Friday, June 10, 2011

{not alone}

I sat down with the intention of writing a run-down of the ridiculous (albeit, not surprising) situations I have found myself in over the past 2 weeks.

But every time I tried to type something, something else stole my focus.

Really, just one something else.

About a month ago I shared the journey I had embarked on- the path to a healthier me. I started with a big goal, with a bunch of smaller goals along the way. Admittedly, I was doubtful. I wasn't sure I'd reach my overall goal or even my first little goal. I thought, I have carried this baby weight around for so many years, what if this is who I am now? I knew I was done with the lifestyle I HAD been living, but wasn't sure I'd ever get to the ME I wanted to be.

I started anyway, in mid-March. I first cut my calories, down to about 1500 or less (I am still breastfeeding), and a commitment to exercise every day, for at least 30 minutes. We have had an exercise bike for a while, so that was what I started with. I built myself up to an hour, in 5 minute increment boosts. In a month of doing that, I shed about 14 lbs.

But it got boring. As I was researching elliptical machines on craigslist, my friend Wendy heard me talking about it and said I could use their elliptical because it was just sitting in storage. Score! So I switched to that. I also incorporated 20 minutes of crunches, behind lifts, reverse push ups, and squats. Another month down, another 16 lbs gone, making my total loss around 28.

And then that got a little boring. (In all of this, I only took maybe 3 or 4 days off of exercise. I was scared to take rest days because I did not want to fall off the wagon.) Right about that time, I got an email w/ pics from one of my favorite old friends and saw that she looked ripped. The kind of leanness and tone, that I literally said WOW out loud. So I asked, and she pointed me to The Shred dvd.

I have been doing the DVD for 6 days now, and I have already dropped 3.8 lbs. I love it. It is ridiculously challenging (I seriously fell on my face during the 2nd interval of push ups on the first day), my inner ear is even sweating, it  tones muscle groups that cardio was not reaching, and that I was only putting a dent in before, since I was not using weights. IT KICKS MY (slowly shrinking) TUSH!

Right now, I am almost 34 lbs down. I have a ways to go. But I am starting to believe that I will get there.

The thing is, I have not gotten here alone. I see women all over the place walking this same walk. All sized women, with completely different goals, but all of them plugging away. Some are mothers, some have not yet had babies. Some are trying to get to a certain size, some are trying to get back to a certain weight, some are trying to get definition in their arms and legs, and some are just trying to not be winded when they have to chase their toddlers. But all of these women, coming from different places, and doing it in different ways, are DOING IT.

It is the most amazing motivation. They have been my greatest source of encouragment and empowerment.

My husband being gone during all of this is both wonderful and awful. Wonderful because it is such a push to wow him the day he steps off the helicopter. It is an incredible motivation knowing that the wife he left is long gone, and the wife he will come home to is getting smaller and healthier every day. But it is awful, too. He is my biggest supporter. He is who sees me every day. He would be the one to help me, to tell me what I need to hear when I am wanting to just take a nap.  He said something today while we were chatting online that blew me away and brought tears to my eyes. I sent him an email with a picture of what I looked like when he left, and I what I look like now. I guess he never saw it. So as tactfully and lovingly as he could, he was trying to let me know that he hadn't seen the difference as much until I sent him that email. He never saw me that way, he just saw Shannon, his wife. But now that he sees it, he couldn't stop telling me how proud he was of me. On a day where I was wondering if the difference is even obvious, it was all I needed to hear. He made me feel wonderful. And he also made me want to add 5 minutes to the elliptical tonight :)

To all of the women plugging away at this, YOU BLOW ME AWAY! You honestly BLOW ME AWAY! It is hard. And there are so many other things I would like to be doing most days. And counting calories and watching what you eat can feel like such a punishment when you see pictures of friends diving into cake and ice cream. It is HARD. But that will just make the end results even sweeter! Sweeter than any bowl of ice cream could taste!

To my friends who inspire me, who cheer me on, who motivate me, who push me to stick to the course, who give me tips, who pat me on the back- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Sarah, Elena, Sherri, Jenni, Angie, both Carrie's, Annette, Michele, Kacie-- you guys are amazing! And to my husband, who is amazing and loves me regardless of the number on the scale and makes me feel beautiful every day, I love you more than all the ice cream in the world times 10 plus 7.

the email pictures I sent (that I cannot believe I am sharing with blogland)


still a ways to go. sorry for the cell phone pic and the messy room!

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