Monday, August 27, 2012

An old friend and possibly some new

Today was the first day of the fall semester, and I am back at Pierce. Yes, I received my AA in June, but I got a D in my math class, so I have to take another math to earn the credit at CSUN.

Let me just defend myself for a second here. I know that I am probably the only one who cares, but I don't just go around flippantly getting Ds in classes. I am a Dean's list student, and I have always been good at math. However, last semester was SO work intensive that none of my classes got enough of my attention, and math suffered the most. You see, I hadn't taken any math classes since I graduated high school, so it had been 13 years, and let's just say that there were a few things I forgot in that time. Formulas especially. Add to that the worst teacher I've ever had in my life, who is no doubt brilliant, but greatly lacking in teaching skills of any kind. He would simply do problems on the board. If I had time to go home and teach myself what he failed to teach, I would have been perfectly fine, but I didn't have the luxury of time. I sat with a group of 4 or 5 other students who were all good at math, and each of us was scared that we would fail the class. We would get to class, look at each other, and the moaning and grumbling would commence. It was comforting, though, to have some comrades to share in the misery. We thought this class would be the death of us.

Anyway, I feel a little better having explained myself, so now you understand why I have to be at Pierce this semester. I would like to take advantage of the financial aid that I was offered this year, so I am trying to fill my schedule this week with classes that will benefit me in different ways. Thursday night I am hoping to get into an English Literature class with the same teacher I had last semester, which will go toward my BA, and this morning I crashed a Photography class. I would like to learn how to use the manual settings on my camera and how to work with light so that I can take amazing pictures when I work with orphans someday, and those will be part of my books. If I get those classes, I still need three units to be full time.

Enter Physical Education. Everything is full, so I will be crashing and trying to add Yoga, Swimming and Soccer. If I get all the classes I want, I will be at school Monday through Saturday, and every day from Tuesday through Friday will begin with a workout of some sort. And don't forget those stairs!! This morning I was so happy to be back to my original workout, and smiled all the way to the top as I felt that familiar burn in my butt.

What a difference a year makes! It was the same week last year that I climbed those stairs for the first time and literally thought I was going to die. I was sweating and panting and gasping for air. I had to stop and drink a bunch of water halfway up, and I sat there for ten minutes before I got up again to continue that trek to the top. I was so embarrassed by my lack of breathing ability, and by my obvious out-of-shapeness. Today, my heart rate was high when I got to the top, but I wasn't panting or wanting to die. If I can make the same amount of difference in this coming semester as I did this time last year, I will be elated! So I am praying that I can add those classes and amp up my workout. I have been wanting to swim, but I don't have access to a pool in which to do laps. I have been wanting to try yoga, and even have a pink yoga mat, but I haven't been able to drag myself to one of the classes at the gym because I don't like trying new things alone. Soccer is the biggest one for me though, in that I used to play and I loved it. I quit shortly after moving to Tucson because it was too hot, but I have regretted that choice ever since, and I have been dying to get back on the field! I think I am finally in good enough shape to at least try to get started again, and this would be the perfect way to do it!

After climbing the stairs today I hung out in my car for a while, checking on information and figuring out my week. I reclined my chair and put my feet up, while a nice cool breeze flowed through my open windows. I noticed that my legs look thin now. My family is very muscular so my legs will be never be THIN thin, but for me, they are thin. I am happy with my muscular build, and I wish I knew in high school what I know now about different body types. It would have allowed me to feel much better about myself.


If you pray, please pray along with me that I am able to get into these classes that I want. What a cool and exercisey semester it will be with my thin legs!! Thanks, friends!

Monday, August 20, 2012

I'm a regular Forrest Gump!

I have mentioned many times that I want to start running, but I haven't really done it yet. Here and there I've done a little jogging, but I have this strange fear. Of what, I'm not entirely sure, but it's there. I guess there's a little apprehension about the enjoyment factor, but I never thought I would like the gym and I was wrong about that, so I don't really know what the hold up is. Maybe I'm just afraid to do it by myself.

I do have an aversion to doing things alone. A friend once challenged me to go to the movies by myself, and I actually did it! It was super weird, and it felt a little bit like I was there with my childhood imaginary friend Labebo (not even kidding, I named my imaginary friend Labebo, and he got hit by a bus and died. Maybe I should go to counseling.) because I kept turning to the chair next to me when there was a funny moment to share the laughter, but then I would remember that no one was there. When people looked at me funny I should have just said, "What? I'm on a date with Jesus."

Anyway, the running hasn't started yet. Miraculously though, after the weekend I had, the fear is gone! One of my best friends, Rocio, had a birthday party on Saturday that included a water balloon war. This sounds fun in theory, but then you factor in my abhorrence of getting wet outside the shower, pool, or ocean, and my incredible propensity toward ankle and knee injuries on uneven or slippery surfaces, and suddenly this doesn't seem like the best party for me to attend. It's not like anyone is gonna let me sit back and be a spectator. I avoided the first round of balloon tossery by video taping. My friend Rebecca took this picture, and look at the hesitance to join the fight written all over my face!


I escaped most of the second battle by talking to an emotional woman in the parking lot for a really long time. She told me her life story and she cried. I guess she just needed someone to talk to, and Rebecca and I prayed for her. We came back just as the last balloons were being launched, and Rocio's sister Sandy did get me with a couple balloons. That was okay, but then the bucket full of water came out. They were determined to get me wet, so Rocio's brother told Sandy and Rebecca to take my phone away so he could pour the water on me.

That sounded like nothing short of torture, so I took off running toward the parking lot. I thought for sure they would catch up with me and I would end up looking like a drowned rat, but it turns out that I'm a much faster runner than I expected to be! I was running quickly enough on the grass, but once I was on the pavement and there was no fear of uneven ground to trip me up and sprain my ankles, I took off like a bullet! I had my car keys in my hand, and my plan was to lock myself in my car if I could get there without being caught, but I thought for sure they would catch up with me. However, I was running so fast that they gave up! I used to be a fast sprinter when I was a kid, but I don't think I have even tried to run fast for over ten years. For some reason, I didn't think I would physically be able to.

I did more than outrun Rebecca, Sandy, and a soggy evening. I took off full speed and left my fear in the dust! Now say it with me in your best Forrest Gump: "Ah was ruh-ning!"

Monday, August 6, 2012

A pair of bright pink pants with nobody inside them

I love writing this blog. I like being able to document my successes, vent about my frustrations, and be held accountable when I'm slacking. It's so great that, when I didn't write for a month, I had people asking me for posts, because it pushed me to get back on track when I was being lazy. The fact that my story encourages other people is so rewarding and such a cool bonus! As an overweight person for so many years, I know that I had to come to a point where I was ready to lose weight for myself and not because I should or because other people wanted me to, or because it would help me find a husband. It had to be for me alone. It took a long time to be ready, but I finally got there, and I am so much happier. But the thing is, as much as my mindset has changed and I am happy doing this for myself, at the very core of my being is still that person who lives to serve other people. I will do anything within my ability for pretty much anyone who needs my help. Because of this, I LOVE getting emails and texts from people and hearing that I have inspired them to start getting healthy, exercising, and/or losing weight! It gives me a reason to keep writing when I just don't feel like it. A reason beyond my own self, which is a more important reason in my opinion. Plus, knowing that I'm not alone in this makes it so much easier!

Someone who has consistently been one of my biggest encouragers in my weight loss and in writing my blog is my dear friend Regina. She is a family friend, and has known my mom forever. I grew up with her kids and her oldest daughter Cora has been my best friend since we were babies. Regina is really more like an aunt to me, and I love her as such. She tells me all the time how much I inspire her, and she also encourages me in school, and in what has turned out to be this horribly long wait for my future husband. She prays for me and she loves me, and I am so blessed to have her in my life.

A few weeks ago, I posted a status on facebook asking if people had any size 16 pants of which they were no longer in need, because the size 12 motivational pants I have are not an immediate enough goal, and I was in desperate need of motivation. That next weekend when I was in Tucson, my friend Kristi gave me 3 pairs of jeans that are too big for her now(Woohoo! Go Kristi!!), and then this morning I got a package from Regina. She bought me the best pair of motivational pants I could possibly imagine!! They are bright pink and I can NOT wait to wear them! I hung them up on the back of my bedroom door to keep my eyes on the prize and keep me motivated to get down to that next size! School starts up again at the end of this month, and I want to wear them on the first day! Those pants are what got me to the gym today, where I burned 450 calories and sorified (clearly that means "made sore") my muscles! I think those pants have magical powers!


That lovely pair of bright pink pants with nobody inside them! They won't be empty for long! Thank you, Regina!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Back to attack the fat!!

I've been feeling like such a bum lately, but I just haven't been able to drag myself back to the gym for some reason. I haven't been motivated. I was justified in not spending as much time exercising while school was going on, because last semester truly was insane, but it has been two months since school ended and in that time, I have just been lazy. No excuses. Once you stop a good routine, it IS hard to get started again. Why is it that the bad habits are the easy ones to keep? Someone's gotta do something about that. God???

I still found little tidbits of awesomeness over which to rejoice during my gym hiatus, and those at least made me want to get back to Fitness Kate status. Here is a small list of victory tidbits:

*last week I went to Tucson for my amazing dad's 70th birthday! While I do bring my pillow with me when traveling, I do not include my own personal (and much larger than normal) towel in my luggage. My mom's towels are the standard towel size, and I could never get them to close all the way around me before. This time was different! I did a celebratory post-shower-heck-yes-I-fit-in-a-normal-towel!!! dance, and then almost lost the towel, which was fine because I didn't think it would close anyway so no one was around.

*Again in Tucson, I put on my mom's apron that I made for her from my Katydid apron collection and noticed that it fit much nicer than it used to, and I felt thin and girly and swishy. If swishy isn't something you can imagine, click on the link and look at the apron. Check out the ruffled bottom, and then imagine wearing it. You want to swish, don't you? Even if you are a man. Don't lie. When I had a giant belly and no waist, I loved my aprons on everybody else, but I never thought they looked cute on me. No more! I rock the apron and want to wear it continually as a cute accessory!

*I went to Travel Town with the School of Awesome (which consists of my Aunt Jo, cousin Gillian, nephew Eli and me) yesterday, and when we needed to get to the train ride as quickly as humanly possible because the last train of the day was leaving in four minutes, I picked up the child and ran like the wind! Being able to do stuff like that is so important to me!

*A bathing suit top that I bought years ago because it was cute and inexpensive actually fits me now. I honestly thought it never would! Buying it was wishful thinking.

There are more, but I'll save them for another time. It was a combination of those moments of victory and a little prodding from my friends and people who read this blog that got me into the gym today for the first time in months. One of the big reasons I started writing this blog was for accountability, and thanks to many of you who read it and count on it for motivation and notice when I haven't written in a while and ask me to write, I want to make sure that this blog and my struggles and successes continue to be a good source of motivation for you. I know that it can be so hard to stay motivated sometimes, but it's nice to know that none of us are in this struggle alone! I'm also incredibly happy that I didn't gain a bunch of weight back, which proves that I can maintain my weight pretty effortlessly after losing. I was right to not adopt any crazy unsustainable diets!

So as this new month begins, I am ready to get back on track and continue evicting the fat from my body. My goal for the month is to fit into size 16 jeans, and to weigh 199 or less. How exciting to know that soon I will be able to wear the size clothes I wore when I was a junior in high school. I can't wait to try my green prom dress on at the end of the month!I also have a really cute skirt that fits quite snugly now that I can't wait to wear when I'm down another size. That was another wishful thinking purchase years ago, but I will be able to wear it soon!!

One more thought to end this post: Last month the School of Awesome went to the Getty museum, and we found a sculpture that is the perfect representation of my weight loss journey. I am at the middle stage right now, with the heavy past being shed, and the hope of a lighter future springing out of the top. This is my new mascot. A true picture of "Tomorrow is a Lighter Day!"