Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dear Frustrated: Part 1

At least once a week I receive a private message from one of my many girlfriends on Facebook.  Most generally, in the body of the letter, I find hints of where I used to be.  I can feel the desperation and the frustration in the words on my screen.  The words I read are ones that many of us have thought or spoken, and the letters could easily be signed "Sincerely, 'Frustrated.'"  Over and over, I read comments such as:


... "my weight hasn't budged" ... "I'm at an all-time high and am so ashamed" ... "I HAVE to get my weight under control or I'll die of embarrassment" ... "I've tried and failed twice at Weight Watchers and once with Atkins because I feel so limited" ... "I feel like you felt, the biggest girl in the room that will never lose weight" ... "HELP!!!!" ... "What is your secret?" ... "I have let myself go and in the worse possible way" ... "I need someone to poke me in the butt and make me do it" ... "I tried to cut out carbs, but that lasted about four hours; everything has carbs in it" ... "Can you help me with my struggle?" ... "Portion control is a battle" ... "What did you do to kick start your workout routine?" ... "If you have any secrets or anything that would be helpful please let me know" ... "I am ashamed of how I look" ... "I start to count my calories ... but then I feel like I mess up and I quit" ... "I am trying to lose weight, but it is so hard to stay motivated" ... 


I most generally am able to reply to each individual in a timely manner, often beginning with "There is no secret, just a lot of hard work and healthy eating...", but I got to thinking about all of the other women who are struggling, who are beating themselves up on a daily basis, and haven't had the courage to ask for help.  So what I want to offer you now, is some advice, some encouragement, and a few tips that I have found helpful along my journey.  I am hoping that this particular set of posts will be a tool that I can use to reach several of you at once, though I still welcome any questions or personal requests for encouragement from each and every one of you.

*Just in case any of you decide to take my advice: Please remember that you should always consult your doctor before embarking on your healthy living journey.  I am not, and do not claim to be, a dietitian or personal trainer.  I do, however, know what has worked for me, and have had ample experience with the methods that don't work.*

Dear 'Frustrated': Part 1

- First and foremost, do not be ashamed of how you look.  Believe me, I know what it is like to feel ashamed of your body.  I get it.  But, with everything you have inside, try to change your mind about yourself.  Instead of hating your body, try to view it as a gift -- a beautiful vessel in which you were given to live in during your time on this green planet we call home.  I read a quote somewhere that said something to the effect of, "Love and respect your body.  You cannot, and will not, love and care for something you hate."


- Stop it with the "thinspiration" crap.  Do you hear me?  NOW (you better believe that I pulled my mommy voice out for that one)!  Staring at digitally edited images of malnourished models will not help you.  Because, real life doesn't look at all like Photoshop land.  Your body will always look like your body; only in smaller or larger versions.  Can you create muscle definition and a smaller waistline?  Absolutely.  However, if you were born with the genetics to have strong meaty thighs (like myself), your thighs will always be a larger than your best friend with the chicken-legs.  Sometimes it sucks, but it's genetics.  Your body was designed purposefully for you, from your hairline, to your nose, all the way down to your hips and ankles.  The sooner you understand and accept this, the sooner you will be able to more aptly care for your body.  Theodore Roosevelt said, "Comparison is the thief of joy."  Thanks, Teddy, I couldn't have said it better myself.

- Stop dieting.  The reason that people fail at diets over and over and over and over again is because diets don't work.  They might produce results for a short amount of time, but, most generally, diets are not maintainable.  And, most of the time, they aren't healthy.  It is unhealthy to cut out all of your carbs.  It is ridiculous to stop eating fruit.  It is horrible (in every sense of the word) to starve yourself.  It is mentally unhealthy (in my opinion) to have to obsess over calculating points all day every day.


- Forget about diet pills, weight loss pills, magic serums, wonder wraps, or super sprinkles.  I hate weight loss products more fiercely than I hate the HCG diet (and that's an awful lot).  They aren't good for you.  When you rev up your metabolism for a short period of time, you are only setting yourself up for a serious crash as soon as you cease taking whatever product you have chosen.  The weight will come back, tenfold.  I promise you.  But more than that, most weight loss products are highly dangerous.  Most are not regulated by the FDA, and many of them contain unsafe ingredients in dangerous amounts.  Even the all natural varieties can have severe side-effects.  For example, my Aunt Caroline suffered from a stroke, followed by an early death, due to a diet pill that was deemed safe and effective.  I cannot understand how these weight loss supplements are being legally distributed.


- Get off that stupid scale.  Throw it out the window.  Your weight does not define you!  All of us, from time to time, can get bullied by the numbers that we see on the scale.  Remember that the number on the scale does not accurately reflect what is happening on the inside of your body (we'll dive deeper into this later), especially if you are working hard to build muscle.  If you must insist on continuing to weigh in, then limit it to once a week (shoot for the same day of the week, at the same time each time -- ie: every Monday morning after breakfast but before your workout).  My heart broke recently when a close family member told me that she weighs herself three times -- daily.  There is no reason at all to even go near your scale that often.


- Stop waiting for next month, New Years, Lent, Monday, the lunar eclipse, after this sports season, your birthday, vacation, etc. to start your journey to healthy living.  You can start right now -- right at this very moment.  If you keep putting off your health, one of two things will happen.  You will either A) binge and be lazy until your start day and then fail, or B) continue to push off your start day until you stop even considering a healthier lifestyle.  I know that I sound like an overly enthusiastic motivational speaker when I say this, but now is the time.  I really believe this.  Today is your day.
Stay tuned for Dear Frustrated: Part 2; where we will discuss the specifics of healthy eating.  In the meantime...
Be healthy.  Love yourself.  And thank you for keeping me In Good Company.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Skinny of It

I am not proud to admit this, but, I often consider the possibility of plastic surgery.  I do.  Not on my face -- I am not very keen on the duck-lipped-trout-mouth look.  But I consider it on the rest of my body.  Recently someone said to me, "You must just love your new body!"  I laughed and told her that I liked it okay clothed, but not at all naked.  Then I said, "but I'm clothed a lot more often than I'm naked anyway, so I suppose that's okay."

But is it really?  I have told you over and over again to love your body, to love yourself, to love where you are at today, to see your body as a wonderful vessel that carries you through life.  But, secretly, I often hate what I see in the mirror.  Don't get me wrong, I certainly hate it considerably less than I used to.  But when I get out of the shower and stare at myself, hate still hangs in the air.

There are days that I would love to be able to waltz into the office a plastic surgeon, hand him my neatly typed list of flaws, and say "Fix me."  On that list he would see: stretch marks from navel to knees, cankles, saggy boobs, excess skin on stomach.  And maybe a few more -- it would depend greatly on my mood when the list was created.

I often joke about my flaws, mostly because it makes them much easier to endure.  "I think I will just staple my boobs to my earlobes," I might say.  Someone told me once that I had a great memory, and without thinking I said, "An elephant never forgets."  After seeing a KIA commercial during the Superbowl, I told my husband, "I think I'll wear that outfit and then I can have a cute little skin ponytail hanging out that front hole."  And just today in Crossfit, when we were practicing hand stands, one of my friends tucked my shirt in for me when I was upside down so that I wouldn't flash the world.  "It's like the maid-of-honor charging the bride," she said.  "More like sister-of-honor tucking the fat," I responded.
KIA girl.
I am mean to myself, and I know it.  Really mean.  If I had a friend treat me the way I treat myself, she wouldn't be my friend for very long.  But I can't seem to make myself stop.  Maybe it's because I'm practically a professional at cutting myself down, or maybe it's because my flaws bother me a lot more than I care to admit.  I want you to love yourself, I really do.  I want you to believe all those things about loving yourself for where you are at today, and more than anything, I want to lead you by example.  But I also want to be honest with you.

I want you to know that sometimes I care about my weight more than I thought I did.  After coming back from Las Vegas I was terrified to get on the scale.  Terrified.  I was certain that those big meals and sugary frozen drinks would haunt me by way of pounds.  I say weight doesn't matter, but in the back of my mind, it only doesn't matter when I'm not gaining.  It shouldn't matter.  I should only care about getting stronger, faster, and more confident.  And I do care about those things.  I love seeing my performance improve in CrossFit and Yoga.  But, sometimes I also care about that stupid scale.  I advised a family member to throw her scale out the window because that number doesn't matter, but I felt a little like a hypocrite because I care about it too.  I freaked out when the scale went up three pounds recently during a menstrual cycle (I don't actually menstruate because of my PCOS, but I still have bloating and cramping).  I was able to talk myself off the ledge by reminding myself I was just retaining water because being a woman sucks sometimes. 

I hate it.  I don't want to care about the scale, I don't want to hate my flaws.  But I also don't want to gain weight.  And I don't want my stomach to look like a wrinkly deflated balloon and feel like a bowl of mashed potatoes.  I recently got upset because a friend from my gym had decided to quit CrossFit because she had gained weight.  She was very small framed and quite thin.  "You have to gain muscle to lose fat," I explained to her.  "I don't care, I just want to lose pounds," she said.  I was so irritated that I couldn't get through to her.  But it is easy for me to feel that way because I started out big.  It wouldn't have made sense for my body to gain much weight first.  I began my journey with virtually no muscle mass, and huge amounts of fat.

Don't get me wrong, I am proud of what I have accomplished thusfar.  I am proud that I have lost 94 lbs.  I am proud that my infamous pink pants are now merely a skirt with flair.
June 2011
September 2011
March 2012
But still, this week I was on the verge of a panic attack at the thought of trying on bathing suits.  I was almost in tears when I tried on 'skinny jeans' for the first time (I had always been certain they would look terrible on me).  Lord knows I wouldn't have bought them without the assurance of my ultra stylish future sister-in-law.  But then I was terrified to actually wear them out.  I did it, but I was terrified.
No longer a skinny jeans virgin.
I am proud that I look totally different than I did on last year's trip to Vegas.  And I'm proud that this year's trip didn't revolve totally around going to Serendipity 3; I was actually more concerned about finding a gym in which I could do a CrossFit WOD.  In fact, this year, I was even able to stick with my Lenten sacrifices of soda and sweets -- without cheating.
Vegas: August 2010

Vegas: March 2011
Vegas: March 2012
But is that enough?  It depends on how you look at it.  Losing weight, by itself, isn't going to make me happy.  Losing pounds isn't going to miraculously start making me treat myself kindly.  Buying a size 10 instead of a size 20 isn't going to create world peace.  I have to do all of that -- well, maybe not the world peace part.  I have to start making me be nice to myself, I have to start making myself be happy with my body, or it will never be enough.
 
Recently I was talking to someone about my weight loss and they asked me, "So when is enough enough?"  I responded that my ultimate goal is 150 pounds, but that might not be totally obtainable.  I explained that my doctor said a healthy weight for my height and frame is between 150 and 160.  I also said that I would be totally find staying at 165, especially due to the amount of muscle I now have on my body (after all Body Composition is MUCH more important than Body Mass Index <BMI>), but that I would really really like to get to 157, because it would be super cool to be able to say that I have shed 100 pounds.  And that would be enough.  Honestly.  I have been at a place where there was no such thing as too thin, but that's an exceptionally miserable place to be.  I know that skinny does not equal beautiful.  Strong is beautiful.  Muscle definition is sexy.  Healthy is gorgeous.  And most importantly, confidence makes you a knock-out.
 
So will I ever actually get plastic surgery?  I honestly don't know.  I keep hoping that the skin on my stomach will eventually realize that it's not going to fill back up with fat and then shrink; and that my boobs will magically perk back up.  The stretch marks I can live with (they are, after all, my blue ribbons from God for earning the title 'Mommy').  And, more than likely I would have been stuck with the cankles anyway.
 
Be healthy.  Love yourself for where you are at today -- and I will try my best to do the same.  Thank you for keeping me In Good Company.

Viva Las Vegas

Yesterday, we returned home from a long weekend in Las Vegas.  I always enjoy visiting Las Vegas, but find that what I enjoy even more is coming home.  As you might expect, there is no shortage of craziness in Sin City; and I tend to prefer my quiet life in Kansas.  This trip was the second in what has now surely become an annual tradition of visiting gambling central during the first two rounds of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament (click here to read about our last trip).  I don't gamble; my husband, however, loves betting on the basketball games and playing Craps.  The possibility of getting nothing for my money does not appeal to me.  I don't understand table games, and I don't enjoy watching my money slide into a slot machine, not knowing if it will ever return.
Not so sure about that....
Shopping, on the other hand, is something I can get excited about.  Not only because Las Vegas has super outlet malls (I love getting bargains on good quality merchandise), but also because I am running out of clothes that fit.  Before we left, I was down to only one pair of jeans (and no other bottoms besides exercise pants), and had a pretty slim selection in the shirt department.  Because it's easy to get out of hand -- especially on vacation -- my husband and I each had an allotted amount of cash to spend.  This worked out well for me, not so much for the hubby.  Generally, he has Lady Luck on his side, but unfortunately for him, Vegas wasn't very kind this year (I guess the Rain Man formula didn't work out so well).
On our flight to Las Vegas (I may look happy, but I was pretty peeved that
the FSA lady threw away some of my hair product -- she did allow my protein powder
to go through, though, so I guess that's something).

My husband with his bet sheets for the Sportsbook at The Mirage.
Another thing that excited me about this trip was that I knew I would get to spend time with Andi, my future sister-in-law (which isn't something that I get to do all that often).  She is marrying my husband's brother, and I couldn't have hand-picked a better wife for him.  We both were warned that we would not see much our better halves in Vegas, so we would have to be self-reliant (fine by me, I was armed with cash and ready to go).  We walked the strip, found the mall (I bought a new pair of Tom's and some running shorts), and then found ourselves comfortably seated at the bar at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville.  I know, I gave up sweets and soda for Lent, but it was firmly decided (by way of my sister, sister-in-law, and CrossFit sisters) that margaritas are not, in fact, soda OR sweets.  Phew!  We started with delicious frozen strawberry margaritas.

We were enjoying our drinks when a couple of gentlemen squeezed in next to us at the bar.  They were probably in their late 40's, and hilarious.  This is the conversation that followed (I can't remember their names, and one barely spoke, so they shall be known as "guy").

Me: Would you like us to scoot down a chair so you have more room?
Guy: I think we're fine.  Actually, I want you to scoot down four chairs.  You can't sit by us.
Me: Sorry.  One is all I'm offering and now I'm not moving.
Guy: You need to go sit across the bar.  I don't like you're attitude.
Me: I've been told that before, and I'm fine with it.
Guy: *Laughing*  You girls are alright.

After we laughed some more and discussed where we were all from, what we did for a living, kids' names, etc., they asked if we would drink some margaritas if they ordered a Margarita Tower.  We both let them know that we were fine ordering our own drinks.

Guy: Well we're ordering one, and it makes ten drinks, and we're not manly enough to finish the whole thing.  If you had margaritas in front of you, would you drink them?

We told them yes and thank you.  The bartender passed out cups of ice with salted rims.

Guy: That's all you get.
Me: Salt on the rocks?
Guy: Yep.
Me: That's fine.  This will help me out.  I've been trying to work on retaining water lately.

After the Margarita Tower was gone, they went on their way and we stayed with our rears firmly planted on our bar stools and decided to split a sandwich for lunch.  Andi and I discussed going to a club but quickly decided against it (because clubs are always way too loud, way too crowded, and way too expensive -- and we don't dress like the girls who get in for free).
With our frozen strawberry margaritas.  When we asked the bartender to take our picture,
he said "I would love to but I left my camera at home."

The Margarita Tower.
I don't drink liquor on a regular basis (mostly just on special occasions and at my monthly CrossFit Girls Night Out), so lunch was promptly followed up with a nice long nap.  Later we picked up the guys at the Sportsbook and headed out for dinner at Bahama Breeze.

The next morning Andi joined me at one of the many YMCA's in Las Vegas for a grueling CrossFit WOD.  You may remember a while back a workout named "Karen" (150 wall ball shots) that almost broke me.  This particular WOD was "Karen" plus some.  I was incredibly anxious about doing this workout again (I'm not sure that Andi knew how tough the wall ball shots actually are).  But, I selected a ball two pounds heavier than the one I used last time, and I did it!  I was faster, stronger, and I didn't cry at all!  Andi did great, too -- she even beat my score.  I think I may have converted her into a CrossFitter (even if her leg muscles were in knots the rest of the trip).  Then we were off to the outlet mall for some serious shopping.
Medicine Balls + Sweat
After we decided that there was nothing left to buy, we dropped our goodies at our hotels and headed back Margaritaville for round two of frozen strawberry deliciousness; plus chips, salsa, and guacamole.  When our bellies couldn't hold any more goodness, we moseyed across the street to the sportsbook at The Mirage, where the guys were quickly becoming a permanent fixture.
They were hard to spot from afar because there were 300
men in the room who all looked the same from behind.

At The Mirage

I was lucky enough to get to hang out with my old friend, Shellie, for a few hours.
The next morning was St. Patrick's Day.  As you can imagine, a holiday that includes green beer makes Las Vegas visitors even crazier.  At breakfast the waiter told me that I was going to be in trouble because I wasn't wearing green.  "I didn't pack anything green.  And I was hoping to get pinched," I told him.  Afterwards, we opted to go down to Old Vegas (Fremont Street).  This was my first time ever to take a taxi (if, of course, you don't count airport shuttles and the cycle rickshaw in Charleston).  So as not to disappoint, we met our fair share of wild people on Fremont as well (including an incredibly intoxicated girl who was buying drinks with the money her husband gave her to get her nails done -- she couldn't remember where her car was but knew she had to drive to Oklahoma that same day).  There were a few live bands that seemed to keep large groups of drunk people entertained for short periods of time.  During one song, the singer shouted out "One hundred dollars!  Two hundred dollars!  Three hundred dollars!"  I looked at my husband and said "Listen honey, she's counting off all the money you've lost."  I was immediately the proud recipient of the death glare.  I suppose it was too soon for him to find humor in the situation...
The hostess at this restaurant was not impressed with me...
... but the statue said she liked my moves.

I am really disappointed that I look like Sloth from The Goonies here,
mostly because I had to pay these girls to take a picture with me.

Hanging out in a casino on Fremont - a nice lady gave me some green beads.
Kansas girls.
My husband and I left Fremont and went back to the outlet mall so he could get some shirts.  While he was in the fitting room at Hurley, I was browsing and apologized to a fellow shopper for being the way of her reflection in the mirror.  "You're okay," she said "I can see through your arms."  "That's good," I told her "I've been working on my invisibility."  "I can tell," she laughed.

We made our way back to the hotel (in what we overheard locals calling a storm, but was actually a heavy drizzle) in order to clean up for our date night (I made him promise to take me to one show while there).  We tried a Brazilian steakhouse for dinner (loved it -- except for the plantains... what the hell are those nasty things?), and then watched The Beatles: LOVE by Cirque du Soliel.  This was our third time seeing a Cirque du Soliel performance (we have previously seen Mystere and Zumanity), and, as always, it was AMAZING.  I am telling you, they never disappoint.  I would love to see all of their shows (with the exception of the Chris Angel one -- he scares me a little).
Outside the theater.


The groovy dude taking tickets.

LOVE

Inside the theatre.  Before the show had started...
Right before I got in trouble for taking a picture inside the theatre.
Exhausted from the hubbub of Las Vegas, and knowing we had to be up early to get to the airport, we headed back to our hotel room to call it a night.  Our flight and drive home were uneventful, and we arrived at our quiet house tired and mildly dehydrated (making CrossFit extra tough this morning).
Flight back to Kansas
My parents graciously offered to keep our son and pooch while we were gone, plus a few extra days.  We decided that the dog will probably be more excited to see us, since the little guy is probably eating up all of the attention from Grandma and Grandpa.  We, however, miss them both terribly.  We have enjoyed the break, but our house is creepily quiet when no little feet or paws are running around (and I don't know what to do when I don't have anyone to take care of).  I am very anxious to go retrieve them both tomorrow, but for now I am going to enjoy this rainy day with a hot mug of coffee.
This owl mug is my favorite because it reminds
me of my sweet little Grandma.

Take a vacation.  Relax a little.  And thank you for keeping me In Good Company.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

KJane Photo + Design

I just want to take a moment to show off my new blog header!  It was hand designed by my good friend (and sorority sister) Kendra, author of the popular blog Miss Priss and Me.  She is also an incredible photographer and design artist.  If you get a chance, you must visit her blog; and then go drool over all of her amazing work on her website: KJane Photo + Design.  You can also find her on Facebook under KJane Designs.  And if you are lucky enough to live in the Kansas City area, I highly recommend her for any of your photographic needs.
Thank you Kendra!!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Perspective

Generally, I try to be super positive.  Always with a smile plastered on my face (and usually it's real).  I have a lot to be thankful for, the Lord has truly blessed me in so many ways.  I don't usually have much to frown about.
This is an example of a fake real smile, because, as you can see, my son
was in the middle of what my friend Kendra calls a WAF.
But sometimes I get into a funk.  Sometimes I just go through periods of struggle.  I have a long history of depression and anxiety (due in part to both heredity and hormones), so it could just be that crap-monster trying to pull me down.  I imagine depression and anxiety as that scene in Ghost where the black demons float up and pull the bad guys down to the netherworld.  You know the scene with the amazing special effects?  Anyway, this disease bullies each person in a different way.  In my younger years, my particular struggle was with Anorexia and Bulimia.  But as an adult, for instance, I tend to become withdrawn, grouchy (mostly to my poor husband), chronically exhausted, and very self-defeating.  Luckily, through years of trial and error, I have found a medication that I am able to take on a daily basis that helps me to stay fairly stable (but, don't get me wrong, I'll always have a little bit of crazy in me... that's what makes me fun); but every now and then, I struggle.

Just kidding.  Probably.
It's during these little bouts of extra crazy that I tend to really battle stupid Body Dismorphia.  I become totally blind to the progress that I have made, and see every pound that has been shed, still glued to my "problem areas."  I suppose it might be the same as someone having an itchy toe even after having his/her foot has been amputated.  Maybe I'm having phantom blubber symptoms.  Whatever it is called, I hate it.  I want to be proud of myself for what I have accomplished, but during these periods, I just can't.

It is also during these times that I tend to really struggle with what I like to call the "Stare and Compare Game."  I don't usually tend to compare weight, sizes, and shapes with those around me (unless the rare supermodel shows up in all spandex at my gym), not anymore; but I do tend to compare abilities.  I consistently feel like I am the weakest and slowest person in my CrossFit group.  I almost always come in last.  And most of the time, I'm totally fine with it.  But there are other times that it gets under my skin like you wouldn't believe.  There are times when I just want to quit because I am not winning.  Ever.  I know it's not about that, I know I should be competing with myself, I know that this is about me, blah blah blah.  I know all that.  I really do.  And I am so very proud of all of my amazing CrossFit sisters for their abilities.  But sometimes, I just want to do really really great.  I get so frustrated when I can't Military Press the same amount as the next girl, or when a newbie shows up my Dead Lift by 30 lbs.  I want to punch myself in the face (maybe more metaphorically then literally) whenever I have to slow the treadmill because running is hard for me.

I expressed my frustrations to our coach and he explained to me that many of my CrossFit sisters were high school and college athletes and that they have 8 years (at least) of training on me.  He assured me that I am improving, but that everyone else is too.  It made me feel better, but I still wanted to pout.  I mean, I'm a CrossFitter!  I should be a total bad-a**, right?  I don't feel like a bad-a** on the days when I can only use a 15" box for Box Jumps and the other girls are using 20".  One of my fellow CrossFitters told me one day, "I'm always last in my group too, but who cares?  I always ask my self: Did I kick my own a** today?  Yes I did!  And that's what matters."  This gave me a really good chuckle and helped me climb out of the murky waters of self-pity in which I had been unsuccessfully wading.

Did we kick our own a**es that day?  Yes we did!  Look at all that sweat!
I suppose, more than anything, it's a matter of perspective.  Everything is a matter of perspective.  I can leave my workouts feeling bad because I didn't do better than whomever, or I can choose to be proud that I show up every day and work hard.  Recently we had a double WOD day that was really tough (the picture above is of me and one of my beautiful CrossFit sisters following this workout).  Part of the workout included jump roping (triple singles or double unders) and Dead Lifts in a 21-15-9 format.  I was lifting 85 lbs, and was irritated that it took me nearly 6 minutes to complete the WOD.  A few days later, I realized that I was dead lifting less weight than what I have lost from my body (which is currently 92 lbs).  I felt an instant swelling of pride.  Perspective.  Another day I was doing Fran for a second time (many of the WODs are named after women), whacked myself in the forehead with the bar and my hands slipped during the pull ups, turning me momentarily into Tarzan (thank God I was using a band).  I was so frustrated with my lack of coordination (even though I laughed it off with a Tarzan yell).  And then I remembered that when I first started CrossFit I couldn't even do a band-assisted pull up, and my weight on the Thrusters had doubled from the first time Fran came around.  Pride.  Perspective.

I'm at a really good place right now.  I do know that I will always have occasions that I struggle with depression and anxiety, and some of those bouts will be worse than others.  But, for right now, I am going to choose to be proud of what I have accomplished so far.  I am going to look at how far I have come, and not how far I have to go.  I am going to try to keep that ever-important perspective, so that I will continue to try hard each and every day.
This is the back of my favorite workout shirt from Strong is the New Skinny.
Work hard.  Love yourself.  And thank you for keeping me In Good Company.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Kelsey Lately

I have been trying to schedule time each week to sit down and write.  But it seems like life just keeps getting in the way!  I feel like I keep apologizing for leaving you high and dry, so I'm not going to do that this time.  No, wait, I am.  It's in my nature to always be sorry for something.  So I'm sorry.  Do you forgive me?

Instead of jumping into a regular post, I am going to catch you up to speed on all the randomness in my life, in a little piece I like to call:


Kelsey Lately: Random Ramblings
*disclaimer: I cannot promise you there will be any rhyme, reason, or systematic approach to what follows*

-------
Every night at bedtime, my husband and I read a few Bible stories to our 2 year old son.  He looks forward to listening to the stories, looking at the illustrations, and talking about the characters.  I've been really excited that he even asks for us to read him the "Bible Stow-WEES."  His comments usually make us giggle (like the time he pointed to the picture of John baptizing Jesus and said "Look!  Jesus is splashing!").  So last week, we were at a local restaurant and there was a waiter who kept walking by our table.  This waiter had a LOT of shaggy brown hair and a scruffy beard.  Every time our son saw him he shouted "JOHN!"  I started laughing, because I know the only John we know is the John from the pictures in his Bible.  So I corrected him and said "No buddy, that's not John."  He looked at me and said, "Not John?" *long pause* "Not Jesus?"  At that point my husband and I are laughing hysterically, explain to our son, that the no, the waiter is not, in fact, Jesus.  For the rest of the evening every time we saw this waiter, our son would say, "John?  Not John.  John?  Not John."
"Look!  Jesus is splashing!"


-------

One evening I did a hip-shaking gliding dance move through the living room, while singing "Oooooooh I got moves like Jagger." My husband looked at me with a look that screamed fear/curiosity/amusement. "What in the hell are you doing?" "Um... I've got moves like Jagger," I said, "Duh."





-------

I overheard my husband talking to his brother last night on the phone. They were discussing a sports formula to help them decipher who was going to win all of the March Madness games. What's that? Why yes they are both engineers. Why do you ask? This is the conversation we had after he ended his phone call:

"So you think you guys are going to go all Rain Man in Vegas?"
"We're just trying this formula out to see if it works."
"You know, normal people just make bets and have fun while doing it."
"And that's why the lights are still on in Vegas."
"Don't be pushy, if no one else wants to bet like you, then let them do their thing."
"I know. This is his idea, too."
"Did you make him watch Moneyball?"

After his face went red and a long pause he answered with a quiet, "Yeah."

-------

The aforementioned dinner was last Monday evening.  We went out for a late dinner after having spent the early evening hours saying goodbye to "Bessie" and hello to "Fran".  We sold my Regal (Bessie) to the teenage daughter of a friend of ours (who was able to pay cash for the car -- talk about responsible!), and bought a LaCrosse (Fran) from a lovely family down the street.  It was way too late to start cooking, my husband was getting ready to leave the next morning for a week-long business trip, and I had really been craving seafood.  So we chose a restaurant based on the shrimp deliciousness factor.  Nothing alarmed me about the spicy slugs (as my dad calls them) while I was eating them, but about seven hours later, I woke up with food poisoning.

The next few days were awful.  My son was grouchy because I couldn't pay much attention to him between bathroom trips and clutching my stomach in pain, my husband was on the other side of the country, and we have no family in this small town.  After a breakdown of epic proportions, I decided that my messy house and vomit scented hair didn't need to be hidden any longer, I swallowed my pride (the only thing I'd been able to keep down all day), and asked for help.

I prefer not to be a burden on anyone, so asking for help doesn't come naturally to me.  But a dear friend arrived, in what seemed like seconds, armed with soup and lots of motherly love for me, and grandmotherly love for my son.  I bawled in her arms for a moment, apologizing for my rancid smell.  I was able to shower and rest while she took care of pajamas, diaper changes, cooking soup, and toy cleanup.  It was all I could do to stay put, and she kept telling me to lay back down when I tried to help (I have a really hard time not being the one who is doing the care-taking).  Honestly, I think her presence was more healing than anything else.  I also received several phone calls from another dear friend, who was nudged in my direction by my very worried husband (who felt horribly guilty for not being able to stay home and care for us).  Feeling sick is horrible, but feeling sick and alone is worse.  I am thankful beyond belief for the love of the two dear friends who cared for me.

-------

Several weeks ago, we spent a long weekend in the Kansas City area, visiting my family.  We had a wonderful, busy weekend.  My parents were able to drive up as well, so our time was extra fun.  I adore Kansas City for all of the fun activities for kids, many of which are completely free.  We paraded through Union Station, visited the model train exhibit, squeezed through the crowds at Crown Center, let our boys go a little crazy at Little Monkey Bizness, and did a some shopping.  My husband and I were even able to make it to a Kansas Jayhawks game.

My sister and I with our boys.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
-------

A while back, you might remember me joking about needing diamonds when I hit my next weight goal.  Well apparently there were ears listening!  I haven't hit that 160 lb mark yet, but at Valentine's Day, my husband surprised me with a beautiful diamond bracelet!  I was really taken aback, because February 14th isn't a heavily celebrated day in our house... we usually just do the card, candy, pat on the booty thing.  I immediately went from feeling excited and thankful to feeling awful.  I murmured.... "Um, I got you a sweatshirt."  He lovingly told me that this bracelet wasn't just for Valentine's Day, it was also because he was so very proud of me.  I snagged a good one when I picked that husband of mine.

Our Valentine's Day dinner was equally as wonderful.  It was not glamorous, but it was very us.  I made chocolate dipped strawberries, set the table, and my husband "cooked."
My funny Valentines.

Pink Peanut Butter Cookies for the gym daycare Valentine's Day party
(don't worry, I checked for allergies before I made them).

Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

I set the table...
...and my husband cooked.  You'll notice that it's Coor's Light in his
wine glass, and Diet Coke in mine.
-------

Speaking of diet soda...  I have given up on 'The Hooch' again for Lent (along with sweets... I know, I don't eat sweets anyway, but I figured if I was craving soda and couldn't have it I would go straight for chocolate).  I tell you what, the first few days were really horrible.  I had a pounding headache and even wrote a love letter to Diet Dr. Pepper on Facebook.  Now that I'm over the caffeine cravings, I am only rarely longing for a sip of dark-fizzy-goodness (I have even lost 3 more pounds... but that could be from the food poisoning).  Last year our trip to Las Vegas killed my Lenten sacrifice, hopefully this year I will be able to stay strong on our upcoming getaway.  My thoughts have occasionally been drifting to margaritas and Serendipity 3, and I have been wondering if I have really thought this through...  Although in preparation for this trip, I have been less worried about hitting restaurants, and more worried about finding a fitness facility that is well enough equipped for a CrossFit workout.
Hello lover...
-------

And, last but not least, my face wound up on the picture below.  You don't need to know any more than this: I love my CrossFit sisters.
-------

Now that we are caught up, let's try to meet more often, shall we?
Thank you, as always, for keeping me In Good Company.