When Lack of Routine Triggers A Binge Eater

As I am sure most of you are aware, I am a binge eater. For the most part I have had in under control for a while and only had minor issues here and there. However, the changes to my day during the quarantine due to the covid-19 pandemic, this change has thrown me for a loop. I started reading some of my favorite bloggers and one of them touched upon this time being a trigger. Shout out to Andie Mitchell! How could I not have realized that my lack of a routine has triggered my binge eating?

What is binge eating?

Binge eating is an eating disorder where you have an uncontrollable urge to eat unusual amounts of food. Back in the day, I could easily eat a bucket of ice-cream, a whole pie and add in some chocolate on top. I would finish it off with take out food. I would be so full I would need to go and throw up to simply feel comfortable. If you think you might have a binge eating disorder, I do urge you to reach out to your doctor but you can also read a bit about it at the Mayoclinic or at National Eating Disorders.

Dealing with binge eating

I have had days, where I felt myself slip into my old habit. I would simply say, I could just grab a few nuts to tide me over. But I would return 5 minutes later to grab another handful and an ounce of cheese. And that is how my day would continue. So I have been gaining a little weight.

I am not alarmed… yet! However, I do need to build a new routine for myself so I can stop myself from binge eating. Anyone with an eating disorder thrives with routine. With the changes of working from home, my hubby is now losing weight and us having struggled as a couple, it has been rough finding my way.

Building a routine

This week is the week I am figuring out how I can build a new healthy routine. It is all about making my day manageable but busy enough that I don’t think about food more than I need to.

In a day, I have daily routines that we all need to take care of:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Plan meals for the day
  • Work
  • Workout

Those are the ones I need to focus on. I need to leave the rest behind to ensure that my essentials are taken care of. Once I have those down, I need to have a to-do-list that I can lean on so I can keep myself busy and out of the kitchen.

Structuring my day

Normally, I would meal prep on Sundays to ensure I am set for the week and I spend less time in the kitchen. However, the changes to my routine, had me thinking that I did not need to meal prep. Clearly, that is still needed. But until Sunday comes around my day starts the day before. I need to plan for my day. What will I be eating? What will Mike be eating? When will we be eating and how much time do I have to prep. When will I be working out. Are there other chores I need to add to my list?

Once I have my meals planned out and I know what to do when in the kitchen, I can move on to the when I will be doing my workouts. Workouts are very important to me. It keeps me focused, makes me feel better and with lack of movement for sitting on my butt all day, it is key in staying healthy.

My plan for tomorrow

  • 7AM: Wake up
  • 7:20AM: Get dressed, brush teeth, personal grooming
  • 7:40AM: Make breakfast (Yogurt, hulled hemp seeds and banana for me and grape nuts, milk with a bit of brown sugar for hubby) and coffee! We can’t forget the coffee!
  • 8AM: Eat breakfast
  • 8:30AM: Spend time with Mike
  • 9AM: Start work
  • 2PM: Make lunch (Heat up Red Thai Curry for both Mike and myself)
  • 2:20PM Eat lunch and spend time with Mike
  • 3PM: Start last 3 hours of work
  • 6PM: Wash dishes from breakfast and lunch
  • 6:20PM: Make dinner (Turkey meatballs with onion, mushroom and red pepper mix (and sweet potato for Mike)) during cooking, I will plan my next day.
  • 7PM: At home workout
  • 7:35PM: Eat dinner
  • 8:15PM: wash dishes
  • 8:30PM: Shower
  • 8:50PM: Spend time with Mike
  • 11PM: Bedtime!

My weekend To Do List

This is a typical day for me. The challenge always comes when the weekend rolls around as there will be no work to keep me busy. That is why a to-do-list gets handy. This is my to-do-list for the weekend:

  • Create weekly meal plan
  • Meal prep as much as possible
  • Vacuum
  • Clean bathroom
  • Take pictures of clothes and other items to be sold online
  • Study for 4 hours
  • Create a weekly social media plan
  • Take images/videos of workouts

This should keep me pretty busy.

Will this cure my binging?

This prep time is no guarantee that I won’t binge or struggle with the urges of binging. However, it will put me in a place that gives me greater chance of success. If I know what I am eating and when, this eliminates my time in the kitchen and the need to find something to put in my mouth. It, also, creates a structure where there is a sense of security as I know what I will be doing next. These are both really strong support mechanisms that I can implement myself.

If I should get the urges to go and eat more, my last resort is always to talk to my husband about my need for eating. That usually helps as most binge eaters are extremely embarrassed by their lack of self control.

Should you be like me and struggling with your eating, always know you can reach out. I know what it is like. The mind can convince us of many things and they can be hard to control. You are definitely not alone. I know, I’m not.

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Weight Loss Transformation – A Process

weight loss transformation is a process

Weight loss transformation is a process. I am in the middle of my weight loss transformation. Daily, I struggle to keep myself motivated but I know it is a process. I needed to discover why I struggle and how I can get through my struggles. This helps me succeed in weight loss.

Going Through the Process

Some days, I am filled with motivation and the scale moves. Other days, I struggle and I want to eat everything in site. It is about finding a balance where you have more days where you are in a calorie deficit and then sometimes allow yourself to simply enjoy. There are days, I still struggle to find that balance. I am not gonna lie. However, I have so far been able to learn why I struggle those days. As long as I know why, I can start working on eliminating the ways or get to the root of the why so I can react to it differently.

I know this sounds all theoretical. So let me give you a few examples of how I keep my motivation, work out why I struggle and what I do to minimize my struggles.

Struggle

Usually, week days are my easiest days. I am kept busy during work. I go to the gym and I then head home to make dinner. Once I have eaten, I am so tired, I can’t think about food. The gym keeps me busy but they are rough. I am, usually, more hungry and if I forget a snack, I struggle. I might eat the blueberry pancakes my husband keeps in the fridge (yes, he is spoiled, I make these every weekend). The cheese, I have portioned out for the week, is incredibly tempting or the nuts on the shelf are devoured by the handful.

When foods are available for you to eat, that is when I need to dig deep. Remind myself why I am loosing the weight. I remind myself of any of these lines or sparks of motivation:

  • I am doing this for my health so I can live longer
  • Traveling without physically struggling is a win
  • “I love myself and I am worth it!” – Yes, I sing it with the melody from Divinyls “I touch myself
  • I have felt my confidence soar with my weight loss, I want to keep going.

These are just a few of the lines I might use but they are the most used. Everyone has their reason for loosing weight and I urge you to find these sparks of motivation to help you when you struggle. Write them down somewhere, so you don’t forget.

Why Do I Struggle?

Everyone struggles, some struggle for different reasons but it is important to find out why you struggle. When I first started out wanting to loose weight, I had no idea why I could not control my eating. It was infuriating! As I got older, I started reflecting about my life and somethings started making sense.

I was sexually abused as a child but I had never acknowledged that was what had happened to me. I had just buried it. Growing up, my family struggled so there was not space for me to address my sadness and pain. Others were in pain and I did not want to add to others pain. Now, we can all agree, I should have spoken up but I was 6 years old (up until the age of 10) so what did I know?

When I started approaching the subject I was in my 20s. However, once I had gone through the process of confronting my pain, talking with my family about what had happened, I should have been fixed, right? Not the case. I was still binge eating. I still could not control my eating. Something else, was at play.

I could track my behavior all the way back to when I was 6 years and would come home and eat in front of the TV. When I binge eat today, I do the exact same thing. I buy food, go home and watch TV. I don’t binge like this anymore. It has been well over a year since I last binged and before then, I binged maybe 3 times in a year for several years. What changed, you might ask?

It all started with my pain as a child but it all developed into habits. My binging was made into a habit every time I was in an emotional fragile state. Had I not confronted my pain, I could not have addressed my habits in the right manor and learned how to work around them.

Resolving the Why

Once I realized why I was binging, what my habits were. I could now look at what triggered my behavior. These triggers are the exact same, when I struggle with my food today. When I stressed, when I drink too little water or when I am in an emotionally fragile place. A fragile place, can come from many places but it is most commonly when my insecurities come up.

Now I know why, I know what triggers my behavior, so how do I go about solving it? As you can tell, weight loss transformation is a process. I need to make sure I get enough water, I need to address my insecurities and I need to be mindful of my stress levels.

Honestly, water is easy. I used “MyFitnessPal” to make sure I got my daily 8 glasses for a few months and now I am in a good routine. I use my husband as a sounding board when my insecurities pop up. This helps a lot! However, making sure I am not stressed, is not as simple. I have a tendency to keep pushing myself, expecting more from myself than what is reasonable. It is part of my DNA and who I am.

Acknowledging The Process

To lose weight, I know I need to address my stress levels. That is my focus right now. I keep building upon my habits to better myself and to make sure I minimize the risk of stress. It is all a process.

The process for me, started 15 years ago. I didn’t know that what I started 15 years ago would lead me to now a 65lb weight loss (and counting) but I am glad that I can now see where what I started so long ago, is what has helped me get this far. I can now enjoy the process and understand what I need to do and how I will get there.

Everyone has their journey. I had mine, you will have a different journey. But what we have in common, is that we will have to go through the same process. Why do we struggle? How do we get beyond the struggles? It is being honest with yourself and looking at the ugly sides of yourself (we all have it) and acknowledging the ugly. You are worth being acknowledged for who you are. You are awesome, no matter what flaws might surface.

All you need to know and trust is weight loss transformation is a process. It will take time and that is okay.

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Weight Loss: Doctor’s Orders

Was at the doctors for my yearly check-up. Verdict was, loose weight or get on 4-6 different medications. I chose weight loss. Therefore, Weight Loss: Doctor’s Orders. Therefore, I am going to give this blog another try. I thought I was ready last year but I still had fears and honestly with 80-100 hour work weeks, I just did not have the energy.

Getting Past The Fear

My fears have always been the fear of failure, however, I have failed more times than I can count so just another bad excuse. I think, I need to learn that as long as I am being true to myself and can stand by my actions, failure is simply part of the process.

Weight loss has ups and downs but mine has been more downs than ups. I kept telling myself, that it was ok if I did not loose the weight as long as I worked out. However, I went to the doctor as I had been feeling awful lately. My body was aching, I felt a burning painful feeling on my chest (right between my breasts) and my energy was less than 0. I had days where getting out of bed in the morning was a struggle. Not because of depression but simply because my body was tired. I had been feeling like this for a while but I kept pushing off going to the doctor. I kept telling myself:  “I was just being a wimp” or “I am just overworked, it will get better”.

Working With My Doctor

One day, I was headed home from work with my husband. We were walking up the stairs and he asked “why are you weezing and breathing so heavily?”. I thought to myself “gosh, have I become this overweight that I am out of breath just walking up the stairs?”. I thought it strange as I was still working out several times each week so my overall cardio should still be the same. Then the burning sensation started, it got worse and worse to which point I finally went to see the doctor. This was over a 3 month period.

It turns out my weezing was not from my weight but that my asthma had come back. Doctor thought it might have been triggered by stress. The burning sensation was from too much gastric acid, most likely due to both the food I was eating and stress. We did a bit more tests as I had not gone to a doctor in years. I still had high cholesterol and it was even higher. My blood pressure was on the cusp of being too high and my vitamin D levels were at a record low for me. All 3 signs of me being overweight taking its toll on me.

Another Option

I am not a fan of medication, if I can avoid it I will, but I accept if there are no other option. I had gotten my asthma medication and my medication for my gastric acid. Both were helping. However, when the doctor started talking about more medication for my cholesterol and my heart, I immediately said, no there has to be other options. The doctor of course candidly told me I needed to lose the weight and cut out as many carbs as I could. I agreed that I would do this and come back 3 months later. So weight loss, doctor’s orders.

My appointment is June 18th. I am now roughly a month in. I have lost 13.2lb (6kg), I have cut all carbs except for fruit. So I am not doing a full Keto diet (only berries allowed), but I am weighing everything, turning my squash into my alternative spaghetti option and eating only lean protein.

Right now it is 1 day at a time but I am ok with that.

Xoxo

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The New Normal

Back in January I was energized by my anger, stress and seeing my mother-in-law fighting for her life. Unfortunately, she passed a month later which took me away from you, my readers.

I, honestly, have not had time to grieve her passing just yet, as currently it is my husband who needs the support and not I. I have since put my focus towards my family rather than myself (and you). I know all weightloss gurus always write about how you have to focus on you and not everyone else in the process of losing weight and I know that is true. I have not had the energy to deal with my food, regular workouts etc. My days have been work, cooking, taking care of my husband and try to fit in a workout once in a while so I would not competely lose momentum.

I, finally, feel like I have the energy to push myself a little further and pick up where I left off in January. My husband is still grieving and my job is still insane but I have gotten used to the new normal and I have to refind my passion in all of it.

During my last post I had started the 30 Day Challenge and I lived it. I grew stronger every single day and I could feel my energy come back. I never completed the 30 days so now I am back at it. As I am writing, I am on day 4 of 30 of my 3×30 Day Challenge.

I keep making statements I can’t keep and it is frustrating to read my progress in my blogposts (or lack thereof) as I seem to get nowhere. I will not make any promises this time. I will simply take one day at a time and hopefully you will stick with me in my flawed progress.

Here are a few pics from my last workouts.

Until next time…

Xoxo

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I Am Back!

It has been a while. I apologize for my absence.

My intentions were to roll back my focus on the blog but instead devote my time to my new business. Plans did not turn out that way. My business had to wait. Family suddenly had to take focus and things are not quieting down but simply intensifying.

However, that did make me more determined to get back into weight-loss and focus on my health. I technically started my focus mid-December but then even more stuff happened so I thought, once things quieted down I would get going. It did not. Obviously. When does it ever?

But no more excuses. I have now made my schedule so I recommend you start following my Instagram and Facebook accounts as they will start being more active. If you are following my Instagram you know I have posted regularly for a while now and it will be even more going forward. Great things to come. I am so excited to get going again.

I decided to do a 3×30 Day Challenge within the next 2 months. It is really keeping me engaged, dedicated and it gives a full body work out. The App is called 30 Day Fit Challenge. It is free to download from your app store, however there can be in-app purchases if you want more advanced training programs. I have not needed them… yet.

I changed my diet slightly. I took out snacking and daily desserts, so I should only have 1 dessert per week and no snacking unless I get home late. Although, with my VERY emotional week last week and my birthday, I did eat more than I probably should have. I am not going to be too hard on myself. I know my mistakes and I did allow myself a bit more since it was my birthday.

I will keep you posted on my progress. For now I am at 245lb (111kg), so I am essentially starting over but hey, at least I am not giving up.

Stay tuned as more great things are to come.

XOXO

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I’m Starting My Own Business!

Some of you may have noticed that I have given my blog a bit of a break. It was not because I have given up on losing weight. My focus has just been elsewhere.

A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of my anger and disappointment. I don’t like disappointment, like most people, and I have a hard time letting things go. I don’t see myself be in a work situation where the disappointment overshadows my desire to go to work.

The day after my very disappointing day, no I did not get fired, I took a day and I brainstormed with Mike (my wonderful hubby) on what should be next for me in my career. Both Mike and my dad has been huge advocates for me starting my own business but I have not really thought of the right thing and was insecure and doubtful that I could succeed.

While we were brainstorming I realized that I really want to get back to what would get me excited. Why else go to work? I knew that I want to support, especially non-profits. But it is not easy coming from the profit world into the non-profit world and I don’t feel like leaving everything I have learned behind. I am therefore starting a business that combines both.

So here I am building out my concept and will be ready to pitch my ideas to non-profits in a few weeks. I hope, I have a good idea, if not, I hope the non-profits can give feedback so I can come back with an even better idea. Otherwise, I am going back to the drawing board. Not the end of the world. I still have my daytime job.

It has been an exciting time and I will pitch you the project once I am done building out the concept.

And I hope you will give me honest and tough feedback (especially, if you work in the non-profit world).

Stay tuned!

Next post will be about weightloss. Promise!

Xoxo

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Where do we find inspiration to keep going?

More often than not, I have to remind myself why I am not eating the cookie I want or why I should not just stop logging all that touches my tongue. Always thinking about what I eat, weighing whether or not I should eat it. Did I do enough to eat this amount of calories, what is my carb, fat, protein ratio, have I had enough calories to eat, have I enough calories left over for a spoonful of ice cream? All questions I ask myself on a daily basis and honestly, sometimes it gets tiring always have to weigh the options, calculate the intake and the list continues. When I am getting too fed up, that is when I dig into my arsenal of inspirations. 

I believe I mentioned inspiration a few months ago as I was recommitting myself to loosing the weight. But I wanted to bring back the subject as it is more important than we think to have small things that keep us going on a regular basis, especially if you end up like me, needing several weeks to see any progress on the scale.

Last night I wanted to stuff my face with anything that had sugar and fat. A really strong urge. One of those where you can’t help but be proud of yourself if you end up not giving in. I had 1/2 a cup of ice cream and well within my calories. I was proud. But one thing I reminded myself of was how uncomfortable I am on planes due to my size. Weird, I know. But when you have a large butt it limits your ability to move in your seat to be comfortable. There is not enough space to put your feet under you or just scoot to one side to shift the weight as you are already taking up all of the space you have available to you. Not to mention the feeling of being in the way because people you sit next to feel comfortable enough to take both armrests and not give it up at any point. So you squeeze your shoulders together to make yourself as small as possible. If you for a moment could try and sit like that in your chair amd then ask yourself. How comfortable would you be after 8 hours on a plane? Not very. I know plane rides are never comfortable but most would have a couple of inches to move around in or even be small enough to have their heels be on the edge of their seat so they can shift their position. Imagine not even being able to do that… frustrating. And I am on planes often enough that one of the things that keep me motivated is the fact that I might just be a bit more comfortable. Odd I know, but whatever gets you through the urges of binging.

Another inspiration is the hope that one day I will not be sweating profusely when I go down in the subway during summertime. I know it is hot down there but I literally have to bring a wash cloth to help me not look like I just ran a marathon. I hate the subway in summertime. 

Then there is the usual, want to fit into clothes better without seeing that extra bump or two in the side or the front for that matter. Or just not look twice as large as anyone else in a picture. Or simply when you see a piece of art where you see the most perfectly shaped woman and you use that as your ideal to reach.

My husband and I had a conversation about me being overweight and he was trying to understand why and if there was anything he could do to help. Have I said just how much I love him? He asked me, why do you overeat. What is the psychological need to do that? My reply was along the lines of: It started out with me wanting to hide and be small. After my reply he looked dumbfounded and simply blurded out: You do realize that overeating does the EXACT opposite, right?

Although, I know that is the case, I never really thought of it like that and that conversation to this day is a huge inspiration to me. Eating whatever I want is counter intuitive to what I really want and need. So it is something I think about several times each week.
I follow bloggers and influencers, who inspire me and share the same struggle. They sometimes have insights, good ideas, recipes etcetera. But most of all, it is the sense of not being alone in your struggles and having a sense of community where it is not odd that you want to be comfortable in your seat, not hate how your tire sticks to yourself when you workout or that you constantly check if you are in the way because you are that much bigger and really uncomfortable in your own skin.

There are so many ways to find your inspiration, what keeps you going both small and big. My biggest inspiration is my husband. I know it is cliche but that is the truth. He is next to me and hates it when he is not. He loves me even when I am imperfect. And he is my biggest supporter. Pushes me when I really don’t want to be pushed but need it. Supports me when I just want to stuff my face and puts things in perspective and rallies around me when I have triumphs. He is the person with the biggest heart that I know and that is something to beat as most of my friends are up there when it comes to their love, support and acceptance during both good and bad times. Am I the luckiest woman on the planet or what???

It’s a good day!

Xoxo,

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I Fucking Hate The Scale!!!

Normally, this would be a Fitbit Tuesday posting but I have to vent. Once again, I gained weight. I am now 246.2lb. Sorta frustrating. Especially, when I know I have had a killer week where if the numbers bothered to add up I would have been able to lose almost 4 pounds. So looking at the scale that I once again gained weight is frustrating. And there is no chance that I would have gained 4lbs in muscle mass in 1 week.

ARGH!!! Feel like screaming and I would love to know why the numbers keep not adding up. I literally track everything. I wear this F…ing Fitbit 24/7 and note down everything that hits my tongue. Even if we assume I am not accurate enough in my measurements and Fitbit is completely off. With what I am eating there is no way I am above 2000 calories (I am roughly around 1,600 calories when I measure) and just existing in this overweight body is roughly 2,200 calories burnt IF I DON’T MOVE. I do move around, walk to and from work which would land me around 2,700 calories (I am not pulling numbers out of my ass but there are websites that can help me pull these numbers. Now I do work out 5-6 times each week with an average of 500 calorie burn over 7 days (averaging it out for 7 days to make it easier to calculate) and I end up at 3,200 calorie burn on average. So from 2,000 calorie intake to 3,200 calorie burn leaves me with 1,200 of burnt calories per day and that comes to 8,400 calories burnt on 1 week and that is roughly 2.5 lb I should be loosing.

This means I can literally, calculate my frustration.

I don’t give up easily but I was so close to just fuck it all when I remembered 2 things. Even if I don’t lose the weight I still have my health to worry about and that I can’t give up on. If I am gaining muscle and I have water weight because my period is around the corner… maybe I should check my measurements. Just in case.

Boy am I glad I did. I have not checked my numbers since I wrote my first blog post so those are the numbers I had to compare to. I weighed less than I do now with 242.2lb then vs 246.2lb now. However, my measurements are better all around. My hips were 50 inches. Now they are 49 inches. Arms were 17 inches, now they are 16. My bust were 46 inches and I am now 42 inches around my bust. My waist was 42 inches and guess what… I am now 36 inches.. crazy! I have lost 6 inches around my waist, 4 around my bust and 1 on each of my arms and hips. Yeah!! See that is something to celebrate. 12 inches smaller is arms up and they can’t seem to get down kind of celebration.

I have a measurement tape that has highlighted my measurement goals. I noted these goals down years ago and they still ring true for my deepest wish of where I should be measurement wise. My goal is to reach 37 inches (94 centimeters) around my bust, 29.5 inches (74 centimeters) around my waist, 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) around my arms and 40 inches (102 centimeters) around my hips. Whether this is realistic or not, I am not sure. Especially around my hips as my butt has always been 1 size larger than everything else on me.

I am getting closer to my bust and waist goals but my arms and hips still needs some work, which is also why I keep focusing on those areas when I go to the gym. I still have a long way to go but I got truly excited about the fact that the weight does not matter. My health and my numbers show the hard work I have put in these last couple of months and I deserve to pad myself on the back and congratulate myself.

This just comes to show that the scale does not matter. It is a guide. I will keep using the guide but I might need to look elsewhere for true numbers when I really get frustrated and lose motivation.

Thank you for letting me vent and share with you my little celebration over my 12 inches loss. YEAH!

Xoxo,

 

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My First Goal!

As I wrote in one of my earlier posts, it makes losing weight a bit easier if you have something to look forward to along the way. My first goal came really quickly and I hit it only after 2 week.

My reward was new training pants and/or shorts. It was time to go looking for the right pairs.

First I needed to think about my needs. What did I need from my new workout pants? I needed a pocket for my phone and keys. I needed them to be comfortable around my thighs and I needed them no be midi or high waisted. Hate it when pants are too low and they keep crawling down when you are doing burpies or sit ups or when the belly hangs out when you look at yourself in the mirror.

Like most people, I have a pretty tight schedule with a 50 hour work week (on average) 5-6 days of training and maintaining and finding topics for a blog (it takes more time than I had anticipated but I am getting some great material so stay tuned).

With limited time, I love internet shopping as I do not have time to go from store to store and honestly, I do not have time to go from website to website searching all brands. I do not even know all brands. So my thought was to make use of what I know. I know affiliate and if there is something we are good at, it is new apps and finding discounts. As I needed to try on my clothing, I needed something that could provide free shipping and returns and one of the partners I work with on daily basis are: Spring. They offer Free Shipping and Returns while you can shop any merchant you can think of.

So I went to Spring and I started searching for workout clothing, pants, capri and shorts in particularly. I found a brand that could provide exactly what I was looking for: Naja. Naja is a brand that makes sure that the ones making the clothes are paid a decent wage. If you know me well, you know that is exactly me. So it was fate that I found the brand and they had the type of work out clothes I was looking for. I bought one of their Capri pants and a pair of their shorts. Just in case I saw that New Balance had a sale so I grabbed up one capri pair from them as well.

My clothes came after 3 days and now I have had a chance to try them out. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new Naja pants. They are amazing and they look good. The New Balance was not my favorite but they do the job and would be a good fit when I lose a bit more weight.

I took a few pictures for you to check out.

Xoxo

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How Come You Put On So Much Weight?

This is a question I get more often than one might think. And I think it is a good question. Weight does not just suddenly pop up and it is not like I do not want to be healthy and look good when I stare back at myself in the mirror. Believe it or not, I have thought about why I keep gaining weight for more than 25 years. I have roughly 100 hours of psychology hours behind me,  several bad habits and eating disorders behind me, along with 10+ books about weight loss and about 10 different fad diets under my belt (anything from Weight Watcher to electricity run through my body).

My husband asked me this question a few days ago, as we were talking about when I was anorexic with a tendency to binge. This was the time, I was skinniest. I was 130 lb. So not insanely skinny but still lower than the average I should have been at (144 lb). More about this later.

This question got me thinking. I am probably not the only one who has had this question asked and I am sure a lot of you are asking yourselves this very question, but you might be to polite to ask (my husband is not). It is, also, an important question to ask one self when trying to lose weight as you need to dig in and learn about your habits more deeply than simply “I should not eat that”.

Everyone has their story and no story is better or worse than others, as we are all different and react differently to what we are exposed to in life that build our habits. Mine started in early childhood and simply kept getting reinforced through my childhood. Once those habits have been instilled in you they are insanely hard to break. Not until I was in my 30′ did I start really understanding my habits and you can’t change them if you are not aware of them. So lesson number 1. Learn about your habits, good and bad.

One of my first memories of childhood was when I was 3-4 years of age. My parents were fighting (which were not uncommon in those days) and to spare me from the stress of the yelling they would place me in front of the TV with a small bowl of candy and they were off to the kitchen. Of course I could hear them yell anyways, which would make any child feel unsafe so I emerged myself in the TV and my bowl of candy. The reason why this exact memory is so important is that it is my first memory of what happens when I binge. I am in front of the TV or computer and sugar just goes in, one after the other. After a stressful day or if I have been in a fight, my go to remedy to make myself feel better is the TV and my bag of goodies.

This habit got reinforced throughout my childhood. My surroundings where not getting any calmer. Matter of fact, they got worse. At age 5 my parents divorced and soon enough it was time for my sisters and mother to fight each other.

As I started growing into my teenage years, I was not the rebellious type. I internalized things more than my sisters. With the insecurity of trying to find out who you are as a teenager and the fear of being unpopular started my next habit. Binging! It started out with me wanting to lose that “baby fat”. I put it in quotation marks as that was what my mom called it, although others were not as nice about it. Ever since I was a kid, I was body shamed and food shamed by pretty much everyone in my family (a few exceptions, love you dad!).

Looking back, I was not overweight, I was just not skinny but that was considered overweight and that is something I still live under today. I have a hard time distancing myself from that image and just accept that my body is more voluptuous than those of my sisters and mother’s side of the family. My dad’s side of the family had a bigger tendency to carry more weight than average but unfortunately, we did not really engage with that side of the family and my father’s mother died when he was very young so I never got to meet her. Although, I am told, that I look like her. She must have been a very good looking woman 😉

To put the pressure into perspective. When I was skinniest at 130 lb, I was still called overweight and having “baby fat”. Yes, insane, I know, but my shape and voluptuous features simple gives me the look of being a bit choppy.

This constant pressure, although, I am sure it was not intentional, drove me into my dabble in anorexia. I say “dabble” as I had a friend at the time, whom saved my life and made me wake up from what I was doing to myself, fairly early into my days of not eating or binging with purging afterwards. If he is reading this, he knows who he is and I simply want to say: Thank you!

As the pressure was still there, the habit of using food as a comforter was readily available, I instead started binging and that is how I ended up with the other side of a eating disorder – over eating.

Over eating was something I hid as I felt it was shameful. I was not supposed to eat all of those treats and foods as I was supposed to lose weight and be skinny like my friends and sisters. But my feelings were overwhelming and I could not control my urges. This urge simply stayed and I tried over time to control it in different ways. I still have the urges today but with some really capable psychologists, I have gotten some great tools to recognize when the urge comes on, why it is there and that I have a choice. The choice is harder than you think, but I am slowly learning to accept my choices. Good or bad. And I think, I am finally growing up.

After over eating for roughly 20 years, you put on weight. I have had more excuses than I can count but at least now I see my excuses and I can choose to act on them or grow up and say no.

The bigger picture of my story is showing how important positive body image is for especially young people. I hope that my blog will help people to realize that they are beautiful no matter who they are and what they look like. It is truly, what is inside that determines your outer beauty.

XOXO

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