Happy Weekend! Busy Saturday!

Yesterday I met my mom in Kerrville for her to pick the kids up and take them to her house.  They are there till Monday.  I spent a lot of the day today being lazy.

At about 3:45 I had had enough of that so I got up and got busy!  I cut up veggies and baked some muffins.  Robert came home about the time that I was going to cut a cantaloupe and honey dew.  He ended up cutting it for me, then he pan-seared some salmon and chicken breast for me to have over salads this coming week.  I bagged mixed nuts for snacks, made pumpkin steel cut oats in the instant pot, tore lettuce and put it in a big container to have salads, made homemade dressings (creamy buffalo and balsamic vinaigrette), and made quinoa.

I also have peeled boiled eggs (I buy them boiled and peeled from Walmart!) and Greek yogurt to grab for snacks or to go with meals!

I feel like I am set up for success!  It feels so good.

All of this work only took a few hours!  It helps that Robert pitched in!

On a similar note…

I started the Healthy Habits Happy Moms Balance 365 program several weeks ago. The idea is to pick one healthy habit at a time to focus on, and once you are consistent with it for a time, then you add another one. It’s slllloooowwww and hard sometimes. I have honestly struggled with even figuring out what to start with because I feel like I’m not at all where I want to be with my health. I am learning to love my body the way it is, but I know that I have a ways to go in the health department. But dieting isn’t the answer. It’s not healthy, it isn’t sustainable, and it actually leads to bingeing and weight gain. So I want to be okay with the slowness of this program.

Robert and I were talking earlier and I realized that he’s right… I need to focus 100% on being active again. So many reasons. I have high cholesterol and the meds that I was on cause high liver enzymes… since I am an alcoholic my doctor prefers for me to not take them unless I have to (even though I’m not drinking anymore!). Also. With my generalized anxiety disorder and the return of the weird physical symptoms, being outside hiking is REALLY good for that. It’s one of the best things for anxiety, actually. My counselor has told me that she wants me to walk 30 minutes a day and I haven’t been doing that. I find joy in being outside. I love hiking. I have just gotten out of the habit. I used to hike ALL THE TIME. Also, we are backpacking in a couple of months and I am NOT physically ready for that! It’s just the best habit to focus on right now!

My goal is 2-3 times a week by myself and once a week with the kids to do their nature study . I would like to do what my counselor told me to do (every day), but I’m going to start slow.

Overall I am doing SO well right now. I just still have this anxiety. And it’s weird that I’m having the breathing issue off and on.  I know the anxiety is always going to be there, but my counselor tells me that I can get it more manageable if I get outside exercise. So that is what I will do!

Robert also reminded me that usually when I am active, everything else falls into place.  I am more consistent with a lot of things in my life… time in the Word, eating healthier, I’m more active in the community, etc because I’m feeling good mentally!

Healthy Habits, Self Love, and Self Care

This is kind of a hard post to write because it means me finding my voice and maybe going against something that I’ve been told over and over again.  I’ve also learned to take the good from something and to be okay if I don’t agree with every part.

The body positive community is a tough one.  On one hand, they helped me to learn to hate my body less, learn to eat more balanced (and stop dieting), learn to not feel guilty if I don’t eat perfectly, helped me to understand that fat phobia is a real thing and I’m in the process of overcoming that, helped me to see others in a different light, helped me to learn to eat when hungry and stop when full (intuitive eating), and much more!   On the other hand, they are very feminist (which I have mixed feelings about), very anti-weight loss (which I have mixed feelings about because what if weight loss is the outcome of intuitive eating and joyful movement?), and I feel that they don’t seem to think that health is all that important.

I have been feeling guilty for wanting to eat healthy, for wanting to exercise (and have goals in this area), and for disagreeing with the community in any way, shape, or form.

Today I have been talking with the ladies in the Healthy Habits, Happy Moms group that I’m in, and they have helped me to feel empowered to do what I want for myself, my body, and my mental/physical/emotional health.  Dieting doesn’t work.  Habit change and intuitive eating does work.  And if I don’t lose weight due to being healthy, that’s okay too.  Healthy habits are my goal.  I have decided that it’s okay if I want to start running again (despite being told that I shouldn’t).  I want to become strong again.  I want to be able to run a 5k again.  I want to be able to hike long-distance again.  I want to be able to feel good and not need a nap every day.  I want to be able to backpack long-distance again.  I want to continue to have a balanced view of food and feel okay with eating Cheetos, but also feel good about eating veggies.  I don’t want to feel guilty for either.  I want health to be my goal but to not feel guilty for wanting to lose weight in the back of my mind.  I can’t help it and it doesn’t make me a bad person.

For my self care, I am going back to focusing on healthy habits.  The two that I’m going to work on are: Doing Couch to 5k and reducing sugar in my coffee.  I will continue eating balanced, taking vitamins/meds/supplements, and working on self love.  The behaviors of exercise and balanced eating are what make me feel good, so that’s what I want.  I also want to feel strong.  When I was running before I felt so proud of myself and accomplished.  I was able to handle so much physically.  I ended up backpacking 23 miles in one day at one time (that wasn’t planned and I hurt for days afterwards, but I did it!).  When we backpack, we typically hike 13-14 miles on average in a day.  I want to be able to do that again!  Right now, if I walk up a hill I feel terrible.  I am so out of shape.  I will probably also start doing strength training again eventually, but I’ll get there… don’t want to overwhelm myself.  Three days of walking/running is sufficient for now!  Self care is my goal, but if weight loss is the outcome, that doesn’t make me anti-body positive.

I want to also eventually try to increase my water intake and decrease my soda intake… but that’ll come.  One habit at a time!  Studies show that the more habits you try to change the least successful you are at actually making those changes.

The biggest thing that I am learning lately is that I need to stop caring so much what people say or think.  I need to do what I need to do for myself.  The same thing happened with my desire to homeschool.  It all comes down to what’s best for me and what’s best for our family!

Robert completely agrees with me on all of this, and I’m so happy to have his support!

Preparation for the Week and New Years!

Having a stress-free and successful week for me means a lot of preparation on the weekends.  Since self care is my number one goal each day (well, sobriety, including self care), I have to work really hard to make that work.

Thursday I meal planned (Meal Planning Sundays post was written about this).  Friday I grocery shopped and budgeted (Grocery Geek post was written about this).

The boys made a fruit salad Friday night with the fresh fruits I just bought :-).

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I finished my yogurt.  I only have 8 jars this time because Karis and her friends had some while I was putting it into jars :-).

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I also made some Elderberry Syrup in the Instant Pot (loosely based off a recipe from Azure Standard).  It smelled so good!

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Saturday was New Year’s Eve.  I desperately wanted to start the new year off right, so we spent the day focusing on getting the house in order.  We took down our Christmas tree.

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We cleaned bathrooms, floors, the kitchen, got caught up on laundry, and the kids all cleaned their rooms.

Then I went to work prepping.

I cut up veggies and fruits for the week.

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Then I packed lunches and snacks for the days I go into town for AA.  This is cottage cheese, veggies (bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, orange grape tomatoes, and celery), fruit (grapes, oranges, and strawberries), Triscuits, and mixed nuts for a snack.

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Then I baked some Banana Chocolate Chip Power Cake Muffins for the week (and for the freezer).  I use Lily’s chocolate chips and sucanat for sweetener.  Next time I will add a little more sweetener.  They aren’t very sweet.  They are good, though!

I’m excited about these because they are full of protein and whole grains!

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Karis enjoyed some time with her friend building things out of modeling clay while the boys played outside with their friends.

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We spent several hours with our neighbors and had a fantastic dinner of homemade tamales!

We ended NYE early so that we could get up early to go to church!

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We got up yesterday morning and went to church… which was a fantastic way to start the new year!

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We went to Walmart and the kids spent their Christmas money :-).

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The kids had a blast playing the Wii U with their daddy.

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We ate roast and veggies for dinner, and ended the night with reading, singing, and praying!

I’m so excited about the new year!

New Year, New and Continued Goals

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I’ve changed so much as I’ve gotten out of La Hacienda and learned what’s really important.

New me now means: sober me.  Content with myself.  Continuing with the things I started when I left rehab.

Here are my top 10 new and continued goals:

  1. Continue staying sober!  Which means: Continuing AA several times a week from now on (women’s AA is on M/W, and another AA on Thursdays for a while still), meeting with my sponsor once a week, step work, daily gratefuls, daily prayer and meditation, daily Bible study
  2. Continue learning to be happy with who I am… content… no more dieting!  Knowing that I will probably never lose weight, and that’s okay.  I have so much more to offer than just what I look like.  And, I know that I am beautiful the way I am!
  3. Continue working on self care.  New healthy habits, one at a time.  Not for weight loss, but for self care.  Staying sober and doing all the things to stay sober are also self care.
  4. Become a sponsor!  Probably a temporary sponsor to start, but that’s fine!  I’m excited about sharing my experience, strength, and hope with another alcoholic!  I’m learning about being a sponsor by having an amazing sponsor.
  5. Work more on my blog.  Make it more useable for those who want to print recipes, search, etc.
  6. Start new hobbies, starting with crocheting :-).
  7. Continue with having a daily routine, and getting back to doing a load of laundry a day, keeping up with the dishes, etc.  It’s honestly part of self care for me.
  8. Continue with trying really hard to be frugal, saving, and paying off debt
  9. Continue reaching out to old and new friends who have mental illnesses like me.
  10. Continue working through my anxiety with cognitive behavioral therapy.

The new me started when I left La Ha.  I want to continue growing and learning about who I am.  Life is so good, and I want it to continue!

Working Through My Weight Obsession… One Habit at a Time

In my Healthy Habits, Happy Moms group there has been a lot of talk about weight obsession lately.

This came from one of the founders yesterday:

“Why do you want to lose weight?

Common answers usually include reasons like….

To feel more confident, happy, strong, desirable, worthy. So I can finally love my body. So I won’t hate getting dressed in the morning. So I don’t have to think about food all the damn time. So I can wear a swimsuit without hesitation. So I can have sex with the lights on, or sex at all. So I can wear a tank top . So I can wear shorts. So I can wear a two piece. So shopping can be fun. So I can walk into a room and not feel self conscious. So I don’t hate looking at myself in pictures. So I don’t have to wear shape wear. 

Feel confident, sexy, and wearing clothes you want to? HELL YES. That sounds great. But here’s the kicker…..

THOSE ***FEELINGS*** HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR WEIGHT.

Many of us are pursuing weight loss hoping in the end it changes how we feel. What if instead we pursued the feelings? As Danielle Laporte says, “Feelings should be at the heart of the matter.” And when you prioritize your feelings you very well might find you spend your time….differently.

I’m all for empowered decisions about your body. Wanting weight loss isn’t “bad” if that’s what you’re after. As a #grownasswoman we believe in your body, your business. But if you’re after any of those things I listed above I would strongly encourage you to stop using the scale to validate progress to those goals as those feelings can not reached on the scale.  

I’m starting to realize that my desire to lose weight is because of the reasons that she listed.  I also mostly fear that I will continue to gain weight (because it just keeps going up).

I asked Robert how he would feel if I gained more weight.  He said he would feel the same way he does now.  He loves my body.  Period.  Whether it’s bigger or smaller, it’s mine.

I want to feel the same way.  I’m not there, yet.  But, I’m on my way.  It’s a decision that I have to make every day.  Shoot, every hour, every minute.  I know it doesn’t seem like something that is a big deal, but it is to me.  I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life (even when I was skinny!).

It’s always been something that has been in the forefront of my mind.  Always.

I remember lifting cans like weights when I was little because I thought I was fat.  I was like 4 or 5.  Then, in junior high and high school I was overweight and knew that I was bigger than all my friends and the people around me.  I kept trying to figure out how to lose weight and couldn’t seem to.  I went on a diet in college and lost a lot and was thin for the first time since I was a kid.  I thought people liked me more because of it.  From then on I would gain, lose, gain, lose.  Now I can’t seem to lose, and I’m only gaining.

I made the decision yesterday to do what the group/website says: take on one habit at a time (for health and self care).

So far I have the habit of eating healthy lunches (packing them to take to town).

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I eat mostly healthy breakfasts and dinners, too.

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If I sway from any of this, I won’t feel guilty.  It’s all about balance.

The next habit is going to be drinking more water.  I bought this water bottle at REI yesterday.  I figure it will help :-).

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I’ve also decided that I won’t try to stop drinking soda because it’s not something I can tackle right now.  Many of the ladies in my group also drinking diet soda and say they do both.  One day I will tackle this addiction, but for now I can’t.

My next habit will be to do some sort of exercise 3 days a week (I keep saying I’m going to do this, but I haven’t been consistent yet).  I need to get the water habit down first.

One habit at a time.  I can do this.

I had this amazing red velvet cheesecake and Italian nachos yesterday at Carino’s, and I don’t feel guilty.  It’s all about balance.

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