Ho Ho Holidays NOT Oh No Holidays!

IMG_6290Pounds Lost: 65

Pounds To Go: 103

 

Holidays are upon us, and for years that has meant that healthy eating is thrown out the window with the promise of starting anew in the New Year. A black cloud of cheat days looms and is seemingly unavoidable this time of year. HOWEVER… does it have to be that way? Do we have to sacrifice the progress we are  making on ourselves to participate in the holidays? Is it really easier to just have a cheat day than stay on track? The truth rests within your commitment and conviction to being on a healthy journey in the first place! You don’t have to give up on yourself for the rest of December in order to celebrate the holidays! No judgment, if you choose to, but please place a drop of awareness on the fact that it is a choice. Staying true to your healthy ways may be a challenge, but it is not impossible! Here are some tips on how to stay true to your transformation through the holidays:

Be Honest With Your Family and Friends: This tip may be the hardest to follow, but I promise it is well worth it! If your family and friends don’t know about your health changing journey, then you need to tell them! Let them know about the hard work you are doing on yourself. Show them how committed you are by making them aware! Give them a holiday event heads up if you will, that you will be sticking to your eating plan and workouts throughout the holidays, and then prove it to them!!! You never know, you may be inspiring one of your family members or friends to do the same.

Eat BEFORE You Go: Never go to a holiday function hungry! You are setting yourself up for failure and you may even eat more than ever intended. Don’t fast all day so that you have calories saved up for the special meal! Don’t do it! Eat before you go, especially if you  know that the options that align with your healthy diet path are limited.

Ask to Bring Something of Your Own: This goes back to that whole honesty thing. If you know that Granny’s Christmas Eve Buffet doesn’t include items that would fit within your eating plan, then ask if it would be ok if you brought something for yourself. You aren’t putting anyone out, you are coming prepared and if you stick to the items you bring, you will ensure your own success!

Talk and Socialize: This may be the biggest tip of them all!! If you occupy your time with socializing and really talking with people, they won’t even notice if you aren’t eating the same things they are! Better yet, you won’t be able to stuff your face with unhealthy options because you will be too busy talking. Holidays are all about spending time with the ones you love, right? So spend the time with them!

Create Alternatives to Your Favorites: Personally, I am following a Keto diet, which may seem scary when it comes to the holidays since most dishes and treats are carb and sugar centric, but really, there are alternatives! Take your favorite dishes and rework them so that they fit within your plan. For example, there are amazing low-carb Keto friendly mixes and recipes for cookies, cakes, and holiday treats, you just have to do a little research and make them your way. See those cookies pictured above… totally Keto!!

Bottom line is, being on a journey of health does not mean that you have to avoid the holidays! Embrace the joy of each event and don’t stress about how you sticking to your plan will be received by everyone else. People who love you want you to be healthy! Never be afraid to being that person who stays healthy through the holidays,  you will thank yourself for being ahead of the resolution game come the New Year!

 

XOXO,

Fatfree Mommy

O Christmas Tree

IMG_4974Week: Oh forget about the week!

Pounds Lost: 61.6

Pounds To Go: 106.4

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend Everyone!!! Oh Mylanta, we are in it, we are in the Christmas season and nothing could bring me more joy!!! Well, maybe not nothing, but seriously, I LOVE this time of year!!! Yep, I’m that person who puts on Christmas music as soon as it is on the radio (yeah, that was November 1st), I watch all the Hallmark Channel Christmas movies… more than once, and we decorate our tree before December! We decorated today in fact! Every year we drive to Disney World (only an hour away, it’s not that bad) and plunk down our pennies for new Disney ornaments to put on our tree. Yes we are a Disney family, but that is not entirely why our tree has a Disney theme every year. The why behind it is something that not many people know, but I feel the need to share. You see, weight loss isn’t just about letting go of pounds, it is also about letting go of emotional weight, things that you keep inside for no other reason than it is scary to let it out. It’s scary to own your sadness, to own the not so nice parts, but I promise owning it makes weight loss easier!

Every year, since I was 8 years old, my Dad took me to Disney Wold at the end of the summer. It was our trip. It was no coincidence that this annual trip across the country started the year my parents divorced, but that’s not this story. The trip was always amazing, full of laughter, love, and sunshine. At the end of the trip each year, we would go to the Disney’s Days of Christmas Shoppe and pick out our new tree ornament for the upcoming Christmas. The rule was, to get one, but let’s be real that NEVER actually happened. I always got at least two! Nevertheless, it was our tradition. This tradition carried into adulthood, and even my baby girl got to experience the Christmas Shoppe with Grandpa before her first Christmas. This is why our tree has a Disney theme. Getting a new ornament each year is a tradition many families have I’m sure, but ours must come from Disney World. I hold on tightly to any tradition that has him in it, I have to. I miss him so much every day, and especially at this time of year.

For the first few years after he died, I went a little ornament crazy. Last year I think we got 12 for our family of 4… but this year, for the first year ever, I only got 1. We came home with 4 ornaments, one for each of us! It was a Christmas miracle! No, not really. It’s just because I’m losing emotional weight along with fatty tissue. I may be crying as I write this, but I don’t feel the need to cover my sadness with food or in this case extra ornaments. I am taking the time to feel, to process, and to go on with my day. I have come to respect my sadness as a part of what makes me strong. I don’t have to hide it, or try to get over it, it’s there, but it doesn’t define me. Trying to hide it is what led Madame Scale to new heights in the first place.

So, there you have it, the reason behind our Disney themed Christmas tree. A little more sad than you may have expected, but that’s ok. Besides, isn’t our tree beautiful?? I’ll be over here just staring at it with my kiddos if you need me.

XOXO,

FatFree Mommy

A Treat Without Tricks!

45101469_1925525800858869_8663967901058859008_nWeek: #4ish closer to 5

Pounds Lost: 53.2

Pounds To Go: 112.8

Happy Halloween!!!! Things have been so busy around here with birthdays, football, cheerleading, getting ready for our next race-cation, all of it… but I could NOT let today go by without at least sharing my Keto treat!!! Here it is, it’s called Choc Zero, and I get mine off of good ol’ Amazon! It is Keto friendly and Nutella adjacent, so when a sweet craving tries to kick me off of my healthy wagon, I just have one of these and whammo bammo, good to go!

I have a SERIOUS sweet tooth that is in charge of my emotional eating!! A bad day, in the past, could quite easily result in the devouring of an entire small cake, not even kidding. So, I really have to be careful when it comes to Halloween or any event with candy or really anything with sugar. Except Black Licorice… there will NEVER be a day bad enough to make me turn to Black Licorice!! However, with all other sweets, I just don’t have an “I’m full” or “Just a taste” switch. I will just blindly consume until any emotional pain or anxiety has been replaced by physical pain. A true story that I have lived through more than I would ever care to admit, but this year, I have a plan!!

My plan is two-fold, first I have these choczero bars, which are delicious and satisfying. Second, involves my kids. No, I am not keeping them from Trick-or-Treating just to keep candy out of the house, I’m not a monster!! What I am doing, is helping them make healthier choices too!! Instead of coming home with a bag-o-candy and having whatever they want until they themselves feel ill, they are allowed 1. Yes, 1 piece of candy or treat of their choice! Every day when they come home from school, they can have another. Just 1 treat each day, until it is either gone, or they stop asking for it. We started this last year, and it actually works. By November’s end they actually stop asking, and I just donate the rest. Easy peasy!! They aren’t over-indulging. They aren’t learning bad behaviors with sweets. They aren’t making me crazy with sugar-high behaviors, and bonus, I don’t feel the urge to stuff my face with Almond Joy! Everyone wins!!

So, on this candy centric feasting holiday, make sure you have a plan! Halloween does not have to mean diet death by sugar rush. Whatever you do, I wish you all a very Happy and Safe (maybe even Healthy) Halloween!!!

 

XOXO,

FatFree Mommy

It’s Not All About You, Madame Scale!

44118611_1899446603466789_7438876179781648384_nWeek: #2

Pounds Lost: 50

Pounds To Go: 116

These last 90 days of the year are about so much more than numbers on the scale. Sure, kickstarting my healthy journey and losing weight is a priority and definitely at the forefront of life, but there’s more to it than just eating the right foods and exercising! Wait, what?? There’s more to it?? Ummm yup! Here’s the thing, I can lose weight like it’s nobody’s business. In fact, if there was a way to be a professional weight loser, I’m pretty sure I would have been a CEO, but there has to be something said for the fact that I always put it back on and then some. What wasn’t changing?

Dealing with issues such as my Dad’s death or when I was drowning in stress by being a part of an organization which I didn’t align with from a morality standpoint, are just pieces of a puzzle that when all put together made a sign that said my attitude towards life needed attention. I was so focused on getting things done and working myself to exhaustion to create happiness, that I forgot to just look around me and notice the happy, notice things I was grateful for in any given day. That was, until I started the 90 day challenge on October 1st. Part of the challenge is to write down 10 things that I am grateful for every day, and they have to be specific to that day. Sure, I can sit down and say that I am thankful for my children, for my husband, for a home, for waking up at all, and I AM grateful for all of those things and people, but it had to be something different.

On the first day, I was grateful for a morning hug and kiss from my man cub, typically I ask for them, but this time he just went for it! It was an amazing way to start my day, and that day I actually took the time to recognize my gratitude for that moment. Yesterday, I was grateful for my daughter joining me during a kettle bell workout. I didn’t ask her to do it with me, she just noticed me exercising and wanted to join in. Today I was grateful for our entire family’s ability to NOT get black fabric dye on our kitchen table while making our Halloween costumes. Seriously, a four year old boy was involved and the table came out unscathed, it was a big deal!! You get the point, the gratefulness needs to be specific to that day.  Anyhow, by knowing that your goal is to write 10 things that you are grateful for in your day,  throughout your day you will be looking at life through eyes of gratitude.

OH MYLANTA, has that been a stress reliever! I’m not trying to say that I am somehow stress-free or that stressful situations or negative situations don’t happen. Hi, I have two children with two very different schedules… stress happens! What I am saying, is that when I go to bed, I’m recalling what I am grateful for instead of making to-do lists or worrying about what I didn’t get done. Then magic happens… I actually sleep! I sleep and I wake up rested, ready for the day! I am more focused in general which allows me to stay on track food wise. My muscles are actually rested, and ready for their next workout. Everything changes! It’s no secret that decreased stress and better sleep can result in more effective weight loss, everything is connected. There are literally hundreds of studies on the relationships between stress, sleep, and weight loss. Human bodies are complex and reactionary. If we don’t take the time to acknowledge that there is something more to being healthy than diet and exercise, then we are doing ourselves a disservice. We aren’t really transforming. We are just momentarily changing the path of the rollercoaster.

Sorry Madame Scale, this time it’s not all about you! My transformation adventure is a total transformation, and life is so much better for it. I believe in my heart that this time is truly different, because I am looking at life differently.  I, like a bazillion other women my age, have read Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, and it has helped me change my outlook tremendously. In it, she says, You must choose to be happy, grateful, and fulfilled. If you  make that choice every single day, regardless of where you are or what’s happening, you will be happy. She’s so right!!! So, here’s to making that choice every single day! Looking at life through gratitude instead of stress and worry, and coming out the other side in a better state of mind, and with a healthier body too!

XOXO,

FatFree Mommy

Everyone Needs An S

IMG_5508Week: #1

Pounds Lost: 44

Pounds To Go: 122

Oh MYLANTA! I have written and unwritten this particular blog post in my head about 100 times! However, since today is the 7 year ANNIVERSARY of the day that I started this whole online diary, today seemed like THE DAY to get back to it! I took it as a sign when I  heard “I am here” at the Y yesterday. Ok, let’s be real, it is on my workout playlist and I hear it about every 3 days, so chances of that particular sign actually hitting me were pretty damn good! If you haven’t heard that song, you need to, really, go listen to it now, I’ll be here with a tissue when you’re done.

“I am here, I am here. I’ve already seen the bottom, so there’s nothing to fear”… ooh how those words speak to me! Preach Pink Preach!!  When it comes to the whole weight-loss adventure, sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I fail, and to be real, I had been failing for quite a while. I let myself fail. I let myself hold onto things that weren’t taking my life in a desired direction. I surrounded myself with stressors that at the time felt like success. In truth, it was just… cover the kiddo eyes… bullshit! So, I let it go! Yes, just call me Elsa! I let it go, and just how she gets all sparkly and fabulous, I am becoming sparkly and fabulous too!!

It took a Facebook message from a dear friend, we will call her S because she is humble, kind, modest, and really has no idea that I am even writing this. Anyhow, I was on the struggle bus, we are talking front seat greeting all other passengers type of struggle bus. I had let myself climb Madame Scale back to my heaviest pregnancy weight but, there was no baby inside to help me! I had started on yet another weight loss journey and was starting to see success, but I was so deep into the shame of where I had let myself get to that I couldn’t be proud of me. So, I reached out to her because she had an amazing weight loss adventure of her own. One that she has actually kept off for years now. Sure, she is finding new struggles with age and injury, but for the most part she has kept it off in a bigger way than I have ever been able, so BRAVO to her!! Anyhow,  in her message back to me she said the following, which I think EVERYONE needs to hear/read:

Good morning!! Happy Thursday to you, my sweet friend!!! First…Congratulations!! You’re amazing and working so hard to reach your goals and being your best self! Please know, there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about any part of your journey! Obviously we were in some kind of pain or somehow feeling less than or unworthy. I don’t think of it as I let myself go there…. it’s almost like I was surviving something and needed to be protected and that’s how I protected myself. I found value outside of myself. One day that changed. As I’m sure it did for you. Embrace that. Embrace that which allowed you to say, enough, I’m enough, I’ve always been enough. Whatever your was weighing you down has been lifted. The wait is over and you’re over the right. Celebrate you! Celebrate your success! Celebrate you’re enough! Remember where you started this part of your story and why you needed to be where you were. The rest of it can be released. You don’t need to carry it. It won’t serve any purpose for you on your way to your next chapter! Stay excited! You’re doing it! I’m so, so happy and proud of you! And, mostly, I love you, too!!

It has been months since she sent that message, but I read it every now and then when my Super Mommy powers are running on low-battery. The hard truth is, when YOU are ready for a way of eating or any health plan to work for you, it will! Your mind has to be in the right place to let go of what is holding you back. You have to be ready to shed that protection, because in reality, it isn’t protecting you from ANYTHING. It is only shielding you from living your best life. Don’t let it!! Having the freedom to really dive back into what it means to be ME is amazing! Heck, I have already lost 44 pounds!! So, here’s to the start of a new health adventure. Taking the last 90 days of the year by the horns and really committing to starting an adventure leading to the healthiest version of me. It will take a while to get to my goal, but I’m in for the long haul… See you next week!!

XOXO,

FatFree Mommy

 

Thankful Beyond Words

Thankful Beyond WordsWeek: #5

Pounds Lost: 20

Pounds To Go: 188

Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone!!! Words just cannot describe how thankful I am for our little family and for the friends who we shared this holiday with! I cooked all day, laughed all night, and it was they type of holiday gathering I have always envisioned. I even indulged just a little! I really was so proud of myself though! I took what I wanted without fear, because this year, for the first time in a long time, I was ok with letting go for the day.

Being on a weight loss journey can come with its fair share of guilt. Which is a mindset that I don’t particularly want to subscribe to any more. Ok, you had a piece of pie, all of Santa’s elves will not lose their left pinky finger if you eat a piece of pie! The world will not come to an end, and most importantly, neither will your health journey. Should you have pie every day and be ok with it, probably not if your goal is weight loss, but on a holiday where it is customary to partake in a slice, go for a small one without regrets!  That’s just what I did on Thursday, and it really did feel good.

Friday I felt the effects of gluten in my system and a twinge of dehydration, but other than that, it was a continuation of an amazing day full of thanks. Kids played, tree was decorated, leftovers were consumed, and I was back on track! All in all, it was a Thanksgiving I will look back on with joy. I needed one of those, and I really am thankful beyond words to have it in my memory bank!

 

The trick this Holiday season, is to let go of the tricks. You have to start out by believing that a day is just a day and that tomorrow is a new one. Ruining your holiday with the constant thoughts of food guilt or depravity will take away from the happy moments with family and friends. Focusing on the human interactions of the day will in turn help curb the urge to seriously over-indulge, for the simple reason that your meal will last longer. Unless you are absolutely gross, you will not talk or laugh and chew at the same time. That talking, that laughing, will put time gaps between bites, thus making you eat a little slower which will help you recognize when you are full. Win-Win! Besides, these holidays are supposed to be about the blessings of family and friends in your life, right?! It’s time to embrace the spirit of the holidays! So put down that fork and start talking, start laughing, engage in a conversation! I promise, you’ll be glad you did!

XOXO,

Fat-Free Mommy

Goals That Make You Curse!

IMG_0591Week: #2

Total Pounds Lost: 17

Pounds to Go: 191

It’s been a long time, 40 years in fact, since an  American woman has crossed the NYC Marathon finish-line 1st! This year, it was the awesome Shalane Flanagan!!! She is nothing short of amazing, inspiring, motivating… all of the ___ing words that mean she is definitely up on a pedestal in my mind.  Fun fact, we are the same age, she is actually a few months older, which of course made the good ‘ol mind wheels turn… why is age EVER an excuse for not setting a big goal or for achieving ANYTHING physical? Sure there are certain roadblocks and changes that come with age, but does that really matter? Or is it more the grit and determination to reach your goals that will allow for the defiance of age?

Now, I am not saying that at the ripe age of 35 (I can still say that for another month, so I will) I am going to suddenly begin my olympic career, because I just don’t have the desire or the time it would take to actually make that happen…  but, I am saying that age shouldn’t be a hard stop when it comes to any fitness goal. Can age make reaching a goal harder? Perhaps, but that doesn’t mean that the goal isn’t worth it or that it is impossible!

Watching Shalene cross that finish-line and say “F*CK Yeah” inspired a moment of clarity… Is my weight-loss goal something that is going to make me say “F*CK Yeah” WHEN I reach it?? Ummm… duh! Of course it is! I mean, I am no stranger to the F bomb. I watched a Pink interview the other day, where she said that the F word was her favorite curse word, and I whole heartedly agree. It’s so versatile, and in this case, is the ultimate expression of pride, joy, and accomplishment! Not only do I want it bad enough, but I already know what it takes to get there. Is it a bit harder this time around? Yeah, I’m older, things on the inside are a changing, but that isn’t going to stop me! I want that feeling that Shalane had today, more than any cupcake, block of cheese, or spoonful of cookie butter!

So, here’s to Shalane, and all of the goals that we have that will make us say “F*CK Yeah” WHEN we achieve them!!

XOXO,

FatFree Mommy

Are they getting the BEST of you? OR only what is LEFT of you?

 

IMG_0246

Week: #1

 

Pounds Lost: 15

Pounds To Go: 193

 

Well, here we are… the beginning… again… I feel like somewhat of a fraud since starting this journey 5 years ago… but… that changes… NOW! It’s time to head down a true path of health and healing that will lead to a true life change, and it all started with this simple, to be honest tear jerking, question… “Are they getting the best of you? Or just what’s left of you?” Oh man, just typing those words I get choked up, because the truth is, my family, my friends, anyone who I come into contact with really, was only getting what was left.

 

Much has changed since my last entry to this little online diary of mine. I now run a business or two, have two thriving kiddos, and have put back on every single pound that I had lost. All of those words of being the last time as a Fattty McFatMom were, well, excuse my language, bullshit. I’m sorry, but there really is no other word for it. I had the absolute best of intentions in losing weight and keeping it off, but when the times got rough and truly devastatingly rough, I went down a spiral that I could not be rescued from. The truth is, I had to rescue myself. It took hearing that question to really make me realize that I was cheating myself, and everyone around me, out of … me! I was tired ALL THE TIME. Literally, I would be ready for a nap within an hour or two of even waking up. I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to play. I just didn’t. It was more than being lazy, it was an active choice to not be present, to not be a true part of  my own life. That’s not fair. Not to me, not to my little royals, not to anyone.

So, there I was, at my worst physically, mentally, emotionally, all the ___allys really, and I  heard that question “Are they getting the best of you or just what is left of you?”  At that point, all I could do was cry because they were just getting what was left, and that really wasn’t much at all. Change was needed.

Here we will start, at the beginning. A new program,  a new life changing path ahead, and a new focus. I have even created an accountability Facebook Group!!! Oh you know it’s real when a Facebook Group has been created!! That’s right, it’s go time!!! Already, I feel more present, more able, and more determined to give my best instead of just what is left. I am excited to be on this new journey! I’m back!

 

XOXO,

FatFree Mommy

The Dark(est) Side

HalfMarathon1thumbWeek: #10

Pounds Lost: 8

Pounds to Go: 122

Oh Boy! Another runDisney racecation in the books! Over the weekend, I took on the Inaugural Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon, and let me tell you it was the darkest half of my life! Not because I had to wake up at 1:45am to get to the start on time, and not because the theme was the villainous dark side of Star Wars, but because it was my slowest and heaviest half marathon ever!

You know, research has shown that for every pound you weigh, you put about 4 pounds of pressure on your joints, especially knees and ankles. So, doing the math, I ran this past weekend with an additional 488 pounds of pressure! That’s in excess of the pounds of pressure my frame should have, but I won’t do the entire math equation for you because even the Fat-Free Mommy has to have some modesty! With all that added pressure, of course I would be slower than desired, snails pace even, and I own it! I didn’t go into the race expecting some running angel miracle of speed despite my size. I am this heavy because of bad choices, bad choices have consequences, and instead of a time-out, my consequence was slug like slowness.

So there I was, jalking along the course, not knowing a single character, because I have never seen a Star Wars movie, I know blasphemy, but it’s the truth. Stopping for characters wasn’t going to slow me down, that’s for sure, but my lack of speed still ignited a certain level of anxiety. If you don’t meet the pace requirements, you get swept, end of story. If you fall behind the sweepers, you don’t get to cross the finish line, you typically still get a medal, but really, who wants a medal they didn’t earn? Ok, a lot of people, but I am NOT one of them. For the first time, in 24 half marathons, I was terrified of being swept. Looking over my shoulder or around the corner probably wasted more energy than it was worth, but nevertheless my head was on a swivel. Then, by mile 11 I was surrounded by people who appeared to be in pain, with defeated looks on their faces. You can do it, and Are you ok? are words I would call out as I passed. One woman in particular that I saw, had rubbed her thighs so raw with the friction of movement that she was bleeding, to her I offered my emergency bottle of Aquaphor. At that moment it dawned on me, that even though I was much slower than I wanted to be, and much much larger than I wanted to be, I still wasn’t injured or defeated. I pushed myself, but not to the point of injury or pain, and I finished ahead of the sweepers by a couple of miles. I was ok. I did it. Sure, I was sore and exhausted in the two days that followed, but nothing that a little rest couldn’t cure.

Beyond anything, this weekend got me thinking… Yes, I am on a long journey back to health, but it could be worse. A lot worse. I have the means and the knowledge I need to be my own success story, and really that is all I need. No matter what, just like in the race, if I keep pushing forward, I will reach my goal line!

 

XOXO, 

Fat-Free Mommy