Thursday, April 30, 2009

Good everything day!

First off, thank you for everyone who responded yesterday - *sniff* I totally felt the love! And a friend put it best:

Fine! Just let me be the first to say I gave everyone the opportunity to tell me to go be a beet farmer on the plains of somewhere without internet access... but noooo, ya'll had to go and be encouraging. ROFL.

Today has been a really interesting day that's been super for my ego! Decided it was time to pull out The Top and wear it... I was hesitant because... well, I was hiding behind it being 'not work appropriate' but really, its so different from what I normally wear, *I* wasn't ready for it. But what the heck! And the only pants I had to wear were ones that I'd never ever worn before...ever. These pants lived next to The Grey Skirt for years! Well, they've officially moved out of the recesses of my closet on to my butt! LOL!

And I am going to wear this outfit everysingledayofmylife!

I got so many compliments I was starting to get really self conscious! Even my boss lady - the one that took about 2 weeks to realize I'd gotten my hair cut and had bangs - commented on how great & thin I looked. Eeeps. And YAY!

And my hubby got to hire his 2nd team member today.

Double yay!!!

So all in all it's a very good day.

Oh, and then I came across this little gem that offers yet another awesome benefit to cleaning up your nutrition.

It definitely explains how I managed to be at the beach for over an hour in FL without sun block (I know I know I know! The whole trip to the beach was a misadventure!) by barely turning pale pink, but the hubby ended up lobster red. I'm not banking on it this weekend for the Tucson SP Rally, but still, it's nice to know that there's yet another bonus to eating right!

Technorati : , , , ,

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Answers & Dream Building

I have to say that yesterday proved beyond a doubt that confession really is good for the soul.

After writing out my whining, I starting to feel better, as if releasing the problem frees up the mind for other things. I ended up having an amazing conversation with a co-worker who asked me a few health type questions - as an aside, I was floored /she/ asked /me/ since she has an amazing physique and works at it daily with her nutrition and fitness. In the middle of the conversation she stopped me mid-sentence to ask if I was a motivational speaker on the side. I laughed. She repeated the question.


Then I went to fighter practice last night. I didn't want to, but I made a promise and I wanted to keep my word. Yeah... wow... aside from the fantastic compliments and "WOW! I didn't recognize you..." or "Was wondering who the hot new girl was!" (not sure how to take the last one... lol!) I had one person rush up and start out by saying "I'm so glad you're here! I have a ton of questions - here's what I'm doing but how do I tweak this this and this?" Then had another person stop in to ask /their/ question about their diet.

THIS is what happens when you double dog dare the universe to be more specific on the direction you should take with your life. They put the ClueX4 away and pull out the ClueZooka.

That all being said, for all the answers I got, it brought up more questions. I am putting it all on the line and opening myself up to ask for help.

I have decided that I am going to pursue something the health/wellness/fitness/nutrition arena. I have been concentrating my efforts on studying my PT materials nightly in preparation for a seminar in July and taking the test then or within 2 weeks of that date.

But beyond that, I'm stuck.

My hubby gets so frustrated with me because I can see so much in other people, and help them focus their vision, develop /their/ dreams, and recognize /their/ potential, but when it comes to myself I have blinders on.

The workshop we went to focused on dream building - our homework is to DREAM BIG! Create the huge 2-5 year goal! And I want to... I really want to, but when I start, my brain shuts down. "Who am *I* to think I can do /that/?!" Or "Someone else is already doing it really well, so why should I do it?" It took me forever to set a goal more that 1 week out, let alone share it with anyone... now I'm supposed to find that dream that I hid away forever and let it grow?! YIKE!

Sound familiar to anyone? Talk about limiting beliefs!!! Talk about Fear and negative self talk!

Since I can't see the potential in myself (read: I am scared of the potential inside of me), I will open it up to all of you to tell me what YOU see in ME.

Here's my humble request to anyone reading this: If it's your first time or 100th time reading about my life, what's the first thing that pops into your mind? What do you see me doing? What direction do you see me going with my life? If you met me and talked to me for 5 minutes, what would _you_ hope I would be doing?

Remember, I'm asking for BIG ideas! BIG dreams!

(Just keep them clean and encouraging ;)

Thanks in advance for your input!!

Technorati : , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Peaks & Valleys

Some days you feel on top of the world, other days you feel like the world is on top of you.

Today's one of those days. There's no particular reason - ok, there is /one/ reason and she's every woman's favorite Aunt. But overall life is going along pretty well, just feeling... meh. ("Meh" being the summation of feeling emotional, tired, cranky, sore, crampy, and otherwise unwilling to really deal with anything at this particular time.)

Why am I sharing this? Not to get sympathy, not to get encouragement, not to make people fear that I'm walking away from all this and throwing in the towel to my goals.

Quite the contrary. I'm sharing this because, even though life isn't all kittens and roses at the moment - ok, I have the kittens but that's beside the point LOL! - it doesn't mean that my goals are any less important. It doesn't mean the reason I'm working towards those goals are any less pertinent. To me, just because my mood is a bit down it doesn't mean that I'm going to stop.

I really wanted to share because I've been so overwhelmed (in a good way, so maybe humbled is a better word for it) by the amazing people that have come into my life: People who have served to inspire and energize me so I can pay that energy forward. And there are amazing people who look to me to inspire them. So it's for those folks that I'm really sharing this...

Just because I seem to have 'it' figured out, it doesn't mean that life magically goes my way every day. Some days are easier than others, and some are more challenging. I know now that those challenging days are the tests that I need to go through to ensure that the goal I'm working towards is worth it - that *I* am worth it.

I was listening to a CD this morning that brought up the fact that inside of everyone there is constantly a fight going on: The battle to prove if you are worthy of success.

I truly believe that everyone is worthy of success, and that everyone has a dream that is worth achieving. The days when life happens, when the battle seems to be the fiercest, is when your belief in your self and your dedication to making that dream a reality is tested the most. And that is the time that you are closest to a major breakthrough.

And that is the time most people stop.

Even though life is throwing a storm at me, I know that it will pass. I know that the time I've taken to build a foundation of confidence in myself and my dreams will help me weather any storm that life throws at me and make me stronger when it passes.

And I know you can do the same!

Technorati : , , , ,

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sign. Sign. Everywhere a sign.

I passed by a store this morning on my way to work that seemed to be in the midst of remodeling. The sign was covered up and replaced with a hand painted board that simply read: "Be prepared to be amazed!"

My first thought was, "Holy Cr@p! What a cool sign!"

My /second/ thought was, "Bring it."

Pardon me while I wax a bit cliche/pop culture for a bit... but like the State Farm commercials, I'm there.

I started out 2009 by proclaiming to life, the universe and everything that I was ready to get comfortable with discomfort. Well, the universe has over-delivered. The workshop that we went to last weekend was like the culmination of that proclamation and really solidified a lot of things in my mind. I feel like everything that I have been through in my life has brought me to this point and I'm moderately freaking out about it, but I'm prepared (or at least preparing) to be amazed.

Let me back up a bit. Now that I've had a few days to get back into my routine and for the information to gel I think I can speak a little more rationally than I could have on when I got back. When you combine the day after travel tired jet lag with super mental mind cleansing overloaded info, and sprinkle in the disappointment of having to put my hubby back on a plane in a day after being able to spend 10 days /in a row/ with him... I was in a MOOD. My tolerance level was non-exist ant and was ready to rip people's heads of because they didn't "Get it".

I'm much better now. :)

Back to the weekend. The workshop itself was 99% motivation/self development, and 1% about using what was taught and applying it towards your business (because we were, after all, there on business). The biggest topic that was focused on: FEAR.

Prior to the weekend I've been listening to several podcasts/books/reading whatever I can get my hands on, and re-reading/listening to things I hadn't given a thought to in years, and the biggest topic most of them have been focused on: FEAR.

I didn't think I had intentionally sought this topic out, but the message blew into my life like one of those cosmic category 5 hurricanes. You see, I'd been asking the question of what "It" was that made the difference for me in this particular journey, what made me turn the corner from "want to lose weight and get in shape... no, really, I do" to where I am now. I realize now it all came from a foundation that was laid years ago and recently re-discovered. That discovery was made the day I made a decision. It wasn't a loud, pageant filled decision that I shouted from every mountain top, there was no cavernous line drawn in the sand. It was quiet and uneventful by most standards, but it made all the difference.

You see, the important decisions you make in life aren't the ones you make public and ask for input from everyone under the sun, and then think about gettin' ready to get started. It's the quiet commitments you make to your dreams and vow never to stop until that dream is fulfilled... That is what will alter the course of your life forever.

Most people are too filled with fear to make those commitments to themselves. Most people have opened themselves up at different points in their lives, shared their dreams with the wrong people, and have been ridiculed, laughed at, belittled, or otherwise told they couldn't do it. Most people never get over that. Their foundation of self confidence has been shattered and the idea of rebuilding it is to overwhelming, so they continue accepting less than their hearts desire and call it good. Most people find it hard enough to belive in other people that they can't even imagine finding a shread of belief in themselves.

"A single limiting belief will keep you from reaching your dreams." The amazing Tom Venuto said that during an interview and it literally stopped me in my tracks. It's so simple and so powerful, but yet so difficult to get past.

So again, going back to this weekend, I all came together for me: It doesn't matter what you are working toward, what the biggest, most powerful dream of your heart is - something as simple as building a habit of exercise and healthy eating to maintain an ideal weight, or as big as competing in a fitness/figure competition (GO FITGIRL15!!!), climing a mountain, starting a business, digging yourself out of debt - the way you achieve that dream is all the same! You have to move past your fear and doubt, build the foundation of self confidence, and work through past hurts (leave them behind you because they don't deserve any more of your energy), and step into the life you deserve!

When your dream is big enough and exciting enough, the indecision falls away. The "should I go to the gym today?" And the "should I have the cake or not?" becomes less of an issue. You do what you need to do to fulfill your dream, to reach your goal, to be keep that commitment to yourself.

I won't lie to you - it will be hard work. By making a commitment to yourself to make YOUR dream come true, you will have to be a different person. You can't solve a problem, or create change, by staying the same. But with faith, with focus, with consistent action, you can achieve anything. You may not see progress today, or tomorrow, or even next month, but it will happen as long as YOU believe it.

Prepare to be amazed!

Technorati : , , ,

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What if...

My brain is still somewhere between AZ & Florida, and alternates between buzzing like a hive of angry bees and then a zen like calm comes over me... only to repeat the process 20 seconds later.

If you are wondering why I really am not posting anything of any real value at the moment, that's why. And truth be told I'm also keeping quiet because I'm afraid my outloud voice will be a little /too/ authentic, if you know what I mean. :)

I shall leave you with this thought to plant a seed: Think about all the compliments you've been paid over your life, the kind words that you've received, the recognition that's been shown to you.

What if you lived just one day of your life - or even 1 hour - truly believing you /are/ that person?

Technorati : , , ,

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A year in the life...

After talking with my awesome trainer last week he commented that I should do a before & after/testimonial of sorts for the gym... So Steve & Justin... this is for you, but also for me because seeing the actual changes really reinforces the amazing progress I've made.

My back story is similar to so many - I have struggled with my weight since my teenage years, and have lost and gained so many times I've lost track. My closet had sizes ranging from 12-18. I got exceptionally frustrated with myself and declared the battle cry of the weary and desperate: That Was Enough! That was about 3 years ago. In the time between 2006 & mid-2007 I grappled with my eating, depression and health issues.

Then I met the amazing man that would become my husband. He saw me for what I was, not my weight, and loved me no matter what. The only problem was that I didn't feel like the beautiful woman he saw me as. After the first few months of us living together, eating out frequently, and me trying to keep pace with his ice cream habit, my weight crept up to 203. When my engagement ring was too small fit on my finger, that's when I knew it was time to get back to work focusing on getting my weight under control.

So here we are now in April of 2009... and I happened across a photo from a year ago and was floored by the changes.

Here I am with my soon-to-be hubby at our friends wedding from last year. I was thrilled because the dress I was wearing was starting to get loose, and I was around 185. I was getting very consistent with exercising and eating better, but knew there was something I was missing...

I kept up the exercise and kept with eating well, because I had the motivation to look good in my wedding dress which kept me going as much as possible... and while I didn't quite hit my goal, I did pretty well.

After I got back from my awesome honeymoon, I decided to take a step back and evaluate where I was in my life and where I was going. My eating was under control, I was doing cardio consistently, but there still seemed like there was something missing.

Enter Better Bodies! Whoo hoo! I knew the value of strength training but had a really bad experience with personal training and was gun shy to say the least. After doing some of my own research, and seeing/hearing other people's great experiences, I decided to give it a go again.

Here I am, 6 months later, down about 15 more pounds, and all I can say is WOW!

I knew the physical benefits, but seeing the changes in my body have been wonderful. Even better, working with the awesome Steve has given my confidence a boost like I never imagined.

I walked through the door for my first session having made the decision to just do the workout - no whining about it, no complaining, just doing the work I needed to. Now, this wasn't about pushing myself past pain or into an injury. This was about pushing myself past my own limiting beliefs.

There were many sessions that I went in thinking that I wouldn't be able to make it all the way through, or be able to lift anything beyond 5 pounds. Those were the sessions that I broke personal records, that I was pushed past what I ever thought I would be able to do in a year, let alone a few short months.

That is the sign of a phenomenal coach - one who has more faith in you than you have in yourself, and knows your true potential and doesn't let you get away with anything less. Just when I think I can't go any further, I hear "two more" and some how I make it happen.

Technorati : , , ,

Monday, April 13, 2009

Road Rules!

Heehee... they could be fun, but no, not quite what I meant. I've mentioned the trip I have coming up and have been trying not to freak about it food wise, but it got the better of me this weekend. Decided it was time to pull out my rule book and get some squared away before I even packed my bags.

If you fail to plan to fail. At least that's what /they/ say... who ever they are... but darn them, they're right. So here's the plan, or at least the basic rules.

1) Stay calm. It's only 6 out of my 22,000 days (give or take a few ;) here on earth, so whatever happens can be done or undone by me alone. Besides, I'm on a vacation of sorts.

2) Remember that I have invested a lot of work into myself and have confidence that the habits I've built will still be there, regardless if I'm in Tucson, Florida, or Timbuktu.

3) Be prepared! We've checked and we have a fridge and microwave in the hotel room, and I've already told the hubby we'll be making a stop by the grocery store to stock up on portable, healthy snacks. I'm tempted to pack a few plastic containers and baggies to help with the snack transport, especially since we'll be in a workshop 2 out of the 4 days we're there plus the 2 days we're traveling. And the preparation will help with the next one...

4) Never let myself get really hungry. This is killer any time and will be especially interesting since I'll be in a totally different time zone (1 hour difference is one thing but 3?!). When I get to the point of shaky tummy growling hungry, I over eat. Plain and simple. Even if it's the healthiest thing on the planet, I dive into it like no tomorrow, and feel miserable afterwards.

5) Listen to my body... who cares if it's 10 am or 10 pm. If the tummy is grumbly, I need to eat. Now if it's stress cravings, I can usually hold off and wait for when I'm actually hungry.

6) Be active - I'm taking my walkin' shoes and wrote down the workouts I'm planning while I'm gone. From what I understand, they have sidewalks or roads in FL, too! Amazing! LOL!

7) Be picky! This one has been a lifesaver on many occasions, especially at work where random cookies, cakes, and other snacks just magically appear in the break room. I decided long ago, if it's something I could have any day of the week (say, a store bought confection) then I would let it pass me by. A cookie you can get at the store any day at any time isn't so special, is it? And I seriously doubt Sara Lee is going to stop baking any time soon. My mom's peanut butter brownies? Those only show up as often as Haley's Comet so snarf 'em while you can!

Same thing with eating out - if it's a restaurant I can go to any time (forgetting for a moment that I rarely eat out), then go with the basics and stick what I know. McD's has salads and uses Newman's dressing - awesome choice. And chicken sandwiches can have the bread taken off. Applebee's will make me steamed veggies. BUT if it's a local favorite or a fancy schmancy place that I won't be able to get to for a long time? Enjoy what they have to offer with (slightly restrained) abandon!

Think that covers most bases... I know the list seems long but (to no surprise on my part) it's basically the rules I follow on a day to day basis.

Technorati : , , , , ,

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My reality check just bounced...

It's times like this that I'm totally blown away - I mean I'm used to seeing myself every day, and wearing the same clothes all the time so I don't think about the small changes that are going on...

Then days like today happen, when I'm getting dressed and put on a pair of jeans that, while roomy, fit fine a month ago...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It finally happened...

I've been waiting for this day ever since I started my journey to rid myself of my excess body fat and get my body as healthy as possible.

It's something that I was expecting, anticipating, and dreading.

Nope, not a plateau. Not some record setting loss on the scale. Not a personal best time on the treadmill or with lifting some awesome amount of weight.

None of that.

I got: The Comment.


What is The Comment, you ask?

It's the comment that follows close on the heels of the comments of admiration and encouragement: the "You look great!" and "How much have you lost?!?!"

The Comment is: "You're getting too thin."


This is a conversation I just had:

Co-Worker: Wow, you're starting to get really thin. You should be careful - maybe slow down. Don't want to lose /too/ much weight.

Me: (attempting to make light of it) Oh don't worry, I have still have plenty of fat that's hanging on.

Co-worker: Still, be careful. You don't want to get too thin.

Me: (getting mildly annoyed) No worry of that.

Co-worker: That's good. I hope you're able to maintain it once you go back to eating normally.

What I actually said after I got over being stunned by the idiocy of the statement: Think I have it under control, thanks... gotta get back to work.

What I /WANTED/ to say was: Who says I'm not eating "normally" now?! I eat more by lunch than most people eat all day! And unless I am becoming literal skin and bones with no muscle tone to speak of, let ME figure out what weight *I* am happy at. Just because you're uncomfortable with me continuing to succeed doesn't mean that I need to be.

Ok, now that I'm off my soap box, I do find it very interesting how quickly people's actions and behaviors change.

There's the phase of "we all know how heavy you are, we just won't talk about it."

Once you start actually making progress other people move into the encouragement phase. They're excited for you and you're excited for yourself. It's the point when most people's motivation is at the highest, and it can start to wear off on the people around you.

Then something happens. It's like a switch gets flipped. For some, it happens in their own mind and for some reason they just stop, then we go back to the first phase of, "That was nice, now we won't talk about it." Or they keep going, and it truly becomes a LIFEstyle.

This is the time when other people get really uncomfortable. They expect it to be temporary, because that's easier to deal with. They are realizing that you really have changed, and their hopes of you reverting back to who they think you should be are slowly destroyed.

This is the time when you start getting The Comments, The Questions (Are you sure this is healthy? Why do you want to do this? Why don't you do/eat [fill in the blank] like you used to?), The Blow Offs (I would invite you to dinner but I just don't know what you eat anymore) and The Sabotaging (Oh for crying out loud, and extra serving/missing one workout won't kill you!).

Remember: This is a test. This is only a test.

Are you happy with your progress? Are you happy with yourself? Have you built healthy habits that are sustainable for a lifetime? Then you're doing the right thing for YOU.

Living your life in a way that makes you the best you possible can only benefit the important people in your life.

Stay calm. Resist using the out loud voice. Be confident in your decisions. Be flexible.

Lead by example, and gradually you will affect the change you want to see in the world.

Technorati : , , ,

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Notes from the gym

To my endorphins : you are awesome! Thanks so much for kicking in and helping me soar through the last set of killer lunges and not letting my carb depleted brain get the best of me.

To the nice gentleman in the weight area: Doode. I appreciate being checked out - it's definitely a confidence booster - but seriously, can you not make it so obvious you're looking at my cleavage? I'm doing frackin' dead lifts. I HAVE to keep my chest out.

To the lovely lady I met in the weight room: YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR!!! Doin' my happy skinny dance for you!!! I saw her herself, walk away, then rush back to weigh again. I thought she was discouraged, but then she's said, "I have officially lost _90_ pounds!" I squeed, applauded and did a happy dance for her, and proceeded to share the news with the other ladies who gave her a HUGE ovation! (it was huge for the 4 of us in there!)

Fear, Gratitute and Obstacles...

To those of the Jewish faith: Chag Pesach!

To those of the Christian faith: Happy holy week.

It's been an interesting week - the hubby & I have been having a very... dynamic week to say the least. Lots of stuff starting to build on our collective plates and we'll be spending a lot of time next week figuring out a game plan... frankly the thought of the extra work involves scares me. A lot. But what scares me even more than doing the work, is doing well with it.

"Our deepest fear is that we're powerful beyond measure."

I read a lot of different blogs, on SparkPeople and beyond, and there seems to be a very prevalent theme this week. People who are trucking along, kicking butt and taking names like no one's business are hitting the proverbial brick wall. They all of a sudden are having moments of self-doubt, and questioning their actions, their (lack of) motivation, and wondering why they heck they're doing all this work in the first place.

It's a test... it's only a test.

It's times like that, when we all stand on the brink of that greatness, about to experience an amazing break through and moment of personal growth that we are tested the most. Our resolve, our faith in ourselves, our plans, even our deepest hopes and dreams are called into question.

Like the iconic angel & devil standing on your shoulder - one saying to choose the carrot for it's vitamin, fiber and nutrient rich goodness. The other saying take a whole carrot cake and devour it, because you've worked hard and deserve to just let go, be happy with what you've done and go back to the way things were.

I've written about it before - when I find myself on the edge of that greatness, when I can feel it welling up inside of me, threatening to burst forth and take everyone around me with it, it scares the bajeebers out of me. It's too much. It's TOO powerful. That sort of greatness is meant for someone else, someone better than me... so I turn my back on it only to feel the pain of that loss.

"You are more of a force than you know."

I was sharing a light hearted email conversation with a lady that I very much admire, and she made that comment. About _me_. No, I thought... she meant someone else maybe, but not me. I mean, I LOVE helping people, sharing what I know, encouraging them, etc., but when it comes to believing in myself, I always find myself lacking.

Oh wait, this is part of The Test - no, not by my friend, but by the Powers That Be. I have been having doubts of if I'm on the right path, if what I am doing really matters. I was given my answer... now what was I going to do about it? Shy away from the greatness yet again? Or do I allow myself to inch closer to that edge to experience the greatness that this universe has in store for me?

::flicks devil off the shoulder::

Technorati : , , , ,

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

That's what I get for thinkin...

that it was gonna be easy.

Last night I did the first workout from the New Rules of Lifting for Women book.

I thought, "/only/ 5 exercises?! /only/ 10-12 reps of each?! Piece of cake!"

25 minutes later, with sweat pouring down my face and legs & arms feeling like jell-o, I stood corrected.

Daaaang. Sometimes easy isn't.

BUT I did 10 push ups with the smith bar at the lowest point it could go (so about 1 foot off the floor...) that's darn close to doing a full push up on the floor! AND my seated row got up to 85 pounds!

::happy dance::

I was worried I wouldn't get much out of the workout but I'm definitely feeling it today. It's not my usual round-robin that is fun, and great for endurance, but this one has the potential to be great for increasing definition. (Just /maybe/ I can have arms as nice as my hubby's ;)

Tonight I do cardio! Not much, just enough to get me back in the swing of things.

On a side note, I'm moderately freaking out about this trip coming up... I know I do best on a set eating schedule, but not only will I be in a totally different time zone, I won't have access to a fridge or kitchen. Must stock up on protein bars, mixed nuts, and maybe hit a grocery store when we get there for some fruit & veggie type things...

I also need to calm down about it because while it's a working vacation, it's still a vacation.

Technorati : , , ,

Another shameless plug

This email is from Jonathan Roche, founder of Momentum Fitness System and trainer extrordinaie... One of the things that really made me decide to become a trainer was reading his emails and listening to his show on - his encouragement and amazing attitude proved to me that you don't have to stand on people to get them healthy. Positive support and empowerment are the key, and I hope one day to be half as effective at he is.

This year he's running in the Boston Marathon and raising funds for the Dana Farber Institute. There's a link to his sponsor page in the following email if you feel inclined to donate.

I've already sent mine in.


Hello Team,

I will be doing my 13th straight Boston Marathon on Monday, April
20th as a member of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Team (my 14th straight overall). I am writing to request your assistance with my
goal of trying to raise $10,000 for Cancer Research and Treatment.

If you can't donate, then honestly don't worry about it and please see the bottom of this post on how I would be honored to run in memory or in support of your family or friends who have fought or continue to fight cancer.

I am running this year's marathon once again for my Patient Partner Drew. Drew and I have been together throughout my 13 years with the
team. Drew is a cancer survivor who won his battle with Leukemia (when he was 13) and is now a healthy 26 year old. He is an amazing young man and he will be meeting me at mile 25 to finish the last 1.2 miles with me again this year. It is a special tradition that he and I share and the 1.2 miles is my most enjoyable run of the year - it is beyond special and is really a celebration of him beating cancer and the powerful work being done at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

As some of you know, my older brother Chris was diagnosed with a rare form of nose cancer 5 years ago. Fortunately it was discovered early, the cancer was removed in a series of 18 surgeries and he is now focusing on re-constructive surgeries and is cancer-free.
His positive attitude is a glowing example of understanding what life is truly about and the power of never giving up. He means the world to me and I will be running for him and all the other cancer survivors and patients.

My mother was treated at Dana-Farber 25 years ago and they helped her fight her lung cancer and supported her during her most difficult hours. She lost her battle with cancer at the young age of 48, but her spirit lives on and I run for Dana-Farber (and Breakthrough Health & Fitness donates 5% of our profits to the organization) in memory of her. I will be thinking of her and the guts and determination she showed battling cancer as I battle through the marathon. She was a special person and an amazing Mom.

Although I will surely be pushed to my absolute limits again this year during the marathon, I know that my battle will be easy compared to the struggles that patients at Dana-Farber have experienced. I consider the fact that I am physically able to run a marathon to be a true gift. I am hoping that with your help we can help people who have gone and are going through some very challenging times.

• To sponsor me, log into the following Dana-Farber web site to make a quick online donation:

• You can also send a check made out to "Dana-Farber Cancer Institute" to:
Breakthrough Health & Fitness, Inc.
12303 Airport Way, Suite 200
Broomfield, CO. 80021

• Please keep in mind that 100% of every dollar goes directly to cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber and is tax-free (they will mail you a receipt). Also, please keep in mind that every dollar helps and every dollar is much appreciated.

• As I did last year, I will be adding the names of people I am running for to my marathon shirt. It would honestly be my honor to do that.

• Please send an e-mail with the title "Boston Marathon" to and include your friend or family members name so that I can run in support of or in memory of that person.

• Please note that I will not be able to respond to each message (last year I think I had over 200 names on my shirt), but you have my word that your friend or family members name will definitely be added.

I am honored to be doing the Boston Marathon once again to support
this amazing cause. With your help, my efforts can go much further
than the end of the grueling marathon course. TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE

Thanks for your time, your consideration and for your support of my efforts. I appreciate it more than I can express in words.

Take care.
Jonathan - aka "Your Biggest Fan"

Technorati : , ,

Monday, April 6, 2009

Update and by request...

Here's the pic I sent to my hubby to get his opinion on one of the shirts. (camera phones definitely have their uses! LOL!)

Not my usual style, but kinda fun and definitely shows off all the hard work...

Speaking of which, here's the update on my measurements from last month to this month:

Chest- under armpits: 3/1:38" 4/5: 36.75" -1.25
Waist 1 - 4" above belly button: 3/1:34", 4/5:33" -1
Waist 2 - at belly button: 3/1:37", 4/5: 36 -1
Hips - 5" below belly button: 3/1:40.5, 4/5: 39.25 -1.25 (no wonder the pants are falling off me!!)
Inner thigh - 10" above knee cap: 3/1:22.5, 4/5: 22 -.5
Calf - 4" below knee cap: 3/1:14.5, 4/5: 14.25 - .25 (yay for musckly calves!!!)
Bicep - 4" from elbow bend... this is the fun one!
UNflexed: 3/1:11.75, 4/5:10.5 -1.25
FLEXED: 3/1:11, 4/5: 11.25 +.25!!!

Weight in Pounds: 3/1: 166.4, 4/6: 161.6 -4.8

Body fat... well, this is where the frustration level comes in. Depending on how I measure it, I've _gained_ .5# of muscle (which is awesome during a calorie deficit) or I've _lost_ 1.5# of muscle (which I don't have to tell anyone is very bad.)

I /know/ I'm eating enough (no, I'm not logging my food, but I haven't been hungry, I get lots of protein, and keep my portions on the large size of reasonable... the scale and measurements are consistently moving down and my strength training is kickin' butt (aka I'm lifting heavy and often!).

So what do I take from this? Not a darn thing. LOL!!!

Knowing that my body will do what it wants, I'm going to continue what I'm doing food wise - maybe add in a wee bit more for good measure - and exercise wise (and will be adding cardio back in this week for 2 days), and will check in around the 15th to see if I need to do any course corrections.

Most likely, it will be a cycle - Body fat goes down one month, the measurements stay nearly the same. The next month a huge drop in measurements but BF stays the same...

Gotta love the guessing games!

Technorati : , , , , , ,

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Spoils of war...


Well, I did it. I mustered up my courage and headed out to the wilds known as JC Penny's... And actually had decent success.

I ended up with 2 pairs of pants (Size 12 thankyouverymuch!) and 3 tops... 2 of the tops I'm not quite sold on but at the same time, they're a departure from my standards and I need to liven it up a bit... besides, they were having a ganga sale and if they can be considered 'trendy', I didn't spend a whole lot on them to begin with...

all said, I spent 1 hr and about $80 on the adventure!

Yay me!

The really funny thing is that after it was all said and done, I had the worst craving for ice cream! I think it was partly the emotional surge that it was over, the stress I'd felt going into it was huge, but turned out to be a decent experience so I sort of wanted to celebrate. So I came home, had my cottage cheesy tuna w/baby carrots (ice cream it isn't that's for sure!) and let the craving pass.

Side note on cravings - was listening to a podcast with the awesome Tom V and his comment was "hunger isn't an emergency"... so when the "OMGMUSTHAVEICECREAM/CHOCOLATE/CHIPS" feeling hits, it usually has an urgency to it. We mistake it for real hunger but really, true hunger isn't urgent like a craving is... unless you've been 12+ hours without food, but that's a different story. So the time a craving hits, procrastinate - we all know how to do that. LOL! -and see if the urgency passes

Friday, April 3, 2009

Comfort and a throwdown challenge.

In one of my groups, we're taking this month to look at different aspects of our lives, to address how we got to where we are now, and how to fix some of those issues. The first few days were about discussing comfort foods and one of the ladies brought up a good point. What is 'comfort'? For her, there really wasn't any "comfort", there was really a lot of discomfort through guilt and anger.

I did the typical thing and looked up synonyms for it and the few that stood out: soothe, calm, and placate.

A lot of times when we hear the phrase "comfort food" it brings up images of happy warm hugs, kittens, puppies and rainbows... something that makes us feel safe, secure and loved.

But it doesn't always mean that... One of the synonyms is placate - to pacify.

I know for me in moments of stress/emotional eating, I don't want a happy warm squishy hug, I just want... something, anything else I can focus on besides what ever it is I'm going through. Something that, however briefly, would numb the emotional connection and give me moment of pleasure, or at least distraction. Something that will fill a void and keeps me from facing reality at that moment. It happened earlier this week and while I /thought/ I was ready to face reality, apparently I was wrong. Or maybe it brought up a different kind of comfort. I had faced reality, now it was time to take action.

So maybe the question could be asked a different way - when you are going though moments of stress and find yourself in a fit of emotional eating, what do you turn to first/crave? Is there a some sort of memory that you attach to that particular food or is just a habitual/easy go-to food?

Now for the throw down... actually this is my personal throw down challenge, issued by my fabu hubby. We've finally settled on and made plans for a trip in a couple of weeks that will be a workshop/mentoring session primarily for him, but I'll be able to attend the session. He told me to quit my whining and b$&%*ing and go get new clothes that actually fit me.

Alright, he didn't say it like that - he was really diplomatic about it, but he's right (yes, ladies, I said it... my hubby was RIGHT! And I said it public!) I have been complaining and whining about how my clothes don't fit me any more, but not doing a darn thing about it. What he doesn't know is that I'd already been worrying/dreading the trip because I knew I'd have to wear clothes that didn't fit me well and weren't as flattering as they could be.

But, as you all know, I HATE HATE HATE shopping!!!

::breathing into a paper bag::

Yes, I am thrilled with the changes that my body is going through, I love the way I'm looking, yes I want to dress in a way that flatters and emphasizes those changes and my sparkling personality.


So, my plan -

1) start looking at shopping as an adventure, and write some affirmations that support that.
2) Go early in the day when I still feel 'thin' and have energy.
3) Enlist help! There are sales people in stores, and some of them may actually have some ability to help me find something that works for ME, not for the emaciated looking mannequin in super trendy clothes on display.
4) Not look at the prices. I have a budget, but I need to not let the cost of something dictate my interest in trying it on.

Pray for me! :)

Technorati : , , ,

Thursday, April 2, 2009

You know it's a lifestyle when...

someone else has to point out your successes and achievements.

I was discussing different things with my awesome trainer guy last night and the conversation got around to weight - I was in a gym... go fig! :) He was complementing me on how far I'd come strength wise and has noticed a lot of physical changes over the last couple of months. He asked how much I weighed when I started and where I was now.

"You realize you've shed OVER 40 pounds? 30 of that in the last year?"


Really?! WOW! YAY ME!!!!

Then he made a comment that /really/ floored me... "that's how I know you'll keep going and will keep it off... It's part of who you are - it's like breathing, you don't think about it, you just do it."

Double YAY!

Then I proceeded to almost kick him in the head. I'm so glad he has quick reflexes. :)

Technorati : , , ,