Tuesday, April 30, 2013

visual motivation

It's important to have visual motivation around you to remind you of the goals you have set.  I have put this off with excuses like "I don't want friends or neighbors to see old pictures of me and how thin I used to be" or "I don't want my kids to put too much emphasis on body image."  In the end, though, it is only hurting myself and keeping me from maintaining focus.  Really, this is true of any goal or ideal.  Have you ever tried taking a picture of your kids' room when it was completely clean and perfect and posting it in their room?  It works pretty darn well as a regular reminder and motivator without you needing to say anything.
So here is a little about these pictures:

  • At the top left is me with my good friend A who is a professional triathlete. She is a rockstar mom who has motivated me a lot and who I admire for pushing herself past an eating disorder and a back disorder. 
  • Next is me (in black) at about 20lbs less than I am now. I look at it and think, 'hey I look pretty good' even though I know that most would be aghast at what the scale still said then. It reminds me that I may have a long way to go but that small start makes a huge difference. 
  • In the white shirt and hat is a candid shot taken by one of my kids. I don't want to be afraid of them taking pictures of me. 
  • Below that was a 'simulation' my brother did for me when I did Nutrisystem when I was halfway to my goal & showing what I'd look like at goal. 
  • The one with my sister is at her wedding (2 months after my last was born)--- there may be some more family weddings coming in the very near future and I want to know that I look my best. 
  • In the swimsuit is another candid shot taken by one of my kids. What swimsuit picture isn't motivation? 
  • The paddleboat is because we will probably be going to Lake Las Vegas at the end of summer and that is where it was taken. It means hanging out poolside. 
  • The picture below with all our family at my daughter's baptism.... Well, that was last Labor Day. We have a big family reunion coming up in July and it will be the first that a lot of them will see me since then. I want to look noticeably better. That and at my Great-Grandma's 100th bday party on June 8th (*which is what the pic of her at her 90th is for). 
  • Next to that is my main supporters.... my husband (when we were dating in HS) and my mom, who passed away not long after this picture but who I know is my cheerleader from the other side. We used to go to the gym together regularly and that was a favorite thing for me as a teenager.
  • Ok... So then there is me holding the Olympic torch. No, I didn't run with it, but it was a pretty amazing feeling just holding it.  I think of the amazing feeling of those athletes pushing themselves to their best.
  • There's another more 'full' picture of me in a swimsuit. I had lost weight on HCG prior and when I see this picture I think how it doesn't take much to look so much better but then I also see how flabby and loose my skin is- so that reminds me that I'm not looking to just drop a bunch quickly. 
  • I have a couple pictures on my board of me pregnant to remind myself that I do NOT look pregnant even though I might think I do. 
  • I have the Triathamom logo and me with my 'medal' as a reminder of things I have put my mind to and done...that I CAN do hard things and not to listen to anyone else say otherwise. And because I want to do the race again and knock my prior time out of the park. 
  • In the white shirt was when I was about halfway to my goal weight on NS. 
  • Above that is 2 of my oldest kids with their Kids Rock Marathon medals. We mostly did it together but I'd love to be able to do more of something like that with them. I don't want them to 'beat me' even if they're younger. ;) 
  • The main picture on the bottom was taken 2 days before I found out I was pregnant with #3. I was 15lbs from goal...my lowest weight ever that I can recall. That's the person I know is in me...and that confidence in front of the camera. I remember telling my husband to take a picture of me because I wanted to record how awesome I felt. 
  • There is a picture of me laying on a hippo statue and saying "I'm not a hippo anymore". My husband thought I was just joking around but he didn't realize how much of that sentiment felt true- how much I'd felt like a hippo. I want that back. 
  • Above that is my family and I when I was a kid with Chuck Norris. He is an old family friend. It reminds me of youth and determination and of the karate family I am embarrassed to be around in my current state but want to go back to. 
  • Next to that is me with the boogie board a month ago. I have been making myself do things that I might otherwise not because of my weight in the name of refusing to stop living my life anymore. Boogie boarding did not go well and I am convinced it will be better at the end of summer after this challenge that I am doing. 
  • There are a couple other little pictures in there that remind me of the hiking I love (and the progress I'd made at losing 25 lbs- which is now 30 to go :S ) and of my upcoming family reunion.


I've set a new rule for myself that I put on my workout clothes & shoes first thing in the a.m. and am not allowed to change until I've worked out- regardless of what errands I have to run or appointments or who I'll see. So if you see me looking all awesome and grubby and like I don't ever care to get properly dressed...well now you know why. ;)  I got this idea from one of the other ladies in the challenge group I'm participating in.  I hate wearing tennis shoes so that's pretty good motivation for me.  My feet just feel so claustrophobic in socks. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

food log.

I hate logging my food because I'd rather be in denial about it all. ;) But I am committed to doing it this week at least. I am using the MyFitnessPal app. I definitely do best with an app and I love that it has a scanner to just scan the barcodes on all kinds of stuff.  It takes away excuses because it is so quick and easy.  Other health related apps I use are Runkeeper, Eight Glasses a Day, and Track My Weight.  I also love the P90X app for tracking my P90X workouts and weight/rep amounts.

an exciting new start

Today was the first day of the new challenge group I committed to participating in.  It will be really great to have the accountability of a group to report to each and every day.  I can't tell you how positive I feel about this...about it being 'right' for me...about having all the tools I need to have this be 'it' and the last time.

Today we wrote introductions to ourselves.  This is what I wrote.  I am committed to full honesty because I know that is the only way I will heal myself.  I cannot be honest with myself if I am not fully honest about myself with others.

Hi, my name is Heather and I'm addicted to food. Ok, not exactly the way you think. I have a problem with binge eating. I will frequently undereat, especially when working out, and then binge. I self-sabotage and self-medicate with food. These aren't easy to admit and they are why I know that a major major part of my challenge is mental. My husband is a recovered/recovering addict and for a year I facilitated a support group for the wives of addicts. It was in my own journey through that year and a half of attending these meetings that I recognized my own patterns of addictive behaviors and attitudes toward food. I know I can change because I've seen such a true, honest, and big change in my husband. I've gotten better and I've done better but I still frequently struggle. On the whole I eat pretty well. I am allergic to propylene glycol and it's found in a lot of processed foods so that keeps me eating fairly clean. However, when I am 'triggered' I eat so poorly. 
Think of it this way.... I've noticed sometimes that I will be doing great losing weight on my own and then something will happen in my life that I have no control over and I feel angry or hurt. I will eat to cover that up because I'd rather feel the pain in my stomach and be mad at myself than whatever other negative feeling I'm having. It's so dumb but it's the truth. I've spent a lot of time and energy helping my husband overcome his addiction and it's my time for me now. He understands how I feel and what my struggles are, but I feel like he still doesn't know HOW to help me. Partly because he is a guy, partly because he doesn't even know the extent of my prayers and patience etc on his behalf. That's why I need a support group. I have a lot of family members who are pretty critical of my weight or toxic in their relationships so they aren't a viable support group for me. 

Consistency is my primary downfall and I'm really looking forward to the accountability of this group helping me break that bad habit. I recently did P90X for 2 months and really loved it. I loved how it made me feel and how I felt while doing it, and yet some days it was still really a struggle to get myself to do it. I got injured and sick and so I didn't do it for a couple weeks. Then I went on a week-long vacation..... Now it's been a month since that and I just need to get back into gear!
As for the rest about me.... I'm 31 and I have 4 kids. I had 5 pregnancies in 5 years and it really did a number on my body. My kids are 16 months apart with a 2 year gap between the two sets. My youngest will be 5 in a couple of weeks. I did lose 60lbs between the two sets of kids by doing Nutrisystem and eating right came very naturally by that point. I was 15lbs from my goal when I got pregnant with K and K2 was shortly behind. That person feels so long ago and has felt so impossible to be again. I just can't afford Nutrisystem again and I also see how much is a mental thing that I need to overcome on my own- not just by using prepackaged food (though that did make it easier to focus on healing that part of myself because I didn't have to put so much energy into making decisions about what to eat or prepping food). The weight largely crept back on with those last pregnancies of mine. Kid #3 (K) had health issues that were really stressful to me. Kid #4 was a back to back pregnancy so I hadn't lost weight from the one before. That's where it really came on & my thyroid went really downhill. Then I had an unexpected pregnancy that resulted in a miscarriage and a serious injury that left me depressed and unable to exercise (or even move much) for over a year's time. I know what a blessing it is for me to even be able to move and I want to take advantage of that and remember what a gift it is. 
I am going to do ChaLean Extreme for this challenge just to do something different. I'll buy myself a new outfit for completing the challenge and my goal is to be in ONEderland. I NEED that. I have been yo-yoing above it for way too long and I know that once I just break past that I will be on fire. Something has always seemed to happen to 'keep' me from it- whether out of my control or because I have sabotaged myself. Don't let me do that again.
oh... And I also tend to write WAY too much. ;)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

kinda sorta forgot.

I have unintentionally forgotten to do my last Saturday of the month accountability this month as well as last (though last month we were on a trip at the time). I prefer to do it first thing in the morning and will do it tomorrow. I am putting it out there to help me be accountable. It has been hard to get back in the groove after two weeks of legitimately being sick and then a glorious week-long vacation. Now I'd just rather be doing other things. ;) I committed to starting a challenge group on Monday though to help me stay focused amidst being a busy mom.  I am looking forward to the accountability of that.  I think it will be just what I need.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

from a distance.

It's been about 14 years since my mom passed away and I can still be blindsided. She has been even closer than usual to the surface of my heart lately as I've recently given a lesson on the Resurrection and eternal life and why that is important to me; I"ve been discussing losing her with someone else who just lost their mom- a friend of my mom's; Also, Mother's Day is coming up.

If that weren't enough, I was walking through DI (a local thrift store) tonight when I thought I'd hurry down one last aisle real quick. There it was. This silly little desktop calendar thing that had names typed on the front that jumped out at me... The women of my childhood. The RS of when my mom passed. I grabbed it and the next page I flipped to was the last in it. And there was my mom's name staring at me. It's weird how such a random and unexpected occurrence, especially the sight of her name, can catch your breath and leave you choked up. This must have been a compilation of favorite scriptures of the ladies? I never knew what my mom's favorite scripture was aside from her sweatshirt that read "Many are cold but few are frozen" which is, of course, not the real scripture. I had to laugh when I literally turned immediately to her entry. Of course it would be the next thing I would open to. Of course she would choose something like that. Probably just for the word 'sluggard'. She probably thought she was funny.  What was funny to me was that this could be an answer to a prayer.  I've been debating about the investment of joining a challenge group and assessing where my heart and head really are....whether I really am willing to put in all the long term hard work and effort to reclaim my body and whether I really believe that I can.  This was just what I needed.  I ordered my Shakeology and new ChaLean Extreme (because I love P90X but just felt like I needed to do something different right now) and signed up as a coach with Beachbody as soon as I got home.... because I feel that confident of the changes ahead.  I'm totally going to make a sign of this and put it up.  I will laugh every time I see the word sluggard and I will smile knowing that I've got my mom and my Heavenly Father showing me that they support me and believe in me.  (Also, I did call my dad to tell him what happened and he agreed that she liked this scripture because of the association with hard work and diligence but also because she thought she was funny because it was a funny word)  I talked with DH first about my new plan.  I told him I was worried about trying a new thing and him thinking I just was continually grasping at straws and not ever really committing.  His response was exactly the support I needed, "It's better than not trying at all."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

new favorite snack

Don't you love how Pinterest can give you so many great ideas for changing up recipes you might not have thought of.  Like the one about cookie dough greek yogurt?  So I just changed that one up a little bit.  I didn't measure anything out but let me tell you I have found my new favorite treat.  Greek yogurt + a little bit of vanilla + natural peanut butter + brickle bits is SO good!  I realize the brickle bits (also known as Heath  or toffee bits) sort of take away from the whole healthiness of it all....but just think how much more protein it still has than a cookie.  And I'm telling you, it tastes just as good!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

how do you see you?

Chances are you've already seen the latest Dove beauty project going around.  In case you haven't, you need to watch this.  When I was stuck in bed with my concussion a few years back, I happened to watch a lot of Celebrity Rehab and other similar shows.   I no longer recall the name of it, but there was one that was dealing with a group rehab facility for those with eating disorders.  It was eye opening and fascinating to watch.  Anyway, they had this exercise where each person had a great big piece of butcher paper and they were to draw on it what they thought their outline would be.  Then they had a partner who then traced their outline over it for them.  There was other parts to the exercise as well that involved filling it in with images you saw yourself as or what you felt like you were made up of etc., but it was the outline that really stuck with me.  In every single case the individuals drew themselves much larger than they actually were.  Even the obese.  I have thought about that a lot.  It seemed like a very powerful and effective tool for experiencing how differently we perceive ourselves from our actual selves.  That is what I like about the Dove ad, even if it is still focusing on physical appearance as some of the complaints about it point to.  My thing is this...If I'm in a good place and love my body...what if I draw myself and when someone else traces me I am actually bigger than the outline I perceived?  That is my fear.  What if I look worse than I think?!

Monday, April 15, 2013

food for thought.

Sometimes when I do my scripture study I will go through the random manuals and other resources found in the Gospel Library app.  Tonight I happened upon a church publication called "God Loveth His Children."  It's excellent and worth reading imho even if what it is addressing is not your struggle.  I mention it because there was one very particular part that stood out to me.  I need to put it on my wall or, at the very least, my fridge.  It's so appropriate for my focus on the word 'nourish' for the year:
"You will be most successful in controlling your life as you constantly nourish your spirit.  Avoiding food for prolonged periods, followed by excessively large meals, will not maintain physical health.  Likewise, feeding your spirit sporadically, even in large proportions, will not yield the same result as constantly, daily nourishing your spirit."

Thursday, April 4, 2013


I went to the temple tonight. I want to record this because I don't want to forget the feeling I had. I had a lot of different things on my mind as I went. While sitting in the session I was trying to clear my mind so that I could feel out one thing at a time and try to get the inspiration I needed. 

No sooner had my mind cleared that I started remembering the personal struggle I was having with myself and body image. I was trying to think through all my self-conflicts and thought patterns about it to feel out how I was to go about changing myself and losing weight. I found I couldn't even recall the negative thoughts I was battling. I could think of the struggle and the way I've been feeling, but I couldn't recall specific thoughts. Instead my mind and heart were filled with one repeating thought "You're beautiful." I FELT it. All through me. I felt it spoken to me but I also felt it in a way that I believed it of myself as well. I don't want to lose that. I want to focus on telling myself that several times a day, of loving and nourishing myself foremost, and using the gospel to change myself from the inside out. It is Satan and the world who makes me feel I need to do otherwise and that this weight needs to be gone yesterday. Those feelings are the source of the negative thoughts and the feelings of self doubt and hopelessness. I already know that I am healthy. My bloodwork is fantastic. That should take the pressure off and allow me to love me and do this the Lord's way....inside out. He already thinks I'm beautiful and isn't His the only opinion to matter? It's not like he doesn't know my every weakness and failure and 'bad part' but He still says I'm beautiful- and does so in such a way that I really feel it and feel the truth of it.