2009 vs Today

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I came across the above quote a few weeks ago and it resonated with me, especially with regards to my health journey.

Prior to our summer break and move I made the conscious decision to close my Etsy shop and quit attending Weight Watchers.  Etsy is how I pay for my WW membership and I didn’t want the stress of working while moving and also trying to enjoy a few summertime visits with my college girls.  (Let me add in here I’m grateful that my income is not relied upon for the home, so I have the ability to take breaks like this.)

I also did not stress myself out if I didn’t make it to the gym or get any intentional exercise in.

It was the best decision I made for this summer emotionally and spiritually speaking.  I had other priorities I did not want to let drop, so dropping my “dieting” allowed me to keep other higher priorities in place.

You may or may not agree with my choice, but I don’t regret it.

I was able to focus on moving and enjoying my family and not stress over orders to be filled or whether or not I was sticking to my calorie budget.

However, the decision to skip exercise and not care what I was eating did have less-than-ideal results and they are weighing both on me emotionally and physically (I’m up almost 10 pounds).

Sigh.

I still don’t regret my decision, because I was stressed out enough with all that this move entailed, but I am fighting the failure demons that lurk when the scale is up.

I have also been fighting the emotions that can lead me to think how can I inspire others and keep blogging when I’m up so much in my weight?!

[insert weeks of thinking on the above quote]

“My New Ending” started as a place where I could express my very deep struggles with food and not worry what others thought, because I didn’t know any of those “others” personally.  I didn’t start any specific diet, but made small changes over time.  They added up to losing about 75 pounds.

Lately, I’m struggling, but it’s different now.

I’m frustrated that I haven’t kept the weight off, that I feel obsessed with food at time and while I want to go back and try and approach losing weight exactly like I did in 2009 I just don’t see that happening.

The basics will work when I stick to them, which is where I’m beginning.  At the same time, I’ve learned so much about health and myself in the last 8 years and I’ve been through some very life-changing events.

I’m not the same person I was in 2009.

But does that mean I can’t continue blogging about my new ending in life?

I’ve decided no it doesn’t.

Because coming back here and checking in periodically may in fact hopefully encourage someone out there that new endings include messes, failures, successes, more failures, lessons learned and ultimately if I don’t quit fighting back for better health then I am still the new-Leah that emerged a couple of years ago.

Though my thoughts tend to wage war on themselves I keep coming back to, “I’m not giving up.”  I’ve done this before, tasted the victory of having control over food, and that proves I can do it again.

Pre-2009 Leah would’ve gained weight back and given up.

My New Ending Leah doesn’t do that.

So, I’m here.

What I bring to the fight this time around is different than in 2009, but I am choosing not to live in the past and I’m happy to continue sharing my journey with you.

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Choosing To Be Okay With My Choices

When school let out in June I had travel plans and told my Weight Watchers leader I was going to be gone for a couple weeks, but I would be back afterwards.  But I didn’t return.

I made the choice to cancel my Weight Watchers membership and not worry as much about tracking points and my weight during our move this summer.

For a time I loved not having to track my food.  I have even loved the decision I make each day to not workout and use that time for packing, planning or even relaxing during this time of moving all the while keeping all the other items on my to-do list up to date.

For the most part it has been enjoyable to feel somewhat “free” from the health requirements I put on myself, but it has also been hard.

Emotionally.

And physically too.

Because when I’m not exercising regularly I don’t eat as well and that leads to feeling pretty blah in general.

Sigh.

I don’t like it, but I had to make the choice to be okay with it for now.

Some people power on through life events keeping to their fitness and diet regimes intact, but I’m just not one of those people.  I do have other priorities that I keep in place, like my morning time of Bible reading and prayer, but I had to choose to let some things slide.

It’s hard being okay with a choice that puts my health down on the list of to-do’s, but I know it’s not forever and I’m learning to accept that it was necessary [for me] right now.

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Independence Day

Note:  I’m using a different computer and couldn’t upload the photos I wanted to add.  Sigh.  I’ll come back and edit for photos later, but I am particular about getting things like this out on the designated day.

When I hear the word “July” I instantly think of all things red, white and blue because it is the month we celebrate our nation’s birthday – July 4th.

This year we began our celebrations early with our city’s parade.  My son walked in it with the high school football team and he had had a blast.  Our twins are away in their college hometowns, so it was the first time just my husband and I watched a parade together.  We had a good time!

Then we came home to pick up our coolers and grill and join our church friends at a local park for a BBQ cookout.  It was hot and sticky, but a steady breeze and a good spot under some large trees made for a good time.

Throughout the day my mind would wander to past Independence Day celebrations.

There was 2009 when I had only lost 10 pounds so far and felt so huge, because of an awful, short haircut.

And then there was 2013 when my husband was deployed and I was training for my first half marathon.  I bet I went for a run that morning before taking my kids to the beach to meet up with friends; but if I didn’t I know I had ran the day before and most likly the day after so a break was well earned.

Along with remembering specific holidays my mind wandered to thoughts of independence, freedom and liberty, with both “freedom” and “free” repeating themselves.

Because freedom is something I felt when I was at my lowest weight.

I remember feeling free and in charge.  I no longer felt bound to my past failures and things I may or may not have learned over the years.  I was free from feeling bound to bad habits and like I had no control.

While I still felt like I needed to lose another 20 pounds I remember also feeling very strong and free from the constant need to snack and overeat.  I maintained a weight of 160-165 and enjoyed life;  staying active and eating all things in moderation.

So, even now as I prepare myself for bed, and have so many thoughts rolling around about what must be done in the coming days, one thing remains towards the top of my list:  I know what it’s like to feel free with regards to my health.  It took work to get there, but it was so worth it.  It motivates me to get back on track and works towards achieving that sense of freedom and strength once again.

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Summer Vacation(ing)

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This print from Mad Kitty Media looks good in my bathroom!

School was out here about three weeks ago and already we’ve had a very full and busy beginning to summer vacation.

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My college girl who attends school in Arizona came out for a visit, her twin had gone to visit her and driven out here with her, so everyone was here on the last day of high school and we were able to have our traditional last-day-of-school ice cream with all five of us.  That was not expected, but it was fun.

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We moved my Oklahoma girl into her apartment just in time for summer school and then a few days later my son and I drove out to Arizona with her sister.  She doesn’t have summer school, but summer jobs.

I was able to spend a week with my dad, visiting with one of my best friends while he was at work and then a few days down in the valley with my girl before we flew home.  I cooked for both of them and enjoying being able to do so.

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Crafting is my love language. Cute dishtowels for my AZ girl!

I returned home to a body that had gotten used to the two-hour time difference and my son needing to be at the high school at 6:15am for his summer workout trainings.  Yikes!

A week later and I’m finally feeling adjusted back to Central time and getting somewhat into the groove of an earlier-than-school-days schedule…well, somewhat … because I’m still not going to bed early enough to feel rested when I wake at 5:45.

Coffee and/or naps are my friend!

On the health front…I gained about 5-6 pounds on vacation, but as of this morning I have lost 2.5 of those.  So, back in the groove I go.

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Texas, you need to get Dutch Bros. Please and thank you.

I enjoyed the extras I had on vacation and I’ve enjoyed being home and finding my new normal again too.

I hope your summer is off to a good start wherever you are.  Thanks for checking in!

 

 

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Well May Just Flew By

And just like that we are a full week into June and I haven’t even come back to catch up much during May.  Whew!  🙂

It’s been a good month, a trying month, a remembering month and I’m still alive and well.  To recap….

When I think back to the beginning of the month…some mothering stress happened.  It’s life, but one child’s brain fart threw me emotionally and quite frankly worried me, and made me wonder if things would be okay.

I’m learning this is the joy of parenting older kids.  Learning that discipline still needs to occur, but a parent’s love also has to let go and rest in the hope better decisions will come in the future.   Whew!  Teething toddlers were easier than this… just saying.  *wink*

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I’ve been blessed to be able to visit my girls this spring, and my son is the baby still at home…for one more year. 

My Mother’s Day was more of a weekend celebration.  I went up to Oklahoma to visit my daughter and attend a Mother’s Day Brunch her church put on.  We had a blast.  My son joined us and stayed with his friend and then we went home Sunday afternoon and I had flowers and a card waiting for me on the dinner table.  *awww….*

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Remembering my deceased mom in love.

This is the third Mother’s Day without my mom and I still had moments of missing her.  My daughter and I wore bracelets my mom made to the brunch;  they matched the bohemian style and they were our little ode to Mom/Grandma in honor of the day.

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Can we just stay here for a full nap??

The next weekend I enjoyed a spa party for my friend’s birthday.  Grown women treating themselves can be so much fun sometimes! 🙂

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Hand-embellished dish towels.  Super easy to whip up!

These towels are becoming my favorite item to craft and give as gifts.  This set was for the birthday girl and they matched her kitchen perfectly.  I was glad since I couldn’t remember exactly how her kitchen looked.  lol

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In memory of an exemplary young man.  

Memorial Day we always remember a young man who my husband used to have in his teen drama group at our church years ago.  Stephen was always smiling and I’ll never forget when his parents got the call no one ever wants to receive.  I always pray for his parents and his two brothers on this day especially.  And for the families of all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Memorial Day was also a day of celebrating two wonderful things….

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Linen skirts + Sandals = Comfort to me … even for walks!

I made it a point to go for a walk while the men were lighting up grills in the park for our annual church BBQ.  Usually, the men go early to get the coals and meats cooking and the women show up later with all the fixings,kids, etc. just in time to eat.  This year I decided to go early and enjoy a nice long walk until the ladies showed up.

It was glorious!  I also ran into a heard of peacocks.  That’s another story for another time, but they were amazing!  It was a beautiful day for pictures and they are so used to being in the neighborhood they just walked around without giving thought to me or anyone else that was out and about.

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Hello there, Sir! 

We almost bought our house in this neighborhood and I remembered being told about them, but we only came across a few.  On my walk I counted at least 14 peacocks — males and females — and about 10 of them were in one area at the same time.  So cool!

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Just enjoying a walk and wondering why this human is taking so many pictures. 🙂

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My son is in here somewhere…and so happy to be a part.

The other neat event was my son being able to play football with the guys at our church picnic.  It’s been three years since his skiing accident and he is just now being able to play sports again.  Our first picnic hear, almost two years ago, he had to sit out this game and was pretty sad, so it was a great feeling to see him being able to participate and know he was so happy to be able to do so.

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I need to work on my hand placement for these kinds of pictures.  I’m really not trying to steal the key from him.  *insert eye roll*giggle*

Oh…how could I forget?!?!?  We finally signed the papers on our house this month!!!  The sellers are waiting for their new built home to be finished, so they are leasing the house back from us until they can move.  We have a contract for them to be out by July 15th.  This is our first home purchase and we are super excited!

As for the scale…I hit total -5.6 pounds lost since my restart in April.  I had hoped to be down another 4 pounds this month, instead of 2.2, but I’ll take it.  Right now, my goal is to weigh less at the end of every month than I started.  So…. onward we go with that aspect of my life.

I’m ending May feeling a little rebellious with regards to eating, but I’m doing some thinking on that subject and taking a look at what is holding me back/becoming my excuse.

In the  meantime, thanks for stoping by!  I’m going to go pack my suitcase for a summer vacation and I look forward to some relaxing time with my family and friends over the next couple of weeks.

Have a good day!

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WW – Year 2, Month 1

Me currently:

It’s been one month since I reset my weight with Weight Watchers, which basically means to me since I went back on the program.

A lot of people are posting their monthly weight loss stats on Instagram on a calendar and I thought I’d join in.

I weigh in every Monday morning, but I don’t want the pressure of having to post it weekly here or on Instagram;  I can commit to posting it monthly though.  🙂

I’m down -3.4 pounds this month.  Woo Hoo!  I’m pretty proud of those pounds because they are only a small indication of deeper emotional change that happened over this past month.

IMG_0470  Again, I remind you … It has been very freeing to allow myself to be okay with the past and begin to move forward.  I find myself pressing on as if I just began the program and allowing myself to live in that frame of mind is proving helpful for me.

However, there have been a few too many evenings of chocolate inhalation and that’s something I need to work on.   31c02bf43426caf4847f8e5ab7931e8a.jpgMy exercise is getting back into some regularity as well and that feels good.  My back was hurting something awful at the beginning of April — out of the blue — and I was so frustrated.  I had planned to get back into some running intervals and instead I did ice and heat intervals.  By the end of the week I finally googled “lower back pain” and read that non-aerobic exercise is actually good for it.

So, that day I went for a walk and what do you know…things loosened up and felt much better.

My back is much better, but it is still sore and accompanied by some hip pain.  So, I’m sticking to non-aerobic exercise, like the elliptical and walking, and working on core strengthening exercises.

I’m feeling more of a mojo to get back on track and that is a good thing.  It’s a wary and hesitant mojo, but it is showing up more often than not now.  It’s amazing to me how self love and forgiving oneself can bring a freedom to move forward in life.

So, here’s to another month ahead.  I’m thinking of setting some goals for myself, but I haven’t completed that list yet.  For now, it’s getting more hydration and eating less calories than I burn so as to see a few more pounds come off in May.  🙂

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To Share or Not To Share

The other day on Instagram I shared these video clips of me working out at home in my living room.  I thought it was a fun idea to share how I’m embracing being okay with whatever workout is best for my schedule currently…and then when I was previewing and trimming them I began to get second thoughts.

“Look how big I am.”

“I knew I felt every one of the extra pounds I’ve gained during the plank…”

“Videos sure don’t lie.”

These few random thoughts made me hesitate, but then I went ahead and posted them.

Because this is my story and my story isn’t one of a skinny healthy mama who posts videos of what many in the world want to see when they think of health.  It’s a story of real life.

As I hit “share” I remembered I also had some good thoughts about these videos.

“I have pretty good form!”

“I am getting it done!”

“I am okay with who I am right here and right now.”

*pause for contented sigh and blazing fierceness to drive the demons of comparison away*

Yep, my story is one that shows all the bumps along the journey and how it takes hard work and is humbling when failure happens.  It’s my story of how I won’t quit, and hopefully it will inspire others not to quit either.

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Best Thing I’ve Done in a While

It’s been two weeks since I really opened up about my need for a reset — a.k.a. a fresh start with Weight Watchers —  and I had to idea how good it would be for me emotionally.

  • I feel free from feeling like a failure for not losing any weight in the past year.
  • I feel like I can accept kudos for the 3.5 pounds I’ve lost so far this month.
  • I don’t feel like I have to apologize anymore for where I’m at.
  • I am learning to be okay with getting the workouts done that fit my current schedule(s).
  • I feel hopeful again.

 

Yes, I still need to be honest with myself and my need to get back to a healthier life.  Yes, it’s still a struggle some days;  in truth, it will always be a struggle for me.  And I think allowing myself this reset has been part of learning how to handle the struggle without giving up completely.

This week in our meeting we talked about taking care of yourself.  When asked, “What about this plan is working for you?” I responded, “The idea of a reset!  I’m still thrilled and encouraged by the support I got when I shared how I needed that.”

And for the first time in a long time I feel motivated to keep moving and not apologize for where I’m at in my journey.  (That’s another subject for another day. *wink*)

Thanks for stopping by!

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Thank You, Weight Watchers

Note:  The easiest way for me to share where I’m at was to write a letter, but this may or may not actually get seen by the WW corporate.  🙂

Dear Weight Watchers,

I bet no one ever writes to thank you for helping them lose absolutely nothing their first year on the program.  In fact, that’s probably not even good for business, but I’m here to do just that.

A year ago this month I walked into a Weight Watchers building a desperate, nervous wreck knowing I needed some healthy boundaries to reign in two years of gaining back half of 70 pounds I had lost on my own.

I had maintained that 70-pound loss for over a year, but when tragedy hit my life I didn’t know how to properly handle it with regards to my weight.  As our family worked through loss and healing we were faced with a last-minute change to our life plans and a new hometown and state left me reeling a bit.

To sum it up, I had gained 35 pounds back over two years and found myself slipping into the old-Leah thinking that none of it mattered.

And that scared me.

I had fought too hard to lose that weight, I had tasted and lived a new life as a healthier, fit mom and I knew I couldn’t quit.  However, simply tracking calories wasn’t enough of a plan for me, so I began seriously pondering Weight Watchers again.  I didn’t even know about the switch to Smart Points, but my many attempts at the plan had taught me Weight Watchers was always well balanced.  I knew I didn’t need anything extreme, just some healthy boundaries to get me back on track.

So, on a Monday in April 2016 I walked in the doors literally a nervous wreck that I wouldn’t be able to lose weight and signed up for the program.

I did lose weight, steadily and began feeling so much better.  My cravings for sweets went away with this new plan and I raved about how now sugars are taken into account to my health-interested friends.

However, more stress came and over the past year I have lost and gained the same 10 pounds at least two times leaving me weight exactly the same at the end of March 2017 as when I began in April 2016.

Waves of guilt began to wash over me and feelings of failure crept their way into my heart and mind.

I still made attempts at exercise, but my food just wasn’t getting with it and I felt like that’s a horrible example of being “on Weight Watchers”.  I would note my feelings and beyond-the-scale efforts on my Instagram account, but I found myself wanting to shut down my blog because I wasn’t getting anything done worth writing about.

And then it hit me, maybe I didn’t lose any weight last year, but I didn’t gain any weight either. 

After two years of gaining back 35 of the 70 pounds I had lost I finally maintained my weight for a year!

In an effort to regain my sanity my leader helped me reset my starting weight and we have started a new book for this second year on the program.  My meeting group and leader have been so supportive and encouraging about my journey, but I wanted to let you know what had happened as well.

It’s a beyond-the-scale kind of victory that someone like me, who struggles with emotional eating, is finally accepting as a success of some sort.  It’s the kind of non-scale victory that gives me hope to continue on this journey.

And for that I thank you.

Sincerely and hopefully yours,

Leah

 

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About Last Week

Well, Valentine’s week was nice and busy around here.  With the busy schedule I found it harder to make time to get some intentional exercise in, and then the cravings for goodies was crazy.

I was also exhausted; to the point that I went back to bed after taking my son to school on Wednesday and fell into a deep sleep for two hours.

That’s when it hit me… it must be ‘that time’.   I’m not sure if the tiredness was due to that, but the cravings certainly seemed to be.

Joy.

The good thing is I went ahead and tracked almost every day, allowed myself that day to rest and recoup, and I didn’t beat myself up for the treats.  I know I need to live within healthy boundaries to be healthier, but I don’t believe in restricting myself to the point of self deprivation.

I wanted those yummy baked goods and enjoyed my fill and then put the rest in the freezer for my daughter to enjoy when she comes home during Spring Break.

I didn’t earn my blue dots for staying within my healthy smart point range the five days I wanted for the week, but I decided this is about life and while those blue dots are motivating me to stay on track each day in the long term it’s not going to matter that one week was a bit off.

After a week straying from “the plan” I was expecting a gain at weigh-in on Monday.  I was only up 0.6 of a lb, so my efforts to not throw all caution to the wind for the week helped me keep the gain to a minimum.

I’ll take it.  And now I keep going forward.

Have a good day and thanks for stopping by!

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