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365 Days - 1 YEAR!


So today folks it has been 1 year since I began eating clean.

I have mixed emotions about today.

Not because I am not excited about my life changing choices.

However, the way this day started a year ago I had to say goodbye to my son, my dog, Shakespeare.

He was my protector, my guardian, my heart and for 13 years he was my right hand man. The one thing in my life I was sure of and I knew he always had my back no matter what the circumstances. He proved that time and time again. He loved me just as much as I loved him.

So today, a year ago… I had to abruptly say good bye to him. As any good dog mom would do, I ended his suffering even though I had a broken heart.

Leaving the vet office that day I saw the sky was lit up with the most beautiful sunset and two amazing rainbows. I knew, even though he had crossed over… he was still my guardian but now my angel.

Still watching, still protecting… put one foot in front of the other and I would be ok.

So prior to this moment I just had returned from vacation, I had planned on eating the Whole30. Grocery shopped, produce stand, market and then home to prep my food.

September 15th 2014 was a Monday. I expected to be at work that morning not at the vet’s office making a disheartening decision.

Many times before when situations like this would arise all of my good choices, good decisions would be out the window. I would say things like, it’s been a long day… then console myself with a warm delicious pizza or comfort food like mac and cheese.

I was just home from the vet’s office, sitting on the couch ingesting all that had happened…

Hours had passed and I thought about saying to my best friend, “let’s go out and get some dinner” “It’s been a long day” then I heard a voice.

You know that internal voice that speaks sometimes when either you want it to or don’t…

This time I heard it say “you had prepped all that food, make the plate you were planning on having.” “If you can choose yourself over your heartache today, you can do this any day”

So I did, I got up made two plates handed one to her as well as one for myself. I said “eat what you can, we need to eat…”

Then sat back down.

What I didn’t know at the moment, was that I made the first decision and the best decision for me. Not only that but it was life changing. It was the click in my brain that I always wanted to make.

Time after time I wanted something to resonate with me inside… change my mental state to no longer get on that rollercoaster I have always rode with food and my weight. You know the one, up and down up and down… higher and down… up and down.

That was the hardest and best decision I have ever made in my entire life. It was the paradigm shift I needed.

So throughout the year, I had choose me first over countless choices. Holidays, birthday, anniversaries, weddings, showers, work functions… constantly I am surrounded by obstacles. What I learned was the more and more I choose me, the more and more I was choosing to love me.

I learned how to say “no” to not only food but outside influences. I noticed that sometimes it mattered to others when I wouldn’t have a piece of the birthday cake… or join in because everyone else was. I was constantly put in a place of standing up for choosing myself. I heard several times “it’s all in moderation” or “just once won’t hurt you”… I would always politely respond but typical response would be something like “it may be in moderation for some people, but not for me thanks” or “some people can have one, but I can’t so no thank you”

Then my favorite was a good friend was a little taken back that I didn’t have a piece of their birthday cake. This was a new thing for them because people who know me I am always joining in any party. I sat there and sipped my water, sung with everyone else but this friend was pouting in their own way I didn’t join in fully. I looked at them and said “you’ll be alright”.

I never blamed anyone for the pressure of wanting me to partake. I grew up with an Italian grandmother and great grandmother… so trust me eating is the event.

However, I had to separate the thought that eating was not the event. Realize that I had celebrated the birthdays, holidays and whatever a million times over… with food the way I wanted. That this time is different but it is more about the moment… the people… I was ok with not eating the food, if there was no good choices for me. What mattered is that we were all sitting here, with each other. That’s where the value is and will remain.

A year ago:

I was 100 lbs heavier. I walked a 2K but was in extreme pain. I had knee pain, back pain, extreme migraines and terribly swollen ankles.

Today:

I am 100 lbs lighter (still pending my latest inches and final weigh in, in the morning). I can easily walk 4-5 miles a day. The only pain I now get is after a long kickboxing or core workout.

So with my reflection today, I dedicate this year to you… my guardian/my angel.

Thank you for all the gifts you have given to me.

“In your loss, I found the strength I always knew I had” – Stephanie Collins (stated 43 weeks ago – 43 lbs lost)

XO

Steph