One can for every pound I lose...bring it!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

No Parking

My Couch to 5K program has these neat little quotes at the bottom of the screen each day I run. And they're all very motivational. Things like:

"The key to any training program is a gentle progression in difficulty"
~ Hal Higdon

That one was really useful when I was upset that I went from 90 seconds to 3 whole minutes. Didn't feel too gentle to me. But made me realize I was on the right program.

And one of my all time favorites:

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." ~ Walt Disney

That one was when running was feeling more impossible than fun. But I wanted to keep running cuz no one tells ME it's impossible (except me haha)

So yesterday, I decided to go for a run. I hadn't gone since Saturday, and I felt like my groove had been shaken. I was on a roll there for a while, and the Old Me started getting afraid. Afraid that I wasn't going to be able to pick up where I left off (um, 4 whole days ago) and afraid that I wasn't going to be able to make Week 3 a reality this week. So I started thinking about doing Week 2 over again, and then doing every week twice thereafter. Yup, that's what I would do.

I was exhausted yesterday, but I had the urge to run when I saw my new shoes had arrived! They just begged to be worn.

Nike Lunarglide +3. Best. Shoes. Ever
So I laced 'em up and headed out. As I tapped on my app and it opened, I started to move it back to Week 2.

And then I stopped. Literally. And the slowly evolving New Me fought against the Old Me. Because I realized I was sliding the little bar on the bottom of the app to the right instead of to the left. And I realized that was going backwards. And what progress can be made by going backwards? My experience shows not so much.

I got this surge of (anger? confidence?) something that made me slide the little thingy to Week 3 Day 2 which is where I had made it to thus far, gosh darnit. And so I started.

It was tough, no lie. And I kept thinking of Isaiah 40:31, which is the verse I said over and over and over as I was painfully recovering from my car accident back in 2009.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Especially the "run and not be weary" part. I double emphasized that. It helped. (-:

About halfway through the workout I looked at the app (to see how many painful minutes were left!) and I noticed the quote for that day.

"The road to success is lined with many tempting parking spaces"

Made me LOL.

How apropos.

I was so tempted to "park it" back to my comfort zone. But I overcame it. And when I was done with Day 2 of Week 3, I felt awesome. Powerful. In control. Those feelings are kind of new.

I'm not saying repeating something is bad. Some people, I am sure, need to take it a little slower to succeed. And I am not saying I won't do a day of Week 3 over. But no way, no how, am I doing any LESS than what I know I can do. It's tempting to "park it"  but lemme tell ya, I've been parking my butt for too long.

It's time to run!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Who Ya Gonna Call?

I had a pretty bad day last week. It was close to awful. Mostly from things that happened at work; suffice it to say that firing people is the worst part of my job.  I came home much much later than expected, and didn't have a chance to make dinner, and that just added to my frustration. And oh yeah, I skipped lunch and was starving and if anything gets me cranky, it's being hungry and tired.

To top it off I was then fighting with a loved one. I decided to head out and grab something to eat. As I drove off in the direction that would have led me to McDonald's, I had a moment.

I knew where my car was headed and I knew what I was going to do. I was going to get some fast food to make me feel better.

Yes, that's right, I said it. To make me feel better.

A cheeseburger would make me feel better about what, exactly? That's the thought that popped into my head. And that's when I knew that I was headed in the right direction. Not literally, cuz my car was still driving the road to Ronald's place. But mentally, I checked myself before I wrecked myself.

I was feeling pretty alone up to this point. When you're at odds with those closest to you, it's impossible to vent to them, and it just makes you feel more alone. And so the me that had gotten comfort from food did what it knew to do. It went out for food.

Who DO you call when there's no one to talk to? I tried a few friends and they couldn't be reached. So I went to visit an old friend. He was at quite a few birthday parties when I was younger, and I kind of learned to depend on him in times of trouble. Ya know, for comfort.

Look how happy he is.
But before I got to his place, I said a quick prayer. Didn't really say it, it was more like I felt it. My heart reached out to God and kind of just gave up. I didn't want to do this to myself again, taking comfort in food, so I guess I just kind of begged Him with my heart to help me.

I turned into my Mom's development (yes it's on the way to McDonald's) and it turned out she had some leftovers from dinner. And it was just about 4 ounces of meat and some veggies and it was great. I ate healthily and I was really proud of myself and it was a sign that I was on the right path.

There is a twist here - I did visit the Golden Arches after dinner with my brother, and we both got a lowfat vanilla cone. The moral of the story is that I was completely in control at that point, and it felt good. The victory was sweeter than my cone and I knew that by calling on God in my time of need rather than Ronald McDonald I was letting Philippians 4:13 come to life for me:

 I can do all things through Christ  who strengthens me.

I had the cone, and it fit in my plan. But I didn't precede it with a greasy double cheeseburger and fries that would have made me feel awful afterwards. Funny how the things that look comforting to you actually aren't so comfortable afterwards. That's how temptation works, right?

This no good, horrible day was on a Sunday, and that Friday was my weigh day, and I was down 3.4 pounds in two weeks. I'm halfway through Week 3 of my Couch to 5K program. I kind of had a bad day the other day too, and I did visit Mr. Hershey on that one. 

Old habits die hard

Friends, I'm not letting my one bad day here or there turn into a bad week. And that, to me, is victory. I'll take it one day at a time, thank you, and I know who to call when it seems like no one is there. Do you?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Time Flies...

So the first thing that comes to mind is "...when you're having fun", right? That's true. Nothing goes faster than a great vacation.

It flies other times too. Like at work, when I'm so busy and it's 3pm and all of a sudden I realize I haven't eaten lunch yet. And in life in general, when "all of a sudden" I'm a 40-year old mother of a teenager who is taller than me and about to start high school. Yikes.

I'll tell you when it doesn't fly.

When I'm running.

I am painfully aware of how many seconds there are until my phone vibrates and that really cute guy says, "Walk." (OK I have no idea what he looks like, but it's nice to imagine he's cute, that way I won't get mad when he says "Run" again.)

Don't get me wrong; I loooove running. I do believe I have found me a new (healthy!) habit. But it kind of only feels good at the end when I can say "I did it!". Because at this point when everything is new, it's still kind of hard. Hard not to think about how my knee hurts and how I can't breathe.

Time goes really, really slow when you're doing something you don't want to do, or doing something that is hard. That takes work. Even if it's good for you.

There is a phrase I used to tell myself many years ago (because my dieting days go back to age 12). It's "The time is going to pass anyway; might as well be doing something good for yourself." Maybe I heard that from somewhere. Anyway, I would get so frustrated that it was taking SO LONG to lose weight. And that's when I would pull out that line. What the heck else was I gonna do with the time? Get fatter? No thanks. It didn't go on overnight, right? So it's not gonna come off overnight...RIGHT? (-: Somehow when it was coming ON I wasn't worried about the time. Hmmmmm.

So, here I am, up to 90 seconds of jogging at a time, and those darn seconds sure are long! (The absurdity of that comment does not escape me). But I keep telling myself that I can do ANYTHING for 90 seconds. Just like I told myself last week, except that was 60 seconds. And what else would I be doing with those seconds? I went to Zumba today (yay!) and I loved every second of it. It was tough and I was sweaty and I kept looking at the clock to see when it was over. But I realized if I wasn't at Zumba I'd probably be sleeping in and I surely would not have burned 600 calories or racked up over 5,000 steps in my sleep! And when I left...well, I was a warrior.

So yeah, the time will pass anyway. And here I am at 9:30 p.m. and I am proud of the way I chose to spend my time today. And this past week, my Week 1 of a new journey again.

Last Friday, my "Day 1" when "righteous anger" caused me to finally use the Couch to 5K app that I bought, I had an epiphany. While I was getting ready for bed, and thinking how HARD this was going to be (again), a thought came to mind. "Don't step on the scale for 2 weeks." Those of you who know me know I am not crazy and I do not hear voices. This was just kind of a thought that popped into my head, and not one that I would choose on my own, so I really knew it was God leading my heart.

I am somewhat of a scale addict. And by somewhat I mean I am seriously addicted. Every morning and night, I would weigh myself. And the number would determine my entire outlook on life. That is not me being dramatic. I would let it affect my everything. There was a point in my life, my "thin" time, when I would actually pack my scale when I went on vacation! Ah! Who was that girl?

Anyway I still had a bit of a problem. And by a bit, I mean big. And so when I had this thought, I wanted to fight it, but instead I went with it and actually committed right then in my heart, to God, that I would let Him lead me. I did that when I gave up my most favorite thing for Lent - Starbucks. And a promise to God is the biggest pinky swear EVER and it scares me to think of breaking it. Not because I don't think He is merciful and forgiving; I know He is. But because He is GOD for crying out loud and when He leads me to do something I want to try and do it.

So the scale is in my bathroom, and it's gathering a bit of dust. And I have not stepped on it in 8 days. A new record! And guess what? I am more focused on ME and my CHOICES, which I am in control of. If I had seen a "bad" number it may have led me to think "What the heck am I trying so hard for?" and led me back to my coconut clustered ways.

I'm not saying that will work for everyone. But it's working for me. And next Friday I'll weight myself and see what my hard work has done for me.

I know someone who thinks "the day and time I am going to die is pre-determined; nothing I do is going to change that" and they use that as an excuse to eat bad things and not exercise and not make an effort to be healthy. (and if you are reading this, I love you dearly). Do I believe that? Well, the first part, yes. I do believe our "time" is already determined. But I also believe John 10:10:

...I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Yup, someday I am going to die. It's the one thing I have in common with everyone I have and haven't met. But I also know that God wants us to have a full life; a rich life; an abundant life - and I want to make good use of the time I have by treating my body well. Because when I do, I am a better person not only to myself but to those around me. I am not as cranky (read: I still can be cranky. Just not as often and not over stupid things) I want to live and not feel sorry for myself for something I DID to myself and have complete power to change. I'm lucky to have a problem I can change. Blessed, even. I saw a woman crossing the street in a motorized wheelchair that she operated with her mouth and I counted that blessing over and over again.

Time is passing, and I do not want to look back with any "what ifs" on this time in my life. I want to take charge now while the gift of time is still mine. I want to have an abundant life and being overweight and not liking myself is not part of that plan. I have been sooo busy these past few weeks and did not make good use of my time. I worked too long, I didn't take time to make a meal plan, I lost touch with friends. Thank goodness for "do-overs". (-;

As a birthday gift, I gave my sister in law (and me) a registration to the Disney 5K run in January. Completing a 5K is on both of our bucket lists and we both started the Couch to 5K app together. So there, I am committed. And it's something to look forward to. And it will be here before I know it, since this time is flying by.

For those of you thinking you don't have the time to lose weight or exercise, think about it. The time is going to pass anyway. So what is the alternative? Do nothing? Guess what, it will still be "tomorrow" tomorrow so make your choices.

I choose to run.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Run Forrest, Run!

I am a runner.

OK OK it's only Day 2 of my "Couch to 5K" program but I am calling myself a runner. Because today I felt it.

Metaphorically I am running away from my bad habits and my bad attitude and my negative self talk.

Physically I am literally running towards a healthier me, a brighter future, the confidence I lost a little (long) time ago.

On my run today I looked up at the sky (probably to ask God for strength or's a blur now and my heavy breathing made me forget why I looked up). I saw the most beautiful sight. It's when the sun's rays peek through the clouds. Ever since I was little, I thought it looked like "Heaven." Like God was letting a little piece of Heaven look through the clouds. And I felt like it was just for me.
It takes my breath away, every time

When I saw this sight, I found myself saying out loud, "Thank you God for giving me a body that can run." It just came out. And I was thankful for running. Because even though I was doing it in 60-second intervals in between 90-seconds of walking, I was running. 

In recent weeks I have been doing a lot of talking about what I can't do. I can't stick with my diet, it's too hard. I can't find time to exercise, I'm too busy. I can't run, my knees are bad.

How many times do we talk ourselves out of doing what's good for us? How many times do we have to feel bad about starting over again and feeling embarassed about it? Well, it's kind of like that owl with the tootsie pop. I'm taking a bite and I'm not waiting to find out. Cuz I'm starting over now. I don't care and I'm not embarassed cuz this is real and it's what I'm dealing with and I know some of you are too. I don't want to know how many times it takes, because I am interrupting the negative cycle - for today - and I plan on doing it again tomorrow. I need support and encouragement which I seek from various sources (some of which have a co-pay, haha) but ultimately it's up to ME to do what's best for ME. As I was running (in 60 second bursts) I realized that my choices got me to where I am now, and my choices are going to get me to where I am tomorrow. So - for today - I am choosing wisely.

As I write this, I am hungry. Not just "I feel like a late night snack" hungry, but "my dog is sleeping at my feet and got startled by my tummy growling" hungry. But I am making a choice to feed myself spiritually instead. It didn't hurt that when I was putting away laundry I tried on this Harley shirt that I wore when I was dating my husband. It looked like it shrunk a few sizes. Only it didn't. And so I went back upstairs and guess what, I didn't eat. I highly recommend trying something on that used to fit you, but doesn't, to get you motivated. Because I know I wore that before, and it makes me realize that it IS possible to be that size again, and that it's not a matter of "bone structure" that is not making it fit now.

So, friends, this is me being hopeful...the Runner formerly known as Coconut Clusters is giving it a go. And by the grace of God, I'm gonna keep going!
Run Diana Run!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Lost in Translation

Many of you may not know that I was a language student. I majored in French in college with dreams to become a translator for Michelin. I grew up flying to Germany every year to visit my Mom's family and learned German through the spoken language, and I even lived overseas in Croatia and became fluent in Croatian. I took 4 years of Spanish in high school and learning Italian is on my bucket list.

Foreign language fascinates me; having the ability to say something so that others understand is a really cool connection, and one that I'm able to use in my line of work in hotels. I also know that some things can get lost in translation. The word "the" doesn't even exist in the Croatian language and if I would tell someone in French that 'I'm so hungry I could eat a horse' it would sound really weird.

Today, we had a goodbye party for a Team Leader at work. His favorite is pepperoni pizza, so I ordered plenty of that along with ice cream cupcakes from Dairy Queen. My favorite.

One of my Team Members walked up to me and started saying something in Spanish. I am not fluent but can communicate, but the word "gorda" was unfamiliar.

So she says in her best attempt at English, "You fet" and gestures with her hands making a round shape around her body, and then says something about my "dieta" which I did not need a translator for.

I mumbled something like "I know" and laughed but oh man, that stung. And I know her heart and I know she didn't mean to be mean but it's not exactly something you say to your boss, right? And nothing can be lost in translation with a game of fat charades, either.

On the way home my son heard me talking to my friend about it and he said "Mom, use it as a positive to get motivated."

Yup, that's my boy. (-:

So, I went to the gym as soon as I got home, and I started my Couch to 5K program (I downloaded the app about 2 weeks ago with very good intentions). I ran when it said Run - only 60 seconds at a time, alternating with 90 seconds of walking, for a total of 20 minutes. I huffed and I puffed and my knee hurt and I was all sweaty but at least I was DOING it and I finished. And it felt great! (why don't I remember that?)

So, Maria, you will never read this blog but I am sure in some way God used you as a messenger to send me a very direct and blunt message. And hurt as it may have, it did get me moving. (I'm still going to sit her down and ask her to censor such comments in the future. But I only had one slice of pizza when I wanted two so I am not (too) mad at her.)

Earlier this week I also spoke with my therapist about how "unglued" I was feeling and how it greatly affected my eating habits. I told her about my 14 hour days and not packing my lunch and grabbing something on the go and eating too much chocolate and sleeping only 4 hours a night (probably because the chocolate kept me awake). She made a comment that was, again, rather blunt and startling.

She said, "If you were parenting your child the way you are parenting yourself, I would call child services on you."

Wow. Really?

Well, I guess if I were making my child work for 14 hours without a break and feeding him chocolate bars when he was hungry and not taking care of him the right way or letting him sleep enough...ok, I can see that. I get it.

That thought combined with today's new word, "gorda", got me to pay attention to what was going on outside the little stress bubble I've been in. It got me looking at myself the way others see me, and got me thinking of how I want to change that. I want to take good care of myself. I'm Someone's precious child, and it's so easy to forget the magnitude of that. I am fearfully and wonderfully body is a temple...and there are good plans for my future. Not much gets lost in translation in the Bible.

Sometimes, sugar coated words don't work. They may actually give you a false sense that things are OK the way they are. No one said to me "No, you're not fat!" when I recounted my story today. They were offended for me, and shocked about the comment, but it is what it is, and I can't pretend it's not. I remember when, 30 pounds ago, I complained about my weight, and friends & family would say "You're crazy, you're fine just the way you are." Well, it's kind of quiet when I talk about my weight now. Cuz no one wants to hurt my feelings by giving it to me straight.

Except for Maria, haha.

I am not "parenting" myself well at all, thank you very much, and that's also a perspective I needed to wake up and smell the coffee. Or a nonfat latte.

The quote that came up on the Couch to 5K app's page for Day One was just what I needed. I love when that happens!

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply.

Willing is not enough; we must do."

                                         Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Yup, that's me. I sure do know a lot. And I've been willing. But the applying and doing parts were taking longer than they should have. I start things and I don't finish. I mean well, and get sidetracked or fed up. Anyone else?

I had to look at those words the whole time my little feet were jogging, because I realize I need constant reminders of what I want. I need to create a healthy environment for myself mentally and physically and most of all spiritually. Because I want this more than anything and I thank God for giving me some very direct signs that I wasn't doing anything to get me to where I want to be. But He let me start again today, and His mercies will be new again tomorrow!

There IS a finish line waiting. And I'll get there!