Thursday, August 22, 2013

get up off my a$$ and....change!

for awhile i've been posting here and there about my weight loss journey on facebook; never on this blog. and for a 14-year recovering anorexic/bulimic, this post is hard to reveal numbers and details of my up-and-down weight struggle.

but sometimes we have to do hard things...

in my life, i've been really thin and i've been obese. and last year after i had back surgery, my doctor told me to pick another form of exercise, instead of running, to lose weight. "it's bad for your back, your knees, and your whole body," he said.

let's be clear; i LOATHE running. i really, really hate it. but it's the one way i know to drop weight. and i've started training for my huge BUCKET LIST item -- TO COMPLETE A HALF MARATHON before conceiving each of my 3 children. each and every time i had to stop training due to the high risk factors of my pregnancies.


(dang hills and all!)
and you know what is so cool?? JUNE 1, 2014 will be my 15th year of deliverance from a life-altering and life-threatening eating disorder.

My heaviest, at 205 lbs, the day I delivered Morgan, Oct. 17, 2011.

with Ken gone to Afghanistan last year and my back surgery in April '12, which practically eliminated working out except swimming and walking, i tried to eat healthy and i started losing weight. after all, what's sexier than losing some LBS when my man walked off that plane from war? and please don't get my wrong, Ken LOVES me any size. he truly does. he has seen me (and loved me) in 7 different sizes. SEVEN! and he has always told me i'm sexy at all of those sizes. but i wanted to do something for myself.

i NEEDED to prove to myself i could get up off my ass and make a change.

the pain i was in for a year post back surgery, up until this past April, was 100% real and physically limiting. and it sure was a good excuse to be lazy and large. even though i dropped down to 169 pounds when Ken came home from Afghanistan in Nov '12, i packed on 15 pounds over the winter months. i stopped eating hummus and carrots for dinner and actually cooked and barely exercised, and boom, i'm back up to 184 pounds in Jan '13.

i got just enough mad at myself this past february that i decided to do something about it. plus, all these freakin' people in san diego are SKINNY!!! (totally unhealthy mindset, but seriously a motivator! always honest on this blog.)

i joined weight watchers and this time i went to meetings. (before my wedding i did WW online to lose 25 pounds). the night before i joined WW in february, i took myself out on a solo date night and ate a crazy huge 4-course italian dinner. i gained 2 pounds just that night. no joke.

my starting weight in WW...186 in early Feb. '13

i learned a lot at meetings and i felt like i was back in high school. this time though, competing with myself. every week, i wanted to get on that scale and lose 1-2 pounds. slow and steady is the name of the game.

Me on Aug 17, 2013 at 162 pounds

as of last week, i have lost 24 pounds in 6.5 months, now weighing 162 pounds. my goal weight is 140, and i sure as heck don't care about the numbers. i just know that my 5' 6" frame is comfortable in size 6/8 clothes and that's what it'll take to get there.

this morning when the girls were just sitting down to eat and Ken was leaving for work, he came over to hold our hands and pray for our day. our routine: ken prays, then i pray, and the girls smile and giggle. kennedy's not a morning person like her mama, so i pray with her about her day later. :) morgan prays we'll give her back her bobby (aka paci).

today, ken left and swatted me on the butt and said, "hot mama."

and you know what, i felt proud of my hard work.

it's not easy being a mom, a wife, making new friends in a new city, and launching a business. but i have said yes to myself - to have the time to exercise, to pray, and to see change in myself physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally.

sure i have more work to do, but i've lost 43 pounds in 22 months through having a baby, being limited in exercise for 1 year due to back surgery, weight watchers, and now...really exercising; really pushing myself.

today at the YMCA i ventured into an intermediate/advanced class called body sculpt. let's just settle on the fact it needs to be renamed "advanced/bad-ass advanced level." i should have known i was going to be near death when the instructor, Kelly, introduced herself to me the newbie, and said it was a "drill style class at your own pace."

s&%t. what have i gotten myself into?

in the first 5 minutes, i was introduced to 20 burpees. this is an exercise from the devil. i'm sure of it.

i tried not to throw up. burpees then jumping jacks and then push-ups. we did as many as we could: 20 burpees, 10 jumping jacks and 10 push-ups for 5-8 mins. i lost track. and, this was called the "warm up." crap, i'm in real trouble here.

during this "warm up" people were talking and when there was a break in the conversation, i made sure everybody in the class knew i had NOT done this style of class since my instructor, Sarah Hart kicked my butt in Crete, Greece in Mar '09. FOUR, AND SOME CHANGE, YEARS PEOPLE! i hired her to help me lose the obvious baby weight after losing matthew phillip, and dang, she was good. this instructor, Kelly...i just knew, she was that good too.

10:10am: doing lunge things that made my legs shake, i begged God to move the clock to 10:55am fast.
10:15am: the hell with real push ups, i'm dropping to my knees.
10:20am: great, i'm now a full 3-4 mins behind the last person in the class.
10:22am: no wonder all these women are keeping up; i've got 25 pounds on the heaviest gal in here.
10:25am: Jesus, if you will create a power outage, i will give all my money to starving children in Africa.
10:28am: i don't make much $; but please for the love, POWER. OUTAGE. NOW!
10:30am: realizing i've fallen 5-6 mins behind and pains thoughout my entire body, i'm now doing plank things on a ball and lifting weights into the air. but i still...keep pushing myself. who cares if i keep having to ask "ok, what's next?" the girl next to me is at least 4 sets/exercises ahead of me and she can't remember what i'm to do next. awesome.
10:31am: a woman walks by with a newborn and Kelly, the instructor, goes over there. THANK YOU JESUS. i need water. i need to breathe.
10:32am: please Lord, have Kelly hold that baby and get some sweet baby love. I. NEED. A. LONGER. BREAK.
10:33am: she's back, so i'm back. great. but no way am i cutting corners. is that girl really 7 sets ahead of me?
10:34am: Lord, can you strike Kelly down, dead?
10:35am: how many of these? in plank position, my arms are now swaying back and forth like the pirate ship ride at the fair. my arm's gonna snap any minute.
10:37am: Jesus, i lost my mind a couple minutes ago asking if you would kill Kelly. just kill me. but also, break her arm so she can't keep pushing us??
10:40am: i keep pushing myself, so red in the face and dizzy, i think, i don't need a power outage...i'm just gonna pass out and wake up to somebody doing mouth-to-mouth on me.
10:50am: Kelly yells, "WAY TO GO CORTNEY!" as i finally finish my set and head out the door for a run down the hall, about 5 minutes behind the last person.
10:51am: let's face it; if she hadn't given me a shout-out, i would have punched her in the face.
10:53am: i get back from the short run thinking, whew, i made it. it's O-V-E-R and i'm A-L-I-V-E. then i entered the studio and saw people on balls against the wall doing more push ups. FOR. THE. LOVE. isn't this class over at 10:55?
10:59am: I FINISH! and multiple people told me how proud they were i hung in there and finished without cheating. i smiled and barely said thank you. ('cause give me a break ladies, on that last set, i did 12, not 15. i live by grace!)

after class i got to talk to a girl who has had 4 knee surgeries. she was told not to run again and got up to 203 pounds. she's maybe a buck fifteen now and has ran 20-something half's and 1 full. way to go, Joann! after i came to, from my out-of-body experience, where i lasted 59 minutes, doing God-knows-what to my body in that "intermediate" class, i thanked Kelly and asked, "when's the next class?"

Tuesday? i'll be there.

note the super-red face and yes, the blonde behind me is Kelly. Jesus did not break her arm during class.

i don't think i've completely unpacked all that that class has done for me. but i know it has made me stronger physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.


when i set out this morning i said to Jesus, surprise me with something cool and unexpected today.


what is it you find to be impossible in your life? do you need to challenge yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually, and/or mentally?
always remember that striving and struggle precede success, even in the dictionary.
- Sarah Ban Breathnach
p.s. this is a 2 or 3 part post. tomorrow i'll be writing about thyroid disease and how i've had it for a long time, but only diagnosed just a few months ago.

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