Tuesday, January 27, 2015

5, 10, 30, 40...

The weight creeps on so slowly that you really just don't notice it.

Going to grad school in 2010, I was very overweight and miserable. The year before had been challenging and the weight had settled in around 215 pounds.  I didn't realize it until I saw pictures of myself of just how bad it was. I looked uncomfortable and I didn't even recognize myself. It was rough.

Once I got into the rhythm of grad school, working, and a social life, I started to get into a really good routine; making all my meals and working out every day. It was awesome! I started noticing that my pants were a little looser and the rolls deflated enough to wear a t-shirt or sweater rather than the layers of cardigans and scarves. People commented about how good I looked, even those that saw me daily, and when I made a trip home for a week, I knew people saw me differently. I had lost roughly 45 pounds and it felt so great to be in a routine and still be able to go out, be social, eat feta cheese bread, and have drinks.

After graduation, I moved to South Carolina and struggled to maintain my weight. I wasn't the happiest there and baked A LOT as my sort of meditation but it all balanced because I wasn't as social and I was also still working out. (P.S. I love Planet Fitness and am sad they aren't closer to me!) So I maintained weight in SC for a year and was proud of myself.

Cue to moving back to Portland, in, what I thought was a temporary layover while job searching, but ended up being a permanent placement. Within the first three months home, I lost my mom, found my amazing boyfriend, and tried to get to know Portland again. There was a whole lot of food involved. Oh, so much food. There's the comfort food when I was down, the fun food carts that I just "had" to try, and all of the times I wanted to go to happy hour and didn't even think about going for a walk afterwards. This cycle continued for, well, that brings us to today. I've found a bit more balance and my boyfriend is incredibly loving despite any size I may be at and we both encourage each other to be healthier now that we live together.

Working to find the balance doesn't equate to consistency for me. My calories jump wildly on nights when we want to go out or if there are treats in the office (my ultimate downfall!) and then I continue to eat normally for the remainder of the day. These little highs and lows wouldn't be as big of a deal if I actually did physical activity. Like, my 2,000 FitBit steps per day are not going to get me back to a healthy weight, so today I joined a gym!

It felt indulgent; too expensive. It felt like I was being had, like it was a sales gimmick. I still worry I'll fail miserably. But the roughly $600 per year that this will cost is an investment in my health. I pay $800 for insurance for my car so perhaps I should invest in the body that I will have to live with for the next 50 or so years. Wise idea, right?

So now, I dig out all my faded and musty exercise gear and attempt to not be self-conscious as I huff and puff on the treadmill or awkwardly row myself to a nice, decent sweat. Perhaps I'll even track things on here as a bit of accountability? We'll see.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Review & Quicky 2015 Goals

Oh, hello! Feels foreign to even be blogging again after a seriously long hiatus. I constantly go back and fourth between wanting to blog and then being like "what is the point?" Honestly, I want to have updates and force myself to share all the fun and in-between things happening in my life but then I think too much about it and another week, month goes by.

For now, the updates are that I recently moved in with my boyfriend, I started a new job in November, and plan to join a gym next month. 

Goals for 2015 include reading a book every month, trying out a new restaurant weekly, losing the 25 pounds that I have packed on since moving back to Portland in 2013, and getting my teeth fixed up (terrifying isn't even a good enough word for this one).

I found this AWESOME opportunity for getting my book reading on: Blogging for Books. It combines my want to blog and my want to read more books all into one great package. I love reading but it takes some serious plot/premise to get me interested enough to start so while I may have tons of books (still in boxes, mind you), this gives me a great opportunity to try newer books that I see people talking about.

My first review is for Andie Mitchell's "It Was Me All Along," which you just may have heard of by now.  Her blog is also pretty great. Below is my review:
"I had seen this book around the internets and was intrigued as to why it was so anticipated. I checked out a few blurbs here and there and figured it was just another blogger writing about their healthy living experiences. Upon being given the option to read the book for review, I immediately picked this one because I wanted to be "in" on what everyone was talking about. That's how I roll--I get annoyed that everyone is talking about something that I know nothing about and then I become one of those people. Simple.

Andie discusses in great detail her childhood and growing up with a unhealthy dependence and addiction to food. It isn't just an "I eat crap" kind of thing; it is something much larger than that. Being a chunky kid myself, and also struggling with my weight as an adult, I understood her emotional reaction to reach out for food in times of great stress or great joy. It became a safe zone for her, when things such as family, friends, or life were uncertain. It became something that represented a way to control the chaos and also celebrate the successes. Her study abroad to Italy was where things shifted and her time after that represented what I think a lot of people struggle with: the constant worry of calories, minutes of exercise, and reading through and comparing every nutritional label. It is so exhausting and I think Andie really captures that internal struggle and dialogue that happens when you start to get on the right path but are terrified of back sliding.

I appreciated her honesty in sharing her thoughts and the reality that everything is not perfect just because you lose the weight. I wish she would have included more on her relationships--more insight into how her weight affected her friendships and romantic relationships--but i understand that this was much more about her perception of the world and how she was dealing with everything. I would recommend this reading for anyone who is struggling to create a healthier lifestyle and needs to hear that it isn't going to be easy but that little steps make a big difference."

Please note: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

{Almost} Wordless Wednesday

Currently addicted to: Instagram
Currently missing: the rain and cool temperatures
Currently wanting: new clothes
Currently needing: to get in better shape
Currently excited for: trip to San Francisco & Oakland next week!
Currently hoping for: good news on the job front
Currently grateful for: people who give me great support and love