Okay, I DEFINITELY was in a funk.  I’ve pulled myself out of it mostly but tonight Roni over at Roni’s Weigh shared which accomplishments she’s most proud of and, in turn, asked her readers to do the same.

Focusing on what I’ve accomplished is far more nurturing to my soul than dwelling on the negative!  So here I go!

In no particular order:

1.  My husband and I have a beautiful family.  I have so much love for them that sometimes I feel like I could explode.  We’ve been married 9 years and each year we become closer and learn each other better.  We are committed to the long haul and I take such comfort in that trust.  My children….they just amaze me all the time with how wonderful they are.  My son has a gentle nature that can’t be taught.  My daughter has so much spunk and determination.  I am the luckiest woman alive, I think.

2.  I get to be a SAHM.  I feel like getting to be a mommy is a priviledge and the fact that I don’t have to leave them every day is an dream come true.

3.  I have the ability to “get back on the horse.”  Even if I’m making a poor food choice, it doesn’t derail me from my ultimate vision.  I don’t just give up and revert back to my old ways.  Old habits might sneak in, but I’ve equipped myself with the tools to banish them, too.

4.  I’ve finally decided what I want to be when I grow up.  I never thought I’d figure that out and look, I have.  Amazing.

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I have been in a funk.

I saw a friend of mine who’s lost 17lbs and looks fabulous.  While I am proud and happy for her, I had a knee-jerk, inner jealousy reaction to her success.  Why?  Because I haven’t been focused.  I’m hovering.  I’m letting my relationship with food have too much importance.   I’m living to eat instead of eating to live.  I’m seeking refuge from insecurities and stress in food.

When am I going to learn?

I’m starting over again, mentally, emotionally and habit-wise.  See, just a couple weeks ago I was all zen about this–I got too comfy and now I must re-learn my lesson.

What would I tell a newbie?  Maybe that’s what I need to be telling myself.  Since I’m doing very well in the exercise department

1.  Fill up on veggies.

2.  Rid your home of trigger foods.

3.  Try to make small, healthy choices.  Salad instead of fries.

4.  Plan your meals & snacks ahead.  And keep something with you so you aren’t tempted to stop.

5. Drink lots of fluids as long as they don’t contain sugar.

6.  STOP SNACKING!  That’s not what you’re hungry for.

7.  Eat consciously, i.e. not in front of the computer in total zone out mode.

8. Don’t let yourself get too hungry–that is asking for a round of overeating.

9. When people tell you that you inspire them, take it as a compliment and not as an opportunity to  mentally put your flaws under a magnifying glass.  Okay, this one isn’t for a newbie, but I need to remind myself of this, badly.

Breathe.  I can do this. I AM doing this.

I’ve picked up some old habits again.  The main one being snacking alone at night after the kids go to bed.  Sigh.

Since this habit is usually stress-induced, it’s time for a little self-reflection.  And since you’re my lucky readers, you get to come with me!

Okay, what’s bothering me?

1.  I’m plateauing like a mother right now.  I am extremely frustrated with this.  I’ve ramped up my exercise like crazy and yet, no weight is coming off.  I think my middle is smaller, but I don’t really know.  I did buy my first ever size L shirt, tho. That was nice.

2.  I’ve made the decision that I will become a personal trainer yet can’t accomplish my own goals.  How am I supposed to help anyone else?  This one is particularly nuts because I don’t plan on even starting on certifications until next year.  I’ve got lots of time, yk?

Three friends of mine have given me pep talks and while I’m feeling a bit better, I’m still not feeling in control.  I still feel like as soon as I’m alone, I’ll stuff my face.

What are you really hungry for, Brianne?

Success.  Size 8 jeans.  Perspective, since I seem to have temporarily lost mine. Courage. Perseverence. Belief in myself.  Clarity.

There are so many people, both online and IRL, who have touched my journey.   While I did this alone, I didn’t really–I’ve had some awesome cheerleaders along the way.  I thanked my trainer, Fred, in the last post and realized I have a lot more thanks to dole out!

In no paticular order:

My husband.  He has been so supportive of this lifestyle change; namely, eating whatever healthy fare I put on the dinner table.  I am so grateful that he eats what I cook without complaint and usually with a compliment. He’s only complained mildly about the money I spend on fitness and related gear.  He’s generous enough in spirit to tell me he’s proud of me.  Add the fact that he works so hard so I can stay home with the kids (or take them to the gym) and you’ve got one amazing man.

My friend/neighbor Alicia.  She lives right next door and always has a kind word to say about my dedication.  She’s also the one who gently reminds me when I need to lighten up a bit on myself.  I definitely get in the zone sometimes—she helps me be a little more balanced.  Also, Alicia meets me a the gym so we can hang out and work out.  There’s nothing like a girlfriend to chat with!  Another big way she’s helped me is with clothes.  I have no clue most of the time about what looks good on me.  I like to take her shopping because she has great fashion sense and is honest with me.

My best bud, Betsy.  Betsy is not the rah-rah type of cheerleader but when you’ve done something special, she’s the first one to congratulate you.  Even though she is stretched a million ways by her job and family, if I have a problem that I need to talk about , she will make time to listen and nearly always gives me solid, well-thought-out advice.  And she also teaches me a lot about clothes.  Betsy is a great cook so we like to swap up healthy meal ideas.

My friend from college, Megan.  She always has something positive to say.  She’s also one of the few IRL people I let read this blog since she’s a blogger herself.

My gym buddies–these are the peeps I would have never known had I not started this new lifestyle.  Desi, Audra, Camille, Christy, Angie…..I could go on.  Heck, there are some folks whose names I don’t know.  But seeing them work hard inspires me.  Just a smile or a “looking good” or a simple “great job” really makes my day better.

Not the actual day I was born.  Reborn.  Reborn into a person determined to reach her goals and become healthy. Let me tell you a bit about what was going on over a year ago.  We had just watched my beloved father-in-law suffer in his last days on Earth from colon cancer.  I was fat and secretly unhappy.  I was so, so negative about everything.  I sat on the couch and stuffed my face most days.  But that was then.

 How about some comparison pics?

Okay, I had JUST given birth 2 days before, but I swear I was the same size 4 months later.  240lbs or so?  God knows I wasn’t stepping on any scales.

This was taken yesterday: 187lbs.

and again:  Last year in June, about 3 weeks before the new lifestyle.

and recently:

I just realized I have nearly no full body pics before or after.  I’ll have to do some digging.

Anyway, it’s important to note that I have not yet reached my goal.  I still have 25-27lbs to lose.  But I WILL do it.  And that’s all I’m gonna say about that, LOL.

What I really want to write about is change.  Sometimes I wonder if everything about me has changed–it certainly seems so on many days. True, my body is nearly 50lbs lighter, but I never anticipated the transformation on the emotional/mental level.  I’m nicer and more positive.  I hope that I’m less quick to jump to a negative comment.  I have less fear.  I have dreams and goals I never saw for myself at the beginning of this journey. I’m proud of myself.

A big part of my success is my trainer, Fred.  I honestly don’t know where I would be if he hadn’t come into my life.  Would I still be on the stupid cardio machines, learning nothing and then stalling out and quitting?  I tend to think so.  He has given me so much–the tools to succeed, the focus, the emotional support.  He has been Sacajawea to my Lewis & Clark.  He helped me break out of my shell of fear.  Gosh, I was so scared of looking stupid at the gym!  I was scared of everything!  I say this without hesitation: he’s the greatest teacher I’ve had.

I truly “get it” now.  The mind/body connection.  What fitness and strength feel like.   I have this thirst for life that I’ve never had before.  There is no perfection.  I still struggle with overeating–and probably always will.  But I know how to get back up on the horse now.

This has been the best year of my life.  I feel like I’ve taken great strides in becoming myself.

I’m giggling to myself over this title.  Duuuuude, it’s like Zen, man.  Okay, well I entertain myself at least!  hahaha!

But what I’m getting at is that I’ve come to a really great place, emotionally.  More about that in a bit.

I don’t think I ever wrote about having a sluggish thyroid.  I found out during my physical back in May–I take 25micrograms of the generic Synthroid.  At first, I was pretty irritated that I was on a daily medication.  That’s for old people, right?  Apparently, it’s for me, too.  I’m finally starting to see a tiny bit of difference.  When I am really exerting myself the tendency to get dizzy has greatly diminished.  I go back in August to have my blood drawn and see if I’m on the correct dosage for my deficiency.

In exercise news, I’m on week 3 of H.I.M. training.  (High Intensity Metabolic) Whew, this class kills!  It’s all based around doing a certain exercise for a length of time and then a rest period.  As the intensity increases and our tolerance levels increase, the rest time decreases.  For example, today we ran a series of sprints.  Each 45 seconds long with a  15 second rest period before starting the next sprint.  After 4 sets of sprints, we got 2 minutes to get water, etc.  Then onto another series.  This style of training is supposed to target belly fat specifically.  I sure hope so!  I actually started the class weighing in at 191lbs (thanks to being on my cycle and a BAD case of the munchies!)  I’m down to 186lbs and hopefully will lose 5-6 more pounds. I would love, love, love to see a 179 on that scale!

I’ve also been doing bootcamp on Saturdays for the last six weeks.  It’s hard in a different way than H.I.M. training.  I find it requires a lot more mental toughness–I suspect that’s mainly because of the jogging, which I still hate.  Perhaps if I enjoyed running, bootcamp would be less difficult….nah, my trainer would just find ways to make it more difficult! 

Running has become my cardio of choice when I’m not at HIM class or bootcamp.  I’m training for a 5k on September 26th.  Considering that I really dislike running, this is pretty amazing. I’ve run a few test 5ks on the treadmill (which in NO way simulates running outdoors in the heat or the hills in the town hosting the 5k) and I’ve come in around 36-37minutes with a bit of walking. Not too shabby, in my opinion.

On the eating front, I still struggle with snacking and overeating.  But I’m doing better.  Yesterday was a spectacular day, eating-wise.  I heard two quotes that really hit home for me.  One was from Farrah Fawcett via Ryan O’Neal–she said something along the lines of “that even if you are losing the battle, you have to keep fighting.”  and then Fred said that I could undo all the hard work I’ve put in at the gym by eating poorly.  Both very true.  I’ve worked so, so hard–why am I letting food stop me–after a YEAR of this?!?!?  Man, you’d think I’d have this on lockdown after a year, but I don’t.  But I do know that I can handle it.  That’s where the zen comes in.  It will happen.

Why the F*ck did you just eat 2 Poptarts.  At 10pm.

Frick Frack

You’ve been attacked by the munchies, but you know better!  So why are you giving in to temptation?  Especially after feeling so confident after bootcamp.  Why sabotage now?  Why?  Is it the fear again–or are you afraid of reaching your goals and getting what you want?  Maybe the compliments you’ve been getting are making you uncomfortable?  Or were you getting complacent and not respecting your addiction to food?

Why are you still using food as your comfort, your crutch? So much is going well in your life, especially your marriage.  What’s going on, Brianne?

Damn. 

My trainer asked me to write a bio for a “member spotlight” for the YMCA and I am SO not feeling it tonight.  Thank goodness tomorrow is a new day.