Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Weigh In Wednesday... Minus the Weigh In

Last time we spoke, I said I wasn't going to weigh in on Saturday... well, I didn't, and it was GLORIOUS.

Aside from, well, not weighing in, I discovered a multitude of benefits to not weighing in... 
  • I wore jeans to my meeting
  • It didn't matter what I ate Friday night
  • I ate breakfast before weighing in
  • I could run before my meeting (except I didn't wake up in time... story of my life)
Now, I'm generally a huge proponent of hiking up your big girl panties and just facing the scale... except where your mental health is concerned. Taking this time off from weighing, from tracking, has made me realize that I've started doing a lot of "tips and tricks" and cheats to try to get a lower number on the scale. That's no bueno. 

I still haven't binged--at all--but I have been making more of an effort to eat intuitively. Once I get past the Jazz 5k on Saturday, I think I'll get back to my regular routine of tracking; but this break was obviously much-needed. 

As I have learned, and so many of you wonderful folks have reminded me, we all need a break sometimes

Oh, and speaking of the 5K... It turns out I may be doing it alone. We can't get a sitter (start time is 7am, I can't blame anyone for not wanting to get up that early); we also don't have a double jogging stroller, though a friend of mine offered her double that she used through 5 weeks of C25K. Also, there's currently 100% chance of rain on Saturday... there's no way I'm dragging the kids (or a borrowed stroller) out in that! There's also the small issue of my husband not having run in over a month and thus not being prepared to run a 5k just yet.

I'm disappointed because I really didn't want to do my first 5K by myself--I love the idea of Marc & I crossing the finish line together! Beyond the first one, I won't care so much. There's a 5K on November 14, the YMCA Corporate Cup Second Line for Literacy, that may be a better option--it's a family event, and they have a free childcare area! I'm not saying I'm dropping out of the Jazz 5k yet, but it's looking more and more appealing.

Linking up with Winter for Weigh In Wednesday!

EDIT: I updated my Measurements page!

What say you? Put off my first 5K until November 14, or suck it up and run the Jazz by myself? Have you ever taken a purposeful "weight loss" break?

Friday, October 23, 2015

The "One Coin" Loophole

When I posted yesterday, I mentioned how I've kind of taken a break this week from all things weight loss. It's been nice not giving one thought to the food I'm eating, though I'm starting to notice that my body definitely feels the difference.

More than a couple of people suggested taking a longer break from the scale--and I think I'm going to heed their advice! I'm not going to weigh in at my meeting tomorrow, and I also won't weigh in on Halloween (I'm not even sure I can make a meeting that week since the Jazz 5K is that morning). Even though I won't be weighing in, I am going to focus on my fitness and overall health, and just get back to listening to my body and not worry about the scale one tiny bit.

I've never been a podcast person, but I started listening to Gretchen Rubin's "Happier" podcast this week and I'm really enjoying it so far!

At the end of the first episode, she talked about the "One Coin Loophole"... basically, how many coins would make you "rich"? One coin? 100 coins? 101 coins? Eventually, it's ONE coin that will make all the difference between "rich" and "poor". This loophole applies in all areas of life...

What difference will it make if I skip the gym just tonight?
This one cupcake won't make a difference. 
I only lost .4 this week... what's the point in even trying? 

But all those nights in the gym (or not at the gym!) add up. Those cookies and cupcakes and brownies add up and it gets easier and easier to say "just this once".

Those fractions of pounds add up 

Watch the brief video below:

Every little thing we do adds up. I know I've said it before, but sometimes we all need a little reminder.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

WINNERS + break time

I know you've all been dying with anticipation, wondering if you won my 100th Post Giveaway--well, the wait is over!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I've already emailed you both--congratulations, and thank you so much for reading!
Now, you may have noticed that I've been awfully quiet this week... I was up 3 pounds at my weigh in on Saturday.

That was hard. I felt like I did everything "right," had a great week--and I was UP THREE POUNDS. I can say I'm okay with it all I want--I'm sure it was just water, bloat, muscle, whatever you want to call it... but it's still frustrating as hell. Even though we're not "supposed" to focus on the scale... at this point in my journey, I am still overweight, I am still obese. No matter your opinion of the BMI scale, that's not healthy for someone who has like, zero muscles.

So I've taken a break from thinking about weight this week. Well, as much as I can--it's still constantly in the back of my mind. It was probably Monday before I realized that's what I was doing, and after that I just decided to go with it.

I also haven't tracked anything or looked up the points in anything. I've just been... eating. I haven't been bingeing, though I certainly haven't been making the best choices. I'm also considering skipping the scale this week altogether... I doubt it's going to be pretty, and maybe NOT weighing in is the perfect end to my week "off". I don't know.

I haven't read any blogs this week either. I just didn't want to think about weight or health or food or exercise or any of that stuff that's consumed my mind for so long.

So anyway. I apologize for being MIA. I just needed a break.

Friday, October 16, 2015

October Goals Check In

Wow, can you believe we are already halfway through October?!? My coworker informed yesterday that it's only 5 weeks until we decorate the office for Christmas (our boss likes it done in time for our family Thanksgiving lunch). That's just crazy talk, I tell ya!

Anyway, I thought I'd do a quick check in and let you know how I'm doing with my goals that I set for the month.

1. Include at least 1 fruit/veggie with every meal. So far, so good! I haven't been quite 100% (sometimes life happens), but I have been A LOT better with this than I have in the past. One thing that has helped me a lot while at work: I bought a big container of already cut up cantaloupe and keep it in the fridge at work. For examples, my 2 remaining bananas at home were just a little too brown for me this morning, but I still had some cantaloupe left at work to eat with my Kind bar. I've also gone through about 2.5 pounds of spinach (I buy the big 16 oz containers of organic baby spinach); I've been making a ton of salads and having sauteed spinach with chicken sausage for lunch. So easy and delicious!

2. Go to Starbucks no more than 3x per week. Yeeeaaah... not so much. Haha. I'll just leave it at that :)

3. No more than 2 dessert-type treats per day. I've been doing great with this! It's definitely helped me become more aware and mindful of the choices I'm making, and helps me think twice before absentmindedly grabbing a cookie or something.

4. Drink at least 100 oz of water per day. I think I've been good with this; I haven't religiously been tracking, but I'm making an effort to refill my 24 oz cup more times per day. I try to finish 2-3 cups while at work, and 2 more after work. When I run in the morning, I usually have at least 24 oz before work.

So there you have it... not perfect, but definitely progress! Oh, and a fun NSV to report...

Don't forget to enter my giveaway if you haven't done so already!

How are you doing with your goals? Any NSV's this week?
Food logs (10/12 - 10/15)

On Thurs, I was filling in my tracker for Tues-Thurs (oops)... this morning, I realized I completely skipped Weds!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

100 Posts and a Giveaway!

100. 100. 100. 100.

Love Yourself Healthy has officially had 100 posts, y'all. I can't believe it!

When I started the blog, I really had no clue what I wanted from it or where I wanted it to go. In fact, it was completely private when I first created it in September 2014. I wrote down a Prologue and a week later, a post on the concept of "enough" and didn't write anything else until I allowed the world to be able to find this blog in April 2015.

As I said... didn't know what I wanted. 

Here are a few things that I've learned over the last 6 months of blogging regularly...
It's hard to be so vulnerable. There are times when I would literally shut my eyes and hold my breath as I hit "publish," afraid of how the "public" would react. (I honestly don't know what I expect to happen... perhaps the computer will explode because I talked about something uncomfortable?)
It's a whole lot easier to be truly open and honest with strangers on the internet than it is with people you know and see every day. When I went public on my personal Facebook page last month, my thoughts went something like this: "Oh God, my coworkers are going to know everything about me. My Facebook friends and acquaintances are going to know everything too!" But then I realized that A) They have to see the post to begin with, and B) Hopefully if they're a "friend," they'll be compassionate and supportive--if not, then they probably weren't a good friend anyway.
I've learned that I truly do want to help people, and the way to do that, for me, is to be completely open and honest about my experiences with depression, anxiety, and binge eating because people need to know they're not alone. I think when you feel less alone, less freakish, it's easier to seek help and take the steps needed to better yourself. We all just want a little validation.
 I've learned that I get just as much from your comments as (I hope) you do from reading. I haven't experienced any negative comments yet, and I'm sure that day will come; however, thus far the comments and emails I've received have been nothing but positive and it's encouraging to know that what I have to say is actually making a difference in people's lives. 
I could go on and on about everything I've learned, but what it all boils down to is this: Blogging has helped me find me again. Yes, I'm a wife, and I'm a mom, but before all that, I was me. My identity is more than who I am in relation to my family, my friends, my coworkers. It's who I am at my core, and I've found myself again. It's like coming home.

One of my favorite posts, On Mindfulness, is all about this journey of finding myself again. A list of most of my other favorite posts can be found here.

In the spirit of blog milestones and the love of round numbers, I'm hosting another giveaway! This time, I'm choosing TWO lucky winners who will each receive an item of their choice from Circles of Change.  This is not a sponsored giveaway, but I love what they're doing and all the proceeds from their store directly benefit Ophelia's Place.

From their website...
Let's change the conversation... from bashing our bodies to celebrating them. From dieting and weight-loss to well-being. Let's move from relating to our bodies as objects, to understanding them as instruments. Instruments of passion, peace, love, acceptance, creativity, power, and purpose. Our bodies are instruments of all that we encompass, our true selves. 
Browse the Market at Circles of Change, think about what you'd like, and enter below! The giveaway ends October 21 at midnight (CST)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

That Time I Dropped the Ball... or, A Weekend with Mickey

Imagine this... 

It was 5:45pm last Friday, and I'd just gotten home with the kids after work/school. We're getting out of the car, and Karinne is looking all around saying, "Where's my Mickey bag?"

I, being the awesome exhausted mom that I am, tell her I don't know what she's talking about because she doesn't have a Mickey bag.

She immediately bursts into tears, and in my head I'm thinking, "What the hell is going on? She doesn't have a Mickey bag... does she? Oh wait... I took that old beat up thing out of her bag at school that I assumed was in there accidentally... was that the Mickey bag? What the hell is a Mickey bag?! I didn't see anything about Mickey! Crap. Way to go, mom of the year!"

I apologized and told her that I didn't know it was hers and we left it at school. She was so upset! I still had no idea what she was talking about. I was certain I'd never heard of this thing.

So we're inside, Marc's occupying the kids while I cook dinner, when my phone rings. It's the after care teacher (who just happens to be Ryan's teacher), letting me know that we left the Mickey backpack behind and she'd be there a little while longer if I wanted to come get it. 

Whew... crisis averted!

I asked the teacher if I was just *that* clueless becuase I couldn't recall hearing anything about Mickey at orientation or in any newsletters or notes. She let me know that I was not the first to leave Mickey behind, nor was I the last, and she really wasn't sure why the PK4 teacher hadn't informed parents about it at orientation. 

Turns out, inside the "Mickey Bag"--an old, tattered-looking little backpack that said "Gymboree" on the outside--was a stuffed Mickey Mouse and a little notebook. Mickey would spend the weekend with Karinne, and then she would dictate a few sentences for us to write in the journal about what we did, and include a few pictures if we wanted. Mickey would return to school on Monday.

So, my dear readers, I present to you... A Weekend with Mickey!

We went to Parkway Bakery for some delicious po' boys... 

the many faces of Karinne
the one I included in the journal
 went to the mall and rode the train... 

also in the journal
and went to Mass and played on the playground!

in the journal as well

I'd love to hear about your "OMG I'm the worst parent ever" moment--misery loves company!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Weigh In (10/10) + A Plan

Ahhhh, Monday... The day everyone loves to hate. I was planning to insert one of those funny e-card meme things, but then I thought, "Hey, Monday doesn't have to be so bad! I'm going to make it a great Monday."

Anyway, I had a nice weigh in on Saturday...

I entered a new decade (i.e. the middle number of my weight changed)! I'm officially in the 230's! Looking at my weight tracker tonight, it was a little discouraging to see that I entered the 240's on June 20th, meaning it took 3 and a half months for me to lose 10 pounds. Of course, I KNOW I wasn't always 100% on point and I did struggle quite a bit, especially with getting activity, so 10 pounds gone is 10 pounds GONE, no matter how long it took. Progress is progress!

Entering the holiday season, I want to be as successful as I can be. I have some lofty goals heading into the holiday season and beyond, and one of them is to actually LOSE weight over the holidays! I usually either plan to gain or simply maintain--this is the first year I'm fully intending to lose weight between Thanksgiving and the new year.

Now, you know I'm not into setting time-based weight loss goals for myself... they pretty much never work out and I usually wind up feeling like failure, simply because of the way my body lets go of the weight. However, I also know that if I really put my mind to it, I can make it happen. Way back in August 2014, I was still working on losing my first 10 pounds (I joined WW the previous May). I was getting frustrated with my lack of progress and my lack of discipline. I wanted to get a drastic hair cut--at the time, my hair was down to the middle of my back--so I told myself that my reward for losing 10 pounds would be getting my hair cut! Guess what--I made it happen, and I got my hair cut the first weekend of September!

That fateful Saturday in September 2014
So anyway, here's the plan:

  • 45 pounds gone by November 1; that's another 1.6 pounds, putting me at 237.4.
  • 50 pounds gone by December 1; that's an additional 5 pounds, putting me at 232.4. 
  • Lose another 2.6 pounds in December, starting 2016 at 229.8!
When it's all said and done, it's only 9.2 pounds in the next 2.5 months. I can totally do this!  However, if it seems that it's just not working out, I do have a fallback goal of having 50 pounds gone by 2016. I really want to push myself through the end of the year and see what I am capable of!

What are your goals for this holiday season?

P.S. I just added Disqus to my blog for commenting, so please email me ( if you have any problems with it! Feedback is much appreciated :)

Friday, October 9, 2015

5 Tried and True Strategies to Avoid a Binge

Happy Friday, y'all! 

Today I wanted to talk about some strategies I use to avoid binging (bingeing?) when I start to feel that urge. Over the last year and a half of recovery, these are the strategies I use most often because they’ve worked the best for me.

1.   Journal. Journaling is hands-down my number one go-to method to avoid a binge. My binge triggers are almost always emotional, stemming from trying to block uncomfortable emotions like sadness or anger. When I journal, I just start writing (think stream of consciousness) and by the time I’m done, I’ve gotten to the root of what I’m feeling and the urge has passed. I have a couple of journals, so there’s always one nearby—I keep one in my purse, and one at home. Often times, I’m surprised when I go back and read what I wrote because the root cause is almost always something I didn’t even realize I was feeling.

2.   Occupy yourself. If you’re feeling bingey because you’re tired or bored, occupy yourself! Read a book, do a puzzle, go for a walk, call a friend… this is helpful in the afternoons between lunch and dinner when I’m tired and want to eat even though I know I’m not hungry. I wouldn’t recommend this strategy if you want to binge because you’re avoiding feeling something, but for something benign like boredom or “just because,” this is great.

3.   Meditate. Full disclosure—prior to therapy, I thought meditation was something only Buddhists and hippies did (hey, just bein’ honest!). The first time my therapist suggested doing a meditation, I was definitely skeptical. Turns out, the woman’s a freaking genius! I’ve mentioned the boat meditation before, but simply sitting down with your feet on the floor, taking long, deep breaths and focusing on where you’re feeling that anxiety or sadness or anger is pretty amazing and calming. It only takes a few minutes, but it’s a wonderful exercise for centering yourself and coming back to the present. With the first meditation I ever did, I learned that I feel my anxiety in my upper chest at the top of my sternum, in the space between my collarbones at the base of my throat (technically called the manubrium, if you must know). I connected that with a tendency I have of rubbing my chest in that area when I feel uncomfortable—I’ve done it for as long as I can remember! I also occasionally feel it in the back of my jaw, under my ear (causing me to tighten and clench my teeth).

4.   Talk to someone. Don’t hold those feelings in, especially if things could be resolved just by talking to someone. I used to be such a people-pleaser, always trying to keep the peace, never letting anyone know when I was unhappy with something—but you know what? There’s a time and a place for that, and it’s not when I’m on the verge of a catastrophic binge. Talk to anyone who will listen and get those feelings out!

5.   Eat well-balanced meals. Eat to avoid a binge? That’s preposterous! Except it’s not. My nutritionist suggested this and helped me set up a meal plan—nothing too specific, just how much of different food groups to eat at different times of the day—and it was crazy how spot-on she was with this! (I guess that’s why she’s the professional and I’m the patient, huh?) When our bodies are well-nourished and satiated, we are less susceptible to giving in to that urge to binge AND we are less likely to make poor choices as the day progresses. This means NOT skipping meals to try to “make up” for previous bad choices. It means we move on, and don’t give food that power over us. It means packing healthy snacks when you know you have a lot to do and may not be able to eat full meals when you’re used to eating.

Last Thanksgiving, I made sure to go for a walk in the morning, eat a good, balanced breakfast and a healthy snack before the big meal, and you know what? Thanksgiving dinner was no big deal. It was just another meal enjoyed with family! I didn’t scarf down everything in sight, I didn’t allow myself to feel pressured to try everything just to avoid hurting feelings… I ate exactly what I wanted, nothing more and nothing less, and went for a walk later in the day. It was probably one of the best Thanksgivings I’d ever had in terms of food and how well I handled it.

These strategies have helped me so much over the last 18 months; I hope you can find something useful in this too!

What steps do you take to avoid a binge or overeating in general? What strategies have been the most useful for you?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Weigh In Wednesday

Well, hey there... how are ya?

I've been feeling uninspired... and busy, and exhausted... so I apologize for not checking in more throughout the last week. Since I didn't post about my weigh in on Monday like I normally do, I thought I'd wait until today to post it.

Link up HERE
I was up .4 this week--and I am completely unbothered by it. I mean, really truly unbothered--I'm happy with what I've been doing! I know it's just my body's normal fluctuations, and I've learned to stop trying to predict how my weigh-ins will go every week. I am most certainly, definitely, worth so much more than that scale may indicate!

I went clothes shopping on Sunday; I went to Old Navy purely to find uniform pants for Ryan, but I wound up buying something for myself too, in a plain old regular XL! You may recall my last trip to Old Navy (this one too) was quite frustrating, but this one was perfect (aside from the ridiculously long check out line). I didn't even try the clothes on--I just knew they'd fit--and they did! Pictures (hopefully) to come later this week.

So, you see, even when the scale isn't moving downward, I can still find something positive to celebrate! I also bought some clothes from the regular women's section at Target--not plus size! I'm continually taking clothes out of my bin of "clothes that I WILL fit into again" as well, and it feels awesome. (Maybe, just maybe, I won't be fat forever.)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October Goals

What the heck?! How is it already October?!?!?!? You guys, this year is FLYING by us.

I quite seriously considered titling this October "Ghouls", but decided not to go there. Wait, I just did!

Before I list out my goals for October, let's recap my goals from September:

1. Post daily food journal on the blog: I've been pretty good at this. Unfortunately I left my journal at home today, so I can't post the last couple of days. I'm going to keep doing this, although it won't be an official "goal" of the month.

2. Exercise at least 3x per week. Nailed it! Will continue on with this one as well.

3. Prepare lunches the night before. So-so. I definitely did it more this month, but it still wasn't a regular habit. Will continue trying to improve my stats.

4. Drink 100oz of water per day. I swore I was going to actually track this, but failed miserably. I can't be sure how I did, but I don't think I met this goal too often. Definitely staying on the list!

So, obviously some room for improvement here. This month, my wonderful Lovely Ladies group on Facebook has decided to do a personal nutrition challenge through October 31. We each declared our own food-related goals, and we'll check in each day for accountability. I'm super excited about this one! We've also still got our Jedi Challenge (30 minutes of activity every day until the release of the new Star Wars movie) and our miles challenge (get another 1000 miles of activity as a group by the end of the month) going.

That being said, here are my goals for the month:

1. Include at least 1 fruit/vegetable with every meal. I definitely don't get enough fruits and veggies on a consistent basis. I love them and want to include them, I just have a hard time getting to the store regularly. I probably go shopping once every 2 weeks, and produce just doesn't keep that long... lame excuse, I know. I do keep lots of frozen veggies in the freezer, but sometimes you just want fresh.

2. Go to Starbucks no more than 3x per week. That probably still sounds like a lot to some of you, but for the last several weeks, I've been going nearly every day. It's not only hurting me nutritionally, but also financially. I know a huge part of it is the routine... so I decided on 3 days so I can still go on the weekends and maybe 1 day during the week. I know this is very realistic and doable, especially since I make a mean homemade frappuccino!

3. No more than 2 dessert-type treats per day. Some days my sweet tooth is out of control, and I feel a little embarrassed to look at my food journal at the end of the day and see 3-4 sweet treats on it.

4. Drink 100oz of water per day. Just a good thing to do!

There you have it. Obviously there is room for improvement in my diet, and here's to making small, positive changes!