Wickedly Fit – A Halloween Challenge

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“Take care of your body.  It’s the only place you have to live.” Jim Rohn

On Halloween, I completed day 21 of a fitness challenge I joined called “Wickedly Fit.”  I’m all about the packaging, and the title of this fitness challenge group was just too cute to pass up!

My health and fitness goals have been stagnate for awhile now.  I hadn’t gained any weight, but I hadn’t lost any either.  I could see the old patterns of behavior, poor eating choices and a sedentary lifestyle sneaking back into my daily life.

It scared me.

But not enough to take action.  Yet.

I’d been creeping on this one girl’s Instagram account.   I didn’t know her.  I’m not even sure how I ended up following her to be honest.  I loved reading her posts and seeing her photos.  She’s adorable, motivational and inspirational.  I wanted to be a part of whatever she was doing.  It took me 4 months to get up the courage to message her.  Our stories are vastly different, but one thing I’ve learned is that unhealthy means different things to different people and it isn’t always just a reflection of the number on the scale.  In fact, I don’t even have a goal weight anymore and I’m seriously considering throwing out my scale altogether, especially after seeing the results of this latest fitness challenge.

I finally found the courage to message her.  She immediately responded.  Her excitement and enthusiasm were contagious.  Before I even knew what happened, I was signing up for her fitness challenge. For the first time in months, I was thrilled about the prospect of working out and overhauling our pantry and fridge.  I know.  It was crazy.  I didn’t even recognize myself.

I’m not one to get excited about healthy eating or exercise.  Ever.  The only thing working out has ever made me want to do is nap.  I get endorphins for chocolate or Chick Fil A but not from exercise.  It had been just over a year since my Gastric Sleeve surgery.  The surgery had taken me as far as it could, the rest was going to be up to me.

I knew this.

I just didn’t want to know I knew this.

My highest weight recorded was 297 pounds.  I’ve never told anyone that number.  It took me 6 months to lose 10 pounds and that’s when I decided to look into Gastric Sleeve surgery.  When I decided to go in for surgery, I was down to 287.5 pounds.  The date was July 21, 2015.  My surgery date was August 19, 2015.  By January 2016, I was down to 216 pounds.  I lost 71.5 pounds in 6 months.  Unfortunately, there were side effects.  My hair thinned out, at an alarming rate.  I lost muscle and I found myself feeling low on energy and motivation.  My periods, while much improved, were still bad and irregular.  I lost another 10 pounds over the next few months, but by May of 2016, I had stalled out.  I didn’t exercise over the summer and I was starting to panic that I was going to eventually put all the weight back on.  Gastric sleeve surgery gave me an internal control over portion size, but I was filling up on all the wrong things and wasn’t getting the vitamins and nutrients my body needed.  I felt run down and worn out.  Not to mention, disgusted with myself.  Did I really put myself through all this only to quit, to fail?

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Was I going to be THAT girl again?

I hope not.

No, I definitely did not want to fail (nor did I want to see my chins having chins)!

So I gathered my courage and messaged this girl to find out what this Wickedly Fit program was all about.

I received access to a Facebook accountability group (my favorite part).  This group of women kept me going day after day.  They were positive and encouraging.  They were open and honest about their struggles and challenges.  We celebrated non-scale victories, participated in daily challenge questions/activities and posted all sorts of wonderful food porn (the clean and healthy kind).  I wasn’t intimidated by this group at all.  Quite the opposite in fact. I found myself sharing and opening up about my own struggles and daily challenges and even victories.  I found myself bolstered and encouraged and being a part of this special group of ladies gave me the motivation I needed to complete this 21 day challenge.

I also received a 30 day supply of Shakeology and the 21 Day Fix workout program and eating plan, complete with portion control containers.  This whole program is facilitated by Beachbody.  I was familiar with their programs, and had used them to bounce back in shape after my youngest daughter was born.  I knew they worked.  I knew it wasn’t a quick fix.  I knew it would take hard work and dedication on my part.

I was ready.

Sort of.

I mean, I paid for it.  So I’d better be ready.  I was nervous though…

Failure.  My biggest fear.  Always hovering over me like the Grim Reaper.  Whispering negative words of discouragement in my ear, making me doubt myself.  This particular demon has always plagued me, but I was learning to fight back.  I was learning to stifle and smother those negative thoughts and feelings.  I have good days and bad days.  Days when I see all that I have accomplished and days when I only see the ways in which I have failed. Before my surgery, I would binge eat those feelings.  Now, I binge watch Netflix.  Not quite the trade I should be making.  I know.  But still…a slight improvement.

The “before” picture was taken on Day 1 of the challenge and the “after” picture taken on the last day of the challenge.  21 days total.  I lost 3 1/2 inches overall.  I can definitely see subtle changes and I hope you see them too.  Naturally, I lost the most inches in my chest. Just proving that my boobs are the first thing to go when I lose weight.  Actually, despite losing 3 1/2 inches, I gained 3 pounds.  I weighed before I measured and I was devastated.  I almost didn’t even take my measurements, but I’m so glad I did.  I’ve never been one to record my measurements, but this 21 day challenge made a believer out of me.  I could see noticeable differences in how my clothes fit and how I felt that just wasn’t reflected on the scale.

It was a dark moment, and one that in the past I would have responded to by raiding the pantry.  Instead, I chose to reach out to my challenge group through Facebook.  Post my results and reveal what I considered to be a failure, the gaining of 3 pounds.  I’ve since adjusted my perceptions and I’m super proud of the 3 1/2 inches I lost.  I can’t wait for my next challenge group to start!  Despite what my scale would have me believe, I am transforming my body, making positive changes, gaining strength and confidence.

I’ve got this!

Today.

Tomorrow might be a different story.  But I’ll deal with tomorrow…tomorrow.

The last year of my life was about losing the weight and finding myself.  This next year, I want to focus on living a healthy lifestyle, strengthening my body, mind and soul in new and different ways.  Yes, I still have weight I want to lose, but I want to focus less on the scale and more on building strength and flexibility, pushing my body in ways I never imagined I’d be able to do again.  I want to transform myself physically, mentally and spiritually.  I want to develop attainable goals and then smash through them.  I want to redefine what beauty and success mean to me, not measured by what others think or believe, but about what works for me.

One day at a time.

I want to share my journey and experiences with others.  I draw strength from putting myself out there, as terrifying as it can be.  I hope that maybe someone reading this will be inspired or encouraged, reach out either to me or someone else.  I hope that maybe they won’t feel alone or afraid.  Our goals might be different.  Our struggles, challenges and motivations might be different.  At the end of the day, we all want to be the best versions of ourselves.  We all have desires, wants and needs.  Things we want to accomplish.  Let’s do it together ❤

Fallapalooza 2012!

Let me start with…so I’m still milking the whole “I’m in pain so I have to keep taking this hyrdocodone” injury.  That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.

When man-child was around 2 or 3, he loved to play hide n seek.  He thought if he covered his eyes and couldn’t see us, then we couldn’t see him.  I love this logic.  I apply this logic to mail collecting.  The only thing usually awaiting me in my mailbox are bills, or my people magazine which chronicles the lives of people richer than me, prettier than me, and skinnier than me.  Hence, the mailbox has been dubbed the “box of terror and regret”.  Terror that the electric bill makes it appear we live in The White House or regret that I’ve bought something on Amazon I probably can’t afford.  So, if I don’t check the mailbox, then the terror and regret don’t exist, right?  Right.

Imagine my surprise on Wednesday when there was a postal package shoved in my mailbox and I was pretty sure I hadn’t ordered anything.  Only pretty sure, because I have a terrible case of shopping amnesia.  I order something and then forget I ordered it, it helps lessen the guilt and heads off buyer’s remorse.  I rip into it like a feral cat over a cornered rat and find these lovely crocheted items!

Naturally, I immediately assume it’s my secret fall swap gift!  Aren’t they so pretty?!?!  I didn’t know if I should hang them from a tree with twinkle lights or break out the twine and make myself a fall bikini, get drunk and dance around the house shaking my money-maker!  I wondered how much twine I would need…  Then I worried that the term “falling leaves” might be a little too real and not metaphorical enough when draped on my “poor droopy I’ve had a million kids and I’m over 40” bosoms.  Clearly, I’d need the bigger ones for up top, and I was afraid using the smallest one for “down there” coverage might make it appear I had a squirrel trapped underneath if I didn’t do some immediate tree trimming and hedging with ginormous garden clippers, an industrial strength leaf blower and a tractor.  The whole fall bikini idea was falling apart before my very eyes, and now I was on a downward shame spiral that only Hostess Ding Dong’s and Vodka could cure.

But seriously, aren’t they pretty?  Let me backtrack a minute and explain the whole “secret fall swap” idea.

THE CREATOR:

The absolutely wonderful maven of awesomeness Pocketful of Joules organized the First Annual Fun Fall Swap!  After admiring some holiday gift baskets made by the creative and talented B(itch) Log, Joules conceived the brilliant idea of a Secret Santa type gift exchange among any bloggers that wanted to participate, but instead of Christmas, it would have a fall theme!  Gifts?  Fall?  Secret Santa’s?  I’m so in!

THE PARTICIPANTS:

@JoulesDellinger from Pocketful of Joules
@art_is_of_words from B(itch) Log
@diapersorwine from Diapers….or Wine?
@chewyleecious from Chewylicious
@katiebelle1121 from Words for Worms
@kidinducedcrazy from Sorry kid, your mom doesn’t play well with others
@Playpossum12 from Life’s too short to play possum!
@Chrissawoi from Quirky Chrissy

And me, of course.

So, I received this delicate and vibrant fall swap gift (or so I thought it was my fall swap gift….remember the hyrdocodone excuse at the beginning?) and I didn’t immediately thank the person I was pretty sure had sent it to me, because I thought it had to be all part of the secret fall swap blog post.  Yes, she included a note which should have been my first clue that this wasn’t a secret swap gift, but again…remember the hydrocodone I was pretending to need because I kinda like the loopy feeling it gives me.  I only have 7 left, so don’t worry about staging any interventions on my behalf, and I don’t drink on the days I pop pills, so no worries.

Imagine my surprise when I came home today to find this on my doorstep:

 Well…it wasn’t found on my doorstep exactly like that, but in my excitement to see what the Mail Santa delivered to me, I didn’t think to take a pic until after I ripped into the boxes of goodness.  This is my attempt to recreate the moment.  It’s flawed, but you get the gist.  I was EXCITED!  I had PRESENTS!  Wait….presents?  But I already got my fall swap gift..right?  Apparently, no.

So, now I’m horrified because my dear sweet wonderful bloggy twitter friend Chewylicious will think I just blew off her thoughtful gift that she sent me, not as part of a fall swap, but just because she’s kind and generous and likes to surprise people with nice things!  Yes, we had talked about her sending me something after I gushed and shamelessly plugged for her to make me something, but remember that amnesia I was talking about earlier…yeah…so….

FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THINKING OF ME!  I LOVE IT!  YOU’RE THE BEST, AND I’M GOING TO RETURN THE FAVOR SOON!  (I was thinking a pic of me in the fall bikini? JK JK…no I promise, you will love it, which means I won’t be making it!)

So, now onto the two magical boxes left on my doorstep.

The first came from my friend in crime @LucyBall15 (My Life As Lucille) and I pee’d my pants when I realized what the box contained!

My very own “Booze Bong”!  And I got it just in time for #wineparty and Homecoming weekend!  So instead of looking like this:

Image courtesy of collegehumor.com

I’ll be all classy and look like this:

image courtesy of captaincrebler.blogspot.com

She loves me.  She truly loves me.  And my husband says thanks for the gym towel (it protected my precious wine bong).  Seriously, how cute is my little bong!

What was in the other box you ask?

I’ll tell you that it was wrapped up tighter than Fort Knox or my daughter on Homecoming night.  My hands were shaking in excitement!  What could it be?!?!  The kids were hovered around me, breathless with anticipation.  Daughter #2 whispered “shoes…”  Man-child squealed “Is it toys?!”.

I said, “MINE.”

Look how pretty it’s all wrapped!  I just took my fall swap items to the UPS store and had them wrap it and box it…I’m feeling kinda bad for my poor recipient.  The first thing I carefully unwrapped…

Only to have man-child snatch it from my grasp, and exclaim… “How did they know Frank is my favorite!”

Frank?  Seriously?  He’s on first name basis with this Halloween monster?  He’s confiscated MY FALL SWAP GIFT!  I’m now plotting which action figure I’ll hold hostage until I get “Frank” back from his evil clutches.

Next, I unwrap….

Which is also snatched from my grasp, as man-child screams “It’s like this person KNOWS ME!” 

On the bright side, Frank is back in my arms…

On the downside, this is lurking behind every dark bathroom corner….

No worries, I’ll calm myself by gorging on this….

I LOVE candles.  Every spare inch of space in my house is covered with candles.  Candles make my house smell like I bake and cook and craft!  Which I don’t, but people will think I do!  Plus, it masks the smell of dirty laundry, burnt dinners, pee, children and wet dogs.  This person sent me not only a candle, but the best kind of candle because it also doubles as dessert for the senses.  I don’t have to ingest the calories of the pie to feel like I ate it and my house will smell like one.  Oh sweet goodness.

Also in my box of wonder and delight…

 This adorable fall basket which can hold my wine bong or a bottle of wine or candy!  It’s my very own adult use only Halloween basket.  I love my secret swapper.  I love my tweeps.  I love my bloggy friends.  You guys are amazing.  I loved participating in this fall swap!  That’s a whole bunch of love and I haven’t even started bonging yet…

Oh, and I get to guess who I think my magnificent secret fall swapper is…

hmmmm……

I’d love to say I’m all awesome secret agent-like and stuff, but really I’m just basing my guess off the state from which it shipped, and my guess is:

DRUMROLL PLEASE!

Diapers….or Wine?

Who is not only HILARIOUS and makes me laugh constantly, but is also an amazing fall swap gift giver!

If it’s not you, and I’m wrong, I’m sure you are still an amazing gift giver.  Obviously, still funny.  If I’m wrong, then the person responsible is also an amazing gift giver and funny, talented, creative and all-around awesomesauce!

I think I’ve covered all bases here…

Thanks again Pocketful of Joules for giving birth to such a fun idea which got me all in the holiday mood!

HAPPY FALL EVERYONE!