Excuse my English accent…

Call-the-Midwife-cast-80fa917I don’t know if you watch “Call the Midwife” or not. My sister got me addicted to this show and I really resent her for that. Now I cannot face my day without talking in an English accent and pretending that everything is “tip top tickety-boo!” To say the very least, my children and husband are very upset my sister got me addicted to this show as well.

The other night, one of the show’s characters said: “I have come to the conclusion that there are only two reasons for doing anything. One is love, the other is fear”. That really hit home with me. I thought about my weight loss and my journey to become healthy.  Was it fear or love that pushed me into starting?

I honestly have to say both. It was my love for my family and my life that caused me to realize that something needed to be done with my health. But it was also my fear of leaving that family and love too soon that really gave me a kick in the arse. This made me wonder if fear was a stronger emotion than love?

Love makes the world go around and love reconnects lost family members and love has made many a pop star several million dollars. But fear can make a mother lift a car off her child or make a teacher risk his life to protect a room full of students. So, can fear really be stronger than love. And in my case, was it fear that convinced me to begin moving my body and eating healthy?

Fear may be strong, but it is also very cowardly. Fear can make you stay in a relationship that you know is bad for you. Fear can keep you immobile, scared to stand up for yourself or others. And fear of the unknown and the different can cause one to carry hate and distrust in their heart.

Fear can also make you believe you are comfortable with a way of life that is slowly killing you.

So, no, it wasn’t fear that gave me the courage to turn away from a destructive life and it wasn’t love of my family either. It was love for myself. Love for the person that I knew I could be: the person hiding inside out of fear. Fear of going back to school probably added 50 pounds, fear of making mistakes as a parent added at least 50. And fear of failing my family through actions or words…let’s just add another 100 pounds with that one.

Fear will not make us change, fear will keep us in one position unable to move ahead. But love? Love is understanding when you fail, love is patient when you make mistakes and love is overwhelming when you feel that you cannot make it another moment.

What do I so when I have a bad day? Or when I don’t want to exercise, or I want to eat everything I have put on the “HELL NO” list? I call my sisters or brother, I text my husband, or I go see my parents. Because love is not just a warm feeling…love is nonjudgmental.

So, pip pip ole chap! Take a look at what fear is keeping you from doing. Make some changes and look for the love!!

 

TRIGGER!

triggerSo, the other day, I went to see a movie with my husband. We actually drove to the theater, removed ourselves from the car and went inside a movie theater. Normally, we are both so tired in the evenings, we turn on the television and watch the least excruciatingly painful show that we can find (one that doesn’t involve the Kardashians, any political musings or talking animals). Oh – and it cannot be Lord of the Rings…I’m sorry, but my husband has seen that movie so many times that he recites it in his sleep (he sees himself as Aragorn but I think it is more Bilbo Baggins).

Anyway, I digress. After the initial shock of the ticket price (and listening to my husband tell me we could have watched LOTR for free at home) we found our seats and sat down. I immediately began an inner discussion with myself that went as follows: “you can have popcorn, it’s one time, just do it” to which my other self replied “you aren’t even hungry, you just ate, why are you wanting popcorn” and then another voice chimed in “I think they have LOTR collectible popcorn containers” WAIT! Scratch that last one…that was just my husband musing beside me.

I realized, at that moment, something very important. My senses were telling me I wanted popcorn. Being in the theater, smelling the popcorn…my mind was informing me that I needed that popcorn to fully enjoy this experience. I found out these are called triggers. Triggers in eating are emotions or situations that “trigger” a feeling that you need to eat. Getting in a fight with one of my kids? TRIGGER! Money frustrations? TRIGGER! Failing at losing weight? TRIGGER! I can remember sleepless nights when my children were babies, it would be 3AM and I would be making macaroni and cheese. Why? TRIGGER!

How do we handle these triggers when they confront us and tell us that we really need that cupcake if we are going to sit down and pay bills? We must remember that we are in control of our body. Our body is not in control of us. Years and years of bad eating habits cannot be changed overnight. We can’t expect to never fail. It will happen. But what happens after that is what makes us who we are.

I AM IN CHARGE! I don’t need food to tell me how I feel or to deal with awkward situations. I do need confidence and love of myself! If I want popcorn, then I will make the decision to eat popcorn and I will then be responsible for fitting that into my eating plan. For the record, I didn’t eat the popcorn. The reason? I cannot stop after one handful of popcorn. In fact, I can’t stop after TEN handfuls of popcorn. Therefore, I MADE THE DECISION to not have popcorn.

You and I have the power to control ourselves. We have all heard the statement “I just can’t control myself around your chocolate cake”! YES you can. You can control yourself by outfitting your mind and body with alternative solutions to your triggers. Don’t think you can control yourself around that cake? Take a second to walk around the block, eat a small snack or even BLOG (OK…you got me, there’s a fudge brownie sitting on my table daring me to walk by it). After you take a second away from that food…you can disarm your trigger.

THE POWER IS WITHIN! We are all stronger than we realize. Work that inner confidence and that inner strength and be a Body DIVA!

What are your triggers? Let me know and we can blast ’em together!

Can’t See the Forest for the Scale!

treeSo, last blog I wrote about how I had not lost weight in two weeks and how that can really play with your mind. It’s hard to turn your back on something that has governed how you see your body for the past 40 years (yes…the SCALE).

I tried something different. I stopped staring at the scale every morning. It no longer sits there glaring at me and daring me to step on it. I don’t wait until my “morning constitution” to weigh so I will weigh less. I don’t take off my earrings and my clothes (because I am convinced my clothes weigh at least 10 pounds). I even used to shave my legs before I weighed because I think I read somewhere that hairy legs weigh more…

I was CONSUMED by the numbers on the scale. When I was in a program where I was weighed weekly, I would not eat for two days before weigh-in, so I would reach goals. Then, I would go out for a fast food celebration when I reached my goal. In my mind, it actually made sense. I had deprived myself for two days and now I could reward myself.

And don’t even get me started on vacations. My rationalization was always “well, it’s vacation, I’m entitled” or “I will start when I get back-this is my break”.  My body must have been so confused. I can just imagine my digestive systems conversations: “OK, everyone work overtime…we just received a HUGE basket of french fries-Wait! Stop! We must be starving, everyone halt all food processing!”

I just got back from spending four days in Greenville SC with my husband. I don’t know if you have been to Greenville but it is seriously the food center of the world. And guess where we stayed? Right downtown in the food section! We got there and my husband said, “If you want to take a few days off, it won’t hurt you”. He was being nice, he knows that our whole life food has made me happy.

But things are different now. It’s not a temporary diet, this is my way of life. I know I have a problem and I know I will be dealing with it for the rest of my life.

So, guess what? I never one strayed from my eating program…in fact, I never even WANTED to. I felt so empowered and so in control of my life and that is a new feeling for me. I realized that nothing is going to stop me this time. Nothing. I don’t need food to reward me and I don’t need the scale to tell me that I am headed in the right direction,

Guess what else? When we got home, I was able to put on a pair of shorts that I haven’t worn in two years…YES TWO YEARS! Now that’s a victory.

How do you evaluate your success? Good or bad – let me know!

Love you all!

WAIT and not WEIGHT!

patience

UGH! Two weeks and no weight loss!!

 

  1. WATER DRINKING? Check
  2. EXERCISING? Check
  3. EATING CORRECTLY? Check
  4. ENOUGH SLEEP? Check

It’s so frustrating. To work so hard and then have nothing to show for it. I was whining to my sister about this and she asked me:

 “What would you say to your daughter if she came to you with this same problem?”

Well, I know exactly what I would say. I would tell her to not let two weeks overshadow the past year. I would remind her of all the changes her body has gone through and tell her that maybe her body is trying to adapt to those changes. I would tell her to not quit because of a simple pause in loss and to not give in to those temptations to “eat crap” because “it just doesn’t matter anyway“.  I would tell her it does matter and she matters. I am proud of her and I admire how determined she has been on this very difficult journey.

I wrote that down, I did. Exactly like what you just read – I wrote it down. Then I went in front of the mirror and read it to myself. Except for one difference: I changed HER to ME. 

Being overweight, it is very hard for me to focus on myself, very hard to take me-time. I mean, me me-time used to involve a pack of Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies and a book (and I am not talking about a few cookies…I mean the whole pack).

This journey has been so difficult and so revealing to me. I cannot judge my success or failure by the scale. That will not work. That was the old me. My journey is not a temporary fix. This journey is the rest of my life. I am not on a “two-week cleanse” or a “lose 40 pounds in 40 days” diet. I am on a “from now unto forever” way of living.

My eating has changed for the rest of my life. I cannot go back to old habits and I have had to find other ways of dealing with my triggers. I realize the scale is one of those triggers. If I KNOW I am eating right and I am exercising…why am I listening to that little white metal “he who shall not be named” that sits on my bathroom floor?

No more. I know it will take time. Time is going to pass anyway. How do I want to feel in the next 4 to 6 months? Do I want to go back to a life that made me feel not in control and miserable and scared or do I like this new me? This me that feels good, this  me that walked into the Mall and shopped for my daughter’s birthday, this me that stands up and gets her own water rather than ask the “nearest kid”. No…I definitely prefer this me.

As my son said the other day, “Mom, now that you are not as fat, you get out of the car and go into the stores”.  Ahhhh…words to my ears!

How about you? What are your triggers? Keep your chin up and face the day with a new you attitude!

Love you all!

Blog it out baby!!

paper-3242863_1920So, the other day I started complaining about my upcoming surgery to my sister. She responded “Blog it out sister”!

That evening I started in on my kids with my husband…one of them hadn’t taken out the trash cans, one of them wanted more money and the last one was pouting in her room. My husband looked up and said, “Why don’t you put that in your blog?”

So I have come to a very big conclusion: My family totally supports my need to vocalize through print my emotional state and my desire to better myself…or I just complain a heckuva lot!

So here I go…complaining away!

I am having gallbladder surgery next week. I had my pre-op this week. I walked in expecting to have blood tests, EKG’s, temperatures and probably peeing in a cup. So i did that…it took 30 minutes. So what took the remainder of the 2 hours? MAKING SURE I COULD PAY WHAT INSURANCE DIDN’T COVER!

I was amazed! They even told me “if you can pay the whole $2800 up front we will give you a 25% discount”.  I asked if that applied to my $50 a month payment. I was answered with a blank stare and sneer. After the hospital had me sign away my first born son to the hospital, I was directed to anesthesiology. Good, I thought, they want to make sure I am healthy enough to be put under…right? NOPE. They wanted to make sure I could pay for the anesthesiologist! What happens if you can pay for the surgery and not the anesthesiologist? Do you have to just bite a bullet and let them cut away?

So…I signed away my second child to anesthesiology and then I was directed to the lab. Ahhhh…maybe they will have the results of all the labs they took earlier. NOPE! They wanted to inform me that if they do a biopsy, I will be responsible for my portion of the bill and how will I be paying. They take all major credit cards or cash. Unfortunately, even though I had one more child left, they were not willing to consider my offer.

There. Everyone was satisfied that at some point they would be receiving their money (maybe not at one time…but something would be coming their way when my lottery numbers hit). Now they assured me I could have my surgery and all would be well with the world, but first sign here that you will not sue if any item is left inside you or if any item inside that should remain inside is accidentally removed.

It was at this point that I really wanted a creamy, ooey, gooey, sugary anything to control these emotions. Maybe a hot dripping cinnamon roll or a meringue pie loaded with whipped cream. No No No…not for my emotionally eating…to throw in the face of the next person who asked me to sign in blood that I would pay!!!

OK, you know what? I do feel better. Blogging has taken the place of eating for me right now in my life. When I would get upset, I would eat. Always. Then I would start the cycle…mad at myself…eat more…mad at someone else…eat more. I feel confident that I have ended that cycle. I know that it will never be totally gone, but I am arming myself with the weapons to fight that urge.

How do you fight the urge? Find something that makes all those feelings purge from inside! Maybe it’s exercise (not this girl), maybe it’s sewing (nope again) or maybe it’s writing (ding, ding, ding). Find what you like and throw yourself into it!!

Love you mucho!

What does a gallbladder even do???

cartoonSo…there I was, feeling all proud of myself. Sticking to my meal planning, exercising every day and even getting 8 full hours of sleep (and that’s a biggie – what with the hot flashes, the dogs wanting to snuggle and my kids coming in a different hours). Yup, I was flying high…feeling my oats…sitting on top of the world…I was in my feels…OK, you get the idea.  I was having a good day. Then I flew too close to the sun…i was dogged by misfortune…I was behind the 8-ball…(you know I could really go on and on with this).

ANYWAY – I started feeling a pain in my side. So, of course, I did what every other person would do in my situation: I ignored it. So the pain got worse and worse, until I ALMOST went to the emergency room (and you have to understand – for me to go to the emergency room is a BIG deal. I calculate the price before I even consider walking out the door!)  I made it through the night and went to see my doctor to find our what was causing this pain.

The pain was so severe, I thought it had to be a pregnancy that my doctor had missed and I was in active labor. I mean, it felt like I was 100 centimeters dilated. They performed an ultrasound (no baby and no alien) and determined it was my GALL BLADDER!

My gall bladder!! What?? I said, “no, no, no… I am eating NO fried foods and nothing bad for me! I am exercising! I am losing weight! I am getting up and actually fixing my daughter’s lunch before school…this can NOT be my gallbladder!”

The doctor smiled and said, “this damage to your gallbladder was probably done years ago. Now that you are getting control of your body, your gallbladder is realizing something is wrong.”

The doctor told me they wanted to remove the gallbladder as soon as possible and set up an appointment with the specialist. My initial reaction was “CRAPOLA!”  I kept thinking how miserable it made me, how I couldn’t exercise for a while, how this would affect my eating program and how could this happen right now? I was really feeling down.

I talked to my sister and she said, “Isn’t that amazing? You have lost so much weight and now your body is starting to respond!” I started thinking about that. You know she’s right. There will be a lot of bumps along the way, I mean, I haven’t been treating my body very respectfully and I cannot expect my body not to voice its opinion every now and then. It reminds me of a little kid – giving them candy all the time instead of meals and then telling them they can only have spinach and carrots. Of course, you are going to be greeted with a lot of yelling and kicking and screaming. That’s what is going on with me now.  My body is starting to protest: Where’s the fat? Where’s the fried chicken? Why am I pedaling this bike?

My body and I will get through this, we will come out on the other side smiling and loving each other. Some things are not easy but you cannot give up. There are times you will want to, you will want to throw in the towel, to give up the ship, give up the ghost but you just can’t do it.

It’s like that song…”oooh child, things are going to get easier…” It will. I know that.

 

Every Picture Tells a Story

I am just not feeling it today. I am not feeling like drinking my hot tea this morning. I am not feeling like tracking every single morsel I put in my mouth. I am not feeling like trying to fit 45 minutes in at the gym grunting and groaning. And I just do not feel like having to watch what I eat and do today. Just don’t wanna.

You know, I talk a good talk. I walk around with my “fitness plate” app and am constantly figuring carbs, fat, and protein. “If I add too much cheese to this salad-is it going to blow my numbers off track?” “Did I drink 6 or 8 glasses of water yet?” “Oh Lord – I can’t find the nutrition values for this almond flour!” But sometimes I just don’t feel like doing it…like today.

So what should I do? In my head…I hear that little voice starting…”you have done so well..is one chick-fil-a sandwich REALLY going to hurt?” This is when eating right is the hardest for me. It would be so easy to give in to that temptation. And it’s hard to get  rid of that, trust me, I have tried. It’s not like I can call an exorcist to exorcise my food demons (I tried…he never called back).

So there I was, not feeling like doing ANY of this food work and getting ready to just say: “FORGET THIS” and rummage through my kid’s Easter baskets for candy that I could eat without them noticing it missing (I mean, I could ALWAYS blame it on the dogs). But that’s when it happened – I got a text from my husband. It was a picture of me taken 2 years ago with the words “I am so proud of how far you have come!”

I looked at that picture and a flood of memories came over me. The feeling of being so sad and miserable, pretty much depressed. I didn’t want to feel that way again. I still have a lot of weight to lose but I FEEL differently now. I don’t feel so sad, I don’t feel so tired, I don’t wait for my husband to do everything, and I feel positive about my future. I want to STAY on this path. I want to continue feeling better and better every day.

So what do I do on these days when I feel like not dealing with it? I will look at this picture and I will remember the “me” that was and I will remember why I am doing this. A longer life, a healthier life, enjoying my kids and loving my husband. This is why I am doing this.

I don’t like to share pictures of myself, but I can’t write this blog and NOT share the picture.

weight