Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A little history...

So I have been wanting to write this for awhile but haven't been sure how to start or where to begin.I am insecure. How is that? Aren't you insecure about something as well? If not, show me how you do it! I am learning how to embrace  my insecurities instead of hiding them...

I am currently on a HEALTH/weight loss journey to get pregnant with out 3rd child. We are ready, but my body isn't.

I will give you a little background on me. (or maybe a lot!) I have never been skinny. Maybe when I was 2-7. That counts, right? I've always had chubby cheeks, big hips, and started to "mature" In 4th grade. I remember being told when I was 9 that I had birthing hips. I had no idea what that meant. I remember being pinched at and poked by family members, commenting on my body size. I remember being comforted with junk food and soda. Unless you experienced this as well, it is hard to explain what this does to someone at such a young age. It makes you judgmental. It makes you critical of other people. You spend you're whole life looking at people up and down wondering what their flaws are, and if they are visible to your judgmental eye, you compare yourself to those people. You take time to notice how you are better than they are. Or, you take time to notice how terrible you are compared to them.
Toddler me. 1987

I developed a lot of defense mechanisms. I'm the funny one. The loud one. I was the first to insult someone or make them feel badly, because I felt bad about myself. My sisters were the easiest target. If I felt this way, they should too. They received similar ridicule if they were heavier, or were praised for being very thin. It was hard to understand, but easy to put a wall up against. This began when I reached junior high. I would not say I was fat by any means. Looking back, I was not "skinny", but there was nothing about me in junior high that was fat. I had round cheeks. I was 12 for crying out loud. But, junior high was different. I remember being teased for the first time, by the boy who had just been my "first boyfriend." I remember an even more insecure boy teasing me for how I looked, down to my shoes. These small moments validated the comments that I had heard growing up. I was FAT. It doesn't just mean I was chubby. I felt ugly. I felt unworthy, unloveable, and most of all, vulnerable.

I had years like everyone where I would go out and up. Taller and thinner. Then heavier. I didn't know people exercised outside of P.E. I never saw it. I didn't know what a healthy meal was except for what I learned from other people and school. What I knew was that processed foods were cheaper and easier to make, and that is what my family had available. Even though everyone in my house was eating the same foods, I tended to gain weight the most easily. I continued to get little jabs throughout high school. Mainly from one of my best friends brothers. But I was my own worst enemy. I was 5'9" and weighed 160 lbs. I would kill for that again. Well not really. I would cover up in large hoodies and jackets, hoping that no one would see my body.I liked my legs. They were muscular from sports and long. I didn't mind showing those off, but I wanted to cover up at any opportunity I had. As I got older, I would start to go long times without eating. You know the after school specials meant to scare you? Well they gave me ideas. I was never at a point where I could actually go without eating for long periods of time. My senior year of high school, I was feeling extra low before prom. The boy I swore I was going to marry cancelled our prom date. The dress I loved was a little too tight, but a family member bought it for me if I promised to lose weight. That is when I went two months on just spinach, strawberries and slim fast. It worked! I had a new date for prom and my dress fit and was loose. It didn't last too long though.

I began college and was diagnosed with severe anxiety. I was having trouble sleeping, sitting still, I was always assuming the worst and crying a lot. Pretty much a textbook case. I started some anti-anxiety medications and noticed my weight start to go up. I reached 220 lb without even knowing it. When you wear baggy clothes, it is hard to tell. After speaking to my doctor, I was told this was a normal symptom. I started to date a guy, and he mentioned something about how I would be prettier and have more fun if I lost some weight. A member of my bishopric told me I would go on more dates if I lost some weight. I still remember getting into some friends car and just sobbing. I had hit a pretty low point. I was really confused as to why I gained so much weight, I would have a little cereal for breakfast. A banana and a fun sized bag of cheetos at lunch. Maybe a little debbie snack cake. I would usually skip dinner because my mom worked late and it was a fend-for-yourself night, or ate the spaghetti she made. I didn't eat a lot, but it was all processed. All crap.

I started having a slim fast and a banana for breakfast, joined a gym, and would have a can of tuna or salad for dinner. I would work out for up to two hours a day. The weight came of quickly,
had made it a new years resolution in 2004, and was wearing two piece bathing suits, and was a size 6, I got a lot of attention. This just solidified that skinny=pretty, I felt great about myself. If I ate too much or went out, I would workout harder, I don't like to dwell on this time. I hate that when I look back on it though, I long to look and feel the way I did then.
Summer of 2004

I moved to Utah, and life got busy. I remember going grocery shopping for the very first time and have no idea what I was doing. I didn't know what to buy. I bought things that were labeled healthy, without reading or understanding the label. I watched other peoples eating habits and started to get an idea. I ate pretty well. Chicken every night, slim fast every morning. I went on a lot of dates. I ate out at a lot of restaurants. The weight started to slowly come back, but not very fast. I still managed to work out and being busy with college was good. I started breaking out in hives and was put on a heavy dose of steroids, which continued for a few months. I had gained 20 lbs.
                         College. You can see how insecure I am by the pillow on my lap! (Sept 2005)

I soon met my now-ex-fiance (only relevant because of his lifestyle) He was a healthy eater and I made good choices during that year. We worked out together. I wasn't where I wanted to be, but he loved me and that made me confident. Things ended. Blah blah blah...I went to the gym more. I was going to work on myself. Stuck to slimfast and chicken. Got a personal trainer. I wasn't losing any weight. I noticed for the first time that my period was very abnormal. I never had it every month, but was noticing that it was only every few months. I thought this was a blessing and thought nothing of it.

I soon met Devin. We fell in love right away and it was perfect. However, Devin was not very healthy. He didn't work out, and didn't eat healthy. He was tall and thin, and lived off of pizza. So not fair.

We got married, and I had started birth control soon before. I was happy, because I thought that maybe it meant I would have regular periods because of the medication. Soon after we were married, about 4 months in, we decided we were ready for a baby. I was ready to stop birth control. It made my face break out. I had never had an acne problem before. I was growing hair on my face. I hated it. And, I got on the scale one day. I had gained another 20 lbs. I was the heaviest I had ever been, and had no idea why. I chalked it up to happy weight, and focused on working out again.

Devin and I tried to get pregnant for a year. It was at this time that I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It was explained that this affected my hormones, my endocrine system, caused weight gain, difficulty losing weight, and infertility. I was told I had an insulin resistance, and that all carbs I consumed turned to fat. It explained a lot. My main concern at this point was my fertility.

I began fertility treatments in 2009. It lasted 5 months. It caused more weight gain. My periods were normal thanks to medication, and I was able to have Carson. I gained 70 lbs that pregnancy. Over 15 months, I lost the weight. I worked out daily the Summer of 2011. I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight. In October, I found out I was pregnant with Talan. It was a miracle. I was told that I could not get pregnant on my own, and I did. Because I had lost so much weight.

Carson was a high risk pregnancy and very difficult. I was on pelvic rest or bed rest the majority of the time an unable to be active. I also craved carbs and salt. My worst enemies. After being put on pelvic rest with Talan at the beginning of my pregnancy, I was terrified to work out in fear of losing him. I also craved more carbs and salt. I remember gaining 20 lbs in one month. My doctor assured me I was fine, I was just good at retaining water. It didn't matter, pregnancy was painful and I was focused on the scale, but it was out of my control. I could control what I ate, but when carbs are all that get you through the nausea to teach a special ed class, you do what you can to survive.
You can see the weight in my face. (Dec 2013)

Fast forward to now. I still suffer from PCOS and insulin resistance. I was invited this past summer to join a clean eating challenge. I figured I would give it a try, because I have tried everything.I had some inspiration from that and lost about 15 lbs over the summer adopting some of these principles. i knew I had gained weight because I had a few injuries at work, couldn't be active for 7 months, and my skin was horrible. I noticed a change right away. Then, a lot of things in our life changed.
We bought a house, Devin lost his job, and due to limited resources, we had a lot of processed food. We did what we could with what we had.

In December, Devin had stated teaching. We had an income coming in, and I got back in touch with my friend who ran the clean eating challenge. I was interested in Shakeology. She raved about it, and my most fit friends were posting about it on facebook. I bought a challenge pack from Beachbody which included a PIYo work out series. I committed to working out and eating clean while using Shakeology for 6 weeks, My plans were derailed 3 weeks in by a back injury. However, I stuck to my new eating habits, had given up soda completely, and continued to drink Shakeology. By the end of the challenge, I had lost 33.5 inches, and 7 lbs. It was technically 27, but I had lost the first 20 very quickly, as it was just water weight! That is insane!
February 2015 Looking and feeling much better!

I have spent time also working on myself and my mentality, I have learned a lot about myself, and am learning and working on focusing on my strengths, not my weaknesses. I want to share what I have learned, because I don't feel like I am on a diet. I feel healthy and I feel GOOD! My journey is far from over, but I hope that sharing my story, I can continue to be accountable, motivated, focused and positive, I am finally learning to love me, I will conquer PCOS and my battle with weight. I am excited and feel so grateful for what I have learned!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

BYU Bathroom

We have this little guest bath downstairs. I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. Since Devin has nothing of his own, I decided I would do a BYU bathroom for him. We could have done the Dolphins, Real Salt Lake or the Jazz, but he agreed on this. Plus, I had frames and could dowload free printables! This was my first stripe job with the laser level.

I added the printables, a BYU blue rug and some blue hand towels. It was too boring, still!
In comes the STRIPES!

I have to say, the stripes make a huge difference! We have since added a wooden Y from The Wood Connection to place on the toilet. I'd love some vinyl with the BYU fight song to have on the wall the door opens in to. Some nice reading while you are in the bathroom! :)

Creating a Playroom

So I have sort of always had this resolution that when I owned my own home, there would be minimal white walls. We still have several, but I felt the playroom needed some color! We are on a SUPER tight budget right now. I went to Lowe's, hoping to do an accent wall and just buy a $10 quart of paint so I could stripe the boys bathroom and a wall in the playroom. It was my lucky day!
I love this color! It is a great aqua shade, perfect for boys, and hey. You cant beat the price!
I went home and got to work!

I even was able to do a fun accent wall. A laser level is genius. It makes stripes so simple! It took be about 5 hours, start to finish (prep work, assembly and decoration) to complete the space. it is a pretty large space, The second largest bedroom in the house!
I am pretty happy with it! Carson said, "Thank you my lovely mommy! It is so beautiful!"
That alone was worth it!
Pictures: Hobby Lobby
Storage: Target

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Lust List

                                       Ugg Sparkles! NOT practical, but oh so dang cute!
                                       My Naked pallet is almost gone....now I want this one!
     A cute polka dot chambray shirt! I'm on an Old Navy budget, and thank goodness they have one. :)
                                 And, I am working on a gigantic chalkboard....almost done!

Some of these items are attainable, others...not so much in the near future. It is nice to want, though!

Loving the tough kids

Man on man. This past school year has been the most difficult that I have ever had. I have a few kids who just stress me out. They are defiant. They are very low functioning, but they are down right NAUGHTY! Some kids have parents who make it worse. Some of the kids are "entitled" to do what they want. I have been given "solutions" such as, "Just ignore them when they don't want to work, they will come around eventually." Fine. I agree with ignoring behaviors to an extent. But when they are manipulating a situation on purpose, to avoid doing anything all day long, I am not okay with it. Ethically, it is a struggle. I don't think it is the purpose of school to stand in a corner all day long. I'd rather have a fight. Honestly. I'd rather have them hit and kick and throw things, de-escalate, and then join the activity. Most common sense and behavioral practices say to do what you can to avoid the behavior. Well, as you get to a certain point in life, and you have learned that if you use that certain behavior to get whatever you want, you come to a crossroads. Do I avoid this behavior? Or, do I teach independence. I go for independence. These kids need to learn how to function in society. In the classroom. Around others, even if it is in a sheltered workshop. I hope I can teach that. However, since other people have different opinions, and I am not fixing these problems as quickly as I would hope to (factor in other people providing negative attention, reinforcing the behavior, home life and puberty) I have ended up disliking some of my students. That isn't good.

So, I decided I have to change my attitude. Today I told one kid, who drives me crazzzzyyyyy that I loved him. He looked surprised! That made me sad. I hope throught the power of positive suggestion I can learn to love him, and make a difference in his life.

"Someone has written, “Love is a verb.” It requires doing—not just saying and thinking. The test is in what one does, how one acts, for love is conveyed in word and deed...Love is a positive active force. It helps the loved one. If there is need, love tries to supply it. If there is weakness, love supplants it with strength. … Love that does not help is a faked or transient love."- Elder David B. Haight.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Starting it off right...

I am so grateful that one of my closest friends, Gena Patten, was able to take some amazing pictures of my family! This girl is so talented. I love her locations and use of light! I feel blessed to have these sweet moments documented for our family!

Right now you can see them at genasusan.com/blog or on my facebook! When the disk arrives I will post them on here!

Today we taught our new Sunday school class- the CTR 4's. They are so dang cute. I am friends with most of their parents, so I got to hear a lot of funny stories.

"Shhh, my mommy has a baby in her tummy but i'm not supposed to tell!"
"You can't kiss your mom on the mouth- that is disgusting!"
"We tease a lot in my house. My mommy and daddy tease me. I don't like it. It makes it so that I can't choose the right!"

Can't wait for new stories to tell with this cute bunch!

I even had the prompting to bear my testimony today in church. I just wanted to say how grateful I am for our trials, and gratitude to our savior for keeping the light at the end with in reach. We are so blessed!

I am off to bed to get back into my 5 am gym routine. Wish me luck.

Stay tuned for pics!

xo Alicia

Friday, January 4, 2013

Goals for the year

I am lucky. As a teacher, I feel like I get two new years. The beginning of the school year is always a chance to do something positive, make a change, try harder. I get January as well. So that I can be held accountable, I guess I will post my goals here.

1- Keep a positive attitude. I am really pretty good at this, especially at work. I usually save the negativity for home. :) However, this year I have a hard bunch of kids, and a very difficult co worker who doesn't do a damn thing! Oh wait...i'm being positive....! The resource officer calls me a "ray of sunshine". Those who know me outsidfe of work probably disagree with that. I will try to live up to his views of me!

2- Lose weight. Oh, the standard resolution. I try so dang hard. Gym, dance, zumba, diet. I have PCOS with an insulin resistance, so this makes it hard to lose weight. I have a referral to an endocrinologist, so I hope that maybe he can help with some answers. It is hard to cut all carbs and gluten. I don't recommend it. I hope that going to the gym in the mornings with my friends will be enough to help. I have lost 5 lbs in the last 2 months. It's not a lot for the amount of effort I have put forth, whereas someone without PCOS might have lost 15. I am trying to stay positive about that as well, and know we are all different and our bodies don't work the same.

3- Buy a house. Yea, we shall see. Devin is done with school in August. My dream is he will find a job, and we will have tons of money and I can buy my dream house. We shall see.

4- Continue to be the best wife and mom I can be. Notice: I CAN BE. I am not trying to be a pinterest super mom. Just the wife and mom my family needs.

What are your goals for this year?

This is my year, I can feel it!