27 September 2011

in the midst of the storm

Like many families during this time, even some we know on a personal level, we're experiencing a change in our financial situation.  Unfortunately, ours is a consequence of irresponsibility from years ago and something we knew was coming, but now that it's here, we've just gotta buckle down and plow through.

Generally, I'm a pretty good worrier.  For some reason, it's been rooted deep in me, even though my upbringing in a Christian home totally points out the uselessness of worry.  Jesus commands us not to worry, as He sees our needs and time and time again proves His faithfulness if we just trust Him.  I've seen it.

One thing that I can tell you is that I feel as though I've grown in my faith as recently as the last several months.  I've been leading worship for several weeks and that being so, I'm finding myself immersed in God's word and music and the combination has been invaluable to me.

So much so that I've left our current situation in the hands of our Father.  I'm not worried.  Jon may think that is a preposterous notion, but it's true.  I've talked to the boys; we read the Matthew chapter 6 passage on worry last night over dinner.  Not that we just intend to demand that the Lord bail us out of our situation; rather that we're planning to do what we can, continue to give our tithes and offerings faithfully and trust that He will provide what we NEED.

He gave me everything I have; my life, my health, my family...and I firmly believe that He's not about to let me down now.

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33

26 September 2011

win, win

Having lost 43 pounds to date, I've got a whole mess of clothes in my closet that no longer fit. While I've never consciously approached my eating and exercise knowing that my "fat" clothes were there if I needed them, in recent weeks, I've found myself slacking just a bit too much in getting the exercise to maintain my loss and eating what's best, not just what's quickest.

Since school got out in June, I've hovered between 150-155. I can still wear all my smaller clothes, but in reality, I've got twenty more pounds I want to lose before I start a maintenance phase.

But I've got all those clothes. I don't want to wear them EVER AGAIN, but I didn't have the motivation to do the legwork to go through them to get them sorted so I could part with them in peace.

That is, until yesterday.

We've some dear family friends who are opening their hearts and their home to two very special girls from Bulgaria. The process in lengthy and expensive. One thing the family is doing to raise money for their adoption fund for the girls is to have a rummage sale at the church this coming Saturday.

Enter my chance to get rid of my fat clothes.

I started going through my closet last night and I've already collected a whole box of items to donate to the sale. And I know that once I get to the basement, I'm bound to find some clothes that Caleb's outgrown also that we've no need to hang on to. Anything that's in good shape can go to the sale and we'll be absolutely thrilled to donate our proceeds to the family's fund.

Anything to bring these little girls home.

12 August 2011

a pinch to grow an inch

When I started this journey to lose weight and be healthier almost nine months ago, I hadn't thought a stitch about my weight "goal". I just knew that I was squeezing into a size 14 jean and I REFUSED to have to even consider going up another size.

Enter lots of hours on the treadmill (that I hated every single second, by the way, just so we're clear), wiser food choices and smaller portion sizes and I managed to hit the forty pound mark this week. As in, I've lost forty pounds. Crazy. That's almost two thirds of the total weight of my youngest kid who just grew taller for the last two years and didn't put on any weight.

He's up to 64.5 pounds now at 4'5", the little squirt. I'll turn around and he'll be looking me in the eye.

But this week, I started thinking about my weight "goal". As far as sizes go, and yes, I know they aren't the same as they used to be. grrrr, I''ve gone from a tight "lay down on the bed and suck it IN, for heaven's sake, you're NOT buying bigger pants!!" 14 to a comfortable 10. And the change to a 10 in my khaki work pants is just within the last two weeks, after I finally couldn't keep the 14's up anymore. (It was getting embarrassing!)

And I'm happy-ish here. I feel good and most days when I glance in the full length mirror at the top of the stairs, I don't hate what I see. So that's progress. HUGE progress, actually, pardon the pun, that I would even stop to see my reflection.

But the number. Oh, the number.

According to the most recent findings at the doctor's office, I'm all of five foot, one and three-quarter inches tall without shoes. Now, looking at this site, that means that my goal "number" should be anywhere from 95 (really? REALLY? I don't think that's even possible! I will disappear if I turn sideways at that weight!) to 121. (Again, even that's a little crazy for me to comprehend right now, since the lowest weight I've achieved in the last seventeen years has been 128, and that was on my wedding day!)

Realistically, I'd say that I'm shooting for 135 right now. That's 15 pounds away. And I know that muscle is leaner than fat, blah, blah, so I may even be able to get away with 140 if I bump up my weight training routine. And in less than a month, when the boys are back in school, I plan to make time for just that.

But if I were 6'4", I'd not have had a weight problem in the first place.

29 July 2011

out of the darkness and into the sun

In just short of sixty days, I'll be celebrating another birthday. I'll be getting closer to FORTY (gasp!) and by then, I'm fairly confident that I'll be able to say that I'm in better shape at {insert birthday number here} than I was ten birthdays ago.

That's exciting.

And better yet, thanks to recent prodding by my younger brother, I feel better than I have in ten birthdays. I saw my primary doctor last month and discussed some issues with him and after several moments of discussion and asking me to take some quizzes to evaluate my "symptoms", he put me on a low dose of an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety med.

That was thirty one days ago.

Now, feeling better was no where near immediate, as the pharmacist had warned me that it could take up to two weeks before I noticed anything different about how I felt. So I was prepared, although I went home and told Jon that I wished I could stay in bed "for the next two weeks".

A girl can dream.

Ten days or so ago, I started to notice that I'd backed away from the ledge a little bit. I feel calmer, so therefore, things at home and at work seem calmer and I'm even starting to enjoy things again, like teaching Sunday School and having dinner with my best friend.

I hated everyone and everything, you see. Well, that's to say that I felt like that was the case. I'd avoid anything I didn't have to do and wasn't really happy to do anything that I did have to do. And did more and more out of obligation too, which is no fun and no way to live.

Ten days ago, I started to feel as though the fog was lifting and as I type this, I have to tell you that even though I'm not really sure who my "old self" is, I'm starting to feel like maybe I can rediscover her, whoever she is. What she used to like, who she used to be, what she likes now, who she wants to be now.

The world is my oyster.

Watch out, I'm coming.

08 July 2011

A Perfect Opportunity

I'll be honest, it started as "Oh, I'll just walk while we're on vacation and figure out my new routine when we get home."

I fully intended that; really, I did. But it's been 30 days.

Then I remembered how difficult it is to rise early enough to beat the all-too-eager nine year old out of bed. And the minute his eyes open, he's up. And he's talking. And asking questions. It's non-stop, let me tell ya.

I miss my routine of seeing the boys off to school and getting in my workout.

It's also no secret that I am an emotional eater. And I have had an increasingly difficult time managing that lately. I only gained a pound while we were on vacation, but I've fought that pound ever since; back and forth, back and forth.

I'm frustrated. Clearly, I needed to make a change and do it fast. Weight loss relapse is a slippery slope and in the past, I haven't really even paid attention to when it began coming at me. And I have no intention of getting back to 191 again, so I need to focus on what was working and quit worrying about things that clearly don't work.

So I decided that even though I'd hate every second, and trust me, I did, I needed to hit the treadmill this afternoon instead of opening a bag of chips and eating it to the bottom.
(I'm always telling the boys that even adults don't get to do what they want all the time, so it was time to take my own advice here.) And at the end of 3.12 miles, I didn't feel the need to eat chips, or even anything else, surprisingly.

My diet hasn't been the best the last 30 days either. Not horrible, but not anywhere near as good as it needs to be. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and when the going gets tough, I just need to dig deeper and get this done. I know that.

Truthfully, I've had a hard time deciding what my weight goal should be. I can't decide if a number (130) is what I'm shooting for or if a clothing size is better; and that's not really helping me get to where I wanna be either. But trust me, I'll figure it out.

I'm back in the saddle because this is where I need to be. And it feels good.

09 June 2011

every little bit counts

I just finished workout 30 of Jillian Michaels' 30-day shred. It took me thirty three days, but I finished, completing the workout seventeen days in a row.

Craziness.

First, my insights from day one to day thirty. I worked level one for ten days. After about day 3, my knees were sore, but nothing I couldn't push through. My endurance during cardio segments was pretty sad, even with two hits off my inhaler beforehand. My back and shoulders got tight and I had a headache for the first several days but after I did some additional stretching following every workout, it seemed better.

By day 30, I'd been only taking one hit off my inhaler before each workout for about a week. While my heart was pumping pretty hard during cardio segments, I could still breathe and didn't ever have to stop to catch my breath. My back is still feeling a little tight but nothing I can't deal with. And you should see the definition in my arms; it's nothing like Jillian's (let's face it, the girl has GUNS!) but for me, it's impressive. All that strength training paid off in the end. I'm getting my shape back in my torso; still hiding it under shirts for now since I've got ab flab to lose yet, but it's getting there. And I'm pretty proud of myself for not quitting, even when my schedule got tough to maneuver.


And now, I bring you my "results".

30 day shred started 5/6/11
weight 159
chest 35.75”
waist 33”
hips 41”
L thigh 24.5”

day 30 6/9/11
weight 155.6
chest 35.5”
waist 31”
hips 39.25”
thigh 22”

total results 30 day shred (33 days)
weight = -3.4 lbs
inches lost= 6.5



At first, I was disappointed. But then I decided that maybe this is the way that I can actually live with the changes of working out and eating better and doing this slowly without having to deprive myself of pizza on Wednesday nights. And once I took a look at my records from March first, I felt even better.

I've lost 15.4 pounds and 11.75 inches since March 1st. (No wonder the pants I bought in February are falling down.)

Better yet, I finally cracked the 35 pound mark, having now lost 35.4 pounds since December 27th.

I can live with that.

07 June 2011

Word Association

I love watching Food Network. My favorite show has to be Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives; I'm a huge Guy Fieri fan.

Caleb likes Triple D too and before he went to bed last night he decided to finish watching an episode with me and steak was being made. It looked absolutely delicious and Caleb pipes up "Oh Mom, that makes me hungry." (I think he's having another growth spurt; this child can't get enough to eat lately.)

A little bewildered, I asked "Why? You've never had steak."

He looked at me with a completely straight face and said, "Mom, it's like this: steak is a meat. Meat is used for meatballs. Meatballs are in spaghetti and spaghetti I love. See?"

That kid cracks me up.

02 June 2011

How long DOES this take?

I work three days a week so standard dress is a blue collared shirt and tan pants. On August sixth, I started my job wearing a size 16 pants and a XL polo shirt; granted, the 16's were comfortable, getting used to being on my feet for long periods of time once again, I wanted to be comfortable.

If you have children, you've probably noticed that children's clothing sizes are not regulated. I feel like buying clothes for my boys can be a big guessing game and that's not saying anything about the rate at which they're both growing. 'Why don't they make shorts in slim, those are never gonna stay on his hips. And really, the last 4 pairs of jeans I bought you were an 18 and now the size 18 dress pants that cost forty dollars barely fit? Nice.'

All winter, I thought of my summer wardrobe and held out hope that just maybe I'd need new clothes if the weather ever warmed up. Plus, how many summers can a girl wear the same shorts anyway, I'm totally bored. When I visited my doctor for a physical on Feb. 22, I weighed in at 170, having spent at that point almost two months working out and eating less. Today, I can tell you that I am even more than ten pounds under that, but more importantly, I've lost inches pretty dramatically; more than NINE inches overall at last count since March 1st.

But I still hate shopping. Why? Size regulation. My "new" shirts for work are a 12/14 and a little too big and the pants I bought in March to replace the size 16's that were falling off of me (literally!) were a 14 but a totally different style. They're finally starting to feel big and that's nice, but here's the thing. I went shopping for shorts, capris and t-shirts this week and almost everything I brought home was a size ten and it all fits.

A TEN? Really? (I hadn't worn a size ten since summer of '04 and even then it was only for five minutes, I'm sure of it. Okay, maybe six minutes.)

Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled. I was happy beyond words to have picked up a pair of shorts in a 12 thinking that they may fit and having them be too big. The waist was ridiculously not right and I just had Jon return them last night when he went for detergent that I'd forgotten because I was far too distracted thinking that I was choosing all the wrong size. I was pulling items off the rack while completely consumed with how devastated I'd feel having to return to the store the next day and stand at the service desk with tears rolling down my face telling the overworked and underpaid clerk that I needed to exchange all these items for a larger size.

Seriously. See why I forgot detergent? I mean really, who can focus under such circumstances?

I'm apparently the talk of my store too. I made a comment yesterday to some coworkers about my recent clothes shopping experience and Casey* said "Yeah, I was just talking to Melody* the other day and said 'have you looked at Jen lately?' " When she said "I didn't know if I should comment on how much weight you've obviously lost since Christmas" I said, "Sure and say, 'Gosh, you were fat, at least you're less so now!", she looked at me, shocked, and said"Oh NO, I wouldn't say THAT!" (There's a picture of me (weighing somewhere close to 191) in the break room from December 11th when the jolly, big guy visited our store; I'm not proud of it, but it's a good visual reminder for me.)

I'm just wondering how much longer it'll be till what I see matches up with what is; it's been five months. I'm seeing little things so far, like less cellulite from the back and I'm actually starting to get my shape back in my torso, but to answer Casey's* question, no, I will not be donning a bikini this summer or any summer any time soon.

My brain still has to catch up. And with that, I'm off to do day 23 of 30-Day Shred. I *love* rockstar jumps, who knew!?!

*names have been changed to protect all, for now

30 May 2011

catch-all

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! I'm pretty thankful to have a day that's mostly down-time for all of us except for a little matter of two parades that Matthew's marching in later this morning.

Just thought that I'd give you an update on the goings on here, since I've a few things that just couldn't really create a whole post.

Here goes:

*Caleb's baseball team is 1-5; that is in stark contrast to being on the only undefeated team last year. He's playing right field this year and still enjoying it most nights. And there are only 3 teams in his age division this year as well, so that means fewer games. That's okay, it'll be the first time we weren't missing games of some kind for vacation in June since Matthew started playing soccer in kindergarten.

*Speaking of soccer, did you know that I am now the mother of a high school soccer player? Crazy, right? Matthew signed up for the team this week and got his sizes in for home and away uniforms and practices start in July with the first game being Tuesday, August 16th, or so I've been told. (I told him yesterday that I'm starting to already feel the pressure of planning his high school scrapbook..... spring of 2015 will be here before I know it.)

*We purchased a new stove and refrigerator with part of our federal tax refund and they were delivered last week. After the deliverymen had to remove my front door from the hinges and Jon needed to borrow a crowbar from the neighbor to get the old range out, all was well. Turns out our house has narrow doorways and the somewhere along the line someone thought it was a good idea to bolt the range to the counter top to its right. Yep, bolt. I only wish I could have been here to see that. But my new appliances are lovely and I'm a happy girl; although the counter top and cabinets are green with envy.

*Matthew was awarded the Outstanding Eighth Grade Musician award last week. This is given to the student who school officials feel is a superior musician but who also encourages other students to do their best in band and teaches what they know, going above and beyond what is expected. Receiving the award was a complete surprise to him (and to us!) and I don't have to tell you that I was proud.

*Caleb's recently made friends with a little guy who lives just around the corner in the next block and they have a blast together. I'm constantly being asked if he can go play with his friend and always hearing about how much "cool stuff" his friend has to play with. It's nice though for Caleb to have a friend close by, all his other friends live in the town where the schools are and that's harder to make time for play work with all schedules.

*Work's going well. We got a new EXA last week, his name is Mike. He's older than our previous EXA but he's fitting in really well so far and I like him. School's out for summer though, so the college kids are all back to wanting hours so almost every body's hours are cut to make room. I'm down from 25 last week to 22.5 this week to 17 next week. Oh well, 17 hours is more than I was working last year at this time, so it's all good. We'll adjust. And I've been kinda going back and forth on that number of hours anyway; it will allow me to spend time at home with the boys while they're home for summer and that's good, but we won't have as much money for "fun stuff" as we thought. We'll just have to get creative, I guess.

And finally.......

Take time today to remember all those who gave of themselves so that we could have our freedoms. What a gift.....

26 May 2011

(random) 30 day shred - day 16

- I just finished my sixteenth workout for 30 day shred and it was my sixth workout with level 2.



- I've taken four days off since I started day 1 on May 6th.



- Wanting to be a "graduate" of the system before we leave to visit family on June 12th, I need to get the workout in every day until then to finish on the 10th, which is the first day of summer vacation for the boys.



- I hate squat thrusts just as much now as I did in gym class.



- I'd rather do jumping jacks for days than plank jacks. Dude.


- Two workouts ago, I decided to see if I could actually do the pushup part of the "walkout pushups". My form isn't great, but I did them. You should see my developing biceps. heehee.



-If you don't think that a 20 minute workout can leave you screaming for relief from the burn, gasping for air and wishing for death as an end to the torture, you'd be totally wrong.



-But changes in the mirror and in the fit of my clothes are proof that if you're tough enough to stick with it, it totally works.



There ya have it. :)

25 May 2011

(Sorta)Wordless Wednesday - the pictures don't lie

(June 2010) I love that baby (my nephew Carson) on my lap, but good grief....I mean. really. And yes, I keep this picture on the fridge to remind me of lots of things; how little I thought about myself, how sad I really was at letting my weight get out of control, how embarrassed I was at having my picture taken, and most of all, how I'm never going back there again.





(May 24, 2011) getting there.... I'm still not crazy about having my picture taken, but I'm beginning to see that all my hard work is paying off, and even though sometimes I still feel like I'm in the body of the top picture, it's obvious even to me that even that is beginning to change.

16 May 2011

keep movin' - day 8

What a crazy weekend!

Friday night Jon took Caleb to his baseball game. I've had a headache off and on for almost a week and that night was awful, so I stayed home. About five minutes after they came in the door, I was upstairs but I heard Caleb say "Daddy, Dina has a mouse and she's under the sofa."

Suddenly I had no need to go downstairs and shower anyone with kisses.

Saturday morning I was awake by quarter to six. Crazy, right, since it was my weekend off. And as I headed down to the bathroom, I noticed that the cat didn't greet me at the bottom of the stairs. That's odd, but my bladder was demanding attention, so I just went to the bathroom to do what I needed to do.

Odder still is that when I came out of the bathroom, she was ignoring me. Then I noticed that she was playing with something that I thought was a toy, but as she flung it into the air, I noticed it was grey. I didn't have to look real closely to notice that she'd captured prize number two and I ran right upstairs and announced to Jon that there was another mouse and he needed to get out of bed and take care of it.

I'm lucky he loves me, let's just say that.

I was planning to do day 8 of 30 day shred, but suddenly Jon was up cooking bacon and eggs and then I was making coffee and eating one egg, two slices of bacon and a slice of toast and watching reruns (obviously) of One Tree Hill on SoapNet.

It's my day off, you know. I'd had two Saturdays off since the first weekend of March and one was for Ladies Retreat and the other for cantata practice at Easter.

Then three of the four of us headed into town to Lowes, just to "look" at their refrigerator prices. Low (prices, really) and behold, forty five minutes later (and Caleb did a great job entertaining himself looking at kitchen cabinets and fancy things; *swoon*) we left having purchased a new refrigerator and the hook-up for the ice maker; the delivery is to be this Saturday between noon and four.

I'm so happy to get rid of my 1988 side-by-side refrigerator, I can't even tell you.

I'd have ordered a range too, if Jon (or I) had written down the measurements for that opening. And since I want black finish, the range will be an extra two weeks from date of order, but it's not pressing, so we might not even order for another week or so. But I'm getting a smooth top range and I'm pretty excited about that too; I hate cleaning burners, like, a lot. So much that I never do it, but that's another thing.

Yesterday morning, I intended to get my tail out of bed and complete day 8...again. And I completely ignored my alarm at 6:15 and slept till after 6:30, so no 30-day shred there either.

But I'm still on track to finish just before we head to Mom and Dad's for vacation next month and I will finish.

And now for some random, but sorta related points.


  • I looked in a full length mirror at Wal-Mart on Saturday and almost liked what I saw. Almost.

  • My scale is in a time out in the cabinet above the refrigerator and will remain there for at least another week.

  • I tried on my size 10 jeans on Friday and they still fit, in fact, just a little better than two weeks before; still not well enough to be super comfortable though, but I think that'll come.

  • Jillian is kicking my butt, but I totally have definition in my arms again, which is AWESOME.

  • I wore Matthew's hoodie on Saturday cause mine was MIA and it fit. It even zipped and still fit which was totally cool.

And there ya have it, I'm off to be abused by Jillian and get the house cleaned.


Have a great Monday!

12 May 2011

get up and go

Putting in the 11-8 shift yesterday and then turning around and needing to be at work by 8:00 this morning to work the front register doesn't leave me much time.

I hate 11-8 because I feel like I get nothing done, but I love it because I can enjoy my coffee after the boys leave for school and still get in a workout, eat a leisurely breakfast and get a few things done before getting myself to work.

But I'm tired after getting up at six to get everyone ready and not getting home until well after 8:00. Tired.

I still need to get in my workout, so I figured that the easiest thing to do would be to lay out my clothes for morning, workout and work clothes. Then it dawned on me that if I slept in shorts and a t-shirt, it'd save one more step in the morning.

I didn't just come in on a load of turnips, ya know.

That turned out to be the best decision ever as at 5:15 I heard the faint "beep, beep, beep" of the alarm and thought "Already? How is that possible?" But I drag myself out of bed and down the stairs, make a stop at the bathroom and think "okay, it's 5:18 but I can do this" Open the fridge and retrive the water pitcher to get myself a bit hydrated before I present myself to Jillian and take a drink.

"It's 5:19? Really? Man, I'm tired."

This workout is challenging enough during ideal circumstances, but when I'm yawning every ten seconds and struggling to get sleep from my left eye during punches, it takes on a whole new level of difficulty.

But day 6 is done. Mark it.

10 May 2011

on Mother's Day

I was pretty proud of my boys this last weekend.

We're without a pastor at the moment, as you may know, so Sunday was my "turn" for pulpit fill. Our church board secretary had asked me if I'd preach and I told her that I'm not a preacher, I was a preacher's kid, big difference, and she said "how about a mission lesson then?"

As I'm about to complete my first year serving as local church mission president, that I could do.

I spent several days thinking and praying about what it was I was going to present and just kept coming back to the Haiti Water Project. Basically, this is a missions outreach through our denomination that aims to provide the Haitian people with clean drinking water.

For the unfathomable cost of one dollar. One dollar provides one person in Haiti clean water for one entire year.

Now, I'm not creative at all, but I really felt like this project was something that my church and I could donate to, so I covered an ice cream bucket in paper and printed pictures of little tiny faucets and the title Haiti Water Project and armed with some scissors and glue, I created a vessel in which to collect the money.

I had two video clips also, one for an update after the January '10 earthquake and one specifically about Haiti Water Project and the boys watched both clips on Friday after school. Then Caleb looked at me and said "I have dollars, Mom" and he went upstairs and came back down a few minutes later with eight dollar bills and placed them in the bucket.

"Those kids on the video need clean water, Mom, and I can help." I almost burst.

Matthew participated in Sunday's service as part of an instrumental trio, he persented a solo and he took part in playing with the pianos. He did a great job. And he didn't hesitate at all when I asked him to come forward during the presentation to help me out.

And my church family has responded greatly to the need of the Haitian people.

I couldn't be prouder.

09 May 2011

winning

I started 30-day shred again on Friday.

I'd done the workout before and never made it past day seven. My knees would get so sore and I just never felt like I could do the workout well enough to make it worth my time, so I'd quit.

I think this is my third go at the workout. I just finished workout number three of thirty.

This time around, I find that the workout is still tough, but doable. And my knees are a bit sore but nothing like in the past attempts. I'm positive the reason for that is that there isn't so much load to bear with those dreaded jumping jacks.

I still hate the sound of Jillian's voice. I hate that the DVD won't let me skip the intro where she brags on herself for being "tv's toughest trainer" and when she says "There are three workouts; one, two and three" I wanna scream " Can't you get more creative than that?!?!"



But I take a deep breath, stare at the art on the wall during jumping jacks if I have to and just do it.

I weighed in this morning at the lowest I've weighed since 2006. I also realized that in thirteen pounds, I'll be able to speak of my weight as the lowest since 1996.

Almost 15 years. FIFTEEN. My aim is to be so near goal by Matthew's birthday that I can taste it. That's the sixth of September, the day after Labor Day.

I'm gonna win this war.

06 May 2011

Featured!

Good Friday morning, all! Despite having to drive Caleb in to school this morning, we're off to a great start.

I'm being featured at Momma Made It Look Easy this morning, (click here for the link) so be sure to stop by and read. And many thanks to Jennifer for the chance.

Have a great weekend.

05 May 2011

in the eye of the beholder

Logically, the change in the numbers must tell me something, but I don't see it. When I look in the mirror, all I can focus on is where improvement is continually needed.


Even before and now pics don't really help since I just can't really see it. And I know that all of my size 14 pants won't stay up and on a great day, I can get into a size 10 and even breathe but I don't see it.

I saw this picture that was taken April 10th and thought two things.

(that's me on the far left, in case you didn't know, with my friends Bettina, Melissa and Diane; great ladies and great friends!)


One, I need a haircut and two, boy, do I need to work on the shape of my arms.

Not thinking anything about the pants that I had on that day which I hadn't worn in six flippin' years.


I just wonder if what I see is ever gonna catch up to what actually is.

03 May 2011

simpler

One of my best friends in high school was Mykal. She and I sang in the choir together; she's an alto and I'm a soprano. She was fun and friendly and loud and I loved her.

We spent several days a week together between my sophmore and junior years of high school. We go "crusin'" in T-ville on the weekends; I had a fairly early curfew and her's was much later than mine.

I wasn't busted for breaking curfew too often. Once that I remember for sure, my dad was literally sitting just inside the front door as I opened it at one in the morning. And all he said was "We'll talk about this in the morning."

I'm pretty certain I spent a couple of weeks grounded.

And this morning, as I look out the window and a rain/snow mix is falling from the sky, I got the overwhelming urge to go to Shelbyville. Let me tell you about it.

Mykal worked at Subway sandwich shop in high school and it just so happened to be located directly across the street from the church my family and I attended where my dad was pastor. (This isn't really important to the story except that I was just thinking about that.)

The summer before my junior year which was also Mykal's senior year, she always had at least one day where if she didn't work at all, she wouldn't have to be to work until 4:00 and then she'd most often show up in my driveway in the "turd-mobile". (Her car was older and painted brown, thus the affectionate name, and for the record, could go (once) 100 miles an hour on the highway. It was just for a second that we went that fast, in case either her mom or mine read this...promise.)

And she'd say "Wanna go to Shelbyville?" That was where the man-made "beach" was located off Lake Shelbyville; you know, in the middle of central Illinois where there's so much culture. heehee. And of course I wanted to go; my only "job" was babysitting on the weekends, I had nothing holding me back.

As we drove to the beach with the windows down and the Meatloaf cassette blaring from the speakers, we figured that this was as good as life gets. We'd swim for hours, lay in the sun (I got some killer sunburns that year) and then we'd either hit DQ for dipped cones or KFC for chicken little sandwiches, fries and pop on our way back home; wind blowing in our hair, singing at the top of our lungs, not a care in the world for the afternoon.

Good times.

In the years since, we've kept in touch; even through those years she served in the military and was constantly on the move. She and another friend from high school drove hours to attend my wedding in 1995 and although we've kept in touch, I haven't laid eyes on her since.

I wonder if she's got time to go to Shelbyville.

02 May 2011

my eulogy*

*Yesterday morning while we were in church, Jon received a message from his mom that his cousin Emma who lives in England had unexpectedly passed away. She was only 32 and was a wife, a mother to two very young sons, a daughter, a sister and a friend to many. We're deeply saddened and at the same time reminded that there isn't a second we can take for granted. Thus the inspiration for this post.

Do you ever wonder what loved ones will say at your funeral? I do. And last night while I was at work, all I could think is "what if I died this very second and no one had anything good to say about me?"

Despite my mother's many attempts to the opposite, I am a pessimist by nature. And this fact makes situations such as this intensely more difficult.

God forbid something happen to me now or in the near future, what would my sons and husband say if given the chance? Things like "she was hard to make happy and we were never good enough" run though my head. I don't want them to say "she yelled a lot and we felt as though we weren't a priority".

God forbid.

Taking not one more second for granted here on out, here's what I'd hope my sons would say:

"She loved God with all her heart and sought to serve Him and she loved us just as much. She believed we could do anything and reminded us that our best was all that was necessary. She taught us that even though doing the right thing is not always easy, it's always worth it.

She was patient with us even when we didn't necessarily deserve it and we were never afraid to go to her for help or comfort. She made everyone around her proud to know her and even on her worst day was a great example of Christ and I'd be happy to be half the parent to my children that she was to me.

And even in our sadness, we take comfort in knowing that she now sits at the feet of Jesus and we'll see her again. We love you, Mom."**

Not one more second.

We'll miss you, Emma, but we'll see you again. Enjoy eternity with Jesus.

**every word I could say about my own mother; I'm truly blessed to have been raised by a woman who "amazing" doesn't even begin to describe and I am so thankful.

29 April 2011

slippery slope

The few nights a week I'm actually home for dinner, I try my hardest to have us all sit at the table and talk while we eat. Last night I was asked if it was okay if the television was on (um, no) or if I was planning to sit at the computer and eat (no again).

The teenager was the last to fill his plate in the kitchen and his brother and I were already seated at the table when he started to walk through the dining room. As I cleared my throat and said "hey, come back here." he complied, but chose to sit in what is typically his father's place at the table. Good enough.

Given the chance, the nine year old will totally monopolize dinner conversation, so typically it's just easier to let him go first and tell us about his day. His enthusiastic report included that both of his loose teeth bled at lunch time and that most of the kids spent quite a bit of time falling while attempting to roller blade in gym. "And I even told (so-and-so) that rollerblading isn't about speed; it's about focus, concentration and balance." Nice, Son.

Getting the fourteen year old to tell us about his day is touch and go. Some nights he's more than willing to spend time with me in the kitchen while I'm making dinner because he has so much to tell me and other nights all I get in response to questions I ask are guttural noises.

Parenting is hard. Parenting a teenager is sometimes impossible. One minute everything is right with the world- the sun is shining, the birds are singing and life couldn't be better. Then in the blink of an eye (and sometimes faster), there's no communication, no more smiling and lots of "I hate you people" eminating from the human who was perfectly pleasant less than five minutes ago. And don't you dare ask if anything's wrong either, unless what you'd like to hear and see is loud sighing, an exasperated 'I don't know' and multiple eyerolls.

Last night, perfectly pleasant. He volunteered that tutoring went well as he'd spent the lunch hour with some fifth-graders teaching trumpet. We talked about how my brother and sister-in-law will be headed to the hospital for Aunt Cassandra to have the new baby next week. He told me that his buddy Noah's girlfriend had broken up with him at lunchtime and that Noah wasn't taking it well, as can be imagined.

Just then, his phone rang and who would it be but the aforementioned buddy, who wanted to know if Matthew had asked for permisson to stay the night over the weekend. He told Noah he hadn't asked yet and then proceeded to ask while Noah was still on the phone. As I told him that I didn't see a problem with it but would need to check with Jon and then we'd let Noah know, Matthew relayed the message and then after a short pause said "I can't, not right now, maybe later. See ya."

When I inquired as to what he'd told Noah he couldn't do, he said "Oh, nothin' " but when I pressed just a smidge harder he said "I told Noah that I couldn't talk to him right now because I'm talking to you. I'll just call him later."

I freakin' love that kid.

*I'm linking up to share my awesome with Momma Made It Look Easy this week.*

27 April 2011

divide and conquer

Last night, I met Carrie for dinner at Texas Roadhouse. Both of us commented that we couldn't remember the last time we'd eaten there whether we were together or not.

She apologized as she could see that I was sorta ga-ga over what to eat, but I assured her that it didn't matter. Needing to make choices when eating out is part of life for everyone and I wasn't stressed; just figuring I could find something.

I ordered water since it's still free and I could play catch-up then we got to talking and I forgot to concentrate on choosing my entree.

Shocking, I know.

Moments later our waitress came back to the table and Carrie ordered steak, salad and a baked potato. Yum. I took a deep breath and ordered the smokehouse burger well done. In the next second I heard the waitress say:

"Fries okay?" Sure. I don't really like steak fries much anyway. Much.


"Did you want cheese and bacon on those?" Um, me? Cheese and bacon? Why yes!! "No thanks, plain is great."

Score one for me.

Carrie's salad arrived and moments later, so did our entrees. My plate doesn't even hit the table and I realize that the burger is HUGE and there's no way that I could ever eat it all without some major consequences. So before the guy who brought us our food walks away, I said "Can I get a box right away, please?"



He said sure and less than a minute later, my burger was divided followed by half of the fries being placed in the box and laid on the table.




Another point for me.



Then I didn't even eat four of the fries I left for myself. Really. And for ten bucks, I wasn't stuffed to uncomfortable leaving the restaurant and I have lunch today.



Doesn't get better than that.

25 April 2011

three days, a smaller size and a sniper scope

Good Morning! Hope you all had a blessed Easter! We did and it was very busy.

But before we get started, I'd just like to toot my own horn a bit here; you don't mind, right? Of course you don't. My pounds lost total continues to climb and once again, I saw a smaller number this morning on that dreaded scale. This morning's display read 158 which makes for thirty three pounds lost since December 27th.

That's nuts. And while this morning was the first time in two months of taking my measurements that they stayed exactly the same, there is no despair. I'll tell you why in a second.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So I've been sorta shopping in my closet for a few weeks. While it's true that there were casualties in my smaller sizes every time we've moved since 2005 (I'm never gonna be small enough to wear that again), I did keep a few items.

One was a pair of jeans in a size 10. Now a ten is the smallest I've ever been, even on this roller coaster, since seventh grade. When I tried the jeans on a few weeks ago, I got them to my knees and just figured it was a lost cause (for now) and put them back in the closet. Something came over me on Friday afternoon and I just had to see if they fit.

With no struggling to get them over my hips and no having to lie down and suck in until I pass out, they fit.

THEY FIT!!! (I was in a getting-very-tight size 14 in December, just so you know what I'm dealing with here.)

Without shame, I immediately posted my victory as my FB status (because isn't that what FB is for?!?) and even wore the jeans to my meeting, I was so excited. And you do know what that means, don't you?!?! Next stop, SINGLE DIGITS!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Friday evening I went to Green Bay, which is about 50 miles from my house for a church board meeting. I had to make a stop at the store afterward and didn't get home until almost 11:30pm. And it rained all the way home and I hate driving in the rain. Hate.

Then Saturday morning brought Easter cantata rehearsal so Jon and I went to Green Bay again. And of course we went to church service yesterday morning, so that was a third time in three days. We basically used an entire tank of gas in the van and at $3.89 a gallon currently, that's no small feat.

As for Easter weekend, the boys and I spent the day Friday at home. That is until Matthew decided to take off for his friend Noah's house. Noah lives about 7 miles from us and Matthew is completely comfortable with taking the journey by bike. About an hour before Matthew was due home, I got a text.

"I got myself in the face, just above the nose, with a scope on a 270."

I didn't panic, just sent the reply: "ouch, you okay?" and his response was "yea, it's a pretty cool gash on my face."

I asked if he was thinking it needed stitches and he responded that he didn't think so. A few days of keeping it covered with antibiotic cream and mostly the pad of a band aid and it's looking much better. He even showed his battle wound to a couple of kids at church service yesterday who were dying to see. Rumors were flying around pretty fast and furious at church too about just why it is that Matthew has a band aid between his eyes. One fifth grade girl heard that a squirrel shot Matthew with a gun. Huh.

I took a picture, of course, I did; but he'll kill me if I post it here. Let's just say that we've been teasing him a bit about calling him Harry Potter when it scars over. Or Scarface.

Just kidding.

22 April 2011

Here's to knowing why

Three weeks ago, I hated the treadmill and vowed to stay away from it until after Easter. Follow that with two weeks of weight training and a few inches lost and a new decade of numbers.

Then I got three and a half hours of sleep following a late night field trip with Matthew for band and gave myself the day off the next day.

And this week the boys have been on Spring break. And it snowed; no kidding. And I didn't work out this week at all.

I got on the scale eleven billion times.

Nine days from my last workout, this is what I've gleaned about having lost thirty pounds but having thirty more to lose.

Excuses not to exercise are prevalent every single day. Motherhood, my part-time job, the pain my body experiences almost every day, my responsibilities at church, everything can be an excuse if I make it one.

And I have. For the last nine days.

Even the busy-ness of the upcoming Easter holiday is an excuse. And as I sit here writing this post, I know that I just need to quit writing, change clothes and get on the treadmill already.

My body needs the exercise. I've learned that I can't just eat well for nine days and expect to see results on the scale. It didn't cut it. In fact, I'm up two pounds since my last weigh-in almost two weeks ago.

I can't go back to 165, let alone 191. I just can't.

Now, I can promise you that I'm not in the frame of mind that what I'm doing is a failure if I grant myself a day off from exercise. I just need to get back to where I never take more than two days off in a row. That seems to work the best.

I'm eating my veggies and fruits and eating less processed and more whole foods. And that's really the only thing that's been keeping my head even half in the game at this point.

But all is not lost. I'm determined to never see 165 again.

Time for the treadmill.

14 April 2011

the bigger gap

I see my family twice a year; once in the summer and then at either Thanksgiving or Christmas, depending on which holiday it was we went last.

I haven't seen my family in 137 days. When I calculated that out, as yes, you knew I would, I was a bit shocked that it was only 137 days. It seems so much longer since I've crossed the border from Indiana into Michigan and exclaimed to all of the occupants in the vehicle "We made it! Only one-hundred and fifty-five miles to go!"

Yep, I know what you're thinking, "Have you really calculated just how far your family lives from the Michigan/ Indiana line?" I did that once too. That's the longest part of the trip there sometimes.

In fifty nine days, we'll spend hours in the car and do it again. (Hopefully, we can come there and back in the time we planned this year; the extra time with my family last summer was nice and they were totally gracious to allow us to stay while the van was undriveable, but if that happens this year, I'll probably lose my job. And that'd be bad.)

Fifty nine days seems awfully long. To wait fifty nine days, it's a good thing that I have things like work to keep me occupied. The closer it gets to time to go, the more I just wanna go.

I wanna have coffee with my mom. I wanna see and hear my dad play his drum set. I wanna go shopping with my sister. I wanna hug my sister-in-law and laugh for hours at my brother's sense of humor. I wanna play with my nieces and nephews. And I'm even lucky enough to say that I look forward to meeting my newest nephew by then who should be just a few days over four weeks old.

In fifty-nine days.

13 April 2011

12 April 2011

It worked

Last Monday, I was frustrated. I'd spent more time than ever on the treadmill and was smacked in the face by a 2.2 pound weight loss in TWO WEEKS.

Two weeks, people. That was just over a pound a week....unfathomable to me considering my effort in exercising. And I hadn't been just busting tail in exercising but eating crap either; my food choices were as good as ever. Honest.

After I spent a couple hours stewing in my frustration, I just started to wonder if it was simply time to concentrate on another method of exercise and take a break from the mind-numbing whirrrr of the treadmill.

So I just subbed a Firm weight-training DVD; and this was even better. I could workout only three days a week without feeling guilty and see later whether or not the plan was any good.

Yesterday, I got on the scale and was "rewarded" with a four pound loss for the week. And not just that, either, but an inch lost too. I hadn't seen that particular number on the scale since 2005. Do you know how long that's been?

Friday's workout will be tough. I'm chaperoning a band field trip to Madison on Thursday and we're not due home till nearly midnight, but I guess the good thing is that I'm not expected in to work until 11am on Friday, so I should be able to get some weights in. And next week the boys are on Spring break. I'm off a few days and working a few days, so I'm just hoping that I can make myself a priority and get in my workouts before work no matter what else is going on.

Because I think that's key.

08 April 2011

there's a piece of my heart in Nebraska

I'm a strange girl. Growing up, I loved every place we ever left and every new place we ever moved to. I'm lucky enough to say that I have friends all over the country. Sure, it's tough to leave, but making new friends while keeping in touch with old ones was always one of my favorite parts of growing up.

When I was eight, we moved from Lexington, KY to Arnold, NE. I became fast friends with Renae Watson, who was the little sister of our (soon to be) babysitter, Shelly.

I think it's the next Christmas that Mom made Heather and I our Cabbage Patch Dolls. Heather named hers Renae and mine is named Shelly. Yep.

When I was almost fourteen, we moved three and a half hours East to Columbus, NE. Rebecca Baker became my Renae. Rebecca lived about three blocks from our church and of course, our town was small enough that we went to school together and spent a lot of time together, especially summers.

Her brother Christopher locked us in the shed once. That was a terrifying five minutes. We put pink hairspray in our hair quite often. I think it's the same brand that's in my department today at Walgreens.

I have an email address and a cell number for Rebecca that I should check for accuracy; they're more than a few years old. Once again, we moved on and I got a new best friend. But I've always loved Nebraska.

Our pastoral family has taken a call to McCook Church of the Nazarene in McCook, NE. This coming Sunday is going to be the last that they are with us after almost eight years.

When I received Pastor's resignation via email, I immediately looked up the location of McCook, and was ecstatic (cuz I'm strange, remember?) to discover that McCook is located just a little over an hour straight south of North Platte where the closest Pizza Hut was located when we lived in Arnold.

Pepperoni pan pizza and pop at Pizza Hut. Not often, mind you, but I remember.

That discovery immediately helped me feel connected to where Pastor and Bettina are going for their new church. And I'm gonna miss them "like the dickens", but part of my heart has been in Nebraska since 1983.

It's just a bigger piece starting next week.

07 April 2011

What I Deserve

I have a coworker who's getting married in June of next year and as she's found herself wanting and wishing for certain wedding dress options, she's on a mission to lose 40 pounds by September first.

Last night she tells me that she'd bought some "dance" exercise DVD and she'd done the workout every day so far this week. Now, don't get me wrong, I understand that the definition of exercise varies from person to person. I totally get that it all depends on what shape you're in when you start exercising that tells you what you can and can't handle at the moment.

Weighing thirty pounds more than I currently do, I started out walking on the treadmill in my den twenty minutes a day at 3.3 miles per hour. The intensity of her exercise isn't what's chapping me here, believe me. It's what she said next.

"I worked out three days this week; I deserve this chocolate"

She had three Russell Stover chocolate easter eggs and a large bag of chips sitting on the cosmetic counter wanting me to assist her with her purchase.

I didn't say a word, but all I'm thinking is "Three days and you think you deserve it?? How interesting."

Going with that line of thinking, I totally deserve a stop at the drive thru on my way home from work on a day when I've busted my butt for nine hours straight putting away freight; and I also deserve a stop in the candy aisle for anything that's 39 cents with coupon this week, just because I did a weight training DVD before work yesterday.

HUH???

Here's what I actually deserve for my efforts; for weeks and weeks of smaller portions and exercise that I hated (most of the time) four to five times a week.

I deserve to wear smaller pants. (and I am; by one to two sizes so far)

I deserve to feel accomplished when I can out-lift the instructor on my weight training DVD. (I totally kicked her butt; you can see in certain camera shots that her heavy weights are 8# and mine were ten)

I deserve to be able to say "thank you!" and mean it when someone gives me a compliment on how I look. (I'm working on this one.)

And I think that I even deserve to get kinda excited to look at my reflection in the mirror and see that indeed, I am smaller and this is working.

No offense, Russell Stover, but this beats your chocolate any day.

05 April 2011

formulating another plan

I'm so tired. I hate that for the last eleven days the alarm has needed to be set. Every stinkin' day there's been reason to require me to get out of bed.

And I can't stand even the sight of the treadmill at the moment. Good thing it's behind me when I'm at the computer or I may start screaming. Just the thought of getting on it for miles and getting no where makes me want to rip my hair out; that doesn't even take into consideration staring at the wall all that time.

And no, moving the treadmill to watch tv is not an option.

I wasn't happy with my weigh-in this week either. Granted, my eating hasn't been as good as it should have been, but logging twelve miles on the treadmill in one week should have meant that I was down more that 2.2 pounds in two freakin' weeks. Before you ask, no, I didn't take my measurements either in the last two weeks, I'll do that today.

I can't seem to get out of the 160's and it's driving me crazy. So here's the plan. I'm taking a third rest day and I'm not even gonna feel guilty about it. And with a trip to the grocery store this morning to stock up on foods I know I can eat that are good for me ie: salad greens, fruits, lean meats; I'm coming home with better focus on conquering these next twenty pounds one at a time.

And I'm staying off the treadmill until after Easter Sunday. In the meantime, I'm just going to focus on three weight-training sessions a week, starting tomorrow morning before work.

I'm not giving up; I'm just focusing elsewhere. It can be done.

04 April 2011

blessed to wash the dishes

Before Easter Sunday is upon us again, our little congregation will be without a pastoral family. It's only been a couple of weeks since the announcement was made that our Pastor and his family were answering God's call to move on after leading and loving us for nearly eight years.

It's been hard to accept, but we have confidence that the best days are ahead for our congregation as in a few weeks, we wait to see who God has called to lead us next.

One of the things we've been faced with as a church board is how many things Pastor and Bettina have just done over the years. Without question, Bettina spends hours in the kitchen helping prepare and serve food and even spearheaded the cleanup on several occasions. And who but Pastor knows whether the heat in the sanctuary needs turned down before the building gets locked every Sunday and there are countless hours that he himself has spent cleaning the bathrooms in the church building or cutting the grass. All things that we as a congregation need to see to on a regular basis in their absence.

It's been said that five percent of the people do ninety-five percent of the work in a lot of churches and that's certainly true here. And we're really spread out as a congregation too, as several families drive a half hour or more every week to get to services; so there's challenge in that also. But yesterday after the boys in my Sunday School class and I finished watching a Veggie Tales DVD while eating food prepared by several hands, I wandered into the kitchen and noticed that the sinks were full of dirty dishes. And I took it upon myself to get fresh hot, soapy water in the sink and start washing. I got help that I didn't require or expect in a friend who offered to dry dishes and put them away and several others brought dishes into the kitchen, wiped and put away tables and even accomplished the vacuuming.

Neither our Pastor or his wife had to lift a finger and all was accomplished. And that's the way it should be. And I think working together to accomplish a nice farewell dinner for our pastoral family showed them just a little glimpse of how much we appreciate all they've done for us.

31 March 2011

pizza, ice cream and band lessons

Wednesday night seems to be pizza night around here as of late and last night was no exception. Except for the fact that I got so hungry while working late that I apparently checked my restraint at the door and ate an entire pizza. Yep.

Then to top it off, I needed something sweet, so I figured that I'd polish off what was left of my pint of Ben and Jerry's, which was just the bottom quarter of the container. After about 4 bites, I was done and the remaining three (or four) bites went back to the freezer. Today is another day, thankfully. Darn PMS.

And in other news, Matthew's started teaching band lessons during his ACT time at school. For those of you who don't know, ACT stands for Academic Completion Time, aka, study hall for us old timers. haha. Anyway, he worked out a deal with his band director to teach band lessons for students who want the extra lesson time on the trumpet or the trombone. There is some compensation involved, which he's pretty excited about, but I promised him I wouldn't mention what that is here.

It was completely his band directors idea; something she used to do also when she was his age. Who knows, maybe he'll catch the bug to teach music? Right now he's aiming for a degree in Math or Engineering, so we'll see; he's got a couple years to decide.

That's all, folks!

30 March 2011

Wordless Wednesday- Before and Now

Before : November 2010; weight 191

Now : March 27, 2011; weight 162.2

29 March 2011

one day at a time

In keeping with Jen's newest post, I have a few thoughts on that myself. I'm struggling to get out of the one-sixties. I know, I know, it's just a number. And considering where I started, at least it's a smaller number of some significance. And I can wear smaller pants, by two sizes. But considering how far I have to go still? Not being able to crack into 159 is discouraging.

I ramped up my workouts the last few weeks; going for a 5k on the treadmill instead of just one mile at a time. Hopefully that'll do the trick for the upcoming weigh-in on Monday. But I hate it. Two miles is fine. Not fun, but fine. The additional one point 12 miles? I hate it. Every second. I have to talk myself into every quarter mile.

Maybe it'll never get easier.

I wanna be able to wear size 6 pants. I wore a size 7 in seventh grade, we moved and I was up to a ten in no time flat. Now I'm happy to be in a 12, but I still wanna be in a six. But you know what I wanna do even more than that? Eat ice cream and not have to work it off later. For there to be no consequences for a life of pizza and burgers and ice cream. Wouldn't that be great?!?!

Alas, I'm all too aware that there are consequences to such an eating style and I do feel better focusing on fruit and veggies and portions...but dang-it-all, today I feel like I don't wanna do this forever. So one day at a time, I will.

28 March 2011

in the morning

I've got a sorta crazy work schedule this week. I'm working until close tonight, till 8pm on Wednesday and till close on Thursday. Add to that dinner with Carrie tomorrow evening, (Yay!) and I'm not really seeing the boys till Friday, except for the hour in the morning when they're getting ready for school and maybe 15 minutes or so on Wednesday before bedtime.

It's not my favorite.

But Jon's taking tomorrow off since he worked all weekend building a server. And I'm working on Saturday but getting off at 6pm. And in all the craziness, I've seemed to have more time to get in workouts than ever this week. Planned this week are a 5k today and tomorrow, weights on Wednesday and a 5k both Thursday and Friday.

I'd really like to break out of the 160's with my weigh-in next Monday. I got my "now" picture taken and I'll try and get that posted by Wednesday. For now, I'm off to the treadmill; have a great day!

25 March 2011

you gotta want it

I think that in order to achieve something, you've got to want it bad enough to do anything to get it.

Take weight loss, for example.

A person can't "wish" to be 30, 60 or even 5 pounds thinner. You gotta do the work. It takes looking at your diet and making the best possible choices you can; meal in and meal out. Then there's the dreaded exercise. Even Jillian Michaels says that she hates working out, but she loves the way she feels afterward.

I don't wake up and say "Oh, gee; I wonder how much fruit and veggies I can consume today?" In the same light I am also not one to jump out of bed, run downstairs to the treadmill and crank out the miles with a smile on my face while singing at the top of my lungs. Nope; most mornings it's more like "Oh, look at the time; I need to get on the treadmill NOW because God knows I won't wanna do it after I get home at 8:30." And I drag myself away from the computer to change clothes and get it done.

But I get it done.

Now, I've been on a weight loss journey before, got derailed by the curveballs of life and ended up back where I started. But I'm determined this time to make the changes it takes to be able to stick with this long term. To set myself up for success.

I have a friend who's struggling with needing to get to the place where she'll be really ready to take on this journey. And I just told her something that my Mom told me years ago when I was in that same place, the place of wanting to lose weight but not really ready to do the work. She said "Darlin'...(that's what she calls me a lot, "Darlin'")....you just have to finally get to a place where you can't stand carrying the weight on your body one more second. Then and only then will you be ready to do anything it takes to change it."

Including eliminating all the excuses why you can't. I had those by the truckload, let me tell ya. And occasionally, since life is that way, those creep in again. I may let them get ahold of me for a day, but never two, as two tends to turn into a week which turns into....well, you know.

It must be done because I'm worth it.
----------------

In other news, taking advantage of my day off, I made, but didn't finish a big breakfast of 2 scrambled eggs with cheese, one slice of toast and grapes. The cat found what I didn't eat of the eggs and licked the cheese off. (I sometimes let her lick my plate after dinner too; keeps me from going back for more...)

I took yesterday off from working out since the boys had a 2 hr delay, so that means at the end of this post, I'm committing to five, yep, five, miles on the treadmill. Not really for speed, just for distance...but still getting done.

And I think I'm ready to take a picture for a "Now" part of my journey. I think I also found the best "before" pic from July at around 191. I'll try to get that posted by Wednesday.....

Have a great weekend!!

24 March 2011

winter returns

The boys' school district issued the first snow day of the year yesterday. And today, a two hour delay. IN MARCH.

I drove to work yesterday morning at 10am in near white-out conditions. And you'd be surprised (or maybe you wouldn't) what purchases people deem necessary during a snowstorm. I was told that the first customer of the day purchased six candy bars. That's it.

Believe me, it was not a very profitable day for our store in that little (7,000+) town.

Hopefully today will be better. And hopefully road conditions are improved also.

At least Caleb can get in a little cartoon time before school. haha.

22 March 2011

Resistance is (sometimes) futile

I'm looking at things in a whole new light thirty pounds (almost) down. As in, "Gee, so m&m's are forty nine cents this week, huh? I wonder how long I'd have to spend on the treadmill to burn those off?"



"Pretty close on an hour you say? FORGET IT."



Don't get me wrong here; two nights ago I had a bowl of cookies and cream ice cream. That's the first ice cream I'd eaten in 2011. It was good, but it was almost not worth it. And my Valentines Day gift? Still even has the plastic on it, five weeks and one day later.

I'll get to that one of these days.

But lately, everything I eat is measured against how long I'd have to endure the treadmill to burn it off. I guess that maybe had I always had this mentality, I'd not have gotten to a place where I weighed 191 at barely 5'2".

I even turned my back to the candy rack at the grocery store this afternoon. But you know what I did buy? A book by my favorite author that I can't wait to start!

And I went shopping in my own closet this week too. Turns out, most things should really be a twelve and most things are a ten, but I could fit into several pieces (skirts and tops mostly) that I hadn't worn in at least four years.

That's exciting stuff and worth the resistance all in itself.

21 March 2011

safety dance

Sorry for my absence from blog-land, friends. The last ten days or so have been challenging. But I'm back and aren't you glad?

C'mon, admit it. You're glad.

I didn't even really stick to a workout schedule in the last week. Amazing how three days off for retreat can morph into a week. Not that I didn't work out at all, cuz I did; I just didn't workout as often or with as much intensity as in the last several weeks.

That's changing this week, believe me. I need to move. Just thought I'd report a little finding first.

I have a pair of black dress pants that I love. As in, when given the choice in what to wear to church, I'd choose these even over jeans. Really. Even though it meant my feet would be tortured in high heels all morning since the pants are too long for flats. And they're comfortable; the pants, not the heels.

I remember when I purchased them three years ago. I bought one size, took them home and over the course of two days, decided they were too tight; took them back to the store, got the next largest size and wore them comfortably ever after.

End of story. Except not.

I went to put on my favorite pants yesterday morning and without looking at the fastener combo, tightened them to where they needed to be to fit my waist.

Um, something was terribly wrong. Instead of meeting the button with the buttonhole, I found my hand holding the inside of the waistband a good three inches past where the button should land.

So I thought, "oh for heaven's sake...these aren't that big, I wore them a month ago." Imagine my surprise when it became apparent to me as I went from our bedroom to the den downstairs that I was not going to be able to just hoist my pants periodically all morning.

But I can't change what I'm wearing, I thought. I've settled on this sweater. And I'm not really liking the way either of my black skirts fit. And I didn't shave my legs.

Keeping with the pants is a must.

But I have to tell you that I then had to go in search of a safety pin to tighten the waist of the pants and then position the gathering just so it wouldn't be terribly noticeable. But then I couldn't get the safety pin closed and had to employ the help of my husband who was only too happy to help.

It's a problem, I know. Shopping will soon become a necessity. Cry with me, will you? :-)

11 March 2011

Seven Quick Takes


1. Good Morning! The sun is shining and we're hitting the forties here today! I know, I know, but we'll take it.

2. After what seemed like months of suggesting to Jon that he get the den organized and cleaned, I came home last Saturday evening and it was done. He put together the large desk and put the small one up in Caleb's room. Caleb is thrilled and now we can actually leave the door to this room open.

3. I got given a project at work a couple of nights ago and I finished it last night; I was pretty proud of myself to have started and finished without any help, except if you count some consultation with my assistant manager Michelle, who's in charge of my department. Still, felt good to have accomplished it all on my own. The "luxury bath" section never looked so nice.

4. I'm headed to pick up my friend Stephanie in a couple hours and then we're off to Ladies' Retreat. I haven't seen her in about six months, so to just get the chance to hang with her will be awesome; add to that getting to see friends from other churches and this is my favorite weekend of the year. Seriously.

5. I got a reminder call about my doctor's appointment this coming Monday; as if I could forget.

6. We now know first hand why my parents used to say that it's totally true that if you "give a teenager an inch, they'll take a mile". Oy. He's gonna work off that mile, believe me.

7. Rest day today as I got in four workouts this week. I plan to hit the workout facilities at retreat tomorrow afternoon during free time, if I can get my sciatica to settle down.

Have a great weekend, all!

10 March 2011

employee challenge

Like I said, I'm a competitor. I'm also apparently my worst critic, but that's another post.

I'm fairly new to my company, so I've been experiencing things for the first time several times over in the last seven months.

This month? The "Walk with Walgreens" employee challenge.

A challenge, you say? Perfect.

Every employee gets a pedometer and I finally got mine yesterday from our district manager. The goal for the company is five billion steps for the month and then we get a "jeans and gym shoes" day corporation wide. That's kinda exciting. We're all on our regional managers team to be the winner based on the average number of steps per person and there are gift cards and corporate recognition involved.

So, I plan to walk for distance, not time, for the rest of the month, starting this morning with a 5k. I'm about 10,000 steps behind my store manager as he got his pedometer almost 3 days ago and I got mine last night at 5pm, but it shouldn't take me long to bridge the gap at home.

Here we go!

09 March 2011

sausage stuffed in spandex

Had dinner at Olive Garden with Carrie and the boys last night. Hadn't seen them for about six weeks and if you have or know children, especially babies, you know that lots of changes can occur in just six short weeks. Justin is thinking about walking and Kyle smiles all the time.

It was super fun to have dinner with them.

And I ordered chicken alfredo pizza, ate only half and one bowl of salad and not a single breadstick. Go me. While I still don't want to know the calorie count on what I ate, yikes, I'm giving myself credit for only eating half. And Kyle gets credit too, as feeding him a bottle took enough time to slow down my eating and help me get to full faster.

And I was happy to do it. I love those boys. (And their mother, though she's not convinced it has anything to do with her anymore. ) :-)

I could have gotten home in enough time to read Caleb a bedtime story, but instead I got the idea stuck in my head that I needed to see my progress in action by trying on jeans.

This was not such a good idea and it boils down to one word.

Spandex.

Seems that the jeans I've worn for almost three years contain 1% spandex. Huh. After digging for about 5 minutes for a size 12 short, I found a pair and took them to the dressing room. They went on and buttoned and all was okay. But just okay. What is with those mirrors anyway? Yikes.

But then I took them off and checked the tag and they were TWO percent spandex. And that additional percent makes a difference, you know. So I gave them to the fitting room attendant and went in search of a pair with only 1% spandex, which would therefore be a better equivalent since 99% cotton/1% spandex in a size 14 is what I currently wear.

Those took longer than five minutes to find. And in trying on the second, better suited for comparison pair, I learned two things: first, that additional percent really is stretchy; and second, my body is not now, nor will it ever be, suited to low-rise jeans. I mean, really.

The good news? I was able to get the size 12, 1% spandex up and buttoned and still breathe.

The bad news? Low-rise don't fit my body type and instead of being able to focus on being down two sizes since Christmas and getting into a smaller size, spandex or not, I cried all the way home at the thought of joy-stealing-spandex in my jeans.

Even if it is only one percent.

07 March 2011

back up your work

My husband is in IT and he's always telling people "You wanna back up your work. You will not be happy if you're forced to recreate all your work due to an error on your computer."

That's not really an exact quote.

I bought a new scale just over two weeks ago. Then two weeks ago today, I stepped on it for the first time and it weighed .4 higher than the scale at my doctor's office.

But I didn't stress, I just assigned myself the position of "user 1" and vowed to stay off of it until today.

And I did. And it's in the kitchen. And I'm also in the kitchen A LOT. So the fact that I completely ignored it for two whole weeks is HUGE. Pun sorta intended, sorry.

I was awake before 5am this morning; partially due to not sleeping well from having too much diet coke yesterday and too much on my mind and partially due to Matthew getting up to use the bathroom at 5:11...that's when I finally got out of bed.

All the little details aside, in about 5 minutes time, I found myself ready to get on the scale and find out just how well I'd done resisting McDonalds and pounding for miles on the treadmill.

I stood on the scale and held my breath in anticipation. I couldn't help it.

Five seconds later, it gave me a reading I was fairly pleased with which completely explains why I'm having to pull my pants up at every turn.

But I can't even begin to describe what I was thinking when three seconds later I was informed that I was UP from my previous weight.

What?!?

I'm pretty sure I recorded.....WHAT?!?!

And not just up, but....get this, up ONE HUNDRED AND SIX POUNDS.

Oh for heaven's sake.

While I'm more than completely baffled as to how that's possible in one minute, the next minute it occurs to me that the difference between what the scale says I gained and what I actually weigh also happens to be pretty darn close to the exact weight of my nine-year-old son.

Apparently the scale is another item that Caleb just can't resist touching.

I gave him a stern talking to, believe me. ;-)

Good thing I'm anal and decided two weeks ago to create a document keeping track of my weight. And I'm keeping it updated too; obviously this scale is not smart enough to do it for me.

Oh, and for the record, I'm down 7.2 pounds in two weeks. I'll take it.

04 March 2011

Seven Quick Takes


1. Good Morning! It's 5:01am and I've been awake for at least the last ninety minutes and already finished a cup of coffee. I feel like I'm channeling my Grandma Nichols this morning; she always got up before the rooster.

2. Cranking out the music for retreat; trying to get finished up enough to get a list to my pianist before Monday. I downloaded some sheet music for some great songs and this year we're blowing the doors off...it's gonna be AMAZING.

3. Matthew got some standardized test scores this week. That kid amazes me; for the amount of studying he doesn't do and yet he does so well in school. Geesh. All his scores were either on the high end of the "proficient" scale or firmly planted into the "advanced" category. He gets all that from his dad, for sure. Seriously.

4. I was saddened to learn this week that our local school district is probably cutting the high school music program from the budget next year. I have a kid that'd rather die than not be able to play the trumpet; he's NOT gonna take that well at all if it actually happens.

5. Things are well with Caleb too. He's had a good week in the classroom and on the bus, so this is improvement. Seems that the chocolate milk bribe did the trick; at least for this week. And he's got "a ton!" of birthday money burning a hole in his pocket; I doubt I'll get through today without having to take him to town to do some shopping.

6. You know how March came in this week? Sunny with mild temps; it was wonderful. You know what's forecast for the weekend? Snow, sleet, freezing rain...you name it. It's crazy.

7. To close out here, I just ask for your prayers for me. That at retreat, I remember that it's not about me, it's about Him and that I remain calm if things don't go exactly like I have planned in my head. And for me physically, seems there's potential for something that I can't get any answers for until after retreat due in part to my erratic work schedule and the busyness of the specialist I need to see. While we're not freaking out until we're told there's a reason to, I'd just appreciate your prayers.

Have a great weekend, all!

02 March 2011

Push It

I'm a competitor. Not in the way my husband is, where every board game is serious business and losers need not participate.

I'm my own worst competition. But I mean that in a good way. You'll see.

I awoke this past Saturday morning determined to take a rest day. I'd worked out five days already for the week, my body was kinda sore and as a bonus, I didn't even have to go to work. But as usual, once I got out of bed and was moving around, I was really craving exercise.

Do people really do that? Really? I was, and it's still weird.

So I got changed and hit the treadmill with my music cranked to full volume. But it only took me about thirty seconds to realize that I'd forgotten about a very important component of my plan.

My inhaler.

I pushed through, completing a mile in 15:30 and staggered to the kitchen to get a hit. After I regained my sense of balance and could take a deep breath, I posted to FB that I got it done but "no record broken today".

My friend Steph immediately jumps on with "Cut yourself some slack! You don't have to break a record every time!" And my response was "Don't you know me at all? Of course I do!"

I was only kidding. Except when I realized I wasn't.

I've become such a black/white thinker through this process that if one mile is good, two is better. If under fifteen minutes for a mile is good, closer to fourteen is better. If 100 calorie pudding is good, sixty calorie pudding is better.

You get the idea.

And it bugged the crap out of me that I let that mile go for 15:30. Even though pushing myself to go faster without the ability to breathe could have been disastrous. And that's not an exaggeration.

I did take a rest day on Sunday but then Monday, I tried the treadmill again, remembering my inhaler this time. I've covered the time display with masking tape trying to focus on distance rather than time and when I get to .98 mile I take the tape off to see just what the time is when I cross to the mile.

First mile Monday? 15:07.

Fine, but not really good enough.

After five minutes rest, I went for a second mile and completed it in 14:43. And blowing the doors off that, I completed my second mile today in 14:07.

Who knows where we can go from here.

And I know, Steph, you meant for me to not be so hard on myself. And I'm getting better at that, but at the same time, you provided me with a challenge that eventually my body will be thankful for. Thanks!

Thirteen-thirty, here I come.

01 March 2011

Ninety Minutes at Chuck E Cheese

Here you have some random observations from the time we spent at Chuck E Cheese aka Germ-a-palooza on Saturday for Caleb's birthday.

- Four o'clock is never too early to arrive. Maybe earlier would have been better.

- It's not apparently important for a child to be able to walk to enjoy many an activity. If the parent wants to haul said child in and out of the crowds, that is.

- The little boy dancing on the air hockey table was my favorite. He was young enough to still be in a diaper as evidenced by his sagging pants, but old enough to climb up and down from the table with absolutely no help. There were absolutely no parents around either.

- Chuck E Cheese himself is like Elvis. Or the Beatles. Or Justin Beiber. There was much screaming with delight when he appeared.

- It is acceptable to be a severely overweight woman and chase your toddler up into the tower that leads to the tunnels on the ceiling. Screaming his name repeatedly only adds to his determination to climb up as quickly as he can. Telling other adults standing nearby that you already told him three times that he couldn't go into the tower, but then you let him because you weren't quick enough to drag him out only helps teach him that maybe you don't mean what you say. Good luck with that when the teen years hit.

- Dads have as much fun with some of the games as the kids. Or maybe more fun.

- Unattended toddlers, no matter how briefly so, will attempt to join you in your booth and partake of your share of overpriced, crappy pizza. Then when the parent catches up, there will be much screaming on the part of the toddler and not so much as a word from the parent.

Wanna go?

28 February 2011

more than a bit excessive**

** Dad, don't read this post. It's gonna be about boobs. heeheehee**

I was always blessed with plenty in the chest growing up. (That kinda rhymed, which is funny to me. Sorry, I closed the store last night and didn't get to bed till super late and I'm totally tired and headed to work again here in a bit. Things are funny this morning. The cat was chasing her tail and I cracked up. Anyway.....) My sister was blessed with height and I got boobs, plain and simple.

Not excessive amounts, just enough, like 34C.

I got pregnant with Matthew in December of '95 and took the "eating for 2" thing literally. Oops. Of course, one of the first things that happened was that I needed to shop for bigger bras.

Five years later, I got pregnant with Caleb and still needed like a size 40C. And was pushing a D cup at that point and all through nursing Caleb that first year.

Jon's been spoiled by the excess. See, Dad; this is why I warned you not to read.

Needless to say, but you know me, I'm gonna anyway, basically the first thing to go in my journey to a normal weight in the last nine weeks has been my chest. I didn't really notice it at first, but did notice that my bras were fitting differently. Then my one bra that's a 38C was fitting comfortably. And now it's even on the tightest hooks. And still comfortable.

Just for fun the other day, I decided that maybe it was time to take my measurements. While it seems that every record to go on has been deleted from my computer, I can tell you that my chest is at the smallest it's ever been and my waist (at my belly button) has about a half inch to go to claim the co-title. But I also noticed something else.

As much as Jon is dismayed by the loss, I'm still currently a size bigger than I was when he married me.

He's forgotten.

So I told him that he can mourn the loss all he needs to, but it's maybe in his best interest to come to terms with what is now, not wish for what was then.

Cuz, I'm hitting the store for new bras soon and 40C ain't ever coming back.

With that, I'm off to work out, have a great day!!

25 February 2011

Seven Quick Takes

1. Today is Caleb's ninth birthday. I believe it and yet I don't, all at the same time. When he crawled up into my lap this morning, I commented on how big he's getting and he said "Yeah, Mom, I'm not your baby boy anymore." "Um, yeah you are, you're just not A BABY anymore." He's chosen spaghetti for dinner, no surprise, and then we're going to Chuck E. Cheese tomorrow.

2. I'm so tired. Everything's making me weepy or giggly or both. It's lovely.

3. I'm more excited than I probably should be to be able to sleep in tomorrow morning. If I'm awake before 7am, I'm gonna be ticked.

4. I'm super curious as to why the parking lot at work was never really plowed after the storm we had on Sunday. It's a total mess now.

5. I really want our federal tax refund to come this weekend so I can start shopping for a new stove and refrigerator. We're not going top of the line just yet, as we wanna gut and redo the whole kitchen someday, but it'll be like getting a newer used car...broken in but not broken down. Yay!

6. I need some new music for my playlist. I've run to the same tunes for the past three days and I'm already sick of them.

7. Two more weeks till retreat and the music isn't even close to done. I really need to get on that.

Have a great weekend!

See more Quick Takes here.

24 February 2011

Dear Albuterol Inhaler

Dear Albuterol Inhaler,

While you're doing a decent job allowing me to breathe while pushing myself on the treadmill, you could step it up a notch. And I'm not really crazy about the jitters you provide for hours afterward, just in case you wondered about that.

I mean, do you know how hard it is to check in on my face book friends when my hands won't stop shaking?

And just so you know, unlike your predecessor who I could ignore since I wasn't exercising regularly, you and I are going to be best friends. Doctor's orders. So it's just in your best interest to do your job and no one will get hurt.

But even if you decide to only give me marginal effort, I want you to know that you buddy Asthma is not going to slow me down; despite my disappointment in the doctor telling me that regardless of my weight loss, I'm gonna be stuck with him.

You do your job and I'll continue on a path to make Treadmill wish I were never born.

I'm glad we could have this talk.

On you I depend,

Jen

23 February 2011

Random Thoughts for a Wednesday

Good Morning! Just a few things running around in my brain that I thought I'd share.



- Matthew did a great job last night at solo/ensemble on TWO class A pieces. His band director played a little trick on him and never told him the trumpet trio piece was a class A, she figured that he'd freak out big time at doing two class A's. She told him when it was all over.



-His solo judge was tough but helpful. And Matthew finished with a 2, which only gives him room for improvement. Maybe shows him that more practice time at home wouldn't hurt. I'll try and get the solo uploaded in a few days.



- My nephew Sean is turning ten tomorrow. That's amazing stuff and he's a great kid.



- I still haven't had a chance to meet my great-niece and it's driving me CRAZY.



- Is spring EVER coming? Seriously, I am OVER winter.



- I wanna be able to get new kitchen appliances before Ladies Retreat next month. I'm sick of fighting for space with my old refrigerator.



- I spent three days horribly off track with eating and exercise. But yesterday, I completed a 5k on the treadmill. Today I was running (haha) short on time, so one mile in 14:56 is done. It's hard for me to stay focused, but if I do, it's totally gonna be worth it in the end.



- And finally, I LOVE when I can get Lean Cuisine entrees on sale!



There you have it- have a great day!