Monday, August 31, 2015

Weigh In (8/29) + Superpowers

Saturday's weigh in...

Up a bit, but I was on my period so I was ready for it--though it was still disappointing since I did well with my eating and I exercised 4 days last week. I'm sure it'll come off this week.

The Weight Watchers meeting had a really great topic--"What's Your Superpower?" We were given a list of 24 character strengths, and had to choose 5 that best described us, then choose the 2 that most closely described us, and then choose 1 to work on this week. It came from VIA Institute on Character, and you should check out their website because it's pretty interesting stuff.

I really liked this meeting because so often, we get caught up in this negative self-talk... "I wish I was more __________" or "I'm not _________ enough." This exercise, though, it forced us to look at ourselves and see the good--see what we're good at, what our strengths are.

A member who reached Lifetime a few weeks ago said that one of the things that really helped her was to focus on the "Action Plan" every week, and actually do it. I think that sounds like a really great idea, so I'm going to start doing that too. This week, our Action Plan is to pick one strength and decide how to use it to make progress on our weight-loss goals:

I'm putting this plan into action today--I woke up too late to get my run in this morning, so I'm going to go to the gym this evening after Marc gets home no matter how late that is!

NSV! I went through my bin of "Clothes I Fully Intend To Wear Again" yesterday, and several items now fit! I was especially excited about a particular pair of G@p jeans because they're my most favorite jeans EVER. I was hesitant to try them on because that brand runs small and I usually need to be a size smaller than the G@p size before it fits; however, I pulled them right on and they buttoned and they fit like a glove! It'd been at least 3.5 years since the last time I wore them! I didn't take a picture because my room was a disaster and a little too embarrassing to put on the internet just yet--just know that they were great! I also hung up several shirts that now fit from the bin.

Don't forget to enter my "Thanks For Reading!" Giveaway if you haven't yet--and even if you have, go click on it again to get an extra entry!!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Things I Love Thursday #2

This edition of Things I Love Thursday is going to be rather food-heavy; I wanted to share some things that have helped me become more successful!

KIND Healthy Grains: Oats and Honey with Toasted Coconut - 3 PointsPlus/bar

I've been having one of these nearly every morning for breakfast, and they're great! Low in sugar, and 3pp per bar. They're chewy like a granola bar, as opposed to crunchy. Perfect with a smoothie or yogurt and fruit in the morning. In my store, they're on the aisle with all the granola/cereal bars.

Perky Jerky: Sweet & Snappy Turkey Jerky - 1 PointPlus/serving (3 for the whole bag!)

I bought this on a whim when shopping for snacks for our road trips last month, and it's ruined me for all other types of jerky! It is SO delicious and SO tender, and even though a serving is half the bag, you can easily eat the whole bag and not feel bad about it because the whole thing's only 3pp! It is, quite literally, the "BEST tasting jerky on Earth"! It was my first experience with turkey jerky, so I thought maybe all turkey jerkys were this tender; sadly, I was wrong. It's about $5 for the 2.2oz bag, but it is definitely worth it. Your taste buds will thank you! So far I've only seen this variety at Target, though I did see the Plain variety at another store. 

Weight Watchers Creamy Chocolate Smoothie Slim Packs - 2 PointsPlus/pack

I don't normally buy a whole lot of Weight Watchers products at the meetings, but I wanted to try out their new reformulated smoothie mix. Oh my gosh, these are so good! I've been adding them to my Copycat Mocha Coconut Frappuccinos in place of the Walden Farms chocolate, and they add just enough creamy, chocolatey sweetness and make the drink absolutely PERFECT! They are very low in sugar and have 10g of protein, just what I was looking for to add to my drink. (They are only available online or in Weight Watchers centers.)

Weight Watchers Bangin' Buffalo Pretzel Thins - 2 PointsPlus/pouch

Another WW product only available online or in a WW center, but I'm loving these too! I've been bummed ever since they discontinued the chili lime crisps, but I think these will be a great substitute for me! They are so crunchy and a little spicy, and each pouch has a really generous serving.

 Don't forget to sign up for my "Thanks For Reading!" Giveaway!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I Don't Have an Eating Disorder... or Do I?

This was a guest post for Alissa at A Journey To Thin.
Hello! My name is Christina and I blog over at Love Yourself Healthy. I live in New Orleans with my husband and 2 children, and I am thrilled to be writing a guest post for Alissa! When she first asked if I’d like to write a post for her blog, I immediately said “sure!” Coming up with a topic was a bit more challenging, but a few of her more recent posts inspired my topic for today: “I don’t have an eating disorder… or do I?”

It was April of 2014 when I first started to think that I might have a problem; not a simple, “Ijustlovefoodsomuch” problem, but an “I think I might need professional help” problem. I’d always struggled with my weight, and I’d jump on one weight loss bandwagon after another. I’d lose a little, then fall off the wagon, give up, and gain everything back and then some. Every one of these failures resulted in an epic loss of “willpower,” an all-out binge, and I’d start the cycle all over again.

I never knew there was a name for what I was experiencing—and until recently, there really wasn’t. Binge Eating Disorder (BED) was finally added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) as an “official” eating disorder in 2013. It is the most common eating disorder among US adults (surprised? Yeah, me neither).

(I would like add that it was very difficult for me not to go off on a wild tangent at this point, but I’ll save that for another day!)

According to, the symptoms of BED are as follows:
  1. Regularly eating far more food than most adults would in a similar time period and in similar circumstances, and feeling that one's eating is out of control during a binge.
  2. Binge eating episodes that include three of the following:
    • Eating extremely fast
    • Eating beyond feeling full
    • Eating a lot when not hungry
    • Eating in secret to hide how much is being eaten
    • Feeling terrible after a binge
  3. Feeling very upset by eating binges.
  4. On average, binge eating at least once a week for three months.
  5. Unlike people with other eating disorders, adults with BED don't routinely try to "undo" their excessive eating with extreme actions like throwing up or over-exercising.

It is important to note that not everyone who binge eats has binge eating disorder (source). I’d experienced periods of binge eating all throughout my life, but I don’t think it was actually BED until maybe the year prior to when I actually got help. The triggering event was the loss of my job.

My job loss could be a whole post in and of itself, but the important part is this--it took a HUGE toll on my self –esteem and I felt like garbage. I started to believe that all the crazy things at my former job were actually my fault and that I was a horrible person and a terrible employee. We eventually had to sell our house and move to New Orleans for my husband’s new job, and after that I was certain that if I could just get a job, everything would be better.

After a year of unemployment, I did finally get a job, but it didn’t make me feel any better. I questioned everything about myself that I’d always thought to be true, and I didn’t trust my abilities. Through all of this, I continued eating through my feelings. Every negative thought was squashed with a candy bar. Every time I felt angry, I ate until I quite literally couldn’t eat any more. I have a lap band (it’s unfilled and I don’t utilize it anymore, but there’s still a limit on how much I can stuff myself), so I’d throw up a bit and then continue eating. Every feeling of sadness, of loss, of anger, of failure, was stuffed down until I couldn’t stuff myself any more.

The final straw came in April 2014. Easter candy was on sale and I went to the store and bought all kinds of candy and ate it in my car on my lunch break from work. I remember thinking, “Oh my God, I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to feel this way anymore, but I can’t stop. I CAN’T STOP.”  And I finished every bit of it, tears pouring down my face.

I went back to my office and immediately joined Weight Watchers, and then I starting googling Weight Watchers blogs. Now, before that day, I’d never even heard the words “binge eating” or “binge eating disorder” in relation to what I’d been experiencing, but the first two blogs I came across were women who’d struggled with binge eating. That, of course, led me to more blogs and then I did some research and realized that I just truly needed help. I found a therapist who specialized in eating disorders (binge eating disorder was actually specified in her profile), and it took a few days but I was finally able to make an appointment.

That, my friends, was probably the single most important thing I’d ever done for myself. I saw my therapist weekly for a while, then moved to every other week, then once a month. Maybe 5 months in, she finally convinced me to meet with the nutritionist she worked with, and I’m glad I finally did that. (I was also going to my Weight Watchers meetings every week.) I did this for 10 months, and my “team” was amazing. I worked through so much, so many experiences, so many feelings I didn’t even know I had.

I still struggle—in fact, I’ve made an appointment to see my therapist next week. I still struggle with depression, with binge urges, but now I have tools. I have tools to use to help me fight off those urges, and I feel empowered. I learned that in a world full of things I cannot control, the one thing I can control is myself—how I react to different people or events, the food I put in my body. It’s all my choice, and I have the power to control these things—no one else.

If you think you might have a binge eating problem, don’t be afraid to seek help. It’s so hard to take that first step, but it’s so worth it once you do it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"Thanks For Reading" Giveaway!

Okay you guys, so I've been anticipating this moment for a few days now, and it finally happened--I reached 10,000 page views (and not including my own)!!!

I was bummed that I missed out on seeing 10000 exactly

I wanted to do something fun to celebrate the milestone, so I thought a giveaway would be perfect! I came up with a few of my favorite things to share with my readers, things I think could be useful to anyone on this journey. I may or may not have been inspired by Lori at Finding Lori and her Favorite Things Giveaway ;)

So, here are the deets.

To celebrate receiving 10,000 pageviews, I am giving away:

A copy of Geneen Roth's Women, Food, and God...

a 10-pack of Staedtler fineliner pens (my absolutely favorite)...

and a journal to write in while reading your new book!

You can receive multiple entries, just enter below! The giveaway will be open until 11:59pm CST on September 1st; be sure to check back daily to receive an additional entry!

"Thanks For Reading!" Giveaway

Love Your Body Tuesday: Stomach aka Ripping Off the Band-Aid

Alright, y'all, welcome to another Love Your Body Tuesday, a series in which I aim to love and appreciate every part of me.

In considering which part to highlight today, I decided to just go ahead and rip off the band-aid and get this one out of the way--my midsection aka the dreaded stomach.

I might be a little crazy.

It might not surprise you to learn I actually don't have many (any?) pictures of my bare stomach. There's a good reason for that.

I've always been fat. At least that's what I thought about myself, or what the world told me I should think.

I remember wearing a bikini when I was 8, my little baby pot belly sticking out, and feeling self-conscious even then.

The only time I can recall wearing a bikini and truly feeling comfortable was the summer of 2004, the summer of Phentermine (speed diet pills). I never got any pictures of myself wearing that bikini, but I do have a picture from that summer where the bottom of my shirt doesn't quite meet the top of my skirt and a little strip of skin is showing, across my lower abdomen. I always loved that picture because I felt like I looked so skinny--but now I hold on to the photo to remind myself of just how far I've come. I may have looked "skinny", but I was so terribly unhappy and masked it all with booze and boys.

And then I gained 30 pounds the day I stopped taking Phentermine, so it's all moot anyway. 

Right, back to actually loving my stomach.

Once upon a time, I carried my weight quite nicely--very evenly distributed, and people generally thought I was much smaller than I actually was. Then my mom died.

2008 was the year that my stomach became more than minor annoyance; it became the recipient of all of my anger and self-loathing. That year, the year that my mom died, I ate. Between eating and crying, I'm not sure I did much else. My stomach retaliated by growing more round, more bulbous, with angry red stretch marks forming all around it (just as if I were pregnant). That was the year that my clothes stopped fitting properly, and if they fit my stomach then they were surely too big for my hips--and vice versa. The stretch marks on my stomach serve as a reminder of everything I went through that year, of places I've been and places I never want to see again. Like the picture I mentioned above, they're a visual reminder of just how far I've come. 

The downside? My stomach never recovered. The upside is that when I actually was pregnant, I didn't gain any new stretch marks.

Now let's stop and think about that, just for a minute. I was pregnant, twice. I made two babies, and carried them each in my "stomach" for 9+ months. How cool is that?! Pregnancy was the one time (well, 2 times actually) in my life that I actually didn't care that my stomach was disproportionately larger than the rest of my body.

So, what else has my stomach done for me? Well, it makes a spectacular drink holder if I lean back at just the right angle...

This was taken Monday night while writing this post.
It provides a soft pillow for children, husband, and cat.

It helps me enjoy lots of yummy food by digesting (mostly) everything I eat. It also informs me of when I'm eating something not-so-good, and lets me know almost immediately that it does not approve.

Most importantly, it helps me totally rock this bikini!

How do you feel about your stomach area? What are some things that yours can do?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Weigh In (8/22) + Determination

I had a great weigh in on Saturday...

I'm learning more and more just to trust my body, and to trust the [Weight Watchers] plan. Even though I gained the previous two weeks, which were somewhat expected, I still wasn't completely out of control with my eating. I definitely did not make good choices, but I also didn't go off the deep end. Last week I reigned it in and refocused on simply tracking, and it paid off. When I have these big losses, I'm not doing anything crazy or drastic; I've learned that my gains are mostly water, so that's exactly what makes up the bulk of my large losses. When I'm 100% on plan, I actually lose weight very slowly but steadily.

At this weight, I'm able to cross off another one of my mini-goals--I'm finally lower than my lowest weight post-Ryan! My next goal is about 3.5 lbs away (15% loss), and I'll be honest--I chose it because I needed something between 245 and 232 (which is 50 lbs lost). I like having all these little mini goals to look forward to, though I have to say the most motivating one so far was the first 10 pounds--I really wanted my hair cut!

I also managed to get up and get out for a run early Sunday and this morning! I was determined to just DO IT. Oh, and somewhat big news--I registered for my first official 5K ever, the Jazz Half Marathon & 5K! I chose this one because it's a big race and there will hopefully be lots of other slow runners too. It's at the end of October, which is a good amount of time for me to train, I think. I'd really like to be able to run most (if not all) of it, so I started the Couch to 5K program this week (I actually started with Week 2 since I know I can easily do Week 1).

I'm super excited, and Marc's going to do it with me (I registered both of us)--I just hope he can keep up! ;) I feel like I've found the determination I had earlier this year again, and I'm really looking forward to the coming weeks and months.

To end this post, here's a picture with my two kiddos giving me their best CHEEEEESE!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Retraction

This post has been a long time coming. It's been weighing on my mind for several weeks now, but I just haven't had the courage to write it. I kept waiting for something to change, but nothing has changed and it's time to admit the truth.
Here goes nothing...
This year's Mocha Coconut Frappuccino at Starbucks is disgusting. 

There. It's done, I said it, it's out. My beloved drink that I have raved about, that I was so excited about, is horrible. I don't know what Starbucks did to their coconut syrup, or why they thought they needed to change it, but it's so medicinal, so artificial tasting--I kept ordering the drink different ways, with fewer and fewer pumps of coconut, but even with just one pump it's overpowering and gross.

Not cool, Starbucks. Not cool.

Love, One (of many) Very Unhappy Customer

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Weigh In Wednesday

Since I haven't gotten around to posting my weigh in yet from Saturday, I thought I'd link up with Winter at No Drama Little Mama for Weigh In Wednesday!

If you recall, I was certain that it was NOT going to be good... but hey, it wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting! 0.4 is hardly anything. So, a gain, yes, but not the 2-3 pounds I was preparing myself for.

I bought a notebook a while back to write down blog ideas and jot down notes, and while at Starbucks Sunday afternoon I started composing some blog posts in it. I'd forgotten how much easier the words flow when I hand-write things prior to typing them. (Fun fact: in college, I'd hand-write my papers--even term papers--and then type them out!) I also mapped out some entries to write about Geneen Roth's Women, Food, and God.

Since I finished reading Women, Food, and God, I wanted to first touch on the "Eating Guidelines" that are listed in the back of the book. One of my first introductions to Geneen Roth was her list of Eating Guidelines, which pertain to eating mindfully. My therapist introduced them to me after our second or third session; they're not a rigid set of rules, but rather, well, guidelines--suggestions--on how to eat more mindfully and in the moment. You've probably heard some of these ideas before, but I appreciate it all in one nice list.

I've posted about my computer monitor mantras before; well, it just so happens that I also have the Eating Guidelines taped to the base of my monitor. For the record, I know that I have gotten away from a lot of them, and it's no doubt contributed to my struggles as of late.

  • Eat when you are hungry.
  • Eat sitting down in a calm environment - does not include the car!
  • Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, tv, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversations or music. 
  • Eat what your body wants. 
  • Eat until you are satisfied. 
  • Eat with the intention of being in full view of others. 
  • Eat with enjoyment, gusto, and pleasure!
Seems simple enough, right? Well, not if you've never (or it's been a long time) actually paid attention to whether you are actually hungry! Saturday's meeting topic at Weight Watchers was "(Emotional) Hunger Games" and we discussed how to decipher whether you are truly hungry. It was a really great meeting (as so many this year have been) and extremely helpful. 

From the weekly handout
This is why I love Weight Watchers--they finally get it! We also came up with a list of things to do when the urge to eat/binge hits but we're not actually physically hungry. For example, go for a walk, paint your nails, journal, call a friend... basically, anything to distract yourself until the urge passes. 

We also practiced a meditation exercise to help us deal with whatever feelings are causing us to want to binge, similar to something I learned in therapy--I'll share the therapy meditation so I don't give away all of WW's secrets! 
Sit down and close your eyes, and imagine putting that feeling, that emotion, on a boat. Now push the boat out into the water and watch it sail away, out into the open sea. Listen to the sound of the waves lapping up onto the shore as the boat disappears into the distance. Once the boat has disappeared completely, open your eyes. You should feel better, and (hopefully) the urge has passed. 
I have high hopes for this week, and I am going to refocus my attention on practicing the Eating Guidelines.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mental Health Monday: Fake it 'til you make it

Every 1st and 3rd Monday either Liz or Stephanie will host a link up for others to share their experiences with mental illness – either from their own experience or from the experience of helping and walking with others.  Our goal is to reach out to the world and let people know that they are not alone in their struggles.  You are never alone.  Join us – link up, visit new blogs, support others. 

When you struggle with depression, there's a lot of "faking it" in the digging yourself out of the deepest darkest hole recovery process.

It's not like you wake up one day and suddenly feel 100% "normal" (what's that feel like again?). It's more like you keep forcing yourself to go through the motions until one day, you don't have to force yourself anymore.

When you are at a particularly low point, you don't want to do anything; I mean, NOTHING. It's not merely, "Oh, I feel super lazy today.". It's literally, "Oh God, my body feels like it's filled with lead and there's absolutely no possible way I can get up and do anything today."

Faking it is getting out of bed anyway.

Faking it is getting out of your pajamas and putting on regular clothes (shower optional).

Faking it is brushing your hair and putting on makeup (if you normally wear it on a good day).

Faking it is remembering just one thing that you enjoy and doing it, even when it's the absolute last thing you want to do.

Faking it is turning a nothing day into a something day.

(Andie at Can You Stay For Dinner? wrote an excellent post about 'nothing days'; I mentioned it on Friday, but wanted to link it again for those of you who are not regular readers.)

When you fake it long enough, you will start to believe it and you will be able to drag yourself up from the hole you've been in.

If you're thinking to yourself, "Whatever. I've been faking it for as long as I can remember, and I'm still miserable," dig deeper.

Remember how much you loved turning your music up as loud as you could stand and singing your heart out?

Remember how you used to love going to a coffee shop with a good book and reading for hours on end?

What about when you would go on a solo hike on a trail at the park?

Remember just one thing you know you truly enjoyed, one thing that never failed to make your heart happy, and do it, just for you. Make the time. Be a little selfish.

You deserve it.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Thoughts (8/14)

  • I went to Parent Orientation at the kids' new school today. Karinne is starting PreK4, and Ryan will be in PreK2. It's a Catholic school, and I'm really looking forward to it; I grew up going to small Christian schools, and the relationships you form with the teachers is amazing. The smaller class sizes definitely help. Plus, their uniforms are adorable! Their first day is Tuesday--half the class goes for half a day so the teachers can better orient the students, and their first full day is Wednesday. 
  • I had a fun NSV this week--My driver's license weight was at 175 for a looooong time, until I finally upped it to 250 a couple of years ago. Well, as I was pulling out my DL for something earlier this week, I realized something--I weigh LESS than my driver's license weight!!! That's crazy! Also, I love this post by Jessica at A Little More Each Day on Unusual Weight Loss Milestones. There are so many little things that happen as you lose weight that I didn't even think about! 
  • It's no secret that I've been struggling this week. I read this post by Andie at Can You Stay for Dinner? (one of the blogs that led me to seek help for my disordered eating) on eliminating "nothing days"--a "nothing day" is a day when you accomplish nothing positive (i.e. laying in bed all day binging on Netflix and Doritos). When you're stuck in the loop of depression and binge eating, it feels nearly impossible to break out of the cycle; but if you muster the energy to accomplish just ONE thing good, one thing to help your situation (such as taking a shower or going for a walk), eventually you'll string together enough "something days" to break out of the loop. I like it. I like it a lot.
P.S. At the parent orientation today, I fell off a 2-inch step and really hurt my ankle. I can put weight on it, but it really hurts! I also skinned my knee. No one saw me (thank GOD), but I still felt like a fool!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Belated Weigh in (8/8) + Stress

It occurred to me a few days ago that I never posted my weigh-in from last week. (Scroll to the bottom if you don't care to read about the rest of my week.)

It's been a crazy, hectic, stressful week and I've had zero blogging energy. Having one car for a while meant that we were constantly running back and forth, shuffling plans and children around just to accommodate our needs. The kids were not in daycare this week because we thought we would find enough sitters in the area to help us out, but it didn't happen; Marc has 4 aunts in town who don't work, and we'd sent out an email a while ago asking if they could each help us out for one day. We got one response, and have been left scrambling to take care of children for the other days. Fortunately, Marc has some flexibility in his work schedule so it worked out--Marc's grandparents even helped out for a few hours yesterday--but stressful, nonetheless (and a little disappointing that no one else could help us out.)

We also had all the car drama, which finally led to us taking out a car loan (ugh) and getting a 2007 Honda CR-V. CR-V's are good cars, so we knew we wanted this one before we even looked at it; but when we saw it, it was a MESS. The dealer must have just gotten it because it was absolutely filthy on the inside; the windshield was cracked, one of the door lock buttons on the door didn't work, and the A/C wasn't very cold. I negotiated with the sales man while Marc herded our children; I told him either give it to me for a significant discount, or fix all the issues. After a somewhat heated exchange, he agreed to get all the issues fixed. I went back the next day (Tuesday) to pick it up, and it was about as perfect as an 8-year-old car can get (except the windshield guy's coming to my office on Monday to replace the windshield).

So I'm driving around on Wednesday afternoon, and after about 5 minutes the A/C is still showing no sign of getting cold. In fact, it's blowing straight up HOT air. It finally got cold when I was driving on the interstate, but every time I slowed down or stopped, it would get warm again. Not fun in this heat! So I called my sales man and asked if he could help me out, even though I did buy it "as is." Fortunately, they said they'd take care of it AND give me a loaner car so I wouldn't have to be further inconvenienced (the dealer's about 25 minutes from our house, on the Westbank, and we have to drive through downtown New Orleans to get there, so it's a pain to have to go there repeatedly). I drove the car back to the dealer this morning at 7am and got the loaner (a brand new trendy little thing), so hopefully it will be ready today--Marc's going to have to drive the children to me, take the loaner to the dealer and pick up our car, and then go to work. Logistics!

Marc also took our other car (with the broken A/C) to a shop to see how much it would cost to actually fix it, and unfortunately it's a $700 fix... so, we will continue with no A/C in that vehicle. Not worth it for a 16-year-old car that's probably on its last leg anyway. (We still had to pay $140 to find that out, though!)

The money part's been somewhat stressful; I hate that we had to take out a car loan, but we didn't really see any other options. Marc's parents are angels though, and called and said they wanted to advance us our Christmas money for 2015 and 2016 to help us out. With that money, we were able to fully fund our $1000 emergency fund, have enough for a small down payment on the new car, and do some other things that we'd been ignoring due to finances. Now we just have to remember that we're not getting the money at Christmas this year and next :D

Adding to craziness has been picking up the van from across town and paying $100 for that, and a "Smooth Start" session for the kids' school where we got info on things like parent committees and fundraisers and the lunch program, etc (and dropping another $55).  Friday, I'm going to the kids' orientation (alone, since we have no one else to stay with the kids so we both can go), and this weekend I have to run around like a crazy person and hopefully find the rest of their school supplies. School starts Tuesday!
So, how's all of this been affecting my health?

Well, I wrote the post that I've been coping, not binging... and that's still the case... BUT I haven't been making the best choices either. It seems every day there's something that throws me off. It just gets tiring, always having to be "on guard" and watching every little thing I put in my mouth. I've been craving fried chicken for forever, and I finally indulged last Saturday... and you'd better believe I ate the skin! It was soooo yummy. I ate fast food on Sunday and either Monday or Tuesday (and I did not make healthy choices), and Wednesday was a cookie baking contest at work and everyone's cookies were amazing. The cookies are still here today, but I only had 1 each of my top 3 favorites (there were 9 different kinds!).

I went for a great run on Sunday, but I've had NO time to work out any other days this week, and it's seriously making me cranky. Okay, so I probably could have worked out at 9:00 at night a few nights, but I've just been wanting to sleep. I just feel so blah. Last night, I really wanted to binge... on anything... but I also knew that I didn't want to--so I got up and went to bed. I felt like that was a small victory, during this week that just has me feeling slightly battered and bruised.

So at last week's weigh-in, I was up 1.6--expected, but still disappointing. This week I know is going to be a gain, but ya know, it's a well-deserved one. It's time for a good old fashioned kick in the pants! I have to stop wallowing acknowledge that I'm feeling stressed and saddened by the lack of local familial support, and that it's okay to have these feelings! I also have to change how I handle those feelings; I know that exercise helps me cope with the stress, so it's important for me to carve out the time to do it.

As a side note, I finally finished Geneen Roth's Women, Food, and God last night. There's a lot to process, and I need to go back through it and read over everything I underlined (which is probably 75% of the book) but I really want to write a good post about it soon. Something on one of the last pages really struck a chord with me; even though it's something that we (in the healthy blog world) say all the time, I love the way she said it:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Love Your Body Tuesday: Feet

Welcome to another installment of Love Your Body Tuesday!

So, let's talk about feet. I felt like a somewhat easy part after my complicated legs last week.

First of all, my feet are big. They were a size 11 wide for most of my life, but now they are a 12 after the birth of 2 children (I hope they go down a size when I lose the weight. Please?)

It's not easy to buy shoes when you have feet like mine. Luckily, the Payless near me carries size 12 (in about half the styles of the other sizes), so all is not completely lost.

I have my mother's feet.

There they are in all their glory, chipped polish and all. My big toes are different--the left one is similar to my thumbs, somewhat short and flat, and the right toe is more like a "normal" big toe, if there's such a thing.

You may have noticed by now that I have tattoos on my right foot. I got them in 2010, about 2 years after my mom died. The sun was very much planned; my mom used to always sing "You Are My Sunshine". I decided to add the writing while I was waiting to get my tattoo; I wish I hadn't added the writing, but c'est la vie; it's faded over time, I assume because of the shoes rubbing against it. Fortunately, it's usually covered by my shoes.

And yes, it hurt. A lot.
Okay, so... my feet are big, though at 5'9", they are proportional to the rest of me. They keep me balanced and upright; if they were smaller, I'd probably fall over a lot more than I already do.

I like their uniqueness; not many woman have feet this big! I also like how they are a visual reminder of my weight loss; when I was closer to 300 pounds, they were always swollen and puffy. It was hard to fit into my shoes! Ever since I started losing weight, I can actually see the bones in my feet again and it's much more comfortable. Anyone that has ever experienced swollen feet and ankles can attest to the discomfort!

So, how do you feel about your feet?

Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday Thoughts (8/7)

Ahhh, Friday... a day that I am so trained to look forward to that even if I didn't work a M-F job, I think I'd still look forward to it.

  • For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to "get involved". I've always has this yearning to volunteer and help people; however, I've actually done very little because of (what I now recognize as) my lack of confidence / fear of rejection. When we moved to New Orleans, I started looking at ways to get involved. Nothing really struck a chord with me until I heard about an organization called Girls on the Run
From Wikipedia, "Girls on the to encourage pre-teen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games, culminating in a celebratory 5k race. The organization’s curricula seek to address all aspects of the girls’ development to enhance their physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual well-being while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness."
It's an organization that I can truly get behind, and feel like I have the knowledge and experience in my own life to help these girls grow up with the self esteem and confidence that I never had. I applied to be a Coach with my local chapter, and our first training is tomorrow. I'm super excited and a little nervous, but I'm ready to take this leap!

  • Vacation is hard. As fun as vacations are, they're hard. I tried to make mostly good choices while we were in Florida and after we got home, but I'm exactly 26 points in the hole for the week. There are things I know I have to change (like my damn Starbucks habit), and I actually have to do it.  At least I was active (no formal exercise, but lots of movement) or it would be a lot worse. No worries though; it is what it is. At least I enjoyed myself!
My weekly/activity point tracking page... note the ratio of earned vs used activity
points (made this when I was still just 6 points in the hole)
  • I came across these photos of me and my bikini as I was uploading pics from the boss's camera from our beach trip. I chose not to add them to the company server, but I didn't delete them either. Baby steps.

 Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Coping, Not Binging

I have a secret that I want to share with you about eating disorder recovery...

I miss it.

There, I said it.

I miss binging. I miss binging when things are tough. I miss that brief escape from reality.

When life got too difficult, when things got too real, I could always count on a good binge to get me through it. Exchange the sadness and anger for relief smothered by guilt; get lost in food to forget what pained me.

We had a good thing going on... except for that whole "not really living" thing... and the unhealthiness and general misery of it all. Details.

Sometimes, it feels like nothing goes right. Marc and I have a fairly modest income, and basically live just slightly better than paycheck to paycheck. Our only debt is my student loan, and we usually have an emergency fund of $1000 in the bank. Unfortunately, thanks to recent car repairs and vet bills, our emergency fund is down to less than $100.

So last week, our primary car went on the fritz. We have 2 cars... a crappy 1999 Montero with no A/C but is good for going to and from work, and a 2006 Ford minivan. The minivan has been in the shop since Wednesday of last week, and on Friday they informed us that it was probably the transmission and we would not be able to drive it to the beach on Sunday. I managed to work up the nerve to talk to my boss and tell him that I didn't think we could go on the company trip because it just wasn't smart for us to rent a car on top of everything else looming over us, and he let us borrow his car to go on the trip. (I do have a really nice boss.)                                                

The auto shop finally got us a quote yesterday--and we need a new transmission. A $3500 repair for a car we paid $3200 for.


Basically, the van is scrap at this point. We're most likely a one-crappy-car family now for the foreseeable future, and it sucks. We are definitely not where we thought we'd be, financially or career-wise, at this point in our lives.

I try to be happy and content with what we do have, but frankly, it's hard. I'm at the point where I need to ask for a raise (which I doubt will happen), or start looking for a new job. I love the company I work for and everything about it, but it's just not paying the bills and I know I'm certainly worth more than I'm being paid.

We're also starting to contemplate moving out of New Orleans, because, well, the crime rate is skyrocketing and it's crazy expensive to live here. The kids HAVE to go to private school, and that alone is reason enough to move some place with better schools. We'd probably either head to the Dallas area (near Marc's parents), or back to Birmingham (we loved the area where we lived).

We just have a lot to think about, and through it all, I have this one persistent, insistent thought:


But I won't. I will not give in to the old, familiar habit that seeks to destroy everything, every effort I've put forth this year. I turned to the blog, because that's why I started this in the first place. As much as I want to eat 2 pints of ice cream, 27 cookies, and a bag of popcorn sprinkled with chocolate chips, I won't do it. 

I won't do it because I deserve better. I am better. I am more than the little girl who runs and hides and eats to ignore the chaos; I am strong. I am strong because I'm a fighter, a survivor, and I'll get through this. I know I will, because simply by writing this post I can tell... 

I've already won.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Love Your Body Tuesday (on a Wednesday): Legs

Welcome to another installment of Love Your Body Tuesday [on a Wednesday]! Apologies for the delay; a Florida vacation caused me to lose track of time. I promise to be back on schedule next week.

It took me a while to decide what part to focus on today. My first instinct was to go with another easy part... eyes, feet, nose, etc... but I decided I need to practice what I preach and focus on a part that I tend to feel insecure about--my legs.

On our condo balcony last night
I've never liked the way my legs look; for as long as I can remember, I've been acutely aware of my seemingly stocky, shapeless legs. My cankles and thick, jiggly thighs have always meant that pants shopping was never easy. I've always preferred longer skirts and shorts, and skirted bathing suits. Until recently, I hadn't worn shorts in years.

But you see that picture above? I'm wearing shorts. Not short shorts, mind you, but shorts nonetheless and it's certainly a start. I've actually bought two pairs of shorts this year; the pair above, and another black and white pair. I mean, so what if my thighs jiggle?? It's HOT outside! I'm pretty sure no one's going to run away screaming because my legs aren't as lean and trim as some other people's legs.

My legs help me to run and walk. They take me everywhere I want to go! Although I am tall, they are not so long that I need to buy tall pants, so they make shopping just a little bit easier. Posting the pictures in this post and this post were hard for me, but I'm glad I did; every time I post a picture that includes my legs, I'm chipping away at the shame I've felt about them all these years.

While I'm not always thrilled with the way my legs look, they are my legs and there is nothing to be ashamed of. I don't need to hide them and constantly fear what people might be thinking about them; chances are, they're not thinking anything about them!

One more thing about my legs--they are my mother's legs, through and through. I feel like I have a link to her because it's something I share with her, and we used to commiserate together about our legs. The gift that keeps on giving ;)

I think she was about 16 here

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Weigh in (8/1) + Where I've Been

Hi! Remember me? Before I talk about where I've been, here's my weigh in from last Saturday:

Um, SIX pounds?!? I knew my gains for the last three weeks had to be mostly water, and it looks like I finally got rid of it all! This is why it's so important just to trust the (weight watchers) plan--if you're gaining despite staying within your points, just stick with it; your body WILL respond eventually! 

So now, where have I been? Completely off the grid, that's where! Every year, my boss takes all the employees and their families on a vacation to Florida; we arrived on Sunday and head home tomorrow (Wednesday). There are 13 employees, and it's a great time for us all to fellowship and spend time away from the office and get to know the families. This year is the 26th year they've done the trip; 7 people have been with the company over 20 years, and several are headed toward the ten year mark. 

Anyway, I had great intentions of blogging more while we were here, but the wifi is pretty crappy and I've been exhausted from being out in the sun all day. Speaking of which, I wore my bikini and I totally ROCKED it! Honestly, I had no intention of wearing it in front of my coworkers, but yesterday when I was getting ready, I thought, "What the hell? What's the worst that could happen? It's not like anyone's faces are going to melt off from seeing me in a bikini." So I wore it, and I can honestly say I felt pretty damn good in it! I even got compliments from 2 of my coworkers' wives. 

So that's where I've been. I haven't taken a single picture, read a single blog, I've hardly been on Facebook, and it's been amazing just enjoying this trip and living fully in every moment. 

P.S. Love Your Body Tuesday will be on Wednesday!