Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Little Determination.......and a Whole Lot of Prayer

Another week is in the books and this week was probably the most emotinally satisfying week so far. There were a lot of little NSV's and I hate to call them "little" because actually, any NSV at this point is monumental in my book.

This was the week that I realized that I was 40+ days into this plan and that I had no intentions of losing ground or falling back. I actually woke up in the middle of the night one night and had nothing short of an epiphany. Okay....granted, I woke up because I had to pee, BUT at that exact moment, when I popped up out of bed and didn't "struggle" to get up, I realized that I am really doing this! I am really losing weight and getting healthy!

Truthfully, no one except my son has said that they notice anything different in me. He says he can tell around my mid section. I can actually see it in my face, but I think maybe at this point, the change may not be as noticable on the outside as it is on the inside.

I feel different from my head to my toes.....literally. My headaches  that plagued me at least 12-15 times a month have gone to maybe 2-3 times  per month and they have been weather related. I have fought off and won over an impending sinus infection without going near an antibiotic. I move eaiser and I don't get winded after running up and down the stairs for the billionth time in a day. I actually have the energy to run up and down the stairs a billion times each day. My knees and hips no longer hurt and the horrible pains I would have in my feet in the middle of the night and the first thing in the morning are now non-existant.

As far as other NSV's go, I am now down to about a chin and a half instead of the tripple chin I was starting to sprout. I managed to make it 3 days this week on the elliptical working for 20 minutes on a fat burning workout. I also implemented arm and leg work outs to my regimine. I realized that I can comfortably cross my legs now and all my clothes are getting looser. And finally, I have managed to move down to a smaller size jeans once again. I am over the moon!

I think though, the biggest NSV for me came this week when my middle son asked me when I had a cheat day coming up. I just looked at him but my inner self was screaming "CHEAT DAY? What the heck are you trying to do to me?" I managed to calmly and with only a hint of hysteria in my voice. ask him why he was asking. Apparently he was craving a pre-THM dish that I used to make and wanted me to make it for him. Rather than cave and say we can do that, my mind went to work thinking how I could THMify the recipe so we could all  enjoy it. You know what....I figured it out! I think it was then that I realized that I am now not only eating differently, but I am also thinking differently about food. My mind has become a bit of a THM calculator, separating out fats from carbs and quickly changing a mainstream recipe into a THM recipe just by mentally rearranging the ingredients.

So it was a really good week mentally and today was my last "full week" weigh in of the Spring Fling Challenge. I had no hesitation approaching the scales this morning and as I looked down, I was greeted with another loss. My losses seem to be low numbers but steady results and I am good with that because all of those low numbers eventaully add up to a great big number and I know that with the path I am on, that big number is coming.

Today starts the last days of my challenge. June 30th, I will tally up all the numbers, check all the measurements and do the most telling thing of all.....take pictures. I am almost excited to see my befores and afters and to see if the change is really visable. Fingers crossed.

This has been the most rewarding few weeks that I have had in many years. I have proven some things to myself and finally I have counted myself worthy of the change I not only needed but also deserved. I am learning about me, my health and most of all..... that I can do anything with a little determination..... and a whole lot of prayer!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Week Five is Done

I am learning so much. It's true! I am learning about how to eat, why it's so important to eat right, the adverse affects of sugar and most of all......I am learning about myself and my body. It is a lot to learn in just a little over a month, but hopefully I will keep all that I am learning in mind as I continue to move forward.

One thing I have learned is that two people can follow the exact same plan and same menu and at the end of a week, can lose or not lose weight differently. I have seen lots of Mama's upset on the THM Facebook pages because they followed someone elses menus (who maybe dropped 3-5 lbs that week) but they either lost only a few 10ths of a pound, didn't move on the scale at all or even gained a bit. I know it is frustrating and it makes you crazy, but there are reasons for this.

Each of us is an individual and each of us loses individually....or differently. If you have 100-200 lbs to lose, those first weeks if you stick to plan, you are going to lose much faster than someone with say 20-50 lbs to lose. However, the more weight you lose and the farther along in weight loss you are, often times those pounds become more difficult to take off. You may have lost steadily for 3-4 months and then suddenly, your body plateaus and getting that scale to move is nearly impossible. That is why our Non-scale Victories (NSV's) are so important. They help us to focus on more than the numbers.

Sometimes when we add exercise into the mix, especially muscle building exercise such as weights, the scales will stall out or even go up a bit, even if we have not deviated from plan at all. While this is frustrating to see, the reality is that it is a good thing. It means that your body fat is being replaced by muscle and the more muscle you have the faster your metabolism is. This is why exercise is crucial to a healthy lifestyle.

So if you know you are doing it right, but your scales don't seem to be agreeing, don't fall apart, freak out or give up. Maybe it is time to change it up a bit. Add more aerobic (fat burning) exercise, or maybe you need to add a few extra E meals or throw in some extra FP's just to shake things up a bit. Your body really is improving. I promise.

As for my body.....I just finished up week 5 of the Spring Fling Challenge. I have one week and four day's left. This last week has been a bit rough for me. There have been a few stressors, it has been really hot the past that would have been enough to "cut myself some slack" and let myself binge. I did not. I did have a few emotional hunger issues which I either relieved by eating a bit more at a meal or a couple of times I didn't wait the whole 3 hours before eating my next meal/snack for fear I would really eat something bad. Other than that though, I never went off plan. Still, I felt really bad about myself all week. This stressed me. I kept looking in the mirror looking for a difference and I couldn't see anything. In fact, I worried that this would be the week that the scales would turn on me completely and I would have failed myself.

Finally, after giving myself about a day to worry, feel sorry for myself and contemplate throwing it all in for a cheesecake and some fries, I kicked my own tail and gave myself some straight talk. So what if the scales said I gained. What was the worst thing that would happen? I couldn't have gained much because I have stayed on plan. So what is a pound or two? I am still way ahead of where I started and I needed to remind myself that I was in this for the long haul. It was then and there that I realized I was obsessing and that the scale was my guide and nothing more. I refused to allow it to become my obsession. From there I decided that the scales be damned, I wasn't going to quit and I wasn't going to go off plan, but I was going to start eating my way through the THM Cookbook. 

Each day I began trying something new from the cookbook and my obsession about the scales quickly turned to excitement over what I was going to fix next. I tried pancakes, syrup and ketchup. I have done the meatloaf and tacos and my all time favorite.....the cinnamon roll in a mug. When you eat like that you fill that void or need for comfort food which helps a little with my anxiety and stress (at least for me it does). The great thing is, afterwards.....I don't have to feel an ounce of guilt or remorse. It is win/win!

Another issue I had this last week was exercise. Not once did I take a walk, but I did get a nice NSV in by proving to myself that I could still last for a while on the elliptical. It was only 15 minutes, but then WAS 15 minutes. After that though, other than house work and my daily activity, there was no exercise. This worried me too as I was eating VERY well with almost zero exercise. Yeah, last night rolled around and I was kind of dreading today. Still, before I went to bed, I made peace with whatever was going to show up on the scales this morning.

When the moment of truth hit, I was ready. Regardless of what that number read, I was still moving forward, sticking to plan and happy knowing that I refused to quit, give up or walk away. So as the mental drum roll began, I closed my eyes, held my breath and then just peeked one eye open. It was a loss! It wasn't a huge loss, but it was a loss and I was beyond happy. Yay me!

So I am embarking on my last full week of the challenge. I plan on continuing to work my way through the cookbook and hopefully this week, I will add a bit more exercise. I have a lot more weight to go and I can tell you that the end of this challenge will definitely not be the end of my time on THM. We are way past the habit stage of things and it is now how I choose to live my life from here on out.

Oh....and Happy Father's Day to all you dad's out there! :)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Perfection is Not Required

Perfection! The elusive dream that has stopped many a diet and lifestyle change, dead in its tracks. Why? Because we are human beings and sometimes as human beings we can be down right ridiculous.

Last I knew, there was only one perfect Person and none of us are Him. We strive to be our best in His image, but as faulty human beings, that is as close as we will ever come. That being said, it is this lack of imperfection that constantly pushes us, gives us life lessons and helps us to become the "imperfect" people we are suppose to be.

So if all of this is true, then why when it comes to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle, do we put the expectation of perfection on ourselves and make it  "do or die" if we fail in that perfection? Think about it. If you forget to wash laundry and everyone is out of underwear,'s a bit of setback for all involved, but do you never do laundry again because of that setback or do you forgive the situation and move forward? What if you forget to put gas in the car and you run out on your way to the store? Again, do you never drive, put gas in your car or go to the store again? OR do you just chalk it up to being a busy fallible human, who made a mistake? Of course you forgive yourself and move forward. So why can't we approach our fallibility during a lifestyle change and weight loss with the same forgiving nature. Why must a setback=a fail=a complete falling off the wagon? 

If we are honest without ourselves, we did not put weight on over night. For most of us, it has been a years long, dedicated effort. So if it took you six years and two pregnancies to put on 75 pounds, why would you possibly expect that weight to come off in a week, month or even six months?

Somewhere in our imperfect human brains, we believe that if the weight doesn't fall off over night and if we don't give complete and total perfection to our food plan and in turn the scales don't give us the reflection of that perfection then somehow we have failed (or the plan has failed us) and therefore we should just give up and eat cake.....and candy.....and a triple burger.....and an entire cheesecake....and on and on and on. This is our mind working against our body and often, that kind of mixed up sense of who we should be and how we should be doing things is what makes us our own worst enemy and our own biggest road block to success.

Weight loss and change will not happen until we are ready for it to happen....body, mind and spirit. Until that day when we know in the deepest part of us that we are ready for it, we will set ourselves up to fail and expect perfection out of an imperfect vessel. We will remain frustrated and unhappy with ourselves and continue to go down the path of unhealthy foods and eventually health issues brought on by our unhealthy habits. Sometimes it takes years of trying, failing and beating yourself up before you hit that magical place where you suddenly realized that weight loss is not a sprint to the finish line, but rather a slow and steady pace that leads you over rocky terrain, tough obstacles and even through some trying setbacks, but keep picking yourself up and moving forward. Always forward. The day when you finally realize that perfection is not necessary, only a belief in yourself, faith that you have the strength to finally love you enough to make a change and determination to see it through......regardless of what gets thrown in your path.....that is the day that you will begin to see real change.  

I hit that point on May 15, 2016 and the funny thing is, I didn't really know it at the time. All I knew was that I was tired of feeling like crap, feeling like I looked like crap and making myself miserable because I kept telling myself "I can't!" I decided that day to prove to myself once and for all that either I could lose weight and be healthy if I did what I was suppose to, or I would finally resign myself to being over weight, unhealthy and chances are.....ending up with some disease or illness brought on by the fact that I didn't care enough about myself to take care of myself.

Here we are a month later and I am still in the middle of the Spring Fling Challenge. I haven't veered from the plan once and trust me, this last week was a test of my fortitude. Along with my body, my home life is also changing. My world is very fluid right now and sometimes as a mom, caretaker, friend, etc. it gets overwhelming. I have become very well  aware of my triggers that throw me into a cheesecake frenzy or have me trying to buy Twinkies off the neighbohodr kids. I am learning to channel those triggers into more healthy outlets such as walking and praying. Yes....I pray a lot! It all seems to be working because even at my lowest point this last week, I stayed on plan and refused to allow myself to wallow, make excuses or quit. I have learned a lot of lessons about myself in this process and especially in the last seven days.

My reward for staying strong was a lower number on the scale. I am now in a place I haven't been in several years. I have also been enjoying some NSV's (non scale victories), from clothes fitting better, to my face thinning out. The biggest one this week though was.....I can comfortably cross my legs now!!!! It is amazing how much appreciation I have for the little things that come with this process.

No....I am not perfect on THM. There are meals that I know I probably eat more than I should, but I am hungry and I am eating on plan. I don't always exercise as I should and I said above, there are times when I think, "Wouldn't a burger, fries and shake be amazing right now?" That is when I decide whether I choose "me" or food. Whichever way I go, I know that three hours later I am back on track, but now I am choosing me. So I eat a burger wrapped in lettuce, some fried radishes and a cheesecake smoothie and I am taking care of me......without the slightest bit of deprivation!

So today is day 29. I have 18 days left. I don't plan on perfection whatsoever during these next 18 days, but I do plan on caring about myself enough to see this challenge through and hopefully within that time period, I pull a couple of more good numbers going south. Whatever happens though, I think I know me a little better now and know above all else....I deserve this!  And secure in this knowledge I am absolutely sure of one thing......perfection is not required! 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

You Are Worth It!

So it's Sunday and today was weigh-in day. After last weeks weigh-in, I had pretty much prepared and coached myself to be happy with whatever the scale said. After all...I knew I had been sticking to the plan (minus one forgotten breakfast and one late night crossover which technically was still on plan). Still, I knew my body was changing and that there was every possibility that the scales had either not budged or quite possibly had only moved a few tenths of a pound like last week. This week though, there was a nice number on the minus side and I was very happy.

I may or may not have pointed out that I have been playing with THM for well over a year. I was on it full fledged for about a week right in the beginning, but then life hit and I let it be the excuse for me falling off the wagon. There have been a few starts and stops since that point and there have been times that I have been on plan about 50-60% of the time, but it wasn't until I saw the Spring Fling Challenge that something clicked inside of me.

Up until then, I had convinced myself that with my thyroid disease and being the care giver to my special needs son, that I would just never lose this weight. Actually, I convinced myself that I couldn't lose it. So when I put my son on THM with lots of crossovers and he started gaining weight and getting healthy, I knew that it was time his mama started losing weight and getting healthy too.

I can't really tell you why it is working for me this time or why I am so dedicated. Maybe it is that I finally understand the plan. I feel better about how it all works and I like the results I am seeing. Maybe it is because I am never hungry and sometimes have to force myself to eat because there is simply no deprivation in this plan at all. Maybe though, the reason everything is working this time is because it is my time. I finally quit making excuses and I am pushing myself to do things that I either didn't think I could do or simply didn't want to do previously.

As I read the THM Facebook pages, I see a lot of people saying...."I can't," or "I don't like" and making excuses as to why they aren't losing or why THM isn't working for them. The fact is, anyone can, you don't know if you like something until you try it and excuses help no one. They are simply making you bitter and frustrated while enabling you in whatever negative behaviors you are dealing with.

Quite honestly, in the beginning.....THM was the most frustrating and confusing plan I had ever been on. I didn't know my E's from my S's and fuggetaboutit when it came to FP's. I was totally lost. At that point in my life, I didn't see myself as worthy enough to take the time and figure out what I didn't understand, so I just gave up. I kept coming back though, because the food was delicious and fairly simple to make and I was absolutely in love with the drinks.

So this time, when the Spring Fling Challenge came up, I decided I could do anything for 6 weeks and it would be a true tell as to whether I could actually lose weight and if THM would really work for me. The proof is in the fact that I am still here and still plugging along half way through the challenge.

This week I have also been blessed with some NSV's (non scale victories). I have continued to increase my walking and since last Sunday, I have walked almost 15 miles. I took a picture of my face and posted it on Facebook. I had several call me out on this and say that they couldn't see my body. The fact is, my body is not near as hard for me to post a picture of as my face is. Anyone who knows me knows this. However, I did take a full body picture the day I started this challenge and I plan on taking another one on June 30th. THEN I will post the pictures and we shall see. I also was able to comfortably fit into a size 14 jean this week. That hasn't happened in a long while. am in the last digits of a number that I haven't seen in years. Next week if I have continued to move the scale south, I will be at a weight that I haven't been at in 15 years.

While I can't make anyone give THM a fair chance, I can encourage you to give it a try. Yes, if you purchase the first book, it will leave you scratching your head and wondering what the heck you have gotten yourself into. However, if you also purchase the cookbook and join some of the THM Facebook pages, it all becomes much easier and much clearer. Through Facebook, there are always people willing to answer your questions and help you piece together what you don't understand.

I am happy today, but then again.....I have been happy since I started this challenge. I am happy with me, my goals and my determination and believe me.....that is not a feeling I have had about myself in a very long time.

Until next time.....have a wonderful day and remember.....YOU ARE WORTH IT!