Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lean Into It...

Ever been outside on a windy day, where the wind feels strong enough to overtake you and push you to the ground?  I'll be honest, I've only ever done that a few times.  Usually, when the weather is that fierce, I'm hunkered down somewhere safe, cozy, and warm.  But there have been the few unavoidable times in my life when I had to be out in the gale. 

So how do you keep from being blown away?  You lean into it.

Leaning in is what saves you, keeps you on course, and moves you forward beyond the maelstrom and into calmer, more serene places.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Know What?

I spoke a profound truth to a friend today that my own heart needed to hear and remember.

If I NEVER lost another pound, God would still ADORE me just as much as He does right in this moment.

Maybe YOU need to remember that, too!  :-)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Call Them "Cold Dead Fingers Moments"...and You Need to Have Them, Too!

Have you ever just wanted something so badly that you refused to let it go?  Decided that no matter what the cost to you personally, professionally, had to have it?  That kind of tenacity has been a newly acquired trait in my personality and character as I've traveled along this journey.  But as I reflect, it's been one of the most decisive elements of how I'm new and different.  And I'm not just talking about weight loss here!

At the heart of who I am, I am a very different person now than I was 20 months ago.  Some parts of "me" are and always will be unchanged I think.  I am a person who loves and trusts easily - perhaps TOO easily at times - and although that has caused me a great deal of hurt, it's brought much more joy and is unlikely to EVER change.  It's essential to my character.  I am also a fairly positive person...a real "glass half full" kinda girl.  Again, pretty core to who I am and not really something that I think will ever be different inside of me.  But this determination I've recently developed has been something that was a long time coming.  It hasn't always been this way with me.  I'm not sure I ever really recognized that I needed it to be until recently.  But now that I have, it's becoming elemental to who I am, just as love, trust, and positive thinking are.

I was remembering this morning a conversation that I had with one of my best buds about 23 years ago.  (I do have a fairly decent memory!)  She and I had joined a very popular weight loss group together - I'm betting you know the one!  Silvia was meeting with GREAT success.  She weighed, she measured, she lost weight.  Lots of it.  It seemed so easy for her.  I'm sure it wasn't, but at the time I was hugely jealous.  I didn't weigh often, didn't measure well, and didn't lose (much!).  In other words, I got just what I was aiming for.  Lack of determination, example #1!  In time, though, I did manage to lose enough weight to get just back below 200 198.  It is the lowest I can ever remember myself being as an adult...I was 22 years old.

In the conversation I remembered having with Silvia, standing right in the kitchen of my home, I told her that I would NEVER weigh more than 200 pounds again now that I had gotten below that horrible number.  Those of you who have been here on the blog long enough to know may be chuckling right now...because not only did I not have NEARLY the determination I needed to make such a claim, but over the next 20 years, I COMPLETELY blew away 200 pounds...and then 300 pounds...and then added 28 more for good measure!  (Lack of determination, example #2!!!)

Fast forward 20 years to 20 months ago when I was sitting in a doctor's office about to be written a prescription for a motorized scooter.  I remembered this conversation that day, too.  And every other conversation I'd ever had about losing weight before I caused irreparable damage to my body from carrying so much excess baggage around with me.  I've mentioned before that something changed in me that day.  It was like a switch was flipped in my head.  Well, I believe that determination was part of what took root in my life that day, and I believe it's what has carried me to this triple digit weight loss, and what will carry me on for the rest of my days.  I finally wanted something bad enough to sacrifice WHATEVER IT COST to have it.  I wanted my mobility, my freedom, my LIFE enough to do whatever was necessary.

I have these things now that I call "Cold, Dead Fingers Moments".  As in, "You can get me off this treadmill when you pry my cold, dead fingers from the bar, but not before then!"  When I first started working out in the gym, the pain was intense.  Every time.  Not sometimes. Always. But I knew...KNEW...that this is where my salvation would come.  On the treadmill.  In developing the kind of determination needed to suck it up and gut it out through the pain to get to what's on the other side. 

One of my favorite quotes of all time is from the actor Will Smith - The Fresh Prince himself - and it's about treadmills.

"The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I'm not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there's two things: You're getting off first, or I'm going to die. It's really that simple, right?"
THAT is determination!  THAT is exactly how I feel in my CDFM's  (Yay! A new acronym!) I am not afraid to die on a treadmill...or an elliptical...or on a track...or in the lane at the pool!  I know what my pain feels like, can accurately and honestly measure it, and I know when to push through it and when to sit it out.  Angie has taught me how to be safe that way.  I know how to suck it up and gut it out.  I know how to keep my goals in my sight and not let ANYTHING come between me and them.  In short, I've found determination.

Friends...I'm just gonna say it straight up.  If you DON'T have Cold, Dead Fingers need to.  About SOMETHING in your life. Perhaps not about your health and wellness, but about something! You need to understand what that kind of determination feels like, what it can accomplish in you, and even more, what YOU can accomplish when you have it.  I am a better person because I learned this lesson.  I am stronger mentally, physically, and spiritually because I developed the backbone and tenacity that I have over the past 20 months.  My prayer and my hope is that you live with this kind of determination, too!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Don't You Think Everyone Needs a Fan Club?!?!

I'm convinced, the more I think about it, that we ALL need a fan club!  Over the past week since I've hit my 100 pound weight loss, I've come to understand in an even deeper way that without my own personal fan club, I'm fairly certain that I would not have reached this milestone at this point on my journey.  Nor would I have the energy, support, and love to go get the next 88 pounds I have to lose.

This week alone, I have seen this blog become something I never anticipated it could or would be in terms of page hits and exposure from multiple friends sending their friends here to check out my story.  I've received a tiara, 2 dozen roses, a new "girl space" of my own in my house with a cool flat screen tv and desk/vanity, and a crisp, new $100 bill to remember each of the pounds I lost from some of the most important people in my life.  I've also heard from about 200 family and friends - online, in person, by phone, you name it -  who took time out of their own lives to celebrate such a tremendous milestone with me.  What a fan club I'm blessed with!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Days After...

I wondered how my first day back in the gym since last Friday would be.  It's been a LONG time since I've had a 3 day break from working out in the gym, but part of the reason I did 6 days in a row was that I knew I'd be tied up this weekend. And not just from celebrating!  I had a lot of plans, including grad school on Saturday.  Truly a busy schedule.  That happens sometimes, but it's never a good feeling to miss that many days in a row at the gym. (Did I really just say that?!?!)  So, tonight was a big deal for me.  I wanted to be careful with my knees, but I also wanted to work out hard and go after the next goals now that I've got the 100 under my belt.  (Which I TOTALLY wear now, btw...but that's a WHOLE other blog post about dressing this new body!!!) 

What I noticed right away working out on the elliptical was that I was moving easily...and fast...even on the higher tension I've been using lately to get my heart rate up higher.  So since I was feeling it, I decided to kick it up a notch and see if I could set a personal best on that machine for a mile.  I used intervals at the 1 minute, 3 minute, and 7 minute mark.  That last interval got me so close that I just kept on sprinting past the 8 minute mark until I reached the full mile.  At 8:11.  Which, for those of us keeping count is better by 11 seconds than my previous fast mile!

I'd say the days after reaching a big milestone are looking pretty amazing.  Just like the ones leading up to it.  What a ride!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

So Much More Than I Anticipated...

My new tiara...from Lynette!
 So today was the BIG day...the 100 pound loss! 

Let me begin by saying that I NEVER anticipated that it would feel like this.  But perhaps I should have.  There's something hugely significant about a 3-digit number. 

I have been thinking about and preparing for this day for a long while.  But I know that I still have 88 more pounds to go to reach my goal.  100 is barely past halfway to where I'm going.  I planned on celebrating it, marking it as a milestone...but I didn't figure on it completely throwing me for a loop!  It sure did today, though!  Let me tell you about it!

My kids' celebration!
So, this morning, I woke up and got on the scale at the same time I do every morning.  I held my breath, hoping!  I missed this by 1/10th of a pound yesterday morning, by the way.  And because I'm totally honest with myself and with you, I wouldn't allow myself to claim the 100 pound loss until that scale read 228...not 229.1!  So this morning, the scale DID read fact, it was 228.1...exactly a pound different from yesterday.  A few more tenths, and I would be looking at a 101 pound loss today, not just 100.  But I'm really glad it read 228...not 227 point something.  I really needed to see a number that was exactly 100 pounds less than the highest number I've seen on that scale.  There was something overpowering about that emotionally. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Thank you...

...I will have so much more to say later, but for now... Thank you! You are a community that surrounds me in celebration, and that makes it 100 times more INCREDIBLE to celebrate victories like this one! You make days like this possible. So thanks! And check back later for my thought about reaching this milestone...and what's next!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Not Feeling It Today...

...and you know what?  That just doesn't matter.  Because some days you just gotta suck it up and keep on going.

I did today. 

Life isn't about what we FEEL, friends.  It's really not.

I didn't FEEL like working this morning...but I did.
I didn't FEEL like anyone was on my side...but they were.
I didn't FEEL like I was being successful on this journey...but I was.
I didn't FEEL like working out tonight...but I did...really, really hard! 

And that's what sucking it up and keeping on looks like for me today.  Acknowledging that what I FEEL isn't what's TRUE, and then DOING what I KNOW is the right thing.

I'm growing...and that FEELS great!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Why Am I Nervous NOW?!?!

Why?  Well, because now I'm officially ONE POUND away from a 3-digit weight loss, a decidedly monumental milestone for anyone on the kind of journey I am.  And every day until it happens, I'm gonna be sweating it...wondering when it's gonna happen.  Not IF it's gonna happen...because at this point, it's a given!  But the's hanging over me and making me shake in my boots a bit!

I worked out hard in the gym tonight...ate fairly well, but not as good as I could have...and now I'm nervous.  It feels like everyone is watching me...waiting....hoping for me.  Oh, don't get me wrong...I LOVE the support of my friends.  And I know they want to CELEBRATE this with me...I know that's what this is about.  But I'm still a bit nervous.  The sooner it happens, the better for me.  Because reaching this milestone is important.  But you know what, I've got FAR bigger ones to go hit.  And once I past this one...celebrate it appropriately...I can aim at those other ones!

Right now, it feels like ALL my goals are coming into focus...and it's AMAZING!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

By the Numbers...

At my heart, I am an analytical person.  I take very little in life at face value.  I look deeper into most situations, and read more into things than most people, I suppose.  I do this in my quest for meaning… it's how I make life make sense.
Data…numbers…mean a lot to me.  In the classroom, I base instructional decisions on data I gather about my students.  And in my life, I use data to help me walk this journey I’m on to health and wellness.  I thought I’d share some of the data I’ve gathered about myself with you as we begin 2012 together.   

Being a huge sports fan, too, I love how ESPN does their “By the Numbers” segment.  So here’s MEBy the Numbers


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