My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Things I love to do now that I didn’t do a year ago

Today during my workout, Tyler asked me to name three things that I love to do now that I didn’t do a year ago. As I was busy concentrating on what I was doing, I had a hard time thinking of any. So he made a few suggestions …

You love eating vegetables, he said. I’ve always loved veggies, I said.

You love working out, he said. Yeah, I kinda do, I said. (I really do actually.)

You love reading fantasy books, he said. Yeah I really do!, I said.

After I finished my workout, I started thinking more about that. There must be other things I could put on that list. So what do I love to do now that I didn’t a year ago? Here’s just a few of them …

Walking. I’m really enjoying walking. I never thought I’d say that.

Going to the gym. Again, not something I ever thought I’d say.

Eating right. Okay, that one may seem strange to most people. But there is something about eating good, nutritious food. And it’s even better when it’s something I’ve made myself.

Shopping. Okay, I’ve loved to shop for many years, but it has a whole new meaning now. There is just something so awesome about picking something out, trying it on and realizing you need a smaller size than you thought. And then having to go shopping again a few months later because you keep getting smaller. It’s truly, truly amazing.

Having my picture taken. Okay, I might not totally love it, yet, but I don’t shy away from the camera like I used to. I actually used to hate having my picture taken. But now, well I’m rather enjoying it.

Talking about my journey. This one is hard. When I first started it, I didn’t really talk about it much. Only a handful of people knew what I was doing. And even fewer knew why. But as I’ve progressed, I’ve gotten more comfortable. The better I do, the better I feel, the more I want to inspire others. And what better way to do that than talking. I’ve shared my story and experiences with countless others, in person as well as through this blog. And if I can inspire even 1 person to start or continue their own journey then it’s worth it.

Making, meeting (and sometimes exceeding) goals. I didn’t really make goal lists growing up. Sure, there were things I wished I could do or wanted to do some time in the future, but they always seemed far off in the distance, almost unattainable. But now it’s different. Now, I love making goals and meeting them. Even surpassing them on occasion. I’m always thinking of things I can add to my goals lists. And even though some may seem a little crazy, they no longer seem unattainable. And that is truly a remarkable thing.

I’ve done so much this last year. Much more than I thought I would, thought I ever could! And this is just the beginning. Look out world, you ain’t seen nothin yet!

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Being too hard on myself

We all have that moment when we could just kick ourselves for something we did or didn’t do; we yell at ourselves for mistakes made; we criticize ourselves for not working hard enough. Okay, maybe not everyone, but I would say the majority of us have a moment like that. My problem is I’m like more often than not. My friend Edel recently told me that I’m way too hard on myself. And I can’t disagree. I know this about myself. And yet I can’t seem to stop, can’t seem to cut myself a break. This especially applies to my workouts. I get frustrated easily. If I don’t think I’m doing something well enough, I get mad at myself. When I don’t think I’m giving everything I have, I yell at myself. If I’m not doing something as well as I think I should, I get upset. I can feel the frustration building. I try hard not to, but it’s there. And I can’t seem to stop it from coming on. Tyler and I have worked together long enough that I think he can see it as easily as I can, maybe more so. He tries to talk me out of the frustration, and sometimes it works. He has a great ability to calm me down when all I want to do is scream or yell or cry. He can convince me to keep going when all I want to do is give up. My friend Jeff does that too. And I have other friends who are pretty good at it as well — Chase, Mike, Edel, Sarah, Carrie, and Sheri just to name a few.

So where did this problem come from? How long have I been doing this to myself? Well, I think it stems from low self-esteem and feeling like I’m not good enough. And being a little bit of a perfectionist. And I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember. When I look back, I can identify times I did this as far back as grade 4. I don’t do it in every aspect of my life, but there always seems to be a few areas that it applies to.

So the big question is how do I stop? How do I learn to get myself some slack, go easier on myself, learn I don’t have to be perfect? Good questions. And the answer is I don’t know. I really don’t. I don’t know how to tell myself that it’s okay and to just keep trying. I don’t know how to say calm down, just breathe. My friend Nick sent me a you tube link for a skit from an episode of Madtv. It stars Bob Newhart as a therapist who tells his patient to “stop it”. It’s good advice. And I’m trying to follow it, but it’s not easy. I’m trying to undo decades of learned behavior. I realize it won’t happen overnight, but at some point it has to get easier, right? At least I hope so. If it doesn’t, I think I may go crazy.

So what’s your advice? How do I stop being a perfectionist? What do I need to do to cut myself some slack? I can use all the advice/help I can get with this one.

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Out of the dark

For the last few weeks, I’ve been in a dark place, a dark mood. I don’t know what triggered it (sometimes I know, sometimes I don’t), but I feel like I’m finally out of it.

Sometimes I can feel a dark mood coming on, but more often than not, I don’t see it until I’m well into it. It’s bad enough that I get into them, but what’s worse is I don’t know how to get out of them. Sometimes talking to friends helps, sometimes something really great happens and that pulls me put, sometimes they just end on their own.

This one is particular was tough. Everything felt like a struggle. Dan and I were fighting, which is very unusual for us. It took everything I had to get up each day and get to the gym. I felt like my workouts and cardio sessions were suffering too. I wasn’t sleeping well. The only positive thing is I managed to keep from diving into old eating habits.

I’ve said it before, I’m an emotional-eater and a stress-eater, so when I’m upset, I eat. At least I used to. And it was almost always junk food. Now that I’m eating healthier, and not eating junk food, what do I do when I get into a situation I would normal use food to deal with? Good question. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good answer … yet. What I do know is that I need to learn to deal with the feelings and emotions that come up. And let me tell you, it’s not so easy!!!

Thankfully, I have a lot of support. I have an ever-increasing network of family, friends, acquaintances, and well-wishers who always seem to be there when I need them, whether I know it or not. They help more than they may even realize. They listen to me whine and complain. They put up with my attitude. They deal with my tears. They offer advice. They offer a heart-warming story. They offer a much-needed hug. They are just there.

So now that I’m feeling better, feeling like I’m out of that dark place, I’d like to say something to those fabulous people. I want to say THANK YOU. Thank you for putting up with me, thank you for being there when I needed you, thank you for everything. And know that I’m here for you too. I will always be here if you need me. You are all very important people in my life. And I’m grateful for each and every one of you.

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To my readers …

To my readers,

You may have noticed something different today, something missing. Yesterday I posted an entry titled “Disappointment”, today I deleted it. This blog is very personal, everything I write is from the heart, whether it is good or bad. But what I posted yesterday went beyond that. It was too personal, although I didn’t recognize that at the time. After discussing it with a close friend, I realized my mistake. And that’s why I deleted it. It was written from a dark place, and while it was perfectly okay to write it, I should have left it at that, I should have kept it private. I did not mean to make anyone worry about me or to upset anyone by what I wrote. If I did, I sincerely apologize. Hopefully I’m out of the dark place I was in. Thank you to all those who were concerned. I appreciate your kind words and thoughts.

Thanks,
Jenn

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Dark days

I’m discovering more and more that this journey is not just about losing weight. There is another equally important part to it that most people don’t realize. It’s the emotional/mental part of the journey. When you are used to using food as a comfort, or if you are an emotional or stress eater, you have to find new ways of dealing with all those emotions and stresses that you used to use food to deal with. And that’s not easy. There are good days and bad days. And what works once, may not work the next time. The longer the journey lasts, the more stuff you have to learn to deal with. If you are very lucky, you will have the support of family and friends to help you along. But sometimes even that isn’t enough. Sometimes there are dark days. And the dark days can be crippling. I should know. I’ve had quite a few. There are days when I don’t want to get out of bed. There are days when I just want to cry, and I can’t always tell you why. I want to know, I want to break through, but sometimes it’s difficult. Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck, stuck in my head and I can’t find the way out. I question everything, especially myself. I hate days like that. They are less frequent than they used to be, but they still happen. Sometimes they end quickly; sometimes they last awhile. Sometimes I can feel them coming on; sometimes they seem to come out of nowhere. Sometimes the support of a friend brings me out; sometimes I have to find my own way out. I have noticed that, sometimes the longer the dark days last, the more I’m afraid, although I don’t always recognize it until it’s over. So what do I have to be afraid of? I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid of being alone. I’m afraid of losing my support system. I’m afraid of waking up one day to discover that I’ve dreamed the last 10 months. I’m afraid that I will do something that will cause my biggest supporters to give up on me. And I’m sure a lot of this doesn’t make much sense to most people. But if you are someone like me who has not always had people in their corner, who support them no matter what, you will understand. To have someone in your life who is willing to help you no matter what and won’t give up on you, is one of the greatest things in life. Everyone needs someone like that. Everyone deserves someone like that. I’m lucky in that I have a few like that. But there is still that fear that they will one day disappear, that they will get tired of my dark days and leave, that they will be frustrated, or that I will make them angry. When I’m having dark days, I think about those things. Thankfully, when I’m having good days, I don’t. Okay, I do my best not to think about them. I hope the day never comes that I need to face one of those fears. I hope one day I can let myself be happy every day. I hope one day I won’t need to remind myself that those people aren’t going to give up, that they are in this for the long haul with me. I’m working on that. I really am. Until then, I will just take it one day at a time.

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Walls, walls, and more walls

It seems like everywhere I look lately I see another wall. Some days I feel like I’m in a huge maze and every time I turn a corner, there is another wall. I turn around and go another way, and there’s another wall. It’s like a maze without an exit, just walls wherever I look. It’s fracking frustrating!!! And it’s like they just popped up out of nowhere. I thought things were going pretty well. I thought I was on track. I was feeling pretty good. And then WHAM! I’m stuck. And I don’t know how to get unstuck. I don’t know how I got stuck in the first place. I’m frustrated. And it’s affecting my workouts. I hate this. I want to break through the walls but I don’t know how. I don’t know what to do. I thought it would get easier as I move along in my journey, but that doesn’t seem the case. So what do I do? How do I get through it? How do I break the walls? I wish I knew. I really wish I knew. And sometimes I get scared. Scared that those supporting me are going to get tired of my whining, of my sour-puss attitude, and just give up on me. That’s always in the back of my mind. And I’d like to talk, hopefully figure out what’s bugging me, but I don’t want to be a pest. And I sometimes I feel like I’m being a pest. I hope they know I don’t mean to be. I hope they know I just need help. I’m sure they are frustrated with me. I’m frustrated with me. I just don’t want them to give up on me. I need them. I’m trying to break out of this. I’m trying to do better, be better. I really am trying. Just don’t give up on me.

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