Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Eve Eve...

...and I'm still 3 pounds off from the 100 pound challenge. I could give you many reasons why that may be, but in the end, they all sound just like excuses to me.

The fact is, unless divine intervention happens overnight tonight, I'm not going to meet the challenge Angie gave me. I'm not going to miss the 100 pound mark by much, but I'm going to miss it. And for someone who hates failing, this is presenting me with an opportunity. Not a problem...truly an opportunity.
  • An opportunity to redefine what failure really is...because losing 97 pounds over 20 months really can't be categorized as a failure by anyone's definition of the word. 
  • An opportunity to gracefully hold my head high and thank God that although I may have missed this the mark on this mini-challenge, our journey continues...and I WILL be there at that 100 pound mark soon. 
  • An opportunity to demonstrate my newly learned self-control by not eating emotions away and deal with them as they happen...rather than making myself a pan of fudge brownies to drown my frustration at missing this goal I wanted so badly to hit. 
  • And really...an opportunity to just suck it up, pick myself up by my bootstraps, and keep on getting after it! Because sometimes, friends, that's about the best thing you can do. 
And that's my plan for tomorrow...sure, I'll be sad to miss this challenge...but I've still got work to do. I'll see you here tomorrow for the final tally...and then we move on to the bigger goals ahead! Thanks for taking the trip with me!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Made to Move...

Yesterday on the treadmill, a thought occurred to me.  It was an Angie x 2 day in the gym...so you know I was working hard!  And I was enjoying the way that my body moved.  In fact, it felt great!  What occurred to me as I was walking efficiently and for a long distance is that our bodies are made to move.

My left knee tweaked last week for the first time in about 8 weeks or so, and Angie fixed it quickly and easily right there in the gym. When the pain got too high on the pain scale she asks me to use to communicate with her about my knees, she shut down the cardio, had me finish the strength training part of the workout, and then took me into the locker room and adjusted my unstable knee.  Is she an amazing physical therapist or what?!?!  I didn't even have to go to her office!  After I left the gym, I took anti-inflammatory meds and iced on and off for the rest of the night as I elevated and rested the knee.  I have been anticipating and mentally preparing myself for a set back since that tweak...one that hasn't yet come.

In the past...96 pounds ago...this kind of tweak would have set me back several weeks in my exercise regimen.  In fact, only about 30 pounds ago, it had that effect, too.  I lost a lot of time this past summer in training for my 5K because my left knee did this.  Angie fixed it then, too, but it took so much longer for the knee to be ready for me to work it hard again.  I had weeks and weeks of low intensity workouts instead of being able to kick it into high gear because the swelling and pain just wouldn't go away.  But now, the same shift in the joint, the exact same kind of tweak, has been manageable.  Why?

Several reasons, I think.  First of all, I weigh a LOT less.  That puts tremendously less stress on the joints with every step I take every day.  We've talked about it many times - there's about 4 pounds of stress/pressure on your knee for every pound you weigh.  Losing 96 pounds has released 384 pounds of stress off my knee joints with every step I take every day.  That's a tremendous reason for less pain and less swelling.

Another reason, I think, is that I've learned much about my knee, its tendons and ligaments, and how it functions.  Knowledge is power, I believe.  I know how patellar tendonitis, pes anserine bursitis, osteoarthritis, and baker cysts feel and what symptoms are present in each of these conditions.  I have frequent flare ups of these things, and knowing the difference in how they feel is important because then I know what to tell Angie about where and how it hurts and she can target the intervention better.  I listen to her when she teaches me how my knees work...or don't...and what I can do to maximize my ability to move.  I know where my IT bands are and how to strengthen them with exercise.  I understand that strengthening my quads and hamstrings is essential for me...not optional...because they will do a lot of the work in moving and stabilizing my body that my knees just can't.  I am acutely aware of the power of ice and anti-inflammatory meds and make use of them frequently.

But I think the biggest reason that this tweak in my left knee hasn't set me back yet, and at this point, likely won't, is the thought I had on that treadmill.  Our bodies are made to move.  By their very design, the joints we have that were so carefully crafted by our Maker, we were made to be mobile.  NOT moving is an unnatural state for us.  The placement of our muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints...it's all designed so that we can move freely.

When I think of how much I hampered my ability to move, how close I came to finding myself confined to a chair that would move for me instead of being able to independently walk where I want to go, I cringe inside.  It terrifies me, in fact.  Even now...96 pounds removed from facing that possibility...I am horrifyingly aware of how near I was to that becoming a reality for me.  Choosing to be sedentary and becoming obese challenged and taxed the natural design that God gave my body.  I caused the additional stress on my knees that has resulted in them becoming bone-on-bone arthritic.  I caused the pain I used to feel with every step as my pes anserine felt like a knife stabbing me on the inside of my knees.  Me.  My choices.

But it's also my choices that are now liberating me from these consequences. Because I'm eating sensibly and am working out in the gym 5 days a week, I'm mobile. And my body IS moving...really moving!  The way it was designed to do.  The more weight I lose, the more freely I do what I was made to do...MOVE!  And can I tell you...it feels incredible!  It feels natural.  It feels like I was made to walk and run.

Because I was.

Thank you, Jesus, for the motivation and strength I needed to start this journey to the ME you made me to be, and for continuing to keep me on it for 20 months now. 
Thank you, Angie, for so many things...but mostly for supporting this journey by educating me and fixing me when I need it, and also for believing I COULD move freely again, when I didn't quite believe that myself.
And thank YOU for being here with me...sharing my successes...and my failures...holding me accountable...being my cheerleaders...celebrating victories with me.   I'm not sure you understand how much I value that, but I do.  You make me able to walk every step of this journey and I'm honored to be walking it with you.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas to Me...

No, it wasn't a gift from Santa.  It was a gift from me...to me.  The gift?  The chance to shop in a store I've NEVER been able to shop for myself before!  You see, this store only came into existence in 1987.  And I was already bigger than their biggest sizes from the day they opened their doors.

Only not so much anymore!

Merry Christmas...from Aeropostale...where I can now shop.

5 more days...getting close to that challenge.  May make it yet!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

MB and Me...

Picture used with permission!
<---- This is one of my friends and co-workers, Marybeth.  She's an outstanding teacher and a great person.  We've been with each other at the same elementary school for 4 years now and have many things in common.  Similar aged kids...similar length careers...married about the same length of time, both love music....she plays it, I sing it.  You name it, we've got it in common! I really treasure our friendship.

But I've lost her.

Literally.

And then some!

She weighs 92 pounds.  Puts my 95 pound weight loss into a VERY clear perspective for me!!!  How about for you?!?!?

She overheard me telling someone about my weight loss while we were in the copy room at work and let me know that I've lost a little more than she weighs!  I'm still 5 pounds away from a mini-challenge.  I may make it, and I may not.  But this picture is a great reminder for me.  95 pounds is NOTHING to sneeze at!

And the coolest thing about 95 pounds...it's the first time on this journey that I'm closer to where I'm GOING than to where I've BEEN!

Progress, friends...progress!!!

Have a great day tomorrow!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

This Is One of the Bigger Milestones On the Journey...

...and BOY did I need to celebrate this one this week!

As of this morning, I have officially lost 94 pounds!!!!  I am now halfway to the end goal of a 188 pound weight loss that I'll have when this is all said and done.

When I lose another pound, I'm going to be closer to who I WILL BE than I am to who I WAS.  (Just slightly, but still...!!!)

Have I mentioned lately how amazing this feels?!?!?!  Thanks for celebrating with me!  :-)


Friday, December 16, 2011

A Not So Gentle Reminder...

I've been trying to avoid the calendar lately.  After I broke that plateau a few weeks back, I had a great feeling that I was going to meet Angie's challenge to me.  I was on a roll and losing about a pound a day!  Then it slowed down, much like I expected it to.  Last week, I lost 2 pounds.  And honestly, I was pretty much OK with that.  It's a bit unrealistic to think that you're going to lose a pound a day while going about your daily life, even when it includes 5 days a week of workouts and limited calories.  This isn't "The Biggest Loser" and I don't workout as a full-time job!

This week, though, I haven't lost any weight yet and I'm desperately afraid I'm heading back to another plateau so soon after breaking the last one.  I'm also not feeling all that positive that I'm going to reach the 100 pound challenge by New Year's Eve.  I haven't given up...because I just don't do that...ever.  But I'm honest enough to admit that it's not looking too good right now.

Feeling the way I have been this week, I've stayed away from things that remind me about this journey and the challenge looming large over me.  Things like my blog.  (Maybe you wondered why I was more quiet than usual this week...or maybe you were just grateful! Hahaha!) But try as I might to avoid having to face the fact that I'm going to probably fail in this challenge (and despising failure is a huge dimension of my personality that I have yet to conquer!) I found myself surrounded by things this week that reminded me of why I began this entire journey in the first place and just how far I've come on it.

In the space of the past few weeks, I have seen 2 people in my life that I've known for a long time begin to use electric scooters because they're not able to walk without tremendous pain. I know that pain.  I've experienced that pain.  And I ache for them.  Seeing them scoot around reminded me that 93 pounds ago, that might have been me.  If I had taken the doctor up on his offer to write me that prescription for one 20 months ago, it WOULD have been me! 

I'll be honest, watching these ladies use their scooters is hard for me to take.  It hits a little too close to home and reminds me that if I stray from this journey, it could very likely still be me.  The image of a scooter in my mind is what gets me up out of bed early on the weekends to head to the gym.  It haunts me, compels me, drives me to distance myself from the possibility that I'll have to face life from a chair rolling around instead of looking people in the eye. 

The day the doctor offered me that option, something changed deep inside me.  Something very elemental in my character shifted, and it won't ever be the same again.  I know that, but I've been forgetting it a little too easily lately.

I really can't afford to forget.  I can't afford to shut my mind off from the journey I've already made or the rest of it that's yet to be traveled.  And so, I brought myself back to my blog tonight and spent a lot of time reading it.  Seeing where I've been.  Evaluating my successes...and my failures.  Deciding where I have yet to go.  Honestly examining why I might be stalling in my weight loss again.

I will definitely be drinking more water during the next week.  I'll also be paying closer attention to how many calories I'm taking in each day.  It is also fairly certain that I'll be pushing myself a little bit harder in the gym.  The interval training I started a few weeks ago is hard already, but there are ways to ramp it up a bit, like stretching the sprint interval length a bit.  I'll be trying that in the morning when I make my 5th visit to the gym this week.

I guess the bottom line is this...seeing those friends in scooters is a not so gentle reminder that there are bigger things at stake in my journey than whether or not I reach the 100 pound challenge.  I want it.  I want it badly, and I'm gonna throw everything I've got at losing those 7 pounds over the next 2 weeks.  But whether I make it or not, this journey continues on January 1...and January 2...and for all the days it takes to reach the goal of being a healthy person. The goal is not 100 pounds.  The end goal is 188 pounds...and a healthier Angie - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

I'm glad that I had the chance to refocus on the big picture a little bit tonight. No more forgetting it!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Elliptical, The Little Drummer Boy, and Me...

In the gym this morning, I was on the elliptical.  That's really nothing new.  I do that a lot lately.  It has quickly become my favorite piece of training equipment, despite the fact that 4 months ago I couldn't go a tenth of a mile on it without tremendous pain.  This morning, though, I wasn't thinking about that.  I was trying to shake up my workout routine a bit and go for distance instead of speed.

For the past two weeks, I've been focusing on using interval training on whatever equipment I use for cardio workouts.  I love what it's doing to shape my body, kickstart my metabolism, and improve my cardiovascular conditioning.  But one of the drawbacks for me that I've noticed in using it so often is that I haven't been going long distances.  After about a mile or mile and a half of intervals, I'm pooped!  My muscles are screaming at me, and I'm ready to call it quits and move on to strength training.  Today, I wanted to change it up a bit and focus more on distance and endurance, rather than speed.  My goal was to go farther than I've ever gone on the treadmill, elliptical, or arc trainer.  (I didn't include the stationary bike in that equation because I routinely go far distances on that piece of equipment, but it's a completely different workout in my mind and doesn't compare with the work I do on the other three.)  The longest distance I've done to date on all of those machines is a 5K.  3.11 miles.  Today the goal was to go farther than that.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The True Measure of Success...

How do you measure success?  If this was the classroom, I could tell you easily.  At my heart, I am a teacher. I've been on that particular journey for 24 years now and know that success is measured by achievement of the objectives that were taught.  Plain and simple.

But what about success on this other journey I'm now on?  The one that I undertook when I finally realized my health and life (or at the very least my lifestyle) were at risk and did something to change that.  How is success measured on that journey?  Is it as simple as achieving the objectives?  Do I have to achieve them ALL before I can call the journey a success? 

Last week as I finally broke the plateau I was on for 12 weeks, it occurred to me that I have been measuring my success by pretty much one standard - weight loss.  If I'm losing weight, I'm feeling successful.  And that's actually a fairly decent measure for an obese woman!  After all, I've got a lot of weight still to lose so I can finally lose that title of "obese"!  But it's not the only measure of whether I'm being successful right now or not.  And really it may not even be the best measurement of success for me right now.  Take a look at a few more with me.

Last night in the gym, working on the elliptical, I made a 9:10 mile even faster.  I did it in 8:53.  Those 17 seconds amaze me.  Really.  I can move my body a full mile in under 9 minutes!  Do you know that on April 18th of this year, my first night in the gym, I could only go a quarter of a mile on the treadmill...and that it took me almost 10 minutes? So, in 8 months, I've gone from about 1.5 miles per hour to a little more than 6 miles an hour.  No matter how you measure success, that surely has to qualify.

Tonight, my dinner plate contained very reasonable portions of a very lean meatloaf (I've got a great recipe for that, btw!) and redskin mashed potatoes.  There was no butter on my potatoes because I've learned to season things to replace the flavor I loved from the butter I used to add.  My total calories today...1500.  This is a pretty common occurrence for me these days.  Room for growth?  Absolutely.  But successful for a person trying to lose weight?  To a certain degree, yes.  I've got a decent shot at seeing the scale look a little lower tomorrow morning.

You know from our discussions here on this blog that I've discovered one of my personal demons - one that caused so much of this weight gain in the first place -  is emotional eating. I tend to engage in mindless and needless eating, not for hunger, but to avoid feeling strong emotions.  There's not too much going on in life that can't be buried under chocolate fudge brownies...and I make REALLY good brownies!  But there have been some really difficult things in the past two weeks happening in my life.  And I've been controlling myself and sticking to my eating plan for the most part.  I did sit down last week with that piece of peanutbutter cup pie.  But after the first bite, I stopped and threw away the rest.   For the most part these days, I eat when I'm hungry...and not for any other reason.  Is this success?  In my mind...absolutely!

And here's a biggie.  Today the weather has been warm, changing to cold, with a steady, heavy rain all day.  Normally, my knees would be swollen and walking would be difficult.  But not today.  I have moved freely around my classroom, I cooked dinner after unloading and reloading the dishwasher, and the only reason I am sitting down right now is to write this blog post.  I could be up and moving if I wanted to be.  I am able to move on a cold, rainy night after a long day of work.  Is that success?  YOU BET!!! 

Which, brings us full circle.  Right back to weight loss.  The reason my knees are not unbearable today is that I've lost 91 pounds.  There's 4 pounds of pressure on your knees for every pound you weigh.  Did you know that?  I do...intimately! Because I've lost those 91 pounds, I've relieved 364 pounds of pressure off of my knees.  THAT is why I'm walking right now, able to move freely, able to live my life in a very different way than I did when I began this journey.

So, what is the true measure of success?  To me, it's all of these things.  And I need to remember to view it this way, and not totally rely solely on what my scale says.  Losing weight is always going to be a great indicator of how well my journey is going.  It's easy to measure and mark milestones using my weight.  But it's only part of the picture.  I need to remember that and refuse to get down when the scale moves slower than I want it to.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Know What Yesterday Was???

Yesterday was the last day of my life that I will ever spend in the 240's!

This morning, I was greeted with a lovely number...239!

I've been losing weight all week.  After 12 weeks of essentially losing none, I'm losing again.  Besides enjoying the feeling, I've spent some time trying to figure out why I'm losing again.  I want to reflect so that the next time I hit a plateau in my weight loss, I'll have this knowledge to go back to.  And I think I've got an idea as to why this is happening.

I've spent time this week in the gym doing something known as interval training.  Basically, interval training is doing something like walking or slow jogging for an interval, and then sprinting for the next interval.  You repeat this several times.  What happens to me when I do this is that my heart rate hits a  great fat-burning level (150+) and pretty much stays there for the whole workout.  But another thing has happened, too.  I discovered this morning in the gym that my "down" interval is faster than it used to be.  My sprint is still about as fast as I can go, but the other time is quicker than I normally do. 

Today on the elliptical, I did an entire mile of interval training...in 9:40!  That is the absolute quickest mile I have EVER done!  Earlier this week, I did a 10:20 mile on the elliptical.  Today was 40 seconds better.  That's a HUGE gain for me in a 4 day period...for anyone, really!  When my mile was done, I spent the next 10:20 (until I reached 20 minutes of cardio in my workout) just using the elliptical at my regular pace.  And I added on another 3/4 of a mile!  I was going intentionally slower.  I measured my heart rate in the 130's...but I went farther than I've ever done in 10 minutes before.  My regular pace is quicker!

So, I'm going to be interval training for the foreseeable future!  I do believe this is what helped me break through the plateau...and I am loving the results that doing it is giving me, not just in weight loss, but in overall improvement in my health.  Being quicker means my heart and the rest of my body is stronger.  Who wouldn't love that?!?  And when you toss weight loss on top of that...well, I'm just a happy woman!  I HIGHLY recommend interval training!

And for those keeping track.  So far this week, I've lost 4 pounds.  The official weigh in is tomorrow morning, and I'm hoping for 5 this week!  We'll see whether that happens or not!  That's a total of 89 pounds total...and only 11 left for Angie's huge challenge.  Wasn't sure I could make it before.  But now...I'm feeling it is INCREDIBLY possible and within reach!  Let's hope anyway!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Psst...Something You Might Wanna See!

I'm a little hesitant to point it out...but the 100 Pound Challenge Tracker has changed a little. 

I'm just sayin...

:-)))))))))

Kinda excited for the official weigh in on Sunday!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Transformation

Do you suppose that caterpillars know what's inside them?  Is it possible that at some point something deep within them connects with their inner butterfly?  Is that what propels them to spin the cocoon to begin the transformation?

The more I think about this journey, the more I wonder at what point this transformation is going to feel completely real to me.  I'm watching The Biggest Loser tonight as I write this post.  It's the make-over show and they're about to walk out on the red carpet as these new people, completely transformed on the exterior.  But as they speak, what is obvious is that this is no shallow, surface change.  They are profoundly different people.  At their core, they no longer see themselves as they once did.  They know who they are at a fundamental level, and they know who they will never be again.  One of the contestants said it best: "The butterfly is out of the cocoon!"

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"It Just Takes Some Time...

...little girl you're in the middle of the ride.  Everything, everything will be just fine.  Everything, everything will be alright...alright!"
Jimmy Eat World lyrics

These lyrics are from one of my favorite songs.  You'd think I'd remember the lyrics a little more often than I do.  I mean, really...I play it in my workout mix 5 times a week.  Just how many times do I need to hear it until I start to really LISTEN to it?!?  Apparently one more time did it for me.  Because today, finally, I listened.

I've got this goal looming large over me that Angie put out there a few weeks ago.  I knew it would be a stretch and I knew when I took it on that I might not make it.  In fact, I'm still not too sure that I will make it.  I've got a lot of pounds to lose to reach the 100 pounds lost milestone and not many days left on the calendar before New Year's Eve.  But I'm much more OK with where I am right now than I was earlier this week.  You see, I figured it out.  I'm still in the middle of the ride.

This occurred to me as I finally was able to do 200 crunches again for the first time since this summer.  When I changed gyms, the different equipment made doing crunches a lot harder.  (It made everything a lot harder, really.  Perhaps the older equipment was just worn out and easier to use at my old gym, who knows?)  The ab crunch machines at the new gym have additional weight/tension added on them that the ones at the old gym didn't, so getting back up to my average of 200 crunches per workout has taken so much time.  And really, that lesson reminded me of this song.

It really does just take some time.  I'm still very much in the middle of this ride.

I'm doing the right things - working out, eating healthy.  I'm doing them consistently, and I'm making positive changes in my life and body because of it.  But I'm not done.  And I shouldn't be treating myself like I am.  It's going to take some time to be where I want to be.  It's OK to still be in the middle of this journey. 

Lately, I've let weight loss become my only measure of success on this ride, and so it's felt like I've been unsuccessful because I've been plateaued for a long, long time now.  But come on...200 crunches is significant!  Heck...it's HUGE compared to who I used to be!  And really, I have friends who are in shape, not obese like me, that can't do 200 crunches AT ALL, much less do that many 5 times a week...which is pretty much what I do in my workout routine.  I may not be where I'm going to be...but I'm no longer where I was.  I'm in the middle of the ride.  I'm making progress. 

Thanks, Jimmy Eat World, for such an amazing song to remind me that everything is gonna be alright.  It really, really is!

Thanks, Angie, for the challenge to keep me moving forward.  I may not hit it, but it won't be because I didn't give it everything I had.  And eventually, I WILL reach the milestone.

Thanks to all of you for encouraging me along the way.  This ride is an amazing one for sure!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Feeling Grateful...

Thanksgiving 2011

Dear Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving!  I'm feeling extraordinarily grateful today.  I am a ridiculously blessed woman!!  And it feels like a good time to name a few of the things I'm thankful for that involve my improvements in health in the past year.

First, I'm thankful for my new eating habits.  I am proud of how today went for me compared to the last time when many of my favorite foods all showed up on the same table.  I ate smart today.  I didn't eat emotionally or socially, or for any reason other than I was hungry and needed food.  And that feels amazing.  That green bean casserole in the picture up there is one of my very favorite side dishes EVER.  And I ate only an appropriate sized portion of it.  That's progress!

Next, I'm thankful for my new exercise habits.  It feels strange to me on days like today to NOT be at the gym.  I miss it!  And those of you know know me in real life can attest, that was not something I ever imagined happening in my life.  If you looked up the definition of sedentary in the dictionary, it could have shown my picture!  After a long day, I liked nothing more than coming home, putting up the footstool on the recliner, and chilling out to recover from the day.  Now, doing that feels strange. 

I'm also grateful for the decrease I'm currently experiencing in knee pain.  I know that losing weight is only really putting off the time when I will have to have these old, arthritic knees replaced.  But the fact is, I'm putting that day off!  That's huge!  This is so different from the path I was on only a year ago, and I'm thankful for every day further I can go with knees that don't function like they're supposed to.

Finally, and most importantly, I'm thankful for all of YOU!  Some of you I see in person and get to experience your love and support first hand.  Others of you I know but don't see often (or at all!) because our paths don't intersect often and this blog gives us a chance to stay current in each others' lives.  A few of you, I don't know anywhere but online...and even a few of you, I don't know at all.  But the fact that all of you are part of my community is what makes this journey such a meaningful adventure for me.  I'm certain that having you surround me, pray for me, encourage me, challenge me, and really hold me accountable for doing healthy, positive things in my life is what has made all the difference for me.

So...thank you.  Happy Thanksgiving!  Thank you for making such a HUGE difference in my life.
Angie
:-)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just So You Know...

...Lost those 2 pounds.  Just like I thought.
Now if only I could figure out a way to break this 
plateau...
:-)


Sunday, November 20, 2011

So Now What?

I've spent most of this weekend sedentary, not by choice, but by necessity.  I had class yesterday, which required many hours of sitting.  I did spend some time afterward cleaning out the spare bedroom, so I had some active time, but not like gym time.  Today was a long choir morning at church, which requires a lot of standing, but not a lot of moving.  And this afternoon and evening have been spent getting ready for parent/teacher conferences.  Also, not a lot of moving.  No cardio, no weight training.  And no weight loss.  In fact.  Weight GAIN!

I knew going into this challenge to reach my 100 pound weight loss milestone by New Year's Eve that it was going to be difficult to make it happen.  For whatever reason, I've been plateaued in weight loss for the past 10 weeks now.  I'm eating less, I'm exercising more, and I'm not losing weight.  In general, I'm not gaining.  I go up and down slightly here and there, but that's not unusual for me.  I weigh myself at the same time every day, but I only record it on Sunday mornings.  That 2 pound gain from this morning will be gone by tomorrow.  I'm not even going to change my 100 pound tracker just yet.  I will if it doesn't leave, but I'm guessing it's probably already gone.  Just how my body works, and I know that well by this point.

So here's my question....now what?

I've had a lot of suggestions about how to break the plateau, and I've tried many of them.  I'm looking into others.  I am not ready to give up on this goal, even though a week has passed without the average 2 pound loss per week that I need to maintain to lose this weight by the target of December 31.  I'm really ready to work harder than ever.  I just am not sure what work to do.  Ever been there?  Willing to do whatever is needed, but having NO IDEA what that might be...

Pray for me, friends.  Specifically, ask that He would lead me in the paths that are correct for MY body, MY metabolism, and that HE would be honored by the work that He is doing in my body.  And when you're done praying, find me some suggestions of things to try...we've got to get past this plateau!  Thanks, friends!

Friday, November 18, 2011

There's a Reason I Haven't Written This Week...

...it just isn't a good one!

I'm eating less.

I'm exercising 5 times a week...totally kicking my tail in the gym, not taking it easy.

And besides the 1 pound at the beginning of the week...

NOTHING!

I'm beyond frustrated by that.  But here's the difference in the old Angie and the New Angie...I'm still working at the goal.  This is not a goal I'm going to give up on. I may not make the 100 pound loss by the new year, but I will make it eventually.  And then the next one, and the next one, and the next one...until I reach them all.  Because I refuse to give up on this.  I WILL break out of this plateau in my weight loss eventually.  I am doing the right things.  And I am becoming healthier and stronger every single day.

I just need to lose 15 more pounds...

UGH!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

For Posterity...

When Angie challenged me last Friday, I'll be honest, I was more than a little hesitant to publish  that I'd accepted the challenge.  Mostly that was fear speaking in my head...reminding me that making this goal public was choosing to make myself vulnerable...opening myself up to possibly be pitied or even mocked if I don't make the goal.  But what I failed to remember (until it happened this weekend) is that being public with this goal is also choosing to open myself up to receive love, support, encouragement, and positive advice.  Wow, what a weekend it was!

So, in that spirit, I'm publicly publishing the rest of my weight loss goals.  My hope is that by putting these out there for you to see, I can be held accountable, yes, but more importantly, you can cheer me on...help me reach them all!  I LOVE that God placed us in community to do this for each other!  So thanks in advance for all you will do to help me meet these goals!!  Here they are...in the order I will achieve them, along with how many more pounds I need to lose to reach them:

First goal:  Half way to total weight loss - 94 pounds lost  (9 more pounds)
Next goal:  100 pounds lost (15 more pounds)
Next goal:  Weighing under 200 pounds by my 45th birthday - April 30th (43 more pounds)
Next goal:  No longer medically defined as "obese", which for me is 180 pounds or less (63 more pounds)
Next goal:  150 pounds lost (65 more pounds)
FINAL GOAL:  No longer medically defined as "overweight", which for me is 140 pounds or less (103 more pounds)  *NOTE...this will be a 188 pound total loss for me...a 57% weight loss from where I was at my highest weight.  I'll literally be less than HALF the size I was!

So...there they are.  Those are the last of my weight loss milestones to reach. Six more goals is all it will take to get me where I want to be.  I'm still working on crafting health and fitness goals to go along with these because for me, losing weight is only one part of this journey.  What I really want is to live a healthy life...physically healthy, mentally healthy, spiritually healthy...all of it!  Weight is important in that, but it's by far not the only thing that matters.  Anyone with suggestions about goals to add for overall health, fitness, and wellness, please comment!  I'm open to ideas!

And really...thanks again!  I love this community we've created here on this blog and in my social media world...along with my in-person friends.  God has ridiculously blessed me with an abundance of love, caring, and support.  Having you on this journey along with me has made a big difference!


Got 1!!!

...and that means there's only 15 left!

YES!!!! 

I could be feelin' it...I was nervous when I set my mind to this...but this could REALLY HAPPEN!!! 

Ever feel that fear when you set a "stretch" goal...one you're not sure you can hit???

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Challenge I Can't Refuse...

Angie x 2 made a gym visit tonight.  It's always amazing working out with her.  She pushed me harder than I planned on working, which was a very good thing because I need to be working hard and I was going to just do an easy workout.  And then came the challenge.

Angie asked me about my "official" on the books weight at the doctor's visit I had last week.  After I shared it with her, she reminded me that there's only about 7 weeks left in the year...just enough time for me to hit a very big goal of mine if I work for it. 

100 pounds is really within my reach.  It's officially 16 pounds away.  And there are 50 days left in this year as of this moment.  In 7 weeks and 1 day, it will be New Year's Eve.  And I want to enter the new year 100 pounds less than I used to be.  That's a little more than 2 pounds per week.

So, friends....it's GAME ON!  I've accepted Angie's challenge.  And I know there are several factors fighting against me in this.
  • I've been plateaued in my weight loss for more time than I've got left in the year...and have no idea how I'm going to break through it to start losing again.
  • The holidays are coming up, which are a major challenge because my favorite foods are served in plentiful quantities.
  • My knees are still pretty painful, although I am back to a fairly regular workout schedule.
And not one of those factors is going to stop me from aiming at this goal.  16 pounds in 50 days.  This is my new short-term goal.  Think I've got this in me?  Honestly, if determination alone could carry me through, I know I do.  I've got determination aplenty!  But I have no idea if I can make this goal a reality or not. 

But I do know this...I've got to try.

And if I make it, we are going to party hard to ring in the new year.  No...make that WHEN I make it.  Why bother to have a goal that I don't start out planning to reach?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

OK, Let's Get Real for a Minute...

First a disclaimer...that is NOT me!  I wish!  I'm not quite there yet...but actually, I'm a lot closer than I've been in a long time!  One day.

Now that that's out of the way and we've confirmed this is a stock photo, let's deal with what it shows.  Because I'm facing this side effect from my weight loss.  You see, I've weighed nearly 200 pounds more than my ideal weight for a lot of years.  Fortunately, skin stretches.  Unfortunately, skin STAYS stretched!

Losing 85 pounds has been amazing.  I feel so much better about myself when I look in the mirror.  But I keep wondering how I'm going to ever be able to do enough toning and tightening that I can get rid of the extra skin that just kinda flaps around on my belly and upper thighs. I mean really...I can crunch with the best of em these days.  And I do. Repeatedly!  But for as much muscle as I can feel underneath the flab...there's still loose, icky skin hanging on me.  Oh, I know there's still a LOT of fat there waiting to be burned off, too.  After all, I'm still about 100 pounds from my final goal.  But there's also a lot of fat gone that used to be here.  And really, this loose skin just isn't a good look.

So, for as much as this is a good problem to have...it's still a problem.  Anyone farther on this weigh loss journey than I am have any tips for me on how to tone and tighten?  I'm looking for a few good ideas to try...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

This Stuns Me...


...and not in a good way!  Even the BEST state in the US has 1/5 of its adults weighing at least 20% MORE than their ideal body weight, with a body mass index of 30 or higher. And this map doesn't even address childhood obesity!  GOODNESS!!!

I wonder what it would be like if everyone understood what obesity really costs people emotionally, physically, and even financially?  I wonder what it will take for this nation to come to grips with this?  

Too many people will see this same map and either ignore it or consider it someone else's issue because it doesn't touch them personally.  But what if people chose to be stunned by it?  What if people decided they'd take a personal stand on this issue.

What if I do that?  What if YOU do?

I'm thinking on this...long and hard...and praying.  Join me in that, won't you???

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I Had a Mini Moment...

Well, perhaps it was more than a "mini" moment...I'll let you decide!

Had to go to the doctor's office yesterday. I have ongoing knee pain, as you know, and also have had a low grade fever and cold-like symptoms for the past three weeks.  Figured I was due for a visit to my primary care doc to get it checked out.

When I got to her office and got on the scale, I was excited because I weigh myself every day, and since I hadn't seen her for about 12 weeks, I knew that she'd have the opportunity to be happy about a big weight loss for my official medical record.  So, I got on the scale smiling (a mini moment all on it's own!) and proceeded to adjust the weights.

Before I go on, I should explain that I weigh myself every morning on a digital scale.  All I do is step on, wait a few seconds, and it tells me to the tenth of a pound how much I weigh.  It's surprisingly accurate when compared to my doctor's scale, but it requires no adjusting on my part.  I just stand there and it weighs me.  My doctor's scale in the practice's downstairs office is also digital.  But I saw my doctor in the upstairs office yesterday, which has a scale that looks a lot like the one in that picture up there.

At first I didn't adjust anything after I stepped on it, merely out of habit.  Then my brain kicked in and I realized that this was not home, nor the downstairs office.  This was not my digital scale, and I actually had to move the weights to get it to measure my body weight.  So, out of habit from being a big girl for the past 20 years or so, I slid the bottom weight all the way to the right and proceeded to adjust the top weight to try to get it to balance.  It wouldn't.  And that's when it hit me...

The number all the way to the right on the bottom of this scale is 300 pounds.  I used to have to move the weight that far.  But that was a long time ago.  So I adjusted it one space to the left, smiling at my good fortune, and tried to make the weight balance.  Still, no balancing.  And it hit me again...

That number isn't my number either.  Because that number is 250 pounds...and I now weigh LESS than that!!!

So, finally I moved it one more time, shaking my head, with tears in my eyes, and adjusted it down slightly to 244...my new official medical record weight as of yesterday...to the cheers and congratulations of the friendly nurse who was recording my statistics.

Like I said...a mini moment.  Or possibly a major one.  Yeah, I'm gonna go with major!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Been Thinking More About Fences...

I've spent the past several days thinking (and praying) about whether building some fences to keep people out of my private life...being a little less transparent about who I am and my journey...is the right move for me as a person.  And here's what I've come up with.

I DO need a few more boundaries in my professional life, I think.  I'm a people pleaser (reforming).  I like everyone to like me, and the reality is that not everyone is going to like me.  Accepting that is difficult for me.  I need to get over this, I think.  Because I can't control how people perceive me, and to continue to be hurt by that is difficult.

However, here's the bigger conclusion I've come to.  I'd really rather be hurt than to shut myself off from feeling things for people.  Feeling means my heart is still tender, still open to others.  Being vulnerable is part of loving others.  And God says I can't love Him, who I can't see, if I don't love my brothers, who I can see.  My pastor actually preached on this Sunday...go figure!  God coming through right when I'm listening and waiting to hear from Him!

I am transparent in my life and my journey because I care.  I care about helping people.  I care about people in general.  I love easily...which sadly means I get burned from time to time.  It's still worth it.  In the end, the people who care about me are going to stick around, and those that don't really care won't.  And I'm OK with that.  At least right here, right now I am.  Let's hope it stays that way!

Thanks for taking the journey with me...
:-)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oh, I Wanted That Pound!!!

<---Which is why I probably SHOULDN'T have had THAT last night!  Oh, well...I got a loss this week.  Ten days out of the gym because of my silly knees, and I got a 1 pound loss.  I'll take it.  Two was within my reach, though.  I had it until last night...and then I ate it away!

Ever trip yourself up that way?  Maybe one day I'll learn not to do that.  But honestly, I haven't had ice cream in forever...and I wanted that bowl.  It was a SMALL bowl...much smaller than in this picture.  It was just bad timing knowing that I was going to post my weight today.  Should've waited until tonight!  Hahaha!  Oh, well...live and learn!  But I'm back in the gym as of tonight, so I'm sure that pound will be MINE before long!

Hope you have a great week this week.  I'm looking forward to one, too.  Feels good to get back to my normal routine, including writing blog posts!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Building Fences...

One of the things that's pretty core to who I am as a person is that I reflect on things that happen to me to make sense of them and determine what impact those things will have in my life.  Once of the ways that I best reflect and process information is in writing.  It's one of the reasons that this blog exists, in fact, because putting words to the thoughts that run through my head helps me determine whether my life is on the track I want it to be or not.  It's my own personal form of evaluation, creativity, and expression.  The fact that it benefits others astounds me, humbles me, and feeds another essential need in my life ~ to care for and help others in whatever way I can.

Being transparent in this blog is essential because that's the only way I feel I can be true to who I am.  I make sense of the world by writing about it, by taking things that happen to me and mulling them around in my mind and then spilling them out of my fingers as the words and ideas in this blog.  At times, that has offended others, for which I am sorry.  However, most of the feedback I have received from people who read this is that it helps them to hear about my successes, but even more about my struggles and failures.  For as wonderful as that feels to hear, though, being transparent like this has some decided disadvantages.  It opens me up and makes me very vulnerable to being hurt by people who don't "get" me.  It allows people who know little about me to make judgments that are less than flattering, which also hurts.

It has been suggested to me that I consider being a little less transparent, intentionally keep some things to myself in order to avoid offending others and more importantly to avoid getting hurt.  "Build fences" is a policy that one of my most trusted and valued friends suggested I adopt in my life after a horribly painful week emotionally (and physically...but that has little to do with the events of the week and everything to do with osteoarthritis in my knees!)   The trouble is, I'm not sure that I can.  And honestly, I'm not really even sure that I want to.

I honestly believe that one of the reasons I have finally been successful in losing weight after years and years of failures is that I AM transparent and vulnerable.  I'm honest about this journey and I don't keep it private.  I publish my actual weight on this blog every Sunday morning...no padding the number to make it look better.  I don't hide things, and that makes me very accountable to my friends and family.  Some of my best suggestions about fitness and eating in a more healthy manner have come from people who know what I'm aiming for because I'm up front about it and very open to improvement.  Building fences to me means that I'd lose that kind of opportunity to grow myself, as well as losing the opportunity to let people in on my journey so they can benefit from it, too.

I have to do some real thinking about this suggestion from my friend.  Building fences might very well ensure that I don't have another week like this one...but it might also require me to make changes that could hurt me even more...that could potentially slow my journey...that don't feel like who I am.  I'll let you know how my thinking is going...unless I really DO put up some walls, in which case, I guess my silence will speak for me...LOL!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Body Is Fighting Against Me??? Doesn't Matter...I WIN This One!

So, according to this week's New England Journal of Medicine, people who have dieted their way to a significant weight loss are still very much at risk for a weight regain.  In essence, this clinical study asserts that the bodies of obese people work AGAINST them instead of for them in maintaining a weight loss.  Hormones in the bloodstream that are responsible for suppressing or enhancing appetite are at elevated levels for increasing appetite in people who have lost more than 10% of their body weight.

As of this morning, the scale read 243.  I'm back to 85 pounds gone after being stuck at 83 pounds for the past several weeks.  That is a 26% weight loss in the past 18 months.  More than double that 10% loss the people in the study experienced. And I've got news for the hormones that are apparently running rampant in my body, encouraging my appetite to increase so I can regain all this weight....

NO WAY I GIVE IN...NO WAY!!!! 

I REFUSE to yield to a bigger appetite, just because there may or may not be hormones encouraging me to eat so I can regain the weight ("homeostasis" according to this article).  If I have to fight my own body until the day I leave this earth, I will. 

NOTHING...ABSOLUTELY NOTHING tastes as good as being thinner feels.

So there!  Ha!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Yup...I Went Here!

I went to a funeral yesterday for a lovely woman who I have known and enjoyed for the past 30 years.  Her daughters and I are good friends and Grandma Jean has been a role model and mentor in my life for many, many years.  She was well loved by all who knew her, as evidenced by the tremendous number of people who attended her funeral and the meal afterwards.

For those that aren't familiar with "Baptist" funerals, the way they go is that you say your goodbyes to the dearly departed, cry a little, laugh a little, and then EAT...a LOT!!!  Funerals + Friends = FOOD!  A decidedly bad equation for someone like me working on a new, healthier lifestyle! That picture over there is the actual table of food that Grandma Jean's friends provided for the meal after her funeral.  I Photoshopped the picture a bit because I'm learning how to play around with effects (that one is called "soft focus" in case you're interested!), but also because if I hadn't, what you'd have seen would perhaps stun you.  The gymnasium at the church had a row of tables down its length, and on those tables were plates, aluminum pans, casserole dishes, and crock pots FILLED with delightful, delicious food.  Ham, roast beef, pasta, salads, fried chicken, roasted pork, biscuits, and enough deviled eggs to make your head spin lined the length of this spread.  And then there was the dessert table!  Pies, cakes, cookies, brownies...a true sugar fest!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Looking Like I Need Some Cortisone...

Yeah.  I don't like needles so much.  But this one will be worth it! At least I hope it will. 

As I'm writing this, I'm sitting in my recliner with my right knee elevated and iced.  At some point yesterday...while I was sitting at an all day retreat with my worship ministry buddies at church...my knee decided to crap out again.  And by "crap out" what I mean is that there are currently sharp, shooting pains starting right under my kneecap and traveling up and down my leg.  HUGELY painful.  And frankly, very frustrating.  If I hurt myself running or working out...or had some amazing story to go with the pain, that'd be one thing.  But to be SITTING in a chair and just randomly have this degree of pain???  No fun, friends.  Not at all!!

The last time I went to my knee doctor, he gave me a plan for how we are going to manage my pain until it's time to have my knee replacement surgery sometime after I'm 50 years old...and about 100 pounds lighter.  The plan is to have multiple cortisone injections for the next 6 years or so as I need them to get through the pain of knees that are barely functional because of the arthritis that has degenerated the joints.  He injected my left knee in August.  Seems like now it's time for the right one.  It's crapped out on me too many times in the past 3 weeks.  I need this pain to go away...because I've still got goals to reach that I can't do with this much pain in my right knee!

That picture up there used to scare me.  Just imagining a huge needle going into the most painful part of my body and injecting it with a bunch of thick, uncomfortable-feeling fluid is enough to make me queasy (and I apologize if I just did that to you, too!).  And really, I still don't LIKE getting the injection...but ANYTHING that takes away this nasty pain is worth it!!!  For the next 6 years or so, this is going to be my life.

So, I'm hoping that when I take tomorrow off work to rest this silly knee, the doctor can see me...and take the edge of this pain by shooting me up with cortisone.  It's only a temporary fix, I know, but it'll do for right now.  I need some pain relief!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It Really IS Mind Over Matter...

A while back in this blog, I talked about finding a new "default"...a new normal that I could revert to when my life gets stressful and I don't want to do the things I know I should do. 

Today has been one of those days.  Really, this school year feels a whole lot like it's going to be one of those years!  Don't get me wrong...I love my class. Truly, I do.  But this particular group of 10 year olds is really making my best become a lot better. They are not a group where OK is good enough...I have to be on my "A Game" every day, and that's so tiring.  I don't mind that...not at all.  It comes with the job.  But it IS stressful.  Today in particular was highly stressful. 

I got home from work and the stress increased about tenfold because my kitchen exploded all over the place.  Seems like I'm the only one around here who is willing to do dishes and clean messes in that room.  Even ones I don't make.  It's like these boys are allergic to that dishwasher! So, after dealing with the dishes and mixing the meatloaf to put in the oven, I sat down to rest before going to the gym.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ever Get Something You Really Didn't Deserve? I Did!

I had a tough week last week.  A flare up of my knee injury kept me out of the gym for much of the week.  Only 2 days of working out and lots of sitting on my backside while I rested the knees and hoped for better days.

Better days did finally arrive.  My knees are much better today, and I went back to the gym tonight. Got a good workout, pretty much pushing myself with a normal intensity for me.  That was surprising enough.  But what happened this morning was really a HUGE surprise!

When I stepped on the scale this morning, I really expected a weight gain.  Or at the best, perhaps I'd maintain the weight from the day before.  When you eat like I did this weekend and don't exercise, you come to expect that you're going to see the scale go up.  I was prepared for it and had already planned what I was going to do differently today so that I could recoup the gain and start losing again.  So imagine my surprise when I got on the scale...and it went down a pound and a half!

I was stunned.  So I weighed myself again.  Sure enough, I got the same result.  I lost 1 1/2 pounds this weekend pretty much doing NOTHING.

Did I deserve to lose weight?  Not at all.  I didn't completely overeat, but I ate more than I know was needed for maintaining my weight.  I didn't emotionally or mindlessly eat.  I used good weight loss  strategies, like using small plates, eating small portions.  But I didn't drink much water and I ate often.  Little bits each time, but often.  I honestly expected about a 2-3 pound gain...not a loss!  But it didn't happen that way.  And I'm just so grateful!  I didn't deserve a weight loss this week, but I'll take it.  And I'll be grateful.

I went ahead and followed my plan to change up my eating habits and drink more water today.  I figured that the next time the scale goes down, it'll be because I worked for it!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Attitude...It's Not a Little Thing. It's EVERYTHING!!!

I'm sitting at home this morning instead of working hard on an arc trainer or a treadmill or a bike.  That's why I have a lot of time to write this blog post this morning.  Because I'm sitting.  And honestly, I began this day with a very poor attitude...because I'm sitting...not walking, not working out.

But on my television right now is the Baltimore Running Festival.  While they show the runners out there on a gorgeous, crisp autumn morning winding their way through the streets of Baltimore, they are telling inspiring stories of why some of those people are running the 5K, half, or full marathons.  The Baltimore Marathon has become a prestigious affair for runners over the past 11 years.  Of course, there are elite runners that are dominating the field.  But for me, the far more compelling stories are the ones like mine.  People who had NO REASON to believe they'd ever be running any distance, and yet they are out there and doing it anyway!  They've kicked cancer.  They've battled weight and other health issues.  They've committed to serving others and are running this to raise money.  You name it...they've got their reasons, each of them of vital importance.  These runners are passionate about this event.

That's when it came to me.  Attitude isn't just a little thing.  It's not just a positive outlook that makes us happier along the way.  It's truly EVERYTHING.  Everything.  Once we realize that it's our ATTITUDE that determines our outcome, we become powerful, unstoppable forces.  Those runners have learned this lesson in their own lives.  And now they are teaching it to all of us.

So what is the lesson?  Here's how I see it...

When you BELIEVE you can...you can!  Success in any endeavor begins with your head and your heart.  BELIEVE that you are able, and your actions, your intentions, your energy all fall in line behind that belief.  Hold to it tenaciously and refuse to let go of the belief, and you WILL accomplish whatever it is you set out to do.
Life isn't what happens to you...it's what you DO with what happens to you.  You cannot control what comes your way in life, the circumstances that impact you.  But you CAN control your response to the things that happen to you.  That is a powerful choice on your part.  Will you choose to be positive and move forward despite having real reasons to be hurt, angry, and frustrated?  Or instead, will you allow the things that come your way to determine your response and defeat you?

My attitude is my CHOICE, friends.  I don't try to maintain a positive outlook on life because I've got on rose-colored glasses as some of my acquaintances seem to think I do.  I try to maintain a positive attitude because that's WHO I AM.  It's a choice I've made to live out Philippians 2:5...to let my attitude be the same as that of Christ Jesus.  Am I completely successful in that pursuit?  Absolutely not.  Is anyone?  But does that mean I give in and let my attitude be determined by my circumstances?  No way!!!  This is MY choice...no one and nothing determines my attitude except for ME.

So, I'm changing my attitude this morning because I can.  I'm resting my knee more willingly, knowing that because I'm resting it today, it will be stronger tomorrow.  The gym will be there when I can safely return to it.  And I will.  There's really no doubt about that at this point in my life.  A year ago...maybe.  But not now.  I'll head back to training when I'm able to do so without further injuring my already failing knees. 

Attitude changes everything.  I believe that.  Do you?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Not again...

I wish I could say that was true...that my knee pain hadn't come back this week.  But I don't lie to you or to myself.  It's back, and it's hurting a bunch!  But really, I do have to say that this time, the knee pain is a bit different.  And here's why...
  • I know my knees well enough to know exactly what's going on inside me.  The torn menisci are really being stupid right now...stabbing, searing, sharp pain that is TRULY un-fun!!!
  • I know enough to REST and ICE my knees when they get to feeling this way, rather than pushing, rather than crying, rather than complaining.  I just have to do the right things for them and this will resolve more quickly.
  • I know that even though I have to take a break from working out for a few days, that if I truly DO rest the knees, I'll be back in the gym soon enough.
So, will any of this knowledge make it easier to walk?  No...it won't.  But it will make it easier to get through it.

Well, that and some really sweet pain killers...

Keep me in prayer, my friends...I need it!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Didn't Really Want To...

...but I went to the gym anyway!

And BOY did I get a great workout.

<--- This machine over here...it's AMAZING!

Hope you got a good workout in today...whether you wanted it or not!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Did I REALLY Do That?!?!?!

This morning I didn't have time to catch breakfast at home and still make it to church on time.  Even if I DID have time, I'd have been hard pressed to have a good breakfast at home because we really didn't have a lot of good stuff to choose from.  Never made it to the grocery store yesterday.  So, after the early service, my tummy was GROWLING...clearly hungry.  And I was in a rush to head to another church to watch my friends' children being baptized.  A truly busy morning.   Some days are just like that, I know...but you can do better than I did this morning.  Let me share with you what happened...

Friday, October 7, 2011

What a WEEK!!!

Nope...not me over there.  Don't have long blonde hair!  But I've had that kind of week.   

You might have noticed the lack of blog posts during the week this week...that wasn't a coincidence!  This new group of 10 year olds has me on my toes all day, every day...and this week was no exception.  They are challenging me to be the best I can be on a daily basis...and I'm coming home exhausted from the enormity of the job I have to do.  And honestly, some days, completely beat down by the feeling that I'm not adequate to the task. 

I haven't really felt like I've had a fresh word this week to share...so I haven't.  I've pulled up the blog every night, even started new posts that I later abandoned.  But days and weeks like these cause me to stop and reflect. I've found that re-reading my journey so far is great source of strength and hope to me.  What these posts have reminded me is that I've come a long way. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Really? REALLY???

Yes...that's gooey, yummy, delicious pizza in that picture over there.  And guess where I ran into my nemesis tonight??

AT MY NEW GYM!!!

TOTALLY unfair and unkind!  I mean, really?!?!  You have box after box of free, incredible-smelling pizza in the lobby that I have to walk through to get to my workout?  Free Pizza Monday on the first Monday of every month?  Wow.  Just...WOW!  And SO not in a good way!

You'll be really glad to know that I RESISTED!!!!  And you may not be surprised to hear that I will NOT be going to the gym on the first Monday of every month!!  If I had known this was gonna be there tonight, I'd have found a different workout tonight, too!  Well...for $9.99 a month I can give up one night.  It's far better to do that than it would be to sabotage myself by trying to workout while smelling one of my very favorite foods just sitting there taunting me!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

No More...

I've made so many wrong, unhealthy decisions in my life.  This journey to a new me has been about revealing them one at a time and then changing them.  But a byproduct of this process has also been dealing with the feelings of shame that go along with those decisions.

Consequences of our wrong choices don't immediately go away in our lives because we commit to better, right, healthy actions.  I am still an obese woman.  And I've lost 85 pounds!  That's humiliating, no matter how you look at it.  I've felt the shame that goes along with being my size, even as I've celebrated the shrinking that's been happening.  But today, something reached me deep in my soul, and I've decided that I'm done with shame.  No more...I'm not allowing it in my life, in my head, in my psyche...whatever you wanna call it.  I'm done with shame.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Little More Gardening...

If you remember from a few months back, I shared with you a post about me not being the world's best gardener.  That's still true.  But my garden's been growing.  And teaching me a few things in the process.

<--- This picture over here is the current size of my rose bush.  Looking really good, isn't it?!  It began as a tiny little thing, and really I haven't done much to it at all, but it has grown.  Oh, I learned my lesson about weeds and have worked to keep the flower bed free from those little invaders.  But I haven't fed the roses anything special or really done anything other than weed pulling, and yet, they're flourishing.  Literally!  So I got to thinking about what my garden is still trying to teach me about life, and I've come up with a few things...

Friday, September 30, 2011

There's a Reason the Pros are the Pros...

...and it's because we need them to be!  I know for sure that I do!  I'm betting that's true for you, too...

I met the personal trainer at my new gym today.  Angie is still my first and best trainer, but this session with the personal trainer was free, and I have a difficult time turning down the things that are free in life!  Especially the ones that are good for me.  And Trainer Mike fits that category!

Here's the deal.  I told him my entire knee history, what I thought I could do, what I thought I couldn't do.  And then he told me how it was gonna be!  LOL!!  He made me understand that I could safely work out my entire body, including my legs, while still protecting my knees from injury.  He showed me a way to keep my knees safe and still work my legs, arms, shoulders, back, and most especially, my core. 

Just the training on this new equipment this morning (not nearly a full workout!) caused a good burn as I learned how to correctly use various pieces of gym equipment so that I could work them into my routine.  I know I only met him this week, and he doesn't know me nearly as well as I know myself, or as well as Angie does...but he DOES know exercise and fitness programs.  And he knew a lot about the structure of my knees...or at least he asked questions that made it sound like he knew what he was doing. I trust him that he's going to try to push me to be better every day and do it in a safe way.

So, I'm thanking God for all the knowledgeable, wise, dedicated professional people he's put in my path on this journey.  Without Angie, I know I'd never be where I am now.  She is nothing short of a blessing from God in my life!  Trainer Mike was a great help today.  My primary care doc and my orthopaedist have cared for me and helped me through the pain of arthritis and managing it.  I'm surrounded by some true pros...and I'm so grateful for their support on my journey!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Just a Plain Old Day...Thankfully!

I have a very good friend and former colleague who likes to say that, "Normal is just a setting on a dryer."  I love that phrase because it's pretty true..."normal" is pretty much non-existent, at least in my life.  But there are days like today that are just...plain old days.  And I needed that today.

My husband asked me about my day today.  I told him that it wasn't as bad as Monday and it wasn't as good as yesterday.  It was just a day.

The thing about those kinds of days for me, especially on this journey to wellness and good health, is that they remind me that part of this quest I'm on has to do with living a "normal" existence.  And altering my "normal" is a pretty important thing.  In fact, on days like today, I know that I've made great strides in doing that already. 

Today, I was moderately stressed, and the old "normal" would have been to eat my way through it.  That didn't happen today.  At all.  My new self just doesn't overeat often, and usually not to deal with stress.  I still have room to grow in this.  I do still emotionally eat at times.  But I don't mindlessly eat...just to relieve other emotions going on inside me.

So, today was just normal.  A plain old day.  And I'm so thankful that there's a new "normal" in my life.  Hoping you find yours, too!

Monday, September 26, 2011

And so it begins...again!

So, it's the day after!  And BOY...am I sore!!!  But it was a workout day in my schedule, and right after the 5K yesterday, I went and found a new gym to join.  So, off I went tonight to Planet Fitness! 

And it was a great workout!

There are still goals I've got that haven't been hit yet.  So now that I've hit one of my bigger ones by finishing that 5K, today I began again aiming at the rest of them.  Sore knees and all.  Based on the success I had yesterday...I'd say those goals are going to be hit, too.  It's really just a matter of time.  I believe that to the core of who I am.

Praying you hit your goals, too!  Let me tell you...it feels INCREDIBLE!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes...

2010...
...and 2011!!!



The 2nd Annual Cougarthon 5K was this morning.  Last year, my dear friend and PT, Angie, ran the inaugural running of the event, along with my principal, my team leader, and a few of my students.

I volunteered at the event.  I love my school and do many things to support it.  But I hated helping at that event.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How to Be Competitive and Deal with Finishing Last...

You know what??  I've been struggling with this since I decided to do this 5K.  I am a hugely competitive person.  Always have been.  I had to stop wearing my pedometer for awhile.  The competitions this summer through my workplace were just too hard on me.  The team one especially was difficult because I got ugly and mean in my spirit when my teammates weren't pulling their weight...and I don't even know these people!  Who knows why they weren't walking as many steps as they needed to for us to do well?!?!  We finished mid-pack and I was ticked off for a few days. I get too caught up in the game sometimes, and I sure did with the pedometer that a lot of my colleagues and I wear.

So how, you might ask, am I going to handle finishing this 5K tomorrow pretty much dead last?  The answer is...I'm not really sure.  I have trained for this 5K, but it was interrupted this summer by an arthritis flare up that really impacted my ability to walk in general, much less 3 miles at a time.  And I can't run this race.  I might possibly jog parts of it, but I'm prepared to walk the entire thing...while most other people will run it and finish in less than half the time it's likely to take me.  I'm not going to be able to compete with those runners, no matter how badly I want to or try.

But there's a difference in my competitive nature this time that's new for me, and it feels very positive.  I found this quote recently, and it really struck a chord in me:

"I don't believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better
than you ever thought you could be." ~  Ken Venturi 
 
Tomorrow, I am not going to be better than everybody else.  Most of the people that start that 5K are going to run it.  I'm not.  I'm walking it...probably all of it.  And although there will be other people walking it (including the 2 that are walking it with me!), I'm not a particularly fast walker.  I really am convinced I'm going to be the last finisher.
 
But you know what?  I'm going to finish.  And THAT alone is me being better than I ever thought I could be.
 
That's how I'm handling it.  The person I'm competing with tomorrow is ME.  Not anyone else there who suits up, laces up the running shoes and aims for a personal best in the Cougarthon 5K.  For me, the personal best is starting and finishing that 5K...no matter how long it takes and how many people finish ahead of me.
 
Am I going to enjoy finishing last?  Probably not.  But am I going to enjoy FINISHING???  
 
ABSOLUTELY!!!
 
Stay tuned, my friends...I'm going to have some amazing things to tell you tomorrow!  But right now, I'm heading up to bed.  I've got a 5K to run in the morning!

Friday, September 23, 2011

68...

You know what?  68 is my new favorite number!!!

In a weekend that is going to be filled with milestones, here's one of the first.  That's MY name on the bottom of a race bib.

Being on this quest for a New Angie really has given me some extraordinary opportunities.  One of the best has been the chance to share this journey I'm on with my favorite 10 year olds.  Today, we talked about this in our morning meeting and they really got it.  They totally understood what this milestone means for me.  Yes, this is a race.  And yes, I'm probably going to finish FAR back in the pack.  (Actually, I'm prepared for dead last!)

But I win.  I win no matter what.  And one of my 10 year olds said it best...

"Mrs. Haube, the only way you don't win is if you don't start."

Amen, my love...AMEN!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Trust Your Body...

In a few more days...this is gonna be me.  Near the back there...with the walkers...but still.  I'm going to start...and finish...a 5K race!

And I'm scared.

The closer it gets, the more terrified I'm becoming, in fact.  Why?  Because I've made a big deal about this.  Especially about finishing it.  And until a few hours ago, I wasn't really sure that I could.  But now I am.

I did my last big workout before the "BIG DAY" tonight.  I'll work out a little bit tomorrow and Saturday.  But Sunday morning is my next big workout...the 5K!  So, since my gym randomly closed forever this week, I decided that I'd train the actual 5K course.  In my mind I thought that walking it myself today would be a good preparation for me...I'd see where the good spots for running are, if I choose to run any of it...but more than anything, I'd see if I've got enough in me to finish this race.  I'm absolutely positive that I'm going to be dead last finishing...unless my husband and Angie take pity on me and let me cross ahead of them (we're walking it together).  But I NEED TO FINISH.  I've made this a milestone moment for myself and I need to know that I can finish this race.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Persistence Pays Off!!!

Not too sure I could say it better than this. 
But tonight, I lived it.

I ran.

If you know me, you know that hasn't happened in a long time.
But I didn't give up the dream of this 5K...
no matter how awful the pain got this summer.
And I won't. Ever.
It doesn't matter how much closer the Big Race gets every day...
It doesn't matter how much less training I got this summer than I needed...
It doesn't matter how far away I feel from being prepared.
I persisted.

And tonight...
I ran.

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