For so many years, I didn't have this friend in my life. Not constantly, anyways. A few times a year, our paths crossed and every time, I was glad I didn't have to see this friend again for awhile. But since August 1 of last year, I've seen this friend daily. Sometimes multiple times a day. It's funny how much seeing this friend can affect my mood. Sometimes this friend makes me smile and be happy. Sometimes this friend makes me angry and mad at myself. In the last few weeks, I've realized that I've become too attached to this friend. My friend is now becoming an enemy. And I've decided it's time for a break up.
You did motivate me in the beginning. I was always so excited to see your numbers going down every time I'd step on you. We would meet every morning, and you would reward me by making the number smaller and smaller each time. We've become too close lately, though, and I've decided I don't want to see you anymore. Not every day. Not even every week. I need a break. You see, I've become too obsessed with what you tell me every morning (and every night, and sometimes in between). So obsessed that I've lost focus on what's really important here--the fact that I'm getting healthy and living a happy life. I know that the number you show me every morning has nothing to do with my self worth or my true happiness. No. Those things come from within--they come from knowing I've put forth the effort and hard work to better my life. At this point, the weight loss is really just an added bonus to getting healthy and finally making myself a priority. So, Scale, I will meet with you one last time in the morning to weigh myself for the month of May. And then I will remove your batteries, and you will go into storage at another house. I know if I leave you here, I will be too tempted to see you before June 1. Though your number is a good measure of my progress, it is not the only measure. And you've become too important. Don't take it personally. I promise the next time we meet, you will no longer have to start my weight with a 2, and you will never start my weight with a 2 again. It will forever be 1**.
I will admit, I'm scared. I've weighed myself every single day since August 1. Every. Single. Day. I'm a self-confessed scale addict. But I'm realizing this isn't healthy for me. I've put too much importance on what the scale says. I know that if I continue with my healthy habits, the scale will be forced to follow. I know it's physically and scientifically impossible for me to gain 2 pounds of fat overnight, but yet I let a water weight gain really bring me down. It's counter productive.
My goal this month is to focus on all the non-scale victories that are a more accurate measure of my progress than a number on the scale. I'm worth more than that number. I will continue working out at least 5 days a week. I will meet my personal goal of no less than 80oz of water a day. And I will continue to eat within my calorie goal, and I will make my food choices as healthy and as clean as possible. I KNOW that if I do these things everyday, I will continue to lose weight.
I hope when I weigh myself on June 1, that I see 19*. I haven't been in Onderland in over 12 years. It would be amazing to see 198, because that would put me at 100 pounds lost. But if I don't, I will be able to say that I worked hard to make it happen. And I will continue working hard to improve my health. This is a life long committment to being healthy and happy. There is no magical goal weight that means I can stop working hard to maintain my health. I'm in this for the long haul, and that's why I think it's imperative that I step away from the scale and focus on the bigger picture. I'm really excited about this month! I'm scared that I'll have scale withdraw, but I know that in the end, this is for the best.
If you're reading this, and you're a daily weigher and you have noticed it really affects your moods when you're up a pound or two from day to day, I challenge you to step away from the scale with me for this month. Take the batteries out. Lock it away somewhere. Have someone hide it for you. If you do that, you will be forced to really put forth the effort and focus on making healthy choices. Focus on what's truly important here--it's not a number on a finicky scale. No. It's about YOU and improving your life. It's about living a healthy lifestyle. And you do not need a scale to show you that you're doing this the right way. Now, who's willing to break up with their scale for one month? Who's with me?
Posted on 2012-04-30 by AmazingStace
These are the things I've told myself in the last 9 months:
"You're too fat to run."
"You have never been able to run, not even in high school when you played sports."
"Running is too hard."
If you look back through my blogs, you would notice a few of them about my adventures with the Couch to 5K program that I began in October. I gave up in November on 5 week--the day I was supposed to do the 20 minutes of consecutive running.
That has really been bothering me, because I'm not a quitter. When I am truly dedicated to something, I stick with it no matter what, which is probably why I've lost almost 90 pounds in 9 months. I'm truly dedicated to living a healthy life. Why, then, would I quit trying to run?
Two weeks ago today, I had a revelation when I ran an entire mile without walking. I was forced into it, as it was the "warm up" of the class I went to at the gym. Since then, I've been thinking a lot about running and why I quit last fall. I'm not going to lie--I'm afraid to fail. I do not deal well with failing.
But I'm starting to realize that the only real way I can fail at running is by not trying. So today I decided I was going to try to run a mile again without walking. I got the girls down for a nap, and my son was content to watch a movie, so I got on the treadmill and started running
I ran an entire mile in exactly 12:00. That is my best time ever, probably even better than any of my mile runs in high school. I decided I'd keep going to see how quickly I could finish a 5K.
For mile 2, I walked a 1/4 mile at 4mph, and then I ran a 1/4 mile at 5mph. At the start of mile 3, I did more running than walking, and I wanted to finish in under 40 minutes, so I ended running the last bit at 5.5mph.
That was my 5K time today. Me! I ran (with a bit of walk) a 5K in under 40 minutes. I'm proud of that time. I've only been working out for 9 months. Prior to that, I hadn't worked out much at all since I graduated high school in 1999. I spent over ten years as a sedentary person, and I allowed myself to weigh 298 pounds when I finally decided to change my life.
I have tears in my eyes right now as I write this. I CAN do this running thing. I CAN and I WILL! I won't fail, because I won't stop trying. Not this time. I'm setting a goal: I will run a marathon before I turn 40. Yeah, that's a long time for me to reach that goal--about 9 years. But I'm saying it right here, right now. I will run a marathon before I'm 40.
"The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach." ~Benjamin Mays
Today was the first step for me towards reaching that goal. Baby steps. I can do this. Someday I will look back on this day and remember where I started. I will be grateful that I decided to face fear in the face and run today.
Posted on 2012-04-23 by AmazingStace
Sometimes fear strikes, like a boa constrictor, slowly squeezing me until I give up on trying something new. Fear holds me back. I get into my own head, telling myself I'll just fail so why bother.
Not today. I can't say it will never happen again, but today I conquered.
I've been working with my personal trainer since February. She has really pushed me to try things I never would've tried before because I was too afraid to fail. She has been talking to me for a few weeks now about trying out the class she teaches. Normally it would not work with my schedule because of my son's preschool, but today he's on break so I had no excuse not to go.
Other than being afraid I couldn't keep up.
Yesterday I sent her a text message to tell her I'd be there. That way I would hold myself accountable since I said I would go. I can lie to myself about why I can't go, but I knew I wouldn't make up an excuse and lie to her. My alarm went off this morning all too early. I made myself get out of bed and put my workout clothes on. Nerves struck me, and I started feel sick to my stomach. I managed to eat a little breakfast, and I got the kids ready to head off to the gym.
I walked into the field house and was greeted by a group of fit women. I was most definitely the biggest girl in the class, which made me feel self-conscious and a little defeated before I had even started. I was honestly terrified that I'd have to give up and leave without finishing the class.
After a little chit chat, she announces it's time for a warm up--a 1 mile jog around the track.
What. The. That's a warm up?!? My first thought I was, "OMG. I'm going to DIE. Maybe she won't notice if I slip out the door on the way around the track." I started off slowly, watching all the other people in the class pass me by. A mile is 8 laps. By lap 4, I was beginning to think I should just stop and walk. Give up. By lap 6, I decided I'd just keep jogging for 1 more lap and then I'd walk the last one. Lap 8 begins, and I'm still jogging.
I RAN A MILE WITHOUT WALKING!
I wanted to celebrate that victory, but there was no time for rest. Puking crossed my mind as we began the workout. What followed was a workout like I haven't done since my high school days of volleyball.
Burpees. Push ups, not the girly kind. Step ups. Mountain climbers. Planks. Side planks.Lunges. Squats. Even more that I can't rememberm because I think I've tried blocking it from my mind. It was almost an hour of constant movement.
I have never in my life been so happy to hear the words, "Let's cool down and stretch."
I did have to modify some of the exercises because I don't have the strength to do them. Yet. I will, though. Today has taught me that I'm capable of so much more than I give myself credit for. Stepping out of my comfort zone and facing my fears head on has been an eye opener for me. So many times I've let fear hold me back from even trying. Now I wonder how many things I've missed out on because I let fear win.
When the class was over, my trainer asked me if I had fun. I had to answer honestly. No. I did not have fun. I hurt. I was sweaty. I wanted to puke. But I felt alive. I felt strong. And I was proud that I stuck with it even when I wanted to quit. I'm starting to realize that this journey I'm on is about so much more than weight loss. I am discovering a whole new person inside of me. I'm learning to overcome my fears. I'm learning that I'm strong. I'm beautiful. And I'm capable of acheiving anything I put my mind to if I want it badly enough. And trust me, I want this like I've never wanted anything in my life.
Stepping out of my comfort zone today was a success. I will most definitely be going back to her class once my son is on summer break. Pretty soon I'll be busting out push ups and I won't be the last to finish on the track. And even if I am last, at least I'm out there doing it, giving myself a chance instead of letting fear hold me back.
Posted on 2012-04-09 by AmazingStace
That's what I'm on right now. Today has been filled with great sadness. Three soldiers from my husband's unit were killed yesterday by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.
I cannot stop thinking of their loved ones, answering that knock on the door to see someone in uniform to deliver the news that their solider would not be coming back home. That is a visit that no military spouse or parent ever wants to receive. It's the visit that I pray I never experience. I think about their children, who will grow up without their father there. It just is not fair.
This loss is too close to home for me. My husband knew these men. He shared meals with them. To know that he is in harms way makes each day a struggle for me. I feel helpless. I wish more than anything that I could protect him somehow, just keep him safe so that he will return home to me and our 3 children.
There is no promise that we will see tomorrow.
The reality of that is sometimes too much for me to handle. All I wanted to do today is stay in bed, curled up under the covers. I realized, though, that doing that wouldn't make this any better. So I got up and faced the day.
I cried many tears. I prayed many prayers. All I can do is take it one day at a time. One day. Each day is a new opportunity to become a better version of myself--even days like today filled with sadness and worry.
I would like to ask that if you're reading this, please pray for those soldiers who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. They all leave behind families mourning the loss of their hero. Please pray for their fellow soldiers left behind. It's a difficult thing to mourn the loss of your friend while you still have to continue with the mission at hand.
So many brave men and women are protecting your freedoms, so live everyday you're given to the fullest. Please do not take that freedom for granted. Live in the moment.
Posted on 2012-04-05 by AmazingStace
Sometimes when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I'm taken by surprise. It's almost like I'm looking at a stranger. Someone who might be vaguely familiar, but I haven't seen her in years. Then I realize that it's me. The Stacey who has always been there just waiting to be set free.
Lately I've been trying to do things to help my mind catch up with my body. I've lost just over 80 pounds since August 1, and that's a big change for my brain to process. I decided that one thing I could do to help me feel more self-confident is to buy myself some makeup. And not just from the Cover Girl selection at WalMart.
No. I decided it was time to treat myself the way I deserve to be treated. So last night while shopping at the mall, I walked up to the Clinique counter at Macy's and asked for help. I explained to the lady that I was very unfamiliar with makeup. And by unfamiliar, I mean I know how to apply chapstick and the occassional bit of mascara. I rarely wear makeup. To be honest, I didn't really care about how I looked. I was fat. You can't cover up fat with makeup, even if you're a "fat girl with a pretty face."
She helped me pick out all the neccessities--foundation, concealer, powder, blush, eye shadow, eye liner, lip stick, brow liner. I didn't even know brow liner existed! She taught me how to apply each product, and when she was finished, I couldn't believe what I saw when I looked in the mirror.
I did not recognize myself. I was amazed at what about 15 minutes and a little know how could do for my appearance. I looked like I actually had a full night of sleep--no dark circles under my eyes. I had an even complexion. My eyes were much more blue than I ever remembered them being. My mom and sister kept looking at me in disbelief, telling me how beautiful I looked. I, of course, had to buy it all.
I walked away from the Macy's Clinique counter with a bit less money in my checking account. But I also walked away with something that money can't buy--some self-esteem.
It wasn't so much the makeup that really made me feel better about myself. It was the realization that I actually cared enough about myself to care more about my appearance. For so long, I've lived my life without caring about myself. I let myself become morbidly obese. I gave up on myself.
Today when I look in the mirror, I see a new person. With each passing day, I am uncovering a bit of myself that has been there all along. I was just too scared and too depressed to set myself free. Not anymore. I'm finally living my life. I'm treating myself the way I deserve to be treated.
The right picture was taken just after a workout--I was proud because I survived 45 minute minutes of cardio. So it's probably not the best "before" face comparison because I was looking pretty sweaty, but it's the best I could find. I had already lost about 15 pounds when I took that picture. The picture on the left was taken this morning, after applying my new makeup all on my own. Not too shabby for a newbie! Haha!
Posted on 2012-04-01 by AmazingStace
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