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 6/19/11
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.   

Europe 10/17/11
General Observations: 
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!  


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