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6/30/2011

counting my blessings (#101-110)

picture found here.
 
101. An extra check in the mail.
102. Quiet time in the morning.
103. Inspiration for a new short story.
104. Having someone (or someones) believe in you.
105. Being connected.
106. Eating dinner on the couch with my husband.
107. One scrambled egg and two egg whites with cheese.
108. Community.
109. Opportunity.
110. Being reminded that God's way is best (even if it takes me a bit too long to realize it).

6/29/2011

even on my weakest days

picture found here.
I spent the majority of Saturday afternoon sitting in the Academy of Hair Design. It was the first time in months that I treated myself to a cut and color. And while I wasn't so sure about spending money on the cut and color, I knew I needed to do something for myself.

Several weeks ago, I made a list. On this list, I wrote some of the different things I wanted to. One of them was to get my hair cut. I also want to dye it blonde (again), but the blonde is something that will come after I lose these next 85 pounds.

Walking this path to health is not an easy one. It's quite honestly one of the hardest things I've ever done. I'm tired by (and sometimes before) 9pm. My entire body aches some days. And there are times when all I really want to do is throw up my hands and say "forget it" and then eat a cheeseburger from Braum's.

I'm not depriving myself. I've done that before, and I know that deprivation will only lead to a crankier than normal self. I also know that if deprivation leads to weight loss it will also just as quickly lead to weight gain. And so, if I wanted a hamburger, I could (and would) get one. But I know how many calories are in a hamburger. As well as how much grease. And it just is not worth it.

So I am rewarding myself. The big reward will come later. Both in healthiness and in clothes. But until then, there will be little things along the way.

Is it rewarding to hear comments? Yes. I'm blessed to have friends and family who support me and remind me on an almost daily basis that I am doing a good job. And while those words mean so much to me, I still need something else just for myself.

It's easy to get lost within this goal. While I recognize that losing 15 pounds in two months is great, I struggle with feeling like it's not quite enough. I understand that losing weight and getting healthy is a slow process. I also understand it is probably better for my body to lose it more slowly, but I lack patience.

I'm a firm believer that God uses situations as learning experiences. And while I'm not always content with where I am, I also know that He places us in certain places for specific reasons.

Right now, He is using this time to teach me patience. He is also doing His best to teach me how to be content with every aspect of my life. I know I am supposed to recognize that His hand is in everything and that He has a purpose for all the frustrations I experience.

I'm not the best student when it comes to patience and contentment. It's not that I'm completely impatient or discontent as much as I am eager to grow and to change and to continue moving forward. It also has to do with how hard I can be on myself because I expect so much out of myself (too much at times).

It's unfair to myself. It's also unfair to those around me because this desore to always grow and always change and always continue to move forward is exhausting and difficult to keep up with. In the past, I would withhold those rewards until I completed everything to my liking. And in the past, I would eventually fail because the standards I would have set would have been far too high.

So along with patience and contentment, I'm learning how to take care of myself. I'm putting myself first and not solely focusing on what I could be doing better. The thoughts of how I need to improve are still there, yes, but they are overshadowed by the thoughts of just how far I have come.

I think one of the things I am the least patient with is exercise. I want to be able to run three miles right now. I don't want to have to work my way up to running three miles. But when I think about how far I have come, I know I am that much closer to being able to run three miles.

This whole journey started at the end of April with a zumba class. There was one class and then another. And I was exhausted by the forty-five minutes spent is zumba. And now, just two months later, my work-out schedule is so much different.

  • Monday: 10-15 minutes of bicycling/walking & 35 minutes of weight lifting (AM); 60 minutes of deep water aerobics (PM.
  • Tuesday: 10-20 minutes of bicycling, 20-25 minutes of brisk walking with an incline (2.0-4.0), & 5-15 minutes of rowing (AM); 60 minutes of aqua zumba (PM).
  • Wednesday: 10-15 minutes of bicycling/walking & 35 minutes of weight lifting (AM); 60 minutes of deep water aerobics (PM).
  • Thursday: 10-20 minutes of bicycling, 20-25 minutes of brisk walking with an incline (2.0-4.0), & 5-15 minutes of rowing (AM); 60 minutes of aqua zumba (PM).
  • Friday: 10-15 minutes of bicycling/walking & 35 minutes of weight lifting (AM); 60 minutes of deep water aerobics (PM).
I have a ways to go. 85 pounds to be exact. 10-12 months.

But I am getting there. And I am starting to slowly notice changes. Like a definition in my arms. Less cracking and popping my knees. Diminished headaches. Better sleep.

One day at a time, right?

(title from "a little bit stronger" by sara evans)

6/27/2011

counting my blessings (#81-100)

picture found here.
81. Caesar salad with shrimp.
82. Over 15 pounds lost in two months.
83. Getting my hair cut and colored.
84. Watching "The Bachelorette" with my husband.
85. Catching up with a friend over thai food and then at a blues' bar.
86. Intensifying my workout.
87. Prayer when all else seems lost.
88. A good night's sleep.
89. Being sunkissed.
90. Hearing just the right song at just the right time.
91. Homemade ice cream.
92. Falling asleep with the fan on.
93. Kisses from the dogs.
94. Double date nights with friends.
95. Perfectly ripe peaches.
96. Raspberries.
97. Blooming hydrangeas.
98. Teaching swim lessons.
99. Singing along while working out.
100. Familiar faces.

6/22/2011

one voice in a million

I am doing everything possible to remain positive. Reminding myself that I am slowly getting to my goal. But still, I feel myself hitting a wall. It's both mental and physical.

I started working out (again) at the end of April. It was a zumba class here and there but nothing stead. Then I went to a deep water aerobics class, and it all began to change.

The date was May 4, 2011. I pressed send on an email and agreed to begin meeting someone three mornings a week for a short cardio work-out and then thirty to forty minutes of weight lifting. This week I have turned the three mornings a week to five mornings a week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday will be a short cardio work-out and then thirty to forty minutes of weight lifting. Tuesday and Thursday I will spend forty minutes to an hour doing cardio. And then, for the summer, I plan on attending water aerobics or aqua zumba every day during lunch.

And I will continue to watch what I eat. It's the one thing I struggle with the most. Specifically, I struggle once I am home from work or at a restaurant. It's much easier to watch what I eat while at work because I do not have much choice on eating food other than what I bring to work with me.

As stated previously, I feel myself hitting a wall. Or maybe I have already hit the wall but am determined to climb over it instead of allowing it to stop me. I've let it win in the past and have thrown in the towel and found excuses to support my reasons for stopping this effort to lose weight and be healthy.

But this time, I have done everything to overcome every excuse. Even when I was sick, I worked out. In the past, I would have stayed away from the gym. And that would have led to the same cycle of never going back until months later. I'm proud of myself for going even when I didn't want to.

And I am seeing changes. Slowly. More slowly than I would like, but they are there.

I took pictures on 5/17/11. They were taken about two weeks after I started a regular routine. Two weeks and a little less than ten pounds ago. I decided to also take pictures today. I've heard people say it looks like I have lost weight, but I wanted to see it.

And I do.



Granted, the outfit is different. And possibly more flattering. And I am much more tan, thanks to deep water aerobics and aqua zumba outside (along with assisting/teaching swim lessons five evenings a week). But still it's there.

I see it the most in my face. And a little in my arms and stomach. Such a little thing to see a difference, but it is also such a big thing. I think it was exactly what I needed. A reminder I can go to when I hit the wall and feel like nothing I do will make a change. A reminder that the change is there. I just have to look for it.

This is all about me. It's not about looking better for someone else or fitting a certain mold. I've tried to lose weight for other people before, and it always fails. I've also used other people and commitments as a reason for not being able to work out. But not this time.

I deserve this. Everyone deserves the chance to create the best version of themselves, and everyone should do it. And the things that suffer, if anything does, possibly weren't what you were meant to spend your time doing. At least that's how I look at it. Because it would be far too easy to look at what is suffering and spend my time worrying about that rather than worrying about myself.

Is there a time for service and unselfishness? Yes. Do I want to be able to serve and assist others? Of course. But I also know that I am practically worthless if I have not first taken care of myself.

One of my (current) favorite television shows is Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition. I love seeing real people transform in the midst of their real lives. Last week's episode, chronicled the journey of a man who lost over 300 pounds in just one year. So much about his story struck a chord with me, but the one thing that got me a bit teary eyed was when he said he was going to pay it forward. Once he lost his weight, he would help others. (see more here)

I don't know if I will be in a position to help others lose weight, but I know my heart is to help others. I am passionate about foster care and adoption. About families. About ending cycles of abuse and neglct. And I want to be the best advocate I can be for those going through difficult times. I want to be the best person I can be for the children and parents and families and loved ones who need a helping hand and who need to be reminded that someone cares for them.

And so I continue on my journey. And one day, maybe a year from now and maybe longer, I will get there. And I can't wait to see what happens both during the journey and after the journey.

(title from "strip me" by natasha bedingfield)

6/16/2011

the smallest thing can make all the difference

picture found here.
 It's amazing just how much can change in one year. It's also amazing just how much does not change in a year.

A year ago, I was confused. And unsettled. Frustrated. Holding onto hope when I felt like there was nothing left to hold onto. God was working on my heart. He was showing me the similarities I shared with an old house. He was whispering to me that in the brokenness He would provide healing. He was reminding me that He would remain in control.

It's been a bumpy road since then. There have been ups and downs. There have been questions of what am I doing. There have been hours spent searching for something else and hoping that God would pluck us out of any sort of despair and place us on an easier path.

And He has. Though not in the way I expected. But when is God's way really ever the way we expect? I think the answer is never, but I feel that if I say that He will do something just to prove to me that I can not expect Him to act one specific way.

Just about a year ago, in the midst of struggling with our house and wondering when things were going to turn around, I started a very slow journey. I started to think about what I wanted from life. I started to think about what God wanted from my life. And I knew that we both wanted me to be the best possible version of myself.

I'm still working towards that goal. But I am so much closer to it today than I was a year ago. And I am more determined. I've thrown out the excuses and have chosen to embrace a new way of life even when it is hard. I have decided that I am worth it, and I have started to chronicle my goals. And I don't intend to let anything get in my way this time.

My insecurities loomed at that time. I struggled to fight them off and to remember that they were just insecurities and not truth. But I fought with my words and thoughts instead of with my whole self. And so they won.

Just a year later, I spend at least an hour a day in the pool or at the gym. I look all of those years of insecurities in the eye, and I fight back. With weights. With the stationary bicycle. With deep water aerobics and aqua zumba.

When I struggled with those insecurities, I was reminded of them everywhere I turned. Not just in my life. But in other's lives. Even through it all, I was reminded that God was faithful. That He would provide in His own way - a way I (again) never would have or could have expected.

A year ago, God spoke to me through my aching muscles. He reminded me that pain will bring change. I listened for a moment, and then let all of those insecurities and excuses creep back in.

This year, instead of Him speaking to me, He placed people into my life. These people will not let me stop. These people, just by existing in my life, hold me accountable because I know I have to hold myself accountable. I know I need to celebrate my successes and let go of my shortcomings. I need to remember that this is a journey. Not just my relationship with God. And not just my journey towards health. But all of it.

All of this to say, again, that in a year everything has changed, and in a year nothing has changed. But I guess that's often the way it goes.

I can't wait to see what has (or has not changed) in another year.

Mama’s Losin’ It

(title from "change" by carrie underwood)

6/13/2011

how you want it to be

just a few outfits i want from j. crew.
Saturday afternoon, after lunch with my in-laws and frozen yogurt with a friend from church, I headed to the mall. I had a scheduled appointment at the Apple store in hopes of them looking at my MacBook, snapping their fingers, and saying it was fixed.

I walked through the men's section in Dillard's and past Zale's. I also walked past J. Crew and White House Black Market.

As I walked, I looked at the clothes and remembered my dad's promise to me. When I lose the hundred pounds, he will buy me a new wardrobe. It's something he has said before, something I know he means, and while the thought has always excited me, it has never been enough for me to make the change from healthy to unhealthy.

I'm not losing the weight for a new wardrobe. If I were to lose the weight for that reason alone, I would quickly gain it back. In fact, there was a time when I used a whole new wardrobe as an excuse to not lose weight. Because I didn't know how I would afford a new wardrobe. And would it even be worth it? At that time, I had the gift/curse of making everything into an excuse.

I am losing the weight for myself and getting a new wardrobe in the process. I am losing the weight and not worrying about how to afford a new wardrobe. I am losing the weight and remembering that I have family who will support me through everything (in multiple ways).

It's not that I've never been able to shop at stores like J. Crew and White House Black Market. There were a few years when I could have shopped in the stores, and if I think back hard enough, I can recall a few times I stepped into J. Crew and tried on a few items. But I never purchased anything. Maybe it was because I didn't think I would be able to wear the items long enough. Or maybe it because I just couldn't bring myself to pay for clothes from J. Crew.

Walking past the stores on Saturday, I had a feeling that I would shop there. One day. Someday soon.

I still don't know if I will buy anything from J. Crew or White House Black Market. There's no guarantee that their clothes will fit and flatter my (soon-to-be) new figure. But thinking about the possibility of shopping there? It excites me. It reminds me that the soreness I feel from fifty minutes of weight lifting, ten minutes on the stationary bicycle, and an hour of deep water aerobics is worth it.

I have so much joy and excitement right now. About losing weight. I've never felt this way about losing weight, getting healthy, and spending almost ten hours a week exercising. It's always been frustrating and exhausting and something I did almost begrudgingly in the past.

Having this outlook makes all the difference in the world. Knowing that I am doing this for myself, for how I feel, and for what I want (and deserve) out of my list also makes all the difference in the world. There is no room for negativity as I continue this journey. There is no room for anything to stop me from continuing down this path.

Now is my time.

I talked about some of this with a friend over frozen yogurt on Saturday. And I talked about how little things (like my MacBook dying and needing a new hard-drive) seemed to happen as if something was trying to stop me. She told me to look at it differently - to ask how I can see the positive in the situation and to see how God is using those situations to teach me.

She also reminded me that He is overjoyed for me as I continue on this journey. Because this journey? It's so much more than a journey to a new wardrobe or losing 100 pounds. It's about dedication. And hard work. And leaning into God for strength when I don't have any. It's about following through and walking the path He is calling me to.

And so, instead of being annoyed at the new hard-drive I had to buy, I am thankful my parents gave me an external hard drive for my birthday. Almost like they knew something was going to happen. Almost like God provided me a way to save everything from the past five years. I am thankful that we had a way of paying for the new hard drive. I am thankful that all it was was just a new hard drive and that I wasn't told I needed a whole new MacBook.

And so, instead of continuing to be discouraged, I am thankful that I am losing weight the healthy way. I am thankful for the people I see at the gym and at the pool. I am thankful for the people who remind me of how hard this can be and how good I am doing. I am thankful for every success I get to celebrate. I am thankful that there is a healthier and happier life waiting for me...as well as a new wardrobe.

(title from "wait for you" by elliot yamin)

6/09/2011

a light at each end of this tunnel

picture found here.

As I journey towards losing 100 pounds, my mind races. Thoughts of others things I want pop into my head. Some are tangible. Some are not. Regardless of how tangible they are, this things are still things I want to strive for.

I think one of the easiest ways to lose sight of why it is so important to work hard in life and in health is to not have a list of written goals. It is my hope to do everything I can to prevent myself of losing sight of working hard.

Some of my goals pertain to weight loss. Others pertain to writing. And some are just goals of things I want for my life.

This is a list I plan to update as I go along. Both in sharing my successes and adding any new goals I make.

1. Lose 100 pounds.
2. Shop for a whole new wardrobe.
3. Take a trip to the beach.
4. Visit family in Texas and in Michigan.
5. Finish my novel.
6. Start my next novel.
7. Write at least one short story a month.
8. Fix the three-quarter bathroom in our house.
9. Learn how to coupon.
10. Have the electrical wiring fully updated in our house and install insullation in the attic.
11. Have the foundation in our house fixed.
12. Plant grass sod in our backyard.
13. Buy a new MacBook or MacBook Pro without using a credit card.
14. Pay off out debt consoladtion loan.
15. Pay off our car.
16. Work out at least five times every week for three months straight.
17. Learn how to run.
18. Run a half-marathon (knees permitting).
19. Learn how to create recipes.
20. Send my novel to a publisher/agent.
21. Become a published author.
22. Keep off all the weight I lose.
23. Get a new haircut and dye my hair blonde (again...possibly) once I lose the weight.
24. Journal my food every day for three months straight.
25. Read my Bible daily.
26. Grow closer to God.
27. Visit my family in California.
28. Meet Justin Timberlake. (Like I said... not all of the goals are tangible)
29. Go back to school and get my Masters (in social work, writing, or law...or something else).
30. Or go back to school and become a nurse.
31. Reveal my starting weight and ending weight (once I have lost 100 pounds).
32. Learn how to ride a bicycle.
33. Read every book on my bookshelf before purchasing any new books.
34. Not eat out, while at work, for at least a month.
35. Cook at home at least five nights a week.
36. Volunteer.
37. Get to the gym by 6am instead of right at 6:30am.
38. Travel to New York City with my husband.
39. Go to Europe again.
40. Train my dogs.

What are some of your goals?

(title from "breathe (2AM)" by anna nalick)

6/08/2011

put me on my feet


picture found here.

This week has been a tough one. I've been under the weather since Sunday evening - fighting off a cold and just barely holding onto my voice. In the past, I would use this sickness as an excuse to not work out. I would decide that it would be better for me to rest every day until I felt better, and then it would be much harder to get back into the habit of working out at least five times a week.

I don't want to repeat the same mistakes as I have made in the past. I don't want to stop exercising, even for just a few days, and then find it difficult to get back into the rythm. I understand that being sick can be my body's way of telling me it needs rest, and so I am doing my best to listen and respond appropriately.

This morning, I didn't make it to the gym. I planned to take the entire day off from exercising. With how I felt when I walked out the front door and slid into my car, I thought exercise would be impossible today. Now, with some breakfast in me and medicine, I feel ready to tackle the day and ready to exercise. Thankfully there is a deep water aerobics class today at noon.

It's a constant battle. Waking up in the morning and reminding myself of these lifestlye changes. Remembering that it is for the best. Arguing with myself that I am worth it. And that those comforts I once sought are not comforts at all. They are only things that will hold me back.

I stepped on the scale today and felt defeated. The number was less but only by one pound. I know the process is a slow one. I guess I just didn't expect it to be so painstakingly slow. Working out and making efforts to change how I eat seems like it should help the pounds to drop more quickly. But it doesn't.

Am I discouraged? A little bit yes. But not enough to give up. I don't think this journey would be complete without some discuragement. Because this discouragement should fuel me to try harder. It should serve as a reminded to not give into my tiredness or soreness and settle for meeting macaroni and cheese on the couch when I could take ten minutes to make something healthier.

But I know there will be some days when all I can do is sit on the couch and eat macaroni and cheese. Yesterday was one of those days. Burnt from hours in the pool. Shifting between hot and cold. My voice sounding more hoarse. And I just couldn't find the energy to think about what to eat, so I reached for the food that comforts me (though the kind out of the box does not compare to the homemade variety my mom used to make).

I watched Extreme Body Makeover while I ate. And the irony did not escape me. There were a few times when I put the bowl down and told myself not to eat anymore. But the exhaustion and the need of comfort were stronger than my willpower.

On the other side of the macaroni and cheese, I am frustrated that I gave in so easily. But I also know that I never went over my current alotment of calories. So while it was not the best choice, I at least know that worse decisions could have coincided with the macaroni and cheese - resulting in the day being a complete failure.

I have to be careful to not let comfort win out often. It's something I have always struggled with. When emotional, food (and shopping) is what I turn to. While I have gotten better about not shopping, I still struggle with not pulling out ice cream or making a comforting dinner when things are tough.

And the past few days, while not terrible, have been tough. On top of feeling sick, my MacBook decided to freeze and then turn on with only "the white screen of death." I'm planning to schedule an appointment at the Apple Store this weekend in hopes that they can revive the computer instead of my having to save up the money to purchase a new one.

The little things that go wrong (like being sick or a computer not working) seem more difficult to handle right now. I think it's because I am doing everything I can to make huge changes to my life. And those little things can often be the most discouraging. Almost like something is trying to hold me back from becoming a healthier and happier version of myself. But I am not going to give up. Failure is not an option this time around.

Instead, I am going to focus on the good things. And try not to worry too much about the mistakes I make along the way.

Even though I ate macaroni and cheese for dinner last night, I ate healthy the other meals of the day. And this weekend, when my husband and I packed a suitcase and headed for a night at a hotel (for free!), I also made healthy decisions. The weekends, and evenings, seem to be the most difficult for me to make healthy choices, and I am recognizing this and doing my best to prepare myself with where we might eat so I can look online and make my selection prior to arriving at the restaurant.

The night at hotel came at the perfect time for us. It has been almost two years since I took a vacation with my husband. I've left the state of Oklahoma for days at a time and visited my family in Texas, and he has stayed in Oklahoma to work. Part of it is due to finances but most is due to him not yet having an extended period of time off.
In months, he will have been in his current position for a year, which means he will accrue one-week of vacation time.With time off looming, we have discussed where to go and when to go. There is Texas, of course, and then also Michigan. Five days off and two travel destinations in mind, which means we will have to be creative with how we spend his time off and where.

It was difficult to be gone for one night and make healthy choices. I can't imagine how difficult it might be to be gone for multiple nights and make healthy choices. And then what about exercising?

I want to have goals. One of those goals is to lose 100 pounds. I want to successfully lose 100 pounds by May of 2012. And a new goal, born out of thoughts of vacations that may (or may not) happen, is to become a runner.

Writing this all done is scary. But I think that's the first step. As soon as I put all of this out for the world to read, there is a sense of needing to follow through. I need to not eat macaroni and cheese. I need to not give up. I need to learn how to be a runner.

I know not to get ahead of myself. It's going to take time to lose 100 pounds, and it's going to take time to become a runner. But I will do it. Because I want to. And because I need to.

What do you need to do?

(title from "she is love" by parachute)


6/02/2011

it doesn't happen overnight

picture found here.
"I'm really proud of you," he said.
We were on our way to church. It is our Wednesday night routine now. I was tired and cranky. Still sunburnt from Tuesday's aqua zumba and exhausted from that morning's workout.

"It's a lot to change all at one. To go from nothing to doing so much," he continued.

It is a lot. Sometimes it hits me, like it did last night when my eyes were drooping from exhaustion, and I wonder if I can do it. If it is even worth it. And then a quiet voice tells me I can. Or a loud voice coming from a friend (or a husband - who is also a friend). As much as I don't want to, I need to hear that people see the change and that they are poud; it helps me to remember that I am changing and moving towards the goal I have set.

All of this is about change. It's not just changing my activity level but also changing my nutrition. For me, the working out is a habit that is easy to slip into. It's fun sometimes, too, and comes with perks like new friendships and a tan (thanks to outdoor water classes). But nutrition? Not so much.

Yesterday was a particularly challenging day. No matter how many peaches and strawberries and cucumbers I ae, I could not seem to get full. But I pushed through. I fought against the hunger for as long as I could, but by the time we arrived at the church, I could not fight any longer and the beckoning cheese pizza won.

It's a mistake I hope I never make again. Because I felt sick as soon as I finished. Then, when I arrived home and entered the pizza into the calculator LoseIt provides, I felt even worse. A day of good eating ruined by low willpower and an empty stomach.

I came to work prepared today. Instead of just a cereal bar, I started the day with toasted Sandwich Thins and chunky peanut butter. For a mid-morning snack, I ate a cup and a half of cucumber slices as well as a perfectly ripe peach. There is another peach, ten baby carrotts, and a frozen dinner waiting to see me through the rest of the day.

This is a process. Learning how to eat, following through on healthy choices, making it to the gym at least five days a week (hopefully completing a total of eight workouts a week), and somehow tying everything together for the blog.

There is a part of me that wants to give up. A small part. It's the part that looked in the mirror last night, after the two pieces of pizza, and saw nothing but negative things. Things I don't notice (or choose to ignore) during the times I am being less careful about how I care for myself. It should be opposite. I should see now all the improvements, but I don't. I just see all the areas that need improving.

It's easy to say I want to lose one-hundred pounds total (90 more to go), but it is another thing entirely to actually do it and to not give up. I started this journey aproximately four weeks ago for the upteenth time. Every other time, I have hit a wall and stopped. And I have stopped at just about this point - right when it starts being less exciting and a little more difficult. I've slipped back into the shadows and returned to habits I knew would lead me right back to where I started.

If I am ever quiet, please know I have not given up. I'm probably just asleep on the couch or doing everything I can to stay away from those foods I know will lead to an upset stomach and a possible increase of weight on the scale.

I'm searching for the things that inspire me. Things like blogs and people and television shows. I watched Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition on Tuesday night (thanks to my DVR) and had goosebumps. She fought and cried and struggled to a weight loss of 160 pounds in a year. She never gave up. She didn't complain. She went after it. Watching her story made me want to go after it even more. And not complain. So here's to hoping the complaints will be few and far between (or non-existant) both on this blog and in my life.

In the midst of all this, I hope you too find the things you are supposed to strive for. Whether it be weight loss or eating out less or sitting down and finishing a story/painting/etc. And I hope we can all meander this journey together.

What do you do when you want to give up? How do you say no to cravings? How do you stay full (both in the hunger sense and in the life sense)? Where do you find your inspiration?

(title from "a little bit stronger" by sara evans)

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