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 – My 1st 6 Months

This is the 6th post in my series, IF I am being honest, my journey to wellness. I have a learned a great deal about myself in mind, body and spirit since converting to an intermittent fasting lifestyle on January 2, 2019. In this year of turning 58 years old, I made a commitment to intermittent fasting as a means of losing weight, relieve joint inflammation and stiffness, and regain my overall physical health.

As I confided in earlier posts in this series, I had seen several different medical specialists who, without fail would recommend weight loss surgery for my (gulp) obesity. Yes, I still have difficulty even writing the word much less admitting that I am obese. But recognizing the undeniable and accepting that fact has been the first step, if I am being honest, of becoming disciplined for doing something about it. Yet after much personal research and in speaking with friends and family who have had weight loss surgery, I did not want to risk the possible complications of such an invasive surgery nor did I think I could be successful with weight management with an autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis), or because of my personality (more about that in a minute).

BODY MIND SPIRIT BALANCE

After reading the book, The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung and his follow-up book with co-author, Jimmy Moore, The Complete Guide to Intermittent Fasting, I was convinced with all of the research and science within these books, that perhaps just perhaps, I could be successful in my goal of weight loss.

IF I am being honest, my first 6 months

In my first 6 months of IF, I have lost an average of one (1) pound per week. This may not sound like a big weight loss for many people; however, it has been a huge loss for someone who has not lost more than 3-4 pounds with any other diet plan.

Initially, I was sleeping better and for this chronic insomniac, I was truly amazed! I had even slept through an early morning doctor appointment. My face did not look pasty or swollen after the first month of fasting. I simply had more energy and I was thrilled I was seeing positive results so quickly. It was the motivation I needed to keep disciplined to fast every day.

After a few more months in my conversion to intermittent fasting, I began to see inches being lost around my waist and then my hips. My clothes, both shirts and pants, began to feel looser. And after 5 months, I was one pant size smaller. Hoot! Hoot!

The most important lessons I have learned with intermittent fasting has not been found in a book. The most important lessons I have learned from fasting was during the Lenten season and beyond. These lessons were about my relationships.

My relationship with food.

My relationship with exercise.

My personal relationships.

 

IF I am being honest, my relationship with food.

If I am being honest, my food choices were predicated on the following in this order:

1) My personal laziness
2) My boredom
3) My comfort

In the last 6 months, I realized that my relationship with food was an automatic response to one or all three of those feelings. I abhor cooking, particularly the preparatory work that goes into cooking. I find absolutely no enjoyment in the whole process of cooking, and then, I only value the result if someone else has graciously and more expertly prepared the meal.

I ate whatever was convenient. I ate whatever was put in front to me. I ate what I wanted to eat. Period. The food was not always nutritious and for the most part was unhealthy for my autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s.

Intermittent fasting fit right into my personal laziness. In fact, OMAD (one meal a day) was a perfect solution for my laziness. I didn’t need to think about breakfast or what to prepare for lunch to take to the office. My evening meal was usually prepared by my husband, Vinny Sal, who loves to cook and he is a great cook! All I had to do was drink enough black coffee, unsweetened tea and water to get through to the next eating window. Fasting became easier once I got through the first 1-2 weeks and because I was seeing immediate benefits, I was motivated to keep going with IF.

During those times when fasting was difficult, I convinced myself I was just bored and I kept myself busy with writing, reading or cleaning. My continued efforts to declutter the house has been a perfect exercise to ignoring a grumbling stomach. I have learned the signs of boredom. When I start thinking about my next meal, I know that is my cue to get moving.

I, like many people, seek comfort in food. Certain foods with their aroma, texture, and taste can enhance the mood and comfort me with pleasant thoughts and memories. There is nothing intrinsically harmful in comfort food. I have learned that comfort food for me is the value I put on it. Is it worth it to me to indulge in a huge plate of pasta laden with melted mozzarella if it is going to make me feel bloated, constipated and stiff with inflammation just because I had a bad day at the office? Or can I partake of it within reason like a piece of birthday cake only on special events and holidays and still enjoy it with family and friends? I say, yes, to the latter.

IF I am being honest, my relationship with exercise.

When I was growing up on the farm, I loved being outside – walking, exploring the fields and woods, riding my bicycle, swimming and playing outside with friends. During my school years, I was on the softball, track team and enjoyed playing flag football in gym class. When I began to climb the corporate ladder, marriage and the arrival of children, my golf game and exercise classes with my girlfriend went to the wayside.

Over the years, I have wasted plenty of hard-earned dollars on gym memberships and home exercise equipment that I never used. If I am being honest, I hate working out at the gym or riding on a stationary bike. I cannot fathom anything more boring. Before I converted to intermittent lifestyle, I tried to get outdoors to exercise. I came up with a backyard walking routine. After work each day I would walk the inside of the perimeter of our fenced backyard. It allowed me to walk without having to get back into my car to go someplace whether it was downtown or  to the park. Because we live out in rural suburbia, the roads do not have safe walking paths or sidewalks outside our front door, so the backyard allowed me to walk in a safe environment while playing ball with the dogs. Even though the next-door neighbors were surely snickering, I persisted and then winter hit. That ended the backyard walking routine.

If I am being honest, I will never purchase another gym membership, home exercise equipment or do any exercise that I do not enjoy doing. Before the would’ve, could’ve and should’ve people tell me I don’t love myself enough or I don’t want it bad enough, just stop with the nonsense. I know and accept that exercise can help me meet my weight loss goals faster. No one needs to tell me that – I get it. But if I am being honest, I have reached a point in my life where I am not going to waste money or do anything that does not bring me joy and peace in mind, body and spirit.

(I do have a recommendation for athletic fitness centers. If gyms offered drop-in membership cards like the Yoga and Zumba instructors often do, I may change my mind.)

My husband, Vinny Sal was listening to a medical program on the radio and a physician simply stated, “Motion is the lotion.” By that he means that movement is necessary for weight loss, joint pain and stiffness. So, what motion brings me joy and peace? Okay, so for all of you that said, sex, let’s move on to other forms of exercise for discussion purposes.

In the warmer seasons, I will take up again, my favorite activities of golf, walking and gardening. In the winter season, I will return to the never-ending decluttering of the family estate. It is amazing what packing, stacking, and carrying boxes, moving furniture up and down stairs and out to the garage for donation can do for one’s mind, body and spirit. I will motivate myself to walk out in the backyard or wrap my brain around walking around one of the indoor or outdoor retail malls. I will find other ways to walk whether at the office, shopping or at the beach.

IF I am being honest, my personal relationships.

If I am being honest, I have more clarity in personal relationships. I have learned to compromise and have more patience, not just in my personal relationships but with all people including myself. That doesn’t mean I still don’t get pissed off with people like the two chain-smoking women who decided to sit next to me on the beach. I simply moved to another spot out of line of their drifting cigarette smoke.

As my soul sister, JT in San Antonio recently shared with me is that no one needs to be my conscious nor do I need to be anyone’s conscious. The Holy Spirit already has that job, she said. She is one spiritually in-tune soul-sister!

Because here is my point about calling out this chain-smoking beach incident,  I am responsible for my health. I am responsible for my happiness. If referencing cigarettes as cancer sticks on my Facebook feed causes another person to feel ashamed of their habit, then perhaps the Holy Spirit (not me) is guiding them to take responsibility for their own health and happiness too. And for those who have already kicked the habit whether it is cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or food addiction, there is no shame in it. I am one of you. We have taken responsibility for our health and our happiness. We have held ourselves accountable.

So, here is the most important personal relationship lesson. Be kind. Be patient. (Thank you, Christine for reminding me.) We are all human. We, who have taken responsibility for our own wellness, are on our own unique journey in mind, body and spirit. Find your tribe who support your wellness journey. My Intermittent Fasting Support Group on Facebook has been my lifeline as well as my soul-sisters, JT, Christine, my sister, Sandra to name a few, and certainly my patient and loving husband, my two sons, extended family and friends (even if some of them who still don’t fully understand it).

IF I am being honest, my second 6 months

As I enter the next 6 months and beyond of the intermittent fasting lifestyle, I will hold onto these statements:

My speed doesn’t matter, forward is forward.

My dreams don’t work, unless I do.

Discipline is just choosing between what I want now and what I want most.

And more importantly:

In my weakness, Christ is my strength.

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,

Before and After IF photos 06012019

The Blogging Owl

(My 5-Month IF photo comparison.)

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