One year down… weight loss-chronicles

Welp a year has come. I have managed to keep my weight off and in addition I’ve managed to fight through the ups and downs along the journey. I’ve lost around 70 pounds to date but it wasn’t easy having to turn my back on dairy or indulging in my favorite comfort food in excess.

When I first began to lose weight it was more about me attempting to grab my life back. Here I was almost 36, out of shape, miserable in my own skin, and most importantly unhealthy. I have a fluctuating body type. So this simply means that I can go up and down at any given time if I’m not careful even with working out and eating right. To combat that I used the techniques that I leaned in my Weight Watchers class to change my relationship with food.

Depression

It’s one of the worse cause of weight loss to me as it’s more than size, it’s more of a mental road block. It can allow you to have knowledge of what you should do or even should be but it is one of the hardest things to “shake.” Depression had set in quite a number of times and I wore it proudly everyday in each outfit and every look. I tried to over dress. So I wore clothes that were too big. In my mind I needed to cover up my body so no one would see it or see me.

Big isn’t Always Better

Watch out for the big girl is a bomb club mix. Watch out for the big girl

It’s also how I felt I was being viewed by others. There isn’t one thing wrong with big and sexy if done right. I’ve seen some of the most empowering heavy set women who own their sexiness better than a girl on the runaway. However when you aren’t meant to be a certain size your ability to hold on to a sense of sexiness goes out the door. I tried to own it but couldn’t. I wasn’t supposed to be the size that I had gotten. All I did was complain, compare, and fall deeper in the hold of depression. I was over 200 pounds and I wasn’t pregnant as I was being described. I had let myself go.

Lows

We all who have been on a weight loss journey remember the days of counting calories or points. In the beginning you are super excited and then it wears off as you try to re-enter a normal life with normal eating habits. At least that’s what I thought. When I had a high it made me excited but those lows, were a bit much. Feeling like I couldn’t get it together made my low days that much worse. I found myself justifying my emotions as excuses to eat what I knew I shouldn’t have to deal instead of staying the course. The only thing that kept me was learning not to let these moments keep me there and is I had a donut or something bad earlier in the day I didn’t have to wait until the next day to reset.

Pictures Please

I took and continue to take pictures even on the days when my stomach peeks through. Having kids allows them to be great props. However it’s just another mechanism to cope. It was either use the kids or be the photographer and not have to be in the pics. When I first started losing weight I got folks saying why are you taking so many pics. Imagine another grownup asking another grownup why something that didn’t take anything away from them a series of questions?! The pictures are now and was then a way for me to see my progress. I always check the neck and face. I’ve had days when people’s comments seemed to get under my skin and I had to remind myself why I was losing this weight. It wasn’t for likes but more for me to like myself when I had no clothes on. It’s easy to dress your body type and blend, but to like what you see, naked and vulnerable isn’t.

Wardrobe Change

When I first lost weight I was scared, judge-mental and excited to get new clothes. I’ve had to take quite a few outfits back for still buying the clothes that wasn’t my size. Losing weight is great until you can’t lose the weight in your mind. Thank goodness for friends who literally pushed me away from the old size and into my new size. I struggle every time still with clothes. I’m stuck in the middle of yes grab the smaller size to Girl don’t show too much!

So yes I’ve got all kind of tips to help with weight loss but….. the reality is that the journey is up and down and good and bath. The best part isn’t just the weight loss but the ability to be able to be healthy inside and out. For the first time in my life between Surgery and weight loss I’m not anemic. All of my tests are normal. I’m not ashamed to step on a scale and I feel great!

So if you’re struggling with seeing others lose weight and feel like you can’t commit you may be in a situation where you won’t have a choice. You will have to push past bad habits, denying yourself of your wants, feeling defeated to days where after all of your hard work the scale just looks at you and doesn’t move. Whatever your journey presents know that you can do it! You can fall several times throughout but I would rather fall then drop out of my own race!

Take each day and moment at a time. Reset many times! Don’t fall apart as you make change your bad isn’t your worst. Work on portion control and definitely work with your doctor to eliminate or add what you need for your health concerns. Don’t get caught up in diet fads. Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. It will look different even if you follow the same rules.

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Off Days

I know we all have them.  The moments when things don’t line up just right.  The laundry you thought you had gotten out of the dryer is still in there, wet because you forgot to turn it on.  The days when you feed your kids and pour juice into someone’s bowl instead of milk.  Off days are crazy.  I feel like it takes 2 on days to compensate the one-off day you may experience.  However even in the off days you can look back laugh and thank goodness that you have your wits about you.

Off days are there to throw us to be honest.  They help you figure something that you may need to change especially if you are the A type personality such as myself.  It humbles you and lets you know you good but you could be greater.  Sometimes off days make you rest because I have had off days so bad that I say you know what, that’s it let me stop and take a break.  On those days I find myself just looking around trying to not be upset and quickly gathering my thoughts.

So if you are experiencing one of those days or will experience one of those days, try to take it in stride.  Try to allow some time to not be as frustrated.  Whatever is not done can wait.  Even for the type of person like myself who thrives on being on point, just know things will get done and things will pan out and you are going to be okay.

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We stress out over a lot of things and I get it.  But eliminate the pressure and stress you place on yourself and take things one at a time that you can.  You will have enough grace to get through.  Take a deep breath and you will get through!

 

Monday; New Challenge

So it’s a start of a new week and now a new month. Now that Easter is over which also means Lent is over, I want to propose a new challenge. The challenge is to stop negative self talk.

This means no more I’m fat, I can’t, etc! No more I’m not enough! Yes we ALL have something about us that we do not like. If you’re working on it or not we are going to push to stop the negative back talk. So trust me it’s going to be hard. But what I want you to notice isn’t just how much you are doing it but also how you feel after you eliminate it from your vocabulary.

If you have power in your tongue to either speak life or death then you can change how you view yourself, speak up or down to yourself, and how your negative talk influences your life. So I’m not suggesting that it will be easy especially if you find that you talk negatively often. Do not become frustrated as you realize it may be more than then you had anticipated. Don’t get frustrated and if you do don’t stop the challenge! Let’s complete the rest of April to get through it and make the necessary steps to live a healthier lifestyle.

What you don’t realize how bad it is to down yourself but get mad at others who do it to you. You must stop this cycle. Let me give you some examples:

This was taken from brunokone

It’s the negative self talk that we don’t reach our fullest potential. We hinder our blessings and our mental progress and sometimes our day-to-day progress.

So I challenge you to recognize this negativity to replace it with positive. You can do this as a mental challenge or you can write it down so you can go back later and reference the experience. Either way, let’s take charge and control in how we treat ourselves, speak to ourselves, and how we love on ourselves.

Women History Month: Everyday….We Stand Strong

Women aren’t to be celebrated only during the month of March.  They should be celebrated everyday.  We are the giver of life.  We hold things down.  We are strong. We are beautiful and complex. We are love in its best form here on Earth.  For that you don’t limit such celebrations to only one month.

Ladies celebrate yourselves daily.  I have been saying this and I mean no matter what degrees you have and what accolades you get, if you do not take care of yourself you are no good to anyone around you.  You will wear yourself thin operating from an empty cup.  Keep your wits about you. Say no to things when you can’t add another thing to your long to-do list.  You are not a yes woman.  It’s okay to let a few text messages go unanswered.  It’s okay to let a few calls and emails wait.  You are doing yourself a disservice if you feel you have to be ON all the time.  Take a bubble bath, take a 10 minute break, whatever you need practice some level of self-care daily. Yes there will be times when money is tight.  I haven’t always been able to sit at an expensive spa but I sure now how to turn a trip to the Dollar Store, Wal-Mart or Target and turn my entire bathroom into a spa for one while my kids slept to recharge.  I have had times when I turned into my own beautician and did what I had to do.  There are hard times.  Sometimes when your world feels like it’s crashing it gets difficult to look within.  However if you don’t everything around you will attempt to take you over. Say yes to you.

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Go after that degree that you have been putting off. It’s okay for you to be well-rounded. Will it be easy?  Absolutely not.  We get so excited when we read stories of women who are seasoned and still going after their educational goals.  Yes you could be the oldest in the room, but your degree will hang just like the young 20 something.  Go after it! Will it be hard as you strive towards that new career?  Possibly.  Imagine going to interview after interview only to be told no.  You invested, exerted time and energy only to feel like every door you touch is closing. Keep on going!

What about the woman who doesn’t want to have children?  The pressure for women to be life givers is crazy.  There are some women happy and content single or married not to have children.  What about the women who in our stories for this month lost a baby at 20 weeks.  I need you to understand that is devastating because at this point you are well showing, you have told people and on top of that you know the sex of the baby.  People are hurting all around us.  We are women have the power to really affect change in ourselves and our communities that goes past a #metoo movement.  We can make things easier for the women around us by what we accept, give our voices to, or stand up for.  Be wise.

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You are strong. You are beautiful.  You are confident and a force to be reckoned with! Celebrate yourselves and all that you have done in your life.  The good.  The bad. The ugly. The failures. The insecure moments.  The embarrassing moments.  The moments of regret. The moments you felt inadequate.  All of your messy moments. All of you for all of you and all of those crazy moments are going to push you to your best moments if you are open to it!

 

Ask Toi: How do you survive the argumentative double date?!

So the back story is a reader is married and friends with another girl and her husband and they often go out on double dates except the dates have become uncomfortable due to the invited couple arguing and making a scene every where they go!

My advice is speak to the friend aka the wife. But before you speak to her go into the situation knowing that you will not change how that husband and wife interacts. You really shouldn’t want to. The second you go into that conversation with any other expectation you are setting yourself up for failure.

You being married already know that the second you attempt to explain that the arguing and fighting is wrong it at least wrong while on dates the wife will take offense. You don’t have to be around a bunch of yelling and drama just because it’s their right to be the type of couple they choose to be! I know some folks reading this is thinking maybe the friend will be receptive but the truth of the matter is that other friend knows her and her husband are doing the most and they don’t care. There’s no way you can be out with folks being loud, arguing, making a scene and it keeps happening and they just don’t get it?!

So you need to let her know that it’s uncomfortable and the next time they ask you to go out say no. If the wife asks you why just say you needed a break from the drama. This sends the clear message and gives you the power to make it about you and not them. They can be and interact any way they want but what they can’t do is expect you to be okay with it especially in public. Not only that who wants to be around that all the time outside of them?! If they love it then kudos to them but folks hate being out and attempting to be about fun and uplifting marital bliss and having to have all eyes on them cause one part of the party is doing the most. My thing and this is a little extra information to anyone who knows they are that argumentative couple, stay home. I get that things can pop off at any given time but at some point that has to get old. You will lose friends and other couples who want to be around you because you can’t shut it down for a few hours! If you have that much dysfunction go to counseling. Seriously!

You as the friend do need to speak up since it’s bothering you or you and your husband but friend or not you don’t have to subject yourself to that behavior double date or not. To be honest double dates are fun but telling your friend no can allow you and your own husband the ability to go out without being embarrassed or uncomfortable!

Sunday Message: Moving Slowly

There are many weekends when I move like super fast.  I am on point and getting things done seem like a breeze. Then there are those times when I feel out of place, out of water, and quite frankly there are times when things don’t get done, and I feel overwhelmed.  You have to understand that when you have things moving slowly around you that its not going to take over you.  You will eventually get your to do list done.  You may need to rest or you may need this slow time as preparation for something up ahead but you will be fine.

You don’t have to do it all right now.  Some things can wait.  That is a lesson in itself. Sometimes its one of the hardest to learn and accept. Sometimes you think you have it down but then life throws you a curve ball. Trust the process that it will work out especially if you are constantly doing what you can do to continuously and with effort.

Weekly Recap: Friday March 16, 2018

So happy Friday and Pre. St. Patrick’s like a St. Patrick’s Day eve to you all.  I hope that you are doing well and have a relaxing weekend ahead of you.  Let’s talk about what has been going on.

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Thank you a thousand times over for every woman who has volunteered to be interviewed for Women History Month.  If you have missed a few, try your best to read them.  These women range from all over the spectrum in life and career.  So be sure to check it out.  We have a few more yet to do so don’t think we are done celebrating because we are not.

Spring is near!

Spring is around the corner and I literally can’t wait. I am still waiting for the weather to align but that will come in time.  I hope you are getting Spring ready.  Here are a few quick tips on activities you can do to signal a new season:

Spring cleaning-it is a thing.  This is when you wash them window seals, clean curtains, clean ovens, etc.  Just do a detailed cleaning of your home and your closet. Yes your closet.  Its time to take the blacks and greys out of your wardrobe and open your life to some color. Trust me it does wonder especially if you have been dealing with the Winter blues.  Maybe even switch up your make up and nail colors too!

Also those clothes you find you can’t wear, donate them! If you’re going to keep one or two outfits just in case you get to that smaller size fine but don’t keep them all! Donate!

Get scheduled: I can’t say this enough, get your appointments on the calendar and get out and get your health together.  You should be making appointments to have your whole body checked. Have you noticed your meds aren’t right? Get them evaluated as well. Encourage others around you to do the same.

Get moving-for all of those who couldn’t get in the gym during the Winter, Spring brings the opportunity to take it outside. Get you some old fashion jump rope etc and get active.  Your body and mind will thank you. Also get outside even if you sit outside for 10-15 minutes it does wonders for your mental state!

Blog love

So this week a blog that I’ve done for Greenide has been posted. I’m super proud of this article and if you have missed it, read it here Greenide I talk about some weight loss tips that encourages you to keep moving towards your goals!

Personal Goals

I am still training for the Broad Street Run and getting stronger by the day! This is a 10 mile run and a far cry from the 5k I did last year! My goal is not to be the last one and to complete it! Also I have a solo trip coming up next month! I will blog it upon my return and give you the black out dates for when I will be on a little few days break!

Enjoy your weekend! Find something you enjoy! It doesn’t have to be super big! Fill your cup!