Friday, December 18, 2009

The Gall of the Gallbladder

My silly gallbladder has decided to start acting up. What I didn't know about the gallbladder is that when people lose a large amount of weight over a quick period of time, they are more likely to develop gallstones which, if passed, can be extremely painful. Think of going through childbirth and having a few kidney stones at the same time ... or so I've been told.

What do I know for sure is that when I'm in the middle of a gallbladder attack, I'm in horrendous pain. I'm literally writhing around on the ground in tears. That's saying something because ... well .. I'm a cowgirl and cowgirls are generally tough! Not so much so when the gallbladder kicks into gear.

I've had a couple doctors appointments and hope to get to the bottom of this soon. Most likely a small surgery will be in my future. It's a very routine procedure now days so I'm not too worried about it.

The ironic part to me is that when I was eating badly, I didn't have gallbladder issues. In fact, my doctor told me that to avoid future attacks I should eat a lowfat diet immediately but ... um ... really .... yeah ... already doing that so that helpful little tidbit hasn't been so helpful.

Regardless, these are things I wish I would have known when I was on my way up to being heavy. I wonder if someone had told me all the health complications I was going to or could encounter because of my weight if I would have made better choices ages ago. Would I have changed my behavior had I known that I'd have gallbladder issues eventually? Or have stretchmarks that would never go away? Or how about if I knew I'd have flabby skin on my arms no matter how much I worked out?

Hmmm... who knows.

For now I'm not getting caught up in the negatives of these things and instead embracing them as reminders of how far I've come.

Yeah so my gallbladder isn't something I'm completely embracing yet (let's wait until the pain goes away) and the flabby arms thing is still under consideration as well.

But these are all gentle reminders that had I not made the life changes I did when I did ... well ... things would have been way worse than what they are now.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Weightlifting and Weight Loss

So my wish for the first pound off by Thursday didn't materialize but that's ok ... it will happen. I have faith!

I was actually up three pounds yesterday from Tuesday. How is that possible? Inquiring minds wanna know! I'm equating it to water retention since I was 100% on plan Tuesday and Wednesday. I have been drinking more because of the record setting cold and dry weather here. I've been craving water. I can't seem to drink enough of the stuff and I think my body has been storing some of it "just in case". It's the only explanation I can come up with so I'm holding onto it to keep me sane and focused.

I feel better physically when I make wise food choices and I'm remembering that as I pass by the office break room filled with "special" holiday treats.

My workouts are going good too. Last night I pushed myself farther and harder and set a new personal best in my weightlifting. I was able to do a 115# clean and jerk (c&j) for 5 reps. Pretty darn cool! See below for an example of a c&j.

I'm finding that weightlifting is very much a mental game. Much like weight loss actually. If I allow my brain to utter one teeny tiny negative thought before I attempt the maneuver, the likelihood of me completing is goes down significantly. In fact, last night I was psyching myself out over the last three of my c&j's. I started getting into the rut of "I can't" and "I'm going to hurt myself" and "I'll never be able to do these perfectly".

As soon as I made those comments to myself, they became reality. I tried four times to get the last three of my c&j's but couldn't even make it to the clean (bringing the bar to my chest). My trainer suggested I go down in weight but as she started to pull of weight, I stopped her. I knew that if I went down in weight, I'd be disappointed when I walked out of the gym. I'd feel like a failure and my negative self-talk would have won out.

I only had three more of these darn things to do! I could do it. And I needed to focus, buckle down, and make it happen.

And I did.

I walked out of the gym feeling so successful. Like I'd just won something super duper cool or something. I did in fact win something super duper cool ... self-confidence.

That's a great feeling.

That's how I'm going to feel when I accomplish my weight loss goal too and that's inspiring.

I'm drawing inspiration from my win in the gym last night and focusing on the fact that if I stick with this then my determination will see me through to the end.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Starting Again

Time for me to get real, my blogging buddies. I put my weight loss on hold for awhile and let life carry me away.

But, I'm happy to report that even though I wasn't losing, I also wasn't gaining. I went from 189.2 a few weeks ago to 189.3 this morning. I'll take that!

Today I'm once again back on the dieting thing which I'm finding is even harder the second time around.

The first time I committed to this was filled with excitement and anticipation but this time it's twinged with dread at knowing what's ahead of me. No more beer, no more wine, no more cheese, no more extra starch (darn melbas!). Instead my food life will be filled with more calorie counting, saying no, and fighting with myself over silly food related issues.

I'm also finding that this go-round is filled with even more temptation. Whereas before I didn't really recognize the McDonald's signs going down the road and donuts in the break room, this time they beckon to me from across the building and across town. Seriously, I've developed a "donut sense" and now can recognize instantly when a donut enters my building.

I attribute this to the fact that during my hiatus I opened the door to the kitchen (and my stomach) a crack by shaking hands with a pizza slice or two and kissing on a bit of ice cream once or twice. That was enough to let the french fries and donuts know that I was available for the taking and believe me, they are not taking no for an answer!

So, as you can see, I'm working hard to change my thinking right now. If I can buckle down and not buckle under this pressure, I'll succeed. I know that when I see that next pound melt away I'll be even more motivated but in the meantime, I must stay focused and committed.

Today I'm congratulating myself on not gaining and am now focused on drinking water to fill my grumbling belly and engaging my mind to fill my grumbling brain.

30 pounds left to go until I'm at my goal. That's reasonable, doable, and within reach so I'm going to reach out and grab it.

Today, I'm raising my hand. Tomorrow I'll take a step forward and each day I'll progress until I've reached the end of my journey.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Gummy Situation

I've become a bit of a gum connoisseur. Frankly, some might call me a gum snob but connoisseur sounds so much more appealing so let's go with that instead.

Much like a wine connoisseur, a gum connoisseur knows which brands taste the best, hold their flavor the longest, and how to avoid something that's aged past it's prime.

I prefer to pick up my gum at gas stations. For some reason, I've found that they have the freshest and widest selection of flavors. The best gas station to hit happens to be right on my way to work in the mornings and I've been known to stop in there on more than one occasion to load up on packs to get me through the week.

As I've been losing weight, gum has been a staple in my purse. It's what I reach for when my brain starts thinking of sugar or carbs or whatever else might pass through unexpectedly. So, I keep about four or five packs of gum in my purse ~ all in different flavors.

I've found that spearmint and bubble gum are my favorites when I'm craving comfort food like pizza and mac and cheese. When I was kid, these were the two flavors my grandma had at her house and it was a "treat" to get them so it's pretty easy to trick my little brain into thinking it's getting "treated" to comfort food when really it's just sugarless bubble gum. Oh the things we tell ourselves, right?

I love how many different flavors of gum there are though. Extra has some amazing combos out there that can cure most any sweet tooth craving. My personal fav is island cooler. It's like a tropical smoothie with only 5 calories. Seriously, can you beat that?

My staple is Trident White in purple. It holds great flavor for the longest amount of time and I also feel special when I chew it 'cause I think I'm whitening my teeth (yeah, again, amazing what we tell ourselves, isn't it?).

And, if you didn't know, gum does go bad. Even sugarless gum gets hard and icky so when I go to purchase gum, I always give the pieces a squeeze test to make sure that they are pliable.

I know this might all seem a bit over the top, but hey, if it helps hold off one craving, I'm going to keep chugging ahead.

Plus, I've only made it half way through the gum racks at my gas station so there's gum chewing work to be done! I've made it my mission to try all the available flavors and brands so that I can truly own the gum connoisseur title.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Turning It Around - Starting With the Tapes

I recognize when I'm saying negative things to myself which, in and of itself, I need to congratulate myself for. I mean, I didn't even know that I practiced negative self talk back in the day. I knew I wasn't happy with myself, but I couldn't tell you why or what I was saying to myself to reinforce that negativity.

These days, I do recognize it. I know just as soon as the negative thought enters my head. I'm more aware. I also know what I need to do to turn it around and not let it overwhelm and throw me off track.

But, as we all know, knowing and doing are two very different things.

These last couple days I'm finding that it's easier and easier to identify the behavior and yet harder and harder to turn it around.

I don't know what makes the difference from one day to the next and why sometimes it's so hard to make a decision and cut yourself off from any other possibilities. It just is.

I'm ready and willing to commit to pulling through this last little bit and therefore have to get my head in order. So I'm starting with the negative self talk.

As soon as I recognize a negative thought, instead of letting it reside in my brain, I'm going to offer up a positive thought about myself instead.

So it will work something like this.

Thought: "I will never finish this and lose the rest of this weight."
Response: "I will absolutely lose this weight and I will be happier person because I've accomplished my goal."

Thought: "I am not worth the effort it takes to see this through."
Response: "I am worth the effort it takes to be happy, healthy, and content. Therefore, I'm worth this effort."

Thought: "I've already lost 120 and am still not happy with myself. I then know that I won't be happy with myself even after another 30 pounds."
Response: "I do feel different after 120 pounds. I'm more confident, secure, and happier. I know that another 30 pounds will only add to that confidence, security and happiness."

So, you get the idea. I need to say these things out loud to myself when the negativity starts to creep in.

If I can start by combating the negative self-talk, then I think I might have a chance of turning this thing around.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Crossfit Challenge - Am I crazy?

I'm all about the attempted motivation these days. Where do I find it? How do I keep going? How do I challenge myself to complete the journey?

One of the things I've really taken solace in is my crossfit workouts. I love them. Oh, boy. That was strong terminology.

Truthfully I hate them but I love them all at the same time. It's hard to get to the class and it's even harder to complete the workouts. But, what I love and why I keep doing it, is that I am seeing changes in my body shape and I'm actually getting better and better at the various activities.

Keeping all of this in mind, when my trainer suggested I participate in a Crossfit Challenge ... (please be sitting down for this next little announcement) .... I actually accepted!


Shocking because I would never ever ever (ever ever) have walked into any kind of gym at 300 pounds let alone agreed to participate in a challenge with a lot of people I didn't know. Really? Me? Be sweaty and potentially unable to complete an exercise in front of others? Really? No freakin' way. I liked to hide. I did it well.

Yet here I am all signed up with the check successfully in the mail to get me confirmed. I'm doing it.

I'm on a mission. I'm on a mission to work my little (or soon to be little) hinny off so that I can do well at this challenge. I have no expectation that I'll win but I'd like at the very least not to embarrass the begeezers outta myself in front of oodles of other crossfitters.

I am setting the expectation that I'll be doing my own personal best that day. No matter the activity, I'll give it 110% and I'll come away from the challenge feeling fit, strong, and accomplished.

With that, it's time to hit the gym!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Let's Get Real

Ok blogger buddies. It's time to get real. Time to open up and pour out so that I can officially move on.

I've been avoiding my blog. Obviously. I mean, like I can't even pretend to hide that little tidbit because ... well ... if I'm not writing ... I'm obviously avoiding. Obviously.

The reason for the avoidance? I'm just not into the whole diet thing these days. I'm tired, bored, unenthusiastic and those horrible negative self tapes are running rampant through my brain. The thing is that over the last couple weeks I've been letting them win instead of booting them out the door.

Honestly, I'm not sure why but I can't seem to put them behind me. I hit my year mark and 30 pounds left to lose and suddenly the world stopped. Literally. Did you feel it? Ok, ok so perhaps just my world stopped.

Let me tell you though, those negative self-tapes are destructive. I'm hearing things like "even if I lose this weight, I'll never be beautiful so why bother finishing this?" and "even if I lose this last 30 pounds, that doesn't mean I'll be successful at keeping it off, so why even bother?" and "just one teeny tiny piece of candy won't hurt me" followed by "well, I already cheated today so why even bother the rest of the day?".

Oh boy. See the trend?

With all of this turmoil, I've not really been gaining. In fact, through all this wishywashyness I've actually done quite a good job of maintaining. Up just a little. Down just a little. But sticking pretty close to where I have been over the last month or two.

And even though I know why I'm not losing, I'm depressed by the fact that I'm not. What a catch-22! I'm sabotaging myself and yet I'm annoyed with the fact that I'm not losing. Oh goodness. What a vicious cycle this whole weight thing is.

At the moment, I'm not 100% sure how to bring myself back in line. I'm working on it each day and I'm hoping that by being honest in my blog, I'll be better able to push through. I'm waking up with renewed energy and focus, writing down my foods, keeping up on my workout routine, and setting goals for myself at each turn.

I realize that I need to see this through and that if I can manage through this low, I'll come out stronger and more capable than before.

It's a matter of doing and persevering.

Head down. Nose to the grindstone. Focus. Determination.

I'm repeating that to myself over and over these days in hopes it brings me the resolve that I need to complete this journey.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Melba Moments

Hi, my name is Wendy and I'm a starch-aholic.

I freely admit that if it's made of flour, wheat, dough, or some other such thing I'll most likely love it. Cover it in cheese and I'll probably battle you for it.

Before I started this diet, every meal consisted of large amounts of starch. Starch, and cheese, were my staples. I'd have cereal and toast for breakfast followed by spaghetti or mac & cheese for lunch. Dinner was pizza. That was the routine.

I think that was largely due to the fact that I grew up a vegetarian and therefore didn't truly learn to consume proper amounts of protein. In our house, we substituted the starch for the protein.

But that's all in the past. I now limit my starch intake to two servings per day while increasing the protein that my body craves.

The problem is, my mind still craves the starch!

My issue of late has been with melba snacks. I know. I know. Sad really. It's a sign of a true dieter when someone says they're craving melba snacks.

Regardless, that's been my issue. 7 crackers are a serving. 7 ... teeny ... tiny ... crackers. 1 serving.


I think melba snacks should come with a label: "Dieters BEWARE! No one can eat just one."
As a starch lover and dieter, there is something so divine about a crispy cracker. I eat them and I tend to forget how many I've already had. So, naturally, I just keep eating them!
Since I'm really trying to battle off my last 30 pounds, I can not continue to let starch derail my progress.
So, my solution is to practice self control. I'm still buying the melba snacks but as soon as I get them home, I'm dividing them into baggies each with one serving. I'm putting into practice my own form of portion control.
And it's working.
I'm happy to report that this week I'm keeping my starch intake directly at 2 servings per day. Granted, it's only Tuesday, but hey, for a reformed starch-aholic, this is progress and therefore is cause for celebration!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Where is Wendy?

Hey, everyone, just a quick post today to let you know I haven't completely forgotten about my blogging duties. Life got a little hectic last week and then I got sick (yucky) so I didn't do much of anything.

I'm back on top of things this week and will have lots to write about in the next couple days.

As an aside, I took last week off from my workouts too so I'm nervous that the scale will not be kind to me. Being sick, not getting all my water, not keeping up the workouts ... hmmmm... not sure how this will play out. I'm so thankful though that now I'm back on target for the week. I plan to wog with Carrie at noon and then will be hitting the gym almost every day this week. I see some sore muscles in my future.

In the meantime, I hope all my blogging buddies are doing great!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Picture A Day

My trainer, Madison, has a great idea that I thought would be kinda fun to share here for the rest of my dieting buddies. She suggested that we not only write down our food, but actually take a photo of it as well.

We all (or at least we're supposed to) be writing down our food intake throughout the day to keep ourselves on track. In fact, that's the challenge this week for THW's Team Challenge .... complete our food journals and bring them in for a chance to win something cool.

So I thought Madison's idea of a food photo-log was a neat one. Somehow, it makes it seem so much more real to see a picture of the foods and quantities I eat. My camera phone would certainly do the trick. I could snap a quick picture and catalog my intake as well as write it all down.

Hmmm.... would taking a picture of the meal make me prepare it differently? I know I'd be a lot more concerned about preparation and serving. I'd use my nice dishes, put out a placement, and maybe even break out a REAL cloth napkin because ... well ... someone at some point in the distant future might actually see those pictures and I certainly wouldn't want them to think I was sloppy in my food displaymanship!

The reality is that I should be making mealtime about more than just the food and doing all those things anyway. There's something special about eating on nice dishes and using a frilly napkin. Silly, but come on, it's true. Eating should be about the prep, the process, and the enjoyment of a healthy tidbit. Using nice dishes and napkins should be the norm and not just the exception 'cause "someone might be watching".

Hmmm... the thought of a food photo journal is inspiring and gets me motivated to step it up a notch.

Perhaps you will all now be seeing pictures of my food intake ... hmmm.... that would definitely mean I'd been stepping it up a notch!

In the meantime, I encourage you to do the same. Snap a couple shots and email them to me so that I can post here for our readers. We're dieting but we're still eating good too, right? Let's show it off!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Eating Out ~ The Food You Need is In the Kitchen

I really liked last night's episode of the Biggest Loser. Did everyone catch it?

The teams had to order all their food for the week from restaurants. Boy oh boy! That's tough! The good news, almost all the teams still lost weight.

I thought it was pretty cool when Jillian and Bob took the team out to Mexican food and then talked with them about how to place an order, what to look for, and how to send food back when/if it isn't correct.

Isn't it funny though that we're afraid to do those kinds of things? Order off menu? Really? We can do that? Send food back? Uh-oh. What if the cook gets offended? I just couldn't ...

It's so funny though. We're buying the food. We're shelling out money for it and therefore we should be getting what we want. So send it back! Butter added to your broccoli? Send it back! Salad dressing not on the side? Send it back!

Ages ago, Letha said to me "the food you need is in the kitchen" and that's stuck with me each time I go out to eat. Almost every restaurant has grilled chicken and lettuce. Worst case scenario, I get a grilled chicken salad. If it's not on the menu, ask for it! Chances are they'll whip it up for you because ultimately they want you to enjoy your meal. They want a tip or a return customer and generally will do what it takes to make that happen.

Although I do try to steer clear of restaurants for the most part (added salt and temptation), I have been known to go occasionally with friends. I used to have a hard time ordering off menu, making changes to the food choices, and/or sending stuff back. But I've realized that I can no longer worry if I'm offending the staff at a restaurant and must make myself a priority and to do that, I need to order healthy, good meals.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Planning Ahead

Sunday was a great day. I cooked. I cooked from the time I got up, until the time I went to bed and because I did that, I now have all my meals prepared for the week. Well, most of my meals anyway. I have prepared chicken, hard boiled eggs, meatloaf, pumpkin custard, etc. and with all that sitting in my fridge, it makes me happy.

There's something oddly pleasing about a full fridge. In fact, I don't know why, but when my fridge is empty, I seem to want to eat more. Weird I know but understanding this about myself, I try to keep the fridge well stocked with healthy options. It's been vital to me keeping on track.

This week though, I'm taking it to the next level by preparing most of my meals in advance. It's been great to open the fridge and instead of pondering what I'll bring, to work or have for dinner I just lift out a container, stick it out in the lunchbox and hit the road.

I don't think I'll have the luxury to cook all day every Sunday. I do however plan to add a bit of cooking time into my Sunday routine. Having even just a few staples (grilled chicken for instance) in the fridge and ready to go is a huge time saver ... and belly saver ... in the long run!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Thing Never to Say to the Trainer

I decided to torture myself with continuing the 1:1 training sessions with my Teeny Tiny Trainer, Madison.

She's great. She really is. I've been known to cuss her a little-tiny-smidgy-bit while in the gym as sweat pouring from every orifice of my body and I'm about ready to collapse, but give me 10 mins and some water and I'll tell you that she's awesome.

On Wednesday though, I think it would have taken more than 10 mins and some water for me to come back around to liking her.

She was having me practice back squats, box jumps, and rowing. Did I happen to mention that one of my least fav exercises is rowing? Ok, so truthfully, I'm not like a fan of any of the exercises .. but rowing is particularlly horrible. I know it's one of those exercises that does a lot of good for the body but man ... it's a killer! 500m x 3 coupled with the other exercises was about enough to put me into cardiac arrest. And of course, knowing this, Madison pushed me harder to get on it and get it over with.

In my last set of rowing, I was pooped. My body was saying "no" and my brain was caving into the resistance my body was publicizing.

Madison was pushing me to keep the pace up and finish strong. She was saying things like "you've got this, Wendy", "you can do this", "keep the pace below 2:00", etc.

Upon her last utterance, my brain let the following words escape from my mouth .. unfiltered ... "I can't."

The repercussions of this pronouncement were not to be known until after I had (and I must add successfully) pushed through my final set of rowing.

That's when Madison so nicely told me that for saying "I can't" aloud in a workout, I would need to do man-makers.

Now, as an aside, I want to know who in the world names these exercises. Man-makers? Burpees? Thursters? Really? I mean, come on.

Anyway, man-makers are an exercise that no women should want or need to do ... ever. They suck. They suck a lot.

The only thing I was thinking though as I was pouring sweat and shaking to complete the exercise was, I will never say I can't again.

Lesson learned.

It's a good lesson to apply to all parts of my weight loss life though. As I've said before, it's a mental game and when the brain starts to push forward the "I can't", that's what becomes reality. By instead thinking "I will" I can turn that around. It's how I got through my final set of rowing. I was bombarded with the "I can't's" and at one point decided that turn that around to the ".... but I will's".

That's the key. I will.

I will do this.
I will succeed.
I will conquer.
I will, without a shadow of a doubt, work my butt off in the gym and stick with my diet plan.

I will accomplish this goal.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Two of my good friends reached milestones in their weight loss this week and I want to take a minute to congratulate them both on their amazing successes.

Carrie, my wogging partner, has dropped 22 pounds and is half way through her goal of losing 40. She's been dedicated, motivated, and inspired to stay on target and get this weight off. And, she's looking amazing as a result! Selfishly speaking, I'm so thankful that she's on this journey because her success inspires me to continue on my own road. We both have about the same amount to lose now and I'm excited to complete this journey with her. Wog on, my friend!

Courtney, another good friend and horsey buddy, lost 100 pounds as of Thursday. That's a huge accomplishment and I'm so proud of her! She's competing in the Team Challenge too and I have a feeling she's going to be kicking my butt! In fact, this week she and her hubby were one of the top two biggest losers. She's motivated and doing all she can to stay on target. It's inspiring and awesome to see such progress.

I think it's so important to celebrate the successes of others. Plus, celebrating the successes keeps me inspired too. After all, if others can do this, so can I, right?

Congratulations, my friends! I'm proud, inspired, and motivated by you today!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Motivational Video

This video has been going around Facebook lately and I wanted to take a second to post it here as well in hopes you will find some motivation in it.

It's amazing to think of these people as "failures" before they were so successful. Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

We fall down. We get back up. We trudge on. We accomplish.

I see myself in this video and it's inspiring me to keep going down the path.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stepping Back to Reality

Oh boy! Stepping on the scale in front of the team challenge participants made me weak in the knees yesterday!

I know I haven't been as on plan as I should be ... that's no surprise. But to be the first person in the noon group to get a "wuhaw" (forgive the spelling any army guys out there) because I was "up just a little" .... yeah, um, painful!

Ugh. So not something I ever want to hear again.

The good news is that I'm once again refocused and committed. I will not be hearing the whole room chant "wuhaw" ever again. Ever. Never ever. I know they say never to say never but I do mean never. Ever. Never ever ever. Did I happen to mention that I'll never hear it again?

Ok, I think you've got the idea.

There's such a difference between halfheartedly committing to something all the while making up excuses as to why you can't do it and wholeheartedly embracing the process and pushing through it. The last couple weeks I've been halfheartedly in this weight loss thing. I've been tired, antsy, and unmotivated. As a result, my weight has gone up, down, and all around. I've tossed out silly questions (yes, there is such a thing and Letha has confirmed it) such as can I really do this? and how much longer do I really need to keep going? and will I even be able to keep this off anyway? And in so doing have successfully gotten caught up in a serious case of agitation and weight-loss stalling.

This week though, I'm wholeheartedly committed to seeing this though. After all, I only have 30 pounds to lose. 30 pounds, when I've lost 120, is nothing. If I can bang this out, I'll be done.

As part of my renewed focus and to get a ticket in the drawing this week, I finally put together my weight loss vision.

Picture me, 30 pounds lighter, wearing a size 6, comfortable with who I am, loving the life that's present in that moment, and feeling empowered because I've accomplished such an amazing goal.

The last bit is what puts me over the edge. The feelings of empowerment, control, success, and awe that will fill me when I finally hit my 150 pound weight loss goal will be worth all the headaches, skipping of gummy worms and afternoon lattes that will need to happen over the coming weeks.

On September 25, I had officially been on my weight loss path for a year. I was going to mark the occasion with a big post about the whole thing but truthfully haven't done that because I haven't felt all that excited about it. Today I feel excited.

The thing is though, it's not important to note how long I've been going in this direction but instead to celebrate the fact that it's slowly - and with each struggle like the ones I've just gone through - becoming more of a life choice and habit.

This is who I am.

I love the quote that says: I'm not what I could be and I'm not what I should be but thank goodness I'm not what I used to be.

I love that. It's my motto these days and I'm stickin' to it!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A New Day

I woke up today with a renewed energy. I love it when that happens! I woke up thinking that this was going to be a great day, I would be able to tackle the weight loss demons once again, and come out successful at the end of it.

This is day one of the team weight loss challenge for me.

I'm a bit nervous about my noon weigh in. I generally go first thing in the morning so I'm sure that going in at noon will somewhat mess up my numbers a bit. Although, to be honest, I've been doing a good job of messing up my own numbers lately by not being consistent in my eating and exercise! So, I'm going to take the day in stride and just realize that whatever the scale says today, it will say something a lot less by next Tuesday.

I'm going back to the basics of the plan and working every single angle that I can. That means I'm weighing, measuring, and writing everything down. Those are the things I did when I was truly successful and those are the things I need to continue if I want to stay on track.

With that, my friends, welcome to Tuesday!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bring on the Challenge!

After much pondering, I've decided to join the challenge after all. I'm coming into it a week late so I'm not sure how that will bode for me over time however I've been waffling for the last couple weeks and now it's time to just do it!

The challenge will hold me accountable to my weight loss goals. There's nothing more motivating than weighing in front of a room full of people and them learning that you're up or down accordingly. For me, it's painful to have others know that I didn't do my best for the week. That's pretty intense motivation to stick to plan and get these last pounds gone. As Letha says, we do things out of our desire to avoid pain and seek pleasure. Since it's painful for me to be "up just a little" in front of others, I know that I'll be seeking pleasure by doing all I can to be down each week.

In addition, TS is very interested in doing the challenge too. It surprised me that he's wanting to do it but even more so it surprised me that I was willing to do it with him! 10 weeks of a weight loss challenge is going to be intense ... but fun too. I think it will bring us closer together and really, what better way to introduce someone to my new life than by fully immersing them in it, right? We're fairly new daters but I see good things coming from this challenge and for that I'm thankful and excited. We are so going to rock it!

Today we meet with Letha to review the program and get TS started on the plan. Tomorrow is our first weigh-in and then we're hitting the ground running.

I'm ready. I'm geared up. I'm motivated. I'm excited. And I'm gonna kick some weight loss challenge butt!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What is my vision?

I went to the vision refresh class yesterday and it really made me think. Of course, 90% of what Letha says applies to my life right now. It seems that no matter what I'm going through, if I drag myself to a class, I find something that inspires and re-motiviates me to continue on. It's a struggle sometimes to fit the classes into an already hectic schedule, but when I do, I always leave with new tools to get me through.

Yesterday the class was about vision.

I didn't ever really have a clear vision of what I wanted when I finished this process and I still don't have one. That's an issue. If I don't know what I'm working towards, how will I know when I've reached the goal? Is this journey truly about a "number" or size?

Not so much.

It's about living the life I want to live and being the person I want to be.

So, what does that look like? Specifically, what am I hoping to be in another 30 pounds?

If I'm to finish this successfully, I need to figure that out. I need to take some time and really nail down my vision.

As Letha said in the class, instead of being a woman in search of a vision, I need to be a woman with a vision.

I'm dedicating time this weekend to really seeing the me I want to be when I'm done with this weight loss. I have a feeling that nailing that down might help me reach the goal.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

100% on Plan

Yesterday I was 100% on plan.

Yeah me!

The negative self-talk seems to have left the building at least for the moment and I'm hoping that I'm fighting back to being on the winning side of losing.

My workout was great and I'm feeling it today which I'm also happy about. The combo of eating right and working out really helped see me through the day.

It was a rough day though. I am truly a person that gets addicted to carbs and sugars. When I cut them out of my diet it's amazing how badly my body then craves for them. The call of an afternoon Starbucks and sour gummy worms was almost debilitating. I ignored the call though and felt so much stronger for doing so.

I also noticed that my workouts are sure a lot easier when I've been on plan all day. My body has more energy. I also have an easier time mentally. Since I've combated the cravings successfully, I am more likely to combat the "I can'ts" as well.

I'm taking it one day at a time right now and celebrating each day that I'm successful. So, today, it's mini-party time for my successes yesterday.

Focus. Determination. And dedication. That's my agenda for today.

Changing My Thinking

Ok, folks. I have a serious case of stinkin' thinkin'.

Yesterday in my workout I said more "I Can'ts" than should be humanly allowed. I told myself I couldn't complete the runs. I said to myself that I was weak. I kept thinking that I'd never make it through the hour. I kept repeating to myself how much I hated burpees. I kept saying that working out this hard didn't benefit my body. And thus, given all this, I struggled through the workout big time.

I struggled in my food consumption too. I craved all day. From melba toast (yippee) to gummy worms to licorice to extra protein ... it was on my brain and if not in my mouth, very close to it. Had goodies been available in the break room (which thankfully they were not) I would have been off plan in a heartbeat. As it was, I did go off plan with an afternoon Starbucks (that's become routine and must stop) and sour gummy worms from Safeway.

Today, instead of focusing on the activities of losing weight, I'm solely focused on my own mental state.

After 120 pounds, I've realized that 90% of weight loss is mental. It's about being positive, upbeat, and dedicated to making it through this process. That's the key. Telling myself that I can do this, will help me actually do it.

I've noticed that lately I've been outwardly saying "I will do this" but inwardly questioning whether or not I will.

Today I'm no longer questioning or offering fluff to my faithful blog readers. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I'm committed to seeing this through.

So, to help me with this, I'm over and over repeating that I can do this. I will do this. And there is no other option.

As Letha would say, I've made a decision and I'm officially cutting myself off from any other possibility.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Workouts and Food

I'm sorry I've been a bad blogger the last couple days. Life happened and my blogging took a backseat for a few days.

As mentioned, I've started a new workout schedule and this week marks the first installment of my workout plan. Last week I worked out at the gym twice and wogged every day. That just about killed me. My legs were so sore that I was walking crooked and hunched over all week.

I've found that I'm not a very good gauge of my limits. My trainer asks if I have enough weight on the bar, I say I think so, she says no, adds more, then I end up dying by the time I've done 20 squats with 60 pound weights.

This week will push me further. I'm working out at the gym 3 days this week plus still doing my wogs. I'm going to temper my workouts with a bit of moderation though. As much as I want to gain muscle and fight the flab, I also want to be able to walk ... minor detail I know!

The other danger I'm facing this week is my food intake. I have a tendency to eat more because I'm working out more. I "justify" it in my head. Not good. That's the whole point of working out is to burn more calories! Not to justify adding in more calories!

So this week, along with preparing my body to kick some butt in the gym, I'm also preparing my brain to stay on the right food track. The only way I'll kick off the rest of the weight is to stay focused 100% of the time. I'm finding that as I get closer to my goal, the more each bite counts.

My two goals this week:
  • Back to basics - Weighing, measuring, and consuming only on plan foods.
  • Kick it up a notch - Workout three times at the gym and wog every day
Let's get it started!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Biggest Loser 8

Is everyone watching this season of The Biggest Loser? I find that show so incredibly inspiring. I see those people struggling with the things I struggle with, pull through it, and be successful and that encourages me to do the same.

Granted, they're living on an isolated ranch with access to personal trainers and nutritionists 24/7 ... that's not my life. But, does it matter? The fact that they're losing and changing their lives so drastically is incredible.

Yesterday, when they were showing the gym workouts, I could so relate to Shay. She was struggling. She wanted to quit. She did quit. She walked out of the gym and almost didn't go back in to finish the workout. But she did.

I loved what Jillian had to say to her about not being a victim any more. Isn't that the truth? We use our weight as an excuse not to be successful. That's a victim mentality and one that I so do not want to have any longer.

I struggled in my gym workout yesterday too so perhaps that's why Shay's struggle hit home with me last night. I fought for every knee/elbow, thruster, and step of my run. The good news is that I fought.

As Jillian said to Shay, if we want to be successful, we need to push the negative thoughts out of our heads and start pushing harder to accomplish our goals. If we start thinking that "we can't" then we won't.

But if we start thinking "we can" then we will.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Team Challenge or Not Team Challenge?

This week I'm faced with a challenge ... literally.

The Healthy Weigh's team challenge kicks off next week and I'm thinking of entering it again. The issue is that I'm sitting comfortably at my current weight and I'm seriously lacking motivation to complete the journey. I'm wondering what getting the last 30 pounds off will do for me.

I mean, I'm dating a man that thinks I'm beautiful. I'm wearing cool and pretty clothes in normal people sizes. I'm confident. I'm happy. My life seems to be so far exactly as I thought I'd want it to be at goal weight.

What more could I want out of life with 30 fewer pounds? Would it be all that different?

I say these things to myself and then remember that perhaps it's not about the actual 30 pounds as much as it is about the completion of the journey and accomplishing a goal.

I've always been a goal setter. I've not always been a goal accomplisher.

This is my opportunity to be a goal accomplisher.

I keep thinking of how amazing it will feel to have set the 150 pound loss goal and then actually reach it successfully.

That in and of itself should be my motivation.

If I join the team challenge, it's realistic to think I could lose at least 25 pounds over the course of those 10 weeks. At the end of those 10 weeks, I could be 5 pounds from my final goal. 5 pounds. Wow. That's incredible.

Could I lose this weight without the team challenge? Of course. But the motivation of weighing in, in front of a room of people, and then having a teammate that's counting on me to be honest and true to our progress will also motivate and push me forward.

Truthfully, the only thing holding me back from the commitment is me.

Decisions. Decisions.

Today I'm repeating over and over that I will and can be successful in accomplishing my goals. This last 30 pounds has to be a priority. I absolutely must finish what I've so diligently started.

Focus is my mission.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Returning to the Gym

Ok, my first workout after a month hiatus is now tucked under my belt and officially in the books. I've really missed it. Isn't that crazy? I have though. There's something about that "oh boy I can't even move without aching" thing that really gets me. I'm a glutton for punishment I guess but I can't help but think that each time I feel that pain, I'm doing good things for my body in the long run.

I was happy to find that I hadn't slid as far backwards as I thought I might have although there was a change in my ability to do the weights. They were suddenly a lot harder! Had we been doing squats, I probably would have been fine! But weights were hard work. The pull-ups just about killed me, the rowing thingys were painful, and the overhead weight things about turned me inside out.

It was awesome.

My new workout schedule is wogging 4 miles Monday - Friday. I'll hit the crossfit workout on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

I'm looking forward to some solid results soon!

In the meantime, I'm also recommitted to my diet this week. I've had a hard time keeping my focus on the weight loss and that's changing this week. Some awesome groceries are inspiring me to cook and be better prepared for the week.

And with that, I see a good drop in my future!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Going Back to the Gym

It's been awhile since I've been to the gym.

I have been wogging every day and have been pushing harder and further with the jogging portion of the wog. But for some reason, after my workout sessions with the trainer ended, I've just not been motivated to go back and hit the gym as hard as I was.

That's changing this week though. I'm actually really missing my hard workouts. I find myself wondering if I can still do 75 push-ups in 2 mins. Wondering if the jogging I'm doing would make my 400m run faster and easier. In the last month, how have my muscles grown or shrunk? Would workouts be harder? Or easier?

So, with that, I'm scheduling back in my personal training sessions starting this week. It's my 120 pound reward. I want to lose the weight, but I also want to tone and strengthen. I love feeling strong and powerful and the workouts help me feel that way.

I'm looking forward to getting my butt kicked in the gym this week. I'm ready for the muscle soreness that comes from a hard workout. So, bring it on! I'm ready to get it done!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Food is the Frenemy

I did well over the weekend food wise. I've realized though that loneliness is one of my biggest triggers.

TS went on a last minute camping trip with some buddies for the weekend and I was therefore left alone, at home, with the rain, and nothing to do to fill up my days. That left me with a feeling of loneliness and of course, for me, that brought on some pretty strong cravings. Normally I would have used this as an opportunity to get out and be active but with the heavy rains we experienced, that wasn't an option.

There were so many times over the weekend that I battled with myself over food. Silly really but somehow my brain was trying to convince me that if I stuffed my face, I'd somehow not be alone. Like food would be my friend.

Well, as I've come to realize slowly but surely, food friendships are fleeting. Food is a "frenemy" (half friend more enemy). It's great when it's right in the moment but over time it hurts me, stabs me in the back, and makes me miserable. Truly more enemy than friend.

I'm happy to report that I successfully turned down all food temptation and instead choose to deal with my feelings. By the time Monday rolled around, I felt like a whole new woman. Having dealt with the feelings of loneliness (admitted to them, journaled about them, and then dealt with them accordingly), I was able to turn down my frenemy and close that door on the cycle.

Last night TS took me out to dinner at a pizza joint. I then made a choice to have some pizza with my salad. It was different though than giving into a temptation and over indulging to stuff down an emotion or feeling. This was a choice and I didn't go overboard. I had one slice which I enjoyed to the last bite. Treating it as a choice instead of a temptation meant there was no guilt afterwards.

Food isn't friendship, love, companionship, or the solution. Working through that is tough though. I'm thankful I'm at the point where I can recognize what my triggers are and that I can then combat them when they rear their ugly heads.

Not saying I'm perfect ... but who cares! Here's to progress!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Labor Day Pains

Oh another long weekend with lots of food opportunities and disasters waiting to happen.

Why is that holidays seem to taunt the dieter in us? Why is that on holidays we all obsess about food and eating and "treating" ourselves? Why is that treating ourselves means eating whatever we want whenever we want without thinking about how we'll all feel on Tuesday?

I'm promising myself that this weekend won't be that for me. In fact, I'm promising my friend Carrie that too. We're promising each other that we're going to be on target and on task the entire weekend.

I'm hoping for at least a pound drop by Tuesday and that's totally doable if I stay focused and 100% on plan. I've said that I would call Carrie if at anytime this weekend I feel the urge to splurge and vice versa. Hopefully, by calling each other, we'll help keep ourselves on track.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend! I'll be back blogging again on Tuesday.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gearing up for the 8's

I'm in a size 10 and I never thought I'd be this small. I am so it's cool. 10's are comfortable and some are still kinda tight. It's what's in my closet now and I'll never go back to the 12's.

Today though, I'm focused souly on getting out of the double digits. My friend Holly said that to me one time (I think I was a 12 or something) and it's stuck with me. There is something final about going from a 10 to an 8.

Size 8 seems small. It's a medium top. I don't mind telling people I'm a medium. Coming from a size 3xl and size 26/28, medium is equal to teeny-tiny-itty-bitty-itsy-bitsy. I will be shouting out from the rooftops when I hit a size 8 and wear a medium.

Seriously. I know you all doubt this statement, but it's the truth. It's going to happen.

For awhile now, when I've found something cute in my current size, I've ended up buying the next size down just so that I have something to look forward to wearing. The unfortunate thing about that is that I don't always have clothes in my size that match the season I'm in and I end up not wearing a lot of my inspiration clothes when I can finally get into them because well ... it's gotten too hot or too cold!

The other night at a class at THW, Letha suggested we think ahead and buy clothes for the next season. Visualize what we'll be wearing and buy accordingly. Hmmm... novel concept. Perhaps my thinking is too nearsighted.

Which means, of course, that I need to be buying size 8 winter clothes right now.

Oh bummer.

I see an inspiration clothes shopping trip in my future.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Official Boyfriend

It's official. I'm dating someone. Scary, but true. Like we've had "the talk" and stuff so I feel that I can now officially put it out there that I have a boyfriend.

I really should add this to the "couldn't wouldn't" list because frankly speaking, I only had a handful of poor relationships over the past couple years. Most of them were filled with anxieties and second guesses because I was so insecure. They would compliment me and I'd defeat that compliment with a million little buts.

You know what I mean, right?

The poor guy would say he thought I was pretty and I'd shoot back with "yeah, pretty fat". Um, really? Did I just say that? Yes, yes I did.

I was insecure, unhappy, and unhealthy. I didn't want to hear nice things about me and took every opportunity to instead bash myself. In my mind, I was just verbalizing what they were thinking. What they verbalized to me was certainly all a lie or manipulation because I was unworthy of good things.

I also questioned why they would want to be with me in the first place. I kept thinking that if he only knew me, he wouldn't want me.

So thinking such things, I'd sabotage the relationship before they even knew what hit them. After all, if I ended things and made him go away, I would be right and sometimes, when you're insecure, it's all about being right even when you're wrong.

Whew! Can you say ISSUES!

Needless to say, none of those relationships lasted very long.

This time I'm doing things a bit differently. TS (as I'll refer to him for anonymity sake) is different and I'm different when I'm with him.

All the work I've done over the last year has helped to increase my confidence. I feel deserving of the compliments he offers not because I believe them about myself (hopefully that will come in time) but because I know he believes them. He tells me I'm beautiful and I actually say "thank you". I take it in and enjoy the fact that he finds me beautiful and attractive.

There are about a million little things I could write to outline how the new me is different in this relationship. Things like when he puts his arm around my waist, I don't instantly start thinking of my rolls, how I know I deserve the roses he brings for me, how I smile and accept the compliments he offers, etc. but if I go into all those things I'll get all mushy and stuff and that's a little much to handle this early in the morning.

So, instead, I'll just say that for once I'm looking forward to embracing my new relationship with optimism and excitement. Who knows where this will take me but I'm so ready!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Break Rooms

What is it about office break rooms that makes them accumulate food? I mean, seriously. I think the break room at my office is actually a bakery in disguise because cakes, cookies, and other such sugary, starchy goodnesses seem to appear overnight and offer up their temptations as if by magic.

Today's temptation is a bag full of fortune cookies (like a HUGE freezer bag full) and a cheesecake. Yes, there's a cherry cheesecake sitting on the table in there. Just calling to me. It's laughing while I fill up my water bottle. It's heckling me as I walk past to the rest room. And it's screaming at me through the halls even reaching into my office as I write this.

Oye vay! What's a good dieter to do?

It's become somewhat of a game each day to see what kind of goodies mysteriously appear on the tables in the break room. I'm sure the people bringing them in are doing so because they don't want the temptations in their own homes. I find it somewhat ironic then that they'd instead inflict the torture on the rest of their office mates.

How rude!

I'm attempting the "ignore" and "don't look" methods so that I can get through the day successfully. It's kinda sorta working because I haven't given in although, to be honest, each time I go into the break room to fill up my water bottle there's like a magnetic pull that forces my head to snap around and take one longing look at the gooey goodness before stumbling from the break room and back to my desk.

Perhaps I need to invent diet blinders ... something I can wear that would keep my eyes focused forward and not distracted by goodness on the periphery.

Regardless, I'm staying strong today. I will not give into the rich cheesy classic gooey sugary cheesecake.

No good would come from that.

Instead I'm practicing self-control and celebrating the fact that I have that in my back pocket on days like today.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Grocery Store Comments

Grocery stores are funny places. You can tell a lot about a person by what they put in their carts. It's as if the foods they eat tell the stories of their lives. Ok, that might be a little drastic, but it's still kinda true.

Personally, I hate grocery shopping. I avoid it which, when you're trying to eat healthy, doesn't work out so well. I find myself hitting the grocery store at least once a week now days and that was a tough thing for me to get used to! In the past I was miserable if I had to drag myself to the store once a month for a marathon packaged food trip. Going once a week was pure torture when I started on plan.

These days the trips have become more routine. I always have a grocery list so that I only purchase what I need and not what I want. I never go when I'm hungry (or at least I try really really really hard not to go when I'm hungry!). I also stick to the outer edges of the grocery store and don't venture down the oh-so-tempting aisles packed with goodies. Avoidance has been my thing for awhile and it's workin' for me.

The other day I was in a rush at the grocery store. I had things to do and people to see so I scrambled to pick up the items on my list like tomato's, spinach, onions, chicken, etc. If you hadn't guessed, chicken salad was on the evening's menu.

At the checkout, of course none of my stuff was ringing up properly. Why does that always seem to happen when you're in a hurry? Anyway, the checker was scanning, rescanning, keying in the items, and then re-keying in the items.

Frustrated, he turns to me and says: "I think this register just doesn't like or see this much healthy food in one transaction."

I chuckled. It was sad but probably true to some degree.

Even though the people in the line behind me were frustrated and giving me the evil eye (how dare I take up so much time at the register!), after he made that comment, I was proud to be standing there having issues with my produce.

In the past when in a hurried rush to get dinner, I would have gone to a drive thru instead of stopping at the grocery store. On the off chance I had a wild hair and decided to go to the grocery store (which would have been shocking in and of itself), I would have loaded up on mac and cheese, chips, desserts, or some other such frivolity instead of picking up fresh veggies and fruits to restock the fridge.

Healthy choices aren't always easy but there's nothing quite as nice as a guilt-free chicken salad with fresh veggies to make a girl feel healthy, happy, and content with her new lifestyle!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Revisting the "Couldn't Wouldn't" List

It's been awhile since I've added to my "Couldn't Wouldn't" list so I thought I'd do a quick little update.

As a quick reminder, I've been compiling this list since I started the weight loss journey. These are things that, at 300 pounds, I wouldn't or couldn't do. Some of these things I consciously knew I wouldn't or couldn't do but some were subconscious and just part of my reality. Each time I find a new "thing", it gets posted to this list. It's a consistent reminder of the ways in which my life has been transformed.

Good stuff.

At 300 pounds, I couldn't or wouldn't ....

  • get on my horse bareback.
  • walk into a room full of strangers and feel confident.
  • date. I could list a million things that go along with this one ... but ... well, that's a whole different blog. So, for now, let's just end it there. :)
  • bring my own food to a dinner party or baby shower and then not worry about eating it in front of everyone.
  • think I deserved to be happy.
  • run on a treadmill.
  • workout at a gym in front of people.
  • go hiking on a first date ... yeah, probably wouldn't have gone hiking at any point in my dating life let alone on the first date!

Change is good. Life is good. And it's only getting better!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Driver's License Picture

Not very many people like their driver's license photos. Every once in awhile I'll meet someone that's proud of the pic and will actually not mind showing it off. But that's rare. Very rare. Most of us hide that pic and only whip it out if it's absolutely necessary.

I was one of those rare people that didn't mind my picture. I mean I wasn't like showing it to the world and posting it to Facebook but I certainly wasn't embarrassed by it and would whip it out without hesitation when needed. I'd forgotten what the picture was, frankly.

Lately though, I've been thinking it might maybe kinda sorta be time to get a new license.

The thing to put me on this path occurred at a bank when I was trying to cash a check. The cashier almost didn't let me complete the transaction when he saw my license. He looked at my ID, looked at me, looked back at the ID, back at me ... then handed it back.

"I need to get my manager," he said.

Oh great. How embarrassing.

The manager comes over, does the same double take and then says, "Ma'am, this looks like you but it could be your sister too. I'm going to let it slide this time, but you need to get a new license soon."

Really? My sister? Hmmm... They've obviously not seen my sister who is cute and skinny.

The second instance occurred this weekend. I went to a jazz and wine festival with a date and we were carded when we went in. Up until this point, I'd not shared with him my weight loss story ... cause ... well ... we're newly dating. So anyway, I hand my ID to the gate person and prepared for a double-take scenario all the while hoping that my date would be preoccupied or otherwise not noticing my license picture.

The ID person takes a couple peeks then puts on her glasses, whips out her flashlight (no, I'm not exaggerating) and does a slow overhaul of my license. After the to-do, she returns the license and says "Wow! You've lost a ton of weight since you had that picture taken!".

Wow. Really? Really? I mean really? Did she just say that in front of my date?

It was a nice compliment but I didn't expect to be offering explanations of my weight history to my date while at a jazz and wine festival.

I'm sure I turned about thirty shades of red as I took my ID back and muttered "Yep, yes I have" and stuffed it back into my wallet before my date could see the old me.

So, with these two instances, I've realized it's high time to get a new ID.

In fact, I'm making this my 120 pound reward ... which, by the way, I'll be hitting very very soon! I see the pic on the left now and see that, ok, not only I look just plain doofey but my face is huge, I have three chins, my hair is a mess, and I look frumpy and unhappy.

I need a new pic of the new me. One that's happy, healthy, vibrant and skinny! I want to be proud of my picture when I show it. And how cool will it be to update my stats with my new goal weight. That's going to feel great!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Lately I've not been that great about rewarding my good behavior. I know it's the key to keeping my brain thinking that this whole losing weight thing is a good thing but it's gotten hard to think of rewards.

This is probably partly because I haven't necessarily felt like rewarding myself for doing something that I should have been doing all along anyway.

Yes, let's say this all together now, that's a sure example of stinkin' thinkin'!

I was chatting with my friend Holly today though, and we decided we needed to plan a goal trip. We're thinking somewhere localish (like Seattle) for a girls weekend of spa treatments and shopping. Awww ... doesn't that just sound amazing?

We're both going to complete our weight loss goals this year and it seems fitting that we celebrate together as we've traveled down the weight loss path side-by-side for much of this journey.

I'm anxious to plan this trip and in the meantime am getting re-inspired to treat myself more often. I need to play because I've been working hard and I need to recognize each step as I take it.

So, here's to finding new rewards and relishing in them!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I've Never Been This Skinny

The other night I was searching desperately for something. It was one of those searches where all storage drawers (aka junk drawers) get emptied out, all bins get pulled out and rifled through, and every nook and cranny of the house is turned inside out ... all to no avail.

I did find something else I didn't even know I was looking for though. Old photos. Photos I had buried in drawers and bins so as to hide my fat from myself. These were the photos that my parents so nicely printed out and sent to me thinking I'd be thrilled to have remembrances of the events these were taken at. Most of these I'd looked at once when they were pulled out of the envelope. I saw how fat and miserable I looked and then refused to look at them again hence why they were literally stuffed into the darkest corners of my house.

I opened a bin and stopped short when the piles of photos that confronted me. Past Christmas gatherings, "sister time", family events, horse time, etc. were all present in this stack and the photos went all the way back to my college days.


When I started at The Healthy Weigh I wanted my goal to be my college size. I felt good in college. I felt strong, healthy, and skinny. It was the time in my life when I felt the happiest with who I was and that's how I wanted to feel again.

Looking at the college pics though, I realized that I'm actually smaller now than I was in college. Wow. Really? Could that be true? Could I really have surpassed my initial goal?

Yeah, it could. I was a size 12 in college and now I'm a size 10.

I don't remember the last time I was a size 10. It was probably sometime in high school and sadly, I probably thought I was fat at the time so I probably hated being a size 10. Probably. I don't remember it so it wasn't exactly something I was proud of, I'm sure.

I say all this because the realization of these facts hit me pretty hard. I keep thinking I have so far to go but seeing that I've never been at this place before in my life made me feel inspired.

I feel good. I feel comfortable with who I am. I feel confident. I feel powerful. I feel controlled. I feel free. I feel skinny.

There. I said it. I feel skinny.

Wow. Did I just say that?

Yeah, I did. I do feel that today. After seeing those pics and comparing to where I'm at today, I feel skinny.

So at the moment, I'm letting the reality of a skinny me sink in a bit as I do the happy dance around my office!

This. Feels. AMAZING.

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's Not About Will Power

When I relate my weight loss story, generally the response is "wow, you must have a lot of will power".

I've found though, that this journey has very little to do with will power. It's about so much more than that. If I relied on my own will power and fortitude to pull me through this fight, I'd surely have failed. There have been days when my will power and motivation were so low that I did go off plan.

Going off plan for me, is like opening the flood gates. If I cheat a little ... even just a crumb of a cheat ... then I'm most likely going to cheat a lot. That's the perfectionist side of me coming out. I feel that if I can't do something perfectly, I should just throw in the towel and go for perfectly imperfect instead.

I didn't even realize that my perfectionist side drove me so much until I sat with Glenda at a weigh in and she explained this whole thing to me. When I understood it (I made her repeat it a few times and asked her to talk really slowly so that it sunk in eventually), I realized that this thinking was slowly but surely my way of self-sabotaging my own efforts.

I say all of this because I think it's important to note that we all have weaknesses, hard times, and bad days. It's truly our ability to reach out for help that sets us apart and helps us break the hurtful cycles that we're putting ourselves into.

Food addicts are addicts. We need sponsors, friends, supporters, cheerleaders, and people in our corner.

I'm lucky to have some good friends and an awesome sister that serve all these roles for me. In addition, THW has a great staff that points me in the right direction and helps to lift me when I'm falling.

I do have will power ... sometimes. I also have quite a bit of motivation ... on a good day.

My point is, and what I generally tell people when they say I have a lot of will power is that, will power is fleeting. Motivation fades. But when that starts to happen, reaching out to my support system pulls me through.

I hope you have a great support system too. In my humble opinion, it's the most important key to weight loss success.

Friday, August 21, 2009


My friend Carrie and I have started a new trend ... wogging. It's a combination of walking and jogging that I'm sure a million other people do but I'm thinking about trademarking the name so it can be all ours!

Seriously though, tell someone you're going wogging and they look at you a little sideways. It's a real thing though. I swear it. We jog a little ways then walk a little ways .. so we're wogging.

Last week I missed wogging. A lot! I missed talking with my friend Carrie, getting my daily dose of sunshine, and getting my heart rate up a bit to keep me awake on those long afternoons.

I have always looked forward to my wogs, but this week I'm relishing them. They are a treat because I know that doing my wogging keeps me centered and on track with my eating and diet. It's a kick in the butt that I need to keep motivated and moving forward.

Having someone wog with me is really helpful too. There are days when I just don't want to push myself up the hill for the fourth time. Those are the times when I'm secretly hoping Carrie has lost track of our progress and I can sneak out of the last hill. Inevitably, those are also the days when she's counting and pushes me to go back up for our fourth round of torture.

I get pretty vocal when we're wogging too. Carrie thinks I'm attempting to motivate her ... but truth be told I'm trying to motivate myself! We'll set a goal and then fall into rhythm as we hoof it to the next walking point. Half way through I'm saying things like "focus on your breathing" or "great job!" or "we're almost there" all the while hoping that saying those things out loud will help me push through too. It works. Saying it to someone else takes the focus off my own burning lungs and pushes me forward.

I'm happy this week to be back into my routine and wogging with my friend Carrie. I suggest that if you haven't tried wogging yet, you give it a whirl. It's exhilarating especially on a sunny and bright summer day!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Corn Nuts Are Plain Nuts!

While I was at the fair, I rode in the parking lots patrolling the grounds and making sure that things were a-ok. It was a lot of saddle time, helping people find their cars, etc. etc. Things can get pretty boring out there and historically that boredom was filled with food. The fence riders (as we're so-called) bring dinner with us in our saddle bags and it's an evening of chit-chat and munching on snacks with our riding buddies as we meander through the lots.

Each night I carefully packed apples, some protein, Melba snacks, and cut up veggies to snack on. I was perfectly happy with my little packs as I roved around the parking areas. On the other hand, my riding partners packed granola bars, licorice, hard candy, chips or goldfish, sandwiches, and perhaps even the kitchen sink just 'cause.

One night I was paired with a guy that had a particularly "bad" dinner packed with him. I mean, this guy had everything a girl would ever want or need to go off plan ... and ... well ... he brought "extras" and really really really wanted to share with me.

Every time he'd reach into his pack and pull out another goody (ohhhhh almond joys! wuhoo, suckers! awwww, black licorice!), he'd offer to share.

I thanked him politely each time with a "no, but thanks".

His offers became more and more insistent and I could feel my resolve wavering. To top it off, the poor guy was getting annoyed with me.

Did I really need to indulge just to get this guy off my back already?

I'm a pretty private person. I know, shocking since I write a public blog and all but it's different when I have to admit face-to-face to someone my history and weight struggles.

When he reached for the corn nuts, poured some into a baggy, and threw them at me (didn't even bother asking this time), I knew it was time to speak up.

In a rush of cascading words that I'm sure came out a bit louder than was actually necessary, I said something like "Hey, seriously, no. I don't want your stinkin' corn nuts, candy, sugar, treats, chocolate, and calories!"

Poor guy. He looked shocked and wounded.

Further explanation was necessary. I explained (in a more casual tone) about my weight loss journey, my goals, and why corn nuts wouldn't be entering my mouth anytime soon.

I tossed the corn nuts back to him and with a big smile he said: "Yeah, you're awesome. You eating these corn nuts would be just plain nuts!"

That statement made my night and I was surprised at how supportive and appreciative he then became.

I always worry that when I tell people about where I was, they'll judge me harshly and think "wow, how did she ever get that big in the first place" and then pass judgement on me for being a weak person. In reality, it's the exact opposite. Each time I've told someone (generally with a bit of pushing on their part) about my weight loss, the response has been support twinged with a touch of amazement.

They see my weight loss as a combination of will power, strength, and resolve which I suppose is all true however I certainly don't rely on those things to be successful. Anyone, at any time, can make up their minds to lose weight and change their lives. And I mean that from the bottom of my soul..... ANYONE CAN DO THIS!

It's about having the right tools and knowledge to start the journey and the courage to ask for help when we stumble.

That and knowing, without a shadow of a doubt, that indulging in chocolate, suckers, licorice, and corn nuts is just plain nuts!

That's my new motto and the latest print out posted next to my computer.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Who Loses Weight at the Fair?

I do!!!!!

Yep, that's right. I rocked the Clark County Fair for 10 days straight like it wasn't even there and that hard work was reflected in my awesome weigh-in yesterday at THW.

I'm down 6.3 pounds for the week. That's 117.3 pounds of total weight loss. Even better, I'm in new numbers and now weigh 189.7.

Hell yeah!

Truth be told, I was beyond nervous to step on the scale. A week off from weighing in and my brain was like "ohhhhh, don't do it! It's not going to be good news!" It would have been so easy to avoid the clinic and potentially all future visits. Have you ever been on the edge like that? Just knowing that this could be the start of you going off plan? Off diet? Off focus? And never going back? That's a scary place to be.

Anyway, being an adult (doesn't that suck sometimes) and knowing that I couldn't run from reality, I stepped on the scale to face whatever tune was thrown back at me.

And the music that played was the sweet sound of victory!

There is amazing power in this weight loss victory. Each time I face something that I know could potentially derail me and yet I come out successful on the other side, I feel stronger, more secure, and confident.

For 10 days I was accosted with smells and sights of elephant ears, hot dogs, burgers, onion rings, deep fried ice cream, deep fried Twinkies, deep fried Coke (seriously ... it's a real thing), french fries, slushies, milkshakes, and kettle corn. These temptations called to me every time I opened my ears, eyes, and nose to them. Yet I closed myself off from their charms and ultimately made wise decisions to succeed and come out ahead.

I can't even begin to tell you how amazing that feels. There is true power in knowing that I can put myself in the face of temptation for such an extended period of time and yet still stay focused and true to my goals.

32.9 pounds left. I'm whittling it down slowly but surely!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Death of the Sour Gummy Worms

As you all should be aware by now, I've been having a "thing" lately with sour gummy worms.

So, I've found the best way to conquer temptation is sometimes to avoid it at all costs. In this case, I've actually moved my office.

Ok, to be truthful, I didn't exactly move my office so as to avoid the sour gummy worms that live in the vending machine. I had to move in order to be closer to the rest of my team. It does help though that in the new building, the vending machines are stocked with chips and not sour gummy candies which as of late I've been oddly attracted to. Chips aren't as appealing to me so I'm a happy camper. In addition, the vending machines aren't in the break room and thus I'll not need to be tempted each time I go fill up my water bottle. Phew. I'm thrilled.

I was learning to control my craving for those little sour monsters, but some days were sure harder than others. It's nice that now on my "weaker" days, I can fill up my water bottle without being accosted by the sour gummy worm voices calling me over for a lookie lou. Of course one little peak would then occasionally turn into a mouth watering craving and a running of feet back to the office for my $$$. After all, if I ran back to the office for the money I was burning calories, right?

Ok, yeah, see, sometimes it's best to avoid such temptations.

I actually think the sour gummy worms were more of a temptation for me than anything at the fair. Wow. Amazing and somewhat sad.

Anyway, I'm happy that I'm in a new office and won't be faced with those little buggers every other hour. It's much easier to say no when I'm not staring them in the face multiple times a day.

And with that ... another crisis is averted.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back on Track

Goodness. The last week has been a whirlwind. I tried to embrace each moment of the time off and relish in the fact that I was spending time with my horse, doing something that I loved with friends that I really care about ... but ... well ... lack of sleep made that hard sometimes!

I'm happy to report that I did pretty well food wise. I resisted the elephant ears (ooohhh so hard), the burgers (torture!), chips (yummy!), candy (even the suckers!), and other such food temptations.

The elephant ears almost lured me in though. I was with some friends that got one and seeing that sugary sweetness just about sent me racing back to the booth to indulge my own craving. Just as I was about to make a break for it, I stumbled upon a guy selling fresh strawberries and produce. Shocking. Truly shocking. Something healthy at the fair? And I found it right at the moment when I was about to break from my diet? Amazing. I ended up buying the strawberries and then "splurging" on a fat-free, nonfat, decaf, white chocolate and carmel latte. Pure goodness and the best part was that it was all guilt free.

I'm not sure that the scale will be my friend tomorrow. I did eat more protein and fruit than I should have, I didn't exercise very much, and it was very difficult to get all my water in everyday.

Regardless of the numbers though, I'm counting this as a victory. I was faced with a lot of temptation over the last 10 days and I successfully tested and used my "no" in all instances. I felt strong, in control, happy, healthy, and successful.

There's real power in knowing that I can do this even in the face of such circumstances.

This week I'm focused on water, exercise, and eating carefully. Those last pounds need to come off already!

I hope you all are gearing up for a great week too!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

TaDa! Comparison Pics.

I am soooo excited to write today's post.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I'm very reflective right now because last year at this very time I was sitting on the back of my poor horse sweating miserably in the heat while patrolling the parking lots at the local fair. That's when my before pic was taken. Man, that pic made me physically ill when I first saw it for the first time last year. I had no idea I was that heavy. I mean, I lived with myself, but didn't really look at what I'd become.

My good friend Jody is actually beside me on her horse in the original pic. She's the one that introduced me to The Healthy Weigh and ultimately had a guiding hand in helping me find the new me. Who would have guessed that a year later she'd be taking a follow-up pic with me 115 pounds lighter!

The me in the before pic was a miserable mess of a person. Not just because of my weight issues but also because I was generally unhappy, depressed, sad, and hating life.

Amazing what has happened in my life in the last year. A month and a half after my before pic was taken, I started at THW and have since become a much different person outwardly and inwardly.

But just looking at the outward appearance, it's cool to see that my rolls are disappearing (thank goodness!), I do have a neck (tada!), and I can wear a belt without my belly protruding over the top! PROGRESS!!!!

I'm so excited to share this before and during comparison because it's speaks volumes about my weight loss journey far better than any words I could write here could.

I do have 35 more pounds to go and have been wavering a bit ... but seeing these two "me's" reflected so clearly as two totally different people are inspiring me to forge onward and finish out my journey.

I can only imagine how cool it will be next year to have another new pic with me at goal weight. That's inspiring.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Taking a Break

Oh goodness. I'm tiiiiired! The fair is kicking my butt!

My schedule is completely off kilter and I'm trying desperately to stay focused and on track with the diet. I haven't indulged in fair food (wuhoo!) or fellow campers treats, but I have had a few extra fruits and proteins to get me through the day. I figure though, if I'm going to snack on anything, better to choose an apple than a hot dog. Right?

I'm missing my walks and gym workouts this week. I am walking the fairgrounds quite a bit but it's not the same as a high energy, focused workout. I'm hoping that doesn't reflect badly on the scale.

Water. With this schedule it's so hard to drink all my water during the day! I can't drink too much before we ride out on the horses (we ride for five hours without rest room breaks! eeek!) so I'm trying to get it all in before 4:00 pm. It's proving to be tough but doable.

On the upside, I'm finding a zillion little NSV (non-scale victories) as I go through this week from increased energy and physical stamina to positive thinking and will-power. It's great because I'm comparing this year to last year and finding so many things that are easier, better, and make my time at the fair so much more enjoyable. I'll write more on all of that when I have my wits about me and can actually keep my eyes open for longer than 10 mins.

I have 8 more days to go ... wow. I must figure out how to squeeze naps into my schedule this week!

On another note, I stumbled upon some great recipes from WebMD that I'm going to try this week. Thought I'd share.

Happy Monday ... right?

Friday, August 7, 2009

How to be a "Fairly" Good Dieter

Over the next 10 days I'll be living at the local fairgrounds.

Yep, it's fair time. I have a horse at the fair this year which means I'll be at the fairgrounds every day and every night.

Yep, every day and every night. At the fair. With fair food. And camping with non-dieters that like food and beer and really really like to share. And did I happen to mention the fair food?

I mean, there are food temptations around every corner. Literally. One minute I'm strolling past the elephant ear booth being bombarded with sweet cinnamon and fried dough smells and the next I'm assaulted with the sight of a big fat juicy burger and crispy fried onion rings. After that, I stumble upon the dairy princess milkshake booth. Oh my gosh. How do I start to describe the goodness that comes from that booth. I don't even think I can put it into words frankly. The sweet, creamy goodness of a freshly churned milkshake with fresh fruit (hey, could I count it as a daily fruit and a dairy? Please? With sugar on top??????) is just about as close as I used to get to heaven on earth. The dairy princesses are even nice enough to stay open late so that the horse mounted patrol (of which I'm a member) can get milkshakes after the evening parking lot patrol. Yeah, ummmmm.... milkshakes at 10:00 pm. Good (fattening) times. Good (fattening) times.

Of course, I haven't even started in on the bags of potato chips, beers, sodas, and other goodies that the campers bring to the evening potlucks and so kindly leave on the tables for other campers to enjoy. Now isn't that just so nice of them?

Needless to say, while at the fair, my "foodar" goes on high alert but I'm doing all I can to prevent any diet disasters. Luckily my friend has a travel trailer and it comes equipped with a fridge and freezer. I've taken full advantage of that and stocked up with yogurts, fresh fruit, veggies, and protein.

By planning ahead, I'll have no excuse to make bad decisions.

I've also told my good friends to keep an eye on me and offer gentle reminders if I happen to stray from my diet. I doubt they'll need to say anything but sometimes me just knowing someone is "watching" will keep me on plan!

I'm really looking forward to spending some quality time with my horse and my horsey friends. It's going to be a great 10 days and I don't want to come out of it with any "if onlys" about food. Guilt is the quickest way to ruin a good time, right? This year, instead of the fair being about food, I'd like to make it about good friends and time with my horse. That sounds like such a nicer and longer lasting memory!

Anyway, being at the fair will mean I'll be a sporadic blog poster. By the end of fair I'll have lots of good stories and I look forward to sharing them with you. In the meantime, I'll pop in when I can and will write a note or two to update you all on my successes ... cause I quite literally am planning to knock this diet thing outta the park even in this difficult diet situation!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Saying "No"

I don't know what it is about saying no that makes me want something even more. This is true even when I'm the one saying no to myself. I think that makes it worse actually because I know all my own flaws and can generally turn my no into a yes by pushing my own buttons. Lately, there's been a lot of button pushing going on and I've had the hardest time agreeing with myself on the whole no thing.

In fact, instead of no being a definitive decision, it has turned into a lengthy conversation that generally involves some "why can't I have it" and "that's not fair" and "just a little won't hurt" kind of statements. Bombarded with such great arguments (yeah, not so much), I generally give into the temptation.

The most recent temptations being food related, of course.

Silly, right?

I'm sure there's some psychological reason. It probably goes back to the days of my childhood, being told no as a kid, not feeling deserving, blah blah blah.

The thing is that right now I need to be focused on the no. It needs to be my life. I need to hear that word as a decision (cutting me off from any other possibilities) and not a discussion topic. I need to let it resonate in my head as a positive and not a negative or deprivation.

By saying no to foods that I shouldn't have, I'm saying yes to my health, happiness, and self. I'm letting good things in. I'm allowing myself to complete this weight loss and I'm saying that I'm worthy of the good things that will come to me by not consuming bad-for-me-foods.

This is truly a case of changing my thinking. My rumbling tummy is not being honest with me but my new training and thought process can be if I let them lead the way.

It's time to step out of my own way and commit to the power of my no.

No is not a four letter word. It's life changing and I'm putting stock in that today.

Let's make NO the new YES!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

3500 calories

That's how many calories it takes to lose or gain a pound. Why oh why it is easier to eat those calories than to lose them?

I just got done at a refresh of The Healthy Weigh's food plan in hopes that I would get reinspired and knock out this last 35 pounds. One of my biggest take aways was the whole calorie and deficit thing.

Intrinsuiqly I knew this information. I mean, I knew that 3500 calories was a pound but when we started adding up my own numbers, it made it real to me.

I need to have a daily deficit of 890 calories per day to lose 2 pounds per week. Wowza. That's a lot of calories that I can't eat! If I consume over my food allotment for the day, those are calories that will need to be burned in order to keep losing.

Kinda makes those gummy worms not so appealing, frankly. 300 calories goes by quickly. That's a couple extra bites of cottage cheese, a extra fruit, a few extra pieces of Melba toast (yes, I live on the edge sometimes). It all adds up.

I think it's so easy to say "oh, it's just a little bit" and then consume accordingly but the reality is that every single thing that goes into our mouths has calories. From our lips to our hips.

I've made a big print out of the 890 number to keep plastered above my computer screen at work. It's not that pretty to look at, but it does the trick. I need that reminder of how many calories I need to stay away from.

This is doable and now I need to buckle down and get 'er done!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sitting Dog. Jogging Wendy.

Noodle is the most energetic dog I've ever met. She can jump from all fours straight into the air and go up above my 5'4 head without any issues. She does this repeatedly with her tongue hanging out sideways, a doofy smile on her face, and her ears flopping in the breeze. It's her favorite activity and she performs it on a routine basis. It's her way of working off her own energy. The pic on the left is of her this winter jumping up and down in the barn aisle.

This would be ok, except that she doesn't exactly always look at what might be under foot or over head or next to her when she performs this sort of activity and therefore ends up running into, breaking, stepping on, or otherwise destroying something upon each spastic jump. She is very much unaware of her 120 pounds and is always surprised when the jumping causes some kind of proximity drama.

Since I've owned Noodle (2 years), I've been searching for some sort of activity that she could do with me that, at the end of it, would tire her out. A tired Noodle = a good Noodle. But I've yet to find the one thing that will knock her on her butt.

When we walk, she's still going strong at the end of 12 miles while I am more than ready to turn for home. We picked up mountain biking and she's adapted but she's not the biggest fan of the bike and it can be a dangerous ride.

As I'm on the jogging thing right now, I've started taking her along with me and it seems to be her thing. She trots along next to me at a pretty good pace and seems to be mildly less energetic at the end of the run so I consider that a success. I do find it a bit ironic that I would end up with a dog that likes jogging ... but ... well ... perhaps that the motivation that I need to keep moving forward with the whole thing.

I took her out this weekend and actually succeeded knocking her on her butt ... quite literally!

We were jogging around Battle Ground Lake which is about a 3 or 4 mile trail. As we were heading for home (about a quarter mile left), I decided to kick it into high speed. My legs were numb at this point so I might as well make the most of it and get my heart rate up as much as it could possibly go.

Noodle did great keeping up for the first part of the sprint. She led the way in her typical "Noodle trot jog". As we were about half through the sprint, she dropped behind me and I heard her panting increase. I kept charging ahead.

Pretty soon I felt a tug on the leash and turned around to check on her. She was literally sitting down in the middle of the trail and I was dragging her on her butt as I pushed forward to complete the sprint! Poor Noodle. She looked pooped and miserable. I dropped the leash and kept pushing forward. I was almost done and didn't want to stop when the end was within my grasp. I figured she'd meander her way back to the truck eventually.

I rounded the next corner, pushed hard to complete the sprint, thought I was going to die from lack of oxygen, and finally collapsed in a sticky, sweaty, achy, breathless mess in front of my truck.

A few minutes later, a very tired and droopy Noodle slowly panted her way around the corner and up to the truck where she immediately sat down next to me and put her head on her paws as if to say "Phew! I can't even hold up my head after that one, mom".

She was a good Noodle the rest of the day. She and I both napped and enjoyed a lazy day at home.

For the first time since I've owned her, she had run out of energy. Aw, what a good day! I'm looking forward to having many more of those as we charge forward in our fitness goals. Her fitness will increase as will mine so pretty soon she'll be pulling me in a sprint down the last 1/4 mile of trail! In the meantime, I'm going to relish the fact that this little bit tires her out more than me. Wuhoo!

Monday, August 3, 2009

What Not To Wear. No really. Don't wear that.

A few friends and I went to a great concert on Friday night ~ Sugarland. The music was awesome, good friends provided great company, and the crowd was in rare form. And I mean that literally ... the crowd was in very rare form.

It was high-90-some-odd degrees and humid which I guess some people took to mean that they could wear highly inappropriate outfits in public with no thought or care as to how they looked. I guess.

Now, I preface this by saying that generally I don't nitpick people to the inth degree but when you're in a sea of people and you're waiting for a concert to start, well, your mind takes over and people watching becomes it's own entertainment.

There were tube tops, short shorts, barefeet, bare midriffs (and rolls), and more cleavage than any one person should be subjected to in one sitting. Most of which was showcased on people that would have looked much better with a bit more clothing.

It got me thinking though. Here I am, having lost 112 pounds, being nervous about showing my bare arms in public whilst these people are showing everything (rolls included) without a care.

I think there has to be a happy medium. Hopefully we know what our bodies strengths are and dress to showcase those. But so what if my flabby arms make an appearance once in awhile? Honestly, with the way the crowd was on Friday night, had my bare arms made an appearance, no one would have even been noticed. They would have been too busy looking at the chubby gal in the button down shirt tied above her belly roll which protruded over her super tight shorts. Most likely my flabby arms would have been the least offensive fashion violation in the crowd that night.

This goes both ways though. I think so many people that have lost weight avoid going clothes shopping and instead continue to wear their big, clunky, over sized clothes day in and day out.

I was watching a Tivo'd What Not To Wear that showcased a lady that had lost 60 pounds but hadn't gone clothes shopping to celebrate her success because she didn't want to get depressed when "nothing fit". By the time Stacy and Clinton were done with her, she looked like an entirely new person, as if she'd actually lost so much more than 60 pounds, and she had confidence in her appearance.

I think it's important to embrace who we are, be confident in our bodies as they are today, dress to flatter our assets, and then let some of our insecurities go.

I was thinking that this morning as I got ready for work. It's going to again be in the high 90s and my office gets the majority of the afternoon sun which means it's going to be a scorcher. I decided to break outside of my comfort zone and am wearing a dressy tank top with capri pants and sandals. Yes, people at the office are going to be subjected to my arms. It's not just the mountains that will see them this time ... and oddly enough, I'm ok with that.

I'm taking my own advice and am embracing who I am and the body I have today.