Monday, April 30, 2012

I wish I could be magically thin

I love when people find out that I've lost 112 pounds and they ask, "What's your secret?" There is no secret. Trust me, if there was some magic way to get skinny and stay that way, I'd jump on that train in a heartbeat! But radical diets and pills and all that other hoopla just doesn't work. Or it doesn't work in the long run at least. Nope... you have to put in some good old fashioned hard work.

I used to think about how I was a normally-weighted child with no effort, and then I would wonder why that can't be the case today. But then I remember that, although it may have felt effortless, I was always running around, playing soccer, riding my bike, climbing trees, swinging around on monkey bars, jumping on a pogo ball, karate chopping my brother... oh wait, no. That last one was just in my mind. But all the others are accurate. And also my mom made sure that I ate healthfully. Also exotically, because sometimes she thought she was from Africa and would make crazy dishes that I liked to refer to as monkey brains. I'm not even kidding. We have a friend who married a girl named Amina from Kenya, and Amina taught my mom some pretty crizazee recipes. And as a child, it's not that I was picky so much as that I just didn't like ANYTHING. One time, it was my turn to pray before dinner, and I started off with head bowed and eyes closed: "Dear God, thank you for today. Thank you for Mommy and Daddy and Amanda and me and Brian. Thank you for the..." eyes open, quick glance around the table, eyes closed again, "...milk. In Jesus name, amen." True story. Just ask my mom.

Anyway, so one day it hit me that the reason I wasn't overweight as a child is because I was super active. Moral of the story: you can't be physically fit if you're sitting around on your butt all day. Sometimes I get frustrated (aka: right now) because while I'm in school I'm too busy to go to the gym as much as I would like to, so I'm not losing weight as quickly as I think I should, but as long as I throw in some good activity each day, I won't start backsliding to my old couch potato ways. I hate couch potato ways. They make me miserable.

So activity it is!! I'm not opposed to, let's say... jumping into a game of frisbee golf when in the past I would have sat by and watched, even if I'm wearing a cute dress that probably prohibits normal movement. That's just how I roll. Photobucket

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Collarbone check and that jacket again

I need to talk about my collarbones again. I love them. It has been so much fun watching the definition increase over the last several months, and I constantly catch myself touching them. I just did a side-by-side comparison picture with the picture I posted back in November:


And maybe I went a little crazy on the picture taking and the goofy faces:


Excuse my insanity.

Another thing I would like to revisit is my post entitled Why do I want to eat crap?, in which I lament the craving of sugary items and other healthfully detrimental habits. I was re-reading this post recently, and I suddenly became aware of just how far I have come. While I definitely still have a desire for sweet things now and then, it is no longer something I think about all the time, and beyond that, if it is sitting in front of me and I am not hungry, I don't automatically start to eat it anymore! I also stop eating before I am full, every single time. I know when I have had enough, and I no longer have an irrepressible urge to keep eating. I also now tend to favor the taste of more healthful foods.

This is a GIANT breakthrough!!! Food has become a non-issue for me! I can't even remember when that was the case before, and it doesn't make sense to me why it was the case for so long. Why, when there were issues to deal with on the inside, did I turn to food? I don't get it, and yet, it ruled my life for the last ten years or so. But food always masked whatever problem arose for a short time before just adding the misery of being fat and self-conscious, and not being able to control my eating. How could I have let that deceptive "comfort" be what I ran to instead of relying on God to bring me through? As I have deepened my relationship with Him, I have come to depend on His comfort and grace to get me through life. Not that all of life is hard... a lot of the time it is quite fantastic! But there are always difficult times to deal with, and they will continue to occur.

For instance, my biggest struggle is the fact that I am still single. More than anything else in this world, I have wanted to be married and have a family since I was a little girl, and I never imagined that I would still be single at 31. And I also don't understand how I hear from a large majority of the people I know how awesome I am and what a great wife and mom I'll be, and yet, here I am, alone. That was a huge driving force in my eating in the past, and not only did it not help, but it made the situation worse as I became incredibly unattractive and miserable. Nobody wants to be with a miserable person! At some point, I started turning to God instead of the food, and that has made all the difference in my contentedness. I know that He has an amazing plan for my life, and as He is the one that made me the way I am, with this incredible desire for a husband and family, I believe that He will bless me with that in the future. And I'm guessing, since God has been filling my heart with a desire to go visit different countries to work with orphans, that the man God has for me will have a similar passion, and that is so exciting to me! I wonder how much of my life I have wasted, when I could have being working in that field already, all because I was focused on myself and food! Being miserable really sucks the life out of a person. So now when I start to get overwhelmed with sadness that I am not married yet, instead of having a pity party complete with a mound of junk food, I pour my heart out to God and let Him deal with it. And I have peace. And visible collarbones.

So to lighten up this suddenly heavy post, I will end with a fun story and my new favorite picture. You know my green jacket that I wrote about here? Last Friday it was pouring rain, so I wore it. I was at my brother Brian and his wife Sarah's house, and when I put the jacket on to leave, I zipped it up and pulled it away from my body to demonstrate how much extra room there was. I said, "I feel like Sarah could almost fit in here with me!" so she tried. At first she wanted to see if she could get in while it was on me and closed, but she shimmied up as far as my waist before there was a pause followed by, "Oh. I forgot about your boobs." We all cracked up and we tried again, this time by opening the jacket. I believe there was only a space of about four inches that prohibited the closing of the jacket, and it used to fit me perfectly. Now that's what I call progress!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Sitting pretty

The other day I was sitting on my bed doing who the heck knows what... probably playing Draw Something or contemplating the delicious Pineapple Stuffing I would be making for Easter, or thinking about all the guys that I think are cute and would make good husbands someday, and wondering who will be mine... when I realized that I had my knees drawn up to my chest.

So what, right? Yeah, not so much. More like, WOOHOO!!! My giant belly used to get in the way of my legs coming anywhere CLOSE to my chest! So, as you may have suspected, I took a picture of myself that way. Welcome to the way I look in the morning (although I totally have mascara on from the day before) and the awesome fuzzy warm pajama pants my mom bought for me when it was 40 degrees in my room at night. I know a certain Jennifer who will be super jelvis (yes, jelvis. Definition: a) Jealous of Elvis, or b) Jealous of something Elvis would have liked. He clearly would have mistaken my pants for blue suede, and therefore would have liked them.) because the pants have ladybugs on them.


So that's all I wanted to say. It's exciting every time I find something new that I couldn't previously do!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Move it or lose it!

Nothing motivates quite as well as a little friendly competition, especially when money is involved. Since January 1st, I have been part of a weight loss competition group on Facebook, which has been a great source of motivation, with weigh ins every week, and a buy in of $5, to be paid to the winner at the end.

Our first 90 day challenge just ended on Sunday, and I didn't meet the goal I set at the beginning, which was to lose 40 pounds. I did, however, lose 21 pounds in that time, which was the same amount the winner lost, but since she started out 72 pounds lighter than me, her percentage lost was obviously higher. I didn't mind losing to her, though, because she's really great! That was one of the best parts of this group: I met some really awesome girls who are now my friends, and I'm excited to hang out with them again soon!

Part of the reason I didn't lose as much as I wanted to during the last challenge is that I didn't go to the gym very often in that time. School is keeping me extra busy this semester, but starting now I will be making more of an effort to work out several times a week. I just reconnected with an old friend from Tucson who now lives ten minutes away from me, and she also happens to already have a membership at 24 Hour Fitness, where I go. She has a lot of experience with personal trainers and she's gonna help me whip myself into shape! I love having someone to go to the gym with, and I'm happy to be able to spend time with this friend again. When we got together on Saturday night, we hadn't seen each other in ten years! We have gym plans every day this week while I'm on Spring Break, and that should be a really great jump start for the next challenge, which started on Sunday when the last one ended.

The goal I set for this challenge was to lose 31 pounds. I know that with the help of my group and my new gym buddy, this should be a breeze! I'm even gonna try to beat my own goal and lose more than 31 pounds, but it won't bother me if I don't. I know that all of this extra weight will be gone soon, and the most important thing is that I'm getting healthy and that I feel amazing! My life has changed so much in the last six months, and I go around with a perpetual smile on my face. I have always been a pretty happy person, but the joy I feel now that I've broken free from this stronghold that my weight had over my life is incredible!

A few extra things:

1. I'm taking a friend to get his driver's license in a few weeks, and at the same time, I think I'll get a new license picture and change my listed weight. When I got my license, I weighed 60 pounds more than I said I did, and now I weigh 19 pounds less than what is listed! So I'm gonna lie again and say I weigh 180, because pretty soon, I really will!

2. I put on the red dress again a few days ago, and I think I need to officially retire the dress. I had to hold onto a handful of material at the back to make it tight.


Compare that picture to this one of me wearing the dress on Christmas day. Alex and I decided that we needed to dress formally for Christmas last year. Haha!


I think I should go try on beautiful dresses this week. I can't afford to buy one, but it will be fantastic to try on dresses that they have in the store because now I'm actually a size that they carry! I love that I still like to play dress up as much as I did when I was a little girl. Some things never change. Wanting to feel beautiful is something that is built into girls, and that desire will never go away, no matter how old I get.