Sunday, October 14, 2012

A challenge for mom and I

So I have completely fallen off the bandwagon and gained back what little bit I had lost. Time to pick myself up and try again. Seems like that's all you can ever do in life.

I wish I had, at least to my mind, valid reasons for gaining the weight back. I don't though. I work nightshift and 4 10 hour shifts. Given how busy my job is I usually work closer to 11 hours a night and far too often (or so it feels) longer than that. Sure I work 4-10 hour shifts, but I spend one day of my weekends simply sleeping because I don't sleep well during the days. Basically I feel like I am in a perpetual state of exhaustion.

I need to do something though and I need to do it now. I don't feel good. I don't just mean how I perceive myself. Everyone has skinny and fat days, no matter what size pants they put on. I just mean physically I don't feel good. I have no energy, my back hurts, my knees hurt, and I can tell my blood pressure is high. Although the last one might be more due to my caffeine addiction than anything else. javajavajavajavajavajava

I also know my mom needs to get healthier as well.

So I issued a challenge to her and she has accepted.

Starting tomorrow, from 10/15/12-03/15/13 we are going to have a two-person challenge to see who can lose the largest percentage of body weight. What does the winner get? A new Coach purse. I am not meaning a "knock-off" from the Coach outlet store in Loveland, I am talking a brand-new latest style of your choice Coach purse. Yep. I made the stakes high.

Mom and I set a price limit of course (neither of us are insane enough to say "whichever one you want") and some other personal ground rules.

As for the losing weight part, I set no rules. I just want both of us to get healthy. As I put it to mom, it is however she wants to do it. Atkins, Ideal Protein, Weight Watchers, the cabbage diet (joking on that one!), or whatever.  We just need to do it and we both need motivation and accountability.

So how am I going to do it? Getting my sorry butt back to my gym and doing exercises I love, and counting calories. I still want to get better at running now that I know I can do it and it is something I need to prove to myself, but running still is NOT a passion of mine. I doubt it ever will be. I am still caught up in the novelty of the fact Sandy got me to run (and not completely hate it). Instead I will focus for now on the things I love to do. Yoga, swimming, and bellydance. While my gym doesn't offer bellydance classes, there are half a dozen troupes along the Front Range I can take classes with.

I realized the other day how much I miss bellydancing and the group I danced with in Casper. It is fun, a great workout, and so empowering. Yes it can be sexy...ok most of the time the dancing is sexy....but to feel and know how your body can move is an amazing thing. In fact I tried to go to a bellydance class this afternoon and it was cancelled. Oh well, off to find another!

Off to work on a calligraphy project and get it done so I can do other things in my limited free dance!!

Oh, and the purse I want?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

They say confession is good for the soul

It has been far too long since I have updated this blog. To be honest I have missed it. I have no reason for not blogging other than I have been lazy. Just pure lazy. Yes work has been busy. Yes I have been busy doing my own thing, but I am the queen of lazy. I can talk myself into curling up on the couch during the weekend and reading for hours in nothing flat. It takes me hours to talk myself into going to the gym. No matter how good I feel afterwards.

So now comes the reason for this post and my confession:

I have been slacking off on going to the gym. I have a lot of excuses for it, but that's all they are is excuses. It started just as a break after the contest. The 9 weeks of the contest were intense and draining. Especially getting up in the middle of my night to go workout. It was so nice to not HAVE to be at the gym. And it snowballed out of control like I knew it would.

So what am I going to do about this to make it right?

1) Keep on top of my blog. Blogging gives me a lot of accountability being able to post it and put it out there. Regardless of how many people read it.

2) Do weekly weigh-ins and measurements.

3) Make it a priority to get to the gym 3 times a week minimum. Post my workouts here and log them in to my trackers

4) Think positive thoughts and not talk myself out of going. No matter how tired I am when I get off work or get up in the evening.

I will also be updating the blog. I have added tabs for weigh-ins, before and after photos, and a few others. Keep an eye out for those in the upcoming days and weeks.


I also wanted to share this from another blog I read. Katie at Runs for Cookies posted this. Under Armour is running a contest right now and you should go check it out. The UA What's Beautiful contest has a lot of great prizes, but it encourages you to set goals and achieve them. Do you want to lose the last 10 pounds (or the first 10)? Do you want to run a 5K? Do you want to start lifting weights? Whatever your goal is set it!

My goal: To run a mile without stopping to walk!

What's your goal?

Have a great night! I am off to work!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Endings and beginnings

So Wednesday night was the party at Chick-Fil-A for the Slimdown Challenge. We got the announcement of the results from our final weigh-in and the winner. I ended up in last place with 11 pounds lost overall and a total of 15 inches lost. I ended up having a bad gain (9 pounds) due to bloating and monthly timing. It would fall on that week wouldn't it??? The overall winner was Mike. He lost 52 pounds and over 30 inches! I don't remember the exact numbers, but it was hellaciously impressive.

The party was fun and I was even happier because my parents came down from Wyoming to be there for it. Dad had surgery just a month ago and has been going stir crazy. He was glad for an excuse to not only get out of the house, but out of the state! Even if it was just for a day. A friend/coworker came to the party as well as my boyfriend. There were a lot of people there. There were our guests, the families of the ladies who had put together the contest, our trainers and their spouses. It was kind of crowded in that little restaurant

As soon as I can I will post my before and after photos from the contest. I got a nice set that I can put on my mantle or something. Until I saw the pictures I didn't realize how much I had lost. I can really see it in my face, but my body looks narrower. Until I can get them up though, here are these:

The 2012 Slimdown Challenge Contests and Leaders. From Left to Right: Rob, Melanie, Theresa, Laura, Angela, Debbie, David, Me, Tyler, Megan, Mike, Bridget.

My trainer Sandy and I

Now I am wondering what to do in some ways. All I can do is keep on keepin' on, but it helped so much to have goals and focus point the last 9 weeks. Granted my goals were still vague, but they were there. But I am off to such a good start and already feel so much better, that I can't lose the ground I have gained in this journey.

Here are the goals I have so far:
1) Make it at least 3 times a week to the gym for a minimum of 30 minutes. I have found that if I go for 30, I will usually just make it 60 because I am already there and in a groove.
2) Keep up the jogging I have started!
3) Meet with Sandy at least once a month!! Having a trainer is so worth the money. That and Sandy is just awesome! I love her.
4) Keep logging my food in my daily food journal, and exercise too

I have more that I need to work on. I am thinking of doing a list of 32 by 32. I turn 31 in June so there's no point in doing 31 by 31! I just need to figure out 32 goals!! I started a list a few nights ago, and it is hard! There are other goals besides fitness on there, but they will make up a good deal of the list I am sure.

What have I done so far to keep up the good work? I made it to the gym this morning and worked out for about 45 minutes. I have to say I am damn proud of what I accomplished too!

I walk/jogged a mile and half on the track

I jogged half of it.

I jogged 4 laps without stopping to walk.

I leg pressed 110 pounds today...up 40 pounds from when I started with Sandy. And from how it felt I will be adding more weight soon!

I am feeling good....real good....and I never thought I would say this....EVER....I am enjoying jogging right now. And for those who know me well, you know how big that statement is coming from me!

With that, I am off to bed! Have a great weekend!


Inspirational quote: "The only thing I can change is myself, but sometimes that makes all the difference." Unknown

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Clean eating challenge - Day 6

I thought I would do a general update on this week and the clean eating challenge. Mostly it has been a pain in the arse. Without having had time to plan and cook foods ahead of time I have been flying by the seat of my pants. I have eaten a lot of Amy's Organic brand frozen foods. Mostly her burritos. I have tried a few other things that I really didn't care for. I really should know better too. I know I don't like tofu or cooked spinach, so why buy things that have them in it??? I guess I just got caught up in the excitement of trying something new and trying to stay on the positive side.

Overall the foods I am eating are good. I am eating a lot of stuff I already like anyways. Nuts, berries, spinach salads, oatmeal, and eggs. I went to Sprouts Farmer's Market today and I just have to say I LOVE Sprouts. Their produce is phenomenal and there is always something on a decent sale. We spent around $30 and I got a ton of food. Avocados, a couple pounds of oranges and apples, blackberries, blueberries, and I am just drooling over this fruit. I also picked up some stuff I hadn't tried today. I got some quinoa and goat cheese. Sprouts has a nice section of bulk foods and the quinoa is so much cheaper out of the bulk bins than prepackaged. By around $2/lb! So I bought a little of that to try. As for the goat cheese, I have no idea what the difference is between the log of goat cheese I bought and feta to be honest. They both of have kind of the same bite, but a bit different texture. I tried the goat cheese a little bit ago and I was pleasantly surprised by it. It has a sharp bite, is very rich, crumbly, but creamy. It went very well with the sweet blackberries I bought. I had to stop myself from eating the whole package of blackberries. I could easily make myself sick on them I love them so much.

So here are some things I have tried this week that I have liked and will probably keep buying in the future:

Dark chocolate goodness
- Almond milk - both chocolate and vanilla flavors. I but the Silk Pure Almond brand. Both flavors are very rich. The vanilla almost tastes like a shake. I can't wait to try it in a smoothie tomorrow!

-Steel cut oats - a bit heartier and more flavorful than regular quick oats. They have a more nutty taste.

-Goat cheese - surprisingly delicious. I just wish I knew why I could have goat cheese and not regular cheese, but I am not complaining. At least I still get some cheese!!

-Amy's Organic - I am not a big advocate of eating organic for several reasons, but these are surprisingly least some of them are. There are a couple that were disgusting in my mind.

Epic spinach and tofu fail! YUCK! I only ate 2 bites.
- Natural Peanut Butter - I have never had natural peanut butter and it is a bit different texture than I am used to. I tried the Earth Balance brand...and since it is a "treat" for me this week I got some made with coconut oil. Just on the spoon this tastes like candy! It is very rich! But with an apple it is a semi-tropical treat. I like it

And while I have enjoyed some things about this challenge, and bitched most heartily about it general, I will be glad when it is done on Monday. I have lots of yummy things in the fridge to try. We picked up some sausages at Sprouts today as well. They make them all in house everyday. So we have some Chicken Italian Parmesan, Chicken apple, and Pork English bangers. I do love trying new foods.

And no I am not hungry (at the moment)....I'm just missing eating meat!


Also, I have to add this. I NEEDED to go jeans shopping Friday morning after work. Thanks to how my thighs rub together right now I wore through the thighs of one of my last pair of wearable jeans. I was not happy because I loved that pair! So I went to Lane Bryant to see what they had since there was a massive sale going on today.

I bought 2 pairs of jeans.

Both size 22s.

The last time I tried on jeans at Lane Bryant I was trying on 26s because 24s were just too snug.

It was a good day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New challenge: Clean eating

Ok. I am going to get this all out before I crash from a 12 hour shift at work. 

So this week at weigh-in our nutritionist offered up a challenge for this next week. It is voluntary to participate, but the winner gets a $100 gift card to the mall here. Sounds pretty nice, right? Well the challenge this week is eating clean. Everything we eat this week is supposed to be foods that are as close to the source as possible. Nuts, seeds, grains, fruits and veggies (fresh, frozen, or canned). Nothing processed or refined. No meat. No cheese or dairy. For any of you who know me, I am a carnivore. I love meat. I love my cheese and milk. So this is a big challenge for me. I didn't think that it would be that big of a deal really. I like trying new foods and some of the stuff I can eat are things I have been wanting to try, so this seems like as good a time as any to try them out.

Here are the details of the contest:

Everything we eat is on a points scale. The closer to being a "whole food" the fewer points. We want to be as close to 0 at the end of the week as possible. Here are some examples (this is straight from the email we got later in the night):

You will receive 0 points for food that are whole and not processed, other than blending or mashing.
You will receive 1 point for minimally processed foods.
You will receive 2 points for processed food with additives.
You will receive 3 points for rebellious foods.  (foods that you cant even identify the source at all)

0 Point Foods
Fresh or frozen fruits
Fresh or frozen vegetables
Nuts and nut butters with no sweeteners
Whole grains - steel cut oats, barley, amaranth, quinoa,, brown rice and any other whole grain in its original form.
Good fats - cold pressed oils including olive oil, grape seed oil
Protein powder, no additives and only sweetened with fruit sweeteners (technically this minimally processed, but I will allow for 0 points)
Vegetable broth
Canned vegetables with no additives or sweeteners.
Almond, coconut or rice milk

1 Point Foods - Minimally processed
Sweeteners - honey, stevia, maple syrup, molasses, agave
Whole grain bread, not enriched - wheat, rice, teff, sprouted grains
Whole grain tortillas, not enriched - wheat, rice, teff, sprouted grains, corn
Whole grain pasta, not enriched - wheat, rice, sprouted
Meat & fish- whole cuts, not processed and lean
Dried, unsweetened fruit
Juice made at home with no added sweeteners

2 Point Foods
Ground meats
Prepared, frozen foods
Health Bars, protein or meal replacement
Cheese, low fat
Milk - cow
Sour cream
Sweeteners - brown sugar, raw sugar
Dark chocolate

3 Point Foods
Sweet breads
White breads and pastas
Little Debbie anything
Anything from a gas station
I think you get the idea.....

The exception to this is our meal from Chick-fil-a. That does not count against us in this contest. So basically the only meat I will have this next week is in a chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-a, if I don't go get breakfast after work. And after 7 weeks of eating Chick-fil-a 6 days a week, I am more than a little tired of chicken!!! I foresee a LONG week.

Last night wasn't so bad. I found out I was able to get Amy's Organic brand of frozen burritos (they are minimally processed) and take those with me for dinner. I also got some chocolate almond milk. Both were surprisingly good. The problems came when I got up last night to get ready for work. I wasn't able to shop Tuesday morning after work because I trained with my trainer for an hour. After that I was dead and just wanted to sleep. I had all kinds of issues last night wandering the grocery store.

1)  Eating this way is EXPENSIVE. For any vegans/vegetarians/health nuts out there, I am glad you make enough money to feed yourselves this way. For example. I couldn't find quinoa at King Soopers so I figured I would try another grain, Amaranth. I left it there. A 2 cup bag of whole organic amaranth costs $9!!! No way in hell am I going to try and work that into my food budget this week! Where I just found out about this Monday night I had no opportunity to look at ads and see who has the best deal. I am hoping to get to Sprouts later this week and buy some grains from their bulk area.

2) Eating this way takes a lot of preparation. Buying veggies and cutting them up when you get home so they are all prepared and ready for eating/cooking. Making a crockpot of steel cut oats so you don't have to boil them for 30 minutes. Meal planning so you can plan what you need at the store and how much prep time you need. Grains take time to cook. Where I work four 10 hr. shifts on the night shift I am pretty dead all week long. This means my first chance to prep for this week is Saturday! That doesn't work so well when I need to get through Tuesday-Friday!!

3) Eggs are going to be my friend and go to protein in this. I know there are sources of protein, but eggs are easy. I think tofu is disgusting (yes I have tried it, and no i don't like it.). I do want to try quinoa. As for beans and legumes, well Beano was created for a reason!

I am frustrated right now too. I tried doing some research on this last night and all the clean eating stuff I could find had recipes containing MEAT and CHEESE!! What the hell?!?!? I feel like I am being cheated.

And with that I am going to go to bed. I am making the choice her to go get some precious sleep instead of bitching about my challenge that feels like a diet punishment.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pride and the importance of having a trainer

I really wish I had been with it enough to post this blog yesterday morning after my workout with my trainer, but I was dead after work and working out. It also didn't help I was still on the edge emotionally after my workout. It was a great workout, and Sandy definitely knows how and when to push me. She definitely pushed me and we reached a major milestone yesterday.

I hate running. I always have and probably always will. I can think of a million other things I would rather do than run. Part of me even wants to say I would rather go through a double root canal again than run. But having done a double root canal, I think it might be a toss up as to which sucks more in my mind. That being said, I admire runners. I admire those (even though I think they are bat-shit crazy) who run for fun as well as health. Especially those that regularly run 5Ks and 10Ks. Although I think Marathoners are their own breed of crazy. Who willingly puts themselves through that?!? And being overweight most of my life, especially the last 10 years, I would love to have the ability to run. To be able to jog a mile or two for a workout and not feel like my I am going to die. To not have every bone in my body ache the day after a jog would be incredible. Well yesterday Sandy had me jog for the first time in about 13 years when I was a junior in high school.

Sandy had me working on upper body strength training and then said we were headed upstairs to the track to do intervals. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't jogging. We walked about half a lap, jogged about a third, walked a third, jogged some more, walked a quarter, and jogged about half. I was pretty happy with that and feeling good. I told Sandy as we headed down to work on my lower body strength training that that was my first time jogging and she said that was good and we would have to do it some more. Me and my big mouth! The last thing we did for the day was to head back upstairs and take one last lap on the track. I jogged a full lap on the track without stopping!! When we finished the lap Sandy gave me the biggest hug and I couldn't help tearing up. It was more than I expected of myself. When I pulled back there were tears in her eyes too. I know we talked and she said how proud she was of me and then she had to go meet with her next client. Its a blur because I was so tired for one, and because I was in shock. I wish I had could say I had been thinking on that lap. But I can't. I just did it. I remember in high school having all kinds of hateful thoughts towards my coaches and running, but yesterday I just went with it. I am so proud of myself that I can't even begin to say. It shows just how far I have come in just two months.

There is something to be said for having a trainer. Sandy does stuff to me I would never willingly do to myself. And I will teasingly tell her no, but I don't fight her (too hard) on most things she wants me to do. I am doing this for myself (and the blasted contest), and I am getting stronger. I am feeling so much better physically and mentally. I know that I will hate her later (like right now due to very sore legs and arms!) but everything she does is worth it. She knows when to push me, when to back off, and always tries something new. I could go on and on about how awesome she is and how much I appreciate what she has done. And after the contest is over I will be making a point to still workout with her. Yes, personal training sessions are a bit expensive, but I never realized until working out with her how valuable it can be. I always thought personal trainers were for those training for marathons and the like. Not true! I attribute a good portion of my success so far this year to having Sandy helping me.

For those out there wondering if you should get a personal trainer or not all I can say is look into it. A trainer has so much to offer. Accountability is a big one for me. Also they help make sure you have good form, that you are using the correct weights, and mixing it up to keep you from getting bored. The biggest thing for me though is Sandy is one of my biggest motivators. On days like yesterday when I walk in feeling very down about my fitness and weight loss, she reminds me of how far I have come. She also pushes me to go just a little bit farther and do 20 reps when I would have easily stopped at 12.

If you do decide to look into different trainers at your gym here are some of my tips:

1) Find someone who has a similar personality. You won't get good results if you get someone who is more drill sergeant and you do better with gentle encouragement.

2) Make sure they understand your physical limitations and strengths. What are you good at? Do you have back/knee problems? You don't want someone who will ignore these things and tell you to work through the pain. Pain isn't good!

3) Make sure you are on the same page with fitness goals. No need to be training for a marathon if you just want to look good in a bikini!


Now a couple quick questions for you all:

I feel like I should be posting more pictures or something. Do you want to see pictures? What of?

Is there anything in particular you want me to write about? What I'm eating? What I wish I was eating? (Mmmm steak)

Any and all suggestions are welcome!

Whew....and for those that made it through this post here is a motivational poster I found to be funny:

Reader question: What milestones have you reached?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Weigh-in Drama, Changes and Challenges

Weigh-in. It never ceases to be a source of anxiety and drama. This weeks weigh-in was far from what anyone expected. Everyone had a GAIN in the double digits. Yours truly posted a gain of 19 pounds putting me up to 279. What happened? We think our scale got "fixed" and it had been broken and we didn't realize it. How so? Well here's what I know.

All but three of us were weighed in on the scale out of the men's locker room that was brought to the conference room for our initial weigh-in. This is the same scale that we have been using for weigh-ins every week. The other three women were weighed in on the scale in the women's locker room. I have thought the scale in the women's locker room is possessed because I would weigh in on it during the week and it would show me anywhere from 8-12 pounds heavier than what I weighed in at on Monday. My home scale is no help because I need to replace the battery. It has been reading the same 0.6lb. weight range for 3 1/2 weeks now, and I KNOW that isn't right. We have commented during weigh in that we think the scales are possessed. Even the guys have said that when they step on the scale when it is in the men's locker room showed them 10 pounds higher than what they weighed in at on Monday. Most everyone else (except me) had been weighing in on their home scales too and the weights were drastically different. We thought our home scales were wrong because the gym's has to be more accurate right? It is one of the fancy balance scales that you see in the doctor's office. And who doesn't want to believe the scale that says you weigh less?

So what accounts for the weight difference? Well first the scales we are using are intended to be put on a hard level surface and left alone. Moving them around is bad. They go out of calibration being jostled around and all that. Also the flooring in the conference room is carpet. Not good to have it on a squishy floor, no matter how thin that carpet might be. As to what finally triggered it to weigh right last night? No clue.

What does this mean for the contest? I don't know. Next week we are weighing in on the same scale as well as a digital one placed on the tile floor out in the hall. We will go from there. I don't think it is fair to go off our original weights where 3 of the contests have a "correct" starting weight, and the rest of us have a starting weight that is off by 8-10 pounds or more. I really don't like thinking about that, because that means I was MUCH closer to 300 pounds than I realized. I might have even been over. And I know I am on the right track now, but the thought of that still makes me sad. Anyways, since we don't know if the scale was universally off for everyone we can't add 8 pounds to everyone's starting weight. I don't know how they are going to determine a winner in this thing at all. But as one of the gals said Monday night, we aren't gaining the weight back to start over!!

Oh and I am also dead last again. I am behind around 2.5% or something like that from the next person. This is so frustrating! I know it's just a number, but damn it its an important one. Especially when you are involved in a contest! Could you imagine the news hype if something like this happened on Biggest Loser?? But I know there have been changes in my body and I would like to know how much I have truly lost to just have a gauge. My initial weigh in seemed right to me. I had put my weight around 290 in my entry and I started at 286. I didn't think a thing of it. But if I had been higher, that means my percentage loss is higher than it is. And damn it, I was pretty damn proud to say that I had lost 10% of my body weight so far in this thing. Now I have to work to get to 10% again. ARGH.

After weigh in I got to thinking about it, and I know my weight wasn't right. I know how my body was several years ago when I was at 260. I was well into my 22's and almost into my size 20 jeans. Right now I am just starting to fit into my 22's. Some of them fit and some don't, but my 24's are baggy. It frustrating, in a good way. I have noticed other changes too this week and I will list them below. I am sorry if some of these are a little bit personal, but I count them as successes.

1) I am definitely stronger. I am up to 132 pounds on the leg press from a start of 88 pounds. On the chest press I started at 20 pounds and yesterday I was pressing 60 on my last set. There are others too, but these are the ones I remember.

2) My clothes are more loose. I am almost down a full pant size. I am already down a shirt size. I am almost down a bra size depending on the style of bra.

3) My butt looks better.

4) I don't have to lift skin to touch my belly button, and there is less of my belly in general

5) I can do the elliptical again for 30 minutes.

6) I can do oblique crunches for 2 minutes straight

7) Laying in bed the other day I realized the most important one. My back doesn't hurt!!! I still have muscle soreness, but the skeletal issues aren't hurting like they used to!

There 7 changes for 7 official pounds lost. Oh, and for inches lost this week. 1" off my neck and 2" off my belly!!

I do not believe that 19 pound gain! It is not all muscle in one weeks time. I am not training that hard. But I am working hard and doing a lot of things right. I am feeling good again. Physically and mentally.

Sorry for the length of the post, but there was a lot to talk about. With that I am off to sleep before having to head up to Wyoming for the weekend tomorrow. And here are some updated pics of me that I took at the gym yesterday. Sorry they are so blurry. I think I need to clean the lens on my phone.

279 pounds. Feb. 2012

And the side view.
 Quote of the day: "It's the little things done consistently over time, straight from your heart, that actually have the greatest impact." ~Unknown

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Feeling it

I plateaued this week at weigh in and stayed the same. Everyone did this week in fact. To be honest, it didn't come as a surprise to me. With the major losses we have had so far (which a lot was water weight I am sure) it was bound to happen. And just knowing how my body is when I have worked out before, I was fully expecting to plateau either this week or next.

I had my weekly training yesterday evening. I went into it knowing it was going to be a rough workout since I had told Sandy I had plateaued, but it was rougher than I thought it would be. Part of the problem was I woke up later than I planned to get to the gym. I wanted to be to the gym by 5pm so I could get a 30 minute warm up in, and I woke up at 4:50. So I was groggy, moving in a panic because I was late, and didn't stop to eat anything before I worked out. Not eating was a mistake, at one point I started feeling a little sick but it passed quickly. Still it isn't a feeling I like. There was also a moment during the workout where I about just broke down in tears. It has happened to me before where I have pushed myself so hard it just pushes me over the edge emotionally and I just stop and breakdown and cry. It is an emotional reaction, but it is hard to describe the emotions that are brought up in that moment and why it happens for me. Luckily it too passed and things were good for the rest of the workout.

I felt kind of bad during my workout yesterday because I knew I wasn't my normal self. My trainer noticed it as well and kept asking if I was ok or if I was hurting. I really appreciated her concern, but most of it was I just wasn't fully awake yet. That and I would most definitely say if I was in pain. It wouldn't do either of us any good if I wasn't honest with Sandy about that.

 After my workout I started feeling A LOT better in so many ways. Of course there was the endorphin rush, and the general good feeling after a hard workout, but it was more than that. It took me a while to figure out what I was feeling and I finally figured it out after I had been at work several hours last night. I am starting to feel like I did even just 3 years ago, but more around 5 years ago when I had lost 30 pounds. I am feeling better physically and mentally. I am feeling stronger. I feel the strength building in my body and that I am moving better. I don't hurt as much as I used to. Even more importantly, I am starting to feel better in my own skin again. I feel  more like "me" and happy again. Not that I am just in a flabby shell. I am starting to feel beautiful and pretty again. I'm even feeling sexy *gasp*! I know I have always been these things, but it has been a long time since I have truly felt that way. I also feel like I am finally starting to lose weight and inches. We were all commenting at weigh in Monday night that none of us really felt like we had lost the weight that we have. I still really don't feel like I have lost 20 pounds even though I have. I don't know if it is because I haven't dropped a pant size yet even though I am down a shirt size or what it is, but I haven't felt like I have lost weight. I am starting to feel it now a little bit. Maybe I just shocked my body so much that it is just taking time to catch up and realize what the heck I have done to it!

As my Uncle told me the other night, I am at war with my body and right now it is fighting back. So just one day at a time and one step at a time. I'm not stopping now!

Quote for the day:
"Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is a beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it, Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is life, fight for it!"  -Mother Teresa

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Long week

I really had meant to post this earlier this week, but to say that this week was a long one is putting it mildly. I had several very long and trying days at work which always makes things...interesting. Add in the fact that for whatever reasons I didn't sleep well made it even worse. Towards the end of the week I wasn't even really talking to coworkers because I was so grumpy.

Weigh-in went EXCEPTIONALLY well this week considering I did not want to step on the scale this week. It felt like I had worked my butt off and hadn't anything to show for it. It seriously did not help that any scale I stepped on was broken or "possessed". I know any woman (on a diet or not) will say that if the scale gives her a number she doesn't like, but in my case it is true! My scale here at home was reading 280 (a 2 pound gain from last week) and the scale in the ladies locker room at the gym was saying a 6 pound gain!!! I was not happy. But I came in with a 12 pound loss!!! Whoo hoo! That's 20 pounds in two weeks!

As it turns out, I wasn't the only one having scale issues this week. Several of the gals in the competition had used the one in the ladies locker room with varying results. For one it looked like she had stayed the same and several others showed gains. I have also decided to throw out my scale here at home. When I got home Monday night I stepped on it to see what it said because I wanted to know how broken it was. It was saying I still weighed 280! I don't know if the battery needs replaced or if it just needs to be thrown out, but I am thinking of just throwing it out. It was a cheapy scale anyways.


This week has been rough on me in so many ways it feels like. For whatever reason work was much more stressful than normal. We were busier than normal, but not by much. I had a couple of late days, but no worse than it usually is. I think part of it might have been that I haven't slept well this past week. Between getting up early and attempting to go back to sleep, and body aches the quality of the sleep I am getting has suffered. My low back and hips are still sore and hurting, even with lots of stretching and some light yoga. I think I might try the foam rollers at the gym to see if that helps release some of the tension.

So with all this going on I just haven't been "feeling it" this week in regards to my fitness. Aside from yesterday (Saturday) I have been doing well with my eating and staying on track there, but I cannot convince myself to get to the gym. I did go swimming last night for about 30 minutes, but I was wanting to go for at least 45. At one point I stopped to rest at the end of a length, and the pool was over-run with kids and families. I thought it would be ok, but after getting hit with a noodle, a racquetball, and people letting their kick-boards float into my lane so that I run into them I was just kind of done. It was made worse by the fact I couldn't sit in the hot tub afterwards and relax. There were 10 or so people crowded into the thing. So I just said screw it, showered and went home.

All I have really wanted to do this week is hide from the world, which is my normal reaction when I get too stressed. I just want to curl up with a book or get lost in some stupid game and not have to think or deal with anything for a while. I don't really see when I will get the opportunity to either. Oh well, such is life right?

And with that I am going to go get dressed and drag my sorry rear to the gym. I do have a weigh-in tomorrow that I am worrying about. Same as last week I don't want to do it, and I am worried I will have a gain, and I could go on and on. I figure as long as I have a loss it is a good week.

I will hopefully post something more upbeat soon. Like I said, just not feeling it this week.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Minor set back and support

So it is about time I updated this thing with the results from the first weigh-in! I should say up front that I was extremely nervous about this weigh-in and truly did not want to step on the scale. Last week was that time of the month for me (and it is normal for me to gain around 5+ pounds of water weight) and my scale here at home was saying I had gained three pounds! Not what I wanted to think about when going in to get weighed for this contest. For those who have seen my Facebook post, there was no need to worry about it. I came in with an awesome loss of 8 pounds and 5.5 inches!! I am ecstatic. My trainer is too apparently. Since I did such a good job of blowing last weeks goal out of the water my weight loss goal for this week of 8 pounds. We shall see how I do with everything that has been going on.


So I think I may have mentioned in my previous blogs that my back has been sore and hurting from overdoing it, even with trying to go easy by doing water aerobics and all. Tuesday night when I woke up to try and get ready for work, I couldn't get up. I was so sore in my low back I could not move. And I had slept so late that it was too late to go to Urgent Care and I didn't really want to pay the $200 copay to go to the ER. I had no idea what was wrong either, and to be honest it scared the hell out of me. I have had flare ups with my back problems before, but I had not been in pain like this since I first injured my back 7 years ago. I ended up not going in to work last night because I was in so much pain. It took me 10 minutes to walk to 15' or so to the bathroom. Not a good sign.

So this morning I went to Urgent Care. I went there initially when my vertigo started up and I really like the staff there. Everyone was friendly, caring, and sympathetic. I explained everything to the doctor seeing me and through the usual question and answer session (where he has to think all the bad thoughts) I do not have any pinched or damaged nerves causing my back pain. And even more to my relief it wasn't my back problems causing me issues either, I had just pulled a ton of muscles in my low back and hips so everything was extremely tight and tense. So I got some prescriptions for some amazing meds. A painkiller, a muscle relaxant, and ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory. After Marshall and I got home from the doc I took my pills and crashed. Hard. I haven't slept that hard in a while, but it felt so good to not hurt! I decided to stay home from work tonight even though I was feeling a bit better. Since I crashed after taking my meds I didn't know how I would be on them. Would I just be loopy and a bit uncoordinated? Or would I have a lot of balance issues which can sometimes happen with muscle relaxants? The last thing I needed is to injure myself in the lab at work while trying to work with chemicals. Turns out I am kinda sleepy and giddy (mostly from the pain med I think). So all in all I am just relieved. My back is feeling loads better, I will be able to go back to work tomorrow night, and I can still go to the gym tomorrow.

For those wondering about the wisdom of going to the gym with this, I asked my doc about it when I was there earlier today. I explained how I thought I had triggered all of this mess (seated leg press machine) and that I was part of this contest. He thought the contest was cool and was very encouraging of my efforts. He said this was just a minor setback and we would have me up and working out properly again in no time. I just need to take it easy for while. Walking is ok, and he loved the fact that I like to do water aerobics and highly encouraged that. I am still ok to work out with Sandy as long as she knows my limitations and we work together so I don't overdo it. He didn't want to put me on restrictions because right now moving is better for me than sitting still. Over the next couple weeks I will be making sure to do a LOT more stretching at the end of my workouts, and I will definitely be checking out the yoga classes available through my gym.


There have been a lot of things with this contest that have been pleasant surprises for me, but none more so than the support I have been getting from all over. Of course I am getting a ton of support from my parents, Marshall, his family, and my extended family. For my family that reads this, you don't know just how much all your love and support means to me. It is mind-blowing to me, and it shouldn't be.

I am also getting a lot of support from all my friends near and far. Whether it is through phone calls, email, or facebook. The encouragement and congratulations on my efforts so far has overwhelmed me. And again, it shouldn't!!

But the biggest surprise is the support from complete strangers. People coming up to me in the gym when they see me wearing my t-shirt for the challenge and telling me to keep up the good work or ask how I am doing. The folks at Chick-fil-a who have taken a bigger interest in this contest than I would have dreamed. My coworkers (ok, not complete strangers, but not my closest friends either). The doc and nurses at Urgent Care.

A lot of this would not have come about if I hadn't started writing this blog and putting it all out there for the world to read. It takes me a lot some days to tell what's going on because I don't like to always share with a lot of people what's going on. But this has helped to keep me accountable for what I am doing and gets me excited to share with people. It helps me keep my motivation up and my determination strong.

To everyone who supports me in this, thank you! This is just the start of the road still and a long way to go, but you all are amazing!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pleasantly surprised

Until this contest I had never eaten at Chick-fil-a. There was one in the mall in Casper when I was growing up and it closed in the mid-90's. I never ate there then because as a little kid I wanted a corn dog, not a chicken sandwich. I must say after a week of meals at Chick-fil-a I am pleasantly surprised. The food there is actually very good. I have fallen in love with their multi grain oatmeal. I love it to the point I really don't want to try my other breakfast options (1/2 of a wheat bagel, or 2 scrambled eggs). I have also had their regular Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich, Grilled Chicken and Fruit Salad, and Grilled chicken nuggets. I also have a choice of two sides: fresh fruit cup or side salad. The salads I have had are fresh, good quality lettuce and other veggies, and large. But sadly a salad doesn't fill me up and keep me full for very long (even with a chicken breast on there). The chicken they use in their sandwiches is high quality and it isn't dried out. So all in all, I am very happy with my meals there.

Multi grain oatmeal with toppings - cinnamon brown sugar, nuts and dried fruit. YUM!!  
And just to show off, there is a picture of my oatmeal. It doesn't look like it, but there's actually quite a lot there.

As for the workouts this week I pushed myself pretty good. To the point I did something to my hips and low back and have been trying to get my back to stop hurting. I don't know if I have done too much too soon, or I did something else incredibly stupid to it (I don't know what, it could be anything knowing how I am on my poor body). But I have had good workouts. On Thursday Sandy was really awesome and worked around my low back pain. Since we couldn't do lower body and were somewhat limited on cardio she made up for it by working my core and upper body. I am still feeling it in my arms and abs!! I went and swam today since my back was still hurting. I did 30 minutes of water aerobics and 30 minutes of lap swimming. I figured a low impact workout would be best. Of course as my "reward" for finishing my workout I sat in the hot tub for about 20 minutes. That was my own little piece of heaven I think.

My first weigh-in is Monday. I am excited and nervous to see how I have done. I have worked really hard this last week and I hope it shows. I am going to go in Monday morning to give it one last really good workout before weigh-in Monday night. I will keep you all posted as to how it goes!

And with that I am off to read my new yoga magazine that I found while curled up at Barnes & Noble today.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Slimdown Challenge - Facebook links

So it looks like Raintree Athletic Club has our videos up from when we started. Here are the links if you want to take a look and cheer me on. Chick-fil-a doesn't have theirs up yet, but it is only a matter of time!

Slimdown Challenge - Here we go!

So the Slimdown Challenge has officially started! We had our first meeting last night (we did our weigh-ins when we signed our paperwork). We got a chance to know each other, meet some of the trainers that we would be working with, and tour the gym (for those who hadn't been in before). So far everyone seems really nice, but we will see how this contest goes! The trainers were definitely excited to meet everybody. There are 6 women and 4 men participating. The winner will be chosen based on the biggest percentage of bodyweight lost (just like Biggest Loser).

After the meeting I stayed to workout on the treadmill for an hour, but only made it 30 minutes. I not only pushed myself too hard too fast on the program I was doing, but my d@mn vertigo had to flare up. I was not too happy about that. That's ok, I am sure I will make it up later in the week. I have been emailing with Sandy about my training appointment on Thursday. She is going to kick my butt! I am to do 1 hour workouts on my own and do a 30 minute cardio warm up before I have my training session with her. We are going to be doing combos of strength training and cardio. I swear she is plotting gleefully away at the things she gets to put me through! But I am excited to see what we can do.

I guess I should mention my goals for this contest. Obviously I want to lose weight, but I have no idea on a number. I told Sandy that I figure 2 pounds a week is a good safe number but probably far too conservative given that I am going to be at the gym at least 4 hours a week. Sandy agreed and she wants to shoot for a 4 pound loss this week. I figure lets go for it!


Last night after I left the gym it finally sank in how big of a deal this really is. I hadn't quite realized it. I got my first dinner from Chick-fil-a and it kind of hit me. My dinner was around $8 before I got my contest discount of free. Doing some quick math, over the course of 9 weeks and eating at Chick-fil-a for 6 days a week it is around $500 per contestant that they are spending on food. Gym dues are $55/mo. So about 2 1/2 months of free gym membership so another $135 per contestant. And then there are the training sessions at $35 per 30 minute session. Plus the grand prize of free food for a year and a gym membership. Not to mention the advertisement signs with our pictures at the gym and Chick-fil-a. And the Facebook pages they are updating with the contest. In all the weight loss contests I have done through my jobs over the years and TOPS, it was up to me. If I screwed up, it didn't matter to anyone but me. But this one....this one matters. I have a lot of people that care about me rooting me on for this. And not just my family and friends. I have coworkers cheering me on. I have Sandy really gunning for me.

And it overwhelmed me. And I was seriously wondering what the hell I had done (although I am still thinking that!).

All I could think for a while last night is that I am going to screw this up. That I can't do this. I am not strong enough for this. I am not ready for this. I came home after getting my food to talk to Marshall and just let it all out. He reminded me that I am strong enough and that I am ready. I wouldn't have taken a blurry picture of the sign and entered before I really had a chance to tell him about it if I wasn't ready.

I don't know what caused it. I don't know if I am just scared of the changes or what. Its going to be a long hard journey and an exciting one. I just need to go do it.

So I worked last night and thought about things and pretty much told myself I am being silly and a worrywart. I started feeling better about it all. The big change in my mindset came when I stopped at Chick-fil-a this morning to get breakfast. I walked in and aside from the employees I was the only one there. A very friendly gal named Carley took my order and when I showed my nifty badge for the contest she got so excited. She pointed to the sign showing all the contestants which one I was. She had just been looking at it a few minutes before. She told me she was so excited that they had finally chosen the contestants and that she can't wait to see how we all do. Her enthusiasm made me smile.

As I was waiting for my order she walked back over to the table where the manager was sitting and told her that I was one of the contestants. After I got my food the manager came up and shook my hand and introduced herself, and proceeded to gush about how excited she was for the contest. She talked to me for  while and wanted to know a bit of my story and all. As other people started coming in for work she would pull them aside and introduce me. It was amazing, overwhelming, and so much more than I expected. Everyone was so enthusiastic and excited. It got me excited again!

And with that I am off to finish my multigrain oatmeal (with toppings!) and go to bed. Have a great day all!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Slimdown Challenge - The beginning

So a couple weeks ago I had mentioned that I entered a competition that my gym is sponsoring with Chick-fil-A. I got a call yesterday afternoon and I am one of the ten contestants chosen to particpate!!! I am so excited! After I got off work this morning I went by the gym to talk to Bridget and Melanie about all the details and sign some paperwork. I am excited and kind of nervous about it. I really want to do well. They took my picture for my badge and the Facebook page (!!!), a couple more beginning pictures, a short video introducing myself, my initial weight and body measurements, and explained all the details and requirements.

So here are the details:
  • I have to work out at least 3 times per week for 30-60 minutes
  • I have to meet my trainer once a week for training session (separate from my other 3 workouts)
  • I have to eat one meal per day (excluding Sundays) at Chick-fil-a from their Fit and Healthy menu
  • I have to maintain a food and exercise log
  • Weekly weigh-ins are Mondays from 6-7pm. 
I was VERY happy to hear that I get to keep Sandy as my trainer. They were rather amused. I guess Sandy kept going by the offices yesterday asking if they had picked everyone yet. I did leave Sandy a message yesterday after I got the news because I knew she would want to know. She called me back and I swear she is more excited than I am!! So I will be talking to her later in the week to get things set up for my first training with her next week.

I need to think of what goals I want to achieve during this contest. Weight loss is one of them (I have no idea what amount I want to try and lose), but I want something else too. I don't know what though. I have some that I had talked about with Sandy, but those are longer term goals than this contest. I am thinking something along the lines of building more upper body strength since I am such a wimp. If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them!

I guess they are making a Facebook page for the competition. So people can see who the contestants are and urge us on and so we can encourage each other. There is going to be pictures and videos (yuck!) and all that. I really don't like videos of myself. I don't like how I look and I think I look like a dork. But I will be a good sport about it. I will update when I know more about the Facebook page.

Until then I need to just keep working out this week and doing well. I had a good weekend overall, but I didn't eat well. However I was happy to see that I had lost when I got on the scale yesterday morning! Down another 1.5 pounds! Whoo hoo! That brings me down 7 pounds so far this year.

Other than that life is life. I go to work, workout some days, sleep, and spend time with my boyfriend. Luckily my vertigo seems to be clearing up after my visit to the physical therapist yesterday. I will be so glad when that is done and over with!

And I am starting to ramble. So with that I am off to bed!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Adrenalin high

Just a quick post before I head back to bed and then work tonight.

I just got home from my second session with my trainer Sandy. She is awesome, I love her attitude, but she kicked my butt today. I feel awesome for it, but I KNOW I will feel it tomorrow!!

Sandy did give me a bit of an update on the contest I entered. She said it looks like I stand a good chance of being one of the chosen contestants. They have only had 30-40 entrants so far! She also said that another trainer was pointing out my name and she wanted to tell him that I was taken! It made me smile. I am happy Sandy wants to work with me as much as I want to work with her. I will find out on Monday if I get it or not!! I would love it! Oh! And the contest runs 9 weeks and not 6 weeks. So that's 3 more sessions with a trainer for free. Bonus!

Also a quick weigh in note. When I weighed myself before starting with Sandy I was at 285.3, this afternoon's weigh-in when I got up to go to the gym....282.8! 2.5 down!! Oh yeah! It's a good day.

And yes I have an adrenalin high right now.

And I am off to sleep some more before work.

Motivational quote of the day: "When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." -Lau Tzu

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Muddling through the week

I really don't have a whole lot to talk about tonight, but I wanted to update anyhow.

I made it to the gym this morning after I got off work. I walked on the treadmill for about 30 minutes and did about 1.2 miles. It doesn't seem like a whole lot to me, but I have to remind myself that I did one of the pre-programmed weight loss workouts. So I was alternating speeds and inclines and it generally kicked my butt. I will say it was kind of a cool treadmill. It is an iFit and uses the android interface. You can log in, track your workouts, set goals, and all that. Another thing that I find equal parts cool and annoying is that it is sponsored by Jillian Michaels and at random points in the workout (if you have headphones in) you hear her saying motivational things. Towards the end I wanted to reach in and strangle that little voice. Doesn't that voice know I would rather listen to Law and Order: SVU uninterrupted than have encouraging words in my ear???

I am hoping tonight is an easy night at work. I woke up after about 6 hours of sleep and wasn't able to get back to sleep. I have tried very hard to cut back on the soda during the week, and especially when I am at work. I have been drinking lots of tea (Xing tea is my current favorite) and black coffee with cinnamon in it for my caffeine boosts. I have already had one Mountain Dew tonight. :( Tonight is going to be a looooooong night. I love the third shift because there is only 7 or 8 of us there and we aren't fighting for bench space in the lab or getting each other's way. And we work 4 10hr. shifts so we have three day weekends. Granted one day of that is spent sleeping and recovering from the week. But it is still third shift, and third shift is not that fun to me. And any of my friends know I am really not a night owl. But you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

I am hoping this weekend to look at my calorie intake and work on a meal plan for the week. I rarely follow it to the letter, but having something of a plan helps me stay on track.

I think I might go try and take an hour nap anyhow. 'Nite

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Rough day

I had a rough morning this morning. We had contest at work through the holidays called "Maintain don't gain" and you couldn't gain more than two pounds. This morning was weigh in and it didn't go well. As it looks to them I gained 2.5 pounds during the contest. I was bummed and irritated because out of all the times I could weigh in today was towards the end of my shift at 7am (I currently work third shift). So I had been up, working, eaten, and of course you weigh heavier later in the day than when you first get up. At the start of this contest I was kind of keeping track through it. I weighed myself the next day when I got up after our first weigh in and again today when I got up a little bit ago. I have actually lost around 3 pounds....and it was an 8 pound difference from this morning. I'm not happy right now about it.

I keep telling myself that I should have done more and moved more, but there isn't a whole lot you can do when anything you do makes you dizzier than all get out. The Tuesday before Christmas I got off work, came home, went to bed, and woke up several hours later extremely dizzy. I went to urgent care and they said I had vertigo caused by either an inner ear infection or Benign Positional Vertigo. So I went to the Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist last week and I have the Benign Positional Vertigo. Basically a piece has broken off the bits in your ear that tell you your balance is ok and is rattling around in my inner ear. And when I turn my head wrong or just move wrong I have my own tilt-a-whirl. To put it simply, I haven't needed to buy a ticket to 6 flags to have an amusement park ride. Bleh. It has gotten better, but I am restricted on things I can do. It happens to be the things I like. Yoga, stretches, and worst of all swimming. I really don't think having dizzy spells while swimming would be a good thing, but that's just me.

It is irritating to because Marshall got me a Christmas gift that I have been wanting to use but can't. It is called a SwiMP3. It is an MP3 player that attaches to your goggles and rests on your temple and jaw bones and transmits music through your bones instead of using headphones. Very techy and geeky and I have wanted one for a while. And I can't use it yet!!! *cue grumpy face*

So to fight the irritation and grumpiness I was feeling after work I went and did something about it. I went to the gym and rode a bike for about 20 minutes! Take that stupid work weight loss contests! So now I am off to work again and tonight is my Friday. Wheee

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My weight gain story

So yesterday when I was at the gym I saw a notice on the board for a Slimdown Challenge they are doing. You have to send in your weight gain story, height, weight, etc. They then go through the entries and choose 10 winners. The winners are then entered for a challenge running from Jan 23-March 26. They get one free meal a day from the healthy menu at Chick-Fil-A, a free memdership to the Raintree Athletic Club (where I work out), and their own personal trainer! Cool! I asked Sandy yesterday if she knew if we could pick our trainers and she said yes. I asked simply because I would like to keep working with her. Anyways, I just emailed off my entry and I thought I would share my weight gain story here too. I think we need to always remember where we have come from so we can appreciate where we are today.

So here is my story:

My story starts like many peoples. I didn't fit in in school growing up and starting around the 4th grade I started getting teased for my weight. Looking back at the person who did this, I think I know the reasons why they did this, but it doesn't make it hurt any less. Throughout the rest of grade school and junior high in particular I was teased a lot about my weight. It wasn't just by my classmates either. I remember one day in particular walking home from school and a car full of high school students drove by. The slowed down, made some snide comments and then made a point of driving around the block so they could make more. The one I remember most is this: "Hey! We better call Sea World! Shamu got loose!". I heard it all in those years.

"You're so fat even Jenny Craig doesn't want you."
"You should join Weight Watchers so you can get your belly out where you can see it."
"Your belly is so big! When's the baby due?"

These are the worst I remember, but there were others. I wish I could say I was making these up, but I can't make up these cruel things. Thinking on them they still hurt, and yes I still have some bitterness over them. Who wouldn't? All of this turned me into a very shy teenager who was very comfortable to sit in the shadows and not make waves in school. The less attention I brought to myself, the better. Like everyone else, I made it through the hell that was high school and went off to college. I hated most of my classmates so much that I didn't want to stay in Wyoming, where I grew up, to go to college at UW. So I went 700 miles away to South Dakota for college and it was the best decision I could have made for myself.

I am proud to say that during my freshman year I lost 15 pounds, and not gained. That fell apart my sophomore year. I am only child and as a result was very close to a dear friend who I had met when we were 5 years old and in the same day care and grade school. She is one of the two women in this world I call the sister I never had. During my sophomore year of college she passed away in her sleep. She had a heart attack at the tender age of 19. Diabetes and unknown heart conditions don't tend to mix real well. My world turned upside down that day. One of my first thoughts the morning after was that I couldn't let myself start emotionally eating to hide the pain. I didn't want to gain the weight. But several of the residence advisers in my dorm along with women on my floor were determined to look out for me. They brought me food, took me to the dining halls, and made sure I ate. They didn't want me to go the opposite way where I didn't eat at all. I couldn't say no, because I appreciated their concern, but they didn't believe me when I wasn't genuinely hungry either. I want to say starting at this point and going through the next couple years I gained around 50 pounds. I really don't know my weight at the time, but I do know I went from a size 18/20 pant to a 24.

Over the next couple years I met and made some more friends and got my life back in order. I retook a year of classes and graduated with a BS in Biological Sciences. Most of the papers I wrote at that time were based on diabetes research. Along with Renae having had it, my grandmother lived with it for years, and now my Dad lives with it too. Diabetes has touched my life in many ways, and it is my greatest fear to be diagnosed with it. This is one my number one reason for wanting to lose weight.

I went through periods of gaining and losing, but never with great intention or thought. Through more life issues I ended up gaining another 30 pounds or so and battling quite severe depression for several years. I had wanted to be a teacher, and to put it simply it didn't work out. After the first attempt at student teaching was when I gained the weight. I moved back to Wyoming against my choice and took a semester off. I worked at a call center on the third shift, ate, moped, and gained weight. I was generally unhappy and I didn't know how to fix it. I went back for the Spring 2006 semester to redo my student teaching. I knew at this point I had to finish it because I hated feeling like I walked away and was a quiter. I couldn't stand it. Before I moved back to South Dakota I started working out at Curves. I loved it and started losing weight.

After I moved back to South Dakota, I kept working out at Curves. I was staying with the parents of a friend of mine while I student taught, and my friend's mom worked at the local Curves. It helped having someone to talk to while I went. Through her encouragement I joined TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly). From my starting weight there I lost about 25 pounds and I had lost around 10 on my own before joining. I finished my student teaching and stayed back in SD to work and try to find a job where I could use my degree. When, after a year, I couldn't find anything in the area I moved back to Wyoming. I kept working out and staying around 250 pounds. I couldn't seem to get under and stay under that magic number. It was frustrating to say the least.

Since I moved back to Wyoming in 2007, life has happened. I met my wonderful boyfriend in 2008 and we started dating. He has struggled to find work, I have changed jobs twice in the last 2 years that included moving to Northwestern Wyoming from Central Wyoming, and now to the Front Range of Colorado. Battles with money, family issues, and losses of loved ones. It has been hard at times, but good. But I have let things slide. When money got tight the first thing I did was to stop my gym membership, because that was more of an "extra" than cable was. I am now currently weigh 290 pounds. I DO NOT want to go any higher. I need to do something, and I need to do it now. I don't sleep well, I have back problems, my knees are starting to get arthritis, and so far I have been lucky that my blood sugars are still in the normal range. But I don't know how long that will last.


If you made it this far into my ramblings, thanks so much reading. Good luck to you all out there!

Motivational quote of the day: "The best inspiration is not to outdo others, but to outdo ourselves." Anonymous

Starting Over...again

A new year, a new start and I am feeling better about staying on track right now. Or at least being able to get back on after falling off. In October I joined a gym here and I absolutely love it. The facilities are awesome (yay for pools, hot tubs, and saunas!), and best of all the staff and the other patrons are super friendly. I love walking into a gym where everyone greets you with a smile. Too often as an overweight woman I have gotten dirty looks, heard snide comments, and a general sense of intimidation. It is nice to walk into a gym and not worry about those silly things. I just wish I have had more time (and made more time) over the past couple months to fully use it!

When I signed my membership one of the perks is 2 free one-hour training sessions with a personal trainer. Today I had my first session with Sandy and she was awesome! She was very enthusiastic, encouraging, and has such a bright personality you can't help but smile when you are with her. She seemed surprised at times about some of my fitness interests, but was impressed I think. The one that seemed to surprise her the most is that I love swimming. She thought I was meaning water aerobics, but was genuinely surprised when I said I love doing laps. Anyways, she got me started riding a bike for a warm up while we went over health history, physical issues, and my goals.

Here are my personal goals:
  • Lose 35-40 pounds (a good goal to start as that will put me where I was 3 years ago)
  • Learn the butterfly stroke (the one stroke I can't seem to body doesn't like trying to swim like a mermaid. Who knew?)
  • Working on strength training - pretty much my entire body, but especially my core
  • Make it to the gym 3 times per week for 30 minutes of cardio, and if I get strength training in it is a bonus. This was one of Sandy's goals for me.

After I got home I got on SparkPeople for the first time in a while and restarted everything. While it is nice resetting goals and timelines, I forgot what a pain it is too. It resets the workout program I had had setup in there which I had liked, and it just takes a while to redo it. Oh well, at least it is easy enough to do, just time consuming. I also set some mini goals through SparkPeople to help get me started. It is to see how many days in a row I can do these. Lets hope I can keep it up this time. Here they are:

  • Track calories eaten each day
  • Go to the gym at least 3 times per week
  • Read an inspirational quote each day

Right now I am just looking at starting small. I want to get into the habit of recording my food intake regularly before I start to panic over what I am eating. One step and one day at a time. I can do this!

Thanks Sandy for the awesome kick start today!

Thanks Marshall for your love and support.

Motivational quote of the day: "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom" George S. Patton