Category Archives: Weight Loss

Gratitude: I

I is for Ice Cream

Ice cream is my favorite sweet to indulge in, and when I started on my healthy journey, it felt like it would also have to be something I would soon be giving up.  Part of growing as a person was realizing that I could buy my ice cream and eat it too.  Making healthier choices for myself allowed me to not have to give up my favorite thing, while at the same time it really made me appreciate how special ice cream was as a treat.  Learning to plan, and to portion my indulgences was an important step in realizing that being healthy and taking care of myself doesn’t need to be a punishment, and that despite all my thinking, I deserve good things.

Gratitude: H

H is for Hips

My hips are the biggest part of my body, but they’re also my favorite part.  I like the way they look in dresses and jeans, and I am really grateful for the things that they do for me.  I used to run a great deal, and I had to stop because of a hip injury.  As summer approaches, and I get ready to start running again, I’m grateful to have healthy and happy hips that allow me to move, jump, play and run.  My hips make me feel feminine and sexy—they’re a part of me that I have struggled to love, but am forever happy to have.

Gratitude: G

G is for Goals

The goals I’ve set for myself throughout my life have changed as the things that are important to me change.  When I first started losing weight, getting smaller and weighing less were the only things that mattered to me.  I didn’t care if it meant starving all day, or skipping parties or hurting myself.  I just wanted to feel pretty and thin.  I dropped a lot of weight, but it was very difficult to keep it off.

Now that I’m older, being smaller is still important, but not as important as being strong and being happy and healthy.  I started lifting weights and working out to make my body stronger than it was.  I started putting experiences before the number on the scale, and I’m getting better at living happy and healthy at the same time.  Realizing that this journey isn’t going to stop when I reach my goal weight has made me appreciate the time it’s taking me to get there a little more.

Gratitude: F

F is for Future

Getting older always scared me because I feared what I would be like as my life carried on.  I feared getting creaky and losing my independence because it’s what I saw happen to the adults around me.

My body is my greatest weapon against losing my ability to take care of myself, and now that I’m working to get stronger and healthier, I’ve found I’m more likely to look forward to things happening in the future.  I’m more excited to see what life will be like in the decades to come.

I won’t pretend that my partner Alex doesn’t play a big role in how excited I am to go on adventures and get old and yell at the kids on my lawn.  His energy and support makes me feel like anything is possible and I’ll have a strong, bubbly partner by my side to see it all happen.  I do deserve some credit for working towards a healthier self–something I’m already seeing the benefits of.

Gratitude: E

E is for Eating Disorder

This was a very difficult topic to write about because it’s something I’m still working not to ignore.  My relationship with food is destructive and borders on self-harm at times.  While this is hard for me to always talk about, accepting it has been easier than I thought it would be.

Knowing that food is a trigger has caused me to slow down when entering parties and situations where food will not be my ally.  I often have to sit down and come up with a real action plan, and then struggle to see it through.  It’s hard for me to go to someone’s house  or to a party and not feel resentment towards someone who isn’t helping me navigate the food.

Having people in my life that help me figure out new and healthy ways to combat my tendency to binge eat and self-harm is important to finding a healthy middle ground to existing in a food-driven world without hurting myself each time I am in front of a feast.

It’s getting easier, and I am always grateful to those who help me each day.  I may not mention it, but I am infinitely grateful.

Gratitude: D

D is for Dreams

I was always taught that with hard work and sacrifice, I would be able to pursue my dreams and achieve anything I set my mind to.  While this may be true for some people, I think it’s an over-simplification of the process.

I did everything right and sacrificed a lot, and yet my true dreams have yet to be achieved.  I realized at some point that this collaboration of hard work and sacrifice wasn’t enough.  There has to be a drive to take risks and a hope that it is all going somewhere in order for that sacrifice to get transformed into something really powerful.

Weight loss showed that to me.  Unless I thought I would be able to lose weight and do well, none of my self-punishing sacrifices meant anything.  The same with my writing career.  If I was going to spend all day at work because it was the right thing to do, nothing was going to just magically happen to the novels sitting on my hard drive.  Taking time to work on my writing or to practice self-care is necessary to doing well in the long run–just as important as believing that the time spent on me is worth it in the end.

Every dream in our life is possible and deserves to be worked on—especially when it means a practice in self-love and care.

Gratitude: C

Every other week this year, I will explore gratitude through one letter of the alphabet.  This journey will most likely be centered around my weight loss journey, but some weeks, my gratitude will expand into other areas of my life.  Join me, and let me know what you’re grateful for each week!

C is for Cat

An old boss would always tell me I should get a cat, and though I’m sure he wasn’t completely serious most of the time, the idea started to stick in my brain.  In May of 2015, I decided that getting a cat was exactly what I needed, and my best friend and I drove off to a shelter to pick one up.  Hendrix was a shy cat with no teeth, and though the shelter warned me that he probably wouldn’t bond well with humans (he had a sad life in a crate prior to being rescued by the county), he wouldn’t make a good companion.

Not only did Hendrix bond with me and everyone that he meets, he’s one of the sweetest animals I’ve ever encountered.  I’m so lucky to have found a cat this amazing, even if he drools on everything I own because he’s toothless, and he steals my turkey sandwiches when I’m not looking.  And barfs in front of my bedroom door during the night so I step in it when I wake up.  And farts something fierce while we cuddle.  And gets kitty litter on the dining room table.  I swear, I love him.

Gratitude: B

Every other week this year, I will explore gratitude through one letter of the alphabet.  This journey will most likely be centered around my weight loss journey, but some weeks, my gratitude will expand into other areas of my life.  Join me, and let me know what you’re grateful for each week!

B is for Best Friend

Having a best friend is a real gift, and I know not everyone gets to have one.  I’m lucky enough to have a best friend, and to have one that supports me nearly all the time.  He’s someone who gets the struggle, and is quick to point out tips for getting past hurdles, as well as motivation to keep going when I’m doing well.  Without someone who knows me inside and out pushing me along, I don’t think I would have been able to do a great deal of the things I set out to do.  I’m forever grateful to the universe for smushing us together.

Gratitude: A

Every other week this year, I will explore gratitude through one letter of the alphabet.  This journey will most likely be centered around my weight loss journey, but some weeks, my gratitude will expand into other areas of my life.  Join me, and let me know what you’re grateful for each week!

A is for Allies

When you start losing weight or trying to become healthier, the hardest part is battling everyone around you.  Friends, who mean well, will offer you food they think is healthy, but you cannot or should not eat.  Coworkers will parade food they don’t want to keep at home around the office, and whenever you need to go out for dinner with friends or drinks with family, the strength it takes not to give up is immeasurable.  Allies, people who are willing to take on some of the burden, are essential.  They think ahead, ask important questions, and make some choices on your behalf they know will help.  Without allies, any journey would be lonely, and very difficult.

New Me Week Nine and Ten: Allies Make A Difference

Getting through the holidays is really hard.  The thought of being stuck somewhere with people who are going to push food in my direction for multiple days is stressful and often times, I opt to not go to parties or meals or events because I just can’t handle it.  This means I miss a lot of opportunities to be with family and friends, or I blow a whole week of hard work on one day of obligated mingling.

Over the years, I’ve gotten really good at a lot of skills that have helped me face the onslaught of food during times when people gather to celebrate, but the one thing I haven’t gotten very good at is trusting people.

When someone tells me they “get it,” they’re usually met with suspicion and distrust.  I’ve learned the hard way that not a lot of people “get it.”  Either they’ve never had an issue with weight, or with food, or they’re just really good at executing fitness goals without realizing that there are people like me who have been staring at that piece of cheese for 20 minutes trying to fight the desire to snatch it, eat it, and add it to the growing list of things I’ve put in my mouth that shouldn’t have gone in there.

Whatever difference there is, it’s hard for self-claimed allies to understand exactly what they need to do in order to ensure that I don’t melt into a pile of stressed-out tear muffins because I’m losing my mind around the tortilla chip bowl.

What I learned this holiday season is that I need to trust people more.  I need to trust that they do have my best interests in mind, and that they’re going to do their best to make sure I’m not about to explode because of unexpected food.

The week before Christmas, Alex and I sat down together and painstakingly planned out every single meal and every single moment when there would be food for the whole two weeks of Christmas and New Years.  And then I got to spend three beautifully relaxing days with his family, where our plan was followed.  It was so easy.  I honestly never thought a holiday could go over so smoothly and so flawlessly.

One of the nights, I made chicken and red pepper empanadas, which were super delicious:

I even got to feed a horse some carrots, WHICH WAS AWESOME.

I mean, look at how happy that pony is to get a delicious carrot!

I worked really hard to make sure I met my end of the bargain and stuck to the plan too, and as a result, I lost three pounds this week.

That’s right, I spent the whole Christmas weekend away from home and LOST THREE POUNDS.

Alex’s mom even found these insanely healthy sausages I never knew existed, which have now become the only sausage I’ll eat for breakfast anymore.

This is proof to me that when someone is determined to be an ally, anything is possible.  Sharing the work of planning and preparing was fun and honestly, after this holiday, I can’t wait to do it again.  Month-long vacation anyone?

I’m really grateful to Alex’s family for being so generous with the Christmas menu, and I’m especially lucky to have a partner who is determined to understand and help me however he can.  I’ve never felt so relaxed and ready to tackle a new year–no matter what comes my way, I have a team of people who have my back.  I’m lucky beyond lucky.

Wishing you all a beautiful new January with love and allies!

Starting weight: 210.2 lbs

Current weight: 196.8 lbs

Total loss: -13.4 lbs