Hello old friend.

Published by Melanie under on 7:42 AM
Wow. It's been a while.

I have been dealing with an inner struggle to find balance between "healthy" and "happy."

It seems that I am constantly on an extreme roller coaster ride...very strict for a week about being healthy...no cheating, no splurges, no "fun" foods. After about a week, my willpower to say no to fun (aka tasty) foods dies down and I am (yet again) in a low spot splurging on fast food, cookies, ice cream, or what ever may come my way.

I
Hate
it.

I realize that I am like SO many other people out there who struggle with this monster...this thing that, no matter how hard we try to not let it, consumes our ever thought...every action...every second of every day. WEIGHT.

It's easy to say that I know I'm on the road to being healthy, and being healthy is after all my ultimate goal in loosing weight. It's easy to say, because it's true. It is also true, however, that loosing the weight, seeing the changes on my body AND scale, is the ONLY thing that makes me happy. Results. I want to see RESULTS.

And I don't. And I am easily discouraged. And I've fallen off the wagon a thousand times as a result of not seeing results.

I read somewhere that it doesn't matter how many times you fall. If you've fallen a thousand times, get up a thousand and one. The truth of the matter is that I'm tired of falling. It hurts. Every time I get up, it's harder than the last time...and that makes falling much easier.

At some point, I need to ask myself, no...TELL myself, I am DONE falling. Done with the extreme roller coaster. Done with failing.

Easier said than done. So much easier said....

I recently started to MAKE time for myself to read. I love reading. I may only find that time late at night when everyone in the house is sleeping, but it is time that I have found...a few hours a night that I truly look forward to. In finding this time to read, I have become addicted to the Twilight series. Yes, (hanging my head) I admit it. I finished the 2ND book in 2 days...addicted, obsessed...I know. Anyway, my point to admitting this, was that I CAN NOT wait to start the 3rd book. So, rather than just going out, buying it and starting it tonight, I'm going to use this energy of WANT and turn it into motivation. I can get the 3rd book when I have lost 5 pounds. Not 10, 15 or 20. Just 5. Every additional 10 pounds I will "reward" myself with another book (next in line will be Breaking Dawn, book #4).

Another change (in addition to using books as rewards) is that I will NOT be dieting. Diets, for me anyway, fail because they don't allow me to enjoy anything. Anything I put in my mouth is bland, a chore, and all I think of all day is food...I only DREAM about the next time I can have something "normal". I will, instead, be making healthy choices. I will allow myself to indulge in "treats" but within limits...say, 3 small bites of a dessert, or 1/2 the serving size of chips. I hope that along with set limits on EVERYTHING (thus not depriving myself of cravings) along with the VERY STRONG motivation to read ECLIPSE, I will be more successful.

I addition to my eating plan, I am going to to work out at least 5 days a week.

Here's to getting up....again....and (with any luck) staying on my feet this time!

My real age

Published by Melanie under on 11:49 AM
Well, our assignment this week was to find our our "real age" based on our lifestyles. Lucky for me, I'm registering a whole 4.3 years younger than I actually am. I would be a bit depressed if I were "really" 35 or 40.


What makes me tick?

Published by Melanie under on 11:41 AM

This week's HOMEWORK for boot camp is to analyze yourself and determine...what makes you tick. There are 10 questions that we are supposed to delve into with complete honesty and detail. Here goes...

1. What do I really want?

I want to be happy with who I am...really. Not to just SAY that I'm happy, but to really BE happy...and not look at my reflection in disgust. I want to accept me for all that I am, and all that I am NOT. To accept that I have faults, that I am not perfect, and that sometimes it's OK to tell people NO and admit that I need help. I want to be able to admit that sometimes, I CAN'T do it all. I want to be take seriously in situations where people don't think I know anything. I want to be judged by my character, not my cover, and I don't want to be compared to some social standard of NORMAL.

2. Should I really change?

With regard to what? My personality? NO.

My lifestyle? Maybe a few thing could stand to be tweaked for OPTIMAL performance.

My habits? Sure. Some habits could definitely use a change...a double look to see if they are, in the long run, helping or heeding my goal to happiness. I should change the way I look at things, usually in a semi-judgemental way. I should change the way I care so much about what people think of me. I should change the way I address situations where Paige is upset about something, and not take each scenario with a grain of salt. I should realize that to her, these situations she encounters, really seem like the end of the world, and address them with empathy, support, and understanding rather than frustration and matter-of-factness. I really should change that...

3. What's the bright side in all of this?

I guess the "bright side" of this is that I am able to see, think, and realize out loud, who I really am and what I really want. I'm able to pin-point things that I can work on to be happier, or completely drop if needed, and find that inner peace that I've been so desperately trying to achieve.

4. Am I comfortable with what I'm doing?

Though I must fully admit that I do not LOVE what I do (as a career), I am comfortable with it. I'm thankful, more now than ever, that I (1) HAVE A JOB and (2) KNOW FULL WELL THAT MY JOB ISN'T GOING ANYWHERE ANYTIME SOON. I do catch myself once in a while dreaming about where I would be had I pursued my dream of being a Veterinarian, but I know that by taking the road I took, we are financially stable enough to support our kids, maintain our mortgage and other duties, and have the flexibility that I need as a working mom. I really don't think I would have had Coleton or Jadyn had I gone back to school, and so by admitting that, I can answer that YES, I am comfortable with what I'm doing and with the choices I have made.

5. Have I done enough for myself?

This one is hard for me, because I'd like to say...Yes, I do a lot for me. In all honesty though...No, I really don't. I DO maintain my commitment to boot camp, and so I am doing more for me NOW than I ever have, but still, I don't think it's ENOUGH. I don't treat myself...EVER. I don't pamper myself...EVER. And it is a very very rare occasion that I even get to shower or pee by myself...which, as I type this I wonder about because I can count on 1 FINGER how many times Elmo has had a child with him during these (private) circumstances. I don't treat myself even a fraction of a percent as well as I treat my family...they always have nice clothes and fresh meals, and I willingly take the left overs. That is, after all, what a MOTHER does, isn't it? I am by no means complaining...I love being a mom. Completely, with all of my heart LOVE IT, but I do admit that sometimes it would be nice to have someone serve ME...for MY plate to be the 1st prepared...or to go out clothes shopping and actually come home with clothes that fit me and don't have dinosaurs or kitty's and flowers on them. And, it would be nice to have honest to goodness ALONE time...time for ME to do what I WANT TO DO, not what I NEED to do. Yes, that would be nice. What would be even better...would be that I wouldn't need to ask for it...I would seriously drop to the floor in amazement if my husband just noticed that I needed some ME time and made it happen. Then again...it wouldn't be ME doing something for me then, would it?

6. Am I happy at where I am today?

Without hesitation...YES. I am completely, 100%, without a doubt, happy with where I am today. I am in a relationship that still sparkles even after 12 year. I have 3 kids who are my entire world. I have a great paying job with too many perks to list. I am blessed (though I may not always appreciate it) to have family near. Blessed to have a beautiful home, loving neighbors who are also my friends, and (let's face it) so fortunate to have been born in America.

7. Am I appealing to the opposite sex?

The only person of the opposite sex whom I have any intention (or care) of appealing is my husband, and YES, I still somehow manage to appeal him! Call it a miracle, call it unbelievable, call it what you will...but even after 12 years...3 kids & 50+ pounds I still do! Even more miraculous is that he makes it a point to let me know that he thinks I'm pretty on a regular basis. And, as luck would have it, he still appeals me too!!

8. How much could I have?

This is a very odd question to me. What does it mean? Posessions? I guess I could have everything my little heart desired if I was dishonest, selfish, and obsessed. But, then I'd have EVERYTHING and be left with nothing. No family, no future, no dreams, nothing to look forward to. What fun would that be?

If however, this question is aimed more towards inner fulfillment rather than posessions, I guess I already have everything. I am loved. I am the world to at least 4 people, who in turn are my world. I am so rich with love and fun and passion, that I couldn't really care less if I'm not keeping up with the Smiths. I am fortunate enough to have found a love that most people search their entire lives for. That is true wealth. True happiness. The only posession with any true value. I have everything that I need. Anything else that I am fortunate enough to get, is just an added bonus!

9. What motivates me?

Gosh, So MANY thing motivate me!

Capturing moments for eternity for me AS WELL AS for others. (Photography)

Helping others in ANY way I can

Making my kids & husband happy

I guess everything boils down to making people happy. Anyone. Anything I can do to help someone in their time of need, or something to just make them smile, I'm all over it. I'm a feel-good junkie, and I yearn for that feeling of gooey warmth after I've done something for someone without being asked! That is really what motivates me!

10. What Really Makes You Tick?

I guess if I had to sum up what really makes me tick, it would be family & friends. I like to think of myself as a kind, sensitive, caring, unselfish person who would do anything within my means to help someone out. I too often put my needs on the back burner and forget about them as I cater to others, without hesitation, without retribution, without underlying cause. I love to make others happy, even if it sometimes means I suffer a little less happiness. By writing that down, I realize that maybe it's something I need to work on. In life, there always needs to be an even balance. Throughout my years of kindness, it seems that I have somehow become a stepping stone that some people just use to get where they need to go, and although it makes me happy to know that I somehow made their life a little easier, I shouldn't allow their happiness to superceede mine. I am an unselfish person...always willing to do whatever I can for others. Maybe it's time that I use some of my compassion, kindness, pampering and eagerness to help on myself!

Been a long time...

Published by Melanie under on 9:20 AM
Geesh! I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last posted. Ok, more like a few weeks, but still!

I forewarn you...this post is pretty random...so try to keep up. I have a lot to say...and not all of it flows from one topic to the next.

I've been doing OK with my eating...I actually think (with the exception of this morning) more than just OK. My average day looks something like this:

Breakfast: cup of coffee with skim, splenda, and 2 TBSP of FF creamer (usually Carmel vanilla...YUM) and a Dannon Fusion Smoothie.

Lunch: 1 can of Progresso Soup, water or a Coke Zero, and a Cutie orange

Snack: 1 cutie orange & a string cheese

Dinner: varies every day, but always low cal.

Snack: Banana of yogurt

I average about 1300 calories a day, according to www.mydailyplate.com and am burning about 1800, so the question remains....WHY AREN'T I LOOSING WEIGHT?

I am still working out as usual, Boot Camp on Mon, Tues & Thurs, biking every other day. My poor elliptical has started to become a coat hanger since the weather is so nice! Who wants to exercise inside when the outside is so much nicer?

To be quite honest, I have been slipping on my will power. Saturday Jadyn didn't want to take a nap. Despite staying in her room for over an hour & a half, she couldn't fall asleep. After checking on her for the umpteenth time, and realizing that her inability to fall asleep had caused her room to vomit every toy from every bin, I decided to take her outside to play. When we came in, it was dinner time. After dinner, she sat on the couch, instantly curling up and closing her eyes. Knowing that if I let her close her peepers too soon I would regret it at 4 AM, I energetically asked her if she would like to help me make a cake. She took a minute to convince herself that baking was much more fun than sleeping, but in the end, her sweet tooth won so we baked a cake.

I am ashamed to say I had 3 pieces of that cake...and I felt physically sick (and guilty) after every piece. So, why then, did I eat more?

Lack of Will Power.

Last night we had homemade lasagna. I made it with wheat noodles (no one even noticed), ricotta made with part skim, low fat mozzarella, egg whites, and garden vegetable sauce. It was as healthy as lasagna could be...except I also made some YUMMY YUMMY garlic bread, which wasn't spared any fat, carb or calorie. I had 1 piece of the lasagna and 2 slices (top & bottom) of garlic bread. I was uncomfortable stuffed after we ate, and since I never have REAL dairy anymore...I'm not feeling so hot today...Why do I do this to myself?

Lack of Will Power.

This morning I was all out of my usual breakfast, so I decided I would just skip breakfast. I know, I know...breakfast is the most important meal of the day so I shouldn't skip it. Fear not, I did end up eating breakfast. Elmo came into my office to tell me that he was going to McDonald's to get breakfast and asked if I wanted anything. I tried to say no...I really did...but visions of hot egg mcmuffins, hash browns, and breakfast burritos sent all traces of will power out the window, and I placed my order.

Now...2 breakfast burritos, 1 hash brown, and small orange juice later...I hate myself. Why?

Lack of Will Power.

Remember I said a while ago that I bought a new pair of shoes that had miraculously alleviated all traces of prior shin splints and foot pain? The same is no longer true. Ever since the 1/2 Marathon, my lower half hasn't been the same. I don't know if I've already worn the shoes out or if I really hurt something as I pushed another 6 miles out through excruciating pain. Since the shoes are only a month or so old, I'm assuming the latter to be true.

Great.

Another Milestone under the belt

Published by Melanie under on 7:55 AM
I write this entry with complete pride, sense of accomplishment, and ultimate astonishment.
I walked/jogged/ran my very first 1/2 marathon...13.5 miles to be EXACT.

I still can't believe it.

A month or so ago, a new girl joined our boot camp regime. She announced that there was a marathon / half marathon being organized for February right next to our house. She said that she did it last year, and that it was a lot of fun. I don't know why...I don't know how...but for some reason, I started to believe that participating in this grueling event would be a great experience for me...a great milestone to conquer. I blame my optimistic attitude on the recent 5K I completed....

Knowing I would have a difficult time completing the marathon on my own, I called my neighbor Kim, who is likely the most fun, upbeat, motivational person I know, to see if she would like to participate with me. Without hesitation, she said YES. I was amazed...what a great person! I contacted the IMS Marathon organization to sign up, and found out that there was a special Valentine's Day promotion going on...a 2 for 1 special!! Completely sold on the idea that it was a sign, I signed up.

The next few weeks that passed seemed to count down like a time-bomb...ticking away seconds until D-day...and to me that's really what it felt like. I was so scared...asking myself, "What have you done?" Underestimating my strength and stamina to complete the adventure. I would finish a night of boot camp wondering if it really would be possible for me to move 4 or 5 hours without stopping.

Weekly boot camp newsletters were a constant encouragement and reminder that I was in control of what happened...thoughts such as:
I create my life and am in control of what happens

Play to WIN...
Commit to succeed
Think BIG
Practice Optimism...glass is 1/2 full

I bought another new pair of shoes that alleviated 80% of my prior pains...my shin splints were now a thing of the past, and all I had left to overcome was the pain in my foot, which only surfaced some nights.

With my hopes high, my legs pain free, and a good friend by my side, I was as ready as humanly possible to face my next challenge.

Elmo dropped us off at the start line and took our "before" picture. See how excited we were? (Oh yes...no one thought it necessary to let me know that I pinned my number on UPSIDE DOWN. I ran the whole day like that...people must have thought I was a loon!)As we started the run, the butterflies that I had been feeling dissipated and a surge of adrenaline encompassed my body. I was optimistic, energetic, and just plain feeling good...ready to embark and conquer this great challenge ahead.
The temperature was a balmy 42° when we started, and our bodies quickly went numb and tingly, complete with a deep tone of PINK by the time we hit the 1st mile mark, but we were still high on spirits and catching up on girl talk.

By the time we hit the 5th or 6th mile, my infamous foot pain reared its ugly head. Kim was concerned, but I knew that nothing I (or 1st Aid) did would alleviate or diminish the pain, and that it was just something I would have to work through. ONWARD....
I had to take a potty break at the 9th mile...but little did we know that it was the LAST port-o-potty stop available until the finish. Poor Kim went the last 3 miles with her bladder ready to explode!

I called Elmo at the 10 1/2 mile marker to let him know my location so that he could leave and meet me at the finish line. By that time, both of my feet were in so much pain...and I had also developed a blister on the bottom of my foot. On a positive note, my calves/shins felt great!
We were now within sight of the Stadium, which was adjacent to the finish line. Ordinarily, that sight would invoke another adrenaline rush, which would give you a 2nd wind to finish. However, since everything in my body was telling me to stop out of agonizing pain, all I could think was, "We're still so far away!" Kim tried to be encouraging, and even though I may not have shown her that she was helping me, she really was. She told me, "It's so close. We've already gone 11 miles."

Every step hurt, every tendon and muscle in my foot ached, and I fough back tears more than once as I pushed through the pain. I finally let some tears fall when I saw the 12.5 mile marker...letting us know that we were only 1 mile away from the end. I pulled out my phone and took a picture.

The last mile led to a bridge that went over the highway. Who's idea was it to make the last mile (or at least part of it) up hill? As we finished the last stretch (Kim doing a potty dance and I failing to fight the tears) I suddenly realized....I had finished. I finally succumbed to my emotions as the crowd of spectators cheered us on the last few yards. When I saw Elmo & the kids at the finish line also cheering, I was a mess.


Our official time... 4:18...not bad for beginners!


As Elmo hugged me, both in pride and concern I'm sure, he asked why I was crying. I told him I was just so happy I did it...but in all honesty...I was also crying because I still had to walk to the car!

I spent the rest of the night staying off my feet...I must have looked like a 100 year old lady trying to walk...that's what I felt like anyway!
Today, my feet don't hurt, but my knees & back are a different story. Hopefully the Ibuprophen I took will kick in soon!!

Needless to say, I will not be attending boot camp tonight!

Seriously? Seriously!

Published by Melanie under on 9:41 AM
Last night, as I changed for bootcamp, I was so excited to see that the pants that I wore my first night (which by the way were tight) were now very baggy.

I rushed to get my camera so that I could take some more "after" shots...anxiously anticipating the side by side comparison that would follow.

I went to Coleton's practice, then bootcamp...all the while flying high that I was walking around in pants that were CLEARLY too big. Once at bootcamp, we warmed up with our walk/run...and while running, my pants AND underwear were both falling down. I secretly pulled them up while simultaneously doing a little happy dance.

After a GRUELING workout, I went home to compare my last picture (taken at 8 weeks) with the one from last night (16 weeks). The results?

No change...what so ever!!

Seriously?? Seriously!! I can't even remember the last time I was so disappointed.

I absolutely HATE the fact that I consume every day with "weight" on the brain.

I hate that I get so hopeful only to be let down...by myself.

What more can I be doing? Am I destined to be overweight my entire life?

I was hit with a real wake up call this afternoon while meeting with one of our company's insurance brokers. We have dealt closely with her for the past 9 years, and I consider her a friend. She is the most kind, unselfish, grounded, and simple people I have ever met. As she met with us today to review insurance renewal options, I commented that I liked her new hair style and asked her if it was new. Her reply caught me completely off guard. She said, "Oh thank you. Actually, it's a wig, very easy to handle and low maintenance. I have cancer."

Further discussion revealed that she had been fighting 2 tumors in her abdomen (diagnosed as lymphoma) for a few months, and has finally requested that her Dr.'s stop treatment. There had been no progress with the tumors and she would rather live her life as she pleases than be miserable in a hospital bed waiting to die. She said, "It's good really. I never wanted to be old anyway."

Here I am, so concerned about my appearance, when it finally hit me...

It's not about what you look like...it's about being HEALTHY. Though it would be nice to be a size 6, 8, 10, or even 12, my ultimate goal is to get healthy so that I can live long enough to see my kids grow up...healthy enough to play with my kids while I still can....healthy enough so that I can do daily activities without feeling like my first myocardial infarction is just around the corner.

So, while I may not be changing externally, I know that by eating healthy and exercising 5-6 times a week, I am changing internally...and that is where the change matters most.

Temptations

Published by Melanie under on 2:34 PM
It is said that the average man thinks about sex every 2 minutes.

Me? I think about FOOD. Is that normal?

Everywhere I look...there are temptations.

What to eat for lunch? I brought salad...everyone else is getting burgers.

What to have for snack? I have rice cakes or carrots...the kids are eating candy.

What to eat for dinner? I took out chicken, but I'm tired and would MUCH rather eat out.

It seems that no matter what my plans...no matter my location...I am forced to remind myself that I need to be eating more healthy. Make healthy choices. Eat better. Burn off more than you eat.

I absolutly HATE that food seems to be on my mind all day long. It's a constant thought, topic, and threat to me every day. Even if I'm not hungry, I catch myself looking for a snack.

Food has somehow become something that I do...out of boredom...out of routine...out of circumstance. It's a cycle that I am becoming more and more aware of each day as I strive to maintain sight of my goal. A cycle that I am fighting to break.

Willpower is my enemy...and to it I say bring it on. In addition to making smarter more healthy choices as to what passes my lips, I have become obsessed devoted to writing down EVERY SINGLE calorie I eat. There is a website I found that actually has everything edible listed...and detailed...so that you can track your caloric intake. On my first day of recording my meals, I was astounded to see that even though I was using Tracey's 3Phase Diet, I was still managing to eat over 2500 calories! Since then, I write a plan for my daily meals, enter them in, and adjust my intake as needed. My goal is to stay around 1500 cals, and by working out every day...I hope to see the pounds disappear.

Chugg chugg chugg

Published by Melanie under on 12:03 PM
Still chugging along....

I was very happy with myself last week, as I completed my deck of cards every single day and exercised every day except Sunday, and even that day was filled with 4 hours of walking.

We went to the Zoo on Sunday while Elmo & Coleton were at the Cardinal / Eagle's game *lucky ducks!*.

The Wildlife World Zoo just opened up an Aquarium...the first in Arizona. Having been SPOILED by the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, I was DYING to see this new addition. The price was pretty steep, so I HAD intended on packing our lunches...both to save money and to limit my caloric intake...however with a toddler fighting a fever and a 9 year old not willing to help that day...I took the easy road & decided to buy lunch there.

The aquarium was nice...not NEARLY as cool as the Shedd, but I have yet to visit one that even compares. (If you haven't ever been...you're missing out!)

After walking around for a few hours, the kids were whining that they were hungry, so off we went in search of food. In addition to the new aquarium, there is also a new aquarium restaurant. I knew I would be more likely to find a salad or some other semi-healthy choice there versus at the "Penguin Cafe", however one look at the menu prices made me lose my appetite.

The Penguin Cafe it is.

I am allowed 1 "free" meal a week...and since I hadn't used one yet...no time like the present. Though the nachos, pretzels and personal pizzas called my name, I decided to go for the more "adult" choice, although in hindsight it probably packed just as many (if not more) calories. I chose the BBQ sandwich. The funny thing is that the WHOLE time I was eating that sandwich, I hated myself. I hated that I was eating a BBQ drenched (probably accounted for my whole week's worth of condiment cards) beef sandwich between a WHITE bun. It was almost sac-religious.

Funny how my mind is now thinking...it's great to know that I am now so self conscious and aware of what I'm eating.

Still doing well

Published by Melanie under on 9:40 AM

Day 2 down and I managed to finish all of my cards again.


Boot camp was difficult (no surprise there) as we did a night of Super Sets. 4 consecutive minutes of 2 exercises. I find solace in knowing that I am still pushing myself to make it the last 20 seconds of each set and noticably sore every day. That means it's working.

Sore muscles = worked muscles = burning fat, making new muscles.

Since my new approach revolves around blatent honesty, I've been forced to "face the music" as they say and answer the question..."Why am I fat?"

Sadly, there are quite a few reasons (excuses...lines...conclusions) that I came up with, but basically, they all have to do with the fact that I (used to) eat too much crap.

My vices?

  • Chips. The more flavor packed, the better. I am ashamed to admit that I can remember several occasions where I sat down with a new tube of Pringles and ate them all at once in one sitting. Oh no, and not only Pringles. Lay's, Ruffles, Doritos, Cheetos...you name it, I've probably eaten at least 1/2 a bag a time or two in my life.
  • Fast food. In a time where obligations consume our lives, days are too short, and cooking a decent healthy meal (quite frankly) takes too long, fast food had become my (and many other I fear) salvation and easy solution...our new best friend. I had too many excuses to NOT make dinner...no time, too tired, to busy...but now looking at it from a different perspective: How ironic is it that I would work out right after work and then get fast food on the way home...because I wouldn't have time to make a dinner? I would have been better off not working out at all, since I would consume at least DOUBLE the amount of calories that I had just burned. Or that I put the kids in sports so that they wouldn't get fat or lazy, only to get them a Happy Meal on the way home. It's pretty amazing how your mind seems to rationalize everything you do even though, when you stop and think about it, it really makes no sense at all. Not to mention...I wasted SO MUCH MONEY!

  • Dips. Pair this with vice # 1, and you're sure to hit a sweet spot of mine. Ranch dressing with pizza became a VERY bad habit in our house...one that the kids are really fighting to let go. Dips for fries, chips, vegetables, fruits. Anything that "could" be healthy for you lost its potential once paired with a dip.

  • Cheese & Crackers. What is it about those cans of cheese that taste so good? Is it even real cheese? I used to sit down and finish a can in 2 - 3 sittings. I could eat 1/2 a box of Ritz crackers a day...in one sitting...for a meal. 1 package would be a "snack" for me. The really sad part? I usually wasn't even hungry when I ate my snack. I just ate because my kids were having their snack.

I remember my mom, on occasion, would say to me in my early teen years, "Take some & put them on your plate. Then put the bag away." It's hard to admit that even then I was a junk food junkie, but I remember it. I, of course, pass that superb advice onto my kids today...my problem though (honesty, remember?) is............I don't follow my own advice. Plain & simple. Honestly, I probably wouldn't be in the situation I am today if I had learned portion control W-A-Y back then.

The most difficult part of reforming myself to attain my goal is portion control. I am constantly reminding myself to weigh or count my food items. What is a serving? What may be sold as one could really be meant for 2.5. I hate that about packaging companies. They're so misleading.

"Only 150 calories...per serving" though packaged for an individual, the serving count is most likely more than 1.

Even though I sink in my chair and hide while I read what I just wrote, it is good. Good to know that I recognize my vices and past mistakes of (let's face it) gluttony...and good that I have changed...or at least on the long road to change. It's good that I have learned that I can eat anything...in moderation...and even better to know that I have the will power to stay away from the foods that I no longer hear calling my name from the pantry. If they call me at all, they do so from the shelf in the grocery store...and I am now too busy to heed their calls.

Looking back

Published by Melanie under on 8:31 AM
I saw a question on someones blog this morning. It said, "What would you say to yourself 5, 10 or 15 years ago regarding where you are now?"

It made me think...what WOULD I say? I think that 5 years ago there really wouldn't be much to say...things are pretty much where they are now...but 10 or 15 years ago?

10 years ago this month Elmo & I were married. January 30 is our 10th anniversary. 10 years ago we engaged in a long, painful and expensive battle for custody of Erik. 10 years ago I discovered I was pregnant with Paige, starting life as a mom & wife all at once, and already thought I was fat. 10 years ago my life began, and though there are parts that I wish I could change or tweak, I am VERY happy with where I am NOW.

If I could somehow visit with myself at age 20, I would give the following advice:

  1. Weight is just a number...that Y-O-U control. Maintain control. Don't forget that diet is just as important as exercise. Don't forget to take care of YOU. No one will ever love you more than you love yourself. Don't forget to love yourself. No one will take care of you if you don't take care of yourself. If you're hiding what you're eating...you shouldn't be eating it. Eating may comfort your current dilemmas, but it will also bring a whole other one in days to come which will not be so easily ignored.
  2. No one will ever tell you that life is easy, and if they do, they're lying. You will have days where you will wonder if the choices you're making today are right. Have faith that you know what is best for you. Faith doesn't make things easy, it makes them possible.
  3. Don't lose contact with those you hold dear. Memories of them will haunt you, and you will find yourself regretting the day you let them go, constantly wondering where they are, how they are, and missing them.
  4. Your kids will be the best thing that ever happen to you. Some days, they will also be the worst. Always remember to tell them, show them, and make sure that they know that you love them. Make sure they know you will always be there...for what ever they need, when ever they need it. Nothing will ever be more important than them. Be the best example you can be in all that you do, and always make time for them.
  5. Don't forget that marriage takes work. With the support of your husband, you will move mountains. As a team you will fight, love, laugh and cry, but you will do it together. Life is unplanned, unscripted, and unknown, but with Elmo by your side, you will never face it alone. As a team you will be unstoppable.

I look back and now realize that in 10 years, Elmo and I have been through so much. We've hit some very dark challenges, and some days I didn't know if we would make it. We've faced every obstacle that life and God has thrown at us and still managed to come through together...stronger and with more love, respect and faith in each other than on the day we married. Through everything, life, death, moves, financial struggles, custody battle, ERIK, family, we have become such a strong entity that I can not imagine my life without him. I can not imagine facing things without his support or love. For him I am thankful. I am proud that we made it through some VERY difficult times. We have made it, when even I didn't know if we would.

I am now at a point in my life when I can focus on ME. I can do things that better myself, and I know that NOW is different than 10 years (or even 5) ago because of how life has changed. No longer am I preoccupied with holding my family together through past stresses. No longer do I find the need to justify to MYSELF that I am worth the time. No longer do I need to shy away from "Just doing it" because I lack support. I am finally optimistic that this year IS a new year...not only by the year change, but also by all of the changes that have taken place and allowed me to let go of past anchors...permitting me to float freely on the sea of opportunity and promise. There is nothing holding me back...nothing weighing me down. There are no more excuses.

One day closer

Published by Melanie under on 12:50 PM
I'm one day closer to meeting my goals.

I finished all of my cards yesterday...barely, but I did. I wanted to see how far the park really was, so I decided to mapquest it. To my shock and amazement, it is actually 3.76 miles away, so I really biked 7.5 miles, twice what I thought.

I had the following last night to complete my cards:

4 snacks - 24 mini rice cakes (counts as 2) & 2 Tbsp of peanut butter
4 waters
1 vitamin
3 proteins - 1 cup sloppy joes...minus the bun
2 condiments - in sloppy joes

Elmo rented Mirrors last night, and since the new video place only allows you to keep movies for 24 hours, we had to watch it last night. I'm one of those people who likes to munch on something while I get into a movie...I don't have to be eating the WHOLE time, just in the beginning. Since I still had 3 proteins, 2 vegetables and a dairy when we got home from cheer, I decided to down a V8 (counts as 2 veggies...cha ching), eat a yogurt and cut up 2 protein bars into little squares that I could munch on during the movie. I put them in the freezer while I got the kids ready for bed, and by the time I was done, I had a cold, crunchy chocolaty treat to eat. It was delicious!

So far today, I have managed to do just as well. I will have to make a stop at the store on the way home to get some more V8 and maybe some other protein snacks.

I have eaten:

Protein (4) - egg beaters this morning, chicken for lunch & a protein bar for snack (it was a big one)
Condiment (1) - bbq sauce
Carb (1) - corn tortilla & rice for lunch (lean cuisine)
Water (6)
Snack (1) - String cheese
Dairy (3) - a slice of cheese on eggs, yogurt & skim milk
Fruit (1) - applesauce

I have left:

snacks (3)
water (2)
fats (1)
Veggies (4)
Protein (3)
Condiment (1)
Vitamin (1)

I plan on having some turkey slices with avocado & rice cakes (snack) for dinner with a V8. I'll chug another V8 when I get home from boot camp, and will probably eat some cranberries & almonds at Coleton's practice. That should take up the rest of the cards.

On another note, I'm surprised to see how my eating habits are rubbing off on a certain husband of mine. Completely out of the blue he said to me, "Do you think you can make me something healthy for breakfast?" and he's switched from Mountain Dew to Coke Zero. That alone will probably make him lose 10 pounds...which makes me mad...since it only happens with men. He also told me that if I see him snacking to mention, "hey, you're snacking" because he is a HUGE snacker. It makes me proud to see him recognizing and supporting my efforts by trying to make the switch too. It's a lot easier to eat healthy when "unhealthy" foods are simply omitted from the house.

I also realized that I hadn't mentioned my BIG NEWS...

drum roll please.............

I am going to participate in the Annual IMS Marathon...although I'll only be doing the 1/2 marathon. It's 13.1 miles (full is 26) and I am stoked! Kim said that she would do it with me, and we estimate that if we start off run/walking (and end with trying to maintain a fast walk) we should be able to finish in about 4 hours...maybe 4 1/2. Elmo said that he'll meet me at the finish line (which is the Cardinal's Stadium) with the kids to take our picture as we cross and celebrate with us. How sweet!

Crazy? I know, but I'm still excited!

Week 14

Published by Melanie under on 11:54 AM
It occurred to me that maybe detailing my daily workout regime is not the way to continue my blog. I need a change...a new approach to grabbing attention from my most valued reader...ME.

New year...new approach to weight loss, right?

Maybe the way to be approaching my goal is to be completely honest with myself and ALL of the things that go on in my life (pertaining to achieving my goal, that is) by detailing the day's events here. Everything...from what I eat, things I try, activities I embark on, and all that jazz. I think henceforth, that's the direction I will pursue...Blatant honesty with myself...not just a journal of my boot camp workouts.

Sometimes the best way to be honest with yourself is to write the truth down and read it.

Since I'm putting my cards on the table, let's talk diet. Correction, current eating habits. I am NOT on a diet. Tracey (as you may -or may not- know) has created a program that is SIMPLE to follow. My problem? I don't follow it. Honesty. Got to love it.

So, even though I'm about 2 weeks into the new year already, I feel like I'm already failing myself and my resolutions. BUT I'M NOT COMPLAINING. No, no. That would be too easy. I am thinking out loud...being honest with myself...and getting back on the horse. Today. Immediately.

Today I have been persistent on turning over my cards as I use them and referring to them often to determine how best to use them all up. So far I have used:

Fruits - 1 (orange)
Veggies - 2 (Tomato & salad)
Carbs - 1 (bowtie pasta, lean cuisine)
Water - 5
Protein - 1 (1/2 cup egg beaters)
Dairy - 2 (glass of skim & 1 cup yogurt)
Fat - 1 (avocado in salad)

Unfortunately, I still have a lot of cards left:

Snacks - 4
Condiment - 2
Vitamin - 1
Water - 3
Veggies - 2
Dairy - 1
Protein - 6

Wowzers! As I sit here sipping on a tall glass of good old H2O, I am racking my brain to think of ways to get all of those cards done by the end of today. I mean, do I really have to use up the condiments?! I'll have to ask Tracey.

There is no boot camp tonight, and for that I am thankful! I am so frickin' sore today it's not even funny. I defiantly need a day "off". Paige starts cheerleading tonight, which is conveniently located about a mile (give or take) from our house at a park. I plan on biking there with the kids (Paige will ride her scooter so she's not too tired to cheer & so she can make it home) every Wednesday. I'll play with Jadyn & Coleton while Paige does her cheer. Then we'll bike home. I will more likely than not also do 20-30 minutes on the elliptical, since biking 2 miles isn't enough exercise.

Though this may be a little more boring (or not) to read than my former entries detailing my strenuous workout routines, I find comfort knowing that by writing down everything that I'm putting into my mouth and activities that I do, I am making myself aware and accountable. I know that I have a tendency to go full throttle when I start something...and quickly taper off to an idle within a week. Hopefully by journaling this way, I will able to maintain an even speed that boosts me into a steady progression of weight loss and noticeable results.

The only one who in control of my weight is ME.

I was reading a few Dr. Seuss books last night (The Places You'll Go, in particular) to Jadyn, and SO MANY verses hit a chord in me, that I thought I'd pass them on:

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.

You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one
who'll decide where to go.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

I'm sorry to say so
But, sadly it's true
That bang-ups and hang-ups
Can happen to you.

On an on you will hike,
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up of course, as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go.

So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
And remember that Life’s
a great balancing act.

Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

Will you succeed?
Yes you will indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


Be honest with yourself and others...because the ones who mind won't matter, and the ones who matter won't mind. ~ Dr. Seuss

day 39...week 13...month 4

Published by Melanie under on 7:27 AM
It becama aparent after Tuesday's workout that it was necessary for me to invest in another pair (or two) of LONG pants to use while working out at night. The temperature, although not as cold as other states, can be quite frigid, and capris just aren't making the cut anymore.

I decided that since I will most likely only be wearing the pants a few time before the temperature rises again, so I went to the local Goodwill. I took a chance and bought 2 pair of XL pants rather than 1XL or 2XL, based solely on the fact that the other pants looked immense. As I rushed to get dressed in preparation for what the night had in store, I was thrilled to see that the pants fit...and were even baggy! I then decided to push my luck and try on the XL t-shirt that I got from the 5K...and it fit too! I can't even remember the last time I was able to fit into "regular" clothes, rather than the PLUS sizes.

I was already pretty tired when I got to bootcamp since I had been running around all day doing the kid's sports, but psyched knowing I was comfortably wearing XL clothes and that it was Thursday...boot camp's Friday.

We walked / ran, stretched & finished with 1 JJ 1 squat ladder to 10. Tracey told us that the night's routine was Weekend Warriors. She let us know that we would feel this workout for the entire weekend. Super duper!

We started off with upper body:

1 min PU
1 min dips
1 min angle arms
1 min wide PU
1 min standing good mornings
30 second break
REPEAT

Cardio:

sprint to the other side of the parking lot
30 fast feet
sprint back to the other side
30 fast feet
skip the parkinglot back & forth 4 times
30 fast feet
sprint to the other side of the parking lot
30 fast feet
sprint back to the other side

Lower body:

1 min lunges
1 min 1 sided step ups (each side)
1 min leg throws (hold someone's ankles while they throw your legs down every which direction)
1 min squats
30 second break

10 minutes steady jogging

I completed 5 laps during the 10 minute jog...which is saying a lot since 2...maybe 2 1/2...was my limit in weeks past.

Butts & abs...same old same old

We ended the night by sharing some of our goals/resolutions for 2009. only 3 of us shared, and the other 2 ladies who shared said that they wanted to organize by year the 100's of pictures laying in boxes, and also make time every week for scrapbooking/crafting. Both of their goals are things that I should add to my list as well. It's good to know that I'm not the only one with incomplete projects and unorganized messes that need attention!

New Year's Resolutions - Project of the week

Published by Melanie under on 8:26 AM
Tracey assigned us a project this week that had to do with (appropriately enough) making & keeping our New Year's resolutions. Her steps to succede in meeting our goals were also provided, and she asked that we use them as a guide for her project. Her steps were:

SETTING & REACHING YOUR GOALS IN 2009....

1. Clarify your vision: Put down in your journal at least one goal you want to focus & obtain this year.

2. Believe you can do it: Mark down 10 times or more under you goals "I can do this".

3. Identify & Align: Write down who you know has done this before and contact them via email, letter or phone and ask them what they did to get it.

4. Relentless commitment to action: Mark down the steps you need to get there and what you will do each day or week or month to make it happen.

5. HAVE FUN & ENJOY THE JOURNEY: Write this sentence down 10 times so you never forget it.


In an effort to be "the best that I can be", I have followed her instructions to the "T".

Melanie's 2009 New Year's Resolutions:

1. a.) I want to be AT LEAST 2 sizes smaller by Christmas.
b.) I want to ELIMINATE soda (including diet) from my menu
c.) I want to decrease (at least by 1/2) my intake of white carbs
d.) I want to exercise 4 - 5 days a week rather than 3
e.) I want to create & maintain a budget schedule for my family

2. I CAN DO THIS, I CAN DO THIS, I CAN DO THIS, I CAN DO THIS, I CAN DO THIS, I CAN DO THIS, I CAN DO THIS, I CAN DO THIS, I CAN DO THIS, I CAN DO THIS,

3. a.) A lot of girls in boot camp - better eating and attending boot camp religiously
b.) Heather - Just cut it out of her life...don't buy it, have water or lemonade instead
c.) Don't know anyone who has done this, but it is easy to do it by replacing certain food items with others...ie: Wheat instead of white, sweet potatoes vs. white potatoes, Multi grain rice vs. white rice etc.
d.) A lot of girls in boot camp - take kids on bike rides, catch up on TV shows while doing elliptical, Wii fit with kids
e.) A girl in boot camp - make it a family effort...create a "company" within the family so that everyone plays a part and it becomes fun, rather than "one more thing Mom is making us do."

4. a.) Don't buy the Junk...it's better for everyone. Plan a menu at home so that there is no question of "what's for dinner" and less temptation to get fast food. Ask myself "are you really hungry?" before eating outside of a meal. Drink LOTS & LOTS of water. Make better choices for side items at dinner...salads & more veggies vs. tater tots & fries. Be a better example for kids.
b.) Don't buy the soda. Period. If it isn't in the house...it isn't an issue.
c.) Make the change to grains...find new recipes that are specifically geared toward low carb. Use the HEALTHY cookbooks that are in the cabinet...buy "Eat this, not that." book.
d.) Move the DVR up to the bedroom so that I can watch recorded shows in the same room as the Elliptical. BUY A NEW BIKE!!! Rather than having kids play in cul-de-sac everyday, ride to the park & kick or throw a ball with them.
e.) Initiate a family meeting. Plan / earn outings rather that go on a whim. Budget all things...gas, food, entertainment, utilities...and STICK to it. Give everyone (parents included) a weekly allowance and enforce the rule that once the money is gone...it's gone.

5. HAVE FUN & ENJOY THE JOURNEY
HAVE FUN & ENJOY THE JOURNEY
HAVE FUN & ENJOY THE JOURNEY
HAVE FUN & ENJOY THE JOURNEY
HAVE FUN & ENJOY THE JOURNEY
HAVE FUN & ENJOY THE JOURNEY
HAVE FUN & ENJOY THE JOURNEY
HAVE FUN & ENJOY THE JOURNEY
HAVE FUN & ENJOY THE JOURNEY
HAVE FUN & ENJOY THE JOURNEY

Jan 6, Month 4, Day 2

Published by Melanie under on 7:33 AM
Ooh...Ahh...Eek...my achin' body....

Did I mention that it's great to be back? My body is constantly reminding me that it is glad to be working out again...with every move, cough, and twitch...it thanks me. Good to know that even after 3 months of Boot Camp, I'm still working every muscle.

I realized last night that there are a few people this term who didn't return...I am especially sad about one person in particular (who started the same day as I did) because she was doing SO WELL. I am hopeful that she will return soon, because she really was showing MAJOR effects of her hard work.

Last night was a new routine that I can not for the life of me remember the name. Bummer! I'll have to ask Tracey what it was called again.

Anyway, it was basically a circuit routine...let me see if I can remember.

Set 1:
1 min good mornings (each side)
1 min push ups
1 min crab walk
REPEAT

Set 2:

1 min wall sit
1 min JJ
1 min Fast feet
Repeat

Set 3:

1 min Rocky Run
1 min Dips
1 min Angel arms
Repeat

Set 4:

1 min Burpies
1 min 8 count Burpies
Repeat

Set 5:

1 min bird dog (alternating side)
1 min bird dog (same side)
Repeat

Butts & Abs:

Fire hydrants
1 sided leg pulses (each side)
overhead toe touches
scissor lifts

It was an exhausting, but quick, night, and I truly AM glad to be back.

One of the girls who has been doing LFBC for a year brought in a before photo from when she started. She looked simply AMAZING! She went from a 22 to a 12...she is literally 1/2 her size! I was so proud of her. She is such an amazing person...and such a great motivator to me. I don't think she even realizes it, but she is really something. She inspires me and really works hard. One day I want to be like her, and I know that is an attainable goal!

Jan 5, Month 4 - Day 1

Published by Melanie under on 11:06 AM
Let me tell you...I really missed working out (as a group) during the break. I knew going in tonight that I was going to be hurting...it would be like this was my first night...and I was right.

As expected, there are a few brave new souls who have made resolutions to get in shape...2 to be exact. Best of luck to them.

Walk/run, stretch, 1 JJ 1 PU, 2 JJ 2 PU...etc.

The night's routine was Core to the Bone. I've detailed it in other posts, but will sum it up again:

6 min lunges (this time with a leg lift after each lunge)
1 min leg lifts
1 mins laying down toe touches
1 min leg lifts
1 mins overhead toe touches

6 mins Sumo Walk
1 min push ups
1 min butt lifts
1 min push ups
1 min butt lifts

6 mins backward lunges with leg lift
1 min plank
1 min belly blaster
1 min plank
1 min belly blaster

BUTTS & ABS

fire hydrants
bird dog
overhead toe touches
alternating toe touches

Surprisingly, even though I felt like collapsing last night, I'm not too too tired...but definatly sore in the ab area. Yikes! Tonight is going to be the real test, I'm sure.

In any case, it's great to be back. As dedication to my New Year's Resolution, I commited myself to a YEAR contract...all the more reason NOT to quit!

New year, New month, New attitude

Published by Melanie under on 9:16 AM
Welcome 2009!

This year I resolve to continue my Boot Camp regime, cut out diet soda COMPLETELY, decrease my whites intake, and increase my self esteem. I resolve to be content with myself and my life...with what I have, and with what I do NOT have. I resolve to make more time for fun and games, and to enjoy my beautiful kids...while they're still small enough to let me be part of their lives. I resolve to show my love for my husband more than in the past...whether he likes it or not :0)...and to let his small imperfections be less of an irritation to me.

It seems like its been FOREVER since I've blogged...2 weeks went by like the wind...and I can't believe that the holidays are over. Though I'm sad all of the FUN is done...I am honestly so glad to be back on a schedule and that things are back to normal...well, as normal as possible anyway!

Over the "break", I ran/walked my first 5K. My feelings on this were so incredibly mixed, I was beginning to feel like there was something wrong with me. Long story short, Heather & Doug (sister & brother in law) came down for my Dad's wedding. As they are avid runners (athletes in general...you name it, they do it...they amaze me) and were making their trek from frigid New Hampshire, they wanted to take advantage of the flat terrain & warm(er) weather by participating in the Annual New Year's Day 5K hosted by the Phoenix Zoo. I admit that I was NOT thrilled in the least that they wanted to take time away from us to RUN, but...rather than whine & complain about it, I decided to join them. Crazy, I know.

I had butterflies in my stomach as the day neared...much like those that appeared the night of my first boot camp. Self esteem lacking, I tried to convince Heather that there was NO WAY I could run the whole thing, and I didn't want her to feel like I was holding her back. However, since Heather is simply the best sister in the world, she reassured me that she didn't care. Doug, on the other hand, wanted to WIN, so he ran on his own...and got an AMAZING time...but that's another story.

We began well...even though the first few minutes were up hill...what's up with that?!?!

We ran until I couldn't breathe...and then we walked until I caught my breath. This continued for the duration of the run. I can not even begin to describe the despair I felt when I saw the 1/2 mile marker. Half a mile...THAT'S IT?!?! I began to consume myself with self-doubt, pessamistic thoughts, and (quite frankly) anger. I didn't think I could continue...Heather asked me if I wanted to only do 1 mile...and surprisingly, without even thinking, I said NO. I didn't want to give up...I didn't want to fail myself or Heather. I didn't want to disappoint myself...or Heather. I was so exhausted, but I WILL NOT QUIT.

I did my best...and I can say that with complete honesty. I ran every ounce of running that was in me, and walked when I needed to. My calves and shins were dying, so I stopped to stretch when I couldn't go anymore. I faced that 5K head on, and did my very best, and that's all I can ask of me.

I can't remember what our time was...and that's on purpose for a few reasons.

1. I didn't participate to race or win...I participated to acheive a goal. My goal was to simply finish.

2. Heather & I kind of lost the trail that we were supposed to be running...and ended up completing a lot more....a mile more to be exact....than anyone else.

When we were done, I was so relieved. Yes, relieved is the word...at the time I wasn't proud, or happy, or even acomplished. I think that was because once we realized that we were lost, the ambiance of crossing the finish line changed from victory and pride to relief and exhaustion. In any event, I met my goal and then some...and I couldn't have asked for better company to make that memory with.

Now that I'm done and a few days have passed, I am proud of what I did. I am proud that I didn't quit, proud that I pushed myself so hard, and proud that I was proactive to participate rather than complain.

What a great way to start off the New Year.

I am excited to know that for once, I will be accomplishing the resolution that I have set myself up to fail for the last 10 years.

I will succede...I will conquer....I will...I will...I will...

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