Tuesday, February 28, 2012

To the top!!

This weekend, my nephew Jackson turned one, and his grandparents threw him a big Chinese shindig in celebration. Yes, my tall blonde Scandinavian sister has a son who is 1/4 Chinese, so he had a traditional Red Egg and Ginger party. (Sidenote: I took home a bunch of red eggs, and after making a giant amount of egg salad yesterday, my fingers are still pink from the dye.) My parents/Jackson's non-shindig-throwing grandparents came out from Arizona for the occasion, and as they always do when visiting in San Luis Obispo, they are staying at my brother-in-law's grandma's house. We all, including my mom, just call her Grandma. Grandma owns llamas, who roam the hill on which her house sits, and graciously deliver an unequaled landscaping service simply by doing what llamas are made to do... eating the grass.

I have been to Grandma's house several times and have always enjoyed seeing the llamas, but in the past I wouldn't even try to climb the hill. On Saturday, however, without thinking twice, I went straight to the top of the property with ease and would have continued if the fence wasn't there to stop me. Apparently, it's time to start hiking again! A few years ago, my friend Diana and I went a couple times to a great trail not far from my school, and it always left me breathless. Not just from the gorgeous views, although they were quite nice. See?


I would be panting and sweaty after a climb that seemed like it should have been much easier for me, even at the time. I am suddenly very curious to see how much easier it would be now! Who wants to go hiking this weekend??

Some pictures from the llama hill:

This one shows the steepness of the hill.

Here's the fence that stopped me from climbing to the top.

Me at the top, with a llama. My cousin Jack named it Tina, and called it a fat lard and told it to eat some ham.

Halfway up, with my cousins Abby and Vicki.

At the red egg and ginger party, my sister's mother-in-law complimented me regarding my weight loss, and gave me permission to go off my diet for the day to partake in the very delicious party food. I explained that I'm not actually on a diet, as I don't believe in them. I'll be writing a food post very soon, and addressing that controversial issue... the "diet". Or the "non-diet". Or "why I won't say no to cake."

A special shout out to two of my good friends: Tessa and Laura... Happy birthday, girls!!! And congrats to Tessa on the birth yesterday of her perfect baby boy Seth!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Maybe it's better that nobody loves me

Valentine's Day just passed, and I heard people talking about having all this candy lying around and being tempted by it. I didn't have that problem because nobody loves me.

I suppose that's not entirely true, but I like to pretend I'm all sad and lonely to get attention. Hahaha just kidding. I know that so many people love me, it's not even funny. I have the best family ever, and they all love me a ton. And as my mother once said, "Katie has more friends than a rich man giving out free breakfast at IHOP." It's true. The difference between the rich man and me, though, is that I'm not buying anyone breakfast at IHOP or anywhere, because I'm as broke as they come! No one could ever accuse me of buying my friends. People just love me because I'm so pretty. Hahahahaha!!! Just kidding again. But really, I have a million friends, and I know they love me, and I love them. The people who love me are a huge part of why my life is so great.

But somehow I have never been on the receiving end of the chocolate, roses, and general mushiness that make February 14th what it is. I think that for the longest time, it was because I was so uncomfortable with my body, that my identity was wrapped up in being fat and I didn't think any guy could ever like me... like THAT. So I put up the friend persona and then lamented yearly that I was alone and nobody loved me on Valentine's Day.

This year was different, though. While I still have a lot of weight to lose (68 pounds to be exact), I have realized that "the fat girl" is not who I am. I have a TON to offer somebody, and besides all my inner qualities that rock, I'm looking pretty good on the outside these days too! I feel conceited because I look in the mirror so much, but I can't help it: I look like a new person and I'm not used to seeing this pretty girl. My sweet friends tell me that I was always pretty, but when I looked in the mirror, all I could see was the fat. It's hard to ignore, and incredibly painful.

On Valentine's Day, there was a knock on the door as I was getting ready for school in the morning. I was in the middle of putting on deodorant, so I went to the door with the stick still in my hand. It was my cousin Alex, her arms full of all those things a girl could ask for on a day devoted to love, and while the words that came out of my mouth were, "Nice. You're holding flowers and a balloon, and I'm holding deodorant," there were actually no bitter thoughts in my mind. It was a funny scenario, and I said the obvious joke, but immediately, I was aware that I was thankful to be single this year. I couldn't be happier to have escaped the guy I thought I would be with, and I'm not afraid that I will be alone for the rest of my life, so a Valentine's Day on which I am single is no longer a source of pain. It's just another day, and one that I am confident I will get to celebrate with an amazing man in the future. And the fact that I have never been able to celebrate one before will make it all the better when I finally have someone. And we'll go out on a date, and I will look amazing and thin. But just like the fat, those things will not be what define me. First and foremost, I am a child of God, and I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God has gifted me with a lot of talent, a fantastic sense of humor, and a big heart capable of loving unconditionally. And that's just a little bit of who I am.

So at the end of that day, I didn't have any candy lying around tempting me. I did, however, go to a church service where all the ladies were given roses. I had my flowers after all!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The return of The Ginormostairs

I have decided that The Ginormostairs is the official name of the large set of stairs at school. They need a title that presents them to the public as the formidable foe of the out-of-shape that they are, and a name like The Ginormostairs demands a certain amount of respect and awe that one does not automatically grant at the mention of mere stairs.

Upon my return to school this Monday, I was glad to be greeted by this friendly giant that kicked my butt into gear last September and inspired the exit of the forty pounds I have since lost. I smiled knowingly and with compassion at those out-of-breathers lugging themselves up as I descended gracefully and swiftly down the 185 stairs (I used to park at the lot at the top of only 138 of the stairs, but now I park at the very top). I knew I wouldn't be quite so swift on the way back.

I haven't been at school since mid-December, so the trek up the stairs would be a good indication of my fitness level. It's not like I climb that many stairs anywhere else, so there hasn't been a whole lot of stair climbing since school ended. I was pleased with how easy it was. I was still breathing heavily at the top, but I was thinking about that first day last semester and how I had to stop halfway up and drink a bunch of water. It was also over 100 degrees that day, but still. I was horribly out of shape. This week, I DID have to the stop at stair 132, but only to take a picture of this sign that made me laugh rather loudly:


Today, as I neared the top of The Ginormostairs, a skinny girl was only a few steps behind me, breathing quite heavily, and when I flashed her the "these stairs are NUTS!" look (it's a universally understood look at Pierce College), she said, "This is a workout!" I agreed, and decided not to tell her how much I appreciate said workout and how it changed my life. Not everyone wants to hear my story, even though I want everyone to heed my message: LET'S ALL BE HEALTHY!!!! If I can do it, so can you!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The gym is betta with a brotha

Thanks to my brother, I have begun to incorporate strength training into my gym routine. And it's fun! Brian knows what he's doing, and he's teaching me the ropes so that I'm not a totally clueless loser, although I'm pretty sure all the people around me think I'm ridiculous whenever I roll off the exercise ball onto the floor and crack up while trying to keep my shins on the ball and my elbows on the ground. I swear, one of these days my core will be so tough and strengthy that I won't even need the exercise ball... I'll just levitate! Take THAT, guy who was looking at me like I suck at fitness. I DON'T suck at fitness!! I've lost a hundred pounds! Some people even call me Fitness Kate! And by "some people even call me Fitness Kate", I mean my brother-in-law once said he didn't like this "Fitness Kate", when I wouldn't go get some greasy food with him because I had to go work out instead. But I'm pretending that he meant it in a good way, and taking that name to the gym. It sounds fierce. I don't even GO by Kate most of the time, but Katie sounds kind of weeny in comparison. Kate is more hard core. Like a gangsta. Or a fitness guru. I like the word guru.

Anyway, Brian (he won't let me call him Sweaty B) and Fitness Kate have been hitting the gym together a couple times a week, and I'm hoping to make it happen more often, which will be easier once school starts next week and I'll be in his area all the time. Then we can rock out together on the regular. Like this:


Two sort of random things:

1) I still haven't started running and I'm weirdly scared about it, but I really want to do it! I need a running buddy.

2) I was out the other night for a friend's birthday, and I went into a bar. The guy at the door looked at my license for a LONG TIME before letting me in. It makes sense though... I've lost seventy pounds since that picture was taken, and I look really young, so I could totally have a fake I.D. I don't though. I'm thirty, I swear. Here's my license picture compared to a picture I took just now:


I guess I should get a new license picture taken, although I'll probably wait until I've lost another 50 to 70 pounds.