Traumatic Visuals

After seeing some pictures my mother in law took of me today during my birthday celebrations, I am horribly disgusted. I feel utterly horrified at how I look. I never allow photos of me to be taken from the neck down and today I was reminded why.

I think I have been traumatized.

Please Accept My Apology

My dearest Body,

Oh, how I have treated you so unkind. Oh, how so unkindly others have treated you. Yet, you still remain intact, bearing the physical, emotional, and psychological scars of unpleasantry for so little to see. Body, you have carried my being for years. You are much younger than I am in here. For reasons not yet completely known to me, there have been times where I have pinched you until you bled, cut you until you bled, starved you, poisoned you, and exploited you. Through all of this, you still remain with me: A young, beautiful shell carrying an old, bitter being.

Depression has allowed me to do these things to you. I never meant to hurt you. Family history runs deep within the vile rivers of disparity and self-loathing. I greatly apologize for those times I lacked the emotional and psychological ability to stop forced hate upon you. I want to blame my family history for my own past.

Rightfully so, these thoughts and actions are learned at a young age and I do not believe I would have naturally turned out this way if it weren’t for everything I have witnessed since birth.

Anger, depression, addiction, lust, and selfishness: the list continues. I have always known anger. I have always seen physical anger. These learned actions and reactions have caused me to harm you in ways I would never harm another living being. I cannot even kill a cockroach without crying inside.

My dearest Body, you did not deserve any of those things. I have taught you to stay still while I transcended into deep meditation. I taught you to stretch and run. I nurtured you with medication to heal you even when my brain maliciously told me not to. You are so incredible. I don’t tell you this often enough, but I spend long moments just staring at you up close. I love the rivets in your skin and the olive hue it gives off under its paleness. I am learning to love your eye color and your toes. I am learning how to give you what you need when you need it instead of selfishly taking and keeping from you.

With all of that being said, there is nothing I would want to change about you. Your lips are beautiful. Do not listen when I tell you they’re too thin. Your nose is perfect. Do not listen when I tell you it’s too big. Your vagina is magnificent. Do not listen when I tell you it’s not. Your nails are exactly as they should be. Do not listen when I tell you they’re too brittle.

The only things I wish to change are of my spirit. I am bitter and angry, yet hopeful and happy. I’m sorry that my mind is a bit confused, Body. I’m so grateful for you! For you have not betrayed me once. It is I who has betrayed you.

Yet, you inspire me by continuing to carry me forward!

You give me so much hope!

Thank you, Body.

Submitted by Ashley Godwin

When you’re a plus size woman, people like to say “yeah, she’s cute in the face”, as if being full figured is such a disgrace. Honey, I’m cute in the face, and I’m thick in the waist. I look good whether I’m in cotton, leather, or lace. I’m beautiful, vibrant and above all, smart! And there’s more to me than my weight, I also have a heart. Yes my clothes maybe a bigger size, that just means you have access to a bigger prize. We all are not self-conscious about our weight, and we never have a problem getting a date. I’m a hot, sexy, curvy woman with a figure that’s full :o)

5 Short Questions

So today in our Operation October Challenge Group, these questions were thrown out there:

This week I want us to focus on ourselves, our happiness and our confidence! Starting off I want you to answer the questions below on a 1-10 scale (1 is bad and 10 is AMAZING):
1. How happy are you on a scale of 1-10?
2. What would make you happier?
3. Is this something you have control of?
4. What makes you happy?
5. Share a photo in the group of something that makes YOU happy! This something is a treat for you, something you take time out or would like to take time out for yourself.

I really had to think about this. And here is what I posted in response to those questions:

1. My happiness level is about a 6/10.
2. Weight loss is at the top of my list of things that would make me happy in life.
3. Much of my weight gain was brought on by medication side effects and over the 2 years I spent in recovery after my car accident. For a long time, outside factors held all the control because what was happening to my body during my recovery years was out of my hands. Now that I am back on my feet and in better health, the state of my body is now my responsibility. Although it feels like I have no control over my weight, technically I do. And it is my responsibility to do something about it.
4. My pets and my husband are the loves of my life. They fill my heart with real, true happiness.
5. 2016-05-22-16-02-21

Getting Back On Track

It’s so much easier to keep going than it is to quit and start over. I need to really focus hard on being consistent with my nutrition this week. The summer has been really hard and I’ve had a lot of trouble staying on track. The past 2 weeks have been especially difficult and I have really messed up. I’ve been eating a lot of junk and I even stopped doing my workouts. And I feel so ashamed of myself for this. 
Enough is ENOUGH. It’s time to get on track now and get my head in the right place. I’m not feeling very good physically and I know that it’s because of all the crap I’ve been eating. I don’t want to feel like this and the only one who can do anything about it is me. So here’s my game plan. 

I will have my Shakeology within an hour of getting up. That way my breakfast is taken care of every day AND I’ve got my Shake in. If I am getting up early to go out of town for something I take it with me and sip on it in the car. Or if I’m going to be out and not home for lunch I will eat my breakfast and mix my Shake and take it with me in my purse so then I’ve got my lunch covered. 

I will always cook extras with each meal so I can have leftovers for the next day or 2. 

Always keep a container of boiled eggs in the fridge and for my snacks I usually have a fruit and a protein (like eggs) or a veggie with protein. 

I will always have a big bowl on the main shelf in my fridge full of serving size items in ziplock baggies. I measure veggies like carrots and celery in my green container and put a serving in each bag. I do the same with my favourite fruits, like fresh pineapple chunks, grapes, and melons. 

Availability is key when it comes to ensuring my success with healthy eating. If healthy options are in my fridge then I have no excuse for choosing junk. 

If anyone has any more suggestions please share them with me. 

Moving On 

Like seriously. There is no one else on this earth that is as accident prone as me. I’m sitting here now with my foot in a double bandage because according to the diagnosis I got while in ER today I have torn all of the ligaments connecting my heel to the arch of my foot and up through my toes. While getting in the truck I slipped and lost my footing on the step and bam. Damage done. 

But it hasn’t stopped me. I am still camping out in our trailer at the park. Hubby has the next 4 days off work so we decided to go on a camping trip. I don’t get a chance to get out much so there was no way I was going to let yet another injury keep me isolated at home. If I have to rest and keep my feet up for this to heal then I can easily do it just as well in the trailer as I could at home. At least now I can sit by the fire with my feet propped up and enjoy the great outdoors. Sooo much better than sitting on the couch in front of a boring tv watching shows that make no sense. 

It’s freezing cold out here tonight. I’m bundled up in warm clothes and a jacket and the wind is quite fierce but you know what? I’m loving it. I think I would be able to survive quite well if I had to live in a drafty old cabin in the woods somewhere. I love the taste of food cooked on the grill. A breakfast of tea and smokey, burnt toast is just amazing. 

So I refuse to let this injury hold me back. I’m trying to change my unhealthy ways of living and start filling my life with things that make me happy. Healthy, beneficial activities and nourishing foods. I’m trying to extend my lifespan. I’m working towards filling my mind with positivity so that I can eliminate all of the negative crap that has overtaken me. So I’m going to take care of my injured foot and rest on it but I’m going to do it out in the woods. While the mosquitos have their feast on my blood and my clothes get infused with smoke. Because that’s what makes me happy. 

This Is Just The Beginning 

here goes:

My name is Danielle and there are many things I could start off telling you about myself. 

Like how I have always been overweight my entire life, even as a child. I was always the biggest kid in my grade. I was bullied throughout my entire childhood for being fat. There has never been a point in my life where I haven’t fallen into the obesity category. 

Or I could tell you about how an eating disorder, Bulimia Nervosa, consumed me for 14 years and almost killed me in 2009, which led to a 9 month hospitalization at a treatment facility in Guelph, Ontario where, once physically stabilized and my heart was no longer in danger of stopping, I went through an intense recovery program that included a variety of different therapeutic approaches such as group therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, one on one counselling and several other targeted therapies. I am proud to say that except for a few minor relapses, I have been able to maintain my recovery from bulimia nervosa to this day. Every day I fight to stay on track. 

Or I could tell you about how I am an amputee. In 2010 I was in a very serious car accident that almost took my life. After weeks in a coma I woke to find that my entire body had been mangled beyond recognition. My face was beyond recognizable. My back had been broken and I was told I may never walk again. My knees had been crushed as well as my chest cavity. But the biggest damage was on my left side. I had lost my arm and half of my breast. Never again would I ever be the same. I had a choice to make at this point. Do I lay there on my back for the rest of my life and have other people tend to my every need? Or do I clench my teeth, cry my way through the pain, and get my life back in order? I chose the latter. Now today I am back on my feet and going strong. I spent almost 2 years in physiotherapy and I can walk just as I could before the accident. I have adjusted well with only one arm and everything is second nature to me now. 

I should be happy right? I’m alive! I can walk! But there’s one BIG problem. I am morbidly obese. Through the years I continuously gained weight and in April 2016 I tipped the scales at 369 pounds. Desperation set in. My body was constantly swollen. Every joint ached all day, every day. I never wanted to leave my house out of sheer embarrassment, for fear of being seen, judged, just like what I went through ever day as a child. I feel their stares, I hear local kids giggle behind my back and I turn my eyes away from any mirrors I may see because I can’t handle to see my reflection.

This is a horrible way to live. Enough is enough. I’m only young and I’m not ready to die, especially not this way. While browsing some different websites for some hope and inspiration, one thing led to another and I came into contact with a wonderful woman who is a personal health and fitness coach and she took me on as her client. I then joined a challenge group and signed up for a program called the 21 Day Fix thus beginning my journey to a new and better, healthier me. 

May of this year has marked to be one of the most transformational months of my life, both inside and out. I have learned what proper portion sizes look like. I now know what clean eating really means. I have also learned that I can do anything for just one minute! That burning, intense, crazy exercise move? 60 seconds! And those last 10 seconds? That’s when I found out how strong I truly am.

I am starting to understand now that I am a warrior, and that I work very hard. I am fighting for my life every day. I may not change the world, but I can walk at a steady pace for 30 minutes straight now and that is a start. I am losing weight, and I am sleeping better and feeling stronger than I have in years. My goals for each day are different now and even though these goals are not always met, the fact that I even keep going is a huge improvement. I have hope now. Hope for increasing wellness. I hope for continued weight loss. I hope for a continued improvement in my physical functioning and I hope for a long, healthier and happier life.

Also, I have proven to myself (and everyone else) that small changes can make a huge difference because … *insert drumroll* … My weight has went from a mind blowing 369lbs to 354lbs in round one of the 21 Day Fix. If I could do something so hard (yet so simple), then believe me when I say that you can too. Your life and your happiness depends on it.

I’m A Little Cleaner Today

I’ve been trying to focus more on the type of foods I eat. The more I learn about health and fitness and proper dietary needs the more I’m drawn to the concept of clean eating. Up until just recently. Pretty much everything on our regular shopping list was all processed, easy to cook, quick or instant, pre-cooked, pre-packaged, included cheese as an ingredient in the long list of ingredients posted on the labels. 

But I’m putting a lot of effort these days into cooking meals for David and I. I aim for a protein source, a vegetable of some sort and something whole grain. I learned that we both LOVE barley!! I tastes even better than brown rice. And David will actually eat it! So bonus points for that! 

He’s on board and willing to support my efforts to make us both healthier but he doesn’t have the same willpower as I do at the moment. It usually goes this way all the time. I get all hyped about something but it barely ever lasts more than a week and it all withers away. This time is much different though. This time I feel like this is the real deal. I think it’s the fact I have a coach and the whole accountability factor that is the key to my success right now. 

Mind you, despite the 2 weeks of healthy eating, no junk food or pop, and the introduction of an actual fitness plan I’ve only lost 2 pounds and I find that discouraging. 

But anyyyyyywayys. Below are a few things about clean eating from my coach:

The soul of eating clean is consuming food the way nature delivered it, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life – one meal at a time.
Eat five to six times a day. Three meals and two to three small snacks. Include a lean protein, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and a complex carbohydrate with each meal. The steady intake of clean food keeps your body energized and burning calories efficiently all day long.

Choose organic clean foods whenever possible. If your budget limits you, make meat, eggs, dairy and the Dirty Dozen your organic priorities. 

Drink at least two liters of water a day. Preferably from a reusable canteen, not plastic; we’re friends of the environment here! Limit your alcohol intake to one glass of antioxidant-rich red wine a day. 

Get label savvy. Clean foods contain just one or two ingredients. Any product with a long ingredient list is human-made and not considered part of a clean diet.

Avoid processed and refined foods. This includes white flour, sugar, bread and pasta. Enjoy complex carbs such as whole grains instead. 
Know thy enemies. Steer clear of anything high in trans fats, anything fried or anything high in sugar. Avoid preservatives, color additives and toxic binders, stabilizers, emulsifiers and fat replacers. 

Consume healthy fats. Aim to have essential fatty acids, or EFAs, incorporated into your clean diet every day

Learn about portion sizes. Work towards eating within them. When eating clean, diet is as much about quantity as it is quality.

Reduce your carbon footprint. Eat produce that is seasonal and local. It is less taxing on your wallet and our environment.

Shop with a conscience. Consume humanely raised local meats and ocean-friendly seafood. 

Slow down and savor. Never rush through a meal. Food tastes best when savored. Enjoy every bite!

Take it to go. Pack a cooler for work or outings so you always have clean food on the go.

Make it a family affair. Food is a social glue that should be shared with loved ones. Improve the quality of your family’s life along with your own by eating clean as a team.