The Struggle or The Prize?

The Struggle or The Prize?

Dear Readers, It is time once again for us to play the game of … I didn’t do it yet, but I will.
I am in the process of moving towards the goals I want to accomplish and that isn’t a neatly wrapped present with a bow..

When you ask God for patience (like I did two years ago) he doesn’t just give it to you. He provides you with circumstances, situations and people that help you to gain it.

Also, when you shoot for the moon, you can’t get there in a day.. You have to use math and astronauts and science get the guys at NASA to let you play on their rocket. All of these things take time. So while it may look like to you (the person pursuing the goal) that its hopeless and you will NEVER get there.. What is actually happening is that you are taking one step at a time to get there. I share the following picture to illustrate that point. This picture is the before picture of the first 5K where I ran/walked. My goal was to half run, half walk. This picture is a representation of success because it represents the following:

1. I did not sleep in, but actually went to the race.
2. I have others with me, helping me along that road.
3. I did not make my goal of running half but I did not QUIT.
4. I ran more than I had previously which proved to me that I could.
5. Most importantly, it was a stepping stone to the next 5K.

In my acting class yesterday, I was reminded that anything worth doing is worth doing well.
I am often impatient with myself and my progress but must remember that when you are a student, the lesson is the struggle and the prize.

Just because I didn’t write it, I see no reason not to share it. Please click on this link to
read the perspective that inspired me to write the post you just read!

What Students Really Need to Hear

Last place is asleep…

This morning I had a breakthrough in my workout routine. It should be noted this has been followed by two weeks of inconsistent working  making lots of excuses for it. That’s okay, I am giving myself grace for the past, but its important to note that sometimes just showing up and making the effort is worth mentioning.

I have a 5K I am walking/running on 3/30/2014 and the last time I did one of these it was in January. However, as my loving and math centric husband pointed out, every time you work out and do 3.2 miles or more, you have done a 5K. (I love that man) He has vision and can see what I could not which is that I am accomplishing my goal each time I work out. I couldn’t see that because I am so focused on getting up to 4 miles, or 1 mile in less than 20 minutes.. I am gaining on each of those goals but could not see that I have already accomplished so much. So, today, I got to minute 2 of the running, (for those not keeping score I have been alternating walking 2 minutes and running 2 minutes for about a month now. I said, “I think I can for run for another minute.” and then I did.

I went back and looked and its been walking the whole time to running 30 seconds, walking 30 seconds and then a minute and then two and now three. So, I am feeling very accomplished at the moment and I think its important to take stock of that.

I also want to remind myself when I DO NOT have a good day working out, its just one day closer to meeting another goal down the road and that road is filled with baby step after baby step of getting up, working out and getting up and showing up because remember, Last place is asleep, even if you just show up and suit up, you are doing better than someone who didn’t show up at all.

Where do you need to show up today?

Former fat girl to pin-up..

Former fat girl to pin-up..

Ladies and Gentleman, The picture you see here is the culmination of a year of hard work, exercise, weight loss and the paleo lifestyle and one extremely fabulous photographer!

A year ago my husband and I got a strong indicator that we needed to change our eating habits or we were headed for heart disease, obesity and other really serious consequences. We began by cutting out soda over Thanksgiving, chocolate over Christmas and in January we began eating paleo (see more details here)

My husband deserves a huge amount of thanks (*Thank you Jeremy*) because he put us on this path in January of last year and he has consistently figured out ways to keep us on this path to eating paleo. In the first month, January 2013 we didn’t cheat at all, culminating in a fabulous meal (funny how much you appreciate it after you deprive yourself!) on January 31st.

Most of the time its easy but old habits die hard and ice cream really tastes good so we do struggle. Cheating once a week makes it bearable but there are times when its harder than others.

I can tell you that at first it was easy and the pounds just fell off, but about mid May I realized that I was going to need to exercise to keep the weight going down. I realized it but didn’t really start doing anything about it till August, and September, and then October is when I got the idea to do this photo shoot to keep me on the right track. I had a picture of a model that I looked at while running/walking on my treadmill and it really helped to motivate me and then this past Sunday on my 37th birthday, I put on a vintage red bathing suit and stepped in front of the camera and the transformation from fat girl to pin up model was complete. I want to publicly thank a few specific people who helped make this possible. Joan Ellen Young, you always say the right thing, even when I don’t want to hear it, Dr. Keya Howard, you said exactly the right outrageous thing I needed to hear at the exact moment I needed it. Summer Penland, thank you for your support, Aunt Linda, your message really helped me move through the harder days, Dr. Caroline Acebo, you are one fantastic source of inspiration and sexiness, Rachel McGinnis Meissner, the “if you’ve got it flaunt it, really landed on me. Liz Roark, your comments when I was down in the dumps truly made the difference, Jessica Brill, “not too naked” Leslie Lawson, your treadmill challenge helped me cross the finish line and last but not in any way the least, Jeremy Haston, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me and you inspire me daily and I thank you.
I worked out in the cold, the rain and the “i don’t want to” all the while my eyes on the prize of this photo shoot, and I am delighted to report I lost those 50 pounds. The day came and we headed to Temple in the car and as I walked in there was a beautiful plate of macaroons and champagne to celebrate MOI!  I was treated like a movie star on my birthday! As an actress, I had some trepidation about posing for the camera but with Erin’s deft coaching, I took to it like a starlet on her first press junket!

I could go on and on about the picture perfect posing advice and vintage 1940s make up and hair to die for
not to mention a closet full of pin up dreams waiting to be realized!This little picturesque house in Temple was
just what the doctor ordered for this former fat girl.. I left Erin’s studio feeling like the absolute diva I truly am.
It has led to greater confidence every time I audition for a show and any time I have a photo shoot. I have done two photo shoots with other studios since January 2014 and am delighted to say I
have been bitten by the modeling bug and will be back to Lone Star Pin up again very soon!

Never again will I call myself fat, and from now on I will be looking at myself through that lens. Its a much nicer picture than the one I have been carrying in my head for years.

What have you been holding on to that simply isn’t true?

Think about it!

one workout, one step, one pound

Happy New Year Everyone! I think that as a culture we focus way too much on New Year’s resolutions. I gave a speech last year that focused heavily on “new month” resolutions but I think that it is far more important to make life resolutions. Here are mine

1. Speak with an honest heart and an intent to help

2. Value and cherish my body

3. Realize that everyone makes mistakes and everyone is struggling so to always be kind

4. Really enjoy the moments of life and don’t “wait” to do something or “save” an outfit for a special occasion.

Case in point, I worked out today and while it was difficult and unpleasant it yielded the loss of one pound. I could get discouraged by that but I am not. I am working hard to lose the last 15 pound to make it to my goal in 18 days of 235 pounds. The good thing about that is that once I have accomplished it, I will know that I can and will eventually get down to 175 which is my ideal (medically stated for my height and weight) 

It takes one step at a time, one mile at a time and it’s all working towards the goal of better health in the years to come so the baby steps I take today ( pun intended) will lead me to a longer, healthier life where I don’t get out of breath running up a flight of stairs and I can and will run a 5K. I am not there yet, ( on the slow jog part, but I will get there ).

What have you always wanted to do but haven’t done yet? What steps are you taking to get there?

Biting off more than you can chew…..

Biting off more than you can chew.....

Okay readers, so I have a confession. Sometimes I get SO excited about what I THINK I can do, I forget to check out all the factors and then realize I have bitten off more than I can chew. If you are unfamiliar with the phrase, maybe a visual will help.

I signed up to do a 13 mile marathon at the end of March, on the strength of two slowly walked 5K’s three months apart. In talking to a few people (you know who you are) I realized this was not only ambitious, it bordered on dangerous. (with apologies to Mr. Izzard) “You’re British, so scale it down a bit”

It is embarrassing to admit this and have to walk back my goal, but here goes. I have signed up to RUN a 5K by mid March. Intermediate goals include, working out two – three times a week. Doing a slow jog for the first half of the 5K on 1/18/2014 and doing intermediate training with a personal trainer including using the tips from Couch to 5K.

I think its important to shoot for the moon and if you fall short of your goal, you wind up among the stars.. but never forget to pack your spacesuit or your oxygen.

I think sometimes in the rush to get things done, we forget that each goal we set has intermediate goals and its just as important to build a foundation of baby steps which then lead you to a larger milestone. If this is obvious to you, congratulations, you are ahead of me.
If it is not, then take a minute and look at that picture again.

Think about it….

I just registered for a 13 mile run…….. am I nuts??????

I just registered for a 13 mile run........ am I nuts??????

Okay, so this picture is of me and some friends before I walked my first 5K. That was kind of a lark, I thought okay a 5K, I have never done one before and if I fall flat on my face… well I won’t post any pictures of that 🙂 That was six months ago and while I have enjoyed a great deal of weight loss and better health, I still have further to go with adding fitness to my diet.. so a friend of mine who is also a personal trainer, laid down the gauntlet and I picked it up.

I just registered to run a 13 mile course in 4 months. I have officially “thrown my cap over the wall” ((

For those unfamiliar with me and my history, running has NEVER been part of it. Walking slowly, yes.. so deep breath and here I go…… I will be taking advice and pointers along the way and will be asking for help (so easy and fun for me, since I LOVE asking for help) (insert heavy sarcasm here…

oh and here is the place where I ask..
I just registered for a 13 mile run…….. am I nuts??????

If you are interested in joining me in this quest, I am running the “Biggest Loser Half Marathon”

Last place is asleep…

I walked my second 5K on Saturday and it was exciting to me to realize how far I have come in just a few months. My first one was in June and needless to say there have been several things keeping me from this monthly commitment.

But no more, I am actively putting exercise in my life again, because with paleo I feel great, but the weight loss has died down. The answer? Exercise. I also realize that “cheating” on the paleo diet once a week rather than once a day will help too!

I made the comment as I walked up to the administrator, ” I am not last, YAY!” He smiled and marked my time on his computer and said, Last is asleep. It really hit me that even suiting up and walking is better than not being there. Its a great metaphor that can be applied to almost any goal. Give yourself some grace and take baby steps to get there. At least you are in the race!

Think about it.


It’s just one piece of candy…..

Dear Readers, about a week ago I posted about giving myself grace and getting back to the healthy paleo lifestyle we adopted almost eleven months ago. Just yesterday, as it was Halloween and candy (free candy to be precise) is flying everywhere so I was very tempted to eat it but I realized that just eating one piece would lead to another and then another and then before you know it the whole bag is gone and then you have justified it because its Halloween or its just one day. Well, I submit to you that you can stop the insanity by just saying no and more importantly focusing on why you aren’t eating the candy but are eating other healthy foods in its place. It started out by eliminating soda, not as hard as I thought. Then came chocolate and let me tell you, this girl has never met a chocolate she did not like save dark chocolate.

Part of the thing that appeals to us about this lifestyle choice is not just weight loss but the amazing amounts of energy gained by eating such healthy foods. The other thing that appeals to us is that one day a week, you are allowed to “cheat” .. as previously mentioned this has been more of a daily than a weekly deal for us. I am seeking to change that and over the last two weeks we have done better but are not back to once a week which is the goal. 

For more on paleo and our results.

So yesterday, when given the chance to eat chocolate and other goodies I didn’t eat them. I thought about it and then realized my healthy living is more important than my immediate and instant gratification of the tasty morsel in my hand. I have had these thoughts before but yesterday I signed up to do a photo shoot for my upcoming 37th birthday and I want to look the best I have ever looked in those upcoming pictures, so now I have “thrown my hat over the wall” I have to do it and yesterday I did eat pizza but I did not eat candy. I am also walking in a 5K on November 16th so will need to be adding exercise back in.

Today, I avoided the free pastry and bagel at work, and I actually feel good about it. I know that I can keep it up if I keep thinking of myself svelte and healthy. The picture I want is the picture I am working toward making possible. Baby steps, baby steps, a little tweak WILL lead to tremendous results over time. Think about it!

Be curious. Be patient. Watch what happens!

Dear Readers, I am taking a class right now that implores that you “be curious and be patient with yourself and others”

It occurred to me this is excellent life advice. Think about it. If you are curious, you are always learning. If you are patient, you lower your heart rate and your level of stress.

For instance, if you have a bad day or are stressed out about how you did at work, you can take the stance of being curious to figure out what you need to do to improve things. Instead of judging yourself for the difficulty, you can be patient with yourself as you learn about what needs to change.

On a personal note, in the last two weeks, I have gained almost 10 pounds due to an excess of eating foods not on our paleo diet. As my nurse friend pointed out, its easy to pack on the pounds when you go off such a strict diet. In the past, I would have shamed myself and tried to hide it or make excuses or feel guilty but now, with the advent of this advice, I am finding myself to be more patient with myself and forgiving the cheating and have a renewed vigor to resume the lifestyle choice of paleo, and give myself some grace for the past. To be clear, this is not license to continue the cheating, this is an acknowledgment that this is something I am still working on, just like the rest of life, we are all evolving and moving to whatever our next level is going to be. So I implore you, be curious and be patient. The results will surprise you. Think about it! 

This is me in June of this year 2013.

This is me in June of this year 2013.

A year later and six months with paleo, I lost 60 pounds. I know its not June anymore but this is the most recent photo I took of me that you can see my whole body. A friend recently asked me if I was documenting the transformation and I realized I have fallen down on that lately so here goes.. The next photo you see will be from September of this year. While the weight loss is great, the increased energy and commitment to my health has been the greatest feeling. My husband put us on this journey in January and it just keeps getting better and better. I never thought of myself as someone who had a special diet or a vegan not that there is anything wrong with it, just wasn’t on my landscape. But now, I am happy and grateful every day for this diet and the changes that we have seen with it. I have done a 5K and been comfortable in a bathing suit for the first time ever…. (and that was just this month) after a life-time of thinking of myself a certain way, I see a different picture in the mirror and I like what I see….

If you are struggling with weight or just feeling run-down, I invite you to take a look at your diet and see if you are eating healthy foods and try it for a week and see how you feel. You might really enjoy it!

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