Category Archives: Uncategorized

Self Love and Acceptance

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I have always felt that people cross our paths for a reason. Good or bad, I have learned that every person I have come in contact with has touched my life in some way. But, even with this outlook, every once in a while I am surprised by who is teaching me some of these valuable lessons.

Meet Emily:

Emily at the Color Run- Posted with permission

Emily came into my life about 9 years or so ago. She was a friend of my daughter and, to me, she was just another preteen girl who found her way to my house once in a while and locked herself in the bedroom with my daughter. I always thought she was a nice girl, but didn’t really get to know her too well.

Let’s fast forward several years. Emily is now a grown woman. Have I mentioned that time seems to be passing by way too quickly? I don’t really want to stray from this story, but I have a hard time believing that all these kids aren’t kids anymore.

Where was I? Oh, yes! Emily is now a beautiful young woman in her early 20’s. This picture was taken not too long ago when she participated in the color run. As you can see, she just radiates!

As long as I have known Emily, she has never been the “skinny” kid on the block. She has never, ever let that get in the way of her life and happiness. Or, if she has, you would never know it. To tell you the truth I didn’t really notice until the last year or so just how much she embraced life.

Maybe you all have heard of a little social networking site out there called Facebook. One day a couple of years ago I received a friend request from Emily and I happily accepted and didn’t think much about it until I started seeing some of her posts. All of them seemed to be full of confidence and happiness. Not fake happiness, but true self acceptance. How did she do it?

Emily posted this picture with the caption "Honor your Curves"

Emily posted this picture with the caption “Honor your Curves”

After seeing these posts time and time again, I reached out to her to let her know just how proud I am of the young lady she has become. I also told her just how much I admired her and wanted to know her secret. Here is some of what she wrote to me:

“My mom was a single mom who never failed to remind me that I was beautiful and that it was ok to be myself. She always let me express myself through many outlets. From dressing up in dresses and make up and holding a photo shoot, to smiling at the seriously ridiculous outfits I would throw together. Lol! I think there is nothing more crucial for a mom to do than this. I’ve been heavy, overweight, chunky, fat, whatever you call it, all my life. There were times when I was thinner and now I am by far at my heaviest and hoping to turn that around. Rather than dwelling on that I choose to be happy and grateful for who I am. I am a firm believer that who you are as a person is much more telling than how you look. I try to be the best person I can be spiritually and the rest just falls into place.”

Can you tell why I am drawing inspiration from this girl? How amazing is that? Here is a girl who absolutely accepts and loves who she is regardless of what society says. As far as I know she has no blog or any aspirations to be a public figure. She is just herself and she lights up the lives of the grown ups she encounters and the children she teaches. I have written a few times about fat being a state of mind or giving myself pep talks for a positive outlook, but I still struggle with this every day and I think it shows.

So, I am publicly saying to Emily, thank you so much for taking the time to teach your friend’s “Mom” a few lessons about living life to its fullest. You inspire me.

Fat is a State of Mind

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I have taken a bit of a hiatus from writing so I could gather my thoughts and re-set my state of mind.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I am constantly in awe of how the river of life sometimes takes us in a completely different direction than what we expected. It seems as though no amount of planning can compete with what the Universe has in store for us. There have been plenty of occasions that I have come across a bridge which has been washed out and have had to find a way around it.

In my many hours of searching for the happiness that I felt would fall at my feet when if I had the perfect body I discovered that the only way to get where I want to be, I need to truly appreciate and love where I am. And in order to love where I am, I needed to understand how I got here.

Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

If there is anything I have learned in the past few years, it is that having fat and being fat are two different things. There are so many of us who go through life with the acceptance that they are fat. What is truly disturbing about that thought is that many are not carrying any extra weight at all. The extra weight is carried in the mind rather than on the body.

The human brain has amazing powers. Not only can thoughts convince someone that they are sick when they are not, but it can just as easily convince them that they are completely healthy when the opposite is true. I don’t need any studies or science to tell me this because I experience it myself on almost a daily basis.

There have been times when just the thought of something unpleasant has flipped my stomach upside down and I was convinced I was coming down with the flu just as the anticipation of something I am excited about has helped me forget that I am in the middle of an Asthma attack. While, admittedly, that might be a little drastic, it has happened to me.

What does this tell me? Being fat is nothing more than a state of mind. Do I have fat? Yes. Am I fat? I used to be, but not any more. There are many who would ask themselves how I can say that when I have almost 200 pounds of excess weight on my 5’2″ frame.

The way I see it is that I was fat for the first 40+ years of my life because in my mind I was defined only by the extra weight. Every day I would wake up focusing on just how fat I was and how perfect my life would be if I was not cursed to have the body I have. This became my obsession. No matter how hard I tried, I just had the hardest time losing weight. In fact, it seemed that I was actually fulfilling those thoughts because I gained weight. I was destined to be fat. At least that was until I learned the difference between being fat and having fat.

Why am I no longer fat? In stark contrast to the way I felt about myself before, I am also choosing to live my life even with the extra weight. How silly is it to think that I don’t deserve to experience all that life has to offer just because I am heavier than the average person? How unfair is it to my family that until recently I have not participated as much as I wanted to in family activities out of fear of judgement? Well, in the past year I have discovered that I have fat, but that does not mean I need to be fat.

I kicked the scale to the curb so I could stop putting so much importance on the fat. I don’t weight myself more than maybe once a month. When I do choose to weigh myself it is more of a benchmark than validation for me. I just don’t see the importance in how my body is in relation to gravity on any given day.  What is important is that I am finally living to the fullest of my capabilities and I am getting better daily. Oh, and about those extra pounds: They are slowly but surely leaving. I guess they don’t like the fact that they aren’t getting all my attention any more.

Where’s the Positivity?

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Have you ever been in a place in your life where you just feel like you have hit a dead-end? For whatever reason, that is exactly how I have been feeling the past couple of days. I have been doing everything I can to think positive and keep a smile on my face. Contrary to what I would like to believe and what I try to project to everyone, I just don’t feel great about myself or my life right now. To help get me out of this funk, I have tried to get into a routine and keep it.

I start every morning telling myself that today is a great day. I make my fresh juice and pack my food for the day so I have healthy meals and snacks available to me throughout while at work. I check in on Facebook often so I can stay in contact with all my favorite people who inspire me and keep the positivity in my day. So, why is it that sometimes I just don’t feel it? Why is it that lately I have been so close to tears because I really feel that everyone in the world can succeed except for me?

Now, please don’t take this as a message that I have given up on myself. Actually, quite the opposite is happening. Today, somehow I managed to dig deeper than I ever thought I could and I am realizing that everyone has their bad days in which they struggle and feel down. So, what did I do? I pushed away the platter of food which was brought into the office today for meetings, and I drank my Green Monster. I then decided that now is the time to write it out. I mean, nothing puts things in perspective more than writing them down for me. So here is my list of self doubts and my own little pep talks to wipe the thoughts excuses out!

Stress: Without going into a lot of detail, the stress level in my life right now is at it’s all time highest. 

  •  Well, Diana, do you really think you are the only person on Earth who is stressed? Think again! There are many people out there who are having just as hard of time making it day-to-day, so get off your rear-end and move! Exercise is the best stress buster out there!

Self Loathing: I know that the word “loathing” is a strong word, but that is exactly how I have been feeling the past couple of days. Let me explain. We had some pretty important clients coming into town this week for work, so I decided I needed to look for appropriate clothes for the occasion. I FOUND NOTHING THAT WOULD FIT ME! Not even the ugly-I-am-buying-this-just-because-it-fits clothing. Why? Because I literally did not find one article of clothing that fit me. 

  •  So, Diana, what does that tell you? Stop feeling sorry for yourself and do something about it! You will never be able to buy clothes that you want by curling up in a ball of self-pity! Get off your rear-end and move!

My family offers little support for me. I feel the constant demand for the high fat, high sugar food in our home and I am so tired of not only trying to buy enough food for two menus, but cooking two menus is very time-consuming. 

  • So, what you are telling me is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to integrate any healthiness into your family’s menu? Come on, you have done it before….. Prepare something healthy and make an extra side dish for them. Who knows? Eventually they may actually get jealous of all the positivity surrounding you and will hop on board with you.

So, what am I doing about it? I am kicking all the self-doubt and excuses out the window and I am not giving up on me. What do you do when you hit a wall and the self-doubt creeps up on you?

Bring on 2012!

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The time has come to reflect on 2011 and move towards 2012. While I can’t say that I accomplished all that I set out to this year, I can say that I have learned so much. Here are just a few things I am taking into 2012 with me that I did not have last year at this time:

  • An amazing communityof literally hundreds if not thousands who are rooting me on.
    • How lucky am I that I have all these personal trainers, motivators, friends, and mentors whose knowledge and experience I can draw from?
  • A better understanding that weight loss/health is just as much mental as it is physical.
    • Until now I never took the time to deal with the emotional aspects of being overweight and the reasons why I got this way to begin with. It goes much deeper than just the love of food.
  • I have a better relationship with myself which has resulted in a better self-image the way I am now rather than the way I wish I was.
    • This is directly related to the previous statement. Until I really started to understand why I am hiding behind my size, I really did not understand what steps need to be taken to fix it.

These last couple of months, I have worked very hard to work through all the denial and the brutal honesty is paying off.

Finally! I have a plan. It may not be the plan that works for anyone else, but it is a plan for me. I am taking this journey one day at a time and I will stop to smell the roses when I need to. I have nothing else but time, so I might as well not rush through it.

As I stated in my previous blog, my first short-term goal is to find constructive ways to deal with my emotions and stress other than eating and feeling sorry for myself. Hmmm, the first thought that comes to mind is the gym! 🙂

Week 1- A Review

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This week has been a struggle. I was a little slow out of the gate, but I managed to finish strong. For my first week back to tracking my food, I have logged a 2.6 pound weight loss! Considering it was the week before Christmas, that is pretty good! Well, for anytime it is good, but imagine what it would have been if I had not taken 3 days to actually apply the tools I paid for and tracked my food!

Christmas is in two days and I am a little worried about it. Although I am not having any special celebrations or anything due to my husband working and my son being out of town, I have been invited to my in-laws’ house. There is always an abundance of food, desserts, and alcohol at their festivities. I am planning on drinking plenty of water and filling up on veggies before I go.

Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas!