To Gym, Or Not to Gym?

I kept telling myself, “If I get to 180… 185… 190… etc., then I’ll do something about it…” but the numbers kept getting higher.

Recently, I stepped on the scale, and was actually appalled at the number that stared back at me. Continue reading “To Gym, Or Not to Gym?”

Daily Prompt 3/14/2016 | A Fleeting Moment of Confidence

There were rapid-fire holiday and birthday get-togethers, and I found it harder and harder to control myself around all of the sweets and savory foods. So I didn’t. The weather had gotten gloomy, and sucked all the energy from my body, and I slowed down on my exercise, until I stopped completely.

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 3/14/2016 | Fleeting

I have a very love/hate relationship with diet and exercise. As some of you may already know, from the middle of October to the end of December, I decided to make some changes, and started eating a mostly vegan diet (I still ate eggs). I didn’t do it for any moral reason, and I don’t care if you eat meat, or don’t eat meat, I did it for me, to be a healthier individual. I struggled a bit at first with giving up dairy, as a large part of my diet tended to include cheese, or milk products, but I found that giving up meat was pretty simple, as I never really ate much of it, and didn’t really crave it in any way.

Not only did I make this change to my diet, but I also decided to actually DIET during this time. I downloaded a free app called Lose It!, which I had used previously to lose weight, and began tracking my daily calorie intake, as well as my weight loss. If you are counting calories, and want a free, simple app to help you out, I highly recommend it. Between this complete overhaul in my diet, and counting calories, I found myself struggling to stay on track early on, as well as struggling with cravings. I had many, many slip-ups and cheat days for the first month, and kicked myself over it, feeling guilty and disgusted with myself. I tried to keep junk food and dairy out of my fridge, but that becomes incredibly difficult when you live with a dairy crazed carnivore who wouldn’t touch a vegetable if would save his life. Every other day he was bringing home cookies, or ordering pizza, or bags of chips, and it was unbearable. I even asked him to stop, but he never did.

I was losing weight, slowly, but not at the rate that I wanted, so I started exercising. I was already going on somewhat regular walks with my son, around 2.5 miles each time we went out, but with the weather getting colder, I knew it was only a matter of time before we would be forced to stay indoor. At the recommendation of a few friends, as well as my mom, I started looking up beginner Zumba videos on YouTube, and was instantly hooked. I was able to burn several hundred calories in 1/4 the time as walking, and it was fun. The weight started to melt off after that.

I lost 10 pounds. Then 15 pounds. Then 25 pounds. I had already reached my pre-baby weight, as well as my lowest weight since college, and I felt great. My skin had cleared up from the lack of daily in my diet, and I was able to buy clothes, several sizes smaller, for the first time since getting pregnant. I even began considering buying a bathing suit, and shorts, for the first time since college. I am not joking, I haven’t owned a bathing suit in 7 years, or work shorts in probably 5 or 6. I felt good, and I looked good.

For a fleeting moment, I was the happiest I had been in years.

Then, the holidays came. I tried to have some self-control, but no one in Kyle’s family seemed to understand my struggle with my body, or my diet. Despite being very open about my dietary restrictions, and politely turning down their cooking (they are the type of folks who cook everything with ten pounds of butter), they would just repeatedly tell me to “Just have a cheat day!”, or “You look fine, just eat!”, and it drove me nuts. Even when I did eat, his grandmother would keep pestering me to eat MORE, or actually BRING ME PLATES OF FOOD when I politely declined. She would get offended when I said no. I hated being forced to eat, but I allowed it to happen, just to please her.

That was the start of the end.

There were rapid-fire holiday and birthday get-togethers, and I found it harder and harder to control myself around all of the sweets and savory foods. So I didn’t. The weather had gotten gloomy, and sucked all the energy from my body, and I slowed down on my exercise, until I stopped completely. Over the course of barely two months, I gained back 9 pounds of the 27 total pounds that I had lost. I noticed the definition in my legs and waist going back to being flabby, and the new, smaller clothing that I had bought stop fitting me in a flattering way. And once again, I hated myself.

I tried to get back into my diet several times, but no longer had room on my phone for my calorie tracker app, and used that as an excuse to ballpark it, which ended in failure. I would get stuck eating my son’s leftovers from his meals, and using that as an excuse to eat other meat or dairy items, as I had already lost it for the day. I made a lot of excuses, and it showed. It showed all over my body.

The weather has started to warm up, and I have been able to get outside to walk more with my son, and he is finally old enough to play with me at the park. This has given me hope, and determination, to try to get back on track. My birthday is in a month and a half, and I have decided that I want to lose 10 pounds by then. I ate a vegan diet today, and managed to get a good walk in with my kiddo, as well as a brief Zumba workout (I am astonishingly out of shape from my time away from it). I felt great… until Kyle got home, made two amazing smelling pork burritos, and only ate one of them. He was going to throw away the other… and I ate it. Granted, I didn’t go bonkers on the calories today, but I ate a burrito that was basically nothing but meat and cheese, and I hate myself for it.

As I’ve written about in the past, self-control is my biggest downfall when it comes to anything. It has ruined everything in my life at some point. I love eating healthy, and I love exercising. I love fruits and vegetables and salad and cooking… but between the weather, my empty bank account, my un-supportive, carnivorous husband, and my horrible lack of self-control, maintaining any sort of healthy lifestyle is a massive struggle.

I’m hoping my self-hatred can outweigh my lack of self-control… otherwise, I fear I will never be happy with my appearance. And I can’t live like that anymore. I miss my fleeting moment of confidence.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/20/2016 | Dear Self-esteem…

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/20/2016 | Shape Up or Ship Out

“Write a letter to the personality trait you like least, convincing it to shape up or ship out. Be as threatening, theatrical, or thoroughly charming as is necessary to get the job done.”

Dear Self-esteem, can we talk for a minute?

Sorry, you actually don’t have a choice here, so listen up. Everyone around here is getting pretty fed up with how you’ve been acting lately. Oh, you don’t know what I’m talking about? How about how you made Jan buy all that makeup to cover her acne, even though she knew that it would make it worse? Or how you make her try on every pair of pants that she owns 2 or 3 times before deciding on the pair that makes her look “the least fat”? Or how she sudenly has been feeling the need to wear shirts that cover her butt and thighs, even though she hates how they sit on her belly? Ringing any bells? Stop that shit right now. Oh, does her belly hang over her jeans a bit? Does that shirt color make her skin look red? Quit making her obsess with things like that, you wench. Did you forget that she had a BABY? She’s going to be stuck with that little muffin top for a while, and her hormones are going to be out-of-whack for a bit. Cut it out.

Here’s an idea. How about, instead of making her obsess over her stomach, and her butt, and her thighs, you motivate her to get back on the diet wagon? She was doing awesome, before you reared your ugly head, and made her start feeling hopeless. She lost 25 pounds, Self-esteem. 25 pounds! What have you done with yourself lately, other than make her feel bad? Exactly. So instead of whispering words like “fat”, or “muffin top”, or “tight”, in her ear, you whisper some words of encouragement? Maybe remind her that she weighs less now than she has in years, and that she has successfully lost all of the baby weight, and should be proud of herself, because she’s a badass mamma. Sound good? Great. Shape up, or ship out, bitch. We need to fix what you’ve broken.

Now that that’s taken care of, we need to have a nice chat with Self-control…

Sincerely,
The rest of the traits that aren’t assholes.

Thanks for reading, friends. 😉

Jan

Self-Control

Self-control… I have none.

As of today, I am down 26 pounds since I started my diet in October. Now, this might sound like quite an accomplishment… but I don’t really feel like it is. Right up until the middle of December, I had been busting my ass, making sure to stick to my diet (no meat, no dairy, and a calorie limit), and to get my walking and/or Zumba workout in. And it was going well! I was losing around 2 pounds a week, my skin was clearing up, and I felt amazing. I was less tired, and just happier in general.

Then… the holidays came.

I never wanted special treatment, or pity, or for people to go out of their way to prepare special dishes for me so that I could eat at family parties. I also never wanted people to say things like, “It’s okay to have a cheat day every once in a while!” or “Come on, it is Christmas! You can indulge!” Because, you see, for me… I have no self-control. None at all. I wanted to live in my happy little bubble, where I could surround myself with my healthy foods, and not worry about the cookies, hams, and cheese plates (all of which are super delicious, and evil). But, alas, the holidays came and went, and I was forced to be in the same room with these delectable dishes… and I caved.

I caved, and I gorged, and I can’t stop.

They say it takes 90 days to make or break a habit. I almost made it. I’ve been kicking myself so much the last few weeks, mostly for allowing myself to nod along and say, “You’re right, it is the holidays!” because I should have known myself better.

I should have known that those cookies were a slippery slope. That eating from the cheese plate would mean that in a few days time, I would be sneaking to the fridge in the middle of the night for a handful of shredded cheese, straight from the bag. I wish I had more support at home. But I don’t. Despite being quite overweight, my carnivorous, dairy addicted fiance insists that I am fine. He doesn’t care about my diet, or my need to have zero junk food in the apartment. He brings home packages of cookies, bags of chips, and random Buffalo Wild Wings, then ends up not touching them. So they sit in the cabinet or fridge, next to my brown rice, quinoa, and dried fruit. Taunting me.

And then, I snap.

Some days, I am so proud of myself. I stay within my calories, eat my veggies, keep my sodium down, and feel good about myself… but when the sun goes down, and my baby goes to bed, something inside of me just… snaps. I crave. Everything. It gets so bad that sometimes I find myself pacing the kitchen, wondering what would be “acceptable” junk food to satisfy my cravings. Carrots and hummus? Sure. Followed by 3 iced oatmeal cookies. Followed by a peanut butter sandwich. Followed by a handful of Tostitos…

I CAN’T STOP.

Is it boredom? I have no idea. Maybe.

On top of this, my son is going through a developmental leap, and has been a tiny (adorable) demon lately. Refusing to nap, taking forever to get to bed, throwing fits, and being clingy… making finding time to workout or do Zumba impossible. So the calories add up.

My weight loss has slowed… significantly. Actually, it has stopped. And it breaks my heart.

I know, I know. I have no one to blame but myself. Old habits are hard to break.

Can someone come and take all this junk food away? And yell at me to get my butt back on the right path? Please?

Jan

My Weight Loss Struggle

When Summer came, we made it outside a lot more. I started to clean up my diet a bit, and started teaching myself how to cook things that I used to never eat. This, specifically, has been extremely difficult for me, since my significant other is a carnivorous, dairy lover who refuses to touch vegetables. Luckily, my kid loves vegetables.

Apologies if this gets a bit rambly. It’s been a rough few days.

I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. Middle school, high school, college… after college… I never used to consider myself “obese” (though my doctor would disagree), but I’ve always been overweight. I’m short and busty, with wide hips, so I’ve always looked more heavyset than I am. High school was rough. I’ve battled an eating disorder, crash diets, liquid diets, exercising 7 days a week, going vegetarian, going vegan, then back to vegetarian… nothing sticks. I know, I know, I have no one to blame for my weight but myself. I have control issues. And commitment issues.

It is so hard to look at pictures of myself from high school, college, and even from just a few years ago, and think about how hard I used to be on myself. To think about all of the awful things I used to say about my body. Now look at me. I’d like to think that I’m in a better place, mentally, when it comes to how I see myself, compared to how I used to be. I had a baby less than a year ago, and managed to gain NO weight through my pregnancy (I “gained” 18 pounds, but the day I left the hospital, I was back at my pre-pregnancy weight). I tried so hard to stay active, eat well, and work right up to my due date. And I did! But everything changed after my son was born.

I ended up having to leave my job to stay home, and I was confined to the couch for the first month of my son’s life . I had a 4th degree perineal tear (fucking ouch!), and also needed extra time in the hospital because I developed preeclampsia during labor, and was pumped full of drugs, and became very sick. Let’s just say, I had a traumatic birthing experience, and needed lots of healing. I was completely unsuccessful when it came to nursing Liam, but I tried to pump. That didn’t work out either. So I didn’t even have that to help keep the weight off. Kyle had to pick up extra hours at his job, and was never home. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t cook, I couldn’t clean, I couldn’t go for walks. I ate garbage all day, every day. I got no exercise. I gained weight.

In fact, I gained 19 pounds in just a few months.

Once I was healed, it was easier to be more active, but Liam was still so tiny and needy, and it was very difficult to do anything at all. When the weather got warmer, and he was bigger, I tried to take him for walks to the park every other day, but I fell off the wagon pretty quickly, and it ended up only happening once a week. If that.

Things got better though. When Summer came, we made it outside a lot more. I started to clean up my diet a bit, and started teaching myself how to cook things that I used to never eat. This, specifically, has been extremely difficult for me, since my significant other is a carnivorous, dairy lover who refuses to touch vegetables. Luckily, my kid loves vegetables.

In October, I became a vegetarian, and gave up meat entirely. I have also tried to give up dairy, though I do  slip every now and then. I’m not a vegan (nope nope nope), but giving up meat and dairy has done wonders for me. My skin has cleared up slightly, my hair is softer, I have more energy, and I’ve lost weight! Liam and I were taking regular hour-long walks right up until a few weeks ago, when it started getting cold and snowy outside. Since then, my progress has slowed.

Being stuck inside 24/7 is starting to take its toll. I’m getting more and more anxious, and I find myself having more frequent “cheat days”, and am completely unable to control my food urges. You’d think I was pregnant again. This, coupled with my lack of exercise, has started to get me a bit depressed. Guess who eats when she is depressed?

Yup. Me.

As of a few days ago, I finally made it back down to my pre-baby weight (18 pounds down!). I was so happy! My body is still not the same shape that it was, but I feel good. Sticking with my diet, and finding ways to stay active, has been a challenge, and one that I hope to overcome.

Just… not today. Liam has been sick/teething for days, and my nerves are shot. I am exhausted, on edge, and lonely. Kyle was supposed to quit his old job, since his new job pays very well, and was going to be spending a lot more time home… but he decided to stay. So he is gone every day, we never see him, and I have no help with the baby or anything else. At all.

Today has been one of those days, where I just don’t care about my diet. A stress eating kind of day. Liam has been so difficult, and I just found out that Kyle’s coat was stolen while he was at work (it had his freaking car keys in the pocket), and no one is doing anything about it. I am stressing out, and I just devoured a handful of shredded cheese, and ate three baby spoonfuls of peanut butter. See? No control.

Ugh.

But anyway. I dropped a full dress size, so Kyle bought me a dress (clearance!). Let’s hope I don’t screw this up and it still fits me for Christmas… I need to buy some shape wear.

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Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan