Friday, April 29, 2016

When Your Brain Finally Turns On

The other day I read "Finding The Answer" on Dee's blog, Break Out The Skinny Girl.  I love Dee's blog.  She shares so candidly how she feels and I am so able to relate to her posts.  You should really check her out!
This particular post really resonated with me.  Just today I was thinking about how much my life has changed.  (I'll write more about that this weekend.)  When looking back, sometimes I wonder what happened to cause the change...

If you have ever been on a diet or weight loss program more than three times in your life, then you know what I mean about yo-yo dieting. We try to lose weight, we really want to be successful, but we either gain the weight back or give up too soon.  There is something inside us that doesn't believe we can accomplish it. Dee calls it the asshole in her head and I just love that description. Think about it, what is it that tells you "You can't do this. Why bother trying?  It will never work."  It's the asshole in your head!!!

What causes us to finally turn our brain on?

Is it about how we look?  For me, I was ashamed of how I looked to the point where I did not care.  I knew was fat.  I did not like feeling as though I was stuck, but I believed there was nothing I could do to change that.  It was not how I looked that made me change.

Or about how we feel?  I was in pain 24 hours / day, 7 days / week.  My joints ached.  I walked with a limp.  I was tired all the time.  I did not want that to be my reality.

So, the day finally comes when you decide to kick the asshole in your head to the curb. It's like a trigger that goes off... your brain finally turns on and YOU decide to take control of your nutrition...your health, your life!  One day becomes a week, becomes a month, becomes two, becomes a lifestyle.

I won't lie and tell you the asshole doesn't peak out and try to get back in your head again. He does, far too often. But as you develop healthier eating and exercise habits, you should be developing more positive coping strategies and recognizing the negative self talk for what it is no longer derails your train.

When you start to feel better, you start to care about what your appearance again.  I wear makeup almost every day now (even though I suffer from allergies).  I enjoy pampering myself with a manicure every few weeks.  I no longer dread clothes shopping ... to the point that my husband chokes when he opens the mail and sees how much I've spent on shoes and clothing.

In my post, "What No One Tells You About Weight Loss," I talk about how sad it is too lose your buxom breasts.  But then I discovered push-up bras.  They are the most wonderful creation!  Seriously, when I wear one of my new bras, I feel like a million bucks.  But they are expensive!
Shhhhhh.... push-up bra inside.  The best kept secret for those of us who need a little extra help upstairs.
If you want to lose weight.  If there is a part of you that wants to be thin, that feels discouraged, like you just can't do it.  I want you to tell yourself, "Shut up."  I'm serious.  Look at yourself in the mirror and say, "I can do this.  I want to feel better.  I want to lose the weight."  And then BELIEVE in yourself.  This is not a one or two day jaunt to lose weight.  It's a long haul.  You can do it.  Believe in yourself.

I have never felt better in my life.
Question for the ladies:  (Answer in the comments below.)
Where do you buy your bras?
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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Big Occasions

April marks the beginning of a series of "Big Events" in my household.  My husband and I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary last week.  It's hard to believe we have been together so long.  I used to believe in soul mates, and then when we went through a rough patch earlier in our marriage, I thought that was just nonsense talk.  At this point in our marriage, I can say he is my soul mate.  I can't imagine my life without him.  He knows how I am feeling just by the sound of my voice or the way I walk into a room.  Sometimes I'll say to him, "Stop invading my privacy, I really just want to be in a bad mood without anyone knowing it."  And he'll respond, "I'm sorry if I know how my wife is feeling after all these years."  And we laugh.  He is my heart.

Today is my son, Joey's 18th Birthday.  I cannot believe he is 18 years old.  Seriously, where did the time go?  He's not a kid anymore.  I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday.

With so much celebrating, combined with the pressure of finishing my degree, it's been a consistent food fest.  Despite the ice cream cake we will have tonight for dessert, I am renewing my focus on balancing my nutrition.  

I am finding that I have a tendency to eat when I'm not even hungry, which is dangerous.  My choices at that time are never smart.  For part of my food prep today, I am going to peel some carrots and set aside some carrot sticks for the munchies (I've been preferring carrot sticks to baby carrots lately...go figure?).  It's no where near as good as the ice cream I want to eat, but there is a sweetness to the carrots and a bulk to them that keeps me from reaching for the cookie jar.  It's a matter of discipline.
I've also been chewing sugarless gum like crazy lately.  That keeps my mouth busy and helps my need to have something sweet in my mouth.  The journey is a constant learning process.  Just when you think you've got it, a curve ball comes your way and you find what was working, no longer works, and you have to readjust.  The key to success is perseverance, working through the trials, and never, ever throwing in the towel.  Learning to have your cake and eat it too is probably a much bigger challenge than learning to say no to the cake.

Happy 18th Birthday, Joey!  I love you!  You are the sunshine in each day.

We went for hike yesterday with our new puppy Leia and my godson, Sam.  This was Leia's first hike and she was tuckered out afterwards!!  Joey is a wonderful hiking companion.
Questions for you:  (Answer in the comments below.)
Do you have anything exciting happening this year?  
What's your favorite kind of Birthday cake?

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Far from Perfect

Hello friends! It's been a long time since I've taken a moment to write. I wanted to share with you what I've been experiencing the past month or so. I was supposed to finish my field experience for my degree back in December, but I didn't really even start logging the hours until February. (That's after I was supposed to already be done.) As much as I like to write and share my thoughts with you on my blog, it's an entirely different story writing about what I do every day and applying it to my goal of becoming a principal someday. This has been a grueling experience for me! It's taking me hours and days even. Because I don't like it, it's excruciatingly painful.

I have no life right now, except this.  This is my daily Snapchat.  Me at Starbucks, writing in my journal, trying to catch up.
I've been going to Starbucks as much as I can and writing there without distractions- nothing to keep me from writing. I can't do laundry, watch Netflix or work out if I am at Starbucks writing my journal. Like I said, I should've been done with this in December.

The stress from this has kicked in my depression which feels like a wet blanket covering me. And I really can't seem to get the blanket off of me.  I know that this is all related to stress from finishing this up and stuff that's been going on at work, but it's not a fun experience to go through.

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slim pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
Psalm 40:1-3 NIV

I'm trying to be really good about my nutrition and I'm still working out at least four days a week.  I have been taking more days off from the gym than I'm used to. This just adds to my anxiety, because there's that fear of getting fat, you know? When you've been on yo-yo diets most of your adult life and you gain the weight back every time, you really don't want to get fat again.
I've taken to eating more of "whatever I want" more and more often.  It's like walking on a frozen pond after a thaw.  Not very smart.  But the donut was sooooooooooo good.
If you've never been fat before, it's hard for you to understand what I'm talking about. But if you've been on a diet and lost weight, you know how easy it is to rebound. So I'm trying hard to be good about my nutrition and exercise even if I can't make it to the gym every day.  

When you feel like this, it's hard to even look forward to anything. 

Last week, my husband and I are celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary!  I can't even believe it, it doesn't seem real. He is my best friend, I love him with my whole heart. 25 years!  I don't feel old enough to be married that long.
Brian & I on our wedding day, 25 years ago.
We're going to go away for anniversary, but probably not until the fall. It's hard when you're feeling overwhelmed with everything to look forward to things like celebrating your anniversary, planning a vacation, or even going to the beach this summer.  
We took a day to sneak away and went to Mohegan Sun.  It was a nice get away.  No work - Brian would not let me and I needed the reprieve.
In thinking about this, I realize that I'm just not perfect. I don't have it all together, I probably never will. But I realize that's OK. My husband loves me anyway.  My kids think I'm all right too. And hopefully if you're reading this you think I'm OK.  This was never about being perfect, it was about achieving my goals, and right now that's what I'm working really hard to do. Finishing my degree is all that matters, and I know that it is going to be a lot of hard work.  I have it in me to make it happen.

Meanwhile, please stay tuned as I will be back to blogging regularly when all this is done!

Look how much my Princess Leia is growing up!  Long walks with her are good for both of us!
I've taken a serious liking to iHeart Radio.  My favorite channel is Top 40 Workout.  This channel has an awesome collection of upbeat, leg stomping music.  I also really like K-Love, which has uplifting, inspirational Christian music which is good for my soul.  It just depends on what I'm in the mood to hear.  What I like about iHeart Radio is that it seems to be knows that I have a crazy eclectic taste in music and it combines some outrageous styles of music which keeps my groove on whether I am writing, walking the dog or working out.  Check out these favorites...  (I told you, I'm eclectic!)

Here in Your Presence
by New Life Worship

I'm Straight
by Fetty wap

Cake by the Ocean

Questions for you:  (Answer in the comments below.)
What's your favorite workout song?  What's your favorite coffee spot?

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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Standing On A Ledge

Yesterday was April Fools! Did anyone play any crazy practical jokes on you? I was pretty much left unscathed.  I did take our new puppy, Leia to the veterinarian yesterday. She was not happy about the wait.
She cried and cried and cried waiting for the vet...this was the only 5 seconds she was calm.  
The little porker weighs 29.2 lbs. already.  She's now at the wonderfully frustrating stage where she gets into everything, chews everything and drives you crazy when she's not getting attention. The only cure is exercise. Walks through the neighborhood seem to tucker her out well enough.

I have been sorely neglecting my blog for the past several weeks.  There are probably things I should update you about.  My motivation to write has been severely zapped.  I have been overwhelmed.  Like I'm standing on a ledge.  Work is crazy busy with 100 deadlines.  Trying to get caught up on my journaling has been excruciatingly dreadful.  And figuring out how to balance weight maintenance versus weight loss has been making me a bit nuts.

Trying to NOT obsess about my weight has me focusing on God's word.  "I am fearfully and wonderfully  made!!!"  If that is true, then God loves me just the way I am.  Praise him!
Here is the thing, when you are trying to lose weight, you learn a program, you stick to it and you follow the program.  If the program is right for you, it works like magic.  When you are no longer trying to lose weight, you still have to be vigilant about your nutrition, but you have the added pleasure of including extra calories and treats along the way.  Eating a piece of cheesecake for dessert, means you have to learn how to not feel guilty after and stick to eating only one piece.  When your hormones are cross-eyed and you get bloated, you have to learn the difference between that and feeling like you are actually getting fat.
My church sponsored a Women's Conference a couple weeks ago.  Friday night we had a dessert social, which was simply amazing.  It was so hard to limit myself with all the delectable goodies available.
The positive side of things is that the weather is warming up, providing more opportunities to be outside.
Playing with the puppies outside brings a lot of joy!

My weight has been stable within about 7 lbs. When it's up on the other end of the 7 lbs, I get a little freaked.
In January, I changed my form up a little for my squats.  It was like starting over.  I have been focusing on attaining a deeper squat.  This week, I finally beat my personal record and am up to three reps at 160 lbs.  It's a good sense of satisfaction.  (I forgot my hair tie this day...need to keep some spare ones in my gym bag.)
To deal with the weight fluxuations, I cut back on my calories somewhat and have been trying to eliminate simple sugars (I think these are contributing to my feeling bloated).  I have been sticking to the same regimen (macros and meal prep) and trying some new recipes along the way.

I made this for myself for lunch this week:

Turkey & Lentils
Yields 4 servings

1 lb. ground turkey, browned
1 red pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 carrot sticks, peeled and chopped finely
1 C. dry lentils
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 can chicken broth, fat free, low sodium
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp. basil

Combine all ingredients in the crock pot, cook on high for 4 - 5 hours.

I put it in the crock pot one night and asked my husband to turn it off when he got home.  When I got up, I divided it into four containers and put in the fridge for myself for lunch.  If you like cumin, it's really tasty.  It's not too spicy at all, but if you like spicy, I'm sure you could add more spices.

I served it with veggies.

Nutritional Information:
187 calories
1.4 g. fat
17.1 carbohydrates
17.4 carbohydrates
4.2 g. fiber

At the Women's Conference a couple weeks ago, I shared my story.  I think it went well.  I think I might have talked too much and didn't get to the point fast enough...I should have given the ladies more tools to take with them.  It was my first time public speaking, so I know now, if I were to do it again, what I need to do to change the format.
I got a little animated...
And Easter happened too.  

Mitch came home for spring break and was with us for Easter dinner.

Feeling so overwhelmed lately, I had an opportunity to really reflect on the meaning of Easter.  The sacrifice Christ made for us...for me...  This is what makes it possible to have hope.

Hope:  No matter what you are experiencing, what challenges you face... Whether you are overwhelmed with all life is throwing at you...  If you screwed up and are dealing with the consequences of your actions... Or have dealt with one crisis after another...  Sometimes it all gets to you and you feel like you are on a ledge.

Easter:  Christ died for us to pay our debt.  His resurrection is the real miracle.

When we give our burdens to him, we can have peace.  For He has overcome the world.  That's what it is all about.

Questions for you:  (Answer in the comments below.)
Did play any April Fools jokes on anyone?  Fall victim to any?
What plans do you have this weekend?

Now:  Subscribe to new posts!  When a new post is added, you will receive an email notice so you can check it out.  I promise:  no SPAM and I won't share your email address with anyone.  Look at the top right side of the page to subscribe.  

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Twitter:  @TraceyFit99
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