Tuesday, December 20, 2016

To Me, With Love

Dear Me,
(in a soothing, nurturing voice) Why do you keep doing this to yourself? You know numbing with food won't make you feel better.
Why do you keep eating sweets, so many sweets?
Why do you keep losing sight of your goals?
Yes, dear, it is the holiday season... but it was also during the holiday season just a few years ago that you decided to take back your life. Do you remember the night you sat down and really looked at things?
Do you remember how you sat down, so focused for hours, working on a plan to bring health back to the forefront of your life?
You worked so hard.

(in tears, with sadness) I know. I worked so hard.
I'm scared. I'm scared now.
I'm tired of feeling uncomfortable in my clothes. I'm tired of my body feeling bloated and uncomfortable all the time.
I'm tired of my clothes not fitting right, or not fitting at all.
I want to go back.
I'm just so tired all the time.

(with tenderness and compassion) I know you are. I know. You are doing your best right now. Of course you are. This is hard work. You knew this would be a lifelong battle. You can do this.

(a few tears still, but determination rising up) I can do this. I know I can. I did it before and discovered how strong I am. I can get back to where I feel good. To where I feel healthy. To where I feel strong. Vibrant. Beautiful. Alive. I want to feel alive again!
Sugar doesn't do that. Sugar makes my body hurt. Sugar makes my body uncomfortable. Sugar tastes good in the moment. It's addicting, oh so addicting.
But I'm tired of the muffin top. I'm tired of my boobs popping out of the top of my bra. I'm tired of achy knees. I'm tired of feeling gassy and bloated.

(with more confidence now, tears drying) I need reminders of the positives and negatives. What I want and what I don't like feeling. I need to break this addiction. I can do this!
What I don't want:

  • feeling gassy and bloated
  • achy joints and knees
  • feeling tired and worn out
  • muffin tops
  • breakouts on my chin
What I do want:
  • my clothes to fit right
  • energy
  • feeling healthy, vibrant, alive, beautiful
  • fitness, flexibility, freedom (not to eat anything I want but to do the things I love most)
I'm sick and tired of doing this to myself over and over and over...! I want to end this cycle. I want to pave new patterns for a healthier life, a healthier me. I want a life with self-control and freedom. I want a life with balance. 
....balance is still something I'm struggling with. I may not have it quite yet, but I'm getting there. I can do this. 

(lovingly) Oh dear, you can do this. It's not an easy road ahead of you, but you already have everything you need. (I'm sort of my own Glinda the good witch here.)

(with gratitude) Yes, I can do this. I will do this. I'm going to make a plan for tomorrow. 
Tomorrow, not to punish myself, but because I love myself, I'm going to only eat things I pack. Yogurt, fruit, and granola for breakfast. A banana for morning snack. Bean soup and clementines for lunch. And for afternoon snack some cottage cheese with fruit. And a quick dinner at home of enchilada casserole/soup. (It turned out a little runny, I'll have to ask Grandma P what I need to do differently next time.)
No pizza hot lunch for me, not because I can't, but because I know what the bread and fatty toppings will make my body feel like and I don't want that. And because I know that right now it's hard to stop at just one, so I'm not even going to start. This is an act of love towards myself.

One day at a time. One moment at a time. You got this.

I got this!


There's a saying that "hurting people hurt people." I was wounded last night. Another person's words about things people are saying about me hurt me deeply. 

But I didn't hurt other people after that. I hurt myself. By letting the negative thoughts of their words run through my mind. By eating to numb the feelings. By eating so that I felt too full in order to try to block the pain that their words caused me.

So all night last night I continued to hurt. Thoughts of these words continued through my mind, interrupting my sleep. The food that I had eaten to try to drown the thoughts of those words cause my stomach to be upset keeping me from a restful sleep. And I awoke today not wanting to go to work to face some of these people and the words that they said. The words that have hurt me. Not wanting to go to work because I didn't sleep well. And not wanting to go to work because my stomach hurts. 

But wanting to go to work because of the faces of the little children I see every day whom I love very dearly. They are the reason that I am out of bed this morning. They are the reason I will put a smile on my face despite the pain that I am feeling inside.

I'm still hurting, physically and emotionally. So if you see me eating junk, will you ask me how I'm doing? Because chances are good that I'm hurting and trying to numb the pain.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Status Quo 2016

In December of 2013 while pet-sitting for a family in Seattle, I became the Urban Hiker Girl. I had become fed up with status quo in my life. I was overweight, sedentary, and unhappy with my life. I was the heaviest I'd ever been in  my life and I knew I was going to keep getting heavier if some things didn't change.

While walking the dogs one evening I realized how easy it was to add a little more physical activity into my life. I knew that I had a lot of changes to make, but my goal was important - I wanted to be healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally - something I currently wasn't. So I set a goal, knowing that as I progressed towards it that I might tweak it, and started breaking it down into steps. In addition to my end goal, I also made a mid-year goal. Then I started breaking it down month by month into baby steps.

After I'd set my goals for weight, I set goals for physical activity to help me meet my weight goals. Realizing that healthy food choices also needed to be a part of this process, I started making food goals each month. Had I made all these changes at once, it would have felt overwhelming and unmanageable. But breaking it down into baby steps and small changes over a long period of time, it seemed more manageable and gave me time to adapt to a new life-style a little at a time.

December of 2016, and the status quo of the last few months is not ok. I've gained weight, become more sedentary, resumed some bad eating habits, and I'm unhappy with some areas of my life. I'm not the heaviest I've ever been, but I'm going to keep getting heavier if I don't change some things.

Since I now have a boyfriend who's a very significant part of my life now and my future, I've decided to include him in my planning process. What I do to take care of myself is going to affect him, so I want him to be part of the conversation.

What I do to take care of myself shouldn't be a punishment or because I'm afraid of gaining weight, but should be a celebration of myself through exercise and eating well.

I'm going to go back to my foundations. I'm going to set an end goal and date. I'm going to set a mid-way goal. And I'm going to come up with baby-steps to help me get there a little at a time.

By Valentine's Day, I want to be back into my button pants fitting comfortably. I want to weigh 165 pounds. By mid-January I want to be back to 170 pounds.

While I know cutting out sweets (processed foods and sugary snacks), it doesn't seem reasonable to completely cut them out of my life right now - it's December! Christmas cookie season! But I can set a reasonable, loving limit on the sweets that I'll eat. I'll only eat homemade sweets. (That means no more candy from the secretary's desk, but I can eat some of the sweets at the cookie exchange I'm doing with friends on Friday, as well as the birthday cake that I'm going to make for my boyfriend later this month.) And I'll limit it it to eating sweets once a week because if I eat it too many days in a row I get mood swings, body aches, and inflamed joints (the list goes on and it ain't pretty). Sweets will not be a reward - food should never be a reward - but rather a "sometimes" treat.

I'm going to increase the veggies I eat each day. Lunch and or dinner will include a side of veggies. Hmmmm... maybe I'll even make salad one of my main meals each day during the week (like lunch or dinner). Or bulk up my main entree, like soup or stew or chili, by adding lots of veggies to help fill me up without lots of calories.

And I'm going to make a more significant effort to get to the gym as often as my trainer is currently prescribing. Three days a week doing weight training and two days a week of cardio. Plus one day a week of yoga. And, of course, one night a week (at least!) of dance. All while keeping my regular Thursday night volleyball. With basketball season ending this week, it'll leave me significant more room in my schedule to do this without taking away time from other activities and quality time with my boyfriend.

I can do this. I believe in me. I am gonna rock this plan!

Sunday, December 4, 2016


It's December. The most wonderful time of the year for baking, partying, and gifting. Not so wonderful for sticking to diet, exercise, and health plans.

Had a brief chat with my boyfriend this evening about what I need to take care of my (mental) health and manage stress for the next few weeks.
1. I need to eat well.
2. I need to make sure to get in bed by 10 pm on work nights.
3. I need to exercise regularly. (We joked that my trainer would be punishing me in the gym every night this upcoming week... Maybe not so much a joke after recent events.)
4. Minimize stressors, and relieve stress by cuddling more! (One of my top two love languages is physical touch, so cuddling is super important to me!)

I need to get back to focusing on the big picture and keeping everything in balance.
1. I will get through this. I've got a 100% success rate so far for overcoming obstacles.
2. Ten pounds is only ten pounds. I'm not obese again. But I do have to work hard to get it back off.
3. I feel better when I eat better, but feeling better doesn't mean I can slack off after a few days.
4. Sugar makes me feel horrible. I repeat: Sugar makes me feel horrible! My mood, my muscles, and my knees. Stay away from sugar!
5. There is more to life than managing food and exercising at the gym. Life is about balance.
6. Track receipts and get control of my budget (I've been ignoring balance in other areas of my life besides, food and exercise).
7. Find time to at least walk or do yoga every day. My health matters.
8. Eat more homemade food and less prepared food/fast food.
9. Make time for connecting with my boyfriend every day. Relationship health is just as important as my physical and financial health.
10.  ....that's enough list.

Finding balance is hard, but possible. I can do it - starting with prayer over all things!

Father God, please help me find balance in my life. You are the Creator of all things. You have  a plan and purpose for my life. Help me to not be so busy that I don't have time for the ministry tasks you have specially equipped me for. Help me to put you at the center of it all so that I can keep it all in balance, with your help. Thank you for showing me the way. Amen!