Run to Win: 100 lbs in 118 days

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The longest 17 minutes - 75 days left

I realize that yesterday I posted that crossfit was the hardest workout ever.  However, I must now take those words back and say that today's workout at crossfit was most definitely the hardest work ever.  I am wondering if this will be a pattern?  Our WOD (workout of the day) today was sprinting.  But since I am currently "running challenged", there was a modified WOD for myself and one of the other guys.  About halfway through, the other guy looked at me and said, "I think we should have chose the sprints".  I agreed and told him that giving us a workout to kill us must be our punishment for needing the modification.

Our WOD consisted of 10 sumo dead lifts, 15 box jumps and 20 pull ups, five rounds for time.  Can I just tell you that after round two, I seriously doubted that I was going to make it through even if I had all of the time in the world?  Yet as soon as I had that thought, I realized that I needed to change my mindset or I wouldn't make it through for sure.  According to Stanford Research Institute study, success is 88% attitude.  I had heard that number before and thought about it today during my workout.  That is why I knew I had to change my attitude or not succeed.   By the end my side hurt me so very bad.  I don't remember my side hurting me like that since about the fourth grade when I had decided that I was not a runner after going on my first diet.  I was gasping for air so hard I probably sounded as though I would hyperventilate at any time.  However, I made it in 17 minutes 3 seconds.  It was the longest 17 minutes of my life!!

The most exciting news of the day was I went down a size!!  Yeah!!!  My mom and sister went and bought me a big box full of new workout clothes since my other clothes were starting to be loose.  What a blessing!  I received them in the mail today.  My mom had purchased an identical pair of pants in two different sizes.  I was about to rip the ticket of the larger sized pant and put it on, but then stopped myself as I had the thought they might be too big.  When I put the larger size on and it was too big, it was such a GREAT feeling!  I know that workout clothes aren't jeans.  However, it was a smaller size all the same.

So the grand total so far stands at:

  • 17 lbs lost (that is two years worth of weight gain over the last 12 years)
  • One pant size down
  • A minimum of three inches off my waist as I could measure from my original workout pants that were tied with a draw string that had not come untied since I first started.
  • A much better attitude and a much more pleasant person to be around.
The best part of all of this is that I am still at the very beginning.  Things will only get better from here.  How'd that song go?  The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades.  And those shades are going to look great on me!!

Jeremiah 29:11 The Message - I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kobayashi Maru - 76 days left

After going to bed last night around 1:00 AM, I was so very tired this morning when the alarm went off at 5:00 I considered skipping crossfit today altogether.  Yet instead of deeming my day a "Kobayashi Maru" along with some encouragement from my husband, I bit the bullet and went anyway.  I think it was my hardest workout EVER.  I am sure that the lack of sleep effected my performance.  However, even if I would have had more sleep, I am sure the workout would still have been deemed harder than ever before.  And the best news about the workout - I did it with NO modifications making this my most excellent workout ever.

Of course, before I left, I had to weigh.  After all, today is the illustrious "weigh day".  I stepped on the scale keeping my goals in mind from last night; do not cry, do not yell at my husband, and do not lose heart if the worst happens.  I slowly looked down at the number with my tired eyes.  I couldn't believe it!  Five pounds lost for last week making this my most paramount week to date!  For the first time since I started, I thought to myself, "this is what it would feel like if I had made it on the Biggest Loser".  It was one of the best feelings I have ever had.

I also started a new book today.  Usually, I just read at night to help settle down before going to sleep.   However, today I was taking it a little easier due to my lack of sleep and read some during the day.  The book is a biography and in the first chapter the man talks about quitting his drinking habit.  It had become out of control.  After his wife asked him "when was the last day you didn't have drink", he knew it was time to quit as he could not remember when that day was.  He describes how his wife had heard him say that he was going to quit so many times before, but never stuck with it.  Yet this time there was a change inside of him that made the difference and he has remained sober.

I wondered about my family throughout my lifetime.  How many times have they heard me say, "I am going to lose weight" and after a few weeks or months my determination faded because there was not internal change when it came to my weight loss approach.  Weight loss before had always been for someone other than myself.  Over and over my mind had learned, "if I lose weight then this person will love me more, accept me better or finally realize that I am the woman of his dreams".  It was never just for me because I wanted to feel better about myself and be a better wife/mom to my family, it was because I wanted to be loved more by someone who did accept me in my present condition.

Yet now, I have reached that place.  The place of doing things for me because I am SO worth it.  I am worth the time away from my family to exercise and exercise hard to be healthy.  I am worth the extra money it cost to buy good food instead of junk to eat.  I am worth the additional money that we will have to add to our clothing budget as I lose weight and can no longer fit into my current wardrobe.  I am worth the time imposed on my husband to watch all four of our kids without me to accomplish these things.  Before six weeks ago, I wasn't convinced that I was worth any of these things.  Everyone was more important than Karen.  No more.  Yes, my family still is very important.  However, I am important too.  I am worth it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Neste Plunge - 77 days left

My shoulders are sore as I type to you this evening.  The theme of today's crossfit - lifting, lifting and MORE lifting.  I lifted more weight than I ever thought possible at this stage of the game.  However, at the end when I asked the instructor what the goal should be concerning a max weight and he told me, I realized how far off from the end I really am.  Yet for once since I began this journey over a month ago, it really didn't discourage me.  I just thought to myself, "OK, one day I will be there".

Perhaps the reason for this great achievement was due to another great achievement I had today.  I conquered another fear.  How many fears do I have?  It turns out, quite a few.  Today's concerned lifting the max weight.  I haven't ever fallen backwards when lifting weights before in my grand total of three weeks trying.  Yet in my mind, I have envisioned the fall backwards several times.  It would be the Neste plunge with no Neste to cushion my fall.  However, the more times I lifted, starting out with low weight and moving higher, the more comfortable I became.  Yes, I am very conscious of what I am doing when there is weight over my head, but no longer overcome with fear that it will come toppling down on my head as I was when I started this morning.

Now if I could only get over the "great fear".  You know what I am talking about - weigh day.  The day in my mind that still defines my week more than anything else I accomplish.  I hope this will someday change and I will no longer be concerned about a zero pound loss for the week or even worse, a weight gain.  However, I have not made it there.

Every Tuesday night as I lie down, I almost feel like I need a sedative for my mind to calm down thinking about all of the "what if's" that could happen the next day depending on the what the scale says back to me.  As if I were the evil stepmother in Snow White asking the mirror if I am "the fairest of them all" and then if the scale dare answers back "no", I throw it across the bathroom in full force as it goes flying out my bathroom window crashing to ground and breaking into a million pieces.  Fortunately, I am not a violent person, but I have visualized it all the same.

So my small goals tomorrow before I head out to my 6 AM workout:

  1. Not to cry no matter what the scale says.
  2. Not to yell at my husband about what the scale says.
  3. Remember that if the worst does happen, I am still making a difference in my health and one day I will be the skinny girl I envision.
And until that moment tomorrow morning, I will meditate on Isaiah 26:4 (The Message) - Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Danger, Will Robinson - 78 days left

Night out with the girls.  This was my first one since I started my weight loss journey almost 6 weeks ago.  I was nervous about going.  I wish I could have taken on the attitude of Simba in the Lion King and say, “I laugh in the face of danger”.  However, there was no laughing on my end of things.  Yes, I wanted to see my friends.  However, I was worried that they wouldn’t see a difference in me since I started.  And after the pregnancy comment the other night at church, I REALLY needed them to see a difference.  Thankfully, they did and I could breathe a sigh of relief. 

Now to the other “dangerous” part about an evening out – EATING.  We were at a Mexican restaurant which usually means fat, fat, calories and more fat.  However, I think I faired pretty well.  I had grilled chicken tacos and only two of them.  They were topped with lettuce, tomato and a drizzle of sour cream.  I know the tortilla shell is the kicker, so I counted that as my splurge for the week.  And after I finished, I was not stuffed, so I believe my portion size was well judged.  I skipped the salsa bar.  I know the salsa part would be fine.  However, the chips that you put the salsa on once they hit my lips would not have stopped after five, ten or twenty and so zero had to be my number of choice.  Surprisingly, I was fine with not eating any.  In the past, I know I would have thought that sacrifice in itself would have ruined part of my evening.  Yet tonight, it didn’t seem like a very large forfeit.  And even though a lot of my focus was on what I ate, it wasn’t the center point of my thoughts as I had wondered before I left this evening.

Crossfit also went well this morning.  I find that on some days I can actually keep up pretty well and fall into the middle of the group when it comes to reps in a timed circuit.  I also used the 35 lb bar today instead of the 25 lb bar when doing lifts which was an improvement from last time.   The greatest improvement for me today was when the countdown started to happen before the whistle was blown, I felt myself speeding up to get in the maximum amount of reps possible.  My muscles are sore this evening, but I know the workout I did today was me at my best for right now.

So, I made it.  I was able to work out this morning and then go out with my friends this evening and have fun without having to overeat to do so.  To some of you, that might seem like a silly thing to say.  However, for me, eating a lot and making sure that I eat the richest, cheesiest food possible along with a dessert at the end has been my benchmark.  Without that element of going out, then something would have been missing or lost during the evening.  Yet tonight, I knew that I was doing more for myself by caring about what I ate for my long term goals.  I wish I could have come to this place years ago.  However, I will be happy that at least now I know I can do it and keep to my commitment to myself.   And next time I go out with friend, perhaps then I will be able to laugh in the face of danger.

Psalm 23:4 (New American Standard Bible) - Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Twelve Minutes Matters - 79 days left

I must admit that today was one of those days that I just didn't want to do a workout of any kind.  I had planned on doing it earlier in the day and it hadn't worked out.  With each passing moment, I dreaded it more and more.  When it was finally 7:00, I resolved that it just wasn't going to happen and I should just sit down and go ahead and write out my blog for the day.  It was at that moment I heard myself thinking, "I can at least do something".

As I mentioned yesterday, my friend, Monica, had sent me the Biggest Loser 30 Day Jump Start video that I had borrowed from the library about a month ago to get me going.  It is a short 12 minute workouts that can be done individually or combined for a longer workout.  "Surely I can do a 12 minute video now!  After all, I am the crossfit queen.", I said to myself.  And that is what I did.  I put in the DVD and did the first cardio workout that I had done over and over and over again a few weeks back.  You know what?  I was a lot better at it.  I was able to actually do the cardio burst to some degree where as before I had struggled just to keep going as the same pace as before.  And when I was done, I wasn't gasping for air like I was about to hyperventilate.  In fact, I did 30 squats to finish it out.

What a great feeling to be able to notice such a difference from the place I was physically just 30 days ago.  And when I think about how much better I will be in the next 30 days and the 30 days after that, there is no way that the 5K run I will be doing with my friend, Julie, will beat me.  I am amazed at how far I have come already.

Accomplishing this short workout this evening also gave me a huge mental boost.  I folded what felt like a minimum of ten loads of laundry today.  It seemed with each shirt, short, or pair of jeans I touched my pile of clean clothes seemed to multiply.  I had thought about how not keeping up with the laundry is similar to not keeping up with my health.  After a while, getting healthy again and physically fit becomes a huge task that seems to get bigger and bigger with each passing day the longer it remains untouched.  I know it is fine to give yourself a break here or there.  However, I have never been one to do well with doing things in moderation.  So one day breaks become week breaks, which then turn into month breaks and pretty soon twelve years have passed and I am over 100 lbs heavier.

As I pondered these thoughts I became completely overwhelmed.  How in the world can I go the rest of my life without eating anything "bad"?  And the longer I waited to do my workout tonight, the thoughts got louder and louder and louder.  Thankfully though, when I did my workout, just for that short 12 minutes, my mind cleared of all of those thoughts.  I then shifted my thinking into how much better I was feeling now and how much better I could do the workout.

Yes, there will be hard days.  And yes, there will be days that I want to have a "bad food day", not just a "bad food snack".  Yet I found today when I accomplish something even small towards my goal, it is like a rocket propelling me into the next challenge knowing that I can do it.   Every small accomplishment really does matter, even when it is just a 12 minute video that I have done countless times before.

Philippians 4:13 (Amplified Bible)  - I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Do it Afraid - 80 days left

Migraine headaches.  About once a month I suffer from one and this morning I woke up with one of them.   In the past, my solution, other than Tylenol, had been Turtle Mocha's from Caribou, Mello Yello or a large sweet tea from McDonald's or ChickfilA.  However, since I have been committed to eliminating sugar from my diet, I knew that could no longer be a solution.  Four Tylenol and a three hour nap later, I was fine.  It just put a dent in to my day.

Then we were off to church.  I had enjoyed getting ready tonight.  My face looked thinner as I applied the pretty makeup my husband got me for my birthday.  My pants that I wore about a month ago were much baggier in the my thighs.  My jacket was looser in the arms.  Even my knee high hose were looser on my legs.  I dropped off my three year old and five year old like normal at there classrooms.  When I got to my one year old's class I told the teacher she was now walking, which meant a classroom change for her.  Before I left the drop off window, the very nice lady said, "It has been a while since I have seen you Karen.  Your hair has gotten so long.  Are you pregnant again?"  WONDERFUL!!!!  Then, of course, comes the embarrassing conversation about how I am not pregnant.  And besides the obvious weight aspect of it all, I also had to explain how I can no longer get pregnant again even though I would like too.  In the past, I would have been more upset than I was this evening.  However, since I am making strides to lose weight, it didn't bother as much as in the past.  I still wasn't floating on cloud nine as I walked away, but I wasn't bursting into tears and off to the nearest ladies room either.

I finally dropped the last child off and then it was to the information counter for me to work with my husband.  When I got to him, I asked him if he was OK because he didn't look very happy.  He said he was fine.  He was just a little bored waiting on me to get there.  I said, "Well at least someone hasn't asked you if you were pregnant".  He said, "Well now you'll have something to discuss in your blog tonight".   Oh, the silver lining!  Yes, it was so very worth someone mistaking me as being pregnant so I would have a blog topic this evening!!!

Yet as we went into service and I heard Jesse Duplantis tonight for the first time in a long time, I soon got over it all.  No it is not fun being thought of as pregnant when you are not.  And I guess the best thing I can say about it all is maybe that next time I see her I guess instead of looking 6 months pregnant, maybe I'll only look 3 months pregnant instead.  But I am getting healthier everyday.  I am feeling so much better.  My clothes feel different when I put them on.  And each week there is a lower number staring back at me on that scale.

I was also richly blessed today by some of my friends.  My friend, Monica, sent me a new workout video.  My friend, Cari, sent me a gift card to Target so I can go and buy weights or whatever I think my help me keep moving forward on my journey.  And my friend, Julie, sent me an email tonight saying that she would like to sponsor me in my first 5K in the next couple of months.

Yes, I am afraid to do a 5K.  Those are what skinny people do.  I won't be skinny in 2 months.  Even if I lose 100 lbs, I won't be skinny.  However, as soon as I thought about saying no, I thought about what Joyce Meyers says, "Do it afraid".  And that is what I will do concerning the 5K.  I will do it afraid.  After all, that is how we overcome our fears and negative thoughts.  We go out there an do it anyway, even when we feel like we can't.  I have already had to approach crossfit that way.  The 5K is just the next challenge and there will be many more after that.  I will do it afraid today and the next because there will always been new challenges.  There will always be new goals to set for myself as I continue my new lifestyle.

Isaiah 54:4a (The Message) - Don't be afraid—you're not going to be embarrassed.  Don't hold back—you're not going to come up short.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sally - 81 days left

If I had to pick one character from a movie that was most like my personality, it would be Sally from the movie "When Harry Met Sally".  One of my favorites.  Perhaps because I feel that I can relate to her so much.  During the movie Sally finds out that her boyfriend that she broke up with not too long ago is going to marry someone else.  As she cries to Harry about her heartbreak, she says to Harry, "And I'm going to be 40!".   At this point in the movie, Sally is only 32.  Yet she makes it part of her argument anyway.

I have a tendency to be that way at times too.  I am not sure if it is how my brain is wired or how my personality has developed over my lifetime or a little of both.  However, if you gave someone a pen and asked them to write down five qualities about me, I guarantee you that being dramatic at times would be on their list.  And today was no exception.

As I stood at my workout this morning getting prepared to go through the circuit, I explained to my instructor that I was not trying to be a baby.  However, today my knees just weren't able to handle running 800 meters three separate times and I would need to do the rowing machine instead.  Of course, to him that was not a problem at all.  It was just a lower impact alternative to running.  Yet to me, it was an absolute disaster.  It was the first time I have asked for something to be modified.  Every other time, the instructor has directed me to do a modified version  when there are advanced components to the workout.  Forget that I actually had just run a full 200 meters during the warm up, which I have never done before today.  No!  Tragedy had struck because I now needed to use the rowing machine.

Same thing again at the end of the workout after I came in LAST place.  They wanted to take some pictures of the group doing bar squats for the website.  While I am happy with my progress, I am still am not at the place of wanting my picture taken.  I agreed to be in the back part of the group for the first set of pictures.  However, when they went on to do box jumps, which I can't do either, I told them that I need to go ahead and head home to my children.  As I got into my van, I thought about how that was the most spoiled way I had acted in years.

When I arrived home, I managed about the same way and no matter who I talked to throughout my day, not one person was saying the right thing.  And no one was really saying anything that wrong either.  My friend, Michelle, used to always make me laugh when she would say "Save the drama for your mama".  Today I didn't heed her advice.  And if I did, I am sure that my mama wouldn't have wanted to hear me either.

And so my attitude today did not fare well.  I am disappointed that some days I am not a rock of stability like I would like to be.  Did I try my best?  I am not sure.  Maybe if I did, things would have come together differently.  Thankfully, in a few hours this chapter will close and a new one will start tomorrow.  Thankfully, God's mercies are new every morning.

Romans 7:19-21 (The Message) - I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tough Cookie - 82 days left

"Keep up the good work.  You are a tough cookie."  That was my send off today as I left crossfit after one of my personal best workouts.  It came from a guy that saw me exactly two weeks ago today when I had entered crossfit and it was all men on their lunch break.  It was his first time back from that day.  It was excellent to hear that someone who had only seen me once could tell such a difference.

So what was this great workout?  Well first I must tell you that it was only 60 degrees today in Minneapolis.  That meant instead of wearing my normal exercise pants, I went back to some of my sweat pants I haven't worn in a while.  When I put them on, as well as my shirt, I noticed they were a little larger than the last time I wore them.  When I started my warm up at crossfit, my pants slowly started to fall, lower and lower.  Not in the Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch show your underwear kinda way.  More like the hip hugger pants kinda way.  Not where I am used to my pant lying.   However, I was able to adjust to the new level by the time the warm up was over.

The circuit today consisted of only two things.  Sumo bar presses and hand stand push ups.  Sumo bar presses were done with the 45 lb bar today.  I knew it was too heavy by the end of the first round.  However, I felt like wimp the other day using the 25 lb bar and was determined not to go back.  Of course, the hand stand push ups were modified.  Today instead of just using the rings to do pull ups like last week, the instructor did make them a little harder so I would be using more of my core.  My legs were on a 2 ft high box while I faced down and did push ups from that position.

When I first read what we were doing today and even practiced it a few times, I thought "piece of cake".  Well, let me tell you, it was no piece of cake.  It was hard after the first time through both exercises.  I made it through the circuit seven times.  While it was the least amount for my class, I was still proud of myself for making it through as many as I did.  I also set a goal for myself after one of the other guys was joking around with me trying the wall push ups that I will try them in two months.  I don't know if that is too aggressive or not considering all of the men doing them today were having a difficult time.  Yet I think it is better to have a goal in mind to keep moving forward than to worry about being too hard-hitting.  If I can't do it in two months, I will just keep trying until I can.

I loved my attitude today.  I hope I start having more days like this.  I loved my crossfit workout today.  It was challenging and I met the challenge.  And I loved that my clothes were loose today.  I could definitely get used to more days like that.  Then the only problem is smaller clothes, but who doesn't like shopping for new clothes even if they are in what my friend, Missy, calls "cow sizes".  And speaking of Missy, I would like to say thank you to her for my GREAT smelling bath bombs she sent from the Basin store in Las Vegas as she was visiting there last week.  What a blessing!!  All of you are great with all of your encouraging words and support.  In the past, I would have already slowed down significantly or completely given up all together.  This time is different.  This time I will win!

1 Corinthians 9:24 (New American Standard Bible) - Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Box of Chocolates - 83 days left

I have made it to the two's.  The two hundreds that is.  Four more pounds this week for a total weight loss of 12 lbs!!  When I saw that four pounds lost, I shouted so loud with enthusiasm that I am surprised that I didn't wake my baby.  So as you can guess, I am very happy with my results this week and even more thrilled that I will NEVER be in the 300's again!

My workout at crossfit today was also very rewarding.  Today we were split into teams.  When I first realized that we were doing this, I honestly wasn't really happy about it.  Since I am usually at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to speed of getting through the circuit, I was very concerned about what the person I was partnered with would feel.  Then as another twist, we didn't get to pick our own partner.  Our instructor assigned  the teams for us.  Now I was really worried because if we had a choice, at least I could go with the other guy that usually goes about the same pace as I do.  Instead, I was placed with one of the fastest girls in the class.  Fortunately, she is very nice and didn't seem put off that I was her teammate for the day.

Our circuit for the day consisted of three rounds of 300 times jumping rope (of course, this was modified for me).  While one person was doing that, the other person was on the rowing machine.  Then we would switch.  After the first round, there was a three minute break and after the second round a two minute break.  My teammate and I came in 2nd!  It is fun to be teamed up with excellent people.  She was also very gracious to me at the end and told me that we made a good team.

Finally, a great week of weight loss!  The kind of week I have been looking for since I started five weeks ago.  I feel that my journey so far can be summed up in Forest Gump's description of life, "Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you're going to get."  Each week I have stepped on that scale, I haven't known what I would get.  However, just like a box of chocolates, sometimes you pull out the really yummy filled pieces and other times you pull out the pieces that make you shudder and think "seriously?".  This week was a really yummy piece.  I am hoping that I get a yummy piece next week too.  Happily, the box of chocolates usually has more yummy pieces in it than the other kind.   So the next time I get a dud, I can remember another good piece is right around the corner.

Philippians 1:6 New American Standard Bible - For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Last Chance Workout - 84 days left

Today while I was on my way to crossfit, I was mentally preparing myself for what they refer to on the Biggest Loser as "The Last Chance Workout".  The workout before the weigh in where you work extra hard to burn as many calories as possible.  Tomorrow is my "weigh day", so this was it before the scale flashes the numbers for this week.  Not wanting a repeat of last week, I have tried to treat every workout like my "Last Chance Workout".  However, this one really was the last one of the week, so I prepared myself to go in and do better than ever.

I finished my warm up swimmingly.  It was definitely my best so far.  Then we went over today's circuit which was made up of three different exercises consisting of ten reps each, four times through for time.  The first exercise was ten cartwheels.  Since I am not even able to do jumping jacks at this point and the cheerleader within left me about 20 years ago, that was not going to happen.  Next on the docket, ten handstand push ups.  All I have to say about that is, if you have read this blog even one time before today, you should already know that was not going to happen either.  And finally to finish it out, ten jumping pull ups.  Well, I have already been modifying that one everyday it has been on the list since I started, so I couldn't do that exercise fully either.

I was not happy.  Everyday, I have been able to do at least one of the exercises to it's fullest.  And today, "Last Chance Workout" day, I couldn't do one.  So after everyone else got started, we then went over all of  my modifications, two of which consisted of using a bar to lift.  I went and grabbed the 45 lb bar.  After all, it was the bar I used last Friday to do a very similar exercise.  It felt like it weighed 200 lbs.  I am not sure if it was because I was discouraged and was having a mental issue at the moment or what happened, but I had to switch to the 35 lb bar.  Then I found out that I was doing one of the two exercises wrong.  When I did it the proper way, the 35 lb bar made me feel like I was going to fall backwards.  So then, I was down to the 25 lb bar.  She-ra: Princess of Power had definitely left the building.  My confidence to get in a good, hard workout had left with her.

I did my best with the 25 lb bar and finished in eight minutes forty seven seconds, a full ten minutes before the next person finished showing the difference in difficulty from my workout to the rest of the class.  I finished up with the warm up again adding thirty crutches and forty squats.  My muscles knew they had been workout'd and so did I, but definitely not the greatest workout ever I was hoping for.

I do know there was success in what I did, but not the goal I was reaching for today.  Tomorrow is "weigh day".  The most telling day of the week.  I am hoping what it will say is that I am back on track and pressing through the week of zero.  I am also hoping that I will be a little more pleasant tomorrow when I step off that scale than I was last week.  Yet whatever happens, I do know that I have put my best foot forward this week to succeed.  And doing my best is all that is required.

1 Corinthians 9:26 (Amplified Bible) Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim). I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wax On, Wax Off - 85 days left

What a great workout today at crossfit!  I can feel my muscles becoming more powerful.  And underneath the bulge, I believe the skinny girl within is starting to form.  Each night when I share about my day and I reflect on crossfit, I always want to say, "This was the hardest workout so far".  However, I believe they are all rather challenging.  Yet each time I go, I am doing better than before.  I am getting closer to the middle of the pack when it comes the amount of times I make it through the circuit.  Today I did kettle bells using the 20 lb weight instead of  the 15 lb weight I used last week.  We also did jumping squats.  Guessed who jumped?  Me!  It wasn't four to five feet in front of me like the rest of the class, but still it was a jump.  I am still doing the "very out of shape person jumping jacks" which I decided after today I will just call "low impact jumping jacks" since I am getting more in shape everyday.  My goal is to be doing "real" jumping jacks one month from now.  And, at the close of the workout, the trainer that was gone last week told me he could see a difference from when he left!

Since I started attending crossfit, I must admit that I have been so very exhausted and the rest of the day after my workout I just drag around the house making sure that all of my children stay alive and are fed.  Every couple days or so, I put them in the shower and spray them off really good to get them clean.  Forget cleaning the house.  Forget laundry.  Forget anything but focusing on not saying the word "ow" with each step I take.  My husband did all of the laundry last Saturday and it still sits in my room waiting to be folded.

Today I decided things would be different.   No more dragging around.  Today I will make an effort to get my house in order.  It took me about five hours to start carrying it out after my workout this morning at 6 AM, but nonetheless I got going.  Laundry, dishes, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, cleaning out the baby's highchair that still had cake in it from last Thurs (I know.  That is really terrible!), picking up toys, picking up more laundry and picking up more dishes to wash was all accomplished.  My husband walked into the kitchen when he got home around 5:30 and said, "Wow!  I can really see a difference."  I hate that it got to the point that just a little maintenance made such a big difference to him.  But I am happy to say that I was able to function today after crossfit and do things for my family.  And what is so very crazy about the whole ordeal is that once I finally got going, I really didn't feel very sore anymore and functioned pretty well.  I guess I won't have any excuses anymore not to do my job.  (Should I be sharing that?  Maybe my husband will skip this posting.  Ha! Ha!)

Two more days until "Weigh Day".  I have mixed emotions about it as it approaches.  However, tonight I will focus on the great day that I had and all that I accomplished.  I am excited that I am becoming a better version of myself daily!!!

"The only one who can tell you 'you can't ' is you. And you don't have to listen."- Nike

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Nobody's Fool - 86 days left

Remember Bonnie Raitt's song "Something to Talk About" that was popular in the early 1990's?  The lyrics start out, "People are talking, Talking about people.  I hear them whisper, You won't believe it."  Today I learned that someone I have known for a very long time was doing just that concerning my blog.  However, what they were talking about wasn't very nice.  I know they said it because they never thought it would get back to me.  They are the type of person to say derogatory things in private instead to someone's face.  Yet, I did hear about it.  And it did hurt my feelings.  Comments like: "What's this about Karen trying to lose 100 lbs in 100 days?" and "Well how much has she lost so far?".  And of course, this is the absolute worst week to hear anything like that with 0 lbs of weight loss being carried around in my back pocket.

"They", whomever "they" are, say that it takes 5 positives to 1 negative to neutralize and 20 positives to 1 negative to equal happiness.  That's where my dear husband comes on the scene.  I was talking to him about it and crying and telling him how I must just look like a complete fool to people.  Four weeks of exercise and dieting and only EIGHT pounds to show for it!!!  How on earth was going to make any significant dent in my goal at this rate?  Plus, this week I have seen a significant drop in my blog views.  Other people must think the same thing about me concerning what I heard spoken today.  Are they all just sitting around laughing to themselves saying, "What does Karen think she is doing"?  I look just idiotic and everybody knew it before today except me.

After listening to me rant for a while, he then began to remind me of all of the great friends and family that I have who do support me and cheer me on daily.  I get numerous  emails everyday encouraging me to keep going.  Several people have sent me nice notes.  A couple friends have sent me workout videos saying, "Here let me help you meet your goal".  Another one paid for my crossfit.  Others have told me about websites for healthy recipes and suggestions on healthy foods to eat.  One of my friends on her trip last week to Vegas sent me bath bombs for me to use when I finish my workout.  "So many people are reassuring you that you are doing great.  Your friends don't think you are a fool at all," he said.  And you know what, he is completely right!  Yes, it made me sad and discouraged me to hear those words.  However, when I focus on the great words of encouragement I hear everyday, it lifts me back up.

So I ate my yummy salmon for dinner and then I went downstairs to attempt  Jillian's 30 Day Shred again.  The difference between this week and last week as I worked out to that video was phenomenal!  I was able to get up and down off the floor so much easier.  I kept up with the reps far better.  I still had to do "very out of shape person's jumping jacks".  And yes, I still felt like I might die there towards the end.  But I did it!!  And I will do it again and again.  Whatever it takes to reach my goal!!

Philippians 4:8 (Message) - Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Almost Famous - 87 days left

Today I decided to watch one of my most favorite movies of all time, Sleepless in Seattle.  Even though I have seen it about three hundred times, it never gets old.  One of my most beloved lines is when Becky says to Annie, "you want to be in love in a movie".  While watching today, I realized how that is so very true for me, only not concerning love, but weight loss.  I want to lose weight in a movie.  Then there would just be a fifteen minute or so segment showing me working out really hard and eating right and then voila!  I would be the perfect form of a woman with a body like Jennifer Lopez or Kim Kardashian.

Unfortunately, life if not a movie.  Folks can't watch me transform in an hour and a half into a thin, healthy version of myself.  I have to work at it everyday.  I have to watch what I eat everyday.  I have to workout six out of seven days.  And many days, quite honestly, I don't like it very much.

Today was one of those days for me.  I hated being "healthy"today.  I wanted to eat whatever I wanted today.  And since I couldn't, I was not very pleasant to be around.  It was as though I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and stayed on that side ALL DAY!  I wanted another piece of that yummy birthday cake I made for my little girl a couple days ago.  Boy, was it good!!  I managed to control myself, but only because I knew if I ate it I would have to tell you about it tonight.  Surprise!  Surprise!  I didn't eat it!  However, not for me.  For you!

I feel as though I am on the emotional roller coaster of eating.  One day, I am great!  The next day, I am dreadful to be around.  One day I feel as though I have conquered my sugar temptations and cravings and will have them no more.  The next day, I feel like I need a locked cabinet to hold all of the sugary foods that only my husband has the key too.  Why can't this be easier?  The fast food that helped get me here only took about five minutes to make.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if it only took five minutes to lose all of the calories that was in that fast food?  Why can't my weight loss journey be the two hour Lifetime movie of the week and then I am done being tortured?  And why are lives were not designed to turn around in two hours even though it took me 38 years to get here?

While it would be great if one day I am famous enough for my life to be made into a movie, what happens in that movie would be over the course of months and years and not just a couple of hours.  So I will wake up tomorrow with the same determination that I had today to eat right and be healthy.  Hopefully, I will do it in a better mood than I was in today.  But no matter what, I keep pressing ahead so one day I will have that perfect woman body like JLo or Kim K.  And on that day, someone will type, "One day I want to have that perfect woman body like Karen True".

Friday, June 17, 2011

Go to the Mattresses - 88 days left

Gloom, despair and agony on me.  That is how I felt this morning as I awoke at 5:15 for my 6 AM workout.  This was the finish of my first full Monday thru Friday workout week at crossfit and I felt it.   I didn't doubt that I would make it there, but I did wonder if I would be able to make it through.  The last time I really worked out on a consistent basis was when I was 23.  And I as I am sure anyone my age knows, 38 is not 23.

So with sore muscles from head to toe I went.  I challenged myself when I was there and I succeeded.  Today for the second time this week, I was NOT the last to finish.  Actually, I finished the circuit before four other people today.  This also meant that I actually had time to breathe a little bit before we went to the next exercise to finish up.  At the end of class, I was talking to the trainer for this week.  He was filling in for the usual trainer who is on his honeymoon.  This weeks trainer saw me for the first time on Monday.  He reaffirmed what my fellow student had told to me yesterday when he said he could tell a difference just this week.  The trainer also took it a step further and told me that most of the time when people come in, in my "situation", they make a thousand excuses of why they can't do what everyone else is doing and don't really try.  He told me that was not me at all.  He acknowledged how hard I work everyday and try everything I can and don't give up before the very end.  Wow!  What a boost to my confidence!  Turns out that I am not the joke of the class as I feared on day one at all.  I wonder what the regular trainer will have to say when he sees me on Monday for the first time in a week?

I must also share that my little girl's birthday cake has called my name more than on time today.  However, even with its nagging cries, I have ignored it completely eating only my regular meals.  I think the combination of knowing that I have to call my friend Pam if I get out of control and also the grossness of spitting out the Oreo cookie in the trash the other day has kept me from it.  I also feel that knowing that I am succeeding at crossfit makes me want to stay on track more too.

Now all my body needs to do is start to release the skinny girl within.  I know she is in there somewhere.  When will she arrive?  I don't know.  And she is making her appearance much slower than I thought when I first started all of this a month ago.  Yet until she arrives, it is my job to "go to the mattresses".  I must fight daily to succeed.  I must fight to win!

Never, never, never, never give up. - Winston Churchill

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Two will be Different than One - 89 days left

Today, my baby girl turns one.  She is my last of four children and what a wonderful day we have had!  I played with her and didn't get tired out.  As she opened her presents and tore the wrapping paper everywhere, that was fine because I knew I would have the energy to pick it all up.  When she ate her cake and smashed it all over her face and hair and arms, I didn't mind because I wasn't too worn out to give her a bath when it was all over with.  And when I thought about how much better off I will be and how much more I will be able to do for her next year when she turns two than what I am today, that brought me so much joy.

Even though my weight loss this past week was nil and prior to this week has been rather minimal as well, I can tell I am making progress.  I feel so much better physically.  I am moving around so much better and I am not tired ALL the time!  Today at the crossfit, a guy that I met with his wife one week ago today told me that he could already see a difference in me in just one week!  Boy, that made me feel good!  And I could tell I was doing much better today too.  My "very out of shape person's jumping jack" was better.  I was able to lift my hands over my head and touch them together through the entire circuit, not just going 75% of the way up like I usually do.  I also tried lunges today holding the bar that weighs 15 lbs.  Before I even started, I thought about telling the trainer that I needed an alternative, but then I decided I would do my very best and ask for an alternative only if I couldn't do it.  And guess what?  I did it!  There were still some things that I could not do.  However, over all, I think it was my best workout there so far.

Finally, when I looked in the mirror at crossfit, which I have looked in the mirror before today, I looked thinner in my face and hips.  I am not sure if I was just seeing a mirage since I was gasping for air and needing a drink of water.  But what if I wasn't?  What if there is already a change in my physical appearance in this short time?  I asked my husband if he could see a difference and he answered "yes" not wanting to face the wrath of Karen for not answering properly.  Since he sees me everyday, I told him it was OK with it this time. :)

Either way, I feel like I am different and I know what I am doing is making a difference in my health everyday.  Yes, there was a piece of birthday cake today in celebration of my daughter's birthday.  However, I keep moving forward with my overall health daily, not giving up.  And this time next year, no telling what fun and exciting things I will be able to do in celebration of my little girl's day!!

Philippians 3:14 (New American Standard) - I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Big Girls Don't Cry - 90 days left

If there was ever a day in the last four weeks I felt like quitting, this would be that day.  When I stepped on the scale prior to heading out to my 6 AM workout, I was astounded and taken aback by what I saw.  Total amount of weight loss for this past week ZERO!!!!  In fact, I think I actually gained two ounces.  Of course, me being the calm, quiet, reserved person that I am, burst into my bedroom and started yelling at my husband about my lack of results.  I am sure that was exactly what he wanted to hear at 5:30 this morning.  I put on my socks, grabbed my two bottles of water and slipped on my shoes before heading out the door crying all the way to the crossfit gym.

Obviously, there is no room for cry babies there, so I had to suck it up by the time I entered the front door.  So badly I wanted to whine to someone about my hardship and how I was just drowning in my sorrows because of my short fall this week in weight loss.  However, there is not time for personal conversation, just getting to work and that is what I did.  I really wanted to be a slacker and just do the bare minimum when I was there, but then I remembered what I had written last night about not quitting and how this time was different, blah, blah, blah.  Yes, I really said, "blah, blah, blah" mentally and even gave myself a good eye roll.  The type of eye roll mom would be proud of.

Fortunately for me, my other workout partners are very encouraging and when they saw me dragging a little would say, "Come on Karen!  You can do it!  You're almost done!".  When I grabbed the 15 lb bar as opposed to the 45 lb bar I was using yesterday, one of the older guys said, "I bet you can do better than that".  I appreciated his encouragement, but did stay with the 15 lb bar.  I am glad that I did because the first time we went through the circuit, I was one round shy of finishing.  However, the second time we went through the circuit, I finished and I wasn't even the last person!  I am ALWAYS that last person!!!  I also did walking lunges today.  That is something I have not been able to do since I was in college.  So even though it was not a good start, there was victory in the workout today.

Still, my attitude battle was not over.  When I got home around 7:20 my oldest son informed me that he had found the cookies my husband had bought while he was at the grocery store the other day.  I didn't even know we had cookies!!  And it was the deadly combination of not only chocolate chip cookies, but also Oreo's, which are the greatest non-bakery cookies ever made.  And I did fine with that, until about 2:00 this afternoon when I let the kids have some.  After they were done and went outside to play, I found a lingering Oreo lying there calling, "Karen.  Karen.  Karen!".  I picked it up and put it in my mouth and started to chew. Then I remembered that I promised my friend, Pam, the other day I would call her if I was about to cheat by eating something bad.  I walked as fast as I could to the trash can and spit it out.  Temptation over.  I didn't want to have to call my friend who has been so diligent in cheering me on and say, "I ate a cookie.  Boo for me.".  So even though that was not a good start either, accountability took over and I overcame my temptation.

Yes, I am still aggravated that I didn't even lose one pound this week.  And even at this hour, it still bothers me on so many levels.  But I promised myself that I would not quit this time even if there bad days and disappointments.  So I will focus on this next week, doing the very best that I can everyday to work toward my goal and I will not give up.  Try not.  Do or do not.  There is no try. - Yoda, Empire Strikes Back

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Quitters Never Win - 91 days left

Truly not my greatest moment today at crossfit, but I made it!  Part of our "warm-up" is to "run" around the building that crossfit is located in which is 400 meters.  At the end of my lap today, the instructor met me at the door and said, "Oh, I was wondering where you went because you were gone for so long."  Wonderful!!  Then I was supposed to do an exercise like you see during the Olympic Games.  The MEN'S Olympic Games to be exact.  I was supposed to lift myself up and down 10 times between two rings that you grip with your hands.  I knew that wasn't going to happen and asked for the alternative.  That was to push myself up between two elevated boxes.  I attempted this, but felt the boxes were going to go flying in both directions.  I then moved to a chair to sit in and then lower myself up and down.  That didn't work for me either and I landed on the floor after my back hit the seat.  Owwa!!  (That is "ow" in southern.)  And finally, for my encore I was suppose to grab each end of a rope and swing it up and down, so it looks like I am making waves.  I don't know what this is called, but I saw it last season on the Biggest Loser.  I only had to do this for 25 seconds.  By the time 20 seconds had hit, I know that I looked like a complete maniac.  I think my entire body was moving and shaking to keep the rope in motion.

However, even though I was missing in action at the beginning of the workout and fell on the floor and looked like something was very wrong with me as my body was gyrating all around moving that rope, I made it!  I didn't give up or walk out because I was embarrassed about moving so slow or looking silly.  In fact, if the truth be told, I was failing pretty miserably.  Yet, I didn't quit.

This has not always been the story of Karen.  I would like to say that I have NEVER quit anything due to failure.  Yet that would be untrue.  When I was in high school, I quit the soccer team before the tryouts were even over because I couldn't run like the other girls could.  In college, I failed the LAST class I need to graduate three times and told my parents I was done.  I did overcome my temporary insanity with this one, but it took two quarters before I finally went back and finished.  After I took my first job after college, I found that I was not a good loan officer at the bank, so I quit and found something else that was easier for me to do.  And after starting countless diet and exercise routines over the years, I have quit every single one of them loosing some weight, but gaining back much more.

Why is this time different for me?  I believe because I am approaching it with a completely different mindset than in times past.  This time I am doing it ALL for me.  I'm not doing it because I want people to accept me better or for some boy to like me or to have the opportunity to be a high school cheerleader.  I am doing it for me.  I want to look nice in my clothes for me.  I want to play better with my children so I will have those memories with them.  I want to see them graduate from high school and college.  And one day a really, really, really long time from now I want to know my grandchildren.  The road I was on does not lead me to these places.  However, the new road I am on will help me to achieve all of this.  On this new road there may be bumps and there may be failure, but there is no quitting.  And as I have mentioned in the past, like my pastor says, "If you don't quit, you win!!"

I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career.  I've lost almost 300 games.  Twenty-six times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.  I've failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.  - Michael Jordan

Monday, June 13, 2011

Breaking Through - 92 days left

Do you remember when Clubber Lang was about to fight Rocky Balboa in Rocky III and they asked him if he had any predictions for the fight?  He looked into the camera, narrowed his eyes and snarled, "Pain."  If my minds eye could have seen into the future this morning heading to my crossfit workout, "pain" would have been my prediction for what I was about to undertake as well.  Other descriptions of the workout like "agony", "torture" and "grief" would have also come to mind.

What was this grueling routine? One push up.  One squat.  One pull up.  What's the big deal?  That wasn't the full workout.  Then, two push ups.  Two squats.  Two pull ups.  Then three and so forth for twenty minutes or until we reached twenty reps.  I reached thirteen reps when all was said and done.  And in case you are not a math person, that means a total of seventy-eight push ups, seventy-eight squats and seventy-eight pull ups.  In the event that didn't wear me out enough, then we did three different step sequences over a box for ten minutes following.  Once I got home, there was no less than a three hour recovery period before I could find myself being productive again.

Oh, and please don't let me skip the comical element of it all.  I don't really have that many t-shirts.  And the t-shirts that I do have, have all seen better days.  However, I wanted to remain a little cooler this morning when exercising, so I decided to wear one of my old Georgia Southern t-shirts and not worry about how raggedy it looked.  During the first exercise I realized there were two GIGANTIC holes under each arm about the size of a tennis ball.  So not only did I look rather silly trying to keep up with the workout, I now was flashing my underarms every time I had to reach to do something.  Lovely!!!!  I did get over it rather quickly though because it was either that or go home.  I also convinced myself that no one else really noticed either because they were too busy sweating and gasping for air to be concerned with my fashion statement for the day.

I can say that I am very happy with what I did accomplish today even though it was very demanding on my body.  When I started the push up, squat and pull up reps, my goal was to finish twelve sets.  I actually finished thirteen.  I also pushed through taking a nap today, even though I wanted to so very bad after being so tired out from the workout this morning.  Most of all, I was thrilled to see improvements physically today after such a mediocre workout yesterday and no cookies or foo-fa coffee's either ladies and gentlemen.  I am holding on to what I need to do and no giving up even though last week was rather bleak.  Galations 6:9 (New King James) - And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Level 1 - 93 days left

Delusions of grandeur.  That is the manner in which I approached my new Jillian Michael's Shred video today.  I am not sure why I did this after spending the better part of my day in a blah mood, totally unmotivated.  I really didn't want to work out, but forced my body to comply because one day off is fine.  Two days off is cheating.  And before I know it, I would be sitting on the couch again munching chips just watching the Biggest Loser instead of trying to be an active participant.

So I put in my video.  Watched the intro.  Thought to myself  "Level 1?  Why even bother with that?  I'll just start with that and do all three workouts on the video.  After all, I have been working out 25 days now.  Shoot!  I could be Jillian Michael's assistant in the video.  Level 1?  Level 1 is for babies."  Then I pressed play.  I literally started to cry as I did my push ups.  It was as if I had NEVER done a push up in the last 38 years, much less 3 days ago.  Then we moved on to jumping jacks.  Remember how I mentioned a few days back about the "very out of shape person's jumping jack".  Well, according to Ms. Jillian there are no "very out of shape person's jumping jack" and she has 400 pound people who can do jumping jacks, so there was no excuse not to do them.  I snarled at her and did my "very out of shape person's jumping jack" anyway.  And finally, to add insult to injury, I struggled every moment of this workout with just little, rinky dink, Mickey Mouse five pound hand weights.  About ten days ago I started thinking how I really needed to move up to ten pound weights at least because the little five pound weights were no longer doing the trick.  What was I thinking?  I was tempted about twenty times just to put the weights down completely and just finish like that.  In just a day, I had gone from "the agony of defeat" to "too big for my britches".

So, now back to reality.  Back to the hard work it takes to get in shape and be able to do those jumping jacks.  Back to being my best in every workout even when it is hard.  And even though today I was the perfect picture of Proverbs 16:18 (Message) - First pride, then the crash - the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.   I'll be singing, when I'm winning.  I get knocked down, but I get up again!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Get Back Up - 94 days left

I have been sitting here for no less than 45 minutes thinking on what to share for today and the repeating theme in my head is "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".  I know that phrase is referring to what one has to say about others, but it seems rather fitting for my day today as well.  I have nothing nice to say about it.

My Friday night was an extremely late evening which caused me to sleep until very late this morning.  Sleeping late this morning caused me to fall behind in what I needed to accomplish.  Falling behind in what I needed to accomplish caused elevated stress.  Trying to get away from the elevated stress led me to facebook.  Getting on facebook caused me to find out some information that I would have rather not heard and placed me in a moral dilemma.  Being in a moral dilemma compounded my stress level even more and led me to the chocolate chip cookies that I had not even cared about at all since I bought them this morning.  And since I am an emotional eater, I was toast and couldn't overcome the temptation to not eat two of them.  That, of course, even sent me into an even bigger emotional spiral since I had been free from chocolate cookies for 24 days.  Finally, after three hours of pouting, I find myself here in front of my computer with nothing nice to say.

And why do I have nothing nice to say?  Because I did not complete my goal that I had set before me today.  There was no exercise with my new Jillian Michael's as I planned.  There was good eating, but then I let my emotions take over like some kind of Jedi force from Obi-Wan Kenobi waving his hand and saying, "You will eat two cookies".  And now I feel like my last three weeks can been summed up in the thirty second Wide World of Sports intro from my youth, "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" and the skier falls of the end of the ski jump in ruin.

Yes, I know this is a little exaggeration because there have been MANY accomplishments over the last 24 days.  And I have never been faulted as one who is not dramatic enough about my circumstances.  However, my day was not what I had expected, as many days can be, and this one in particular seemed to have spun out of control.  So at times like these in order to get myself back on track and out of the doldrums, I like to hear a song that will help lift me up.  Toby Mac's song, "Get Back Up" always does that for me.  I maybe knocked down, but not out forever!!!  I will get back up again tonight and shine again tomorrow!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Makes me want to sing - 95 days left

Twelve hours ago I was completing my 6 AM workout and boy was I pleased with how I did today.  The first two days I have gone, one of the young staffers has been "working" with me aka. "babysitting" me to make sure that I didn't kill myself while completing the circuit.  She was running a little late today, so I was on my own for the first half of the class.  I did the full warm up, plus one other segment before she arrived.  I am happy to say that I did the number of reps listed on the board to complete.  Today was the first day for me to do that.  The main instructor also showed me a modified pull up using rings instead of a bar.  I was able to do these much better and felt it working my arms today as opposed to feeling like my joints were being pulled out of their socket like I did on Wednesday.  Even though I am only three days in, I feel more confident about what I am doing and anticipate great results in the near future.

I also believe that my sugar cravings that I mentioned on Monday are beginning to diminish.  There have been no panic attacks as I have watched commercials advertising sweets that last few days.  I haven't wanted to yank a cookie out of someone's hand.  And yesterday, even when my boys came in smelling like Doritos because one of the neighbors had shared her chips with them when they played last night, it didn't make me want to run out and buy a bag because of all those great ranch flavored spices I smelled.  I suppose I am starting to get myself under control.  Kinda made me want to sing that Janet Jackson song.  You know, "I'm in control.  Never gonna stop.  Control.  To get what I want.  Control.  Got to have a lot.  Control.  Now I'm all grown up."  Now if I could just dance like her, I would find myself thinner a lot faster.

The most amazing thing that happened today was when I went and checked my mail.  Do you remember a few days ago that I mentioned that one of my friends was going to give me Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred video?  I have been on the waiting list to get it from the library.  This morning I went to pick it up since it was now available for me.  This afternoon when the mail arrived there it was in my mailbox from my friend!  So now I have my own copy and I can return the other one to the library so the next person can use it.  What perfect timing!!  I got it in the mail just when I needed it and I look forward to working out with it tomorrow.  My friend had also wrote me the nicest note, which, of course, didn't come with the library version.  Jillian Michael's workout video $15.  Cost to mail video $2.  Having a great friend like Julie Larson who would do something like this for me - PRICELESS!!

This weekend I plan to take a break from the crossfit and workout here at home.  I am also going out this evening and haven't worn jeans in almost a week, so I am hoping they will be a little looser when I go to put them on in a little bit.  I also hope that when I workout tomorrow my bones won't be cracking as much as they were when I first started and my five year old won't feel compelled to ask me, "Mommy, are your bones breaking?".  I know that I am improving everyday!  I feel like I was walking around as a very sick person and didn't know it and that last three weeks have been the start of my recovery to a very healthy, physically fit me.  Each day gets better and better!!  And that makes me want to sing, "I'm on my way!  I'm on my way!  Home sweet home!!"  Too bad I could never get my hair to look like their's.  Yet certainly not too bad that this isn't being video'd or recorded.  I will be back tomorrow.  Same bat time.  Same bat station!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Go, Karen! Go! - 96 days left

After declaring that I was free from being a Gym Phobic yesterday, I returned to the Crossfit today for another workout.  Thankfully, I really had put my phobia behind me, otherwise I would have walked out of the building as fast as I walked in today.  All other fellow crossfitters today were men on their lunch break, I presume, plus a young girl in her 20's that weighed about 50 lbs more than my three year old daughter.

During the "warm up", she passed me running around the building at the speed I used to run to first base when playing softball and said, "Come on.  This is just the warm up."  Fortunately for me (so I would not have been arrested for assault), I was not fast enough to catch her or I would have yanked her ponytail.  I was also already breathing pretty hard too, so I wasn't able to tell her that if she wanted to have a taste of being me she needed to go and pick up a couple hundred pounds of weight and then do her jog.  I do think that she meant well and was trying to be encouraging.  However, while I am no longer afraid of being there, I am not at the place of joking about my lack of athleticism either.  Most likely, I just need to lighten up.

Later on, one of the trainers was also trying to raise my confidence said, "Go, Karen. Go!"  All I could think was "Run, Forest! Run!", which was a little funny and inspiring at the same time.  After all, when Forest Gump did run he lost his leg braces, scored a touchdown for the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!!) and won a medal for saving Lieutenant Dan in Vietnam.  When I am running, I am loosing weight, scoring more fun time with my family and winning in my struggle to be healthy.

Overall, I am really enjoying being there.  Yet there are many things that I cannot do that I used to be able to do like jumping rope for example.  That was part of our warm up today too.  So instead, I had to do an alternative exercise of what I like to call "very out of shape person's jumping jack".  This is where you move your hands like you are doing a jumping jack and step from side to side.  Each time I have been at a place of having to do this, whether at the crossfit place or at home with a workout video, I will admit it has been discouraging.  Especially since, I used to be a fit person and running and jumping and doing jumping jacks was no problem.

Yet when I am at that place, I remind myself that one day I will be able to do it all again and exercises like the "very out of shape person jumping jack" with be a thing of the past.  Other things like "fat jeans" and plus size clothing will also be a thing of the past too.  I only have to struggle for a little while before I am physically great again!!

Philippians 3:14 The Message 

Focused on the Goal
 12-14 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, June 8, 2011

One Year Down - 97 days left

I am so very pleased to share that when I weighed this morning I had lost two more pounds!!!  That makes eight pounds total.  It also means bye, bye to a total years worth of weight gain on average since I was married in 1999.  Next week I am looking forward to being back in the tremendous two's. :)

I also started my Crossfit Twin Cities boot camp this morning.  It went great!  Yes, I am a little sore now, but nowhere near having to be wheeled away and taken to the local hospital.  Everyone in my class was also older than I am minus the two trainers, which was nice.  I was much less intimidated after meeting all of them and noticed that everyone was looking at what they were doing and not really paying attention to what I was doing at all. I think my Gym Phobic condition has been cured.  Amazingly, it only took one visit!!!  I had all of these thoughts built up in my mind of what it would be like and then when I got there, none of that happened.  I guess it was similar to going to the prom.  Or at least, prom in Karen's world.  I was so anxious about how I would look and who I would see and if my hair was big enough, when in reality buying the dress four months before was more traumatic.

Another great thing about going to my workout this morning is it was the first time I had gotten out of the bed to do something for me before anyone else in forever.  Usually this event might occur once a year at best doing something like after Thanksgiving Day shopping.  It made me feel good to make myself a priority again and getting in the habit of doing it again is far from what the routine has been since BC (before children).  However, I need to be a priority and take care of myself.  That is how I will take better care of my children.  It will also be how I am around for great events in the future like high school and college graduations, weddings and grandchildren.

So here's another whoop, whoop for another two pounds gone, eight pounds total.  And as I finish typing, I will do my very best Britney Spears dance move in celebration of overcoming being a Gym Phobic and doing something just for me!   (Aren't you glad this is a blog and not a video?)  Celebrate good times, come on!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gym Phobic - 98 days left

I have a condition.  Today I learned its name, Gym Phobic.  No.  Nothing life threatening or requiring treatment. Nothing that I can attend a support group to overcome.  Most definitely something Jay Leno and David Letterman would be sure to make fun of if they knew about it.  What am I talking about?  Fear of going to the gym.

Since I have begun my weight lost journey 20 days ago, I have been blessed not only by many wonderful comments and words of encouragement, but also materially.  Two of my friends that have been following my blog have purchased workout videos for me: Jillian Michaels - 30 day Shred and The Biggest Loser - 30 Day Jumpstart.  And one of my blog readers has blessed me with a membership to Crossfit Twin Cities not too far away from where I live.  However, I have to say that I have not taken advantage of the crossfit training yet.  Why?  Because I am afraid to go and be with a group of people that I don't know and have to sweat and do exercise in front of them.  I am sure that it sounds pretty lame and juvenile, but that is the truth.

When I kicked off my "new life" three weeks ago, you might remember that the first day I went to my HomeMakers group and had a group workout with Dustin Maher.  I was actually very apprehensive to do this as well.  Yet I go over myself and went anyway because I knew my environment was "safe" and no matter how ridiculous I looked as I participated, no one would cast judgement.  It turns out that this was a great blessing to me as well because Dustin gave me one of his video sets that I have used 16 of my 20 days.  However, I have been able to attend the crossfit now for a week and haven't taken advantage due to my phobia.

So tomorrow is that day.  The day I get over my phobia, get up in the morning and go.  I have already talked to the lady on the phone this afternoon and they know I am coming.  I also just told all of you that will expect to hear all about it in my blog tomorrow.  Yes, I am still very nervous and hope, since I am going at 6 o'clock in the morning, that it will be a minimal group.  Preferably other moms.  I also hope that I will be able to do the majority of the exercises because my agility has gone in the toilet since I now weigh so very much and I am unable to do even simple jumping jacks.  I am not at the place of being afraid that I will die trying to do it anymore.  Yet if I do (as the person who blessed me with the lessons said), at least he will have only paid for one month because there is no contract. :)

The theme for my HomeMakers group two years ago was "Do My Best While Being My Best".  That is what I will apply tomorrow and the next day and the next when I go.  The best I can do is go and workout as hard as I can and do my very best at each exercise.  I might not be as good as Jillian Michaels herself, but it will be MY best.  And right now, that is more important that being THE best.  I am confident that being Gym Phobic will go away in the weeks and months to come.  Yet today, it is me doing my best despite being a Gym Phobic.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Baby Steps - 99 days left

The past several weeks my eleven month old has begun taking small, wobbly steps.  The most she has taken in a row is about four.  Today she decided to conquer our stairs and climb all the way up with no assistance.  She is getting stronger every day as she continues to practice.

When it comes to exercise, I am like an eleven month old baby too.  A few weeks ago when I first started, it was all I could do to make it through my exercises.  However, today I can actually feel the muscles, especially in my legs, are stronger.  And even though I have only lost 6 pounds total to date, my clothes are even starting to fit better already.  Meaning my jeans have gone from skin tight, like someone poured me into them to actually looking decent when I wear them.  By the time I take my jeans off, they are actually a little loose from the stretching they have done all day.  As I workout, I can tell that I do have a much better form and can keep up with the videos about 90% of the time.  I can also see a shift in my attitude to the "I am worth it" mentality opposed to "I wish I had time for me" way of thinking.

Today things were challenging for me because I only had about three hours of sleep last night.  My plan to rest some during the day did not come to pass, which then equaled a LARGE Turtle from Caribou accompanied with two Extra Strength Tylenol to help keep me going.  Honestly, my plan for this evening until about two hours ago was to go to bed early, skip the exercise and blog by way of osmosis.  Yet because of the "baby steps" I have been taking over the last two plus weeks, I put on my "I am worth it" hat and exercised and am now writing my blog anyway.

"Baby Steps".  A silly application that I learned from the movie What about Bob?.  No.  I am not psychotic like the main character of the movie, Bob Wiley.  Yet anyone can still take this basic message and apply it to most anything.  Bob is an obsessive compulsive personality and seeks help from his psychiatrist, Dr. Leo Marvin. Dr. Marvin encourages Bob to take "baby steps" to overcome his different phobias and is so very confident that this method will work, he has even written a book about it.  Bob struggles with even simple things like getting on an elevator, but by applying the method of "baby steps" he starts to rise above his paranoia.  "Baby step to the elevator.  I'm in the elevator.  AHHHHHH!!!"

"Baby Steps" each day have helped me to surmount so many excuses that I would have used in the past.  "Baby Steps" has helped me to rise above the temptation to do it tomorrow.  And at the end of all of these days I have ahead of me, "Baby Steps" will help me to triumph over all that has defeated me before.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

100 days left

One hundred days left.  Isn't there supposed to be a popcorn party on this day?  No wait!  That is when you have gone one hundred days, like the 100th day of school.  However, the memory of my popcorn fiasco still lingers with me currently and I don't think it will be leaving anytime soon, so my guess is a popcorn party would be out of the question for that day as well. :)

Yet ironically, even though I became so ill on Thursday from popcorn and a turtle mocha, it didn't stop me from really wanting another Turtle from Caribou yesterday.  And today, as I was watching television that Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake commercial and all of the things you can make with that box of chocolate cake mix never looked so good.  I must say that I never imagined that I would be this addicted to sweets.  Sweets are not even my "go to" snack food.  I would so much rather crunch away on chips.  Still here I am at day 18 and find myself craving cookies, cake, chocolate and the like.  In fact, I not only crave it.  I imagine eating it.  I picture what every delicious, decadent bite would be like.  Yes people, it is just that pathetic.  What is wrong with me?  How can I be so captivated by sugar?  I decided to look it up.

In 2009, a man named Robert Lustig, who is a specialist in leading pediatric hormone disorders, gave a lecture called "Sugar: The Bitter Truth".  In it he calls sugar "evil", "poison" and "toxic". post an article stating that "sugar has been found to be more addicting than cocaine".  Several other sights reference a variety of studies with rats that show sugar is not only addicting, but the rats continued to want more and more sugar as time passed.  And with all of these studies, what is the only advice experts can give to stop the cravings?  Stop eating the sugar.  If that is not a "well, duh" statement, I don't know what is.  From what I read, there is no indication of how long it might last or if it will ever even go away.  To me, there was a little undertone of there is no guarantee, but this is the best thing they know to say.  Lovely!  Not the message I was hoping to take away with me this beautiful, Sunday afternoon.

Nonetheless, I will keep plugging along with eating healthy and exercising daily.  I am not the first person that has struggled with change and I certainly won't be the last.  Yes, it is hard.  Very hard some days.  And no, "hard" is not the four letter word of the Bible, even though some people treat it like it is.  I know that God desires for me to be healthy, even though it is hard getting there.  1 Corinthians 9:24b - Everyone runs; one wins.  Run to win.  I am running to win!  I will be victorious!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Maybe Next Time - 101 days left

One week from today, my class will be getting together for our twenty year high school reunion in Atlanta.  However, I will not be going.  In fact, I have not been to a reunion since our five year reunion in 1996.  Sure, I would love seeing my old friends from those days.  After all, it has been so fun reconnecting with many of them and getting to know others better from the wonderful little thing we call facebook.  In fact, one of the girls that I didn't really know at all in high school and have become friends with over the past couple of years through facebook, even emailed me today to see if I would be there.  Yes, money has been much tighter for us these past couple of years too.  But the honest reason I am not going is, I really just don't want people to see what I have become.

I know.  I know.  People can view pictures of me on facebook and see what I look like today.  Now they can even read my blog and know how big I have turned out to be.  Yet somehow walking into a reunion with all of my classmates seems to be a lot different than them just looking at a picture or reading about it on a computer.  And because I am so very concerned about what people might say or think, I will miss another reunion and plan again on attending the next time around.  What is so outrageous about all of this is, that if I went around and asked everyone attending my reunion next week, the truth of the matter is they are probably more concerned about what they look like than what I look like.  The even scarier thought is maybe the one's who remember me from high school, but have not seen me in a very long time, expect me to look this way because of how I looked when we were in school together.  I guess I won't know until I see them in another five years.

Why am I so afraid?  I thought for sure by the time I was this age, I would be over what people thought about me.  I wouldn't care if I had their approval or not.  I would just be happy with me and who cares what they think.  Yet none of those statements are true.  I do care.  I do care if I am accepted and that people think nice things about me.  Yes, it would be nice if next weekend could be like the "Shallow Hal" movie and everyone who was truly beautiful inside would be shown to be beautiful outside as well.  However, life is not a movie.  People do judge a book by its cover.

Unfortunately, I have no nice resolve to offer.  No sweet words to make it all better.  Nothing grandiose to say that shows how I have overcome my appearance issues.  I just really felt like I needed to be real about this today.  And hopefully, it will serve as part of my healing once I share it as so many of my other post have.  Please don't get me wrong, I have a lot of wonderful people in my class that would never be hateful or mean.  Right now, I guess I just don't have it in me to face the few that would be.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Can You Hear the Buzz? -102 days left

As I sit here this evening, I have a fly buzzing around my head every minute or two.  I swat at it and miss.  After it flies by, I don't see where it goes to until it decides to make another pass beside my head.  Annoying.  Buzz.  Buzz.  Buzz.  Buzz.  Buzz.  Similar to how I feel about my progress today concerning my weight loss.  Annoying.  Always there, thoughts buzzing in my head about it, but very slow progress.  Yeah, for three pounds of weight loss each week.  However, I feel like it should be more.  I'm not just eating much better and cutting out ALL of the junk.  I am also exercising my butt off.  Literally!!  Yet instead of the song "We are the Champions" playing in my head today, it was "Baby's Got Back".  And far too much back at that.  Why can't I just smash all of these annoying thoughts just as I would like to smash the buzzing fly?

To add to my aggravation, I had to switch out my cardio workout today.  My Biggest Loser 30 Day Jump Start video was due back at the library with no renewals, so I picked up The Firm Boost Your Metabolism and a Jillian Michaels Fat Blast video.  Eight minutes into The Firm video, I turned it off because for me it was more like The Stand.  Why?  Because all I was doing was standing there watching the video.  When they were talking about boosting someones metabolism, they must have meant people who have already been working out for the last 10 years of their life because the workout combination was so very difficult, I couldn't keep up.  Since the image of Jillian Michaels from yesterday had somewhat diminished (you know when I was lying on the floor, gasping for air), I decided to give her video a shot.  And to give you even more of an indication of how difficult The Firm was, Jillian Michaels video was actually easier, but still a challenging workout.

So I guess that today will go down as one of those days that, while it is good to have a strong will to do something, it is even better to have commitment.  The strong will may waiver at times, but commitment is what will get me through the rough patches.  I guess that is why I have heard motivational speakers say that you should write out what you want to do on a piece of paper and sign it.  It mentally solidifies what you are looking to accomplish.  Writing this blog has helped me to do that.  I am committed to do my very best everyday and write about it each night because I made a written agreement with myself.  I know it sounds silly, but it has been proven to work with setting all types of goals.  So no matter how many thoughts may buzz around me, I committed.  If I'm committed, I won't quit.  And as my pastor reminds me often, "If I don't quit, I win!".