Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I have changed! Who knew?

So here I was thinking that I hadn't really done what I wanted this year, and that I hadn't really changed that much.  But I had a little revelation today - a non scale victory, if you like - a moment where I realized just how much I have changed in this, my year of transformation.

I went with Josh's class to Mt Doug Park this morning.  It was a great field trip - one of the best I have been on  - and believe me, I have been on a LOT of field trips over the years ( you do the math - 4 kids x a lot of school years = a bazillion field trips!).  We were learning about First Nations culture and how they utilized the land that is now Mt. Doug.  We had a great time hiking and learning and I licked a slug - but that is another story!  (I just had to share that special detail!)

Now it is true that I probably would not have licked a slug in the past - I am getting braver all the time - but that is not the change I noticed.  No, the thing I noticed was how easy the hike was, how manageable, how enjoyable.  I have always loved the outdoors, and going on little "explores" with my kids, but I never would have signed up for a field trip that was advertised as a "difficult hike".  I would have been too scared that I would embarrass my kids by not being able to keep up.  You know, the fat mom who is at the back of the pack, huffing and puffing.  I have ended up there once or twice, and it was not pretty, let me tell you.  Not to mention the sympathetic and slightly bitchy looks of concern from the yummy mummies who are 15 years younger and about 100 pounds lighter.  I absolutely hated feeling that I was an embarrassment to my kids.

Today, however, was different.  The hike wasn't really difficult.  But we did have to really hoof it in a few places, and even ran for a bit to catch up ( I was in the back with the stragglers!).  We climbed a few big hills and I didn't even huff or puff - and there were definitely a few moms ( and a dad!) who did!  It was actually a breeze - and most importantly - I felt completely comfortable in my skin.  I didn't worry that I wouldn't be able to keep up, or that I would be the fat, sweaty mom at the back.  I was one of the fittest parents there.

I know it shouldn't matter, but it felt good to be in that place today.  Comparisons with others are usually not a happy thing for me, so I try (unsuccessfully most of the time) to stay away from them.  I usually come up short (insert joke here!)compared to others, especially in the fitness arena.  But today I measured up, and it felt really, really good.  That is a change - a big change, a positive change, that tells me that I have really improved my fitness, and more importantly, my confidence.

Now that is a change worth celebrating - maybe I should lick another slug to mark the occasion!

Or not.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Confessions from the scale - part 3 - (hello disappointment)

I've decided the whole public accountability thing sucks.  You may have noticed my glaring absence and general lack of enthusiasm over the past few months.  To say my enthusiasm has waned is putting it mildly.  I have completely lost momentum, and in the process of doing so, gained back 12 pounds.  Which makes me cry just acknowledging it publicly.  Which is frustrating because I made a deal with myself that I would shed no more tears about my weight - there has been more than enough of THAT over the years.

But I did promise myself that I would keep it real during this process, so I am.  I have gained back a quarter of what I had lost.  I am disappointed.  In myself, in my lack of commitment and follow through to the folks at BDHQ who have been so supportive. Disappointed in another in what seems at times like an endless stream of failures.  It sucks.  It sucks alot .  More frustrating is that I continue to sabotage myself despite good intentions ( and we all know where those lead us!!)

I admit to wallowing - in despair, in self pity, in large bowls of chips that seem like such a good idea at the time.  I am having trouble shaking it off, and an even harder time finding whatever it is that is in me that can help me out of this place.  As mentioned previously - this sucks alot.

I have the entire month of December off, due largely to a ridiculous amount of overtime accumulated since September ( hmmmm perhaps a correlation here???).  This fall has been well, "full" doesn't quite cover it.  Hard, difficult, busy, complex, exhilarating, confusing, wildly fun and exciting - you name it, I have ridden that roller coaster this fall.  And that has had an impact on my health, on my decision making and on my ability to see a way out of the downward spiral that has been happening for a while.

I am using a chunk of my time off for renewal.  And that means getting back on track with my eating healthy lifestyle and with exercising regularly, and reconnecting with friends and things that make me happy.  Like running, and scrapbooking, and drinking  no room americanos while reading trashy magazines about celebrities who are even more screwed up than me ( it really makes me feel better - admit it- it makes you feel better, too!)  I mean compared to Lindsay Lohan, I am freaking awesome!

So I will try to blog more, because frankly the public accountability is what has kept me from giving up altogether.  I feel like I have let my wonderful supporters down, and yet this has to be only about me. (There's a lesson in there somewhere!)

December is going to be a fresh start for me - maybe too little, too late, but I don't think so.  There is always time for new beginnings, and new directions, and new possibilities.  So I am going to jump on that train for a while, and see where it takes me.  I hope you will come along for the ride.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Run, Baby, Run

I am sick at home and feeling sorry for myself, which is probably NOT the best time to blog, but I have time and my computer so. . .

I am suffering from a case of half marathon blues.  Sadly, it is not because I ran the half marathon, which was my BHAG - big hairy audacious goal - but because I didn't.  Remember my bold announcement back in May?  Here is the link if you missed it:  Sticks and stones

Fresh off the glow of my 10k, the half seemed possible, easily within reach, actually.  It actually turned out to be the start of a B-I-G slide into injuries, poor eating and a ginormous pity party.  I hate when that happens.

Figuring out the long term strategies for staying with my workouts, runs and healthy eating is proving to be a rather large challenge.  Not insurmountable, but hard work.  Harder than I anticipated, perhaps that is why I have never gotten this far before.  Typically I give up after about 2 months - the longest was about 4 months, and God help me if I ever encounter any roadblocks - that is for sure a sign from the universe to give it all up.  As mentioned in previous posts - I am shockingly lazy at times, and always up for a good excuse. It's a talent I have.

I am nine months in and I still haven't given up.  That is a good thing.  I am finding ways to regroup, and pull myself out of the hole and keep going.  Apparently I AM learning how to do this, because that wouldn't have happened before.  I would have simply given up and ate myself up another 10 pounds.  Another good thing. ( I am starting to sound sound like Martha Stewart - but my good things are actually important!)

Sunday I ran (I use the term loosely - mostly a very S-L-O-W walk run thing that looks ridiculous but I actually don't give a crap) the 8km race instead of doing the half marathon.  I even got a medal:

I am proud of myself for doing the 8km - after all 8km is nothing to sneeze at and even though I was almost the last person in my age category, I still finished it.  I didn't just throw in the towel when I couldn't do the half.  And I am still working out with the amazing folks at BDHQ - I am getting stronger and healthier each day. 

This is the real transformation - not necessarily the one I was thinking about when I started this journey ( that was more like "I am going to look like Jillian Michaels - perhaps just a tad optimistic!).  I am so much more resilient, and able to bounce back, refocus and keep going.  Pretty good life skill, even if I have waited til I was 45  ( soon to be 46) to get it.

Yay me - those half marathon blues are not quite so blue, and I am rebuilding my confidence in my ability to carry through and actually change my SELF, not just my weight.

Oh and by the way - I signed up for the Victoria Goddess Run Half Marathon in June 2013.  Sounds like the perfect half marathon for me! ;)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hell's Bells

So I have been feeling pretty unsuccessful lately - too much work, too much stress - too many not so fantastic choices.  I have been trying to get back on track, but basically spiraling into a grumpy "I suck" kinda space.  Not good.

Today I felt the beginning of a real turnaround - a "maybe I can actually sustain this for longer than I think moment" - all because of what I have privately ( ok, publicly!) referred to for the last 9 months as "Hell's Bell's" - aka kettlebells.

Don't know what I am talking about?  Let me enlighten you.  Kettlebells are a special kind of torture used by BDHQ ( and other) trainers to work your abs until they scream and your arms and shoulders til you can't lift them anymore.  (For more history than you probably want or need - check out  They look like something the circus strongman would use - oh wait - they used to -I know I have seen that on Bugs Bunny cartoons!
I started the year with the pink kettlebell - it weighs 8kg/18 pounds.  I found it really challenging - who knew swinging and clean pressing ( I know, it even SOUNDS hardcore) only 18 pounds would be so hard.  My arms hurt, I tired easily, and it was work.  But I really hated using the pink.  It just seemed so, well, girly, which is dumb and also sexist, but hey, just keepin it real!   I  wanted to use the blue (12kg/26lbs) kettlebell, like some of the other women I had seen at the gym, ones who looked a hell of lot more fit than me.  Surely I could swing 26 pounds - it couldn't be that hard, right?
Wrong.  It took me about 6 months to even summon up the courage to TRY the blue bell.  It really was a LOT more work.  And I couldn't do it consistently - the last set of reps always ended up with me picking up those damn pink bells.  I was disappointed in myself, but I couldn't seem to get past that milestone.  I made it my goal to use the blue bell consistently, all the time, for all sets, by the end of the year. I figured I had a slight chance of doing that, and at least it wouldn't too disappointing if I didn't succeed.
Today I hit the gym, still feeling discouraged with my progress, with my commitment ( and how it has been faltering), and saw that kettlebells were a big part of the circuit.  James ( of West Coast Kettlebell Club fame!) my amazing trainer had pink and blue and yellow bells out to use.
In a moment of "screw this, I am going to prove myself today" also known as insanity, i picked up not the pink, and not the blue, but the yellow kettlebell.  After all, I could always drop down to the lighter weight if necessary.
But I surprised myself. And probably James.  And I know Lovisa will fall over when she reads this.  I used the yellow kettlebell for the entire circuit - every swing, every lift, every row.  3 sets of 20 and 30 and 20.  Me!  16kg!  35lbs!  The yellow bell!  Success!  Unbelievable.
It is amazing how good success feels.  And an important reminder to me about why I started this journey in the beginning.  It was never about a certain weight, although seeing the numbers go down is great.  One of my big goals was to build strength and feel strong.  Today I do - actually today I feel like this guy:

Not quite as buff, but a better fashion sense and a much happier face!  Thanks to James for encouraging me to feel and be strong, and for cheering me on and taking a pic of the event! 
I am SO done with pink.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Healthy Lifestyle Most Embarrassing Moments. . .

My awesome friend Jan (a crossfit ninja) recently posted this on her Facebook wall:

I howled with laughter when I saw it, but only because I actually have done this - the full on face plant while trying to hold a  &*($%#  plank for longer than 20 seconds.  Not cool. 

This led me to ponder the variety of funny ( now) and embarrassing moments I have had since embarking on my lifestyle change in January.  So I give you ( in no particular order) 

         Jacquelin's Healthy Lifestyle Most Embarrassing Moments (so far!):

*tripping over the tire when supposed to be moving gracefully over, in and out of it;

*tripping while running stairs with 20 bootcampers behind you;

*feeling the need to explain to the grocery cashier why you are buying every salad vegetable imaginable, Greek yogurt, and a giant bag of Lay's Potato Chips ( they are for my kids, no really they are!);

*buying a bra for running from the lovely guy at the running store ( ummm - so do you have anything bigger? - blush ! )

*sweating so much you actually leave butt marks on the floor when you get up from doing crunches (I even took pictures to prove it - no I am not posting them - as if!);

*forgetting your work shoes and having to wear your runners to an important meeting with a funder - classy, very classy;

*ummmm - how can I be delicate about this- I can't actually, so - "passing wind" while doing any type of ab work in a full class of very cute,  young enough to be my son, guys;

*forgetting your bra & underwear when you have an important presentation for the United Way right after your workout (thank you Dawn - the Bay does have a great selection of bras and they open at 9:30am!!!!);

*spandex. of. any. kind.

Well, there you have it - some of the most embarrassing moments in my journey so far.  Good news is, I survived.  I still work out, I still plank on my face a good part of the time, and I have given up being concerned about it.  I am doing a good thing for myself, and so a what's a little embarrassment between fitness buddies. ( And strangers.  And good looking guys young enough to be my son  younger brother  friend ;)  !!!!)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Workout Ninja in the house!

Surprise!  Don't fall over as you read this - I really am back blogging again - thanks to a few gentle reminders from some faithful friends/readers.  thank you for your patience during my lapse - I am sure you are all just DYING to hear the latest on my adventures in health and fitness! ( well, maybe not. . . )

Summer has flown by, in a whirl of, well, little exercise ,sunshine and margaritas in Mexico, and a whole lot of not so healthy food choices and some very lovely Okanagan wines!  Staying with my program has proven to be a tough challenge with all of the temptations of summer, but I am happy to report that despite my wandering off the healthy path through July and August, I managed to stay within a few pounds of where I started. No progress to report, but no major damage.  I am choosing to see that as progress - and I dare anyone to tell me something different! ;)

I actually have been pretty frustrated with my lack of progress, despite the fact that the fault lies directly with me and the choices I have made.  Annoyingly enough, the scale doesn't seem to move unless I actually eat healthy and get off my ass:

So, I am eating healthy, and back at the gym, ready to thrill you with exciting news from my workout world.  Let's start with how much it hurts to get back to working out when you have been a slacker!

PAIN - thighs, arms, back, shoulders, butt, abs ( didn't even realize I actually had those!).  Everything pretty much hurts.  Curiously, I am very happy about this!  It is great to use those muscles again, and to realize that I actually have muscles - who knew?  I think I actually have begun to (gasp) LIKE working out! Shocking I know, and I like to complain about working out even more than the actual working out part ( It makes me feel hardcore!) - but still - I actually like working out.  Very cool, people, very cool.

Cool thing number two - I kicked a 20 year old guy's ass at the gym yesterday! 
Let's just say, it made my day.  Actually it made my week.  Possibly my year.  
I know it is mean, but it felt so good to be able to not just keep up, but surpass a young guy half my age, who I am pretty sure was thinking, "Oh God, I got the fat suburban housewife as a workout partner!"  Pretty sure he won't be thinking that next time. :)
A pretty good start, or should I say restart.  Thanks for sticking with me, despite my occasional lapses- the next few months are starting to look very interesting, since it appears that I am becoming a workout ninja after all!
Oh, by the way - I'm planning a Lululemon takeover in the near future, but let's just keep that between us, at least for now. ;)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Motivation, where art thou???

I am back - no, I really mean it this time.  I have been a bit of a blogging slacker, along with a bit of a workout slacker, and a general engaging in life slacker.  Not cool, but true.

This thing about staying motivated over the long haul is that it is kind of a pain in the ass.  Actually it is not KIND OF a pain in the ass.  It is a gigantic pain in the ass.  Imagine expecting me to stick with this not just for a week or two, or a month or six, but well, forever.  Surprisingly, this is hard work - even harder now than at the beginning, when I was full of wide eyed wonder and excitement.

I am down 44 pounds and about 43 inches.  The equivalent of your average 6 year old ( 46 pounds and 42 inches tall!)  OMG - I 've lost an entire 6 year old child! How the hell did THAT happen?
Some people are starting to really notice, which is good, and weird and embarrassing.  Others seem blissfully unaware of the fact that I HAVE LOST THE EQUIVALENT OF A SIX YEAR OLD CHILD!  Come on now - that has got to be worth a compliment or two - you know who you are! ( And if you don't, you should - you really should!)

This love/hate relationship with compliments is just one of the things I am trying to figure out as I learn to live into this new-ish body of mine.  This should help me stay motivated, but it really doesn't - I am one of those people that really needs to be internally motivated to get off my butt.  Frankly, the feeling unwell thing is getting a little tired, so I need to regroup and refocus on what my goals are and reset my intention to live this lifestyle everyday - even when I am tired, sick or just too darn lazy.

It is really great to hear compliments ( and thank you - it is very nice of you!), and the fact that people are noticing my weight loss is great, but ultimately, it is up to me to keep this going, and no amount of compliments are going to keep me eating clean and working out.  Only I can do that ( which is quite unfortunate, because the other way seems much friendlier, and a LOT less work for me!)

Tomorrow I leave for a four week vacation - starting with presenting at a Doula Conference in Cancun ( can you say holy crap I have to wear a bathing suit in public!), followed by family time in Alberta, leading a mixed media course at Naramata Centre, and more family time in the Okanagan,.

It will be busy, but lots of fun and time for learning and reconnecting with family and friends.  I will be working out on the road, and posting pics and hopefully videos of my workout adventures as I go - I figure this will keep me somewhat accountable and on track while away.  It should be pretty hilarious actually, since I am completely lacking in technical abilities, and I hate seeing myself on film or in photos.  (Yes, I know -  this is a topic for another blog post, or therapy, or both!)

So stay tuned - I have another 6 months of this year of transformation - and a lifetime of living healthy. Thanks for sticking with me so far -  here's to the next leg of the journey!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Back in the land of the living. . .

I know, I know - it has been almost a MONTH since my last blog post.  I have a good excuse ( or excuses) -  really.

You know when you have these amazing plans and goals and you are super stoked to achieve them?  Such a great feeling to have goals and have a plan for reaching them.  That is how I was feeling at the beginning of June.  What a different a month makes!

June began with the continutation of a nagging back injury.  This sucked, but did not seem insurmountable.  This was followed by the discovery of a small, unusual mole on my shoulder, which had to removed and biopsied on really short notice.  Fortunately, everything was ok - it turned out to be nothing too serious, and because they were able to remove all of it, I felt truly blessed to have not had to face something much more serious and scary. 

During all of this, I gotta say my motivation was waning - trying to keep up with workouts and my healthy eating plan was really tough.  I fell off the wagon, more than once.  My self confidence felt like it was at an all time low.  I was disappointed in my progress, and really disappointed in myself.
I struggled with quitting - I wanted to - but was scared of dispoointing people, afraid of failing.  Not a happy place.

In the midst of this unhappy place, I developed an infection in my colon, caused by diverticular disease.  I hadn't had an attack for two years, and in spite of my healthy lifestyle and high fibre diet, it snuck up on me.  Before I knew it, I was hospitalized with iv antibiotics to try to deal with the infection, and major pain killers to control the nasty pain.  I had a reaction to the antibiotics and another one was tried.  After 5 days in hospital, I was released on a fluid only diet, which hopefully will be done the week.

It's been a crappy month - literally.  I am tired, I don't have much energy, and my transition back to a high fibre, healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables will be a long road.  it pretty much made we want to just give in to the emotions, to give in to my desire to just give up on this journey and feel miserable and sorry for myself.  I still have those moments, those days.

I went back to the gym this morning.  My trainer James helped ease me back into working out, after what seems like forever.  I guess the good thing is that I actually missed working out - my head really wanted to work out, even when I felt my worst.  That is defintiely progress.

The folks at the gym have been awesome - encouraging me and helping me to figure out a new plan, based on where I am at right now.  The reality is that sh*t happens - life isn't always easy, and roadblocks will appear.  If I want to be successful making changes in the long term, I better learn how to manouver the roadblocks, or this will never be sustainable over the long haul.

So I am still here, a little battered, pretty tired and a little bit scared of what is before me, in terms of  following through with my plan and goals given my current situation.  There are always people with bigger struggles than me, and I am so lucky to have terrific people at BDHQ, and wonderful families and friends to support me as I continue on.

I still plan to run my half marathon in the fall - even if I have to walk more than run - I will complete it.  And I will figure out how to eat both for the disease and for my health.  It is totally doable.

So that is where I have been for the last month.  July has got to be better - and I can`t wait to share all of my adventures with you - and I hope I will be funnier next month - or I won`t have any followers to whine to!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What scares me. . .

So, I am part of a 21 day challenge where I am supposed to do one thing that scares me.  I have until next Monday to do it.  I have really had a  hard time figuring this one out, despite the fact that many things scare me - and on a regular basis.  For example:
Or this:

Or this:

I am more scared of Snooki than the shark, by the way.

Haha - I am an expert at hiding my fears behind a quick joke or smartass comment - the scariest thing of all is to admit how scared I actually am. 

What am I scared of?  Now that's a little complicated.  I was challenged this week to look at what is stopping me from meeting my goals, from continuing on in my lifestyle change, from putting myself first and really committing to this work.  It sucks to be asked the hard questions.  I t sucks even more to actually try and answer them in an honest way.  But here goes. . .

I am scared to fail.  Really scared.  What if I have put this all out there, and at the end of it all I am still the fat, unhealthy and unhappy chub that I was in January.  Will people roll their eyes and whisper "I told you so"?  Will they nod and say "I figured she couldn't follow through"?  What if I do all this and nothing changes?  Or worse - what if I do all this and EVERYTHING changes?

As much as I am scared to fail, I am also scared to succeed!  Nuts, right?  Why I possibly be scared of succeeding?  Well, being fat is a bit of a shield for me - keeps me safe, provides an excuse for a whole lotta things, and provides me with a handy dandy reason for not facing the myriad of issues that I ( and everyone) has  - I mean, why not blame it on being fat?  Health problems?  Too Fat.  Not exercising?  Too fat.  Relationship issues?  Too Fat.  Crappy day?  Must be because I am fat.

It has been a convenient safety net for a long time, and it has allowed me to avoid some the less pleasant aspects of myself under the guise of - "if I was skinny, I would have a better wardrobe, more money,  no parenting struggles, no disagreements with my spouse, a better life!"  Sounds a bit like an ad for a weight loss pill or shake, doesn't it?  But there is no magic something to help me lose weight, and there is no magic weight that will make my life perfect.  Both are unrealistic ideas whose time is past.  But I still want to hold on to the fat so I don't have to face those things.  Looking that deep is really , really hard.  No wonder I am scared to lose weight!

Fortunately, I am already having to face the hard questions - it is a necessary part of this process.  And it is damn scary.  I wish it were easy, but nothing worth anything ever is.  And doing this in a public way holds me accountable - so being afraid to publicly fail is just part of the deal and I am slowly getting over it and ultimately I will succeed because of that accountability, or maybe in spite of it.

So back to that 21 day challenge - the one where I have to do something that scares me - I guess I don't really have to think of anything to do now -  I think, maybe, I just did it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Inspiration (and new photos)

After last week's hurtful comments from the unnamed idiot, I have much support from friends, family and supporters near and far.  Thank you.  You have no idea how much it means to have the ongoing encouragement and support I have from so many.  You keep me going.  And keeping going has been tough the last couple of months.

It's one thing to do this for a short period of time - I have done that MANY times before.  That is precisely why I have gained so much weight - yo yo dieting and periodic bouts of exercise do not a fit and healthy woman make.  But making the changes to my lifestyle are hard, and difficult to maintain when things get rough, and I hit unexpected obstacles like emotional struggles, illness and injuries.  And I have had my fair share of the last two ( and some of the first!) over the past couple of months.

Stress at work, bronchitis and more recently a back/hip flexor problem that has halted my running plan and forced me to adapt my workouts has made sticking with this whole lifestyle change pretty hard.  In fact, I seriously thought about throwing in the towel this week.  Lucky for me, inspiration comes in many forms.

I have some amazing support and encouragement from my friends at Body Dynamics Headquarters - the folks who got me into all this!  I can't say enough about how great they are.  And they put a new photo up at the gym that surprised me - you can check it out HERE, along with some incredible stories from some of the people I have gotten to know - they are truly inspiring!  As I train alongside them, I realize that I am not alone on this journey, and I can learn so much from those who have been there - that inspiration has made a huge difference in my attitude and kept me going when I really wanted to quit.  ( Also many nagging emails, texts, call and facebook messages - I respond well to threats! )

And yesterday we were at the Oak Bay High School track for our Monday night workout.  We were so lucky to be training alongside some special athletes who were getting ready for Operation Trackshoes - a Special Olympics program for track athletes.  Now that is inspiration - here I was, crabby, defeated and complaining about my sore back while these amazing athletes worked their butts off  - many with physical challenges, as well as developmental delays.  Helped me with some perspective, let me tell you!

Finally, I have an amazing friend who is going through treatment for brain cancer right now.  She epitomizes inspiration - a craniotomy to remove a tumour, now radiation and chemo, and through it all she has remained strong, positive and never fails to send me happy thoughts to encourage me along in MY journey.  Debbie - you are a freaking rockstar - and you inspire me everyday to get off my ass and live every minute.  Thank you.

So - inspiration IS everywhere - as long as you take the time to look.  Thank you to the many who inspire me on my journey.  I have posted some new photos on my progress page.  I don't see a huge difference on the outside, but I am definitely changing on the inside - and those are the best changes of all.  And that's just a little inspiring.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sticks and Stones . . .

Let me start with a warning - I will definitely be using some unkind words in this post.  If that offends you, then stop reading right now and go back to Pinterest!

Someone (who I would love to name because she is a total idiot, and the world should know it) asked me the following question today:

"Are you disappointed that you haven't lost more weight? - I mean I would have thought you would have lost at least 50 pounds by now - why do you keep doing it when you aren't getting results?"

Whoosh - the sound of my exhale after basically being hit in the stomach.  Thanks so much - your support and encouragement are very much appreciated - NOT!  I was actually speechless - and for those of you who know me, you know that this is an occurrence which happens about as frequently as hell freezing over.  To my utter disgust, my eyes welled up and I just had to walk away - straight to the washroom to try and pull myself together.  All of a sudden I was once again the fat woman in the mirror - out of shape, depressed, and completely lacking in self confidence.  The power of hurtful words is incredible.

How do I respond to a comment like that - loaded as it was with criticism and disrespect?   What I wanted to say was:  "Are you disappointed that you are still such a bitch?  I mean, I would have thought that you would have found some respect and compassion - why do you keep being mean when it does such damage?"  But I didn't - the queen of the snappy comeback had no comeback today.

I have spent a lot of years feeling as though I am not enough - not skinny enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, or sexy enough, or, or, or. . .  It is a really miserable place to live and it impacted every area of my life for a good part of my life.  I am so happy that I don't live there anymore, that I have moved on from that negative place to a place of confidence and happiness. At least most of the time.

Am I disappointed I haven't lost at least 50 pounds - well it would be nice, but I didn't put the pounds on in 4 months, so I don't expect to lose them in 4 months.  Anything worth doing takes time.  And I am mostly happy with my progress - I look and feel a lot different from this crabby person:

I have worked out harder than I ever have, I am learning to eat to fuel my body instead of cope with my emotions, and last week I ran a 10K.  I wasn't the fastest - but I finished:

Check out the 10K evidence here!

Two days ago I registered to run a half marathon in October - a HALF MARATHON, people! 

I never, ever would have believed I would be doing any of this 4 months ago - these are the results that matter to me - and I am damn proud of my "lack of progress".

So in answer to the rude question of the day - why do I do this? 

That's the kinda progress I am talking about.  So watch your back, rude person - my legs are strong from kicking so much ass!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Celebration Time - Come on!

Yeah, baby!  It's a celebration!  I reached not one, but two milestones this week - so after a month of whining and complaining, I have a lot to be grateful for today!

First - I finally passed the 30 pound milestone - as of this am - I am down 31 pounds.  The last 10 have been hard fought - my body is adjusting to the new eating plan and the exercise, so I have to eat smarter and work harder now.  And keeping the motivation has been super challenging - because, well, basically I am a lazy butt and would really rather eat chocolate and watch TV.  It's the truth - but I am changing and that is something I can feel in myself that cannot be measured by a scale.  I bought myself a new pair of pants - size 18 - which while still awfully large to some, is a size I have not worn in a very long time and I am super glad to finally be outta the 20's!!!

The other milestone was running the TC10K.  This was a a big emotional milestone for me - because even though I had run it before, I really, really, deep down want to be a runner - even though I find the training tough and it seems like a really big ass goal.

I had pretty much given up on the thought of running it, as I had signed up in January and hadn't really done as much run training as I wanted to do.  That, coupled with a nasty bout of bronchitis that has knocked me off my feet for two weeks ( I was finally cleared to exercise as of yesterday!) felt like the TC10K just wasn't gonna happen this year for me.

But with the amazing support from my gang at BDHQ, the best playlist ever courtesy of Hannah Green, and the continual encouragement of the one and only Lovisa, I was able to complete the 10K this morning.

It wasn't pretty, and it wasn't fast, and I didn't run every step of the way.  It went more like this:

Starting Line:    What the hell am I doing here and where is my coffee?

Kilometer 1:      Woohoo - I am rockstar!  Look at me BDHQers - I am running the TC10K

Kilometer 2:       I found my groove - I can do this!

Kilometer 3:       Whose idea was this?

Kilometer 4:       I could be sleeping right now, instead of sweating like a pig.

Kilometer 5:       Halfway and I haven't puked - yippee!

Kilometer 6:       Your encouragement is awesome, Lovisa, now please shut up and just let me walk.

Kilometer 7:        View?  What view?  I am busy dying here, and yes, I know Terry                      
                            Fox ran a marathon every day on one leg - I am not Terry Fox  I am far too lazy
                            and  self centred and sorry for myself to be Terry Fox.  Yes, I see the Terry Fox
                            memorial.  It's awesome, no really, it is.

Kilometer 8:         Just finish.  You just have to finish.

Kilometer 9:         I may actually finish.  And I am bloody well gonna sprint the last block - it's go     
                             time!   Check me out everyone!

Kilometer 10:      Holy crap - I just ran 10K - Woohoo - I am a rockstar - I am awesome -
                                                                    I am a runner.

I feel amazing - I never would have believed a few months ago that I would be running again, that I would be minus pounds and inches and plus better health and a renewed sense of of accomplishment and belief in myself.   So, yes, I am celebrating - bring on the ice and the Epsom Salts - we got a party going on right here, and it feels great!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

She's like the wind. . .

Or at least a light breeze.  I started running again.  For realz, as Ben would say.  Actual one foot in front of the other, pounding on pavement, wearing tights kinda running.  I know - scary!

It's been a while since I last hit the road.  I first started running when we moved here from Alberta.  I was still in the honeymoon phase of loving the rainy ( not snowy) winter and figured, why not start running?  It helped that I was a stay at home mom to four kids 7 and under and knew almost no one.  It was a social thing.  A prevent me from becoming a sociopath thing.  So I started running by joining a TC10K clinic.

I discovered I kinda liked the whole running thing.  I liked how it made me feel, how I could just think, and run and ache and no one bugged me.  I loved how, well, FREE I felt.  It was fun. 

So I kept running for about 2 years, until my running partners got pregnant and had kids of their own, and I started working outside the home and we somehow all got busy and stopped running.  But I secretly missed it - even as my weight ballooned and the thought of putting on my shoes and hitting the trails seemed like a distant memory.

I am running again.  It's harder this time - I am 8 years older, heavier, and I have a bit of an attitude ( I know - hard to believe, right???!!!)  In my head, I am a runner - my body begs to differ.

I am pretty sure there is nothing quite so unattractive as an, ahem - "woman of substance" in running tights looking like she is trying to catch up with the ice cream truck that left her behind.  Hair wet with sweat ( like a rainstorm that hit only me), red faced and probably about to have a heart attack ( I'm not, really, I am just fine!), jiggling and bouncing along ( yes, I spent the money on a big girl bra - Oprah was right - it was worth every penny)  I am not as graceful, or as pretty or as powerful as most of the runners out there.  And frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

When I hit the trail for the first time in a very long time, it felt, well, pretty great.  I remembered that sense of freedom and play and joy, and even though my muscles screamed in agony with pretty much every step, I remembered why I liked it.  And even when I got home and later in the day could hardly move from the agony of using muscles that hadn't been used in that way for a long time, I still remembered why I like it.  My hips hurt, my knees ached, my quads complained - a lot.  But it wasn't as bad as when I started before.  My fitness has improved - I don't huff and puff as much as I did just a few months ago, and I am recovering pretty quickly - my muscles must be remembering, too.  That is a good thing, because I have a feeling they are about to get quite a workout over the next few months.

I will definitely have a 10K in my future, and I am even looking down the road at, dare I say it out loud - a half marathon.  Now that is a scary goal. I have wanted to do one for a really long time, but I never until now believed that it may actually be possible.  Now I believe.  So I guess it is about time I did it.  For realz.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Waitin' on the groove train

Has anyone seen my groove?  Because I am pretty sure I have lost it.  Lately I have been floundering a bit, and my motivation, along with my groove appears to have disappeared. 
Since I reached my 25 pound milestone, I seem to be a bit of a slacker.  Life has been super busy, and apparently in my little weight loss world busy gives me sufficient excuse to start to ease off a bit on my workouts and begin to not be quite so tight with my food.  Hence the groove loss.Basically, I am a pretty lazy person - I have to work at getting my butt out of bed to go to workouts. And while I always feel amazing after I am done, I cannot honestly say that I leap out of bed every morning shouting "I get to work out today!"  More like "what the hell am I doing up this early wearing form fitting clothing in public??"  So losing my rhythm means its just that much harder to get myself to workouts.  And that is not good.

As for the eating, well, it is surprising simple to slip in bites of this and a taste of that, especially the things that are on my "avoid at all costs because I have no will power against any type of COBS bread" list.  They seem like small things, but they all add up to a slowed weight loss and a shrinking commitment to eat clean all day, everyday. 

Last Monday I started a new program at BDHQ called Biggest Winners.  It is a 12 week program that is group based and includes classes and coaching and nutrition support - another amazing opportunity.  I have to admit to finding it hard to shift gears into a group setting, but I am hoping it will help me refocus and recommit to the lifestyle I want and need to get healthy and stay that way! 

Maintaining this lifestyle transformation over the long haul is going to be tough, but frankly I am tougher.  I have to be. ( That's my story and I am sticking to it!)  I am going to be successful - groove or no groove.  But if you happen to find that groove of mine along YOUR way - please send it MY way - I need all the help I can get!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

One more reason

It's almost time.  Fastball time, that is.  I love this time of year, when I gear up to coach a wonderful group of girls that have been a part of my spring for the past seven years.

Being a coach for this group of U16 girls means a lot to me.  They are a huge reason why I wanted to get healthy and make this transformation. As a girl I played fastball, and it was an important part of my athletic life.  I loved the girls on my team, the crack of a bat, crouching behind home plate as a catcher.  It was my first experience as an athlete, and I loved how I felt when I played.

When my oldest daughter Hannah was 8, we enrolled her in fastball and I agreed to be an assistant coach. Somehow along the way I became "Coach J".  Seven years later, I am still coaching most of the same girls, with a few wonderful additions. Last year, coaching was tough - doing the things I needed to do as a coach were becoming increasingly difficult because of my size, and I realized that if I wanted to be a positive role model for this group of exceptional young women, I needed to make a plan to get healthy.

I want these girls to have fun as they play, make good friends and develop their individual skills as ball players.  I also want them to become good team players, fair minded competitors and to develop the confidence needed to take them forward into their adult lives.  Our team motto:  Have Fun, Do  Your Best, and Play Fair are important values that I want them to embrace.  It's pretty hard to be good role model for health and fitness as a lifetime pursuit when you are overweight and out of shape.

I really love this group of girls - they are fun, amazing and inspire me to do my best to help them grow.  I am excited this year that I can share some of what I am learning about health and fitness with them, and show them that change is possible - even for their rather rotund coach. They are one more reason for me to make these changes in my life - I want to be better for them, as well as for myself.

They should, however, be just a tiny bit afraid - I have learned from the best how to work my butt off, and they better be ready for some of the same!  No more slacking during runs - I may just be able to catch at least a few of them!

I can't wait for the season to begin - this year is sure to be our best ever.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Confessions from the Scale...part two....

I reached a milestone today, and I am so happy about it!  I have officially lost 25 pounds, and I am feeling pretty darn excited about it.  After a month of whining and complaining, the scale finally started to move. About bloody time, I say.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I opted not to eat a whole pile of crap, which I seriously used to to do.  Kinda crazy - lose some weight but celebrate by eating back the weight you just lost!!  So conditioned to celebrate everything with food.  I also used to use a weigh in as my excuse to spend the day overeating -  you know - weigh in, so then you have a whole week til your next weigh in, so it is totally OK to cheat on weigh in day - right?  Right?  I mean, I am gonna lose it over the week. . .  Or perhaps you have never done that.  I absolutely have, leading to a cycle of starvation and bingeing that is physically creating crazy insulin swings, and basically putting myself on an emotional food roller coaster.  You know the one - where you are up and then down, on your "diet", then off, exercising like mad, and then not at all.   I really hate roller coasters.  They scare me - I always feel too out of control - hmmmmm - out of control - maybe there really is a connection.  So no more roller coasters for me.  They make me barf. 

This time, I am celebrating with a new page on my blog called "My Progress in Photos".  This will serve as a visual journal of my progress ( or not, as the month may be!).  Here you get to check out my glamour shots month by month ( I'm too sexy for this blog, too sexy. . .).  They might not actually be glamorous, but frankly for a camera phobe like myself, its a pretty big deal to let it all hang out ( literally!) in a series of photos that everyone can see.  You can access the link by clicking here or by clicking on the sidebar link under "Pages".  Some months the changers might be big, other months, small - but all are just one step on the road to transformation. 

And that's a ride that is better than a roller coaster any day!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sometimes, it just ain't pretty. . .

It's so true.  Sometimes it just ain't pretty when I work out.  I just came off 5 days away from the gym and this morning's workout was one of those days when I really, really, really HATE the damn mirrors in the gym. You see, mirrors are awesome for super fit individuals ( you know who you are) to check out their form (which is usually perfect), and see how fit and fabulous they are while working out.  I don't think they  mean to look so ridiculously good - even while working out. It just seems to happen, and when I am in a grumpy mood, well, it kinda pisses me off.  (Envy is such an attractive quality in a chubby gal!)  I know, in my heart of hearts, that they, too, had to work hard for the bodies they have, but it still bugs me. Petty, yes, and dumb, but just tryin' to be real here.
You see, I like to think that I actually look like a shorter ( and ever so slightly! rounder) version of Jillian Michaels when I work out ( except with a much less annoying voice).  It is motivating to see myself as fit, strong and bringing a kick butt attitude to every squat, push up and kettlebell swing.  Most of the time I do an awesome job convincing myself.  Today, however, was not one of those days.

Today when I looked in the mirror, I saw a big, sweaty chick who looked like she was about to expire at any moment.  Stringy hair, sweating excessively (that's the polite word), huffing and puffing through every last minute of each movement like I had never worked out before in my life.  My push ups weren't perfect, the kettlebell swings definitely need work, and the lunges were, well, awkward doesn't really cover it. As I said, pretty it ain't.  ( I love using bad grammar - makes me feel like a real bad ass)

At first I was just annoyed - I mean, really, does it have to look so easy for some, and yet feel so ridiculously difficult for me?  I was all set to spiral down into self pity and general miserable-ness.  I can go there quite quickly when I want to, it seems.  But then I realized that nine weeks ago, I couldn't do one push up, and now I can do many - not perfectly - but they do look like push ups! A lunge was something I did to get to the front of the ice cream line, and a kettlebell - well - that was just weird jock equipment that had nothing to do with me.  Now I can squat, lunge, and swing a bell on a daily basis, and actually like it. I AM stronger, healthier, more fit, and most of all, happier.  Most days I am just fine living in my skin, and I am learning that I don't have to see everything as all or nothing.  I make good choices most of the time, and I am learning to see progress in the little changes I make each day.  This is the real transformation, in my book. 

So even when it ain't pretty, it's still pretty darn good.  I don't need to be Jillian Michaels - I am pretty cool with just being me, even if I am not so hot in the mirror.

And my voice really IS much less annoying than Jillian.  Just sayin'.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Report Card Day!

Warning:  If you are sick of my crabby, "this is hard" posts and are looking for something a little happier and funnier - this is perhaps the time to go back to Facebook. . . .

Did you ever have the experience as kid when you were stressing out about a looming Report Card Day? As a kid I was a reallygood student, but I STILL felt nervous bringing home that envelope that would let my mom know how I was doing, and either be a source of pride or a source of frustration and disappointment - for both my mom and I.  I generally was an A student, but high school math was a source of constant misery and failure, and I dreaded report card day because I knew it would shine a light on all of the missed questions, assignments that didn't quite get completed beause I didn't ask for help to complete them, and the ( very occasional -wink wink-) skipped class.  By the time the day came around I was a wreck.  I was so glad when the days of report cards were far behind me.

I now have another report card looming before me.  I have completed 8 weeks of my program at BDHQ.  In some ways I can't believe that 8 weeks has gone by - and at other points the days seem to creep by ( this is mostly when I am at a plateau - which frankly feels like most of the last month!)  Last month I lost almost 9 pounds and about 11 inches.  This month I am actually pretty nervous about pulling out the measuring tape and getting on the scale - I don't feel as confident, and I find myself with the same feelings of anxiety and dread that I thought I had left behind in high school.

Surprisingly, I am not perfect - I know, a shock to all.  Over the past month I have made some poor food choices, missed the odd workout, and felt super frustrated with my slowing progress.  The two month report card will definitely reflect every poor choice I have made over the past month.  This sucks.  A lot.  Nothing like being held accountable - especially when I have made it my goal to make sure everybody knows what I am doing, and has great expectations for me.  This is incredibly supportive and amazing - also intimidating and terrifying - I definitely don't want to fail.

So I stepped on the scale this morning -it wasn't an F but it sure wasn't an A - or a B - or even a C.

 I have lost a big 2 pounds this month - bringing my total since starting at BDHQ to almost 11 pounds and my grand total since starting this journey to 23 pounds.  I have lost a few more inches, but it aint dramatic, let me tell you.  I have to admit - I was super disappointed.  Actually, I had a little mini meltdown - all that hard work, all my sweat, the early mornings, saying no to all those delicious things that passed my way ( well, almost all!).  Feeling discouraged doesn't quite cover it.  Crying, miserable, feeling really pitiful almost does.

Apparently, the 8 week mark is when a lot of people who make it past the 2 week mark quit.  (Does that make sense?)  I get this.  The initial "Wow - I am losing weight" has worn off, and the real work of transformation is beginning.  Sticking with it is really tough, especially when the scale is stuck, or progress seems non existent - and making good food choices and working out hard everyday is getting a little tired.  Some great advice from Michele and Dawn really helped today - and so did the support from my workout partners of the day.  I am really lucky to have such a great place to workout and learn how to live a healthy lifestyle.  And to have supportive people around me.

I will take some photos later, when I feel a little more settled, and post them to keep it real.  In the meantime, I found this, which is now posted in a highly visible spot to remind me that this a JOURNEY, and a long one at that.  One step at a time.

And I am leaving the pity party behind!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I'm Expecting!

No, don't get all crazy on me!  I am definitely not expecting a wee bundle of joy and sleep deprivation!

I am, however, expecting results, and soon:

Seriously - this is me.  Anyone who knows me well, or even not all that well, knows that patience is definitely not my groove.  I don't even like waiting for a bus, so the whole "you didn't gain it in a day, so don't expect to lose it in a day" thing isn't really working for me!  And the last few weeks of living in plateau land are, to be less than delicate, really pissing me off.

This is the part of the "weight loss journey" where  I typically:
  • get really frustrated (check)
  • feel like I am a failure (check)
  • start cheating here and there to completely sabotage myself  (halfcheck - oh, alright - check)
  • bitch about how impossible it is for me to lose weight ( that would be a double check friends)
  • give up entirely, gaining back anything I have lost plus an extra 10 pounds just for fun
You will notice I have not yet checked off the last one.  And I am not planning on it.

I read somewhere recently that weight loss is 80% what you eat, and 20% how you work out.  I think that is crap, actually.  I am learning that weight loss is really 100% mental - how you make your choices and follow through and stick with the program even when you GAINED a frigging half pound last week ( that was me I was talking about, in case you missed the emphasis!)

And it`s about being patient.  I really hate being patient.  I admit it - I want the Biggest Loser result - 5 or 6 pounds a week would be perfectly satisfactory to me, 10 would be ideal. ( And yes, I am obsessed with the Biggest Loser, but that is between me and my therapist)  It is amazing how quickly I can get discouraged, even when I really am seeing results, if I look at the big picture.  It is just hard. Blah.  Hard again.  There is a life lesson in here somewhere - I know it.  I just am not quite ready to embrace it.  But I am working on it.  And really, that is all I can ask of myself.

Oh yeah, and the not cheating thing would be really good, too.  Chicken and salad - I love you - no, really I do.  Really.  Mmmmm.  Can`t wait.  Sigh. 

Here is to a more patient (and accepting) tomorrow.     Filled with chicken and salad.   

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It's Clean Up Time!

No, not THAT kind of clean up time - with 4 kids I personally have had enough of Barney to last a lifetime!  But I have been working on cleaning up my diet - eating clean, to be exact.  To be honest, I have been on a bit of a plateau over the past few weeks, which completely sucks, and I have been looking much more closely at my diet to try and figure out where I can tweak things to get losing again.  The exercise part of my program has been going pretty well - give or take a few workouts that almost killed me.  But I really struggle with eating well.  You know, making healthy choices every day, avoiding fast food, eating breakfast.  Sigh.  I LOVE food, and changing my orientation to eating is really a struggle.

I have been focusing on eating "clean", which is not a diet, but rather a way of eating that will be sustainable even after I lose weight.  Which I figure is a good plan, or I am just going to be back in the same place six months after my year is up.  Clean eating is really about  a lifestyle that focuses on eating healthy whole foods and avoiding crap.  Sadly, I love eating crap, so making the transition has been tough!

In a nutshell, eating clean is the practice of eating whole, natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. It also means staying away from the junk that typically makes up the diet of Canadians and our neighbours to the south. ( And forget telling yourself that Americans are much worse - I have seen a lot of overfat people rolling around with me in the Great White North!)  These types of food include human-made sugar, bad fats (hydrogenated, trans-fat), preservatives, white bread, and any other ingredients that are unnecessary. An easy way to remember if a food is clean is: "if a human made it, don't eat it."

A person that eats clean generally practices the following:
  • Eliminates refined sugar
  • Cooks healthy meals
  • Packs healthy meals
  • Makes healthy choices when dining out
  • Drinks a lot of water
  • Eats 5-6 small meals per day
  • Eliminates alcoholic beverages (or significantly limits it)
  • Always eats breakfast
Sounds deceptively simple, but it is actually tough to break the addiction to processed foods and sugar, unhealthy fats and sodium.  Let's face it people - crap tastes really good.

I am finding it is pretty easy to eat well for a while, but frankly I am easily bored and have a short attention span, so the thought of another breast of chicken and salad makes me want to run screaming from the table.  Not to mention the fact that I HATE cooking and am not very good at it.

So I was chatting with my trainer Wendy today and she had some very helpful advice.  I was complaining about the boredom of eating clean, and she very nicely pointed out that maybe it was time to find excitement and variety in something other than food.  That maybe other things in my life could provide the entertainment that food often has provided.  Hmmmm.  You mean I might be using food as something other than the fuel it is intended to be?  ME???  Really???

I am not denying the pleasure of gathering around a table and enjoying a meal.  But the enjoyment is really in the gathering, and eating clean and healthy never gets in the way of that.  Good food can be healthy food - it just means being a little more creative and a lot less dependent on fat, salt and sugar to make me happy.  Wow.  Who knew that eating your veggies could be so profound?

So I am tweaking my diet - getting rid of some things and increasing some others, and looking for ways to make eating healthy all the time part of my life, rather than a chore to do because I want to lose weight.  Sigh.  To be honest it wounds like a lot of work, like most things worth doing, I guess.

So I might just have to start trading recipes and practicing my clean cooking skills.  Anyone want to get together to share healthy cooking ideas?

BAHAHAHAHHAHAHA - did you really fall for that?? I would rather do Christina's Filthy Fifty!!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Biggest Loser moment. . .

Have you ever watched The Biggest Loser?  I watch it ( I can't help myself, and I love/lust after the trainers Bob and Dovett) and pretty much every episode there is some dramatic breakthrough/deep confession/tearful workout meltdown.  I call it a "Biggest Loser Moment" - as in - "oh oh - here comes a Biggest Loser moment - time to get the laundry".  I really hate all that drama - it is just a workout, people, chill for God's sake.

Well, I am eating humble pie today ( but don't worry - it's calorie free!).  I had my own little "Biggest Loser Moment" this morning at the gym.  And yes - it was a big, fat, tearful workout meltdown.

Last week a little list appeared at BDHQ, along with a challenge.  Called Christina's Filthy Fifty ( and that doesn't quite cover it - more like Christina`s Are You Freaking Kidding Me I Will Die Doing That Fifty) it is basically a series of activities that you complete fifty of in the fastest possible time.  I truly LMAO when I saw the challenge - knowing I could NEVER do this, and was very grateful that I didn't have to.

Check it out:

And just in case you cannot read the chalk - this is the list:

50 Box Jumps (Looky here)
50 Kettlebell Swings ( check out how to do them here)
50 Lunges with weight (here )
50 Wall Balls (video here - similar but with a smaller weighted ball)
50 Burpees  (here)
50 Kettlebell Pushpress (here)
50 Hanging Knee Raises (here)  Disclaimer - Mine in no way resembled these!)
50 Pushups ( I am lady - so I did "ladies" - from the knee!)

Christina did this in under 12 minutes - seriously.  When I walked into the gym this morning to find out that this was my workout - I wanted to run the other direction.  I actually felt sick, thinking about all the parts of that that I couldn't do, that were way beyond me - and that I was going to completely embarrass myself.  It was the first time I really wanted to just quit - walk out the door and never come back to the humiliation of trying to get this body to do all the things that it hasn't done in forever, or has never attempted at all.

But Christina was having none of it. A little tough love, and I was starting my filthy fifty.  And filthy it was.  I am not going to lie and say my form was amazing, or that I did every challenge as it was meant to be done.  The Box Jumps were box step ups, I used the lightest (8kg) kettlebell, and my Wall Balls and burpees left a little to be desired in terms of perfect form.  But I did do them - all 50 of them.  And although I was exhausted and stretched to the max, I was actually doing it.  Until it came to the hanging knee raises.  Enter the Biggest Loser Moment.

I hit the wall.  I was so tired, and so sure I couldn't do the damn things.  And I was scared.  Scared of  hanging there, scared of falling, scared of failing.  Once again Christina told me to just do it.  To try.
So I tried.  And oh my gosh it was hard.  The tears fell - I was so frustrated that I couldn't do it, and so afraid of failing that I didn't want to continue to try.  Christina came over and told me to step down.  But I couldn't do it.  I couldn't just finish with tears - not knowing if I could even sort of do it.  So I kept doing it - all 50, with Christina cheering me every minute, every knee raise, every tear.

It was so freaking hard.  And those hanging knee raises? They were nowhere near perfect, or pretty. But I don't care, because today that wasn't really what it was about.  Today was about something actually much bigger for me.

I didn't quit.  I wanted to, more than anything, but when it came down to it, I didn't . I couldn't. 

Today I am a ninja - a Filthy Fifty Ninja - I did the whole damn thing in 21 min and 55 seconds.  And I am really impressed with myself - event though it wasn't perfect and I had to make some modifications.
And I had my Biggest Loser Moment - some tears and a lot of self doubt.  And I don't care - I am sure there will  be a few more before the year is out. And I am ok with that.

The only real downside of today was that that when I had my meltdown I didn't get the requisite "cheer up, you can do this" hug from Bob or Dovett.  Damn.  I think I feel the tears welling up as I write - where are you two when I need you?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I missed you, workout. . .

I missed a workout this morning.  I had a 5:45am rise and shine, get my ass kicked workout with Wendy this morning and I slept in.  Not a little sleep in either - a big, oh crap now I am really behind kinda sleep in!

Why should you care, I know you are asking?  All will be revealed - I promise.  But first let me explain that in the past I was the Queen of All Excuses when I was supposed to be working out.  In fact, I have a handy list right here of why I simply CANNOT make a workout today:

I am too tired
I forgot my shoes
I don't have the right bra.
My back hurts.
My knees hurt.
I couldn't get a sitter.
My sitter was sick.
My kids are sick.
I 'm sick.
My cat is sick.
The betafish is sick.
My second cousin twice removed is sick.
I have a meeting.
Mark has a meeting .
The kids have ____________ (insert one of many activities here - band, piano, fastball, playdate. . . )
I am too sore from working out yesterday.
It's too cold, hot,wet, dry, windy, humid, rainy, or snowy.
I don't want to miss American Idol.
The Biggest Loser is on and I can't wait to see Bob's last chance workout this week.
Did I mention I am too tired?

And, oh yeah - I slept in.

Funny thing is, this time when I missed my workout - I actually MISSED my workout!  As in, I really was disappointed that I slept in and missed out on the opportunity to sweat it out and work my not so firm butt off.  That, my friends, is a first.  Because usually when I miss out on anything remotely related to exercise, disappointed is not the feeling that jumps to mind.  More like - "Thank God I dodged that bullet".  So it really is amazing to me that I have actually made exercise so much a part of my life that I actually miss it when I don't do it! HA!  Strange but true fact from the weightloss war!

So, since I missed my workout this morning I felt compelled to join Bob from the Biggest Loser in a 60 minute worlout video when I got home from work. So thanks a lot Bob, but let's face  it - you are no Wendy from BDHQ!

Tomorrow I will be  setting two alarms!  See you at 7am!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Emotional Eating (aka) OMG I just ate an entire package of cinnamon buns.

This week was hard.  Emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically.  Up til now I have managed to negotiate the "bumps" along my transformation journey without too much trouble.  There have been some tough moments, but this week it seemed like it was all tough moments.  And that, my friends, can be a recipe for disaster when you are an emotional eater.  And guess who is an emotional eater??

For many, many years I have eaten whatever pain or loss or angry feeling has come my way.  No wonder I managed to eat myself up to almost 270 pounds.  ( I do believe that anger and sadness weigh much more than fat - I think I should get a research grant to see if this is true!)  I am not really good at dealing with my "difficult" feelings, and am pretty much an expert at hiding them under all these layers of chub.  But now I can't do that anymore - or at least I am trying to choose not to do that any more.  And that is really, really hard.

This week I wasn't very successful.  And it hurts to admit, to put it out there for all to judge. A tough day at work was solved with fish and chips (which made me feel so ill that I was wishing I would throw up and put myself out of my misery!).  Some feelings of sadness were dealt with by a KitKat bar  ( so sweet and artificial tasting that I actually could only eat 3/4 of it - thank heaven for small mercies).  Angry?  Just try several tasty kinds of breads/carb loaded pastries for a quick fix.  I seriously felt like a junkie - eating and then trying to hide and deny to myself that I am not a user ( when in fact I really am a hardcore user of food).  It told me alot about myself that I try not to hear.  I am still an emotional eater, and I need to own it, forgive myself and get on with the business of transforming these unhealthy habits.

I would like to say I am no longer in a funk, but it seems to be hanging on.  Today though, instead of some bad food choices, I chose instead to work out.  I am still craving something nice and white and carbohydrate-ish, but I am going to sing instead (the bass section of my chorus will thank me).  And even though I have screwed up royally this week, I am not going to give up on all the hard work I have put into this journey so far, and use it as the "reason" I cannot be successful.  Because I am always going to have tough days at work, hurts and disappointments, and I know that there are healthier ways of dealing with them that do not include eating myself into a happy little sugar coma.

So I am starting fresh - thank goodness I get a new day every day!  And I feel better already - just sharing the struggle. 

 So, just in case you were thinking I was perfect in every way, I am not.  And that's ok with me.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

One month in. . .

I have officially completed my first full month of my BDHQ-Over!  Now that it is done - it seems to have gone by so quickly ( not my impression in the middle of a spin class, however - there I swear time moves backwards!!!)  We had our first month weigh in and measurements on this past Friday  - and you know how much I was looking forward to that!!

It's funny to me how many times I can say with a straight face that the numbers don't matter.  Because it is really a lie.  Yes, I know that they shouldn't matter, and that I am wonderful despite what the numbers say, but frankly a lifetime of being told by society, and myself, that the numbers DO matter means that is is just BS to say I don't care.  I do.  I really, really care.  I want that number to go down ( preferably at 100 times the rate it went up :)  )  Do I see that as the only way to value myself - thankfully I am learning that I don't have to do that.  But I am not there yet, and I would be lying to say that I am.  And I am pretty sure that many of you out there might be in the same place as me on this one.

So what happened Friday?  I showed up at the gym bright and early at 7am - which is actually later than the 5:45am start of earlier in the week.  ( I am beginning to see how this is actually sort of  a cult, or an incurable illness - I mean really - who gets up that early to sweat like a pig and breathe like I am dying, and endure a cheerful yet firm "just one more" from lovely trainers half my size?)

But I digress. . .

My fellow winners are there and we start our workout before the dreaded ( for me, at least) weigh in.  Lucky for us, the videographer is here to film us looking particularly attractive as we sweat and pant our way through a cardio tire workout.  I am seriously attractive when toting a huge tire over my head while performing squats - if you like sweat, anguish and stringy hair!  I had kind of forgotten the very public nature of winning this contest - which may seem funny since I am blogging it about it.  But there is something about being filmed while working out and weighing in that creates vulnerability - I mean what if I have GAINED weight - what is the reaction then???  Yikes - my capacity for creating worry and anxiety where it never existed before never ceases to amaze me.  At this moment of realization I get called over to step on the scale.

So many thoughts, worries and fears flooding my mind as I bend my head to check out the number - and a very loud WOOHOO when I see for myself that my hard work really is paying off. 

Almost 9 pounds since I started working out, and 20 pounds since January 1!  Holy Crap!  I almost can't believe it, and in that moment I am so relieved and happy that I DO believe that this transformation is really possible. Because there have been lots of days of doubts.  We continue to measure and I find that 11 inches have also found a new home somewhere NOT on my body - it is not just my imagination that my pants are getting baggy!  A little happy dance, a few high fives, and I am back to finishing my workout.  And the tire feels just a little bit lighter.

So - what have I learned?  I would love to say that I now no longer care about the numbers - because that is still BS.  But I have a new found sense of confidence in myself, and an increased ability to stay strong when the numbers aren't so happy, and an even stronger committment to continuing to eat healthy and get up at ungodly hours to sweat and burn and pant.  I am learning slowly that my capacity for making changes really is increasing - so maybe I CAN begin to let go of how much those numbers matter.

At least until next month.
( Just keepin' it real.)