before and after

>> 11.30.2012

Oh Lord.
I cannot believe I am about to post before and after pictures on the internet, but I believe in this way of eating so strongly that it's worth it to me.
Plus I'm pretty proud of my accomplishments, so why hide in the corner, right?

Left: Before (Oct. 22, 2012) Right: After (Nov. 29, 2012)
Left: Before (Oct. 22, 2012) Right: After (Nov. 29, 2012)

Left: Before (Oct. 22, 2012) Right: After (Nov. 29, 2012)

Left: Before (Oct. 22, 2012) Right: After (Nov. 29, 2012)

And this is just because I'm proud of my guns.

So, here are the numbers that I've got so far:

Hips before/after: 38.5"/ 36" (2.5" lost)
Waist before/after: 33"/ 29.5" (3.5" lost)
Thighs before/after: 24"/ 22.5" (1.5" on each side, 3" total)

Total inches lost: 9"

I don't have my weight yet, because I haven't gotten a chance to get to the gym and use the same scale (Jameson came down with croup three days ago and we're running on too little sleep and too much caffeine), however I'm hoping that the numbers will be pretty good.

Now. Here's where the honesty comes in.
Am I completely happy with myself when looking at these?

I still see the bulges and the rolls, BUT, I can definitely tell a difference and that is important. It's also encouraging enough to keep me eating this way for the long foreseeable future, especially coupled with how I feel. Not to mention that I got these results after only ONE MONTH. 
--My energy levels are stable throughout the day, something I've never experienced before (and with a toddler, this is even more amazing to me).
--I haven't had any more stomach pain or issues since I started my whole30, something that hasn't happened for years.
--After the initial week and a half of awfulness, I have had hardly any headaches, which was something I was experiencing daily.
--My mental issues with food are still there, but I'm gaining insight into them and learning that this is a marathon, not a sprint. My relationship with food is something I'll be working on my entire life, but I am now confident that I can handle this.

I have plenty of other things to say in regards to my thirty days and all of the thought processes and things I have been working through, but I'm too tired to string coherent sentences together right now, so I'll leave it at that.
Please be nice.

(If you're interested in the whole30, check this website out or buy the book!)



>> 11.25.2012

Watch out for giant spiders that crawl on you in the middle of the night.
 It's Sunday morning, and ever since I've had a child that wakes up earlier than I would like, I've begun to experience what life can be like on a Sunday morning before "get ready for church" madness starts.
There is time to sit and drink coffee and wander through Facebook, and think about things I don't normally have time to think about.

Like all of the dreams I once had, and the way reality has played out so different (but also aligned right up) than I thought it would.

I wanted to be a missionary in Africa for a good chunk of my life.
I'd go to missions conferences at church and soak up everything the visiting speakers had to say, and I could see myself there, living in a cave and telling people about Jesus. I wanted to live the rough missionary life--the one with no electricity, no modern amenities, no distractions from the reason I was there.
When I went to Panama and stayed in a hut in the middle of the jungle, and slept on a slatted wood floor, being woken up by monkeys and goats running underneath our house on stilts, I knew that I was in a place I could stay forever. I could see my life stretching out in front of me, and I was thrilled. The world wasn't big enough for me, and I wanted to go everywhere and live with everyone and love them.
So I went to Moody as an International Ministries major, telling myself that I wouldn't let anything distract me from my goal of going out and living in discomfort so that others could hear the gospel.

These babies were so sweet.

Obviously, things changed a bit. *wink*

I got married, and had a baby, and although I did move to a foreign country, it is a thoroughly Western foreign country and I'm not exactly living in a cave like I had planned.
In fact, I'm living on the knife edge between "desperation" and "enough", so much so that often my thoughts are consumed with figuring out ways to get just a little more, so that I can be just a little more comfortable.
I am distracted by things and this is the opposite of everything I ever wanted.

I definitely got bit about 2.5 seconds after this photo was taken.

I am an all-or-nothing kind of person.
In order to shape my character, I have to make the change all at once and cut the offending issue out completely. 
No "adjustment period", no "gradual change" because I'll just slip right back into that habit.

I wanted to be a missionary in a third-world country because I knew that if I didn't have the option of having something, I wouldn't want it as much, and I wouldn't be distracted from my whole purpose of being there in the first place. 
No nail salons around? Guess I don't really want a manicure that badly after all.
No electrical outlets? I don't need to blow-dry my hair.
No clothing stores? I don't need clothes that make me look skinny/fashionable/etc.

I shared the hut with this lovely and his parents.

I think a lot of this is coming up since we're getting ready to move back to America, the land of even more excess, and I am worried about who I am going to become. 
I know who I want to be, and I know who I am, and I don't necessarily know how to make the two match up.
Maybe it's copping out, to just ask for all of the temptations to be taken away, and maybe I'd still struggle with jealousy and covetousness just as much, but...but. I'll never know.

And I think I've got the word "failure" rolling around in my head for so many reasons.

Our society always raises up those people who didn't let anything (or anyone) distract them from their purpose in life, and I always wanted that for myself. To be so focused on what I was supposed to do that I didn't let anything get in the way.
So now that I'm here, worrying about cars and houses and furniture and Christmas presents, I just can't help but shake my head in disgust at how very far away I am from where I thought I'd be.
Not only that, but I'm leaving this "foreign" country where I thought we'd be living forever after only two years, and that kind of feels like a failure as well. 
And I know that it's not. I know that we're not crawling back to America with our tails between our legs, but that we're making the decision to move where we feel like we ought to be, but...but. The perfectionist in me is still crying out, "Can't you see anything through? Why do you give up in the middle of everything?"

And sometimes I just don't know how to keep her quiet.

It was so hard to get these two to sit still for the camera.


wake-up call.

>> 11.16.2012

My lovely, wonderful, adorable, sunshine-of-my-life son decided to wake up sometime in the 3 o'clock hour and harass me until I got out of bed with him at 5:15 this morning.


So I am tired and kind of cranky, but trying to convince myself that my coconut milk creamer isn't spoiled, and it just looks like that in my coffee cup because it wants to be different this morning. Right? Right.

I've been quiet on here for awhile. I'm not sure when I'll pick it back up regularly. We've got a lot going on, and choosing to sit and write a blog post is usually way down on my list of priorities. Maybe after we move, I can pick it back up.

Because, oh yeah, I've got a few announcements:

We are moving back to America!
This move has been in the works for awhile, but we only felt like we could announce it recently, since it looks like Hubs green card process is going to wrap itself up smoothly. 
Our plane tickets are bought and our final interview at the embassy is in a little less than a month.
I am slightly terrified that everything will go wrong and I will forget all the paperwork or something disastrous will happen, but barring all of that, I think Hubs should be approved fairly easily and then we've got a green light to get life started in the Land of the Free. 

We eat like cavemen now!
This is probably not as cool of an "announcement", but I've had a few people that have been interested in all of this whole30 business that I've been talking about for the past few weeks, so I figured I might as well mention it. 
Hubs is on Day 25 of his whole30, and I am on Day 19. So far it's going really well, and we are starting to reap the benefits that are talked about in the book. I'm not sure how much weight I've lost, but I know that I'm at least a few inches slimmer (I had to tighten my belt by an extra hole, and my jeans are loooose) and I'm finally getting rid of that small spare tire that Jameson left me with after he was born. My digestive issues have stopped since Day 1, and I am excited to get to the reintroduction part and figure out exactly which foods were causing me problems. I know gluten was one of the major culprits, but I'll be interested to see if I'm sensitive to all the grains as well.
Anyway, if you've got any questions, feel free to ask.
Depending on how confident I can get, I might post before an after pictures, if you guys promise not to laugh and love me no matter what. Might. As in maybe.

Aaaaand. That's it so far. I am pumped for Christmas this year. I've got 25 Days of Christmas planned out to do with Jameson, and I cannot wait for December 1, so that we can get started. We'll be in England for the holiday season this year, since we will be moving back to the States shortly afterwards, so I am trying to combat my homesickness with an extra dose of holiday cheer. 
Thanksgiving is going to be low-key since I'll be working (I guess that's another "announcement"--I got a part-time holiday job at LUSH and am really loving it. I'm hoping to transfer to a store in America when we move home, because now that these amazing products are in my life, I don't know how I'm going to a)live without them, or b)pay full-price!)

p.s. To those 50 people that still read this blog, thanks for sticking around. I do feel bad about the lack of posts lately, but for the sake of my anxiety and my family, I am taking a step back until I feel slightly more in-control of my life. I appreciate the patience/encouragement/general awesomeness of you all.


two weeks and two years.

>> 11.01.2012

Oct. 31, 2010's been a few weeks since I've opened up this page and put words on it for you to read.
I don't know what that means.
As always, I am torn about how much time to dedicate to this, how much headspace I want to give up, and whether or not this is something I should commit myself to doing regularly.
There are lots of threads that are attached to this knot, so it's not as easy to untangle as you might think.
I'll get there one day.


It's been two years since I looked out the window of an airplane flying across the Atlantic, and saw England waiting for me from the sky. 
Two years since Jameson was a baby bean in my belly, and I packed up all my stuff and my husband and filled that one-way ticket to the UK.
Two years since I cried myself to sleep that night because "what have we done?" and "I want to go home, but I don't know where it is."

Two long, quick, excruciating, overjoyed years.
The hardest years of my life, without a doubt.
The years that have brought the biggest blessing of my life.

I feel like I should have something more profound to say.

I remember back in those first few months, thinking, "I will not make it here for two years. I don't think I can survive."
I remember looking at the expiry date on my visa and thinking that date would never come.

But, as ever and as always, here we are. 
Two years later.
With bumps and bruises and struggles and wins.

I'm stronger and different, and it's a strange feeling to live in suspension for two years, but it's coming to a close soon.
And I wonder what little thing it is that I'm going to miss the most.

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