Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ready, Set, Go!

The way I feel these days:

Out of shape
Not in a routine
Like my clothes are getting tighter
Not in a healthy eating groove

See, even the girl who has all the determination in the world to lose 133 pounds, can struggle too. Even though I'd like to be able to blame my lack of motivation or not eating/exercising the way I should on the fact that I have a new job that has been time consuming and leaves me drained and exhausted, I can't. It's a choice, just like everything else in life. We all have choices.  It just depends on what we do with those choices that will determine our success. For me, I've made it a choice to stop the vacationing mode with my body and get back to business. It needs it. I need it. In fact, as crazy as it sounds,  I go several weeks eating "off" and not exercising as much as my body is used to, and it almost makes me loony. I'm itching to get back. To make my body do what I know it knows how to do - what it wants to do.

The good news is, I got on the scale and I haven't gained weight. (I always stay in about a 5 pound range.  However, I guess you could say I'm at the top end of that range these days.) All my clothes (size 6) still fit.  They're just maybe snugger than I'd like them to. Also, I've learned that when you take a break from the gym, those toned muscles start to get a little bit of a lazy feel and the shape of your body starts changing. What comes to mind when I think about all this? Two words, actually. NO THANKS! I didn't work as hard as I did and fall in love with the new me to feel like this. Today is the day I say hello to the gym again, regardless of how tired I am after work.

This is how I will feel very soon:
In shape
In a routine
Happy about looser clothes
Remembering to eat every 2-3 hours

 So, if any of you out there have fallen into a rut or just need a little extra motivation, we're in this together. WE can do it! Ready...set...go!

P.S. I went to the gym. Ouch! Eek! Wow! No worries. I'm back at it tomorrow too.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mt. Si - I Can Do Hard Things!

Another hiking post. I think it's because my body is wishing it were off somewhere today on a really good hike. I was looking back this morning on one of the very first real hikes I ever did. It was a couple of years ago when visiting Seattle with my best friend Tam. Growing up in the Northwest and exploring its beauty was not something I'd let myself participate in until recent years, so to hike in the Northwest is by far my favorite. It's beautiful in every way.

On this particular day, we were doing Mount Si. (4167 feet elevation in 4 miles) I had done other little short what I like to call "prairie" hikes, but this would have been my first real hike. I had waffled with the idea of climbing it this day as I was getting over phenomena, but for the most part, I was feeling good. Not to mention, there had been talk about us climbing this mountain all summer, so I didn't want to back out.This was a big deal for me, as Mt. Si is one of the most well hiked trails in the Northwest and something I'd grown up hearing that people did but never in my wildest dreams thought it would be something I would do. (Almost as if I wasn't allowed to.)

Tam and I set out and started up the trail from the base and learned real quick that the first 1.5 miles is pretty steep. I was huffin' and puffin' most the way and honestly think I wanted to question what I was doing but wouldn't let my mind go there. I wanted it, and I wanted it bad! When we got to the 1 mile mark a couple of gentlemen were on their way down and asked us about our water. We told them what we had in our pack and one of them explained that we'd need WAY more than that, so he sent us on our way up the mountain with what he had left. (Again, another indication of "What have I gotten myself into?" But I didn't let my mind go there.) As we climbed, we stopped, and climbed and stopped some more. Huffing and puffing along the way - face beat red and all. In other words...totally out of shape climber! 

At the time I weighed 178 pounds so I'd already lost 100 pounds.  I had just never had my body do something like this before, so it really didn't know what to expect. Not to mention, in the big picture of life, my body had only really been in an active state for a very short percentage of time. As we continued on, I felt my mind want to wander and go to a place of doubtful thinking several times but I just wouldn't let it go there. (I think this is a key thing for all of us in many aspects of our journey.) We stopped and took several pictures along the way. Proof that I was on this mountain God created. Climbing it no less. (The picture taking was a good distraction too.) 

As the day went on and we summited and made it to the top, I remember feeling like I was on top of the world. We climbed up to a rocky area and sat for a while and I remember pondering, talking to God, feeling like I could do anything. Anything I put my mind to. Anything my heart desired. I knew at that point I was going to make it to my goal. I knew I could do hard things. And to top it off, I couldn't have asked for a better climbing partner. 

Often times I wonder what would have happened if I would have allowed myself to listen to the voices in my head and would have turned back that day. Would I have finished? Would I be where I am today? Probably not. How grateful I am for a God who sees my potential and pushes me through. Who puts a fog between me and those voices in my head and who has been there for me every step of the way. He never said it would be easy.  He only said it would be worth it.

 I'm happy to report, I've climbed Mt. Si several times since that day. I've felt the need to do it every year, last year twice, and then again this summer. It means something to me. It holds a special place in my heart. It's where I discovered I was a climber and I can do hard things. 

July 2012

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Can I Climb Your Mountain With You?

Do you ever feel like the amount of weight you have to lose is almost out of reach? Like it seems impossible? Like climbing straight up the side of a mountain without any preparation? I know there have to be some of you out there because I know I used to be one of those very someones. The good news is, it really wasn't as bad as it looked, especially because I had planned out my route, my course of action. 

You see, I never started my journey with the idea that this was going to be some type of diet or eating plan to get me to the top of the mountain and that when I got there, I would celebrate and forget all that went into the planning. I wanted it to become something I enjoyed, was excited about, and had a passion for. (Healthy eating and exercise that is.)  I wanted to succeed to the point that it made me want to reach out and not only share my story with others but inspire myself to keep learning and trying new things that my body wasn't capable of doing before. That alone, excited me.

When I first set off on my journey I think the important thing to remember was that I had my pack ready to climb that mountain. It was already full of everything I was going to need to get to the top. My eating plan, my course of exercise, motivation, determination, and of course my water bottle. Nothing was going to stop me and once I got headed up the trail, there was no turning back. My thought was often, "I've come this far....onward I must go." 

Often times I think it's easy to set out on a weight loss journey and not have the tools we need in our pack to make it up the mountain without failing or deciding it's too hard, and we give up and turn back. Don't be one of those people. I once was, and it did nothing for me other than make me feel as if I'd failed. Just the thought of another attempt at some point then became daunting. 

I've seemed to have developed a passion for hiking since taking my weight off and I think it honestly stems from what I went through to climb my own mountain to weight loss. God being a huge part of that. Most hard things in life can't be done alone. Well, I guess they can but it's only adding what I would call boulders to your pack when climbing up that mountain. Making Him part of who I was becoming each and every day was taking weight off my shoulders as I climbed. He believed in me. Often times more than I believed in myself. Climbing and hiking is hard work. It takes time and planning, but in the end the reward is spectacular.  Whether it's to see the top of the world or a beautiful new you.

I did a lot of hiking this summer. Some hikes were harder than others, but I'd have to say Mt. Rainier was probably my favorite. Not only because of the satisfaction it gave me to climb it and to say I can do hard things, but just the awesomeness of how huge and massive that mountain is.I couldn't hike very far without stopping in my tracks and staring in awe at its beauty. What a testimony it was to remind me of just how big our God is and what He is capable of.

(Me and my best friend, Tam, on Mt. Rainier a few weeks ago. Pure awesomeness!)

So, whether you have 50 pounds to lose or 150 pounds to lose, you can do it! In fact, I love hiking so much I'd love to climb your mountain with you. What do you say? I can't wait to see the picture from the top, can you?  The view will be spectacular!

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Friday, August 17, 2012

FROZEN Yogurt Blueberries!

This is so not my idea but I tried it today and LOVED it! First off, if you know me or have read any of my earlier food posts, you know I love Greek yogurt. Actually I love frozen yogurt even better so when I saw this I was almost giddy to try it. Two of my favorite foods all wrapped into one.

Here it goes: First off, considering my busy week at work I really didn't have the time to roll each blueberry into the yogurt so I opted for the non-presentation look.

Take your frozen blueberries (Yep, I picked mine fresh.)

Add some Greek Yogurt.....
And stir.
Spread blueberries on a cookie sheet that has been lined with wax paper and place in the freezer to chill.
Serve and eat!

Who cares if they didn't look like the ones in the magazine. They were quick, easy, and OH SO gooooood!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Every Pound Makes a Difference!

As much as I LOVE camping and now a love for running and hiking and have become somewhat of a gym rat, one thing I'd never done until this past weekend was gone backpacking.

This is one of those things that I've always been curious about as it's one of my husband's loves in life. It's something he's grown up doing and continues to do with friends, but it's not something I've ever done with him probably for a couple reasons. 

1. People who backpack are skinny and in shape. (I've never experienced that until now.)
2. It's hard work.
3. When you're body is unhealthy, you're unmotivated to do such things. (I was never motivated for that type of excursion until now.)

For this particular trip we ended up going to a lake my husband had never been to before. It was a 1.7 mile hike in, so he thought it would be perfect for a first time backpacking experience. (Getting used to the balancing of the pack as well as hiking.)  He was aware that we were going to have an elevation gain of about 1500 feet in that short 1.7 miles but with how active I've become we hadn't given it a second thought as far as it being any problem. I must say it's a different experience hiking with a 26 pound pack on your back. Between that, my feet still not 100% from my surgery last year and the fact that we were going straight up the mountain, things got a little tough. 

Several times as we were hiking along I thought to myself..."this is only 26 measly pounds, come on. I should be used to 133 pounds to be exact!" The crazy thing is it sure felt like 133 pounds. It was hard to walk up the steep rocky trail, huffing and puffing along. I was tired, sweating (and I usually don't sweat easily), and feeling like I was taking a rest stop every 10 feet. The thought kept coming to me..."How did I ever do this? How did I ever walk around like this?" I couldn't fathom such a thing. I mean here I was, barely moving as it is, and I was 133 pounds lighter carrying only a 26 pound hiking pack and I was moving at a turtles pace.

What joy it gave me to reflect again on where I've come from and what my body can do now. It was a reminder to me that every pound counts! Even if you don't think you're losing the weight very fast but you're at least losing, you're headed in the right direction. Miracles don't happen overnight, remember. We have to work for them. In some ways I'd love to have my husband next time fill my pack with 133 pounds and let me take that for a hike and see how I do. Humbling I'm sure. The thought of what life was like for me then seems very sad, especially after carrying only 26 pounds around for a couple days when in all reality I should be used to carrying around a whole lot more.

Regardless of where you're at in your journey, one thing is for sure.....every pound makes a difference!

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bath Towel or Beach Towel - Which Do You Use?

It wasn't that long ago that a towel couldn't even make its way around my fat-filled body. 

I know, crazy thought right? The reality is I really didn't know that this would even bother me.  It didn't bother me until recently when I discovered that one of the greatest novelties of my new body is that my towel makes it all the way around my body each time I use it. (Loooove it!)

For years (I mean as long as I can remember) I was used to the towel that only went from the far side of the front half of my body to the far side of the back side of my body leaving a gaping hole on the side as my fatness hung out.  I often just thought they made towels small but have quickly learned that was just an excuse. (I was the one who allowed myself to get that big.) If ever I needed to run to the laundry room or was doing something where a towel would have been a good quick cover up, I had to either go with the beach towel option or throw PJ's on. (Not that it's a daily occurrence but this might happen on occasion.)

How lovely it is now that I can use my towel and practically wear it! (As a dress that is.) I love it. I love the roominess of it. I love the feel of it. I love that it makes me feel small. I just love it.

Not to mention, look how much is left over on the sides?! Wahoo!

I know, my hubby thought this post was almost comical when I asked him to take the pictures for me, but I had to explain to him that to me it was huge. Huge in the fact that for someone who for as long as she can remember wasn't been able to wrap herself in a towel but now can...... makes her feel like a million bucks!

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I'm still here!

I feel like I'm needing to get my thoughts out there so you all know how I've been feeling lately. Some of you may have been wondering why you've only seen a post a week from me, when in all reality you're used to reading 2-3. Then again, some of you may not be missing them at all and that's fine too but as for me, I miss them! I need them! I never thought in the beginning I'd be so attached to sharing my story as I've become.  It's amazing how therapeutic and rewarding this blog has been for me. Not only does it motivate me, it inspires me to know and feel the personal struggles from the followers I've met and communicate with as I continue to blog. Almost like we are family as we share in something that is so real and delicate and can only be felt by those who have walked in our shoes. 

I work for the school district so I have summers off to play and spend time with my family. Being a very structured type A personality, I like routine. Structure. Order. That includes the times and days I set aside to blog - to have what one may call a personal therapy session. Unfortunately my schedule has been far from what It usually is on a day to day basis so my blogging has been a bit sporadic it seems lately. Has this been hard? Yes! Almost like the feeling you get when you forget to read or don't make the time for your scripture reading in the morning (that empty feeling). Like I said, the main reason I keep a blog is for myself. If it inspires and helps others along the way, great! It's been hard to not feel like I have the time to sit and express myself. I think about it all the time actually. Almost like I yearn for those moments. I can't wait to get them back. (Not to mention, have time to read all my favorite blogs too.) 

The good news is, as much as I love summer, it will be coming to an end for me next week when I return to work. I wouldn't trade one thing I was able to experience this summer even if it left me with little time for myself. I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. I feel like my mind has been on overload with things I'm wanting to share and blog about in relation to my weight-loss journey and where my life has taken me.  In the meantime, have a look at some of the things I've been up to.

Pioneer Trek In Wyoming!

Seattle Rock N Roll Half Marathon!

Quick trip to Cannon Beach, OR

Family Reunion!

Family Zumba! (FYI - I'm not a ZUMBA girl but it was fun to try. My niece is a certified instructor so she's a pro and makes it look so easy.) 

Family Time!


A weekend with family at the cabin in Coeur D' Alene! 


Branson, Missouri - With my daughter's dance team! (They spent the week opening for several shows. SO cool!)

 Oh, and shall I mention, I'm back in Seattle this week? Yep, it's true! (Love it!) My daughter is up here attending church camp and the hubby and son are off at scout camp. My best friend Tam and I are spending the week playing, exploring and hiking - some of the things I've fallen in love with in this smaller body of mine.

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