Archive for May, 2013

I’ve been kind of silent the last few days because I haven’t had much to say. I’ve had a slow couple of days. I haven’t worked out as much except today. I haven’t eaten as well. And that’s OK. I’m taking a night off this evening. I’m having a date night with my husband and I’ll be eating wood fired pizza from the farmer’s market, and having popcorn at the movie. It’s ok to slow down now and then. It’s ok not to be 100 percent. Just as long as I don’t let it stop me from moving forward.

I also got a huge reality check the other day. A horrible crash happened just up the street from my house. It threw me for a loop. Things like that make you appreciate where you are and how short life can be.. especially after having lived through a husband almost dying in an accident and losing a brother in a fatal car accident when I was younger. It made me realize how much I need to keep things in perspective. My health is important to me. It can all be gone in an instant, and I want to make the most of the time I have, and do the things that make my life worth living. Spending time with family and taking care of myself are part of that. And gratitude is important too. I am so grateful for so many things in my life, especially my family and my recovery. I can forget to be grateful for all the things I do have. Writing a gratitude list at the end of the day helps me. I try to list five things every night. It’s important to focus on the positive. It’s also important that I remain grateful for where I am in my journey, not just where I’m trying to go.

Take a moment to pause and just be grateful.



Today, I jog/walked a 5K (3.1 mile). It started off fairly well. I was making pretty good time by my own standards. Then, about halfway through, my asthma kicked in. Totally my fault, I had stopped using my maintenance inhaler months ago when I had my shoulder surgery and stopped running regularly. But there I was. Coughing and wheezing a bit, and using my inhaler. I reluctantly made the decision that I needed to walk, possibly the rest of the way. And so I did.

And then, after I’d had about a mile to recover (with maybe half a mile left), I began to run slowly again. But then I decided I’d walked this far, and stopped running. A stranger next to me said, “keep running, you’re almost done!” I sighed. He said, “run slowly, I’ll run with you.” And I finished it running. It took me a little over 45 minutes. But I finished. And that’s perhaps a bigger victory than the personal best run I’d had last month. Because I could have given up, but I have learned that persistence is what gets me where I need to go. I didn’t have to run fast or even run at all. I just had to keep moving forward.

This is true in my life, in my recovery, in my fitness journey, in my relationships… There is no point when giving up is a solution to anything. If I try, eventually I get where I’m going. It may be slow, it may not look how I planned, but I get there. All I need is the courage to start and the persistence to keep going, even when I get knocked down. If I want it bad enough, I will find a way to keep moving. If not, I’ll find an excuse. Today I choose to keep moving forward.


After a rough couple of days food wise, I’d made up my mind to follow the food plan more closely. Only, my life circumstances dictated otherwise. Saturday, I had to make a trip into Birmingham to drop my son off with his grandma for the week. Sunday, I ended up eating out for lunch, and then had to attend a potluck gathering with some of my church family. I could have let these things derail me like I kind of had the previous days. But I had made up my mind I wasn’t going to eat crap. And so I didn’t. Lunch at Chickfila on Saturday: a grilled chicken salad with nuts, blue cheese, apples, and berries. (I believe it’s called the grilled market salad.). Dinner at Zoe’s was some grilled steak kabobs with veggies and a few potatoes. Lunch on Sunday (at Moe’s) I had a bowl dish (rather than with a tortilla) filled with veggies, black beans, steak, and a little sour cream. At the potluck, I piled my plate with fresh cherries, apples, cheese slices, a big greek salad, and a little bit of plain bbq (my other meat choices were hamburgers and hot dogs.) I didn’t even have anything I felt exceptionally guilty about all weekend. BUT if I had, it would have been okay too.

The difference between these two days and the last two was only my mindset and a little planning in my head of what I was going to do. I also did not let myself get too hungry. I had been keeping with my steady eating all day. I snacked in the car on rice/nut crackers and raw pumpkin seeds. Even though I wasn’t able to follow my food plan at all, I was able to use the knowledge I’ve learned from clean eating (which I think is the point) to get me where I needed to be. Sometimes what you think you are capable of and what you are actually capable of are worlds apart. I never saw myself as strong and determined and yet here I am, improving myself every day. Most things never seem possible until they are done.


Can you be both? Absolutely! Is there room for improvement? Always. I’m a work in progress. I hope that I’m never not working on improving myself.

I struggle with body image every day. Even though I’m the fittest and within 15 pounds of the least I’ve ever weighed since college. I still have excess body fat. I’m still considered overweight based on my BMI (just barely below obese range.) And yet? I have completed over a dozen 5Ks. I’ve completed a Dirty Girl obstacle mud run. I do an adventure boot camp 5 days a week. I do Pure Barre. Many people that weigh less than me (and have significantly less body fat) do not and cannot do these things. I need to remember to celebrate my body rather than criticize it. Because it can (and does) do amazing things.

I’ve had a rough couple of days food wise. I haven’t been totally horrible but definitely off plan and not eating as clean as I would like. I’m trying to refocus on following the Fix Fat food plan I’ve been using. I am ending week 3/6. I am having a much better day today so far. Organic scrambled eggs, spinach, mushrooms, and goat cheese for breakfast with a side of strawberries, an apple and raw peanut butter for snack. And a pure barre workout.

And even though the number on the godawful scale went up, I was able to fit into a smaller pair of jeans yesterday and zip them up! That means muscle is developing in place of fat. And that feels awesome. This is what motivates me. Progress not perfection.


May 23, 2013

Today was supposed to be a new day. Well, to be fair, it actually is a new day. Just not necessarily a better one. It was ONE OF THOSE DAYS. I fully intended to get back on track with my eating, and feel more in control than I did yesterday. My day had other plans. Between oversleeping, lost keys, spilled breakfast, almost car accidents, and other assorted minor fiascoes, I managed to come out relatively unscathed. But what I didn’t do was plan. I got a much needed reminder today that I help create my own chaos.

I found myself out and about having not eaten my morning snack or having planned for lunch. So I took myself out to lunch and had a greek salad with steak. Super yummy. Later that evening, at the farmer’s market with my son, I gave in to the handmade artisan pizza I’d been eyeing. Not too horrible, I had mine topped with spinach, goat cheese, portabellas, and kalamata olives. Could have done without all that crust, but hey, it was good. 🙂

No exercise today, it was a planned and much needed rest day. Also didn’t do great on the diet sodas, I had two. But considering all the crap I wanted to eat and drink today, I’ll still call today a win. I don’t have to be perfect. I just have to keep moving forward.

And? Tomorrow is another day. 🙂


I’m struggling today. Wondering why I’m doing this when I could be eating crap. I mean, I know WHY I’m doing it but I do get frustrated sometimes. I have to remember that it’s about progress, not perfection and even when I don’t eat all clean food I am still changing my habits and my health. I didn’t even eat too terribly bad today, just not all that balanced.  I did exercise, 55 minutes of pure barre. And I’m really looking forward to my well earned rest day tomorrow.

I definitely struggle with letting some minor setback ruin my outlook. I’m trying to work on that, not just with food but in all areas of my life. I can let a small glitch in a goal derail me, and end up listening to all the negativity in my head. The thing is, we ALL have bumps in the road.. nobody’s road is straight and smooth. I try to talk to myself the way I would to a friend, because I would never say the things I say to myself to anyone else.

It helps me to remember my smaller goals, and to take one day at a time. I can get to focused on how far I have to go. I have to refocus and remember why I set my goals in the first place. Don’t let a bad day or a negative thought process derail you. We all have down days. It doesn’t make us any less awesome.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Today’s been kind of a blah day. I’ve not really had a lot of energy and not really wanted most of the foods on my plan. So I just ate good food today and didn’t stress too much over it. For example, didn’t feel like making dinner any my son wanted Nothing But Noodles, so I ate a pear and balsamic spinach salad and some tofu on the side for a little extra protein.

I did do Pure Barre today, but I’ve been really tired all day (plus didn’t sleep well), so I napped for a few hours. I’m learning to listen to my body and give it what it needs. Sleeping at night has always been a struggle for me but I know that eventually my body will get the rest it needs.

I made it to the farmer’s market today as well. Didn’t by a lot but got some goat cheese, hummus, some more kale to make kale chips (I burned the last batch!) and a bunch of strawberries to dehydrate some and freeze some.

I find myself wanting junk food less and less even when I see other people having it. Last night I was at a meeting where there was red velvet cake, and I honestly didn’t really want it. I’m sure that won’t always be the case, but it’s good to know sometimes I don’t have to battle quite so much to turn stuff down. I can rely on the results I’m getting and the way I’m feeling to empower me to continue to make better choices. (Or as my trainer says, “better bad choices,” because sometimes that’s what it comes down to…)

Thought for the day:

“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t… It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” – James Gordon

May 20, 2013

First day of week 3 of my food plan. Down another pound (2 week total -8.5). This plan has not gone online yet, but I will provide a link when it does. It is designed for weight loss, but as more of a bridge to healthier habits than a diet.

I cannot say enough good things about my fitness instructor, Joe Martin. This is a plan he developed himself. He is also the owner/founder of Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp for Women, the only exercise regimen I have ever stuck to. If you are in Huntsville or Madison, AL you owe it to yourself to check this guy out. I am absolutely not getting paid to promote him. I just believe in the results.

Things I ate (or will eat) today:

Breakfast: Slow cooked oatmeal with mixed berries, pecans, cinnamon, chia seeds, and a little raw honey.

Lunch: baked chicken, sautéed spinach and mushrooms, hummus and rice crackers

Dinner: shrimp with zucchini and tomato, buckwheat

Snacks (3): goat cheese with wheat crackers, apple, kale chips, Greek yogurt with mixed berries, raw almonds, kiwi

Drinks: all water except one coke zero.

Exercise: 55 minutes of Pure Barre:

What discouraged me today: Thinking too far ahead about goals.

Being home all day with my son (who is now our of preschool) and wanting to eat out of boredom.

Drinking a coke zero. :-/ This is still a constant battle for me, but I have gone from 5 or 6 a day to a few a week.

What inspired me today: Fitting into smaller workout clothes.

The way my husband looked at me this morning. 🙂


Some people decide to change their eating habits, or go on a diet, and immediately clean out their kitchens of unwanted food. I am not one of those people. I don’t do well with feeling deprived. Or even with change in general. What worked for me was something way more gradual. Small changes over time.

One by one, I started to try cleaner alternatives to what I was eating. I replaced one food at a time. Raw nut butters for regular brands. Cooking with coconut oil. Cleaner cereals without artificial ingredients for my child. I tried to purchase organic meats, milk, and veggies whenever I could. I slowly ADDED good stuff like fresh veggies. I switched from white pastas and breads to 100 percent whole wheat, and I cut way down on even that. I never told myself things were off limits. I simply begin to feel better making better choices. And the more good I added in the less unhealthy processed foods I had room for. The better I felt the more I noticed how bad I felt when I did eat crap. This was a process that lasted many months. A year later do I still eat complete crap sometimes? ABSOLUTELY! It will never be 100%. It will always be a process.

So what DO I eat? I lean towards a clean eating/real food philosophy. Here are some decent definitions of what I mean. Keep in mind I do not follow any rules as to what I can and cannot eat. I simply strive to make better, more informed choices.

Real Food:

Clean Eating:

My intent is not to tell my entire story with drugs (and eventually alcohol as well.) What I will say, is that over the course of the next 4 years or so I thought I hit bottom many times, but I always returned to the pills and alcohol. I put myself in danger, my family and child in danger, and innocent people in danger more times that I could even begin to count. I did things that should have landed me in jail. I lied, stole, and used people. I became a person that I despised. And so, I used and drank to cover up the pain of being who I had become.

Through addiction (and some relapses), I’ve found recovery. Through recovery, I’m learning how to live my own life and take care of myself. One day at a time.  My life in the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous has allowed me to learn a new way to live. I’ve learned that I don’t have to be a slave to addiction to anything, whether it’s food or drugs or alcohol, or even sex, to feel better. I can do healthy things. And that’s kind of where I am today. Learning to be healthy and not rely on an unhealthy outside “fix” to make me feel better.

This is why I started focusing on my health. About 9 months ago, while in recovery, I started learning about making healthy food choices and about wanting to put healthy stuff into my body instead of feeling deprived of not eating unhealthy things. I started exercising regularly. And by just making the simple change of cleaning up 80 percent of my diet, I lost nearly 50 lbs. I fell off course for a few months, and had to deal with a significant relapse with alcohol that landed me back in treatment a second time. But the experience helped give me the drive to really focus on my recovery and my health.

I take these things very seriously today, because it is literally life and death for me. I work a recovery program, attend meetings, work with a sponsor, and work on myself. I exercise 6 days a week, mostly with a local women’s boot camp and pure barre (which is totally nothing like any workout I thought I would ever love), and occasionally with running. I eat clean 80-90 percent of the time. I am currently following an eating plan designed by my fitness instructor for a few weeks, in an attempt to jump start weight loss and healthy eating again. I lost 7.5 lbs the first week I did this, and I’m coming to the end of the second week on what looks like a plateau weight wise, but my clothes are looser. I am definitely the fittest I have ever been, but I still have a ways to go. Recently I was able to move out of the “obese” BMI category into just being “overweight.” And while I try not to focus on the numbers, to me it’s about perspective. They will always be there. But I don’t obsess over them. I would like to lose another 25-30 lbs. But mostly, I’d like to get rid of the stubborn belly fat that seems to be the last place that I see changes. And I would like to be FIT and healthy. I have times where I have scale victories. I have times when I have setbacks as well. I have way more times that I have non scale related victories. And those are the ones that keep me moving forward.

And that’s my story. As for the rest of this blog, it will be about my journey as it is today, both the struggles and the successes. I hope you will find some common ground, some truth, and maybe a little inspiration. Every time I hear someone tell me I inspire them, I still have to resist the urge to turn around and look behind me. But I do know this, when people have shown me what THEY did to become healthy both in and out of recovery, I learn. When they simply tell me or give me rule to follow, I ignore. And that’s my ultimate goal. If I can inspire even one person in their journey of recovery from food or any other kind of addiction, then telling my story is worth it. We only keep what we have by giving it away.