It has been almost 4 years since I hit publish on my last post. At that moment, I sincerely believed that I would continue to blog while journeying toward optimal health. Instead, I found myself repeatedly starting a post and hitting delete, much like my healthy food choices. As the weight returned, I found it increasingly more difficult to find the words to share my frustration. The thing is…I have indomitable will.
Last year really became a turning point in my life. After a challenging several months of sickness and inflammation, and finding myself in almost constant roid rage from Prednisone, by November I decided to move to a plant-based diet. This has been an amazing transformation in my overall health and, at the beginning of the year, I added a 6 days a week trek to the gym into my routine. I am feeling fantastic! I decided to breathe air back into this blog and instead of posting daily, I have set the intention to post at least weekly.
If you are struggling with where you are at the moment, remember that all you have to do is…
If you have watched the Seattle Seahawks play then you know that even if they are down at half time, they can come back and win the game with only minutes, perhaps even only seconds to spare. Even when the odds are not in their favor, when a win looks virtually impossible, they come from behind and shock the nation. I must shamefully admit that this past Sunday I watched the championship game and found myself doubting my own team and stating that I didn’t know if I could watch much more. I sat on the couch and opened a book determined not to watch what I perceived to be a most painful loss headed our way. As the game continued I lost focus on the words in my book, losing all concentration, with a now closed book in hand, on the edge of my seat, staring in complete and total amazement at the television. Were they really going to do it? Could they possibly win this game? Had I allowed my own self-doubt to spill over into a football game, predetermining that all hope was lost?
This particular game struck a cord with me. An ah ha moment that I so desperately needed. My own personal fight for a win didn’t have to be over, there was plenty of time left to score. While I will admit that I am certainly down several points, and if anyone is looking from the outside they may be thinking that a win is impossible, however, I have conviction that I am capable of beating the odds.
This curvy 12th man will not lose faith again. Half time is over and I have possession.
In Greek Mythology the Phoenix rises out of the ashes, no longer its former self. New, reborn.
Last year I longed to emerge from the searing coals of my own personal hell. As the brutal flames charred my existence I questioned as to whether I could escape from the ominous destruction. I reluctantly greeted 2012 unemployed and frustrated, however, April showers blew in a new and exciting position for me and at last the clouds departed and the storm passed as quickly as it had come. I had entered into a world of calm, this was unknown territory for me as I have spent my life in crisis mode. I wrestled my internal being with the notion that perhaps this was too good to be true. As my path in life has always duplicated, the skies soon darkened and the simmering coals of disaster were fanned to a blinding degree as my husband lay in ICU. Four months of touch and go, live or die, no hope and hope, my anger raged. A medical mishap, a doctor’s carelessness, a family in crisis. With medical bills mounting I began to surmise that perhaps I should not lay them next to each other as they seemed to be replicating like spring rabbits. The new year brought more concerns as my year-long project at work was winding to a close. It was time for a change…
I am not certain the exact point at which I had stopped to evaluate what I had allowed the previous year to do to me but suddenly the realization was there that I had eaten my way through 2012 like a caterpillar preparing for its pupa stage. Everything that I had blogged about for two years, every positive change that I had made had been replaced by hospital food and limited time. NO! NO! NO! I was not about to sit in the hot ashes, I was not ready to admit defeat, I was not going to ignore a 30+ pound weight gain. I AM BETTER THAN A PIZZA!!! Once again the clouds departed and the stormy assault upon me was replaced with an illuminating spark of light.
On March 25th I joined Weight Watchers and recommitted myself to detoxing from process foods. I dusted off the Jack Lalanne juicer and reached into my mental bag of tools for the willpower to keep going. Like the Phoenix I feel myself rising out of the ashes. Eighteen pounds lighter I can already feel my wings beginning to spread…I am once again taking flight. New, reborn.
Dave, thank you for giving me a little push and reminding me that I am important, even when sometimes I forget.
On Wednesday Elysia and I headed over to the Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle to see Jillian Michaels in person for her Maximize Your Life tour. The tickets were purchased as a birthday gift to Elysia and I had paid what I considered to be a small fortune for VIP seating. I would like to start off by discussing how disorganized either the show producers were or the Paramount folks themselves but once inside the first set of doors it was a cluster. The first thing I noticed as Elysia and I waited for the second set of doors to open was a woman in line with an orange wrist band. Something told me that this was important and so I politely asked her if she was a VIP ticketholder, yes she was, and she went on to give directions to the VIP check-in table. We chatted for a moment and I told her that no one had made us aware of the check-in procedure and she responded with “They didn’t tell anyone!” What?!? Wow, I wasn’t feeling so VIP at that point. Elysia and I winded our way back through the growing crowd to the check-in table. The VIP tickets included a take home gift and Elysia and I had wondered if it would be her new book or perhaps a workout DVD and we surmised with anticipation. Upon check-in we were given an envelope and in that envelope contained the very disappointing take home gift…a 27 minute audio cd of Jillian Michaels hitting some topics that I believe were mentioned at the event. I say “I believe” because after the first 3-4 minutes I lost interest and didn’t even notice it playing. I was disappointed to say the least.
The doors opened….
This was my first visit to the Paramount and I am quite surprised that the Maximize Your Life tour was booked here considering Jillian has a large following of overweight individuals. With that being said, I had to be creative in shoving my fat ass behind into a seat seemingly meant for a 12-year-old. Imagine that for 3 1/2 hours! As other VIP ticket holders began to sit down we spread the word to anyone who did not have their little orange paper band that they needed to go check in, they were all grateful for the heads up and they, too, shared that they were never told and how ridiculous that was! Along comes Jillian who begins her show basically telling everyone that this was nothing we haven’t heard before, she was right. There was enough humor in the first half to hold my attention but by the second half I found myself dosing off repeatedly. Elysia sincerely enjoyed the show and that is exactly what the purpose was, however, sadly I have received more motivation out of some of the audiobooks that I have listened to in my car than I did the Maximize Your Life tour. Jillian is without a doubt an incredible trainer and I am certain that one on one she would be an excellent motivator, I just wasn’t motivated by her on stage. What I did take home from the event was the reminder to create exit strategies in my life and do what I love…it was good to be reminded of that, even though, as she mentioned, it was nothing new.
So what is new then?
Tomorrow I will have completed 3 weeks of Weight Watchers and I am already down 15.2 lbs. *pats self on back. I will continue to say that I am very impressed with this ridiculous concept of “points” but the shit program works! It is a real eye opener when you truly realize what a weight loss portion size is. The freaking amazing thing about Weight Watchers is that you can eat whatever the hell you want. The only catch is as long as it is within your allotted points for the day. What I have worked hard to do is to keep almost all processed foods out of my daily diet. I have to say though that there is one weight watchers food dessert item that I find myself eating like it is the last food that I will ever consume and that is the Weight Watchers Dark Chocolate Raspberry popsicle. OMG…I eat these like the owl who is looking for the center of a Tootsie Pop! Who would have guessed that they are only 2 points! THANK YOU WEIGHT WATCHERS!
Today Elysia and I watched the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and let me tell you that was more motivation in life than VIP tickets. If you are looking for something to change your thinking, this is an excellent option. In fact, Elysia was so motivated by it that she is beginning a 10 day juice fast tomorrow! The thing that I am trying to stay motivated with is my job search. My contract with a large wireless company is ending soon and it is back to the drawing board for me. I need to find how to market myself with what I love and that is writing! Yeah, I still have big dreams!
I had the kind of day at work where one of the few things on my mind was coming home and pouring myself a nice glass of merlot, turning on a little jazz and kicking back. I pulled out my handy-dandy Weight Watchers App and began my quest to see how many points a glass of red wine would be. Hmmm… 4 points. I sulked for a moment and then I pilfered through the app trying to find out how much a shot of vodka would be with a nice cold can of diet 7-up….hmmm….4 points. After cursing Weight Watchers and every vineyard from Washington to Italy for not making a wine worth fewer points, something mind-boggling hit me…I had made the decision that there was no way in hell I was going to sacrifice a food point for liquid fermented grapes. Well now, that is something new!
Jillian Michaels, the Body Revolution guru, is Elysia’s idol. Elysia has struggled with her weight her entire life and will be celebrating her 23rd birthday on April 8th – she views Jillian as an impressive motivator. That brings me to today’s story…
I was at work and heard my phone download my email messages, I took a peek to see if there was anything life-changing that I needed to know for the day. I noticed an email from Goldstar which is a service that often times offer impressive discounts for local events. Since I checked it yesterday I wasn’t really interested in checking it again and after a pause, I decided to open it up before deleting it. There it was, discounted Goldstar member ticket prices to see Jillian Michaels live in Seattle for next Tuesday…ironically…two days after Elysia’s 23rd birthday. Jillian Michaels in Seattle? PERFECT! I quickly decided to go to the website to view the discounted seats and that is when I got distracted by the VIP tickets which included “Best seating in house”, a 30 minute Q&A with Jillian after the show, a take away item of to be determined and a 4 week subscription to Jillian’s online program. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I immediately began rumminging through my purse for my debit card with the knowledge that I would be deemed “Best Mom EVER!”. So much for the discounted $27 balcony seating tickets, however, I am certain what we will gain from the Maximize Your Life Tour will be worth every dime that I spent!
That all brings me to the next story…
When Elysia talked me into Weight Watchers over a week ago, I didn’t want this to be just one more try at something, I wanted this to be THE something I was looking for. She talked me into Weight Watchers so I talked her into getting up at 4:30 a.m. every morning and going with me to walk our now 4 month old puppy Chloe. It has been one week and Elysia has really committed to this deal just as I have committed to Weight Watchers. I have already lost 9 pounds and I am thrilled with how I feel. I honestly can say that I have never seen Elysia so motivated and when I told her I landed VIP tickets to see Jillian Michaels, I was indeed dubbed “Best Mom Ever!”.
Today I reluctantly joined Weight Watchers Online at my daughter’s request that we “Help support each other.” I am not a fan of traditional diets and the thought of having to keep track of a set number of pre-assigned points made me curse cringe. I asked in return that we commit to this for a minimum of 3 months, which I feel should be plenty of time to analyze whether or not counting points is worth the effort. In addition to joining WW, we also committed to our dog Chloe dragging us walking our 15 week old puppy Chloe at 4:30 a.m. I usually get up at 4:45 a.m. so I was sure this wasn’t going to be any great challenge for me…bullshit wrong! It is amazing what removing an additional 15 minutes of happy sleep time will do to a person on a cool Spring morning. What I lost in lack of sleep time, I seem to have made up in cups of coffee this morning.
On this journey we have experienced many bumps, detours, stops and crashes along the way but we are still here and still set on finding the right weight4us.