Saturday, March 29, 2014

Follow Along.....

Look who's on facebook!

Just a quick note to let you all know that I have set up a facebook page that is linked to my blog. Feel free to press the like button on the right-hand side of the page here on my blog or find me on facebook at Joy Journey Paige and follow along. Of course I still plan to do my regular blog posting, but this will give me a chance to connect and share random thoughts, motivational quotes, quick blurbs, etc. with everyone on a regular basis. Not only that, but I've had it set up for a couple days now and it's kinda fun! 

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Humbled Yet Overwhelmed

A couple weeks ago a friend of mine from high school, who also trains with the same trainer I do, contacted me and asked if she could put a blurb about my weight loss on her blog, Our Best Bites.  Even though I tend to be a fairly private person, I didn't have any problem with it. In fact, I didn't even have to write anything or submit any pictures. She took the pictures she wanted from my blog and was just referencing me in her post, so it was a simple transaction on my part. Now, I know everybody LOVES Sara and Kate's blog. I mean who doesn't? I read it all the time. They are both such great writers and I'm always uplifted after spending a few minutes on their posts each week. I guess for me, I had NO IDEA that I would have SO (and I mean SOOOOOO) many people emailing me asking me questions, asking for advice, sharing their own struggles and stories, etc. after she posted that week. 

Honestly, it's been not only overwhelming but humbling. It's another reminder to me of just how real this journey is for so many. How real it was for myself.  To hear the hurt in the voice of so many emails, the frustration of not seeing results, and the longing and desire to change and be different are all tender feelings pouring into my inbox on a daily basis from real live people who are sitting where I once was. I so appreciate each one of you for reaching out to me. It's touched me in a special way. Maybe a part of my own healing?  I will do my best to respond to your emails in the order they were received but please be patient. Remember, I'm a full-time mom, wife, and also work a full-time job so my time is limited but I do want to get back with you. 

In the meantime, I'm working on a Q & A post. I've started to take some of the general questions I am getting and will answer them in a post in the near future. If you have anything you would like to ask, that you are wanting me to answer, now is the time! You can leave questions in the comments below or send it via email. Hopefully this will help. I know it will help me feel like I'm not ignoring you. :D

In the end, I want you to know that I'm glad you stumbled across me and my blog. Make yourself at home.  A lot of things you may want to know about me you can find in earlier posts. Often times when people ask about my blog, I will tell them to start from the beginning and work their way forward. For as private as a person that I am, I really do open up on here. I think a lot of that is just me finding myself through this journey, and also, because deep down, I want to pay-it-forward and inspire someone else to change their life just like I did. It took a leap of faith for me to ever start losing weight. In the same respect, it takes a leap of faith for me to blog so openly about my experiences. It do it for myself, but I also do it so it can bless others. 

Happy Thursday!

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Forgetting the Old Me

For the longest time I have struggled with still feeling like the person that was trapped inside my body for nearly 40 years. Even though I’m half the size I used to be and look completely different from what I looked by before, it’s something that still occasionally haunts me. I might walk by the window of a store and see my reflection in the glass and even though I am much smaller, I see the large version with a million rolls of fat and pudginess. It's a feeling of disappointment and a feeling of being insecure and self conscious because of how my body looks, but in all reality, it’s just my mind playing tricks on me. Not allowing me to heal and move forward. Not allowing me to embrace the person I have become. 

This weekend I was out of town at a dance competition for my daughter. I have been running lately and had 8 miles scheduled for myself. I had driven around the town Friday afternoon and decided I would attempt to go for a run in this strange place when I woke up the next morning. I certainly didn’t want to get stuck doing it on the treadmill at the hotel gym. I don’t think I’ve ever run further than about 3 miles on the treadmill. I just don’t care for it. Well, I had a hard time sleeping that night and was wide awake at 6:00 ready to run. Only problem was, it was pitch black outside and not knowing the area and being somewhat scared of the dark anyway, I decided I’d rather be tortured and stick with the treadmill. I got down to the hotel gym and for the longest time I was the only one in there. I got on the treadmill, started to warm up, and realized I was going to be stuck starring at myself in a huge mirror that took up the whole width and length of the wall for however long it took me to get through this run. (Remember, this is the girl who for many years, avoided the camera and the mirror for that matter, except to get ready in the mornings.)  Not to mention, I was in my shorts and tank top so more skin was showing than normal. Usually when I am staring at myself in a mirror or reflective window I am clothed and getting ready for the day.  As my warm-up was complete and I started to run, I first started to notice the negative things my body was doing. My inner thighs that I swear will forever jiggle. The mid section that is not yet where I want it to be. The arms that dangle skin where I don’t want it, and it seemed like the list in my head went on.  About two miles into my run a song came on my I-Pod and it totally caught me off guard. It dialed me into a place that I’m not sure I’ve been able to reach yet on this journey.  All I could do was focus on the face I saw staring back at me in the mirror. It was my own face. And there was no way to avoid it. It didn’t take long and the tears began to well up in my eyes. First they began to come because I didn’t want to be stuck looking at the face I saw in the mirror for the next hour or so. Then something happened. I started looking at the different parts of my body in the mirror as I was running and noticed so many things that without a mirror while running, I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. For instance, even though I have loose skin that drives me nuts on my inner thighs, I also have muscle in my quads and calves that I never knew existed. My arms and shoulders, even though may not be perfectly where I want them yet, have many areas of definition and improvement from where they were before. Here I was falling in love with a body I really didn’t know existed yet. I noticed my face and how much thinner it is compared to what life was like a few years back. I continued to run and the tears continued to flow.  I was running. Something I never in my wildest dreams thought I was capable of ever mastering just a few short years ago. It was hard, but I was pushing myself. It felt good. I looked at myself in the mirror again and thought about how strong I looked. I didn’t look scared or timid or shy but confident in what I was doing. I was happy. I was enjoying the moment. 

I finally got control of myself about the time someone else came walking in to workout. I knew I had to pull it together or he may have thought I was totally a freak – running and bawling my way through a run as I stared at myself in the mirror. I spent the last few miles focusing on the things that have molded me into who I am today. The things I have fallen in love with doing. The things that allow me to be active. The things that bring me Joy. And the things that bring my heart peace and happiness after years of feeling unhappy with the body my spirit was trapped in. 
It was amazing to me that after that first initial thought of not wanting to look at myself in the mirror and run the eight miles, to when the song came on my I-pod and my focus totally changed, I never once looked back.  I love the fact that I feel like such a heavy burden has been lifted and that I can relish in the enjoyment of the new way of life for me and forget the old way of life. It was something that I had been trying to do for so long but it’s a hard thing to wrap your head around at times, so for it to happen naturally in a moment I was least expecting it, made it all that more special. 

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Difference in Protein Powders...

I had someone ask about protein powder and if I use any. I do actually. I know you’re either a person that likes it or person that doesn’t. I have never been a milk drinker and I’m not a huge meat eater either, so it’s important for me to get my protein and this is one way that works for me.

I was first introduced to protein powder after being contacted by and allowing them to share my story. As a thank you, they sent me a box of treasures. Protein powder was amongst those things. (Click Here  to read that post  )
There are really two different types of protein powder on the market. Here is a little info on both. Neither one is better than the other.  It more or less depends on your own individual needs and preferences. I have used both but generally use one over the other.
Whey Protein: Whey is more of your fast acting protein. A lot of people like to consume this following a workout to help recover, build, and replenish the body.
Casein Protein: This is a slow acting protein. It also does the same things the whey protein does only it takes longer to digest in the system, resulting in feeling fuller longer. 
I like to think of the two proteins as the difference between skim milk and cottage cheese. You may drink a glass of skim milk but within a half hour feel hungry and or not satisfied. If you were to have eaten a serving of cottage cheese instead, chances are you would have remained satisfied longer. 
That is really the only difference. I’m not a doctor or someone who feels comfortable telling you which protein is better for you or even which one you should try. I only know what has worked for me. 
I personally buy the Casein Protein. It’s what works for me and keeps me satisfied until my morning snack. Also, I think it tastes better.  Not that the whey is bad. Again, just a personal preference. The Rich Chocolate flavor is by far my favorite. I make a chocolate/vanilla spinach shake with it every morning to eat with my oatmeal. My trainer has also suggested adding the protein powder right to the oatmeal but for me it was way too rich.  I bet someone out there would like it though.
So there you have it…my two cents on protein powder. 

P.S. I’ve also added it to whole wheat pancake batter and cottage cheese pancakes too. It’s good! 

(My son took this of me after my run this afternoon. He was a little camera happy. Finally warm enough for shorts though!) 

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tub Time - Another Small Victory

Saturday was just one of those days where I felt like I was on the go from morning till night with hardly a minute to feel like I could breathe. That’s not usually how I like to spend my day off, but my list of things to do had grown throughout the week. 

After getting up before 7:00 (Yeah, and on weekends that’s a BIG DEAL because I LOVE my sleep and look forward to sleeping in on Saturdays every week) to get in a 7-mile run before heading out to help my daughter's dance team with a jog-a-thon, and then being tired and cold I was feeling pretty much done. The day then consisted of getting my haircut, grocery shopping, and getting the gym to lift weights. Oh yes, and also shopping for new running shoes. (I found some but had to order them as I seem to be picky when it comes to the color of my running shoes.
By the time I got home It was nearly 6:00pm and all I could think about was making dinner and relaxing, which brings me to the point I wanted to talk about in this post. 
One of the things I have always enjoyed in my life was water. I’m sure my parents would agree, spending part of my early childhood growing up in California and having a swimming pool in my backyard, that I was a fish! These days I often tell my husband that I would enjoy a hot tub as soaking in the tub has become one of my favorites. Has it always been? Not at all. In fact for most of my life, I couldn’t even fit into the tub. It was one of those things that just wasn’t really an option for me. I mean, I guess I could have fit but by the time I would have gotten in there, there wouldn’t have been much room for water. The few times I tried it, it was miserable. Who wants to sit in a tub (Oh, and I better mention I have never had a soaker-style tube so it’s just a standard size tub) and have to squish in and then not even be able to fill the water much or it will flood over the bathroom floor? 
Not only that…it left me nothing but disappointment to see my unclothed body laying there, above water, trying to take a so-called bath. It was depressing. It just reminded me of how fat I was and left me very little hope of ever being anything different. With that in mind, I avoided the tub for many, many years. It wasn’t until after I started running and after having bi-lateral foot surgery that I decided to try it out again.  It was something I was drawn to not for enjoyment at first but for something to help my muscles and feet recover. 
Last night as I filled the tub with warm water and bubbles even, I relished in the fact that I could comfortably fit in the tub. Not only that, I could sink beneath the bubbles and not an ounce of my body showed. (Sorry if that’s TMI for some.) It caught me off guard really, as it was something I guess I hadn't thought about but just suddenly noticed. It made me remember the times I had not been able to fit and how miserable I was. This time, I was relaxed, happy, and just celebrating the moment and the fact that I could do things I thought I never could. Some might think it's silly that I find joy in the fact that I can fit in the bathtub comfortably these days, but it's another one of those small victories that sneak up on you and remind you of how far you've come.
All things are possible. Even when they seen unreasonable or so out of reach. Now, the facts of life's not always easy, but in the end, I'm finding it's so worth it!

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Motivation...Do you Have What it Takes?

I’ve gotten several emails lately from people asking me how I got motivated to start losing weight and now that I am much smaller, how I stay motivated to keep pressing on. 
Really, I think the motivation for me started to spark when I was so unhappy with how I looked and who I was becoming instead of the person I hoped and dreamed of wanting to be. Just having a spark, a mere idea or thought is really all you need to get started. Sure, there is the friend or family member who has lost a bunch of weight, or the article you read in the magazine, or a blog you may enjoy following, but really what brought you to that point of looking and reading?  That spark within you, right? It’s that easy. You just have to think about it and then want it. 
I know some times that sounds easier said than done. I know that. I had over 130 pounds to lose and there were plenty of days I wondered how and if I was ever going to get there. All those thoughts are normal. We’re human. But in the beginning, I just kept reminding myself, “I want to do this.” And because I was the one deciding and no one was making a decision for me, it gave me the power and stamina and hope that I could be in control and make the change. 
I started small. I set goals. Simple ones. Ones that to others might seem silly but to me would make a difference, like not having seconds on a serving of something or purposely dressing up on a day I could lounge at home in my sweats. Things that weren’t full blown.  "Let’s eat and exercise a certain way.” I knew I wasn’t ready for that. I was mentally delicate, as are most people who have considerable amounts of weight to lose. I wanted to do a few small things to give me confidence and make me feel better. As I was successful in those, I added new things and before I knew it, I was on fire. Nothing was going to stop me. I knew I could do it. Even though I had moments of doubt along the way as I think that is totally normal, I was stronger than I thought and I was watching myself become something I never dreamed of becoming right before my very eyes. 
As far as the here and now, I stay motivated because I am in love with who I have become! I don’t mean that in a proud selfish way. I mean it in a way that I am in love with a person I didn’t know existed. A person that was nearly hiding for 40 years. A person that can now do things she never dreamed of doing. I definitely have had my share of hills and valleys along the way as well as during my maintenance, but I have learned and continue to learn, that is totally normal. 
If I can say one thing…if you have a spark, even if it be small, a desire, something inside you that wants to change, even if it doesn’t seem like much, if there is hope, that is all you need. Challenge yourself with some small goals in the coming weeks and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to a whole new you. 

This is what life was like when I had that first spark. That desire inside me that so wanted a change. (See, I had a lot of work to do, huh?) 

And here is life now. The spark and desire turned to hope, dedication, and an opportunity to be become who I am today. 

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