The Goal – Week 40

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One of the hardest things about this journey has been identifying my ‘triggers’.

That set of things, situations and experiences that send me spiraling into addictive behaviors.

And you know why it’s hard?

Because there are so dang many of them.  Now that I am looking for them, I can’t stop finding them.

Some are pretty obvious.  Like Halloween.  6 weeks of facing bags of candy everywhere I go.

But others are a bit more insidious.  In fact, at first glance, some of my triggers disguise themselves as tools.  The worst one by far?

The scale.

It’s a cliche to hate the scale, isn’t it?  But hate isn’t the right word to describe how I feel about this item.  Good Lord it’s so much more than hate.

We have a beautiful glass scale in our bathroom.  My husband jumps on it at least 5 times a week.  Morning, evening, fully clothed.  It makes no difference to him.  Early in our marriage (in a moment of horribleness on my part) I snarled “Why don’t you just sing out “Still thin!” every time you get on that thing?  It’s a running joke now and I genuinely find it amusing.  You see my husband is thin.  His weight fluctuates about ten pounds one way or the other no matter what he eats.  If he is out of town for a long while eating all the crap food provided to him he may end up toward the top of his zone.  Once he is home, that weight literally disappears after a few days of eating the (I’m trying!) decent meals I make for him.  The man has never gone more than 3 days without ice cream.  He wears workout clothes a few times a week but rarely actually works out.  He is ripped with muscles from head to toe.  He has huge biceps and glutes and calves that look like he does squats for 3 hours a day.

You know what he doesn’t do?

He doesn’t think about food very often.  He eats.  He seems to enjoy food.  He really does love ice cream.  But food is just food to him.  When he jumps on the scale, the number he sees does not define him.  He is a data junkie.  The scale just provides him with more information about himself.

But for me the scale represents decades of joy and pain.  I have chained so much memory onto that stupid piece of machinery.  There was one in my elementary school gym.  We all had to get on it every year.  If you were over a certain number, your parents got a letter.  My parents got a letter five years in a row.   In middle school I escaped the scale because their was no PE class for band kids.  (Is it any wonder I am still desperately in love with band?)  In high school, after my miraculous 800 calorie a day diet, I weighed every day.  I mostly liked the number I saw in those years.  Then I went to college and gained the freshman 50 or maybe it was 75.  That led to Nutri System.  You only had to weigh once a week there.  If you lost, it was a celebration and all the credit went to their program.  If you gained?  Well, you must have been cheating.  Hormonal changes, water retention, nope!  Those were just excuses.  After that other programs followed.

So many…

I once knew a group of women who had ‘weighing’ outfits for Weight Watchers.  Their success for the week was determined by the thinness of their clothing.  I’m happy to admit I wasn’t one of them.  By that time, I had wised up a little bit.

And here I am now.  I know so much more about body chemistry and metabolism and so many other things.  I know that scale is the least accurate measurement of real progress.  And yet I keep getting on it.  And stepping on it is still enough to send me head first into a bag of fun sized Snickers.  Is it any wonder this process is taking so long?


The Goal – Week 39

The Goal – Week 39

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I just assumed I would die.

I imagined a small blurb in our local paper that would read “Local blogger mom drops dead near Lebanon Rd.  High school band needs help with the concession stand this Friday night.”

It was a beautiful autumn morning.  The air was crisp and cool.  As  I headed into the gym, a friend stopped her car, rolled down the window and gave me ‘that’ look. “We’re outside some today”, she said.  Let me give you a piece of advice here.  If your friend (who does the same exact class as you in an earlier hour) stops their car, rolls down their window and gives you ‘that’ look just get back in your car and go home. Pretend you sprained your ankle.  Post some sad pictures on Facebook.  SAVE YOURSELF!

But I chose to go inside anyway.

Wanna know why?

Because I’m a moron.

That’s why.

As we started our warm up, I began to envision what this ‘outside’ adventure might entail.  Let me just say that had I walked out the back of the gym to find a semi truck attached to a large rope with Jen standing beside it telling me to ‘pull’, I would not have been surprised.  Also, I would have at least attempted to do it.  Because I’m a sheep in the gym.  I have given over all control of my physical fitness to Jen.  I do what she says and , while I may complain, I don’t question (out loud).

When the time to exit the building came, we were instructed to run around the building.  Which, compared to pulling a big truck, seemed almost too easy.

In case I haven’t mentioned it before here’s a rundown of stuff I hate.

1.  Mean people.

2. Jumping up and down

3.  Running

Here’s why.  Running is a humbling experience for a overweight person for lots of reasons. I’m not saying its not helpful. I’m not even saying we shouldn’t do it. But you do feel every pound of your body weight every time you foot hits the pavement.  And there is just a lot of stuff bouncing around.  I don’t know a delicate way to address that.  We are a jiggly people.  Gravity is a pain.

Nevertheless I ran.

(Ok I jog/walked)

I was quite humbled by two things.  The first was my inability to catch my breath.  I really felt like a year of working out had put me in better condition.  And it has… but I’m still carrying around a lot that is excess. You try running around a building carrying 3 toddlers on your back and see how your pulmonary system reacts.  As we entered the second round of this I began to believe that if God really loved me even half as much as He claimed to in his word that an oxygen mask would fall down from the sky to save me.  It wasn’t just that I was breathing really hard. It was that no one else in my group seem to be winded in the least.  I now hate all of them just so you know.  The second thing was the fact that I finished a full 30 seconds (ok 2 minutes) behind all the others.  And have I mentioned that they are lovely people?  They all smiled encouragingly at me as I plodded my way to the finish line.  I felt like I was competing in the chubby Olympics.  

So three rounds later, it was over.  I actually needed the cool down portion of class because my face had to have been approximately the color of a tomato engulfed in flames. Jen said “Good Job ladies!!  and I said “I hate your kale eating face.”  Ok I said that silently because I was trying hard not to cry.  And I really do love Jen.  But sometimes the sweat and tears answer before I do.

Was this my worst ever day at the gym?

Ya’ll it didn’t even crack the top 10. 

If you know me then you know I have a somewhat difficult relationship with my two oldest step-children.  And when I say ‘somewhat’,  I mean ridiculously challenging, overwhelming ,want to scream and sometimes take a hostage. God is using them to teach me something but I haven’t figured it out yet. And very often I claim defeat in those relationships.  

I brought that defeat with me to the gym. You see I woke up that morning at the end of my proverbial rope. I was feeling like a complete failure as a  stepmom and as a wife . So when I found myself huffing and puffing as I ran around that parking lot, all that fail got wrapped into my inability to run fast and not breathe hard.

Both literally and metaphorically the only way past all these challenges is to put one foot in front of the other.






The Goal – Week 38




No one cares whether I work out but me.  (ok, me plus my trainer.)

And this should be an obvious thing but for some reason I just didn’t get it until now.

I don’t mean that my friends and family aren’t supportive of my goals.  They totally are and I could not appreciate it more.

But when it comes down to it, my workout time is not their highest priority.  And that’s ok…now that I get it.

I have lots of responsibilities in my life.  I say ‘yes” to many things.  And I mostly regret nothing.  I am blessed with groups of  people and organizations that I enjoy working with and for.  I’m not one of those people that declares “I must focus on me!”  and assume that means I can focus on no one else.  But I admit I have had a difficult time asserting myself over the last few months.  Ok, who am I kidding?  My whole dang life!  It’s hard for me to say “No I can’t do that important thing because it conflicts with my workout time.”  It’s hard because it feels selfish and I hate selfishness more than pickled okra.

But surely there is a sweet spot somewhere between rampant narcissism and self flagellating martyr?  If so, I hope to find it.  Because I don’t know how to put myself first but I’m trying hard not to put myself last.

The Goal – Week 37



Sometimes I have no idea what I am going to write about.  Sometimes I am sure that I will never again have any inspiration to write another post. You see if you are failing miserably at trying to lose weight, there is tons of stuff to write (whine) about.  If you are succeeding and losing massive poundage, that also gives you a thing or two to share.  But if you are just plodding along going to workout and eating on the plan of your choice while still losing weight at approximately the rate of a turtle 5k?  Well let’s just say I’m not inspired toward any brilliant revelations on a daily basis.

It was on such a day that I ended up flat on my butt in the gym.

My first reaction to this  tumble was hysterical laughter.  Once Jen realized that nothing except my pride had been damaged in the fall, she said “I see a blog post outta this!”  Of course I was having the same thought.  My biggest regret is that there isn’t a youtube video to go with it.

Here’s how it happened.

I walked into the gym.  It was a normal Tuesday morning.  And by normal I mean that I walked in and immediately began to assess the equipment set up and see which exercises to dread.  Circuit class usually goes down like this : 10 minute warm up on the spin bike, 5 -7 circuit exercises done 2 to 4 times with more spin bike or treadmill in between.

As I headed to my bike, I saw it.

A jump rope.

A long black heinous looking jump rope coiled in the floor.

I began to pedal my bike and my mind went into overdrive.

There is no way she is going to make me jump rope.

Do I seriously pay for this?

What I am I doing here?  Training for a prize fight?

I didn’t fake my period for 4 years in high school to skip gym class just to start jumping rope at 40.

I’ve never been diagnosed with a problem but I bet my knees are almost bad and all that jumping can’t be good for them.

This inner diatribe went on for the full ten minute warm up.  And guess where it all came from?


I was scared to even try to jump rope because I just assumed I could not do it.  (In case you are new to me, let me be clear, I AM NOT A FAN OF JUMPING UP AND DOWN FOR ANY REASON!)  I never jumped rope as a child, I was always the kid holding one end of the rope for other people.

Excuse time was over and I picked up the rope.  Tried skipping it.  Got tangled in the blasted thing.  Tried jumping with both feet and…

down like a ton of bricks.  (Ok, perhaps not a ton…)

It didn’t hurt.  I wasn’t damaged.  I can’t even truthfully tell you that my pride was injured.  I fall, trip, etc quite a bit.  It’s God’s way of keeping me humble I suppose.

I got back up and attempted it again.  I stayed on my feet this time which was progress to be sure.  I’d love to tell you that by the end of the workout, I was skipping that rope like Mike Tyson on Red Bull.  But ya’ll, come on.  You know it didn’t go down that way.  I flubbed my way through 4 rounds and only fell once.  I actually even jumped it a few times.

I realized how often I use my mind as a weapon instead of a tool.  The first thing I thought in regards to that challenge was “I can’t jump rope.”  The funny thing is I said the same thing the first time Jen asked (told) me to do a plank.  “What even is this tortuous exercise? Was it developed by Al Qaeda?” I screeched.  One year later, I plank with very little protest or bad words.  For 40 years I have told anyone who will listen that I can’t do a real push up.  I was the most disciplined person in high school marching band specifically so I would never get in trouble and have to do a set of push ups.  Wanna know something crazy?  Now I can do 4.  And look, I highly doubt that Shape magazine is going to do a cover story anytime soon about me and my plank & 4 push ups (although, c’mon, they totally should!)

I’m far too much of a pessimist to start assuming “I CAN!” about every little thing in my life.  But I think I’m going to start working on turning “I can’t” into “I can’t yet.”

The Goal – Week 36



Saying no is hard.

And as I journey toward my goal, I find myself having to say it a lot.

I used to think ‘no’ was a punishment.  And will power? Well that was just a fancy way of saying that I was depriving myself of something.  I get so angry when I hear people who don’t struggle with addiction describe will power as the solution to our problem.  I wish it was that easy.  Because I have an amazing amount of will power.  If will power was the key to unlock the door to vibrant health and escape from obesity, well I would have been done with this deal a long time ago.  And I don’t want to compete with you or anything but ask yourself this question.  Could you deny yourself something you really wanted for decades?  I talk a lot about doughnuts for comedic effect.  But the truth is I haven’t eaten one in years.  YEARS.  Wanna know how often I want a doughnut?  Too easy right?  Every dang day.  But saying yes to doughnuts is saying yes to bondage for me.  And so I say yes to freedom instead.

And that’s the way I have to think about this struggle.  Saying No to something I want but don’t need is saying Yes to my goal.