Monday, December 22, 2014

Tis the Season


They are called Thumbprints and my Grandma used to make them every Christmas.  And they are my favorite cookies ever.  EVER.  And my mom now makes them every Christmas.  These cookies are complicated for me because not only are they the BEST COOKIE EVER (have I mentioned they're my favorite?) they remind me of my Grandmother. 

I haven't yet uploaded the recipe to find out the damage on these bad boys, but I walked into the kitchen last night and saw 5 butter wrappers discarded.  Oh no.  Somewhere in my mind I convinced myself that 2-3 a night if I trained really really hard would not do that much damage.  And maybe I'll plug it in to My Fitness Pal and still find that.  But something about those butter wrappers tells me that it will be even worse then I thought. 

I know life is all about balance.  But when it comes to sweets, I'm a little like a crack addict.  I don't balance it well at all.  One cookie turns into 10 cookies.  Almost every time.  In fact I have 3 last night.....before they were even done.  They are little and delicious and my mouth is watering just thinking about them. 

So there will be no cookies until Christmas Eve. Or at least, this is my goal.  At some point along my journey, my will was much more absolute.  I was a machine.  But stalled weight loss and not reaching my goal took a tole on me.  I started making calorie counting just as sick as the bulimia.  I obsessed.  In a really unhealthy manner.  So my challenge is now how to keep myself accountable without obsessing.  But I'm a crack addict.  Or a cookie addict.  Tomato or tomata really at this point, because they will both kill me early.  An addict's an addict. 

I can do this.  I just have to avoid the kitchen for 3 days. No biggy....

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Making Choices

I made good choices yesterday.

Not perfect ones.  But good ones.

I had 2 Lindt white chocolate balls.  Because they are the best things ever and sitting at work staring at me.  But then I walked a mile and a half during my lunch break.  This started out at penance for the chocolate balls, but turned out to be a really helpful pick me up in the middle of the day.

Then I was running errands and STARVING.  I literally walked up to a donut shop that I saw while walking into another store.  I must have looked like a crazy person deciding whether or not to go in.  But I haven't had a donut since we moved from Minnesota.  Why would I pick up that splurge again?  Giving it up hasn't made an ounce of difference in my weight.  But it's been emotionally healthy for me not to indulge and then kill myself at the gym all in the name of donuts.

Then we went to Grant's Christmas concert where there was cake afterward.  Normally I would have a hard time focusing on anything else because I want cake!!  I asked Bob if he wanted to split a piece (they were small pieces in all fairness).  He left me more of the cake part because I'm not a frosting girl, and I took a bite deciding to consciously  enjoy my few bites of cake.  But it didn't taste good.  I don't know if it's the cake or if it's because I'm a bit pickier about my indulgences these days but I gave the rest to Grant.

I felt really proud of myself.  I wasn't perfect.  But I made some solid choices that I felt good about.  That's what it's all about right? Progress not perfection?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Training With Lance

So part of my sub training is to take a bazillian classes at the club I want to teach at to inundate myself with the style and skills of the other instructors.  This mainly means I have been taking classes at 5:45 am or on Saturdays since I work during all the other day times.  And they don't have a lot of evening classes, so hopefully that's where I can find my own niche.

But I have been kind of dying to take Frank's class.  Frank trained on the same team as Lance Armstrong.  THE Lance Armstrong. 

Yes, I know.  Turns out he's a bit of a cheater. But performance enhancing drugs or not, he's a strong athlete.  Frank is bad ass.  Trained with the best of the best.  Olympic trials.  Racing teams. 

And I got to take his class.

It was a great class!  I tried to just absorb everything he was saying.  Which was harder then one would think because it was a seriously tough ride.  But I was proud of myself for getting through it.  And even prouder of myself for having enough guts to introduce myself.  "Great! I will definitely use you!"

WHAT?  Really?  But I still have weight to lose!  I don't look like you do!  I'm just a mom who loves to work in the hell does a guy who rode with Armstrong think that I could sub for him?

 I always assume that people won't take me seriously until I get the rest of this stubborn weight off.  And sometimes that happens.  Sometimes some judgy bitch (and not the one in my head) gives me the up and down look and I know what she's thinking.  In my healthier moments I tell her she doesn't know anything about me or how far I have come.  Other times I believe her look.

But this guy seemed to take me seriously.  I think I need to really take myself seriously.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


I am really struggling lately.  I'm being triggered all over the place.  And the negative things that keep running through my head...well it's that bitch again.  But she's doing a number on me.  I'm in a really bad place mentally and trying hard to get myself out of it.

There is this one mirror in the classroom that I work in.  And every time I walk past it, I see 257 pound Karen.  I see cellulite.  I see big arms.  I don't see anything I feel proud of.  I don't know what's happening.  I feel like I was stuck at a weight and switched things up in an attempt to get myself out of the plateau.  And I gained 10 pounds.  I don't know if it's muscle weight or not.  I have no tools to figure that out.  I have no scale.  I have no trainer.  So I have switched it back because I'd honestly rather be stuck at the 10 pounds less.  Why is it you always end up wanting what you had?  I have been working to eat healthy food and clean up my diet where it needed a little cleaning.  I know I don't always get it right.  But I try to get it right most of the time. 

I don't know if I'm just feeling badly because people are so fit here that I feel like I look worse then I really do?  I don't know if since no one here knows me and I don't get any sort of external feedback, I'm making up my own ugly dialogue?   I have to figure it out.  I know I do.  I know it's not good for me to start back with the self hate stuff.  I'm throwing it out there because I could use some support.  And historically when I stuff these feelings, well let's just say nothing good comes of it. 

I know I'm not 257 pound Karen anymore.  Why do I still feel like her?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cousin Bonding

My cousin Tony trains.  And I mean he trains.  He did some ultimate fighting stuff for awhile and I can imagine he was pretty good because this kid is not messing around.  I have been enjoying spending more time with my cousins and getting to know them as adults.  I knew Tony trained, and I knew he worked out in a garage gym, and I needed to get a good hard work out in.  I took a chance and asked him if I could work out with him.

I walked in to this:

Old school.  Bad Ass.  So basic, but so beautiful.  It had everything, including jump ropes, tires, sledge hammers, squat rack, jump boxes, rings, ropes...seriously, they put one hell of a little gym together in that garage.

It was really fun.  It was a really hard work out and very much like Mike's style.  It felt really good and I got to spend some good time with my cousin.  Can't wait to do it again next time I'm in town Tony!!

My box jump....Tony's box jump. bahahaha! Clearly I have some catching up to do!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014


I'm enjoying the variety and intensity of my work outs.  Kind of feel bad ass at the end of them.  And you all know that I like work outs where I feel bad ass.  Dripping with sweat, heavy breathing, legs shaking....

Today was 45 minutes of interval training on the bike.
Followed by 3 sets with 20 reps of each with no rest in between sets.

Deadlifts- 60 pound barbell
Step ups on the bench
Reverse push-ups on the smith machine bar
Thrusts- 30 pound barbell.

705 calories burned.

I've decided to alternate high reps/low weight and high weight /low reps.  What I'm not entirely sure is how often I should switch it up.

Anyone have any opinions? Mike?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Crossfit Copycat


I don't do crossfit.  Mainly because I can't afford to do it.  But also while I have dabbled in other training philosophies, I have found my way back to the one that got me to where I am.  Mike Knox training.  It's high interval, strength endurance, crazy ass, train until you can't move or want to puke training.  And I love it.  And for me it works. And each time I have tried a different style, thinking it's always good to switch things up (and it is) I haven't seen the results I saw.  My body needs to strength train. FOR SURE.  But it needs to sweat.  It needs to sprint.  It needs the endurance training, and I see results.  My body fat goes down, I feel leaner, and I am cardiovascularly stronger. 

Truth be told I wish he was still training me.  I miss working with him.  I miss his work outs, though I am trying to mimic them.  And I miss the support and encouragement.  I'm on my own.

The other day I ran across this article.  And I haven't done a fitness test in awhile.  I decided to give the crossfit one a try to see where I was at.

500 meter row, 40 air squats, 30 sit ups, 20 push ups, and 10 pull ups. Intermediate score for women is 8:30.  After a bit longer of a warm up then I had accounted for (waiting for the one rower to open up) I started in.  My only caveat is that I could not put a band up for the pull-ups because there is only one place to do that and it was already in use.  So I used the assisted pull up machine.  I put it at a low weight for assistance (70) but I know that the band is a bit tougher.  (I'm working up to a pull up but haven't gotten there. Times like this is when I wish I had my trainer to help push me to that level)

But I finished it in 6:09.  Felt pretty good about it.  Even with the band instead of the machine I know I would have come in under that 8:30.  It only took me 2:30 to row the 500 meters!

Don't get me wrong.  I KNOW I still have a long way to go.  But today I proved to myself I have come farther then I usually give myself credit for. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Training Filler

Killed it today in the gym. 

1.5 mile jog warm up
10- 30 second hill sprints (increasing the hill with each sprint) with 30 seconds recovery time in between

10 push ups (chest all the way to the floor peeps!)
10 bench dips                       
10 chest press using 15 pounds in a stability ball bridge
5 rounds with 30 sec recovery in between rounds

20 incline sit ups
20 skull crushers
20 open flies using 10 pounds
5 rounds with 30 sec recovery in between rounds

10 squats
30 sec plank
10 barbell bicep curls (using 20 pounds)
5 rounds with 30 sec recovery




I'm always on the look out for inspiration.  It can come in the form of a quote, or a picture posted on Facebook, or a blog.  My dear friend Melissa sent me a link of a blog she thought I needed to read.  She was right.  I devoured the blog post and it hit home.  Oh boy did it hit home.  Here it is.

It's a great post about changing your perception.  And it's probably what I struggle with the most.  I have struggled not only with the weight loss, but with realizing that despite all of my healthy lifestyle changes and training; my body is my body.  I can't make it look like someone else's.  I've really been working on celebrating my successes, validating my work, and acknowledging my progress.  Even if I still don't look like what I had in my head I would look like.  

I have been officially hired as a sub for one club, and I think I will be for the other. (that's a whole other post coming soon.)  But the inner mean girl has poked her bitchy little head up again and I've been sucked into some negative thinking.  "Despite whether or not I can rock it on a bike, I don't look like your typical fitness instructor."  "No one will take me seriously."  "How can I instruct/train anyone else if I can't seem to meet all my own goals?"  All of it.  I have been able to talk myself down off the ledge but I keep stepping out onto that ledge.  So I decided to check in with the author of the blog, Andrea.  I also started following her on Facebook and think she is funny, real, AND inspirational.  But I felt a little weird and creepy.  Who sends someone they don't know a message about how they feel about their body?  I do.  I decided reaching out is braver then hiding.  Hiding didn't work for me.  I am striving to be a person who puts myself out there.  So I did.  And she gave me some great advice!  Why do I assume that people are thinking such ugly negative things about me?  And you know what?  If they DO think those ugly things...well, then I will just have to absolutely kill them in class and they will quickly learn that I don't have to have a perfect body to do some damage.  I have gotten so much stronger.  I have gotten so much healthier.  I can do this.  And I can inspire other people to do this.

Thank you Andrea for being open and vulnerable with your blog and page.  And thank you even more for being supportive and caring to an absolute stranger!

Thursday, July 24, 2014


So I have a few blog posts in the making.  But I realized that I can go for longer periods of time in between blog posts because I either haven't really figured out how to say what I want to say, or feel like I have to wait to see how something plays out before I reflect on it.  I'm not super good at the 'post something every day' thing.  I don't know if this makes me a bad blogger or not.  Maybe people want to read something every day.  Maybe I post too often and people are groaning when I post yet another blog.

Who the hell really knows?

Tonight I decided to post what I made for dinner.  I have gotten much better about preparing healthy meals, not just grabbing healthier convenient frozen food.  I don't always nail it but I try to make a better decision every day.  Eventually those will all add up right?

Green Bean and Shrimp Curry

Shrimp (I get the pre-cooked frzoen shrimp from Costco. Because a) I can't really afford fresh seafood on a regular basis and b) fresh shrimp is kind of gross. lol
Green beans.
1 can coconut milk from TJ's. (I went with the light coconut milk tonight but decided the extra fat is worth it. Tasted so much better)
Green onions
Garlic (to taste- I tend to use 5 cloves cause we are garlic junkies)
4 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp Paprika
1 tbsp cornstarch

Saute up the green beans and then add shrimp and green onions and garlic.
Then add the coconut milk and everything else. Stir it until it's all dissolved and mixed together. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for a bit

While it was simmering, Grant, my youngest, stole the camera.  So I had some fun with him.

Little changes add up.

Keep it clean peeps.  I go for 80/20.  80% of the time I eat clean healthy whole food.  20% is the "I'm human" percent.  And none of us are perfect.  I'm striving for better. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Support 101

What to say to someone who hasn't made a weight loss goal or fitness goal can be tricky.  Because I think, for the most part, people have the best of intentions.  But it usually comes in the form of minimization.  "But you look great!"  "The scale doesn't tell you everything!"  "I wish you could see what we all see!"  These are all well meaning statements.  I recognize that.  But they do in fact minimize the feelings you are having if you haven't reached a goal you want to reach. 

Everyone pretty much knows my history with bulimia, and therefore my propensity to obssiveness/control when it comes to this journey.  It's comforting for me to know that people know my history.  It keeps my accountable on some levels....because anyone who is dealing/recovering with any type of addiction knows that the secretiveness of it is the dangerous aspect.  When I stop vocalizing that my tummy feels uncomfortable after eating a bit too much, I'm hiding.  But it freaks people out a bit.  And I get that too.  It's my job to deal with my disorder though, not yours.  Trust me when I say that I'm on top of it.  That I'm ok.  I still have weight loss/fitness goals though.  It's not obsessive or unhealthy for me to have those.  Or to be a bit upset when I don't hit them.   

People get frustrated if I get frustrated by what they see as a supportive response to me not meeting a goal.  It's my goal.  I wanted to meet it.  Isn't is frustrating for you when you don't meet a goal?  We all fall into it.  I'm so guilty of saying all of these type of things.  But what I really need to hear if I have reached out to you about it, is that it must suck to work so hard for something and not get it.  Please don't reframe what you think I should be getting.  Please don't judge whether you think it's a reasonable goal.  Please don't worry I am falling into unhealthy patterns.  Just listen.  And ackowledge.  Validate. 

It sucks to work really hard at something and not make a goal you set for yourself.  It's ok that it sucks.  It's not the end of the world.  It's just a sucky moment in it. 

Monday, July 7, 2014


We're in Bend!!  And so far we love it here.  It's absolutely gorgeous.  I haven't blogged for awhile because it's been a bit overwhelming unpacking and such.  The move has forced some positive changes, albeit challenging ones.

We still don't have a gym.  The only real family friendly one that has a child care center for older children is called the Athletic Club of Bend.  And it's pretty awesome.  But it's $200 a month! What the?  Who has $200 a month just for the gym?!  I live at the gym.  But we just can't budget that in.  It's disappointing because I had high hopes it could be our spot.  The boys really liked the kid care, they have pick up basketball games for Bob, and a good enough weight room for me.  But I have to readjust.  It won't be the Y.  It's been the hardest adjustment for us.  We loved the Y.  Everyone knew us, the boys' closest friends were there, it was our spot.  Our second home in Minnesota.  We all miss it desperately.  But I know you can't stay somewhere because you love your gym.

I have been exercising outdoors a lot more.  Sprinting fartleks at the track, 6ish mile jog/walk, walks by the river (that's on the docket for this am!) and even some interval work in the crammed garage with the husband (I kicked his ass if you are wondering).  I know being out of my comfort zone is healthy for me.  It has forced me to be creative with my training and incorporate new things.  And I am a firm believer in switching it up.  So there's that.

Getting my eating back on track as well.  I have been off track the past several weeks.  I have not eating at regular intervals to keep my blood sugar in check and then grabbing the easiest (read processed) crap to make.  I haven't been drinking enough water... too many RedBulls to keep myself going even though I KNOW this is not how you keep yourself going.  I slipped a bit.  Nothing too drastic, but it's time to refocus and take care of me.

So I'm going on a nice peaceful walk down by the river.  A little exercise and a little alone time.  Just what the doctor ordered.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Go Get Em Out There

We did it.  We're moving back to Oregon.

I'm a different person going back then who I was when I left.  I was a kid.  I  just had a kid.  Me and Bob were struggling.  There was family drama.  And I ran away.

I have done a lot of work on myself, both physically and emotionally.  This isn't to say that I don't have a ways to go; but I am pretty proud of all the steps I have taken.  I continue to grow and push myself out of my comfort zone.

So I'm moving back a stronger, more confident Karen.  I know that I can do whatever I put my mind to.  I'm more prepared for set backs, or conflicts that may come up.  I am re-centered.  I'm ready.

We said good-bye to Mike (my trainer and friend) and Andrea (his wife and my dear friend). As I was hugging him good-bye he whispered "Go get em out there."  It has been playing through my head since.  I'm a fighter.  I fought my way back.  I'm not ever going to give up.  And I'm ready for new challenges. 

But there has been one thing I haven't done; and it needed to be done before I start this next chapter in my life. 

I left my scale.  Gone.  I don't have one.  From now on I don't obsess about that number.  I knew it couldn't come with me.  It was a crutch.  And an unhealthy one.  I was so afraid of that number that I could barely acknowledge any other progress made.  I can't keep doing that.  I'm not afraid of going backwards.  Even if I have set backs now and again.  I know what I need to do to get myself back on track.  I don't need the number to tell me that.

Thank you Mike, well, for everything.  But also for always knowing what to say to me.  No matter how small, it is always the thing I need to hear.  And thanks to all of my friends and family who have supported me along the way.  It has helped me stay accountable and I have felt your love when I was doubting myself.

I'm jumping into a new life over here.  I don't know what it looks like yet.  But I do know I'm gonna rock it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Baby Got Back!

I have some updated pictures! I've been trying to focus on my back muscles to tone things up back there!  I dare say it's working.  Initially looking at the first pictures I took here,, I thought it looked like I had more muscle tone in the first set.  But upon obsessively studying them I realized something....I think I've lost some body fat in that area!  It's a bit smoother back there!!

Take a look and tell me what you think.

Assisted Pull Up Machine. It's at 80. But I can actually do 70 now. I just did a lot of other back work tonight. And yes I'm totally bragging!   

I even like how my butt is looking! I don't think those words have EVER come out of my mouth before!!

I'm feeling pretty proud of myself at the moment....

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Next Challenge- Bend Or Bust Bitches!

They say that you should sign up for a race, or a mud run, or something to keep you going.  Something you are training for, working toward.

I found mine.

I hate races.  Basically because I hate running.  I do it as an added fitness tool; but I have never, nor will I probably ever, enjoy it.  Not even one second of it.  I also have zero desire to trudge around in the mud.  (I would actually love to do an obstacle type race but until they stop adding the mud and electrical wires I'm gonna have to pass).

But I love my spin. The irony is that I am scared of actual bike riding.  Mainly because of the cars.  So looking through my facebook feed today I found this:

A bike scenic tour in Bend, Oregon with NO CARS.  This will be a beast I'm sure.  And my tummy is already rumbling with nerves thinking about it.  Which is how I know it's my next challenge!

I'm going for it.  I think Bend is going to be a great place for me to pursue outdoor recreational activities that push me out of my comfort zone and are athletically challenging.  I can't wait.

As my cousin would say, "Bend or Bust Bitches!"

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Falling Into Place

We have about a month until we move.  (For anyone living under a rock we are moving from Minnesota to Bend, Oregon in about a month now.)  We sold our house here, my husband has a job, I think we have found our house there.... but what I have been most anxious about is my gym.  Where will I train?

They Y has been such an integral part of our lives.  It was our life line in a lot of ways.   I got healthy there.  But it's been my kids' social outlet.  Their best friends are at the Y.  So I've been very concerned about how to re-create this.  It's only recently set in that I don't have to.  Bend is very different from East Saint Paul.  There are children playing EVERYWHERE.  It's a very active, relaxed community.  After visiting I don't think we're going to need the gym for a social outlet.  I need a gym with weights that I can train at.  That's it.

I did find some good options while out there.  None of them are the Y.  But I found one where we can all go to and I also found a good one where I was told I would be hired for spin instruction when we get there that has an excellent weight room.

So it will all work out.  It will look differently then it has.

And I'm finally in a calm place about that.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What Do I Want?

I have been working my ass off. 

And by that I mean, I have been lifting heavier.  I am still doing my spin and my jogging (God will I ever even almost like to jog?) but I have been focusing on gaining lean muscle mass in an attempt to lower my body fat.  Cause I felt like I was getting in better cardiovascular/muscle endurance shape, but I didn't necessarily feel stronger and I wasn't seeing the muscle definition I wanted.  I've always lifted heavier with Mike (my ex trainer and dear friend for anyone new reading), but without him I've stuck to mainly body weight exercises.

So now I feel like a bad ass. 

Except my shorts don't fit.  What the?! And I have to admit for the sake of the full transperency I promised myself (and anyone reading me) that I freaked the fuck out.  It triggered me so much I obsessively asked Bob and my friend if I looked more muscular or if I had just gained weight.  Because for a minute, I really really didn't know the answer.  I was in such a panic about it that I forgot how insanely hard I have been training.  I don't know if or when this will ever not be my reaction.  When I realize that I've tail spun again I feel ashamed.  Like shouldn't I have progressed enough emotionally that this is not my reaction every. single. time?  But I sort of think the answer is that this will probably always be my gut response.  Somehow along the way it solidified in my head that I am fat and not beautiful.  It seems ingrained.  I think what will change, hell what has changed, is how quickly I can rebound from this.  I have the ability to pull my shit together and move on.  I don't get stuck in that reaction.  Well, not for too long anyway. 

So yeah, my shorts are tight around my butt.  Because my butt is bigger.  Because I can dead lift 145 pounds, sqaut 155 pounds, and leg press 377 (6 reps!). And the lunges.  I used to hate lunges.  I'm currently obsessed with them.

So the question is do I want to be skinny?  Or do I want to be bad ass?

I don't even think I need to answer that.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Shift

I'm changing.

I mean, I have been changing.  But I have started to lift heavier these past few weeks.  A switch from the high intensity cardio that has been my bread and butter.  I've always done strength training.  But it's occurred to me that I was doing more muscle endurance work.  A trainer friend of mine suggested that I start lifting heavier to add more muscle mass.

NO! Add muscle mass?  Are you insane?  I don't need any mass of any sort added.  But I thought about it.  And it's something I haven't ever really done.  I mean, I did some power lifting with Mike occasionally, but honestly since we're not at the same gym anymore he's been piecing work outs together for me.  I'm ready for something else.  So she wrote out what things she wanted me to do.  And I've been doing them. 

And I'm changing.  Not only do I feel like my clothes are fitting a little different.  My mind is different.  I feel a little like a bad ass.  I really do.  And I find myself catching glimpses in the mirror and instead of cringing, I find myself thinking, "I love my shoulder muscle that's developing!"  I love feeling strong.  It has boosted my confidence.  I feel like I can absolutely be an instructor.  I absolutely have something to offer.  I absolutely could inspire someone.

Everyone knows the idea that you want your inner to match your outer.  Well, my outer and my inner were a complete mess.  When I started this, I was struggling in my marriage.  I was so insecure and unsure of myself.  And I was a tired mom.  I didn't even know where to start.  Along the way I have been trying to address both my inner and my outer.  But I kept expecting that once I lost some weight I would feel better about myself and that would take care of the inner.  I know!  I know, everyone thinks that!  But I really did.  I don't think that anymore.  My focus has changed.  I no longer worry if I am losing weight or thin.  I am stoked that I benched 135 pounds.  I love seeing my calf muscle when I walk.  I know that taking a walk when I'm upset will make me feel better then a donut (and you all know how much I love my donuts). 

I'm changing. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Had some pictures taken of my back today.  A friend told me that my back muscles were starting to show more and I didn't believe her.  You all know how I feel about pictures of myself, and even though I immediately note the areas I still see as trouble areas, I can't deny that I see muscle definition.

Assisted Pull ups

Yeah, clearly my triceps and biceps need some love. But I have muscle definition. IN. MY. BACK!

Lat Machine

 I'm getting there.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


This is it. 

This picture sums up exactly why I started on this journey.  Sure my intentions have been muddied up along the way.  Do I want to be thin?  Do I want to be fit?  But being able to be the kind of mom I wanted to be was the force that finally gave me the willpower I needed to make the changes I needed to make.  Because I couldn't do this. 

And this makes every last moment of struggle worth it. 

 I am damn proud of this photo.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Awhile back I was challenged by Mike (my previous trainer for any new readers) to make a list of healthier changes I could make that may impact my emotional development around all of this.  One of the things I decided to do was let go of my obsession with trashy magazines.  Every Friday I would literally head to the grocery store and buy ALL of them and page through them.  I told myself it was just an escape into the drama of the celebrity world.  But who was I kidding that it did not seep into my self conscience that I didn't look like that.  I would NEVER look like that.  So I banned them and replaced them with only Fitness magazines.  Like....


Wait.  Are you seeing what I'm seeing?  I'm not seeing fit.  I'm not seeing strong.  I'm seeing thin.  These women are beautiful, and insanely thin.  I'm not implying that they don't exercise or eat right.  Clearly they are adopting some healthy lifestyle habits.  But they also clearly have genetics on their side; and, as a friend pointed out, the luxury of some photo editing.  This wasn't apparent to me right away.  Because among these there are also covers like this:

My intent was to find strong, fit women who could inspire me.  I have made enough emotional progress that it's not just about being skinny anymore.  I want to be fit.  And strong.  I want to be bad ass.  I have always been an athlete and finally feel like one again.

Just when I thought I had, had enough with my fitness magazines urging me to "look gorgeous" and "drop 2 sizes in 2 weeks!"  SELF magazine made a MAJOR (in my humble opinion) fitness world faux pas.  They ended up publishing a picture of a cancer survivor running in her tutu during a race.  The section is called BS Meter.  WTF?!  They have since issued an apology and donated to cancer research, etc.  But what I can't let go of is that they seem sorry because she is a cancer survivor.  Not because they mocked someone for wearing a costume during a race.  Would it be ok if this girl was not a cancer survivor to be mocked in a national magazine?  The bigger problem I see is that people who are intimidated or worried about being made fun of probably feel justified in those feelings.  What kind of crap is it that you pretend to be about fitness and motivation when you are mocking anyone for how or what they wear while doing it?

So I'm done.  I'm done with all of them.  What is wrong with us as a society that we can't come up with a way to inspire and motivate people without shaming them if they don't look like this?  How many people actually look like this?  Instead of the story of the person who lost 120 pounds being on the inside, why not put them on the cover?  There are some great articles about weight loss and routines/exercises to try out, along with healthy recipes to try.  I love that part of it.  But until you can not mock anyone for their fitness attire or put someone other then this on the cover

I'm certain that having this on my coffee table is not a healthy habit.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Not Crazy!!!

You will all be glad to know I'm not crazy!!!

So a couple of months ago now I checked in with a nutritionist about my plateau.  She did some blood work and initially thought that my thyroid was off.  I had shown her my previous blood work and explained how every traditional doctor I had consulted with had told me I was fine.  But I didn't feel fine.  *Side note: Do you know how enfuriating it is to have someone tell you you're fine when you feel like shit?*  My thyroid numbers have always fallen into the median ranges, but on the very low end, and so most traditional doctors have said the dreaded "You're fine" to me more times then I can count.

After this experience it's possible I will never go traditional medicine again.  Unless someone has something broken.  Then you, the surgeon, can fix it.  But seriously, I can't believe how poorly doctors listen to you.  Well this nutritionist listened to me.  And then started digging.  Retook my blood work.  And surprise (!), she doesn't think my thyroid is functioning optimally.  But not because I have a thyroid disorder.  Most likely because I have a hormonal imbalance.

I'm going to give my husband a moment to laugh.

Done honey?  Yep, it's true.  My estrogen is threw the roof and my progesterone is in the basement.  She was staggered by the ratio and said it was the biggest gap she has seen.  This explains how irritable I am, how emotional I get.  How absolutely exhausted I am.  Some of you may or may not know this but I have taken a nap every day for the past couple of years.  Not because I am a stay at home mom and that's some perk of the job I get.  But because if I don't sleep I will become an all out crazy person and I can't function.  So there's that.

But she recommended some supplements and I took them.  Immediately.  And I can't even tell you how much better I feel.  I feel even.  I feel like I have energy.  I am only napping occasionally.  And I am not irrationally irritable.  At all.  Bob commented that I seem way more even.  I'm less volatile.  I haven't noticed any extra weight loss just yet (the nutritionist is now looking at My Fitness Pal journal....not anxiety producing at all) but it almost doesn't even matter.  I feel that good.

I feel....fine.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Fuck Monkeys

Something happened to me yesterday.  I was unfriended because of a link posted  about making friends in the state of Minnesota.  It was bound to ruffle some feathers.  I knew it would.  I didn't post it with the intent to ruffle feathers; but I found myself hesitating before pushing post because I knew someone would take it personally.  And someone did.  And then they un-friended me.  But you know what?  I realized yesterday I don't care anymore.  If yesterday had happened even 6 months ago I think I would have been an absolute mess.  I would have been upset and confused and ruminated over it for longer then I should.  But I'm different.  All I thought was, "Oh well.  If you can't take some humorous feedback then I don't really need you in my life."

 The link hit home.  It has in fact been harder then I imagined to make solid friends here.  I have a lot of friendly acquaintences.  I know lots of very lovely people that I think fondly of and I think, think fondly of me.  The link in no way was meant to offend anyone or to say I hate all the people in Minnesota.  But what has been an underlying and continuous theme for me while living here is constantly being accused of hurting people or offending people simply by being myself.  Directness seems to equal confrontation.  And for me it doesn't.  If I have said something that rubbed you the wrong way, and our relationship is important to you, then you should tell me that something rubbed you the wrong way... when it happens.  I don't read minds.  There does, in fact, seem to be somewhat of a culture gap here.  But me communicating differently then you does not make me an offensive, horrible person.  If you are committed to viewing me in a negative light then there isn't really anything I can do about.  I try very hard to be authentic and caring.  Do I vent when I'm upset?  Yep!   Do I openly object when I have an objection?  Yep!  Am I emotionally reactive?  Yep!  But guess what?  All of those things also don't make me a bad person.  And quite honestly I'm tired of defending myself, or wondering if I am an asshole and don't even realize it.

The old me worried far too much about what everyone thought of me.  And even up until very recently it mattered more to me what you thought about me then what I thought about myself.  I have been too desperate to fit in and be accepted.  And in a lot of situations it hasn't worked anyway.  As soon as I break some sort of unspoken rule, I'm kicked off the island.  Well I don't want on the island anymore.  The past few days I have felt inner peace.  Because it's such an emotional breakthrough for me to love myself enough to not care if you don't like me anymore. 

I am far from perfect.  But I am honest.  I am direct.  I am caring.  I am compassionate.  I am passionate.  I am emotional.  I am opinionated.  I am me.

You can take it or leave it. 

Monday, March 10, 2014


I hate jean shopping.  Who doesn't?  It's a close second to swimsuit shopping.  And one would think it wouldn't be as traumatic as it is.  You wear jeans in the colder months when you get to cover up a bit, right?  WRONG.  

It's damn near impossible to find a solid pair of jeans that don't cost $200 and aren't mom jeans.  Low rise is just too low for....well just about everyone.  Mid rise is hit or miss with the over 30 crowd.  Because it has to be just the right mid rise.  And if you're curvy, like me, it's also challenging to find a pair that fit the hip area.  But my favorite jeans are wearing thin and they don't make them anymore!  (Whose idea of a sick joke is this anyway?)

I have gotten a lot of advice regarding other benchmarks to look at in my weight loss journey.  Body fat percentage, inches, and change in clothing size are the main ones.  But really none of those have really changed all that much either.  I can see muscle definition that wasn't there before, but really my numbers (any numbers) haven't really budged.

Or so I thought.

I ordered 4 pairs of jeans.  All different brands and 1 in a smaller size (although to be fair they do have a bit more stretch in them)  And all of them fit.  Did you read that?  ALL OF THEM FIT!  One pair I didn't love because it was a bit too low rise.  I'm too old for that and I have been doing a lot of squats, and don't want jeans that make my butt look flat.   But the other 3 I love.  One pair I am actually going to exchange for a smaller size because there is a bit of a gap in the waist band.  THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A GAP IN MY WAIST BAND!

I thought I was going to cry.  I tried them all on for Bob and he liked all of them.  I went jean shopping online and nailed it.  All of my hard work is paying off.  It's taken longer for me then for some people to get results;  and there have been so many moments where I thought, "maybe this is it.  Maybe this is where I'm at and I need to just be ok because it's not a horrible spot to be in."

And just like that the universe hands me my pay off. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Girl Looking Back at Me

As you know I have been taking a boot camp class at the Y.  Not my home base Y, but a different one.  I have taken it before here and there but since I'm not working with my trainer anymore I need to make sure that my workouts stay fresh and that I continue to find new things to challenge myself with.  I wrote this post after my first class,  And I was proud of myself for fighting through the negative talk and coming out on the other side.

But I have been working on not even going there.  I have been walking into the class and setting up next to someone who is in good shape, and pushing myself to compete.  Ok, it's true they don't realize I'm competing.  But I am.  I'm also looking in that studio mirror and trying to focus on the things that I like about myself.

This last week I noticed that my calves have gotten so much stronger.  Particularly the front.  With every jump I could see the muscle jet out.  I loved it and felt really proud of those calf muscles.  And I noticed I wasn't comparing myself to anyone else when I was just thinking about the positive aspects of me.  

I have been completely aware that I need to stop the negative self talk.  I mean, Jesus, how often do I talk about it?  But honestly, I'm not entirely sure how to do that.   Knowing you shouldn't do something, but not doing it are two different things.  So I've decided that before the thought can even creep into the front of my consciousness  I need to replace it.  Immediately.  This may sound braggy to some.  I get it.  We are somewhat conditioned to not talk about the things that we like about ourselves.  Those things we should keep to ourselves so as not to appear to think we are better then anyone else.  But I challenge all of you to start talking about it.  What are the things that you love about yourself.  I know you think your ass is too big.  I think mine is too big.  But that's what we talk about.  What do you think is beautiful about you?  Do you have the best smile?  Do you have abs to die for?  Are you funny?  Is your hair just flawless?

Speak up peeps!! (No, I'm serious. Comment.)