Thursday, January 23, 2014

Clean it up

***Before I get any nasty emails, just know...these thoughts are mine, and mine alone.  Take them with a grain of salt...

In the last year I've watched the fitness buzz words change.  I've seen words like "clean eating" and "paleo."  I've heard about products to aid in getting healthier like "shakeology" and "advocare."  

Now I'm not knocking any of these things.  I'm sure they work.  I've seen results people post.  I hear people talk about eating quinoa (what IS quinoa?!).  I've been asked if I want to buy the cleanses and the shakes.

While it all sounds tempting to jump on the latest fitness answer is no.  No, thank you.

Clean eating is fantastic, and amazing, and great for the body.  But asking me to jump on board something like that is like asking Walt Disney to walk away from Disneyland and close the doors.  

It just ain't gonna happen.

While I would love to get on here and tell the world that I cooked lettuce wrapped ____ with a side of freshly picked _____ ....the truth is, I'm just trying to be strong enough to say no to Wendy's that just opened down the street from me.

You see, jumping in 500% is great for some, but for me...I can't tackle that when I'm still fighting the urge to eat out.  Because of that, MY version of clean eating consists of eating at home.  It doesn't have to be fact, it can even be processed and cooked in a microwave.  It's called baby steps! And there is a progression to getting healthier.  You take one step, and when that becomes mastered, you take another.  

Am I saying that I will never try quinoa, or a paleo based diet?  No.  I don't know what the future holds.  

All I'm saying is that for me, and my lifestyle, I'm not prepared to get hung up on the fact that I allow myself or my children processed food.  Our baby step is that we are eating at home more.  I am planning meals, and actually MAKING them!  That is a ton healthier than the fast food we've been used to.

So if you're like me, and you get overwhelmed with all the buzz words of the health industry right now....take a breath!  This can be done without being a "clean eater" or without eating only organic fruit.  And this can be done without adding any cleanses or shakes.  I've done it before, and I'm doing it now.  It comes down to making smarter choices.  For instance:  gee, I'd like to eat ice cream...but I know I can't trust myself with the scooping from the carton.  So, the choice of buying pre-packaged Smart Ones desserts works for me.  It cures the sweet tooth, but doesn't allow me to dive in head first uncontrollably.  

Figure out what works for YOU!  Make the baby steps, it's those steps that add up...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Big Thanks!

Yesterday ended up being one of THOSE days.  It wasn't good.  I barely did anything.  But I made a promise to someone that today would be different...and I hit the ground running this morning!

When I started this blog, I did it to encourage and empower people to become a better self.  I did it to show anyone interested that getting healthy is not only attainable, but also to give real life results as I progressed.  I have received many emails and messages along the way, thanking me for my honesty...telling me I inspire them.

It is always so flattering to know that somewhere, someone believes they can do it just by seeing me face things here.  In fact, it's probably the main reason I blog.  And it's the one reason I keep at this journey.  Because EVERY BODY deserves to love themselves...every single person!

As you read in my last post, in 2013 I took some pretty large steps backward.  I didn't intend to, but here I am at what feels like the starting gate AGAIN.

What is absolutely amazing and beautiful about the starting line this time is that I have the support and encouragement of others I've inspired in the past, checking in with me DAILY to get my fire lit.  I had no idea that I'd even need the encouragement again, but I guess what goes around...comes around.

I've been communicating back and forth with a few readers.  Some are dear friends that I have met along this journey, others are old friends I went to high school with, and others have been complete strangers!  I want to thank each person who has reached out to me!  I am so touched by the genuine response from all of you!  It isn't easy publicly announcing the need to start over again.  But the love I've felt has been amazing!

Each person who has reached out has had the same message for me:  Don't Quit!  I've been told  that because I inspired THEM in the past to get healthy, they were now making it their mission to help ME along the journey this time around!

You guys!!!  You have no idea how much it has meant!  I started this blog to encourage others, and in doing have no idea how much you lift me up!  I feel like I get so much more out of this blog than any of you do....THANK YOU!!!

The reason I share this is to encourage anyone out there reading this to team up with me!  There is power in numbers, there is power in support!  Don't do this alone!  Join me.  Whatever you are trying to change, whatever you are trying to do....let's do it, NOW.  TODAY!  In 2014!!  WE will come out on top!!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Twists and Turns

Sometimes, people think you have things all figured out.

Here's a secret:  they don't.  No one has everything all figured out.

You see, this journey we are on…the progress we are making, it's a continual thing.  There are ups and downs along the road.  Trust me, I know!

So lets address the elephant in the room.  Since Thanksgiving I have done VERY LITTLE.  (And very little would be a generous statement.)

I'm not going to lie.  I've been in a funk.  And if I'm being completely honest, I've been in a funk for a long while.

Many of you know that our little Madison was a surprise.  A very unexpected surprise.  I had a hard time getting excited.  (Judge away.)  When she was born, I was worried I wouldn't connect with her because I was pretty bitter about getting pregnant right when I was at the peak of my health (yes, totally self-centered feelings, but my feelings none-the-less.).

I can tell you that I have ABSOLUTELY fallen in love with that little girl!  She was meant to be with our family!

I hoped once she was born, I'd bounce right back into everything.  But, I didn't.
I hoped once she was born, I'd get re-energized about my health.  But, I haven't.

I struggled with moving away from the place I called home, I struggled with finding new friends.  I struggled with feeling alone.  I am still struggling with some postpartum depression.  And how did I combat those struggles?  Food.  And it hasn't helped that the holidays came with DELICIOUS treats.

The last few months have been hard.  There have been many days full of tears.  There have been moments when I stayed in bed all day because it was too taxing to simply get dressed…let alone go work out.

There have also been times I've tried.  I've tried to force myself to do better.  And when I've forced myself to get moving, or even get out of the house, I do feel better.  But it's been hard.  And I'm here, sharing it because I need out.  I feel like I've been in a fog…or rather, drowning under water.  That I can look up and see the surface.  And I know I need to kick my legs and swim to get there, so I don't drown…only that would take effort, and I've simply not had any.  I'm tired of it.  I need to break through the surface.

There are many who are too ashamed to share what I've just shared.  In fact, I've been embarrassed about it myself.  I felt I should have been stronger.  I wanted to be stronger.  I wanted to show my journey of 'wins' and felt dumb that I couldn't pull myself together.  But here's what it comes down to, I'm in a battle with my body (mentally and physically) and I'm going to win.  Maybe I won't win everyday, but in the end…I'm going to come out on top.

So here I am.  Asking for a little compassion…not from my readers.  You readers have always been SO compassionate.  I'm asking for compassion from myself.  I'm telling myself that it is okay to have fallen down.  And it's okay to have to start over.  And more importantly, it's okay to be honest about where I am at so I can get the support I need.

Here's to focusing on health for 2014, and the hard journey that I have ahead…

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