Tag Archive | aaron

Emotional Storms

It is amazing to me how quickly an emotional storm begins and ends.  There is no weather man to forecast when one of these things is going to hit or the potential for damage or really how bad it is going to get…and certainly not how long it will last. No wonder I feel crazy when this kind of stuff hits!

I ended the week before last in a good place with a healthy view of the big picture.  I was excited to move on to the next week and see what comes.  I was not upset by the scale but rather I laughed at it.  Then, the storm came.

It took about 2 seconds for me to go from being in this great place, ready to conquer the world to a place where I felt like I was hanging precariously on the edge of a mountain…

…except that I was being beat by gale force winds and torrential rain and as far as I could tell in the moment, I had no belay line attached to me.

As you read earlier this week I lived the last week in a lot of fear and trembling and literally just tried to hang on.  Going forward seemed impossible so it became a battle that meant waiting out the storm without getting pushed backwards.

Here is just  a sample of ONE of the battles I faced in that crazy week.

On Monday, I already knew that my tolerance for being around foods that were not in my plan was VERY low.  I KNEW this like I knew my own name.  I also have house mates (2 brothers and mom) who choose NOT to eat as I do and so we make separate meals.  Up until this week, I have NEVER asked them NOT to have something specific in the house if I am around.

Monday night, mom and bro and I were driving to my nieces dance recital when we passed a KFC.  Now some of you long time readers might remember that I once put my friendship with dear Aaron on the line over some fried chicken.  If not you can read about that HERE!  Mom suggested we stop and pick some up.  As I looked over at her, aghast that she would even suggest that I eat that, I clearly told her the following.

KFC(aka fried chicken) will NOT be in my car.  I am not stopping.  This is a tough week for me and I cannot be around it.  In fact, I am asking that if you really want it, that you get it on a night I am not home and that it all be gone before I get home.

I think I was pretty clear.

Tuesday, mom was watching all the kids and I managed to run the gauntlet of fast food choices back home without stopping anywhere, to the safety of my home where I had a planned and approved meal waiting for me.   As I pulled in I breathed a sigh of relief that I was home safely and without incident.

Until I walked in the house and smelled…fried chicken. Homemade. The stuff I grew up and fat on. The stuff that even beats out KFC in my book.  But that is ok, it is just a smell.  With 6 kids plus 3 adults in the house, it has gotta be all gone by now.  As I walked through the kitchen to my room to put my stuff away, I knew instantly I was wrong.  Not only was there some left, there was so much left it looked as though no one had eaten yet!  There was at least a DOZEN pieces of beautiful fried chicken on a platter on the counter.

Are you F%^&*ing kidding me?  Really?  Did we not have this conversation the night before?  Was I NOT clear that I needed help this week and having that around would NOT be helpful?

Mom comes in the kitchen and smiles and tells me how she made it because she knows the kids like it.  I reminded her of our conversation last night.  She laughed and said…But it is NOT KFC!

Really?  Really.

Bro, who was with us the night before and who keeps talking about needing/wanting to lose weight and has offered to pay me to prep meals for him, laughs and also points out how it is not KFC.

I went in the bathroom and cried.  Balled really. This…is my family.  This is how we support each other…or not.  This is why I have friends…to help me deal with them.   I sat in the bathroom, KNOWING full well that I wanted that chicken and knowing that would be the worst decision I could make and yet I had to go back out there and share space with the chicken while prepping my own meal all the while hungry physically and in a really tough emotional place.

When I felt ready (after having texted Aaron and Coach in a panic), I went back out and tried to prep my meal on the other side of the kitchen.  Unfortunately, all of my usual stuff I use is kept in one cupboard, right above where the chicken was.  I moved the chicken around to wherever I was not.  I did a ton of self talk.  I thought about Aaron and how fried chicken was the root of a lie that could have cost me my friendship with him (thankfully, he is a pretty gracious guy).  I thought about Coach and how much time he and Aaron have invested into supporting me through the last 4 years.  I thought about Leif and Tate and how disappointed all 4 of these men would be if I gave in.  I thought about myself and what I wanted, what I was working for and how this would NOT support my vision for my life.  I thought about how hard I have worked and how much I didn’t want to lay all that aside.  I prayed.  I cried.  I got angry.  (ALOT goes on in my head in the 12 minutes it takes for me to do final prep on a meal that is pretty much prepped)

and after all of that…

I didn’t win this night.

This was just one of the million battles I fought the last week.  I happened to lose this one.  And while in the moment, this storm felt like it was never going to end (it lasted about 4 days, 4 awful days), Thursday I woke up and it didn’t feel so crazy.  It felt like perhaps just a strong breeze was blowing.  It didn’t feel emotionally/nutritionally dangerous for me to simply get out of bed.  By Friday, you wouldn’t have been able to guess that anything crazy had happened this week.

Yep, this is why I feel crazy at times.

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It’s A Choice

Over the last 3 years, but more specifically the last two years, many people have told me things like this:

“Kim, I wish I had your level of motivation”

“Wow, I can’t believe you haven’t quit!”

“I don’t know how you do it!”

“Your perseverance inspires me!”

I could go on, but the sentiments are the same.  Many people want to change but are waiting for the motivation to hit them upside the head and suddenly they will WANT to get up each day to work out.  They will WANT to give up all sorts of yummy foods in the name of health. They want these things, but I often feel like they are waiting for it to be easy.  Sometimes I feel like people watch me and think it is easy for me.

Let me set the record straight.

IT IS NOT EASY.

This journey has been one of the hardest journey’s I have had to face.  It is not and has not been all about weight loss for me.  It has been an ongoing search for overall health and balance and healing in my life. It has required facing myself in all of my ugliness and wrestling with my demons…again and again.  The thing about demons though, is they are relentless.  They may back off for a time, giving me a reprieve, but they come back with a vengeance and I have to fight the same battles again, sometimes on a daily basis.  No, this journey is not easy.

I WOULD NOT CALL MYSELF MOTIVATED.

Let me explain. 10 years ago I DECIDED I did not want to be fat anymore and that I did not want my history to determine my future.  It took until 3 years ago to realize that knowing what I DIDN’T want was not enough.  I needed to know what I DID want.  I wanted health.  I wanted to be happy.  I wanted to run.  I wanted to be able to ride a roller coaster again. I wanted to be able to keep up with my nieces and nephews as they moved from infancy to crawling to running.  I wanted to feel beautiful.  I wanted to wear a sexy as sin dress.  I wanted to go hiking without fear of not being able to keep up.  I want to kayak.   Do you get the picture?  I had to replace the thoughts of what I DIDN’T want and replace it with what I DID want.   It is that vision of doing those things that has carried me through the last two years of intense struggle with what appeared to be no numerical results.

I feel like motivation is an ever elusive feel good feeling that comes and goes with no rhyme or reason.  My journey began with a CHOICE.  Every day, I make choices all day long, regardless of motivation, that either line up with my vision for health or it doesn’t .  When my alarm goes off at 4:45 AM, believe me, the only thing I am motivated to do is chuck the rooster crowing device across the room and cuddle back down into the warmth of my bed.   As I lay there, I wrestle with the things I want.  I WANT to be warm and cozy for another two hours…but what I want MORE is a lifestyle of good health.  Staying in bed (most days) does not promote good health.  It will not produce the results that will then produce that motivated feeling that will make me want to do it all again.  Results provide motivation.  The last two years has been choices.  Daily choices.

I am not perfect.  My nutritional plan for life is a Paleo diet.  My workout plan is Crossfit 5 days a week and living an active life that includes running, swimming, biking, and anything else I decide to try.  DO I still eat poorly from time to time?  Yep you betcha!  Some days I eat so unbalanced.  All meat and no fruits or veggies.  Sometimes I choose to eat pasta or sugar which is so NOT Paleo in nature.  And I am so far from perfect that sometimes I even eat McDonalds.  GASP!!!  See now you can take me off the pedestal some of you have me on.  🙂  When I do those things, while I am learning to not beat myself up about it, my body lets me know quickly that it does NOT like these things in my body nor does it like to eat Paleo approved foods in unbalanced proportions.   The occurrences happen less and less as in the moment that my mind wants something it remembers as being oh so delicious, I am able to remember how awful I felt after the last time I ate poorly.  I am getting better at this…one day at a time.

I COULD NOT DO THIS ALONE.

I could not do this without community.  I am not talking about the friend who will cheer me on when I am doing well and say nothing when I slack off.  I am talking about people like Coach and Aaron, who are willing to call my butt on the carpet when I am slacking off .  People who are willing to press in when I am struggling to find out the root of the struggle so I can deal with that.  Not everyone in my life has permission to question my food choices or my exercise schedule.  They and a couple of others do.  They have earned that place in my life and I know that  when they question me, they have my goals at the forefront of their minds…and that they love me, regardless of my weight or size.

I also have Daniel, guiding my nutrition and monitoring my progress and for the first time in 2 years I would say I am FEELING motivated, because I am finally seeing results.  I don’t expect that I will always feel this way.  However, my choices for health will not change.

So, to those who look at me and wonder if you can do it too or look at me in wonder and awe and think there must be some kind of magic involved in my ability to stick with it, trying new program after new program with little to no results, there is no magic. It’s a choice.That’s it.

What choice will you make, what is it you want and are you willing to set aside those things that get in your way.  Perhaps it will mean going to bed earlier so you can wake up before your kids?  Perhaps it will mean a conversation with your husband asking him to get up and work out with you or perhaps he can get up with the kids while you go to the gym.  I don’t know what it is you want.  I just know what I want, and come hell or high water, I will get there.

My encouragement to you would be this.  If you look at me in wonder and are waiting for motivation to strike.  Quit waiting.  You might as well be waiting to get struck by lightning.  Chances are slim.   Instead, decide what you want and make the necessary choices that would support that desire.  Find a friend who is willing to do whatever it takes to help you.  Fellow overweight friends are great to have and can be a great support, but my greatest support has come from people who already live the kind of life I want to live.  They are not in the struggle themselves so they have a different perspective.   A fellow fatty may just be waiting for you to slack a bit so they too can get a reprieve.  Just being honest folks.

Making Some Changes

This week, I met Daniel and I began implementing the very first step of Plan #747 that I have attempted while on this journey.  If you have been reading along, you know this new step involves a pretty clean eating style called Paleo Diet and a pretty intense workout style called Crossfit. Google them both if you dare, but I warn you the information can be overwhelming.

The first step has been to remove all grains and sugars from my diet.  That is the only part of the Paleo diet that Daniel wants me to focus on.  When I get good at this, then he will add another step.

Today, as I wake up I am beginning Day 5 of being grain and sugar free, I am quite proud of myself as I have navigated some good social situations with some DELICIOUS food being served.

The first 2 days were rather tough, since I didn’t really have the groceries to do this well nor did I have a concrete plan.  I found myself picking chocolate out of trail mix so I could eat the nuts and eating at the grocery store salad bar, which got rather expensive quick.  I began to really notice that grains are everywhere.  I used to think I didn’t eat a lot of carbs until I was trying to avoid them.  Without a plan in place, it was like walking through a minefield.

sorting the good from the bad

got smart and bought my own salad makings, this became 2 meals

By the third day, I was able to get some shopping and prepping in the night before so I felt great about day 3.  I felt like I had gotten to the other side of the minefield.  Then came day 4.

Day 4 was a bridal shower for the famed Aaron, whom you have heard much about, and his fiancée Erin.  I went in knowing that like all good bridal showers, there would be a salad there and with the plan being to eat that, no matter how good the other stuff looked.

Well, here is what was served.  Pizza, pasta, gnocchi, cheese and crackers, bread with bruschetta, fruit and veggies and hummus, and a salad.  Oh and cake pops!!  Have you ever had them?  They are delicious…Avoiding these was my biggest temptation!

I filled my plate with everything but the pizza, pasta, bread or crackers.  And no cake pops for me. Quickly I discovered the salad had a very sweet tasting dressing on it.  Which I loved.  I know many dressings have sugar in them, but for now, if I can’t taste it, I am not worrying too much about it.  This one I could taste the sweetness.  So after one bite, I didn’t eat any more. I ate my veggies and hummus, my fruit, my scoop of bruschetta and my goat cheese spread.  And I was satisfied.

Unfortunately, such a light lunch does not last very long.  I was hungry and those cake pops were calling my name.  As I came back from the restroom, I noticed another little table with appetizers on it.  It had olives of varying kinds, some stuffed, some not, and MEAT.  I grabbed Jen’s arm.  I was ecstatic! “Look! Meat!”  She just laughed at me.  I took a couple chunks of the meat, and a few olives and was once again satisfied and pleased with myself.

A little while later, Aaron was talking to me and eating a cake pop.  I asked him if it was as delicious as it looked, as I salivated watching him eat it.  He said it was.  So I told him he had to eat another one, this time chocolate for me.  Dear friend that he is had no problem obliging.  I was satisfied.

I left feeling pretty darn pleased with myself and looking forward to dinner with more friends later in the day.

Oh, did I mention on Day 4, I was scheduled to give my first official weigh in numbers to Daniel.  So I started my day by weighing myself and discovered I was down 10 pounds since Memorial Day when I discovered my most atrocious new starting point.  I am not sure I actually lost 10 pounds.  I think a different scale plays a factor and the fact the memorial weekend I had been eating beef jerky so had a lot of salt in my system.  But, regardless of the where the difference in number came from, I am much better with this number than the previous and will chalk it all up to a loss for now.

I start Step 2 on Tues morning with my first workout with CJ from Crossfit. I am excited and nervous and scared out of my mind…but mostly I am excited.  This workout style sounds just a little bit bad ass….and I like to be bad ass.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzD9BkXGJ1M  Go watch the video…seriously.

 

More About Hope

So yesterday, after processing through all of my conversation with Daniel, I sent this email to Coach and Aaron.  I thought I would share.  This is just highlights.

1.       Daniel is nothing like I expected.

2.       His role is more of a mentor, my co-worker likens it to an AA sponsor.  Someone who I will talk to regularly about food, exercise, where my head is at, how I am feeling, whats going on and he will slowly walk me through making the changes as we do them.  Sooo like you guys except a pro about diet, nutrition and exercise!

3.       Today I am changing one thing.  No processed grains or sugars.  SO no breads, cereals, pastas or rice.  He is leaving oatmeal alone for now.   When I master this change and feel comfortable living in it, he will make another change.  I will then continue to live with the first change and add the second to it…and on and on we go.  So this morning I had eggs and sausage for breakfast.  Probably not the BEST thing I could have eaten but I DIDN’T eat the bagel offered at our weekly meeting, so in his method, I was successful for breakfast.   I need to ask him for breakfast ideas that are not always eggs…J

4.       I do not count calories.  He will explain this as we go along…

5.       Did I mention he is not charging me.  He considers this paying it forward from the goodness he has received in life.  His idea is that what good is his knowledge if he doesn’t share it. He said he works at a mega gym for a paycheck, but this stuff  he does for purpose.  So why not bring me into LA Fitness??  Because it is not the best for me.  Hmmmm

6.       He said not to expect major changes in the first month.  My body will be adjusting to a LOT of changes in workout style, nutrition and the whole shebang…but after 3 months I should see a major difference…soooo by Aaron’s wedding in September….I might be smoking!!!

7.       He said by 6 months He will begin working with me on skin care.  I looked at him quizzically.  What does skin care have to do with all this…I was thinking perhaps he wanted to help me with acne???  Umm no…he said that by 6 months I will begin needing to plan for tightening up loose skin and he knows of things to help with that.  WHAT!!  Seriously!  He knows ways without surgery to take care of that…OMG…I thought I would just forever have an ugly body even if I am fit and at a healthy weight for the rest of my life…

8.       As for workouts…number of days per week and all that…He said start with one day and see how you feel.  If you need to skip a day then skip a day.  Over time I will get better.  The ideal workout schedule with crossfit is 3 days on 1 day off.  1 hour per day. Beyond that, go live an active life.  Swim, bike or run as I wish…no restrictions…with exception to stay off the races (because of the stress factor) for this year so I can focus on mastering this diet and workout lifestyle.  Its not that I can’t but to add it back in could be overwhelming and he is all about keeping me underwhelmed.  So far he is good on this front.   He said this time next year, I will kill it at BLT  because I will be in such a different place physically and mentally.

9.       He will take new measurements each month.  I will weigh myself at about the same time.  He sent me my measurements and they are awful but he has “ordered” me to not worry about them.  They are just for today.  I am reminding myself of this constantly.

10.   Some suggestions he has made for me to consider is of course keeping a food journal, but better he said is to make it a photo journal that I post somewhere.   He said if I find myself not wanting to take that picture or post it, I probably shouldn’t be eating it in the first place.

There were several times as he talked that I literally felt the breath exhale from me in relief as whatever he said just felt comforting and ok and like this is all possible again.

I don’t know if Crossfit or Paleo diet is the best thing or the right thing or if I might end up hurting myself more than hurting.  For all I know this may not work at all….  I don’t know any of that…but what I do know is the hope I am feeling and for now I am following the scent of hope.

It’s On Me!

A few posts ago, when I couldn’t sleep and I was spiraling downward, I wrote a blog full of questions.  Questions I didn’t feel like I had anything close to answers to in that middleofthenightIamsoexhaustedIjustwannasleepbutcan’t moment.

Well, I spent last week coming out of my funk and being incredibly busy every night with everything but working out. Then I went “home”, home being where my heart is happiest, to GR for the weekend. I spent 2.25 days soaking up the love of friends.  I breathed deep and inhaled the knowledge that my heart and mind had forgotten or misplaced or something…

No matter my size, I am loved.  Deeply and dearly. I am loved enough to be pushed on an 8 mile run by Ben, who for 2 hours and 21 minutes become a pseudo Demond.  Questioning my heart rate and pushing me up hills and making me run when I wanted to walk and not letting me quit when it got painfully hard. I am also loved enough to have my identity challenged, or at least the number I seem to identify with challenged.  Loved enough to be encouraged to think of myself bigger than a number.

I am loved enough to have my perspective on my life challenged(by Coach) in that what I see and experience as all-consuming and awful and total failure, is not.  In fact, Coach is amazing at remembering (when I don’t) my accomplishments.  Regardless of the struggle, I have still kept off what I have lost already for longer than I ever have before.  I have faced some pretty big monsters in my closet and lived to tell about it and probably will have more to face, and I will live to tell about those too.   I have and continue to do more than most other 300 lb women.  I continue to get up when I fall down.

I am loved enough to be kicked out of GR when it is time for me to go but I don’t want to.

2.5 hours there and back with lots of time to think without distracting myself with other things.  Plus a great weekend with everyone left me space to think about my commitment.   I thought about the past few weeks of little to no working out, factored in the time of being sick and gave myself grace for that, and an answer to one of my questions from that crazy night blog post began to form in my mind.

Who AM I and what am I about? Where is my commitment?

It is easy to get sidetracked on this journey.  There are 1000 ways of doing this thing and not one is more right or more wrong than the other.  It is also easy to get distracted by other people’s stories and how “seemingly” easy it is for them, while I sit and whine about how hard I have to work.   I thought about mentioning a few particular bloggers I have read who seem to have it easy, but decided, I don’t know enough about their stories to claim it as easy.  Their struggles are simply different from mine.

It is easy to get lost on this road folks, even when you have a detailed map.  I know I joke about LIKING to get lost in the woods on runs, and I DO love that, but I really hate when I seem to wander off the path that has been so clearly laid out for me (by Demond).  I wander so far off course, that I question everything and then getting back on the right path seems hard.   It is like I lost the map, forgetting the course we laid out in the beginning that would get me to where I want to be.  You know, things like, how many calories do you want me burning a day?  What HR do you want me at?  How many calories am I eating a day?

And….apparently I get lost in my blog writing too, because I was supposed to be answering a question.

Who Am I, what am I about and where is my commitment?

I am Kim and I am a pretty amazing person who loves big and therefore hurts deep.  I am passionate about becoming fit and healthy and living a long life.  I love doing all sorts of active things and discover new ones all the time that I never knew I would like.  I love people and draw energy being around them.  I am a person who loves helping others and making them happy.  I don’t like to disappoint people or let them down.

FOr now, at this time in my life, I am about setting the stage for a healthy life. From now until I reach this goal, this is my focus. This is where my energy needs to be focused at and at the same time I need to have balance and enjoy friendships in my life that are life-giving.  I need to be open to creating here, what I have in GR, with new people, which will require being willing to trust new people more and more and to be willing to share with them like I do with the folks in GR…and to be willing to invest into their lives as well.  No more holding back.

Where is my commitment?  It is right here.  It had gotten off track a bit though. I think for a while my commitment shifted to a mentality of playing it safe.  Playing not to lose instead of going all out and playing to win. I was doing just enough to hold steady and to not raise suspicions. Doing a lot of chattering but not following it up with the actions. I think also, my commitment shifted from being to myself first and shifted to being to Demond or to Coach or Aaron. I became about not disappointing them.  On some level I fought to keep going because I know how much time and energy they have invested in me and how can I not keep going after all of that?  Well folks, in this journey, that kind of commitment doesn’t work.  All it does is create a space of dishonesty or half truths…and doing just enough.

What I am realizing though, is that this is NOT their journey. While they love me and are willing to walk with me and encourage me, they can’t do the work for me.  They cannot give me the want to.  This is ultimately my journey and it is on me to complete it in a manner that brings honor to their sacrifice of time and energy spent on me and with me. (mind you, they would not see what they have done as a sacrifice).

So my commitment has to be to me.  I have to stand in my commitment of health for me and me alone and while I am not standing alone, it is my stand. It is my Journey.  My results.  My Responsibility.  It’s on me.

It is on me to let Demond know what I need.  It is on me to workout whether he is around or not and to push myself beyond my comfort zone.  It is on me to get enough sleep each night and to plan all of my meals out so I hit the calorie goals.  It is on me to read my map and to snap right back on course when I go off.

This is not about perfection.  It is about getting it done.

So, Demond, I know I have been oh so not fully committed the last little bit as I figured some things out…but I am all in now, my friend.   Will you still walk with me?

Coach and Aaron, I know I don’t even need to ask…I know you are with me till the end even as you head to NYU or get married…thanks boys…love you so much I don’t have enough words to express it!

Crumbs

Do you ever have a workout day where you just KNOW you half-assed it?  You know without a shadow of a doubt that you did NOT push yourself half as hard as you could have and you cut everything short?  Just because.

This is how it was for me one day last week.  COach says I am numbers obsessed.  Numbers of all kinds, whether it is scale numbers, calorie burn numbers, or IP addresses (yes, I USED to have a tracker that told me which IP addresses were repeat readers of my blog and I would be so curious as to who these people were that were reading my words).  Anyway, I tend to disagree.  I think the numbers are a good indicator of progress made (IP addresses excluded) and I am anxious of course to see progress.

With that said, I KNOW what is possible for me to burn in a 1 hour workout session if I really push myself. I know what pushing myself feels and looks like and I know when I am not and it shows up in the numbers.  Now that is not to say that all days where my calorie burns are lower are because of not pushing myself, some days it is because I am simply doing less cardio so the burns will be less.

Anyway, I digress.  One day last week, I had a lower calorie burn day and I knew it was because I simply was not pushing myself.  I knew it during the workout and I knew it after the workout. While knowing this, this thought came to mind.

“Kim, you are settling for crumbs, when there is sooo much more to be had!”

Now, I get annoyed sometimes when Coach or Aaron tell me something I know to be true but don’t wanna hear in the moment, but man, I get plain ole pissed off when, in the moment, I recognize what I am doing, and am able to name it…and don’t care enough to change what is going on.

Crumbs are crap.  They are the leftovers.  The little nibbles no one wants to take the time to eat.  I don’t eat crumbs when I am talking food, so why, at times am I willing to settle for crumbs in my workouts.  Why am I willing to settle for 600 mediocre calories burned in an hour, when I KNOW that I can get at least 800 burned or more, depending on what I do and how hard I push myself?

Now, please don’t hear that 600 calories burned is no good.  It IS good!   Except when I know I am settling for less than what is possible.  I settled last week for Good, when Great was on the agenda and was possible.

600 becomes great when I know I gave it my all…like in my workout yesterday with Darrell when at the end of the workout, I am spent.