"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." ~ Anonymous

Monday, September 28, 2015

Motivational Monday - Go Ahead, Feel Fabulous!!

Me in my new [larger] capris,
so I can look cute during football season...
even if I have some weight to lose. :)
Well, the Healthy Holidays Challenge is off to a good start.  There are about 18 of us participating and everyone has set some really great, realistic goals.  

I've decided to try and post something to motivate the group each week and today I'd like to speak on a subject near and dear to my heart.  

Self acceptance. 

Recently, I'm back on the path to re-lose 30 of the 70 pounds I lost a few years ago.  Most of my clothes have fit like sausage casings for weeks now and I've been miserable;  determined not to buy new clothes so I don't get comfortable in them and in turn not take care of this weight issue.  

However, in my miserable state, and realizing fall is coming and I haven't a decent-fitting thing to wear, I was reminded of the greatest lesson I learned before I ever started this final weight loss journey. 

Short Story:  
Learning to love myself at my current size was the first step towards taking care of myself and the true beginning of my weight loss journey back in 2009.   Upon remembering this lesson recently I decided to go ahead and buy a couple pairs of capris and tops to get me through the autumn.  I decided hating myself in too-tight clothing was doing nothing to help me get back on track and when I went to the high school football game in my new capris last Friday night I felt better than I had in months.  

Long Story: 
The summer before I began this blog (and my final attempt at weight loss) I read an article by Geneen Roth that to this day I believe was the turning point in my life and the true beginning of my journey.  In "Be Good to Yourself" she made the statement, 
  "True kindness is deciding right now that you deserve to feel fabulous — even if you never lose another pound."

Maybe she asked this question in an interview after her article, or maybe I came up with it myself, but none the less I remember going to my bathroom mirror and asking myself if I loved me just as I was -- if I never lost another pound.

I was 220 pounds at that time.  

And my answer was a very honest no.

I remember it made me sad to realize I felt that way because I'd always considered myself a very happy person.  I had a husband, family and friends who loved me as I was and I had come to accept my lot in life was to be the overweight wife, mom and friend.  I didn't let my weight stop me from enjoying life and was pretty content.  Yet the truth remained I couldn't imagine being completely happy with myself if I wasn't a smaller size.

So, I decided that mindset had to change and I made it my goal to learn to love myself just as I was.  I didn't go on a diet or begin exercising.  I simply began to accept myself for who I was, rolls and all.

Over the next six months I bought some new things, including new clothes for a family trip.  As I made my purchases at the shops for fuller figured women I had fun knowing I was going to look cute and stylish while visiting our family over the holidays...even if I was overweight.  I just didn't care about the sizes anymore.

I felt great!  Yes, I was aware I was wearing the largest size I'd ever worn, but I felt good about myself. 

In my confident state I also managed to gain 10 more pounds, and soon came to the realization that loving myself didn't mean letting my health go to pot, but that's a post for another day. 

Today I want to remind everyone that size should not be the gauge by which you see if you deserve to be happy and feel good about yourself.  

You deserve to love yourself just as you are -- a work in progress.  

You may be an older woman who's metabolism is slowing down or  a woman who body is growing a new baby or a lady stressed beyond belief or someone struggling with food issues.  Whatever situation you find yourself in I urge you to stop hating yourself because you are not a certain size or shape, but instead see that you are beautiful just as you are. 

And if, as was true in my case, you'll feel better getting some clothes that fit for now, then do it.  

Yes, set some things aside as rewards for reaching goals, but don't make those things a prize you allow yourself only when you're "good enough".  

Accept you are "good enough" right now and give yourself permission to feel fabulous as you are today.

Trust me, it's the most freeing feeling in the world!  

And, take it from me, when you allow yourself to be happy "if you never lose another pound [or inch]" you'll want to take care of yourself, because we take care of the things we love.  

Now go have a good week and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Let the Healthy Holiday Season Begin!

Well, here it is September 23rd -- the first day of Fall and the first of the last 100 days of 2015.  To celebrate I am hosting a challenge to encourage myself and others to enjoy the holiday season while not losing track of our health. 

Before I list my goals let me tell you that facing the need to lose the 30 pounds I've gained over the last year and a half I'm tempted to put strict goals that will help me get on a tight track and get that weight off fast.  However, (insert dramatic pause) I know me.  And me doesn't always stick to strict diets.  Me also knows this is about long-lasting results.  

Until last year I had maintained a loss of 70 pounds for about a year and a half.  While I'd love to be the "awesome leader of the challenge" and set strict goals for myself so I can encourage you to do the same, I'd rather do what I know works and set realistic goals. 

With the exception of "don't gain weight" I've never set (or met) a weight loss goal during the holiday season.  This year will be different.  

I want to lose 10 pounds by December 31st and this is how I'm going to do it....

My goals for the 2015 Healthy Holidays Challenge are: 

  1. I will exercise at least 30 minutes at least 4 times a week.  I'm hoping for more, but as Thanksgiving and Christmas get closer if I keep this minimum I will be doing great.  Realistic goals here. 
  2. I will eat "weight-loss" portions and healthier options, tracking my food on My Fitness Pal, so I will see a loss of at least 10 pounds.  My weight today is 190.5. 
  3. I will drink at least 32 oz. of pure water a day.  I get plenty of liquids in, but not all of them are water. (I used to push for 64 oz, but I'm not sure how I feel about that any more...another topic for another day.)
  4. I will bake and enjoy holiday treats within reason, making sure to track what I eat no matter how high the calorie count.  With the exception of Thanksgiving Day.  I'll write about that later, but I don't track what I eat that day, I simply try and enjoy the food without stuffing myself. 
  5. I will strive for a balance between challenging myself to stick to a healthier plan and allowing myself to mess up.  
Now, the sixteen people who have signed up need to post their goals today.  This can be done either here on my blog or on my Instagram post that will be going up shortly.  

I've noticed every person that has signed up has an Instagram account and I believe most of the goal setting and checking in will be done over there.  

I will continue to post my own updates weekly here, beginning Friday October 2nd, and I will share the progress of our group as well.  Feel free to come check us all out and follow along on Instagram if you'd like.  

In the meantime...
...and thanks for checking in!  This blogging community is like a Weight Watchers meeting for me; holding me accountable and encouraging me to succeed in one of the biggest areas I struggle in.  I don't think I could do it without such great support.  

Friday, September 11, 2015

Healthy Holidays Challenge

Early in my weight loss journey I participated in a health and fitness challenge to finish the last 100 days of the year strong.  The Hot 100 Challenge was to challenge participants to keep a healthy focus during the busiest, most food laden months of the year.

It was great motivation for those of us who participated to remember that we want to enjoy the holidays without gaining tons of weight and feeling crappy physically, and subsequently emotionally, when all the festivities were over.

It's been a couple of years since the blog that hosted that challenge has been active.  So, as I'm feeling motivated to get my act together I decided to host my own challenge.

* * * * * *
Beginning September 23, 2015 join me in enjoying the last 100 days of the year healthy and happy!

By choosing to participate in this challenge you commit to keeping an eye on your health while also enjoying the holiday season.  Plus, you will be entered in a drawing on January 1, 2016 for a box of goodies to help you continue your healthy lifestyle in the new year. 

Rules are Simple:

  1. Sign up by midnight September 22, 2015 - PST by commenting on this post or my Instagram post: @my_new_ending
  2. Commit to at least one health related goal;  more goals are welcome and encouraged.
  3. Check in every Thursday beginning October 1st.  You can check in by commenting on a "Check-In" post here on my blog each week or commenting on a "Check-In" post on my Instagram account each week. 
  4. Complete minimum 12 of the 15 check-ins.  Yes, you can miss up to 3 check-ins and still be entered into the drawing.
  5. Enjoy the next three months doing things that make your holidays happy!
Note... you do not necessarily have to meet your challenge goal to be entered into the drawing;  you simply have to continue checking in with us.  The point of this challenge is to be a reminder to not throw caution to the wind during the holiday season.  So if you end up not meeting your goals and yet stay accountable to the challenge group, then you definitely kept that one goal -- to keep your health on  your mind -- and that's worth an entry to me. 

**The challenge is open to all participants,**
**but the drawing is open to U.S. residents only.**

I look forward to setting some goals and enjoying these last 100 days of 2015 happy and healthier.  I hope you can join me!

* * * * * *

Feel free to spread the word.  The more the merrier!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

In a Good Place to Go Public

Well, after much thought and trepidation I have decided to own up publicly to where I am at right now, or basically update my progress pictures.  I haven't done so before because it was embarrassing and I wasn't exactly sure I was ready to start truly working on living healthier. (another post for another day)

But back to the progress pictures...  

Funny how we think of "progress pictures" in the weight loss world as pictures that only show a person getting smaller, as they progress towards their weight loss goals.  However, to progress means to move forward or onward in space or time.

As time progresses my weight is going to change.  I'd like it to stay at the lower end of things, but in the last year and a half it's gone up 30 pounds and this is what that looks like on me.  (Taken on my kids' first day of school ... and appropriate since it was my first day back to regular exercise.)
I share this not to shame myself, but because when I lose this weight I want it included in my progress photos that I gained weight and then got it off -- it's all a part of the progression of my weight loss journey.  

Hopefully, in being blatantly honest I can encourage some of you that we all have our moments and I'm just as normal as the next lady trying to keep her weight in check.  

The good thing about all of this is I'm finally feeling motivated to really get back on track.  Not the "Oh, I wish I could lose this weight!!" feeling, but the "I did it once.  I know I can do it again." feelings.  

It's a good place to be and I've begun doing what is necessary to get and stay at a healthier weight.  I tracked my food almost all last week, exercised 3 days (working towards 4-5) and I've begun to be okay again with eating until satisfied. 

No more overeating....that's a huge deal for me right now.  

So, I know I'll get these 30 pounds off.  Like I said in an earlier post, I refuse to buy smaller clothes so the only way to go from here is down on the scale -- progress in a healthier direction.  :)

Thanks for checking in! 

P.S.  I've opened up my "health" Instagram account for public viewing...if you're interested in following me I'm @my_new_ending .