Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Moving from Darkness into the Light

This is something most people don't know about me.  There have been pretty dark moments in my life, and I chose to deal with them poorly.  My choices affected me for far too long, and I am choosing to break free.  I wish the same for you, so I share my story:

While I felt out of control with so many things in life, I took control of one thing I could:  my food.  I could control how much to eat.  When.  What.  It became a problem, and I was unhealthy in my habits.  I would push down the feelings of hunger all day long, and when it was finally dinner time, I would pick at my food, acting like I'd eaten all day, so I just wasn't hungry.  And the worst part was, I was great at hiding it, and my body responded by letting me lose muscle mass and holding onto the fat stores I had.

As a result of my eating disorder habits, and my ability to hide it, and my body's odd response, nobody ever really knew.  So there was nobody to stop me from my destructive tendencies.  And it ruined things for me.  I lost my ability to tell when I was hungry.  When I was full.  So I could restrict all day long and when I finally ate, I would eat and eat, not stopping until I was overly full.  It didn't take a lot to fill me up, mind you, but that is no way to fuel a body.  You wouldn't let your car run on fumes and only fill it up a tiny bit, would you?  Of course not.

I found, though, in order to let go of my destructive habits, and move on, I had to address the reasons I was holding on to them.  I had to get to the root of the problem.  Realize I was ruining my body, and for what?  For control over something?  I have control over every aspect of my life.  I realize that now.  That concept was foreign back when these habits began.

So, for me, I had to acknowledge the reasons behind my habits, let go of them, and choose to move forward.  That means, for me, with the eating disorder stuff, and being scale-obsessive, I cannot:  own a scale, count calories (even to be sure I am having "enough"), take diet pills, restrict my eating habits in any kind of strict diet where I have excuses not to eat (how my vegetarianism started).  I need to listen to my body.  But in my body's current state, that was almost impossible.

I had to teach myself what "hungry" felt like again.  I didn't have that sensor for so long, I thought I would never get it back.  So I would eat when I knew I should eat, wouldn't let myself fill up on water or coffee, and would eat small amounts over the course of the day.  And I had to learn to stop eating before I hit that "stuffed!!" feeling.  Another reason for the small meals through the day.

One of the best things that helped with that was something I read in a Yoga Journal, about food.  At the end of a proper meal, one's stomach should be 50% full of food, 25% full of water, with 25% room left.  With a stomach the size of a fist, that is really not a lot of food in one sitting.  But as it turns out, if it's healthy food, it sticks with you for a few hours, and it is an appropriate amount.  I have healthy snacks between meals if I need them, but this has been a very helpful guideline, and since following it, I am happy to report my sensors are back on.

And so, I step back into the light.  A person who can follow her body's cues again.  Eat when hungry.  Stop when I've eaten enough.  And I leave those poor habits behind.  Including the reasons I started restricting in the first place.  Those things have no place in my life.  Any.  More.  So, I hereby release them into the ether.  They've haunted me long enough.

Your journey may be different, but the same principles apply.  Find the reasons why you do what you do.  Work on those.  The rest will follow.  I promise.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Goals. What are yours, and why?

In order to achieve something, we must have goals.  Otherwise, we're just on a road, heading wherever it takes us.  Now, there's nothing to say that's bad.  But there's something about having a destination in mind that gives us something to shoot for.

Now, that means there's a chance of failure.  But without that chance of failure, there's less feeling of awe in yourself at what you have done, when you do not fail.  And failure does not mean you cannot try again.

Every day is a new day, filled with new chances to make new choices, and better yourself.  Take them for what they are.  And remember, your bad choices do not ruin the good ones.  Yes, you can have that chocolate cake.  Just don't forget the kale and strawberries too!

So anyway, beyond WHAT goals you set (losing Xlbs, or fitting into that size X dress, being able to do X in my class or the weight room, etc)...  think about WHY you are setting that goal.  What is your motivation?  And is that motivation coming from a healthy place?

We need to change our bodies, yes.  But we need to change how we view ourselves, our bodies, our successes, and our failures.  We are all beautiful.  We need to allow ourselves to see it, and to be happy with each and every step in our journey.  It's okay to be on your way somewhere.  And when you get there, to look forward to the next goal.

But if you're doing this just to be thin because you hate yourself?  That needs to be addressed.  Being thin won't make you happy.  Being happy won't make you thin.  But being happy with yourself on your road to being healthy?  That's where you want to be.

Thin does not equal healthy.  Healthy does not equal thin.  Aim for good things.  And let health be your reward.  Whatever size it may come in.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Love Yourself First.

Saw this floating around on facebook yesterday.  Snagged it, because it spoke to me.

It is easy to be angry at your current state.  It's easy to be discouraged when you're not having an easy time of it.  It's easy to be hard on yourself for not being perfect.

Newsflash.  You are not, never have been, and never will be perfect.  There is no such thing.

Accept where you are.  Accept what got you there.  Accept that it will take time to move forward.

Accept the journey.  And accept the results as they happen, for what they are.  The achy muscles.  The need to buy new clothing.

It's not easy.  This will not be fast.  But it WILL be worth it.  Just you wait and see.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Day 49, Still Doing Fine! ;)

Woke up this morning and realized I haven't been counting the days anymore.  I've just been going.  And going.  And going some more.  And trying to put others first as much as I can.  Giving away my yoga strap during class, to someone who needed it more.  Being patient with the rude person at work, and still going out of my way for them when I really didn't want to.  Taking time to make breakfast for the kids when I'd rather be relaxing before work.  Helping the instructor carry extra yoga balls to the class room from the supply closet.  Just a little something, every day, trying to do the right thing.  Do a little more.

My last thyroid level check said my levels went DOWN, instead of up, for once.  This means my yoga is healing my thyroid.  It's helping it work properly, or at least it is being more active.  I like when my numbers go down.  :)  Means my dose decreases and maybe, just maybe, I can get off these meds some day.  I don't hold my breath too hard, but one can hope.

I have taken measurements occasionally and pics less frequently, to track my progress.  Looking in the mirror, I tend to see what I have always seen, so this helps me see that there really is progress.  Comparing photos back to back, and seeing inches drop on my list.  Good stuff.

So!  For my progress!  I have lost only 4lb according to the YMCA's scale from the first time I checked to yesterday...  BUT, weight is not a big thing for me.  It can stay the same, number-wise, while everything else changes.

Inches show a lot more for me, so here we go.  I have lost, so far:

  • 4" in the true waist
  • 2.75" where my jeans sit
  • 5.5" in my hips  (dude!!!)
  • 4" in the bum
  • .5" in the thigh 
  • .75" in the calf
  • 1" in the bicep (flabby triceps are shaping up!)
  • forearms remain the same
  • 2.5" in the bust
Overall, very pleased!  Things are starting to become more proportional.  What is odd, to me, is that things don't look smaller, they just look more in proportion with each other.  Pics, showing progress:

Before, what started me on my journey.  I was 2 years postpartum, and had recently weaned.  I didn't know what a normal portion was anymore, and had gained at least 30lb from my pre-baby days.  I saw these pictures, my 14s were getting tight, and knew I needed to do something.
January 27th, a week in, and today.

January 27th, Feb 8th, and today.

January 26th and today, to see the face changes.
So far, so good!  Just need to keep it up, continue to tone, and I'll keep going down this road!  :)

How are you all doing?  How do you track your progress?