One year left

In less than a month I will be turning 29 years old, my last year of a twenty-something life. It’s my greatest wish to become healthy and happy before entering the next chapter, my thirties. I’ve been on and off this weight loss journey rollercoaster for over a decade.

I’ve tried paleo, keto, atkins, Weight Watchers, Whole30, south beach, vegetarian, vegan, 21 Day Fix, Shakeology, the master cleanse, juice cleanses, fasting…and the one thing that these all have in common is their brevity – none of them seem to stick. Admittedly I’ve felt the best while doing paleo and Whole30…and Weight Watchers has always seemed to stick around the longest, but I’ve never been motivated enough to stay with anything longer than a month or two.

I’ve come to realize that it’s my brain more than the programs which is at fault, I’m a professional self-sabotager. I don’t know why I think year 29 will be any different, but I do. I feel more hopeful and determined than ever before. My resolution for 2017 was to read and write more, so keep an eye out for more posts as I try to hold myself accountable through this blog.



Whole30: Week 1

It’s day seven and we’re still going strong. Like…really strong. Strong enough to pass by the free Girl Scout cookies at the office and strong enough to turn down our favorite entrees at our favorite restaurant. I don’t think we’ve reached the tiger blood euphoria mentioned by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig’s on their Whole30 website, but we are well on our way.

A few snapshots of food I’ve eaten:

A few lessons I’ve learned this past week:

  1. Have a partner to do this with. It makes it SO much easier. I can’t say enough about the difference it makes. We push each other and support each other and as they say, misery loves company! So it’s nice to have someone going through #thestruggle with you.
  2. Plan ahead. Seriously. Prepping is everything. I have breakfast/lunch staples and dinner is always a crapshoot…but at least I’ve got 2/3 of the day down.
  3. Have small goals. We made the promise to one another that if we could make it to day 10 we would re-join the gym and start going together. Once Thursday rolls around we’ll make a 20 day goal to push us there as well.
  4. Do your research. Read the book (It Starts with Food by Melissa & Dallas Hartwig). Have the knowledge and all the information available to you going into this thing.
  5. Understand that a perfect Whole30 isn’t possible. We try to live the 99% life and understand that small mistakes may happen, i.e. the restaurant using canola oil instead of the EVOO they told you they’d use.

Week one, done.

Day 1.3

Whole30…attempt #3…let’s go!
Caleb has agreed to complete a Whole30 challenge with me. He’s read the summary, the philosophy, the benefits and most importantly, the rules. We start today. March 1st. And I can’t say that we haven’t been gorging ourselves on Cadbury eggs and gummy bears all weekend…

I think this might be it people. Third time is a charm…but lucky number three aside, I’m excited to be doing this with my partner, my friend, my co-pilot, my love.

In the past year or two, Caleb has lost 70 lbs. We joke that I’ve gained what he has lost, but in reality, it’s sort of true. When we adopted our first dog, Ruger, Caleb stepped in as the primary care taker. This meant more walks and less time to veg. His increased activity and my obsession with having healthy foods in the house, along with a shift in his mentality led him to lose the LBs.

I envy his determination and contradictory nonchalant attitude. Whenever we run into an old friend of his, they can’t help but comment, with their mouths agape, “Caleb, you look amazing!” and his response is always appreciative with an air of cool. Like it was nothing. Like losing a second grader came as easily as breathing. I’m excited to complete this challenge with him and Hopefully with his encouragement and comradery…along with our competitive nature, we can complete this challenge once and for all. March 1st, day 1. Today.

Waking up

A few months ago I posted an Instagram photo showing my (slightly neurotic) morning alarm system. My cousin commented. To summarize, he said to only set one alarm and live my life with more integrity. Upon reading his comment I became defensive. I explained that having a sleeping disorder makes waking up on time difficult.

But is this true? Was I lying to defend my laziness? I do have a sleeping disorder… self-diagnosed admittedly, but some nights I simply cannot sleep. Growing up, my father was a clinically diagnosed insomniac, so I’m uncomfortably familiar with the symptoms.

My many morning alarms are an accurate metaphor for my journey with weight loss. When one diet doesn’t work, I move to the next… and then the next, with the self-made promise that at some point I’ll wake up and begin my life. I’ve committed to Weight Watchers for the next three months and I’m already waning. I don’t track as much and I’m struggling to make healthy, wholesome choices. I’m not sure what’s wrong. It’s not for lack of wanting and its certainly not lack of needing, as I both desperately want and need to shed the lbs.

My repetitive failures definitely do not bode well for my already lack luster self-confidence. For the past two…maybe even three years I’ve wanted to complete a Whole30. You can see me enthusiastically blogging about it below. I’ve gotten as far as day seven and then I give into the alluring comfort of food. Sometimes I think I won’t ever succeed until I have to  succeed…

Deciding to begin again

I’m 28 years and two days old. It’s about time that I get my sh*t together. I’ve decided to call DO-OVER and begin again with my weight loss journey. For a myriad of reasons.

  1. I don’t fit into anything.
  2. I hurt. Everywhere.
  3. My 10 year high school reunion is in May.
  4. It’s likely that I’ll be getting married in the not so distant future.
  5. I don’t sleep. Like, ever…

Since this is the year of the do-over, I’ve decided to give Weight Watchers another go. I like WW. I like them even more now that they’re oozing balance and wholesome health goodness. SIDEBAR: It used to kill me that I could have an Oreo snack pack for less points than a banana. The best thing about WW is that I really, truly can eat whatever I want – the commercials don’t lie. Yes, I should focus on solid food choices, but if I want that double fudge Milano, I can have it!

Sure on my first day in I had Maui Onion pop chips for lunch, but it’s about progress people, not perfection. Perfection is a slippery slope that I do not want to sled down. Perfection is what got me here. I am an awkward, easily angered perfectionist that at the first sight of imperfection totally loses it. And by it, I mean EVERYTHING. It all goes out the window and I dive into the binge eating, self-depravation deep end for months until I (or my boyfriend) pull me back to the surface and into reality. So here I go, currently in reality and currently trying to be nicer to myself and begin again.

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Living a Proper Life

It’s been a difficult and trying (see what I did there?  ) month and a half. I received some not-so-great medical news which sent me into a bit of a downward, emotional spiral. I’ve struggled with mental inconsistencies my entire life, thanks in part, to my solid genetics. My father and his family have grappled with their various mental disorders for as long as I can remember.

I’ve previously been diagnosed with PTSD and bi-polar disorder. I share this because I believe that my mental hurdles have a great deal to do with my physical ones. I’ve never been addicted to drugs or alcohol — food has always been my vice of choice. I remember seeing my mother upset and watching her drink red wine or eat a devil dog. I’m not placing blame, but rather acknowledging my learned behavior. Baby see, baby do. It feels impossible to break a life long habit. I’ll be able to stay strong and live a healthy life style for 3 days…perhaps 4, but as soon as I hit any sort of turbulence, I nose dive straight towards the sugar.

I need to get myself back into therapy and learn how to properly cope… and properly live. Follow all of my trials and tribulations on instagram @myyearoftrying

emotional eating

30 Whole Dang Days

I’m winding down on the second day of my Whole30 challenge. What’s a Whole30 challenge you ask? Well…allow me to explain…

I’m spending 30 days eating noting but plants and animals. No sugar, no dairy, no chemicals, no junk. That’s the long and short of it. However, to go more in depth let’s look at the dos and don’ts from the Whole30 website itself:

Yes: Eat real food.

Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed. Don’t worry… these guidelines are outlined in extensive detail in our free shopping list.

No: Avoid for 30 days.

More importantly, here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program. Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. 
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients.

I decided to do a Whole30 as part of my year of trying because I feel strongly about it’s foundation and motives. It’s a great program that attempts to return people to the beginning. Yes — it’s trendy and honestly, I think that’s great. I wish more people would adopt a clean eating diet because it’s popular.

I need to breakdown my current relationship with food and rebuild. I’ve associated food with emotions for too long, too intensely. Yes, almost everyone wants comfort food when they’re feeling bad. My problem is that I want comfort food when I’m feeling happy, tired, bored, sad, mad, etc. I make excuse after excuse as to why I need, need to order takeout – and secretly order an extra egg roll for myself and hope Caleb won’t see me eat it. I’m absolutely an addict. I want the simple, immediate comfort sugar and salt can give me. I need to learn to rely on other things for this comfort I crave, as I said before repairing and rebuilding – Carpenter Kaleigh reporting for duty (did I just combine cliches? holy smokes.)

I’ve attempted a Whole30 in the past…and I epically failed. Since this is my grand year of trying I should be able to make it 30 days – right? At least that’s what I’m telling myself. This is just one month of a twelve month try fest. And who knows, I did manage to completely resist the FREE delicious smelling GOURMET pizza at the office today. I do feel different this time around. I feel far more knowledgeable about the program itself and nutrition in general. Locked and loaded baby.

Also, I’ll be tracking what I eat on Instagram – @myyearoftrying – just in case you want to see what i’m ingesting and yell at me when something isn’t compliant.

Whole30 - Tiger Blood

Hey Girl. Keep Going.

“This year will finally be the year”… it’s too much pressure. And so cliche. 

However…I would very much like this year to finally be, the year.

I’ve already gone through a few ups and downs, ebbs and flows, etc. etc. and it’s only been 33 days since I started this supposedly fantastic year of trying. I feel this incredible urge to get back to myself. To focus on me. To put my needs and my heart of hearts first. Second and final cliche, promise.

My 27th birthday is on Friday.

27 is few years into the wrong side of 25. I have all of these feelings about my future that I’ve never had before. I’m filled with a special sort of anxiety that has never existed before. I feel as though I’m in a race. I’m racing against society’s expectations and against myself — my physical and mental self. 

I just want to get it right. I just want things to finally click. 

I’m going to give it the good old college try this week..and the week after that and so on and so forth (does that count as a cliche?). As you can tell from my lack of action on this blog, I’ve been a recluse for the past couple of weeks. I’ve been existing and participating, but not really, truly present. 

Right now, my only devoted subscriber is my mom so, I suppose I don’t have many dedicated readers to apologize to…but none the less, I’m sorry (if to no one else but myself). I solemnly vow to blog once a week, log every day and get my life in order one day at a time. Huzzah!

Detailed plan for success to come. Stay tuned!


My FitBit + Aria

Caleb gave me my FitBit and Aria scale this year for Christmas. They were wonderful, thoughtful gifts. They’ve been so fantastic. They completely appeal to my slightly OCD, highly organized side. My scale auto-syncs with my FitBit and MyFitnessPal. What could be better?

Sleep PatternI’ve noticed that the step tracker component has added an edge of competition to Dashboardmy routine. I not only want to achieve the amount of steps the FitBit sets for me, but I also want to beat the daily steps that my friend’s take as well.

Another part of the FitBit I love is the sleep log. I’ve never slept well. My father is an insomniac with sleep apnea. I believe it’s hereditary and I’ve had the luck to inherit the habit. According to my dashboard I could potentially sleep 8 hours a night, but tend to average 4. This is a problem I’d like to change. I’m almost certain that I have sleep apnea, but I refuse to get a machine, like my father. This year, I will sleep better. This year, I will eat healthier, lose weight and as a result, sleep better.