Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Results of My 6 Week Challenge

So I finished my first six week challenge! As you may remember, it consisted of :

Clean Eating

Okay, to clarify: those little tree things are cauliflower.

Working out five days a week

Drinking lots of water

A gallon a day. This part was the hardest for me. I don't know, it just feels like I'm drinking an entire river. 

and a few days of intermittent fasting. That's a twenty hour fast, from the last time you ate the night before.

So, my results: I lost 19.2 pounds, 3.9% body fat, dropped two pants sizes, and went from a large to a medium in tops and bottoms. I have way more energy, way more confidence and I feel like a much more positive person. 

Negativity drags you down like extra weight/being out of shape does, and it seems like the two of those things are often linked. Maybe because it's easier to sit back and criticize, complain, and make excuses  than it is to get up off your butt, off the bench and get in the game.

For me at this stage,  "getting in the game" means taking care of myself and challenging myself to be healthy. There's lots of ways that people can sit on the bench, but being overly critical and negative is usually a strong marker.

Mean people suck.

Anyhow, now that I'm in the game, I'm a far happier person. I complain a lot less and am less interested in engaging in negative conversation.

You'll still hear me complain sometimes, though, don't worry. We still have to have our fun.

Dan took me out for a really nice sushi dinner at a great restaurant after my weigh in. Before we went, I bought a cute dress and I felt beautiful in it.

I guess I was in kind of a hurry when I drew my hands. FYI, I still have all my fingers.

 For a really long time, I haven't been able to wear what I really want to, because being overweight meant I'd have to wear what looked flattering on my figure. So this new chapter is just really exciting, because I'm  finally getting to wear what I WANT to wear! I can wear stuff I actually LIKE! Also, I'm more interested in getting out, doing things and seeing people.

I really feel like a new person, but that new person isn't just someone who is thinner. That new person is someone who has learned she is stronger than she thought, quite capable of committing to a difficult physical challenge, and is learning further discipline in a number of areas.

The new me can do push ups! The new me can lift 20 lbs with one arm! The new me gets up in the morning and does mini workouts, even when I have a regular workout scheduled for later! The new me tries to walk 2 miles with her kids each day!

The new me knows that I CAN DO THIS.

When you succeed at something you've always failed at - and failed badly, I might add - you can't help but feel like a new person, because you are a new person.

The old days.

And the thing is, I'm not even finished yet! I signed up for the next six week challenge, which officially starts next week, but I'm beginning a week early.

Miraculously, I can't stay away from working out. It's something I look forward to now, and I drove out in the pouring rain the other day - even when I didn't have to - so that I could continue on with my special little journey.

To close, I'll just share this song with you. It's been a favorite of mine for years and it really puts into words how I feel about this whole experience I'm going through. It's called  "Just Showed Up For My Own Life" and you know what? That's exactly what I did, and exactly what I plan to keep on doing.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

For the Love of Burpees

Hello poor, poor neglected blog and poor, neglected friends.

First, some news: I GOT NEW MARKERS!!!!

Sorry for the long break, but March has not been my friend. Little known fact about me: I hate March and April. They're depressing, cold, stupid, cold, hateful, cold, pointless months of the year. At least in Buffalo.

Who out there is dying of the cold? I must say, even though I love winter, I think this weather is breaking me. And besides that, it's spring.

Last night we got five inches of snow.

Do you hear that sound? What's that whistling sound outside your window? Is it the wind? Is it a tin whistle?

No. It is my soul dying.

If I were a quiet old librarian with nothing to do but lay around and read books and bake decadent chocolate cakes, I sincerely would not mind this long winter. I would, in fact, relish it.

I don't think that looks like a cake.

I would walk around in some quiet town, probably on their Main Street, sipping a hot cup of yummy latte, bundled up in a cute woolen coat, with a pretty knitted scarf and mittens, and I would smile aimlessly at the sky and the shop windows and people walking by. I would think about things like quilts and novels and all the knitting in the world.

But I am not a quiet librarian. I am a loud mother who has had it up to here with the noise that four small children can generate after spending nearly an entire winter indoors.

So, let's talk about fitness.

Maybe you're wondering how I'm doing with this whole "getting healthy" thing. Well, I'm still going strong.

A few Tuesday nights ago, I had a workout session and we had to do burpees. I don't understand why someone would call this hellish physical movement a "burpee" when most burps are actually quite relieving, but I guess I have a lot to learn.

As I'm sure you can already imagine, my version of doing a burpee was nothing less than startlingly awful. Picture someone engulfed in icy water, trying again and again to pull themselves to a standing position on a small piece of glacier floating nearby, and you have some idea of what I look like.

Picture a large boned person trying to peel a quarter off the ground, then standing up, red faced, huffing and puffing while saying "NEVERMIND!" in complete frustration, and there you have me doing a burpee.

 God have mercy on that sidewalk.

I really don't understand how these other human beings that I exercise with are able to do such things.

Normally I have a good sense of humor about my failures at the gym, but after doing a bunch of moves that definitely did NOT look like burpees, I was getting pretty upset.

 It's embarrassing for me to admit, but...I was very close to crying. I could just feel this lump in my throat, tears stinging my eyes, and I was freaking out inside: "NO! What are you DOING, Self?! YOU CANNOT CRY HERE!" because you KNOW that the worst place to have that happen is in public, in front of people you barely know.

All I wanted to do was go home. I wanted to get through the stupid workout so that I could leave and cry in my truck all the way home.

Then during a water break, I decided to tell one of the other women who I work out alongside that I was having a hard time. Her name is Tina and she has been through the program before. This is her third challenge. She's somebody that many people look to as an example and she's very encouraging.

She could see I was pretty upset. She told me not to worry, I'm doing great. "Just try to do really slow burpees. It doesn't matter how fast you go, just try to get it right and go at your own pace. I'll tell one of the trainers to keep an eye on you. You can do it, just don't give up."

I took her advice. I went slower, slow as an ox, and I didn't feel as clumsy this time.

Someone's looking insecure.

At the end of every workout session, they always give us a challenge. This one was optional. We were told that we could do burpees for 90 seconds straight, or some other exercises if we wanted.

I chose burpees, and I went the whole 90 seconds! Again - they were slow and sad looking, but the main thing is that I DID THEM!

Pardon my horn.

I've been doing them more and more since then and I'm getting better and better.

Sometimes you just need someone to give you a little boost, to encourage you and tell you not to give up. We all need that, don't we? We do.

When I drove home that night, I never shed a tear. I think I sweat them all out during burpees.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


This is my youngest child. She is fourteen months old. Her name is Miabelle, but lately she has a new name: Hop.

That's because a few weeks ago, she started saying the word "hop" constantly. She usually says it in kind of a monotone voice, and it's hilarious.

She likes to get close to your face and say it.

She likes to say it while she nurses.

She likes to say it while she plays with her siblings.

She likes to say it all day.

The other night, at about 3 in the morning, she woke up from a dead sleep, sat up in our bed, smiled and said, "Hop."

No, this is actually NOT a nightmare. Real life.

WHY GOD?!?!?! WHYYYY?!??!

Remember Dan's apnea mask? I'll never let you forget it.

She continued "Hop. Hop. Ho-o-o-o-p."

"We're not hopping now. Lay down and go to sleep."

You might as well be talking to a wall.

She looks at me. She smiles. "Hop," she says.

Please put your cheer away until 7 am at the very least.

Trying to reason with her father. It's not working.

It's gotten to the point where we call her 'Hop'.

"HOP IS CRYYYYING!" call the children.

If she falls and cries, the kids come running. "Is Hop okay?!"

Babies are funny, huh? You name them one thing, but you wind up giving them all kinds of silly nicknames.

I think "Hop" might stick.