I DID IT!!!! Yes, all the caps and all the exclamations because I’m proud of myself! I had to fight to finish this challenge. I struggled with self doubt, poor food choices, exhaustion, angry kids, asthma issues due to the fires as well as a bunch of LIFE. I was originally thinking this would be easy compared to the Chloe Ting 2 Week Shred and I was right however as this was longer it presented different challenges. I regret nothing and would encourage everyone to try it as long as your doctor says it is okay.
It took me 1 hour 11 minutes and 8 seconds (1:11:08) to complete this 5k but I did it. It was past 9pm but I finished. I was shaking and crying but I finished. I was having breathing problems but I finished. My knees hurt but I finished. Now my feet are swollen (need different shoes), my hair smells, my kids are crying and the dog feels ignored but I finished. I am currently writing this right after finishing and as tired as I am I feel amazing.
I’m thinking about my next fitness challenge as they seem to keep me motivated and active while inside. I have a vague idea but I know whatever it is, I’ll complete it. I know the scale won’t magically go down a ton without steady healthy eating habits but it is a start and it is contributing to improving my mental health which is extremely fragile. Any little thing I can do to feel amazing, especially if it is free, I’ll do because feeling amazing right now is an accomplishment by itself. With everything going on in the world, I think everyone should find something big or small that makes them feel amazing! Please pick your version of amazing safely ❤
The picture above was only edited to include a modesty paint splatter because I chose to put it there. Besides that nothing has been done to the photo. Why do I have such an honest picture? Well I had an experience a few months ago that I thought should be accompanied by a picture for context. I was going to make this a pity party post but after having time to think about it decided to make it a teaching moment.
A few months ago I gave birth to a healthy baby. While everything turned out okay, I hadn’t been feeling myself due to things out of my control namely hormones. It had been a while since I had gotten out of the house without my little ones so hubby took me out for a midweek date. Everything started off great. Dinner, adult conversation and planning for the future. Then we decided to extend our evening by going to the mall. First I went to a makeup store to buy a liquid concealer along with two impulse buys. I was on a high because I really wanted the concealer but couldn’t justify buying it as I don’t wear makeup regularly. However my hubby is awesome and he was trying to spoil me per usual. The second store WAS my favorite. Just to clarify I am intentionally leaving out the name but I will say it was not Bath and Body Works. Now the story…
I was really excited to go to my store as I usually get to spend a decent amount on fun but completely unnecessary bath products. I went in with the intention to replace a skincare item and to get a few new bath balls. I walk in (see image above) with a huge smile on my face and no spending cap! Now I would never go too crazy but I was happy with the dollar amount I set for myself. I walk in the store but for the first time no one offers to help. Please note the store was in no way busy; there was maybe three customers not including ourselves. I figured someone would get to me when they were done however no one approached us. Then an additional associate walks out from the back and still nothing. I thought maybe they are changing places with the cashier but again wrong. I decided to say what I was looking for just in case they all assumed the other associate helped me but again nothing and one associate even avoided me. To reiterate small store, not busy and I am very hard to miss as I was dressed in a bright color. Right as I see an associate headed my way I smile and begin to form the words for the description of the items I’m looking for when she continues walking to help the customers that just walked in. At this point I am crushed because I have no other reasoning as to why I haven’t received assistance. Even my husband was annoyed to the point of wanting to complain.
So we go to the candy store next door in an effort to pick me up so I could work up the nerve to go back and give them a second try. The candy store was equally empty and the associate immediately greeted us and asked to let them know if we needed any help or had questions. This is all I wanted but didn’t receive at the previous store. We were greeted so nicely in the candy store I nearly cried. I was hormonal, still dealing with post delivery things and happy to be out of the house and that gutted me. I eventually walked to the back of the candy store so no one could see the tears forming. Now my husband was upset because I don’t cry easily. I explained to him that I haven’t dealt with that much profiling in YEARS. I thought “that stuff doesn’t happen where I live” because it is so diverse. Well I was wrong. Once I got it together, we brought our purchases to the front, made a few impulse buys, thanked them for their great customer service and left.
As we left and passed the offending store, my husband asked if I wanted to go back to complain. I declined. I was so sad that the thought of doing anything else gutted me. What if I went for dessert and the same thing happened? What if the way I looked put people off and that is why I wasn’t helped? Maybe my attitude seemed XYZ? Well by the time I arrived home I was still emotional but I started thinking. I didn’t do anything wrong. I am the same person I always am when around others. I smile at the very least and speak when at my best. I could have looked better but I was dressed the way I felt comfortable and in what could fit my post baby body.
The lesson I learned was to treat every customer like they matter. Don’t pick and choose who you will help. If you are at work in the customer service business and said customer has not been rude, violent, etc then you should give them the same customer service you want to receive. Or at the bare minimum ask if they need help. I don’t expect anyone to bend over backwards or go out of their way to help me. But what I do expect is common industry standard courtesy whether or not you think I have the money to be there. Because your actions might not have direct consequences but knowing you changed a persons day should matter. I consider myself a decent human trying to raise decent humans. I hope my children’s actions never cause anyone to feel the way I did that night at the bath store when Help was indeed Wanted…
This is my Thank You letter to the amazing strangers that played an important role in our life.
To Nurses Helen, Jennifer, Rachel, Megan and Midwife (CNM) Susan with a special Thanks to Jamie who was with us for our first child,
You probably won’t remember us but I’ll always remember you. I was terrified with a nervous calm once I found out I would be going to Labor & Delivery the same day as my last NST (non stress test). I had an overall understanding about being induced, most of which I found out the day before, but the details were a mystery. You all played an important part in easing my fears, answering all of my questions and encouraging me.
No one pressured me to get an epidural. If I wanted an epidural you wouldn’t question me or make me feel bad about my decision. No one scared me about the intensity of contractions with pitocin. You told me what to expect with an induction including the pills and pitocin. No one made me feel like a baby when the pain finally took over. You all encouraged me and told me I could do it. You reminded me I could adjust the lights, have more pillows, move around or whatever else (within reason) would help me feel comfortable. You even answered additional medical questions that didn’t have much to do with labor and delivery.
The pain put a smile on my face because I knew it meant I’d meet my baby soon but I was still in pain. I was adamant about using the bathroom and rather than saying ‘No you’re too close’ our midwife reminded me the pressure could be baby trying to come and I should let her know immediately if I felt a bulge. Thankfully it wasn’t but right after she ASKED if she could check me. We were having issues with the baby monitor so a physical check was done. She warned it might be very painful, confirmed my consent to check and proceeded. This was it. The moment arrived.
I truly appreciated the bedside manner of everyone that surrounded us. I loved that despite losing it towards the end everyone was wonderful, reminding me I could do it, saying my reaction was perfectly normal and helping me cope pain med free. Post delivery they were having trouble getting bleeding to stop so pills were given (not orally…), stitches were quick and there was continuous intense pushing/ massaging on my abdomen until the pills kicked in to slow the bleeding. Though everyone was working fast, I was informed every step of the way because part of my birth preferences included being informed on what was going on. All in all the experience was great and I would give them all referrals if I could. But I can’t so hopefully this letter reaches one of them (or another awesome medical professional) to inform them of the positive impact they had on this mommy.
After my second delivery, I have a better grasp on what to bring to my particular hospital. These are items I found useful but this is by no means a list for everyone as your list will vary based on where you choose to give birth and what is available. For instance, my hospital provides diapers, nipple balm, plain cloths that you wet with water as wipes, tucks pads, numbing spray, extra pads (not a full pack but a few) and we both received gowns (sleep sack and nursing gown featuring hospitals logo) as well as other goodies.
Camera or Phone with chargers!!
Socks (to match gown)
Supportive nursing bra
Preferred pads (hospital pads are huge and don’t have wings)
Toothbrush & toothpaste (later discovered hospital had this too…)
Skincare (facial wipes and moisturizer)
Makeup (tinted moisturizer, chapstick and brow pencil)
Hair supplies or protective hairstyle (thankfully went to get hair braided day before so only needed a head scarf!)
Going home outfit for myself and baby
Additional: snacks for your support person, medical card/ insurance, book/ tablet/ something to keep you occupied if you’re there for a while, nurses gifts (if applicable)
I’ll probably do a video at some point but this was my quick list. I hope someone finds this condensed list helpful!
Do you remember her from my Motivation & Habits post? If not feel free to check it out!
NOTE: I asked the woman above for permission to post this screenshot.
Well I did exactly what I intended to do but with a twist. After checking out http://www.ryschyragz.com I decided to purchase motivation items. These are items I intentionally bought in a smaller size to inspire and remind myself to stick to my healthy lifestyle. This is also a form of financial motivation for me as I do not like to waste money.
I bought 2 shirts and pants.
I’m an XL or XXL depending on the shirt and pants size 16/18. The shirts are both medium which I didn’t plan but they were too cute to pass up. I originally bought a different pair of pants but they were out of stock. She explained what happened, apologized for it and sent me the pants below in 2 different sizes (L & XL). Not only was I pleasantly surprised by the customer service but she included a nice note saying thank you and acknowledging what happened. Now I don’t know about you but good customer service is getting harder and harder to find so when I get it I become a regular customer.
The surprises kept coming as I tried the clothes on. I tried it on to see how much I needed to lose before any of it fit. I mean they don’t fit correctly but at least I got them on! I’m wearing the XL pants in both pictures as I was under no delusion that the Large was going to go up far enough for me to take an appropriate picture.
The shirts are both soft to the touch and feel good on. The pants have great stretch so even if they don’t look like the correct size* trust me and try them on. I’ll have an update as I lose weight and can fit them correctly. But for now I will definitely be a returning customer so I can get something that fits now 🙂
*For my exact measurements please see my April 2018 Weigh In post.
No Your eyes do not deceive you. I am using the same picture again but this time I am using it as a comparison. Full disclaimer the pictures below were actually taken in April however it was 3lbs ago so I feel it’s still a fair representation.
Actual Date: 5/4/2018
Measurements in inches
R/L Arm: 16
R/L Thigh: 29.5
Stick to some type of diet/ healthy meal plan (IP!!!)
Read something other than children’s books (Check)
The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
Exercise 3x/ wk (IP)
I did this 3wks in a row then not so much so mostly a win
Post monthly updates on/after the 8th for accountability (Fail)
Is this were I wanted to be for my first weight post in a long time? NO but I am no longer beating myself up about what I know I did or didn’t do. I know what I ate, how much I worked out and what I let distract me from my goals. This time is different because I don’t feel like a failure. I feel like a work in progress. I feel stronger and more powerful because I’m not quitting. I feel grateful my body hasn’t failed me though I have put it through way too much stress and strain. The best feeling is seeing the progress even though I didn’t think there was any. My current versus my original shows a slightly smaller body but most noticeable to me is my waist. Again I can’t tell when I look at myself because breasts are in the way but this picture shows I have made physical changes.
To my body:
Thank you for not giving up on me. Please accept my apology for the abuse and know that I will never give up on you again.
If you’ve been reading my blogs you know I’ve struggled with motivation. I get inspired, do okay, get distracted, fall off, repeat. My wake up call came in the form of family pictures; see below.
Yup, all the hard work I was doing went completely sideways when I got sick. Instead of preparing something healthy and easy, I turned to junk food. Not only did we spend a lot of money but I’m pretty sure we shaved at least 2 weeks off of our lives. The final guilt was seeing how the family pictures turned out. I looked and felt bloated, my face was still healing from the infection and the antibiotics made my normally oily skin very dry to the point of peeling so I piled on makeup that didn’t turn out right. I spent the next morning sad and depressed. Then my support system kicked in.
My husband gave me an amazing pep talk and because he’s awesome and super supportive we went to Target at 10pm so I could buy containers to help me meal prep. We ate one more garbage meal then I got to work. I meal prep’d that night. Monday I turned to the internet to keep me motivated since hubby would be at work and I had an appointment near one of my favorite restaurants.
After an emotional appointment (nothing bad just needed to plan better). I didn’t eat perfectly but I didn’t go to the restaurant either. Tuesday was tricky because I was running errands which meant I had to have breakfast, lunch and snacks with me. Thankfully my mom was able to come and helped with my son. Afterwards we were both very hungry but instead of going to fast food we went to the grocery store. I surprised myself by buying lots of veggies and some veggie based dips (guacamole and hummus) in order to make sure all of our dinners included veggies.
Tuesday night I still felt bloated and knew I needed to start incorporating exercise to encourage movement if you know what I mean 😉 Plus I wanted those endorphins! So again I turned to the internet. It was another late night but boy am I happy I started surfing. I found the post below and it fired me up.
NOTE: I asked the woman above for permission to post this screenshot and whenever possible I contact people BEFORE posting. If I do not get permission for a post or don’t receive a reply I will only reference what I saw or post the person’s handle so it can be looked up. The exception would be quotes from Pinterest but I NEVER remove any logo/ trademarks/ watermarks because I believe the originator deserves the credit for their creative work.
I found her post so motivating that I checked out her website (www.ryschyragz.com) and planned a workout for the morning. Wednesday I not only smashed a pilates workout but I cooked dinner for the rest of the week! I wanted to keep the momentum going so I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I was hit with something to the effect of you didn’t fail if you only did 7 days of a 10 day cleanse; You succeeded for 7 days!! This hit me hard because negative talk is how I would fall off. I now look at each day as a day I succeeded. On days I’m not perfect I look at each accomplishment individually: meals, workouts, personal time, etc.
I was going to include all the individuals that inspired me but this post is long enough. Rather than give up on shining a light on those who’ve motivated me I am going to blog about them and I will include specifics if I can get permission to do so.
If you’ve gotten this far because you need motivation, I hope this helps and I hope you come back in the future when I post more of what motivates me. If you made it this far simply to read what I had to say then THANK YOU 🙂
I knew from the beginning that losing weight wouldn’t be easy. I mean if it was I would have done it before I had my child and heck I would’ve never gotten out of shape in the first place. My problem is my ever changing mood…
When I start, I am very enthusiastic and upbeat. I plan, focus and go for it. But the minute I have a series of bad days or I feel emotionally drained I revert back to old bad habits. I comfort myself with food and cleaning rather than identifying the cause of the upset. I would rather go on auto pilot than deal with whatever is bugging me. When I try to motivate myself again I ruin it by thinking of how much further I have to go. Or I focus on what I could’ve accomplished if I didn’t mess up in the first place and this makes everything worse. This vicious cycle will continue until I allow myself to make mistakes without considering it a complete failure.
I know, like my previous posts imply or out right say, this journey is not a straight line. It is a wibbly wobbly (Doctor Who fans??) road leading to my best life and as long as I don’t die I can try again.
Note for November’s missed update: This month was a lot better. It wasn’t perfect and my stats will show that but I did accomplish some things that were on my list! Goals are November & December.
Yes, another post using the same exact picture but this time I’m pleased with what I’ve done. I started the 4-Hour Body again… My goal is to do better so one day I can do it perfectly and eventually try the “meatless machine” mentioned in the book. So far I haven’t had one perfect week but you know what? As of this morning I’ve officially lost weight. I’ll go back slightly by saying I gained way more than I’d like to admit by emotionally eating, giving up and having a looooooooong pity party. However as previously stated I am not going for perfection instead progress, healthy changes and eventually a new lifestyle are my main goals. And to my surprise it is working!! I don’t find myself binge eating on cheat day like I used to. I enjoy cooking even on cheat day which I thought would never happen. I also don’t dive head first into a giant mound of cheese which used to be one of my favorite things to do on cheat day. Bonus I discovered I actually feel better when I eliminate or limit dairy.
Actual Date: 1/9/2018
Measurements in inches (Forgot)
Stick to some type of diet/ healthy meal plan (FAIL/ IP)
Read something other than children’s books (Check)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – finished
I’m counting this because it isn’t for his age group even though I started reading it for him
Told Under The Green Umbrella – finished
Doesn’t really count but I enjoyed it more than my son. I don’t think there were enough pictures to hold his attention
Treasure Island – finished
Not enough pictures to count for him so I’m counting this
Exercise 4x/ wk (Fail)
Post monthly updates on/after the 8th for accountability (?)
Missed November but this post is up so I guess Yes & No
All in all October – December were emotionally hard months. My son has been testing his boundaries. I haven’t been sleeping well. I really haven’t been liking who I am as a wife, mother (to human & animal) and April thus the long pity party. Despite these feelings I managed to make the changes needed to improve. No I don’t have dramatic pictures to show off like I’d hoped; what I do have is a better understanding of self and hope for the future. I have clear goals written down that I plan on displaying so when things get hard I can remind myself of what I need to focus on in order to improve.
And for those reading this if you are in a similar situation: It CAN and WILL get better we just have to take it one step at a time 🙂