Why I will Never Post Another Before and After Photo

neverpostanotherbeforeandafter
This is me the day I finished the Beachbody program Shift Shop.  This program was amazing, it is a 3 week speed and weights based program that uses a “ramp-up” method.  This method starts you off slow—then gradually increases the intensity week by week.  The program starts off with 25 minute speed and weight workouts the first week, 35 minutes the second week, and 45 minutes in the final week.
While completing this awesome program I read the book “Body Beliefs” by Jason Seib.  After reading this book I have committed to no longer sharing before and after photos that are centered on weight and aesthetics of myself or anyone else. I will still take my own progress photos for myself, and I encourage you to as well.   But this is just so I can see my own progress and compare ME VS ME, but there is no reason for you to compare YOU VS ME.  That goes against my entire message that HEALTH is more important than WEIGHT, and that when HEALTH is the priority (physical, mental, and spiritual) the weight will fall in line. As Jason says, your scale measures gravity’s effect on you, and reducing that effect only requires a loss of matter. You can cut off a limb and lose weight, so why is this the ultimate goal? Weight loss is a lovely side effect of getting healthy and adapting a healthy lifestyle, but this “smaller at any cost” mentality has GOT TO GO.

It’s perfectly fine to want to lose weight, to want to look good, or feel confident in your bikini or your skinny jeans. But when how we LOOK becomes too important, and how we FEEL becomes secondary it becomes too easy to become judgmental of ourselves. This judgement leads to punishment, restricting food intake, over exercising to make up for “falling off the wagon”, and a whole host of other destructive behaviors.

So let’s put HEALTH first, mental and physical. Let’s recognize that there will be set backs and there will be weight gain. There will be days where it feels like all we can do is win, and other days where we will need to try again tomorrow.  But lets not reduce this life long journey to a single before and after photo.  I know I do not plan to anymore.

 

Whole 30 Tip- BREAKFAST FOR DINNER!

I am in the middle of my fourth round of Whole 30, and actually attempting a Whole 90 this time around (You can read about my first Whole 30 HERE, and read what Whole 30 did for me and my life HERE).

I am currently in a direct messaging group on Instagram with a bunch of ladies who are tackling a January Whole 30 (look at the hashtag #whole30girlgang if you want to be inspired AF) and many of them are feeling bored.  We are all on day 18 and for the passed 18 days many of them have eaten pretty much the same thing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  While this makes the planning aspect easier for Whole 30, especially for your first round, it can get boring really fast.  I am a huge fan of mastering 7 recipes (you can read about the Simple 7 Solution and example recipes here), flip flopping spices, and then mixing and matching them throughout the week and month to make a complete meal plan.  But this comes with time, a little effort, and does not happen during your first 18 days of Whole 30.  So little boredom hacks like this one are key to success in your first round.

One of the best things I learned while doing my first round of Whole 30 over two years ago was that breakfast did not need to mean “BREAKFAST FOOD”.  The typical American breakfast (you know, that “balanced breakfast” that is on all of the Frosted Flakes commercials and approved by the American Heart Association?!  EW.) includes LOADS of carbohydrates, refined sugar, and other “frankenfoods” that are eaten really quickly as you rush out the door in a totally stressed out state.  Pick up a sugary chemical laden latte on the way to work and you have completed the horrible picture that can lead to blood sugar dis regulation, will make you HANGRY again in a few hours (I explain what it really means to be HANGRY here), and down the line can lead to even scarier things, like type II diabetes and adrenal fatigue.  While the occasional pancake is fine, a high glycemic breakfast on the reg is a NO NO if you want to be productive, happy, and healthy (which I think most of us do).  Thinking of your breakfast as “meal 1” instead of breakfast has helped me in the passed.  It does not need to include a muffin to be breakfast, in fact, please don’t eat traditional muffins.  They are basically cake.  Cake for breakfast is not good, no matter what Kate Spade says.

To cut the boredom and to help with planning I often have leftovers from the previous nights dinner for breakfast (think a serving of protein, 2 servings of veggies, and 2 servings of fat.  Something like compliant pulled pork with mashed cauliflower), and then have :::drum roll::: BREAKFAST FOR DINNER!

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The only reason I would constitute this as “breakfast for dinner” is the fact that it features eggs and bacon.  When you adopt a primal/paleo/whole food lifestyle though, you quickly realize that bacon is totally acceptable any time of day or night (no added sugar, properly raised, and properly butchered bacon that is.) but I digress.

Do you ever have breakfast for dinner? 

What are you favorite features?! 

How do you combat boredom in your eating?

 

My Last Drink

I am kind of sad to say that my very last drink was a mimosa made from cheap Andre brut champagne at a baby shower on November 5, 2017.  It could have been a really decadent red wine, or a delicious cocktail.  And if I had planned it out, it probably would have been.  But if I had planned it out, I never would have stopped.  So Andre it was.

I got borderline drunk at the baby shower, WITH MY CHILDREN, felt so gross on the way home (my husband was driving) and decided I needed a break from alcohol for a while.  I had decided this many times before.  Since 2015 when I realized I might have a drinking problem, I had placed many rules and restrictions on my drinking in a desperate attempt to moderate this seemingly insurmountable THING in my life.

For example, I was allowed to drink on Friday and Saturday but not Sunday through Thursday (ask me how many times that ACTUALLY happened).  I was allowed 1 bottle of wine over the course of the weekend (ha!  Again, seriously laughable!).  I could start drinking on Fridays at 4PM, but if I drank during the week (see ridiculous rule #1 above) I had to wait until 5PM.  And the list goes on.

There is a reason the lion at the zoo is caged but the peacocks are allowed to roam basically free amongst people.  The peacock is not a danger.  The lion is.  I was attempting to cage my drinking problem with a set of rules that could not contain it.

So I decided to take another break.  Six days into my break I felt a gentle tug.  A tug from the universe that said “YOU SHOULD GO BACK TO CHURCH.”  I had felt this tug before, and mostly ignored it, but in the last year I had been exploring it more.  This particular tug, this pull that happened six days into my latest break from alcohol, felt more like a desperate cry from something bigger to take massive action.  So I went, I went to church willingly for the first time in 15 years.  And what happened that day was nothing short of magic.

The homily that day November 12, 2017 was all about time.  About how it is NEVER too late in life to make a change, but we also are not given infinite amounts of time.  If you want to do something, you must do it now.  Just like that, a comfort came over me.  A comfort that felt like a warm blanket, a reassuring pressure, or a really tight hug.  I knew I would never drink again and I felt incredibly free.  To this day when I feel those cravings for alcohol the simple prayer I use to get through it is this.

HOVER OVER ME GOD. 

HOVER OVER ME GOD.

HOVER OVER ME GOD.

Since that day I have never looked back.  There have been bone chillingly intense cravings.  There have been moments I have wanted to numb, and feelings I could not bear to feel.  But I pushed passed the cravings.  I did not numb.  I felt those feelings.  The work does not end the day you decide to quit drinking, that is when the work begins.

I am not quiet about my sobriety (I am not quiet about much, but you already know that;-) ), but I also do not have all the answers.  I am loud and proud and I move through this process in my own way on my own time.  In so many ways I am still a baby in this whole thing.  I have less than a year of sobriety under my belt while I write this and my feelings are still so raw.

We are all recovering from something, my recovery just happens to be from alcohol addiction <3