Try, Try Again

Hello, friends. Yesterday, I found myself looking at my reflection, and feeling disappointed. My face has gotten rounder, my skin seems duller, and I just look… unhealthy. All those new clothes that I bought in celebration of losing 25 pounds barely fit me now, and I hate it. Despite all of the hard work I put into my diet and exercise at the end of last year, I find myself feeling like an absolute failure these days after falling off the wagon several months ago, and being unable to commit to diet and exercise again. I want to fix that. I want to fix me.

I think the biggest reason my last diet, although quite successful, failed after just 3 months, was because switched from a diet consisting of pizza, fast food, and carbs, to a “vegan” diet, on top of counting calories, very suddenly. I was eating less than 1,200 calories a day, and working out every other day, and it was just too big of a change, much too fast, and it drove me insane. I lost 27 pounds in less than 3 months, and felt better than I had in YEARS, but when I crashed, I crashed HARD. As much as I love him, I blame my carnivorous partner for about half of my crashing and burning. For always bringing home pizza, snacks, and wanting to eat out. For always telling me that cheat days were okay, even though I had already had 2 or 3 that week, and it was only Wednesday. For completely neglecting his own health, and being unwilling to work with me on making our entire household healthier. It was so hard to focus on eating right when I was surrounded by my favorite, terrible things, that I had been starving myself from. I needed his support, and he wasn’t willing to set aside his live of food to help me.

So, I failed.

I’ve managed to stay around my pre-pregnancy weight (give or take a few pounds, as my weight fluctuates pretty crazily), which is a tiny victory for me… but I miss feeling healthy. I miss daily walks, and Zumba three times a week. I miss having soft hair and glowing skin. I miss having energy. I miss buying clothes in sizes that I haven’t fit into in 8 years. I miss feeling proud of myself.

I’ve decided that I’m going to go back on my no meat/no dairy diet (it’s not full vegan, I still eat eggs, sorry), only this time, I won’t be counting calories. Giving up meat and dairy wasn’t all that bad, and wasn’t nearly as difficult as weighing, measuring, and logging every single thing that I ate. It was exhausting. Not allowing myself to stray off of my calorie count even a little, without being filled with guilt self-hatred, was awful. I was healthier than I had been since high school, and would still hate myself for eating a cookie. That just isn’t healthy, and it was a recipe for disaster.

Now that the weather is warming up, I’m going to invest in a new pair of sneakers, and a few pairs of loose shorts. I’m going to try to get outside more, and spend more time at the park with my son. I’m going to cook more, and research fun, new ways to incorporate more vegan-friendly foods into my diet so that I don’t end up eating beans and rice, or salad, every day.

I want to be healthy, physically and mentally. I can do this!

Jan

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

Take A Walk With Jan #6

Hello, friends! I haven’t written one of these in a while, despite having gone on dozens of walks in the last couple of months, so I figured I would tell you all about our walk today!

iPod Sampling:
Skyscraper ~ Demi Lovato
Cold ~ Evans Blue
Take It Away ~ The Used
Try ~ P!nk
Second Chance ~ Shinedown

It was absolutely beautiful outside, both today and yesterday. Despite it being February in Illinois, it was 60 degrees and sunny outside today. Liam took his first nap around 10:oo this morning, woke up at 11:45, ate his lunch (mac ‘n cheese, bananas, and apple pieces), and then we took off. This was the first walk that we didn’t need to use our weather protector on our stroller, and it wasn’t windy at all. It was seriously beautiful! I was warm wearing just a long-sleeve t-shirt and jeans!

We took off around 12:20, and our first stop was Subway, so that mama could eat lunch. I got there at the same time as a large family, and the mother smiled at me, and told her son to hold the door open for me, which I appreciated! I said thank you, and got in line behind them. The woman then gestured for me to go in front of them. I thanked her and told her we were in no rush, and that they were there first, but she insisted. I thanked her again and ordered my sandwich: Six inch veggie on Italian bread, no cheese, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, olives, banana peppers, jalapenos, and oregano. Complete with a half iced tea, half lemonade. So. Good. I decided that I would eat at the park, and turned to leave, only to see that the line was now backed up out the door. A nice woman held the door open for us, and off we went!

At the park, I was forced to eat on a bench, as opposed to under one of the five gazebos, because there were gangs of pre-pre-teens running around, wreaking havoc, and being obnoxious. I sat down on the bench closest to the playground, and put Liam on the ground so that he could walk around. He immediately tried climbing onto the bench, so I decided to relocate to the bottom of the smallest slide, so that we could sit together. The playground was empty anyway.

Halfway through my sandwich, which I was picking apart to share with my tiny human, a group of 3 boys crossed the street, and met up with 3 other boys, who had been jumping around in the nearest gazebo to us. All the boys were around 6-9 years old, and were completely unsupervised. Whatever, they’re not my kids. Not my problem. Moments later, the whole group walked over to the tiny playground, and began running around and messing with each other. Two of the boys grabbed another boy, and tried to push him down the slide that we were sitting on. On purpose. This was the smallest slide, meant for tiny toddlers, and we were very much in plain sight. They were just being jerks. I ignored them, and they eventually stopped. The two boys walked away, but the third sat at the top of the slide, dangling his feet down by us, mere inches behind my back. I could feel him staring at us, but kept ignoring him. His friends called for him, as they were walking to the other end of the park, and he shouted back, “I’m waiting for this lady to move so I can slide!” Sassy.

At that point, I turned to him and said, “There are four other slides in this park. Leave us alone.

His eyes widened, and he took off.

We finished our sandwich, and went down the slide a few times. I could hear the group of boys coming back, and kept ignoring them. Liam was sitting at the bottom of the same toddler slide, trying to climb up, when another one of the boys sat down at the top, and started banging his heels against the slide. I looked right at him and said, “Seriously? Stop.” And he did.

I could hear them bitching about me, and using language that would (hopefully) make their mothers slap them silly, when suddenly, an SUV pulled up by the park. The woman driving rolled down her window, and shouted to a boy named Spencer, who happened to be the boy I just scolded. She asked him if he was behaving, then looked at me, and asked if he was leaving me alone. He protested loudly, and I just smiled. I should have ratted the little punk out, but she drove away, and he was embarrassed, and that was good enough for me.

We picked up our stuff, and walked to Dollar General after that, where I encountered a man walking around with two unbelievably cute chihuahua puppies in his arms, a sweet 2-year old girl named Emily who was absolutely in love with my son, as well as a very old woman, who asked me literally 100 questions about my schedule, and what I was doing that day. I grabbed a few things from there, checked out, and crossed the street to the grocery store to pick up some pineapple, one of Liam’s favorite foods.

As I was checking out, I smiled at the young woman who was at the register, who couldn’t be bothered to look up from her phone to notice. She did not greet me, or say a single word to me, the entire time. She didn’t ask me if I wanted paper or plastic (yes, this place still does that). Not only was she texting in plain sight, but there was another young woman behind her talking to her about something that was definitely not work related. I’m not sure if she even worked there, because they won’t wear uniforms of any kind, just street clothes. She made eye contact with me and gave me my total, and I swiped my card. They also have to ask you if you want cash back at this place, that’s how old school they are, but she didn’t, and just hit NO on the screen. I didn’t need cash back, and she did give me a plastic bag, which I prefer, but she was seriously rude. I almost went to look for a manager, but decided against it, and just left.

Then, we went home. Liam got sleepy on the walk back, and my feet were killing me, because I decided to wear my boots, instead of my sneakers, because my sneakers look weird when I wear jeggings, which were the only clean pants I had left. First world problems, right? We got home, and I thought he would take a good nap, so that I could nap, but it never happened. So we ended up playing with our Mega Bloks (I ordered a second set off of Amazon, along with a nice baby gate, which should get here this week) for a while until dinner.

The rest of the week is supposed to dip back down into the chilly temperatures, so we’ll see if walks will be possible. I really need to get back into walking, and eventually back into Zumba. I’ve already gained 4-5 pounds back, and my new clothes are starting to feel tight. Ugh. I can not wait for spring!

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan