Therapy Thursday – Transitioning

Sometimes when I don’t blog for several days or a couple of weeks, it’s either because not much is going on and I don’t have anything to say, or it’s because I have lots of things that I want to tell you, but I just haven’t had the time or inclination to sit down and thoughtfully compose a post that explains it all beautifully (because it either has to be great or I can’t do it at all apparently). It’s the latter scenario that’s kept me away this time, but in an attempt to break out of my all-or-nothing thinking, I decided to just come here and start typing and whatever comes out will have to do.

Something is better than nothing, right? 😉

In keeping with my Therapy Thursday theme, I’ve been thinking a lot about transitions. I feel as if I’m transitioning as we speak. Each week in my sessions with the Fabulous Emily I can feel myself moving further and further away from that woman who felt so hollow and resentful and towards someone who I’m actually excited to be. I’m changing in 2 big ways:

  1. I no longer think I’m a frumpy dumpy mom who looks and feels ridiculous all the time. I can actually look at my body and NOT be disgusted. I don’t exactly love the way my body looks, but I no longer think I’m a hideous beast either. I’m feeling very neutral about it these days – my body isn’t good or bad…it just IS. This is my body and this is what it looks like right now and that’s okay. Sure I’d love to be less overweight, and someday I will be, but right now this is what I look like. And depending on the clothes I’m wearing, some days I’d say I look pretty darn good. I feel like I’m in the middle – I don’t hate and I don’t love my body…I’m feeling very Switzerland about it really and that feels pretty good.
  2. My relationship with food is changing as well. My goal for my relationship with food is that I want to feel about food (sweets, in particular) the same way I feel about alcohol: I can take it or leave it. I enjoy a nice glass of wine or a good margarita on occasion, but I don’t think about alcohol every day. There have been many times I’ve had to pour out a half bottle of wine after several weeks because I had forgotten it was in my fridge. Alcohol has no hold over me…and that’s how I want to feel around food. My sugar cravings are way less now than they used to be – thanks in part to several different factors. I take a daily probiotic, I take a progesterone serum daily, and I take an iron supplement  – all of these are part of my self-care regimen. I also make sure to do something every day that gives me a little thrill – it might be having some fancy cheese on a couple of crackers when I get home from work (just a couple is enough to tide me over til dinner), or it might be reading a new book before bedtime that I got from the library that day. Doing small things every single day that make me even just a little bit happy helps me feel fulfilled. When I’m filled with other things, then I don’t need to fill myself up with food. While I still have a ways to go before I’m completely happy with the foods I eat (I could stand to eat more vegetables), I feel like food in general is no longer the center of my universe. I still think about it more than I would like, but at least now I’m much more mindful of what I’m eating and how it makes me feel.

I am absolutely in love with everything I’m learning and how I can see it all coming to fruition. I love realizing how far I’ve come and I know that I can keep going – I actually have skills that I use! And they work! Amazing, right?! 🙂

Stupid Black & White Swimsuit

Happy Post Labor Day!! Who’s still exhausted from the weekend? *Raises hand*

I had a great weekend, but man…it seems like having fun wears me out and it takes a while to recover. But it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. 🙂

So, an interesting situation happened on Saturday. The fam and I went out in the boat for a little joyride and we found a nice little cove that was perfect for swimming. So we’re out there swimming and chilling and being all relaxed when another boat pulls into the cove. Then another boat. And another. And another. Pretty soon there were 6 or 8 boats in our cove and it was obvious they had planned to gather there and have a little Labor Day Weekend party. Coincidentally, my husband knew some of these people so we decided to join them, which was fine…at first.

The group was made up of 30-something couples (married or dating) and there were a few little kids running around splashing and swimming. I noticed that several of the women were wearing bikinis…not tankinis…but itty bitty bikinis and they didn’t look awful in them. They all actually looked pretty darn good. Dammit.

Remember, I’m 44 and roughly 60 pounds overweight.

Yeaahhhhhhhh.

Wanna recipe for disaster? Here ya go:

How to Make Yourself Feel Like a Beached Whale in 4 Easy Steps

  1. Be 60 pounds overweight
  2. Wear a black and white one piece swimsuit similar to this:shamu
  3. Surround yourself with hot mamas who are 15 years younger than yourself
  4. Wait for Greenpeace to show up and haul your arse back into the water

Tada!!

My husband could tell that my mood had shifted, so when he came to check on me, I decided to tell him why. I rarely tell him when things like this bother me, but I decided to be honest about it and I said “all these women in bikinis are making me feel bad”, to which he said some very sweet things which I will keep private, but I felt much better after our little talk. I realized that for whatever reason, my husband really does only have eyes for me. ❤

Unfortunately, I didn’t practice having self compassion that day.  But I realize this is a process and it will get easier. Giving myself a break will get easier and believing that I am worthy NO MATTER WHAT will get easier too.

But I’m DEFINITELY getting a different swimsuit next year.

🙂

Noticing

I noticed a few things over the weekend – some delighted me, some bothered me. 

First the delightful:

I have reached that sweet spot where I am now cognizant of the fact that good food makes me feel good, and not only that, my taste buds prefer it. I keep trying to give my old favorites (read: processed/sugary) second, third, and fourth chances, but I have finally really honestly come to accept that those foods just don’t taste as good to me as they once did. And I can’t deny the difference in how I feel when I eat certain things. I did an accidental experiment over the weekend wherein I ate very good foods all day Saturday and I made a mental note of how great I felt all day long. I started the day with a whole wheat pancake w/ 1tbsp of peanut butter and a side of fresh strawberries. Lunch was a salad with greens, chicken, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, and a couple of other things I can’t remember right now, but oh em gee it was delish. Afternoon snack was a deep chocolate Vitatop (needed a chocolate fix – yum!) and dinner was grilled steak with sweet potato and more salad. So good. So, so good. I had energy, was in a good mood, felt really balanced. 

Aaaaand then came Sunday. Since it was Father’s Day, I made Belgian waffles with bacon and fried eggs before church, then since I was was starving after church, I ate another Belgian waffle folded over some bacon – one of those “I just need some food in my stomach NOW” kinda things. Then I ate a pbj on wheat bread, because…hangry. I thought the hubs would want to go out to eat, but he was pretty happy in his recliner, so the waffle/pbj ended up being my lunch. We went to see my dad in the afternoon and I had a piece of my mom’s homemade chocolate pie (totally worthy), then we met my husband’s family for pizza that evening. I had a salad and one slice of pizza. All day long, I felt tired and cranky. I took a 2 hour nap at home after church and still felt lethargic. I just felt plain awful the whole live long day (which delighted my husband to no end. Happy Father’s Day, honey!!). 

So lesson learned: whole, fresh food makes me feel GREAT while processed, sugary food makes me feel (say it with me) HORRIBLE. I’ll be sticking with healthier fare from now on. 

 

And now for the thing that bothered me:

My daughter is 13 years old, tall and thin. She plays sports, so she’s gaining some muscle now and is in no way overweight. More than once this weekend I overheard well-meaning family members make comments about how much she eats. And yes, she does eat a lot – Girl can put away some groceries (it’s impressive, really). And of course she eats a lot – SHE’S A GROWING GIRL. She also sleeps a lot too because, again, GROWING. What really ticked me off is that each time a comment was made toward her, no one even thought of making a comment about how my 17 year old son eats, and he was right there sitting next to her the whole time. Why is it okay to comment on how much a growing teenage girl eats? My SIL, when we were at the pizza restaurant, said to my daughter as she was getting a slice of pizza ‘That’ll make you fat!” but said nothing when my son ate 3 slices of pizza and 3 hot wings plus a salad. Now, I believe my SIL was joking when she made her comment, because my SIL is every bit of 300 pounds herself, but still it made me want to come over the table at her like a spider monkey. I don’t believe that any of the relatives meant any harm or were being snarky or anything like that, but it really bothered me that they would even dare to make comments to a teenage girl like that. To my daughter’s credit, she just ignored all of it and let it roll off her back (at least that’s how it looked on the outside) – she’s the kind of girl who isn’t afraid to tell someone they are being rude or let someone know they’re out of line. So maybe I’m just projecting my own issues onto the situation, but the whole thing left me feeling rather Mama Bear-like. When any comment was made, I added my own comment: “She’s just the size she needs to be” or “She needs fuel to build those muscles” or something along those lines. I just want her to be proud of her body and everything it can do for her. She’s so impressed with her newly found calf muscles, so I encourage talk about how high her legs can jump (she does volleyball and high jump in track) and how her body is amazing (in terms of functionality). Young girls have such fragile self-esteems, it just makes me cringe when anyone (even well meaning family members) makes unhelpful comments. The whole thing just left a bad taste in my mouth. 😦 

I hope I can keep my kids from struggling with the same food issues I have struggled with my whole life. I’m trying to show them what it means to be a healthy eater – I just hope I haven’t started too late. 

If you want to see what happiness looks like

If you want to see what happiness looks like

Click on the title of this post and it will take you to a gallery page of incredible photos of beautiful moms. There is so much love and sweetness in these photos, you can’t help feeling happy after looking through them! 

I don’t know about you, but it helps me tremendously to see the bodies of average, ordinary, not-supermodel women having a good time in their own skin. 

🙂 

Thin Day, Fat Day

Last week I went and did a little shopping because I found I had a couple of hours of unexpected free time and some tax refund money burning a hole in my pocket. (99% of the time, I either have time but no money for shopping OR plenty of money but no time. This time the planets all aligned in such a way that I had BOTH! AT THE SAME TIME!) I bought a few tops, one of which was an aqua blue drape-neck top that is absolutely beautiful. I love drape neck tops because they fit me well – they are drape-y where I need I need drapes and they skim where I need to be skimmed, so whenever I see one that I think will fit the bill, I buy it. I bought a cute statement necklace to go with it and planned to wear it to church on Sunday, which I did. I paired it with a pair of black slacks and heels and let me just be honest here…I looked GOOD. I felt put-together and most importantly (sarcasm), I FELT SLIM. My hair even got in on the act and decided to behave quite nicely for a change. I wish I had taken a picture because I was FEELIN’ IT. Oh yes I was. (Don’t worry, I got over myself before church because pride goeth before a fall and all that)

Fast forward 24 hours – getting ready for work on Monday morning and very sleepily digging through my closet looking for a work-appropriate outfit to wear. I pull out some work slacks that I wear quite a bit and for some reason, a top that I don’t particularly love, but decided to wear anyway. Oh geeze. That was a mistake because I left for work feeling frumpy and rumpled and short and F A T. My hair rubbed salt into the wound by looking ridikuhlus as well. For ten hours I felt like gum on the bottom of someone’s shoe – annoying and not at all attractive.  I couldn’t wait to get home and take off that stupid top and put my hair up in a plastic clippy thing. I even felt better in my sloppy bun hair and ratty yoga pants (comfort makes me comfy). 

Two different days and two completely different reactions. It just goes to show, it’s not your body that’s the problem, it’s the clothes you choose to buy and wear that can make or break your day. I have been paying a little closer attention lately to what I wear and how it makes me feel – I’ve stopped wearing jeans to work simply because I haven’t found a pair of jeans that I feel good wearing, so even though my work environment is super casual, I feel better when I kick it up a notch and wear slacks. Even casual pants are better than jeans (for me). 

So…focusing on clothes that make me feel good sort of leads to a dilemma for me: what to wear this summer? Of course for work during the summer I wear a lot of long skirts and light weight pants, but when I’m not working I’m not sure what to wear. I carry my weight in my bottom half – from my hips all the way down to my calves, plus I’m short. Also I am very self conscious of the many, many spider/varicose veins on my pale legs, so tend to avoid showing them off.  Any kind of shorts look kind of ridiculous on me because not only do I have Beyonce thighs, I’ve got a JLo booty too – trust me, I just don’t look good in shorts, not even bermuda shorts. Capris tend to make me look stocky so I’d like to avoid those too, but sometimes it’s the lesser of two evils. What’s a short, chunky girl to do? Where’s Stacy & Clinton when I need them???? I guess I need to find an episode of What Not To Wear that deals with this and take notes. :/ I’m looking for something that will not only look good, but make me feel good when I wear it and not like gum on the bottom of a shoe. 

So, the TL;DR version is: find something that fits your body and makes you feel good and wear that, instead of wearing clothes that make you feel like crap. And forget about the size on the tag – just wear what FITS. Size is all relative, anyway. 🙂

 

 

Pictures of the Past

Horse
This horse is not impressed with me.

I found this photo whilst cleaning out from under my bed (oh mercy, the dust bunnies…so many dust bunnies) and I honestly do not remember this picture being taken. This was from a weekend getaway my husband and I took to celebrate our 10 year anniversary back in 2006 when we decided to go horseback riding (apparently I thought I was appropriately dressed for the occasion). I don’t know  my exact weight here, but I’m guessing it was around 165-170. This was a year before I started this blog, too. I do remember feeling confident and happy, so maybe I had recently lost weight – actually I know I had recently lost weight because I had my last baby a little over a year before in May of 2005.  

Image
I weighed 198 when I went into the hospital to give birth. Of course I’m puffy in this picture because having a baby is HARD WORK and makes you swollen all over, at least it did for me.

I also remember feeling that even though I had lost weight, I still “needed” to lose more. Do you know what I would pay to wake up tomorrow and be that weight? The woman in that first picture was having a great time – look at that hand on that cocked hip being all sassy! She looks pretty good to me – I mean yeah, she could still lose a few, but she looks alright. 

Right now I’m closer to the weight in the second picture than I am to the first, but I’m working on it. I’ve lost 2.5 pounds in the last 3 weeks – chugging along slowly but at least I’m moving! I’ve decided to use the first picture as my goal weight picture for now. I’d like to feel sassy like that again, and I will (and some days I still do), so it’s nice to have visual reminder of why I’m doing what I’m doing. 

Do you all realize that 2006 was EIGHT years ago? Does anyone else feel like 2006 was like, three years ago? Where has the time gone? 

 

 

A Battle of Jills

Hello Lovelies! Are you all surviving in the Arctic tundra that is the United States these days? Brrr!!!

I talked with Amanda again on Monday and had a very productive session. We talked about how I’ve been struggling lately and what happens when I find myself in the moment of temptation, which is this: I get involved in a land war in Asia…no wait, (that’s one of the classic blunders of all time)…What I mean to say is that I find myself WARRING with MYSELF on whether or not I’m going to eat whatever tempting food just happens to be within my line of sight. Amanda and I talked about what goes on in my head in these moments and I mentioned that I inevitably get fed up and just give myself permission to eat the darn food. And then she said this (I’m paraphrasing, but this is what my brain took away from the conversation): 

Well Jill, you were on that side before, but now it’s time to come over to the other side – the side where Jill says “you are strong enough to handle this temptation. You have everything you need in order to walk away from this situation” . The Jill on this side is powerful and she can win against the Jill that just wants to give in. You have to make the effort – you have to practice at saying NO, but you have lots of support to help you make the healthy decision. You can win the Battle of Jills.

Wow, right?! This stuck with me and not just because she gave me a brilliant blog post title (get it? A Battle of Jills sounds like a Battle of Wills…get it? Oh never mind.), but because I needed to hear it. I needed a little bit of tough love, a bit of push, a bit of “you can do it”. 

She suggested that when I’m in that moment that I need to pause and think about WHY I want to lose weight and have a snapshot in my head of what I will look like once I lose the weight. Putting some space between what I want and what I want RIGHT NOW should be enough to make me rethink the situation and make a better choice. 

I’m enjoying this plan so far. I’ve even started getting up early to walk on the treadmill before work (okay, I just started today but YAY ME!) to help reach my goal of 7000 steps per day. Turns out I can get about 3000 steps walking at a moderate pace for half an hour. And by moderate, I actually mean moderate for a turtle ’cause girlfriend is SLOW these days. But it all counts, right? 🙂 

Stay toasty my friends!! 

~Jill

 

 

I need you to watch this video and then watch it again

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/11/the-burlesque-dancer-who-inspired-my-heart-to-roar-video/

This chick? With her madd dance skillz and the ferocity on her face towards the end? Gave me chills! I feel like this whole dance is giving the bird to everyone who ever made her feel “not good enough” throughout her whole life. She’s my new favorite badass. 🙂

I might have cried while watching this. Sometimes something hits you right in the feels and you can’t ignore it.

Not sure if SFW – nothing bad in it but if you’re concerned, you might want to wait til you get home to watch it.

The Benefits List, PF Relief, & An Ego Stroke

As promised here is my “Benefits of Not Eating This Junk Food Right Now” list. I appreciate the comments and suggestions you all made to help me with this. This list is for those times when I’m not hungry, it’s not a special occasion, and I’m just looking for some sugary/salty entertainment for my mouth. If you think of anything else that might be helpful to add, just leave me a comment and I’ll come back and add to this later. 

Why I Should NOT Eat This Delicious Poisonous Food Right Now Even Though It Would Be Totally Tasty

  • I will be that much hungrier for my next healthy meal or snack so it will taste that much more delicious!
  • My “NO” muscle will get a good workout
  • I will not want to come back and punch myself in the face later
  • I will not be flooding my body with trash chemicals that will make me feel awful in a half hour
  • I will feel incredibly noble and virtuous, like a queen, when I put the food down and say “This I do for me!” 
  • My arteries will stay clear and free-flowing if I don’t eat this ( and who doesn’t love free-flowing arteries?)
  • My libido will remain “on”. Let’s just leave it at that. 

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In other news, BIG thanks to Debby and Katie for their suggestions on dealing with my Plantar’s Fasciitis. Debby sent me an article about stretching and Katie suggested using Orthaheel orthotics and I’m having good results just in the last few days! Just the simple stretch alone has helped me feel about 75% better. I ordered the orthotics and had a little trouble the first day but once I realized I had put them in the wrong way (facepalm) I fixed the issue and they have been working great!! My hope is that I can get this thing licked within a few weeks and then I can start jogging (slowly) and start training for realz for the 5k in March. 

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About a month ago I got an email from Swamimami Teas saying I had made their “Bloggers You Should Know About” list. Here’s what they had to say about me:

The Sassy Pear

The Sassy PearJill is on the journey to slowly but certainly produce a brand new, healthy life for herself. Jill knows that even when the focus is weight loss, life intervenes with and it’s not the only thing we have to think of.

That’s why her website is so much more than just tracking the pounds on the scale. It’s about discovering a purposeful, permanent way of living a healthy life. That’s the sort of weight loss and fitness goal which everyone can appreciate.

Why Swami Mami adores The Sassy Pear? This 40 something trying to lose 40 pounds speaks about her amazing journey. We love her real and raw approach to not only changing the foods you eat and your exercise routine, but her journey to change her thoughts about her own body. We love Jill!

Very sweet!! Then a couple of weeks ago, they sent me another email offering to let me try their 2 week TeaTox and I agreed. Because I like tea and I like free things and BECAUSE THEY SAID THEY LOVE ME. That’s why. Tell me you love me and I’ll pretty much do anything you ask (which now that I think about it, might have been the source of much heartache in college, but that’s another blog post entirely). So look for a review of Swamimami Teas in the near future (sneak peak: the tea tastes really yummy!).

 

Until next time! 🙂

Psychological Warfare

I seem to be on a blogging binge! Three posts in three days – what?!? Let’s just roll with, shall we? 🙂

We’ve all seen a “Benefits of Weight Loss” or “Benefits of Exercise” list before either here on the internet or in a magazine or possibly even at your local gym. I like these lists because they remind me of the good things that can happen when I drop some pounds or go for a walk. And as helpful as these lists are, I find that I need to dial it down even further. While I completely understand that losing excess weight can help lower blood pressure, increase self esteem, manage diabetes, manage heart disease, and make your clothes fit better, knowing this doesn’t necessarily help me in the moment

I need more than that. I need a “Benefits of Not Eating This Junk Food Right Now” list. This is where it counts – where I will make or break my plan, because when I am holding the cookie in my hand or eyeing my daughter’s trick or treat bag, I need to know the psychological benefits of not giving in. From where I’m standing, the benefit of eating the cookie or candy bar is that I get to EAT CHOCOLATE RIGHT NOW. I need to  know what I’m going to get if I don’t eat the chocolate or chips or whatever. I need to know how not eating the (insert junk food of choice here) is going to make me feel better right now and for the next 60 seconds of my life. I need an on-the-spot intervention.

Since there doesn’t seem to be a list like this in existence, I guess I’ll have to make one up. Here’s what I’ve got so far: 

The Benefits of Not Eating That Junk Food Right Now

  • You can put the offending food down and walk away like an action hero walking away from an explosion.
  • Your future self will not want to come back in a time machine and punch you in the face.
  • Your “NO” muscle will get some much needed exercise. 
  • You will be that much hungrier for your next meal which means it will taste that much more awesome.

 

That’s all I’ve got, and that’s not enough, so I need your help now. What would you add to the list, and make sure it is something that will be beneficial in that moment. I’m not looking for a how-to; things like “go for a walk” don’t help me when I’m completely zeroed in on a fun-size Milky Way. If we get enough suggestions, I’ll put the complete list in another post all its own for all the world to see. You’ve got all weekend to ponder this, so ponder away and hopefully on Monday I’ll have enough to post an entire list. 

We need this, folks. This could be a mighty tool in our collective weight-loss tool boxes, don’t ya think? 🙂

Happy Weekend!