Sleeping Alone

I did something last night I haven't done in... well... maybe ever.

I slept in the middle of my bed.

Now, I know that's not a very significant detail to some, but to this newly-divorced woman, IT IS.
I'm not even really a terrible sleeper, at least I don't think, my ex-husband would disagree with that statement however.
You see, I hate sleeping under the flat sheet. I don't like it. It gets all tangled up and it's just one more thing to deal with.
I like to sleep on top of the fitted sheet, with the comforter only and a pillow between my legs. It's how I've always slept and I like it.
I don't move from my little twin sized area. Not even in the king sized bed my ex and I used to sleep on. I stayed in my own little section, picking myself up completely when I flip sides in the middle of the night.
But with no one to complain about my sleeping, I rolled over in the middle of my queen sized bed and threw the covers wherever the fuck I wanted to.

And in that small little insignificant detail I felt like I'd made a huge step.

Like the more and more I'm alone, the more and more I begin to come into myself.
I accept myself fully, flaws, sleeping habits and all. I'm not censoring myself or walking on eggshells, I am me. Wholly. And I happen to really dig that.

I met Sean when I was 18 years old.
12 years with the same man lead me to know how to be one thing and one thing only, Sean's wife.
My entire identity was wrapped up in being his wife.
I was very dependent on that man. More so than I realized, I guess.

At the very beginning of this process I didn't know how I was going to do it. I second-guessed every decision because I didn't feel strong enough to get through it.
But with each day that goes by, and I survive, and my kids are happy and healthy, I gain a little bit of ME back.
A little more confidence in myself that I CAN do this. That it's not ideal, no, but it's do-able.

And I'll sleep sideways in my bed every night from now on if I want to...
simply because I can.

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3 1/2 Weeks Out

Weight has dropped again and I'm sitting at 131.2.

I am feeling really good and lean lately.
Body fat is hovering around 15.5%.
It's a little behind where I need to be for the show (12-14%) but I've still got a few weeks so I'm hoping that what I'm doing will work and drop it down in time. It's been working thus far, so it's time to just trust the process.

My workouts are still a matter of going through the motions. I am working out 6 days a week with one rest day. On my rest days I want to eat all the things, but those are my low carb days so I have to keep myself busy so I'm not snacking.
My workouts last anywhere from a 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours. And I've been sprinting my ass off the past few weeks. It REALLY helps with fat loss.
It sucks big time, but it works!

3 1/2 more weeks and I get to have a big 'ole bowl of THIS...

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Fit Shaming

Ya know, when I was big, no one ever told me to my face.
No one ever said "you're fat, you should lose some weight."

So WHYYYY, now that I'm "fit" do people feel the need to tell me I'm TOO thin?

There is fat shaming and there is FIT shaming.
I've been getting a lot of the latter.

But you know what I find pretty shitty? Is that people think it's OKAY to say these things, but would NEVER say the same to an overweight person. Because THAT would be bad. Because THAT would cause an uproar. Because THAT would hurt their feelings.
Forget the feelings of the fit person who you just told that they were too thin and you're scared for their health. What about the overweight person whose health is a concern?
It's wrong and mean to say things about someone who's overweight, but it's OKAY to say mean things to a fit person??


Even just last year I was ridiculed and called fat.
I was 145 lbs. and a size 8 at the time.
Down from 198 lbs. and a size 18 (when NO ONE called me fat, not even the keyboard jockeys).
I was not fat, I was healthy.
I'm STILL healthy!

Too skinny. Too fat. Too whatever. Just when you think you've made progress and are getting somewhere, BOOM, people think you overdid it.
It's like that tiny window when an avocado is ripe.
Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it.... NOPE, too late!

But what is the reasoning behind someone telling someone else they are "too thin?"
Does that make them feel better??

I thought long and hard about this and tried to put myself in the shoes of the person saying it.
And it hit me.... I was a hypocrite.

I'd said the same thing (mind you, to a friend of mine, not just some stranger on the internet) when I was bigger several years ago.
I had distinctly told her "you are so tiny! eat a cheeseburger!"
Maybe I was halfway kidding. Maybe I wasn't. What the hell does it matter. I said it.
All I know is, IIII wasn't comfortable with ME, so instead of putting the focus on me, it's how I deflected and put the focus on someone else.

I'm not saying that's right. It's not.
I'm not saying that it's right to even say anything to ANYONE about their body... key word... THEIR BODY.

I see women bodybuilders that get floods of comments calling them "ugly" and saying they're "too manly" and "not sexy" and "gross."
They would NEVER say that to a fat person, so WHY THE HELL IS IT OKAY TO SAY IT TO A FIT PERSON!?!?!

The answer is this: It's not.
Fat shaming or fit shaming, it's still shaming. And no one, FAT OR FIT, needs that kind of negativity thrown at them.
Because the fit person you're calling manly may have worked her ass off for 10 years to get that way and happens to like how she looks and how strong she is.
And maybe the fat person you're gawking at has already lost 100 lbs. and she's comfortable in shorts for the first time in 5 years.

And even if you DO.... it's their story to live, not anyone else's to judge.

The point is, you will always be "TOO SOMETHING" for someone.
You're the one that has to live in your body, and long as you're happy with it, that's all that really matters.

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Q&A Vlog

I answered some of your questions in a Q&A Vlog below.
If you've got any others for me, leave them in the comments and I'll get to them when I can!

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Competition Updates: Posing

I can not believe 5 weeks from now I'll be in a Reeses coma after having competed in my first show.
Actually, that may be wrong.
After scouring all the kids candy this weekend I found myself not even wanting to bogart their Reeses.
Could I be cured??

It's probably just a mind focus thing. I'm so focused on the end goal right now that I'm not wavering. I'm not tempted by foods and cravings are not getting a hold of me.
Knock on wood.

I went to see my posing coach last week for the first time. I got so much out of that 1 hour class than I thought I would.
I went ahead and booked 10 more classes before the show to make sure my posing is on point.

What is a posing coach?

It's a coach that helps you pose on stage. She helps position you and put you in certain poses that work best for YOUR physique so the judges see your best package.
She helps accentuate your strong points, while hiding your not so strong points.
We worked on a bunch of poses, walking and stage presence.
When I walked in and saw the walls of full mirrors I panicked a little.
I had to get in that tiny bikini in THE DAYLIGHT?? In front of a bikini pro while she critiques me???

But honestly, it went so great. Tawna was amazing and so sweet. She immediately made me feel at ease and helped me figure out what poses work best for me and my body.
Posing can really make or break you. Just look at the difference it makes:
This is a few days difference. Crazy, right?!?!

I am looking forward to working with her more and perfecting my stage presence.

Every day I wake up and I see new changes which is keeping me going.
My waist pulls in a little more, or I see new definition somewhere, it's motivating.

On a whim, I went to purchase new jeans this weekend.
I walked into Express I grabbed a size 6 and a size 4, totally thinking the 4 was not going to work at all. I held them up in the dressing room, shook my head and thought "what the hell".
As I put one foot in each pant leg I began to think that maybe they'd fit. Pulled them up over my hips and buttoned them with ease.
I was in such disbelief that I checked the tag again. 4 long.
I did a little mini dance in the dressing room right there and the biggest smile crept across my face.
I know it's a little insignificant detail, but to me, that's a big accomplishment.
Just thinking about all the times I've been reduced to tears in dressing rooms when things didn't fit.
When the 16's were too tight.

It blows my mind every time.

And just to reassure myself, I walked right next door to American Eagle and picked up a couple different pairs of size 4s and headed to the dressing room. All of them fit just like the first pair.

It's just a good feeling to reflect back on what you've been through and where you are.
That's all I can really say about it.

I'm feeling really good, very lean and ready to take on this week!

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The Evolution of My Journey

Five years ago it took all I had to break my fast food addiction.
When I decided to make a change, that's the first place I started. No fast food for 3 months straight.
It was hard, but I did it.
I began tracking my food and writing down everything I put in my mouth.
Once I felt like I had a handle on my new way of eating, I started to research exercise programs I could do at home because I couldn't afford a gym membership and I had a newborn I didn't want to leave. And to be totally honest, even if I COULD HAVE afforded a gym membership at that time, I wouldn't have gone because of how self conscious I was about my body.

I found the Couch to 5k running program and bought a pair of tennis shoes and a treadmill with some Christmas money I'd gotten.
I was 200 lbs. and in NO WAY, SHAPE OR FORM ready to start running.
So I started slowly. By walking if I needed to, jogging (VERY SLOWLY) when I could, and repeating that 5 days a week.
I got home from work everyday and put my 3 month old in his bouncy seat in front of my treadmill and did what I could for 30 minutes a day.

That's all I could do at that point.
I never thought about building muscle, I never thought about wearing a bikini, I just wanted to wear a smaller pair of jeans. That's it.

It took me years to wrap my head around the things I never thought I'd ever be capable of doing.
Like running 5ks, half marathons, and eventually a marathon in the fall of 2013.

All I thought about was being "skinny".
I never thought about what my body would ACTUALLY look like when I got there.
I just wanted to wear that size 8.

But with each new goal achieved I began to think "well if I can do THAT, what ELSE can I do?"

I remember last year a friend of mine was doing a bikini competition and I distinctly told her "there is NO WAY I'd be able to do that girl! I love my Reeses too much."

It was not even a thought in my mind that I possibly COULD do that. It was so far removed from my way of thinking that I didn't even entertain the idea.
And slowly, something changed. I began to see what I was capable of, and I decided to take the leap and do something that scared me.

I have talked about all this before, but I haven't touched on what all it takes to get to a point like this.
Years. It's taken me years to get to this point. Years of doing what I could when I could, then doing something else when I could.
My mindset has shifted in ways I can't even fathom. My way of life now is completely different than it was back then.
I didn't just wake up one day and decide to compete. It took a long time to get here. And I'm not even close to being done. I don't think I'll ever be "done."

Sure, I got comfortable for awhile with a lifestyle of drinking on the weekends, crap food in moderation and then busting my ass during the week to correct the damage I'd done. Repeat until tired.
Many people get complacent here. And that's okay. Not everyone has the desire to go any further than "maintenance".
I got comfortable in maintenance until I started thinking "I wonder what's beyond this? I wonder what I could REALLY do if I put my mind to it..."

You see, this is a journey. You may stumble and fall, or even just stall.
If you are to a point of maintenance and getting tired of it, I urge you to dig deep and push the limits a bit further. See what you are capable of.
The things you think are out of your reach are often the most rewarding to accomplish.

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