11.23.2012

Fashionista Fitness

If you are a new reader, back in January, I decided to write a monthly post chronicling my goals, trials and triumphs. You can catch up on my older posts here. I am so excited to share my journey with you!


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I just finished my FORTY SEVENTH week of consistently working out and eating correctly. There are five weeks left in the year and in chronicling my journey. I am blown away at how fast this year has gone. 

I think that it is time that I pour out my heart.
I want you to know how I am driven by my fears, how hard this process has been, the way I see myself when I look in the mirror or at pictures and truly what I have learned. While I still have not reached my "goal" nor do I think that my journey is complete, I think that reflection and recognition are an important part in reaching the next level.

My Fears
I have been taught that it is not healthy to be led by or to live in fear, and I wholeheartedly agree with that. Living in fear is letting the "what ifs", "coulda, shoulda, woulda" and "impossible" take control which is debilitating.  When I say that I am driven by my fear, I think that I am talking about overcoming the bad to let the good prevail. I am FRIGHTENED to gain the weight back. I do not ever want to be that person again. That fear is what motivates me when I feel like I have nothing left to give, when I have to dig deep just to do 30 minutes of cardio. 

Unfortunately, I also have some irrational fears that I am trying to conquer and smash! 
  • I am afraid to ever get pregnant, yet I want a kid. I do not want my body to go through that process, I don't want to blow up and I truly feel like I will gain so much weight. 
  • I am afraid that I will never lose the last 15-20 pounds. 
  • I am fearful that I don't have it in me to buckle down and cut everything to hit the weight that I want to be at. 
  • I am scared that I will always have to work out this much, eat this clean and never get to indulge again. 
  • I am afraid that people only tell me I look good or that it looks like I have lost weight because I have been so vocal on this journey.   
  • I fear that when people look at me they think that I have been lying about my diet and exercise regimen because I don't feel like my weight loss is representative to how hard I have been working.  
I think this gives you a light peak into what a mental battle I have been fighting along with the physical battle. I am working on silencing these demons every day. Deep down I know that I am strong enough to fight or I would have given up by now. I am just so thankful that I was READY to take this journey head on back at the end of 2011. AND I have had incredible support from everyone from  my family and friends to the Internet/blog/Instagram world. It has been amazing and overwhelming!


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The Process
I feel like this process has had the highest of highs and lowest of lows. The first six months were the easiest. Seeing the changes and weight loss week after week was encouraging. Hitting goals like the first 30 pounds, running my first 5K and having a consistent work out schedule really kept me in line and helped me keep a positive perspective. Then I decided to start dating again, I had my Summer of Fun traveling every weekend, attending concerts and not saying NO to any opportunity that came my way. Living life to the fullest led to a very challenging schedule. Trying to fit everything in, eat the correct way and maintain the intensity was TOUGH. I was proud that I was able to maintain my weight through a couple months where drinking happened quite frequently. I still find the balance to be difficult. Then after a frustrating month in the gym I decided to alter my already good diet to a Gluten Free diet. That change was relatively easy yet that month was the hardest month I had getting to the gym. No motivation, lost mojo and quite emotional. The last two months have literally been the hardest. I am still working through the reasoning on why I have struggled so much during this time. I am hoping that I am over the hump. I am always trying to find new workouts, reach out for support and change up my routine to get out of funks and push through. But I want you all to know, that while I choose to talk about and focus on the positive (I believe in what I speak out being truth), I still have my bad/tough/sad/disappointing times. I think everyone does when they take on themselves!


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Looking in the mirror and at pictures
   When I look in the mirror I still see the fat girl. I see every bump, lump and roll that should not be there. I see a double chin, round cheeks and a protruding belly. Don't get me wrong, I KNOW that my body has changed significantly but I have a hard time SEEING it. When I look at pictures I analyze everything (which sucks when you take pics of yourself daily for your blog). I also still feel like I look 10x bigger than anyone I take a picture with. It is crazy to me that your brain takes so long to catch on to the changes. I never realized how powerful the mental side of this really is. In a lot of ways, I blame it on my YEARS of working in the Fashion Industry, I still focus so much on the numbers. How much I weigh, what size clothing I am wearing and the pounds and inches lost really take over my thoughts when they shouldn't be. I am healthy, I am fit and I am changing my body. Those things should matter more.


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What I Have Learned thus Far
  • DO ANYTHING you can to love yourself, the transformation starts from the inside out and you have to love yourself first!
  • NO ONE can do this for you, no one. You can have all of the support in the world but if YOU don't want it bad enough it will never happen.
  • It isn't going to be easy, you will want to quit all of the time and you may hit more plateaus than you thought possible. PUSH through.
  • So many people want to see you succeed. It is truly motivating, inspiring and humbling. So many people I had not talked to in YEARS have written to me, reached out to me via social media or called to encourage me and let me know that I was inspiring them. Best. Feeling. Ever.
  • You need JUST ONE person that you can turn to through the good AND the bad. For me that person has been my trainer. Jonathan is so much more than my trainer; he is my friend, my confidant and my motivator. I can tell him anything, even the REALLY stupid/awkward things, and he talks me through it.
  • This isn't a diet. It is not a fleeting fancy. This is my life. This is my future. I cannot go back to my old ways and I did mourn them! I committed to a lifestyle change. And it is a commitment that I don't intend to break.
  • You cannot cheat and expect results. I know that sounds simple but when you have lived a certain way for a long time you bring those old habits with you. Every little bit DOES count. Don't fool yourself that 100 calories here and there won't make a difference. They do. And skipping one workout a week means (for me at least) 800-1000 extra calories NOT burned. That is almost 1/3 of a pound loss missed out on.
  • Write, Journal, Blog. Keep track of your goals, accomplishments and thoughts through out the process. You learn so much from looking back on where you started and how much you have changed and overcome.
  • You can do anything you put your mind to. I have always believed this phrase was true for everything EXCEPT weight loss. Haha. I thought that I was "trying" in the past. I wasn't. Once I was ready and in the right mindset I was able to begin accomplishing my goals.
  • You have to be all in, balls to the wall, 100% ready to make a change. 
  • My mind and my thoughts are my biggest stumbling block. No one else. I cannot believe how MEAN to myself I am. It is sad. I would never treat or talk to someone else the way I do to myself. It is weirdly a motivator but more of an eye opener as to where my self esteem REALLY is at.

Well my friends, THANK you for reading such a long post!
I really hope that any of you on your own journey learn something from all of this, feel a little less alone and know that I understand.

Results:
I am still sitting pretty at about a 38 pound loss. 
I have been Gluten Free since October 1st (more on that next month).
I continue to buy smaller sizes in clothing

Goals:
Make it through the holidays :)
End the year at a solid 40 pound weight loss!

As always, I leave you with work out humor.... I LOVE to laugh!

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8 comments:

  1. This was great & refreshing to read, someone actually on the same level as myself. I have been overweight my entire life. Lost 75lbs. senior year, gained it back, dropped again, and then got a trainer and thought I got myself back on track but the past 4 months have been rough. It is a very hard struggle and for me the worst demon is myself- I always say "i will NEVER be that overweight girl again" then I fall back into my old habits. I am so proud & excited for you to be going this long and staying on such a healthy track, it is very inspiring. As for the getting pregnant. I am the exact say way. I can't even wrap my head around eating for 2, but not gaining a 10000 lbs, then losing it all! I don't want the hassle or heartbreak of doing that to myself. UGH! It is so selfish to say, but so effing true. Anyways- Power on gf! Keep it up!
    xoKatie

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  2. girl, i really don't know how you do it. i've never been so unhappy with my body like i am now. it's so hard to have motivation, make the time it takes to work out a priority, and do it consistently. I'm so proud of you and am in awe at all the work you've done and what you've accomplished! keep up girl, i KNOW you'll reach your goal by year's end

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  3. Mandy, thank you for this post! My weight has been up and down and all over the place since college (so about 10 years now). I gained the freshman fifteen, lost at least twenty during a breakup my junior year, gained it all back and then some during the first year after graduation, lost twenty pounds again and rewarded myself with a pair of True Religions, gained twenty pounds back in "happy weight" during my next relationship, gained another 15 eating tubs of ice cream when we broke up... all of this is to say that I FEEL YOU. And I am in a place where, for about 2 years at least, I've been telling myself that I'm going to kick my own butt like I did 4-5 years ago by going to the gym and counting my calories. But it's so true that if you're not READY to do it, you WON'T. I'll commit for a few weeks and then a donut will speak to me and it's all over. Forcing myself to make those first few trips to the gym before it becomes a habit is pretty difficult indeed. I also wanted to say that I think you are a beautiful woman and I don't know you IRL but I'm sure you're even more beautiful on the inside, which means the outside beauty is increased exponentially. Either way, thank you for sharing your struggles -- it always helps to know we're not alone when we feel like we have to work a little harder for something.

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  4. oh my love, your words speak to my heart like you don't even know. I feel like the demons/dark voices/negativity are something that anyone who works out consistently struggles with.
    I completely understand and empathize with the wanting to have a kid but not blow up. I felt the same way for YEARS! (partly why there are 9 yrs. between my kids) and even struggled with the blowing up feeling while I was pregnant! I finally had to let go of my own fears and just enjoy the moment.(and indulge in all my food whims) And once the baby was out.....oh how I feared getting back to Me! It was/still is/a struggle. I love to indulge more than I enjoy getting up to work out each day but I do like the way I feel afterwards. I do like the way my clothes are fitting better and better and I am so proud of myself for sticking to not only a fitness goal but a lifestyle change. I think that's whats most important. you started this journey at the right time for all the right reasons and now this is your lifestyle and not just a temporary fix. I admire and dig that about you!
    Looking in the mirror some days I still see myself 2 weeks postpartum and struggle with that all the time. I don't know why but we never see ourselves how others see us! Frustrates the crap out of me!
    I love that you are sharing your journey with us and am excited to hear about your ups and downs and see you grow in the process. Wish you all the luck in continuing on your goal!

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  5. Mandy! Reading your blog brought me to tears! I always have known your struggles but it was difficult reading them. You have always been such a beautiful amazing girl with a bright future! I have always felt like you would and could accomplish anything that you set your mind to! This might truly be your most difficult journey, however you have done it by being vulnerable and with such grace! You truly are an amazing woman. Your journey has not only been for you but for others as well. You have encouraged others to be honest with themselves as you have been honest with your self! I am so proud of you and what you have accomplished. You will reach your goals and your life will continue to reflect the beautiful person that you are. Blessings will continue to follow you where ever you go and in whatever you do. You will have your hearts desire, just keep believing! I love you with all my heart and I am so proud to call you my daughter and my friend! Keep up the good work! Love, Your cheerleader mom!!!

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  6. I know I don't even have the right words to say how I feel. I am so impressed/proud/motivated/amazed by your hard work & dedication. 47 weeks is absolutely amazing and I have a big smile on my face reading about your success. Although I don't have a lot of challenges with my weight I absolutely understand where you're coming from. I always say that it would be so easy for me to weigh 300 pounds if I actually just ate what I wanted to. I'm always struggling with my weight, up & down 15 pounds and it's so frustrating because one rough day for me can add 3 or 4 pounds! I guess that's my round-about way of saying that you're not alone and there will always be people rooting for you and supporting you even if we've never actually met! I am excited to keep reading more about your journey!

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  7. Wow, I am so impressed with your determination and commitment to living a healthier lifestyle. As for the mental block, I find it is helpful to put on an outfit from before you started exercising and eating healthier. Take a picture of you in the now too big clothes and see how far you have come. It really helps to reset your mind. You still might be a little ways from your ideal weight, but losing 38 lbs is a great success.

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  8. Thanks for sharing, Mandy. It is obvious that so many appreciate you sharing your story with us. Just remember it is a journey--be forgiving of yourself in the process. You have come so far and have the rest of your life to continue with your healthy habits. We're all rooting for you!

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