you’ve been eliminated

Yo! Does anyone remember that show from back in the 00’s called “The Weakest Link?” I loved it. It was so stressful but her catchphrase was so awesome. You just waited for the clipped “goodbye” at the end. (Go watch Youtube. You’ll thank me later for the nostalgia.)

Ok. Anyway. I don’t know if any of you recall this post from back in June. I had mentioned I was feeling like crap but trying some things to see if it made me feel better. Guess what? It hasn’t worked.

For the last several months I’ve been walking ball of nausea. (Before any of you smarties try to ask me if I’m pregnant – NO. Not funny and not possible.) I have heartburn that could probably burn down the Rocky Mountain National Forest. I should start investing in Zantac, and Tums, and Pepto Bismol. It is horrible. I feel horrible almost 24/7. Something has to change because I can’t keep living like this. When I was in Colorado last week I went through 2.5 BOTTLES of Pepto. I was gone 5 days. I’m fairly certain if you cut me open my blood would be a viscous candy pink a la Pepto.

I have decided, with my doctor’s approval, that I’m going to take the drastic step of an elimination diet for my next step. Sure, I could probably skip this and go right to all the medical tests but I have reasons for wanting to do this first. I’ll explain why in a bit.

The diet itself consists of 3 weeks of very strict food restrictions. No dairy, no eggs, no sugar, no caffeine, no alcohol, VERY little meat (only turkey or wild game), veggies (but no nightshade vegetables), fruits (but no citrus fruits), no wheat/oats/grains/rice/gluten. The only oils allowed are coconut oil and cold-pressed olive oil. No spices other than salt and black pepper.

After the 3 weeks I can add one food group (example dairy) for a day. After that day is up, I have to follow it up with 2 days of the “control” (elimination) diet to monitor for symptoms and reactions. On day 4, I try another group for a day. Repeat. This whole experiment will take me 6-8 weeks to complete.

Why am I doing this? I mean, it’s going to suck so bad. For one, I’d like to not pay for what I’m sure would be expensive medical tests if I can take care of it myself. If this tells me what I need to know without the $1,000+ price tag, well yay me. If this experiment doesn’t give me answers THEN I will get the tests. But at least then I can say I tried all I could. Secondly, what if it gives me clues to other things too? Headaches, bloating, sinus issues? I could just have a food trigger that I know nothing about.

I’m not even remotely excited about this. I’m going to be a very grumpy hermit (at least initially.) I am excited, however, to think about not wanting to barf all day long. Most people have no idea that as they are talking to me I’m just trying not to puke. That is no way to live. Taking Pepto with me on the trails in the Colorado mountains last week – no way to live.

I’ll try not to obsessively write about it here, but I will periodically keep you updated on how it’s going. I’m making my body my very own science experiment. Come on discipline and willpower, I need you now.

If you’ve done this before and have any tips or tricks – SEND THEM TO ME NOW. Pleaseandthankyou.

TODAY I LOVE: bread. I’m eating bread before I can’t.
SONG OF THE DAY: “Eagle When She Flies” by Dolly Parton

I am not skinny … but …

I have worked so hard these last couple of weeks in the gym. I’m pushing myself in my lifts and I’ve added “bonus” cardio everyday. And guess what? My weight hasn’t changed. I’ve gone up and down the same 3lbs for almost 3 weeks now. I’ve stayed within my macros and I’ve turned down cupcakes and donuts and Chick-fil-a. (WHOA.) I’ve vacillated between being depressed about it all and being ok.

This morning while I was in the gym I was thinking about it all. Today was a “heavy” lift day. And as I was standing there, continuing to add plates to the bar, and looking at myself in the mirror, I was content?

Here’s why: I might not be skinny and I might very well be considered overweight. BUT

I took this after the gym this morning. I added the flare to disguise the dirty mirror. πŸ™‚ It’s not an awesome picture; it isn’t flattering. But this is the body I have today, and it is strong.
  • Today I leg-pressed 495lbs (11 plates) and probably could have kept going.
  • Last week I was able to squat 215 pounds for four reps on my sixth set! That’s been my heaviest on squats in months and months.
  • I held a plank for *almost* 2 minutes today. That’s huge for me!
  • This body has allowed me to conquer the stair machine over and over this week. Hundreds of floors climbed.
  • This body is well enough to tend my own yard (mowing and trimming) without any help.

This body might not be skinny, and it might very well be overweight, but it is strong. It is able. It is healthy. And I’m doing my best to love it. To love what it is now and not what I think it needs to be. To love what it can DO.

That’s where I am today. I might be sad again tomorrow that my skinny jeans are still tight, but I’m writing this post to remind me of how I feel TODAY. I need more todays.

TODAY I LOVE: Alo Yoga capris
SONG OF THE DAY: “Redesigning Women” by The HighWomen

I really like your dress!

Does anyone else out there struggle receiving compliments? Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing them in my soul. They make me feel so good. It’s almost like every one you get, it is a helium balloon tied to your thoughts…it just keeps lifting them up. And when you’re not used to hearing compliments in a while, it’s like 5 balloons at once. It is the best feeling.

But nevertheless, after someone gives me a compliment I almost always say something self-deprecating and then I convince myself they only told it to me to be nice. I mean, they couldn’t possibly mean it.

I mean, why do we do this to ourselves? I read a tweet the other day that said, “Rejecting a compliment is like asking for it twice.” WHOA. It’s kinda right. So then you have to ask, why do we do that to the people giving you the compliment?!

On Friday a co-worker complimented my dress and instead of just saying “thank you” and smiling, I replied with “Thanks, it’s not flattering at all and makes me look huge with the stripes, but it’s comfy.” To which, she had to say, “No, I think it’s cute!” WHY DO I DO THAT?! I was not nice to myself and then I made her say it twice. Bleh.

I have to get better at this. There should be some kind of training on being better at receiving compliments without attaching strings and conditions.

Anyway, those are my thoughts this week. πŸ™‚

TODAY I LOVE: cucumbers from the farmer’s market
SONG OF THE DAY: “Movement” by Hozier

two sides of the same coin

Change is good and change is hard. My therapist once told me that every relationship (especially marriage) is a contract that has to constantly be renegotiated. We are human and we change. Because of those changes, negotiation has to happen or the relationship breaks. I think that can happen to your relationship with yourself too.

I’m in this weird season of life where it feels like everything, once again, is changing. If it were just one or two things, I probably wouldn’t feel it so hard. But it’s a lot of things. My home is changing, my job environment is changing, all my relationships are changing. And in the process of all of that, I’m trying to change me too.

I’m 38 years old and it feels like everything in my life is sand on the beach; unstable and constantly shifting.

Yesterday I posted a selfie. And bless ALL OF YOUR HEARTS, you showered me with compliments. I promise you, the intent of posting it was not to be fishing for compliments. The intent was for me. I felt good in that moment and rather than letting it pass, I wanted to acknowledge it.

It is no secret if you follow me on social media that I LOVE the new The Head and the Heart album. I’m so obsessed right now that I probably listen to the whole thing at least once a day. Here is one line in the first track that has stuck with me for a week. I sing it over and over.

Until you learn to love yourself
the door is locked to someone else

“See You Through My Eyes” by The Head and the Heart

So. That. I’ve got a long way to go. I can’t believe I’m sharing this, but here goes. It wasn’t 3 hours after I took the original photo I was proud of, where I felt pretty, that I turned into this: a sobbing, snotty, wet, mess. It is a tale of two Sarahs. The Sarah on the right is insecurity, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and poor self-worth. The Sarah on the right is the one that I need to get smaller and smaller. And she’s taking all my energy among all the other change.

I’m likely going to regret posting this and I hope that I can retain my nerve and not delete it later. It is hard to be so open. But I can’t do this alone. And so far, being so raw and open, has brought me a community. And maybe someone out there needs to see that not every pretty picture you see is the whole truth, that there might be a sobbing, snotting one right behind it. If you’re that person too….you are not alone. And together we can get though this.

TODAY I LOVE: Watermelon!
SONG OF THE DAY: “Fix You” by Coldplay

a weighty perspective

I think if I tried to summarize this blog 5 words it would probably be “Sarah Struggles to Lose Weight.” I’m frankly kind of embarrassed that is what the sum of my thoughts have centered upon. It’s pretty boring too.

Anywho, in light of my recent attempts to shed some of the mental and emotional weight of STRESS AND ANXIETY, I’m making some more changes. This time in regards to how I’m facing my body image and what I’m going to do about it.

I’m not going to blather on about how I see or feel about myself, I mean, if you’ve read this blog for any length of time you know homegirl has issues. As I said in my post earlier, if I can get some other things in my life in alignment, some of the other pieces will just naturally fall into place.

I’m going to admit something publicly to you all that I’ve only recently been admitting to myself. I have become obsessive about the number and the scale and the calories and everyone’s perception of me. And not obsessive in a good way. I’ve been weighing every day to track trends and it just brings me down first thing in the morning. I follow my macros/calories 85% of the time, and that other 15%…I don’t (not intentionally). And those 15% I make myself pay – mentally. I lay in bed after the day is over and beat myself to a pulp over the mistakes I made. It takes all the enjoyment out of what might have been a lovely dinner with my friend. I have single-handedly taken all the joy out of food. I love to bake and I haven’t in ages because WHAT IF I EAT IT AND IT HAS REAL SUGAR AND BUTTER AND CALORIES OH MY. That is no way to live. Not everything in life should be all about the calories and nothing else.

So what am I doing about it? For starters, I’ve taken all the pressure off. Over and over and over again, every single day, I’ve started telling myself that I’m an awesome and lovely human being. And if someone can’t see me for that rather than what I [think] I look like, well bully on them. I’m ok. And I’m great whatever size I am. Do I want to look and feel better? Sure, but it’ll happen. It’s not going to happen as I’ve been going though.

Second, I’ve stopped weighing every day. The last few weeks I’ve done it every few days or so, or honestly when I feel pretty good. While I still care about the number, I’m working harder to just go by feel.

Lastly, the “extras.” You can bet your booty I’ve had things outside of my plan in the 3-weeks that I’ve actively tried to change. The difference is in how I’m treating it. It’s a CONSCIOUS decision, not an impulse on emotions. I’m also letting myself enjoy it.

It’s probably a good thing that I’m the only person that lives in my mind. Because if anyone knew just how much self-talk behavior modification I’m doing, you’d think I was nuts. But it is working. It’s so, so very hard. But it is working.

If any of you are in the same place that I am…hang in there. And let’s chat. Let me tell you that you’re awesome and a lovely human being. And you are WORTHY of joy.

TODAY I LOVE: a brand new blank Moleskine journal…oh the possibilities!
SONG OF THE DAY: “O” by Coldplay