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.