Monday, June 28, 2010

Babies and Weddings and Baseball...OH MY!

I know, I know, I am the worst blogger ever lately. My world has been upside down with school letting out for the summer, baby showers to be thrown, bridal showers to be planned, weddings to be fitted for and a house that seems to need constant cleaning. Not to mention that the running I was so enjoying has quite painfully destroyed my right knee and I have razor burn in my armpits. And yes, I threw that last one in there for the sympathy vote. Did it work?

Anyway, my sisters baby shower was yesterday and it was a beautiful day. I got all gussied up in my Sunday best, put on a pair of heels and some makeup and spent the day with amazing women. We got to ooohhh and ahhhhh over tiny little shoes, and tiny little outfits and it almost made my non-existent uterus skip a beat....until a baby in the room started wailing like a ambulance siren, and then the moment passed. When baby Mason makes an arrival in 4-7 weeks he will stylin' and profilin' in clothes adorned with monkeys for years to come.

Cutest baby shower cake EVER!

Next on the agenda is my other sisters bridal shower. In two weeks. Which is exactly how long it will take me to recover from this shower. Because I am mentally exhausted. Thank God there were six of us planning the shower because it took all six of our preoccupied, scattered brains to pull it off. I forgot how hard it is to plan these things. Back in the day when I still had sanity, half a brain and some estrogen, I could party plan like it was my full time job. Now, I forget what day of the week it is. And the heat and humidity doesn't help because when I am hot and sticky, I get cranky. And my hair frizzes. Which only makes me crankier. And then instead of thinking of cool diaper games and "give me your clothespin for saying the word baby" games, all I can think of is that my hair must be making me look like Al Sharpton.

The mom-to-be and all the amazing women who made the shower a success!

But on the plus side, what a joyous time this all is. I mean what is better than spending the summer with my family celebrating the joys of birth and marriage? I truly feel very lucky to be in the center of it all with it being my sisters. And I couldn't think of better people to experience such happiness. Cause we are da bomb. Or something like that. And also, since I have lost 65 pounds so far, I have lots of pretty dresses to wear now and heels that can be worn for more than 10 minutes without my knees collapsing beneath me, so that is also part of my joy. Now that I am not a Fatty McFatAss I actually look forward to getting dressed up so bring on the festivities!

See, how pretty is that dress?

Also, my son is participating in the baseball All-Stars game this weekend which is super cool and has me beaming like a proud mama. Just so he has something to tell his therapist when he grows up I am thinking of being the mom covered head to toe in red, white and blue, carrying an American flag and screaming at the umpire over the fence loud enough so that the next town can hear me. Doesn't that sound like fun?

I will be back tomorrow with the next Thinking Thin installation. I know, you're on the edge of your seat waiting with baited breath, right? Until then.....

Monday, June 21, 2010

I KNEEd to do this!

Today, a part of me died. The part of me that has been a dominant presence in all 35 years of my life was squashed and stomped on today like a barrel of grapes. She is that incessantly annoying voice in the back of my brain that always shouts "You can't DO that! Just quit now and avoid the pain and humiliation of trying!!" She was replaced by a thinner, stronger voice that said "You can do this. You will do this. And if you try and you still can't do it, try once more." I like that voice.

I went into this weeks runs with the mindset that there was NO WAY I could physically handle three minute intervals of running. I mean, I barely made it through 90 second intervals and now they wanted me to do that TWICE IN A ROW?? Sacrilage!! I emailed and texted everyone I knew who was supposed to be doing this challenge with me to see if they were still doing it, looking for even one scapegoat to make it ok for me to quit. No one responded. Which tells me 1) they were too busy running to respond or (and most probably) 2) they all quit or died during the first week. So I was stuck, once again, being accountable for myself and what I chose to do. And it kinda sucked. Because one thing I have learned is that personal accountability is kind of a pain in the ass. If you are making all your own decisions you have no one else to blame.

Take for instance, my broken and pained knees. They hurt in ways that are not human. And it's because of this running I keep doing. And no one is telling me to run. I am doing it of my own accord. Therefore, when I need to someone to call an asshole, I have to look in the mirror and that's just no fun. Because I already know I'm an asshole. Otherwise, I would have quit running two weeks ago.

Last night I went back and forth on whether or not I should run today. My knees seem to take longer and longer to stop hurting each week. But I have to wonder if it's the "no pain, no gain" kind of pain that comes with the strengthening of muscles I have NEVER used. So, my first instinct was to keep running with the hopes that it would subside over time, and pretty soon I would be one of those super cool, yet annoying runners with my iPod strapped to my arm as I ran the streets in my sports bra and lycra pants, holding my hand up to cars as I crossed the street, and rocking a neon, rainbow sweatband. I know, awesome right?? But then, the horrible nagging "You can't do this" voice said, "But, what if it's real pain and it gets so bad that you can't exercise anymore and then you become the fattest woman alive, all because you thought you were still cool enough, and young enough to run? Asshole." And I can't give up my daily Biggest Loser Yoga workouts because I broke my knee trying to run, right?

This saga played over and over in my head while I slept. And while I shopped. And while I ate lunch. And while I layed on the couch watching reruns of Grey's Anatomy for the thousandth time. And then.....I said fuck it. And I put on my sneakers and turned on the treadmill. And I ran. And I made it through the three minute intervals. Without cheating. No, wait. I didn't just make it through the three minute intervals, I made them my BITCH. Who's the asshole now?

So, while a part of me died today, a part was also born. The part of me born doesn't back down to a challenge. She doesn't take a beating lying down. She jumps at the chance to do the things she never thought she could do before and kills the naysaying voice with ninja stars of death. Because while my knees still hurt, and I may very well still be an asshole, I am an asshole that can run.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Run, Fat Girl, Run!

I am currently on Week 2, Day 2 of the Couch to 5K challenge, and I can say unequivocally that I have never wished for death as much as I do when I am running. This week consists of a 5 minute warm up and a 5 minute cool down combined with 90 seconds of running and 2 minutes of walking. The first 30 seconds of the running intervals feel fantastic. My elbows are tucked in, my shoulders are relaxed and I am running. The next thirty seconds are not as pretty. My hips are out of alignment, my knees are screaming, my calves are burning and I am pretty sure I start limping. The last thirty seconds are a blur. I am pretty sure I black out the last thirty seconds of every run.

Then I am blessed with a two minute reprieve where I can walk. Or at least the clock says two minutes but I swear it skips time and it's only like 20 seconds because I have barely reinflated my lungs with oxygen before it is time to run again. Sweet Jesus, it feels like it will never end. And all I can hear in my head is the Bob/Jillian/Biggest Loser voice that screams, "RUN, FAT GIRL, RUN!!!!" and so I do. Against my better judgement. And against the advice of my fat ass.

And the sick thing is.....I kind of like it. I like the feeling of sweating through my clothes and losing my breath and feeling the endorphins raging through my body. And even when I am sore and tired and kicking myself for opening my big, fat mouth and telling the entire world (aka Facebook) that I was the MAN and that I was going to run a 5k this fall, I actually look forward to the next day I can run. Now THAT is eff'd up.

This weeks has been a "two a day" week combining 45 minutes of yoga with 30 minutes of 5k training because I hit another plateau and didn't lose any weight for a week, despite my committment to exercising and eating well. So, I will fully admit, if I step on the scale today and the number is the same, I am throwing the scale out the 2nd floor window, and I may possible jump after it.

So while I would love to be that motivational cheerleader on the sidelines screaming, "C'Mon girls, we can DO THIS! Strap on your Nikes and let's RUN!", it would be make me the psychological equivalent of that moron that sniffs a gallon of milk and says "Hey, this milk smells bad, can you taste it?". No sir, not the running shoes I intend on filling.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cheater, Cheater, Ice Cream Eater...

Thinking Thin Mantra #4:

Cheaters never win, and winners never cheat.

I will be the first to admit I have cheated my way through much of my life in terms of dieting. I cheated my way from a healthy teenage girl with a raging metabolism, to a morbidly obese 35 year old with no self control. I cheated myself out of a real life for a very long time.

The game I called "Life" never seemed to allow me the chance to come out ahead and really be a winner. So I took shortcuts and made deals with the devil to try to get to where I wanted to be. I blamed everything and everyone else around me, as if that would somehow turn the tables in my favor. It's like there was some diabolical scheme set up against me that wouldn't allow me to eat pints of ice cream or bags of chips without putting on an astronomical amount of weight. What kind of alternate universe allows some people to be human garbage disposals that can inhale chili cheese fries at 2am after a drinking binge and never gain a pound, while I can simply think about the chili cheese fries and instantly gain 5 pounds and a mound of cottage cheese on my ass? I played victim, which in a sense is cheating, and therefore I just couldn't win.

I had to wake up and recognize that in order to win, I had to stop looking for the loopholes. I had to stop wishing on a shooting star, and searching for miracles in the bottom of a bottle of diet pills. I couldn't "trick" my metabolism by starving myself for days on end and then taking a day to indulge in 3000 calories of high fat crap hoping my body would be so happy for the nourishment that it would burn it off. There was no quick fix, no miracle cure, no way around simply choosing to live a healthier life.

And yes, I had surgery. Big fucking deal. Is it cheating? Maybe. Or maybe it was a way to finally win. Maybe it was the road less taken, MY path to victory, and the only way I could continue to stay in the race. Regardless, I am in it to win it. No more fad diets, no more pills, no more tabloid get thin quick schemes. Just me, strapping on my sneakers and running for my life. Literally.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thou art too, Ben and Jerry?

Thinking Thin mantra #3:

Food is simply food; not friend, not foe…just food.

This is a strong statement for me because food was always my best friend. Nothing could cure a broken heart, a bruised ego or a fight with your best friend like some Chips Ahoy dunked into a vat of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. What says "movie date night" with your husband like a tub of popcorn covered in butter, washed down with a gallon of Cherry Coke? These things were my friends, or so I thought.

On more occassions than I care to remember, I sat in front of the TV, watching the Biggest Loser, wishing I had the motivation those people have, while scarfing down a prepackaged brownie covered in tiny, sugar filled candies or devouring 15 miniature Butterfingers, Clark bars and Three Muskateers. Whatever time and reasoning couldn't fix, food could. Granted, it was a temporary fix and I often felt extreme guilt and shame in the aftermath of the gluttony, but for a short time, I felt ok with the world and the hand it had dealt me.

The irony of my overeating is that most of the time, I didn't even taste the food until I was licking the leftover remnants off of my stubby little fingers. It was like I was sleep eating my way through my day, completely unaware that I was eating more and more and getting bigger and bigger. It's like it was a secondary nature equivalent to blinking. I just did it without thought.

I mean, me and food, we were TIGHT. Like wearing BFF necklaces, matching headbands, having slumber parties and talking on the phone all night about boys, TIGHT. We were inseperable. Have you ever tried to seperate a depressed fat chick from her Snickers Bar? If you have you are probably waving one hand because that is all you have left. And don't dare tell that fat girl she is, indeed, FAT. Because you never realize just HOW fat you are, until you aren't that fat anymore. Me and spinach artichoke dip were like Ike and Tina Turner. That dip would whoop my ass and make me swell like a Macy's day float, but I always found a way to forgive it and come back for more.

Food is a frienemy. It comes disguised as a savior, but is really a wolf in sheeps clothing. It makes you lose all rational, lose all sense of control and forget about Jenny Craig and head for Sara Lee. It inexplicably makes your pants tighter, your self esteem smaller and your waistline bigger. It holds your hand while it helps you shove the entire bag of Lay's potato chips into your mouth, and then stabs you in the back and causes fat rolls that resemble human speed bumps.

I know some people form healthy relationships with food and don't have to justify their fish and vegetables by covering it with Velveeta (which by the way, is DELISH!!) but I am not one of these people. It's love or hate with me. I either love food and hate being a fat ass, or I hate food and love being thin and being able to see my toes again. There will never be a middle ground. And that's ok. Because me and food, we had a good run. We had a 15 year affair full of lust and shame and cookie crumbs in places you don't want to know about, but it's time I move on with my life and find a new lover.

So, Food I guess this makes you my foe....for now. Maybe someday we can reconnect over a sugary, foamy latte and a slice of pie and talk about the old days, but for now, I am changing my number, shutting down my email address and trying to forget what a great friend you were to me all those years.

Love and Thinness,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Naughty By Nature

Thinking thin mantra #2:

Practice makes perfect; soon enough healthy habits will be second nature.

I believe this. Sort of.

You see, while my mind is catching up with my body, and I am starting to reach for the carrots instead of the carrot cake, the handcuffed fat girl in me still wants to eat Lucky Charms for breakfast, and still wants to indulge in a Little Debbie snack cake every night. That fat, little bitch rattles the handcuffs against the refrigerator door and throws an all out temper tantrum, and the skinnier me almost isn't strong enough to contain her.

In the past I had often heard and read that we are supposed to eat to live, rather than live to eat. I get that now, but it doesn't make me want to crack into a bag of miniature chocolate bars any less. Food is a social activity (which is an ironic phrase since there is nothing "active" about sitting on your ass inhaling tiny Butterfingers) and we have gotten lost, more than once, in the sounds and smells of food being prepared, served, and shortly therafter....devoured. It's a naughty little orgasm of the senses that doesn't leave stains on your sheets, but still leaves you feeling the after-shame.

I wouldn't say eating the right things has become second nature, as much as habit formed my force. I mean, realistically, had I not had the surgery, I am pretty sure I would be sitting here licking the icing off a pre-packaged honey bun for breakfast rather than sipping on a sugar-free Carnation instant breakfast shake. But sometimes, that is just the way the cookie crumbles.

I would love to be one of these soy loving, homemade granola eating, spring out of bed ready to tackle the world kind of exercise loving hippies. But, the reality is that I am an almost middle aged, ice cream loving, elastic pants wearing, DO NOT talk to me before I have had my morning coffee kinda gal. I do not come equipped with six pack abs and an ass you can bounce a quarter off of. I come with lovehandles, sometimes the occasional muffin top, stretch marks and an ass you can rest your coffee cup on. Take it or leave it, that is me.

I am sure someday, in the very far away and distant future, this lifestyle will become more second nature, and maybe someday my body will be somewhat more toned and less jiggle, but for now I am still learning. I am still retraining my brain to process on things like sugar-free, and high protein and low fat and low carb rather than the oh-my-god-I-can-feel-the-sugar-ripping-through-my-veins-YIPPPEEEE!!!!! trips I have taken in years past.

Practice does make perfect. And I am naughty by nature. I mean you can’t teach a lion who has lived in the jungle not to rip into someone’s juicy, meaty flesh in just one day right? So how can you expect to retrain 35 years of greasy, fried, fast food living into a protein and multi-grain lover in just 12 weeks? Not going to happen my friend. Not going to happen. But I will get there…....eventually.

Monday, June 7, 2010

25 Days of Thinking Thin....or at least thinking less fat ass...

So, first off I would be remiss not to mention that I received the beautiful blogger award last week from The Chicken's Consigliere. Thanks Chicken! No more "crossing the road" jokes for me since you so thoughfully passed this my way. It makes me feel beautiful and like blogging all at the same time. I mean, who can sit on their ass, watch reality TV and NOT blog all day after someone rewards you for your blogging abilties? Not this girl. So here you are.

And in true blogger-who-gets-an-award fashion I must pay it forward, and I wasn't sure who I would send it to until I read The Sassy Curmudgeon's ode to denim shorts. Then it hit me like a bad pair of cutoffs on a hot summer day. So here you go Sassy lady. Enjoy!

And now onto business. I received an inspirational email from my sista from another mista, Corrie (you know the marathon runner?) and thought, "How fun would it be to make this a blog?". And by fun, I totally mean I now have 25 ways to amuse myself and possibly torture you. Sounds like a blast, doesn't it?

Anywho, so the email was "25 Ways to Think Thin" which will now evolve into "25 Blogs about why It's the Hardest Thing in the WORLD to GET Thin After Being Fat Forever". I know, catchy right?!?

So, way numero uno is:

The only thing between you and your goal is Y-O-U!

And I'm all like "Shut the front door! Seriously?? I am the reason I am fat??" And it got me thinking out loud. Which does not help my credibility amongst those I know, because I already say too many things out loud and people are starting to look at me funny. But I had to sit and think about all the things I may have eaten that have made me fat. This is not for the faint of heart so feel free to shut your browser down now, or at least skip to the end of the blog. For your own safety, and to avoid vomiting.

Things that may or may not have made me fat:

~An entire ROW of Oreo cookies with half a gallon of milk while watching Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Duel (and now I am singing in my head, "Ice cold milk and an oreo cookie")

~An entire package of Pepperidge Farms Chocolate Chunk and Macadamia cookies while sobbing through an entire season of Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood

~An entire pint (or 60) of Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey (or Chubby Hubby depending on my mood) while watching re-runs of The Real Housewives of New Jersey (which in my opinion are the only ones worth watching - I mean what is better than tacky Jersey girls with big hair who throw tables? Um, nothing!)

~3/4 of a bag of Doritos combined with an entire container of Bison Chip Dip, washed down with numerous cans of Diet A&W Rootbeer (cause that totally cancels out all the calories) while watching The Biggest Loser. (I know, ironic right? Yet still, a little funny)

~An entire bag of Skittles. Just because somedays, I have a need to taste the rainbow. A lot.

The list goes on and on but I am getting nauseous just thinking about it. But I guess my point is that I never really blamed MYSELF for getting fat. I blamed junkfood and reality TV. It was just easier that way. I never really took the time to shut my fat piehole, turn off the TV and suck down a good, old fashioned dose of reality. I wallowed in self pity and cancer and denial. And the bigger the denial, the bigger the snack.

I was "that girl" that always started strong on the diet train and finished lying down on the couch with my face covered in Sour Patch Kids remnants, watching Springer and wondering why I had no energy to get off the couch and throw chairs at people. It was a viscious cycle that I relived for much of my adult life. And whenever I looked in the mirror, I always saw other things and people I could blame.

But the real point is, while some people think I took the cheaters way out by having the surgery, the fact of the matter is at least I did SOMETHING. At least I realized I needed help and got out there and made a change. I took a chance and changed my life and I won't feel bad for doing that. What I did is no different than an alcoholic or a drug user entering rehab or attending meetings. It is no different than a lifelong smoker wearing a patch or taking a pill to quit smoking. I had to stop and realize I WAS addicted to food and that I DID need help.

So I want to apologize to Nabisco and Bison and Pepperidge Farms, for I am certain your sales have dropped considerably since my little surgery, but sometimes a girl just has to put down the cookies, turn off the television and go for a run. And not one after the ice cream truck this time.

Because, yes, for the moment, this is all about me. And the change can only come from me. And I stand proudly with my gut sucked in, my shoulders pulled back and a smile on my face when I say:

"Hi! My name is Lisa, and I am a Foodaholic."

Everyone in unison: "HI LISA!")

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday

Random thought #1: Check, check, check, check it out! This is what it's all about! My interview by Say Anything has been posted and I feel pseudo-famous now. I mean famous, like someone actually found what I said amusing enough to post it on THEIR blog famous, but still. Randomly, let me say I re-read my answers and feel slightly douche-like because, while I thought I was amusing at the time, and while the voices in my head were chuckling, maybe I am not as funny as all thirteen of my personalities think I am. Come to think of it, I am pretty sure the voices were probably laughing at me, rather than with me.

Random thought #2: Sugar free lifesavers, while delicious, were created by the devil. They will wreak rectal havoc on your life. Serving size on package says 4'll do ya. My ass says, cut that in half or pay the consequences. One sugar free lifesaver and my tummy is doing the happy dance. Two sugar free lifesavers and my belly is rumbling louder than a Rolling Stones concert. Three sugar free lifesavers and my ass has now been transformed into a bass trombone. Finally, at the fourth sugar free lifesaver, my ass has now become a launching missile shooting liquid fuel and making me walk like I just rode a horse bareback for 12 hours. Not a fun experience. Definitely a way to drop a couple of pounds quickly, so if you have a prom dress or a girdle you just NEED to fit in quickly this is the way to go. But, don't say you haven't been warned. It's like giving birth through your anal canal. Just an FYI.

Random thought #3: What is it about a holiday weekend that makes people think it's ok to drive around with their crusty, unmanicured feet hanging out the window, waving at me in disgust as I pass by? This is just gross. Dashboards were made for hitting your face on during a head on collision, not for displaying your foot fungus and callouses. My only wish for people like this is that when you do face plant into the dashboard after hitting something, your stupid face lands in the exact spot that your dead, stinky, vile skin has started to form a fungus on the dashboard of your car. As the amusement park says: Please keep all hands and foot fungused feet inside the vehicle at all times. On the floor where I don't have to see them causing me to vomit up my protein shake.

Random thought #4: I am going to start training to run a 5k on Monday. Why? Because I. AM. A. RETARD. Who does this voluntarily but someone who is a glutton for punishment? Running is unnecessary unless someone is chasing you in a horror film with a giant butcher knife, or you just missed the ice cream truck. But I promised I would challenge myself, so this is the challenge I have set forth. The most funnest part of me running is that my ass is still so big, that it shakes as if it is independent of my body when I try to jog at even a slow pace. It's like two pigs fighting under a blanket who then start having sex. Not a pretty picture. So an FYI to anyone who just happens to be passing through Perry, NY...avert your eyes if you see a chubby blonde who looks like she is having a seizure and is yelling like she has terets running down the street. It is just me. Do not make any sudden moves and please refrain from taking pictures. Thank you and have a lovely day.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Thanks for the memories, Vermont

Ahhhh, Vermont. It’s hard to know where to begin. I guess it would be an injustice not to mention just how much fun Sarah and I can have while driving 7 hours in a car. It really should be illegal. I have never met someone who I could be confined with that long and not want to push out of the car while yelling “Tuck and roll, Bitch!” We laughed and gossiped and laughed some more, and before I knew it, 5 hours had gone by. I would love to break it down and tell you what we were talking about and whose deaths we were plotting, but you know what they say – what happens in the Subaru, stays in the Subaru. Now onto the trip….

Sarah on the lake, with "a little captain in her"

First off, it was a beautiful weekend filled with beautiful people and beautiful scenary and Mother Nature was down with the sunshine. We kicked off our trip with a stop in Lake George for some Outlet Mall shopping which ended in me getting a dress half the size of what I was wearing 2 months ago! Yay me!! After we spent too much money, we moved onto Sarah’s grandmothers house on Lake Champlain. Yes, I said ON Lake Champlain. As in, the entire one side of the house consisted of floor to ceiling windows that overlooked a gorgeous lake. My ADD kicked in big time. I couldn’t stop staring at the beauty of it. I couldn’t get past the sandy shores and the calmness of the water. I wanted to whittle an Adirondack chair out of driftwood, park it in front of the lake, dip my toes in the water, sip wine and vegetate all day. After a lovely dinner outside, a delicious cup of peach and ginger tea, and great conversation we headed to bed. Overlooking the lake. Yessir.

Just me, row, row, rowing my boat...on land.

The next morning I felt renewed and full of ambition so we did some yoga out on the back deck and then took a 3 mile walk along the lake while gazing at the beautiful houses and plotted ways to get rich quick so we could buy ourselves a little cottage on that road and live happily ever after. Truly a little slice of heaven to be had. Then it was onto Vermont.

Me and the Ninja wife

Another two hours in the car singing too loudly, laughing too hard and enjoying being away from it all. We got to spend time with Sarah’s family – who I have deemed my adopted family – got pedi’s, and then vegged out until we passed out. Sunday we got to see my adopted sista from another mista, Corrie, run a marathon. Not even kidding. She ran 26.2 miles. Without stopping. Or dying. It was really something and it inspired me twofold. First, it inspired me never to be insane enough to run 26.2 miles. Seriously, I think I would die. Second, it DID inspire me to start training to run a 5k next year. Eventually I would like to work my way to a half marathon. Does that make me half as insane as she was? They might have to put a shoe sale or a credit card or some ice cream at the finish line as incentive. But the goal has been set, the challenge has been made, and there is no backing out now.

Corrie (the one in black) crossing the finish line. After 26.2 miles. She. Is. Awesome!

Let me say this about Sunday. I may not have ran a marathon, but DAMN MY LEGS WERE TIRED!! Two mere months ago I was a fat, lazy couch whore who couldn’t walk half a block without getting leg cramps and having an asthma attack. By the time we were to embark on this trip, I was feeling pretty confident about being able to walk and keep up with everyone. I had not, however, remembered that the hills in Vermont were created by Satan. The hills were alive, with the sound of me dying. After hiking our way down to the marathon, then hiking our way to the finish line, and then standing around for a couple of hours, I was not at all ready for what the hike back to the car UPHILL was going to do to me. And these were not steady, happy hills. These were hills that made you have to launch your body forward to keep from falling backward. Like 45 degree angle hills of death. My hips were screaming, my feet were on fire and all I wanted to do was lay down and take a nap. But instead, I kept repeating to myself the same thing I say whenever I feel like I can’t do something…..I can do ANYTHING for ___________(fill in the blank). So that day, I repeated, “I can do anything for another block” and when that block was up I would say “I can do anything for 100 more steps” and so forth and so on until we were back to the car and I could collapse into the front seat. I am pretty sure there was smoke coming off of my feet but at that point all I could think was “I DID IT!!”. And I was proud. And exhausted.

So, I am not sure what made me decide we should go WALK around the mall an hour later. But we did. And we were pathetic. Neither Sarah nor I had the heart to shop, which in our world is sacriligious, so we went home. And my adopted mother cooked us the most fantastic steaks on the grill I have ever had. It was juicy, and cooked just right, and accompanied by fresh made balsamic, apples, pears, mango, broccoli and mashed potatoes. With happy, full bellies and tired feet we retired to the living room where we watched Mama Mia and had great conversation.

Truly and honestly, an amazing trip. I left sad to be going but happy to be heading home to my family with my mind clear and my batteries fully charged. The ride home was almost as eventful as the ride there with lots of laughs, lots of singing, and some road travel dancing.

And after all of that….after all the eating and vacationing and walking and shopping and total and complete bodily exhaustion, I came home to find out that I had LOST FIVE POUNDS!!!! Could life get any better than that?? I am in a complete state of mental exhiliration and physical exhaustion, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have had the chance to renew myself.

Me getting my renewal on

There is so much more to tell but it will have to wait for another day because real life and the treadmill are calling my name. Enjoy your day!