Remembering What’s Important

Hellloooooo!   Anyone still reading?

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since my last post!  The last anyone had heard from me, I had started training for a fitness competition.  Stepping on stage has been a dream of mine for over a decade.  I mean, who doesn’t dream about stepping on stage wearing nothing but a bikini and a set of clear, high heels?  Anyone?  Anyone??  Surely, the girl who ran off stage during her ballet recital when she couldn’t find her family in the audience, at the tender age of 6, would want to do it all over again, except this time half-naked.  It totally makes sense for the girl who hates standing in front of a room fully clothed to gallivant on stage for the entire world audience to see any imperfection, right?  Well, for whatever reason, I’ve had the itch to compete in a show for years.

I thought the time was finally right for me.  I found a great coach and started training.  I was seeing noticeable improvements from week to week, sometimes even daily.  I ate my planned and pre-packed meals in the middle of car rides with my boyfriend and special events with family.  I was waking up ridiculously early, even on weekends, to fit in all of my training.   This is what you must do if you want to compete.  If it’s truly your dream you’ll make it happen, I kept telling myself.

In this same span of time work was becoming absolutely nutzo.  By the end of my very long days I was extremely irritable.  Poor Rob was walking on egg shells, especially when I almost ripped his head off one night when I couldn’t find my precious rice cakes.  RICE CAKES!  Not even the yummy flavored ones; rather the plain, tasteless ones, because they have less carbs.  If you knew me you’d know how so completely out of my nature it is for me to speak louder than barely more than a whisper.  Between being abused (not physically) at work and the demands of training I was turning into someone I really didn’t like.  I became highly stressed and with stress I fall back to old habits. 

We all know what this bad habit of mine is, right?  My eating disorder (we’ll call it ED), which I’ve been battling since college.  I thought I had gotten past it, but ED quickly reared his ugly head when all of the stress overwhelmed me.  I then began swimming in a sea of depression and shame, along with the stress that had overtaken my life.  Rob came home to me one night just sitting in bed, staring at a blank tv screen with tears streaming down my cheeks.  Something had to change!

So, after weeks of this depression and many tears being shed silently, a random text of love from my mother and then a call to her the next day became a turning point for me.  Mothers are good like that, aren’t they?  Somehow, they can make just about anything better.  I let my struggles all out to her, as I sat in my car, parked outside of the gym.  The night before I had pulled all of my old nutrition, diet and cookbooks out from the attic and sat utterly confused with them surrounding me.  I didn’t know how to break the cycle.  What made me panic even more is my sister’s upcoming wedding.  It wasn’t only having to fit into the maid of honor dress, but also the fact that I didn’t want to be Debbie Downer at every special moment along the way for her.

After the talk with my mom, I wiped the tears from my face with a new sense of confidence in myself.  I walked into the gym to work out, but not to do the workout that I had originally planned for myself.  This time I was walking into the gym to work out for good health, not to hit 15% body fat or to wear a bikini on stage.  Life is so much more than the hours you put into the gym or eating perfectly clean every day!

I had burrowed so deep into all of the negatives that I forgot about all of the positive things in my life.  I even forgot the reason I started to blog and what my blog really meant to me.  We all know I’m a perfectionist.  When I’m not “perfect” at something I see myself as a failure.  I don’t look at others in that same light.  To my friends, family and even strangers I am very forgiving.  I am my very own worst critic.  For almost a lifetime I allowed the need to be perfect to dictate how I lived my life.  For as long as I can remember, my weight had been a focal point for me.  I thought that if I could just get that part of my life right everything else would fall into place.  I would be happy.  We all know that isn’t the case though, right?

When did just living a healthy life become not good enough, in my eyes?  Why go to extremes that are unmanageable and only cause unnecessary stress?  I don’t know why, when or how I got to the point that I did.  Maybe it was wanting to give the royal “F-You! Look what became of me!” to the bullies that tormented me throughout my school years.  Do they even matter now?  Will it change the torture they put me through?  The answer to both questions is obviously NO”.  Is it trying to prove something to the father who never made me feel good enough growing up?  The same father who left our family and my mom holding the bag to take care of their five children?  Possibly.  Somehow, he’d find a way to diminish the accomplishment, even if I won the entire competition.  That’s just how he rolls.

I started my blog because I knew there were others out there going through the same issues as myself.  I wanted to take a step back, look at my life and all of the good things that fill it and not focus on trying to be “perfect”.  I mean, what is perfect anyway?  Even when you see someone who looks completely put together, you never know what issues they might be facing beneath their smile.  The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

I wanted to fulfill all areas of my life and start truly living because I spent way too many years sidelined by ED.

It’s taken me a long time, my friends, but I see that balance, not perfection, is where it is at.  If you strive to eat healthy most of the time, get a few good sweat sessions in to get the ol’ ticker working, and lift some iron you’ll be able to fully enjoy the treats you allow yourself some of the time. 

Most importantly, this should only be a small part of your focus in life.  Family, friends, love, laughter and new experiences are really what life is all about. 

Perfection doesn’t equal happiness.  Many times striving for it leads to more frustration and demise than anything else.  Try living life imperfectly and you’ll find that it is absolutely perfect as is.  I’m so glad that I am back on track and remember what’s truly important.

Happy Friday!

Kim

Making The Effort to Let Go & Release Control

Hey There,

We made it to the mid-week hump!  Still moving like molasses here, but at least there are less days remaining to the work week than those that need to be worked.  Another plus?  This is a long weekend for me with our office being closed on Monday. Hurray!

This is only my second day of blogging from my car and I can already tell you that it’s been a great outlet for me.  Stepping away from that desk of mine and the craziness inside the office does a world of good.  I feel like a load is lifted off of my shoulders.

Right before I headed out here I received an e-mail from a coworker that annoyed me.  Steam blew through my ears, I vented to a coworker friend of mine and told her “With that I’m off to my car!”  She laughed and told me to run.

I have to say, if not for anything I’ve made two true friends while working here.  I’ve also picked up a lot of knowledge for future use, if you get what I mean.  The friendships are most important to me though.  Those two friends have gotten me through many tough days.  Then, they’d send me off to Rob, who they knew would help in mending the wounds of the day.

Anyway, I couldn’t sleep last night.  If you follow me on twitter you know that I got an iPhone 4s yesterday.  Between the excitement of setting it up and also drinking a Starbucks’ Venti  Awake tea an hour before bedtime (smart, right?) my eyes just wouldn’t close.  I gave Rob a kiss (he was already out of it) and headed back to the living room to watch a few shows I had saved on the DVR (The Vampire Diaries & The Secret Circle, if you must know.)

Yes, I’m a wannabe teenager. 😉  I love The Vampire Diaries, but I’m not sure how I’m feeling about The Secret Circle right now.  Time will tell though.

Close to 2 AM my eyelids started drooping.  At this point my stomach was feeling off.  I slept on and off until 5:45 AM, when my alarm sounded to get up for my training session at the gym.  I SO didn’t feel like getting up, but I did.  The trainer ended up being late AGAIN!  I think he knows I’m getting tired of it.

People tend to take advantage of my kindness, but if you push me to a certain point you don’t even know what’s coming at you.  The wrath of Kim.  I think the roll of my eyes this morning gave him an inkling that I’m nearing the end of my rope.  Anyway, whenever he does show we have a great session and this didn’t disappoint.  I walked out feeling like I’d gotten something accomplished before my day truly got started.

Today, I wanted to touch upon a little something I mentioned yesterday.  I quickly stated that I had no resolutions regarding weight loss and that’s true.  I don’t remember a year where weight loss hasn’t been a goal of mine.  Honestly, I’m in a good place right now with my weight.  Would I be happy if I lost a pound or two?  I’m not going to lie, I would, but I’m not focusing on it.

After so many years of abusing my body and mentally draining myself with calculations and macronutrient counts I realized that I was just plain over it.  To focus so long and hard on something and have it get me nowhere just isn’t worth it.  I know I’ve said it before, but I’m my own worst enemy.  I’m my own worst critic, as well.

So, I decided about a month ago that I wasn’t going to let this defeat me any longer.  I had to make the effort to let go & release control.  I joined Weight Watchers online because I felt like it would allow me to feel safe with my eating while learning balance and moderation.  I’ve gone to such extremes in the past that I rarely ever enjoy food.  I don’t remember what many things taste like (because I made them off-limits to myself) and going to restaurants or other people’s houses became be traumatic events for me.  I don’t want this for myself, Rob, my family or my future children.  I want to live in the moment, enjoy life and maybe even enjoy a piece of cake if I so choose.

Mmm....Cake

I want to be able to share an ice cream cone with Rob on a random Sunday, after a day of boating.

Usually, I’m the person in the group saying that they’ll only have an iced coffee or something calorie free.  We only get one life and we should enjoy special moments.

The point is, I needed my mind to be clear from the restrictions I inflicted on it.  I tend to eat mostly healthy as it is, but if I choose to enjoy a special treat every so often I should be able to….WITHOUT guilt.  Weight Watchers has been great for me and I look forward to defeating my eating issues by continuing with it.

Errr….it’s about that time again.  Time to head back inside for a few more hours.  You can bet I’ll be racing out as quickly as possible to make it home and spend some cuddle time with my man. 🙂

I hope you’re having a good day!


Kim

What steps you’re taking to work on issues you deal with?

Would you like to see some of my typical daily eats?

I want to know.  Let me hear from you. 🙂

Pressing the Reset Button

Hi Friends!

It’s been forever since I’ve had the chance to write.  Between craziness at work, the holidays and coming down with an awful cold there hasn’t been time for much lately.  It’s a whole new year though.  Can you believe it?!  I feel like 2011 went by in the blink of an eye!

With the new year comes a clean slate.  It’s a time to reflect on the past (without lingering too long about our “should’ve, could’ve, would’ve”s) and move forward with knowledge gained from the past year.  

While listening to the radio on my way into work the other day someone mentioned a reset button.  It made me start thinking how the change from one year into the next is like pressing an imaginary reset button, kind of like Staples’ “easy button”. 

This yearly reset allows us to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with our resolutions for the new year.  What we mentally weren’t ready to do a week prior is now our mission, once the magic ball drops from the sky, ringing in our new year.

I have to say that I was in a negative place towards the end of 2011.  I was disgruntled with work issues, which then began to seep into other areas of my life.  I began struggling with eating issues again, as a result, which led to a variety of emotions including: sadness, disappointment and anger.  Of course, I’m like an open book.  I definitely wear my emotions on my sleeve and even when I tried to hide them Rob knew something was wrong.  My being down brought him down too and that isn’t what I wanted at all. 😦

Nothing magically changed overnight, from 2011 into 2012.  I woke up with the same issues, but I think that being able to press the reset button in my mind has given me some clarity and peace of mind.  I wrote some goals for myself which I’ll share in another post.  Rob and I are in the process of writing some goals for ourselves as a couple, as well.  It’s so easy to say “we’ll do it one day”, but as we learned in 2011 with the loss of some loved ones, life is WAY too short to put things off for “one day”.  I loved that it was Rob’s idea for the goals as a couple.  Sometimes, he’s a complete mush-ball.  Don’t tell his friends or family that.  It’s our secret, ok?  😉

I have many plans for 2012, with consistent blogging being included.  So, my friends, I will be back soon to fill you in on some goals of mine and catch up about life, in general.

Wishing you a new year filled with much happiness, many smiles, good health, success & fond memories!

Kim

Reaching Out to Start Loving Myself

Hi Friends!

I know I’ve been MIA lately.  Sorry for disappearing on you like that. 😦

Lately, I’ve been feeling a little….lost.  There are so many good things going on in my life (fun family happenings, life with Rob, good friends, my new car, etc) and yet there’s something weighing on me and I can’t seem to put my finger on it.

I don’t feel motivated  AT ALL.  There are days I wish I could just hide away under the covers of the bed and not have to deal with anything.  I go to work and count the seconds until I’m able to leave.  You’d think it was a horrible place where I was tortured all day, but it isn’t.  Yes, they definitely load you with work and the way they go about things isn’t always right, but I’m surrounded by many good people, especially two great friends that I made here.  🙂

It makes me wonder if I’m just unhappy because there are other things I’d rather be doing, like pursuing baking, nutrition and building up my blog.  Everyone has to work (well, pretty much everyone) and I’m sure that we’d all rather be doing something other than sitting at our desks everyday.  There are things that we’d all rather be doing and I know that I’m not alone in feeling that way.

I started to have a few binge problems lately and I wonder if it all stems from my unhappiness and feeling trapped.  I tend to completely zone out when I have my eating issues.  I escape reality for those moments and then feel completely horrible afterwards.  Rob caught me for the first time the other night and I was mortified.  I hated him having to see me at my low point.  I feel so guilty when he then has to deal with my negative attitude because I’m mad at myself for losing control.  Even though he loves me and we are a team I don’t want to put that strain on him and our relationship.  He always tells me that he loves me so much and then states that he wishes that I could loved myself just as much.

So, Sunday afternoon I started to do some investigating and found a therapy/nutrition group that specializes in those with eating disorders.  I reached out and asked for help and am in the process of making my first appointment with them.  While I’m MUCH better than I was over the past decade or so (scary to even think I’ve been dealing with this for so long) I don’t even want to fathom another 32+ years of dealing with this.  It just isn’t healthy, mentally or physically. 

I NEVER want my future children to see me struggling nor do I want to push my own issues onto them.  I would never forgive myself, because I wouldn’t wish what I’ve gone through on my worst enemy, nevermind my own flesh and blood.

Yesterday, I started writing out my thoughts, listing reasons I think I have my flare ups with these issues.  I shared them with Rob and my mom and I plan on bringing them with me to my first session.  I see the problems, I just have to find the steps to help in correcting them.

Rob and I both agree that I need to take the time to pursue the things that I’m passionate about.  I started looking into classes that will bring some joy into my life and help me further develop my skills in the things that I enjoy (baking, photography, nutrition, yoga, etc).  Having the money to do these things has always been an issue, but I think that in this case finding the means to do these things will be a major step in the right direction for me.  Let these things be my outlet, instead of zoning out with food.  Let my skills develop so that I have a sense of accomplishment and self worth….I think that I will love myself for it in the long run.

So, that’s that.  😉  Now, it’s time to get back to work and knock out the remaining 3 hours left to the work day.

No matter what, always remember….

Hope the beginning of your week has been a great one! 

Kim

When You Know Too Much

Hey There,

It’s Friday!  Yay!!!  I’ve been looking forward to today since…..well, since Sunday night. LOL.  Is that bad?  😉

I haven’t mentioned it, but I’ve been kind of depressed lately.  I don’t know if it’s the change in weather, feeling overwhelmed with life in general (work, obligations, searching for a car before my current lease is up, fixing my car before turning it in, not having time for myself), worrying about Rob, or being disappointed that I haven’t been able to do certain things just yet.  I’m kind of taking each day as it comes and getting through it as best I can.  I really need a few mental health days, but I don’t think that will happen until the new year, which seems so far off right now.  Anyway….

Do you ever find that the more you know about a certain subject the more confusing things can be?  Do you find it more difficult to just take what others say and go with it?  I was thinking about this as I was driving into work this morning.  As we know, I can be my own worst enemy, especially when it comes to nutrition/fitness.  I’ve read so many things and spoken with so many professionals over the years. Everyone out there has a different theory and reason why their method is best.  Certain information contradicts other information and can be quite confusing when you’re trying to make sense of it all.

When I initially lost the bulk of my weight in high school it was like I was working with a clean slate.  I had no idea about nutrition, other than the fact that sweets and junk food probably weren’t the best choices while trying to lose weight or for good health in general.  During that time, I learned more about calories, about making healthier food choices and about incorporating exercise into my routine.  It was very basic, but it worked.

Over the years, my obsession with nutrition and fitness grew.  It seems I can no longer rely on the basics that helped me to reach my initial goal.  Back then, a personal trainer set my meals up for me and I blindly followed her advice….and it worked.  Now, I find that I question EVERYTHING.  I need to know “why” something is set up a certain way, how they came to the conclusion of what my intake should be and how come things might be different from something that they told me a month before.   I seem to be unable to just receive information and go with it.  I’m sure my life would be easier if I could take all of the questions out of the equation and listen to what I’m being told. 

I was up until 1AM this morning working on nutrition.  When my alarm sounded I was exhausted and sadly stumbled out of bed with no more answers than before I started my research and calculations.  I mentioned to Rob, while getting ready, that I so badly wish that I didn’t know as much as I do.  I wish things could just be simple again.  I wish that I could be like my sisters and mom, not worrying about the component of nutrients that make up a meal.  They don’t weigh their food or worry if a meal doesn’t have protein.  They are able to pick up a cookie if they crave it and eat it without guilt.  The last time my brain was free to do any of those things was when I was a child.  I wish I could go back.

I find this to be the case in many areas of my life, but I see it most in my nutrition/fitness, because it is something I’m constantly focused on.  Is this something that you deal with in areas of your life? 

I actually think that my desire to step on stage is because I already do so many of the things that competitors do.  I just don’t have the body that shows how much I put into it all….and that frustrates me.  I’ve put so much time and energy into this over the years that other areas of my life now aren’t what they should be.  I wish I had other passions that were strong enough to allow me to escape my own mental prison.

In the grand scheme of things there are so many worse things that I could be dealing with.  I should be thankful for my health and all of the other positive things in my life.

Rob Update:

Onto more important things…..Rob has his surgery scheduled for Monday, but we’re still unsure of the time.  Please keep him in your thoughts.  It should be a minor surgery, but it’s surgery all the same.  Just want my man to not be in pain anymore. 😦

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Kim

Stressing & Dreaming

Hi Friends!

We’re over the hump and into the tail end of the week.  Hallelujah!

I’ve been extremely stressed lately with things at work and the usual stressors that most of us face.  I can tell ya that stress doesn’t do this body good.  I panic.  I linger over the things that I don’t have any control over.  I become depressed.  I know there are other ways to deal with stress more positively and I’m working on them.  There are certain things within my grasp that I know will make me happy (or at least I think they will), but due to certain factors like finances they slip through my fingers.

Stressors aside, life is good.  I couldn’t ask for better people in my life.  I’m healthy and what do you really have without your health and people who love you?  These are the things I have to remind myself of when I’m down.

I know you all know my dreams of doing something with nutrition and/or baking.  They continue to be goals of mine and I’m taking steps to make it happen.  They might be teeny tiny steps, but at least I’m moving forward.  There’s one dream I don’t think I’ve shared with you yet though….

Around the time I reached my lowest weight while suffering from my eating disorder, I was in the grocery store with my mom and my eyes spotted a Muscle & Fitness magazine.  This was before the days where fitness magazines focusing on women lined the shelves.  The magazine was geared more towards men reaching their fitness goals, but the woman on the cover caught my attention.  She was athletic  looking.  Slender, but with apparent muscle. She looked healthy which I knew I looked the opposite of.  At that point, I was like a sack of bones.  The moment I saw the magazine I KNEW that I had to change and that her figure was really my ideal.

Things didn’t magically change after getting my hands on that copy of Muscle & Fitness.  This has been a long journey and I’ve struggled to be healthy for years.  Am I much better than I was that day?  Yes, sure am.  Am I cured of my struggles?  No, but I fight them and will never give up.

I mention the magazine and what my ideal became because EVER SINCE THAT DAY I’ve wanted to compete in a figure show.  I’ve tried a few times to work towards getting on stage.  The nutrition always threw me because of my disordered eating mentality.  I knew when to back off because I didn’t want to travel further down any bad roads again.  Over the years my weight has fluctuated, but I’ve never been back at my highest or lowest weights again, fortunately.

Recently, a coach reached out to me.  When I disappeared on her, she didn’t just let me drift away, like a leaf in the wind.

She pulled me back and questioned what was going on.  It was at that time that I questioned things myself and turned a “no” into a “yes”.

I can feel it in my bones that THIS is the time.

My thinking has changed.  I’m not just looking to lose weight or fit into a certain size.  This time, I’m working to just be healthy.  Over the years, I’ve done so much to my body.  I thought that my metabolism was shot and that I’d never be able to eat more than 1200-ish calories.  I was wrong.  We’re working on repairing this poor body of mine and getting me far down the road to good health.

While I tend to make my life much more difficult than it needs to be, I can see how I can make this a lifestyle for life, through compromise on both our parts (my coach and me).  She switched things up to meet my needs and I need to let her “control the bus a little” (as she says).

Friends, I’m going to do it this time.  This is one dream I know I can make a reality.  No matter what else is going on in my life this is something that not many other factors have control over other than the hard work I need to put in.  Obviously, if my body can’t handle it or something seems like it will trigger me I will stop or see what we can do to make changes that won’t trigger me.

It’s funny because I’m so shy in person.  My mom says that stepping on stage, in a bikini of all things, is so not like me.  I think that everyone I know will have jaws on the floor when I reach this goal.  It isn’t because they don’t believe in me, but just that it’s so unlike me to be center stage.  It’s been a goal for so long though and I just can’t seem to let it go.  I think that I will kick myself years from now if I don’t at least give it a fair shot.

So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 😉  Now, I’m looking to you to keep me accountable.

I still have to figure out a goal date, but will know that in the very near future.  My first goal date won’t necessarily be to step on stage.  Rather, I’d like to see what my body can do and actually visit a show in person to take everything in.  We’ll set a target date to see how my body responds to different things and then go from there.

I’m going to work on keeping you updated daily on certain things (like hitting certain targets), but haven’t figured out exactly what targets just yet.  I’ll still keep you up to date on my random adventures and thoughts.  Fitness will just take up a little more space on the blog.  What do you think?

I’ll leave you with that for now and fill you in as I know more.

Have a great day!

Kim

When “No” Becomes “Yes”

Hi Guys!

Middle of the week….I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Even better?  I was asked yesterday to attend an advanced PowerPoint class on behalf of my company, so I’ll be out of the office on Monday for training.  It’s always nice to get out of the office to switch things up a bit.  Doing new things is also good for someone like me who tends to stick to what they know and never venture out of the norm.  There’s no turning back now.  I’m excited for something new and also to add more to my skill base.  It never hurts, that’s for sure.

This morning started off with an early gym session to pump out a functional workout.  My core and shoulders will be loving and hating me at about the same time.  I can’t begin to tell you the changes I’ve seen in my core since adding functional workouts to my routine.  This is the first time EVER that I’ve actually seen things changing for the positive with my own two eyes and also realize that what I’m looking to achieve is within my reach.

I have to tell you that besides the stress I’ve been going through recently, I’m in a happy mood today.  My stressors are things that can be fixed.  Now might not be the time to fix them, but at least I can try to stay positive knowing that I’m not stuck forever.  Instead, I’m trying to focus on all of the good in my life.  Sometimes, in the moment, you forget what’s really important in life, like your health, the people you love and all of the struggles you’ve encountered on your journey that you actually tackled.

Within the past year I’d say that I’ve come a long way.  My disordered eating patterns have changed drastically for the better (not perfect yet, but much, MUCH better than they had been) and I’ve definitely grown as a person.  I’m still shy compared to most others, but I’m breaking certain barriers that I once had.

At one time, if a person told me “No” I would take it at face value.  Now, I’ve learned to push the envelope a bit and question “Why?”  I’ve learned that communication is key and sometimes you have to explain yourself in order to turn that “no” into a “yes”.

If you remember, about a month ago, I mentioned that I tried an online training program, but it seemed to be “One Size Fits All“.  They didn’t seem to want to budge with the program they were giving others, which upset me because we are all unique and need different things for success, just like each child learns a different way in school.  The teacher wouldn’t ask the student to adapt to a style that doesn’t work for them.  Instead, the teacher would try to incorporate different methods of teaching so that each individual child could learn the same concept in their own way (at least, that’s what a good teacher would do).

I was honestly bummed because I’ve seen others who have had so much success with the program and I was really hard on myself for not being able to be one of those successes.  I knew the method wasn’t healthy for me though, so I told the company that I was going to have to stop. 

The trainer reached out to me and tried to explain her reasoning for doing things their way.  In turn, I responded with what this crazy mind of mine does why I needed things a different way.  Do you know what happened?  The trainer came back to me letting me know that they would work with my needs.  YAY!  🙂

It turns out that they thought I would have problems, knowing my eating disorder history, with the program I was asking for.  My reasoning helped them to see that the method I was asking for would actually help me.  They told me to always be honest with them and let them know if I’m having any eating issues.  They want me to achieve my fitness goals in the healthiest way possible.

Sometimes, you have to push in order to receive.  I think good ol’ Rob has rubbed off on me a bit.  😉  He pushes for what he wants in life and most times he gets what he wants.  If you don’t ask you’ll never know what might be possible.

Ok, back to work I go.  I hope this Wednesday is treating you well.  Only a few more days until the weekend!

Kim