Chipping Away at Distortions

I wrote this weekend while in the midst of a breakdown. I don’t feel ambivalent about it. I’m here for the first few baby steps toward getting myself righted from that lean in the wrong direction. I don’t often write when I’m having an episode where I feel… out of options. I can’t say I was suicidal because I wasn’t. I just wanted to fade away and not exist anymore or never have existed. I know the difference because my intrusive thoughts are specific and repetitive. This is part of having had obsessive compulsive disorder. I still have obsessive thoughts. Not neurosis, where one thinks things need to be even or neat. That isn’t OCD, where people cannot move thoughts out of their head and it causes them to behave in a compulsive manner. My doctor once said that I make everything neat on the outside so you can’t see how messy it is on the inside. That’s kind of the best way I can explain it. I took a picture this morning since I changed my hair, but also because I was feeling like I look much better when I’m not crying:

Not crying. Fully clothed.

What am I doing to help myself through the distorted thinking?

I’m identifying the thoughts that I’m having and matching them with a cognitive distortion. There’s actually a really helpful article I’ve used before and I have bookmarked as “first aid.” The Article Is: 10 Proven Methods for Fixing Cognitive Distortions. Using notes from when I was using Noom, but having learned them in therapy and in psych class, the most common distortions are:

  • All or nothing [Black\white] Thinking: classifying things in only 1 of 2 categories
  • Mind reading: predicting what others think or will think
  • Unhelpful rules: Adhering to strict rules that disturb progress
  • Justification: Linking two unrelated ideas to justify an idea
  • Delusional thinking: Convince yourself of something you don’t believe to justify decisions
  • Exaggerating thinking: Making a situation bigger than it is.

Now I identify what is inarguably true, and what is based in opinion about and reframe it. Obviously, my thoughts on either being fat or skinny are black and white thinking. I can be healthy without looking the way I think I should because that idea is an unhelpful rule. My thinking is exaggerated in that I gained weight, but my clothes actually do fit the same. I need to think on a scale of 1-100 how likely it is that I gain back over 40 pounds from a slight gain over a few weeks. That’s probably not over the 10’s in how realistic I’m being. I can also point out that my fear of regaining all of the weight is irrational since everyone tends to fluctuate especially women at certain times of the month [and it was that time last week]. I am trying to find different ways to say things to myself. I need to stop “shoulding” myself and work with “I would like to.” I’ve asked myself if I would be so hard on a friend if s/he came to me with similar issues and I know for a fact I would not. That’s a clear doubt standard and I need to be as kind or harsh to myself as I would be to someone else. Finally, I am asking myself: “how will these thoughts benefit me versus how will they harm me?” It is pretty easy to see that believing I won’t progress could hurt my progress more than help.

There are some other methods I intend to apply to this, but this is so far much of where I’ve gone with the most recent emotional reaction to my own thoughts.

What am I doing to help the situation right now?

My husband took my scale away and the battery out of it, so even when I found it, I can’t use it. This morning, I was not amused. I even took a picture because I was feeling lost without it.

My scale is noticeably missing.

I’m going to work through what happened and try to prevent future occurrences the best I can. I wanted to share that I’ve not given up or given in to my negative thinking. I definitely let myself go too far into the negative this time. I intend to use affirmations to help myself out.

  • I am proud of myself
  • I am doing my best
  • I am successful
  • I am strong
  • I choose to be happy
  • My thoughts become my reality
  • I am healthy will make healthy choices

I know people say it’s ok to break down once in awhile, just don’t stay there long. It’s true. I just didn’t want to have when I felt was a complete meltdown.

I’ll check in again soon. Thanks for reading!

Self Image Distorted

Let’s start out with a picture of myself immediately following an inexplicable weighing of myself at the END of the day. My daily weigh in is usually as soon as I get up and only then.

Crying? Yes. Naked? Also yes.

I’m uncomfortable showing this side of me because I see emotion as weakness. For me, to be perceived as having weakness is more embarrassing than being seen naked. I don’t want people to think they can hurt me and that’s how I prevent it. Something really upsetting must have happened. Someone must have said something really cruel that hit a nerve. It was me. My reaction upon seeing my weight on the scale, and I said it to myself quietly without thinking, was “You should just die.” Instantly, the tears flowed. I was unable to leave the room. I stepped into my closet and collapsed next to my clothes and just cried. Then, I decided I needed to capture that reaction; To pause that moment in time to analyze it later. I needed to pick it apart so I wouldn’t get emotional again.

I briefly spoke to my husband about why I was upset before laying down for the night. I asked him not to give me the usual “I think you’re great,” argument because this wasn’t about how I’m seen by anyone other than me and that I hated my body. I explained to him that this is the only thing I have control over in my life and I’m failing miserably. I woke up this morning, weighed again, cried again, and forced myself to go to the gym to work out. I was able to hold my composure for the workout and socialize a bit after. I searched around for someone I could talk to about feeling down, but I couldn’t even think about it without tears coming into my eyes. I started to feel like falling apart again, went out to break down in my car, and left. I got home and started to clean up and stepped on the scale again. I tried to reason with myself that it’s impossible to gain 6 lbs in a week, but the damage was done. My husband demanded I stop stepping on the scale to which I responded, “What if one time it isn’t bad?” I’ve mostly been okay since then, but I can’t stop thinking about it and I feel like I’m holding back a river of tears.

I have some eye puff going today.

If I were really trying as hard as I thought, I’d have less fat and I’d have more muscle. I saw my body composition from last weekend and I’d gained fat and lost muscle. My bathroom scale says I weigh five more pounds than I did when I had that weight/composition. I weigh 10 pounds more than I did 3 weeks ago and I gained an inch each on my waist and hip measurements. It’s pretty obvious that even though I’m counting calories and rarely deviating to beer or an ice cream bar, I’m not working hard enough. I don’t deserve to enjoy deviations anyway. I must not be pushing myself enough at the gym because I’m not as strong as I used to be. I’m completely consumed by choosing food, ignoring hunger, hating my body, and wondering why I just can’t get it right. Why isn’t anything working?

This is not normal. This isn’t healthy. I’m so obsessed with my physical appearance that I don’t care about any of the things I can do. I don’t know what to do to make myself stop. I’ve been obsessed with being thin as long as I can remember and I’ve never been thin enough. I’ve tried to shift my mind to what I can do. That’s why I ran my first half marathon. It’s why I started doing crossfit. It’s why I still try. It always falls back to knowing that my body won’t look the way I want because I don’t work hard enough at it.

I’m not fishing for compliments or sympathy. I know this is mental illness. I know why I don’t do emotions. I know that this is all distorted thinking. I even have a set of worksheets to help me out of this. I just needed to say something and put it out there that I’m not always ok, but I’ll be ok; That sometimes, I’m my own worst critic even when I’m pouring my whole self into something.

Thanks for reading.

Spinning, Twirling…Whatever.

My positive spin muscle has been tested lately. I can see the positive in the situations that I’m facing, but it doesn’t necessarily make the crappy things less real. It makes them a little more bearable.

After rupturing part of the plantar fascia on my left heel, I’m finally out of my soft cast. I’ve spent 8 days weaning out of the support of the walking boot. I see the doctor again in a couple of weeks. For the time being, I can’t do anything in which I would come up on the ball of my foot allowing my heel to leave the ground. I also can’t run, jump, or stretch my foot too aggressively. Gentle stretches it is, then. I’m getting really frustrated with not being able to run. I miss that time by myself outside. The positive spin on that is I don’t have to bundle up and brave the negative wind chills to get my run time. I’m also not in pain like I was prior to the rupture and the couple days after.

I mentally feel “not quite right”. My head is in the wrong place. I’m having trouble with eating right and I’ve gained 7 pounds and I’m being really hard on myself about it. I don’t like the way I look or feel in my clothes. I am discouraged. Why do I try so hard at being fit and healthy if I don’t look fit or healthy? I haven’t been yo-yo dieting or deviating from my plan for any sizable time and I still look like a fluffy suburban housewife. I hate that after 2 years of work, I don’t look the way I think a hard worker should look. I often want to give up on counting macros and calories and stop eating. I haven’t had energy for sitting to rest my foot some days. I try to make sure I get a healthy snack in when I start to feel lightheaded. I get enough calories and mostly in the right categories. I sneak in snacks when I feel overwhelmed. I’ve not given up and I’m sticking with my meal plans even though there’s a part of me that is discouraged.

It doesn’t help that I can’t do things at the gym because of the injury and my restrictions. I feel weak. I am often reminded that if I go against what I’m supposed to, I’m just delaying the healing or prolonging the injury. I’m mostly patient. I understand these things take time. I’m just not patient lately. I’ve dealt with injury in the past. I trained for a marathon fresh off of my right foot injury. It was kind of a disaster, but I finished that race with training help from a friend.

Knowing I finished that race is one reminder that pulls me through the frustration. I embraced the shitty situation and got through it. I improved from there and I look back at it as more of a starting block than a hurdle. Probably because I never figured out hurdles, but that is not my point. I pushed off from that point and I endured and only got better at running afterward.

I’m not a fan of starting over. This time, I’m not starting cold. I’m warming up and am going to go for my goals when I get the “go ahead.” No false starts from me. I actually do have experience in that. One good thing is that I’ve been an endurance athlete in my adult life. I know I have to pace myself. With a little patience and a lot of dedication, I’ll be back to myself [and hopefully better].

I think my point is that I haven’t given up on positivity. I turn my thoughts in that direction when I find myself getting negative. My attitude determines the outcome by ensuring that I look at the possibilities and see opportunities. Shitty stuff happens. Sometimes, I’m still going to get discouraged. The point is that I don’t give up when I feel that way. I keep pushing, I take ownership, and I focus on the goals. I still put in the work.

“Trust Hard Work”

That feeling like I’m in a snowglobe…

Don’t let this be sad for you because it isn’t for me. It’s more of a “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,” type of statement. I miss some things and I wonder what you love about the things you do for fitness.

I miss…

  • Putting on tactical clothing to go for a run and feeling like a ninja until I have to top it with lights and reflective gear so I don’t get run over. Perhaps I need a headband that says “Undercover,” lol.
  • Stepping up to a barbell at the gym and thinking “nope,” but then setting it down only to hoist it up and surprise myself with a successful lift.
  • Seeing my dog, Aurora go crazy when she sees me in my running shoes getting ready to head out the door for a run.
  • Tethering myself to her and taking her for a speedy run and trying so hard to get a good post run selfie with her.
  • Working at getting more than 15 double unders on the jump rope. I even miss laughing about how badly I whip myself with the rope attempting.
  • Dragging out the foam plyo box at the gym and then jumping more after I work out to try to be less scared of the wooden ones.
  • Running with my “yak tracks” attached to my shoes so I don’t slide and feeling like a badass for getting out and running in the elements. Especially in the snow when it swirls like I’m in a snowglobe.
  • Being able to squat. There are a lot of things that involve squatting that I didn’t appreciate before.
  • The trail; The courses I’ve made myself over the years. Meeting up with a friend to run a familiar course and chat.

It’s funny how little things can bring me such joy and being excited doing them again can help me out. I’m fortunate that this isn’t a forever thing, but even if it was, I’m finding my way despite the limitations.

Thanks for reading! What little things do you enjoy? Let me know by adding a comment!

This is Aurora the speedy running partner dog. Yes, that’s a red nosed pitbull.

Not a Screeching Halt as Much as a Detour

I’m not big on identifying myself with one label or another, though. The best term I’ve heard from a coach was before my first half marathon. Erik, the guy that wrote the training program said that I was now an “endurance athlete.” That stuck with me. Without the ability to use my body, I’d feel like I was losing part of my identity.

So what happened?

I mention it in a post in December. It was plantar fasciitis that I didn’t take seriously enough. I was referred to physical therapy a month after cortisone shot proved ineffective at pain relief. I still wasn’t allowed to run. I was also told not to jump and that if I came to a place where there was an elevator and stairs, to use the elevator. I had 3 sessions of physical therapy in the rearview and I was doing my exercises as prescribed. I went an entire day without pain on Sunday, which was a first in recent memory.

Monday, I was working out. Upon walking from my wall ball target to a barbell, I felt a POP in my heel. I planted my feet to pick up the bar, I felt too tender to fully plant my left heel. I finished the workout, went home, rested, and babied my foot. I browsed the internet, which no matter how I looked listed “ruptured plantar fascia” as the cause of the popping. Most sites said it took people from 3-12 weeks to recover and it required a cast and/or boot to heal. I sobbed. I talked to my husband about it and told him that I didn’t want to go backwards in progress and that I was already restless not being able to run. He told me that by not seeing the doctor, I was only delaying getting back to running and being fully healed to work out like I want to. I started to look up “how to work out with a broken foot,” and saved many articles I found.

I went back to the gym the next day and did the workout very scaled down, but worked really hard. After class, I told my coach I was pretty sure I ruptured my plantar fascia and was delaying seeing a doctor. His reaction was encouraging and he agreed that not seeing the doctor would only make me go on longer with scaling workouts and not being at full ability. He said we could work around a cast.

So, I called the podiatrist as soon as they opened and got in before work. I brought my boot with me and left it in the car hoping they wouldn’t need it. They did x-rays to rule out a broken bone, then the doctor came in to examine my foot. He told me that 1/3 of my plantar fascia had ruptured. He could feel in the bottom of my foot that the area that was once very tight was now too lax. He explained that it was possible this was a blessing in disguise because surgery would have meant clipping that third. He listed things not to do and encouraged me to to continue working out because he said he could tell it was something important to me. Then, someone came in to put the cast on, went out to my car for me to get the boot, and sent me on my way.

I’ve been working out each day since. I’ve had a lot of core work and I like to joke that my right leg is going to be super strong after all of this. I’d poured through the internet looking at different things to do without use of one leg, but I haven’t had to use any of those. The coaches at my gym have found ways to keep me moving and strong. I’m grateful that when I spoke up about it, I felt encouraged and positive about my outlook.

Things haven’t been absolutely positive all of the time. I’ve gotten mad that I can’t bear weight on my foot. I hated that I couldn’t pick up the bar. I’ve been more tightly wound because I’m sitting down so much to keep my foot up. Honestly, I’ve been really excited that I finally know this will be coming to an end soon. I have finally gotten a peek at the finish line ahead despite having to pace myself to get there. I’m working on things to still get me to some goals while I put a couple others on hold. Maybe, I’ll finally get that first pull up. Maybe I’ll get famous. The odds are about the same at this point. (lol). I absolutely believe that my faith in God and that my positivity are propelling me forward in this and that there’s certainly a lesson to be learned by me from all of this. Probably more than one lesson. One good one is that pain is more than just for letting us know we’re human and we’re alive. It’s probably a sign that something needs to change.

When I started writing this, I had something so different in mind. This is kind of just what came from my heart. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!

My little soft cast.
Of course I had to decorate the boot to my personal style.

Thoughts on Noom

I joined Noom at the end of September 2020. I weighed 179 pounds and set a goal to lose 34 pounds to end up at 145 pounds on my 5′ 6″ frame. Today, 11 January 2021, I weigh 169 pounds. Using the app, before the holidays, I weighed 163 pounds. I was still using the app in between. I just gained 6 pounds on the scale and most of it was fat. *I do body composition every 2 weeks with a store called Complete Nutrition.

The Basics

From the start, there were daily tasks in the app.

  • Weigh myself. I was asked to weigh myself daily at the same time. The intent was to take away the stigma of the scale.
  • Track my food. There was a calorie budget based on information given to the app upon signing up. My budget was 1200 calories per day with half of my workout calories added back if I logged a workout. The food diary was divided into red, yellow, and green foods. The basis for the color assignments was “caloric density,” or the volume of the foods in relationship to the calories they contained.
  • Read lessons based on the psychological aspect of weight loss. Each day, there was a set of lessons to read. Often, there was a larger theme to the lesson that went on for a week. Lessons included how to read food labels, how to deal with cravings, and other helpful things to assist with weight loss. I actually took notes and did some of my own research to help the information sink in. This part is basically dialectical behavioral therapy.
  • Take mini quizzes. These were set up to try to help the information sink in that had been learned. They tend to remind me of that often in the introduction to the quizzes.
  • Step Tracker and Fitness Encouragement: The app can automatically adjust steps and is helpful for people who are not regularly physically active. I did not find most of the advice particularly helpful since I was already active 6 days a week prior to getting the app.

A Goal Specialist and a Support Group with a Group Leader

The goal specialist uses private messages within the app to chat back and forth with a person individually. I would have a quick chat with her weekly and set small goals to help with my bigger goal. She would send me articles with lessons from Noom.

The support group was like a social feed dedicated to people on the app. I think we were matched based on where we were in the lesson plans. Some people posted daily, and some rarely. The lessons would encourage us to share things with the group, but I rarely did. Our group leader would post most weekdays with something that was to be interacted with. It was often a question posed like, “How do you plan to deal with challenges over the holidays?” Sometimes, she would post a helpful motivational photo along with her question.

Self Renewing Membership and Unhelpful Customer Service

Now I’ll share the reason I’m not on Noom anymore. I told my goal specialist I didn’t want to renew when the time came up [in May]. After my 7 day trial, I was charged $169 for 7 months that would automatically renew at the same cost and time frame. My request was sent and answered with a full refund and cancellation. I lost access to my group and my specialist, but could still view my lessons and my food diary. Confused, I got in touch with their customer service and explained the mistake. They apologized, but said I had to sign back up for the program at a discount for my troubles and they would cancel the automatic renewal immediately afterward. I signed up for a month, emailed to remind them to turn off automatic renewal, and received a refund and cancellation again. Upon telling them that this was a mistake, I declined to repeat signup.

My Conclusion

The program/application is somewhat costly, especially since the price is variable and not published anywhere. My cost was $24 a month, but I’ve known people to pay $20 per month. I found the lessons to be informative and helpful to me. There were some parts of the lessons that were annoying due to their repetition and attempts to be humorous. They use the word “nerd” often and themes from popular culture as attempts to be relevant or use entertainment to maintain attention. The cringe or eye roll factor at that and some typographical errors can take away from the lesson at hand. I didn’t feel like my Goal Specialist and I had a particularly meaningful relationship and I didn’t feel at all accountable to the smaller goals she gave me. I disagreed with the food journal colors and I felt like my calorie goal was too low. I tried to adjust my goals and Noom did not adjust my calories in the app. My hunger contributed to some of my slips back into eating binges. I got tired of supplementing with protein shakes, which could be anywhere from a green, yellow, or red food depending on the brand and flavor. Caloric density could be helpful in understanding which foods were more filling, but the colors used led me to feel “guilt” for eating red foods despite the necessity to eat them for nutrition. An example of similar foods with very different colors is grapes vs raisins. 100 calories of grapes is a green food and 100 calories of raisins is a red food. This is because the water content in the grapes makes them more filling than their dried counterpart. While this is helpful information, the system was flawed in other areas. They didn’t have the ability to enter and divide recipes and nor fully accurate listings of some foods.I have experienced a small amount of fat loss while using the program, but I was not 100% following it after about 6 weeks. I think Noom could work for people who have tried a lot of restrictive diets and need a brand new starting point. It might even help someone with disordered eating. It helped me with my relationship with food and my goal is no longer a number on the scale thanks to Noom, but the app wasn’t enough to keep me long term. I think it was helpful in stress management, but weight loss had proven to be complicated for the app to help me achieve.

Thanks for reading! I intend to continue tracking my food so I can ensure I’m getting the fuel I need for my fat loss and for my workouts. I wasn’t asked by Noom or anyone else to write this. I wanted to be open about my journey just as I always have been. Have you tried Noom? Other programs?

Carrots, Peppers, and Grapes are “Green” Foods
Naan is “Red,” but so is hummus.

Eleven Days to 40

I turn 40 on January 5th. I planned to run a 40 day streak leading to my birthday. That didn’t happen thanks to my foot tendons and nerves. I intended to do 40 “firsts” over the course of the year. My lofty plans included trying to jump out of an airplane with a parachute, considering another marathon, and my first trip to Germany.

I’m not worried about turning 40. In fact, this is the most “myself” I’ve ever been in my life. I’m the most assertive and comfortable in my skin than I can recall being in the entirety of my existence. I’m physically healthy and I’m working on my mental health daily.

Even so, I’ve felt the creep of my mental illness this week. I am fighting the ice cold waves of depression trying to flow into the flames of positivity I’ve been building up. I still can’t do a pull up despite working at it regularly. I get injuries from running every time I start gaining on my target speed. I love running too much to give it up. I hate not be able to run and release my stress. I don’t have time to train for a marathon even if I wanted to try again. I’m not good enough at crossfit to keep trying. Even if I enjoy doing it, my coaches and peers will never respect me because I can’t do all the movements [like freaking pull ups]. I did a shitty job competing in crossfit despite giving it my all. Other people who have been at it for much less time are surpassing me in strength and ability. I’ll never lose these last 15 pounds of fat and I’ll probably gain all the weight I’ve lost back anyway. I can be real with people and kind and they’ll turn around and deceive me anyway. I can’t make friends. I’m not exactly mother or wife of the year and being around everyone all of the time can really wear at me. That makes me feel guilty.

I’ve been learning positive affirmations. I posted supportive statements in the places I spend the most time. It’s hard not to roll my eyes at them when I’m not feeling well, but I can still start to believe the things I read. I feel pretty good about life most of the time, but negativity intrudes when I’m simply enjoying some quiet time or doing something mundane. I don’t want other people to feel like I do, so I radiate the positive when I’m feeling that way. If I find something that makes me smile, I instantly share it. I’m thanking people for saying things that make me feel good or especially laugh. I don’t feel as low as I have on my lows in the past. Maybe it’s the newer meds. Could be that I’m working on my my mental health more. Perhaps it’s a hybrid of those things.

This year, I experienced new things. This was my first pandemic and quarantine. I started and finished the One Year Bible for the first time. I’ve totaled 40 pounds lost since 2019 and I weigh as much as I did when I got married. I kept up with my fitness during the lockdowns and became close to my friends through that shared situation. I started working on my nutrition from a psychological stand and made a positive impact on not only my weight, but my attitude. I competed in my first crossfit style competition. I got to run a competitive half marathon and barely missed my best time, which is an accomplishment. I discovered the few close friends I have always support me even when the enemy is in my head. My husband is really supportive even when I’m being a brat [and I can be a total brat]. There are people who tell me I inspire them or somehow bring them joy and that’s all I can hope for by working hard and being positive. I’m finding beauty in the details that I took for granted. I’m not unhappy. The fact that some of these things are directly in opposition of one another doesn’t make either untrue. It makes it clear that the impermanent things of this life are unimportant in the larger picture. I yearn for greatness and miss the goodness of things. I have to work on that to reap more positivity from life.

Thanks for reading! I’ve been marinating on this for a few days and I couldn’t get how I would put all of these things into a readable length. Here’s a photo of me holding the gallon water bottle my husband gifted me for Christmas. Now I don’t need to refill my 32oz four times….

A gallon of water is heavy, guys…

Oh well, I like lemons

I had a nagging pain in my feet for months that I refused to give a name It was worse in my left foot than in my right. I was well aware that I had symptoms of plantar fasciitis. I tried stretches for my feet and legs. I used kinesiology tape, compression, soaking, and special massage tools for my legs and feet. I reduced my running mileage. I discussed it with the chiropractor as it ebbed and flowed with my half marathon training. My chiropractor suggested physical therapy. It started becoming too painful to walk at the end of the day, so I tolerated it a little longer. I finally called the podiatrist that took care of my 2016 injury and they found me a same day appointment.

The doctor ordered x-rays for my feet to ensure the pain wasn’t from a stress fracture. The pain was atypical for plantar fasciitis in that it increased through the day. Then, he offered me a few options to help me. His first option was to put my foot into a soft cast and use a boot for 6 weeks to allow it to “calm down” in there. He was clear that my ability to exercise would be limited to nothing on my feet. He also offered physical therapy, to which I was less excited about since I’d already been using therapy exercises. The option I went with was a cortisone shot into the most painful part of my heel. After discussing the risks, including rupturing the fascia, I asked for the shot. It was really unpleasant and that was how I described the pain to him as he performed the procedure.

I can’t run for at least 4 weeks. I miss the little trips the running took me on. I miss running with my dog. I’m sad that I lost progress that I made in my speed. I’m letting those feelings happen and pass. There isn’t anything wrong with having those emotions. Fortunately, I’ve been learning about that lately.

I have focused on what I can do with my body and what can be improved upon while I wait. I had pain during my workouts with a sore heel. I’ve been grateful that I have a coach who understood and explained to me what to do to deal with the injury and avoid aggravation. I’ve chosen to be optimistic about how I can improve with my fitness in the meantime.

I could really have let this deter me from being excited about the opportunity. I am pretty sure if running was my only sport, I would not have been as positive in this situation. There’s no way to know for sure because this is my reality.

Thanks for reading! I hope you are finding ways to enjoy the holidays. I hope to share some progress from my nutrition and psychological changes I’ve been doing in the near future.

A little humor regarding my feet.

Positivity Pathway

It seems like a platitude. Complaining is contagious. Negative draws negative. Fortunately enough, sharing positivity breeds positivity. The whole “your vibe attracts your tribe,” is mostly true. Although, I like to think that most people are drawn to positive people regardless of their own mindset. I want to be known and then remembered for positivity. I’m ensuring I reinforce my positive thoughts so those are the thoughts that grow and flourish within me.

I’ve been using Noom for 60 days. I lost weight and inches. I have yet to compare my most recent body composition numbers for fat versus muscle comparisons. I’ve taken photos of my progress and I didn’t see the difference in my body. My midsection has changed over the year. My clothes fit loose and I’ve started getting rid of things that are a couple sizes too big. I have a way to go, but my hard work has shown through my progress.

All three of those are me. I don’t see much change.
Natural Waist, Belly Button, Largest part of my hips, weight in pounds.

There’s proof I’ve changed over the last 60 days. I’m making positive changes toward my health and wellness in addition to losing fat. I’ve slipped up a few times. Technically the numbers could be better if I hadn’t backtracked. A lot of things could be different, though. Things don’t change based on “shoulda, coulda, woulda”. They change with taking steps toward my goal and staying the course. I am better equipped to deal with my setbacks than I was at the start. I’m also more aware of where to look for support and insight.

My lessons with Noom have given me tools to deal with thought distortions in this process. The thoughts that hit me and tell me I won’t be able to sustain changing permanently. My thoughts say “I deserve to eat this thing I want.” Sometimes, I think that I’ll just gain it all back anyway. I worry that I won’t make my goal and that my effort is all for nothing. None of that is true right now and likely ever. There is no way for me to know what my results will be, but the only way to know is to stay with it and see it through.

I feel that writing things helps me put them into action.

Not every day is going to be one where I do everything I should. That doesn’t mean that the bad days are the undoing of the whole journey. I just have to treat it like an opportunity to review what went wrong and what needs to happen to minimize the chances of it happening again.

Thanks for reading! I hope this helps you somehow along your own journey through life, fitness, or whatever. I’ve started the running streak and I have a nutrition “challenge” approaching, so I’ll probably talk about that next time.

Constant [Work In] Progress

The blog is called “Jenn’s Journey,” guys. I’ve been making progress since the start, I’ve had some digressions along the way. I’ve had some clear misses, but a lot more to celebrate.

Today, I hit 40 pounds lost on the scale. I actually lost 40 pounds of fat already, but due to muscle gain, it didn’t clearly say so on my bathroom scale. I can’t wait to have another “In Body” this week to tell me how my progress is on that.

I’m still using Noom. I enjoy it for help with eating well and managing the psychological aspect of weight loss. I study the daily lessons and I’m getting useful information from it. I’ve dealt with my cravings better and found ways to eat better while still eating whatever I want. Drawbacks within the app exist. The food tracking feature isn’t friendly to multi serving recipes and some foods are listed incorrectly. It also isn’t built around someone who is already athletic, so some lessons aren’t helpful because they revolve around adding physical activity to a sedentary lifestyle. I’ve utilized My Fitness Pal’s recipe feature to figure out calories for meals like chilli from scratch.

I haven’t been running as much since the half marathon. That’s not unusual in November of each year. I start back up at Thanksgiving for the holiday streak. I run a mile a day from Thanksgiving to New Years Day and end up stretching it to my January 5th birthday. Last year, that stretch was 39 days and I was turning 39, so I did it for that. This year, the stretch is 40 days. Obviously, I need to do it again. I ran a 5k last week that was a PR on my Garmin. I am really happy to see that my speed is improving even if my distance will be pulled back for a while. The streak keeps me running and getting fresh air; albeit very cold air.

I’ve been working out at the gym [Be Strong] nearly every day. I finally sat down with a coach and discussed how to address the things I want to improve upon. With a few key points and some direction, I have put more time into it each day and have improved in a couple areas. Some of it is simply spending a little extra time on warming up. Then, there are pull ups. I swear it’s a bad word. That hasn’t stopped me from working on being able to hang from the bar longer than before and working on the strength I need to do the movement.

I’m quite nervous about the competition that I signed up for. It happens in less than two weeks. I know I can do the workouts, but I’ve never had to do these things competitively. How do I know I won’t spaz out and mess everything up? Ugh. Mortified in front of people I know and some that I respect. That’s meant to be funny, so don’t read into it.

Anyway, pray for me. Wish me luck. Advise me with experience. Thanks for reading! I go back to work tomorrow for the first time since March. So many new things!!!