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.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day Sixty, and some thoughts.

Whew.  What a day.  And I don't just mean that for myself....

First off, I am so ridiculously grateful that the small boy in Colorado turned out to be hiding in his parents' attic the whole friggin' time that the nation and the world thought he was drifting aimlessly for 50 miles and two hours in a flimsy mylar aircrafty balloon thing.  If anyone has ever had a child, a puppy, or had to watch someone else's purse for a few minutes, I think we can all appreciate the suspense and relief over that one. 

Andrew spooked the crap out of me once.  Not nearly on that level, and please (dear God!) do not give him any ideas.  We live in an apartment building, on the second floor, and he is very good about staying on the porch-like balcony area when I have to dart in for something.  One time I was desperate to use the restroom and he refused to come in, so I ran in and was as speedy as humanly possible.  When I came out:  no Andrew.  Anywhere.  I called for him, screamed for him, and began running all over the place.  We live near the intersection of two busy streets, and I just started sprinting for the intersection, in the chance that he was near there.  I just had to make sure he wasn't going that way before I started looking in other directions.  My brain was flying, thinking he'd been snatched, he'd fallen and was unconscious somewhere, and how I was going to get help, since there was no one else around.  All of this took mere seconds that stretched into eons in my mind and my heart.  I. could. not. find. my. son. 

I ran back to our apartment building, and turning a corner, saw past a hedge that Andrew was sitting in the grassy area just outside our apartment building.  He'd been hidden by the shrubs and apparently we hadn't taught him that neat little trick of replying loudly when he was called for.  I still remember that huge feeling of relief and gratitude and the heart pounding fear and panic from just moments before.  And I just grabbed him and held him and tried to explain in a shaky voice just why I was so scared and why he had to stay put.  The fault was absolutely all mine for leaving him alone for a minute, and I've learned that lesson, but I understand, to a small extent, the fear and terror that his parents and so many other people must have felt today, watching that flimsy silver balloon drift across the sky.  I am so unbelieveably grateful that the little stinker was hiding in the attic after all.  That kid should get an ice cream sundae for dinner, in my humble opinion...oops, maybe not...I am trying to promote healthy eating and lifestyle choices here, aren't I?  Well, maybe an ice cream cone--it's been a rough day for us all!

Other things today have been less spectacular and suspenseful, but interesting nonetheless.  I feel like I may have had a smidgeon of personal growth in the past day or so regarding my personal powerlessness over people, places, and things.  This really extends to Andrew and (worst of all) to Steve.  I say worst of all because he's a grown man, a rational human, and while he's been able to feed, clothe, and keep himself alive for...a while...before we ever met, I have a terrible tendency to try to "help" the poor man to death.  And he's a pretty, um, headstrong person, and so every suggestion I make becomes the very last thing on earth he would ever want to try, and on and on.  Terrible amounts of energy are expended over this, and some hair pulling and teeth gritting on my part, and I still butt my head against this problem, over and over again.  And isn't that just the definition of insanity, folks?  You know what I'm talkin' about.

Last night, I got to be a part of a lovely discussion about letting go of personal issues and surrendering things that I have no control of.  People around me were sharing their experiences with issues similar to mine, and it was so helpful to hear about how they did it, and how they used to feel the way I feel, and now it's not like that anymore.  So last night, when I got home and found my two boys still awake, rather late, and things not done the way I would have done them, I started trying to practice that idea.  Every time I took a breath to start talking, I clamped my mouth shut.  When Steve decided to stay up and do school stuff when he's been running on the fumes for days and days and I thought he ought to be in bed, I just stopped myself, mid-word nearly, and walked into the other room.  And I made up my own prayer to God at that moment.  Want to hear it?

"God, you take him 'cause I can't do shit with him."

Isn't that classy?  That's the kind of relationship I have with the Man Upstairs, as my Grandma used to call him.  All that thee, thine, and thou stuff is really pretty and very polite, but God kind of knows the inside of my head better than I do, so maybe I'm not such a frilly talker anyway and shouldn't pretend!

Back to BFL and all it's lovely stuff:  Things are going well.  I feel like I have been pushing it very hard this week.  I have been running beyond the twenty minute workouts that are suggested for the program, and I am stunned at the amount of running I have been able to do without feeling like I'm going to expire.  In fact, I feel pretty dang good afterwards--perhaps I am becoming addicted to the "runner's high"?  On Monday, I ran on the treadmill at the YMCA, and I did my normal twenty minute Aerobics Solution.  During that workout, I ran 1.6 miles.  I then got off and went to the indoor track and ran an additional mile, so that I could get a gauge on how hard the Pumpkin Run would be for me.  It wasn't too bad at all.  I did some walking here and there, but it was totally doable.  Tuesday I worked out with weights, and Wednesday got away from me without any working out at all (bummer).  Tonight I went back to the YMCA and ran again for twenty minutes on the treadmill (1.6 miles again) and back to the indoor track to run the additional mile.  This time I had to do way less walking!  It's amazing to me, me who is not fast and can't run far, but I am doing it, step by step.  I only walked for about a minute at a time, twice.  And that's it.  The rest of the time I ran, and (not to brag or anything...well maybe a little) the last two laps around the indoor track I picked up speed and sprinted the very last lap.  It was such a nice rush to finish and smile to myself.  If I wouldn't have looked like a weirdo I'd have patted myself on the back.  This progress is so uplifting to me.  I have worked hard, and I have tried hard, and I appreciate so much what my body has been able to do in the past nine weeks.  I can't wait to see what will go down for the last three of this Body-for-LIFE cycle.  I'll see you tomorrow!

PS:  Not that you were really missing me that much, but the reason I couldn't post the past few days was because Steve was in a school/test/lab blitz and had to go into hiding on campus with the laptop.  I am so glad to have internet (and Steve) back!  :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day Fifty-Seven

Here it is, the start of Week Nine.  Wow.  I don't think I made it this far the first time I "tried" BFL.  Now, however, I am already planning the next twelve weeks after this one.  Oh yeah, baby, this is just the beginning.

I switched it up today and took Andrew to the YMCA this morning (thank you Child Watch!) and ran instead of the traditional weight lifting routine on a Monday.  So I ran my 20 minutes on the treadmill (didn't knock off the emergency magnet this time, either!), and then I went to the indoor track to run a little more.  I clocked 1.6 miles on the treadmill, and I wanted to see if I could go the 2.5 miles that the Pumpkin Run is supposed to be.  So I ran an additional mile.  And it wasn't even that bad!  That's the surprising part.  I ran 18 laps around this track and kept a pretty steady pace the whole time.  I did walk one lap and I also sprinted one lap, just for kicks.  I feel a bit more confident about this run, now that I know I can actually, physically go the distance.  Now I need to start factoring in hills and such, since I am pretty much a zero incline runner.  Let's see, can Erin possibly overcomplicate a little run like this?  Ooooh yes.

Other than that, it's been a pretty good day.  Had some trouble with the people kibble (doggone Amish Friendship bread.), but since the item has been completely eradicated (read: eaten), it can't cause any more trouble.  That's my old thinking popping up.  See, if I just go ahead and eat the whole thing, whatever the particular bad food is, then it can't hurt me anymore, right?  Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?  Sort of like smoking the whole pack because you were just craving one cigarette, and since you cracked it open, rather than throwing it away, you might as well get your money's worth.

Eleven days to the run.

Twenty-seven days until the end of my first BFL cycle, the "after" pictures and final weigh and measure.

Seventy-three days until Christmas. (Are my knitting friends gritting their teeth yet?)

Approximately fifteen and half more years until Andrew is in college.

Got some stuff to do.  Going to bed so I can be well-rested to do it.  See you tomorrow!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day Fifty-Five, Part Deux, AKA Hot Diggety Damn!

I just missed you guys sooooo much I had to weigh myself and measure myself so I'd have something to tell you...and boy oh boy, do I have somethin' to tell ya!

Eight Weeks BFL:

Weight:     175 (down 3 lbs from Week 6-->FIFTEEN LBS TOTAL!)
Bust:         41.25" (down .5"-->down 1.75" total)
Arm:         12.75" (no change-->down .75" total)
Waist:       36.75" (down 1.75"!!-->down 6.25" total!!)
Abdomen: 41.25" (down 1.00"-->down 3.25" total)
Butt:          42" (down .25"-->down 1.00" total)
Thigh:        24.5" (no change-->down 3.50" total)
Calf:          15" (down .25"-->down .50" total)
B(ullshit)MI: 29.1 (down .5-->down 2.5 points total)

So...comparison wise, I just lost about:

60 sticks of butter!
A nice size Thanksgiving turkey
3 sacks of potatoes
a watermelon
60 sticks of butter
15 one-pounder bags of M&Ms
my post-pregnancy weight (finally!)
15 packages of butter...which add up to (you guessed it)
....and a partridge in a pear tree!
And I got into a pair of size 10 jeans today...and that means I got in, zipped 'em and buttoned 'em and everythang!

As my sister-in-law once said when I complimented her physique in a photo...RIPPITY DOO DA!

Ahem...thank you, that concludes today's presentation.  w00t!

Day Fifty-Five

This is becoming the roaming laptop, since Steve is so busy with school.  Rather than being accepting of this, I have come to feel like maybe we just need another laptop so I can futz around with the internet, rather than having to wait for Steve to take study breaks or whatever so I can check out my favorite blogs and see the news and what-have-you.  Or maybe I should just get an iPhone or something...yeah, 'cause I really need one (um, no, not really).

This week has been going well (knock on wood).  I did miss working out on Thursday because it got so late that I was too tired to work out.  I ended up doing my missed Aerobic workout last night (on a Friday! Shakin' it up!), and I will do my weights workout tonite.  That also means that I will go running for fun on a Sunday (SAY WHAT?!).  I haven't been running in over a week, maybe closer to two weeks now.  I have had my aerobic/cardio workouts, but it has been more in-home Dance Dance Revolution style.  While that is fun, it's not the same as running, and I am only doing DDR because I can't figure out how to be ok with leaving my sleeping child alone in the house so I can go to the apartment complex's gym to run.  Just can't seem to frame that in my mind as an ok I'm making do with what I have.

There is supposed to be a trail near where we live, and it is rumored (by my boss Darcy at work, who would know) that this trail is the trail for the Pumpkin Run.  So I am going to run it on Sunday and see what happens.  I will take water, my little Pearl, some rescue flares, a machete, and a first aid kit.  I wish I could take those things, though, because I am a bit of a mess on a trail run.  Let me "splain":

When Steve and I first started hanging out (read:  I was obsessed and horribly crushing on Steve and sort of latched onto whatever group outing he was a part of), he and another friend decided to run a trail.  I had been running before (like two or three times on a track), and I was assured that I would do great for the four miles of fun they were going to do, and I'd have a blast, and it's awesome, and all that.  So I felt fairly sure that I would be able to hold my own.  I wasn't going to be a speedy runner, and Steve and the other runner (a friend of both of ours) said it would be fine, don't worry, just come, whatever.

We get there for the run and start running.  I have only ever run on a track or on the pavement.  Here there be roots and dirt and rocks and puddles and stuff.  It is exhilirating, but only because I'm trying to not fall on my face and I'm trying to look like I know what I'm doing and not look like a panting rhino because, if you recall, I am running with the guy I have a huge crush on.  So all goes well for maybe a quarter of a mile, until a rock jumps out in front of my right foot and I go sprawling, slip-n-slide style across the ground.  My left ankle is in agony, and I can tell something bad happened because that foot is numb, but I can feel warmth spreading under the skin of that foot's ankle.  Something tore and I am in big trouble, and not only because I hurt myself and my right knee is bleeding and I'm dirty and smudged, but oh my gosh I fell down like a sack of potatoes in front of STEVE!

This is where I get teasing rights for the rest of Steve's life.  Mr. I-Know-Everything-About-Running says to me, barely panting, that this is probably just a little thing, and I should get back up and continue running, that the movement will force out the fluids in my ankle (which is starting to swell) and I'll be as good as new by the end of the run (a big fat frackin' lie).  Uncertain that he is right, and also wanting to look like I have confidence in him, I agreed to try it, once my foot stopped being numb.  Gingerly I got back up and starting running the trail.  This was, as you can guess by now, A BAD IDEA.

My ankle tried to comply...maybe it thought the reason we were still running was because I was being chased by a dude with a hockey mask and a chainsaw.  But then my ankle decided enough was enough.  And my pride was too invested to stop and say that I needed some help, and I was lost in the woods on this godforsaken hilly, crap trail.  I think this sucker was more like six miles.  Six miles of running on what turned out to be a severely sprained ankle.  Well, limping for six miles...running was out by then.  I got back to the parking lot and fortunately took my shoe off before I sat in the car to drive.  When I got home, my sister had to help me climb the stairs, since my ankle was black and blue and the size of a grapefruit.  I was pretty dang sure I was done with trail running (and quite possibly Steve) forever.

Until now...

So wish me luck on Sunday, pray for steady ankles, sure feet, well-tended trails, and no rocks.  Please?  Thank you.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Day Fifty-Two

You know, laptops are super awesome, in my opinion.  You can just flip 'em open, use 'em, flip 'em shut.  You can pull them into the bed with you and look at cool thingies on "teh interwebs", as my lol-speaking friends like to say.  You can also unplug them and take them all over the place, which is cool, too.  Except when the person taking the laptop all over the place is not you.  Then you (read: me) is sad and unhappy that some silly student person has taken the computer and left you with the plugs, which don't do zip except make you feel like you got robbed.  But I am getting over that, and also am becoming aware that I may have a little addiction to Facebook.  The itchiness in my fingers only subsides when I am cruising FB, posting, visiting other people's "walls"'s getting a little embarassing.

Anyway, back to business.  I did eat well yesterday, and I did work out, although I didn't get to run.  Since I was all alone, with just my toddler and no (sniff) laptop, and I didn't want to leave my apartment to go run at the gym and leave my sleeping two-year old unattended in the house (Division of Social Services probably wouldn't like that idea too much...or my mother, come to think of it), I ended up celebrating my inner dork and doing a hard-core twenty minutes of...DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION! 

I think I just lost a couple of followers for my blog, just now. 

It does make it interesting though, since I look like a drunk rhino/rabid water buffalo falling in slow motion.  And even better is the humbling part, where I get so tired and ragged and my feet tangle up so I get my left confused with my right.  That and my downstairs neighbor must l-o-v-e me. 

I also just finished my Upper Body Workout, about thirty minutes ago.  Apparently I am embracing that whole night owl thing.  Also, when Andrew falls asleep for nap, all I want to do is nap, too.  So I'm rolling with that. 

A friend paid me a compliment today and asked if I was losing weight.  She asked me what I was doing to lose the weight, and I told her a little about Body-for-LIFE.  I also told her about the Pumpkin Run, and she was so sweet to tell me that she wanted to be there to cheer for me.  I'm part charmed and chagrined about the idea of running towards some kind of finish line with friends being supportive.  Except that my vanity will be wondering how much of me is flowing all over the place (thighs, arms, etc) and whether I look like a runner or someone having an epileptic attack.  I guess that's a problem for another day, and perhaps I should get my head out of my butt.  See you tomorrow!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Day Fifty. I may be down, but...

I am not out.

Last week, well, I didn't write in the blog.  There was nothing to write.  I felt sick, aggravated, hormonal, you name it.  So I let it slide allllll week.  No workouts, no controlled eating, no healthy food.  And I told myself that, come Monday, I was getting back up on the horse. 

I didn't get up at the crack o' dawn to work out, but I got my workout in while Andrew had his nap.  I ate well today, and I have to say that my body must have missed all that healthy food.  It really makes a difference, what kind of fuel you put in your body.  With all the emotional, hormonal eating I did last week, I haven't felt so depressed and miserable and puffy (for lack of a better word) since before I started Body-for-LIFE.  I was sure I had put on all the weight I had lost.  I felt like I had "outgrown" all the clothes I had just slimmed down to fit into.  I felt like I would forever feel horrible about myself, miserable about my body, and just yucky in general.  However, after about two meals into today, my outlook on life brightened considerably.  I think I may have rejoined the human race.  Finally. 

The slight downside to all that time off was that my strength went by the wayside when I went to do my Lower Body Workout.  JELLY LEGS!  That is going to feel very interesting come tomorrow.  I had to scale back the weights I had been using, and even with lighter weights, my muscles were quivering like Jell-O in an earthquake.  But I did it.  I am so glad I did.

This feels a little bit like a triumph for me, in more than one way.  For one, in the past, any workout/lifestyle change attempts had to be 100%, come-rain-or-come-shine, every day.  Because if I missed one day, I very likely wouldn't make it back into the routine.  That's all it would take--one missed day.  Let alone seven.  And, for the second part, I don't feel like this lost week was such a big frickin' deal.  I was sick, I was unhappy, I just fell apart for a few days, and now I'm back.  So what?  And that's a pretty cool attitude for me to take, rather than to whip out the cat o' nine tails and go to town on myself. 

It's also 19 days until the Pumpkin Run...the little run that could.  I had meant to be getting out much sooner than this to start running out in the elements, as it were, on the sidewalk or on a trail, in the weather, rather than in a gym in the hamster wheel.  I am hoping to get an extra run in this week where I go the 4k distance and see how it feels.  Such a short distance, and yet it fills me with dread and excitement.  Sort of like climbing a really tiny Mount Everest.  Ah, back in the saddle...see you tomorrow!  I missed y'all!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day Forty-Five

Still sick.  Still sound like I've been smoking cartons of cigarettes.  I have hopes for tomorrow being a return to normal.  I did think about going running, but my voice was so scratchy and weird, I knew I'd be kicking myself big time for running in the cool autumn air and got sicker tomorrow.  See you soon...honest!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day Forty-Three

I have the funk.  I sound like a circus seal (HOOP HOOP).  I didn't work out, because I feel like hammered poop.  Part of me is bothered, but then I just have to tell myself, "Dude, you're sick.  Get over it."  I'm going to bed.  See you tomorrow!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day Forty-One, Numbers for Week Six

I want to start by saying that I am really pleased with six weeks' worth of work.  I have been pushing myself and I am glad I have stuck with this so far, even with the speedbumps, gullywashers, and broken fanbelts that have popped up along the way.  I also need to remember that this is a lifestyle change, not a crash diet.  This is not about a scale, or a number, but the whole picture.  I am changing my activity level, my health, my mental state, my coordination, as well as my fat content (not to sound like a bag of Doritos or anything, but you know what I mean). 

I also want to take time to give the largest shout out I can to the people who have tirelessly stuck by me and this blog, who have patted me on the back, and shared my happy moments and who have helped me keep my perspective and get back up on the horse again when I have been frustrated.  You all help me so very much, I cannot tell you, except to say thank you again.

So, let's do 'dis.

Weight:       178 (down a whole pound.  uh, whoop.)  Down 12 pounds total
Bust:           42.75" (up an inch)  Down .25" total.  h-o-r-m-o-n-e-s.
Upper Arm: 12.75" (down .50") Down .75" total.
Waist:         38.50" (down .75") Down 4.5" total.  YAY!
Abdomen:   42.25" (down .25") Down 2.25" total.
Butt:            42.25" (down .75") Down 3.25" total.  YAY!
Thigh:          24.50" (no change) Down 3.50" total.
Calf:            15.25" (down .25") Down .25" total. 
BMI:           29.6 (down .2) Down 2 points total. 

I think that this is one of those times when the scale doesn't fully show the work that has been done since the last weigh in.  This is why I am glad I took measurements along the way.  Without the tape measure, I'd have no idea that, contrary to what I was convinced of, I actually got smaller in my waist and my butt.  Hey, even my calves are starting to shrink down.  I also really pushed hard with weights the past two weeks, and I have been building up muscles, which skew the number on the scale as well.  If I were going to Weight Watchers (and I have done that several times in the past), that number on the scale would be the only thing I would be able to pin my progress on.  And, knowing me, I would be feeling mighty discouraged right about now.  But now I can see that I am getting smaller.  It's not as flashy as the first couple of weigh ins and measurements were, but it is still going on. 

I wish the scale had a bigger number to show me, but I don't really feel that disappointed.  I worked really hard with weights and built up some good muscle.  I can tell because I am stronger, I can carry heavier things (like my son), and I can see it on myself, my leg, my arms, their shape is changing from doughy to...less doughy.  I am going to keep up the hard work!  I am very curious to see what I will look like in another six weeks, but first things first...on to Week Seven!  See you Monday!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day Forty

Well, I think it's safe to say I learned some stuff this week.  I learned a couple things today already.

For one, when I go seven hours without eating (due to circumstances beyond my control), I am pretty much going to throw nutrition out the window when all I have left to eat in the house is frozen chicken breasts.  Domino's will be my official BFL food provider at that point, and it will look like portion control to a giant. 

Also, when I feel sick and have a cold....well, see number one again.

And when I'm cranky and hormonal, well, yeah, you  know.  Number one.  Again.

So there you go.  I missed my workout today because I also learned another thing...when I combine two workouts into one really long workout, with running like a maniac and lifting weights like I'm training for the UFC, then I become so sore and bone-weary exhausted that the idea of working out with weights again becomes laughable.

And the last thing, whenever I get to talking or worse yet, bragging about progress I have made, or how long I have stuck with something, anything at all, it's like a guarantee I will screw it up at the earliest possible opportunity.  So....


See you tomorrow. :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day Thirty-Nine, and what it was like.

Well, I woke up and decided that, being it was a new day and all, to let the past be the past and to not have a foodie/binge-y hangover and feel the funk any more than I had to.  So I went to the Y this morning and dropped Andrew off in Child Watch so I could work out.  And I did it me-style.  Let me 'splain....

I went to run, since it is an Aerobics Solution day.  I got all set on the treadmill, popped Pearl in my ears, and started chugging away.  I had propped my BFL journal up on the little crap ledge thingy that all treadmills have, and tried to use it like I normally do, to keep track of what speed I need to go at what time.  It proved to be too much book on too small of a display screen, so I shut the book and only opened it when I needed to.  Then I dropped it and caught it in mid-air, only to have knocked off the emergency magnet thingy that is supposed to save me from being launched across the room in case I fall.  I had to smile to myself...ha ha, how cute, I messed up and have to re-enter my speed, my course, my weight, my horoscope, my second grade teacher's favorite color, and on and on.  So I did it and started running again.  Trying to remember how much I had run before so I could see if I could make it past the mile-and-a-half mark I've been logging in previous runs.  Then I knocked the little frackin' magnet off AGAIN!  This time the funk roared out of me and I full-fledged gave my treadmill the very obvious finger.  Mature, right?  What does that rate me, middle school or high school level maturity?  Mind you, I'm at the YMCA, the Young Men's Christian Association.  And that little gesture wasn't like saying "peace be unto you."  It's more like saying, "help, I need meds."

I finished my run...have no clue how far I went, and decided to break the rules.  I went into the weight area.  This area scares me.  There are machines here that look like they could double for the iron maiden during the Spanish Inquisition (Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!).  There are big ole dumb bells, and there are people working out with barbells and stuff.  People who look like they know what they're doing, and will probably laugh me out of there once I start heaving weights around.  But the funk will not be denied.  I march in there, blaring ABBA in my Pearl (dork alert), and start lifting weights for the missed Upper Body Workout I didn't do yesterday.  And I do the whole thing. 

I have some funny observations from my time in the weight area.  First, all weights smell funny.  I thought it was just mine at home (they smell like kerosone, even after I washed them).  Must be some kind of rule.  Secondly, I lift heavier weights than ever before when I'm in public.  Because, you know, everyone is looking at me.  No one could possibly be there to work out and focus only on themselves.  Shuh.  I mean, I even caught myself in the 412 mirrors in the weight area, doing bench dips and trying to set my jawline like I was a bad-ass.  I am such a poser!  I just have to laugh at myself.  Apparently my maturity level is still below average, but I kinda already knew that.

Today I got to thinking about the moment in my life regarding food that spurred me into taking action, and into doing Body-for-LIFE.  I was cranky, upset, very resentful in general, and feeling like a member of the Donner party, except with cabin fever thrown in.  I had driven to the nearby gas station to get "bad food."  I was wearing pajamas basically, really baggy pants and a horrible looking T-shirt.  My hair was all over the place, and I was very big and obviously very unhappy.  Plus, I had my brain on auto-loop, constantly berating myself over my appearance and what I was eating, especially when I was eating the "bad food."  "What are you doing, fatty?" my brain would hiss at me.  "Don't you know everyone can see how fat you are and is thinking that?"  Literally, that is how mean my mind is to me when I get to feeling low. 

So I grabbed king size candy bars, chips, sodas, fruit candy, and more stuff.  Then is where it felt more painful than it ever has before.  That slow shuffle to the counter, where I'm trying to walk as if I have confidence in myself and don't care about the 1400 calories worth of crap I have in my arms.  I think about pretending I am getting all of this for a group of people, not just for myself.  Maybe I could tell him I'm getting these snacks for friends at home who are going to watch a movie with me?  I remember distinctly thinking that.  I set the food down, and this painful lump in my throat was just killing me.  I knew this wasn't working, that this was not good for me, but I felt like I just had to have this stuff.  That it was all the enjoyment I had left at that point.  And a still, quiet voice (my own voice, too) said to me,

 "You know that you don't have to do this if you don't want to." 

I went through the motions after that.  I paid the cashier, lugged home the crap, and proceeded to eat it, but my little routine was spoiled.  I could still hear that little voice and I knew it was speaking the truth.  I didn't have to live like that, not if I didn't want to.  And I didn't want to any more.  I think a few days later or so the idea for BFL came to me, and I started this blog.  I am so very grateful that voice spoke to me when it did, when I felt so embarrassed and hideous about myself.  I know that voice was more than just myself, but a glimpse into what I could be, if I just would put down the self-sabotaging behavior.  I've heard that voice before, and it has always helped me.  And I know that voice comes from the God of my understanding, and I am so glad for my relationship with Him.  I know that God, and God-talk doesn't float a lot of people's boats, and if that guy doesn't figure into your life, that's cool, it's totally your business.  I'm only relating what happened to me that caused me to try to change what I did so I can have a better life. 

I slip up with that stuff from time to time (hey, see last night's post!), but I always try and usually succeed at getting back on the wagon again.  I do that because I do not ever want to do that shuffle to the counter at the gas station.  Ever again.  Good night, and see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day Thirty-Eight. Meh.

Bless me, dude, 'cause I am cranky.  It has been about 20 minutes since I last professed crankiness.  Here are my "things".

Thing 1:  I have been overtired all day.

Thing 2:  I ate three (!) Clif bars today and my stomach is

Thing 3:  My hors are moning, to quote from the Sweet Potato Queens by Jill Connor Browne.  In English, my hormones are running rampant like lemmings off a cliff.

Thing 4:  I am so sensitive that I am positive that the Dalai Lama just gave me the finger.  That son of a gun.

Thing 5:  I ate Wendy's tonight.  For spite.  Kind of like eating rat poison and waiting for other people to die.  Aaaaawwweeesooommme and SO proud of the choice I made.

I need absolution.  Or maybe some chocolate.  Or a tazer.  I can't decide which.  So I better go to bed, because this evening has blown royally.  And the only thing that's genuinely the matter is the space between my ears.  Oh well, this too shall pass.  Meh.

Day Thirty-Seven

It's late, and I am feeling a little bothered.

First off, thank you very much for your supportive comments on my post yesterday.  It's always a good feeling when I come to a strong opinion on something, and other people end up saying that it is English I'm speaking in, it does make sense, and they sympathize.  Triple score!

Today I am feeling irritated because of the dumbest thing in the world.  That doggone number on the scale looks like it is creeping up, even though I have been behaving myself.  I know that number doesn't define me, and that I am working out with weights, and I'm not seventeen years old so it might take a while, and on and on, but I admit, I still totally get hung up on that number.  I had to work so hard to lose the eleven pounds (w00t) that I have lost, I sure as hell don't want to see any of those suckers creeping back onto my body.  I had to think to myself, "what am I not doing right?"  I am eating the right way, my meals are not spaced too far apart, I worked out yesterday and today.  Last week I missed two out of three of my Aerobics workouts (oops), so maybe that's what's going on?  It is so stupid to get hung up on, but I want the FAT OFFFFFF! 

On the plus side, when I was putting lotion on my legs (go self-care!), I noticed that my calf muscle looks very lovely.  It has muscle showing through, and I can see it flex and stuff.  I definitely felt it flexing this morning when I had the charley horse from hell, too!  I was whimpering and trying to hobble off of the bed so I could stand on my leg and work the charley horse out.   And why on earth is it called a charley horse?!  I guess I better head to wikipedia to answer that one....

Also, I forgot to tell you something else I did this weekend.  I signed up for the Pumpkin Run 4k Race!  It is October 24th, and I get a pair of socks for running in it.  I'm so neurotic that I'm already getting a little nervous about it.  Silly questions floated through my head today regarding the race...can I run with my little Pearly iPod in my ears?  Is that against the rules?  What if I have to walk a fair bit?  What if I fall?  Ahhhh, glad to see my brain is still reliable in respect to coming up with ways to trip me up.

So now I'm off to bed.  It's late, and I don't want to oversleep two days in a row for work.  Thank God Andrew wandered in to wake me up this morning at 7:20--we were supposed to be at work at 8:00!  We made it in, but were late by nearly 10 minutes.  So I better get to sleep so I don't play whack-a-mole with the snooze button in the morning.  See you tomorrow!

PS:  I just had to sneak off and look up Charley Horses.  This is a hoot.  It can be known as a "dead leg" or a "granddaddy".  In Australia it can be called a corked leg or a "corky."  It can be in the thigh (traditional location), from getting a bruise on the thigh muscles (like when playing soccer and you catch a knee up there--sort of makes the same mark as a kick from a horse), or a simple muscle cramp in the leg or foot.  I am such a dork!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day Thirty-Six, and I wanna tell you something...

Hey everyone.  Saturday sort of slipped by me and I didn't do my usual blogging routine.  But today, oh man, have I got something to say.

Now, to be fair, I will try to avoid generalizations, although it's very easy.  I remember "The Big Chill" when Jeff Goldblum's character (the reporter) was talking about generalizations.  Something to the tune of it being not such a big deal when people proclaim they're going without sex or whatever, but the real trick is to try to go a week without making a generalization.  I'm not aiming for a week, but I am going to aim for an entire post, ok?

It was a bumpy weekend.  In BFL, I got plenty of warning to expect life to come at me.  My family, my job, my hair, my car weren't going to go on pause and wait patiently while I did 84 days of self-transformation.  I was going to have to be ready for obstacles, and to turn it into something positive, or at least to not let it derail me.  So this Saturday was one of those times.  Without going into too much detail, it was made somewhat plain to me that my whole little "routine", getting out for a few short hours on Saturday night, was inconvenient because...well, because it just was, I guess.  It would have been preferred if I could have put Andrew to bed by myself (again) and stayed home (again) in case someone needed something (again).  And this time, I had a breakthrough. 

In the past, I might have just stuffed my feelings and stayed home, burning with resentment and anger, and even have tamped the feelings down with a supply of Dove Bars and the boob tube.  This time, though, I turned and asked what in particular could I do at that moment that would make things better.  I asked how I could be "of service", as they put it in my favorite 12-step program.  When no answer was forthcoming, I just said, as neutrally as possible:

"This doesn't sound like my problem.  This doesn't sound like my stuff.  And it is not a crime for me to leave the house."


No, nothing went flying, no one got smacked, but it fell like a bowling ball off of a skyscraper for me.  I finally said what I'd been thinking in calmer moments, when this situation would come up, time and again.  I didn't elaborate, I just continued on my way out.  I was very nice about the whole thing.  Dinner was made and served up for the two men in my life.  The pots and pans were already washed and drying.  Laundry was going, and everything was as ready for bedtime as I could make it.  I admit I was angry and took advantage of some chairs being moved around where I went in order to get out some frustration (PS:  I can lift two folding chairs in each hand now--ka-ching!), and I have been muttering to myself a little bit, but in all, this was a real moment for me. 

I had read in the BFL for Women book about taking the time for yourself, for your self care, and it really got driven home for me this weekend.  Pamela Peeke, the author, has a charming little bit about "someone" taking the hard-working woman aside and saying, "oh honey, you've worked so hard, let me go to the store for you and buy that chicken breast.  I'll cook it up for you, too.  Why don't you go to a matinee or something?"  If I wait for that to happen--well, it just won't happen.  So I have to take the time, steal it, hold it up at gunpoint, whatever, to get what I need.  I'm not looking for an unreasonable amount of time for myself.  Two evenings a week, one where I get to be gone until late, if I want to, and time, when needed (like once a week), to have Andrew be watched so I can work out for 45 minutes, tops.  I'm not asking for human sacrifice, I'm not asking for anyone to miss out on their needs so that mine can be met, and I'm starting to not be so shy about asking, either.  It is only fair.  And yeah, I know life's not fair, but screw that, parenting should be.  Or at least somewhat close. 

So, that's my big breakthrough.  I'm sure people have opinions on that sort of thing, and I'm interested in hearing yours...though, to be honest, if it is along the lines that I should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen and proud of it...maybe you should tell it to someone else. 

In other news, I am proud to say that I worked out this evening, even though I was so close to calling it off and going to bed early.  I knew that I would be more bothered by missing the workout than by actually doing it, so I just put in my little iPod (I love you, Pearl) and gritted my teeth and, soon enough, the endorphins were going and I was feeling pretty glad about myself.  I am at the start of Week Six, and I have to say, how the hell did six weeks go by already?  Well, five weeks, but still!  I am almost to the halfway mark, and I am really enjoying the strength I have, the discipline I am building, and the mental clarity and sense of self that is getting dusted off after three years of being pregnant/being a new mom/being a working mom/being a working mom of a toddler.  It's nice to be Erin again, rather than just Andrew's Mommy, although that is a pretty sweet gig, too.

It is very late, and I will have to cut this short, but I just want to say this to you.  If there is something you really want to do, and you feel like it would just inconvenience others or rock the boat or whatever...well, they're grown-ups too, just like you, and if you've been sucking it up for this long, then they can start sucking it up while you go grab what you need.  Go get 'em!  I'll see you tomorrow!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day Thirty-Three

I just, five minutes ago, got in my Upper Body Workout.  It's a damn good thing I'm a born night owl, otherwise this exercising stuff would be even harder to fit in. 

Today I realized how precious my time is.  I was so wacky at work from lack of sleep (Andrew caught a minor cold and spent the night kvetching at/for me) that I practically insisted on knitting my way through my shift.  Yeah, it's not so bad to be caught knitting on the job.  It's not like I was lurching around, twirling batons that were lit on fire.  That's next week.

I can actually knit without looking at my hands (sort of), and I was still running around, playing with the kids and being an involved employee, but I just had a ball of yarn in my armpit and an ever-lengthening scarf on my needles.  I must be rubbing off on people, because no one even batted an eye at me.  I just felt like I needed to do it, for my sanity.  I don't even know if I can make it make sense to you, but I just feel like I run from one small fire/responsibility to another, and then poof, it's 1:30am again and I'm trying to resign myself to ending another day, getting a shorter amount of sleep than I wanted, so I can do it all over again the next day.  I work, I parent, I knit for a sideline job, I knit for fun, I have to read something every day (no, really I do), and then there's cooking, cleaning, and exercising.  The day is just not long enough...seriously, could we expand the day to about 30 hours--just the sleeping part?  That would be grrrreeaaat.

Today I sort of didn't eat.  I overslept for work, and in the rushing around to get out of the house to work/school, I just couldn't find the time to make a breakfast for myself.  I packed extra food in the lunch bag to compensate, and I thought I'd eat once I got to work.  All I ate, though, from waking up at 7:30am to about 8:00pm, was a cup of coffee and one cheese stick, and water.  My appetite has been diminishing, but this is ridiculous.  Andrew and I ended up visiting Steve at work (he works at Weaver Street Market--a kick ass natural foods store, for the uninitiated), and nothing started bothering me until we were leaving and there were baskets of "staffed" food, things that were free for employees.  There were tubs of pimiento cheese, fresh fruit, cookies, and....cupcakes.  I managed to hang on until we left and were in the parking lot.  I then steered the car defiantly towards a Wendy's and got a burger and fries.  However, I found I couldn't eat all of it.  A few fries, about 2/3 of the sandwich, and I bagged up the remainder and threw it in the apartment dumpster so I wouldn't be tempted later.  Progress, not perfection....

I am hanging on for the weekend.  To not have to be anywhere by a certain time.  I am looking forward to getting out on my own on Saturday night, and my men will have a boys' night in without me (yay!), and Sunday morning, where I will go again and leave the boys for an hour or two.  Then it's back to the mines.  But in the meantime, I pushed myself hard for my workout, and I will be sure to take time to eat and eat well tomorrow.  I will see you then!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day Thirty-Two...Greased Lightning!

Another day, another dollar.  Well, no.

Pretty laid back day.  Last night was wild, though.  I was going to bed (late, again) and had just turned off the lights and was laying on my side, looking out the windows when there was this unbelievably bright greenish blue light and sizzling sounds and WHHOOOOMMMP, all the lights, all the electricity, were out like candles.  As I laid there, feeling my heart rate climb (it doesn't take much), there was a flicker and then another seriously bigger flash and buzzing sound and then complete and utter silence.  It was pitch black and I was sitting in bed like a scared little Girl Scout after ghost stories around the campfire.  Seriously, I own up to it...I was s-c-a-r-e-d.

I'm one of those people that are wound a little tight.  For example, when you're vacuuming and you're in the zone, spacing out, just hearing the loud drone of the vacuum, and then someone comes up behind you and taps you on the shoulder?  You know, where you just about bust a lung yelping and you jump out of your skin?  I'm wired like that all the time.  Sometimes I just have that fight or flight reaction for no reason, just out of the blue.  I hate it when I read about people likening adrenaline flowing through their veins like champagne, 'cause let me tell you, those prickly bubbles sting!  So when the mothership (or whatever the hell it was) landed last night, I could feel the adrenaline prickling in the backs of my hands, in my throat as it closed over, and all over my back.  I crept out of bed, trying to see in the dark and get to the flashlight.  I know now what a complete city girl I am because, while I appreciate nature and a starry sky and deer and stuff, I never realized how dependent I am on ambient city lighting (stuff like streetlamps, stoplights, car headlights, etc).  I felt like I could have poked myself in the eye and not have seen it.  I called to Steve and asked him to come to I was eight years old again.  It was wild and humbling.

Steve and I (like a couple of ninnies) went outside with our flashlights and peered around the neighborhood to see how much of it was out of power.  All of my neighborhood was completely out.  It was as if flat black paint had been coated all over everything.  There was no moon, no stars, just a steady, cloudy sky with a drizzling of rain.  There had been no lightning, and I had heard no thunder at all.  We guessed that a transformer or two had blown, and finally we got back into bed (with a candle for little ole me).

The power came back on in a few hours, and between that, and Andrew waking up two or three times in the night (water, company, breakfast at 4am), I am amazed I have any energy at all.  Granted, coffee figured largely into my day.  I love that stuff, seriously.  Big huge fan of it.  That's the crap that's flowing through my veins, thank you very much.  But I didn't go running.  Sue me, the mothership landed last night and sapped my strength for the day.  I did eat well and have been productive in other ways, but I also did something funky to my left thigh muscles when I was lifting weights last night.  It was just a twinge, but now I am noticing it when I climb stairs, and when I get up and move around after sitting for more than a few minutes.  Since I had little sleep and have a twitchy weird leg, I decided to give myself permission to miss a workout this week.  I had been figuring on having elusive perfect week.  All workouts done, all meals well-made and healthy.  When will I ever remember that little tidbit about life being about progress, not perfection?

Probably the day after I stop spouting adrenaline like a humpack whale spouts water.  G'night.  See you tomorrow!