The Weight Loss Saga: 0.0 – I Don’t Run

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A few years ago, when I was teaching at a local massage school, I was given one of those white oval bumper stickers that runners have on their cars: 13.1 for half marathon, 26.2 for full, etc. Don’t quote me on the numbers cause well… I am not a ‘runner.’ But the sticker she gave me said “0.0 I Don’t Run.” I had always made jokes in class about not being one for exercise (truth be told, typing that just now was the first time I have ever spelled the word right without redline assistance). However, I always secretly was envious of those people who ran because they looked like they really enjoyed it for one and for two, it was just something I couldn’t ever seem to do. It hurt to breathe, I couldn’t keep going for more than a minute or two and it was just excruciatingly boring. I was the one who was constantly getting in trouble in gym class for walking and talking when we were supposed to be running the mile and I cannot even begin to count the number of times that I “forgot” my gym uniform so that I didn’t have to run.

Fast forward to this week. The scale hasn’t been moving aaaaaanywhere near as fast as it once was but that’s ok because I’ve really been focusing on making this a lifestyle and focusing more on what my body can do, making it do more, helping coach others to do more with their health, and studying for my personal training exam. Ok, and lemme be VERY honest with you. I’ve spent A LOT of time in my bed struggling with depression. I thought that I could get back into the dating scene again after my recent break up. I was wrong. I am still very much in love with my ex and I need to work on sorting myself out and coping with his loss and my actions. I need to focus on protecting myself. I do not want to be hurt again… I won’t survive another blow. So a whoooooole lot of that studying and working has been from the BlankeyFort HQ. BUT, it has made my training schedule even more important to me. I’ve had to drop lifting for a while until the doctor clears my knee again and so I’ve been using the few weeks to dive harder into my PiYo Routines and try some different things to see what hurts my knee and what doesn’t.

3 Days Ago… I got the proverbial wild hair up the proverbial ass. After I finished my PiYo workout, I opened up the new Aaptiv app I had gotten and turned on a walk/run interval session. The first few mins weren’t nearly as bad as I had remembered running to be which I attributed to the 50 pound weight loss. So, I kept going… skipped the 60 seconds of walking interval and kept going. In fact, I never did the walking intervals. I ran the whole damn mile AND then I started to laugh and then I started to cry. I felt what runners felt. I ENJOYED that time and it was mine. My heart really needed that success right now when so many things feel like they are all falling apart.

I have run a mile each day since… just cause.

I have a goal to get that sticker on my car now. I’m going to put that 0.0 at the left top corner of my back windshield and under it… I hope to soon put a 5K one… and then, see how many stickers I can put under that.

For me.

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The Weight Loss Saga- I Have No Idea What I’m Doing

 

 

IMG_0265No, seriously. I really have no idea WTF I am doing.

Ok, so here’s the thing… most people who have been overweight for most of their lives are reallllyyyy good at diets. I mean, we’ve been told that we’re “fat” and need to fix it our whole lives so we’ve become experts at dropping weight and gaining it back. Side note: I put “fat” in quotation marks because fat is something you have on your body and not something you are. I also, have fingernails on my body… no one has ever referred to me as “nails.” NEVER. But, I digress…

I have dropped the same 20-70 pounds in my life over and over and over again. This cycle I KNOW is not unique to me either and plenty of people go through this throughout their lives and it kills the metabolism and just leads to gaining more and more weight back each time. At my heaviest, I had gotten up to 278 at one point. I’ve never been a petite girl and have always been told I “carry weight well” but that isn’t how my body feels about it, my knees, my back, my heart… my ability to smile.

Thing is, once I get to a halfway decent weight with a ‘diet’ and some cardio, I hit this place where I’m like “okay, now what?” That’s where I am now. I’ve lost 47 pounds but haven’t been able to get any further. The scale stops moving, my motivation waivers, and I really like Oreos. It wasn’t until I got into holistic health as a massage therapist that I really began to learn anything about the body and felt I had any control over what I could do with it. I was never an athlete, a dancer, yes… but never the particularly athletic kind… the kind that had the stage presence and the personality to light up a stage without really doing anything ‘athletic.’ I was never in sports, I am no ‘gym rat,’ never took PE class seriously, and was an overweight vegetarian most of my life… cause ya know, Oreos are vegan and all.

Basically, when I say I have NO Idea what I am doing, I totally mean that.

So, I had this crazy idea… what if I took this nutrition and fitness thing seriously? What if I learned what to do? What if I made it a lifestyle? If I took educating myself about myself as seriously as I took graduate school… I could change my whole life. I could save my life.

But, I’m not an athlete. I’ve always been the big girl. That goal seems reaaaalllllllly out there and how does one learn those things? Then, I realized that I knew nothing about massage when I became a massage therapist. I went to school to become certified. The best way to learn something is to study it… theory and practical application. Full immersion. Plus, there is nothing that holds you more accountable to your goals than to tell everyone in your life and on your blog for the whole world to see just how big your goals are.

So, THAT is just what I’ve decided to do. I’m not a “Fit Girl,” yet… but I can start learning how to become one. This week, I enrolled to study for the Certified Personal Trainer exam through NASM. I’ll be honest, I am intimidated AF and completely out of my league. BUT, I know my mind and my abilities are limitless and if I can learn the theory first and work hard to train my body, it will become limitless, too.

I have immense respect for the profession and I have no expectations for working with clients anytime soon. But, if I can get myself motivated and my body to a better state of performance… if I can reach my goals and create a lifestyle for myself, then I have accomplished what I have been told my whole life was impossible… to not be the big girl who can’t climb the rope in gym class ever again.

 

 

Health During Heartbreak

 

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Ever since I was diagnosed with food allergies and learned how to better treat my body by not contaminating it, I’ve been blessed with rarely getting sick anymore. However, the first half of this year I’ve gotten really sick twice already. So, what gives?! As any quintessential Virgo would, I have been analyzing what it is that could have shot my immune system back down twice. Oh yeah, single life.

Both times I’ve gotten sick this year have been following a romantic breakup (something I am not used to having been married for a decade prior). But that’s not a legitimate reason to get sick, right? Well, as it turns out, it actually really is and isn’t as uncommon as you think.

The “Break Up Flu” is the lovely side effect of a traumatic event that causes you to pick up colds, flus, and other nasty loveliness more easily. It doesn’t matter how long the relationship was either apparently. The first this year for me was after a 3 year relationship and the second was after a 3 month relationship. The heart wants what the heart wants and when that ends, it causes a stress response in your body. Plus, lets be honest… are you reaaalllly eating that well during that time period? Comfort food isn’t usually packed with immune boosting nutrients.

So, it’s very important to treat yourself well in the days and weeks following the end of a relationship. No matter how well you think you are taking it, who ended it, etc. it is still an emotional and spiritual blow and you and your body all need time to adjust to the change. It is like surgery… no matter how small the operation, it still changes you.

Be sure you are consciously taking care of your health and your spirit. Here are some tips to help you get through this period and the “Break Up Flu” if it as already taken hold.

Keep Moving! – going out for walks, trips to the beach, trips to the mall (just be mindful of your spending) will help keep you out of bed, connecting with the world, getting fresh air, and keeping your lymph moving in your body.

Let it Go- I have never actually seen Disney’s Frozen, but I channel my inner Elsa on this one… Let. It. Go. Scream, shout, cry, dance naked in the forest if you want…but let it go. Holding on to that trapped negative emotion is harmful to the body. Journaling is a good outlet and if you don’t wish to hold on to the things you write, write it all out and then have a burning ritual where you burn those pages and with it all the emotions you need to release.

Eat Well (and be sure to eat)- Your body needs fuel and this time is no exception. Your spirit is healing and going through a stressful period. It may be desirable to eat a bunch of comfort food or you may not want to eat at all because of depression or loss of appetite. Now, I would never say don’t have that Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream when it is calling your name, but be sure you are eating with the intention to fuel and restore your body.

Use Essential Oils- If you’ve already found yourself with the Break Up Flu or are wanting to prevent it, essential oils can be a very healing resource to you that serve both the purpose of easing the symptoms of the illness and also easing the discomfort of the breakup transition… hopefully before you get sick at all. Here are some oils that can be used for dual purpose in this situation.

Eucalyptus – If you have ever smelled eucalyptus, then you know it is good for “breaking things up.” Its distinctively powerful smell is often used to help breakup chest and nasal congestion and to ease breathing. However, it also has an emotional role of relaxing and helping to breakup and release trapped emotions within the body. Diffusing this or adding a few drops in a spray bottle to freshen the air is a great way of cleansing the air, your body, and your emotions from the negative weight you may be carrying.

Neroli- This one is not as common but was added in a roller ball version to doTERRA’s line up last year (visit my site HERE for more information on doTERRA oils). Neroli is more rare because it takes upwards of 1000 pounds of the flowers to be handpicked from the bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium). This is hands down my favorite essential oil and I often use the rollerball in lieu of perfume because it naturally boosts self confidence and promotes self love- things that are SO essential during a breakup. It also helps to elevate energy levels and mood which will help when recovering from any physical illness as well.

Deep Blue Blend- This signature doTERRA blend is so powerful that I have found when diffusing it, my clogged ears will ‘pop’ when I am sick and this is the only thing that helps me with that pressure and congestion. It is also great to massage on the body to help with the aches and pains and has an uplifting effect on your energy levels.

Lavender – Tried and true, lavender essential oil promotes the body’s natural antihistamine effects and not only helps with sinus pain and coughing, but helps with relaxation and stress relief. This oil should be added to your lotion or body oil to apply on your skin each day while going through any transition to help keep you relaxed and grounded.

The most important thing during a breakup is to take care of yourself. Everything will sort itself out but you need to take care of your health first and foremost and… Just. Keep. Going.

The Weight Loss Saga: Mirrors, Lies, and Photographs

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Before & After

Reflections are funny things. Unless you’re looking into a funhouse mirror, the reflection is always showing you the truth. The messages that we receive are always the right ones. Its our brains that distort the truth because for some reason or another, our self worth, our view of ourselves… is never as plain as what we see. This is especially true when it’s a full length mirror.

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New Clothes Needed ASAP

I still see the fat girl in the mirror. I see that the number on the scale keeps going down, but I still see the fat girl in the mirror. My belt that I wear everyday didn’t even fit when I started this journey. I’ve now had to adjust it many many times. The mirror still shows me the same girl. I had to order smaller work shirts because my once “fitted” shirt and yoga pants look like they are all sagging and falling off of my frame. I run my hands down my arms and my hips and my thighs when I am in the shower and things feel more tone. I feel the definition in my muscle coming in. Things don’t jiggle as much and I can move my hands around my body with ease because it IS smaller than it was without a doubt.

But my mirror is still showing me the fat girl.

Really, I know it isn’t. Mirrors don’t actually lie. Right?

I would want to take photos for my man (yes, we will still call him that… I’m still living in that world in my head… so we will go with referring to him as such) and I would take a million photos before I felt ok with sending a single one. If I took a photo and then compared it to an old one, I would see the difference. But with each new shot, the fat girl is in every frame.

Its like I can only see the change in comparison to the old self. In comparing the way my clothes feel, the way my body can move, the way I can actually fit into new clothes, how I can scratch the parts of my back I used to not be able to reach… but my eyes still lie to me.

I wish I had the answer for you on exactly what point in the journey or what age or what size you look at yourself and say… “oh, there I am.” Unfortunately, I don’t know that. I think when you’ve been told your entire life that you are the fat girl… the one that isn’t good enough… pretty enough… built right… I think your brain sees what you are told and not who you are.

But, what I can say is that I am doing something now that I never did before. I’m going to be in the photos… take the photos… smile for them. I owe that to my love. Taking photos for him has allowed me to become more comfortable in my own skin. Even if I have miles to go, I am not going to be the one who hides in group photos or who goes years without updating photos because I just don’t want to take another photo of my round-ness.

I am going to have a sit down with the mirror, my brain, and my eyes… and we are going to figure this all out.

The Weight Loss Saga: My Trainer Tried to Kill Me & Battling my Bitchiness

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Ok, I’m gonna be hella real here with you… Last week, I tried working out with a personal trainer for the first time in a loooooong time. It sucked. I wanted to vomit. I walked like I had been on a long horseback ride for the remainder of the week. It was embarrassing. To think of how hard I worked to lose all of the weight originally before my son was born and how hard I used to train doing API Caveman workouts like a pro… now, I had my ass handed to me by a slam ball and a prowler sled. I knew it wasn’t gonna be pretty. That is why I wanted to try out a trainer at a gym other than the one I work in. It was a very humbling experience and one that has not really helped with my recent depression episode. I have still been going to my Zumba classes, but have not been doing any weight training since then.

This week, I’ve made a conscious decision that I can either stay in my bed and do nothing and be unhappy or I can be gracious with myself and appreciate the journey that this is going to be to get back to where I need to be both emotionally and physically. I’ve kinda been a real bitch recently. Kinda. Sorta. Maybe a lot. I’ve been hurt these past few years and I resent myself and my body for allowing myself to fall so far. But, I can suck it up or I can shut it up. I can’t keep hurting others, allowing others to hurt me, and settle for the way things are. We are ALL made for more than mediocrity and crankiness.

Today, I decided I have to take big steps towards whatever that “more” is meant to be for me. I think I was shaking when I asked my trainer friend, Jillian, to help me. I couldn’t even get the words out without bursting into tears. Thankfully, she loves me and I didn’t even have to say much and she filled in the gaps for me. She asked me to send her when I was available and told me we would figure it all out. So, I’ll still want to vomit and still be sore as hell and waaaay behind where I desire to be, but I know she will keep me consistent, push me to where I need to be, and love me as long as I don’t throw up on her shoes.

But, I know that finding my rhythm with getting back into the gym is only HALF of the battle. I need to learn how to like myself again and have a healthy connection to my body… and less of a connection to my inner jaded beeotch. Being healthy is more than a number on a scale. It is reaching your total power… inside and out. It is shedding ALL of the excess weight that you carry: body, mind, and soul. So, part of “working on myself” has to be working with an emotional trainer… AKA a therapist. So, that is my next call on Monday morning.

Down 45.3 pounds… a few life lessons achieved… time to really get to the hard work. Thanks for being part of it with me. xx

Recipe – Vegan Keto Tortillas

 

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We recently tried this one out in our Keto Journey Facebook Group and it was a really big hit. I love Mexican, I love bread, I love food, and I hate cooking complicated things (anything really) so this was a definite winner for me!!

These tortillas take about 15 mins to make and consist of only 3 ingredients:

1) ½ cup tapioca flour

2) ½ cup chickpea/garbanzo flour

3) 1 cup canned coconut milk

Making the Batter

1) Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.

2) Stir in coconut milk with dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Batter should be thick but not too thick that it can’t be poured onto the skillet pan.

Making the Tortillas

3) Pour roughly a quarter of a cup onto a nonstick or greased pan in a circle. Using the back of a spoon, spread the circle out until you have about 5-6 inch diameter circles. NOTE: if you are doing this like a bread or a fritter as mentioned later, then don’t spread out the circles at all for desired thickness). The thickness should be that of a crepe.

4) Cook the batter until bubbles start to pop up. Roughly 1-2 minutes. Flip with a thin spatula and cook for another minute or two on the other side.

5) Transfer to a plate to allow to cool. Repeat for the remainder of the tortillas.

Ideas and Feedback

So this is SUPER easy. Like seriously. The hardest thing was finding the flour which I couldn’t even find in the super hippie crunchy health food store, but Amazon Prime for the win on this one!

I made these thick and thin just to get some ideas for myself on how this easy of a batter could be used for other things because with me being allergic to everything in the world, I wanted to see how versatile this could be. So, if you make them thicker, they are totally deliciously sweet fritters. I added some almond butter on one of the thicker ones and it was a sweet little vegan treat. Also, if you wanted to make them more savory, you could add some herbs and salt to counter balance the sweetness of the coconut and serve the thicker ones like a savory naan bread side for other dishes.

I didn’t eat all of them, obviously, as it makes quite a few so I saved the others in a ziplock bag for another couple meals and warmed them up for a few seconds in the microwave to make them soft again and they worked out just fine.

Hope you try these yourself and be sure to hop over to our FB Group HERE where we are always sharing recipes and support and love!!!

The Weight Loss Saga: Gym Class, Little Boys, and Real Beauty

 

My struggle with myself has been a long standing war. I think it is pretty safe to say that 98% of that battle has stemmed from my relationship with my body. Everything from being the “fat girl” to developing early to being told that sexuality was dirty and secretive. My connection to myself has struggled as a result of my hatred of my own flesh (and the amount of it). Most of my memories of elementary school are connected to not being able to get up “the rope” in gym class or being called “Fatty” under their breath by the boys in class as I walked up to the front.

Years later, I still could never get up that damn rope, I would kill to have the body that they called fat, and I still hold a grudge when these same boys have tried to add me on Facebook over the years. (Really, y’all…come on). The thing is, these comments and feelings have a direct correlation to the rest of our lives. I feel like what I see when I look at myself is not actually what others see. All I see is that fat little scared girl. I know that I am not fat… I have fat. I also have fingernails, but am not a fingernail. I’ve come to terms with my beauty being from within and that’s a pretty fucking cool way to be beautiful in a world of fake boobs and faker attitudes. And it is THAT beauty that I see in the mirror now… I am beautiful in a way that defies convention and I’m never looking back but I do want to be a healthier version of myself. I have spent so many years being strong and looking soft and it has made me powerful and a bit rage-ish. Now, I am focusing on looking strong and being soft. I don’t wanna focus in whether or not my calves will fit in boots this fall or what my shoulders will look like in a dress.

29790812_10208541335450490_1838378233797833221_nI’ve done every diet in the book and have been able to drop over 60 pounds multiple
times in my life. I should be able to write a book on weight loss, but what I have learned is that it is a lifestyle to keep it off and everyone’s body chemistry is a little different as to what will help them lose, gain, or maintain as they see fit.

There ya go. Book written. Best seller. Millions of lives changed.

For me, every time I have been able to quickly, safely cut weight and keep it off for any period of time it has been a result of a low carb lifestyle. I have realized that my mouth likes profiteroles and a glass of Riesling but my ass does not. When I was tasked with dropping 60 pounds in 3 months to join the military (there’s a long story there, but no, I am super civilian) Atkins, Two-A-Day PT sessions, and practically starving myself was a great way (sarcasm) to accomplish that at 20. But in my mid 30’s now with 3 businesses, 2 dogs, an 11 year old boychild, and a busted metabolism from decades of yo yo dieting, losing weight especially when I don’t have all day to train in the gym like I once did seems nearly impossible. For me, this is where Cyclical Keto eating (maintaining ‘cheat carb’ days to keep my body on its toes) and supplementing with external ketones has been crucial. I needed to drop weight, gain energy, and get back on track before I could even step back in the gym.

IMG_0249To date, I have lost 43.9 pounds in under 3 months. I am far from done, but I have started easing into workouts again with a couple of Zumba classes under my belt and start weight training again tomorrow at 11 am with a trainer to get me started again. Although I do not let the size of my body define the size of my life anymore, I still want to feel lighter and more alive in it.

Life is a story meant to be edited, I’m working on the whole masterpiece that is me…for me.