Sunday, August 5, 2012

Answer: Something I Never Thought I Would Do


Question: What are "Belly Shots?," Alex.

When I was pregnant with my first & second, and I say this without a hint of hyperbole, I never felt sexier or more beautiful in my life.  As an obese woman, I think I relished in the time that I was supposed to be round & curvy & I felt great.  My belly was supposed to eclipse the plane of my boobs & be round & full.  It was awesome.  It didn't hurt that I felt physically fantastic as well. 

Even with all of that good feeling, there was something that wouldn't let me take pictures that really documented or celebrated the "bump."  There are precious few pictures of me pregnant with my son & only a sparse handful with my daughter. 

When I looked forward to my "healthy" pregnancy (a moniker which I have since decided is a big fat joke--more on that later) I vowed that I would take the pictures.  I would chronicle the growth.  I would love each stage & celebrate this, my last time creating life.  It never once occurred to me that I wouldn't feel every bit as lovely & round & wonderful when I started out with a leaner, stronger body.

What a shock it has been as I have cried about my weight gain & the changes in my shape.  I don't feel sexy or beautiful.  I feel frumpy & slow.  I feel awkward & lethargic.  And I feel shallow & conceited.  I hid in the house until I made "the announcement" because I was sure that everyone was whispering, "that's the girl that lost the doesn't last." 

Now that I'm "out" I feel a little bit better.  My body is also cooperating & I look more pregnant & less chunky than I did even a couple of weeks ago.  I guess that's part of the third baby: my body isn't willing to fight the good fight when it comes to showing--it's just all hanging out there. 

So, without further ado, here is the first of many (I hope) belly shots of our Three-quel (because every good nerd loves a trilogy):
14 Weeks

Thursday, August 2, 2012

And Then I Wondered if I Was Accidentally in Porn


In my hiatus from blogging, I avoided all things blog-adjacent.  I didn't check Facebook, I didn't monitor comments, & I didn't watch my stats.  There was guilt in not writing & if I didn't see any evidence that I wasn't blogging, it wasn't an issue, right?

Anyway...last night I sat down with the laptop & dug in.  I read all of your kind & supportive comments, both on the blog & on Facebook.  I picked through my page hits over my four month absence & was shocked that people were still tooling around even when I wasn't here.  And then I took a peek at how people were finding me when I was so busy hiding from them. 

As expected, I found mostly Google searches for weightylife or some derivation, but something had changed in my absence.  My brand new #2 & #3 search terms were--I discovered after a quick jaunt to Google myself--searches for porn.

I was a little appalled that something I've written about (quite often, I might add) touches on enough key words to get some pretty frequent hits in the middle of the night.  Dave's response: "Gee, Sara, you're right.  It IS shocking that people use the Internet to find porn."  Fair point.

So, if you found me searching for porn, I likely proved a huge disappointment.  I did write a post once about the thrill of buying new bras, but that's as salacious as I get around here.  But now I'm pregnant so that clearly means things will get kicked up a notch: there's nothing hotter than cankles, flatulence & debilitating heartburn.  So all you porn-hunters better stick around.  It's about to get hot in herre.

For all of those who are here without thinking I am a porn star: thanks for sticking around.  Thanks for bolstering me up.  Thanks for not expecting me to take off my clothes.  It's the little things.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Share name is Sara & I have this little rag of a blog where I yap about the size of  my butt & the size of my plate & the size of my emotions on the size of my butt & the size of my plate.  Over the past year & a half, this blog has become absolutely critical in achieving & processing all of my goals...or at least most of my goals.

You see, I'm an only child (insert wise crack about being spoiled/maladjusted/introverted here).  I grew up wanting a bushel basket full of kids of my own to accommodate for the absence of kids provided by my parents.  Reality & old age pared my bushel basket expectations down to a more manageable number, but that number was still more than the two I was blessed with pre-New Sara.

So Dave & I had the normal convos that most couples have when they contemplate expanding their brood: where we would put a new baby & how we wouldn't all fit in our Prius & how we would adjust to Zone Defense.  I knew I wanted a baby.  I knew it would change things.  But I didn't account for it changing my blog.

I felt guilty for WANTING to gain weight.  I felt untrue to my goal weight which I would most definitely not achieve (in this sitting, at least).  I felt false to the people who asked me for advice or gave me compliments.  I felt uneasy about gaining weight & simultaneously comfortable doing so.  Then I felt uneasy about feeling comfortable.  Then I got mad that everything in my whole life comes down to weight...including adding a brand new person to the world.  In the grand scheme of things aren't some things more important? 

*sigh*  Since I'm using a thousand words to say something very simple, I'll throw in a picture, too:

I'm knocked up & we're all thrilled about it.  Really.  But there are some complex things swirling around in my head that make this pregnancy different than my others.  Stuff I probably need to blab about, so this blog is going to take a bit of a detour until February 2013.  I've stayed away until now, first out of an abundance of first trimester caution & then out of a feeling of guilt at changing the story before coming to a good resolution on the first--because no one REALLY likes a cliff-hanger.  But hang I must because now is just the right time to finish our family.  And isn't family one of the main reasons that I've worked so hard to shed 120 lbs? 

Family, and an excuse to go shopping--which I get to do again because none of my maternity clothes fit.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Yes, I'm a "Program" Girl


The Director of my local Weight Watchers called me early this week to ask if I would be interested in sharing my story at an employee function today.  While I can prattle on for eons in a blog post, the thought of speaking in front of a group fills me with terror (funny side note: I went to college in the era of transition from human based records to computer based records & my Intro to Computer Science class (ComS 103) was accidentally coded as a speech class (SCom 103) & I weasled my way into a BA from a D1 school without fulfilling the speech requirement!).  Anyway, I decided to write it out as a post.  It's a little longer than most for me, but it's something I haven't talked much about.  While I haven't made it a secret that I follow the Weight Watchers plan, I haven't really written much about it because I view it as a tool that has helped me into other, more important, things.  However, it is an important tool (for me--there are no silver bullets or one-size-fits-all solutions) & Weight Watchers more than deserves a few chicken scratches on topic.  Speaking of chicken scratches...

When Dayna called to ask me to come tell my story I was literally in the middle of frying six pounds of chicken nuggets.  FRYING.  And my first internal response was to feel incredibly guilty.  What Weight Watchers Success Story fries anything?  Shouldn't there be some sort of un-greased lightning coming down from the Weight Watchers gods to smite me or something?  But that's just the point of what Weight Watchers is to me.  It's about choices, control & no. more. guilt.

I originally started Weight Watchers in January of 2009 at 239 pounds.  After weening my first child, I had put all of my pregnancy weight back on & I was tired & in pain all of the time.  I owe a lot to a friend that had success on Weight Watchers.  Seeing her spurred me to "give that diet" a try.  Up until that time I was a habitual dieter--soups, juices, lemon/cayenne/maple concoctions--I had half-heartedly tried them all in my quest to "get skinny."
December 2008: 239 Pounds
I lost 30 pounds by rigorously following the plan & staying away from things that I wasn't "suppose to" have.  When I got pregnant with my second child I told Pam that I would see her again in April of 2010 & I skipped out the door.  "Pregnancy Cakes" (a yellow boxed cake with chocolate frosting eaten over the span of 2-3 days) soon followed.  All of the foods that I had disallowed came back into my diet with a vengeance & I justified it because I was pregnant & I would take care of it "after the baby came."  I had a 60 pound pregnancy & a 7 pound baby, but something had changed.  When the doctor said "It's a girl!" in the delivery room, I knew that I had a responsibility to break the obesity cycle that has been plaguing the women in my family.  I knew that my daughter wouldn't grow up with the assumption of obesity that I had.  I knew that if that were to be the case I had to model how to be healthy so that she would know that as an expectation, not a pipe dream. 
February 2010: 269 Pounds

I was 269 pounds when I came home from the hospital.  I lost 15 pounds on my own but was absolutely giddy to be starting back up with Weight Watchers when my daughter was six weeks old.  From there I started looking at how I got to be obese, how I use food, & what is going on in my head when it comes to food & body image.  I learned that I was a volume eater & used the Points system to help me reprogram what a healthy portion looks like.  I used the Recipe Builder for everything I cooked to help me figure out what each ingredient was doing to my food & analyze how to make each meal work harder for me.  I trained myself to go to Power Foods first for snacks & cravings & tried to re-frame my mindset that food is fuel, not a friend.  I started realizing that it wasn't about getting skinny, it was about being healthy & living a life where longevity with quality was an attainable reality.
April 2010: 254 Pounds

When people ask me about Weight Watchers I always say that it is ONE of the invaluable tools that I have used on this journey.  Weight Watchers, for me, is primarily about figuring out how much to eat by utilizing the PointsPlus system (& yes, I eat ALL of my Points) & giving me the support & accountability that I need along the way to doing that.   Weight Watchers is not about telling me what to eat or having me deprive myself.  It's about helping me change my life to one that is sustainable, where yes, I eat chicken nuggets that I fried in oil.  But now they're fried in a skimming--of heart-healthy oil--coated in whole wheat bread crumbs--made from bread that I baked--with flour that I milled.  As of this morning, I've lost nearly 105 pounds with Weight Watchers (120 in total) because I have learned how to make choices that are right for my body & the bodies of the people I feed.  Not by eating a set of pre-determined, regimented foods, but by making conscious & informed decisions through the knowledge the plan has given me.  For that, I will forever be grateful.
April 2012: 151 Pounds

Thursday, April 19, 2012

From the Outside, Looking In


I'm having a moment.  From the outside, it's easy to see the changes that I've made as they manifest physically in the size of my tush.  But from the inside, I'm just a mom of two little kids, living every day life--just trying to keep my sanity through potty training & muddy shoes & drama filled temper tantrums. It's really easy for me to forget how everything has changed over the last two years until something makes me step outside of myself & look inward. 

A quick little FB post last year after running the Grand Blue Mile (my first ever race/mile run) turned into event promoters asking me to make a video promoting this year's event.  In making the video & now watching it, I am just. so. thankful.
  • I'm thankful for my girl who changed my life in more ways than a normal child should have to change a parent.
  • I'm thankful for my hubster who is the perfect blend of support & encouragement & patience & intuitively knows when to push me & when to shut up.
  • I'm thankful for my mom who reminded me that all parents want their children to do "more" than they themselves have done & in doing that children honor their parents' hard work & sacrifices.
  • I'm thankful for my friends who have had to listen to me prattle far too much about all things weight related.
  • I'm thankful for a friend who unknowingly kick started an exercise revolution in my life with the gift of a pair of shoes.
  • I'm thankful for my Weight Watchers leader, who is hysterical--& in my opinion hilarity is the BEST way to face any problem, weight related or otherwise.  It was also her idea for me to write my list of 25 Reasons I'm Changing My Life (write one of your own if you need a motivation boost!).
  • I'm thankful for my very favorite Curves employee who measured me every month...even when I didn't bother to shave my legs but wore Capri pants anyway.
  • I'm thankful for good friends who don't treat New Sara any differently than Old Sara.
  • I'm thankful for the agog looks of people whom I haven't seen in a while.
  • I'm thankful for people that I don't know in the real world, but bolster me up every day on the interwebs.
I've put a lot of work into my 120 lbs removed, but today I'm blown away by all of the work that those around me have done & I'm very very thankful.  Y'all saved my life--thanks!

And all of that came from watching this:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Weight Loss = MC Squared?


Recently I've had a few people ask me some variation of, "What is more important for losing weight: eating right or exercise?"

*sigh*  It's such a loaded question, usually packing the asker's predisposition for the "right" answer.  I don't suppose there is an ACTUAL right answer--if there is, I'm certainly not qualified to know what it is. 

For ME, weight loss looks a little like this: 60% what's in my head + 30% what's in my mouth + 10 % what my feet are doing.  Taking out the main element of the mental & emotional component, food is the critical piece of the equation.  This morning I came up with an analogy.

When I was in high school I took Physics to fulfill my school's science requirement.  Physics & I fought a LOT.  It didn't come intuitively to me & I didn't enjoy it, which made it a struggle.  I faithfully went to class every day but when it came time to do the homework, I often shirked it & I NEVER studied. 

Going to class is like exercising & studying is like eating.  My success in Physics was mitigated by my refusal to give my mind the fuel it needed to process what I was getting in class.  Similarly, my weight loss is hampered when I am in periods of giving myself low quality or low nutrition fuel, regardless of how much I am working out.  Without the proper fuel, both efforts are wasted. 

I passed Physics, but I don't want to squeak by with my body.  For me & my weight loss progress (note: when it comes to my overall HEALTH, I think exercise takes a more pivotal roll, this is just specific to my weight loss) I have to focus on the food I eat--high quality, whole foods not low calorie, processed junk.  When it comes to my body I want better than a C-.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Jump Shout Boogie


My very first ever race/mile run was at last year's Grand Blue Mile.  It's an awesome local event meant to help average people think about health & wellness through a simple one mile run/walk.  When I started running last March, I never dreamed that it would be something I would still be doing (more on the ridiculous way I roped myself into running here), but I can honestly say that I ALMOST enjoy it now.

As Grand Blue Mile is just around the corner (April 24th for you locals...come know you want to), I've found myself setting a totally new kind of goal for myself.  I have run exactly four races & each time, my goal was to finish come hell or high water (both of which DID come at Living History Farms).  This year, I want to run that one single mile for a specific time.  Last year, for my very first mile I ever ran straight (I trained with Couch to 5K that uses intervals) I finished with a time just under 11 minutes.  There is no way I'll ever be more proud of a finish than that.  That being said, this year I'm gunning for a 9 minute mile, & here's my secret weapon (skip to 7:19 for my secret weapon or give into all of the Manilow-y fun for a bouncing good pick-me-up to your Friday slump):

Me + Jump Shout Boogie = perfect 9 minute mile pace for my stride.  As a former marching band geek, my feet practically go on autopilot when they find a driving beat & this just makes me move.  Plus, it puts a smile on my face EVERY time...but I'm not sure if that's because of the peppy song or the image of Barry's flowing locks.  Good times.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My First Feat of Strength


Lately I've found myself doing a lot of reflection on my journey & today I was thinking about one of the unsung factors in my success.  This is your fair warning: I'm about to talk about childbirth which may either a) gross you out or b) offend you.  Every word hereafter is meant merely as a reflection on my own experiences & in no way is intended to impart judgement on anyone else's experience.  After all, anyone who has read anything about pregnancy & child birth can tell you: "every pregnancy is different."  So, with that little proviso out of the way...

Linkavitch Chimovsky
It's no secret, I've got some hippie tendencies.  When I was pregnant with my son (5 years ago) I went into the delivery room all dewy eyed & expectant of an un-medicated, uncomplicated, peaceful birth.  Lincoln had other plans.  One induction, 15 hours of Pitocin-ful epidural-less labor, one prolapsed cord & one very emergency C-section later, I was a mom.  No matter how many times Dave chanted "Healthy baby, healthy mom...that's all that matters," I still felt like a failure.  I wanted so badly to experience a natural birth & even though there was absolutely nothing I could (or would) do to change it, I chalked it up as just one more thing my body couldn't do.

I literally started talking VBAC with my OB the very next day.  It became an obsession.  When our local hospital stopped allowing them, I vowed I would drive an hour to a provider that would (thankfully we moved before it was an issue).  I made my plans for a VBAC known at my very first prenatal visit for my second pregnancy (three years ago).  At each visit, the doctor reminded me of the risks & each time I said I understood the risks & wanted the opportunity to try to deliver naturally.  I was a dog that wouldn't let go of a bone, tenacious & resolute.

Sweet Coraline
Another induction, more Pitocin, no epidural.  My labor started stalling at 5 cm dilated.  I was in a panic.  This was the same point that I had my C-section with my son.  What if my body couldn't go any farther?  What if it was a waste to keep trying?  Through my cursing & moaning, I had to make a choice.  I could compromise some of my expectations for the sake of an end goal or grit through & hope for the best.  I chose to compromise & get an epidural with the hope that I could relax & let my body do its thang.  I had my baby girl 45 minutes later. 

What does this have to do with making a change in my life?  I was never an athlete.  Aside from dance lessons as a child, I wasn't in a single physical activity or sport.  I had never asked my body to do a anything beyond the daily activities of life.  Labor & child birth are tough & I made it through; past the fear, past the self doubt, past the pain (with the help of an anesthesiologist on a white horse).  On the other side I found a daughter (who has motivated me in ways that I will never be able to fully express--more on that here) but I also found something far simpler: I found physical accomplishment.

Intellectually I know that the manner in which I brought my babies into the world has NO bearing on me as a person, woman, or mother, but being able to set my mind to completing a physical task was something entirely new to me & it changed me.  It could have been bench pressing a heavy weight or running a long distance, but for me it was having a baby the same way skillions of women have babies every day.  I pushed my body in a way I didn't think I could & I came out on the other side stronger.  That taste of physical accomplishment was the first of many I've experienced along this journey & I'm so thankful to have had it. 

While laboring, I remember having a distinct mental image of a father & his pre-school age daughter walking down the hall in the maternity ward to visit her new baby brother for the first time.  She was skipping happily with an "It's a Boy!" balloon in her tiny hand.  It was a beautiful moment in my mind that was surely ruined when she skipped past my door & heard what could only be described as a sailor woman being disemboweled "Braveheart"-style.   I felt guilty for ruining their (imaginary) moment, just as I feel guilty I have likely ruined your lovely Tuesday afternoon with talk of VBACs & dilation.  This is why I'll encourage my daughter to take up a discussion of her first feat of strength needn't come at the expense of someone's appetite.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Last Week on "A Weight-y Life"


I was all fired up.  I was excited to blend some of the great habits I have learned in my 2+ years of shedding pounds with the new passion for whole foods.  And then it happened...illness.
When your job is stay at home parent, the sick policy is really lousy.  It goes something like this: "You have a 103 degree temperature & you're seeing purple oompa-loompas doing a may pole dance on the bed post?  Tough.  Go make breakfast."  That was me last week.  A fever that high does some crazy stuff to your brain & once you're better, you're still a little addled & ridiculously tired in the days that follow.  "Lucky" for me Lincoln was sick at the exact same time.  We laid motionless in my bed & watched "a furious amount of TV"--as Lincoln put it--& prayed that Coraline stayed alive.  At some point she found a pen & explored the possibility of becoming a tattoo artist.  I had no idea until Dave asked me about it the next day.

All of this is to say that I was excited & on track, I had strung together a couple of good weeks of loss, I was running again & then...I didn't let it derail me!  This is a victory of major mental proportions.  So often I have a good stretch going & then life does what life does & I let it get to me.  This week I took charge & reminded myself that I am the only one that makes my choices.  I let it inspire me to look up a new Zumba class that works perfectly with our schedule & budget.  I let it push me to get back out & run during some (more) of our ridiculously great weather.  I let it fuel me to try to make good food choices because my body needed nutrients to recuperate from fever damage. 

Some genuine observations from the clouded haze of my fever addled brain:
  1. I'm the only one that makes choices for me.
  2. I am not an observer in my own life, I am the play maker.
  3. I am DONE letting fear make a choice for me--inaction is the same thing as a negative action.
  4. I am dealing with my food demons because of how they affect my life, not just my pants' size.
And one not so genuine observation:
  1. When any one member of a family is sick, the house erupts in an explosion of filth rivaling an episode of "Hoarders."  When two members are sick, it's time to 'doze it & start over.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Avoidance Productivity


Remember in school when you had a big assignment due & you re-he-he-ealllllly didn't want to do it?  Your room was never cleaner.  Your hobbies were never more alluring.  And your books were never more organized (by publisher & then alphabetized--isn't that how you kept your book collection when you were 9?).

I am never more productive than when I'm avoiding something.  Whilst I was avoiding being accountable & facing the music on my 5 lbs of creeping negligence I was EXTREMELY productive in the rest of my life:
  • I learned how to make homemade whole wheat pizza crust.
  • I organized our DVD collection in cute acrylic boxes.
  • I started purging our house of cleaning chemicals & started making my own cleaners.
  • I read up on milling my own flour, listened to a webinar on the subject & tracked down a new filter for the 1980's hand-me-down mill that I got from my mother.
  • I finished our taxes.
  • I tracked down information on dual flush toilets & got the parts for Dave to convert our master bath (which he did--if you're interested in making the switch, don't believe the lies about 10 minute, tool-less install).
  • I got my kids signed up for their summer swim lessons & day camps.
  • I peel-&-stick tiled under our master bathroom sink & organized all of the junk under there.
  • I took to Pinterest & learned how to make my own "canned" beans using dried beans & my crock pot.
  • I made orange infused vinegar for cleaning my wood floors.
  • I started planning/planting our 2012 Garden Extravaganza.
  • I finally went to the local health market (New City Market for curious locals) I've been meaning to hit up & realized that farm fresh eggs are only 10 minutes from my house.
  • I moved around some furniture in the living & dining rooms.
  • I organized the drawers in the kitchen & purged kitchen gizmos that I don't use.
  • I started on our next project: a penny tiled desktop for the short book shelves in the kitchen.
Here's what I didn't do:
  • I didn't track my food.
  • I didn't write a word.
  • I didn't log onto my blog or Facebook page.  At all.
  • I didn't keep myself accountable.
  • I didn't take the bull by the horns & stop moping.
I'm mad.  I don't want to have to THINK about food every minute of every day forever.  I don't want to have loose skin that makes it hard to find bras, underpants & jeans that don't highlight my lumps at best & cause pain at worst.  I don't want to feel guilty when I eat a brownie & guilty when I DON'T eat a brownie.  I don't want to work-out.  I don't want to feel torn between what I've been taught about low-cal/low-fat & what I feel to be true about whole foods & real foods.  I don't want to give up on my goal weight but I don't want to put in the extra work required to attain it. 

And all of that energy focused on what I DON'T want won't help me get any of the things I DO want.  I guess I'm just not sure what it is that I want--except to go to "The Hunger Games" tonight.  I know I want that.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thank You, Beyonce


"The time is going to pass whether you do something with it or not.  Next year it will be Next Year no matter what I do, so I might as well do something good with what I've got in the meantime."

When I was a wee sprat in middle school, I had a friend who's mother was going through a rather sudden divorce.  She used the chaotic time in her life as a spring board to change her circumstances & rather than sit & mope, she decided to get her college degree.  The above quote is something I overheard her saying to another mother (not my mother!) when asked why she was taking the time to go back to school "at her age," especially since it would take so long doing it part time.

Little did Beyonce (sadly not her name--I honestly can't remember her name this many years after the fact) know that she was not only taking charge of her life, but she was also shaping mine years down the road.  Not much good comes easy or quickly.  It takes time & hard work & consistency & perseverance to get to a long term goal. 

I don't know why I'm thinking about Beyonce today, but I wonder where I would be without that inadvertent lesson?  I pulled that quote out of my memory many times in the early stages of my journey, reminding myself that each small good choice was a step toward a big step that I wouldn't be able to see without the benefit of time.  Now that some time is past & I can look back on two years of better choices & accumulation of effort, I'd like to say: 
  • Thank you, Beyonce, for giving me an idea to hold onto when the small steps are frustrating (this is how Internet rumors get started, by the way, but I'm not saying anything mean about Beyonce, so I don't think she'll's not like I'm naming a big metal chicken after her--if you're not afraid of impolite snort out loud laughter & four-letter-words click here & you will find THE funniest thing on the Internet).
  • Thank you, Shortsighted Other Mother, for asking a hideously rude & inappropriate question within earshot of impressionable youths.  You're just lucky that Beyonce took the ball & ran with it.
  • Thank you, Memory for hanging on to at least one useful thing in my whole life.  If I can't remember kidnapping my (then) boyfriend for an impromptu trip to Graceland because Graceland should be on EVERYONE'S bucket list, well then at least I can remember a golden idea that I eavesdropped as a 14 year old.
 The take-aways:
  1. I can't stop time from marching on.  All I can do is the best I can with the time I have right now.
  2. There's always a tween looking for a life lesson, so have your message-stick at the ready at all times.  Look, there's one now with the clothes of an 80 year old man & the make-up of an 80 year old hooker.  Oh wait, that was me.  Carry on.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Sara + The Machine


This song.  So much:
I found myself hangin' with Ursula this afternoon & discovered this as a kick-hiney running song.  I already loved it as a grooving-in-the-kitchen, but when Florence wails "run fast for your mother," I really really wanted to!

Not only that, I really really wanted to keep running.  For the first time in a long time, I felt the thrill of fitness & wanting to make my body strong again.  I even started entertaining the idea of training for the local 20K in June. 

I was so excited about working out (wha-ha?!?!?) that I put on a clean pair of running tights & tank after my shower so that I'm ready to hit it again tomorrow morning.  Yup, I sleep in my work out wear to eliminate one excuse from the endless supply I find myself with at the crack of early. 

So here I sit ready (but for my new Smart Wool socks that are in the dryer--looooooove them) for my run in the morning & looking forward to my second ever plank (did one this afternoon after Florence got me all whipped up--10 seconds...I've got lots of room for improvement!).  It's time to make New Sara strong as well as lean.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Our Daily Bread


I'm a freak. 

About a year ago, because I didn't want to dump whey (leftover from making yogurt) down the drain, I bought a bread machine & started making all of our bread.  At the time I did the math & figured that the fancy-schmancy machine (a requirement if I was going to bake bread as I knew--& still know--nothing about baking) would pay for itself in one year with the savings from not buying our $3.50 per loaf grocery store bread.  Factor in the "savings" in preservatives & highly processed nonsense & it was a no-brainer.

Today is "free" bread day...'s a beautiful day.

I'm celebrating by pushing myself waaaaay out of my comfort zone & making hamburger buns for our veggie burgers tonight.  Anything that requires me doing anything with dough that isn't of the cookie variety terrifies me, but what's the worst that can happen?  Veggie burgers a la plate isn't the end of the world & maybe hamburger buns can be one more thing I can make to take better care of my body & the other three bodies that I feed each day.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sleeping re-Booty


"Oh, boy, sleep! That's where I'm a viking!" --Ralph Wiggum

In Week 1 of my reboot, I didn't exercise.  Not once.  Workouts & I are frenemies & we have to ease back to one another in a gentle sort of way.  So, this week I focused on the one thing that is critical in getting me back to workout ready: sleep. 

I'm a morning person.  Sometimes I live in denial of this fact.  The last couple of months have been so deep in denial that I can see Egypt (groan).  Anyway...when I'm doing my best I'm going to bed no later than 10:30 & getting up around 6, but it is so easy to be seduced by later evenings to hang out with the hubster or catch up on Pinterest (who am I's really all about Pinterest).  This week I went to bed promptly & got up early because of crazy stuff that we had planned each day.  I didn't work out (one morning I really did intend to hit Ursula with a boom stick--but woke up to find the cat had knocked over a vase of flowers & there was broken glass & plant-food-filled-sticky-water that needed to be cleaned up lest I end up with warped floors & a severed foot). 

Guess what?  Early to bed, early to rise didn't make Sara wealthy or wise, but I think it did go a ways toward healthy.  By the end of the week I was hopping out of bed just before my alarm started screaming & I had more energy throughout the day.  Now with my best sleep cycle restored & some extra energy burning a hole in my pocket, I'm feeling ready to start whooping it up again in the exercise department. 

I don't know why it's so hard for me to make the connection between good sleep & good exercise/results on the scale, but here I am re-learning it for the umpteenth time.  Sleeping to my internal clock is critical--because where else do I get to be viking?

Thursday, February 16, 2012



What was I thinking starting a reboot of healthy habits THIS week...otherwise known as The Festival of Sara at our house.  With Valentine's Day, Coraline's Birthday/My Life Changing Anniversary & My Birthday within four days of one another, there is much celebrating, much revelry & much cake in our house.  And I have eaten cake. but reasonably.

Don't get me wrong, when I found myself with a box of our very absolute favorite Tricked Out Treats (check out the yellow hexagonal bumblebee cake in the gallery, that's Coraline's 1st birthday cake) cupcakes on Tuesday, I wanted to dive head first into them with out sharing a single crumb.  Thankfully, a friend's reminder to "be good to yourself" really hit home.  Yes, treats are appropriate & yes, they are good, BUT the best way to be truly good to myself is to give my body nourishment first & treats second.  This is a major shift from Old Sara's philosophy of binging on baked goods & then not eating any real food because I couldn't "afford" the calories.  The truth hurts.

Anyway, this week has been crazy busy & crazy fun, but the reminder to be good to myself has definitely helped me navigate with control & appropriate portions.  I even passed by an opportunity to sneak junk during a kid-free trip to Tar-jay because I knew that I would be eating plenty of treats this week & that needn't be one of them.  It felt good to prioritize & helped me enjoy that cupcake on Valentine's Day--& one today for Coralooney's birthday! 

And speaking of her birthday, part of what has kept me busy & made me want to grab quick & dirty food the last couple of weeks:



...Coraline's birthday play kitchen is done!  And the reception that it got this morning was priceless.  Chefs Coraline & Lincoln cooked up a storm all morning & served up a heaping helping of this-is-why-you-changed-your-life when I heard them saying things like "No, that's too much food at one time, it will make your tummy hurt" (Lincoln) & "I make-a spe-shul t'eat fo' after good dinner" (Coraline).  My heart melts.  Talk about a way to be good to myself. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Food Creed


I know that there are people that look at me & say "Look!--she's DONE it."  Verily I say unto you: it's never done.

I knew this was going to happen.  After every "big" event in this process (ie: major weight milestones, races, acknowledgements) I've had a corresponding mental backslide.  Sometimes (as with now) I've had accompanying weight gains.  I had prepped myself for the feelings of inadequacy, failure, & frustration that would inevitably come after my piece aired on the news.  I hoped that in preparation I could avoid calamity.  She found me anyway & I've been binging & moping & making poor choices for the better part of two weeks (I even missed my very first weigh-in last week under the guise that I couldn't go because I took a drink of water at 5:00 AM--for realz).

Intellectually I know that all of these feelings are A) ridiculous & B) fleeting.  My momma always said that all emotions are fleeting & that is why it is best not to make major longterm decisions based on temporary feelings.  Wise woman, my momma.  So, as I wait for my feelings to flit away, I started thinking about what I BELIEVE as opposed to what I FEEL.  I'm embarking on a two month reboot: going back to basics & refocusing on eating as fuel.  Here is what I believe to be true for me (note: I am NOT trying to imply this to be an absolute, overarching list of mandates for the masses) :

Food Creed

I believe that food is necessary to fuel my body & make me strong.
I believe that there are no off-limits foods; simply off-limits portions.
I believe that food will not solve a problem--unless the problem is hunger.
I believe that food from creation will always satisfy & nourish me more than food from production.
I believe that a wide variety of foods will provide me the nutrients that I need.
I believe that there are no "bad" foods.
I believe that eating too much food is just as wasteful as throwing food away.
I believe that making my own food helps me appreciate & enjoy it more.
I believe that fewer steps from source to table yields better nutrition for my body.
I believe that occasional food "splurges" are critical.
I believe that food must taste good & be nutrient rich.
I believe that my body can tell me how much food I need if I retrain myself to be receptive to its cues.
I believe that I alone am responsible for what & how much food I put into my body.
I believe that food isn't personal.

Do I follow or defer to these beliefs 100% of the time?  Absolutely not.  Just as anyone with any set of beliefs--be they spiritual, ethical or social--I screw them up.  Sometimes *gasp* on purpose.  I'm human.  Here's what I can do: I can refocus, reboot & recognize that these are the guiding beliefs that have gotten me this far & these are the beliefs that will take me the rest of the way.  Two months of re-commitment starts now (actually it started yesterday, but I was elbow deep in painting Coraline's birthday project & didn't take time to finish this up).

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Just When I Think I'm All Grown Up...


I'm still waist deep in processing all of my swirly-twirly emotions about the news segment & how it went, but in the mean time...

Apparently in my jump from momentarily slender college student to obese member of the workforce to healthy stay-at-home-mom of two, I forgot to learn how a grown up dresses.  Observe:

Why yes, we are both wearing t-shirt dresses, long sleeve t's, leggings & Ugg boots.  And no, I didn't pose Coraline, but yes, I did pose myself to mimic her for effect.  A big Thank You to Coraline for grudgingly letting me borrow MonkeyBaby for the picture. 

Maybe someday I'll figure it out, but right now I'm happy with regression.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Would You Say...?


Tonight my TV interview airs on our local evening news.  While I was sitting in my living room talking to the reporter a couple of weeks ago, I was extremely comfortable, but now that it is nigh, I'm a nervous wreck.  Seriously frightened. 

My biggest fear is that something I said without thinking it through could serve to discourage or de-motivate someone who is sitting where I sat two years ago.  I have hashed & re-hashed what I said & without knowing what will make the cut I'm just left pondering the coulda-woulda-shouldas. 

One of the last questions that Sonya asked me was something to the effect of "What would you say to someone that wants to get started?"  By the time we got to that point, I was getting tired & my mouth was dry & I was ready to be done.  It was the most important question of the day & I don't even remember what I said. 

I've thought a lot about it in the weeks since we taped.  What would New Sara want to say to Old Sara to spur her on & get her started?  This calls for a list!  This is what I would say to Old Sara, in fact Old Anybody who is wanting to take the first steps to shedding pounds.
  • You're worth it.  It takes a lot of time, energy, & yes, even money to shed the weight.  Prioritize yourself. 
  • The process is hard, but you can do hard things.  Anything you've ever REALLY wanted has probably been hard earned.  This is no different.
  • You cannot solve a long-term problem with a temporary solution.  If you're not willing to eat rice cakes & water for life, don't do it to shed the won't last.
  • Take the time to figure out why you got to be 269 lbs.  If you don't know what the actual problem is, how do you expect to fix it?
  • Know that losing weight is 60% what is in your head, 30% what is in your mouth & 10% what your feet are doing.
  • You did not become overweight or obese because you are stupid, lazy, dirty, ignorant or possess some other character flaw.  Stop treating yourself like a second class citizen because you have a medical/psychological issue.
  • Food is fuel; not entertainment, therapy, stress relief or comfort. 
  • Your body is meant to process food.  Give it a chance to do just that & lay off of the processed stuff--even things that are labeled "100 calorie," "light," or "diet."
  • Remember: there are no off-limits foods, just off-limits portions.
  • You don't HAVE to kill yourself in a gym to lose weight, it starts in the kitchen.  Exercise is vital for health, but weight loss is possible without it, so take your time & conquer your demons one step at a time.
  • If you have a moment of weakness, confine it to the moment & make the good choice at your very next bite--one bad meal doesn't justify a bad day, week, month, etc.
  • Sometimes ONE Krispy Kreme is a good choice in the grand scheme of things.  SEVEN Krispy Kremes never is.
  • The scale is a tool.  No really, a all its connotations.  You can flux 5 lbs in a day.  Find multiple ways to gauge your progress.  It's ok if one of those gauges is leering glances from skeevy pervs.
  • Treat yourself to at least one nice outfit as you drop sizes.  You deserve to feel good & flaunt the work that you've done, even when it's still a work in progress. 
  • If buying pre-cut veggies means you'll eat them instead of grabbing a Snickers, do it.
  • Know that if you're changing your life, you wouldn't be doing anything differently regardless of what the scale or tape measure says.  Just keep making the best choice at each "fork in the road" & it will happen.
That is what New Sara wants to tell Old Sara--what I desperately want her to believe.  It's my biggest fear that this gets lost in talk of smaller jeans & collar bones. 

Of course, my second biggest fear is that I won't look pretty in my smaller jeans--& thus there is balance to The Force.

Saturday, January 28, 2012



(Now I've got a lot)
(To get what I want)

It's Sara...Ms. Miller if you're nasty.  That's right with this little ode to Ms. Jackson (apparently I'M nasty!), I'm having another epiphany.  I didn't realize it until just this morning, but I've been out of control.  By ceasing tracking & "not paying attention" to what I was eating, I had been giving control of my life to food.

I was feeling weary of having to jot down every bite & analyze every choice, & I thought rationalized that I would be less controlled by food if I wasn't thinking about it so much.  Wrong-o. 

In the absence of conscientious choices, I wasn't starving.  I was still eating, I just wasn't making active choices, which often (but not always) leads to poor choices.  I was eating according to the mood of the moment, which is just a whisper away from emotional eating. 

This week I no longer ceded control.  I took it.  I made good & thoughtful choices (read: not all "healthy," but all appropriate & moderate) & I tracked every bite.  Food isn't controlling me when I'm thinking about it, it's controlling me when I'm tricking myself into NOT thinking about. 

I shed 2.6 lbs this week.  In 1.6 lbs I'll be working on "new" weight & in 12.6 lbs I'll be at goal.  Control.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Party Time


I've had a bit of a revelation this week.  This year's New Year's Resolution was "Organize 2012."  Organization is nothing more than a series of lifestyle choices...something that I know a little bit about.  So I went into it knowing I needed a plan.  I found this daily calendar that breaks down de-cluttering & organizing your home into small daily tasks.  Do-able!  Anyway, back to the revelation...

This week has been focused on storage areas.  So I've had big blocks of thinking time while I've rifled through boxes of stuff that I have been storing.  I realized that my process of getting close to goal & then sabotaging myself is like planning a party & then canceling it at the last minute.

My initial analogies were having a pregnancy & then no baby (not even close) or planning a wedding & then no marriage (still too grandiose).  I settled on party because a party isn't life changing, it's just a good time. 

I've worked hard for two years & I deserve the last hurrah on this leg.  Much like after a cancelled party, life goes on the next day.  There are some hard feelings & some bitterness, but business continues as usual, for the most part. 

I've had business as I want my party.  I know that the "journey is never over,"  & "the scale is just a number," but I need this closure.  I need to be able to say that I set a goal & I hit it.  I started something & I finished it.  Time to get to goal already. 

I took a peek-a-poo at the scale this morning & wouldn't you know?  Tracking & making good choices works.  My life would be a lot easier if I didn't insist on forgetting that from time to time.  Tomorrow is official weigh-in & then it's time to set a course for Party Time (figuratively, of course).  Much like my "Organize 2012" goal, I need a specific plan & manageable steps to get the job done...finally.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Last Call


As of this morning, in an effort to reign in some of the awful habits that we have developed in the last few months, Dave & I have instituted a last call for food: eight o' clock. 

We chose eight because that is the kids' bedtime.  I won't eat crap while little eyes are watching & if I'm really legitimately hungry after eight, we've allowed ourselves the option of "in emergency, eat produce." 

Being that this is the first night & my stomach is angrily protesting the rule change, I find myself wanting to gnaw on my own flesh & wondering just how many Weight Watchers PointsPlus Values my left hand has.  It has to be light meat, right?  Like a chicken wing?  One PointsPlus per ounce? 

I tried to distract myself with a little web surfing, but as far as I can tell, all of the Pinners that I follow are hungry right now too.  Pinning food on Pinterest is a form of cyber bullying.

I'm going to bed.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Love Internet


I love lamp...but today I am even MORE in love with Internet.  All of the SOPA & PIPA frenzy yesterday got me to do three things:
  1. Shut down my blog for a day to put my "money" (proverbially speaking, of course because I don't actually get paid to ramble like this) where my mouth is.
  2. Spam my illustrious team of elected good-old-boys, Boswell, Harkin, & Grassley (click here to find your Representative & here to find your Senators), to let them know how I feel about the issue.
  3. Think about what the Internet has done for me.
When I wrote my note to my officials, I decided to avoid the greater issues of censorship (which are truly huge!) in favor of a more individual & human approach.  Let's face it, no one is actually going to read it--it will just be filed with all the other "vote no" emails.  But it made me feel good & for once in my life I was concise!  Here is what I wrote:

Dear ________,
I am a constituent for whom the Internet served an integral role in saving my life.  Not because I accessed some bit of lifesaving information on a medical website or was able to look up first responders in an online phone book, but because I blogged.

In 2010 I weighed 269 lbs. I worked hard, I shed some weight, I hit a wall & then I found my voice. Through I tackled my demons & was able to dig into all of the issues that made me obese, unhealthy & unhappy. 

Under SOPA or PIPA I might not have been safe to find that voice. I get comments on a regular basis, comments that post links. Under your legislation I would be responsible for both my own content & that of others. 

As a would-be writer, I appreciate the value of intellectual property. As a now 140 lb, healthy mother of two, I understand that some things are more important.
Sara Miller

And then I started to really cogitate (Dave, consider the use of "your" word your loving gesture for the day), on what the blog means to me.  What if I lived in a world where sites like Blogger didn't exist because they couldn't afford to keep themselves afloat under the pressure of liability for their user content?  How does that change my individual life? 

When I started blogging I was in a quagmire.  I had lost about 70 lbs with a lot of hard work & dedication--& I was still obese.  I was upset, in fact I was sinking into a depression kicked off with a two week crying jag.  People were telling me how good I looked & what a great job I had done (all true!) but all I could hear bouncing between my ears was "And look how much farther you still have to go."  I had put in the physical time, but I hadn't really stopped to think about how & why I had gotten to be 269 lbs.  Without doing that work, I was just spinning my wheels & waiting for the relapse monster to come & get me.  When I received a few unrelated, unsolicited prods to start writing about it, something clicked.  The flood came rushing out & I started the process of fixing my brain & my heart to match up with my process of fixing my body.  I have no doubt that without my blog, my two weeks of crying would have extended on into months & then years.  The 70 lbs would have been forfeit & New Sara wouldn't be here today.  And I love New Sara--can't imagine life without her. 

Shedding pounds (in my own opinion, based on NO science in the slightest) is 60% what's in your head, 30% what's in your mouth & 10% what you're doing with your body.  Blogging helped me with 60% of my task. 

There are three posts (here, here & here) that I go back & re-read on a fairly regular basis.  These are my anchors.  They have pulled me out of slumps & on to "the next pound" many many many times.  Where would I be without them?  

I love Internet.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012



Ah, favorite of the Seven Deadlies...unless you factor in how lovely it is to say Avarice, then I might have to change my mind.  Any-hoo...

I was a freshman in High School when "Seven" came out in theaters & I loved me some Brad Pitt, so I went to see it.  I was so blindingly terrified afterward that I crawled in bed with my mother that night to fend off the pound-of-flesh-carving, hooker-stabbing, force-feeding crazies that were surely lurking in our quiet little neighborhood.  

I'm feeling blindingly terrified by gluttony again, but I don't think the solution is an awkward slumber party with my mama.  This weekend I had a no-holds barred binge--on purpose.  And it felt good.  Until it didn't & then it felt bad.  From Saturday morning at weigh-in to Monday morning, I gained 3 lbs.

The terror comes not from the gain, but from how easy it was to slip back into old habits & how simple & comfortable it felt to eat for entertainment.  I was 100% relaxed not having to think about every bite I took.  If ever I thought this was something I could master & check-off, I was wrong.  Gluttony still knows how to find me & whisper sweet nothings in my ear.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Fifteen Minutes


 In October, I wrote a little blurb for a Weight Watchers essay contest.  It was a short little essay & in all honesty I wrote it in 20 minutes...I've had a little practice at blathering about my journey.

In the first week of December, I found out that I didn't win the Grand Prize, but I did win one of the 100 First Prizes: a $100 Macy's Gift Card.  Said gift card disappeared in a flurry of after Christmas clearance excitement & I now own an exceedingly impractical Coach wallet.

In Mid-December I received a call from a WW PR person asking if I would mind being featured on a local news spot to talk up WW & my progress.  I'm a pretty open book, so I said sure, gave her some contact info & some general times that work well for me.  She said the spot would be in Mid-January & someone from our local NBC station would get in contact with me.

Fast forward to last week.  No one had gotten in contact with me & I assumed that I wasn't interesting.  No big deal...I have my wallet to validate me.  When the WW rep called me back to confirm that we were on for January 10, I nearly threw up.  Wires crossed, everyone thought the other had talked to me...they're coming to my house today to tape...something. 

I'm feeling a little apprehensive about the whole thing.  I take very seriously my responsibility to choose my words on the subject of shedding pounds.  I love blogging about it because I have a delete button & I can make sure that each phrase perfectly states my thoughts...or at least my thoughts at that very moment.  I remember being the 269 lb girl seeing a "success" story & thinking "Well, I'll never be able to _____, so why bother trying."  The idea that I might say something that seems flippant or disingenuous or impossible, causing another 269 lb girl to feel like there's no hope, is absolutely terrifying.

That being said, I've done some mental rehearsing & I've got a few phrases bouncing around in my head that are non-negotiables.  And even more important, thanks to my Facebook peeps, I've got a rockin' outfit planned. 

Last night I posted four options:


Going into it, my faves were #3 & #4, & Facebook seemed to concur.  As I was having my date with Ursula this morning, I think I decided on #3 for the following reasons:
  • When I was a tween in the early 90's, my mother tried to tell me that olive looked good on me.  I promptly vowed to never wear olive again.  This is my public apology to my mother for being a little puke.
  • More importantly, black is the signature color of all women overweight, obese, or struggling with body image.  Old Sara's closet was ready for a Goth Convention or a funeral or even a Goth funeral.  All black, all the time.  In all fairness, black & gray are still my absolute favorites, BUT for this, I think I want to wear color. 
I have no idea when they are planning to air this.  I have no idea what it is actually going to entail.  The WW rep said they will want to film me "doing what I do."  Well there's NO way I'm taking them down to the dungeon basement to see Ursula & taping me sitting at the computer tracking my food doesn't seem like riveting television.  Not my problem, though.  I'll post to Facebook when I know the air time (for my local friends) & I'll try to post a link to an online video if one is available for my out-of-town pals--should be good for a laugh 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dangerous Curves Ahead


I went into today thinking that this would be my triumphant-return-to-Curves post.  It has been about 3 months since I have gone in to work out & at this point it is more a mental battle than a physical one that is keeping me away. 
  • I feel stupid.
  • Everyone is going to ask where I've been.
  • I'm going to have to grapple with how much muscle I've lost.
  • I'm going to have to face the music & be measured.
This week I psyched myself up to get my butt in gear.  My lungs haven't been cooperating with my running, but I was excited to get back to Curves. 

Curves was an instrumental part of my process in Year One.  The informal atmosphere & the highly structured program were exactly what I needed to take my first baby steps into exercising.  I was clueless as to what to do, but if I just went around the circle a few times I would work all of the major muscles groups & I would be moving, which was something.  Gradually, the inches started to melt & I had muscles I never would have dreamed of.  I wasn't killing myself, pumping iron, but I was definitely sculpting in a realistic way.

Somewhere along the way I stopped appreciating that.  I got seduced by the bang-for-your-buck calorie burn of running & cardio.  Now I'm noticing the effects as my skin isn't tightening like it was & I'm not dropping inches like I was.  This was supposed to be my morning to get back into the routine. 

Then I got a meager three hours of sleep last night & the wheels came off of my day before they even had a chance to get rolling.  I gave in to the excuse of being tired.  Then I ate a lunch that was too heavy & didn't want to visit Ursula on a full stomach.  Then I jumped into a bag of Pretzel M&M's because my day was forsaken. 

Instead of triumphantly heralding my return to Curves & weight training, I'm saying that I miss it, I need it, & I'm headed that direction on Monday.  I'm looking forward to adding weights back into my regular routine: caution, dangerous Curves ahead.

Sometimes I'm a Crazy Cat Lady


I have a cat, seen here:

He was in my life before Dave, before kids, before dog.  We are quite convinced that he is silently seething, waiting for all of the pesky interlopers to leave so it can go back to the way it should be--just me & my cat.  He loves me & only me.

Like many of his feline counterparts, he can be a real a-hole.  Like many people who own cats, I sometimes try to decode what he would say if I would bother to learn how to speak cat (because clearly he would NEVER stoop to learning English). 

Gaston is crazy skinny.  On a fluffy day he weighs 6 lbs.  Last night, as he was sitting in my lap for the sole purpose of stealing my body heat, I was petting him & I said, "You're getting too skinny, we need to fatten you up so there's more for us to eat when the tough times come."  He turned around & gave me a look that said (beyond a shadow of a doubt),

"Not all of us have binge eating issues, Lady."

Apparently I'm NOT my own harshest critic.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I'm Healthy & I Know It


The final nudge for me to start blogging came whilst I was sitting in a salon chair getting my hairs did in October of 2010.  It went a little something like this.

Sara: yammer yammer "I want to be healthy" blah blah "have lost 80 lbs" gabbity gabbity "getting my life back"
*snip snip snip* Rebecca (of Modern Strands Hair Salon if you're in the Ames area): "You really should write this stuff down.  Have you ever thought of writing a blog?"

Once again the darling Rebecca pushed me into a beautiful epiphany (& a beautiful fuzz free lip, thank you very much!).  She's a fellow (& much more acomplished) runner & healthy eating enthusiast, so we often talk "shop."  Today I was kind of spewing a stream of consciousness rant about feeling glum about my progress this year & something rather large clicked. 

Since February 2010, my ultimate goals through all of my life changes have been to get healthy & to model healthy womanhood for my daughter.  My ultimate goals were not:
  • to lose 135 lbs
  • to be a size 6
  • to be pretty
  • to be skinny
  • to be hot
  • to rock a smokin' blue dress on our sixth anniversary
Ok, so I rocked the dress, but it wasn't the end goal.  I wanted/want to be healthy & to model that health in a way that is relevant to my daughter (& son, too!).

I've been feeling blue about my progress in my second year.  In Year One I lost 100 lbs & 54 inches over my whole body.  I dropped 8 pants sizes.  In Year Two I now hope to be able to say that I've lost 25 lbs by the middle of February.  Given that my goal was only 35 lbs, it feels like it wasn't too big of a task & I failed.  But, I return to my stated goals.  As I was prattling on to Rebecca this afternoon, I realized that in Year One, I barely even touched cardio.  I started Zumba in the last two months of Year One & that was really my first taste of a good sweat.  I didn't start running until mid-March, a month into Year Two.  Year Two found me able to do 5Ks & slog through a little race called Living History Farms.  Year Two is when I got healthy.  Year Two is when my daughter started to say, "I wunnin' like-a Mommy!" (Disclaimer: Since Coraline's birth maked the BEGINNING of Year One, this statement is more than a little unfair, but it still makes my heart swell every time she says it).

Looking at my overall progress toward my goals--not just the number on the scale--makes me feel really happy about Year Two & where I'm headed.  I haven't decided if I'm still chasing my stated goal weight of 134 lbs or if that was just an arbitrary number, but I have decided that there is no room for any more blue feelings...just blue dresses.  I'm healthy & I know it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Logging: It's Not Just for Lumberjacks Anymore


Dave at the finish of his first Half Ironman
Here's a press release about my husband: he's going to be a Marathoner.  But for the occasional shout-out & this sappy swoon from a year ago, I try to keep Dave relatively blog-free.  But I'm pretty proud of his 2012 goal--for what it means for him, for what it means for our family & for what it means for me--so I can't help but say that he's pretty awesome & I can't wait to see him cross the finish line come May.  He has wanted to take this plunge for a long time & put it off for me.  Now, he feels like my life is less in the life changing stage & more in the life living stage & he can devote less time to being my safety net & more time to running...running...& a little more running.

When Dave takes on something new, the first thing he does is research.  For a jump-right-in-&-figure-it-out-on-the-fly gal like me, it is maddening.  In the old days he would buy books on the subject.  Now he reads blogs & listens to podcasts.  At least his exhausting exhaustive research has gotten cheaper.  After he soaks up as much knowledge as he can, purging his mind of superfluous details like his own date of birth or our anniversary, he begins the brain dump.  The brain dump is where I get to learn all there is to know on the subject at all hours of the day.  Dinner conversation, my inbox, hushed conversations in the minutes before I'm freed by sleep--all filled with marathon talk.  Wanna know something about marathon training?  Ask me.  I probably know (& no, there is no marathon in my near future). 

Sometimes, along the way, I actually learn something.  In getting my routine squared away, I've started sincerely tracking my food again.  It's not rocket science & yet I frequently "forget" how valuable it is to simply write down my food intake in order to help get it under control.  In Dave's training research, he came across a fellow who is simultaneously zen & pragmatic about training.  Tip #1: keep a training log.  Not just what/how much you did, but how you felt, what you thought about, what worked, what you did differently.  Though telling me about training logs was part of the brain dump, Dave realized that he & I have something in common: we're both working toward a huge long term goal.  So, he bought me a training log (no doubt paid for with the money he saved in doing the rest of his research via free online sources).

Now, in this house, we are logging our workouts & I am logging my food...maybe he should take a page from MY research & log his food?  I don't know, but what I do know is that we're a logging family working toward some pretty big stuff in 2012 & it just makes me want to sing...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

And We Will Call Her...


Wait for it...
The Treadmill's name is Ursula. 
  1. "The Little Mermaid" is my FAVORITE Disney movie & Ursula is my very favoritest villain.
  2. Can't you just hear me whispering "Ur-seu-la has pow-ers" just like the nasty eels?
  3. The theme song just can't be beat...this one IS longing to be thinner!
  4. She's clunky & she's nasty, but I have to admit that I still kind of love her.
  5. It may seem like she's trying to kill me, but really she just wants to help.
And now, speaking of Ursula, a note to my future self on Saturday morning.

Dear Sara at 6:30 AM on Saturday January 7,
You will likely be frustrated when you get on the scale.  You will be mad because you've done your carefully planned regular workouts & you didn't magically lose 5 lbs.  In fact, in all likelihood you will have a meager loss or *gasp* a gain.  This is your pattern whenever you kick up your workout intensity. Also part of the pattern is your amazing ability to forget this fact when you step on the scale.  Please remember that your body is a complicated machine & takes some time to respond properly to the shock you're giving it.  Please also remember that you wouldn't have to be remembering this if you hadn't been such a slacker recently.  You don't have to ramp it up if you don't let it peter down.  Just sayin'...
Hugs & Kisses,
Sara at 9:13 on Tuesday January 3