Just Keep Swimming

Almost two years ago I declared that I would never drink alcohol again. I am very hard-headed. I can be extremely arrogant and once I’ve decided on something I dive in, determined to swim. It was a bit of a panicky, floppy, doggy paddle in the beginning but eventually it turned into a calm easy backstroke. After 18 months of stargazing and cloud viewing I ran into a buoy called moderation. If you, the reader have read any of my blog posts before, you know where this is going. I slipped, more than once in the past six months. I am not starting over. I’m not going to reset the clock to saying that I quit drinking last Sunday. But I do want to be honest with everyone who follows me, who knows me and who may be wondering where I’m at with sobriety. I’m also writing this to humble myself and bring myself down a few notches. I inhaled a mouth full of salt water, chocked on it for awhile but I’m breathing again and plan to just keep swimming.

 

Fitness Friday – One Size

mod•er•a•tion
ˌmädəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun
1. 1. the avoidance of excess or extremes
synonyms: self-restraint, restraint, self-control, self-command, self-discipline;

I do not moderate. I do not avoid extremes. In fact, I excessively practice extreme things. For example, I quit smoking. I did not use nicotine patches. I did not cut back. I did not start using an e-cigarette. Instead, I quit cold turkey. After a year I decided that moderation could be a possibility. I started taking a drag here and there. A drag turned into a cigarette. In no time at all, I was back to smoking a pack a day. I have quit again, cold turkey. It’s been a little over a month.

In June of 2014, I quit drinking. This was also extreme. That’s what I do; I jump from one extreme to the other. I was an extreme drinker. I can’t count the number of times people told me they had never seen anyone else drink liquor the way I did. You know, the hold the bottle by the handle and tilt it back kind of liquor drinker. I quit. I quit cold turkey. I am a non-drinker.

So now I am applying my inability to moderate to my eating habits. I decided I should not cheat. I should not have cheat days, cheat meals, cheat-treats. If I’m going to eat a piece of cake, it’ll end up being the whole cake. If I’m going to eat a candy bar a day, it will be a family size, not a bite size. I do not want to be an extreme eater, so instead I’m avoiding all added sugar and junk. This is not for everyone. There are people in the world that can have a drag of a cigarette and will never end up smoking a pack a day. There are people who can have one glass of wine without finishing the bottle and then driving to the store to buy another. There are also people who can eat a mini dark chocolate candy bar every night to get their sweet fix without ending up at McDonald’s at 2am buying 3 for $1 chocolate chip cookies with a milkshake to wash them down. I am not one of those people and that’s okay. I am great at extreme restraint from things that I can’t moderate.
It’s been 16 days without added sugar and I’ve lost an inch and a half in my waist already.

The inches that I’ve lost bring me to my next point; we cannot all measure our success by the scale. I have read so many articles that say it’s practically impossible to gain muscle and lose weight at a rate where you will not see a fluctuation in the scale. As in, you will lose weight faster than you will build muscle. The website where I get all of my workout routines and diet advice from says this too. I have lost over 15 inches now. I have lost a cup size. I have dropped a pant size if not two (my current pants are getting loose!)

I asked my husband how much weight he thinks I’ve lost since this whole new fitness journey and he said 20-25 pounds. In seven months I have lost 5 pounds. In the past, this would have been extremely discouraging. The scale and I would have had it out, I would have cried a lot and then I would have drowned my sorrows in a package of Oreo’s. Now however, I have my tape measure. The scale has been replaced and the articles can say what they want about it. I have the photos and the data to prove them wrong.

We are not all the same. One size does not fit all. If cheat days keep you going then by all means, eat that bacon cheeseburger. If the scale moves for you and keeps you motivated then stand on it as many times as you can. But if you find yourself using your cheat day as an excuse to devour three days worth of food in one then take away your cheat day. And if you have stood on the scale every day without results it’s time to invest in a tape measure. We are all succeeding but the paths and results don’t all look the same.

That concludes my intensity for the week.
To add a little lightheartedness, here are some photos of what I do on my rest days.


Bicycle crunches in my pajamas while binge watching Netflix. I followed these up with three sets of calf raises, punches and arm circles. It’s my new Netflix Routine.


This feels as awkward and inappropriate as it looks but rumor has it, it helps with a split. If being ridiculously sore the next day is any indicator that it’s working, I should be able to do a split in no time.

Thanks for following. Thanks for reading. Thanks for being different!

365 Days

One year ago today I woke up on the couch. I was sleeping sitting up with my head on a cushion and my neck in an awful position. I was sleeping this way to prevent myself from getting sick. I opened my eyes and almost instantly had a sinking, terrible feeling in my stomach that was in no way related to nausea. I picked up my phone and began texting apologies to countless people; some were received graciously while others were not. My hands were trembling, my body was shaking and all I wanted to do was cry. I said to myself “I never want to drink again”. I had said this before, multiple times, but something felt different. I said it again and again until finally it came out “I will never drink again.”

It’s been one year.

It’s been one year since I’ve had a hangover, since I’ve woke up ashamed and embarrassed because of what I might have done the night before (because God knows I didn’t remember). One year since I’ve “rewarded” myself by getting drunk. One year since I’ve had to text people apologies for driving drunk, for my loud mouth, emotional outbursts or just flat out crude or harsh behavior.

What have I learned?

I’ve learned how to act in a social situation without having any liquid courage. I’ve learned how to have a debate without getting choked up, raising my voice, or embarrassing myself while defending my opinion. I’ve learned how to have fun late into the night without feeling like complete shit the next day. I learned that alcohol exaggerates everything and drunk reality isn’t real.

When you can’t have a drink you’re forced to face yourself; all your quarks, flaws and insecurities. You’re forced to get to know who you are. And then, as time goes on, you begin to accept who you’ve become.

I am not a loud mouth, inappropriate, overly dramatic person. I was all of those things because I was drunk. I am not an awkward, uncomfortable, social outcast. I drank because I thought I was all of those things if I wasn’t drinking.

I am fun. I am funny. I am caring and loving. I am sober.

wedding

No More Cake

No More Cake

Today is the start to Whole30. I have taken a lot of steps that have led me closer and closer to following these rules already. I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t drink soda, and I try to avoid fast food.

My biggest struggle is going to be sweets.
The other night driving home I went out of my way to find a Krispy Crème doughnut. I already ate, I didn’t need a custard filled, chocolate frosted doughnut to wash it down. But I wanted one, and so I got one and I loved and hated every minute of eating it. 
People get addicted to alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, sugar, etc. And by people I mean me. I have been addicted to all of those things. I have proudly broken most of those addictions. But since I was 12 I have had a love hate relationship with food that is very similar to an alcoholic’s relationship with liquor; late night trips for candy bars, lying about how many cookies I’ve had, saying things like “I deserve this box of Oreos” and “I’ve had a hard day so I can eat a brownie sundae” and so on. And now Whole30 is going to make me stop all of that. I can’t eat a king size snickers bar at 10pm because I feel like it, and I can’t save my 1200 calories for the day to eat half of an apple pie. Instead, when I’m craving something rich, sweet and creamy like peanut butter fudge or cheesecake I’m going to have to eat a banana. And no, I’m not even allowed to freeze it, blend it, add cocoa to it and make it taste like ice-cream because apparently that won’t help break the viscous food cycle like Whole30 wants me to. So here’s to 30 days, 30 days of dt’s, headaches, withdrawal, night sweats and hallucinations all because I can’t have my cake and eat it too. Actually, I can’t have cake at all, not even a little one, not even a cupcake. 
Oh good Lord.

Cheers to day 1.

213 Days

I am standing at the end of a table. I’m surrounded by people I have met but do not know. They are socializing with each other, sipping on wine or scotch and I stand alone, club soda in hand, smiling.

There are moments in life when I come into my body. My head comes out of the clouds, out of its busy thinking and I am fully alert and aware of the situation I am in. People around the world strive for this kind of awareness. I too have taken classes on it, and it isn’t easy. But every once in a while it just happens, without meditation, without effort and without struggle.

This is what’s happening at the end of the table. At a business function flowing with cocktails and wine, the air is thick with pretension and arrogance, and I am calm. I am calm and content and have no insecurities. I don’t feel awkward or ashamed, embarrassed or stuttery; instead I feel confident in my own skin. Alcohol plays no part in my new-found comfort. And just now I realize all these years of drinking to be comfortable actually caused more discomfort and embarrassment. I just wasn’t aware until I awoke.
I am sober. I am confident. And for the first time, I am comfortable.

7 months

I’M BACK!!

So I took the month of December off and it put me back a few steps but I’m back on track and feeling fantastic. A week from tomorrow is 7 months booze free, I’m weighing in at 147 and I’m back on the workout train. For the past 9 days I’ve been eating 1200 calories a day, which is hard but it does allow me to save 300 calories for an end of the day candy bar :). On February 1st Kenny and I are going to start Whole30. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it basically means I can’t eat for 30 days. It will be a fun challenge though because my dad, Lisa, and my friend Jessica are all going to do it too. Anyone else want to join in? Whole30

Apparently 2015 is going to be all about challenges because I joined a 7 day ab challenge on Facebook. I have never done a Facebook challenge before but having 130 people all doing the same thing is very motivating. Last night was my first night with a 10 minute ab workout video. I looked ridiculous. In 10 minutes I fell over twice, I had to take 3 breaks, I did the easy version every time I could and when it was all said and done I wanted to cry. Instead of crying I decided to take a selfie…
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And then I got up and did some bicep/triceps/back workouts in our gym. I couldn’t do the amount of reps the workout required but I still felt bad ass. I thought, “Hell yeah, I’m doing 15 reps with 20 pounds in each hand. I’m awesome!!” Then Kenny came home and told me I was only using 10 pound weights. Uhg!! It’s a start though, and before you know it I will be using 20 pounds, and then 25 and I’ll just keep adding more until I really am a bad ass.

We ended the day with some healthy slow cooked jerk pork with a mango salsa and brown rice.
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Basically, I’m back and more motivated than ever!

Still Standing

It’s that time of year and that means everything gets a little bit harder, especially eating healthy.

Sorry you haven’t heard from me in a while. I haven’t completely fallen off the health wagon. I am still sober and still eating healthy. This past Saturday marks 5 months alcohol free. I have also made it the entire month of November without a candy bar. So I’m still rocking and rolling, kind of.

On November 1st it snowed in South Carolina. It was record breaking cold, it was raining, it was wet and icy and needless to say, I did not participate in the 5k. On an even worse note, the coughing has returned so running is on the back burner right now.

I’m going back to the doctor on December 5th and I’m not quite sure what will happen but the whole thing really pisses me off. And usually when one thing goes wrong I throw my hands up and completely give up. I have not done that this time, at least not completely. I haven’t been as strict with my food choices but when I look at what I used to eat, there’s a pretty significant improvement. Let me show you what I mean…

A typical day in May 2014:
Breakfast: Coffee with peppermint mocha coffee creamer or a white chocolate mocha from McDonald’s.
Snack: Pretzels or Cookies (if the cookie of the month came in).
Lunch: Wendy’s Ranch Chicken Club Sandwich (chicken served spicy and fried) with a large order of French Fries and a large Diet Coke (who wants the extra sugar of a regular?). Or a Big Mac Meal (large) from McDonald’s, or a 4 Piece Chicken Strip meal with French Fries and a Biscuit from Bojangles with a Sweet Tea (because I’m sure there’s less sugar in a sweet tea than there is in a regular soda).
Basically, I had a specific order for each fast food restaurant within a 10 mile radius.
Snack (again): A sharing size bag of peanut butter M&M’s (except I didn’t share).
Dinner: could be anything from Shake & Bake Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans, to Hamburger Helper, or a large pizza from Papa Johns (we’d eat it all), maybe fast-food again, or something with a lot of pasta.
Dessert: We would usually eat a very large bowl of Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream or I’d have a King Size Take-5 and Kenny would have Skittles, or sometimes cookies and milk. And dessert was never skipped.

fatties

A typical day now;
Breakfast: Coffee with a splash of half & half and a banana.
Lunch: A can of tuna and some vegetables or a turkey wrap or a salad. For a drink I have either a Seltzer Water or an Unsweetened Iced Tea. And every once in a blue moon I splurge and get a chicken salad sandwich on whole grain bread and a small fry.
Dinner: This is where I’ve been getting creative lately with different healthy items. Chili with 97% fat free beef, or something with spaghetti squash where I psych us out to think we’re eating pasta, and every once in a while we’ll go out to eat but we still try to order healthy meals. And ok, we have had a pizza in the past 2 months but we didn’t eat the whole thing.
Dessert: Usually we just end the night with hot tea (no honey) or I’ll blend up a frozen banana with some all natural peanut butter and cocoa to get rid of the ice cream craving.

better

So basically, when I start getting really hard on myself because I don’t feel like things are working or I start feeling like a failure, I think about all of this and realize just how far I’ve come. In 2013 those typical days would have included all of that junk food plus beer or wine, a pack of cigarettes, and 3-5 Mountain Dew’s. So no, I haven’t been running, and yes I have eaten some pizza, and yes, I even had a piece of cake on Kenny’s birthday but no, I am not giving up. I am not going to use the Holidays as an excuse to ruin the progress that I’ve made. If we can have a healthy Halloween then we can have a healthy Thanksgiving and Christmas too.

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(
Tangerines, veggies, deviled eggs with organic mayo, all-natural tortilla chips and hummus)

Kenny and I have signed up for 4 Bikram Yoga classes, we’re looking into private MMA (mixed martial arts) lessons, and I am starting a Paleo Challenge on December 1st. In other words, I’m still around, still kickin, I’ve just got to start breathing before I can post more funny exercise stories!

Happy Holidays everyone and thanks for reading!