Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog

A little while ago, I decided to sign up for Sam's Blog Tour. The concept is this, on a certain day (AKA today) someone somewhere writes a post and then links to other people's blogs so their readers will go to that blog.

Eventually someone's readers come to my blog and then I write stuff and then I send them and my readers along their merry way.

You've come to one of the middle steps of the biggest blog chain letter EVER. But don't worry. No one is dying of cancer and needs just one more postcard, no kid named Penny is lost, and I'm not going to give you a cookie recipe. Although now that I think about it, that would totally make this post better. Also, now I want cookies.

So this blog tour has steps of information I'm supposed to disclose in order. Apparently it's like Mission Impossible only less impossible.

Alrighty, so for those that don't know me, my name is Anne. Or Happy Fun Pants. Use whichever name you feel more comfortable with. :)

1. Post a before picture:
You might have already seen my before and during pictures on my post about the Cherry Creek Sneak (where I think there are better examples than here), but I decided to go back through the archives and look for another one so at least you all have some diversity. The problem is, when I was heavier, I didn't WANT to have full body shots taken. So any ones that were taken of me were done so when I was around little skinny women. Those people ALWAYS want full body shots. B!tches.

2. Post your most current picture:
I took this one the other day in the bathroom at work before a run. And in case the picture is not showing up, I promise it's less gross than you might think.

3. State the weight you've lost:
I've lost 51.2 pounds.

4. Describe your eating plan:
After seven months of Weight Watchers (where I dropped 50 pounds), I stalled. I've stayed stalled for about a year and a half. I did a LOT of mental work to get my mind healthier and during that time I realized that I didn't want to participate in deprivation diets any longer. I don't want to go to bed hungry any more. I don't want to feel like I CAN'T have something. I want to have a connection with food again - one that is more hippy organic. I feel like a "diet" where I don't trust myself around food isn't the answer. Or at least it isn't the answer for me right now. You can read more about my decision here.

So, I've decided to try intuitive/mindful eating. It's a new thing for me (I think I'm on week 4 of trying it) and to be honest, I struggle sometimes. Like this week. Where I've gained about eleventy billion pounds so far. Is it time for the next question? Yes, yes it is.

5. Favorite healthy snack:
I would have to say that I really love my breakfast regiment. I have 0% Fage Greek yogurt with blueberries, blackberries, some agave nectar, and some granola all mixed together. It's divine.

6. Biggest Life Lesson while on this journey:
Grey matters. It can't be black and white/ right or wrong/ good and bad. The "all or nothing"mentality places so much importance on the opposite sides of the spectrum, that I just don't think is healthy. In the past I'd do these crazy restrictive things to lose weight. I'd pat myself on the back for eating only celery one night and then curse myself for "giving in" and eating brownies the next.

To really live life to it's fullest, you have to get in and get dirty. Real life happens in the middle, where all the black and white, the good and bad, and the right and wrong mix together. Real life is SO worth living. And real life, in all it's colors, is SO much prettier than just black and white.

7. Biggest strength I've discovered about myself:
I am trustworthy. Every time I trust myself - really trust myself - I end up doing the healthiest option anyway. I am worth taking care of and I can trust myself to take care of me. It's basic, but it's absolutely true. It sounds silly, but when we rely on other people to tell us our worth (especially based upon a number on a scale), we will ALWAYS fail. When you trust yourself, you win. This may be in the form of choosing an eating plan that resonates best with you. Or it could be something as simple as getting enough sleep when your body says you need it. Trust yourself to take care of yourself.

8. Toughest struggle?
Probably the last year and a half when my weight just stayed between 50-55 pounds lost. I kept thinking that something was WRONG with me. I mean, I'm not stupid...I know that calories in has to be less than calories out to lose WHY couldn't I do it?

I had to learn to be kind to myself; to be gentle with myself. I had to learn that there are reasons (illogical, sure) that I was still overweight. I had to discover for myself WHY I was keeping the weight on. I had to learn all of the ways that the extra weight protected me and helped me. At the risk of sounding like someone on Oprah: I had to love my fat.

Then I had to learn that not trusting myself around food didn't make those issues go away. In fact, it made them more prevalent. So I figured that deprivation diets weren't the answer for me - at least for right now. And through various workshops and books, I got turned onto intuitive eating.

Going through that process wasn't and isn't easy.

9. Biggest supporter:
Eesh. I'm tempted to say that I am my biggest supporter because it's true. I don't come from the most stable or emotionally healthy families so I had to learn to be my own advocate. But the person that taught me how to love myself and to be kind to myself was/is my therapist. Seriously, if you don't have one, they are so worth the was the best decision I made.

10. What I will do after getting to my goal:
I don't quite understand this question. I plan on doing the exact same stuff that got me to my goal weight - eat well, exercise for fun, and live life to it's fullest.

If the intention was to ask what I will do to celebrate? Well, I have a GREAT answer. I plan on going and getting a new driver's license. One where the weight I tell the DMV guy to put on it is actually the truth.

11. What I wish that someone would've told me when I first began:
I really can't think of anything that I wish someone would've told me. I guess I was lucky. I had my mind made up and I decided that it was time. At 280 pounds, my weight was oppressive -on my body, my joints, and my soul.

12. Random tidbits of advice:
Three things stand out as being the most helpful on my journey:

a) I was willing to change my mind and my plan when I needed to. I'm glad I was flexible with myself; that I allowed myself to take breaks and plateaus when it all seemed too tough. By pausing, I was able to take care of myself. I am a MUCH happier person at 229 pounds than what I would've been at my goal had I just pushed myself to get to that weight NO MATTER WHAT.

b) When, at 280.2 pounds, I weighed in for the first time at Weight Watchers, I tearfully and shamefully told my leader that I had never been that heavy before.
She simply replied, "And you never will be again."
Those were freeing words, really. Those words helped me let go of the 280.2. They helped me move past the shame and move onto being, doing, and feeling better. And as it turned out, those words were also very, very true.

c) The poem in this post. It's awesome and I think about what that means for me in my life a lot. If you haven't clicked on any other links in this blog, I encourage you to read that one.

So now, if you want to continue the Blog Tour, you should go and check out Holly's blog.

Thanks for reading or stopping by! :)


Sam said...

I LOVE this comment: "To really live life to it's fullest, you have to get in and get dirty. Real life happens in the middle, where all the black and white, the good and bad, and the right and wrong mix together." I think I'm going to have to quote you on that!! Great blog post, thanks for playing. You look FANTASTIC!!! And I can tell you FEEL fantastic, and that's even better!!

Lindsay said...

AWESOME!!! I loved reading this! You look awesome :)

The Warner Corner said...

Awesome post!! Thanks for the inspiration!

Tricia said...

loved this! thanks for sharing

karen said...

I'm loving this blog chain letter & getting to know my fellow bloggers! But now I want cookies, too ;)

Jams said...

Awesome. Truly awesome. Your posts always make me see a little bit more of myself. You put the things that are floating around in my head out there so eloquently. *are you in my brain?!*

Keep it up, you'll get to your goal and until then, you're still having fun and that's what matters!

Lesia said...

You are my HERO! Everything you wrote struck a nerve with me and made me really think. I love your thinking and hope to get to that point in my life

Katy said...

You said a lot of important things, and I loved this post. But can we talk about yogurt, because you eat it for breakfast and yesterday I found the holy grail of yogurts. At the whole foods in Cap. Hill, 11th and Emmerson. Called Noosa
I'm not a yogurt person, but I AM NOW! You've gotta try it.

POD said...

Nice post, Skinny.

Waisting Time said...

I loved reading this stuff about you. You have come a long way and learned so much on the road. (Great poem, btw.)

Flabby McGee said...

Oh my gosh - i LOVE your point about the all or nothing mentality - that was sooooo me. It's such a bad trap. since I've banished that thought pattern I've started losing weight. It's amazing. You look amazing!!! Great after pics, huh? I left you a blog award over at my blog - so come pick it up if you get a chance. Great post!

Georgia said...

Great post! I'm a big fan of
intuitive/mindful eating--it's what I do when I eat "clean"

Holly said...

Great post! So heart felt and I could hear the passion in your voice through your words. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I am going to follow you!

julielopez3 said...

You look great! And what a great post, you are so right life happens in all different colors.

Lynda with a Y said...

Amazing. Thank you for a thoughtful and inspirational post.

Lily Fluffbottom said...

I feel like everything is so much easier when I'm not fighting myself tooth and nail to get there, you know what I mean? Very inspiring post. Very real. I can relate to so much of it.

Traci said...

That was awesome. I loved the part about getting a new license! Great blog!