Good news!  The vestibular neuritis is getting better each day.  I'm almost – almost – feeling normal again.  I still have a bit of a lag and when I'm tired, like today, I can tell my brain gets a little dizzy.

I'm off to enjoy my home, Seattle, and spend some amazing times with my cousins, soak up the cool weather, breathe in the fresh air, hike some mountain trails, and take in the views of green mountains, blue water, and all the nature the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

It's been 10 months since I've been back home since my move to Scottsdale, Arizona.  I miss it so much!

I always feel like there is something to be learned from our experiences and I know I've learned a great deal since I moved away.

The Fall

Last year when I lost over 80 lbs, I was on top of the world.  I felt so amazing in my skin for the first time in my life.  I remember when I was hiking a moderate to difficult trail in the Cascade mountains, I felt like I literally could run up the mountain.  It was such an amazing feeling to realize how far I'd come and how great I felt.

I truly felt like I was living for the first time.  That feeling was so real in my mind and my body that it brought tears to my eyes when I was hiking up that mountain.

I was deliriously happy.

I was more social with friends and family and stopped being reclusive.  I was no longer embarrassed of myself.  I was so proud of myself.

I was high!  High on life.  High on feeling good in my body and mind and having non-scale victories like being able to buckle my seat belt on the airplane.

Little did I know that just four short months later I would lose that feeling and start a downward spiral to depression, stress, and emotional eating.

How could I do this to myself?

How could I work so hard over so many months and gained so much happiness only to fuck it all up?  I remember thinking while I was on the diet that I would never go back to the way I was.  This was it – the pinnacle of happiness and I was going to continue to get healthy and keep losing weight. I really believed it too.  You know – that feeling of being so high on life that you just know that nothing can stop you.  That you can conquer the world and you've beat this struggle.

How could I go through all this positive change and suffer from hair loss only to gain the weight back?

What's wrong with me?  Why do I keep repeating the same pattern over and over again?

Well my friends – I didn't learn how to cope with life during stressful times.  So I succumbed to emotional eating, bingeing, and that lead to such unhappiness and even more stress.

The after math.  I was embarrassed with my coworkers since they had never seen me at this weight and I gained it back within eight months.  I was angry with myself for “failing” once again.  I was angry that I had worked so hard AND lost 3/4 of my hair.  You'd think I would stay strong and keep the weight off since I had lost my hair – I mean if I had gone through all that shit, why would I let that struggle and hair loss be in vain?

I didn't want to see my friends anymore, I withdrew from a social life, I had to buy new clothes because I had ditched all my “big girl” clothes which was as a motivational tool to keep the weight off.  Apparently that didn't work!  I barely cooked in my new, large kitchen and instead opted for lunches with colleagues, fast food, and eating out most of the time since I was working so many hours at work (at least that's my excuse).

I was really at an all time low.

Depressed, wearing big girl clothes again, no social life, withdrawn, unhappy, and just coasting through life in misery.  It's like a fog is all around me, keeping me low to the ground, pushing me further and further down until I no longer recognize myself.  I was no longer a participant in my own life.

Who is this girl?

I can't tell you how many times I cried thinking what a miserable failure I was and being so angry with myself.

Eventually the fog clears and I go through the emotions of just being angry at myself for what I've done.  Crappy food is no longer appealing to me.  Running through the fast food line doesn't even feel good.

My body craves wholesome foods.

My mind craves balance and joy.

My spirit needs uplifting with meditation, joy, and love that only I can give it through truly taking care of myself.

What I Have Learned – I Am Perfect Just the Way I Am

I had lost so much weight on the Ideal Protein Diet last year, however I gained most of the weight back since I moved. Call it emotional eating, stress, nerves, and homesickness – at the end of the day, Ideal Protein didn't teach me how to cope with situations when life gets in the way – and it always does.

Yes, I lost weight – though I also lost 3/4 of my hair during the process, but I lacked the ability to navigate through situations that triggered emotional eating like:

Stress at work, moving cross-country, lacking a support system in my new environment, having a shitty day, getting vestibular neuritis, lack of sleep – and the list goes on.

Thankfully, I found, well rather she found me, a holistic health coach – Emily Dewey – who has rocked my world.  I've been working with her for the last three months and she has helped me to focus on creating happiness in my life and how to shift my mind from emotional eating.

All I have to says is – everybody needs an Emily Dewey in their life!!!

She has helped me to transform my mind from one of deprivation, sadness, and looking at myself as this imperfect woman who is constantly unhappy with her body.

Through working with Emily, I have made so many discoveries.

Emily helped me to begin some daily rituals, to recreate that feeling of happiness when I was on that mountain trail no matter how much I weigh.  Remember, my happiness last year was not so much about the weight loss as it was about taking care of myself and giving my body, mind and spirit what it craved – to nourish all.

I started journaling morning and night.  In the morning I would journal about gratitude and what would make this an amazing day.  An amazing day for me were things that I could absolutely control like mindfully eating, meditating at least 10 minutes a day, releasing negative talk and embracing my mantras (pasted all throughout my house), rubbing my tired feet with lotion before I crawled into bed at night, giving somebody a meaningful compliment, connecting socially with friends and family, and simply loving myself enough to do the work (one of my mantras).

Some of my favorite mantras:

I love myself enough to do the work.

I love my beautiful body.

I am a conscious eater.

and my favorite………..

I am perfect just the way I am!  This one is my new tagline for my blog.

I Am Perfect Just the Way I Am

During a coaching session with Emily last week she pulled this one out of me.  Just love that girl and how she's gets me talking, moving me in a direction to discover some really cool epiphanies.

She was asking me about my summer last year and in prior years how I felt about my body.  My body was imperfect and I viewed as such instead of a work of art, a canvas of emotions and feelings, of beauty for how I was made regardless that my breasts aren't symmetrical, my calves are larger whether I'm heavy or at my ideal weight, that my hair is thinner than I would like, that one side of my top lip isn't symmetrical with the right side, that I have stretch marks, that my butt is big (which is great now that butts are in thanks to Kim Kardashian), and to top it all off, I'm only 5'3″.

Who could possibly love this body?

Me!

I do!  I love my “perfect” body just the way it is.

The cool thing about this body is that is houses my spirit which is the true essence of who I am.

This body gives me the ability to walk on this earth, share relationships with people, learn from others, teach, enjoy nature, commune with Spirit, and to give.  I am finally grateful for my body and am no longer ashamed or feeling broken by what I see.  It shows the battle scars of learning to love myself and who I am – just as I am.

I refuse to go on another diet.  Diets don't work.  I have FINALLY realized that.

Daily Work with Body Love Actions

As Emily and I strategized together over the last three months we came up with daily love actions that restored a sense of balance and harmony in my life.  In the beginning, I couldn't see this working and I actually had a bit of a meltdown and an emergency meeting with Emily to share why I thought this wasn't working.  I felt like such a failure that even with working with a holistic health coach I was doomed to screw up and not “get” it.

She assured me and reminded me that I had come along ways with my progress and that all of the struggles I was facing was part of the process that helps to teardown those walls and check back in with myself rather than numbing.  Thank you Emily for your patience and love.

We hear that word – balance – thrown around a lot these days.  Is it just another word thrown about or has our society become so numb to the real world through social media, busy lives, and always staying constantly engaged that we don't have time for ourselves?  It could be a combination of both, but I know for me, I need balance in my life because I had stopped paying attention to my body, my health, my relationships, my house, my love for cycling, and my love for meditating.

My new mantra:  Balance is my power that will restore my body to its ideal weight.

We came up with the following daily body love actions – that help restore balance in my life as it touches my spirit, my mind, my body, relationships, experiencing gratitude, and reflecting on my day.

1) Walking my dog each morning.

2)  Journaling daily.

3)  Moving for at least 20 minutes a day.

4)  Giving my body some spa love like a face mask, hair mask, rubbing lotion all over my body, giving my feet some extra attention, a massage, or manicure and pedicure.

5)  Meditate daily.

6)  Read before bedtime.

These are the body love actions I implemented that make me feel happy, balanced, and whole.  It was actually such a small thing to implement for such an amazing impact on my life.

Through this process with my holistic health coach, I no longer look at food as good and bad. I've even communicated to my girlfriends that when we are together we will no longer talk negatively about food, i.e. no more talking about food as bad for us, no more complaining about the calories, no judgment or shaming in food choices or how our body looks.

We are perfect just as we are.

So you might be wondering, “Has she lost any weight during this time?”

Great question!

I don't know any specific number as I am no longer weighing myself to keep the judgement out of my life.  I do know that I feel good, I feel like I'm seeing some slimming when I put certain clothes on, but what I know for sure is that the weight will naturally come off as my mind gets healthier around its relationship with food.

I'm already naturally making healthier choices because I'm happier and tuning in to my body to see what it's hungry for.  Amazing how when you are happy you don't stuff crap food down your throat.  You reach for foods that feel more nourishing and whole.

My present is bright and I'm learning to cherish this moment regardless of how much I weigh.

I would love to hear how you are loving on your body so leave me a comment below.

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