Thirty day challenge update: January

January is always a hard month for me. It's my busiest work month for the year, it's cold, we're stuck inside because of the weather, did I mention it is cold? I have a love/hate relationship with the cold. Part of me loves it, everything is so peaceful and quiet and calm... But I really hate the feeling of being cold. So January is just a difficult month.

2014 is the first year in four years that I didn't actually make any New Years resolutions and I didn't even take my January 30 day challenge seriously. I was doing a plank/push-up challenge that fizzled out mid month when I started getting busy and sore. I was also doing dietbet with my friends (this is an online weight loss betting program). I was supposed to lose 4% of my body weight in the month of January. It looks like I'm going to lose about 3.5%, so not bad. But I feel like a failure. This leads me to begin taking my February challenge very seriously. This one is two fold.

1) Body Fat challenge - my goal is to reduce my body fat by 2%. I did this same challenge in May of 2013 and had great results. I will not be doing P90x this time, but will be doing a combination of weight training at the YMCA, various classes, running and 30 day shred. It's easier to focus on body fat than weight loss for me. I know you can't focus on losing fat in one area, so I want to lose body fat in general. I wish I could just make my body lose it from my problem tummy area, but I can't. So it will remain that I have a flabby tummy forever, maybe.

2) Photo a day challenge - I've done a couple of photo challenges over the years, and this one I'm going to do a little different. This one will involve a photo each day and a reflection on how I felt while taking the picture. It's an odd challenge, but I read about it on another blog, and it seems pretty interesting.

So I'm ending my January feeling hopeful that I will have the best February yet. And my friends, I hope your February is the best yet too.


Weekly Photos


Body Image and stuff...

I'm part of a facebook group that has been amazing.  This is a wonderful group of ladies, most of whom I know pretty well.  A friend of mine started this group about a year ago after all of us were commenting pretty much the same things on another friends facebook post.  This group has helped me to stay motivated, they've given me support when I needed it, they've been there for me.  I hope that I have at least motivated a few of the members as they have motivated me. 

A topic that came up last night revolved around body image, self image and self worth.  Here's the thing - we are all beautiful, talented and smart women. We all seem to have one thing in common - body image issues.  I'm not talking self esteem, that's different.  I'm talking about body image.  Body image issues in thrity-something women who happen to be professionals or teachers or super-mamas. 

Somehow when we were all younger, we were somehow impacted and it is still with us today.  One friend was relaying how she felt "fatter" than all the other kids and kids made fun of her.  Another shared some very personal things impacting her body image.  For me, I had to think - I mean I was 130 lbs, 5'8" and everyone told me I was pretty in high school.  But I FELT FAT, so it didn't matter.  Fat because I bigger than most everyone else, or so I thought.  Looking back at pictures now, I wasn't really bigger.  But it was how I felt, and it stuck with me.

This is so different than self esteem to me.  I am a confident person in my work and my personal life for the most part, but I still can't help comparing myself to other people when it comes to body image.  My goal years ago was to get healthy, and if losing weight happened, then great.  I've lost a lot of weight since I started this journey 4 years ago, and I've also stayed at the same weight for good pieces of that time too.  Here I sit, and I look at the tag in my pants and it is a size 12.  And that's all that I can focus on.  Size 12.  Size 12 is considered "fat", and that's crazy.  And it's crazy how much worth or weight that I even put on that.  Even though I've lost a whole heck of a lot of sizes, I still look in the mirror and see that person that had to shop at a plus size store.  I still see that same "fat" person.

Nevermind the idea that I have almost completely reversed my type II diabetes diagnosis.  Nevermind that I went from taking insulin daily to this.  Nevermind that I can run (run/walk) 13.1 miles now and survive.  Nevermind that I can go to the gym and do the "Jacob's Ladder" machine.  Nevermind that everyone around me loves and supports me.  I love myself, I really do.  And I hope one day to love and accept my body.

Having a daughter and wanting to make sure that she grows up HEALTHY and STRONG is so important to me.  I worry she's somehow going to get from me that SHE's not perfect and that SHE has to worry about her body.  Healthy is not the same as skinny, and I hope that I can continue to teach her to be healthy, by being active, by eating healthy, and by just breathing in some fresh air.

I look at the picture that I attached to this post, and what I should see is two beautiful ladies having fun on the greenway.  But I don't.  I see a wonderful kid, and a mama who is fat.

What I learned from the conversation last night is that I AM NOT ALONE.  We look like we have it all together on the outside when we don't.  But I know that I am not alone on this fight.

Cheers friends.



A millimeter is .0393 inches.

“When it seems impossible, when it seems like nothing is going to work, you are usually a few millimeters away from making it happen.” Anthony Robbins

It's the first day of the year. The day everything begins again. The day we start fresh. At least it feels that way, right? It feels so monumental, but in reality EVERY day should be the first day of the rest of our lives. We should strive to be better every single day and not put it off. Change is so hard. Saying goodbye to things you know you need to, but just don't want to, or even doing things that just feel uncomfortable... are just hard.

Four years ago, I made my first resolutions. I've been successful every year, but I have not yet even started to THINK about resolutions for this year! I found that the progress with my resolutions was so slow. Like molasses slow. And I find that annoying. If I'm working towards something, patience is not my strongest virtue, I want immediate results.

Yesterday, while we were killing time, M says to me, "have you seen a Tony Robbins video, you'll get sucked in". I couldn't remember actually watching a video, but quite honestly he seems to be an annoying sell-out... (True thought). So we searched YouTube for the best ones and found one that was only a few minutes long and one that seemed popular. After watching for eight minutes and looking at each other laughing, realizing we had watched for that long and not realized it, we were hooked.

Not hooked as in I want to watch him every day, because I don't. But hooked in the sense, the video we picked was EXACTLY the message I had been needing. See, I've felt stuck in the same patterns. I don't know if they are necessarily bad patterns, but I just feel... Ugh, for a lack of a better word. I know a lot of people feel the same way I do, you want to change but it just feels so BIG! Too big to even try, in fact.

We are so tiny in this BIG, BIG world. Every day there is a new obstacle. And they seem so big! I don't want to eat preservatives, but I have three minutes to grab lunch, what to do? I want to lose more body fat, but this flabby belly of mine won't budge. What to do? I want to try new things, but there are too many new things. Etc. There are these things we want, but they just feel too big to even grab on to. To even start grabbing a hold of. I won't change my eating habits overnight. I won't lose another 25 lbs overnight, and I won't step outside my comfort zone and try new things all the time.

Today, and like the rest of the days of this year, I will remember the quote from Tony Robbins. I will remember that all I have to do is change one tiny thing, make a one millimeter change, and that small change changes the trajectory of EVERYTHING. And then suddenly, you realize that a millimeter is actually pretty big in this wide, wide world. Millimeters are pretty tiny, really. In fact, a millimeter is .0393791 inches. Tiny! So I will go a millimeter at a time, and I will arrive at my destination, in time.

“When it seems impossible, when it seems like nothing is going to work, you are usually a few millimeters away from making it happen.” Anthony Robbins


Week in photos


Year-End Fitness follow-up 20+ inches gone!

I lost 11% body fat. I lost 45 lbs. I lost 3.5 sizes. Tons of inches lost!! (Waist - 6, hips -7, chest -4, and more...) 2013 was a successful year for fitness!

That's my number summary for the year. Everyone keeps asking me, and I usually just say "oh, it's going fine". It was better than I expected, but yet SLOW... Most of you know that I did several fitness challenges throughout the year - yoga, P90X, plank, triathlon and 100 miles. I did a half-marathon (again), I did smaller races (again). All were moderately successful (well minus the half-marathon that nearly gave me hypothermia). I had the most success with P90X as far as body fat percentage loss, but I couldn't keep up with it. My favorite is yoga, but I can't ONLY do yoga.

I still can't run a mile faster than 10:48. I still can't do a pull-up. I still can't do "real" push-ups. I still can't hold a plank for longer than 30 seconds. My knee and IT band still bother me occasionally. I still have tons to work on...

My body fat percentage is now at 26%, although I have a flabby tummy that just doesn't seem to want to go anywhere. My wrists and feet however -- weirdly fatless. I'm able to go into a store and buy a dress in a size that I haven't been able to buy in for many, many years and look good in it.

All this sounds so vain, and I don't like to talk about it. So why am I writing it you ask? Everyone asks me.... Seriously, people ask me all the time how my weight-loss and fitness are going and what are my secrets. I have no secrets. I have learned a few things, though.

1) Metabolism can be your friend or your enemy. My metabolism was terrible, mainly due to being diabetic. After working with an endocrinology specialist and getting it under control in May, the pounds started coming off effortlessly. I could have lost a whole bunch more weight, but I do like to eat.

2) Not all exercise is equal. I've exercised regularly for 10+ years. But I wasn't doing the right kinds of exerciese. I'm now doing 2-3 days a week of strength training, 3 days of cardio and 3-4 days of yoga. Yes, sometimes I work-out twice a day. I don't count my yoga as a workout any more for that reason. The strength training is what has made all the difference. I can even see an inkling of definition in my tummy on the sides under all that fat.

3) I still don't look like what I think I look like in the mirror. Body image is a funny thing that way.

4) I feel great. Absolutely great.

5) I have spent nearly the entire year being sore. Is it my age? Is it that I was really that out of shape? Either way, if I'm not sore I feel like I am doing something wrong. Except for when I started boot camp or P90X, I've never been so sore that I can't move. Usually I'll just feel a little bit of soreness when I bend over, or stand up.

6) Yoga heals the mind, body and soul. I started yoga in 2012, and hated it. I found my yoga home in April, and I haven't turned back. I have a long way to go in my yoga practice to call myself anything more than an amateur. I still can't do floor bow. I don't know if I'll ever be able to do it! Fixed firm is too hard on my knees and I can't get my butt to the floor. I'm almost able to lean back and grab my feet in camel. Almost... Progress. Sometimes I go for my mind, sometimes my body or sometimes my soul. It's all good.

7) I've learned a lot about myself, about accepting my body has limitations (knee) and knowing when to push.

So there's my fitness wrap up for 2013. I've yet to set my goals for 2014, but I will.


P.S. I should also note that I still have a ways to go. As my neighbor says, I'm pleasantly plump.


The week in photos 


Week in photos


The week in photos


Change is Hard

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." -Leo Tolstoy

Change is hard, right? So hard that we resist it, even when we know it's necessary or better for us. Whether it's a new job, a new town, a new workout, new friends, a new habit, change is hard. Change is so hard, it's easier to just resist. It's also so easy to get discouraged when you try and don't get the results you had hoped for.

Change is hard, and it comes in small victories sometimes. Sometimes it's hard to remember that making an effort to change, is actually progress. Every step you take no matter how small and every time you try, it is a step in the right direction. Even when something happens that sets you back, you have to keep going forward and let that misstep teach you a thing or two.

If you're like me, you'll step back more than you step forward. If you're like me, you'll want to change. If you're like me, you will resist change.

Change is easier when it's done in small doses. It's much easier to change small things, have success with those and move forward. Maybe it's stopping sucking your thumb, maybe it's wanting to email less, maybe it's wanting to exercise more. Whatever it is, baby steps are the key. Maybe it's also remembering that just because you take a step backward, it's okay to stand right back up and take a step forward.

Tomorrow is a new day.

"The only completely consistent people are the dead." - Aldous Huxley

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