No Weigh May

I apologize for being MIA. However, I come to you today with a very good lesson 🙂

I work at a clinic, and they offer a free wellness fair for employees and their families–height, weight, fasting blood work–the works. A few years ago when I did it I had high blood pressure (which I ended up going on meds), my cholesterol was 261, and my glucose was teetering on the edge of a real problem. I worked really hard to get those numbers in check, and before I got pregnant with my son in 2013, I had gotten my cholesterol down to normal, got off the high blood pressure meds, and my glucose was within normal.

My weight was and still is something that hasn’t gone down. I am still considered obese, and even when I was at my lowest weight of 165, I was still considered obese for my height. But I was healthy, and I am still healthy.

My mental health has always teetered. I am a high anxiety and stress person, and with this journey to lose weight I have struggled to find balance with the scale. I still do measurements, but I rely on the scale to tell me everything about myself. So I decided to participate in “No Weigh May” to give my mental health a break from negativity. Basically, you put the scale away for the whole month of May and rely on measuring and progress pictures, and I learned a lesson nobody could ever put a measurement on.

The Con

I’m going to start with the con just to get it out of the way. I have been at this for just over two weeks, and looking back I have realized that the scale helped keep my eating in check. When I’d weigh myself every few days if I saw the scale go up a little, it would prompt me to make healthier choices or at least to really think about what I took out of the fridge or pantry. “Am I eating too much sugar? Sodium? I should lay off the chocolate covered almonds.” The last few weeks I have found myself taking a few chips here or a candy there and not really thinking about it. I’ve worked too hard at trying to eat clean and get down to a more manageable weight to let some candy and chips that I don’t really need get the best of me. It comes to me being strong enough and explaining to myself that I don’t really need it and prioritizing what I want most. Wanting to lose weight and be healthy doesn’t mean that I can’t have something, but it means I need to eat in moderation to succeed, and I have to find a way to get that through to myself.

The Pros

I have more body confidence, which outweighs the cons any day of the week. The last few weeks I have focused on lifting, and I love seeing my arm muscles get more defined. I flex for everyone and everything. I’ll even flex for the cat. No joke! Even when I flex my belly, I can see definition of abs. I am proud of how far I’ve come. Typically when I’d step on the scale and see I’ve gained a pound, I’d instantly see it on my body. It would screw my whole day, even if I had a great lifting day and my arms were looking fly. My brain would seriously tell me, “You definitely look fatter now that you’ve stepped on the scale and saw it go up. See it? It’s right there on your belly.” Every flaw would be identified because my confidence was deflated. Not stepping on the scale has made me more aware of my body, and I often stand in the mirror in the morning admiring the parts of my I like rather than looking for the things I don’t AND not letting a number tell me my body isn’t good enough. On Saturday morning after my shower as I am listening to “Me Too” by Meghan Trainor, I even found myself looking at my curvy booty in my jeans and saying, “Daaayyuumm” instead of “damnit.”

The experience has made me want to find a bold lipstick (and I don’t wear lipstick except maybe once a year for pictures) and go try on clothes that I normally wouldn’t pick out because society might laugh at me or say it wasn’t acceptable for someone my size to wear it. And the age-old comment “Don’t glorify fat. It’s unhealthy” makes me roll my eyes now. People come in all shapes and sizes. I just happen to be built bigger and have more fat on my body. While I am labeled, clinically, as obese, my doctor says nothing because I am healthy in every other way, and my weight does not prohibit me from doing things. My lack of confidence does, and unfortunately there is no way to measure that except to look inside yourself and make the choice to love yourself instead of hating.

I am still on a mission to eat clean because healthy is what I strive for. Whether the result means I’m still fat or perhaps I look lean, I’ll take it. I know I’ll struggle at some point with my body confidence as I think everyone does, but I am making a promise to myself to put more effort into seeing the positive than the negative.

If you like TED Talks and are interested, click HERE. I don’t know a lot about Lillian Bustle, but this TED Talk was really enjoyable and explained a lot about body image. I am starting to look up to her for her confidence and self-respect.

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Progress!

I think we all know that one person throughout our journey that truly just wants to see us fail, or perhaps they are just so unhappy with themselves that they want to see us in the same boat. Misery likes company, right? I wouldn’t necessarily say my mother in law wants me to fail, but during Easter she said something that bothered me a bit longer than it should have.

Throughout this weight-loss journey, I am also working on and patience and letting go. I’m learning to not take things so personally and brush them off. This one took me a bit longer, but I have been able to brush it off since, and I find it has strengthened me. At Easter my family gave me Kind bars because they know the hard work I have dedicated to trying to change my eating habits. At my son’s birthday, which we had on the 2nd, my mother in law brought a tote (yes, a tote–a small tote, but a tote nonetheless) of candy for my husband and I. Reeses, Werthers, gummies, you name it. I was kind of being pushed to eat it, and I said, “We’re trying really hard to eat clean and healthy.” She said, “Well you’re in the wrong family then!” And she managed to add a snarky laugh afterwards as well for good measure.

I let it bother me longer than it should have, as I said. I stewed. How dare she say that to me? I work my a double s off, and we are trying to be healthy. What is wrong with that? We are taking care of ourselves! Who is she to say otherwise and make such a naive comment?

Deep breaths. Get your mind centered.

I’m glad she said it. I’m glad she put that out there in front my my whole family and her own. Because in that moment I wasn’t the one that looked weak (and I won’t be the weak one going forward either). I have a choice–I can either let that comment chip away at my happiness, or I can use it to fuel myself to work harder and prove that our journey is making a healthier difference in our lives.

So after the party ended, I boxed up all the candy. My husband took half to work with him, and I took half to work with me to share with our coworkers. In the last month of our clean eating journey I have lost nearly 8 pounds, and I have started lifting. I am in beast mode. I am proud of myself. I am strong. For the first time in my LIFE I love myself. I don’t wake up, pinch my fat in front of the mirror and sigh. I don’t talk down to myself. I’ve embraced that if this is the body I live in for the rest of my life, I’m ok with that, but I am always going to strive to be healthier and not give up, no matter what anyone might say.

Recipe Time

What’s a post without some food? Haha. I don’t know if I can truly call this a recipe because I didn’t really go by one. However, there are probably a billion different recipes out there.

Stuffed Green Bell Peppers

1lb ground turkey
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (1/4 for each bell pepper, so 1 cup of cheese total)
Black beans
Corn
Onion
Garlic
Whatever other vegetables you’d like! Be crazy and add rice or quinoa!

I cut the tops off the peppers, pulled out all the guts, and placed them in a 9×13 pan, or whatever pan they fit into. My peppers were pretty big. I put the ground turkey, onions, and garlic in a pan and browned it and then added corn and black beans near the end. I filled each of the green peppers with the mixture. After the bell peppers are filled, add the cheese to the top. Broil them until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown (I would add some cheese throughout the mixture next time). My oven broils at 500 degrees.

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In the words of Johnny Bravo: “Whhooaaaa mmaaamaaa!”

Living for T

Two years ago, just a few minutes past midnight, I shook my husband awake. “Time this…ok, how long was that?” My husband, bleary eyes instantly becoming huge, said, “Oh my God. That was only a minute.” He shot out of bed and started getting things in the pickup.

Seeing as this was my first child, I was really dumb. I kept calling the hospital earlier that afternoon and asking them if I should come. They told me that if I felt I was in labor I should come, but it could be a false alarm, which is common for first-time moms.

I didn’t want to miss work that Monday for a false alarm, so I waited…from 5:00PM until after midnight when I kept getting woke up by twinges of pain. I also waited until there was a complete ND, white-out blizzard. If you’ve ever been to the mid-west during one of its blizzards, y’all know what I’m talking about. Plus we had to drive 75 miles to get to my hospital. We barely made it on the interstate before highway patrol shut it down. The going was slow and no visibility at times, but we made it. I called my mom 10 minutes from the hospital to tell her because I knew if I called her before I left she would have called the ambulance. Anyway, we made it, I got roomed and was 6cm along when I arrived.

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At 11:27AM my life changed forever. I was greeted by a pair a beautiful eyes (and chin) that mimicked mine in the most perfect way. It’s amazing how natural everything comes when you have a baby. Well, most everything. I can’t say it was always easy, but I trusted myself to know what was best. I remember soaking in my epsom salt bath looking up articles on how to breastfeed or what temperature was best for his room. I remember trying to change his diaper for the first time and wondering how in the heck I never learned this in 25 years. I worried constantly about if I did the right thing.

I don’t think the worrying stops, but today I have a happy, healthy two year old. I did everything I thought was best as a mom. He walks, he can slay any animal noise, he’s independent, a daredevil, and loves his puppy and kitty. He’s smiley and active, and while he can throw a mean tantrum when he doesn’t get his way, he can also give the sweetest kisses.

He’s the reason this blog got started. I wanted to document my weight loss journey, and I named my blog Living 4 T because that’s what I am doing: I’m living for my son, Tristan. I’m becoming more positive, more energized, more active for him so he can grow up to be a good person who leads a healthy life too. His presence has made me want to be a healthier person, so I’m setting an example for the beautiful boy that graced my life two years ago. I’m living for today, tomorrow, and Tristan.

Happy 2nd birthday, sweetheart. Mommy loves you more than you’ll ever know. Thank you for making me a better person and for helping me to believe in myself, that I’m worth it.

Changes Are Happening

Every day is a great day when you choose to make it that way, but this morning was especially exciting for me. While on my journey to healthier living, I am watching my weight. I understand why some people don’t. My husband refuses to weigh himself or take measurements because he doesn’t want the opportunity to be disappointed. As for me? Old habits die hard. I do try to find a healthy balance and not do it too often. Not only do I weigh myself, but I also take measurements every once in a while, pictures, and I find non-scale victories to focus on.

Curiosity killed the cat this morning though, and I had to check, especially since I feel really good. When I started this journey on Sunday I was 188 pounds and today I weighed in at 184. I was shocked an excited to see how just those changes in my eating habits have helped pave the way for me to reach my ultimate goal. In balancing this with a non-scale victory, today is the first day in months that I have been able to wear my wedding ring and birthstone rings to work. I did wear them for Valentine’s Day, but I had to keep switching them to my pinky fingers because they were so tight I was afraid I was going to get them stuck!

I had a few more non-scale victories this morning. My clothes are looser, and I am no longer bloated. I am feeling so good, and that is what matters the most. I am sugar detoxing right now, and that seems to be the hardest part, but I know it will get better, and I will feel better soon.

I know I may not always have weeks like this, and I will make mistakes, but I will keep reminding myself that it is ok because I am human. As long as I am patient and trust my journey, I can’t go wrong.

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