Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I feel amazing today. Like crazy good and happy right now. There is no reason in particular other than I’ve spent the last week not feeling all that great, so maybe my body is repaying me for my crappy mood as of late. Either way, I will take it. I feel on top of the world, invincible. You know all those good feelings that are just about happy crazy enough to make you think that you can do anything you want to. I have a strange suspicion this is also because of the additional energy my body is now sucking down in the form on a Rock star Energy drink. Ah well, I’ll take it.

So Friday it is officially November. That means we have 2 months left for this year. I know you can probably all do your own math and can deduce this on your own but it just feels shocking that we are so close to 2014 now. I feel like I should make some sort of goal and or plan for what I want to accomplish in the last two months of 2013. I am a goal-oriented person after all and definitely perform better when I am working towards something, whatever it is. As I’ve stated before I am pretty much beyond track able number goals, but there has to be something else that I can accomplish. I’ve got like 2 days to decide upon something and I am going to. I don’t want to be one of those people who wait until Jan 1 to set some goal and then peter out. I want to go ahead and get a 2 month jump on it. Not that I haven’t been working on this for a whole year or anything already.

Did I mention that I am happy? Like so ridiculously happy? My therapist told me the other night that I am a very emotional person and that clearly I have really great highs but with that comes great lows. I am fully aware of this concept. She said that it means that I have these amazing bouts of happiness and highs which is great. I just have to learn how to not let the lows be the end of the world. I like my therapist. I really do. I do feel like I am learning a lot there. She said my passion was pretty much a good thing, so long as I am working on dealing with the negative times. She didn’t make me feel like a freak or like I was wrong for being so over the top and I liked that. I liked feeling like something that at times makes me feel like a rare freak, is not actually that freaking. That an educated, licensed therapist told me that I am okay. There probably is a sense of relief in that.

Anyway, today I will take my happy and channel that into all the positive thinking that I have been missing out on lately. Today just because I want to take a moment to say something positive about my body. Despite the skin (I know that is a negative I just said) but whatever, I am really feeling amazed that I am starting to literally feel some quad muscle. You know the muscles have to be getting bigger and/or stronger if I can actually feel them thru all the extra skin! (Ha, have to be a little self-deprecating there) I think what this ultimately means is that change really is occurring whether I can consciously see it or track it or notice it. Let’s be honest, who the hell really notices daily change anyway? We look in the mirror and look no different than we did yesterday. But it’s not really like change isn’t happening. Cause each day I may not notice difference but then put a picture up from 10 months ago and wait, big change. But I didn’t notice it as it was happening. That is pretty much impossible. Therefore one can only reason that even today things are changing ever so slightly. This is quite a comforting thought actually. A reassuring one that allows me to believe that anything is possible.

When I say fuck logic and what should be and dream whatever dream you want; I absolutely mean it. Defy the odds, push harder than you thought possible, etc., etc. I have hiccups along the way in my thinking but generally so I have always believed in the impossible. I believe that if you want something bad enough somehow you will find a way. I am not generally one of those people who gives up or doesn’t fight for what I want. Hard work doesn’t scare me. I like a challenge. What all this means is that someday I want to prove to myself more than anyone else that I can have the body I want thru hard work and determination. There are lots of those quotes out there that say your body will not go where your mind won’t allow it. Or something like that. And I whole heartedly believe that. I can guarantee you will not make any progress at all if your mind does not believe it. It’s a very funny thing but your mind is so connected to your actual physical progress that you can’t skimp on either one and expect results.

I believe in order for me to continue growing I not only have to love myself but I have to truly believe to my core, that change is possible. I know logically it doesn’t make sense to think that I can tighten up my loose skin. It logically doesn’t make sense that I can do much more but too that I say, fuck logic. Seriously. Miracles happen every day and plus, it’s not a miracle if you work your ass off for it. Its determination and dedication. Nothing worth having ever came easy, right? If it was easy everyone would have their perfect body. It’s not easy but it’s worth fighting for. I am more convinced of that than ever. While I sit here and type today I may not have all the muscles in place that I want and I may not think change is occurring but I am going to set a mental date for say 4 months from today and check back in. I suspect that things will somehow be different in 4 months. Even if every single day over the next 4 months I don’t see any physical change each day. I am guessing that I will still wake up on that day 4 months from now and be amazed at how much change has taken place from today. That is my point in all of this.

Why have I been selling myself so short? I have changed so much already why should I think that continual hard work and determination would not produce change in another 4 months? It won’t be perfect. It never is and I don’t want perfect. I can tell you this, in all of my unhappiness over my loose skin there is one thing that does not and has never bothered me one bit, my scar on my stomach form my gallbladder surgery. Sure, it’s an “imperfection” of sorts. It will not result in a perfect looking stomach even if I had no loose skin, but it does not bother me. In some ways I think it gives me character. I don’t consider it a flaw; I consider it a battle scar. It was something that happened in my life beyond my control and honestly it was necessary to essentially save my life. My gallbladder was at a really bad place where they had to do emergency surgery to remove it because if I left it untreated any longer the doctor told me it was going to rupture and kill me. Seriously. I have never looked at my scar and been upset by it. I find it interesting that it doesn’t bother me at all, whereas I am hypercritical of my loose skin.

Regardless, I am feeling very happy today and that is good enough for me. I feel excited to go to the gym and have another great workout tonight. I feel positive that my efforts every single day will one day add up to the results I want. Maybe it takes a very long time, but honestly I’ve got nothing but time. Sure, not to be all doom and gloom but I realize I could die today or tomorrow but generally speaking we all have time. We didn’t get ourselves into these situations overnight so we aren’t going to get out of them overnight either. This lifestyle really is forever for me so of course what does it ultimately matter if it takes years for me to achieve the results I want. Is there really ever a stopping place anyway? Once I did achieve the results I wanted, would I stop? Of course not. This is FOREVER. It is much more about how going to the gym makes me feel anyway. And last night I was reminded of that feeling. Strong, capable, happy.

So that’s where I am at today and I am thrilled. I am thrilled to be back to my old self. Yeah!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Peace and Clarity

Sleep deprivation is a CRAZY thing. It does insane things to your body, but mostly your brain. I don’t think I mentioned that the reality is last Thursday I started to feel really sick and yucky. By Friday I was a full blown hot sick mess. Head cold, runny nose, overall ache. Friday night I came home and planted my ass on the couch and just was not there. Sleep was okay, but then Saturday I felt better and had a great workout. But then Saturday night not very good sleep again. Then of course Sunday night was just a terrible mess of lack of sleep. The point is this; I have been functioning on not enough sleep for my body period. It is taking its toll and resulted in some pretty messed up thoughts.

Last night I got much better sleep, finally, thankfully and this morning I woke up seeing things more clearly. This is probably also after a really good therapy session last night. I actually walked out of therapy feeling much better than when I went in and I didn’t even know I was feeling so unattached or removed and suddenly after having just talked and vented and listened to myself out loud I somehow felt heard and a sense of calm and peace washed over me. The combination of these factors resulted in this morning waking up with a feeling I have been greatly missing the past week, Hope. Resolve. Determination. Acceptance. Love. Overall Peace.

I think it was a chemical imbalance in my brain brought on by a few external forces mixed with an acute lack of sleep that was causing my brain to twist and turn and be ungrateful and generally speaking that is just not me. It’s nice to take a moment to realize that even the best of us, with the best of intentions, get carried away sometimes. I have to work very hard to curb my crazy perfectionist tendencies and mostly I have greatly improved but they still lurk underneath. My perfectionist ways, which were illustrated yesterday, is what I lived with on a daily basis for years, every previous attempt at weight loss. That obsessive, over the top thinking is what has always gotten me in trouble in the past. How can anyone possibly live up to those unrealistic expectations? It was good for me to see a reminder of how crazy I can get in my brain and to learn to cope with that imbalance and rein it in a little bit. I can promise you this; I have zero desire to ever go back to a lifestyle that embraces that line of thinking. It is not only completely unhealthy for me but ultimately completely futile. That is working from a head space of negativity instead of the positivity that I have learned to embrace this past year.

It’s easy to think somehow that you are going crazy and no one understands you. It is so nice to be sitting in a therapy session and have your therapist explain it back to you in an analogy that completely makes sense and you realize that someone else really DOES completely understand and therefore you can’t be all that crazy if someone else sees it and understands why you are behaving the way you are. I guess it’s nice to just know you are not alone from time to time, right? As much as I use this world to connect with other people on their journey, as a tool to help me on mine; the bottom line is that no one else completely knows what it’s like to be inside my head and some days it just gets lonely up there.

Upon a lot of thought on the topic yesterday this is what I came up with…

This last weekend in particular I was starting to feel a lot of distance between my family and me because of the being healthy thing. We are much more connected obviously when they are trying to be healthy and concerned about their food. I don’t expect anyone else to be as full force as me, ever. Never have been. I do my best to not bring it up and focus all of my energy and attention on it when I am around them. When they are trying to be healthy they are obviously not bringing foods and making questionable choices around me. This makes life easier. I honestly can live with their food choices. I have to learn to be strong enough to not give into pizza temptations if I don’t to. Sometimes I want to and that is perfectly okay. I think what was really eating at me was the subtle comments that were hurled at me this weekend that I didn’t realize ultimately affected me so much. I am sure they didn’t realize it either. It was the rolling of the eyes and asking snarky, “How long did you spend at the gym?” or “You’re not going to eat that because you just spent hours at the gym.”

At the time I let this roll off my back, but in hindsight it just creates distance because I feel like I am being judged for being healthy. No one likes to hang out in an environment where you are punished for your choices, good or bad. This is why I try very hard to never punish them for any of their choices, but I just felt the opposite. Like I was somehow the outcast or mutant for choosing to spend my time at the gym instead of going to breakfast with them or watching a movie and eating pizza.

In a nutshell, I felt alone and like this journey was very isolated for me. Then I start to think about the people that I do most closely relate to. My gym people who share the same views, who understand about commitment and that exercise high and pushing yourself, etc. Sometimes I take it too an extreme. It’s hurtful that the people I love most in this world can sometimes be a negative sabotage to my journey. It’s hurtful that sometimes I feel like I am the freak for trying to be an active healthy person. I am constantly given the impression that they feel I am not living my life by spending so much time at the gym or not going to restaurants with them. Like I am not living. And I feel the exact opposite. I feel like I am actually fully living my life the most I ever am when I am at the gym. Feeling amazing, and alive, and active. That it’s only when I care about this stuff that I feel the strength and courage to live my life the way I want. That I feel powerful and strong enough to go out and embrace life. For me living is not, eating crap at a restaurant. And for the record I go out to eat at least once a week, it’s not like I am avoiding life or food or restaurants. Hell Saturday night it was Red Lobster for this girl. Previous Friday was Mexican food in all its greasy glory. I just don’t need to constantly have my life revolve around my restaurant meals. For me, there is more to living than just that.

I think all of this feeling isolated lead to my crazy bizarre body image issues. Our brains are quite messed up at times. Fixing my stomach does not change anything on my inside. I am completely aware of that. However, with that said, it is still something that I very much would like to do for me someday, at some point, when and if all the factors line up. And I can stress about money or it happening all I want, but like everything else in my life, if I really want it, if it’s really supposed to be, I will find a way. It will happen. But until that day there is no sense constantly beating myself up about it. It won’t change my inside but sometimes a little vanity is just that, a little vanity and that is okay if it’s for the right reasons.

I am happy with myself. I really am. I may not always be happy with the process or journey but that is actually life I am referring to. Life goes up and down and our brains go right along with it. Yesterday or Sunday night was just the full on emergence of the shit storm coming full force and exploding. Once I let go of some of the steam, once I thought it out, was able to vent a little, and understand where stuff was coming from, I instantly felt better. I felt relief. I felt the emotions subside and I felt my normal thought process return to my head. I am not perfect. I am never going to be perfect. I really do accept that. I am however strong and brave and a fighter. And while I won’t ever achieve perfection; I can achieve great things. Hell, I already have achieved great things. I will continue to fight for myself and defy even my own expectations because that is the kind of person I am. I am not going to quit. I am going to keep going and getting stronger because I have faith that no matter what this is what I am supposed to be doing with my life, for myself, for my body. This is the happiness that I want to live. Even without any physical change ever again, I love what exercise and health does for my mind. I love how it makes me braver and more courageous than I ever believe I can be. It makes me think I can do things like fly to Vegas and run half marathons. It makes me think that I can do anything I choose to when I put my mind to it. That is not by chance, that is by continual work and effort. This lifestyle gives me that and without any further physical changes, I wouldn’t trade that feeling for anything. So I will keep going and let life happen. Change will happen. Change is inevitable.

That is the beauty of life. Change is always occurring. ALWAYS. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes is subtle, sometimes physical, sometimes mental. But rest assured every single moment I spend making healthy decisions brings about the transformation of my life. I am happier than I’ve ever been, barring the occasional mental set back here and there. I feel like I am on the right track. While I hate the mental breakdowns, the positive take away from it is a healthy reminder of how far I’ve actually come and how much I don’t want to be that girl who is that obsessive and self-loathing anymore. And frankly, I am NOT her anymore. It was a good reminder of how important mental stability really is. Yes, I hate my excess skin, but not enough to hate myself. Not enough to undo all the progress I have made. Not enough to ever go back. Because the inside is so different in me now.

My optimism has returned today and I love it. I am actually smiling today and I realized that I didn’t smile yesterday. Shame on me. I am feeling powerful and happy and excited to go to the gym tonight and lift heavy things and better myself. I am remembering how much I just love existing in this world, in this mental head space of positivity. Today I feel like, fuck logic, fuck reason, fuck what they say can and cannot be done, because I am going to prove them all wrong. I AM going to be strong and fierce and I believe that I can do anything I put my mind to. I believe in myself. I believe in my ability to change my life.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A retraction of sorts

I suck. There, you have it.

I reread my last post and I have to say I am wallowing and I hate it. I sound awful and I hated every word of it. I would delete it, but I think it’s important to be honest and truthful so I will keep it up because I deserve to express the truth but I am embarrassed by my words. In rereading the post it became apparent to me that there is something else going on in my brain that has a lot more to do with a general lack of self-love than anything having to do with my actual stomach. That is the truth. I know my stomach is just skin, straight up face value and fixing that will NOT fix the issue that is really happening inside of my head. I need to focus on what is happening in my brain not on the external forces. Something is off in my brain and I need to take a moment to focus my attention on solving that problem not the physical one that I made it about.

I apologize for the ungrateful bitch feast that is below. I really do. Now I’m off to hide my head is shame and formulate a new plan of action that involves self-love and acceptance. Thank goodness I have me some therapy tonight, right??? Ah some days.

Mr. Destiny

I had a very rough night last night and I mean insomnia. The night itself was not rough. It was actually quite pleasant all things considered. Good TV, good dinner, everything was fine until about midnight. I went to bed about 11 PM and that was fine. I fell asleep and all was good. I woke up at Midnight and started tossing and turning. Could not sleep. Like at all. After half an hour of misery I got up and decided 1. It was early enough to still take an Advil PM which is only used in cases of extreme emergency which was last night and 2. Lying in bed tossing and turning was not productive and I’d be better off getting up and moving around to induce sleep.

From there on out it was rough. Basically because any thoughts you start to have past midnight when you are sleep deprived cannot possibly be good or healthy or coherent. In a nutshell, do not make any life decisions after Midnight. This is a pretty good rule of thumb. I was not making life decisions beyond Midnight but I could not shut my brain off. It seems that late at night the thing I most often contemplate is life and fate and destiny.

I am going to talk about what was occurring in my brain right now and to be honest I feel INCREDIBLY guilty about it. I almost don’t want to talk about it because I feel so petty and stupid bringing it up. However, it is bothering me and I HATE that it is bothering me. I REALLY hate it because it goes against everything I have been saying and preaching and feeling for the past year. Sigh.

Here goes nothing.

In my crazy sleep deprived moments I think about the roads not travelled or those moments that could have changed everything. I know it’s pointless and really counterproductive because ultimately I realize that I am completely in charge of my own life and every decision I ever made was a conscious one that I DID. It was not done to me, nothing was ever done TO me, and I made the decisions that ultimately led me to exactly where I am today.

Then my brain goes to those movies that explore this concept. Mr. Destiny, which is a great 80’s flick that has always stuck in my brain. Not really that well known or memorable, but in a nutshell this man is living an existence and while happy always wondered how his life would have turned out if back in high school/middle school whatever, he had hit the winning baseball in a game and for whatever reason that moment for him was his what if. Well, low and behold the movie premise is that after a drunken night of divine intervention he wakes up with a new life where he DID hit that baseball and his whole life is different. He married the rich popular girl and lives in the giant mansion and at first things seem great. Of course, as it the lesson or morale of the story, he starts to realize that the life he originally had is really the one he wants and nothing is perfect and blah blah blah. You get the idea. But it’s really the concept of one defining moment that could have changed it all. I don’t really have one defining moment of mass parallel life shift so to speak. I have things that I wonder about for sure. I have the idea of how different my life would have been if I had not quit college and stuck it out. That seems to be a large one. I wonder about many moments and many decisions that could have ultimately shifted my entire existence, but who knows.

Have you ever seen the movie Sliding Doors with Gwenyth Paltrow? Again, another smaller more obscure movie as well. It’s this concept of divine fate or intervention. The movie emerges at one moment in time on a London train where two entire versions of her life play out based on the opening of the doors and then them not opening. The entire movie follows two entirely different story lines of her life based on that single event. It’s actually pretty good; or rather I am fascinated by this concept of fate. I have always been a kind of fate/destiny kind of girl.

Like I said, I know it’s ultimately pointless to contemplate the what if’s and we make our own fate and destiny and the choices we make are the correct ones because we made them. Period. I really do subscribe to this line of thinking but late at night our brains I guess must try to find some rationale behind things we are dissatisfied with in our lives. We would not be human if we did not wonder about the road not travelled.

This all sounds so cryptic and vague but I promise there is a point and direction and a thought that was prevalent in my brain last night. And it’s entirely vain and body image related. I am ashamed and embarrassed to admit that my greatest struggle last night was all mental body image. This is what I hate bringing up because lately, more so the last week or so I have been really struggling with my body image and I don’t understand why. More so than at any single time in this entire last year. Of course, this is when I actually look and feel generally the happiest I have been pretty much my entire life and I’ve been trying to figure out where this general huge discontentment is coming from.

Granted it was like 2 AM at this point and I was beyond tired and physically exhausted so there is no doubt that part of the crazy and eventual tears were really coming from general sleep deprivation but I felt so helpless in terms of my body. Let me explain.

I have worked so hard to accomplish what I have and I am thrilled. And Emily from a year ago would be kicking my ass last night for the thoughts I was having, I am beyond certain of that. But it’s that whole looking down at my lower stomach and seeing SO MUCH loose skin that will not EVER go back on its own. That is my burden to bear. That is my constant reminder of the lifetime of bad choices I made. Again, they were all my choices nothing was ever forced upon me, but I can’t fix it. The harder I try, the more I realize that it is not fixable with all the effort and diet in the world. Sometimes skin is just skin and the damage is done. Then I realize that the only way to ever truly rid myself of this skin is to get a tummy tuck, plastic surgery, which I would totally would do, want to do, etc. However, the cost is a lot. I don’t have the $12,000-$20,000 that it would take to fix my body to rid itself of the past damage. So then my brain goes to, I could get a loan I guess but then my past mistakes have left me with pretty horrible credit and I don’t qualify for a loan of that size. Period. And then the frustration begins all over again.

Fate/Destiny, one life changing decision and I start to wonder if there is a moment in time, a decision that I previously made that would have altered the course of my life to prevent this from happening. Deep down I know that I would just end up with a different set of problems. I know this. The grass is not greener on the other side. It’s just different. But a girl still wonders.

It’s incredibly disheartening to have muscle building and completely change your entire life for good finally and not ever be able to have your outside really reflect what the inside feels like now. I guess as I start to deconstruct the issue it boils down to this…. This is something that I cannot fix. I am not in control. I never considered myself such a control freak but I have to wonder. When I set my mind to something I work my ass off until I get it. Period. I will make mountains move and alter what I thought possible to make it happen. This is something, that despite all of my best efforts, I can’t seem to find a way to make happen. And it is so frustrating that I am contemplating it at 2:30 AM when I should be sleeping.

I have spent my entire life, yes, pretty much my entire existence having no concept of what it’s like to not have a giant flap of either fat and/or skin hanging down on my belly. Try as I might nothing is tight on my body. With the exception of a very rare few areas that seem to be the way the body was intended to function. I realized for the first time the other day that your skin is not really supposed to be able to be stretched and manipulated the way mine does. That people do not generally have that much give in their skin. I am not sure you realize how far out I can pull my stomach skin. I can literally shift the placement of my belly button a good 5-6 inches up or down. Part of me I suppose just always thought this was normal. After all, this has always been my normal. I don’t know what it’s like to not have to tuck my stomach into my underwear. It’s really starting to wear on me. And then I realized that this moment right here, this line of thinking is exactly why I have NEVER been able to maintain and keep the weight off. The longer this goes on, the more cynical and dissatisfied I become instead of the opposite being true.

I wish I didn’t have to admit any of this. Mainly because I wish I didn’t feel this way. I keep trying desperately to see the positive in all of this. I keep looking for the rainbow and silver lining. I know I am being petty and stupid. I know that there are hundreds, hell, maybe even thousands of women who would love to have the problem I am complaining about right now. Me a year ago being one of them for sure. I am trying to not be ungrateful for what I look like, because honestly I do love myself. I do love this version of me. I am just disillusioned by the reality that I can’t fix this. I generally can fix anything I put my mind to, but not this.

I guess the bigger question that I do not have the answer for, is why is this so important to me? Why is it such a big deal if I have extra skin around my stomach? Who the fuck am I trying to impress? I’m not really trying to impress anyone I guess. It’s just such a mental thing that I haven’t quite figured out yet. When I am clothed it’s really not that awful. I actually do look like I have a flat stomach mostly. No one would ever know, so why do I spend so much time thinking about this? I wish I had the answer to that. I wonder if it’s really about fixing what I perceive is broken and erasing all of the mistakes in my life that I have let define me for so long.

I would get the tummy tuck but I can’t afford it and I can’t get a loan because of my past financial history. Mistake upon mistake. You can’t outrun some of your choices can you? I guess that is why in the wee hours of the night or early morning the only choice I have left is to think about what could have been. How I could have done things differently in my life to produce a different outcome today. My Mr. Destiny moment. My Sliding Door. That single moment where I could have changed it all. Not that I believe it exists but sometimes our only comfort is to think about a life where it is different. It’s like playing the game of what would you do if won the lottery. You realistically know it won’t ever happen but from time to time it’s fun to indulge in the fantasy, the escape of how you’d be the best possible lottery winner ever :)

I think I am in a period of grieving and mourning right now and it really has to play itself out. I have to become comfortable with the reality that this is as good as I can do with what I have. Acceptance is not fun when it’s not what you ultimately want. I have to be logical and try and rationalize out the harsh realities. If a magical fairy appeared and offered me a choice between staying exactly as I look right now today for the rest of my life without ever gaining weight etc., or having the magical body that I want but it always being a struggle I would lock in this body, skin and all forever. So I can’t be too upset about things. I know the girl I was a year ago would be so mad to read this post right now. I am certain of that. She would have LOVED to have the problem I am typing out right now. And honestly I feel so guilty. I feel so guilty for thinking this way.

I feel guilty because I know so many more deserving, brave, wonderful woman than me are struggling right now to just lose the weight and would probably roll their eyes over this whiney bitch complaining about lose skin. I know it’s the most petty thing in the world. It’s just, this is my world right now and I can’t help that this is where I am at.

I guess this is my path I must walk because this is the end result of all of the choices I have made in my life. And yes, they were all my choices and if you want to go the destiny/fate route, this is probably exactly where I was destined to end up. This is my ultimate fate. I am sure of that. Maybe I sit here struggling because there is some greater purpose or good to it. Maybe I need to learn a lesson about acceptance and self-love that hasn’t fully resonated yet. I have been preaching about self-love and happiness for quite some time now and so maybe I am being tested. Maybe my resolve is being questioned and I must step up to the plate and fire back with kindness. Kill them with kindness, isn’t that how the saying goes?

I completely know that you accomplish more with self-love than with self-hate. So as the last couple weeks have progressed and my brain has shifted into this negative space it’s no wonder that my body is feeling it more and more, I am not being kind to myself and its showing. I need to find that place of love and acceptance again. I need to embrace how far I’ve come, not how far I have to go, or how far I CAN NOT go. I need to love the strength and courage that I have learned to embrace this past year. I need to count my blessings that I have been able to build any muscle. That my body has allowed me to tighten up as much as it has. That I am physically capable of pushing myself beyond my perceived limits and into new territories all the time. In a nutshell I need to start focusing on the positive instead of the negative. Instead of pinching and grabbing at my excess skin I need to focus on the muscles in my arms that weren’t there ever before. I need to embrace the reality that I run the way I do. I need to smile because yesterday I ran 10 miles in 1 hour 40 minutes and it felt good and comfortable. I need to see all the things I CAN do now, instead of all the things that I may never be able to do.

I am frustrated. Yes. But I am not defeated. I am not giving up. I guess the one thing that I can say is that despite my general anxiety and slight depression on this topic as of late it has never, not even once, occurred to me to give up. There simply is no more giving up anymore. I don’t even know what the hell that means? Gain the weight back? Yeah, that seems like a smart decision. I am ultimately in love with my lifestyle. I am in love with going to the gym and lifting weights and running and being strong and eating well. I am in love with the way I am choosing to live my life and the things I am doing so ever going back is not an option. It hasn’t even occurred to me. When I said this time was different, I feel it to my core, that is the truth. While this may be a stumbling block or an obstacle on the journey of life it certainly is not going to hold me back. I will move forward and keep going because underneath all that extra skin is the heart of a warrior, a champion, a fighter.

I just don’t want to give the illusion that losing weight and being at some magical goal is all easy and life suddenly is peachy keen. We just are fighting a whole new set of battles. Whether it’s extra weight or extra skin or something completely non health related, we are all fighting our own battles each day. What may seem petty and stupid to one person is very real to someone else. It does not make it any less valid or real for them. This is why weight is such a struggle, an addiction, a forever journey. I will have to fight and live with this for the rest of my life so I guess I better start trying to accept it now.

I will try to come back tomorrow with a more positive attitude and outlook. I am going to try and focus the rest of the day on the positive and the good. And if my brain starts to wonder a bit to the what if’s and my destiny moment it’s okay to indulge for a moment but I need to bring it back to reality. After all, I don’t honestly hate my reality. It’s so much better being Emily in October of 2013 than October of 2012. So if I must indulge in fantasy let’s just keep it to thinking about what Emily in October of 2014 is going to look like. That’s a much healthier fantasy to indulge in.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ab progress

There is no doubt that the abs are the hardest body part to get tight. I feel like my lower abs have lots of issues, obviously with all the loose skin, but the top is getting much tighter. I have been trying to find signs of progress and obviously these do NOT show me anywhere near my 220 pound mark. This first photo was from April of 2013 which was about 160 pounds or so. Then we have June 2013 which was pretty much 140 pounds and then these photos were taken today, yup me in the office today and suddenly my abs look much better... still got a long way to go, but holy heck there is some definition in there amongst the stretch marks and the scar, there is some tight. Basically I am posting these for comparison purposes so that in 8 months or really another 4 months I can compare with todays photos....

8 months

This week is flying by, which is probably what happens when you are gone on a Monday so your Tuesday is really your Monday and suddenly you find yourself upon Thursday. And almost half way thru Thursday. This is good. I like this. I have been trying hard the past couple days to catch up at work so that I don’t feel so bad about my lack of real performance on any level the past couple months. Sometimes that happens I guess.

Yesterday I didn’t have much to say as I was not really feeling life. Sometimes you are up, sometimes you are down. I feel great around 1 or 2 PM pretty much every day, super excited and motivated and ready to take on the world. This is typically what happens for me. Then about 4 or 4:30 hits and slump beyond slump, I have zero desire to do anything physical or move or go to the gym. And then I get slightly angry and depressed. Of course I make myself go to the gym and by the time I start moving I feel great. Exercise is my high, it’s my therapy, and it’s my everything really. I need that in my life so badly. It makes me feel great.

Of course, last night I had personal training and my trainer is on vacation this week so I had Amanda again for training. I adore the girl, I totally do, but she is just so tough. I guess that is a good thing. We did back yesterday and boy is my back on fire today. That is certainly a sign of a good workout I guess. My muscles are sore and tired because I worked them, tore them down and now they must rebuild themselves as better ever so slightly stronger versions of themselves. Or at least that’s how I like to try and visualize it in my mind. So even though my lower back hurts it’s because it is presently rebuilding itself into a stronger version of my lower back.

I have to try and find the positives where I can because it can get challenging to stay completely motivated when you don’t see the changes occurring any longer. I have to know that somehow, some way change is happening. I am getting stronger and things have to be progressing even if there is no measureable proof of this.

Last night I really struggled with the concept of loose skin. I like how some days I am so proud of my efforts and my body and then some days it is such a struggle. Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond grateful for the amazing body I have in terms of what I have tortured it thru its entire life and to have it still look as good as it does. I get that. But then I also really understand why people who lose lots of weight end up struggling and gaining again. It is SO hard to keep it up day in and day out when all you have all over your body is the physical signs, proof of the torture. I have tortured loose skin. Everywhere. I look great all things considered BUT, some days it feels pointless because I have so much permanent damage to my body.

Let me rephrase that, if I am being honest, which I generally am on this site, there is a secret part of me that is praying that in time it can and will all tighten up, but I just don’t think it’s that realistic to expect my body to bounce back from the true damage I’ve done. And then on occasion I see people who claim to have been like 250 pounds and are now these body builder fitness models and they look perfect. Is that even possible? I work so hard and I doubt and question it all the time.

I think this shit is hard. Both physically and mentally. I think the reason so many of us never really achieve our goals is because we lose faith and quit trying because it gets hard. I don’t honestly believe my skin can tighten up as much as I need it too in order to be satisfied but there is a part of me that is thinking that in another 8 months maybe, just maybe it’s possible. I don’t want to be crazy unrealistic and get my expectations up too high but I am praying that improvement can still be made. Now after four months there has been much improvement. The addition of muscles to my frame has helped tremendously in terms of how I look, so one can only rationalize that another 8 months of effort should produce better results. But I’m afraid. I’m going to admit it. I’m terrified that I have hit a standstill and this is the best my body can do. That this is all I can manage and for some reason it’s not good enough. I want it all now. I feel like I deserve my dreams. Sometimes that whole why not me is a double edged sword. They say to reach/wish for the impossible and then ask you to be realistic.

This is what I know and what I am sticking to…

1. I have lots of loose skin, too much to logically believe that it can ever all tighten up and go away. I can accept that on some level.
2. There is no way that I can spend another 8 months of going to the gym and doing what I’ve been doing and NOT see additional results. Something will have to budge
3. It will all be what it is supposed to be. Period.

Because of the excessive damage I have done to my body it is going to take a lot of effort to achieve results that someone else who started out small but not toned might achieve in 4 months. I have added lots of muscle but I have a lot of skin still because of the losing and gaining of 80 pounds over and over again in my life. My results will take longer to achieve period.

I also know that I am 100% committed now, and I’m not going back. Ever. Despite having days of frustration I am in no way shape or form thinking that I am giving up. It’s not even possible at this point. This is my lifestyle and I choose to do it not to achieve some body (although that is a great side effect of it) but mostly I do it because I love how it makes me feel. Without any results at all the majority of the time I feel amazing and great because of living a healthy lifestyle. That is far more important than any physical transformation that is or is not occurring.

Let’s not forget that I have had great physical results in 4 months as well. It is hard for me to get perspective from time to time because life just happens. I don’t have a clear mental picture of what I looked like 4 months ago, being 140 pounds but not having lifted any weights or having gone to the gym. I know I liked myself and how I looked but I don’t think I had any muscle at all. I have a hard time remembering that girl and some days just assume that this is what 140 pound me looks like and I don’t think that is the case. I think this is 140 pound me with more muscle than I’ve ever had in my whole life.

Some days we just need to be reminded that anything is possible and that you have already come a long way. I know this is true. I don’t say this enough and I wish I would have taken my own advice but please if you are trying to lose weight I promise you this, you will never have enough pictures of yourself along the way. Take lots of pictures. I wish I had 5 times as many as I do, from all angels so that I can really see. It’s so helpful as a visual reminder on days when you just for the life of you, can’t tell at all how far you’ve come. So I try and take pictures now because I guess in 8 months I will be able to compare the then to the now and hopefully see that progress that I am so anxious to get.

But even so, this really is forever so if it takes me years that is okay, just as long as I believe that it is really possible. I think that is all that I need, to know that it IS possible. That if I keep working at it, eventually, despite all of my best efforts previously in life to ruin it, my body can snap back. I don’t mind if it takes a long time but I just have to have some reassurance that it is possible. I am not looking for perfection. I’m not. My body is flawed and that is okay. I have a big scar down my stomach where I had to have emergency gall bladder surgery and that is okay with me. It’s part of who I am. I just want to know that someday it’s possible to truly erase my past mistakes with new fresh starts. Isn’t that what we all strive for anyway? A fresh start…

I want to be the girl I always dreamed of being but didn’t think was ever a possibility. Living this journey this time has given me the courage to admit what I want. It’s given me just enough strength to ask, why not me? And it’s made me dangerous enough to start to think that I am capable of achieving that long buried mental image of this fiercely strong and toned woman. Notice that nowhere in there did I say skinny. I don’t want skinny, I want healthy and strong. Skinny is weak. I have so learned that. Stick thin girls with no muscle are unappealing to me. I have learned to understand that beauty full radiates with strength, both physical and the kind that comes from within. That is what I value above all else.

Yesterday my friend Paige posted on Facebook a little quote that said Julia Child didn’t start cooking until she was 37. That is really sticking with me today. I am 34. Technically I have 3 years right :) I think it was less about actually being 37 and more about discovering your true self and calling. It’s quite possible that I haven’t even discovered who I’m supposed to be just yet but boy am I a lot closer than I ever was. I still have time; I guess that’s the point.

And one more thought that I am going to reflect upon, honest to God, is there any part of me that really believes that if I keep going the way I have been the past 4 months, for another 8 months, that things won’t change? Really, honestly. Fuck numbers and math and BMI’s and body fat percentages and scale numbers. And look in the God Damned mirror. Is there any way possible that 8 more months of this won’t produce something different in the mirror??? Really?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Worth Every Penny

I have been so busy at work today that I haven’t had time to write about my weekend. I tend to do that thing where something really simple you procrastinate for so long doing it that suddenly it becomes a big deal and it would have been easy to just do it to begin with. I don’t know why I don’t do the thing to start and avoid the inevitable stress that always comes from this scenario. I just keep pushing it off until it’s a big deal and then I deal with it and look like a lying ass on top of it. Stupid, stupid. I handled it this morning and it’s all good now, but it does make me look a little crappy along the way. Oh well, always another day.

So let’s talk Pink shall we. Holy shit, worth every single penny that I spent on it. When we arrived in Seattle and checked into our hotel I realized we were literally like 1 block from the venue. Nice. So while we were supposed to officially check in at 5:15 it said, we decided to do a walk by the venue to scope out the place to check in. This was at about 2 PM. We walked around and found the entrance and saw a line already forming. I was like shit. I didn’t come all this way and spend all this money to not get front row. I was feeling panicked so we went back to the hotel room where I got ready, changed my clothes and we picked up some alcohol for waiting in line and later. Well, mostly in line as it turned out. We ended up getting in line about 3 PM.

I spent the next two hours talking to the people in line around us. Boy can I say this, either Seattle folk are weird or Pink just draws an interesting crowd. Now I adore Pink obviously and I consider myself a normal average girl, nothing too freaky about me or crazy. But holy shit, pretty much everyone in line was what I would definitely consider a social misfit. I hate to judge people I really do, but it was just this line of complete outcasts. I was easily by far the most “normal” appearing of the bunch. Normal is such a relative word and of course appearances are quite deceiving aren’t they. I guess Pink probably does draw the social misfit crowd the underdog if you will. Plus I hate to say it but holy cow, like 50% of the women in line were VERY typical lesbians. Not the lipstick lesbian types but the butch ones you know. Again, nothing against them at all. I spent a good hour talking to one of these women in front of me and she was perfectly lovely and nice. Just interesting that this was the case.

I also will never understand the fascination with buying gifts to give to celebrities. I adore pink, no doubt, but I have never considered spending my money buying stuff for her to try to give to her on stage. She can pretty much buy anything she wants and if she wanted to give her daughter a stuffed animal I am certain she would. Do you know how many of these crazy fans had “gifts” for her? It was in this moment that I realized exactly why these celebrities need so much privacy and security about them. There are a ton of real obsessive crazies in this world. The one girl in the front of the line made her a scrapbook with tons of crazy stalkerish pictures. I guess there are all levels of obsession in this world right.

Anyhow, we finally were ushered into the arena at about 5:30 PM. The concert actually started at 7:30 and the general public was allowed in at 6:30. There were only about 100 of us who bought the VIP package. This was probably my first clue I was amongst obsessive compulsive stalker types. We got a cool VIP swag bag which was fun. A tote with a hat and blanket and VIP pass in it. It was cool. It was also mega cool to be inside the arena before everyone else. We got to hear the sound check so we knew Pink was on the stage because we could hear her.

We also got first dibs over at the merchandise stand with no one around. I bought 2 new shirts. Awesome. And then FINALLY we were moving into the arena and up to the stage. This is why I paid the big bucks because I literally walked right up to the stage and was in the VERY front. It was quite amazing actually. We were close enough that we certainly could touch the performers. At some points almost uncomfortably close actually. I am not the stalker type it turns out and standing that close to performers is slightly weird.

The opening act went on and they were good but not great. The guy was so ridiculously sweaty that it kind of grossed me out. I guess that’s what you get being that close. I saw every bead of sweat falling off him. Interesting. But of course I wasn’t that totally into it and realized that very soon Pink would take the stage and none of that would matter.

The people around me were all very nice and I struck up some conversations with people and it was all good. Then Pink went on and holy shit, for the next two hours I was beyond entertained and amazed. When Pink first appeared before me, like literally in front of me, well up a bit in front of me I told myself in my head, worth every single penny. To be that close and to physically see her that close was beyond my wildest dreams.

This is what I noticed beyond everything else, Pink and all of her back up dancers are BEYOND fit. Healthy, strong, womanly, FIT. They were not stick thin. They had shapes and curves and muscles. I felt so inspired and thankful that there were actually role models in this world that portrayed healthy images of a strong woman. Exactly everything that I have ever loved and adored about her. She is not fake, she is not perfect. She is real and gorgeous and strong. Last month seeing Adam Lavine blew me away with how skinny he was, not Pink. Not that she wasn’t small; she was perfectly healthy looking in person. I saw Katy Perry years ago and she was beyond small. My prevalent thought was this girl is TINY. I just get beautiful and healthy from Pink and ALL of her back up dancers. It was amazing. I cannot express enough how much I walked away from the concert feeling inspired and thrilled by the representation of real women. I literally wanted to go to the gym and kill it because I felt so inspired. Of course it was almost midnight when I got out so that was not happening.

Pink was just as good as I remembered in terms of her voice. There is simply no greater performer out there today. She puts on a show that rivals Cirque De Soil … she flies around and climbs up in the sky. She is amazing. And I had one of the best nights of my entire life standing in the front of the stage watching this all go down. So much so that there simply is no other way to ever watch a Pink show in the future. I will pay whatever it will take from here on out to be in the front. Worth every single penny.

Oh and Pinks incredibly hot, super amazingly fit back up dancer, the one who was in her Try music video, Colt is his name, he smiled at me, like seriously made eye contact and smiled at me which pretty much made my night. I mean, he is gorgeous… and for a second I might have blushed. These are the types of experiences you can only have in the front row, right?

Worth every penny. I mean it’s only money right? In a years’ time I won’t miss the money but I will have these amazing memories of how cool that experience was. I will always keep that mental imagine in my head of that amazing night, and seeing Pink that close. This is how we are supposed to live life. Doing these things we want and not being afraid to put yourself out there. I had never been in a pit at a concert before, always too afraid honestly. I’m not afraid anymore. Cross that off the list.

Yesterday I drove home and was exhausted. I didn’t want to go to the gym but I made myself go last night because I figured that once I started working out I would feel better and sure enough that is what happened. I spent about 1 hour 45 minutes there last night and felt great afterwards. I just feel really inspired actually. I feel like I’m on a high and excited about my life. That’s a great feeling to have. Not sure what that is all about but I am just happy. I’m excited and look forward to constant small tiny little improvements.

I just feel so happy and blessed right now. Things are slowly improving in all areas of my life and that is all you can ask for. A little bit of tiny progress, even when you can’t really see it. Someday it will happen. This is entirely a slow process but some day you will wake up and realize that you aren’t where you once were at all. It is always slowly working. Don’t give up; I am mostly talking to myself here. In the end, experiences like this weekend remind me how much all of this is worth it. Look how freaking far I’ve come in a year? In 8 months since I last saw Pink. Whenever I get depressed or think that change is not occurring I need to realize that as varied as my two Pink concert experiences are, that is how much I was a different person on the inside in that amount of time. While I couldn’t possibly quantify each day the changes there is no doubt that in 8 months I became a different person. Amazing. Gives me so much hope for where I’m going to be 8 months from now, after a whole year of going to the gym and living this life.

For the first time in my entire life, I am so beyond excited to see what the hell comes next. I look forward to my future in a way that I could only imagine in the past. I feel so blessed to finally be living this life, after all these years, to finally get it. AMAZING.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pink Take Two

Holy hell yes, it is Friday. And not just any Friday my friends, but the Friday of the weekend of my Pink concert. Yup, the excitement is starting to kick in. There was a mild scare a couple days ago when Pink had to cancel two of her shows this week due to her doctor giving her 4 days of vocal rest. 4 days means Sunday she can sing? I am guessing so because Seattle was not cancelled and therefore should be her first show back with a fresh set of vocal pipes. I imagine its big business to have to cancel a show and only done with really necessary. For the record, she just postponed the shows, not a total cancel. But what a pain in the ass especially for someone like me travelling a bit for the show. Yes, I’m just driving so it wouldn’t be the end of the world like Vegas would have been but still a pain nonetheless. So for right now we are on and I am praying it stays that way.

So yes, I just have to get thru work today and then it’s a 3 day weekend for me. Tonight is also my night off from exercise. My body really needs it. 6 days in a row and its ready for a break, plus last night was a killer good class that left me exhausted and feeling like it was more than time for a break. I will get my nails done tonight, much needed as well, and then it’s back up at it tomorrow morning. 9 AM Turbo kick at the gym, to be followed by an hour of strength training. After that I have a Costco run planned and then I’m going to my sister’s house to help her decorate a little bit. I will wake up Sunday morning pretty early and start the 4 hour trek to Seattle, check into my hotel and then await the epic-ness that will be the front pit at Pink.

Remember back when I bought these tickets. Yes, it is documented here, I paid a fortune, well for me at least, for a concert, but after seeing her in Vegas I swore that I was going to be in the front next time and has become typical of me lately have decided to start living my life the way it should be lived and following thru with the things I really want. So yes, this girl is going to be in the front pit to see my beloved Pink. I remember back to February when I saw her in Vegas and what a big deal it was for me. We all know the back story and that seeing Pink was one of the big catalysts that first got me to lose weight again. I have so much to thank Pink for it isn’t even funny. No, I did all the work obviously, but her continual inspiration and influence in my life is always felt. I learned to be part of the woman I wanted to be from her. I know that sound so cheesy and lame but her strong attitude really inspires me. Always has.

I went to that Pink concert in Vegas in February having lost 50 pounds which was epic unto itself and I felt great. Of course I was still 169 pounds actually. But that didn’t stop me, I felt really good and happy and so thankful. I took pictures the day I left for Vegas and posted them here. Below is a picture from that day, February 13, 2013. And then I am attaching a new photo that I just took today of me. This is how far I’ve come since that time. I have lost approximately 35 more pounds but more importantly is everything I have gained. Look at those arm muscles… I am in love with my arms these days. I have worked very hard for all the definition in my upper body. As a runner that is something that I have never had previously.

Anyway, here are the photos…

Cell phone photos are never really the best huh. But at least it’s something. I’m very grateful I have any photos to compare to. I always wish that I would take more photos along the journey to compare because it’s hard to find them and it’s a great judge of how far you’ve come.

I have to say that in the past week I have noticed some strong ab muscles finally start to come in. It’s going to take a long time if ever for anything to really be all that visible but it does feel much harder than it once was. It is small and slow progress from here on out, but its progress. It’s hard to not feel great about the progress in the above photos. I think I looked fine at 169 pounds. I was happy. I was very happy and I looked fine. But that girl in the photo from today, she is strong. She is an athlete. Pretty much no way someone could look at her and not think she worked out or was physically fit. I’m far from perfect as we all know but I am strong.

Last night in class a girl I didn’t know who is beautiful and small came up to me and told me, “I don’t know you, but I’ve seen you here and just have to say your arms are amazing. Your shoulders. You look great!” It was an excellent complement. I have worked very hard the past 4 months on developing my upper body strength and I love that it is finally showing. But underneath it all, you all know what my heart is like. You know that I will always be the girl that struggles and is a fat kid at heart.

Sometimes at the gym I get this urge to tell people that everything you see before you is great but I come from such different more humble weight loss origins. Lately there is a wonderful overweight girl who has been talking classes. I think she is amazing and I respect her immensely. I would NEVER, did not, take classes and put myself out there when I was overweight. For god’s sake I was like 145 pounds before I joined a gym and even then it took a while for me to adjust mentally to the idea that I belonged there. This girl is probably 200 pounds and she takes the classes and I am inspired by her and her obvious desire to change. I hate to ever be presumptuous or condescending so I never say anything but someday I hope it somehow comes up and I can share that I was once 220 pounds. Not that I want to presume that I would be any sort of inspiration but sometimes you see these people at the gym who do the classes and seem so active and fit and you get discouraged because you are like, they have no idea what it’s like to be me, to be in my shoes, to be overweight. And I just want to scream, I do. I promise you, I do know what it’s like. Time and time again, I’ve lived this. Of course this whole conversation is going on in my head and I have no idea if that really is what anyone else is thinking. Maybe it’s just me who thinks that.

So this girl I am today, getting ready to see Pink this weekend is pretty much the woman I have always desired to become. This is what I had envisioned in my head my whole life in terms of a strong physically fit woman who goes to rock concerts and enjoys her life. I feel no shame or embarrassment from my body. I have worked hard for everything I have got. That is all HARD work and continued effort. Nothing in this life was handed to me in terms of my health and fitness. I had to make it all happen for myself. That is honestly what makes it all the more rewarding. Genetics have been against me from day 1. Obesity is not only a national epidemic but something that is ridiculously prevalent and rampant in my immediate family, both sides of my family have out of control obesity. I have had to fight hard to counter act it. I mean, my Grandpa and Grandpa on my dad’s side were LARGE. For heaven’s sake when my dad died he had to be cut out of our house he was so big. My mom’s family isn’t much better. My grandma is a large woman there as well. Genetics were just not kind to me. But that is all the more proof that we can fight and succeed if we truly have the desire in our hearts. Genetics are part of the story, but certainly not the entire story.

What is inside of you is far more important and superior to anything else the universe can throw at you. Yes, you were dealt a certain hand of cards, but it is what is inside that determines how you play them. I am strong, I am physically fit and I am in love with my life. That is completely because of what lives inside of me. That is my inner champion and warrior. That is because I have a strong enough belief in myself that I am capable of anything I put my mind to.

So once more in 2013, before it comes to a close, I get to demonstrate to myself how epic and life altering this year has been for me. I get to see Pink one more time, 8 months after first seeing her, and this time I walk in as a different woman all together. The confidence I have in my abilities and the belief I have that this time is it for me is so epic and profound. So much so that it is just a quiet contentment. Pretty much the quite contentment I have felt this entire journey. I know I have this. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is my entire life, for the rest of my life. I love feeling this way. I love believing in myself. I love loving myself. I wish I could give this feeing to everyone in the world. So that every single woman, big or small, happy or sad, could feel true genuine contentment and love for themselves. It is amazing and something that while taking 34 years to finally realize, was well worth the wait.

What started as a simple little wish to see Pink, spawned a complete and utter transformation of my soul. Who knew? The best possible way I can think of to thank her and commemorate this epic year is to go that concert Sunday night, smile, laugh, cry (yes, I will cry again I’m certain) and celebrate this last year of my life. I can think of no better way to celebrate my one year transformation than being front pit at my Pink concert. This is the way life was supposed to be lived. And I am so thankful I am finally living.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Personal Torture Session

Yesterday I was in such a bad mood that even I couldn’t stand the sound of my own voice and therefore couldn’t stomach writing anything out. I was just plain old pissy and it took me until late afternoon to have my ah-ha moment. I started my period. Made total sense suddenly. I was just sad and depressed and lacked any motivation at all and then I realized the why of it all and my entire attitude changed. I was not crazy and sad for no good reason. Yes, I was, but no, my hormones really were fucking with me. Don’t you just love being a woman sometimes?

I had little desire to go to the gym but I had personal training last night and I don’t miss that. So it turned out my trainer was running late so she asked another trainer to cover her and do my session. This was fine, because this is my favorite instructor and my friend, Amanda. My trainer is on vacation next week so Amanda will be doing my training next week anyway. This seemed fine and logical in my brain but then we started and holy shit, this girl is so fucking hard. I adore her and it’s great for classes where you are not the sole focus of all the attention but in a one on one setting I seriously have never felt more exhaustion or pain in my life. I feel like my trainer pushes me and I have great workout’s where I’m left to the point of exhaustion but Amanda. I can’t even describe what the hell happened there. Part of me thinks that this girl this I am stronger and more able than I am. That she thinks I should be able to keep up with her insane level and I just can’t. I am so much stronger than I ever was but I am not THAT strong.

Normally I love being challenged and ultimately I do, but I have never been so close to being on the verge of tears and wanting to quit. I don’t quit but I seriously almost did. What starts out as easy enough escalates into something so awful I can’t even describe it. Okay, I am being overdramatic I am sure. But I found little joy in the workout because I felt not good enough.

She had me lift much heavier than I’ve ever done before. She had me start with 10 incline push-ups. Yup, feet up on a bench and then hands on the ground pushing myself up. Arms already hurt after that. Then bench presses. 50 pounds to start. 15 of them. Oh wait, 10 more incline pushups while she loads on another 20 pounds of weight. Sure, let’s do 12 reps of 70 pounds pressed. I barely inked them out. Then you guessed it, 10 more pushups. And if I thought that 70 pounds was hard for good measure she added another 20 pounds so that I was now chest pressing 90 pounds. The most I have ever done was 50 pounds once a couple weeks ago with my regular trainer. Otherwise 40 is what I comfortably do. I guess that is the point, to get out of your comfort zone. She had me push thru 10 of those and I seriously felt like my arms were going to fall off. And then for good measure to exhaust my arms as she said she took all the weight off and had me do as many presses as I could with just the 40 pound bar. I could barely manage the 10 she wanted. I felt like an epic fail mostly.

Then we went to tricep dips with a 35 pound weight on me. Tricep dips are ridiculously hard. WITHOUT weight. This might be the exercise where I most thought I was going to quit. It burned and I could not really do it. Then we did some more tricep work and lifts on the bench that I can’t even describe before working on my biceps.

Let me tell you, I can only manage a 30 pound bicep curl consistently. That is what I do, where I’m comfortable. I do 15 of them and that is good. When we go to the rack of bars so stood there and studied them before deciding that I was going to bicep curl 60 pounds. I laughed. Seriously said, you are kidding me right, I can’t curl 60 pounds. She said I’ll help you. And it was pain and torture and with her help we did 10 of them. And then we went to the 50 pound bar and again we did 10. And then to 40 pounds, and then the 30 pound one and then we settled on the 20 pound one where we had a new series of tortures. 10 lower ½ ones and then 10 upper half ones and then for good measure I had to hold the 20 pound bar out straight for 20 seconds while it burned every ounce of my being. At this point I was about ½ done with my workout. Yup… half done. And I wanted to cry but kept smiling.

So now it was leg torture time. What do you normally lunge with she asked me. 40 pounds was my response knowing I could probably do 50 thinking that’s what we’d do. Who was I kidding; it was 70 pounds that I had to lunge with on my back across the gym. My legs were sad. They were mad at me. And then because that is not torture enough we did some machine that I shall forever call the machine of torture that isolated my front thighs in the most excruciating pain to date. This is where I made noises I did not know I was capable of making and when I got to rep 5 out of 10 I was at my breaking point and was already screaming in pain but I still had 5 to go. This is what torture is. Right there. It wasn’t like I’m breaking something kind of pain, it was just the pain of holy shit I have worked muscles to their ridiculous point of exhaustion. I am sure this is what you are probably supposed to do.

In this instance, AFTER my 30 minutes of personal torture was done I realized that I have not been pushing myself nearly as hard as I could because I never felt that level of fatigue or done before. I never actually wanted the pain to stop as badly as I did last night. That is what it’s probably supposed to feel like. But it wasn’t that satisfying. I felt like a failure in some weird way because I felt like I couldn’t do what she wanted me to do, or do it with ease at least. I guess each trainer has a different teaching style. Which is why I am all the more confident that my trainer Julie is a good fit for me. She pushes me but also is nurturing and understanding. But I will train again next week with Amanda and die I am sure.

After my personal torture session I did do a half hour ab class followed by half an hour of turbokick where promptly upon its completion I was like, I am DONE. I am out of here; I can’t take any more of this. Today I am sore. Not crazy can’t move sore, just sore in a few places. I guess a good kind of sore. The kind of sore where I worked all these stupid muscles and it hurts like a son of a bitch to “think” about what I did but I could and will power thru.

Tonight I will be back at the gym, with my sore body and all, and do a 5:30 cardio class with Amanda. I really do love the girl maybe just not one on one but as a person, as an instructor she is great. Then at 6 PM there is a new iron power strength training class starting tonight for an hour. I will do that. I will have to go lighter on the weights since I am already in pain. Just push thru today and then tomorrow is my day off and I will get my nails done.

Have I mentioned that Sunday night is my Pink concert? Yup, I am pretty thrilled about that. I will probably write more about that tomorrow since its Friday and all and boy am I looking forward to my Friday and my 3 day weekend. I have to take Monday off work because I will be out til like Midnight in Seattle so there was no way I doing the 4 hour drive home after that and going to work. Not going to happen.

I feel like I have more to say but the I don’t as well. I have had some things on my brain this week. Between therapy leaving me yucky Monday night and apparently the arrival of my period I’ve kind of been a mess the past couple days. Just want to check out and go into auto pilot. We all have those times. It’s just all I can do to go thru the motions and get my exercise in and not really delve too deep into any other tough emotions right now. I am sure next week I will be back to my regular old self. But for now that’s what I’m up to.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Health of the mental & physical kind

Ever have one of those days where the world just conspires against you? Okay, that’s a bit dramatic but yesterday was not my favorite day in recent history. It all started with the reality that I slept like crap on Sunday night which left me extra tired and out of sorts all day yesterday. I hit a big 4 PM afternoon wall slump yesterday and didn’t feel like doing anything. I made it to the gym, but was less than impressed with my effort and then I went to therapy.

In hindsight it might have been because a part of me was dreading therapy all day. I like the therapist and I don’t dislike therapy but yesterday was a rough one. It left me with that exposed yucky feeling all night. I cried during therapy. Too much and I shut down. I actually had to say, I’ve hit my wall, I have shut down. Right there in therapy. And I had to stop and the therapist had to tell me to breathe. She could literally see that I was not actually breathing. I had to stop and consciously tell my brain to actually perform the function of breathing. It was hard. Some sessions are just like that I guess. Obviously it hit a nerve with me. By the end of the hour I felt a little better but I was such a “drained” wreck that as soon as I got in the car to drive home I cried. It was not the same tears that came out in therapy but tears of just exhaustion I think. Tears of my brain has been probed and fucked with and its hard and I don’t like it. It was all necessary I am sure, but it was still hard.

I got home and immediately took a shower. Perhaps I thought that if I cleaned my body it’d wash off some of the mental yuck I was feeling. I have noticed that some of my worst times of body image perception come AFTER a therapy session. It is crazy how liked our mental state is to how we feel about our physical self. My therapy has little to do with my body image issues. I am not discussing weight or my personal insecurities in there so it’s not like any of that was triggered by therapy. I just find it interesting that after feeling raw and exposed that when I see a glimpse of myself in the mirror that my first inclination is to go, ugh, I’ve got so much work to do. And I know that it is the result of my overly emotional state. It’s like a doctor taking a sharp pointy object and poking it around in your brain. Part of that brain is connected to the other parts that control things that they perhaps didn’t mean to affect and suddenly I am crying because I am so disappointed in my physical being.

This could also be an avoidance tactic on my part. I have a hard time dealing with some of the issues brought forth by therapy so I transfer them onto issues that I am more used to, things I feel more in control of, like my health and weight. Anything to avoid having to deal with some of my less than ideal characteristics.

I woke up today feeling better about things as a whole but still with a feeling of dissatisfaction with myself and my progress. I think it boils down to this, in the last month for whatever reason I don’t feel like I’ve really made any noticeable progress at all. Fundamentally I know that things have to be improving, that all the effort I put in has to account for something and that maybe one day It will all perhaps just come out in one fail swoop but for now it’s getting disheartening. I know I sound stupid by saying this. In about a month, the scale is about the same, my body fat percentage is about the same, and I don’t notice anything different in my body. I feel stalled. I feel like after the first 3 months my body has gotten used to exactly what I’m giving it. Like in order to see some progress I need to do something different. And since there is pretty much no way for me to do more on the exercise front it has to be with the food. I fully believe like 80% of this boils down to your food anyway. I need to figure something out. When I get restless I know it’s time for a change of some sort, some sort of new challenge. I like new challenges and I like to have something I am working on/towards so even its something as simple as adding a new food group daily, I need something.

Something else occurred to me this morning as well. Despite being less than impressed with the last month’s results, I had a moment where I had to stop this morning and feel utterly blessed for my body. Not the visual aspect of it, but the physical capabilities of it. I have lived a relatively pain and injury free existence despite the torture and abuse I have sometime bestowed upon it. No doubt the constant yo-yo weight has damaged it or should have caused more damage than it did. Yes, I did have to have my gallbladder removed 5 years ago, most likely as a direct result of my fluxuating weight and quick weight loss. But aside from one setback on a daily basis I am pretty injury free.

For the amount of torture I constantly put myself thru, the hours of extensive limit pushing exercise, my body has not quit on me. That is amazing. I am in great physical health. Aside from the physical capabilities, my internal medical side is great too. I feel no weird discomforts, I feel generally in great physical health. I far too often take for granted the ease of which I can physically perform hour after hour of strenuous activity and recover enough to do it again the next day. I have been blessed with a body that has endured despite my best efforts at times to destroy it. Both thru neglect and weight gain and then thru over training and over working and starvation even at times. My body just keeps on ticking at an amazing pace.

For all of the hours I have logged running I have never suffered a strain/sprain/tear/pull. I have never twisted an ankle. I have never broken a bone. I think that is probably a relatively amazing feat all things considered. So today I am most thankful for my health. I should really try and not take that for granted as much as I do. It really is a blessing every day I don’t hurt myself and am able to perform the things I ask of my body. I know the older I get the harder it will become to remain injury free so I need to cherish the time now and treat my body respectfully enough now so it will carry me thru my later years in great physical health.

I realize that we ultimately are not the best judges of perspective in terms of ourselves. We are our own worst critics, etc. But sometimes I look at pictures of myself right now and don’t see any progress or change and I don’t see the athlete that I want to be. Then other times I am just so full of confidence and courage and strength and I see her, that girl who is a beast at the gym. My perspective is so off.

All I can do is keep on going, which is all I intend to do. Tonight is gym time again but there is only one half hour class to take so then I will be totally on my own. I really don’t know what I’m planning on doing after that. Probably some strength training for a while, maybe a 30 minute run? Guess it depends on what I feel like. Tonight the Biggest Loser premieres which I have always in my past life watched via the treadmill, not sure how that one is going to go down tonight for me. Typically watching at 8 PM is a little late for me for exercise considering I will be at the gym from 5:30-7:00 most likely. But sitting on the couch watching the Biggest Loser just seems wrong for me. Maybe I’ll feel different come 8 PM, after having already worked out tonight. We will see.

Just a heads up that I’m thinking about mixing something up with my diet and some changes are coming. I have to figure it out, as we all have to figure shit out from time to time.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Weekend Recap

In the spirit of accountability I think I should actually post something about what I did or accomplished or felt this weekend in addition to my lovely journey thru pinterest that I took last night. My weekend started out with a Friday night dinner out to Outback where I ridiculously indulged. Oops. Lots of bread, a giant, I mean GIANT frozen cocktail and a blue cheese wedge salad which is just horrible for you and then of course more bread and at least a healthy pork chop with a plain baked potato for the entrée. Oh wait, cheesecake for dessert. Ha. So whatever, it happened. It’s fine. It was delicious. Enough said.

Saturday morning I was all alone, like completely alone my entire day which is not a sad thing, it’s a good thing because this means I get to do whatever I want and you all know what I wanted to do. Yup, 9 AM turbokick at the gym. Actually, I walked in about 9:02 and class was just getting started and all the people were already in there and I come running in and my friend, the instructor was like, “There she is. I knew you were coming.” It put a big smile on my face. After an hour of turbokick I headed out to man’s land and spent a solid hour lifting weights. Alternating between different arm exercises with a few squats and back exercises thrown in. After about 2 hours I was ready to leave the gym but I really felt like running. I looked up at the treadmills and then looked outside where it just looked incredible and decided nah to the treadmills and headed out.

I did not immediately go home, instead I hit up Target because I was looking for a few things and ended up with a lot of things actually. Mainly groceries which were probably fairly needed. I spent at least an hour wandering around Target. How I love my freedom on my weekends to do as I please. Good times. I came home and put groceries away, cleaned up the house some, did a few other things. And then later in the afternoon I decided that it was too perfect of a day to not go outside for a run. I put on my armband, turned on my RunKeeper app on my phone and away I went. I have to admit that there is something really soothing about just going outside and running without a destination in mind, without a set course, just running and turning down streets as you want. It was a little chilly out so ultimately perfect running conditions. I had intended to run for an hour, at least that was the plan.

People who run, do you notice that the first mile or so is always the hardest? I have a hard time getting started but once I’m solidly 2 miles in I feel great. This is probably why I will never be a sprint/quick runner. I am definitely more a distance kind of girl. I keep a nice consistent pace for miles but probably couldn’t run a fast mile if my life depended on it. But I can run 10 of those suckers at a 6 mile per hour pace no problem. Anyway. After about 2 miles I was enjoying all the twists and turns of the outdoors. When I was around mile 5.5 I was just about back at my house, but I was not finished yet so instead I took another turn into a different neighborhood and just kept running, before I knew it the hour mark had come and gone and mile 7 was behind me. And then I heard 7.5 miles done, I was headed back towards my house at this point and I passed the 8 mile mark. As I finished up back at my house I was at 8.17 miles in a little less than 1 hour 20 minutes. I think this put my pace at about a 9:45 minute mile or so. I was pretty happy with my run and pretty much called it a day on the exercise front.

At this point, I had put in about 3 ½ hours of exercise for the day and I was ready to relax. I took a shower and then pretty much spent my evening on the couch, where I fell asleep at about 9 PM. I slept a pretty solid night thru on Saturday night. Sunday was a much different story. I woke up tired. I was still exhausted and I was slow going. I actually made Protein Pancakes for breakfast. So delicious, taste just like real pancakes but laced with extra protein. Really tasty stuff my friends. Then I put on my workout clothes despite having zero desire to workout.

I ended up going over to my mom’s house to see her and my sisters for a while. It ended up being much longer than I thought as I procrastinated the day away. I had to FORCE myself to the gym. Yes, I know I could have taken the day off, especially considering the crazy workout from Saturday but I went to the gym because of the mental aspect more than anything. I knew that mentally I would feel off if I didn’t put in a good workout. Secretly I was hoping that working out would give me my high and make me come alive. It did just that.

I got to the gym about 2:45 and wanted to get my body warmed up to do strength training so I headed up to the treadmills for a quick run. I initially thought I would just run a mile to warm my body up but then I got on the machine and honestly it was TOUGH. I did not want to run. So I told myself to push on thru and do 15 minutes. Just get thru 15 minutes and then it started to feel much better, as it always does and I was finding my groove so I bumped up the speed and ran 3.1 miles, a nice fast 5k. At this point I was feeling good, which was the whole reason I went to the gym to begin with.

I walked down to the weights where I proceeded to do a whole slew of strength training exercises that both elevated my heart rate and subsequently made me feel very nascious. I ended up doing core work on my own. I have written before about how little love I have for core work. It is not my favorite thing in the world but also very necessary for me. So I pushed myself, and I pushed myself and I kept REALLY pushing myself to the point that I physically felt like throwing up. I rarely get to that point. After about an hour and 15 minutes of weights and abs and kettle balls and feeling sick I decided enough was enough. I more than accomplished my goals for the day and was able to leave the gym, head held high. About 1 hour 45 minutes of a workout that almost didn’t happen to begin with so I was more than satisfied.

Afterwards I had to stop back at Target to pick up a few groceries I had forgotten the previous day. Of course driving in the car I suddenly felt really sick, like I really was going to puke. I took this as a sign that I really worked myself to the point of done. Great workout. And I felt proud and accomplished mostly because I did not want to work out at all but made myself and honestly felt so great afterwards that I was so glad that I did. Not shocked by that.

I came home and actually baked. I rarely bake. Like ever. But I made an awesome meatloaf. Meatloaf is one of my favorite healthy foods and it’s the bomb. So easy and so delicious and filling and protein rich. Ground turkey with Quaker oats and salsa and grilled onions and egg whites with ketchup on the top. The recipe came from pinterest. So dinner was amazing and enjoyed while watching the new TLC show, Alaskan Woman looking for love. It’s a ridiculous show but I can’t help it, I am a sucker for fish out of the water dating shows. These 6 Alaska chicks go to Miami to look for husbands. So crazy and yet so enjoyable at the same time. Culture shock for sure.

I just keep thinking that with all the exercise I do that eventually someday my body is going to have to get tighter and smaller, right? That things won’t have a choice but to tighten and firm up? That is my plan. It’s like that stonecutter quote, right? It’s something like a stonecutter hammers away at a rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing and yet on the hundred and first blow it will split in two and you know it’s not that one blow that did it, but all the ones that had gone before. That’s how I feel about it. That while things are perhaps not showing the way I think they would be showing, that underneath it all things are in fact changing and suddenly one day, on that 101st blow it will just blow itself wide open and it won’t be because of the single effort on that one day, it will be because of all the effort I’ve put in the previous 100 times. I know underneath it all is the muscle and strength and one of these days it’s just going to explode out in a full on burst of strength. I know all the effort I put in is not in vain. I am just like that stone cutter, waiting for my 101st blow. It’s funny because 10 years ago, the very first time I did weight watchers I had a more eloquently phrased version of that quote hanging in my cubicle at work. I’ve always known that it’s our combined efforts that produce the results. So I’ll just sit and wait for that 101st blow. One of these days it’s all going to be worth it in an amazing way.

Tonight is 2 half hour classes at the gym and then I have to rush out of there for Monday night therapy at 7 PM. So yup, only an hour tonight and then therapy. Such is the way of life.

A Journey via Pinterest

Last night, as is pretty customary of most of my late evenings, after dinner, ipad in hand, television on in the background, I surfed the internet. I basically troll around Facebook, twitter and then ususally hit up pinterest for some action. I know, exciting right? Anyhow, I can’t tell you how inspired I sometimes get from stupid little quote set to pretty backgrounds. I suspect really it’s the words, right? But I love reading new ones that motivate and inspire me and make me reflect on all how true the words are for me. Obviously, I am going to share a couple of them right now because that is where this was going, right?

The first one that struck me was amazing:

I mean, right? Don’t I preach about passion like all the time. I completely wholeheartedly believe that passion is key. Now, I am not positive that in order to completely thrive you have to be crazy passionate but I completely believe than anyone worth watching/following/stalking has amazing passion. Think of professional athletes. There is no way to deny that their passion is thru the roofs. This just spoke right to my heart because I love the concept of setting yours4elf on fire with passion. I do it most days, or rather strive to. I then stumbled across this one:

This comes directly off the first one, those things that you set yourself on fire with passion about are not random at all, these are considered your calling. Love it. Perhaps those things that really set me on fire are not coincidence at all, but rather my true calling in life. I am working hard to discover that right now and determine that this way of life, this journey really has always been and will always be my true calling. That my true calling is more than the life I’ve been living the past 34 years and it’s starting to finally emerge from within me. Which brought me to this next one…

I love the progression that my passion turns into my calling which is really ultimately just the realization of my dreams. For so long my dreams have been just that dreams, that seem so impossible and then when I start to think about the reality of them it just seems improbable (like okay somehow its possible for me to run a half marathon in Disney but its so improbable because financially that seems crazy and logistically its improbable to go to Disneyland to run). We constantly find the improbable in the reality of realizing our hearts greatest desires. And then, when we finally summon the will, they soon become inevitable. PERFECTION! The complete transformational process of a dream into reality. This is pretty much how dreams go, isn’t it? Now that I’ve gotten out of my own way, the dream just seems highly inevitable more than anything else. Notice the superman logo behind that quote? Yup, you are a kind of superman or woman in this case for being able to turn that dream into your own inevitability. Which makes me channel my inner “brave” and “roar”

Who knew that people were already creating quotes from my two favorite motivation songs, Brave and Roar. Which reminds me that….

Essentially these are the same sentiment but I like them both and how they are both phrased. That what you thought was that amazing goal that you had to channel your bravery and roar for ends up being something completely different from where you started from. The truth is my goal a year ago was just to lose the weight again. I had no greater ambitions this time around and somewhere along the way things did end up different and holy cow it is so much better that way! And of course on my way to my inevitable dream of being 140 pounds again I got a little lost and found better dreams worth fighting for. Because I was brave and allowed myself to roar and discover my passion and true calling I was able to connect with something much better than simply being 140 pounds. I was able to find new dreams about health and happiness and strength and power and self-love. I have new dreams that are way better than I could have ever originally imagined which leads me to this…

I am in love with this new confident happy woman I am becoming because I did fight so hard to become her. Because I am still fighting every day to find her and be her and discover exactly who she is. But I am completely in love with her because I have earned her with all that passion I have created, and all the courage I’ve learned to channel. I love me because she is the best gift I’ve ever given myself which brings me to this…

And in the end, I really have had this inside of me all along. I have always been this girl, this champion, this fighter. As Glinda the Good Witch says, I just had to learn it for myself.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The significane of Running Disney

Here’s the deal, I was checking the Run Disney website last night for the hell of it and it turns out that the Disneyland half marathon is set for August 29-August 30, 2014. And that registration will open for it in January 2014 sometime and they will send out an email. I signed up to get the email, but now that I know registration opens in January I will definitely be on the lookout in Jan to sign up. I started reading a little more and it turns out that you can run the 10k on Saturday AND the half marathon on Sunday and then sign up for the Dumbo Double Dare challenge which is basically saying that you are running them both and get another medal. So 3 medals, two challenges and instantly my brain was like, Challenged Accepted. I don’t ever think I will get over How I Met Your Mother and those classic lines, they will live with me forever. So yes, Challenge Accepted. It instantly put a little bit of a scared feeling in my tummy running both a 10k one day AND a half the next but that is what I love, if it makes you a little scared but you want to do it, you probably should do it, right?

If I am going to spend all the money and time and fly to Disney to run I might as well go for the gusto and come home with 3 medals, no matter what the cost and yes, there will be a stupid cost considering these races aren’t cheap. But yes, the truest sign that this is probably something you want to do. Even now, having the Run Disney screen open on the other page of my computer monitor and I see it, I literally have to fight back tears in my eyes, I want it so bad. I get giddy and shaky and tearful just thinking about what that would actually mean to me to accomplish something like that. I can’t even put into words why it would mean so much to me. I really don’t know why, but every time I even think about it I cry. That probably means this is something I have to do, come hell or high water, because it is THAT important to me. I don’t have the words to possibly being to articulate how important this is. I think it’s much like the ridiculous combination of importance I placed on going to Vegas to see Pink last February. For whatever reason this just symbolizes something life altering for me.

I have always loved Disney. I am a giant Disney kid at heart. After my dad died my entire family which just consisted of my mom, my 3 sisters and my one brother in law at the time, went to Disneyland together for the first time as a kind of celebration. Basically we had all always wanted to go but my dad was too afraid of his weight to ever go. It was a great time and I fell in love with it. But I was very overweight. You’ve seen the pictures. After that, we went once again as a family, this time with an expanded family of my niece and another future brother in law. I was still fat. And then 2 years ago, the ENTIRE family went, all 10 of us, Chris included and we had an amazing time. I was still fat. Get the point. I have fluctuated my weight for 10 years but it always seemed that I could never make it to Disneyland healthy and active. I was always overweight and out of breath the entire time, thinking it would have been such a more enjoyable experience if I were in better shape.

Of course couple this with all the emotion I have wrapped up in running and my own self-doubt of being an actual runner and you’ve got a recipe for massive tears my friends. And yes, just looking at the Run Disney website and thinking about that accomplishment brings these feelings bubbling up in side of me. Like I know, that after having accomplished that, and starring at my Disney medals that they will be something I will cherish for my entire life. I don’t know what it is about Disney but for some reason it’s just that crazy important to me. I guess it’s because it is the pinnacle of races in my eyes. The cream of the crop and that is what I want to be. That is where I never really allowed myself to believe I could be. That was something that other people did and accomplished, certainly not me.

So as I stare at the screen I know in my heart that I have to make this happen. That just signing up for the race in January will be a big first step for me. And that come hell or high water, this girl is going to be in Disneyland August 29 & 30, 2014 to run. And guess what, I won’t be fat. I will finally accomplish a 10 year goal of going to Disneyland and not being fat. Seriously, maybe that is what it is. When we went to Disneyland the first time it was BEFORE I ever started weight watchers. It was before I ever attempted to lose weight and start down this path. And I promised myself somewhere in the back of my head on that very trip that someday I would come back to Disneyland and be healthy and thin. I think it’s because that very first trip my sister was thin and with her husband, my brother in law, and they took all these cute pictures together, and there I was this 23 year old FAT lonely girl who wanted that. And that image has stuck with me for 10 plus years. And for some reason it was always out of my grasps. Sure, I went back to Disneyland after that and I even brought my husband with me and took pictures (they were not cute photos, they were of a sad overweight woman who did not care one bit how she looked and her husband whom I felt for sorry for because he was holding hands with this woman who he didn’t belong with) You can see the photos somewhere on this blog as proof. I posted them right before I went to Maui in June of this year.

Anyway, in the back of my mind I kind of had this promise to myself that someday I would do Disney as I first envisioned it as a bright eyed, sad lonely 23 year old. And I’ve failed to realize this dream in the subsequent 11 years. Maybe this is the reason that tears come to my eyes when I think of running Disney. Because not only am I blowing my dream of going to Disney thin out of the water, but I’m topping it with something I could not have even imagined at 23, I am going to run. I am going to Run Disney. That is beyond even what I thought possible when I first walked onto what would become hollowed Disney ground for me.

Do you know what else I love? I love that I am so confident in myself and in my knowledge that this is it for me that I am not even batting an eye about signing up and paying hundreds of dollars to run races the end of August of next year. It hasn’t even crossed my mind that I would not be able to do it. I am that resolved that this is my lifestyle and therefor in August of 2014 I would be 100% ready and able to crush this dream I’ve secretly, privately kept guarded in my heart for over 10 years. I think that is why I am so freaking emotional over it.

It’s not like that will be the first half marathon I have ever run. In fact by August of 2014 I suspect I will have lots of races under my belt, but it might very well become the most significant race of my life for me because of all the emotional baggage that I think it will erase for me. 11 years is a long time to carry around scars you didn’t even know existed. I have a lot of feelings of self-doubt and anger wrapped up into that. I have weird feelings of my dad mixed in there, with feelings of sadness and loneliness and feelings of failure because despite having lost weight many times in 10 years, I never was able to walk into Disneyland anything less than like 190 pounds or so. That’s just a guess. Last time was clearly around my 220 pound mark.

I think in some ways, as much as I adore Disney and would never associate it with anything negative, it does have a certain connotation in my head of failure for me. It represents one of the failures of my life that I have lived with for 11 years and I’d love to change that image. It would be an amazing relief to me to blow past my simple goal of being thinner when I go there and crush it by running a half marathon.

I wish I could put onto paper the intensity or fire I am feeling right now and how much this is affecting me thinking about this. It’s passion. I have so much passion. I have talked about that before, but I wish I could express to you this minute how much I am literally changing and growing this very second realizing how significant and important this race is to me. Finally unlocking the mystery of why I get tears in my eyes when I think about running in Disneyland is profound to me. I get it. I am finally seeing why it is so fundamentally important to me. Thank you blog for allowing me to journal out my feelings live as I am exploring what is really going on inside of me.

The written word is one of my best therapies (aside from running of course!) and it allows me to talk out what is going on. This is exactly why I blog, right here, right now, today. This blog entry makes me think it’s all worthwhile because I can discover things about me that I long bury and suppress and fully explore things like why I start to cry every time the topic of running Disney comes up.

I have somehow managed to associate Disneyland, a place I love to its core with this concept of my greatest failure in life. My inability to love myself enough, consistently enough to maintain my health and fitness. And running Disney proves that I have finally really changed. That is how much significance I have placed on it. Insane how our brains work so twistedly at times and how it can take such a long time for us to open up our eyes and see what is really going on.

I am going to run that race because it means that much to me, and I am going to proudly wear that finishers medal around my neck and take a photo and that is going to be one of the greatest proudest moments of my life; something I will treasure forever. Because I finally believe in myself and can erase a small part of my past mistakes. It’s my do-over in life and I am so ready for that. Crossing that finish line will be like getting a second chance to experience Disney the way I envisioned as a naïve overweight 23 year old. I can only imagine how freeing that is going to finally feel.

I truly had no idea when I started this journey a year ago that I would end up exactly where I am today. It never occurred to me that I’d be sitting here writing about running in Disneyland. This is so ridiculously exciting and gives me so much hope for what else is out there that I haven’t even begun to think of yet. In a years’ time what am I going to be writing about that I couldn’t envision right now? That is exhilarating. I am so proud of the bravery I have learned to embrace and the belief in myself that I can do these things.

I have no doubt that in years’ time from now I will still be at this and journaling this entire journey. I just have that much faith in myself now. And that is such an amazing thing!