Like many, I use to obsess with being thin, because in our society for the most part thin=hot and fat=not hot. This is embedded in us at a very young age. It's branded in our personality and our social make up. It pretty much carries over into adult hood and eats us from the inside out. It was like a tape recorder played in my head over and over again from the age of 8 "YOU MUST BE SKINNY,SKINNY MEANS PRETTY, BE SKINNY, SKINNY MEANS HOT, IF YOU ARE HOT YOU WILL BE HAPPY AND SUCCESSFUL SKINNY SKINNY SKINNY SKINNY"
I struggled with my weight starting at the age of 12. I never liked the way my body looked. I was never happy or satisfied, no matter how thin or heavy I would get. Nothing was ever good enough.
Like the majority of you reading this, I was a YO-YO dieter and a sporadic exerciser. I would join the gym, go for 2 months and never go back. My goal was to get the weight off as fast as I could and I would do any fad or mainstream diet to do it. You name it I dabbled in it. I even tried laxatives and heavy duty diet pills for a while, seemed like a good idea at the time. I would go as far as endangering my life to lose weight. I failed at weight loss every single time. AS fast as the weight came off, it came back on even faster.
After I entered motherhood, my self esteem about my body plummeted. There was only so much time in the day...and at that point I did not have time to diet or exercise or even shower. I would still go up and down in weight, based on my never ending fluctuating mood swings. My whole life I have fallen in and out of depressions and that has played a huge role in my issues with my weight, my body and most of all the way I thought and lived my life . Then eventually I would shrug and say "it is what it is" and just accepted this way of life. I immersed myself into my daughter and her Autism and just forgot about ME for almost 3 years. I do not regret this, because Grace is in a great place because of what I did for her, but I wonder if things would be different if I had the confidence and strength I lacked back then.
Hurricane Sandy catapulted me into the deepest, darkest depressions I had ever been in. Our lives were uprooted and we literally had no where to live. We bounced from friend's houses to hotels back to friend's houses. I have never felt so helpless in my whole entire life. We had to start our lives over from scratch. Everything we worked so hard for was washed away, GONE. My sense of home and security was stolen so quickly and there was absolutely nothing I could do. I felt so helpless and out of control. I was ready to crawl up into a ball and just stay there.
Everyone and I MEAN everyone I had crossed paths with in my life reached out to my family and me. People were sending checks, supplies, clothes, you name it it was coming our way. The amount of people and organizations that helped us was more than I could have ever imagined. As word got out about our situation and our story, people we have never even met started reaching out to us. I can never express how thankful and blessed I feel for every single person who helped us a long the way.
Something started forming in me, and I look back and realize it was hope and inspiration and something else I lacked for a long time, strength. There was this voice that came through the darkness in my head and it nagged me all day and night saying "GET UP THIS IS YOUR LIFE GET UP OFF YOUR ASS TAKE CONTROL AND LIVE YOUR LIFE THE WAY YOU WERE MEANT TO"
...and so I did. I got up and vowed to myself that I would take control and change my life, completely.
"It is not until you have lost everything you have gained everything." This is a quote that came to me at the most perfect time in my life.
It is 10 months later and I have never felt more amazing in my whole entire life. I am changed for the better. The most marvelous part of it all is I CHANGED ME, I did it for me and by me. You can too. But there is a list of things you need to do immediately before starting.
The list to the beginning of the rest of your life:
1. Forget about wanting to be skinny, get that out of your mind NOW, this is not about being skinny, it is just an added extra bonus with what you are about to do. YOU WANT TO FEEL GOOD, YOU WANT TO FEEL HEALTHY. YOU WANT TO GET FIT AND STRONG. YOU WANT TO FEEL AN INNER AND OUTER PEACE.
2. The plan you are about to read about is not a diet plan, IT IS A LIFE STYLE CHANGE. Throw the idea of dieting out of your brain, erase it from your life. There will be no more dieting from here on in. You are changing your life with better life habits and healthier eating habits.
3. Repeat after me: PATIENCE. You have to have more patience and dig deep down for it. Let go of quick fixes, the do not work and they never will. You have gotten yourself to where you are after how many years...so you can not fix it to the way you want over night. Instant gratification is not in the plan. The slower you progress the better. Patience. Trust me.
4. There is no finish line, this process will never be finished. After every goal you succeed you will make more. I myself am still working at this every day.
5. Be OK with FAILING. Failure is inevitable when it comes to success and achieving your goals. The key here is to accept you may fail along the way. And after you fail you YOU WILL FIND THE STRENGTH TO GET UP AND MOVE ON. This is one of the most important things you have to do.
6. This step is different for everyone. You need to list the things you want to change about yourself. These are the things that hold you back in life. Mine were, not letting people affect me, re training my mind to react differently to negative situations. Another one was not to shut out the world and get down on myself. A big one for me is to finish what I start and let go of my baggage that holds me back. There are more to my list and as I cross one off another one gets added on.
7. Keep an open mind and ALWAYS BELIEVE in yourself.
8. Excuses. There are none. No more excuses from here. Things will always happen and life will always happen. There are no more excuses. If it doesn't work you will find another way. YOU WILL NOT QUIT AND YOU WILL NOT MAKE EXCUSES. NO EXCUSES.
9. Commitment. Have it in every area you want to improve in your life.
10. Do not compete with anyone around you. THIS IS YOUR JOURNEY AND YOUR PATH. We are all different have different ways of being measured in life. THIS IS ABOUT YOU if you want to compete then only compete with YOU! AND ALWAYS BE HAPPY for other's and their accomplishments. No one is better than anyone.
11. HAVE FUN!!! LAUGH!! SMILE!!! ALWAYS STAY POSITIVE!!! NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS STAY POSITIVE!! If you are not having fun for the most part...nothing will change.
12. Get a journal or something to write in along the way. Use the journal for the steps listed above. Having everything on written by you on paper is very essential.
13. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO DO THIS FOR YOU! Not to impress the opposite sex, not for a high school reunion, not for anything other than YOU. DO this for YOU!!
After you have completed each of these steps you are ready to move into the next phase of your new and better life.
Three Areas Of Your Being and Who You Are
On my journey I realized something that is rarely addressed during the weight loss process. We focus on pounds and food mostly. There are 3 things I focus on daily and it all ties together, and with these 3 areas being worked on and modified your weight will come off and stay off. There is no magic involved, just a lot of hard work, dedication, and commitment.
When we want to remodel or renovate a room or an office what do we normally do? We clean out the entire area. We rip off the old parts. We essentially gut the area in preparation for new walls, floors, paint, furniture, etc.
The same concept applies to you. If you want to change how you feel, eating low calorie foods will change your weight...but not how you feel and think about yourself. You need an entire renovation, or the term I like to use is a cleaning or cleansing. You need to cleanse every inch of your being. You need to "gut" every old negative part you want gone to make room for the new positive parts you want to add.
Before I go into telling you what 3 areas I am suggesting and using for myself, you have to know how powerful the mind is. Your mind and thought process is going to be your biggest obstacle through this. With patience and understanding, you WILL bring your thought processes to the level you want it to be at and to a level you did not know was achievable. As the days go on and you become stronger the struggle will still be there with your mind, but the amount of time you struggle will decrease indefinitely.
The three areas of your being that needs total cleansing is your MIND, BODY, and your SOUL. But how do you attain this?
Mind: You will re train your thought process, you will believe in yourself, and learn to fight the negative thoughts that cause you to give up.
Body: you will love and accept your body at every phase it is in, you will exercise to your own ability but always stay active, you will eat as clean as you can and eat healthy, take supplements, drink shakes etc. You must remember it is not to be SKINNY, but to be healthy, fit, and energetic and also full of life.
Soul: You will get in touch with your spiritual side in what ever way suits you. You will learn things about yourself you never even knew. You will get in touch with your inner self that some of us avoid at all cost. This is not about God or religion for everybody. This is about finding that piece in you that makes up who YOU are as a human being. It is about learning about the energy you give off into the world and accepting yourself fully.
I attack the Mind, Body, Soul cleaning on a daily basis. It is a lot of work but the rewards are %100 worth it.
Now that I have explained the skeleton of the process that I have been using for the past 10 months. In my next blog I will go into exactly how I transformed and cleansed my Mind, Body, and Soul. I will discuss the foods I eat, affirmations, my spiritual side, and much more. I am so excited to share this with you all, thank you for all the support so far. STAY TUNED PART 2 coming very soon!!