Life in love

Maybe it’s because this is my last week commuting to NYC…

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Maybe it’s because when I left work on Tuesday the sun was shining…

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Maybe it’s because I spent the weekend cuddling with my adorable nephews…

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Happy Birthday Ethan!!!

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Maybe it’s because I know this time next week I’ll be in Florida getting some sun with my family before starting my new job…

Or maybe it’s because I’ve been soaking in the wisdom of Gabrielle Bernstein.

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All I know is, the love of the Universe has been flowing through me. I’m feeling grateful and cared for and letting happiness be my guide and I deserve every minute of it. ūüôā

Now…the numbers

Starting weight: 243

Last week:156

This week: 154.5

Total lost: 88.5

Click here for every weigh in, ever.

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Seeing the spread

Hi and happy hump day!

I’ve been a serious sap lately, trying to appreciate all the good in my life as much as I can. I have an inner critic that tends to get cautious when things are going too well, so I’m trying to shut that voice up and keep on living the good life.

This got me thinking last night about how my efforts to get healthy have translated into my life in so many different ways that I could have never imagined but it all started with a simple: “I’m worth it.” It’s been nothing short of amazing to see how discipline in terms of achieving better health for myself have made so many other parts of my life immeasurably¬†brighter. I don’t take my health for granted, I’m truly appreciate of my body on a consistent basis. I spend time savoring my food because I know all of the effort that went into cooking it. There’s meaning to things I do that wasn’t there a few years ago.

My discipline goes beyond food choices too. Since I started caring about what I put in my body I’ve also been better about things like flossing or wearing sun screen.

My college roommates probably don’t believe me, but I’m also no longer a slob. I ¬†was really, really messy prior to a few years ago and now I love cleaning.

Realizing how small changes have made big differences to my health showed me that taking five minutes at the beginning and end of my day to put things back in their place, make my bed, wash the dishes or vacuum makes cleaning more manageable and not a dreaded task.

Not a day goes by that I’m not aware in someway of how my life has changed.

This is not about some kind of willpower or great motivation that I’ve been able to tap into, but it’s about seeing how small positive habits have the power to transform your life.

When you’re losing weight there’s a big desire to to have it be fast! and easy! but there’s no reward in fast or easy. I’ve found immense beauty in the power of dedication and discipline and in appreciating and honoring all of the things I do every day that push me forward.

My “spark” so to speak, was that at some point I made the switch in my head to abandon fast and easy to take on everything in my life one small moment at a time.

The last few months have been hard. I’ve been stuck in a lot of ways, my weight being one of them. I feel lately though that by doubling down on discipline with what I’m eating, the rest of my life feels more in control. To be honest, although I was frustrated, I was not¬†surprised¬†that my weight hadn’t moved for months. The last half year of my life was a bit of a backslide into binge eating and I’m just now clawing my way back out.

I’m back on my game now. I’m being strict in every aspect of my life. With my food and with my inner voice, where my energy goes and what I let influence me. I’m aware and I’m in control.

Thoughts become things, choose good ones.

“Through discipline comes freedom” – Aristotle

Now…the numbers

Starting weight: 243

Last week:157.5

This week: 155.5

Total lost: 87.5

Click here for every weigh in, ever.

How big change happens

One pound at a time.

One battle with binge eating at a time.

One workout at a time.

One healthy decision at a time.

One meal at a time.

One bite at a time.

One act of self-care at a time.

One breathe at a time.

One step at a time.

One grateful thought a time.

Women, food, the Universe, and me

Here is what I believe.

That there is an intersection between spirituality and how you feed yourself.

Geneen Roth can back me up.

When I first began whatever journey I’m in right now, my influences were fat acceptance blogs. Like Lesley Kinzel, like Kate Harding, women who preach “just say no!” to dieting. I fell in love hard. With the concept. With the freedom. With my body.

The love inspired me to want to change. I cared, for maybe the first time, about the direction my life was headed. My influences then became healthy living blogs. I was soon part of a cult that worshiped KERF and Healthy Tipping Point, Meals and Miles and all the other ladies who have made a living by posting every meal they eat.

But now,

Now.

Now, I read spiritual blogs. Zen Habits. Roots of She. Tiny Buddha. Medicinal Marzipan. Christie Inge.

Blogs by life coaches. Blogs by (mostly) women who are living in the intersection between spirituality and food.

Who also believe that eating whole foods does influence whether you have an inner feeling of wholeness. Where showing your local farmers’ market some love also means showing your body some love. Influences who see and feel strongly about a gut/brain connection.

I’ve never had any kind of connection to a religious spirituality. But I do feel strongly that my faith, my love of all things of the Universe and the law of attraction, has gotten me to where I am and to wherever I’m headed in terms of loving my body, being able to change, and subsequently losing weight.

There’s so much talk when you discuss losing weight about how to “outsmart” hunger, how to eat less, how the “wrong” foods are sabotaging your efforts.

Focusing on these things will only draw more of those feelings to you. You will continue to feel hungry and continue fueling with the wrong foods.

Instead, savor your food.

Create peace with food.

It is not the enemy

Food is healing. How and what you choose to put in your body should be celebrated and enjoyed and not feared.

I’m saying this¬†because I¬†think if you’re someone who is like I used to be – consistently using food as a cure-all for anxiety,¬†loneliness¬† fear, sadness – then this is the only way of escaping that pattern.

There is no cutting food out of your life. As much as you would like the hand off the¬†responsibility¬†of your health to Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, that’s not how life works.

As someone who has lost 85 pounds, I get asked a lot about what is or is not healthy, what I eat, what I’m doing to burn calories.

But what I want to say,

How I want to answer,

Is that none of that would matter if I didn’t believe, every single day, that my weight loss has everything to do with finally believing that I deserve the effort of taking on my health, waking up early to eat breakfast, packing a lunch and snacks for work, and coming home and cooking dinner.

Sure, it would be easier some days to grab lunch out or heat up a frozen meal in the microwave for dinner, but I deserve better.

It’s these small acts of showing myself love that keep me engaged, keep me going in my own path of healthiness. Keep me invested in my body.

A while ago, someone commented on my blog asking if I believed there was space for someone losing weight in the fat acceptance movement. I want to believe there is, because a large part of me still truly and lovingly identifies with fat acceptance even though I do think losing weight has benefited me. The gap, I think, can be bridged through spirituality.

At least for me, I don’t feel like I am being untrue to myself in wanting to lose weight when I know that faith should be filling me up instead of food. I know that my issues with binge eating, emotional eating and the like will be taken care of when my head is in the right place through positive thinking and conscious thought.

As always, in order of importance:

Love,

change,

and losing weight.

Forget me not

Today I express gratitude for:

1. The wonderful, supportive people in my life. You give me light.

2. Uninterrupted time at the end of the day to walk, think, breathe and be.

3. My body. It’s energy.

4. All past experiences. They have brought me to this moment.

5. Having a safe, quiet, and dark place to rest and unwind at night.

6. Listening to my intuition and having faith in my inner voice. Fear not, self.

7. The trust and love I receive from the Universe.

8. Turning feelings of “have not” into “enough.”

9. An abundance of love and smiles.

10. Being open to life.

Source: etsy.com via Jodi on Pinterest

Break through

I hit the wall, or so I thought.

I’ve been feeling caged.¬†Claustrophobic. Deprived. And not content.

Feeling like I’m caught in a routine gone stale. A routine that moves on spinning gears but no passion.

My instinct is to say that these feelings were bound to surface eventually. For a year and a half I’ve been living a different life than the one I’ve known. All that effort put toward creating a new self was due to one day bring me to this point. The point where I wanted to…give up. Stop everything and return to a place with more cushions.

It’s the wall. The¬†metaphorical wall. Where I find myself at the bottom of, too tired to climb.

Too worn out to even look for a foothold.

Not caring to lift my head and see if there’s a rope to grab.

A wall, that in all reality, was likely one I built at some point with my own brick and mortar of issues.

But, as I write this, I’m actually feeling uplifted.

Because, for the first time, I don’t believe this wall to be about my weight.

For my entire life I thought I was blocked by a number. The word “fat” stood between me and happiness when really the walls were feelings that, for years, contributed to my disordered eating and weight gain.

Doubt.

Fear.

Insecurity.

Those are the battles I’m fighting. The walls I’m working to break down.

Not my weight. Not a scale. Not waning motivation.

Unfortunately, losing weight doesn’t make those parts of me magically disappear.

My weight did a great deal in helping me avoid facing those things, however.

I believed that anything negative in my life was because of my weight. Because of my appearance. I believed good things were off limits. Out of reach.

I live in a different world now.

One where I’m holding an all-access pass to my life.

Good things come my way because I believe life to be good.

I set and accomplish goals. I work toward things.

Life opened itself up to me when I showed the Universe I was open to it.

Breaking through a wall, or breaking down a wall, doesn’t happen like you see in the movies. With a running start, an angled shoulder, crashing bricks and a perfect somersault landing.

Really I think it’s a process in where you chip away slowly, consistently, and find joy in the pinholes of light that shine through the cracks.

I thought I hit the wall. This weekend I was ready to write a post that said something more like, “I need a break.”

Instead, I’m going to do the easy thing. Reframe the wall.

Take the journey inward and stop saying that I’ve hit a wall.

I’ve been feeling antsy, like I’m just ready to be done. To say, “this was great” but I’m out here treading water and need a life raft.

It’s a scary place to be when you put yourself out there each and every day. Each day going a little further into completely unknown territory.

But whatever it is that’s signaling me to stop – whether it’s doubt, fear or insecurity – are actually probably signals of change if I approach each of the feelings from a different perspective.

I’ve done it before.

I lost weight by believing I was in a place where I was already more than a number and more than the word fat.

That’s how you bring down the wall. If I had let my weight stand in my way, believed it to be a challenge instead of just something that was part of my life, I think I would have given up a long time ago. By the time I was ready to lose weight, the word “fat” didn’t hold any power.

This is what I come back to time and time again when I’m up against a challenge. A roadblock. ¬†A wall.

If I could do it once – change a belief about myself that ran so deep, that I clung to – than there is nothing stopping me from believing that I could break through and break down anything I perceive to be in my way.

There are a lot of things that I could tell you weight loss has taught me.

But first among them is that change is possible. From wherever you are and whatever you are up against.

‚ÄúYour task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.‚ÄĚ – Rumi

And now, for something completely different

Today, take a different kind of action toward being healthy.

Yes, be mindful of the food you eat and continue to find ways to fit in exercise.

But also focus on your thought today.

All change starts with the messages you tell yourself.

Choose positive thoughts, positive results will follow.

Some of my favorites:

I choose love, joy and freedom, open my heart and allow wonderful things to flow into my life

I choose to make positive healthy choices for myself

My life is a joy filled with love, fun and friendship all I need do is stop all criticism, forgive, relax and be open

I am the perfect weight for me

I trust in the process of life

I choose to exercise regularly

I am my own unique self – special, creative and wonderful

 (source)

Body love reps

I had a great conversation with a friend yesterday.

We were both delighting in the way in which our lives our moving.

The feeling was surprising, to both of us, because of all the doubt and angst we’ve both faced that’s seemed overwhelming at times.

Becoming content, with anything in your life, works the same way.

But this is my blog, so I’m going to talk about how it works with loving your body.

Unhappiness, I believe, comes from wanting something other than what you have. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t want more or better than what you have, but it’s a lesson in approach.

I have to remind myself daily that I don’t want to lose weight. This is, after all, Jodi fat or not.

I want to love my body, which means I care for it in the best way I know how.

Movement that leaves me dripping with sweat and smiling.

Eating food that makes me glow from the inside out.

When I get caught up in the weight loss side, everything about me becomes focused on a number.

Not, I had a great time working out at the gym and smiled the whole way home.

Not, I made a breakfast, lunch and dinner with fresh, whole foods that were delicious to eat and gave me tons of energy.

These things get lost. Shadowed by the scale.

I was reading an interview with Julie Wyman on the blog Radical Hateloss when I realized just how much I had been feeling buried by the number.

Q: What message do you want to communicate most to other women?
A: What if the body you had right now were perfect?

It’s a thought that makes me grin from ear to ear.

The second I become motivated by body loathing, I’ve lost.

I could be doing all of the same things, but if it’s motivated by hating my body, it feels like an act of desperation to fit into a mold rather than an act of appreciation for this wonderful body gifted to me from the Universe.

My love for my body is not determined by how much I weigh, how fast I can run a mile or how much I can lift.

It never will be. And it was a lie if I thought it ever was.

I have to remind myself of these things all the time.

Every day I have to be grateful for my body. Body lovin’ reps, if you will ūüôā

The thing is, I could talk about my eating habits all day. Go into excruciating detail about my work outs. Wax poetic about how much time is spent planning every single second of my day to make health the number one priority.

There are a million people and businesses out there that want to sell you on the idea that you need a diet plan, an exercise routine or even a lifestyle change (I’m looking at you, Weight Watchers)¬†before you can feel like you are enough.

Don’t believe a word of it.

Start with the belief that you are enough. Replace every negative thought about your body with one of love and appreciation. The rest – the eating well, the exercise – will fall happily into place.

 

Now…The Numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 166.5

This week: 166.5

Change: 0

Total loss: 76.5

Trust in the must

Some days I wake up giddy to work out. I’m full of energy. I can’t wait to say hello to all the friendly trainers at the gym.

Some days I love going to the park, running, walking, moving.

These last few days were not like that.

I’ve been sticking to my 10K training plan, albeit a little reluctantly. So what do I do when those lulls hit? Bribe myself. It works every time.

 

Most of my weekend runs are coerced by promises of lunch at the Whole Foods salad bar. I get my self pumped up the night before for early morning gym session by searching for motivational sayings on Pinterest. And if all methods fail to get me out the door, I promise myself I will only stay at the gym for 10 minutes, and if I hate it, I can leave.

I’ve never left.

 

On Wednesday my training schedule said to do 30 minutes of cross. I had an early deadline at work and used my 6:30 a.m. wake up call to get to the office early instead of the gym. The thought of going to the gym after work, when it’s really crowded, is so undesirable. It was a little bit cold out, slightly drizzling and I was feeling sorry for myself.

But then I happened to glance out my window and saw the most beautiful pink sunset. I knew I had to get outside. I stopped being a wimp, put on some warm clothes and went for a head-clearing walk around my apartment complex.

It was just what I needed.

 

The benefits of exercise continue to amaze me. The power of using a workout to transform a bad day into a good one has been so useful to me.

Yesterday, too, I had a stressful day at work. Nothing has gone according to plan this week and the actual work I had to do was slowed down by phone calls and emails. I had a 2 mile run on the training plan and was dreading it all day.

I was too hungry to go straight after work, so came home and made a quick and simple dinner of eggs and veggies and then finally got to the run.

And you know what? It didn’t suck. Near the end of the 2 miles, I was getting a little antsy to be finished when it dawned on me that an hour ago I wasn’t sure if I would do it at all.

It’s a struggle every day to push against the habits I lived with for 23 years. As weird as this sounds, it’s very strange for me to actually set goals and follow through on them. This thing, where I do what I say I’m going to do, is very new to me. And sometimes it makes me nervous.

I’m learning to have faith in myself. That when the time comes, I’ll do what is right for me, even if it’s the hard thing. That I can depend on myself and trust myself. It’s been a process.

 

When I was traveling around India two years ago and making plans that were shaky at best, my traveling companion would always say “Trust in the must.”

The phrase stuck with me. It obviously meant something else in India, but lately it’s reminded me to believe in my healthy intentions and that, at the end of the day, what is meant to happen will happen.

It’s helped me to stop doubting that I can be successful. This is so cheesy, but it’s helped me to believe that I can do the things I want to do.

It’s Friday, the week is over and everything got done that had to get done. My deadlines were met, my workouts done..and now my sink of dirty dishes are all clean ūüėČ

Putting yourself in the path of least resistance to your goals rarely means taking it easy.

Align yourself with the energy of the universe and then take action.

You will get to where you are meant to be.

 

 

Everything is illuminated

I woke up excited to run Thursday.

It was a bright morning with a slight wind, and a little chilly. I ran slow. I ran steady. I admired the wispy clouds, nodded “hello” at the other morning runners and smiled at the sunshine.

I took time to appreciate the movement of my body. Thanked it for working so hard. For coping so well with all I put it through.

It’s easy to get frustrated. I sometimes get angry that for so many years I didn’t treat my body with the respect it deserved. And now? My knees ache, I’m sore from the gym, my shin splints throb. My body still isn’t used to the physical exertion.

But yesterday I ran through the pain. My mind was strong when my legs were tired. I had my spirit motivating me to complete the miles.

After I finished the run and stretched out my legs, I took a moment to just be still. Let my heart beat slow and my breath deepen.

I stared up at the sun and felt a rush of gratefulness.

One year ago, I thought, I would not have been up before work to run at the park. I would not have seen the sun streaming through the trees. I would not have heard the first signs of spring, chirping birds and a babbling river.

There is pain, there is frustration, there are moments of weakness. Keep going.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished” – Lao Tzu