Wow… it’s been an interesting day… but more on that in a moment. I think the best place to start today’s post is with one of my inspirational photos I found on Facebook a few weeks ago. I’ve returned to it several times (and shared it with several people) because it has such a deep connection for me.
This image has become my inspiration for the last few weeks.
When you’re heavy, it’s very common to see your self as an enormous animal – say a pig, hippo, elephant…. or even a rhino.It’s what’s been trained into our brains from mean bullies for as long as I can remember. Let’s face it, society is mean. I still remember many of the hurtful things people said to me growing up, but I had thick skin and let it roll off. Then again, I was never as heavy as I was this summer.
The first time I found this photo on one of the many fitness-healthy eating pages, I chuckled out loud (literally). All my life, I’ve felt like a rhino and I’ve always loved unicorns since I was a little girl. While at the time, I saved it and shared it with my friends, I had no idea how important this photo was going to become for me.
A few days later, I went back to this image to look at it again. I didn’t realize at the time just how much much I was like this photo. Here I am, the rhino running on the treadmill staring at photos online of people who’ve lost weight, reading inspirational stories and talking with people in my circle of friends who have actually succeeded in the process. I draw to them, usually on Facebook, to get me through and give me hope my dreams will one day become a reality.
While the reality of this photo isn’t possible, my reality is entirely possible and no matter how much life throws at me – I refuse to give up on my dreams. This rhino is going to be a unicorn some day and when that day comes, I know it’s because I worked damn hard to get there.
This photo isn’t one of the only images that inspired me. I’ve decided to include several more of my recent favorites in this post as well. This one struck me several weeks ago and it couldn’t be more true to my life. While I enjoy going to my gym, there are just some days that aren’t any fun. There are days I’m tired, cranky, sick and who knows what else is going on but I keep on going. I know if I don’t, my results won’t become a reality.
In fact, one of the things I’ve started doing is finding other ways to workout besides the gym. Like walking around the block with my daughter and our dog. I’ve also developed a great interest in participating in charity walks and races (hence my entry to the next one on November 3).
These changes aren’t by chance – but instead they are needed in my quest for results. I might not always love my work out, but I certainly love jumping on a scale each week and seeing that dreaded number go down, down and down more. I’ve surpassed the 30 pound mark since this summer and that’s huge for me. What’s even bigger though is the weight is staying off. After years and years of unsuccessful yo-yo diets, I’m proud to say my weight is staying banished forever!
While so many photos that I love are inspirational – some are just down right funny. Like this photo posted by a friend and inspirational mentor, Maria. I couldn’t stop laughing all day after seeing this. If it was only so easy, we’d all be skinny. I now tell my body this daily, unfortunately it’s also the one body part I feel shrinking quickly.
I wish there was a way to pick the parts of my body that shrunk first because there are days I feel like I’m all out of whack because one part is shrinking faster than another. I’m sure there’s other women out there with the same problem. I want the weight to leave my stomach and hips … but it’s coming off my face and my chest. I guess the best way to look at it though is that the weight is coming off!
Of course the real point of this post (originally) was to talk about my mini success of the day. After getting off to a rocky start and making at least one bad choice (hey it happens), I got back on my feet and kept going. I didn’t let one little screw up ruin my entire day. I knew today was going to be tough when we decided to go to the Pumpkin Festival, but I had no idea just how difficult it would be until today.
This festival marked the first festival my family has attended since changing our eating habits. Normally these festivals are my favorite time of year when I scarf all the funnel cake, candy, sugar, sweets, desserts and carnival food I can get my hands on – but not this time! If I told you this day was insanely easy, I’d be lying through my teeth.
From the minute we walked onto the grounds, the smells just hit me. Kettle corn, corn dogs, funnel cake, candy apples, pumpkin pie and the list goes on. There were goodies lurking around every corner and boy did I want them bad.
We didn’t bring a lot of money (on purpose) so we would hopefully be thwarted from wasting money on food and rather
Me and my daughter with a 100 pound boa at the Houston Pumpkin Festival
let our daughter play with the overpriced children’s activities. It was well worth it too – she took a nice pony ride, several trips down the bouncy slide and my favorite part of the day, taking a picture with a 100 pound boa that drive her grandma crazy (she hates snakes).
These are things I should be spending money on, not overpriced festival food laden with calories and fat (not the good kind) and basically blowing my entire day out of the water. I’m so proud of myself for resisting the urge to give into the temptation of fair food.
In reality though, I know that I don’t need to take all the things I love out of my life. If I really wanted a funnel cake, I could have one. But I didn’t need it and I knew better. Today was not my day to cheat. I wanted it, but it simply wasn’t worth it.
Since I always like to justify with myself why I made such a great choice, when I got home today I looked up the stats for the average funnel cake….. WOW … JUST WOW…
Average Funnel Cake (per MyFitnessPal.com)
Calories – 760 <— nearly half my daily calorie allotment
Total Fat – 44g
Sodium – 200mg
Carbs – 80g
Sugar – 16g
Average Corn Dog (per MyFitnessPal.com)
Calories – 280
Total Fat – 19g
Sodium – 755mg <— that’s a LOT of Salt!
Carbs – 21g
Sugar – 5g
I guess you could say, this entire process has been making me more aware of my decisions and how much they will ultimately affect my life. Am I saying I’ll never have another piece of funnel cake again – fat chance! Do I think the next time I want one that I will be splitting it with someone (or possibly 3-4 someones), absolutely!! It’s all about moderation. If I must have a funnel cake, it would be best split between three to four people, which then brings the calories down to 250 – 190… that makes a big difference.
As far as the corn dog… there’s not much you can do with that. I think I’ll be avoiding those unless I know they’re less caloric in the future. I know they exist … and maybe we’ll get adventurous with some “clean eating” options. Hmmmm I’m sure we’ll come up with something useful.
So today was another small victory in my book. I know success is an option in my life. I have realized the possibilities in my life are endless. That unicorn is in sight and one day I’m going to make it there. Each day I’m running just a little bit closer and getting a glimpse of what my life will ultimately be like.
The only way I can succeed though is to focus on what I’m doing and not what the world is doing around me. Every choice I make needs to be my choice, not someone else’s lifestyle. I have especially learned that when so many people discuss different diet plans – from Clean Eating to Paelo. At this point, we’re following something in the middle of the two because I pull recipes from both ends.
Simply put, I’m not going to banish everything I love from my life. I’ll never give up dairy products, I simply wont. If I do, I know I’ll relapse back to wanting them and screw everything up again. I won’t give up my grains either because damn it, I love them!
I believe my husband and I have found something that works well for the both of us. We’re avoiding processed food and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. We’ve limited the sodium and “white devils.” I truly believe our new lifestyle is going to make us a lot happier in the long run. It’s already helped us both lose significant weight.
Before I go, I’d like to share one final photo with you – I found this one to be extremely inspirational for my thoughts of the day. I know going to festivals may or may not get easier. My shopping budget is tight and expensive and it’s tough staying on track when all you want to do is bury a spoon deep in a half-gallon of ice cream, but I know with the results – life just gets better and that’s where the focus must be to move forward! It’s just going to get better with each day.
One final note – for those that personally know me and know just how much I love my ice cream – I am proud to say that it’s been over 40 days since I purchased a half-gallon of ice cream. I use to eat one full half-gallon a week (nearly 1 bowl a day). I’m not saying I haven’t had any ice cream – but it’s not in my house. That’s a little win in itself!
Thanks for reading!! Please leave some love!