Saturday, August 19, 2017

I'm Not Who I Was...

Gosh SO much has happened since my last post in April!! Quick update...I DID finish that Whole 30. It went well! And then I allowed myself to get too busy to make healthy eating a priority, yada, yada, yada.

Me and mud mountain? Bffs. Again.

I always learn stuff though, ya know? Every difficult situation I'm faced with seems to end with me going "oooooohhhhh...that makes sense." Sometimes I'm rolling my eyes at myself, trust me. But much of the time, I also try to extend some grace to myself, because I know how important, yet against human nature, that can be. It's much easier to make fun of yourself, be self-deprecating, and scoop another bowl of ice cream while I wait for myself to get my act together. Because, obviously, at some point, I just will, right?

Yeah, nope. That's not how it works.

I stumbled across that amazing nugget of a truth bomb this past week when my Facebook Memories (a blessing and a curse, really) reminded me of a time just a few short years ago where I had a no excuses approach to my fitness regime.

"Can't vs won't. Don't tell me you can't do this healthy lifestyle thing or you don't have time or its too hard. I absolutely won't believe you. Just look at what I have done and am doing! It's doable folks. A healthy lifestyle needs to be a priority. Even being a mommy, super busy traveling career person, and preachers wife in my case. It's not only doable it makes you better at all the other jobs you have. So don't say can't. At least not to me."

I wrote that on August 17th, 2013. Almost exactly 4 years ago. So, yes, a blessing and a curse to see how AWESOME I was doing then, and how pitifully I've been doing now. The "grace" part of me reminds myself that I created two humans, and sustained ones life for a year, in the last 2 years. That I have been working my busy corporate job and running a super successful side business. That I'm older and more tired than I was back then.

But if I'm being SUPER honest with myself...a great bit of that grace has turned into excuses at this point. And my own self, from 4 years ago, smacked my 2017 self upside the head with that this week. It stung a little, if I'm being honest. But also brought the last few months full circle. Let me explain.

If we roll the clock back a few months here, let me divert your attention away from my waistline to tell you about some other HUGE news....I was offered an AMAZING new corporate job opportunity with a hospital company in their division office. I start this coming Monday! We will be moving to Tallahassee in early October as that is where my office will be. A few massive amazing changes are that I will be focusing on organizational development (the WAY more fun side of human resources) and my travel footprint will be much, much smaller. I also am joining an incredibly stable company with a ton of growth opportunity. Very sad to leave my current role and teams, but equally excited about this new adventure. So, yes, lots of big changes coming up and FAST.

So after deciding to leave BKD and start this new adventure I had some other major decisions come about. A few weeks ago it was a Tuesday morning and I was drinking my coffee in my recliner contemplating the day. It was a work from home day. I had packages to do from the weekend's sales over my lunch break for my LuLa biz and frankly, had been putting them off. I was tired, weary, and suddenly had a HUGE catharsis.

What things am I doing to prevent myself from reaching my health goals?

My LuLaRoe business. I like it. It's fun. I love the clothes. It's profitable. I'm good at it. BUT. It takes up ALL of my spare time aside from work. My kids miss me. My husband supports me but worries about me when I'm up late into the night answering questions or perfecting packages. We eat out alot. While I can technically work from my living room I'm still actually absent when glued to my phone. When you're good at selling LuLaRoe you're slammed busy. That was me. Really good at it. But really really busy.

Sometimes, we aren't meant to do something just because we are good at it. 

Sometimes, we have to make choices that mean we cannot do everything and that is powerful.

I decided in that moment that I needed to close my LuLa biz. It came as a shock, even to myself. But I felt SO sure and SO free and SO relieved once I talked to Stephen about it. He supported me and agreed, with my new job, the travel especially at the beginning, the move, I needed to be able to focus on those things and relieve myself of my extra responsibility.

So I spent the next few days and weeks getting my stuff together to go out of business. Had one final "thank you for your support" sale and stayed up until 2am multiple days that week packaging up over 400 orders from my less than 24 hour private sale. It was exhausting. This past week I mailed the remaining inventory back to LuLaRoe corporate for a refund that will pay off a huge chunk of (non lula related) personal debt, which was one of my goals when going into the business in the first place.

I am SO happy I took that adventure on. It was a fast, profitable 9 months and I have zero regrets, a closet full of amazing clothes (like, don't even ask me how many Carly's I own...I lost count) and will be debt free in the very near future thanks to this awesome business opportunity. ALL amazing reasons that it was the right thing to do for me, at the time. LLR also provided a good solid distraction for me when I needed it to, to relieve the focus from my post partum depression and get myself out of the house and focusing on others. My why drove me and I made so many amazing friends through this as well! Friends that just might be reading this blog for the first time, today.

Some people close businesses because they aren't profitable or they feel they failed. Neither of these things applied to me. I closed my business because I have other business to attend to. My free time is earmarked for some MAJORLY important things.

I need to focus on getting myself healthy again, and doing whatever it takes to get there.

YES I've been busy. I have had many many distractions and things in the way of me making any kind of progress since W was born.

But even though "grace" might say I solidly COULD NOT with my schedule...I still CHOSE that schedule. So it was much more of a WOULD NOT situation.

And while I'm solidly OK with that, I'm also VERY excited about my newfound time and what this WILL mean now that I'm refocusing said time.

  • Time with my growing little baby boy (16 months old!), and my sweet almost 14 year old growing young teenage girl (insert face of terror here as she gets prettier every SINGLE day). 
  • Time with my amazing husband of almost 18 years. 
  • Time to really enjoy my career and know what it's like to actually finish work at a reasonable time then go for a walk, make a healthy dinner, prep food for the next day....what are these things??? lol 
  • And finally, time for THIS. My blog. My place of accountability. I can try to replicate my successes from the past, but I will fail. My life is incredibly different from what it was in 2010 when I began this journey. The ONE constant that I know will be the same is the need for this outlet and place of tracking my progress. 
Because I may be reading these words a year from today almost at my goal and SO proud of my progress. Or I may be reading these words on my 40th birthday, verklempt that I actually managed to get it together and save my own life again.

I'm so thankful I have these years of blogging to look back on and remember where I was and when. As I begin blazing a NEW trail and a NEW journey for myself over the coming days, weeks and months, I am excited to have it to inspire myself in the now and in the going forward. THIS BLOG was and has always been a huge key to my success. And heck, maybe even a few of you out there who have hung in for this roller coaster will also be inspired. Let me know if you're with me.

I'm still Clara...but also not who I was. I'm better, older, (hopefully) wiser, and ready to take on some amazing new things. I'm Not Who I was by Brandon Heath

Let's do all the things!



Saturday, April 29, 2017

Turning a VERY Heavy Page

Hey friends!

This week was a major turning point for me and I feel like getting my headspace back where it needed to be has been a major undertaking in and of itself.  Forget actually making change, I've come to realize I need to be focused enough, AND ready enough for the "want to" to turn into "doing."  Let me bring you up to speed.

When I posted last October I was getting ready to open my LuLaRoe business and begin that journey. Wyatt was 6 months old, still nursing exclusively and life was generally going ok!

My female cycles came back at 8 months post unfair.  Can I get an amen?  A great number of women experience two things during exclusively nursing their babies.  They have no period until they stop nursing, and they lose weight while breastfeeding.  Guess what? NEITHER of those things applied to me.

So, what?

Well, I have battled this issue called Postpartum Depression and anxiety pretty badly since Wyatt arrived with us.  I struggled a great deal but had found a decent place around the last time I wrote here.  Then, Aunt Flo came back for an uninvited visit, and the hormone shift threw me backwards in my forward progress in many ways.  Queue terrible mood swings, awful food cravings, and feeling just horrible about how I looked.  Even with my gorgeous clothes, I was struggling.

I was crazy busy getting my business off the ground and just buried myself in it.  This was healthy in some ways, and unhealthy in others.  It has made me very successful in a short amount of time, and the distraction has been good.  On the flip side, it has definitely made me busier, and having time to food prep and exercise has been laughable.

The holidays were TOUGH on me.  I was down, depressed, feeling fat and gross, and exhausted.  Felt like I wasn't going to find my way out of the funk.  We rounded the first of the year and while it hasn't been perfect, I've been trying my hardest to find my way out of the pit I seemed to have climbed into. I can't even say fallen, because I made SO many poor conscious choices that it only seems fair to truly admit that I put myself there.  Even in a low headspace, I know better.  And still.  I did not do better.

Now we are about to begin May.  I've missed all the gorgeous outside weather and it's beginning to get muggy and hot.  I finally saw my doctor last month and we talked through the issues and I'm working on rebalancing my hormones some.  We will see if that helps.

In the meantime, last week I finally decided enough was enough.  On the tail end of being sick AGAIN (the second time this year) I got a massive migraine.  That's it, I told myself. IT.  Wyatt is weaned for the most part.  He's doing fantastically, growing, developing, and eating well.  He's paleo, by the way, with the exception of his birthday cake which he hated.

So Monday I began a Whole 30.  Because Monday is when everything starts over.  And Mondays are already generally pretty terrible, so why not begin a challenging eating plan then?

I took my "before" pictures on Tuesday.  I weighed in.  I still need to do measurements and will try to get those done tomorrow.

I laid awake most nights this week in bed pondering my before pictures.  It's not like I hadn't realized that I had gained the weight back, ALL of it.  It's not like I had pictured myself skinny and so it was shocking.  It's not like I didn't realize when I tried to sit in chairs at restaurants or walk through smaller spaces that it felt different.

But snapping those pictures.  Then looking at them.  And really FACING myself.  That was tough.  The internal struggle of wanting to give up before I even began again started plaguing my late night thoughts.  How did I let this happen?  Why haven't I gotten ahold of it yet? How am I going to fit cooking and eating whole foods back into my non negotiables of my schedule?  How how HOW?

That's when I realized I was spending WAY too much time looking backwards.  While it's great to re-read my blogs from the past, see how I did things before, what made me successful, and basking in the glory days, I have to look AHEAD.

This time I am older, my life is busier, I have two children instead of one, two jobs instead of one, and what feels like a massive pile of weight to lose.  What I do have going for me deep down in the folds of my memory is tons of recipes, shortcuts to eating well especially while traveling, and the DESIRE to find my way forward.

Notice I didn't say find my way "back."

Because I don't want to be who I was before I had my sweet rainbow baby and my super fun, successful side business.

I want to be healthy with my life now.  And that might take longer, be tougher, and look different.

So, much like when I began this blog in 2010, I'm here, just a girl sitting in her plus size shift dress, 6 days into her 10th Whole 30, setting myself goals for May 2017.

Here's what they look like:

- Complete the Whole 30 successfully, and extend if feeling like I need more time
- Begin walking at least 4 days/week
- Take some "me" time, be it a massage, pedicure or girls day out.  Something small each week.
- Don't overschedule myself.  Have at least ONE day a week I nap or sleep in (or both).
- Plan my food weekly and stick to the plan.  Meal prep before traveling.
- Write in my blog at least 2 times in May.
- ENJOY my life and live it, not let it pass me by.

Of course my business goals are a little more specific but wanted to keep my personal goals more high level and attainable.  Once I crush those they will get a little more intense the more I see success.  Baby steps.

Over the last year I have tried reading the end of the book a few times, looking for it all to just fall back into place for me, and really only accomplished my goal of nursing my son for a year.  It's not been a bust, my friends.  THAT goal was super important to me and I'm really proud of how hard it was to make that happen with how much I had going on.

But the page, my friends, has officially been turned.

Game on.

Hugs & Love,