It’s HARD.

Being overweight is hard. Losing weight is hard.

Losing weight is hard.

It’s hard taking the time to plan meals and snacks.
It’s hard knowing I’m doing the best I can with little to no results. Like eating darn near perfect, working out 4 times a week and losing 2 pounds. In two months.
It’s hard trying to motivate myself to go to the gym.
It’s hard looking in the mirror and not liking what I see.
It’s hard feeling guilty after allowing a treat.
It’s hard being afraid that allowing a certain treat (usually something high in fat) will send me into a downward spiral that could potentially undo months of hard work.
It’s hard knowing others are judging you because they think you lack self-control.
It’s hard hearing “I just cut out pop and lost 20 pounds in 2 months” when it takes me 2 years to lose that much.
It’s hard knowing that I have a tumor that messes with my hormones that causes an extremely low weight loss or even weight gain if I don’t eat enough protein.

It’s HARD.

I’m learning to look beyond the scale. My cravings are going away, although I still have them time to time. I’m learning to deal with emotions instead of feeding them. I’m learning exercise helps with depression. I’m learning more about my body, how it responds to certain things. I’m learning it’s not about what the number is, but how healthy I am.

If you are feeling discouraged, take the time to list some reasons how you know you are getting healthier, even if the scale isn’t moving.

Here is my list.

1. waist to hip ratio. Under 0.8 is my goal.
2. craving healthier foods, like veggies and fruit instead of candy and chips!
3. regular exercise
4. more energy
5. pants fit
6. decrease in joint pain, especially my knees!
7. decrease in illnesses

(Originally posted at myhealthytemple.blog.com.)

Food, Feelings and… Eleanor Roosevelt?

Originally posted Aug 2008 at Sparkpeople.com

I had a sort of crummy day yesterday. I don’t want to give details, but trust me when I say I had a total meltdown. David allowed me to order a (small) pizza (BLT of course!). I went back for a 4th slice David let me get to the box and then asked…

“Are you still eating because you’re hungry? Or because you are upset?”

“I’m eating cause I’m sad!” I wailed back at him. He opened his arms up to me and I very literally collapsed in them as I sobbed. He held me and kissed my wet face and told me it would be ok. After crying for about an hour, I pulled myself together. I went back to David and thanked him for stopping me. He said he just felt like he had to say something since I had asked him to help me stay on track.

I’m not sure he realizes just HOW much he helped. I mean, I made it to today. The world didn’t end, my heart is intact, though scarred, and I learned I don’t need to eat to feel better.

So, as I finish breakfast this morning (a protein shake, a banana, and 2 ounces of lean turkey) let me tell you this: “If hunger is not the problem, food is not the solution.” I don’t know who first said it (I saw it posted on the Weight Watchers forum.), but it is very true. You can’t expect food to make you feel better. It doesn’t work.

That leads me to the next thing- Feel your feelings, don’t feed them.” It’s ok to feel sad, disappointed, worried… But if you try to suppress them, well, we all know the effects of stress on our body! Eating to avoid dealing with an issue is not the way to go. When I feel some sort of negative emotion, I feel drained, empty inside. I eat to feel full- even if I am already physically full. There are healthier ways to be fulfilled and satisfied- working out, taking a walk, stretching, playing with your pets, volunteering, singing, reading a good book…

That leads me to the next thing- “It’s food, not love.” Yesterday, I wanted to eat because I was disappointed, worried, confused and sad. What I really needed was to David say “No matter what happens, I’ll be here and I’ll still love you.” I know that’s true, and he demonstrates it in lots of different ways (for instance, he makes me a healthy breakfast every morning, and he makes the bed when he gets up in the afternoon), but yesterday I need to see his lips move and hear it with my ears. If you need something, don’t be afraid to ask for it. I am shameless when it comes to fishing for compliments from my husband. But you know what- I always feel confident/beautiful when he responds. If you need a hug- give one. Identify the need and fill it- don’t fill your stomach!

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” I put a nice little crack in my chain of bondage to food last night. Today I am a little bit stronger, a little bit more courageous and a lot more confident. I lived through a rough patch and I can take the next bad thing that comes. You can do it too. You can live through the negatives in life. You can break the hold that food has on you.

Eleanor Roosevelt was a wise woman. She also said “People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built” I think she means that if we face challenges head on, without backing down then we grow a little stronger each time.

Let me close with a couple more encouraging quotes.

“Sometimes you have to fight the battle more than once to win.”

“You don’t drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.”

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” (Robert Collier)

(I originally  wrote this in 2008 shortly after finding out I had a tumor and the possibility that I might not able to carry our genetic children. Obviously, we have THREE beautiful daughters that are very much ours. God can work miracles in anything.)

Balancing Diapers

Finding a balance when it comes to wellness can be tricky. But balance is why I even considered giving up my beloved cloth diapers for a while.

You see, I was feeling overwhelmed keeping up with the laundry and the house and cooking and…. With a newborn that wants to eat constantly, and a 3 and 5 year old that need attention too, I felt like I was drowning.

When you feel like that, it’s time to step back and reevaluate. Realigning our budget was easy. Reconciling the effects of environment or my mental health was a bigger challenge. Ultimately, I decided that handling my risk of anxiety and depression needed to be addressed first. In our family, an overly stressed out mom is not a good mom. So that meant taking some things off my plate.

Yeah, I feel a little guilty every time I toss a diaper into the garbage, but I also breathe a sigh of relief at the end of the day when I don’t have another load of laundry to do. Finding balance in living well might mean giving something up that’s good. And that’s okay. Finding balance in living well means making it work for you.

I’m not giving up on cloth diapers completely, though. We’ll try it again in a few months when we’ve had a little more time to get used to being a family of 5.

 

Mount Washmore

Have you had to give up something healthy or good to live even healthier? What is something that you might need to give up in order to find a better balance?

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