Tuesday, November 29, 2011


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.

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 

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...


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...


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!


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...


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