New Year’s Resolutions 

We all know this time of year very well. People start thinking of resolutions or goal for the new year to come.

For many, this goal is usually to lose weight. Gyms will start having their sign on specials, health websites will start having sales on supplement stacks, and fitness clothes will be all the new rage.

As for me, this has been my New Year’s Resolution as long as I can remember especially after a holiday season filled with so much food and pictures. Pictures that you see yourself in and think, “I just need to lose x amount of weight and I will be where I want to be, that picture is my motivation.”

I am going to tell you guys something very real about me. This morning, I went on Facebook and saw that my Mom had posted pictures from yesterday and saw myself in one. Mind you, I was wearing jeggings, an oversized sweater, and my hair was kind of messy (I sort of like it that way) but, when I looked at this photo I instantly thought, “I need to lose weight this coming year, I just can’t stand looking at myself in this picture.” After that thought had come and gone, I felt very disappointed in myself. Lately I have been working so hard on breaking away from “losing weight” mentality but, through this journey I have put my health on the back burner. Disclaimer: I do believe when breaking free from the dieting world it is essential to just let go and relax. If that means eating less nutritionally dense foods and skipping the gym, that is 100% okay! Some people need to do this to recover and this is what I did. However, due to this neglect when it came to my health these past few months, I have been extremely bloated and swollen due to the fact that I haven’t been getting hardly any fiber whatsoever and have really slacked on eating fruits and vegetables. I also haven’t been sweating out any of the toxins going into my body from eating some of these not-so nutritionally dense foods which at the time was okay (and still is of course!) but, I want to treat my body better.

So, here they are, my goals for 2016.

  • Eat more fiber: I need to get my digestive system back on track with proper health because I have Celiac Disease and if by chance I eat gluten, I need a healthy digestive system to help me get rid of it.
  • Sweat more: I don’t mean as in, “to count calories burned, etc..” but, so I can treat my body with respect and feel better mentally and physically, in the hopes that I can sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed.
  • Do more yoga: I have been upping my yoga game a lot lately. I try to aim to do it at least two times a week but I would like to get to the 4-5 days a week seeing as the results have been incredible both mentally and physically and it has brought me so much happiness and peace.
  • Forgive myself more: You are your own worst critic in all aspects of life, especially if you are an ex-dieter you know this all too well. This year I really want to work on letting things go and not being so hard on myself all of the time. I need to remember that I am not a perfect human being because things happen, life throws obstacles in your way, and what counts is working to get past them, not beat yourself up about it.
  • Practice mindfulness: This is a huge goal of mine (also: none of these are in particular order) I am always rushing through life whether it be eating, driving, exploring, writing, and so many other things. I forget to appreciate the different sensations and my surroundings and I miss out. I want to see the world for what it is, I want to live in the present because the past is the past and the future hasn’t come yet.
  • Read more: This is my last goal but, I want to read more. Lately I have been making the effort to pick up a book rather than my Apple TV remote but, I want this effort to be much more significant in the new year.

It would be wrong of me to lie to you and say that losing weight didn’t cross my mind, of course it did! I’m an ex-dieter trying to find her way on this journey of self love and body acceptance but, I do want to treat my mind and body right because this is the only body I’ve got. I am happy that I have some goals not related to health because I find that this is an important step in diet recovery. When you have goals solely focused on health, it could appear that maybe subliminally your goals reflect the subconscious idea of losing weight and although those are not my intentions, I think it is important to point this out for those in diet recovery  trying to think of resolutions/goals for the new year.

When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, don’t think too much on it. Close your eyes, envision yourself lets say…six months from now, where do you want to be? What goals could get you to the point? And choose those as your goals. For example, by practicing mindfulness, by six months I hope to not eat so quickly and truly enjoy my food, and to also drive slower seeing as I have a very long commute to work I always tend to drive like a maniac and I would like to slow the pace down and enjoy the views even if it is snow. Having an image of what you want your life to be can really help when choosing these resolutions. Meditate on it, I promise that with some stillness and relaxation, these goals will come to you.

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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.

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.

Muscle gains and mental struggles

Losing weight, no one wants to put the effort in because it isn’t easy and believe me, there are some days I don’t want to go to the gym or eat a salad instead of cheese puffs but, I’ve made a lot of progress since my first diet bet in the beginning of December. I’ve been hitting the gym consistently and seeing myself shrink slowly but surely. On the weekends I’ve been going a little crazy and some nights during the week I pig out while watching Netflix but I’m getting a handle on it and overall I’ve made a big improvement compared to how my habits were two months ago. I haven’t weighed myself in about three weeks, I don’t really care too much about it because I’m lifting weights and eating protein so I’m making those muscle gains! I’ve never really had biceps before and they are starting to peek out, along with my manly awesome tricep muscles. I am curious though seeing that I weighed 150 pounds at the end of November and last time I weighed myself I was 142, yippie! I’ve definitely fluctuated due to the gluten free Domino’s pizza and margaritas, but I’m enjoying life and not depriving myself. I do want to really try to clean my diet up more and save my splurges for one night per week rather than three. I want to be the best I can be and I know I can achieve the results I am seeking with hard work. It feels good to wear clothes that didn’t fit me for a long time. I haven’t been this size in well over a year and I’m proud of my progress thus far and I don’t plan on stopping. 2015 is going to be my year I’m going to achieve the things I’ve always wanted to achieve. I’m not going to hold myself back any longer.

The last week or so I’ve been struggling with my anxiety. I find that around the time that my lady friend comes to visit me each month my mental health just crumbles to the ground and I’m just stepping all over the broken pieces. I’ll have my moments of feeling inspired and happy, then in a instant I’m shoved into a dark corner that I can’t seem to get out of. I know a lot of my anxiety has to do with insecurity and anxiousness when it comes to my relationships whether they are personal or professional. I am constantly doubting myself and creating these horrific scenarios in my brain to the point where I’m in tears and have no clue what’s real and what isn’t. I think that is probably the most frustrating thing about having anxiety is the made up truths that it creates in your brain. My anxiety toys with these horrible ideas and manipulates them so many times that I’ll start to believe whatever it tells me whether its my friends hate me or I suck at my job or I’m a terrible person in general and sometimes I see those things as the truth when my normal brain knows that it’s not. I try to sit there in my room inside my head and tell myself not to listen to my anxiety and to my irrational thoughts. I do put my best effort into putting an end to those negative notions but sometimes I don’t win. I am overtaken by the darkness and it swallows me whole. Meditation has helped a lot along with yoga, and writing always seems to give me some sort of perspective and I am thankful for that. I am thankful that I don’t just give up on myself but the effect that my anxiety has on my life is going to ruin my relationships if I don’t get a better understanding of it. I am constantly learning about myself and how my brain works, I just hope that the pieces fall together quickly and I can finally have a break from this mental torment.

Jess goes gluten free: days 5, 6, 7, and 8.

I’ve been slacking hardcore everyone! I knew that recording each day on my gluten free change would be challenging and needless to say I’ve been lazy. Well, lets recap, on day five I went out with friends to a local Mexican restaurant and indulged in margaritas and corn chips. At one point a friend of mine wanted to split a quesadilla and I believed it to be corn not flour well, it was flour and I ended up with severe stomach pains and well…you can put together the rest. But since that indiscretion I’ve continuously been on point with avoiding all things gluten and feel good thus far. On day six I spent my Sunday in bed because I felt so crappy after Saturday night’s festivities and yesterday was the Monday from hell and today has been a pretty steady day so far and I’ve already meal planned my whole day to ensure success! Also I’ve definitely been slacking when it comes to the gym but I’ll be going back today because I’ve been doing so good lately that I’m not willing to give it up!

I’ve gotten some questions as to how my workouts have been since going gluten free. Well, so far so good! I don’t see much of a difference yet because like many people say it takes about a month to see a true change when going gluten free. It has been a challenge for sure since gluten free foods are much more expensive and no one else in my house eats gluten free. But, I’ve been making the best of what I have and I’m pretty proud of myself that I’ve stuck to this for a week now. Sure, it might just be a week but it is only the beginning. I can’t wait till New Years is over and I can establish a solid schedule again. I plan on not really drinking tomorrow because lately I’ve been doing a bit too much of that and I’m trying to cut back on all the toxins I’m putting into my body. I’m pretty worried that some select few will see me as a wet blanket but, I guess if that is the case they are not meant to be in my life because those who are will support my choices. I care too much of what people think and that is going to change come the New Year.

Going gluten free has definitely brought up some challenges but I’m pretty stoked of my willpower thus far. Especially when it comes to snacking, I love food and junk but I’ve been sticking to my gluten free organic snacks and trying to make sure I don’t go overboard. This journey will be one with many obstacles but I will overcome them all.

Jess goes gluten free: day 4

Hello readers,

Today is my fourth day on gluten free and since Monday I’ve lost three pounds! Yesterday was the holiday and yet again I stayed right on track and stuck with meat, potatoes, and vegetables. It feels good to clean my body out and to replenish it with good foods. I’ve noticed too that since going gluten free I am not eating as much junk, if any, and I’m consuming much more fruits and vegetables. This morning I meal planned after I ate breakfast (gluten free waffles!) by making a baby spinach salad with gluten free chicken tender strips, tortilla strips, and Annie’s lite Goddess dressing, along with a gluten free cookie because who doesn’t love cookies?

I’m still logging my food in my fitness pal because even gluten free junk food doesn’t mean they are freebies to just eat as many as I want. I still want to stay mindful because I still have goals that I want to reach. I’m hopeful to meet my goal of fitting into my size 4 jeans by March, possibly even hit my goal weight of 125lbs. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t truly care how much I weigh because at the gym I lift weights and am building muscle so, if I weigh 130-135lbs but am primarily muscle that is definitely okay with me. I miss wearing my size fours though, or at least feeling comfortable in my smaller clothes. For a long time I let myself pack on the pounds and became depressed because of it. I’m not a big person, I am about 5’1 maybe a little shorter, so being 155lbs is a lot on a little body such as mine. I’ve been here before too, I’ve let weight creep on me and then restricted and punished myself till I lost the weight again, but this time around it is much different.

Rather than being angry with myself I have accepted that life happens and the only thing that will make it change is if I work hard and reward myself along the way. So, when I lost my first five pounds I got my nails done, when I lose ten maybe I’ll get a pedicure or something. I’m doing this the healthy and positive way, I will not restrict myself (unless it has gluten obviously) and I will continue to persevere because no one is going to lose this weight for me. I am so motivated and confident in what my body can accomplish. Also, this time around I am much more educated on nutrition and fitness which I think is extremely beneficial because I know what I need to fuel my body to get a proper workout in and how to prevent injury in the gym.

I’m happy. Sure, I’m not always but when it comes to this particular aspect in my life I am truly happy and pleased with my progress thus far. Thank you to all of you who have been so supportive and commenting on my posts, it truly means so much. Happy Friday everyone!