It is time to revive this category on my blog. My last entry was in 2019, and coincidentally enough, I was preparing for company. It is a year and a half since I wrote it, and my how things have changed.
I have been working part time at a day job. I work a lot of weekends, and that is okay, because it is what I was hired for. It is in the beauty industry, and relates to my direct marketing jobs with clothing and makeup. I wasn’t kidding when I wrote about changes.
One thing stays the same. I am still working on cleaning and organizing my home. This year, I am trying new tactics. I am not trying to finish one job before I start the next. I am working on multiple areas at once. I get it to the end of one phase, and I move on. I am slowly making progress, more than I have in the past.
I am giving myself grace. I don’t have any deadlines for company at the moment, but I am working on it anyway. I have been watching Cas from the Clutterbug on Youtube, and something she said made sense. It changed how I look at the whole concept of cleaning. I need to retrain my brain, to understand that I will be cleaning because I love to live in a beautiful, inviting home. I am a long way from getting to this goal, but I have made some small steps in the right direction.
I grumble under my breath as I put trash where it belongs. In the trash. Not all over the kitchen. Sometimes I get lazy about it, and other times I am picking up after my husband. The point is not who dropped it, but that it needs to be taken care of. It could be a bread tie or the seal from a milk carton. Nothing to cause the kitchen to be deemed unsanitary, but just enough to make my eye twitch as I grumble on the way to the garbage can.
I am not cleaning the dishes every day, but I am working on getting there. We use the dishwasher frequently, we take turns with it. The same goes for laundry. As I am working on changing my mindset in other areas of my life, I am finding it is easier to do in terms of housekeeping too. I want to have a home that welcomes me when I get home from work. It isn’t there yet, but I know I am going to find my way.
I am also watching a month-long declutter series on Youtube, set up by The Minimal Mom. I am not a minimalist, but I do see the value in having fewer things. I am working on how to incorporate some of the things I learn into my lifestyle. Last week it was about the kitchen, and this week it is about clothing. There will be a week about paper clutter, and I am not sure what the other week will cover. I am watching and learning.
One thing about choosing the word BALANCE for my word of 2021 is that I need to continue learning, but to also take more action. The learning is no good to me if I just absorb information and never do anything with it. I am trying new things, and this year I am learning about Bullet Journalling. I feel like it might be an answer I have been searching for. I am still setting it up, and I have 2. The good news is that it is helping to relieve my tension as I am working on it.
Yesterday I worked. I took the evening to catch up on TV and relax. Today I took my time. I slept in, watched Mass For Shut-ins on TV, and a few more shows. I went to an online book club meeting, and will be attending a weekly goal setting meeting, also online, later this evening. In between the meetings, I am working on dishes and laundry. Changing the bed. Things I can start and walk away from or things that can be finished in a short amount of time. I decided to take a few minutes to share about my weekend because I am working on getting back into the blogging, and I really used to have fun with this category.
When I get these chores done, I can then work on a creative project as a reward. I need to make time for crafts and writing so that I find inner joy in more of my days. Being creative brings me to life. I need to allow myself time for this so that I can cope with and manage the things which aren’t so much fun.
I also used my face cleanser machine for the first time today. I am learning about skincare, and I want to improve how I take care of myself, too. This will be done over time, by making time to do it. It is important to do something for me, and while one of my two bullet journals will be for my health, the other is for me. My lifestyle, goals, and ideas. Things I need to write somewhere so that I don’t forget about them. With so much on my mind, I am finding I am forgetting things, and I am trying to find a way to build the habit of writing things down, in a pretty and functional space.
All things considered, I feel like this weekend is a win. I am not at the end, yet, but I am going to keep working on things so that I can complete the plans I set out to do. Working on finding a balance in all areas of my life is the tone I have set for 2021. I really feel like I am on the right path.
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.
The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name. If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story. The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors. I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.
This week I am pleased to share another of my own stories.
Here is Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 39
Balance. I was trying to decide what my topic was going to be about this week, and it came to me. I need to write about balance. It is a word that has a lot of meaning and plays an important role in my journey to become a healthier version of myself.
I will start with Zumba. It is a dance exercise class. I am not the most athletic person. I really love dancing, though. Almost as much as I love swimming. I like biking and skating also. I have not done the latter two for years. I was swimming in the ocean in July. I went to Zumba class twice this week. So I am most active in Zumba class. I go. I do my thing.
I had Wednesday off for a vacation day this week. I then went to Zumba class, and it was an amazing class for me. I felt free and had no weight on my shoulders from spending the day at work. What a nice change it was. I danced and moved around with a little more zest last night at class. During the stretch, I always amaze myself with my balance. If I take a few extra seconds to set up for my “tall” stretch, I can stand on my tippy toes and reach high up and hold it longer than I used to. It takes those few extra seconds to set it up, but I can be comfortable in the stretch when I do. If I don’t, I wobble. I have yet to fall over at Zumba (it is not a goal, it is a fear) and I have to catch my balance there sometimes. I can trip over my own feet in a split second, and then recover in the next second. I have mad skills at this. Once in a while, gravity wins. The result of that usually leaves me in shock, because I am such a clutz, I normally have an equally remarkable recovery skill.
Balance. The Trim Healthy Mama (THM) plan, also involves balance. I am still having commitment issues, but that is not what I am referring to. The plan encourages a way of pairing the foods that you eat to maximize weight loss by using protein as the foundation and pairing it either with low carbs, or healthy fats. The way you plan your meals on THM creates the balance for you. It evens out if you find the way your body responds to the different types of food combinations. When I focus, I can see it working. I need to work harder, but also find the balance for real world situations.
Balance. The time spent and meal planning will be the balance for the healthier version of me. I need to make the time to plan and prep cook. Then when I need something quick, it is an easy fix. That is a no-brainer.
Balance. Sleep and exercise. I need to find more time to sleep and exercise. I have been so busy at different times this year. I know that sleep and exercise are important. Especially if I am going to work my way into writing full time. I know I function better if I have regular sleeping hours. I just get wrapped up in things when I am working on the website, the blog, or my books. It also slips away from me when I am working on other hobbies. Working on my passions is a source of great happiness for me, but I have to remember that other things matter as well.
Balance. I love coffee. I love pop. I love alcoholic beverages. I do not love water. When I do drink, I choose everything before water. I need to balance that a little better.
Balance. I need to find it. In my blood sugars, food, health, exercise, sleep, hydration, passion, creativity, and every other aspect of my life.
What are you doing to achieve balance in your life?