Love Yourself

Some of you who followed my blog during my weight loss days may be wondering what happened with that…

The truth of the matter is I really hurt myself by losing 40 pounds in 5 months on a mental, physical and spiritual level and have been working on healing ever since. As a part of this process, my epic 56lb loss is currently at a 41lb maintained loss. On one hand it is really sad that the gain happened, but I am in such a better state than I was last year.

Last summer when I had no choice but to switch to maintenance, I was deathly afraid of gaining weight again and slowed the healing process by not eating enough, not getting enough rest and started saying “I hate you” to myself. I was frustrated and far removed from the person who had completely entrusted the weight loss to God the year before. It has truly been a lesson in humility and gratitude. God gave me my life back through the weight loss achieved, but didn’t love me any more for being slim. Being slim didn’t make me a better person or a better witness to Christ – I was too worried about myself and trying to find the perfect combination of food and exercise that would help me lose another 30lbs. I’ve realized since then that sometimes being a witness to Christ is as simple as just being present, listening to others and allowing yourself to be a response to prayer. If you’re constantly unavailable and only focused on yourself, how can you be Christ to others?

A part of the mental healing was learning to accept myself. For example earlier this year I was still stuck in the past, particularly my 18th year, the age of “perfection” which was when I wasn’t ancient, was at my smallest, was vibrant, full of imagination, energy and curiosity, loving my art classes and filled with big ideas for the future. Seriously, if you gave me the opportunity to go back in time with my current knowledge and live it over again, I would have taken it in a heartbeat. I felt I had nothing to lose but the undesirable and everything to gain. However, it is not possible and this idea plagued me for months as it didn’t sit well that I was at odds with who I am now. I brought it up in prayer and over time realized I was still beating myself up over my “wasted” years of depression, obesity, otakuism and my overall perceived uselessness. But then I was blessed with a series of amazing experiences which made me understand that if I was anyone other than who I was presently, I would have never had the same opportunity. I am still me even if I’m fluffier, I’m still competitive when I want to be and go on spontaneous adventures. It may be harder, slower, or shorter, but the extra weight doesn’t stop me from doing the things I want to do, being true to myself or being Christ to others. Just last month I was finally able to say with confidence, “I accept myself as I am and I am going to live my life right where I am.”

I am not at my goal weight or even my last year weight, but I’m okay with that. God and I will work on it when the time is right. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Paleo Day 3

 

Hey everyone! It’s day three of amazing changes! Let me just say how food has come to life in my mouth. Mmmm I’m savoring every  bite!

I know my new year’s resolution seemingly came out of the blue, but things have been in the works for a while. The diet and exercise plan I was on previously was causing serious damage to my body, and it wasn’t repairing itself. So I had to cut back, a lot. Not being active seriously frustrates my competitive spirit, but every time I try to ramp it up – I’m reminded why I’m on restricted activity. Something just hasn’t healed yet.

When my parents started their paleo journey last month, I blew it off as a fad. But upon further research and knowing what hasn’t been working with my diet really made me want to give this a go. And the lure of the clean slate of 2016 was an excellent opportunity to try out something new. 0:)

Day 1 Was shopping and research day. I went shopping based on a paleo list I found on Pop Sugar, and came across some amazing websites such as Nom Nom Paleo, Paleo Leap, and Paleoish that helped me understand what I’m getting into a bit more. I know that their recipe indexes are going to be super helpful as I get further along. 🙂
Day 2 Was me already Googling how to make paleo goodies. Yep. Paleo donut anyone? XD Just kidding.

Day 3 Which is where I am right now is me making food and working out my game plan for the work week. Yes, paleo desserts were included.

I am striving to stick to the Whole30 plan as closely as possible, but there have been a few blunders… “Wait – this had soy in it?” “Uh, this is a potato…” “Why is there added sugar in thisss…?”*cough* However as Fit Girl says, Progress not Perfection so I’m taking it one meal at a time. 🙂

Anyone else starting paleo?

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Make a Run for It!

“Jogging? Me? You must be joking!” That was my response before I lost weight. Back then I could jog a few house lengths at best and my chest and calves would hurt so bad I thought they they were going to explode. With such terrible reactions, I believed that I could never be a jogger. 

Fast forward to 50 pounds lighter and the momentum of over 100 hours of swimming, and trying new activities i.e. yoga, skiing, rock climbing, when I read an article that recommended jogging to increase stamina. Determined to swim farther and for longer in preparation for my life guard certification, I incorporated jogging into my exercise regimen on March 17, 2015. I thought “If I can ski, I can jog.” and went for it. Finishing that first lap around the block was exhausting but so exciting!

To begin with I jogged everyday going around the block in the morning before work during the week and before church on Sunday,  but on Saturday I would jog at the track at the Athletic Center before swimming. I had to stop every lap for a breather and to hydrate, but I was not deterred. Slowly I was able to go longer without a break. After several weeks I looked at how many laps around the track equaled a mile, and was surprised. 10 laps was a mile and I was doing four. Just knowing how close I was to a half mile, I started pushing for another lap. That was when I decided to make jogging into a goal for my Golden Year Project. 🙂

So this morning I went to the Athletic Center with a specific goal in mind: Jog a mile without stopping. I put my stuff away, clipped on my tunes, stretched, hydrated and took off at a slow steady pace focusing only on my breathing. I successfully completed 11 laps in less than 20 minutes! 😀 😀 😀

  IMG_20150502_092332

Not bad for a not-jogger!

(8 down, 20 more to go!)

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Golden Year Project status: 8/28

  1. 2/14/2015: Oh Canada!
  2. 2/20/2015: Just do it! A Morning on the Slopes
  3. 2/28/2015: Facing the Rockwall
  4. 3/10-12/2015: The Amazing Chi-Town!
  5. 3/18/2015: On Target… or Not.
  6. 4/11/2015: The Tridge
  7. 4/17/2015: Play Me a Song
  8. 5/2/2015: Make a Run for It!

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

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