Saturday, May 31, 2014

Love the Skin You're In

I believe in tough love. I always use the phrase "This comes from a loving place". Words can be mean. Blunt and harsh attitudes can make words hurt even more. So, it's important that I start this by saying, this comes from a love place and respect.

Your 125, 150, 180, 200, 250, 300 pound bodies are beautiful. The person underneath the skin is incredible. There are friends and family that surround you daily that want the best and utmost happiness for you. You are someone's sunshine. 

So what if you're boobs aren't as big as your best friends, butt is too big to fit into Hollister jeans (screw that company anyway), or you have a little extra mid-section weight that you refer to your "love handles". 

Look at yourself in the mirror and think about what that body has done for you already in all your years. Has it healed itself from illness, surgery, broken bones, infections? Has it birth a child? Oh, maybe 5? Has it allowed you to walk from one point to another to get you to where you need to be? Have you reached the top of a mountain and saw a valley of trees and buildings? Or was it a complete emptiness besides the wilderness and trees? That body allows you to be on this planet, surrounding your family and friends. You're able to experience this life because of that magnificent, strong, beautiful body. 

Do you notice it changes when your eating habits are a certain way? Do you watch it transform when your growing baby is inside of you, or do you notice how fast your body changes after you give birth? Do you notice when you go out on a weekend spree of drinking, dancing, and bad food that the next few days you feel sluggish? Do you enjoy how light and fresh your body feels when you have smoothie or juice your veggies and fruits? Does your skin glow when you add more vegetables to your meals? Or do you notice how your break outs of acne and pimples happen around that one annoying time of the month and when you have too much chocolate or dairy? 

When you're dehydrated and thirsty do you get that feeling throughout your body that you need need water? Do you spend 20 trips to the bathroom all day when you finally drink enough water and you're properly hydrated? After holiday meals, do you get that feeling of wanting to nap right after you eat the final dinner roll or piece of pumpkin pie? Do you smile when you eat a slice of cheese cake because the taste and memories come flooding back and your body just sinks in relaxation and calmness?

Your body does that all. How incredible. Thank it for all it has done for you already. Thank you for all it WILL do for you. 

So, you want to lose weight or fit into those old high school jeans? As long as they aren't ripped and bleached...that's cool. Ha! Here's a secret or two that I've learned. No amount of harmful self talk will get you back into those jeans or lose those stubborn 30 lbs. No 3 hour workout to make up for the hamburger you just had will make it happen either. 

Your VERY first step is to thank your body for all it's done. Look at your body in a state as raw as you emotionally can (yes, that means naked, I dare you) and cry, laugh, touch, and accept it. Be real with yourself. This is your starting point. This is where it all changes. 

Then, you can do one or the other (I did both, so I'm sure a lot of you will do both also). 1. Apologize to yourself and your body. Life happened and you managed to let things go and not put yourself and your body first. It happens, but it's something that can be fixed. There's no reason to keep doing it now that you're aware. 2. Forgive yourself. Having accepted and apologized for old habits, forgive yourself for feeling those aweful thoughts of self image hate. Forgive yourself for comparing your body to others and for hating what you see in the mirror. 

If this seems as if it's a self help, follow the directions, step by step guide, I greatly apologize. It isn't. Sometimes these actions happen slowly and with weeks or months in between before you reach the end. Yes, the end. Then you get to start another journey...a journey you know you're worth. Once you know you're worth all that's ahead and what you're mentally capable of and what you're awesome body is capable of...there's NO stopping you. 

If your goals really are to lose 50 lbs or to drop several jean sizes or even gain weight, it will be hard and there will be times when you want to quit and take the easy way out. But, the reminder that you love and cherish the body you're in will overcome those feelings and moments of struggle every. single. time. 

The next steps are just as crucial. 
1. Remeber the old you, at all times but with the knowledge that she/he was yesterday and will not be here tomorrow.
2. Surprise yourself with progress and random acts and behaviors the old you couldn't or wouldn't have done. Share them with others! Let your mom or sister know you walked 3 miles faster than yesterday.
3. Take it day by day. The body that you just accepted and started to fall in love with wasn't formed in one day. 

This had to happen for me before anything else changed. I may struggle with food and emotional stressors for over eating at times or I may skip workouts, but there's always two constants. 1. I LOVE MY BODY and I fell in love with it at 242 lbs. 2. I never allow myself to talk down to my body. 

Yes, my body has changed and I work and eat right so it can change even more, but I know that if I didn't accepted my body the way it was, I would have given up like all the times in the past. Even more than that, I would be working toward this idea of "happy body image" and I would probably never find it, because I would never be content. I am content right now.

I hope you get just one simple message out of this. 
 You get to decide to love your body.


Recap: Advocare & Balance

It's been a hot minute since I updated this. Why? Because I've been busy living life! I think about all the fun stuff I want to post and then get super side tracked with the gym, home life, and work that it gets pushed off. So, here's a bit of what you've probably seen on my IG (where I post EVERYTHING, no joke) and my Facebook. I promise, I'll do better :)

Lets start with my training: I completed Bloomsday on May 4, 2014. 7.46 miles of complete unknown territory and complete nerves in 1:42:57. #irunformamoru has become a mission. Mamoru was one of my biggest supporters and promised he would run Bloomsday a year ago with me when I was ready. I was ready this year. He may not have been physically with me, but he got me through some really tough mental places during the race. I don't remember the scenery or how I was feeling before or after. I specifically remember running up "doomsday hill" and crying because I was finally letting go of a lot of "unknown" that I held on because of his death. I finally accepted that healing had to happen. I have this idea that every time I run and call on him for guidance, I'll not only cross a finish line, but I'll find a piece of him again. The best part was being surrounded by my friends and my mom, who also completed it for the first time!

What now? Ohhhh good question! I'm training for my FIRST HALF MARATHON! I am running 13.1 miles on July 13, 2014 to help raise money for the Boys & Girls Club of Missoula! 
I strongly believe in being a resource and support for children in the communities I call "home". I have been doing a running/lifting/HIIT training schedule because lets be real, I'm scared. Scared REAL bad. If I could use bad words to express my fear, I would. But, I'm telling myself that NO matter what, I'll cross the finish line; even if I have to walk the last 6 miles. This is about progress and about making myself better! 

Now, to break it down even further when it comes to what I'm using for training and how I'm balancing my life. This will also touch base on mentally where I'm at, and what I've learned in the last year. Negativity and "higher than thou" attitudes will not be accepted, check it at the door!

Advocare! That's right. I said it. I love & use Advocare. Why? Here are MY reasons:
1. I did my research. I researched and thought about it for a year.
2. My heart doctor (born with two holes in my heart) approved ALL of the products, actually encouraged me with a couple for running/training purposes.
3. My physician & gyno approved the products I use, especially PCOS.
4. I realized that when you're training toward goals, supplements do help.
5. I EAT REAL FOOD. CLEAN FOOD. Yes, I eat food. I don't drink shakes all day, that is one thing I could never do.
6. The vitamins in Spark do more for me than any vitaman b complex or depression pill ever did for my mood and mental clarity.
7. I've seen and spoke with pro athletes and body builders who have used the products for years.
8. My energy level is increased without toxic red bull or monster drinks. I was told if I drank those drinks, I would have heart issues. Spark is amazing.
9. The 24 Day Challenge truly helped during a dark period and brought me back to the basics.
10. It's my choice.

Now, I'm going to try and say this in the most respectful and elegant way, because I truly love what I do and the products I use, but I ALWAYS keep it real.

THIS IS WHAT WORKS FOR ME! I eat real, clean, wholesome food during the day. Roughly 5 meals a day and when I train, I use supplements and Spark. I used to eat 100% clean with EVERYTHING....those type of restrictions & some emotional issues caused for A LOT of binge eating and self hate. I took a step back and re-evaluated things. My body is the healthiest it has been...ever. Physically, mentally, and internally. My blood work came back from a hormonal panel and diabetes panel and it was PERFECT. That's never happened before, especially not when I was having my binge episodes. 

Balance is something that gets thrown at people trying to lose weight ALL THE TIME. But I've discovered that what my definition of "balance" means can be completely different than the next person. Balance needs to be based off of our personal needs. I allow for some flexibility so my binge episodes don't make an appearance or so I can feel more in control. Weight loss is mental. I can run 10 miles, but working through a stress trigger or depression is where I'm constantly put to the test.



I encourage ANYONE interested in the 24 Day Challenge to ask me questions and go ask their doctors! Go ahead, research, read reviews, and ask. It's okay to ask questions. I was hesitant for over a year, and now I'm happy and content with my decision.

I'll be posting more, promise! :) Start this next month with LOTS of determination and kill your goals!