Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Why I'm not stepping on the scale

I promised myself when I restarted my Weight Watchers journey in earnest that I would not let myself make excuses not to weigh in. After all, that’s how I started regaining weight in the first place. As it turns out, I really need that accountability.

I’ve stuck to that—since the beginning of February. I’ve weighed in every week, whether I knew I’d be up or down. I accepted the triumph of consequence of the scale, no matter what.

But there’s a fine line between being accountable and allowing your entire mood to depend upon those glowing numbers on that little box. And today I’ve chosen my mental health over that scale.

I’ve made no secret that I suffer with depression and anxiety. I do a lot to combat that every day. But there are just some times that those little demons are overpowering me—and that’s where I’ve been the past two weeks.

My food has been terrible. I’ve been bingeing. Hiding food wrappers. Staying up late to eat in secret. Waking up early to continue. All things I did when I was young. Though I can’t pinpoint exactly why I’ve been feeling like this, I’m working to fix it. I’m spending time in prayer and in meditation each day. I’m going to therapy. I have a support group. And above all, I’m talking about it—to you, to my husband and even to myself. I’m not just putting my head in the sand and letting this take over me.

But I need to give myself a break and realize that the scale should be the least of my concerns right now. I weighed at home. I know what it says (it’s not as bad as I’d feared, thankfully)—I’m just not going to let it define me today.

So today I’m breaking my “no no weigh-ins” rule. And I’m OK with it. 

Because sometimes we have to realize that when it comes to our health, getting our heads right is just as important—if not more important—as getting our bodies right.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

It's too late to apologize

I am a grudge holder. Like, big time. It’s not something that makes me proud. For instance, I don’t like that my husband is usually the first person to apologize if we have an argument just because of my own stubbornness. If you do something to hurt one of my friends or family members? I’ll more than likely dislike you forever.

It also turns out that I’m super great at holding a grudge against myself, too.

This morning I had a little breakdown. My husband told me that he’s noticed my self-criticism has increased lately. I didn’t even know that was possible. But he’s right.

I’m down nearly 20 pounds. I’m glad I’m finally back on track after years of wandering somewhere near those tracks. But I’m not doing so well with forgiving myself for those years of wanderlust. Yes, what’s important is that I’m moving forward. Yes, I’m proud that I have stuck to it for a couple of months. Yes, I feel a little better about myself. I think. Sometimes I’m not sure.

I’m finding that I have to forgive myself every single day. I have to push aside that voice that says “Well, what if you’d continued and THEN lost 20 more pounds? You’d be almost to your goal.” I see a picture from my social media memories that reminds me of how far I’d gotten—and how far I’ve fallen. Some days that’s harder than others. This week has been that way.

The mirror. Photos. They are my worst enemies. I feel good about myself at the gym. I feel good that I’ve stuck to my points. Then I see a picture or catch a glimpse of myself in that God-forsaken studio mirror at the Y. And I’m back to beating myself up.

I know in my heart that what matters is now. But I’d be lying if I said that the “what ifs?” don’t creep in every day in some way. So if you ask me if I feel good about where I am—well, compared to two months ago? Sure. Compared to three years ago? Nope.

Pride and self-loathing—it’s a constant battle in my life. And some days the wrong one wins.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

But I don't want to be insignificant

It’s been a long time. A long time for everything. Since I wrote an entry. Since I started this blog. Since I started this journey. Since I felt focused. Motivated.

I’ve made a lot of excuses. I started dating. I ate. I felt vulnerable. I ate. My dad died. I ate. I got married. I ate. I couldn’t get pregnant. I ate.

And ate.

And ate.

At my lowest, I lost 130 pounds. Now I’m hovering around 55 pounds lost. But let’s be real. That’s about 75 pounds gained.

I’ve not blogged in a long time. Part of it was depression. But a bigger part of it was shame. Failure is a tough thing when you’ve been called an inspiration. I was always uncomfortable with that word—but I can admit that I was flattered by it, too. So it hurt to face you guys. It has hurt to face a lot of people. I still meet people who say “Oh, you used to write a blog!” Yes, I used to. Yes, I sort of still do. Yes, I used to be that girl.

But in my heart, I know “that girl” is still me—somewhere deep inside. And I think I’ve finally started to uncover her once again.

I had a moment about a month ago. I was in a workout class (yep, I still actually do those) and had, what seems, a million overwhelming feelings. I felt worthless. Useless. Insignificant. Unhealthy. Do I matter at work? Do I matter in this world that feels like it’s falling apart? Do I matter if I can’t have a baby and can’t be a mother (please note: this is my personal feeling about my own life—not a judgment at ALL about women who choose not to have children)? Do I matter when I’m back to being that obese girl staring back at me in the gym mirror?

And then I felt it—an epiphany.

What is the one thing I could control--of all those things that were figuratively (and literally) weighing on me?

My health.

So I have. I started that next morning. I’ve gone back to Weight Watchers in a near-obsessive fashion. I’m tracking my points like a boss. I’m clinging to that feeling of control that I’d lost for so long. I’m more focused than I’ve been maybe since the early days of my blog. I’m down 10 pounds and I have no intention of stopping.

I know it may be hard for y’all to trust that—to trust me. I’ve claimed new beginnings a hundred times. But in my heart of hearts, I feel like this is my last chance. And I just can’t squander that again.

I’m working to create some more content for this site, and I hope you’ll come with me. After all, we need each other, right? 

Much love to you, always. And remember—you are worthy. And so am I.

P.S. Thanks to Counting Crows for this blog's title. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Here I am now

An update.

I don’t know where to begin, so I thought I’d give you an update in bulleted form. Here goes: 
  • I’m doing OK. Life is moving along just fine. And I even got to go on vacation.
    Sunset on the beach. Yay vacation!
  • My new role at work is really busy. I love being in the hospital every day and feeling like I’m making a difference.
  • My food has been---eh. I’m trying. I haven’t given up (you know that will never happen). But I’ve let a lot of other life things get in the way. I’m not happy with that, so I’m actively working to fix it.
  • I am not pregnant—but I hope to be. Without going into detail, that has meant some medications and testing that has messed with my hormones, and that’s also affected my food and exercise.
  • Even if I get pregnant tomorrow, I am still committed to working toward the healthiest me I can. The definition of what that means may change for a few months.
  •  I am actively pursuing my new role as a LaCroix drinker. This is BIG NEWS, friends. Many of you will remember my tawdry, dysfunctionalrelationship with Diet Coke, yes? I haven't had one in years. But unfortunately, real Coke became a terrible substitute for a time. So I’m trying to like LaCroix. It’s happening slowly, but hopefully surely.
  • My newest hobby is growing and developing the perfect seasoning on my cast iron skillet.
  • My husband has started going to the gym with me. He runs on the track while I’m in class. I love that even though we’re not doing the same thing we’re still there together.

I’ll probably elaborate on a few of those things in the next couple of weeks. I’ve got a long list of new favorites to share, so look for that next Friday.

Thank you for never giving up on me!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Purple Tears

Today is Friday. On Fridays I talk about my favorites.

And Prince was one of my very favorites.

When I heard the news yesterday, I first was in total disbelief. Then I couldn’t stop crying. Isn’t it strange to have such a strong reaction to someone you didn’t know? But my connection to his music, like for many, was an emotional one. And his death has hit me hard.

Just one week ago, I sat in the second row from the back of the Fox Theater for Prince’s Piano and a Microphone show. It was the show I’d waited my entire life to see. My absolute, No. 1, tip-top of my bucket list concert experience. He came out—a silhouetted poof of hair and heels. He sat down at the piano and started to play. And I started to cry.

I was 7 years old when I first heard about Prince. I had a babysitter named Michelle. I wanted to be just like her. She played the flute. She wore shiny lip gloss. And she brought over her 1999 tape. I was instantly transfixed by it—and by “Little Red Corvette,” especially. I had no idea what the words meant (probably for the best as an impressionable kid), but that music—that voice, made me feel things. There was power and magic and wonder in it—and I felt them all.

So last Thursday, Prince came out. He sat down at the piano, tinkled the keys and began to play:

“I guess I should have known, by the way you parked your car sideways that it wouldn’t last…”

I burst into tears. Those tears lasted the entire show. I held my friend LaTonia’s hand. I sang. I danced. I thanked my lucky stars that I was there. It felt like a beautiful gift. I didn’t know how much of a gift it truly was.

LaTonia and me before the show started. 
From that 7-year-old girl singing Prince into her hairbrush, to the college student who dreamed of one day finding someone who felt about me like Prince sang in “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” to the 41-year-old who sat mesmerized through his show just last week, Prince has provided the soundtrack of my life. And it’s obvious I’m not alone.

I miss him. I miss my childhood. I miss my parents. I think this loss is hitting me on a deeper level because of others I've experienced. But Prince was a person with a God-given gift. He sang from his soul. He shared his heart--and we all felt it. I’m so grateful that I grew up with his weird, purple, incomparable, beautiful influence. The world will much less...less without him.

It's been so lonely without you here
Like a bird without a song
Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling

Thursday, April 21, 2016

It's over there. No, over THERE.

Look at the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane. It’s…my motivation?

Hi. I know it’s been a couple of weeks. Do I need to start every blog post with an apology? No, you know what? I don’t. I deal with enough regret about things as it is. And clearly it’s not helping anything.

So I’m here. Hi.

I have been in the tiniest of funks the past month. I’m not completely off track, but there’s one wonky wheel that keeps getting stuck or wiggling right off. So, as I like to say, my motivation isn’t completely gone. It’ s just over yonder, as we say in the South. I can see it. I just can’t quite reach it. 

I mean, I COULD reach it. If I got off my booty.

So that’s what I’m working on now. Tuesday I weighed in—even that is a good indicator—I went for months and months without weighing in—and I was up a little more than 2 pounds. So I’m still down 11. And I’m trying to see a loss next week to really get me back on track.

So why am I in a funk? I’m not totally sure. My dad’s anniversary is coming up—and that weighs heavily on my mind. My family and I have chosen to celebrate that day in memory of both of my parents with a big party, just like they would have liked it. 

And there are a few other things that are nagging me that I’ll talk about in a future entry. I mean, I’m nothing if not an oversharer, right? 

I have started writing down ideas for future entries, which will help me when I think I have nothing to discuss. Truly, that’s why I’m absent sometimes—I don’t think I have anything you’d want to read. At any rate, ideas I’ve written down include: jealousy, need for support, FOMO (yeah, I’m a cool kid), fear of aging and depression. And of course, a healthy dose of some Friday Favorites, mixed with the triumphant return of Phriday Photos. 

Thank you for sticking with me and reminding me of the good in my life.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sometimes the hurdles are good

I don’t want to be super click-baity, so I’ll tell you first that this week, I lost…4.2 pounds. Boom. Now you don’t have to keep reading if you just wanted the end result. Because now I’m going to tell you how I did it.

Not easily.

And here’s what I learned about that.

As you remember from my last entry, I kind of had a free-for-all with my friends, but I was determined not to let that derail me. It was important to let that weekend go, and start fresh with good choices. But it was hard. I felt tempted at every turn.

I worked at the Ronald McDonald House this weekend and unlike my February weekend, I felt restless and hungry. During my February weekend, I hardly thought about eating the goodies. This past weekend, I felt like I was constantly punching the throat of the devil on my shoulder who told me to eat.

But what I learned is that this isn’t really a bad thing. This is LIFE—and we all know life's not always easy. Sometimes our journeys are going to be difficult. Maybe it’s one day, or one week or one month, or even longer that just seems more challenging. But I think that those harder times when I feel most tempted are the times when I learn how strong I am. Hell, if it was always easy, we’d all be at our happiest and healthiest weights without even trying. And for most of us, that's just not the case.

So this weekend I gave in a little. I had a brownie. I had a cookie. But I didn’t let it stop me from making healthy choices 85 percent of the time—and the scale was nice to me as a result.

Challenges aren’t always bad things. In fact, in most cases, the opposite is true. Seeing that 4-pound loss today, and knowing I plowed through some real temptations, made that victory even sweeter.

Tuesday bonus photo
After Weight Watchers, I decided to go to Willy’s for lunch. For those not in the metro Atlanta area, Willy’s is similar to a Moe’s or Chipotle. I got a bowl with a little rice, some steak, a pinch of cheese and a few other things. I was very mindful of what I chose, despite having a good weigh-in.

They also give you chips with your meal. Uh-oh. That’s what gets me into trouble. But I know this—and knowledge is power. So I dutifully counted out 10 chips (10 big ones, duh) and crumbled up the rest. Except you know what else I've learned? I’d still grab that bag out of the garbage and eat those pieces. I learned that lesson a long time ago. So I squirted some lotion in the bag, crumbled it again and threw it away. Maybe I need to tell Gold Bond about a new way to advertise their product?