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,



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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.


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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I Love That I Don’t Quit

At Weight Watchers this week we were given a heart-shaped PostIt note and asked to write, “Tell me one thing you love about yourself or one thing you love that this program has done for you.” and put it on the bulletin board.

I wrote that I love my naturally curly hair and I love that this program helps me keep track of my sugar intake.

When she asked if anyone wanted to share what they wrote I really thought a little more about what she was asking.  And it hit me.

I love that I don’t quit.

She discussed how it’s easy to see what we love about other people, but once in a while we need to stop and look at ourselves and see ourselves with the same love and grace others view us with.

On this day where we celebrate love, and after having thought about how I love that I keep getting back up, I remembered this moment.kiss_13_1_finish-line-copy

This photo signifies so much to me.

It was taken at the completion of my second half marathon in May 2015 and my husband had just put my finisher’s medal around my neck.

My husband and I were going through some rough times and the training for this half marathon had become more therapeutic than any other running I’d done to date.

In fact, I almost quit the training and was going to back out of the race because I just didn’t think I could handle it all.

But I didn’t quit.

And for the first time ever I ran only to music and I thought a lot.  During those miles I found a strength deep within to press through the training, through the bumpy road life was taking me down, through the lessons I was learning in the process and as I finished one extremely rough 11-mile run I remember saying out loud, “I am an endurance athlete! You picked the wrong person to mess with, because I don’t quit.”

I may not be running right now, but that fire that pushed me through those runs is still pushing me to keep fighting for my health.

It died down to a flicker for a bit, but as I’m easing into 2017 it’s beginning to glow brighter.  For the first time in a very long time I feel back to what used to be my “new” self.

Photos and glances in the mirror remind me that I am not the same person physically as in this picture, but the spirit that drove me to finish that half marathon when some things in my life were turned upside down is still there.

Because I don’t quit.  I won’t quit.

And that guy and those problems?  We didn’t quit either.  We kept fighting.  We got back up.

With 21 years (and counting) of marriage under our belts we still agree it’s all worth fighting for.   I’m one blessed woman.

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

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Ready For the New Year Now

As I turned my calendar to February yesterday I had this thought, “Now I’m ready for the new year.”

Allowing myself to enter 2017 slowly was one of the best things I could have done for myself.  It gave me time to work through some sadness and think about what I really want for this time in my life — “this time” being mostly the here and now, with thoughts to the future, but not focused too much on the future … a day at a time as they say.

Case in point:  I set some goals for the new year and to support one of those goals I made a January goal of getting a plan of action for said goal on paper.

That was it.  “This month I will do this to move forward on this goal I want to happen this year.”

It was freeing to allow myself to do what works for me.

It was even more freeing to not really care what anyone else thought about my plan.

Of course, as soon as I felt so free not caring about opinions something was said via social media that unintentionally threw me into “Am I doing the right thing?!?!” thinking.

And I took another week thinking, talking it out with a friend and coming to the conclusion that yes, I am doing the right thing — for me and for where I’m at in my life right now.

Again, so freeing to not live bound by the need for people’s approval.

So, this year I needed a month to work through some things before I felt strong and ready to tackle projects. And you know what?  I’m so glad I took my time and really thought through things.

Because I’m ready now and I’m already making progress in my health like I haven’t made in a long time.  *insert very contented sigh*


End note:  The scale agreed that these changes in mindset and subsequent actions were working and was down -1.8 this week… in case you were wondering.  🙂

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Weigh-In …Rediscovering My Own Race

If you’re one to judge by the scale, then I had a “bad” week:

Weigh-In:  +3.6 lbs.

But if you ask me how my week went I’ll tell you it was really good.

Because you’ll most like read and think, “You don’t gain 3 pounds on a good week.” let me deal with that number first.  Here it is:

(A) I knew the -4.0 last week at weigh-in was a little too high for the effort I’d given my eating the week prior.  So, after this week I have maintained a -0.4 loss, which is fair.

Especially considering….

(B) TOM showed up yesterday morning, which explained why I had so many cravings for Ritz crackers, chocolate, hot cocoa and once all three in the same sitting.  I’m not exactly proud of that, but there it is and those crackers and chocolate did get dumped in the garbage before I polished both off.

I own the week.  I thought I wasn’t due to begin my mentstrual cycle til next week, so I’m kind of glad it was early/I was off, because it does explain those carby cravings.  Whew!

I also own that I need to eat better.  Not just because I want to weigh a little less, but because crackers, chocolate, crackers dipped in chocolate and evening cups of hot cocoa can not be a regular thing due to their high sugar content and my family history of Type II Diabetes I’m trying to avoid.

However, last week I had some major mental breakthroughs regarding why I’ve chosen the plan I have to help me get healthier, being okay with the type of exercise I’ve chosen to do and for the first time in a LONG time I felt like I could even lose this weight the way I did before — without a specific plan and simply tracking what I eat to stay within a calorie budget.

I don’t think I’ll do the later just yet, because quite honestly I enjoy going to Weight Watchers meetings.  I have an awesome leader that truly looks beyond the scale and encourages lifestyle change, not simply following a diet.

And I know I need the accountability that comes from tracking my food and weighing in weekly.  I had a great chat with someone I’ve never met on social media about “diet mentality” and she said I’m still laced with diet mentality in my thinking.

Well, I have many thoughts to share on that subject, but for today suffice it to say we all need rules to govern certain aspects of our lives and her conversation made me really think about my choices and why I’m doing what I’m doing.

And I’m confident that what I’m choosing to do will lead me where I want to go.  I just need to keep that darn chocolate at bay more often than not.  lol

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Why I’m Not Overjoyed About Losing 4 Pounds

This week at Weight Watchers I weighed in 4.0 pounds lighter.

While I was glad to see my slow crawl to getting back on a healthier track had done some work I knew I hadn’t “killed it” and so I wasn’t ecstatic about such a large loss.

Yes, I went back to BodyPump, but but those were my only two heavy workouts for the week.  I think I went walking one other day, finishing up the week with three intentional exercise sessions.

With the way I ate during the week my eating and exercise should not have added up to a 4-pound loss.

I did cut back a little from my holiday feasting, but I was not restrictive and I know I over ate a few times.

So, instead of making me feel like I’m just the most awesome example of health and wellness what this loss did for me was show me that the big loss over Christmas really was as much water retention as it was overeating.  I trimmed back the sweets and didn’t eat out as much and that added weight came right back off.

Or it was a fluke and the scale will be back up on Monday.


But I’m not going to be super proud and act like I worked so hard for it.  The scale is fickle.

It can go down when you don’t feel you’ve earned it and it can go up even after you worked hard to stay within your health plan.  It’s a tool, but one I am careful to not let have too much power over my emotions.

So, when it’s up I try and not hate myself and, like this week, when it’s down an “amazing” amount, I don’t take all the credit either.

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Weigh-In … Revisiting BodyPump

I told you I was entering 2017 slowly, and now it’s been almost two weeks since I posted.  I really appreciate all the support for my need to head into this year slower than others.  I think a good step in the right direction though is even if I hadn’t received the verbal affirmation of my intent I was good with my view on this new year.  I didn’t need permission to do it.  For a people pleaser like myself this is very good.  🙂

img_9063Getting back on track hasn’t been as easy as at other times.

The first week of the new year I wasn’t feeling all that great, so I did what I could and didn’t get too inspired to eat really “good” and I lost -0.4 lb.  I earned that and I was fine with it.

Last week, after much thought, I decided I really miss BodyPump class at the YMCA.  I had quit going last summer for two reasons:

(A)  The first class of the week is the same time as my Weight Watchers class and while I enjoyed trying a few different classes, Mondays have become my favorite day to go.   I decided the meetings were more important than the class and I can get a different workout in later — which I often do.

(B)  The classes aren’t until 9:30am and I found myself kind of putzing around in the morning instead of getting something done while I wait to go to class.  When I get my exercise done earlier I am more productive in my day.  So, I started going earlier and liked how the rest of my day went.

However, I decided that I really miss those classes and so what could I do to change my schedule up and get to them?  (They are also only 20 minutes later than the classes I took in my old hometown and I went religiously to those..hhmm…)

I decided to work on getting something done in the time between my morning prayer/devotion time and class time and maybe even going as far as to go to the Monday evening class since I can’t get there earlier that day.

After seriously thought about it and made sure I was willing to make the schedule change I went on Wednesday and then again on Saturday.

Whew!  Let me tell you… walking, elliptical and even some light weights did not keep my legs in shape for squats.  I felt my quadricep muscles every step for two days straight.  Yowza!

Thankfully, by Saturday they felt a bit better and I made it through that class.  And I felt amazing getting it done.

And while I thought going back to BodyPump might not help the scale (due to muscles retaining water when they are worked, etc.) I did just fine.

My loss this week was -4.0 lbs.  Yes…. that’s Four Point ZERO.  And I’ll write more about that another day since this post is already getting a bit long.

Suffice it to say this loss is half getting back on track and half showing me that big ‘ole Christmas gain really wasn’t me being as horrible as it appeared.

It also inspired me to keep going.  And so I will.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Entering 2017 S.L.O.W.L.Y.

Entering 2017 has been very different than any new year in my recent history.

Usually I have my tree down by December 30th and I’m ready for my “cute and cozy” winter decor and looking at new goals and plans for the new year with gusto and joyful umph.  My sleeves are rolled up and I’m ready to embrace the winter as a time to read and learn and prepare to attack some changes that may be coming as the weather warms.

Not this year.

This year I wasn’t ready for 2016 to be over.

I’m told it’s because of my twins graduation from high school last spring and moving to two different states for college this past fall.

Sometimes my heart aches for my mother to discuss all of this change with, but she passed away almost three years ago.  I seriously think that has more to do with my ache during this change than the fact my kids moved;  I’m so happy for them, but this side of mothering I can’t ask her about and I didn’t feel prepared for it.  I guess when they were Sophomores I didn’t think to ask her about what it was like when I moved out of state right after high school.

Then at other times I think this hesitation to enter the new year is because I have been through a lot of changes and some very rough situations in the last two years and I am recovering, healing if you will.

Whatever the reason I know the past month I just felt a need to slow down and not rush around so much.  I was overwhelmed and I knew all I really wanted in 2017 was to slow down a little.

The week after Christmas was wonderful for that.  One day I took an entire morning to ponder 2016, what I learned from it and what I want to improve up, while setting up my new Ink and Volt planner.  It was glorious.

But then New Year’s came and the flood of goals and resolution posts hit and I didn’t feel ready for it all.  I just wanted to stop in that week of relaxation and enjoy what I felt I’d missed so much of in all the busyness this past year.

Unfortunately, stopping time is not reality, so instead I’ve allowed myself to enter 2017 slower than I have other years.

Yes, I have responsibilities to attend to and I am doing that.  But I am also allowing myself to revisit my goals I had set and really take some time to care for my emotional and spiritual health.

And for the first time this week I feel better about entering this new year.

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