Monday, October 22, 2012

Dare to Dream

One of the things that I found really helpful while embarking on such a task as losing weight and changing my lifestyle was the occasion where my mind would slip into another place and before I knew it, I was living my life in my new body.  I was dreaming.

I had energy.
I was moving in ways I never thought I could.
I was wearing things I never thought I could.
I was talking and motivating people in ways I never thought I could.
I preferred healthy food over any other food.
I was active.
I was running.
I was climbing mountains.
I was happy.
I wanted to keep going.....

 In some ways I give credit for these "small moments" to God. He needed me to embrace just who I was becoming and fall in love with the new me. He wanted me to see that I could be anything I wanted to be and none of it had to be a dream but something that could become a reality. God is the only one who knows the desires of your heart and is so deeply invested in your happiness that He will do just about anything to show you how much you mean not only to Him and to many others, but most importantly yourself. If you can fall as deeply in love with that person as He has, your dreams will soon become a reality.  No matter how long it takes to get there, it will be something you cherish and it will be a lifestyle you will hold on to forever. 

Dare to dream? I say go for it!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ready for a Makeover?

One of the things that was so noticeable in my progress and how I saw myself as the weight began to melt off was how I looked. My appearance. This is something for years I honestly hid from, so to have it be on the front line and something I had to think about was daunting. It scared me. I was so used to being comfortable with who I was and hiding under the layers of skin and fat, that often times even my personality was hidden.
It was very normal for me to wear baggie tops and or a vest of sorts to hide the thing that bothered me most - my mid section. (Even though I liked to look nice and took good care of myself, this was still the pattern and a source of comfort.) It was almost as if I thought, "If I wear a baggie top, no one will notice just how fat I am or notice if my stomach gets a little bigger." It was what I knew. It was what was comfortable for me.
As I lost weight, as the sizes got smaller, I often took the same approach only in a smaller size. I was drawn to the "fat lady section." It took support team member # 3 (click here) and a lot of prodding and convincing to get me to the skinny section. Often times I was rummaging through racks and she was looking several sizes smaller. I would be thinking she was looking for herself and then she would remind me what size I was and re-direct me to the right spot and remind me she was looking for things for me. (Crazy but true story!)
Once a noticeable amount of weight was gone, gone forever, I sorta kinda liked the idea of shopping. (Something that had seemed so foreign for so long.) Not only was I feeling better physically and emotionally, I was catching the vision of what my body was beginning to look like and the physical changes that went with it.  It was excited to try new things. New clothes. New clothes I never thought in my wildest dreams would ever look good on my body. It was a gradual process, but the more I poked around with the idea and the more I was encouraged, the more ready I was to make the switch.
Same goes with my hair. I had had long hair for as long as I can remember. Long as in, can fit into a ponytail long. It was what was safe for me. The long hair hid the rolls of  double chin and chubby cheeks. I remember visiting a new hair dresser (so I was already nervous) after losing my weight and asking her what she thought. She didn't even blink an eye and told me to go back to my natural color (no more highlights) and cut it short. SHORT! I thought she was crazy. I remember sitting in her chair for the next 45 minutes nervous and not sure what I had really gotten myself into but I went with it. All said and done, I loved it! See nervous again for the change but happy with the results
I admit, there are days even now when I feel bloated and/or like my body looks fat - I want to cover up. It's something I've been accustomed to for so long now it's going to take some time and eventually, hopefully, it will fade away for good. In the meantime, I'm really enjoying the new look and feeling of both the clothing AND the new hair!

Are you ready for a makeover of sorts? As scary as it sounds, it gives your body a chance to celebrate what it's been up to lately. It may not be the clothes or hair for you but whatever you chose it to be, enjoy every minute of it. Celebrate what the new you is becoming! 

Here's me in that vest I was talking about. It was seriously my cover-up! I wore it ALL THE TIME.

A little braver these days - more style, more skin! 

Old hair..... 

New Hair!

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Support Team #6 - My Mom!

I love to share these posts with you. It really has made me reflect in so many ways about what I've been through and who has been a part of this journey with me. This week we get to hear from my mom. One of the things that I have loved about my mom through this whole journey is that even though I know weight is something that she struggles with herself, never once has she tried to down play or sabotage anything I was doing. (Often I would get this from others who were dealing with weight issues.) She has been so encouraging, full of support, altered meal planning, and just made me feel special for every pound she saw me lose. Not to mention, our time we spend together these days is different. Different because I've changed. In a good way. A healthy way.It blesses me to have a mom that is not only my mom, but also my friend. Thanks mom! Love you. 

I don't know where to begin to express how I feel about the accomplishments Paige has achieved over the last two years.  Of course I am incredibly proud of her for the tremendous hard work and sacrifices she's made in her body transformation and weight loss  achievements.  She has shown fierce determination and developed an  "I can dot it ", "I won't give up"  attitude that I really admire.
But, during this process she's also become a runner, a dedicated gym rat,  a fashionista, a dietician,  and even a writer.  She has gained confidence in all areas of her life and to me, these accomplishments  are as great as the weight loss.   Paige  is an example of someone who has shown us that anything really is possible if you dedicate yourself to it;  not  just "talking the talk", but really "walking the walk".  
I'd never followed a blog before I started reading  Paige's, and honestly didn't know her  talent for writing.  She inspires me, she makes me laugh-out- loud, she makes me cry and she gives me a sense of calm and peace.  I don't know how she does it but I love that she does. Some postings have been emotional for me and I admit that I've really cried over some things in them.  Most were tears of genuine happiness but there were a few sad tears.   I think I was feeling responsible or shall I say irresponsible for things I may have done that contributed to the unhealthy Paige.  But I don't think about that now.  I truly believe that this Paige;  the healthy, happy, energetic one is the only Paige we'll ever see.  Her new active lifestyle suits her and their family.  There seems to be more running,  hiking, camping, biking, etc at the Morrils and everyone seems happier and closer.   

Have a mentioned that I have this remarkable daughter with the best weight loss/exercise transformation story you'll ever hear,  who is so comfortable in her skin that she's beaming most of the time.  And did I mention that she has a terrific, handsome, husband and two very  smart and talented children who all adore her.   Have I mentioned how much she makes my heart smile and how really blessed I feel to have her as my daughter.  Have I mentioned that I want to be more like her in many ways.  And did I mention how much her infectious laugh makes me laugh and I can hear it now.   Hugs and Kisses Paige!

Mom and I at the finish line of the Seattle Rock N Roll Half Marathon. She was there to watch, there to support, there to cheer me on! (I keep telling her she should train and even walk this race one of these times. Go Mom! :)

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Instant Results?

I'm sure I've talked about this in some way or another at some point on my blog, but it seems like I've been bombarded with questions recently about people wanting to see results in their body. Like NOW! Like yesterday! It's almost like there is an urgency or something to have things all of the sudden be different over night. It makes my heart hurt to read some of the emails I've gotten but not just because of the things that are being shared, but because I at one time felt that way too.

There are a couple of ways I like to look at it.  I'm the first to admit, it's not necessarily the way we maybe want it to be, but I promise if you can try to catch the vision of what I'm about to say, the way you look at losing weight and or changing your lifestyle will become more natural. Something you're more apt to stick with and make a lifestyle of than a temporary fix.

First we need to remember that we didn't become unhealthy or overweight overnight. It took time. It was gradual. One pound at a time, and before we knew it we were buying bigger clothes and/or feeling out of shape. The cycle kept going until things got out of control and now we are in panic mode and want a quick fix.  If we don't see changes sooner than later we give up and think our bodies are now too old, not meant to lose weight, and whatever other excuse button we can find to push. (Trust me, I'm SO guilty of the excuse button. Even now I get caught hitting it here and there.) Am I right? Anybody have those feelings? Almost like we talk ourselves out of why our bodies are not performing the way we want them to?

I truly believe that this whole weight-loss thing was not meant to be understood quickly. Think of it like a bank account. The more deposits you make into educating yourself, eating healthy, and changing your life, the more interest you will gain and more likely you will be to keep  the weight off. It will have become a way of life for you and not just a phase or something to do for a time period in order to get the weight off and then go back to your old habits. I know for me, this was huge. Every day was an investment into my future. If you're saving for a trip or a new car, you have to work at it right?  Using a credit card would be a quick fix and you wouldn't have learned anything. Weight loss is the same way. No quick fix will work. It will come back to haunt you just as debt does. Take the time and do it the right way. I promise you will come out a better person, and in so doing I bet you'll inspire others.

God didn't create us to "get it" over night. To change in a snap, to go from one extreme to the other in a matter of moments or days. Could you imagine? Going from birth to grey hair in a matter of days or weeks? It would seem odd wouldn't it?  Our bodies are the same way. Be patient. They need to be treated with care and value and respect. Not only that, but God created our bodies to learn and grow. To experience difficulty so we can come out stronger. To take time to get to know our bodies and what they are capable of and in so doing learn and grow closer to Him. What a gift.  It all just takes time. 

Hang in there! It will happen. Some days are frustrating, believe me I know. (I still have those days) The good news is you're far better off than you were before you decided to make some changes right? Even if you're stuck at a plateau and nothing is working, keep plugging along. One day at time. One step in front of the other. In the meantime, celebrate every little victory! 

Might I recommend you go back and read the post I did last spring about about comparing weight-loss to ground beef? (Click here) It's one of my all-time favorites and still seems to bring peace to my heart when I know at times I struggled with seeing success along the way.

Yep, that's really me on the left. Celebrating one of those victories! 
(My best friend Tam and I on a detour trip to the Oregon Coast after running our 2nd half marathon in Seattle in June!)

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Support Team Member # 5 - The Blakester!

It doesn't take much for this little guy to put a smile on my face. Since the moment I held him for the first time 12 years ago, I was in love. He melts my heart like no other. I'm not just saying this because he's my child, but he really is truly such a GREAT kid with a great personality. Very sweet, very caring, always willing to help others and has a deep love for God and the things that are important. I wish everyone could experience having a Blake in their midst, but we're pretty selfish around here and don't do much sharing. 

How blessed I am to have had him on my team of cheerleaders as I fought the fight to get the weight off my body. He was exceptional at telling me how good I was doing, how much my body was changing, and how lucky he was to be my son. (Occasionally I'd even find a love note of encouragement.) God sure new I needed a Blake in my life. I will forever be blessed by his presence. The best part is, he'll forever be mine. Love you Blake.

I love my mom and I am so proud of her accomplishments and all the things that she does for me. With her example she has truly changed our lives.  I love her very much. Also I would like to congratulate her for her truly incredible story. It takes a lot of courage, bravery, and faith to do what she did. Not every day was easy but she kept going.

I want to thank my mom for the many things she has taught me to love.  For example, running. Not only did I used to not do it as much, but I also have bad asthma. Once she lost her weight and began running, she inspired me to do cross-country, and she helped me learn to love running. We’ve gone on a couple runs together, hikes, and even on special occasions- one of my favorites - mountain biking. Well, she only did that once and it wasn’t so fun for her but she was a trooper! Shall I mention she crashed? But she was inspiring because she got back on the bike and finished the course blood and all. Needless to say she has not gone back since. I love that my mom is a true supporter in everything I do and she’s always willing to try new things now that she is skinny. I love her very much for that. She is always there for you and will always be your friend. I love having my mom as a friend.
My mom really is wonderful. She is always so nice and willing to teach and help everyone around her. People are always talking to her about how to eat healthy. I love that she has taught so much to our family just by her example and now we love to be healthy too. 
Now, even though I love her so much, there is a downside to having a healthy mom. Yep, you guessed it, not enough tasty and unhealthy snacks in the pantry. This can be devastating for a growing kid like me, but that’s okay. I can look forward to Grandma’s house for the good stuff! She’s always got it stocked! 
I love you mom! Thank you for your testimony that anybody can do hard things!



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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Desire is the Master Key!

Have you ever noticed that most of society reaches more for what they WANT and not really for what they NEED? I want that new dress. I want those red shoes. I want to go on that vacation over seas. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we thought that same way about our health? I want to be healthy. I want to be fit. I want to hike that mountain. The interesting thing is that some of these desires are truly wants. Others are not only wants, but I believe they are also needs. We NEED to be healthy. We NEED to take care of our bodies in a way that is normal so they function properly. Not only is choosing to make bad choices and letting our  bodies spiral out of control not healthy, but it also is very debilitating. I know personally when I was at my heaviest, I didn't have much motivation. Like, it was near to nothing. I certainly tried to put on a happy face and play along but deep down I knew better. How could I have been happy with who I was when I found myself shopping for larger clothes every time I went to a store? Or what about finding myself in pictures and I was 3 times the size of anyone else. Oh, and the wheezing as I sat in a chair doing nothing. That was sad.
The good news is that we all have some desire to do better in whatever it is we each individually are up against. I know you may feel like some days it's not there - you can't see it, you can't feel it, but I promise it's there. I talked last week about stretching ourselves. (click here) This is one of those times we might need to stretch ourselves to dig a little deeper within our soul to find that desire. Just by reading this post proves you have the desire within you to change your life. To do better. Pretty cool, huh? The question is this: How bad do you want it? You have to desire it enough to want to do what it takes to reach for it. The proof of desire is pursuit. Are you pursing what you want? Are you taking action? You must possess enough desire to make it a need. If we can train our brains and do this we will give birth to our dreams. I can testify that this is SO true. It's not always an easy thing to do. Desire is a tricky one. It has to come from within. What might that look like? How about pressing forward, even when you've hit that plateau? What about putting on those gym clothes and getting back to the gym even if you've taken the week off? Or what about getting back on track and eating the way you know you should even though you've been eating horrible lately? Desire is the master key! It's like a fire. You can light it and watch the flame get bigger or you can not do anything, stop halfway to your destination, and watch yourself smother it. 

Desire will not only motivate you, but if used properly it can change your life. The best part is we all have it! DESIRE! I know it was something that drove me full force and helped me to achieve who I've become today. Take a look...

Before I had any desire to be healthy.

After, with all the desire in the world - trying new things! (First time EVER not on the bottom of the pyramid.)

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