What a Difference a Year Makes

Wow. To say “blink and you’ll miss it” is an understatement.

It’s been a bit over a year, and to say my life has changed would be an understatement – and all for the better! My last year in bullets:

  • My divorce was finally finalized after nearly 2 years of back and forth with the X
  • Got down to my lowest weight ever…within 1 pound of having 100 pounds lost!
  • Met an amazing man, fell in love, got engaged…I’m getting married this month!
  • Put on about 20 pounds of “happy weight”…which I’m finally starting to see come back down
  • Changed my daughter’s day care, went through lots of up and downs with her (more on that later)
  • X got married to the chick he left me for. Which is fine, we are at a good place now and strive to put our daughter first
  • After our wedding (and honeymoon vacation – squee!!) we’ll start saving to buy a house together next year.

I mean, wow. This blog was created to be a daily log for me…of course I think the pressure of having a daily log just turned me off. Well, that plus like a month after I started it, my now ex-husband kinda walked out on me and my kid…and so any time I came back, for a long time after that, it was kind of painful. This blog has seen tiny snippets of pain, hope, more pain…long silences…and now, infinite joy! I really do want to work on filling in those gaps.

And the #1 reason it was created, of course, was to record the success of my losing weight! Somehow through this crazy storm, I DID manage to do that. And I want to keep it going…

Do I really think I have the time/dedication/passion to start this blog back up again? I don’t know. My next post might be another year from now…but let’s see what happens. 🙂

Today, life is good.

Keeping it Real, Yo

I keep fancying myself a blogger. I have so many things that I do, so many great new experiences along this weight loss journey that I want to feel that bloggy connection with my fellow loser-bloggers. But it seems that when someone works, is a single parent, and spends 95% of the non-working, non-parenting time working out…where is this time to blog? Seriously!

Life is going on – my battle with the scale is still tangible and daily. I have had two injuries now, one on my right Achilles tendon during a race, and just this week, I injured my left calf while doing jumping jacks with a Jillian Michaels DVD. So, I’ve been trying to just focus on upper body. People keep saying I LOOK like I’ve lost weight, so I can only hope that I’m toning and gaining muscle…but not seeing the numbers change is driving me slightly mad.

The Big D (and I don’t mean Dallas) process is moving forward, though slower than I prefer. Mr. X doesn’t seem to understand why I don’t want the town bicycle that he left me and my daughter for around the kiddo. So he has now gotten a lawyer…yay! I am so ready for this chapter of my life to be over so I can just move on and focus on what is important.

What suddenly prompted me to turn on the blog-machine and post today in the first place? That would be this article from Runner’s World by Lauren Fleshmen, a post about Keeping it Real when it comes to our bodies. Not only does it talk about unrealistic expectations placed on women by television and magazine editing techniques, but it speaks about self-acceptance, and realistic notions of what our bodies are and have the potential to be.

This hits home for me in two ways. First, one of the reasons I started working on losing weight in the first place was that I was never in any photos. I was so petrified of seeing myself on camera that I always was the one holding the camera. I can probably count on two hands the number of photos I have of myself from my 20’s. In 2011, my nephew passed away from cancer. He was married in to the family, so I only knew him for about 3 years, but he was only 5 when he passed. At that time I started gathering photos so that I could create a video for the family. Since his family was large (since he married in to our family, he had his father’s side on top of everyone on our side), I wanted to make sure and include a photo of him with every member of the family. It wasn’t until I started this search that I realized that there was not ONE photo of me and him. Not one. I had actually had a family photo shoot in my backyard with him a year or so before his diagnosis, and had beautiful photos of him, his parents, grandparents, Mr X…but not me.

It was then that I realized that I had let my own self-perception of how awful I look actually become a reality. My body was a wreck, I didn’t WANT to see it photographed, but I also didn’t want to live my life behind a camera and missing out on life. I lost 60 pounds that year, got preggo, gained 60 pounds, and now have lost a total of 80. Suffice it to say, my body has been through the ringer. And that’s how the article today hit home in a second way. I’ve lost 80 pounds, I’m in the best shape of my life, but there is definitely a trail of disaster left behind in the wake of losing so much after decades of being obese. I don’t need to spell it out, I’m sure, but things are definitely not looking so hot when the clothes come off, lol! I’ve already been researching lower body lifts, lift options for the girls (das boobs), and trying to hang that goal out as a carrot to keep myself moving with forward momentum. Will I ever be able to go through with it? Will I be able to afford it? I don’t know…but it is no lie or secret that losing the weight is only the very first step with these types of journeys…there’s a whole lot of layers of mental and flappy-skin baggage that has to be sorted, folded, and put away as well.

So yeah, there you go. I had intended this post to just be a simple photo-update of what all has happened in the last month, but it kind of morphed in to a heavier topic. But one that is usually glossed over I think while the weight loss is happening. Anyone who has had to deal with self-esteem and body issues for years and years and years needs to be prepared to address not only the physical, but mental reason as to what got us all here in the first place. I named my blog Running aWeigh because it was meant to address all of the physical AND mental weight that was weighing me down. Ironically my husband left me a few days later…sometimes we find we were being held back in the places we thought were the safest. I hated every minute of last summer (save a few where my daughter reminded me what I was going on for), but I would not change it. I am so much better…lighter…for it.

Ok, enough with the heavy, let’s end on at least one of my intended photos to lighten the mood!

Life is beautiful!

Life is beautiful!

Day 2 without coffee (what was I thinking!?)

So over the weekend I did a little overindulging (not too bad on quantity, but there was the splitting of an entire batch of guacamole and some chocolate pie with my mom happening…)

Guac, Pie, and Dallas Buyers Club. It was a total girly night.

Guac, Pie, and Dallas Buyers Club. It was a total girly night.

It wasn’t TOO bad, but it was enough to make me want to try and work harder on reigning in the beast that has become my lack of willpower lately.

Because chocolate comas can't happen every day...

Because chocolate comas can’t happen every day…

I’m still maintaining a great loss, but I am ready to kick it in to gear when it comes to losing these last pesky 30 pounds. So, I did what any reasonable person would do – I decided to cut out coffee and wine.

Wait, what!? Why did I do this!?

It's this...it's evil!!!

It’s this…it’s evil!!!

Yes…it’s not the coffee that I’m after, but the evil (wonderful), horrible (yummy), sugary creamer. I’m very much a “little creamer with my coffee” type of person. So, every morning when I have my two giant cups of coffee, the last forth of the mug is usually filled with this stuff. It is wonderful and sugary and awesome…but also probably adds 300+ of useless calories a day (because then there’s afternoon coffee…). The wine I’m cutting out just because I don’t want to overdo that right now either. So, I’m allowing myself coffee and wine of the weekends. Otherwise, it’s water. And tea…I’m getting a good amount of tea suggestions from friends and co-workers.

The first day was fine – but today, on day two, I think I’ve probably fallen asleep with my eyes open a couple of times. ><

I signed up for another race that takes place this Saturday. This one is a 5k, and takes place at the same location as the 10k I did a couple of weeks ago. I am really excited, because (I’m a dork) they give out finisher’s medals! I am sure that a “real” hardcore runner would be insulted…because it’s almost that “everyone gets a ribbon” mentality, so “there are no winners” but I honestly just want to try and find races with medals so that I can use that as motivation to keep signing up. My goal right now is to sign up for a race each month when I’m paid, so that I can keep using that as a motivating force to keep moving.

So yeah, no coffee, day #2…pray for me. 😛

I’m still here, my dear

Wow. Six months. I’m a horrid blogger! I can at least say that I’ve had good excuses! In six month’s, I’ve

  • Told my old job to bite me when they tried to force me in to Sales… No offense to anyone who works in sales, lets just say I have good reasons for my biases.
  • Moved back “home” to the DFW Metroplex. I grabbed my 2 year old and we moved in with my mom while I tried to figure out what to do. I had already started applying for jobs back last December, as I could sense that my old job and I were heading in two different directions
  • Found a job! Yay! One month to the day of my last day at old job, I started a new job. I’ve been here for nearly 2 months, and so far it’s been amazing. I feel challenged, rewarded, and I’m learning so much.
  • I found a place to rent, and got the girl in to a new day care. I’m feeling slightly stressed as I’ve got a whole new set of bills, but so far I’m cautiously optimistic, and the house and landlord are both amazing.
  • I put things in motion with filing. Yep, the Big D is in my future. The X and I continue to oscillate between being nice and evil toward each other. I hope we can find a happy medium for Rea’s sake.
  • I haven’t gained weight!! This is huge. I haven’t lost, unfortunately, but the fact that I haven’t gained anything is a wonderful victory, considering the amount of stress I’ve been under.

Right now there’s both cupcakes and a tres leche cake in the breakroom…and I haven’t had any of either. It’s a daily battle right now, as my eating habits have definitely slacked.

But I’m still here, my dear. I aim to become a blogging fool by the end of the year.

And I’m such a poet. 😉

Change in the Making

Today at my weekly sanity check (counseling), it was nice to get a lot of things out and off my chest. I won’t go in to details here, because it’s not only my story to share, but suffice it to say it was just another step in this crazy road of trying to figure out who exactly I am now and who I want to be.

I never thought my life would be starting over at 33…I never thought that I would be staring down a fork in the road where one trail leads to divorce and one leads to…well, not much of a marriage I guess, and trying to make a choice.

All that to say, afterwards, I scarfed down some sushi (always a treat and a reward after being declared sane for another week!), and this song kept playing in my head. Apparently it’s nearly 4 years old or so, but I had never heard it until the other day at Zumba. Long story short, the class is taught at a Christian university, so several of the songs are Christian-based, which I rather enjoy. Anyway, when this song played the other day…I literally had to keep from crying right there in class. It’s definitely a mixture of happy and sad tears. I am mournful of some of the things that I feel I’ve lost…and of what I thought of as future certainties that Reagan may be losing…but also fearfully excited of the woman I think I will become as a result.

So anyway, yeah. This.

Like a Boss

This weekend was quick and uneventful – a nice combination when I had both planned no events and was single-momming my 22 month old. I started off on Friday night with a new recipe. I decided to try Mushroom Kale Lasagna Rolls, and used this recipe from SkinnyTaste. I won’t bore you with step by step details, as I’m not a cooking blog, but needless to say it ended up being not too hard to make (though it dirtied more dishes than I expected!), and delicious! The recipe makes 10 rolls, and so I’ve got leftovers to last during the week!

It is so green, but so good!

It is so green, but so good!

Saturday I Zumba’d at a class at my college Alma Matter, taught by a wonderful friend, Ruthie, who has an inspiring story of her own! I have been so surprised by Zumba. I am able to follow the moves fairly easily, and I am constantly surprised by how much easier it is to keep up and move my body now that there’s 70 pounds gone from it. I talked to Ruthie after and told her that though I took ballet for 10 years growing up (hence the ease of following the moves), I don’t think I ever truly enjoyed it. I was always the biggest girl in the class, and constantly spent my time looking in those damn mirrors comparing myself to the other girls. For anyone who’s never taken ballet or other dance class…one half of the entire room is made of mirrors…so you can constantly check your body positions, etc. For me, it was a constant and consistent reminder of how big I was – and of course now I look back and can say I wasn’t even that big!

But now. Now that I’m older and (ha!) wiser and have lived…and have developed a lot of self esteem, I could care less what I look like while dancing at Zumba…and I’m having so much FUN! I can keep up with the instructor, I can think about the music and the movement and just enjoy it! And I do.

Sunday started off a little rough. I had woken up at around 5:50am on Saturday, and cursed as I desperately tried to fall back asleep, wasting all those precious minutes as Reagan kept sleeping until nearly 7:30am! On Sunday, I was in a dead tired sleep…and of course she then decides to wake up at 5:50am.

And she woke up with plenty of energy.

And she woke up with plenty of energy.

After a fun-filled morning of me trying to wake up while she destroyed the living room, we both took naps (thank goodness!), and then afterwards I took her on a walk to the park. The park is right next to our apartment, so we were able to walk straight from our front door, which was nice. It was really windy, but we had a lot of fun!

Finding bottle caps

Finding bottle caps

Feeding these...bird things

Feeding these…bird things

Blowing bubbles...or attempting to.

Blowing bubbles…or attempting to.

Happy Face!

Happy Face!

Discovering that bridges cover water.

Discovering that bridges cover water.

Drinking juice - like a Boss!

Drinking juice – like a Boss!

I love taking these walks with her and re-discovering the world through her eyes. Even though it’s annoying to keep her away from the water the whole time, and even though she stood on that silly bridge for 20 minutes longer than I would have liked and kept telling me there was water underneath us…I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Oh and my daughter’s hair is crazy, in case you can’t tell. I think it might turn out to be curly…and I have no experience in that arena…add to that the fact that she hates having her hair or face messed with, and it is a constant battle in which she is the victor 99% of the time.

Besides…I say the longer you can go without fussing with hair or wearing shoes…go for it!

So today was back to the grind, but I did make it to the gym for a lunchtime workout!

Proof of my elliptical exploits!

Proof of my elliptical exploits!

So there is my weekend/Monday recap. How was your weekend? What workouts have you discovered that you actually ENJOY, rather than endure?

Seventy

If you turn the way-back machine to 2011, I lost 60 pounds.

I did it by pretty much being an idiot…stupid restrictive eating and liquid diets and over-exercising. I became totally obsessed. It worked really well at the time…it was a time in my life where I needed something to be obsessed about for a while, and it was the first thing that ever had even “worked” for me.

I lost 60 pounds in 6 months…and promptly became pregnant!

And then I gained back 30 pounds…and then had the most beautiful baby on the planet…but then gained another 30 pounds.

One day reality hit me like a biotch in the face. That was the day I (again) saw a very scary number on the scale.

262.2

That was my starting weight in 2011 when I lost stupid weight. I had gone all the way back. To the 10th of a pound, I had gone back.

Since then, I’ve developed some really awesome habits on this latest weight loss journey. It wasn’t about being fast, it was about making changes that I knew I could live with all my life. I have basically cut out all sweets and sugary drinks, but I still have a soda every once in awhile, because you know what? I don’t want to give them up for all of time. I just have to learn to moderate…that is something I have to live with for all of time.

So, the weight came back off, slowly, but steadily and I wasn’t starving myself and developing obsessive habits this time. It took me a year verses 6 months this time, but I was happy with the progress…not to mention I had some giant personal hurdles that should have sent me back to the loving arms of food in a heartbeat. I persevered. But still, there was that magical number hanging over my head…60.

Now don’t misunderstand, I’ve lost over 60 pounds…I’ve had that beat since October or so. BUT, for some reason, I still wanted, yearned to reach that next decade of weight loss…so that I could…I don’t know…FOR REAL be passed where I had gone in 2011.

This morning, I saw a magical number on the scale…down to the 10th of a pound.

192.2

Today I’ve reached 70 pounds lost…exactly! I wish I had taken a picture of it, but I think I was too busy doing a little happy dance in my bathroom.

2011…bad habits…obsessive behavior…stupid marriage issues…turning to food (or wine) for coping…jeez, ALL of 2013… you all can bite me! I so own you.

This is my mean face...or an attempt at one. Do you feel intimidated yet?

This is my mean face…or an attempt at one. Do you feel intimidated yet?