I’m back.

About three weeks ago I got a concussion and things have been shitty ever since.

I haven’t been going at this whole lifestyle change full-force and I have been avoiding this blog as if it were Ebola.

Last night I woke up at 3 a.m. and barely made it to the bathroom to throw up. I woke up again at 4 a.m. in a coughing attack. This was not uncommon for me three months ago before I started my life-style change. It was a weekly if not nightly ritual.

While I haven’t been horrible in the recent weeks since my concussion I have been relaxed. I still haven’t had any soda. I have eaten a fair share of my fruits and vegetables but easy options such as pizza have found their way back into my diet on days where I was just too tired to do anything else.

In some ways, I was ok with this. This was an exceptional situation and I have to be careful not to overwork myself in order to let the concussion heal.

Yet, last night was a great alarm sounding. It reminded me of the deep dark hole I fall into when I’m not taking care of my body. My body starts to slow down, I get tired from the food and then tired from waking up. The tiredness can easily drag me into a state that makes it difficult to find motivation.

While my concussion is tiring and limits my physical activity for the time being, my eating habits can bury me, possibly quite literally bury me some day.

It is not that I have been horrible. I even lost a pound in the past two week and sit at 200 pounds. Yet, I know that if I keep this up I will soon lose my energy to keep going.

I am thankful for that alarm sounding because I believe that I awoke today with the motivation I need to get back on track

 

 

“A bruise is a lesson… and each lesson makes us better.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Somehow by a miracle this was a good weight-loss week. I’m down three pounds to 218. This is also 18 pounds down total from 220 pounds.

The three pounds is a bit misleading because I was bloating on my last official weigh-in day. So one of those pounds is left-over from last week. I’m pretty sure another is left-over from the week before that even.

I’m pretty sure this past week I was in some sort of hormonal cycle that wasn’t quite a full-swing menstrual cycle. I felt depressed for no reason, I seemed to be bloating and was absolutely starving.

I really haven’t been starving since I started this and that seems to have subsided now. What I learned from this is, keep healthy snacks in the house for weeks like these. I am not someone who snacks, so I wasn’t prepared and ended up eating a lot of unhealthy choices in the process.

I still didn’t drink soda and had healthy meals everyday. I’m still fairly on track but just a little shaky after the last week.

My goal in this journey to see the bumps in the road and find solutions. A lifestyle change is not easy and it would be silly for me to think I’m going to follow some health pattern 100 percent every day, every week, every month.

It will continue to be slow with plenty of learning lessons. For now, I’m still in the game and that is all that matters.

 

 

 

“Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.” ― André Malraux

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Confession: I’m forcing myself to do my cardio.

The minutes before I do my cardio, I am a mess of depressed, conflicted emotions. I really don’t want to do it and I hate every second from changing into my clothes to getting a glass of water.

It was fun at first but now I am in this stage that is similar to a year-long relationship. You know, when the relationship isn’t new anymore and now you don’t see any of the reasons why you like this guy but focus instead on every flaw.

Yeah, that is me and cardio at the moment. I just have to remind myself of the benefits. My energy level is increasing, I’m sleeping better, I am getting much better at the routines and I can see the results on my body.

Oh, and after I do cardio, I feel amazing. Maybe it isn’t like a year-long relationship and more like sex in a decade-long relationship.

Whatever it is, I’m hoping saying this to the world will get these thoughts out and bring back that loving feeling.

 

“The best way out is always through.” ― Robert Frost

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I lost a pound this week, meaning I’m down 15 pounds overall for a weight of 205.

This is a big number for me in a way. One, 15 pounds just feels like a semi-milestone.

It also is the weight that My Fitness Pal had me recorded at when I logged in a few weeks ago. Apparently, that was the lowest I got in another weight loss attempt three years ago.

I had less to lose at that time, so it wasn’t as large of an accomplishment but still a tad bit demoralizing to see that number. Yet, I’m here again and I plan to see that number drop more.

The lowest number I have seen on the scale in five years is 202. That will be my next mental hurdle for sure.

Today’s weight also is my goal for the month. As long as I can at least maintain this week, I should be able to meet that goal.

I won’t be setting future weight-loss goals. I said previously that I want to shift my focus away from weight-loss and instead work on a healthy life-style.

It seems my body still has some weight loss to go since it pretty steadily wants to drop at least a pound a week at this point. I will definitely be excited as I see those numbers drop but I want my goals to be health driven and not weight driven.

So in other news, I completed two weeks without soda. I really never had a strong craving for it, which is beyond a crazy thought for me.

I’m also transitioning into a new two-week phase. I am replacing my healthy choice soup with raw veggies such as baby carrots, almonds and cheese.

For those who don’t know, I am eating smaller snacks throughout the day. Mostly fruit but I do have a granola bar at some point. My food intake is still smaller than I think it should be during the day but my body seems ok with not eating at all before 3 p..m. So I am slowly increasing my food intake before 3 p.m. This week is more of a swap-out but things will change over time.

The focus in the last several months has primarily been on reducing soda and adding fruit in its place. It is sort of exciting to step into a new place of slowly strengthening my food choices.

“No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means.” ― Maimonides

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Losing weight feels good. Sure it has all those emotional benefits but it is also physically feels great.

I was worried early on that my cardio routine could be a problem for my lower back and neck, which have been chronically painful for years now. Yet, in the past month my pain has reduced significantly. My back still has flare-ups but the events happen less and less

With that said, I have started having some pain start in my hips directly related to cardio. I also broke my hips during my car accident and they really have always been my main issue when trying to do more fitness.

I am trying to take it slow, and baby the hip during certain moves. I’m hoping if I just keep with it, I will eventually build the right muscles to protect it.

In other news, I am also sleeping wonderfully! So crazy, I haven’t been a good sleeper since maybe ever. Yet, I am starting to fall asleep quick and sleep through the night.

A huge win in my book is the fact that I am waking up early on my own. I’m pretty sure I have sleep apnea because I constantly wake my husband up in the middle of the night. I’m hoping that the fact that I waking up early on my own means that my sleep apnea has reduced.

I think the better sleep has also given me more energy. I’m not nearly has tired at the end of the day making it easier to do a few things around the house after work.

Before I started this journey, I was vomiting between one to four times a week. I would wake up in the middle of the night to vomit. I also was also in the bathroom a lot for other reasons.

I started seeing a huge correlation to pasta, some restaurants and some red meat.

We have really started to limit the pasta intake, have barely eaten from restaurants and eat a reduced amount of red meat since I started this journey and I feel amazing because of it.

I haven’t vomited in months. I have felt ill and sluggish a few times when slipped up in the pasta department but I haven’t vomited. Also the longer we do this, the more substitutes we have found for pasta. This is actually the first week we have gone without eating pasta and man do I feel great.

I’m eager to see how my life might improve the further I get into this journey!

Why I Love My Mediterranean Dinners

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I was sitting at a new fancy restaurant around Christmas with friends who are probably the biggest foodies I know.

They were a little annoyed that my husband and I were picking up on the ingredients and styles of cooking before they were. The reason — The Mediterranean Diet.

Our region is booming with restaurants and chefs are coming from around the world to work in the area that is constantly in the national news for the newest place for foodies to visit.

As I try out these new restaurants I am continually surprised by the techniques they are taking from the Mediterranean Diet. I have also started noticing some of the new hot cookbooks are also playing into this trend.

If you are a foodie and you are trying to change your diet to add healthy choices than you should definitely try the Mediterranean Diet.

First thing I must note about the Mediterranean Diet is the word “diet”. In recent years this word has been misconstrued with the idea of diet plans. Oddly, it seems like some of the most intense diet plans steer clear of this word the most.

Research in the academic world started on the Mediterranean Diet in the 1960s back when people typically used this the word “diet” to describe the foods we eat and not diet plans. So the word is in the title but by all means it is not a strict diet and anything that sells it as such is fairly off track.

I started researching healthy options for dinner about six months ago. I was surprised that the Mediterranean diet had held up in the eye of the academic world for more than 50 years. Sure, there is some criticism as there always is but the body of research seems to overwhelming support it for health benefits.

We started adding Mediterranean meals because of the research but we absolutely stuck with it because we fell in love with. I don’t follow the Mediterranean-way during the day but it is what we eat for dinner.

I’m not going to say it is for everyone. If for example, you don’t like garlic or olive oil, this is not the right diet for you. Garlic and olive oil are in almost every meal. Other typical ingredients include rosemary, olives, capers, basil and tomatoes.

The ability to make meals with fresh ingredients is what makes this so tasty. Olives and capers add a punch that just dumping salt or using scoops of butter can’t do.

I really need to repeat. This is not a weight loss plan. You will not lose significant amounts of weight by switching to Mediterranean dinners. You will however be eating meals you enjoy that are healthy for you. If your diet is a mess of horrible foods at this moment than, it is likely you will still lose weight by switching to this.

Looking for Mediterranean meals online can be tricky because a lot of them strip the essence of the diet from it. They add a lot of dried seasonings and use more processed items than the historic diet calls for.

I highly suggest that if you are interested in this diet to start with the Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies.

We have invested in a lot of Mediterranean cookbooks and we still come back to this one weekly. There are some other great ones out there but they aren’t as simple.

I think if someone ends up loving the meals like me, they should definitely advance to other cookbooks at a later day but dummies is all someone needs to get started.

For me, my goal is to master this style of cooking. We keep adding cookbooks and diving in deeper. When I feel like we have learned a decent amount about the style we will probably search for another creative style of health cooking to mix into our week. For now, after about three months, I am still in love with Mediterranean cooking.

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” ― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

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As we sat for dinner last night my junior high daughter started running through her frustrations with the day.

I was surprised when she said two of her female friends don’t think a woman should be president.

She was caught off guard by these statements, as well, and was furious at the thought. The girls, most likely, repeating something said by their parents believe a woman can’t hold the role of president because of their menstrual cycle.

This isn’t a new concept, its not like we haven’t heard it before. Even when I asked my junior high daughter why they didn’t believe a female could be president; she shrugged her shoulders and sighed, like this was the obvious reason. It sadly apparently isn’t a new thought to her either.

I’m uncertain why I was so shocked by this. I’m not ignorant enough to believe that females are equal in any way in this country. I know sexism is still alive in 2016. For some reason, I just hoped that some of the more ignorant thoughts on woman as a whole had disappeared.

And I think there is only a small portion of people who would post a statement like this in social media or blurt it out at a dinner party. Unfortunately, I question how many people say it quietly behind closed doors in their homes.

What is truly horrifying about this thought is the young girls who live in these households and hear these thoughts. We can fight the legal system and politicians to enforce laws and policies to protect women but it is impossible to reach into the homes of young women and change the way they are raised.

This mindset continues a spiraling perception in society and among women that we are not worthy. That we are merely objects.

When parents tell their daughters that a woman can’t be president, they are telling them that they are second-class citizens, unable to accomplish jobs that entail leadership and intelligence.

I see very few men in these blogs struggling with body image. Don’t get me wrong, there are some but it does seem to be a majority of women.

A system that sometimes starts in our very homes has taught us that our image is by far one of the most, if not the most important things about us.. It tells us that we can’t very well offer anything more to society. Yet, at the same time a girl who is following the traditional rules of image often will be outcast as only getting where she is by how she looks.

There are far more important things in life than our image. Far more. Our health, our wisdom, our ability to make decisions that change the lives of others, our ability to connect with other people, our intelligence, our faith in whatever we have faith in, our examples, our kindness, the list could go on for hours.

It is unbelievably sad that a stumbling block for many of us to achieve the things above is our inability to overcome the anxiety, depression and self-loathing that we have for our body image.

It is not your fault. It isn’t. Plain and simple, you did not wake up one day obsessed with your body image. You were placed into a society that constantly around every corner told you, you should be. For most of us, that idea started when we were young.

If not for ourselves, we have to overcome this. We have to fight this for the next generation. We have to lift that burden from the girls who follow us so that they can accomplish more of the things that are truly important in this world. This isn’t just your fight, it is not just mine, it is societies.