. Ice cream.
I am human, and I will sometimes go for the ice cream. The trick is to make it a treat, and not an everyday event. I got bagels and cream cheese. I do like bagels and cream cheese and want them from time to time. It is better for the budget to buy them at the grocery store than at a cafe. I will do this from time to time. It is okay.
What isn’t okay is throwing my hands up into the air in a sign of defeat.
We all have those moments. The days when everything is going wrong and all you want to do is go get some fast food to make one thing easier on ourselves. Guess what? It isn’t true. If you give in, you are giving up on yourself when it becomes a pattern. If you get fast food every time things are not going well, it is going to become a bad habit, with some nasty side effects.
You will feel bloated, and you will retain fluid. Then you will get on the scale, and see it went up. What a nasty cycle of negativity.
One reason why I do not weigh myself every day is that I would become obsessed with my weight. It is not a healthy obsession, for me. It can cause a spiral of events that would have terrible side effects. Always wearing black clothes, and avoiding social events. When you don’t feel good about yourself, you want to hide. In case you haven’t learned this about me yet, hiding is not something I want to excel at.
While it is okay to have that treat once in a while, it is not okay to have treats every day, or more than once a day. Unless that treat is a salad. Fill up on healthy foods, and more than once a day is acceptable for healthy food choices.
What is working
I have been drinking a lot less pop, or for the south of the border readers, soda. I still have one every so often, but I am getting it less frequently than ever before. We are drinking more water, and of course, I am drinking coffee. I sometimes have a cold-brewed coffee or an iced coffee, and these beverages can be sugar-free. If I choose iced tea, it may or may not have sugar, depending on which one I choose.
I have cooked a bunch of boneless skinless chicken breasts today.
When I bake them in the oven, with greek and feta salad dressing, there are a variety of ways to make meals with chicken. I can then add it to a garden or pasta salad, casseroles( my favourite recipe is here) or make my own version of Buffalo chicken nachos. Not being a fan of anything super spicy, I add a smoky or hickory BBQ sauce and blue cheese dressing in place of the salsa and sour cream. Of course, I add chicken, tomato and green onion, but you can adapt nachos to include whatever options you prefer. It makes a nice change from ordinary nachos, and I haven’t made them often lately, but I do love my nachos. As long as they are mild.
When it comes to making casseroles, I stick to the Trim Healthy Mama recipes. They are found on their website, but if you search for them, many bloggers make their own THM recipes, and they are really great. I do need to focus more on cooking at home, and I have started.
What can you do?
It all goes back to doing what works for you. If you don’t know what that is yet, it might be time to try something new. I recommend checking with your doctor before making any serious dietary changes, to be on the safe side. Keto is really popular right now, but as a type 2 diabetic, I cannot eliminate carbs. That is exactly why THM is working for me, it is low carb, not no carb. I do not buy their products, except for the first book, I bought a while ago. I would buy all of their cookbooks before ordering their products. They do sell high-quality products, and I have no qualms about them. My reasons are that if I can find similar products locally, I will try to go that route first.
If you can make your meals at home, from scratch, it will make a difference in your health. I do enjoy cooking. The cleanup, not so much. Certain foods are optimal to batch cook to have leftovers, such as the chicken I cooked today. It will help me make better meal choices because it is ready to use. If I prepare food and have it ready to grab when I need it, I make healthier choices, and I do see results. If you aren’t a fan of buying chicken breasts in bulk, you can buy a whole chicken, and roast it in your oven or slow cooker with this recipe.
Start with one meal a day.
With THM, they recommend you start with breakfast. I am currently eating a smoothie bowl breakfast almost every day. A small container of yogurt, a small container of unsweetened applesauce and a raisin, nuts and seeds mix all together. I have been adding 20 almonds as well since we had bought some on sale and I want to use them up. There are plenty of other options out there, I also like eggs and avocado for breakfast. When I have too many meals in a row without carbs, I do notice a difference. So, I mix them up, to make things balance better for me. I choose to eat Silver Hills sprouted wheat bread. It is not on the plan, but I still use it. I like it, and that is important, too.
What changes can you implement to start your path or add variety to your journey to become a healthier version of yourself? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I am curious, and always looking for new ideas.
Hi. It has been over a month since I last wrote anything at all in my blog. For those of you who have been patiently waiting for me to return, thank you. July has been a difficult month, along with being the good kind of busy. I am ready to start writing here again.
Yes, it is usually Thursday when I post, and it is in the wee minutes past midnight here; technically it is Friday. I have something to write about, and I don’t want to wait another week.
You see, the difficult part for me in July revolved around what I am calling the plague. Both Roy & I have been fighting it and we are finally starting to feel better. We aren’t at full health yet (gamer reference for the geeks out there), but we aren’t fighting brain fog from being sick anymore. The summer cold, sore throat, plague whatever we are fighting is a nasty bug.
While we were so sick, we realized that our water cooler had green stuff growing in it. Likely algae, possibly mold; needless to say, we stopped using it. I made an appointment with our doctor to verify if the antibiotics we were taking from a previous appointment were sufficient after this discovery. She advised that with no noticeable GI side effects, to stop drinking the contaminated water, we would be okay.
Even Jazzy, our new kitten was on medication in July.
Our going concern was hard to contain after she was spayed. Jazzy is a delight in our home but was so unaware of her surgery. She needed time to recover. The active kitten she is had ripped her stitches which caused her scar to become infected. So all three of us were sick and on antibiotics in July. It was indeed a difficult month.
With all the illness in our home, it does not surprise me that I had good news on the scale. The up and down battle is finally going in the right direction again. When I had gone on vacation, I peaked at around 326 lbs. This week, I weighed in at 318.5 lbs. I am working hard to keep this going in the right direction this time. I am making some changes.
My journey is leading me down a path of self-discovery.
It is no secret that I have been working on myself for a while now. I am trying to improve my life in terms of my health, self-confidence, and building healthy habits as I do the work. One thing I am doing is taking part in a challenge recommended by some friends. While all of the material is not all new to me, I have made some discoveries about myself while doing the work.
I was bullied as a child, and at different times throughout my whole life. Since I am an emotional person, and I have written before about eating my feelings, I have already shared my thoughts about this subject. You don’t get to be morbidly obese because you have normal eating habits. Something is broken inside of people like me who are more than overweight. It could be related to another health issue, but chances are, if you eat your feelings, it is because you are not dealing with the real issue.
As I am working on my own backstory for the challenge, which is called The Unstoppable Influence Challenge, I watch videos, and do assignments related to what I am learning. I made several discoveries, one of which I am going to share here.
When I met Roy, my husband, I was damaged goods.
He has never seen me skinny. I have been overweight, and that has progressed to being morbidly obese in the 25 years we have been together. We will be celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary in under a month. I had put on weight after having mononucleosis and tonsillitis in my first year of university, and we met the following year.
After being so sick, I had to make sure I was eating, especially because of the sore throat, and I did. As a child, I would eat my meals quickly to be the first one done to get dessert. My sisters were picky eaters, I was not. Eating was something I became very good at, in a home where we strived for approval to be good all of the time. My parents raised us well, and we were good kids. My stubborn streak is something I come by honestly, and I wasn’t a perfect child, but we all turned out to be decent human beings.
I realized something else while I wrote my backstory.
When we started dating, I told Roy that I had a protective shell around my heart, and he was patient enough to wait for me to let him inside as we fell in love and learned to trust each other. I used that analogy at the time because my zodiac sign is Cancer the Crab. When I took a long look into my past this week, I learned something else about myself.
I eat all of my feelings, including negative feelings from things said to me and about me to hurt me. Using food to build a protective layer around my whole body. I eat the negative hurtful feelings to surround me to keep more of them from getting to me. My weight is a physical manifestation (this term is new to me, from the challenge) of the negativity that I have been holding inside for my whole life.
The person running the challenge, Natasha Hazlett, said her weight was a physical manifestation of the hate she had for herself. When I heard her say that, I almost believed that this was my issue too. What I realized, is that it isn’t hate I feel for myself, but that I keep the hate I have felt from others in my life. As a result, I have held onto it because I didn’t know what else to do with it.
What does this mean?
It means I have to let it go. All of it. When you are a child and people say terrible things to you, there is no way to know how to handle those words. I cried a lot during my school days, and thankfully, most of those negative experiences are in my past. As a child, I didn’t know how to handle the negativity. If I deal with it now, to let it go, consequently, I will let the feelings go. The negativity I buried in me, from the inside out to be released with my excess weight.
As I am typing this out, I am shaking. It is hard for me to acknowledge this to myself, let alone the world at large. Since my word of the year is FEARLESS, and I want to lead by example, with integrity, it would not do me any good to keep this knowledge deep inside of me anymore.
I have a lot of work to do to lose the weight I need to lose. With this blog post, I am on the right path, finally, to be able to make the changes I need to make to become a healthier version of myself.
The biggest lesson I have been able to take away from this exercise is going to set me free.
I realized I don’t hate myself and that I never did. I love myself, and I always have. Now that I am an adult, and doing so much work on myself, it is a relief to me that my problem has never been how I feel about myself, but my reaction to how others wanted to hurt me. As a child, I did the only thing I knew how to do to protect myself. As an adult, I can face those negative feelings and chase them away.
In the challenge, we learn that we all carry metaphorical bricks in life, and they weigh us down. We learn how to deal with them, and of course, I put my own spin on this. Instead of following the imagery suggested, I have decided that I am going to grind every one of the bricks to dust, turn them to glitter, and let the ocean take them away. Sparkles in the sea, which are beautiful to me. What a way to release the things that weigh me down. Sending them to my happy place.
Good things are happening for me, and for some friends of mine. I started a small beta group to support people like me with regards to weight loss. It has been running for a while now, and I have asked for feedback to make it better for the users, and as my own research to prepare for the option of expanding to a paid membership group. I haven’t fully decided on what to do next, to be honest. I’m going to share a bit about the good things which are happening.
We are more of an accountability & support group. There is no plan we all follow, we each are responsible for our own choices in that manner. We are working on daily step count totals, and I have kind of fallen behind in our weekly totals. We are also working o water intake and healthy recipes. I post tips with articles once a week. Recipes are shared, and there is a weigh-in day, a non-scale victory day and feedback on Fridays. Other days allow for a spa day to treat yourself, and prep cooking meal planning prompts.
I create more graphics, which I did as a result of feedback, and I think the group likes them. Every so often, I make new ones. Scheduling the posts keeps them consistent. I can forget things when I am busy.
We had some milestones in June.
One member is in ‘onederland’ which is below 200 lbs, and two members are in ‘twoville’ which is below 300 lbs. For us, these are huge goals, and I celebrated their victories with them. I am not sharing their names, as it is not what matters here. The important thing to note is that we are holding each other accountable, and providing support to each other. With success!
I had a scare last week when I got on the scale at the doctor’s office. I was not amused. It weighed me at 330 lbs. I have never been that high, and I was quietly very upset by that number. I told Roy that I should have only celery for supper.
It was awful, even though I knew it was a different scale, a different time of day, and I had clothing on. It was still a nasty number to see.
Wednesday rolled around this week, and I prepared to step on my scale.
I was not 330 lbs. I weighed in at 320.8 lbs. What a difference! I had actually lost weight in two weeks. Things are not as bad as they appear to be, even if I am not at one of the major milestones, yet.
I am working towards that first milestone, twoville, myself. When people ask me if I lost weight, I really want to be able to say, yes. Some still ask. My answer is honest. I am moving more, and I am trying to make healthier choices. This week I feel like I did something right because I was down about 4 lbs in 2 weeks. However, I won’t feel like it is enough to talk about until I start hitting some major milestones.
I am waiting for my body to adjust to the highest dose of Victoza. The doctor recently increased it, and when I adjust, I start needing to lower both of my insulin injections. It is the reason to take this new injection, to lower the number of insulin injections. As a type 2 diabetic, my body still makes insulin but doesn’t make enough, or it isn’t being used properly. Taking less means my body is using its own insulin more effectively. It is another good thing. I was worried about nausea with the Victoza, but it only affected me for a couple of days when I started it a few months ago.
Hard work pays off, especially when you have accountability and a support system.
Issues with weight. It has its ups and downs. On the scale, in the grocery store, with activity…I could go on for days with how many things can affect my issues with weight. I am not alone. So many people have issues with their body image, and if it is something everyone experiences, then we need to take a step back.
Reflection on our body image can be a harsh experience, if we let it. I remember when I was writing about gremlins, a while back, who were whispering so softly I didn’t even realize they were inside my head. One thing we can do to help ourselves is to change the message we are hearing from within. I did not come up with this concept, but I am giving it a whirl.
I have been working so hard on myself and this includes my health. It is tedious to be focusing on it all the time. It could be something to obsess about if I let it. I am not the best at the daily record keeping for this. Why?
I struggle with prioritizing me on my list
What? I have been working on this issue for what seems like the whole time I have been writing in this category. If I was doing this on a regular basis, things would be better. I know it. You know it. Sometimes I have a hard time thinking that I deserve to be on my list. Oh, I have this, and that, and so many things to do that I should do which are more important than filling out the daily checklists which I have taken the time to write down. Am I filling out the paper for time management were given to me to track my time? NO! I am important enough to fit my health and my time into my list. Why can’t I just grasp this concept? It is a struggle, like the title says, with its ups and downs.
Yes. I am writing that I did take the time to make my checklist, and I do have paperwork for accountability to bring to all of my appointments. This is my attempt to get the ball rolling again. For the billionth time. Maybe this time it will work. It has to.
The pressure of letting down the professionals I am working with is not enough incentive. It used to be. When I decided to work on me while I have the time, I was doing the work. I stopped. As a result, I am trying to get back to creating healthy habits. Some days, it is so hard.
I was relying on others to make me do the work
Of course it was easier to get me to do things if other people were counting on me. If others need my help, I am the first one to volunteer. I need to focus on more than just time management. I need to get to the bottom of my issues. What does that mean, really?
It means I have to do the work.
As we all roll our eyes at this, me while I write it, and you when you read it, it is the truth. It isn’t rocket science. Hard work is not easy, and if you fall out of line, it isn’t so easy to get back on track. If doing the work was easy, it wouldn’t be something a lot of people struggle with.
I am in a lot of groups on social media. Most of them are not run by me, but one is. It is a support group, of 8 people with weight issues. I do find it is helpful for me to have a safe place to encourage others and myself. It helps me to try harder and to do better. The members help me to change it for the better, which is incredibly helpful. Their input is crucial in keeping it active. I am scheduling the posts a week at a time, so I don’t fall behind. I still interact with the group in the prompts, and for now, I am happy with it.
We do work on meal planning, tips, weigh ins once a week, non scale victories, feedback, spa day, and activity. One topic per day, although sometimes I miss a day here or there. I have added in recipe shares when I find new recipes, or some I have tried already and love.
I do think I can keep improving it, but for now, it works for our needs. Part of the work I need to do is to manage my time more effectively, to become more productive. This will allow me to do more of the things I need to do in more areas of my life.
Finally, I want to ask you about how you think of yourself.
Self-reflection is a difficult thing to do. Start with your positive features, and increase from there to how awesome you are. Especially if you read this blog! 😉 I happen to think my best feature is my blue eyes. Instead of commenting with what you do not like, please leave a comment below about your best features. Let’s share our ups this week, and forget about the scale.