Saturday, March 15, 2014

Happy Birthday To My Carrot

The folks on the Biggest Loser have a HUGE carrot, several in fact, dangled in front of them to entice them to drop the weight.  With 250,000 reasons to drop the pounds does that make it any easier?  Or winning an expensive vacation or car?  When I stepped on the scale and saw 220lbs staring back at me I knew I had to do something.  I also knew that a diet wouldn't help me.  I had to find a carrot. I needed a carrot.

My beautiful daughter came into the world on March 16th, 2006.  She was definitely a gift.  I had been told I couldn't have any more children after my son was born.   She came into the world loud and proud and nearly jumped off the table.  From first look I could tell she was something special and deserved more than I could give her. I was not worthy of her. I had a lot of work to do.

I had to change, there was no way around it.  I did not want my daughter to meet the person I had become. She could never meet this overweight depressed version of me.  I had to get to work, I figured I had about two years to reach my goal. I would be 40 years old by then, oh geez.  I would need to drop roughly 80 pounds and get my mind right.  I could get healthy, fit and fabulous in two years, right?   I wanted to be a good role model and I wanted her to be  proud to call me her Mom. So... I went for it.

I was determined to give Sydney the awesome, fit Mom she deserved. I started pushing  her in a stroller that May when my doctor released me for exercise. I've got to tell you that it was extremely hard getting my body to move, I had been sedentary for nearly five years. I had to dig deep.  I couldn't let this "hardness" stop me.  I couldn't because every time I looked into those tiny beautiful baby blue eyes I knew I had to keep going.  As she grew I shrank, it was wonderful. We walked everyday, sometimes twice a day. As the weeks passed walking became a habit and I started to look forward to it.   There was a lady in the neighborhood that called me "the incredible shrinking woman", she has no idea how that comment kept me going. ( I still think of that comment )

I continued to push Sydney in the stroller until she was about one year old, then we graduated her to a backpack.  I carried her everywhere.  We hit the trails more and went on overnight  trips. I was very happy to be in shape to be able do that.  That year we took a three day backpacking trip, it was amazing.

Those eighty pounds did not have a chance. My walking evolved into running and I took up cycling when she was 15 months.   I re-learned what to eat and found what I liked to do, what worked  for me.  I did NOT go on a diet, I found a lifestyle.  A lifestyle that agrees with me, one that makes me happy and healthy.  And I tried something new... I loved myself through ALL of it.  I let the old habits of being critical and just downright mean to myself go.  I never got anywhere by punishing myself, I had to stop those behaviors to get where I am today.

Time has passed so quickly. My daughter will be 8 years old tomorrow. I am proud to report that I have kept my promise to myself and to her over these years. I have not gained back a single pound.  I continue to strive daily for a healthy body and healthy attitude.  Truth be told... I am also looking forward to my 45th birthday at the end of this week.  How many people can say that?

Happy Birthday to my carrot!  I love you to the moon and back.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Be Brave Contest

*******Edited.  Deadline for photos is March 20th.

I am a huge fan of contests and decided it was time to have my own.

Very simply... If you want to enter EMAIL me a photo or PM me one to my LivingOutLoud Facebook page of you doing something brave.

The photo could be your first selfie with a shirt off.

I uploaded this photo and my computer crashed and
I couldn't take it down 

Or maybe a photo of what you looked like covered in sweat from your last workout.

Perhaps a photo of you doing something that scares the crap out of you.

Not a fan of water but I went whitewater rafting

I am terrified of heights but I made it to the top and eventually down
I was never so relieved to touch the ground

Maybe you want to share something extreme.

I used to have long blonde hair, I had over 12 inches cut off.

And then I went RED!

Now that you have the idea..... get creative and send it to me.  Deadline for entries is  Thursday, March 13th 2014.  I will compile all photos and place them in an album on Facebook.  Photo with the most LIKES wins. Easy peasy. You will be rewarded with this beautiful Patagonia Canvas Bag ($25 value) if you win.

Thanks for playing along.