IF I am being honest – Becoming

After writing my 7th post in my series, IF I am being honest – 7 Lessons, my husband, Vinny Sal asked me how I felt about blogging this “thing.” What do you mean this “thing?” I asked. He asked, “How do you feel about putting all that out there (my journey to wellness)?”

I instantly replied, “It is who I am.”

Oprah Winfrey asked the former First Lady, Michelle Obama why she chose the title, “Becoming” for her memoir. The First Lady summed up by saying, “My journey is the journey of always continually evolving.”

I believe that is true for anyone, including myself who chooses in earnest to become the best I can be.

IF I am being honest, my journey to wellness

I reread my first 7 posts to reflect on where I stand in my 8th post on my journey to wellness.

My first post on why I was converting to an Intermittent Fasting lifestyle. I was obese and I am still obese 8 months later. https://thebloggingowl.com/2019/02/02/if-i-am-being-honest-obesity/

My second post was a reality check on food love rather than self-love. If I am being honest, I always thought I loved myself, but I did not. https://thebloggingowl.com/2019/03/02/if-i-am-being-honest-food-love/

My third post reflected on the invisible weight, my spirituality. As I share in my 7th post, I have learned that one’s spirit leads the way in mind and body. https://thebloggingowl.com/2019/03/31/if-i-am-being-honest-invisible-weight/

In my fourth post I discussed the reality of autoimmune diseases, and I shared how the Hashimoto’s disease has been my nemeses. https://thebloggingowl.com/2019/05/04/if-i-am-being-honest-autoimmune-disease/

I outlined the killers (shamers) in my fifth post who want to add the weight of judgment to a person’s journey to wellness. These are often people who profess to be there to help a person in their journey to be the best they can be but make their hidden biases known just the same. https://thebloggingowl.com/2019/06/01/if-i-am-being-honest-the-killers/

Six months in, I reviewed my relationships with food, exercise and personal relationships. I take responsibility. https://thebloggingowl.com/2019/07/04/if-i-am-being-honest-my-1st-6-months/

7 Lessons written in my seventh post outlined what I have learned since converting to a lifestyle of Intermittent Fasting. My journey to wellness in mind, body and spirit reviews the pain and progress with kicking addiction and relapse. https://thebloggingowl.com/2019/08/11/if-i-am-being-honest-7-lessons/

8 Months, an Evolution of Self Awareness in Mind, Body, Spirit

My journey to wellness began well before my conversion to the intermittent fasting lifestyle. The evolution of that journey had finally taken me to a place requiring me to admit my obesity and how it was affecting my mind, body and spirit. Ultimately, it was not only taking a toll on me, but how I reacted to the world beyond me.

I take responsibility for my body.

In the beginning I told myself that while I was obese I would allow my body to lose the weight on its timetable in part due to my Hashimoto’s autoimmune disease, but also because I did not want to set myself up for failure no matter how I perfect I was in following the IF lifestyle. While I have lost 27 pounds to date and inches off my waist and hips since January 2, 2019, I still have mind walls to conquer with fasting, food and exercise.

I know I am healthier because I no longer have joint inflammation. I can now walk up and down stairs, perhaps not as quickly as others, but I can!

I still have periodic phases of insomnia, which I believe is due to eating the incorrect number of cards specifically sugar.

Rather than being passive about weight loss with intermittent fasting, I am setting a goal for my one-year anniversary, January 2, 2019. My goal is 50 pounds lost for my first year with converting to intermittent fasting.

I take responsibility for my relationships.

Overall, I believe I am in a better place in my mind with feeding not only my body with healthy food, but I have more clarity in feeding on what I take in personally, professionally and socially. I, like everyone, have hidden biases and so I have become much more aware of my biases, and I am working on changing my perspective.

For example, I read and react too much with social media. I love my country, the United States, but I hate what is going on and to our country. Have I been adding to the divisiveness? Do others really care about my opinion? I will always be an advocate for the vulnerable and an activist for the environment, democracy and fairness. That will never change, but I can do it more thoughtfully and in a forum that is reasonable, responsive and respectful. I will keep my Facebook feed clear of anything that would affect my relationships with others or add to the divisive noise in the world.

I take responsibility for my faith.

God knows my heart. He knows everyone’s heart that is why I do my best not to judge the place where others are at in their journey. Some have called me out on my thoughts on the lack of courtesy of smokers or my use of “colorful” language… okay, I won’t dance around my use of the “F” word. The light of my spirit should be shown and not the slip of my tongue so to speak, they say.

As I have said throughout this series, the spirit leads the mind and body. I take responsibility of my lack of self-awareness in how my Christian faith is perceived in my words and actions. My faith is a critical in who I am. Follow my blog, The Prayer Journals for further insight on faith.

And I am who I am, today, evolving to become better in mind, body and spirit. I did not realize that when I started Intermittent Fasting that it would be an awakening and a lifestyle change in all three areas.

IF I am being honest, my next post on The Blogging Owl

My next post will be the tale of the two cardiologists. Intermittent Fasting, foe or friend on my journey to wellness. This tale is still evolving! I will have their interesting discussions and findings when I post again next month in this series, IF I am being honest, my journey to wellness.

Until next time…

I will continue to post monthly in this series, IF I am being honest, my journey to wellness until January 2020. I will then post occasionally until I reach my weight goal. Blogging my progress helps me to keep it real for me in mind, body and spirit. If you need me to be a part of your tribe for wellness in mind, body and spirit, I hope you will reach out to me. I would love to hear from you. I sincerely appreciate my readers following The Blogging Owl and my other blogs too. Please feel free to leave a comment or contact me by email at Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com.

Peace,

Head shot 2019 - revised

The Blogging Owl

 

Any Book Recommendations?

Give me a hoot by email:   Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com.

I would love it if you would follow this blog and at The Blogging Owl on Facebook, as well as, on Twitter @TheBloggingOwl and Instagram.

(c) 2017-2019 All Rights Reserved

IF I am being honest – The Killers

When I was 28 years old, I was slim, savvy, and some may even have said I had it all. I believed I looked my best physically then and I had a blossoming financial services career earning a fantastic living. I was single, traveling, working hard at climbing the next rung in life and having fun. And here I am 30 years later, a married mom with two grown sons earning less than a third of my overall compensation before the U.S. economic downturn in 2009 and the only thing I am trying to climb in life is a flight of stairs in my journey of physical wellness. People who have known me most of my life and if they are to see me now may ask, “What the hell happened?”

IF I am being honest, “Life happened.”

Yet, I would not trade my current mind and spirit, if not my body for my 28 year-old self. Because I know how to handle the “killers” of life now who I didn’t always know how to handle when I was 28.

The Killers: “not enough” people

These people may be well meaning friends and family. They also may be people who are trying to sell a magical diet potion, fitness plan, medical procedure or who are simply antagonists who don’t see themselves as “not enough.” Whoever they are, they often say things like…

“You don’t love yourself enough to…”

“You aren’t trying hard enough to…”

“You aren’t exercising enough…”

“You aren’t eating enough. Fasting is really starvation. It’s not healthy…”

“You aren’t eating enough of the good carbs, or protein, or fats, or…”

What most people hear when they listen to these killers, the “not enough” people, is “I must not be enough. I am not smart enough to do this wellness journey correctly.” And to that I clearly say, “all that is BS!”

I do love myself. I AM ENOUGH!

Fat Meme 2

I will never be 28 years old again. I will never have my 28 year-old body again. But I am striving to be HEALTHY in mind, body and spirit.

I have a tribe of “enough” people who love and support me in my wellness journey that I started five months ago when I converted to an intermittent fasting lifestyle.

Find your tribe! Your soul people!

IF I am being honest, intermittent fasting is savvy.

Here are the financial savings with Intermittent Fasting:

• No expensive diet supplements
• No fancy pink drinks or liver detox teas
• No pre-packaged food and diet plans
• No diet or weight-loss memberships
• No invasive weight-loss surgeries including the medical leave/lost vacation time from work

I eat less food which would potentially lower my grocery bill, but I have traded the potential food cost-savings of eating convenient, processed, and fast food for quality, whole and organic food. In truth, it is probably an equal trade.

My Last 30 Days – What I have learned

In my previous post, I shared how being sick with strep throat and a double ear infection kept me from paying attention to my caloric intake, food quality and getting started on a consistent exercise plan. I remained at a weight plateau even though I continued to fast. I guess that was the only good news.

This past month I concentrated on a prolonged fasting schedule with monitoring my calories. At the end of the month, I concluded that my weight plateau was due to three things:

1. I needed to incorporate more healthy fats into my diet like avocado, nuts like almonds and walnuts, fresh fatty fish like fresh tuna, sardines, salmon, eggs, to name just a few.

2. If I wasn’t doing OMAD that day, I needed my first meal (usually at 1:30 p.m.) to be a light meal like Vanilla Huel or pistachio nuts/green veggie salad with most of my calories in my second meal (no later than 6:30 p.m.).

3. I absolutely cannot eat any sugar or processed foods (Ignore This Advice: 4 Common Nutrition Tips to Question). Sugar and processed food are the culprit for my joint inflammation!

IF I am being honest, I am proud of my success so far

Before and After IF photos 06012019.jpg
The above photo on the left was taken prior to my IF conversion. The photo on the right was taken on June 1, 2019 after a trip to my hairstylist. This week I have an appointment with my photographer son for a new professional photo! I am also comfortably down one pant size.

In the last five months, I have lost 24 pounds. I have lost 3.5 inches off my hips and 10 inches (!) off my waist.

How can that be?

Fat Meme

Look at the graphic to the left. That is what fat looks like in different weights. Most of my weight came off my middle. But also remember, our bodies are just not all fat and our weight can fluctuate as the graphic below depicts. I have not researched the percentages presented to determine if they are accurate, however, it is a good visual to remember how much our weight can change daily.

My personal rule of thumb is if my weight measures the same for 3 consecutive days, I count that as true weight lost.

Fat Meme 1

IF I am being honest in my next 30 days…

EXERCISE! Damn it!

Now that I have a better handle on my caloric intake and my ratio of protein, fat and carbs should be for me, I am hoping that at the 6-month mark I will be enjoying even more weight loss. I promised myself I would remember my transformation reality: the weight will come off with persistence, patience, and when it is darn ready to come off.

Shout out to my sister, Sandra, who has joined me on her own Intermittent Fasting journey to wellness. I am so proud of her for coming to this decision on her own. We are now accountability partners!

In closing, thank you to everyone who has reached out to me  and being one of my “enough” people, my tribe. Blogging my progress helps me to keep it real for me in mind, body and spirit. If you need me to be a part of your tribe for wellness in mind, body and spirit, I hope you will reach out to me. I would love to hear from you.

I sincerely appreciate my readers following The Blogging Owl and my other blogs too. Please feel free to leave a comment or contact me by email at Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com. I would love to hear from you.

Peace,

Sheri Head Shot

The Blogging Owl

Any Book Recommendations?

Give me a hoot by email: Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com.

I would love it if you would follow this blog and at The Blogging Owl on Facebook, as well as, on Twitter @TheBloggingOwl and Instagram.

 

(c) 2017-2019 All Rights Reserved

Living my truth

I am obese.

There I said it. I said it out loud. I have written it in this post.

I did not die.

Living my truth – a reality

This is the second step in cultivating the courage to live my truth and embracing who I am.

While obesity is not the sum of all who I am, it is a huge (no pun intended) mirror of how I see myself. It’s difficult exercising the compassion that comes with knowing I am made of both strength and struggle. But I have begun to start mindfully practicing authenticity of another soul-searching struggle. My weight.

If you have been a reader of my blog, you will note my many posts on varying diets and exercise programs I have started that only ended up with no follow-through and failure.I know I will never be my 26-year-old, 108-pound self again. Yet even genetics and Hashimoto’s disease aside, I own the reasons for why I am obese 30 years later.

I am beginning to nurture a lifestyle that connects a sense of worthiness that comes with knowing who I am and that I am enough. I don’t need to be perfect. I don’t need to be thin. I need to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

Living my truth – setting the boundaries

I will never diet again.

Repeat.

I will never diet again.

I am being deliberate with sharing my weight struggle. By sharing my weight imperfection and admitting my vulnerability particularly in recent blog posts, I cannot continue to cope with my weight, nor do I believe I can conquer it, but I know I can manage it.

I have made the following 5 empowering decisions in managing my weight struggle:

1. I do not have a weight goal.
2. I do not have a time goal in which to lose weight.
3. I will not weigh myself.
4. I will not measure myself with a measuring tape or do the once-over in the mirror.
5. I will not measure myself in terms of success or failure.

I know these decisions go against every self-help, diet and exercise plan on the market today, but I say, “enough with the nonsense!!

Living my truth – a lifestyle

If living my truth means being authentic, then being authentic means living and loving wholeheartedly the person that I am during my wrestling matches between my struggles and the strength of being a survivor including believing I am deserving of joy and love too.

My new lifestyle is inviting grace, joy and gratitude into my life… like stopping at my favorite coffee shop, The Flower Bar every morning for a cup of organic coffee… and other things people may find to be an inconsequential part of their routine, but for me it’s just a small bit of kindness I spend on myself.

“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” ~ Christopher K. Germer

Another lifestyle change comes in the way of a book recommendation, Diabetes Meals by the Plate, 90 low-carb meals to mix & match by Diabetic Living. (I LOVE THIS BOOK.) I hate to cook or follow recipes. This book was written for me – simple, visual, and ‘normal’ food. It shows how to fill a 9-inch plate, one-half inch high of healthy foods all under 500 calories. The mix and match style allows me to determine what foods I can exchange for my tastes and for foods that don’t agitate my Hashimoto’s disease.

5 Lifestyle decisions:

1. I do not count calories.
2. I do not record what I eat.
3. I do not have a weekly workout goal.
4. I will not live and die by wearing a Fitbit.
5. I am committed to the 9-inch diabetic plate.

My husband, Vinny Sal joined a gym with me. I’ll go to the gym right after work or after dinner and if he wants to join me – great! If not, I will still go by myself. It’s my weight struggle, not his. I am grateful though for a supportive and a loving husband.

Living my truth – today

“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.” ~ Mark Twain

How do I know that this new lifestyle change will not end up in failure too?

I don’t.

But the sad truth is, I won’t have tomorrow if I don’t make the necessary lifestyle changes today that will allow me to see my sons graduate from college, get married, and hold my grandchildren. I want the happiness I have not known before which is just being happy with myself. That sad truth is my daily reminder to live and enjoy the poetry of today in mind, body, and spirit.

Peace