Oh yeah… I have a blog…

Well it’s officially been over a week since I posted anything. I haven’t gone longer than a few days since I got this thing going over a month ago and I’m excited about getting back in the groove despite enjoying that little break I very much needed from the world wide web.

Okay… what prompted the break? I’m gonna be real with you as I normally try to do without it coming across as a martyr ploy or anything. I’ve been open about my struggle with recurrent depression. It will hit at weird times and can be triggered by ongoing physical pain (like fibromyalgia flair ups, multi-day migraines, etc.), obviously hormones, and a few other unpredictable triggers. Sometimes it will only last a day and other times I’ll be affected for a few weeks or, on occasion, months. When it hits, I withdraw mentally, can’t focus due to intense brain fog, and all I want to do is curl up in bed and be left alone. It’s often debilitating. Something I’ve always told myself though is that I refuse to let my depression and mental state prevent me from properly taking care of Emmy and Isaac’s needs. I’m not going to curl up in a ball and shut down no matter how much that’s all I want to do. So last week as I was slipping into depression and with Isaac home for a few days on quarantine, the schedule was completely messed up, life and everyone was all over the place, and from the time I got up to the time I went to bed, it was nonstop and I was mentally overwhelmed with no breaks. Therefore, I evaluated everything and decided on what to prioritize. I knew that if I put pressure on myself to be engaged on social media, keep to my normal blogging schedule, push for my weekly goal to be done, and do it all well, that Isaac and Emmy would be neglected, I’d turn to frozen dinners and take out, and then I would feel even more like an inadequate failure.
So I took a step back. I still struggled to pull myself together. There were many times I was able to force myself to engage and other times I just simply couldn’t and mentally shut down but still plugged through the to-do list. I didn’t accomplish my goal for the week, we only did 3 things off of our quarantine list, and I didn’t get my steps in like I wanted. But, I don’t feel bad about it. Because I did stay on point with my healthy eating, I got quality time with my peeps, and I did still stay active (just not to the level I prefer). An added bonus is that Saturday afternoon I was able to start pulling out of the mental fog and eventually got back on track with most things.

And here I am! New month, new goals, new methods to manage my time better, new purpose. So lets get into the recaps of my March goals, weekly goals, and whats coming up in April.

My main March goal was to eat only out of Brittany William’s cookbooks/ off her website and stick to her JERF method. And ya’ll, I DID IT! I stayed gluten free the whole time and the only had sugar twice. Both times it was to eat my birthday chocolate bar from Ikea. (If you’ve had one before, you’d understand. LOL) I did eat a couple fries 2 times on the 2 occasions I ate out but other than that, I didn’t eat out. I had 2 lettuce wrapped fast food burgers and we did one take out meal last week to support a local restaurant during the shut down but I stuck to a steak and salad. Otherwise, everything I ate was healthy and made at home. If you missed my other posts about the recipes and stuff, go check out my InstaStory Highlights category “Healthy Eating”. (Username emily.helvin.)

I do feel a little better physically from making better choices and I have slightly improved energy. My skin is definitely clearing up some (probably from the lack of gluten) and I’m sure it will continue to get better the more I’m off of gluten and sugar. Unfortunately, I didn’t lose any weight. I actually gained 2lbs. and maintained that exactly and steadily even til now. There are several factors I’ve had to consider.

1) My body has still not gotten back to normal since my miscarriage. I’ve also been trying to fully detox from the hormones and medication I was on for the pregnancy in addition to other meds I have to go off of (like my thyroid and other supplements) for my upcoming reproductive endocrinology appointment. So my thyroid hasn’t been functioning properly and my body is trying to stabilize in several different aspects.

2) I increased my activity level significantly especially considering I was predominantly bed ridden for several months. That means I was rebuilding muscle and would explain the consistent gain and how it stayed that way.

3) I know a massive factor was my inconsistent water consumption. I’m still struggling with it and I’m making that a bigger priority this month. In case you haven’t researched it, water plays a massive role in weight loss and especially in my case where my body already doesn’t detox naturally. I am pretty confident that once I get my water intake under control, I’ll start having more success with losing weight. Going into April, I will continue with a lot of the Instant Loss cooking and lifestyle but will be incorporating it into my goal for the month. I’ll talk about that more in a minute, though.

In addition to successfully completing my big goal for March, I completed a step competition with my friend, Ashley. My only regret about taking it easier last week is that she beat me by only 6,300 steps! It was a well fought competition and it definitely got me out and moving more! I like that my average step count was 9k+. In April, I want my daily average to be 10k+.
Do you know what your step average is? (I went into a little more detail about steps and their correlation to your activity level in my post titled Shenanigans and Rainbows”.)

Because of the accountability, I accomplished several things I never thought I’d be able to do- at least not for another 6-12 months. The first one was to reach 14k+ steps in one day which I accomplished a week and half ago. The second was multi fold- I not only did a 6.5 miles straight walk, but in it, I improved my mile average by 3+ minutes AND hit 21,400+ steps for that day!!! That morning I literally thought to myself, “one day in April, I want to hit 20K steps for the day.” Well I got a crazy hair and a sister who was able to babysit so I could go do it and I knocked it out of the park! I’m so incredibly thrilled and now I know I really am capable of tackling whatever I put my mind to. It’s making me more confident and keeping the self doubt further away.

WAIVER: I do not sell BeachBody. I am an annual subscriber to their BOD programs but am not selling.
Everything I share below is strictly for my own personal health goals. I am not making any money off of this post.

So my goal for April has me pretty pumped! I decided to try my hand at another BeachBody workout program. Last year I got 3/4 of the way through Transform:20 which I loved but was not properly conditioned for and at the 4 week point I ended up in bed for a few weeks because it was too intense for my fibro, caused a horrible flair up and consequent long recovery. So I decided to go with the 21 Day Fix program. Mostly for the workouts since I’m already on track with eating properly and proportionately but I’ll be incorporating the Shakeology shakes (which I LOVE) and referencing their portion guide for the sake of success with the program. I’ll be officially commencing my workouts and the program on Monday, April 6th.

The main catalyst for this goal was prompted by a coach who reached out to me on Instagram. I was already quite familiar with BeachBody, the programs, and the shakes and at first really wasn’t interested in doing anything super formal with BeachBody specifically. I am an annual subscriber to BOD and planned on incorporating the workouts into what I already had going on. But David Atkins and I started talking and I observed both his and his wife’s Instagram profiles where they posted lots of inspiration & demonstrated on a routine basis how they implement a healthy, active lifestyle into a busy one. He told me they do monthly challenge/ accountability groups with a very small number of people and both the support and encouragement were exactly what I knew I needed and actually wanted. So I decided to make it my goal for April.

Before I could jump right into another program though, I knew I needed to build up my stamina, rebuild my basic muscle groups again, and work my way up to being able to do an intense cardio routine without it causing a flare up, so that’s why I pushed so hard to make that happen over the month of March… and also why I didn’t just jump straight in with a BB program. I’m curious- have you ever tried BeachBody? Were you successful and/ or do you feel like it helped you adjust your mindset or achieve your fitness goals? Why do you think you were or were not successful?

As far as my goal for this week… It’s Thursday… so I have none. Okay, that’s not actually true. My goal for this week was to start getting back in the groove with routine and getting caught up on some stuff around the house after the joke of a quarantine my husband was on last week. I say joke because he was on call and was still gone a portion of the time and there was so much we both had going on that we didn’t actually get the chance to “quarantine”. Plus it was only for one week and he’s back at work full time and even more exposed now that the number of infected people in our area has increased significantly so it was a little odd. IDK- last week was weird for me personally in so many ways. Everything is weird right now with the Covid-19 stuff. Isaac is in the automotive field which has been deemed essential so he really does need to be at work especially considering he’s in upper level management. Honestly, we both consider it a blessing he still has a job even though the paycheck is being significantly affected by the national economy situation. Anyway- I digress. I am almost caught up on stuff at home and hope to resume a fully normal routine on Monday.

I do happen to have just a couple pictures from last week in addition to a couple from this week. Isaac and I did get to play a couple rounds of PubG, we went to a state park for fresh air and some very ill timed fishing, and we also built a fort around our mattress that we relocated to the living room for family movie night/ sleepover. Otherwise, Isaac and I were on the go so much, bouncing from one thing to the next, and ended the weekend with having to address a house emergency that consumed our entire Saturday and Sunday. It was a very difficult and overwhelming week and we’re both pretty wiped out.

This week has also been pretty busy, but way less chaotic. And I feel like it’s generally just a good week despite being out of whack. On Monday we went to see Emmy’s little kitty cat that we’ve decided to name Romeo. We’re really hoping that we can keep the allergen part down when we bring Romeo home so Isaac doesn’t have allergy problems. If, after a month long trial, Isaac is having daily issues from the cat, then he will have to go back to live with my parents. We’re still a few weeks from being able to bring him home so in the meantime, we’re going to visit him at my parents when we can.

Peek a Boo

Chase the dang yarn, Romeo.

On Tuesday is when I did both my 6.5 mile walk and hit my 20k plus step goal. I loved hitting those milestones and also being able to just walk for 2 hours. I definitely needed the brain space and personal bubble. Plus the weather was AMAZING it was about 75 and so breezy that my skin was cool to the touch. Seriously, refreshing and invigorating!

I also got in on the bike bandwagon that Isaac and Emmy have been on lately and got a bike myself. It’s a basic little cruiser that will work for the simple treks we’ll be taking right now. I’ve only ridden once but Emmy loves that I have a bike now which makes it a happy thing for me. I’m not that into bike riding but Isaac and Emmy really like it and wanted me to do it with them so for now, that is what you’ll be seeing a lot of pictures of.

That’s pretty much it for now guys. If you have any blog topic suggestions, I’d love to hear them. I have so many rolling around but they are mostly about miscarriage and while that’s important and I will be keeping that a focus on here, I want to also be focused on positivity, motivation, encouragement, and general well being. I’m very transparent and open to sharing so there aren’t many topics, personal subjects, or experiences I’m not open to talking about. In general though, there’s so much about life that’s amazing and worth dwelling on. Hope you’re all having a wonderful week and staying sane amidst this corona crazy!

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