Word of the Year 2019 – Balance

Happy New Years, everyone! We made it!

So, I’m thinking of trying something new this year in lieu of a New Years Resolution.

I was introduced to the “word of the year” idea a couple years ago. It’s essentially picking a word to attempt to follow for the entire year.

The word can be what you hope to become. How you want to live the year. The big thing you want to change, or a word that describes how you’re going to do that.

I never actually did this, I always tossed around the idea of giving it a try… but I never really stuck to doing it. Which makes sense, because I’ve never actually stuck to my New Years Resolutions when I tried to make them. Now, of course, with my resolution for 2018, I’d managed to do a few small things in the whole be nice to myself resolution I had going on. But still, it wasn’t like I actually went so far as to say I crushed a goal.

For 2019, I knew I wanted to move towards something. I wanted to have some kind of goal.

And rather than listing out a resolution of something I want to accomplish in a year, I wanted something more abstract. Something that I could sustain and work towards over a course of a year.

So, a word for an entire year seemed like a good idea.

Picking one word to summarize an entire year is a daunting task. There are so many words to think of. Do I want to be more hopeful? Is being more consistent going to get me to where I want to be? What about “embrace” change? Or “grow” or “appreciate, mindful, calm, thrive?”

Of course, I would love to do all those things. But when reflecting on 2018 there was a common theme.

I was too busy, too stressed, too worried, too…well, everything.

And a lot of that came from spreading myself too thin. I was trying to be a good mom, a good boss, a good friend, a good employee. I was working two-three jobs, while trying to find time to write and maintain this blog. I was trying to do so many things all at once, and it just wasn’t really working.

Because I was lacking balance in almost every aspect of my life.

And just like that, it hit me.

Balance

Sometimes the word chooses you.
Sometimes you have to actually listen to what went wrong to find out what can make it right.

Balance is one the biggest obstacles in my life. How do I balance all of the hats I wear on a daily basis. I desperately need some balance in my life.

At first I was a little bit butt hurt that my word wasn’t going to be something like “happy” or “strong” or “growth” but when you actually thing about it, can I even hope for those things if things have no balance?

Ummm, that’s a big fat no.

So, that’s my word of the year. Balance. This year I’m going to try and move towards that. Balancing all the things in my life that I want to do and the things that I have to do. My family, work, health, weight… all of it… and we’ll see how it goes!

Reflecting on 2018

Here we are! New Years Eve! The last official day of 2018! We’re taking a break from all the weight loss talk in favor of reflecting on 2018! So, this time last year, I made myself a New Years Resoltion…now I’m not a huge fan of New Years Resolutions. For some reason I did them last year. My logic was that if it wasn’t something like “you have to lose weight” or “I will quit biting my nails” that I might actually do those things. So, I went for more of a general one. My New Years Resolutions last year boiled down to essentially “Be nicer to myself.” I initially wanted to just scoff and be a negative Nancy about that. Because in the larger scale of things, maybe I wasn’t all too nice to myself. I didn’t do much in the way of taking care of my health (sorry Doc for the several cancelled appointments), I went overboard on the whole “over working” aspect and boy was I stressed out. But at the end of every year, we really should take that chance to reflect on the last year. Right?

But there were some things that I did actually do.

Take mental health days
I actually took time off from work! Rather than raking in just under 200 hours of unused paid time off (my job in INSANELY generous when it comes to personal time off!!!), I actually used some of those hours! Which is HUGE for me. Granted, one of those times was a “Nicole, I think you need some time off before you explode moments” but I did take a couple days off here and there. I even scheduled a MASSIVE 6 days away for myself (sure, it only ended up as 4… but #progressnotperfection).

That might not seem like much, but consider in 2017 I only actually used a fraction of that, is remarkable to me.

Have more me time
This was the one I really struggled with, because with everything that I have going on, it’s really hard to find time to do things strictly for me, especially when all my time is wrapped up with taking care of everyone else. For a while there (I admittedly dropped the ball on this a few months ago) I was doing my nails pretty regularly! I even tried out almond shaped nails…which eventually turned into stiletto…big moment of stepping outside of my comfort zone . And even more recently, I start sporting my natural hair and wearing make up more often than “I have to do an interview today”! It was nice to have moments (even if it was only 45 minutes once a week) to spend painting my nails or watching a TV show or some other “menial task” that I always managed to ignore.

And last but not least Slow down and smell the daisies (not a big rose fan)
But, the biggest things that I’d started was back in October, definitely not an entire year. But I started journaling. That’s been a big one for me. Getting my thoughts out onto paper, reflecting on all the good things happening around me, I needed that. It wasn’t a daily kind of thing, but it was nice little outlet. I tried to keep it as positive as possible! I was doodling, reflecting on “little happies” and even started keeping track of the “good” things that were happening… which needing to keep track of sounds horrible, but seriously, taking a second to see the good things among all the stress and frustration was amazing!

While it wasn’t like 2018 was an astounding year, and my “resolution” fell short in the “MY YEAR WAS AMAZING” department, it definitely cleared things up in my head. There were absolutely things that I didn’t accomplish that I wanted to, there were moments where I just wanted to give up and become a hermit, and more often than not I was stressed and frustrated… but there were shining moments that I was nice to myself. The balance I was hoping for certainly wasn’t there, but it was a good starting point.

And that’s what I’m looking for in 2019. That balance. Being nice to myself is more than just moments here and there. And finding that balance of doing what needs to be done and being nice to myself is key!

So here’s thanks to 2018 for not sucking as bad as 2017.

Happy New Years Eve everyone!

Bad Habits to Break

These last three crazy months have been a lot of focusing on trying to break some bad habits.

I have a lot of bad habits that I have gotten over the last 10+ years, and a lot of them were reinforced repeatedly. And I’m really trying to get them under control.

You know, the typical drinking more water, watching what I’m eating, getting moving, you know all those things are habits that anyone who wants to lose weight wants to have as good habits.

But my worse habit is the way I talk about the things I’m doing. Not specifics, but more phrases. “I was really good!” or “I was bad, I ate more than what I’m supposed to.” Things like that. I don’t know why I’ve always done that. Talked about my weight/eating in terms of bad or good. Or saying things like “supposed to.” That’s my biggest struggle. I’m sure if you go through old posts, you’ll see stuff like that all over the place. Phrases like that aren’t helpful or good for me. It puts me in a block of what is “acceptable” or not.

Which, ironically, I don’t generally do that stuff consciously. It’s stuff that slips out, that I don’t think about. It’s become a horrible habit of mine to just say things like that. I’m big on the whole “low pressure weight loss” thing. If I want an ice cream sundae, sure, why not? It’s not bad or not naughty or wrong. That one decision isn’t something that is going to ruin all of my progress.

Same with the opposite. The days I have that are great days, water/eating/moving… I always tend to say that I did “good.” I don’t know why I feel the need to grade or gauge myself like that. Did I do something good for me? Absolutely! But putting it in a category like that, automatically makes me feel like anything short of that falls into a “bad” category.

That probably sounds like a real trivial thing to worry about. But sometimes, verbiage is the biggest thing that can make it harder for a person to accomplish the things they want to. It’s so much pressure to sit here and worry that if I eat the damn ice cream sundae if I’m being “bad” or making a “bad” choice.

I think “making better choice” is a good way to phrase things. I’m not always going to make GREAT choices. I’ll have days where I make choice that probably could have been better. But really, I’m not looking to make 100% great choices. I’m looking to make choices that will make me move towards my goal without taking away everything in my life that I enjoy (yes, including sundaes.)

The biggest thing is that I don’t want to feel guilty for having a “bad” food. I don’t want to feel guilty because I had a “good” day where I drank my water, hit 20k steps, and ate perfectly…. and then compare all other days to that “good” day.

It’s a lot of pressure that I don’t want or need. And I’ve fallen into that a lot. It’s nothing that I’m going to just “poof” stop saying or thinking… but it’s definitely things that shouldn’t cross my mind as much.

So, I’m actively trying to change the way I talk about my weight or losing weight. But I’m allowed to have days that could be better. I’m allowed to have awesome days without feeling like I’m setting this impossible line to reach.

It took a lot to realize that. And part of that was during that 3 months. That was the biggest thing I had to “get over” was when I was losing weight, it was a lot of “woah, I must be really doing good!” For example: when I’d hit 20,000 steps. I’d felt awesome, I’d said it was a really good day! And it was! But the very next day I barely hit 8,000 and I was so beat up about it. Like, crap, 8,000 steps for someone like me is still really good but I couldn’t connect that… because it wasn’t “20,000 steps good.”

I know, I know, we’re our own competition. But it’s only good for you if it’s something you can maintain, and doesn’t make you feel like crap later. Strive for doing better, not doing perfect!!!

#progressnotperfection

A Stress Fueled Three Month Hiatus

So, obviously, I’ve been MIA for the last three months. I’m not even going to say “whoopise” because it wasn’t like I just forgot or kept postponing things, I’d made a choice for the sake of my stress. If that makes any sense at all.

Something you should know about me is when I’m stressed past my limit, I have a tendency to shut down. Like pulling all my reserve energy into a few select things, because quite frankly that’s all I can handle at the moment.

I’d just over packed my schedule. Way too much was on my plate at one moment. I’d had two jobs, three at one point where I was transitioning to another. My main job was taking up a lot of my time and a huge part of my stress. Home life was going crazy between drama, lack of time, and so forth. There was just so much going on in my life I couldn’t keep up with.

I’m big on mental health. And I tell people all the time that I firmly believe in mental health days. You know, if you break your leg you aren’t going to be walking around on it the next day…you need time to let that heal. Mental health is the same thing.

Now realistically, I don’t have the ability to just drop everything for a few days and focus on destressing and decluttering my mind. But there were several things that I could drop to give myself the opportunity to breathe and think.

First to go were my other jobs. While I loved one of them and, honestly, hated the other, it was one of those moments of “is the extra money worth what all I’m missing out on?” In the grand scheme of things, they weren’t. To be 100% honest, there was a way I could go about that, and I didn’t. It was a panic fueled decision. And after the panic and guilt went away, I felt marginally better.

The second thing to go was the blog. Not permanently, of course. Between 70-80 hour work weeks I was finding less and less to blog about. Simply because I didn’t have any time to do anything except work, try and find time to spend time with my family, and still somehow eat and sleep in there too. I really didn’t want to be one of those people who threw out fluff pieces just to maintain a consistent blogging schedule, because I didn’t do anything other than work. And let’s face it, no one wants to come to a blog to read about someone’s job, which I can’t write about anyways.

So the blog went next. Which sucked. I love my little piece of the internet I’ve got over here. But I wasn’t going to force myself to write crap posts about absolutely nothing, when that time could be spent getting a handle on my brain. You know? It was honestly the harder of the two choices.

Thirdly, my physical health kind of went out the window. Which I guess makes sense. Mental health is connected to physical health, and if one is down the other is too. That’s not to say that I completely ignored it. But it was the same kind of choice.

I could force myself to count my calories, or I could just be happy that I managed to remember to actually eat something more than a quick lunch that day. I could ignore exercise for a few weeks months, or I could use that extra 30-45 minutes for sleep or family time…which I desperately needed.

Because of that, I found myself sitting at 192 pounds. Normally, I would have been ecstatic about that. Not this time around. Because I knew that I wasn’t finding the time to eat enough to maintain the busier life I was leading. If someone has found the secret to making sure you have enough time to eat in a 20 hour day. Please, please, let me know!

So yeah, things back pedaled quite a bit. But I’m moving back towards feeling better. And yeah, three months, there hasn’t been a huge change in my stress levels. I’m still really stressed 99% of the time. But I’m managing it better. I can give more to my family, more to my job, and more to me.

So, I’m back as much as I can be. In the last three months I have cleaned up some things in my life, gotten more time out of it too. I can’t promise that I’ll be posting three times a week or whatever thing I set up. But I can try to continue to post about the more “worthy things” that I have found time to do.

If you’ve stuck with me through these last three months, thank you! If you hightailed it outta here, I can’t blame you!

Cheers to feeling better!

Like a Yo Yo – Weigh in Monday?

Let’s just get right down into the nitty gritty. I’ve lost weight. Like a yo-yo. (Please sing that to the tune of Madonna’s Like A Virgin, I am.) Back and forth. Whatever. To top it off, it’s been a long time since my last post way back in the beginning of February. That’s rough.

Worse yet, it’s been even longer since my last weigh in.

My first weigh in of the New Year landed on the 3rd of January. We’re in April.

Can you guess what happened?

Yo-yo weight loss/gain.

Which is why I’m posting this on a Monday, not a Wednesday. Jump right in with both feet before I have two whole days to chicken out and fall back into not posting.

Now, this whole yo-yo thing sucks because there was a solid time frame there that I hadn’t done the whole yo-yo thing.

I get into these modes of motivation where nothing can stop me. And generally those pop up when I’ve stepped on the scale and noticed that I’ve gained a few pounds (try 10?). So I’d go through and fix everything, change everything, lose a ton of weight and be proud and happy. Then hit a wall and gain it back.

I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about. That little revolving door of weight loss.

So, here we go. A million weigh ins later.

Last weigh-in: 211.2
This weigh-in: 215.8
Gained: 4.6
Total lost from highest: 55.3

Gaining 4.6 pounds in 4 months might not seem like that big of deal. But the issue is that I kept gaining and losing. At one point I was ecstatic because I was sitting at 206. I was only 10 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. Then I stepped on the scale a few weeks later and saw I was at 218. And so on and so forth, and higher.

And that’s where I lost it.

Little bit will be turning 3 here in a few months. I’ve spent 3 years fighting/not fighting/fighting/not fighting the weight I gained. 3 years ago.

I got so close, and then blew it. Again

Awesome.

The other thing that hit me, April 6th put me at 6 months before my birthday. 6 months before I turn 29.

I’ve spent all of my 20s fighting my weight. Granted, I spent all of my teens worried about my weight. But I’d never thought in a million years that I would spent my ENTIRE twenties worried about my weight. I don’t want to be sitting at 35 like “Oh hey, 15 years later and I’ve FINALLY done it!” That might sound ridiculous, but I’m already so torn about being so close to thirty. I don’t want to be torn about being thirty and fat.

Make sense?

Anyways, I wish I could blame ignorance and say things like “I don’t know what happened? I have been doing so good!” or “It must be that I’m bloated, or [fill in the blanks]”

But I know why.

Laziness. Over eating. Poor eating habits. Practically nothing as far as water intake goes. Not pre-planning meals. Sedentary life style.

Sure, I can blame it on being winter (still). Something about (still) having snow in April makes me want to eat carbs and junkie stuff all day every day.

But that’s kind of a cop out.

Winter or not, there is no reason for me not to be doing more. Doing what I know I need to do.

And a good part of it is making excuses for myself.

Silver lining, I’ve actually lost those 4.6 pounds in the last 10 days. I’m pretty set in thinking that is probably just water weight, but hey. At least it’s something? EDIT So, I’ve realized that the 4.6 pounds was most definitely lost since my last weigh in. The 4.6 (which certainly wasn’t 4.6, more like 3.2) pounds was within that last time I weighed myself at home, not for a blog post. So for the sake of clarity, and my sanity…I’m making that edit. I’d gained 4.6 pounds since my last official blog weigh-in… my 6am coffee brain was confused with all the numbers.

Anyways, moving on…

Got that motivation bug again, and I’m not going to naively sit here and insist that this time will be different. That I’m going to keep on keeping on until the weight is off. If I’ve learned anything from this SIX year journey (gag) it’s that making promises adds some unneeded pressure. Amirite?

But I know I’m slacking in some things, I always know that I’m slacking in some things. But I’ve been trying incredibly hard to get back on track and stop the yo-yo cycle. I’ve been really trying some new things, and we’ll see if they work!

And for sake of getting off the Yo-yo routine…

Weeks of consecutive weight loss = ONE ZERO