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.

IMG_2678
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.)

random friday stuff: vol 3

Hey, hey hey…it’s Friday!  Here are some things that have been keeping me giggling or interested for the last few weeks:

  • Last week I was listening to a random apple playlist while I was working.  It played an OLD country song (which I never listen to) and oh my goodness.  It zapped me right back to my childhood.  I was raised in a tiny country town in the middle of nowhere.  And yes, little Sarah even had a belt with her name on the back and boots.  Anyway, that one song made me hunt up some of the other old country gems I remember hearing when I was a little, hanging out in my dad’s shop while he worked, and dancing.  Should you want to listen to what I found, check it out here.
  • If you haven’t read the book to The Handmaid’s Tale, you should.  You should also check out the new series on Hulu of the same name.  HOLY SMOKES.  First off, Elisabeth Moss is an incredible actress and she plays Offred to perfection.  I’m addicted.
  • Really funny cats.  I mean, come on.
  • I GET MY HAIR DONE TODAY.  Yes, that statement warranted all caps.  I only go every 12ish weeks and it is in desperate need of some loving TLC.  My hair gal is a genius of color and I just can’t wait to let her at it.  If you’re in the SGF area, you really need to check out Erin Wheaton at Blu Skies Salon!
  • So I started playing the Sims again.  Don’t worry, I’m a very fair ruler.
  • I’ve been cheating on coffee with hot tea every now and again.  Don’t tell.
  • I’m also having a love affair with sleep.  We can’t seem to get enough of each other.

TODAY I LOVE: the vintage Kansas City Royals shirt I’m wearing today.

you count what?

I’m going to preface this entire post with I AM NOT A NUTRITIONIST.  Honestly, if it weren’t for the instruction from some very smart individuals I’d be flying by the seat of my pants.  I do what I’m told.  So any of what I say you attempt to make your own, I’d encourage you to research a great coach/trainer/source to figure out what is right for YOUR body.   Deal?  Deal.

Several of you have asked me via various social platforms what I’ve been up to lately as far as my new health and fitness lifestyle.  I’ll talk about the diet part of it today.  Last year I dabbled here and there with switching to counting macronutrients rather than calories.  At the beginning of this year I made the hard shift to doing so all the time.  After years and years and years of low calorie diets, where ALL I did was calculate calories, this was quite an adjustment.  When I used to think the calorie was all that mattered, to now realizing it doesn’t matter as much as the CONTENT of the calories ..well, mental struggle.

For those of you that do not know, macronutrients are the parts and pieces that make up our food.  Carbohydrates, protein, fat, potassium, magnesium, etc….all these things are macronutrients (or commonly called macros for short.) I track the big 3: carbs, protein, and fat.

I had kinda destroyed my metabolism over time from all the low calorie diets, which is fairly common when doing that type of thing long term.  Yes, you temporarily lose weight but your body will adjust, you might be eating calories that really don’t work for the structure of your body, and it’s just not maintainable.

Going into this whole endeavor for me was quite honestly just to lose body fat.  I’ve enough body fat to float a barge and it needs to go away.  I was at my heaviest in my life.  And yes, I realize now more than ever that the number on the scale is really just a number, but even that being said I had/have quite a significant amount of body fat to drop.  Your coach/trainer/source will look at your weight/measurements/body fat and determine a starting point for your macros.  As I said, I’m not a nutritionist so I can’t explain this fully, but making some levels higher than others will help you gain muscle, while lowering some and raising others increases fat loss, etc.  It’s a bit of a puzzle at first because everyone is different and all of our bodies respond differently.  My coach understood that I not only wanted to lose fat, but also needed to repair my junky metabolism.  So she set my macros and off I went.

I weigh every day.  I thought I would obsess over this, but really it isn’t that big of a thing.  It’s not really the number that matters.  It’s simply a gauge to judge, pretty readily, how my body is responding to adjustments.

Tracking my macros is pretty simple thanks to all the apps these days.  I use My Net Diary, which has a website and apps for both iPhone and iPad.   I set my current macro targets, and then daily just input my food.  Instead of calories, I’m watching my carbs/protein/fat totals.  Just like calorie counting you do have to plan a bit.  All in all, thanks to the apps, I’m not finding it difficult at all.  It only gets tricky when you’re near the end of your day and you have x-number grams of carbs to stuff in.  When you have to get just ONE macronutrient, without affecting the others, it can be tricky.  You quickly learn some go-to foods to fill the gaps.

I’m in my fourth month of macro tracking, and I’ve had my macros adjusted 3 times.  The most recent was just this week.  We ADDED more food.  We added more food the last time as well.   Yes, I’m eating more food, with less exercise, and still losing pounds and inches.  No pills, no supplements, no voodoo.  Just science.  It’s quite fascinating.

If you have any questions that I can legitimately answer, let me know!

We’ll talk about the exercise portion of things another day.  🙂

TODAY I LOVE: really soft t-shirts.  It’s like wearing a hug.

 

random friday stuff: vol 2

After a rather heavy week it’s time to lighten up a bit.  Here are some random (and sometimes funny) oddities for the week:

  • I’ve been laughing at this panda rolling down a hill for the last 3 days.  I just watch it on loop.  And giggle like a toddler.
  • I took this selfie when playing with Snapchat filters the other day.  Even though this really is a filter, I feel like it’s what my eyebrows look like all the time.  IMG_2156 2
  • I’ve sang “Hurts so Good” by John Cougar Mellencamp about 100 times this week.  At the top of my lungs.  And kinda danced a lot.  You should do it too.  Instantly makes the day better.  🙂
  • I ordered the wrong size of shoes online a few months ago in a close out sale.  They are almost a full size too big.  But I’m wearing them today just because.  My feet are flopping around like Fievel Goes West.  Or a clown.  Probably more the clown side of things.
  • Confession: when I need some exercise calories or just really want to get in an instant good mood, I’ll get up and dance with The Fitness Marshall.  He just makes me laugh and laugh.  I’ve been addicted to these two songs this week: Yeah and Swalla.  My cat doesn’t judge my horrible dance moves.

Alright, well, I’ve probably embarrassed myself enough today.  Have a happy Friday everyone!

TODAY I LOVE: those special phone wipe things that clean the gunk off your phone screen.  Because eww.

really moving on

You guys, I really debated if I was going to post this one or not.  It’s likely too personal, too raw, and too real.  (It’s been sitting in my drafts for days and days.)  But you know what?  I decided to hit publish.  Because like I said several posts ago, not every day is bright and shiny.  Some days are hamburger meat: raw, smelly, and squishy.

This past week I found out my ex-husband has been in a relationship for quite some time now.  First things first, let me get this out of the way and be very clear about it: I’m happy for him.  I’m in a relationship with someone too, so none of what I’m saying should be clouded or construed incorrectly under the guise that I’m bitter.  That is so, so, so not the point of this.

I’ve honestly been hoping and praying for quite some time that the right gal would come along for him.  We had our problems in our marriage (obviously, or we wouldn’t be divorced) but he’s a great guy and he deserves to be happy.  It’s just…the reality of actually seeing him with someone else…it’s just weird.  I don’t think you can be with someone, love someone, for 17 years of your life and it not feel strange.  It’s not something your emotions are conditioned to understand at first.  It’s would be like me seeing the same blue sky for years, but then all of the sudden waking up and looking outside and it’s orange.  lol.  It takes some getting used to.  It’s…finality.  I’m sure I’ve made a mess of explaining this, but it sure does feel good to let it out.  That doesn’t stop the slight sting that I feel of finally knowing I’ve been replaced, but at least I know it’s with a good girl.

At any rate, I am really glad that we’ve both moved on and are repairing the damage that we caused each other.  It really does make my heart happy, and I mean that sincerely, that he appears to be happy.  He and I talk a bit, but we haven’t talked about this.  In some ways I’m thankful.  We still care about each other and maybe tiptoe around some stuff so the other doesn’t get hurt.  I appreciate that.

So…how do you wrap up something like this?  🙂 Life moves on and things are definitely changing.  And as I like to say, that’s ok too.

And guess what?!  I actually did the RIGHT thing this time.  I didn’t eat my feelings!  No stress eating macaroni and cheese and pizza and cake for me!

TODAY I LOVE: feeling sunshine on my face

Month 3 Update

If you follow me on twitter or instagram then you’ve already read these results, but it’s worth elaborating.  April was a challenge for me.

This past Saturday marked exactly 3 months to the day I began this new fitness journey.  In those 3 months I’ve lost 16.5 pounds and a total (whole body cumulative) of 21 inches. It’s un-freaking-believable.  If you’re just looking at total number of pounds, it’s really not that much over this length of time.  Back in the day when I would calorie restrict and go nutso on cardio I’d drop weight a lot faster.  But, as I’ve said all along, I’m trying to do it right this time.  Long term.  Lifestyle change.  No more yo-yo.

I really can’t get over the inches.  Yes, even that has slowed down this last month, but it’s still changing.  Muscle is my new drug.  And it is very addicting.

Admittedly, April was hard for me.  I had some traveling and I kinda put myself in cruise control far too many days.  I’ve set some attainable goals for May and I’m kind of excited to see what changes they bring in my 4-month update.  I’m ready to push myself again and be one step closer to that sexy summer confident body.

I’m ready to get stronger physically, mentally, and most of all emotionally.  Even as I write these great numbers I’m really struggling emotionally with some nasties right now.  I’m ready to work those things out too.

Work in progress is a good thing, on all fronts.  Who knows what the finished product will be?!

TODAY I LOVE: 80’s movie ballads (yep, singing at the top of my lungs)