Will I ever like what I see?

So today Kpuff was traveling and I was left to my own devices for my work out. I decided to do an early morning 3 mile run. I have been trying run about twice a week for additional calorie burn and just because I enjoy running.

I am not sure what it was about today in particular but I woke up super hard on myself. I literally woke up beating the crap out of myself mentally. It wasn’t even an attitude of I don’t want to do this. It was an attitude of why do you bother and hating my own body.

But I continued on and put my workout clothes on. I opened the door and just like every other time I make the decision to run opening the door feels freeing. As if I have finally made the choice to take care of me. It is an hour of focusing solely on myself and leaving my troubles behind. It is a competition with myself to do better than last time and more than anything I know that at the end I will feel stronger than I did before I started.

But all of that not today! I got out there and the sun was warm and my body felt light and losingweight1for a split second I thought today would be good. The sun was shining and it cast a shadow. A shadow that made me do a double take. I didn’t double take cause I had lost all this weight. I double took because I was not impressed with my own shadow.

It made me run a little bit harder and curse myself a little bit more. The thoughts that were running in my head were too much to even type out. So hateful and full of disgust. I cursed myself for eating the food I consumed the day before. And I will be honest, I don’t want to be there and do that.

None of this about that. This is about finding my healthy self and I need to deal with the disgust and hate that creeps up on me like that. I don’t believe I generally feel that way. But I see how these thoughts can be unhealthy and the closer I get to my target weight the more I realize I need to begin to deal with them. If not then all of this is for nothing. I am still not healthy.

I over ate before because I was filling a void, and now I under eat for the exact same reasons. I need to think about it more and dig a little bit deeper. My revolution is a healthy one. It is about coping and dealing with the world that I cannot.

So yes love always wins comes into play again. I gotta find my love for this. I know I love the food I consume now and I love finding all the new foods and ways of eating. I know I love working out and how it makes me feel. Therefore, I gotta use that to fuel my heart and like what I see looking back at me.

Peace, love and unicorns….

df68f2aca496172dca2530bfb8a41a7eThat statement right there is my go to to avoid what my students call the feels. The moments sometimes so breathtaking or heartbreaking that you feel the lump crawling into your throat and your eyes begin to water. Eventually, the world knows and see how you really feel. It is vulnerable and maybe what some would call a weakness. I don’t though. I teach with my heart and it goes into every single thing I do.

Sometimes it is the heartbreak and sometimes it is the irresistible feeling of knowing something great just happened. The end of the year always brings that around for me. Come the last day I walk in chest heavy and tight because I know the tears will happen. Usually it is because I know that greatness happened. That lightening in a bottle feel. I have had it before as a college instructor, but now it is multiplied by students whom I have spent my last three years getting to know.  Hours upon hours of classes and time spent learning and talking about things in life that sometimes matter a lot and some time don’t matter at all.

The hardest lesson for me has always been the idea that I can’t save them all. It was probably the first lesson I learned and the one I continue to have to learn over and over and over. But I want to I tell myself or If I don’t try who will? And I know it is this very striving that makes me a good teacher. Especially on the ones that others give up on. Not because they didn’t try but because sometimes you have to try harder then them and anyone that teaches knows that this is the quickest way to burn out and hate your job.

But for some reason my soul, my passion and my drive lies with those students. The ones with a metaphorical broken wing. I don’t ever go in believing I will fix them. But I always go in thinking I can be their champion and the one that reminds they can do it no matter their obstacle. That requires a lot of give, and faith and sometimes sadness.

But yesterday, the reality is I had to deal with one of the ones that I won’t/can’t save. I didn’t give up and neither did they. Instead their path just needs to be different and that is hard. It is for the best, but it is just hard. I grieve for the possibilities lost. I grieve at the choice and I grieve for the hope I had. And it doesn’t mean there is no hope. THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE I say. But this was one of those times my best teaching lesson was to sit back, say good bye and hope. And yesterday I did that.

And quickly there was reminder, after reminder of that same student that didn’t look all that different but their path is and I was covered in thank yous and hugs and reminders that what I do matters even though sometimes it does break your heart and that even though it is hard sometimes hope will rise and love will win. It just isn’t in my time.

Take care of me. 

 
Oh man! So Sunday was a crazy busy day and I knew it would be so I got up early and ran. But can I just say that one day off from my new eating way and I paid for it. It wasn’t even that I ate unhealthy. I ate more than I should or normally would. I ate cheese and I never do that. I only had 1400 calories for the day but they were carb heavy and not near enough veggies and fruits. I paid so dearly Sunday and Monday. To the point that I willingly took it super easy yesterday and let my body cleanse itself by drinking so much water I could float away and enough fruit for my entire family all day. 

One day of not clean eating and I felt horrible. What I have noticed the last almost 6 months is my IBS has all but disappeared and I have only had two migraines that I needed my nasty migraine meds for. Usually if I get a headache it is weather related or I am dehydrated. Both are headaches that are livable and usually ease with exercise, water or 1 Tylenol. 

Needless to say. I won’t be not eating clean for awhile. I have clearly found something that has worked for me and I intend on maintaining it. I also am reminded that despite two workouts on Sunday it can all easily mean nothing with a few simple bad choices. I am not alarmed by the calorie consumption. It was the choices in calories. 

I made carnitas and the seasoning was not my usually healthy version for ease. I used a jarred salsa loaded with sodium and sugars. I ate flour tortillas (never usually eat those). I ate movie popcorn leftover from Saturday. And because I guess I gave into stressful emotional eating I ate chocolate. Talk about a confession. But I know it was those choices that made me feel bad. 

Anyway, proof this lesson is a journey and I have to make mistakes to learn from them. I am not mad at myself for them. I am just glad I can identify where it went wrong and be proud of myself that I have learned so much about my diet needs. 

STATurday Saturday Again.

It has finally gotten to the point where people are noticing in my everyday life. Those that don’t see me as much have been noticing awhile, but those that see me everyday I imagine the change was gradual. But now I am getting multiple comments daily from people. I still stink at accepting them or even acknowledging them. But I will get there because it has been hard work and sheer will.

I never realized how many indulgences I took until I realized how many are offered. Most of the weight loss is now centered around eating choices. Of course I exercise 6 days out of 7 but even on our rest day I make sure to ramp things up. Those are all conscious decisions I make daily to get me to there. For the first time since I have ever even dreamed of losing weight my goal seems reachable. So reachable in fact that I predict if I stay on course I will be there by September (maybe earlier).

Every single time I thought about this possibility in the past the amount of weight I wanted to lose seemed insurmountable, so I often quit before I tried. I decided to chunk my goal into three spots. Now that doesn’t mean I will be done with losing or working. For me, this will always be a process I am going to have to work on. I will still have another 10-15 to get me where I ultimately want to be. But the last chunk puts me at a healthy weight and BMI.

I figure then I can work on toning and maintaining and what my maintenance diet would look like.  I can see a few issues that are going to be harder for me to deal with. I am trying to be patient with myself before I make any decisions. But I won’t lie, the extra skin is going to be a vanity issue for me. I didn’t think it would, but the more I see it happening, the more I think I am going to struggle with it. It is disappearing more than I expected so yeah! But not as quickly and tight as I have hoped. My hope with with weights and toning that I can see where it lands.

29 inches

But are you ready for this…I have lost 29 inches since January. That is with the addition of 4 inches added in my arms and lower legs for the weight lifting. I struggled at first with that addition until I realized it ramped up my metabolism and my weight loss was even better. I have finally understood the purpose of weight lifting. I have shared before but I am finding I enjoy it for a slower paced work out that pushes me. How strong it makes me feel mentally is the best reward though. I am finally a girl who lifts weights.

My BMI has dropped 8 points. I don’t cheat. But again I hate that word. I choose to live and eat like this. Sometimes I cannot always accommodate it so I make sacrifices. Last night is a perfect example, our students had a talent show and I needed to eat. I eat to survive which is totally different than living to eat like before. That basically means I eat clean and healthy and low calorie. That means it processes quickly. I can’t skip meals because my body can’t do that. So with a colleague we ordered a thin crust veggie pizza and I didn’t eat a ridiculous amount. I even added some ranch (1 tablespoon) to it. As well, there was no water to be found so I had to have pop. Needless to say I didn’t miss it. It was not the best.

The reason that isn’t a cheat is because I had eaten low cal and healthy the rest of the day I still had a calorie count that was under 1000. That isn’t necessarily a goal, but proof that though it felt like a cheat, it wasn’t because I made good choices leading up to it. That is one of the biggest lessons of this revolution.

And can we talk a minute about calorie counting? I am not crazy with the calorie count. I usually do it for accountability and so I know. But this is the way I eat now that I don’t need to count my calories. Most days I do it so I am sure I get enough. That is a struggle for me sometimes especially in my proteins. As well, pasta can easily throw it all out of whack. I have personally decided to not have pasta. If I do it is very seldom and always in my yellow container from 21 day and it is as good as I can make it with whole wheat omega 3’s. I can tell in the way it makes me feel that my body doesn’t like it.

Now that doesn’t mean I swear off carbs. I have them in different forms than pasta. Usually breads, pitas, salads and they are usually good for me. I try and maintain a 1200 calorie diet daily, but I won’t lie it is usually in the 900-1000 range. That works for me right now, but the more I lose the more I need to amp that up a bit. I read a great article on why you shouldn’t drop below 1200 and I agree with it whole heartedly but I can’t find it now.

And finally I am sharing my proudest part of my body. I have built massive back/neck/upper arm muscles. Sometimes I will touch my neck or back and I am shocked. You may not be able to see it, but I feel it physically, emotionally and spiritually. This is my revolution! I am becoming who I am meant to be and who I always was.

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My Truth.

“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.”
Plutarch

You see my instagram and probably think I am incredibly comfortable in my own skin. But no. Each of those sweaty daily selfies you see are one of quite a few. One with three fingers placed just in the right places on my face. Places I hate looking at in the mirror. Extra skin. An ugly mole.

Slowly but surely I am getting more comfortable letting the facade drop. I hit another MAJOR goal this weekend. I have three set for weight loss and I hit round two. That means ladies and gentleman I have one more round to go. And to say this scares me is an understatement. What is next? I still hate the things I see. I still struggle seeing and ending.

Regularly I am proving to myself just how strong I am. To me that seems so selfish and self centered especially on a day like today. A day that is about mothers. I have three children and one in heaven and a husband who suffers from chronic pain. And I have time to work out daily? And I have time to snap a daily selfie after said work out? And I have time to shop and prepare all that healthy food? How many times before all of this have I thought “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” 100’s.

The reality is I have to make time. I have to try and not feel guilty for putting myself first for just a little bit every day. I have to remember I am raising three girls and that it is my job to show them to not only to care for their bodies, but to love them and push them to their max and prove to themselves every day they are stronger than they can ever imagine.

Too often in the past I have taken that responsibility lightly. But no more. They need to see that to care for others you MUST take care of yourself. This isn’t where I have been the majority of my life. I spent much of that time believing I wasn’t worth the effort or the time.

I hid behind layers of clothing and pounds in hopes of disappearing into nothing. Too often I rewarded myself with foods. Stressful day = pizza or ice cream. Special day = pizza or ice cream. The rewards would be three square meals a day and two snacks.

StrongBut not now. Now the rewards are feeling strong. This picture here shows just how strong I feel. I am no where I want and need to be, but damn! I am changing my body right before my own eyes. Those muscles in my legs. My waist is a waist. How can I not feel strong from this.

Instead of seeing this as, “I have to eat….” or “I have to work out…” I now start my sentences “I want to eat this way” or “I want to work out.” That is not just body transformation but mind transformation. And it is my truth.

The hardest part of that though is sharing the whole truth and the more I take down the weight the more embarrassed I become sharing my number because I feel shame. Shame I let things get that bad. Shame I cared so little for myself. And I have so learned it is about so much more than numbers. It is about how I feel. And if you want to know how I feel look at that picture. I feel STRONG. I feel IN CHARGE. I feel like anything is possible. I feel healing.

Want some more proof?

Transformation

The first picture is December 2014. The second is March 2015. The last is today. A shirt that no longer fits and a jeans I had to hold up with one hand. Ironically as strong and proud as I feel; I hate sharing this. But I want to. I want to be truthful. This is my truth and I have to try and own it.

And my truth is this: If you eat right and take care of your body the rest happens naturally.

Love is winning again. To love myself is to find myself. My truth.

 

Revolution: It is more than that.

Yesterday I was in a sentimental mood and I was looking at old posts and pictures. It dawned on me that about four years ago I was on the health track but missing one thing. I was losing weight but it was slow. There was one gigantic problem and it was how I was eating. My goal was to eat like I wanted and work my butt off so I could. And in theory it works. But…the changes were slow and I still struggled with how I felt about my body. I didn’t feel healthy. I felt healthy in my workouts, but then I would slog through my day and still highly caffeinated by my beloved Pepsi.

That is what is different this time. My food intake feels like a direct correlation to how I feel in general. If I take care of myself via my diet then it seems as if my body responds by taking care of me. I am averaging 1.5-2lb weight loss in a week. That is a great number and is giving me a steady weight loss.

My largest issue continues to be eating enough. I eat the right things. But if I am too busy Pushup1or don’t feel well (this week) then I struggle to eat. I usually have about 500-800 calories a day. That is horribly low and though the weight-loss keeps happening it isn’t making me feel well. I often will struggle with sluggishness. More than anything right now I am just tired. I need school out so I can refresh mentally.

Thankfully shakeology helps with that sometimes because it allows me to get good and healthy nutrients with high dense calories but then I don’t have to eat when I am too tired to make it or I lack and appetite.

But that all is not the point of this post. The point of this post is to declare my revolution is about how it makes me feel. Yesterday something happened that has never ever happened. I did 10 full guy push ups like it was nothing. I have yet to do that since this started in January.

And yea it was just 10, but my point being the way I felt doing them was amazing. I saw the muscles in my arms lift me up and put me back down. I was solid. My arms were solid and it was no different than walking. I didn’t want to fall on the floor at then end and I didn’t want to quit. I didn’t even think a thing of it. I did it as naturally as one breaths. That ladies and gentleman is the strength I have needed and what this whole thing is about.

I am finding the strength I have not just mentally but physically. That is my revolution.

All over the place. This and That.

Here is the deal. I want to write….but I have an issue. I don’t know what I want to write about.  I could write that today I am four months into my revolution and I am falling in love with myself more daily. I woke up this morning and touched my side and the difference was startling. I could startle myself daily.

ernest-hemingway-quote

But then there will be a quick snapped photo here or there and I hate what I see. I am disgusted that it isn’t happening quick enough. I see others melt away twenty pounds like it is a small bike ride.

And I want to quit. But I don’t. My mind always belts out, “You’ve come this far.”

Or I could write about me sharing a story with my students today about how I was made fun of in school. And I hated what people said about me and my family. I hated it so much that I couldn’t wait to look back at them and show them I had done the things they never said I would. I looked over and saw two students high five that I met my dream. The moment innocent, but they were proud of me. We all three smiled and I had my standard warm fuzzy.

Or I could talk about how I felt ready to talk about trigeminal neuralgia to them. But I really wasn’t. It firmly placed a lump in my throat the size of Montana. Then I felt all frustrated and mad and had the poor me moment. The ones I hate to have.

Or I could talk about the text I got from my guy mid day. The one that said he too was having a crappy day. And then I felt like I had to not tell him I was having a bad. Two bad days equals two really crappy bad days.

Then I think hey it is perspective. I am alive. My family is alive. We are good. Life is good. And I breathed deep and exhaled. We have doctors and meds and each other. And really isn’t having each other everything.

But then I am angry again. I am not even forty and ugh. Ugh!

But the part I really want to tell you about was the fact that my daughters are amazing, beautiful people. My oldest sees literally no boundaries to her abilities. Sometimes I just want to scream out, “Slow down! There is still time for that.” Or I just want to brag for a minute that her Academic team got runners up in the state competition.

And my # 2 her beauty is breathtaking and the challenges she has overcome sometimes get ignored, but wow! Her abilities and things she will do in this world. Her personality. She is the whole package.

And my # 3 who wrote me the sweetest card and said, “You must answer the question mom. I just have to know the answer.” I open it on the card it is says, “Who is your fav dauter? I bet me.” And oh my gosh. That is being a mom. I read it aloud and she declares, “Mom, I just can’t wait you have to tell me.” I respond no. I can’t. She says, “Okay, I guess I will wait till Sunday.”

Oh those moments. They will and are fleeting. The rush and blur of life. It is hard to keep up sometimes. But I am one lucky broad.

So writing seems important now to capture the day. To capture how antsy I am to see my guy. I want to tell him it will get better. I want to see his face and remind him life is good. I want to tell him the stories of our days.

That why I do this. It captures the this and that and that is living life.

The will is strong with this one.

People often don’t understand my faith the way I understand my faith and that is okay. I have always fully recognized it for its uniqueness. But the thing is I have faith. I understand it. I believe in something bigger than me. My faith guides and leads me through life’s ups and downs. And with that faith came a very strong will. In fact, such a strong will sometimes it comes across as stubbornness and quite frankly it is.

I have been humbled the last few weeks in people sharing with me that my frankness and openness in my weight loss and eating has helped them. For the last two days I have tried to come up with a way to say what that means to me. It means so much and I have really looked at it as my faith shining through.

Sometimes I wonder if my posts and ridiculous amounts of food pictures are too excessive on Instagram. But the reality is I have to be all in on this. I promised my revolution and to say it has consumed me is an understatement. But it makes my heart swell and want to keep going to know that people care enough to say I have helped to inspire them.

That is because I have been there on the other side of the screen and thought, “Man, I want to be that pumped up about eating and doing good for my body. I used others’  will trying to light a fire under my own. This kinda came to epitome yesterday when a random twitter follower classified me as motivation and inspirational.

I was jarred and taken back because this random stranger found me and followed me and labeled me as inspirational and motivation because I shared the reality of this journey. That is God speaking if I ever saw it. That is my faith in action in the highest manner. And quite honestly that is all I have ever tried to do here or on any of my social networking sites.

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But that is what this all is….it is will power. It is sheer determination to make a change in my life and that change happened. It happened awhile ago. I am not saying there isn’t some changing still taking place. But my mind, heart and soul have changed. I choose to treat my body with kindness and love in the form of the foods and fuel I consume.

On Friday my family really wanted Culvers which is my addiction or at least was. I had a meeting after work and was close to one so I got it. I decided I would eat my favorite. It had been so long and I planned to make it as healthy as I could. I got a butterburger without a bun and just veggies. I also ordered a smaller fry. And you know what…it still tasted just as amazing without all the unneeded (for me) condiments and half the fries I would normally have tasted just as amazing as they did before. I refuse to beat myself up for it too.

And nothing changed after. I didn’t cheat or fail on this. I allowed myself to eat that way for one meal. And I got up the next day and it was business as usual. That folks is will. I could have beat the crap out of myself and sabotaged myself  but I refuse. If I am making good decisions 99% of the time my body will repay in kindness to me. Of that I have absolutely no doubt!

Then yesterday was a mess of a lack of sleep, an over booked schedule , a migraine and just general stress. I managed to eat 1 salmon patty, 1 banana, 2 eggs and grapes, scrapings of salsa on carrots and few tortilla chips. Needless to say I was not nice to my body. I under ate calorie wise and needed much more protein. But I was busy. Add in there I walked 8 miles, had over two hours where my heart was in fat burning mode because of some awesome games of laser tag. I pushed my body too far and consumed too little.

But that too shows my will power and my faith that my will can be stronger than it was. I refuse to give in and eat junk to fuel my body. What that means today though is I am in recovery mode. That means extra clean eating and gentleness with my body in the form of replenishing the good stuff.

So I guess the moral of the story is this journey is about kindness, faith and will power. It takes all three and in the end it works.

TN : The Battle Rages On!

Processing and Processing. That is all this disease is. It has been bad lately. The meds are crap. They take the edge off. He saw the doctor again and they went over scenarios. There are a few. At this point surgery is an option. But it is his option. It is a matter of if, when and how. It is a whole lot of what ifs on our part. There is never a guarantee. Considering we are over a year out and we are talking about it again is proof of that.

But can we do it again? It is scary. But the thought of his summer three month typical remission being followed by a cold fall with incessant pain and a quick surgery in hopes of fixing things maybe is hard to think about. As well, usually by now remission has started to set in and it hasn’t. I am truly hoping it is the chaos that is our lives right now.

TN isn’t caused by stress, but it is definitely aggravated by it.We just both have incredibly busy lives right now and I am praying and hoping that in three weeks this will all be a blur. That is best case. Obviously worst case is that it doesn’t get better and stays this way.

We do know he is about topped out at his med. He risks permanent damage to his liver 3b07eafbcd6f2f44884562b9af736d91and brain should his dosage need to go up more. He does have one other med as an option but it is not really all that hopeful because it is in the family of drugs that provided absolutely no relief.

He scheduled an appointment for the fall but we will be talking seriously this summer about options. A year ago we kinda had this plan figured out but it didn’t exactly look like it is panning out. That is okay. But scary. I am fearful of him remaining on the meds and waiting it all out and him ending up on a liquid diet and me heart broken watching him in constant pain. But I am also afraid of another attempt of a possibly successful or failed surgery.

We do have another option but it is extremely complicated and hard to even wrap our brains around. And honestly it is scary to think of it as a possibility because neither of us can see how it would work out. Sometimes we don’t even talk about it because we don’t know the hows.

So you can see as with anything with trigeminal neuralgia there is no simple and easy answer. And despite the constant reminder from the neuro we do understand that this disease is not a life threatening one . We have always understood it as such. We are grateful for it too. But sentence here definitely feels like a life one.

Our daily life is good. He copes well and we have found a new normal that involves TN. He hides a lot of his pain to avoid causing any of us emotional pain. We are just praying really hard right now his usual remission would kick in. It is easier to think about and talk about options when he isn’t in pain and the meds aren’t kicking his butt.

But on a happy note in about three weeks we celebrate 16 years of marriage and I consider myself one of the luckiest. In February we celebrated 19 years since we had our first date. And every single year gets better and better.  My guy has shown me what family means and what true and unconditional love feels like and for that I am forever blessed. Even on his worst day he is still far better than my best.

“Every great love starts with a great story…”
Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

That is why love will win this battle. TN feels like a mistress to me sometimes, but never ever will I let it disrupt my marriage or the love I hold so dear. It is just a part of our story and I hope one day my daughters will be proud of the love and dedication we have had for one another. I hope it is a shining example of of real love that endures and show them that love does win!

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Because it does matter.

I don’t care who you or what you do or what you look like or where you are from.  You matter. The other night when things were in flames in Baltimore and the riots were happening I was so furious. I was listening to head banging Metallica and wanting to scream in the streets. I was not at all supporting anarchy and chaos. I wasn’t supporting the mom who later went down and tried to smack sense into her kid.

I was mad because there is a problem and no one wants to talk about it. No one and why? Why can’t we? I wrote a blog post and still felt unresolved and frankly I still do. I went to school yesterday and thought nothing more of it but an ember was burning. If I don’t talk about it who will?

riot

Then I read Jackie’s post and I thought yes. This is it. So many of my students idolize Martin Luther King Jr. I teach college speech and rhetoric so yes MLK comes up. Always. Then that MLK quote just resonated with me. It actually caught fire on my heart and my mind on my way to work and I was overcome by tears. I was overcome by all the same emotions from my blog post.  And thought to myself….I NEED TO LISTEN TO WHAT THE WORLD IS TELLING US.

And guess what I did. I did just that. I spent 80 minutes of my class today talking with my students about this. We didn’t just talk about this. We talked about the hard parts of this. We talked about our own prejudices. We talked about our own stereotypes and I listened and I said 800x your voice matters despite what the world tells you. We cried. We comforted. We giggled. We had sympathy and we realized. We talked about what it was like to live in a diverse community and more importantly what it is like to be a teenager. It was raw. It was real and my eyes were open.

At the end of the class period we left the room congratulating ourselves for talking about the tough stuff and a reminder from me that they do matter. That we all matter. They finally understood why I don’t allow the words, “Shut up” in my room and I never will. They may never remember the lessons I taught them on grammar and american literature, but I guarantee they will always remember that conversation. We all will.

The biggest lesson I received out of it was that we have so very much further to go and together with our generation and this next generation we have the ability. We just have to listen.