Black coffee and honesty

acs_0254-1One of my compromises with myself when I started this blog (in deference to my last one) was to be completely honest. You get the good and the bad, the ups and downs, the wins and the losses. Why be fake? Why try to trick everyone into believing that life is rosy all the time and every single goal I set, I reach?

Somewhere out there (if you don’t have this song in your head right now I don’t know you at all)…anyway, somewhere out there I’ve lost my focus and drive. For some reason the journey seems a lot more difficult this time around. And yes, I’m talking about weight loss. I think I’m always talking about weight loss. When you’re uncomfortable in your own skin (and your own jeans) it is always what you’re thinking about.

I keep finding excuses!

  • I’ve had a rough week, I deserve this treat.
  • PMS…give me all the things I’m craving.
  • Whew…I’ve got meetings all week. They’ll feed me. I don’t need to count.
  • I’m cold and I don’t feel that great. I should just eat what will make me happy.
  • I’m going home and nobody cooks like my mom and grandma. I don’t get home that much, I should enjoy it.

Anyone ever say some variation of those? I usually have really great discipline and can bypass all that stuff. Not this last month. Frankly, I’m scared to get on the scale for what it is going to tell me. I know I haven’t lost but I’m terrified to see if or how much I’ve gained. I’m failing at all my self-talk. I’m failing at saying NO.

I’m failing. And I want to leave it at that. Throw a fit. Say that I just can’t do it; the plan doesn’t work for me. I want to tell everyone how hard it is to be me. But guess what? That doesn’t help me either, it just makes me fail…more.

So I’m not going to do that. Because deep down I know these things:

  • I’m not failing at everything. Those are just lies that we tell ourselves.
  • If I fix my self-talk and start thinking about things on a decision-by-decision basis, I can choose to say no and make better choices. I can make choices that aren’t based on hormones, emotions, and circumstances.
  • I’m not failing at workouts (for the most part – I’ve had to miss a few.) I’m pushing myself and not giving in. I like getting stronger and seeing what new things my body can do.
  • It is going to be hard. It just is. I’m not in my 20’s anymore and things are just HARD. Recognize the challenge, say “game on”, and do it. Just do it.
  • Again – don’t look at weeks at a time. One decision, one good choice, one moment.
  • Plan better.

This post was for me. It was public self-talk and public accountability. We don’t always win. It’s so easy to fall down the social media rabbit hole of how all things are perfect. They aren’t. There is no quick fix. It isn’t easy. I haven’t won; I’ve lost this round. I let myself lose this round.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t win the next one.

New moment. New day. New week. New month. As the character President Jed Bartlet says in one of my favorite shows, “What’s next?”

TODAY I LOVE: finally finishing the “Downton Abby” series on BBC

SONG OF THE DAY: “Forever” by Mumford & Sons

the calm and the storm

Flying over a thunderstorm outside of Dallas this past October

I think I’ve stared at the “Add title” part of this post for a good 20 minutes. I just finished writing a very mopey post about memories and pain. It’s still in my drafts but I’ll probably never post it. I’m sure everyone is tired of me mulling over my divorce and the never-ending tentacles of it’s reach in my life. It still just amazes me how I can go from moments of pure joy and happiness to watching one video of a concert we attended and I’m zapped back into sadness. It has to stop hurting at some point, right?

Anyway, I really just wanted to update you on my goals and such. I’m entering week 3. I can say without hesitation…it’s been hard. I’ve pushed myself in workouts (which is a good thing) and it’s made me so sore. Week 1 of my “diet” was hard but I was 100% perfect. Well…I fell off the wagon hard this weekend. I had cravings that I haven’t been able get rid of so I indulged them. The scale scolded me HARD this morning, but it was necessary. I’m in a much better place today. Overall I have lost and not gained any weight. I wish it was more, but this is for the long-haul, not in the day-to-day ups and downs.

Little wins and little falls…it is life and going to happen. It’s how I even out and recover that matters. It is not letting my “little fall” take me all the way to “I don’t care anymore.” And guess what? I still care. A lot. All of this matters.

So if you’ve had a weekend like I have, where you’ve celebrated birthdays and you’ve enjoyed some things outside of your norm…find your way back. And remember your “why.”

Now. I’m going to go watch something that makes me happy and not sad home videos on my phone.

TODAY I LOVE: Milk Makeup Kush Lip Balm

SONG OF THE DAY: “Girl” by Maren Morris

tired and hungry and sore

Well, I think my title says it all. It fully encapsulates this week.

I started Phase II of my new year journey on Monday. I jumped in with both feet. Phase II included new programming at the gym (both strength and HIIT), calorie and macro guidelines based on my reading of Fat Loss Forever, and getting up early to do said gym workouts. After two weeks of the head and stomach flu, that 4:30am alarm is BRUTAL. So yeah, this week has been me on the struggle bus. BUT I HAVE DONE IT.

No cheats. I’ve stayed perfectly within my macros and calories. I haven’t missed a day of workouts. I just need to keep this up until it’s a habit and then it won’t be such a struggle. I’ve done it before and I know I can do it again.

Here are some things that are helping me this week:

  • I accidentally changed the setting on my bathroom scale to kilograms. I weigh every morning and then take an average for the week so see gain/loss. I didn’t mean to change it to kilograms but it’s been so much better for me emotionally! I’m much too lazy to remember the conversion to pounds that early in the morning so it’s awesome to weigh without all the guilt and shame of the pounds number. Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves? Sure, I still weigh a ton but in my mind it’s just a number when it is kilograms.
  • I’m a nerd. You know this. I created a lovely excel workbook that has all my BMR, TDEE, and macro calculations (based on the book mentioned above.) I also have calculations for all my weights and measurements so that it calculates my averages for me. I am also able to see trends.
  • You can eat a LOT of veggies for little calories.
  • I’m not always going to improve my lifts at the gym. But I’ve been complacent for far too long. I haven’t stopped working out in all this time but if I’m honest I’ve been “mailing it in.” Every day this week I’ve given myself a pep talk to challenge myself. Don’t just do it to do it; make those calories and muscles work. And it has paid off in soreness. ūüôā

I hope all of you are achieving your goals as well! One day at a time, friends. One moment at a time.

SONG OF THE DAY: “Rescue” by Lauren Daigle

TODAY I LOVE: my new pillow…makes a huge difference!

week 1: here I am

Has everyone watched the movie “Dumplin” on Netflix yet? If not, you totally should. You’ll walk away smiley AND have new appreciation for Dolly Parton. I read the book last year and loved it and couldn’t wait for the movie. I watched it with my mom and grandma over Christmas and it was nice. (The title of my post, “Here I Am” is a song from the movie.) Also…2019 HERE I AM!

So far this year started with the flu. That wasn’t really the way I was hoping to ring in a brand new year, but it is what it is. Sadly. I’m happy to report that I’m feeling loads better now. I’m also happy to report that of the goals I set for myself for the new year, most of them I’ve been able to keep up so far. Yeah, yeah, one week in but consistency has to start somewhere. I haven’t been able to work on the diet/exercise front yet. The nasty flu mentioned previously and the boyfriend being in town has pushed that back a bit. I’m all set to go on Monday, full steam.

In the meantime, I thought I’d tell you some things that are working for me and some things I’m loving right now.

  • Agenda – I kind of love this app a lot. I want to be a paper journal/planner person. I give it a try every year because paper planners are so pretty. Sadly it doesn’t take me very long to give it up because I’m just too digital. This app helps me bring my paper loving things into a digital world. I set up a bullet journal within Agenda. Works fantastic. Using this app, combined with Things 3 and Evernote…(which I’m sure could all be combined to one app to do all things but I have a system so let me be)…makes me a productive powerhouse.
  • Theraflu – My dad reminded me of this medicine this week as I’ve been sick. It helped so much! Keep it in mind if any of you peeps start feeling under the
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones: Read this while on vacation these last two weeks. Great read. It will draw you in.
  • Camilla Cleansing Oil – It’s no secret I’m OBSESSED with skincare. I think if I could do life over again I’d train to be an esthetician. I do a lot of reading and researching on products and methods and it has dramatically changed my skin over the last year. One of the tips I learned, that I will now never not do, is the double cleanse. BEST. THING. EVER. This cleansing oil is so luxurious for your oil cleanse that it feels like you’re having a fancy facial massage. Treat yo self.

Have a great weekend everyone!

TODAY I LOVE: The sun is shining bright out my window!
SONG OF THE DAY: “Here I Am” by Dolly Parton and Sia

2018…let it go (queue Elsa.)

I’m typing this post in the throws of a massive cold/flu/grossest junk EVER mess. ¬†Knowing that, it’s safe for me to say that 2018 can just keep on trucking right out the door. ¬†HOWEVER…this year was one I won’t forget: the good, the bad, and what’s to come…

Let’s start off with the bad and just get it out of the way. ¬†If I had to sum up the year in two words they would be stress and emotion. ¬†I had so much of both. ¬†The year started right off the bat with my first kitty baby, Callie, passing away. ¬†She lived with Ryan after we divorced but it was so sad to let her go. ¬†She was one more piece of my old life that disappeared. ¬†My ex-husband got remarried and that effected me more than I ever thought possible. ¬†It was the sense of loss all over again. ¬†I was knocked down again when I found out they are expecting a baby. ¬†I’m happy for them, I mean that sincerely, but it’s just….so weird. ¬†Onward…my cat got very, very sick (his bladder blocked and ruptured) and that was a stressful, time-consuming, and VERY costly months of recovery. ¬† I moved. ¬†It was a great move and I’m SO HAPPY I did it, but still. ¬†New place, new roommate, packing and unpacking…not fun, expensive, and stressful. ¬†Alright, now take all of that and add abnormally high work stress. ¬†Oh, and I gained back all the weight I lost in 2017. ¬†BAM! ¬†2018 in a nutshell.

If I left it at that you would think the year was total crap, right? ¬†It’s a good thing I had a lot of happies too. ¬†ūüôā

I hired a fantastic gal from Louisiana to work for me and she’s been phenomenal. ¬†With her help, we had an exceptional audit this month. ¬†I’m excited for the new projects we can tackle this coming year. ¬†I have a roommate! ¬†It’s been such a nice treat having someone to come home to and share life with everyday. ¬†We’ve went on on several girl trips this year; a hiking trip in Hot Springs, AR and a weekend jaunt to South Bend, IN and Mackinac Island, MI! ¬†I cannot tell you how much I loved Mackinac Island. ¬†It’s a must-see for anyone looking for a beautiful and unique place to visit. ¬†Lastly, one of my biggest happies, I spent 3 weeks in Kauai with my fella and his family. ¬†Whoa, what a HUGE blessing. ¬†I’m convinced there isn’t a more beautiful place on earth.

So.  2018 all wrapped up in two paragraphs.  Boiling down your year into small sentences is harder than you think.  Crazily enough, the year felt like it went that fast.  Two paragraphs worth.

What do I want for 2019? I don’t really like to do resolutions; I prefer goals. ¬†Kinda. ¬†Here are my hopes/goals for the year to come:

  • Consistency & Discipline. ¬†I let stress and emotion (see above) control a lot of my life this year. ¬†I let it control my actions. ¬†I let it control my mood. ¬†I let it control my health. ¬†I need to change that this year.
  • Intentionality with my Health. ¬†If I follow my goal above, my health will fall in line too. ¬†Diet, exercise, skincare, stress-management, and emotional well-being will all be better if I can be intentional, consistent, and disciplined with the tools I have to work with. ¬†I know what to do. ¬†I just need to do it.
  • Strengthen my faith. ¬†I don’t think I need to explain that one. ¬†ūüôā
  • Payoff at least one loan. ¬†Money is tight for me now as 2018 was a huge drain on EVERYTHING. ¬†I need to be budget focused and paying off one loan would be a great ¬†snowball for that.
  • Find my happy. ¬†Whatever that might be.
  • Beat (or at least make it to) the end of one video game. ¬†Ok, this one is silly, but still. ¬†I’ve gotta get to the end of at least one.

 

Let’s do this 2019.

2018

IMG_0726

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. ¬†ūüôā

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. ¬†ūüôā

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