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The fire beneath my feet is burning bright.

A couple nights ago I shared with Chris my ribcage. Years ago (2014) I weighed much less and my ribcage was a great source of pride. I had worked hard for that weight loss.

I had worked hard to overcome a crippling binge eating disorder. I had worked hard to find truth behind the lies of body dysmorphia. My success was evident in my body.

Then I consumed sugar (an orange, to be specific) for the first time in years and my eating disorder reminded me it was alive and well. Then I got pregnant and miscarried (2015). Eventually I got pregnant and had a baby (2016). Then postpartum happened. And sleep deprivation and stress and unhealthy eating patterns.

Life spiraled.

I gained and lost weight. I did Whole30 multiple times (2017). And keto a few. But something that strict felt like overkill. I wanted to learn to navigate healthy while not restricting sugar.

Previously (2010-2014) I had lived a strict Whole30 lifestyle for three+ years. Never touching any grains or fruit. Only consuming meats, healthy fats and the vegetables that didnt bother me. I felt good and never wanted for more.

I had been content never again consuming sugar, processed or otherwise. It felt safe. Sugar was my heroin. I had said it so many times.

But then suddenly (2018) life felt so different and “staying clean” with food was so freaking hard. I wanted sugar all the time. I was a fiend for it and I chased the rabbit hole in search of rock bottom. I’d hoped rock bottom would neutralize sugar for me. I’d hoped drowning in terrible coping mechanisms would give me time opportunity to learn safe ones.

I’d hoped it would do that before I caused irreparable damage and insurmountable weight gain.

It felt like a gamble. But it felt like a gamble that was worth it.

Last November I committed to Rachel Martin one food related change. Six weeks before everyone else was making New Years’ resolutions, she challenged me to dive head first into a headstart. I began with a food window. Much like intermittent fasting, except I wasn’t logging anything except the time. I needed permission to stop eating after dinner. I needed safeguards to not eat the moment I woke up.

Days turned to weeks turned to months. I was doing it. I could eat full on crap all through my window if I wanted. I didn’t want this time around to be about the food. I wanted it to be about the time. I was committed to clawing my way toward a healthy relationship with food by exhausting unhealthy. Only two things were required: food window from noon til 7pm and the first thing I eat is always a healthy, nutrient dense meal.

Enter a long season of a healthy breakfast at noon followed by hours of ice cream and chips and muffins and cookies and whatever the hell else I deemed in the name of “no restrictions”. Months later I called it quits on many of those things. Not out of fear or a need to restrict, but because I felt crappy. I wasn’t getting the physical results I wanted. Most importantly, I felt worse instead of better emotionally. I was looking for comfort and safety in the nonstop eating, and finding overwhelm and instability instead.

Enter Rachel and Dave Hollis and their next90 challenge.  This centers around five principles tended to daily.

  • Pen to paper five things I’m grateful for.
  • 30 minutes of moving my body.
  • Getting up an hour early for “me” time.
  • Drink half my weight in ounces of water.
  • Cut one food item you know you shouldn’t be eating.

I stopped eating cough drops, which had become a huge crutch. I had appreciated that I had found a hard candy made with sugar instead of corn syrup. And I abused the fuck out of them. For months. I ate them instead of eating, even tho I was still eating so much. And it was ridiculous. Next90 was just the excuse I needed to stop eating them. It was a relief in fact. Two and a half weeks later I committed to no more ice cream as well. It felt good to not rely on the familiar, destructive habits. It felt good to give myself the opportunity to find positive, constructive ones.

Here we are now in May and I’m noticing my ribs. For many days I noticed my ribs and I would touch them and play with them and feel the way my skin feels against them. I’d contemplate how in years past feeling thinner would be a huge trigger for me. How losing fat was the awesome success that turned into my downfall.

I showed Chris.

Chris got that adorable smile on his face. That smirky smile that is part turned on and part beaming with pride. And then he asked me how it feels. Because we ask each other stuff like that.

And I said that it feels weird.

And then he asked me this: how are you going to celebrate your accomplishment?

I was stopped in my tracks.

My accomplishment.

Suddenly it was all a different perspective. No need to get wrapped up in triggering thoughts or fear. No need to feel consumed by fear failure or success. No need to borrow trouble.

I can feel my ribs and know my body speaks for my hard work. I can take pride in my accomplishment and celebrate it. I can reap the benefits of fat minimizing and muscle maximizing.

I can allow my brain and my mindset to catch up with all the healthy, just as I allow my body to. It’s another reminder from the universe that I’ve got this. And the universe has me.

Uncategorized

Like the ceiling can’t hold us.

Before I even make my coffee this morning, I want to share what my life affords me.

I woke up this morning to this.

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There are clean dishes in the drain board from 24 hours ago. There’s crap on the island. A day’s worth of dirty dishes in the sink. Nothing’s been disinfected.

The living room was scattered with papers and some haphazard books. Gym blocks in disarray. Bath toys littering the carpet. There’s a load of laundry to be folded and another yet to be washed.

You want to know what this represents to me?

A day well spent with my attention elsewhere.

My life–my amazing freaking life–my I practice and practice and practice life–my I get back up again life–affords me this moment. I could focus yesterday without micromanaging all of the home tasks. I could eat a meal without care if the dishes were washed. My routines (even taking a day off from them) afford me only an hour of catchup time today to get everything back to normal. My mindset work afforded me the ability to not even consider that someone else should wash the dishes yesterday. Never did I play the victim and think, “well, if no one can even give me the damn day, I guess I have to stop this important conference to wash a dish.” Never did I even think to entertain “I just want to watch the speakers, but L wants attention too and now I have to give up my dream!”

No! I am so much more than that.

I didn’t give a shit about the dishes. I didn’t think someone else should do them. I was grateful for the times Chris took L to play in the other room, but I was just. as. grateful. for all the moments L spent with me too! I incorporated him into my conference. I welcomed him. And he loved it! He felt loved.

My conference ended around 6:30. I was freaking glowing. Chris was on a call outside and L and I danced around the living room for the hundredth time, as my calves burned from the day.

I could have cleaned the house then. I even considered it. Wanna know what I did instead? I went outside and I played with my kid. Because even tho I spent a great part of the day with him, my attention was split. My life affords me that too. So we went outside and chased monsters and threw Spiderman webs and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

Later we went to the store. Still no clean kitchen. Later L went to bed. Still no clean kitchen. Even later than that Chris and I had amazing freaking sex. Still no clean kitchen.

And it was never a freaking thought in my head.

And so today, when I woke up and saw my home. It was the prize. It wasn’t the burden. It was the freaking prize. Because yesterday I lived in abundance. And I loved in abundance. And today my house, which is easily pickup-able, represents all of my progress. All of my glorious progress. And there is just nothing better than that.

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I live to be alive.

RISE fucking LIVE.

Rachel Hollis. Fucking Rachel Hollis.

I have no words.

I want to have words. But I have no words. I just have this overwhelm that seeps from my eyes and labors my breathing. Oh my god, I want to have words! I want to memorialize this moment so I never forget. So I have a place to come back to if it slips away.

But I don’t have words.

RISExLIVE was today. It started at 8:45ish. I got up at 7:30 after going to bed after 3:30. I stood at the laptop propped up on the entertainment center. L sat on Chris’s chair watching a show. Chris Chandler, the emcee, invited us to move our bodies. It felt so freaking lame. My window blinds were open for Christ’s sake.

But today was my day to show up.

So even though it felt so freaking lame, I moved around some anyway. I tried to get into it. I tried to ignore the awkward. I halfassedly did the weird squat positions. I swung my arms, putting just enough effort in to show I wasn’t sitting it out.

I felt lame.

And then Rachel comes out. And she turns lame on its head. Suddenly it’s more important to get my ass moving. At 5-4-3-2-1, I get L to dance with me. We’re Pavlov’s dogs at her command. We succumb to the Rachel. We are freaking in it.

And then the whole internet freaking EXPLODES!

Ha.

Everything is glitchy and people are complaining on the forums and I get to see in real time that those people are not my people. I get to reinforce for myself how much growth I’ve had over the past few years. I don’t even think to be mad about the glitching. I’m barely frustrated.

I committed my whole day to RISExLIVE. I hadn’t even intended to. I’m not even sure what my intention for programming was today. But I stayed through the glitching, and with each new refresh moment (and there were thousands) I uncovered hidden parts of me. I cleared away the cotton and lit the path with lights and I led the way back to me.

This week I will do a breakdown of each speaker. I ended up not watching any of Dave’s, which did hurt a little. It just lglitched out too hard. I would guess that I caught about 60% of 40% of the speakers. But I stayed connected to the entire process all freaking day. Nine hours. Dancing. Connection. Note taking. Moving my body.

By the time Rachel spoke her last class, she was so keenly tuned into my soul, I could feel her energy buzzing into me.

L sat on the entertainment center next to me. A blessing. Warrior company. My partner in crime. Rachel pouring into our souls. Courage and truth overflowing.

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It was a perfect fucking day.

Adventures in running, Uncategorized

I’m done with sleeping.

I said I want to run a 5K and this weird switch happened in my head. Despite all the things I fear and all my insecurities, I don’t give a shit about any of that right now. I just want to run this 5K.

Hell, I don’t even care about running the 5K. I want to train for a 5K. I want to live this process and embrace it so fully, I feel consumed by it. My intention is for there to be nothing I’ve ever committed to more than this, apart from my family.

Last night I said I want this. It would have been so easy today to waylay it. To wait because I didn’t have the perfect training plan yet. Or the perfect running shoes. Or because R was going to run with me, but had to work on chem instead. All I needed was one tiny excuse to not get my ass out there.

But I’m a runner damnit and I will show up for myself. So I went out to the field wearing jeans and Chucks and I embraced that shit. I ignored the story in my head that the neighbors thought I looked stupid. I told myself instead the story of future Jill. Whose neighbors revere her for kicking ass every. damn. day.

My loose plan was to train for 30 minutes–15 second run/45 second walk. Rinse. Lather. Repeat. I ran around and played ball with S all last week! I could do this easy peasy, right?

Ha. That was unreasonably optimistic… 4 minutes in and I was dying and calling it quits in my head.

I thought about Dave Hollis though. And Rachel. I thought about my privilege and my commitment. Maybe I didn’t train for the 30 minutes I expected to. But I trained for 15. And that 15 is fucking huge! It is everything. It is ten more than my body thought it could give.

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*I started the stopwatch late.

And I felt like I was fucking glowing after! I had fought for every second of that run and every cell in my body knew it. It was electric.

I will hold onto this as my first training experience and it will always be the story of how I started running after a lifetime of wishing.

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Tap on my window; knock on my door.

This hilarious thing happened. Where I was listening to the Rise Together podcast and Rachel and Dave were fucking geeking out about their enneagrams and I wanted in on it, despite having previously been vehemently (read: quietly) against taking the quiz. So I stopped the podcast and took a quiz. And apparently I had gone and decided some expectations beforehand because of all of my growth and accomplishments. I thought my results would give me further fuel to kick ass and take names amidst my personal growth journey.

And then I got a 2.

And I was like “what the shit is this?!”

Here I’ve been working on personal growth and growth mindset and so much me me me for a really long time and now I have this thing in front of me saying I do everything for everyone else and at my expense and to top it all off, I disrespect others’ boundaries.

I was not pleased.

To add insult to injury, I had been chatting with Chris about it beforehand and I felt like he had completely dismissed my everything about it. Which then triggered me to remember the random things he has dismissed in the past that mean something to me.

(Side story. The first time was back in 2014 when I went to a neuromusculoskeletal specialist (MD) who gave me an adjustment I was ill prepared for and I experienced my first…I’m not even sure what to call it. I had to navigate trauma that was released from my body. I sobbed. Like, sobbed. The doctor called me a delicate flower and he said it in such a sweet and loving way that he made me feel loved and worthy and strong in a way I had never felt before.

After I navigated this experience I felt so at peace and free and practically giddy and I relayed the whole thing to Chris on the drive home and he was so….mad. And he was so….oversteppingly protective. And then suddenly I felt invalidated and stupid.

This memory hurts. I know he never wants me to feel hurt. I know he wouldn’t want to be the thing doing the hurting. I also know that the reality is, we hurt people without realizing, especially when we ourselves are hurting.

I can view that part objectively. It doesn’t ease the hurt. Both things exist simultaneously.

I don’t purposefully hold onto this. I have never mentioned it to him, tho we did talk about it shortly after it happened. I don’t hold it over his head. It’s not usually any source of resentment or ill feelings. It’s not a chalkboard checklist of ways Chris has done wrong. It’s mostly just a feeling that resurfaces when I feel triggered by invalidation, if I feel unseen, or if there is something I’m interested in that is…not tangible.

The interesting thing to note here is that Chris has interest in things that he himself deems as hokey. It must hurt a lot to follow something, to take stock in it, to have it have meaning to him….and to also invalidate it as crap. I wish he could see that believing in something “other” or spiritually unexplainable doesn’t make him less than.

So it shouldn’t surprise me when he dismisses love languages and enneagram and whatever else could help give him insight into himself or me or our children or the relationships that intermingle all those things.

Also, I want to say, that I have never been anything less than wholly supportive and compassionate about anything he has ever had interest in, be it Jesus/god, when he was super religious, or cigars or pipe tobacco or vaping, for that stint, or when he was blending tobacco or making snuff (ground tobacco) or blending juices and making his own mods. I was present and stood next to him for all of it. Even when he drank. Twice. I show up every time. He could never say I don’t show up. I am there and I support every endeavor and every mistake and every rabbit hole. I listen through every news blip and political rant and all the Joe Rogan and UCF fights and Sargon of Akkad.

And some days I have real, tangible pain that I don’t feel the same in return. Not all the time. Not every day. But enough.

And I know I should say something. And I would. If I had any idea how to. Without it sounding needy or ungrateful or petty.)

So, back to today. I was trying to talk out my feelings about maybe being a 2 (77%). Or perhaps even being a 5 (74%) and he went the route of talking about coding those kinds of quizzes and how stuff like that is easy, and I…I closed off and shut down.

And there was no good way to say “but I want to talk about me”. And…it was such a 2 thing to do and to think.

And even tho it happened 10 hours ago, I’m laugh-crying about the irony and sadness and amusement of it all. I’m certain that any person who was well versed in 2s would say “oh, sweetheart” and envelop me in their arms and I could cry about how much being alive hurts and how much pressure there is and how I never feel seen and usually I’m okay with that, but today it just hurts, and they would get it.

But I don’t know any enneagram people because I don’t feel like I have any connections with people and it is a chasm that deeply aches.

So I’ll cry my good cry and I’ll “through; not around” and I’ll keep chugging along anyway. ‘Cause while I may be a 2, I’m also a fierce fucking fighter and I refuse to ever feel stuck.