Monday, October 29, 2012


When we got to the gym tonight, we realized it was the Y's Halloween party.

d'oh.  How in the world did we miss that?!

I thought that I had managed to escape having to go because the boys sprinted by without even a second glance in the direction of the party.  I hopped on the treadmill and started my run, only to look over and see both of their faces pressed against the window that looks out over the gym.  It was near impossible to focus watching their little faces, so I hopped off to find out when the party was over.  7:30.  It didn't leave me with much time.  So I sprinted my two miles (PR by the way!) so that I could get them at least the last 30 minutes of the festivities.

We made it downstairs, got in, did our activities and then they asked if they could play in the child center a bit longer.  Excited I could finish my run we made a bee line back upstairs.

I jumped on a different treadmill.  I had had a pretty intense pace with some incline the first time around and was feeling pretty strong.  Taking the break interrupted that and I found it a bit harder to regain my focus.  I finished another mile and a half.  Still fairly good but a bit more huffing and puffing.  After the first mile I almost called it good.  I usually only run 3 and knew Bob was getting antsy to go.  I paused and noticed the girl running next to me pushing herself.  "If she can do this I can do this," I thought to myself.  I'm such a competitive bastard.  But it got me back on.  I did another half a mile and the faster pace I was going and added even more incline.  Feeling much better I stopped the machine.

 As I was getting off the girl next to me said, "You set my pace tonight, just thought you should know!"  I laughed and said, "You were my inspiration to get back on tonight!" We both laughed realizing that we had both unknowingly been pushing each other.  I have been thinking about it all night. You just never know where you will find your inspiration. 

And you never know when you will be someone's else's....

Sunday, October 21, 2012

This One's A Fighter

My new theme song.  This one comes out when I think I am going to die and have nothing left. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Humble Pie

Went to LA Fitness (the gym we're using while on vacay) for a boot camp. It was a pretty tough class but I have been prepared for tough.

As I was getting the shit kicked out of me and noticed a woman stretching. "Damn she's flexible," I thought as she brought her leg straight up the wall. Flat. Amazing.  I wish my butt looked liked that.

I watched her stretch and stretch and stretch. Sort of confused by all the stretching I dismissed it that maybe it was her stretching day (?) While she was trim she wasn't necessarily built, although maybe she was a dancer with flexibility like that?  I found myself watching her, going back and forth between rolling my eyes at all the stretching, and envious of the butt.

As we were stretching, post ass kicking, she walked toward us and I got a better look.  I don't think I have ever seen anyone wear so much make up to the gym. Not a hair out of place and lip gloss perfectly applied, she sauntered around. Done stretching but not sure what else to do?

Then I noticed it.  Her t-shirt. It read, "Your work out is my warm up."

I giggled out loud.

I don't know if this really was just her stretching day in the gym. I don't know if she kills it every other day to get that butt or if she is genetically blessed.  All I know is that unless you are actively killing it you probably shouldn't wear that t-shirt to the gym. Because today my work out was most definitely not your warm up.

I found myself vowing no matter how good my ass may or may not look at the end of all of this, to remember to be humble about it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Balancing Acts

The thing that I am working on the most right now is how to balance.  It's been the step I have been most afraid to take.  Because I don't balance.  I'm an all or nothing kind of girl.  All in or all out.  I have known that eventually, when I had my feet on solid ground, I would need to learn this skill. 

I take a lot of flack from time to time because I do post a lot about my journey on facebook.  And I do have two heart rate monitors, one for exercise and one for the day, and I am religious about my food planning and tracking. And I have not worked out less then five days a week for at least the past year and a half.  That's a lot to focus on and not drop any balls.  But I haven't dropped any.

This week I have taken a few steps toward learning the art of balance.  I won't go into details because, well because I'm not sure if anyone is reading this or gives a shit anyway.  But it has been a good week.  I continue to train, and train hard. But I have allowed myself to loosen the strings just a bit.  It's always been a slippery slope for me and I have been so stringent with myself for fear of sliding right on down.  But i know myself better then I think I ever have.  I know that I am not going to fall down the mountain if I have a small treat.  I know it may mean I have to train just a little bit harder the next day; but that's ok.  That's balance.  That's learning how to make choices. 

This is no longer about reaching a goal weight.  It's about changing me. I am better with me. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Debby Downer

I have been having a rough time.  It has been much harder then I thought giving up my trainer. Yes, I still get to do a boot camp with him but there is a large part of me that wishes I would have kept it one on one. I know that in the end this is probably all for the best.  I cannot depend on anyone but myself to see me through this....but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss not only having a personal coach but someone that checked in with me every week and cared about where I was at with all of it.  It's been bringing me down a little bit. Ok, a lot a bit.

I have been doing my work outs.  And I have been doing them hard.  I'm trying to use the visualization tactics all my soccer coaches used to try and get me to do.  I couldn't ever quite get the hang of it but now I get it.  Because not only am I visualizing myself finishing that 5K, I'm visualizing Mike standing on the end of the machine urging me to push harder. 

I know that I can do this.  I have to do this.  I will do this.  But Bob is doing more running, less gym, Andrea and Mike are at Lifetime, and I find myself once again completely alone in that stupid gym.   I'm so confused and conflicted.  How can this whole journey be about finding myself when I'm struggling being by myself?  Is that the ultimate lesson I am supposed to learn here? Why am I not enough for myself? Why do I always have to have someone telling me how good I'm doing so that I feel good about what I'm doing?

I'm not giving up.  I've come too far to give up.  But I'm in a rough spot and wish i had someone to check in with about it.

Maybe I don't need a trainer, maybe I need a shrink.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Full Circle

We're back at the Y for the summer.

I obviously have mixed feelings about this.   But Bob is taking the summer off which means a much much tighter budget to work with and the boys are dying to do all the swimming we did last summer.  Less gas money, closer access, and more physical activity for the boys all pushed me to have to face facts.

But there are no smoothies and no Knox's.

We walked in today and were greeted so warmly.  It was really nice! Everyone still remembered us and welcomed us back.  They asked about the Knox's and were happy to hear they are doing so well.  As I walked up the same stairs I walked up for a year and a half all of the memories came flooding back.  I half expected to see Mike at the desk.  No one was at the desk.

The boys ran in and the same women who worked in the child care room before were so happy to see them again! They felt welcomed and appreciated as well.  I went for the same run I have done with Mike, albeit much easier this time around, for old times sake and laughed remembering all of my stopping places.  I sprinted the same stupid hill Mike made us sprint in bootcamp and did the same set of lunges he so loves torturing us with. Then we went swimming.

I wasn't sure what I would feel walking back in.  I'm not exactly over the moon with this change.  Working with Mike has changed who I am but there is a very very large part of me deathly afraid of being on my own.  I have always done well with a coach.  I have never done well on my own.  I also didn't know if I would feel resentful in any way.  Being able to be at the affordable family friendly Y WITH my trainer and my work out buddy was the best of everything for us.  Ok, for me.  But I didn't feel that way either.  Ok, it was a little weird.  And I know there will be nights it feels incredibly lonely.  But today I felt strong.  I felt determined.  I felt grateful.  Mike did help me.  And I am more thankful then I could possibly express to him.  (Especially since he is still willing to train with me on the side). But ultimately, I am the one who did it.  I found myself in that gym and so it really doesn't matter what gym I am at.  I'm not losing myself ever again.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


In the last few weeks I have increased the distance of my running.  It really is the best cardio with the highest calorie burn.  Biggest bang for my buck.  And with summer arriving I feel like I am in crunch time.  I can't say that I love it.  It is still something I force myself to do, but it is getting a little easier.

Feeling very pleased with my ability to run 3 miles I bragged to Mike.  Why I still do this I don't know.  But you know what good ol Mike did?  Gave me homework.  To run.  4.5 miles.  I realize that his role in my journey is to push me farther then I think I can go.  Trust me, he's very good at it.  But 4.5?  Really? Really?!!

Saturday I did it.  It was calling for rain but when has rain ever stopped an Oregonian?  As I started out it started to rain.  I smiled.  I'm in my element.  I loved playing games in the rain.  I would much rather train in the rain then in 95 degree heat.  But then the lightening cracked, followed by the big boom of the thunder and I second guessed my decision. It actually made me jump.  Then it began pouring. Pouring.  Some nice women pulled over and asked if I was trying to get back to the gym and if I needed a lift.  I thanked her and waved her on.  I was only on my first lap! At some point it was impossible to avoid a puddle and my shoes and socks were water logged.  I was definitely carrying some water weight around with me which was another challenge. I contemplated just running the first lap which is a little over 2 miles.  I mean, it was ridiculous.  But I decided I was already soaked so I couldn't really do anything else inside of the gym without making a mess so I may as well finish what I started.  Which has been my goal this whole time.  Finish what I start.  No excuses. (unless the excuse is that it's 95 degrees with humidity and then it's completely valid so I don't die.) Not quitting. No giving up on oneself.

I made it.  It was slow but steady.  I walked for about 30 seconds,  2 times. But I finished it.  I finished it! I ran 4.5 miles. 

He's always saying, "You are stronger then you think you are."

Today I actually believed it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Getting There

I have struggled with watching other people around me lose weight so quickly.  My journey has been a long and slow one.  But I have to remind myself that I am not looking for a quick fix. I am looking to change my entire life....the way I view food.  The way I view exercise.  And more importantly, the way I view myself.

But... I have my small, vain goals that are always floating around in my head. I have always wanted to just walk into a store, try on some shorts, and find some.  Shorts!!! I haven't worn shorts for years.  Capris, yes.  Skirts, sure.  But shorts?! No way.

I ordered these on line. ON. LINE. And in a size smaller then the ones I ordered ON LINE a month ago.  AND they're Calvin Kleins.  I have never been able to wear these brand names. They aren't made with the same amount of stretch. But I put them on and they fit like a glove. And I LOVE them.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

5K anyone?

Last year I ran a 5K with Andrea (Mike's wife). It was horrible. I technically made it but stopped at least 4 different times around the lake. Her children beat me. By a lot.

I have done some running with Mike off and on.  I have crappy knees so pavement running isn't my favorite. Ok, no running is my favorite. But lately I have been realizing that I am enjoying it more.  My knees only hurt if I do it too many days in a row, I can go longer, and I'm not gasping for air and embarrassed by my performance.  I can actually see why some people do this.

Last week I ran 2 miles on the treadmill, which last summer was the furthest I had ever done.  I haven't even attempted to run longer then that.  And I only did that because it was homework.  And I'm an oldest child so i follow the rules when they are given to me.  Coach says run 2 miles, fine. I'll run 2 miles. When I got to the end of the second mile, I realized that I wasn't really all that tired.  So I decided to try going to 2.5. Made it.  Turned off the treadmill feeling very pleased with myself.  As I was walking away, I realized I still wasn't done.  I got back on that stupid thing and finished my 3.1 miles.

I did it. I ran 3 miles.

I told Mike.  Who of coarse gave me homework. (WHY do I tell him things?) My homework was to run around the lake.  The lake where I sort of ran the 5K.  The lake that has hills.  Damn it.

So Mother's Day morning, (who am I?) I decided to go for it.  And I made it! And I beat my time the previous summer by 4 minutes.

I have been doing high interval training and it' hard.  And I find myself once again feeling like I will never be able to do it.  It's too hard.  But running that 5K should do nothing but show me that when I decide to believe in myself I am capable of anything.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I had my heart rate test this morning at the gym.  I was super anxious about it and mostly afraid that I wouldn't be able to run as long or as hard as the test required.  Bob laughed at me and called me crazy for competing with...myself.  My neighbor pointed out that I am in better shape then I give myself credit for.  But there is still the little voice in the back of my head that tries to tell me I'm not good enough. I'm getting better about pushing past her, but the thought still pops up.

The test itself was not hard.  You have to run at increasing speed and increasing incline on the treadmill while this machine tracks your heart rate and your oxygen intake.  That wasn't the hard part believe it or not.  The hard part for me was that you have to wear this mask that is hooked up to the machine.  It was horrible.  I just wanted to rip the damn thing off the entire time.  I tried very hard to just focus on my breathing, which is not a strength of mine anyway...I tend to huff and puff.  The other hard part was that you can't eat before the test.  So by the time I got there, at 10am, I was shaky I was so hungry.  Thank God the uber expensive hoity toity gym we now go to has a cafe on site!

I still haven't sat down with Mike yet to really go over the results, just had a quick review with the guy who did the testing with me.  In a nutshell, I think, the test shows that my body burns fat pretty effectively, but not carbohydrates.  And that I burn the most fat in zones 2 and 3, which is basically a heart rate between 175-185. This is good information to know.  I was also told to up my protein and healthy fat.  I will get to go over it at my training session Thursday a bit more so I may need to correct my initial understanding. The particularly exciting news is that he told me I am in pretty good shape. (Thank you Mike) and that I am on the higher end of performance and oxygen intake compared to other people who work out! YES! See Bob, I WAS competing against someone else!!

I know that making more adjustments means I am continuing to meet my goals.  I have to continuously adjust my behavior and thinking based on what level I am at.  It's not enough to just count calories in vs. out.  I really need to figure out how my body processes food and how I need to be training.  It's very interesting, a bit frustrating (I have never been particularly good with change), but a good challenge.  There is no stopping me.  I am close to meeting my initial weight loss goal and am actually excited to hit it so I can set a new goal.

I no longer feel like I just 'was an athlete'. I feel like I have found that part of myself again.

I AM an athlete. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Living the Dream

I am getting to a point in my weight loss that I LOVE shopping again.  This is a blessing and a curse.  For so long now I have had one pair of jeans...because they are the only ones that fit.  And five of the same different colors.  One dress that hid my tummy a little bit more.  I used to look for clothes that had to have a certain amount of stretch in them so they fit better.  I wore lots of baggy sweatshirts.  I wore my hair straight more often because I thought my face looked thinner.  Freaked out if anything got put into the dryer for fear of it shrinking.  All these little tricks that I thought hid my body.  Who was I fooling besides myself?

Things are changing.  I just got a package in the mail from some gift cards I received.  A dress that was a size medium, a pair of Calvin Klein jean shorts, and another pair of bemuda shorts. I bought these all on line.  The dress looks amazing.  The Calvin Klein's fit!!! (I have always wanted Calvin Kleins but they are not made with a lot of stretch.) And the Bemuda shorts were HUGE on me.

I did a happy dance. Ok, I did a few happy dances.  I can buy something sight unseen and it fits. I don't cry when I try on jeans anymore.  Sure some of them still aren't the right style for me.  And sure I'm a size up or a size down depending on the brand.  But I'm not quietly ashamed of myself. 

I needed a boost. Been feeling crappy because I can't train hard with my muscle pull (it is getting a little better) have had an ongoing headache all week, and Easter candy kicked the shit out of me.  So the package from Macy's came at the perfect time!!

I could get into this.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pulled Muscle

I have pulled a muscle in my upper leg.  And it hurts. I am on a steady diet of advil, stretching, and icing and it doesn't really ever feel better! I am trying not to panic, but I'm totally panicking.  I have taken two days off in a row for two weeks and it doesn't seem to help.  Summer is almost here and I can't afford to take a chunk of time off. Can I? Can I not?


Friday, March 16, 2012

World's Best Mommy

Bob and the boys got me a shirt for Mother's Day, not last year, but the year before. It's pink and says "World's Best Mommy" with a big fat heart.  And I loved it.  But it didn't fit.  Not even close.  I have held on to this shirt determined to wear it. (For a pajama shirt).  Last year I pulled it out and tried it on.  Sort of.  But still too tight and felt really insecure, even to just sleep in it.

I pulled it out a week ago.  Not only does it fit, but it's a little loose!! I have been reminded lately of how long I have been working on this.  Roughly two years now.  It's been a slow hard process for me full of ups and downs.  I don't seem to lose weight quickly.  I don't understand how some people can.  It's not that I am not happy for other people.  I love seeing other people get healthy.  The negative thinking in my own head creeps back though.  "What is it about me that I can't seem to lose it that quickly?"  But I can't focus on anyone else.  It doesn't matter that someone else can lose the same amount in 6 months that I have in 2 years.  It only matters that I have made the changes I needed to make.  And I have.

And tonight my mommy t-shirt is proof of that!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Out of the Park

A little over two years ago, at a post baby check up the doctor told me I was in the obese category.  I dismissed him.  "I am not 600 pounds." "I just had a baby."  "I'm breastfeeding and need to eat."  "This is not even my heaviest."  It was easy for me to shrug it off.  Sure, I had some weight to lose.  But I had recovered from the Bulimia and I just had another baby and I was not going to let some number throw me back into a dark place.  I was going to enjoy being a mom....and all the food that came with it.  But I was in the dark place again.  I hated how I looked.  But more importantly, I hated how I felt about myself.  Again.

Oddly enough, that was not my rock bottom.  My rock bottom happened on the playground.  Aid wanted me to play chase.  And I did.  Or at least I tried to.  I realized I could only chase him for a few minutes before I had to tell him I was too tired.  I balled.  I had lost myself.  Again.  And because I had, I was going to be the mom sitting on the side because she was too big to get out there and play with her kid.

And that was unacceptable.

So I joined Weight Watchers.  Started counting points and lost 30 pounds.  And felt really good about myself.  But then I got stuck.  Joined the Y and started exercising.  Got stuck again.  Got the trainer.  Lost a little bit more.  Got stuck again.  Got the heart rate monitor.  Now I'm learning more about training in my zone to build up an aerobic base so I can more effectively burn fat.  So I get the most out of my workout.  I don't have time to waste. Life is too short and too precious to be sitting on the treadmill for 3 hours while my kids are playing with someone else in the play room.  I need to get in.  Get it done.  And get back to my family.

I had yet another assessment today.  Since I started this journey I have lost 67 pounds and 10% body fat.  You heard me.  10%.   I can probably outrun Aid.  I may still whimper in the heat of the training session, but the little voice in me is telling me to shut up because I know I can do it.

I didn't just hit it.  I hit it out of the park.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Downward Dog

Being a Yogi is not in my future.

In an effort to expand my fitness resources me and a girlfriend took a Yoga class.  A hot Yoga class. 
And while, I do like the actual workout of Yoga, it's the melodramatic element that my snarky self can't get over.  Sure, I will hold the star pose because I love that my quads are shaking they are so tired.  But I'm not sure how you expect me to get into the Happy Baby pose without smirking a bit.  And I don't mind the meditation piece of it.  Because it did feel good to close my eyes and focus on my breathing.  But if you tell me to pinch my thumb and pointer finger and "feel the past and the future become one" I start giggling like a naughty Catholic girl during church. 

Still, you can always take something away from an experience.  And I will go if my workout partner wants to because it's not all about me. 

But I will go and sit next to the other Sex and the City girls who were also giggling in the absolute silence.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Thank God for Subway

I know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After not eating all night my body needs fuel to get it going.  It gets my metabolism moving and it sets the tone for the day.

But I am the mother of 2 and sometimes the day gets ahead of you.  In the past when I have been running late, trying to get the kids dressed, fed, and ready for school and have missed eating myself, I had three options I turned to.  One, starve until I got home. Which depending on the mornings event could be a couple of hours later.  The second, and most often taken one, was grabbing a doughnut with the kid(s).  Even after I really started my new lifestyle changes I convinced myself that as long as I programmed it into my nutrition plan it was alright. (The justifications I have given myself over the years are still astonishing to me). The third is that I could swing by a fast food joint and pick up a breakfast sandwich.  Without any of the sides not really horrible calorically speaking.  (Horrible in several other areas I know.)

But I have found a new ally. Subway.  I can't possibly tell you how much I love Subway.  Not only are they a healthier option then fast food, but all of their nutritional information is available so I can plug it all in to my nutritional plan for the day.  I can still have the convenience of not having to cook every once in awhile without undoing all of the good I have been doing.  BUT.  They now have healthier breakfast options.  This morning I was running late and we had no food in the house, (I was stopping at Trader Joes after I dropped off my oldest at preschool).  I stopped in at the convenient store across the street from his school and grabbed an egg white with spinach and tomato on a whole wheat English muffin breakfast sandwich!

Perfect.  I got food in my belly that was a much healthier option at only $2 that was pretty yummy!!

I should be a spokesperson for them.  Who needs Jared? I could go on and on and on.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Deal With the Devil?

There is a feeling in the pit of my stomach. I can't tell if it's excitement or worry. Or both.

We met Mike and Andrea at Lifetime Fitness this morning. A big hoity toity gym. But it's beautiful. And has everything (including tennis courts Dad!! Lots of tennis courts! Snow or no snow you can play when you come visit!!) But it means saying good-bye to the Y. And despite the glitz and glam of Lifetime, the Y was a good place for us. Our family got healthier in a lot of ways. So I can't help but worry about a change. Not to mention the bigger price tag that comes along with it.

There are the obvious pros. My trainer is there. So no more 5:30 am work outs. Bonus. They are also our friends and we will get to spend more time with them again. Bonus. They have every class you could ever want so I will get a much broader range of workout. Bonus bonus. The boys love it. Bonus. They have a spa and cafe on site. As I was sitting with my friends drinking a healthy smoothie post workout I was screaming in my head, "BONUS!"

But there are some cons. The price tag. It's almost double what we were paying at the Y. Yes, you get a whole lot more with it. But still. Distance. They Y is literally one mile from us. We will be driving 10-15 minutes depending on traffic. That is harder. And it will inevitably be easier to talk myself out of going. But I'm committed to this process so I think Bob is more worried about that then I am. Bob is also a little grumbly over the lack of community feel. It's true. I can't argue with that. We are now at a gym not the community center. And I think that is actually a piece that I will miss. Not more then I missed training and working out with my friends, but will still miss it for sure.

The good news also is both the Y and Lifetime are on a month by month plan. So if it doesn't work out or if it's not a good fit we can always change back. No harm done.

There is always some bad with the good. I'm hopeful this will be yet another kick start for me and the good outweighs the bad...

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Since I have started this journey, I have found myself trying to choose classes and events wisely. In the same way that an alcoholic cannot go out drinking, I cannot go to dessert night outs. I have to stay clear of situations and events that are triggers for me. At least until I get to a place where I can stare the temptation in the face and not eat it. I'm not there yet. This has brought some judgment. And maybe hurt feelings, on both ends. It has also been an obstacle in building friendships out here. But it is what it is.

I have come the realization that I have to surround myself with people that can support me and what I'm trying to do. You do not have to have the same goals that I do. You do not have to never have a sweet at your house or never invite me out. But you have to be able to understand if I decline. You have to be able to understand that your issues are not my issues. And for a long time I ignored my issues because I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings and I just wanted to be liked. But no more. I have to take care of myself. I have to put myself first. No one else is going to do this for me.

I have been reading a book called MWF seeking BFF. And I can so relate. She has gained 15+ pounds going out on her new friend dates, which has also hit home. I need to find friends that are compatible with my new changes. I need someone who wants to go try out a crazy 90 minute bootcamp followed by a smoothie after class. I need someone who wants to go on a double date with me and Bob that doesn't include food and alcohol. I need someone who calls me up to go get a pedicure or take a hike/walk with them on the weekend instead of dinner and drinks. It limits my prospects. I get that. And I'm coming to a place where I am ok with that and realize that I have to surround myself with friends that love and accept, support and reciprocate.

None of this is easy. But easy isn't always the thing that is best for you is it?

*Please note I am not speaking about anyone in particular. I'm really not. The book just got me thinking about friendship and the support network that you create for yourself. In no way do I mean that I'm ending any of my current friendships. But not opposed to finding some more that can support the new me! I edited it because I realize my wording may have sounded much harsher then I intended it to.

A Different Way of Thinking

I have always compared myself to other women when I walk into a room. I know, it's horrible. But I do it. And for a very long time I was always the biggest one. Always. And by a lot. It was humiliating. I dreaded going to nights out with girlfriends because I felt so insecure about how I looked. I have skipped any and all reunion events for the same reason.

But I have come a long way and am frequently not the biggest person in the room. I hold no judgement to those that are. I just understand how it feels. I am proud of myself though. I do not feel as insecure when I walk into a room now.

This morning I tried out a new 90 minute bootcamp class at another Y branch. As soon as I walked into the room, that same dreadful feeling came rushing back to me. I was the biggest woman in the room. These women (and men) looked fit. Fit. Fit. Mike the trainer fit. Nancy the crazy spin lady fit. "Dear Lord what have I gotten myself into?" I thought. I stayed. It was the craziest class I have ever taken. I was a bit in over my head.

But. But there has been a shift. Because I am going back. Before I would have bailed not wanting to be the largest least in shape person there. (as it turns out I was not the least in shape in all areas. I can do squats and lunges well past others..thank you soccer.) This class will push me. I need to be there. I need other people who are in better shape to push me. They are physical reminders of my goals. I don't just want to get skinny. I want to be fit. Super fit. And healthy. And strong.

So I'm going back next week. And the next week. And eventually I will one of the stronger women in that class.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

YMCA Blues

I had a hard night at the gym tonight. Feeling very bitter toward the Y. The place I loved before. And no, it's not all about my trainer not being there. Thank God I still have him. They just suck now. Ha ha.

So before Mike was putting together a lot of specialty classes. Granted, they were costing me an arm and a leg, but they don't have a great selection of regular classes, at least not at our Y branch. There are basically three classes you can take and not pay for. You can take Zumba. (uh, no) Body Pump (which I do) and Cycling (which I do.) There is no kick boxing, no pilates, no Boot camp. So for the most part I was perfectly content to pay for these things. I had a great variety of work outs through the week. But with Mike gone, no one is running any specialty classes besides Kettlebells. Which I tried, didn't love, and is now being run by another trainer I don't care for. Because participation is down the rates have gone up. For the life of me this doesn't make sense. If participation is down because people can't afford it then why not either make them regular classes or lower the price thereby allowing more people who could potentially afford it?

I was super excited when they finally offered a boot camp class, one that I didn't have to pay for. Effective immediately, the class was cancelled due to low attendance. There were only ever 2-3 three of us. But they put the class in direct competition with Zumba. There was no promoting of it in any way and it wasn't even on the schedule. Who is making these decisions here? I feel like the boat is sinking and maybe it's time for me to broaden even further and on some nights get to another Y where there are more options. They are all much farther away, which makes it much more difficult with the boys, but I'm just not sure what else to do. The vibe sucked in there tonight. Boys that were not cool sharing the free weights with the loan girl in their area, trainers all sitting around doing nothing as opposed to oh I don't know, RUNNING A CLASS! I felt myself just wanting to go home.

This. is. not. good. I've come all this way, I can't give up. But I am trying SO hard to be pro-active and open in finding tools to help me reach my goals.
I just felt like screaming. Or crying. I just can't catch a break.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Another Door Opens

The bright spot in this 'trainer leaving the gym' saga is that has forced me to broaden my work out pool. I realized I cannot depend on one person to pull me through this. I have to first depend on myself, but second, seek out other people who can push me through this journey.

This morning I found a person.

She teaches a 7am spin class. Bob scoffed at me when I told him I was going. I really just went because it was my homework from Mike. Dear God. The woman is a monster. Not only did I burn a whopping 700 calories in one hour, she made us ride the entire hour. And hard. She also did more training then the other spin instructors. She was on and off her bike, pushing us, making us up the resistance when I was positive my legs would not make it around one more time, checking our form, and lying to us with "one minute" promises that turned into three.

This class is also in the studio and I have found that I love working out in the studio. Seeing muscles I did not have before and actually seeing how much stronger I am is a good motivator.

She said two things during the length of this torture session that got me:

* "HOW BAD DO YOU WANT THIS?" She yelled as we were climbing up a hill on the highest resistance. The only other person that has asked me this was Mike, and well, the rest is history.

* "This last 15 minutes is where your work is done." The other spin classes I have taken have really only lasted 45 minutes. There is the warm up and the cool down. If you want a slower warm up you have to come to this class early because she doesn't waste any time. And you literally do not stop until that hour is up. It was horrible. And awesome.

The other piece of information I can't ignore? She is a trainer that is also trained by my trainer. Enough said.

I think it's fair to say that Saturday morning spin class has officially been added to my work out week.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Where There's A Will, There's A Way.

Life has a way of working out.

I have done a lot of processing and planning my next steps so that despite losing my trainer, I stay on my path and continue to succeed.  The plan was to start taking other classes at the Y so I get a broader range of muscle/cardio work as I do with Mike.  So I started this boot camp class, which is not anywhere near as challenging as the boot camp class Mike ran.  But it's still a solid work out.  I have since started to take spinning and find myself really enjoying it.  Then I planned to train with Mike once a month to give me new exercises to jump start things.

My last session with him was a doozy.  My arms were shaking they were so tired.  But I also realized that we were doing all completely new exercises and immediately began worrying that this was to arm me with tools before he was gone.  "I realize what you're doing..."I began.  Then I confirmed that he was in fact able to train once a month.  "I have good news" he said.  He has Mondays off.  So he would still be willing to train me once a week, if it could be on a Monday before 4.  Took me a moment to understand what he was saying.  I have been losing sleep, stressing out, worrying and at other times full out panicking...and it's going to work out after all?!!  I will actually get 4 sessions for the same price I pay for 3, Mike will make extra money and it won't interfere with any family time!!

There is a small snag.  Because Grant isn't in school yet, and at least initially we cannot train at the Y, I will have to train at 5:30 in the mornings before Bob goes to work. Oh dear....

It's a small price to pay...maybe I'll get into those shorts this summer after all!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My New Theme Song

Anyone in my generation that watched Ally McBeal (and loved her) knows the importance of having a theme song.  A song that runs through your head in trying moments that helps push you through.  Most of these moments for me are at the gym and so my theme song is streaming through my headphones.  Bob makes fun of me.  Mike laughs a little bit.  But whatever you gotta do right?

Stuck. Again.

So the past two months I have had good success in the weight loss department as well as in my strength training.  But I have been stuck for the last couple of weeks and have not lost a single pound.  This would normally freak me out, and I'd be lying if I said there weren't a few days where I got on that scale multiple times.  But I am trying to remember that I have made life changes.  It isn't only about the number on that scale.  It is about changing my life. 

I just have to keep on keeping on....

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Proof

I'm not going to call this before and after.  For a couple of reasons.  For one thing, I cannot find a solid "before" picture.  I have been so resistant to ever being in front of a camera that I can count on both hands the pictures there are of me.  The saddest part, is realizing how few pictures there are of me with the boys. Lots and lots of Bob and the boys.   But no mom.  And now that just breaks my heart. There is not a single picture of me with Grant on his first birthday.  These are moments that I remember well, but it kills me that I'm not in them.  I had to enlist the help of my Dad to send me some.  To my horror, some of the ones he sent me I was actually pregnant with Grant.   I'm not sure there's a worse sign then that.

The second reason is that these are not my after.   I am not done.   I've come along way, but I am definitely not a lot of areas.

I can't believe I am posting some of these.

Sorry Bob, take one for the team here!

The few pictures I have of myself over the past 3+ years are head shots.  But you can see it in my face.
The particularly sad part of this one is that we were in Florida.  And I did not once get into a bathing suit and get into the ocean.  I am in desperate need of a do over.

Now some more flattering ones as I began my journey....

On our anniversary trip.  I decided I wanted to do something healthy.  So we went to Lanesboro and rode bikes!

My cousin and his lovely wife!

 I have been told I need to learn how to pose.  But when you flee from the camera posing is completely unnecessary.  I am open to some lessons now!!

Me with my niece Ori.  This is significant because I would have killed Bob for taking it at this angle.  Now I think, "Eh, not too shabby.  It's definitely getting there."

This may as well be my second home.  I am in the gym 4-6 times a week.  I have grown here.  Challenged myself here.  It is my safe spot.  I love it.

 And this is Mike.  I owe this guy so much.  But mostly for teaching me to not say "I can't" and helping me realize my potential.  This is following a Kettlebell work out.  I can't believe I'm smiling after it.

So there you have it.  My journey in pictures.  Although now would be the time to send me any unflattering picture that you have been a good friend and not sent to me before.  I cannot forget where I have been.  I cannot refuse to get on the scale or refuse to look at myself in a picture.

Ever again.


I went shopping with Bob today.  This in itself is an event because shopping has been incredibly difficult for me.  For as long as I can remember.  I have listened and watched other girls enjoy it.  I've never felt that.  It was just a reminder that I didn't fit in anything I wanted to fit in.  During college (after I blew out my knee and stopped playing soccer) I had to buy jeans from a plus size store when I first gained a lot of weight.  It was humiliating and I swore that I would never again go in there. 

I never did.  Although I have done some very unhealthy things along the way to keep that promise to myself.  But today, I thoroughly enjoyed it and had fun trying on things and having Bob tell me if they look good.  More often then not the answer was yes!

As we were talking though I told him what my highest weight was.  255.  He was shocked.  "You did not weigh 255," he said.  "Yes, yes, I did."  He realized that the entire time we have been together, (11 years and counting) I have never before given him a number.  He has never known how much I my biggest or my smallest.  He realized why I related to the contestants on The Biggest Loser.  They are me.  Sure some of them are significantly bigger then I have ever been.  But I was on my way.  I am them.  I'm fighting the same war.

And I,  I realized that I  have been terribly ashamed of myself.  I have given up so many things that were important to me and kept so many secrets from those I love because of how I felt about myself.

But no more.  I am taking my life back.  One pound at a time. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Weigh In

I remember the very first time I had a body fat assessment done.  I was playing on a winter elite team. (soccer for those of you who may not know) I was the captain.  I was in a good place; although I'd be lying if I said I haven't always battled insecurities.  Our coach had us meet at his wife's physical therapy office.  We had to do physical assessments as well as body assessments.  We had our mile and heart rate timed on the treadmill, tested how many sit-ups/push-ups we could do in a minute, etc.  Then we had our body fat tested.  High school girls that we were, we giggled nervously as our fat was pinched.  I didn't think much of it.  I knew I wasn't a size 0 but I was an athlete, I didn't have to be.

But before our scrimmage, my coach pulled me aside.  He told me how good I was, what a great captain I was, and that I had a good attitude and worked hard.  I had a bright future.  It could be brighter if I lost weight. 

Looking back, I know that he was not telling me I was fat.  But the insecurities of a teenage girl took over and I held back the tears.  He saw them and tried to smooth it over by telling me that he didn't think I was overweight, but that I could run even faster if I had less weight on me.  "I'm fat, I'm fat, I'm fat" is all that went through my head.  I played horrible that game.  Which only served as verification that I wasn't as good as I thought I was.  I was too fat too play.

I know this is when I really started viewing my weight in an unhealthy, obsessive, destructive way.  It is not his fault.  He meant well.  And I didn't stop playing.  I never spoke to anyone about it or how I felt about it.  But many years and several rounds of therapy later, I know this was the moment I began to hate my body.

Since I started training with Mike, I have had to do these body fat assessments again.  The first time I cried all the way through it.  I'm sure he must have thought I was a head case.  I only mentioned that I had had this done before.  I didn't tell him that story.  None of them have gone very well and I always end up in tears and frustrated that all my hard work is not paying off.  I am transported back to the time where despite my accomplishments I am a failure in this area.  About 3 months ago I felt on the verge of quitting.  I am working out 5 days a week, spending all of the extra money I am making on training and classes,  and I haven't lost a single extra pound or inch.  I drove directly to the store and bought the biggest doughnut they had and ate my car.  And I felt even worse.  The next session I came in feeling even more defeated and not at all ready to work out.  But when I walked in he sat me down to look at my nutrition journal/plan.  I was completing it religiously.  I stayed within my calorie budget, had my thyroid checked, and was working out like a mad woman.  Something was wrong.  And it was.  He dropped my calories by about 500 from what the online program had calculated out for me. 

And it worked.

This morning when I had my body comp done, I had lost another 4 pounds.  Over the holidays.  So I've now lost 10.8 pounds, 7", and 2% body fat in about 3 months.

It's working.  My hard work really is paying off.  I was eating too many calories to lose.  Even though they were healthier calories, it's calories in vs calories out.  It's really that simple.

I have conquered that fat pincher.  I'm not as afraid to get on that scale.  I'm certainly not afraid to run the mile, and I KILL it on the sit-ups/push-ups in a minute.

And slowly, a wound from the past begins to heal.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Crisis Averted

Ok. So if you can't tell by now, I have this tendency to over process.  Try as I might, I will inevitably freak out when something goes wrong.  The next day everything always looks less overwhelming then it did and I'm always a little embarrassed that I went so far.  But it's me.  I don't see that it will ever change.

Today I went into planning mode.  It is what it is.  My family comes first.  So I absolutely get and support that someone else is putting their family first.  Absolutely.  It's still possible to get some training on the side.  I don't know how often or for how long, but it's a little comforting that Mike is still there to check in with.  As I walked into the gym tonight, I saw a sign saying they are starting up a boot camp class on Monday nights. "In," I thought.  I love Boot camp style work outs.  Then after finishing up my run, another client of his came in and I ended up with another hour of cardio as we were talking.

I left tonight realizing that even though it wasn't what I had planned that I am stronger then I was.  And as it has been pointed out to me, stronger then I ever give myself credit for.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for encouraging. Thanks for making me laugh at myself. 

I got this.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Bomb is Dropped

This is not what I saw happening.

After my mile warm up run (which is significant all on it's own. Running a mile is now my warm up!) my trainer dropped the bomb that he's leaving the Y.  Everything stopped.  I know that the world does not revolve around me.  I know that I am not his only client.  I know that he has to make decisions that are best for him and his family.  But all that went through my head over and over and over is "What about me?  What am I gonna do?"

The move to Minnesota has been difficult.  It was much more difficult then I thought leaving my closest friends.  It was more difficult then I thought it would be to lose the support of my family, which at times felt overbearing and full of strife.  It has not been easy to create a strong support network out here.  I have struggled with feeling lonely and unwelcome.  I have found it difficult to form close and/or lasting friendships and internalized that it must be me.  Maybe I'm too difficult.  Maybe I'm too needy.  Maybe I'm not fun to be around.  Maybe I have too many issues.

And then we joined the Y.  I started working out.  We started making changes and it was the best decision we had made in a long time.  We were both healthier, or at least committed to becoming healthier.  And it was a great family activity to do.  One day this trainer commented that it looked like I was working hard and asked if I had had an assessment done. So I signed up.  I did not do well at that assessment and felt like all my hard work hadn't gotten me very far. But oddly enough he seemed to see something in me.  I decided that it didn't hurt to buy one package. I was probably making it up in my head anyway(because let's face it, I can do that).  He killed me.  He annihilated me.   Then he told me I did a good job and he'd see me next week.  What quickly became apparent is that he seemed to genuinely care.  I wasn't making that up in my head.  There were nights I felt like I was on an episode of The Biggest Loser....struggling to do one more push up, crying that I couldn't do it, and being told that I was in fact doing it.  That I needed to believe in myself.  There it is again....believing in myself.  Why is this always so damn hard for me?

So I continued training with him. He set me up with a nutrition plan.  I got involved in other training groups he ran.  I met other people that I connected with.  After 4 years in Minnesota, I found somewhere I belonged.  I started to find myself again.  I became friends with his wife who started to train with me, I made goals for myself and I actually stuck to them.  I even signed up for a 5K that I ran with his wife...and kids.  One of whom beat me, but I did it!  It was a starting point, albeit a low one.

So yeah, I feel like a bomb was dropped today.  I realize that to some I may just sound terribly dramatic.  Which, again I acknowledge is a quirky trait of mine.  And there are more that will just mean well when they say that I will be ok.  I know that I will be ok.  I have found a piece of myself that was missing for a long time.  My marriage is stronger.  My family is stronger.  I am stronger.  But it saddens me and frightens me to lose people who have been so instrumental in this process.  I'm afraid to lose the feeling that I belong somewhere and that someone cares about whether I make it or not.  I don't feel like I am done in my training.  Yes, I can run farther and faster.  But I still have a long way to go on meeting my next goal which is a swimsuit.  And I'm afraid of walking back in there where no one else is invested in me.  No one cares if I am in there and what level I am on.  I'll lose my work out partner.  And what if the friendships I have formed with them don't hold up?   I am the new person in Minnesota.  I did not grow up here.  My best friend doesn't even live within driving distance.  We have no other family friends that we spend time with.  And they will be busy.  That's just life. 

I'm afraid.  And I'm sad.  And I think it's ok to be.  I don't think I have to pretend that it doesn't matter.  That's the old me.  I stuffed a lot of things.  And then I ended up 255 pounds. 

But what I do now, I'm not sure.

Maybe it will all work out somehow.  Maybe not.  Maybe this is the next step in my journey.  Maybe something good comes out of this?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Who Are You and What Have You Done With Me?

Something happened to me while I was on vacation visiting my family in Oregon. I was running around my old high school track, watching a soccer team practice.  It was cold.  They all had on their shorts, with their cleats and their gloves.  I continued to watch them as I ran around and around and around remembering my own glory days.  And what glory days they were. Once upon a time, I was pretty good.  I was strong.  I didn't quit.  I fought.

"What happened to that girl," I wondered.

On one of my laps, the ball escaped and rolled in my direction.  Without breaking my stride, I passed it back to the coach who had jogged out to retrieve it.  "You must play" he said and ran back to his team. "Of coarse I played," I thought.  Then it hit me.  I was the same girl.  I was running.  I was strong.  I was fighting.  The only difference is that I stopped believing I was capable of those things.  But why?

I decided to start this blog, because while I have been on a weight loss journey for quite some time, I haven't really been able to figure out how I got to where I got.  Was it the knee injuries?  Was it the babies?  Was it pure laziness?  Denial?  When did I stop believing in myself?  I have to figure that out if I am to complete this journey and never go back.

I will be vulnerable.  I will be strong.  I will fight.