The Comeback Kid {Part 1}

Get ready, guys. Here comes a brain dump.

I’ve been thinking about this post for a really long time…months even.  But I  have hesitated because I didn’t want to post before I was ready.

I’ve been in a tough place for the past few months.
Call it being in a funk.
Call it apathy.
Call it being downright lazy.

Call it what you want, but the results are the same: for the past few months I’ve struggled to take care of myself physically.

My diet sucked and I was doing well to only workout two to three times a week.  I struggled to care about how I was treating myself.

All while simultaneously watching the scale go up, noticing my clothes getting tighter, and feeling generally awful when I had to get dressed or find something to wear.

It’s been a vicious cycle and it’s difficult to tell if I started out apathetic or it was my lack of physical activity and poor diet that got me there.  In other words, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Being apathetic is the farthest thing from who I truly am as a person, but that’s what I’ve felt like for almost a year.  Numb.

Brad and I have explored various ways to help me get over this.   One of the ways we have worked toward creating a healthier place for me, is resigning from my job, which turned into going back in a part time status with increased flexibility (for which I’m so thankful), which has allowed me to explore my passion — food, cooking, and writing.  It’s taken a huge weight off my shoulders but also created new expectations for myself, being a perfectionist by design (more on that in another post).

Brad has been wonderful.  Beyond wonderful, even.

In getting over this hump — because that’s exactly what it is, just another obstacle in life — I’ve taken stock of my patterns of behavior and what changes in behavior have resulted and/or contributed to my current physical and mental state.

When I stop and think about the changes in me in the last year, here is what I’ve noticed:

  • I no longer put a lot of effort into cooking. It’s a chore and a challenge most of the time.
  • Instead of turning to quick and easy healthy meals when I don’t feel like cooking, I turn to eating out.
  • Exercise is not a priority.  Instead of five to six times a week, it’s more like twice; three times if I’m lucky.
  • I turn to carbohydrate dense meals, instead of vegetable dense meals.
  • I don’t take the time to put together healthy quick meals, opting for convenience foods or whatever is lying around in the fridge.
  • I’ve rely too heavily on caffeine.

In reality, I made this list over a month ago and I’m proud to say that I have been making progress.

Truth be told, I’ve been afraid to blog about this because I care what people think and I didn’t want to announce a goal to get back in shape and take control of my health before I was ready, resulting in another failed attempt to bounce back.  So, I waited until I was making headway to revisit this post which I outlined in August.

I’ve made it a priority to take the list above, think carefully about my behaviors, and slowly make changes.  And finally,  I feel like I’m making a comeback. And it’s not just about weight.  In fact, the weight is just a symptom of the greater root issue.

What it is about is my health, plain and simple.

When I first wrote the outline of this post in August, I wrote:
I’ve been exercising regularly for at least two weeks and I feel like I’ve cleaned up my diet a bit.  I feel rejuvenated and more like my old self.  It’s been strange to feel so apathetic the past 10ish months, but that exactly how I’ve felt.

Of course, now it’s almost October.  And for all of your darlings who have emailed, tweeted, and commented to say that you miss my fitness posts, you have been another source of inspiration to me. I felt silly writing about fitness while struggling to regularly exercise, which is why that has been lacking from Foodie Fresh.  I can’t write about something I’m not passionate about.

However, I’m happy to say that I’m ready to bring fitness back and from a different perspective.  I began this blog in excellent shape, but now I get to write from the perspective of someone who is making a comeback, which is a place I’m sure many of you can relate to.

And not only that, I’m positive that many of you can relate to my experience over the past year and although this “comeback” is about taking care of myself, I put all this out there to offer reassurance to those of you who have went through this yourself.  Everyone at some point feels down, experiencing this at different severities. We cover this up, feel ashamed to admit it, and further plummet.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  We can create a healthy dialogue and take comfort that this is a very common experience.  Maybe I shouldn’t, but I feel like I owe my readers an explanation of my period of blogging absence (several months ago), lack of fitness and style blogging, and general check-in with something a little more thought provoking than my latest muffin recipe. You guys take interest in me as a person and I want to be real with you.

After all, this blog is about a healthy life and that also means a healthy mental health.

More to come in Part II…

24 Responses to The Comeback Kid {Part 1}

  1. Kelly, I understand. I know how it is. I’m actually going on a detox next week. Of course, I say this as I sip a glass of wine before dinner.

  2. I have experienced similar apathy so many times in life. Too many to want to admit. You are an inspiration for putting it out there and making the commitment to a healthier life. I am excited to be a part of your journey and encourage you along the way!

  3. Caitlinhtp

    Go Kelly!!

  4. Girl, I’m right there with you. I’m rooting for you and looking forward to reading more:-).

  5. This is a great post, Kelly. We all go through ups and downs with anything, and taking care of ourselves is definitely a common one. It’s wonderful that you posted this because I’m sure that there are lots of other people going through the same thing right now who can relate. I know that you’ll get right back on track, especially with such a huge support system. 🙂

  6. Kerry

    I have been in a funk for 3 years – yes I am actually saying it. I went from an active healthy lifestyle to maybe a 1-2 time a week workout and the food… I have gained 40 pounds. I found your blog when looking for a health and fitness blog to get me motivated. Your assessment of what changed in your life sounds so much like mine. I am going to try your journal idea and try to assess why I changed from daily workouts and healthy meals to this couch potato, fatty food nightmare. Thanks for the idea.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story, Kerry. I hope my strategy of pinpointing what has changed in my life helps you. I think for a long time I focused on the things in my life that were causing me to have unhealthy behaviors, rather than the specific unhealthy behaviors themselves. Finally, I had to stop making excuses for myself. Life is always going to make being healthy difficult as long as I was going to allow it. So I decided to start focusing on the specific changes in my life so I could turn them around. I don’t know if this strategy will help you, but I’m so glad my struggle has inspired you to do an assessment of your own. Best of luck to you and feel free to reach out anytime. It’s encouraging to know that we’re in this together. 🙂

  7. Lee

    I think this just sort of happens to people sometimes. I know it has to me. But you’re ready to make the commitment to being healthy again, so I have no doubt that you will do that.

  8. Correna

    I just started following your blog. I have just recently realized about changing my lifestyle of food so that I can be healthy. This true part of yourself is such an inspiration to me, because so many things are confusing and I get close to wanting to just say “It can’t be done” and then coming across your blog has given me new inspiration. Thank you for sharing part of who you are. Correna

    • Thanks for your kind words, Correna. And I’m 100% confident that it can be done. It’s definitely not easy but it gets easier as you (and I!) establish healthy habits.

  9. This is my first time commenting, but I had to comment because this totally happens to me a few times a year! Usually all I have to do is read a few health-related books to snap me out of it. Glad you’re turning things around and I’m looking forward to your fitness posts again!

    • That’s wonderful that you’ve found a way to get back on track. This makes me so happy that you use blogs as a source of inspiration, after reading and hearing a lot of people criticize such blogs. I feel the same way about them as you.

  10. Wow Kelly! I feel like you just wrote down my feelings to a T. I have totally been going through this funky time in my life and have gotten out of the healthy lifestyle; my mental state is down and I feel stressed beyond words over many things in my life right now. I am just trying to keep my faith and get back on track, but still not feeling fully ready for some reason. I look forward to following your journey and perhaps it will help me along my own. Take care.

    • I felt the exact same way for so many months. I knew that I was falling into unhealthy habits and gaining weight, but I just wasn’t ready to jump back into being healthy. I don’t know if this is any help, but in retrospect, I wish I would have started slowly. Like maybe focusing on eating X number of vegetables and fruit everyday or increasing my the amount of water I was drinking. It might have been easier than trying to overhaul my diet + get back into exercising consistently at the exact same time. Good luck to you!

  11. Becky

    It’s just crazy that I’ve stumbled across your blog just now. When I read your list of changes in the last year, it was as if I wrote them myself! The only difference is that I’m still working out every day….just not as hard as I used to, and all these changes have happened in the past two months. I used to cook good, wholesome, vegetarian meals for my family all the time. Lately I’ve shifted to frozen meals, boxed sugary cereals, and massive amounts of chips. Having three teenage boys, they’re fine with it, yet I feel horrible! I’ll go days without eating a fresh vegetable. I sit and read all these really great food blogs and I see so many great recipes I want to make. Yet when I sit down to plan a menu and make my grocery list, I suddenly feel completely overwhelmed and ill end up turning to some recipe I’ve made a hundred times….or worse, not making anything at all! I’m looking forward to following your blog and knowing that I’m not the only one out there going through this. Good luck getting back on track….as I will be tring my hardest to do the same! 🙂

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Becky. I’m so glad that you could relate to this post. Good luck as you get back to your healthy way of life. It’s really encouraging to me to know that other people will be there with me as I’m trying to reestablish healthy habits. 🙂

  12. I know what you mean- I realized during my last half marathon last February that I was terribly burnt out on running. I finished the race and have run maybe 0-5 miles a week on average since then. I got into yoga big time and then when temps went up this summer I too became really apathetic about fitness, which than carried over into life. Aaaaand then I tried on my fall pants this weekend and realized that I really need to get my shit together so a new wardrobe isn’t necessary. October is going to be my healthy month- I need to get develop good habits again this month so that the holidays don’t result in me becoming a lazy oompa loompa. Good luck- you can totally do it!

    • Thanks so much for sharing your experience with this, Christine. It sounds like we’re in the same boat. I know you can get back into your healthy lifestyle and I can too. Thanks so much for the encouragement and good luck to you too!

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