Thursday, May 05, 2011
This week our challenge is to blog about why you decided to change your habits to become a healthy, fit person.
I have never really felt comfortable in my own skin. I think thats my initial answer to the why, why did I decide to change my habits. But then thinking further about it, I realized that wasnt really it. It was part of it, sort of like an itch when you get a mosquito bite. The itch is the reaction to the bite. In my case, what was my bite? Quite literally, that I was eating too much. I was TOO FULL. I got big, and bigger, and then was at my biggest ever. But that, too, was just a reaction to what I was putting in my body. That had nothing to do with my soul. No, the reason I changed my habits was because I didnt know who I was anymore. I had just become this person who didnt recognize herself in the mirror and a person who, instead of feeling her emotions, or anything really, just stuffed them down her mouth. This person I did not love. I didnt even LIKE this person I had become.
So, there was a problem inside of myself, and I was protecting myself from the outside in... or so I thought...filling myself so full of food that it left little room for anything else in my life. I was cushioned all right. But I had no life. I had no joy. I had..THINGS, I had PEOPLE in my life. I had been blessed with a wonderful husband and looking back I dont quite know how that happened except when I met him I was ME, and he fell in love with that person and as that person gained 120 lbs. before his very eyes he still loved that person inside, the soul. There arent many people in this world that can look past 120 lbs. and I thank the Lord every day that my husband is one of them.
I had a great family, a good husband, a job, a home. From the outside things looked great. I kept up appearances. I even had fun every once in a while. But when I got home from work, from that party, from putting on the show, I was sad. I didnt like being alone with myself because I didnt like myself. I turned to TV, food and alcohol to numb it all. To be honest with you I thought a life full of sleeping 24 hrs. a day would be a dream come true. And I wanted to change. Boy, did I want to change, but I wanted the fast magic quick as lightning pill that would reverse time and make it all go AWAY. Well guess what honey, that doesnt exist. Just another excuse for me not to get healthy. It was impossible , right?
I tried every twist, turn, diet, pill, fad, trend. I tried it all. I wanted to be healthy and fit, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. It was always on my to do list to go to church. To exercise. To start that new diet.
But when I realized that I had failed at it all, when I reached that brick wall and just surrendered and reached out to God, a God I hadnt spoken to for at least 15 years because I felt He had betrayed me through a deep loss earlier in my life (and most likely the reason I started to overeat and fill myself up) it was only when I came to that point that my life started to change. I prayed and reached out to a God that did not know me and I didnt know Him. But, I had one small thing. Faith.
It was that little speck of faith that changed my life.
I began to pray more, and to ask God for help overcoming my overeating, and my urge to binge and purge my food, like I had in H.S. when I was a size 6. I began to pray for the strength to eat, but only to eat enough, as I had been anorexic previously as well. My family has some serious addiction issues, my uncle drank himself to death and thats not all, I knew I needed prayer to get through this thing.
And I think God had a bigger plan to have me go through the pain I went through earlier in my life, and the despair. I had always had church on my list, as I said, but now I have something even better...through the broken road I went down I discovered a deep faith in God that I can rely on, and use for my strength, and now church is something I want to do, just like working out, eating right, etc. Maybe I had to go through that to get to where I am now.
So through my faith I began to do it all one step at a time. Youve all probably heard my story.. couldnt walk even a half mile at first, now Im running up to 6 miles at a time. I always wanted a family, and now I have 2 beautiful daughters. I have a healthier marriage and stronger friendships.
And now I feel like ME again. Thats the most important part to me. Not the size jeans I can fit into, not that Ive dropped 10 sizes or almost 90 lbs. But that I love myself again. That I can SEE myself again. I look in the mirror and I recognize that person looking back at me. Instead of wanting to be numb I want to feel it ALL. I love running mainly because it forces me to connect with myself. To push from within and to hear the sound of my breath in my ears and my feet on the pavement. I love yoga because I can feel every curve, every muscle and every stretch and I just know its great for my body, like a cool drink of water to thirsty lungs. I love walking, biking, dancing. I love being me again. But Im also discovering new things about myself every day, and becoming even more of the person I was always meant to be. I was hiding from life and now Im living it and making the most of each day.
After being lost for so many years I thought I had lost her. That girl who loved to roll down hills and run through the woods and explore. I wasnt sure how, or if, I could get her back. I didnt know what that would look like.
But now I know.
It looks like me, only better. I am a healthy mom, wife, sister and friend. I am pursuing my dreams to run a 10k and a 15k and eventually a half marathon. I also plan on honoring my writing and get back to it, and find myself there again.
I am worth it. I can say with certainty that we ALL are.
So, my final answer to the why? Why did I start this journey? Because I had to. Because I didn't know who I was anymore and I needed to find out. Because, deep deep down...underneath it all...I wanted to LIVE.
I feel it all, I feel it all.
The wings are wide, the wings are wide
I know more than I knew before.
Lyrics from Feist, I Feel It All
I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to there and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20
Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
I think about the years I spent just passing through
Id like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
Youve been there you understand
Its all part of a grander plan that is coming true
Lyrics from Selah Bless the Broken Road:
Monday, May 02, 2011
Start weight: 213
End weight: 209.5
Weight lost: 3.5 lbs.
Total weight lost this year: 16 lbs.
Goal weight progress: 31.5 more lbs. to go to goal weight!
Onederland progress: 10 more lbs. to reach ONEderland!
Total weight lost: 88.5 lbs.
Total fitness minutes: 1.045
My goal this month was to lose 4lbs, bringing me to 209. I nearly reached that by losing 3.5 lbs. And I gained 3.5 lbs. this month, so my highest this month was 215.5, not 213. I am very happy with my progress this month.
I ran my first 8k – the Shamrock Shuffle!!! 1:01 PR for me!
I signed up for my first 10k! (and I wanted to)
I ran in the rain for the first time!
Reached over 1,000 fitness minutes for the month.
I am feeling like a "thin" person.
When the hot weather arrived unexpectedly I embraced it and didn't try to cover myself up like I used to do in the summers. I actually welcomed it.
I worked out with my tankini bottoms on and a sports bra and nothing else so as to not wake my family gathering clothes in the morning and I felt slim! I looked down at my legs and they looked trim!
I ordered 2 swimsuits from Old Navy and was sure that the "Regular size" I would have to send back, but it fits! I actually look good in it! I am so excited for the summer! A complete NSV for me.
My wedding ring literally fell off of my finger while I was in the store.
I went to my yearly dr. checkup and the dr. couldn’t stop saying how proud she was of me and how much I’ve changed in the last year and agreed on my goal weight and that I could reach that by next year.
I gave some of my tops that are too big for me now to my sister who is 8 mo. pregnant w/ twins – this weekend she wore a shirt I purchased for my wedding anniversary last year, after I had lost 40 lbs already – and it fit her perfectly. Shows me how far I have come.
I inspired my cousin Kim to purchase a treadmill and start training for a 5k, and her husband John to join Spark!
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
It’s ok to ask for help.
There’s always a time to change things up.
The only competition is myself.
That turtles do win the race….eventually…
That weight loss ISN’T a race, but a journey.
Enjoy it :)
I usually use my paper Spark calendar, but this month proved to be very busy, so I used the Spark Summary calendar feature. Below is my snapshot.
A comparison photo - left me at the beginning of this journey, right at my current state of the journey.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Our challenge this week was to do a spring activity and blog about it. Well my spring activity was to get a spring run in, but...well...Chicago hasn't really seen "spring", at least not this week.
I joked about our weather this week (which is typical of Chicago spring actually) and my team mates Mary and Anne told me that they wished it would rain for me because running in the rain is refreshing, and cools you down, and is just plain beautiful.
That's when I realized that I've never run in the rain. And a little part of me wanted to. A bigger part of me wanted the sun to come out and perhaps a nice spring breeze too, but there was that part of me that wanted to do something I hadn't done before.
So when I woke up this morning, the day of my planned run, and heard raindrops on the roof of my bedroom, I was excited! I got out of bed like it was Christmas morning and got my gear on, including thermal, and shot out the door.
The view out my front door
I had a great run, it wasn't raining too hard on the first half of my run, the second half got a little brutal with the wind and the sleeting rain, but it was everything I had hoped it would be. It WAS beautiful, refreshing and new. Like Sam in Green Eggs and Ham, I can say "I do, I do like running in the rain!"
Before my run in front of my Sunny Gals car decal. Go Sunnies!
After my run, glistening with sweat and rain and geeking a pose.
Friday, April 15, 2011
BONUS: For bonus points, share three of your favorite nutrition and fitness books. Post a blog about why they are your favorites.
1. RUNNING FOR MORTALS by John Bingham & Jenny Hadfield
This book was recommended by Sparker PINKCOCONUT who has run marathons and inspires me, so I picked it up. I think I read through it in one night. Is is a great book especially for beginning runners about how to fit running into their lifestyle easily. It stressed that you don't have to run fast to reap the rewards that running has to offer. That all you need is the courage to start.
2. LIFE IS A VERB by Patti Dingh
I LOVE this book. It's hard to describe, here's what the publisher has to say about it. I can honestly say that this book has changed my life. I began reading it before I started my weight loss journey and I believe it's one of the things that propelled me to change.
"In October 2003, Patti Digh’s stepfather was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died 37 days later. The timeframe made an impression on her. What emerged was a commitment to ask herself every morning: What would I be doing today if I had only 37 days left to live? The answers changed her life and led to this new kind of book. Part meditation, part how-to guide, part memoir, Life is a Verb is all heart. Within these pages—enhanced by original artwork and wide, inviting margins ready to be written in—Digh identifies six core practices to jump-start a meaningful life: Say Yes, Trust Yourself, Slow Down, Be Generous, Speak Up, and Love More. Within this framework she supplies 37 edgy, funny, and literary life stories, each followed by a “do it now” 10-minute exercise as well as a practice to try for 37 days—and perhaps the rest of your life. "
3. THE SPARK by Chris Downie.
Enuf said. This book rocks so much that when it was reprinted in paperback I purchased it for the expanded information (quick start) and also so that I could give my hardcover away to my Mom. I love this book and if my Internet were to crash, I would have support through it.
Friday, April 15, 2011
This week's challenge was to create a spring motivation board. We weren't allowed to create a virtual one, which is what I usually do, so it was really fun for me to get out the construction paper, scissors and glue stick. The board is something to inspire you to keep going when things get tough.
I have more than just one dream, like most of us here. Yes, we want to get fit, lose weight, and lead happy lives. That is Goal #1. For me it's a goal of mine to lose weight and become a normal weight so that I can be healthy for not only myself, but for my two girls and my husband, too. A big part of that goal for me is running. I have discovered that I love to run and it is great cardio, so it is a goal of mine to continue my mantra to "Run Strong".
Another goal of mine that some of you may know is to write a book (or two, or three). I have two first drafts of novels that are sitting in my drawer. I have a children's book all laid out and composed. I have at least ten great short stories that are doing - what? Nothing. I have discovered that I am afraid. I don't know exactly of what...failing? Success? But nonetheless, there is fear there. It is one of my goals to conquer that fear, toss procrastination and perfectionism out the window and just go for it.
So my collage combines some various elements. There is Faith in there, because for me that is my strength and the foundation on which everything else resides. There is running, because I AM a runner. There are quotes about strength and discovery. And there are quotes to inspire me to write.
My husband is a glass artist and I'm going to have him set my collage under class so that I can put it on the wall of my office at home to inspire me.
Here is my collage, and elements are described below. I took a picture of it, but also scanned it in. It was difficult to get the entire collage without losing some of the sharpness of it. But hopefully you get the idea.
Thanks for taking a look!
Left to right:
"One Inch at a time" - this is not only for my weight loss, which is slow, but for my writing and also for my running. I'm a slow runner, but inch by inch I will get there!
"Little by little deep inside us, the diamond shines, the eyes open, the dawn rises, we become what we already are." ~ Bo Lozoff. This quote inspires me because I feel that we all have the power inside of us, and we have had it all along. This is similar to the quote I posted last week on my spark page, that we are all athletes, just some of us are in training and some of us are not. I want to become everything that I can be.
"Add your own Scenery." A fun quote about the people, situations, etc, in your life, but also about having long fun runs outside to places I've never been.
"Today's the day. No more fooling around." enuf said.
"Run Strong" - my mantra I used in the 8K - I added stickers along the trail in the picture to show movement.
"Find your strong" - OMG I LOVE this! Had to cut it out of the magazine when I saw it.
"Of course I can do anything. I'm a mother." How true! And there's a picture of my beautiful dolls to cheer me on.
"Go Write Your Book." No explanation needed.
"They're just pieces of paper. Let GO." I need to remember this.
Heart with Christ inside and words coming out of it like love, peace, joy, faith, etc. I believe that all good things come from Him and if I am in Him I am all of these good things. I show that to the world and it's contagious, hopefully.
Bible at the bottom I put a sticker that says "Found" - I found myself in the bible. I found promises from God and have found my strength there. It is my goal to stitch His words on my heart so that they come naturally to me in all times.
Right picture - me when I was 5 yrs. old. framed. I want to embrace the inner child in me and remember to honor her always. "I'm a runner" is above it, then at the right is "Yoga. Love. Run. Peace" - this quote reminds me so much of my wonderful friend Blaize and I wanted to have a piece of her in my collage. "Be a hero" is at the bottom, reminding me to be a good role model to my girls, and also what my dad said to me after the shuffle.
At the very right of the page is a quote by Aristotle: "Well begun is half done." Meaning just start!
"You have to be willing to write badly." This got cut off on the bottom right.
Upper right - a picture of a woman running with wings on her shoes. I loved this image, it conveyed how I feel when I am running, like I am flying. There's a quote she's running on that says "When you're a vessel from God, you don't even need a boat!" Meaning that God makes a way when there is no way. If it's His plan he will pave the way for you.
On her shirt I put "Got faith?" and then "Running on Faith" over her. Above her it says "There is no place God cannot go."
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