Saturday, August 27, 2011

Major Events Shaping My Thinking On Prayer, Food and Exercise!

This has been a week of ...I can't put my finger on the right word.  This week I experienced my first earthquake while at work.  Now to some, this may not seem like such a big thing.  But I live on the east coast, (in Virginia) and have all my life.  We don't get earthquakes.  I can definitely say I'll always remember where I was and who I was with.  It reminded me of 9/11 and I worried about how we would get out of the building if it came to that.  However, it was not such a major thing as that.  But working in a hospital, it is concerned an external disaster and we were on lock down-NOT fun!  It made me realize that I really need to work harder to make my dream job come true.  That I don't want to be told that I can't go home to my family.  That I must stay there until someone else tells me I can go home.  Was not feeling the love with that at all!  I did end up leaving at my normal time but it still doesn't sit well with me.

The following day I went for a walk.  I was determined not to hold others back.  So I walked half of it alone and then went through a lot of emotions there as well.  I felt pain in my lower back from the excess weight as well as in one of my ankles.  Then I had a lot of negative thoughts going through my mind.  A LOT of self doubt.  But I pressed on despite that.  I walked a total of 9 laps which was 2 1/4 miles.  It was a heck of a lot more than what I had done recently.  I was proud of myself that I finished but over all, I wasn't feeling real happy about where I am.  I realize that I didn't gain the weight over night and I won't lose it over night.  But I just became frustrated with where I am in relation to other people.  Not that I was comparing my journey to theirs.  It was more like I felt like I couldn't relate to people who weren't around my weight or who had lost as much as I need to.  But the next night, a very good friend shined some light on some things for me.  So maybe I need to take a different in my journey and go slower.  I thought I was going slow but maybe not.  While I was driving to work yesterday morning, I decided I would break things down into a few areas in my life.  I need to make small changes in the way I eat, the way I exercise and the way I pray.  Instead of adding this and that to my eating and exercising, I'm going to focus on changing ONE eating habit and ONE exercise habit so I can stay consistent!  With praying and talking with God, I just want to add more time in my day.  Right now I talk with God on my drive into work.  I thank Him for waking me up and all the things He has blessed me with in my life.  But I know I need to strive to do better with my spiritual side.  While these are 3 different things all together, they will all need to be worked on CONSISTENTLY so that they become habit.  One thing I'm not in these areas, is consistent.  The number 3 is my favorite number.  We have the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit-this is another 3!  So while I know some people feel superstitious about things in 3's, I think this is a winning combination for me!  Because I know how important God and religion are to me on my journey!

Right now we are in the middle of a tropical storm, a.k.a. Hurricane Irene.  This event has shaped my life to be better prepared in my life and to enjoy my family now.  Tomorrow is never promised to us.  Tonight, I've felt a bit down which I don't like.  I'm a bit depressed.  But I also recognize that many of my food choices in the last 24 hours have contributed to it!

So tomorrow is Sunday and it's the start of a new week and the end of this month.  The end of the week starts September and after the holiday weekend will be my baby girl starting kindergarten! did that happen?  My daughter makes me smile and I know she makes me a better person.  She makes me want to succeed on this journey.  We were driving home one day when this song came on  I treasure the moment of us singing it together.  And so now I choose this as one of my songs for this journey going forward.  Because with God and the support of family and friends, I KNOW I will continue to get STRONGER spiritually, physically and nutritionally!   Significant positive changes are coming my way.  Look out I come!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Freeing My Inner Warrior...

I said I was going to try and blog weekly with pictures but I have been remiss in that lately.  I decided to do  weekly pics, instead of daily.  So this is a couple days after my 39th birthday.
7/31-Modeling a birthday outfit from Mom.  Emma took this and when I first saw this picture a few weeks ago, I felt bigger than ever.  However, looking at it now, I do see a difference in me.  Maybe more confident?  Can't quite put my finger on it!

8/2-Mom was kind enough to make this for me after a meeting and the night before we left for Baltimore Harbor.  It was so so yummy.  A steak, green beans and fresh strawberries!  

For 2 weeks, starting on 7/25, I participated in a No Sugar Experiment.  I was in the middle of the 2nd week when we went on our trip to Baltimore Harbor and saw these sugar hazard stores:

I did stay away from them and came home empty belly & handed of all things sugar:)  Consuming no sugar has made such a difference in my life!

8/3-This was my dinner at Phillips and it was delicious!  Now, yes I could have seafood but then I would've ordered Crab and Mac & Cheese.  I saw this as the healthier option for me at the time!  And man was I happy to have had it:)

8/4-On our last day, we took my daughter to the National Aquarium.  We saw Dora & Diego in 4D and then we went and watched the dolphin show.  Oh, how I ADORE dolphins!  I don't want to bore you with all the pics, but here is one that I found just precious!

When we got back on the afternoon of 8/4, Emma and I received our FabFit bracelets.  I have yet to take mine off.  However, with Em being 5 1/2, she wears hers on her she wears hers when we work out or if we are going somewhere!  But we are 2 of the many Fab Fit family!

Last Friday I asked my husband to please chop off my hair.  I needed to start fresh all over and I felt like my hair was keeping me hostage.  8/6-I took this pic before heading to an event. 
I like the shorter hair but decided that: 
1.  I need to be wearing brighter makeup-i.e. lipsticks & eyeshadows-so I'm not referred to as "Sir".
2.This cut is Phase I in the making.  I need to go ultra short so that I can workout with out having to worry about what my hair looks like when I'm done!
8/14-This picture Emma took before church, reinforced the need to go shorter!  After church, Emma took it upon herself to pick out a work out DVD-the CareBears- and started warming up!

I SO love the positive effect my journey is having on my family.  We are starting to make itty bitty changes, but nonetheless, they ARE changes!  Pumping my fist up in the air!  I only want the best for my family.  I want the best for my friends but have discovered that some are not so interested.  That's okay because this warrior is now on a mission!!

Two of the ladies from my Northern Virginia Spark group, a.k.a. NOVA Sparks,and myself decided we want to meet once a week at the local school to walk the track.  So on 8/17, the Pink Lightening Divas (as we call ourselves) met up and did our thing at our paces!  I'm so happy to have additional support on the home and exercise front.  I'm also happy to support them as well.  Also, the talk of our doing this, helped me to decide to do a 5K in December! WOOOHOO:)

Tonight I took a walk with my family.  Well my husband & I walked and my daughter rode her bike. 

After almost the 3rd lap, Emma stopped riding her bike and joined me in a little jog.  At the end of that, we high fived.  

Then we came home and took a few more shots:

I felt rather pensive and focused on my journey and then came this picture....I definitely was deep in thought!

Tonight I asked Hubby to please please finish my hair and let's get Phase II done.  So I sat in the chair as he cut with butterflies in my stomach.  All I could think about was the movie, GI Jane and Demi Moore shaving her hair off.  That's what I wanted!  I wanted to feel free.  I wanted to shave off the past and start anew.  I wanted to enjoy my work out and not have to wonder, "Is this messing up my hair??".  So Hubby used one clip.  I looked in the mirror and then told him, "Shorter!".  So he picked another clip to use and went back to cutting.  Then I felt  my hair and again it felt long.  I consulted the mirror after he'd finished and I said "Shorter!  Think GI Jane short...I want to chop it all off!!!"  He asked, "Are you sure?"  Without missing a beat my response was, "YES!!!!"  So he picked up a new clip.  After a little bit I looked in the mirror and said "Hon, that's still not short enough!"  I asked him, "What clip do you use for the back of your head?  THAT'S THE ONE I WANT YOU TO USE!!"  He said, "A one or a two."  He then found a clip and proceeded to start again.  I didn't say a word.  When he finished I looked in the mirror and said, "PERFECT!!!"  I quickly went and showered & shampooed.  Here's the finished product.....

I think my Inner Warrior is making her way out!  A long time ago, I did see myself as a warrior, but I was talking the talk but NOT walking the walk!  I feel like this hair change is a big part of my transformation into weight loss mode.  Don't get me wrong, I've been making significant changes the last month and a half.  This just totally makes me feel liberated and free!  I'm ready to keep going.  I'm not looking back.  I WILL DO THIS!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Changes In Me...

So I started noticing a change in me on Sunday, Day 2.  I was looking at one of my friend's FB status and it mentioned  the Push up Challenge and how many she had done that day.  So I went to  I knew that this friend was doing the challenge.  I just wanted to find out more.  Huh?  ME???  So when I went there, I decided I would try to do a different one-200 squats (the link is on the aforementioned website).

I shoot a text to my friend, Leslie.  Leslie is simply fabulous, she's lost tons of weight and has got the smokin' guns!!  So I ask her, did she know there was a squatslogger?   So she tells me she had seen it but hadn't looked at it.  So then I tell her I'm in the process of signing up.  She says, "Sweetness! I'll do it with ya!" just like that!  How cool is that???  Can I just tell you I have some of the bestt friends-some of whom, I've never even laid eyes on in person.  Leslie is in the midwest, I'm in the midatlantic, and one of my goals is to meet her and our other friend who lives in the midwest, and go white water rafting together!  This is another reason for me to get fit:).   I really want to get in shape and travel and see so much more of this great country.

So then later on Day 2, I'm getting myself geared up for Day 3 which starts the No Sugar Experiment.  I am eating cookies like crazy so I can hopefully get it out of my system.  Then I decide, I'm going to sign up for that push ups challenge as well.  I need to start working on my upper body as well.  And both the squats and push ups are good for me to work on for the next 6 weeks.  Then I figure I will do the dips (for the triceps) the next 6 weeks.  Just gotta figure out what I'll use to do those dips!  After doing all that, I start making preparations for my meals for work the next day since I plan on bringing my lunch and snacks.  So by the end of the day, I've done 2 initial tests-1 for squats and 1 for push ups-and I'm all packed for work!

Day 3 begins and I'm wondering about these headaches everyone who's in on the experiment has mentioned.  I took some Advil but I seemed to be ok.  I actually took it because my knees were sore.  I got some turkey sausage burritos and ate my concocted tuna pasta salad for lunch along with some fresh pineapple later on.  I had a hard boiled egg as a snack.  On the way home from work, I stopped and picked up some groceries.

Ok, I was tempted by a few things but my only indulgence was Montery Jack Cheese! I bought some London broil steak, pork chops, strawberries, barley and lentils.  Big change up from my usual mac & cheese, Doritos, cheese hotdogs, lasagna...and the list could go on for hours.  So then, when I get home I ask my dear husband and daughter if they'd like to go for a walk.  They say yes and we leave shortly!

Now this walk, is fairly straight for the first 20 minutes.  Then you start going down the hill (which of course means you'll be going back up that hill:).  Here's the hill:

Sorry, they are a bit blurry.  I was walking as I took them.  Here is where the road starts to go flat for just a bit before it goes uphill...
Just ahead are lots of bushes and so I decide I'm walking on the other side.  Hubby and daughter walk on the  street.  Me?  I just want the gnats away from me! :)  So I begin my ascent up the hill (mind you, when I suggested this walk I said I would walk to the bottom but not up!)...

It was when I got right here that I was seriously huffing and puffing but was feeling determined to make the effort.  So I look across the street to my family and what do I see?
They are headed back down going back home!?!?!?!?!?!?  So I too, turn around.  My child has become tired and it's a bit of a walk back.  So I'm still trying to recover from the ascent I had started and I turn to find this...

Are they running over there??!!?!?!?!?  Well I'm so sorry but this chick is barely getting one foot in front of the other.   But I keep going.  Mainly because I know it's the only way I'll get home.  Hubby won't be going to get the car to get me unless I happen to be dead.  So I'm walking back up that hill I just descended and OH MY GOSH!!!  I can't breath, sweating like crazy and chest is POUNDING!  Can I just please please please lay down here on the side of the road for an hour or two?  But those family members across the street are still going and I trudge on.  Then at one point I just have to stop. I wait a second, look up in the sky and see...
Ok, God's trying to tell me something.  I need to keep moving.  YES, it hurts, but I WILL DO THIS...ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER...ONE STEP AT A TIME...even if I have to huff and puff home. I think of my supportive team in cyber world and know they are cheering me on!  I stop a few times.  The first time I just can't move.  Hubby & daughter cross the street to meet me.  I'm almost in tears.  They both encourage me but I just don't know if I can do it.  People are staring as I'm walking up this hill with my hands on my hips-my back is KILLING me.  I know why of course-cuz my body has SO much excess weight the pain goes right to my back when I walk a straight hill!  I get to the almost top of the hill and break down crying because I just NEED to stop.  Hubby and daughter once again to the rescue encouraging me on how well I've been doing.  We walk a bit more and I tell hubby I must sit at the bus stop for a moment.  Emma has to sit with Mommy:)  From there on it seems to get a bit easier.  I tell them I would like to take some pics.  So here a few with me and Emma....
Emma was simply awesome out there! It amazes me how much energy she has even when she starts to act sleepy:)  She stuck through it but again, unless she died, Daddy wasn't coming home to get the car to pick her up!

 Emma is my biggest why.  I want to be able to do so much more with her.  It pains me that I'm not able to run with her right now.  But that doesn't mean I won't in the future!!  Life is too precious to waste it.  I want to enjoy it!  So I'm going to get out there and DO what needs to be done!

I asked Em if she'd "take a picture of Mommy & Daddy" and she saiid "sure" ....

 So we decided maybe we needed to get down to her level:)

I was exhausted when I finished but I love the look of contentment in my face here!  I finished what I started. My only downside was that I did not have a plan for dinner.  So dinner ended up being a hard boiled egg and  a couple slices of Jack cheese.  Not the best choice but better than ice cream or some high carb item I might have chosen a few days before.  So Day 3 was a success!

Yesterday, Day 4,  I did Week 1 Day one squats and push ups.  I did my squats at work during a break.  GO ME!  I did the push ups at night. I noticed on Monday, Day 3, that my lower abs were hurting.  Well yesterday they were as well.  When I attempted to do the push ups I could feel where it was hurting my lower abs again.  So I decided for this go around, I will do the modified on my knees.  Then maybe after trying dips I will do the push ups again the way they are supposed to be done.
I told hubby about challenge and after reading about it online,  he ended up doing his initial test last night too! He did 33!!! WOOHOO:)  I'm so proud of him!  He gets to start with week 3.  Me?  Week 1.  But I'm ok with that.  I'm a work in progress:)  It feels good to be exercising with my family!  It's something I've always wanted us to do regularly but has not happened.

Today is the start of a new day and I'm hoping to get a nice walk at the track this evening(no hills for this girl-today anyway:) and we will hopefully bring Emma's bike so she practice that!  I don't know what has happened, but I'm loving the changes in me!


"I will remember the lesson of the firefly who gives of its light only when it is on the wing, only when it is in action.  I will become a firefly and even in the day my glow will be seen in spite of the sun.  Let others be as butterflies who preen their wings yet depend on the charity of a flower for life.  I will be as the firefly and my light will brighten the world."  ~from The Greatest Salesman

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words...

Last year I started and stopped doing 365 Project.  I really enjoyed it-taking a picture a day for 365 days.  However, I had a difficult time keeping up with it.  I came across one of my pictures today and it got me thinking.  I will take a picture every day of my journey-starting today.  I am going to try and post a blog weekly so that I'm not over committing myself.  If I can post pics more often, that's great too.   Across the board, the key to my life right now is consistency.  So I want to keep that here as well.

This past week I had a few setbacks.  I had to stop exercising because my iron, vitamins B-12 & D, and folate levels were low in my blood work.  It was not helping that my menstrual cycle was wacky.  My doctor is concerned about my passing out and for now she said no exercising.  So it became the perfect opportunity for me to get to work on my nutrition.  A good friend loaned me her Clean Eating books & cookbooks.  I'm taking my time and going through them to really try and make a lifestyle change of the permanent variety.  My family, especially my daughter, Emma, needs to be eating healthy.  I want to be a good example to her in so many ways!

Today is Saturday and I have signed up to start a challenge on Monday.  It's called the No Sugar Experiment.  I can have 2 servings of fruit a day but cutting out all other kinds of sugar.  I'm excited to start yet worried about failure and not finishing-there's that consistency thing again.  But I'm not going to stay in negative thinking mode.  I'm going to take it one day at a time.  My Mom was kind enough to buy me a pineapple the other day.  I will be 39 in a few days and have never cut a fresh pineapple before.  At the suggestion of one of my FB group members, I went to You Tube and typed in How To Cut A Fresh Pineapple.  And voila...
Emma stood as my model holding the pineapple.  NO she did NOT use the knife.  I had actually already sliced that end off so she decided to pose with it attached back on.  And now she points at it...

Sniffs at it and says it smells like pineapple:-)

And now we have it without the core!

I now know how to cut a fresh pineapple!  Emma kept going on about how good it was-which made me so happy to hear.  However, the acid ended up affecting her tongue and I had to give her a mild popsicle which seemed to help immediately.

Today, my goal was to get some laundry done.  It's being done now but I really was hoping to have done it earlier not at 11pm.  My other goal was cleaning my self induced mess on my side of the bedroom-that is the reason for the laundry delay.  I came across some pictures and was shocked.  I asked my husband to scan these pics I came across in my cleaning venture.  

In my last blog, I posted the picture in the upper left corner.  That was my starting point just before I joined  Weight Watchers as I mentioned-343 lbs.  The one with me standing was taken almost a year later and I was down about 100-120 lbs.  I was about 240 lbs and that wasn't even the smallest I was trying to get get to!  When my husband came across that picture tonight, all I could do was stare at it for the longest time.  I look at it and I remember glimpses of it.  I remember how I felt and the compliments I received from co-workers.  How I motivated my co-workers to go to Weight Watchers or make better choices.  Little old me!!!  And I WANT to get back to it.  I want to wear those jeans again-have them get too big for me to wear.  I want to have a fresh hair style and feel good about myself again.  I want SO many things!  So as I continue to want and to push further, these 2 pictures, side by side, are what I need to keep in mind when I get discouraged.  I am worth the time and effort to be the best person I can be.

I want to leave you with this thought that was shared with me by a good friend in direct sales who is reading this book called  The Greatest Salesman: 

"I will remember the lesson of the firefly who gives of its light only when it is on the wing, only when it is in action.  I will become a firefly and even in the day my glow will be seen in spite of the sun.  Let others be as butterflies who preen their wings yet depend on the charity of a flower for life.  I will be as the firefly and my light will brighten the world."

Shoot for the moon, reach for the stars...