OctGTD: Still Time to Sign Up

Every good challenge needs a logo.... so... It might be a little dark, but I can fix that if it's just me that doesn't like it.  What do you think?

I also want to thank the many of you who have spread the word via Twitter (too many to name, but especially @athletecomeback and @jpnagan for encouraging me to set up the challenge) and all of you who have either spread the word or shared your story behind #OctGTD on your blog (let me know if you've written about it but I have't seen it yet).

Ashley's Post....made me either want to cry or to blush... probably both... but I'm so glad she found the challenge to be something she could include on her journey
Si's Post....made me proud that I could provide the motivation he wanted, as he is often the one motivating and supporting me
Karen's Post...a great reminder that (1) challenges can be BFFs 4Eva! and (2) to take on something epic requires a little bit of balance and planning
Brigiitte's Post...another reminder that you can challenge yourself in more ways than one
Patrick's Post...lots of love from one of my favorite bloggers turned tweeple :)

A reminder/clarification --
Send me an email each FRIDAY with your weekly milage, broken out by day.
For example: 

"Hey Robby, it's @fatgirlvsworld.  

Here's my milage:
Friday 10/1/2010 -- 3.2 miles
Saturday 10/2/2010 -- 5 miles
Sunday 10/3/2010 -- rest
Monday 10/4/2010 -- 2.4 miles
Tuesday 10/5/2010 -- 7.6 miles
Wednesday 10/6/2010 -- rest
Thursday 10/7/2010 -- 4.1 miles

Total: 22.3 miles"

I'll update the chart as best/fast as possible (considering I have 120 miles to run as well as input data, this will be fun!!) so that by Monday you can see where everyone stands.  Because of how the chart is coded (with everyone getting their own spreadsheet that feeds into the displayed summary) I can't sort according to challenge and modality -- but try to find someone with a similar pledge.  Follow, support, and challenge them.  The buddy system might help you meet your goals as well as push past any obstacles.

October: Going the Distance Challenge

A little over a month ago I panicked because I didn't think I was doing enough to prepare for my friend's wedding.  So I decided in order to get serious, I needed to set a serious goal for myself.  100 miles on the elliptical in September sounded about right.

As it stands, today I will finish that goal with the final 8 miles.

Looking ahead, I want to do 120 miles on the elliptical in October.

I want to challenge all of you to set yourself a serious goal for October as well. 
(**Disclaimer: please talk to your doctor(s), trainer(s) before taking on any new exercise program or challenge to decide what is most appropriate for your ability and health.**)

As the focus of my journey isn't necessarily about the weight, but how much I push myself this will not be a weigh-in type competition.  Heck, I don't even know if this is a competition at all.  This is about going the distance, and reaching the goal you set for yourself.

So sign up! I will be tracking all of the particiants' miles on a spreadsheet but feel free to print out an individual participant chart to track your own statistics.

If you want to do 2 different modalities (such as Run + Bike) please refresh the form and enter a form for each!

The Twitter hash tag will be #OctGTD if you want to follow along.
Please EMAIL ME your weekly distances (broken out by day, each Friday) so I can update the official chart.

I will post any updates HERE.

Ghosts of Photos Past

So, I mentioned in a previous post that there were some photos that helped illuminate the fact that I was fat and drank too much.

Well... I found one of those photos.  And as I totally believe in (1) journalistic integrity/honesty and (2) embarrassing myself as much as possible, here goes:

Me in 2001 (?) (age 20)

Me in 2003 (age 22, with bangs!)

Me in 2004 (age 23, what the hell was I thinking? what the hell was I wearing?)

Time to think...

I did the math last night.  My serious goal looked more like an impossible goal.

The Old Me would give up.  The New Me did the math and came up with a plan.
I would have to run over 10k every day until the end of September to reach my 100 mile/160km goal.
Doable. Very doable.

But I figured I'd give myself a little bit of a cushion, and I did 16.25 km today (a little over 10m).

All that time on the elliptical gives you a lot of time to think.

I thought about the first time I was on the elliptical at the gym back in October 2006 -- when I was working with a trainer that was a marathon runner.  I could barely do a single kilometer. My lungs said "no."  The lactic acid built up in my legs until they also said "no."  More than anything, my mind said "no."

For most of my life I would listen when my mind would say "no."  I wouldn't listen to when my parents said "no." I wouldn't listen when someone said they didn't think I could do something.  And yet, when my mind told my body "no" I accepted it as fact.

And then slowly but surely as I pushed myself 5 minutes more, or a few km more, the "no" became a "maybe" and the "maybe" became a "yes."

That's the difference between the me then and the me now.  I say yes to what my body wants.
I feel I have earned my body's respect (by using the good fuel) and my body's response has been that it has risen to the challenges I have put before it.  My body is saying yes, my mind is saying yes.

As silly as it seems, I get the movie "Yes Man" more now. I understand the point that life is not about saying yes to everything blindly, but choosing what we want to say yes to--that it is possible.

I would love one day to open up a health center (once I hit the lotto and after i open my own animal shelter?) to teach people how to reprogram their lives, their bodies, and their minds to reflect their desire to be healthy.  I want to give people the tools they need to overhaul and remodel their minds, their bodies, their lives.  It is possible.  You just gotta do the work.

I have 18 more miles to run before the end of the month. It's doable. 

I do enjoy lists, I really do.

1.  I've been so bad about reading other people's blogs (though I'm getting caught up -- this entry is littered with links from my past blogs as well as other people's blogs that I enjoy...so clicky clicky!).  I've been busy with life (now that the wedding is getting closer we've had Nancy's bridal showers, her bachelorette party is coming up, and I have 40 something days to look good in the dress).  I haven't had internet at home. I feel like I'm being a bad employee--that I'm distracted by my second life (how do superheroes juggle it all?).  I take comfort in knowing that you all go through the same questions of balance in your life and hopefully you can forgive me while I'm out of balance.  For that, I thank you.

2. Which brings me to this:  courtesy of Ms. Angela Pea, we have New Rule #6:  "Persistance, not perfection."  My usual mantra is "Sweat is fear leaving the body."  Yet, Angela's words have been echoing in my mind for the past few weeks when I feel like I've been failing (ugh... stress monster!).  That and Chris' poignant conversation with me that everyone strugglesIt's life. It's not failure. I repeat: everyone strugglesEveryone struggles.  And we all have the opportunity to recover from those struggles.

3. And speaking of Chris, isn't he a sweetheart?  I don't want to come off as patronizing, but I 100% believe in Rule #1 (Leave No One Behind).  I just think that his story is not just compelling, but it is heartbreaking as well.  I want his life to change for the better and I'm committed to helping him however I can.  I'm so thankful to BodyMedia for supplying his BodyMedia Fit device AND a subscription.

4. Also in New Rules, we have a corolary to New Rule #4 ("I will not judge someone without recognizing the journey they are on first"):  4a.  "I will not let someone else's judgement of me change how I feel about myself."  I was really blown away by the comments to my last post about telling off the guy who called me a fatass.  The new rule could have easily been "Stand up for yourself" but I think it's more important to emphasize knowing who you are versus having a thick skin.  When you know who you are and what you are made of, you become unshakable in a sincere way. 

5. Harsh reality:  my favorite drink (medium 2% dark hot cholate with whipped cream) at Caribou Coffee is 580 calories.  **dies a little**  That makes Karen's Pumpkin Spiced Latte look skinny-ish.  Oh well, good thing I love tea.

6. It's so weird to watch The Biggest Loser (you should read Brigitte's post).  When I first started watching it many years ago, I cried because I wished someone would pull me out of the abyss and put me on the right path.  Now I know I'm on the right path, don't need anyone else to help me (but encouragement is always appreciated) because I am strong and capable enough myself, and don't need to be on a tv show to prove that I've made this committment to myself.  At the same time, seeing all the people in the audiences in each city that really need the help pulls on my heartstrings. I go back to Rule #1 all the time: Leave No One Behind.   So I want to hear some stories about how you are paying it forward.

7. People are really starting to get on my case about my pseudonym, FatGirl vs. World.  The thing is this: no matter how fit or small I get, the FatGirl is the one who did all the work.  She's been with me all of my life.  She's the one who has suffered the pain, the indignities, and the heartbreak of the body she had. She's also the one who had to make the decision to change. She is the one who will reap the rewards.  I'm not calling myself FatGirl as a way to demean myself, I'm honoring her. I'm carrying her everywhere I go.  She is the part of me that is able to empathize with all of your journeys.  Just because I'm losing weight doesn't mean I'm ditching the heart and soul of the FatGirl; I'm just ditching her behaviors around food and exercise.

8.  I'm putting this at 8, not because it's not important, but because 8 is my lucky number... and this is a very special thing to write about.  I'm actually all teary-eyed writing it.  I'm so, so, so, proud of Vinny for getting under 300.  I'm so glad he feels like he can join the party.  I remember standing on the scale when my weight went under 200 for the first time in over a decade.  My legs went weak and I felt like I was going to faint.  And then I just cried my little heart out.  I knew it was more than just a milestone, but it was a flag in the sand. It was a statement that I owned my body and I would never get over 200 again.  Vinny is more than just an inspiration, but he is a rock for every time life (i.e. dating) gets me down and always finds the nicest things to say about me (and everyone) without even knowing that I needed to hear it.  My dear friend, congratulations.

9.  So I ordered a dress for Nancy's bachelorette party, but when I got it, it looked more Rehearsal Dinner-worthy.  I am accustomed to Victoria's Secret's clothing running small, so I ordered the dress in XL.  And it was too big. Just way too big.  At some point in this whole journey I'm hoping that my mind will catch up with what my body is doing and I'll stop thinking of myself as the 240lb girl when I'm the 192 (and holding) pound girl.  Oh well. Back to the drawing board on the dress. 

I've also told Emily that she gets the honors of getting rid of my fat pants by her method of choice.  It's weird when the clothing you have grown to love no longer loves you back.

10.  Just gonna put it out there:  Patrick has some of the funniest pictures on his blog. Check it out.

11.  I think everyone needs inspiration and motivation.  For the longest time that has been my BFF, Emily. I'm not saying she doesn't inspire me every day, because she TOTALLY  does.  I am just really blessed to have more and more people to not only look up to but to lean on when I'm feeling the struggle.  One of those people is Tara.  I think the best way I've found to put it is that we don't need to explain what we say. There's instant understanding.  But I just want to gush a little about her -- mainly because the past week (and I'll be honest here) I've felt really down because of her.  She's doing things like triathlons and badass dead lifting.  I know that because of my back I'll never be able to do those things.  So I had a little jealousy.  Okay, I was very jealous of her progress. While I'm stagnating at 192, she's dropping lbs like panties on prom night.  But I can also honestly say that the jealousy comes from such a good place (and here comes the gushing):  I want to see myself as strong as she is.  I want to see myself as couragous as she is.  I look up to her.  Even on her bad days she is still my hero.  And on her good days? I'm lucky enough to bear witness to all of her accomplishments and call her "friend."

12. Is it just me or as you lose weight, you bruise more easily?  I mean, how do you bruise your inner-tube stomach?

13. Enough writing for now. I'm off to go have a lunchtime walk with a coworker. I can't wait for the weather to actually resemble fall weather so we can do it more often.  I like getting outside to exercise. Being in the gym has its rewards (caloric burn) but hanging out with a friend while walking for 50 minutes outside does as well.

Kiss it. Seriously.

So I'm walking back to my office from picking up my new phone (4th phone in 2 months thanks to a watery grave, a thief, and a technical glitch) when I cross a busy intersection where I have the walk sign.
This guy in a black sedan lays on his horn thinking that his car belongs in the intersection more than I do.
Normally this wouldn't bother me too much, except he doesn't see the woman crossing opposite me with a baby carriage.

As soon as I pass he rolls down his window to graciously inform me in a loud voice that my ass is "wider than the road" and I should get said ass out of said road.  Why thank you, dear sir for the PSA.

I am a New Yorker, and what this douchelord doesn't know is that the only part of me larger than my ass is my mouth.  "You want to come back here and tell me that to my face, you ill-mannered dillhole?  My fatass will then kick yours."

He tries to say something, but I've so clearly won the affection of the crowd that was standing by waiting to cross the street that I turn around and walk away.

A Golden Triangle Ambassador (people hired by the business improvement district to keep the street clean and help give tourists directions) asks me if I'm okay, as if I should be quaking in my boots.  All I can come up with is "Eh, my ass used to be bigger." 

As if running 10 miles last night on the elliptical didn't do it, that little performance did. 
My lunch from Chipotle tastes like victory.

Off Course

Life is out-seriousing me.

I haven't been to the gym in almost a week (first my period whallopped me, and then the second bridal shower kept me from the gym for 3 days as well as making food logging a challenge/utterly depressing).  I ate Dunkin Donut Cinnamon Sugar Munchkins. I ate Eggplant Rollatini with Ricotta. I ate cake. I ate a NYC everything bagel (got walnut/raisin cream cheese and didn't like it, so I scraped it all off).

So with 10 days left in my 100 (miles) in September challenge, I'm way behind.  I've completed 51 miles. I need to run 5 miles every day until the end of the month, with only 1 day of wiggle room. This means, it'd behoove me to double up and do 10m (~16k) on the weekend. 

However, this weekend I'm scheduled to travel this weekend as well.  I did the only thing I could -- asked the person I'm supposed to visit if she has guest passes to her gym. I figured it was worth asking about versus stressing out.  Luckily she was able to accomodate the request.  This is a huge relief.

This morning I woke up late. I didn't get to the gym.
I haven't eaten lunch (unless you consider a spoonful of peanut butter lunch).

I need to get back into the swing of things. I was doing so well there for a while.
I will not feel like a failure. I'll just acknowledge this as all part of the struggle.

A delicate subject...

So this post will be about lady issues.  Beware all ye who dare to continue reading.

But the mild part of it is a question:
How does "that time of the month" affect your progress towards health in terms of diet, exercise, motivation, etc? 

Do you weigh yourself when you know you're probably retaining water?

If not at first....

This has been weighing on my mind lately -- not in a heavy weighty manner, but in a calm pensive manner:

What makes this time different?
Why am I so sure that this time is the last?
Why do I feel so confident in my success?

There's always the voice in the back of my head that loves to say "Sure, keep on being cocky. You're just going to fail."  But still there's a louder voice, my voice, saying "No, this is the last time I'm going to lose the weight. I will never gain it back."

The last time I tried to lose the weight was before my back injury in 2007. I got down to 201lbs. I hit a plateau but was confident I'd break through.  I never did.  I went back up to 217 (maybe more) as a result of not being able to walk/move, the steroids, and the depression.

As I write this, I'm at another plateau -- 192lbs. In other words, I'm lower than what I weighed at my HS graduation.  I'm lower than what I weighed at my college graduation.

I don't know where I'll end up, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm not the same person that ate to fill a void.  I'm not the same person who was content to spend hours watching tv at home.  I am not the same person who accepts limitations.

On the inside I'm not the same person. Neither am I the same person on the outside. Not anymore.

So my questions to you are these:

What makes this time different?
Are you sure that this time is the last?
Are you confident in your own success?

Ruminations

When I began this blog a little over a year ago, I knew I had something to say. I just didn't know what. I only knew it started with defending myself.  I had grown tired of people thinking that I was lazy, unmotivated, or lacked control because I was fat

I started this blog as a way to plant the flag in the sand and reclaim my own feelings toward and about my body.  I wanted to tell them that it wasn't about being lazy, unmotivated, or lacking control.  I wanted people to see that I hadn't been programmed correctly to care for my body. I wanted them to see how much I have fought back since having a serious back injury.

Rather, I really should say that I needed to remind myself of those things, and gather the momentum to fight back.  And so I've recorded my highs and lows of this journey.  And I've been lucky to find people fighting the good fight (i.e. putting in the hard work).  I've found a community trying to find their collective voice.

I think I know what we've all been trying to say in one way or another:  "I work damn hard at being fat."  I'm not talking about what got us to our highest weights, I'm talking about all the hard work we put in to changing our lives and our bodies for the better and we are still considered to be "fat" by many (and worse, sometimes we still even see ourselves as being the same fat, unhealthy person).

We log our food, we log our miles, we log our emotions.  We know ourselves now to be stronger, more capable, and more in tune with our emotions than ever before, and yet we are still "Overweight" or "Obese."  It's Okay. It really is.

Our focus shouldn't be on the outer world, especially when our inner world is changing so much. 

In other words, really listen to that voice that wants to tell anyone off who gets in the way of your taking care of yourself.  Okay, so my legs are hairy when I go to the gym because I didn't want to take a shower before AND after working out.  Okay, so I can't run on the ground or on the treadmill, but I can run on the elliptical all day long (okay, maybe 3 hours max without needing to refuel/restretch).  Trying to justify yourself to anyone other than yourself will only distance yourself from your goals.

There just comes a point when you focus more on what you are doing than what you either can't do or what you wish you could do.  The focus point is straight ahead.  And like me, dear reader, you are staring it down and making it shake it its little focal point boots.

Little Changes

Some people are lucky enough to be celebrating big dramatic changes in their lives, such as Ms. Healthy Loser Girl having lost 100lbs, or Michael's new found residence in Onderland. And then of course there's Sheryl's accomplishment of reaching lifetime status at Weight Watchers.

Some of us can only count our minor achievements and little changes and only hope that they add up to the large changes we're hoping for ourselves.

I am a big NY Giants fan, if you haven't already figured that one out.
And football is best when there is a beer in my hand.

However this past Sunday I'm starting what I hope to be a new tradition:  I ran on the elliptical while watching the game. I ran 14km in the first 3 quarters. 

Feeling semi-victorious, I went to a bar for the 4th quarter. Normally I down many beers (when you're friends with the bartender you never really know how much you drink), a plate of chicken tenders, and a side of waffle fries.  Yesterday, I had 2 beers, ate the tenders, and felt sick after 5 waffle fries.

Not just uncomfortable, but sick.

I can't imagine that I did that to my body week after week.

And maybe this is one of the little changes:  knowing that the behaviors I've had in the past are not something I want to keep doing.  I'm not depriving myself of something if I no longer want.

They're coming to get me....

I've been seeing butterflies EVERYWHERE.
Every single day for the past 2 weeks I've seen at least 1 butterfly a day.  I haven't had to seek them out, as they often fly right in front of me, around me, or divebomb me.

Apparently, butterflies represent profound change.  They are "a symbol of transformation because of its impressive process of metamorphosis."

"Herein lies the deepest symbolic lesson of the butterfly. She asks us to accept the changes in our lives as casually as she does. The butterfly unquestioningly embraces the chan[g]es of her environment and her body."

From another site:  "The Greeks likened the butterfly’s constant flitting from flower to flower to the restlessness of the mind: constantly changing from subject to subject. Indeed, the Greek word for butterfly is ‘psyche’ from where we get our word ‘psychology’ – the study of the mind."

From Wikipedia:  "In some old cultures, butterflies also symbolize rebirth into a new life after being inside a cocoon for a period of time."

So thanks to these little flying pieces of art my mind has been preoccupied with thoughts of change, of transformation, of rebirth.  I know there's a bigger picture somewhere in all of this. I just can't see it yet.

Digging Deep

So I've been writing lately about how my body hasn't been cooperating with me lately--last month it was my back and lately it's been my hip.  This morning, as I was running, my knee started acting up.

For a good five minutes of running I let myself feel sorry.
Then I told my knee "Not today!"
I stopped and stretched a bit more.
Then I relied on my buddhist training that reminds us not to turn away from pain, but to turn toward it, and so I thanked my knee for sending me the signals of pain, that I'd correct my form, but I was pressing on.

But my knee still hurt. I either had to stop or figure out some other mental resource to get me over the hump to the point where there would be pain, but it wouldn't be at the forefront of my focus. 

And then I remembered a friend of a friend.
Instantly I felt the pain dissipate from my consciousness. It was present, but it didn't hold me back.
The friend of a friend is a badass by all definitions.  Not only was he a Marine that saw combat in Iraq, but he is an amputee that competes in the Warrior Games.  He has his aims set higher than just about anyone I've ever met.  I thought about him not because I thought "well if he's an amputee and he can compete and run, then I should shut my trap" but because of something he said to me almost a year ago.

Now, as a Fat Girl, you're not always accustomed to sincere compliments from hot guys, so when he said to me that I was a really cool chick, I sent him an email to thank him for saying it.  His reply?  "Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise."

In that moment when my knee was crapping out on me and I doubted whether my body was capable of this, I told my knee that I am a runner, and I wasn't going to let any minor injury let me think otherwise.



In other news, a coworker was at the gym with me this morning.  She is a very fit person -- tackling the elliptical on the highest incline and bending and flexing in ways I can't.

At one point halfway through my run, she told me "I am in awe of you."

Later she was doing plank exercises in perfect form and all I could think of was, "You're doing something I can't do and you're the one in awe of me?"

I mean, all I did was stop my elliptical, dismount, and kill a cockroach.  Just sayin...
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.

Question Time!

Upon watching Drop Dead Diva, I began thinking about the following things. I was wondering what your take is on it. 

What do you do to honor the person you left behind/are leaving behind as you shed the pounds? 
How do the two people (past and present) exist within you? 
Do you think when you've reached your goal/goal weight, that the past version of you will be gone?

Cherry on Top Award

The Rules:

1. Answer this question: If you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you and what would it be?

I know, this is the schmoopy sincere answer.  I think if I could change one thing in my life, I would have tried to be more compassionate to my parents (especially my mother).  They did their best.  Maybe if I hadn't fought them so much they wouldn't have felt like they failed so much. 

2. The second thing you have to do is, pick 6 people and give them this award. You then have to inform the person that they have gotten this award.

I'm really bad at doing this. I love all the blogs I read equally.  I'm going to cheat and say that if you want this award, the first six to lay claim to it get it :)

3. The third and final thing is, thank the person who gave you the award.
Thank you, Carly. You totally didn't have to :)
But I'm glad you did.  I like how you call things like they are.
You say what's on your mind, which means that more often than not, you know what is on your mind. That's pretty admirable.

Epic Let Down

As often the case is, life is filled with peaks and valleys. 
Do epic shit one day, suffer the consequence the next.

Today I was hoping to add another 8-10km to my personal 100 miles/160km in September challenge. But once I woke up and started moving around,  I realized that it just wasn't going to happen today.  No matter how much I stretched I knew my hip would not cooperate.  It was tight, it was moody, it was determined to slow me down.

And sometimes you just gotta listen to what your body is telling you or risk sidelining yourself even further.

I hopped on the recumbent bike (not a fan, as it isn't that much of a caloric burn, but it was something) and did that for an hour.  I did some weights, but i just wasn't feeling it.  It wasn't the workout that I wanted to be doing.

But as a dear friend reminds me -- just because you're struggling doesn't mean you're failing.  Struggle is part of the process.  It's how you deal with the adversity that determines your success or your failure.


QUESTION TIME:
What happens when you have to adapt to the situation at hand -- either in terms of diet or exercise?  
Are you comfortable with rolling with the punches or do you revert back to old/bad habits? 
Do you reach out for support or do you keep your struggle to yourself?

Epic

I think just about everyone who reads this blog can empathize with the statement that our bodies either have in the past or currently place limitations on the things we want to do.

It might be something simple like not being flexible enough to be a pretzel-shaped yogi, or not strong enough to benchpress a Prius.  But for some of us, the requests we place on our body are small ones -- things like "Please don't crap out on me" or "Just give me one day without pain."  And some of them are big ones, such as not fighting us on this whole weight loss/health gain adventure.

Today I asked my body to do something it's never done.
It might not be much for another person, but it was big for me:  3 minutes of running on a treadmill at a 7mph pace. Nonstop.  AND I DIDN'T DIE! I know! In other words: epic.

After doing that I added 10k on the elliptical towards my 100 miles (160 km) in September personal challenge.  That brings me up to 27 km just in the first 4 days of the challenge.  Not bad, right?

So since I burned lots of calories and didn't eat much (i'm up currently consume 1900 and burn 2900 and i won't be eating any more today -- with 4 more hours left in the day I think I'm okay), I decided to get dolled up and take myself out to dinner (turkey burger with no bun, broccoli and mac & cheese).

I also spent some day sunning myself at the pool today. It was fantastic -- a light breeze, a few clouds, and it wasn't hot as balls! And i did so in a bikini!

You might not notice, but I'm noticing the tiny little changes in my body. And I'm loving each and every bit of it. I thought I'd take another picture to chart the progression:


July 24th, 2010

 May 31, 2010

this is me in 2006

Time to get SERIOUS.

So, Nancy's wedding is November 6, 2010 -- that's a little over two months.

I'm currently at 192.2.
I'm not going to focus on what weight I want to be at (so long as I don't gain), because I fit in the dress.
I do want to focus on a few things:

1. I think in the month of September I want to run (on the elliptical) 100 miles (or 160.9 km).  I'm going to write it down each day on my calendar at home.  If I run a little over 8 km 20 out of 30 days, I'll be good to go.

2. NO DRINKING. I've covered this time and time again. Drinking, the hangover, and the recovery are so contrary to where I want to be. So I'm just not going to do it.  Plus, when I was on the good date, it would have been advantageous if I didn't drink at all, or stuck to 1 glass. 

3. More cooking for myself, eating in, making grocery lists and meal planning.  I don't want to go so far as to be rigid, but I know I do better when I have a battle plan.

4. Use body measurements.

5. Become accountable to a team and/or another person who has similar goals.

Short Post & Avocado Haiku

The more I lose weight, the more I love touching my own body (especially my stomach).
The more I lose weight, the more I want to be touched, and allow others to touch me.
The more I lose weight, the more I see who I was always meant to be coming out.

And I'm going to copy/paste my haiku on an avocado just for @FatGirlsCanRun and @halfofjess
Green, supple, fleshy
omega three flavor bomb
good with tortillas

@FatGirlsCanRun's haiku:
Buttery green bits
encased in ugly green shell
rock my chicken NOW

Adjustments, Reminders, and Cosmic Shifts

I'm on a boat! Correction, I'm on a horse!
I used to help my friend Erin muck stalls at the stables where she used to board her horses.  As a "reward" for a day of hard work, I'd get to ride her horse (man, if only I got to ride the stable owner's beautiful Friesian named Kye).  I'm only good for a walk or a gallop (as a trot hurts my back). Either way, she was constantly yelling at me (in a nice way), "KEEP YOUR HEELS DOWN."

It's not so important when you ride once every few years or so, but it is when you ride every day. It's also important for the horse, because that's what it's been trained to respond to.

I was reminded of horseback riding this morning when I realized that while my left foot automatically points forward (from years of rehabbing sprained ankles) my right foot does not. While I might think it is pointing straight, it is not, and I need to turn my heel out a bit.  It has helped ease the strain on my knee and prevents my toes from tingling. Every 5 minutes I'd have to remind myself to keep my heel out.

This past week while I was with Emily, she kindly showed me some exercises that I could do to help tone my arms and to work on my core.  While doing tricep extensions, she constantly told me to keep my elbows tucked in towards my head.  In other words -- not like the woman on the right.  She told me it was okay to go slower or to do it one arm at a time (using my other arm to keep the working arm's elbow pointed toward my nose) if I did them correctly.  Not doing an exercise correctly pretty much negates any positive effect.

While doing plank exercises, she also kept on reminding me to keep my hips/butt tucked in and core engaged (versus piking them) and adjusting me into the correct position. Another reminder I'll have to keep in my head when exercising.  While messing around with the Tree Pose, she showed me that my hips were way out of line and I was over rotating. She suggested I might fare better with a modified tree pose and build up my strength/flexibility to a more recognizable form.

The point of all of this is that for as much as wellness is a physical practice, it is a mental practice as well.  Our minds must be engaged while we are moving as to avoid injury, as to practice proper form, and to allow our mind and body to connect in a meaningful way.

So too our minds must be engaged while eating -- even if it's just to say "It's okay that I'm eating this cookie" or "I'm craving lasagna for dinner." Our mind is our most useful tool in changing the way we eat and what we eat.  Sure we might have some lingering issues here and there, but for the most part they are external. Junk food is no longer the assailaint from within. Overeating is no longer suffocating our body's natural mechanisms of feeling full.  Our mind, with its adjustments and reminders, is there there to assuage our fears that "OMG this is the last ice cream I'll ever get to eat and thus I must eat it all!" (There will be more ice cream, it is not going extinct), or that "OMG eating a whole pizza will fix my unhappiness" (If you're able to identify you're eating because you're unhappy, that's half the battle).

That brings me to the cosmic shift portion of the post:  the Epiphany.

I've often mentioned the Epiphany in passing, both on the blog and on twitter, as well as with friends.  The Epiphany goes something like this (with permission to amend as needed):
Until someone realizes the importance of their own health and well-being, no one else can force them to care. Until someone realizes that how they treat their body (food, exercise, care, kindness and forgiveness) is a practice of love and a statement to the world about how they feel about their own value, they will continue to see diet and exercise as a cycle of deprivation or guilt followed by punishment.  They will feel any sense of self-worth to be misguided, selfish, or entirely absent.
The Epiphany is that it is not about deprivation, guilt, or punishment.  The Epiphany is a deep and abiding sense of self worth, of value, of presence.  The Epiphany is the sonic boom or the quiet whisper simply of "I matter."  The Epiphany can be broken down into various "I matter" phrases -- such as "my feelings matter" or "my health matters."  When your heart/mind/soul beings to stick up for yourself, it is only natural that your body does as well, as they are all interrelated.
The Epiphany makes other things seem silly -- like whether I've shaved or not, or whether I'm wearing the trendy workout clothing.  The bottom line, no matter what is that I owe it to myself to listen to my body and mind and pay attention to what it needs.  I know it's not easy for everyone (especially those of you whose lives resemble three-ring circuses) but once the Epiphany happens, it doesn't have to be some song and dance or a big parade every time.  Sometimes all you need to do to honor yourself and your needs is simply admit to yourself that you matter. Your existence in this world matters. What you put in your body matters. How you allow people to treat you matters.

It's not license to be a bull in a china shop. But it is license to have time every day (even if it's just 5 minutes) where your focus is on nourishing your heart/mind/body/soul. You're worth it. Believe me, you are.