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?
[In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt | Transformation]
Makeup was never something that I was particularly passionate about. Continue reading Daily Prompt 10/25/16 | Transformation
Hello, friends. I want to talk about something today that is very near to my heart. It may be triggering to some, and to others, you may not even care. Today, I want to talk about bullying. Specifically, cyber bullying. Recently, a very funny man named Wade, who I regularly watch on YouTube, and who I follow on social media, made a post to his Tumblr page that tugged at my heart. In his post, Wade spoke poignantly about how we, as a generation who spends much of our lives online, treat other people on social media, and shed some light on the ever growing issue of cyber bullying. Continue reading “We Can Do Better”
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.
Present day (?).
I was walking around on a large university campus, and the path the I was walking on turned suddenly into a 90 degree, vertical wall in front of me. I was wearing red flats, and jeans, and tried climbing the wall, but there was nothing to grab on. There was grass on both sides of the path, and I tried to grab onto the large weeds to try and pull myself up, but kept falling down.
A group of young men walked up behind me, and started pulling all kinds of equipment out of their bags. One of the guys turned to me, smiled, and asked why I didn’t just take a different path. I shrugged and asked him if they could help me. They showed me how to properly scale the wall, and I got to the top.
I walked into a large building, which opened into a concert hall, and sat down among a group of other people my age, all holding various instruments. I pulled a clarinet from my backpack, and we all started practicing. A group of young children was being ushered into the hall by a few adults, and they all sat in the first few rows of seats, and looked at us excitedly. We played an upbeat, marching band type song, bowed, and departed.
Then, it was dark outside, and I was back at the vertical wall path again. I put my backpack on the ground, and tried to climb the wall again, despite having no help. As I was struggling, a young woman walked by, laughing, and asked me why I didn’t just go around. I looked over at her, and watched as she disappeared around the side of the wall. Embarrassed and confused, I followed her, and found another path, with a much gentler slope upward. I started walking behind her, frustrated that it had taken me so long, and could hear the band playing from inside a nearby building. I started walking toward a very large, columned building, where there was some kind of protest happening.
And then I woke up.
The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/15/2016 | Money for Nothing
“If you’re like most of us, you need to earn money by working for a living. Describe your ultimate job. If you’re in your dream job, tell us all about it — what is it that you love? What fulfills you? If you’re not in your dream job, describe for us what your ultimate job would be.”
My current job title is Super Mom… you may have also heard of the titles Stay-at-Home Mom, or SAHM. Those are the same thing. It’s a pretty demanding job, and includes early mornings, late nights, mandatory overtime, bio-hazardous waste cleanup, and being Chef de Cuisine, mastering the crafts of mac ‘n cheese, broccoli and cheese omelettes, and oatmeal. Did I mention that I perform these various tasks with absolutely no pay? It’s true. My bank account is about as empty as it comes. And I’m okay with that.
I always knew that I wanted to be a mother, and I even knew that I wanted to have my first child when I was 24 years old, which I did. However, I always thought that I would have had my degree, a house, and decent income by 24 years old as well… and that didn’t happen.
I went to school to study Psychology, something that I have been passionate about since elementary school. I planned to work with children and teenagers in a school setting, or even as a social worker for the state, but specifically for lower income families. Maybe even start my own practice, where people pay only what they can afford. Growing up, I had a hard life. Sure, it could have been worse, but it was hard for me. I dealt with divorce, abuse, poverty, and witnessing my mom’s abuse. It took it’s toll on me, and I ended up developing some severe self-esteem issues by the time I was in elementary school, which carried into middle school, where my grades started suffering, and I developed some self-abusive habits, which worsened as I entered high school. In high school, I made some choices that I wish I hadn’t, and let people take advantage of me. I also came very close to losing someone very close to me to suicide, who ended up making it through, but blamed me for it, and turned my friends against me.
The reason I am telling you all of this is because I want to share with you how helpless and alone I felt. My school did not have any qualified counselors that I could speak to, and I wasn’t close enough with any of my teachers to let them into my life. My mom did not have any sort of insurance, and even though she knew about my issues, she couldn’t afford to get me the help that I needed. I suffered in silence, and my relationships with everyone around me crumbled. I first attempted suicide at 15 years old, then again at 16. I survived, but what if I hadn’t?
I don’t know how my life would be different if I had gotten the help that I needed, and still need, but I feel like I would be more comfortable in my own skin, and would know a bit more about why I am the way I am, and feel the way I feel. Being a teenager is hard, and there is a lot more going on than most would lead you to know. It is important to talk about issues, otherwise they can eat you away from the inside. I needed someone to talk to during those years, and I had no one, and it damaged me. Lower income families, and the children within them, are especially susceptible to bullying, self-esteem issues, and abuse, and help for these kids is not always available, or affordable. I want to change that.
I’ve had a lot of setbacks with school, mostly financial, but I still hold onto that dream. I want to make a difference, to help people, and I truly believe that I will someday.
Thank you for reading, friends.
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?
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.
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.
Thanks for reading, friends.