Can you believe that 2019 is right around the corner? Time to start writing the year wrong (once again) for another 2 months! Whoo hooo!
My wish for you
2018 has been a truly metamorphic year for me and I'm really excited to see what the next phase is. I've spent the past year digging deep and breaking down bad thought processes, so 2019 is going to be all about building my crazy self back up with some new "internal architecture". (I totally made that up....it sounds fancy, no?)
It's not packaged pretty, but here is my final video of this year and I felt like the message itself was more important than making sure I stopped scratching my nose so much or taking a break to fix my hair. It all flowed rather nicely in my brain, but it didn't come out quite as smoothly. But, alas, it is ME. And look at that ENTICING thumbnail! (For the love of Peter Paul and Mary....ARGH!!!)
1- What would it be like to never diet again? (oh, stop the nonsense!)
2 - Can you imagine not caring how many calories you ate or how many steps you walked or what an actual serving size of everything is? (of course not....I need numbers! I need stats! I'm changing my body, dammit!)
3 - Where would you spend the money you save if you stopped buying prepared food, diet supplements, weight loss programs, exercise or diet apps? (hmmmmm.....I'm not even sure how much I spend....)
Oh, here's a gooder.....
4 - How would it feel to look in the mirror and be pleased with what you saw after doing everything above?
Wait.... WHAT? Who would ever believe such malarky is even possible????!
Well, there's ME, for starters. And thousands of other women are getting on the band wagon, too.
I almost forgot to ask.....
Do you consider yourself a slave to the diet culture? Here's the second part to the quiz to help you figure that out:
5 - If you are doing a weight loss program today and "are bad and eat off program", do you tell yourself that you might as well finish out the day eating whatever you want, and you can "start fresh tomorrow"? (The day is ruined already, so why not stuff my face with forbidden food as I wallow in it.)
6 - Do you think if you aren't watching every calorie you eat, every carb you ingest and how many steps you walk each day, that you'll surely gain tons of weight? (Losing control is exactly how I got myself into this situation! I won't make that mistake again!)
7 - Does the sound of "loving how my body looks right now" equate to the thought, 'If I accept how I look now, I'll never get healthy/thinner/better?" (I'll be happy with my body when I'm thinner. Until then, self love is off the table!)
8 - Are YOU the person you blame when you lose weight and then stop dieting and gain it all back? (Well, who ELSE would I blame??)
So, how many times did the words in italics make you say, "That's exactly right"?
They are all normal reactions among those involved in the diet culture in some way. It's okay! Every year, 45 million other humans on this planet spend $33 billion on the quest for weight loss too! I was one of them for over two decades.
And the thought of even entertaining the answers to the first four questions would have felt like a ridiculous waste of time during that part of my life. I would have considered those concepts to be total nonsense......pish posh!! Those are pipe dreams, right? (or ARE they?? 🤔)
The second set of questions actually gives me anxiety..... both now and during the previous twenty years. In my head I hear 'Self Control! Failure! Self Control! Failure!' as answers to all of them. I can't believe I lived so long with such a negative attitude.
This year, 2018, has been a year of introspection; and not necessarily because I planned it that way! I never could have imagined that breaking my wrist in February would force me down this path of self discovery and transformation. There was a whole part of my "Vicness" that was very silent and trying to stay unnoticed because it didn't want to change.
HOW DOES SOMEONE HAVE AN EATING DISORDER FOR 20 YEARS AND NOT KNOW IT??? For me, this happened because it was a side effect of getting totally sucked into the lifestyle of dieting!!! I still weigh the same and along the way, I acquired Binge Eating Disorder.
This May, I completed Lydia Wente's Beat The Binge. Step one for me was to identify and treat my eating disorder. I knew in my gut that the program would help me find answers for wellness and recovery, but I never imagined that the program would be the kick-off for even another level of self discovery.
Beginning June 4th, I will be doing a program to help me find a BIG OLE YES for the answer to Question 4 above. And after that, I have MORE to do! It's so exciting!
While part of me can NOT imagine saying, "I think I look awesome just as I am!" at this point of my life, I remind myself that in February, I couldn't imagine NOT eating 2 pounds of Reeces Miniature Peanut Butter Cups, one or two sleeves of graham crackers, 1/2 a box of Lil Bites and a 3-serving bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats to top it off..... IN ONE SITTING..... QUITE FREQUENTLY!!!!! I won't even get into the damage done at Dunkin Donuts or with Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.
So, if I can get past THAT, I can do ANYTHING!
Join me in Summer Innanen's Body Image Remix 21 Day Program beginning June 2018. Learn how to love yourself outside of the diet culture, just as you are. It IS possible.
There's no food or equipment to buy! And you get her book for free! I read the book.....it's awesome!
Summer has a number of recurring programs, as she is a body image, self-confidence, body positivity and self-image coach.....a total powerhouse in the body positivity movement! And who doesn't need one of those???
Earlier this month, I completed Lydia Wente's Beat The Binge program, and HOT DAMN.... I am PSYCHED!
Lydia recently invited me to do an "exit interview" after graduating the program and I was quite honored to be a part of it. God knows that after dealing my wackiness on a daily basis for 8 weeks, I should do anything she asks of me.
The fact is that the whole process was amazing. And I had..... get this..... an incredible time! Yup. I said ‘incredible’, and I mean it!
Granted, there were some tough moments as I tried to find answers to overcoming my eating disorder, but when the answers came, they always left me wanting more. Every step was even more exciting and educating, leading me to WANT to search for more answers. It never once felt tedious or boring. This was self-discovery at its finest AND most enjoyable.
And if I had a dollar for every "Ah-HA!" moment that I had, I'd be a happy camper. I always love a good "Ah-HA!" moment.
There is nothing else out there that even compares to Lydia's program. Lydia is so knowledgeable and just brilliant in her field. An extra bonus is that she has such a warm heart and fun personality! Here we are discussing my experience with the Beat The Binge program:
If you know anyone who might benefit from Lydia's program, please share this post or her video via social media or email.... or whatever it is that you do to pass on interesting info!
Truthfully, there are probably many people in our lives who WOULD benefit from this but we just don't know it. No one knew how much I needed Lydia's help until I discovered it myself. I would have been so grateful if someone had pointed me in her direction much earlier.
Please share. You may be doing an enormous favor for someone you care about!
PS. Part Two of my finding freedom is coming verrrrrrrrry soon. Like, tomorrow!
This ABSOLUTELY is NOT a paid endorsement for the Brain Over Binge Program!! Just the facts....according to me (and hundreds of others 😉)
I've owed you an apology for so long, but only recently realized this.
I think I should start by saying thank you. Thank you for putting so much into our life together. Thank you for keeping me going when I thought I couldn't continue. Thank you for all of the things you have done for me and for how perfectly you've done them.
I can't imagine how I overlooked your grace, beauty and fluidity. Instead, I was busy focusing on the things about you that I wish were different. It's disgraceful. I promise you that I will take the time to appreciate all of the things about you that are beautiful. I will say nice things to you from now on and I will begin with your beauty.
You are unique and beautiful and strong and brilliant. You do miraculous things every day that I don't entirely understand, and often I don't praise you for them. I should be shouting from the rooftop how incredible you are!
Thank you for tolerating me every time I was harsh in my treatment of you, or when I spoke of you so cruelly. I regret that I criticized you or lashed out at you, and meanwhile you were forced to tolerate it. You've had no choice but to carry on. If any other friend or family member said the things about me that I have said about you, I would have disowned them.
I wanted you to change constantly. I've deprived you of what you needed in hopes that you would change, and when you didn't, I insulted you and claimed that something was wrong with you. The cruelty is mind-blowing. I feel such shame over this.
It is impossible to comprehend how you endured the endless comparisons to others! If someone had told me that so-and-so was prettier or more perfect than me, I would have said that they were being verbally abusive. I have been the reproachful one and I was totally oblivious.
I am begging you to forgive me and to find a way to trust me again. I will let you be you and allow you to function in the ways you are supposed to. In time, I hope that you will feel safe enough with me to "just do you" and not try to jump hoops to try to conform to who I thought you should be. You are perfect and I will treat you that way from now on.
Today I will turn over a new leaf. I promise. I will say nice things to you. I will talk nicely about you to others. I will take time to appreciate all of your gifts. I will give you things you've asked for but arrogantly felt you couldn't handle or didn't deserve.
I am so grateful that you haven't given up on me or turned on me......and I'm sorry that it's taken me this long to see how poorly I've treated you.
Thank you for always giving me another chance.
I only have one body, and you are it. Without you I am nothing.
If you clickity click on the banner below, it will seem like nothing happened, but it did! You can close the window as soon as it opens if you like. T'anks peeps!
It's the diet news that's nuts.....not a diet based on insanity, just in case you were confused by the title 😉.
Actually.....can you imagine that? "A diet that will make you insane! But we promise you'll lose weight!" I can't even fathom how many people would actually consider it..... cuz trust me when I say that there are people who would.
I had to pause there and think that one through. Was there any point in my life where I would actually agree to go temporarily insane in order to lose weight? And the answer was YES. I'm very sad for that version of Me. Desperate times, people. Desperate times.
Anywho! (Don't you just love people who say that?)
I've completed my sixth week on Lydia Wente's Beat the Binge program and I'm just so pleased with the entire process. My next post will explain how life changing it was for me in greater detail, but as of now I can tell you that I have NOT binged in over six weeks. It's the first time in over 20 years. I feel informed, educated, enlightened, supported, loved (yes, LOVED!) and free!
As I said, LIFE CHANGING.
But I'm getting ahead of myself here. I wanted to touch on two other topics today before I get into the subject of my progress. I want to be a little bit closer to the end of the program before I share that information, but trust me, it's coming!
First, a few people reached out to me about their confusion over whether overeating is the same as binging. It's not. To help you understand the difference, I made the quick video below:
So, what do you think? I imagine there are a number of people who refuse to accept that diets don't work, or that there isn't a magic pill/drink/program out there to take our weight loss woes away. That's completely understandable as many of us (and I say US because it was my way of thinking for 30 years as well) have put all of our hope into this one belief. It's our only salvation if we "ever want to find true happiness and the ability to love our bodies". That one diet/drink/program/pill is our Holy Grail! If not for that, what hope do we have???!
While we are busy spending money on trying everything that the diet industry is trying to shove down our throats (pun totally intended), the answer sits before us every moment of every day. And it's FREE. No joke. FREE.
As the diet industry pushes us over the edge of insanity, urging us to spend every waking moment planning and counting and buying helpful weight loss aids, inner peace and freedom stares back at us in the mirror. Unfortunately, most of us don't believe that this is even possible. In our minds, if we can't lose weight WITH the help of "science", how can we possibly do with WITHOUT?
The reality is that the true science is within us, but we keep messing with it. The "fake science" (not related to Trump's "fake news"), has tricked us into believing that we need their extra help, when the truth is that every time we take their extra help, we get further and further from our goal.
So, what am I getting at?
Our bodies know how to do "this" already. With the exception of some of us with medical issues, our bodies are built to keep us alive and healthy and in shape. The science behind the human body will help you with balancing your weight as long as you treat it well. We need to stop putting crappy food and metabolism- destroying substances into our bodies and let it do its job! Like a good employee, if you treat your body well, you will get good results!
Put good, healthy food in your body and it will run with peak performance. Stop with the "something better"! Every time you use "something better", you are pushing your body further from optimal performance and creating a longer recovery period when you finally figure all of this all out.
But you CAN do it. Give your body a chance to undo all of the "mystery miracles" that you've tried to enhance it, let your body regulate itself and do its job. It's very capable if you let just treat it well.
This next video is great! It's one of my favorites. I've been dying to share Lydia's video about what happens to your body after you stop restricting (i.e. dieting) or bingeing. If it doesn't click the first time, watch it again. After all, it's under 5 minutes and she's very entertaining! :-)
Howdy partners! It's been awhile. I hope you're enjoying this slightly chilly transition into Spring. I think Mother Nature is done asking us to "hold her beer" so she can show off with her dazzling displays of bombagenesis and whatnot. Finally.....’tis time for blooming, everyone!
The great thing about Spring is that it's a fresh beginning for the Earth. Everything that grows gets to come out and reveal itself in all of its glory.
I'm having a Personal Spring of my own.
I was quite nervous about this post. No, quite isn't the word. I was SERIOUSLY FREAKING NERVOUS about this post. Yeah, that's more accurate. (And the caps are totally necessary.)
I had a physical setback in the form of a broken bone at the beginning of February. For 40+ years, I've avoided any physical injury that might seriously interfere with my life. Mental drama, sure! Physical trauma, not so much.
The funny thing about physical trauma is that in the true fashion of misery, it loves company.... in the form of mental drama. Being unable to do every day things like brush my hair or put on a bra or cut up vegetables or even open a can of pet food wreaked havoc on my brain. For someone who prides themselves on being independent and able to take on the world, all of this sent me into a fit of depression.
(Side note: Nothing is worse than needing your husband to help you with personal feminine items, just in case you were wondering what the worst part could have been. It was humbling and mortifying, to say the least.)
So, there I was in my deep depression, needing assistance, and randomly bursting into a pity party at any moment when I had an awakening. A Personal Spring of sorts.
The situation revealed that my preferred method of coping with stress was not normal. It was far from normal and it was spiraling out of control. For 20+ years, I developed and perfected a coping mechanism that no one knew about.
How did I do this for so long and not realize it was a problem, not a solution?! When had my extreme behavior become normalized in my mind?! Had I gone too far to turn back?!
I was so good at keeping my behavior a secret that no one knew. No one. Not my family. Not my dearest friends. Not even my pets! (Cuz pets are people too, you know. They see crap; they just don't tell anyone.) (I know....it's not normal.)
Unable to cope with the reality of my situation, I knew I had to tell someone because, clearly, I wasn't able to help myself. I didn't even see myself as "messed up" until 20 years had passed! So, I swallowed my shame and embarrassment and pride and told my husband. And he encouraged me to tell my mom as well. And before I knew it, I had stopped running in circles and began moving forward in a straight line.
You know, I bet it was the dizziness from running in circles for 20 years that had me thinking everything was normal! I am blond, you know.
Links to the sources in the video are below.... scroll down!
There ya have it! All the deets.
That scared the bejeezus out of me. All of the thoughts and fears I had of being judged or wondering if my friends would treat me differently were pushed aside when I asked my mom, "What do you think about me putting this out there?"
Her answer? "We need to share things like this. Maya Angelou did it when she put out I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings about the hardships she went through and she made a difference. So, why wouldn't you talk about this?" My mother made me feel like I was as important as Maya Angelou, y'all! How freaking awesome is she at being a mom?! Damn, I'm lucky!
I also feel compelled to add this statement in reference to this post and other previous blog posts:
This is probably one of the most personal things I’ve ever discussed publically, but now is the time to do it. Amongst the death of yet another celebrity due to Fentenyl usage, I am blessed to find cause to celebrate.
I imagine you've heard the news about the opioid epidemic in America. You may have heard about Prince and Tom Petty, both of whom were prescribed this powerful narcotic for their pain, only to die from accidental overdoses. Chances are that you thought that they were taking it to get high and that’s how they overdosed. I’d bet the bank that the true story is something entirely different. I'm guessing that it's actually an extremely sad ending to a very common situation.
Perhaps you know someone who had multiple back surgeries, like my husband did, or maybe a cancer patient who is in terrible pain and has one of those Fentanyl patches on their body. Or maybe they wear multiple patches, like Justin did.
Justin is one of the few lucky ones to have a happy ending to his opioid story. As of a few weeks ago, following seven years of wearing Fentenyl patches for pain management, my husband is finally free of it.
He is badass. He’s strong. He’s my hero.
Unexpectedly, Justin wasn’t the only one wearing that patch for all of these years. His family wore it too. Part of my vlog below touches on this story. (If you don't automatically see the video,click here)
It's been an interesting bunch of days here at the Wolf Den. Lots of changes and discoveries and stuff like that there. 2018 has already got things movin' and shakin'.
If you're here because of my Facebook post earlier today, welcome! I'm going to tell you about what was in my cup. And pssst....guess what....
Tee! Hee! It's true!
(I swear they have a Friends meme for everything!)
I promised that I'd share this new discovery and the easiest way to accomplish this task is two-fold. First, I'm going to make you listen to me talk about it because it's just too much to type here. Plus I'm all jazzed up with excitement about finding something so awesome. After years of fighting sugar cravings and praying for help, I feel like I found a miracle!
I did some research and development (R&D = drinking the coffee) and I feel like it's time to share. Here's how we're gonna do this:
Watch my video, full of love and information (and I completely forgot about the super awesome part until the last damn minute, but I managed to get it in there!). Then take a look-see at the photos below. They expand on my chitchat.
Isn't it such a relief that in 2018 almost every financial transaction that we make is now electronic?? This relieves us of the frustration we used to feel at the beginning of each year when you'd write the date wrong on all of your checks and then have to put your initials next to the scribble where you tried to fix it instead of writing out a whole new check. Oh, the needless check wasting! (That used to fry my arse every time...grrrrr!)
See....already 2018 is better than 2017.
So, did you make a resolution for the New Year?
What'd you resolve to do?
Does it have anything to do with a diet or exercise or eating better or working out?
If so, good for you! I've failed at the New Year Day Diet resolution too many times in my 44 years to risk it. I feel like I'll jinx myself if I try it again, so I did the obvious thing. I started on December 31st instead.
On the morning of December 31st, I got on the scale and looked at the food in my house and said, "Well, let's leave this disaster in the past, shall we?" That day I went back to the healthy eating that I was doing with everyone in October and November. My holiday anti-sugar sabbatical is O-VAH.
Sugar done me wrong AGAIN, dammit. It makes me so angry! Cuz I was so SURE that sugar had changed just in time for the holidays and would no longer give me anxiety and crabby moods and inflammation and a bloated gut. I had detoxed from sugar with you all before Thanksgiving and I just knew that some miracle had to have occurred that would allow me to eat sugar and feel fabulous.
As stupid as that all sounds, what else could I have been thinking when I started eating the desserts and treats and candy? Huh? What? I ate much smaller quantities of sugar (and not one damn latte.... score for me!), but I was still putting it into my body and expecting different results from the past.
By now you all know that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, right? Well, my thoughts that eating sugar, albeit in much smaller amounts, would suddenly be okay for me was just total insanity. I am a person who is negatively affected, both mentally and physically, by sugar in all forms. This is a fact. It's equivalent to being an alcoholic and thinking that you can just have one drink here or there. Actually, here's one from my past.....
When I quit smoking cigarettes, the best piece of advice I ever got was from a limo driver on the way to the airport. He told me that I had to be done forever to be successful. "Don't ever look at a cigarette and think that you can just have one or two and go back to quitting. It's not possible. You weren't a social smoker. You smoked every day. You need to be done forever. Quitting means quitting, not pausing."
A year later, I was entertaining fellow employees who were visiting our New Jersey office from California. They were young and fun and wanted to go out for drinks in Manhattan. Our company gave us a car and driver and off we went. I also went off of my Quitting Wagon the minute the girls lit up their Newport Light cigarettes.
"Want one?" they both asked simultaneously.
I had already consumed a few alcoholic beverages and, being the lightweight drinker that I am, I succumbed to peer pressure and lit up. (Yes, I know it's not actually peer pressure, but in my head I was trying to be part of the gang and peer pressured myself right into it.)
I didn't smoke one or two or ten. I smoked a whole pack of cigarettes in just under 4 hours. Yup! It tallies up to one menthol cigarette (which I never smoked before, by the way) being lit every 12 minutes.
Afterward, spent an hour in the bathroom at Sushi Samba trying to make myself throw up because I had actually given myself nicotine poisoning. I was nauseous and dizzy and kneeling on the floor of one of the tiny little rooms with a toilet in it, holding myself upright with one hand on each wall, praying (PRAYING!) that I would vomit or die as soon as possible.
For the record, I did go back to smoking again for a few months.... until I moved into a smoke-free apartment. Nothing squelches a desire to inhale carcinogens and tar like standing outside at midnight in blistering winds and single digit temperatures while shaking in your jammies and trying to keep your cigarette lit. EFF THAT!
Here I am, a decade later doing the same thing with sugar. It's just like giving up any bad habit; you need to struggle and just quit....not pause.
In true dieter's fashion, I took photos on December 31st too. No make up. No special outfit to attempt to hide my chubby spots. And if it hadn't been so damn cold, I would've put on shorts and a t-shirt. I have one of those photos from the fall and things don't look much different now, so I'll have to dig that up. But here I am!
I'm not going to throw a weight number out there or list my measurements. (I will say that I'm a size 14 for comparative purposes - lol) I didn't want to get distracted by my scale. Here's how meaningless those number truly are..... Someone told me that they always weigh themselves before and after they poop in the morning. Why? Because the number AFTER they pooped was always lower. So, my question was, "Are you aware that neither of those weights are your actual weight then? Because all day you fluctuate..... poop builds up, poop comes out.....it's just a mind game that you play with yourself to see a better number and think you're lighter." It's totally equivalent to when I get on the scale and then get off and shush it across the room with my foot and get on again, hoping for a lighter number. And sometimes it is! Which one is more accurate? Who the hell knows!
At this point, I'm really aiming for visual change. More so, I want to FEEL the change. My knees stopped cracking after I lost the 10lbs in Oct/Nov. But my body still aches. I want the rest of me to feel better too.
I would also like to lose the back fat. It's just unsightly. 😩
Anyway, here's a little rambling message from me (as if I haven't said enough already, right?) Happy New Year!
I apologize for my mispronunciation of Ghiradelli. I just couldn't go back and record the whole thing again because of it.
ps. Just in case you weren't already aware, we don't say "Happy New Years" or write "Happy New Year's". It's Happy New Year. No "S" And for God sake, keep the apostrophe out of it! You're welcome.
If you clickity click on the banner below, it will seem like nothing happened, but it did! You can close the window as soon as it opens if you like. T'anks peeps!