Wednesday, September 30, 2009

-20 and counting

Can you believe it? 20 lbs. gone. That's 1/10 of my weight, In just over 3 months. Okay, I've got to say - even though it is me - that's pretty kick @ss. I realized it today when I did my weigh-in for my Biggest Loser Challenge. I have changed my life in three months. Honestly, I changed my life the day I found this site.

This is me with a new (smaller) shirt and my pants that fit better than the day I bought them.

I can see how happy I look in that picture. I'm so proud of myself because it hasn't always been easy. I'm eating better, I'm exercising, I'm paying attention to my body and what goes in it. I feel like my life will be better in the long run because it's already better now. I have more energy. I can even jog for 50 minute without stopping! I love how I feel when I'm done working out and I love how I just feel better about me.

I may not look a ton different, people are just starting to notice a little bit. Then again, the people who might notice are people who see me every day! The important thing is that I FEEL different. I feel sexier. I feel prettier. When I walk down the street I hold my head up high with my shoulders back. When I jog, sure, people might be watching, but I'm out there and I'm doing it.

The last couple of weeks have been a little hard on me I just felt blah, but I'm back baby! My teammates for BLC posted such nice things on my wall - thanks to all of you for helping me get over my hump - and the people in my life are so supportive. Then today, realizing that 20 lbs. of me is gone for good, it just made me realize how lucky I am. I keep finding out new things about myself. I'm stronger and faster and tougher than I ever though I was. Some times may be hard, some times may make me want to just sit on my butt and eat the brownies cooling in my kitchen (They're going to work, don't worry) but I see how far I've come and I can't quit now!

I'm only a third of the way to my goal and I have so much more growing mentally and losing physically ahead of me. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my journey this far. Thank you for your support, for you motivation. Every time you say good job it just encourages me more to keep going. It inspires me to try to inspire someone else. Every time you leave a message it makes me smile and I realize how many kind and good people are out there who have never even met me and yet want to help me down the road to my ultimate reduction. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

May we all be coffee

I read this on a Web site and thought the story should be posted again:

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.... It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans... She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.... Turning to her daughter, she asked, ' Tell me what you see.'

'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee.. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?'

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way...

The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Struggling to move

Things I'm finding difficult:
Getting off my butt and working out.
- there are no excuses. I get on here and see the wonderful things people are doing or I see people on TV and think, I can look more like that and I have to get off my butt and do it. I could use some more enthusiasm though. Btw, my 6-mile run/walk yesterday Kicked. My. Butt.

Eating Healthy foods
- Part of this is because it's that TOM. Always an issue when it comes to my eating will power. Part of it is because, like I said, I just have no motivation right now! I got on the scale and weighed yesterday just to check it out, 'cuz I'm lame like that (I know my weigh-in isn't until later!) and it still didn't make me happy. Was I glad I lost weight, oh yes, of course! Was I as ecstatic as I once would have been? No. Maybe because it's become more normal for me to be reducing in circumference. Now that I definitely should be glad of!

I'm going through the motions, I'm doing what needs to be done, but there's not a lot of excitement for me right now. I know it's good that I'm still doing, that's part of life now, but I wish I would just smile more about it.

Part of this is the changing of the seasons. I love fall, it's my favorite season of the year, but the less light we have during the day, the more slanted that light becomes the less happy I am sometimes. I get done with a run or my 30 Day Shred and I feel great. There's a perma-smile on my face. I know that I can't give that up because it helps me so much. I love how I feel when I'm finished working out for the day, so that helps keep me going.

I remember the first week on Sparkpeople. I was so into it, so full of energy and just excited to be changing my life. Like anything new, the wonderfulness wore off a little. I'm still so glad to be doing this and to see my body changing and the pounds melting away (well, sweating away) but my initial spark has been dampered a little. Thank you all you wonderful people on Spark because part of what keeps me going is you! Your motivation, your virtual smiles :D and all the wonderful things that I see all of you doing!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

And she's off; 6 miles, right around the bend

At least, that's my goal tomorrow! Six miles, not necessarily running the whole thing, but I hope to have the whole thing run in the next couple of months.

So, story. If you've read some of my blogs you know I want to run a 1/2 marathon next year in Des Moines, IA. I'm in love with running. So, I'm moving toward that goal! I mapped out a new route today and it's six miles. Three miles out, three miles back plus a little warm-up and cool down. I'm excited because it's out and back so if for some reason I really need to turn around at some point I can. I didn't really have that luxury with my other route.

My other route is four miles. I can do the whole thing now and I'm looking for a little more challenge. The GREAT thing is, I can still use it for hill exercises, it's HUGE on hills. My new route is a little flatter, which for right now will probably be better on my knees. Also, it's a bike path so the curve of the road won't mess with my knees so badly either!

Can you tell I'm a little excited? More excitement? It will be so easy to add to when I get past six miles. More excitement? When I run the whole six miles it will be HALF of my HALF marathon!

Another plus, the SO knows this route too now so if it starts raining or he gets worried he can just drive it and find me in a snap. Now. Can I ask for some advice? What do you guys carry on you when you go walking/running? Right now all I carry is a water bottle and my little MP3 player, which really weights like two oz.! I know people talk about ID's and phones and things, what's the low down, what do I need to know?


Monday, September 21, 2009

Loving fall

It's beautiful here in Iowa right now. Crisp and cool in the mornings and the evenings with some heat thrown out in the middle of the day. Goodness I love fall weather. I loved it last night when I went on my run, too. The leaves are changing and it even just smells different outside. Those 3.5 miles went by pretty quickly. Mentally I was in the zone, physically I did it faster than I have before! I'm no speed-runner, I probably never will be and honestly, turtles might be able to move faster than I run, but it felt good! I love fall. It's my favorites season.

I love the freshness that fall seems to bring with it. There's a cleanliness about it that just speaks to me. You can look anywhere and everything seems to be coming to fruition. The crops are ready for harvest, the trees are exploding in their last final burst of color before the white of winter sets in. Everything is getting prepared, getting ready. I know birds are starting to disappear for warmer climates. Animals are getting fat or hoarding for when they know they need it. I just love the feeling in the air. It's sassy.

Many people feel like spring is the time for rebirth and rebuilding. I think it is too, but I also think that without fall and winter there is nothing to rebuild. Fall is what the whole season looks forward to. Winter cleans everything up so that in spring, when it's time to find those new little buds on the bare trees everything is just ready to go.

This fall and winter I'm preparing. Next summer and spring I'll still be preparing. I'll be preparing for all of the changes that I'm making and I know that I'll be preparing for the rest of my life, but every fall I can be reminded of how far I've come, how far I've bloomed. Fall is made to be remembered.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm going to make it

I used to love watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mary was pretty, energetic, so sweet and nice, but she wanted to do well in life. Her boss, the big gruff Lou Grant, Ted, the idiotic news man, I loved it all. Most of what I loved was how Mary faced life. She had ups and downs, she got bruises from some of her falls, but she smiled, and oh how beautiful that smile was.

Who can turn the world on with her smile?
Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
Well it's you girl, and you should know it
With each glance and every little movement you show it

Love is all around, no need to waste it
You can have a town, why don't you take it
You're gonna make it after all
You're gonna make it after all

How will you make it on your own?
This world is awfully big, girl this time you're all alone
But it's time you started living
It's time you let someone else do some giving

Love is all around, no need to waste it
You can have a town, why don't you take it
You're gonna make it after all
You're gonna make it after all

That song has such inspiration and such hope. I love it when it says "But it's time you started living / It's time you let someone else do some giving" because that's where I am. I love the people around me and sometimes I just give of myself until there's no more left of me for me. I lose all my energy, lose all of my drive for myself because I've given too much away. I need to live. I can still help, I can still love and I will definitely keep smiling, but I just need to keep a little for me.

I'm going to make it. After all life has thrown at me, after all the obstacles and miracles and sad and beautiful things that have happened I'm going to make it. I can do whatever I set my mind on. I can change my life, change my patterns and make tomorrow so much better than this beautiful day already is. I'm going to make it, and so are you.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Running Fiend

I accomplished a personal goal the other day. I ran for 50 minutes straight. Right now I'm not quite sure how far I went, only that I got done with my regular route and I just kept going. It felt amazing.

About halfway through my regular run, coming up the BIG Hill I eat for breakfast (Thank you MINKEOR!), the hill that makes me cringe each time I come near it, I got a second wind, that lovely beautiful second wind that every talks about and that I've never experienced before. My calves didn't ache anymore. My breathing was even (well, for jogging!) and I knew I could just keep going. So I hit the straightaway. Normally when that's finished my run is finished, but I kept going. It was amazing, I just kept going. At one point, near the end, I knew I was going to be sore the next day, but I was almost done so I just pushed myself a little more and made it though.

As I walked my cool down I just thought about what I accomplished. I've said it before and I'll say it hundreds more times. Our bodies are amazing things. Just when I thought the run would be the hardest of my week it turned out to be the best. I got home and I just couldn't stop smiling. I looked at the clock, realized how long I had been out running and just smiled even bigger. What a sense of accomplishment. The dread that I felt before the run because my calves were still aching from the previous day was almost forgotten with the euphoria I felt.

When I thought I was going to disappoint myself and almost didn't go because of it I ended up having the best run I've ever had. I almost missed out on that. I pushed myself through because I promised it to myself and because I didn't want to let my Saucy Sapphire teammates down and it turned out so well. What I would have missed if I would have let my thoughts get to me. What an amazing thing I would have missed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Breakfast, ugh.

I don't know if you can call Hardee's breakfast really breakfast, but that's what I had today. Oh, just a sausage and egg biscuit and some cinnamon raisin things. The same breakfast I've had hundreds of times but then normally I also would have had orange juice and the potato wedge things. So, I thought, I'll have the sandwhich and a cinnamon raisin biscuit. Well, I got the two, one for the SO's dad, but I ended up eating them both. Doh!

It kicked my butt. It's over 1,000 calories! I didn't' look it up before we went. We were dropping my car off to get a new muffler (I love my car, but it's a POS). OH MY GOODNESS! So, I already ate it, too bad for me. So for the rest of the day I'm having one of my favorite meals, baked potato with salsa on it and some mixed vegetables for lunch and for dinner, and some fruit for snacks.

I'm still going over my calories for the day, but only by 100 calories. Oh my. I just feel bad that I didn't even think about it, I just ate it! So, healthy eating for the rest of the day, I think I'm going to clean part of the basement! And I'm going to go on my long run today. The day won't end up too badly after all, but Hardee's still ruined my breakfast :D

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My obese butt

I have one, I can say it's obese because it's what my BMI is reporting right now. I know that BMI is not the end-all to body fat and whatnot but that's the easiest way for me to go. You know the coolest thing? In just one or two pounds, it will no longer be my obese but anymore. It will be my overweight butt. I love it 104

So I have to kick this butt into gear.

Luckily I have a team of wonderful people to keep me going right now. But sometimes I just lose all motivation. Like late last week when I was running. My MP3 player died halfway through my 3.5 mile run and I just wanted to quit. Like, turn around and go back (even though I was halfway finished) quit. I don't know why that happens to me. My brain just starts to talk my body out of the things I KNOW it can do. I had run the 3.5 miles before. The same route. I knew I could do it, but I almost let me talk myself out of it. Other times I have all the motivation, all the energy, all the drive and then I push myself way too hard. Then I have to take a couple of days off just to recuperate from the pounding I've given myself!

I need a happy medium. I want the strength mentally to carry on with this journey to a smaller, healthier me. When I hit a plateau I don't think I'm going to gain, but I could see myself maintaining for quite some time. I want that goal weight. I want to be healthy and I want to be happier because I'm healthy. Sometimes I just see the long bendy road ahead and think there's too much to travel by myself. There's too far to go and those hills, oh those hills might just kill me. My body tells me that it can do more. Every time I work out it can do more, work harder, go faster, be stronger. But my brain is a little lacking in the strength department. Hopefully, in some cases, my body will be stronger than my brain.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Loser? Definitely.

I love food. I overindulge on food. You know what gets me the most? Warm, ooey-gooey cookies, almost any kind, but the best is with melted chocolate. The SO reminded me of the days of yore, when I used to cook three or four pans of cookies, eat one, leave one for him (he's not a huge sweets fan) and then bring the rest to work. Oh yes. I did that.

I love to bake, I love to bring food to work for other people to enjoy, and I can't resist freshly-baked cookies. The SO didn't bring that up to make me feel bad or to remind me of my (past) horrible eating habits. He brought it up to tell me how, even if I wasn't exercising like I am now, he thinks I would be losing weight because

I've changed my eating habits so much. Instead of having 2-3 portions of meat a meal, I have one. I have tons of vegetables, I've always loved them anyway, and my snacks are sometimes crackers and cheese, or fruit. I like baked goods. I can't say I don't, so I do fit them into my calories when I want them. My life has changed, and the SO was just pointing that out.

I have been on since the end of June, and my life has changed so much. I have lost almost 15 pounds. I'm just a couple of pounds away from a overweight BMI instead of an Obese one. I've lost a size in pants and one in shirts. I feel better. I look better. I know I'm more confident. Well, darnit, I'm pretty sexy!

Now I'm beginning a new challenge, the BLC. I want to be a big loser. There, I said it. My plan for the losing? Well, I'm cutting out alcohol completely for 12 weeks. Wowzers, that might be hard. I'm not a lush, but I like to have a drink or two on the weekends. I'm going to keep running 3-4 times a week, 2.5 to 3.5 miles, hopefully getting it up to at least 4 to 5 miles. On my off days, I'm doing the 30 day shred (my abs are hurting from my workout yesterday) and probably stairstepping or walking. This is my plan. I am going to attempt to stick to the plan. I'm going to have some wonderful people helping me with this goal. To all the Saucy Sapphires out there (my BLC team) We're gonna rock this out!

Hello motivation, c'mon in my door. We're gonna have a good 'ol three months to get to know each other!

Happy Wednesday to you!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

"Homage to my Hips"

Homage to My Hips

these hips are big hips.
they need space to
move around in.
they don't fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don't like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top

Lucille Clifton

I love this poem. This poem embodies exactly how I feel today. I feel like my body is strong, my body is amazing and my body can do things I never imagined it would every be able to do.

I am not a size two. Even when I meet my goal weight I will never be a size two. My body is not built like that. But, like Lucille Clifton, I want to embrace my body. I do not need to apologize for the way my body looks. I do not need to make excuses for why my body is different than the ones of the girls in the magazine, for my body is mine, my body it me and my body is lov-el-ly.

Today I feel strong. I feel the muscles moving when I walk, when I sit and when I squeeze my shoulders together, life them to the sky and stretch my legs. My muscles are talking to me now, and some of them are definitely saying that they're sore. But they are mine.

Friday, September 4, 2009

And the announcement it ...

I'm going to run a half marathon.

Wow, it was really hard for me to type those words. Let's just say, it's scary that I will run 13.1 miles next year around this time. It hard for me to realize that I've been sticking with my new lifestyle so well and for so long.

If you ever look at my status you probably saw that I ran 3.5 miles the other day. Then yesterday when I was running at did 2.5 miles in 25 minutes. This is huge for me. My goal since I've started trying to lose weight was to run a 5k. Now that I've run 3.5 miles, more than a 5k, I realize I can do so much more than I give myself credit for. So, now my goal is to run 13.1 miles. 1/2 a marathon. I hope to do it in Des Moines next year for their 1/2 marathon and then whoever wants to come and watch me run slowly can!

This is big for me. This is huge. I know that I can do this, which surprises me sometimes. That I now have that much faith in myself to attempt this run. This is one more thing the journey toward a smaller me has brought.

I've talked to the SO about it. He's all for it. He's so excited that I'm so excited. When I came home from running my 2.5 in 25 I just came in and told him and this huge smile spread across his face. He's happy because he sees how happy I am. Knowing I have his support is huge. He doesn't push, he doesn't nag, he's just there if I need him to be.

So, I've talked to the SO, I've consulted with myself, and now I'm asking everyone else for their support. I want to do this. I know I can do this. I hope that you'll be with me while I do it! I have a year to train, a year to get my running up there. I think that's more than enough time for what I want to do. So, here's to my next few hundred (thousand) steps. Care to join me?

Thursday, September 3, 2009


So, I'm large. I'm not putting myself down, not in the least, not in any way, SHAPE (hahah!) or Form! Okay, If you can't tell, I'm excited. I'm officially wearing a large shirt. Down from Extra Large? XL goodbye! Okay, except for button-down shirts. My chest is too large for button shirts not to gape still. Oh well, it runs in the family.

I have not been a large since the beginning of college, eight years ago. I probably won't ever be much smaller than a large, due to the large chests that run in the family. I'm just so excited though! I'm going to try to get the SO to take a picture of me later tonight in the LARGE shirt that I'm wearing. The thing is, I know it's only a size. I know it's a LARGE instead of an XL, or a medium or a small. But I look in the mirror and go. Darn it I'm sexy!

I have curves. Good! I love curves, but my stomach is getting flatter and those curves aren't all the rolls in my waist anymore. My back is slimmer, it's crazy. I used to think that I had a decent profile. From a front-on view I didn't think I looked so hot because my hips were wider and my chest is large. Then I gained a bunch of weight and I didn't like my profile, my font, my back or anything.

I'm not perfect, I'm not thin, I'm definitely not a size two, but I'm starting to like what I see in the mirror again. Most of the time, it's probably because I'm smiling.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Death of a friend revisited.

One year ago today a friend of mine died. She was 30, healthy, married for one year exactly the day before (Sept. 1) and they were expecting. Life changes so quickly.

She was one of the SO's, Friends' wives. She was one of my first "real" friends here in Waterloo. Not friends with me because the SO and her hubby were friends, but friends with me just because we were friends. She called me if she wanted to hang out. We went to lunch, we texted, whatever. Granted, the SO and her hubby were friends, but she was MY friend.

They say she died from Sepsis. Basically her body was so overrun with SOMETHING (they don't know what) that it killed her. She had spent a long weekend with her hubby in Omaha to celebrate their anniversary. We dog-sat for them. Then they came back. Then she was gone. She had quit smoking, was eating better and was so happy with how her life was finally going. And she was gone.

I'm just thinking about her today. Thinking about how the year would have been different. Thinking about how her life would have been different, many of our lives would have been different. I miss her. That day was so hard. So was the day after it. And the week. And the month. I still think about her. It still makes me cry. I still miss her.

I'm just thinking, life's short. Too short for some.