Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Failures, Challenges, and Victories

Failures- have you ever had one of "those" days?  Where the day was actually okay and then one little change in schedule changed everything?  Yep- that was my Monday.  By the time I got home it was dark and the LED light I bought didn't work (bought a new one tonight) so that meant treadmill running.  I had all intentions of running 3 miles- I did 1.  and I walked 1.  So, by my plan I "failed" but I also learned that some days are just like that and I just need to brush it off and try again tomorrow (or in my case another day because today was not "the" day either). 

Challenges- I signed up for an #elf4health challenge.  It's basically 6 weeks (starting yesterday) and there's a daily challenge.  You are also assigned an "elf" to help motivate and encourage you.  Monday's challenge was meatless monday (my picture disappeared so imagine it).  Breakfast I had my "skinny" muffin, lunch was spaghetti squash with pasta sauce, and dinner was eggs and toast.  I sometimes struggle with these because of the food issues I have.  However, I did it!  woohoo!  Tuesday's challenge was to send someone a handwritten note.  See, the funny thing about that- I make cards- LOTS of them- it's my stress reliever (besides exercise) but I sometimes (okay most of the time) forget to mail them out!  So, if you follow me on instagram (tamigrandi) I posted a pic- they are ready to mail.  Unfortunately they won't get mailed out until tomorrow but they are addressed and ready.  

Oh, and Wednesday's challenge- to try a "new" exercise.  Ummm.... anyone want to give me ideas.  I know I could do yoga and maybe I'll find a yoga thing on youtube to try...

oh, and that victory- two of them- one of them nonscale and the other scale.  The nonscale- may seem little but someone had given me a pile of clothes and there was a medium shirt in the stack (granted it was a men's medium but I usually just wear a mens large).  I put it on last night for the heck of it- and it FIT!  PERFECTLY!  woohoo!

The scale- yeah- about that- I hit the official 30 lb mark TODAY!   and I found some pictures from previous years that made me go woah!  I'll have to hunt them down and share them.

Friday, November 23, 2012

From 5K to 5 Miles

 Picture of me holding my medal with the Columbus Turkey Trot start/finish line in the background

 I had a change in plans for Thanksgiving (which meant I was able to see my family) that left me  unable to do the Turkey Trot in Knoxville (5K).  However, those plans took me to one of my favorite places in the state of Ohio (Columbus) and led me to signing up for the Columbus Turkey Trot.  The crazy thing about the one in Columbus- it's not a 5K- it's 5 MILES!  Someone told me- it's just 1.9 more miles than the 5K.  Exactly!  Anyway, it was a cool morning and there were a LOT of people there- my ticket was in the 5000's but according to the results site there were approximately 4300 people running so... :)  I had 2 goals- (well, three) to finish, to finish under an hour, and to not be last :)  I managed to complete all 3.  I did finish (even though I did have to walk about 2-3 minutes worth), I finished under an hour (at 55:50 I was happy), and there were about 1000 people behind me :)  Seriously though- every step I take in these races it makes me so thankful to recognize where I was a year ago and where I am now.  I know that I am doing things that at this point I should not, by a doctor's standards, be doing.  Good thing I listen and follow The Great Physician :)  Anyway, I was pretty excited and proud of the finish and know that it's one more step in my goal to completing my half marathon in April.  I'm looking forward to starting that training and get it going! 

A picture of me after the race with my medal     My sister and I before the race

a view of  "The Horseshoe" (Ohio Stadium) where The Ohio State University Buckeyes play- the route took us through this part of campus (very cool)

(oh and by the way- in my non-traditional Thanksgiving this year- I ate WAY too much so need to get back on track with that!  Any help is appreciated)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Beautiful...(this is a LONG post)

This post is going to be a bit different.  It's something that has been on my heart and something that I have experienced both positively and negatively.  After talking with someone at the 5K I ran on Friday night I realized just how much this is on my heart and decided I needed to write it all out.  **Disclaimer:  There will be some references to my faith (so if that offends you then you may want to quit reading but I hope you will read the whole way through).  I also had great parents who never fed me the negativity to lead to a poor self image- I have a dad who sets a great example and loves me no matter what my body size is.

For my whole life I have struggled with the image of myself- really though what I was dealing with was the image of what I thought I should be.  This myth was pushed on me by tv, movies, magazines, even the people who I went to school with.  I never struggled with an eating disorder but I know plenty who have.  I did struggle with comforting myself with food.  When things happened I would turn to those fried foods, chocolate, fattening foods to fill that empty hole that was left.  So, I guess in a sense I did struggle with an eating disorder- just the opposite kind of what you would expect.  I compared myself to the people who appeared on my screen, co-workers, friends, even family members and I always found myself selling myself short.  I got frustrated when I would try to lose weight and nothing would happen (more on that in a later post- probably much later).  Then in 2004 I met someone and he told me I was beautiful and you know what- I believed him.  So, when my heart was broken a few months later- I hid and went to the opposite end of the spectrum.  I buried my grief in time at the gym, changing my eating habits, and basically took myself down to where I thought I would be happy and then I would feel beautiful.  But, as always, life got in the way and through a span of 2-3 years I regained every single one of those 30 lbs I lost and found myself back in the same state of questioning and turmoil I had been in before.  Throughout the last 5 years I have gone up and down, yo-yo'd my way through several "diets" and given up when I should have kept on. And through it all- beautiful was not a word in my self describing vocabulary.

 So, what makes this time different?  I'm not really sure I can put my finger on it.  I think part of it is that I have FINALLY realized that it's a lifestyle.  Being diagnosed with high blood pressure was a huge wake up call for me.  Having to change my diet because of the kidney stones was another one.  I also have a doctor who looked at me and said, "THIS (with a number) is around where I want you.  I don't want you to go too much lower or you will look sick.  Your bone structure is such that this would be a good place for you to land and maintain."  That number was doable- not too far off where I was a few years ago.  Someone telling me that I didn't have to be on the low end of my numbers and that it's okay that I don't look like the media's perception of beauty was what I needed.

So, what brought me to this post today- the realization that I needed to hear it and read it myself.  The understanding that where I am in my job puts me in a position where I am seeing young girls struggle with this every day- even at the preschool age.  The knowledge that I need to do something about it- just not sure what.  and this- this song that I heard this week and my heart ached because to hear this- even now, at age 37- reminds me that God created me the way I am.  Psalm 139 says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  He knew my body structure, my dna, my struggles and successes even before I was a thought in the hearts of my mom and dad.  So, if you have stuck with me through this long post- I would love to hear your thoughts, your struggles, your tips on fighting the myths out there.

Oh- and I have realized that for ME (and not for everyone)- true beauty comes from the inside out, from having a heart that has a passion for the lost, for the hurting, and for sharing with others where their true beauty comes from.  It comes from a heart for God that seeks him in all I say and do, to look for Him and how He is working in my life- even while I am running and exercising.  To recognize that He has given me my body and I need to honor Him with the choices I make with it.  So, am I beautiful- maybe not by the world's standards but by His standards I am stunningly beautiful and THAT is enough for me.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thoughts and Tears...

Things have been busy- really busy- but I haven't quit working toward my goal, it's just that blogging about it has taken a back seat-and I have realized that that's okay!  But, last night I accomplished a huge goal for me!

A little bit of the back story:
A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with a degenerative discs in my back, a bulging disc, and arthritis in my hips.  At the time I had days where I could barely walk (and in fact there were many days in the summer of 2011 that I spent flat on my back because even the thought of moving brought me to tears).  My orthopedic dr told me then I should focus on low impact sports- I listened for a while and then focused on strengthening my lower back/core area and started slow jogging/running in January.  I let it go in March due to time and then in June I picked it back up again.  I have always said, "I'm not a runner".  I realize now that's not true- I AM a runner- I may not run as fast as everyone else but again, that's okay- it's not who I am.  As I mentioned in previous posts I have been doing more and more running (along with spinning) and am going to begin training for the half marathon around the beginning of January (if not sooner).

Fast forward to last night- November 16, 2012.  I signed up for my first "official" 5K to be run at 11 p.m. at Dollywood (I am barely awake at 11 so not sure what I was thinking there).  I looked at this race as my baseline- it would have some flat, some inclines, etc.  I don't have my official time yet (hopefully it will be posted soon) but the one thing I did not expect was the emotion I felt when I saw the finish line.  I know the reason was that I was completing something that a year ago I NEVER thought I would.  I was doing something that I should not be doing and I was enjoying it.  It was cold but the Christmas lights were lit and it was gorgeous (the only negative was that there was no music and they discouraged the headphones so I didn't bring mine).  PLUS, i ran the WHOLE time- all 3.1 miles.  That has been a goal from the beginning.  The last mile I kept saying to myself, "don't quit- one step" over and over. 

Am I hooked?  Uh, yep, probably.  My Thursday race is not going to happen due to other circumstances that have come up (and I am okay with that) so right now the next one is December 9.  I don't have one for sure after that but am considering the New Years Day one here in Knoxville.

So, my post today is filled with pins that remind you to not quit!  (and I'm working on a special post that has really been on my mind the last couple of days)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

Yep, life around here has been busy.  I haven't been exercising as much as I should have, probably been intaking more sugar than I should have but in spite of all of that, I have been working hard to continue this journey.  I'm getting closer to the end of the losing and the beginning of the maintaining and that scares me a bit.  I hit the loss several years ago (okay more like 7) and didn't maintain it.  It scares me to think that could happen again and I definitely don't want it to.  BUT this time is different I think- I have been hit by a couple of bugs- the spinning bug and the running bug as well.  I have signed up for 3 5K's to complete before the end of the year and the big one is the half marathon that I signed up for in April.  It's time to start training for that and I'm hoping that the training will be what I need to keep me focused. 

This week I hit 26 lbs lost- I posted on FB the other day that I was getting ready and caught a glimpse of the mirror which is where I keep track of my weight loss (dry erase is amazing).  From June 18 when I got serious to the first of August (school starting) I had lost 11 lbs. but from school starting until November 1, I had lost 15 lbs.  That's with time constraints and sometimes not the best food choices.  I still achieved that and almost into the single digits of my goal weight.  Along the way I have been inspired and have also been told that I have inspired others.  When I hear those words of encouragement it helps me give a little more...