Tuesday, February 9, 2016

10 Honest Thoughts About Weight-Loss & a Healthier Me

1. Divvy bikes scare me...
I used to ride bikes when I was a kid, but it has been quite a while since I put my butt on any seat smaller than the 5 inches of bus seat I get when I come across some serious man-spreading. I watch people ride without effort and it looks...like fun. I fear not keeping up and the very public nature of riding a bike. When the snow melts and the weather is less than frigid, I will ride a bike again!  

2. Weight-loss = Identity loss 
Being plus-size has been part of my identity for longer than I can remember. Part of me is worried that if I lose the weight...I'll lose part of myself as well. This week I found out that I sized out of Lane Bryant, a store that has been an integral part of my wardrobe since I was in middle school. I left there considering my plus-size persona and I worry that I will be seen as a traitor to my plus-size sisters. 
I remember being with another plus-size friend and seeing a magazine cover of Jennifer Hudson after she lost a great deal of weight. My friend was upset at a plus-size icon crossing over to the "dark side". This friend has since then been working on her own healthy journey and is a great support to me as well. :) 
This journey has made me question, "who am I now?" and the truth is...I'm still me. I'm still Elyssa. That is never going to change, no matter what size I am. My size does not define my identity, I get to define it.  

After finding out that one of my staple stores did not sell my size because I was too small, I was thrilled and then I thought...ummm...where do I go now? I have been shopping at the same stores since I was 13, so where do I go now? I don't have to dive to the bottom of pile anymore or the back of the rack to find my XL or XXL. I bought two medium shirts this week...MEDIUM! I feel like I'm entering a new and strange world. I can guarantee that I will not feel comfortable for a while in some of the new stores that I will be entering. It will feel like enemy territory where only the hats and jewelry fit. But I will try it. I will learn to love new styles and new stores, but one thing won't change...I won't buy items full price.  

4. FOOD.
I love food. Seriously. I love food. It's a relationship that I'm not willing to give up. Food has always been there for me and sometimes I've relied on it too much. Food has been my comfort and my reward. I'm afraid to change this, but I think it is time for me to utilize healthier methods in response to my emotions. When my emotions would dip into sadness or joy, I would want to cope or celebrate with food. So I've decided to have a serious chat with food...

"Food, I'm not breaking up with you but I'm not letting you be the only answer to great joy or great sadness in my life. You will no longer be my best friend or crutch. Thank you for being there when I thought I needed you, but I will find something other than melted cheese or chocolate to quell my despair and when I celebrate...there may be no chair for you. I want to create a healthier relationship with you where I can have a few bits and not need to finish my plate because you are sitting there. I want you to help me on this journey as a friend who is there when I ask. I love being creative with you and I will continue to do so. Food, I'm not breaking up with you...I just want to have a less emotionally fueled relationship and I think we can do that."

5. But what if I Fail  
I am terrified of failure, but more than that I am scared of disappointing those closest to me. But I need to be honest with myself because the truth is that I'm going to fail sometimes. It is going to happen. I'm going to waver in my weight on the scale or not work out for a while. Last week I started using free weights and I felt like a huge failure. My form felt awkward and I kept thinking that the buff men around me were wondering what the fat girl was doing on this side of the gym. I was uncomfortable and I almost started crying. But I took a deep breath, got a pep talk from Derek, and persevered with the rest of my workout. I could have stopped right there and truth be told at moments like this in my life, I have stopped due to fear. But I am not going to let fear stop me anymore. I have been scared to start because I was afraid of failure. Not this time. 

6. My Future 
I think about a future that I want and it's filled with a big family. I don't want my weight to be a danger to a future pregnancy or lead to other health problems. I want to keep up with my kids, but more than that I want to be an example. You know, sometimes I feel like an old lady when I play canasta or go to bed before 9:30, but I want to actually be an old lady with lots of family surrounding me and nothing holding me back. 

7. Freddie...I don't want that pressure pushing down on me either
One of the reasons I've stayed away from weight loss is because I've worried about the pressure to succeed. I've lived with the pressure to achieve from a very young age and a lot of it has stemmed from...myself. I put pressure on myself to "be" something, be the best or be perfect. But what if I look in the mirror and instead of pressuring myself....I simply support myself?

8. You're so Vain
I have a fear that I will become incredibly vain and instead of recognizing what I am doing...I will simply think that it's not enough. I'm afraid that my vanity will rear it's ugly head and humility will feel like a mile away. Vanity is part of this and I will not deny that. My health is #1 in this life change, but I like fitting into my clothes in a new way. I like the way I look...no I love the way I look. 

9. Zombies...it could happen
I do not want to be collateral damage. I want to be able to run away...quickly. 

10. Integrity 
Throughout this whole process I want to remain true to who I am and why I am doing this. 
I am changing my lifestyle to create a space for my health to take priority. This is what I am trying to do with this challenge. I am #runningwithoutmyglasses because I don't really know where I'm going. I can see enough so I don't run in to a tree, but I don't know what the details look like because I've never been here before. I don't know what this challenge will bring, but I'm so happy to be starting it in the first place.

I'm #runningwithoutmyglasses and I'm ready for the next mile. 

If you want to read and see more pictures from this journey #runningwihtoutmyglasses, follow me on Instagram at esalinas13

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Running Without My Glasses

Ever since I was a little girl I knew that I was bigger than the other kids. I was taller (for a brief time) than most of the kids in my grade, heavier than my close girlfriends, and my boobs popped up overnight in the form of a B cup. There wasn't a lot of bullying or shame, but it was something I knew nonetheless. I also knew that I couldn't (and still can't) run a mile and stairs make me winded. My emotional crutch has been food and for years I thought my true love was cheese. About a year and a half ago I was 1lb from my scary weight that I never wanted to reach. It took me a year, a career change, a move, and one big breakdown last summer to realize that I wanted something to change. ME. 

So here I am 26 and I have finally decided to take steps to becoming healthier. I joined a gym in May...but it took until August to go without my gym buddy (my now fiance). I've been learning how to cook alongside tracking what I put in my body. I'm currently at my lowest weight since I was 16 and at this point I'm ready to share this with you. 

When I started this journey I didn't talk about it much because I didn't want anyone to know if I failed. I had thought about being healthier for years and I would dip my toe in different fads, but nothing that I would actually stick to. Finally I found a support system and the confidence to reach a goal of being healthier. 

This is not the decision to go on a diet or do some fast-track weight-loss. This is not about doing something trendy or starting then stopping. This is about a life style change that I will be able to sustain and loving myself enough to try. 

Here I will share challenges and triumphs throughout this process. I will cultivate tools to sustain my health in the future. At this moment I am focusing on weight-loss, but I also believe that being healthy is about each and every aspect of my life, which is also why I am committing to write about this journey. My writing has been on hiatus and my creativity has been hungry, so there will be more blogs to come...and maybe even some poetry. :) 

This month my challenge is to learn how to run and I am calling it "Running Without My Glasses". Alongside a weekly blog post I will also be doing a daily Instagram post with the hashtag #runningwithoutmyglasses that will provide a chronicle of my daily choices. I do not want to train for a race, but to simply learn how to run for 30 minutes without stopping. Here is my schedule:

I started last night and I felt invigorated. My Spice Girls Pandora was on point and afterwards I did a set of lunges with my ab routine.       
 This was me coming home last night:

Stairs were rough...but I'm glad that I started. Today is a writing day and rest day from the schedule.

 Well...my coffee is just about done and so am I for this morning. Until next week, I'll keep running without my glasses.