1 minute, 40 seconds!!!!! This is my time today on the plank:)

Today was a solid 20 minutes of a sweat drenching workout. I ended it with the plank and 5 minutes of breathing exercises. I feel great! And my time improved again. So happy!

This year started out with size 17 jeans. Now I have slimmed down and fit into size 14. This is amazing!!! Even with my belt, my pants are falling off of me. So I went to the thrift store a few days ago. Trying on clothes is not my favorite thing to do. I like knowing my size so I can just grab items and go. Not this time. I actually had to go into the fitting room and figure out which size I needed to purchase. The answer shocked me. I had no idea I had lost that many inches.

Besides working out, I have changed a few other things. Drinking more water is still a challenge, but I am making a conscious effort to improve on it. No coffee after lunch time anymore. At one point in time, I was drinking four pots of coffee a day. I would brew a pot of coffee at 10 pm, drink half of it and then I would go to bed. It has taken several months of determination to accomplish this. I still get cravings late in the day and really, really want coffee. To deal with these cravings, I started munching on chocolate covered almonds. Who knew this answered coffee cravings?

When eating dinner, after my first place, I wait at least 15 minutes before taking a second serving-unless it is salad. At first, I was still eating seconds on a regular basis. Now one serving with a really big salad is all I need. This transition has taken about six months to become comfortable with and I no longer put as much thought into the change. It has made a huge difference. I no longer go to bed with a bloated tummy and I wake up with fewer headaches. There is probably some sort of science that explains all of this, but I have no idea what that science may be. Last summer I read an article online that suggested waiting between servings in order to give the body time to recognize whether it was full or not. So I decided to give it a try with my new goals to become healthier. Absolutely thrilled that I did! Now I am wishing I would have saved the article.

All of these changes are also impacting other parts of my life. With more energy, I am now spending more time outside with my children. This is new to all of us and D- is nervous about it. She is worried that I will push myself to hard and hurt my back again. I have the same worry, but I do not share this with her. Speaking of my back, although it is definitely a little tender at times, it is feeling better than it has in years! This has to be a good sign. I am praying that when I have my next MRI, it shows that my back is getting better and no further damage/deterioration of discs.

My sleep pattern has also improved. With only a few exceptions, I have been getting an average of 7 hours per night. This is a massive improvement. My norm has always been chaotic, with broken sleep and no idea of when I will actually crawl into bed. Now that I have a more stable pattern, my body is jut naturally telling me to sleep about the same time each night.

All of these changes has helped to stabilize my mood. I am not feeling as erratic during the course of the day. The negative self-talk is still a major challenge. Between these changes and support from my therapist, I am praying that it will become easier to address the self-talk over time. One of the biggest challenges I still face is loneliness. I am doing all of this alone. No support system, no workout buddy. The closest I come to support are the people on my fitbit. And that is a very short, limited list. This only comprises of random goal posts and no support or communication. Making all of these changes and trying so hard to become healthy would be easier if my family or friends were supportive. That mental and emotional component is still missing and ushers in more negative thoughts. I console myself with the knowledge that I at least have my therapist to talk to.