WAIT GAIN

“In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die, and where you invest your love… you invest your life.” – Mumford and Sons, “Awake My Soul” 

It’s true what they say…about social media being a highlight reel of our lives. A carefully curated presentation of the best moments, best angles and most brag-worthy accomplishments. I am 100% guilty of it. Its easy to share the good news, when you’re on top and killin it.

But what about when you’re not?

This is the post I have been waiting to write.

Probably the most controversial post I will write.

After starting in 2014 and losing almost 130 lbs on my own and hitting a long stall, I’ve spent the last year finding out what it felt like to continue to stall, break through, plateau, re-gain then re-lose, and gain again.

Again and again.

What comes along with this toxic spiral is my crazy fat girl brain. Stressed, desperate, disordered eating brain starts sneaking in. Out of control, relapsed, food addiction brain. Compulsive, negative, unhealthy patterns, and trying to hide out brain. The brain that starts to remind me of all the negative stuff that I have worked so hard to over come.

Which REALLY sucks because the entire reason I embarked on this journey was for freedom from all that. Freedom from the grip that food had on me, and the prison an unhealthy relationship with food turns your body into. No amount of exercise can overcome it. Trust me. I know. Because I love the way fitness has transformed my life and made me feel.

I feel AMAZING when I work out. My body is strong. I LOVE what I am capable of. But it has not been enough. Im still running as hard as I can into the same brick wall of food addiction and finding myself stuck in this same prison.

So, I have made the decision to have weight loss surgery.

There it is.

I have tried to write this post for weeks. Knowing that those of you who have followed and supported my journey deserve to know, just as I deserve to feel unashamed about my decision….but here I am anyway, feeling anxious to share, because there is a HUGE stigma.

A stigma that I myself perpetuated while I was “losing my weight naturally.”

A stigma that suggests that bariatric surgery is “a cop out” or a “cheat”.

A stigma that suggests that this is the way lazy people try to lose weight.

A stigma that is most likely spurred on by those who have never carried 100+ extra pounds around on their bodies, and had to endure all that comes along with it. Including, being faced with making a decision like this.

The truth is, anyone can lose weight.

This is what I know FOR SURE. If you make up your mind, research whats best for you, make a plan and stick to it…it WILL happen. You will lose weight.

However…what I didn’t know was how hard it would be to keep it off, leave it off, and keep my muscle and sanity while still having 100 MORE pounds to lose!

I didn’t know how my body/biology would FIGHT me constantly to get back to a certain weight, and the mental toll that would start to take on me. And I certainly didn’t know how to keep myself from falling apart emotionally and making it all worse, creating a big, FAT, toxic cycle. Which is what I set out out to change in the first place! Breaking this cycle for my daughter.

Its more than just losing weight and “staying committed” or “buckling down” when your compulsions have the potential to lead you down a road where you’re justifying throwing up the food you just ate, or any other number of psycho/harmful behaviors some of us resort to when we feel desperate.

This is real.

This is MY real life.

And I know I’m not the only one. The struggle is REAL. Thats why I know I have to share.

This decision has not come without some agonizing conversations with myself, loved ones and God.

How do you lose 128lbs (at the height of my weight loss) and still find yourself at this decision? Has everything you’ve worked for been in vain?

How do you know what miserable life you left behind at 400+ lbs and have the audacity to gain weight back after publicly professing it would ever ever happen?

How do you silently judge others whom have had the sugery and think to yourself, “that is a copout or easy way out…” because you dont want to admit you are actually jealous of the help they’ve sought out while you’re struggling and full of shit?

How do you keep credibitly with your DREAM JOB at a gym, with your members whom you love, and with co-workers/family whom you admire?

What about family and friends who’ve been so “inspired” while your whole story has been about I CAN…and this all seems like a surrender to I CAN’T?

I could give you a million reasons why I’made this decision. I could explain and convince. I should, but I’m not going to.

I want freedom.

I want to be ABLE to do all the things I want to do in this one life that I’ve been given. And that reason is enough.

That has always been my WHY.

I am ready to break down this brick wall and keep going!

This doesn’t mean I’m stopping or quitting ANYTHING!!! I just plan to use this to crank everything up a notch and be able to kick a LOT more ass!!!

There is so much I have changed about our lifestyle already, I feel so grateful for the timing of this, and how much I have truly gained by waiting until now to decide on medical intervention to further me on my fitness journey. I feel like good or bad, each step forward has only helped me to be strong enough to make lasting changes.

I have the full support of my husband, family and closest friends. I am obsessively grateful and starting to release the fear of failure and judgement…and step into what is waiting for me on the other side.

And, I am finally ready to declare that I am willing to do WHATEVER it takes to get there.

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Big Girl Job

When I started my blog five years ago, I never would’ve dreamed my writing would be lucky enough to be featured on anything bigger than my own dang Facebook page, let alone shared by anyone else!

This month I got the honor and privilege of getting to write for the Anytime Fitness employee dashboard about what it might be like for those who may have just started their fitness journeys in January. To help give coaches a peek at what its like on the “other side”.

HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!! 😍💘

Of course, my post was LONG WINDED.

If you’ve read my blog before, you know I get REAL passionate, and my posts can be long. On a personal blog where I have no boundaries, its easy to do! So I got to learn how/practice how to take my idea and condense it in a way that was easier for peeps to read and apply. It was such an amazing opportunity to have a “big girl” writing assignment about something I’m passionate about, for a company Im obsessed to be working for.

So I thought I would still post my original piece here, in my own little blog world, where it can live forever as a part of my writing/fitness journey, forever and ever, amen.

“A Gym Newbie’s Perspective”

I was asked recently, “What was the ONE THING you experienced in the gym that made you keep coming back after you first joined?” After some thought I replied, “a sense of belonging.”

Despite the obvious feels that we know a newbie might have their first few weeks in the gym, there’s one feeling that stands out to me as being the most crippling to someone who is trying to embark on a healthy lifestyle change; and that is loneliness.

For someone like me who had 100+ pounds to lose, or someone who might have other health concerns that seem overwhelming, feeling alone can make a hard job seem impossible. I truly believe it is the most important thing to remember when you’re sitting across the table from a new member, for the first time.

In the Gym

The first way people can feel lonely is just learning how to navigate inside the gym! This one is obvious, but even if they’ve had a detailed tour and amazing FC with their new coach, new members can still feel unsure of where to begin and probably won’t ask until they feel “safe”.

They will stick with what is the least likely to draw any attention or eyeballs.

One of my biggest fears when I joined was that someone was going to be filming me and my body, without my knowledge and post it online. I was terrified to become a “gym fail” video. That is a very REAL fear for new peeps, and something that I try hard not to re-post or give a spotlight to on my social media, no matter how funny they are.

Working hard to create a club culture that is warm, welcoming, and inclusive to everyone is what makes Anytime Fitness so special! The community vibe we all strive for is what helps people feel like they are in a safe place and that they belong…and when they relax in that, they can get to work!

In Their Social Circle

The second way people can feel lonely as they embark on their new health and fitness journey, is within their social groups and families.

Breaking away from bad habits and trying to create a new heathy lifestyle can feel ESPECIALLY lonesome if you’re the only one in your family or friend group committed to making changes. It can feel overwhelming and exhausting to stay strong when the people you love can be sabotaging you, without even realizing it.

From time to time, it’s easy to identify an unsupportive spouse, or jealous and nay-saying friends. But one of the hardest things new peeps will have to learn to face is themselves. Often, eating and sharing a meal with loved ones is THE last social activity overweight and/or obese people can participate in. It’s MORE than just food. If someone has reached a point, like I had, where they cannot join in many of the other activities that make them feel connected to others as a human…breaking bread is all they feel they’ve got left.  This has been the hardest part for me to re-learn.  Giving up certain foods or learning moderation does not affect my connection with others, but this takes time, practice and climbing back up on the wagon…again and again.

In Their Own Skin

The last and most important way people can feel lonely as they start their fitness journey is actually in their own skin.  I had spent so much time disconnecting my mind from my body, trying to ignore how bad I had allowed myself to become. When I finally began to workout with my trainer, having to learn how to connect with and be aware of my body to move it was painfully humiliating at first! Being the size that I was, and not knowing how to properly dress my body for the work I was asking it to do, took time and confidence. There were many times my shirt would roll up and my belly would be exposed, or my pants wouldn’t cooperate and roll down…I was a hot mess.  Luckily, she was always quick to modify what she was asking me to do so that I wouldn’t get frustrated and want to quit. Over time, I lost some weight and built the confidence that I needed to finally start to feel comfortable and less lonely in my skin.  I’m so grateful for those who took the time to care, coach and connect with me.  It changed my life forever!

So, if there’s one thing I hope you can take away from my experiences, as your schedule is likely filled with back to back appointments, consultations, and sessions and you feel your energy starting to dip…please remember that the person sitting across from you might be feeling the loneliest they’ve ever felt in their whole life, but have been brave enough to show up.  Giving you the opportunity of a lifetime!

Trolled

After Thanksgiving, and a string of crappy weeks in the fall, I decided to climb back onto the wagon with a BANG, and challenge myself to finish 2017 stronger than ever!

I started a “35 days of gainz” challenge on social media, and invited my Anytime Fitness members to join me, (as well as my coworkers and friends and anybody else who was feeling inspired) to try to attempt to complete one work out a day, every day, until the very end of the year.

It could be as little as taking a quick walk around the block with your dog, or a full on, metabolic “burn-down-the-house” kind of workout! Either way, I was committing to making sure that my body was up, moving around, being active, every single day…till the new year.

It has been an amazing, but challenging feat, but as I write this I am proud to say that I have already done my workout for day 22, of 35. (With 13 days left to go!) I have lost 7 pounds, but the greatest part of all, is that I feel BACK in action!! My slump that I fell into is ancient history, and I love feeling active, and alive again! #FitnessMagic!

Amiright?!??

LOSING weight between Thanksgiving and Christmas??

Cray.

Im feeling myself.

Im walking taller.

Ive got my bounce back in my step.

Im feeling strong, and confident once more, trusting this darn process, and chasing after my best self.

And then it happened.

One of my amazing Team Mates posted a VERY sweet shout out to me on our gym Facebook page, and within seconds, some random dude (not even a member) had posted this comment.

I quickly hid it so that no one could see it, and think that this was how anyone at our gyms behaves or treats people. (Because its 1,000% NOT!)

Now I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me. For the first few seconds it literally stung my face as I read it, but I let it dissolve and I just shook my head, because unfortunately this is the kind of thing that happens to us big girls (and dudes!)

All. The. Time.

You CAN NOT POSSIBLY assume to know what kind of journey someone is on, just by looking at them. In fact, one of the MOST wild things I have learned on my fitness journey, is that no matter what size you are, (whether you’re starting out 200lbs overweight like me, or you’re looking like the most fit person in the gym, cutting weight for a bodybuilding show) we all struggle with the very same exact body image issues, fears and doubts in our minds.

The reason I decided to share this here on my blog, is because I want you guys to know that we CANNOT be derailed by ANYTHING or ANYONE.

This could have triggered me, and set me on a downward spiral for weeks if I had allowed it to plant a seed in my heart, and let that old voice start to speak to me again.

Instead, I TOLD myself the TRUTH:

*I have just worked out 22 days in a row!

*I’ve lost over hundred pounds, and and am working on at least 80 more to lose! While getting stronger and faster every damn day.

*I’m actually the CLUB MANAGER of one of the best Anytime Fitness locations in the whole country, on the baddest ass team of people, (who LOST IT when they saw this comment…let me tell you) who have my back and wont EVER let me quit!

*I have the most wonderful, loving husband who has loved me even before I could love myself. We have a beautiful, active family! I am richly blessed!

*I REPRESENT SO MANY OF MY BEAUTIFUL MEMBERS. I can NOT allow one ignorant comment to wilt my resolve. My people are counting on me to show them that we are strong enough to withstand any road block, even fat shaming!

We are NOT what others THINK we are.

Do NOT listen to the voices of fear and doubt.

SPEAK truth to yourself instead.

Raise your forks with me, to 2018!!!!

Its going to be a HELL of a year!!!

Big girl panties

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I’m at the gym right now fighting ugly tears. I have no idea why, nothing’s wrong…but everything’s wrong.

My shoes are falling apart.
My shirt is stained.
My underwear are hanging off of me and getting in the way when I try to move.
(Which technically is a WIN because of my weight loss so far.)
Everything is rubbing and chafing and hurting.
And the warmer my body gets the more I am becoming aware that I smell like the breakfast I made for my kids this morning before I left…and not in a good way.

I am not a pretty sight.

Sometimes it’s hard to muster up the gumption to walk in here just being as big as I am…let alone not having fresh and cute gym clothes and the confidence of a woman who has her life together. Sometimes this whole thing just sucks.

Feeling overwhelmed.

Feeling SORRY FOR MYSELF.

lol

I just literally had to stop and sit down and write or I felt like I was going to fall apart and off of the treadmill, becoming the next viral video you’d see on Facebook tonight.

The truth is I’m probably just hormonal and human. Sometimes we have “off” days. Sometimes things aren’t pretty. I’m learning that it’s EXACTLY in these moments, the moments of doubt and despair, when it matters most to choose your attitude. Moments like these, to cast my cares upon the shoulders of a loving Creator who is big enough to carry them. Moments like these when I will get off my butt and finish my workout, even if I’m not feeling it.

Boomshakalaka.

Healthy Hopes

“Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.” -George Weinberg

“Because now that it’s finally morning, the shadows are beginning to fade, the shadows that have been covering my mind and my soul. Now that they’re gone, I can almost start to see the way, and it’s different from the one they’d convinced me was all I could have.” -Vixen Phillips

The war I find myself in against my body continues.

I haven’t shared in awhile about my recovery process and to be honest it’s because I had given up hope for awhile. I find myself going back and fourth between two extremes. When I’m good, I’m really very good. When I’m bad…I’m bad all the way. Tis the way of an extremist. The spiritual revelation is that freedom lies somewhere in the middle and to arrive at the destination will require a surrender. So many times I feel I’ve arrived at that surrender point only to find that the surrender is constant. Daily. Even hourly.
I’ve dug up the bones of this…I know that my out of control eating is to maintain this sense of actually feeling in control. Which is the deadly trap.

Last weekend I spent some time with my cousins who are Buddhist. I had never really talked with a a Buddhist before and I found it fascinating that so many of the principles and disciplines that they strive to practice aren’t far from what I’m called to as a follower of Christ.
My favorite one being that of “The Beginners Mind”. I found this little excerpt that explains the correlation I felt beautifully:
“In Zen, beginner’s mind is the ideal state. It is a mind that has no preconceptions about the world, one that is open and eager to learn. Even someone who has studied Zen for many years tries to retain this attitude of receptivity. A beginner doesn’t have to unlearn anything. With no preconceptions, he or she can approach the world with the freshness of a child. Perhaps Jesus meant something similar when he said, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Lori Erickson , Belief Net

The concept is that whatever we approach we must try and do so as if it’s the very first time. There is joy in the moment to be found when you can look at each experience this way. But it requires discipline. It requires making up our mind and choosing not to look at things in the same old dead way.

It requires HOPE.

God willing, may it be so.

This was a poem I wrote this week while thinking and praying about where I’m at again with my twisted relationship to food. May I have a beginners mind today and not the mind of the expert of self-destruction that I’ve been so familiar with.

I am the buffer.
Buoyant with secrets.
Slave to my insulation.
Absorbing hits, dings and slices.
This has always been my way.
Daggers and knives.
Teeth, tongues, lips and lies.
Makes no difference.
They are no match against this armor.

Except that-
they consistently win.

It’s a lie.
A fable.
A cover.
I’m deceived.
It always has been,
and will be.
Unless I surrender my grip to be free.
Fighting to recover.
On repeat daily.

As if this casing is really safety?
As if I’m fully living lately?
As if my hearts convinced you don’t still hate me?
As if there is NO maybe?
Maybe would just be crazy.

This issue is just TOO weighty.
The outcome is too shaky…

So my grip gets tighter.
Writing is hyper.
The gap grows still wider.

Hope that today will be kinder.

#Repost @anytimefitness_northreno with @get_repost ・・・ Dig DEEP!! 💪🏽🔥 WHAT is the PURPOSE behind each key swipe into the gym? Each minute you push yourself through your cardio instead of letting yourself off easy and stopping. Each rep you lift with weights, even when it burns and you’re sore? WHY did you decide to start this journey in the first place? WHAT is the reason you got up and DID THE THING, when your alarm went off today? What is your WHY? . . Maybe it’s more than your pant size or a number on the scale? Maybe its because you KNOW those pants feel and look better when you’re wearing them with confidence? Maybe its because you no longer have to be embarrassed of being winded when you’re out being active with your family? Maybe its because you have things you LOVE to do that you weren’t able to do before...but have been able to work hard and give that back to yourself? Maybe its because you haven’t able to fully look in the mirror and like you what you see...but something about keeping your promise to yourself and finishing each work out is getting you closer and closer to be being able to? Find the REASON. Find your why. FIND YOUR PURPOSE and you will will AMAZE yourself at how far you can go! 🔥💪🏽 Share yours and tag someone below who will remind you! . . “What makes you special is your ability to discover and THRIVE in your purpose, despite your past hurts, pain and disappointments.” -Mastin Kipp, “Claim Your Power” . . #whatisyourwhywednesday #letsmakehealthyhappen #teamborden
>>New adventure<<

&andshelivedhappilyeverafter

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