Friday, April 29, 2011

Backs are very important things.

I hurt my back at Jazzercise last night.  Growing up, I had a lot of back issues...even as young as elementary school.  But when I started Jazzercising several years ago, I really strengthened my core and I started limiting my back pain.  It typically flares up now once (maybe twice) a year.  I thought Jazzercise would be tough last night because I hadn't worked out in over a week and I thought the cardio would kick my butt...especially after being sick.  But it was quite the opposite!  After the 2nd song, I was fired up and felt invigorated!!  But as we were cooling down, something just clenched in my back.  It was that kind of pain that made me catch my breath every few seconds.  Yuck!  I wasn't able to finish the last part of the workout which stunk.

I went home and put BioFreeze on it which really helped the immediate pain.  Sleeping was horrible because the only low-pain position was on my back.  About 1am, I went and got an ice pack which helped and I finally slept.  I woke up at 3am with pain.  It felt better with pressure, so I rolled up a towel and laid on it (with the pressure right on the soreness) and that helped enough to get me through to this morning.  Today I have an anti-inflammatory patch on it and I'm able to function fine.  I'm supposed to set up at Jazzercise tonight though so that could be tricky.  Oh...and I'm supposed to run a 5K on Sunday which should be even trickier.  I'm just taking it as it comes.  :)  I'm sure I will be all better tomorrow.  That is the good thing about developing core strength...these things don't hang on like they used to.

Speaking of Jazzercise, last night I wore regular shorts for the first time.  I always avoided shorts because of my thighs.  While I have been blessed with a small waist for my size, I make up for it in my thunder thighs.  I think they look okay, but my thighs are still a little too big for me to be really comfortable.  I was too distracted with them throughout the workout.  It was probably that distraction that made me do something I shouldn't have to hurt my back!  Anyway, I will get there, but it isn't an "all the time" thing yet.

I've been picture happy lately, so I will spare you a pic of today's new outfit.  I'm wearing new khaki cargo pants with a black T-shirt I had.  Over that I'm wearing a new short-sleeved denim jacket from Jones New York.  The jacket is fitted and has good lines, so overall, I'm quite pleased with the look.  I do think that while the pants fit PERFECTLY when I put them on this morning, they will be stretched out and baggy by the end of the day.  I think I probably should have gone a size smaller.  We shall see.  Maybe I can dry them hot and shrink them a bit.

Have a wonderful weekend!  Next week starts May and that is the month I'm going to hit 100 pounds lost!!  See the ticker at the top?  I hit 95 pounds down this month!!  I just couldn't be more pleased.

Love & hugs, my friends!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Owning my gluttony!

Since I had a cold, the end of Lent came and went without much fanfare.  But I can have chocolate again!!  I had a little bit earlier in the week, but I didn't have much of an appetite nor did I have functioning tastebuds, so I didn't get too excited.

However, yesterday, I enjoyed every single delicious bite of the 13 pieces of chocolate that I ate.  Did you say THIRTEEN pieces?  Why, yes ma'am, I did.  I ate 7 pieces of fudge and 6 pieces of ghirardelli dark chocolate.  Is that too much?  Hell yes.  Am I going to do it again today?  Hell yes.  Am I ashamed? Hell no! 

It is so unbelievably freeing to know that I can enjoy this wonderful few days of delicious chocolatey goodness, then get right back to business in May with Jill without skipping a beat.  In fact, I still expect to hit my 95 pounds loss goal this month!

Who is Jill you ask?  I know you didn't skip right over that.  :)  Jill is my brand new Body Bugg which was the replacement for my dearly departed Jax.  Jill is my homage to Jillian from the Biggest Loser and is going to help me make May the month I hit my 100 pound mark! 

Today's new outfit (this is doubling as my positive affirmation!!):


I had a super time getting a pedi with Debi last night!  She's so awesome!

Today's post is a little bit all over the place.  I blame the fudge and coffee!  Good thing I'm going to Jazzercise to get all this nervous energy out. 

HUGS!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Catching up from vacation.

So much to tell you about!  Buckle up!!

My Parent's Wreck
Speaking of buckling up, I'm so glad my parents did!!  I told you about their wreck.  Well, this is what their car looked like.  Super crazy!  I truly thank God that they are both okay.
Friday & Saturday (aka shopping extravaganza)

You know that I planned to shop when I went on this trip.  I even took my suitcase only half full in anticipation.  I can assure you...we did some shopping.  I will try and put up pictures each day going forward of my new outfits.  There are enough to last for a while, that is for sure! 

My talley:  14 shirts, 4 jackets, 5 dresses, 7 shorts/capris, 1 pants suit, 3 jeans, 2 bathing suits, 5 bras, 10 underwear, 5 work out shorts, 2 pairs of flip flops, 2 pairs of earrings, & a purse.  Ridiculous!  But super fun!  Everything was purchased at discount stores and most everything was on clearance sales.  It is amazing how many more options I have now that I don't shop in the "Womens" section. 

Friday night we met my aunt, uncle, cousin and cousin's daughter for dinner.  I love spending time with family!
Saturday, my dad was with us and we stopped at Parrot Key in Ft. Myers Beach for lunch.  It really felt like I was on vacation!  You can see one of my new shirts in this picture.

Easter

We went to church for Easter even though I had started to feel bad.  I think I caught a cold.  Boo!  I'm wearing one of my new dresses in this picture. 

I got home Monday and was feeling terrible.  I stayed home from work yesterday and spent most of the day in bed.  I feel much better today though!

Weekly Weigh In

I usually weigh on Mondays, but I'm using Tuesday's weigh in since it was back on my own scale.  I lost 2.2 pounds this week.  YAY!!  I didn't reach my aggressive Lent goal, but I still lost more than I would have had I not pushed myself.  I will give you my April monthly loss on Monday.

Pictures

Some of you have asked about my April picture, but I usually update them at the end of the month.  I have so many outfit choices to choose from this time!! 

Here is today's new outfit:
I have a super-duper NSV to share with you all very soon.  I'm thinking that Friday might be the day to share.  (Don't get too excited...it isn't that big of a deal to anyone but me.  Ha!)

I missed you all and can't wait to get up to date on everyone's blogs!

HUGS!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

More happy ramblings...

Big Bro

We had a wonderful time last night!  I had a thought last night.  I lived most of my life worrying what others would think and modifying my behavior because of that.  Interesting because I think sometimes I still came off as bossy/selfish/etc. because I wasn't happy in my own skin.  I think my brother is more the opposite.  He would rather live his life for himself with little regard for what others think.  I'd like to think that we are both going to end up in a "happy medium" area where we are happy with ourselves and others want to share in that.  It is a nice feeling that we could be on our way to being friends.

I want to share one of my favorite parts of the night.  It is a little selfish on my part, but it also warms my heart.  In our conversation, he mentioned being amazed at his kids' swim practices and how they swim constantly for 60-90 minutes.  I responded that I was never Ms. Athlete, but I'm impressed that I was able to get through my swim practices in high school.  He looked at me funny and asked if I was on the swim team when he was in school.  I told him that I was when he was a senior.  He said he never knew that.  I told him I know and he never came to any of my events...not that I'm bitter or anything.  I laughed because I'm really not bitter...that was something I got over LONG ago.  I mentioned that everyone goes to basketball games where we grew up, so it was a little different trying to compare me going to all of his.  He said, "Yeah, it would be like comparing you going to my track meets and you didn't do that."  Blink, blink.  I told him that I went to his track meets and tennis matches and everything else.  I said that I would do those things for all of my family if I were closer because that's just how I am.

I told him that one good thing about me is that I don't hold a grudge and none of the past would keep me from having a relationship with him now.  I could tell he was sorry for past issues and even though I don't NEED it, it was nice to hear.  I love my brother very much and I want nothing more than for him to be happy.  But being happy is a choice that one has to make for themselves, so that is up to him.  I hope that he is on his way.  I know that our relationship took a GIANT step forward last night and I love that.

Salad

Our company is having a cookout at lunch today.  I decided to bring a salad that had to be made this morning.  So I got up early and got to chopping.  I halved 1.5 pounds of grape tomatoes, diced a pound of mozzarella cheese, and cut up an avocado (should have been 2 but one wasn't ripe enough).  I added 3 cups of thawed frozen corn.  For the dressing, in the blender, I mixed 1.5 cups of cilantro, juice and zest from one lime, 1/2 cup of EVOO, salt & pepper.  I didn't love the taste, so I added a bunch of garlic.  Now it is yummy!

Anyway, at the end of my chopping, I managed to cut my hand.  Dude, if I would have chopped for 30 minutes only to bleed in the food, I would have been furious!  But I managed to get it cleaned up without contaminating the food.  Whew.  Then I proceeded to drop a portion all over my dressed self.  Ugh.  So anyway, all done, tastes decent and I was on my way to work.  As I was waiting for the elevator in the building lobby, I realized that I have a silver dollar sized piece of avocado along with other dribblings all over the bottom of my jeans.  I looked like a homeless person fresh from the dumpster!  Lord have mercy.  Anyway, hopefully people will like the freshly made salad and my efforts will be worth it.

Vacation!!

I'm off to Florida this evening to visit my folks.  I'm looking forward to spending time with them!  And I'm also ready to SHOP!  My mom is the best shopping partner ever.  I have been saving up and trying not to shop much (even though I need EVERYTHING) because I know we are going to power shop like nobody's business.  New clothes...here I come!!

Postive Affirmations (Little notes of happiness to myself.)

You have come a long way, baby!  I'm so proud of all that you have accomplished on the outside, but what is truly the most remarkable is what you have accomplished on the inside.  The peace you have been able to create in your life has made you a better person, friend, daughter, sibling...everything.  I hate that you had to go through such darkness, but finding the light makes it all worthwhile.  And this is just the beginning!! 

I will be back on Tuesday.  Happy Easter and God Bless!!

HUGS!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Big Bro is coming to town.

Brother

So, my brother is coming into town today and we are going out to dinner tonight.  My brother lives in Kentucky with his wife and three children.  I typically see him when I visit around the holidays and occassionally we all take a family trip together with the parents.  This is only the fourth time I've had a meal alone with my brother in my life (that I remember).  There might be others, but it certainly isn't a common occurence. 

I think when we were really young, we got along fine.  But as we started to get older, we didn't.  When I was in 5th & 6th grade (putting Big Bro in 8th & 9th grade), I remember really feeling like my brother hated me.  Now don't get me wrong...at 10 and 11 you get a little dramatic, so I feel sure that I didn't always see things as they were.  But there are some things that I do remember.  I distinctly remember being at high school basketball games (my brother was on the team starting in 10th grade, so it had to be before then), Big Bro and his friends would be sitting together in the stands and I would walk by.  They would yell "Save the Whales" at me and other various and sundry comments.  Comments that were then picked up by other kids not in his social circle.  It is entirely possible that Big Bro NEVER participated in the taunts, but he didn't stop them or make me feel like he tried to.  As much as I loved him...idolized him, really...that made me hate him a little.

As we got older, my insecurity wrapped around me like a comfy blanket, I would treasure the moments my brother gave me.  Some particularly good memories of mine were when he and his girlfriend (now wife) made the effort to come to an event of mine in high school that meant a lot to me, I visited his frat house in college when I was looking at schools (although we attended different schools, they were in the same city), & his wedding.  Those times with him, I felt included and cared about.  But there are other times where he was cold and mean...I would cry and scream and get upset.  The more I did that, the colder and meaner and more aloof he would get.

My brother is good looking, charming and has something about him that just makes people want to be with him.  I'm not immune to his charms either.  But he is also a loner.  The older I have gotten and the more I have shed my cloak of insecurity, I have come to see that my brother's actions toward me really aren't personal.  I'm beginning to see that he just wasn't exactly the person I had made him to be in my head.  Since he was good looking, charming, athletic, popular, etc...in my head that made him perfect.  But he isn't...no one is! 

Once he started having kids, he seemed to warm up a bit and even in more recent years, he has been much more of a joy to be around.  I think a lot of it is that I am much more secure, so I'm not constantly trying to read him...I'm just myself.  But he is also going through some hard times...I guess as we approach middle age, that happens.  It is apparent that he is making an effort with me.  There is no question about that.

When Big Bro told me he was coming to town and wanted to have dinner, I was pleased.  Yesterday, he texted me and asked if he could come by my office because he wanted to see where I worked.  I'm not going to lie...I had tears.  This is one of the only times that I can remember my brother really expressing an interest in MY life.  Over the last two years, I have become so grounded and my emotions don't rule me anymore.  I think my brother is the one person on Earth that could have brought that out in me right now.  36 years of feeling like Charlie Brown to Big Bro's Lucy can do that, I suppose.  Every time I thought he & I might become friends, he would do something to make me feel horrible about myself.  Now that I really see him trying, and I truly believe he is, my first instinct is to not kick the ball.  I don't want to get hurt. 

I'm not about to sit here and list my brothers flaws because they are irrelavent.  He is my brother and I love him with all my heart.  Not to mention, I have my own list of flaws.  I would love to have a closer relationship with him, but he has to be the one to initiate it.  And that seems to be what he is doing.  I'm taking every step for what it is and nothing more.  And I'm 100% fully at peace.  I realize now that if I'm truly happy, then no one can change that.  I want Big Bro to be that happy too.

He has placed the ball and I'm going to kick.  If he pulls it back and I fall down, I will just get right back up and dust myself off.  (I'm much more athletic these days myself, right??  :))  And I will wait for him to place the ball again.  Because that's what sisters do.

Jax

Sorry to anyone that didn't realize that Jax was my Body Bugg...oops!  :)  And to those that asked, I think you can get the old kind right now from Apex for $169 and the new smart phone compatible ones for $199.  Subscriptions to the website have different pricing, but I think I paid $80 for a year.  Looking forward to Jax 2.0...aka ??

Waxing

Okay, now for the fun part!!  I went to my first ever bikini wax appointment yesterday.  I was SO nervous.  I'm not sure if I was more nervous to show my hoo-ha or that it was going to hurt like a mo-fo!!  My technician was Brandy and she was sweet as could be.  She left the room while I took off my undies (I was wearing a dress) and put on a pair of paper undies (not really sure of their purpose and then draped myself with a small towel.

When she came back in the room, she asked me if I wanted bikini, bikini plus or brazilian.  I told her I had no idea so I just picked bikini plus.  She was clinical without being cold.  We talked about a lot of things and I learned that she recently had a tummy tuck and breast implants.  I asked a lot of questions about that and she was open with her answers.  Meanwhile, the waxing was going on.  Interestingly, I was kind of okay with the openess because she was so good about it.  The pain on the other hand...while most of it was an acceptable level of pain (akin to eyebrow waxing), the skin at the top of the area right below belly??  Lord have mercy.  That hurt.  But only for a few seconds. 

So, back to the conversation.  I told her that I might be interested in a tummy tuck one day, but I was waiting to see how my skin bounced back.  I raised my shirt and showed her my belly.  I figure once you see my hoo-ha, is the belly really sacred?  She told me that my belly looked great and I didn't need a tummy tuck.  Woohoo!!  She said I had a cute belly.  HA! 

And then she was done.  She said she had made me a small landing strip and I needed to look at it because it was cute.  I couldn't help but laugh.  She also said that she thought my skin would redden more because of my sensitive skin, but she said it looked great...that other people's were much worse right after.  I put some Neosporin on it before I went to bed last night.  This morning it was tender and a little bumpy, but not too bad.  All in all, it was not a bad experience and one I expect to repeat.  Who knew?!?

Hugs!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jax 2.0?

Jax

I was so dejected this morning when I got to work and Jax was still dead as a doornail.  I had hoped that miraculously he would be all better today.  I was also upset because I had not received a response from the Apex technical support email I sent yesterday.  BOO!  So, I called customer support this morning, which I HATE doing.  But I'm so glad I did!  The rep I talked to was very nice.  She walked me through some troubleshooting steps, but it was clear Jax was gone for good.  Apparently it was still under the warranty period (YAY!) so she sent me a prepaid UPS label to send him home.  As soon as they get confirmation from UPS that he has shipped, they will send me a bright and shiny, brand-new Body Bugg.  (Double YAY!!)  Additionally, to make up for the down time (which will be all of a week...), they gave me two months credit on my website subscription.  (Triple YAY!)  What a great customer service experience!!  I highly recommend the Body Bugg to anyone for that type of service.  Easy peasy!

Weekend

I was so flustered with Jax yesterday, that I didn't talk much about my weekend.  We had a great time at the play on Friday!  We are pretty sure that the box office manager thinks we are lesbians, but that's okay.  If we were, we would have good taste!! 

We went ziplining on Sunday!  Climbing the stairs to the top of the first tower and going off were the scariest parts.  Once I was on the line, it was nothing but fun.  It was quite windy so BFF got a little seasick, but all in all, it was a good experience.  I feel sure I will do it again sometime.  If I ever get around to having my nephew come down to visit, I think he would enjoy it.

BOOBs

I got my plane ticket for Chicago today!!  I get in on Thursday and I'm hoping to meet some family for dinner.  I leave Sunday around 1:30pm.  I can't wait to meet you all.  I'm beyond excited!!

Waxing

My appointment is this evening.  I'm eager to try it, but I can't lie...I'm nervous!!  I will let you all know how it goes.

Positive Affirmations (Little notes of happines to myself.)

I'm glad that you went into the consignment shop this weekend and actually tried things on.  I know how nervous that makes you, especially when you are by yourself.  I'm SO happy that you didn't have to worry about weight restrictions on the ziplilne.  Woohoo!  That is a super big deal and something you are now past.

Hugs all!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rest in Peace, Jax.

Jax


For those of you that have followed me for a while, you know I have a Body Bugg that I affectionately named Jax.  Today, Jax is completely dark with no twinkly lights and no information available.  I'm just sick about it.  He was fine when I put him on for yoga this morning, fine when I took him off to shower, and fine when I put him back on for the day.  I took him off to upload info to my computer and...nothing.  I've kept him plugged in hoping that it was a dead as a doornail battery, but...nothing.  I haven't even had him for a year, so I have contacted Apex hoping they can help me. 

I really don't want to purchase another one, but I know that if that is the only option, I will.  This thing has really helped me.  I have lost over 30 pounds since I got this little guy.  Every time I get in a rut, I analyze what I have been putting in my body and what calories I have been burning to get me jumpstarted again.  Something about all this information really makes a difference for me.  Fingers crossed that Apex can fix it for me!!

Shopping

I can't wait to go shopping with my mom this weekend!  Not only do I need a ton of stuff, it is going to be so much fun!  :)  I went to a designer consignment store this weekend just to check it out.  I tried on lots of stuff and it was super fun that many things were too big.  Such a different feeling!!  I tried on a beautiful size 14 suit and the jacket just hung on me.  YAY!  All of the size 14 pants I tried on were too big or close to too big.  The size 12 pair I tried on were slightly too tight, but I would have bought them if I really liked them because they would fit perfectly very soon.

I ended up buying a cute little white lace cami (XL) which I thought would be a great layering piece, a cute shirt (Large) that I will wear to work, & a dress (XL).  The dress is silver with sequence.  It is a tank dress and shorter than I normally wear.  But the girls around the dressing room & I thought it would look cute dressed down with a pair of flip flops and it would be perfect for my trip to Florida.  I hope I don't end up thinking it is too short.  It isn't "inappropriate" short, but my thighs are a problem area, so I don't want to accentuate them, you know?  But it was flirty and fun and that is what I want to portray. 

Waxing

Okay, I have decided that this is something I want to do.  Now I just have to research the places in the area and make an appointment.  I will let you all know how it goes!

Hugs!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Nonsense and Waxing Advice

Surprisngly, I don't really have anything on my mind today.  I'm not sure if that is good or bad??  Ha!

BFF & I have theater tickets tonight.  So in about 90 minutes we will be leaving work and heading to Dallas.  That will be fun for sure!

Tomorrow after Jazzercise and a sh*tload of errands, I am getting a 2 hour (!) massage from one of the best massage therapists I've ever used.  YAY!!

Sunday, BFF & I are going zip lining with her aunt & uncle.  Hopefully I will live to blog Monday.  :)

Reading that, it seems like an awful lot of stuff for a "down" weekend.

Random:  do you all wax?  I have been considering it, particularly a bikini wax.  I'm both fascinated and horrified by the concept.  First, not sure I feel comfy with someone's face all up in my hooha's business, but it seems to be a popular thing, so it can't be that bad right?  It seems like it would hurt like a son of a biscuit, but again...what beauty treatment doesn't in some way?  So anyway, I'm looking for those who have done it before to give me the scoop.  Please do tell!!

Positive Affirmations  (Little Notes of Happiness to Myself)

First, good for you for even CONSIDERING waxing.  Not sure if you will do it, but so glad you are considering things well outside your comfort zone.  Thank you for taking a compliment nicely at lunch today and not trying to pooh-pooh it or qualify it with something.  I know that is hard for you but it is good!  Keep it up!

Hugs~

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Happy Ramblings.

Burn the Floor

Holy rock hard abs, Batman.  I went to see the show Burn the Floor last night.  It was a ballroom dancing show and it was spectacular!!  Pasha & Anya from So You Think You Can Dance were featured in the program and there were a few other familiar faces if you watch SYTYCD.  The guys were hot...so were the girls!  I could barely keep still in my seat.  It totally exceeded my expectations.  I always wanted to be a dancer!!

I didn't get home until late and I was super tired.  I bailed on yoga this morning, but I refuse to feel bad because my goal was 2-3 times per week and I'm averaging 4!  That said, I think I should have gotten up for the yoga.  Even when I'm tired, I'm less tired when I take the time to do the yoga in the morning.  Good to know.

Fill

Got my fill yesterday.  My fill doc is hot.  (Two topics in a row about hot guys...I'm so boy crazy!!)  Anyway, I think I overheard him saying he is getting married next month.  Good for him!  Pity for me.  :)  Anyway, he did a great job as always.  Except someone took some wrong notes because they kept insisting that I have lost 16 pounds in the last 2 months and that just isn't the case.  I think someone trasposed some numbers somewhere.  Anyhoo...I'm looking forward to focusing on good choices!  Still chasing my 100 pound loss...but it is well within reach!

Lotion

I think I told you all about the lotion I have been using...Nivea Firming Mousturizing Lotion.  It is fabulous!  I think it is even getting rid of some of my stretch marks.  It was cheap at Target and I love it! 

Olympics

I'm turning in my ticket bid today.  We are requesting sets of tickets for 3 swimming events, 1 diving event and 1 beach volleyball game.  Hopefully we will get everything and we can fill in more with random things later.  So excited! 

Positive Affirmations (Little Note of Happiness to Myself)

Last night at the show, you fit totally inside the seat!  Think how comfortable you were compared to just a few months ago.  And don't think I didn't notice how you cocked your hip when looking at yourself in the mirror this mornign.  I saw it.  And I liked the confidence!  Keep it up!

Hugs!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy Day!

Interesting Dinner
If you have followed me for long, you know I am part of a group of girls that goes to dinner once a month.  We call it Interesting Dinner and we have been doing it since October 2004.  This time, Lizard chose the restaurant and it turned out that it was the very first restaurant we went to at that first dinner in 2004.  Crazy!  We have a few new members of the group since then and was nice to revisit the place.  I love this group of ladies so very much.  We had one person missing (Cowgirl got a new knee a couple of weeks ago) and we missed her.  But we had such a lovely time.  I ate too much and drank too much (which leads to the next topic!)


 Fill
Today is the big day.  I don't want to be too aggressive.  I just want some help with the hunger so I can quit focusing on that and focus on better things, like working out, making good choices, etc.  I do not like this feeling of slipping back, but I will conquer it.  Eventually, I will conquer it ALL...I just need to take one step at a time. 

Olympics
The reason I had drinks last night was because I was celebrating.  I'm going to the 2012 Olympics in London!!  My SIL committed to going with me yesterday and we are submitting our event ticket bids this week.  I have ALWAYS been obsessed with the Olympics and always wanted to go.  I LOVE London and when they were awarded the 2012 games years ago, I told myself that I was going.  As it came closer, I decided that a trip to London would be an awfully good reward for losing 100 pounds.  I'm still 8 pounds away from that, but I KNOW I will make it soon and I have to commit this week. 

I had thought that I would have to go by myself because none of my friends are big travelers and they didn't really have an interest in going.  But my SIL LOVES the Olympics as much as I do and much to my surprise, decided to come with me.  Not to sound like a complete dork, but I had a lot of tears yesterday.  This is truly a dream come true for me and I'm happy to be celebrating 100 pound weightloss with my SIL who has been one of my biggest cheerleaders and supporters.

Since I love planning trips as much as I love taking them, I'm going to have a blast over the next 15 months!  I'm going to attempt to not drive everyone batshit crazy.  But I'm going to LONDON!  And even better, I'm going to the OLYMPICS!!!!

Positive Affirmation (Little notes of happiness to myself.)

Beth Ann, today when you did yoga, your arms were truly able to wrap around yourself, not just across the front of your body.  I noticed the difference!  Plus, it is nice to be able to completely circle your calf with your hands.  If (not if...as) you keep going, you are going to be so small by the Olympics that the airplane ride is not going to be the horrific experience they have been in the past.  You will just be a cute little jetsetter on the way to meet someone in London.  You know you can do it!!

Hugs, everyone!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bad v. Good

Today's post is a two-parter...the bad AND the good.

The Bad
Can I just say yet again how much I HATE that weightloss (no matter how open or how reserved you are) is such a visible struggle??  Last night, I was catching up on posts (sorry for the lack of comments, but I had almost 200 posts to catch up on last night!!  I did read!) last night and the lovely Fluffy wrote a post that really hit home with me.  She was talking about the difference in perception between the struggles of underweight people and overweight people.  For instance, a person might look at an anorexic with sympathy knowing that they just couldn't tell them to eat, yet that same person might look at a fat person with disdain and think that they just need to not eat so much.  Both stuggles often stem from the same places, but they are perceived in such different ways.

I watch the show Too Fat for Fifteen and my heart just aches for these kids.  I think it is possible that if my parents had the money, I would have gone to a place like that.  In the episode I was watching last night, they went home for the Thanksgiving holiday and it was challenging to stay "on plan."  One of the girls was given grief and taunted by her brother.  He would eat in front of her and tell her he would never eat like she does...in a very patronizing way.  It totally broke my heart because it felt like my life growing up.  My brother & I get along now, but he could be very cruel to me when I was growing up and that had such a profound impact on my adolesence. 

In a better world, that boy would be chastised for his attitude and the girl would be praised for her attempts to better herself.  Instead, he is probably popular where she is bullied.  I just hate that.

The Good
I think my head is getting back to normal.  At Group last night, the group leader suggested that we take some time to say nice things to ourselves.  Here I go...

Beth Ann, I'm so proud of you for continuing to get up each morning and do yoga.  Flexibility is important and making this effort helps your body.  Also, when you were shopping for a shirt at the NASCAR races, I'm glad you have a good enough self image to know that the XL shirt would be too big and got yourself a Large instead.  And finally, it is good to know that you are going to continue to fight.  That when things get tough and you get inside your head...you are going to blog, continue your routine, and push, push, push until you get it back together again.  This new person doesn't quit and will come out even better on the other side.

Thank you ALL for sticking with me and liking ME, even during the times when I'm not so sure I like myself.  It makes a difference in my life, truly.  I can't wait for Chicago so I can meet many of you in person. 

HUGS!

Monday, April 11, 2011

I AM good enough!

Good morning, everyone!  I missed you over the weekend and can't wait to get caught up on Blogland happenings.  :)  I had a WONDERFUL time at the NASCAR races.  I'm a little bummed that I didn't take any pictures.  The weather was lovely and except for the girl who had a heat stoke and threw up on us (seriously) (but she is okay now), it was overall another fun weekend at the track.

Now onto the post...

Things I have learned I can do:
  • For short bursts, I can really push myself in work outs.  In the last 6 weeks, I have averaged over 45 minutes per DAY (not workout...day).  January & February were more like 30 minutes per day, so to bring it up 10 minutes more per day is really good, I think. 
  • Over the long term, I can sustain a lot of exercise.  In fact, I'm starting to enjoy it.  {gasp!}
  • I CAN get my butt up in the morning for yoga.  In fact, I hardly have to talk myself into it anymore.  I know I will fell better, so I just do it.
  • This is a biggie:  I no longer HIDE what I'm eating.  In the past, my treats would be in private.  Sometimes I knew I was hiding, but most of the time I think I subconciously just didn't want others to see me eating something bad for me.  Now, if I want something, I eat it and if someone is there to share it with?  All the better.  This is a huge step toward a healthy relationship with food..
  • I'm learning to treat myself in other ways besides using food.
  • Even when I'm eating in an unhealthy way (for the new me), I'm still incorporating many good choices I have learned over the past year.
  • When I feel myself drifting, I'm much quicker to pull the trigger to get myself back on track.  In the past, it could take weeks, months or YEARS!  Now, it can happen daily for many, many days until it sinks in.  I really keep at myself and I like it.
Things I have learned I'm not yet able to do:
  • I cannot yet control my portions when I'm hungry and my restriction allows for it.
  • I'm not yet able to fully contain my disdain for myself when my portions get out of control which often results in bad choices.
Typing that out, I feel a little better.  I can see more good that I have learned than bad that I still need to work on.  Portion control has always been my issue.  To maintain weight, I could only eat the healthiest of foods because I needed SO MUCH to feel satisfied.  (My mom & I discussed this very thing this weekend because she has the same issue to a lesser extent.)  Since I couldn't limit my diet to grilled chicken and veggies forever, I was never able to stay under control for long periods of time.

That is why the Lap Band was such a good answer for me.  I'm not afrad of hard work and exercise.  I'm open to new flavors and healthy choices.  When I'm not hungry, I (for the most part) make excellent decisions for my body...both with exercise AND food.  But when I start to get hungry, it all starts breaking down.

I noticed a couple of weeks ago, I was starting to be able to eat more things.  I was actually okay with that because my hunger was still curtailed and I was making good choices.  However, over the course of a couple of weeks, my hunger started to grow.  As that happened, I could feel myself drifting from my plan.  Don't get me wrong...I have not drifted far.  But I have drifted and I can feel the good choices becoming harder to make. 

In the spirit of honesty, I got disappointed with myself.  I have come this far and I STILL can't do it by myself when there are a TON of people out there doing it on their own everyday.  Then I took a deep breath and told myself what I have said to others countless times...I got this device for a reason.  I was out of control and on a path toward killing myself through food and bad health.  I tried doing it on my own and I was not able.  Now that I am in a better place, that's great!  However, I have the device and it would be silly not to use it.  I still have a lot of learning to do, but the important thing now is to stay on track.

One of the biggest things stopping me from getting a fill is the fear of being too tight.  That was the worst!  I'm going to ask the doctor to be conservative because I don't think I need too much.  Just a little to help me make this helpless feeling go away.

I will NOT be too proud to ask for help.  I WILL use ALL resources available to me to make this happen.  I AM a strong and determined person but it is okay to know that I can't do it on my own yet.  I'm not sure where my head went these last few weeks, but it is nice to feel secure in myself again.  I think I really got into my own head and psyched myself out because I WASN'T GOOD ENOUGH.  I have learned a lot about myself over the last year and a half, but my journey isn't over yet!

I have scheduled a fill for Wednesday.  Until then...I will focus all my effort on making good choices.  It is amazing the relief I feel at spelling all this out for myself.  I'm so glad I have a place to do it.

Hugs!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ms. Sunshine

Do any of you watch Mr. Sunshine?  I love the theme.  Cracks me up every time.  That's kinda how I feel today.  I'm on Seasonale birth control which limits my TOMs to 4 per year.  YAY!!  Well, except for those 4 times per year.  My next one was supposed to be next week, but the antibiotics from my sinus infection threw me off, I think and here it is.  Feeling blah, blah, blah.

Yesterday, with the yoga, running at lunch and Jazzercise on top of being hormonal...I about crashed into my bed.  I slept like a log (except, of course, waking up around 4am drenched in a pool of my own sweat).  When the alarm went off at 6:00, I felt like I had hardly slept at all.  But I get my sunny ass out of bed and did yoga because it does make me feel a little better.

Yoga this morning was a treat.  (Letting you know that was sarcasm, just in case you missed it.)  Today's Namaste Yoga episode was the Dove.  Ugh.  It was hard.  The Crane pose...
Seriously?  Yeah...no.  I faked that one and tried to keep myself from going into a whiny place.  Note to self:  Dove episode should be kept for days when I'm looking for a challenge...not when it is a challenge to just get out of bed.

But here I am, at work and ready to start the day.  It could be worse.  I'm planning to walk at lunch per my Lenten Thursday ritual.  Tonight is Jazzercise.  Then it is the weekend for me!  I was going to take Friday afternoon off, but I decided to take the whole darn day off!!  It is NASCAR weekend at Texas Motor Speedway and BFF & I have season tickets.  We aren't going out at all today, but we will be out there a lot tomorrow and Saturday.  Hoping for no rain this year!  It is nice that the big race in on Saturday night because I will have the whole day Sunday to rest up. 

Oh...also, I found the limitations on my feet.  Yesterday about mid-day, I decided three days of heels along with high impact exercise is too much.  :)  So I'm in flats today, but I have on my new khakis (I used to avoid light colored pants because they made me look bigger, but I like these) with a black t-shirt and a Lauren Conrad beige grandpa sweater.  Accessories are minimal with black flats and my new owl necklace.  I am enjoying pushing my fashion comfort zone and trying to utilize more of my closet. 

Hugs!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yoga, Skin & Random Thoughts

Yoga
I've been pretty faithful to my morning yoga.  I'm doing it at least 3 times a week.  Of course, it has only been a couple of weeks, so I guess I should wait a few before I get too impressed with myself.  I can't believe something that takes the roughly the equivalent of two hits of the snooze button is doing so much for me.  It is getting easier and easier to "make" myself get up and do it.

I did a harder session today.  I have been doing this yoga show on & off for a few years.  This is an episode that I tried once, but in the past, I would skip it because I had to modify too many of the moves.  First, you are asked to crouch with your feet flat.  Before, when I would crouch, I had to raise my heels...I literally couldn't make my feet flat to the floor.  Today I did!  Another move in the episode is (from the crouch) to roll back onto your butt and swing your feet over your head so your hips are in the air and your feet are touching the floor behind your head.  Before, I had to get out of the crouch pose and sit down.  Then put my legs in the air, but I didn't really get my hips up.  Today, I was able to roll back and swing my feet up with my hips in the air.  I wasn't able to get my feet back far enough to touch the floor behind me, so I have room to improve...but I'm definitely making progress!  The last one where I noticed a difference was (from this pose) when we roll back up to our feet.  Before I just had to stand up, then lean over.  Today, I had to kind of stick my foot out to brace myself, but for the most part, I was able to roll up in one motion.  All in all, I'm feeling quite proud and ready to continue the challenge!!

Skin
This weekend I bought some Nivea Firming Mousturizing Lotion for my saggy skin.  I actually think I'm noticing a difference.  I have been applying it faithfully twice a day and my arms and belly in particular seem to be firming a little.  It wasn't very expensive, so I think it is worth it.

Random thoughts
  • I'm wearing heels for the third day in a row with no ill effects on my feet.  Additionally, I did high impact aerobics on Monday and ran yesterday...and still don't have any feet issues.  Love it!
  • I find that I'm taking a few more fashion risks.  Not real risks.  Ha!  But small ones.  Like today, I'm mixing prints.  Also, I'm taking a lot of care to work in accessories (including my new robot necklace.  Yes, I said robot.) and different shoes.  I have all these cute things and I end up wearing the same things ALL the time.  I have pictures of the outfit, shoes & necklace below.
  • I caught a glimpse of myself this morning in my mirror and I liked what I saw.  I didn't feel fat.  I felt normal.  Those moments are becoming more frequent and lasting longer.  It gives me hope that I will live outside my head someday.  :)
  • I'm going to work out 3 times today and I'm not even worried about it.  Wow.  Times sure have changed.

3rd Day in 3" heels with no foot pain!

Robot Necklace...


Mixing patterns and feeling good.  :)

 HUGS!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Recipes requested.

I'm getting back into a cooking groove and I'm looking for good recipes.  Can you please post your favorite for me?  I am willing to try just about anything, especially if it is easy.

My favorite things right now are slow cooker recipes and/or things that make great leftovers.  I'm bringing my lunch to work more now that I'm working out at lunchtime.  I prefer to bring good homemade leftovers if I have them.

My favorite things I have made lately are Tori's Tortilla Soup and Laura Belle's Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos.  I would LOVE some more ideas!!

Thanks & hugs!

What is it that I want?

Yesterday's post really started me thinking.  I know...dangerous!  But I spent a lot of time yesterday really focusing in on what it is that I really want.  Why did I do this?  What did I expect to gain (or lose) from it?  Am I on the right path? 

I obviously had LapBand surgery because I wanted to lose weight.  But why?
  1. Health reasons top the list.
  2. Look better.
  3. Feel more comfortable in my own skin.
  4. Feel more in control.
  5. Stop letting weight dictate my life choices.
A quick look at this list tells me that my top 5 reasons for doing this has nothing to do with a specific number on the scale or size.  Things are rarely that black or white and it is important to look at the abstract.

1.  Health.  I've covered this some lately, but my health has DRASTICALLY improved.  My sleep apnea is gone and I no longer sleep with my CPAP.  YAY!  My blood pressure is below normal.  My back and feet rarely hurt even with A LOT of exercise and when they do, they heal quickly.  The only things I'm battling at the moment are high sugars, high cholesterol & low B-12.  I have started taking B12 supplements so that should get better.  I'm not sure that I can modify my diet much more than I do now, so I will have to rely on my doc to help me with the sugars & cholesterol.  If I have to take meds, I have to take meds.  But at least I know I'm doing everything I can to stay healthy. 

2.  Look better.  I went from bulging out of a 22W to a Misses 12-16 range.  Sometimes I still feel fat, but I'm sure that will always be the case.  No worries.  Objectively, I know there is a vast difference.  I get more male attention which is fun.  And I can shop in any store I want!  That is just super fun.

3.  Comfortable.  I think this is what has by far had the most impact on me currently.  I can sit down in a chair and not worry if I'm going to break it.  I don't have to worry about airplane seatbelts or fitting into a booth.  I don't feel like I'm going to damage a treadmill by running on it.  I rarely get the "fat girl" feeling in a room.  I smile more and I know that I send out much more confidence in myself than I did before.  I have always been confident about what was on the inside, but I have never been confident of what was on the outside.  That is all changing now.

4.  Control.  It is amazing how much more in control I feel about all aspects of my life now that I feel I have control of my weight.  I do think it is time for me to start making some non-weight oriented goals.  One thing that is bugging me...I don't typically get home until 8pm(ish) in the evening and I feel like I need to eat right away so I can avoid any acid reflux issues when I go to bed.  The problem is that once I'm done eating, I remain sitting on my butt in front of the TV.  Not that there's anything wrong with that sometimes, but I do it every evening.  I have so much that I could be doing around the apartment.  I'm a clutterer and I would love to get myself more organized, but the only time I would be able to do that is the time between dinner and bed.  I have to find a way to get myself moving.  Any thoughts?

5.  Weight dictating choices.  This just no longer applies.  Well...it might apply slightly in that I'm probably not ready for a pool party with just anyone yet.  But I'm getting there!!

All in all, I realize that this whole journey is amazing.  It does have to do with sizes and weights, but it is SO much more than that.  The further I get down the road, the more I realize how much of a better person I can be.  The more I know how to do that, the more I like myself.  And I know the more I like MYSELF, the more others around me will like me. 

So, now that I feel that I'm on the right path, I need to start getting a little more specific with my non-weight oriented goals.  Now that I have a routine, I don't need to focus so much energy on losing weight...not because I'm giving up, but because I'm living it.  This is my life now and I'm comfortable with it.  Now I'm ready to add something new!

HUGS!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Assessing Priorities

I had a few things happen lately to help me reassess my priorities.  First, as you all know, my dear friend's husband passed away.  Second, yesterday, my parents were in a car accident.  They miraculously walked away unscathed, but they were broadsided, the car flipped and was totalled.  My unbelievably strong 70 year old parents have barely scratches.  I have nothing to say but thanks be to God.

Anyway, I ate like crap this weekend.  I had ice cream, rum drinks and other things I'm sure.  I (not surprisingly) was WAY up on the scale this morning.  I felt myself start to flail a bit so I stopped and took stock.  I realize that in the past, these things happening to me would have sent me into a self-sabotage spiral.  Woe is me.  Poor pitiful me.  I need a burger.  I need chocolate.  Excuses, excuses, excuses.  But what I realized is that while I was hanging off the wagon this weekend, I didn't really fall off and it is very easy to get righted again.  That's why I got the Band in the first place. 

I have come far enough that I feel in control of myself.  And being in control of this part of my life helps me to not spiral out of control in the other parts of my life.  I didn't lose 2.2 pounds or more this weekend.  Okay.  But I was still able to buy a pair of size 12 Levi's this weekend and a size 16 bathing suit that I don't hate.  I keep telling everyone else that this is not a race.  I need to remember that myself.  I still have goals and I'm still working to reach them.  I will not beat myself up and I will not quit.  I'm in charge of my destiny.

Eating - I ate things this weekend that I shouldn't have for a person on a Swing for the Fences Challenge.  If I want to reach my aggressive 100 pound loss goal by Easter, I had to be strict.  I was not.  Okay.  That's okay.  The one consistent thing about this journey is how I consistently fall down and pick myself up again.  Sometimes monthly, sometimes weekly and sometimes daily.  I'm doing that now.  Dusting myself off and looking at my food plan for the week. 

Exercise - I'm doing great in this department.  I worked out at least 1290 minutes in March for an average of OVER 40 MINUTES PER DAY.  That is GREAT!  All of this exercise is good for my body and eventually the scale will catch up.  While I'm still not sure I love exercise while it is happening, I love how I feel after and I love being able to do things I wasn't able to do before. 

Outlook - Knowing myself as I do, I think it would be very easy for my to feel down today.  But I don't.  I think I mention this because it is such a different place for me to be.  I was always so emotional before and any little thing made me crumble.  But now, I feel so stable.  It wasn't just losing weight (although that has helped my confidence), it is much more than that.  I have found a peaceful place in my heart.  The ups and downs of life come and I'm able to float on them like I'm on a raft in the waves. 

I kind of rambled today, but this is where I am on a Monday morning.  Not perfect, but content.  Ready to keep driving forward without obssessing over the speed bumps.  Just relaxing and riding the waves.

Hugs!

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's my body...might as well learn to love it.

I think that most of you know that I like to push myself.  I get such a thrill when I learn I can do something that I couldn't do before.  That is one of the biggest things that keeps me going.  I have two things in the last 24 hours that can make this list:
  • At Jazzercise, I do mostly high impact these days (I used to have to modify to do low impact because my feet hurt too much).  However, one thing I always kept low impact was when I would have to hop on one leg (to kick or something.)  Last night, I crossed that barrier.  I was able to bounce during those steps, keep my balance and not hurt my feet.  YAY!  Now, I think the only thing I have left (as far as bouncing/jumping) is when I lunge or do hips side to side.  Maybe next week.  :)
  • During yoga this morning, several of the routines have the same move during warm up.  While kneeling (butt down on the back of calves), you clasp your hands behind you.  Then keeping your hands clasped, you lean forward, putting your forehead on the floor and raise your arms behind you.  Always before, I had to unclasp my hands, put my forehead on the floor, then reclasp my hands.  I was afraid that I was going to faceplant on the floor.  However, my core muscles are much stronger now and I was able to control the movement.  YAY!!  I was able to do every move in the routine as shown.  It's not a super challenging show (Namaste Yoga on Discovery Health & Fitness), but I'm getting there!
Also, I'm learning that it is hard to love your body.  There are times I feel like I look good, but there are still so many things that I just don't like.  So, taking a cue from some of you out there, I'm trying to determine those things that I DO love, or at least like, about my body.
  • When I'm lying down, I can feel my hipbone.  That used to be hidden under a whole lot of layers, but now it protrudes a bit.  And there is an indention under the hips where my legs start.  Instead of being round, I'm developing curves.
  • As I mentioned in one of my pictures not too long ago, I have discovered that I have a neck and collarbones!
  • My new haircut has made my eyes more noticeable.  I never thought they were anything special but now they are one of my favorite features.
  • My calves look positively tiny (for me).  I have always had a smaller core body and larger extremeties.  Although my thighs and upper arms are still problem areas, my calves are looking so much better.  I think the running and Jazzercising are making such a difference with them. 
  • Right below my ribs and above my stomach, my body dips in.  I'm coming very close to having some abs people.  They are still buried down there, but they are fighting to get out!!  :)
Instead of focusing on the droopy boobs, the thunder thighs, the jelly belly and the flabby arms, I want to focus on the good things.  It is really hard for me, but I'm trying. 

Happy April Fools Day!  And Go Rangers!!

Hugs!