I look back on the last couple of weeks and take a relaxing breath. It has been a while since our last blog post and I wanted our first one back to be about Cara’s marathon. Blogging is a part of our journey and we allowed a short time to pass without a post which doesn’t help us in any way. We thank you so much for reading and hope you look forward to regular entries again.
The last few weeks have been wonderful and horrible. I have been faced with many different emotions and feel the commitment I have to my weight loss journey has been tested. I have had long work hours, long school hours, social commitments, a funeral, some new opportunities and a lot of difficult decision making. In the end, I sit here humbly writing a blog post knowing that I did not turn to food to cope with any of the emotions and I was able to stay active several times a week. That’s the goal, right? Eat less. Move more. I feel successful in the fact that I am still on my journey working hard and doing everything with a clear mind and a dedicated heart. Things are changing in my life and the next few blog posts will start to talk about that.
When Cara and I started packing for the Biggest Loser Resort last November, we talked about what we were bringing to wear. Not actively active, neither of us had very many workout fits and didn’t want to come wearing our normal everyday-plus-size-looks-like-
your-going-to-the-gym-but- just-want-to-be-comfortable- never-workout clothes. Naturally, we purchased a couple items and our rah-rah GO DUCKS! gear in honor of our inspiring sister, Nicole. I bought us CamelBacks from REI for hiking and Cara brought a million toiletries. We shopped for hiking shoes and sports bras. Though I wanted to be prepared, I was just ready to get there and start. The details were not as important to me until Cara dropped this gem…”If you feel good in the clothes you have and the tools you use, you will be motivated to live that lifestyle”…it may not have been stated exactly like that, but it completely changed how I felt about the subject. I didn’t buy anything special for the Resort, mostly because I didn’t have a lot of time to shop and because at that time finding clothes that fit and were worth spending money was quite infrequent. I packed what I had and knew I wouldn’t be judged. Being back from the Resort and living my journey at home, there are some tools and clothing I rely on and feel that they are part of the lifestyle. I live in my workout gear, but I still have quite a bit of weight to lose so I purchase clothes from the active wear section at Old Navy. They have some great, inexpensive options. I have 3 pairs of workout shoes I rotate between. I wear my Body Bugg. I refill Nalgene and Camelback bottles every day. I use an iPod to listen to music. And most recently, I got an iPhone. For those of you that know me and the complete adverse opposition I have had with iPhone’s….I know. I caved. Cara is right, though. The tools you have matter and they do encourage and empower me to live this healthy lifestyle. I have been so much better about tracking my food and educating myself daily on eating well and exercise because of my iPhone. (I don’t deny I adore Instagram and Words With Friends as well, however) As with any phone, it takes some getting used to. I am a devout PC and BlackBerry user so my Apple transition has been a nightmare…I mean….adventure! I am an avid texter and the learning curve on this mother f*$king iPhone is ridiculous. Nonetheless, it is a tool and it helps me every day. Crazy thing…there are moments in our lives that can change us and the first day I became an iPhone user, I had one of these moments.
Prior to meeting Tara Costa, Biggest Loser Season 7 contestant and seeing her PMA (positive mental attitude) tattoo, I faked most of my good moods. I always tried to make people feel special and happy. I always tried to get a laugh. Inside enjoying the time, but not enjoying myself. Often, I would project my unhappiness by saying rude things, having a secretive and sometimes public, negative outlook and would frequently type FML as a text to my sister or as a tweet. FML (F*^k My Life) was a message I whispered to myself often. It is a daily job being mindful about my food, my journey and my attitude which sometimes falls short. Frustrated with my new iPhone, I was trying to text Cara and I typed FML, but the intuitive auto correct spelling changed it to BML. The moment it changed from FML to BML I said “Better My Life”. What the f*^k am I doing still typing FML? I know there will be hard days and I know my weight loss journey is a process, but look at how far I have come! I have lost 60 pounds and found a love for spinning. Five months ago I was typing FML because my knees hurt, it was hard to breath and I felt worthless. Today, I type BML because no matter how the day goes or what crap surfaces, I am bettering my life.
A quote from the movie A Single Man:
“A few times in my life I’ve had moments of absolute clarity. When for a few brief seconds the silence drowns out the noise and I can feel rather than think, and things seem so sharp and the world seems so fresh. It’s as though it had all just come into existence. I can never make these moments last. I cling to them, but like everything, they fade. I have lived my life on these moments. They pull me back to the present, and I realize that everything is exactly the way it was meant to be.”
CARA MARIE! I woke up on Easter Sunday bursting with pride. You told me years ago that you wanted to run a marathon. Every year, you said next year. Then you said at 30. You are 30 and on Sunday you ran the U.S. Half Marathon. You were my hero before so nothing has changed, but I want you to know that I am so inspired by your strength, courage and commitment. You have taken control of your life. I wish that all your dreams come true.
Nicole A…I don’t tell you enough, but I love you more than Easter candy and feel our family is complete with you back home. I know some days are harder than other, but you are the best aunt to our nephews and I can't tell enough how much I need you in my life.
Michael, my trainer: I will be forever grateful for your unconditional, nonjudgmental investment in my sister and me. Few words can describe our love and appreciation for you even if you did cause me to throw up at a 76 gas station after your “Triathlon Workout”.
It’s not easy cutting calories. They add up. The only way to truly know how you are doing with your calorie intake is to track it. I eat around 1400 calories a day and some days are harder than others. I used to eat between 3500-4000 calories a day so it is quite the drastic decrease, however at the Resort we ate 1200 calories and Jessica the nutritionist made it a point to have everyone acknowledge their hunger levels. The key with all meal plans, no matter how many calories you are consuming, is choosing the right food. Your food should consist of protein, veggies and fruit and a whole grain. I am leaving out the amounts of each, but can elaborate if needed. I cut back on my carb intake after lunch or if I know I have already gotten my workout in for the day, but if I feel hungry I add to the portion of veggies and sometimes add in a whole grain to curb my hunger. It is important to not feel deprived or too hungry. If you feel hungry, eat. Just choose the right food. I knew it would be tough in the beginning going from 3000 calories to 1400, but now I try to eat to fuel as opposed to fill. It’s all about the choices. Gauge your hunger and eat the right food.