Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ten Is My Magic Number (Except When It's Another Number)

Ten fingers. Ten toes. That's what we look for when a baby is born, right? "Let's count them again, just to be sure" many a first-time parent has uttered. 10. And when all the digits add up, the number is magical.

I am counting to ten as well, for my own magical reasons. In reality I have many pounds to lose, and if I focus on the end number it can get overwhelming and seem impossible. So I am tracking my weight loss in increments of ten. It seems to be a more realistic goal to lose ten pounds (insert # here) times, then to keep looking off in the distance to that long-term "goal" weight. This may not be a new concept to a lot of people - even Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton has come out with a line of scales that only measures weight loss in stages of ten pounds, and doesn't display your actual weight in order to keep you motivated towards short term weight loss goals ( But when I finally wrapped my brain around the number ten as a goal, a rainbow formed in the sky and angels flew over my head. Okay maybe not, but it sounded really do-able.

A few weeks ago I was reading a magazine article about the editor's favorite weight loss blogs. One of the blogs was called "Shoes To Lose". The author of the blog decided to reward each of her ten pound weight losses with a new pair of beautiful and not-always-practical shoes. Even though I am not THAT into shoes, I thought it was a great idea to celebrate short term successes and pamper yourself for literally working your butt off. Shoes are not the right reward for me but...I do love spa treatments. Massages, facials, pedicures, sea salt scrubs, manicures, you name it. It's pure heaven. I have declared that this will be my reward: a spa service of my desire each time I hit a ten pound goal.

And so, 10 is my magical number. Except when it's another number. Like 12, because that's the number I hit today. 12 pounds lost so far. Pass the phone, I have a call to make :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

My mother, my inspiration.

My mother has been my hero. For a long time. She and I have been through a lot of things together, and I can only wish that my own daughter will find me as inspiring and as much of a support as I have found my own mother (this is one of my irrational fears - that my daughter and I will have a combative relationship and that she will openly wish for another mother). Although we live 5 states away, I can always count on my mother for support, advice, and unconditional love.

My mother has moved up a notch on my admiration meter over the past few years as she has begun biking, running 5Ks, swimming, and *gasp* doing triathalons. She has become another reason for my recent inspiration to get moving. Granted, she has two grown children and some extra time on her hands with no little ones running around the house - it would be so easy for her to just sit back and do nothing. Instead, she has chosen to do something and kick a** at it! Full of admiration, I started to brainstorm ways that I could get moving, keep me accountable for staying active, and maybe inspire my own kids along the way.

Here's my mom high-five-ing my dad during the Bermuda Triangle Challenge this past February. I've entitled this picture "Super Mom":
So....I signed up for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer that is taking place in late October. It consists of a 26.2 mile walk on the first day and a 13.1 mile walk on the second day all throughout the quaint streets of Charlotte, NC. I am required to raise $1800 but my goal is $2000 (click on the link to my personal fundraising webpage on the left and donate if you can!). Honestly, the fundraising is freaking me out a little bit because there's only 60+ days to go, but I have faith that it will all come together in the end (Do you think Avon can sue me for not raising the money? I might need to check into that!). Sometimes I think "What have I done, signing up for a marathon-and-a-half walk?" but I am committed to doing this thing and kicking it's a** "Super Mom" style.

My mom has been a great source of support, even sending me a foot care package in the mail this weekend with tips on how to prevent blisters. She says the toenail-falling-off thing is pretty much inevitable at some point. Guess that will save me money on pedicures in the future.

I have been doing "training" walks to build up my stamina to make it to 26.2 miles without being taken off the road on a stretcher. Last weekend I was working on a 7 mile walk around my neighborhood and stopped back into the house for some water. My 9-old son said he wanted to join me, so off we went out of the house together. He walked over 3 miles with me and not once did he struggle to keep up (I am choosing to believe that he has awesome stamina and not that I was walking as slow as a snail). Then my 3-year old daughter was sitting on the stairs inside impatiently waiting for us to return so she could walk with us. And there we were, the three of us, spending time and getting moving. Together. At the end, my son asked if he could do the Avon walk with me. Now, I'm not so sure I am even going to survive that walk, and cannot afford to add another $1800 fundraising to my efforts, so instead he and I are going to sign up with a team for the 5K Race for A Cure in early October (walking, of course) and he is going to raise as much money as he can towards that effort.

Now that's pretty darn cool. Inspiration to my kids? Check, "Super Mom" style!!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why blog? Why now?

I have toyed a long time with blogging but have just never taken the time to sit down and do something about it. After years on the emotional weight roller coaster, I got fed up with just feeling gross about myself and pretending that I was happy feeling sluggish. I was quietly envying the body parts of other women and applying them to my mental "my-body-would-be-perfect-if...." mannequin. Then, my husband posted some pictures on Facebook from our recent 4th of July vacation, and one picture just threw me for a loop:

Look at me. Don't I just look like I am lumbering, not walking, down that path? Now look at the woman behind me on her bike. She looks like she is healthy, confident, and is having fun in life. I got all of that out of one snapshot of her riding a bike on a beautiful summer day. Did I apply some assumptions to the woman on the bike? Perhaps. But it got me off my a** and motivated me to change the way I look at myself in future pictures. Whatever works, right?

So I came back home post-vacation and made some immediate changes.
1. I joined Weight Watchers. I have been a member off and on for several years. Before I had my son 9 years ago I lost about 40 pounds. It wasn't my goal weight but I felt really good about myself. Two years after I had my son I went back to WW and got back to my pre-pregnancy weight. It's been 3 years since I had my daughter, and for some reason it's taken me longer to get the motivation to stick with the WW plan. This is my third try in a year and a half and I seem to lose my willpower after the first month. I am determined to stick with it this time because I know it works if I work IT.

2. I got moving. I started to get out of bed before everyone else and walk. It was really hard at first (and still is on some days) to leave the comfort of my warm bed and my husband snuggled up against me. But I have found if I trick my brain into thinking that I am just getting up to pee, after about 3 minutes the old brain says "well, you're up anyway so you might as well go walk". Some days I can't wait to get out of bed, and some days it's a small victory just to get my feet off the bed and onto the floor. One day at a time.

3. I drink more water. I used to walk around with my tongue feeling all dried out. Gross. Funny how water can be a simple fix to that. I make sure that I drink at least six 8-ounce glasses a day, if not more. I sometimes (okay, every day) treat myself to diet root beer because I love, love, love root beer.

4. I eat breakfast every morning. I used to run on empty until lunch and then jump at the chance to stuff my starving face with anything I could get my hands on. At the end of the day I would feel gross and unhappy. Now I make sure to eat in the morning. On the weekdays I make something that I can eat in the car while driving the kids to school and me to work. And I also take a vitamin every morning too. All those people who say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day are apparently right. It gets me in the right mindset for the rest of the day.

5. I plan meals ahead. Whether it is taking lunch and snacks to work or planning dinners for the entire week, I try and look through cookbooks (big shout out to Hungry Girl, love love love her), magazines, and ask friends for meal suggestions. Planning ahead makes the rest of the day easier because I know how I need to eat throughout the day, plus I feel less stressed after work trying to brainstorm last minute dinner ideas.

Five things. That is what I have done. Five things that look simple on the outside, but can sometimes be big hurdles on the inside of my brain.

Why blog? It feels cathartic and I want to keep myself accountable. I want to acknowledge small victories, big successes, and share challenges that keep me from getting to "F---ing Perfect" in my brain and with my body. I hope to look back on posts and feel proud of how far I have come, or for just putting my feet on the floor in the morning.

Why now? Maybe because it is more of a technological reality than it was many years ago when I started a weight loss journey. Maybe because I have been inspired and motivated by others who blog and want to hopefully do the same for someone else. Maybe because I have seen that a blog does not have to be a novella filled with sage advice, but can be some short sentences of witty observations that make you laugh - this seems much less intimidating. But the real answer I'm landing on is WHY NOT?

Why the blog title? I walk to Pink's Greatest Hits (So Far) and am inspired by the song "F**kin' Perfect". Sometimes I scream it at the top of my lungs, and sometimes I can't sing because I am crying from the way the song speaks to me. One of these days I may write to Pink and thank her for making a f**kin' perfect song.

Congratulations to me on my very first blog. What are you congratulating yourself for today?