Minor setbacks

Setbacks happen, especially when you are on a journey of self healing and discovery. This past month or so I have been deleting and re-downloading calorie counting apps. Each time my mind goes to “summer body” and “losing the pudge” I feel that I need to restrict in order to be happy with my body but, then after tracking maybe a few things I sort of snap out of it and remind myself that this isn’t the life that makes me happy.

Yesterday I made a mistake. I got on the scale and didn’t like what I saw at all. It surprised me because lately I have upped my fruits, veggies, and exercise and have been feeling great! I don’t know why I got on the scale this morning, something just pulled me toward it. When I saw 153lbs on the scale I just went numb. I felt disgusting, discouraged, and lost. What do I do now? I thought to myself, I don’t want to weigh this “much” and I sure as hell don’t want to weigh this much when I’m in a bathing suit. I hate summer.

That is a lie, I love summer and the weather it brings. I love being able to wear close to nothing and just relax outside under the sun and feel the cool breeze on my skin. Why did I let this stupid number bother me so much? Probably because it’s that time of year where weight loss is advertised everywhere as well as washboard abs. So, the majority of yesterday I was fighting the negative thoughts in my head, trying to overcome them with light and positivity but, the day just seemed to get worse.

When I was in the locker room later on that day at work I noticed two small purple stretch marks on my stomach and I just sighed and shook my head. Weight gain has been a fear that has plagued my mind for over a decade and seeing those stretch marks made my heart sink. How am I supposed to love and accept my body when I feel this way? How come some days I think I am the sexiest human being alive and on other days I just want to throw up because of my own reflection. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Body positivity and self love & acceptance is a constant battle because you have to think, you are fighting that negative voice in your head on a daily basis and sometimes, that voice wins and yesterday was one of those days.

It’s tough when the people who love you tell you are beautiful and because sometimes you just don’t see what they see. You see someone who is inadequate, fat, ugly, and unworthy of love staring back at you in the mirror. You don’t see the bright, lovely, beautiful, and strong person in that mirror but, we are all of those great things and so much more, that is what I am trying to remember and what I am telling myself because if I don’t, that little nagging voice will win indefinitely. So, I finished yesterday trying to see the beauty in myself and got my mind ready for the next day to come because all we can do is move forward and let go of the negativity.

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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/ 

Where I am at

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

So, I decided not to go through with my membership at Weight Watchers.  At first I thought that maybe this is something for me, but when I went days without tracking or really getting into the groove of tracking I just knew in my gut it wasn’t for me. Some days I like to just go with how my body feels, while some other days I like to track what I’m eating whether it is calories or just jotting it down.  Many of my readers know that I am someone who changes what they do and like often, and I accept that.  Therefore, I need a “plan” that can work with that so, I’m my own plan.  I’m not going to fall into these fad diets and ways of losing weight, I’m just going to listen to my body and see what comes of that.

I signed up on the app Lose It! so if I want to track I can and if not, no biggie.  The interface of the app is beautiful and I really enjoy it.  I was on vacation the past nine days and probably gained five to ten pounds due to the overconsumption of alcohol and fried food, along with the fact that I didn’t exercise, but I don’t feel too bad about it because I truly relaxed and enjoyed myself and there is no harm in that.

My health isn’t that great though, due to my bad decisions I’ve been tired, cranky, bloated, and having some serious headaches and fatigue.  I know that the main reason is my gluten consumption over the past few months.  For those of you who don’t know, I recently got diagnosed with Celiac Disease this past spring so you would think that my mind and willpower would know better, guess not.  I sort of threw my hands up and told myself and others, “Screw this, I’m going to eat all the gluten I want and just deal with it” well, living with excruciating stomach pains, rashes, and mood swings is not the life I want to live so if I need to avoid gluten for the rest of my life well you bet your butt I’m going to do that.  When I was on my gluten free diet not only was I not bloated, but my anxiety levels dropped so much and my stomach pain ceased almost completely so I wonder, why did I decided just to give up? Why would I put myself through this?  I think maybe because it is expensive to eat gluten free, you don’t get to enjoy a nice beer (I love beer), and going out to eat just sucks, it makes you feel like crap about yourself and how you can’t eat anything.  But, my health is worth the mental struggle and I know there are restaurants and recipes I can find that will accommodate my disease. So, today is my day one back on the gluten free train.

I haven’t been writing as much either.  Obviously on here you can see that I’ve been neglectful of my blog and if you read my journals you can see that it has been months since I’ve picked those up as well.  I just haven’t had the motivation to write the last couple of months, but I’ve noticed that lately I’ve just decided to start writing with no destination and have come up with some decent ideas and good vibes so I think that these bumps in my road will smooth themselves out as I move forward.  This vacation and really letting loose has given me this new and exciting motivation.  We all go through the phases of being so focused and motivated then those droughts of sorrow and laziness and it happens, we deal with it, and as long as we keep moving forward that is all that counts in my opinion.

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.

I’ve been away & My experience with a Beachbody Coach

Hello readers,

I’m so happy to be back writing on here seeing as I’ve been MIA forever.  I’ve been doing my Tumblr thing and just writing here and there but I’m back for good.  I missed actually writing and people actually reading what I had to say.  So I passed all of my finals and got my associates degree, woohoo!  I started a new job (same company just a new position) and couldn’t be happier.  I work full time now so that is a little hard to get used too, but I am waking up at 5am just fine and getting my work done!

Moving onto my experience with a Beachbody Coach, for those of you who don’t know what Beachbody is, it is a fitness and healthy company that produces workout DVDs such as P90x, Insanity, and the 21 Day Fix along with their shake called Shakeology and other “nutritious” food options. Recently I created a fitness IG (if you want to follow me my username is jaeysjourney), on my IG journey I have “met” some incredibly healthy and inspiring people.  I was approached by this pretty young lady, we will call her Alice, and she started to tell me about how she coaches people and helps them better themselves for free and I thought wow..that is a good deal.  Getting into it more she started to ask me about who I am and what not and then soon after she asked me if I wanted to join her challenge on Facebook. However, to join I would have to pay $140 dollars for this shake called Shakeology and this plan called the 21 Day Fix. Well, I know that these are Beachbody products and I thought to myself why wouldn’t she just say she is a Beachbody coach? Probably because Beachbody is a damn pyramid scheme but at the time I didn’t know better and I thought why not, wouldn’t hurt to give these products a try and I know some people who love them.  I order my 21 Day Fix and soon after Alice asks me if I want to be a part of this “Coaches Sneak Peak” group to learn about coaching.  I didn’t know what it entailed and not that I really wanted to be a coach but I was curious so I signed up.  Right away she starts talking about not “selling” these products but showing the customer that they NEED them.  Everything she had to say just reminded me of how much I hate sales and it is clear that she and her “team” are  more focused on the commission rather than actually helping people.

I ended up finishing the videos and realized that I did NOT want to support this company or this woman. She appeared to be genuine but ended up being a sales chaser, like okay lady, I have two years of sales experience and I HATE sales, let me repeat, I HATE SALES.  I was disappointed to say the least but I just couldn’t justify buying these products from her so I told her that I had to return what I bought and that I already got the refund process going through Beachbody’s website well, let me tell you the attitude came out of dear Alice slowly but surely.  At first she was a bit bitter then offered me a job as a coach under her so I can make extra money and when I kindly told her no that I wasn’t interested she said that I wasn’t making enough out of myself and that she will find better candidates to take her offer.  I promise you I wasn’t offended.  I am 21 years old, work full time, have an associates degree, and I am a photographer.  I don’t need someone to tell me my worth whatsoever. I have come a long way as many of my readers know and what someone has to say about me or think about me does NOT define me.

After that fiasco I was sad because I know lately I’ve been slacking on my food tracking and motivation and I just wanted SOMETHING other than calorie counting to hold me accountable and help me keep track of my food intake.  I follow this incredible young woman named Amanda Tyson (IG: Amandaleetyson please go follow her!) she just started Weight Watchers Online Plus plan and seriously raves about it and how flexible it is.  This is where I fail during the week: I’m usually spot on with all my food and workouts but come the weekends I don’t know how to treat myself without over-indulging and ruining my progress.  Well, WW has these plus points that you can use to treat yourself throughout the week or weekend which will definitely help me find that balance. Also, fruits and veggies are freebies I don’t have to worry about eating a banana or too many strawberries because they are added to my point allowance already! I thought that was pretty neat.

I’m trying it out and I’m eager to see how it will work for me, it syncs with my Fitbit Charge HR and as I get more active throughout the day or when I exercise it adds points for me to eat so I’m not starving myself.  I will do an update a week from tomorrow to tell you how WW Online and me are getting along.

I’m so happy to be back and to share my life with you all again.

Happy Monday – Finals Week

Good morning Readers,

Happy Monday, let the week of finals, no sleep, and stress begin. I’ve been bad this semester, unmotivated, depressed, and just in a funk that has probably affected my grades greatly. I’m worried that my actions may leave me in a troubled spot, but this week I’m going to do the best that I can and that is all I can do. If I fail then it is a learning lesson to grow from, nothing is the end of the world, everything has its own lesson to teach. I’ve owned my mistakes and faults this semester, I didn’t care, at all and that isn’t me. I let my own laziness and sadness prevent me from working hard. My ADD makes it tough for me to focus and stay on track and that problem became evident during this Spring semester. I don’t want to go back on Adderoll, it makes me jumpy, not hungry, and a little fuzzy when I come down from the medicine and I hate it. I would much rather a more natural method if I can find one.

On another note, I’ve been doing well with moving and eating. Yesterday Zach and I went on a 2.5 mile nature walk at a local state park and it was so refreshing. I really love walking especially when it is beautiful out and the scenery is so welcoming. I’ve been religiously using my Fitbit Flex, hitting all of my goals including steps, water intake, active minutes, and all that good stuff. I drank almost 100 fl oz of water yesterday and I’m pretty proud of that. I get out of work at 1:30 today and before I dive into my homework and papers, I think I’ll go for a quick jog to just refocus and get my blood going because sometimes I get tired after working the morning shift but I need to stay on track.

On a personal note, I’ve been seeing someone for the past couple of months and he is perfect. I’m pretty lucky to be with someone who is so supportive and loving. I almost feel inadequate because he is so genuine, and not that I’m not, I just am not used to such an easy going relationship I feel like I don’t deserve him or the relationship itself. We don’t see each other every day or text non stop but when we are together it is all smiles and laughs. I’ve never felt so comfortable with someone and I am so thankful to have him in my life.

This week is going to be hectic but I pray to God that I can make this all work and if not, then I know that I owned my mistakes and to do better next time.

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.