Thankful for the struggle

Thankful for struggle

Wow it’s been a hot second since my last blog post and for that I sincerely apologize. EEK!! In the past six months I can say that I’m thrilled with where life is taking me! There have been many changes in my life–I officially became a Beachbody coach in June, got a new car in August (bye bye mini van) and moved into my very own apartment in September. YAY!

I’m so beyond blessed with life right now!! BUT I can assure you that it hasn’t always been this way. I haven’t always been this positive and cheerful. I believe that the only way I am able to fully appreciate each of these wonderful aspects of my life NOW is by reflecting on my past struggles. I’ve been through A LOT in my life-I mean who hasn’t? We all have baggage and stuff that has happened to us. However, it’s all about how we handle those obstacles and struggles. I love the quote posted above so very much and it couldn’t be more true.

“I’m thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength.”

It’s no secret that my move from Buffalo, New York to Raleigh, North Carolina after graduating from college in May 2012 was very very hard on me, if not one of the hardest things I have EVER done. My first year of teaching and living on my own in a new state was quite the challenge. Not only was I anxious and homesick 99.9% of the time but I felt so conflicted in the fact that I didn’t think teaching was for me. I remember calling my mom sobbing–telling her I was going to pack up my car and head home SEVERAL TIMES. I even researched what it would cost to rent a U-Haul and trailer my car home, that’s how miserable I was. It was nobody’s fault, I was just so uncomfortable with being me and navigating this unknown territory just sent me in a downward anxiety ridden spiral. The only way I knew how to make myself feel better was through my anxiety medication (which I don’t think ever helped) and eating (until February 2013). I found comfort in gorging myself on any fast food that I could find. I looked forward to weekends with Ben and Jerry and Netflix–that is before Netflix and Chill was a thing…I was trapped in my own body and I was in denial that I had an eating problem.

While I was in North Carolina I had this attitude that I was the victim and everyone should feel bad for me. I always dreaded the flights “home” from Buffalo to Raleigh. I cried on my drive home from the airport before stopping at McDonald’s and then curling up in my bed full of tears to nap away my misery. I just assumed I was destined to be anxious and miserable and that’s how my life was going to be. I didn’t see it getting any better and I felt very little purpose in life. I was truly going through the daily motions and hoping for a miracle.

November 2015 TransformationMy miracle finally came on February 6th, 2013 when I decided to join Planet Fitness and attend my first Weight Watchers meeting because one of my students in my class told me that I was the biggest. I was so embarrassed and heartbroken in that moment. I felt so hurt and ashamed that I let a second grader define my size. BUT I had been struggling for so very long that I truly NEEDED that. That student was the voice of so many family and friends that wanted to say something but couldn’t because they probably didn’t want to hurt my feelings. This student didn’t care about my feelings but I’m so much stronger now because of that comment. I let that comment define me in the moment but it truly changed my life for the better. That comment sparked my healthy lifestyle and I’m extremely thankful for this journey.

It’s truly not about how much weight I’ve lost anymore. It’s not about a number on the scale. It’s not about the fastest mile. It’s not about the heaviest squat. It’s not about how many Beachbody customers I have. It’s about what this journey has taught me. It’s about appreciating and embracing the fact that I came from a very low place in North Carolina. I went from letting my anxiety and struggle with emotional eating control me to loving life as a Beachbody coach with BIG goals. The fact that I just typed that brings tears to my eyes. Happy tears just streaming down my face. I never ever thought that I could help myself let alone inspire anyone else.

This journey has brought me strangers from all over the world that I now am blessed to call my friends, an amazing team, confidence I never knew I had, and a much bigger purpose in life. I couldn’t say any of this in February 2013. Dream Big. Get Fit. 2016 is going to be the best year yet. Love you all. ❤

when-i-look-back-on-my-like-i-see-pain-mistakes-and-heart-ache-when-i-look-in-the-mirror-i-see-strength-learned-lessons-and-pride-in-myself-quote-1

Failure is fuel.

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”

I’ve been meaning to write this blog for awhile now…..for the past few weeks months, I know that I’ve gained at the scale. BAD. There is no denying that so….. I’ve been contemplating going back to Weight Watchers. I have become increasingly uncomfortable with the way that I look and feel. I constantly compare to what I looked like last summer and how CLOSE I was to my goal last July/August. Also, timehop is a b.i.t.c.h. Therefore, last Friday, May 29th 2015 I have re-committed to Weight Watchers for the sole purpose that it works. YAY! It was a super vulnerable feeling walking through those doors again but I knew it had to be done. I felt my absolute BEST last summer at 157lbs and the fact that I let the pounds pile back on is so so upsetting. I know I should have never quit in October in the first place. It just kills me that I spent from February 2013-October 2014 losing all this weight, driving to the gym, putting in the work, running all the miles, doing all the grocery shopping, just to basically end up right where I started. Those thoughts alone bring me to tears. You can add up all the time and money that was spent on the first journey but that WILL NOT push you forward. I’m making a promise to myself that I can’t obsess about the past, the only direction is forward. I have to let the past go and realize that this journey is a new beginning and I have to remember that I’ve done this before and I’m worth it to myself to get healthy again. My favorite part about the quote above, “the time will pass anyway” is something I have to hold onto because just as the time will pass anyway, I can’t rewind or erase the mistakes. It happened and I have to use this failure as fuel to push forward and the simple fact that I know where I was and where I can be is motivation enough. (See happy July 2014 photo below)

Transformation December 2014This quote reminds me to just get back up!

never quit quote

In addition, if there is anything I have learned on this journey is that you have to do what works for you and only do it for YOU. Do it because you want to crush your goals. Do it so that you can walk into your favorite store and try on that awesome outfit without hesitation. Do it because you deserve to walk around with the highest level of confidence and you deserve to feel the most comfortable in your own skin. People may suggest other weight loss products and programs BUT you know you best. I know that I can’t simply eat clean and workout..maybe you can but I KNOW that I need to track my points and exercise. I also need that accountability to someone at the scale every single week. That’s the only way IT WORKS for ME. This does not make any program better than another though. In this life we get to choose what works for us and if you’re killin’ it with a different program but still working towards the best version of you and you’re happy doing it..then GO YOU! We’re all in this together and nobody should knock someone else’s journey to becoming healthier simply because it’s not their program of choice. DO YOU ALWAYS.

Recently, someone shared with me that it’s hard to get back on track and tracking their points is hard. That statement really made me think that yes, nobody wakes up and says, “YES I LOVE TO TRACK, TRACKING IS MY FAVORITE” nobody wants to count calories or track their food in any app and if you genuinely do…then I need to meet you and get your autograph. It would be GREAT if we could all eat what we wanted without keeping track or putting in the work during workouts. However, personally, I feel that being overweight is harder. Walking around feeling uncomfortable and not fitting into the clothes I wore last summer is harder. Running at a slower pace than last summer is harder. Taking 17 minutes longer on this year’s half-marathon is harder. Not being able to sit down without feeling my fat rolls rolling on top of each other is harder. Not being a size 10 is harder. (Yes, I went there) It’s mentally and emotionally exhausting to not be 110% happy with you. Tracking IS hard, there is no minimizing the time and energy that must go into preparing food and workouts BUT gaining 35 pounds in 8 months is harder for me. (Ouch. Makes me sick.) Choose your hard. That is all.

But I would rather end on a positive note SO here is a wonderful transformation photo of me at 214 pounds to running my FOURTH half-marathon and Sunday’s meal prep. YAY. Smiles all around for moving forward. Can’t wait to see my Sunday warriors this week! Keep on keepin’ on fitfam! 🙂

4th half transformationmeal prep

My metaphorical kayak

This is a very long post so please stay with me! Some of you may or may not know that this past August I went kayaking in Rochester with my Mom. It was a beautiful summer day and we were about 2 hours into our 4 hour trip. I just waved at a couple standing on their back deck along the bank of the creek bend. We exchanged some “hellos” and everything was fine until we came around the bend and I found myself in what is called a “strainer.”  I had no idea what it was at the time but I have since researched the term. In short, the current was really strong because of a down tree and a bunch of debris that I couldn’t navigate until it was too late.  (My mom was able to navigate it much better than I and she stayed in her kayak the whole time) It is very similar to the way a drain/sifter/strainer works except my kayak went through the holes of the drain while I was fighting for my body to stay a float and not get sucked into the holes. You can see here…

My life literally flashed before my eyes as the current and kayak tried to suck me down without my life jacket on. (I have since learned it was actually good I didn’t have my life jacket on because it would have pulled me under) I don’t really remember pulling myself out above the current or clinging to dear life on the tree branches. The whole event will remain a blur. What I do know is that I’m very lucky I survived and walked away with a few scrapes and bruises. The only things lost that day were “things” which were easily replaced. After this near death experience, everything is really put into perspective. When you’re swimming down a frigid cold creek, in an area you don’t know and your only source of communication has been sucked in by the creek along with your flip-flops, you will lose your mind and you will sing just keep swimming and you will cry like a baby. In that moment you know nothing else. You will also never be happier to hear the sound of cars driving over a bridge and you will run through the woods in your soaking wet clothes as fast as you can until you find the clearing that opens to the road. I flagged my arms up and down and a couple stopped because clearly something was out of place. It was the couple that we just waved at on their back deck along the creek path. I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT. The woman said to me, “Didn’t we just see you kayaking past our house” and through some sobs I was able to say “Oh thank goodness, yes!” Since I ran to the road, my mom was still in her kayak and needed to be rescued because I could not swim the rest of the way and we needed help. Moments later the Rochester-Chile Fire Department was there and next thing I know is I’m sitting on the front bumper of a fire truck in bare feet (I was wearing my Mom’s flip-flops while running through the woods so I made sure an EMT that went to rescue her took them back to her) with an EMT taking my blood pressure waiting for the rescue team to get my Mom. The minutes that past felt like hours until I saw my Mom venture out of the woods and I darted to hug her and we both burst into tears. I thought, “Holy shit, you really only see these emotions and experiences in the movies and now this is my life, I’m sorry but WTF.” When I woke up that morning I took every single thing for granted and I was so excited for a kayaking adventure. I recall checking in at the kayaking place on Facebook and making a status that said, “Adventure is out there.” The whole day still gives me chills.

After that day I told myself that I would live life to the absolute fullest and change my thinking to “having” to do things to “wow I get to do this.” That night once I got home, I Facebook messaged my family and friends because my phone was long gone and had to let everyone know I was okay. I began to cling to every conversation with much more meaning and hug everyone a lot tighter. The following Monday I was so excited to go to work and see my coworkers because I was ALIVE. It’s super weird to explain to people who have never experienced a near death experience. I don’t want anyone to experience that ever but you really are on some what of a high afterwards because you became so close to death. After the incident I realized that at 57 pounds lost and all of my time at the gym had actually saved my life. I had the strength to pull myself out of a really nasty current and cling to a damn tree branch. Everything had finally made sense. The weight loss was always worth it to me because of a lot of reasons but this tragic event proved that my weight loss was so much more.

Now, let’s fast forward to December 5th, 2014 and needless to say my weight loss story journey has been on the back burner, the farthest back burner that the flame is out. I haven’t weighed in at WW since October 26th. I hate that I typed that but there it is. I don’t even want to know what the scale says. I can’t get focused on that number right now, what’s done is done. Therefore, I feel that I have some explaining to do….How could this happen Chelsea? You inspired me. You have 1882 followers on Instagram who are inspired by you. How could you? Well, I don’t have all the answers but all I know is that I did. (Insert sobbing face)

I started a new position on September 3rd which I absolutely love but it also occupies 42 hours of my week and I’m in my last year of grad school. (FALL SEMESTER ENDS TUESDAY, YAY!) I had class for 6 hours per week on top of working for 42 hours. So about 50 hours per week are work/school. I also moved at the beginning of November and that is no easy task. Well admist all of this I was feeling pretty damn lousy. I thought it was from not working out (lack of endorphins) but I was experiencing these awful headaches and I was constantly EXHAUSTED. Drained. Miserable. Done. Defeated. I finally went to the doctor and some blood work and a CT scan have confirmed that I am deficient in Vitamin D and I have a benign cyst on my brain. Okay, so take a Vitamin D supplement and a nightly medication to curb my tension headaches but the pressure in my head is still there. My doctor sent me A LETTER telling me about the cyst so I literally have no idea where it is or how big it is and I guess I’ll just assume that it’s not serious. (super re-assuring) I worked out 2 days in a row last week and after the second workout I literally felt that my head was going to blow off. I ran 2 miles on the treadmill and did some weights. It hurt like hell, but I did it. I know that you can sometimes feel your pulse in your head but this pressure is just beyond that. Long story short because I’ve already typed too much, I am going to the neurologist on December 15th and hopefully some light can be shed on this cyst and I can start to find some relief.

Now if anyone knows me they know that I am VERY hard on myself. So I’m very sad that it has gotten to this point. I’m not this person. I want a certain number on the scale and I KNOW that I told myself I would never be this person. I would never let the flame burn out. I would push until I got to where I wanted to be.

This afternoon on a whim, I decided to check my horoscope..

“You seem to be orbiting in the cosmic flow today. Others see your light shining brightly and assume that all is right in your world. However, behind the scenes your emotions are agitated and there’s pandemonium even if everything appears placid on the surface. This kind of intensity might normally be overwhelming, but now you are eager to shoot the rapids of the emotional white waters. Grab your metaphorical kayak and start paddling while the currents are traveling in your direction.”

JUST CHILLS. I was immediately brought back to my kayaking incident just by seeing the word kayak. I reflected on how close to death I was during my kayaking experience and how I told myself that I was going to not only live but be ALIVE. So why am I letting my goals slip away if I want to feel ALIVE? I came to the realization that I am in control. I have the power to turn this around and be who I want to be. Eventually the semester will end and I will get my health in order and make it to the gym again. I will find my way back into a meeting. There will be tears along the way because I am upset and defeated that I have taken such a hiatus from something that I was so passionate about. BUT what’s so wonderful about this journey is that it’s never really over. The passion is still there. There is always time for redemption. I have the tools, I just need to do the DAMN thing. I am signed up to run the Buffalo MARATHON in May 2015 and I WILL RUN that marathon. It’s not the end of the world and there is no sense in beating myself up. It’s just going to be that much more worth it when I cross that finish line knowing that it sure as hell isn’t easy but I finished. This weight loss journey is the furthest thing from easy but I.will.keep.going and I can guarantee that you will hear about it! =)

Thanks so much for reading and accepting me for all of my flaws, you’re awesome!

What the scale WON’T tell you but my smile will

Yesterday, I finally returned to my favorite Sunday Warrior’s Weight Watchers meeting for the first time since my FIRST half-marathon and my SECOND half-marathon with a trip to Disney in between. SHOCKING. I thought to myself, “I’ve been so determined, what the hell happened!?” Well I realized that life happens and that it’s okay. The scale slips away from everyone but most importantly what I’ve learned from this whole process is that you have to OWN whatever happens and most importantly, keep kicking ass and taking names! I will say with confidence that I am actually HAPPY I gained 1.6 pounds. Yes, call me crazy but I was expecting at least a 6 pound gain from Disney (that damn Mickey ice cream!) and losing track over the past few weeks. Regardless, it’s definitely a weight off of my shoulders (I’m so punny) since I anticipated the absolute worst but was pleasantly surprised. I tend to do this a lot, as you will realize later…..

Enough about a number though. Really, what is ONE number (okay, more like three numbers strung together sometimes 4 because you can weigh like 135.2) going to tell you? Yesterday my leader (whom I adore and is super inspirational and motivational and just ALL OF THE GOOD FEELS) said something that really stuck, “Do not let 10 seconds on the scale determine your week.” This statement really got me thinking that everyone in that room is so much more than a number and we should not let the scale dictate or measure our happiness. You’re really going to let ONE number tell you that you ran 66 miles this month?! YOU BETTER NOT. I believe that anyone who is on a weightloss journey should not let one measly number define them. I mean for goodness sakes if I let a number control and define me, I’d have quit the first time I gained. Not to mention, I’ve run TWO HALF-MARATHONS since the last time I sat with my Sunday Warriors. The scale won’t tell ANYONE that.

The scale won’t tell you how my body was yelling at me during Saturday’s half because it was 88 degrees outside and I was so dehydrated. (Never doing that again!) I don’t think you understand unless you have actually ran in a 5k or half marathon or marathon that your brain starts to think some pretty crazy stuff. I wanted people sitting outside their houses to just turn their hoses on and cool everyone off. I envisioned the children standing on the road running inside and getting me a damn freezie pop. That’s when you know you’ve lost it, like when this one woman handing out water told me she could see the finish line at the 11 mile mark and I thought to myself, “NO YOU CAN’T. DON’T YOU DARE LIE TO ME.” In all reality I know she was trying to be encouraging but don’t tell me you can actually SEE the finish when it’s INSIDE the stadium and TWO miles away. I’m dying here, THANKS. After I saw someone on the side of the road with an ambulance I thought to myself, “Chelsea it’s hot, you need to slow down, who cares what your time is you are just aiming to finish standing up at this point.” So that was my mentality for the rest of the race. I figured my time was going to be a lot slower compare to my first race due to the hills and heat. So here I go with the whole anticipating the worst thing…..I mean not that I’m obsessing over numbers or anything but my first half marathon was on May 25th which I ran in 2:31:11 and Saturday’s 50 yard finish was 2:28:52. The scale won’t tell me that I actually beat my time!  The scale won’t measure the happiness that I felt when I found out that I beat this time earlier today. The scale also won’t tell you about the real smile in this transformation picture but I will.

june12june14

That smile comes from over a year of hard work, persistence, determination, dedication and defeat. I feel it’s important to discuss the defeat I have experienced as this journey is far from perfect. That smile also comes from the fact that in February 2013 I could barely run 13:20/mile and just last week in Delaware Park I ran one mile in 8:40. TONIGHT I RAN ONE MILE IN 8:35!!! That smile comes from an endless list of accomplishing things that I never thought were possible. That smile comes from the fact that I was once wearing size 18 pants and now I fit into a size 8. That smile comes from the fact that I no longer wear XXL shirts. That smile comes from the fact that I can be comfortable in shorts and a tank top. That smile comes from the fact that even when your body wants to quit, when every muscle is aching, your head is pounding, sweat is in your eyes, you want to faint, puke and collapse all at once, YOU DO NOT GIVE IN. That smile tells you that others will support and encourage you but at the end of the day this is your OWN journey and you have to rely on yourself and do what makes you happy and successful. I find myself thinking about another quote from Silver Linings Playbook….

The world will break your heart ten ways to Sunday. That’s guaranteed. I can’t begin to explain that. Or the craziness inside myself and everyone else. But guess what? Sunday’s my favorite day again. I think of what everyone did for me, and I feel like a very lucky guy.

I can totally relate to this quote. I used to run everyday in high school. I had a specific 4 mile loop around the village of OP. Throughout the years I lost sight of that but now running is my favorite again. Sure, a lot of stuff happens in between but you must remain grounded. You must have a constant. I’ve learned through experience that there are going to be setbacks along the way, the scale may lean one way, you didn’t run your best race, you experience a heartbreak, or you’re stressing out about school/work. Whatever the situation is, at the end of the day, if you want it bad enough, you will do what it takes to figure it out. You have to push all the bull**** aside and remember what you truly want. Nobody is going to go out there and get it for you and sometimes you need to be selfish in what you are after. Finally, the scale will not tell you that I am a fighter or that I refuse to give up on myself, only my smile can do that. Do not let the scale run your life. YOU run your life. Thanks for listening! Stay tuned for more =)

transformation

P.S. I got some new kicks tonight and I’m even MORE pumped about running. I’m not sure where Brooks have been my entire life but I’m glad I found them =)

brooks

 

Changing my mindset

I’ve been meaning to blog for a few weeks now so waking up to this lovely (sarcasm much?) Instagram comment seemed like the perfect opportunity to share my thoughts! This person (who will remain nameless) recently expressed their thoughts on this transformation picture,

transformation picture

“OMG PUKE’nnnnnnnnnn so gross @luvtobfit”

First, let me begin by saying that I understand there are several consequences that come with sharing ANYTHING and EVERYTHING via the interwebs. I GET THAT. I know that we do not live in a perfect world. I realize that people aren’t ALWAYS going to be nice. What I do not understand is why certain people were not properly educated about the phrase,

“If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all.”

What is so hard about that?! When I first read the comment, my heart was racing and tears began to fill my eyes. I told myself to stop as this stranger/internet troll was definitely not worth my tears. What is so wrong with you that you think you can tell me that I’m gross when there is a clear visual of how I’ve worked my ass off changing myself for the better. (Yes, using ass is necessary.) Then I started thinking of all of these choice words that I really wanted to nastily type to this wonderful individual.  However, I soon came to the realization that that is exactly what this individual was after. They wanted a reaction. They wanted to set me off. People are nasty in order to get a rise out of others. People say mean things because they have their own personal issues that they just don’t have figured out yet. People want to feel better about themselves so they put others down. I learned all of these things way back in kindergarten.

So once I rationalized this comment I began to shift my thinking into something more positive because my fat self would have dove right into a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s at 7am. (No, but really, I would have.) As a thinner self, I was positive that I didn’t want HIM to be the reason to set the tone for the day. I refused to let this individual define how much time and energy I have spent attaining this healthier lifestyle. I am stronger than that. I know deep down within myself that I have spent over a year (15 months) bettering the obese individual on the left to a healthier, confident and glowing Chelsea on the right. That is why I believe that there is absolutely not one single thing in this world that is going to take that away from me. I will not REFUSE to let that happen.

dress transformation

I believe that in today’s society we focus wayyyyy too much on the negative things that happen to us that we forget to highlight and truly appreciate the positives. I mean I can think about all of the negative things that happened to me on my way to work today. I burned my bagel thin, the 190 was at a stand still for NO REASON, it was raining, someone cut me off and my iced coffee was just blah. However, in the grand scheme of things, thinking and spending energy on these thoughts is useless.  None of those things matter. I didn’t really need the bagel as I had plenty of snacks packed for work, traffic happens, we need the rain and the person who cut me off didn’t cause an accident. Sure, it was one internet troll who wanted to have his voice heard about how gross I appear to him but now I intend to focus on the positive.  There is always a positive. I know that the growth in confidence that I feel within myself in addition to people telling me that I am an inspiration to them is a feeling that can’t be replaced. So I guess I need to stop venting and instead thank the internet troll for making me realize that I am so much more than his nasty comment. (I mean let’s be real, the first thing I will probably tell him is that “PUKE’nnnnnnnnnn” is not a real word) Most importantly, I don’t need his comment to define me. Me, myself and I are solely responsible for the direction I take on this journey.  I’m feeling better than I EVER have and that in itself is rewarding enough.

 “Keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadow.”

 

One year FITversary!

I’ve been meaning to write this post since Thursday as I reflect on my ONE YEAR FITVERSARY. (Yes, this post is long, no I am NOT sorry.) When was the last time you spent an entire year making yourself better? Focusing on what you wanted the most? Sure, it’s selfish and it’s a crazy thought but on February 6th 2013, I never thought I WOULD be where I am right now. Actually, never in one million years!

I never thought that I could lose 46.8 pounds IN MY LIFE, not to mention ONE YEAR.

I never thought that my Instagram account “luvtobfit” would have 1,175 followers.

Of those followers, I never thought that I could receive so many touching comments informing me that my success was inspiring others to accomplish their goals.

I also never thought my page would be shared on another fitness page and receive 447 likes on one transformation picture.

I never thought that I would be seriously contemplating signing up for a half-marathon.

I also never thought that I would be looking into the different certifications in order to become a personal trainer. Wait, you mean I actually like the gym?! WEIRD.

I also never thought that I could be THIS genuinely happy.

When you see yourself going places that you never thought possible, you just sit back in awe at everything you have accomplished and just cry tears of joy. You literally think to yourself, “Is this really me? Am I really doing this?! (Okay, so I admit it, making that transformation picture down below, I cried.) It’s amazing how much you can achieve when you finally believe in yourself and you can actually physically see all of your hard work paying off. It’s safe to say that this past year has shown me that I’m a lot more capable than I ever anticipated.

I recently watched Silver Linings Playbook and this quote makes perfect sense:

silverlining

Most recently, I proved to MYSELF that you have to literally “do everything you can” in order to reach the impossible. Why meet yourself only halfway? Every Sunday morning I would drive to my Weight Watchers meeting and say to myself, “Now, are you going to lose or gain?” “Did you REALLY do everything you possibly could to make that number go down this week?” Almost every single time I had a feeling of doubt. Sure, I worked out 5 times that week, but did I track ALL of my food? Did I drink enough water? Did I limit my portions? NOPE. Sure, I partially did each of those things, but it was never 110% and I knew that I was only cheating myself.

I was rocking this weightloss thing with Weight Watchers since February 6, 2013 and in November 2013 I got stuck in the 170s that is, until this week. I was so tired of playing this yo-yo game with the scale since November 3rd. (Later, I realized it was a mental game) I hit my 40 pounds and then I hit a wall. One week I lost .6, the next, gain .4, then lose .2, then stay the same, then gain .6, then lose .2. There were no more multiple pound loses at the scale. I never gave up. I knew I had to stop playing the game. Sure, some refer to Weight Watchers as a game because there are points involved, but you have to keep track. I knew I had to make it an all or nothing thing. I was tired of letting not only myself down, but my Sunday Warriors Weight Watchers group and all of my followers on Facebook and Instagram. I was slowly losing my enthusiasm and I knew that those who followed me were losing their belief in me.

This morning, February 9th, 2014, I stepped on the scale at 167.4 and LOST 6.2 POUNDS IN ONE WEEK! I wanted to cry tears of joy at the scale because this week, for the first time since November, I finally did everything I could to stay positive. I did everything I possibly could to make sure that number on the scale was less than the number the previous week.

214-167

I had to dig real deep to get here and I also had to realize that it’s not going to be 6 pounds every week. But damn after being so back and forth since November, I felt like a baby bird who could finally fly! (Too corny? Probably.) I had to say no to cupcakes, dinner invitations, coffee outings, chips, cookies, you name it, I said no because I promised myself YES on February 6th, 2013. Now, I realize you can have anything you want in moderation, I mean moderation is my favorite word. However, I needed to focus and moderation was getting a little out of hand for this one over here. So this week I said to myself, “Enough is enough, you can do this. You spend $42.95/month on Weight Watchers, for YOU. Why are you putting all of this bad food in your system (spending more money on said bad food) and chancing your own body with the potential to be successful and happy?” This gambling has got to stop!

Once you realize that every time you reach for a “treat” or “I worked out and I deserve it” you only set yourself back.  It’s so very hard, I know it’s hard but being miserable and overweight is HARDER. I would get Tim Horton’s Iced Coffee and a Breakfast Sandwich EVERY MORNING. I’m talking Iced Coffee with chocolate syrup double cream, double sugar. WHO WAS I!? Now, sure, if you tracked said Iced Coffee and Breakfast Sandwich it would be doable. (Which now I do because I get two milk instead of two cream and one sugar. The egg white and cheese on an english muffin is 5 points!) I told myself, “This is getting out of control, why are you doing this? STOP IT. STOP PLAYING THE GAME.” I could list all of the horrible things I ate two weeks ago because I had a not so good number at the scale but I can’t focus on the past, I can only focus on the good things I’ve accomplished this week. I fueled my body with the healthy and filling portions it needs while tracking and IT FELT AMAZING to read 167.4. I honestly do not know the last time I was in the 160s, sophomore year of college? Maybe? I can’t wait to say that for all of the wonderful numbers ahead 🙂

What I learned from my plateau:

1. Find a workout buddy. I’ve had a great friend from high school join Weight Watchers and now we go to the gym together every Sunday morning after our meeting. I look forward to our Sunday routine every week. Then throughout the week we may send a picture of what we’re eating or tell each other the point values of our food. Total nerd status but having a partner makes you realize you’re not alone and they have this ability to push you without even realizing it. Oh right, that’s called accountability!

2. Don’t get too comfortable. The minute your workout bores you, you need to change it up! Muscle confusion is my new best friend and after almost 2 hours at the gym 5 days/wk, I’m sore as ever 🙂

3. Play with your food! Pack different snacks that will excite you and look forward to trying them! EAT OFTEN. Yes, you feel as if you are eating all day but your body needs the fuel. I eat breakfast before work, have a snack before lunch, lunch, one/two snacks in the afternoon, dinner and a snack after dinner. Listen to your body. Don’t deprive.

3. Admit from your mistakes, but move forward. Don’t look back and realize that failure is part of the process, accept it and keep going. I promise you that the success that follows is well worth the wait.

I figured I would share my insane organization, as I don’t want to have an excuse to not know how many points something is or not have enough snacks! Now, don’t worry, I have yogurt, cheese sticks, fruit, applesauce, and other items in the fridge! From the left: Oreo Thin Crisps (3 points) Special K Pastry Crisps Cookies and Cream (2 points) Weight Watchers Marshmallow Brownie Crunch (2 points) Special K Protein Bar (5 points) Weight Watchers Brownie Bliss Peanut Butter (2 points) Fiber One Gummies (2 points) Keebler 100 Calorie Pack Fudge Stripe Cookies (3 points) Can you tell I like chocolate and peanut butter? 🙂

 Cabinet 2.9.14

This week I’ve also been reminded that we shouldn’t focus so much on the finish but realize the importance of starting. I was watching the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics:Sochi 2014 and I was very emotional watching this commercial. (Me, emotional? You don’t say!)

Why do we always set our sights on the finish? When the most important moment is the start. The moment we begin to dream, to climb, to conquer, to soar, where we realize the only impossible journey is the one we never begin. Because from great starts, come great things.

This weight loss journey is far from perfect, I’m far from perfect. I’ve made some mistakes, and I’ve lied to myself. Most importantly I learned from my start, and soooo many great things have come from my start. I’m not focusing on the finish because I don’t know what the finish entails just yet. That’s what is so exciting about all of this, I have no idea what the finish looks like. I mean I have no idea what I’m going to look like and that thrills me so much! The changes I already see with my body are INSANE. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve learned that it’s better to not set any expectations so that there is no room for disappointment. You may just surprise yourself with losing 6.2 pounds in one week. 🙂

Not to mention, I’m only human….

I can do it. I can do it. I’ll get through it.

Be YOU. BeYOUtiful.

“Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”

I’m disgusted with the fact that I have not posted one single thing on here since September 6th but that might be because grad school owned my life and I’m slowly getting it back =) YAY! The semester from HELL is finally over!  I would like to dedicate this post to all of those who get discouraged and think they can’t tackle this whole weight loss thing. Actually, let me rephrase that, this is a lifestyle change.

You have to grasp the mentality that the weight you have acquired was definitely not put on overnight. It may not even be weight, you may just want to work on a fitness goal, you may desire to change some eating habits. Whatever your goal is, I hate to break it to you but it’s not happening OVERNIGHT. That is why I live by the phrase, “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.” Sure, I may not hit that 9:00 mile today but you better believe that I’m going to fight like hell to get there until it happens. Some days suck real bad. Of course, I want to quit. Some days I want to demolish a pack of Oreos . Some days I push myself so hard at the gym that my head feels like it’s going to explode and I want to puke. But somewhere within myself I dig reallllll deep and realize how bad I want this. I define this as being happier and healthier. I know there will come a day when I am 110% thrilled with myself when I look in the mirror. I’m not there yet, but I’m much closer than I was yesterday =)

I get so many messages, comments, etc, on Facebook & Instagram asking me what my secret is. That question actually really pisses me off. So stop asking about “the secret.” I mean feel free to ask me whatever, but no matter what I tell people, I advise them that they have to want it bad enough. It’s also called getting off your ass and actually having a passion for something, a passion to CHANGE. Does that offend you? WELL IT SHOULD. I did not get to where I am today by making excuses for myself and I certainly did not accomplish losing 40 pounds by sitting on my ass. YOU have to start with YOU and realize that YOU are going to experience a different journey than who you happen to be running next to on the treadmill. Most importantly, “No matter how slow you go, you’re lapping everyone on the couch.” Who cares if you don’t run the fastest mile, who cares if you don’t lift the HEAVIEST weight. Add some exercise into your life, eat everything in moderation and it will happen naturally. It actually becomes a habit. I only allow myself to drive to the gym everyday after work. I can NOT drive anywhere else. If you are strict enough in your routine, it becomes a habit. It won’t feel so much like a chore. Surprisingly enough, you actually don’t need an extra- large drink with 1,000,000 calories. A small tastes just the same and if it’s diet, that’s even better! Start out with small changes, you’d be surprised at the BIG IMPACT. Once you realize you are making a positive lifestyle change for yourself, that within itself should make you the most happy!