Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude

Hello hello!

It’s easy to get so focused on my goals that I forget to step back and appreciate the good that is happening in my life right now. So I would like to just take a moment to share a few things that I am currently feeling thankful for. Here goes. 🙂

  1. I am thankful that through the Lord’s grace I have lost 56 pounds since January 1st, 2014.
  2. I am thankful that I am now able to squeeze into size 6 pants. (Say wut?!)
  3. I am thankful for those who share their ideas and experiences freely on the internet – they have been a huge help.
  4. I am thankful for my family and friends who are always looking out for me.
  5. I am thankful that I had a breakthrough and no longer think of myself as a boring person.
  6. I am thankful for the revelation of “false gods” in my past that were still affecting the now.
  7. I am thankful for discovering natural beauty products 🙂
  8. I am thankful that I made it to the top of the rock wall! (Yay!!!)
  9. I am thankful that I K.O.’d my happiness saboteurs today!
  10. I am thankful that I have been given the opportunity to assist others too.

For the next week I am going to be challenging myself to find three things that I am thankful for each day and praise the Lord in a special way. Feel free to join in!

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

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Inspire Yourself ;)

When working toward any goal or even keeping yourself upbeat and in optimal mental shape it’s important to supercharge your environment with positive energy.

Since I started my weight loss journey last January I have grown a considerable collection of inspirational wall art and other items that I read every day.  Even when I have a bad day I read them and bring things back into perspective.
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The one that constantly serves as my biggest reminder is “Pray hardest when it’s hardest to pray.” It may take a minute to calm down and pray about what ever it is, but when I do I feel so much more at peace. 🙂
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My collection isn’t just limited to my room. I also extend the energy flow to social media by sharing a wide variety of motivational sayings on my personal Facebook, pin things to my board on Pinterest and favorite inspirational posters on Etsy.

What is your favorite motivational saying?

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Best Day Ever

 Happy Sunday Everyone!

Yesterday my “unplanned plans” for the day fell through, so I decided to take myself out. My mission: Clothes shopping at the mall.

This may sound like no big deal… but for me it was. Due to my size I have never purchased clothes from a “mall store” and was limited to assisting my trim sisters in looking for items and holding their purses so they could try them on. Ugh… This got old really fast and I became unwilling to be a style consultant/purse holder and eventually stopped going out with them.

As I am now free from the confines of the plus size category I have been enjoying a freedom I forgot even existed; shopping in the regular clothing sections. There are so many more styles to choose from and I judge whether I’m going to purchase the item based on if I like it – not if it fits. Being confident in my now “average” size helped snag me another small victory this past week: I asked one of my coworkers where she bought her cardigan. TBH I’ve never asked anyone that question, because even if I knew where they purchase their clothes – the store wouldn’t have my size anyway. So why ask?

I drove to the mall, deliberately went straight to the store my coworker specified, grabbed a few items to try on and headed to the dressing rooms. The attendant escorted me to a room, hung up the clothes and left. I pulled on the items and looked in the mirror… See image 2/2015.

Transform!

I am now fitting in mall clothes! 😀

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

 

Success is More than a Number

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Last week I had a “bad” weigh-in. The scale said I had gained nearly three pounds! I was like “Say wut?!” Sometimes deep down we know we “deserve” that weight gain, however I was really angry because I didn’t. I am not cheating by sneaking junk food and I’m not overeating or skipping workouts. So whats the deal? Frustrated, I brought it to the Lord in prayer and asked that the scale stay the same. When I got home from church, the scale changed it’s mind. The readout declared that there wasn’t a weight gain – and that I had stayed exactly the same. Thank you Lord!

I tried to think of anything that could possibly stall my weight loss and attempted to amend it. Not enough rest? Get in bed sooner. Bound up system? Detox drinks every morning. Could this not-quite-precisely measured 2 tbsps of lite dressing be a culprit? Make sure not to use all of it. Despite this rather anal mentality, I was more relaxed and kept my personal achievements in mind….

Recent Successes:

  • I can wrap a regular towel around myself – instead of needing a bath sheet
  • Noticeably slimmer thighs and ankles
  • Slid a size 6 ring on my left ring finger (whoa)
  • Less back fat
  • Losing inches all over
  • Surprised my swim instructor with how much my swimming has improved 😀
  • My replacement clothes are getting loose and more items are ending up in the donation bag 🙂
  • Getting more and more compliments on my appearance
  • People are asking for my secret weight loss technique (lol!)
  • An all around feeling of well being

We can’t rely on the scale to advise us of success because that number is just one small piece of a much bigger story. 🙂

This week I had a 2 pound loss bringing me to a total of 45 pounds lost since 1-1-2014. This means I have officially passed my 20% weight loss goal! 😀 😀 😀 Next step is to bring my BMI out of the obese category – which I’m really close to; then I’ll be working toward my 30%. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-AnnaSan

Perseverance

After the excitement of the holidays I’ve been feeling kinda bummed. Have new goals and resolutions I’m working on, which are good – but they are challenging and will take time to see progress; so very little motivation there. 😦 I also haven’t been able to hang out with my friends due to my work schedule which makes me feel disconnected. 😦 😦 And to top that off I’m already having to work overtime to meet January’s quota. 😦 😦 😦 Everything feels harder this month and to be honest, I really don’t want to do anything. Good thing I don’t rely on my feelings, huh? No matter what they say I am still at the gym four days a week.

Lets face it – weight loss is a bumpy ride and we all experience challenges along the way. My weight loss journey definitely hasn’t been an easy one and I hope that my previous posts haven’t alluded to such, because it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Early on I accepted several invitations to pity parties or would rationalize having “just one” and eat things that I  knew I shouldn’t. For example in September I ate five donuts in one week. FIVE. No, I didn’t gain weight from it (because I had already started changing my diet and exercise plan) but I lost some respect for myself. Instead of being reactive I became proactive. I stepped back and asked, “Why am I working against myself?” I spent quite awhile soul searching and in prayer. It came to the front that my inner child didn’t want to give up anything. I wanted to achieve weight loss and eat the donuts too.

For some, the “everything in moderation” mindset works well. As a sugar and food addict with a long history of unsuccessful weight loss attempts, I knew that it didn’t work for me. Armed with this new self-awareness, I refocused on what I wanted and why I wanted it, committed it to prayer and took steps to amend my habits.

First I asked my brother to get rid of the rest of the dozen donuts that I had been grazing on as I was too weak to resist them, then I stopped eating donuts at the weekly Coffee & Donuts after church but would still go for the coffee and the socializing. It was through this situation that I finally realized and accepted that I had to make a commitment to a complete lifestyle change.

After a few weeks of cutting the sweets, I experienced my first triumph over my sugar addiction when I threw away that donut on Halloween. It was a glorious and freeing feeling. It was then that I knew that I was mentally ready to take my weight loss to the next level by starting the 1,200 calorie diet …which I am still on today. 🙂

Don’t let the failures of today dictate your tomorrow. 

If you mess up, it’s okay. Take time to find out why, pray about it and make a commitment. Get right back on the bandwagon. I know you can do it. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-AnnaSan

2015 Anthem :3

Right before new years I came across the cute AMV below featuring this awesome tune by Mindy Gledhill. The song resonated with me and I feel that it really captures the essence of where I am right now in my life journey. Whole Wide World has been dubbed my personal anthem for 2015 and I have it on my MP3 player to listen to during my workouts. :3

“Whole Wide World”

I’m gonna walk a hundred miles
I’m gonna whistle all the while
If that’s what it takes to make me smile
I’m gonna walk a hundred miles

I’m gonna run right up this hill
Summer sky or winter chill
If I gotta take a break I will
But I’m gonna run right up this hill

I wanna hold the whole wide world
Right here in my open hands
Maybe I’m just a little girl
A little girl with great big plans

I’m gonna go and take a chance
I’m gonna learn to ballet dance
Learn a little something ‘bout romance
I’m gonna go and take a chance

I’m gonna live a crazy dream
Impossible as it may seem
Doesn’t matter what the future brings
I’m gonna live a crazy dream

[Chorus]

You tell me, “don’t try it”
I’m warning you that I won’t buy it
All failure is fleeting
I trust it always has its meaning

Do you have a personal anthem?

Thanks for reading!

-AnnaSan

2014: A Year of Transformation

At the end of 2013 I was at the highest weight of my entire life. I couldn’t sleep, had massive headaches, digestive problems, carpal tunnel, bad knees, mysterious aches and shooting pains all over my body, and to top it off I couldn’t stop eating. Despite all my physical issues I realized for the first time that I actually liked myself as a person and wanted the best for me. So when I wrote my 2014 resolutions the idea was to become healthier and happier whether or not I lost weight.

2014 started out strong with an 11 pound weight loss in the first two months through gradual diet changes and increased activity (swimming lessons). The following months my weight loss came to a standstill due to loss of activity (lessons ended and I didn’t purchase a membership) and job stress. After experiencing several health scares due to my now “too healthy” diet, I gave up and comforted myself by consuming everything my stomach desired. It made me feel “normal” but the job stress didn’t go away, my appetite became insatiable and my physical issues increased tenfold. Over the next month I gained back 7 pounds.

In July I reached rock bottom and was absolutely miserable. It was then I started soul searching and praying to be released from this food addiction that was destroying my life and threatened my future. It was obvious that massive change was necessary but I had no strength or motivation. Needing to clear my head, I spent a few days away from home in August and through prayer gained clarity about my next steps. I returned home and released rent on my studio, donating everything that didn’t fit into my bedroom. I started watching Heavy and Supersize vs. Super Skinny every day and was encouraged by their stories. I came to understand that if I waited for motivation I would never start turning my life around. I also gave myself permission to set all my hobbies aside and focus on my health and wellbeing.

On September first, once again at my 11 pound weight loss, I recommitted and invited God to be with me during every step of my journey. That first week was really hard. It was so foreign to say “no” and walk away from food. It was tedious having to take it one decision and one day at a time praying constantly for strength. During that week I had several revelations which inspired me to call off of work the following Monday and sign up for a gym membership, swimming lessons and dance lessons. Also in that second week I decided that I was tired of looking frumpy and got my hair cut and layered, got fitted for a bra, and purchased an exercise shirt in my current size. A few days later I realized that I love the shape of my calves and wanted to show them off and purchased my first pair of skinny jeans. J

It quickly became apparent with swimming that I would need to practice outside of class so that I could get the maximum benefit of having an instructor. So at first I added one additional day and then another as I built stamina. Despite changing my diet and exercising, the scale was barely going down. L But I kept at it anyway.

In October after a long internal battle, I scheduled all my wellness appointments and finally ordered contacts. During my physical the doctor recommended the 1,200 calorie diet and gave a sample menu plan. I hated the idea but I knew that something needed to change so I committed it to prayer and slowly started adjusting my diet again.

On November 1st I started the 1,200 calorie diet. Relying on Smart Ones and other portioned healthy foods I also upped my produce intake, substituted almond milk and eliminated sugar and bread from consumption. Group swimming classes ended and I transitioned into private lessons where I learned the butterfly stroke and started working on stamina building exercises. Between the three days of swimming, one day of dance and 1,200 calorie diet I started losing up to 3 pounds a week consistently. I noticed that my carpal tunnel was gone and that I wasn’t getting winded on the stairs. Also I felt more energy and my clothes dropped a few sizes. Excited in these new changes and after completing a craftshow, I took it upon myself to crochet my grandma an afghan, my instructor a scarf, my brother, dad and favorite waitress a hat after making three dishcloths, two chibi teacups, two Tako-sans and a Tako-sama for my coworkers. :D:D:D

In December I renewed my gym membership and completed my dance and private swim lessons. Temptations around every corner, I prayed consistently for strength and had my starting point in mind. Despite having several birthdays and holidays I kept up with my diet with very few splurges. With swimming I had a few times where I could only make it to the pool twice in a week due to overtime, however when I’m there I push myself and completed a 600, an 800 and a 1,000 yard ladder on my own. It’s crazy to think that one year ago I could barely doggy paddle!

To summarize my year, lots of hard work, tears, prayer and soul searching but I lost 38.2 pounds, dropped 4 clothing sizes and I am getting my life back! 😀 God is so good!!! 2014 was truly a year of transformation and 2015 with God at my side is going to be an amazing continuation.

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San