Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Back "In the Room"

Today, I am getting back in the room.  Today, I start my journey to lose the rest of my extra weight for good.  I lost 40 pounds 2 years ago.  I gained 17 of it back over the last year.  UGH.  Needless to say, this weight gain resulted in some depression and turned into a vicious cycle of depression and filling the sadness with food.  It came back slowly and I started to work at getting it back off several times but none of those times lasted more than a week.  Some things happened to derail me.  I got sick; our 10 year old lab/shepherd mix, Kona, died suddenly;  I had a horrible muscle spasm in my back or I just plain felt fat and unattractive and felt like "what's the point?".

I'm struggling with that last one all the time.  I felt so great when I had lost that weight.  I had a great motivator for that weight loss:  once I reached my goal, we would adopt a new dog.  I reached my goal and we adopted Phoebo in June of 2013.  My husband and I celebrated our 9th anniversary that summer and I felt and looked the best I had in years.  I'm not sure what happened.  I do know that I got really tired of counting calories and not being able to allow myself to have something I really wanted.  Anyone else ever go through that?  I'm sure you do.  So, this is not a diet.  This is a permanent lifestyle change.  PERMANENT. 

The phrase "in the room"  comes from discussions with my cousin.  This was a term she came up with.  You are either in the room or not.  If you're in that room, you are ready and are going to do it.  I spent a lot of time at the doorway but didn't step back in.  It's not an easy room to step into or to stay in.  Being disciplined and focused and motivated are the toughest parts of this process.

The last week, I have felt disgusted with myself and upset that a lot of my clothes don't fit anymore.  I want to wear sweatpants all the time.  I don't want to get dressed and go out.  It feels like a chore because I don't enjoy it anymore.  I just see the way I let myself down and let myself go.  I'm just so disappointed in myself. Seeing my face get fatter again and shirts that were loose on me, either fit or are getting tight... all contribute to feeling ugly and fat. I know this all sounds terrible but it's true.

Most of this stems from self-esteem issues I have had most of my life.  When I was 8, we moved to a new city in the middle of the school year.  The kids were mean.  I had a really difficult time making friends which was strange for me.   At my old school, I had no problems at all.  I constantly felt like I had to prove myself and kids picked on me a lot.  One girl stole from me.  I had rumors spread about me in middle school that followed me into adulthood that were so absurd, it made me even more upset that people were still asking me about it as an adult.  People are just mean - especially kids.    All throughout school, I had a new group of friends with every new school year.  No lasting friends.

In 10th grade, a girl I was friends with begged me to try out for cheerleading with her.  I really didn't want to because of all of the stereotypes I had heard.  She convinced me to do it with her.  I made the JV squad.  Being a cheerleader was great.  I loved it.  I loved performing and competing.  From day one, I never felt like I belonged though.  I never felt like one of them.  I always felt like the girl who crashed the party and wasn't really welcome.  I cheered for 2 years.  We even had a coed team senior year so I got to do partner stunts a lot with one off them. It was a lot of fun.  Cheerleading helped a lot in high school.  It gave me a place to be in school but I still never felt like I truly fit anywhere.

It all continued.  Even now, I obsess about friendships and and whether or not someone likes me.  A woman at my church has me baffled because I can't tell if she likes me or doesn't.  It has caused me to change a lot of my involvement there.  I think about this woman and I dissect our conversations a lot.  It's so ridiculous.  I know this.  But I can't help myself because after having been through not having any real friends for most of my life, I just want everyone to like me.  The reality of the situation is that she might not like me.  I have to be ok with that.  I have to let it go.  It's just really hard for me.

I have been praying for God to give me that kick in the pants and make me do it this time.  I just hope and pray that it lasts.  I really need HIM to do this for me.  I know I can't do it on my own.  I know that.  I'm afraid of how I'm going to do this time.  I am having trouble trusting that it will work and that He has my back.  Pray for me on that one.

The other major contributor to my weight gain is stress.  We are planning to put our house on the market in April of next year.  We have a million things that need to be fixed around here and most of the work or arranging of hiring of people to fix it, falls on me... on top of all of my other regular responsibilities.  Here is our list of to do's:
1. Get a new garage door.
2. Get another person out to look at our roof and determine if we need to replace or repair it. Then hire someone to do it.
3. Get new sod for our back yard as Phoebo tore out a LOT of our grass.
4.  Get our bathroom faucet fixed - it leaks and has no pressure.
5. Get our basement bathroom faucet replaced by a pro.
6.  Get new tiles for the ceiling in the basement
7.  Get the 4 lights in the basement that don't work anymore, replaced and installed.
8.  Get the hall bathroom floor updated.
9.  Repair the wall in that bathroom, reinstall the towel bar and probably repaint in there again.
10.  Repair walls and paint the master bathroom.
11.  Get the ceiling in the master bathroom repaired after the roof leak is fixed.
12.  Replace the carpet in the master bedroom.
13.  Get new glass in my son's bedroom window.
14.  Get our sliding screen door replaced since Phoebo went through it last year.
15.  Go through stuff in the basement and either sell, donate or toss a lot.
16.  Declutter and pack.
17.  Refinish our media cabinet
18.  Repair walls
19.  Repaint trim
20.  Paint trim around windows in master bedroom.
21.  Get our french door finish repaired.
 ... and more!

Is this enough yet?  This is all on top of being a mom of 3, doing the laundry of 5 people, cooking daily, grocery shopping, cleaning the house,  running the kids to the bus stop and preschool, volunteering at school, making sure homework gets done, packing lunches and snacks daily, paying the bills, teaching kids church, singing on the worship team at church, decorating the house, taking care of our dog and our neighbor's dog, bible study,  taking kids to sports, etc.

I have already done a lot of painting.  I repainted/ decorated both of the kids' bedrooms, the hallway, the family room and the trim in the dining room.  I built a headboard for our king sized bed.  I reupholstered our dining room chairs. We cleaned out our garage last weekend.  I refinished 2 end tables in our family room too.  A lot of the things on this list,  are big and expensive.  

Looking at this list or thinking about it makes me want to scream because it's all so overwhelming!!!!  The overwhelmed feeling consumes me a lot and makes me want to eat or drink or just not do anything and hide in my bed.

I also struggle with not having my own identity anymore.  My family is my whole life. I don't work outside the home.  That also causes me to feel like I'm not worth as much nor do I feel I very appreciated in my house of boys for all of the things I do for them.  I wish I could just leave them for a week and see how they do without me.  Yeah right.  LOL

Ok, thanks for listening.  If you wouldn't mind, please keep me in your prayers.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Goal Met!

Hi readers!  I know it has been a couple of weeks since my last posting.  I wanted to share with all of you that I met my 25 weight loss goal as of July 4th!  We got our new dog that I wanted - Phoebo, a little bit shy of my goal but I still made it!    I am so happy with the progress I have made but I still have a ways to go before I'll be totally happy with my body.  I am still over weight.  I still have problem areas and areas that I just want to tighten up.  I have to admit that I'm very happy and proud of my accomplishment.  I feel good.  After sharing a before and after with friends on Facebook, I had a LOT of positive comments and congratulations from several of my friends.  I'll share the same before and after pics with you. 
Here is me BEFORE the transformation began.  This was Easter of this year.  My cousin took this picture.  It's not a bad picture but it is a good sample of what I looked like before.
Here is me now - this was taken yesterday - July 5th. 
As you can see, my Phoebo is behind me.  He's my baby and follows me everywhere!  This time of year has been tough for me.  Keeping on track with all of the parties and bbq's, etc that we have been invited to have made it difficult to be good.  I'm either maintaining or losing and not regaining so that's ok.  I'm ok with that.  I try to get a walk in with the dogs or on my own at least once a day and do lots of other physical activity- cleaning, dancing with my work out video, gardening, etc. every day.  It's paying off.  The change is drastic and hearing people tell me I look so skinny like my friend Eileen did this morning, has made it all worth it and then some! 

Phoebo is another story.  Acclimating him to being with us has been rough during this time of year because is absolutely PETRIFIED of fireworks and there has been an overabundance of them this year.  People are setting them off well after midnight and not just little ones in the driveway - the huge ones that go BOOM.  Really frustrating trying to take my terrified dog out to go potty when he's spending the entire time fighting me to go back inside.  I'm always worried that he's going to go in the house again.  He's been here for almost 2 weeks and we are still dealing with accidents in the house almost daily.  Our training classes start on Wednesday with an orientation - no dogs that time and then next Wednesday, Phoebo starts learning.  I'm really hoping this training class solves our issues with him.  He's a bit of a strange duck.  He won't just poop on the grass- he's particular.  He prefers to go anywhere but- on top of a rock, in someone's ivy, tall grass, on mulch - anywhere BUT on the grass.  I don't understand it but I'm hoping we can break him of that so we don't have to worry about him anymore.  Well, I'm not going to go on and on about him now.  I will say that he is a great addition to our family and we love him to pieces already.  I love to snuggle with him and enjoy his hugs and kisses - yes he gives hugs!  It's so cute!

Talk to you all soon!!!  Thanks for sharing my story :) 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

We Got Him!

Hi friends!  This posting will be short and sweet.  I was so nervous and excited going into meeting Phoebo last night . I wasn't sure how it would go.  I had a feeling we'd get along great and love him to bits (which we did) but we might not get him or we'd have to wait awhile for him to meet some other families before they would do a home visit and then decide if it was OK for us to have him.  Long story short, about 30 to 40 minutes after Phoebo and Melanie left our visit (Melanie is his foster and our friend), Melanie called me to tell me that after talking with the head of the rescue, that we get first dibs on Phoebo and I said YES!   So Phoebo is our dog now!  He won't be coming to live with us until next week because I am going on a girls' weekend with my friend Melissa and Chris is a bit nervous about having all of the kids, Konie AND a new dog alone this weekend (wimp ;0) LOL)  and Konie is having her surgery on Tuesday.  We wanted Konie to have a chance to recover before we bring him home just in case he might get her excited and wanting to play or if he might lick at her stitches (she won't be able to).  I'm not sure how long she'll have them but I think a couple of days should be enough to get her to a good enough place to bring him into the mix.  So, between now and then, we'll be setting up the crate for him, getting him a bed, setting up a place to put his bed, new tags, collar, leash, harness for walking, etc. We already have extra dishes from when we had Buddy and we kept them so that's all good. I can't tell you how excited we are to call him ours.  It's been a long wait for me ( over a year ) to get to the point where I had lost enough weight and that Chris would go along with getting another dog.  I am SO HAPPY I could cry right now!  Icing on the cake - I lost ANOTHER pound and am now down 23 pounds - only 2 shy of my goal for getting the dog and by next week when he comes home, I might be down those last 2!  Woohoo!  Thanks for reading and sharing in my story! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Goal In Sight!

Hey readers!  So, I'm not even sure what week I'm on now.. is that bad?  I was hoping by this week (the week of my girl's trip) to be down 20 pounds... I am down 22 as of this morning!  Woohoo!  I'm so excited!  My goal of 25 is only 3 pounds away and we are meeting our potential new dog tomorrow night.  I'm really hoping it works out for us and that we are allowed to adopt him and he gets along with Konie and the boys.  His name is Phoebo and he's a lab/border collie mix.  He's brown and white and just adorable!  Our friends have been fostering him for a couple of weeks and I've been watching for the pictures and updates they share about him and I've been falling in love with him through those pictures.  He is so cute!  Here are a couple of pictures of him:
This is his profile pic on Facebook through the group's page.  If you're interested in this group - check them out on facebook - P.O.E.T. Animal Rescue  This is how they share their dogs and cats that need fosters or a family.  I think this is a GREAT idea.  This group is awesome though.  They have a pretty extensive application and they do check with your vet and do a home visit before they will consider you.  They want the best for all of their dogs and cats and I think that is awesome!  When our kids are grown, I would love to able to provide fostering to many dogs - especially medical fosters - the dogs that require extra help and care after having surgery or recovering from an injury.  I think that would be a perfect fit for me and my love of animals! 

Isn't Phoebo gorgeous?!?!?  I love his face!  Look at this next one - this is where I really fell hard for him:
How sweet is this face?!?!?  He rides so well in the car too which is great for us since we take the dogs with us on road trips to visit family in PA or Massachusetts.    Can you tell how excited I am about this boy?!?

Here's one more that I thought was super adorable:
If it doesn't work out, I will be super bummed but we'll find another dog if it doesn't work with him.  Something tells me it just might though.  Something has been giving me a feeling about him.  Maybe I'm creating that feeling... I don't know.  We'll see!  I hope and pray it works out!

We can't bring him home until after Kona is done and recovered from her surgery.  She's having surgery on Tuesday to remove a lump from her chest.  We don't know if it is cancerous or just fatty.  I'm praying it is just fatty.  She doesn't seem to be affected by it - she's still running around playing and loves going for walks just as much as ever so I'm hoping it's nothing.  I'm also hoping it will be  fast and easy recovery for her.  The nice thing is that it is in a location that she can't reach to lick so she shouldn't need to wear the "cone of shame" afterward.  I know that will be better for her.  I can't stand the thought of losing her.  Lately, she has really come out of her shyness shell and has been letting other people pet her more and is coming to me for pets more which really makes me happy.  I love her to pieces and I THINK she's finally succumbing to my affections! Haha!  We have been so blessed to have her in our lives for the past 9 years. Here's our beautiful girl:
I hope she and Phoebo will get along so they can have each other for company when we aren't home.  I know Konie gets lonely when we aren't home because she's so used to use being home all the time.  Now that summer is here, we'll be around even more since I don't have to cart kids to school every day!

So, 22 pounds gone and I'm loving it!  I've been hearing all kinds of awesome feedback from people.  My friends I haven't seen in months came back to Michigan after being in St. Louis for 4 years said "You're so small!" and "You look fantastic!"  (Insert giant smiley here)!  My neighbor's daughter (16 years old) said "I'm sorry, but I can't help but tell you that you look so good!  I hope that's ok!"  UH yeah!  That's ok!  Who doesn't love to hear that?!?!?  Her mom said "So, you're back to high school weight!  You look great!"   That was super sweet but no I'm not back to high school weight.  I have ways to go still.  I'd like to lose 30 to 40 more but I might not since I've been building more muscle.  I think my goal is to wear a size 4 to 6 again.  I think that is attainable for me.  I've already been able to buy medium sized tops and some larges in things instead of 1X or XL so that's awesome! Every store runs differently and I wear larger or smaller depending on the store and style of the clothes.  I am excited to get a few more smaller things this weekend when we go shopping in the outlet mall on our trip!  YAY!

I have to admit that with it being summer and holidays and celebrations it's hard to refuse sweet treats and to keep from having more than one small piece of chicken or making sure I have low-calorie cheese and whole wheat bun for my burger.  Deprivation is tough sometimes.  I know it's all about portion control and not eating too much but sometimes I just have to say NO so that I don't go over my calorie goal of 1200.  I do go over a lot but I always have that extra cushion of exercise for the day in there that I'm allowed to use.  The less I use though, the faster it seems that the weight should come off.  I'm still super motivated and determined to do it since I have been doing it and it's working and not taking FOREVER like I thought it would.  Losing 30 more pounds doesn't sound so scary or tough anymore.  My total goal was to lose around 60 - but that might not be realistic with muscle.  50 is probably a better target - not that I'm setting my sights lower for myself.  I know I can get back down to that size 4 to 6.  I'll get there no matter now long it takes! 

I'm going to be seeing a bunch of family that I haven't seen since I started losing weight tonight.  I'm excited to show them how far I've come!   It's a great feeling!  Well, I better get back to cleaning my house - we have company coming tomorrow and I want it to look great here for Phoebo (more for Melanie) LOL!   Have a great and blessed day/week all!

Oh, and Happy Belated Father's Day to all of the amazing dads out there!!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Journey Update Week 8

Hey readers!  It's been a while since I last wrote.  First thing is to update you on is my weight loss journey.  I went through a short plateau last week that really frustrated me!!!  I was stalled out and not moving and getting really upset about it. So, I learned that I had to drop my calories back down to 1200 and I did that for the last 2 days (not that I was crazy high or anything.. I was between 1300 and 1400 most days but under my calorie goal always).  I lost 2 pounds in the last 2 days!  So, I'm now down 18 pounds!   7 pounds to go until I can get my dog!  I can't wait!!! I keep seeing postings on facebook for dogs that are available and I want to help them all!

Everyone has been noticing my weight loss too which has been awesome and I did a little shopping and got myself smaller sized jeans (1 pair) and 2 smaller shorts, 2 skirts and 4 tops.  Not doing anymore shopping until my trip with my girls at the end of the month!  I'm hoping I'll be at my 25 pound goal by then!  Oh, I also chopped my hair off!  It looks super different and is REALLY SHORT!

Hair Before:                                                               

Hair After:

This ending of the school year is a busy one!  3 events for the kids this week - Daniel had his very first Tee Ball game last night, tonight he has a school concert (his first ever) and then Thursday, Nathan has Donuts with Dad at school.  I can't believe Nathan only has 3 days of school left!  I can't wait for school to be over.  I'm looking forward to being able to not worry about getting dirty after I have had my shower.  I really like my new hair cut.  If I do get dirty, it's a snap to dry and style :)

18 pounds being gone has made a big difference in how I feel.  I'm feeling more confident but I still have most of my extra weight in my middle section.  Some of it might be extra skin from having such big babies!  I was HUGE by the end of each pregnancy and by huge I mean HUGE belly - not everywhere else. :)  It has gotten smaller which is making me happy.  When, not if, it goes away, I'll feel accomplished for sure.  That is my most hated part of my body right now. Fortunately, I can hide it most of the time!

We are getting our deck done too... hopefully this week.  Our contractor informed me that he is down a guy this week which he wasn't expecting so I don't know where that leaves us.  I'm really hoping that we'll have a new deck by this weekend.  I hope and pray!  Our new patio table and chairs came on Friday and I want to get it all assembled but I'm not going to until we have a deck to put them on.

I think that is about it for me this time!  Thanks for reading - I love to write! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Weight Loss Week 5

Hi there!  Today starts week 6 and the end of week 5.  I have lost a total of 12 pounds.  This past week wasn't a huge weight loss but I still lost a pound.  Not bad.  I indulged a little bit since it was Mother's Day.  I went out with my friend Jill Friday night to a really nice restaurant and has some absolutely fabulous food!  No regrets... I worked out like mad that day!  I burned over 800 calories exercising so I could eat what I wanted that night.  I even had a delicious glass of wine!  This journey has been so rewarding and life changing for me in such a positive way.

I'll be honest with you, this week was a major challenge for me.  It was super stressful and irritating and emotional - all triggers for me to go comfort myself with some chocolate or cookies.  I didn't do it.  Instead, my instinct wasn't to go stuff my face.  I wanted to go to the gym and sweat it out instead.  That realization in itself was major for me.  It kind of made the emotional ups and downs of the week worth it.  I got mad a lot last week.  One example of why - my 4 year old - Nathan.  I found him and Xander in my newly remodeled master bathroom holding my new nail polish upside down and open and pouring it all over the floor, vanity, side of the toilet, granite counter top, his hands, feet and face.  I think I had my first actual conniption.  I was so angry I screamed at him and scared him.  I don't think he'll ever do that again.  HA!  I apologized for yelling at him so much but he needed to learn that it's not ok to play with Mommy's nail polish - EVER.  This was just one thing - one major thing that happened that made me really upset this past week.

An up from the week was that while I was looking at some old pictures on Facebook, I found one from my 33rd birthday that I thought was a pretty good picture of me.  I saw the difference in my face between then and now.  I was stunned.  I didn't realize how pudgy my face was and how much thinner it is now!  Here ya go... comparison:

After ^^^^

 Can you see the major difference?  That was a huge moment for me.  Seeing it there in photographs really made it real.  Seeing the numbers on the scale helps and feeling my clothes getting looser helps too.  I really wanted to SEE a difference in my face, abs, thighs, arms, etc.  I can now.  People are starting to notice.  I got the best remarks from one of my pastors on Tuesday.  I saw him in the morning while I was heading in to Nathan's preschool to pick him up and he was leaving.  I hadn't seen him since I started losing and he noticed immediately.  He told me that it's working, I look great and that Chris should lock me up so he doesn't lose me!  HAH!  That really made my day and probably my week since I'm still talking about it!

Below is a pic my friend, Meghan posted as a "throwback" photo.  This is me and my fellow high school senior cheerleaders back in 1997 at our last basketball game of the year.  I'm hoping to look this good again by next year!  Do ya think I can?  Or maybe get close...  My belly will never look the same again no matter how much weight I lose.  The stretch marks are bad.  LOL!  I'll never wear a bikini again but I'll rock my one piece or tankini hard when I get there.  Even now I think I'll feel more confident than I did in my bathing suit.

I was so small back then!  Even when I met my husband I wore between a size 2 and a size 4.  Then my thyroid stopped working right and it all went downhill from there!  I'm not going to let my thyroid get the best of me anymore!  I even went to the gym on Mother's Day and did my longest stretch on the elliptical ever - 40 minutes!  Woohoo!

I will keep going.  I will lose this weight.  I will get healthy.  I will live a long life for my kids.  I want to be around to see my grandkids grow up and their kids too.  My grandma is still around at age 85 and still doing great!  I hope and pray I have her longevity too!  Other than the thyroid and the slightly high cholesterol, I'm super healthy!  No high blood pressure - in fact the last time I went to the  doctor my BP was almost too low.

 I keep this scripture in my head all the time - especially now - "I can do all things through Christ Jesus" and that God never gives us more than we can handle. Keep that close to your heart, everyone!  He gives me the strength to get through this!!!

Well, I need to get moving for today!  Get my exercise in... I'm going to cut the grass for my main cardio work out.  Did you know that counts as cardio?  So does cooking!  Who would have thought?!?!? 

Have a great and super blessed week everyone! 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Week 4 Update

Today ends week four for me.  I have officially lost 10 pounds in the last 4 weeks since I started my lifestyle change.  I call it a lifestyle change because it's not a diet.  This is not a temporary change.  This is forever.  Once I reach my goals, I'll be able to scale back a bit on the exercising and the calorie restriction but I'll continue to watch what I eat and work out regularly in some way.  I'm looking around for dinner things to do for exercise because while using the elliptical is an awesome work out, it also becomes a bit redundant when it's all I get to do for cardio.  So, now that the weather is warmer, I've been taking walks and I'll be running around playing with the kids more too.  I took an hour long walk with Kona and while pushing Xander in the stroller.  I'm hoping I can convince my husband to either purchase a new Wii or get a Wii U because our current Wii is broken.  We can't play any games that use a disc - the disc reader doesn't work anymore.  I don't know if he'll go for it or not.  I really wanted to do my Zumba game for the Wii today but I couldn't because it's broken.  I also like to use my Wii Fit and I can't use that either.  Maybe that could be my Mother's Day gift... hee hee hee!

The best part is I'm starting to be able to actually SEE a difference and not just feel it.  My clothes are getting a lot looser.  I tried on some pants that have been tight since I bought them yesterday and they were loose!!!  That was an awesome feeling!  Also, 2 different people saw me and asked if I was losing weight because they could see a difference this week! YES! 

The part I'm really waiting to see a difference in is my face.  I'm sick of having a round face and 3 chins if I don't remember to stick my chin out.  I hate having 3 chins in pictures. It drives me crazy!  I'm starting to see a tiny difference.  I can see my cheek bones a little bit more now which is great!  Above the multiple chins.  Below is me sticking my chin out to avoid the multiple chins.  Haha!

Although some days are frustrating because there is no movement on the scale, I tell myself maybe it'll be tomorrow and be happy that it didn't go back up!  I've been losing around 2 -3 pounds per week.  I'm really happy with that!  10 pounds in 1 month is awesome!  If only that momentum would keep going... I have a feeling it will slow down.  I can't really cut my calories down much lower without not getting enough food and causing my body to go into starvation mode.  Myfitnesspal yells at me if I don't have 1200 calories at least in a day.  So, I usually will go have a small snack to get there if I need to.  I don't want to go into starvation mode!!

 This was me before I went out to a bachelorette party.  Please disregard the messy kitchen in the background.  This was on April 13 so about 3 weeks ago.  Below is me today.  I'm not sure how much of a difference you can even see because of the difference outfits.  But here ya go anyway!

And so the journey continues!  I thank all of my readers that are also my friends and/or family and have been encouraging me and cheering me on!  It really helps to keep me going and stay accountable!  Until next week... hoping I can tell you I lost 2 or 3 more!