Friday, January 20, 2017

When Life Gives You 30 Pounds Back...

Good evening everyone!

I wanted to update you all, as so many things in my life have changed since the last time you heard from me. I lost 100 pounds, we all remember that, right?

In April 2016, I turned 26 years old, and was struggling for the previous few months to find the balance of nutrition, the gym, and life as a mother while my husband was deployed. I had bought a home right before my husband left, and he never got the chance to see it before leaving. Buying a house with Power of Attorney is a LOT of signing! Nevertheless, I was swamped, and had to move a household of stuff on my own without my husband, switch my children's schools, adjust to a home which I was remodeling without him, and somehow still go to the gym to maintain my health. 

I have anxiety and depression, and I wish I could tell you that it isn't that bad, however it affects me everyday. When I am busy, I manage it pretty well and I am able to to keep it all at bay, but when I get those quiet nights to sit in bed and overthink things, my world can feel turned upside down very quickly. Most of the time, I am not on anti-depressants, because I can usually tell when my feelings are "anxiety caused" or caused by real logic. Knowing the difference doesn't make the feelings go away though unfortunately, and sometimes it's torture. 

 I began getting overwhelmed with life and had so many things on my plate in 2016, that I fell off track nutritionally, and took a "break" from the gym. I ate terribly because I felt terrible, and I felt terrible because I ate terrible. I know better than most that binge eating doesn't solve my problems, and that I will only feel worse in the end, but that didn't seem to be enough to knock reality back into my head. I hated myself. I avoided the gym even more because I was gaining weight. How could someone who was certified as a personal trainer and fitness nutritionist fall off track? How could someone with so many followers let them down? I was drowning while trying to be everyone else's anchor. These were the moments when anxiety and depression took over and left me isolated at home, questioning my worth. 

Time passed, and I had gained 30 pounds total. That may not seem like much to some, but it was a large backslide for me. I stopped posting on Facebook because I needed to get my mind back in the right place, and more than that, I didn't want anyone to see me that way. I was so ashamed of myself. Once again, my body image was making me feel like less of a person, and my weight was the deciding factor in my own happiness. 

It took some time, but when my husband returned home he was a tremendous help which allowed my stress to lower significantly. I was still struggling with my body image, and decided that it was time I just faced it all and fixed my slip up. I prayed. I needed clarity as badly as I needed to breathe, and it was time I asked for it. It felt better to just unload my thoughts, fears, and shortcomings out loud. I am not one to push beliefs on anyone, or even preach my own for that matter because they are so personal to me, however I have to admit, it was a blessing I needed. I started to notice more clarity, and the ability to put my anxieties aside while waiting for their "episode" to be over.

Image result for scale worth

I began going back to the gym, and eating ketogenic soon after. I knew that my anxieties were always worse when they were fueled by sugar. So many previous binge eating episodes had proven that for me. I understand that it seems backwards to not eat more than 20g of carbs per day to the average person, but believe me when I say I have ALWAYS put an enormous amount of studying and research behind my choices in life. My ketogenic lifestyle is exactly that, mine. It keeps my insulin levels steady and low, and I can think without being riddled with anxiety and depression. More importantly, people like to put down people who choose to live low carb simply because they read something on the internet, or they think they know, or they know someone, who knows someone, who said its bad for you. The short moral here, is that unless you buy my food, you don't get to decide how I choose to nourish my body. (I'll give you more info on my keto lifestyle in another post.) I lost 100 pounds once, I can lose a whopping 30 again. 

Life can certainly take over, and its hard to get back up sometimes when you feel like you have fallen down and life has chained you to the ground. The thing you have to remember, is that you can get back up. It is most certainly scary, and its so hard to face it when you feel like the world expects you to be perfect. I am not perfect. I fell down, and I backslid because I was overwhelmed with life. It is ok to fall down, you just cant unpack and live there, and most importantly, you shouldn't feel like you are going to be shamed for making mistakes. 

I hope you all can take something away from my blogs. On social media its easy to think someone who you admire is "perfect" but I am just a normal human being, who set out to accomplish something amazing, and succeeded. I am also a human being who has normal life stress and struggles and occasionally has to be told how to adult when I fall down. I hope 2017 brings you all many victories, I know there are a few surprises we have up our sleeves for this year! <3

With Love, Sarie Bronish

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Who is the Most Beautiful Person? Click to Find out

You.
Seriously, its you.
You should go look in the mirror, right now, and smileeeeeee. Can't smile? Try making "angry eyebrows" at yourself in the mirror while tucking your lips up out of the way. Yeah, thats what I thought.  :)

Share this with someone who could use a smile <3

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Prisoner of Your Own Mind

Good morning fitness nation. I come to you all today with a very different post. A very dark post.

We have all read about depression and anxiety, and how many people fall into it. We saw Robin Williams die because of it. It can be a very scary place, and its excruciating to try and understand it. There are a huge number of other invisible illnesses which are similar, like OCD, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and even eating disorders that you cant always see on someone from the outside. What happens when a few or more of these are all wrapped up inside the same body though? I am going to do my best, to describe what it feels like to be me, but not the happy, outgoing part of me; the dark, sad, part of me that gets locked away because I am afraid of her.... Ashamed of her.... Tired of her.

I love being motivational. I love every minute of lifting up the spirits of others, and helping others shine within their own bodies. I thrive off of the compassion and sunshine that I have for others, and sometimes, I give so much to others, that I don't have any compassion left at the end of the day for myself. When the sun goes down, the monster comes out. This is the other part of Sarie, that is sad, and confused. She feels inadequate, and angry. This is the part of Sarie that was put on an anti-depressant at 8 years old.

As far back as I can remember, I have had body image issues. As an 8 year old, I remember going to the pool with my family, and looking around, wondering if I could get from the table wrapped in my towell, into the water, before anyone saw me in my swimsuit. I wondered if I could walk all the way into the pool, and simultaneously slip off my towel, and then throw it back over to the table, so that no one would see me. I remember these thoughts, clear as day.... and I was a CHILD! I didn't even have boobs yet, and I felt FAT. What kind of world do we live in, where a CHILD is more worried about her body, than splashing around in the pool on a hot day?

As an adult, it only escalated. I had learned to lock away these feelings, and ignore them. I gained weight because I did not know how to handle my emotions, and I ate because I was sad and I was sad because I was gaining weight. The cycle began, and kept up until I topped out at 240 pounds. My weight was the elephant in the room... Nobody dared mention it because that was like pulling the pin on a grenade, and all of those years of bottled up feelings were just BEGGING to be released.

I had that "AHA" moment, several years later, and as a result, I lost weight. I studied and studied and studied everything I could find on nutrition, and the body, and metabolism. I jumped with my eyes shut, head first into this idea of obtaining perfection, because I was grasping threads at the idea that it was attainable. I felt better, I looked better, and I appeared better overall from the outside. Unfortunately, I still had years of bottled up body image issues that I was refusing to handle. The closer I got to my goal, the happier I looked on the outside, but the heavier I felt inside. I would stand in front of the mirror at night, and wonder why I was still NOT PERFECT. Why was there still cellulite on my thighs? Why did I still have saddlebags? Why did my thighs still touch in the middle? It felt like a slap in the face to have come so far, yet to still not be "perfect."

I began obsessing over things in my head. I was officially MORE unhappy than I was when I was obese. My body image was devouring me from the inside out, and I couldn't swim my way out of the whirlpool of my own emotions no matter how hard I tried. I was terrified of myself...


I would DREAD the nighttime hours, because that's when "she" would attack... Telling me that I wasn't good enough to be a role model, and that I didn't look the part. I would cry in front of the mirror, and wonder why everyone else thought I looked so good when I couldn't see anything but body fat and cellulite. I was BEGGING for it to stop. By day, I was rational, and logical, and by night, I was someone else entirely. The few people who I mentioned my insecurities to, would always respond with "Oh, but you look great" or "you look fine" or something of the sort which would light an unholy fire of fury in my veins. I wasn't looking for a pity compliment, I was trying to express my feelings and hope someone would simply understand them rather than invalidate them, regardless if they made sense. So I stopped talking. I was my own worst enemy, and critic, and I was destroying myself from the inside out, all because of body image issues that I couldn't handle on my own. Do you know how hard it is to ask for help when YOU are the one people look up to? I was in denial, because I didn't want anyone to be able to tell me that I wasn't a good person, or that I wasn't cut out for this role of being inspirational - which again, I LOVE. I was so afraid that asking for help would mean that I would lose everything I had worked so hard to build. I was terrified that everything I had come to love, would crumble, so I kept locking my darker self away, and pretending I was fine.

The truth is, I'm not fine. I am ME, and that is all I ever will be, and all I can ever expect to be. I am BOTH someone who has had great success inspiring others, and someone who occasionally needs to BE inspired. Being able to talk to someone about body image issues has taken far more than the weight I've lost off of my shoulders. I am human, and I struggle with a few of those invisible disorders above... But they do not make me any less of a REAL person. The things I post are TRUE, and honest, and they come from the part of me that thrives and loves and smiles. The other part of me is being worked on, because I decided that it was time, enough was enough. I decided that it was silly to think that asking for help would make me weak.

The reason for this post, is not to dissect my inner thoughts or ask for attention, but rather to simply prove that what you see on the outside of someone is not EVERYTHING. You only see what they WANT you to see, and sometimes people NEED compassion and kindness even when you would never have guessed that. Be an ear when someone needs one, because its HARD as heck to open up when you aren't even sure what you're saying. Many of the feelings we have inside don't make sense, and a little love really goes a long way. For now, that is all. Be kind folks, and have a blessed day.

:)








Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I Just Want to Feel Beautiful...


Lets get a little personal today Fitness nation... ok?

All women want to feel beautiful. We secretly crave those words. We analyze other women, and wonder how they were so lucky to be so naturally beautiful... We make faces in the mirror, and pose, and try our hardest to fit a mold we created for ourselves based off of what we see in others.

It's tough honestly. There are days when I feel like I don't even want people to see me, because I feel less than mediocre no matter how hard I try to gussy up. We spend hundreds of dollars on make up over our lifetime, and hair products, and we use filters on our selfies because we want someone to think we are beautiful. We want to be adored by someone. We just want to be loved, even if it is only for superficial reasons, because at least that way, we aren't invisible.

Why is it that when I look in the mirror at myself, I see plain, boring me? Why is it that when I look at other women, I see beauty which I feel like I wasn't blessed with? Why is my smile crooked? Why do I have this crazy frizz ball of hair, but she has smooth perfect hair? Why is her butt so perfect naturally, when I actually WORK for that look and I don't have it? Don't I deserve it too? Did I piss karma off or something? Being a woman means all of these things, admit it or not.

With these thoughts in mind, I do put make up on. I put make up on because of these thoughts, and because I am just like every other woman... I crave that feeling of beauty. I want it. I want to achieve it, and I'm never quite sure why I feel like I fall short of that... I will tell you one thing though, I work EXTREMELY hard to have a positive attitude, a compassionate heart, and an inspiring spirit, because I hope all of these things will make up for where I think I fall short, in terms of beauty.

I know many women beat themselves up far too often, because they desire this level of perfection that just isn't possible. Have you ever noticed that you think other women are beautiful, yet you don't see it in yourself? Do you honestly think you are the only woman who thinks this way? I am willing to bet the woman next to you is looking at you, seeing beauty that you can't see, and she cant see it in herself just the same. We need to stop being so hard on ourselves, because it destroys our confidence. We need to do things that make us happy, and in return let that happiness show. We need to be comfortable in our own skin, and if that means accepting your body as is, then do it! If that means becoming healthier, do it! We need to make sure to empower others, so that they will not forget what we see in them, because no one wants to feel this way all of the time. Can you imagine a world where every woman felt beautiful and smiled as bright as the burning sun? Tell someone today that she is beautiful, even if you don't know her. Remind someone you love that they are more than they see themselves as. You might be the brightness they needed on their cloudy day.

Have a great day everyone!!! You are all beautiful!!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Diary of a Binge Eater: Fit Girl Edition

Good morning fitness nation!

Have you even been a binge eater? Do you know someone who is one? If not, it may be difficult to understand, but if you do know this feeling and suffer from this, there is hope!

Binge eating is typically when someone eats and eats and eats for no reason, massive amounts of food for what seems to be no reason. For the binge eater though, the feeling is intense and awful. The cravings hit first, insatiable, pounding, nagging and constant, LOUD cravings, the ones you cant easily put out of your mind. They completely brainwash you with temptation, putting your self control to the test. If you are not careful to recognize what is happening, you could easily break down in this situation. First the craving tells you that its ok, that you can go ahead and enjoy one day of treats... That you will be fine. They tell you that you will be right back on track tomorrow and that there is no harm in enjoying the things you love for ONE DAY. It seems harmless, right? The nagging won't stop, and you cave in. You take that first bite, remember how sweet the taste is, and then like a horror film, the demons are in control. You took the bait! Your former fat girl takes control... "Oh no, I only have ONE DAY to enjoy the things I used to love.... therefore I need to eat ALL OF THEM before the day is over!!!!" It feels as if you only have one day left to live, like you have to scramble to fit as many things into this ONE day as possible. Just like that... you find yourself hand over fist, eating everything in sight. You make a trip to the gas station, to buy candy, chocolate, chips, and anything that you might normally avoid, just on principle, because you only have ONE DAY, after all. Anxiety sets in, and the familiar comfort of any and all food seems to be the only way to mask this feeling. You cant think clearly, because you feel as if you have lost all control. You only have ONE day to do all of this, therefore you binge eat.

The problem in all of this behavior, is surrounding one thought: "ONE DAY." You do NOT, by ANY means, have only one day to treat yourself. You have the rest of your entire life to occasionally treat yourself, and you need to remind yourself that when you start to think this way. You are not on a time limit, and there shouldnt be this much pressure involved with eating. Ask yourself, Who is talking right now? When these thoughts enter your mind, who do you think is putting them there? Is it the new, healthier you. or is it your former fat girl? Is it logic, or is it temptation? Identifying this is really important because it puts you back in control, allowing you to be in charge of yourself again.

Once you have regained a bit of your self control, you can decide to do a number of things from there. You can examine the food that you are craving, and allow yourself to enjoy it conditionally, by making a healthier version of it. (Assuming that the craving is for a non healthy food, because lets be honest, who goes off the deep end with a craving for boiled chicken and broccoli?) Examine the ingredients in the food youre craving, what in this food makes it "bad?" (for lack of a better word) Can you substitute those ingredients to make a healthier version of this treat? If so, go for it! At this point you have completely come back around!

You can also take your mind elsewhere if you need to clear your head in this situation. Personally, I am a control freak, and that makes it hard for me to handle feeling like I have lost control. I like to rearrange stuff when I start to feel this way. On one hand, rearranging things, (living room, dresser, closet, bathroom, anything) puts you in control again, by allowing you to be in charge of the outcome of a project. On the other hand, if you are moving large furniture, you could be easily working out hard enough to release endorphins in your brain which aid in feeling better overall. By the time you finish your project, you can decide if you are still even craving anything, and most of the time, you won't be. This is my personal preference, but I love rearranging my dresser because I get to look at my summer clothes, and my goal clothes which helps to refocus my priorities.

Binge eating is not something that everyone faces. I have binge ate for a long time, sometimes to the point of becoming sick. I don't need to tell you that eating until you vomit is unhealthy, because that is more obvious than a purple elephant in a white room. I can however, tell you that there is hope for controlling this bad habit, because I still work on it with myself, and I have managed to get this far in my weight loss journey. When in doubt, think before you eat... and make sure its YOU doing the thinking and not your former fat girl!

with love and fitness dust,
Sarie <3

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Those Damn Poop Eating Skinny People

Happy New Year fitness nation!

Have you ever been in the gym and felt so out of place and so lost and so awkward that you looked around frequently to see who might be looking at you? Watching you? Judging you? Surely SOMEONE has to be doing so, because they're all mean. Skinny people are evil right? Those evil mean skinny people! They just want to laugh at people with all of their skinniness because they must just be awful! Wait..... Why are you trying to be skinny if that's how you think ALL skinny people are? Those damn evil poop eating skinny people....

I don't refer to myself as skinny, I prefer healthy, because I think I'm normal. If my headphones are in, and I don't smile and talk to you, understand that I'm not being rude. Understand that I go to the gym  with a purpose, and that I need to focus in order to do what I set out to do. When you have headphones in, and you cant hear what is going on around you, it makes it awkward to make eye contact with someone because you have zero idea WHAT you just jumped into. I don't want to see your soul, nor do I want to look you in the eye while I'm sweating and panting and uncomfortable! I typically just look away when this happens.

So if you are across the gym, feeling insecure, looking around to see who is looking at you, and you notice me looking up at you for a brief moment, understand that I'm not staring at you, judging you, making fun of you, or even thinking about you. I probably needed to look up for a second to adjust my eyes after staring at the same spot on the wall trying to focus while running. Seriously... I cant run without TONS of focus lol.

I wish you all the most amazing success with this new year, and remember, while at the gym, to focus on YOU and your story. Everyone in that gym started somewhere, and the vast majority of them are not out to get you. Now go get 'em!!! Make your dreams come true! :)


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Run Little Debbie, RUN!!

Hey fit-fam!

A few days ago, I was having one of those days where I started out eating really great, and on track, but by the afternoon I found myself spiraling out of control ready to go on a high speed chase after the nearest Little Debbie truck. I thought for sure that I had awakened my former fat-girl with a vengeance, because she was glossy-eyed and ready to drain Coldstone Creamery of all of their ice cream. Suddenly I was not human anymore, my pupils were dilated, and I was salivating over thoughts of chinese food dipped in mexican food dipped in bacon dipped in bacon dipped in bacon dipped in bacon dipped in........... *dizzy face* (whew! sorry I lost my train of thought there for a second!) As if Coldstone, (salted caramel ice cream, with cookie dough chunks, inside of a chocolate dipped waffle bowl with white chocolate drizzle) wasnt enough, guess who prepared, and then DEVOURED a chocolate marshmallow pie? Thats right.... Yours truly. I am not perfect, and that is why I stress so hard to you all that you CAN do what I do. "But I'm not like you Sarie." Yes you are, let me tell you why.

I have good days, and I have bad days. Learning to eat healthier was not difficult necessarily, it was learning to use self control that took practice. I was the girl who used to make a 5 inch thick vanilla-oreo-cream-cheese-whipped-cream-no-bake-cheesecake when my best friends came over, just because we could. My sweet tooth was NOT ready to make the changes that needed to be made, and it took practice. You look at me and see someone who has discipline, and motivation on a daily basis, but remember that this is not day one for me. Your day one, will not look like my day 425. My day one looked JUST LIKE YOURS.

I did not roll out of bed one day and decide to be a nutrition super hero. To be more accurate, I rolled out of bed and was reminded once again, that my knees hurt because my thighs, belly, butt, and everything else was so heavy. I was AFRAID to take the plunge into healthy living. I didnt know where to start, and I was more lost than half of the toys in my kids' room. I wanted an easy answer, because I didnt even believe I could do it, and that was what had kept me from trying for so long. It was easier to NOT try, than to risk trying and possibly failing. It's weird for me to look back at that version of me, because it feels so foreign, so unrecognized, and so unfamiliar. I am not the same girl anymore, because I finally reached a point where I was so unhappy where I was, that even the risk of failing was looking easier.

I am this way because I MADE myself this way. I can not stress enough how amazing we are as humans, look at how we can train our bodies, minds, and emotions! My page one was just like yours, and with each passing page, I got stronger, a little better, and a lot more confident. I suddenly realized that I wasnt risking failing at all, and that the only thing that was in my way, was myself. So if you are finding yourself feeling a little afraid, just remember, all you have to do is turn the page! No one is reading your book except for you, and you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to as long as you have a desire to change - and dont worry, those days when you feel like chasing down the little debbie truck will happen. simply pick up the pieces and start over the next day. :)

xoxoxo