Thursday, May 16, 2013

I'm fat but it's okay

I'm fat. There's really no way to sugarcoat it.

For years, I've justified it like this:

  • but it's okay because I can still do what I want to do. Maybe a little slower but I can still do it.
  • but it's okay because it doesn't keep me from enjoying life.
  • but it's okay because for someone my size, I look pretty good
  • but it's okay because I'm starting a diet on Monday (or after Christmas or after Thanksgiving.....)
  • but it's okay because I don't wear spandex
  • but it's okay because some guy thinks I'm sexy
  • but it's okay because I'm not one of "those" fat people
Oh, I'm sure given enough time I could go on and on and on. 

But it's not okay. 

  • I have no energy
  • It does keep me from things like taking my kids to the water park or going dancing
  • My body aches if I do more than I should (I still do it but pay for it later)
  • I want to be beautiful and not "beautiful for my size"
  • I worry about the health risks 
So I decided to do something about it. The few times I've been mildly successful (meaning 20 lbs of weight loss), I kept it off for a bit and just counted calories. I followed the "eat less, walk more" philosophy. Then the weight would slowly creep back on. 

So thanks to my mom and an early birthday present, I started Medifast/Take Shape for Life exactly one month ago today. I resisted a bit because it feels like cheating. Plus I hear all the time about "what are you going to do when you're not eating their food anymore....." But I gave it a shot. 

Warning: the images you are about to see could be scary. You could have nightmares. You've been warned. 

One month ago, I weighed in at 270. If you'd asked me beforehand I would have told you probably 240. I hadn't weighed myself in years. 

Today I weight 250. I've lost exactly 20 lbs in one month. Amazing! 

I'm sure the program isn't for everyone but I can tell you these are my favorite things about it:
  • I have energy all day long. I don't have the afternoon or late morning slump
  • I'm rarely hungry
  • Most of the foods taste good (I will say I have some I hate like the oatmeal and several of them I had to give a second shot)
  • The book that goes along with the program is a HUGE help. It really helps me work through and make the right decisions (more about that later). 
  • Right now my life is STRESSFUL so I appreciate not thinking about it. I grab four items, put them in my bag, and I'm ready for the day. No more trips through fast food. 
I'll share some of the things I'm learning as I go along but for now let's get to those pictures (I'm really embarassed for these to be on the internet) but look at the difference in JUST one month:

The thing that cracks me up in this one is that in the "before" shot
 I was sucking in my stomach so it wouldn't be so bad!!!

I still have a LONG long long long way to go but just look at that. More later....have a great day!

Monday, May 6, 2013

38 x 38 - Take the Kids Geocaching

I'm a little behind in this craze but for a couple of years now, I've wanted to take the boys geocaching. Marcus loves the outdoors, Nate loves the idea of treasures so it seemed like a perfect mix. Why did I wait years? Because I was under the mistaken belief that I needed a GPS unit - that is until someone told me my smart phone was completely capable (at least for the "beginners" caches). 

The concept is fairly simple - someone has hidden a treasure (a cache) and has given coordinates to its location. You get the coordinates and navigate to the spot. 

Easy, right?

Um, sort of. I quickly learned that some of the caches are really hard to find! 

Sunday, we were bored and I'm a little "financially challenged" these days so I was looking for something inexpensive and fun to do. For fun, I signed up for an account at (there's a free membership). There was a handy Geocaching 101 section and after reading, I felt fairly certain that we could do this. 

Then I downloaded the c:geo app on my Android. The app was pretty easy to figure out. I selected the "nearby" feature and was surprised to see around 10 "caches" within a mile of my house, nestled in some residential areas. I figured this would be a great way to get our feet wet and see if this is really any fun. 

We headed out to the first one. It was a bust. Or we didn't know what we were looking for. Hard to say. 
Marc searches but no luck
So we headed to the second one....another bust. Or again, we don't know what we're doing. 

The third one Marcus worried that someone would call the cops because they wouldn't know why we were poking around behind their house. 

Finally, the fourth one we hit treasure! Using the compass on my phone, we navigated to the spot, and nestled in a bunch of grass, hidden under a mound of dried grass, and in a camouflage container, we found our first treasure. 

The boys find their first "cache"

Inside the little container was a plastic army guy, a logbook, two marbles, and some ear plugs. Nate took a marble and left a plastic dinosaur. The rules say if you take something, you're supposed to leave something of equal value. We signed our names and returned home as it began to rain and thunder. 

One thing I learned was to take a look at the "logbook" online when you head out to find a cache. People post the last time they found it. I wasn't sure if a few of them we went to had been taken, moved, or if we just weren't looking in the right spot. 

All in all, I think geocaching is something we'll try again soon. A fun afternoon for sure!

A few other highlights from my weekend:

Our town had its annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration with a parade down Main Street. Here are a few photos:

As we left, we noticed a single volunteer out picking up the cones that had helped organize the parade that morning. As Nate and I drove up, I quickly identified with his chore. Having organized my fair share of parades for the last few years, I knew exactly what he was doing. He drove up to a cone, hopped out, took off the number that had been taped to the side, stacked the cone in the back of the truck, got in his truck and drove to the next one. Not hard but definitely tedious. I usually drive the truck while someone else picks them up and yet another volunteer in the back of the truck peels off the number and stacks them. Much faster!

As we walked up, I'm going to admit that my first thought was "ha, poor guy, have fun with that!"

But as we neared, Nate said, "Mom, let's help." Of course, I didn't say it but my first thought was "Ha, no way. Been there, done that." I glanced at him and was going to bribe him with a Dutch Bros to just keep going. But he had a big grin on his face. So we pulled over and offered to help.

Bob Pickel was the volunteer. I've spoken with Bob on the phone many times but I think this may have been our first time meeting in person. We offered to help and he looked at us like we were crazy. Nate hopped in the back, Bob drove, and I walked along and picked up the cones, handing them to Nate.

The whole way, Nate grinned and said we should do this more often. I couldn't help but feel a tiny bit of pride for my son who's so willing to help. His joy was contagious and I found myself smiling as I walked beside the truck.

As a parent, I find myself second-guessing my decisions often. Am I doing the right thing? Have I taught them the things they need to know? Have I been a good example? Will my sons be great people? Am I doing ok?

Then something like this happens. A moment that without any prompting, you realize your kids are amazing! I'm not perfect. I make mistakes all the time and I'm sure I've done things that would make the "experts" cringe but in moments like this, I feel like maybe, just maybe, I haven't totally messed up. Of course it helps I was blessed with amazing kids! 

Have a great week!