Be your own cup of tea <3

Why do people always feel they have to be liked by everyone? This is something I’ve spent a lot of time pondering lately, whether it be my dating chronicles, or people being upset over IG/Social Media. Even at my highest weight, I was never offended by someone who told me I wasn’t their type. Let me throw this out there in the most blunt way I know how….NOBODY is EVER going to be everyone’s type. Ever. And there is NOTHING wrong with that. Not being someone’s type, or cup of tea has nothing to do with your self-worth, your intelligence, your sense of humor, or even your level of attractiveness. What floats one boat might sink another and it’s not a personal affront to be told you would be a metaphorical anchor.

I know personally that I have a type. I have always gone for more athletic guys with leaner or more muscular bodies. Preferred height (because I am tall), and a smile that can light up a room.  Does that mean I haven’t dated other types or that I can’t find other types attractive? Of course not. Does that mean that other men are LESS because they are not what sexually does it for me? Of course not!! In that same token, I might be too tall, or to fat, or any number of things and it’s what makes the world go ‘round.

How boring would life be if everyone thought everyone else was perfect. Our differences are what makes us incredible! The fact that when you connect with someone on both a physical and emotional level is special….is special for a reason. Because chemistry and connection don’t just happen with anyone (unless you are a super drunk frat boy haha JK).

Embrace the rejection. Embrace that someone might scroll past your photo and not like it. Be ok with the fact that maybe your look isn’t what grabs someone because I am sure you’ve done the same. Nobody should troll your photos or say nasty things, but if you put yourself out there on social media or in the dating world…. you’re open for rejection. I have learned this time and time again. There are plenty of times where I post a photo on IG and it does terribly. I will get half the number of likes that I usually do vs other photos. Do I get upset, or think I’m ugly? Of course not, because I’m the same girl regardless. I own who I am. Own who you are. Own the rejections as well as the compliments. Do I love when I get a ton of likes, hell yea! Haha. I mean, we post to be seen and to share, and I love knowing I have reached as many of you as possible. But if I don’t on that particular day, that’s ok too. That doesn’t mean I’m less worthy or less attractive all of a sudden or less liked.

Self-love really is the best love. It’s the purest and truest form of love. It comes from a place that is unshakeable. I loved myself at 360 lbs and I embraced the rejection I quite often received. If I had a dollar for how many times I heard, “but you have such a pretty face…if only you’d lose weight!” And now (although full-disclosure, rejection from a physical standpoint is less for me these days), I still embrace any rejections that might come my way as what isn’t meant to be simply won’t be!  At the end of the day I know I have a good heart, a good soul. I love deeply and passionately and will do anything for the people I love the most…and that is self-acceptance on the purest level that nobody can take from me. We are all beautiful inside and out in our very own special way, and don’t you forget it!

Much love to every single one of you,

Irena

 

Under The Weather= Junk Food?

I’ve been sick. REALLY freaking sick. I hadn’t been that sick in years. I was so sick with Strep throat that I couldn’t even swallow. A steroid course and a few days of antibiotics later and I’m first now just starting to feel like myself.

What I want to talk about though is food. How come healthy eating seems to go right out the window the minute we get the sniffles. It’s not cultural, religious, a matter of age or sex or race….we all seem to do it! We look to food for comfort the minute we start to feel under the weather. The thing is, it’s exactly what our bodies DON’T need at that point. We are run down, feeling lethargic and tired. Our bodies are aching and what we need is plenty of fluids, fruits, veggies, and to replenish our bodies with the nutrients we are losing while fighting off whatever we have. Yet as soon as I feel even a cold coming on….I want cookies, and cake, and pasta, and pizza and puppy cuddles. Ok, ok….that last one maybe just is me haha. I couldn’t even swallow and yet all I thought of was junk food!

Some of us clearly cope differently than others and resist temptation. I won’t say better, because who am I to judge. We are all adults and can make our choices, so saying “better choices” is wrong in my opinion. Maybe the phrasing is appropriate choices. Some of us clearly cope differently and make more appropriate to the situation choices than others.

I for one had this notion that as I lost weight and saw the weight come off I would never want these bad foods again…because why would I want the things that got me to where I was in the first place. Why would I want these trigger foods that I know could result in my failure to lose or even worse, gain!? (Any of you feel the same way or have that same idea of life post-weight loss?) But two years out and 135 lbs later and you know what…I crave it. I do. I WANT junk food. It scares me sometimes how much I want it. Knowing that my pants might get a little tight and I might not be moving the scale in the right direction is not always enough to talk me down off that proverbial junk food ledge. It’s something I am working on and will probably work on consistently for the rest of my life….but these foods are an addiction. I will save a whole blog about food addiction for another time, but the struggle is SO real.

I want to be someone who just doesn’t want it. Someone who says food is fuel and nothing more. Someone who eats to live and doesn’t live to eat, but it’s not me. It’s not how I was raised, it’s not how I cope with things, I tried and I’ve failed. I still turn to sweets. I still crave pizza and tacos and pasta every damn day…but thankfully I do and will continue to make better choices now. I don’t give in to all my cravings like I used to. Some days I fall off the wagon, and then I get right back up and on it instead of making it a month-long binge of doom.

So I guess what I’m saying is, it’s ok to not be a different person post extreme weight loss (not that you need my validation!). I’m saying to myself, it’s ok not to be a totally different person post extreme weight loss. It’s a matter of knowing who I am, and learning to deal with my habits, triggers and coping mechanisms in different ways. Maybe we will always be people who turn to ice cream and cookies when we get sick, but maybe we buy a single serving of ice cream instead of a gallon, or a single pack of cookies instead of 3 different boxes. Now that I’m back on the mend and feeling myself again, it’s time to stop “allowing” myself cheats. It’s time to be hold myself more accountable and this is the first step.

When I started this journey I had so many expectations and at the same time I had no idea what to expect at all. The fact that I am two years out and still figuring it out….maybe that’s ok too! Here’s to the upcoming week and making good choices!!

Much Love,

Irena

(My under the weather puppy snuggle pics. They’re the best company ever! Don’t mind my face…look at those puppy faces <3)

 

My Surgiversary

I missed posting about my two year surgiversary. It was July 21. With all the things going on in my life (more than I’ve even remotely shared), it came and went. It’s not that I didn’t acknowledge it, I just wasn’t ready to talk about it. Honestly, I was feeling disappointed in myself for not having “achieved more.” Well…my mom gave me a stern talking to, and after much reflection I decided I need to talk about it. I’ve lost 135 lbs. A whole other adult person is off my body forever. I have also turned my entire eating habits around, changed my physical fitness lifestyle, got a new job and become, so far, the best version of myself I could be. Do I think I should’ve lost more…yup. Is my journey over? HELL NO. Not even close! This isn’t a race. This isn’t timed. I need to stop comparing others’ lives and bodies and abilities to my own. Even if it takes me another year to get to my goal (which is to lose another 45 lbs) I WILL get there. Even just this week, I had put on about 8 lbs in working my new job…just with long hours, drinking more alcohol, less time at the gym….and I’m already down 6!

I CAN DO THIS.

Every year for my birthday (which was July 9th), I used to make the same birthday wish. I used to wish I could get it together and lose weight. To have the strength, and courage and determination to not let myself down another year. And every year I’d start out well during the summer and then my seasonal effective disorder would kick in and I’d be a miserable hibernating bitch all winter, lose all momentum, and gain it all back. Well by summer would roll back around and I’d be mentally feeling great again…it’d be time to make that same birthday wish all over again. I’d been making that wish since my 13th birthday. I just turned 31. Last year was the first time ever that I didn’t have to make that wish because my journey was already in progress and this year I’m proud to say, that wish is a distant memory. It’s something I will never take for granted, but will never have to wish again.

As I sit here and think of all those wishes gone unfulfilled I only have myself to blame…but the time for blame is over. The time for blaming myself still is over. I have reached 2 years into my new life. 2 years of hard work and dedication; trying to unlearn and un-live 16 years of bad habits and poor choices. 16 years of failures and empty promises to myself. When I think of it that way, I am doing amazing. I have become someone a few years ago I never thought would be possible and I now don’t just wish, I KNOW that I can be more. I can be better. My next birthday can be even more amazing then that last!

To all of you struggling thinking it’s not enough. That you’re not enough. Be proud of your progress. Every day is another day to make a positive change for yourself. If you wake up every day wanting something so bad…wishing on every candle…it’s meant to be! As long as you’re willing to work for it. I am still two years later willing to work my proverbial and slightly literal ass off for it. My goals don’t end here.

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My new start. My new life. I own it…and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to be proud of it.

Much love,

Irena

Continue reading “My Surgiversary”

Non-Scale Victories

20139988_10102603487212694_7854835997086307669_nI’m coming up on my two year surgiversary and I wanted to talk a little about this weekend…and non-scale victories. To say they don’t still shock me sometimes is an understatement. I forget. I forget I’ve lost the weight. I forget that people don’t see me the same anymore. Sometimes I forget I’m not that same 360 lb girl who just couldn’t, because of her size.

I started off my Sunday kayaking. It’s a smaller kayak, one where the weight limit is 250 and it’s not really meant to push the limit because you will flip it over if you do. I LOVE the fact that I didn’t even have to think twice about getting in and rowing off shore. I love the fact that I didn’t have to worry if my legs would fit, or if my butt would fit, or if I would have the stamina to get far out there off shore and row myself back. I was out on the water for 2 straight hours. Didn’t come back in, and didn’t stop besides for photo ops. I felt free. Freedom is something you don’t often feel as someone over 300 lbs. You feel trapped, squished, overwhelmed, discouraged, judged….the list goes on. When you can just enjoy and go, and do….now that is a victory!

I finished off my Sunday at the Incubus concert. Now most of you who’ve ever been to any sort of concert you’re either standing/sitting on the lawn, or you have tickets. I was lucky enough that my dad got me killer tickets….but then you deal with the dreaded seat. The stadium seating. The fold up kind we all know and hate. Tiny seats meant to pack as many people in as possible. The amazing part was that I fit. I fit in that seat comfortably. I crossed my legs sitting in that seat! I was able to sit back, enjoy the show, and not once think about encroaching on someone else’s personal space! Actually, I felt terrible because the woman next to me was a big woman and she was trying her best to take up as little space as possible even though she was actually sitting partially on my seat as well. I saw her trying to keep her thighs together as to not be on top of me, and yet she couldn’t, and ended up having her leg against mine. I remember being her. The last time I was at that concert venue I was her! Of course I was polite and smiled and would never make her feel uncomfortable about being in my personal space because I know the other side of the coin ALL too well. But it got me thinking….as I sat and enjoyed my concert how many people weren’t. How many people might be struggling to make themselves “smaller,” at that very moment. How many people might be shifting over and over in their seat trying to get comfortable with a body that was just too large to fit. I felt sad for those people, because I was those people. I wished they could know what it was like to be on my side of the coin, because it’s wonderful. It’s freedom.

Even writing this blog post I am sitting on the train and I am no longer the girl who is too big to have a laptop in her lap. My belly doesn’t get in the way of me typing on a train or a plane. I am sitting next to a gentleman who has two huge shopping bags and a backpack and we are comfortably seated without infringing on one another’s personal space. I no longer feel when I get on the train that I’m the person people cringe to have to sit next to. I actually get hit on when I’m on the train from time to time which in and of itself is a mind fuck haha (but that’s a blog post for another day).

For all of you out there enjoying these same freedoms as I am now, remember you’re blessed. Whether it was VSG, RNY, Banding, none of the above….if you’ve never been overweight even but are reading this and can’t quite relate to what I’ve been saying….you’re blessed. Take a moment today to be proud of how far you’ve come and remember where you started!

For those of you who are still living the before. Who are struggling and trying and just aren’t there yet…I understand. When I say I understand it’s not in that condescending way that people tell you they “get you.” I lived it. For 20 years. I was you. Part of me will always be like you, struggling, fighting, pushing forward, not wanting to ever go back. Be strong. You can be anyone you want to be when you try hard enough. Keep pushing, and working and going because trust me, it’s fucking worth it. You’re worth it. Freedom is worth it. ❤

Much love,

Irena

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Real Talk…

Honesty time….I’ve been struggling. I have been stagnant now with my weight loss for the last few months and to be honest I have put most of the blame on my new job and other circumstances. I am SO thankful for my new job, and it’s been amazing and one of the best learning experiences I’ve had work wise to date….but I get zero time at the gym. I miss it. Terribly. I feel like I’m a lesser version of myself now that I’m not going regularly. I’ve also had a lot of “excuses.” It’s a night out with my co-workers! It’s a night out with friends! It’s my birthday! It’s been a long day let me treat myself! …you all know how it goes. The endless cycle of reasons why it’s OK. The reasons we give ourselves and rationalizations we make.

My newest one is my sister. She left today with her husband to move to Florida. If you know one thing about me it’s that my sister is and always will be my very best friend. We have literally done everything together, forever….and the fact that that’s going to change now makes me incredibly sad. What do we do when we are sad? We eat. What do we do when we are saying goodbye? We eat. What do we do when we are celebrating? We eat. I know my sister moving down there is the best thing for them. They’re starting this new chapter of their lives and I honestly couldn’t be more excited for them. They are young and in love and wanting to build a life together in a place they feel they’ll be happiest. Warm sunshine and possibilities. I just can’t imagine a life where I only see my sister a few times a year. I know I will go down and visit them (Already have my trip booked for September thanks to my birthday gifts!) and it will be a wonderful vacation destination….but I never thought of seeing my sister as having to be a trip, or a destination. It will be an adjustment for all of us, but I am taking it hard. Trying to push all my feelings in and my natural inclination from years of bad habits is to eat. I’m going to try my best not to continue to. To think of all the good and that my sister would never want me using her as an excuse for bad habits and behaviors.

When it comes down to it, I am the only one responsible for me. I can’t blame work. I can’t blame sadness or feelings or my sister’s move. I can’t blame my birthday. I have to take care of me. I have done amazing things these past two years but coming up on my surgiversary I need to know I am still pushing and trying and giving my all to myself. I’m not sure what the answer is…maybe there is no “answer,” besides keep pushing! Get my food back on point. It all comes down to input vs output. I know the rules. I know the game. I’ve succeeded immensely and I have to remember that I know how. I will not let me stand in the way of me like I have done so many times before. Do we all have set-backs? Yup! Will I have again in the future? Probably. But for now I am determined. Determined to be the very best version of myself I can be….and that means being honest with myself and you all and getting my ass back on weight loss wagon!

Feel free to comment any suggestions or things that you’ve found helpful in times of stall or frustration or immense stress. I am nothing if not open to anything this amazing community and you awesome people have to give back to me.

Thank you for reading. By reading you’re supporting and it means the world to know you’re all in my corner and we are fighting together! ❤

Much Love,

-Irena

Welcome to my blog!!

Once in a while, you’ve gotta do what other people tell you to do haha. So, here it is! My blog. I’m not sure what direction to take as I have so much to say but no clue if anyone is interested in reading about it…so suggestions are welcome! Leave me comments and let me know what you think would be informative/interesting/exciting to read about. Weight loss questions. Life questions. I’m an open book.18581966_10102495763072734_8835755528804744754_n

I have always been an open book on my Instagram, but I felt it was time to start writing a bit more. When I write those epic captions on Insta, I always feel as if I am burdening you all with what I have to say. So, I figure instead of writing small IG novels, I’ll just bring some of the content here! Longer posts about all different subjects….and even video posts. I’d really love to start doing some candid and real videos (maybe on topics of your choosing if you have things you’d love to know/hear about in particular).

I don’t pretend to lead some exciting life, but I do enjoy the life I lead and I LOVE being able to connect with all of you. The messages I get saying that I have impacted someone’s life, or motivated them…I can’t even tell you what those mean to me. If my honesty in my journey and my struggles, sense of empowerment and even new-found love of living in this body of mine; if that can all inspire someone to make a change then I am truly blessed. Thank you for opening your hearts to me. For the likes, and the love you show me every day. I can’t say thank you enough. You don’t even know how when I am having a bad day, I go back and re-read your wonderful comments and it turns my day around. So this blog is for you too.

I’ll learn to blog, and try my best to connect with you all and hopefully you will show me the same love here as you do on Instagram.

Much love

-Irena