Easter 2011

Easter 2011
My 4 most favorite things

Saturday, October 23, 2010

3 Months and Counting...

It's hard to believe that I had my surgery 3 months ago to the day. I am officially down 25 pounds. I'm pretty excited about that!

I finally had an adjustment on Tuesday where I actually felt the restriction. So, the 25 pounds is really from the pre-surgery diet and the exercise challenge. Now-we hope that I'm nearing the sweet spot and the weight should start to fall off.

I've been really bad about blogging. I had such good intentions of posting monthly pictures of myself on my journey but good grief...I can't even find the time to blog regularly. I'm hopeful that my life settles down a bit and I can find some moments to reflect on my journey and share it with you.

Alright...now to figure out how to post pictures!!! I need some blogger lessons for sure!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Back in Action.

Well the pink ladies are in full swing and feeling the pain! We've worked out together for almost 2 weeks and we are definitely in sync. We've encouraged each other and helped each other get through our workouts. I'm so excited about it! They're actually helping me push myself, especially with the running. So-a big shout out and thank you to the Pink Ladies...you guys ROCK!

Okay-I've had two more fills after my first fill. I think we are definitely still trying to find my sweet spot. For the first two days after a fill I'm on liquid, then 2 days soft then I transition to "regular" foods. I only really feel restriction until the 2nd day on regular foods, when I feel very little restriction. As a result, I'm down a total of 21 pounds. Which of course is great-I don't want to get caught up in having expected more than 21 pounds to diminish the fabulous-ness of having lost those pounds. I know this is a process-a marathon not a sprint.

It is such an adjustment-life with the band. I think I'm slowly learning to live (and eat) with my new tool. My workouts and food journaling are helping me stay on track. I'm excited about the coming 6 weeks and the additional progress I'll make as a result of my workouts and new eating habits. Stay tuned...

Monday, September 6, 2010

What the...?

Good news-I was down 19 pounds before my first fill! Can you believe that? How fabulous. Seriously, I am so excited about that. When I had my first fill my doctor told me the weight I'd lost up to this point was just "bonus pounds".

So imagine my surprise that here I am post-first fill and I feel LESS restriction from my band and I've gained 4 pounds?

Being the optimist-I'm looking at the 15 pounds lost and trying not to focus on that 4 pound "what in the world is going on" gain. I put a call in to my doctor but they're gone for the long weekend. I will touch base with them tomorrow. I'm sure they'll have me out to adjust my band accordingly and get this weight loss train moving again.

In the meantime, it looks as though I'm stuck at the station but looks we know can be deceiving. I am trying to look inside and figure out what I can learn from this. Patience perhaps-all good things come to those who wait? Being content with what we have-hello, I'll take that 15 pounds! And, in the end I know that this will work and as my doctor said, there is no failure only delayed success!

Have a happy Labor Day!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Grease is the word...

Our Attack the Fat Challenge team is assembled and NAMED. Yes, we are the "Pink Ladies." A little ode to the inner greaser in all of us and of course our shirts are pink.

I'm really looking forward to the challenge, which starts on September 13. Prepare to read all about our training sessions and our weekly progress. This time around, I've enlisted two girlfriends to join me. It's going to be fabulous! We will have each other to lean on and encourage during the 8 week session. AND-we'll be able to get together on off training days and do our "homework." So-RB and RG....let's get ready to rumble...or should I say, let's get ready to drag race in a souped up convertible. After all-grease is the word.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bring it on!

It seems completely surreal to me that I'm here, at this place. It seems like I've spent the entire past year gearing up for this moment and then before you know it-it's here.

I had my very first fill today. My doctor asked me if I was ready to start losing weight. One part of me wanted to scream, "Heck yeah! I've been waiting YEARS to start losing weight! I'm ready, bring it on!" Yet, there was another voice inside of me, timidly wondering if all would be okay-was this really happening-what if it doesn't work-what if I can't do this?

Yet, I sit here, excited. Really excited. Wanting to shout from the roof tops excited! My weight loss journey has brought me to this point and I am MORE than ready. I am so very ready to see the pounds melting off-to feel a bit lighter on my feet-to feel really good about myself again. And, I know that my value and self worth as a person doesn't come from a number on a scale, or a number sewn into my pants but I'm so ready to allow myself to not just know that in my head-but to know that in my heart, too. Bring it on! I'm ready!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fill 'Er Up!

Tomorrow is the big day! My very first fill! I'm not sure what to think-I guess I'm a little bit anxious and a whole lot excited.

I think I've gotten through "Bandster Hell" as well as could be expected. It seems as though my appetite has increased substantially the past week. I'm able to eat more at each meal and I'm getting hungry. I hear that is quite normal-and we know that my "normal" has forever been altered.

My Attack the Fat Challenge starts just two weeks after my fill, too. So, hopefully we'll get the band on track and start the challenge. I am just thinking about how great it's going to be to start seeing results!

I think I will attempt and post a photo diary of my journey. After reading another blog, I'm going to take a picture each month on the same day. Let's hope I can figure out how to post pictures into my blogs...perhaps after the weight loss, I can master technology.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Attack the Fat Challenge...version 4

I'm all signed up and ready for Attack the Fat Challenge version 4! I am so excited about it I can hardly stand it. I'm so happy because this time around-I have two of my friends with me. We will likely be paired with another person, but it will be fun to go through this next challenge with two good girlfriends by my side.

I also got some very good news from my doctor. They scheduled my first fill! And, because I'm traveling for work-they are filling me a bit early-at 5 weeks post surgery instead of 6 weeks. My fill date is August 30. Apparently the first fill is done in the surgery center with an x-ray and drinking the barium. I'm thankful for that because I'm excited to see my new "pouch" and get visual confirmation that all is well with my band.

I've had a better week than last week but it still brought me new challenges. I'm really struggling with how this new life will work for me. I'm struggling with what to eat (I was thankfully put on regular foods-no restrictions) and how much to eat. I've had some back pain and some tightness in my chest which had me worried (once again) that I've caused my band to slip. I believe I just ate too fast and too much and yes that can cause your band to slip. So-I'm backing way off and trying to remember to take it slow. I went back to softer foods today just until I'm feeling a bit more comfortable with everything.

So-stay tuned for Attack the Fat Challenge updates as well as weight loss updates. The challenge starts mid-September; my band should be tight; the weight should come flying off! :) In the meantime-thanks so much for your support. My family and friends (both old and new) have really helped me make it through the past month. I don't know what I'd do without each and everyone of you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Coming down off the ledge.

Good morning! It's amazing how a fresh new day and some much needed advice and support from friends can completely change your outlook.

I need to send a big thank you to my friend, RB (you know who you are). Your support and willingness to always be there for me during each step of my very new journey has been amazing. Thank you so much. Coffee at Starbucks last night really helped get me down off the ledge.

If you are considering or have had lap band surgery-I highly recommend the website lapbandtalk.com. It has great information with posts and blogs from people who have been there. I posted some concerns yesterday and within hours I had several people respond with their experiences, support and advice. There are lots of people on there who are just considering the band, as well as help in finding doctors both with insurance or for self payers. I strongly recommend it. And, if you do happen to join, please look me up and "friend" me. My user name is BandNewMe.

I know this post is a big boring and not filled with my usual sarcasm or wit (at least I fancy myself a bit witty) but the past week has been beyond terrible. I'm apparently in something called "Bandster Hell." Lovely, right? And, let me tell you-it's certainly been hellish. But, the good news is-I'm getting through it. I'm surviving. I'm learning-not only about life with my band, but I'm learning about myself. I'm working on the very difficult "head issues" that have gotten me into this mess to begin with. And, no matter what avenue we take to lose weight-we all have to deal with our head issues. So, I'm thankful. I'm thankful for my family (who deal with me and my head issues day in and day out), my friends (who so faithfully talk me down off the ledge and accept me for who I am), technology (so helpful to me and my journey is meeting others who have been there); and oddly, I'm thankful for the ledges themselves-as being on the ledge and having to be talked off it, teaches me things about myself that I wouldn't otherwise learn. God is good, God is a gentle teacher who gets us to self discovery in His time and in His ways...man am I blessed.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Full on freak out in progress...be warned!

Yes, it's true. I am experiencing a full on, hard core freak out. I am exactly 3 weeks post surgery and am CONVINCED I've caused my band to slip. Throughout this process, the doctor said the most common complication from the surgery is band slippage. And, from the beginning, I've worried that it will happen to me. I do, at times, have a "Ziggy mentality" and feel as though that rain cloud is looming over me. More often than not, the rain cloud is no where in sight-but my perception is that it's right there. Not that I'm a total doom and gloomer-I'm actually quite positive.

Perhaps it's years of disappointment over my weight loss failures that has brought this on. Perhaps it's the bloating and discomfort anytime I eat anything. Or, perhaps it's the chronic mid-back pain that has me fearing the slippage. I'm not quite sure. I've called the doctor and unfortunately my nurse is on vacation until next week. And, I do have an appointment scheduled for Tuesday. But, until I get some clear answers from my doctor-I'm left to wrestle with my mind and speculate on my "symptoms". Neither of which is good.

A friend of mine recently encouraged me with "this WILL work." Don't stay focused on your past failures...this time it IS different. Why do I torture myself this way? Why am I looking for reasons to think this won't work? I know these are only questions I can eventually answer-after much prayer and self reflection.

So, as I pack up after my week long vacation at the beach and wonder why I've had to consume myself with these thoughts while attempting to enjoy sun and surf (Yes, can you believe I've tortured myself while on vacation with my gorgeous family?)- I realize that perhaps this week of fearing over slippage has roots in some deeper issues. Yes- fear of failure (and rejection); fear of feeling less than worthy; fear of succeeding (yes-we all must admit that sometimes the fear of success is scarier than failure). I am reminded and assured that as a child of God-I need not fear anything. For if God is with me-who can be against me? The answer is no one-except maybe myself. I really must get out of my own way...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Where's my medication?????

Yes, you guessed it. I’m referring to the medication that has gotten me into this terrible mess of obesity. I medicate myself with food. That’s it-the ugly truth.

I had the crappiest of crappy days yesterday at work. It was miserable-I actually cried the entire way home from work. That’s not really like me-I can usually hold myself together pretty well. I’m sure it’s a combination of all the stressors in my life recently that brought me to the breaking point. But, I walked in that door and was looking, searching, frantic to find something to eat. Crazy, right? I wanted to eat something to make myself feel “better”. But, I know I would have felt worse afterwards because of the crushing, oppressive guilt I would have felt for having eaten something that takes me further and further away from my goals.

So, I happily report that I was able to refrain from taking the leap of overindulgence. It was tough-but I managed not to medicate myself with food. I guess these are the changes that will slowly make their way into my routine. So, no more food medication for me…now it’s strictly vitamins, the occasional Tylenol oh yeah, and the anti-nausea meds and acid reflux meds. Gotta love the band!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

To take the challenge or not????

So, I'm not sure what to do. The next session of the Attack the Fat Challenge begins in mid-September. I'm torn! On one hand, I want to do it again. It was such a great feeling getting my hiney kicked by a personal trainer several times a week and trying out new classes. On the other hand, I lost nothing...nada...zilch...zippo. After 22 weeks with a personal trainer 3 days a week and the other 4 days of "homework" I lost nothing.

I do think I have a lot going for me this time around. I will have my little friend (aka my lap band) to help me with the food logging/journaling/calorie counting. But, it's another $400. The amount of money I've spent on the Attack the Fat Challenge, the surgery, etc...I mean really...do you know how much Lilly Pulitzer I could have purchased by now? Of course-it doesn't really matter if I can't fit into it.

I have a friend who I'm hoping will take the challenge with me. I guess we'll have to come to a decision here soon. Sign up starts next week...stay tuned to see if I will once again have a ridiculous team name...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Awww---mushy, mushy..

Wahoo! I have moved on to the soft, mushy food stage! This is clearly an exciting day for me. Beacuse, if I have to eat cream of broccoli soup again anytime soon-I will throw up. And, I’m not a huge fan of protein shakes right now either.

I had my first follow up meeting with my surgeon today. We reviewed my surgery pictures-fascinating. They told me I had skinny insides. Which, despite being a ridiculous thing to be happy about-I smiled. At least part of me is skinny. Now I’ll just have to let my outsides catch up with my insides.

Things appear to be going well. I’m down 13 pounds and I get to start eating mushy foods. Life is grand! I go back in 10 days to see how I’m doing. I’m not exactly sure what we will discuss on my next visit but I will hold out hope that in 10 days I will be instructed to move to “regular food” ie food that hasn’t been mashed or pureed into a paste-like consistency. But, if I’m still on mushy foods in 10 days, it will be but a still so small sacrifice in the grand scheme of things.

I want to thank all the lap banders out there with blogs. I’m so encouraged reading your posts and looking at pictures of your progress. I hope to figure out how to upload pictures to my blog as well. As soon as this natural blonde figures it out-expect some pictures of my not yet skinny outsides…I’ll refrain from posting pictures of my skinny insides…although I am quite proud. 

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I feel good

I woke up the other morning singing James Brown's "I feel good." And, I do. I am on the mend from the surgery and still just so excited about what lies before me on my weight loss journey.

Now, I am a bit sick and tired of protein and fruit shakes. I have a follow up doctors appointment on Monday at which time I hope I get the green light for some soft, mushy foods. Who would have thought I would be counting down the days until I was able to eat PUREED foods? Really?

I'm down about 13 pounds since I started my 7 day pre-op diet. 13 pounds-that is not too shabby and I'm totally excited about it. I spent 44 weeks with a personal trainer over the last 52 weeks; modified my diet and lost nothing. So, to see 13 pounds was quite an accomplishment. Speaking of the gym...

I miss that, too (in addition to actual food versus a blended icy concoction). I am on an exercise hiatus until I've fully mended and I really am looking forward to getting back in the gym and hitting that spin bike. Who would have thought...I'm looking forward to pureed foods and the spin bike...talk about changes.

Now, someone grab my shiny sparkly pink boxing robe...I must complete singing along with the Godfather of Soul...I feel good...I knew that I would now...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Freedom in Boundries...

My husband reminded me today, as I'm in my hospital gown feeling as though a Mack truck hit me then turned around and hit me again, that there is Freedom in Boundaries. And, he's exactly right.

My pastor once told a story about a group of school children who were taken outside to play. One group played in a fenced in area and one group played in an area with no fences. The children within the fencing explored the entire area, ran, laughed and played until it was time to go inside. The other group, the group without fencing, just sort of mingled in the middle of the play yard, not really exploring the entire play area. Freedom in Boundaries.

I am home today after my lap band surgery. And, as awful as I may feel physically right now, I'm terribly excited and happy. As I mentioned in a previous blog-I'm looking forward to redefining my relationship with food. And, it's starting with boundaries and my freedom within those boundaries. The lap band is my fence...so it's time to enjoy my life using my band to help me place boundaries on my previously destructive relationship with food!

Monday, July 19, 2010

3 down and counting...

I'm almost through day 4 of my liquid low carb diet which means I'm a little over 3 days away from surgery.

I think I'm handling it just fine (insert irrational, nasty comment to a dear loved one here). Seriously-I think I've been a bit...bitc%y. I'm sure there are those that may not notice the difference, but man I've been about ready to take people's heads off and in some instances HAVE! :) So, for those of you in the line of fire-I apologize. It's not you-it's me (and the lack of any carbs in my diet).

It's almost surreal to think it's just days away. Days away to a completely life changing event. No longer will I be able to sit on the sofa, watching TV and eating a bag (yes, the complete bag) of chips. No longer will I be able to go out to dinner with my family and eat the chips/salsa and an entree. And, no longer will I be able to feel guilty about it.

I find it interesting that the things we do to comfort ourselves are oftentimes the same things that make us feel like crap about ourselves. It's such a vicious cycle-as any addiction is.

So, I look with promise to my new life after surgery. I'm looking forward to food not being my best friend and my worst enemy. I'm starting to visualize my new relationship with food and man am I excited. Let the chains and shackles fall because a prisoner to food I will no longer be.

Now-a slave to fashion...I see that addiction staying with me (and perhaps intensifying) for quite some time...perhaps I should tell my husband to not read my blog tonight.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day 2...

Really, it's only been a little over 24 hours since I started my pre-op diet? This is going to be tough. I started my all liquid, low carb diet yesterday. And, at the same time decided to try and give up caffeine. Probably not the wisest move, my friends. So, last night I indulged in a glass of tea and this morning-coffee. At least the headache went away!

For those who don't know me, after years of struggle I've decided to have Lap Band surgery. This was not a decision made lightly or without prayer and deep self reflection. So-if you think you might have a comment to offer that is not supportive, let me stop you there and ask that you refrain from posting your particular opinion on the subject. This is, after all, a decision that affects me and my family so we're really the only ones who should have much say in the matter. And, we see this as a tool to offer me assistance while I continue on my path of health. It's not the easy fix rather an aid to help me accomplish my goals.

Surgery is scheduled for Friday, July 23. I am nervous but excited; hesitant and hopeful; but mostly I'm a bit weary from a long struggle that has netted limited results. So, I move forward on my journey-putting behind me those dangerous thoughts of is this really going to work when nothing else has? I choose to think rather of the possibilities ahead of me...a long active, healthy life with my husband and three kids; not being self conscious of my body, not deciding to engage in life for fear of embarrassment and of course-a closet full of Lilly Pulitzer...

So, stay tuned my friends...I'm sure your support will be needed and appreciated...

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm baaaack...................

No, I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. Although I have been living in the trenches again.

I ran into a friend who asked me why I haven’t blogged in awhile. I wish I had a good excuse, but my friends, life is my excuse. I got insanely busy at work and ended up traveling for three weeks in the month of May! That left little time for blogging. I do, after all, have a fairly demanding full time job and three fairly demanding children.

I finished up the Attack the Fat Challenge, again. Yes-I am happy to report that 22 weeks with a personal trainer has netted me a loss of….drum roll please…..2 pounds! Yahoo (insert sarcastic laugh here). Which, I’ve promptly gained back. Although perhaps the 2 pounds was just water weight anyway so I didn’t really lose anything and therefore can’t be held responsible for gaining it back.

As you can imagine, I’ve been a bit depressed about the 2 pounds…uh, I mean, ZERO pounds. So, being busy aside, that’s another reason I haven’t blogged. I am just really having a hard time staying motivated and positive. Which, is not like me at all; I’m a pretty positive person-I see the glass as half full not half empty.

I have two friends that are so close to their goal weights and I’m so very excited and happy for them. I truly am. It’s just hard to look in the mirror and see how far away I am. And, it’s not for lack of trying that the mountain seems insurmountable. But, I must plug away and carry on. So, I’m back.

Thank you for your patience and support as I took the past few months off and pouted. I’m sure there are blue skies on my horizon…

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

To Jordan...with Love...

To all the naysayers out there, let me tell you…a trip to THE RUNNING STORE is an absolute MUST!

My feet have been killing me. I mean, seriously, I have barely been able to walk since the weekend. My training session on Monday was miserable. In fact, my trainer had to modify my cardio workout since I could barely hobble around on my poor, aching feet.

There is no question that I likely need to see a doctor and physical therapy may be in my future as well. BUT-I finally took the advice of some friends and stopped into The Running Store to find the ***perfect*** pair of shoes.

For those of you who know me, my idea of the ***perfect*** pair of shoes usually includes something shiny, sparkly and in a fabulous open toed sandal. And, in the case of athletic shoes, I typically lean towards something pink and cute. I never thought I’d need to purchase a pair of running shoes based on what they can DO for me.

In walks Jordan…my sales associate at The Running Store. (Insert the sound of harps and angels here) He got me up on the treadmill, took a picture of my walk (and lame attempt at a jog/run) and from that was able to determine what type of running shoe I NEED. Need-go figure that!

To make a short story long…my training session last night, in my new shoes was great! The foot pain was so much better. It wasn’t completely gone, but I was actually able to jog a few laps and walk a few laps and compared to Monday-that was a remarkable improvement.

So, thank you Jordan. Here’s to my gray and blue motion control Brooks…now if they only came in pink….

Monday, April 5, 2010

Oh-the pain!

Okay-I'm really trying hard not to complain, but good grief MY FEET HURT! It's agonizing! I've been to the foot doctor (need to go back) and I've tried the inserts. They seem to make it worse! I had to take them out of my work out shoes and I can't tell if the pain is getting better or worse, seriously.
My trainer actually had to have me do an alternate cardio work out because I can barely walk. I had little Hobbit feet this weekend...they swelled up; it was awful!
I'm going to head to The Running Store and see if a new pair of shoes helps out. Of course, I will feel a bit foolish walking into that store, but clearly need to get over that. Although I don't look like an athlete on the outside-I FEEL like one on the inside.
So, I sit here, soaking my aching feet, watching Dancing with the Stars and wondering when is it going to get better? Clearly the weight is a part of the problem, but you can't get the weigh off without serious exercise, which makes the feet ache even more!!! It's a ridiculous and PAINFUL cycle...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Little by little...

I am happy, very happy to report a one week weight loss of 3.2 pounds. I can hardly believe it. Now, I'm trying not to get ahead of myself--I wouldn't want to get too cocky over my 3 pounds and fail to work hard this week. But, if this is any indication, I'm already ahead of my TOTAL weight loss while on the first 8 week "Attack the Fat Challenge."

My trainer has definitely mixed things up a bit this year. We are doing a lot of accumulator work outs which I actually really like. First, I don't feel like such a loser trying to keep up with my teammates as we work at our own pace. And, it probably speaks to the kind of person I am, but I've noticed that if I'm trying to keep up with my teammates, I actually don't push myself as hard. I think I get the attitude of what's the point, I can't keep up anyway. When we're working at our own pace, on an accumulator work out, I'm jogging more than ever and pushing myself really hard. Now, my friends can attest to my competitive nature...just ask the friends we had over for a "friendly" game of Cranium over the weekend. So-why if I'm so competitive, I respond better when not pushed in my team environment?" I'm sure that's a more difficult question than it first appears. And, plays into my weight problems to begin with.

If I truly give up in the weight loss game because of my "what's the point" attitude in spite of my uber-competitive nature then, perhaps figuring that out will finally end my struggles in this area. Now-in the meantime, I'll take those 3.2 pounds and try not to focus too hard on the remaining 116.7 to go...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I wore my brand new Skechers "Shape Ups" all over the house last night. At first sight, you're pretty much thinking that these shoes are the most ridiculous looking things. But, after wearing them around, I think they might actually have some benefits. First, they are really comfortable-it's probably the unbelievable amounts of foaming and cushion attached to the bottom of the shoe. Which, although quite comfortable, it does resemble platform dancing shoes from the 70's with a bit of orthopedic-geriatric flair. Second, you really do feel your "core" (love my new work out lingo) engaging to keep you stable on the rounded soles. And lastly, you can feel your upper legs and butt really working, too! So, I'm a new believer in the power of the shape up shoe and as of yet am not regretting the $100 price tag.

I'm cautiously optimistic about our weigh in Friday night. I've been doing pretty good staying within my points range and our workout last night with Krystal was quite intense. We did an "accumulator" work out. Laps, push ups, jumping jacks, lunges, the list goes on an on. I was quite impressed with myself with the laps-I actually jogged more than walked them-which is quite an accomplishment for me. My teammate Tom really encouraged me and jogged with me to keep me motivated.

So, say a little prayer that my hard work this week pays off on the scale Friday night. I really don't want to burst into tears in week 2 this season...I at least made it to week 4 last season before having a total break down on the scale. :) DANG that evil weighing mechanism!!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

I've got MOMENTUM on my side...

Well, I joined Weight Watchers today. Now, I've tried this so many times before and haven't been successful with it. But, here's a funny thing...in order to be a contender for the lap band, I first need to PROVE I've been unsuccessful on my own. Now I find this a bit funny, but I guess understandable. I mean, really...isn't it a bit OBVIOUS that I've been unsuccessful? Look at me? I clearly have SIGNIFICANT amounts of weight to lose. But, I digress...I've joined Weight Watchers and I'm in week two of the Attack the Fat Challenge. I'm making every attempt to do this on my own. I'm not willing however to fail again and will use any possible tool to meet my goals.
I met with a friend of mine today who joined WW with me. We were talking about our weight, how it weighs us down (no pun intended) and actually makes us hesitant at times to grab life by the horns and live it. I can totally relate to that. This weekend, while at a birthday party for a friend of my daughters, I did not go on the big blow up slide with her. She so badly wanted me to go, but I was afraid. I was afraid that I wouldn't make it up or worse yet, send that giant dinosaur blow up slide crashing to the floor. That's no way to live your life... afraid to go out there and live it.
My friend and I also discussed that we tend to blame our problems (yes, nearly all of them) on our weight. If I were thin, I'd do this; If I were thin, I wouldn't worry about that...the list goes on. But here's the scary truth...thin, fat or somewhere in between...we are not defined by our situations or circumstances. Life is a precious gift, a gift to be cherished and a gift to be ENJOYED. I was not created to live in the trenches of a self imposed prison; my Creator planned so much more for me. So, time for the chains to come off, the cell door to be unlocked and live this life! That sounds so much easier, but when your body aches from power jacks, squats, laps, push ups, and more...it's really hard to do. DANG that personal trainer!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Today we celebrate all things Irish; shamrocks, green beer, soda bread, corned beef, beautiful red-haired dogs (Irish Setters-a tribute to my Aunt Tylene) leprechauns and of course the elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

I realize that I'm on that quest for the pot of gold myself. Of course, the pot of gold in this instance is weight loss, health & wellness. And, it dawned on me that many of the things I hold most precious are the pots of gold at the end of a rainbow. And, to see the rainbow you have to endure a little rain. My kids; they are wonderful, beautiful little people that were the pot of gold at the end of long pregnancies and labors.

I may be walking through the rain right now, but the rainbow is just around the corner...and then my pot of gold. So, let's get out those cute green tights and leprechaun costume...this little lass is ready for the payoff!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Attack the Fat!!!

Well, it's official. The former Blue Busters, now known as Team Alpha, are back at it. We met last night for our weigh in and fitness test. Today, our workouts began. I am already having a hard time getting up and down and my workout ended just about 3 hours ago. I fear I am in for some serious PAIN tomorrow and the day after. Lunges, squats, lunges, squats...J-Lo and Beyonce--watch out...our booties will be looking booty-licious here soon!

But, it felt good. Really good. The body is moving again and it feels great. The pain in my feet doesn't feel so great, but I'm trying not to focus on that as much as the "good pain" of sore muscles. The foot pain is likely a result of being overweight and all the running doesn't help. But, I can't get the weight off without exercising! Good grief!

So, I'm cautiously optimistic about the second round of the Attack the Fat Challenge. I was expecting so much more from the first go-round. I think that I'm once again giving 100% and completely dedicated. It's just not possible to give 100% and see no results, again...right?

But, just in case, I did make an appointment with the doctor about the lap band. I'm not ruling anything out. I just don't think I have the luxury of ruling out any options. The fact is-I have to lose weight. Staying the same is not an option; the status quo can't be the status quo any longer. Unfortunately, the band is not covered on my insurance plan. So, if you happen to have an extra $17K lying around, let me know...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bring on the casting call!

Saturday is the big day. Biggest Loser is holding an open casting call in DC and I am planning on getting up at the crack of dawn to go stand in line with the rest of the overweight population of our Nation's capital. What does one wear to a casting call for a reality TV show about a bunch of overweight couch potatoes? Hmmm...these decisions are just so rough.

Now, if weight wasn't my issue, then I would mosey to my closet and pull out a beautiful Lilly Pulitzer dress and be done with it. BUT, here's the catch...I don't FIT into any of my beautiful Lilly Pulitzer dresses. So, I guess I'll settle for a Lilly Pulitzer murfee scarf and plus size t-shirt and jeans. What fun.

What do you think the odds are for getting on the show? I figure my chances would probably be better to win the Power Ball. Perhaps I should go play some numbers? Perhaps I should play my own numbers-cholesterol, waist and bust size? Perhaps they will bring me the golden ticket! Either a shot at health, wellness and $250K or the power ball jackpot!

Either way-I figure I'm a winner. I'm putting myself out there. I'm all signed up for round two of the Attack the Fat Challenge; that means 3 days a week with a personal trainer. I've talked to a doctor about a lap band. And now, I'm auditioning for The Biggest Loser. This IS my year. Come hell or high water, the weight (sic) is over. I will end 2010 healthier, thinner and more accomplished than how I entered it. Wish me luck, folks! NBC and the producers of The Biggest Loser will not know what hit them!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ding, ding, ding....Round Two!!!

So, the second installment of the "Attack the Fat Challenge" begins March 15. I am all signed up as are the other former members of the "Blue Busters". Thankfully, our name has been changed, although I don't think "Team Alpha" is much better. I mean, really, what does "Team Alpha" even mean? Are we a bunch of dogs attempting to become the leader of the weight loss pack? Well, now, maybe I'm on to something. Leader of the weight loss pack. I'm going to go with that. That's why my trainer chose this ridiculous name...

At any rate, I am, once again, motivated and energized to begin the challenge. I've missed the scheduled workouts with my team. It really does make a difference when other people are counting on you to be somewhere. Isn't it amazing that we do not hesitate to let ourselves down, but wouldn't dream of letting a team of people you barely know down? I have no connection with these three other people, outside of the fact that we were paired together in this challenge. But yet, I do not want to let them down with a "no show." However, the past two months that we haven't been meeting, my trips to the gym became a bit more sporadic. The only person I'm letting down in that scenario is myself. Shouldn't I rank a bit higher on the list than a group of acquaintances?

I guess this is all part of the reprogramming and re prioritizing. Who would have thought that this step is possibly more difficult than saying no to the Reese's peanut butter cups...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Food Revolution!

Is anyone as excited as I am about Jamie Oliver's new show Food Revolution? How exciting; I remember watching his program, The Naked Chef. The premise of his first show was preparing food in a more natural state and not adding a lot of junk to it.

So, his previews for his new show start with him in an elementary school checking out what the kids are eating. They're having pizza for breakfast and he's absolutely appalled. And honestly, can we blame him?

I struggle so much with my weight and I know, emphatically, that I do not want this to be my legacy for my children. What am I teaching them? Do they KNOW that pizza is not an acceptable breakfast? Do they KNOW that they need a minimum of 5 fruits and veggies a day to stay healthy and feed their bodies and minds? I hope so. And, I hope that my struggle is not a preview for their own lives. I hope they see that I'm a fighter, that I may not be perfect, but I strive each day to get better. And, I hope that with all that, they also see that pizza is not a good choice for breakfast.

Someone once said, "A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not." So, I'm thankful that I have this opportunity to intentionally lead my children down a life long path of health and wellness. May that be the legacy I leave.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympic Mania

I just love the Olympics. My husband very lovingly refers to me as an Olympics nerd. Seriously, he catches me every two years, at wee hours in the morning watching the games. I don't just watch the popular events (gymnastics or track & field in summer- skating and skiing in winter). I mean, I watch them all...water polo, curling, whatever...bring on the games!

Honestly, what is not to love about the Olympics? They unite the world in sportsmanship and provide inspiration to the masses. The caliber of athlete that is able to compete in the Olympics is quite magnificent; and to medal, spectacular. And, medal contender or not...they are all striving to exceed their personal bests. Perhaps we can all take a lesson in striving for our personal best and harnessing our own Olympic spirit.

So, after reviewing my most recent post and pontificating on (to quote myself) "the mud of my own hopelessness", I am moving on. I'm harnessing my own Olympic spirit. I appreciate my friends and family for providing a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen and most importantly, for reminding me that I am not defined by a number on a scale. I am not defined by my struggles. I am an Olympian; striving to achieve my personal best and harness the power within.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Now, where did I put my motivation?

I seem to have lost it; my motivation that is (although some that know me may have thought I was talking about my mind).

It’s been a ROUGH few weeks. The unbelievable amounts of snow certainly hasn’t helped the situation but I guess what’s been really rough is the mind game I’ve been playing with myself. And here’s the real kicker about the mind games you play with yourself…there’s no winner. I have lost the battle with my mind the past few weeks and now I’m working on picking myself up, coming up out of the ditch I’ve been in and attempt to find my motivation.

I guess for the first time in a long time (since I started the Attack the Fat Challenge back in September) I feel hopeless. Now, I’m no stranger to the feelings of hopelessness when it comes to the battle with my weight. But, I haven’t experienced that feeling in a long time. I was so sure that the Attack the Fat Challenge would yield some results (uh, no- big goose egg on the scale); then came the doctor who insisted it was my thyroid. I’ve been on the medication now for months and no difference. (Well, perhaps I shouldn’t say no difference, my hair has stopped falling out and my hands and feet aren’t little ice blocks anymore.) I feel like Princess Leia in Star Wars, crying out to the Jedi Master, “Help me Obi-Wan, you’re my only hope.” But, here’s the catch…there seems to be no Weight Loss Jedi Master.

I’m sure there are those that would argue we are our own Weight Loss Jedi Masters. And, if you read through some of my previous blogs, I would have also made that argument in my more positive and motivated weeks of yore. But, if I had my mind mastered in this game, I wouldn’t be down here, in the mud of my own hopelessness trying to figure out how to get out of the pit…and back on the spin bike where I belong.

So, I sit here, with my “Biggest Loser Application” partially completed in one hand and a pamphlet on Bariatric Surgery in the other; and I’m asking myself…is this it? Are these the options I have after letting myself get this far from health and wellness?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Weight Loss Trifecta!

My cousin and her family recently visited our family. We had a great time. Her kids and my kids (who are very close in age) had a blast. My cousin lost 80 pounds and has kept it off for about 2 years now. It was quite inspirational to see her and get the opportunity to talk with her about it.
She has struggled like me with some ups and downs along the weight loss roller coaster. But in the end she's found success and says that this time it's different. It feels different and her attitude is different. So, I asked her HOW is it different? What magic switch did she flip to bring about amazing results? She said that she started loving God, starting loving herself and loving the exercise. So, I'm summing that up, and calling it the Trifecta...Mind, Body & Soul. It makes sense; we need to hit on all cylinders in order to find lasting success.

Our Mind:We need to get our head in the game (as Bob Harper likes to say). But, it's true. The mind is powerful; it can convince us we will win or lose; can or can't. Henry Ford said, "Whether you think you can, or think you can't...either way, you're right." If we get our head in the game; use the knowledge you know you have (eat the vegetables skip the cookies) then we've mastered our mind in the weight loss game.

Our Body: Of course we have to move! We need to get our bodies in motion and expend calories! I find it so fascinating that when I'm exercising and long after, I feel good; really good. It's not just the endorphins; it's the sense of accomplishment. I feel really good about myself and that not only makes my body feel good, but my mind is refreshed as well.

Our Soul: This is a biggie. In recognizing that it's not all about me, that my struggles with weight, in the grand scheme of life are relatively small, is a relief. I can breathe and know that with God, all things are possible. He does care about me and my struggles and He is faithful. If we take the first steps, He is always there to help us finish our journey, no matter how long that journey may take. So, not only am I in the game of life and on the path to wellness with my family, friends and countless others with similar struggles; we all walk with the One who created us. And that, is perhaps the most liberating realization of all.

So, thank you cousin Katie; for reminding me of some bigger issues at play here. I'm off to win this race...the whole Trifecta!

Monday, January 25, 2010

I've got the power...

Really? Sometimes I don’t think so. But, when I start to break it down, I do have the power. I am the only one who is able to make this change. No one can do this for me. The thought, at times is sobering. Oh how I wish I could wave a magic wand and my weight loss woes would be over. But, unfortunately that’s not how it works.

I’ve had a rough few weeks. That’s probably why I haven’t posted. Due to work and life commitments, I wasn’t able to work out at all last week. This is when the doubts and hopeless thoughts start to creep in. And, I noticed that my eating habits weren’t the best last week either. I guess what the experts say is true; when you’re working out, you’re more likely to eat better.

I started reading through my journal that I sporadically wrote in over the past year. Last January I started the journal in an attempt to chart my thoughts and emotions and how it relates to my weight struggles. I got a few weeks/month into it and that was it. The most depressing realization was what I wrote about last January sounds awful familiar to my thoughts this January. Am I really in a vicious cycle of hope, action, disappointment, and then inaction? I hope that the realization that I am the only one who can make this happen will help me be successful. Because, honestly, failure is no longer an option.

So, it’s back in the saddle and up on the workout horse I go. I have the power to change. I hold the power to my own success.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

All good things must come to an end...

Do I really believe that to be true? I hope not. I hope my faith and optimism allows for a lifetime (and eternity after that) of good things. But, tonight was my last training session with my "team." We've worked out together for 18 weeks with a personal trainer and it's been good. It's certainly had it's ups and downs, but I've enjoyed my time with the "Blue Busters." We began this challenge as total strangers but have grown along with each other these past 5 months and developed a nice acquaintanceship. It will be nice to see them at the gym; we can continue to encourage each other.

I'm ending this challenge with not much weight lost, but I have gained perhaps something more important. I actually like exercising. It's fun; it makes me feel good about myself and it is doing good things for my body even if the affect I was after (losing weight and fitting into all the great Lilly Pulitzer outfits I bought) hasn't yet come to fruition. But, I'm hopeful that the weight loss (and subsequent modeling of fabulous Lilly shift's) is right around the corner.

I've heard that the road to wellness is a marathon not a sprint. So, I guess I better settle in for the long haul...I'm not getting off the path anytime soon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fountain of Youth....DISCOVERED!

My mother in law is a beautiful woman, inside and out. She is aging so gracefully, it’s truly remarkable. I think I have to chalk it up to good genes and good, clean living. She’s never smoked, never drank, despises sodas, drinks mainly water and her cup or two of hot tea a day. What does she have to show for it? Unbelievable skin, nary a wrinkle and no extra weight.

I think she may have found that fountain of youth…it’s called behavior and lifestyle choices. Isn’t it amazing how our behavior and lifestyle choices affect pretty much every aspect of our life? Discipline is a behavior; eating right and treating your body with respect is a lifestyle choice. These behaviors transcend into every part of our life. Do you work diligently in your job? Do you give 100% of yourself? That’s discipline my friends. And, I think if I can conquer myself (yes, I need to defeat myself in this ongoing battle for discipline) then I think I will be successful both professionally and personally.

I’ve been hearing a lot recently about “Clean Foods.” “Eat cleanly”, a personal trainer told me. At first, I’m thinking, “what is he talking about? I wash my food; I wash my hands…” Seriously, I wasn’t getting it. But, the more I read, the more it makes sense. My body is craving nutrients and vitamins and the fuel it needs to burn fuel efficiently. And, you know, crap in, crap out. So, if you fuel your body with clean foods, you’ll burn fuel (ie, fat stores) cleanly and efficiently.

Well, at least that’s what I’m hoping. I’ve decided to grab the celery sticks instead of the pretzel crackers (Dang those Toll House elves!!! Those things are GOOD!); the fresh fruit instead of the Cadbury Flake bar (those English may not be the best cooks…but chocolate? They manage to do chocolate just fine).

Monday, January 11, 2010

The year of no excuses...

It's so easy to find excuses to not do the things we need to do to propel ourselves forward. In every aspect of our life, our failures can be chalked up, for the most part, to not making the effort, giving 100% or finding and accepting the excuses we create. Now, that's not to say that we're not faced with challenges and sometimes those challenges can feel completely overwhelming. But, at the end of the day, we do have choices. And, if we have the courage and the strength to make the hard choices, we'll be all the better for it.
I've decided that for me, this is my year of "NO EXCUSES." I'm drawing the line in the sand and standing firm on this one. I will give 100% of myself to reaching my goals this year. And, at the end of the year, I may not be at my goal, but I'll certainly be closer to reaching them. And, I won't be able to look back and punish myself for giving up or using those excuses that I find so easy to fall back on.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Quick Fix it! Where is my weight loss Band-aid???

The Biggest Loser, Season 9 premiered last night. That show has done amazing things to inspire our nation to get on a path of health and wellness. For me, watching that show reminds me that I am not alone on this journey; in fact, the path is full of people just like me who at some point started making some really poor choices with regards to our health. You know, come to think about it, the path isn’t just full…it’s completely over-crowded…

It’s funny; I am an Employee Benefits Consultant by trade. So, the Healthcare debate is one I’m fully engaged in on a daily basis. We all complain about the cost of healthcare, we want lower premiums but yet we fail to realize the main reason premiums are so high. And, no health plan, employer sponsored or federally sponsored can even scratch the surface to begin to fix healthcare.

We, my friends, are the only ones that can really start to “fix” healthcare. Here’s the ugly truth…we are unhealthy, under-exercised, over-fed and want a quick fix or pill to heal us. That, folks, results in huge claims to health insurance policies; did you realize that for every $1.00 paid in health insurance premiums, $.80 is paid out in claims? We’re not even talking about paying the bills (ie salaries of those nice people who answer the phone when you call to ask about your coverage, keeping the lights on, printing out ID cards, etc). No one wants to take responsibility for their health and get up off the sofa. Taking a pill doesn’t heal our diabetes or high blood pressure or high cholesterol. A pill is designed to treat the symptoms not the cause. And, somewhere along the line, we’ve confused the two. Why are our children developing type II Diabetes…also known as Adult Onset? Because, they’re overweight, obese even and don’t get any exercise.

So, why does the pattern continue? I’m sure this is where the debate can get even more heated. We all KNOW what we should do to live a healthier life; eat the fresh green beans instead of the fried potatoes, skip the butter, use a bit of olive oil; take the stairs instead of the elevator…the list goes on and on.

I know, for me, it’s just dad-blabbed hard. It’s hard to take the stairs and those fried potatoes are tasty. In the wise words of my aunt, somewhere along the line, I gave myself permission to make poor choices. And, somewhere along the line, I’m going to have to make the choice to NOT give myself permission, perhaps I should be put on restriction from making bad choices.

Now, the decision to buy those beautiful new shoes, although completely unnecessary….those are bad decisions I can live with.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's a REVOLUTION...or maybe a resolution...What's with the New Year's Resolutionaries?

Yes, folks…it’s that time of year again. You can’t find a parking spot at the gym and forget about getting a treadmill or elliptical to use. Yes, the Resolutionaries have arrived! And, much like Paul Revere on his horse yelling “The Red Coats are coming!” I’ve taken it upon myself to warn anyone wanting to turn over a new leaf this year…you may want to wait until February. Or, just get as good of a workout as you can walking to the gym from the spot you found about a mile away; or by walking the stairs as you go from floor to floor looking for one free inch of space to work out in.

I am foolishly attempting my spin class tonight. I was told by the spin instructor last night (as I was working out with my trainer, who managed to find a spot for us in the back, by the stairs. The four of us had about a 6x6 area in which to get the best workout we could) that EVERY bike was full. Can you believe that? They come out of the woodwork; or if not out of the woodwork, at least out of the McDonald’s around the corner.

So, I have my seat pad in my bag and I plan on arriving about 30 minutes early to secure a good bike…one with an adjustable seat AND a working pedometer. Wish me luck folks….