Sunday, May 26, 2013

had to share

Popped up in my news feed on fb.  Excellent timing.

so much to say and so little time.

There has been so much on my mind lately and so much I have wanted to share with the world.  Yet, I have been busy and unable to get it all down on paper (or computer).  It is in there though, churning.  I want to say, that if you ever have any questions at all about my experience as the wife of an addict, about my journey through my husband's recovery, about my personal history, about my own addictions...anything, please ask.  As I have read through recently discovered recovery blogs I have seen so much echoed of both my past and present.  I have wished that I wrote so much more during our experience and there is so much that I would love to share but don't even know where to begin.  So if you want to know, please ask.

That being said... Let me tell you a little something that happened this week.
But first I have to give you a little, very personal, history.  Some of this I have only shared with my husband and my sponsor from when I did the PASG program.

When you work the 12-step program you reach a point where you write out your history.  Start with your earliest memory and just get it all out.  It is terrifying and liberating all at the same time.  (full disclosure: I did mine but stopped at when I got married.  ::big sigh:: that's next)  When I was doing my history I suddenly saw a pattern.  That is why it is so good.  I also saw, or remembered, holes in my memory.  These little experiences that seemed significant enough to remember, and yet the important piece of it seemed to be missing.  For example, one memory from my preschool years involving a friend who shall remain nameless that I suddenly couldn't play at their house anymore. I was upset and didn't understand why my friend didn't like me anymore.  I always associated this memory also with my hair being in braids- like perhaps it was significant because my friend always had her hair in braids and so that was when I wanted to, or it was where I first got my hair braided.  Seems silly and insignificant right?  So why do I remember it 25+ years later??  There must be more.  Was it my first broken friendship and the hurt of that that left it embellished on my brain?  Seriously, this has bothered me for a long time.  It's not like it's something I think of regularly...but one of those things that when my mind wanders to my history or to that time in my life I just can't help but be bugged by that 'hole' in my memory.

I apologize if I go all over with this post in trying to explain things.
So what happened a few days ago was that there was someone in the news. Someone who I recognized.  That someone was the father of that friend.  He was being sentenced for a sexual assault and the news stories explained what sure seems to me to be a long history of sexual misconduct.
So here I am with this memory hole.
What do I have?
A man who I was barred from going to his house suddenly when I was very young.
Stirrings of a memory that I'm not sure what it is or if I want to know.
A mother who is dead who I can't ask about these things.
A previous history of a hole in my memory that suddenly came to light... when I recalled being a 6 year old and sitting in a friend's living room with her father (or uncle?) sitting behind us, in a dark room, watching explicit porn videos that he insisted we watch with him.... remembering that suddenly (upon asking my mom a probing question that elicited a 'don't you remember' response that opened the floodgates) allowed me to suddenly see a lot of my personal struggles and behavior patterns for what they were and where they came from.
Additional history of having been molested by a peer on two other occasions in my youth and of another 'friend' trying to rape me when I was a teenager.

Suddenly I feel dirty.  I have worked through that trauma of my youth and am no longer that victim, I am a survivor.  This is new though.  What is this anyway?  I desperately want to ask my mom the rest of what happened, if she even remembers.  Of course I can't do that though.  My dad knows nothing.  I confirm with the reporter that it is in fact the same man.  I've always remembered the names of the parents of that house I couldn't go to anymore, though I've never been able to remember the friend's name.  Weird.  So I'm sad my mom isn't around to ask these things.  I'm angry because I'm wondering if something happened to me even younger than that first memory I have and that she may have kept it from me and others- leading to me being 'damaged' and he being allowed to continue as a perpetrator.  I'm confused because I don't even know what I'm dealing with.  Of course, I'm also clawing at anything in a desperate attempt to maintain some control and not start hiding my feelings with stuff in my mouth (happy to report I was successful there- on the one hand I didn't feel like eating anything and on the other I felt like eating it all).  The Lord saw me and put an angel in my path.  I went for a walk with a friend in the ward in whom I had already confided some of this dark past of mine.  I told her everything I was experiencing and just word vomited on her.  She had no answers for me, obviously, but encouraged me through her own experience just to visit with my bishop and let him take it all from me.  I felt better walking around and just getting it all out of me.  I felt better but still confused.  We talked about my health stuff and everything else going on and with my recovery.  She pointed out how it seems that much is sort of swirling around, waiting to come crashing down on me.  Yes, that is about how it works when you start a recovery or a major positive life change, or when you just plain feel things are going really well.  So she is probably right.  Just knowing that gives us power though right.  The thought of that overwhelms me and yet leaves me feeling 'bring it on' because I'm committed to this and ready to fight the fight I'm going to win.  So we were both left wondering if this was an opportunity being presented to me to deal with something in my past in order to move further along in my recovery.

I went home without answers but with a little more insight and a lot more relief.  I had not been home 2 hours when it just all suddenly came to me.  The rest of the memory.  It came with such a clarity that I knew this friend had prayed for me.  She prayed on my behalf because I had not yet been able to do it as I did not yet even know what it was I wanted.  I know this too because she confirmed it the next day when she said that she had in fact prayed that I would see what I needed to see before she went to bed that night.

The rest of the memory?
He braided my hair.  That's why the braid was significant.  I think it happened multiple times and my mom assumed it was the mom or another child doing it until I made some comment one time that he was the one who'd been braiding my hair.  I felt like I'd done something wrong because she wouldn't let me go over there after that even though other kids could.  I wonder now if she never said anything to anyone else for fear they would think she was overreacting.  I'm sure that as a preschooler I didn't understand and probably kept bugging her about it.  So she told me that my friend didn't want to be my friend anymore.  I thought I did something wrong.  I didn't understand.  I've always hated friendships ending without my understanding of why, or feeling like I've done something wrong when I did something right.  Now I understand.  My mother protected me.   She followed her gut instinct, at the risk of my feelings toward her (I'm sure I was mad at her), and she kept me safe.

She was the one who I went to later when the friends' dad had me watching porn with him.  She did the same thing then.  Even my brother remembers not being able to trick or treat at the end of the street suddenly.  I don't know if anything more happened in either of those instances, but it doesn't really matter.

I never told her about the guys when I was older.  I was too busy letting myself believe that it was my fault somehow, because that was what those guys told me. I was too busy feeling ashamed for those feelings I had and for those memories that would replay in my dreams.  I was too busy being a teenager.  It wasn't until I met the guy who would later become my husband that I even realized someone could really be interested in me just for 'me'.  That a 'good guy' could like me.  That I could be okay with that.  It was after that and my senior year psychology class that I said to her "Mom, did something happen to me?" and she said "don't you remember your friend ____?".  That was when I remembered what I did.  That was when I could put that piece together and stop feeling so much confusion about feeling like a dirty person even when I knew that deep down I wasn't.

I'm not entirely certain the purpose of this latest discovery (or of this post for that matter).  I am certain that the Lord works in mysterious ways and gives us knowledge, brings things to light, opens our eyes, as we are ready to receive.  I feel confident in that.  I'm still debating about what to do with this newfound knowledge but I know I'll figure it out and He will use it to my benefit.  I wish I could tell my mom 'thanks' for being the mean mom who wouldn't let me play with my friend because something just didn't sit right with her.  I wish I could tell her it's okay that she didn't take me to counseling or anything when I was younger even though I probably needed it...because I've got it covered now, and I've learned some pretty darn valuable lessons by having to experience them and pound them out myself.  I learn better by doing anyway.  I'm pretty sure my mom knows these things though, but it's a bit of a relief to get them out there.  I think she'd be proud of me today.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

celebrate you

NSV.  It's a non-scale victory.  It's an opportunity to celebrate yourself because you should be celebrating something about yourself each and every day.  Find something about yourself to celebrate every day as well as with each person in your family.  What if we did that and wrote that down?  I'll bet our lives would totally change.  Hmm...this is a brilliant idea of mine.  I think I might just do this.

Well, here is what went down today:
I finally got the call last Friday that my insurance settlement money was in.  The money from the car accident I was in a year and a half ago.  This thing has been a mess I tell you.  I have had the worst time with the case managers even though the lawyers themselves are great.  I have been anxious to just get it all done and over with just because of their horrible lack of communication and follow through.  Well, my case manager and I set up an appointment for me to come in and pick up the checks (multiple because I had children in the car with me who were seen on dr orders as well).  We set a very clear appointment for Tuesday because she says she will be out of the office all day on Monday and isn't sure what the attorney's schedule will be.
So.... I drive 40 minutes to this lawyer's office (getting my boys' chicken nuggets because I went straight from kinder pickup in order to be there before her lunch break as arranged) to find she is not there.  She is at lunch.  A lunch she wasn't supposed to take for another hour from the time I was there.  The receptionist explains that one of the lawyers had them switch lunch schedules for the day.  Well, that's all fine and good except she could have called me.  I'm not leaving though because I know that this will not be resolved otherwise.  I need this to just be done with.  She is calling and texting this lady to get her back in the office with no response.  Anyway, long story short.... I waited for an hour with my 6 and 5 year old boys and a couch and a tv playing ESPN.  Let me tell you how much fun that is.  It's not.  I was furious.  My husband was texting me saying that I should demand that they pay me the equivalent of that girl's hourly wage.  Right. Well, at first I was nice.  I was being all polite and professional and practicing my mean glare.  Beware the silent and angry woman.  Then I was all ' time is valuable too and I will not be just walked over!'.  Thanks PASG for teaching me that lesson.  It was sort of like my own little victory to say that for myself.  I could feel tears just below the surface when my actual attorney appeared and immediately said "Have you really been here for an hour?".  I cry when I get mad. I hate it.  So I remained as calm as I could because I didn't want to cry but my voice cracked a bit when I said that 'yes, in fact I have and yes, I did have a very clear appointment (as did the other guy that had been there waiting for the same lady).'  I made sure to let them know that I was not happy and I deserved better.  I'm glad PASG taught me that lesson- It's okay to be mad and upset and to express those feelings.  You just have to be sure that you are responding or acting mindfully instead of merely reacting to something.  My hands were shaking because I was so mad.

So I'm mad but at least I finally get my settlement documents and checks and I can be done with all this.  I'm still shaking because I'm mad about all this when I leave.  I want desperately to stop at that McDonald's there and get a soft serve ice cream cone (I heard they're only 1 WW point after all so they must be good for you!) because surely I deserved it after dealing with all that crap.  My boys certainly did.  Or I wanted a cookie from somewhere.  I really deserved it when I had barely gone down the road and an idiot driver in the lane next to me seriously swerved for no apparent reason and very very nearly sideswiped me.  No joke, had I not had both hands on the wheel at the time I probably would've jerked my car too far out of the way and into the car on the other side of me or over-corrected right back into his.  My poor boys were all scared all over again.  Where was I?  Oh, right.  I deserved a treat for all this crappy afternoon I was having.  Guess what though?  I didn't.  First, all I could think about besides the fact that I had so much adrenaline coursing through my body now and that my hands were shaking and I was so mad at my utter waste of an afternoon (which, obviously, was not a total waste) was how badly I had to pee!  Seriously.  Thinking about that reminded me just how much water I'd been sipping at to keep myself occupied while waiting and just in general.  That reminded me about my workout that morning and my accountability/fitness group and how I'd committed to doing really well this week and being done with my spiral of a weekend.  So I drove the rest of the way home thinking about the healthy treats I was going to have when I got home because that was what I deserved.  I had some vegan brownies I made yesterday and some greek yogurt with some PB2+chocolate in it.  I felt much better.  As I sat there feeling better I wondered if it had to do with the food.  Like how an addict needs a fix and calms down when they get the fix.  This has always been a struggle for me.  I feel like there is a lot of wonderful literature out there about my husband's pornography addiction and how it works in terms of the brain processes and chemicals etc.  I know that a food addiction must work the same way but you can't simply cut that out in the same way you can pornography.  So what do you do?  I realized at that moment that it wasn't about the food then.  I felt better because I had taken control of something that I really did have control of.  I was upset about my lack of control in a situation where someone did not hold up to their end of an agreement, at my expense, and then about my lack of control in a situation that put my family's safety at risk.  Then there's that whole lack of control of whatever the heck is going on in my body and having any knowledge about it.  I've always tried to shut out those feelings with doing whatever with abandon, which usually meant some sort of binge or eating something that would make me feel bad so at least then I'd later have that feeling to focus on.  Obviously that doesn't work.  But today I felt better eating something...something good for me....because I had control over something that I could have control over.  Ohhhhhhhh.......

Hey big guy.... Thanks for answering that prayer to help me make good choices today. ;)

Monday, May 20, 2013

hooray for Monday

Aren't fresh starts great?  Didn't know you had so much to look forward to in a Monday?  I love em.  I was able to recommit today and it felt great.  I went to bed super duper late last night and that left me pretty tired today.  In fact, I felt myself falling asleep while driving between the library and my house.  The library is a whopping 4 miles away.  When I got home I didn't take a nap though.  I knew that if I did that I would likely sleep or lounge my day away and I had already made a promise to myself that was not going to happen.  So I decided to get my workout done instead.  Besides, when I was running a couple errands first I had been sitting in a waiting room where some morning show was on.  They were running a report about being sleep deprived (which I found rather amusing) and steps you can take to 'mask' it.  One part of it said that even though exercise may feel like the very last thing on earth you want to do, studies find that if you can get yourself to do even just 6 to 11 minutes of aerobic movement then it will make a significant difference.  What a perfect day to test that.  So I did my ChaLean Extreme Burn Circuit 2.  And it burned.  And by the time I was 6 to 11 minutes into it I forgot that I was even tired.  At the end, I was drenched in sweat and felt fantastic.  That was a good feeling.  I needed today to be a win and I made it one.

Also, I was thinking that I should share more of the recipes and foods that I am enjoying.  Tonight I made up something new.  I had gotten some premade pizza dough at Trader Joe's and had this idea for a yummy pizza.  The top one is their garlic & herb dough.  I drizzled a little olive oil on it and then I topped it with their artichoke antipasto.  Then I topped it with an Italian cheese blend.  That's it.  So easy.  Sooooooo good.  The other pizza was with their whole wheat dough.  I made a homemade pizza sauce (couple little cans of tomato sauce, half a little can of tomato paste for thickness, fresh basil, fresh garlic, oregano, parsley, and minced onion flakes) and I topped it with the same Italian cheese blend and turkey pepperoni and sausage crumbles.  The family loved it and it was so filling!  My husband could barely eat two slices.  I was full after just one.

facing the music

::sigh::  I really did not want to step on the scale or grab the measuring tape this morning.  I knew it would mean having to face the weekend's damage.  I feel icky and bloated and crampy.  Sorry if that's too much detail for y'all.  I have a few days yet though before I get to just have that part happen, dealt with, and over.  Can't believe I can't wait.  In the meantime, life keeps happening and I have to fight the spiral to not throw in the towel for the week and undo all the work I've done thus far.  I think that's what's happened before.  It needs to happen no longer.  I've been thinking of some coping strategies.  Number one, I decided that maybe I need to allow myself extra focus on self-care knowing that it is a difficult and triggering time of the month.  Maybe that will give me extra strength and an extra outlet for triggering feelings.  So, the laundry piles might just stay on the couch today and I might just stay in my craft room instead.  I also need to make absolutely certain that I do not miss a single workout because I know how much that helps.  I might even add in additional workouts.  I have to commit to logging all of my food and being super accountable for the week.  I have to recognize that I am having a hard time, feeling triggered, and talk about it.  I did that last night with DH and it was good.  I was feeling triggered on both ends- as the wife of an addict and as an addict myself- so it was good to have a little conversation about what was causing it.  So maybe I can be done with it all.  I will beat myself this week.  I am glad it is Monday.  I may have gained just over a pound this week.  I still lost an inch.  Small victories.

a realization

I've noticed a theme among the last few days.  That's the good thing about writing things down.  I've been triggered by stressors (I hadn't yet mentioned either that DH had also just received an iPhone from work, and been told an iPad was come- even if he has been clean 2 1/2 years that can still raise concerns), worried about medical stuff, and feeling tired because I haven't slept well.  These have all added up to feeling oh so very tempted and worn down.  Today it was still the same.  I just wanted to take a break from being mindful and start over tomorrow.  Even if I know there is that quote about how every second is a chance to start anew and we needn't put it off.  I am looking forward to starting fresh on Monday.  I am not looking forward to the fact that Monday is when we weigh in and take our measurements in the challenge group.

Then another thought occurred to me.  There is something more going on.  It is just about that time of the month.  It is the time before the time that is always very hard.  Where I feel tired, emotional, and want a lot of bad foods.  Realizing that much is empowering.  At least it is recognizing a pattern.  I read a blog tonight that mentioned how patterns are gifts from God.  They are teaching tools.  I'm not entirely sure what to do with the knowledge, but I have faith that I will figure it out.  Maybe the answers from the dr visits will actually help that.  I know it didn't used to be this difficult.  Maybe hormone levels have something to do with it.  I know that was suggested with DH and his addiction.  I know that white-knuckling it through pms doesn't work. Maybe that's what I started out trying to do and why I feel so tired and worn down now.  What I do know is that seeing a pattern helps me realize that I am not the problem.  It gives me hope that I am not doomed to just be like this- doing well for so long and then being seemingly smacked with a slip up and temptations galore that seem out of nowhere.  I don't feel so tempted to throw in the towel knowing that there are others in the group who have been struggling with the same feeling, even people who are having unbelievable success, and realizing that I am not flawed.  I realize these are thoughts of an addict- thinking that somehow I am an exception to the miracles of the Atonement and the ability to change.  So now I guess the next step is figuring how a plan of attack, a way to success (that doesn't involve white knuckles) knowing the pattern before me.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

not perfect at all

Today. Well. I didn't want to post about today. Which told me I probably should. Which led me to remember that quote about how when it is hardest to pray is when you need to pray hardest. Something like that. 

The boys at my house were all at a campout last night. Being that I have 3 boys and 1 girl, that is no small thing. She had been counting down the days and had determined we would shop while they were gone. Well, I inadvertently slept in (which was glorious) and when I woke up this morning she was fully dressed to her shoes and ready to go. I gave her several choices and she chose the swap meet. Since it is outdoors and since it is Vegas, that meant we needed to go pronto. No workout first thing in the am for me. I had a quick breakfast of granola (should've had my shake but wanted to save it for after my workout). A tiny whisper of a voice told me I should but I ignored it because I surely knew better. 

We ended up being gone the bulk of the day, my legs are still tired from all the walking we did. We had a rather late lunch of cafe rio salad and then by the time we got home the boys were home. It was our family's turn to clean our church with a few other families so I was home not even 30 minutes before we left to do that. 

It was after 5 when we finally left the church building. I had my ultrasounds scheduled at 6 and one was the super fun kind where you get to drink 48oz of water an hr before the test but don't you dare go to the bathroom. Lemme tell you.... Super fun when you've had 4 kids. SO glad I didn't have a pregnant belly to add to that too! 

So I went to this appointment (scheduled on a Sat because they said I had to since the dr order was marked 'at risk') feeling pretty tired and worn down from the day. I got anxious walking in but quickly pushed that aside and distracted myself while waiting with Pinterest on my phone.  I get my ultrasounds and it's all really rather uncomfortable- in fact it is downright painful at one point. I wish the tech would turn the screen so I can see but I don't speak up. I don't ask the questions I want to because I'm afraid they either won't tell me or they will and I won't like the answer. So what do I do? I sneak a peek at the thumbnail captured images when they leave me in the room to change afterward. What I see frightens me. Sure does look a lot like my son's abnormal kidney. Only I know it isn't a kidney. 'I shouldn't jump to conclusions' I tell myself. 'I am not a doctor' I remind myself.  'The fact that it was so painful doesn't have to mean anything' I reassure myself.  In any case, my husband is texting me about date night and that he finally got a babysitter so I should meet him at the movie theater. I grab a protein box from the Starbucks in the same parking lot as the medical place because I haven't had dinner and he has. I don't have time to think about this anymore.... I have places to be and things to do. So now I'm going to go distract myself with a movie. 

So this is where it went down I think. I tried to slip a hint of how I was feeling to DH by saying when I saw him "I snuck a look and it looked like K's kidney." No real reaction. And anyway, a movie theater isn't really the place for that kind of conversation. Know what I did instead? I got an ice cream Snickers bar from the concession stand. All ridiculously overpriced $3.50 of it. I had time to think about it. I told DH I wanted it and he said "Am I supposed to talk you out of it or support you by saying ok because I don't know what I'm supposed to do."  So I just got it. I really wanted it. They always make me feel better. And I just didn't want to think about it, or anything, anymore. I'm not going to lie, it was really good. I also had (non-buttered) popcorn but it wasn't as good.

It wasn't until driving home that I finally decompressed and started actually thinking. I could've hopped on fb to my accountability group and reached out that I was having a hard time and feeling tempted. I didn't want to and I didn't. What made this time different? I had the thought while driving. Just as we need to pray hardest when it is hardest, so it is with reaching out. I didn't want to reach out because that would require some sort of explanation why. Not really, but it's that way in my head at least. That meant I needed to face with and feel my feelings. I don't want to do that tonight. I don't want to say that it hurt or that I'm afraid or that I'm sad that I don't have my mom to talk to about womanly things. I don't want to admit that I worry about the worst because I've had such toxic people in my life for so long who have been very critical of me and my health (healthy or not) and my tendency to prepare for the worst just in case. It's just that the worst becomes such a real possibility when your mom dies suddenly from a health condition she didn't know about when you were only 17, and she only 38. I thought as I drove that I should've said a prayer and told my Heavenly Father how I was feeling. Even just a silent one. Just to 'get it out' so I wouldn't feel so tempted to stuff it. Having that thought, of what I should do and that it was okay to feel those things and tell Him as much, while driving felt like my own little bit of grace. I'm still sad. I'm still scared. I'm still nervous. But I'm trying, I'm really really trying, to be ok with that and to ALLOW myself to feel that fully. To be okay with allowing myself that. If it all turns out nothing then I don't need to feel stupid or embarrassed for putting this out there and feeling those things. Right? I mean, it's okay that this is my reality and I shouldn't be worrying about those toxic voices of "you're being a hypochondriac" or "I'm sure it's not a big deal" or "there's no point in worrying" because hearing those voices really probably is just messing me up more. Those people with those voices are mostly out of my life now. So why do I still let them talk to me as though they matter?  Why do I struggle so much to let them go when the further I get in my recovery the more clear their damage becomes?  Maybe it's that they are the ones who were always there for me. Or at least who I thought were. So the thought of something happening that would leave me 'needing' them leaves me anxious that I will just be all alone? Except DH. There is always him. He has never been toxic, even in his addiction. I know I've always got him. Oh, and there's that other guy. The one I should have talked to first. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

2 wk progress

I am totally embarrassed about this photo.  However, I committed to transparency and honesty and accountability.  I was having the whole debate tonight with the temptation to do some quick fix.  I have these pills near my nightstand for one 'cleanse' or 'accelerator' or another.  They were tempting me.  It's not even like I haven't been seeing good weight loss and measurement results either.  There is no reason for that temptation other than the damage done by past extreme dieting and the lure of trying to look better for upcoming family events and pictures...and the thought of being around people who have been known to openly critique my looks in the past.  I'm not going to cave though.  Having these thoughts doesn't mean I don't like me and don't like me now.  So I thought I would take a picture.  I have been drinking Shakeology for 2 weeks now.  I have been in this challenge & accountability group for about 2 1/2 wks now.  I have done ChaLean Extreme for 2 weeks now.  Well...technically Saturday would be 2 weeks since I started on a Saturday, but tomorrow is my rest day and Sat would technically be my start of week 3 so.....
I know 2 weeks is hardly time to see any real change.  However, I do think I see (and feel) some and I wanted to see if it was all in my head.  I hope not.  Not that that is my motivator.  Still.  I'm human.  I look at this and do the mental math imagery of what may actually be possible in the 10 more weeks to come.  This change repeating 5 more times.  Plus, I know that time is going to pass by so quickly.  Sometimes I look at these awesome transformation pictures, especially of those doing the same program as I and I feel so motivated, hopeful, and encouraged.  Then in the next split second that little voice in my head says "well, that was them.  I can't possibly have something similar."  As if I am defective or undeserving.  That Satan...he's a tricky one....
I will post 30 day progress pictures as that's pretty Beachbody standard.  2 weeks is not. goes.... please be nice.....
I promise I did not shrink in height.  DH is fired for not being consistent in where he takes the pictures from.  I  couldn't remember which shirt I was wearing or which way I was facing.
p.s. In case you are curious what ChaLean is, HERE is a preview. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

good article

I meant to share this yesterday.  It is a fantastic read that you will find fits in really well with this blog.  Check it out here.  Here is a glimpse:
If you’re trying to lose weight simply because you want to lose a bunch of weight, then it’s going to be extremely difficult to lose weight.
Here’s what I mean: most people who have extra pounds attack their body fat as if it was some foreign and hostile invader. We honestly believe that this excess weight is “not me.” So, we do our best get rid of this unwanted yuk that seems to be ruining our ability to have a good time. And it all makes sense. But here’s the rub – weight loss strategies don’t work. This isn’t headline news. Any study that has any scientific morals and scruples bears this out in the long term. If there was a weight loss diet or pill or program or gizmo that truly worked, we’d all know about it and guys like me would’ve been thankfully out of a job long ago.
What I’m saying is that if there was one single reason why we don’t lose weight – it’s because ourreason for wanting to do so is all off, which leads us to invent or undertake weight loss methods that fail us. Again, most people want to lose weight simply to get the weight off.
The problem is, the weight is there for a reason and it has a message. It has a deeper purpose. It’s talking to us. The wisdom of life, of the cosmos, of the grand design of all that is  - speaks through the human body in the form of symptoms. We are fashioned with a brilliant operating system that has our biology taking direct orders from divine intelligence. Excess weight is a messenger from a higher source. If you kill the messenger – that is, if you actually do lose the weight but don’t get the wisdom it’s trying to impart – the messenger returns. 99% of people who lose weight on a weight loss diet gain it back. There’s no moral failure here. It’s not about eating less calories or switching to skim instead of half and half. We just didn’t listen deeply enough.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

sometimes you just gotta get it out

The day started out well enough.  I didn't get up as early as I'd intended but that's nothing new.  I got my workout in as soon as the kids were off to school and the youngest was at a playgroup.  I really pushed it.  No joke, my legs felt like jello.  It felt so good to be healthy enough to do that again so quickly after just being sick.  After that it seemed my day just sort of disappeared.  I found myself running around from one 'must-do' to another and before I knew it I had missed a few meals and was absent the time to make any.  I wasn't even hungry.  Or so I thought.

That's when it happened.  I had a doctor appointment for some concerns I'd been putting off for quite some time.  I just didn't want there to be anything to deal with so I figured if I ignored it then there wouldn't.  This accountability group and my commitment to total health convinced me and gave me the courage to do make the appointment.  So the appointment took longer than expected.  I planned on it taking some time so I'd grabbed an apple and string cheese.  Even still, it took longer than anticipated.  By the time I was done, my husband was off work and had picked up the kids from their friends' houses.  Seeing a chance to get a few things at the store without anyone else, I stopped by the grocery store.  Good move or bad?  I'm not sure.  By the time I was done at the store I was overwhelmed and tired.  The anxiety of the tests ordered by the doctor and the urgency with which they ordered them had settled in.  I made good choices and bought good food at the store, but by the time I got home from there and put the food away I was done.  It was like I had used up all my willpower and energy just at the store and I simply no longer wanted to make any decisions.  I wanted to eat anything.  I realized I was wanting to hide my anxiety with a distraction and that the fact that I'd had so little to eat throughout the day left me vulnerable and turning to that as an outlet.  Another illustration of the importance of being prepared and taking care of yourself regularly so that 'your cup is always full.'  In the end I made a couple of bad food choices.  But did I go on a binge?  No.  That's progress I'd say.  In fact, I'd say even my bad choices weren't as bad as they might have been....of course, not having the food on hand helped as did feeling too cheap to buy something to satisfy some other need in the moment that wasn't going to last.  Whoa... that's a new one for me.  There is hope yet!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

beauty redefined

If you aren't already aware of the website and FB page that is Beauty Redefined, you NEED to be.  I want to shout from the rooftops the bulk of what they put out.  Their latest article especially.  READ IT HERE.  NOW.
One of my favorite quotes from it:
Happiness comes in being, living, doing, and experiencing – not self-consciously strolling through life as an object to be looked atAnd when you begin to realize that, you can start realizing the power of your abilities and the good you can do in a world so desperately in need of you. NOT a vision of you, but ALL of you.

Seriously people.
Thank you Beauty Redefined.

the whys and hows

Why am I doing this?
I was thinking about that yesterday as I was lying around with a stomach bug.  Getting sick with something is one of my biggest derailers from a program of any type because I feel like it just throws me off my game.  I lay around being lazy, and loving being lazy, and start to wonder why I ever bother with doing any different.  Terrible, I know.  Consistency has never been a strong point of mine and that is where it really gets me.  I'm working on that though.
  • I am doing this because grasping at straws is better than not grasping at all.
  • I am doing this because it is working.
  • I am working the program because the program works, because I have seen real change with my very own eyes, and because I see results quickly even in myself.
  • I am choosing my life, not letting my life happen to me. 
  • I feel good when I eat well, when I exercise, when I read my scriptures daily, when I pray daily, and when I attend the temple regularly.
  • I know all those things and have experienced their trans-formative effect and yet I still need to be reminded of it from time to time.  All I can figure is that it's a byproduct of being human.  
  • I want to help people.  I feel at my best and most fulfilled when I do.  I believe people are often put in the paths of others to help them, to be someone else's answer to a prayer.  I've had so many be that for me that I can only hope I can be that for even just one other person so that I can pay it forward..... even if these things are sometimes hard to share.
  • I am doing this because I love myself, not because I hate who I am.  You don't have to dislike yourself to want to be the best version of you.  
  • I want to be prepared for anything that life may throw at me.  I want to know that I have done all I can to prepare my body physically and nutritiously as well as my mind/spirit emotionally and spiritually for anything that may come in life.  If I am better prepared myself then I will not only be able to weather whatever life may bring, but I will be better equipped to help those around me, including my children.  
  • I am doing this because it feels like it fits best with my personal and religious beliefs about health... slow and steady, line upon line, creates lasting and real change.  Part of my test on earth is mastery of my body that was given to me as a gift from my Heavenly Father. Moderation in all things is so very important.  Balance in all areas of life is also.  Accountability keeps us focused.  There is so much in the world to distract us from what is important and Satan is out to take the things that he most desires because he cannot have- bodies and families.  
  • I want to instill good habits in my children at a young age so that they have the tools and are better equipped so that they are less likely to face these same struggles when they are adults themselves.  They already make great choices, love healthy things and exercise, and are pretty balanced kids...but there is always opportunity for teaching and improvement and for leading by example.
I really missed my regular foods and routine yesterday.  Thankfully my Shakeology settled in my system just fine or I would have been sorely missing out on any nutrients at all.  It was hard though to not get any sort of exercise. It wasn't at all that I felt guilty not doing it or that I had to.  It was just that I missed it and I was sad that my body was making it very clear that it was going to have none of it.  Thank goodness today is much better and I was able to enjoy my Burn Intervals, even getting a second wind halfway through it.  That does have to be about the fastest I have ever bounced back from food poisoning.

I'm not trying to be 'salesy' or anything... just sharing what I have seen and experienced.  I have read a lot of testimonials, even from people I personally know from my real life (don't you sometimes feel like testimonials are from 'fake' people?) about how these groups have changed their lives, how Shakeology has taken away migraines or improved ADD or inflammatory diseases (such as RA and fibromyalgia) or taken them off antidepressants entirely.  I have read much about the health benefits of various foods and believe in the power of using good food and herbs to heal and strengthen our bodies.  I was shocked when actually looking at Beachbody programs to discover how many of them were ones that friends had raved about for years and loved doing.  I never had any clue these had all been from the same company.  I knew about P90X and Insanity being 'related'.  I did not know it was also the same company behind Slim in 6 (there were a lot of Nutrisystem people doing that as their workout regime), Yoga Booty Ballet, Brazil Butt Lift, Les Mills Body Pump, Rockin Body, Turbo Jam, Turbo Fire, and more.  Did you?? Seriously, if I had known that sooner I really probably would have jumped on their products a lot sooner.  Truthfully, knowing how great the fitness programs are makes me feel a lot more confident in their other lines of products (like the Shakeology and other vitamins and skin care).  

I will say, Shakeology and the other programs are expensive.  I am a total frugal shopper.  I have even taught couponing classes for years.  I love yard sales and thrift stores.  So dropping $120 for a meal replacement shake?  I don't care if it works out to $4 a meal, that's still a lot in my book.  I have really good health insurance coverage so I wasn't going to factor in the savings in medical bills that would come from improved health or fewer medications.  I did look at it this way in the end.... a month of Nutrisystem (which I'm most inclined to compare against because of my previous success with it) is roughly $280- there's a lot of options for programs but that's about the average price.  That covers most all your meals (you do need to add in some of your own food), but in the end having all your meals prepared for you doesn't force you to make those hard daily choices of choosing and preparing good foods for yourself.  It is still too convenience based to be a full lifestyle change in the long run.  That's honestly a hard thing for me to accept.  The only other program I know to be as successful (that doesn't involve some VLCD) is Weight Watchers and that is about $30/month plus there's usually a signup fee.  Then you'll have your regular food and gym membership on top of that.  Weight Watchers I believe is successful because of the support system involved in it and its encouragement of balance and realism in your diet.  Around here, a gym membership that has any kind of childcare is about $30-$40 at minimum per month.  Sometimes you have to pay an additional $2 per kid for 2 hours of care.  We won't talk about the worrying about germs there or the child care being full or your older kids being 'too old' for it but too young to work out in the actual gym without you there by their side- leaving you to not be able to do everything you want to do because they still can only use certain areas.  Not that I've encountered this before.....Where was I?  Oh... so I kind of just figured out that it was cheaper than NS, a little more than WW but with the same benefits (because in a challenge group you've got what you'd get at a WW meeting) plus the addition of having one meal replaced during the day and health benefits of some awesome superfoods that would also take care of a lot of the nutrients your body needs.  Then as far as the exercise regime goes.... well, the Beachbody programs really vary in price a lot (we're talking from $40 to $150) but a lot of them are 60-90 day programs with the variety you need to keep you from getting bored or your body from plateauing.  Compare that to the cost of the gym membership..... To me, it really does seem cheaper, especially since I do get a decent coach discount.  I have never been a fan of workout videos, or of tripping over my children while trying to do them, but I have loved every one of these that I have tried and I'm finding I really can do them at home whether my kids are around or not.  The fact that the Shakeology has genuinely been the best tasting meal replacement of any type (except maybe those NS chocolates, those were pretty darn good), has really been a happy surprise for me.

Anyway, we all have our different whys and hows of doing things.  I think it is important to consider those and to frequently reconsider them.  I always wonder how often other people think about those things or how much is just the way my brain seems to be wired to consider human behavior.  If you're going to make a change in your life, of any kind, you need to have a reason.  You need to write that reason down to make it more concrete.  If you are going to make a big change, I think you need support and the more support the better.  Change starts with a decision for something different.  It doesn't come all at once.  Sometimes it is painfully slow and gradual.  Sometimes you don't see it at first.  It frequently requires sacrifice and a breaking of your heart so that it can repair and be soft and malleable to fit the better you.  Growing pains have always hurt.  But don't they make you stand a little taller?  If you think you'd like to join a fitness challenge group and have some accountability and support, I would be happy to help you.  There is another one starting June 3 like the one I'm doing now.  If you'd like support or help of any kind, please feel free to send me a message or comment.  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

on mothers day

I haven't felt much like writing these last few days, which means I've probably needed to more than ever.  I'm not perfect.  Not even close.  They've been up and down kind of days for the most part.  Today is Mother's Day and on the whole it has been a good day.  It is also my youngest's 5th birthday.  How the time has flown.  It has been good to have the day be about him as well because it takes my mind off missing my own mother or my own needs of feeling particularly valued and special.  People, do you know how much women need written words of praise and compliment to refer to?  Do men need the same thing?  I don't know.  But I don't know a woman who doesn't battle with comparing herself to others, measuring herself up- even against herself and her own ideals, issues of self-image and those put out by the media.  We need something to refer to when we are feeling bogged down.

Anyway, so it has been a good day.  I have to say that I have eaten very mindlessly because I told myself I just wasn't going to worry about today.  Know what?  I don't feel good.  It isn't a guilt thing at all.  It is that I don't make good food choices when I eat mindlessly and my body and brain suffer as a result.  I am sluggish and tired and just feel kind of 'bleh' even though it's been a good day.  So I find myself looking forward to tomorrow and starting a new week fresh, and eating lots of fresh and healthy foods.  I am kind of dreading weighing in in the morning after the day I've had, but what's done is done.

I had an incident on Friday that I want to record.  I was very angry with my husband and struggling with a lot of triggering feelings.  He did something that was reminiscent of some of his 'telltale' behaviors and that coupled with the general triggering of this weekend (due to some past Mother's Day experiences as well as the fact that just plain missing my mom is a trigger), I was feeling myself spiral.  I am happy to say that I did not binge, and in fact I ate all good foods....though it was hard.  I did find that I went a lot of the day without eating at all, which is also not a healthy reaction.  I was okay in the end though.  It was supposed to be my exercise 'rest day' so I had not worked out.  I think that made a difference as well.  By the end of the day I was just struggling so much that I decided I needed to simply get out and go for a ride.  I initially wanted to tackle 'the hill' because I felt angry enough that I determined I would make it to the top and that was certain to make me feel better.  However, the sun was setting and it turns out the road isn't exactly lit.  I determined that no matter how upset I was I still wanted to see my own children for Mother's Day, so I felt it best to play it safe.  First of all, just putting on my workout clothes made me feel empowered.  I was amazed at how differently I felt just making that step.  I don't know if it was how the clothes felt on me or if it was the fact that I was taking a step to regain control of a situation I felt I had none.  So I went for a bike ride, in the windy night, and rode until my head cleared.  I went a route I'd never taken before and I rode overpasses that have always made me nervous....not just for the size of their hills but also for the fact that I have a thing about bridges.  There is this thing about biking uphill that just feels so much like life.  You have to keep moving at even the slowest but most steady pace or you will lose your balance and stop.  You might feel like you are going so slow and making even no progress, but if you set your sight on a goal even just the slightest bit ahead you will see that you make it.  You do it little by slow little.  The long hills that you don't even recognize as being hills are the worst that way.  The bigger, but shorter, hill was much easier.  I was surprised at how very quickly I was able to power up it.  In the end I biked for about 11 miles and it really did feel good.  I was glad to have made a healthy, empowering, choice rather than a bad one.

My mom and I at our last Christmas together.  She passed away suddenly 7 months later.  Guess I do look kinda like her. :)
Happy Mothers Day to all you women out there.  I know from my time attending support groups that it can be a pretty difficult day for women whose spouses are addicts.  They are in relationships where their spouse has become desensitized to their intimate needs.  I mean on a very emotional level.  They do not feel loved and cared for in a deep way.  If they know of a husband's problem with pornography then today can serve as a reminder of his disrespect of women, and of their sacred and special relationship.  That can be very hard.  They do not feel they are the most important woman in their world.  Even if their children adore them and shower them with love, it is inadequate if it does not also come from the person to whom they choose to commit to living their life with.  For those who are no longer in the relationship, today can serve as a hard reminder of not having someone there to make the day special.  I want you to know I think of you today too.  You may be a mother but, particularly if you are a mother to younger children, you may not have someone there to lead in making the day any different than the rest and making you feel important.  You are important.  Women who are struggling to repair broken relationships and trust need extra love and attention on this day.  It needs to be a bigger deal than it might under normal circumstances.  It becomes an opportunity for the other person to show some forethought, to show that they think about them in times other than the last minute when the pressure is on, to show them that they matter and that they are important and that they are grateful to have them still in their life.  I don't mean to put undue pressure on a holiday.  I just say this because it has been not just my personal experience, but what I heard repeatedly from other women independently in recovery group settings.  We are often (or I hope we are) aware of the women who have a hard time with Mother's Day: those who are unwed, who struggle with infertility, who have lost their own mother's.  There is another, often very silent, group who struggles as well and I want you to know that I know you and I understand and it will get better.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

get out of yourself

Sometimes we get so focused on the changes we need to make or how we are improving ourself that we don't even realize how single-minded we have become. Sometimes we have a bad day and aren't really sure why, or maybe we do know why, and we just can't seem to shake it. Sometimes we feel in a rut.

I have a suggestion. 
Get out of yourself. Make an effort, no matter how big or small, to do something for someone else. Pay someone a compliment. Mow the neighbor's lawn. Send a thank you card. Take someone a gift. Do your kids' chores for them. It doesn't matter how big or small. I promise you that when you do it for the sale of getting out of yourself, for simply doing something out of the kindness of your heart, you WILL feel better. 

After the tragedy with the bombing at the Boston Marathon, I felt like the news was just bombarded (no pun intended) with negativity. I noticed everyone around me just generally having a hard time. People on fb were complaining of the same. I decided I'd had enough. Something needed to be done. I might not be able to change the world but maybe I could affect a small area of MY world. So I encouraged people on our fb fan page for our Etsy shop to start a pay it forward snowball. Pick a number of people to do some random act of kindness for and ask for so many people to do the same. My kids and I dropped off free product at people's homes. The thing that amazed me was how it seemed that just as I made that commitment to really do something for someone else and as I followed through with it, blessings seemed to pour out on ME. I kid you not. Today the challenge in our group was to do some random act of kindness. I determined to do it if course. What happened? I got a couple of really unexpected and super awesome notes of compliments from others- who had nothing to do with the group or my previous pay it forward efforts. Pretty awesome if you ask me. You bet I felt pretty great. Maybe I should do this more often. :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

good day.

It was a good day.  Which I needed after last night.  I survived my workout even though I wasn't sure I would a couple of times.  I took my measurements because I forgot to yesterday.  I'm basically back to where I was when I stopped P90X at the end of February.  I'm very happy about that, especially since that's just after a week.  Also, lost a full inch off just my waist.  In a week.  I'll take it!

I noticed after my shower today that my hair didn't 'shed' when I brushed it out.  I'm sure it's just a girl problem but brushing my hair out after the shower, or after having it in a ponytail, usually means at least a clump or two of broken hair strands following suit.  For me it's often also an indicator of my thyroid medication needing to be adjusted.  Well, it was so different today that I noticed.  That and the fact that my face always looks like I just put moisturizer on lately.  Could these really be effects of the changes I've made (cleaner eating, Shakeology, daily serious exercise) in only a week's time?  That seems crazy to me.  I feel like I'm crazy noticing these things- or that I'm just wanting to see something even.  Then DH told me today that I looked healthier....that he couldn't tell why or what it was but that I did.  What a great compliment, to look healthy.

I found out today that the date for IronGirl was changed to October.  It is normally held in May so I had decided I would really shoot for doing it next year.  But October?  My heart was racing every bit as fast as it did the night before I did the Triathamom race.  I think that means I need to do it.  The idea of doing it terrifies me.  The idea of finally doing something I told myself years ago that I wanted to do excites me.  It also still terrifies me.  Then again...I have sort of tried to do at least one thing each year that really scares me.  It's part of my growing process.  I've just got to come up with the money and I'm going to register.  AAahhh!  It makes me panicky to put even that.  This is my year though and I know I will be so ready for it by then.  There is nothing quite like that race.  I bawled for women I didn't even know as I watched their triumph in crossing that finish line.  I couldn't contain it and I had no idea why.... Only that I needed to be a part of it.  I hope I can.

Oh...and I bought myself some new workout clothes tonight because I am sweating so much in what I've got and just can't keep up with the laundry.  And I needed to get a size smaller than what I'd grabbed.

Monday, May 6, 2013


I am trying to do just one entry a day but I need to write and get it out.  I am feeling very triggered tonight.  Turns out my earlier commentary on perfection was something I was going to need to be repeating to myself.  I am feeling frustrated and upset that I am triggered by something that I thought I was over.  I was in a situation that has previously been a trigger for codependent and coping behaviors relating to my husband's addiction.  This is a situation that is basically unavoidable for me and comes about on a very regular basis.  So what was different about tonight?  Wellllll..... me.  I have committed to this personal change and to this eating clean (or as clean as I can within reason) and mindfully and to following the challenges set in our challenge group.  So I was as I sat surrounded by desserts and people and situations that are my triggers.  I feel like I must still need to forgive them (or need to forgive them again) if they are triggering me still...but I'm actually not sure if that's right either.  Sometimes a trigger is just a trigger??  As I sat trying to resist the temptation to having one or more of all the different and very delicious desserts before me, I realized that I had been using them to cope with this situation.  They were my 'treat' to myself and my thing to look forward to for being there.  Here I was trying to deny myself this.  That's why I got so upset.  I made myself a compromise and settled on a good, alternative choice.  It didn't solve anything.  Instead I felt a little upset at myself for not being perfectly pious about not having any dessert at all.  Good thing I had my personal reminder to myself about that whole perfectionism thing I just said.  :S

I ended up feeling really angry toward DH because it was late and we needed to have already been heading home and here I'd been sitting all alone, with myself placed as far as possible from the dessert- which also meant most the people, trying to deal with this whatever it was going on in my head...trying to fight off how very badly I wanted those treats.  It wasn't really his fault that he left me alone.  He was tending to someone else in need.  But couldn't he see me in need?  Shouldn't I take priority?  How very selfish of me.  How codependent of me to think that way instead of doing what I should have done.... taking a moment to say a silent prayer for strength and understanding in my moment of weakness.  Oh, right.  I did take a moment to hop on to the fb page for the challenge group and share that I was trying to distract myself from this struggle I was having.  It was good that I got feedback and support right away.  Still didn't solve the problem really.  But sometimes admitting to that first step, to that weakness, opens the pathways to feel the rest of what it is you're trying to block.  Know what I realized?  I'm mad at myself.  Know why?  I had this idea yesterday that I was going to want desserts at this function and that I should make a healthy alternative like these brownies that I was really curious about.  You're supposed to bring something yourself anyway.  Guess what... I didn't.  Frankly, between yesterday and today, I have no truly good excuse for not doing it aside from sheer laziness and doing other more distracting things.  Why was I distracting myself from that?  That's dumb.  I don't know.  Maybe stopping to take a moment to prepare something in advance for myself for a situation I knew I would need it in would be and admission to a need and a weaknesses that I didn't want to admit to yet.  Like saying 'I have a problem with this and I am going to need help so I am going to prepare help for myself ahead of time.'   As if there is something wrong with, or weak about, that sort of admission.   Hmmm... yah, that's probably it.

So.... I'm not perfect.  I feel better now though.  I'm tired and hot.  The A/C is out at our house.  I'm grateful it's stormy today and tomorrow at least so it won't be as hot as it will later in the week.  Hopefully it is fixed by then.  I do know that those are triggers too so maybe I'd better go to bed extra early tonight.  Just, you know, to be prepared.

the power of group.

I'm not attending a recovery group right now, but I have.  I believe firmly in their power.  It isn't just about accountability or about like-minded people.  There is real power in having validation from others of your feelings.  Validation from people who are at all kinds of stages in their journey.  Maybe it's just my degree in Sociology, but I found it extremely fascinating how often I would hear the same stories, or versions of them, repeated.  We think we are so alone in our journey but we don't realize until we are in the safe place a group provides that someone else has been through something awfully similar as well.  We think the things we are most embarrassed to share or most ashamed of are unique to us....but, guess what, they're not.  It's true that no one person will have the exact same experience of another because we all bring something different to the table and we all have a different backstory....but when you're feeling a little bit crazy it sure is nice to know you aren't.  Also, I feel like so often the Lord works through other people.  I cannot tell you the incredible number of times I was struggling with something in particular that I had not yet shared with anyone but in my prayers and then someone would share something that was exactly what I needed to hear.  Just as journaling helps clear the mind so does talking it out...or helping someone else talk theirs out.

Here in Las Vegas there is an ARP group for unhealthy eating patterns (you can find the schedule as well as any other ARP/PASG meeting time & location here).  I went for a while and found it very useful.  It was never about peer pressure to be one way or another, as I worried it would be.  It was all about having a place to vocalize yourself and receive validation in return.  There is a reason that you are told to pray vocally.  Trust me, I have a very hard time with that.  I can't explain it but it does something different, and it makes a difference, to make it vocal.  It is hard.  At the time I was also facilitating the PASG group too.  Eventually I got a new calling in my ward and my schedule also with my kids just did not allow for me to attend either meeting anymore.  I had to very carefully evaluate whether that was me making an excuse for myself in an attempt to avoid recovery.  In the end, I decided that it was not.  It was about me having a balance in my life and being able to have a 'downtime' night at home.  Balance is critical to being healthy.

I guess I'm just saying that I'm glad to have found a group that I can participate in even with my busy schedule right now.  I can't believe I let myself go so long without one thinking I could just change myself. While I did still continue to grow and improve over the last year, it was with vast more difficulty and I feel like it was easier to let Satan in my head without one.  What's that scripture? "It is not good for man to be alone." ?(pretty sure that applies to women as well) It is good to have a 'safe place', to have validation, to have accountability, to have support and encouragement.  I'm in a good place and I'm glad to be.  I know I won't always be.  I'm glad to know it's okay that I'm not perfect, and that people who look like they are actually aren't either.  I'm glad to be trying and acknowledging that I will mess up from time to time at the start.  That is empowering.  Perfectionism is paralyzing.  Trust me, I know.  Far too often I have put off starting something (weight loss, cleaning, projects, a conversation, etc) because I let a fear of falling short get in the way.  That's not what it's about.  It's about a journey forward.  It's about one small step for mankind.... oh wait, that was something else.  But it is about being okay with the progress and the setbacks because you see the bigger picture and know you are still facing the right direction.

I killed it in my workout this morning.  So much so that I puked afterward.  That's a first for me.  I ran out of my acid reflux medicine a few days ago and I've got it bad.  I could tell the weight lifting was aggravating it but I was determined not to let that get in the way again, as it has for me before.  So I puked and then I laid on the floor in front of the fan, and then I was fine.  And now, now that it's evening, I can hardly even remember that I worked out at all.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

inside out.

I have had this quote "The Lord works from the inside out.  The world works from the outside in." stuck in my head all day.  It was one that I could have sworn I had pinned but then I couldn't find it when I was looking for it.  Don't you hate when that happens?!  So I decided to do a little research to find where it came from initially (so I could make my own picture and properly credit it), and I found myself reading this fantastic talk by President Ezra Taft Benson.  Can you believe this was from when I was just shy of 4 years old?  I had the gift of being able to take a class from his son, who looks just like him btw, but I'm sad to say I scheduled it poorly and fell asleep frequently.  I could feel the spirit strongly through his son.....but that is all so very beside the point.

I really think you should read this talk.  It is really good, and very timely- even if it was given nearly 30 years ago.  Here is just an excerpt that I like: 
The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.
“Human nature can be changed, here and now,” said President McKay, and then he quoted the following:
“‘You can change human nature. No man who has felt in him the Spirit of Christ even for half a minute can deny this truth. …
“‘You do change human nature, your own human nature, if you surrender it to Christ. Human nature can be changed here and now. Human nature has been changed in the past. Human nature must be changed on an enormous scale in the future, unless the world is to be drowned in its own blood. And only Christ can change it.
“‘Twelve men did quite a lot to change the world [nineteen hundred] years ago. Twelve simple men.’” (Quoting Beverly Nichols, in Stepping Stones to an Abundant Life, comp. Llewelyn R. McKay, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1971, pp. 23, 127.)
Yes, Christ changes men, and changed men can change the world.

It is no secret that I think a very important part of the journey to health is a healthy relationship with Christ and having spiritual, emotional, and mental health.  I absolutely believe this, have seen this, and have experienced it firsthand.  However, I am not perfect.  I have been rereading old entries of mine and 'examining my past' and I can so easily see and recall the times that I have let Satan have the upper hand in the battle in my head.  Those are the times that I have tried to 'white knuckle' it and lose weight through diets, often extreme ones that were very low in calories.  They worked...but then, you see where I am now.  They changed me on the outside but I had not overcome my demons and my stumbling blocks on the inside...and so I soon found myself starting over.  It wasn't always about giving up and thus needing to start over.  It was about not making the right changes in the first place.

I have seen the transforming power of changing from in the inside out.  I see it in my husband who very sincerely apologizes after an argument or a hasty reaction (healthy behavior) before I even have a chance to give the silent treatment (unhealthy behavior).  It used to be that we would both give the silent treatment or something until I eventually let it build and burst.  That doesn't happen anymore.  I have very gratefully made a lot of very positive changes in myself over the last few years... I say 'I' but really I mean the Lord has changed me.  I am a changed person.  It is because I am a changed person that I now have eyes to see the next part of me that needs changing, and that I have the courage to face that and work on that.  We all need to be reminded to surrender ourselves.  We are always caught in that cycle of humility and submissiveness and then pride and stubbornness.  I hope that I can be better about that and be more constantly in the submissiveness part of it.  It is easy to become distracted by life and yet our life is so much more joyful and filled when we have turned it over.  It is amazing to feel your eyes opened, to feel like you see more light.  I know that makes so little sense but I don't know how else to explain it.

I have much work to do.  I firmly believe, because we have been promised, that Christ can make my stumbling block my strength.  I will turn it over to Him to do so because that is the only way to experience a lasting and real change.  Then I can really pay it forward too, and what a wonderful thing that will be!  I may be working hard to change my outer appearance, but I am working hard to focus on doing it from the inside first.  A couple of other really excellent resources that I am committed to using are the church's 12 Step Addiction Recovery Manual as well as this fantastic companion one that I was blessed to be able to test and assist in creating....It is called Healing through Christ and was designed for the loved ones, especially spouses, of addicts but I feel is truly like a guidebook for really applying the gospel principles to one's life and developing a closer relationship with our Savior.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


I hopped on the scale this morning just because I am used to weighing in on Saturdays now. Also, I am starting my ChaLean Extreme workout program/schedule today so I wanted to have a baseline for that specifically. I'm pumped.

I started in the accountability and challenge group on Monday. I started 30 minutes of exercise that day- jogging or biking because I was waiting on my program and those are what I felt like doing. I started drinking Shakeology on Wednesday when it arrived. As of today, Saturday, I am down 2.5 lbs. that's every bit that I gained in my time between P90X and now when I was struggling to get refocused after being sick and also going on vacation for a week. I can't tell you how thrilled I am about that. I know that it will fluctuate from time to time because weight does that, especially when adding muscle. However, it's awesome to be back at that benchmark for starting my neck workout phase because I feel like then I can really get a sense of the difference between the two, for me, and also see the difference Shakeology can make for me. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

work it and take your measurements!

I was looking back at previous entries of weight loss amounts and inches lost. I noticed something. When I did Ideal Protein I lost about the same amount of inches as with P90X, in half the amount of time, and with three times as much weight loss. One month was about 15" and 14 lbs. 2 months of P90X was about 12" and 5lbs. Now which would you do? Which do you think is going to have the more lasting and dramatic results? I'd say the one that sheds greater inches with fewer pounds. It's the good ol' tried and true method of hard work. In the end that is going to reap such greater benefits. It also is going to look so much better. Who would rather see flabby skin hanging than tightened and toned? Not I. I'm looking forward to seeing more changes in me as I go through the year. I am loving my Shakeology. No joke. I've tried all kinds of protein shakes (Isagenix, store brands, Vemma, Ideal Protein, Nutrisytem) and I can tell you this really is my favorite. That's a post for another time though.  In the meantime, check out this pic I keep on my phone as a reminder. 5lbs of fat versus 5lbs of muscle:
60 days P90X (without Shakeology)

Thursday, May 2, 2013


I live right off Decatur in Las Vegas and it ends at the shooting range. At some point in time I got it in my head that I was going to bike to the very end of Decatur- the very top of the hill. No idea why. It taunts me whenever I see it. I gave it a go last year just to see where I could get. This guy (serious cyclist) passed me up and back like it was no big deal. Made me mad. :) I injured my hip the next day, possibly from overdoing it that day. Today was the first I gave that route a go again since then. I've put it off for fear of hurting my hip again and having to stop all exercise. 

So I rode with my kids to school today and while my son was at speech therapy I rode over to try. I ran out of time (and I wouldn't have gone much further anyway) but I did make it somewhat further than last time. To the entrance and through the roundabout before heading back. If you look real close you can see the end of the road and the furthest red building. I'm going to get up there by the end of summer. Mark my words. It was between 7 & 8 miles that I did today. I prefer to do 8 or more when I bike. But what you can't really see in the pic is there is a serious dip & thus extra hill in there that I stuck with. I have a love/hate relationship with biking hills. In order to protect your heart muscle (and my asthmatic lungs) you have to be in a looser gear and be pedaling more. It feels so much like you are pedaling so fast and not going anywhere because there are so many rotations to make movement. When I did my tri the bike went up to the Kennecott Copper mines in the SLC valley. I stopped frequently for little breaks and was amazed how quickly I could recover after even just 30 seconds. Going up that forever hill felt like such an analogy of life- slow and steady is the only way to make it and it so often seems you're making no progress at all until you stop to turn around and see how far you've really come and the mountain you've climbed.

don't quit.

Two of my very favorite quotes about not quitting.  I remember listening to the talk by Elder Holland and the power with which he said those  Here is the whole talk for you to read or view.

reasons you might stay fat...and, yes, you can change that.

I just came across this while going through old files on my computer.  I must have copied and pasted it from somewhere, or even typed it up from some magazine article.  I don't recall the source, so forgive me.  I thought it had some good stuff to it though:

22 Reasons You Might Stay Fat

  1. You are still looking for a quick-and-easy solution to weight loss.
  2. You think that diet and exercise are the only essential factors in weight loss.
  3. You have not identified the psychological reasons that drive your eating patterns.
  4. You have not learned to manage or heal the psychological reasons that drive your eating patterns.
  5. You have a fear of or resistance to growing up and becoming a full adult.
  6. You use food as a reward or a treat after any or all stressful events.
  7. You think you can lose weight without making exercise a regular part of your day, every day.
  8. You think you can lose weight by doing it your way.
  9. You expect to lose weight without making significant lifestyle changes.
  10. You refuse to learn to become a good receiver as well as a good giver.
  11. You have never learned to be effectively and appropriately assertive.
  12. You have not learned to express your anger in a healthy, honest fashion.
  13. You have not learned to be self-nurturing except with food.
  14. You are excessively self-critical.
  15. You resist or refuse to take responsibility for your life.
  16. You resist learning to love yourself.
  17. You resist learning to love your body before it is thin.
  18. You have not faced your inner fears of being thin.
  19. You are certain that spirituality (a connection to a force greater than you) is irrelevant to weight loss.
  20. You think you can lose significant weight without the support of others.
  21. You have deep emotional wounds that you refuse to explore and heal.
  22. You are not prepared to have weight be an issue that you will have to face each and every day of the rest of your life.

O.K., now you have some incredibly important information about yourself and what is blocking your weight loss. You now have a choice. You can get depressed and go into denial or avoidance and eat or you can choose to make a renewed and informed commitment to your growth and well-being. This decision could change your life and your body for good. Decide. You can do it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

gratitude and hope.

My biggest hesitation with any 'diet' program has always been whatever cost is associated with it. Some of them are pretty pricey.  The large cost was actually part of my commitment when I did Nutrisystem.  When you can barely afford it, you'd better make it worth your while.

Well, that's how I was feeling about the Shakeology investment.  I really wanted to be a part of a group and community that would give me support as well as accountability...and that would do so without judgment.  Part of the challenge group, though, is replacing a daily meal with Shakeology.  It's a big investment.  However, I have over the years read oh so many an article about this nutrient or that supplement and their health benefits as well as benefits to weight loss.  I remember commenting to DH that 'wouldn't it be nice if there was just one of those magic drinks that had all those amazing magic foods in it'?  Seriously, I said that.  Years ago. I didn't realize that Shakeology really did have all those foods I was referring to in it.  It already existed.  Anywho....I've been drinking protein shakes for a while.  I've sampled cleanses and supplements and protein shakes from most of those major companies out there.  Honestly, I love the Isagenix Cleanse for Life and I did notice a difference daily when I took it.  I even had to fight my son to not let him drink big glasses of it every day because he loved it so much too.  But I really hate the way the company is set up and how difficult it is to just get product.  And their shakes and supplements?  Gag me with a spoon.  I am a huge fan of Chris Powell so I jumped on his Bod-e line with Vemma.  I was convinced it was going to be my missing link.  Truth be told, the shake (vanilla and chocolate) was 'okay'.  It needed something added to it and I had to drink it pretty quickly but I did enjoy it.  There's this weird aftertaste, almost like it has jalapenos in it.  I dunno.  They have a 7 day cleanse product that I did really like.  I noticed a real difference in my energy and focus when taking it (you have to go a week between each weekly course at minimum).  However, I had an awful experience with their customer service and will seriously never go back as a result.  I felt completely betrayed as a customer and don't feel I can trust them with my business.

So, here I am waiting for my Shakeology to arrive.  I got curious after reading about major success with digestion, migraine, mood, and other issues.  I want DH to try it because, let's just say, there's a long family history of digestion issues for he and his family.  It would be so wonderful to have something that completely turned things around for them.  I am anxious to try it, yes, because I want to see if it does make a difference with the weight loss...but also because I'm curious if it will help with my allergies.  It has reportedly great effects on inflammation.  So that got me to thinking that maybe it would give me some allergy relief.  Seriously, I am so desperate.  I'm allergic to everything in the air and I'm allergic to over half the allergy medications out there.  It gets so old not being able to breathe out your nose or having to hide in your house and shower twice a day on windy days.  This year has been particularly bad, leaving me wheezy and needing my rescue inhaler on really windy days.  So, that's what I'm out to investigate for myself.  I would consider it a miracle if it does provide me relief but I'm willing to give it a go.  Yes, I've tried local bee pollen.  That doesn't seem to make a dent either.

I am feeling extremely hopeful and enthusiastic about this whole challenge group and Shakeology thing.  Not just because the enthusiasm of others' is contagious.  It's because I feel really genuinely supported in it.  I worried and prayed about the cost.  I even went to the temple as I shared previously.  I thought about it for a long while.  It was like the Lord just needed me to make the decision, to show that willingness and commitment, and He began opening the Heavens to show me of His support and acknowledgment.  We received an influx of orders for our Etsy shop like never before.  That first month's investment is totally covered in just those, which is considered extra income for us because we never know how busy we will be.  I am so very grateful.  I feel like it was His way of saying "You got this."  I'm committed to it and really giving it a full effort.  What I ordered was a new workout, just for a change even though I love me some P90X, and the Shakeology.  I have enough of that for a month to see if it makes a real difference.  I already know what a difference a Beachbody program can make without it.  I am having faith, and I am full of it and hope, that it is the right thing and that the future expense of it will work itself out because I know I have the Lord on my side.  I just cannot express what a feeling that is to really feel and know it.  I've felt it before when going through a really difficult time in my life.  I'm sad, and human, to say that I let that intense feeling fade away into the shuffle of the craziness of life.  I'm immensely grateful to have it back.  It fills me with hope and gladness.