Friday, August 28, 2015

When the world tells you to give up, hope whispers to try again

There is nothing that I've ever wanted more in this life than to feel and be accepted for who I am. I just didn't realize that I had to accept me FIRST before anyone else would be able to.

This journey that I've been on with my husband (for what seems like a very long time) has opened me up to so many new experiences that I never thought I'd be able to come to see. We've tried over the years to lose weight, or live a healthier life style - fad diets, even just simply eating clean. And I think that for us - we lost momentum because we were holding onto too much baggage - and not believing in ourselves enough to continue the journey.

I truly believe that fear is what makes people feel incapable of change. Fear of failure, fear of judgement, fear of the change itself. We are so encoded to believe that if we try something and fail - that somehow it defines us. That if we change, we'll lose our jobs, lose respect, lose friends, even ourselves. And that's just silly. If changing ourselves for the better equals losing people or respect from people - are they really worth keeping in your life? Negativity begets negativity. Surrounding yourself with people who lift you up, and help you believe in yourself - those are the people to keep close.

This is why I am so incredibly lucky to have my husband by my side on this journey. If it wasn't for his support and his love - I wouldn't have the strength to keep pushing forward every day. He inspires me in all he does, because he does everything to keep moving forward towards his goals in life. We sometimes stumble, sometimes we fail - but we always are there to pick each other up again.

We've been keeping a photo log of our progress since starting this in March. I shared my "before and after" last week. This week I'm sharing my husbands. He has made tremendous leaps towards his goal. 44 lbs down. The change in him is remarkable. This first picture is of him in April.

This next picture is one we took this past week. One of the things that has been keeping us motivated is fitting into clothes we haven't been able to wear.

There are nights where we don't want to go to the gym. There are nights when we want to say screw it and go get fast food because we're too tired to cook. There are nights where we just want to play video games and/or sleep. But we fight - we fight for each other, we fight for ourselves. He won't let me fall - I won't let him. Keeping the other healthy is what motivates us to keep pushing. I know he doesn't want to see me kill myself slowly with food, and complacent behavior. I don't want to see him have a heart attack because I'm feeding him unhealthy food, and I don't get out there with him to exercise. But lets face it - for most of the past 10 years that we've been together - I've been a foot in the grave. And I've been taking BJ with me by all the heavy unhealthy food I've been cooking for him.

Tonight we had another expedition to Wegmans. We seem to spend 5 million dollars there every time we shop - but the quality and selection of food is well worth it. We bought a huge 2 lbs bag of lobster tail meat. We bought a plank of salmon. We bought cat fish, and Tilapia. We loaded our cart with healthy fish and meats and we mentally prepared our meals for the week. I love our shopping trips together because we discuss the new inventive things we want to try to make. We experiment with new foods and try to make cooking as interesting as possible.

I love our time together where we plan life and living.

I don't think I've ever felt so content and happy.

Another week at it's end, another weekend to prepare healthy nutritious food, another weekend to beast out at the gym. This is living. This is partnership. I wouldn't have life any other way.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Starting to see change - also Low Carb Cheese Cake!

I was filtering through old pictures this morning when I came across one from April - when BJ and I first started walking at the complex down the street - and started eating Low Carb. I sat in front of my computer in shock. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I cried. It was both a cry out of humiliation for allowing myself to get so far off a healthy course, and a cry of happiness that I can finally see CHANGE in myself. And it's not just the physical, but everything about me is changing. My body, my mind, my emotional self, my outlook on life, and people. I cried. I was happy, happy that I knew I was doing something right - that I'm on the right path - that ** I ** accomplished this. Me. Not a surgery that altered my stomach and intestines. Not Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. Me. My hard work, and dedication to MYSELF - it's paying off. And here is a side by side...

April 2015:

August 2015:

I immediately took to face book to share my astonishment... and this is what I posted:

Sunday 8-23 8:30am Holy shit... you know, I have been saying to BJ that I don't "feel" any different - but have noticed some changes since March that tell me we're doing things right. Like fitting into smaller bras - fitting into clothes that I haven't been able to wear in almost 2 years - fitting into a booth at a restaurant - wearing a choker that I bought in 1997 that I couldn't wear for nearly a decade because my neck got so fat I couldn't wear jewelry. Or the fact that I have virtually NO PAIN in my left knee anymore (the knee that went on me in March that landed me in the hospital) - the fact that I can sleep better, I can walk without limping - I can go up the stairs without needing to stop to catch my breath. But this... I was looking at pictures, and this was shocking to me. The first picture was taken in April on one of our walks at the complex - when we first started living Low Carb and exercising. The other is just a week or two ago. The difference in my face is astounding. You don't realize how far off the path you go until you can't walk, can't breathe, can't live. And this WAS my reality. It actually has me in tears to see this... because I've believed for so long that I was not worth saving, that I was not worth fighting for. But now I fight for myself. I fight because I AM worth it. And I am so much happier for it.

I. Did. This. And I'm not done. I have much, MUCH further to go - but I can get there. One day at a time. I'm not focused on the scale. I'm not stressing myself out because I occasionally slip up and have something I'm "not supposed to". I'm not perfect - I'm human. Sometimes you want something deep fried. The key is have that be a very rare exception - not the rule of every day eating.

When we first started - I was mortified to go to the gym. Yes, yes, Plant Fitness spouts that it is the "Judgment free zone" - but just as I am human - so is everyone else. Even I check out the other obese people at the gym. I also check out all the "fit" people at the gym. I look to see what other people are doing. I'm sure people look at me and wonder what it is I'm doing. I've gotten past that fear of public judgment. I go in - I do my thing - I go home. Or rather, limp to my truck and try to hoist my ass into the seat because I just spent 2 hours beating the hell out of every muscle in my body. But, I'm doing it. And I'm not ashamed of it. I'm not ashamed that my arms are hugely fat, and I could possibly lift off if I flap hard enough. I'm not ashamed that my thighs rub together, or that my legs bow slightly. I'm not ashamed that when I squat I can't get my ass down to my heels each time because - IT HURTS. I'm not ashamed that I still jiggle when I walk. I'm PROUD that I'm taking care of me. I'm proud that I can go in to that gym 4-5 days a week and know that I am doing something to benefit MYSELF. I'm not losing weight to impress others, or to make people like me. I'm not getting healthy because someone else told me to. *** I *** decided that I am worth fighting for. And God Damn it - I will fight for me.

I've spent far too long feeling like I wasn't worthy of saving - and I've finally come to a point in my life where I know that I am. And it's alarming that there are so many people who feel this same way - that they aren't worth fighting for. So what if you've over weight? Just do it. Get up, go - don't care what other people may or may not be thinking. What others think of us - it's not our business. What is our business is how we see ourselves - how we talk to ourselves. Don't believe everything that you think. Don't believe everything you say to yourself. You ARE worth fighting for. I AM worth fighting for. And we should be treating ourselves as such.

When I started this - it was so daunting. I thought - how am I ever going to reach my goal? BJ has far less to lose than I do. But you know what? I decided - I'm just going to do what I can do. So, I walked. I walked every night with BJ. We walked for a half hour to start, then 45 minutes - then it was over an hour. We'd kick around a plastic ball and chase it in the parking lot. We'd throw around a Frisbee. We MOVED. And the more I moved - the more I wanted to move. The more I wanted to move - the more I looked forward to getting home so I could go walking with my husband. It's relaxing, and freeing, and it gave us a chance to not only work on ourselves - but built a stronger relationship together. I have his back, he has mine. We lift each other up. We both have days when we feel like this is never going to amount to anything. But we always have each other to keep us on course.

We have a very strong marriage. Not a perfect marriage - but a strong one. It's important to have you time, but it's equally important to do things in a partnership. BJ really pushes himself at the gym. He is always researching new techniques and ways to work different muscle groups. I've been TERRIFIED to attempt decline presses. I was scared that I would fall off the decline bench and my big fat butt would be rolling around on the floor at the gym trying to regain balance. That "fear of judgment" took over my desire to keep pushing forward. Saturday - I MADE myself do it. I was terrified. I didn't think my ab muscles would be strong enough to pull myself back up into a sitting position. Hell, I didn't think my legs would be strong enough to hold my ass in place. But you know what? I am stronger than I think, and I proved that to myself. I declined benched 50 lbs 3 sets 5 reps. It's a start. And I'm proud of that. BJ does these new things, and he knows that I'll eventually get frustrated that he's doing something new without me, and I'll force myself to do it, too. He doesn't push me - he knows that with time - I will get the courage to do it too. I am braver than I think.

We love doing things that inspires the other. It helps to keep us pushing forward. And like with all things - we love to cook together. We invent new recipes. We discover new foods and new ingredients. This weekend was no different. We did our shopping Saturday night - and today we spent our recovery day prepping our food for the week. One thing that we really haven't had in a very long time is anything "Sweet". Everything has been mainly protein based. But this weekend we wanted a treat. So we decided to wing it with a low carb sugar free cheese cake.

Drooling yet? I can't describe in mere words how ridiculously good this is. And very low carb. In fact, our recipe comes to 2 net carbs per slice - and this makes 8 slices. With all the research we've been doing, we've accumulated many ingredients that we've bought both at specialty stores and on line - with little or zero idea what to do with them. Ok, so we're hoarders. But we figured - why can't we substitute all the "Bad" things for low carb and sugar free options?

So, while we were at dinner at Vino's Italian Grill last night (I had lemon butter salmon - omg so good) we wrote down a recipe together to try that night. We had no idea until today whether the recipe turned out or not. Honestly, when it came out of the oven I had little hope. It puffed up like a soufflé and I was sure it was going to taste that way.

It. Is. Divine. Good grief, I never expected it to be so good. And this is how we did it:

3 Packages Philadelphia cream cheese - 12 net carbs
2 Eggs - 1 carb
1/4 cup sugar free maple flavor syrup - 1 net carb
2 TBSP sugar free caramel coffee syrup - 0 carbs
3 TBSP Swerve sweetener - 0 carbs
1 TBSP Vanilla - 2 net carbs
Total net carbs: 16 net carbs between 8 slices = 2 net carbs per slice.

We didn't feel the need to have a crust. So we just sprayed a glass baking dish, poured the batter in - put it in a 325 degree oven for 45 minutes - and VOILA! Cheese cake.

Now, the carb count does go up if you use the strawberry topping and whipped cream. The whipped cream is 1 carb for 1 TBSP - and the berries are sliced, and put in a pot with 1 TBSPN Truvia sugar - and boiled for about 10 minutes until it makes a thicker syrup. That will be another 2 Carbs per TBSPN. But good grief... it sure does make it naughty. And delicious.

So, even while eating healthy, eating clean, exercising, and taking care of my mental self - we have time for cheese cake. You can eat well, and healthy, if you're willing to put the time and effort (trial & error!) into it. You get out of life what you put into your life. Use the best ingredients, and you'll be pleasantly surprised with the finished product.

Bon appetite!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The good, bad, and ugly of being fat at the gym

Anyone who has known me from childhood will confirm that: I have always hated the gym. Well, I hated phys-ed. It was the place that nightmares came from from me. Being an adult with full control over my body, and health - going to the gym is now a conscience choice I make for myself - but the little dirty secrets that made the gym suck 25 years ago and still now - remain the same.

It's no surprise when a woman complains about boob sweat. Boob sweat happens, it's just part of the deal. Being fat with enormous water balloons strapped to your chest with a tight fitting sports bra that leaks fat saddle bags out the sides results in boob sweat times infinity. In fact, the boob sweat issue is so bad, that I can't even take my own sports bra off when I get home. It has literally become part of my skin by the end of the night, and my poor husband has to deal with jaws of life style removal after we spend an hour or two at the gym.

Gross. But not as gross as the TMI I about to share. Like I said, this is the good, bad, and ugly of being fat at the gym.

Vagina. Sweat.

Yep. I said it. I went there. The horrifying thing that no woman on the planet wants to address because... well, ew. But it's a reality. It happens. There is nothing attractive or even remotely enticing about sweaty groin areas. Men wonder why most women avoid the gym during their period? It's not just about the cramps. But the lengths that we go to to control groin sweat? My God. Baby powder, soft paper towels, baby wash clothes - anything that will prevent a flood gate of vagina sweat will be used while at the gym when you are fat. This is part of life if you want to avoid painful sweat rashes because your thighs rub together.

Then there is the gas issue. Gyms already smell like, well, a gym... add to that the aroma of whatever type of taco that was recently eaten before going to the gym. Not so pleasant for people in the near proximity. But, as a fellow fat girl - I can confirm - we are a gassy bunch. All people toot. I toot. A lot. Just sayin'. I will, however, hold it in against my better judgement to prevent innocent bystanders from the napalm that is brewing.

Tonight was no different. I was sweating like a pig. My knees were screaming with every squat and every dead lift. I farted every time I did a squat. But that is gym life. I may have cried tonight. A lot. While doing dead lifts. But I got my sweaty hands on that bar and I hoisted that thing like a rag doll. 3 sets of 15.

So, if all these horrifying things happen when you go to the gym while you're fat - it begs to question - is it really that obese people are just "lazy" and don't "want" to change their life like so many people ascertain? Or is it perhaps this reality of what gym life is scares them - because deep down, no one wants to sweat, or smell like a refried bean factory while squatting, or have that looming feeling that people are starring at them for sweating and breathing heavy like they've just run a 5k. So I'm just going to lay it out there.

These things happen. And it's perfectly ok. If you're 100 lbs or 300 lbs. We all have insecurities about what is happening to us physically when we're at the gym. I sweat, I fart, I cry, I breath heavy, and I cuss. A lot. But you know what matters the most while I'm at the gym? The fact that I'm there, and I feel GOOD about myself. I feel GOOD when I leave the gym, despite the sore knees, the abs cramps, the sweaty nether regions. I feel good about me, and what I am accomplishing. So if my horrifying reality stories inspire even one person to go to the gym despite all these "fears" - then it's worth it to lay it out there.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Food updates

I've been keeping a food journal the past couple of weeks to monitor the things that BJ and I are eating. I think keeping a log helps to keep yourself in check to avoid "bad" foods. We've been experimenting with so many different types of recipes - I've fallen way behind on keeping my blog up to date on the latest happenings.

Low Carb "Cheese" Taco's

We really don't miss much from the bread world. But occasionally we like to have something that resembles an old favorite. Taco's are no exception. We found a way to make taco shells by using shredded cheese - and that's it! We used Zesty Nacho Taco cheese fine shreds, and placed them on a parchment lined plate - spread the cheese out evenly into a 5-6 inch circle - making sure no obvious holes are showing. Place the plate in the microwave for 45 seconds or until the cheese turns a golden brown - remove, and immediately take the parchment paper and fold in half, but leave enough space between the two sides of the cheese taco for the filling. Hold it there for a few seconds to allow the cheese to firm back up - and you will end up with a very crispy cheesy result. These are fantastic, and take only minutes. We loaded ours up with grass fed taco meat, shredded iceburg lettuce, salsa, and a little more shredded cheese. Divine!

Low Carb Coconut Waffles

I do not, generally, like things made with coconut flour - or coconut anything, really. It has a grainy texture that I don't find pleasant in food. These waffles, however, are the exception. They taste just like waffles, and are completely satisfying. We make these every weekend on Saturday.

4 TBSPN Melted butter
6 Eggs
3 TBSPN Swerve sweetener (Do not substitute 3 TBSPN Truvia - it makes it way too sweet - cut down on the amount of sugar if using a different type of sweetener)
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/3 Cup Coconut Flour

< We have a ninja blender, so that is what we use to mix this up - but any blender should do. Combine eggs and melted butter in blender first. Make sure it is completely incorporated. Next, add the Swerve, salt, and baking powder, blend again. Lastly, add the coconut flour - and blend. Allow mixture to stand for a few minutes to allow the coconut flour to thicken the mixture. If it is too thick and not pourable, add a little bit of water to thin out and mix in with a spoon.

Heat your waffle iron, and spray with coconut spray or your preferred spray. Laddle in enough mixture to fill the wells, and close lid. This will make approximately 4-5 waffles per batch.

Lobster topped Salmon with Pecan Crumble

We love fish - we love seafood - we basically love almost everything. But lately we've been on a huge seafood / fish kick that isn't dying down anytime soon. This here is a Lobster creamcheese mixture atop Salmon with a Pecan crumble. It sounds complicated - but it's not. I have the attention span of a gnat, so if I can do this - anyone can.

Crumble topping:
2 TBSPN Almond flour
2 TBSPN Coconut flour
1 TBSPN Truvia brown sugar
4 ounces pecans, chopped
6 TBSPN Melted butter

Place all ingredients in a bowl, and mix, until crumble forms. Place in refrigerator to set up.

Lobster cream cheese mixture:
8 Ounces cream cheese
6 ounces Lobster (or Crab) meat
Old bay seasoning - 1 tsp
Oregano - 1 tsp
Dill - 1 tsp
Salt - pinch

Place cream cheese in microwave safe bowl, and soften for a few seconds on high. Add in the Lobster (or crab) meat, along with seasoning. Mix well.

We bought a plank of salmon and cut it up into individual portions - you can do that or you can cook the plank. Pat dry the salmon, and evenly spread the seafood cream cheese mixture over the salmon with a spatula. Sprinkle the Pecan Crumble over top. Bake in a 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. You must pre-heat the oven before putting the salmon in - otherwise the center will not cook.

So, these are some of the things we've been eating the past few weeks, keeping us satisfied and on track. More to come, we're always cooking something!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Pecan crumble crusted Trout with roasted Broccoli

BJ and I have been experimenting with all sorts of recipes these past few months. We're finding ways to make foods we love healthier, and low carb by using natural sugar substitutes. We love fish, and we especially love trout. Today we made a pecan crumble trout that was completely healthy, low carb, and so very delicious.

We first took two heads of broccoli and cut off all the "trees", and separated them into smaller parts, and layered them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet - drizzled with EVOO, pepper, salt, and garlic powder. 425 Degree oven - roasted for about 15 minutes.

While this cooked, I made the crumble for the trout by taking 6 ounces of pecans, and crushed them up a little with a roll pin. Melted 4 ounces of butter, and mixed in 2 TBSP Almond Meal, 2 TBSP Coconut flour, and 1 TBSP Truvia Brown Sugar. I mixed this well until little crumbles developed. Then I added the pecans. There is just something completely divine about pecans with brown sugar.

Once the broccoli was par cooked (you can smell the garlic, it is sooo delicious smelling) I laid the fillets on top of the broccoli - skin side down. With a spoon, I scooped some of the pecan mixture onto each fillet, then pressed it down into the fish with my finger tips. Back in the oven 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

Not only is this completely filling, but it's satisfyingly comforting in every way. You feel like you're having a cheat from the slight sweetness from the crumble. I only ended up using maybe half of the crumble mixture I made. The other half I put in the refrigerator.

I don't know why I get into modes where I think that eating healthy is "hard" or "inconvenient". Not being able to walk is hard and inconvenient. Finding alternatives is easy, especially with the help of the internet. You can turn virtually any recipes into whatever you need - whether it's counting calories, or eating strictly paleo, or gluten free - or in our case, low carb / high fat. I would say that BJ is more Low Carb / High Fat where I try to remain as Paleo as I can while going with him on this low carb journey.

I mean, we even get to have pizza still while eating low carb. It's all about finding a healthier way of having the things you enjoy - and in moderation.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Finding belief in myself

I don't give up easily. I never have. I have a fight in me that is tremendous, and powerful. I beat the proverbial horse to death, just to make sure I've given it every go I can. But when something is dead and gone - it's gone. It's time to move on.

It's no big secret that my job makes me miserable. One thing I am terrible at is "letting go" of things - whether I have power over them or not. I take personal responsibility and personal investment in every single thing that happens - because I feel that if I don't do these things, I have somehow failed. It was a struggle, but I've finally learned how to let go - at least, at my job.

I turned in my notice. Unfortunately I made the decision to leave my job the exact same day another person in our office gave her two week notice. Our GM was beside himself with that blow - it (almost) derailed my decision to turn in mine. I waited five days, rethought my plan, and came up with a fair solution. I gave me notice - with enough time for the company to find someone to replace me. Someone I can train. My last "day" is October 2nd.

I was terrified - I may have cried (a lot) - but in the end I had to do what was best for me - for my health - for my marriage. This job was changing me into someone I didn't like. It was draining every ounce of kindness from me. I have been bitter, and jaded, frustrated, angry, and hostile. I didn't like who I was becoming. And I know that this is not "it" for me. I know my purpose on this planet is not to sell metal roofing the rest of my life. I have so much more to give.

The past few weeks after giving my notice have been freeing. I've let things go... I've stopped making everything my personal responsibility. I come in, I do my job, I leave. And that is how a non-management position should be. I stepped down as inside sales manager for a very specific reason. I like being a worker bee.

The change I've seen in myself since making this decision, and holding my ground is I am happier. I'm not as volatile. I am sleeping. I have energy and desire to do things. I'm going to the gym 4-5 nights a week. I've lost 25 lbs. I like the direction I am going, and I feel better about my future. I don't feel stuck, or in a rut - I just feel excited to start a new chapter in my life - with my husband.

I was told that there is a different affect to me, that I'm more approachable. I hope that is the case since the past 6 years I've been a pretty angry person. I don't like being angry all the time. Who does? It's exhausting. I've found an inner peace that I didn't know I had anymore. The more I accept the things I can not change - the happier I have become. I've let go of a lot of old resentment, and I'm learning to put the "not my problem" issues back on the people it belongs with.

I've lived most of my life thinking that there was something incredibly wrong with me. I believed I was stupid, worthless, ugly, and that I wouldn't amount to anything. I've believed that I was lazy, and incompetent, self absorbed, and ignorant. It's no wonder I've had such a hard time with good self talk when you have all these negatives running around your brain. I am none of these things. I'm no saint, and I'm no Einstein - but I'm certainly a good person with a great deal of knowledge. I have a lot to offer, now I'm just searching for the right opportunity to share my experiences and my knowledge base in the right setting. I'm meant to do more than sell metal roofing.

My husband and I have been really focused on our health since my leg scare a few months ago. Nothing has ever terrified me more than the prospect of losing my ability to walk. So I walk. I walk a lot. I lift weights. I'm building muscle in my body. I'm pushing myself to limits. I'm using hurtful words and situations from my past as fuel to fight for what I want in my life.

25 LBS down, I'm now benching 70 lbs and dead lifting 70 lbs. When I first started I could barely lift the bar without weight on it. Progress.

Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.

I am strong. I am brave. I will succeed.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Brighter Days

I think the therapy is helping. I've been going for counseling for over a month, and not only do I like my therapist - but through the work she has me doing I'm starting to see myself, and other people, in a different light. I didn't realize how much shit and baggage I really had. I thought my baggage stemmed from this one event that has seemingly surrounded and suffocated my entire being: Surviving sexual abuse. But, my scars and my conditioning is so much deeper than this one event.

In some ways I think I still have a 10 year old trapped inside of me, desperately wanting acceptance and love. Some days, it's a 15 year old who wants to be understood but refuses to let anyone in. All these things, all this bullshit baggage - these things have made me who and what I am. And I'm (slowly) beginning to believe for once in my life that, I am NOT a bad person. I'm a slightly broken person who is trying to make the best of bad situations, and live as happily and as healthily as possible.

I'm pushing myself to come out of this titanium bunker I've built around myself. I'm very introverted and shy - which most people don't believe because normally I'm pretty loud, opinionated, and snarky. But that's a facade for what is happening on the inside. I'm TERRIFIED of people. I'm terrified of being judged, so to create a distraction from that, I make jokes and sarcastic comments about myself or situations. Unfortunately, I've become really good at being "the bitch" of the party. If people only knew how so not true that is. I didn't excel at theater for no good reason. I've become a master at putting on masks to fit situations and people.

One of the things that is very hard for me to do still is good self talk. I think we all have those days where we get out of bed and think "Fuck this shit, I'm too (insert negative self image here) to go outside of the house today". I know I have those days often. I have days where I refuse to look in the mirror because I know I won't be happy with what I see. But, those thoughts are toxic. You don't realize how toxic until you are physically unable to look in the mirror and FORCE yourself to say something positive about you. I struggle with this. While I may be coming to the realization that I'm not a bad person, that I didn't deserve the things I lived through - I still have trouble acknowledging that while I may be over weight - I am by no means defined by a number on a scale. In my heart I know this to be true. But my mind... it goes to very dark places like: You're too fat to be married. You're too fat to find another job that makes you less miserable. You're fat because you're weak. You are ugly. You are worthless. You are nothing.

Spending nearly 20 years of my life repeating those thoughts to myself is a hard cycle to break. And the biggest fear I have, and perhaps any of us have, is failure. Failure to lose weight. Failure to make something of myself. Failure to be a good person, or good friend, or good daughter. I haven't failed at these things. Success isn't a straight line from the bottom up. It's zig zags, and stumbles, and making mistakes to learn from. I haven't failed. I've grown.

Exercise. Eating healthier. Laughing. Meditating. Gardening. Playing with my cats. Spending time with my husband. Making new friends. Letting go of old hurts and grudges. These are the things that get me through each day. The more I forgive, the less weighed down I feel. The more I accept as truth, the less the "I can't" thoughts appear.

It's a slow process. I don't think I will ever be a person who won't need help getting passed my past. But I do think I will become a stronger person by over coming these things that have so long been an anchor keeping me at bay.

So, my point is... don't be so hard on yourself, and realize that everyone has those "Fuck this shit" days. It's how we over come those moments that define us as people. We can either allow them to swallow us whole - or we can dust ourselves off, and keep going.

I know there is more to my story than these negative things. What will your story be?