Friday, December 16, 2011

This is NO ONE'S Journey but MINE!

I know the title of the post can be misleading!  What I don't mean to imply is that there aren't other people in the world working on changing their lifestyle to a more healthy one!  That is NOT what this entry is about.

What this entry is about really is coming to the understanding that MY PERSONAL JOURNEY... how much I lose, what I do with my body, what size clothes I wear... has NOTHING to do with anyone else.  

Sometimes it's hard to not be jealous of other people's successes!  It is hard to not think,  
  • "MAN I wish that I was losing weight faster"
  • "They haven't been doing this as long as me!" 
  • "They said they ate terribly!  How come they lost 5 pounds?!" 
  • "What am I doing wrong?"
  • "If I were them, I could do that too!" 
Not all of these are nice thoughts... but I am sure that I am not the only who has let those poisonous thoughts creep into their mind.

But here is the truth... what good do those thoughts do?!  Seriously!  For one thing, they accomplish nothing. For another things, those people aren't ME!  They have their own bodies that react to things in different ways.  They are going on their own journey.  They live different lives.  They make different choices.  

And instead of feeling the twang of jealousy, I should focus on the inspiration.  Changing my thoughts into: 
  • "What's one suggestion they could give me?" 
  • "Could they share a recipe with me?" 
  • "Could we text and be supportive?" 
  • "Look at what people could accomplish!" 
  • "How inspiring!!!" 
Maybe this seems like a silly post to be writing.  But, I found myself being very negative on Tuesday.  I didn't lose ANY weight, but I didn't gain any either.  It could have been because I have been extra emotional and moody (sometimes that happens).  It could have been because I am feeling anxious about some life changes.  Who knows... but for about 20 minutes I threw myself a pity party.  Instead of being very excited for my friends, I pouted.  How selfish of me!  How could I possibly not be ecstatic for my friends when it was my fault for not losing like I wanted?  

And as I was sitting in the Weight Watchers meeting it hit me like a train...
BAM!   This is MY journey!!!!! This was a revelation for me! My journey!!  No one else's and I need to focus on that.  Only I can make MY decisions (don't I tell my students that EVERY DAY?!) and I am the only one that I should focus on!  

So to my two friends who hit the most amazing milestones this week... Words cannot express how proud of you I am!   You are amazing, beautiful women whose journey, courage, and strength help keep me going! 

No matter what happens, I will keep running this marathon... I DESERVE IT!! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On or Off... How I DIDN'T Handle a Tracking Disasters

I think that problem that many of us face is that there is no in between.  It could be just me.  But it seems to be a big struggle.

You are either good or you are bad.
You are perfect or you are terrible.
You look ugly or you are pretty.
You are skinny or you are fat.
You are in or you are out.
You are on or your off.

Again, it could be just me, but that's how it seems to go for me.  Either I am following my plan 100% or I am off the plan 100%.  You know... Perfection or what's known as the f*its.

Last week I was SO on it!  Feeling the lifestyle change!  Feeling good about my choices.  Planning everything ahead of time.  Really savoring my flex points.  And it was AWESOME!!  I lost 3.8 pounds.  I lost everything that I had gained the week before.  I was drinking all the water I needed to... Really ON PLAN!  And it worked out EXTREMELY well.  I am only .4 pounds away from being in the 150s.

This week I was ready to go.  They just changed over to PointsPlus 2012 and with the new plan I lost 21 points a week, 3 points a day.  That may not seem like much to you, but it's a WHOLE lot to me! That's almost half my flex points a week.  But despite all that I was READY to take on the week!!  READY READY READY!  The week started GREAT!  I was tracking every BLT (bite, lick, or taste).  I planned out the whole week.  I knew Monday was going to be a hard day, so I backwards planned.  I started with Monday and figured out the rest of the week based on how many flex points I had left after Monday.  It was SURE to be another HIGHLY successful week.


I forgot my tracker at school on Friday.

This might sound extreme to you, but I had a complete meltdown.  Not just a few tears, but anxiety took over my body and my sweet loving boyfriend had to take care of the sobbing, irrational Emily.  Add a little womanly issue into the mix as well and you get an Emily who cannot think in a productive way.  I completely panicked.  JD tried to give me some great advice... Be super cautious, write it all on another piece of paper, don't overeat... But I somehow didn't really hear it.

I did overeat.  The options in my brain were black and white.  I didn't have my tracker, I couldn't follow my plan, I had already been bad... So I kept eating.  Twizzlers, crackers, artichoke dip... I went over by 28 points this week.  NOW... in a perfect world I would still lose tonight.  That is only -7 from the 29 a day I used to get and I worked out twice this week... but I am not sure it's going to happen.

In fact, I am pretty sure it's not gonna happen...

What I need to figure out is... How can I get my brain to realize that I know it's not black or white.  JUST because I am "bad" one day doesn't mean I should continue that way the next day.  It doesn't mean that I should be "off" plan... It isn't always ALL or NOTHING... I can have one bad day and still get one.  I should get to a point where I can accidentally leave my tracker at school and not have the world collapse.

As I have said many times (hopefully the more times I say it the easier it will be for me to REALLY grasp) this is a marathon not a sprint.  And this world isn't black or white.  There are lots of shades of grey... and I have the ability to get back on.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Nervous, Pasta Pig Out Results, and Some New Recipes

Well, this week has been kinda a struggle.  But ultimately, TOTALLY SUCCESSFUL!!!  However, I am VERYYYYYYYY nervous about the weigh-in tomorrow.  I know I am going to go down and I know that I should not focus only on scale victories, but I was SO close to the 150s and I want to be back there.  I want to have worked off most, if not all, of the Thanksgiving weight I put on.  I was super good.  I followed my plan, I only used 26 points each day, I didn't go over my flex AT ALL!!!  Seriously... I was awesome!

But truthfully, I didn't do it on my own.  I had friends help.
First of all, Friday night was Culture Fest at school.  Egg Rolls, Hmong noodles, enchiladas, scones... It was a nightmare for a Weight Watcher.  Old Emily would have eaten McDonalds before AND at Culture Fest.  I only ate 2 egg rolls... and my dear friend Mary W. helped me the whole time! :-)  Nothing to eat at McDs, just a Diet Coke.

Saturday afternoon I went to Subway and then a play where there were cookies and candy galore.  I ate a healthy turkey sandwich, no cheese.  My friends Jeff, Peg, and Emily were SUPER supportive the whole time!  Jeff didn't get cheese on his sandwich.  And Peg kept asking about foods, whether I wanted them or whether I wanted to save my points for our Pasta Pig Out.

Saturday night, my FANTASTIC Children of Eden friends had a party which was called PASTA PIG OUT!  AS you can WELL imagine, this had been a source of GREAT stress in my life.  When I mentioned it in my Weight Watchers meeting there were a lot of deep breaths in through gritted teeth and, "Good lucks!"   A scary idea for a Weight Watcher.  PASTA PIG OUT!!!! Delicious sounding right.  Pasta.  Cheese.  Carbs.  Breadsticks.
Yup.. I said NO to all of this!

  Deliciousness... there is nothing bad about it... YUM YUM YUM!  Regardless, I knew that the old Emily would really struggle with this event.  I really tried to focus on the idea that it was about the people and not the food.  And it was SO successful!!!  The AMAZING hostess Rachel made weight watchers friendly pasta and had the nutrition facts right there.  I measured out how much I took and then ate some asparagus.  She may not know how appreciative I was, but it relieved ALL my stress.  Seriously.  That is the mark of a true friend.  Someone who makes food JUST for you!
AMAZING Hostess Rachel!!

Additionally, before the meal, I had emailed my friends telling them  what was acceptable for me to eat.  Every single person there was AWESOME at keeping me on track, being firm but nice, and being complimentary on how well I was staying in my plan.  I was SUPER thankful for ALL of them!!  And it was more fun than I have had in a LONG while.  

The other FANTASTIC part of the evening was that I got 2 EXCELLENT recipes from the party!!!  One for FANTASTICALLY DELICIOUS pasta and an interesting, yet tasty chick pea cookie dough dip! :-)  If you don't want to read the recipes, you can stop here and just be excited for my awesome and successful week.  If you are interested in 2 delicious recipes... Keep on reading!

Rotini and Sweet Pepper Primavera
  • 14 ounces asparagus spears  
  • 2 1/2 cups dried rotini or gemelli (8 ounces) 
  • 1 large red or yellow sweet pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces 
  • 1 cup sliced zucchini or yellow summer squash  
  • 1 10 ounce container refrigerated light Alfredo sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh tarragon or thyme  1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1. Snap off and discard woody bases from asparagus spears. Bias-slice asparagus into 1-inch pieces.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding asparagus, sweet pepper, and squash to pasta the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain. Return pasta and vegetable mixture to hot saucepan.
3. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a small saucepan combine Alfredo sauce, the 2 tablespoons tarragon, and crushed red pepper. Cook and stir over medium heat about 5 minutes or until mixture is heated through. Pour sauce over pasta and vegetable mixture; stir gently to coat. If desired, garnish with fresh tarragon. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition Facts (Rotini and Sweet Pepper Primavera)
Servings Per Recipe 4,
  • Calories, 353
  • Protein, 11
  • Carbohydrate, 55
  • Fat,  9
  • Dietary Fiber, 4 
Chickpea Chocolate Cookie Dough Dip

Shared to me by my friend Kris.
• 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained) (250g)
... • 1/8 tsp plus 1/16 tsp salt
• tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup nut butter (You can get away with using only 3 T. If you use peanut butter, it’ll have a very-slight “pb cookie dough” taste, so if you don’t want this, you can sub oil.)
• up to 1/4 cup nondairy milk (Start with 1 T, and add more as needed)
• Sweetener (see note below, for amount)
• 1/3 cup chocolate chips
• 2 to 3 T oats (or flaxmeal) (You can omit, but also omit the milk if you do)

Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a blender or food processor, and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips.
See the following link for a Sugar-Free Version.
Sweetener Notes: I used 2/3 cup brown sugar when I first made this for the party. Liquid sweeteners (agave, maple, etc.) are fine as well. You can easily get away with less sugar– some people will be perfectly fine with just 3 T for the whole recipe! And if you don’t want any sugar, be sure to check out the “no-sugar” version linked above. (You can also use stevia, if you like the taste of stevia-sweetened desserts. Try 2-3 packets of NuNaturals stevia, and add more sweetener if needed. I wouldn’t recommend serving an all-stevia version to party guests, though.)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Back on the Wagon in Pictures

Last week did not go well.  I went up almost 4 pounds and felt AWFUL all week!  After our WW meeting on Tuesday and dinner with Shelby (we talked shop a lot!  she gave me a lot of ideas!), I decided I wanted to seriously get back on the wagon this week.  So, as of today, I am back on!  I am showing you proof in pics!  Enjoy!!

Planning for the week.  Obstacles, workouts, and my grocery list. 

Today's Tracker. 

My groceries!!!

Chobani Yogurt!  3 or 4 points! 

Annie's Dressing.  2 tbsp=1 point OR 2 tbsp=4 points

MorningStar sausages!  Some good protein for only 2 points! 

Prepping for my salads!

3 salads for 3 days!  With the tbsp of dressing it's only 1 point! 

Salads ready!

Bags of peppers!

Bags of grapes! 

My sweet boyfriend helping count out crackers!! Gotta <3 a supportive boyfriend. 

Crackers-- Each bag only 3 points a piece.

Pirates Booty-- Each bag only 3 points a piece.

My Weight Watcher shelf ready to go for the upcoming weeks!  

Tomorrow all planned!  Dinner at Olive Garden Included! 
Super excited for the week ahead!  I WILL stay on plan!  I CAN do this!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What I Am Thankful For

So, around this time of year I get super stressed.  Every holiday has a focus on food.  Cookies, cakes, potatoes, pies, Thai food... Yes, it's that time... Where food is everywhere you look!

However, instead of writing about food on this Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I thought I would write about what I am thankful for.   As my students were writing about what they are thankful for, it really made me think about my life, what I have, and how lucky I am!

On a big scale I am thankful for:

  • My Family 
  • My boyfriend 
  • The Children of Eden experience and the people I met
  • One Voice Mixed Chorus 
  • My weight watchers friends 
  • My work friends 
  • My Team 3/4 family 
  • My healthiness journey
  • My passion for working with children 
  • My Teach For America/Institute friends 
  • The friends who I have stayed in touch with since high school and college 

As far as my healthiness journey.  I am thankful that:

  • I wear size 8 or 10 pants 
  • I don't loath clothing shopping 
  • I can wear more form fitting outfits 
  • I can run a 5K
  • I can do zumba without a struggle 
  • I can get ready to go out with out crying 
  • I feel confident in how I look 
Last year at this time I was feeling super great about how I look.  However, looking back, I have come a long way even since then!  :-)  For that I am also thankful.  My belief in myself and the change in my eating patterns! 
Thanksgiving 2010

Thanksgiving-ish 2011

This Thanksgiving I am going to try and focus on my family, spending quality time with them, and not on the food... :-)  This Holiday time I want to think about the things that I am thankful for and make choices so that this time next year I continue to be thankful for these things (and my healthiness)!! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Changing Behaviors and My Choir Tour

The past couple weeks have been pretty terrible as far as eating is concerned.  I have been going through some mid-life "crisis" type feelings, despite the fact that I am not really in the middle of my life and it's not really a crisis.  Nonetheless, the uncertainty of my life path and the ending of a life-changing experience has caused my eating patterns to go wacky.  I still lost .6 pounds last week, but I truly think it was a fluke.  My eating habits have been just awful.

Needless to say, I was very nervous about the eating habits on my choir tour this weekend!  Choir tour is one of my favorite parts of the fall.  We get to shove on a two buses, ride to some city in far away Minnesota, sing for audiences, and hang with amazing people.  As you can well imagine, a bus ride warrants TONS of snacks!  My favorites in the past have included twizzlers, combos, chex mix, muffins.  Those sorts of foods. 

This year I went in prepared.  I packed only weight watchers snacks or snacks that I had counted the point value.  I went with the intention that I might go over my points a bit, but my goal was to be a better eater than I was in the past.  To not snack or purposely pick the most unhealthy food because of the f* it mentality.  That has been my big downfall lately.  Just saying f* it when the going is getting tough. 

My snacks!
Giving people cheese but not eating ANY!
However, I did an amazingly good job!  I did go over points, but I feel really good about the choices I made.  I DIDN'T snack AT ALL on the bus today and on the way up I did very little snacking!  Today I took all the bread off of my turkey club and made it into a lettuce wrap.  And I chose to make the whole weekend about the people and the music, and NOT about the food like I have in the past. 

Note the bread on the side that was NOT eaten!
I had an amazing weekend.  Was I perfect with my eating?  No.  Am I starting to figure out that this is a marathon and not a sprint?  Yes. 

I am proud of myself for this weekend and I know that as we head into Thanksgiving I am giving myself the tools for success!  And additionally, I am beginning to really realize how lucky I am for the experiences and people in my life.  :-)  More posts this week. 

My new HOT dress!

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Addicted To Food

So, you maybe looking at the title of this post and saying, "Um, yah... aren't we all."

However, recently I have been having this conversation with many of my friends.  I truly believe that just like alcohol or drugs, food can be an addiction.  There are SO many days I feel like I am fighting with the voice in my head who is justifying actions that I don't want to take... justifying why I HAVE to have the food in front of me.

"Emily, you can just start again next week." 

"You will enjoy this food a lot." 

"Tomorrow is a new day." 

"It's a special weekend, don't worry about it." 

"A couple bites doesn't hurt."

Seriously, I think my brain can help convince me to do anything.  And it doesn't take that much.  All I have to do is think about the food for a split second.  Just the thought of the food will get me to fixate on it.  To justify.  To eat it.  And if I don't?  I find myself dwelling on it.  Thinking about it.  Itching for it.  Unable to focus on what I am supposed to be doing.  Thinking about how delicious the food would taste. How much better my life would be if I had the food.  And the rational part of my brain loses the fight, and the irrational, hungry part of my brain takes over.  And sometimes I give in... And I feel guilty... and I sometimes track... And usually the grumbling in my stomach reminds me that it wasn't worth it...

I know it sounds like I am whining.  But when I lose the rational fight I feel so ashamed that I cannot control it.  That I don't always have enough willpower to fight off my thoughts.

I am not a religious person at all, however, when I went to the couple OA meetings I went to I loved listening to the serenity prayer.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

There are many pieces of it that I find to be true.  It does me no good to sit here and focus on my struggles if I don't have a plan of action to try and change it.  Courage to the change the things I can. That's what I need to do.  Change the things I can and be ok with the trip-ups on the way.

Several months ago there was a blog post by another heath blogger that I loved.  She talked about her cycle.  Her struggle.  She ends the post by saying, the cycle ends today. I know that my cycle has to change, but I also know that in order for that to happen I need to:
1) Ask for help when I need it.
2) Be ok when I do slip up
3) Be able to get back on the wagon as soon as possible
4) Be honest with myself about my struggles

Like most of my posts I am not sure what the moral of this post is.  I am not sure that I have a specific point that I want to make.  However, whether or not it is a REAL diagnosis, I will continue to think of strategies to help me change the things I can. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Flying Like A Bird Without Embarrassment

Flying Like  A Bird 
"Emily, you are a mover, not a dancer.  That's why you should always be in the back."

When I was in high school I wanted to be a musical theater performer.  For me, there was nothing in the world that would make me feel more alive... Make me smile with complete joy!  Singing and dancing on stage.  Light on my face.  Theater people around me.  Getting to express emotion and beauty through art.  Seriously, there was nothing better.

I took jazz from a nearby, reputable dance company by my house.  I knew I wasn't the best dancer in the world.  But I loved it more than anything.  Dancing would instantaneously make me smile... fill me with glee.  I noticed one day that I was always in the back of our dance formations.  I asked my teacher why it was that I was always in the back.  She responded with, "Emily, you are a mover, not a dancer.  That's why you should always be in the back." 

I don't think people always know how their words are going to effect people.  Well, these words stung like a knife and have stayed with me since then.  "You're a mover, not a dancer." 

The last couple months I have had the AMAZING pleasure of being in Children of Eden.  It has been an all around INCREDIBLE experience.  The cast and crew are phenomenal and I have had a blast.  In addition the life-changing experience based on the people, I have had a huge revelation.

This is what I now know.  You won't see me on Broadway tomorrow, but I am more than JUST a mover.  I have gotten compliments in Zumba in the last couple of weeks.  I spend time practicing the choreography in my living room.  I feel REALLY good about myself.  And all it took was for someone to believe in me as a dancer. And that is EXACTLY what Kayla, the choreographer did.  I was put in two dance numbers that I never thought I would be able to do.  I thought that she was crazy and that the audience members would for sure pick me out as the OBVIOUS non-dancer.  And this may be true... However, Kayla gave me a gift.  In one of the dances I get LIFTED... LIFTED!!!!! IN THE AIR!!!! BY A DANCE PARTNER!!!!!  And whether or not I look the best of everyone is not the point.  I am small enough, confident enough, READY enough, to be lifted in the air! :-)  I feel like a bird when it happens.  When Logan lifts me up in the air I feel like nothing could touch me.  I want to hang on to that feeling forever.

Kayla gave me the gift of confidence and the power to take back the words... Screw you!  I AM a dancer AND a mover.  And I will shake my groove thing until the cows come home.

I am in blue! 

So while the first half of this post is uplifting, this next part is not as exciting.  Let me just share with the world that I have eaten 70+ points for the past two nights.  For those of you who aren't weight watchers and don't know what that means, it is a lot.  I get 29 points a day and 49 extra points for the week.  That means in 2 days I have eaten 4 days worth of food AND my flex.  SERIOUSLY?!  Who does that??!!

Here's the thing about it.  After I have eaten it all, I don't feel GOOD... I don't feel like it was worth it.  And then I feel slightly depressed that I ate it. And I am sneak eating, I am shoving food, and not for any good reason other than I can... But I don't need to.  And EVERY time I do I feel yucky.

I SOS'ed my weight watchers ladies.  I got some fantastic messages back.  But one that stuck with me.  For the past 5 days I have felt like the old Emily... Eating like SHE did... Well, one of my fantastic ladies sent me a text that said,

"F*** what is done.  Make new choices starting now and you will feel better.  Make good choices in a row and the harder choices you made in the past lose their grip.  Tomorrow is a new day and that doesn't mean that you inhale more sh** tonight.  Be nice to yourself or I will the old Em's a**." 

AMAZING!!!! :-)  Seriously!!! :-)  Exactly what I needed.

All 3 of my ladies told me that we all make mistakes.  And that's true.  And I can't just let everything else slip or beat myself because of that.  Thank you my dears... you are very important to me.

This is a marathon, not a sprint.  I just need to start again NOW.  Right NOW.    Not tomorrow, not the next day, but NOW!!!!

So, that's what I am doing.  Loving my ladies.  Loving my life.  Loving me.  I WILL not throw this away now.  I WILL not let food own me.  I WILL not let 2 days of not-great choices ruin what is going to be a fantastically wonderful weekend!!!! :-)

And if any of you live by and you feel inclined... COME WATCH ME BE A DANCER! :-)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It Doesn't Get Old

Today I got to show off the new me to a co-worker.  We have worked together for a year, but he never saw the Old Emily.  He never knew her.  The one who cried on Friday nights because being the "fat" friend at the bar was too much.  The one who would EASILY put away McDonalds for breakfast, Noodles and Company for a snack, and Chipotle (burrito and chips) for dinner.  The Emily who was sad and uncomfortable all the time, but tried to hide it with low-cut shirts and a big personality.

The big personality is there, however, the other habits and feelings are starting to go away.  However, I forget that there are people in my life who didn't know me then.  This co-worker is one of those people.  I was tracking my points today and he said, "You are so diligent!  I am proud of you!"  And I said, "I have to be!"  Which led to a conversation about the before and after... and eventually to my blog.  I showed him my last post with the school photos and the AWFUL photo of me in the white wife beater (see before and after pictures if you want to see it).  His face was dumbfounded.  It could have been an act to make me feel better, but I truly don't think so.  He looked like he didn't believe me.  Like I was making up the girl in the photo.  His reaction made my day. 

You would think after months of looking different that it would get old to hear, "You look so good!" or "Oh my god!  That was you?!"  However, after years of feeling like s*it, it seriously doesn't get old.  

I am sure that people in my life are sick of hearing about my points, my clothes that are too big, and the old Emily.  BUT, in times of plateau and frustration, it is really nice to have reminders of how far I have come. :-)  

So if you think a nice thought about someone, share it!  Who doesn't like to be told they look good.  
And for us priorfatgirls...  NO, it doesn't get old! :-)

Monday, October 17, 2011

F* It Mondays, Schools Pictures, and a Shout Out

F* It Mondays
So, a couple of weeks ago, this is what happened... Let me set the scene.  It was Monday night.  I was just sitting around with the boys that I live with.
Me: "I want cupcakes.  Chocolate.  Right now.  JD, can we go to the store to get cupcakes?"
JD: "Sure."
Me: "Yes!  CUPCAKE!!!" (running around getting keys... looking for my wallet)
Jachin (our housemate): "She's out of points, isn't she?"
JD: "OH Ya."

This is what we call the F* its.  When you hit the point that you don't care what you put in your mouth because it doesn't matter, because you aren't going to be tracking it.  The last couple weeks I have gotten the case of the Monday F* its.  SO much so that my boyfriend has affectionately started to call this day of the week F* It Monday.  He's right.  I hit Monday and I say, "Eh!  I will eat whatever..."

So, I have been trying to decide why I think that it is that Mondays I don't care.  Why I can go to a party on Saturday, not eat anything by chewing gum, work out on Saturday and Sunday, and not use ANY flex points since Friday... and then Monday hits and it's ALL down hill.  And I weigh in on Tuesday.  My challenge this week is to talk through this conundrum with friends.  I want to figure out WHY this is.  Why do I lose all my motivation and drive on Monday.  If you have any thoughts PLEASE share!

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words 
One of the joys being a teacher is that you get to take a school picture every year.  I will let these photos speak for themselves.

2009.  If you can even get past the HAIR... eesh!

2010  A step up from the last one.  But still... a uneven eyed bird comes to mind.

Face, more slim.  Hair, much cuter.  Confidence, much better. 

HUGE Shout Out 
Before I sign out for the evening, I want to leave a HUGE HUGE HUGE shout out to 3 certain ladies who helped me make it through a hard Saturday evening.  I texted SOS and they came to the rescue.  Additionally, after a SOS email requesting help staying on track Serina came over Saturday morning to do Zumba and go for a walk.  Shelby has texted at least once every day to check in on.  Meg has been more than encouraging through email and text.  Ladies!!!  I don't know what I do without you.  

One more shout out to Beth from work.  When I told her that I wanted her to help make sure I didn't eat anything at the party, she went and bought gum so I would have something to chew.  I am a lucky lady. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011


It must be a blogging kind of day.  This morning I posted about how I am not feeling motivated to write... that I have anything interesting to say and now I feel the muse.  I have thoughts that I want to share and things that I am pondering.

It's interesting how jealousy works.  Today I looked at my friend Anna's blog.  Holy crap she looks HOT!  I mean, my jaw dropped to the floor and wanted to say, "Hubba hubba!"  Not that she was not beautiful before, but the healthy glow is all around her.  She is my inspiration for today.  And tomorrow.  And the next.  In fact, I may print out her picture and carry it around with me (it's not weird, I swear... she was one of my best friends in college!).

But something interesting happened when I was looking at her blog.  I got super jealous.  And not just a little jealous, SUPER jealous.  Motivated, but jealous.  I haven't seen Anna in years.  Probably 3 years.  But some of my best memories of Anna are of us driving to Panera (the one in the rest stop in the middle of nowhere Ohio) to eat.  Not only to eat, but to eat a lot.  To eat without feeling guilty.  That was our thing. We would eat and eat and even when I thought I couldn't possibly eat more... then we would go to Starbucks and get soy chai.  Venti.  With whip. Delicious.  She was my "bigger" friend who would joke about being bigger with me.  And we would talk about how frustrating Weight Watchers could be.  (I asked her before I wrote all this, so in case you are wondering, she doesn't mind that I am telling you this.)

In 2008, At our rest stop in Ohio with our favorite barista!
Us eating samples at Panera!

Anna has been someone that I have lost weight alongside with.  Even though we aren't in the same place.  We have been losing around the same time.  We have been at about the same amount of pounds lost and about the same body mass.  And perhaps I do look like her and I just don't see it, but holy hell she looks smokin' and has lost 65 pounds.  Should I be comparing?  No.  And I know that.  As I tell my students, some people just get to their destinations faster.  But that doesn't mean that I am not jealous.  Because I am more jealous than I would have thought.  More proud of her than she could possibly know, but jealous.

BUT.... I think that it's almost a good jealous.  She reminds me that this is possible.  That it's not just Jennifer Hudson on TV.  I have my Weight Watchers friends that I see every week who look damn good too, but when you seem someone every week, you forget what the "old" them looks like.  But since I haven't seen Anna in (too many) years, I wouldn't have know.

Anna, NOW! 

So, in this standstill that I am in, I am hoping that Anna keeps me motivated.  That she is my reminder.  That I can join her at 65 pounds lost total.  And then perhaps then she will write an entry about me. :-)  For those of you that read this blog, I hope you have an Anna that keeps you motivated.  Someone that really is an inspiration AND a beautiful person in and out.

(p.s... I really do want to post about the word exercise... perhaps that will be my entry tomorrow.)

Not A Ghost or on the Darkside... Just Blah.

I got a comment on my blog last night from another blogger asking me where I have been.

"I keep looking... hoping for a post from you... have you fallen back to the darkside? Can I help? 
Thinking of you! Come back soon!"

For some reason it really struck me.  I know that, for my own sake, I have not been writing in my blog enough.  Not keeping myself responsible.  But I didn't really think about other people reading my blog and how they might feel if I didn't write.  Do people really even care if I write in my blog?

But the more important question... Why haven't I been writing?

As I wrote in my last entry, my priorities haven been altered recently.  What I am choosing to spend my limited amount of free time on has changed.  However, many nights I have sat down to write a post.  Knowing that I only had, at the max, 40 minutes before bed, I tried to pump out different posts.  My struggle always seemed to be, "Is what I am writing right now worth 40 minutes of my time?"  I feel that what I have wanted to say and the things I have wanted to write about were not interesting.  Jen once told me to not force an entry.  However, with that said, I truly cannot say for over a week I have had NOTHING to say.  I am sure that several of the posts that I have started WERE interesting enough to write about.  So that leads to the question... Am I embarrassed of my progress?  Am I embarrassed by some of the choices I have been making?  Is my weight loss plateau also affecting my blogging?

I think the answer to all the questions above is yes.  I am feeling frustrated with my life and with my progress at the moment and instead of taking ownership over it I am ignoring it.

I did lose .4 pounds this week, but truthfully, had I stayed to plan I could have lost more.  No questions.

So, here are my goals for this upcoming week:
1) Write in my blog 3 more times... Seriously!  This time I am going to!
2) For every cup of coffee or soda I drink, I will drink 8 oz of water.
3) Go to the gym 5 days of the 7 days.
4) Go back to emailing my personal trainer every day about my progress.
5) Be honest with myself about my priorities.

I guess I don't know what the point of this post is other than to help me get back on track.  Back on track with blogging... food... this journey... the community...

And you know what, I know I can do... I just have to prove to myself that I should be my first priority.  My life, my weight, my health, and my happiness... those should be my priorities. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Feeling Guilty, But Also Getting Places

I CANNOT believe that it's been 10 days.  I feel like I am failing as far as blogging, being accountable to friends, and being a part of the healthy living community.  I haven't been reading blogs, I haven't been writing in my blog, and I haven't been texting my friends.  Tonight in WW I saw all the people that make my life better and felt terrible that I have been neglecting them.  That I haven't been keeping my promise to update my blog 3xs a week.  That I haven't been responding to texts.  Basically, I am not doing as well as I would like for the accountability piece.   However, despite feeling like I am letting people down, I have been having great successes.  After pondering about my feelings throughout the meeting tonight, I decided that I need to blog.  This entry is about some of my successes, some of my thoughts on my priorities, and some upcoming challenges.

6 Week Journal Challenge 
Several weeks ago, Jen, from priorfatgirl, starting her 6 week journal challenge.  Her charge was to track for 6 weeks straight.  I began on August 19!  My challenge was that NO MATTER WHAT I would track.  Regardless of whether or not I liked what I wrote down, I would write it.  There were days that I HATED what I wrote.  I wrote 40 points days, 50 point days, 80 point days, and then the normal 29 point days.  I had days that I wanted to "cheat" and write less points than I had eaten, but this challenge made me realize that it only would hurt me.  There were times that I stopped myself from eating what I wanted because I KNEW I would have to write it down.  I have been successful.  I am going to continue with this challenge because it is helping me!

Other Successes 
Here are the other things that I am proud of:
1) I am .2 pounds away from hitting 50 again!!!!
2) My waist is slimming down and I can tell.
3) My school picture today looks TEN TIMES better than the last 2 years!
4) I have been exercising 5 days a week.
5) I have made my Zumba classes a concrete weekly calendar item that cannot be changed.

People Sharing Their Success With Me 
One of the most exciting pieces of this blogging experience has been how many people have come and shared their stories with me.  People that I would NEVER have suspected as being on the same journey as me.  And they give me hope.  And they keep me inspired.  And it makes me feel good that I am inspiring others.  There are more people on this journey, more than I could possibly could ever have known.  I hope that as I continue people will keep sharing their lives with me.

Upcoming Challenges
-My personal trainer and I won't be able to meet as frequently for the next couple months.  I need to keep on the awesome track that I am on without having her by my side as much as I would like.

-Rehearsal makes it hard for me to eat in a healthy way and sleep as much as I would like.  I need to make sure that I am continuing good eating habits and getting good sleep.  I also want to make sure that I am blogging more than once every 10 days.

-I want to be supportive of my friends and ask for their help.  So, even though I can be absent-minded, read a text, and then forget about it... I need to make sure I am responding to texts.  And emailing those I care about.  I need to make sure that, regardless of my mood and state of mind, I should be returning texts and texting people as support.

Coming Up Soon on Thinawi... 
Tonight someone shared with me that they hate the word exercise and they have instead been talking about making healthy choices for their body.  I want to write about this later in the week because it really struck me as something insightful and I like the way it makes you think about going to the gym.

Next entry... Exercise vs. Healthy Choices

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sometimes you just feel GOOD!

Tonight JD and I went to see Rocky Horror.  I got all dolled up in semi-inappropriate clothes to go see the show.  Two years ago I would not have DREAMED of wearing what I wore out in public.  I would not have wanted any extra attention on me.  I wouldn't have wanted people to be able to see how uncomfortable I was in my body or how much I was showing off parts of my body to distract from the rest of me.  HOWEVER... tonight I did not feel that way.  I felt HOT! :-)  I felt good!  I felt attractive.  I felt ready to show off ME! :-)  So, YES!  I did come home and take pictures of myself... but you know what... I keep looking for full body pics from before WW to compare to and you know what?  They don't exist.  So, here are the photos from tonight!  DANG IT FEELS GOOD TO FEEL GOOD!