A day in my low carb shoes… A story about self acceptance and learning to be HAPPY on your weight loss journey, fully illustrated with thought provoking emotion – and something that will make you laugh your socks off!
I started the day off in a bad mood.
Scratch that, I was downright crabby.
I’d had a bad day the day before, woke up at 1:30am, and was hit with a few snide/negative notes & comments to deal with right off the bat. 😐
I took care of work tasks (I work from home, so a 2am start time doesn’t freak anyone out -lol) and made breakfast then decided to get out for a morning walk with my great dane. For the exercise, and also to walk off some steam.
Slim was in a particularly frisky (no, naughty!) mood himself, likely playing off my own irritability, and at one point we both turned the wrong way at the same time and I wrenched my shoulder and neck. Fine, add THAT to the list! 🙄 Totally my fault of course, dog training 101: be in control.
The one GOOD thing so far was my breakfast (I’ll show it to you in a second, it was beautiful!), but at this point I was chalking it up to the second bad day in a row, and it wasn’t even 8am…
Turning Things Around (or: It’s All In Your Head)
I’m not going to tell you that all of your problems or frustrations are just figments of your imagination. Rude people are very real. Pain and discomfort is very real.
Bad moods are VERY real, lol.
Your world and your thoughts are all about perception, though – your perception, and your reaction. That doesn’t make those things any less real, but it DOES mean we have the power to switch gears, change the direction, and turn a bad day around.
Your power IS all in your head. You own it.
Find Your Happy!
When I’m having a sh***y day, I like to just STOP and switch to things that make me happy. That used to be food. I used to tune out the whole world and lock myself in my room with an entire pizza or an entire pint (or two) of ice cream and watch suspense flicks. That used to be my thing. I do still love suspenseful movies. 🙂
But since ending my toxic relationship with food, I’ve had to find other forms of entertainment, fulfillment and comfort. I’m talking about “immediate gratification” here, because in the moment (the bad moments) you need something that helps you get grounded again, or a way to redirect things. It’s called… coping.;)
Getting healthy meant changing a lot of old habits and usual routines, not just my food choices. As silly as it might sound I had to sit down and make a list of things I enjoyed, or might enjoy, and new things I should maybe try.
That was a list that would start to shape the new me.
My list started out with simple things like sunshine, reading, traveling, FUN time with friends, trying new things, new clothes (exploring a whole new style!), and brisk walks – which I found is a great way to pound out stress, instead of stuffing my face.
Making that list was the smartest thing I’ve ever done…
It gave me things to turn to, other than food. It was a slow process, not some magic overnight solution, but any true life change is a process… and it’s the process itself that holds the magic.
It’s the process that shapes you, strengthens you, shows you what you’re really made of. It’s where you learn all the things that really matter.
Imagine if you could wake up tomorrow and be perfectly lean and healthy, without putting in any time or effort. You just wake up tone and strong and lean and beautiful.
That would be cool, right? 🙂 Sure!
But you would ruin it in short time, because YOU are still the same person you were the night before, with the same habits and the same issues. Maybe you think if someone would just hand it to you that you could maintain it easily.
That’s not true. It’s not how human beings operate. We’re creatures of habit.
Embrace the process and the journey, because your NOW is your life.
I know it feels like being 8 years old in April and you can’t wait for Christmas, but you can’t live in your future. You have to live in today. And if your today is crappy and full of negatives, find ways to get your smile back!
Experiencing My Journey
Yesterday I took a little trip. A real life physical trip, that was symbolic of my weight loss journey. The day before I’d had a relapse in my resolve and felt like I would always be struggling with these stupid food issues & mind battles.
Tip: Erase the words “always” and “never” from your vocabulary.
Always is never true, and never is always false. 😛
Here I am, at the highest point in my area, where an old rickety fire tower stands another 100 feet up in the air above that. Looking up, I have no idea if I can make it. That looks dangerous, lol (it was!).
I’m scared, excited, unsure, but willing to give it a try at least…
I did make it, as you can see. 🙂 This photo put me in mind of my health goals, and the climb itself was symbolic of my weight loss journey.
Making it to the top gave me a taste of what it will feel like to REACH those goals.
It seemed daunting. I had to check it all out first. Once I was 100% committed, all I could think about was reaching the top. I started off strong, running up the first three flights of rickety old wooden stairs with hardly any railing.
That’s how it all started when I first went low carb too. I was afraid to start. I did tons of research. Then I dove ALL in and just DID it.
By the 4th of 12 flights the heights started getting to me. I felt my stomach roll, my head spin a bit, and all of a sudden I was insanely aware of how far the ground was below me and how little railing there was to hold on to.
There were tricky steps and I was getting lightheaded. Don’t fall, don’t fall, don’t fall was going through my mind. Once I became aware of the problems, I had to “positive talk” myself through the rest of the climb. I had to stop and take a break and then restart several times.
I started out only aware of the top (the result), but at this point all of the dangers and fears hit me. The boards were old, some of them were replaced with new boards, my mind processing that it meant the older boards might give out.
Not far into my weight loss journey I hit that same point.
I got over the fear, I “ran the first few flights like it was nothing,” and then I got smacked with reality: old habits mixed with new habits (just like those boards), fear of failure, thinking I could do it but no longer totally confident I would ever make it.
Maybe here is good enough.
NO – you’ve made it this far! Keep going…
Imagine Your Success
I often imagine myself in amazing shape, lean and healthy and glowing, as a means of renewing my motivation. That old saying of keep your eye on the goal proves really helpful in any long-term undertaking.
Getting to experience that in a sort of physical simulation yesterday was powerful, and motivating. Going through all the steps of excitement, fear, uncertainty, commitment, questioning my commitment, pushing myself forward anyway.
How it FELT to reach my goal (the top) was amazing!
The climb itself was exhilarating, FUN, had my adrenaline pumping, and was such a great way to get out of the house and blow off some stress. 😉
I do NOT recommend climbing fire towers on private property though, lol.
Pushing my limits and facing my fears is part of my own personal journey right now.
We each have to find our own path.
Those 12 flights of rickety wooden steps up the fire tower and back down again were a great workout too. 🙂 But let’s backtrack because there are other things in my yesterday that I want to share with you…
A Day In My Low Carb Life
I woke up at 1:30am and stayed up until 10:30pm, without my usual afternoon nap even, so it was an exceptionally long day. After starting off frustrated and annoyed, and trying to walk it off with a disobedient dane (which just made me more crabby, lol) I decided to do something different for breakfast: make blueberry waffles.
I love blueberry waffles. I used to go off plan just to get them from Waffle House – and curl up in bed and watch a good movie with them.:)
I can’t even count the number of pounds I’ve lost since Waffle House took blueberry waffles off the menu. What is up with THAT?!
Fortunately I had New Hope Mills Low Carb Pancake & Waffle Mix on hand, along with big fresh blueberries I picked this summer, so I broke out the waffle iron and whipped up a big batch for breakfast.
Even with 35 grams of blueberries added, they were only 4.5 net carbs per serving. The batch made 5 big THICK & FLUFFY delicious waffles (2 servings). 🙂 YUM!
I made two meals out of that. Two breakfasts.:)
I used Nature’s Hollow Sugar Free Maple Syrup on them too.
Those beautiful waffles made me smile. 🙂
It’s okay to have foods you love (I’m learning this!) without having an unhealthy relationship or obsession with them, and there are tons of healthy low carb options. That pancake/waffle mix has great ingredients, btw.
That helped break up my usual morning routine, and was the beginning of turning my mood around – and the first of many more smiles to come.
A few hour later, after taking care of work & obligations, I headed off to the fire tower on the mountain. It just so happens that my FAVORITE giant rooster is right on the way to that tower. 🙂
It’s Beyoncé!! 🙂 LOL… If you’ve never heard that story, this will make you laugh your socks off: And That’s Why You Should Learn To Pick Your Battles
See that big smile on my face?:) Every time I see this rooster I’m reminded of that hilarious story, and how I laugh till I cry every single time I read it – still! haha
My next big happiness boost happened because in that same little middle-of-nowhere town is a Hardee’s! My own Hardee’s has been under construction for months, so I stopped at this one for my FAVORITE big juicy low carb cheeseburger. 🙂
Are you seeing a trend here? 🙂
I had to STOP focusing on the things that were annoying & stressing me, and start doing/focusing on the things I enjoy – the things that make me smile.
I was exhausted by early evening after being up since 1:30am, but still had to get groceries – and even make an extra trip to Wal-Mart for frozen raspberries, which my little locally owned grocery does not carry for some nutty reason.
I got home with all intentions of crashing early, and made a super quick zero carb dinner of two Oscar Mayer Smokies dipped in mustard.
As I was eating those and putting away the groceries, dragging of course, I noticed on my Fitbit that I had almost 7,500 steps in for the day. Nice!, I thought. Then I started thinking about how I hadn’t slept more than 3 or 4 hours at a time for more than a week, and how anxious Slim had been lately (he’s a nervous sort anyway, lol)…
I decided another mile or so walk wouldn’t hurt, I could surely pull it off – even tired – and maybe Slim and I both would sleep better.
Besides, feeling my Fitbit vibrate with “GOAL ACHIEVED!” makes me feel like a million bucks so I sucked it up and threw on my walking shoes…
We did it! And I reached that 10,000 step goal, for yet another victory and big happy smile to top off my day. 🙂
I wound down on the back deck in my PJ’s after that with a hot decaf coffee and a quick snack of pecan halves. It was only 1 net carb (30 grams) but pecans are very high fat, so it’s a filling little snack.
I love my back deck. It’s my “me space” and my favorite spot to wind down and read a great book or visit with a good friend – or just BE. 🙂
Here’s My MyFitnessPal Diary for Yesterday:
Net Carbs: 19
Total Carbs: 28
Protein: 74 Grams
79% Fat, 17% Protein
Exercise: 2 Brisk Walks, 3 Miles total
Fitbit Steps: 10,836
Water: 72 ounces
It felt GREAT to get some solid exercise in yesterday, with two good fast-paced walks plus the climb up and down that crazy fire tower (lol).
I was so happily exhausted between the exercise and the 21 hour FULL day…
I slept 7 full hours last night – for the first time in over a week. 🙂
The next time you’re feeling disappointed or discouraged, or you’re just having a bad day, try switching gears and doing something POSITIVE.
Find something that makes you smile, something for YOU, something healthy or fun or delicious – or all of the above!
For me, facing my fears and achieving something COOL filled me with a happiness and pure JOY that didn’t leave room for the negativity I was full of before that…
One of the BEST (and easiest!) cures when you’re feeling down… is a sense of accomplishment. Tackle something you CAN control or achieve, right now.
You’ll feel amazing for it!
One of the things I’m going to do this weekend is clean out my closets.
All of them. 😯
It’s a huge undertaking that I’ve been avoiding. Did you see that yellow sweater I threw on yesterday? It swallows me whole now that I’ve lost so much weight.
Cleaning out my closets (which are a total disaster btw, lol) is not just about accomplishing a big task… it’s about accepting that I’m a new size now, that I’m going to STAY this new size, and about finally “letting go” of the larger me – and HER favorite things (and favorite sweaters).
Another symbolic challenge, during which I will not only achieve the physical task – but also break mental and emotional ties between my old life and my new life. My old self and my new self. And my new self will have NEW favorite sweaters. 🙂
Consider what you can do NOW to feel GREAT about who you are TODAY. Because today IS your life. Every choice you make in “every now” creates who you will be tomorrow, and the next tomorrow, and a year of tomorrow’s from now.
I am going to COMPLETE my closet mission this weekend…
I challenge you to a task too, one that is symbolic of or related to your weight loss journey, that allows you to prove to yourself that you are indeed amazingly awesome NOW – and fully capable of reaching the top.
(please don’t climb a fire tower! lol)
With love and gratitude, because you keep me going…
p.s. Do you have 5 minutes to watch this video? It’s full of symbolism and double meaning too, and ironically it came on here in my office just as I was writing the last words of this post for you.
So suiting, as we just stepped into Fall, which is such a great time for fresh starts and renewing our goals. You can apply this song however it speaks to you most…
Song: “The Fall” by Imagine Dragons, on the Smoke & Mirrors album
Discount Code: LOWCARBTRAVELER