Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all...

Merry Christmas, everyone!

So, here I sit, trying to get my little ones to go to sleep - torn as they are between wanting to stay up late on this special night and wait for their Auntie Jo Jo to come and wanting to be asleep so Santa will come. (I told them Santa only comes when little children are sleeping. He needs to keep his identity secret, sort of like Super Man.) The irony is, in the past I'd be wishing for them to go to sleep so I could eat like I wanted to. Funny that's not the case tonight. I'm torn between wanting them to go to sleep so I can sneak in another hour or two of work, and wanting them to go to sleep so I can stuff the stockings, and wanting them to go to sleep so I can go to sleep. Har, har! How far we've come.

Tony really had a plan for today - it was a plan to kick my booty in the gym in preparation for tomorrow's carbfest, I'm sure. 90 minutes into the workout, I realized I wasn't going to get it done before 10 am, which was my cutoff so I could still work (okay...okay...and get my emergency facial). It's been awhile since I texted and called Tony so frantically. Should I go back to the gym later? I couldn't do the three tri exercises and ending cardio! Should I do cardio at home? Should I try to go to the gym tomorrow (even though I have three kids, 6 and under, so the likelihood of being able to go anywhere aside from back and forth to the kitchen is completely remote)? Help!

"Friday will be here soon enough. Chill out," was essentially his response. GLADLY.

So, here I am chilling out. Trying hard not to obsess about when the carbfest begins. Trying hard not to obsess about the work I "should" be doing. Trying hard not to obsess about the gifts that still need wrapping.

It's Christmas Eve. I'm going to read a book and relax with my girls. Merry Christmas to me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Big girls DO cry.

When I was a kid, I remember hearing about self-help groups that supposedly built people up by tearing them down, breaking down their psyches, reducing them to tears. I always felt that this was a pretty backwards way of getting people to feel good about themselves, by making them feel bad about themselves.

Interestingly, I had an experience today that led to a complete and total epiphany about what drives me. And it involved exactly that - being reduced to tears.

Tony's workout today was insane. It started with push ups, followed by chest presses, incline presses, decline presses, pullovers, ending with the piece d'resistance, two sets of walking pushups, 12 reps each (actually 36 reps each, because of the whole walking thing). About 1/3 of the way through the first set, I collapsed on the floor, feeling disheartened and weak. My in-person trainer was there, and she asked me what I was doing. I told her, and she immediately took off her sweatshirt and got down on the floor with me, prepared to do every push up with me.

"You can do this," she encouraged. "You will do this."

"I can't," I cried, "This is insane. I HATE him. I HATE him."

2/3 of the way through the final set, I crumpled into a ball and began to cry. By that point, I knew I would get through it and I was crying both from the pain of how hard it was, and from the joy of knowing I would break through the wall. I finished up, she high-fived me, and I went on to tackle the treadmill, a 10 minute cardio run. Feeling amped by the experience of completing all those impossible push-ups, I felt inspired to try to run a 10-minute mile, something I'd never done. I started off at 6.0 mph, and it actually felt do-able. I couldn't believe it. 5 minutes in, I ratcheted the speed up to 6.5, and kept it there for 5 minutes, at the 10-minute mark, I went back down to 6.0 for a 5-minute "break," then back up to 6.5 for 3 more minutes, followed by a minute at 7.0 and then a minute at 6.0. I ended up exceeding my goal of running 2 miles in 20 minutes; I ran 2.1 miles in 20 minutes.

I realized in talking about the experience later in the afternoon to a dear friend of mine that this is what drives me, what makes me unique and ultimately, what will lead to my success. I not only welcome, but invite into my life people like Tony and Kristen, who push me to the absolutely outer limits of what I can possibly achieve. I have people who do this for me in my physical development, like Tony, but also people who do this for me in my mental and emotional development, like my therapist, Dr. Susan Sabin, and people who do this for me spiritually, like my AA sponsors, and people who do it for me with my music, like John Stanley and Patti Labelle. The list goes on and on.

I never really verbalized this before, never really acknowledged it about myself, never really said how grateful I am to have been graced with this quality. I not only am willing to challenge myself to achieve as much as I possibly can in this life, I crave the challenge. I look forward to it. I thrive on it.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Back on track ... sort of.

Well, I'm mostly back on track today. (Given yesterday's blog about all or nothing, that's huge progress for me, I suppose.)

Today's workout was killer. I started off with a 10-minute jog at 4.5 mph, then killed the biceps and triceps, at one point, doing dumbbell curls with 25 pound weights. Grrrrr! Ended the weight training with two different ab exercises, 3 sets each of 25 reps. Tony...wha? Then back on the treadmill, and I promised I'd do a little extra cardio thanks to yesterday's food frenzy, so I did another 1/2 hour on the treadmill - 5 min at 4.5 mph, 10 min at 5.0 mph, 5 min at 5.5 mph, then 2 min at 6.0 mph, then 2 min at 5.5 mph, then 2 min at 6.0 mph, then 2 min at 6.5 mph, then a minute at 7 mph and a minute at 7.5 mph! WHEW!

Food was spot on until dinnertime, when the oven fries were calling to me. I only had about ten of them, and the rest of my food was completely clean.

I had a dream last night that I got on the scale this morning and it said 162. I didn't know what had happened to make me lose 6 pounds just like that, so I got off and back on again. Still 162. One more time. 162. I was so happy - couldn't believe I was less than 5 pounds away from my wedding day weight. When I woke up this morning, I wasn't disappointed or sad. I was MOTIVATED. I want to see that 162 for real. And I will. By the end of 2008, I will. Watch me.

Lots of personal stuff going on. Family of origin is up my a** right now. I told DH some stories about recent conversations that just made him go "WOW, with a capital W." I mean, he knew we had codependency issues, but it's amazing how they just know how to push every single button, over and over again. Like someone once told me, of course they know how to push all the buttons...they installed the damn things. So, for the last couple weeks, I've found myself having to disappoint them because I won't slip back into the codepen-dance. (Yes, I just made that up. It's a gift. What can I say?) Anyway, it just doesn't appeal anymore, and if that makes them mad, or sad, or even suicidal, all I can do is pray for them. I can't continue to sacrifice myself for them.

I shared with my therapist once that what it feels like is that growing up, we were all living inside a building that was on fire, everything was crumbling around us, it was hot, we were covered in burns and scars. When I got sober, I met people who taught me that I could get up, walk out of the house and begin to heal. And so I live outside the house, but I still see it burning. And my family of origin is still in there, asleep, burning to a crisp. And so every now and then, I can't take it. I have to go rushing back into the house, and I shake them, and hug them, and yell for them to please...wake up! Come on, get out, you can live out here and you can heal! And they just try to snuggle me in close to them on the bed. But I can't just lay there and burn, now that I know I don't have to. So, I run back out of the house. But I'm burned from being in there. I get burned every time.

Maybe one day, one day soon, I'll learn how to yell from the yard.

Perfectionist Stuff (shared with Beyond the Stuff blog)

I'm a perfectionist. It's a well-known trait of many alcoholics and drug addicts that we have a very all-or-nothing attitude. If we can't do things perfectly, we'd rather not do them at all. When I was growing up, my sisters and brother would be patiently coming at video games or their homework or whatever again and again, patient and willing to keep trying until they figured it out. Me? If I didn't figure it out right off the bat, I would throw the Nintendo joystick at the television and stalk off in a huff. Fortunately, there were many things I picked up quickly, so I was never at a total loss for things to do.

The problem is, perfectionism doesn't work so well in real life. It's an extremely unrealistic standard to strive to achieve. Like with food and eating. I woke up this morning realizing that what I thought were menstrual cramps were actually the beginnings of a stomach virus. Well, once I realized I wasn't going to eat my regular breakfast of egg whites and oatmeal, it was off to the races. I'm either all the way in or all the way out. That's quite a bit of pressure to have on yourself all the time and it leaves me precariously teetering on the edge of "F*** it-ville" all the time. (For those of you who haven't visited F*** it-ville, consider yourselves lucky. It's quite a depressing place.)

So, here I am, back in F*** it-ville, and homesick for my normal state of self-acceptance and contentment. I'll get there. Thank goodness it only takes prayer and hard work to get there. 'Cause as good ole Dorothy said, "There's no place like home..."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Still rockin' and rollin'!

I'm still here. Life is SO good, and so am I!

Had a friend over for a playdate this afternoon and it was so tempting to have pizza with everyone else but I know for me, it starts there but who knows where it ends? Instead, I had a veggie burger on WW bread, salad w/lite dressing and decaf. After everyone left, I had protein pudding. I was 174 tonight, but I was 168 this morning, so I'm not sweating it. It's still TOM, so hopefully by the end of the year, I will have reached my goal of 165.

Today was shoulders, and I killed it. I wasn't feeling the cardio (I ran 3 miles yesterday), so I just walked it. I had an impromptu playdate that went till nearly 11 and since the babysitting at the gym ends at 12, I was worried I might not make it. But I did, and actually got the workout done with time to spare.

I'm fitting into size 12, consistently, JEANS, and so have accomplished yet another of my goals. I can't remember the last time I was in size 10 jeans, consistently. Maybe back in the '90s? I cannot believe I will be there in just a couple months! Woo hoo! And size 8 jeans? Maybe NEVER.

I'm exhausted from some family stuff that is weighing heavy on my mind. Not for public consumption, but I could use encouraging prayers.

Much love,


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another YouTube video for you all to enjoy!

For those of you who enjoyed my Clash of the Choirs stint, and/or missed the recent Patti Labelle Christmas Special where I got to riff a little more, here it is:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I need to post...

...if for not other reason that I don't want to see my half naked body every time I open the site up.

I wanted to let you guys know that I have another blog and I really want to encourage those of you who love me (or don't particularly, but have a morbid fascination with me) to check it out.

It's called Beyond the Stuff, and basically I and four other women blog about how we manage to get beyond the stuff in our lives, whether it be material possessions that are weighing us down or the non-material stuff - self-imposed limitations, damaging assumptions we've carried through to adulthood, etc. - that keeps us from becoming our best selves.

Check it out - and feel free to comment!!

Love ya,


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Put down that breadcrumb!!

Right now, everywhere you look, every commercial on TV, ever magazine cover, shows tempting, yummy, NON-dietetic food. Cookies, cakes, stuffing, gravy, biscuits, petit fours, you NAME IT.

Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

Remember the evil, old, crusty witch in the old Hansel and Gretel fairy tale, fattening the little kiddies up with candy and cookies, knowing full well she intended to toss them in the oven and eat them for dinner?

Well, that evil, old witch is alive and well and her name is Jenny Craig, or Slim Fast, or Alli, or whatever other get slim quick plan is out there and promises to undo all that holiday damage. Well, guess what, you ugly witches? I, for one, plan to not do any holiday damage, so take that to the bank.

I'm back on track, thank GOD. That's two frightening, food-frenzy holidays down, one to go. I'm actually .4 pounds LIGHTER than I was on Thanksgiving, and more than five pounds lighter than I was on Halloween.

169.2 this morning. YEAH, BABY. I can smell 165, and my wedding day weight of 158 is right around the corner.

Even better than that, I'm in a good place around food with two of the three major end-of-year holidays under my belt. After Christmas, it's all smooth sailing from there. I can just fall back, and float on the sea of people who are struggling to lose the weight they gained over the holidays. Its not too late for you to decide not to be among them.