Friday, September 28, 2012

Support Team Member # 4!

It's that time of week again. Time to hear from one of the loves in my life. This week it's my beautiful 14 year old daughter, McKenna. She truly is a gem and has been such a trooper in supporting me through this journey. I know it isn't always easy to give up your Mom so she can get to the gym and get her exercise in, but the rewards that have come to our relationship have been nothing but pure joy. McKenna is the definition of pure joy! Not many people have to be around her before her countenance is contagious and her joy for life is spreading to others. Thank you for being you McKenna. Love you.

      My mom is such an inspiration to me and I know to so many others of you too. I loved her before she lost all her weight and I love her even more since her accomplishment. I'm so proud to have a mom who set such a difficult goal and worked so hard and reached it. Since she's lost her weight, I feel like we've been able to do a lot more activities together. This includes going on hikes, girls road trips, mom and daughter dates, clogging competitions,  and just spending time together!
      Not only is my mom a great mom (Like A+++), but she is also one of my best and closest friends. I love this about her.  I feel that since her weight loss, we've grown closer as mother and daughter and as friends. I feel that because we do all these fun things together now, our relationship has grown closer. She is so much fun to be around, and at times, I forget she's a mom because she can act so much like her teenage daughter, I love it! From lip syncing music, to trying to clog, my mom is the best! 
     I also feel that my mom is a major influence and example in my life. Ever since she's lost this weight, it's motivated me to try to do something new. Someday I hope to maybe join her in running a half marathon, a 5k, or even run with her for fun! Her passion for running has given me the desire to want to start running! Another thing I love about my mom is that she is so encouraging. I know she is encouraging to many of you but she is to me too. Sometimes after reading her blog I feel like I'm the lucky one that gets to live with her. She always has been encouraging, but even more so now. She's the first one to cheer me on and tell me how wonderful I am. 
     My mom is the best and I love her very much! She is one of my dearest and best friends. She motivates, inspires, encourages, and lifts me up! A true woman that walks with the spirit of our Heavenly Father. I hope to be just like the woman my mom is today when I'm grown up! She means the world to me, and I don't know where I'd be without her! Thanks for being such a great influence to not only me but to hundreds of others! I love you mom!

Before


                           
After




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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What Do You Do When You Are Frustrated?

I was looking through some pictures this weekend and came across this picture of me shortly after my foot surgery. It made me reflect a bit on one of the set-backs on my journey and how regardless of my situation I had to press forward. Sometimes I think we all fall into this trap of sorts, and it doesn't require having bi-lateral foot surgery to get into this mindset. 


Ever felt like you're making no progress? Ever feel like you've tried everything and nothing is working? Are you unmotivated? Has life's circumstances weighed you down and the thought of keeping up with healthy eating and exercise sound daunting? I know I can answer yes to each one of these things as I felt them all at one point or another on this journey. The interesting thing is that each one of these scenarios is different yet can be very debilitating and similar in their own way. 

How would any of these examples be any different than me having foot surgery? There is a BIG difference. You see, each one of these scenarios can be very real but the good news is, you have the power to physically do something to make it better. You can move. You can walk. You can run. After having foot surgery I couldn't to any of those things for weeks and I had to rely on my support team (the people you've been getting to know in my posts recently) to do practically everything for me. It was a very hard, trying time for my little brain. Often times now I find myself thanking God for feet that can walk. For feet that can run. It's not until something you're so dependent upon is taken away that you really gain an appreciation for what your body can do for you. Don't take it for granted!

In the days and weeks following my surgery, I spent many quiet hours with God pondering my circumstance. It was made very clear to me on several occasions that WE have the power within to make whatever situation we're in a good one. Even though I couldn't get off the couch or out of bed to get to the gym or even walk for that matter, I had to train my brain it was all going to be okay - my body would remember what to do when the time came for me to walk again. (This was not always an easy thing for me.) 

We have the power to be who we want to be. We have the power to change our lives for the better. We have the power to make whatever we are feeling into something better.  I am so grateful for all these little things that may not seem important to some but are important to me as I relive my journey. They are helping me to mold this whole experience into something more than just losing weight and being healthy. It's not always easy, but I promise it will be worth it!

P.S. I had the best post-op nail artist ever (Tam-the one you all got to meet on Friday when she guest posted).  Her Nike swooshes kept me motivated and inspired that this too shall pass. Take a look...

Yep, green is my favorite color.

A little Boise State spirit on this one.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Support Team Post #3 - No One Has a Friend Quite Like This!

It's that time of the week again. Time to share another set of thoughts from one of the people who has been part of this journey from day one. One of the people who has spent countless hours side by side with me at the gym and has truly been there for me mentally, physically, and spiritually, every step of the way. 

Do you believe in kindred spirits? I sure do! This person is more than just my best friend, but more like my sister - the sister I never had. Funny thing is, we've even been told several times we look alike and are often asked if we're sisters. You'll see, we look NOTHING alike (polar opposites in fact) but I guess it's the nose and smile that people say are similar. 

I know God knew we needed each other and how grateful I am that He crossed our paths when He did.  What a treasure it is to have a friend that will literally give, hope, and dream your dreams with you and then watch them come true and be there for you every single step of the way. I am forever grateful and truly blessed! Love you Tam.


I was there (a poetic attempt)
by Tam

I was there
When your body was saying
It's over 
A disagreeable vessel 
No longer following orders
Spreading lies
Through your mind
Stuck in frustration
But there was a way out
It took some convincing
Badgering too
(I'm good at that)
But you agreed
With reluctance
With fear
With doubt
And bravery
All mixed together
That's how you met him
That very first time
Jacob saw
What you couldn't picture  
Gave new hope to a dream
That wasn't over
But had just begun

I was there
When you had your first Jacob workout
Sweating as I do
But waiting
While you threw up
Outside the building
You left the gym that day
Unsure
But determined
You came back
Again
And 
Again
I watched you
Find strength
Find courage
Find stamina
Find hope in a body
That had never been acquainted 
With such things
Before

I was there
When you discovered bones 
You never knew existed
Protruding in unfamiliar ways
Many changes
Most you couldn't see
The beauty of your face
Always present
But slightly hidden 
It's true and intended shape
Appearing before our eyes
The form of your legs
Strong, shapely
Coveted by many
A thinner you all around
Top to bottom
Spectators noticed
They complimented
Left you with words
Though hard to accept
To hear
To be thankful for
To be the only one
Who couldn't see what we saw
How unfair 
For you

I was there
When your closet was bursting
With clothes you couldn't
Part with
Several sizes too large
You tried them all on
And were lost
In them
Hanging off your body
Dragging you down
Hiding your smaller self
Piles and piles and piles
Taken away
Layers and layers removed
Nothing left in your closet
To hide under
A quiet empty space
Left behind
Almost too quiet
Like something important
Was missing
Was erased
Was forgotten
But had to go
Room was needed
For your new
Self

I was there
When you made sacrifices 
Repeatedly
For days
For months
For what seemed like
Forever
So singleminded in purpose
Bulldogged and determined
Unwilling to budge
But willing to say no
To yourself
Something most people
Simply won't do 
You said it to 
Anything
That would slow you down
Even the smallest of bites
And sometimes
In the midst
of nay sayers 
Who couldn't handle your
Success

I was there
When you could finally picture
The new
You
I could see it
In your eyes
Once a clouded vision
Never able to glimpse
A goal seemingly out of
Sight and reach
The day you 
Saw it
Felt it
Experienced it
Was the day I knew
Your goal was
Closer
Than you thought.

I was there
When you met your goal
133 pounds gone
From your body
From your mind
From your life
No more to return
Each pound
Lost
The right way
Not only at the gym
But in your mind
In your thoughts
Where the hard work
Really happened
A new
And right way
Of thinking
That would last a
Lifetime

I was there 
When you crossed the finish line
Of your first half marathon
The joy of the journey
Finally 
Rushing to the surface
Remembering the day
When you thought
Four miles was
Impossible
You learned the power 
Of believing
Of dreams
Of hope
Of faith 
In a God who strengthened you 
To do all things 
All this I know 
Because I was there 
And always will be
Forever

(Thank you Paige for including me on your journey.  You've accomplished things that I personally can't imagine pulling off.  You've got a determination like no other, which is inspiring on so many levels.  Even more importantly, you've got a ministry that came straight from God's heart.  He must be so pleased with you and how you bless countless people through this blog.  Thank you for listening and allowing Him to lead you.  I will forever proudly be your one and only best friend.  I love you.  Tam)



Before



After

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Drink Up!

Guess who drank 12 BIG glasses of water today at work? Yep, I know crazy huh? For me this is a big deal because lately it seems to be a struggle to get the water down, as things keep me so busy at work during the day I forget about my water. 

It hasn't always been like that, but since starting my new job last month it's been a little tricky. So tricky that the bestie even has given me colored cubes for my desk to help me keep track of how many glasses I've drank and how many I have to go on a daily basis. (Love her!)  The goal is for 7 BIG ones a day. When I reach I think 15 days worth, we get to go for sushi! I've been at it for well over a week and only have a few cubes so I have a ways to go but hey, I'm on my way!
Only problem with drinking that much water is that it certainly increases the time I spend in the bathroom. Wow! I felt like half my day was spent in there. Not to mention I have a job where I answer the phones all day long so it made for a bit of an interesting day for me and my head set. 

Yes, I guess there is something about drinking too much water. But in my case, I'm used to drinking lots. My body needs it, wants it, and actually prefers it over any other beverage. Sometimes I add a bit of MIO (click here) but 9 times out of ten I like it plain. Why am I telling you all of this? I'm not really sure other than I can certainly see it makes my body happy when I drink all this water. Maybe it will also motivate me to keep drinking, if I know all of you know it's been a struggle for me lately. More days like today, and my body will be a happy camper!

Happy drinking!

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Stretch Yourself!

One thing I’ve learned on this journey is that everyday is a new day. Not one day is the same, and with each new day, it got me closer and closer to reaching my goals. Often times the words I find myself preaching to others who send me emails with questions are: One day at a time. One step in front of the other. Stretch yourself! 



 I want to focus a few thoughts on the last thing I stated. Stretch yourself! Sometimes this one is not always easy. It’s not easy to try new things. It’s not easy to do things that challenge you.  It’s not easy to push yourself. It’s just not easy to do hard things. (Not to mention, sometimes these things are scary.) What I will tell you though, is that the more you try, the more you push, the more ice that can be chipped of that mountain, the faster you’ll be able to clamp on and get to the top - a success story, believing you can do anything! 


Changing our life around in order to get healthy and have our bodies stay that way is not supposed to be easy. If it were, there wouldn’t be so many people struggling with such problems on a daily basis. Not to mention, our bodies need to know and feel our commitment. It needs to know we're serious. 

Stretching ourselves is a good thing. Sometimes when we have to stretch ourselves and work hard for something we want so badly, we learn to appreciate it more because we had to work so hard at it and make it a priority.  We appreciate it more than we would if it were to have come easily and naturally. Sometimes I think this is the way God has planned it. He doesn’t want us to take our bodies for granted. He doesn’t want us treat them in a way that is unhealthy and disrespectful. If we’ve taken the steps to get back control of our lives, He wants to make sure we’re in it for the long haul. He wants us to feel the joy and peace that comes from treating our bodies like a temple. The joy and peace of feeling healthy and whole, like anything is possible. 


Our bodies truly are a gift and I know from personal experience that stretching myself was the ONLY way I was going to make it this time. I’d sold myself short and taken the easy route too many times before. It was only when I stretched myself, tried things I never dreamed were even possible, that I became the Paige I am today. If I did it, so can you! Believe in yourself, stretch yourself!  

Just like it was a stretch for me to do many things on this journey, I keep stretching myself.These are a few pictures from hiking with my hubby last weekend. Once we made it to the waterfall, we had to rock climb around the side of a mountain in order to see it. If anyone knows me well, I don't do heights. Trust me, it was a stretch, but one I'm so glad I pushed through!


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Friday, September 14, 2012

Support Team Post #2 - My Hubby

It's that time again. I promised over the next several weeks I'd share with you thoughts, feelings, and perspectives from the people who've been in the trenches with me on this journey. I know these posts may seem longer than normal, but I think it's important for you to be able to see things from the hearts and eyes of those people who are very close to me. My hope is that you will take the time to read and be inspired. This week, it's my husband - the love of my life, the one who has sacrificed so much for me to be able to become who I am today. It takes being married to just the right person who sees you for who you are and who you want to become in order to help you get to your destination. (God sure knew what he was doing when he sent Steve my way.) The countless hours he has given in regards to the children, meals, and household responsibilities so that I could continue to make my dreams a reality are things I will never forget. It takes a person with a heart full of love for his wife to accomplish such a task. For this I am forever grateful. I love you Steve.


My perspective


It is hard to express how proud I am of my wife for accomplishing the goals she has set for herself of losing weight and improving her health. I am often excited to share my wife’s success with others when they talk about losing weight because I’ve been there! Well, not really. But seeing what Paige has gone through and experiencing some of the ups and downs with her has helped me to understand much more about weight loss. Here are just a few things I have learned from my wife as she has been so dedicated to improve her health.

First: no quick fix Fad diets! Sorry they just don’t work! I feel I can say this with some authority because of my wife’s experience. Back in 2000-01 Paige lost a lot of weight on one of these diets. She looked great and felt great. But there was no leniency in it. In order to keep the weight off she had to keep so strictly to the diet plan. It was a lot of work and not the rewarding kind. Then when her cholesterol started to go through the roof and she had to stop, she gained it all back and then some. The feelings of frustration and failure were very difficult for Paige for some time after that. But I also believe that failure also helped her to learn that whatever you do has to become a lifestyle; something you are willing to do for the rest of your life. In order to lose weight and keep it off you need to develop healthy habits to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. The Fad diets simply do not do this because they are not something you can realistically do forever; they do not help you develop a lifestyle of healthy habits; eating and exercise. So if you are looking to drink a shake in order to lose weight, be prepared to drink that shake for the rest of your life!

Second: if anyone tries to sell you an easy way to lose weight that requires little or no work or a way to lose weight quickly like 10 or more pounds a week, RUN AWAY! (or waddle) in the opposite direction as FAST as you can!!! Losing weight requires time and effort. As long as you are moving in the right direction you will get there. Slow and steady wins the race and when it comes to weight loss often slower is better. Honestly Paige lost on average of 1 to 3 lbs. a week. It took her approximately 2 and ½ years to reach her goal and she got there developing habits along the way that I know she will keep for the rest of her life. I have absolutely no doubt that she can maintain a healthy weight. I know that when she sees the scale start to creep up a few pounds this does not evoke panic mode. She simply makes a few minor adjustments and voila the scale comes back down again. There is really no magic to it, just smart choices.  I work in a hospital and occasionally get to see the results of people losing too much weight too quickly.  It is not pretty!

Third: I have learned never to ask “What’s for dinner?” Wrong question! This question implies (I believe at least in Paige’s mind) that she is doing all the work and that I am waiting to be served. A better question I have found is “What do you have in mind for dinner?” This implies hey, I am willing to help out. Now, why is this important? Remember that losing weight takes time and effort? In a perfect world we have all the time that we need, but we do not live in a perfect world and often life just happens to suck up all of the left over time that we were planning to use to go to the gym, or cook a healthy meal, or whatever it may be that is worthwhile or important. My point being that you who are on the support team have got to help make time for your goal getter to achieve his or her goals. On more than one occasion after one of those “perfect days” Paige has said “I’m sorry, I was planning this great meal but I have run out of time and I have got to get to the gym. You and the kids will have to fend for yourselves. Thanks! Bye!” And I’m like “OK, bye,” as she is already halfway down the driveway. You will have to make some sacrifices, but they are well worth it. Paige has learned to make exercise and eating healthy a priority, not just something to do with her extra time. (Does extra time really exist?)

The last thing I will mention is. NEVER GIVE UP! And learn to seek help when you need it. Paige had already lost about 60 lbs on her own before she met her trainer Jacob. But at that point she had hit a plateau for a couple of months and seemed like she was getting nowhere. Jacob helped her figure out that she was actually not eating enough and she was working out too much, or at least not doing the right kind of exercises. A qualified trainer may be expensive, but they know the formulas needed to get results. It was a sacrifice for us to afford one, but the results were well worth the cost. I will be forever grateful to Jacob for helping my wife reach her goals.
 
My wife has been such an inspiration for me and I know for many others. One of the greatest rewards I have received is to see her happy and confident. She has always been an energetic and happy person, but now that energy has been unleashed to a new level. When she was heavier she was reluctant to get outdoors and enjoy some of the things that I enjoy doing because she knew it would be difficult and did not want to hold me back.  I don’t think she ever dreamed that she would become a runner, and I was thrilled last summer after she spent some time hiking in Washington when she announced to me, “You know, I think I want to try backpacking.” She would have never done this before! Taking this journey with my wife has brought us closer in so many ways.  I love and appreciate her so much and am so glad she is in my life.
Remember never give up! Slow and steady wins the race. 

Steve

Before

 After

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Is Food Your Focus?

This weekend my hubby and were given the opportunity to sneak away for a few days. It wasn’t something we were originally planning to do, but sometimes God has other ideas in mind. What a blessing it was to get away, not think about the stresses in life or anything back home, and just be together. Alone. In the wilderness with God. My husband is passionate about being in the outdoors and has said for years that there is something he loves about being in the woods. About hiking. About backpacking. It’s something very spiritual, and it's a place where he feels very connected to God and His spirit. 

Now with any type of trip or vacation, what is one thing you most look forward to? Well, I can tell you what I used to look forward to, like it was usually at the top of my list - FOOD! I used to not have to be on vacation even. Just knowing I was going to a BBQ or to a function at a good restaurant got me excited. What was I going to bring to share or what was I going to order? These were things that often times would go through my head before I’d even get there. I wasn’t usually one of those food lovers who before they’re done eating one meal are already thinking of the next, but I know of plenty of these people. These types of behaviors and thinking is all just a trap. A trap to get you on the road to fat! 

I knew my life had changed when it came to a trip or vacation, when all I could think about was what exciting adventures we were going to take next. What trail are we going to hike? Which mountain will we explore? And really food wasn’t an issue in the least bit. Now that my body is different and it is somewhat of a machine, it operates in a whole new way. It hungers for the things that are active and require movement and activity, not sedentary and food enriched. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy food and an occasional treat, but it’s not my focus in life anymore.

It was great to spend a weekend with my husband and not have food be at the top of the list of things to do or experience. This is what life is all about. Learning to find joy in the journey. 

Here are a few pictures from the weekend:

Our little hiding place.

Hiking Goose Creek Falls



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