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...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What Brought Me To This Point...

I have struggled with my weight since I was in college.  I have tried countless ways to lose weight...pills, Weight Watchers, hcg, hypnosis and even trying it my own way.  My daughter, Emma, was born in January 2006.  I remember driving home from the hospital and telling my husband that I didn't want to be an embarrassment to her.  My husband said, "You could never be an embarrassment to Emma."  But I know that kids can be mean.  It took me some time but I decided in November-right before Thanksgiving, to follow the South Beach diet.  I talked with God and told Him that I needed His help.  That I had tried this many times before without his help but it never seemed to work. I managed to lose about 19 lbs in about 2 months.

This picture was taken January 2007 at Emma's 1st birthday.  I knew that it was time to make a change for the better.  So, again I talked with God and asked for His help on this new journey.  Then, a few days later, with Emma in her stroller, I signed up at Weight Watchers (for the 3rd time). I quit drinking soda and went to straight water or Crystal Light and still to this day, have not drank another soda.  

I found lots of support going to my meetings at WW's especially with my WW leader.  I had lots of success too.  I lost 100lbs within 10 months.  However, when I did so, I deprived myself of food at times just so I would reach my goal to lose the 100lbs.  I lost a total of 120 lbs which brought me down to 240lbs.

I remember meeting up for the first time with some of my online Weight Watcher friends in December 2007.  We took a bunch of pics together-some while sitting at the restaurant.  When I looked at some of them, my chest was down to the table!  I decided that I needed to get some new bras.  So Lynn, one of my friends, said she'd love to go with me.  I had a giftcard to Lane Bryant so we walked on in.  One of the sales persons asked if we needed any help as we looked through the bras.  I said, "I think I need to be measured."  So she measured me and I waited thinking that my last purchased bra was 48DDD.  I heard the lady say 38 and for some reason thought she still needed to add in the cup size and that couldn't be my band size.  I had gotten to a size 38DD!!!  I remember asking the sales person if it was alright if I tried the bra on underneath the sweater I was wearing.  She asked me what size shirt I was wearing and I COULD NOT answer!  I had been wearing somewhat baggy tops and I wear scrubs at the hospital.  Turns out, she brought me 14/16, and it was LOOSE!  When I put the shirt on, I had a waist and fabulous one at that! I was just in shock.  That was the first time in my life that I'd worn a wireless bra and I was thrilled.  I want to get back to that size and even smaller!

It's always been hard for me to notice when I've gained weight and it was the same when I lost.  At the end of 2007 I had some personal family problems.  In the spring of 2008, the death of 2 loved ones within 2 weeks of each other and then I began eating to numb myself of pain. I would gain 20 lbs at weigh in and then 2 weeks later lose it.  I was up and down with my weight. I even lost 100 again but then started eating again...

Now it's close to 4 years after that time when I lost the weight and I'm somewhat close to the same starting weight I was back in 2007.  This time I have decided I'm going to do things differently.  I have a wonderful support system at home with my family and in cyberspace on Facebook & Sparkpeople.  I have joined a wonderful group on Facebook.  This past weekend, I met the leader of this wonderful group, Carolyn, who was visiting family from out of town.  This is a picture of Carolyn, Emma and I...
Meeting her really did some awesome things for me.  I got re-inspired after reading about her journey and meeting her in person.  It was definitely what I feel to be, a life changing event for me.  I've become more excited and focused about what I want out of life and my journey.  I talked with God and shared my plans with Him, asking for His help and guidance.  This time I am starting off slowly by adding in 1 freggie a day and exercising 10 minutes a day.  I will gradually add new things as I go along.  I want to take myself to heights and challenge myself more than I ever have.  But most of all, I want to live my life!  No more sitting on the sidelines because of my size!

I want to help others on their journey (I used to do this a lot and had stopped over time).  It's not always easy to do what it takes to get fit & healthy, but it's MOST DEFINITELY worth it in the long run!

My biggest why for doing this is right here...

I want to be able to see Emma do so many things in life.  I want to be able to run outside with her without huffing and puffing.  I want her to be proud of her  mother, not embarrassed.  But most importantly, I want to show her that you can finish what you start and you can be a strong woman.  I want to be a great example to her of what she CAN do, not what she CANNOT or SHOULD NOT!  I want Emma to know that she can do anything she sets her mind to-that the possibilities are endless!

And I want to share my transformation with others.  I want them to see that the possibilities ARE endless.  I hope that I'll be able to help at least one person and show them that they are worth it. And if they are struggling, I want them to know I have been there too! And if I can do it, they definitely can;)  You can accomplish great things on this journey when you have friends by your side!

I WILL DO THIS...We ALL will!  Life is short, play hard!!