Halfway Kids!!

Today is Day 19 and I’m (pretty much) halfway through my Whole40!!!

The goals that I had set for myself have been pretty much reached here at the halfway point so it’s time for some new ones on the back half.

To recap on what I’ve achieved in the last 20 days:

Goal #1A: Relief of my almost daily headaches.  This has been a bit of a hit and miss… the headaches that I was getting throughout the day have gone but have been unfortunately replaced with a pretty much ongoing stress headache.  I’m using my massage therapist to help with that but it’s not food related anymore.

Goal #2A: Less Itchy Skin.  I’m less itchy but I think it’s partially because my sister pointed out to my dismay that I may in fact be allergic to grapes, and having cut those out, I am indeed less itchy.  Overall my skin is pretty kick ass and I have almost no dermatitis on my hands, which I often get from eating crappy food.

Goal #3A: Kick my current obsession over ice cream.   Ya, I’d say this is pretty much kicked.  Would I eat ice cream if it miraculously ended up in my house right now?  Yes, probably but I’m not obsessed with the mental battle over whether or not I should go buy some (and then consume it in it’s entirety).

Goal #4A: Wake up feeling more rested.  Yes, this is (aside from yesterday being hit with the fatigue stick), I’m sleeping much better and for less time but more quality time.  I wake up at 5am without an alarm daily.  I’d say that’s a met goal!

Goal #5A: Log as many kilometers as possible. Well, as there is no actual number, it’s hard to say whether that was reached or not, but I did make a commitment to get home from work (8KM) under my own power 3x a week and I’ve done that. (today being the last day).  I’ve logged 76 kilometers (47 miles) in the last 19 days. The work based challenge that precipitated that is over as of today but my plan is to keep up the 3 days a week for at least the duration of my W40… then I go on holidays and I’ll figure out the next steps (punny) after I get back. If I manage it, that’s 7 more walks, which will be a total during my W40 of 132KM (82 miles).

Goal #6A: Eat more vegetables.  I was pretty uninspired by my meal plan this week but I ate a decent amount of veg at every meal (except last night). I’ll leave this on my goals for the back half of the W40.

Goal #7A: Fit my denim capris more comfortably.  Yes.  They fit perfectly now.  They will now start to get to big, which is okay for a little while… They’re cute and I get a ton of compliments on them but the rivets on the pockets gives me a rash spot.  I’ll try nail polishing the rivet and see if that helps.

 

Now, on to new goals.

Goal #1B: Come to a place where a pint of ice cream in the freezer wouldn’t mean needing to be restrained to the sofa to avoid diving into it face first.

Goal #2B: Go to bed by 10pm and when I wake up at 5am, get out of bed.

Goal #3B: Try and get to 132KM by the end of W40.

Goal #4B: Eat more vegetables.  Plan veg purchase and prep better.

Goal #5B: Wear the striped $8 dress to work.

Goal #6B: No side by side comparison shots until Friday, July 4th (day 40)

Okay, I think that’s it… unless I think of something else in the next few days.  Really, the biggest goal I will have for the next 21 days is going to be keeping on the walking/W40 path in the face of some stress (hopefully temporary) that is making me really yearn to crawl into bed with a tray of carrot cake. I will not do that because it will certainly not solve my situation and I KNOW it would make me feel TERRIBLE… but the temptation is certainly there!

Appreciate the Now

A lesson is repeated until it is learned.  I heard that from my mom about a million or so years ago and it’s always stuck with me.  Especially in times of frustration when I feel like the same things keep happening over and over again and I can’t figure out why, that little eight word sentence pops into my mind and I’m reminded that maybe the same thing is happening over and over again because I don’t ‘get it’ yet.

Back on December 30th, I decided to detox from my Christmas Binge Extravaganza and do a Whole 30.  The purpose of my involvement at that time was to try and detoxify all the chemicals and sugar and inflammatory foods out of my body that I had willingly (and joyfully, no shame!) jammed in there over a month.  At the time I was also running about 2.5miles every second day in an effort to get ready for a big run (5K) that my sister and wanted to do (and did).  I took a before picture as per usual and then took the after picture.  Now, here’s where the lesson returns with a vengeance.  That after picture… I was dressed in my yoga pants and my favorite hot pink tight fitting yoga top.  Looking back on that photo four months (and a considerable amount of stress later), I’m very proud of the girl that stood there. The problem is that that girl didn’t appreciate the results of the hard work and dedication that it took to get her there.  And that’s the lesson.  I’ve seen pictures from when I was much younger and I was told (and believed) that I was an overweight cow and should be on a perpetual diet.  To put that overweight cow in perspective, I was a size 8/10.  For 5’10 that’s a pretty healthy, in shape size.  In the photos from then and from January, all I could see at the time were the flaws.  A roll of belly fat here, an arm that ‘seemed’ too fluffy there… a poor angled photo that implied a double chin or some other ‘ghastly’ flaw.

What do I see when I look at those photos now?  Wasted opportunity.  I see wasted opportunity to be loving and compassionate to myself.  I see wasted opportunity to be proud of myself and confident that I am worthy of wearing shorts and tight fitting tanks.

The reason that this is coming up is because I’m frustrated with the body shape progress I’m making in my current Whole 40.  I’m looking at the pictures from January, where I was much slimmer than I am now (truth be told… it’s not MUCH… it’s some) and wishing I would have appreciated the place I was. I’m looking at those pictures KNOWING that I didn’t see the progress and didn’t see the victories.

I actually believe that my stalled progress (if it’s even stalled… it’s only been 15 days) is BECAUSE of my current obsession with photographing myself and then comparing it to January.  Stress like that can make you hold on to fat and adipose tissue.  It can keep you inflamed and puffy.  I’m sure there’s science behind that to back up the statement but I’m not about to go look it up.  I’ve read it before, I know it’s true.

So my next 15 days (the duration of a standard W30) will be dedicated to appreciating where I am exactly in the moments that I am there.  I really want to work on appreciating that the reason that I have puffed during Puffer Fish Week is because I am a health and presumably fertile woman. I want to appreciate that the size of my quads makes easier work of propelling myself home on foot 3 days a week.  (dudes, at the end of today, I’ll have logged 60KM in 15 days!)  I want to appreciate that my favorite hot pink tanktop fits, looks good and makes me feel powerful as I motor down the street.  It’s really hard in this day and age of exceptionally high beauty standards for women (even for those of us that know that health is first and foremost) to appreciate your current place. I always say that if someone is working toward making themselves healthier, then I will give them all the kudos in the world because they deserve it.  So why then, would I not give myself that same appreciation.

I don’t know what this next 15 days looks like in terms of actual measurable success, because it’s pretty hard to measure appreciation.  I do think that it’s reasonable to not take another body selfie to compare to January until at least the 30th day.  Right now I’m comparing a 30 day accomplishment to a 15 day accomplishment… how insane is that!!!

If anyone else out there is doing a Whole30, rock on with your bad self!  You’re (we are) doing something that presumably 99.9% of the regular everyday people around you (us) wouldn’t attempt.  That’s huge!

Day 11 and My Secret for Amazing Hair

Good morning Day 11!!

I’m over a ¼ of the way through my W40 today and feel fantastic!

One of the things that is making me feel fantastic is my current obsession with Pork Bone Broth!  I’ve been making it for about five or six weeks now and I think I’ve officially become an addict. (and also perfected my method!)I drink 500ml of it every morning before breakfast and I’m starting to see and feel real benefits.

First off, the mental reward is very important to me.  It actually feels like a big cheat to get to drink it every day because it tastes so decadent that my mind is tricked into thinking it’s a treat.  It’s also mentally empowering to know that I’m consuming something that is so good for me and completely pure.  I use organic, pork bones from my ethical butcher, so I know I’m getting good wholesome nutrients.  When I drink it, I visualize my body’s cells celebrating and becoming stronger and healthier. That might sound stupid… but visualization is actually scientifically proven… I think… or whatever 😉

The second reward is that my hair, skin and nails are incredibly healthy right now. My nails are growing strong and like wild fire and are not splitting at the sides like they normally do.  My hair is springy and strong and also growing like wildfire and the most incredible part of all, which I am attributing to the bone broth… my hairline is changing!  I have a bit of a receding hair line shape and I’ve always hated it… Just yesterday I noticed that in the two receding parts on either side of my bangs, there’s thick new growth.  It’s about an inch long already and already thick enough to change the shape of my hairline to a more attractive (to me) shape.

Maybe my healthy hair growth can be attributed to the bone broth or maybe to my generally healthy state right now… I really want to give that point to the bones tho!

Here’s my ‘recipe’ for bone broth if you want to try it yourself!

3 pounds of high quality pork bones and one or two trotters (called ‘hoofies’ in my house)

3 carrots, roughly chopped

½ a bunch of celery, roughly chopped (I just chop the entire thing about halfway down from the top so I get the leaves and greener parts and then I compost the rest because I think celery is disgusting!)

1 med/large yellow onion, roughly chopped (skin removed)

6-8 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped or smashed

2-3 bay leaves

2 dried chili peppers

1 bunch parsley. You can either chop it or just lay it in there like a nice bed for your hoofies

1 bunch thyme

Handful of peppercorns

An amount of salt… I put a generous amount in…. it’s up to you.  You can always add more when you consume it.

2-4 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (I don’t’ measure, I just dump some in).

Layer all your ingredients in a large crockpot and then fill with water* to cover.Put the lid on that puppy and set it to your low setting.  Mine is 10 hours.  I reset it a couple times and cook it for about 24 hours.

When it’s done (or you’ve reached your level of patience), strain it through a fine sieve and then place into canning jars.  If you want to freeze it, put it in 500ml mason jars with 1” of room left over.  Pop into the freezer and let it freeze before you put the lids on.  This makes six 500ml mason jars of broth which keep in the fridge for… you guessed it, six days!

*Now… If you’re going to make broth every week like I do, and you are a stingy old miser like me and also want to get the MOST nutrients out of your bones and broth, you can do what the French call Remouillage (which will replace the water for every subsequent bone broth endeavor you make) Basically Remouillage is a fancy word for ‘second batch’ and here’s how it works.

Strain out your amazingly flavorful broth as above and then instead of throwing out the cooked bones and veg, fill the crock back up with water and set to low again for 10-18 (or longer) hours.  When that’s done, strain through a fine mesh sieve, let it cool and then freeze it.  Next week when you’re ready to make another fresh batch of broth with a fresh batch of bones, defrost your Remouillage and use that liquid in place of the water.  Basically you’re going to make your bone broth with bone broth, which is much more nutrient dense (and flavorful) than water.

Remouillage makes me feel like I’ve eeked out every last bit of nutrient from those bones and am making sure the broth I spend valuable time making every week is going to be as healthy and nutrient rich as possible.  (and really, it’s no more work to run the crockpot the second time…

So there you have it… a recipe for Pork Bone Broth (which you can do with any other high quality bones as well) that will make you healthy, happy and with a beautifully shaped hairline!

Learning how to Walk

Walking seems to be such an easy thing to do, doesn’t it?  What if you’re someone like me that thinks that if you CAN run, then it’s just wimping out to walk… that makes walking less easy.  I’ve long since battled with the kind of competition within my own mind and soul that tells me that nothing is worth doing if it’s not worth doing as fast and as hard as you can.  It can get to be a problem because there’s no middle ground.  I either do something full on, balls to the wall or I don’t do anything at all.  This type of thought pattern has infiltrated my entire life and while it’s not reasonable to repair that way of thinking in every aspect of my life in a day, it IS reasonable to work on changing it where I can.

This 3 week commuter challenge that I’m doing at work is a perfect time to work on ‘middle ground’.  I made a commitment (a rather loud, noisy, braggerty one) to commute home from work under my own power 3 days a week for three full weeks.  That’s a total of 24KM (15miles) per week and I quickly realized that if I didn’t find any middle ground in order to get this done, I would be doomed to failure.  It does the competition, the commitment and me in general no good whatsoever to push my body to excess the first week and then be completely unable to continue on to the next two weeks.

So on Monday I ran most of the way home, having not yet discovered this need for middle ground.  On Tuesday I forced myself to walk the entire way.  To be honest?  That sounded like torture to me.  I really believed that walking home was just a cop out and that it didn’t ‘count’, regardless of how hard I worked at it.  Well, as my sister so rightly pointed out, it’s not like I was strolling through the park with an ice cream in my hand… I push HARD all the way.  The mental battle to ‘just run a bit’ was strong in my mind for a good portion of the 8K… So about halfway through, I decided that I would try running and see if that felt good… if it felt like I was flying then I would run. Well it felt like running with lead shoes on…. And I realized that I liked the middle ground.  I was working hard, I was sweating and felt a good burn in my quads and the moments of drifting out of my own head into a meditative state.  I’ve never been very good at shutting off my mind, regardless of how hard I tried.  I’m easily distracted and I have a tendancy to have ‘thought trail diarrhea’ where I realize I don’t even know how I got from the original thought to the current one… I don’t particularly like that feeling of mindless thinking and every once in awhile it’s nice to not have your mind going a million miles an hour.

On Wednesday I walked home again… no thought of running entered my mind and I enjoyed the meditation and the free feeling that not being in constant competition with myself gave me.

Day 5 of my Whole40 is drawing to a close and I’m pleased to report that I am firmly on board for the full 40 days.  I’ve also discovered again that sugar, even from grapes, makes me incredibly itchy.  It’s interesting actually because sugar, when eaten with other crappy dietary choices, doesn’t seem to bother me as much.  When I am clean eating and consuming too much natural sugar from whole foods, I get ridiculously itchy.

In the first five days I’ve noticed some de-puffing, better sleep (I wake up at 5:27 on the dot every day… like WIDE AWAKE) and better… um… bathrooming… ahem.

This coming Wednesday marks 10 days on W30 and ¼ of the way through. It’s an interesting journey to take this time because I know what to expect as far as feeling lousy (I haven’t yet) and as far as potential non-scale victories (as mentioned above). I’m keeping an open mind to new things to learn about myself and my body and food and the way my mind and body interact with food.

No choice in life but to just keep going forward.  So forward I go!

Day 2, KM’s 8-16

Today marks Day 2 of my Whole40 and the second day I will motor home under my own power.

Nothing is really different from 24 hours ago except that I made a decision… a commitment to myself to do something good for myself.  Something I know is successful.  Something that I know is not necessarily a cake walk but something I know I can do.  I am giddy with excitement knowing how amazing I’m going to feel in 40 days and how proud of myself I will be when I’m done!  I know I will feel that I earned that good feeling and there is a sense of euphoria that can only come from choosing to do something outside your own ‘norm’.

Ran/walked home from work yesterday.  7.75KM in 1 hour and 26 SECONDS… dang… My goal in the next three weeks is to take that 26 seconds off.  Not a huge goal I know, but this is a ‘marathon’ not a ‘sprint’ and it’s about DOING it, not doing it faster than anyone ever has.  It’s about doing it, not talking about it.  It’s about just DOING IT!!  So today I will go DO it again and get kilometers 8 through 16 under my belt.

Actions speak louder than words.  I’m off to go action my future now!

 

 

 

A Lesson I didn’t know I had to learn

You are not supposed to weigh yourself on Whole30.  It’s right there in the rules and if anyone knows me, they know I like rules… especially as it pertains to food.  The idea is that if you don’t weigh yourself during the 30 days, you’re more likely to be aware and appreciative of the other things that are improving from the experience.  Well, I generally live my life to the W30 code.. I know all the amazing results that are beyond weight… it’s why I keep to it for the most part even when I’m not officially on Whole30.

My skin is better, my sleep is better, my mood and tolerance is better.  My tummy is happy, I’m more energetic, more alert, less likely to cry.  I don’t think about food obsessively, I have no problem turning down treats because I am not sugar/simple carb addicted.  I’m less puffy and waxy looking which is something that I loathe…

One new thing I learned about the W30 and myself so far this time is that when I’m on it, I crave being outside.  There must be something about all the fresh food that makes me crave the fresh air.  I want to walk for miles, climb a mountain, run around the block all at the same time just to get outside and breathe as much fresh air as possible.

These are all things that a number on a scale can’t give you.

So all that said, it’s a very good idea to weigh yourself at the beginning of your W30 journey and then at the end and no where in between.  You need to learn these things and being obsessed by a number isn’t a good learning environment.

I was going to say that I broke that rule because as a person who generally lives on the Whole30, I didn’t need 30 days of no weighing to understand all the other benefits… only if I found this new ‘fresh air’ benefit in the last 9 days… what could I find in the next 21 days that might also be eye opening or interesting or worth learning… Such a silly goose am I that I actually thought that there was nothing left for me to learn.

Well, I have broken the rule.  I was going to tell you about the numbers in the last 9 days and pat myself on the back, but I think instead, I’ll just keep that little tidbit to myself and use it as a learning experience.  I learned that when you do the right things… what your body wants… you are successful.  And for the next 21 days I will remove the batteries from the scale and try and learn whatever else this program has to teach me this time.  I’m not going to start my W30 over just because I weighed myself… My intention was to extend it anyway so it’s likely I’ll make up those 9 days…

So I guess the lesson I learned is one I didn’t know I was supposed to learn… which is that there is always something new to discover and we (I) should never be so arrogant as to think that I know it all.

That’s not the way I thought this blog post was going to go but the writing of it has been eye opening and cathartic.  Win win I guess right?

Because I Can

As I was on my after work run last night and my head was telling me that I can’t, I remembered something an old friend once told me about why she ran.  Because I can.  Because I am capable of running and exercising.  Because there are people that physically can’t do it and it would be such a waste to be someone that CAN do it and to take that for granted.

That thought has stuck with me for a long time… She told me that right near the time we first met and that was in around about 2002 so it’s a sentiment that managed to stick in my brain for the last 11 years. 

I was thinking about that as I ran last night.  Because I can.  I do this because I am capable of doing this.  I have been blessed with mobility and perseverance (God knows I’ve used a lot of perseverance in the last while) and a time in my life that I have next to no commitments or demands on my time.  I don’t have kids, I don’t have a significant other, my pet is pretty self-sufficient and I can work my 7.5 hours a day and then go home.  This is not said to gloat of course, I know from the outside it looks like I’ve got it pretty easy and maybe comparatively I do.  This is said because I think it would be grossly taking advantage of this time of my life and not pushing myself.  I could go home and play with the kitty and have a nap and watch crappy tv while I eat crappy food… I’ve done it in the past and I COULD do it again… Or I could put my runners on, grab my ipod and go outside and run as hard and as fast and as long as my body will carry me that day because I can.

Tagline

The daily prompt from about a week ago on Daily Post was to discuss the tag line that we would assign for our lives… kind of like you would assign for your blog.

Well, I guess I didn’t do a good job of separating my life from my blog because the tagline from my blog header is actually the tagline for my life.

The time passes anyway…  do something useful with it.

Time doesn’t hold on for us to get our shit together, make decisions or plans.  Hours and minutes go by at the same rate regardless of whether we’re ready for them to pass or not. It’s a cruel game when you think about it. A week could go by… not much in the grand scheme of things… a week to make a decision… a week to make a plan… but you’ve got to be careful because one week turns into two and two turns into twenty and before you know it, half a year has gone by and you could be no closer to your goal, your new path or your future.

This passage of time is no more obvious than when you want to change your body.  One day in December you decide to ‘start tomorrow’ to get your beach body for the following summer.  The holidays happen, you indulge… always tomorrow you’ll start.  January 1st rolls around and you say that your first day back at work will be the day.  Tomorrow never really comes, even tho it comes exactly every day. And before you know it, you’re in the same body as you were in December (or worse), only it’s beach time.  Beach time came and your beach body didn’t… And the worst worst worst part about the passage of time in which time changes but you don’t is regret.  Where could I have been today if I’d started six months ago like I planned?  Why did I let every day slide by only to end up halfway through another year and no where near where I want to be.

The time passes anyway.  And it can hand you an aching regret if you’re not careful.  I wasted a LOT of years letting time pass around me… by me… with no input from me as to where I wanted to go.  I let five Christmases pass where I didn’t see my family because the choice to not see them was easier and less painful than the alternative of trying to stand up for myself.  (Imagine that!  My situation was so acute that the pain of not seeing my family at Christmas was LESS than the pain of standing up for myself.  THAT is hard to live with). The time passed.  Every moment of that time is a moment that I want and can’t have back.

Do something useful with it.  Useful is the word I used.  I could have chosen myriad words to put in the place of useful.  I could have said productive, loving, effective…  Or I could have said the following simple statement. Do Something.  We all know that not making a decision is making a decision (we all know that… right?!?).  Well not doing something is doing something.  Not making a plan, not making a change and not making an effort are all doing exactly the opposite of what you think you want to do.  I say ‘think’ because the reality is that if we wanted change bad enough… if we were ready for change enough, we’d make the change. Making wholesale change in your life is not the same in reality as it is depicted in the movies.  I have a burning memory of watching some Ashley Judd movie where she’s in jail and she decides to put her ‘time’ to good use and turns herself into an athlete.  Of course the 35 seconds of a film compilation is ‘exactly’ the same as real life right?  No where does it mention that it takes her two years and some, if not all of the time, it hurts.   Real, wholesale change of your life is a dripping faucet… not a firehose.  It’s a tiny bit every day that is moving in the direction you want to go in.  It’s a dollar in a jar every day.  It’s no snacks in the evening every day.  It’s a kind word said to yourself in the mirror every day.  And as time passes and you spend a moment every day when that six months finally passes, you’ll see just how far you’ve come.  But because change is so very slow and methodical and each day builds on the next, you really must waste no more days as time passes…

I want to say that I found the last thing on Instagram or some other ‘inspirational’ poster site, but really, I just made it up, so if it sounds stupid, that’s why. This is what I ask myself every day.

If I won’t do it today, why would I do it tomorrow?

Ask yourself that.  And then get out there and do something.  Because time is passing.

All By Myself

Years ago I joined up with a Military Boot camp style fitness program.  It was one of the best 18 months of my life.  I worked out 3-5 days a week at 530am-7am with people who would become some of my best friends.  It was incredibly motivating to know that I was going to go down to the picturesque Jericho beach to hang out with a group of friends.  The work was hard and sometimes intimidating but I gave it my best and I got into some of the best conditioned shape of my life to that point.  I had people who counted on me and who I counted on.  It was a surreal time in my life to say the least.  When the owners of the program pulled out of Vancouver to focus their time and energy on working in their hometowns of Edmonton and Calgary, the dynamic changed with the new head trainer and then when the dynamic changed too much, it was all folded up and closed down.  I tried a couple other boot camp style programs and I tried to get along with the head trainer that had set up his own shop but the magic had gone.  Around this same time my personal life started its long slide into hellish oblivion… not good timing.

What I realized just recently is that even though I was motivated and consistently worked out… even though I was the one that had to get out of bed every morning and go do the work… I never learned how to rely only on myself.  Many times I went because I wanted to see my friends… because I knew they would miss me if I wasn’t there and because they were counting on me.  I didn’t go because I had any sort of mental strength or fortitude.  I didn’t go because I wanted to get stronger.  I essentially had a crutch to lean on to keep me motivated and when that crutch was gone, I was in trouble.

I came to this realization two days ago when the head trainer contacted me on twitter and invited me back to his program with the ‘enticing’ note that my friends were waiting for me and that they missed me.  Besides the fact that we do NOT get along, I know things about him I can’t get over and it’s not convenient or in my budget, I realized that this journey I’m on… I have to take it alone.  I have to know myself and know my own motivations and know my own strengths and weaknesses.  Leaning on a group of friends again would be great…it would be easy but it wouldn’t help me grow as a person and it wouldn’t teach me what I need to know about myself.

When I run after work or on the weekends, or go to my weightlifting coach, I do so under my own power.  No one but me knows when I do or don’t run… my friends would never know if I said I was running or working out and then didn’t.  And that’s the way I want it.  I want to be accountable to myself and only myself.  I need to nurture the strength I’m developing to be able to stand on my own in the face of everything that life chucks at me and be firm and grounded in what I value.  And one of the things that I’m coming to value most out of anything is my own personal strength.  I can hear my thoughts, I can be still and quiet with my contemplations and processing of information and stimuli.  And I can love myself enough to do something for me that is only for me.  I eat the way I want and work out the way I want because in the end the only accountability I have is to the voice in my head and in my heart.  And the last thing I need right now… in the fledgling state of learning to hold myself up… is an easy way out.

Boxes be Damned!

I have an ongoing aversion to things in boxes.  (unless you’re planning on getting me presents, in which case I don’t mind those types of things in boxes… especially things in those really pretty Tiffany blue boxes… )

Anyway, since that’s unlikely to happen, I think it’s safe to say that I have an aversion to things in boxes.  I don’t like the looks of boxes stacked up anywhere…. I know that’s what a lot of people use their basements or garages for but even then, I think that things in boxes just invites critters, bugs and anxiety.

Around last August, my friend and I went through some boxes that I had packed before I moved of clothes that didn’t fit… we looked at them, threw some definitely ugly things away and then packed it all up and put it in boxes in my spare room closet.  And ever since that day, the spare room closet has bugged me.  My toolbox (which won’t close anymore, but that’s another story) has sat precariously perched on a pile of clothes… which sat on a lidless Rubbermaid tote with all manner of miscellanea in it… which sat on an empty cardboard box.

Needless to say, anytime I needed my screwdriver or a hammer, it was a nightmare going into that closet.

On Sunday, after sleeping late and then making breakfast and putting a load of laundry in, I happened to stumble across a pair of jeans in my closet that I tried on.  They were almost two sizes too big and after a little dance of joy (I’m not a good dancer… please don’t try and picture it!) I remembered the pile.  Since the size of me is going down and the size of my irritation at the boxes of stuff in that closet is most certainly going up, I decided that the best place for those clothes to be is in my closet.  Hung up, folded nicely and waiting for wear. Why would I, a woman who hates boxes, keep beautiful clothes in boxes just because they don’t fit yet?  Good question and one I couldn’t come up with a decent answer for yesterday, so I took on a little project.  Hundreds of articles of clothing, some with the tags on were picked out of the boxes, unfolded, examined and then hung or folded up, based on the size.  I thought it would bug me to see tiny sizes of clothes that I most certainly don’t fit right now but obviously used to.  You know what?  It didn’t bug me at all.  Because every day is a journey to where you are and every day is a journey to move from that spot.  I’m moving.  I’m getting healthier and stronger with each growing minute and while I don’t particularly care to be the size and shape I am now, I don’t cower at pictures of myself or the fact that I don’t fit into my old clothes.  I’m getting there, one step at a time!

The thing about these clothes that are now hanging and folded neatly in my closet is that if I’m not careful, some of them aren’t going to get any wear.  I already see items that are the next size on my journey that will be too warm and bulky for summer and by the time winter rolls around it will be unlikely they will fit me.  I found some articles that were already too big and those have been put in a bag for the donation pile.  I have a lot of beautiful clothes… clothes with great memories, clothes that made me feel strong and empowered and the appropriate place for those is in the closet, not in a box hidden away somewhere. They need to be tried on in a somewhat regular fashion and they need to be respected, just as I am starting to respect myself.