This has been an amazing quarter for me, my home and my blog. I have to admit in the past I’ve really dreaded writing these things because I’ve had either minimal positivity to write about, or there had been really no improvement. This is the first time I think I can really tell you that ALL of my goal areas are doing well and I can’t wait to give you the update!
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on one and purchase something, I get a small commission! Thank you!
Guys, I’m losing weight! I’ve started making my health a priority and it took a real mental shift which has been slow. I struggle with feeling worthy of good things. I struggled really accepting and being happy that I am a blogger and an artist (because I was raised that you should be miserable at your job and I’m not). I also struggled to accept that I don’t have to look a certain way for anyone but myself.
Having a job where I am on social media, and seeing these gorgeous bloggers with these beautiful figures made me feel like I didn’t belong, which made me feel bad, which made me eat more. When I thought of losing weight it came from a negative space. It came from a place of “I have to”. I HAVE TO lose weight, or I’m going to get sick. I HAVE TO lose weight because I work on social media. I HAVE TO lose weight for my husband. It was all for someone else or out of a place of fear! I’ve started to learn that I NEVER make good choices from this mindset.
I was always thin as a child too. This is the first time I’ve been as heavy as I am and I know it’s because of the stress I’ve endured the last 4 years battling the Arlington USPS because they’re allowing several of their members to stalk and harass me (which you can read about HERE). I’ve been pretty powerless to stop what they are doing, and I’ve calmed the anxiety that has caused me by eating. I’d become angry that they’re allowed to do this so I ate. I had to own that part of me that was allowing them to control not only my emotions but also how I was treating myself!
It took me sitting down and asking myself if I was happy with my weight and to be honest. The truth is, I wasn’t. I wasn’t happy being out of breath going upstairs. I wasn’t happy that I was starting to limit my physical activities like hiking or doing yoga. I wasn’t happy that I have developed a tendon inflammation in my feet which can be caused by carrying extra weight and could be fixed by losing extra weight. I wasn’t happy that outfits I saw that I liked were starting to become limited because my size wasn’t there. The list went on and on.
Then I started to visualize NOT what I would do WHEN I was healthy, but what I would do if I was healthy right this moment. What activities I would do, and more importantly how and what I would eat! I started being a little selfish and being a little selfish is not a bad thing!
My biggest thing is that I’ve started to drink 2 liters of water a day. I usually have half of that in the form of a decaf tea, but I make it a priority to drink those liters as often as I can, and when I do meet my water goal, I mentally thank myself for taking care of my body. It sounds silly, but it’s made a huge difference to start thanking myself for things.
I’ve also started making my menu’s with only me in mind. When I made a menu to cook, I often considered what my husband wanted to eat, as opposed to what would be best for me. Understanding that my husband can eat what I make, and if he doesn’t like it, he can make himself something else. Having this mindset that my husband can help himself, has freed me up to really focus on my weight loss needs. It’s not that I don’t love him, or want to cook yummy meals for him, but at my current weight, I need to make my health a priority for me. I monitor portion size, as well as my carbs… I haven’t eliminated them, but I’ve minimized them and I understand that they aren’t going to keep me full as long as having a lean protein or something that has fiber in it. I’ve also started a food journal in which I not only record what I eat but how many calories were in that item. While I did keep a food journal on Myfitnesspal, and still frequently use Myfitnesspal, I’ve found that I am less likely to forget what I’m supposed to be eating if it’s written on paper. That’s another thing I’ve learned. I won’t get my diet or my routine perfect every time…but just because I mess up one day, doesn’t mean I have to write off the entire rest of the week or month. I just start again fresh the next day. I also have Saturday’s as my cheat day which makes it a bit easier to be careful about what I’m eating if I know I’m going to have a day to let loose later.
Being this overweight can mean that I can injure myself easily (and have in the past) when going to the gym. It’s once of the reasons that losing weight has been so frustrating. I would get up and decide I’m going to go to the gym and I’d either overdo it, or I’d stretch my back, or injure my feet and that would be that for the next month while I recovered. So instead of going to the gym, I’m just taking it easy. I’ll go on walks, I’ll get up to get something instead of asking my husband to get it for me. I do sit up’s and planks and things that aren’t too hard on my joints. Eventually, I’ll add in more “workout” type things, but the fun is my priority. I’m not going to go to the gym to lift weights if it doesn’t make me happy. If jogging or rock climbing resonate with me, then that’s what I’ll do, but doing what I like has to be a priority otherwise I know I won’t stick to it.
The Good news is that when I had this change of mind I was 238lbs which on a 5’5” frame is a lot. At the time of publishing this, I am 230.0lbs so clearly what I’m doing is working and I’m proud.
This blog has been doing really well. I am honestly so thankful that I am able to do this. It constantly helps me look for fun things to do, and I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for more than half the year! I thought for sure I’d mess up and miss a week! I take the fact that I’ve been able to do this so consistently as a sign that this is something my heart really loves doing and I should focus on it.
I’m also going to be holding my first GIVEAWAY!!!!!! I will be releasing a special blog post with the rules, but I’ll be doing a drawing to give away a small print of my “Master of Halloween Ceremonies” painting that I created. I’ll also be signing the back! I’m really excited because this drawing will be not just to celebrate my 35th Birthday, but to celebrate my blog which was created in Autumn, hence its name!
Home has been growing to be more and more a place of love and healing for me again. At the peak of being stalked, I had all my windows boarded up so the members of the USPS couldn’t stalk or harass me. They were frequently driving by and taking pictures of me with their cellphones which you can read about HERE and HERE.
Needless to say when there’s that much negativity in and around the home it can start to feel a bit haunted.
I started working with a therapist to deal with the anxiety this has caused me, and to really take back my home again. I LOVE working from home. I love being a domestic goddess, and the thought that I would have to move, or suffer in this home really upset me, so we focused on healing and it has been really long. It takes a year and a half of therapy, but I can finally say I’m back to loving my space. I am still being stalked and harassed and our case is still being looked at by Federal Court, but I have taken back my power. I now meditate on my porch surrounded by my flowers. I am cooking in my kitchen which was a place I was frequently stalked and made to be afraid in. I am once again feeling love for my space and my home. I almost feel as though I appreciate my home more because I’ve worked hard to take it back. I’ve worked hard to change myself and allow healing to flow through me into this home.
I’ve also started to release objects that no longer serve me, or bring my happiness. I’ve started to attack cluttered drawers, and closets and even the basement asking myself with everything I touch “Is this still useful to me, and does it bring me happiness”? I feel like as I’ve learned to do that with my thoughts and emotions, I’m starting to manifest it in my home. I still have a shirt that my husband gave me for my first Christmas even though it no longer fits and it has a hole in it because when I see it, it makes me happy. However, the tank top I loved in high school that is not in style and no longer fits I donated because I deserve to fill my closet with things that make me happy where I currently am instead of guilting myself with things from the past. I’ve used this attitude every time I tackle a cluttered spot and this releasing has made more room for happiness.
So there’s my goals update! I’m pretty happy letting you all know what’s gone on for me in the last quarter. Please check back here, or on my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to find out when my drawing for the print is and how to get in on the action! If any of this has inspired you, please let me know in the comments. Have a wonderful day! – Heather Astaneh