Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Nourishment for the Soul

 Sometime ago, I thought that I was done for good with emotional eating & self sabotage & terrifying “pants-don’t-fit” situations. But I wasn’t. Sometime ago, I also thought that working out twice a day, binging nightly, purging daily while pushing my body to train for a half marathon was going to be my forever. But it wasn’t. Sometime ago, I had bullshit beliefs about how my worth was equal to my weight, “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, “no pain no gain” and the biggest one “once I’m skinny, someone will love me.” 

I ran my half marathon February 2014. It was definitely a painful journey to get there. I was incredibly proud to cross the finish line in under 3 hours. After that, I would run every now and again. But mostly, I felt lost, I felt like I wasn’t Lauren anymore and I was scared that the only way to keep the weight off was to keep up the lifestyle I’d become accustomed to over the past year.

Jordan and I met in the summer of 2014. I was still slimmer that I used to be, but not necessarily “perfect” in my mind. My self confidence was slightly boosted still, but I had a demon who could bring me to my knees at any moment. I can remember feeling decent about walking into the coffee shop to meet Jordan for the first time. Hoping that my shirt wouldn’t cling in the wrong places and that my butt looked good. I was still always feeling like I wasn’t good enough, that I still wasn’t what society deemed to be beautiful.

Fast forward to today. I’ve had a wild year and a half. During the summer of 2014, I decided to move to Fort McMurray and see where that would take me. I gave up my apartment, packed up my things and drove 450 km’s north. 1 month later, I walked into that coffee shop to meet my dream man and he turned my world upside down in the best way possible. We took our relationship seriously from the start. After Christmas, Jordan moved up to Fort McMurray to be with me and hopefully make some decent money to start off our lives together. It didn’t last long. We both missed home & Jordan decided to pursue his apprenticeship and finish his 4th year.
By April of 2015 we moved back home. We found a place by mid May, and moved in June 1. By August, we were engaged.

There’s something to be said for being so comfortable in a relationship. Jordan could see me. Jordan knew I was worthy and deserving. Even though I couldn’t. I wouldn’t say that I “let myself go” but I for sure knew that my weight wasn’t a worry for Jordan. Unless I was extremely unhealthy, Jordan wasn’t going to leave me because I’d gone up a pant size. I knew that he loved me for who I was. And that’s something I still have difficulty understanding.

I recently went through 8 weeks of a Holistic Body Love course. It’s formulated with information that is going to help me for years to come and I can’t fathom not sharing it with everyone. The course opened my eyes to the idea that “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” is bullshit. That “no pain no gain” is a terrible way to nourish my body & soul. That it’s okay that I eat chocolate. And actually, that it’s okay that I eat.

I strongly encourage you all, to get your minds to a place of nourishment. To seek out what serves you & your body. Don’t push yourself into the deep dark holes of diet fads and malnourishment. Speak to your body, know your mind… it just might open you up to a whole new person. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

What if....

What if I told you, that since my half marathon, I haven't ran longer than 10 km again.
What if I told you, that I lied to myself, repeatedly, saying "I can do this on my own, I don't need to follow weight watchers, or track my food, or use points."
What if I told you, that there were nights I binge ate and then cried. Or tried on dresses, that used to be loose but are now so tight.
What if I told you, that I lost 32 lbs, and gained them all back.
What if I told you, that even though all of this stuff up there, happened. It's okay.

Sometimes, you're going to fall. Sometimes, its going to take a while to get yourself back up. Sometimes, no matter how bad you want it and how focused you are, you can lose sight of what the goal was.

I did.

6 months ago, I changed. I moved, to a new city, a new space.
I left behind MANY inspiring women, who built me up, who worked out with me, who pushed my past my limits.
I moved the safe space to another room and had to start over.
I promised myself I wouldn't flounder. I wouldn't use it as an excuse to be sucked back in.

It did.

I miss Edmonton and the people I love there, SO much.
But I think moving to Fort McMurray has also given me a dose of reality.
It needs to be ME who pushes, who inspires and who builds ME up.
I cannot use this as an excuse.

I'm back on Weight Watchers - I'm ashamed and embarrassed. But no one else forced the food down my throat, or made the decision for me to sit on the couch instead of working out.
YES, work out buddies are great, YES, people who are on Weight Watchers are like minded and it's helpful when you're choosing a meal.
NO, that will not always be there.

I need to do this myself.
A little bit of tough love and dusting off the old runners, starting small... but I know I can.

I'll get here again. I promise. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

loving at a distance

So, for all the readers who have read my blog from the very beginning... you would know that I went through a rough break up.
I'm now able to happily say, I am in a relationship with a wonderful man.
I'm in a very healthy relationship.
We are open, honest, and communicate more than most couples would in their first year together.
We both recognize that each of us need that communication to feel healthy. So that's what we've created.

My Mr. is calming, compassionate, loving, generous, gentle and just an overall amazing human being. I'm sure there are a few things down the road that I'll learn about him, we all have our little imperfections, but I can't wait to see them and love him anyways.
Jam is the first person that I've ever wanted to fight for. Through thick and thin, no matter where we end up, I will fight for him.

Here's the fun part - we're 450 km's apart.
Quit yer bitchin' I'm in a different province/country/state/whatever... 

I get it. It's not really that far.
I know one of the sweetest girls in my life, has just waited 10 months to see her hunk. 10 months guys. No touch for 10 months? Come onnnnn!

I would be lying if I said that long distance wasn't that bad.
It's absolutely horrible some days.
We get to visit at least every 2 weeks. Which is fantastic, and we've promised to never go longer.
But, I am someone who needs a physical connection. I love the hand holding, the waist grabs, the hugs, the forehead kisses... I love it all. And I crave it when I'm away.
Besides the fact that I can't be in his presence as often as I'd like, I think this is what I miss most.

How do I do this? It's not that far into the relationship, but I'm struggling guys!
I have 4 more months dedicated to this town...
Then where do I go? What do I do?
Why is making adult decisions so dang difficult?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

learning to love

Silence as I walk these unfamiliar streets.
I can hear my flats lightly brush the pavement. The gravel beneath me mutters as I awaken it from it's overnight position.
My thoughts are quickly dancing in and out of my head. It's early.
I stand amongst 8 men. One chimes Good Morning. The others sigh and grunt, grumpy from the late night and early arrival of morning.
I stare at my feet. I yawn. I shiver.

I climb 4 stairs, look into a sea of strangers and carefully select whom I'll share arm space for 1 hour.
My head bobs, my body lightly sways.
Silence. A snore. More silence.

Loneliness floats through the aisles. Resentment. Exhaustion.
If it was Thursday, perhaps a light smattering of excitement for the arrival of the end of the day.

I feel like a number. A little less important than the others. Ones with tickets and trades.
Fort McMurray. You are a strange place. One I will give a chance. One I will stick out. One that holds many people I love dearly.
But you are hard to love.
Open, light up.

Just then, the northern lights dance through the sky.
I see you, you are heard.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Who are you losing weight for?

A conversation came up between my girlfriend and I yesterday that really struck a cord with me.
For so long, I've been wanting to lose weight. Why?
Because I was bullied in school. Because I was never "that girl" who guys fawned over. Because my jean size and my best friends (at the time) horrified me. Because I couldn't wear shorts without feeling so self conscious. Because I wanted people to look at me and say, god she's beautiful.
Because I thought I could never be loved unless I was skinny, tight & toned, with bronzed skin, long gorgeous hair & a perfectly make up'd face.
I truly thought that. Until someone I loved with all my being, taught me a life lesson.
I could no longer depend on anyone to tell me I was beautiful. I could no longer place so much of myself into someone else's hands. They cannot create my life. They WILL NOT create my life. I will.
I refuse to think that I will have a happier life based on someone else's thought of me. I refuse to believe that when I lose weight, I can finally feel unashamed about my body. I refuse to even feel shame.
My body is a freakin' miracle. This 5'7, piece of work drug me 13.1 miles, through Disneyworld to complete my first half marathon. This body, has been put through hell. I've starved it, over fed it, fed it & puked it up, I've been an asshole to it. Yet here I stand. Breathing. Alive.

Why do I want to lose weight?
Because I am beautiful & deserve to look and feel my best.
Who do I need to look my best for?
Me. I'm not going to lie, I want to be a hot girlfriend. I want my future man to be proud to have me as his girlfriend. But who decided that I can't be that now. Where did I suddenly get the idea that because I'm 30 pounds away from my goal, I can't be a hot girlfriend. There's this idea in my mind, that because I have curves, because I wear a size 12 and a 36DD, and I wear high rise jeans to hid some of my extra's, that I'm worth less than a girl who is a size 2, who wears a 32B and wears low rise jeans. And on the other hand, I'm not worth more than her either. Her and I are just different. We're different heights, weights, hair color, eye color. We're all different. Why can't that be okay?

It can be. And it is.
If you have ever felt as if you are not enough, as if you are not worth as much as someone else...
Maybe you need to look at what you are basing that thought off of. Have YOU decided that you aren't worth it or enough? Or are you listening to people tell you that?

From this moment on, I am losing, toning, tightening & creating a better and stronger me.
For ME.
& only Me.
Because I'm worth it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Self love & Self Sabotage

How many times in life have I said...
I wish... I want... I can't wait till...

This morning, I read my daily email from the Universe! It's one of the things I most look forward to in my morning routine. I sip my coffee & read the chosen email of the day.
Sometimes, they strike absolutely nothing in me, and I delete them.
Other days, the emails are so bang on, I get goosebumps.
Today was a goosebump day. Guess I better get at it.

How quickly would you like to be surrounded by wealth and abundance, Lauren? Have even more friends and enjoy more laughter? How fast would you like to Fall in love , or have your own fabulous self confidence ? 

If you answered "Pronto," "ASAP," or "Duh" to any or all of these questions, could it be that you've momentarily forgotten that the absolute fastest way to manifest change is to claim that you already have it? To withdraw your attention from the yearning? To think, speak, and act "as if"? 

I didn't think so. 

Tallyho, ho, ho, 
    The Universe

Lately, I've been struggling daily with self-love & battling a lot of blame and self-sabotage.
I made a decision about my relationship with someone that I've had a hard time sticking to.
At the same time, my beautiful best friend, made a similar one.
We've spent about 90% of our time, together. And I'm SO grateful that the universe handed us this at the same time. It has brought us even closer than we ever could have imagined & has proved us with an enlightened understanding of each others inner workings. I wouldn't be able to do this without her.

When you doubt yourself, what does that look like for you?
For me, doubting myself leads to endless eating of unnecessary food. This is called binge eating.
It sometimes gets to the point of uncomfortable. I lose all control and I get the feeling where I just cannot stop. I want so badly to curb this habit. I have definitely made progress from where I used to be... aka: Hiding chocolate under my bed as a teenager, buying food with my babysitting money and eating it when no one could see me, and even middle of the night or early morning junk binges.
Once I've stuffed myself like a Thanksgiving turkey, I sit in a puddle of anger and loathing.
I hate no one but myself.
While I'm eating, I feel "full". Not, I can't eat anymore "full", "full" as in a void is filled.
Something that was missing, isn't anymore.
The feeling lasts all of two seconds.
And then I feel empty again. And then I feel hate.
My mind races with thoughts and feelings. "Remember that bikini you soooo badly wanted to fit into? Guess that's not happening anymore..." "Really, Lauren? Again..?" "God, I wish I could stop this..."
Sometimes, I cry. Sometimes, I just go to sleep.

This happens in waves. More so when I get overwhelmed with a lot of life things happening.
I'm definitely getting better at stopping myself, asking myself if I really need it, or keeping myself occupied with another task to keep my mind away from eating.
I want so badly to say, that this will never happen again. That I won't binge one late night when I feel overwhelmed and lonely. But I can't yet.
What I can say, is that I'm trying. I'm desperately trying to put the binge eating behind me and find healthy alternatives to turn to.

At the end of the day, I'm not perfect. ( I KNOW THIS IS BRAND NEW INFORMATION!!!!!!)
But my new favorite saying is, I hold myself to a standard of grace and not perfection. 
I'm a work in progress. And I always hope to be.
The self love needs to step up a notch & the self-sabotage needs to back off.
I just have to remember that, bottom line, I'm going to be okay.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

RunDisney Race Recap

RunDisney race: Disney Princess Half Marathon

So here's a recap of the race itself as well as my opinion and thoughts on RunDisney races!
I realize that not everyone will feel the same way that I feel about this... so again, I repeat... MY OPINION:

1. We arrived the Friday before the race. I wanted to have a relax vacation after my race instead of being exhausted before I had to run 13.1 miles. We stayed in a condo type place - that way we could cook our own meals & I could create a comfy Lauren space before my race.

2. Pre-race fuel. Of what little races I've ran, the majority of my training took place in the evenings, so I just went with something I knew I would eat & enjoy the morning of the race. My go to is Peanut Butter toast & activia yogurt. I was soooo nervous before this race that I could barely get through the two pieces of toast I made. So even though I wasn't planning to, I packed a granola bar to slowly eat throughout the race just in case I got crazy hungry... and I did!

3. Race Outfit choices: I ran in Lululemon Wunder Under Crops, a lululemon halter tank & a disney minnie mouse tank. My shoes are asics and I wouldn't even go to anything else for a running shoe. I have a pretty neutral foot, so I don't need much compensation & asics always provide a comfy home for my feets! I wore Nike dri-fit socks... shockingly a sock that tells you if it's a Left foot or a Right foot, makes a difference. I love the compression they give me and they are more padded in some areas than in others. I also ran with the Nathan Minimist Hydration vest. I ran with this during my 10km, but I'll be honest, I don't think I spent enough time making sure that the vest was strapped to me properly. About an hour and a half in, I was in major back pain and I knew taking off the vest was going to relieve it... but I also knew I wouldn't want to put it back on. Other than that, I LOVE that thing. Keeps your water cold and has handy little pockets for lots of goodies. I also more often than not, run with a hat on. I find that it blocks sun & helps from sweat running down my forehead.

4. Prepping for the race: I somewhat wish I had have tried to meet some other people travelling from here for the race. It would have been really nice to meet some other ahead of time, just to see some familiar faces on the road.

5. I will say that I really enjoyed the RunDisney experience. My bib was personalized with "Princess Lauren" written on the front. It was also customized by colour for your favourite princess. Mine is Belle so my bib was Yellow & purple. I didn't spend a ton of time at the Expo. I did get my free t-shirt and little mesh bag to carry my things in. However, I was disappointed that there weren't more free trial sized things from the expo. I mean come on... free shit rocks. AmIright? For the overall price of the race ($160) I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of water stations/powerade stations & the Gu station that was on the race. (*I did not stop here... Gu freaks me out*) Of course my favourite part was the medal. It is STUNNING. And I'll be honest, I carry it in my purse right now. I looooove showing that puppy off. I was NOT happy with the route of the race. It wasn't really "running through Disney" as I had expected. I'm curious to know if the Disneyland race will be different.

6. Overall, the amount of people there to help field people & answer the many questions of people was outstanding. There wasn't a second of the whole race that there wasn't someone available for us. It was truly awesome to have so much support. Majority of the people were shouting uplifting messages to us all as we ran through water stations, cheering stations or even from picking up garbage on the side of the road.

Would I run a RunDisney race again? Absolutely. But I would NEVER do it alone again. I totally respect that some people just need to do their races independently... but I so need the extra push from people. Here's a few more photos, and I promise... no more "I RAN A FREAKIN HALF MARATHON" all over the blog. ; )