Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cutting the fat... in a manner of speaking.

I was listening to this uber-geek podcast that I'm a fan of this morning (SciFi short stories brought to you by EscapePod.  There's your nerd-friendly shout out for the week), and got a little reflective.  The story of the week was basically about the potential integration of nanobot level sentient beings integrating into human society, and this being accomplished by combining the nanobots with human entities who have be stripped down of all personality to purely moral beings.  (The idea behind this was that morality is somehow inherited genetically, and that since the nano-thingies lacked an actual connection to DNA, they wouldn't have basic genetic morality.  Integrating them with a purely moral being would allow them to develop with morals alongside humans.  Trust me, it's all very fake-sciencey.)

I started thinking about all of this though, about the idea of being stripped of your personality and individuality in order to become a purely moral being.  And maybe it's because I was on my way home from church, but it really made me think about the process of sanctification.  As we slough off our sin nature and become more and more like Christ, it can feel exactly like that.  Because that's what we say, right?  More of You, and less of me.

In truth, I've been anxious about a great many life stages for this reason.  I was nervous about graduating college, getting married, getting jobs, and having a child, all because I felt it meant I would be stripped of what made me "me", and I would become this generic entity, "wife", "mother", "Christian".  It's embarrassing to admit, but there's something really terrifying about losing yourself, in any capacity.  My mental critic always responds, "Right, because YOU'RE so great in the first place.  God forbid the world loses a little piece of YOU."  But there it is.  The truth is, I have a tendency to love myself an awful stinkin' lot, and I don't honestly want to see less of me.

But then I started thinking more.  Just in the same way that, through weight loss, I am able to whittle away the amorphous blob I've become and find the true person who lives deep down inside, through sanctification, God strips away all of the fat, the trash, and the crap that I've been coated in.  We don't become less of ourselves, in His hands, we become more.  Because after all, it's the great Craftsman who is holding the chisel in this scenario.  The Creator doesn't create in order to destroy, he simply wants to display his creation as originally intended.

Still though, it can be terrifying to allow someone, even a Gracious Lord, to take control in my life.  But hey, He actually loves me BETTER than I love myself: he loves me broccoli, when I love me fudge brownie.  And as someone who has begun to learn the real virtue of those little green florets, well, I think I'll take it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sound the trumpets, it's a celebration day!!

6 1/2 months ago, I started my weight loss journey. 6 1/2 months ago I was just over the line into the Obese range.  6 1/2 months ago, I can honestly say that I never really believed this day could come.  Because as of today, ladies and gentlemen, I am a healthy weighted person!  This morning's weigh in was an even 155, 36 pounds down from my highest, and the official number that puts me at a BMI of exactly 25.  Woo hoo! For those of you haven't had this experience, here's a fun fact:  Wii Fit plays a happy little tune when you're no longer "overweight".  Your avatar is no longer pudgy, and it calls you "normal".  It then suggests you shoot for a BMI of 22.  I haven't really been using Wii Fit much anymore, (these days I need a stronger workout than I did once upon a time), but it's still a nice weight tracker, so it gets used for that.

So I'm taking a moment to rejoice in this achievement, and then I'm moving on.  So, milestone-wise:  This is the weight I was when Shane proposed to me.  This is where I was a few days later when I bought my wedding dress.  Today is my first official day at a healthy weight since mid-summer of 2006.  That's over 4 1/2 years of being overweight, ending today.  Cheers to being done with that phase of life!!

But now is the moving on time.  I just can't wait to see the scale say 154.  And 150.  And then, to be closer to 100 than 200.  (For some reason, that specifically has always been a significant marker to me.)  But even more than all of that, I'm pledging right here and now to remain a healthy weighted person foreverandeverandever.  In the past half-year, I've learned self-control.  I've been able to maintain a healthy diet, and got myself in some of the best exercise-shape I've ever been in, despite the fact that I'm not yet at my thinnest.  For the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, I really know how to be a skinny, healthy person, and that's not going to change.

So big hugs and thank-yous to all of you for your support and encouragement during this past 6 1/2 months!  Biggest thank you would be for the hubs, but I don't actually think he reads this thing. :-)

Hope all of you find some reason to celebrate today!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm having a love affair...

with my running shoes.  I know, that was really tacky.  Sorry.

At the same time though, I'm really not joking.  I absolutely love my running shoes.  They're primarily mesh, grey and white, and air light.  They're Nike+, so they've got the secret little compartment under the arch that helps me track my distance.  They're exciting, and wonderful and so, so much more than just a pair of shoes to me.

Now I'm not, generally speaking, an athletic person.  I'm bookish, and a little chubby.  I did the freakin Math Olympics in Junior High, and am pretty terrible at ALL sports.  I ran over 3 miles for the first time IN MY LIFE at the age of 27.  I've been told by a physical therapist before that "some people just aren't built to be runners" (I've got a crooked pelvis or something) and that I "may do better with something like swimming".  So really, I'm not the person anyone would expect to sing the praises of a set of tennis shoes.

Just the same, I look at those shoes and I feel inspired.  Those shoes that have turned from shining white and gray to a dull dusty brown are beautiful pictures of what I've done, and what I may be able to do.  My shoes look back at me and say, "hey there, Runner", and "my my you've got a great butt".  Because my running shoes don't see me as a lazy bookish lug who would rather lounge on the couch all day.  My shoes don't doubt me because of my crooked pelvis and no lower back muscles.  My shoes tell me I can run right through a side stitch, even if it doesn't go away.  My shoes have taken me on 3 5k runs, just this week.  My shoes take me places, and think that treadmills are lame.  My shoes have wanderlust.  My shoes see the side of me that's signing up for a 5K in April, and fully intends to hold her own.  (That's right Katie, I'm taking your advice.  And I'm actually getting crazy excited about it!)

So there you have it folks.  I'm not fast, or toned, or able to run a marathon. Yet.  But there's a runner that lives inside of me.  Or at the very least, in my shoes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pictures.... yikes.

So I did the unthinkable yesterday.  I did the shameful.  I did the brutally embarrassing.  I took pictures of my fat-ness parts.  The answer is no.  Just don't ask, you can't see them.  And yes, I know that I share super duper embarrassing facts and words and things and well, I guess I should probably apologize for that, but no to the pictures.  Pictures are different.

Anyway, I digress.  I've not wanted to take "before" pictures of myself because, originally, eww.  And then later, lately, it feels kind of unfair.  Taking before pictures right now feel unfair because I'm 35 pounds into the journey.  And of course, because I never took the original eww pics, I've got nothing to compare current pictures to that might make me feel much better about now.  (You know the, "ugh, this is not good, but look, it's much less not good than the previous not good" feeling.)  Quite seriously, I want to look at my belly and say, sure it's bad, but you should see the other guy.  Or girl.  Or picture from 6 months ago.  You get the idea, right?

But today I got a little impulsive and took the pictures.  Front, back, close up on the belly.  Ugh.  It was rough, I'm not going to lie.  Taking a close up picture of your stomach is a little horrifying.  My tummy picture, for example, had a scary low threatening voice and looked capable of stomping over large buildings.  But I decided that I'd rather look at my today as a new beginning, rather than an ending.  I want to look so good this summer, that pictures of me now work just as well as "before" pictures would have.  Maybe one day you'll get to see those pics, next to ones of me with a toned arms, a perky butt and a feminine yet noticeably distinct six pack.  Here's hoping for that day.  In the mean time, I hope the mental image of giant chubby bellies marching over Tokyo doesn't haunt your dreams tonight.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Moving again!!

AWESOME.  After 9 days straight of working out from 70-90 minutes every day, and, (well, besides Superbowl Sunday), maintaining a healthy low cal diet, and still being stuck between 157 and 158, I've finally seen the scale move down today!!  This morning's weigh in was 155.9, officially the lowest I've weighed in 4 1/2 years, and am within one measly pound of healthy weight!!  I know it was like, 1 pound down, but I headed out to work today feeling like a twig.  I walked around just KNOWING that everyone secretly noticed how hot I look. I'm fairly certain I may have strutted.

It may sound stupid to strut over a pound or two, but having been stuck so long losing and gaining the same few pounds over and over, having worked sooo hard his past week and a half, the chance to see something from that is just absolutely exhilarating.  There have been days already when making myself get up and do what needs to be done has been frustrating, loathsome even.  But I know I'm getting stronger, I know I'm getting healthier,  and I know that I'm doing what I need to do to become a skinny lady one day. So heck yeah.  I'm gonna strut.  I'm going to strut again when I'm in the low 150s, and again in the 140s, and come this summer,  I fully intend to strut around in tank tops and bathing suits.  So take that, anyone who thinks I sound stupid!  I've lost 35 pounds and counting.  Woo woo!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Gasp Gasp Wheeze

Just finished a 55 minute intensive aerobic work out, and chased it down with a 30 minute walk/run (Day 2 of the C25K, an app I'd recommend for any other aspiring runners out there)  Today marks my fifth day of doing BOTH about an hour of cardio/weight aerobic workouts, and about 30 minutes of light to moderate straight cardio workouts each day.  Along with this, my diet has been well under 1500 calories each day.  All this to say, I'm feeling pretty freakin awesome.  The only downside to this is the fact that I haven't actually seen weight loss yet.  I mean, I haven't been back up to 160 or anything, highest was this morning, around 158, and usually by Friday/Saturday I've hit 161 or so again, so that may be something.  Either way, I know I'm eating around 1300 calories a day, burning about 500 through workouts, and that I would need about 1700 calories a day to maintain my current weight, even with a sedentary lifestyle.  So I guess I'm chalking the non-weight loss to either my body being in shock or ::fingers crossed:: my muscles growing and being awesome.  Does anyone know, do either of these things make sense?

Anyway, gonna get up and stretch a bit before my muscles lock up and make it so I can't move the rest of the day. :-)  Have a great weekend, and here's hoping your favorite team wins tomorrow!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Comfortable bites.

I've been stuck in a rut over the past month, and I feel like this blog gets stuck right along with me.  On one hand, it's not particularly fun to post things like, "Hey guys, I'm back OVER 160 again today!" or "Hey everyone, I'm still not back down to what I weighed on Christmas Eve, even though it's February!"  Boo.  But at the same time, as this thing has become a sort of chronology of my weight loss, crappy posts should be here too.

I'm at a difficult stage in the process, for a number of reasons.  A big reason is completely psychological.  As of today (weigh in around 157)  I weigh a few pounds less than I did when I graduated high school.  A few pounds less than when Shane and I started dating.  Around 5-7 pounds more than I did on my wedding day.  You hear from people who have experienced major changes in their physical appearance having a hard time getting their self-concept to catch up with what everyone else can see.  I guess it's kind of like the Ugly Duckling phenomenon, a person who has been "usually fat" may always think of him or herself as fat.  For me, when I weighed around 130, and when I weighed around 190, THIS was the body I saw with my minds eye.  A little bit chubby,  decently strong (you know, for a chick), size somewhere around 8-10.

All of these facts being true, it's really easy for me to just to cozy up at this plateau, and say "good enough".  To keep sucking in my stomach while looking in the mirror and adding bronzer to make my cheek bones look a liiiittle more well defined.  No I'm not happy with where I am now, but I'm not depressed about it either.  I'm comfortable.  And ya know what?  Comfortable, "good enough", these are most definitely the worst enemies of Great.

Another road block to weight loss is simply the fact that I've actually had some success so far.  When I was pushing 200lbs, I was eating whatever, lots of sweets, lots of fast food, and never exercising.  So making changes, cutting out the sweets and fats (not ALWAYS, but MOSTLY) and getting up and moving around for a little, well that took me from 191 down to 157.  But now, something else needs to happen.  I can't lose weight just by making these changes.   Those changes where already made.  Now, it's time to get even more serious.  So today will be the 3rd day of crazy kick-me-in-the-pants working out.  I'm getting more serious, I'm ready to get past comfortable and to be hot stuff.  In fact, I'm ready to get to my best self: My adult lowest was at age 20, I got down to 128.  I want to be down there again, under 130, and more toned than I ever made myself be back then.   So here we go, no turning back.  Oh, and also, get ready to see bikini pictures soon, because when I start looking hot, well, people are going to see some of that :-)

So good luck to all of you who are going through this stuff with me, I appreciate all of the encouragement and stories of solidarity!   You guys are crazy awesome!
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