November WI #1

I weighed in last night, and I was down 6.4-lbs.!

I was super excited about this obviously, but I’m also a little leery of celebration just yet.

Overall it was a good week. I tracked every day except Saturday the 28th, and I managed to stay within points and on track 6/7 days.

However, I did get blackout drunk at a Halloween party on the 28th (which I know was a really bad decision, but seeing as it was the one year anniversary of my best friend’s passing, I wasn’t exactly in a great frame of mind), and I’ve been horrendously sick since Sunday the 29th — and we’re not just talking hangover-sick either, though that was certainly what it started out as. I’ve had a fever on and off for the past several days, and at this point my voice is an almost nonexistent whisper. I feel miserable, and I’ve mostly just been sleeping. I’ve been eating the bare minimum, and while it’s all been vegetarian/Pescatarian based, it hasn’t been fresh, home-cooked food.

I desperately need to hit the grocery store, but I just haven’t felt well enough to do so. I also really need to get some training in for the Turkey Trot, but that, too, has been out of the question because of how I’ve felt. Something else I’ve been skimping on in favor of sleep is my LSAT studying, so, overall, I’m in a little bit of a predicament right now.

Alas — one day at a time. Hopefully I’ll be back on my feet in a couple of days, and then all will be well again. I’m also hoping I can keep this 6.4-lbs. off and add to it next week, but I’m well aware that the sickness might have thrown off my body and I might be up next week as a result. We’ll see!

Hope you’re well. Drop me a line!

rachaelxoxo

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No Meat November.

I’ve decided that my big goal for the month of November is going to be to go meatless; I’m going to transition to a Pescatarian way of eating!

Seeing as I already don’t consume mammals, and haven’t for several years, the switch shouldn’t be too hard. Sticking to a Pescatarian lifestyle should also be super easy to do with the help of Weight Watchers, as fish and seafood are all very plan-friendly!

This goal doesn’t actually have much to do with weight loss at all (although I’m guessing I’m probably going to see some benefits there, too).

I have endometriosis, and a diet high in omega-3 laden foods (aka, fish) is recommended as part of holistic treatment plans. Research has shown that many women who suffer from this ailment consume too few veggies and omega-3 fatty acids, and tend to consume more red meat, coffee, and trans fats.

November is going to be a little bit of an experiment: I want to see if an entire month of eating more whole, home-cooked, omega-3 fatty-laden foods helps me in any way, shape, or form, because I’m getting pretty desperate for some symptom relief that does not include experimental medication or super invasive surgery.

In addition to the omega-3 foods, doctors have also said it’s super important to eat magnesium and iron rich foods, so that means I’ll be eating lots more spinach, artichokes, bananas, avocados, beans, nuts, eggs, etc., too!

This means I’ll definitely be eating lots of home prepared meals (which is what I desperately need to go back to anyways!), and that’s going to take some work! My plan is to finally do the one thing I’ve always avoided doing because I’m just too damn lazy: meal prep.

Sigh.

Sundays are officially the designated meal prep day. The plan is to choose around four meals each week, cook them all on Sunday, and then rotate them throughout the week for lunches and dinners. The freezer is about to become my new best friend!

Some of the dishes I’m set on making next month: savory shrimp and grits, bang bang shrimp noodle bowls, homemade black bean and loaded veggie burgers (topped with a fried egg because uh yum), zoodles and sauce (I found a recipe online for made-from-scratch sauce that uses carrots and sweet potatoes in place of sugar, so the plan is to give that a whirl!), loaded spaghetti squash burrito bowls, fish stew, tuna burgers, Thai coconut salmon and kale soup, teriyaki salmon bowls, grilled fish tacos, and probably some loaded veggie pizza – I’ve been eyeing some cauliflower crust recipes lately that I’m really wanting to try!

I’m also going to work on getting more steps in daily in November. I’m thinking of making my goal 8,000 steps per day. I’ve signed up for Denver’s annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, and I definitely have some work to do in order to be able to survive the race!

Hope you’re all well. Drop me a line!

rachaelxoxo

Catching up.

I’m not even sure if anyone reads my blog anymore, but alas — here I am!

I kept saying on Instagram that I was going to write a new blog post, and currently I’ve got 6 saved drafts on the back burner here on WP. Every time I think I want to post something or make an announcement, I change my mind and nothing ever gets posted… or done. I never quite manage to get myself back on track! Surprise, surprise, right?

The same thing happens when I buy planners — every few months I claim I’m going to start using an old-school, hand-written agenda. I spend a shit ton of money trying to get organized, only to never use the damn things.

I’m pretty scattered lately. Again, surprise, surprise, right?

So here’s the deal… I’m going to give you guys a very brief summary of what’s happened to me over the course of the last year or so.

On the 28th of October last year, one of my oldest and closest friends took his own life. Prior to that, I was only slightly off track weight loss-wise: I had lost a bit of my mojo, gained a little bit of my weight back (less than 20 lbs. at the time), but I was, overall, holding steady.

But when Cory killed himself, my whole life changed. Suddenly, nothing made sense anymore. I was sad — so fucking sad — and I was also really angry and confused and everything was completely muddled.

I went off the rails.

I started partying and drinking all the time. I let my studies fall to the wayside, and my weight and my health were not even a little bit of a priority. I would go to work, and once I managed to zombie crawl my way through that, I’d immediately hit the scene with my friends and party and drink and eat until the break of dawn. I’d come home completely plastered, and I’d just barely be able to compose myself in time for work… only to then hit the replay button and do it all over again.

I started failing classes. I stopped doing homework and studying for tests. I essentially just… gave up.

I also hit the dating scene hard… and the type of men I found myself dating were complete train wrecks — even worse off than I was.

I was sneaking around, bed hopping, and telling lie after lie after lie.

Last winter, one of the guys I was involved with ended up attacking me during what should have been a drama-free break up. I barely managed to escape with any dignity left intact — but I did, thankfully, manage to escape.

Fast forward through another few mistakes, and by the time summer rolled around, I found myself trapped in a relationship I didn’t really want to be in with a raging alcoholic with a death wish.

To add to this, my longtime Weight Watcher friend, Betty, was losing her battle with cancer, and I was spending what little free time I had at her hospice bedside.

In late June, Social Services had also dropped my cousin’s children off on my doorstep; he and his wife were busted doing meth and heroine, and suddenly, my entire life was turned upside down and inside out again — this time even worse (and more permanently) than before.

I spent a lot of the summer crying.

I cried tears for lost opportunities and closed doors, for poor choices I made, and for the darkness that had settled in that I couldn’t seem to outrun or escape.

There were moments when I did not know how I could continue to go on — truly.

My high school best friend — who’d held that title for more than a decade — completely turned her back on me… and most of my other friends were unsure of how to “handle” me or really of just what to do. Lots of them were just sick of hearing about all the drama, and they put me on ignore.

Did I forget to mention that my weight was continuing to go up, up, up during this entire period?

I did, eventually, have a “come to Jesus moment” towards the end of September, but much like my original decision to join Weight Watchers back in the fall of ’14, there wasn’t really a specific trigger… Everything just built up and up and up and up until I really had no choice but to just pull myself up by the boot straps and figure out how to move forward and make some changes.

The first really big change I made? I decided to quit my current grad school program endeavors. I came to the conclusion that Speech Language Pathology, while an incredibly admirable field, is simply not for me. I loved my clinical gig where I did a rotation in one of our local school districts, but when it came to my actual classes and all of the intricate interworkings of SLP life? I really couldn’t hack it… and not only that, but my heart and my interest level just weren’t where they should’ve been in the end.

Quitting was absolutely not an easy decision for me, and, again, there was a lot of crying involved. However, after the crying and after a ton of consideration, I’ve decided to apply to law school.

Mic drop.

Yeah, I know — huge change, tons of work, doesn’t necessarily seem like a good idea, blah blah blah.

In the end, I have decided to follow my gut on this one. I’ll be 25 in just two short months, and it’s about time I start making some serious decisions about what I’m doing… and it’s also about time I start doing things for ME and because I WANT TO and not because I “should” or because so and so tells me it’s a good idea.

I take the LSAT on December 2nd, and then I’ll apply to law school immediately after and should know by the spring what the future holds for me.

Some other changes I’ve made? I dumped my alcoholic boyfriend and have resolved to completely and totally stop dating for the foreseeable future. I’ve also drastically reigned in my partying and my drinking, and I’ve started being honest and open with my friends and family. I’ve started asking for help when I need it, I’ve started owning up to my struggles, and I’ve also started standing up for myself and making decisions based on what I believe is right and not simply just what I “should” do.

Not surprisingly, those that truly love and care for me are sticking by me, trusting me, and offering me their support.

It’s made a world of difference.

Some things that have not changed? I’m still struggling, my family situation hasn’t yet straightened itself out, and I’m not currently the best version of myself that I know I can be.

However, I’m a work in progress, and I am back to really working on myself again!

Thankfully,  I still have my job at Weight Watchers, and I’m happier than ever ON PROGRAM! Yes, that’s right — I haven’t abandoned ship! I’m actually back on plan and am getting compliments from my members every single time I lead a meeting about how awesome I’m starting to look (again!).

I feel really rejuvenated and like I can finally maybe see the light at the end of the tunnel again.

It’s been a really bad year… But I’m hoping it’s not too late to pull it together!

rachaelxoxo

Feeling hopeful.

I lost a pound tonight when I weighed in at work.

That puts me at a total loss of 8.6-lbs. so far for June!

I am satisfied with my progress. Had I not been -29 weeklies this week (translation: if I had laid off all the processed root canal-friendly food and resisted that pitstop yesterday at Dunkin’ Donuts), I would likely have lost more than a pound.

However… I am going to live and breathe by the very mantra I preach weekly to my Weight Watchers members: take baby steps because it all adds up.

I made enough good choices this past week to outweigh the questionable ones I also made. I managed to find some semblance of balance, and I took care of myself by getting my tooth situation sorted out.

I am a happy camper.

My plan is to tighten the reins this week and work really hard before I hop on that plane to Vegas next Thursday.

Weigh-in will be on Wednesday next week!

rachaelxoxo

Finding my way back.

The blog is currently under construction, so please bear with me.

I feel like it’s time to do a little renovation to better reflect who I am now and where I’m headed on this journey. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending upon how you look at it) I am no longer the same 21-year-old girl that started this blog back in 2014… And I think it’s time to showcase that.

So! In the meantime… Here are the basics I think you should know right now:

  • I switched my weigh-in day to Thursday. I work a Weight Watchers meeting on Thursday nights, so it’s a really easy and convenient time for me to just hop on the scale and get a weight recorded.
  • I decided to totally and completely restart on Thursday, June 1st. This was somewhat of a hard decision to come to because on one hand, I don’t want to negate what I’ve done over the course of almost three years. Yes, I’ve gained some weight back… But I haven’t gained it all back, so starting from scratch feels kind of wrong… But on the other hand, I simply cannot just pick back up exactly where I left off back in the heyday of my weight loss. Circumstances have changed, my motivation and mindset are both in a different place, my goals and focus have both been completely redirected, and, most importantly, I am not the same girl anymore. A total restart allows me to accept all of those things and establish a new normal… So that’s what I’m going to do.
  • I am going to start the Whole 30 on July 1st. I will still be utilizing the Weight Watchers app while I do this; I’m simply going to switch my tracker over to Simply Filling and then make adjustments as necessary.

After one week of kicking some of my nasty habits (namely, drinking booze and eating crappy, grease-bucket fast food), I weighed in on June 7th and managed to lose 7.6-lbs!

Unfortunately, this last week didn’t go quite as well. I started having pain on the right side of my face sometime mid-last week. I let this go on for 3 days before I finally decided to see my dentist. I couldn’t figure out where the pain was localized, but, regardless, the dentist seemed like the best option… Good thing I went in, too, since it turns out I was in need of a root canal. My dentist prescribed me an antibiotic and a narcotic for pain, and then he sent me to an endodontist.

For the last week I’ve been on the “root canal diet,” which basically means I’ve been eating a bunch of processed, soft, easy to chew food. I’ve definitely been off my game food-wise, but I have been tracking everything… which is how I know I’m -29 points for the week.

My plan is to weigh-in tonight at work and face the scale like a trooper, and then give it everything I’ve got this week to do better—tooth pain and temporary crown situation be damned!

I’m off to Las Vegas next Thursday with a big group of friends, so I’m expecting my food choices to go off track a bit. However, we’re staying at an airbnb instead of a hotel, which means we’ll be eating at home and cooking the food ourselves a good bit of the time. I think that booze is going to be my biggest problem, honestly, but I’m content with that. A long weekend in Vegas calls for a little carefree partying—it’s part of being in your mid-twenties. I’ll have my Fitbit with me all weekend, and I know that I’ll get plenty of walking in, so I’m not concerned in the slightest. I need a little break from reality and quality time with the people I love, so this is just the ticket!

I hope you guys are all doing well! Drop me a line and let me know how things are going!

rachaelxoxo

 

Lemonade.

I was never a Beyoncé fan… until she released Lemonade.

Lemonade spoke to my soul; suddenly Beyoncé felt like a close, personal friend of mine when she shared this part of her darkness with me (well, actually with the world, but it felt like it was written just for me, ya know?).

I have the album playing in the background as I write to you now; “Forward” is currently ringing in my ears.

My heart hurts.

I don’t know how to pick myself up, you guys… and that scares me.

I’ve been going non-stop for the past 6 months: I’ve been working 7 days a week, drowning myself in schoolwork and volunteer work, partying until the break of dawn, eating like shit and boozing it up until I’m sick and hungover, and, of course, my favorite thing—I’ve become a serial dater.

I only manage to sleep for a couple of hours each night.

I’ve become a crazy “New Ager” and I’ve started collecting self-help books and crystals like my life depends on it.

I have dream catchers hanging all over my room.

I try not to be alone too often these days because when I’m alone, I’m afraid the Darkness is going to sweep me into Its arms and I’ll never escape Its grasp.

When I’m alone in my Jeep driving to and from work, I have to be careful to keep my mind as blank as possible, otherwise I burst into tears.

I’ve always struggled—always. I’ve always had demons; this is something all of you know by now. I spent the first two decades of my life eating my way straight to 320 lbs. …Normalcy and I have never quite figured out how to co-exist, obviously.

When my best friend killed himself last October, my life changed forever. He may have finally found a way to escape his pain, but the pain he’s now inflicted upon everyone that ever loved him is unreal. My heart is so heavy I can hardly breathe some days. He’s the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I think about before I go to sleep each night.

I don’t know how to “move on” from this. Do you ever really “move on”? How does this work?

My weight is absolutely out of control. I am concerned that eventually I am going to lose my job at Weight Watchers if I don’t pull it together… but every time I make an attempt, I turn right around and self-sabotage.

The Universe has handed me an entire fucking lemon tree…

And it’s time for me to make some Lemonade.

I happened to scroll through WP last night and catch sight of Brooke Birmingham’s latest blog post. Brooke, like Beyoncé, feels like a close, personal friend of mine because she shares so much of her heart and soul with me (aka, with the world…. but she’s also responded to a couple of messages of mine over the years, so sometimes she really is just writing to me).

Brooke, if you happen to read this, I want you to know that your latest blog post may have just helped me get my life back on track.

It’s time to reflect and reevaluate… and, most importantly, it’s time to be my true, authentic self once again.

When I look back on the last 2.5 years of this journey, I can hardly remember, let alone recognize, the 21-year-old girl that decided to pen that first fearfully brave post about joining Weight Watchers—the girl who was willing to tell the entire world her stories and struggles, her successes and failures, her deepest, darkest secrets and her big, beautiful, wild dreams.

When I was that girl, I hated her.

Today… this girl longs to have that girl back—even if just for a brief moment in time.

I want that girl’s tenacity and courage, that girl’s steadfast determination and you-can-do-anything attitude.

That girl had more going for her than she ever realized or gave herself credit for.

But… when I started out, I wasn’t doing this for me. I was doing this because I wanted other people to like me—to love me. I wanted men to want me. I wanted people to stop hurling insults at me, and I wanted to fit into society’s mold of all that’s pretty and beautiful.

Eventually, I ended up with the attention I wanted. Men started seeking me out, and since the tail end of 2015, I’ve been on more dates than I frankly care to remember—I’ve gotten caught up with enough assholes of the male species to last me a lifetime.

Men and women alike will talk about my “beauty” now, and I just scoff. What is beauty? Really! What does any of this mean when my heart is so unhappy? What does it matter if Joe-Shmoe thinks I’m beautiful or really pretty when I still am not satisfied or happy with myself?

It’s taken me nearly 3 years to realize this… but happiness comes from within.

I have to start over—really start over. I can’t just pretend like I can pick up from where I left off oh so long ago. Everything is screwed up right now—even more so than it was on that fateful September morning nearly 3 years ago… So there’s just no going back—only forward.

So here it goes…

My name is Rachael. Today is the first day of the rest of my life… and I’m pretty terrified.

Weigh-in is on Mondays. Finding balance is my hope. Happiness is the end goal.

New.

Hey, friends!

First off, I want to say thank you for the incredible outpouring of support I received after my last couple of posts.

I’m figuring out how to move forward with my life. Somedays the darkness threatens to overwhelm me and almost completely consume me… and other days I laugh and giggle with my co-workers and my friends and the boys that I’ve been going out on dates with and everything is fine.

I haven’t been taking care of myself, though. I’ve been working myself to the point of exhaustion—I’m currently coming off a 12-day string of shifts in which no days off were to be had. When I’m not working I’m studying, going to class, volunteering… or drinking and partying—something I’ve admittedly been doing far too much of.

It’s definitely occurred to me that I’ve maybe traded some of my terrible food habits for some new terrible habits involving work, booze, bars, and men… but, alas, that’s another topic for another day. We’ll just shove that under the rug along with the rest of my psychological issues…

I bought a new Fitbit, so if you’re not friends with me, you should be! I’m trying hard to work on my fitness.

I jumped back on Instagram tonight and sent out an SOS to my 900+ followers, and I’m hoping there are still some people out there! I’ve decided I’m going to make myself get back into the habit of posting regularly on both Instagram and the blog! I always do better when I hold myself publicly accountable.

I’ve stocked up on healthy food again! Lots of fruits and veggies, low-fat/low-sugar yogurts and cheeses, lots of fish, protein shakes and bars, and a plethora of Weight Watchers products, too (that employee discount sure does help!). I have other stuff, too, but it’s after midnight and it’s just too much to remember. The point is, I have the most important tools I need to be successful again: healthy food!

My social media lives have officially collided. Tonight I saw that a boy I went to school with a decade or so ago follows me on my @myjourneyonedayatatime Instagram account. There was a brief moment of sheer panic when I saw that… But then I just thought to myself, “Screw it!” I am who I am. I have to start liking the person that I am. It’s not a secret that I was (and that I still am) a fat girl. It’s also not some great big secret that I work for Weight Watchers. I have to stop caring about my two “separate” lives intermixing.

So, what did I do once I had this big realization? I requested another couple of my “real life” friends from my WL Instagram. Go big or go home. The secret is officially out!

The scale has been going up and down for me—shocker, right? I don’t want to post my weight right now. I’m not ready to admit how badly I’ve fucked things up.

Just know that I’m back and I desperately need your help.

Thanks for always loving me for me. You’ll never know what you mean to me.

rachaelxoxo