Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 69 | I am ready.

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 69 | I am ready.

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.

Jazzy MacWebber, relaxing after she is completely healed and free to play like the kitten she is!

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.

Love yourself enough to let yourself be free.

#TrustYourGut

Weekend Warrior # 14

Weekend Warrior # 14

I am so PUMPED after this weekend!  I HULK SMASHED IT!  Without turning green and angry!  What a busy, productive weekend!

Friday night I was at Relay for Life, specifically for the Zumba at Relay.  Expect a story this week to tell you all about that.  It had some real special moments, and there are some great pics to share.

Saturday was cool and rainy and drab.  Hubby worked this weekend, so I got up and got the car.  Got a few groceries on the way home and got some cleaning done.  I did some laundry and ran the dishwasher.  Nothing picture worthy.  I found out that I lost a pillow sham (and the puns did find my post about it on my personal Facebook page).  This caused a full stop on the kitchen cleaning and started a full-on search for the missing sham.  No house elves were found wearing said sham, either.  The search continues.  Maybe, just maybe it is in the towel area over the washer and dryer?  It was not in the linen closet where it should have been (I am in the middle of reorganizing that mess since yesterday) or maybe it is under the bed ( I tried to look but with my knees, I try not to get down on my knees on the floor) and I am running out of places to look.  I am sure it will reappear.  I am crossing my fingers about that one.

Sham on me my cousin wrote.   It was never a real pillow it was just a … 😉 was left by another friend.  The puns keep me laughing while I tear my home apart to find the culprit of the whole sham.

I got inspired while in the master bathroom working on the linen closet to do something I have been thinking about for a long time.  I have been wanting to purge my makeup.  I do not wear makeup every day, but as a collector, I had gathered quite a stash.  It was neatly organized in 3 wicker baskets on my counter, gathering dust.  I panicked about tossing it all because I might need some of it for a special occasion or something in the future.  My budget does not always allow for this type of purchase.  The last time I bought makeup it was January 2016.  I have had some product since the wedding in 2010 or even before that.

I will be writing a separate blog about that adventure.  It happened Sunday.  I got up and put a roast beef in the oven right away.  I set the timer for 3 hours, it was frozen going into the pan.  I had planned to get ready and go to church before the makeup shopping event.  I mean, it could have been an event, it was a big thing for me.  I decided that I did not want to rush, and had breakfast and got ready for my day.  I postponed church until this evening (I actually went and was not late).  The makeup event happened-details will be in a separate blog.

I got home, sliced the beef, made sandwiches, ate 1.5 sandwiches and rushed out to church.  I then fit in a few small errands on the way home, finished the last half a sandwich I made earlier, made 2 sandwiches for my husband, picked him up from work and rushed off to see Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2.  It was a fun movie.

I have yet to finish my next submission for a well-known publication that has a deadline this week.  That will be tomorrow’s priority.  I have started writing it already, but it is not ready for the beta reader yet.

There you have it!  Non-stop, action-packed, super busy weekend!  I got some cleaning done, in tandem, from one end of the mini home to the other, all day Saturday.  I want to an extra Zumba class, for a good cause.  Spent time with friends Friday and again today.  Different friends on the different days.  I even fit in a movie with my husband to finish it off! Sorry, I’m a little late getting this one published this week, this is the first chance I had because I wanted a productive AND fun weekend to write about.  Mission accomplished!  HULK SMASHED IT!

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 8

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 8

 

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Home page for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

 

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 8

I am following the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) Plan.  They have some books on the program, and it is implemented into your life, the best way you can.  I am honestly telling you that I am trying.  I am also going to admit that I am struggling.

I can’t seem to find my willpower.  It is so easy to eat the unhealthy, off plan things.  They are all prepared and full of preservatives, and sugar and other junk, but they are literally the no-brainer choice.  When you are hungry, and there is a choice of something quick and easy, it is SO easy to fall into that pattern.

I am not an official THM trained coach, I am making my own way, and not on plan 100% of the time.  But I do see the value of it.  I have seen myself make little changes along the way, and I believe that they will all add up one day.  Someday I will realize that the changes I am making added up to enough effort to make a difference.

I keep checking my waistline.  Every once in a while I stand straight, with my hands on my waistline, and I think that it is smaller.  I just measured it for fun.  It isn’t.  One day it will be.

I have decided that it is time to start looking for a new bathing suit.  The last time I did that I was ready to throw in the beach towel.  I tried on all the one piece suits I could find, in all the local stores.  The very last one I tried on was the one I bought.  It was perfect.  The straps have lost their elasticity, and I tied knots in them last summer to hold the bathing suit in place.  It does not fit right anymore, so I have decided to start hunting for a new one.

It must be a one piece.  I refuse to buy a bathing suit that has a skirt.  Support is a must.  It has to fit right, be fashionable, comfortable, and practical.  I would like to say it will be a size or two smaller than the last one.  Maybe next year I can do that.

When I find one I like, I am going to look into swimming more often.  I would like to get back into Aquacise classes.  I used to go, and I think it is time to get back into a swimming pool on a regular basis.  A long time ago, on an island on the East Coast of Canada, I used to teach swimming lessons.  I love swimming as much as I love dancing.  I think it is time to start adding in new activities to help me want to make smarter choices about what I eat.  One small change at a time, I will regain control of my health, my body size, my energy levels, and my life.  It all comes down to me.  I know the easy way is how I got to be in this predicament.  I have to set my mind to working my way back out, one small change at a time.  Then it won’t be such a daunting task to get a new bathing suit.  Having a choice of several bathing suits instead of the only one that works will be something to look forward to.

 

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 8

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 7

 

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Homepage for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

 

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 7

The importance of happiness is not something that should be ignored in dealing with weight issues.  If I am unhappy, I will eat my feelings, and not make healthy food choices.  When I am happy, I tend to be smarter and more conscious of what I am eating.  It is not always so straightforward, though.

Happiness is linked to positivity and optimism.  Energy is higher when I am happy. Happiness can, therefore, be linked with motivation.  When I have the motivation, nothing can stand in my way.  Except for dessert.  How do I stay motivated?  The first trick is to set reasonable goals.

I am not talking about the scale, although anyone that has weight issues has a love-hate relationship with the bathroom scale.  We love it when the number on the scale is favourable; we hate it when it is not.  It is best to not weigh yourself every day, but if the scale is right there, and you are just going to peek…that can be a depressing habit.  Because we all know that weight fluctuates.  If the scale shows a plateau or a change in the wrong direction, well there is a reason to just give up and go eat everything you want.  So if you avoid the scale completely, or weigh only once a week or once a month, it is sufficient, and the number on the scale does not become an unhealthy obsession.

I am talking about doing little things to make the journey worthwhile.  Allow yourself to buy something nice once in a while.  Not food.  That is not a productive treat unless is a healthy choice.  But you’re going to eat anyway, so food is not necessarily the correct reward for someone with weight issues.

A new tube of lipstick or a new nail polish is a way to treat yourself without worrying about size.  One size fits all gifts are perfect rewards for people like me because they do not have to be fit into.  It is great to find out that you are down a size when you need to go buy a new pair of jeans or a new dress, but it can be counter-productive because the size of clothing also impacts our self-image.  If it is a larger size or the same, it implies that what you are doing is not enough, and it can also make you want to stop trying.

Grab your favourite music and go for a walk.  Music makes me happy and motivates me.  I get so many more things accomplished when I listen to music.  Buy a new album and support your favourite artist.  If you listen to that album while exercising, you are benefiting from your treat, and it is helping you on your journey.  There are lots of ways to listen to your music now, but I still buy CDs from the bands I want to support.  I buy them at a live show if I can, they get a bigger slice of the pie that way.  Food analogy.  I can’t escape desserts no matter how hard I try.  There are no calories here, though.

Last Saturday I had an errand or two.  I wanted to get a clear plastic tablecloth. A protective cover for my pretty tablecloth and some new placemats.  I ‘ve purchased two new pieces of art (I found them at the dollar store a few months ago) for my kitchen, which I can hang up when I finish spring cleaning it.

I found the stainless steel straws I have been looking for,  (PLEASE IF YOU BUY THESE ONLY DRINK COLD BEVERAGES WITH THEM).  Hot drinks ingested quickly into the stomach…that can’t end well.  The straws would possibly increase that heat, and the only way I can think of treating a burn on the inside of your stomach is aloe vera juice.  I do not know if that would even work.

The reason I have been searching for the stainless steel straws was for a Trim Healthy Mama drink I make from the plan.  It calls for apple cider vinegar, which can be nasty to the enamel on your teeth.  It is good to help with weight loss.  So I am helping my weight loss, adding less waste to the environment by using straws that I can wash and use forever, and I am saving the enamel on my teeth.

I could not pass up the sale I found on coffee.  Keurig K-cups, 75% off.  That worked out to $3.00 a box.  I stocked up.  That is a treat for me that I can be happy about.  I drink 3 k-cups a day.  Black.  I am trying 3 new kinds of coffee, and if I don’t like it, I can give it to someone else and not feel like it was an expensive thing to give away.  I hope I like them because I plan to be drinking my bargain coffee for a while.

Soul food isn’t food.  It is what makes you feel good.  Music is my soul food.  I am glad I have it because it helps me snap out of a mood, and kick into high gear.  Which is what I need to continue on my not so straight and completely not narrow path.  Stop reaching for comfort food, and stock up on your soul food.  Find whatever makes you happy, and make it a part of your new routine.  Not your meal plan.

#TrustYourGut

 

 

 

 

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 8

Trust Your Gut: Bonnie’s Story

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Homepage for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

 

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 the story of another friend.  It is written in her own words, and she submitted it earlier this week with her permission to share it as a part of the series.

Here is  Trust Your Gut: Bonnie’s Story

 

My story begins all the way back to when I was five years old. I was always small for my age until then, when my parents got divorced. All of the changes and upheaval that happens with that sort of thing, is what seems to have contributed to me eating more and gaining weight. Still, I was only chubby as a child. I wasn’t truly overweight until my preteens. I believe I was about ten years old when I realized that I was bigger than most of the kids my age but other than some minor teasing from other kids that usually went over my head anyway, I did not feel bad about it. At age twelve, I weighed 180 pounds and that’s the age that I really started noticing how heavy I was and feeling body conscious.

I never did anything about it at that age though, except maybe some walking for exercise. Other than that, I did a lot of wishing and dreaming that I would just wake up skinny one day and everyone would like me because I wasn’t a big girl anymore. I remember feeling bad about being overweight, not being able to wear the types of clothes my friends were wearing, and receiving some teasing or comments here and there.

When I was sixteen, my mom and I joined a women’s gym together. There I learned about exercise and how beneficial, as well as fun, it could be. The first workout left me so sore I could barely move and I didn’t want to go back, it hurt so much. However, I did go back a few days later and started to realize a love for exercise I never knew I could have! The trainers there, one I’m still in touch with to this day, were so kind and really involved. They provided me with so much quality guidance that I really needed. Due to a move across town, making the trip to the gym too far for me to go, I stopped going once our one year was up there and turned to walking more for exercise. Slowly the weight I had lost from exercising at that gym for a year crept back on.

Another few years went by where I tried various things but never stuck with anything consistently, until 2009, when I was twenty. I started a weight loss journey by cutting back my calories significantly, exercising five or six days a week, and drinking Slim-Fast and changing my eating habits to include more vegetables and fruits. Soon I joined the SparkPeople website where I received support, information, and resources I needed to keep losing weight. I lost over 75 pounds during the seven months I was on there and actively working to lose weight. Right around my twenty-first birthday though, I ended up suffering from gallstones and pancreatitis, spending a whole week in the hospital and having my gallbladder removed. After that and some dramatic changes in my life that happened directly afterwards, I pretty much gave up on losing weight. I mean I tried, but my heart wasn’t in it anymore and I wasn’t consistently working on it any longer.

The next few years after that I continued to try to lose weight at different points, but it never lasted and I never stuck with it long enough to make a significant difference. Finally in May 2014, I started my final and last weight loss journey. This was it! I was going to lose the weight and keep it off! I had gained all of the weight I had lost in 2009 and then some, as it often goes. I was a whopping 309 pounds at this point, when I had sworn I would never get over three hundred pounds! I was shocked and appalled, and I knew I had no choice but to make changes so I could lose that weight. By August of 2015, I was in what is often referred to as “onederland,” finally breaking into the 190’s. It took quite a while after that to get into the 180’s, but my lowest weight was 181 in April 2016.

Enter this past summer that brought issues with my grandparents and their health, a big cross country move, having to leave behind my siblings and their kids when my parents and I moved, and so much more, I just let things go. I had just completed my first ever half marathon in May of last year, which was one of the most rewarding and invigorating experiences of my life. It was so much fun that I’m doing the same half marathon again this May. After the half marathon, the summer was full of all of these huge, and very stressful, events that kept the next few months super stressful and overwhelming. I started gaining weight back because I just felt too overwhelmed to devote the attention and dedication to my nutrition that I had before.

Even with the weight gain, I am still 60+ pounds down from my highest weight, but it has been a huge struggle to get back on track and the weight has kept creeping on due to my struggles. I know I can do it, as I proved it to be the case before, but it seems harder. I lost that momentum, I stopped being consistent, and I guess I gave up. However, I still had a huge passion to help others, and had restarted a blog for the purpose of helping other women find a way to not only lose weight, but believe in themselves, find their inner strength, and practice self-love. Still, at some points in the past few months, I have felt like a fraud because I had been struggling so much. It is all a part of my journey, so even though it felt horrible and disappointing all the same, it has been a learning experience and has made me stronger!

A positive thing that has come out of my struggles is that a little over a month ago, I made the decision to join Beachbody as a coach. Using the container system, Shakeology, and workouts they have in their programs is truly making a huge difference for me both physically and mentally. That doesn’t mean that it is easy or that the changes are instantaneous, and I am still slowly getting my nutrition back in check in addition to working out more consistently again. I am also drinking Shakeology everyday and noticing how much it makes a difference in my energy levels. I never realized how beneficial it could be! Besides that, I also have a huge support system with the coaches that are part of the team of the coach I signed up with. As a friend, she is someone I trust, feel comfortable talking to, and know she will help me the best way she can which is a huge deal to me and made the decision that much easier!

I have complete faith that I will lose the weight I’ve regained. I felt so skinny at 180-190 pounds, even though I still wanted to lose 30 more pounds. Now I glance at pictures from that low weight and wish I could be that small again. However, I can’t live in the past and I can’t beat myself up anymore. I am ready to continue moving forward, working on improving my healthy lifestyle, and helping other people do the same thing in their lives. The greatest reward for me is to help others realize how they can really live the life they dream of living, whether it be to lose weight, go after their dream career, or whatever else represents happiness and success in their lives. On SparkPeople, helping others and providing feedback was more than just helping them. It helped me to stay on track too!

Bonnie McConaughy is the owner and founder of Inspire the Best You (www.inspirethebestyou.com), where she writes about healthy living and personal growth, and provides health and wellness coaching. She is also a freelance and ghostwriter (www.bonwriterfreelance.biz).

Thank you to Bonnie for sharing your story.  You have inspired me to try harder, because like you, I know I can do this, I just have to stick with it.  Although we are travelling on different paths, there are some similarities in our journeys.  Keep working on your goals, and you will achieve them, I know it!  Something that resonates with me after reading is that you are not alone, you have a support system, and you are building your own skills to help others.  This is really a great thing,  to take what you have learned to help you guide others in their journies.  I wish you all the best, and have faith that you are going to be a success.

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