Any day can be the first day! You decide when to begin a new journey, whether if its your health, pursuing a dream or taking care of business. Mid week, mid month or midyear. It’s your beginning, your dream. Are you ready? Go start something!
Blogging is not easy or for the faint of heart. In my first blog, it was more of a journal only available online. I stopped writing it when I realized I did not know what to write about. Starting up this blog, (and soon to be website ) was different.
Firstly, my writing skills had improved from that first blog. Not only technically, but I also had gained confidence. Having recently finished the first draft of my novel ( a story I had been carrying with me since my teens). Finally, I had a story to tell. Becoming healthy, gaining confidence in my body and my writing. I found my voice.
That is where I began. Telling the story of how I became healthy. The longer I wrote, my voice began to expand into other subjects. Our lives are not lived in these separate categories, at least not as much as we like to think. The more I realized this, the more I began to focus on my faith, writing, running and eating well as a whole. Each aspect feeds into another and not writing about them feels false to me.
I am not a weight loss expert, but I am an expert on my weight loss. I am not a theologian but what I am learning about God is valid for me to write on it. When I write about writing, it focuses more so on my journey in this so far.
I just hope to reach others out here in the vastness of the internet. To help give you a boost, to encourage as I have been encouraged. Which is why I tend to not jump on latest internet band wagon. Because, so often whatever is making the rounds is just not in my wheelhouse.
I could chase after the sexy subjects, blog about yoga pants or condemn a certain film that has been blogged to the death. Adding my voice to the glut already crowding my Twitter and FB pages. It could get me the comments or retweets and likes. Perhaps even new followers.
I could do that, or I could be authentic.
After posting such articles, my new readers would quickly discover I am not that kind of blogger. Just as quickly they would unfollow me and move onto the next blogger. I leave the sexy, internet is on fire posts to those bloggers who do have those subjects in their wheelhouse. I will continue to learn and grow this blog. Continue to grow my authentic voice in the hopes it helps others. When I do write about a sexy subject, it will be when I have something to say authentically and from my heart.
Question For You, Dear Reader
What draws you to read a blog and typically how long do you follow one?
It is no secret that one of my favorite food groups is chocolate. The battle with this treat has been going on for months. I have indulged in way too much frozen yogurt ( Publix’s Chocolate Cookie Quarry most especially)! Then for a week or two it was hot chocolate ( two packets of course) topped with marshmallows and finished off with cookies.
I tried to go without desert, to eat nothing after dinner. But the cravings continued.
I wanted to satisfy this craving without continuing this downward trend. Opening my Pinterest app, I searched for a healthy, easy chocolate recipe.
I found a winner! All I needed was Coconut Oil (4 tablespoons melted), agave or honey (1/4 cup), and coco powder (I got Hershey Special Dark, 1/2 cup plus one tablespoon). Stir it all together and either spread out on a cookie sheet with wax paper (I used a muffin tin and a rubber ice cube tray ). Freeze for 30 min. There you have it! I added walnuts to one batch and unsalted roasted almonds to another. Full recipe found on http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/
A healthy, delicious, chocolate treat. These satisfy my chocolate craving just fine. I found just one or two of these are enough for me. Eating healthy does not mean not enjoying things like chocolate. But discovering new ways to do so.
It has been three years since I began this health journey. Three years and counting actually. Losing weight is not an easy task and so much of it is mental. It forced me to face things about myself, confronting my quit early attitude. I have learned what this body is capable of doing in the course of this journey. I ran and finished my first half marathon last year.
I have learned what my limits are in regards to food. In how to eat well for this body. Learning how to love my body and in due course myself. I have learned to give myself grace and forgiveness when I stray from all that I have learned. When I prefer to walk instead of run.
I have learned to eat well despite my financial restrictions. That it is indeed possible to eat a healthy diet. It is all about making the best choices and at times avoiding certain aisles altogether.
Three years is a long time to maintain weight. But I have gained. First I gained muscle as the initial weight loss. Then, as time went on and my work out routine became less intense at the height of my weightloss. I gained and my body continued to change. I am older than I was when I began this journey and that plays into this as well. Again I have learned to have grace towards myself in this way.
I also have to remind myself I am not that girl I let go of three years ago. I am a different person. I seek that urgency I once had and slowly find that I am regaining it. I have let go of the notion that losing weight equals a reward in the form of a relationship. I have grown so much in these three years.
To think it all began by simply showing up at a park, unsure of what to expect.
So yes, it’s that time again. That time of year when Christmas is swapped out for Valentine’s Day. I do not know about where you live but this happened even before Christmas Eve had passed.
Seriously, corporate America?
But it struck me. The way it is being sold to us, this holiday is not about love. Nope. This is all business.
But what is being sold to us is not love. It is in fact marketing geared to sell us lies about love.
The lie being sold to us is that you are only loved if you are in a relationship.
That the only kind of love that matters is romantic love. But love, real love is so much more than sappy greeting cards and chocolate with an obscenely long shelf life.
Real love is being in real community. Once I discovered my worth in Christ, I discovered love. Love for myself, love for others and even love for strangers. But the world tells us that you are only loved if you are in a relationship. This is far from the truth because I am well loved.
This has taken me a while to get here. To understand that there is all kinds of love and it is not limited as we have been taught.
Another lie is that if you are in a relationship, then you must spend $$$ to show as much. Pressure is placed on all of us then. Those in a relationship and those who are not.
But, only if we allow corporate entities to define love and how this should look.
How can this be done?
For a start, dear fellow singles. Remember you are loved. Look around at your family and community. Your worth today and every day is not measured by the receiving of cards and gifts. Reach out to your fellow singles and go OUT to celebrate. Or stay in and binge on Netflix and chocolate? A totally valid choice. This year,I hope to go dancing with my good friends on Valentine’s Day. I want to celebrate friendship and community.
I do not need to be in a couple to celebrate love.
For my coupled friends, do not allow yourself to get stressed out about this day either. You know it’s totally fine for you to binge watch Netflix and eat chocolate in your pajamas.
I came across this on Pinterest and thought it rather interesting.
I leave my running shorts and sneakers out in plain view in my bedroom. I spend a lot of time in my room and constantly having these items in my line of sight is a great reminder. Putting them away, it is easier to come up with an excuse to not workout.
It also helps me to change from my work clothes right into my workout clothes. Even when I’m not intending to go until much later. Having those clothes on pushes me to get out there, even when I least feel like it.
What helps you to get motivated?
I have lost my sense of urgency with being healthy. For months now something has not been quite right. Yes I have continued to work out but not as hard, not pushing myself as I once did. As for how I eat, the majority has been my usual healthy choices but with a bit more of the not so healthy mixed in. Excusing my weight gain as natural. That it had been three years since I began this health journey and it was simply just fine.
But it isn’t. This past fall my family went through a fairly stressful period. I can not go into details because I want to protect their privacy and it is not my story to tell. I underestimated just how much all of it was affecting me. I turned to my old freniemy, food. Though I must say, I did see how far I have come with my binge eating. This time it was limited to deserts. Having two helpings of frozen yogurt instead of the one.
I knew what I was doing, I understood the choices I was making could undermine everything I had worked so hard towards. I was in denial. Even after having to purchase new pants a size larger and seeing what the scale was telling me. I still could not place why I had become complacent.
What I began to realize was that I had lost most of all the sense of urgency I had at the start of my journey. I recall pushing myself to run harder, faster because I was trying to save my life. It was not about being pretty or well thought of, but to live my life well. Somewhere along the way I forgot that. I can not replicate my life in those days, and I have tried but going backwards does no good.
That time for me was rather magical. It was special and I will always treasure that experience but I must also let it go. I must let it go in order to move forward. Losing weight and maintaining is just as much a mental exercise as well as physical. My body knows what to do. I know what my body is capable of doing. It is a matter of having the motivation. I do need accountability, I need to let people know of my struggle to continue onwards. Accountability and encouragement were and are key in this journey. Another thing I had forgotten.
Right now my biggest motivation is not to become the fat girl again. I said goodbye to her three years and she is not welcome back. Perhaps that is the start of regaining that sense of urgency. Fear, healthy fear of undoing all I have worked towards.
I will not give up. I will continue to strive towards living a well rounded, healthy life. I hope to run another half marathon by next year ( financially permitting) and to maintain a healthy weight in order to live this life well. I am starting to feel motivated once again.