Day 30 #NHBPM: I AM AWESOME

I am awesome because I am

A Aware of the amazing creation that my body is. I never fell to marvel at what it has done (given birth, ran multiple 5k’s, walked in a 60 mile walk) and dream of what it can do in the future (figure competition and 10k I’m coming for you).

WWilling to share my journey with others. Sharing what I have learned is one of my greatest joys. If something in my struggle can help another person, that make is all worthwhile.

E Eager to learn new things. When I started pursuing my healthiest life, I was content to stick with running, aerobics, and a few cherish workout DVDs.  Now I am branching out, taking Bounce Classes, learning Zumba, and educating myself about various weightlifting training plans.

S Serious when I need to be, and funny and comical when I don’t need to be.  Nobody likes a “Debbie Downer” and I prefer for my post to be light/easy reading. However, there are some topics and situations that require a more serious voice. I will always devote the appropriate consideration and concern to those issues. And if I don’t – call my hand on it.

O Owning up to my past mistakes and failures. I have not always treated my body and mind with the respect it deserves. Sure, there were a myriad of reasons why, but in the end I CHOSE to do those things to myself.  And I am Overcoming them. Yes, I had bulimia. Yes, I occasionally eat something not on my nutrition plan or I skip a workout.  But I no longer beat myself up about it. I just refocus and move on to the next choice.

M Making goals and plans for the new year.  My biggest goal for 2013 is to learn to be content.  And of course, there is the figure competition.  I have a few other goals formulating and I will be sharing them soon.

E Exactly who I want to be, where I want to be, and doing what I want to be doing. 

 What makes you AWESOME?

Day 29 #NHBPM: Learning to Be Content

Prompts: “If I could accomplish anything in 2013…” or Write about unexpected blessings of your health condition.

Last week, when I looked at the prompts for the remainder of the month I thought “Or the 29th will be easy. My goal for 2013 is to compete in a figure competition”.  Then yesterday happened….

If you did not notice, I basically fell off the face of the social media planet – no Tweeting, no blogging, no changing my Facebook status. Why?  Simply put, yesterday I was too busy dealing with life to blog about it.

For the past few weeks, I have had this nagging sense of unhappiness. I tried to fix it with more workouts, girl’s nights, and cuddle time with my daughter, and even a spa day – but it lingered. Then it grew, and soon I found myself a huge ball of discontentment, anger, and sadness.  Last night, I unleashed it all on my poor, unsuspected husband.

We did not have one of those screaming, shouting fights you see on television.  Rather, it was short sentences, punctuated with tension, uttered while trying to feed our daughter dinner and get ready for church.  It peaked with him telling me that I never seem content with anything.  And I fired off that he was crazy.

Then we went to church.

Pasting on smiles, we took care of our responsibilities.  But I could not shake his words.  I began to take stock of my life – I have a job I love, my daughter is a nearly perfect child and I adore her, but I nag Micheal all the time, complain about our never ending list of home improvement projects, and am never happy with my fitness level at that moment.  As much as I wanted my husband to be wrong, I realized he was right. While I am happy with my life, I am not content with it. And in turn, I had led him to believe that I was neither happy nor content with him.  I knew I had to find Micheal.

After 10 minutes of searching, I found him sitting in our church’s old sanctuary. His face was etched with paint and anguish – much like my own. So I sat down beside him, and in the glow of the pulpit lights….we talked…and talked…and talked.  And we figured out some issues, created a game plan to address them, and found some solace.

So what’s that long winded recap of yesterday have to do with today’s prompt?  Everything! I have a new goal for 2013 – to learn to be content.  Yes, I have goals/dreams/aspirations.  There are changes I want to make to my body, my mind, my home, my blog.   However, I want to truly be happy with where I am and what I have been given in THIS moment.

Contentment – that’s my goal for 2013. What’s yours?

Day 27 #NHBPM: I bet you didn’t know….

Prompts: “I bet you didn’t know” or “If I could go anywhere….”

I bet you didn’t know that I used to have a belly button ring.  I got it in the summer of 2002. The guy that I had a HUGE crush on at the time admired my friend’s belly button ring. And two hours later, I found myself in a tattoo shop in St. Petersburg, FL, holding the hang of another guy while a HUGE needle was shoved thru the skin just above my belly button.

So yep, I got the belly button ring to impress some guy – it didn’t work.  But my lack of fear at the needle did impress the other guy – and he became my boyfriend for awhile. 

Then we broke up.

I thought about  ditching the ring – but it was a reminder of a moment where I threw caution to the wind – something that I, Mrs. Cautious, didn’t do very often… so it stayed in until July 4, 2009.

That’s the day I found out that I was pregnant.  The thought of a belly button ring adorning an ever expanding baby bump felt weird. So I took the ring out.  It was symbolic I suppose.  I was removing the last vestige of my “college aged, care-free days” and embracing the role of wife/mother.

There is a tiny scar at the top of my belly button now – where the ring used to be.  And when I see it, I smile, at the memory of that night in St. Petersberg, and that hot July day when my life changed…again.

Tell me something I wouldn’t know about you….

Day 26 #NHBPM: A Few of My Favorite Blogs

Prompts:  Interview your health or Make a chart/meme/poster and blog about it.

It’s Monday – and maybe it is the post-holiday hangover, the business of the day ahead, or a general lack of sleep but I could not come up with any quality posts related to today’s prompts.  Therefore, I am going to use a bonus prompt and share with you a few of my favorite blogs

MizFit – Carla is a wife, mother, and all around fitness guru. Her blog was actually the very first health/fitness blog that I read. I was inspired by how she lives out her beliefs and models healthy living for her daughter. I fell in love with her concept of “play-outs” and try to do this with my own daughter. Her wit, her rhymes, and her rebel style always make for a great read.

YummySushiPJ’s – Heather’s blog is a relatively new one for me – as I’ve only been reading it for about 2 months. But in that short time span, it has grown to be one of my favorites. Heather has endured the loss of her beautiful baby boy Aodin, an eventful pregnancy and birth of her daughter Evi, and unexplained stomach issues. Thru it all she has remained passionate about embracing healthy living.

My Thunder Thighs – Elisha and I met at Fitbloggin. I had never heard of her blog until the night we met. But as soon as I heard the title, I looked it up on my smart phone and began devouring her posts. As a single mom with a full-time job, Elisha has a lot of balls to juggle.  She openly blogs about her struggles, her past demons, and her dreams for her future.  Her honesty is refreshing and reminds us that healthy living is a constant journey – not a final destination.

Simplifying Sammie –  Sam began her healthy living journey at 475 pounds.  She is now under 300 pounds, a certified Zumba instructor, and all around fun loving girl. Sam shares with her readers her battled with PCOS and thyroid issues, and reminds us that healthy looks different on everyone.

 I could write about at least another dozen blogs that I love. But these 4 ladies are the blogs I read every.single.day. They have all inspired and encouraged me. I think you will find them inspiring and encouraging as well. So click the links and show them some love.

Day 25 #NHBPM: Living a Legacy

Prompts: Write about what you want to happen to your blog/community when you die or How have your goals as a patient/advocate/person evolved?

When I started this blog back in the summer I had no true vision or goal – aside from wanting to document my journey thru healthy living. I suppose I saw this blog as a means of accountability and a way to capture the trials and triumphs that came along the way.  Now, almost 5 months into blogging, this blog has grown into an outlet for me – a way to decompress from trying times, a means to develop community – I have met some truly inspiring and amazing people thanks to this blog, and a way to inspire – I share my story with Facebook Followers and have had several friends reach out to me for advice.

Most journey have a final destination – a point where you say “I’m here.”  That’s not true in healthy living, it is a live long process.  Therefore, I intend for this blog to be around for as long as I am.  And when I’m gone, I hope that this blog will live on.  My dream is that my life will be an example for my daughter, Joycie, and that when she grows older she can join me in managing this blog.

If I close my eyes and imagine this blog when I’m gone, I see Joycie blogging about the lessons I taught her and the lessons she is passing on to those around her.  I guess I want this blog to be part of my legacy to her.

If you are a blogger, what would you want to happen to your blog upon your death?

Countdown To Iron Eagle

A few months ago, I shared my dream of competing in a figure competition. I reached out to a coach about training me. And for the past 8 weeks, I’ve loosely been following his training plan. And I’ve seen some results. But my diet has not been in line with my training and my effort in the weight room has only been 80%.

But two-weeks ago, I saw a flyer for a competition to be held in Savannah, GA.  Savannah is the town where I was born, where my mother grew up, and holds a special place in my heart. So it seems only fitting that my first competition would be there.  Then I saw the date of the competition – March 23rd.  That’s 2 days after my 4th wedding anniversary.  The thought of spending an entire weekend in Savannah – first to compete then to celebrate my anniversary seemed like the perfect combination.

So 118 days from now, I will be taking the stage.  I’ve got my training mapped out – every workout for next 118 days is in my planner. My kitchen is fully stocked for competition eating. I have an extensive meal plan ready to go.  No more excuses, no more delays….it is time to get focused, get serious, and GET READY!

Iron Eagle…here I am come!

Day 24 #NHBPM: If I had more than 24 Hours in a Day…

Prompts: Write a TV episode of your favorite show that features someone with your condition. Or If I had more than 24 hours in a Day.

So I missed another two days of #NHBPM.  Normally, I’d feel bad that I did not complete the entire challenge. But given that I spent the past 48 hours soaking up every spare minute of time with family and friends, I am not feeling bad.  I have blogged more in the past 24 days, than I ever have and intend to finish #NHBPM strong.

Today, I decided to ponder what I’d do if a single day had more than 24 hours in it.  I know that I would spend at least 8 hours a day sleeping (I average only 7 now), then another 10 to 11 hours working and commuting to/from work, and another 6 hours with family/friends/working out.  So what would I use that extra time for?

I would devote a few hours to blogging (more than I do know), a few hours to studying for my personal training certification, and a few more to working on my never ending list of home improvement projects.

What about you?  What would you accomplish if a day had more than 24 hours in it?

 

Day 21 #NHBPM: Mental Health

Prompts: Create a new technology related to health or Write about Mental Health

I thought about using a bonus prompt today. I am not the most technologically savvy person so I knew I did not have any ideas regarding the first prompts. And the words “mental health” make me uncomfortable. I found myself cringing and squirming in my seat when I read them – and I thought writing about them would make me even more uncomfortable.

But then I realized something. For me, having a healthy body did not start until I had a healthy mind.  A quick Google searched revealed some pretty startling (at least to me) statistics on mental health

  • 32.4 % or roughly 75 million Americans suffer from a mental disorder every year.
  • In the last year 11.4 million American suffered from severe mental illness and 8.7 million adults contemplated suicide.
  • Almost 2 million teens experienced a major depressive episode in the last year.
  • And only about 60% of those suffering with a mental disorder get treatment.

 

Think about it 40% of those suffering with a mental illness are not receiving treatment.  Why?  I think (and this is just my opinion) there are two major reasons:  a) cost and b) social stigma.  Healthcare is expensive – and mental health is often not covered by some insurance plans.  And even if the therapy or medications are covered, the patient’s out of pocket expenses are still high. For example, I have a family member who pays nearly $200 a month of medication to treat depression.   But the big issues is a fear of social stigma.

Nobody wants to be labeled as “the crazy one” or told she has “snakes in her head”. And yes, those are direct quotes that I have heard in reference to people I know with mental illnesses.  As advance as we are as a society, we still treat mental health patients much like we did in the early 1800’s.  Granted, we don’t lock them away in mental wards. No their prison is much more subtle – we block them out of social events, family functions, and normalcy all because they have a chemical imbalance, which causes them to suffer a disorder.

That’s just plain wrong.

I am not sure how we can change this. But we have too.  If we want to be a society that is healthy, we must first start by ensuring that ALL of our members have the help they need to overcome their mental illness.

 

Day 20 #NHBPM: A Health Moment I Regret

Prompts: A health moment I regret or Write about alternative treatments/regimens/medicine.

There is a tiny scar on the third knuckle of my right hand. To most eyes it is invisible, but I always see it, and I remember the night that I got it.  The night had started out like any other college Friday night – my boyfriend of 3 months picked me up from my apartment – we went to dinner, had a few drinks, enjoyed dessert, took in a movie, and spent a few hours at the local bar.  Given that we had to be up early for a football game the following morning, we opted to swing by the local Krystal’s with the hopes that the burgers would absorb the alcohol in our system.  6 cheese Krystal’s later, we got into a stupid fight which ended in me slamming the door in his face, and barricading myself in my bathroom (so that my roommate wouldn’t hear my crying).

As I set on the tan rug, I felt literally sick to my stomach – sick from the alcohol, sick from the greasy burgers, sick from the anxiety and stress of the fight.  And I remember thinking “I wish I could just make this feeling go away.”  At the time, I thought the feeling was just physical illness.  I would later learn that it was feeling of inadequacy, a lack of control and power in my own life.  The moments creeped slowly by and the feeling intensified.  I began to think about the conversations I had overheard in the student center locker rooms – sorority girls talking about how they’d eat ice cream and then throw it up so they could fit into their dresses for formal.  I thought “Why not?”.

I shoved 3 of my fingers down my throat.  The force with which I vomited was unexpected; I raked my knuckles across my teeth causing a deep gash. I covered that gash with a band-aid and a story of cutting it with a knife trying to chop vegetables.

It’s been 11 years since that night, that gash healed into the nearly invisible scar I have today. But it is a reminder of the moment that I will forever regret and a testimony to just how far I have come.

 Do you have a health moment that you regret?

Day 19 #NHBPM: Your Turn to Talk

Prompts:  Questions I have for other patients or Write about Life and Death.

Quick note about Day #18: I had ever intention of blogging yesterday afternoon. But after lunch, the hubby and I got started on a project – building our daughter a toddler bed.  What was supposed to take only an hour, took nearly 2 – then it was time for church, supper afterwards, and the nightly routine of bathtime, book reading, and snuggles. Consider this my use of one of my two “get of posting free” cards!

So technically, I am not a patient – yes, my physician and I are still trying to determine why I’ve gained 20+ pounds in the last year..and can’t lost them.  But my blog is more about living an overall healthy lifestyle, than trying to live with any set health condition.

With that being said, I thought it would be fun to pose questions to you – my readers.  It will give me a chance to know you better, and hopefully provide some ideas on where to take my writing after #NHBPM.

  1. What was your “ah-ha” moment?  Basically, tell me about the moment or moments when you finally realized that you needed to make changes to your lifestyle.
  2. What was the easiest healthy living habit to adopt?
  3. What was the hardest change to make in order to live a healthy lifestyle?
  4. What is your favorite way to work up a good sweat? Why?
  5. What is your least favorite way to work up a good sweat? Why?
  6. What is your favorite food – that is NOT healthy?
  7. What is your favorite healthy food?
  8. If you could share just one lesson you’ve learned with the rest of the world, what would it be?

Feel free to answer one or all of the questions in the comments below!