Commitment

Today, I am writing down my commitment to love my body again. Starting right now. Not later, not Monday, not next week. Immediately.

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This means drinking lots of water, making mostly healthy choices, and tracking every bite of food that goes into my mouth. I will not eat mindlessly while watching TV. I will be more careful not to confuse hunger with boredom. I will not eat just for something to do.

I am in control of my destiny, and I can have the body that I want. I will stop making excuses and start making things happen.

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In less than 2 weeks, I hope to become a Lifetime member at Weight Watchers. This is an honor for me and something that has been more than three years in the making. I don’t want to be scrambling in the days before to make sure that I am at my goal weight. I want to accept Lifetime status knowing that I can truly maintain healthy habits for the rest of my lifetime.

It’s time to love myself. For good. But right now, it’s time for Jazzercise. 🙂

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Life Is Too Short To Spend It Hating Your Body

tI came across this image on Pinterest today:

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It’s true. So true. But lately, I’ve been struggling a lot with self-loathing. The crazy thing is that I recently lost 35 pounds. I’m smaller than I can remember being since elementary school. I should love my new body, right? But when I look into the mirror, I still see a chunky girl. When I put on my new, smaller clothes, I still see the rolls in the tummy and fat on my thighs.

I think part of it has to do with my eating habits. I am struggling again with making healthy choices when I am eating out or over at friends’ and family’s homes, bingeing when I am home alone, and letting my sweet tooth get the best of me. When I eat crappy, I always gain a few pounds (and subsequently lose them, regain them, lose them …). Who knows if these pounds actually show on my body, but they warp my self-image.

I am also permanently mad at myself. For not finishing what I started. Again. Like I’ve said before, I don’t have a goal weight, more like a goal “feeling.” And I’m not there yet. Lots of people tell me how great I look, and while I appreciate it greatly, I have trouble believing them. Usually because I just maxed on some Doritos. 😉 But mostly because I know I can do better.

I’m not one to say that losing weight will solve all of life’s problems. Especially not my own self-image problems. I will always struggle with loving myself and my body. But I know that I would be more proud of myself if I remained determined and accomplished the goal that I’ve had for myself for years now.

I truly believe that small changes add up to bigger ones, and each healthy decision leads to another. For example, tonight, as my boyfriend and I discussed what to pick up for dinner – way too hot to cook … oh wait, I don’t cook anyways 🙂 – he suggested fish fry. Normally, I would jump at the opportunity to eat myself into a mind numbing food coma (breaded cod, potato pancakes or waffle fries, rye bread and butter, coleslaw …), but instead I said “I’m not really feeling that tonight … I’d really like a good salad.” He is really supportive of my weight struggles and takes subtle hints well, so he suggested Panera. A step in the right direction, but there is still room to make not-so-healthy decisions. But I held my head high and ordered the Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with a baguette an apple. And I will live … I might even enjoy it.

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#loveyourbody

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Perseverance

As I was standing at the fridge tonight filling up my water bottle, I glanced at a magnet that I received recently from my new job. (I got a job teaching exclusively math with a new school district. So exciting and refreshing for me!) The magnet lists the five characteristics that the district wishes to instill in students: respect, kindness, responsibility, honesty, and perseverance. The description for perseverance — pursuing a positive goal and not giving up in spite of challenges.

I preach perseverance all the time to my students, especially in math class. I like to provide my kids with challenging and rigorous math problems that require high levels of thinking, and oftentimes, kids give up and start asking questions immediately. I require them to work through it and persevere.

Then, I think about my own life, and my healthy living goals. I definitely face challenges often. I am challenged constantly by my desire to eat mindlessly, binge, and make unhealthy choices. And a lot of times, I give into these challenges.  When I am sitting at home at night watching TV, do I really need something to munch on? Or can I persevere and enjoy my evening without excess food? Do I really need something sweet after every meal? Or can I persevere and agree that one moderate treat a day is enough? Do I need to eat the whole bag of Popchips because it’s “healthier?” Or can I persevere, dole out one serving, and move on with my day?

These might seem like easy no brainers for some people, but they are the challenges that I struggle with on a daily basis. For the rest of this summer, I’d like to work on my perseverance. I think it’s a manageable goal that will help me in all aspects of my life. 🙂

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My Body’s Holy

It’s no secret that I have been having a rough couple months in terms of staying on track with healthy living. This past week was no different — a celebratory last week of school free for all: catered lunch from the PTO, a breakfast extravaganza with my homeroom kids, and another catered lunch on the last day of school … and that’s just to name a few.

The average person might just exercise moderation and portion control, but for some reason, I just can’t get a grasp on that.

As of late, I’m generally a daily weigher (I’ve found that it’s the best way to keep me accountable), but I’ve avoided the scale for about a week or so, because I know that I won’t like what I see … or at least I think so.

Although I sometimes often feel out of control with my eating, I have kept up with regular work outs 5-6 days per week. I have to admit that returning to teaching Jazzercise almost a year ago was one of the best decisions ever. I truly love Jazzercise and want to do it almost everyday, so I never have to force myself to workout. (I could definitely add some variety to my workouts and should start training for my fall half-marathon one of these days, but that’s a subject for another post.)

Today, I was learning some new routines for my class. One of them is choreographed to a song called “Break the Chain,” the anthem for the One Billion Rising Campaign aimed at ending violence against women and girls. When I first danced to the song a few weeks ago in another instructor’s class, some of the lyrics really resonated with me:

This is my body. My body’s holy. No more excuses. No more abuses. We are mothers. We are teachers. We are beautiful, beautiful creatures.

Although the context for me is different than originally intended in the song, it gives me goosebumps. I need to stop making excuses for bingeing and over-eating and start to give my body the respect it deserves. It’s about more than being skinny or even having a flat stomach; it’s about self-respect and health. I am a beautiful creature, not a human garbage can.

Typing it is one thing; believing it is another. I’m working on it.

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Control

Today, after teaching two kick ass Jazzercise classes, I found a dent in the back of my car. My brand new 2013 SUV. It’s less than 6 months old. Someone hit my car, and didn’t have the decency to let me know. I’m not sure when it happened or how long it has been there, but this morning was the first I noticed.

Tonight, my future mother-in-law informed me that while she and future father-in-law were checking out the dent, they noticed that my car had been keyed on the passenger side. It’s bad. And again, I don’t know when it happened or how long it’s been there, but I’ve never thought to inspect my car for key marks.

Life is not fair. I know that I shouldn’t be so worked up about a material possession, but I work very hard to pay for that car. It is the first major purchase that I have ever made, and I proud of it and emotionally invested in it.

As I sit, in tears, thinking about it, I have come to a realization. Most things in life are out of my control. I can’t control how other people treat my car. I can’t control the behaviors of my irrational colleagues who make my job unenjoyable to me. I can’t control when my amazing boyfriend will finally take a leap of faith and propose to me. I can’t control the ridiculous cost of the flight to fly across the country to one of my best friend’s weddings this summer.

But one thing that I can control? How I treat my body and myself.

The past month has been filled with a lot of unhealthy binging, and sometimes my eating habits feel so out of control. But I know that I can be in control. I just need the right tools and resources and some self-discipline, accountability, and support.

Yesterday, I attended a Weight Watchers Live Active event to represent Jazzercise. While I was there, I decided to re-join. WW helped me to lose the weight the first time around, and it truly is a program that can work for me in the long-term. For me, weight loss isn’t the hard part. When I set my mind to it, I can lose, lose, lose. My problem is establishing healthy habits that are easy to maintain in the long run. I know that when I do reach my goal weight (I’m not even sure what that is at this point), I need the support and accountability that WW provides to maintain this weight for years to come.

My goal is be a lifetime member by the end of summer. I AM IN CONTROL.

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Regressing

Long post, no pictures. Sorry. 😦

I am afraid that I am regressing. Ok, I think it’s safe to say that I am not afraid. I am regressing. This weekend, in desserts alone, I had:

A DQ chocolate-dipped waffle cone with vanilla ice cream
A slice of cheesecake
A slice of poundcake
A slice of cake
TWO slices of chocolate cream pie

This, my friends, is not a typo. And I paying for it. Probably on the scale, although I haven’t hopped on in a couple of days. But my stomach is aching. Quite literally.

I am not going to write a long, drawn-out post about how I lack self-control, because well, didn’t I just write one of those? But the fact of the matter is that, somewhere along the line, I lost my motivation – the drive that led me to drop 35 pounds in less than three months.

I know this story all too well. Three years ago, when I lost over 65 pounds, my motivation seemed to disappear when I was about 10 pounds from my (then) goal-weight. Now, here I am, 15 pounds from the tentative goal weight that I have set for myself, motivation waining. And I don’t want history to repeat itself.

I am just frustrated, because I want to badly to be the epitome of healthiness. I know that I feel and look better when I make healthy choices. And I want to set a positive example for others who are looking to make healthy changes. In fact, I haven’t shared this before, but my ultimate career goal (someday) is to work with overweight kids or adults and help them to get healthy. But I can’t do this until I learn to battle my own demons.

Two long-term goals that I have in regards to this are to:
1. Learn how to say no to unhealthy foods at parties, in the staff lounge at work, at family members’ homes, etc. It is one thing to have the occasional treat, but I absolutely don’t know how to exhibit moderation.
2. Learn how to stop eating when I am reasonably full. I need to determine how to honor to my body’s satiety signals, rather than my emotional eating habits.

However, in order to eventually reach these long-term goals, I must set some short-term ones. And stick to them. While I don’t want to overwhelm myself by setting an extreme amount of goals, I also know that I need structure and lots of it to stay motivated. I am sort of an all-or-nothing type of gal, which has it’s benefits and drawbacks. My goals this week include:

1. Drinking tons and tons of water. Not only will this help me to stay hydrated, but it can also when I am tempted to snack unnecessarily.
2. Sticking to the foods that I’ve planned for the day. This means NO extra indulgences. One indulgence often leads to many more, and this week, I need to focus on getting back on track.
3. Limited dairy, gluten, and processed foods. I have been having serious stomaches lately, and I truly don’t know if this has to do with overall “crappy” eating or sensitivities to certain foods. I’ve never considered food sensitivities before and I don’t think I am ready to completely cut out anything, but I’ve heard that limiting sugar, gluten, and dairy can help with bloating and contribute to feeling healthy.

With that said, I plan to check in more frequently this week … as much as time allows, because blogging helps me to stay accountable, and I need that right now more than ever. Well, my tummy is not happy and another episode of House Hunters (I’m addicted!) is calling my name.

How do you keep yourself motivated to life a healthy lifestyle? I would love to hear your tips! Let’s support one another. 🙂

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#takecontrol

Lately, it feels as though my life is spiraling out of control. I feel like I should be so happy, because I have so many great things going for me, including …

1. I have a wonderful support system, including my boyfriends, friends, family, etc.
2. I am finishing up my first year at a full-time job in the field that I went to school for.
3. I am maintaining a 35-pound weight loss and am at the lowest weight that I can remember since … middle school?
4. I live a good life, and there are so many people with struggles so much worse than my own.

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Still, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the negative sometimes. Especially lately. There are lots of things going on, that, combined, have really left me in a bad place right now. As a result of this stress, I am exhausted constantly. It’s really starting to take a toll. I haven’t had the energy to workout everyday, and I am finding myself reverting to some not-so-healthy eating habits. Luckily, I haven’t really gained any weight, but I also haven’t lost in several weeks now. And I really want to finish the job, before I become complacent and settle into maintenance mode.

Plus, I don’t want maintenance mode to include binging on sweets and Doritos when I am having a bad day week month. Even when I am done losing weight, I want my life to revolve around healthy habits, because I have found that I feel so much better when I am properly fueled and regularly moving my body.

What is all boils down to is self-control. I am truly lacking in that department. When there are bagels in the lounge at work, I can’t stay away. And most of the time, I can’t even stop at one. When there are chips in my pantry, I eat them. And never just one serving. When there is frozen yogurt on the way home, I stop to get some. And my cup runneth over. You get the idea.

I have always wanted to be one of those people who is able to stop eating when they are not hungry, and not continue to gorge myself simply because the food is there. But that’s not me. Can I train myself to eat more intuitively? Only time will tell. Right now, inspired by another blogger, I am pledging to try a One Week No Cheat challenge. This means that when I am tempted to stray from my planned healthy eats, I will remind myself that I can be strong and #takecontrol. I am hoping that taking steps to take control of this area of my life will inspire me to continue to make changes to achieve happiness.

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Life is too short.

P.S. In other news, I ran a 5K yesterday in 25:52! I plan to write about it soon when I am in a better place. Thanks for understanding!

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