Where did I get that outfit? lol

Monday, August 25, 2014

Busy Few Weeks

Thanks for all the nice comments about my vacation pictures.  I really did have a nice summer.  

It's been another several busy weeks for me.  Hard to believe the kids are back in school already and it's almost September.  September is going to be a really busy month for me with my TOPS Fall Rally I'm planning and my own half marathon.  

Yesterday Mike, Nick and I walked 11 miles.  I won't sugar coat it, it was long and Nick complained most of the walk and I found myself feeling pretty depressed by the second half of it.  But thankfully by the last few miles we recovered and things improved between us.  I know he's scared about his future and not knowing what he wants to do with his life.  I honestly don't care what he does, I just want to see him happy in his life.  I sure hope he can figure it out for himself.  I know at his age I was in an even worse situation with no drive to do anything for myself.  Then my mother up and got married and I was on my own at just 18.  It was probably the best thing that could have happened to me.  Of course I don't want Nick to have it as hard as I did but I also don't want to coddle him.  We will just have to see how things go.  For now, I'm just really proud of him for following through on saying he'd walk with me.  I think it has definitely brought us closer together.

So this weekend was the Motley Crue and Alice Cooper concert on Friday, boy what a crazy show that was :) Alice is definitely a character :) Then I had the cat castle on Saturday and then yesterday was the 11 mile walk and then the Journey concert in the evening, which was great.  But boy was I tired.  I got in 30k steps yesterday.  So today Mike and I ended up taking a "stay at home day", it was great :)

With the kids back in school now it means I have to figure out a new schedule for myself if I want to make it to the gym in the mornings, I'll have to get up earlier again.  Tomorrow is the day of 4:45am up time.  But I've found in the past few years that morning workouts are good for me.  I still take walks often in the evenings and on weekends since I'm training for my half marathon and doing the step challenge but getting in my weight lifting in the mornings really helps.  

I find morning meditation helps me too. I just think as time goes on I need to work on permanent changes that help me on a daily basis.  I was reading some maintenance blogs (Lori was one of them) and they were talking about still needing to make on going changes as time goes on even in maintenance.  Really, life is on going with changes so why wouldn't we need to make adjustments with exercise, food, sleep, mental, whatever it takes to keep our weight off.  I've definitely been giving more thought to lots of things these days.

As of late I've really been focusing on the mental side of things.  Of course nutrition can use some on going work too so I've been doing some there too.  I've found focusing on others more has been wonderful for my mental health but I also see how I've falling back with food some over the summer.  I think there is a certain level of focus on myself that I need to keep.  But I don't need it to be "gung ho, a million miles an hour" either.  Yes, I'm still looking for that right balance for myself.

I'm feeling good about my work with my TOPS folks and the million step challenge.  I'm not sure how many I have doing it but the ones that are send me emails and fitbit msg and it feels wonderful to know I've helped them in some small way.  I wonder if any of my blog friends are doing it with me, let me know if you are I'd love to hear about how you're doing :)

Well it's late and I better get to bed.  I'll try to come back sooner than a few weeks :) It's been great reading your blogs so know I'm still here rooting you all on even if I'm not talking as much :)

Till next time...

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Vacation/Summer Post

Yes, I've been missing again.  But it's been a good summer so far and crazy that it's already August, where has it went?  June, consisted of Birthdays, mine and Nick's, Kevin and Mike going to New Hampshire to move his stuff, Kevin and his wife visiting for a week, then her for a week on her own.  Then July we headed off on vacation :) and what a vacation it was :) We drove over 2800 miles making pit stops in all kinds of places :) We drove to Kentucky to drop off the kids and spent a few days there with Mike's mom to celebrate her 4th of July Birthday.  Here's a few pictures of the Kentucky walks I've talked about many times.  It was just beautiful, the sky there just seemed bluer :)


Then we were off to Shenandoah, VA for a few days of camping.  As things sometimes go we had a few mess ups there lol.  First, we couldn't fit the queen size air mattress in our small tent so ended up ripping the tent a little.  Then found out that the air mattress had a leak lol and to top it off I didn't bring but one twin spare and the camp store sold everything BUT air mattresses so poor Mike volunteered to sleep on a 3/8" mat we bought.  Then if you can believe it, it rained lol.  But we did get in a few nice hikes before things went to heck.





The mountain behind mike is Stony Man and is the second highest point in the park and then that's me on Stony Man :) 

So we ended up making the decision to just head out a day early and ended up spending a night at a great bed and breakfast called Spencer House in Erie, PA. Joy and Fletcher were just great :) the house was built in 1876 and it was beautiful woodwork throughout the whole place.  We got to stay in the presidential suite too :)
Then we headed on to Niagara Falls, the Canada side.  I had never seen the falls so it was super cool to me.  I originally booked a room at one of the "on the falls" hotel but then I just couldn't bear the thought of spending so much so I switched hotels and this is a picture from our room, you could actually see a bit of the falls, so not to bad. 
We did the whole falls tour thing so got to go on the boat ride and then also do the "behind the falls" tour and also the rapids walk.  Here's a few pictures of that. I was awed with how many rainbows there were :) got a picture of one on the American falls and then another on the horseshoe falls.



Here's a picture of Mike and I at the rapids walk.  It was cool reading all the stories about the people trying to go down the rapids by different means :) One guy made it with just a life preserver :)
 Here's the "behind the falls" pic, you were almost close enough to reach out and touch it :)
After our Niagara days we headed on up to Meaford, ON to visit my girlfriend.  We had never met before so it was really cool to get to meet her after several years of friendship online :) Her and her husband own a farm so we got to try raw milk and ate fresh eggs and grass fed beef and pork :) 

We went to this cool farmers market and my girlfriend treated me to a character drawing.  I sure wish my face was that thin lol. There was a chef there too and we got to sample some :)
 The farm had fruit trees and bushes too which I thought was super cool to just walk around the year picking cherries, mulberries and raspberries :)
Got to go kayaking with my girlfriend on Georgian Bay, which was HUGE that you definitely couldn't see anything in the distance.  I got to see 3 otters too, my first otter sighting ever :)  While we were kayaking Mike was bailing hay :) I just got in the picture at the end of his hard work day lol.
Then we had a great family dinner out in their gazebo. I've never been a steak eater but I can honestly say their grass fed beef was truly the best steak I had ever had in my whole life. They home grown veggies weren't to bad either :) One of my new favorite things to put on my roasted veggies is balsamic vinegar, who'd a thought :)
Then my girlfriend and I headed back out for more kayaking.  I had never been at night.  There was fog on the bay but the coolest part was someone shooting off fireworks out over the bay in front of us. Then before we knew it, it was time to head on home.  I definitely could live in Meaford, the farm life could be for me :) If I actually knew how to farm lol.
It was a 14 1/2 hour drive home and then we got a few days to ourselves before heading to Beckley, WV (15 hour round trip) to get the kids.  To say we were beat after vacation would be an understatement, but boy was it a great one :)

Then Kevin's wife and the little one returned for a week and a half :) We went to an amusement park which was tons of fun, especially the water park stuff :) I didn't get any pictures since I wasn't the one taking them but here's one of the little one with our 2 foster kitties. Isn't she a cutey?
Then a few weeks ago Mike and I went to a KISS/Def Leppard concert if you can believe it :) I grew up on Def Leppard and Mike has been a forever KISS fan.  I had only been to one rock concert in my life and that was Heart when I was 20 yrs old.  I couldn't believe how much fun I had :) Here's Mike and I in our KISS t-shirts, wish I had a Def Leppard one instead :)
We are going to a Motley Crue concert on August 22nd and then to see Journey on the 24th. No, I haven't lost my mind lol I might have to wear ear plugs for the Motley Crue one. So that's been my summer so far.  

An update on the foster kitties, sadly the little orange tabby, Sunshine wasn't adjusting to our house very well at all so we had to send him back to his old foster lady.  The little hellion Petey, well he got fixed last week and Mike (the man that didn't want to foster any kitties) told me, "You can't take my Petey" when I told him it was time for him to start going to adoptions days at Petco.  Sooooo Petey has become our 4th kitty.  The family all feels we probably shouldn't foster anymore kitties so for now we won't :)

On the weight front, well I have put on a few lbs from all the vacation/house guest eating but I'm working on getting it back off.  

My TOPS step challenge is still going strong and I'm pretty sure I'll reach the million steps by the end.  I have 9 miles to walk tomorrow and Mike and Nick will be walking with me :) they both have agreed to do the half marathon I'm planning with some of my TOPS folks.  I'm very excited about having my very own half marathon.

Well it's going on midnight so I better head off to bed so I'm well rested for that walk.

Till next time...

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Another Week Gone By

It's been a good week and a half.  Nick turned 17 yesterday, hard to believe he's that old :) It feels like yesterday he was just a little boy.

Here he is at the cat castle with Inky :)

He seems to have a way with the kitties :) 

The first week of the step challenge is underway and though I don't know exactly how many TOPS members or bloggers I have doing it, I'm enjoying doing it myself and looking forward to seeing how many finish :) 

Today was Marie's last soccer game of the season, they tied 3 to 3 :) 

Then I went for a great walk with my TOPS mom and then.....

I went and picked up this little guy.
His name is Petey and he weighs just a mere 1 lb 4 oz and is about 3-4 weeks old.  Mike has already resigned himself that the little guy will never leave now that he's here lol but I really am just wanting to foster the little guy but he is darn cute as you can see.  We are feeding him a mix of kitten food and kitten formula and he's a good eater and already using his litter box :) He even already figured out how to get himself up on Nick's bed as you can see :)

Tomorrow I plan on doing 5 miles with Mike and I've talked with him and he's agreed to do another half marathon with me.  I think it will be something good for us as we missed doing one last year together. I've come up with the plan to do a half one of my own with my TOPS steppers or whoever wants to participate :) right here locally.  I haven't planned the details yet but I'm excited about it.  I just think focusing on others is what I need right now :)

Life is good.

Till next time...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Cat Castle

Thank you for all your caring sweet comments about Nick and the kitten, so so thankful for all of you :)

Last week was tough, after Saturday then I had to spend the next 4 days stressing over did the poor kitten have rabies as the health department got involved, thankfully it didn't but it was definitely a lesson learned, a far to sad one.  

We still volunteered this Saturday though as usual.  The Cat Castle brings me a lot of joy even scrubbing floors and cleaning litter boxes.  When I sit with Casadia after I'm done cleaning I can tell she enjoys my company even though she hasn't allowed me to pet her again.  I think so many things in life are about making a difference and the kids and I make a difference to those kitties there.  

We decided to ask to foster kittens if any were to come along.  I thought we were going to get 2 this week but it didn't happen.  I think it would help the kids and I feel better about poor little Lilly (that's what we had named her).  Anyway, I will continue to volunteer at the Cat Castle for a long time to come :)

As for other things in my world, things are good.  I have been back to reading blogs on a regular basis again and just loving what everyone has to say.  I sometimes wonder if my dribble helps anyone.  I know I struggle just as much as the next person and I know it all boils down to my inner thoughts and staying positive.  

My call with Gary last week was a good one and we talked about how I lost my weight initially.  For me it was goals along the way with that big TOPS prize of getting a trip to Nova Scotia.  That really was what pushed me and I had an actual time limit.  I don't know that I would change how I lost my weight but I also know that had I not started working more on the head stuff I could have easily started to gain it back more than I did.  We talked about the weight I continue to hold on to, this 25-30 lbs and what meaning it holds.  It has been somewhat of a protection for me.  It allows me to feel safer around men and it also allows me to eat more food and still live in my food addiction at times.  I've mentioned here before how I want to just drift down the scale slowly as I work on inner things, tweaking my food more and just enjoying my life.  Is that possible?  I believe it is, as does Gary but I also don't know how long it will take.  I've not been in a hurry so far as you can tell lol since I've been sitting around this weight, give or take 10-15 lbs for the past 4 1/2 yrs.  

At this point in life, I'm good with me.  I love myself, I feel happy in my life, I'm nurturing my relationship with Mike and the kids and really there's not a lot wrong with my world.  Sure I wouldn't mind having money lol but other than that I'm content.  So if I weren't to lose another lb I'd be fine with that.  When I changed my blog to "Fixing myself happy" I really did mean that.

So where does that leave me with goals?  Well that marathon is still in my head and I still want that more than any other goal I've had.  I will continue to work towards it even though I'm finding myself having ankle and knee issues.  I've seen people without limbs do amazing things surely I can walk a marathon :) 

As for my long holiday weekend, it was super nice, there was a walk with Mike, the hours at the cat castle with both kids, an afternoon walk with my girlfriend and then dinner at her house, time in the yard reading and planting and just enjoying the beautiful weather, there was also kayaking on the lake with Marie on Monday.  I wish it could have lasted forever :)

Kevin called last night, he and his family will be moving to NH in a few weeks.  They will come to visit for at least a weekend which I'm very much looking forward to :) I won't like having them so far away, it's been nice them only being a few hours away but hopefully we will see each other on the holidays.  

We head to Kentucky the 4th of July to drop the kids off and visit a few days then Mike and I are heading off for vacation.  We are going to do some hiking in VA then off to see Niagara Falls then off to visit a girlfriend of mine in Canada, I can't wait.  It's going to be a wonderful vacation :)

The step challenge starts on Sunday, I'm going to shoot for level 2 as I know that is doable.  If I end up managing level 1 that would be great but honestly I'll take any level just to keep myself moving :)

Well I don't have anything much to really talk about.  Life is good.  Getting in some exercise and eating pretty well.  The scale is moving in the right direction again :) 

Till next time...

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tough Lessons

Some things are just heart wrenching.  Yesterday was a day filled with so much good and bad.  I smiled a lot but I also cried a lot.  

I'll talk about my TOPS 5k I organized last since I want to end on a good not.  What had me sad was that after my TOPS 5k I came home and nick found a little kitten in our yard. It was injured and clearly in bad shape.  I brought her in the house and we soon realized that her little back legs were in bad shape and she had maggots in her wound.  Nick pleaded that we take her somewhere to be seen so we drove her up the road a hour to the emergency vet.  When the vet mentioned possible rabies and the poor thing having been attacked by something I hadn't even given thought to that which was very dumb on my part.  We ended up having to make the hard decision to put the poor thing down.  I'd like to think we gave the little thing a few hours of comfort at least before we went.  Even writing this has me crying again.  I really don't believe the poor thing had rabies but with something like that there really wasn't a lot I could do and the vet thought it was best since she was in such bad shape anyway.  Hopefully now she's roaming heaven pain free and happy, that's what I'm telling myself anyway.  Honestly I would have spent the $1200 the emergency vet said it would cost to nurse her back to health but with the uncertainty of rabies we had no choice Sad Nick and I felt heart broken and we both cried buckets. 

I'm glad I didn't eat over this as in the past I could have seen myself stopping on the long drive home and drowning my sorrows in sweets.  Instead when we got home we played a game of cards and talked.  Nick said that he thought this had helped him grow up realizing what tough decisions have to be made as an adult.  Goodness knows I hate the thought of my kids having to learn lessons this way but I know life can be tough.  He said that he thought he should stop playing so much xbox as a distraction and start trying to do better.  I was worried the experience would lead him in a bad direction of worse depression so I was glad to hear that isn't the case.  
 
Anyway, I will end on a good note saying my 5k with my TOPS folks was wonderful yesterday.  The weather was a cool 67 degrees and 25 people showed up.  I did my best to talk to as many of the folks as I could along the way and it did my heart good. I gave each person a big hug as they left and I'm looking forward to my next event with them soon.  Not sure if I mentioned I'm doing a million step challenge with them.  I will have 3 levels of steps, 1 million, 1/2 million and 350K, so that hopefully more will try to get more active.  It did my heart good to see several of the ladies out there walking with their canes :) Any of you blogger folks are welcome to join in the stepping challenge.  It will run from June 1st to Sept 19th.  I can send you the little chart I made for tracking if you want to email me at bbubblyb@gmail.com.  It's 111 days long, I liked all the 1's to show YOU ARE #1 :)

Hope everyone is having a good Sunday.
 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Just writing to write

It's been a busy week for me.  I went on travel last week to CT.  I went with 2 co-workers and we drove.  It was a lot of driving for just a few days of training but I had a nice time.  Can't say my eating was good but everything else was so I call that a win.  

I came home and Kevin's wife and the little one were here for Mother's Day weekend.  It was really nice having them.  My mother's day was terrific.  The little one made me a homemade card with a picture of me with yellow and purple hair :) and a big colored heart and it said "I love my Nanny".  All my cards were wonderful, to the point of tears.  Marie's was the one that got me the most.  It was the first "mushy" card she's ever gotten me :)  It said:

Amazing
Admired
Mom
Generous
Genuine
Loved
Respected
Remarkable

When I was growing up, it was the little things that amazed me, like the way you could fold, fasten, or fix anything. or the way you could make a good meal from almost nothing. Now that I'm older, I admire you even more for who you are and that's a woman who gives generously and loves genuinely. I guess I'm saying I'm proud of you Mom proud to be your daughter. Happy Mother's Day Love, Marie

Isn't that what we all want as parents, for our kids to remember the good things and to be proud of us and proud to be like us :) 

Nick's card had a picture of wonder woman on it and it said: 

Always had a favorite super hero growing up, Still do "That'd be you" Love, Nick

And my daughter-in law touched me too with:

On mother's day we celebrate the women who touch our lives with their wisdom, support, and encouragement.  She wrote inside: To the woman in our lives that is a better mother than anyone else could ever imagine being, we love you so much.

After reading all my cards I told them how I always wanted to be thought of that way and that if I do nothing else in life being their mother has been the best reward.  

Mike got me a beautiful card as well, he has always been the sweet card man :) he got me multi colored roses too and made us all a nice breakfast.  After that my daughter-in-law and I went and got pedicures with my TOPS mom and then we went over her house for dinner.  I just had an all around great day.

I've been back on track with food since Monday and just wondering where I want to go with it all.  I have given myself far to much permission to over eat lately and the scale has drifted up about 5 lbs.  I really have to figure out where I want to be. As I've said a million times really I just want peace with food. 

I think doing more mental work lately with Gary has been eye opening for me in many areas.  But I feel I'm back to an even keel and feeling good about where I am.  I know I still have work to do and I can see all the progress I've made in these past many years.  It really is just continuing to put one foot in front of the other mentally and physically.

I've organized a 5k with my local TOPS chapters for this Saturday so I'm excited about that.  I think it will be my biggest one yet.  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone.  Have to go pick up some fresh fruit and water for afterwards tomorrow.  

I've printed out my marathon schedule so I plan on starting training at the end of the month.  My ankle is much better so I'm hopeful I will do ok. 

Well if I want to get to the gym in the morning I better get to bed.  Hope everyone had a great mothers day too :) Hard to believe it's May already.  

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Transference and Selfishness

That's what I've been doing lately, transferring my father issues onto other men in my life.  I hadn't really realized this till recently.  Then when my long time girlfriend said "I think if you continue to look to men to help 'fix' you, you will continue to have this idol relationship with them."  I did this to my poor trainer to the point of running him off, goodness knows I can't blame him.  He was really good at what he did but honestly how could he handle the likes of me with my forever neediness.  I am grateful for the quality coaching and the free coaching at the end that he gave me not to mention some really good life advice.  
 
I think my neediness got bad with the broken foot and falling in a depression after not getting to do my marathon. I talked to Mike about it last night and it did help a lot.  I'm so thankful for someone I can talk to, when I don't always make sense.  I'm thankful I do have people in my life that can help me sort myself out.
 
As for idolizing men, I did give a lot of thought to that and I wouldn't change having had my retired therapist, he helped me a LOT and though I will admit I looked to him as the father figure I never had I also think his 30+ yrs of experience really helped me greatly with much of my old baggage and it helped me down the road to loving myself enough to lose the weight.  I think that's part of the neediness the past few weeks too.  He always said I could call him anytime so I called to see how he was doing a few weeks ago.  I found out he was having health issues and it really made me sad.  Made me realize too that it's not all about me.  It made me wish I could be there for him.  But when you put someone in the position of the helper it's hard to turn that around when they could use some comfort themselves.  I did send him a card and I will call again soon to see how he's doing.  The fact is I miss him and feel worried for him. 
 
I still think there is more stuff in my head that needs to be sorted out.  After the broken foot and then losing my coach I was falling into another slump and that's when Gary came along.  I feel I've jumped into the head work so fast that I've not really given myself time to process the past several months. But with Gary and my friends and Mike I'm working through things and making connections for myself of why I do idolize men at times.  Why a find myself attached and seeking assurance and worthiness. But I can't say I want to go digging in my past anymore really, I've been there and I don't feel there's anything I really want to remember further.  But Gary talked about reshaping how I think of the past and I do think I've been working on that.  I want to think of the good things about my parents and just move on.  I just don't see a lot of purpose in dwelling on the bad.  But I do need to learn not to transfer old stuff onto new people as it's not fair to them.  It's clear I have abandonment issues, it's clear I have attachment issues, and clearly I'm needy as heck sometimes.  But I also know I'm a survivor and I'm someone that knows what I am capable of when tough times come along or I set my mind to do something. As I think most people are if they really think about it.  
 
So where does that leave me right now?  Well feeling like I need to focus on others, focus on seeing what I can offer them even if it's a smile and "you look nice today".  I definitely know that showing kindness to others helps me focus on something other than myself because I sure know everything isn't about me. I also know I'm tired of focusing on my weight.  Not that I don't want to better myself but I am content enough as I am so I need to just focus on doing healthy things for myself as there's far more in life than losing a few more lbs.  
 
This week I was clearly feeling needy and in feeling that way I transferred that to several people in my life to the point of feeling irrational, reactive and selfish as heck.  I can remember one of Karen's posts about feeling the negative emotions and learning to process them and be done with them, like a wave coming over us.  What a great way to think of it.  I often times send an email to someone instead of sitting and letting those emotions wash over me.  I need to work on that.  I need to give others peace from me.  I need to learn patience and care of others.  I'm sure everyone has someone in their life that just sucks the life right out of them, boy that has been me lately.  WHY?  I guess that's the question I need to figure out.  I never thought of myself as a needy person before recently.
 
But deep down that needy little child still lives inside me. I've learned not to stuff her with food as often but I'm finding I'm stuffing her with people lately and that is worse as it affects more than just me.  I also know that little girl has felt worthless at times and as I've grown over the years emotionally I realize that I am the one that gives myself worthiness not others. I need to rely on me, nurture myself and realize that I can't get from others what I need to get from myself.  
 

As for life these days, it's good so I really have nothing to be needy or upset about.  I need to get back to focusing on living fully. There's far too much good to be focusing on unhappy because we all know what we focus on persists.  So here's to happiness, contentment and peace.  I am enough, I am worthy and giving of myself to others will benefit me more than them.  I really do want a life of service not a life of transference or selfishness. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Another Challenge Done

It's been a busy few weeks for me.  My TOPS convention was last week and it was really good.  My workshop went well and then I talked a bit later on in the day about "regain".  It was mostly what I wrote here a month or so ago.  I got a standing ovation and I found myself really chocked up.  I feel like I've learned a lot of things about myself during this weight loss journey.  I'm starting to think maybe I could help others.  It's not about teaching them about nutrition or exercise though, it's about helping them to learn to love themselves and get rid of guilt and shame and to be happy with where they are right now.  

Funny though that some times I can stand so tall and feel so good about all I've accomplished and then other times I'm feeling like I still have a ways to go. 

I finished another online challenge this past weekend.   Below is the essay I wrote for it.

"Dawn's Final Mile", that's what I titled this thread because I wanted to get to a body I had never seen before, I wanted to "finish".  But as the weeks ticked by I realized that my final mile wasn't going to happen this challenge but I also realized that through these past 6 1/2 yrs and coming from 378 lbs, I've had quite a few detours, gains and pauses and I've learned many lessons along the way.  
 
So what did I learn during this 98 day challenge? 
 
I learned that recovering from an injury is harder than I thought it would be.  Breaking my foot 4 weeks before my marathon was a lesson in patience for me.  I was thankful to get back in the gym even if I'm not 100% back to where I was before the foot. 
 
I learned that asking for help was a good thing, that having that 5th element was a must.  I found the kindness of others 10 fold all along the way. Every person that stopped by to root me on meant something to me. (I feel the same way about the people here in the blogging world too)
 
I learned that nutrition has to be at the top of the list, especially when you're injured and not working out at your best. Through my weight loss I relied on exercise to eat more and I learned through this challenge that tweaking my food and eating within my calorie range was a must.
 
I learned to modify my exercise where need be to create a workout that worked for ME.  I did use Tom's TNB through part of this challenge and found it worked even with my injuries.  
 
I learned staying positive is EVERYTHING!!!
 
I learned nurturing my brain is of the utmost importance.  I definitely grew mentally through this challenge.
 
I also learned that self confidence can come in many ways and helping others is a big part of that.  Speaking at my TOPS convention this year and receiving the love from so many showed me that giving others hope will help me grow into the confident person I'm striving to be not to mention helping others is so rewarding and feels great.
 
I've learned maintaining is winning too.
 
I've definitely learned that I NEED to be proud of who I am and what I have accomplished over time.  Each day is a lesson waiting to be learned. 
 
Today I weigh 1 lb less than what I weighed this time last year finishing up the LYB challenge and I was feeling on top of the world and hoping to win (came in 3rd) so how can I be disappointed in myself to have maintained my weight through having a broken foot and other obstacles this year.  I lost some fat and gained some muscle and though I don't think my pictures look much different the inside of me sure does. I've realized I've just come to far on this journey to beat myself up anymore about anything.  It really is about how we look at things and ourselves and it really is about finding the joy in the journey.  
 
As for my goals from this point forward, boy I'd still love to do that marathon in November and 25% body fat and 155 lbs is still on the horizon Smile
 
But my #1 goal is to love myself each and every day and be so very proud that I've maintained a 200 lbs weight loss for 4 1/2 yrs now. 
 
So for each person reading this know...
 
You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection… - Siddhartha Gautama 

How true is it that we deserve our own love and affection.  I think that is the battle so many of us face, not always giving ourselves the love and kindness that we show others.  

While I've been working with Gary (weightpsychology.com) these past several weeks he's making me realize that for me it's about protecting my weight loss so far not about losing another 25 lbs.  In our first call he asked me to rate my self love from 1 to 10 and I gave myself an 8.  He was surprised my number was that high but I explained that I rate my love for myself how I rate my love of life, my happiness in my life.  We've talked about weight just being a symptom and I think we all know that to be true.  It made me think about when I changed the name of my blog from fixing myself thinner to fixing myself happy. I had finally realized that it really was about making my life all I wanted it to be not about how much I weighed.  

Anyway, I've had a busy but good few weeks.  I'm looking forward to starting to really look at my food more closely with Gary.  Maybe it's a dream but I'd like to think that if I could clean up my food more maybe I could just slowly drift down the scale.  It makes me think of Vickie and how she had a few years pause before losing her final amount of weight.  I do feel like I'm ready for the next step for myself.  But even if I don't lose another lb I'm very happy just as I am.

I took this picture on Saturday and I felt really good about myself :) Then I spent the next few days eating like a crazy woman feeling like I shouldn't have felt good about how I looked, how messed up is that lol.  But I think I will always struggle with that sort of thing.  I don't ever want my outside to change the person I am on the inside because just like I've always told my TOPS people "you aren't your weight".

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Weight Psychology

I feel like I've been quiet so much this past year.  I feel I've done a lot of work on myself though and really opened my eyes to a lot of things this past year. I've always felt bless how through my life people have come along that have helped me.  There have been many pivotal people in this weight loss journey of mine too.  People that have helped push me a bit further along my road of being a better, healthier (mentally and physically) me.  

A few days ago I got an email with the title "The #1 Problem with "Diet Mentality"' of course it peaked my interest so I went in search of the rest of the story.  I found myself on a website called "weight psychology".  I read some of the author's blog posts and I found myself identifying with everything he wrote.  

For some time now I've been wondering about the chemistry of food.  I've not really dug a lot into that side of things as I always thought it was more on the mental side of things that drove me to compulsively eat at times.  But as I've hung around this same weight I'm feeling like there has to be more to the story.  Anyway, I wrote back to the author and in my usual fashion I said how I felt.  I wondered if I sounded snippy, I hoped I wouldn't but as many other fellow bloggers know sometimes you get emails that want to sell you something.

Anyway, I emailed back and forth with Gary and I soon realized he knew his stuff and I wanted to learn more.  Today I got to have a long conversation with Gary and I must say it was a very informative talk and has opened my eyes even more to how complicated weight loss and maintenance is.  There are so many sides to it all that we have to figure out for ourselves if we want to lose weight or even maintain what weight we've lost.  I'm excited about learning more from Gary and hoping to connect some more dots for myself as to why I hold onto these last 20-30 lbs.  

I've always said people come into our lives for a reason and this feels that way to me. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A fly by

Well I really need to get to bed but just felt the need to come and at least post something as I keep promising not to be gone so long.  I'm doing well and feeling much better about everything.  Having peace with food again these days which feels really terrific.  

I had a really really wonderful time with my family.  Seeing my mom and sister was great and then my day with my girlfriend was even better.  Spending time with my niece and grand niece was great too.  I did say all the things I wanted to say to everyone and it just felt so very very good.  I hope that I will get to see everyone more often but no matter when I do now it should be good :)

The kids and I are still volunteering at the cat castle on Saturdays.  I'm still working on Casadia and Nick has found a friend named Charlie, who's a sweet white and orange kitty that arrived 2 weeks ago :) it was too funny, after cleaning on Saturday him and Charlie took a nap on the little kids bed up in the front window, what people must have thought as they passed by lol.  

Kevin is coming to visit this weekend, we haven't seen him since September so will be really nice seeing him and the family.  Haven't seen the little one since New Years either so will be nice to spend some time with her and get to hear "Nanny" all weekend :) 

Work has been a bear, learning the new 3D software has not been easy but I'm making progress and feeling a bit better.  For awhile there I was wishing I could just find something new to do.  Still think about it but for now I'll just stick it out.  After 25 yrs not like I'm going to just up and go anyway lol.  

Mike turned 45 Friday, he's a little younger than me lol.  We just had a nice dinner at home and my co-worker came over and hung out with us.  We played some games and just had a quiet evening at home.  He's back on the weight loss wagon and I'm so happy for him as it seems to make him much happier when he's trying.  

SRD is just 3 weeks away, ekkkk.  I'm doing a workshop and have not finished my presentation yet so I better get a move on.  TOPS tomorrow and I'm hoping for a lose.  For a few weeks there I was self medicating and self punishing and it's such a relief to be back in happy mode.  

Well I really need to get to bed if I plan on making the gym in the morning. 

Till next time...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

5 Miles

I did 5 miles today on my road and it felt TERRIFIC.  I really do think of walking as my therapy.  It wasn't as pretty today or as warm as yesterday when I started but I was determined to get in another walk.  As I got to the top of the second hill the sun came out and I thought "why not" and I did a few stretches and turned around and headed back down the road for another lap.  Goodness how good it felt to be back outside.  It's suppose to turn cold again this week but just knowing there might be some walking days possible here and there makes all the difference to how I've been feeling.  

On the second lap I got thinking about my girlfriend and the tears just started to flow and I thought about how very much I miss her.  I again thought of all the things I want to say to her next week.  I just can't wait to see her.  It really does feel true that absence makes the heart grow fonder.  

I really feel I'm going to have a wonderful visit with everyone next week.  I'm really looking forward to seeing my mom and sister too.  Oh, got a card from my mom yesterday, was perfect timing I thought :) I will call her tonight to thank her.  I know though my family is dysfunctional that we all do love each other.  Even my father has been on my mind lately.  

Well I think I'm off to sweep the back porch so I can sit out and read for awhile, the temps have drifted up to 65 now :) I couldn't ask for a better weekend.

Till next time...

Saturday, February 22, 2014

My Road

I don't know how many times I've wrote about "My Road" but today I just kept thinking about coming here and writing about it.  I got to take my first real walk today since I broke my foot back in October.  Boy how totally wonderful it was.  I found myself welling up with tears of joy to be out in the sunshine walking again.  It was a cool 60 degrees but I was totally loving every minute of it.  I kept wishing I had brought my phone so I could have taken a picture. I'm hoping tomorrow will be another good day before it's suppose to turn cold again so I can take another walk.  It just does my soul so much good to be out on my road :) I couldn't help but keep smiling as I walked and then seeing the Bay was just .... well I can't even describe it :) The ankle still isn't the best and it's feeling pretty stiff now but I think as I walk more and continue to stretch it more it will continue to get stronger.  

I've had a mixed bag of a week, my emotions have been all over the place.  But I know that's normal sometimes as we think far too much about stuff.  I will be seeing my family next weekend.  I'm finally going for the Christmas visit I never took.  My sister's (Kevin's mom) Birthday was yesterday too and so I sent her a card.  I found it harder than I thought to pick a card out for her.  I don't know if we will ever talk again but she continues to send my kids cards so I will continue to send her one on her Birthday.  Hopefully at some point we will find a way to have a relationship again. Growing up she was always the one I was closest too.

I will see my mom, my other sister, my niece and my best friend on this visit.  I haven't seen my best friend since July.  I texted her this week to say I would like to see her and she said she'd love to see me so that's a good sign :) I've missed her greatly and I'm hopeful our break has been healing for both of us.  We are coming up on 38 years of friendship, I just can't imagine life totally without her.  We've had our rocky patches but I will always love her and hope to stay friends even if it's from afar.

Thinking about her this week made me think a lot about friendship and what it means to me.  I really am a forever friend and it's so hard for me to let go.  I guess I don't feel friendships ever have to be let go of even if breaks are taken.  If anything I think it often makes for a better, stronger friendship down the road.  

I've also been thinking about what a good friendship is.  I've not had many friendships as I've always isolated myself.  I've found as I shed the weight I also have allowed myself to open up to new friendships that have been so very meaningful to me over the past several years.  Of course having healthy friendships has also made me realize what a not healthy friendship looks like.  I'd like to think though like I said that any friendship can be made better and stronger with care and true desire to heal any hurt feelings.  I'd like to think I make a pretty good friend :)

I've played over in my head a lot this week what I want to say to my best friend.  Things I should have said to her several years ago when she really needed to hear them.  I feel I've often painted a poor picture of her here as she's often hurt my feelings.  But I think that was just us both not really knowing how to be a good friend, not knowing what a good friendship looked like.  I'm hopeful we've both changed enough in the past few years to be able to dish out just love to each other without judgement or resentment.  
The kids and I went to the cat castle today for our weekly volunteering.  This week it was grumbles from Marie lol.  I thought about letting her off the hook but then I decided to stick to my guns and make her go.  After we got there she had a good time and didn't mind working or hanging with the kitties.  As for Casadia, I found out she's been with them 9 yrs, so I don't think I'm going to win her over quickly.  But I'm not giving up on her.  I'm going to keep trying and hoping.  She was more nervous today I think because there were more small children there.  But after I left her room she got in the chair I was sitting in and laid there so I think that's a good sign.  I'm going to try to find some stuff online about feral cats and maybe get some tips.  She wouldn't take treats from my hand today but she enjoyed the can cat food I gave her so I will continue trying bribery lol.  

My fitness this week has been pretty good, 4 weight lifting workouts but not much cardio.  Need to work on fitting more in.  Hopefully if the weather warms up I will be able to get more walking in which will definitely help.  Food has been a mixed bag.  My emotions being what they've been I've used food some this week but just trying to be kind to myself and not beat myself up over it.  

Got my haircut yesterday, picked a new style for myself and it really made me feel good :) I have to keep reminding myself it's the little things and self care that can make all the difference in how I'm feeling about myself.

Till next time...

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Cat Castle and Peace With Food

Well our volunteer work just boosted me right up today.  Nick complained the whole way there and I thought "goodness I sure hope he doesn't start torturing me every week" lol but shortly after we got there his mood turned right around and he worked without complaint and then truly enjoyed his time with the cats.  We were a terrific team again this week with our other lady and finished all the scrubbing, scooping, cleaning in just about a hour so then we just got to hang with the kitties.  I had brought floor cleaners, litter, food, trash bags, treats, etc for the kitties so plan on doing that once a month.  We heard great news too that the little kitty that had been there 12 yrs got a new home this week, how cool is that :) it just made me so happy.  Casadia was a bit warmer towards me too.  I still can't pet her but she ate treats from my fingers and seemed to enjoy my company in "her room" so I'm hopeful next week maybe I will get to pet her, I'm taking it slow :) 

As for food today, well I had a great day :) no "using" and I had peace again.  My plan is to start a "streak" for myself by counting the days I can stay in my calorie range.  

Tomorrow morning I plan on going to the gym for a good weight lifting/cardio workout then Mike and I are going to lunch and then to the grocery to shop for the week.  I'm hoping he will go to the gym with me in the morning but I'm not going to push.  I'm just hopeful he can get back on track with food too.  He hasn't been going to TOPS with me either so I'm hoping he will go Wednesday, we will see.  

I made a triple batch of protein bars today as I plan on taking a batch for my girlfriend who has also been struggling the past few weeks.  She has invited Mike and I over for dinner on Monday so thought I'd take her a gift :) 

My oldest sister and I have played phone tag the past 2 weeks so I finally got to talk to her today.  It was a good chat with her and I hope to go see her and my mom in a few weeks.  It made me feel good to hear her say that though we don't talk much that she thinks of us often and I told her the same.  It will be good to see her and my mom, it has been a long time.  

I'm grateful for so many things, life is good, I think the funk is lifting.  It also feels good to be posting again :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!! 

Hard to believe it's already February.  I know I haven't been posting much in the past year, but I'm missing it here so going to try to start writing more (I know I've said that before lol).  I've had several ups and downs in these past several months.  The broken foot was a big blow and not getting to walk my marathon. I was pretty low there for awhile so I was thankful to find my trainer who helped pull me out of my funk and helped get me back in the gym even when I was in the boot.  Sadly he's had to drop me as a client as he's spread himself thin and since I wasn't really paying him I did understand that part.  But the fat girl in my head still took it personally and I've found myself falling in another mental hole the past week punishing myself with food for being so needy.  

I know not everyone can be there forever trying to keep me uplifted and moving forward.  I know that keeping myself uplifted and happy is 100% my job and through my weight lose I relied on myself a lot so I will just find my groove again and continue moving forward.  I also know that sometimes people come into our lives for a reason and leave just as quickly as they came.  There was definitely purpose in our friendship and I will be forever grateful.  Hopefully he will have fond memories of me and not just think I was a big pain in his butt lol. 

I guess what has thrown me in a hole and affected me the most is the thought of it being so final.  I've always been the type I like the thought of my friends still being there down the road even if we've parted ways somewhat.  But I know for now I just need to let it go, let it go Dawn. I wish I had an easier time of letting go especially when I have no control over the situation. 

I've been out of the boot since January 20th.  The foot is totally healed and not giving any trouble.  It's my ankle that is actually the trouble these days.  I got some stretches from the doc so been doing those and stuff at the gym to help strengthen it so it is improving.
 
I'm trying to figure out how to move on with my fitness now but I'm sure I will be fine.  I've been on my own with fitness all these years so I will just continue to teach myself the best I can.  I had hopes to drop these last 20 lbs in the next few months while I'm doing my online contest but honestly I'm starting to question is it really what I want for myself.  I'm pretty content where I'm at and with my level of food and fitness.  I think a part of me will always want to drop that last 20 just to see if I can.  But will it make me a better person, a happier person, a more content person?  Honestly I think it will just make it harder for me to maintain my weight and I sure know I don't want to fall into beating myself up over not being able to stay there. 
 
So my plan is to work hard these next 8 weeks for my online challenge and see what I can do but not kill myself.  My level of cardio compared to before the broken foot is pretty pitiful.  My plan is to continue with my focus being on weight lifting but I also know if I want to actually drop some weight I have to put in more cardio time.  My trainer had me doing a combination of both and I have been liking that so think I will stick with it just modifying the weight lifting exercises to suit. 
 
Mike sent me a dozen roses yesterday in a beautiful ceramic vase with hearts all over it.  The card said "Love you. I don't know what I'd do without you" and I feel the same way.  He's a good man and I will be forever grateful that he feel in love with me and has loved me through so much stuff.  I wish I could help him feel better about himself.  I wish he could realize that he's not his weight, that he's good enough just as he is :) I wish I was a better wife, he deserves better than me.  I feel very lucky. He said he would start fresh come Monday and get back to the gym so I'm hopeful he will get feeling more confident again.
 
So Nick got his report card, 5 F's :( of course Mike and I felt like failures.  But we've talked about it and we are leaving school in Nick's hands.  I feel like we've tried many things and so he keep telling me "I've got this mom" so I'm hopeful he does. I never even went to high school and I turned out ok so I know he will be fine too no matter what happens.  He's got a good soul and I have faith he will find his way eventually.   Hopefully he can manage to pass the 11th grade. 
 
Then there is Marie, who made the honor roll :) I know sometimes she feels like the neglected one since it seemed we went from drama with Kevin to drama with Nick but eventually it will be her turn to be in the spot light and she assures us we won't have to worry lol.  Of course we hope that's true but then we all know what it's like to be a teenager :)

 
A few weeks back I gave Nick the option of therapy or volunteer work and he picked volunteer work so last weekend we started working at the "Cat Castle", our local cat shelter.  We all loved it and Nick kept saying how he wished he had known about it when he was doing community service back in the summer as it's so much easier than what he had to do lol. But we did work hard for the kitties and I was proud of us for being such a great team. There was another woman that was a new volunteer that just fit right in with us and we all worked terrific together and got the place all cleaned in no time flat, we scrubbed floors, cleaned boxes, beds, bowls, etc. Then we got to spend some time with the kitties :) Most of the ones there are tough to place kitties so not the friendliest as they send those over to Petco for quicker placement. One poor little kitty has been with them for 12 yrs the lady said. Another one, Casadia, I have a mission to befriend her so tomorrow I will bring some treats with me and try to see if I can win her over at least a bit :) I think this is going to be something good for all of us :) We all came home tired though after just 3 hours lol.  


Kevin and his family will be coming to visit for Mike's Birthday in a few weeks, we haven't seen him since September so it will be nice.  It will be great getting to see the little one too :)
 

I had a weekend with my TOPS folks for our planning of our annual convention.  I will be doing a workshop on exercise and nutrition, it should be pretty interesting.  I'm doing it with another of the area captains so at least it won't be all on me :) I think I'm getting less nervous about speaking in front of people.  I also had printed out what I wrote here about "regain" and I will also be reading that at SRD too.  I think most of us have been through a regain or more than one so hopefully it will give the folks something to think about.  The convention isn't till April so I have a bit of time to ease my nerves :)
 
I am so thankful for all you guys that check up on me.  Was nice getting your msgs asking how I've been doing :) always makes me smile and feel good to know I'm thought about.  I'm still reading your blogs regularly just haven't been able to post from the ipad so that's why I haven't commented much.  Need to figure out what's going on with that since that's where I do most of my blog reading.  Mike and I talked the other night and he was saying how I seemed happier when I was blogging and I think he was right :) this has always been the place for me to spill out my heart and I've missed doing that :) 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

An Update and Thoughts on Regain

Well I'm finally here for an update.  I have 8 days left in the boot (at least that's my hope).  I've adjusted just fine to the boot and I've been back to the gym 4 weeks now.  It feels wonderful to be doing something again and my trainer is just terrific, the best cheerleader ever. I'm going barefoot most evenings at home with no pain so I believe the foot is 100% healed now.  I still seem to be hobbling but I think it's more out of habit and worry over putting all my weight on the foot when not in the boot but I'm sure once I'm fully back on 2 feet that will go away.

I had wonderful holidays with the family.  Having my new daughter-in-law and grand daughter was really really wonderful.  I think being without Kevin we bonded in a really great way since we didn't have a buffer with him there.  I think she saw how much effort we put into Christmas for them and I'd like to think it was their best Christmas ever.  Nanny and Pappaw's gifts were definitely the highlight for the little one I think :)  

The poor thing though was sick on Christmas day.  We had all just sat down at the dinner table and the little one says "I don't feel well" and BLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! before we know it she's turned her head and vomited on the floor lol yes that's the type stuff that happens sometimes isn't it? I just threw a towel over it and we finished dinner the best we could lol.  Thankfully she felt better by later in the day.  But then Nick started feeling bad and was sick then Mike and I caught it too.  Just one of those things, but it didn't damper things too much.

As for my weight, well I did gain some through being off my feet for so long but I'm back in contest mode, started another online one on Jan 5th, and I'm back to 177 lbs as of this morning which I can live with after the broken foot for 3 1/2 months.  I am proud of myself for getting through it so well.  I've had help with my trainer and TOPS and my online community, so very thankful.

Which leads me into my thoughts on regain.  I will talk about my own experiences here since we are all different.  I do think it does apply to most though that have lost a considerable amount of weight or have a considerable amount to lose. During my decades of obesity I isolated myself.  I lived in my secret world of food and depression. Two previous times in my life I had lost about 100 lbs.  But I never really fixed any of the issues within myself that had brought me to super obesity so I regained it all plus more each time.  

Do I feel like you have to open up the past to get to today and the future? I kind of do.  I think we have to reveal it all to ourselves and be honest with what got us obese in the first place.  It could be a tragic childhood, it could be just one event in our lives, it could be just falling into a depression we couldn't bring ourselves out of, really there are so many reasons that could lead a person to obesity.  But it's about how we feel about ourselves that is at the bottom of it.

We have to fix our self image and build self esteem.  We have to stop being people pleasers and helping everyone else around us but ourselves.  We have to be #1 on the list.  We also have to be an open book.  I think isolating is at the top of the list for regain.  I know when I'm struggling it's reaching out that helps pull me out of myself and my addiction and gets me back to the top of my list and treating myself well.

We have to change our habits too.  We really do have to make eating right and exercise something like brushing our teeth or taking a shower.  We have to make that mental connection with it, find that pleasure spot.  If eating right and exercise are things we dread we will never stick with it.  

I've always said "put more things in your life to succeed than fail".  I have TOPS, my blog, my online contests, my trainer, my online community, email friends and the list goes on....  I put so many things in my life that it makes it impossible to isolate myself.  I am always an open book and yes I still at times fall back into food addiction even with all that.  But never for long.  I won't allow myself to go too long without reaching out to someone.  

We all need support.  In Tom's book he calls it the 5th element and I think it is very important. I have to stay connected to people.  I don't know about others but as a child I was neglected a LOT.  So I sought comfort in food but I'm realizing that other things can fill that void that I experienced for so much of my life.  Exercise, company of people, just reading other people's words on my computer screen, music, going to my TOPS meeting, my trainer, so many things can bring me that comfort I crave and so I try to always stay connected.  

I try to never be in denial either about what I'm doing.  That's why all these years I've always put my weight on my blog because it helps to make me accountable and being accountable is what will keep me moving forward instead of backwards. I don't think everyone needs this much accountability but I know I do.  

But it's the mental aspect I think that is most important.  Looking myself in the mirror everyday and talking nice to myself.  Believing to my core that I really am capable of anything I put my mind too.  To not have fear of regain because I know what to do to lose weight.  To know too that I am not my weight.  That I am a good person and that who I am is far far more important than a number on the scale. 

I also think we have to find joy/happiness in the journey.  I know when I'm moving my body I feel alive and well deep in my being.  I try to move through my day being mentally awake, where when I was super obese I went through life in a fog just thinking about the next thing I would put in my mouth.  

Now I find the joy in a good workout or just going grocery shopping or cutting up veggies for my soup or making my protein bars.  Of course those are health related things but the bigger joy/happiness in my journey comes from spending quality time with the people in my life.  Smiling as much as possible, giving compliments, being available to Mike and the kids for a game of cards or just a talk about something going on with them.  

I had lost my joy/happiness at 378 lbs.  I keep that first in my mind when I want to fall into my food addiction and block out the world.  I am a far better, wife, mother, friend, etc now than I ever was years ago and it's not because I've lost a lot of weight.  It's because I've realized what is important in life and food is no longer at the top of the list. Yes, comfort still is there near the top and I'm learning to comfort myself through finding love for myself and when I can't find it within I find it from the people most dear to me.  

So my advice is ask for help, reach out, put more things in your life to help you succeed than fail because you've surely helped enough people in your life that you deserve the same loving care. Through reaching out you will learn to really care and love yourself too.  

I'm sure I could ramble on for hours on this topic.  But for my dear friends out there that are struggling with regain right now just know you are loved and life really is about our relationships.  So start rekindling or working on ones you hold most dear to you because it really is true that on our death bed it won't be the scale we think about it will be the people we will be leaving behind and the things we never got to do with them or say to them.  

To all my dear friends, sending you a big hug.