Hungry

Working on building a stronger relationship with my self, I’m learning what drives my appetite.

I lost a considerable amount of weight essentially counting calories and working out. I burned more than I ate.  I learned to eat more nutritious food but mostly because it was low calorie, not really because it was nutritious.  I told myself I would always want too much and I had to control it.

Now, I am telling myself I can be trusted.  I’m practicing asking myself my three questions (see earlier posts).  Last week, I ate more sugar than usual.  I had treats while traveling on business.  I barely worked out.  However, I did not gain any weight and I broke my personal record for a 5K Saturday morning feeling great!  My desire for the things I wanted last week went away.  It’s almost like my inner self was testing to see if I really trusted her or not.  Perhaps she needed something in what I was eating.  She was scared and what I ate helped her feel better.

I only want so much healthy food.  This morning, I substituted a pancake for sauteed kale.  When I eat kale, it feels like my body is saying “yay!!!!!!!” even though I don’t care for the taste much.  I recall times of eating twice as many pancakes and feeling like I still wanted more.

I’m done telling myself I’m fat.  Instead, I’m telling myself that it’s ok to lose the fat I do not need and working to stay in tune with my inner voice.  I’m done comparing myself to other people.  This is my body, this is where I live, no one else.

Instead of controlling my appetite, I’m working with it.  My fat keeps me warm when others are cold.  If it’s fed with non toxic food, it’s there to fuel me when I need it to.  When I was 230lbs, I would have been THRILLED with 168.2 so I choose to be thrilled now.

I deserve to be the best I can be.  Nothing more, nothing less.

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

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4 Years

Today marks 4 years of successfully addressing my food addiction and maintaining weight loss.

Last night, I attended my first gala.  In 24 hours time I found a dress, shoes, jewelry, the right hairspray and someone to do amazing makeup for me.  When I first had the opportunity to go, I was worried about all of those things but went to a quiet place inside and asked myself if I really wanted to go.  When the answer was “yes”, I had faith everything else would work out.  There was a part of me that was a little concerned.  However, bigger than that worry was faith everything would work out in the end. (If it hasn’t worked out, it’s not the end).

I tried on several dresses that were “ok” but not “wow”.  A few pounds ago I felt like I looked good in everything (just some things looked better than others) but now, I wasn’t sure if it was possible to look “wow” anymore.  I went to a quiet place inside and listened for guidance.  I was guided to a store I’d never been before to a style that I’d never tried before and it was ‘the one’!  At the same place, a talented sales professional found me shoes and jewelry to perfectly compliment the dress. I checked out the VERY minute I needed to in order to make my makeup appointment that day.  Makeup took a little longer than I expected and I still needed to get hairspray before getting dressed to go.  After going to a quiet place inside again, I was guided to a store I didn’t know existed, just around the corner from where I had makeup done.   They didn’t have the exact hairspray I was looking for but they DID have ONE more bottle of something that held my hair JUST RIGHT all night!

My husband tells me women are like flavors of ice cream.  Lots of different flavors are good.  The same ice cream over and over gets boring.  Variety is the spice of life!  I’m my own flavor.  It’s not about how other people look.  I can look “wow” in my way.  It’s about me being my best.  I am beautiful.  

Yes, I just typed “I am beautiful” and a little voice said “You can’t say that” but that little voice is wrong.  I am not sure if it’s my ego talking, old tapes or something else but whatever it is, I’m not listening to it anymore.  Everyone’s true self is beautiful.  It is.  Thoughts that come in are nothing more than that, thoughts.  If they don’t suit me, I can change them, reframe them, or just let them go back where they came from.

It’s recently been reinforced to me that when I am true to myself, I give other people permission to be true to themselves.  Everyone who tunes in to their pure, holy, inner voice and develops a strong relationship with themselves, gives others permission to do the same.  Only when operating from that premise is it possible to unconditionally love.  When we unconditionally love, we make the world a better place (less violence, drug addiction, abuse, poverty, greed…).

I used to confuse my inner voice with addiction.  I thought my inner voice could not be trusted.  She’d lead me “astray”.  Now I know better.  She’s brilliant.  Pure, loving, trusting, kind…  My addiction is fed by something that does not want her to be heard.  Busyness distracts me from listening.  I’m practicing being quiet.  The more I practice, the easier I can get to a quiet place inside.  It’s kind of like how it’s easier to get somewhere you’ve been before than it was journeying there for the first time.

There’s no “quiet space” GPS for purchase (unless you count a good therapist).  I learned how to get there from other people who had found that place within themselves.  When I didn’t know where to find those people, I prayed for them to show up.  They did…out of nowhere.  All I did was believe something different was possible and asked for help getting there.

Once I found my little girl, my inner voice, she was quite upset with me for ignoring her.  She was tired of being hushed.  She is still indignant.  She just wants everyone to LOVE each other, be LOVING!!!  She can be trusted and we’re continuing to build that trust now.  I’m grateful she’s also very forgiving and understands that I never intentionally hurt her.  Going into year 5, I have promised her to listen and do my best.  I’ve vowed not to put her down because she doesn’t deserve that.  I know how to treat other people.  I know how to be a cheerleader and encourage others, she needs to be treated the same way.  She deserves my love, respect and protection.

I am working on feeding myself wholesome food instead of focusing on calories.  She helps with choosing those foods if I let her.  She wants a variety of healthy, whole food.  Yesterday, we tried wheatgrass juice for the first time and liked it!  Sometimes she wants sweet things but not too much, just a little.  I’m practicing asking myself the 3 questions from Jon Gabriel:

What is the food made of?

With what spirit was the food made? (kind, happy, loving people or something else)

What is my intention of eating the food?

I’m practicing visualizing the person I want to be and am looking forward to what I learn this next year!

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

My Truth About Relationships

At a few times in my life, I felt like I only had one friend.  Looking back, it was not as much of a friendship as a desperate plea to be accepted.  I didn’t accept myself.  I looked to someone else for that and it made me an extremely possessive, jealous person who couldn’t maintain a friendship.  Thankfully, most of those people are now true friends I am extremely grateful to have in my life!

I am continually amazed at how easily connections come when I am grounded and at peace with myself.  When I look into someone’s eyes, I see a heart, a soul, a spiritual person having a human experience.  Sometimes they seem to glow with white light, those are the ones I connect with the most.

Last night, I was at a party with a lot of people I had not interacted with before.  The environment was one of unconditional acceptance (a lot of genuine theater people).  At first, I felt uncomfortable, not quite sure what to do with myself.  I didn’t want to gorge on the food a few feet away but I didn’t really know what to do either.  So, I asked my higher power what I should do.  I stood around until the answers started coming.  A conversation here, an interaction there, a photo, a game, a song, a dance… It all summed up into a GREAT night!

I think I may have made some new friends!

Relationships are not static.  They change over time.  People change. If people change at a rate or direction beyond what the relationship can adapt to, it ends.  Recognizing this fact liberates one from agonizing disappointment if a relationship does not last “forever”.  It makes me be able to cherish the individual moments of connection with other people, no matter how long I have known them.

I am married to a wonderfully sweet and supportive man.  Our relationship now is not the same as when we got together.  It’s deeper, more trusting, and we do not spend as much time together as we did early on.  Both of us need “alone” time in a quiet space to hear our own thoughts or we go insane.   Thankfully, almost 8 years into our partnership, our relationship has been able to adapt at the pace of our changes as individuals.

I was married once before and as I changed, my husband stayed the same.  The relationship could not withstand our differences.  I wanted it to work out, I tried to do my part, but when I realized I did not like him when he was being true to himself  (not trying to please me), it was time to go.  That was one of the most painful and best decisions I have made to date.

My son is now a teenager.  Our relationship has changed over time too.  I used to be his primary caregiver and now I am more of a cheerleader and guide.  He can pretty much take care of himself and I am proud of the man I see him becoming.

I worry about whether or not he will be able to make friends but then I realize I’m trying to define what friends are to me for him.  He interacts with people he has never met easily.  I’m embarrassed at times but his “autistic quirks” but he does not seem to be.  I am continually touched by how kind people are to him and how they honor his tender heart, deeper than his differences.

One of my favorite times of the year is coming.  Winter…. A time to go inward, reflect on the year behind and look forward to the year ahead.  In this blog, I will continue to share what’s in my mind and on my heart.

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

My Body Is Designed To Be Healthy

Watching “Hungry for Change” on Netflix, wearing clothing that could not clash more, I realized why I never lost the last 8lbs I “wanted” to lose.  The author of “The Gabriel Method” said, “You will not lose weight if your body does not want to.”.

Speaker after speaker in the documentary described better living by working with nature and natural laws.  One person said, ‘As long as you are taking in more toxins than you are eliminating, your body will not allow you get rid of the weight that is keeping you safe from the toxins you are ingesting.’  Whoa… say what?!  

Another said as you seek to improve your health, you will want to ADD vegetables and fruits instead of taking out food groups.  Not because they are “low calorie” but because they are so full of nutrients (I knew they were high in nutrients but the motivation was they were ‘low calorie’ and ‘high chew’).  I heard over and over again, “Most people are overfed and under nourished.”  I’ve come a long way… I really have, but I have so much further to go.  I traded one type of processed food for another.  Out candy bars and muffins, in protein bars and protein powder.

A nutrition counselor and friend posted on her company Facebook page a challenge to go “whole foods only” for one full day.  Do you know my response?  I commented, “tomorrow”.

That was several weeks ago and I have yet to actually do it. The biggest lesson of marathon training for me has been learning that when something feels impossible, it’s not, it’s just bigger than anything you’ve done before.  My 4 year anniversary of weightloss is coming up in just over a week.  Days are getting colder and the year is coming to an end.  Those circumstances make me reflect on where I’ve been and where I want to go.

Other sage advice from “Hungry for Change”:  It’s not just what you’re eating, it’s what’s eating you.  Obesity is a “solution” to dealing with stress. Look at where you are not satisfied. If you are upset, don’t eat.

Easier said than done.

Exercise increases the feel good hormones that I’ve previously gone to sugar for.   Hence why when I have not been running, I sign up for over 5 races… in 2 weeks.  Just like other drugs, I end up needing more and more to feel the same “feel good” effect.

My body is not my enemy, it is my friend.  Loving myself is the key.  My parents want to love me, they just don’t know how.  If I am honest with myself, I have maintained the size I am now on a roller coaster of healthy and unhealthy eating.  I have not trusted myself.  I have not truly let go of the concept I am a “fat person” who lost weight.  As if my true self is meant to be fat and I have to fight it every day.

Jon Gabriel described losing 10, gaining 15 (reminding me of my losing 3, gaining 5 a few times over).  I read part of his book many years ago, in a previous life, and remembered thinking “I don’t have time to visualize in a quiet space”.  I have the ability to do better about that now. I do!

In closing, the documentary recommended 3 questions to ask before eating:

Where does my food come from?

What went into my food? (attitude, spirit, process)

What is my intention of eating my food?

My body is designed to be healthy.  I can trust it and I can build its trust in me.

I am ready for the next phase of my journey and I accept myself unconditionally, right now.

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

Setting Intentions

I’ve heard people describe how they envision things that come true.  The concept has always intrigued me but I never really believed it was possible for me until very recently.

Most recently, I was in a low spot and felt myself slipping into old patterns.  I wasn’t very motivated to workout.  Struggling not to overeat, wanting all the foods that trigger me to indulge.  I needed a workout partner.  Someone that fit my schedule and could/would do the routines that I wanted to do.  In the 3 years I’ve been physically active, such a person did not exist.  I had a trainer to talk with and friends that were active but our schedules didn’t mesh.

I cried to my husband about how lonely it was working out alone and how I wanted someone who would miss me if I wasn’t there (at the gym).  My heart yearned for this person…  I set the intention (asked) for this individual to come and opened my heart to receiving a connection with a new person in my life (since none of the people currently in my life were meshing the way I needed them to).   2 weeks ago tomorrow, she showed up and I am so eternally grateful.

There’s a part of me that is scared how I will handle it if/when our paths have to part again but I replace that thought with being grateful for what I have now and have faith that if/when our paths part, what I need will show up in another form.

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading.

Facing Food Addiction: Part 5: Change The Voices In Your Head

Pink sings a song with the phrase “change the voices in your head, make them like you instead”…  I LOVE that song because it reminds me how powerful thoughts are.  It reminds me that at any given moment, I can choose my thoughts.  I can’t always pick my circumstances and I have difficulty controlling my emotions once they get started but I CAN control my thoughts.

Step 1 is to start hearing the inner dialog.  Don’t judge it and don’t even try to change it at first, just listen and observe it.

Step 2 is to start identifying what prompted those thoughts and decide if you want to keep them or not.

Step 3 is to re-frame the ones you want to rid yourself from into something you want to think.

In ANY circumstance, there is ALWAYS more than one way to look at it.  Please understand that I’m not suggesting practicing living in denial, pretending everything is fine and glorious when it’s absolutely not.  What I’m suggesting is to embrace those difficult times as a chance to grow, because they are!

Here are some demons in my head (a life coach of mine called some of them “the shame tyrant”) that pop up from time to time and the way I re-frame them (sometimes in the form of asking myself a question):

I’m not as good at ____ as her/him

My best is enough

I suck

I am enough

I’m worthless

I have value

I messed up! (and that is TOTALLY the end of the world!!!!!!!)

I will make mistakes as I’m learning.

I HAVE to…

What does loving myself look like in this situation?

I can’t

I can by…

I’m ugly

I’m beautiful (see “I feel pretty” blog post from last year and other posts under “body image” for more on this one)

You are too fat to eat that

I am worth reaching my goals

I’m lonely

I am loved (I have found this one to be particularly amazing because as I told myself I am loved, more people started loving me (crying happy tears as I write this))

I can’t stand _______

What is the lesson I can learn from this experience?

Running is a GREAT opportunity to practice re-framing.  When working up to greater and greater distances, it shows how much time and experience change perception.  I remember when 3 miles was a REALLY long ways!  Now, seriously, 3 miles is a warm up (unless it’s speed work and even then, it’s a short run).  I’ve run 10-11 miles the past couple of Saturdays and it feels like 5-6 used to.  I’m getting stronger.  In the dark moments when my joints are starting to ache and my muscles are burning a bit, I like to practice using positive thoughts to move through those times.  I say things to myself like:  I move with ease.  I am whole.  I am complete. Run like the wind, Bullseye! My legs are on fire (as a GOOD thing).  I’m gliding through the air.  I’m doing this.  I got this!  Go, girl!  Look how far you’ve come!  Sometimes I think about stretching out with my roller and drinking my post-workout protein shake.

Sometimes there isn’t a way to re-frame it but it’s a thought that does me no good so I envision the thought as text written in the air and imagine it floating away and dissipating.  If it comes again, it dissipates as quickly as it came in.  I have no use for it, so it leaves.  I don’t judge that it came up, I just dismiss it.  It’s not even worth thinking about the fact I thought it… goodbye…

The bible is full of stories of people who royally messed up, didn’t wait for God’s direction when they were “supposed to” and God used them anyway.  Jesus came to free us of sin.  We all have our burdens to bare from things outside our control, no need to add to them!  If you want to feel miserable and it’s working for you, great.  But know that you do not have to punish yourself.  You do not have to carry a dark cloud of pain and suffering.  You can take it off and let it go.

The scary part about letting go of former belief patterns is there’s a period of lost identity as you leave behind an old way and move forward in a new way.  Challenges larger than ever faced before tend to show up at those times.  Use them as opportunities to practice your new skills, your new thought patterns.  It’s the tested quality of our faith that leads to endurance.(James 1:3)

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

Facing Food Addiction: Part 3: Make a Plan A

Before any plan will work successfully, you have to start with pure intentions.  Dealing only with the symptoms of a problem might seem to work short term but it’s not sustainable.  You also run the risk of getting out of balance in another way (trading one addiction for another).

Once you are ready to work a plan, set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-sensitive).  Set at least one for your spiritual self, one for your physical self and one for your emotional self.  Ignoring any portion of that triad will inhibit progress.  Addressing all three will lead to success and long term sustainability.

Long before any change happens in my physical body, my spiritual and emotional self give me signs I’m getting off track.   Emotionally, I start to feel like I can’t say “no”.  I think things like: “I don’t have a choice”, “I have to do this”, “you can’t”, “you suck”, “this is too hard”….  When I’m emotionally well, I instead think things like” “I have a choice”, “do I want to do this?”, “I can by…”, “you’ll make mistakes while you’re learning”, “you have what you need to accomplish this”…. Spiritually, I start not thinking much beyond myself.  I lose faith that the answer I need will appear when I need it.  I start to question what I believe (not in a good way).  Sometimes, in really dark periods, I think that I am unforgivable and completely unlovable.

When I’m well emotionally and spiritually because I’m taking time to nurture myself in those ways, I have energy to stay on track with food and exercise.  When I’m not well, it’s ugly…. But, I have learned I can get back on track!  Learn from the slip and go back to making healthy choices again.

My weight loss journey started with an experienced, licensed personal trainer who had me on a meal plan of 1300-1500 calories (60% carbs, 20% fat, 20% protein) and strength training for 45 minutes 3x a week.  I could add in any cardio I wanted (like walking, biking or elliptical  but I was supposed to get in those strength workouts no matter what).  The strength workouts were full body routines, working large muscle groups and getting my heart rate up (they felt harder than running 3 miles does today!).  Pick up any Women’s Health or Men’s Health magazine and they will have at least one of those routines inside.

Just doing cardio and eating less will help you lose pounds but without strength training, you will also lose muscle (reducing the number of calories you burn when at rest, slowing your metabolism).  If being a member of a gym is not an option, there are hundreds of body weighted strength exercises you can do at home and a few small dumbbells can round out what muscle groups you work.

Seriously look at your finances.  If you did not buy cigarettes, alcohol, lattes, pop, candy, chips or fast food, how much money would you save?  Try it for a week.  If you still don’t have money for a trainer, you’ll still end up ahead!  If cutting it out all together is too much, cut spending on those things gradually over time (with a SMART goal).

Wellness is a process, a journey….small choices that add up over time, either taking you in the direction of better health and wellness or the other way.  Wishing you a lifetime of health and happiness!

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

 

Next up… Make a Plan B

It’s much more than a race…

When I was around 16 years old, I picked up Oprah’s “Make the Connection” book at the house where I was babysitting.  Oprah wrote about her weight loss journey: losing and gaining, losing and gaining, talking about how this time it was a complete lifestyle change and how she went from being obese to running a marathon.

My dream of running a marathon started that day, although, it seemed unattainable then, something for other people to accomplish.  I couldn’t even run a mile at that time, barely passed the minimum level fitness testing in gym class, weighed around 180lbs and didn’t have opportunity or support to participate in anything active.  Life was lonely.  I had only a handful of friends and felt empty inside.

Yesterday, I went 26.2 miles in one 5 hour stretch.  I had someone I knew and loved almost every 2 miles throughout the entire race (every mile or less the last 4)!  My life is no longer lonely or empty inside.  Not in the least bit!

Through this journey, I have learned much more than how to run.  I have learned that you can’t ever be fast enough or go far enough to be good enough.  It’s about your race, your body, no one else’s.  It does no good to compare yourself to someone else because they aren’t you.  Start where you are and go from there.  Nothing is impossible with enough time and care.  Our ill conceived expectations are what harm us, not goals.  Sometimes life throws curve balls and what you end up with is nothing like what you intended.  This is not failure, this is a change in direction with it’s own lessons.  To judge the lessons as undesirable is to deny growth that can come from them.

No matter what happens, there are multiple ways to interpret it.  No matter what your accomplishment, it is always possible to do better.  If you only allow yourself a break when you can do no better, you are setting yourself up for life long misery and unrelenting pain.  If you celebrate how far you’ve come and aim to improve while appreciating who you are now, life is joyful.

In order for a plan to work, you must work the plan.  Deviating will give you different results.  Rest and recovery are an important part of training.  Stretching is as important as straining.  No matter what someone else’s advice is, only you know your body and you need to stand up for it.  No one else knows exactly what you are feeling the way you do.

I don’t know what breaking the race tape feels like but I did go 26.2 with a lot of joy and all 10 toe nails, without blisters or injury.  That’s winning in my mind!

I was surprised that crossing the finish line was so anti climatic for me.  I was glad to be able to stop.  I was happy to see my friends, my husband, and my foam roller.  I relished my celebratory cupcakes and refreshing water.  Felt a little loopy, unable to process thoughts clearly.

I am grateful that my body took me that far.  I tried to give it what it needed and it did well!  I try to be good to my body, it’s the only place I have to live.  Over the past few years I’ve worked on reframing how I look at my physical self.  Instead of judging it, I’ve consciously worked on thinking about what I need to do to take care of it and being grateful for what it can do.

If you are reading this and thinking “that’s nice, I could never do that”, you are only as right as you allow yourself to believe.  Believe you can do it, find the resources you need to be successful and YOU CAN!

I entered the iCan challenge expecting to go 26.2 miles injury free.  I did!  I experienced relying on other people to help me.  They came through!  On top of that, I started some new friendships and look forward to seeing how deep they take root.

Love can’t come in if you always push it away.  Goodness and joy can’t be experienced if you are constantly undermining where you are (inside and out).

This scriptural phrase that came to me during the race: Whatever it is your are doing, do it with your whole heart, soul, mind and spirit to the glory of God and not to men.  

Looked it up when I had access to internet again and figured out I had melded 3 different verses together:

Colossians 3:23: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, and not for men.

Luke 10:27: Love your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.

1 Corinthians 10:31: Whatever you eat or drink, whatever you do, do all things for the glory of God.

26.2 miles is accomplished the same way as life.  One…step…at…a…time… Very grateful to have taken the first step and kept on going!

Improving My Relationship With Food

In talking with other people about how they feel when they eat, I understand that the “I’m full” trigger hits me much later than my thinner friends.  I dislike feeling at all hungry the same way my friends who battle anorexia and bulimia dislike feeling full.

I don’t like feeling restricted.  I rebel when that’s my perception.  Food is my #1 “go to” default when I’m stressed or feeling discomfort.  When I’m tired and stressed, my willpower to stay “on track” wanes.  Looking back at former posts, this feeling tends to hit me in about the 3rd week of the month.  Coincidence?  Perhaps….

As much as I would like to deny it, I am always going to have the ability and temptation to overeat.  I don’t have to shame myself for indulging sometimes.  I am not perfect and that is OK.  At the same time, I need to maintain humility in that certain indulgences can turn into a downward spiral of more and more high calorie/low nutrient choices.

As hard as losing weight is, maintaining is harder.  Not at first, but after a few years, it’s easy to think that you’re “safe”, the weight isn’t coming back, and then it does.  When I started training for this upcoming marathon, I thought it would help me lose weight.  I’ve found running to instead increase my appetite and make it harder to not eat a significant surplus on days I’m not running.  Then I get off schedule a little, don’t get in as many miles and ….  do the math.

I find myself having thoughts like “see, this won’t last” and “your mother was right”.  (When I sent her a picture of me at my goal weight she said I needed to gain 10lbs and losing too much weight won’t stay off)  I can’t get my mother out of my head, I can only tell her I disagree and her opinion does not have to have a baring on my life (in my head).  We rarely talk any more due to our radically different religious beliefs but she’s with me… most days.

I was given this formula:

emotional health = feel emotions + control thoughts + choose behavior

I’m working on it….

Off The Wagon…On The Wagon

No lifestyle change comes effortlessly but it doesn’t have to be hard.

My greatest enemy is my own negative thoughts about myself.  The catastrophic events I imagine in my head are much worse than reality. Feeling fear is much greater than experiencing the very thing I’m afraid of.

A month ago, I fell off the wagon hard.  Further off than I have been in 3 years.  Shortly after celebrating my 3 year “sobriety”, sweets entered my diet regularly again.  Once a week, then twice, then 4 or more.  I went to that deep, dark hopeless place where I am powerless against temptation and there is no way out.  I was imagining there was no one who could help me.  No thought pattern that would work.  Failing was my fate.  Then… I emailed my trainer about it.   I admitted to not logging, as if not taking a picture would somehow mean it didn’t happen.  I shared my inner thoughts, even though when reading my words I felt insane.  She wrote back words of encouragement.  She told me about her struggles and her tendency to compare.  She revealed her insecurities about knowing someone smaller (this from a 5’2 solid rock of a beautiful lady with arms that put Michele Obama’s to SHAME!).  She suggested thinking about how I wanted to feel and asking myself if that particular food would truly make me feel good instead of weight or size.

Somehow, being honest and sharing with another trusted human being helps.  I felt better after sending the email and improved even more after reading her response.  I know that healthy body image comes from inside, not out.  She was another good reminder of that fact.

After only a few days of being back on track, my mood was better, my workouts consistent and my weight was on a downward trend.  I have been told you have to embrace the “process” in recovery.  Such a concept is very difficult to grasp for a performance based workaholic stress addict.  Yet, I see that it works.  By being more concerned with the process, everyday choices, and practicing being aware of thoughts, feelings and experiences in my world RIGHT NOW, I am happy.  I dont’ try to be happy, it just happens.  If I wasn’t attempting to be so aware, I might even miss it because it comes so naturally.  Things just work out.  I can’t explain how but they do.  The disappointments aren’t paralyzing.  The bursts of anger aren’t an unforgiveable death sentence.  They just are what they are. I try to learn from what happened and aim to make a better choice next time.

Today, I ran a 5K as part of a sprint triathlon relay.  My teammates are incredible, hard working, free spirited survivors.  They lift me up, give me strength, and fill my heart with love.

The great thing about completing triathlons as a team is there’s no competition between friends.  It’s not even possible to compare a run time to a bike time or swim time, each are their own sport.  When part of a team, somehow “my best” gets better.  Although ability may always be there, there’s something about knowing that someone is counting on you.  A race is just another workout without people to cheer you on.  I am grateful for the volunteers, friends, and, most of all, my husband who came out to cheer us on today!  You help keep us going!

If you have a desire to race but something is holding you back, sign up for a local event and start training.  Just do it.  Make an attainable goal and accomplish it.  No matter how slow you may go, you’re still doing laps around anyone on the couch.  You are worth it!  Don’t listen to any little voice inside that says “I can’t because…”, you can!

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading