It’s only been 3 years.

3 years since I decided to put myself first. 3 years since I began pushing play. 3 years where #lessofme began. In that time a lot of things have transpired and most of which was the girl on the inside came out. I am a strong, fierce, independent warrior of a woman. I knew that already, but I proved it to myself and to the world.

Too long I believed I couldn’t do it. Too long I let others call me the “big one” and I over compensated for what I believed to be my flawed self and lack of control.

Now I embrace those flaws. Hello world…I am all flaws and I love each and every single one of them because it isn’t about how I look in the mirror, or what I put into my mouth or even what size my jeans are. What it is about is how I feel in my skin and I feel amazing. I sweat, take care of my body and take care of my mind. I put myself first.

Happy 3 Year Fitavesary to Myself! Keep going!

Here is what 3 years looks like compiled in selfies.

 

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I saw this picture of me and I decided to make a change.

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Weight

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These pictures were taken this weekend.

So much laughter and so many tears. I am proud.

Less of me is a thing – MR 

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My 21 Days of Not Weighing Myself

The best thing I ever did was break up with the scale. Seriously! The day came to step back on the scale and the crappy feeling of inadequacy creeped back into my mind. The feeling that always begs these questions of me.

  • When will it be enough?
  • Why is any number not enough?
  • Do you really get a value from yourself from THAT?
  • I should have worked harder or worse you should have deprived yourself more? (WTH???!?)

Not stepping on a scale every day is so freeing and something I have practiced since the day I stepped back on the scale. Immediately, I began to beat myself up when my actual goal for the 21 days was to focus on showing up for myself, being healthy and feeling good in my skin.

I have had doctors tell me no more, I have had friends say no more and my husband and kiddos just plain do not care like at all what I weigh. So why? I have created this mentality for myself that I need to prove to me that the work and effort means something and unfortunately I have placed that value in the number a little white box gives me.

That is just plain wrong. I won’t do that to myself anymore. So the scale is going up. When this journey started I was at 210. I needed that scale. Now I am where that scale means so little and how I feel is so much more important and not stepping on the scale every day felt amazing.

So it is back. I haven’t done it since.

But since I am guessing you are wondering…I lost 1 lb and 4 inches. My goals were to not step on the scale for 21 days, and to complete the 21 Day Fix for the first time. Guess what I did…..BOTH!

What I did gain was abs, like seriously I have abs and a core. Somehow Autumn gets me to stick in it a bit longer with my abs. I have massive protruding hip bones. Who knew??? I like living fairly low carb. I won’t, will not ever deprive myself. Life isn’t about hating it and punishing yourself for your choices.

I am going to 21 Day Fix Extreme after the first of the year and then to get me through winter I will probably do 80 Day Obsession and that scale….well it can bite it! 😀

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January 2014 – December 2017

So  my advice moving forward to myself and all of my readers…..

Love yourself and the rest will follow – MR

21 Day Fix will always have my heart!

IMG_0265I have been doing 21 Day Fix for the last 18 days and there is just something that feels like home when it comes to 21 Day Fix. I love it because once you master it it is literally the most flexible and easy thing to do.

It doesn’t feel like a diet and I don’t ever feel deprived and like I am missing out on something. I haven’t been perfect. If I plan it works amazing and what I mean by that is when I knew my husband and I would be going out for tacos I could plan and save my carbs for it.

I also like it because if I want to have chocolate I can. It truly is about portion control. Again like last time the containers are so easy to know what they look like. I rarely need them other than to confirm what I already know.

I have also been doing the 21 day fix program except for the pilates fix and yoga fix. I swap those out for 21 day fix extreme upper fix and lower fix. I have also incorporated a ton of fixate recipes because fixate wasn’t really a thing my last rounds of 21DFX.

I still hate how sore I get with 21DF, but I am finding I am enjoying them more than I had previously. I like the weights in them because if you know me you know I lift. I get a good calorie burn without feeling like I want to die with the 1 minute moves.

I have no idea if I have lost anything. I have not weighed or measured myself. The only judge I have is clothes fitting and commits others make. I can tell you something is happening because my clothes are fitting different. I also have received lots of comments on weight loss. My workout clothes have been getting more loose as well. I bought a few XS pieces today, so we will see how they fit tomorrow I suppose.

Now let me compare keto to 21dfx and I can tell you I felt deprived at times on Keto and I IMG_0243would get bored of how I would eat. I would eat it anyway and I still am in love with the way it made me feel. However, I will always dislike how I felt so blah and like I had no stamina.

21dx, is nice because you don’t feel like you cannot have anything. It just requires planning for everything you eat. Carbs are limited, but you can have them so that feels really nice sometimes.

I do find I get headaches if my carb content is too high. I feel like a keto flu headache. I don’t know what that means, but I have noted it. However, I am looking forward to Christmas day when I can check things out. I know I broke up with the scale and my obsession with standing on it and that is a good thing!!!!

 

Okay, honey!

I should have probably have known this because duh, but my family truly pushes me to be a better me. I have been yet again struggling with little things all related to my hormones. Nothing detrimental or anything. My eyes are incredibly dry, my moods…up and down. Hair loss. Fatigue in the worst way. Just lots of little annoying things.

I had a check up and had my hormones checked last week due to all of these and as suspected nothing was where it should be. The recommendation was made to leave keto for a bit. See if it correlates or not and if not….no harm…no foul.

I love keto; you know this. But I am okay with trying something different for awhile. Keto breaks work well for me and add in that it is the holidays and “dieting” during thanksgiving was not terrible, but it was still pumpkin pie that didn’t taste the same and mashed cauliflower that was amazing, but still not mashed potatoes. My kiddos were sad I didn’t get to just eat normal.

So I made a compromise. I decided to do 21 day fix eating plan. I have done it before and I am interested in doing it again. My doc mentioned about maintaining my weight soon and less focus on weight loss. So this is my last sheeebang. 21 day fix is nice for that as well because it is a very balanced perfect portioned meal for me.

My goal one upped me too and threw out a challenge and in my experience when I promise my family something I do it. I gave up pop (wasn’t crazy drinking it, but still) in August because I told my girls I would. I told my girls I wanted to lose weight and get hyper-focused on my workouts again and guess what I have done.

He challenged me to not weigh myself till Christmas. So challenge accepted. No scale December it is around these parts. I put too much emphasis on that right now anyway so it is good. My other goals for the month are to utilize my fit support circle more. I love the notion of working out being my “me” time, but I need to recognize that my story can be used to inspire and help others. And the final goal is to complete 21 day fix the exercise program.

I am not an Autumn fan, so this is a challenge.

So okay honey….Game on!

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I gone and did it.

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I celebrated over on social media a few days ago because in the middle pictures exactly a year ago I lost 50lbs on that day. Now I have added an additional 28-32 give or take bloat. 😀 which is documented on the right. I love sharing my story, but I do know people get tired of hearing it or thinking they can never do it.

So I guess I feel like it is time to revisit the realities. In my head, I still feel and think and look like the girl on the left. In fact, I am the exact same person and the only real difference I feel (besides the obvious health benefits of losing weight) is my super unattractive saggy skin. You can’t see it ever cause I usually cover it, but trust me it is there and yes it holds me back.

But a lot of times people believe that weight loss mentally, physically and emotionally fixes every thing. It doesn’t. They also believe it perfects life and marriage and your relationships. It doesn’t. They believe it is easy and that you always eat healthy and eventually they start to make side swipes at you about being too healthy, too skinny or too obsessed.

What happened for me is I recognized the weight I was carrying was a lot of issues that I needed to work on and that I still work on. It didn’t fix everything. If anything it probably made me deal with a lot. My own insecurities, my own inadequacies and my imperfections were suddenly front and center. I could hide behind it all 80lbs ago.

My relationships changed especially with those in my outer circle. I am still working on why, but I honestly feel like my weight issues stemmed from a lot of insecurity and feeling insignificant. I let and wanted myself to not be seen and now I have made myself a priority and want (no demand) that if someone is important to me that I hold that same sort of space in their lives. It has made for some hurt feelings on my part, but I have lived my life too long on others terms and not my own. If you are important and I let you in, you know it.

My marriage was not magically more in tune or in tact because I lost weight. In fact, the one thing I have always loved about my guy is he never knew me any different size than the one I was. I was overweight when we met. He loved me so much then and he loves me so much now. In my experience, that is what a successful marriage is…it is loving someone as they are and always supporting them to be better and yes he has done so flawlessly. I do love that I surprised him on my stick to it tive ness. I have mentioned before I am flighty sometimes. Meaning I become obsessed with something quickly and then move on just as quickly. I am a year and half in and still sweating and eating good. But I like to surprise him a lot because it keeps things exciting. He is so even keeled it is good for our marriage.

The misconception that every single bite of food I take is healthy. Ummm No. Yesterday Ientry4 went to Culvers and had a loaded burger, fries with a Dr. Pepper. Can I tell you my secret. It was exercising and being very restrictive for about 6 months. That means I counted calories, worked out consistently (1 rest day a week) and watched portion sizes. What that did was rev up my metabolism, so that when I splurge my body isn’t as brought down by it minus bloat.

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The second misconception is that I love working out. And I do…but I always love it after. Rarely do I love it before. It takes motivation (sometimes even caffeine) and sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Some weeks I have two rest days. The reality is working out every day can be boring for some. For me I love running because it lets me have quiet time to work out the junk above. But when I am injured or it is 50 billion degrees outside and I need motivation I find workouts I like. I love HIIT workouts that challenge me and my competitive side. I love focusing on equipment I have like weights, balance ball or medicine ball or even challenges. Or I just run up a hill. I just try and keep it fresh. I just try and remember to keep moving.

The obvious benefits are my resting heart rate is amazing. My BP is perfect. My blood panels are perfect. My migraines are pretty non-existent. My IBS is all but gone. My mood and energy is so much better. My sleep is a lot better. My clothes sizes are awesome and I feel great.

But the biggest secret of all is I am kind with myself. I am extremely careful about words I use. I don’t like words like: bad, cheat, fix because I don’t need or do any of those things and they truly do nothing but start an internal argument with myself that I have had for all of those years with the extra weight. I use words like love, grace and forgiveness. That is my secret. Love wins. It just does. You can’t deny it.

Authentic Self 

Confession time…

Confession:

  1.  I have gained 3lbs
  2. The last two weeks have been so work and home stressful combined
  3. I gave myself permission to emotionally eat
  4. I also gave myself permission to not exercise unless I had the energy to do it 
  5. I didn’t put myself first and I know I should 
  6. I resorted back to some of my old habits 
  7. And finally…I don’t care. 

I refuse to beat myself up. Does that mean I didn’t have moments of regret? No. I had quite a few. I also knew exactly what I was doing and was aware of the consequences. The reality was I had massive responsibilities at work outside of my classroom the kind of things the public forgets that teachers do. I found myself longing to just walk into my classroom and just teach. But I also love being there for my students, so I willingly choose to serve my student population outside of classroom. And yes it hit hard and fast the last three weeks. Throw in a nasty virus that hit our house, a sad death in our family and my grad course. 


And yes Mommy Rhetoric didn’t make the best choices. But I did try and be really in tune with the physical and mental need for physical activity. Today to jumpstart my personal motivation I did what I always do…I listened to Shaun T.’s “Trust and Believe” podcast where he spoke about being your authentic self. As I walked and listen I really started to think about exactly how far I have come. I found this part of myself the last year that has made me feel honest and true to who I am more than anything other than my guy. 

And that is that I need exercise like I need water, food and love. If I constantly stay in tune with that I feel like I am truly being who I am. I would love to tell you I exercised faithfully every single day. I didn’t though. Some days I literally came home and put myself to bed from sheer exhaustion, other days I had a cup of coffee and I ran till I couldn’t anymore. That is me being my authentic self of being so in tune with myself that I recognize the needs of my body and you can’t beat yourself up for that. 

But you know what I have been so happy the last three weeks. Happy because I am living in my truth and my passion. That is taking care of my family, being there for my students and fulfilling my passions. But alas the time has come….the calm. Summer is approaching and the focus can now shift back to making me a priority. I started today. I have been struggling with programs for awhile now. 

I have running goals. Doing a complete workout program start to finish sometimes makes my running goals fall by the wayside. But I started to think I had seen other hybrid versions of workouts that included running, so I began to think maybe I could combine my more recent love of lifting with my old faithful running. I sat down and created a 30 day Hammer (Sagi from Hammer and Chisel) a Running Hybrid program. I intend to do the 21 Day containers because I know how important nutrition is to lifting. Truthfully, for muscles to do what you want them to do (and look how you want them to look) you gotta eat right. So I will follow the eating plan for “leaning out”. 


I am not gonna lie, I am so proud of myself for doing that. That was a huge step in the right direction after the last month or so where I haven’t been too goal oriented. I am starting tomorrow and I am gonna kick some butt. Today I was feeling frumpy and blah. So I did what I do when I feel like that….first I listened to Shaun T. And then I took a shot to do a side by side to remind myself just how far I have come and then it all seemed silly and I moved on. There is tomorrow. I get a reset. RESET hit and hybrid program on. Whoop! 

I don’t want to be your inspiration.

Photo (1)The last few months I have heard the phrase, “You are such an inspiration” so much and I naturally do not take compliments very well, but this one has never set well with me. Once I hear it I often go into my own head recounting all the things I have done that day to prove I am anything but an inspiration.

It is no secret the year of 2015 was the year of Mommy Rhetoric. I figured my shit out. I got myself together. I made myself a priority. But the more you think you have it all together and figured out the more I realized I have nothing figured out and just when I think I do have it all figured out the more the universe says, “Oh hell no.”

The year 2014 was hands down the worst year of all of my life. My life crumbled. I dealt withIMG_4854 the worst life could throw me. I pretended to be okay, but all the while I was a pile of mush and mess of emotions that I had no idea how to deal with. I told myself and others I was okay, while inside I traveled further and further away from who I really was.

The reality is that in 2015 I was forced to deal with that separation from myself and others. I lived through a crisis and came out on the other side. What came out on the other side was a crumbled version of my family and a crumbled version of myself. I felt like I was in a forest and fighting to find my way out. I said it before and I will say it again. My brain, my body and my heart gained an irrecoverable wrinkle that forever changed me and them. It then became my job to put myself back together so that I could help put them back together. And that process…it ain’t easy.

I struggled forgiving others in my life who couldn’t save me from that forest especially the ones who I felt like didn’t even try. I still struggle that they can’t forgive me for being lost in the forest. I saw true nature of others image1and they saw my own true nature.  I stared at my faith in the eye and had it more defined for me than it had ever been and if I am honest all of that was incredibly ugly, and angry.

I had to find a way to forgive a lot. But most importantly I had to find a way to forgive myself. And being honest I am not even sure I am there yet. This type of forgiveness takes time, grace and whole lot of love. And the process really doesn’t feel all that inspiring. So when I hear, “you are inspiring” I feel like a fraud.

My weight loss is so much more than an inspirational story or a container system or work out program. It is my therapy. It is my method of coping and dealing with life handing you lemons and choosing to use that lemon for my water instead of making a pie. It is my way to get into my own head and figure my shit out. Mile by mile. Workout by workout. Doughnut by doughnut (okay, I am kidding! maybe?).

I know I don’t normally cuss on my blog anymore, but if I am here and I am truthful and I am Mommy Rhetoric in all her glory. The only word that adequately describes what the last few years have been like for me it is necessity. It is therapeutic and it is my truth. Working through this is a process that I feel like could take me a lifetime. Someday it feels like I have made progress and other days it feels like I am right back to where I started.

 

It is true my life is exponentially better. But never mistake that Photo (2)for a perfect and inspiring life. We still deal daily with how our lives have changed and I am really only beginning to see some parts of the ramifications of this messy life. But on the hard days I hit the road or a sweat a little longer. Or I have a doughnut.

But I also still battle the beast that is emotional eating. I get bothered sometimes that people think I am always so good because I think they would be disappointed in me or would be shocked to see just how uninspirational I truly am. But that is one thing I hope I have done in this journey and that is sharing my truth that can one day offer up a day of doughnuts, Dr. Peppers and french fries and the next show a disciplined athlete and eater.

I don’t have those Dr. Pepper days as much that is true, but they still exist and no that doesn’t make me a cheater or a bad person for eating “bad” food. It me dealing with reality. Some days are harder than others. I never look at a day as the sun comes up and think today will be a bad day or today will be a good day. I honestly tackle the world minute by minute.

I hit each day and I tackle it the best I can. Some days I kill it. Other days I fail miserably, but the most important part of all of this is….. I hit each day and I tackle it the best I can. That is a decision I make and that is the one and only inspirational part of my story. Not the inches lost, not what a square box says, not what I put in my mouth and certainly not how my clothes fit. It is deciding every single day that I am worthy of this life and that I need to tackle every day and what it brings. Even the hard stuff.

So when you are searching for inspiration please don’t find it in people. Find it in yourself. We are all beautiful in our own ways and we find a way to not only see those ways, but honor them by being who you are unashamedly and without hesitation. The world wants to see your true authentic self and that is where inspiration lies. That is what I hope makes me inspirational to all of you.

I encourage each of you take a minute and look on your phone or a device and find a picture where you are truly smiling. Not a fake selfie taken 30 times for the right angle or light. Just a picture that is snapped where you see pure and utter happiness and tell yourself this life throws us things…crappy, crappy things, but you chose to smile. That is where love lies. Love always wins. 

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A family stronger than ever. A woman being comfortable in her own skin and who she is. A man recovering from an incurable neurological disorder and major life disruption. A man and woman trying to raise daughters the best way they know how. Two teenage girls and all that entails and one baby girl who has so much yet to conquer. All those smiles. Those personalities. That is LOVE WINNING.

Signing out as Mommy Rhetoric and still searching for Less of Me (let me know if you find it)

It is here. My Fitaversary.

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I went to go look and see if I commemorated it any special way here on my blog a year ago and nothing. I remember the trepidation with which I faced this day a year ago. I wasn’t doing anything than I had ever done. I wanted a change. I wanted to try to change. But secretly I doubted my ability to do it.

I started off simple with T25. I didn’t change my diet. I didn’t change the way I looked at food or how I let it rule me and my emotions. But I did show up. I found my accountability partner who had been flirting with working out. I joined her process.

If I am honest I didn’t think I would stick to it….or if I did I planned to eat the way I was and just work out. Eventually, I realized you CANNOT work away a bad diet. It is impossible. I also learned more than anything, I need to love myself more than that.

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In my year in review I covered how I had been committed to daily workouts and I was feeling so strong and so good and convinced I had lost some weight and I felt great. I had my daughters snap a picture of me with my guy and when I saw it, I was devastated. That was the beginning of my end. I ordered 21 Day Fix that day or soon after and by the following week I was finally doing it.

I started here….

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Both pictures I hoped would never see the light of day. But now I wear them proudly like a badge of honor. This was me this weekend to commemorate what I knew what was coming.

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I tried to recreate the whole picture for others to see the drastic changes that can happen in a year. I am living proof of love and consistency pays off. Are there things I would still like to look better? Yes. I have so much skin. In fact, so much skin I get really worried about losing much more because it gets saggier by the day. Under my chin, my thighs, my stomach and my arms. I am hoping lifting weights will help me grow into my skin.

But alas that too uncovers my insecurities because my inches are going up. And I know they should. But I have short legs and meaty calves and thighs. I always have. Even when I was at my prime of health playing softball my thighs and calves were so muscular. I am insecure about it.

I am happy with the arms. It is helping tighten up the skin. So I guess those inches are okay. My waist and hips continue to decrease in inches. I just hate the way any movement out or in and the way it plays with your head. Proof that I am in this battle for the long haul. I have no intention to change my ways. I need this now.

And more than anything I like what I see in the mirror more and more. I just gotta keep working for it and to keep it. That is love winning. ❤

 

 

21 Day Update

Well my latest round of 21 Day Fix came and went and was super successful! Not necessarily like it has been previously, but cool things were happening. I lost 7lbs and about 6.5 inches. I leaned out. I can always tell when I do that. I am less bloated. I feel better. I feel good.

I am getting very nervous about losing too much more because my skin is sagging really bad. It is so loose in my face and chin area. Of course it is loose in my stomach and legs but those are harder to see. My arms and face I am way more conscious of.  I was having a convo with my oldest daughter about weight and when I realized that my new goal was her weight I kind of pumped the breaks so to speak.

I like the weight I am now. I would like to be more lean and I would be okay with 10ish or less pounds more, but if I don’t it is okay. My focus is a new one for me. It is about being healthy and making decisions based on being the healthiest me versus losing weight. That is a complete mind shift for me, but I am handling it better than I thought I would.

Anyway wanted to share some updated photos from January to November …JanuarytoNovember

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We are in a round of T25 right now and I walk/run when I have the time to which is a bit harder because we have a musical coming up in two weeks.  I still walk at least 10 miles in my classroom a day. I eat 100% entirely clean with the occasional Quaker granola bar.

People ask me if I cheat. The answer is simple. I will never call it a cheat. If I want it, I eat it. If it is really bad for me I know I need to work a little harder. I will never get in the game of what is happening in the kitchen being worse than what happens in the gym. I won’t chase one to have the other.

More than anything I focus on not eating based on how I feel. I did that before and that was the problem. I don’t have that problem anymore. So yea….Mommy Rhetoric has figured out her formula. Eating is to live and exercise is free therapy. I love both!

STATurday Saturday – It needed to happen.

I am slowly but steadily sliding into a routine over here. Which means for my blogging world that I can get back to blogging my usual stuff and times. I knew I owed my readers and myself time to sit down and crunch my numbers and what not. But I will NOT lie that hardest part of this journey remains and I have a feeling will remain the mental battle. The quick 1 second decisions of good choices. Thankfully, they are getting easier to make, but that doesn’t mean I am not weak or that I am perfect.

It mostly means I am committed to a healthier me and until I get where I want to be that has to be consistent. The hard part is the closer I get the easier it feels to say, “Ah…it is okay to…” Fill in the blank with eat bad food or skip said workout. I am not there and I honestly would like to never be there. I don’t want to give up on this and I committed for the lifestyle change, not the way I look in the mirror or the size I fit or to say I have lost 60lbs and so many inches. Those things are nice, but they are material. I need to battle the things that say, “You don’t deserve this and you aren’t worth it.”

The STATS

  • 47.5 Inches lost since January 2015
  • 58lbs lost since January 2015
  • 210 to 152lbs
  • Size XL to Size S
  • Size 20 to a Size 6 (and they are getting loose)

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Sorry if they are all blurry. I thought it was a mirror thing, but after taking it at gym I realized my phone maybe dirty. I will work on that. Regardless the photos on right are from February and photos on left are from today. The last was just a straight on shot after weights and a run on the treadmill.

My skin is becoming a bigger and bigger issue. My guy and I have talked a lot about it, but I am no where near ready to make permanent decisions about it. I am just trying to feel less self conscious about it. I do wonder sometimes what my body would actually look like without it all and I wonder what my weight would actually be. I can physically lift off and push it to the side. Underneath I have rock hard abs, beautiful biceps and thigh muscles you could bounce a quarter off of. With it I jiggle, I feel a little like I am drowning in a sea I have no hope of getting out of and weighs me down mentally.  I am extremely weird about that kind of stuff though with my beliefs. So again the mental battle begins.

I have been so good this week and loving all the food I have been eating. It is all so healthy and fresh and I feel good. That is probably the biggest thing I notice is the moment I eat crap, I feel like crap. So I just don’t.  Someone asked me what happens after the 21 days….and I giggled and said it just keeps going considering I started it in March. That is the thing with 21 days…it is NOT a diet. It is a way to eat. It is no different than any other thing out there. The biggest reason I continue to use it is for the portion size. But I can go without the containers. I don’t need them to know what my body needs. I use them because I can and it makes life easier.

I always hold the ultimate decision of what goes into my body. I just try and always be sure it is worthy of the work and effort I have made for the last 9 months. When I celebrate my year anniversary I want to feel like and proclaim I didn’t falter because I made a bad decision. Yes sometimes I eat bad for me things, but it is always very calculated and it isn’t a cheat. It is being human.

And with that…Love keeps winning. It always does!