My Health and Weight Struggle

I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time, not only to really explain my story, but also because I keep seeing more and more women who are hurting themselves in the way that I hurt myself and my body. I struggled to sit down and write it, however, because I want to get it right. I feel like I could write for hours but I have to fit what’s most important into one post all while managing to explain myself well. But there’s no time like the present, right? If I’ve learned anything from Beachbody coaching it’s that you’ll never be “ready,” you just have to put yourself out there and go for it.

If you’ve been reading for a while then you’re probably familiar with my story. Like many American women I’ve grown up hating my body. I always felt uncomfortable, out of place and overweight no matter what size I’ve been. I believe this self-hatred is a product of our society – of what we see in media but most importantly what we see from the women around us; the negative self-talk, the pride and envy we base our value on, the emphasis on clothes and looks, and the omnipresent feeling of never being good enough.

When I graduated college back in 2010 I decided I was over feeling like the chubby girl – I was going to take control of my weight, and I did. I started off eating less than 1,000 calories a day and I dropped weight, fast. After a few months of this I leveled out at around 1,200 a day, and after a year I decided to “maintain” at 1400 a day. I kept that up for the rest of law school. And you know what? I thought I was doing everything right. I obsessively watched my calories and worked out anywhere from 1-2 hours a day. Oh, and I trained for a marathon. Obviously marathon training couldn’t be sustained by that low of a calorie intake so the uncontrollable binge-eating began, followed by shaming, restricting and then binging again.

I’d never been so depressed or unhappy in my life than when I was at my smallest weight (mind you I still had a totally normal BMI – NOT a good indicator of health!). What I didn’t know is that by restricting my calories and exercising so much I was telling my body that I was starving. Our bodies aren’t stupid. They’re going to try to stay alive, and try it did by keeping every ounce of fat it could on my body. And you know what? I gained weight. Little by little the weight came on and I freaked out. I felt so helpless and confused. Even when I became a Christian and gave my life over to God, I held on to that one tiny thing: food. Part of me thought I’d accepted myself and I started to work hard on self-confidence and self-love, but really on the inside I was so unhappy with my body. I’d gotten over my issues of perfection but I still kept trying to lose weight.

Eventually I realized exactly what I’d done to myself so I tried to eat more to tell my body it wasn’t starving, but it wasn’t until my doctor told me just a few weeks ago that all my health issues were due to that period of extreme restriction that I fully committed to changing. I started counting my calories to be sure I ate enough and was shocked that I still wasn’t hitting 2,000 calories a day without forcing myself to. It’s so hard to break a mentality that you’ve had for years – but I can and I will do it. Why? I am doing it only for my own health and happiness, but for yours too. I want to be strong, fit and healthy, and I want that for each and every one of you, because through health and fitness you can go for any dream that you have in life.

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FYI, this is me 30 lbs heavier than the photo above.

Every time I see another young girl restricting and over-exercising I just see me. I want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them until they understand what they are doing to themselves. I believe that God gave me this blog and my Beachbody Coaching career to help other women like me. I believe he allowed me to deal with this hurdle to help other women like me, because there are so, so many of us.

I have many, many more things I want to say on this topic, but I’ll have to hold myself back for today; best not to give you all a novel rather than a post. I just want you to know that if you’re reading now and you think you identify with my story, leave a comment. Send me an email. I’m here for you and with you. I know how you feel. I get you. And yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Please feel free to email me at peaceloveandoats@gmail.com if you have questions or just want to talk :)

You can follow more of my personal health and happiness journey on my instagram: @Peaceloveoats

Over Your Oats #18

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Life

10 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Love Your Body

Caroline’s Five Favorite Books

Overeating

10 Tips To Make Moving So Much Easier

Achieving A Healthy Balance: Stress Management

Things You Should Know

8 Natural Sleep Aids

Kindness Doesn’t Always Scream

Fitness

Three Things You Can Do When You Hit A Plateau

Songs With Lyrics About Running

Are Rest Days Necessary Even If I’m Not Sore or Tired?

No Gym Required Travel Workout

Food

BLT Egg Casserole

5 Ingredient Grown Up Dark Chocolate Tootsie Rolls

Cauliflower Bread Grilled Cheese

Nicole’s Super Soup

No Bake Cookie Dough Balls

Lucky Shamrock Bites

Random/Funny

Derek Zoolander in Valentino Show

Thursday Thoughts

1. Somehow this week is just flying by, and you know what? I’ll take it! Despite the fact that it’s St Patty’s weekend, I don’t have any real plans (other than church & bible study), which I really love. I’ll probably stop by one of the parties I’ve been invited to, but definitely not going all out this year. I’ve got too many other things to do! haha

 

2. You know the one thing I love about daylight savings this time of year? I get to watch the sunrise!!! It’s so crazy pretty – wouldn’t trade this for anything.

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3. And since no one in Chicago can go more than a day without discussing weather, IT IS SO WONDERFUL! We just randomly skipped from 0s-20s up to the FORTIES! And LOW FIFTIES! It’s so wonderful. Everyone is so much happier :)

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4. So I started Insanity Max 30 this week and although I think deep down I’m scared I’ll quit or give up – I think this is going to be awesome. I ran a marathon, I climbed a mountain by myself – I can be stubborn enough to finish this 8-week program, right??

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5. Poor Neville has been totally neglected this winter… I finally changed out his water and cleaned his bowl and he is enjoying the spring as well! Haha for those of you who are new, I bought Neville when I moved to Chicago… 4.5 years ago. Somehow he has survived me as a mom and 5 Chicago winters. He’s a tough fish.

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6. One thing that I love about Beachbody is that there is a coach and a team for everyone. We all attract people who are most similar to us and once I really looked around at the women on my team (Team Inspire Joy), we are all SO SIMILAR! I love it, and them :). Haha so much love today. It’s the weather ;)

 

7.  A Dylan’s Candy Bar just opened right next to my old office. All I have to say is thank goodness I’m not there anymore or this would be bad for my health and my wallet…

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8. Have a great Thursday!

 

 

Do you find you tend to like people who are similar to you? Or similar background/story? 

Sunrise or Sunset? 

Burdens

I’m not going to lie – I’ve had a rough couple of weeks. Nothing particularly bad or life-altering, but certain things have been crossing my mind far too often throughout the day. When I feel bogged down by worry I lose my motivation, I lose my energy and focus, I lose my mojo, I lose that positivity and humor that makes me, me.

I have soooo many things that I want to do and achieve and work on right now, but I feel like I’m just losing steam. I can’t get my mind or heart to focus on what I need to give. I can turn on a smile, sure. I can be fun and happy when I need to be – but the second I get alone it’s straight back to feeling this weight just sitting on me.

Instead of trying take one of the many decisions or concerns that have been plaguing my mind into my own hands (which I have zero conclusions for anyways), I decided just to pray. I asked God to keep me focused on His path for me, to keep me steadfast in my love for Him and to take my burdens, because I know he is in control and as long as I do my best and have faith, everything will be alright.

I looked up and saw a post it on my wall with the verse: “Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you.” Psalm 55:22. Boom. So if you’re struggling with anything today – no matter how large or small – just know that God is on your side. And when God is on your side, there is never reason to worry. Just do your best – be honest and righteous and forgiving. Know you’ll make mistakes, but know that He’s got your back and loves you no matter what.

Book Reviews

SO MANY BOOK REVIEWS! Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll lose steam on this whole reading thing someday…

 

Ticker by Lisa Mantchey

Ticker

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When Penny Farthing nearly dies, brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick manages to implant a brass “Ticker” in her chest, transforming her into the first of the Augmented. But soon it’s discovered that Warwick killed dozens of people as he strove to perfect another improved Ticker for Penny, and he’s put on trial for mass murder.

On the last day of Warwick’s trial, the Farthings’ factory is bombed, Penny’s parents disappear, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom note demanding all of their Augmentation research if they want to see their parents again. Is someone trying to destroy the Farthings…or is the motive more sinister?

Desperate to reunite their family and rescue their research, Penny and her brother recruit fiery baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman-about-town Sebastian Stirling, and Marcus Kingsley, a young army general who has his own reasons for wanting to lift the veil between this world and the next. Wagers are placed, friends are lost, romance stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart.

 

I had a pretty hard time starting this book, but once I sat myself down (on the bus…) and really focused in on it, it turned out to be a good, inventive story. One thing I will say is there is zero set up for the world that they live in. You just dive straight into the book without understanding anything about the characters or why so many things are made out of machinery. Some of this is revealed throughout the story, but even then not a lot. If you can keep up your suspension of belief, however, you can really get into the story line. The romance is pretty straightforward and obvious, but beyond that I really enjoyed the twists and the turns that the main character, Penny, takes throughout the novel. It also ends in a way that the story can either stop there, or she could add a sequel. I actually like how the story ended because not everything was perfectly wrapped up, which is how life is. I’d pick this up if you’re into dystopic novels!

 

The One & Only by Emily Giffin

The One & Only

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas—a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade.

But when an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit Walker community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she has always trusted most—and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets.

Thoughtful, funny, and brilliantly observed, The One & Only is a luminous novel about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself . . . the one and only thing that truly makes life worth living.

 

Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Nope. I rarely write a bad book review, but nope. Nope. Couldn’t even finish it. I practically skimmed the second half of the book because I was so creeped out by the direction the story was going. Maybe that’s just me, but I just kept thinking about my friends’ dads… Aaaaanyway, the story started out well, setting up an interesting friendship/family dynamic. There was a lot of football talk, which I know other Goodreads reviewers didn’t like, but I didn’t mind at all (I love football). The main character just seemed so lost and would do just about anything she was told to do, especially by “Coach.” She just didn’t seem to have much of a spine and was always doubting herself. Not worth your time.

 

The Fever by Meg Abbott

The Fever

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie’s best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community.

As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town’s fragile idea of security.

A chilling story about guilt, family secrets and the lethal power of desire,The Fever affirms Megan Abbot’s reputation as “one of the most exciting and original voices of her generation” (Laura Lippman).

 

I ended up reading this book really quickly – all within one Sunday. Haha I’m not sure what that says about how I spend my weekends… The story surrounds a group of good friends, narrated by one of the girls. The author adds some mystery to the story by the narrator trying to figure out what is happening to the girls at school, why it hasn’t happened to her, and who is to blame. I actually really enjoyed the dynamic between many of the characters, and how ones that seem less important become critical later in the story. I also have to say that I did NOT see the ending coming ;). If you’re looking for a quick read and don’t mind a story centering around High School girls, give this one a try!

 

What are you reading right now? 

Do you ever choose books by how the cover looks?