Show Up For Your Life Today

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Have you ever heard the term, "future tripping"? Future tripping is when you are faced with a task and then you psych yourself out thinking about all of the obstacles that lie ahead of you. In most cases of future tripping, you become debilitated from ever even trying because of all the "what ifs", the "but I've done this before and failed" the "it's going to be impossible for me to do right now, why even try"? Future tripping! I'm the most talented future tripper in the world. I give GAVE my inner future tripper WAY too much control. Just GETTING myself to start things that I know will be hard or maybe even impossible, before I psych myself out, used to be half the battle for me.

For those of you who don’t know what I’ve been up to these last 3 months, I’ve been following a workout/healthy eating guideline called, “Body For Life”. The program is outlined in a book that was written by fitness expert, Bill Phillips. It was a #1 New York Times best seller the year it was published in 1999. Bill has helped millions of people. Btw, I got my used copy of Body for Life for $4, on amazon. 

January 2009
"Show up for your life today." – something my super amazing Mom says often. It's the first time that I've honestly put that into practice. I have tried over a dozen different diets/workout plans in the last 6 years, none of which I've stuck with or finished. None of them were long-term solutions. They left me hungry and tired all the time and I constantly felt deprived. More than that, none of those other program's PRIMARY focus was working on what's on your insides (mentally and emotionally) before working on the outsides. I was never trying to be healthy, mentally and emotionally (even though I swore up and down that I was). It was all in vain. 

(I'm using a lot of caps, sorry. This is one of those posts that just needs them). 

I had to metaphorically SLAP myself in the face (sometimes I really wanted to actually slap myself in the face and probably should have at times). I took a long, hard look at myself, I forced myself to go deeper than just what I was seeing in the mirror, to deal with the painful reality and reasons for why I had let myself go from a once happy, positive and healthy person…to barely being able to breathe when I walked up stairs, to hating myself constantly and continuing to allow myself to cope in unhealthy ways. I was so angry and I kept it all inside. I buried my pain so deep with food, with alcohol, with a bunch of messed up lies, that even I couldn’t find it. I was in complete denial. 

Here are 5 realizations that I came to. That I HAD to come to before I even began to think about knowing how to lose weight (haha, reminds me of that line from the movie,'The Royal Tenenbaums' Gwyneth Paltrow’s character: “I can’t even begin to think about knowing how to answer that question.” Love that movie!).

Realization #1: Things have happened in my life that have been entirely out of my control (that drives me crazy at times and it's such a huge struggle for me to accept. Accepting the things that I can’t change...hard, hard, hard!). Things have happened that have changed me; changed the core of the person that I “thought” I was. I just broke inside. Everything I had envisioned my life to be just "wasn't" anymore. It was a battle that I chose to internalize and keep to myself because nobody likes a depressed person and I was only going to get through it by being "strong" (at the time that meant "ignoring it"). I didn't ask for help and I denied how hurt and how angry I really was. I denied myself a chance to be happy because of these things that had happened and that was just about the only thing that I did have control over, asking for help. but you can't see that in the thick of these things. So I continued to suffer. Some things are just plain gone from my 'heart vault' as I called it and I know and accept that I will probably never get some of those things back. But I have come a long, LONG way. I am realizing more and more that the only way out of the pain that I was feeling, was to forgive and to learn to forgive myself. I still have mountains to climb, but I AM climbing and always will be.

Realization #2: I have lied to myself, one too many times. I went against my own word so many times by starting and quitting things, that I had stopped believing myself when I would tell myself that I could do anything and actually finish it. I didn’t trust myself anymore. So what I did was create a self-defense mechanism of choosing to just live in complete denial. It was just easier to pretend like I wasn’t a total liar to myself, and that I didn't have any unresolved issues. That I felt great, that life was great, that everything was great. Believe me when I tell you, I did not see an unhappy, overweight and unhealthy person when I looked in the mirror. I had phases of realizing the truth, but that never lasted very long. I went right back to being in denial.

No one ever expressed his or her concerns about my weight to me. I mean, who would!? What would they have said?.... "You're fat and I'm really worried about you" isn't exactly the easiest thing to say to someone you love. I hadn't owned a full body mirror for 10 years and I kept myself so busy with building my photography business and starting a family, that my health and my looks took the back burner. The way I looked was a direct reflection of the wreckage that had taken place on the inside. 

I want to be very, very clear about something... I am in no way saying that just because someone struggles with maintaining a healthy weight means that they are broken inside! No no.. I am speaking for myself. This was the case for ME. My unhealthy weight is a result of my depression. I didn't have a medical condition that made it difficult and/or impossible for me to lose weight, like many people struggle with. 

Anyway, It sounds ridiculous to me now that I could ever live in so much denial, but I did! I used to think that staying positive and just pushing through the hard stuff was the way to go, "That makes me a strong person" - a label I used to wear as a badge of honor. I was so wrong. I've learned that without properly dealing with my problems and RESOLVING them as they happen, I end up hurting much, much more when it surfaces at a later date...and without my permission.

 Painful issue that I've buried: "Hey! remember me? Yeah, you thought you got rid of me? You buried me and I climbed my way right out of there!...    SUCKERRRRRR!" 

I knew I had put on a little bit of weight from having kids and over-eating "occasionally" (*cough cough* - every day), but I chose to ignore how bad it really was. We visited family back in November and a picture was taken of me and then posted to FB. I saw all of my sadness and anger in that one photo...and then everything I had worked so hard to bury, surfaced...And all at once. My insides - On the outsides.   

Realization #3: That was the moment where the emotional & mental consequences of quitting on myself -- even one more time -- became more difficult and painful to imagine than just actually putting in the work and doing what I needed to do by accepting reality and becoming healthy again, starting with my heart and mind. I suddenly became more afraid of not trying than I had been of failing and THAT was the beginning of true change for me. 

Realization #4: I must learn to love myself unconditionally. Flaws and all. Before I started this, my sister said to me, “Just remember that you are still you”. I love that women! (btw, my sister was the one who introduced me to BFL and I look up to her so so much).  Having a great body is not going to make me completely happy. Yes, I will feel better in a lot of ways, but if I think that somehow it could ever fix my problems…I'm wrong. The important part of me, the ONLY part of me that will live on when I die, will be my soul, and progress, not perfection was what I needed to strive for, in ALL aspects of my life, not just this one. Love myself along the way, the way I am at that moment...not in a year from now. 

Realization #5: I didn’t gain weight over night. I wasn’t going to lose it over night. Slow and steady was what was going to be best for me. When talking about long-term weight loss and weight management, There are no quick fix solutions that end up being a long-term solution. I have learned from experience that if a diet/workout plan claims to help you lose more than 2 lbs. a week it probably isn’t a long-term solution or even a healthy one! So I knew that if I wanted this to be a life-long change, I was going to have to be patient and make this lifestyle something that I could continue to do even after I finished the 12 weeks program. I wanted to cook healthy meals, not be told where to order meals. Do you think there will be Nutri-system meals just lying around during the zombie apocalypse? Don’t think so! ;) I was just going to have to finally do this the old-fashioned way…Eat fresh, clean foods and exercise! It was hard to accept, but I was much better off after finally accepting this as reality. 

I wrote all of these things down in a journal and read it every morning and every night for 1 week. I meditated all week until I was ready. I started on December 9th 2013. I went to the gym Mon-Sat with Charly Bear in tow and ate 6 small meals a day. When I first started, I was sore ALL THE TIME. It was enough at times to make me want to quit. I can proudly say that I didn't miss one single work out for the entire 12 weeks. I taught myself how to cook meals and make things from scratch. I missed a few of my meals, but not many. It took a few weeks to get used to eating less food, more often throughout the day. I ate about 90-95% clean Monday - Saturday and I never missed my free day. I ate whatever I wanted on that day. Eventually, my free day became less about binging on junk just because I could, and more about eating my favorite foods that were just not good to eat everyday. I saved money by eating at home and I blogged about my progress on the BFL community forums. That helped me A LOT. I had a ton of amazing people cheering me on and keeping me accountable. None of this has completely taken over my life, but it has become a top priority and something that I'm passionate about! I eat healthy and workout without even thinking about it most days now. That's pretty cool.  

I cut my toe open and had to get stitches and a tetanus shot 7 days before I finished the 12 weeks, but I limped to the finish line and made it!  

This has all meant WAY MORE to me than just losing weight and getting stronger physically. The greatest victory has been that I didn’t break my promise to myself and I'm earning my own trust back. 

I'm actually excited to continue on. And trusting myself again? Nothing looks as good as that FEELS. 

Here are my final stats: I started on Dec. 9th 2013 and I finished on March 2nd 2014. I never lost more than 1.8 pounds a week. I did not measure my body fat % before I started (I wish I had because I'd have a better idea of fat loss vs. muscle gain)

Starting weight: 202 lbs. 

Final weight: 187 lbs. (15.3 lbs. lost)

Total inches lost: 25 inches (measuring neck, chest, waist, hips, butt, thigh, calf, bicep)

I went from a plus size 1x shirt to a size regular L shirt and from a size 18 to a size 12 dress. 

Based on the inches lost, we are guessing I’ve gained about 10 pounds of muscle.

Summer 2013
Charly took this picture without me knowing and I found it on my phone later. "Is that ME???!"
December 2013 to March 2014

My good friend, Kendra pulled through (last minute) and took my pictures and I think she did a fantastic job! Thanks Kendra!


  1. Wow just wow, you look F A B U L O U S just like I knew you would!!!

    Barb aka Backbone on BFL :)

  2. Beautiful! Let your light shine princess! You are amazing! ~ Legsy.

  3. You look fantastic. Thanks for sharing. What an inspiration x

  4. Great job. U r a true inspiration and u look fantastic.... And I am sure u know it already that u are very very hot and beautiful.
    Let me be clear you were always beautiful inside and now u brought that u are beautiful in and out ...hope make sense , I am trying to compliment on your success...


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