hey tampa bae

lol oops it's APRIL

Stacey OswaldComment

Hello all.

It appears that I’ve broken a promise.

The last time I wrote, I promised that my next post wouldn’t be in April 2019. Except… here we are. It’s April 2019. And without the ability to turn back time like Hermione in Harry Potter, I’m going to have to settle into the fact that I broke a promise and, thus, suck at blogging.

“Always keep your promises if you want to keep your friends.” — Jingle All The Way AKA a true Christmas classic.

So… sorry friends. And while I have been busy, especially since I started teaching at DEFINE, that is no excuse to abandon a promise or to forget about my passion for writing/blogging (which is still going strong!).

 
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I’ve decided that this time around, I’m going to casually slink back into posting regularly, without making a big fuss of it. As it turns out, I don’t think I’m very good with fresh starts and new ventures, even though they’re frequently what I crave.

Back in September, around the time of my last post, I decided that I was sick of gaining weight and feeling constantly anxious around food. Typically, when I start a new diet, I make sure that everything is aligned properly to ensure immediate success. I’ll buy a brand new journal to help me track my progress and my food each day… only to find it months later with two used pages. I’ll go the grocery store and spend hundreds of dollars on food that ends up in the trash the next week. I always want to be successful, but I think that’s been my problem— I try too hard, build up expectations, and create black-and-white realities of dieting that send me into a tailspin after three days.

I made the decision to start counting my macros while Adam and I were in Orlando for Halloween Horror Nights. I wasn’t happy with how I looked in pictures, and I wanted to lose weight, once and for all. Adam had been trying to get me to count my macros for months, but I always blew him off. I assumed that adding in such rigid structure would send me right back into my old ED-riddled ways. Even though I was (very secretly) struggling with bulimia at the time, I still felt like “dieting” would make everything worse for me. However, I decided pretty randomly to give it a shot when I got back to Tampa. So halfway through my day on Monday, I calculated my macros on IIFYM.com, downloaded MyFitnessPal, and logged my Starbucks breakfast and frozen meal lunch. I started playing around with options that would help me hit my macros… which forced me to eat a LOT more protein than I was used to. I’m not going to pretend that it was easy figuring all of it out, because I’m sure I’m not remembering everything. But I do remember it feeling easier than past attempts at dieting. It didn’t take up all of my thoughts during every hour of the day. I didn’t feel hungry. I was still eating out and eating the foods I love— including candy and alcohol that very first week. And after about two months, I lost ~15 pounds, which I’ve kept off since then.

 
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I truly believe that the secret to my success was the lack of build-up and anticipation beforehand— I just started one day and kept trying. There were days I went “over” my macros, but those days didn’t feel like failures because I hardly even acknowledged that I was dieting. I didn’t have specific goals, and I didn’t cut out any food groups. For me, it was all about re-framing my approach to losing weight and tricking myself into thinking that it wasn’t such a big deal. I didn’t even record my “before weight” until two weeks in!

Since that life-altering experience, which I’ll probably go into more detail about another time, I’ve learned that the key to success for me is to not plan for success… like at all. Planning is my MO on a smaller scale, but when it comes to big projects and goals, planning can detract from what actually needs to get done. It makes me focus too much energy on the future, and it takes me out of the present moment AKA where the work is happening.

Everything looks better and more beautiful at the end, when the work is already done. When it came to my weight loss, I used to envision this perfect reality where I had beautiful skin and drank 80 oz of water a day and never thought twice about wearing a bikini. Even in the winter, I would maintain a golden-brown glow that never looked orange. And if I went out at night, I would drink a couple glasses of wine and split an appetizer or two, but I would most certainly not eat half a pizza at midnight after pounding tequila shots.

But this overly perfect vision kept me from achieving happiness with my body or with food. It prevented me from enjoying those real human moments we all have, and it stopped me in my tracks before I ever found success.

 
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With blogging, I tend to envision something that requires me to quit my day job and spend all of my time taking pictures and carefully editing them on Lightroom. But I don’t have that kind of time, and I won’t for… probably ever. I don’t allow myself to let blog and social content flow freely, at least anymore. I really want to work to change that, because I miss writing more than I can explain in this post.

So instead of posting this whole “OMG GUYZZZZ IM BACK” thing on social media, I’m just going to post this, sans fanfare, and then hopefully post something else in a couple days. Maybe I’ll put that one on Instagram. But I don’t want to announce my return or anything of the sort. I’m not that big of a deal. And fresh starts are for squares.

TTFN! 👋🏼