Old Hannah vs. New Hannah

I’m baaaaaaack.

A bit of time in Miami had me distracted from my typical posts…but no fear! I am here again.

If it weren’t for the blonde hair, I might not have looked like such a tourist. Ok I lie…the blonde hair was just the start…the fact that my accent turns heads and my Spanish vocabulary consists of only the words gracias, burrito and cerveza doesn’t help either.  With that being said, a southern accent takes you a long way in a place like Miami!

My Happy Place...I stayed 100 yards from here.

Covering a territory from Baltimore to South Beach certainly does have its benefits every once in a while. Despite being there for work related reasons, the trip was amazing, the weather even more amazing, and the company even more amazing than that.

I am now addicted to Cuban food and likely have mojito running through my veins. I dream of 100% humidity and palm trees. That turquoise ocean, that powder white sand…that climate….I was definitely in paradise. But unfortunately, I ate a ton while I was there. And by ton, I mean that I ate enough to send Jenny Craig off the side of the nearest bridge. Not having a kitchen, not being 100% familiar with my surroundings, and late nights at the office made for bad choices on the menu.

I did, however, manage to not completely unravel my progress though….

Not a ton of momentum in the last 2 weeks…but hell, it’s not a gain!

And while in the land of beautiful people…where butt implants and boob jobs are offered at 2 for 1 deals…I discovered how much different I am.

Old Hannah would have been afraid to go to South Beach…to go outside her comfort zone. New Hannah grabbed it by the balls and relished in every second of it.

Old Hannah lacked even the smallest amount of confidence when she walked into a room full of strangers. New Hannah (although sometimes needing some reassurance) put on her strappy 3-inch sandals and strut her stuff right through the crowd.

Old Hannah trusted few and let her guard down for even fewer. New Hannah has learned to trust again.

Old Hannah had little faith in her ability to accomplish anything. New Hannah is 71% of the way to her goal.

Old Hannah felt weak and worthless. New Hannah knows how incredibly strong she is. And how incredibly worthy she is as well.

Old Hannah struggled to feel normal after every meal. New Hannah lives proudly and successfully with Celiac Disease…and has never felt better!

Old Hannah was a size 20. New Hannah is a size 10.

Old Hannah ate when she was emotional, bored, sad, or happy. New Hannah eats when she’s hungry.

Old Hannah settled for far less than the best. New Hannah is starting to uncover the best. And she will have it.

Old Hannah was broken and battered. New Hannah is strong and secure.

Old Hannah was worried about things that were beyond her control…Things that would keep her up at night. New Hannah knows that anything that comes her way will never be more than she can handle…one day at a time.

Old Hannah hid under the covers, dreading what each day would put in front of her. New Hannah wakes up every day with a smile on her face.

Old Hannah was told she was just a pretty face. New Hannah knows she is sooooo much more than that.

Old Hannah let minor setbacks affect her for days or weeks at a time. New Hannah deals with them and moves on.

Old Hannah let her life pass her by. New Hannah is making it count.

Old Hannah thought she knew what happiness was. New Hannah knows her lifetime of divine, complete happiness is only beginning…

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”  ~ Carl Jung

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Listen to the Tim’s…

Have you missed me?! A computer crash topped off by a million other issues unfortunately left me silent last week.  No fear…I’m back and better than ever!  As in “Let’s celebrate the next major milestone” better!

70 pounds gone! 70 pounds of hatred, self destruction and self-sabotage gone! 70 pounds of depression and negativity out the window! My mind is in a better place than it’s ever been, but unfortunately this week, my heart is hurting….

In the last few days I have had two unfortunate examples of our inevitable mortality. I am relieved to say that I did not lose anyone, but the reminder that life as we know it can change in an instant has been all too in my face over the last few days.

The two situations could not be more different…One an 85 year old, walking encyclopedia who happens the most gentle, most chivalrous man I have ever known. He is the biggest role model in my life and he is also my grandfather…my Poppy Doc.

 

The other is a 32 year old wife and mother who has fought the most courageous battle with cancer. She has held her head high, she has never given up hope and she is one of the most selfless, inspirational people I’ve ever met.

Though the circumstances are different…they both have sent my mind into a whirlwind. I inevitably started thinking about the way I’d been living my life. Was I doing everything I could everyday? Was I finally living my life the right way?

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.” 

– Pope Paul VI

Only so many tomorrows….kind of gets you thinking, doesn’t it?

Living in the moment led me to do a lot of things I wouldn’t have otherwise done. Living in the moment led me down a path of personal annihilation. With no regard for my desire for ‘tomorrow’, I ignored my needs for far too long.

Living should be done with purpose…with conviction.  Tim McGraw sang it with his “Live Like You Were Dying” ballad…Tim Robbins said it in Shawshank Redemption: “You better get busy living or get busy dying.”

So listen to the Tim’s!

Do It Now:  There is no better time than the present. This very moment. Start living your better life now.  Whatever it is…exercising, no more smoking, saving yourself from an abusive relationship, rekindling a friendship, telling that special someone that you love them…whatever you can do to put yourself in a better place, do it. Don’t wait…there are only so many tomorrows.

Seize the Opportunity: Take these opportunities when they appear. Don’t live your life with regrets. Don’t look back and wish you had taken that job or gone on that vacation. Don’t keep your feelings for your loved ones to yourself. Find your happiness. Believe that being joyful is worth it and do what it takes to get yourself there. The little things in your life can make a big difference. Taking some risks can pay off…but you never know unless you try…seize it now….there are only so many tomorrows.

Hold Onto It: Whatever you do…Never Give Up. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison

My success at this whole weight loss thing has proven this theory to me. I didn’t give up and I still have no plan to.  Keep pushing…keep your head held high through the most difficult of circumstances. The road may be a treacherous one…but the finish line is worth the journey even if you can’t see that now. Don’t stop short….keep going today…there are only so many tomorrows.

Know Thyself: You must know yourself inside and out. You must know what makes you happy…what makes you feel beautiful and complete…what makes you feel loved…and you must find your way to these things. I know too many people who simply don’t know themselves, and I was one of these people not that long ago.

After all this time pursuing my own self-discovery, I have ‘discovered’ that it is more about being comfortable with who you are rather than discovering what you actually are. In doing so you will, as I have, accept who you are, what you are and where you are.

This, my friends, is the greatest gift I’ve ever received. I have discovered my ideal life…the ideal life that makes me happy when I wake up in the morning, and leaves me fulfilled when I lay my head on the pillow at night. This is an ideal life that I choose for myself, not one dictated by society or others’ opinions.

I am finally being true to myself…I am finally living my life with purpose and not just by accident.

At the end of the day, your life will be what you make of it. We come into this world with our genetics, our family and our personalities…we leave with our legacy.

Who knows what our impact will be. Who knows what we will leave behind for generations to follow. We have this one life…this one chance to leave no stone unturned. This one opportunity to make our time on Earth worth every minute.

Make it count now..Do It. Seize It. Hold Onto It. Know it….

For there are only so many tomorrows….

 

Fear less, hope more;
Whine less, breathe more;
Talk less, say more;
Hate less, love more;
And all good things are yours.

– Swedish Proverb

What Is…Not What If

Ok guys…I apologize for the late blog post! The last 48 hours have been a real-life version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles. I have managed to travel across most of the eastern seaboard (some of which was not planned), so I am a tad behind.

This past weekend I had the great pleasure of watching my precious cousin, Mary Kate, in a gymnastics tournament.  This thing was insane! As a girl who can hardly find the ability to focus at a 3-ring circus, seeing boys and girls of all ages flipping around all over the place in the coliseum put my brain into overdrive.  Mary Kate did an incredible job of course! (She and her sister are exceptionally talented.) She’s a ball of energy with the most graceful hand movements I’ve ever seen. At 6 years old, the girl is so fit she’d make Jillian Michaels jealous.

While I was sitting there watching her, I started thinking…what if I had not begged my parents to let me quit gymnastics when I was in 3rd grade? What if I had continued all that strength training into my teenage years? Would I have eventually gotten up that stupid, tortuous looking rope that hangs from the ceiling of every gym in the country? If I had toughed out all those days flipping around everywhere, pulling myself up on the uneven bars, and perfecting my balance would I still have become an overweight kid?

And of course, as it always does, my brain started down the path of thinking about all the other ‘what ifs’ in my life…

What if I had focused a little more in college? Would I be a pediatric hematologist now?

What if I had not walked away from my drink that night? Would I still have found myself as a date rape statistic?

What if I had tried a little harder? Would my marriage still have fallen apart?

What if, at 6 years old, I hadn’t felt like I had to choose someone’s side when my parents got divorced? Would I have not had such a chip on my shoulder towards my dad and made it a little easier for us to get along growing up?

What if I had not found comfort and security in eating to make myself feel better. Would I have still suffered from the compulsive overeating disorder?

What if I had called Daddy George like I was supposed to when he had his surgery? Would I still have had a difficult time getting over his death?

What if I had turned my back when the red flags started popping up in a previous relationship? Would I have saved myself from eventual abuse?

What if I had learned to love myself at a young age? Would I have still suffered from such a deep, debilitating depression for so many years?

Over the last few days I’ve been running through those thoughts over and over. And then while I was sitting on the plane tonight, it hit me….

What if I hadn’t gone through those things? What if I hadn’t hit my rock bottom?

Then I wouldn’t be the quirky, sometimes crazy, strong-willed, kind-hearted, absolute firecracker of a person that I am today.

The me that I love today is the same me that is a product of those battles. I don’t want to know what might have been anymore. I want to focus on what is.

With that being said, what if I had not posted that abysmal 248 pound starting weight a year ago? Would I still have lost  65.2 pounds?!

So enough with what if-ing things that I cannot change! It’s time to celebrate the person that all those negative, regrettable things helped to create….because what I am now…what my life is now…is worth hanging onto.

“Accept everything about yourself – I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end – no apologies, no regrets.” ~ Henry Kissinger

Food ≠ Happiness

So you think food is going to make you happy?

It won’t, you know. I chased the happiness I was hoping it would bring for years and years…only to find myself exponentially more miserable each time.

The idea that those M&M’s, those bags of popcorn or that cheeseburger and French fries is going to make you happy…it’s all absurd.  Crazy as I tried to tell myself it was…I was still searching for it. That magnificent moment when that milk chocolate grazed past my lips or that first salty crunch of a French fry dipped in crimson ketchup.
But it is each time as it always was… a short-lived moment of euphoria… there and gone in the blink of an eye.  The next day, all that’s left is ridiculous guilt. Mounting, suffocating guilt…along with the salty sludge floating around in my system.

 
Where did this come from? Where did I get the notion that food would make me happy. That food would take away all the hurt or despair I was dealing with. That food would fix what was wrong. Food was there to comfort me when I was down…it never turned its back on me…or so I thought. In essence the very thing that I was turning to, was destroying everything at the same time.
But this thought that food equals happiness has put too many of us in a place that we never wanted to be.

A place where we’ve lost control. A place where it’s much easier to keep giving in to temptation than to change what we know every time we look in the mirror is broken.

I know what it feels like to say over and over again “This ends today!” only to blow every semblance of a structured eating plan later in the same day. It’s a truly disheartening feeling that always leaves you discouraged.

I finally feel as if I’ve made it over that hump. The hump that doesn’t leave me running for the closest bag of potato chips when I’ve had a bad day at work or I’m bored out of my mind on a Saturday afternoon. I finally feel emotionally disconnected from the food I’m putting in my mouth. It’s not a filler or a substitute for my happiness. Learning to separate the emotion from the eating will get you over that hump too.

Disconnecting my association between eating and happiness has certainly helped me get this far…

 

Please don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy good food…hell I love good food. But it is not eating it that makes me happy. It’s having control over all of it that makes me happy.  And as far as ‘good’ food goes…I’m redefining “good”. I’m eating with my head now instead of absent-mindedly, robotically shoving things into my mouth.  It’s been near impossible to change almost 30 years of bad habits, but changing them I have.

I could give you a thousand and one weight-loss tips but until you do a little spring cleaning upstairs… I seriously doubt you’ll have the kind of success that you’re looking for.

Food won’t make you happy in the end.

Feeling good makes you happy.

Feeling good about yourself makes you happy.

Being healthy and fit and strong makes you happy.

And you deserve to be happy.

 

“Life is made up of small pleasures. Happiness is made up of those tiny successes. The big ones come too infrequently. And if you don’t collect all these tiny successes, the big ones don’t really mean anything.” ~ Norman Lear

I Have Fallen In Love…

What an incredible weight loss week!!!

 

I can’t even remember the last time I was this low. Insane!!  Feeling so incredible lately….so content with me. This has certainly not been just about a journey to shrink my dress size…this has become the journey to find me…and to love everything that I stand for.

And to continue the good news…ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to report that I have fallen in complete and total love…

I’ve always been skeptical. Always convinced I’d never find ‘that feeling.’ I dreamed for the day when I could finally announce to the world that I am head over heels.

This person is absolutely incredible inside and out.

They’re honest and smart…a great friend and co-worker.

This person is compassionate and understanding…a fantastic listener.

They have an incredible sense of humor and an absolute zest for life.

This person is strong-willed and level-headed….secure and confident…nurturing and trustworthy.

This person is attractive and assertive.

They have come back from some really tough times to be the astonishing, fantastic person that they are today.

This person is more than wonderful…and completely irreplaceable.

They have strong family values…and they are loyal to a fault.

This person is optimistic and joyful…finding a positive spin in even a seemingly horrible situation.

I wish I had found this person earlier in life….I wish I had shared this incredible feeling with them years and years ago.

I need this person…making this person happy is my ultimate goal, and I will no longer spend one moment doing anything differently.

This person…this incredible, gorgeous, marvelous person…

Is the person staring back at me when I look in the mirror.

“Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.” ~ Veronica A. Shoffstall