Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflections of 2011

Last night at dinner with friends, we each took a moment to reflect on the year that is winding down. What a ride I have had this many things to be thankful for, so many things to look forward to in 2012.

Cons: During my 10th week of marathon training while running my one and only half-marathon of the year, I turned my ankle. After many doctor appointments, physical therapy, modified workouts, an x-ray, an mri, I will be having surgery in 5 days to repair a torn peroneal brevis tendon and have a wrapping procedure performed to strengthen my ankle. My dream of running my first marathon was crushed. I had tears, heartache, etc. But there are lessons in dreams that didn't come true.
During this whole process, I am realizing what those lessons were.
-I am human, not a superwoman. With all that I have accomplished, I sometimes forget that I am not invincible.
-Life doesn't always work out the way you had planned.
-Sometimes down time is a good thing.

-Aidan is taking all of his subjects in a regular classroom and isn't being pulled out for help anymore. AND HE IS DOING AWESOME!
-I followed my dream and became a Weight Watchers leader. I love motivating and inspiring people to believe and love themselves enough to make a change.
-I discovered the awesomeness that is hot yoga and spinning.
-I set a PR in a 5K, 10K, and a half-marathon.
-I lost more weight and am thinner than I remember. I think I may be as thin as I was in junior high.
-I won an award at work for client retention.

Sure, the injury sucked. But look at everything else wonderful that happened? That's the way life rolls. One of my favorite movie quotes sums up how I want to live my life. It comes from the movie Parenthood:
Grandma: You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster.
Gil: Oh?
Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!
Gil: What a great story.
Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.

I had a great ride in 2011...I will buying a ticket for my next roller coaster ride in 2012. Cheers to a great year!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I want to run

Sitting here with the laptop in my recliner, with the boot cast, knee in pain, drinking my coffee. Meanwhile my husband is enjoying the spin class that I paid for...what is wrong with this picture?

F*cking boot cast! I hate this thing. People ask me "How do you sleep with this thing on?" I give the standard answer, "It's not that bad. You get used to it". Truth? It sucks ass! Lately I have been sticking it outside the covers because it's annoying to have it covered with the down comforter (now that the colder temperatures are back) and not be able to move it easily. In the morning when it's time to get up, it feels like it weighs "a TON". I actually weighed the thing to see how heavy it was. 2.5 pounds. Really? It feels like A LOT more! Not to mention the fact that my hips hurt walking sometimes since my natural gait is awkward. Add some knee pain that I have been having every once in awhile and what a pain in the ass it is to drive with, I'm not in the best mindframe lately. It is only the middle of week 4 and it feels like an eternity. I go back to the doctor on November 30th to see how it is healing. If it is not any better, I will need surgery. Doing some research today on the internet indicates that the use of a boot cast initially is "conservative care" and that in most instances surgery will be needed. ugh...

I want to run...I want to feel fresh air enter my lungs. I want to feel the warm sun on my face. I want to feel the soreness in my legs after a long run. I want to feel the wind in my face and chill on my cheeks. I want to have a reason to pull on my underarmour tights and long-sleeved shirt. I want to use my Oakleys again. I want to use my wool hat again. I want to stop feeling unstable on this boot. I want to stop feeling clunky in this boot and stop tripping over rugs and furniture. I want to stop feeling less than graceful. I want people to stop telling me "at least you aren't on crutches" and diminishing my feelings and pain. I want to have the courage to tell them "unless you have had this happen to you, please don't try to make me feel like this is not a huge deal for me". I want to stop having to ice my knee because of a boot cast for my ankle! I want to stop taking stairs one at a time. I want to stop being scared of slipping when my kids are taking a shower and seeing water on the floor. I want to stop stressing already about winter and ice and what I am going to do then. I want people to stop telling me to be strong, because I am a strong person. But this boot cast makes me feel weak and I hate it. Running made me feel strong (physically and mentally), graceful and that I could do anything I set my mind to. It was my religion, my alone time, my "me" time. It was my way of reconnecting with nature and God. It was when I felt most alive, feeling the air in my lungs, my arms and legs working, the muscles becoming sore. Lately I don't feel so alive. Lately something has been missing from me...a piece of something that has been taken away from me.

I want to run again...

Sunday, October 30, 2011


It has been so long since I've blogged but I have been so busy! My life couldn't be better right now! I just sent some pictures to a friend who is working on a WW success story and I am so thrilled that she asked me to be a part of it! I have been working on my physical self as well as my spiritual self and have started facilitating my own Weight Watchers meeting! It is such an exciting opportunity to motivate people and help them inspire change. Life is so good right now, I'm wondering what I did to deserve all the opportunities that I am getting right now? I am definitely the receiver of some excellent kharma right now...I have another friend from WW who is working on a commercial for the company in LA, can you believe it? What a lucky girl! 40 comes in 5 months and I can't wait!!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Getting perspective

I've had a goal this year of running 12 races. With half the year gone, next week's Boilermaker will put me at 8. With the Wineglass marathon (cross your fingers I remain injury-free), this will make 9. Only three more to choose. Will probably look at a half-marathon to put something on the schedule for a taper, but hopefully I can find something interesting that I haven't done before.

At the end of this week, I will have completed 1/3 of my marathon training. WTH? Did I ever think I would get here? Hell no...It's been about 2 years ago that I was actively training for my first half-marathon. Whenever I think I can't do something or that I am not good enough, it helps to gain some perspective of where you have come from. So, I will do that...

When I first started running, I was running at an 11-minute/12-minute mile pace. I ran my 12 miles on Saturday with a 9:48 mile/minute pace. I ran a 10K today in an 8:48 mile/minute pace. I ran my fastest 5K last week. I ran the 10K today after running 12 miles two days ago and to my surprise, the legs felt great! I get so worked up and anxious before my long runs on the weekend that I get nervous that I can't get through them. But when it is over, I find myself thinking, "that wasn't so bad!" My profile on Daily Mile says I am an ATHLETE. I am beginning to think I am more. I am a RUNNER.

Monday, May 30, 2011

It's Now or Never...F*ck Fear

"Don't think, just do it!" This was the advice of one of my facebook friends. So I did it. I was going to do it eventually, it was just a matter of time. But, I didn't want to wait until the last minute in case I got shut out. Yep, I finally signed up for my first marathon.

I knew this was the year. I am a big believer in fate and "signs" and the signs were ll over the place that this was the year it was going to happen. Let's look at the signs and analyze:

1) I am turning 40 in March. My husband will say I am having a mid-life crisis. I don't think the crisis will happen for another 5-6 years, but call it what you will. However, I did want this to be the year of a big accomplishment.

2) I have been injury free. The hip flexor/bursitis pain that has plagued me for the last year or so has come and gone. There could be a lot of factors contributing to this. It may be the fact that I have lost an additional 22 pounds which may have alleviated any pressure that was causing the pain. That's my theory. Not sure if it's right, but it makes sense to me.

3) I have lost an additional 22 pounds. I am in the best shape of my life. My strength training that I have been doing at my boot camp with Michelle has really helped my muscle tone and definition. I am thinner than now than when I was a freshman in high school. The body is feeling good and strong.

4) I am waiting for my custom-made orthotics to come back. I am working with a wonderful podiatrist who knows I am suffering from plantar fasciitis and a heel spur and recently casted me from orthotics that will keep me pain free. In the interim, he made me a a splint for both of my feet that helps so I can enjoy running. He is a runner too, and understands my mindset.

5) I need another goal. I have done 3 half-marathons. It's time to set another goal and work towards it.

So with all those signs, I had been eyeing the Corning Wineglass Marathon for awhile. First, I have some good friends who will also be running so comradrie will help. This includes a fanstastic individual I met at Weight Watchers boot camp who will also be attempting this as her first marathon. Yes, it screams expose and article, doesn't it? Second, there is wine. Third, as luck would have it, a third of my clientele for my HR job happens to be in this area and I am very familiar with the region. Fourth, I have heard that if you want to do your first marathon, this is the one you want to choose.

So I sat on all these feelings for a month debating what to do. The only thing that was holding me back was fear. Fear is paralyzing and can hold you back from so many things. Fear can affect how we live, how we love, how we work. To let your life be directed by fear is not a life that I want to live. My facebook status today was "you only have this one life to live, this one shot!" You better live it to the fullest because you never know when your number is going to be up. So I thought about all these things and finally said, "F*ck Fear!" I paid my entry fee and will be running in the 30th Corning Wineglass Marathon in early October.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.”

Here we go...

Monday, May 9, 2011

A love letter to my WW BLS Peeps

During the last few days of April, I spent an amazing three days in Boston with 23 of my newest friends! We all endured three days of Basic Leader Skills in order to pass the test to become a leader for Weight Watchers. We all passed with flying colors and moved to the next step, becoming a Leader Apprentice. Those three days were amazing and touched me beyond belief. During those three days, we shared many things:

-our fears
-our tears
-our love of running
-our love of the gym
-our love of beer
-our love of helping others
-our love of food
-our secrets (ahem)
-our dreams
-our aspirations
-our determination
-our happiness that we were finally happy in our own skin

At the end when we were wrapping up our time together, I said to the group, "I feel like I have found my people". When I said that, I meant people who understand that I am still afraid that I am going to gain the weight back. That I am still in disbelief that there is no way I am a size 4/size small. That I am still anal about portion sizes when it comes to food. All of you mean so much to me! When people ask me about my time with you, it is so hard to put in to words what it was like. I wish I could have put you all in my pocket and bring you home with me. And I truly hope that we will see each other again someday!

About 10 of us were at Logan Airport and shared some more beer (I wasn't joking) before our flights left. My dear friend, Patrick, was getting ready to board one plane to Baltimore and I was getting ready to board another one. He texted me before we took off and wanted to do dinner at the airport in Baltimore. In his words, "Who knows when I will see you again and if I will get this chance again?" That in a nutshell is how much those three days meant to me. I will never forget you and you have inspired me to be a great leader! Love, Jenn

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Embrace the role model

This weekend I had Weight Watchers Basic Leader Skills. For my facebook friends, this is not new information, but I am officially a Leader Apprentice which means that I am ready to complete 4 meetings, gradually working up to running my own meeting. I am SO EXCITED about this and cannot wait to get started. I remember telling my roommate at the training that I am not an ultra religious person but that I truly feel God had some hand in moving me down this path. But this isn't what I wanted to blog about tonight.

One of the things we talked about at training is being a role model. I am a little uncomfortable with this feeling. I am sure most of you are saying, "Really?" Actually, this is true. I don't like to toot my own horn and feel that if I talk about my accomplishments that I am going to look like an asshat (my new favorite word). One of the things they would like us to do as a leader in the meeting is show our before picture as well as give a "real-life situation" of something that we learned when we were heavy or losing the weight, how we felt, etc. I told one of the trainers that I felt odd about this and I didn't want the focus to be on me, that it should be on the members and their accomplishments, journeys, and roadmaps.

She then explained to me one of the reasons they want Lifetime members to be Leaders is that they have lived the plan and had success on the program and can add value by sharing their own story. This will be an interesting feat for me to accomplish because I still carry the scars of how it felt back then and still get a little emotional when I talk about it (or sometimes even think about it) I hope I can keep that in check.

So I will share my story with anyone and everyone and if it changes one person's life, I have done the job that Weight Watchers hired me for.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I wanted my kids to be proud of me...

So here is my submission of my success story to Weight Watchers magazine.

Good Evening-
I wanted to submit my weight loss story to your magazine. I became a lifetime member in 2006. I am now currently in training to be a WW leader in the Rochester, NY area and am thrilled! I hope to be a good role model for others and seem to be motivating my friends!

I just wanted to make my kids proud...

The weight gain had started my senior year in college in 1994. I wasn't playing volleyball anymore. I was living off campus, which meant that I was driving to and from campus, no walking.
After graduation, it took awhile to find a job so that meant more time to look for a job, sitting on the couch and slowly gaining weight. That will happen when you eat a large sub for lunch every other day. The weight slowly continued to pile on and I was in denial at that point. I was beginning to believe that this was my lot in life and that I had to accept it. My highest weight was 239. When I started WW, I weighed in at 234.

This picture is from my sister's wedding, 7 weeks after I had my son, July 2002. This is one of the lowest points in my life. The smile on my face doesn't show the pain that was inside. I remember when we had to order our dresses the previous fall. The woman in the bridal salon told me that I should order a size 22. I remember walking down the aisle at my sister's wedding and I all I could think of was what the people were saying. "Wow, did she get big!" or "She is huge, she looks disgusting." It was supposed to be a happy day but in reality, I just wanted to hide from everyone.

In February 2003, my mother dragged me to first Weight Watchers meeting. Talk about feeling humiliated, but it was time to do something about it. Having a child changed everything. I was very aware of the issues that kids deal with these days, as far as being bullied or teased. The last thing I wanted was for my kids to be made fun of because their mother was fat. I had tried every infomercial at that point, but WW worked. It worked because it was a lifestyle change and fit in with my lifestyle. It was paying attention to portion sizes, making better choices when I went out to eat, passing on the dessert, cutting back on the alcohol, cutting out sugar soda. Slowly the weight came off.

In the Fall of 2004, five pounds from my goal weight, I got pregnant with my daughter. Thrilled to be pregnant, I was not at all worried about the weight gain that I would experience during this pregnancy. I knew that once I had my baby, I would be able to get right back on the WW program. I got back to goal weight within 6 months, in fact 5 pounds less than that! I became lifetime in 2006 and lost 89 pounds on the program. At that time, I spoke to my leader about becomiing a WW leader myself. But I knew the time was not right with my kids being so young, so I decided to pass on the opportunity.

Did very well maintaining for 2 years and then I decided to begin training for a half-marathon. Because I was doing a lot of running, I figured I didn't need to be too concerned about my calorie intake. I stopped going to WW and the meetings. After all, I was a runner now. I didn't need to worry about gaining weight. But, I did gain about 10 pounds. Some of it could have been muscle, but I knew it was also because I had let myself get sloppy.

After I ran my third half-marathon in 7 months, I got side-lined with an injury that forced me to stop running for awhile. I was terrified. How was I going to make sure that I didn't gain any more weight? I knew what the answer was. It was time for me to pull out the WW material again and get refocused. I began to follow the program again, attended meetings, weighed and portioned out my food, use the tracker and make better choices. What happened? I lost 18 pounds (yes, I am now thinner than before!). In total, I have lost 97 pounds (5 lbs being before WW started) It was during this time that the program changed and I was introduced to PointsPlus. It was also during this time that I was getting excited about losing again and was talking about my success with my friends and began to wonder if now was the time to take the plunge to be a leader.

I have fully recovered from my injuries and continue to run. I also continue to follow PointsPlus and know that that is a program that I can do as an athlete that will keep my satisfied and able to get through my workouts! I definitely try to find foods that are high in protein and fiber that will help me with sustaining a good metabolism, muscle tone and full throughout the day! I use the food as fuel and now that I get enough fuel on this program to get me through 20-30 miles during the week. This picture is from a 5-mile run I did over the weekend.

I also am in training to be a WW leader. After motivating my friends with my advice and workouts, I figured that it was time to pay it forward even more. I love being on the other side of the fence and cannot wait to help people achieve their goals. My own experiences and first-hand knowledge will hopefully help me reach my audience to motivate them to succeed. During my training on the receptionist window, a woman recently walked up to me and said, "I know this is going to be a bad week." I said to her, "You know what? It's a victory for you that you walked in the door." My trainer looked at me with wide-eyed amazement, gave me a high five and said, "Wow, that was good! I can't wait to come to your meetings!" I hope others will feel the same way.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The key to change... is to let go of fear. Roseanne Cash

A few of you have e-mailed me recently asking me questions about how long it took me, etc. I figured if I'm going to answer a bunch of questions, I might as well use my blog to answer them!

When did I start? February 2003. I walked into the Methodist church in Avon to go to the Weight Watchers meeting with my mother. One of the lowest points in my life. In my eyes, going to ask someone for help with weight loss meant that I was a failure, right? I met Bev Lusk, my WW leader and she changed my life forever. When I reached lifetime, I told her I wanted to become a leader but because my kids were so young, it was not the right time. When I got back involved in WW, I heard she retired. Now that I am on the WW staff, I found her e-mail address. I can't wait to let her know that I finally took the leap!

How long did it take me? 18 months to lose 84 pounds. Did I lose every week? NO! Did I follow the program to a tee? NO! We are human and not perfect. If I was perfect, I wouldn't have been overweight, right? I got within 5 pounds of goal and got pregnant with my daughter. After that pregnancy, I lost 65 pounds and reached lifetime in March 2006. Special thanks to my daughter for being an excellent nurser, it is like having a treadmill on your chest.

What do I like about the program? Because it is all about portion control and listening to our bodies. Listening when we are full. Realizing that a plate at a restaurant is about 3 portions worth of food. Plus, WW has you eating real food and not something pre-packaged you get in the mail shipped in a box. If we want to indulge, we do it, but in a portion size. Don't deprive yourself. It's about making smarter choices. When you look at portion sizes, you realize that as humans, we don't need that much food. And when we do make smarter choices, we get a ton more food than someone whose choices are not so good. I also like the meetings. If you want to stay motivated, go with a friend. Be accountable for each other. But go to the meetings. You will learn a lot from your leaders and others in the group! Sympathy loves company!

How did I know it was time? I suppose you are asking me what was my breaking point. Honestly, it was having kids. I saw other mothers around me with children who were overweight and couldn't do anything with them. Play with them on the playground, they couldn't even go down a slide with them. I swore I would never be that mother. I also know how awful kids are to one another and I did not want to be the fat mommy who all the kids made fun of. I vowed to never have my kids be the butt of any jokes.

Did I have that "I know what I need to do but I just can't bring myself to do it" feeling? Hell yeah! I was in denial for a long time. Even before I got married, I had allowed myself to accept that maybe this was what I was destined for. I am now 40 pounds thinner than I was when I got married. But again, having kids puts things into perspective. Hell, I was taking blood pressure medicine at 28. Sooner or later, I was on the road to diabetes, I'm sure of it. How was I going to be a good parent if I couldn't take care of myself?

Isn't 89 pounds a lot of weight? Yes. Listen, I was over 200 pounds. You do the math. But I didn't let that large amount of weight discourage me. It doesn't come on overnight, so you are not going to lost it overnight. It takes time. "The key to change is to let go of fear". You can't let fear of failure hold you back or the fear that it can never be done. So, I worked on 5 pound goals. Dividing it up in little goals helped keep me motivated along the process.

So I'm asking you: What is holding you back?

Monday, February 14, 2011

He loves me thin and heavy...

A valentine for my husband...

He loved me when I was heavy, he loves me thin.

He loved me while I gained weight my senior year in college. He loved me when I couldn't climb a mountain very well because of my weight. He loved me when he heard my weight announced when I checked in the hospital with my son. He loved me when I was at my heaviest. He loved me when he had to buy clothes for me in Lane Bryant. He loved me when we looked like Laurel and Hardy in pictures. He loved me when he asked me to marry him and I was heavy. He loved me when I wore a swinmsuit in front of him, uncomfortable in my own skin. He loved me when he was so handsome and people were wondering why he was with such an overweight woman, thinking he could have done better. He loved me by seeing my inner beauty when I thought my outer layer was ugly.

He loved me when I started Weight Watchers. He loved me when I started to make separate meals. He loved me when we stopped our big Sunday breakfasts. He loved me when I made him eggs and I had egg whites. He loved me when we made pasta and I would measure out my portions and he would shake his head. He loved me when the weight started to come off. He loved me when we cut out/made food/drink changes to our game nights when we stayed in. He loved me when I got the crazy idea to run my first 5k. He loved me when he would watch our son so I could go to my WW meetings. He loved me when I was 5 pounds away from my goal weight and got pregnant with my daughter. He loved me when I would get on the scale and lament "only down a pound!"

He loves me thin. He loves me in my two piece bikini. He loves me in my strapless shirt (although he still doesn't understand it, fashion-wise). He loves me when I get up at 5:20 in the morning to go work out. He loves me when I get crazy ideas to run half-marathons. He loves me when he has to watch our kids so I can train for half-marathons. He loves me when get alone time together and I suggest we go to the gym or for a long bike ride (can't wait to do that again this summer!) He loves me when I get on the scale obsessively to make sure I maintained my weight. He loves me when I have separate meals (sometimes!) rather than what he and kids are eating. He loves me when I need a chocolate fix and he sees me eating out of the chocolate chip bag. He loves me enough to be a leader for Weight Watchers because he knows I am passionate about it. He loves me so much that he knows how I motivate people to become healthier and happier that I have to do this.

He loved me heavy and he loves me thin. He loves me...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Why are you here?

I consider myself religious and spiritual. I am not sure if I could have an intelligent conversation about stories from the bible, but I could give it a try. I believe in God and try to live by the rules in the bible. I occasionally miss the mark. I'm not perfect by any means. But I do try to live by those rules.
There is something life-changing about realizing why you were put on this earth and how you can serve. I've used this blog as a communication tool to help people change their lives, to try to reach people by telling them what I have learned on my weight loss journey. But lately I have been looking for more and wanting to do more. It must have been the latest season of the Biggest Loser. Watching the first episode of this season, I had an epiphany, something that shocked my system beyond comprehension. It was so powerful and strong, I can hardly explain it. But I realized that I was meant to do more on this earth.
And that's where the idea of becoming a Weight Watcher leader was born again. I had toyed with this idea after I made lifetime in 2006 but my daughter wasn't even 1 years old and it wasn't the right time. Sitting there on the couch watching the new season of the Biggest Loser, I realized that there were gifts that God had given me that I need to use as He intended. The gift of communication, motivation, and helping others. I love my HR job! I truly feel like I help people to make the right decision regarding their business and their employees. My best days are when someone has thanked me for helping them talk through a problem and that it all turned out okay. I once had a client tell me that I have made them a better person.
So, imagine my happiness the other night when the Weight Watchers manager hired me on the spot after hearing about my story and my passion. I am absolutely thrilled! I told her that I didn't want to do this for the money, that's not what it is about for me. I want to help people change their lives, believe in themselves again and respect themselves again. Watching my mentor(maybe?) today, I realized that this is something I was born to do, that it is something that comes naturally to me. Again, the epiphany that I had made me realize that God is in charge of our lives and will show you the way. I hope he continues to give me the skills to communicate and motivate others.
Now, can I go somewhere warm for their training program?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New size and a new job?!?!?

So with a sense of optimism, I headed into The Limited today to try on some new pants. In a smaller size. Now, I have seen this size before when I was at my smallest 4-5 years ago, but I didn't get too many things in those size just in case. Now, with a a new body thanks to boot camp, it was time to venture into the land of the smaller size. again The other day, I pulled the size out of my closet on a whim to see if they actually would fit as I easily could have been "pantsed" with my other pants. And they fit. But, now it was time to see if it was a fluke or not.
No fluke! And the saleslady got so excited, she got more pants in that size from the backroom. Not only did she get that size, but a size smaller. How kind of her to think I was actually that small! So, while I was doing my little excited dance in the dressing room with the skinny pants with my daughter, the phone rang. At the time, I was trying to prevent my daughter from taking my picture in the dressing room (she DOES know how to upload pictures the facebook) so I ignored it. Later when checking the voicemail, it was someone calling from the local Weight Watchers affiliation regarding my interest in being a leader. It was later in the day when I was finally able to listen to it, so I will be returning that call tomorrow. So excited!
And forget it, I'm still not giving out my size. :p

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Turning Point - and in honor of 5 Yrs at lifetime status

So, I feel like I've reached a turning point in my life. I've been using this blog to share my weight loss story, journey and continual struggles. While doing so, I have become refocused on my weight loss and have lost 10 pounds since summer. I owe a lot of this to my two co-workers, Meg and Krista, who joined Weight Watchers recently and have had huge success. Through them, I have found my mojo. And since I haven't been able to run as much anymore, I have become more attentive to nutrition and have gotten under my goal weight again. I'm feeling pretty good and am probably in the best shape of my life.
When I first got to lifetime status, I was interested in becoming a Weight Watcher leader. But at the time, my daughter was not even 1 and it was not the right time. I wanted to motivate and energize people, so starting this blog enabled me to do that. But, I want to expand and go further. So I have sent my resume to Weight Watcher headquarters to apply to be a leader. I want to motivate and help people have the success that I have had. I hope it comes true. I feel like this is something I need to do.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Battle Scars

So, we have seen Danny from the Biggest Loser with it. Kate Gosselin with it. And lots of other folks who have lost huge amounts of weight have it. What is "it"? Loose skin. I am no exception.
Sure I workout to tone the problem areas. It is true that building muscle will lessen the impact of loose skin along with a healthy diet. But there are some areas that will never recover from the extra weight I carried. Because I am not a millionaire and rich, I will never be able to afford plastic surgery to get rid of the loose skin permanently. So, I continue to feel self-concious about these areas. The loose skin on my upper arms, the loose skin on my stomach (that also has to do with having children), the fact that my breasts shrank when I didn't want them to get smaller. Fortunately, I had muscle tone previously when I was heavy so the amount of loose skin is minimal, but I still notice it. But then again, we are also our worst critic.
Just one more thing I wish I could change but will always have.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Warning Signs

I see it happening already, the warning signs are there...

My mother always said to me: "Thank God you were able to play sports in high school, that is one reason you were able to keep the weight off while you played sports". This was very true. Throughout high school, I was a 3-sport per year athlete (OK, I was not very good at basketball, but I tried to make an effort) I was good at volleyball and pretty good at softball. But playing those sports enabled me to control my weight. I also played volleyball in college, so the training during the summer, fall and off-season also helped. Thank goodness for sports, otherwise, high school would have been a different story for me.

My daughter. Love her to pieces. Would die for her. Those of you who are a parent know what I am talking about. I also worry about her. For one, she is the spitting image of me. This means that most likely she is doomed for the weight troubles that I encountered and battle with (successfully now!) Her last physical I talked to her doctor about it. I knew. She was a 5-year old wearing 6x. Her weight measured at the 95 percentile, her height was in the 75 percentile. I was frank with her pediatrician. What do I do? How could this happen? And that was the one thing I couldn't understand, how did this happen? Especially when she does eat the healthy stuff! She loves fruit, loves tomatoes (which is interesting such her daddy and I can't stand them), loves most vegetables. Then as a parent, you begin to feel guilty. How could I (especially me) allow this to happen? How did this happen and what did I do wrong? Her pediatrician didn't seem to be concerned at this point (well, not alarmed), but she did give me some ideas. Continue to give healthy snack ideas, which is something I am trying. And if it is not fruits or vegetables, I have been buying the 100 calorie snack packs. Less calories and in a portion pack. She also said to work on portion control, which is something I have been doing. I am not sure if it has made a difference at this point, but we will see. I also try to keep her involved in physical activities, so we do dance, we are doing kids zumba, we do t-ball and soccer, etc...

But the warning signs are there. I can see her having to deal with my issues when she gets older. I can see it happening because when I relayed all this information to my parents, they informed me that they had the same discussion with my pediatrician that I had with my daughter's. And I am struggling with how to help her without giving her a complex. That is what I DON'T want to do. That will only lead to a child with an eating disorder or other self-esteem issues. So, the only thing I can do at this point is continue doing what I am doing, show her how mommy eats healthy, show her how mommy exercises and hope that my influence rubs off on her. This is a tall order.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Regrets and letting them go...

Happy New Year's Day! It is the first day of 2011 and I'm sure everyone has decided (or are still in the process) on their New Year's Resolution(s). As this year starts, I am shocked with the realization that I will be entering the last year of my thirties in a little over 2 months. So 40 will be staring me in the face soon. Wow, how did this happen? It is pretty evident that the aging process has started. "What are these weird random hairs on my face?" "Why does my neck look like the neck of a turkey?" "Dry skin again?" These are my usual complaints. But as I close my thirties, I don't feel any regret about this decade. At least I looked better in my 30's that I did in my 20's.
My husband's grandmother passed away this week so the family and I have spent some time looking through old photos, etc. When my husband and I started dating again, I was in my 20's and we got married in my mid-20's. This was also the time that I gained the weight. It was a major shock to see how heavy I really was because you forget (ok, block it out is maybe a better phrase). The swollen face, how odd I looked next to my husband in pictures who was thinner and thinking again of how I could have let myself get to that point. And I have often thought back of this time in my life, what should have been the best time of my life was actually a painful time in my life.
So of all the things I regret in my life, this is one of the biggest ones. I wish I hadn't been so heavy in my 20's. I wish I had been able to shop at normal department stores and not the stores for "big girls". I wish I had been able to wear a swim suit with pride. I wish I had been able to get a normal-sized wedding dress and not have to pay extra money because they had to buy more material to make it. I wish that when my husband and I celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, we could have looked at a thin girl in her wedding dress rather than looking at a heavy bride. I have so many regrets about my 20's that it often makes me sad.
So as I was sharing these pangs of regret on facebook, one of my friends remarked, "I think that is way better than looking through your wedding album and thinking how skinny you WERE. Not many people can say they look better now than they did at their wedding." Interesting point. And to get lost in the pain of regretting the past takes away from focusing on life in front of you and relishing in your positive changes. I found a quote that sums it up pretty well. "Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.” (Jonathan Larson)
So, here's what I have accomplished in the 30's to turn around the 20's. I am thinner than I was my junior and senior year of high school! I shop at regular department stores! And not only do I wear a now swim suit with pride, but I do it with a bikini!!! And although I can't take back my wedding day, maybe someday my husband and I will renew our vows and I can wear a dress that doesn't require more material!
I recently bought an off-the-shoulder blouse to wear for New Year's Eve. This would have been something I would have loved to wear in my 20's. Instead, I wore it at 38 years old and rocked it. I have a lot of time to make up for and that's what I have been doing for the past 5 years!
P.S. Good Luck Balzy! I want you to rock it in your 40's! Be fabulous!