My Call to Adventure

Happy Monday Everyone!

In yesterday’s post, I committed to re-launching my healthy journey. Like most others who have to dedicate themselves specifically to improving their health, I’ve made some bad calls lately and it’s time to rectify those. Before I get too far into this, though, I think it’s important to explain my Call to Adventure.

If you remember, the Call to Adventure is the first part of the Healthy Hero’s Journey. It’s that moment where you realize that a change is required for you to attain your individual health goals. For me, that moment occurred this past Saturday.

To explain Saturday, I have to first explain the last few months. Back in June, I developed a stress fracture in my pelvis, which rendered me non-weight-bearing for 11 weeks. During that entire time, I managed to keep my weight within about 5 pounds of where I was when the injury first occurred. I considered that to be a win, of sorts, considering how difficult that particular timeframe was. But since then, my weight has continued to climb steadily until yesterday morning, when I weighed in at 12 pounds higher than my pre-injury weight of 140 pounds.

Saturday wasn’t even about my weight though – mostly because one of the habits I’ve fallen off of is weighing in daily. No, Saturday was about my injury. I can’t even explain it, except to say that my family had just gone home after the holiday and I found myself sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself because my leg (on the side my pelvis was injured on) had been bothering me. I didn’t do my normal physical therapy stretches and exercises on Thursday and Friday, because of the holiday, so my leg was bothering me more than normal.

I decided to head to the gym for some time on the treadmill. About 3 weeks ago, I was released to finally start using the treadmill. Not for anything crazy, mind you. I’m just allowed to work on speed walking – with my easy walk at a 3 and my speed walk at a 3.5. That still makes me laugh because 3.5 was my super easy walk before my injury!

At any rate, I was told to start off with 15 minutes of interval work on the treadmill then, after my first week, I was allowed to work my way up to 30 minutes. The problem is that I had a slight setback after that first week – with my muscles clenching and becoming too tight for me to do much at all – so that 30 minute goal has remained elusive. So Saturday, I set out to beat that.

Nine minutes into my walk, my muscles began to clench and strain again. I tried to push through it for a tiny bit but when everything started to feel “off” even with my easy walk, I knew I was done. I slapped the treadmill (ouch!) because I was so mad and, because I was alone in our apartment’s gym, I seriously contemplated throwing one of the workout room’s stability balls just because the bounce of the ball against the wall seemed like it’d be pretty darn satisfying.

But I didn’t. Instead, I went back home, had myself a small cry of frustration, and ate a leftover cinnamon roll from breakfast with my family. And then I had another cinnamon roll. And then, I made some chocolate chip cookies and ate those. And then I dove into some of the holiday candy we already have around the house. Seriously.

If that’s not stress eating, I don’t know what is. What I do know is that I only ate that way because my husband was at work. If he had been home I would have figured out a different way of working through my stress. Instead, I let myself indulge and then I cleaned up all the evidence of my transgression so that he’d never know or question it. And that is a major problem. I’ve always felt that unhealthy eating is an addiction, just as powerful as smoking or alcoholism and “hiding” my unhealthy eating or engaging in “secretive” unhealthy eating is always the first sign to me that I’ve slipped into a dark place.

My Call to Adventure

So that was my Call to Adventure moment. I’m not going to lie. I knew I was doing wrong even as I chomped down those chocolate chip cookies. But, right or wrong, I let myself have my sad, woe-is-me moment, and then I told myself that Sunday would be different.

And it was. Sunday (and so far today) all my food was either been healthy or at least healthily proportioned. In fact, yesterday I was under my calorie goal for the day, which is great! I did all my stretches and exercises, including finally hitting that elusive 30-minute goal on the treadmill. It wasn’t easy but I decided it was time and I just needed to push through until it was done. It’s a small triumph, but I know that a million small triumphs will eventually get me where I want to be. And, as frustrating as Saturday was, it’s nice to know that it was enough of a Call to Adventure to get me back on track so I can continue working toward my goals.


A New Journey

Around June of last year I rebranded my blog “Healthy Rewrite” because I wanted to explore the concept of how the average person’s struggle to become healthy was similar to that of the epic hero’s journey in a story. That was after about a year of success in getting healthy myself.

As often happens in situations like that, shortly after I rebranded I started to fall off on posting. Now, this year, I’ve fallen off the healthy habits I worked so hard to build. As I sit back and think through what happened I know that part of my recent drop off is due to very real obstacles that have risen up against me this year. But a very large part of it is that I also stopped holding myself accountable through this blog.

So, I’m back. And I’m back for good. Because I need the accountability and because blogging about it helps me maintain that while also supporting others through the same struggles.

So how does all this relate to my own Healthy Hero’s Journey? Well, for the sake of really re-engaging in this blog, let’s refresh. The Healthy Hero’s Journey is made up of very distinct parts:

  • The Call to Adventure. That moment where you realize your journey is no longer an option but has become an action necessary for your own life and happiness.
  • Discovery of Resources. Taking inventory of the resources that will help you on the road to success. This step may also involve the search for new tools and resources.
  • Trial & Error. Putting those resources to work for you until you find the magic formula that meets your individual needs.
  • Reaching the Reward. The final, beautiful step, where you actually reach your goals. This is your moment of triumph!

Many of us, including myself, start the cycle of this journey over and over in our lives without ever Reaching the Reward. Or, in just as many cases, we actually to reach the final level and then fall off entirely and have to start over.

I can be honest and say that I never reached my reward. I got very close to it and had a lot of success but I never reached my primary weight loss objectives. I would have been happy to linger in the Trial & Error part of my story for a while longer but, alas, I have fallen all the way back to the Call to Adventure step.

Why is that? Because I came across an obstacle this last year, while in the Trial & Error part of my journey, which proved to be too big. It beat me down and I’m still struggling to overcome it. What was it?

A pelvic stress fracture.

Of all the injuries I thought I’d face as a runner that was the least of my worries. And let me tell you, you don’t realize how much all of your bones and muscles work together until the biggest bone right in the middle of your body suddenly has a giant (“rather nasty” as my doctor’s called it) crack in it.

I spent 11 weeks on crutches and in a wheelchair. Now I’ve gone through 8 weeks of physical therapy and the orthopedist is telling me I still need to wait 3 more months before I start running. Prior to this injury I was running 2-3 half marathons per year and had just signed up for my first full marathon so another 3 months of no running feels like pure torture. But I guess I can see their point since I haven’t been able to work up to more than 15 minutes of interval speed walking on a treadmill.

More important than all that is the impact this stress fracture has had on my healthy habits. In the last 5 months, I’ve:

  • Gone back to stress eating
  • Gotten in way less activity (obviously)
  • Fallen off of eating my fruits and veggies
  • Stopped tracking my caloric intake
  • Stopped watching my portions
  • Gone back to eating whatever “sounds good”

As a result, I’ve noticed many of my clothes fitting tighter and I’ve gained back 12 of the total 34 pounds I’d previously lost. Not a place I thought I’d be again.

Looking back now, I think a lot of this has happened because I kept seeing each piece of my injury as being a small portion of time. It was okay to eat differently because I just needed to get through the non-bearing piece of my recovery. After that, I’d be back to running in no time. After I got released to start walking again than it was just that I needed to get through my physical therapy (because it was only supposed to last 8 weeks and then I’d be “back to normal”). Now that the 8 weeks has ended and it looks like normal still isn’t going to happen any time soon, I’m waking up to reality.

A New Journey

The reality is that I need to follow the Healthy Hero’s Journey I started talking about more than a year ago. I need to accept this new Call to Adventure, take the time to Discover New Resources, and work through an all new type of Trial & Error before I’m going to Reach my Reward.

This post is my commitment to this new journey. I hope you’ll come along with me as I start to explore the facets of this adventure from a whole new angle. I look forward to sharing my story!


Healthy and Happy

It’s almost impossible to explain how happy I am being healthy. Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly unhealthy foods and activities that also make me happy but when I’m eating healthy and staying active I just feel GOOD.

eating healthy, healthy food, healthy and happy

Not to mention it’s true what they say: The healthier you eat, the easier it is to eat healthy. I’ve slowly been making little tweaks to my food and I love all the healthy options I’m giving myself. The amount of temptations I’ve had in recent weeks has diminished greatly.

Looking back at my unhealthiest times, I find it interesting to explore the concept of happiness. I’ve truly thought I was happy while being unhealthy but that’s just not true.

What Unhealthy and “Happy” Means

We’re all unhealthy for many reasons, one of which is that we focus on the aspects of unhealthy habits that make us happy without any consideration for what the results of those indulgences are. Here are a few examples specific to me:

  • Makes me “happy:” A giant bowl of ice cream. Makes me unhappy: The upset stomach and uncomfortable night that giant ice cream bowl brings with it.

unhealthy food, ice cream, unhealthy habits

  • Makes me “happy:” Sitting on the couch on the weekend. Makes me unhappy: The lowered energy level and decreased metabolism too many of those lazy days brings with it.
  • Makes me “happy:” Eating more and more of the things I really enjoy. Makes me unhappy: The bloating, heavy, uncomfortable feeling that follows. Not to mention the lethargy that overeating carries with it.
  • Makes me “happy:” Mindlessly choosing my food based on what sounds good each day. Makes me unhappy: Seeing the scale increase and my clothes get tighter as a result of the extra calories this leads to.

Turning Unhappy into Happy

The nice thing about changing things up from unhealthy to healthy is that healthy habits can make you happy without the negative side effects. Oftentimes it just means small tweaks, like the following:

  • Instead of having a giant bowl of ice cream I now have a small cup. I still get a taste of the dessert I love without the stomachache and uncomfortable.
  • Instead of relishing my lazy weekends, I use them as an opportunity to do activities I enjoy that also get me moving, like hiking and rollerblading. If I’m having a truly lazy day I still try to get my steps in by moving around my apartment. That way I can stay in my pajamas! 😄

hiking, healthy habits, healthy and habit

  • Instead of overeating the foods I enjoy, I eat them slower. Eating slower allows me to still savor the food and it also helps me realize when I’m full so I don’t have the negative effects of overeating.
  • Instead of mindlessly choosing my food, I focus on finding healthy foods I truly enjoy. Eventually I hope to reach a point where choosing healthy is something I do mindlessly.

The nice thing about reaching a good place with my healthy habits is that there are also a lot of small, daily triumphs I get to celebrate. For example, yesterday I resisted donuts that were right in front of me and it was my third time in less than a week that I did so. It wasn’t even much of a challenge and that is just one more thing that makes me healthy and happy!

Getting Healthy

I’m so excited to be getting back to a place in my life where I’ll be able to dedicate more time and energy to getting healthy. The last 8 months or so have been a roller coaster of craziness. During that time, I’ve continued to work on getting healthy but I have not been able to post very much and I honestly feel that’s a big part of why I haven’t been that successful. In the spirit of getting back on track, I want to re-establish my intentions for my weight loss journey and this blog.

health goals, weight loss goals, weight loss plan

Getting Healthy

I can’t emphasize this enough. While I talk about weight loss primarily, my ultimate intention here is to get healthy, which means I will continue to avoid fad diets and weight loss gimmicks. To reach this goal I intend to:

  • Establish healthy habits
  • Break bad habits
  • Identify healthy foods/recipes that I will enjoy
  • Identify healthy activities that will become part of my life

Fitness, healthy activities, healthy hobby, lifestyle change, good health

  • Get down to a healthy weight for my age and height
  • Learn to be happy with myself despite imperfections

How I Will Get Healthy

It’s not enough to say I’m going to lose weight and get healthy. I need to have a plan. Now, what constitutes as a “plan” for me might be different than it is for you. For me, this is a very general concept because I don’t know yet what will work. If I did, I’d already be healthy. 😉 Therefore, this is my plan:

  • Run consistently – this is something I enjoy and yet I don’t do it as often I’d like
  • Try new recipes – I have plenty of go-to recipes/meals that are not healthy. It’s time to find some healthy ones.
  • Exercise more – I need to fit in more exercises besides running so that I’m actively working out more days of the week.
  • Find more active hobbies to reduce my on-the-couch time.
  • Increase my fruit and vegetable intake.

Fruits and veggies, healthy eating, healthy habits

As I work through my ideas, recipes, and experiments I’ll share my results here. Hopefully what I do/find will help others too! If nothing else, I know from experience that regularly updating this blog will at least help to keep me on track and stay accountable. So maybe “blog regularly” should be added to the list. 😉

How I Will Stay Healthy

Perhaps more important than actually getting healthy is remaining in good health. I’ve been healthy before. Most everyone who struggles with weight loss has been healthy at one point in time. It’s more challenging, in my opinion, to remain healthy and maintain the good habits built during weight loss.

Since I intend to lose weight by building healthy habits, I’m not going to focus much on the nutrition and exercise side of things. Instead I want to focus on things that will keep me mentally in the game. Here are some of my ideas for how I intend to do that once I’ve reached my goal weight:

  • Continue monitoring my weight to ensure I don’t fluctuate more than 5-10 pounds over my final weight.
  • Weight march – on the show The Biggest Loser, they challenge the contestants to do a walk/run near the end of the show where they wear a backpack containing the weight they’d lost since the start of the show. I’ve always liked this idea and think it’d be a good idea to remember how much work I went through to lose that weight. I’m not sure if I’ll do this once per month, every six months, or what, but I want to incorporate it in somehow.

weight march, weight loss, get healthy

  • Get rid of my larger clothes. This may seem simple but in the past I’ve held on to my heavier clothes “just in case,” which I think means I’ve left myself mentally open to the idea of gaining that weight back. I need to close that door completely so if I gain enough weight to require buying a size up that will be another wake up call that I need to re-commit to my healthy lifestyle.
  • Have a ceremonial burning. A few years ago I went through a divorce that hit me hard. Soon after I met some great new friends and on New Years they introduced me to a new holiday tradition. They had me write down something I needed to let go of and drop the paper in the fire we all were celebrating around at the party. I can’t even explain how much that small ceremony helped me to start the New Year off on the right foot. I’d like to do a similar ceremony with something symbolic of my heavier weight.

These are just a few of my ideas so far. I’m sure I’ll come up with more as I go along and I promise to share those, as well. I know this is a very generic plan, too, so I do intend to come up with more specific goals. But that’s a post for another day!

Getting Started with Weight Loss

No blog about weight loss would start off correctly without a break down of the starting point. This is the hard part (like getting the weight off will be easy, right?). It’s difficult because, being overweight, the natural inclination is to hide your extra weight. You find clothes that disguise how wide your thighs are, sit at angles that hide your stomach bulge, and avoid tank tops so your arm fat doesn’t show. At least, that’s what you hope is happening. In my case, it’s rarely been successful. I usually leave home feeling comfortable and confident only to have that fantasy deflated the moment I catch a glimpse of myself in a shop window or a picture.

So, why not lay it all out there for the world to see? When I’ve successfully reached my ideal weight I’ll look back on these details as a record of how far I’ve come! Here are my starting numbers and pictures:

  • Height: 5′ 2″
  • Weight: 174.6 pounds
  • Estimated body fat: 30% (On the borderline of obese. Eek!)
  • Total inches: 214 (combination of neck, shoulders, torso, stomach, waist, hips, thigh, calf)
  • Pant size: 16
  • Shirt size: Large

Beginning Photo1 Beginning Photo2

As of today, I am officially 30 (also eek!). In my entire life, the only time I recall being at my appropriate size was when I was a senior in high school, fresh off a summer of visiting the gym 4-5 times per week and meals that were still cooked by my mom. At that time, I was about 115-120 pounds and a size 5. Most calculators out there will say my ideal size would be between 110-120 pounds.

Outside of that, my next best period saw me at approximately 145 pounds for the first 6-7 years past high school. I count a total of 3 times in my life where I consider myself to have been successful at losing weight. Outside of that period in high school there was one other time that I worked with a personal trainer and a third where I worked with what I’ll call a weight loss consultant.

This is not the time to dive into the details of what I’ve tried before but that time will come. For now, I just want to get my stats out there to kick start my challenge. Now it’s time to get started!