Bless My Heart

the improvement of a southern girl

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What’s Up Wit Chu?

I miss my blog. I’ve taken quite a break from it. To be honest, it has everything to do with not knowing how to segue back into a less-serious issue than cancer.

But here I am.

After a few weeks of “breaking in” the leg again to exercise, I am now full force into a scheduled exercise routine. It feels SO GOOD to be working out again. The Man and I are doing the 5×5 workout we were doing previously… just much lower weight for now. I’m looking forward to developing my routine into something I can really progress at. Love feeling strong.

Also slowly working on bringing running stamina back up to a 5k distance. Slowly.

Exercise is only half of the equation to a healthier Juli, though. Let’s talk about food…..

I gained…. oh…..  let’s be honest here…  I gained about 20 pounds during the STRESSFUL melanoma-laced winter of 2010. You know, whether or not you can fit in your skinny jeans just doesn’t matter anymore when you are dealing with a life-threatening disease. Comfort comes in many forms, but my comfort has always been food. And I found plenty of comfort this winter, lemmetellya.

But then. Oh Then. Well, my skinny jeans didn’t fit anymore. Then my regular comfy jeans didn’t fit anymore. Then my roomy work clothes were getting uncomfortably tight. Then I didn’t hardly fit in ANYTHING in my closet except for sweat pants and I had to make a run to to the store for the dreaded…..    wait for it…..  FAT JEANS!

If you are female, you know what I’m talking about. And it’s not a good thing.

So I had enough. I felt miserable. My self esteem was at a very low point. My mangled scar on my flabby thigh wasn’t helping anything. I needed a solution.

So I looked at my friend that had just lost over 60 pounds and said “Gimme some of what you got, girl!”. Well, not really, but I asked for more info on what she was doing and she gladly told me. Take Shape for Life by Medifast. Sign me up.

Now, I was a little hesitant on doing this program at first, as I am moving very quickly into a “whole foods/clean-eating” way of life. Although this program promotes that to an extent, it also uses dry products that come in a package – not very “whole”. But you know what? The way I was stress eating in the months before wasn’t all that clean either, so I accepted it has what it is..  a stepping stone for getting to where I want to be.

It’s working.

As long as I don’t cheat…

Today marks the completion of the 7th week on Medifast and I have lost 16.5 lbs. I’m sure it would have been more if I had not relaxed here and there, but I am happy with the results so far. I have also started kicking butt on this thing and have gone “off plan” less and less. We even took a trip out of town last weekend and I didn’t cheat. Go me. I want to lose 40. 23.5lbs to go, and I’m expecting a little better progress with my greater self control and increased exercise.

I have big plans for myself. I feel awakened to life in a whole new way. A greater appreciation. Quite frankly…. less time for bullshit. I’m focusing on what matters. The people that matter. The events that matter. I have a renewed craving for knowledge and spiritual peace.

I make this journey public on this blog, not to brag, not to preach, but to give a perspective. I will be honest. I share my struggles. I share my joy. There is a great world outside. There are great people in it. I want to find it for myself. I want to help you find it for yourself.




Bless My Heart

I am pretty sure that everyone on this planet has a list of things that they would like to change about themselves.  Or, at least, it makes me feel better to think that we all are in the same boat.  However small that boat might be. My list began when I was around the age of eleven or twelve, the “tween” years.  Not quite in the full-on awkwardness of puberty, but close enough to start seeing how I was stacking up against the other girls in my class.

I didn’t measure up.

There are many reasons why I felt this way, but the main one, and the easiest for my young brain to latch on to, was the fact that I was bigger than most of them.  I have never been obese, per say, but I have always been “the big girl”.  Especially when compared to my two older sisters.  Never mind that my 5’10” frame would never fit into either one of there 5’6″ shadows, I was bigger, and that was all that mattered.

I look back now at pictures of me in my awkward teenage years and realized that I never was that big. But here’s what happens when you’re labeled “the big girl”.  You start living up to your label.  You sit on the couch and eat 5 or 6 more cookies than you should, because you are already screwed anyway.  “What the hell, why not?”  Shrug you’re shoulders and start thinking about what you are going to eat next, after your stomach stops feeling sick from the current binge.  And here’s the kicker… over and over again, late at night, I’d sit down with pencil and paper and sketch out my plan of action.  How I was going to lose 2.5 pounds a week for x amount of weeks and end up at some fabricated perfect weight for me.  I remember making these “goals” up for myself on countless sunday nights in junior high.  Ready to start fresh on Monday morning.  Every week a plan.  Every week another failure.

Years and years of failures.

When I married my college sweetheart I was the heaviest I had ever been.  Sure, I had made a goal of slimming down before my wedding, but let’s just say that didn’t work out.  I do not like looking at pictures from my honeymoon in Hawaii.  When they should remind me of one of the happiest times in my life, they really only remind me of how out of control I was.  My swollen face smiles back at me in those photographs, but there is not a lot of joy coming from within.

It really wasn’t until after I had my second daughter that things started clicking for me.  A reality set in, very deep, that my life was going to be what I made of it.  It wasn’t going to happen for me, but it was going to happen to me, whether I liked it or not.  Might as well have a little control, then. Another huge motivation for me was the fact that not one, but both of my parents had become diagnosed with Type II diabetes.  I had a target as large as a chicken fried steak on my back, or rather, backside.  Something, a lot of things, had to change.  And preferably, before I turned 30 ; )

So here I am, a couple of years later.  I am about 35 pounds lighter, and I have completed several 5k races.  I feel much better about myself, but I am realizing more and more that this is not enough.  I am ready to get to the next level.  Plenty of thoughts have been stirring around my head, so I have started this blog in order to give them all a place to rest.

My husband and I are going to kick start ourselves again into healthier eating my “eating clean” this week The week will be full of green veggies, brown rice, oatmeal, and lean proteins.  It was a good jump start a few months ago, the first time we did it.  Maybe I can quickly lose those 5 pounds I stress ate these last few weeks!

I have so many things that I want to write about, so many things that I want to do.  I also have some major fitness goals that I’m tossing around.  I’m not ready to share them yet, because that would kind of be committal on my part, but just know they are out there.

Time to go to bed.  This was kinda fun though.  I look forward to doing it again tomorrow.  ‘Night.