Climbing again

It is Friday night and I’m sitting here on my sofa, having a cup of sleepy tea, and watching Grace & Frankie (again) on the TV. (Side note: I’m SO excited for Season 4 which comes out next week.) ANYWAY. I got off work this afternoon and came home and deep cleaned my living room. I tore down the Christmas tree and all the decorations. I moved all the furniture and vacuumed. I bought a lamp (also random.) All that to say, I’m super content in this spot, right this second. Which puts me in a good place to talk about something that I’m not happy about: my fitness.

A week before Christmas I messed up my back. It was AWFUL. I’m too embarrassed to say what I did, but it was a dumb thing and I’ve LEARNED MY LESSON. ANYWAY. I couldn’t bend my spine at all. I couldn’t even sit. I could only lay flat or be in terrible pain. So needless to say my workouts were not fabulous. And then I went home to my family for Christmas. And then I went to California for 2 weeks to be with my fella. My butt has not been in a gym for 3 WEEKS. It’s embarrassing. And I didn’t follow my macros over the holidays either. I wasn’t terrible, but I wasn’t perfect.

Confession: I’m absolutely terrified to step on the scale. (I’m not stepping on the scale until Monday morning, but still.).

I feel bloated and chunky and lumpy and likely 10 pounds heavier.

So that’s the bad news.

The good news? I can fix it. I can fix all of it. You know why? Because last year I learned how. I can’t tell you how much that reassures me that this is all going to be fine. This year when I’m looking at my fitness and health journey it is totally different than last year. It’s kind of like carving an ice sculpture. When you get started you have to take off a whole bunch of the bulk before you can even start to shape what you’re really trying to carve. 2017 was getting rid of the excess for me. In 2018 I get to sculpt something fantastic. Isn’t that wonderful!?

I admit, I don’t like that it feels I’m starting this year behind. But you know what? I had a great Christmas and New Years and California dreams. The rest let my back heal. I just…lived for a while. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Even if it does feel like I’m starting in a deficit. Whatever I’ve gained will come back off. I’ve proven I can do it.

So with that said…tomorrow I go back to the gym with my best girl. Good things to come.

TODAY I LOVE: my Filimin lantern

2018

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I colored my hair purple and blue right at the end of the year.  It’s vibrant and awesome and HELLO HERE I AM.  

What. A. Year.  I wish I could say 2017 was the most amazing year I’ve ever had, but that would be a lie.  It did have some very high points.  I did things that I’m supremely proud of, especially now.  It had some downs too…but you know what?  While those times were super crappy, I overcame and didn’t totally fall down the Black Hole of Sarah Self-Pity.  Well, at least for very long.  🙂

So…as I’m sitting here a week into 2018, I’ve been actively thinking about what I want to accomplish this year.  (I know, had I been on the ball I would have wrote this a week ago, but I’m in California with the fella right now and it’s hard to think of real life when you’re somewhat on vacation.)

I’ve got a lot of small to big goals that I want to do for the year, but I don’t really want to talk about those right now.  I just want to talk about one.  The big one.   The one that all the other small and big goals feed into.  More than anything, in 2018, I want to be PRESENT.

What does this mean?  To me it means a variety of things.  It means I want to engage the people in my life, the people I want in my life, to a much greater extent.  I need to remove distractions and make time for them.  (The reverse is also true, I need to NOT give time and presence to the people that are dragging me down and not on Team Sarah.) I need to be present and comfortable in MY skin.  Last year I lost 35lbs.  It was necessary. This year I need to focus more on refinement and learning where the contentment with my body lies.  There are a few things that I want to learn and perfect.  I need to give those hobbies my time and my focus.  I have a bad habit of letting life and circumstances control me.  Lastly, I need to be present with my emotions and actions.  I need to stop saying “sorry” for things that are not my fault, just because it’s my default mode.  If I feel a certain way its ok for me to feel it.

I have no doubt this year is going to be hard for me emotionally.  Things are happening that are just…sad.  But I really hope there are highs too.  I’m praying that I can make my own happies.  🙂

Oh, and I also hope to blog more.  But that is neither here nor there.  Ha!

TODAY I LOVE: sunny days, coastal breeze in my hair, and the smell of the trees

 

 

the post I wasn’t sure I’d ever get to write.

It’s Monday morning on Labor Day.  I’m sitting here on my sofa, having a cup of tea, planning my meals for the week, and gearing myself up to hit the gym.   This last month, especially the last week has been one of the most stressful I’ve had in a while.  Exactly four weeks ago I broke my ankle.  Last week I had an allergic reaction to a dye in a new vitamin I started taking and that turned into some really nasty urticarial welts in spots (don’t google that – so gross) all the while working an 80 hour week to respond to Hurricane Harvey.  I’m hopped up on so many steroids and antihistamines right now I should be resistant to just about everything.  It’s just been a lot of things and little rest.

The broken ankle really messed me up mentally.  I was having such great momentum and progress with my lifting and weightloss and I knew that was going to have to change.  I’m so, so blessed (and I can’t say this enough) with my best friend, who also happens to be my coach and encourager and sister by choice.  She’s brilliant and within hours already had me talked of the ledge and had alternative moves I could do for every single exercise.  I didn’t have to stop.  I’ve had to make lots of modifications.  I cannot tell you how much I’m ready to do cardio other than the stationary bike and row machine.

Back in January I set a goal to lose 30 pounds.  If I’m being entirely truthful, I didn’t think I’d be able to do it.  Why?  Because I’ve said that same goal for the last 2 years.  And I never happened.  This morning I stepped on the scale, as I do every morning, and I’ve officially lost 31.2 pounds.  It took me 7 and a half months but I did it.  That was 7.5 months of working my ass off, fixing my metabolism, losing fat and gaining muscle, getting my dietary calories UP not DOWN, and not giving up.   Looking back at my weight log, I lost 9lbs while with a broken ankle.  Crazy!!

Last week Ash asked me what my new goal is now that I was nearly to my current goal.  I’d already thought about it.  Now I want to get to my goal HEALTHY weight.  Which now, as of this morning, is about 9lbs away.

I’m really glad I got to write this post.  The words I’ve wanted to say for over two years.  Thank you to all of you who have been so encouraging.  Most especially my Ash.

TODAY I LOVE: I get to go buy new clothes for a good reason

gasp! we are all broken in some way.

Don’t let anyone fool you, especially those pretty put-together instagram folks, no one is perfect.  It’s so very simple to take photos or share the one tiny corner of your life that is clean, tidy, skinny, modern, detailed, polished, or beautified while ignoring the other 98% that is “normal.”  (I cannot tell you how long we discussed “what is normal and who decides it?” in my abnormal psych class in college.)  Anyway, today’s post is a raw one.  A real one.

So, if you’ve been keeping up with me at all over the last several months, you know I’m working hard on my fitness journey to lose weight, gain confidence, and be fit.  I’ve made so many great strides.  When I’m having a good mental day, I feel really good about myself.  But then I have those days where I don’t.  Those days where all I see are lumps and bumps, stretch marks, bruises, and just how much further I have to go in my journey.

Those days it’s hard to remember how far I’ve come.  It’s hard to remember that I’m not the only person out there who isn’t perfect.  I posted a “progress” photo the other day on instagram and while most people have been simply wonderful it’s hard to deal with some of the things others have said.  Things I’ve heard:

  • Um, whoa.  I had no idea you looked like that.
  • It’s taken you 7 months?
  • I mean…look at your arm!
  • Still losing that weight?  Lookin’ better.

First of all, yes, I was a lot larger and unhappy with myself when I started.  That’s a known fact to me.  Why do you think I wanted to change?  But some people, when they say these things, it’s not in the “nice criticism” way.  It’s more of the “wow, I had no idea you were so gross and why did it take you so long to get to now.” (Before you yell at me for getting upset over criticism over a photo I willingly put out into the world – don’t.  I opened myself up to it.)  I’m certainly strong enough to smile away the negativity if it were to give someone else out there hope.

Anyway, it is just one of those days where I’m focusing on remembering why I do this.  That not everything I see is perfect for everyone else either.  I could tidy up one corner of my apartment and make it look magazine amazing, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the place looks like a tornado went through it.  Those beautiful people on instagram likely aren’t so polished and lump-free all the time either.

Unbroken people are a rare find.  And I’m ok.  I’m perfectly normal and perfectly me.

TODAY I LOVE:  garden fresh tomatoes

Choosing joy.

 I’m gonna be candid.  It’s been a hell of a few days.  I know I go into a lot of things here but all the details that sent me off the deep end are going to remain in my secret journal not my public one.  When there are other people involved it gets tricky and I don’t want to cause more drama.  

At any rate,  I got the news at the end of last week that my ex-husband was engaged.  You wouldn’t think something like that would send me off the rails as we have been divorced for over a year now.  But it did.  It just made me so sad.  And, like I said, I’m going to leave a bunch of my thoughts and reasonings private, but hello sadness and depression.  And ugly thoughts of myself and self worth.  

I wallowed in it for a day and then out of the blue my mom called me and asked me if I wanted to go to the lake with her and my brother.  And completely out of character for me, I said yes.  I got up off the couch, put on my bikini, and hit the road.  An hour and 15 minutes later, I was on the water and soaking up the sun.  It was 95 degrees outside, the water temp was 86 degrees and PERFECT.   

My brother was his typical silly, fun-loving, people-person self.  He played “photographer” and held his own photoshoot with my phone (the picture above.). It was so stinking funny.  And you know what, I kind of value all those stupid pictures on my phone.  Because that is a genuine, free, and willing smile.  I was laughing so hard at that moment.  And I’m so thankful I have record of it to go back on. Even looking at it now it makes me smile.  I wasn’t thinking about my past life.   I wasn’t thinking about my current life.  I wasn’t thinking about all the things I have OR don’t have.  I wasn’t thinking about who loves me and who doesn’t.  I had JOY.  

So I’m going to keep staring at this photo and remembering to choose joy.  Because the rest of the crap that is lingering in my psyche is just literally just crap.  It’s jaded thoughts, it’s distorted memories, and it’s the past.  Choose.  Joy.  This is my reminder that I CAN set it all aside and be happy.  Happiness can creep up and overtake the crap.  This picture is evidence.  I’m so, so thankful for it.  So thankful.  

I’m not normally spontaneous, but this one little trip gave me a hard-shift to my perspective and thoughts. 

TODAY I LOVE:  pool floaties 

the great depression

138 day move streak.  4 perfect months.  21 pounds and 23 inches lost.  I’ve had quite the string of accomplishments lately.  I’m not trying to brag; I’m just proud of myself.  That’s a lot.  I had (have) a long way to go.  I started this year wanting to be healthier not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.  And until the last week or so, I’ve totally killed it.  And then I didn’t.

My boyfriend flew home.  My best friend flew away.  I went back to work where a new season of stressors awaited.  My mom had surgery.  My brother got hurt.  I got food poisoning or a stomach bug or something.  It felt like my life was full of all my favorite things and people and then a big vacuum sucked it all away.  And it left me empty.

In that emptiness I let go of all the things I worked so hard for.   I didn’t count my macros.  I didn’t go to the gym.  I went to work and I came home.  I watched a lot of Grey’s Anatomy.  I did everything to fill the void but actually deal with it.  It was truly like I had a mild case of a kind of depression.  Nothing really made me happy.

Thankfully, I knew to get myself out of it I’d have to look ahead.  It would all pass.  I made goals for July.  I visited my family.  I watched the clouds and reprioritized.  I think I’m ready to start over.

I won’t lie; even writing this is as cathartic as it is embarrassing.  It’s humbling to admit that mentally I went from wonder woman to fragile vase in a matter of hours.  But the reality is I’m human.  And these days/weeks are going to happen.  I won’t be perfect all the time.  I’ve got to learn to cope better.  This was a cold reality check that I really don’t have it all together yet.  My old mechanisms are still there, under the surface, and will attack if I don’t deal.  I didn’t deal.

So I’m starting over.  I don’t know how much strength I’ve lost from my week off, but I was at least pleased(?) to note that my scale hadn’t went up any.  I hadn’t lost (despite the stomach bug) but at least hadn’t truly gained.  It’s going to take me a bit longer to gain my mental strength back.

I wrote this post for me.  It’s a checkpoint; a reminder for the future.  Thanks for hanging with me.

TODAY I LOVE:  Aussie brand deep conditioner (it smells so good!)

all things may

We are almost halfway through this year.  I hate that my mom was right, that time really does go faster the older you get.  So yeah, May is over (one more day anyway.)  Let’s see how this month broke down for me:

HEALTH: I’m happy to report I was 100% on my macros everyday.  I was never over, although there were a few days that I was under.  I didn’t miss a single mandatory workout (lifting), and only missed one barre class from my bonus workouts.  Win! And it paid off: since the end of January I’m down 21 pounds and 23 inches.  I haven’t starved myself and I don’t workout hours and hours everyday.  The actual scale number is slowing down in it’s decreases, but I’m getting muscle and it looks so much better.  I’m happy with it.

For grins, I almost 100% cut out gluten during the month.  (I still maintained eating my Ezekiel bread every morning.  Not giving that up.)  Other than that, I was gluten free.  I really wanted to see if it made any difference in my belly bloat.  It taught me a couple of things. First, I really don’t eat that much gluten to begin with.  It wasn’t hard to not eat it.  Second, I had very thin crust pizza last night (yes, I considered May over for the most part starting yesterday), and it made my food belly (that I’ve affectionately named Ethel) go CRAZY.  Hello bloat city.  All that said, I think I’m going to try to maintain little gluten/wheat when I have other options available.   Because it did prove to me that it does make me puff up like a fish.

I did get the best compliment this morning.  Two girls who are not regulars at the gym came up to me as I was lifting.  They told me they hadn’t been in in a while and it’s been a bit since they’d seen me.  And they said I looked amazing!  Asked me how much I’d lost and said they could really tell I was working hard.  Anyway, it was so great to hear!  Onward to June.  🙂

RANDOM:  Let’s see…I got my hair done.  Only a trim off the ends, but went another step towards my blonde goal.  To all of you naysayers out there, it really is lighter!  I can prove it.  My hair is so dark it takes a long time to get to blonde.   As far as other beauty stuff, I’ve watched way too many makeup tutorials because now I keep wanting to dip my toe in these strange eye combinations.  Today I’m wearing navy and gold.  Yep.  It is disappointing to report that my eyebrows are still hopeless.  I’m not giving up.

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Ok, so my hair isn’t fixed in either photo (ignore that).  And also ignore the fact that in the second photo I’m getting ready for bed and have no make up and my glasses on.  Hey, real life folks.  You can’t ALWAYS be a beauty queen.  🙂 

I’m totally and completely obsessed with blackberries right now. The fruit, not the phone.  Cannot. Get. Enough.

I’ve read 3 books and am currently diving back into the Tudor dynasty as written by the awesome Philippa Gregory.  I think there are 8-9 books total.  It’s going to take me a while.

I finished season 3 of How to Get Away with Murder.  HOLY SMOKES.  That show is on fire.  I very rarely guess how it is going to end.

Work has been crazy nut-job busy.

I think that’s enough for now.  All in all, May wasn’t so bad on me.  I didn’t go crazy.  I didn’t blow up at anyone.  I think I maybe only cried 3 times or so.  That’s a win, folks.

How was your May?

TODAY I LOVE: the song “Every Monday” by Marvelous 3 (an oldie but goodie.  Takes me back to college.)