Run to Win: 100 lbs in 118 days

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Little Too Late - 105 days left

Wrong side out.  That was how I wore my shirt to my son's school this morning.  It was like that when I took the little one's to the park and even chatted with other mothers who were there with their children.  And for the grand finale, it remained like that when I went shopping at Walmart.  There I even needed assistance at the self check out, so the cashier assisting those lanes was sure to get a good view.  When did I learn of my fashion faux pas?  After I was completely done with all my errands and back at my comfy home about 2:00 this afternoon.  Too late to make a change and look better to some extent while being in the midst of my responsibilities.

In many ways, as I have set forth my goals this time to lose weight and make a change for the better, I have felt that my life has somewhat been a reflection of the shirt being worn wrong side out and not knowing it until I was halfway through my day.  Yes.  I have known that I was overweight for the better part of my life.  However, I am 38 years old now, bordering on those midlife crisis years.  Have I been this way for so very long that setting a goal to lose this much weight is just a moot point?  Should I just focus on eating a little more healthier and if the weight happens to go, then just accept it as an added bonus?  If beauty really is only skin deep, then does this grandiose aspiration matter?  Is all of this just a little too late?

Even though these thoughts hound me at times, I believe the answer is that it is never too late.  And it is never too late no matter how many times I may have failed before.  Sometimes when I am afraid of failing again or think I might be too old to achieve my goals, it helps me to think of people who have failed, overcome and achieved greatness.  My friend, Mike, emailed me this not too long before he passed away last year.  I wanted to share it tonight as a reminder to myself that is never too late too set goals and succeed.

Famous Failures

  • Dismissed from drama school with a note that read, "She's wasting her time.  She's too shy to put her best foot forward."  - Lucille Ball
  • Turned down by the Decca Recording Company who said, "We don't like their sound and guitar music is on the way out." - The Beatles
  • A failed soldier, farmer and real estate agent.  At 38 years old he went to work for his father as a handyman. - Ulysses S. Grant
  • Cut from the high school basketball team, he went home, locked himself in a room and cried. - Michael Jordan
  • A teacher told him that he was too stupid to learn anything and he should go into a field where he might succeed by virtue of his pleasant personality. - Thomas Edison
  • Fired from a newspaper because he lacked imagination and had no original ideas. - Walt Disney
  • His fiance died.  He failed in business twice.  He had a nervous breakdown and was defeated in eight elections. - Abraham Lincoln

It is never too late to make a change and win!  You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win. - Zig Ziglar  I have a plan.  I am prepared to win.  And most assuredly, I expect to win!!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Pour on the Love - 106 days left

Brutal.  If I could pick one word to describe me working out today, that would be it.  It wasn't as dreadful as the very first day I exercised in over two years 13 days ago, but I believe it could be closely related to about day three of my new beginning of exercise.  I almost fell twice and I had to start four to five different exercises over again because it took me two or three times just to do it correctly.  Before "Cookiegate" took place yesterday, I had already decided to take a day off from any exercise, even cardio, for the first time since I started.   After today, I believe that I need to go back to my original mindset that I have been on break for a very long time and now is the time to get to it.  And as I got to it with my eating and exercise routine again, I thought about what this day will be like for me next year.

My youngest daughter will be a year old in a few weeks.  I envisioned next year with her when she will almost be two.  At that time, she will probably start forming some memories.   Fortunately, I won't be at this same state next year.  She will never remember me as an overweight mother and the only way she will ever know that is by pictures we have taken prior to now.  She won't know that it was ever difficult for me to lift her at times and take her up the stairs to her room.  Her memory will never be of a mommy that couldn't get down on the floor and play with her.  I am hoping that some of that will be true for my three year old and five year old too.

Unfortunately, for my eight year old, I believe that ship has already sailed and he will remember me the way I am today.  It grieves me to think of that and know that my mistakes have caused me to miss out on moments that I can never get back.  Luckily, my little boy forgives me.  I know this because I have asked him too.  He is also one of my biggest cheerleaders.  Each afternoon or evening when I am working out, he always comes and checks on me to make sure I have enough water to drink.  He always ask me how my workout is going.  And more than once, he has stayed with me for a while and exercised with me.  He has been the mirror imagine of what the Bible speaks about in 2 Corinthians 2:7-8 (Message) - Now is the time to forgive this man and help him back on his feet.  If all you do is pour on the guilt, you could very well drown him in it.  My counsel now is to pour on the love.

Yes, I have screwed up in my past and made very poor choices.  Yes, I am still sad at times, but I am moving forward.  Thankfully, there is forgiveness.   Thankfully, I can remember my past, but it will not be my future.  My little boy has poured on love to me.  He has forgiven me and helped me to accomplish what I am doing now.  When days are hard and I don't want to keep going, I can think of the love my little boy has given me and chose to love myself and my family enough to continue.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies - 107 days left

Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite.  However, in the last 12 days I haven't looked at any of them, bought any of them or tasted any of them.  Avoidance has been my coping mechanism when it comes to those wonderful, chocolaty cookie bites.  Today my son asked me if I would please buy some those tasty temptations when I left to go to grocery store.  "Not a problem," I confidently thought as I headed out the door.  "The kids haven't had any cookies in a while and it would be nice to get them a treat."

So off to Cub Foods I went.  After all, their bakery makes the best chocolate chip cookies known to man.  I did my regular shopping and then made sure I picked up some and added them to my cart.  Magically, as if the cookies themselves knew how much I love them, they seemed to start calling my name the moment I scanned my card in the checkout line.  When I got to my van to load the groceries, the bag containing them fell open just enough for me to see the decadent bites of heaven.  In the past, I would have loaded them in the front seat so I could snack on one or two or three or four on the way home.  But today, I placed them in the empty infant car seat holder in the back seat directly behind the driver seat to make sure my hands could not get to them.  Once I was home, my three year old daughter met me at the door and exclaimed, "What did you get for us mommy?!?".  I handed her the bag and told her to make sure to share with her brothers.  She ran up the stairs and was on her way with the container.  "Finally!", I thought.  "My temptation has ended.  I have made it."

A few hours later, found myself sitting here at the computer to call my sister back about shoes for my girls.  While speaking with her, I glanced to my left and there they were.  Two, scrumptious chocolate chip cookies left in the container from earlier after my daughter, two sons and husband had their taste.  Oh, how I wanted the cookies so bad.  "Just one." I thought. "No one has to know. I won't hurt me that much.  I have two more days before I have to weigh again.  I can just work a little harder in my exercising over the next couple of days."  The cookies were calling me.  They were looking at me.  I felt like Adam Sandler in the movie Billy Madison where he is sitting there in his ornate bathtub with its gold swan fixture and he looks at it and says, "Stop looking at me swan!".  I felt the same way.  "Stop looking at my cookies!"  I couldn't cope.  I didn't know what to do.  So, I did the only brave thing I could think of.  I went upstairs to my room and took a nap because I knew they would be gone by the time I got up again.

I know.  It sounds so pathetic to have such a battle over something as little as a cookie.  How could I have gotten to this place?  A cookie for heaven sake!!!  I practically fell apart at the mere temptation to eat a cookie.  And the only reason I didn't eat it over and over again was NOT because I didn't want to eat it.  Only because I knew that I would be writing my blog this evening and someone would read it and know the truth.  No wonder they say that accountability when you are trying to lose weight is the most proven method of success.  Without being accountable to my readers, I would have failed so many times already.

So thank you!  Thank you for reading just one time or everyday.  It took you to help me to succeed 12 days in a row, instead of failing three days into my journey like I had done so many times before.  And I know to some or possibly many, this much of a battle with a cookie seems to be rather ridiculous.  Perhaps.  However, the score remains: Karen - 1, Chocolate Chip Cookies - 0. :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Disguises - 108 days left

I believe it was about two days ago when I posted that currently this had been more of an emotional battle for me than a physical battle.  Apparently, I must have let all of my emotions out because these past two days have been totally physical.  I have been sore.  I have wanted to eat whatever I wanted instead of what I needed.

This evening before I went to church, I failed to eat something, so I snacked on four peanut M&M's during the service from the small bag my husband was munching on.  I felt like it wasn't as tragic as it would have been if I would have snacked on a Snickers because after all they were peanut M&M's. However, no matter how you slice it, it was the wrong choice.  Still hungry, I ate probably 12 sugar free breath mints to make it through the remainder of the service.  When we sat, I practically fell into the chair.  When it was time to stand again, I didn't think I was going to be able to get up.  If anyone was looking at me and had also been reading my blog, most likely I didn't appear to be the girl that was "conquering all" this evening and I thought how wonderful it would have been if I could have one of those great disguises that they use in the Mission Impossible movies that look like real faces.

I can think of many other times too that Mission Impossible mask could have come in handy.  Working at Belk department store when I went to Georgia Southern and the best looking guy from my high school class comes walking into the Men's Department to shop.  The time I went to Longhorn Steak house while visiting my best friend in Georgia and saw one of the beautiful cheerleaders I went to high school with, still looking beautiful, while I stood there 100 lbs heavier than my high school weight.  The time I went to a funeral and ran into a friend of a guy I went out with a few times.  Even though I was married at the time, I still would have LOVED it if that guy could have called his friend and said "Remember Karen?  She looks hot!".  And perhaps it is terrible that I would even think that at a funeral or wishing that some guy other than my husband would have thought of me as hot, but that's just being real folks.

Yet this is real life and not Mission Impossible, even though it may feel like that at times, so masks are not something that is part of my wardrobe.  Although I might like to, I cannot hide myself from faces of the past or the here and now.  And even if I did have all of the masks, what good would it do?  It would only be a temporary solution to the overall problem.

So despite my set backs today, I keep moving forward with this better plan for my life that I have been implementing these past 11 days.  Jeremiah 29:11 (King James) - For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  I will have my expected end!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Now - 109 days left

As I woke up this morning to a very bright, sunshiny day in beautiful Minnesota, I ached.  Legs, arms, back, head.  It ALL ached.  How I wished for a Saturday similar to the ones I had soon after David and I got married where I could lie in the bed for as long as I wanted doing absolutely nothing all day.  No breakfast to make.  No baby to feed.  No kids to dress.  No exercise for the day.  Just me, myself and I in my own little world to rest and relax.

And at that moment this morning, precisely when I woke up, what would have gone so very nicely with my wishful thinking would have been the voice of Scarlett O'Hara speaking to me softly in her nice, southern voice saying "After all, tomorrow is another day".  Yes, in that part of the movie she lying on her beautiful, red carpeted stairs in her extravagant Atlanta mansion sobbing profusely because her beloved Rhett has just left her. Nevertheless, what a nice resolve "Tomorrow is another day".

Yet instead my mind went to Rocky III as Rocky wants to give up training for his rematch against Clubber Lang (aka Mr. T) who stole the title from Rocky earlier in the movie.  And instead of sweet Scarlett's voice bringing comfort to my sad, pitiful morning, the voice of Apollo Creed started shouting, "There is no tomorrow!  There is no tomorrow!" just as he had shouted at Rocky.

Yes.  Technically there is a tomorrow.  However, as Apollo inferred to Rocky that today was the day to get going.  Today is my day to keep going.  I have put off for tomorrow long enough with not feeling good enough physically or feeling like I needed a little while longer until everything was perfect or simply just not wanting to make the effort today, so I will wait until Monday.  And have you ever wondered what might have happened if Scarlett would have just gotten up off her nice carpet and went and got Rhett back right then?  Then we would not of had to suffer through Gone with the Wind Part 2!  2 Corinthians 6:2b (New American Standard Bible) Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION".  

Now is my time to exercise to my fullest.  Now is the time to eat right and just say no to Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream chips and Mello Yello.  Now is the time to make up my mind once and for all that I can do this.  Now!!  There is no tomorrow!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Luggage That I Carry - 110 days left

I usually don't watch Dr. Phil.  However, after working out today I was sitting on my couch cooling down, flipping through the stations and landed on his show.  His guest was a girl who had lost 150 lbs.  She once weighed the same as I do right now.  "Great!",  I thought.  "This will be really encouraging to hear after all she had accomplished."  WRONG!  She was there because her male best "friend" had told her that he couldn't be attracted to her, even now after all of her weight loss, because some of her skin sagged and she was hoping that Dr. Phil would pay the $16K for the surgery she needed to get it fixed.  I felt bad for her.  She was beautiful.  Yet some guy had continued to remind her that she wasn't beautiful enough for him.  So even though her weight was gone, the emotional baggage from what people said about her remained.

Will I be like her?  Will I continue to think on all of the negative words people both casual and close have said to me over the years?  So many of the words ring in my ears even though they happened years ago.  The boys in my third grade Sunday school class called me "Miss Piggy".  When I was in high school Spanish class in 11th grade, two boys in that class threw crayons at me and squealed like a pig each time one hit me.  Before I married David, someone very close to me said, "Why would he want to marry you?".  Wouldn't it be nice if the statement "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" was true?

I read a book once called You Are Not What You Weigh by Lisa Bevere.  And that is true, who I am at heart is not what the scale says back to me.  The only problem is that a lot of people in the world have not gotten that memo.  And when I do lose 100 lbs, I will still weigh 200 lbs, the same weight I was when I married David.  Still overweight.  Still "morbidly obese".  Which by the way, what a nice name for that.  Thank you medical geniuses for coming up with that term to name me.

So when will the negative words stop?  At what weight will I no longer hear them?  I would like to say there is a time they will no longer be there.  When Karen weighs ______, no one will speak negative words about her and no terrible reminders of the past will be there.  Yet I don't know if that will ever be true.  In fact, I think to believe that would be rather naive on my end.  So besides wearing earplugs to avoid future comments like these or get amnesia to forget the ones of the past, what is a girl to do?

Press on.  Press on knowing that the unkind will always be there.  Press on knowing that I will probably never forget the unpleasant words of the past.  Press on because I am doing my best to become the best I can be.  Of course, as in most cases, the Bible says it best. Philippians 3:12-14 (Message) - I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Seven Pounds - 111 days left

Seven pounds.  The amount of weight that I should have lost by today to be on track for my 100 lb weight loss in 118 days.  Instead the scale only reflected a three pound loss in weight.  My husband cheered for me.  I simply said, "It should have been more".  Yes, weighing in today was the absolute worst time of the month to have to look at the scale.  However, it is more than that.

I realized today after getting off the scale that no matter what I do or how hard I try or in this case, how much weight I lose, I don't know if I will ever feel like it is good enough.  And that my friends is a much larger issue than the work it takes to lose weight.  While there have been cravings this past week and shopping in the grocery store has not been the easiest and muscles have been very sore at times, as I post each day I am finding for me this is more of an emotional battle than an eating and exercise battle.

I thought about when I weighed 115 lbs today.  Yes people, once upon a time I weighed 115 lbs.  I was in the 7th grade and the same height as I am today.  However, most of the other girls in my class weighed more like 90 lbs or 100 lbs.  And when I compared myself to them,  they would have been like Ally Sheedy or Demi Moore in St. Elmo's Fire and I would have been the girl played by Mare Winningham.  Mare Winningham wasn't completely unfortunate in the movie, she just wasn't as pretty or as thin as Ally Sheedy and Demi Moore.

I know.  I know.  You shouldn't compare yourself with others.  But let's face it, I do.  My mind says I need to be happy no matter what the scales says.  That I should be pleased that I am going down the right road now.  That I should reflect on what I have accomplished this past week and that bring me peace.  Easier said than done.  And there will always be "that girl".  You know the one.  That girl who is smarter, funnier, skinnier, prettier, etc.  I have to learn now, in the beginning of weight loss, to think differently and believe the truth.  The truth that I am good enough.  Otherwise, when I finally do lose all the weight I want, I won't be happy there either.  I will fall apart when I see "that girl".

So how do I get there?  How do I get past this awful mindset that no matter what I do is good enough?  I make a choice.  Like everything else in life, I have the power to choose.  The Bible says in Deuteronomy 30:19 (Message) "I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and Curse.  Choose life so that you and your children will live".  [And some of you thought that Wham t-shirt that said "Choose Life" on it was something George Michael made up. ;) ]  The choosing part is easy.  The follow through is hard.  But with God's help I know that "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength."  I can choose life.  I can choose that I am good enough.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Small Victories - 112 days left

Today my attitude was SO much better than yesterday about most everything!  I am happy to report I was a much more pleasant person to be around.  I am confident that everyone who came in contact with me was happy that I was more pleasant today as well.  I know I am only 7 days into my journey, but today it just seemed that so many things clicked for me.  I noticed some small victories today that brought me so much encouragement.

For the first time in a very long time, in fact longer than I can remember, I was able to clean up my entire living room and kitchen floors without feeling very tired and winded.  I also cleaned up both areas about twice as fast as I normally do.  And best of all, there was NO YELLING.  Usually, I have to enlist the help of my children to help me out because I have gotten so very tired out so very quickly.  And don't get me wrong, I am NOT against giving you kids chores and making them help out around the house.  However, in the past, I have gotten so very worn out and tired just in simple task around the house, I have ended up yelling at my kids to go faster helping me, just so I am done with it all.

When I picked up my 11 month old today to carry her upstairs for a diaper change I didn't become out of breath.  And because this task causes me to become breathless so often, many times I just ask one of the kids to bring me a diaper and wipes, so I can just change the baby on the couch.

As I did my workout videos today, I actually felt a little (not a lot, just a little) good.  I also was able to do each exercise far better than ever before.  And when I did a plank today, for the first time EVER I was able to do it with the correct amount of height off the floor.  I was still only able to do it for just 10 seconds (the video was asking me for 35 seconds) then take a short break and 10 more seconds, but I did it the BEST EVER!!!!

To folks that don't weigh as much as I do currently, some of these things might seem a little silly that it was even challenging to me to begin with.  Yet when you are a very large person just everyday task can bog you down and make so many regular things very difficult.  So many times I feel like there are a lot of things that I really want to do, but I have a hard time physically accomplishing.  As you can imagine, since a few "simple things" that have been hard for me in the past to do were so much easier today, it made me so very encouraged about what I am doing.  I never thought that I would physically feel so much change so fast.

Tomorrow morning is my first weigh in.  I am quite nervous about the scale reflecting only a pound of weight loss or worse nothing at all.  I am also going to my first social event tonight since I started all of this.  My HomeMakers leader (the small group that I am involved in with my church) is having all of us over to her house tonight.  There is ALWAYS so much yummy food!!  However, the good news is that I know that I am making progress even if the scale says zero weight loss tomorrow.  And so many of my wonderful friends from HomeMakers are supporting me that I am sure if one of them sees me with a huge tortilla chip in hand loaded down with guacamole, they will just knock that baby out of my hand. :)  Yeah for the small victories of today and for the huge victories of tomorrow!

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Big Fat Blah Monday - 113 days left

I have dreaded posting all day today.  Today was not upbeat or positive for me.  Physically and emotionally I was in the gutter.

When I walked into the kitchen this morning, my loving husband was making Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls for the kids.  And instead of saying a simple "Thank you" because I didn't have to make anything for the kids, I yelled at him later on this afternoon about how he wasn't being very supportive of me to cook such a thing.

One of my closest friends posted on his facebook wall today that he had lost 4 lbs last week and 6 lbs this week with just minimal changes in his diet and only working out three times per week.  The polite part of me clicked the "Like" button and thought "Good for him".  The bratty part of me thought "That's just like a man to barely do anything and have good success at weight loss".  It reminded me of that Hoodia commercial where the wife talks about both her and her husband giving up pop (ie. cokes) to drink and her husband turned out rail thin and she just went down three bra sizes.

I waited until the last possible moment this evening to do my workout videos and finally came to the conclusion that if I didn't do it then, it just wasn't going to happen today.  And when I actually did the workout videos, I kept looking at the timer on the DVD player counting them minutes until I would be finished.

I did eat well today, but I WANTED something sweet so bad today and I am not even really a sweets person.  I would rather sit and crunch to a bag of chips.  I felt like everywhere I went, I even smelled sugar.  It was always there nagging me to eat it over and over again.

Yet finally, the good news.  I made it.  I made it through another day of eating right (even though today I absolutely hated it) and working out (even though I would have rather sat on the couch and watched another television show).  And I believe the reason I did make it today, when I would have just thrown in the towel in the past is because for a few brief moments here and there throughout the day, I thought about what I will be in the near future.  I thought about the better mother I will be to my kids.  The pair of Juicy sweatpants I will buy just for me that have the word "Juicy" across the bottom because I saw a pair one time in a Gilmore girls episode and it made me laugh so hard.  Getting to wear my wedding ring again that I have not been able to wear now for over 5 years.  Those mental pictures kept me going today when I didn't want to keep going.  The reminders of a bright future that is just around the corner.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

True Lies - 114 days left

It seems this past week that many of Arnold Schwarzenegger's big screen movies have made another round on the small screen.  True Lies, made in 1994, was today's flavor of choice.  In this movie, Mr. Schwarzenegger plays a top secret agent whose missions are rather dangerous.  However, his wife, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, believes he is a computer salesman and that he is one of the most boring men on the face of the earth.  Either due to midlife crisis or just sheer monotony in her own life, Ms. Curtis decides to set out on her own adventure to try and grasp hold of some excitement.  Very quickly, Arnold Schwarzenegger learns of this and puts in place some encounters for her.  Of course, by the end of the movie, many things have gone wrong placing the wife in danger and at last she finally learns the truth of who her husband really is.

As I thought about the deception in this movie today, I thought about how much of it mirrors my own life.  No, I am not some secret spy.  Hopefully, my husband doesn't think I am the most boring person on the face of the earth.  The parallel comes in how I have viewed myself through out my life opposed to the person I really am. And the only person that I have fooled is myself.  I have told myself each time I have gained weight over the last 12 years that it really hasn't been that much.  When I have had to move up a size in jeans that it just must be the cut of that particular brand.  As I have replaced eating a regular meal with chips it was justified as an even trade in calories.  When I joined a woman's softball team while living in Georgia in 2004 and could no longer play well, I said it must be because I am now over 30.  The first time I flew on a plane and filled out the seat far more than I remembered the last plane ride, of course that was due to the smaller seats on the smaller planes they were using these days and trying to cram more people per flight.  Yet the truth of the matter was I was getting too big for my britches and instead of facing it head on, I denied it over and over again with lies to make me feel better about the bad choices I had made to get to that place.

Thankfully, the lies are now over.  Gaining 8 lbs a year is not OK.  Wearing a size 24 jean is not because of the cut of a particular brand.  Eating empty calories like chips is not the same as eating a healthy meal or probably most any meal besides fast food for that matter.  Playing softball poorly is not because I am over 30.  And having to squeeze into an airplane seat and ask for the seatbelt extension when flying, is not because the plane or the seats have become smaller.  All of these things are because of me!  What I am most happy to say about moving past all of these lies and looking at the truth of the matter is that it is keeping me motivated daily.  I am excited to make better eating choices.  I am glad to go down to the basement each day and exercise.  While I do those things, I think about what I will be able to accomplish in just a short time.  When I lose 8 lbs, that will be losing a years worth of weight gain.  The first time I play softball again and not suck at it (sorry mom) will be so joyous.  When I get to fly to Atlanta comfortably to visit my family how much more relaxing that will be.  So while the truth right now is that I am very overweight, the truth for my tomorrow is I will be smaller than I am today!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Raving Fans - 115 days left

On March 5 of this year, it was my 12 year anniversary.  However, instead of being spent at the movie theater watching the latest flick.  Or eating out at a new restaurant we had never been to before.  Or simply dropping all of our kids off at a friends house and coming back home to have a moment of peace and quiet.  I was at the Mall of America alone standing in a VERY long line to try and get a spot on The Biggest Loser Season 12.  And even though I got there well over 2 hours before they started seeing people, I still ended up standing in line for over 6 hours.  As you can imagine after being in line for that amount of time, you kind of get to know the people around you a little bit.  You also hear their conversations.

Behind me in line was a girl who was about 19 years old.  She was there with her mother.  If I had to guess, I would say she weighed about 20 lbs more than I do today.  She was very friendly and had a very nice disposition about her.  Yet the longer I was in line with her, the more my heart went out to her.  Throughout the course of our 6 hour stent in line, the girl and her mother talked about her weight.  Apparently, the girl had already been trying to lose weight and had even been able to purchase a smaller sized skirt that week when she had gone shopping.  However, when she looked for affirmation from her mother with questions like "Can you tell that I have lost some weight?", her mother would answer very coldly and say "No, not that I can see.".  Her mother even went further on to say "Doesn't that store's sizes run a little big?".  Over and over again, the girl tried to have her mother give a glimmer of encouragement.  Even so, the mother would give none.

Unfortunately, most all of us have these people in our lives.  Some, like the girl behind me in line that day, come in the form of a mother.  Sometimes these people are our spouses or very close friends or other family members.  And unlike casual relationships, you want that person to acknowledge what you are doing and care about it.   A couple of the people like that in my life, have shown up this week.  So badly, I just wanted to hear "I am interested in what you doing." or "I know you've got this".  Instead, total disinterest.  Subject was changed and we began talking about something else that concerned them and what they were doing.  It didn't have to be cheers or shouting from the mountain top.  Just a little hit of support would have been fine.  But just like the mother at the Mall of America that day, they would give none.  Honestly, a little hard for me to get over.  I would be lying if I said it was just water off my back.

The other night my dad reminded me of Dory in Finding Nemo singing, "Just keep swimming.  Just keep swimming.  Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.  What do we do?  We swim."  And so that is what I chose to do today.  Even though this got me down, I still ate right, exercised and drank my water.  And each day, no matter what happens, I will do my best to "Keep Swimming".

Friday, May 20, 2011

Big Mistake: Huge! - 116 days left

As some of you may remember if you read my blog on day one, I stated that I would only weigh myself once a week.  Well I broke my own rule today as I glanced at the scale when I walked into the bathroom and thought to myself, "Why not?".  I know I have't lost 10lbs or 20 lbs two days in, but one or two pounds for sure.  WRONG!!!  Nothing.  Same exact weight as two days ago.  However, unlike yesterday, before I plunged myself into "the depths of despair" as Anne of Green Gable would say, I stopped myself from going down that road and decided that it was OK that there was no weight loss so far.  Yes, weight loss is the main objective here. Yet instead of thinking about what I hadn't accomplished, I started to focus on what I have accomplished already and what my continued accomplishments will mean in the future.

I have exercised everyday starting this past Tuesday.  This is not something I have done in a very long time.  And even though I had to go grandma speed (as I mentioned yesterday), I am happy that I did 45 to 60 minutes of exercise each day.   I also learned something new this week pertaining to exercise called "Burst Training" and have implemented that concept into each workout the very best I can.  Granted for me, I feel like all of the videos I am working out to are just one big, long "Burst Training" workout. Nevertheless, I am still improving and gaining more strength everyday.

Another great accomplishment for me, while easy to some, is that I have cut out all of the garbage I was eating and sticking to healthier foods.  No chips.  No cokes (that covers all carbonated drinks for all my northern friends).  No sweets.  No foo-faa coffee drinks.  No frozen lasagna dinners from Stouffers.  Yes, it was a difficult trip for me today at the grocery store going down isle after isle of all of the "No's".  Still in spite of this for the first time I can remember, I am not that sad about giving these things up.  Perhaps because this time I have the bigger picture in mind where I have not before.  Instead of focusing on all of the "No's" that I can't do right now, I am concentrating on all of the "Yes'" that aren't that far around the corner for me if I just stick to it and don't give up.  I want to swim in the pool with my kids and not be embarrassed.  I want to go to the ball park and teach my daughter how to play softball because I loved it so very much when I was little.  I want to go to the "Hot Mama" store at Arbor Lakes shopping center and be able to fit in everything they have there and it look good on me.  All of my "Want's" that will turn into "Yes'" tomorrow is why I won't give up and will keep going down this road no matter what the scale says!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This - 117 Days left

If yesterday could be equated to a mountain of anticipation and success, then today would have been the valley of negativity and failure.  I know if this was Hollywood, my script would have been written and performed differently.  My first thought as I got out of bed this would not have been "What have done?" and my second thought would not have been "What if I fail?".  Or think about all of the very nice things people encouraged me with yesterday and how much everyone believed in me and now I was struggling to believe in myself.  These thoughts would not have continue to nag me for the first half of my day and then later be accompanied by a migraine headache that still lingers with me this evening.  I would not have been at the point of tears as I read The Biggest Lower: 30 Day Jumpstart and realized that they are asking me to make some pretty complex snacks and meals each day of their diet plan and I am doing good to make one meal each day that requires more than one ingredient.  And as icing on the cake, I would not have been like the token grandma in my workout video that could only do the low impact portion of the routine tonight as I worked out.  And even though I knew earlier on today before all of these event occurred that the decision had to be made to either quit on day two or suck it up and get my mind under control, it literally took me the majority of the day to get there.

I think getting my mind under control today was like trying to crank an older car on a very cold Minnesota day.  It takes some time.  Sometimes a very long time.  And sometimes, it even takes a jump for another car to so.  I would like to say that the first thing that came to mind to help start getting me moving in the right direction was a great Bible verse, but that would be me saying what I think most people would like me to say instead of being honest.  Being a mother of four and having watch most every Disney movie ever made, my first thought was Mufasa saying "Remember who you are" to Simba in the Lion King.  Which was really great, until my next thought was "I am the person who has gone on more diets than I can count and failed."  My next thought (still not a verse) was what my sister's Broadcasting teacher used to have her class say on a regular basis,  "I can. I will.  I can.  I will."  And this did help because then my mind went to "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."  "We've been made more than conquerors."  "If God is for us, who can be against us?"  And finally, after going through my day doing my very best and focusing on the truth, I believed in myself again and believed that I could accomplish what I had set out to do!

My hope is that I will not have this battle again tomorrow.  That I will wake up ready to go.  And fortunately, as I was reminded from another blog I follow called "FreshManna" this afternoon, even if I struggle again tomorrow or the next day or the day after that, I get up each day and start with a new plan of success to accomplish the goal that I have set before me.  Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” .  I am so glad it is!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

The day has come.  A new start to a new me.  After 12 years of marriage and delivering four children, I have gained a little over 8 lbs per year.   I was a big girl even when I married in early 1999.  But the big has turned to bigger and now I am usually one of if not the biggest girls in the room.

Yesterday while sitting in a class taught by MamaTone creator Dustin Maher, one the mental exercises he asked us to do was to think of ourselves in 10 years.  At my current rate of weight gain that would mean 80 lbs more by the age of 48.  It would put me at a higher risk for heart disease and diabetes.  But what would be the greater tragedy is the ever increasing list of things I can no longer do or have become very hard to do because of being so very overweight.  And if you are a person that has more than 100 lbs of extra weight, you know the type of things I am talking about.  Airplane travel.  Amusement park rides.  Booth's at the restaurant.  Shopping for nice clothes and shoes.  And so many more that I could talk about.

However, this blog is not about feeling sorry for myself and what I have made myself into over that last several years.  I am blogging about my journey because I know that I am not alone.  My hope is to help others who face a similar challenge ahead of them.  I also know that by writing daily, it will help to keep me accountable to stay the course.  I already know that my goal is aggressive.  Too aggressive by some standards.  But I am not here to please others or what others believe would be more ideal.  I have done that all of my life and where it has led me is to a place that I don't want to be.

I would love to have followers and I would love to hear words of encouragement.  Please no nay sayers.  I think I have heard enough of those people for two lifetimes.  I will weigh only one time per week with my progress and I will be truthful.  So today, on day one of my journey I weigh 309 lbs.  Yes, that is a terrible weight to be at.  But if I do my very best, tomorrow I will be at a better place than where I am today.