Yoga – The Life Changer

I have written about my no-longer-new love of yoga before. But every once in awhile, I have a class where certain things fall into place. I just love when that happens and how something I did to change my outside has transformed my inside.

I can’t tell you the date of my very first class. It isn’t engraved on some healing stone sitting on my bedside table. I’m positive I could ask my Yogi to look it up for me and I could have some sort of anniversary date. I could get it tattooed on my inner wrist to remind myself of the day I took back my life. All I can tell you is that the strides I have made are pretty remarkable when I think back to that first class.

I’ve shared some of this before; I couldn’t even touch my toes, the warm-up was as much “exercise” as I had done in years and I was preeeeeetty sure I was going to pass out within the first 20 minutes. I was sweating from head to toe, and I thought, there is simply NO WAY I was going to be able to do this for an hour.

Guess what? I did it for an hour. It wasn’t pretty, graceful or even in the ball park of proper form. But I stuck it out. And the best part of all? I. Came. Back.

So here we are, now, today, and I have been blessed in so many other ways than just going to a class. I have made friends. I could call them 24/7 if I needed something and I know they would be there for me. I have deepened my friendship with the one who got me there in the first place. She will forever and ever hold a place in my heart and I credit her for giving me the push I needed. I’m pretty sure we would all get kicked out of any other yoga class, as we lay there in savasana and laugh and talk.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post and the thought that occured to me during savasana during our last class. (yes, everything that preceded this paragraph was just the warm up. Sit back, grab your coffee and keep reading.)

As we go through our sun salutations (which by the way, are not so killer anymore and I WOW do I look forward to starting them. Yo has been changing them up some and it’s AWESOME!) she will instruct us to “step forward in to a forward fold”. As we keep going through them, she will say “step or hop to the front in to a forward fold”. I always step. Always. Through all of our sun salutations, always step. So I decided, what the hell. Let’s try to hop. So when we progressed from stepping to step or hop, I hopped. I didn’t come crashing down and the Earth didn’t stop revolving. I simply hopped forward. Hands on the ground, both legs off the ground. Hop. And then I did it again. And again. Through the entire class, each time Yo said to step or hop, I hopped.

Now, I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal. So what? You hopped forward 2-3 feet. Really? This is worthy of a blog post? Yes. Yes it is. Because 80 pounds ago, there was NO WAY these feet would be leaving the ground at the same time. Are you kidding? My arms would’ve crumbled from the sheer weight. But that’s not even the point. My point is that no matter what, you can continue to grow and learn as you push yourself and try to do something you didn’t think you could do. Step OUT of your comfort zone. Step OUT of your own mind that is holding you back.

The second incident is what else happened. We tried a new pose and guess what happened? I fell. On. My. Ass. Fell down.

We started in chair, lowered even further and raised up on to our tip toes. Ok, as if that isn’t challenging enough, we then twisted so left elbow was across right knee. Um yea. Anyone who knows me knows my knees suck. They pop, crack and generally have caused me annoyance for most of my life. I remember being at mass at St. Paul and I would kneel down and my knees would pop so loudly that they echoed through the church.

So there were, on our tip toes, crouched down AND twisted and next thing I know, I’m on the ground. Which goes back to my previous point…..step out of your comfort zone. Try something you don’t think you could do. Because one of two things will happen: You will do it and overcome or you will fall on your ass. Which just means you try again. You gather your courage, take a deep breath in and kick your ego to the door. And you try it. Maybe you have to try 50 times. It might take trying 51 to get it.

So keep trying. Step. Have the courage to try. And keep trying. Because you’re worth it, your life is worth it.

Namaste.

Om-Tattoo-On-Wrist

Baking during the holidays

I’m actually taking a break from baking right now to write this. More for my peace of mind than anything else. You see……I love to bake. Love it. It’s therapeutic, it makes people happy (usually happy, because most of the time it turns out well!) and during the holidays it’s a given to make cookies and fudge and bark and balls and cakes and rolls and……

The great thing about cooking is that my husband does 99.5% of it. He likes it for the exact reasons I mentioned above. I know it’s crazy that he is the one who goes to work, and then comes home and HE cooks. But he prefers it that way. He cooks, I clean. That’s the deal we made over 20 years ago. He does stress out about it sometimes. And sometimes he makes such a mess that I would swear he tried to dirty every pot, pan and dish in the kitchen just to make me clean it. If I could only get him to ask me to cook on the days he doesn’t feel like it, I would be more than happy to oblige. I have roughly 8 million recipes in my Pinterest folder. I’m sure I could find one that I could actually make if he gave me notice. But I’m getting off track. (As usual!)

I was making a new recipe for cookies again today for my church cookie exchange this coming weekend. I’m making 6 different types cookies that I have never made before. I figured this was a great opportunity to try new things and then give them away and keep them out of my house! I got a recipe from a friend for cookies that everyone has “had” to taste to check it out and now I’ve had to hide the rest of them because they don’t want them given away. SELFISH! I saved them HALF the recipe! But I haven’t had one. Not even a lick of the beater.

Then I made some bark. I was going to give that away to the women who are actually manning the cookie exchange table so they had something to nibble on. I gave a large baggie of it to Ryan’s girlfriend for her to share with her friends. It was a hodge podge of sweet, salty and chocolately. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. But I didn’t have any. (Ok, I might have snuck a few pretzels, but not the finished product! So it doesn’t count, right?)

But then today. Today I was making a dough that has to be refrigerated for at least 24 hours after making but before baking. I’m not sure why, but the author specifically said they don’t turn out as well if not refrigerated for that period of time. If anyone has insight to that, let me know. I get chilling the dough, but a minimum of 24 hours? Never heard such a thing. So I started whipping up the dough this morning so it could sit for the required time. I had to transfer to a bowl from my KitchenAid mixer (so I could use it for other cookies!) and there it was. A mixture of sugar, chocolate covered pomegranates, pistachios, chocolate chips and I thought, well, maybe I should taste what is sticking to this beater, ya know, just to see what this swirl of odd ingredients tasted like. It tasted pretty super fantastic! So another little scrap from the bowl (cuz there’s ALWAYS a little stuck to the bowl, right?) and as I stood in front of my kitchen sink, spatula in hand, a wave of extreme distress came over me.

WHAT WAS I DOING??????

Was a few licks of raw cookie dough what I should be doing? Hello?? I have barre class today! Would it kill me or derail my progress, I would say no. It wouldn’t. But what was I doing? WHY was I doing it? I haven’t licked a beater or bowl in months. And I bake all the time! So why today? Nothing happened? It’s not like something had happened. So I did what anyone doing something they shouldn’t be doing does. I STOPPED!!! Stopped and refocused. And I’m confessing and keeping myself honest. Not just honest to myself (which let’s face it, is the most important thing.) but honest with all of you. Because in community, having others holding you accountable and being honest and responsible helps get through a tough day of craving something you know you shouldn’t have. Being with others who know EXACTLY how you feel, no matter how you are feeling, is one of the best supports a person can have.

So I’m confessing, as well as removing myself from the temptation. Redirect! And the feeling, the impulse, has passed. If you can just hold on for a minute, an hour, a day……the feeling subsides. Then you can be proud of the fact day by day, you’re reaching your goal. YOUR goal. Whatever that goal is. Keep it front and center. Be mindful of it. TALK about it. Be willing to be held accountable for it. Be ever conscience about it. Because when you let your guard down, even for a moment, that temptation (a sugary, chocolately one) is going to be there, telling you it’s ok this once. And before you know it, the whole thing has been thrown out the window. And you have chocolate breath.

cookie dough beater

Mark it Down baby!!

I finally finally finally hit my all too elusive goal! And what’s even more astonishing is it happened the week after Thanksgiving! I have officially lost 70 pounds. 70. Seven Zero. 70 big ones. Say WHAT???

I have been hovering around the same weight for about a month. Very discouraging when I’m trying and not really doing anything different. But I stepped on that scale and my magic number came up and I was doing the happy dance in the bathroom! I know, not a visual you need in your head. Sorry.

I am transformed. Inside and out. And the questions I have received have really made me take inventory of my own life. This is MORE than just weight loss or numbers on the scale. This is truly about life altering all over internal changes, which brings about the bonus of external change.

It was soooo easy to resign myself to “this is me” and the “I’m not changing my diet/exercise” or whatever else it is that everyone tells themselves because I’m perfectly happy the way I am. So what if I have to shop in the Women’s Department? So what if everything I do revolves around what food I’m making, or someone is bringing, or what restaurant we’re going to? So what if this is my third piece of pie? No one is counting and screw ’em if they are!

When I started blogging about my weight loss, I shared that I was in a very fragile place. I had lost my bff of 25 years and felt like I was a ship lost at sea. A boat without an anchor. (Ok, I’ll stop with the boat analogies) I said how in that loss, I turned to food even more than I did normally when I was stressed out. Which seemed like it was too often. I was turning to an external fix for internal problem. How many of us do that? Food. Alcohol. Drugs. Sex. Gambling. Oh, it’s fun alright, don’t get me wrong! Having a night out with friends is something I look forward to. I did it just last night and we had a blast! I’m doing it again tonight with different friends. I will be a blast too! But it will be fun because of the people I’m with and the joy that comes from being with them. Not about how much or little we drink, how much food we order and eat or don’t eat. It’s about the time together and shared memories. What happens when that last bite is gone? Or the last drop from your alcoholic beverage of choice is gone? What happens when that last quarter is dropped into the slot and it comes up a loser again? Are you satisfied and can walk away? Or are you already thinking of the next bite/drink/chance?

In my weight loss journey, I have become bolder. Yes, me. Even BOLDER than normal. If you thought I was bold before, look out baby! I have pared down my Facebook friends, I’ve cut my Christmas card list (If you haven’t sent me a card for the past few years, you’re CUT!) and I’m spending time with family and friends who in turn want to spend time with me. I no longer mourn the loss of what might have been or what I should have/could have/might have done differently. That was a monumental shift for me the perpetual people pleaser.

I truly, honestly, passionately have found inner peace. Inner happiness. I have no time for people who continually let me down, lie, make promises with no intention of keeping them, or don’t make time for me. I count just as much. No chasing, no begging to change, no fear of being alone. Because I’m quite happy with myself. When I can take a few moments to take a breath, to calm my mind and actually be present, I find things can go much smoother. My previous way of thinking was always a blur, going 100 mph, saying the first thing that came to mind. That usually got me in trouble and/or made the situation worse.

And just to clear my own conscience, I certainly don’t want this post to come across as me preaching. It is soooooo far from that. It’s the opposite of that. I have no control over anyone but me. And that’s what I’ve discovered to be the biggest key in all of this. I can control me. If you can’t control yourself, that’s no longer my concern or my problem. If you want my help, ask. I would be there for you in a New York minute. But in shedding that weight, I have come alive. I feel empowered. I feel confident. I feel healthy. I feel happy. I feel FREE!

I was telling my friends last night that I would love to lose another 10 pounds. I think they think I’m becoming anorexic now. (I love chocolate, and ice cream and yes, wine! lol) I am focusing on being healthy, on being the best me I can be. And there were still plenty of jiggles as I danced around the bathroom this morning. Perhaps “toning” would be a better choice of words. Toning and firming. And getting my arms ripped like Linda Hamilton in T2. Which is still a goal.

If anyone would like to have more information about my amazing yogi, trainer and friend Yolanda and her website, please visit http://www.strongcalmsexy.com and learn more about her program. Your body AND your mind will thank you.

meditation

What are you doing?

Lately I have been hearing rapid fire questions, sometimes with such voracity it takes me by surprise. Things like, “What are you doing?” “How did you do that?” or my personal favorite, “What’s your secret?”

Things like that freak me out. Freak. Me. Out. First of all, I’m the fat girl who is not used to being questioned about fitness. Second, I wonder how many people pay even a fraction of attention to what I put out there, almost daily, about what I do. I’m the exact opposite of being shy. I blog, I tweet, I Facebook daily. Multiple times a day.

Now, before I continue, I want to be clear that I am not angry, mad, upset, or heaven forbid, insulted. Just freaked out and shocked. I still don’t see me as others see me. I still see the flaws and lumps and the additional pounds I want gone. I know, I know, I need to work on that. Add it to the list of things to work on.

It finally dawned on me a few weeks ago that what some people were asking without asking is if I was on some NutriSystem or Weight Watchers type program. It hadn’t even occurred to me that people were inquiring about that. Michael mentioned it might be a possibility after he witnessed such an occurrence and saw me stammering and stuttering like crazy. Lightbulb moment. OH! They’re wondering if I joined Weight Watchers! Maybe I could join Marie Osmond and become a spokeswoman for NutriSystem. (I’ll only do it if I get to meet Donny!)

The short answer is no. I’m not doing any of that. No meal plan is delivered to my door. No pre-measured amount of food is planned out for my day. I eat. I drink. I Starbuck. Mmmmmm it IS peppermint mocha season, isn’t it?? I live with a chef! How could I do that even if I wanted to?

I made a commitment to myself last year to get in shape. I honor that commitment every single day. I added yoga to my very non-existent workout routine. It was hard. I was awkward. I couldn’t do half of the poses. I could barely touch my toes. On a GOOD day! I sweated. I cried. But most of all, I kept coming back. And guess what happened? My body started to respond. It started to change. And when those changes started happening, it motivated and change my eating. All by itself. Why was I working so hard and finally seeing results, and then eating a big plate of nachos? With extra cheese and sour cream? I started making better decisions.

Not everything I eat is healthy or good for me. (remember….chef.) But more is than not. I still had a piece of leftover Halloween candy. It was calling my name. So it was a mercy act. I had to put it out of its misery.

I also added a barre class to my twice weekly yoga class. It’s so funny how a year can change perspective on what is difficult. Barre is HARD! Barre is challenging. Barre is non-stop moving the entire time. I sweat like crazy. I breathe…..LOUDLY. I have a tendency to look down at what my feet are doing, but with playful reminding from my dear friend Julie, I *try* to look up more. My form is crap. But I’m doing it. My back might not be perfectly straight, but it’s straighter than last week. And one of my favorite parts of barre is that my yogi is also my barre instructor. I love her. Between her and Julie, they encourage, they cheer me on, and they never ever ever let me feel like I am less. How can I go wrong?

A friend of mine, Trisha, is doing Crossfit and is seeing the same amazing results. She is dropping weight, getting healthier and looks stunning. Not that she didn’t look amazing before, but she has that glow that naturally comes with get in shape. I admire her dedication and commitment for setting a goal and sticking with it. And she would say the same thing I am. There is no secret. It’s working hard. Every day. No cheat day. No “I’m going to splurge on milkshakes and french fries” day.

And while I’m still waiting to hit that magic number of 70, the over 65 lbs I’ve lost isn’t too shabby. I had to return a yoga top today that was too large. Actually, it was a size large. And it was too big. Say WHAT? Me who used to have to have to shop in the women’s department? This is the part that freaks me out just as much as the questions. I still have to stop myself and steer towards misses. I hold clothes up, eyeing them and think, no, this isn’t going to fit. Until I try it on and find that it does. How exceptional!

It may not be time to shop for a bikini quite yet, I have time before next summer to get me there. I know I can do it. Even if I don’t have the guts to actually wear a bikini on the beach, the fact that I could is what is my goal. I started off November revising and clarifying my goals for the month, knowing it was going to be challenging with holidays, and baking, and cold weather, and getting dark at 5:30. That small act of examining where I am and where I would like to be was huge for me. It helps ward off bad thinking and voices in my head telling I can have that one thing. On the other hand, I can still have my peppermint mocha from Starbucks. But a Tall instead of Venti. And sugar-free instead regular syrup. Oh, and hold the whip cream, but I’ll take the sprinkles.

yoga on the beach

Another goal….accomplished!

So this morning I hit another milestone in my weight loss journey. I had hit a dreaded plateau where I was stuck for a few weeks. I hadn’t altered my diet, and in fact, I had added my twice weekly barre class thinking I would see even faster results. Instead, I was just maintaining. It was frustrating but I persevered.

This morning I jumped on the scale and there it was! I have officially lost 60 pounds! (60.5 to be exact!) Wooo hoooo!!!!I was so excited I wanted to shout it from the rooftops and tell everyone I saw! Instead, I enjoyed the moment to myself. I slipped on my workout clothes and headed to barre with determination and a little extra joy in my heart.

Doing barre this morning was KILLER! I was a sweaty, shaky, oh-my-God-I-don’t-think-I-can-do-one-more-rep mess. My face was red. My muscles were quivering uncontrollably. There wasn’t enough water my Venti size Starbucks water glass by a long shot. Thank God they provide towels or I might have had to use toilet paper to sop up the streams running down my face. But I did it!!

Now, the old me would seriously consider celebrating this moment with food. I know. Sabotage and counter-productive, but I still would’ve done it. A nice plate of nachos anyone? At the very least some chocolate. I was thinking about that as I was drip drying on my drive home. And how it honestly, honestly, HONESTLY just doesn’t even sound appealing to me in the least. I’ve come to that place in my journey where food doesn’t have to be the comforter, the consoler, the celebration, the momentary fix. I have become hyper-aware of what I put in my body. I log EVERYTHING! One M&M gets logged. Really. It keeps me focused and accountable to no one but myself.

And that, I think, is one of the biggest lessons learned and I believe I’ve blogged about it before, is that this is for ME! No one would know if I did eat a candy bar. But **I** would know. And as the pounds came on, I could lie to myself very easily. My family still loved me, my friends still loved me, my kids, my dog, it didn’t matter what the scale said. But I didn’t love me enough to see what I was doing to myself. Not to anyone else. I wasn’t hurting anyone with my extra large Blizzard. But I was hurting ME. I didn’t like being the fat friend, the fat wife, the fat mom. Call me what you will. But I didn’t like it. And who could fix that? No one but me.

So with the help, encouragement, support and endless praise, that same husband, children, friends and my dog (hee hee!) I was able to start this process. And look where I am today! Woooo flipping hoooooo!!!!! I have gone from “obese” to “normal” on the BMI chart. Well into normal. (Me?? Normal?? Never!!) I know a lot can be said about all those charts and graphs, both positive and negative, but it was still nice to see.

So what did I do instead of coming home to food? I cut the grass in the sweltering midday heat. I drank more water. I showered. And now, I’m going to plot out my next set of goals and have a homemade recovery smoothie. Because THAT, I deserve!

weightloss scale

Getting there

Today I hit a major milestone. A journey of a few years that started slowly but has picked up in pace and payoff. And lessons! Oh boy, the lessons I’ve learned along the way. 

Today marks the day I have officially lost 50 pounds. FIFTY. That’s such a huge number! I’m not even sure I could lift fifty pounds and to think I was carrying that weight around with me daily. It’s almost hard to describe the feeling. Almost. But you know I’m not one that’s for a loss of words for long. 

(And now for my red carpet Emmy speech. Please don’t start the wrap up music yet!) 

I have so many people that have helped me along my way and I wanted to take a moment to thank them because I don’t know if they realize how important they were to me. (So, yea, just bear with me as I go through my list.) First and foremost I want to thank Tammy for encouraging me to just do it. Just try. And for never ever EVER making me feel like she was annoyed or I was holding her back. Just try to run. Just try yoga. Just try. Trying to do something, even a little bit, was better than sitting on the couch not doing anything while eating Oreos. It’s so cliche (but aren’t cliches there for a reason?) but going slow is better than not going at all. Right? She has been my constant encourager, has seen me at my worst and still loves me anyway. What more can you ask for in a friend? I love you more than you’ll ever know. 

I want to thank Tracy because even though we’re miles and miles apart, we’re never farther than a phone call or a text and your example and your constant love and support over 2 decades of varying stages in my life is something that doesn’t come along often. I cherish you and our friendship and how no matter what comes out of my mouth, I’ve never shocked you into a coma. (Not yet anyway!) 

I want to thank Julie, Sandy, and Yolanda for not only making a very unbendy girl much much more bendy, but for the friendships and encouragement you have shown to me over the past one and a half years. Through my sweating, heavy breathing and modified poses, I have come to not only “doing” yoga but to truly, deeply love yoga. I feel stronger, leaner, and yes, even more bendy than I ever have in my entire life. 

Yolanda shared a story in yoga Monday that has stayed with me (yea, yea, I know it’s only Wednesday, but seriously, for something to still be in my brain after 20 minutes is something to be cheered!) about how someone asked Michelangelo how he carved David out of a solid piece. He replied that David was always in there and just needed to come out. So he chipped away what wasn’t needed. Isn’t that what we all need and strive for? To let our true selves out from whatever it is that has shrouded us? Mentally or physically. To let go of what is holding us back. Those damn inner voices that speak too loud or the past that can’t be changed or thousands of other inner problems that hold us back. 

I want to thank Julie for walking with me and going even when she didn’t feel like going. I know some days were a struggle and the fact that you set aside time for me and we had such fun walking and talking that the time and the miles flew by. There were days I didn’t feel like going, but you gently encouraged me to go and I’ve never come back regretting it. Thank you for that and being such a friend. 

My goals have now been readjusted. I have a new weight goal, but beyond that number, I want to be stronger! Fitter!! Leaner!! That’s my new focus. Because now I know that nothing can hold me back. I’ve quashed those inner voices and shushed the naysayers. I’ve had people who have known me for years and are shocked when they see me. I have to admit that’s an AWESOME feeling! To be able to go shopping and buy something off the rack and know it will fit is not a feeling I have known in a very long time. 

So am I boasting? HELL YES I AM! I have worked hard and am proud of myself. But my work is not done. I’m still chipping away. And I hope to always be chipping away because none of us is perfect. Some people like to think they are and look at others and think they are better. All of us are walking a path that contains struggle and pain. (Another cliche?) Encouraging everyone to continue that path, and maybe make a turn they wouldn’t have made, is the best kind of friendship and love I can think of. And in that regard, I am truly, humbly blessed. 

Image

44…..45….close enough

I could have waited a few more days, but with the things that keep popping up at me with great urgency, I figured I better write now while I had a few moments to collect my thoughts. Alone. 

And let me clarify ahead of time, this isn’t just to pat myself on the back. It kind of is. But not just to do that. But let’s start back a few years for context. 

I haven’t been the skinniest girl. Ever. I remember I worked with a guy at the bank eons ago who was a real creep. Like seriously. Eww! I don’t even remember what his name was. But I remember his words ringing in my ears. He was doing his typical male chauvinist pig walk, checking out the girls, making rude and lewd comments. And he stopped at my little cubicle and told me the only thing that would ever be thin about me was my ankles, and he turned and walked away. What a prick. And this was BEFORE I had Rob! Way to crush a 20 year olds soul. But why did I let it bother me? I don’t even remember his name, so why can I still hear his voice in my head? Guess I need to call my shrink for that one. ::Adds another thing to my To Do list::

Through the years my weight had always yo-yo’d. Up 20 pounds. Down 15. Up another 30, Down 10. The down never seemed in line with the up. Never gain 5, lose 5. Or even gain 5, lose 10! Wouldn’t that be something? 

Then a few years ago, I went through a horrible, devastating, soul shattering, “how I am going to ever get through this?”, “I can’t breathe” break up. Not with my husband, but with a friend I had made way back at the same time and place as jerkhead who made the ankle comment. We worked together, became immediate and hard fast friends. A friendship that lasted longer than my first marriage and she was there for me during and after the divorce. Was there for the second marriage. Through thick and thin. Forever and ever amen. Til we weren’t. A few years ago, I didn’t think I could or wanted to come out on the other side because I was to devastated, way too wounded. It was harder than divorce. A huge part of me was gone.  

And in my despair, I turned to comfort food. And I ate. And I cried. And I cried and I ate. (As I side note, please understand, I am not in any way, shape or form blaming anything on anyone but myself. This was MY internal struggle. This was MY self sabotage. This was MY unfortunate way of coping with the void and loss. I am not placing blame on anyone else. I hope we’re clear.) I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t see past what I thought was solid. Grounded. Permanent. But there was always cookies. Or chips. Or Michael’s fabulous chicken alfredo with homemade real cream and cheese alfredo sauce coupled with garlic cheese bread and a salad. And salad is good for you, especially drenched in ranch dressing, right? 

And as the weight piled on, and my clothes got bigger and bigger, and my already severely fractured self-esteem and sense of loss just seemed to grow, I lost myself. I didn’t care that I was the fat mom. I didn’t care that I was clearly obese to everyone who looked at me. I deserved that look of pity. That look of embarrassment. “You have such a pretty face” or “Your personality just *shines* through you!”. Yea, pass the donuts. 

Until. 

Until the donuts don’t work. Until the thought of not being able to fit into the last new pair of pants makes you weep. Until your doctor is cautioning you of diabetes, heart disease, and a range of other symptoms that come along with that bag of Doritos. 

Until.

Until a friend says, hey, let’s go for a walk. It doesn’t matter how slow or how long it will take you. Let’s just go. I’m here with you. Let’s try jogging. Let’s see if we can run *one block*. If we can’t, no big deal. We’ll try. And we do. And we did. 

Until that friend introduces me to yoga and I discover that I can do this and focus solely and exclusively on me and it’s not only ok to do that, but you’re SUPPOSED to do that! Inside the corners of my own mat is all that counts. I didn’t get that at first. I didn’t get that it wasn’t about how I compared to the other people in my class. At how graceful and beautiful they were and I could barely touch my toes. But in the year I’ve been practicing, I have learned that. I have learned I can be stronger than **I** was a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. It’s MY journey. And I have made strides!

As of today, I have lost 44 pounds. I have gone down 6 sizes. I haven’t weighed this in a very very long time. But it’s not just about a number on a scale or the tag inside my shorts. It’s about an attitude shift. I don’t need pasta to fill a void. I don’t need Twizzlers or sitting on the couch feeling sad about how something turned out. I can move more, eat less. I can eyeball a new shirt and know it will fit me. I can wear those little yoga tops with the built in bras instead of the mandatory “hold ’em down” sports bras. And yea, I’m damn happy about that.

My goal is to lose another 15 pounds. I know I’ll get there very soon. Because I will get myself there. Who says 40something is too old? I’m just beginning! My journey, my success, my set backs, my hurdles. But I’ve learned about myself and what I’m capable of. And I’m so thankful to my friends who didn’t give up on me, who encouraged me, who made me see that I was worth fighting for. THAT is what a girl needs. Not a plate of nachos. 

 

 

nachos