Thursday, September 30, 2010


That's right, people, I am down 21 lbs. The odds were stacked against me, but 21 lbs in 7 weeks. It's amazing!

My knee is still killing me, but I am soooo excited! Thursday Trainer Rebecca has officially graduated me and my workout buddy to the boards, which means that our workouts are written out on white boards and we just follow them. It's a step in a different direction because now I know what I need to do, but I have to drive myself to complete it and to be honest with what I am doing. The boards may actually tick me off a little though...I mean of she isn't driving me then what am I paying for? Couldn't I do this on my own completely?

Reflection over the last several weeks revealed to me the ways in which I have hindered myself in the past. The most shocking one is that I have spent a lot of time on "if I onlys (er...or onlies?)" I could only lose 50 pounds, I could get around better and then it would be easier for me to be more active and I could really lose weight. After this experience, I learned a very valuable lesson...the only thing that made it easier for me to be more active, was being more active! Well...DUH! This is just the tip of the iceberg for me. I am coming to you today at 287lbs. FROM 308!!!!! I can't believe it myself.

So I am going forward!!!! I have kind of a lofty goal for next week. I want to lose another 4 pounds by Thursday. I know what you're thinking and it's ok if it doesn't happen, but I just think it would be cool to lose 25 lbs in 8 weeks.

That's where I am. Where are you with your journey's? Drop me a line and let me know.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Turn and face the strange is right, thanks to David Bowie for that little pearl!

Spent the afternoon with the Tuesday Trainer Christine! I hurt my knee last week so she was thankfully taking it easy with the power squats. Increased my weights to 10 pounders when I let it slip that I have been using them at home. Guess home will have to up it to 15! My meal plan is better this week as I am back to bringing my lunch and not being a slave to that cafeteria at work. I have been loading up on the fiber and at times today I thought I might explode. The food is a constant battle. I am not hungry right now, yet my brain keeps thinking about junk food. I have found that chewing gum is a good relief. It tricks my brain into thinking I am eating, but no matter the craving it resolves it for me right now. Funny thing is that before I was following a meal plan and working out...I never really thought about sweets. Or snacking at all really, so it really makes me wonder if I am just wired for self sabotage.

I told you yesterday about the hubby's "jobs", but there has been so much more going on. Last week, I had an experience that while it ended on somewhat of a good note, was really a game changer for me. I was at work and I received a message from my bestie asking me to call her. I called her she sounded distressed, a quick jaunt to her cubicle revealed that she was definitely in distress. Her skin was pale, she seemed almost not there. She was weak and experiencing abdominal pain. She asked me to take her to the hospital, but after assessing the situation I decided that an ambulance was the most appropriate route. I called her husband and followed the ambulance to the hospital. Once they brought her into a room, her demeanor had shifted and she was now in intense pain and contorting her body in ways reminiscent to Regan in "The Exorcist". I was terrified. In that moment, I realized that I could really lose a friend. Right now, right in this moment. Thankfully, God and doctors intervened and while she is still yet undiagnosed, she is fine and home with her family.

In this and I assume similar moments in one's life, you tend to think about the things that are important to you. You think about who you are and who you want to be. My friend is a genuinely good person, she takes pleasure in knowing the little things about you, she sends thoughtful cards and makes an effort to let people know she cares about them. I try to do those things as well, but is it enough? While I was thinking about this very subject, I ran across a friend's blog ( and she was relaying an AWESOME thing that she does with her kids...PROACTIVE ACTS OF KINDNESS....Genius. While I am not stealing the idea...I am following the example. What I love most about it is that they are proactive...I have to think about them and take action, unexpected action. Plus, I think it is a fabulous thing to do with the kids to teach them to not only be thankful, but to show appreciation.

It may seem like I already have enough "change" on my plate, but I am pretty sure when they say "It's a lifestyle change" they weren't just talking about food and exercise.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Life Gets In The Way

Blogging is so cathartic for me. If I have said it once, I have said it a million times, one of the reasons I do it is to give me something to go back to when I need it the most. This week, I have needed it.

This year is over 3/4ths completed and while it has been rough, it seems to be improving. We have moved into a new home, continue to survive a job loss, started a new business, and I have embarked on my journey. Truth be told, things are always changing, but for once they seem to be going in the right direction.

Turns out that maybe my trainer knows what she is talking about after all my eruptive anger over not getting my way and then exerting my will by refusing to weigh in, I only lost 1lb over two weeks. It was definitely a hard pill to swallow, but it has renewed me in a very important way. It reminds me that all the anger and my attitudes came from me to get me where I am today and that is why I need to be conscious of changing more than just my food and my activity. It is a total transformation. The good news...I am up for the challenge.

I have been really bad about getting in all of my activity this last week because life is getting in the way big time. My husband, in theory, is working three jobs. It's really no more money, but it requires more of his time and more of the time that he gave back to me 6 weeks ago, so while I can still do the trainer it has put a severe cramp on my extra gym time. I have some equipment to be able to do what needs to be done at the next step is just to do it and take back my original drive.

I think the main thing that I am learning in all of this that it may have seemed easy at first because it was new and the results were exciting. I was taking it for granted that it would just get easier and easier. It isn't always easy, but it is possible.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Finding Victory

I haven't written in a week.

I'll just come right out and admit that there are reasons.

It started last week with a promise to my kids. They wanted pizza. What kid doesn't? Since I started living courageously, I had not ventured into the realm of pizza. I agreed that if they could wait until my Thursday weigh in, we would go out for pizza. Everyday..."Is it Thursday, yet?" Thursday comes. I usually train on Tuesday and Thursday and try to get my gym time in between. Christine is my trainer on Tuesday and Rebecca is my trainer on Thursday. Christine is more of what you would call an isolation trainer, whereas Rebecca is an athletic trainer. They are both good for different purposes and I am glad to mix it up. However, on Thursday, Rebecca was not my friend. Not even close, she was nearing my enemy.

Last week was horrible, my manager was in the office (he is an off site manager) and in a very self important manner, he made accusations towards me and then warned me of the "MOST STRESSFUL WEEK EVER" (dun dun dun) He left town on Wednesday on the fumes of his unfounded threats and it actually ended in a good way for me. The LAST thing I wanted to do was go to the trainer on Thursday, but I had promised pizza and there is all that "on your worst day" stuff, so I went. I worked harder in the gym that day than I had ever worked. My 35-45 minute training session was around 55 minutes of non-stop activity. I worked out hard and I rocked the meal plan and I was ready to pronounce myself victorious on the scale. That's when she decided to inform me that she was not letting me weigh in this week. She had decided that at 6 weeks, I was bound to hit a plateau and she did not want me to be discouraged. I begged and I pleaded with her and at this point it was just a joke to her. She promised me to weigh in on Tuesday.

Folks...let me tell you, I was MAD!!! I was ANGRY!!! I contemplated not going back. I thought, "you people have a lot of nerve telling me to set small goals and then ripping them out from under me. You'll feel really bad when I am eating Meat Lover's Pizza tonight!" Then I cried.

I realized that the only person that was going to suffer from Meat Lover's Pizza, was the same person who has been suffering from it for at least 20 years. A promise is a promise, so my husband and I took the kids to Pizza Hut for dinner. I had 2 slices of the Veggie Lover's hand tossed and a salad. On the way home, I made Jim stop and I ate a Hershey's bar. Since that day, I have been slacking and making more "exceptions" into my diet.

Yesterday, I was training with Christine and she asked me if I wanted to weigh in. Nichole, my training partner had already gave her the "what for" about how she felt on Thursday, so in an effort to exert my Independence and let her know that I am paying for these sessions and I am 90% of this effort. I refused.

Thinking about this now, I wonder why I let other people affect me in this way. For me, it's like finding a turd in your flower garden after you've knelt down, your face is surrounded by petals, and you are full nostril. I let the smallest turd ruin the whole experience. I can't get over it. I have been so strong in this and I recognize my aptitude to let myself down because someone else has let me down. WHY DO I DO THIS??? Especially when I said it before...I am 90% of this effort! Even if the whole world let's me down...I can find a way to do this. I refuse to drink at this pity party. My victory will now come from proving to myself that I can see this through.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Updated Photos and Updated Commitment

I can't believe that six weeks is almost up! I have been working my butt off with the trainer and I feel it paying off, but I will let you all be the ultimate judges of my progress so far. My final weigh in of this session is this Thursday, but today I am 19 pounds down. Life is changing, I am changing!

I changed into my "photo clothes" and Jim couldn't believe the difference. My shorts can be pulled all the way up and my shirt comes all the way down! YEAH! Seeing results like this, I want to continue. I want to do what it takes to see this thing through. It makes me think about all the blogs from before, you know the ones...they ended in "the goal is to be more active"? I am proud to say at this point, my goal is to stay active. My goal is to live, actually live my life. I am through with being a guest in my own I am leading the tour! It's a free ride, but I have a feeling the views are gonna be amazing!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering 9/11

I know this blog is usually purely a topical blog, however, since and through remembrance of the events of September 11, 2001, I have continued to learn lessons about perspective, fear, and my place in this world.

My 9/11 story is not atypical. I was sitting in traffic on my way to my collections job for May Department Stores. I was resigned to worked one of many recent 10am to 8pm shifts, I lived an hour away with traffic and before I had kids, I was notoriously early. Listening to the Steve and DC radio show, they started talking about the first plane striking the World Trade Center. They were watching CNN at that point and I "felt" the second plane hit and the second tower fall through their retelling. At first...I thought it was a joke. I thought they were playing some sort of prank and I was getting angry. Not only was it not funny in any way, shape, or form, but the "prank" was lasting way too long. There were several moments of silence as they more or less watched CNN on air. I began to realize that this was really happening. I became paranoid in the car, what did this mean? Sitting in traffic near a major airport, I starting mentally playing with the idea that myself and all these other fathers, mothers, friends, and lovers were virtually sitting ducks. Traffic continued to move at a snails pace, I just tried to remain calm and make it to work.

When I arrived, utter chaos. My job was to make collection calls on behalf of Filene's Department Stores which was predominantly in Boston and New York. How in the world was I supposed to call people and tell them they needed to leave their homes and pay 10.00 in the store, or tear yourself away from that TV for 10 seconds and grab your credit card and just make your payment real quick? Especially with the sheer number of people that were in the towers and people on the planes that were traveling to and/or from either location respectively. (and of course by this time the Pentagon and Pennsylvania planes had gone down as well) I took a stand and refused to make calls. Our department VP had relocated from New York and could not confirm the safety of several people that he knew who worked in the Trade Center,he agreed whole heartedly and sent us home.

The commute home was as bad as the commute in...wall to wall traffic. I was hungry for more information. Are we being attacked? Am I safe in my car? I had daydreams of tanks running through US cities, and marshal law. I HATED the news and now all I can find on the radio are commercials? I finally and quite by accident ran across a local talk radio station that I did not know existed and stumbled upon a live feed from CNN. Confusion and talks of people jumping out of the towers, choosing to either end it all on their terms or hoping that despite the odds they would be make it. I recognized that we were all witnesses to sheer human desperation and I began to cry in my car.

I drove out to the vacant property that would one day become our homesite. My husband was there clearing the land. When I arrived, he was surprised to see me. I sat in my car and looked at the land. He had cut down dozens of cedar trees, just topping the "tree" part and leaving in some cases 4-5 foot cedar trunks cut at an angle like a spear. I remember looking out across the land and thinking that he was prepping the land to handle anyone who may try to parachute in, completely irrational, but it made total sense to me in that moment. I commented to him and he laughed and that's when it dawned on me that he had no idea. I proceeded to fill him in, we sat in my car listening to the radio for over an hour. He eventually put away his chainsaw, locked his car, and we drove home hand in hand. The first time in a long time we had held hands.

We watched TV for hours. We watched until our hearts had broken. Cried when we saw fellow humans free falling through the air, cried when we saw people bleeding in the streets, cried when we heard stories of heroism and families reunited. Then when I couldn't rewatch it another minute, I cried in disbelief and for innocence lost.

I will never forget September 11, 2001. I make it a point not to remember it as a thing that happened, but instead as a moment that rocked my soul. It changed me in so many ways. It made me conscious of family and friends. To this day, it makes me say I love you to every family member EVERY time I talk to them on the phone. I say I love you (and mean it) so much that unfortunately the random phone caller gets it as well...(guy at Home Depot, you know who you are). I am more cautious and aware of my surroundings. My friends laugh at me. Sometimes, I notice a random truck parked on the side of the road and I will make a comment about IED's. While it's never been a problem in this country before, I no longer think like it's not possible. I wouldn't call it paranoia, because I do not live in fear, but I also no longer live blind to the fact that in a singular moment everything can change. One minute your putting on mascara in traffic and the next it's running down your face.

My prayers are with all of you who lost someone, survived, or witnessed the events of 9/11 either in person, on TV, or publication. Some had so much taken away from them that day, but from my own experience, I believe we all lost something.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Listing My Gifts

My sister is totally my inspiration on this one. Her journey is one of self-reflection and about uplifting herself to glorify her value despite her flaws. Today she decided to list her gifts. Things that are true about her and make her "wonderfully unique". She has inspired me to do the same. Please feel free to list what makes you wonderfully unique in my comment section.

My List of Gifts (in no particular order)

1. I am very observant
2. I am caring
3. I am loving
4. I am considerate
5. I have "pluck free" eyebrows (and if you don't agree...pluck you!)
6. I am comically self-effacing
7. I am all around pretty funny (I crack me up)
8. I am a hard worker
9. I have a wonderful memory
10. I am a talented writer
11. I am learning that I can motivate myself
12. I am a good mom.
13. I am loyal
14. I strive to be honest
15. I have wonderful family and friends who believe in me, even when I don't
16. I came to work even though my jeans apparently stink. (that one's for you)

Well, off to the gym! Hopefully updated 4 week photos tonight or tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Scenes From A Public Restroom

When I became a mom, I knew that my life would never be the same. I was smart enough to know that everything was now going to be about this tiny pink bundle of poop and giggles. Despite the fact that I knew that I was giving up frequent "girls nights" and most of all my freedom, it didn't really bother me because having children was something that was important to me.

Pregnancy was rough on me. When I got pregnant with Autumn I was at least 120 pounds overweight. I gained nearly 60 pounds with her, 40 of which I lost immediately after she was born. I recovered from my c-section without issue. I went home from the hospital after 3 days and began the journey of raising this beautiful baby into the funny, smart, and sassy little girl that she has become today.

Eventually, Erica came along. I weighed my heaviest ever the day she was born. 314 lbs.! I again recovered nicely, but she was suffering. My diabetes had complicated her life. My weight had already affected this squirmy,little newbie. I decided then and there that I was done. I had to lose weight or there would be no more babies. Of course, I did nothing to lose weight so I just became resigned to the fact that my child bearing days were over.

Those who knew me during my pregnancies have their little jokes about the necessity of my swinging right arm to propel me forward with it's momentum and who knows what jokes people held privately. I began to realize after Erica was born that I had to do something to lose weight. I didn't want to be somebody's fat mom. I still don't want to be somebody's fat mom. I NEVER want my children to be ashamed of me for how I look. I also don't want them to value people by their physical appearance. I don't shy away from these topics with my children, but I also try to be careful not to make them overly concerned with body image. It's a slippery slope.

Autumn knows I'm fat. We've talked about it. She also knows that words hurt. She will never say that I am fat, she always says "the way that you are". When she questioned why her dad started picking her up a couple of days a week, I explained to her that I was seeing a personal trainer and that I was trying to lose weight. "Mommy, how come you don't want to be the way that you are?" she asked. I told her "Mommy needs to be healthy to spend lots of time with you and to make it easier for me to do lots of fun stuff with you." She smiled.

Remember those girls nights out that I gave up? Well,they are nothing compared to losing all private bathroom time. I don't think that I have gone to the bathroom by myself in 6 years. If I started out by myself, it's almost a guarantee that the door is opened at some point or God forbid, I end up holding a crying child while I am otherwise indisposed. Same goes for public restrooms. Trying to keep kids on point and from in depth conversation in a public restroom is near to impossible. Who doesn't love the random (at the top of their lungs)"Mom, is that you poopin' or somebody else?"

This weekend we went out for breakfast and Autumn needed to visit the ladies room, so when in Rome. As I sat there she started asking me about why my belly was getting all wrinkly and was insistent that I answer her despite my many and frantic replies of "shh". I finally whispered, "Mommy is losing weight baby and her skin is getting loose." I still wonder what others must have thought when they heard her say "Oh Mommy, I am so proud of you!" Apparently..I've been doing good job.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Funny Thing About Judgment

Foodwise...I have been a good girl this week. I did have Tater Tots once this week and yesterday while walking through the gas station...I knew I was not getting out of there with a bag of Lays Plain potato chips and I didn't...but I bought the smallest bag, took a handful and threw the rest out. Even I know this is a slippery slope though. evil nemesis, I will myself to conquer you! The more I give in on these small things, the more common place they become and I am right back in "that" boat with my head buried inside the 'Family Sized' bag of Lays. Since I don't like the journey that ship is sailing...I know that Courage is my friend and caution...a new virtue.

Excercise...2 trips to the trainer this week, no puking, Thursday there may have been pleading for the madness to stop. I don't really remember as the Thursday trainer works me to the point of exhaustion, but never wanting to be the lazy, fat chick in the gym with the 'skinnies' (as I call them) I press on to loss of consciousness and wake up on the scale a full three pounds less than the week before. Yes...that brings my 4 week tally to 15lbs. I got off the scale, she looked at me and said 3lbs and I was in tears. Still motivated from it, I have managed to get to the gym without a trainer an additional 2 days this week.

Some tears came from wanting to kick my own butt for not doing this sooner, but most came from letting go.

I have struggled for so long to have people take me seriously at over a full on person overweight. Thinking about it now, in some cases it was almost like wanting people to watch 2 people do less than half of the work of one. I would say things like "I would like to be a writer, but I am not good enough" When truly I thought that a lot of what I wrote was good, but I would play conversations in my head. I will show it to a random person and just KNOW that everything they were thinking had nothing to do with talent or writing, but instead thinking about how ridiculous I would be to try and sell myself to a publishing company or a magazine. In my head, I have actually thought that I could never be a featured writer in a newspaper, because my photo would never fit in that little box next to the byline. How ridiculous is it to think about yourself that way? So destructive.

I am valid. It sounds so ridiculous, but do you know how many times I have invalidated myself? How many times I have distrusted people, friendships, and situations because of my fears of their judgement? Funny thing though...I didn't need them to judge me and make me feel bad, because I was doing it to myself. It is also very easy to get all pious and say..."who are you to judge?" To those I say we all judge. I did it just today when I looked at the creepy old man who came into the gym while I was working out by myself at 5:30 in the morning. He was walking on the treadmill wearing jeans, a Hawaiian shirt, and a Walk-Man from 1993 and he kept jumping off the treadmill to re-apply hand sanitizer; despite everything I thought about him...he did not kill me and there is probably a real good chance that he's never killed anyone.

The point is that we all see things and determine at face value, despite all the old adages and words we use to make it sound better, all "venting" is judgement. We have to make a new commitment to avoid letting other people and what they might or might not say or do discourage us!!! Persevere.

Other people are not the problem. They may trigger an unhealthy response in you, but...the only person who has ever truly stood in my way was me and I was...and in some ways still am a hindrance to myself, but I refuse to stand still any longer. For those of you who are still concerned about people throwing glances and darting hurtful words in your direction...find a way to get out there and MOVE. It's a lot harder to hit a moving target.