I have been thinking a lot about the last year of my life. I think about how far I have come. I thought I might gather some of my favorite exerts from my blogs over this year to share a bit of me this year in a nutshell. Here you go!!
2/8/11 Soul Make-over ”I decided I needed a complete make-over, except this time I'd make-over make my soul!!"
I thought about this quote today from the movie Clueless because I was reading a friend from my home church's blog who is in Africa with the Peace Corps. I was reading her blog and looked at some pictures she had posted. The heading under the picture was week 31: 55lbs lost. Funny thing is.... before I noticed the heading I noticed how she was almost glowing. She looked so happy. She hadn't just made over her body....she had made over her soul. Thank you Jessica for inspiring me to also make-over my soul!!! I hope that when I am finished with this process I glow that much not only because I have made over my body but because I have made over my soul!!!
2 for the show.......02/25/2011
So I hit another milestone today. 2 more pounds to make 15 pounds!!!!!!! I was at work and Beverly says, "You are gunna have to buy a belt Elizabeth!!" That felt so good!!!
Little Black Dress 3/6/2011
I was getting ready to go out last night and I was trying things on. Clothes are looser; things that were too tight to wear are more wearable. This includes two of my favorite black dresses. I put them on and spinned around in them. It felt good but I found myself trying to put on bigger clothes. I tried to put back on a dress I bought a few months ago at my heaviest. Tommy saw me with it on and said, "Honey that is really too big for you." So I followed his advice and put on one of my favorite little black dresses I call my Audrey Hepburn Dress. It felt good to hear that. It was so tempting to put on something bigger. I wanted to...I was afraid to put something on that was more form fitting. But in the end I was glad I wore it and felt good in it.
One For The Money 3/25/11
I weighed in today and I wasn't shocked. I lost one pound. It sounds so small, it sounds so tiny. But it is one pound less than I weighed before. I am working out and walking so I am going to see things slow down a little. Not to worry since the real change is what I see. I see the changes in my body, in my face, my tummy, my legs, my arms, and my clothes!!! So it's ok. I was kind of bummy last night and Tommy said something so simple but so helpful. "Honey you aren't eating what you were before. You can't stay at your current size. You are going to get smaller you have to its just science." Tommy's right....SHHHHHHHHH don’t tell him that. But he is. It is just the way it is. I am eating so much less I am just going to keep getting smaller. I have a lot less calories going in and a lot more calories being burned.
My Body Lies Over The Ocean 4/20/11
"Attraversiamo" it is Elizabeth Gilbert's word in Eat, Pray, Love. The word means "let's cross over". I have done a lot of crossing over the past few years. Many of these crosses over have been very scary, painful, freeing, and amazing. They have been all of these things. I feel like I am crossing over in my weight loss journey. I wore a sport's bra today that I haven't worn in years. That may seem silly for an ah ha moment or clarity to come in the form of a sports bra but it gave me this feeling of coming full circle or crossing over. When I was a little girl I used to love the song "My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean." When I had my first and only horse Harvey I used to change the lyrics to "My Harvey Lies Over the Ocean." Perhaps I am drawn to water. It could be connection I have with water from my childhood from swimming and going to the ocean so much as a child and as an adult as well. I was thinking today "my body lies lover the ocean" it works well.
It's the little things... 4/28/11
My dad has always taught me, it's the little things! Any time there is someone who needs a hug, a smile, a little gift, my dad is always there. I had a tough day today. But when I walked in my office there was a vitamin water and a way-to-go from my co-worker Courtney. THANK YOU COURTNEY. You have no idea how much I needed that today.
So Ready to Get to the Castle 5/24/11
"If you want to get to the castle you have to swim the moat!!!!" Elizabeth GillbertI was looking at the weight I lost yesterday but getting fixated on "what ifs" and "could have, should have". I found myself thinking, "What if I had kept losing the last time I lost 10 - 15lbs?" or "I should have just kept loosing after I had Spicer." This morning I heard that great quote about swimming the moat. It is so true!!! If weight loss were easy I would have done it a long time ago. If you could just snap my fingers and be skinny there would be no fat people! Is it hard? Sure it is!!! But it feels good. It feels good to get into old pairs of pants, it feels good to be more active, it feels good to wear capris and shorts, it feels good to do a workout for 1.5 hours and make it, and it feels great to beat my time on the stairs!!!! But I am so ready to get to that castle. I am almost half-way across the moat!!!!!
Confession: I haven't posted a full body shot of me in YEARS!!! When I took my -20lbs photo I sorta did but I was hiding behind 20lbs of cat food. Last night I decided to throw all caution to the wind and let Tommy take a full body shot of me in Brick Alley. I figured if I hated it I would never have to share it so what did I have to lose? So he took the picture and I gritted my teeth to come over and look. But when I looked at it.... I was shocked! I actually liked it!!! Who knew? Last night was also another first for me. (I seem to be having a lot of these as of late.) Tommy and I usually ONLY dance when we are out of town. Even though we are both outgoing in our own right sometimes a little bit of a shy person surfaces in both of us. But last night the music was amazing at Momma Pat's. It was the very blusey Mark Hobbs so I guess the music just moved me. I looked at Tommy and asked him to dance and we went to the dance floor and did a slow dance. It was great! I felt liberated last night. I guess being halfway to your goal will do that to you. I am so proud of Tommy!! He has lost 59lbs!!!! I know I have said this many times but it bears repeating, I am so glad Tommy and I are doing this together. I love you Tommy! Thank You!!
I’ve Earned It 7/22/11
t's funny how things happen. I had intended to have the number 49 as a picture for this blog but when I looked up 49 on my free picture search this is one of the pictures that came up. This is how I felt today. I felt like my -50lbs was behind this brick wall. But I looked up today's daily word and here is an exert; I thought it was very fitting for today.
"Turning Points... I have been through turning points in my life--times in which I overcame fear, changed my way of thinking, or found inner reserves of courage and strength. As I look back on these times, I realize I was never alone. This gives me comfort and peace. I give thanks for the turning points in my life, for through them, I have emerged stronger and wiser. I have been blessed with new ideas and attitudes, new ways of seeing the world around me and the people in it."
Not losing two pounds isn't the end of the world. Is it frustrating? YES!!! But not the end of the world. I still lost a pound and I am proud of that. I exercised every day this week and I am proud of that. I stayed on the lower end of my calories and I am proud of that. I helped my body build muscle and I am proud of that. And even with excessive heat warnings every day I did not give up!!! So I will be proud of my one pound because, I'VE EARNED IT!!!!
Wait for it, wait for it,.. 8/26/11
In January I started this Weight Loss Journey but my struggle with my weight began in College and has been on and off again since. This week I had about 300 million reasons to give in to temptation and eat eat eat. 1.) Spicer in the Hospital Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Seeing your child in the hospital is one of the hardest things for a parent. When my son hurts, I hurt. Hell, I might hurt even more than he does out of worry for him. 2.) Work!!!! We had our COA Mock review Monday and Tuesday. It was a very stressful event. All of my work, files, and job were under a microscope by a person hired to help find things that are wrong to help us prepare for our real COA visit. 3.) I have been sick since Tuesday night. On top of everything else going on this week let’s just put the cherry on it and have me sick too. Now before you start asking, THIS IS NOT A PITTY PARTY! The point of this laundry list is the outcomes. Spicer is out of the hospital and feeling great, we did very well on our Mock Review, and I am feeling better too!!! And the best part, the real cherry on top is despite a week with no exercise and all these temptations I managed to keep my calories low and loose a pound. If you are also wondering, 'Is this lady just tooting her own horn?" What does she want a medal?" THINK AGAIN. I am reporting this for the old me, for the future me, for everyone else who says I CAN'T. I am living proof that you CAN. If I can do this, anyone can!!! No excuses!!! YOU CAN!! Repeat it to yourself over and over!!!
"They can because they think they can." Virgil
"Getting lost will help you find yourself." 9/23/11
It is an amazing quote. I have been thinking about this quote for the last few days. The words couldn't be truer. There have been several times in my life where I felt so lost and so alone. But it is often at that point, at the bottom, where we realize we need to change, where we learn the most about ourselves, and where we find ourselves. In the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still there is a great quote from the professor. He says, "But it's only on the brink that people find the will to change. Only at the precipice do we evolve. “That’s how I feel about my divorce, my weight loss, and several things in my life where I have hit rock bottom. But we do change; we do evolve if we choose to. Although my body has been shrinking I feel like my mind, heart, and spirit have expanded. I have gained so much knowledge just by listening, reading, learning, and teaching. Last night we had training and one of my foster parents who has just finished all their initial foster parent training said, "Thank you so much for everything you do, you are amazing." I thanked her but she has no idea how much she and my other foster parents and foster children have taught me. Although I am the trainer they teach me. I have learned so much in the almost 8 in my job. My hope is that someone reading this will be inspired to change, to evolve at the precipice of their situation, at the brink, to change. Here's to change, here's to being lost then finding yourself.
Europeans are some of the nicest people I have ever met. In every county, city, and town we visited or even just passed through the people were warm, friendly, and went out of their way to help us. Of all the countries we stayed in I loved Italy the most but I felt the most at home in Dublin. Don't get me wrong I loved all the countries but if I had to pick those were my favorites. I loved flying Ryan Air. We flew that Air Carrier all around Europe. It was very cheap and the flights were great. NO Delays!! In fact we were almost always early. Every hotel we stayed in we would stay in again. Good beds are hard to come by in Europe so it was nice to find hotels that had them. We will never drive in Dublin Again! We will walk or bike to the city center. We will defiantly spend more time in the wine country and stay off the Italian Autobond as much as we can avoid it. We spilt our meals almost everywhere we went. This not only helped with cost of food but kept us on the straight and narrow with our diet. Europe was the trip of a lifetime and I cannot think of a better traveling partner. Thank you Tommy for everything! I love you! Cheers!!!!!
Not that there's anything wrong with that... 11/8/11
A lot of people I know are training for a 5K or an Ironman or a marathon but I am just exercising. I kept thinking, should I be doing this and is there something wrong with me because I'm not? "Not that there's anything wrong with that" it just isn't me. I don't see me competing in some kind of race or anything of that nature. To be blunt, I hate exercise. I don't get a natural high when I exercise; I don't feel amazing after I finish, in fact I am usually panting and about to collapse. BUT!!! It IS worth it!!! I hope people don’t read this and think this is a discouraging blog. That is not my intentions. I am writing this blog for the rest of us out there. The ones who don't really like exercise, who don't really enjoy eating less calories, for those of us who would rather run to the nearest Hardees and have a huge meal. Let's be honest! With all of that being said, I wouldn't trade my -65lbs for the biggest yummiest burger or cheese cake or sitting on the couch. NO WAY!! I have come way too far for that. I AM SAVING MY LIFE!
Have a wonderful New Year!
Since we are approaching the New Year I felt it only fitting to refect on this past year and post my goals for the New Year. Here are some major milestones I have accomplished this year.
1) Blogged at least weekly - My Blog has really helped me keep on track. I have been able to get out my feelings, record my strengths and needs, connect with others, and keep track of my weigh-ins and goals. I don't think if I had blogged I would have had the success I have had. It truely kept me from giving up so many times.
2) Sizes- I am completly out of plus size clothes. I am currently in a size 14 and a large. I can shop at any store without issue. This is a very big deal to me. I never thought I would be at this point in one year. I have gone from a 22 (almost a 24) to a 14!!!! It feels amazing. I have even started wearing some 12s and Meduims.
3) Exercise - Although I have been an exercise flunky these last fwe months I have hit some major milestones in exerise. I have ridden my bike many miles, I have lifted weights, done yoga, swimming, walked, and zumba. I am never winded when I go up stairs. Tommy and I walked and biked all over Europe.
4) Under 200lbs!! - I made it to under 200lbs and that was an amazing challenge. It might have been one of the most amazing numbers I saw! 199lbs was quite a joy to see. Now I just keep dropping and dropping and it feels so good. -68lbs to date!!!
5) My Health - I feel better and am healthier than I have ever been. My pulse, heart rate, and BP are wonderful. I feel great, I'm less tired, no back problems, and less illness. My health was one of the main reasons I started this weightloss. I was very close to back issues, diebetes, high blood presssure, and other wieght related health issues.
6) My Partner in Crime - Tommy has been with me on this journey every step of the way. He has challenged me, supported me, and loved me. I am so proud of his accomplishments. He has dropped over 90lbs and is wearing a size 32 jeans. I am so proud of you baby!!!!
I am sure I am leaving several milestones out but it has been quite the year! But I am not finished yet! I have altered my goals a bit for a new year. My goal is to loose another 20lbs by the end of July. I feel confident I can. The rest of next year will be spent maintaining once I reach my goal. I still plan to do a weekly weigh-in to record my maintinence. I still plan to blog to keep myself in check. I plan to exercise more this new year and get back into my routine. What are your goals you have reached this year? What goals do you ahve for the new year?
This is the first Christmas of my weight loss journey. I got off pretty easy for Thanksgiving since we were in Florida and our Turkey Day was pretty low key. Christmas is different. There are tons of pitfalls. 1.) Candy and Cookies: It is very hard to resist when everyone’s baked goods including my own are sitting on the table just asking to be eaten. 2.) Christmas Buffet w/ Tommy's parents: Every year Tommy's immediate family eat the Christmas Buffet at the Casino. It is a way to insist that Tommy's mom doesn't cook. It took some talking into over the years but she loves it. She gets to visit without being stressed about the meal and the clean-up. The buffet is full of land mines including my weakness!!!! The alfredo sauce!!!! 3.) Junk; All the m&ms, the Hershey’s minis, the candy bars!!! You know the good stuff? 4,) Snacking: It is so easy to park yourself over the bowl of dip and just go nuts! That's right Christmas feels like a death trap! I thought I had planned this carefully. I just didn't eat until the dinner at my mom’s at 3 except for a few grapes and one piece of cheese. But looking back now this might not have been the best plan because I was STARVING! So I found myself parking over the hummus bowl and kept making myself the little turkey mini croissants with horseradish mayo...mmmm. But I tried to show some restraint. The night ended and I had hopes of doing better with the next day. Christmas Day Tommy, Spicer, and I got breakfast at Hardees but this year instead of a major chow down I had one chicken biscuit. What did I eat last year? This is kind of embarrassing but I know exactly what I ate. (Fried pork chop biscuit, gravy, and cinnamon rolls, and 2 milks!) So that was an improvement to say the least. Then we snacked on some candy and headed to Tommy's parents. Tommy's mom kept trying to feed us a pie but I managed to avoid it. Then it was off to the buffet after opening gifts. At least I had eaten something prior this time. At the buffet I kept my food to a min or so I thought by having one plate, a salad, and a very small dessert. Afterwards I felt bloated and gross. What was wrong?? Later Tommy and I agreed that we both were glad we felt gross. It was a good reminder of HOW NOT TO EAT. In the end, I certainly didn't deprive myself at Christmas but I don't think I was just terrible. After all, it is Christmas. I think next year my plans are: 1) Eat before I come to Christmas functions so I at least have some food in my belly so I am not starving. 2) Make a small plate of the dip items to avoid just standing over the hummus and not stopping. 3) Enjoy myself but not too much, all things in moderation. In the end, I did not gain weight over these past few days and I still enjoyed the food of the holiday season. All in all, I survived the Holidays, that in itself if a big deal. What did you do to survive the Holidays?
My Mamaw was always an inspiration for the joy of giving. One year at Christmas I gave her a small frame that had two people with gifts in their arms and the caption read, "The Joy Of Giving". Mamaw gave her time, her money, and her talents. I am lucky to have so many people around me with giving spirits. What I admire about the many people around me who give is that they often do so without much fanfare. They give and fade quietly into the background. This Christmas I was especially touched by the people around me and thier giving nature. It only takes a small gesture. It could be anything from giving a little money to a local charity to buying someone groceries. The beauty of giving is that it just doesn't have to be at Christmas. I have always loved the Salvation Army's slogan that need knows no season. It's true! Today I noticed a facebook friend had a great status message. It read, "What did you GIVE for Christmas?" What a wonderful question. Merry Christmas!
When I was a kid I used to drive my family crazy on trips by asking, "Are we there yet?" Spicer asked asked me a few days ago, "Mommy when are you going to get off your diet so you can get a treat?" Ofcourse my response was not so simple, "Spicer I do have treats, I just can't have treats all the time. I am really never going to be off my diet. This is how Mommy is going to eat for the rest of her life." A friend of Tommys commented on a picture I posted of some treats I made for Christmas. She seemed perplexed as to how I could be loosing weight and eating the Christmas candy. Simple! Yes, I had a treat today and yes I counted the calories but I didn't eat the 5 of them like I would have before. I also counted the treat in my calories so tonight Tommy and I are having a smaller meal. You can have your cake and eat it too, you just can't have the whole cake. All things in moderation. I love food and I am never going to be one of these people who can live off healthy choice meals and slimfast. What are you doing to get to your goals or maintain?
I have been thinking a lot about balance over the last few weeks. I think BALANCE is a much underrated thing. Over this past year I have tried to learn balance with my diet and my health. Balance is important is every part of our lives. It is important in giving, in receiving, in time, in work, in relationships...I could go on and on. A very wise man once said, "In order to stay happy you must always know where you are every moment. Right here is perfect balance. Right at the meeting of heaven and earth. Not too much God, not too much selfishness. Otherwise, life is too crazy. You lose balance." I have found this quote to be true for me. I realize some people will read this and not like it but this quote is true for my path. The one thing that defies balance is love. Love, if you look it the right way, is limitless. There is no balance needed because there is enough for whole world with plenty left over. Love is a circle with no end. It is the one constant that has stayed with us throughout the ages. When I think of this circle I am reminded of a little convent in Kentucky. A dear friend of mine who has left this world to go on to the next brought me to the Sisters of Loreto. At Loreto the sisters of the order have their start in Kentucky and their end of this life in Kentucky. It is the most beautiful thing when you think about it. They learn become a nun at Loreto in Kentucky and they go off to one their many places of mission throughout the world but they return to Kentucky when they are no longer able to serve. Then the new nuns in training care for the old nus and glean knowledge from them. When think of this circle of love, I think of them. What are you doing to promote balance in your life and what are you doing to love the whole world in this great circle?
I lost a pound today. I am down 68lbs. It is an amazing thing to think that I might be down 70lbs by Christmas. I am going to try to really hustle this week and try to make it down 2lbs. But even if I don't reach -70lbs by Christmas I hope to reach -70lbs by the New Year. I was looking up the definition of a goal. One of them really stuck with me. goal /goʊl/ noun
1. the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.
2. the terminal point in a race.
"The terminal point in a race.” I love that definition. Those words are so powerful. I couldn't have said it better. My weight loss and road to better health has been a terminal point in MY race. I couldn't think of a better way to sum up my journey this year. I plan to make new goals for 2012, look for a blog post soon about my new goals. What are your goals plans for 2012?
I blogged a few days ago about the pending evection of Tent City. Since my blog a few things have happened. Here are a few updates and ways to help via Michele Weber Thomas (head of Tent City Missions).
"First National Bank in Paducah has a Tent City Missions account and will give a receipt if needed. As far as physical donations, we are only asking for storage totes to help current campers pack for an easy move. Any other supplies or donations can still be made and we will store them in the building as we WILL continue with that project as soon as we regroup from the current crisis situation. "
"We owe a GIGANTIC Thank You! To the lovely Heidi Suhrheinrich and our friends at Paducah Cooperative Ministry for going out of their way to reach out and help those at tent city by offering to turn one of their housing units into mens housing for 5 of our guys! THANK YOU So much PCM!"
According to Tent City Missions and Beyond the Gate it looks like almost everyone has found a place to re-locate. Most will not be moving until Monday. Please keep all involved in your thoughts. There are going to be some very cold nights ahead. I agree with Michelle when she says, " Maybe something’s wrong with my thinking, but to me, seems 32 degree temps in a pup tent is a little more dangerous than 70 degrees in a ventilated fire resistant US Army issued insulated tent with a wood stove. Things that make you go hmmmm." It has been very hard on some of the folks that have been there for quite some time. Stephanie Daniel of Beyond the Gate said yesterday, “We really need your prayers right now!! I went out to the camp to check on Roy today to see what we can do to get him out of there. He hasn't eaten in days and he's very upset about everything that is going on. This has been his home for a very long time and now he has to make some very important decisions. We are hoping to be able to get him into the mission within the next couple of days but, I wish that someone that knows him personally would get involved and reach out to him. Thank you for your support and prayers!!! We have seen God do the impossible over the past year and I will never forget it!!! God Bless" The amazing thing has been most of the residents’ upbeat spirit. One of the guys named Bill said, "Only in Kentucky can you get evicted from the woods" which made everyone erupt in laughter. I urge everyone to try to get this story national attention. I have emailed NBC, MSNBC, ABC, and CBS. Please again call all news media and local officials if you are a resident of Paducah. Here are a few more pictures. The first picture is the large army tents being torn down. The second picture is Stephanie and Roy the guy who is having the hardest time leaving the camp. The last picture is Tommy. Tommy is no longer at the camp. Before leaving the camp I had the privilege of hearing him sing. He has amazing musical talent. Thinking of everyone at tent city!!!
I keep thinking a lot about the expression, "Old habits die hard." I blogged at the end of the summer that I had cleaned out my car. My car was so bad I wouldn't even drop off Spicer in the line at school for fear of the teachers getting a bad impression of me. Tommy had my car detailed professionally and I cleaned out all the mess. The first few months I as super good about cleaning it and washing it every week. But my old habits started to return and I was noticing the car getting messy. So today I decided to do something about it and spent about 20 mins cleaning out the car. It felt good. I felt like I was keeping those old habits at bay. It is funny I have also started to notice that about my diet. I seem less interested in exercise and there are more and more days where Tommy and I don't count our calories. So this week I have tried to do better. A co-worker gave me some cookies and treats and Tommy and I have painstakingly counted every calorie of every crumb we have eaten out of that yummy treat Christmas tin. This week I have exercised. Have I exercised everyday like I wanted to? No! But I have exercised!!! Baby Steps! What do you do to keep your old habits at bay?
Three times my shadow crossed your floor
And three times I came to your lonely door
I was the beggar with bruised, cold feet
And I was the woman you gave something' to eat
I was the child on the homeless street.
Three times I knocked and three times I came in
And each time I found the warmth of a friend
Of all the gifts love is the best
And I was honored to be your Christmas guest.
I thought about the Christmas Guest story many times today. From time to time I have referenced Tent City. During the flood in Paducah my heart was warmed when several of these men and women who have nothing stopped and took the time to give back and help sandbag. On father's day I gave several goody bags to the fathers at the camp in my Daddy's name. When I listed the people who inspired me I referenced Stephanie from Beyond the Gate Ministries. I have never met a woman with a bigger heart and such unconditional love for others. I was saddened to hear last night that the City of Paducah was planning to evict the tent city folks who had strayed off the property line of the land given to them. An attempt was made to go to the PVA office but it was closed yesterday due to the inauguration. After some discussion last night the city decided to clarify the eviction and plans to arrest any trespassers still at the camp today who have not relocated. Behind the property line is no longer acceptable. They must leave tent city altogether. There are many people in the camp. The suggestions given by the city do not meet the needs of those in the camp. PCM and Family Service Society DO NOT PROVIDE HOUSING. Since this is mid-month they are often out of resources. I called River City Missions (the only local shelter) and was told they already have around 60 people and can only take a max of around 80. I am waiting on a confirmation of the number of people in tent city but I suspect it is more than 20. As I am writing this blog I just saw word that the people of Tent City have been given a week to leave the property. It makes me sick to the core that the city of Paducah did more to help relocate cats and dogs after mess with the shelter a few weeks ago. These are people! This is Christmas! I thought I would share a few faces of the homeless from tent city. Look at their faces, look at them! They are people! These are the people the city of Paducah is throwing of the land donated to them. If you are a citizen of Paducah I urge you to call all of your local officials and tell them how wrong this is. Please keep all those at Tent City in your thoughts.