I was on a podcast!

Hello hello!

Those of you who follow me on my social media wanted me to write about how I was recently featured on Paige Smather’s podcast called “Nutrition Matters Podcast”. You can listen to the episode here and leave a comment below of what your thoughts were when listening to it! I would appreciate anyone who takes the time to tune in as it is about an hour and fifteen minutes.

In the podcast Paige and I discuss my journey through dieting, restriction, binging, self hate, and body dysmorphia over the course of ten years. We focus on the main points of my recovery and where I am at now mentally and physically. I am honored that I was able to share my story on a podcast that delivers such a healthy and loving message. Paige’s podcast surrounds itself around true nutrition, body acceptance, and Intuitive Eating which are three topics that I love! Paige is sweet, intelligent, and really easy to talk to (you can hear it in the episode!).

My long time readers know my struggle with the dieting cycle and binge eating. I have documented many of my attempts to lose weight through the various diets I have tried and although it is sad to read those old posts of mine, I am also proud to be where I am at now and I am even more proud to share a much more vibrant and positive message.

Thank you again to those who have supported me the past few years and to those who have taken the time to listen to the podcast.

In case the link above doesn’t work, here is the direct link to the podcast: http://www.nutritionmatterspodcast.com/jess-palmers-story-from-dieting-and-bingeing-to-self-love-and-authenticity/ 

I am finally free

For as long as I can remember I have battled with myself. From orthhorexia to binge eating to overexercising, this cycle kept going for a long time. Although I had gained control over my BED in 2013, I still struggled with my body dysmorphia. Looking in the mirror all I would see is lumps, bumps, rolls, and bones. I did not see beauty, nor did I see the strength I had inside me.

Back in 2013, I truly dedicated myself to a more positive lifestyle. I tried to push away the negative thoughts and the little voice in my head telling me that I wasn’t good enough, that I wasn’t pretty or skinny enough. It was tough because I felt accomplished for overcoming my BED, but I still found myself loathing who I was and my body.

Working out was an obsession, eating “clean” was an obsession, becoming thin was an obsession. I tried every diet, exercise, meal plan, you name it I’ve probably tried it. Counting macros, hiring an online coach, counting calories, lifting weights, I was doing all of these things that I hated. I hated it all, I had no desire to be a bodybuilder or competitor but, I thought I did at the time because I followed so many young women who transformed their bodies doing these things, and although those things worked for them they didn’t work for me. Your journey is YOUR journey. Just because something “worked” for someone doesn’t mean it is right for you.

So, I was going back and forth between being this “IIFYM girl” to a depressed and frustrated overeater. I couldn’t find balance, I couldn’t find enjoyment in anything health related because it all felt fake. It didn’t feel right for me but, I kept doing it because “No excuses” right? That is some utter bullshit if you ask me. “No excuses” really? If you are sick with the flu and you don’t go to the gym, doesn’t that sound like an okay “excuse” to not workout? Well, if you had asked me that a few years ago I would’ve told you no.

I felt trapped, alone, and confused. I felt like no one understood me until I watched a YouTuber named Josie Mai and her video on Intuitive Eating. I was so intrigued by this I had never heard of it before but, it sounded very appealing. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full, sounds easy right? Not so much. It isn’t an easy journey it has it’s ups and downs and lefts and rights. When I first started my IE journey I was enlightened and felt free, although the next day I was so concerned with what I was eating (i.e. calories, fat, sugar etc..) I just couldn’t get the diet mindset out of my head and that is the biggest concept of Intuitive Eating is that you need to let go of the dieting mindset and put weight loss on the back burner.

Wait…put weight loss on the back burner? The one thing you’ve been trying to achieve for over ten years? The one crutch you’ve had for all of your emotional turmoil? The only thing you felt that you could control? Gone? Yes. That has been the hardest for me to be honest. For so long I relied on weight loss and being on a “diet” to keep myself together, to have some sort of control over my life. I couldn’t control the kids bullying me in school, I couldn’t control the insensitive men I chose to be in relationships with, I couldn’t control my ever changing emotions in regards to my depression and anxiety so, weight loss and dieting gave me a sense of control.

It was that control that sent me spiraling down this black hole, into a place I thought I would never get out of. I was body shaming myself every day, every damn day and I was done. The last few months I’ve been really working on my Intuitive Eating, sometimes yes, I think about the calories in my food but, nothing like how it was before. I am slowly feeling the obsessive and restrictive patterns fall away, I feel so beautiful and sexy in my skin sometimes I just want to cry of happiness because I have never felt this way, but the best part about this journey is I finally am free. You know how good that feels? Fucking incredible. I eat chocolate, fries, pizza, rice, vegetables, fruit, you name it I eat it because I canDo you want to know why I can? because when I am hungry I truly listen to my body, I ask what it wants, what it is craving, and I eat it. I eat it mindfully and when I feel my belly starting to stretch and become full, I try my hardest to stop. I’ll be honest, sometimes I don’t but hey, that is totally okay. Like I said, this is a journey, it is your own, so make it the way you want it to be. The beauty of IE is that you are your own coach, you are the person guiding yourself to your happiness. Do not keep yourself in this horrible dieting mindset, let those insecurities and need to control go. Your body will figure out it’s natural weight and body composition, all you have to do is listen to it.

Photography, the studio, what happens next?

Hello my lovely readers,

Many of you have been following me since I started my blog back in 2013 and thank you. You have seen the highs and lows and the obstacles I’ve faced throughout the years. You have seen me fall in love, get my heart broken, and pick myself back up again, thank you.

Many of you leave comments of encouragement and have helped me in my darkest hours, thank you. You are all so supportive, words cannot describe the gratitude I have for you readers and my blog.

Back in 2014 when I was in Florence, Italy I discovered my love for photography. When I got home and started using my DSLR I was hooked. I took pictures of everything and I just wanted to learn and explore. Having that camera signified my life changing experiences in Italy and the possibility of all the new adventures I would go on whether they be international or in my own backyard. I learned different editing techniques in Lightroom and really started to flourish.

Fast forward to April 2015 when I got my art studio. What a monumental experience it was when I got the keys to my own little space of creativity. I was excited, nervous, and wasn’t sure what to expect what having an art studio would be like. I worked part time so I knew I would have the time but, shortly after getting my studio about three weeks later, I started working full time. The drive to my work is about an hour each way and I usually don’t get home till the evening, this made it harder for me to get to the studio as it is about thirty minutes away from where I live.

Not only was I not going during the week but not on the weekends either. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t motivated to go whatsoever even with having weekends off. When putting together my studio I started really digging into the business side of photography such as pricing and services and I started to feel overwhelmed.

So, I stopped going, still paying a bit of money every month for a place that I never went to. A place that was supposed to be a creative outlook for me but yet gave me anxiety. I couldn’t understand until literally yesterday at my therapy session why this was so. What it boiled down to was this: I thought it was expected of me to have this flourishing photography business, a successful business model where the money would be pouring in from my art. That I was supposed to be this artist who promoted my artwork and soon I found that I didn’t enjoy taking pictures or painting anymore. I felt like I had to fit in with the community of artists where my studio is (there are five floors of art studios with so many artists, it is quite inspiring!). I didn’t/don’t want this for myself. I did my time in retail and sales, and I hated it. I hate trying to sell sell sell when in reality, I just want to be passionate about my art, enjoy it, and have it help me heal.  I put this negative stigma on the studio because I felt that all of these outrageous things were expected from me when in reality they weren’t. It was my anxiety putting this doubt in my head, the fear of failure or disappointment. I also realized that there are no standards when it comes to art and that I can’t compare my art or talent to someone else’s because that would be outrageous.

So, I am going to make my studio a positive and healing place. A place that I can create beautiful art and enjoy my surroundings. No more anxiety, no more expectations, and no more business. Yes, that is right, I deleted my photography website, changed my FB page to “just for fun” rather than “professional services” because photography is a love and passion of mine and I don’t want that to change and I know that the minute it becomes a business, the enjoyment of it will disappear and put me back to where I was. I still have every intention of sharing my photos on my photography page on FB and what not, but I’m just not promoting a business because that doesn’t make me happy. The photography business world is not what makes me happy, and I need to do what has to be done to make myself happy and comfortable.

I feel really good about all of this, thank you all again for always supporting me.

Sunday thoughts

I’m kinda of messy.  I like to think I am neat but in reality I am just messy.  Every Sunday I clean my room, vacuum, laundry, clean sheets, you name it.  I feel so great knowing that I will keep my room clean all week…not.  Each time I clean my room which is has been every Sunday the past three months or so, I tell myself that I will keep it clean.  I think I will make a mini cleaning habit each day so every Sunday it takes less time to clean my room to the point where I won’t have to spend hours cleaning it.

I also noticed that when the weekends come I don’t sleep as much.  I mean, I stay up late, wake up early-ish, then fall back asleep only to wake up at noon or past noon.  Working a 8-5 job five days a week can really take a toll on your mind and body but I am thankful for where my life is going.  I am productive and successful for someone my age, I work full time, go to school online, have my photography business, maintain a blog and a fitness social media presence (follow me on IG: jpalmer_fitness) (shameless promotion!).

What is remarkable is that I haven’t collapsed from an overworking brain yet which makes me pretty proud.  I still have time for me, my boyfriend, my best friend, family, Netflix, and reading.  I definitely spread myself pretty thin but at least I am moving in the right direction.

Feel good talks

I’m feeling good today. Although it’s raining and gloomy here in Boston, I feel all the way around good. Some days I feel like this and others I am lower than the ground but it is days like today that I am thankful and hopeful. It is not easy dealing with depression and anxiety, or really any mental illness for that matter. I know for me that I find it difficult to get my mind quiet and on the same playing level as the rest of my mind, body, and soul. Some days my body wants to run but my mind wants to life, but my soul wants to do yoga. I sometimes feel like I am never in sync with myself but today I feel very grounded and I think it is because I’ve incorporated more yoga into my week. I find that I do it almost five days a week whether it is for 5 minutes or thirty minutes. I’ve always loved yoga and have practiced it, but it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve truly practiced often.

I’m going to the Cape with my love and his family next week and I can’t wait. I’m definitely going to do some yoga on the beach and make sure I get some activity every day whether it be walking the beach, kayaking, walking around town or whatever. I refuse to let vacations of any kind ruin my progress or weight loss journey. Lately I’ve just been feeling so down about myself and uncomfortable in my skin. My clothes don’t fit the way I want them too, my weight is climbing and it has been discouraging to say the least but I’ve gotten back on track. I’m packing my meals, tracking my food, drinking loads of water and tea, and challenging my body in the gym or at my home and it has been nice.

My midnight snacking though is what kills me. I eat out of boredom and if there is Netflix in front of me, I want a snack. So now, I’m TRYING to have more healthier snacks and although I am doing that, I just eat too much so NOW I need to focus on portion control and drinking more water because honestly, I would be at my ideal weight by now if it weren’t for my snacking and that sucks. It sucks to know that you get in your own way, but I vow to do my best to stay on the straight and narrow.

I know that my posts sometimes do not make sense or they turn into me rambling about different things, but I really appreciate those who take the time to read about my silly life, it means a lot to me.

Weight Watchers Week One

Well here we are!  As promised I am here with an update on how my first full week of being on the Weight Watcher’s Points Plus system has been.

All week I’ve been tracking my food and making sure I’m active at least four days a week so I can keep my allowance points for my getaway to the Cape this weekend and I’ve been staying on track for the most part. However, on Wednesday I was just sort of bummed out, really slumming around and fell off the wagon towards the end of the day but I got right back on track soon after and have been kicking butt again.

What do I think of system? It is simple and easy to follow, points in and points out.  It can be a bit nerve racking to have to keep track of everything and making sure you stay within your points but I’ve found that being active and getting those active points really gives you some wiggle room to snack or have a beer or two.

I won’t lie, I am going to keep track of what goes in and out this weekend but if I slip or have too many beers I’m not going to worry about it. I think that this plan can be a sustainable way of losing weight because you aren’t cutting out carbs or fat or only eating 1,000 calories a day.  Weight Watchers encourages you to eat good foods such as fruits and veggies because they have zero points (besides potatoes, corn, and a few others).

I feel good, I am sleeping better, and I am actually enjoying this process.  I tried on bathing suits the other day and could see the difference in my waist then what it was a month ago.  I’ve been making good strides in the health department and I am confident that joining Weight Watchers was a step in the right direction.

A love like this

Have you ever met someone who just understands you completely? I have.

He is a pretty incredible human being, with all of my anxieties and unstable mind he accepts me, loves me, and just simply gets me and that is a beautiful thing.  I feel like I’ve waited my whole life to find someone like this, whether they were to be a lover or friend, I just wanted someone to look at me and see through me.  Although it was a scary thought, it has been such a rewarding thing to experience and have.

After my high school sweetheart earth shattering break up, I never thought I would find a love so strong ever again.  When I first met my current boyfriend, I didn’t expect my life or our relationship to lead me to where I am now.  I’m super thankful to have someone like that in my life, someone that lifts me up and not weigh me down.

We are going to the Cape this weekend and I was trying on bathing suits yesterday and many of you know I’ve been on a weight-loss journey for what seems like forever and have recently started Weight Watchers, so bathing suit shopping is not one of my favorite things to do. Anyways, I sent him pictures of different ones and some I felt great in and others made me feel like I should just wear a poncho and be done with it.  However, whether I liked how I looked or not, he supported me and told me how beautiful I was even if the bathing suit didn’t flatter me.  Although I wouldn’t have minded him being honest with me, it is nice to know that whether I am 120 pounds or 300, he will love me for me.

I am vowing myself that in this relationship I will be honest and true and never say, “nothing” if he asks me what is wrong.  In other relationships I wanted to be in control 100% of the time and it always led me to my downfall and especially the relationship’s downfall.  I refuse to sabotage my own happiness, especially one that makes me so happy and fills my heart with so much love and joy.