Trust the Process; Trust the Program

I have been consistently committed to my daily lifestyle change for health and wellness for four months now.  Yesterday I decided to weigh myself, which is something I do not engage in frequently.  I have been noticing several changes recently in the way my clothes fit such as tightening my belt about 4 notches tighter (close to 2″) and the way my scrubs and jacket hang on me at work.  I wasn’t expecting big results.  After returning home March 31 from our trip to the Dominican Republic where I even worked out in our room in the mornings and kept up my nutrition, I only gained 3 lbs but easily got back on track upon returning (no access to All-Inclusive tropical drinks will do that!!).  I decided to do a more relaxed program, Country Heat, and focus a little bit on cardio.  This program is much different than the MMA-focused Core de Force or the pilates-yoga inspired 60-day PiYo, which I absolutely LOVE!!  Country Heat is pretty much like simple line dancing, but the slower pace allows you to actually concentrate on contracting and holding your muscles while you dance.  I do not feel a significant change in my appearance, only the change in how my clothes are fitting, as previously mentioned.

Needless to say, I have lost ten pounds over these last 3 1/2 weeks!  I am thrilled!  My coach always says, “Get off that scale!  Trust the process and trust the program!  It works!” and I can truly say it does!  I have not lost a total of twenty pounds since the start of this journey in January.  If I can lost another twenty over the next eight months I will be elated, however, my goal is to continue trusting the process and program and making sustainable lifestyle changes each day to continue a healthy lifestyle.

Who Are You?!

Today I am not myself.

That being said, I have chosen to go back on my antidepressant.  This looks like failure in my mind at the moment, however, since stopping my medication almost a month ago I have slowly declined and today I do not recognize the positive, optimistic, change-embracer (I’m declaring this a real word) of six weeks ago.  I have grown in irritability, anger, and pessimism; depression has reclaimed a toe-hold in my life again.  I will not let it get a foothold!  I tell my patients, medications for mental illness are like medications for diabetes, or high blood pressure…if you needed to manage your diabetes with insulin for your body to function properly, would you withhold insulin or metformin??  No!!  Same with antidepressants – and all other psychotropic medications.  If my brain needs help keeping its serotonin levels at a functional level, I’m not going to withhold my antidepressant.  Why would I not heed the advice I give my own patients? Where is the accountability and logic in that?

The past several months have been the best months of my entire life mentally – I will get back to that level of function.  But for now I will be gentle with myself.  I will work on accepting this physiological need and revisit it in the future.  I will continue to press forward, stabilize, and press some more…I will never quit hoping and I will never give up.

There Are Issues In Your Tissues

I want to share an article with everyone. It is FANTASTIC! I experience this “somatoemotional release” regularly and this article does an amazing job explaining what’s going on. (The article is a bit long though). As a nurse who has devoted over 50 hours of training in holistic health and energy, as well as working the past 3 years in acute mental health crisis, there is no doubt people “store emotions” and for “conventional scientists” to poo poo this notion simply because it cannot be measured on demand is pure ignorance. This emotional release is so healing, freeing, lightening, and therapeutic. I had a fitness coach at the Y tell me years ago when I was overcome with tears streaming down my face during corpse pose after an hour long BodyFlow class (yoga, pilates, tai chi combo) “There are issues in our tissues.” I will never forget that and every time I experience this release I just acknowledge what I had been carrying around that was likely weighing me down in so many ways, that I needed to let it go, and thank myself for the healthy gift I have given to myself.

(Also, I might have found an area to focus on for nursing. We shall see…it’s pretty specific and narrow, however, there is important work to be done here)

Here is the link to the article (I apologize – I haven’t been able to get the hyperlink to stay in the post) https://experiencelife.com/article/laugh-cry-lift/

 

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80%

My fiance and I spent the day together today.  I have been feeling really off the past 2 days and couldn’t figure out what was driving it other than I have been eating like crap those past 2 days!  And then it dawned on me…PMS!! My cravings are up and I’ve been giving into them over these past 2 days.  That did not help the overwhelming amount of stress I felt today when Will wanted to take me out for lunch.

I’m only 5 weeks into this lifestyle change and have been eating at home pretty much the entire time.  Today eating out at a restaurant felt really stressful – like I was not allowed to do so or that I would be sabotaging the rest of my life by enjoying time out with my fiance.  I started feeling panic; everything was too loud, nothing on the menu seemed ok, and indulge in an adult beverage??  Are you kidding?!  But my amazing future husband pulled out some of the most appropriate, supportive, and encouraging advice.  He really put things in perspective, saved our date, and got me to loosen up, laugh, and enjoy our time together.

So…what did he say?!  80%.  Yes, there’s more to it than that.  After telling me how hard he has seen me work over the past five weeks; after telling me how proud of me he is; after listing off specific things he has noticed and things I am now doing without even giving it a second thought, he said…”You are changing your lifestyle.  That is not going to happen overnight.  You are changing all the bad habits that have built up over your life thus far and that might not be able to be maintained at 100%…for anyone.  But even if you do it 80% of the time, think of how much better your life is going to be, and how much more you are doing for yourself that you were or how much healthier you are than those who are doing much less than 80%.”

I settled on an adult beverage which was helpful in relaxing a bit and then ordered grilled chicken soft tacos with a Cesar side salad.  I was able to smile, enjoy our date, and the noise and goings-on around us seemed to dissipate.  What incredible gifts he gave me with those words…acceptance, support, acknowledgement, unconditional love, and permission to live and enjoy life…100%

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It’s Time…30 Days Under My Belt

…and only an inch more room under that belt.  While those results might derail some more easily than others, I refuse to give up.  I have wanted to make this lifestyle change for a long time now, however, obstacles such as CMA school, turning around to nursing school, and then shortly after completion of nursing school returning to complete my BSN all while working full-time, going through a divorce, and raising two boys as a single mom was plenty to face during those years.

I watched a friend find her niche, her team, and support system.  She embraced this lifestyle change and found a family.  I wanted this so badly; as a matter of fact I tried to copy her path…but here’s the thing…it wasn’t my path…so I failed that path.  If I can encourage one thing it is to find your path.  Thankfully Beachbody offers many options, styles, approaches; including support and consistency, as well as a consistent, simple nutrution plan.  Do not give up your search for your path.  I bought Turbo Jam years ago and loved the program; LOVE LOVE LOVE Chalene!!  At the time I was working at the YMCA where I met my now BB coach, Emily Nowlan and we have stayed in touch all this time.  I kept hearing her talk about Shakeology (and I had another friend or two also using Shakeology) and all I could think was, “What the heck is this Shakeology stuff?”  Fast forward to a year ago when I bought and began 21 Day Fix (which I also had heard rave reviews of).  I connected with Emily, started the program with good intentions, got sick a few weeks in and stopped what I started.  It wasn’t my “time” yet.  But I didn’t let go of my desire to change my lifestyle.  I kept the eating plan in place for a while with the containers but stopped paying attention to the ratios sometime in the summer.  Diet Coke replaced my water intake.  Return to stage: sluggishness, increased napping, low motivation, moodiness, and only mild positivity.

That being said, I am 42 – likely the age when most people start experiencing the proverbial “mid-life crisis” (which I think I probably went through at 35!!).  I refuse to take on that mindset.  Instead, I am starting my mid-life reclaim!  I am choosing to embrace nutrition, clean eating, exercise on a daily basis (and I am not one who typically enjoys exercising or sweating), and taking care of myself for the rest of my life.  Did you hear that self?!  THE REST OF MY LIFE!! That hold a lot of days (well, I hope it does) and not every one of those days is going to be exercised on (so I’m learning to forgive those days) and not every one of those days is going to be totally clean on eating (tiny treats on occasion is acceptable – otherwise this lifestyle change will not be sustainable).  The key is consistency, having support (I am SO thankful for my coach Emily Nowlan and the team of women in our challenge groups) not only with those on your Beachbody team, but those on your personal team – your family; and don’t forget making decisions one at a time. Exit stage: all the afore mentioned “low” points and enter: energy, positivity, motivation, less napping, and the biggest accomplishment imaginable – going off my antidepressant about 3 weeks ago!! (This process had been started prior to starting Beachbody and the nutritional plan, and under the guidance of my doctor.  As a nurse, NEVER discontinue medications without the guidance of your medical provider!)

That doesn’t mean it has been all sunshine and rainbows.  When you start out you do not have a big picture frame of mind.  Shoot! I needed to cry on the team’s “shoulder” a time or two this past first month and I am sure I will need to again this month and in the future.  There were days I felt guilty for being tired and needing to take a nap before my night shift at the hospital and missing my workout; days when I swore at or told the instructor in the screen to ‘shut up’ (sorry instructors, no less love for you); and days when I had a cookie or a couple pieces of candy at work (hospitals are notorious feeding grounds for the nurses, doctors, and social workers!).  BUT…over those first 30 days, I have seen results.  I can now do a full sit-up, I can do more push-ups on my toes, I can (on a good day) do hip escapes (I still hate them), and as a result I have lost 3.2 lbs and almost 5″ from my body.

I am so thankful for our group and team.  It is a safe place to share frustrations, receive unconditional love and support, feedback, positive encouragement, understanding, and creativity.  We lift one another up. That does not mean there won’t be times of frustration; but I have not wanted to quit….How can that be?  Because it’s time…and I have finally found my path; my people.