Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Second Nature, Part Two

I continue to be amazed by how second nature eating healthy has become. I continue to be amazed at the fact that I can trust myself, as it pertains to food. 

I trust myself.

I've never, ever felt that way, sad as it may sound.

A couple weeks ago, the Sunday after my period ended, I woke up As I was making my coffee, I noticed out of the corner of my eye homemade chocolate chip cookies sitting in a baggie at the edge of the counter. Those would go well with coffee, I thought to myself out of nowhere.

I took the cookies and my coffee into the living room and happily ate them. More chocolate please, the tiny voice urged. I went back into the kitchen and retrieved a baggie filled with dark chocolate-covered cashews and almonds that I hadn't touched in weeks. I ate a couple servings and then felt satisfied. 

I kept waiting all day for my healthy palate to kick back in, but all day long my body asked for things it hadn't wanted in months - a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, pizza for dinner. I texted Mal throughout the day, confused and frustrated:

Me:I just had a bit of a moment...with two chocolate chip cookies and some dark chocolate covered almonds. I think I’ve been slipping down the dieting rabbit hole a little bit, focusing on weight loss so intensely, and bounced back in the opposite direction. Just wanna stay honest. Logged it and will do my best to hit targets still

Mal  A treat every so often won't hurt, I think we will be okay :)

Me:    I’m so off today it’s so frustrating. I don’t know what’s going on - not able to get in a groove with meditation, journaling, all of it

Mal:    It’s normal to have these days. You’re human. I know you have mental fortitude to get through it and not let this funk win. Feel it, acknowledge it, try to keep giving into cravings to a minimum and trust you will have a better day tomorrow. Don’t even worry about sending me food today. This doesn’t mean go crazy with your food but I want you to relax about it and just enjoy the evening. But remind yourself of the progress you’ve made. We absolutely do not want to derail and lose that. You’ve done so awesome, you’re just having a day. 

And to my pleasant surprise, the next morning, I was completely back on track.

Today was another example. Something feels off with my supplements (call has been placed into my doc, but I have to muscle through in the meantime) and I've been tired all day despite sleeping a full night each night. Today, I decided to just give in to cravings and have Starbucks for breakfast (skinny macchiato and a light breakfast sandwich) and the craving to have cereal with fruit for lunch. In the past, that kind of start to the day would have made me feel like there was no point in trying and would lead to a full on binge day (or week). Today, I decided to just log it and do my best to get good percentages overall. I removed the carbs I would usually have from dinner and opted to have a high protein peanut butter protein shake for my snack and just like that, my calories and percentages were back on track. 

I'm not weighing myself weekly anymore. My wellness team wants me to drop into deeper surrender to Divine's will for me, trusting my body, trusting myself and trusting Divine. Weighing weekly is about looking for outcomes. Having faith is about action without evidence or outcomes. I do have faith, and so I'm weighing monthly now. I still hope that I'll get on the scale and see 8 or even 10 pounds gone. But the truth is that I know I'm taking good care of myself today, one day at a time. If it takes a little longer and that's what Divine wants for me, so be it. 

I'll check back in after August 1 to let you know, either way!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Becoming Second Nature

I've admitted that I was fairly insane when it came to dieting and weight loss up until December of last year, when I realized how far from loving myself I had really ended up. And not only loving myself, but loving those around me, whom I claimed to love fully and unconditionally.

Now that I'm seeing clearly, and have regained sanity in this area, I continue to be amazed by how easy it it is to intuitively handle situations which used to baffle me. (For those of you in recovery, you'll recognize that phrase. Not a coincidence.)

Back during my crazy days, there were situations which really used to throw me completely into a carb-laden tailspin - vacations, holidays, birthdays, road trips, weekends, evenings, illness, celebrations...

I remember a trainer barking at me in frustration that if I was going to keep going off the rails every time I celebrated a birthday in my house, he was going to forbid it. (That didn't go over well with me, as you can imagine.)

The first couple months of quarantine, I didn't face much in the way of temptation. On Easter, I indulged in Easter candy (nothing was off limits, because I wasn't dieting) and was curiously disgusted at how the sugar caused me to go unconscious. I didn't like that and I didn't want it to happen anymore, so I sat down and wrote a list of the things that would comprise my new abstinence:

Safe sweeteners - maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, raw turbinado, fruit juice

Whole grains, or Dave’s killer bread

No fast food or junk food

3 liters of water a day

5 servings of fruits and veggies a day

3 servings of protein


This is when I began baking - sweet potato pecan pie, blueberry pie, cake, cookies and brownies from scratch. I noticed that when I cooked from a mix, even if it was branded "organic," I had some version of the same experience, where the food called to me from the kitchen, trying to convince me to have it at breakfast, lunch and dinner. And maybe a little more even later at night. When I cooked from scratch, that didn't happen. In fact, I could walk by the thing multiple times a day and maybe not have any of it at all. 

As the months progressed, I became more willing to look at my calories and macros, and eventually became willing to make sure the calories were coming from healthy foods.

When we realized we were going to have to take a road trip to take my 17 year old to complete a standardized test, I started to get really nervous. So many times, a vacation or road trip had completely derailed my progress. I can remember going to Disneyworld with the best of intentions, journaling about taking my healthy snacks into the park on days 1 and 2, and about eating everything in sight by day 7 - gaining the regular 8-10 pounds by the end of the trip. (Not exaggerating.)

Granted, this trip was only an overnight stay, but the drive was 6.5 hours. I could do a lot of damage in 6.5 hours with snacks bought a roadside gas station. I planned out both days, but that didn't mean anything. I'd done that before.

My day started as any other - two glasses of lemon water, a green drink and coffee. Before we left, I made my planned smoothie with an extra scoop of protein to keep me sated as long as possible. To my pleasant surprise, it kept me satisfied until we pulled into the hotel at just before 5 pm. I felt into what I wanted and ordered it, then plugged it in to You can imagine my glee when I realized that my percentages were nearly perfect and my calories too! 

I texted Mal to say:

"It was crazy because I didn’t stop for lunch - I had made myself a high protein shake before we left and then when we got here, I ordered what I wanted and plugged it in - not going crazy but not depriving myself - and voila! Is it possible this is becoming second nature??"

Her reply:

"That’s AMAZING!! You’ve come a long way and it’s so awesome. Now you KNOW you’re capable of this and I can tell it’s given you a lot of confidence."

I have come a long way. And it's not just lip service - I can and do trust myself. During this quarantine, I've enjoyed Mother's Day, my birthday, my husband's birthday, Father's Day, July 4 and a road trip, and not only have I not gained any weight, I've lost weight! And more than that, I'm sane and peaceful. 

God's got this, and so do I!

Monday, July 6, 2020

In Case You Were Wondering...

I lost .8 pounds this week, and that’s with the arrival of good old Aunt Flow.

I'm in the middle of the toughest part of the month, battling cravings for chocolate and fat, and just for today, I'm doing pretty well with it. Tomorrow, I go back to working out in person with Mal, and I'm sure that will help shock my body out of any plateau it might be in thanks to my stupid period.

Truthfully, this is just something I've always had to endure and overcome - the impatience of dealing with my body holding onto weight during this time of the month. I really look forward to when my trust in the process has deepened even more, and I can relax in the knowing that I'm taking really good care of my body, and following good direction and guidance, and am on my way to complete and total healing.

I will tell you this - I feel amazing, and I'm super excited to have lost weight two weeks in a row, no matter what the amount. This is the first time that's happened in more than six months!

So again, we celebrate our victories, the biggest one being that I have another weekend under my belt, and another period! Onward and downward!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Independence Day is Cancelled.

July 4 is canceled this year. 

At least in my town, there will be no celebrations. 

To me, this seems fitting, as many of us are redefining and renegotiating our freedoms and even asking ourselves, 

"Whose freedoms does this day really represent, anyway?" 

Certainly not my ancestors. 

It's ironic that this year, there were so many celebrations on June 19th, the day the slaves were freed. The quarantine restrictions had been largely lifted and across the nation, people gathered and celebrated. And yet, due to spikes in the number of infections and deaths as a result of the virus, in many states the celebrations planned for this day will be canceled. Perhaps on the other side of this wild and crazy ride we are on called "2020," July 4 will no longer be the day that is celebrated as the day Americans won their freedom, for as I've said before:

We are not fully free until we are all free.

(If you don't know what I mean by this, educate yourself and watch the Netflix documentary, "13th.")

Perhaps the day is coming when we are all free, and nationwide celebration will happen when that day comes. Perhaps we will only be able to truly enjoy a nationwide celebration when it does.

And yet, I am free today in the way I have come to believe is most important. I am free from the limiting beliefs that kept me imprisoned by my own mind. I'm free to know how to pursue joy, truth, self-love, bliss, communion, connection with Divine and humanity. I'm free to learn and I'm free to teach. I'm free to express myself and I'm free to receive guidance.  I'm free to share and I'm free to listen. I'm free to do all those things or none of them. 

Just for today, I celebrate my freedom. Have you found freedom yet in your life?

The Weight is Over

Tomorrow is weigh in day. Two weeks ago, I stepped on the scale after a period of what I thought was super clean eating and consistent exercise only to find I had gained weight. The devastation and despair this caused led me to finally (I believe) surrender and begin to have faith, not just in Divine, but in my body and myself. I began to really hold myself accountable and think through each choice I was making, consciously deciding to only take action I could be proud of. At the end of my first week following my decision to surrender, I was thrilled to step on the scale and see nearly three pounds gone.

It's now the end of week 2 following my surrender and I can confidently say that I have not only stayed consistent in my healthy habits, I've also added a killer playlist to my workouts so they've all been intense - leaving me sweaty and quivering after only 20-30 minutes of exertion. My mindset has been great, too. I've been meditating several times a day, sometimes as many as four times in one day, including consistent visualization of the body that's coming. And, I've been using great language, because I really do believe that I'm on the other side of the precipice and I've leveled up and into this new version of myself I've been becoming for so very long.

And yet, a small, quiet, tentative voice in the back of my head whispers, "But what if it's still not working?"

You see, there were so many times that I swore I was doing everything right, eating all the right foods, taking all the right supplements, saying all the right words, and still that damned scale wouldn't move. I can look back now and see that I was eating out often (and who knows what the hell they are cooking with and how many calories it has) and my workouts were low intensity at best. My portions weren't controlled and there were many days when my calories were well above 2000 and even more days when I just didn't log at all. So was I really doing everything right?

That's not what my life is like now. Now, I'm actually holding myself accountable to Mal and letting her know every day exactly what I'm eating and how intensely I'm exercising. More than that, I'm listening to my body and giving her what she needs - nothing more, nothing less. I'm loving myself today. 

So if I get on that scale tomorrow and I haven't lost weight, I will know that my body is intelligent and that it is doing exactly what it needs to do to get me to where I want to eventually go, but it will be in Divine timing, not my timing. And Divine's way of doing things is always going to be equal to or better than mine.

I'll check in tomorrow, however briefly, to let you know how it goes.