Saturday, April 02, 2011
Itís part of our challenge this week to name five people who motivate us. There are so many people here on Spark who motivate me, it was hard to choose 5, and in fact Iíve chosen a bit more than 5...but also there are different categories of people who inspire me. There are those who inspire me physically to push it, those who have lost a lot of weight or those who have challenged themselves and won.
There are also those who inspire me spiritually, and Iíve decided I will write a separate blog soon to honor those people.
But for this challenge here are my Top motivators, and Iíve also put their pictures in the Top 6 slots of my Spark Page so that I can see them on a daily basis and remember why Iím doing this, and they they did it, too. I picked more than 5, but with a community of such inspiring people it was impossible for me to pick just five.
KICKBXCHIC/STEMMEFATALE: My sister Kris. She is, and always has been, my number one supporter. She would find something nice to say about me when I was 120 lbs. overweight. She always made me feel strong, pretty, and like I could do it. I was one of those kids whose awkward stage lasted oh, about 10 yrs. I was overweight at an early age, starting in the 3rd grade, and she was always there for me to protect me, and to help me. I remember her trying to get me to run in the 8th grade. She would take me to a nearby park and we would run the track there. Well, she would run, I would make it about halfway around then quit. But she has been this constant force in my life. Recently she is the person who inspired me to run. She bought my entry to the Shamrock Shuffle last year and that race made me desire to be a runner. I remember after a particularly good run, you know, the kind where you realize just how far youíve come and how you shouldnít even be running this far in the first place, I called her up crying and said ďThank you for changing my life.Ē And she has. She will drop anything for me, and once I called her at 10 p.m. at night and begged her to run the Susan G. Komen 5k with me (it was the following morning), I was afraid to run it alone and she didn't even question it. She was there. She is my friend, sister and running partner. She ran beside me during my first 5k and stayed with me the whole time, even though she normally runs at a faster pace. And she also gave me the courage to run a 5k alone. She is an amazing woman. And she's my sister.
DANCINGEARTHMOM: Blaize, my partner and friend. I remember I met her on the Done Girls Team message board and I looked at her profile and saw she had run a half marathon and I was so impressed with her! She was recruiting girls for the Done Girls seasonal challenge at the time, and I responded to her post and posted on her spark page. She was one of those people that inspired me so much at first ďglanceĒ, that I added her as a Spark friend, and hoped she would friend me back. She not only did that, she introduced me to the Sunny Gals and made sure I was on her team - she said that I inspired HER! Imagine that! Her and the Sunny Gals are one of the best things thatís happened to me on this journey. Blaize is a strong woman, she is the epitome of get Ďer DONE! She is a single mom, engaged to her soul mate, she is working full time and going to graduate school. And did I mention sheís lost a ton of weight, run a half marathon and several 10 and 5ks? She works out on her lunch break so that she can have that time at night with her beautiful daughter, Azali. She makes time for the things that matter in her life, and she is deeply spiritual and feels connected to the universe and shows those around her how they can feel that way too, and make peace with their lives. This strong woman is as wise as Buddha and as fun as Marilyn Monroe must have been in her prime. And she makes time to lead the Sunny Gals and always has an encouraging word to say. She has picked me up more times than I can count, and has given me confidence in so many ways. I love this girl.
SUNNY GALS: I have said that this team is like meeting one of the Spark motivators, except they ALL are spark motivator material. Itís like having a group of cheerleaders cheer you on, pick you up, and give you a smack on the butt to get you in gear. These women are the most amazing women and they all have hearts that are bigger than any amount of weight they may need to lose, than any obstacles they may face. These ladies are givers and I count them among my blessings every single day. I donít know what I would do without them.
KITHKINCAID: Jenn, my Chicago sparker and the first person Iíve met from Spark in the Ďreal lifeĒ. She inspired me to try Zumba, a dance class Iíve never taken before, and in turn she said I inspired her to try Couch to 5k. She has lost over 85 lbs. and has excelled in everything she has tried. Running? Sheís faster than me. Zumba? She is a pro on the floor. And now sheís trying Salsa. She has shown me that nothing is impossible, and that goals arenít just dreams, they are things we can plan for and reach. She has insights that we can all relate to, and she shares her heart so openly here on Spark and it benefits us all. She is funny, hard working and is someone that I know will reach her goals - and then some.
KARVY09: Christina is leader of the Couch to 5k Team which is the team I turned to when I knew I wanted to run. She is so supportive and cheered me on during my training. She gave me the courage to START running weighing 276 - she herself began running at 275. Since then she has run six 5k - 7k races, 2 10k races and, in her words, ďA KILLER HALF MARATHON!!!Ē She has lost 110 lbs. and is also blogging about her experiences in a blog at www.chunkyrunner.com. She has shown all of us ďfluffyĒ runners that yes, we can indeed RUN.
CAROLYN1213: Carolyn went from 267.5 lbs. to 180 lbs. in a years time. In her words she said she ďwent from feeling hopeless and disparate to feeling hopeful and confident. From size 22 pants to a lose size 14 in a year!Ē Carolyn teaches us all about clean eating and the importance of strength training. She shares everything she has learned in her blogs and writings. She has shown me that it is not too late to tone up, and that all things are possible. She has a strong faith and also embraces being a woman and taking charge of our lives and strength. She is, in a word, AMAZING.
TEMPEST272002: She has lost 51 lbs and says sheís fallen in love with running and snowshoeing. She is also training for her first triathlon. She has shown me that it is possible to run, to open ourselves up to new worlds and therein lies the discovery of our true selves. She is honest with how difficult it can be at times, and also helps lift those up when they need it. She is a talented photographer and a wonderful wife. She is creative and led a challenge over Halloween that inspired ME to get into a Marilyn Monroe costume. She is an inspiration.
MOMFAN: Leona has lost 100 lbs. and has shown me that itís consistency and hard work that gets you there. She is very strong in her faith and she leads the team Christians with 100 lbs. to Lose and helps us all to aspire what we dream to be. She taught me that itís never too late for a new beginning, and that we are all beautiful creatures. I remember when I first joined her team I spark mailed her, asking what her secret was. I wanted her to tell me exactly what she was doing, so that I could follow her plan like a blueprint. She told me that I would find my own way, as she did. She gave me some helpful hints, but it was not a ďdo this, donít do thatĒ sort of thing that I wanted. She taught me that this is truly a lifestyle change, and no set of rules can get us to where we want to be and stay there.
To all of these beautiful ladies, I applaud you. Know that I visit your pages often and find much inspiration there. For those that may not know these ladies please visit their spark pages. I just know youíll find inspiration there too.
Friday, April 01, 2011
I had a very bad day today. It started with work, where I was expected to video edit, which is something I have never done. But, we wanted to save the money to hire somebody, and I can usually figure things out. So that turned into two days of me trying to do the equivalent of fitting a square puzzle piece into a round hole. I worked through lunch today, cancelling plans with my sister, and also ended up working three hours past closing. And it's still not done, I know I have that to face Monday morning. I am not proud of the meltdown I had in the bathroom, crying my eyes out because I hate to fail, hated to possibly tell my boss, the President of the company, that I just couldn't do it.
As if work weren't enough, I am also over-committing myself in other areas of my life. I love my church but it's a small church, and not many people to help for certain things, like say, a ladies' tea to be held Mother's Day weekend. The Deaconess asked me in an email last September, if I could help with a tea. In the past I've helped with graphic design projects - creating posters, flyers, sign up sheets, things like that. I'm good at that. I like doing that, and I like helping people. I'm a "yes" person, which I am learning is not so good of a thing. In fact, it could be my worst characteristic. So, this innocent little "project" I am working on turns into a full blown tea. And I'm one of two people coordinating it. I don't enjoy it. And I've told the Deaconness I hated it, I would have never said yes had I known what was involved, blah, blah, blah. But yet. I am still DOING it. And I don't have the time.
Where is my family in all of this?
My two daughters.
Come to think of it, where am I?
....where is God?
Had I asked him if it was a good idea to add tea hostessing/planning skills to my resume?
Had I asked my husband?
Did I ask myself?
And at work I take on unrealistic projects . The marketing guy was wise enough to tell my boss that HE couldn't edit the videos he wanted for his speech next week. But me? Oh, I'll take it on. I'll figure it out. I'll make it work while my family is at home, waiting for me, waiting to eat dinner while it gets cold on the table. I'll make it work.
Well, this isn't working anymore.
I need to claim back my time, my self, my spirituality.
I feel that amidst all of this MESS I am missing God's plan for me. Missing it by a mile.
Earlier today when I had my meltdown, I called my husband from my headset (always attached to my head) in the bathroom. I could barely talk through my sobs. I reached my limit. It was all too much, my work life and my church life colliding together and I was so overwhelmed I felt like I was drowning. I couldn't breathe. He listened to me and didn't say much. We hung up and I continued to try to make it work, at work.
I got home hours later and after we put the kids to bed he told me that he felt God in his life today, that he felt something spiritual touch him. Now my husband does not go to church with me, but believes in God, still for him to say that something spiritual touched him, that is a huge thing. A big thing. I listened.
He said that after he got off the phone with me he felt so bad for me and didn't know how he could help. He went to the window at that moment, and what was a rainy Chicago day turned into a snowy day. Right before his eyes the rain turned into big, fat 2-inch snowflakes. He said it was amazing to see. And he thought to himself that while I was at work, miserable, that there was something much more beautiful out there. God was at work in those snowflakes, creating each one different, and even though I was at work at couldn't SEE it, it was still happening. It was beautiful and amazing and it was something that I couldn't see or touch at the time, but it was there.
Sort of like faith, I thought, when he told me this. Sort of like the promises in the Bible. It reminded me that even through the tough times, God is there for me, waiting for me to call out to Him. And He is always there.
I am going to make some changes...I know that I was not put on this earth to be miserable. I am going to start putting more boundaries around myself, and my family...I am going to take some things away from my life that I don't need, and it may disappoint some people, but it is what I have to do.
If you've made it this far, thanks for listening.
From the fullness of His grace we have all
received one blessing after another.
John 1:16 NIV
Friday, April 01, 2011
March Progress Report:
Start weight: 214
End weight: 213
Weight lost: 1 lbs.
Total weight lost this year: 12.5 lbs.
Goal weight progress: 33 more lbs. to go to goal weight!
Onederland progress: 14 more lbs. to reach ONEderland!
Total weight lost: 85 lbs.
Total fitness minutes: 924
My goal was to lose 4 lbs. this month. I didnít reach that (again). I only lost 1 lb., but Iíll take it. My body likes to go into a weird sort of, I wonít call it starvation mode, but I will call it a ďcling to my fat like itís the end of the worldĒ mode when I am training for a race. But thatís ok. I know that itís when the road is rough that real growth happens. I am going to stick to my new lifestyle, which I love, there is no turning back, and just keep living, running and aiming to be happy and balanced. Sometimes, itís not all about the scale. Sometimes itís about the lives that we create for ourselves, one day, one moment, one experience at a time.
Iíve been running 3x a week to train for my upcoming 8k. Iíve eaten well, excluding the weekends, and yes, there is room for improvement with nutrition. I could get more freggies and fiber in. Last month I noticed that I needed to get more workouts in, and I definitely did that.
My goal this month is to lose 4lbs, bringing me to 209. My goal this FEF challenge is to get into ONEderland and lost a total of 14 lbs. I think I can do it, I lost 12.5 last challenge. I have an amazing partner and team behind me, anything is possible!
I beat my own pace. I have been keeping a running log in this round of training, and my starting pace was an average of 15:00 miles per minute. Some days it was higher, some days less, but that was the average. In a month Iíve shaved almost 3 minutes off of my time, with a pace of 12:00 per minute as an average and the other day I had a 3 mile run where my average pace over the duration of that run was 11:13! For those of you new to running, I highly recommend keeping a log, it is so inspiring to look back and see how far you have come.
In my 8k training Iíve ran that distance 2x already now.
I was telling my brother in law about a house I saw for sale and he asked where and when I told him he was like "What were you doing out that far from your house?"
Me - in the words of Forrest Gump - I was RUNNING :)
And I saw a fit runner coming from that direction and she nodded and waved to me as if I was part of the club. I remember seeing people run outside and thinking how great that was, but that I would never get there or even want to do that. But here I am! It's really unbelievable to me sometimes. There's a great park by me that's about a mile away and I always drive there and never thought I could even walk there. On Saturday I ran PAST that park!
ABOVE AND BEYOND:
What did you do this week to go above and beyond?
I went for a run even though I was SO tired and didn't want to go.
I went for a run at lunch although my day was stressful and busy.
I got up early to workout.
List your non-scale victories here.
I am now the weight I was when I got married!!!!!! I havenít weighed this in 10 yrs. at least.
I can now cross my legs and oddly enough, find myself doing so often and itís actually comfortable!
I bought a French silk blizzard but only had a few spoonfuls, then put it in the freezer.
I got my hubby to actually run for a few minutes!
My childhood crush told me on FB that he should've went for me when he had the chance!
I've had several other people on FB tell me how skinny/pretty I am Ė I am not used to that. No, I'm not vain, but it is nice to hear sometimes. (I'm not used to it, but it could grow on me).
A shirt that the button used to pop open now is very loose on me.
My hoodie from the Hot Chocolate race now fits me and I wore it in public!
I can now stretch my legs behind me while standing up and hold my ankles, I could never do that before!
I now LOVE stretching and Yoga!
Men are actually holding doors open for me and being much more polite than they used to be. I feel like a star or something. Wow, this is what ďnormalĒ feels like.
THINGS IíVE LEARNED:
You are only in competition with yourself to get to that next goal, milestone and the victory you will find there is much more satisfying than anything else.
Stress can and will hold onto the weight.
Sometimes you will only lose 1 lb. in a month. That doesnít take away all of the hard work youíve done.
Strength training is essential.
Sometimes, a pound is enough.
PROGRESS PHOTOS FROM PUSH CHALLENGE
Total loss: 12.5 lbs.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Ok, so it's almost mid-week. But here's my plan - past, present and future!
Saturday - run - done!
Sunday - swimming - done!
Monday - swimming - done! Although I didn't get my upper ST in....
Tuesday - run - done!
Wednesday - cross-training (either stationery bike at work or Leslie Sansone)
Thursday - run
Friday - Get up early and do yoga
Saturday - long run & Upper ST (since I missed it).
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
WEEK ELEVEN CHALLENGE - ENDS 03.19.2011
MAIN CHALLENGE: Revisit Week Two Affirmations
What worked, what didnít? Share some of the successes and challenges you had related to your affirmations during PUSH.
My Week 2 affirmations were:
"I will train for my 8k with joy, and eagerly anticipate each training session. I will push through the hard parts and just know that those parts will make my run easier in the race. I will finish the race easily and with a smile on my face. I see myself crossing the finish line with Jenn and drinking that free beer afterward. I will train to be AWESOME."
These affirmations really helped me, and got me out of my corner of fear and to start training for my 8K. I saw the 8K as something that I truly could not do Ė if you had seen me last year, dead last in that race, not even walking through the finish line because I was so embarrassed Ė you might understand. But that is not who I am NOW.
Writing those affirmations gave me courage and strength that I didn't know I had. I do believe that sometimes if you "fake it", you do make it. Truly. I think that may be what affirmations are all about. Writing down our dreams, hopes, diminishing our fears, sort of like a flashlight in the dark. And if we say them enough, we start to believe them, and act on that belief. We start to become who we want to be.
I am not done with my training yet and Iíve already run my 8K distance. This is so awesome to me, and inspiring. Not only did I run this distance, I ran it at a much faster pace than Iíve ever run. This shows me that ANYTHING is possible.
BONUS: Look Forward
Create two new affirmations for other areas you would like to improve/enhance this spring.
I am not defined by mistakes that Iíve made. I am not who I was, I am being remade. I am NEW. I am chosen and holy and I am dearly loved. Dreams DO come true. I am going to break these chains that bind me.
I will give up who I thought I was and who I thought I had to be, because neither of them believes that I can be MORE. And I can. I will no longer live in the shadows of shame, believing that I canít change. Because God doesnít see me the way that I do. He sees me as so much more.
(both new affirmations inspired by and have lyrics by Jason Gray's song "I Am New")
His video and full lyrics can be viewed at the link below, I highly recommend it.
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