Thursday, December 3, 2009

BFL, What BFL?

Duuuuuudes, I'm here.

Not like you were waiting with bated breath.  I had to go off and not do BFL for about two weeks there.  Some of it was due to a horribly funky cold/flu thingy that our whole family caught.  I couldn't work, and there was a lot of Advil poppin' and Alka-Seltzer gurgling going on.  By the way, that stuff is so NASTY.  Why, in this modern age, can't they make that crap taste better?  And you have to put it in about a half a cup of water and drink it down and it tastes like Gatorade left to mold in Chernobyl, but I digress.

I have tried harder this week to get my act together.  I have been running (twice) and I have been to lift weights (lower body, once).  I also was relieved to get on the scale and see that I haven't gained back any weight (thank you very much, God).  While I was eating like I used to and not working out, I felt so sure that I had gained back something like 5-10 pounds, and I am so relieved that was not the case. 

Other than that, not much else is going on.  I haven't busted out the measuring tape in a while, and I'm not sure I'm up for it right this moment, either.  I am toying with cooking nearly 100% vegetarian once New Year's comes, since I think it would be better for us and cheaper, too.  But don't tell Steve.  Cause he'll freak out.  He won't notice if I just happen to cook regular meals with no meat, but if I make an announcement, all hell will break loose.  He's funny that way.  Well, so am I, I guess.

I hope you are well.  The holidays are looming, and all those lovely opportunities to stay in with a mug of hot chocolate and watch a movie.  To bundle up and stay in bed asleep rather than get outside in the frost bitten air to work out.  Oh yeah, this should be interesting.  See you soon!

Friday, November 13, 2009

BFL 2, Day Four

I am sick of the rain!!!

We have had cold, raw, damp, blowing wind and rain for what feels like three years here.  I believe we are promised a change in the weather tomorrow, and I cannot wait.  After four days of being kept indoors with a two-year old, I am desperate for some sunshine and the ability to take Andrew outside to play, instead of keeping him cooped up. 

I worked out and did some aerobics (good old Dance Dance Revolution does the trick when it's blowing frogs outside), and then did my Lower Body Workout.  It seems to go better if I can double up, so to speak, and do both at the same time.  The aerobics/cardio stuff first to get my muscles warm, and then the weights so I can move without getting weird twinges and stuff. 

Other than that, I was a goof and ate really poorly today.  Not so much what I ate, but the fact that I completely skipped breakfast, then ate half of my child's lunch and that was hardly considered BFL-appropriate.  Andrew and I crashed and slept until the early evening, and when I was pressed to come up with dinner quickly, I reached for the phone and ordered pizza.  Hey, it was fun and Andrew was sure pleased about the dinner decision I made.  Some days are like that, I guess.  At least for me. 

I will make an effort to eat breakfast tomorrow.  I end up starting my day out before everyone gets up, brewing some coffee and reading a few meditation books I like.  The coffee is a bit of an appetite suppressant for me, so then I feel like skipping eating first thing, which is a no-no.  I shall try to do it better tomorrow.  See you then!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

S.T.A., Day Two, Old Before/New Before Shots

I am just getting these photos uploaded, and giggling a little bit at how silly Steve and I were in the kitchen.  He just insisted on making a sign that had the date on it, sort of like that movie about people who get kidnapped in Honduras and get polaroids sent to their loved ones, where they're holding today's newspaper to prove that they're still alive.  Except we weren't using today's newspaper, just a made up sign, which is silly.  Wasn't Russell Crowe in one of those films?  Ah, anyway. 

Sometimes cameras piss me off, because they're so doggone truthful.  Whoever it was that said the TV adds on 10 pounds was just probably indulging in some wistful thinking.  I might think I look like I'm thisclose to a size 6 at the Gap or wherever, but then I see a picture of myself and I realize I still have some work to do.  Granted, I look better, definitely have lost weight, but even when I see myself in a full-length mirror, there is this part of my brain (maybe it's self-preservation?) that tricks me into thinking I look better than I really do.  Skinnier, taller, longer torso, longer legs...Claudia Schiffer's head, all that jazz.  Then I see a photo of myself, a straight up lens just showing me for me, who I really am, and it grounds me into realizing my actual size and shape.  Not always the most fun, but definitely good for lifestyle change purposes.  If I start thinking I look super-fabulous-skinny all the time, I'm going to start skipping the whole eating healthy bit, and then exercise takes a back seat, and I'm suddenly neck deep in denial again. 

Ok, I'm done stalling.  I will show you my new "after" pictures, which are now my new "before" shots, but only if I get to show you my old "before" pictures from August 15, 2009.  And, since it's my blog, I get my way!

Old "before" shot:

New "Before" shot:

I have to remind myself that I really did lose twenty pounds for my first twelve weeks, because I'm not seeing any six-pack abs right here, and no chiseled waist...I know I must technically be smaller, even if it doesn't look like that just yet.

Old "before" shot:

New "before" shot:

There is some definite improvement going on.  The weight lifting really tones all over, and that helps me with how I carry myself, and just overall muscle definition...looky here, I have a deltoid (shoulder muscle)!

See it?  See it?  Is it sad that this is one of my most favorite pictrures Steve took of me?  I look skinnier, and my upper arm looks like it has the barest bit of definition.  Oh well.

Old "before" shot:

New "before" shot:

Notice the ripples of fat around my waist?  Notice how there is a much smaller one now rather than two largish ones?  That is awesome to me, especially since I don't always get to know what the back of me looks like on a daily basis.  Much improved here.  Plus the jogging shorts aren't nearly skin tight like they were back in the beginning.

Another favorite shot:

See my arms?  I have biceps!!  And deltoids!!  And one day, God willing, my arms won't flap when I wiggle them in the air!  The best is yet to come...can't wait to see after pictures twelve weeks from now.  See you tomorrow, I have to be nice and share the computer with Steve, especially since he has a lab report and needs this thingy.  See you soon!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Second Time Around, Day One

Hi everyone, like the new decor?

Since I'm on my second round of BFL, I thought I'd shake it up around here.  Why keep it same old same old when you have a 1,000,000,002 choices to make with color palettes, fonts, and text sizes?  At this point I am beginning to wonder if I am colorblind, illiterate, or have absolutely no taste at all.  Break  it to me gently, ok? 

When I was younger, I would pick each item to decorate my room and, later, my apartments, based on that one single item's appeal to me.  I never thought about how it would look alongside my other furniture or bedsheets, or whatever.  It explains how one of my old apartments had a pea-soup-green paint job on the walls, and a silvery mint green duvet.  Bleeeech.  I am realizing that is the mark of a grown-up, when a fair bit of the stuff matches.  See, it only took me thirty years to start figuring that out, but I have yet to implement that idea.  Hence the color play here (and my aparment, but that's another story).

Today was pretty good and also very exhausting.  I worked out and ran for twenty minutes, clocking in 1.6 miles, then went over to the weights and played around with exercising my upper body.  I tried the deltoid press, some sort of lat machine, and dumbbells and bench dips.  I worked out for about an hour solid.  I sort of crammed two days of exercising together because I have a tendency lately to miss days, and I wanted to get a good start on this week. 

My eating was so-so.  I didn't eat anything bad, but I did neglect to feed myself for a period of seven hours and then wondered why I felt crazed and thought that my life was crashing down around my ears when it wasn't.  There's this little tool I learned a few years ago:  HALT.  Don't get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.  It's funny, being overweight and all, but part of it is that I would forget to eat, or choose to not eat all day until 3 or 4 in the afternoon, and then I would tear into anything I could get my hands on.  Eating regularly is still something I have to focus on. 

I know I also promised pictures today, but it isn't going to happen.  Steve is not here to take photos of me, and I am not about to do that weird geeky self-portait of me in a pair of shorts.  It'll look like I'm psycho and posting my profile pic for MySpace or eHarmony or some weird crap like that.  I have worked hard to get to this size, even though I'm not at my goal yet, and I think I deserve to have a decent picture to show y'all, so there!  Nyah nyah!

Speaking of goals, here is what I have decided for this particular segment.  I want these five things:

1. To lose 15 pounds of fat.
2. To have some killer "guns".  (That means arms, Mom.)
3. To be able to do five pull-ups.
4. To run a bigger race than a 5k or to run a 5k in 30 minutes or less.
5. To increase my body strength by 20%.

I have also decided upon what I want for a goal weight.  I want to get to 140 pounds and see what the view looks like from there, so to speak.  I would like to get crazy and say 130, but I don't know if that is a reasonable weight for me.  I can always go lower, but I would rather set it somewhere that I have a chance in hell of reaching without delving into an eating disorder or becoming (more of) a workout fiend.  I weighed 120 in high school, and I was kind of puny.  130 might look ok, but then again, 145 might look fine, too.  I don't want to look wasted and scrawny, but healthy.  So that's what I chose.  We'll see what happens.

I look forward to day two (the sequel).  I am going to have to come up with something snazzier to mark the days, too.  Technically it's Day 85, but I'm bound to get confused counting that high (math dud, remember?).  Maybe I'll start counting in French?  See you tomorrow!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Day Eighty-Three...12-Week Measurements.

Wow.  I finished.  Well, sort of.

I am going to start Week One of the next BFL weight removal segment this upcoming Monday, November 9th.  So I'm not really done, but I am finished with the first twelve weeks.  Wow.

I am really surprised (pleasantly) that I have stuck it out, even though I hardly was an A+ student when it came to this.  I had a few bad weeks in there, some life stuff going on, and I was far from perfect, but I kept going, and that is what is really making me smile right now.  I really enjoy this stuff now, and I am still making this way of eating and being active a habit.  Whoever it was that said it takes three weeks to make a habit and three weeks to break a habit doesn't know me!

Here it is, for better or worse....(drumroll)....

Weight:          170 (down 5 lbs, down 20 POUNDS TOTAL!!)
Bust:              41.75" (up .5", down 1.25" total)
Arm:              12.25" (down .5", down 1.25" total)
Waist:            37.5" (up .75", down 5.5" total (ugh))
Abdomen:      40" (down 1.25", down 4.5" total!!)
Butt:               41.5" (down .5", down 4" total!!)
Thigh:             24.5" (no change, down 3.5" total!)
Calf:               14.75" (down .25", down .75" total!)
BMI:              28.3 (down 3.3 total)

I have tried many different ways to lose weight (just check back with some of my earliest posts if you want an incomplete list), and this is the very first time I have ever lost so much weight in one go.  Scratch that, removed that much weight.  Twenty pounds.  20.  That is a lot to me.  I surpassed my goal of losing 15 pounds of fat!  I don't know where I ever stored those suckers (well, yeah, I kinda do know).  I am a little bummed that my waist increased, but I think that it is in the range of ok and normal for me.  It has been a stressful few weeks and I am not too surprised at that increase.  However, I still decreased almost everywhere else, and didn't lose ground anywhere else.  I am glad to see the downward trend continue. 

20 lbs is like losing:
80 (!!!!) sticks of butter
four 5-lb bags of sugar
a big turkey
a toddler (well, don't try doing that, Department of Social Services gets mad if you do that!)
9.0718474 kilograms
a car tire
twenty one-pound sacks of M&M's (how many M&Ms would that be?)

My new goal for the upcoming 12-week weight removal segment is something I've been thinking about, as is what my ideal overall goal weight will be.  It is getting very exciting over here!  Party on!

I am going to get Steve to take my "after" shots (oh dear), so I will post those on Monday, since they will immediately morph from "after" into new "before" shots.  I will try to not suck in my gut, ok? 

Have a great weekend, and see you Monday!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day Eighty-One

Aw geez, my "dream list".  Well, I've been putting myself out there for about twelve weeks now.  No reason to get modest or shy now....

The dream list was a blank page in my BFL journal that said to write down all hopes, wishes, and dreams that I would like to see come true as a result of completing the twelve weeks of BFL.  Here is what I wrote down:

To be able to move.

Seriously, it was getting to the point that bending over, getting up from kneeling, and even twisting from the waist was getting a little taxing.  Things that I should have been able to do without thinking about were causing me to mutter to myself, and notice how my body was preventing me from simple movements.  I am much more able to move now, and I don't have to think hardly at all about my body's ability to move or what spare tire(s) are in the way that is impeding movement.  I'm not where I want to be (yet), but it is much improved.

To feel comfortable in my own skin.

My mind had an unending diatribe, aimed at myself.  I could barely stand to be seen eating in public, God forbid it would be something like chocolate or a cracker or something that didn't scream "healthy".  And all I ever ate was garbage.  Crossing the street, I lived in fear of some college kid or some smart ass screaming a sizist obscenity at me.  I remember when I was pregnant and had gotten fast food and was getting out of my car with the bag of food, and a clutch of french fries in my other hand.  A car had driven by and a male voice had screamed at me:  "DIET, HONEY!"  That was almost three years ago, and I still remember how I cringed.  I was terrified someone would say something along the lines of "move it, fat ass" next time.

To have control over what and how I eat.

This is still tricky for me.  I do some revenge or emotional eating still.  Sort of like eating the rat poison and waiting for the other person to die.  Or eating for comfort, rather than to stay fit and alive.   I am realizing when I do it, though, and I firmly believe that awareness is the first step in making progress over an issue.  So this one is still very current for me.

To look good naked.

(blushing).  Yeah...well...YEAH.  Don't you want to look good naked?  Seriously, is there someone out there who wants to look like a Beluga whale standing on its hind fins?  I'm just sayin'.

To feel good about myself.

This is one of the best rewards about Body-for-LIFE.  Taking the action, and trying over and over, and making sure I'm also taking care of my needs as well as those in my family, has led to me realizing I have value as a person.  That I am worth taking the time to care for myself.  In turn, I realize I had held on to some old ideas about myself that simply were not true.  I always thought that, on some level, I was pretty dim and had silly ideas about what was important in life.  Not true, I realize now.  I am smart, I am educated, and my values are good values.  Those old ideas no longer have any weight for me, and that has been a big blessing.

To know I am doing something good for myself.

Yes, definitely.

To be able to play with Andrew, run around, cavort.

I play on the playground equipment right along with my kid and his friends.  We have been much more physically active, especially lately, and that kid is wearing me out just as much as I'm wearing him out.  It used to be just him wearing me out, but not so anymore.  This wish makes me happy.

To not have to worry about weight, body.

 Well, I think I'm more mindful, not necessarily worrisome, anymore.  Before there was just an endless loop of thinking about things without doing anything about it. Now that I am taking action, I am not really worried anymore.  It will take time to get to the body I want, but I am making progress, even on bad days. 

To feel better about not having huge chances for cancer, diabetes, heart problems, etc.

I remember my second day on BFL, when I had a fleeting moment of worry over having a stroke while working out.  I never fear that my body is going to have a critical medical issue.  I am putting good fuel into my body (mostly) and I am working my body to make it strong and elastic (mostly).  That's all I can do about.  The rest is up to genetics, fate, and chance.  And I don't have to sweat that today.

See you tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day Eighty, and dusting off my goals.

Hi everyone.

I was all set to write last night, but Steve had this monster homework stuff he had to do, and I had to shudder through another night without technology.  Whew, that withdrawal is a bitch!  I have my BFL journal here beside me, and I haven't peeked yet or anything, but I'm going to share with you what my goals were for this twelve-week segment of weight removal. 

Ooooh, I'm a little nervous...what the heck did I write (thumbing through pages)....

Goal #1:  I will lose 15 pounds of fat!

Yay, I actually have accomplished this one, so far, that is.  As long as I stay on my game with eating, then I will be happy to say this has occurred for me.  I realized that, even though I may exercise and lift weights and run and be active, the weight doesn't budge unless I am mindful of what I put in my mouth.  A bummer, but true.

Goal #2:  I will gain 5 pounds of muscle!

Um, I don't know about you guys, but how the heck do you know when you've gained muscle?  Seriously, there is no BMI or anything for this.  I will make an educated guess that this goal has been met, though, since I can do so much more now that I used to be able to.  I have very slight muscle definition on my arms and my legs actually look pretty decent, versus before this twelve-week segment when I had the muscle definition of Gumby.

Well...aside from the bellbottom cankles thing, I wouldn't mind having that guy's waist.  Anyhooo....

Goal #3:  I will be able to do 20 pushups in a row!

Uh.  Um.  Ok.  I am not going to drop onto the carpet right this second and try this.  I will try it this week for my Upper Body workout, though, and let you know what happens.  I am wishing that I had put myself down for the girly modified pushups, though.  Think I can make a little wiggle room on the type of pushup I can do?

Goal #4:  I will increase my body strength by 10%!

Boy, do I have a problem with excessive exclamation point use or what!  Seriously!  So, let me thumb back to my first weights workout....

For chest exercises, my heaviest weights I could use were 7.5 pounders.  For shoulders, 7.5 pounds and it was too heavy (I still remember the burn).  Back was 10 pounds, and triceps were 10 pounds, as were the biceps.  Lately I work out with 15 pound weights for the biceps.  I can do twelve bench dips easily for my triceps workout (and I'm pretty sure I weight more than 10 pounds).  My back I can rock with 20 pound weights, and my shoulders are in the 12-15 pound range.  So, on average, my ability to lift increased by a fair bit.  I can lift about double what I used to be able to lift.  My lower body has definitely increased in strength as well.  I think I may have exceeded the 10% mark.  On average, since I can lift about double what I used to be able to do, (uck, math attack), wouldn't that mean I have increased my strength by, like 100%?  Seriously help me out here, folks, is that right? 

Why yes...that is me.  Just kidding!

Goal #5:  I will feed my family in the BFL way and inspire Steve to do BFL with me!

I think I can say that I have definitely improved the type of eating my family and I were engaging in.  We are far from perfectly healthy eaters, but the way we cook and eat is improving.  Olive oil is used around the house quite a bit (good old healthy monosaturated fat that it is).  Salmon is a semi-regular meal.  We use real butter rather than the tubs and gallons of the fake margarine stuff, and real sugar, too, just not as much.  I don't sling as much butter and cream sauce stuff around as I used to, and we use many more vegetables and healthy protein choices.  We all very much like lentils now, thanks in part to BFL. 

Have I inspired Steve to do BFL?  Maybe not, or at least not today.  He is awfully busy, and I do offer healthy food choices around the house, most of the time.  I take the time to care for myself, and I feel good about that, and I am happy and willing to give Steve the time he might want to do things for himself to, be it working out or other stuff.  However, as a surprise, my boss at work wanted to thumb through my copy of BFL for Women, and my coworker also just borrowed that copy that I only just got back from my boss!  It's making the rounds at my job, and people ask me about BFL all the time.  It is nice to talk about this program, since I find it to be simple and very effective, and it totally works for.  I get out of it what I put into it.  Go figure.  And that has been a really nice thing, seeing other people get interested in getting fit and in shape.  I have a running partner for the Reindeer Run in December, and she and I are very interested in doing another run after that, and possibly one before it.  I never had such a thing in common with other people before, and it's a pretty cool thing. 

As far as today goes, remember on Monday, when I told you I pushed it hard and worked out really hard so I had jelly legs?  I still have jelly legs.  In fact, it is only slightly less excruciating to go up and down stairs than it was yesterday.  I was completely unable to run on Tuesday since I could barely walk, and today slipped by without my Upper Body Workout.  Ugh--I plan to do it tomorrow and also pick up the Aerobics Solution workout as well.  Playing a little catch up, and a valuable lesson learned:  don't push it too hard! 

Tomorrow I will tell you what was on my "wish list."  I'll see you then. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day Seventy-Eight

Whoa.  It's the Twelfth Week!  Where did that come from?!

I am glad to be back on here, for what will hopefully be a loooong stretch of simple times, exercising, eating well and mindfully, and living life in a fashion that doesn't rush, fear, panic, or cry.  Well, there is usually rushing anyway in my normal everyday life, so scratch that part, but still....

In the past week or so, BFL has taken a back seat to some serious life stuff.  Fortunately I have had some practice in the past eleven weeks with getting back on the horse, so here I am again, butt firmly planted in the saddle.  Let's get back to basics, shall we?

I woke up this morning and had the time to drink some water, brew coffee (best invention ever) and take some time for simple reflection.  All of this got done before my son woke up--double win!  I actually had a wonderful day.  I made my favorite BFL breakfast:  whole wheat toast topped with low-fat sliced cheese and an egg done in olive oil with salt.  So delicious. 

I went to the YMCA and worked my lower body out with weights.  I did my quadriceps, my hamstrings, my calves, and finished with abdominal crunches.  I did it hard enough that I had jelly legs for the rest of the day.  And I felt good and happy about that.  I also want to add that I went running yesterday (on my FREE DAY!) and ran 2.6 miles in the cold rainy weather.  For fun.  Because I wanted to.  Cue Twilight Zone music.

Andrew and I went with our friends to a great new playground not far from where we live, and I played on the playground, like a little kid.  I spun around on this twirly metal thing, and laughed hard at my dizziness.  I crawled throught curvy tunnels (more than once), moving well considering it's child-sized and I'm a thirty-year old.  We all went for a long hike through the woods on a trail that leads by the playground, and I think my little two-year old walked somewhere in the neighborhood of a half mile, all by himself!  We ate outside, and I ate my snack of two low fat string cheese sticks and an apple, and a big bottle of water--another favorite of mine.  We headed home and had some quiet time, as opposed to nap time, since someone has decided to start staying up until 11:00 at night (ahem, it's not me).  A couple of cups of coffee and then dinner of fresh salad greens and thinly sliced chicken breast cooked in olive oil with Montreal steak seasoning, in a balsamic vinaigrette with fresh cracked black pepper and rosemary, along with a slice of whole wheat bread.  At 7:00 I had a Luna bar, the "chick" version of the Clif bar, since I can't stomach another Clif bar after eating them almost every day for nine weeks.  The chocolate peppermint stick one is phenomenally good. 

Now it's quiet.  I think Andrew might actually stay in his bedroom now, since the deer than wandered into our neighborhood have gone away.  He was so excited, running in his room, in the dark, and finally crowing through the crack under the door:  "There are DEER!"  It's cute, he loves to see them, every time, and I think they're pretty amazing, too.  I'm from St. Louis originally, and the only wildlife you ever see there is squirrels, pigeons, and rabbits.  Deer are pretty dang exotic to me still.

Tomorrow is an Aerobics Solutions day, and I have to figure out where to fit that in still, but I fully plan on doing it.  I am very much looking forward to a week of simple BFL following, and seeing how this first twelve-week transformation will pan out.  Tomorrow I'll tell you all what my goals were that I wrote down at the very beginning of this whole thing.  If they are what I think they are, it should be kind of funny.  See you tomorrow!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Post Pumpkin

Howdy do.

Yes, we're here to run.  Getting nervous, really sorta wishing I'd been gently tapped by a slow moving automobile so I wouldn't have to run this thing.

In fact, no, I can't stop fiddling with my Pearl, trying to find the exact right song to start this run.  (By the way, it was Lenny Kravitz "Are You Gonna Go My Way" that worked the charm).

Aw hell, what the frak am I doing here again?  I feel like my eye is going to twitch itself out of my head....

And BOOM, like a...slow moving bison, a lemming, a three-legged deer...I am off!  That is supposed to be me kissing my boys good-bye for a bit.  It looks like I'm giving an Italian hand signal.

I'm making it to the finish, just a few more feet.  This little whippersnapper tried to sprint around me at the end, and I was of two minds whether to be a nice adult and let him pass since he was a young 'un, or whether to run as fast as I knew I could at that moment and smoke that kid.  Which way did I choose?

Oh yeah, I took the high road, that led right by the smoking section.  I earned my run, and I decided it wasn't so much about the little squirt after all.  Yes, that's what I'm telling myself, and no, my maturity level hasn't increased much lately.

The post-race endorphins are unbelievable.  So are the shin splints.

But I did it.  I said I would, I signed up, paid for it, and even with all the craziness of the past week, the rain the day of, the acid stomach and nervous nausea, I came, I saw, I blanched, I regrouped, I surrendered, and I RAN all but twenty seconds of this sucker. 

And I'm going to do it again.  In December--Reindeer Run.  These runs might be addictive....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bending so I don't break.

I don't know what "day" it is.  I've lost track.  I am still trying to eat healthfully, but it has been a very eventful week.

My good good friend is very very sick.  She nearly died.  I was stunned to find out how unwell she was, and Monday evening passed into Tuesday at the hospital, praying, talking, waiting, Wednesday at her bedside, holding her hand and talking to her sleeping body.  It is Thursday and I have been to see her again, reading to her while she is healing in her sleep, spending time with her family, and making sure I spend time with my own family and my little man, who missed me when I was gone, and didn't like all the talking on the phone I was doing, giving out information, posting updates, and being distracted.  Her progress is very slow, but it is heading in the right direction, and I am very grateful for that.  The world would be a lot grayer without her in it.

I am emotionally drained, physically exhausted, and honestly, exercising is pretty low on my list of important stuff to do.  Yesterday I realized at 10:30 at night that it had been more than twelve hours since I had last eaten, so I am taking the time to pack snacks for myself, to remember to eat, and to forgive myself for the junk food I grab when I am too hungry to think clearly.

Am I done with BFL?  Not on your life.  In fact, it is very important to me to continue to do this program once life calms down a little (just a little, please God, please?), and to start another 12-weeks up again after this one is over.  The Pumpkin Run is this Saturday, and while a rather vocal minority in my head thinks that this couldn't happen at a worse time, I will be there, barring disaster (please God).  I will be running for me, for my fitness, to show that I can, to show it can be done, to be proud of myself.  But I will also be running for another woman who is dear to me.

I will be running for Gretchen.  I will be running to be strong for her, because she was happy to see me getting well and healthy, because she was stunned (in a good way) to hear I'd signed up and paid money to run in a race (still sounds weird to me).  I will be running because she wouldn't want me to avoid life just because it can be inconvenient sometimes.  I will be running so I can go to her with a clear conscience the next day and tell her I did something I've never done before.  I will be running to be strong for her, because she has always been so strong for me.

I love you, Gretchen.  Come back soon, and be well.