May 30, 2011

Today We Remember

Pvt Worth was my great uncle.  He was killed during the Normandy invasion.

Upon my first visit to the cemetery I was confused as to why his death date on the tombstone was 11 days after the invasion, but of course with the high death toll it took a while for him to be moved from "missing" status to officially declared dead.

According to a soldier in the same boat as him, Ray was killed before he ever left the boat.

I know I share his story every year, and you might tire of it.  Ray left behind no wife or kids.  He was survived by his parents (now deceased) and his siblings (only 2 currently still living).  I fear that Ray's story will be forgotten.

He was a simple farmer who was drafted into the second World War.

It is for him - an others like him - that we pause today and remember.

May 27, 2011

Financial Friday - The "What Happens When You Fail to Plan" Edition

Howdy folks! Its time for another round of "how is the cheapest couple in the world mis-managing their money?!"

This month we never sat down to formulate a real plan for our money.  Proving the old saying "if you fail to plan you plan to fail." 

We're actually not doing that bad on the personal spending categories, but either of us will go over if we spend anything in the next 4 days.  The eating out budget and the grocery budget have exploded out of control though.

First there was the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, then Mother's day weekend (that included travel and food for us as well as taking his mom out), then my Dad's birthday.  We've spent a lot on eating out this month.  The upside is that very little of it is actual due to laziness on my part.

Eating out: Budgeted ???? (we normally shoot for $75)/Actual $142.59.

We're going to Cades Cove for the first time this spring, so I'm sure we'll stop by the Phillips 66 and get a few of the best chili dogs around.  Tomorrow is the Sam's Club visit, and like good cheapos we'll buy the jumbo cokes and eat free samples.  Depending on Monday's plans we might make it out of this month under $150.

Grocery: Budgeted $200/Actual $261.09

Jay likes to keep a stockpile.  That costs money.  There were good sales this month.  The good news is that we have a full pantry.  Did I mention Sam's tomorrow?  I full expect to break $300 by the end of the month. 

Sadly we are currently out of frozen stir-fry veggies.  For shame!  And the 3 pepper and onion blend is dwindling.

The good news?  Jay finally got our peach trees sprayed.  My mom said that its slightly late in the year for it, so they won't be as pretty as they could have been.  We should get enough for a good crop any way, but we might not have as many to freeze/give away.

Brooke's personal spending: Budgeted $125/Actual $124.51

I don't have any plans for shopping or eating lunch out between now and the end of the month, so I should be okay.  Maybe.  Possibly.  If not any overage comes off my budgeted amount next month.

Jay's personal spending: Budgeted $85/Actual $84.93

Not sure if that amount includes any extra cans purchased for the next few days or not.  If not then he's going over.  I think we're out of the BP gift cards, so next month his spending will be bumped back up to $125. 

We just bought a rental cabin, so we've had some remodel costs this month (our little work-in-progress) so more is going out than makes me comfortable.  Time to batten down the hatches and really get focused on this money thing!

How have yall done this month?  Getting closer to those goals??

May 26, 2011

Survey Time

How many of you are hear to see the WCW???
30 points to whoever gets that reference.

I was feeling uninspired today, so I figured I'd look to twitter for assistance. 

"Today is a perfect day, perfect in every way.  Why?"  asks Jen

I had a perfect day two weekends ago.  It was the perfect mix of work, relaxing, and hanging out with my family.  Jay and I worked around the house all morning.  Yes I'm crazy enough to enjoy a clean house, even if it means I have to clean it.  We went for a walk along the river/golf course later in the afternoon, grilled out, then watched a movie that evening.  It had a little bit of everything - exercise, hard work, a clean house, beautiful scenery, the man I love.

The next day was almost perfect as well.  Church (would have been the perfect day had Jay attended with me), followed by Dunkin Donuts coffee, meeting my parents for lunch, another walk along the river/golf course, then Jay & I pulling out the sofa bed for a Netflix Eli Stone marathon.  We snuggled all afternoon/evening, only getting up to pee, get snacks, and hit "next episode."

"Will you be supporting Ron Paul in the 2012 election?"  That's from Foom, a LOST message board buddy.  We mostly just have LOST in common and couldn't be more different politically.

For the moment the answer to the question is "yes".  While I don't talk politics a lot around here, I think Paul represents my opinions best of all the candidates.  As the election season draws more near, however, I reserve the right to change my mind.  :)

Do I think he can win?  That's a different story.  Its a different climate than last election and he did better than people expected then too.  Having said that I think somewhere down the line his son Rand Paul has a better shot at the presidency.  He has the charisma that his dad lacks, while still holding similar values.

If you could live anywhere in the world besides where you do now, where would it be? What draws you to that place?

I love where I live.  I'm surrounded by beautiful mountains - complete with a great (free) national park for hiking, a gorgeous river near my home (perfect for flat runs), and my family.  The only other place I can ever see myself living is my sister's home city. 

I miss her.  Before she had kids and before I met Jay, she was my best friend.  I'd go up all the time and hang out.  When I was in college I regularly invited myself over to do laundry and eat her wonderful cooking.  She's still my best friend, but its a bit more complicated now. 

I miss her kids too.  Thankfully we recently discovered Skype, so I can see their antics first hand, but that's not the same as being able to squeeze them and pollute their minds with "Go Yankees" despite their mother being a hard core Mets fan.

Hawaii was lovely.  Given the money I'd love to vacation there 1 month a year, but no matter how perfect it is, without my family its not for me.

Gotta a question for me?  Hit me with it in the comments and I'll save it for future posts. 

May 25, 2011

Roller Coaster Check-in

Everyone needs a good Bridget Jones quote in their lives.

I choose Vodka. And Chaka Khan.

Oops, that's not right.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.

First there was the amazing 5K PR this weekend. 
My after glow was short lived, however, when I took my measurements (weight included) for the Body for Life fitness regimen I'm starting.
The good news about my body measurements?  While I weigh my heaviest weight EVER - I have a 27 inch waist.  While Scarlet O'Hara would disapprove, I think most of us would say that's not too shabby at all. 
The bad news?  My legs are 24 1/2.  EACH.
Which makes for ________  proportions.  (You'll have to fill in the blank yourself.  Thea took away all my insulting words yesterday.)
Moving right along - its time to check in on the "May My Way" goals I set for this month.

May Your Way Challenge
  1. Tracking my exercises in an excel spreadsheet. Marking the completed workouts in purple, the incomplete workouts in tan, abandoned workouts in red. The goal is to complete 85% of all scheduled workouts. That sounds really low, but its only getting to fudge on 5 workouts. I'm going to count incomplete workouts as half a workout.

    I completed 100% of all my workouts this week and I'm at 90% for the month! 

    This goal marked - achieved!
  2. Tracking my food in an excel spreadsheet as well as a printed publisher file. I'm going to plan out my menu for the week, then track how often I follow through. This means no guilt for the Friday fast food with mom. No guilt for going out for BBQ with my love. Shooting for 85% on this one too.

    I was 93% for the week on this one and am currently at 83% for the month.  Gonna have to do great this week to pull that percentage up for the final check in!

    This goal marked - achieved!
  3. A new 5K PR.

    I blew the old PR of 31:35 out of the water on Saturday finishing in 29:20.

    This goal marked - achieved!
So, that's my week for better or worse.  How did yours go?

    May 24, 2011

    A Gain, Leaving Me at a Loss

    On Saturday I ran the fastest I've ever ran in my life.

    On Monday I weighed more than I've ever weighed in my life.  (Documented of course - I suppose fluctuations that high were possible and just not noted.)

    Are these two connected?  Probably not.  Actually science says that extra weight should make me slower.  What gives?

    This time last year I was 122 pounds and ran a 37 minute 5K.  The race time was concerning because instead of getting faster, after a year of running I was now 3 minutes slower.  I internalized it all - of course I was doing something wrong.  I was stupid, fat, and any other negative adjective that I could use to put myself down.

    In reality I was ill. 

    I know I talk about it a lot around here, but that's because it was a huge deal to me.  I've never really recovered. 

    Thankfully I've gotten back to training and in the past year I've progressed considerably on my 5K time, completed my first triathlon, and ran my first full marathon (as well as setting a new half marathon PR). 

    What hasn't recovered is my relationship with food.

    My doctors never figured out what caused my iron to be incredibly low.  Because the infusions worked, and follow up visits showed my levels increasing (quite obviously I wasn't "leaking") we never really got to the bottom of what caused it.  After all, I was fixed.  Who cares why it happened?

    My doctor suggested that heavy calorie restriction might have not allowed me to consume enough iron, causing the dip.  But I wasn't really restricting all that heavily was I?
    Compared to some of you I wasn't.  1650 calories a day was my goal.  I was also exercising 7-10 times a week (and not eating back the calories). 

    Maybe to perform at that level my body required more of me. 

    Maybe it was just a fluke thing with no significant root cause.

    Maybe it was just God's way to get my attention.

    Whatever the cause, the result is the same - I'm terrified to start a new eating plan.  Without a doubt I choose me right now (chunky, getting faster, and healthy) than the me of last year (skinny, slow, and ill).  That should go without saying, but to be honest there were times in my life I would have given anything to be skinny.

    Great right?  I've got a healthy mindset and all is right with the world.  Well not quite, because I know I don't eat as healthy as I ought.

    Maybe I'm not suppose to be 122 pounds, but I know that 140 is too heavy for my frame as well.  I know that fast food two nights in a row isn't good for me.  I know that I'm far too thoughtless when it comes to putting together a meal plan.

    How do I find a middle ground?  That place between counting every calorie and indulging in every treat?  How do I consider healthy options without running terrified straight into the arms of Ronald McDonald?
    Yesterday Karena and I started the Body for Life weights plan.  (Yes, I have before pictures.  No, I'm not ready to share them.)  There is also a great eating plan that goes along with it.  Proper fuel for this kind of activity - 6 meals a day with plenty of protein, carbs, and several veggie servings along the way. 

    Yet I can't force myself to try it.  I have a friend who's currently doing just the eating plan.  She's lost a significant amount of weight and swears by how easy it is.  Its inspiring really, how well she's done.  After borrowing her book and nodding in agreement all along the way, I still can't convince myself to start. 

    I'm at a loss.

    May 23, 2011

    Law Enforcement Memorial 5K - Race Report

    Every year I run the Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministry 5K in May.  It was my first race ever and is sort of a new tradition.  After all running the same race year after year is the best way to track progress.

    Unfortunately this year it was over Mother's Day and I was nice enough to skip it so that my husband could travel to Ohio to see his parents.

    Although my employer hosted a local triathlon this weekend, I skipped it because the "difficult" hill scared me.  I know hard and easy are relative, but when the coworker/fitness instructor that is a total workout bad ass says something is challenging, I believe her.  And know better than to think my poorly training biking legs and my sad little mountain bike can handle "challenging".

    Instead I signed up for the Law Enforcement Memorial 5K.  Race registration was held at Volunteer Landing and the race traveled along the river - promising to be one of the flattest races possible in this area.


    I laid out my clothing the night before, and knew that my camera was right beside the door and I could grab it on my way out. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that it was in pieces thanks to my darling hubby, and while the battery was in the charger nearby, the memory card was no where to be found.

    He offered to let me borrow his camera, but its the fancy kind with appature settings and the like, so it was far too bulky to carry with me in a race.  (Why my husband borrows "my" camera when he has his own plus a droid is something you'll have to take up with him.)

    My tummy wasn't cooperating, so I ate a very light breakfast and hoped for the best.  Thankfully it wasn't an issue I had to deal with race day.

    As always when racing in Knoxville, I got lost.  I took the proper exit, but remembered my dad telling me to follow the road until it hit where I needed to be.  I was mistaken, although I did feel pretty confident when I figured out where I was and how I should get to where I needed to be.

    Traveling downtown Knoxville isn't my strong suit and I always build in getting lost time into my schedule.  I still arrived in plenty of time to get warmed up, stand in line for the one and only real toilet, and get registered.

    I asked a random lady to take my picture with my phone.  Gotta love the picture quality of those 1980s cell phones!!

    In the past, I put myself somewhere mid pack for the start.  I don't want to get in the way of other runners, so I try to be considerate.  What typically happens is I spend the first mile passing people with jogging strollers and walkers.  Annoying when that only leaves 2 miles for racing. 

    This race was different - I positioned myself in the front.  Just behind the sponsored runners.  While it was nice not having to fight around people, it was a bit discouraging to be passed by so many people in the first mile.  Especially when that douche dude knocked me out of the way.  I'm not talking grazing my shoulder, but knocking me out of the way hard enough to make me "ouch".  (Although I'll admit I am a bit of a wimp, so its not like a bruised or anything.)

    I'd discussed race strategy with a friend the day before and she'd said that I got too preoccupied at running XX:XX pace instead of just going out and running hard.  I reasoned that even if I went out at a full sprint and had to walk that would still be faster than a jog.

    Ashley had another great suggestion - try to run at just a few notches below a full sprint.  I tried my best, and only a couple minutes into the race I was already breathing hard.

    The path took me by Thompson Bowling Arena - home of the University of Tennessee Volunteer basketball teams.

    By the one mile marker, I was wheezing.  Gotta love that asthma.  Thankfully I'd left the Asthma Girl mentality in the bathroom - Super Boo was running this race.  Wheezing and all I finished the first mile in 9:20.

    I have to admit that had I seen a less incredible time, I would have been seriously discouraged.  My body was screaming, but the great pace meant it was all worth it.  I kept pushing and tried not to listen to myself breathe.

    When we passed the KUB sewer plant I tried not to breathe at all.  Thankfully that section of the race was short and didn't last very long.  Around that point the leaders had already reached the turn around and were passing me heading towards the finish. 

    Coming the opposite direction was a dude that I had chatted with a bit before the race, so I took a breath to encourage him as he passed me.  At the turn around, I glanced at my watch again - if this was the half way point I was on track for a new PR and a chance at a sub 30 race.  Sub 30 was my real goal, but I was afraid to hope for it.

    After the turn around I tried to encourage people, but sometimes its hard to know what to say.  I couldn't resist cheering when I saw and old man with a walker participating in the 5K.  Dude wasn't even last!!  I was just amazed that he was able to walk, much less beat people decades younger than him.

    Mile 2 and my watch said I had only been out 18 minutes and change.  Barring anything unforeseen I was going to do this!!  Unfortunately the 3 mile spot wasn't marked, so I had no clue when to kick in the afterburners.  Once I rounded the corner and saw the finished I kicked it into high gear.  Only high gear wasn't all that much faster than what I had been running.

    I suppose my dazzling "sprint to the finish"es have always just meant I didn't give it my all during the rest of the race.  That was not the case here.  As I crossed the finish I looked down to stop my watch 29:21.

    I had a new PR AND had finally broken into the world of sub 30 minute 5Ks. 

    And I had flem in my lungs that I desperately needed to expel.

    No, my phone isn't the best camera in the world but...Yes, my face really is that red.  After a good run it takes me at least an hour if not more for the redness to go away. 

    I decided to stay for the awards.  (My time was 5 minutes off placing so there was no danger of that.)  I'm glad I did because I learned a little about that old man with the walker.  He is 92 years old and in that race set a state record.  He walked the 5K in 47 minutes and some change.

    If you're not a runner/walker - that's better (by several minutes) than the pace my 50 somethings parents walked their last 5K in.  

    That added an extra layer of awesomeness to the race for me.  I totally wanna be him when I grow up! 

    According to the official race site my chip time was 29:20 - I'll certainly take that extra second off! 

    May 20, 2011

    Financial Friday - The "Do I Have To" Edition

    This isn't pretty.  Supposedly posting weekly was supposed to make me better about this money stuff.  Yall were supposed to be holding me accountable (great job with that by the way -_-) and I was going to get my stuff together.

    All of that was an epic fail this month.  We haven't even done an official budget this month.  My "budgeted" numbers are just guesses, based on what we've done in the past.

    One thing I'm considering (although we've been eating dinner in front of the TV so I keep forgetting to bring it up), is that clothing shouldn't come out of my personal spending.  As long as I'm working a job outside the home I'm going to perpetually need clothing and that isn't a "luxury".  I promise if I came to work naked I'd be fired.

    Most of the time now, Jay makes special concessions for "shopping trips" and spots me money or whatever.  I think it would be a more reasonable (and trackable) idea to set a certain amount for the year and when its gone I have to stop shopping.  We'll see what he thinks about that idea.

    On to the ugly numbers:

    Eating Out - $150 budget/$103.79 actual

    As I said this wasn't agreed upon, and is higher than we normally budget.  This is an odd month though.  We took his mother out for Mother's day.  We'll be going out for my Dad's birthday this weekend.  Also we did the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater first thing this month.  So far we have no Memorial Day plans, not sure what that will bring.

    Groceries - $200 budget/$211.36 actual

    Can't really say what went wrong this month.  I suppose I just stockpiled a bit too much, although Jay would argue that's not possible.  The good news is our cabinets are full - so full in fact that one of them broke because it was holding too much weight!  (We had 96 cans of veggies on it.  Jay has since reinforced it and we've moved the veggies to individual shelves and moved lighter boxed type foods to this big cabinet.)

    Brooke's personal spending - $125 budget/$124.51 actual

    Obviously I'm going over this month.  I had a race entry fee, a Goodwill shopping spree (I only had to count half against my spending), and lots of lunches out.  I'm thinking for next month of putting $60 cash in an envelope for eating out and when its gone its gone.  The rest of the money can be used for things like race entries, books, or whatever else strikes my fancy.

    Jay's personal spending - $85 budget/$69.99 actual

    We had several BP gift cards, and Jay was charged with using those up (which is why his spending is so much less than mine).  Unfortunately, that caused him to not use his debit cards the required 12 times this month to get the 3.75% interest rate.  Instead he got a whopping 0.0007% (okay so that's just a guess, but its something equally ridiculous).  Not sure the state of his gift cards, but if he's out he's going over this month too.  He spends $2.51 a day on dip.

    So that's my financial report for the week.  How are you doing with money?
    Is this series ridiculously boring?  Is there something I can add/change/remove to make it more exciting?

    Have a fantastic weekend!!

    May 19, 2011


    Have you ever felt trapped?

    I'm not talking about being physically pinned in while sitting in traffic.  Or even overwhelmed by situational events.

    But trapped in your own head?

    That's how money makes me feel.  I'm good with money.  I have some money.  I like to shop.

    So why does the thought of spending money make me anxious?  I'm not necessarily talking big ticket items.  Really anything over $20 does the trick.

    I sit here, reading my twitter stream, dreaming of a world in which I get to attend Fit Bloggin with the rest of my bloggy friends.  Only I know that world doesn't exist. 

    Its hard to explain how my mind works.  You know how it seems weird on Monk that he hates germs yet is compelled to touch every post he walks past?  Its kinda like that.  After all I usually spend most of my $125 personal spending on fast food.  Yet spending $20 on a pair of work pants makes me pause to consider it.  (I ended up saying "no thanks" to the pants.)

    So while Jay & I are in a comfortable financial position, I can never see myself being willing to spend the $$$ on a blog conference. 

    Honestly that makes me sad. 

    I don't understand why I feel okay with spending several hundred on the Disney Marathon and not on Fit Bloggin.  I don't understand why putting money in our Roth IRA seems normal, while buying a cabin to put on a rental program scares the poop outta me.

    I really don't get it, but I feel trapped.  Its the same with the great iPhone debate of 2011 (that will probably spill into 2012+)

    A prison of your own making is a scary place to be.  I don't understand the rules of confinement so how can I ever be free of them?

    The things I deny myself are luxuries.  Common luxuries, but it would be tough to argue that they were anything but frivolous extras.  How will I know the point, when I reach it, that such luxuries are okay?

    When we have our house paid off?
    When we have a $1 million + net worth?

    How much money is "enough" to set the HVAC on comfortable?  We're certainly not living in 3rd world conditions, but I'm not sure many people would describe 60 in the winter as optimal, nor 80 in the summer.  So where is that line?  (If electricity were free I'd set it on 68 in the winter and 78 in the summer.)

    I thought writing it out would help, but I think I need to stop now before giving myself a full blown anxiety attack.

    Talk to me.  What are your rules for spending on luxuries?  Do you have any?  How do they affect your long term financial planning?

    May 18, 2011

    *MY* way or the Highway!

    Unfortunately this is not going to be a post about how the baggers at my local grocery store drive me nuts.  While I'd love to bitch gripe complain vent about how they consistently bag my groceries wrong (put the regular items in my insulated reusable bags and put my freezer/fridge items in my regular reusable bags) I fear I would bore you to tears.  Also I might look like a picky bitch.

    We can't have that.

    So instead I'll show you how my perfectionist tendencies manifest in a good way.  I did great on my goals this past week for the Sisterhood May Your Way challenge.

    May Your Way Challenge

    1. Tracking my exercises in an excel spreadsheet. Marking the completed workouts in purple, the incomplete workouts in tan, abandoned workouts in red. The goal is to complete 85% of all scheduled workouts. That sounds really low, but its only getting to fudge on 5 workouts. I'm going to count incomplete workouts as half a workout.

      I completed 4.5 out of 5 workouts for 90% consistency.  I was scheduled for a long run this weekend, but instead I walked on the golf course with my parents and Jay.  More of a mental health thing.  Definitely not the intensity of a 7 mile run, but better than sitting on the couch (hence the partial credit.

      For the month I'm at 86%  just a hair above my 85% goal.

      This goal marked - achieved!
    2. Tracking my food in an excel spreadsheet as well as a printed publisher file. I'm going to plan out my menu for the week, then track how often I follow through. This means no guilt for the Friday fast food with mom. No guilt for going out for BBQ with my love. Shooting for 85% on this one too.

      Not counting weekends (which I don't.  Because I can.*) I followed my meal plan to the letter.  15/15 on this one for 100%! 

      *The main point of this goal is to prevent me from eating out too much for lunch at work, or getting lazy after work for dinner.  I don't want to lose the flexibility to roll with the punches on the weekend.

      This goal marked - achieved!
    3. A new 5K PR. In 10 days I'll run in a race that bills its self as "flat." That rarely happens around here. I'm shooting for another PR. Maybe not sub 30, I don't think I've put in the work for that. But definitely below my current PR of 31:35.

      This race is Saturday morning, so I'll be running the Fit Bloggin 5K with yall in spirit.  I'm really not all that nervous about it (see goal 1 - blowing off a training run), but I did have a dream I did awful.  Like double my usual time.  Getting frustrated and driving my car to the finish line, but by the time I parked, got out, and got back on course that stunt ended up killing my time.  So maybe that dream means I'm more nervous than I realize.

      Then again that's also the night I dreamed I had a deflated belly.  Much like Kate Goslin's must have looked after she had her sextuplets. 
    All in all a good week.  No weight loss to report, I haven't been on a scale in 18 days.  My pants don't feel more lose, but I do feel good about where I am. Also I only had 3 cokes last week (counting Wed-Tues as a week.)  I think the less of a deal I make about that, the easier it is to fore go them.  It also helps when I have other options.  Wine, beer, lemonade - anything to give me a break from the same boring water I drink all day.

    How did yall do this week?

    May 17, 2011

    On being critical

    Last week, I have a couple break through posts that I was proud of - they really helped me love myself more.  Hopefully I had something meaningful to say to yall as well.

    As expect, since the first part of my week was one of progression, the second half of the week was spent down in the dumps.  I couldn't find a nice thing to say to myself.  Whenever I would walk by a mirror I would stop, turn sideways and beat myself up over the size of my stomach.

    If I can pause for a side bar, my stomach is my best feature.  No matter how little I weigh, my legs are always large(r proportionally than the rest of my body).  I've got propetual junk in my trunk.

    But my stomach is different.  That's the first place I lose weight, the first place I notice definition when I'm consistant with strength training, and the one body part I wouldn't mind showing off to the world at most any weight.

    Only last week I was bloated and all menstral.  My stomach was huge.  Okay maybe not huge, but much bigger than I ever remember it looking.  Last week was one of the few times in my life I didn't need a belt.  Normally to get pants to fit in the booty/thighs, they are way too large in the waist. 

    People are going to think I'm pregnant.  I thought.  I even dreamed about having a fat stomach with saggy skin.  Nightmare really.

    Thankfully when Aunt Flow packed up and left, so did my pudgy gut.  Not to say I'm back to the rock hard abs of the Super Boo days, but its just a little softy and squish rather than rolling over my pants like they did last week.

    Many of you have told me that I'm too hard on myself.  I know its true, but I don't know how to fix it. 

    Today in the weight room, a good portion of the machines were being used and I had to switch up my rotation in order to get all the different exercises in.  I hopped on the squat rack and loaded up while it was available. 

    Okay so maybe I didn't load up.  I grabbed a couple 10# weights and a couple 5# weights.  (Squatting a total of 70 pounds including the bar.)

    I can't belive she's taking up the squat rack for that pathetic amount of weights.

    She should hurry up and let people use the rack for a real workout.

    Who's she trying to kid?

    Okay so none of the guys in the weight room said these things, but I felt like they were thinking them.  Then I remembered a Bible verse that reminded me why.

    For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  Matthew 7:2

    I hesistate to post blogs like this out of fear that I'll hurt someone's feelings.  The last time I posted about how badly I felt for being judgmental (of the obese woman in the airport) I had a commenter wonder if people thought that when they saw her before a flight.

    I hope yall know my heart.  That I would never say anything to hurt you all.  But this is something I have to get out.  Forgive me?

    The reason that I assume all those people were annoyed with me in the weight room?  Probably because I've felt annoyed at some "lesser" person myself. 

    Like when I want to go for a run, only all the treadmills are taken.  Those people are only walking, you'd think they'd be nice enough to give them up for someone to get a real workout in.

    Oh yes I did.  Thankfully I know how ridiculous these statements are and never let them leave my head until now.

    I promise, when I look at you, I see your sparkling personality, your generous heart, and your best physical features.   But sometimes I look at people (that I don't know) and judge them based on their looks. 

    She must think she's better than everyone - look at how skinny she is and has her head cocked to the side.

    Her thighs are muscular, but I'd be embarrased to post a photo of my leg looking that large.

    This. must. stop.

    I think hope we all unfairly judge to some degree.  Religious stereotypes wouldn't exist otherwise.  Nor would blonde or redneck jokes.  While I'm being honest, please join me.  Do you dismiss someone who has a different accent than you?  Do you prejudge someone driving a fancy sports car?  How do you unfairly judge others?  Also if you've found a way to effectively combat this issue, please let me know in the comments!  Please!

    May 16, 2011

    Weekend Wrap-up

    I had a glorious weekend!  So grand I'm just now getting an opportunity to sit down and blog today.  I need to schedule weekends like this, instead of just waiting for them to happen.

    What we did:

    Friday night we had leftovers for dinner.  We ate on the front porch and just enjoyed the cooler weather.  We chatted about the wedding we'd be invited to, played around on the computer, and just enjoyed one another all evening.  When dark hit we went inside and watched Kick Ass.  I'd only recommend it if you like disturbing violence.  I wasn't a fan.

    Saturday was cleaning day.  Jay called dibs on the washer and dabbled in household projects.  I cleaned and straightened the house, wrapped baby gifts (thanks Marla), played on twitter and facebook. 

    Around 5ish I was done and considering starting the last Michael Crichton novel soaking in the tub.  Then I decided it would be sinful to miss an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather.  Jay was washing his car so I decided to abandon the book idea altogether and wash my car.  It was too late in the day to get the interior, but the outside looks great!

    The NGA Hooters Golf Tournament was near our house, and the course was open to spectators who wanted to walk around and view it so once we finished on the cars Jay and I went for a walk.  The course (and the river) were gorgeous.  I find golf to be boring, but I enjoyed holding hands with my fella.

    I had volunteered to give my testimony Sunday morning in Bible study, so I was sure to be up early enough to be on time for class.  I think I rambled and babbled trying to be as nonspecifically specific as I could be.  The floor was opened to discussion and a few people picked up themes from my testimony and shared about their life as well, so I'm hoping they got something out of it.

    After church Jay & I met my parents for lunch, then we all went and walked the golf course again.  After that Jay & I just watched Eli Stone on Netflix.  We were laying on separate couches and I said "I wish this couch was big enough to hold us both."  Which prompted Jay to pull out the bed from the sleeper sofa so we could snuggle.  We probably watched 6 or 7 episodes.  It felt nice to not have to do anything and just hang out.

    We ended the night Skyping with my sister and her kids.  I love that we've downloaded it.  I'm sure its not high on her fun list to look at me whilst chatting, but I love being able to see the kids.  They like interacting on the web cam far better than they like talking on the phone.

    Look up "perfect weekend" in my dictionary and this is what you find. 

    Did you do anything exciting?

    Disclosure: Amazon Affiliate links included in this post. If you click through to Amazon from Smart + Strong = Sexy, any purchase you make supports this site.

    May 12, 2011

    One of these days...

    ...I'm gonna learn to stop volunteering for things.  Until then, yall get to be my guinea pigs.

    Two Sundays ago, they ask if someone in our Bible study class would be willing to give their testimony this coming Sunday (just to the class - about 20ish people).  Everyone just sat there starring at the Sunday School director like he was an alien, so I volunteered.

    I'm still not sure exactly what I'm going to say, so I thought I'd babble a bit here just to see what it sounds like.

    Here goes...

    I was saved at the age of 8.  My family and I were sitting at home on a Sunday evening watching Dolly Parton's variety show.  I don't remember anything specifically about the show.  Nothing spiritual that got my mind working.

    I just remember feeling an emptiness all of a sudden.  I didn't understand it, but I knew it had something to do with my need for God.  I told my mother and we knelt by my bed to pray the sinner's prayer, then she called our pastor to let him know & to get me on the baptism schedule.

    I wish I could say that was the end of it.   That when I was saved from my sins at an early age I was also saved from a life of rebellion.

    That's just not the case.

    In my mid twenties I had a quarter life crisis.  Seems silly, but I didn't like where I was in life and I blamed God's timing for it all.  "I'll show Him." I thought, and went off on my own. 

    I was the prodigal son, squandering the riches my Father had gave me.    I caused jmyself heartache after heartache, yet stubbornly refused to give up. 

    (Here's the part where I would talk about marrying an unbeliever, and how even though I've been restored, my choice still causes me moments of pain.  But Jay goes to church with  me some and its not my place to discuss his faith with them.  Also its hard to explain how I can be so madly in love with my husband yet still regret that he's not a believer.)

    Unlike the parable, God came after me. 

    Last summer God took away my beloved.  In my quest for happiness and contentment I had began to worship myself.  Dieting and losing that extra pound became my focus.  Training, achieving that next thing, doing it fast than before had become my god.

    Thanks to some random blood work I was diagnosed with anemia and with one flick God knocked down the world I had built for myself.

    It sounds terribly superficial.  It was terribly superficial.

    I felt like I had lost it all.  "But God..." those beautiful words from the Bible.  But God was there to pick me up.  He showed me how silly and meaningless my gods were.  Reminded me how incredible He is. 

    Slowly, I'm learning to turn back to Him.  There are certainly those moments where I bow to the god of the mirror, but like the song says "He's still workin' on me." 

    May 11, 2011

    Just as I am

    If you haven't had a chance to check out yesterday's post check it out.   The long on short of it?

    I LOVE ME!

    I don't think you're an idiot at all. I mean, there are elements of the ridiculous about you. Your mother's pretty interesting. And you really are an appallingly bad public speaker. And, um, you tend to let whatever's in your head come out of your mouth without much consideration of the consequences... But the thing is, um, what I'm trying to say, very inarticulately, is that, um, in fact, perhaps despite appearances, I like you, very much. Just as you are.
    Gotta love Mark Darcy!

    I'm trying to convince myself I'm quite nice, just as I am.  Work in progress, but I do like the progress I've made in the past few days.

    Now time for my check in stuffs.

    May Your Way Challenge

    1. Tracking my exercises in an excel spreadsheet. Marking the completed workouts in purple, the incomplete workouts in tan, abandoned workouts in red. The goal is to complete 85% of all scheduled workouts. That sounds really low, but its only getting to fudge on 5 workouts. I'm going to count incomplete workouts as half a workout.

      I completed 7.5 out of 9 workouts.  (Confused as to the 0.5?  Catch up here.)  My calculator says that's 83% which is close to my goal.  Since the other was missed while in Ohio visiting my MIL for Mother's day, I'm going to round this one up to 8/9 for 88%.

      This goal marked - achieved!
    2. Tracking my food in an excel spreadsheet as well as a printed publisher file. I'm going to plan out my menu for the week, then track how often I follow through. This means no guilt for the Friday fast food with mom. No guilt for going out for BBQ with my love. Shooting for 85% on this one too.

      I ended up following through with 2/3 of my planned meals at 67% completion rate.  Not exactly goal, but over half is a decent start.  This goal marked - meh.
    3. A new 5K PR. In 10 days I'll run in a race that bills its self as "flat." That rarely happens around here. I'm shooting for another PR. Maybe not sub 30, I don't think I've put in the work for that. But definitely below my current PR of 31:35.

      This goal marked - not yet.
    4. Being successful on my 5 weekly goals (which may or may not stay the same through this) 6/7 days of the week. As badly as I hate to admit it, I'm not perfect and expecting 7/7 on all 5 goals just isn't reasonable.

      Since this is "my way" I decided to throw out the tracking daily goals out the window. It started this weekend when I decided not to take my notebook to Ohio, but I still found myself looking out for the things on my list.

      I can't really put into words why this feels right, it just does. So this goal gets marked - achieved!
    5. To sit down at a meal and say "what can I do to make this more healthy?" Maybe its adding strawberries to my cereal. Or opting out of the coke. Or on a bad day saying "no thanks" to the coke refill. Little things. But little things matter.

      This isn't one of those trackable goals I can geek out on and spout percentages on.  Sometimes I do it, sometimes I don't.  The ultimate goal is to make this a way of life.
    I'm feeling pretty good about this past week - despite the Pizza Hut buffet, Pepsi, and Ramen that made up my Monday (thanks for outing me to the Sisterhood yesterday April).

    Hey - it happens.  But it doesn't define me.


    May 10, 2011

    Own It!

    I've had a post floating in my head for several weeks, but just when I think I've got that final piece life blows up in my face.  Maybe this time, even if I don't get to hit "publish" I'll get enough of it down that I'll be that much closer next time.  And almost there the next time.

    I don't like bloggers who seem to have it all together. 

    Its not real. 

    You may be a better couponer than me.

    You may be a faster runner than me.

    You may be a better cook than me.

    In fact, you probably are.  But that doesn't make you better than me.  We all have our struggles.  Some of us are just too more open about our problems in life.  All of that to say, sometimes I figure things out and want to share them with you.  Only I'm afraid of how it would be received.

    If you know me, know my heart, then you know I'm not the girl in love with myself.  I'm not the Barbie who poses that same perfect pose for every picture ever taken.  I'm the girl who wears sweats and flip flops when traveling or shopping because I like to be comfortable.

    At the last Repeat Boutique sale, I noticed that some women were in full make up, wearing nice tops, jeans, and heeled boots. 

    I didn't have a drop of makeup on, and was rocking a fleece and my sketcher mule sneakers.
    (This is a very well thought out look.  Wearing makeup increases the chances of staining clothing as I try on the millions dozens of different items that will be pulled over my head that morning.  The mule sneakers are for comfort as well as dressing room convenience.)

    While standing in line behind these ladies, I felt a twinge of insecurity.  Why couldn't I put together outfits like that?  Why couldn't I be that confident?

    The obvious answer is I could be.  I'm lazy.  Quite possibly the laziest marathon runner in the world.  Grabbing a fleece out of the Tupperware bin doesn't take as much time as putting together a cute outfit. 

    Now I will say that I stand by my Repeat outfits.  I've thought through them logically, but what about the every day.  Why do I wear the outfits I choose to wear?

    I use to have a standard "fat day" outfit - a pair of so-soft-and-comfy-they-felt-like-PJs dress pants paired with a one-size-too-big polo with the company logo. 

    Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago.  I was having a fat day (as has been happening all too often these days), but due to laundry and weight gain issues my pants selection isn't what it use to be.  That morning I opted for a skirt.  Not exactly fat clothes, but A-line skirts fit me great no matter what my size. 

    On my way over to the bowling center to pick up my lunch, I caught a dude checking me out.

    I'm at my heaviest weight ever.  My burger and fries weight.  And some random guy was starring at me.

    Am I the hottest woman on the planet?  Nope.  Skinniest?  Not even close.

    That day I was just a woman who (quickly) put together an outfit that worked well with her body.  I've got runner's calves.  The look great in heels. 

    "Own it." A friend said.

    Know what you've got going for you and work it.

    For me that's A-line skirts and dresses to highlight my XS small top and draw attention away from my trouble spot (thigh area.)

    Also?  I can rock a pair of yoga pants like no body's business.  My legs aren't incredibly huge, just not as firm as I'd like.  Yoga pants do great things for my booty and flatter my legs.

    This post started out of anger at the women who say that men lose interest/stray/cheat because their wives "let themselves go."  Being slow to speak blog is a good thing.  Anger isn't productive.  I just hurt for women who think so little of themselves they think they can't keep their man's attention.

    I'm here to tell you that men find the female body attractive.  Period.  You have something going for you.  Right now I don't have the flat abs I did 15 pounds ago, but now I have a pretty smokin rack. 

    (Did I just blog that?)

    Treat yourself well.  Dress yourself well.  (You don't have to spend a ton of money to do it.)  Find those couple of great things about you and highlight them.

    And OWN IT!

    May 09, 2011

    I'm a Quitter...

    ...and sometimes that's okay.

    I don't mean in a clever "I quit soda" kinda way.  (Cause I didn't.)

    I tried a new class at the gym last week called "Sculptonic".  It was a weights class/dance routine/boot campesque class.

    And I sucked out loud.  5 minutes into the class I was miserable.  Watching the clock every few minutes counting down how much longer I had to endure the torture.  About 20 minutes into the 45 minute class we did mountain climbers as our "power" move.

    As my leg fat was pulled down by gravity, pulling my legs inward became too much for me to mentally take.  Watching your own fat jiggle while feeling like a huge idiot/failure isn't a good combo.

    So I left.  With another 20 minutes left in the class I just walked out.

    At first I considered how it would make the instructor feel, but she's one of the more popular teachers so I convinced myself she'd not be offended.

    I'm here to tell you that walking out was the nicest thing I've done for myself in a really long time. 

    I probably abuse this song.  Its just a fun song about a good excuse for a bar fight, but it really does mean so much more to me.

    You see, last Wednesday I ran out of Aces.  I could have stayed, and drained myself of every self esteem chip I had piled up on the table.  But folding was the right choice.

    Sometimes tracking food, trying to stay "on the wagon", trying to earn a chip - whatever you're putting your effort into - can be too heavy a burden to carry. 

    Folding is okay. 

    Walking away is sometimes necessary.

    Running away is sometimes prudent.

    Take care of yourself above all, and that sometimes means going away from what is best physically and heading to a place that's more healthy mentally.

    Thank you my beautiful readers for putting up with me through thick and thin, and the size 6 in between the two.  I hope to have more glimpses from the road to health and sanity along the way.  Love yall!

    May 06, 2011

    Financial Friday - May kick off!

    Jay and I have gotten May off to a wendy-spend start.  He just bought a Droid (working out cheaper for us than for him to keep his air card and carry his computer around), we went on an impromptu mid-week date, and I got my one big grocery trip out of the way.

    One thing we've decide with our spending money is that if we go over one month, its taken off the top of next month's.  We're already off to a rough start.

    Jay's spending money:  $85 budgeted - $50.75 actuals

    We participated in a gas promotion that BP was running a few months ago and received $40 in gift cards from them this past month.  Jay agreed to take those cards for his spending money and reduce his budget line by as much.  He typically spends most of his money on tobacco, purchased at his favorite BP station (because he buys it there almost daily its perpetually fresh), so its not like he's getting shorted.

    Stopping in a book store with my mom, he found a book that he wanted badly enough to pay full price for, which put a big hit in his personal spending.  No wonder he stole a couple of my beers last night! 

    Brooke's spending money: $125 budgeted - $43.30 actuals

    This includes a race registration, so I haven't eaten that much of my spending money yet!  Although I have purchased drive thru food twice already this month.  In my defense I desperately needed that Dunkin coffee for my sore throat on the way to church Sunday morning.  (No comment on the egg & cheese English Muffin that accompanied it.)

    Jay and I each have accounts that earn 3.75% interest if we have 12 debits a month.  I'm hoping to restart my CVS/Walgreens bargain shopping.  If I can do that, then I will be able to accomplish most of my debits with those purchases and switch to cash only on my personal spending.

    Eating out money: $100? budgeted - $65.45 actuals

    We're running a little behind on getting this month's budget done (and last month's reviewed) that we have set a specific amount on this one.  We did, however, spend all $65.45 in one place.  Jay's been promising me for probably 2 years now that he would take me to the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater here in town, but its just never worked out.

    At the beginning of the week Jay received an email that a local restaurant was giving away free dinner to celebrate their 20% anniversary.  Jay and I planned to go right after work, but by the time we arrived, there was a 2 hour wait to be seated.  We decided that instead of going home and eating sandwiches, we'd finally go see the dinner theater.  The food wasn't all that great but the show was a lot of fun. 

    We normally shoot for a $75 budget.  Since we're only $10 away from that with 3 weeks to go, I suspect we'll have to budget a little more this month.

    Grocery money: $200 budgeted - $131.34 actuals

    Jay wants to replenish our stockpile, so we upped the budget this month.  As with last month, the plan is to only do 1 big trip, followed by smaller weekly trips.  I've already done the big trip (obviously) and around $25 weekly should be enough to grab fresh fruit, veggies, or milk as needed. 

    Also?  I love that my hubby thinks $200 is enough to stockpile groceries.  I also love that in most cases he's right (cause I'm that good at grocery shopping/cooking).

    I want to try and clean the freezer out in the coming few months.  I'd really like to buy a whole cow from a local farmer, and we'd have no where to store it with a freezer full of Lean Cuisine entrees and frozen stir fry veggie blends.  Rather than split the cow with someone, I think we'd be better off selling off parts of it to friends and family a few chunks each. 

    What are your financial goals for the month?  Working on paying down a debt?  Saving up for a new gadget?

    May 04, 2011

    Wednesday Check-in ~ Freestyle version

    Thank you for everyone who gave me helpful feed back on my challenge kickoff post.  If anything that should prove that this isn't your conventional challenge, at least not for me.

    I weighed in on that post and don't plan on getting back on the scale until Tuesday the 31st.  Weighing constantly just doesn't work for me. 

    What does work for me?  Having a friend like Ashley.  She doesn't just let me wallow, but gets straight to the point.  What's the problem and how can we fix it?  Our brains work in similar ways (which should probably scare her), so I'm taking a page out of her book in lining up my goals for the challenge.

    May Your Way Challenge

    1. Tracking my exercises in an excel spreadsheet.  Marking the completed workouts in purple, the incomplete workouts in tan, abandoned workouts in red.  The goal is to complete 85% of all scheduled workouts.  That sounds really low, but its only getting to fudge on 5 workouts.  I'm going to count incomplete workouts as half a workout. 
    2. Tracking my food in an excel spreadsheet as well as a printed publisher file.  I'm going to plan out my menu for the week, then track how often I follow through.   This means no guilt for the Friday fast food with mom.  No guilt for going out for BBQ with my love.  Shooting for 85% on this one too.
      Since I'm doing this my way - I get to insert a floating lunch with my girlfriends at work.  I never know when we're going to get to, but I'm allowing myself one a week.  (I'm loving this my way stuff already!)
      Also?  I'm making a point to be more purposeful with my personal spending money in an effort to combat the random fast food drive thrus.  More to come on that idea on my Friday financial check in.
    3. A new 5K PR.  I'm missing my 5K this weekend because I'm the best daughter-in-law wife in the world.  So I'm pushing my 5K back for another 2 weeks.  This one looks nice.  See where it says "flat"?  That rarely happens around here.  I'm shooting for another PR.  Maybe not sub 30, I don't think I've put in the work for that.  But definitely below my current PR of 31:35.
    4. Being successful on my 5 weekly goals (which may or may not stay the same through this) 6/7 days of the week.  As badly as I hate to admit it, I'm not perfect and expecting 7/7 on all 5 goals just isn't reasonable.
    5. To sit down at a meal and say "what can I do to make this more healthy?"  Maybe its adding strawberries to my cereal.  Or opting out of the coke.  Or on a bad day saying "no thanks" to the coke refill.  Little things.  But little things matter.
    As for my weekly goals - how'd I do?  You ask.  Let's see:

    Read Bible daily
    7/7!  I God Rocks!

    Read for fun daily
    6/7 - Monday was a crazy busy day, so I'm definitely good with this result.

    7/7 - This is the easiest of all the goals for me.

    6/7 - Lunch with friends and dinner out with the hub-sand kept me from working out yesterday.  I'm cool with that.

    3 servings of Veggies & Fruits
    5/7 - Without a doubt my weakest area.  My two days falling short were the weekend and I was on the run (literally and figuratively) all weekend.  So yes, after a day of moving a friend, helping Jay clear out the crawl space and cleaning my entire house I was too exhausted to cook dinner.  Lunch was taco bell and dinner was a can of Chef-Boyardi Sketti & meatballs.  Beans & tomatoes right?  Shoulda had a piece of fruit for breakfast and I would have counted this one.  Even I won't count my grape jelly as a fruit! :P

    Sunday I ran through the Dunkin drive-thru on the way to church (don't worry I got an English muffin - I was really just after the coffee), ate an apple for lunch (heading straight for my long run so I didn't want a heavy stomach) then met my parents for dinner at Fuddruckers.  Sure I could have gotten a salad.  But why?  Their burgers are to die for.  Too bad the cheese dip doesn't count...well for much of anything but calories because I think I ate my weight in that stuff!!

    Depending on how I do on all the areas this week, I'll probably move one or two off and move something else on.  Any suggestions on what could take their place?

    May 03, 2011

    Finding Prince Charming

    With all the talk of the Royal Wedding last week, I was reminded of my own wedding.  Like Wills & Kate - my husband and I were photographed by strangers upon leaving the church.

    Unlike Wills & Kate - the people taking our picture had no clue who we were.  They were just driving around the Cades Cove Loop and caught a glimpse of a gorgeous couple leaving the old timey church.

    We didn't have millions of dollars at our disposal for decorations, but my Father (the King of Kings) made sure the leaves surrounding the church were at their peak - despite it being a couple weeks past their typical prime.

    There was much drama and anticipation leading up to the wedding as well.  Blinding flash bulbs created a traffic jam making me late to the church.  Of course they weren't taking pictures of me at that point, but rather the bear and cubs along the side of the road.

    Causing my father (the earthly one this time) to scream out the window "If you wanna see a bear go to the damn zoo!"  Shortly before my mother made him slow down so that we, too, could get a picture of the bears.

    My dress wasn't anything special.  No figurines (that I know of at least) have been made of me in the dress.  It was even on sale - an old sample altered to fit my body.  The fact that it cost less than a lot of prom dresses, looked great on my figure, and fit the look of the church made it perfectly special to me.

    I had no official ladies in waiting to attend to me and carry my train (after all it wasn't all that long), but some incredible women step up when we realized we'd forgotten the pesky little "who's gonna cut the cake" detail. 

    I also had 3 incredible women by my side through it all.  Heck I even had a Princess in my bridal party!

    Sometimes life is hard. The real world reaches up and smacks us in the face.  Or throws us a curve ball.

    Its nice knowing that at the end of the day, I get to go home to a great guy.  He may not always understand my quirks, but he loves me.  His quirks may frustrate the dickens out of me, but I can gaze into his eyes and see his love for me.

    Also?  Its nice knowing that we've got a great support system standing behind us.  With divorce so common these days, we found ourselves being the only couple we knew who had both sets of parents still happily married.

    One day soon - I have to tell yall the story of the father/daughter dance.  Along with the one about the grass from the grassy knoll.  Let's just say I'm not winning any "daughter of the century" awards. 

    What was the most memorable (and fun) part of your wedding??

    May 02, 2011

    I have all these thoughts in my head.  I hope to get them out there in a somewhat coherent way. 

    Yesterday I had a kick ass run on the treadmill.

    I learned all kinds of goodies about myself that made me feel incredible.  I made good choices, I proved I could do it...yada yada and all that inspiring stuff.  I had a wonderful idea for a post.  Only...

    Yesterday evening I saw a picture that sent me into a tailspin. 

    It was a model in a bikini.

    My first thought?  Man that's disgusting.  She looks ill.

    My second thought?  I'm a cow.  (April has seriously restricted the words I can use to personally insult myself.  Basically as I come up with one, she bans it from my vocabulary.)

    All of a sudden whatever victory I'd acheived on the treadmill vanished.  Then again only in my world is running a 10:30 m/m pace a victory.  Thus the downward spiral began.

    While sleep always helps these things, today I'm still left processing it all.  When I first logged onto twitter this morning I noticed that Ryan on his "No More Bacon" blog posted this.  

    But then of course, I can't help but hear the voice of my friend in the back of my head who, upon hearing about Operation Beautiful, proclaimed that the project must have been started by some fat chick who was just trying to make herself feel better.  (I post this knowing full well this not to be the case, but the idea sticks with me.)

    Also in my head?  Trying to come up with my starting post for the new Sisterhood challenge. 

    May Your Way Challenge

    I've decided to do a weigh in to start and one to finish - with none in between.  The result of getting on the scale today?  I'm at 138.8 - the highest number I've ever seen on the scale.  I'm supposed to come up with some challenges for myself and goals I want to reach through the challenge and I'm struggling.

    What I want? 

    To weigh 115 pounds
    To like the way I look in the mirror
    To easily run a sub 10 m/m
    To believe my husband when he says he likes my body
    (he's a salesman - his job is to tell people what they wanna here - I can promise I'm not his "type")

    None of those are realistic. 

    How do I begin to build goals that motivate me.  Sure I could say "to lose 3 pounds for the challenge".  But honestly 135 doesn't look all that much different, so what's the point?

    These feelings are getting jumbled with thoughts for a post I had about loving yourself as you are (ha!) and dressing your body so you feel and look great. 

    I don't know how to end this post.  I quite obviously don't have the answers.  So I'll end with a prayer. 

    I was chatting with a friend several days ago and she was telling me that while she's been recovered from an ED for several years, she still battles some worries regarding her disorder.  I promised to pray for her.  In my regular prayer time, but also when I struggle with body image issues of my own.  I figured that way she'd really get bathed in prayer! 

    Dear Lord,

    Please be with her right now.  You know her thoughts better than even she does.  You know where she needs to be for optimal health.  Take her hand and guide her there. 

    Be with everyone reading this prayer, that they might use their bodies in a way that spreads your love to others and brings You glory.

    In Christ's name ~ Amen