Hi my beautiful little unique starfishes.
I wanted to take a moment from my insane schedule to share some victories that I’ve had this month. I’ve thought about you all pretty frequently, like I do about my friends that live far away. Or like my dog. Here’s the good news: I finish this hellish semester in three weeks!! Hallelujah!! So here’s an update on the latest stuff in my life.
I had the greatest practicum this semester! I fell in love with the school, teacher, and students. I am praying that I get picked up for next fall, but I’m also happy at my current job. I’m trying to be happy in spite of whatever circumstances I find myself in. It’s hard because I’m so passionate about teaching, and I’ve really enjoyed teaching the days that I’ve gotten to do it.
I mentioned before that we bought a house that is in the middle of being built. We are supposed to close on Friday the 11th, if everything works out. We are also trying to sell our current house. I have decided it is not as fun selling a house as it is buying one. (Understatement of the century) But here’s the house.
Back in February I talked about the Whole30 program, and I’m still heartily drinking that koolaide. I have lost 35 pounds. Today, I put on a pair of jeans that were a size 8.
What’s the significance of a size 8? That’s the size I was at my wedding, 5.5 years ago. So I pulled on the jeans, zipped them, looked in the mirror, and promptly started to sob. Those of you who know me, pretty much at all, know that I’ve always struggled with my weight (Skinny people: that’s what fat people say when they mean: “I’ve been fat since forever”) I used the triathlon picture for several reasons. In fact, I’ll give you eight things I’ve learned in this process, and that I’m still learning.
1. I did a full marathon, several half marathons, and a triathlon as a size 12. I was never the largest person there. Being overweight means that you’re overcoming more when you cross that finish line, so be proud, and hold your head high regardless. Everyone, EVERYONE starts somewhere.
2. You cannot out-exercise a bad diet. I cannot stress this enough. Can you tell I tried? I was working out SIX DAYS A WEEK! Heavy cardio, light cardio, and heavy weights, nothing worked. I was losing weight at a rate of 2 pounds per month. What’s worse, I was still going to food for comfort, and then feeling guilty, working out too much, which made me ravenous, and then turning back to food. Get off the cycle.
3. Size, weight, and measurements are just numbers, and they are not the goal. I know, you’re like “Um, Andrea. You’re the worst, you just freaked out because you were a size 8.” I KNOW! Calm your tits. Size 8 is not a goal, it is an indicator of my goal. My weight is not the goal, it is an indicator. I want to be healthy physically AND emotionally. That means not being obsessed with a scale. I’ve been the same WEIGHT for about a month, but I changed sizes during that time.
4. When you put real, good food in your face you start to enjoy it, and unhealthy food starts to lose it’s appeal. Don’t get me wrong, I still ache sometimes for some Papa Johns. But now when something exciting happens my first reaction is not to eat it. When something bad happens I don’t want to drown it in cheese. I am developing healthy coping mechanisms.
5. You deserve more than unhealthy. When I trained for the triathlon in that picture, I had to run in my bathingsuit and spandex pants, even during training. At one point I could hear a car coming and I felt so ashamed of the back fat that I KNEW was jiggling (I could freaking feel it) as I ran that I started to have a panic attack. I had to stop, and regain control of my breathing and emotions, because I was filled with such a deep sense of shame that I was horrified someone else would see me. Guys, I deserve better than that. You deserve better than that. Make it a priority. I made these changes in the middle of full time grad school, full time work, while selling a house. Do NOT tell me now’s not a good time. It is; make it a good time.
6. Health is everything. If you are not healthy, what are you? We often put so many things ahead of our health. It’s insane. Whole30 sounded so extreme and crazy, I didn’t want to try it at first. But then I reevaluated my reasons for hesitation, and they scared me. Was pizza and chocolate really worth feeling that deep shame at the triathlon? Or refusing to be part of the activities at a women’s pool party because you didn’t want anyone to see you? The answer to that is no.
7. Everyone is on their own journey. I don’t know where you’re at. You can’t force change like this on anyone. By the time I heard of Whole30, I had been working out like a crazy person for MONTHS! I don’t know if before that I would have been desparate enough to try it. But given that I was, I did.
8. What works for me MIGHT NOT WORK FOR YOU! I am a big believer that all of our bodies are different, as are our emotions and habits. I know that what will work for me won’t work for everyone. But don’t you think you owe it to yourself to find out? Even if you don’t want to do Whole30, eating cleaner and committing to your own health is a big step.
I wanted to share this with you guys because I have had a lot of people ask me what I did. I ate clean. My grocery bill is now made up of a TON of meat, a TON of veggies and a few other things here and there, mostly to keep my non-paleo husband happy. My sugar crashes have vanished and I have more energy than I have in years. I’m happier with myself than I have been in years, and it’s refreshing that I spend no time feeling guilty about dinner or lunch and can just enjoy my food as nourishing, good-for-me stuff. Oh, and I exercise 3ish times a week. Some weeks more, some weeks less. With my schedule, sleep means more, and I am not having to constantly “catch up” with calories I’ve eaten, so I don’t feel guilty for not working out more. I’m still very much in the middle of this process, but I’m excited that I’m seeing results and able to share them with you guys. :)
If anyone is interested in what I eat week to week, feel free to comment and I can post a few meal plans that I used. :) It helps to see all the bacon. Bacon all the things.
Also, if you’re looking for a frequently update blog by someone who has my name to tide you over, check out Andrea’s blog here. She’s pretty phenominal for other reasons than her name. But she’s also on bedrest carrying twins, so I’m betting she’ll be updating plenty to keep you needy little urchins happy. And she’s funny. And I’ve known her since I was a young “struggling with my weight” child.
My semester’s almost over…be strong!
PS- Noone pays me to taut Whole30, I’m just a huge believer. <3