Monday, January 23, 2017

What goes up must come down...

My last few posts have been all "I'm not going to let this beat me!" and "I can do anything!" and "It's gonna be okay!"

Well this one's not.

I try to only write posts that will inspire and motivate those who read them and then tend to go silent when I'm going through a tough time. But a friend pointed out that the bad times are when I need this blog the most. So I guess I'm hoping that by writing some things down, I will get through this rough patch faster and get back to the "I can do anything" attitude that I need to survive these next few months.

Being broken SUCKS. I really sucks. Yes. I realize there are people in this country and in the world that have it far worse than I do and I am sympathetic to that. But I am a firm believer that it's okay to still be upset about our own bad days despite them maybe not being as bad as someone else's. It's not a competition. And anyone who tells you to "suck it up, it could be worse" could use a little sympathy themselves.

That being said..back to my tantrum. I've been pretty good at hiding it on the outside, but I sunk into a pretty nasty depression over the past few days. I've barely gotten out of bed (though I'm not really supposed to anyway I guess), I've been emotionally eating more than my share of M&M's and cheetos, and I've snapped at people for no reason. I've just...been angry.

I'm angry. I'm frickin' pissed frankly. But maybe with more colorful language.

I HATE being stuck at home in bed (or in the recliner).
I hate that going to the bathroom/showering is basically an acrobatic act.
I hate that I can't do anything without help. (You should see me going up the stairs from the car to the house hahaha)
I hate that my 2 year old is bored to death during the day because mommy just sits there and can't run around with him while everyone else is gone/working.
I hate that my house is a disaster area 90% of the time despite how hard my hubby and kids are working to pick up my slack.
I hate that my amazing husband has to be both the dad AND the mom and take care of me like I'm a 5th child.
I hate that I can't get a good night's sleep.
I hate that I'm in pain most of the time.
I hate that I have to practically live in pajamas because I can't get anything else over my splint/cast.
I HATE HATE HATE that I can't go to the gym.
I hate that I can't be there to teach my Zumba and HIIT classes and probably won't be for a very long time.
I hate that yet again I'm missing a season of volleyball (I play in a league with the most amazing women).
I hate that after the years it took me to get outside of myself and my house to make some friends, I'm stuck back inside alone, staring at a screen most of the day. The days my friends do visit are the absolute best and I'm so lucky to have friends like that.
I hate that I can't drive. I love driving. Not to mention I get headaches/carsick when I'm not in the driver's seat.
I just hate being broken.

I'm sure I could list many more things that have weighed me down these past 3 weeks, but reading back over this I'm just starting to feel like I'm whining and I hate that. I don't want to be that person. I really don't like feeling this way. But I do. It's going to be a long 3 months and it's overwhelming to realize how long that is and how much can happen in that amount of time.

I finally made Nathan take me to church yesterday, wheelchair and all, because I NEEDED something to uplift me. I needed to be surrounded by the spirit I feel when I'm there. I needed to see and hug all my sweet, wonderful primary kids who I've missed teaching more than I thought possible. I needed to do something NORMAL. And it felt wonderful. It was exhausting (and painful towards the end...3+ hrs is a long time), but I'm so glad I went. It was what I needed.

I know things will get better. I know it may be a while, but they will. I am SO grateful for all of the support and help I have had from friends and especially from my husband and children. I am truly blessed to have so many people who love me. I'm overwhelmed by the kind gestures, the dinners, the surprise visits and gifts, the texts and phone calls. I can't imagine how much worse off I'd be without those things and all these amazing people in my life.

This too shall pass. I know. But thank you for letting me vent. Hopefully it won't happen again for a while ;)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Boot Camp....broken or not...

Before breaking my foot, I had decided that I would kick off 2017 with a Boot Camp season in my weight loss group (Jilly's Losers) to get us all back on track after a more than indulgent holiday season. It was going to be a balls to the wall, no excuses kind of season.

After breaking my foot, I decided...not to change a damn thing. This was the perfect opportunity for me to live what I preach and to truly not let ANYTHING become an excuse for me to not turn things around and get healthy again.

Weighing on one foot, I will admit, is not an easy thing to do. But I've managed it. And during our first week I lost 2.4lbs :) And that's with a big freaking cast on, a screw in my foot AND without my usual exercise routine! I focused on eating more fruits/veggies/protein and less carbs. More eating at home and less trips to the drive thru. LOTS more water...and yes, even some exercise.

Part of the boot camp season is that everything is mandatory...including the challenges. Our first week involved a fitness test that had to be repeated twice.

Complete 1 mile (however you, walk, elliptical, etc)
3 strength exercises of your choice for 1 minute each (squats, crunches, etc) - Count how many
1 cardio exercise for 1 minute (jacks, high knees, mountain climbers, etc) - Count how many

Right off the bat I had myself wondering how I was going to manage to keep myself from getting disqualified, but I made it work. I used my little portable bike pedals as a handbike and did my mile on that. I managed pushups, crunches and some overhead presses for my strength exercises (though I needed help getting up off the floor haha). And for my cardio, I did seated high knees. While it wasn't ideal, it still worked and it still helped me to gauge my fitness level given my current circumstances.

This week we're doing an exercise ladder. It may prove a bit harder, but I'm determined to complete as much of it as I possibly can!!

NO EXCUSES. Not even legitimate ones! :) 3 weeks down, 1 to go.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

With a little help from my friends, family and inability to drive....

It's been 4 days since I broke my foot, and I'm happy to report that my eating is still on point! Now...I did send Nathan to Zupas for a protein bowl (kale, quinoa, peppers, black beans, corn, pork, guac) and a bowl of Wisconsin Cauliflower soup on Wednesday, but there was no dessert involved and it was infinitely healthier than a burger and fries. Other than that, we haven't eaten out once and I'm pretty stinking proud of that.

Our friends have been amazing. We've already had 3 meals brought to us and another one coming tomorrow. Nathan is more than capable of putting a meal together but after having to work and be both the mom AND the dad all day long, I know he appreciates when he doesn't have to. He has been amazing. He works from home, which is even more of a blessing now than it has ever been...and he somehow manages to entertain Cooper, change him, feed him, bathe him...all WHILE working. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful husband.

I have yet to try any sort of upper body strength/cardio workout but I'm waiting until I see the surgeon on Tuesday to see what's going to happen going forward. So my eating really has been my sole focus. And I'll be honest...the fact that it physically pains me to try and get into the kitchen really keeps me from doing so. I also can't there's no fast food runs for me. I've also instructed my family NOT to bring me pizza or burgers or treats no matter how much pain I may seem to be in or how nice they might think they're being by doing so haha. Thus far, it's been a raging success! So other than the dip in exercise and the meals being cooked by friends instead of myself...I think the goals I set on Monday are still going pretty strong.

I am going a bit stir crazy being stuck either lying in bed or in a recliner all day, but as my good friend, Dee, least I'm warm and cozy and not outside shoveling the sidewalk like my children are right now! I'm hoping to make it to church tomorrow but between the snow coming down and how hard it is for me to get around at the moment that may not happen. Nathan took me out for a drive around Ogden last night to get me out of the house and all that happened was that my motion sickness kicked in and I had a headache on top of everything else. I REALLY miss driving! But on the plus side, I'm making some good headway on Gilmore Girls and I started using YNAB (You need a budget) to make the most of Nathan's next 6 months of his contract.'s not ALL bad :)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Starting the year off on the right (broken) foot...

I wanted to write this blog yesterday, but I wanted to try and get a better emotional handle on things before I did so. Not sure how successful I was in that, but I need to get this out. So here goes.

Less than 48 hours after writing a big, long, self-inspiring "I'm ready to kick 2017's butt" blog decided to test just how committed I actually am to those goals. After already doing one workout Tuesday morning (Zumba), I prepared an tough, new HIIT (high intensity interval training) class for my students that night. I was excited to try a lot of new exercises (some that I'd borrowed from different Beachbody workouts) and to really push my students and myself. I went into that class feeling strong and good and really freaking determined. And then on the 3rd exercise....I broke my foot.

While showing everyone how to do an A-skip (which as my friend Jen Tippets put just a glorified "running man" haha)...I landed on one foot and apparently did it wrong, because I heard a snap and went down. And just like a year ago when I tore my calf muscle...I knew immediately that I was done. I was certain it was broken.

I honestly think that my first emotion was horrified embarrassment. I had 2 brand new students there who I'm sure just saw a big fat girl try to jump and then break herself doing so. Luckily one of my fellow instructors was still just outside the aerobics room and was able to come in and take over my class while the lifeguards wrapped my foot and my hubby came to rescue me and get me to the ER. (Thank you Tess for kicking their butts for me!)

After having to butt scoot down 2 flights of stairs at the gym due to a broken elevator, I climbed into the van, shut the door so my boss couldn't hear me...and just broke down crying and screaming (and swearing).

I was truly heartbroken...and really freaking mad.

Even before the x-rays confirmed it, I knew that this injury was going to clear my calendar for the next few months. I felt everything I had worked for and everything I had planned for myself ripped right out from under me. How ironic...that I had just written out all these goals I had for myself...about exercise and weight loss...only to have life decide that that was all a little too easy and I needed to add a twist.

As we dealt with the various doctors and nurses and techs at the hospital, my paranoia and self-doubt went into overdrive. Every time someone asked me how I'd hurt myself...and every time I told them I am a fitness instructor, I saw the surprise on their faces and heard the "Oh! Really? Well cool." reactions. I've always known I was the biggest fitness instructor at my gym and honestly it's never really bothered me. When I teach a Zumba class, I use it. I shimmy and shake like nobody's business and I'm PROUD of the fact that I'm a plus size fitness instructor. But in that moment with all those health professionals...I felt small and like I was some joke they were going to laugh at once I was gone. No one said anything to that effect and I'm sure a lot of it was just in my head...but that's how I felt. And it was horrible.

After a series of extremely painful x-rays that had me balling like a baby...and then an hour long wait for the doctor...we finally saw this...

The ER doc told me he knew it was broken before the x-rays even came up...and that it's going to be 6-8 weeks minimum for recovery. Then he added the fun part. I might need surgery. (which I will have to wait until next Tuesday to find out for sure) Feeling completely disheartened and frustrated, I muttered something about this messing up my life. He gently pointed out that it could be so much worse and that I'd be just fine.

And he's right.

So it's time to shift my focus a bit. I'm glad that my family and I had already decided it was time to eat better because that's going to be my main focus for the next few months. I made the decision as we left the hospital that I'm NOT going to let this be an excuse to live on comfort food and self pity. It was almost 11pm and I was starving...but instead of going through a drive thru for a late night burrito like I would have a couple weeks ago...Nathan went into 7-11 and grabbed me a (surprisingly delicious) salad. It seems like a silly thing...but that one decision was the most important one I've made so far this year. It set a precedent for more healthy eating decisions to come and reminded me that I CAN do this. And while I went to bed in pain and sad..I also went to bed determined not to let this beat me.

I've always told my weight loss group participants that weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise and that injuries are no reason to let yourself give up. I guess it's time for me to prove that. And I fully intend to. Honestly, it will help that I can't drive to go get myself all the unhealthy food I want haha.

So here are my goals for the forseeable future:
1) Continue tracking my food on MFP. Stay under 1500 calories a day.
2) 100 oz of water a day, no excuses.
3) Continue weekly meal planning as a family and still allow for one meal out/ordering in
4) Get in at least 2 upperbody/core workouts at home each week and add in some shadow boxing for cardio when I'm ready.
5) Be kind to myself when I start to feel like a failure or like I should give up.
6) Finish watching all seasons of Gilmore Girls on Netflix and do so without snacking the whole time! ;)
7) Fully participate in my upcoming Jilly's Losers boot camp season to the best of my ability.
8) Lose 20lbs or more by the time I am allowed to go back to teaching.

2017 is still going to be my year and it is still going to be amazing. It may just be the percocet talking, but one way or another I will make it through the next 2 months and then I will come back stronger than ever. I'm grateful to have such a wonderful family who is taking care of me and of each other while I can't....and for my amazing friends who have brought dinners (healthy ones even!), thoughtful gifts and have taken my kids when I need to rest. I love you more than you know and would surely sink into depression without you.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Day 1 down, 20980928023400 to go...

That's probably way more days than anyone has left on this earth, but you get my point ;) Yesterday was a success in some ways and not in others....but the fact that I was down to 280.1 today makes me think it was more of a success than I thought!

I tracked my food and kept it under 1600 calories and only had 2 caramels as my nighttime treat after going all day without any sugar. I still had more carbs than I'd like, but I was finishing off some delicious cream cheese/pepper jelly dip and the wheat thins called to me. I couldn't NOT answer. It'd be rude ;)

But I also got in all my water and had our planned dinner (Asian chicken salad....homemade!) so honestly...I'd be lying if I said I didn't crush it. Today has been great too :)

This morning I took a deep breath and went to Dee's Zumba class at the gym even though I know I have to teach HIIT tonight. I got in 1 of my ME workouts. And it felt great. I can still feel how much more out of shape I am than I was a year ago and how much harder it is to move like I used to...but I know I'll get there.

My eating has been fantastic today so far and it feels great to say that. Lots of protein and WAY less carbs...even when you include the single serving of chocolate almonds I had. Still got plenty of calories to eat and more to burn in tonight's class...which is exhausting just to write up!

I know this type of motivation won't last me forever, but I going to ride it while it does. Thank you for letting me use you all as a sounding board in the process. It really helps :)

Monday, January 2, 2017

New year, bigger me...

Looking back over my habits in 2016, it really doesn't surprise me that I put on 30 lbs-ish. After not weighing for the past 2 weeks out of fear, I finally mustered up the courage and stepped on the scale. I saw a number that absolutely horrified me.


Yes, you read that right. 285 point freaking 1. Given, several lbs of that are from our New Years indulgences, but at the very best I'd say I'm at 280. And that's still completely unacceptable to me. Now a lot of you will say, "But Jill, you're still 50lbs below your heaviest and that's great!" Sure...I haven't gotten back to this...

                                                            Very first before pic - 2010

But it's extremely far from where I got in 2014...which is this...

                                                                  April 2014 - 207lbs

Right now...I'm here...

                                                                     January 2, 2017

...and I'm not okay with it. So as I was saying...looking over my habits of 2016, I really can't say I'm surprised to For starters, I haven't written in this blog since March of 2016. I only tracked my food on for MAYBE half the year (and that's just a guess), and I went from exercising at least 8-10 hrs a week to 3-4 if I'm lucky...and that's only because I get paid to teach others. I have probably only spent 5 hours total in the past 2-3 months actually exercising for myself.

I'm honestly embarassed for myself. I run a weight loss group and I'm a group fitness instructor. I am NOT setting a good example for those I'm supposed to be helping and I'm ashamed of that fact. And while I am far from a couch potato, I have slipped back into a lot of the old struggles I used to have.

Teaching my classes has gotten harder. An hour of Zumba is 10 times harder than it was a year ago. Trying to show my classes proper form for certain exercises shows how out of shape I've become and makes it hard for me to push others to their own limits when MY limits are so much more quickly reached than theirs are.

My clothes don't fit. Before Cooper was born in 2014, I had gotten down to a size 16. I'm back to a 22 and because I REFUSE to spend money on bigger clothes, I've been squeezing into 20's that I had to pull out when I got pregnant. It's miserable. I went from wearing more form fitting tops, back to the baggy flowy stuff that hides my stomach, booty and thighs.

I get winded faster, I have a harder time fitting into chairs again, I eat a lot more at every meal, dessert is a daily (if not multiple times daily) thing....and the list goes on and on and on. I have truly let things get out of control.

And I think I'm finally done.

Last night I sat down with my family and we had a long, long talk. I told them I need their help if I'm ever going to get back to where I used to be...and beyond. I cannot do this alone. It wasn't so bad before baby #4, but for some's so much harder now. And my ability to tell myself no when 5 other people are enjoying pizza, cake, soda and every comfort food under the non-existant. So I enlisted the help of those I love the most.

We talked about how unhealthy we've become as a family...and I didn't mention weight. Simply the way we eat. We've gotten lazy. We ate out more in 2016 than probably any other year. Fruits and vegetables have become a scarce thing around here. And meal planning? What's that!? Anyone who knows me, knows I hate cooking. I want so badly to love it....but I just don't. I loathe it more than anything. I'd honestly rather do burpees for an hour than cook...that's how much I hate it. But most of that is just being lazy.

LAZY. That really is the one word that best describes 2016 for me. And I refuse to let 2017 be the same way.

So last night, we hashed out a plan. Every Sunday night we will sit down and plan our meals for the week. They don't have to always be super duper rabbit food healthy, but they do have to be cooked at home. Except once a week. Once a week we can order out or do whatever we want to do. I am not one for extremes or cutting things out completely that I don't think I could do without for the rest of my life. Part of the problem with cooking at home is that 3 nights a week, I'm not even home for dinner. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I teach...and on Wednesdays, I play volleyball. So Nathan agreed to take over cooking on those 3 days and I am so very blessed to have someone who is willing to do that. The kids have even agreed to help!

We will no longer be keeping junk in the house. The candy that is still left from Christmas is in the time-lock safe to be opened once a night for everyone to have ONE PIECE before it's relocked again. And once it's gone, we're not buying anymore. No soda in the house, no candy in the house, no cakes and cookies and giant Costco danishes or muffins sitting on the counter to tempt me. At least not for a while. Dessert will be a once a week thing and it will not be something that will have leftovers for days. If it's not available to me...I can't eat it. Right?

I realize that because I have slipped back so far, I need to re-start small. Take baby steps. I'm not going to cut out complete food groups or go carb-less or eat 1200 calories a day. But I AM going to go back to what I did when it worked the first time.

Starting today, I'm going back to what works.

In 2017, I will...

1) Track my food DAILY on myfitnesspal. No excuses.
2) I will aim to keep my calorie intake below 1400 on days I don't exercise and 1600 on the days I do.
3) I will exercise FOR MYSELF at least 2 times a week. This is on top of the hours I spend teaching.
4) I will weigh in weekly with my Jilly's Losers group. No excuses.
5) I will write in my blog at least once a week, though I'd like to do it daily. However, I know that's an unrealistic goal. So...once a week.
6) I will drink 100oz of water a day
7) I will talk to others when I'm struggling instead of trying to put on a brave face and act like everything is fine.
8) I will be proud of how far I've come and not beat myself up when I do falter...because I will.
9) I will lose 5 lbs this week. (Totally doable because of water weight right now)
10) I will get back to 207lbs by 2018.

That last one is kind of a huge goal and I realize that. But it's also completely doable if I am doing what I know I'm capable of. And if I don't make it...that's fine. But I need to put it out there. I don't want to just "get there eventually". I want to get there while I'm still young enough to enjoy it.

So here's to a new year...even if I'm a bigger me to start it off. It's a much needed fresh start and I can't wait to feel better about my life...both physically and emotionally. Let's do this :)