Keep dancing the dance?  Really?  Keep dancing this dance?  Forever?
This is hard.  I kept telling myself that once I reached my fitness goals that it would be easier.  It isn’t.  It is just different hard.
Don’t let that discourage you.  It is still worth every day of tears.  Every cookie passed.  Every workout when I was too tired to think straight.  Worth every stinking minute.  
I feel better than I ever have.  I can put on clothes and move on with my day.  I can wake up in the morning without an alarm to do my exercise.  I know the calorie count of the things I eat without having to look everything up.  I have learned a lot.  A lot of things that will be in my brain forever and I am grateful.
But it doesn’t get easier.  
Now I am dealing with a body that feels foreign to me.  Now I am dealing with finding out how to maintain my weight for the first time in my life.  Now I am trying to find the balance between what I eat and how many miles I spend pounding the pavement so that I am fueling my body efficiently but not over-efficiently.  The game keeps changing on me.
I really don’t need to be skinny.  I don’t really want that.  I do want to be strong.  I do want to have strong arms that look like I work out.  I have a thing for strong arms.  Yes, it is vanity but I’m trying to keep things honest.  I’m finding that you can’t run distance without losing muscle tone.  It happens and is not fun.  It’s irritating.  
I have found that eventually you can enjoy running.  Eventually you can run and talk to your running partners for most of it.  Eventually it gives you a high of sorts.  The saying is true, it is the “pain you enjoy.”  My body hates me for making it run.  I keep fighting it.  I want to run but running a marathon and then having knee replacements at 40 isn’t a good gig either. I need to be kind to this body.  That is the hard part.
I have found that I still like sugar.  A lot.  I need to have a sugar detox again and rid my body of it.  I feel awful with it in me and yet it is my drug of choice.  I need to make a new friend.  
The hard thing about food being your vice is that you have to keep eating.  If you are an alcoholic they tell you to make new friends that aren’t involved with it.  But you have to eat.  It is just part of life (at least if you want to stay alive.)  You can’t cut off friends that eat because well you wouldn’t have any.  It is also tricky because something that a friend can eat might be just fine for them and their metabolism and yet wrecks havoc on yours.  What a tricky dance we dance.
I don’t mean to be a downer.  Just a realist that the journey doesn’t end at 100 days.  It doesn’t end when you meet your goals.  New goals have to be made.  New mountains have to be climbed.  If the 10k that I was lucky enough to run last week was any indication, it is worth the climb.  
I didn’t realize how emotional that journey would be.  I didn’t realize how many high-highs and very low-lows would come with a goal that seemed impossible.  I new I could finish it.  But the competitive person in me didn’t want to just finish but wanted to do well.  Run my very best.  I feel like I did but I am quite sure I had angels pushing me through the last mile when my hips were on fire and wanted to stop swinging.  These mountains in our life are worth the time and effort.  Every last painful step of them.  The view from the top is amazing and for a moment you feel like you are King of the Mountain.  
But if you will take the time while you are up there to look around with the clarity that comes from up high you will see there are many beautiful, challenging mountains around you.  I need to remember that as I start a new ascent.

Keep dancing the dance?  Really?  Keep dancing this dance?  Forever?

This is hard.  I kept telling myself that once I reached my fitness goals that it would be easier.  It isn’t.  It is just different hard.

Don’t let that discourage you.  It is still worth every day of tears.  Every cookie passed.  Every workout when I was too tired to think straight.  Worth every stinking minute.  

I feel better than I ever have.  I can put on clothes and move on with my day.  I can wake up in the morning without an alarm to do my exercise.  I know the calorie count of the things I eat without having to look everything up.  I have learned a lot.  A lot of things that will be in my brain forever and I am grateful.

But it doesn’t get easier.  

Now I am dealing with a body that feels foreign to me.  Now I am dealing with finding out how to maintain my weight for the first time in my life.  Now I am trying to find the balance between what I eat and how many miles I spend pounding the pavement so that I am fueling my body efficiently but not over-efficiently.  The game keeps changing on me.

I really don’t need to be skinny.  I don’t really want that.  I do want to be strong.  I do want to have strong arms that look like I work out.  I have a thing for strong arms.  Yes, it is vanity but I’m trying to keep things honest.  I’m finding that you can’t run distance without losing muscle tone.  It happens and is not fun.  It’s irritating.  

I have found that eventually you can enjoy running.  Eventually you can run and talk to your running partners for most of it.  Eventually it gives you a high of sorts.  The saying is true, it is the “pain you enjoy.”  My body hates me for making it run.  I keep fighting it.  I want to run but running a marathon and then having knee replacements at 40 isn’t a good gig either. I need to be kind to this body.  That is the hard part.

I have found that I still like sugar.  A lot.  I need to have a sugar detox again and rid my body of it.  I feel awful with it in me and yet it is my drug of choice.  I need to make a new friend.  

The hard thing about food being your vice is that you have to keep eating.  If you are an alcoholic they tell you to make new friends that aren’t involved with it.  But you have to eat.  It is just part of life (at least if you want to stay alive.)  You can’t cut off friends that eat because well you wouldn’t have any.  It is also tricky because something that a friend can eat might be just fine for them and their metabolism and yet wrecks havoc on yours.  What a tricky dance we dance.

I don’t mean to be a downer.  Just a realist that the journey doesn’t end at 100 days.  It doesn’t end when you meet your goals.  New goals have to be made.  New mountains have to be climbed.  If the 10k that I was lucky enough to run last week was any indication, it is worth the climb.  

I didn’t realize how emotional that journey would be.  I didn’t realize how many high-highs and very low-lows would come with a goal that seemed impossible.  I new I could finish it.  But the competitive person in me didn’t want to just finish but wanted to do well.  Run my very best.  I feel like I did but I am quite sure I had angels pushing me through the last mile when my hips were on fire and wanted to stop swinging.  These mountains in our life are worth the time and effort.  Every last painful step of them.  The view from the top is amazing and for a moment you feel like you are King of the Mountain.  

But if you will take the time while you are up there to look around with the clarity that comes from up high you will see there are many beautiful, challenging mountains around you.  I need to remember that as I start a new ascent.

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My ultimate goal has been achieved.  Yes, it was at the last minute literally. But I did it!  

This is the hill….. one of the killer hills that I live on.  There is seriously not one flat spot surrounding my home.  It is uphill in all directions.  It is great if you are trying to cross train for a race.  BUT not so great if you are not in the shape to walk hard let alone run on hills.  

Last summer, I injured my leg for the first time trying to run these hills.  When we started the 100 day challenge this was my number one goal to conquer.  Killer hill.  I call this hill killer hill because it is seriously a 13-20%  grade for the entire hill.  When you are driving down it from the top there is a moment when you can’t see the road underneath you before you descend.  

Well folks, I did it!  This morning on my run with my friends, I asked them if they would be willing to run up it the entire way to check it off my have to do list.  They were kind enough to groan and do it with me.  Some walked, some ran but we all did it.  I RAN KILLER HILL!!!  I may never ever ever do it again but I did it and it felt AWESOME!  

I can now walk away from the challenge feeling proud of whatever I have accomplished.  That has yet to be determined.  7:00 a.m. tomorrow cannot come soon enough.  But today, I’m patting myself on the back (which is ridiculously hard for me to do) and saying good job, Christy!  

You came, you sweated, you watched what you ate, you conquered Killer Hill.  :)

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movingmama34: Oops….. I keep blogging things on the other spot instead of this one.  Blogged Friday, May 10th.

I’ve run a 5k before.  Quite a few in fact.  Some I have ran (trotted) the entire way.  Some I have run/walked.  And yet…… I’m still a nervous wreck about tomorrow.  The only comfort I have right now is knowing that I am not alone in my nervous fear.  Many of you have expressed it as well.  
SO……..
Good luck everyone!  We can do this!

movingmama34: Oops….. I keep blogging things on the other spot instead of this one.  Blogged Friday, May 10th.

I’ve run a 5k before.  Quite a few in fact.  Some I have ran (trotted) the entire way.  Some I have run/walked.  And yet…… I’m still a nervous wreck about tomorrow.  The only comfort I have right now is knowing that I am not alone in my nervous fear.  Many of you have expressed it as well.  

SO……..

Good luck everyone!  We can do this!

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Ode to the Journey

I have been having a hard time lately seeing that I have changed.  Family and friends have been kind to remind me where I have come from.    I think it may have something to do with the fact that the change for the past month or two has been very gradual and very indiscernible.  I see myself everyday and yet forget where I have come from.  Some that have only known me for a few months think that it has been an overnight transformation.  I assure them it has not.  I started this journey much different than when this 100 day challenge began.

I had a multifaceted emotional journey the other day as I randomly stumbled on my Facebook profile pictures.  I pulled up my first photo of when I opened my Facebook account about five years ago and was surprised.  Shocked a little.  Shocked because I look so different.  I should look different.  I was at the highest weight I have ever been pregnant or not.  I was a good 50 plus pounds heavier than I am today.  I don’t look at that face and think “Dang!  She looks awful.  If only she knew how awful she looked.”  I was happy then.  I was okay with how my body was responding to life.  I bought bigger clothes to hide my girth but that was okay.  It just was an eyes-wide-open moment that I have come so far and yet forgotten some of the sweet and also some of the bitter of the journey.  

I have been blessed with “doses” of wisdom.  I have had friends who were willing to go with me to my first weight loss class and learn that I was feeding my body beyond it’s body to handle it.  

Years later, I was able to kick it up a notch with a nutritionist that helped me realize that I needed to have more protein in my diet, how to watch a glycemic load, really measure my food and not be afraid of weights.  

A couple years later, I was given the challenge of figuring out how to eat like a diabetic through gestational diabetes.  I learned how to balance carbs and proteins, find new foods that I liked, realize many of my “trigger” foods, and realize that I could control my body through exercise and proper nutrition.  I didn’t need medicine to fix my problems.  I just needed knowledge.

 

Now, I have also been handed this current opportunity.  This time around I have added to my growth with understanding of how to eat long term and help my family too.  At times in my journey I cooked for my family and then ate a different meal.  This time I have not.  I have learned to control my portions of family meals but have not cut any of the food groups completely out of my life.  I have learned how to incorporate more veggies, fruits, and exercise.  I have learned how hard I can push my body.  I have learned that endorphin highs feel amazing.  I have learned that no exerciser is truly a “morning person”.  We’re all ugly and ornery in the morning.  But we can do hard things.  I have learned being disgustingly sweaty isn’t a sign of poor hygiene but a gauge of how hard I have worked out.  I have learned to bring a towel to a workout.  :)  

I have learned I was okay at every weight in my life.  Weight is just that weight.  Yes, it is hard on your body.  Yes, it can bring you down mentally and physically.  Yes, it is important to take care of ourselves and learn how to do better.  But weight is weight.  The people that love me now loved that girl starring back at me 50 pounds ago.  Nothing has changed.  I’m still me.

This journey doesn’t end when/if I hit my targeted fitness goals.  This journey doesn’t end ever.  I will at some point end the weight loss portion.  I will eventually start the journey of trying to figure out how to maintain my weight, health, and fitness levels for the long haul.  That terrifies me.  But not as much as diabetes and the general feelings of awfulness that I feel internally when I am not doing my best to keep my body functioning at capacity terrify me. (Holy long sentence, BATMAN!)

At the end of the day, I’m grateful.  Grateful that I have been given this opportunity.  Grateful that I have had the support of my friends, family, and most importantly my spouse to keep me going.  I have had to draw on their strength more than I care to admit.  Will power…. I don’t think truly exists.  But strength does and it comes through many sources if we allow it.  The future looks bright.  I may not be able to run in to it because I’m starting to make peace with the fact I may not be able to be a runner and that is okay.  I may have to be carried at moments on the backs of those that love me.  But, aren’t I lucky to have them to carry me.  I’ll get there.

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The Next Step

What is my next step?  My next effort to keep myself motivated…. hmmm….

I’m debating cutting the carbs out COMPLETELY and by carbs I mean carbonation.  I don’t really have the sugary kind ever.  I enjoy the chemically laden stuff far too often.  I gave it up for several months at the beginning of January to mid-March but old habits die hard.  It’s time for me to choose a new comfort.  It has been my zero-calorie treat but every time I choose to have too much of it I find my body aching at night and my gut all bubbly and angry.  Add to that the last few days of it and I have been waking up with what I deem a “hangover” of sorts.  I’m 99% sure it is the carbonation.  

So goodbye old stand by.  Goodbye to the dollars spent on nothing of use for my body.  Hopefully goodbye to the effects of having it in my body.  Hello to my new best friend…. water.

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Do You Take €œAll or Nothing to the Extreme?

I’m typically not a “linker” but this article put into words something that has been brewing deep down inside for too long.  

I am exhausted.  I am tired.  I am tired of working out 7 days a week (sometimes twice a day) and charting my food…. only to see maintenance or a gain.  I know I am building muscle.  I know I probably just need more sleep.  I know that the past two weeks have been some of the most stress-filled ones of my life.  But…. but…. but….  I can’t cut myself a break.  I am so darn close to my goal.  The goal that I have been working hard towards for the past 5 years.  I am frustrated.  I am beginning to wonder if it will even be possible.  And honestly, I don’t know that it is.  I just may have set the bar too high.

It is taking more mental power than I have right now to figure out food.  Some days I think it would be easier if I didn’t eat.  Don’t worry…. I do eat.  But on those days I can’t think through good options and then get frustrated by the ones that I make.  

I have been ready to throw in the towel this weekend.  To say to heck with all of it and eat the brownie and the steak and the cheese fries….. all in one sitting.  I haven’t but oh how I have wanted to.  

I’m scared that all of my best efforts won’t be enough to get me there.  I’m scared that cutting back on my exercise will cause a back-track in my progress.  I’m scared that I will completely melt down before I get there.

So…. I contemplate “slashing the other three tires”?  It doesn’t make sense.  I know that.  But I really, really, really want to prove to myself that I can do this hard thing.  This awfully hard thing in my life.  I knew there would be set-backs but I wasn’t truly prepared to face them.  I know and knew this would be a long journey.  A life long journey.  I knew it would take a toll on me mentally, physically, emotionally but I was ready to face my demons.  

I’m really praying for the strength to keep plowing and to leave my working wheels alone.  In the meantime, my mom’s voice keeps popping into my head saying “It is always better to be nice than perfect.”  I’m hoping that at least I can be nice AND healthy.

 

(P.S.  You have to click on the box at the top to get to the article.  If you are struggling and need some perspective, I truly do recommend this very quick read.)

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They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. At this point, my dear, I should be able to bench-press a Buick.Via someecards

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. At this point, my dear, I should be able to bench-press a Buick.

Via someecards

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When the Going Gets Tough….

…. The tough dig in, put their heads down, and plow.  That is where I find myself these last few weeks…. plowing.   Tax season is in full swing meaning that the only time I see my spouse is during our workouts with the trainer, the nutrition meetings, and an occasional glance in between.  It’s not my favorite time of year by a long shot but it pays the bills and I’m grateful that I am not trying to keep things afloat at home and pay the bills. Hats off to you single moms….. I don’t know how you do it.

I am finding that I am having a harder time focusing on my food choices during the day.  I try to make wise ones but I use to kind of map out my food for the day so that each food group was properly represented and I kept within my daily allotment of calories.  Now…. I am flying by the seat of my pants.  I still chart my food.  Some days are still very good.  Other days I’m surprised by how poor I did.  I suppose that is the way it always will be.  Taking the good with the bad but hoping and planning for more good days.

I’m still injured.  I’m still frustrated by that.  I finally went to see a physical therapist because I felt it was time to quit babying the injury and start really strengthening it.  After running on the treadmill for over 30 minutes while being video taped, (Can you say horribly awkward!) he calmly told me I shouldn’t run yet.  Nice.  The sessions are helping.  My leg looks awful!  I am quite sure that physical therapy is an insurance covered form of abuse.  I have never seen so many bruises on one leg.  But I have hope.  Hope that I will gain full strength and mobility in that leg again.  

The scale is still moving.  Albeit very, very slowly but it is coming.  Man, I wish I had known how many hours of hard exercise and eating perfect it would take to burn off the years of neglect.  I suppose I did know.  But no one that loves food wants to hear that or will hear it until they are good and ready to change.

The change has been difficult at times.  I feel support at my own home with making and keeping good lifestyle habits.  I don’t feel it at all when I go to my in-laws and that is difficult.  My mother-in-law is the best cook in town but with that status comes a lot of really sweet, buttery, heavy foods that I really have given up or limited to “once a year” foods.  And yet on the opposite side of the family, I feel like I have the food police.  My sweet mother cooks everything so uber-healthy and diabetic that I can’t ever make a bad decision because there isn’t an option when there.  That side is hard because I feel like I have to live in the world and yet be able to make smart choices for myself.  I know the intentions on both sides are good but equally difficult in very different ways.

Am I glad that I started this journey?  Yes.  It has brought a new sharpened focus onto something I have struggled to gain control of for years.  I have had success previously but I knew the time had come to crank it up a notch and face my reality.  I’m glad that I have.  My reality is looking a lot happier and healthier.  

I will take any motivation I can get to just keep plowing.

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Note to Self

Self:  Don’t tell your trainer that you need to be pushed a little harder.  You will wish you had never thought those words; let alone said them.  

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Lessons Learned

I’m learning a lot of lessons right now in my pursuit to get my body into good health and shape.  To date these have been the most crucial for me:

*  You can undo hours of hard work and sweat in minutes by eating emotionally.

*  Muscle really does burn calories faster.  I have seen far better results on the weeks that I have focused on strength…. but still doing a bit of cardio.  Plus, feeling stronger feels awesome!

*  The process never gets easier.  Some days you fail.  Some days you do awesome.  Take it a day, moment, minute at a time.  Do your best and move on.

*  Listen to your body.  Sometimes rest is exactly what it needs…. not more exercise.  I am not a machine but a person.  

*  Dare to try the scary.  I tried a class with my gym-rat friend on Friday that we have been watching since August but haven’t dared try.  We have lovingly dubbed it the “Jump til you pee your pants class” because they do so much jump-roping usually.  We made the commitment to each other that instead of running the track we would give it a go this past Friday.  And you know what?  We did it.  Yes, I finished in a puddle of sweat.  Seriously, it was disgusting.  Thankfully I brought a towel to clean up after myself.  Yuck!  But I have never worked out so hard in my life!  The best part was that I didn’t have to give up or quit.  I did it all.  Okay, the best part was that the instructor decided not to do jump-roping that day and instead opted for 100 burpees.  Have I mentioned how much I adore burpees?  I haven’t?  Oh, that is because they are torture.  But I survived and am stronger, literally, because of it.

*  Let the “bad” days go.  It is over.  Move on.  Do better.

*  Don’t count the veggies.  Eat all that you are supposed to but if you are still hungry eat those veggies.  It takes a heck of a lot of vegetables to hurt your progress.  (As long as you are having them raw or steamed.)  I think I have shocked the produce manager at our local grocery store where I go stock up every Monday.  He asked me last time “If I really eat all of those in a week?”  The answer is YES!  My body likes them and they satisfy my physical need to crunch on something.  Win/Win.

*  Your kids will eventually cave and eat broccoli if you serve it to them at least once a week for 6 years.  Motherhood success!  

*  Injuries are maddening.  Avoid them at all costs.  They mess with your psyche way worse than eating something that you wish you hadn’t.

*  I can do hard things.  And I can do it even if it is a 12-year process to get to where you are today.  It was worth every minute of those past 12-years to feel the successes of today even if the journey isn’t over.  I plan on kicking around here for another 60 years.  

*  Life is good and made even better by family, friends, faith, and wonderful opportunities to get and be better.  I’m lucky.

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