Monday, March 18, 2013

Plus Ten

I have super been avoiding writing about food lately.  Not food specifically, because I've been trying to supply you with a few good recipes as I find them (and remember to take pictures), but food intake.  As in fuel, people.

Like most people, I really struggled throughout the holidays with making good choices on a daily basis.  A friend of mine's husband recently expressed his disgust with women using the "holiday weight gain excuse".  Because it's only three days, and three meals won't make you fat.  Noted.  However, he is what we might call wrong.  The holidays aren't just three meals, they are a season full of in-your-face cookies, pies, cakes, comfort foods, homemade breads, candy, ham, brunches, parties, butter-on-everything-imaginable, fried anything, and delicious drinks.  Not to mention the theory that our bodies continually go back to the hunter-gatherer roots of our ancestors and tend to store extra calories in the winter time.  Dear body: get with the program, I have heat -- and unsightly furry jammies.  Cool it with the cave woman crap.

On top of all of the available food, throw in a few doses of holiday-induced financial stress, stress of family gatherings, stress of an active toddler with cabin fever, stress of constant travel, and the stress of trying to find the perfect gift for each person who already has everything they need anyway!  If you are an emotional eater (like moi), winter is hard on the waistline.

Prior to the holidays, I was honestly rocking the healthy lifestyle.  I was healthier and stronger than I have ever been.  Proper portion sizes?  Nailed it.  No white flour or potatoes?  No problem!  More greens?  You betcha!  Lean protein?  Don't mind if I do.  Water?  I won't rest until I've had my 100 ounces today.

August 2012 - 160 pounds
Enter stage left: the one meal that lasts from Halloween until Valentines Day.  I fell flat on my ass the day I brought in candy that was "for the trick-or-treaters".  I am not kidding when I tell you that I had a good old fashioned binge the day I set out that big orange candy bowl.  I ate until Hershey's Kisses, and Kit-Kats, and Reeces' Peanut Butter Pumpkins, and Blow Pops, and Starburst, and Skittles until I literally felt like throwing up.  Then, the next day, I did it again.  And again the day after that.  Every night I went to bed hating myself, but the sugar was back in my bloodstream.  I hated it, but couldn't get enough.  Next year I'm handing out toothbrushes.

I could go into specific buttery, chocolaty details of the entire season, but basically, I continued to suck at healthy eating until the end of January.  Portion sizes?  Let's get the big plate tonight.  White flour?  Maybe just this once.  Greens?  I'd prefer some Wheat Thins instead.  Water?  How about some Diet Pepsi?  What was even suckier than the way I was feeling about myself was how quickly I found myself relapsing into my addiction to sugar, white flour, artificial sweeteners, and caffeine.  My skin began to look murky and my workouts began to suffer.  Big time.  My stamina was down the drain, and each day I woke up looking forward to an afternoon nap.  My stomach was getting poochier by the day.  I felt disgusting.

And, the truth is, I wasn't even close eating as poorly as "old me" had.  The scary part was that I wasn't even close to hitting rock bottom, I had a long way to go.  But I was heading there at nearly the speed of light.

It's funny how quickly you begin to make excuses for a few extra inches of pudge or a few extra pounds on the scale.  My hormones must be messed up.  That new scale at the gym just can't be calibrated properly.  I am eating fine, I am only having one cheat meal... a day.  I kind of needed someone to slap me.  And a ten pound weight gain did just that.  I know it's not all about the scale -- there was also an expanding midsection to wake me up.
February 2013 - 170 pounds
Okay this isn't very inspiring, I know.  So then why am I telling you this -- besides my annoying tendency to be a chronic over-sharer?  I am telling you this so that you don't get discouraged if you've been wallowing in the same rut I have been.  To let you know that even people with a success story (that even wound up in the local paper) have set-backs sometimes.  It's okay to fall off the wagon (shit happens) -- as long as you can acknowledge that you have made a few bad choices -- and you make the choice to get back on track.  It's about not allowing your crappy meal turn into a crappy day turn into a crappy week turn into a crappy month turn into a crappy season turn into a crappy year.

I'm honestly honored that people think my
story is interesting enough to print.
Read the original article here.
Because I am determined to keep my journey honest, I added my most current progress picture to the before and during section of my blog.  I want to stay accountable to you, and I want you to know that there are setbacks in every journey to success.  But I have made the choice to stay healthy (and have done so very publicly), so I don't really have the option to slide backwards.  I am trying my best to eat healthier once again (read: more greens, more lean proteins, appropriate doses of fruit, smaller portions, no white flour or potatoes, small portions of whole grains, more water, less alcohol), get stronger (read: work my tail off at CrossFit, stop saying I can't, and do that extra WOD on Saturdays already, darn it), and, most importantly, feel better.

I hope you know how much it means to me to have people following my journey.  I am inspired by every success story I hear, and I am deeply touched every time someone says that I have helped encourage them to live a healthier life.  It is because of you that I continue this journey, that I won't give up, and that setbacks will not win.  Thank you, from the depths of my heart, for keeping me In Good Company.

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