Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Article... My secret was out

I was going to write more about my journey, but the Pioneer Press kind of beat me to it.

My boss has been a part of the American Diabetes Association of Minnesota for years now. We have gone to their annual Gala 5 times!   My boss happened to mention my progress to the director and she asked if I would be willing to talk to them.   See... years ago now, I was told that I was pre-diabetic. This was along with my diagnosis of PCOS.    Weightloss was always suggested, but honestly, I ignored it for a long time.

I wrote up a short little description of what I had been doing and sent it to the director at the MN ADA.   The next thing I know - I'm getting a call from the Pioneer Press so they can use me for a story - with before and after pictures! Up until that point, I hadn't been too public about the amount of weight I had lost.  But there it was one evening practically going viral on Facebook.
I had hit 100 pounds lost that week.

http://www.twincities.com/turningpoint/ci_28907490/turning-point-pre-diabetic-diagnosis-caught-her-attention

Friends were sharing the article left and right. People were commenting - telling me what an inspiration I was.   In all reality - I was a little embarrassed.  Embarrassed because it was admitting to the world that I started 100 pounds heavier. I can't really explain all of the emotions about the attention, but I will tell you that I had only told a handful of people that the article was happening. I didn't really plan on telling everyone.   I'm not sure why I thought I could get away with that little secret.


I never thought I would lose 100 pounds. My initial goal was 85 and I hit that on July 22nd.  I had a "Stretch Goal" of 100 - like MAYBE.   And there it was in October.   Maintenance has been hard. I've lost more since October. More than I really meant to, but I'm trying to figure it out.   I need to eat more than I was before, but obviously not too much! And I still want to eat the right things (most of the time).  I also want to keep working out - fitness has become huge for me.

Say What?? Fitness?? 

I used to say that I would only run if someone was chasing me (that someone being a murderer or a zombie).  Well this year I decided maybe running would be a good idea.

In July we did the Color Run. I ran parts of it and finished the 5k in about 46 minutes.

Then I did the Dirty Girl Mud Run with my bff, Krista. This was my first 5k with mud and obstacles!
I ran as much as I could - I would catch up to Krista at the obstacles so we could do them together. I conquered a fear of going down a fireman pole (with Krista yelling at me from the bottom).  I felt amazing afterwards!


Then.. it was Rugged Maniac.  The real test of my mud/obstacle running.  I am so thankful that my amazing hubby stuck with me (for the most part).  This was hard. It was up a ski hill numerous times, the obstacles were way harder.  Going over some of the walls was impossible without his assistance.  But you know what? I finished in about an hour and 14 minutes.  Thank goodness for Best Friends being there with me!
 


Krista and I did a Halloween Run too - a 10k.  That was a push! I had to stop to walk a bit more than I would have wanted, but I had been sick that week. It was also rainy and cold that day.  But once again, we finished it! I think it took about an hour and 12 minutes. Somewhere around there...

The following weekend was the Chocoholic Frolic. I had signed up alone, but lots of other people said they were doing it.  That day came and most people had to miss it for one reason or another.   So it ended up being my first race completely alone.  I made myself run more than I ever had.   The hubby and T were there to watch me finish and cheer me on.   It was my fastest 5k yet! Under 34 minutes.

My final run of 2015 was on Thanksgiving.... with Krista of course!  It was a 6k and although it was raining a bit when we first arrived, it turned to snow as we started.  Krista is a great running partner... all of a sudden we did a mile and I was like holy crap, I did a whole mile without stopping! Then it was 2... at one point I told her my legs hurt and she said "ok, keep pushing. We can slow down, but you are not walking."   So not only did I meet my goal of running/jogging an entire 5k, but I did 6k :-) It was a great feeling and I was thrilled to get that medal! 
Along with my jogging, I have also been doing R.I.P.P.E.D at the YMCA and some Zumba during the lunch hour at work.  Krista has been showing me a bit more weight training as well.
Some days, I don't know who I am.  Other days, I realize maybe I am exactly who I was meant to be - finally.

They always say that it takes a while for your brain to catch up to your body when you have a large weight loss and I am finding that it is SO true.  Sure, when I pick up clothes I say "this will never fit" and magically, it does.   But stranger is that when I am walking through a crowd, in my head I still feel like that size 20 girl. I feel self-conscious walking to the restroom in a bar or restaurant like everyone is looking at the fat girl walking through.   The one that although she might feel cute that night, no one else would take a second look.
I told my husband this and he said "but you aren't that girl anymore. No one is looking at you and seeing a big person"
I'm not sure that feeling will ever go away.... 


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Evolution...

So where was I?  I started MyFitnessPal.... and I pretty much told my work team that they should all do it too. We focused on drinking a ton of water, working out as a team, and logging our food. Realizing how many calories were in my "normal" foods was a complete eye opener.
That super yummy Caribou Cooler I loved? Between 400 and 500 calories.  I started realizing how I had gotten back up to my highest weight, but I also realized that it was possible to change things.
I can't be like some of the people around me; eating and drinking whatever they want with no real impact to their waistline. That's just not how I'm built and I need to be ok with that.

There were moments I wasn't ok with it; lets be honest.  A couple weeks into things we went to a big event with a lot of friends. I was trying to be REALLY good with my eating and my drinking. I ended up having a panic attack, but thankfully my husband talked me through it and my bestie took me to a Zumba class the next morning. 

2 months into my journey, I had lost about 30 pounds.  Exercising was starting to become a habit and my work team was on the road to a healthy lifestyle with me!  We set a big goal as a team and would workout in the gym at work or around town! Each week at weigh-in, I was surprised at the progress that I was making.



March 31, 2015 in our fitness center at work

March 29, 2015, walking in my neighborhood
April 15, 2015, walk with  my work team by our local stadium


What I realized in the beginning...
Food had been my comforter for far too long.  On bad days (before all of this), my amazing, wonderful, loving husband would go get me ice cream.  He did it because he knew that for a little while, this made me happy.  Taking away this comfort was hard.  There was one day where I was stressed out and emotional and I sat down and cried because I didn't know what to do. I couldn't eat to make myself feel better!

Things that were REALLY hard in the beginning started to become less hard. It is possible to go from super out-of-shape to the person who works out every day.

Team accountability makes a HUGE difference. It made me weigh-in each week, it made me WANT to meet my goals, and we forced each other into working out even if we didn't all want to.

My husband can change from the amazing, loving person who gives me ice cream to the amazing, loving person who always makes sure I have time for a workout and makes sure I have food that I can eat wherever we are. He is a huge support to me.



I was changing my life right in front of my own eyes... No more saying NO.
For Mother's Day, I played paintball with the middle kid at his request.  I said YES to Paintball.


For our anniversary, on May 22nd, I went kayaking for the first time!



I LOVE it!



 
I say yes when  my bff makes me try stuff! May 29th


I got a new bike




Monday, September 21, 2015

You've Always Been Beautiful...

Let's go way back... back to when I was young - elementary school even.  What is one thing that sticks out so clearly to me?   I was the fat kid. How did I know?  Well, there was the time when a few kids called me a whale as I walked off my bus (this was probably at age 7 or 8) or the time in 6th grade when a girl said, "why didn't you get a pull-over starter jacket? Couldn't find one to fit?"
I know, kids are mean. They will say horrible things for no reason at all or pick the one thing that will get to you and keep picking, but the weight wasn't imaginary. I was heavier than most of my classmates. I couldn't shop in the same stores as my friends, couldn't wear the same clothes, and had a woman's body much earlier than some.   I lost some at one point in high school, but it came back plus more - especially during college.

Sure, I always had a boyfriend and people would tell me I had a gorgeous face.  I had friends who always said they loved my style even if I couldn't shop in a normal store.
But what was always in the back of my head?   - If only I was thinner - life would be so much better.
I feel like that's what we're taught by the media and society as a whole.  Heavy/Fat = BAD.  Thin = Good and Happy.    

In 2010 I lost about 40 pounds before our wedding. Over the course of the last 5 years, it came back. Working at a new job, then going through the adoption process, and then being a new mom - I allowed myself to go back to eating whatever I wanted.  I knew I had gained and I knew that I wasn't making the best choices, but... I don't know... it didn't quite hit me.

Then, on January 28, 2015 I had a doctor's appointment. They weighed me and for some reason this time I looked at the number they wrote down. I was shocked to see I was back to my highest weight.
I went to work that day and I think cried a little and told my work team that I needed to make a change.  That was the beginning of something...
I went home and talked to Brandon about it - I was so upset. How could I do this to myself? How could I let it all come back? How did I not notice??  I couldn't continue to live like that.



The next day I signed up for MyFitnessPal, an online tool that helps you track your food, count calories, and your exercise.


September 2014


December 2014

To be continued...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Remember Us?

So it's been a couple of years since I've posted. It's amazing how busy life can get and all of a sudden that baby that you dreamed about is three years old, talking non-stop, with tons of sassy attitude and smarts.


 

I can't even explain how he is this old. How that sweet baby turned into a kid.  A kid who is fearless on the playground, but hates loud noises and still wants us to hold his sippy when he has milk.  A kid who has been known to say "Mom, you can't tell me no" but then also says "Mom, will you sit with me and snuggle?"   I walked into the house yesterday and he said "Mom!!!!" with a  huge smile on his face then asked "Mom, how was your day? Good?"   Sometimes Brandon and I look at each other and just smile.  Even in the moments where he is throwing a fit, I'm amazed at him.  He almost climbed up the fridge the other day while trying to get a toy we took away!  He completely explains the term "threenager" at some points.  
A few other things about our 3 year old... he's totally potty trained during the day. We were so lucky here. It was pretty darn easy!    His favorite tv shows at this moment are Lego Ninjago and Octonauts. We wants a lot of Netflix rater than actual TV.   He saw his first movie in the theater last week - Inside Out.   He says he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up.  His favorite people besides mom & dad are Grandma (my mom) and a friend's daughter who babysits sometimes.  He begs to go see them.

Why did I post now? Well.. I've had some major changes in my life, but it didn't seem right to switch subjects without giving an update on this handsome little man who stole my heart!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Wait... he turned ONE??

I know, I've been horrible at keeping up with the blog.    I had no idea that I would never have time to sit down at the computer!  I can keep up with Facebook and Instagram just fine, because I have my smart phone.  Updating a blog is a whole different story!
Somehow, time has flown by.   My teeny, tiny, sweet little baby boy turned ONE YEAR OLD on July 25th.
The weeks leading up to that day were very emotional for me.  It was saying goodbye to my life as a mommy to  a BABY.  Never again will I have that experience.  From the moment he first held my hand to the moment he put his birthday cake in my mouth.... I have discovered an amazing, true, love that can only be felt when you become a mommy.



We were lucky enough to be surrounded by friends and family at his birthday party, which my mom helped me throw.   It was a Little Man theme with mustaches and ties!  He won't remember, but this momma sure will.  He was spoiled of course and received so many lovely gifts.



12 Month Stats:
20 pounds, 8 oz
31 inches tall
5 teeth
Taking a few steps (probably up to 10 on his own)

Shortly after his birthday, we got his hair cut!!  I cried when they removed all of that hair!  We did bring him to a barber shop that is predominately African American men and they decided taking most of his hair off with the clippers was the best thing to do. They told me it will grow back in with his natural curl pattern.  It still broke my heart a little! 

Now at 13 months, the kid is walking like it's his job. He is also CLIMBING a lot!  I find him standing on chairs, trying to go up the stairs by himself, standing on boxes, etc.  He even started trying to climb INTO his crib.   He definitely has a mind of his own and is trying to figure out how he can get what he wants.  He screams, he throws fits, and tests the limits.  He also giggles like crazy, has the best smile, and gives lots of snuggles and hugs.  And his hair is growing back and is actually pretty cute now :-)
Mommy and T (with oldest Brother in the corner) while camping in August

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

In the past, Mother's Day was filled with so much heartache. I yearned to have the thing that everyone else was celebrating and I cried because of the pain.

This year on Mother's Day, I woke up to my husband saying "Tell Mommy, Happy Mother's Day!"

I still have a little bit of tightness in my chest... I am a mother because of someone else's brave, yet difficult decision.   I am also still a stepmom, which brings it's own challenges.  To love a child and have them call someone else mom is pretty tough too.

But in the end - I was shown a lot of love on Mother's Day.  I received two new coffee cups - one for cold drinks and one for hot.  Apparently T and Brandon had an "argument" over which one to get (apparently Brandon says I am one hot mama so I needed the hot mug, but T said that I'm the coolest mom around, so i needed the cold cup).  In the end - I got both :-) I also got a super loving card from Brandon and TWO cards from T.

We went to the zoo and even R, now the middle child, came with us.  He actually CHOSE to spend the day with us and it made me super happy.  It was T's first time to the zoo and the first time Brandon and I have gone there together.  We looked at lots of animals and got some ice cream.    It was an added plus that I got in free, since it was Mother's Day and this year I could actually say "yep, I'm a mom".

Mommy and T

R (not so little anymore), T, and Mommy checking out the animals

Daddy and T

He loved the big aquariums!

T seems to be saying "um... mom, you're weird"

This... I love. Thank you R for capturing it!   
I get to be this little boys Mommy!  It's the best thing!



I even received my first ever daycare Mother's Day gift from Tristan.  These little items are so special!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Honesty... Being a Mom of a 9 Month Old

Honestly, I knew my life would change when I became a mom, but I don't think it really hit home until recently.

In the beginning, T went everywhere we did. We'd just keep him in his infant car seat if he needed to sleep. He would let just about anyone hold him and wasn't too fussy. We took him to friends houses, restaurants, shopping, etc.   It seemed pretty easy really.

Fast forward to recent times. T is now 9 months old and is very mobile. He uses a car seat that stays in the car, he is on a better sleep schedule, he eats finger foods as well as bottles, he asserts his independence... and did I mention - he is MOBILE and VERY BUSY.

We chase after him constantly now. He loves exploring and getting into things. He grabs dog toys, dumps over the recycling bin, and throws his food on the floor. Sometimes the only thing he wants is for me to hold him. He's been known to scream and cry and reach for me, even when Daddy is holding him.

He laughs and plays hard. He fights sleep and cries when he is tired.   Honestly, sometimes I cry with him.  



There have been times where Brandon and I have had to fight to bring some focus back to our marriage so that we didn't forget about each other.  There have been days where we are so tired that we barely make it to bed before closing our eyes.  

There have been times when friends and family have gotten upset that we don't have as much time to give to them. 

 I have cried with fear that I am not doing enough and cannot be enough.

I will be honest and say I miss being able to just pick up and do what I want.  We miss our friends. We miss our alone time.   We have only a couple of evenings per month where we are "kid free" now and we try to make so many different people happy.. including ourselves. We pack as much into those moments as we can and sometimes we are more tired afterwards!

In the end though, he is SO worth it.  He is worth every minute of lost sleep and every change in my life.  I pray that my family and friends know I still love them and know that this isn't forever.
I will keep trying to do everything and be everything, because that's what so many moms do.