Feeling Like the Fat Kid

**Warning….This is venting. No one has actually been mean to me or said anything about my constant fails and weight.**

Fit Camp Week 2

So…This is Monday, week 3 of Fit Camp. My neighbors started a free camp twice a week for us to come workout. Mondays are cardio and Fridays are strength training. I absolutely love it! I’m not the fastest (in fact I’m always last on the 2 laps). I’m not the most athletic. But, I have fun. We even did Ultimate Frisbee, and that had to be my favorite. It was like fun cardio.

I had started with this schedule idea and it all got thrown off on week 2. I wasn’t eating well. Didn’t feel well. Mostly, it was due to stress from my boys being down right awful. I had been trying to journal…But, that failed too. I didn’t even really get in my yoga. However, I did work out in the yard 3 days this week in the horrendous Arkansas heat. I did make it down to the park on Friday, even though our Fit Camp leaders were out of town, and did my two laps and some yoga.

However…They remembered the scales this week. The fancy scale that can tell me more than just how much I weigh. It didn’t match my scale. My scale said I was about 283… Well….As much as I hate to admit this publicly… Theirs said 292. I had to hold back the tears. I felt so defeated.

I work so hard on my diet. Have cut so many things out… I do work at it. I know consistency is my biggest struggle…But dear lord most people drop sodas and drop 10 pounds…I haven’t had a soda since January 7th, of 2014!!!! (Over 18 months!)

So here is what I learned from this handy dandy scale…Keeping in mind, I am 27 and I’m 5 foot 10 inches tall.

weight: 292

body fat percentage: 50%

muscle mass (in pounds): 137 (Which he said was actually good.)

body fat (in pounds): 155

It also made some recommendations based on these numbers that I should be taking in 144 grams of protein, 150 ounces of water, and my calorie goal should be around 2,100. All good things to know.

But, as I walked around the loop for my laps, I was crying. I texted my husband and he told me to be strong. I stuck with it…Even though I felt like running to my car and driving up the road to my house and hiding. I was embarrassed. I work so hard at trying to lose weight. I eat really clean. More clean than anyone I know. I have discovered the foods that bother me and for the most part am successful at keeping them out of my diet.

As I was walking I couldn’t help but think….I’m the fat kid in camp. I doubt even some of the men don’t weigh as much as I do. I workout, I do yoga, and I don’t let much of anything stop me (especially my weight) from doing anything. But, I’m still the fat kid in class. I’m the biggest and the slowest.

Truthfully…It’s the first time in my life, even though I’ve been overweight most of my life, that I’ve ever felt like the fat kid. Not even in gym during high school. I could handle it. It took me 27 years to finally feel fat. I’ve been able to admit with it. Deal with it. But…I’ve never felt it.

I can only imagine the mental distress this would have caused me 10 years ago. Thankfully, I’m old enough to vent and move on and do something about it.

I guess I can say this is just one bump in the road. I have more knowledge, and that’s always a good thing. Now that I know where I’m at I can stop feeling depressed, find me a sturdy horse and get back on the wagon. My husband made an excellent point though. I do great at eating completely clean for months on end if I don’t work out. I’m also half as hungry. Then I start working out, I get so hungry and I make bad decisions that derail any progress. I’m going to have to be more mindful of this.

Thank you for anyone who read through all of my venting. Writing is a really good therapy for me that helps me get all of my thoughts out of my head. I know the people around me would never probably even think of me as the fat kid…We’re just sometimes our own worst critic. But, hopefully I’ll move on and learn from this.

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To the Folks that Constantly Remind Me, I have 3 Children…

My 3 Baby Yogis

Dear neighbors, on lookers, friends, and curious strangers…

That’s right. You can count. 1…2….3… Yes! I have more than the average family. Instead of 2.1 children…I have 3. Yes…My oldest and youngest look like twins and that can be confusing…Regardless…Good observation skills that I have 3 kiddos all close together. In fact, if I had time to stop and talk to you, they could recite to you that my teeny, tiny little Madison is 5, my very tall son Rylan is 4 (and dwarfs his older sister), and that the cute little cutie patootie Mark is 3 (not Madison’s twin).

I have to thank the countless amounts of random folks who brag on my children. Grocery store checkers, random mom’s in the parking lot, or even important people like when we visit our lawyer… Yep. My kids can go important places, and 9/10 times are absolute angels. I try to return this to others. For instance, while on vacation, we were at a restaurant and a mom and dad had 2 little ones probably not much older than ours. I went over and told them I had to brag on how good their kids were. We’re sometimes not told enough what a good job we’re doing, and I just wanted to make sure they knew they had some really awesome kiddos behaving so nicely in a good restaurant. We’re always quick to pick out those bad kids throwing a fit and looking down on the parents.

But, back to our fine folks…the on lookers, other shoppers…The commenters. Dear people, I have to say that your comments about my hands being full…are unnecessary. I’m not sure how to say this any different. I was even told, what a hassle I must have. I just laughed and walked on. But, I feel the need to get this out. I have to put it out there so that maybe someone will choose their words a little bit better.

My hands are not full…My heart is. My kids are many things…but a hassle…or a burden…They are NOT. If anything, they are a lesson, or constant reminder. They are a mirror, and accountability. Are they frustrating sometimes? Sure. What child isn’t? But I like what Elliott Hulse says about 3 types of people in your life. There are mirrors, who are supposed to show you something about yourself. There are crystal balls, who show you how you could be if you keep on the same path (good or bad). Then there are angels that are simply there to teach you a lesson. Now…learning and growing and maturing is not easy. As a parent, you’re really forced into it. You have to keep on your toes. You never know what your kids are going to throw at you next (both literally and figuratively). Children, are usually always mirrors.

Truthfully…I understand your point. A lot of parents are overwhelmed these days. They lack the discipline to keep their kids in order. We work really hard and make it a point that we expect good behavior out of our children. They do occasionally have their issues. I had to walk Madison’s whiny self out of Old Navy the other day because she wouldn’t listen and hear me in a situation and continued to whine when it was inappropriate. Did she get in trouble? Yes! But, we also understood that this little girl is getting old enough to avoid her naps…but sometimes she does still need it.

I see plenty of other parents with children screaming, and running, and throwing things. However, I don’t think you’d walk up to them and tell them they had their hands full. Or that they have such a hassle.

So to our dear friends and neighbors that greet us with smiles and take the time to see what awesome kids we’ve raised, we thank you and hug you. To those of you folks who constantly want to remind me that I have 3 children to raise into good, respectable citizens…I know. I know I have 3 kids. They are not a hassle or a burden…They are a blessing and a constant life lesson. Even though I’m usually the teacher…they teach me just as much in return.

-Ami M. Lee, Mom of 3 Awesome Kids

AIP – The AutoImmune Protocol

I’m not sure if I’ve really mentioned it on this blog yet. But, I started the AutoImmune Protocol on January 5th. What is this you ask? You’re starting a different diet? Nope. I’m still Paleo. But, the AutoImmune Protocol (or further known as AIP) is a stricter version of Paleo that eliminates certain foods that many people are sensitive to. This includes:

  • Nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, white potatoes, and many more)
  • Nuts and Seeds (including spices from seeds such as cumin)
  • No chocolate
  • No coffee (Which isn’t hard because I gave up coffee months ago.)
  • Alcohol (But you can cook it out, in moderation.)
  • Eggs

The hardest things so far have been nuts, eggs, and chocolate. When you go Paleo, it is so easy to use nuts for everything. Almond butter, almond flour, use them in baking for better texture, and just about anything else. Most all of my treats had nuts and chocolate.

Nightshades haven’t been as hard, but I’ve had this natural aversion to tomatoes for a long while. I ate them plenty growing up, but now I can’t even stomach the thought of tomato sauce. However, they do hide in a lot of products like hot dogs, and even gluten free seasonings, and guacamole.

The first week I lost 4ish-5 pounds. I have an analog scale, so the exact measurement is difficult. However, that day I had a larabar with some nuts in it. The next morning I shot right back out of those 4 or 5 pounds. Over night! Could this be the link to why I wasn’t losing any weight, no matter how hard I worked out, stayed consistent, only drank water…etc!? I guess we’ll see in about a week if I re-lose those 4-5ish pounds.

The AIP is definitely not for the faint of heart. Most people who are on the AIP have serious health issues and this is their last hope. This isn’t the diet you adopt for a week and giggle to your girlfriends over a cocktail that you lost 2 pounds. This is not for the willy nilly, fair weather dieter. This is a learning tool. This is a health tool.

You’re not meant to stay on AIP forever. After a certain period, that can be determined by the person and be different for everyone, you can start reintroductions of these foods. Preferably, one at a time and spaced out enough to allow for reactions. It could take up to 72 hours for a reaction to occur.

AIP is to optimize what your body truly needs to heal itself. I’ve been blogging for years about all the healthy things, programs, and workouts I’ve done to try to lose weight and get healthy. And yet, I haven’t been this close to getting into the 260s since I gave birth to my youngest son. Years and years of hard work.

It’s hard because it can be socially isolating. You really can’t “cheat” (I hate referring to it as cheating…another blog, another time.) because you need to heal and keep anything you’re sensitive to out. It’s difficult to go out for supper with your loved ones. There are ways, and if you’re AIP I encourage you google articles that recommend how to eat while on an elimination diet. It takes thought, and cooperation, but it can be done.

I actually cried when I couldn’t have a mozzarella stick the other day that my husband had with his lunch. I felt sick to my stomach and I knew, eating it wouldn’t be relief. It would make things worse. Have I been perfect? No. Remember that Larabar?

And giving up Larabars after you win a huge giveaway and you have a box full in your cabinet is hard! They’re such an easy snack and AIP takes away that…Oh I’ll just grab this and eat it quickly and go on about my busy life.

I worry though…That put in the wrong hands, this diet could lead to obsessive eating. I’m constantly checking labels and reading….reading…and more reading.

I’m trying to counteract this by having my calendar. I’m writing down my reactions. Slips. Weight loss, and slips all on this calendar. I have my 60 day goal laid out. That’s just my first goal before introductions.

I wouldn’t have made it this far without support. Big shout out to my AIP Warrior friends on Facebook! These gals have been so amazing. And The Paleo Approach Community has been great at answering any of my general questions. I usually get more personal with my AIP Warrior family than I do in the Paleo Approach Community because PAC has 31,000 members! AIP Warriors is about 50. So seek out these type of groups! They’re so helpful. And, I must say, that my husband has been very supportive and kind. I can’t say enough that I couldn’t have gotten this far (9 days) without these lovely people.

Last thing, I think I’d like to ramble on about (because that’s what I feel like I’m doing) is that there are a lot of great resources out there. The Paleo Approach and Paleo Approch Cookbook are an amazing place to start to understand the “Why’s” and there are more and more blogs, recipes, and voices added to the AIP Paleo community.

I’m excited to be on this journey. Some dayy maybe I’ll be able to show before and after pictures. For now, it’s just me…healing…and feeling better. I’m amazed at the difference I’ve felt so far.

Wishing you all, peace and love. -Ami M. Lee

3 Things that Went Well – Day 3

Well it happened. A day when it was a little harder to think of those 3 things. I was getting worried as the day progressed. I ended up with a really bad headache and a really bad allergic reaction to dust…go figure. But, I did find some things in this hectic day that were good. So, without further ado, because it’s insanely too close to bed and I still have to do my bedtime yoga…Here it is!

1- Even though I had the migraine, I was able to fix supper.

All too often, this is when I slip up. I am a big baby when it comes to pain, and I just say honey…go buy something. I can’t. Well, I knew i had a whole chicken to cook and had seen Julia Child just throw one in a pot to let it cook. I looked up the recipe on YouTube and tah dah! White Wine Stewed chicken. It was actually very fun. I put a few pictures on instagram. We had mashed potatoes made with some of the fresh broth. SO delicious! Homemade chicken giblet gravy…YUMMY! along with the carrots and onions out of the broth. It was pretty amazing. It’s funny how things like that happen when you push yourself. I thoroughly amazed myself.

2- I tried out a different YouTube yoga guru.

I was going through the list trying to see which one I would do during nap time. I am really hoping to start practicing 3 times a day. A short morning routine, a more intentional practice that’s more like a workout during nap time, and bed time yoga before bed. I ended up doing a sequence with Cole from Yoga TX that was amazing! My back has felt better all day even though my head has not. It was challenging…I struggled a little, but it’s always to have room for improvement. I have the worst habit of sticking with what I know. I obsess a little bit. So branching out to different teachers and seeing what they have to offer, went well.

3 (And probably my favorite)- One of my recipes was featured on another blog!

I was going through my Facebook and happened across one of my favorite bloggers to follow. “Things My Belly Likes” She just has a fire and is funny. It’s hard to find people with your same sense of humor. Anyways…10 Best Edible Holiday Gifts and there it was! Honey Butter! At first, I was like…I knew that would be a great idea! ….Then I realized it said…The Common Sense Cook and I nearly screamed in delight! I did actually cry from being so happy. Someone out there, that I admire, liked and reposted my recipe for others to enjoy. I mean, if I don’t accomplish anything else with my cooking blog, that will do me for a very long time. I made sure to send her a thank you message on Facebook. That probably made my whole year right there worth it.

So that’s it for today! I hope y’all are doing well out there. Christmas is close and I have a Christmas party Saturday that I’m excited about. What went well for you today? Leave me a comment or if you right a blog post, leave the link! 🙂

Challenge Updates

Let’s start off with my Yoga Practice. 🙂

It is day 10 of my 31 day yoga challenge. Good grief this is going by fast! As I mention in my last practice I did miss day 6 but luckily was still active. Tonight, it is getting late so I am learning Ujjayi Breath. It’s not all about full sequences. I am also taking this journey to learn more about yoga and explore what I want from my practice. I think deep breathing techniques have proven to be very helpful to me. I’m feeling great. I’m wanting to work on doing a morning and night routine. We’ll see how that goes tomorrow. I just need to take that time to center myself after waking up and before going to bed. I have been sleeping so much better and have less dreams. Which, is an indicator that I am fulfilling my full cycle of sleep. I’ve also been able to keep more calm. Not always. I’m not immune to frustration…especially with three kiddos. I find that I recover and handle things more constructively even though I may be upset, frustrated, or angry.

7 Days of What Went Well

Today is day 2 of What Went Well Week Challenge. I found myself today trying to locate things that I could write about. That’s a pretty amazing, fast improvement in my outlook throughout the day. So here we go…

1- Seeking out positive things to write about.

As I said, pretty easy…I was identifying positive things in the day. I know I’m guilty to get into toxic thought mode. Kids are too loud, kitchen is a mess, husband is asleep and it feels like the weekend will never get here… No, I reminded myself I’m excited for Saturday. Played positive videos. I didn’t just jump into toxic thought when issues with Rylan came up. He was a little whiny this evening…but that leads me to number 2.

2- Positively dealing with Rylan.

I figured since it was so close to bed time that Rylan might get a little upset when his Mamaw came to pick up Maddy (our niece). He was whiny, near crying and I picked him up and tried to get him to wave. Got Madison and Mark to show him. Said encouraging things like, Look! Wave! She’ll see you. I picked his arm and wiggled it around and he smiled. So hard to cry when you’re laughing. He was also whining when Nick left for work but thankfully we were able to distract him with the bed time routine. We’re trying to make a good habit of brushing teeth before bed, going potty, all those healthy night time habits. He went to bed, got his blanket on him himself, and was happy when I told him goodnight. It’s easy to go into toxic thought mode when he does these things…but that doesn’t help him or me. I know I won’t always get it right, but I’m happy for this little victory today.

3- My husband didn’t like my pizza, but the kiddos did.

I tried a gluten free crust. I did kind of mess up and used shredded instead of grated parmesan, but I thought it was really awesome and I had my 3 kiddos plus our 6 year old non-paleo niece actually ate too! And she never eats Aunt Ami’s food! I made sure to give her a big hug for being so kind and eating my pizza. However, Nick did not like my pizza. Why is this under, that went well? I, again, didn’t go into toxic thought world. I know that I liked it and so did the kids. It was super filling. So, I offered up the suggestion of just buying a pre-made pizza crust for him next time. I was offering up solutions instead of being devastated that my husband who is already had more than he can handle of paleo, didn’t like it. I often take those things personal. While I know I won’t always be able to make such good thought choices, I was proud of this and thought it qualified as something that went well.

Thanks for reading. I hope you are doing well. Is anyone else doing a challenge right now? What’s your goals? Share with me below. 🙂 If you have a blog page, I’d be happy to check it out as well.

Peace and Love. -Ami

3 Things That Went Well Challenge

Yes…It might be a little obvious. I’m challenging myself a lot lately. Sarah Gottfried MD, was one of the speakers I was able to catch speaking at the AutoImmunity Summit that was a little while back. I subscribed to her email list. She is passionate about her work and very educated on hormones.

In this weeks email she talked about one thing she thought could help anyone. Something that scientists even studied saying that most participants in the studied continued to be happier, six months after the experiment, if they just did this…

They wrote down, for a week, 3 things that went well that day. I like the idea because I am thoroughly guilty of laying down to bed at night, if I haven’t just thoroughly lulled my mind into submission with bedtime yoga, of reflecting on the bad things of the day…..and setting out a mission to not let those bad things happen again, or replaying fights with my husband…what could I have said different? How can I have more tact? The list goes on and on…

So tonight is Day 1 of 7. Three things that went well today and why. Today seems like it may be easier than others, but I’m looking forward to seeing the improvements.

1- I didn’t have to spank or raise my voice to my kids. All day!

You may wonder why this is a big deal? I am seriously trying to keep stress and my cortisol levels to the bare minimum. When my kids act up, most times it’s easy to get angry and yell and scream and bam! They’re back at it 5 minutes later. Causing endless amounts of stress. Prolonged periods lead me to panic/anxiety attacks. So. I’ve been really trying to pick and choose my battles and how I handle each one. Our therapist with Rylan mentioned to remember my place of peace and come from there when I’m trying to discipline them. So, I know tomorrow might not be the same, but today, that was a little victory for me.

2- My husband liked the Paleo Banana Nut White Chocolate Chip Muffins that I baked this morning.

I thoroughly believe in this recipe. It is not my own and you can follow over on this link (https://acommonsensecook.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/recipe-review-banana-nut-chocolate-chip-muffins/) and see my review and the original link. Paleo baking is tough. And it’s tough enough having a very anti-paleo husband. So when I very seriously asked him…”Do you like them?” He said, “I might need to try another bite to make sure.” He then proceeded to put the rest of the muffin in his mouth. I said, “So you like them?” And nothing was lost in translation because he very plainly answered, “Yes.” I could have cried…Actually…I’m shocked I didn’t. I knew this recipe was the closest to conventional baked goods I had ever tried. Paleo baked goods often fall short of our life long glutenated flour conditioning of how those baked goods should taste and feel. So that, thanks to my husband…was not just something that went well…but also pretty dang awesome (thank you honey!).

3- I over came a pretty awful headache.

I am the biggest freaking baby when it comes to headaches. I dozed off in the chair while the kids were napping. When I woke up my head was killing me. Thankfully, my kids have learned that when mommies’ head hurts, it’s best to go play and be quiet. With some firm hints to stay quiet, they cooperated. I sat in my chair for about 15 minutes to gain my composure. I was going to get up and make some ginger tea which is anti-inflammatory and really helps with what I usually feel like are sinus headaches…but then I noticed it was going away. I drank a big glass of water. I was able to complete dinner and now the kids are tucked in bed…and just as an addition…

4- Why not…extra credit. I discovered some articles on “No Poo” or not using conventional shampoo.

I have everything to do it. A friend has already told me about how she used to have hair issues just like mine and how much a year without poo has seen such an improvement with her hair. It’s natural. No harsh chemicals. Just baking soda to cleanse and apple cider vinegar diluted to condition. I don’t know what I’ll do with the hoard of shampoo we received after the tornado…maybe donate to friends or the local charity still helping families.

Today’s theme song? What a Day by Greg Laswell. You’ll get it if you find it. 🙂

Peace and Love my friends. If this “no poo” thing works out, I’m sure I’ll come back with pictures and reviews. ❤

Moving On from “Failure”

Three days ago was day 6 of my 31 day Yoga challenge. I am working through the YouTube videos at Yoga with Adriene. I was in a good rhythm, getting my yoga on each day….then came day 6. I woke up in a great mood! I felt pretty good. I felt like I could get things done. Oh boy..the house was going to get clean….and then Nick asks, “When are you going to the grocery store?” I replied, whenever he decided I needed to go. I feel great, I’m not worrying about it.

Then…There’s a Christmas Parade, we find out, later that night…. Cue the horror music. Not at the parade, but the fact that I still have to make a meal list, then the grocery list, drive all the way to Conway…I save more money if I go to two different stores…and I have to be back by 4:45pm to make sure I’m not blocked out. Thankfully, the grocery list process went smoothly…Which is surprising since I could take two days to make a perfect list.

I’m rushing…I had to get gas. I didn’t think I could make it back in time! It was 2:30 and the store is about 45 minutes away! Traffic is awful in the big town near by! So…what did I do? Actually…it’s surprising how yoga can help you in real life situations.

I was trying to breathe long and deep. I tried to “soften the skin of the face” and “relax the jaw.” I know when I’m very tense and anxious, like when driving, my neck and shoulders get very tense. Like Adriene says, we get in that “Mr. Burns” pose. So I tried to remain mindful of keeping my chest open, shoulders back, and head over heart, heart over pelvis…as best I could in a car. I tried to move my neck a little back and forth. Just enough to ease tension, but always keeping my eyes on the road. I think this helped my stress levels and I eventually decided to go ahead, bite the bullet and extra $25 bucks I had to spend at one store (Luckily I saved that much with coupons too.) I safely raced home (driving the speed limit most of the way….I promise!).

Thankfully, we made it home in time! Mainly because…they were running behind. The kids grabbed their coats (because it was super cold) and ran down to nana’s house to wait.

kiddos waiting on a parade

Nana eventually came outside all bundled up and sat on the tailgate with the kids. Madison had the most beautiful princess wave, and I think she’ll be a great parade princess some day! It was actually a good time even though it was beyond freezing outside.

We made it home, kids went to bed. Nick and I watched American Horror Story. Then…I went to bed. Notice anything missing? Yep…I didn’t do a yoga video. Which brings me to the point of my post.

Yes…I missed a day on my 31 day challenge. But, too often I see people beating themselves into a million pieces. Crying and carrying on about each little pothole in the road of the journey. This is the beauty of life, not a wall with a sign saying, You Shall Not Pass! If life was easy, anyone could pull it off. The truth of the matter is that life is work. There are so many twists and turns (PLOT TWIST!) that you truly never know where you’ll end up.

My only point being. Don’t let one slip derail your progress. Don’t quit. Never give up. Never surrender. Have courage to keep going. Hell…maybe it’s because I survived a tornado that literally destroyed everything but my life. Silly things like forgetting one day of yoga seem trivial in the grand scope of my perception.

So, my invitation is for you to decide. Which path will you take my friend? You’re always welcome to come along with me for my adventure!

And on that note…I’ll be working on the page to freshen it up a bit. If it looks a little different, don’t freak out. Just trying to make sure it is readable, and that you guys can find what you need. I do a few other blogs. You can find me all over the place. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and I’ll try to get you links to all.

I’m also considering doing a fundraiser for the local area affected by the April tornado. I’m wanting to raise money for the families affected to be able to have a weather radio and maybe supplies, for the storm shelter, and spreading weather awareness. It’s another thing that I’m very passionate about. You’ll see come spring time. Of course, if I get the network and support that I need to go through with it, I’ll let y’all know in case some of you lovely readers would like to help out.

So that’s it. Enough rambling and blog writing therapy. Have a wonderful week everyone! ❤

Peace and Love. -Ami