Strength & Confidence

“Remember when we used to sit on our asses and smoke?”

That’s what one of my dearest friends said after a run in the park together a couple of weeks ago. I laughed my head off and still giggle everytime I think of it. Because it’s so true…We would sit on my front porch, yammering about everything while smoking our cigarettes. (I miss that house…but I digress…)

Wow, life is so different than it was then. So what happened next? Let me see….my husband went through two layoffs, I got laid off 6 months later, we started a business, lost our house, cars, and retirement, closed down the business, moved to a farm, started raising cattle (our new retirement plan), husband changed careers, I went back to school, almost got a divorce, started a new career… Whew! That’s my life for the past 6 years in a very breif nutshell.  Now that’s getting personal!

The point?

I look back at all of this – all of the pain, the turmoil, the stress, just the hurdles life has thrown in my path – and I look at myself in the eyes today. I. Am. Badass.  And I am PROUD of myself. I didn’t just survive these things, I fought the battles, and I conquered them.  Looking at where I’m standing today, I am holding the flipping gold metal!

I am not just rambling on to pat myself on the back to y’all. Thing is, I want to remember these things and hold them in my memory on purpose.  Lessons to learn, absolutely. But more than that, proof that I have the strength to overcome and persevere.  Self-confidence hasn’t been the easiest thing for me, like ever.  But reflecting on these things makes me realize I am strong. I should be confident in myself. I can look in the mirror and see pride.  So, as I look to kick off a new year tomorrow, I am going to remind myself of these things every day. I refuse to see failure in the mirror any. more.

I urge each of you to maybe do a little reflection of the obstacles you have likely overcome in your life as well. It’s enlightening – and dare I say liberating – to realize where your strength has guided your path, and maybe you don’t really realize it until you look back…

Don’t walk quietly into 2016. Jump for joy into it and make it the best year yet!

Happy New Year All and let’s do this – with no inhibitions and full of confidence!

A Brand New You, Effective Tomorrow

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Reflections and Resolutions

As I reflect on the year of 2015, I truly am blown away by all of the changes I have personally made in my life, in just this last year. Not in any particular order…I changed careers, I took control of my health and gave myself another tool so that I might finally be successful, I started this blog, and I took a focused look inward to realize my strengths and weaknesses to tackle what I need to celebrate and what I need to work on in the various aspects of my life.  I did good this year. All of the things I set out to do this year I did, and more. 

Now I have to admit, I met 2015 with a battered heart and a lack of faith in myself, really walking adrift and aimless at the beginning. For most of 2013 and all of 2014 my sole focus was on my marriage and keeping the kids oblivious to the turmoil. With the dust settled, doors closed, and new foundations being constructed by the end of 2014 I took a look in the mirror last New Year’s Eve and, while I was hopeful, I was damn tired. Drained. Like swimming in the ocean for months and months and finally making it to the shore, success!, but no more gas in the tank, know what I mean?  I didn’t have a plan for my personal goals and growth.  I couldn’t even tell you what those were. Yes I was in the middle of grad school but just pushing the paces to get me through until graduation.  

It wasn’t until February when I was sitting in a 3-day summit meeting at work when it hit me – dead in the face – what in the hell am I doing here? I hate this industry and there’s no where for me to grow or even do something different!  I made a plan then and there. I was going to bide my time, finish grad school, then go on the hunt for something inspiring and ideally from home. My kids are getting into their teenage years and my constant presence in their lives would be even more vital than ever before. A week later a job popped up in my LinkedIn profile bar, and it was with a company I desperately wanted to work for and had wanted to for 3 years.  I didn’t go lookin for it either-in my mind I wasn’t ready. But there it was, right in front of me. I took a chance and applied. 7 weeks and 5 interviews later I was offered a position with this company and I haven’t looked back. More money, I work from home, and the growth opportunities are endless. And I absolutely love what I do now and the company I work for. 

Meanwhile, I took a strong hold on my health. Diet and exercise, Crossfit, personal trainer, c25k, weight watchers, I was in the war zone – and losing. Discouraged and depressed I turned to food and self-sabotaged every effort I was making. But I didn’t stop the efforts, just obviously couldn’t break trough. I gained 40 lbs in 6 months. Enough was enough and VSG was going to help me win over depression and self-sabotage. I committed and was/am all in now. Best decision ever.  

I started this blog. Both to meet fellow WLS Angels and to keep myself accountable. A bonus would be if I helped others out in their journeys too. It’s been amazing so far, living my journey and sharing with others and becoming friends with people who understand just how hard this really is. 

Those are the highlights-the big stuff-and just know there were so many other changes in my life I was making too. 

So, when I look in the mirror on Thursday I ask myself what I will see. What will I do? What do I want and How will I do it?  I want answers and plans on Thuraday-a list and a plan. 

So what is your New Year’s resolution?  2016 has a whole host of changes coming my way-those that are already seen. Student loans, financial planning, the logistical stuff yes, but things that need to be tackled for sure. 

But what about the me part? I am a mom and a wife and I am not by any means a selfish person. But 2016 is going to be focused on me. Selfish? Maybe. But the better I make me, the better I am for those impacted by me.  

I bought a Passion Planner.  I oogled and googled and found the right one for me. I’m very excited about receiving it. It may not be here for a few weeks but the site allows you a free download so I printed the directions and a few weeks to get me started for when I get the book. And I am excited. I am looking deep to find my true passion.  I am making an action plan, that incorporates all of my life goals and tasks to make my way towards them into my daily routine. My New Year’s resolution? To diligently USE my planner everyday, to capture my thoughts and be accountable to my dreams and what I am doing to make them a reality. I won’t accomplish everything in one year,  I know, but at least will be driving the bus to a destination of my own design. 

No more aimless days of just getting through the logistics of daily life. I will walk with purpose. And I will have yet another tool in my Arsenal to help me get there. 

   
So what are your resolutions? Your passions? I’d really love to hear…

What to blog?

So I think of a million things I want to blog about everyday – do I write them down? No. So here comes the night time when I have the time and want to blog…and I’m blank…

I have all of my Christmas DONE and only one more present to wrap when it arrives (hopefully) as scheduled on Wednesday!  Feeling very spiritual and excited about this time of giving and prayer. 

I look back on my 2015.  It was a year of major changes, job, career, VSG, marriage, faith. All good and my cup over-floweth with joy! 

A friend of mine was asking for recommendations for a life planner.  I was so inspired by that idea! I downloaded an app that might be good. I’m going to try it for a couple of weeks and determine if a written planner/journal would be best for me instead of an app though. I am still a notes girl even though I do use OneNote.  We’ll see and I will update which I go with in case you’re interested too. I would love to lay out goals for 2016, inspirations and journaling my progress. Not just with weight loss but with all areas in my life. (And blog ideas!) 

So here are my Stats:

  • HW: 240
  • SW: 230
  • CW: 189

Have to tell you I felt like I would never see 180’s again. And to think…in 3 more months where will I be? It’s exciting!  

So that was a quickie for tonight. More tomorrow.  Until then, shine on!

Amanda

PS-made an appointment with my therapist finally and looking forward to that! It’s been 3 months!  4 by the time I see her in January.  

Wrestling Demons and Food

Well, apart from the damnable ankle keeping me sedentary for over a week now, I have had some stronger de-motivating emotional battles not directly related to food -but we’ll get to that-or surgery .  This post is off the beaten path of this WLS blog.  I wasn’t really sure I wanted to come here and expose myself so vulnerably, but maybe it will help me to close Pandora’s lid and put her back in the attic of my mind – for longer this time.   

I know I’ve mentioned my marriage literally crumbled before my eyes in 2013 and crescendoed into the “rock bottom” stage in late 2014.  Just days before Thanksgiving of last year. We thought we were through and had begun planning our divorce and the communication plan for our (if you can believe it) oblivious children. 

God intervened.  Placed his hands right inside our hearts and our family and my marriage and saved us. I promise you it was a miracle we survived it, and not only survived it, thrive as an essentially brand new couple.  We’re now newly weds who’ve happened to have been married for 15 years before. Although I find that I don’t count the first 14 as a marriage anymore. I mean we were married and had three children together. But we were living lies. 

All I will really detail about it all is that it was hella traumatic and my therapist truly described that my coping routine mirrored true PTSD. 
It’s been a full year since the day I said I want a divorce and everything changed. And I wouldn’t trade what we have now, a year later, for anything. 

But the demons still strike at times, as much as I would like to believe we are past it all and looking ahead. Something will trigger my mind and I cannot help but to fester on it, sometimes a few hours, sometimes a few days. 

In my current throw down at the mat, I’m coming up on two weeks. Doing everything I can to shake it-throwing myself into work, school, watching TV–all in an effort to use my brain in overload or use my brain for entertainment, so as not to think.   Conjuring up woulda-shoulda-coulda and what did..all of it perculates. I neeeeeed it to just stop!

I haven’t seen my therapist since the week before surgery. It’s clear I am over-due for an appointment. 

This circles me back to food. Early in 2015 I gained 40+ lbs alone. I ate my grief, my pain.  Things were going well then, repaving the road to emotional intimacy and trust. But I hid my pain, suffered in silence, I didn’t want to rock the now calmed boat, and I fed it with whatever I could to make me feel better. Food, Valium, alcohol, sleep. He knew, understood it, and was helpless to change it. 

This brings me to my WLS journey. Having this surgery was going to give me back control of me.  And it’s been such a blessing to be focused on just me, my emotional healing, my strength and my body. 

This raging demon has been relentless. It’s taken me away from my focus on WLS-food prep, execise, protein, water, vitamins. It’s work. And if it’s something I don’t have to do like work or school, I don’t want to do anything at all except sleep. Housework, laundry, cook, nothing. I find myself searching for food to comfort me. Thankfully I have very little if any in the house to feed it and I’m home 85% of my days. I recognize this pattern and am trying to fight it but honestly I have been losing.  Add in the ankle, and I’m just defeated. 

So please send prayers my way that I can get past this muck of memories soon and re-focus on my journey and me.   

Thanks for listening. 

Before and during

Hello y’all! Great start to the week! Can you BELIEVE Christmas Eve is in 10 days? Where is time going this year-it’s been a very fast year! 

Not too much to talk about today, but wanted to share some pictures- some “before” and “during…” side-by-sides that really blew me away today.  I know I see a difference in the mirror but I also always see something different when I look at pictures of myself. Does anyone else do that? Think, that’s not what I see when I look in the mirror, who Is that woman?  I still think that but at least I see I am making progress. 
   
   
I went to a really fancy Holiday party over the weekend.  Got my hair done in a great bottom cross-braid where it was loose and curled on the side. I felt so pretty. It’s a wonderful thing when a girl gets to be gussied and glamorous out on the town for a night once in awhile. Especially one that works from home sporting yoga pants or workout gear all day and simply (most of the time) brushes her hair. Otherwise it’s a pony tail or messy bun. And I didn’t even have to wear spanxs, the dress flattered enough so I didn’t have to fight with that contraption riding up all night lol. Not a single picture turned out with decent lighting but here’s these I thought I would share

   
    
 
Fun fun with show and tell.

Remember the ankle I rolled last weekend so bad? I did a very light run this morning and all seemed fine. Until I got off and the day progressed. My ankle is swollen, painful to the touch, and making me limp by this hour. I really am hoping to avoid x-rays.  More than anything I want to get back to my training. It’s clear I have to find other routines until this heals. Huge set-back from my goal of running a full 5k without walking by March 4th.  We’ll see how long this keeps running halted. Got to stay positive.

Been back on track with eating. Tonight I made this great healthy chicken and bean chile that was so good my husband ate all of what was supposed to be my lunch tomorrow :(. Oh well, I’ll throw one together again tomorrow. I’ll post it my recipes page soon. 

So I may have taken 3 steps back in following the program but I know I’ve at minimum taken 1.5 steps forward this week to reclaim. Would be better if the ankle wasn’t bad. So strength  training and modified Insanity here I come. 

Well that’s it for me tonight. Hope you are all doing well!

Xoxo

Miss me?

Helloooooo blogosphere! I have been keeping up with each of you, but have been lax in posting myself! Honestly I have been just racked these last weeks-SO ridiculously busy!  And I really haven’t had any stellar ideas about what I wanted to talk about…

So here are the stats to date: