Thursday, December 29, 2011

5K Stuff

My thoughts are scattered, I have been working on getting my thoughts down for over a month now, but I have to share what I have, before my memory gets hay. So here goes my 5K tale.

Basic statistics first. I went to the 5K, I got my t-shirt, I ran and walked, and I finished the 5K. And most importantly to me, I was not last. :D This is all good stuff. Woohoo, go me, and all that.

At the beginning of the race, my sisters decided to walk the whole thing together. My mom and I were going to run and walk together. About 200 yards into the race, I had to stop and just walk. But, my mom kept going. She never stopped running the whole race. I didn’t see her again until after the race. While I am extremely proud of her for being able to run the whole thing without walking or stopping, I felt abandoned. I felt sad. I didn’t like that feeling. I hated the feeling of being alone, while everybody else passed my by. I didn’t like it at all. And I almost felt angry about it. Not so much angry at my mom, but angry at myself. Angry that I had to stop and walk. Angry that I hadn’t worked out enough to be able to run myself. I was annoyed at my mom because she had claimed she hadn’t been working out either. And because she said that she was going to have to walk and run. But I was mad at myself for not being good enough. 

And there I go again, “not good enough.”  This is a constant struggle for me, my weight and level of fitness are not an indicator of my moral compass.  My being unable to run the entire 3.3 miles is no indication on whether I am a good person or not. It truly isn’t. But I turn there over and over again. I may still be heavy. I may not be very fit. I may have a low tolerance for exercise. But I am a good person. I am NOT evil or bad. I am worth it to keep trying. 

After walking for awhile in my own self-pity, I decided to slow way down and wait for my sisters A and H. A had knee surgery this year, and H has struggled with her weight for years. I was so proud of them for participating in the run with us. So I walked with them for awhile, mentally beating myself up, and whining that my mom had run on ahead. After awhile, I thought to myself, “why am I upset that she kept going at her own pace? Why does it bother me that she didn’t hold herself back for me? This is ridiculous!” So, once I caught my breath, and mended my pride, I decided to take things at my own pace. Was I doing this for my mom, or with my mom? Or was I doing it for myself? What do I preach all the time? Don’t do this for anybody but yourself. You are the only one you can count on, and if you are relying on others to accomplish your dreams, then you are going to fail. So I tucked it in and started jogging a bit. I jogged until I got tired, and then I walked a bit. Then I picked up the pace, and jogged on again. I finished the race that way. I jogged and I walked, as I needed to. I quit caring about what other people thought. I quit thinking about who was with me or not, and I just got down to business. 

I finished the race, crossed that finish line. I thought I would be so excited, so proud of myself, and just feel good. But I didn't. In fact, I felt let down.  I felt like the only reason I felt any measure of relief or 'happiness,' was just because it was over and I didn't have to do it anymore. I was just so glad to be done.






And then I turned to cheer my sisters on.  What can I say, we have all been heavy at some point in our lives. My sister A had knee surgery this year. My sister H has struggled with weight-issues for a long time. But they participated in the 5K this year too.  And when I saw them running/jogging the last bit of the race, I started to cheer louder, I started to cry and weep. Because THEY did it.
I don’t know why I don’t feel excited about what I did. I just feel rather numb about it. Kind of let down even. It’s frustrating, because I worked hard for this, and I finished, and I wasn’t last, and I finished in under an hour (56 minutes and some-odd seconds).


But, even though I don’t feel all that accomplished in myself, I do feel celebratory about my sisters finishing. I do feel excitement, and joy, that they were able to participate, and finish. They also finished under an hour, and they too were not last. And so I have decided to celebrate their win, to bask in their glow, and to hope that maybe next time, I will have figured out what it is I missed last time so I can really celebrate my finish.





Until next time . . .  

 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Do You Ever Feel Like . . .

Do you ever feel like, no matter how much you improve, or how well you think you are doing, it is never enough?

Do you ever feel like it doesn't even matter?

Me too.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The BIG 6-0



That's right, 60 pounds have been knocked off of my body. I haven't felt this good in YEARS. It is hard to believe how far I have come. Seriously, I am feeling fabulous. And it is more than just about the number. I have learned to like myself. I am learning to be kind to myself. I am learning to be more compassionate and forgiving of myself.  These are lessons that I stood in desperate need of 9 months ago. And that is how long I have been on this journey. It has been a slow journey too. And it is easy to get discouraged when I figure I have lost about 6 pounds a month, on average. But I try to look at the big picture. Yes, I have only lost 4 pounds this month. But that is still 4 pounds lighter than I was. I am healthier now than I was a month ago.


My first 5K is this week. On Thanksgiving morning, some of my family (mom and sisters) will be participating in the Annual Turkey Trot in Amarillo, which is put on/sponsored by the Lone Star Runner's Club. I am a little nervous/anxious about it.  I keep telling myself, I can walk the whole thing, I don't have to try and run. However, I am going to try and run some of it. My husband and kids will be there are the finish line for me. And I have told my husband I want pictures (NOT video), so stay tuned next week for those. I really am excited. A 5K is not something I have EVER thought I would do someday. And yet, here it is, right in front of me, just waiting for me to take that first step. And baby, I am taking that step.



How much is 60 pounds?

This stack of soap bricks, each weigh 2.5 pounds, weighs 60 pounds.



This dolphin fish weighs 60 pounds.



This flathead catfish weighs 60 pounds.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Over Halfway There

What an amazing feeling to be over halfway to my goal!? I can hardly express how excited I am!

I am now at a total loss of 56 pounds. Which means I have only about 45 pounds to lose. This is wonderful to me, because I look at that a think, "Shoot! I already lost more than that, 45 will be easy!" I love feeling like I can finally get control of my weight, that I finally HAVE control. I am in the driver's seat here, I can make the decisions, I can be the boss of my life. And I am thankful for the lessons I have learned along the way. I have learned to be kinder to myself. To be compassionate with myself. And to accept myself as a good person, who has a food addiction. An addiction that, like any other, can only be overcome with hard work, support and just plain determination, grit, ganas. Some days are easier than others, and some are just plain HARD! But you know, I can do this, I got this. And so I keep on trucking. When I get frustrated, I just look at old pictures, and think, I am no longer that person. When I feel down, I find something that weighs at least 50 pounds, and carry it around for awhile. I don't have to feel so heavy and tired anymore! I have freed myself from an obese, tired, unhealthy body, and given myself a new lease on life, a new opportunity, a life full of health, energy and YEARS.  I can keep going, because I have already done it. I am already over half way there!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Just Keep Swimming!

It's been just over eight months since I started losing weight, and I sit here down 54 pounds. I feel great! I have more energy, I can breathe better, I have less headaches, and I just feel better. Such a wonderful feeling!

And I feel like I have learned so much on this journey. I still have a long way to go, but it finally seems manageable. To sit and think "I need to lose 100 pounds" is a daunting thought, and I found it weighed me down immeasurably. But I broke down the goal this time. It wasn't about the total 100 pounds anymore, it became, "I will lose 10 pounds." And then once I did that, it was easier to say "Well, I lost 10, I think  I can do another 10." And each goal built upon itself, and here I am now. I now have less to lose than I have already lost. Which is totally awesome! And along the way, I have learned some valuable emotional health tools as well. Having my half cup of ice now and then is not "cheating." I am not "bad" because I choose to indulge in a snack. And you know, since I no longer label myself as "bad," for having a sugar-filled treat, I no longer feel compelled to think "Well, I'm already 'bad,' might as well finish off the whole tub while I am at it." I don't berate myself anymore for a food choice. I am not a bad person, I am not an evil person. I simply enjoy sugary-foods. And sugary foods (ice cream, cookies, cake, etc) ARE NOT BAD. They can be eaten in over-abundance, they can be over-indulged in, but they are not BAD foods. And because I recognize that a treat now and then is not bad, then I am no longer a bad person.

And why did I think I was a bad person? I consider myself to be caring, intelligent, kind, and successful. I try to help others, I try to watch my temper, and I try to be better today than I was yesterday. I haven't killed anybody or assaulted anyone. I don't rob stores, I don't steal from others. I don't break the law, even traffic laws. So why did I tie my food choices to my moral character?? I do not have the answer to that yet, but I do know that I was wrong to do that, not bad, but wrong. And that is okay. When we realize we are wrong, and accept that we need to change, we can do that. 

And so to you I say, you are not a bad person because of what you choose to eat. Unless you are choosing to eat your fellowman, your moral character is not determined by what you eat.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Comparing pictures

I thought it might be fun to compare my picture starting this blog and today. So, here goes!
 
This is April 2011



This is me today, October 4, 2011



I don't really like those last two pictures, as my posture is off, but I realized I looked happy, so I kept them :D

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Disappointed

I feel like I finally have a new lease on life. Losing so much weight, and finally being successful in it has really helped me want to succeed in other areas, like as a parent and as a wife. I have been trying so hard to be better. And I felt like I was doing better. I felt like I had improved so much. But then people I love and respect feel the need to tell me that I am not. Some of these I could blow off. But when it is multiple people telling me I'm not good enough, I fear it must be true. And that hurts. I really felt like I was making some marked improvement. I really felt like I was becoming a better person, and I just feel like I have failed. I feel I have failed everyone. My health issues are discouraging, because here I am finally fixing my weight, and then I start getting all of these infections. I finally feel like I am making some headway in who I am, being a better me, and then people point out my continued imperfections. And these are people who are supposed to love me, therefore their perceptions of me must be correct.

What is the point of even trying anymore, when it seems nobody notices the improvement? Yes, people have noticed my weight loss, and that is good. But my health is worse now, I think, than before. I felt like I was a better person, but no, not good enough. And I struggle with people's perceptions of me.

I used to say that I didn't care what people thought of me, it only mattered what I thought of me. But I feel brow-beaten down. And it hurts. And I find that it does matter what people think of me. Especially certain people. And there is a part of me, a large part of me that wants to retaliate, to hurt those people as they have hurt me. But I feel so dejected, and let down, and low, and humiliated, that I can't even begin to get mad enough to do so. I just hurt. I appreciate a constructive remark now and then. I appreciate honesty. But I feel so low, that all I want is an encouraging word. And comment of "Hey, I've noticed you are trying to do better, keep it up!" Or, "Way to go!" Or even just a simple "I am so proud of you."  I am finding that I do care what others think of me. And I am finding that I don't like what they think. And I am realizing that the opinions of certain people especially, matter to me. I feel like I have failed those I love most. And when I feel this way, other comments people have made to me in the past, come flooding back. And they fill my mind with tormenting insults. "Can I tell you something as a mother? You are an embarrassment to your children." "I would hate to be your mother." "Nobody could ever like you."

And when my mind is flooded with those thoughts, my own inner demon begins to shout out loudly, "See! I told you that you would fail" and "I told you that it would be better to not try, because then you wouldn't fail." or "It would have been better if you had just stayed the way you were." "Nobody likes you." And then I feel, "why did I even bother to try?" Why did I think that I deserved to be healthy? Why did I think that I deserved some happiness in my own skin? Why did I think I could succeed? I have failed every.single.time I have attempted to improve. Maybe I am permanently broken. Maybe I am just some slip-shod measure of a being, one that doesn't matter, never has, and never will. And that I am permanently, irrevocably, and forever screwed up. I don't deserve happiness. I don't deserve what I have. My children do not deserve to have me for a mother. My husband does not deserve to be stuck with me as a wife. My parents and siblings do not deserve to have to be related to me. And when I let myself fall so far down into a hole, it is then that I allow my deepest, darkest, most evil inner demon to speak. He is an ugly, black-hearted, nay without a heart, cruel creature. And he promises a release from all the pain. He promises a doorway to it being all over. And he holds it out on a tempting tray. Beautified to hide what kind of evil he really offers.

And it is then, that I revolt. That I turn around and run. And I once again lock him up in his cage, and I promise once more to throw away the key, and never visit him again. Because you see, I do deserve happiness. I do deserve to have a healthy life. I do deserve my life. I do deserve to live. Yes, I make mistakes. Yes, I fall down sometimes. And yes, I even fail and screw up and totally foul up everything I touch.  But I am worth dragging my sorry butt off the floor, and pulling myself up out of the hole. I am worth soldiering on. I am worth a measure of happiness. And I am worth trying one more time.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Struggles

I am really struggling today. It's been coming on for several days now, and today it finally has just hit me full on in the face.  After 6 urinary tract infections in 7 months, my Dr. referred me to a urologist. I met with this new Dr. last Friday. He agrees that something is not right, so has suggested a series of different tests and procedures to determine what it is. Some of the procedures feel, to me, very invasive.  I have discussed with two other doctors the recommended procedures, and they have agreed that these steps do seem necessary to find out what is going on. But, that does not still the anxiety and nervousness I feel. Thinking about the upcoming procedures fills me with dread and anxiety. And it's not like I can just stop thinking about it. Because I can't, I have tried. I know what these procedures entail, and I understand, to a degree, why these are necessary, but that doesn't quell the anxiety. And when I feel anxious or upset or overwhelmed or stressed, I tend to combat those feelings with food, or shopping. But since I don't want to eat my heart out, eat my fears out, eat my feelings out, and my wallet is pretty thin (and will be for the rest of the foreseeable future) I am feeling like I have nothing to combat these feelings. And so I continue to feel anxious and stressed, overwhelmed and upset.  And I want to feel better. I want it over already. But mostly, I just want my body back.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Two More Down

I woke up this morning to a new loss of 45 lbs, yes! Only 55 more to go. I love seeing those two numbers get closer together. I can hardly wait for the day when what I have left to lose is smaller than what I have already lost!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

One More Pound Down

Woot! Making myself move again is jump-starting that weight loss, yeah! Another pound down for a total loss of 43 pounds. I am loving the way I am feeling. I don't feel so tired anymore, I mean, I am still tired (hello! I have a 7 month old), but I feel more able to deal with it. I don't hurt as much anymore, my knees are feeling better especially, and my back too. Life is great! Things still get overwhelming and stressful. And life still throws curveballs at me, but I am learning how to get through things, and still manage to find some shred of happiness through it all. I thank God every day for my kids and husband and family, because they are the source of so much joy even if there is a bit of challenges mixed in too. It's all about the balance.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Two More

Another two pounds down! Woohoo! Total loss is now 42 lbs. Feels great! I still have another 58 lbs to go, but that number is getting smaller and smaller. It's slow going, but I know why it is so slow. It's because sometimes I made poor choices in what I eat, and how much I exercise. That is my choice. I could sit here and lie to myself, "I have slow metabolism," or "after age 25, metabolism slows down," or any number of excuses that don't blame me. But the fact of the matter is that I have made choices that cause a slow weight loss. I own that choice, and I will confess up to it. I haven't been exercising like I should be either, which also causes a slow loss.

A friend of mine was talking to me the other day about how boring workout/exercise videos are. She was saying that she needed to do them with somebody, to make it more fun. Hey! I have the same issue! So we decided to meet three times a week and do a Richard Simmons tape that I have ( I have a few). Friday last week was our first day, and it went well. Today we met again, but after a really long weekend, with very little sleep, I was dragging. But I did it anyway, and I feel so much better for it. My friend asked what I did on Tuesdays and Thursdays (Monday, Wednesday and Friday are workout days), and I told her I was going to start do a yoga tape. Well, she wants to come do that too. Which is nice, I need the motivation that someone else is counting on me! So, it looks like this could be the start of something really good :D

Also, I wanted to say, I have been doing really well with my self-hate. I am learning to be kinder and more compassionate to myself. I would never speak to my friends, family, or even enemies the way that I speak to myself. And I figure, I have to live with myself for the rest of forever, I better learn to like myself! And that has been going pretty well of late. Until yesterday. Yesterday I started thinking about how I cared for my 6 year old back when she was a baby. I started feeling guilty about things (related to breastfeeding failure and post partum depression) and really started to beat myself up. As I sat there condemning myself, from inside I heard "why are you beating yourself up, when you did the best you could with what you had. You would never tell someone else in the same situation the things you are telling yourself. So stop it." And I stopped and thought about that. It's true. If someone else was going through the same things I went through, I would be encouraging and supportive, not hateful and spiteful. And so I started to reassure myself that I did everything I could. I did my best. My 6 year old is healthy, smart and thriving. She is loved and cared for. And she knows how much I love her. Those are the important things. I gave my all, and that has to be good enough.

Friday, August 5, 2011

How Much is 40 Lbs?

That's right, I am 40 lbs lighter than I was when I started out just 5.5 months ago. It's been a long, hard road at times, but I am so glad to see the weight falling off. One more pound down, and I will be the lowest I have been in probably 6 years. WooHoo! So what does 40 lbs look like?

Well, this fish weighs 40 lbs:




And this shark too!



That's amazing! Only 60 more to go to a healthy BMI! I am 40% of the way there! Finally it feels like I could actually do this!

Can I Get a Hoo-rah?!

Hopped on the scale this morning to see another pound bite the dust. Total loss of 40 pounds! Dance! Dance! Dance! WooHoo!!!  That's 40% of my goal, which is awesome, if I do say so myself.

Now if the rest of my life will just sort itself out, LOL

But really, I am feeling better about things. I've gotten back into the routine of praying, and reading my scriptures. Not that I really quit doing it, but I am back to doing it every day. And that seems to have helped my attitude at least.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Three Bits of Advice

When things get really, really dark, remember:

Number One:
Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming

Number Two:
Breathe, Just Breathe

Number Three:
Don't do both at the same time

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Still So Far Away

I lost another pound, bringing the total loss to 39 lbs.  I should be ecstatic.  Only 3 more ounces, and I'll be 40 lbs down.  This should be awesome news. And a small part of me feels celebratory.

However, this small success is just a drop of water in an entirely empty well.  In the vacuum of hopelessness and loneliness, this small feat, is nearly completely useless.

I hate the feeling of being alone.  I face several challenges, outside of being a fat cow, emotionally, physically, and financially.  I hate feeling like I am the only one who is fighting the fight.  I hate feeling like other people, who should be involved, are shirking it, pretending that the battle is not theirs, or does not exist.  I hate to feel the insurmountable pressure to fix everything my own.  I hate feeling like the people who should be fighting alongside me, are instead fighting against me.  I am tired of battling it out by myself.  I am tired of fighting every day to make things better.  I am tired of making do with the limited resources I have, without any hope of it ever getting better.

I want cookies.  I want ice cream.  I want pie.  I want candy.  But no, I actually don't.  I don't really want those things.  What I want is happiness.  What I want is to feel like there might actually be a chance that things might get better.  I want to find joy in life again.  I want the struggle to get a little bit easier, or at least my strength to match it.  I want to feel like I can succeed in my challenges and trials.  I want to not feel alone.  And as much as I wish it were true, cookies, ice cream, pie, and candy are not going to make those things better.

And so I soldier on. Weighed down by my burdens, stuck in my struggles, and unwilling to give up; even though I fight on alone.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rock Bottom

The last few weeks have been extremely fatiguing, with today being the worst of them all.  One child is gone, visiting her grandma, and I miss her. My youngest two have been fussy and clingy all day, I feel saddled with just a whole lot on my plate right now, and I feel powerless to change or fix anything. And I feel alone. After my physically and emotionally draining day, I told my husband that I needed to go to the store for milk and things. I really wanted ice cream. I wanted it bad. So bad that I told myself after the shopping was done I could go get some. I even knew what I wanted (Rolo flurry). I wanted it to make the pain go away. I wanted it to replace the hurt and exhaustion. I wanted it to change my life. But as I sat at the intersection (after shopping), waiting for my turn to turn towards the Golden Arches of Mind-Numbing Goodness, I remembered something my mother read to me several days, if not weeks, ago. "Why am I hiding from the pain? What will happen if I don't self-medicate with junk food?"  So I turned towards home instead. 

I sat in my car, in the driveway. And I let myself hurt. It hurts to be alone. It hurts like a big, gaping hole in my chest. It aches with clawing hands around my heart. Feeling alone is painful. It's like being stuck in a void, in a black abyss. It hurts to feel helpless. It hurts like having your hands cut off. Being completely at the mercy of someone else's decision (or indecision) feels insurmountable. It feels like sitting at the bottom of a mountain, know that you have to climb it, but not having any legs. It feels hopeless, and feeling hopeless hurts too. It makes getting out of bed each day a chore.  Some days I feel like, "What/s the point of getting up? I can't do a thing to change the struggles and burden we are under right now." And that hurts.  I cry. I cry because crying is a release of tension. I cry because I can do nothing else.

So why do I bury these feelings? What will happen if I don't bury them? Why do I want to choose unhealthy junk to cover it up? I choose it because I don't want to feel that pain. Whether I eat the ice cream (etc) or not, I'm going to cry. But the reasons for the tears are different. When I cry after ice cream, it is because I have failed. I cry because I was weak. I cry because I am fat. I cry because I still hurt. So either way I hurt. But I choose ice cream tears because the reasons I cry then, are things I can control. I choose it, to give myself something, ANYTHING, to control. And I repeatedly choose it, because choosing "wrong" is easier than choosing "right." I can fix being fat. I can fix being weak. I can fix being wrong. And when I choose ice cream,  I am controlling something. I get to have that power. I get to exercise that control. And I choose it, because I can.

But, that's not how I want to live my life. Now I need to figure out how to change that trained response to pain. That plan of "I feel bad, I eat junk," that choice has become automatic. It is now a habit. And I have to break that habit, before it breaks me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Just Truckin'

I've continued exercising this last week. Went walking with my sister, who is visiting. And last night, while my sister babysat, my husband and I walked about 2 miles with the baby in a stroller. I still don't like it, and I don't look forward to it, but at least it is getting done.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Another Day

Man! I haven't exercised in quite a while, and today I sure made up for it. First, I took the four kids, and my 15 year old sister to the Clovis Hillcrest Zoo. It is the second largest zoo in New Mexico, right after the Albuquerque Zoo. I bought a season pass for my family, and we make a visit about every other week or so.
http://hillcrestparkzoo.com/default.aspx 

So this morning we went to visit all the animals. At a slow walk, pushing a stroller, and leading three young children, it takes about an hour and a half to see everything. We walked the entire zoo. After that, I went to pick up my new glasses (hey, did you know street signs actually have words on them?) On our way home, we stopped by the City Park for a picnic. After eating, we climbed on the playground and swung on the swings, or as my 2 year calls them, "fwings!"

I was determined that tonight I would hit the park again, this time alone, and do my lap. Considering last time I was able to run about a song and a half at a steady pace (5 or 6 six minutes), I figured I could at least manage that again, then walk the rest. After a brisk walk to warm-up, and a good stretch, I started jogging. While I did find that I was able to run faster than I had before, I also was unable to run as long. This was very discouraging. I barely managed a minute and a half, before my knee was screaming, and I was breathing too hard.So, I scaled back. When I walk, my knees are fine. So I finished my 5K lap at a brisk walk. I figure, walking fast is better than walking slow right? I swung my arms, and walked as quickly as I could. I worked up a sweat and listened to my tunes.

The people at the park tonight were an interesting lot. I have never seen the "track" so packed. I call it a 'track" because it is basically a dirt and gravel path, nothing more. There were probably 50 people out tonight, more than I have ever seen. So yay for my town getting out and walking/running/jogging. I did have the pleasure of meeting a lovely grandma-age lady, out power walking with her beautiful red-long-haired dog Tansy.

And so, at least I finished it. And even though I hate it, I do not like running and I do not like sweating, at least it is free, right?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Why?

I am so tired of being chronically tired and in pain. Being so exhausted makes it difficult to feel up to fighting the health battle. I feel so weak. I feel lost. But I am determined to keep on trucking. Even though the ice cream in the freezer is calling my name, and making me promises of happiness. I know that that happiness isn't lasting, and it isn't even real happiness. It's just a temporary relief from feeling the anxiety, stress, and pain I feel. I don't like those feelings. I don't like feeling this way, but it is time to meet those feelings head on. Escaping from the pain hasn't made my life better, it's made it worse. So I figure, maybe facing up to the pain, maybe just letting myself feel it, will help it ease permanently. And maybe someday the emotional toll won't be so heavy.

Bottom line: No amount of pigging out and eating junk food will fix my problems, and it won't fix yours. The only thing that can change me, is me. The only thing I can change is me. And that goes for you too.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another One Bites The Dust

Yes, one more pound down, for a total loss of 37 pounds. :D Take that! And, someone at a wedding reception yesterday noticed the weight loss, and commented on it to me. She told me how fabulous I looked, and how great I looked, etc. This is a person I really respect and admire, and she is so pretty. So it really felt good to hear it from her.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A New Day

So, June 18th I was supposed to participate in a 5K. I say supposed to, because I did not do it. The people I was supposed to do it with, bailed. Which is a pathetic reason to not do something you want to do. I mean really, think about it. I totally handed over my agency to an outside source. Which is something I harp on all the time. Are you getting healthy for you? or someone else. Obviously, I put too much faith on other people to pull me through an event, rather than on myself.  And so, I must pull myself back up by my bootstraps, and get back on board. Next 5K will be in November. Here's hoping that it is infinitely cooler then! Because today it hit 110 degrees. Yuck!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Invisible

I feel invisible of late. It is hard to stay on track when you feel like nobody but you cares about you. It is during those times when you have to really knuckle down and force yourself to continue to stay on target, just for YOU.  As I said earlier, getting fit/healthier/skinnier for anything, or anyone, but yourself, will not work. You have to do it yourself, for yourself. But knowing that does not necessarily make it easier. Often, I think, our biggest goal thwarters are ourselves. I think that WE often get in the way of OUR progress.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rockin' Out

I count RockBand as exercise. I exercised for 2 hours yesterday on RockBand. I believe I can count it because a) I really get to wailing on the guitar and drums, and 2) I work up a sweat. I think that even if you are just singing, you can count it IF you dance around like a fool. And so I support advertisement of RockBand (1, 2 and 3) as a piece of your exercise regimen.
And as a side note, I have lost another pound. *Happy Dance* Down 36 lbs, now at 224.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

35 Pounds

I went searching the internet to find out how much 35 pounds was, and I found a surprising number of images.
First, this fish weighs 35 pounds. I've lost this much:
Next, this cat:
 Third, this pet rabbit:
And finally, I have lost 35 of these one pound blocks of fat. Ew!

A Small Update

I didn't have too much to muse on today, but wanted to record that another pound has bitten the dust. That's 35 lbs down. Yay!

I also managed to take everybody on a walk to the park today, and while my brother watched the three oldest, the baby and I did a short walk around the park, maybe 30 minutes or so. It was very hot though. At 9 am this morning, it was already pushing 80 degrees. Yuck! But, I did it anyways. Then swung back around the playground and we walked home again.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Frog And Toad: Cookies

Recently, I bought my daughters a series of Frog and Toad books. I read a little from them almost every day for them, which they love. Yesterday, we read from Frog and Toad Together, and found a short story entitled Cookies. I found the reading both entertaining and somewhat enlightening. And so, I thought I would share it with you. Frog and Toad Together: Cookies by Arnold Lobel.


Ok, so I can't write out the entire story, but I will give you a quick summary. So Toad made a bunch of cookies, and invited Frog over to partake in them. When Frog arrived, they began to stuff their faces. At some point, Frog decides that they have had far too many cookies, and shouldn't eat anymore, so they eat a few more.

Frog the wraps up all the cookies in a box and puts them up. Then they eat some more. So Frog tries to hide them somewhere else, and then they eat more. Finally, Frog takes all the cookies outside, calls in some birds, and feeds them all of the cookies.

Toad mourns the loss of the cookies, saying that they are all gone. And Frog agrees, but comforts him that they have lots of willpower! Toad tells Frog that he can keep the willpower, he is going to go home and bake a cake.


The Lesson

Oh Frog and Toad, why must you be so instructive! I have learned many a lesson from them since reading this short story.

How many times have I cleared out the cupboards of my kitchen, tossing out any and all junk,

only to go out to the store later and buy more?

How many times have you done it? Come one now, 'fess up. If you are like me, you'd rather not admit any particular number, so let us just leave it at 'more than once?' It does us no good to clear out the cupboards, if we are only going to fill them again with junk. It does no good for us to lose weight, and work hard to exercise and eat right, if after some event or date, etc, we pile on the pounds again. When we lose weight and get healthy for some outside motive, we will never succeed. We might make some marginal progress for a short time, but it is not a lasting change that we are choosing. This is why fad diets are so popular, people want a quick fix. Unfortunately, quick fixes are not lasting fixes, and therefore are not good roads to take to permanent change.
If you really want to be fit forever, you have to live fit for forever. You have to choose the road that we all know, and yet avoid. Burn more calories than you consume, and exercise regularly. Most of your diet should come from vegetables, some whole grains, some meat, and some dairy. It's your basic food pyramid.
But why do we avoid that road? Because it is HARD. And who wants to choose the hard one, when so many easy roads beckon us, with taunts of "instant results," "lose 10 pounds in 10 days!" etc. But as we all know, "Easy Street," is nothing but a "Dead End."

The other thing I noticed was Frog's declaration that all they needed was "Will Power!" Believe me, if all we needed was will power, there would not be so many fat people in this country. Very few fat people want to be fat. They say they don't want to be fat, they say they desperately want to be fit/thin/healthy/etc. But wanting it, trying really hard is not enough. (Random Star Wars quote of the day) "Do or do not, there is no try."
What that means is that you can try all you want, but really, the words "I will try" are just cop-outs, What you are really saying is "I'm going to give you every indication that I am working on this, and then when it doesn't work, I can say, well I tried." Trying won't get you anywhere, because until you DO it, you haven't succeeded. You can TRY to quit smoking, but until you DO quit smoking, you are still a smoker. I believe it is the same with getting healthy. You can TRY to lose weight, you can TRY to exercise, you can TRY to eat healthier, but until you DO, you will remain fat.  And that is why will power won't get you anywhere. Will power is based on trying, not on doing.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Running Re-Start

Today I hit the track again. After not exercising for oh . . . well, yeah, a little too long. I had a horrid day, and felt like pounding the pavement, since it would not be kosher to pound what I really want to pound. ;)

So, I pulled on my workout clothes, put on socks and running shoes, and headed off, to the sound of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing!" I walked a good ten minutes, then stopped and stretched my leg muscles and back muscles, and all over. Then I started running. Instead of timing myself, I just listened to the music and sang along. I was surprised to find I was still running when the song ended, so continued during the second song. I think I ran for about 4 minutes or so, as I did not last too long through the second song. That is such an improvement for me, and was an instant mood-booster, which I desperately needed after the day I had.

All told, I walk/ran 3.72 miles today, and I did it in one hour. :D And I am in a better mood now, better than I have felt all day, laryngitis and all. :D

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Jumping Point

Well, somehow, overnight, I managed to lose 5 lbs. Not sure how that worked, but I will take it. If I can just keep the scale moving down, no matter how slowly, I will get there eventually. My baby is sick, and hasn't really slept at all the last few nights. I am sure this is part of why I am feeling so exhausted lately, and the exhaustion is part of why I have felt so out of control and trapped. I need sleep!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Prison

How I feel so trapped today. And yesterday, and the day before. I just feel so weighed down by everything. Things are just not what I want them to be, I am not who or what I want to be. And so I am trapped.

Trapped by things I cannot change.
Trapped by things I can.
Trapped by things I cannot do.
Trapped by things I have to do.
Trapped by things I don't want to do.
Trapped by things I should do.
Just trapped.

I have scoured the internet looking for quick fixes, fad diets, quick changes. But I give every single one over, before even starting, because I know it won't work. I know the 'theory' of weight loss. You know it too, "eat fewer calories than you burn, and exercise." But what does that really MEAN? How do you figure out how much you are eating? I am sure it would shock most of us to realize exactly how many calories we consume on a daily basis. You can enter your food journal into a nifty calorie counter, but are you really being honest with what you are entering. When you enter in that you had a hamburger, did you remember to count that it had gobs of mayonnaise and ketchup on it? If you put down that you had a bowl of ice cream, did you enter that it was 2 cups of ice cream, with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and peanuts (half a cup of them?) So really, how accurate are those calorie counter things?

And exercise. How many of us truly enjoy the exercise? And who has the time? Yes, I am a stay at home mom, therefore I 'should' have tons of time (say those people who either a) do not have kids, or b) leave them in a daycare center) to take care of me. I watched the finale of the Biggest Loser recently. It's a good show, the premise is wonderful. However, one of the final contestants admitted that she spent 6 hours in the gym a DAY! Well, no wonder she lost all that weight! Is it any surprise? But what kind of a life is it to spend 25% of your day in a gym, a quarter of your life? I don't think that that is the kind of life I want. I'd rather be fat.

And so, what is a fat girl to do?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Failure

Oh, I am feeling like such a failure here. I haven't run or done any exercise is two weeks, at least. Oh, how I hate to admit that out loud. I have my own excuses, but I can't help but feel that they are good enough.

The first week of May, I started experiencing a lot of pain in my muscles and joints, all over my body. I figured it was just soreness from running and maybe overdoing it. So I eased back a bit to let my body rest, so I didn't incur permanent or long-lasting damage. That pain has not gone away. In fact, it has gotten worse. I experience almost daily migraines now, and extreme fatigue and exhaustion. I am so tired, and often fall asleep in the afternoon, only to awaken more groggy and sore. When I wake up in the morning, I feel stiff and sore, and my bones feel like they are almost grinding they are so sore and stiff. I've done a few stretches before I go to bed, and after I awaken, but it doesn't seem to help. Around lunchtime, I start to feel a little better, but by the time naptime is over, I am thoroughly exhausted again. I don't know what is wrong exactly (I have my suspicions, below).  But I do know that it hurts. My hands, arms, back, neck, shoulders, legs, feet, etc. Everything just hurts.

In talking to my mother (who has it as well), and doing some internet research, we suspect that I may have fibromyalgia. There is no way to really diagnose it though, really it is a diagnosis of ruling out everything else. And seeing as there is no cure for it, I do not feel the need to undergo testing at this time. So this may very well be the new normal for me. In my researching, I have discovered that regular aerobic exercise is imperative to reducing the pain of fibromyalgia, and so I must get going again, if only to lessen the pain I feel.

I don't feel that maintaining my running schedule, at my current weight is a safe method of exercising for me right now. And so, I have returned to something that worked for me before. My dear friend, Richard Simmons. I know what you may be thinking about the chipper, crazy-haired, exercise guru in short shorts, but I love that guy. His exercise videos, I find, are motivational and inspiring. I believe that you can really feel his passion for health and fitness. A big part of his health 'program' is learning to love yourself, which I think most overweight people need help with. At any rate, I have ordered a couple of his videos "Dance Your Pants Off" and one that has 80s music on it (can't remember the title). Those should arrive in the mail shortly. So I plan on doing Richard Simmons workouts three times a week, and doing Yoga twice a week. The effects of fibromyalgia can be exacerbated by stress, so meditation and other mental stress reduction methods are encouraged.

So that is the new plan. Maybe it's not fair. Maybe I don't like it. But it is what it is, and it's what I have to live with. This is the new normal.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I Would Walk a Thousand Miles

"But I can't run anymore"

I must admit it, I hate running. I dread it all day, and I don't want to do it. I had hoped that if I continued doing it anyway, I would eventually enjoy it. But I don't. When I finish I feel good, because I am finished. But my knees burn. And my ankles hurt, and the tendon that goes over the back of my heel (Achilles?) is killing me, burning with fire. And so, I have decided to back up, and just walk. I will be walking twice as far, and at a brisk pace (power walking) instead of running. Movement is movement. And as soon as I lose some more pounds, I will try running again. But at this point, I feel that by running I am putting myself at a really high risk of hurting myself, and thus being sidelined. And so, I am walking three times a week (or more) instead.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Back in the Saddle

"Hiatus"

So, with my birthday, and getting sick, and Mother's Day, I missed Day Three of Week One. But I was determined on Sunday, that I was back to business. So Sunday night, during our Family Planning Meeting, I made sure that the family (and the calendar) knew that I was going running three times this week. I made sure to write it (in PEN!) on the calendar, the dates and times I would be gone. And so, tonight is Week Two, Day One.

"I am important enough"

I am important enough to spend time and money on me. I am a mom to my kids, I give all of my love, time, energy, money and more to my family. I rarely, if ever, spend those things on me. And if I do spend it, it is to get secondhand things. After a talk with my mother this morning, and some deep thinking with myself recently, I have come to realize that when I don't spend a little on me, I have nothing to give to them. That is, surprisingly, really hard to accept. I want to give it all to my kids and husband. I don't want to be selfish. My mother has a favorite analogy that she shares about moms being wells of water. Children (and sometimes out husbands too) are takers, they don't put very much back in the well, and they can drain the well really quickly. That doesn't mean that we don't get joy from motherhood, or that motherhood (and marriage) is an oppressive state. What it means is that we have to be in charge of refilling the well, nobody else can do it for us.  And so it is necessary that we spend a little (time, energy, love, money) on ourselves. Now, I am not saying we all need to go out and buy Coach purses or Versace evening gowns, or Gucci whatevers. Or that we should take month long vacations to exotic lands without our families. What I AM saying, is that it is okay to go out and run for a half hour or two. It is okay to purchase appropriate apparel for running in. It is okay to buy ourselves new clothes for once. It is okay to take ourselves to the salon occasionally. As long as we are not draining the family funds bare, thus neglecting our children's NEEDS (not wants), then it is okay to take care of ourselves, and treat ourselves to something special.

So, for my birthday, a friend gave me a Wal*Mart gift card. And unlike years past, I used ALL of it to buy things for me.  And my dear mother gave me a really neat pedometer. While that may offend some daughters to receive exercise equipment ("What are you saying Mom?") I view it as an endorsement from my mom, that she believes in me, supports me, and wants me to succeed. So, thank you Mom. :D

Also, about a minute after walking out the door this evening, I realized that I neglected to look up this week's challenge. But rather than turn around and go back home, and risk being sucked into my computer's time -machine vortex capabilities, I decided to keep going anyways. I decided that I would walk 90 steps, run 90 steps. Last week was walk 120, run 90, so I figured that this would be harder. And it was.

"Self:  Shut-Up"

The first five minutes of the work-out is a stretch, a warm-up, and a stretch (I forgot the first stretch). Piece of cake, easy-peasy. Then I started running. Now, I run really slowly, in fact, I probably walk faster than I can run, but that's not important. The important thing is I do it.

Anyway, as I was running and walking, the first little bit wasn't too bad. I'd say the first quarter of a mile was pretty easy. But about halfway through, it got harder, and I started trash talking myself. "You think THIS is hard? On what planet will you finish a 5K? You will never finish. You can't do this. Why are you wasting your time? Such a loser. You are going to fail." Charming, aren't I? It was really hard to keep going. I do hate running. I don't want to go out and do this three times a week. I do not enjoy running, I dread it.  Why was I doing it? I was doing it because I want to succeed. I was doing it because it's the right thing to do. I was doing it because I want to enjoy it. Here's a great quote "Fake it til you make it!"  I can pretend I enjoy it, and maybe someday I will (hopefully sooner rather than later). Meanwhile, my inner self, my inner demon, was beating me down. Telling me how undeserving I was of fitness, how selfish I was for not being home (for a paltry 30 minutes). And mostly, telling me what a loser I was. I wanted to cry, I wanted to give up. How am I ever going to run a 5K, when I can't even run a half mile without stopping? And then, something revolted. "Self! You shut-up!" I began consciously attacking the jerk inside, and fighting back, and it was freeing. I may not be able to run a quarter mile, but today I walked and ran 1.56 miles.

Maybe I can't run a 5K now, but I have an entire month to get there. And I already know I can walk a 5K, because I did that on Week One Day One (accidentally). Thanks to my new pedometer, I know how far I am going each day, which is lovely by the way. And because of it, I know that last Monday I walked and ran about 3 miles. I argued and told myself that while I was away from my kids, it was only 30 minutes, and my husband was with them. They weren't left alone, they were being taken care of.

And I am not a loser, I may be many things, but a loser is not one of them.  I am valuable. I am worth something. I deserve a long, healthy life. And my children deserve to grow up with their mother. And so, I chug on with it, hating the process, but loving the way I feel when I walk in the door, and know I finished.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

"Birthdays"

I am so blessed to have such a great best friend, who organized a birthday party for me on Friday. Unfortunately, Friday was supposed to be my running night, but alas it was postponed.  I was supposed to go on Saturday instead, but then I got sick, and so it is Sunday, and I have not run since Wednesday.  On Saturday, we drove over to the next big town so I could spend my birthday money. I bought a new running shirt (now I have two), a cap for the sun (being outside in the sun gives me a migraine), I also purchased a couple of sports bras, since all I own are nursing bras, LOL. I was supposed to go run after we got home, but, as I said, began to be really sick. But I am feeling better today, since starting antibiotics, and so I am back on schedule.


However, as I said, it was my birthday, and though I ate a light, healthy dinner beforehand, I am certain I overdid it on the junk food on my party, and the rest of the weekend wasn't much better.


And so, today I start over, right now. I cannot go run, but I have already put my running days on the calendar. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, for about 30 minutes, I have me time. Time for me, to run/walk while I think listen to my music and just have a break.


My first 5K is June 18th in Hereford, Texas. I am both excited and nervous. As I said before, my sister and my mom are going to participate as well, and my sister in law is planning on walking too (although she will be 8 months pregnant by then).  In talking to my mom, we discussed how we would like to create family traditions of fitness and outdoor recreation, instead of the current tradition of binge eating, holiday laziness, and lifelong obesity. What a legacy to leave my children: full, active, healthy lives.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Frustrated

"Here we go again"

How many of you thought I was too chipper, or would have a bad day soon? You are correct! Today is Frustrated Day (and Cinco De Mayo, although that's not related).
I think part of the problem is that this has been a busy, busy week, and I am frankly exhausted. Tomorrow is my birthday, and my friend is throwing a birthday party for me at my house, so I have been cleaning in preparation for that. Plus, the strain of being a stay at home mom to four kids under the age of five, and homeschooling the oldest one, with an almost three month old as well. Yes, I have many reasons to be tired. We have been refinishing our kitchen (refinished counters, painted cabinets, wall, trim, new appliances) and just finished yesterday. It's enough to exhaust anybody, I suppose.

But I think the biggest reason I am so frustrated is because a) I am really sore today, and I mean aching, run-over by a truck, sore. And b) because with all my hard work this week, I managed to gain two pounds. I am trying to console myself with thoughts that I have really pounded my body this week, and when you work muscles like that, you tear them, and that causes inflammation, which is water weight, etc. But still I am frustrated.  Grrr. Things like this make me want to give up, you know? I don't mind the pain if it's helping, but man, if I'm going to hurt and have to work hard, and STILL gain weight, I'd almost rather not do it, ya' know?

But, that would make everything I've done up to this point, a waste. It would leave this blog as a personal reminder that I just gave up, and proof that when push comes to shove, I quit. And so, I will soldier on, perhaps a bit depressed and down, but surely, if I continue on, things will improve, yes?

And in happier news, one of my sisters, H, and my mom are going to be running the 5K with me. :D

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day Two

"Can I get a hoo-rah?!"
 
I ran again today. I don't really have too much to say about it. This time, I had my husband drop me off at the far end of the park, and he took the kids to the playground. Last time I ran too far. The program says only 20 minutes, plus a 5 minute warm-up. I ran for 40 minutes. When I got home I was too tired. You should feel exhilarated after a good workout, I was just wiped out. So today I just did half the run, and man I feel great! Best part? My favorite song came on the iPod just as I finished, "Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse. Yes, it is from my favorite scene of the movie, "Twilight."  Cool points if you know the scene it's from. :D

Monday, May 2, 2011

And So I Begin

"Week One, Day One"

And so I ran tonight. Ouch. Let me just say that that was hard. But I did it. I was supposed to start with a brisk 5-minute warm-up and then jog/walk for 20 minutes, alternating jog for 60 seconds, walk for 90. Since I have yet to purchase a watch or a stopwatch, I instead counted my steps. Every time my left foot hit the pavement (well, gravel in my case) I counted. So I jogged for 90 steps and I walked for 120. I also took my 2 year old in the jogging stroller. And may I also point out that the track I took, I remember it being a lot shorter! It took me 37 minutes to get back to my house. According to my husband, the way I went is at least 2 miles (I thought it was only 1!) And I ran approximately a third of the way.

The walking part was pretty easy. I was proud of that. And the jogging, in itself, wasn't too bad at first, I guess. Actually, the first 45 steps was pretty easy, the next 25 were harder, but the last 20 were terrible. And each repetition was harder than the last. I started out counting up to 90 steps, but soon discovered that counting backwards was more motivating. It felt great to get down to 20 steps, and then getting to 10 and then 1 and being able to walk again, oh the relief.

And then I wanted to quit, oh how I wanted to stop. I had my cell phone, and it would have been so easy to call my husband to come and get me, and I was sorely tempted to do so. But I didn't. Just as I was at the end of my strength, a song came on my Ipod workout playlist.  My mother will appreciate the fact that several Journey songs are on this playlist, but the song "Don't Stop Believing" got me through the hardest part, which came about halfway. While the song in and of itself isn't all that good of a storyline, I suppose, the chorus "Don't stop believing, hold on to that feeling!" gave me strength to say, okay, just one more rep. Okay, just 10 more steps, just 5 more steps, just one more step. And then I was home, and I had made it, I succeeded. Sweet.

I walked in the door of my home on jelly legs. I do believe I overdid it, and on Wednesday I will take the short track, which should be closer to 20 minutes. Although I CAN do 40 minutes, I want to start out slowly so I do not injure myself overdoing it. I weighed myself both before and after running. I have read that when exercising, you should drink before and after (and sometimes during) to keep hydrated. A good rule of thumb, is to drink 8 oz of water (at least) for every pound you lose while running. I apparently didn't lose a thing today, but I still drank two glasses of water. And an hour after my venture, I feel pretty good. While I don't feel the adrenaline surge of good physical feeling, I do feel good about having done it. I feel good about setting out and accomplishing. And considering my venture was about 2 miles, I can already do about 2/3 of a 5K, which is exciting to me :D

"Before"

I took a picture right before I left, because I wanted to have a good reference for where I started. Bear in mind, that this is me a little over 30 lbs lighter than where I started, but nevertheless, it serves as a good before picture.

And so, this is where I begin. 5 ft 8 or 9 and 228 lbs.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I Will, Tomorrow

"Tomorrow"

This word is often the cause of failure in so many things. "I will start my diet tomorrow," "I will be better tomorrow," "I will tell her/him 'I love you,' tomorrow." The problem with tomorrow, is there is almost always some reason to put 'it' off again, at least until "tomorrow." By saying "tomorrow," we are effectively giving ourselves one more day to "be bad" or to not do as we should do, today. The only word worse than "tomorrow" when we are striving to change, is "on Monday." Because "on Monday" can give us up to a whole other week to slack off. Perhaps that is why people fail to achieve, perhaps it is why I have failed in the past, is because I have put 'it' off until 'tomorrow.' Perhaps there is truth in the saying, "tomorrow never comes." We have to work in 'today' to have the joys of 'tomorrow.'

With that in mind, 'tomorrow' I start the exercise portion of my 5K training. And I am nervous and terrified. Self-doubt has made her ugly appearance, and boy is she nasty. But I am going to ignore her weak arguments. Just because I haven't gone and run in a long time, doesn't mean I cannot start. Just because I have been out of shape for years, doesn't mean I cannot get in shape now. My past being does not have to determine my future being, or my present being. I can choose to change my present self, and thus change the future.

I caught a glimmer of the future several weeks ago. I saw that if I were to continue my old course of poor eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, and self hate, I would find myself the victim of diabetes, stroke, heart disease, chronic depression, possibly wheelchair/bed-ridden, and unable to enjoy my life with my children and watch them grow up. I say victim, but I would, in reality, have been the perpetrator of my own nightmarish suffering. I knew that that was not the reality that I wanted for myself, or my kids. And so, I changed course, and by so doing, I am changing the future.

I now envision myself, running and not being weary. I see myself finishing races. I do not picture myself, at this time, Winning races, but finishing them. To finish a 5K would be a victory in itself for me. To not be last would be a triumphant victory.

And so, although self doubt has come to visit, I am refusing to let her stay. As a wise man, Jeffrey R Holland, recently said, "Like thieves in the night, unwelcome thoughts can and do seek entrance to our minds. But we don’t have to throw open the door, serve them tea and crumpets, and then tell them where the silverware is kept! Whatever thoughts you have, make sure they are welcome in your heart by invitation only." http://lds.org/general-conference/2010/04/place-no-more-for-the-enemy-of-my-soul?lang=eng  Smart man.

"This Week"

I have a challenge to do, three times this week. The challenge is to do a "brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes." http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml I am to do this on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, before beginning challenge #2 the following week. Although I am anxious, I refuse to let myself get carried away with thoughts of inability or weakness. It is hard, and tomorrow will be harder, but if it wasn't hard, where would the triumph be? What would be the victory of accomplishing something easy? And so I grab ahold of the hard trial, that I might enjoy the greater victory at the end of the struggle.

Friday, April 29, 2011

"The Power of Support" and "I Argue with Myself"

This may not have much to do with weight loss, but I believe it has everything to do with loving yourself and finding support people in your journey.

"I Am Crushed"

Some weeks ago, my husband, children, little sister and I were at the mall shopping. We decided to grab a bite to eat in the Food Court before heading off to the next store. We settled into our seats, and for once the kids went right to eating. They were being, really, perfect angels. My sister and I chatted, with my husband chiming in now and again. As we were finishing up and starting to clear our table a bit, this late 30s woman comes over scowling. I had noticed her staring at us, but dismissed it as her being shocked at our large, young family. She gets to our table and leans towards me. "Can I talk to you, as a mother?" Feeling rather weirded out, I said "Sure," rather unsure altogether though. She proceeds to tell me that I am "loud and rude," that I am "embarassing to my children" and that altogether I "should be sorry for them. And she should know because she has two children of her own." Stunned, I quietly say "um, thanks?" and she goes back to her table. My 5 year old daughter asks, "Why is that lady being so mean?" I have no clue how to answer that, and maybe I should have said something else, but my reply was "Well, I guess she just wants to be mean and rude." To which this lady yells across the restaurant, "I'M BEING MEAN AND RUDE?" I quietly ignored her, so she comes over and starts yelling at me again. I am quickly gathering the children to get them out of the restaurant and away from possible harm.  But, as she continued her tirade, my 14 year old sister stood up and said, "How dare you! Yes, YOU are being rude and mean. You have no right to come over here and say these hurtful things to her. You don't know her or anything about her. She happens to be a wonderful mother who loves her children very much." The old goat was momentarily stunned before continuing "and who are you? what is she to you?" My sister answered, "I am her sister." The woman said "Well, I'd hate to meet your mother!" (Ha! I bet you would, she'd eat you alive!) Then the manager of the store came over, and got between my family and this crazy witch. He got right up in her face telling her to calm down, as she continued to shout and yell for us to leave (which we were already doing). The manager tells her she needs to calm down or leave. As we were walking out, I carried my 4 year old, my husband had my baby, my sister the 2 year old, and my 5 year old walked between us. My 4 year old turned around and faced the woman, pointed at her and yelled "MEAN!" Also, as we walked out, a woman with a small baby in a stroller, leaned out and asked "Are you okay?" Thus causing me to burst into tears as I said "no."

I was utterly devastated. I love my children very, very much. And I do my absolute best by them. But like every mother out there, I worry that it is not enough. I stress that I may be ruining them forever because of my many mistakes. I berate myself for not being perfect. I compare myself to other mothers I know and see. And to have some stranger come up to me and throw it in my face that I embarass them and should be sorry for them hurt. Oh. It hurt bad. We went out to the car, and as we walked, my baby sister said, "Don't you listen to her. She is wrong, she is evil. You are a wonderful mom, and your kids adore you. They wouldn't adore you so much if you weren't such a good mom. That woman is just like (someone else we know) who has nothing better to do than to hurt other people." As we continued on to the next store, I tried to hold in the tears. I had my husband and little sister go inside the place with one of the kids, and I stayed in the car with the rest who were sleeping. Then I called my mother.

She gave exactly the response I needed. First, she blew up that such a person a) existed and b) had the gall to actually say something so hurtful to a complete stranger. She lambasted her to me. And she comforted me. She told me that that woman was wrong. That I am a good mother, and that she knows that I do my best every day for them. She enumerated the ways she sees me taking care of my children. And she assured me that even if I did do something wrong, my children are too young to be embarassed by me.  She also told me that no matter what we had been doing, I did not deserve to have been treated that way. Several of my siblings, and their friends, were at the house with my mom, and she told the story to them. My siblings rallied to my support.  My oldest younger brother said, "She has two kids? You mean she got two guys to sleep with her?" My oldest younger sister said, "I got a gun, you point her out." My other siblings (there are ten of us total) and their friends leaped to my defense with varying degrees of 'that woman is so incredibly wrong,' and 'you are a great mother,' and 'tell me when, and we'll go get her.' Were they really going to go kill her? No. But to know that they were on my side, that they had my back meant worlds to me. And none of them tried to excuse her behaviour either. Nobody at home said, "She must just be mentally ill." Or, "well, she must have had a bad day." While some suggested she belonged in a padded room, or that the local psych hospital must have given out day passes, nobody used that as a reason to excuse her rotten behaviour. At the end of the phone call, my mother said, "Don't you listen to her. Don't you give her that power over you." She told me how it would probably be difficult to go out in public with the kids for a long time. And that has been true.

The other day when I went shoe shopping, I took the kids with me, as usual. But it was so hard to not see all the other people looking at us, and imagine the hurtful things they must gave been thinking. It was so difficult to try to squelch that evil woman's voice in my head "loud and embarassing."  When the middle two kids began their version of tag, it was so difficult to not feel the stares of people who thought, well who knows what they thought, but my imaginings were not kind to me or to them. I feel like I am constantly on the defensive, just in case someone makes a nasty comment. That is very stressful. When I took them to Wal*Mart, an older gentleman commented, "Wow, you have your hands full." It was so hard to say "Yes I do, and I love it," instead of the more rude versions I have imagined myself saying. I am constantly having arguements with complete strangers in my head, imagining what they are thinking/are going to say, and working on my comebacks. I breastfeed my baby, and often must feed him in public. I carry a card with me that states the breastfeeding law in my state and the neighboring state I frequently visit. (A woman is allowed to breastfeed her baby any place that she is allowed to be). And I have memorized a slew of replies for anyone who says anything negative to me about it. Such as "YOU can go eat in the bathroom." Or "Why don't YOU put a blanket over YOUR head." Or, "Quit being such a pervert and stop watching me." When we went to go pick up my husband from work the other day, a coworker of his commented, "You know what causes all these kids, right?"  I was very proud of myself for only saying, "Yes, and it's a lot of fun."  Sure stumped her, and silenced her as well.

"You Have No Power Over Me"

However, as I said before, it is very draining to be constantly constructing arguements in my head. Most people, I am sure, are far more charitable in their thoughts towards me, than I am towards them. That's not to say that I think they are evil people, I just imagine them to be thinking horrible things about me. And really, how silly is that? And I realize that every time I worry about what other people are thinking of me, I AM letting that evil, nasty woman have power over me. I am putting myself under her control. Why am I giving her that power? She doesn't deserve it. She is not the boss of me. And to paraphrase a line from my favorite movie, "I have fought my way to the castle, beyond the Goblin City, to take back what you have stolen. For my will is as strong as yours, my kingdom is as great. And You Have No Power Over Me." I have fought my way out, and I will continue to fight my way out of depression and obesity. I will get to that castle of self respect, and I will get through that city of self hate. Because I have the will and strength to do it. But not only that, but because I have chosen to not give anybody else power over me.

"I Refuse"

There is a newer song out, that I want to share part of the lyrics with you. The song is titled "I Refuse" and it is sung by Josh Wilson. I really think that this song, in part, is about taking charge of our own lives.

"I refuse to stay unchanged
To wait another day, to die to myself
I refuse to make one more excuse

'Cause I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse"

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Shoe Shopping, a Scourge?

"Oh the Screaming"
So, I went shoppng for shoes yesterday. What an adventure! All four kids went with me. While I tried on shoes and debated things at two different stores, B and J had a rousing game of tag. So if you heard children shrieking, I apologize, those were mine.

"Down to Business at Store #1"
The first store (Payless in Clovis, NM) I went to, the salespersons were incredibly inept. Neither knew the difference between a walking and a running shoe. In fact, they tried to sell me on the 'toner' shoes, you know, the ones with a raised ball on the heel? Yeah, not a good running shoe. The sum total of my knowledge of shoes dates back 6 years when I worked in the shoe department of JCPenney. About all I remember is that a good running shoe must have lots of bend in the sole, and the heel should taper/roll a little. They had a few shoes like this, so I began the arduous task of finding a shoe in my size. What an exercise in futility. I wear between a 9.5 to an 11, in women's. Of the brands store #1 had to offer, I appaently needed the non-existent size 10.5. I browsed through the men's selection, which wasn't much better. And as an aside, the girls were in need of new church shoes. How can a place call itself a shoe store and not carry little girl's white or black Mary Janes? But I digress.

"The Search Continues at Store #2"
And so we made our way to option number two, the Big W, which is hardly a shoe store, but it does boast a shoe section (which did carry little girls Mary Janes, by the way). After an hour of searching every athletic shoe in the men's and women's section, I settled on a cheap pair of Danskin runner's. While not what I wanted, they will work for now until I can get to a real store. Perhaps some Reeboks Reeflex or some Nike cross trainers or maybe Asics?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Waking Up

Some people would say that weighing every day is a bad thing to do. But for me, I almost have to or need to do it first thing. I feel it is especially helpful to me right now, and so I weigh first thing in the morning. Now that I have kicked out that nasty, spiteful person from following me, the scale no longer taunts or upsets me. I have removed his power over my life, and that is a freeing thing. If I happen to be a little heavier, I know I can fix it, and on days like today, I get to celebrate. Because really, the person in charge of it all, is me.

And so this morning I celebrate another pound lost. Something really fun about math, is that it makes losing weight more fun. (Okay, that might be the only fun thing about math) ;) I started out needing to lose 100 lbs. I have now lost 34 lbs, which is 34% of my goal, and also just over a third of what I am going to lose. See how fun it can be? Using fractions and percentages, go me!

Today is shoe shopping day, and I am off to search this afternoon. This will be quite the endeavor, as I have large feet (Woman size 10 to 11), but I will triumph today!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Beginning

"I am worthless"

Today I am 26 years old. In less than two weeks, I will turn 27. And I am fat, more than that, I am obese. When I began this journey, I tipped the scales at 261 lbs, and on my 5 ft 8 in frame, my BMI was a startling 39.53. "How did I get to this point?!?"  When I stepped on the scale in the morning, I would begin a daily ritual of condemning myself. "How could you do this to yourself? You are an ugly, fat cow. You will never be worth anything." I was brutal with myself. I was mean. I was cruel. I hated myself. And I beat myself up about it multiple times a day. I questioned how my husband could love 'such a bucket of lard,' how my children could ever want to be seen with me. Worst of all, I pictured my sweet children looking like me someday, because I had neglected to set a proper example. I thought of them struggling with weight, and dealing with preventable obesity-related illnesses, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. And it would all be my fault because I didn't teach them better, I didn't show them. I couldn't go out and play with them. I could barely walk through the house without being out of breath. 

"How did I get to this point?"

My family adopted two children when I was in high school. These kids were older and had been in foster homes for awhile before joining our family. As much as I love my siblings, adopting them into our family, and dealing with the ensuing drama from birth parents, lawyers, CPS, etc was a traumatic experience for my family. This is when I began to put on the weight. At 19, I got engaged, and weighed in at 200 lbs. I lost 20 lbs for the wedding. After visiting with a Dr because we wanted a baby, I was diagnosed with Insulin Resistance. I was put on a medication to help control it, and help any pregnancy. Then we got pregnant. I gained 60 lbs with my beautiful daughter, L, who weighed 8 lbs 10 oz. I lost 30 lbs before falling pregnant the second time. Unfortunately, I lost that baby, and in my depression gained back about 15 lbs. My third pregnancy, I was determined to not gain as much weight. 30 lbs later, my surprise homebirth brought me an 8 lb 3 oz baby girl, B. I wanted to lose the weight, but I didn't work hard enough. When I fell pregnant with our son, J, I again swore I wouldn't gain too much. I started out at 225 lbs, and ended at 254.  When my whopping 10 lb 8 oz boy arrived, I was ready (I thought) to get moving the weight. I lost and gained and lost and gained the same 10 or 15 lbs. I was a poster child for the seesaw diet.

"I begin to change"

At the beginning of my fifth pregnancy, I weighed a staggering 250 lbs. But this time was different. I ate better. I chose my food intake more wisely. I avoided junk food like the plague, and focused on eating veggies and fruits (which I like) instead of snacking on crackers and candy. I walked and did what I could to be healthy. I gained a total of 10 pounds, which my dr agreed was a healthy gain for me. When my 9 lbs 13 oz charmer, R, made his appearance, I vowed that I would never see 260 again. I have chosen to eat better. I have chosen to be more active. I have chosen to participate in life. More importantly, perhaps, I have chosen to quit beating myself up. When those negative thoughts come to my mind, I push them away. I don't listen to that voice telling me I'm not worth it. It is hard, and sometimes I get pulled down, but I push myself back up again. I wish I had started loving myself sooner. I wish I had never started self-medicating with food. But wishes don't change us. In order to change, we must just do it. While life now might have been easier if I had never put on the weight to begin with, that's not the way it is. And sitting around WISHING it had been different, only wastes time that could Be spent MAKING it different.

And so, I begin this blog at 227 lbs with a BMI of 34.51. That's a loss of 33 lbs, and a BMI change of just over 5. I am still clinically 'obese,' but I am changing that. I am learning to love myself.

"What are the goals?"

For a couple of weeks I have been debating some things, some ideas I have had to help me on this journey. I started out needing to lose 100 lbs, now I have 67 lbs left. But I don't just want a diet program, I want a lifestyle change, and the exercise portion needs to be something I can do no matter where I live, or what my financial position is, etc. As I tossed around different ideas, "walking, biking, swimming, running." I told myself why I couldn't do each one (Again with the negative ways!). "Walking is so boring. I don't own a bicycle. Yeah right, a swimsuit? Really?" Oh, I am such a pro at beating myself up. "Running, yeah right. I still can't walk through the house without feeling out of breath. What's next? Running in a marathon?" Then the lightbulb went on. Who doesn't love a challenge. Here I was telling myself I could never do something. I was out to prove myself wrong. And so, I began researching (because that's what Type A people do, lol).  I found several programs, like http://www.marathonrookie.com/index.html and Couch to 5K. I decided to combine the two, and so here I am. I am going to begin training for a 5K, then a 10K, then a half marathon, then a full marathon. Who knows, maybe I will do a triathalon, though I doubt I could finish it. There I go again, doubting myself.  I've been through four drug-free natural childbirths and a miscarriage. Surely I have the ability and strength to succeed with whatever I want, right?

"Step One: Amass the Tools"

While I want to go out there and start running right away, that just isn't a good idea. I lack a few key tools. So tomorrow, I will be shoe shopping for a good running shoe. I promise to not let price choose the shoe, but rather get the shoe I need. Everything I have read says that your shoes are the most important tool, for success and injury prevention. And I will be looking for some other tools as well. Running clothes and a watch with a second hand.

"And so I begin, My Own Quiet Journey"

The reason I call it my own, quiet journey, is because that is what it is. It is MY journey, my OWN journey. I don't do this for other people, and I don't do it for fanfare. I debated even recording it on this blog. I hope that maybe someday, just one person might find inspiration here, and be able to make their own quiet journey, to whatever goal they have. I think if I can help just one person, even if it is only myself, to succeed and believe in themselves, then this blog is a success.