Friday, January 15, 2016

Choosing to focus on Health and Wellness

Over the last few years, I have spent a great deal of time changing my mindset about food, nutrition and exercise. It hasn't been easy. The voices in my head about how I looked, what I should eat and how I should feel about myself were very comfortable and very much in control.

Every time I tried to make a lasting change, these voices in my head would start picking at my successes so that the negative thoughts quickly drowned out the good feelings and thoughts and I would go back to the same comfort foods that got me into trouble in the first place.

What I have learned is that the closer I get to my "goal" weight the more pressure the negative voices put on my soul. I realize that it shouldn't be that way. One would think that with each success the negative voice would shrink. But it doesn't. And I truly believe that is why people struggle with a healthy body image so much. Every success is suspect. At least for me. Maybe you don't have the same negative thoughts. I hope you don't.

But I am learning.

I am learning that every single day is an opportunity to make better food choices.

Every single day I can choose to be happy about where I am on my health and wellness journey.

The journey is long and full of mountains and valleys. But I have learned that fueling the journey correctly is important. Without healthy eating habits the mountains seem insurmountable and the valleys become pits of despair.

In 2012 I was exhausted. Physically and emotionally.

I just love that these "before" pictures of me include the food and drink that I consumed all of the time. Sugar in the form of a sweet tea and sugar in the form of a piece of cake.

And I still look at this picture and shake my head. I can't believe how wide I had gotten. And this is me a couple of weeks into Weight Watchers and I had lost almost 10 pounds. WOW.

From there I started really eating many more vegetables and fruits and working out, but my mind could not grasp that this was a real life-long change. In the past, I would diet for a little while till I got to a comfortable size and then pick up my sweet tea again.

But this time I did better.

Because I learned to occupy my mind and negative thoughts with goals and purpose. Instead of focusing on counting points, I started counting miles.

But I still couldn't keep those last 10-15 pounds off. I was roller coasting within a smaller range, but I would still eat well and then give up for a few weeks and then get back on the wagon and so forth.

Then last year, after reading and researching, I started eating a nutritarian diet more and saw great results. I learned that forgoing cheese wasn't that hard, but keeping all of the sugar out of the diet was difficult.

I even challenged myself to mastering handstands.

I had made it to a place where I was for the most part happy with body, I still was frustrated with the scale, but not enough to make any further changes. I had two stress fractures in my left foot in 2015, so I gave myself some grace for the extra 10 pounds that I couldn't shake.

So as I looked at 2016, I decided that I was ready to take the next step into health and wellness. I had been researching and watching Isagenix people for a while. It requires an investment. But I was ready.

Well, I joined a 30 day challenge and we started on the 11th.. I expected to be hungry and unhappy. Cause diets are supposed to be that way. right?
Nope. I am eating MORE food than I had been before. I feel better. I did my first cleanse and I wasn't grouchy or grumpy. I've lost pounds and even more inches and I feel good!

What? How can this be?

I don't really know.... the science behind it says lots of stuff... but I'm just going to say YIPPEE.

So, if you looking for a lifestyle change and ready to make a commitment to yourself, go look at my website and then send me a message, I'd love to tell you more about the products. Feel free to do like I did, take a look at the website, ask questions and then a year later decided to take that important first big step.

And where is the AFTER picture?

Well, not here yet! I'm still a work in progress!

But I can't wait to show you! 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2016 Resolution: Follow Through

My resolution for 2016 is to overcome one of my greatest struggles.

And what is my greatest struggle? Well..

I would say my short attention span, but I can focus on hard things or interesting things forever. Give me a thousand piece puzzle and I'm good for the day. 

But if it doesn't force me to engage, I move on. Even when I am so close to being finished with something that it doesn't make sense.

So really, I'd have to say that my greatest struggle is my inability to just finish off things.

As I have blogged about previously, I am a fantastic starter! I can get whipped up into a frenzy and live in a state of euphoria about something for days or even weeks, but once the adrenaline wears off, or I have figured out the process or whatever, I am done. Even when I'm not really done.

This works fine in the art classroom. My student's count on my energy as they are getting started. They need my starter projects so that they can see the process. The problem is, I don't finish the projects. At school I don't have time. My student's don't need my finished pieces. By the time I can get back to my starter clay piece, it's bone dry and often broken.  By the  time I can get back to my drawing/paintings, I often can't remember what my motivation/inspiration was in the first place! 

As you can imagine, I have lots and lots of starter projects at school.

I have even more at home. With no excuse. 

So this year, I am going to finish things.

My word for the year was going to be FINISH, but I know that my healthy journey can't be finished.. but I sure can follow through. I need to get a mindset of just following through with projects, ideas, training and eating.

Therefore, that is my mantra for 2016: Follow Through.

Here is a glimpse of a few of my unfinished projects...I included my girls in the picture as they have as many unfinished projects as I do!! What an example. ugh.

And I have gotten right to it. The girls finished their lingering paintings for the county art show (finally.. they only started these in July!) And I finished my first loom knit scarf today!

I am also going to refocus of healthy eating. I had been doing great, then I got the stress fracture in my left foot in October and had to shut down the workouts. With life and stress and me not eating right, I have gained 10 pounds. Bummer. But if I will just FOLLOW THROUGH and eat real food. not processed drive-thru crap, I'll be fine. Just gotta follow through.

So this is my year of nothing new except for possibly a house if we can ever get something found/worked out. But other than that, it's a year of finishing..not starting!

How is that for a resolution!! I know that there are a lot of you that need a resolution like this!!