Monday, January 18, 2016

I Have a Dream....

Happy MLK Day!

If you have the day off work today, I hope you take a moment to reflect on the reason for the national holiday and how Dr. King's wise words and dreams are still something we need to work to fulfill.

This world has become a pretty scary place and it seems as if we are divided more than ever when we should be coming together and fighting for justice and equality no matter what race or religion. I find it hard to watch the news and our ridiculous politicians who fight for power and money instead of fighting for the people and doing the right thing. We have come so far but have so much further to go.

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others? ~MLK

The time is always right to do what is right. ~MLK

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. ~MLK

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. ~MLK

Every year on this day I like to read the "I Have a Dream" speech in its entirety. It is just as true and powerful today as it was when Dr. King delivered it in August 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.


I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Friday, January 8, 2016

Happy New Year!?

Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and got to spend quality time with the people who mean the most to you. I did a significant amount of writing over the holidays but didn't want to bring people down with my sadness and grief so I didn't post it all.

It's a new year and a fresh start and all that and I'm trying to convince myself that it will get better. Time heals. I will eventually have a day without tears and, honestly, that day cannot come soon enough. The truth is I'm in a pretty sad and depressing place and I don't know how to get out of it. Aren't you glad I came back only to post one depressing story after another? For those of you with a thick skin and a compassionate heart, I really appreciate your sticking around and being so supportive. I promise I'm trying to work my way out of this funk but the holidays were extremely tough when you deep in the grieving process and I'm trying to recover from it all.
 I had a bright idea to include my condolences thank you cards in with my Christmas cards but as I started to stuff the envelopes I just couldn't do it. How could I send out holiday wishes along with a long sad letter reminding people of how much I (and they) miss my Mom? So I still haven't sent out thank you cards and I only managed to send Christmas cards to a few people who are struggling right along with me.
I'm still trying to comprehend how quickly and unexpectedly my Mom died. As much as she drove me crazy at times, I am devastated she is no longer here and I'm doing the best I can to get through each and every day without her. Every single day I would get a "Good Morning" e-mail from her and we would e-mail back and forth all day long. Of course when I called her she would just repeat everything she told me in the e-mails but she still wanted to hear my voice so I called her and she would end up doing most of the talking.

The holidays were extremely tough. They brought along such a deep grief as I struggled to comprehend that she is no longer here to celebrate with us. She should have been here. This is just the beginning of the year of firsts. I can’t help but weep as I recall happier times and even the many not-so-happy times. Just last year we got to spend a few bonus days together as her return flight to Florida was cancelled due to one of the many big snowstorms we had. How different it is this year – we don’t have any snow and we don’t have her here with us.

While the whole world celebrated, holiday memories flooded in and make grief cut in even deeper. As I turned my calendars to the month of December I saw my Mom’s flight information there as she was scheduled to be here on December 21st for her usual Christmas visit. She should have been here to celebrate her 71st birthday on January 3rd. Never in a million years did I think last Christmas/New Year/Birthday would be our last celebrations together.

We all have a list of time-honored holiday traditions. These traditions are part of who we are and how we share our happiness with the people we love. How do we celebrate when one of the people we love is gone. How can we possibly be happy and celebrate? How are we supposed to fake feeling festive when we miss them so much?

December may be “the most wonderful time of the year,” but it can also be the most painful. There is a profound difference between the external trappings of the season and the way we feel inside. What once delighted us now feels empty and we cringe at all the hoopla. Doesn't anyone know how much we hurt? The gaiety surrounds us and accentuates our feelings of loss.

I have not yet adjusted to life without my Mom. The ache of her absence envelops me like fog even as I try so hard to be cheerful. It is expected that we all be in good spirits during the holidays but it is difficult to pretend to be cheerful when a huge loss is still so fresh. Even though the calendar dictates it, I did not feel jolly or festive.

I  know that the holiday blues are a normal part of grief. Unspoken gloom hovers over all attempts to celebrate. It is a process and I know no matter how much time passes I will always miss her, every single day, and somehow even more on the holidays.

I've had a few good days and really, really bad days, but the thing that keeps me going is trying to do what she would want, which is to be happy and keep smiling. If she knew I was sad it would upset her so I'm doing my best to make her happy (still). The holidays just reminds me how much she enriched and touched my life in a way that made me who I am, and it reminds me to be thankful for all the memories I will forever cherish. Just because she is no longer physically next to me or a phone call or e-mail away, she will always be a part of me and our connection will continue to grow, maybe even in a deeper way. She is my angel now. An angel I know only wants the best for me just as she did all my life.

I hope that you take a moment to show your love and appreciation for all of your loved ones, not only on the holidays but every day, because you never know how many more opportunities you will get to show them how much they mean to you.

Now 2016 will be the year of firsts and the year I somehow learn to live without my Mom. It's been over 3 months since she past but it doesn't seem to be getting any easier. I'm looking forward to a day without tears but that hasn't happened yet. Something always sets me off and I can't help but cry. I have so much to be thankful for and I'm trying to stay focused on the truly important and meaningful things by showing my appreciation to those people who enrich my life.

I truly appreciate everyone who has reached out and offered their advice and sympathies. I know time will pass and the devastating hurt will soften and I will be able to get through a day without breaking down. Death is a part of life and it will happen to all of us eventually. Hold tight to the good times and live your life to the fullest every single day.

Blessings to you and yours....

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Faking Festive....

'Tis the season to be merry and all that but, as you can imagine, I'm just not feeling very festive this year. I'm going through the motions - hanging the Christmas lights and wandering the stores but it doesn't feel like Christmas. It doesn't help that we haven't seen any snow and it's going to be in the 60s this weekend but on the bright side we have plans to go bike riding on Saturday. Not very often we're able to do that in New England in mid-December. We'll probably even venture out and get a tree this weekend but my heart doesn't really feel like celebrating anything.

My work "holiday" party was this past week and as much as I wanted to go home and do nothing I forced myself to go to the party. I went prepared with a flask because they usually only offer beer and wine at work functions and I don't drink either but I knew I would need a little something to get me through the night. Turns out they actually offered a couple of specialty drinks and one was a citron vodka drink so was all over that. I think my office manager got sick of listening to me complain that beer and wine is not "open bar."

The party was at a swanky hotel a few blocks from the office so it was convenient to get there. I had a few drinks, talked to a few friends, had a bite to eat and then went to "work." I gave myself the job of being the official photographer so I could hide behind the lens and not have to chit chat. I was able to float around taking pictures and had an excuse to keep on moving around. Even though I've been at my firm since 2011, I don't know many people other than the group that works on my floor and a few others because the place is so huge and my department is one of the smallest. I'm always asking my floater friend who everyone is because I don't have a clue and she knows everyone. I see these people on the elevators and in big meetings but I don't know them. The past few years I felt extremely socially awkward at these parties and I think it's because I didn't have my camera to protect me. Even though I wasn't in the mood, I'm glad I forced myself to go and I did get lots of great pictures.

I know that this year of firsts without my Mom is going to suck. I broke down when I turned the calendar to December and saw her flight information written on there. She would have been here for Christmas until after her birthday on January 3rd. Getting through these next few weeks is going to be so hard. I wish I were bitching about how much she was driving me crazy because she always did. She certainly knew how to press every single one of my buttons and it seemed like she enjoyed doing it. Over the past few years I was learning how to just let her say what she was going to say (repeatedly) and not argue with her about it (whatever "it" was) because it wasn't worth the fight. She believed what she believed and nothing I ever said made any difference anyway. I'm glad that no matter how much she bitched and drove me crazy we always ended up having a great time. My brother and I really went out of our way to spoil her at least twice a year. We paid for her to come visit over Christmas and Mother's Day every single year. We took her to see her family and friends and we would take her to all her favorite places because we wanted to make sure she had a good time and she always did. I still can't believe last year was our last year. She even got stuck here an extra few days over and above her 2+ weeks because we had a big snowstorm and her flight got cancelled. Who knew how different things would look this year?

It's certainly not easy to fake it. On the outside I may be smiling, laughing and appearing to be having a good time but on the inside I'm a sad mess who is holding back the tears and on the verge of a meltdown. Even though we never stop missing them, I know with time it will get easier. Maybe by this time next year the fog will lift and I will be able to celebrate with a happy heart (right Biz?). Meanwhile I will continue to fake feeling festive until I can learn how to celebrate again without being so sad my Mom isn't here to celebrate with us.

It's not about the presents, the parties or the food - it's about making memories with the people we love. Cherish the ones who are around your tables and trees and enjoy every family get together because someday you will look back and only have pictures of your loved ones celebrating past holidays. These are the days my friends, I thought they'd never end...

Happy Festivus!


Monday, December 7, 2015

Warm Weekend Flies By...

Monday again already? Why must you come back so quickly? I must have blinked because it feels like it was just Friday five minutes ago. Mondays always come way too fast and I never seem to get everything on my to-do list done.

I ended up working late Friday night because I had to take B to the doctor Friday morning to get a few areas of skin cancer cut out (again) so I was late getting in the office. I thought it was funny that when B filled out the doctor's questionnaire that asked "do you have any family history of skin cancer?" he wrote "I'm Irish." That pretty much says it all, right? He is Italian too but his skin is definitely Irish. He is stitched up good on his neck and back but should be feeling fine after he gets the stitches out in 2 weeks. This is not the first time he's had to have skin cancer removed so I'm not too worried about it but it is something he needs to keep an eye on and get checked regularly. It's interesting that the spots I think look bad are nothing and the little spots that don't look like much are what end up being cancerous. Please get checked if you have a similar family history. It's very treatable as long as it is detected and taken care of early.

Saturday was a beautiful day here. After getting some chores done in the morning I spent the afternoon in the salon getting my hair done. I'm so very lucky that my brother is an amazing stylist and colorist who takes care of covering up my old lady grey hair before it gets too noticeable and out of control. It always looks amazing for a couple of days after he does it and then it's back to the no fuss styling since I can't be bothered to break out the hair dryer let alone spend any amount of time making it look as beautiful as he makes it look. So thankful for my brother and his talents.

Sunday was a gorgeous 50+ degree day here. We spent the morning hanging Christmas lights and raking leaves. Hard to believe I was out in a t-shirt raking leaves in December. I'm beginning to believe this global warming theory. The afternoon was spent watching football. It didn't turn out well for me and my fellow Patriots. It was an ugly game. Fingers crossed some of our injured players will come back healthy and we can get back to our winning ways. On to Houston. The Pats loss was the worst part of my weekend so that's a good thing.

Time for me to get my act together and start another crazy work week.

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend and have a Happy Monday.

Rock on...

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Long Time No Blog....

Hello My Friends -

Is that an echo I hear? Hello? Hello? Is there anybody out there? Is this thing on?

Not sure if there is anyone still out there on this line but I think it may do me some good to get some stuff out of my head. It's pretty full up in there and I need some release.

I have been keeping up with you, my blog friends, by reading your posts but haven't been commenting much, if at all, because I read on my phone during my commute and it is almost impossible to comment using that medium. I hope you know I'm out there cheering you on and wishing you well.

Yes, it's been an extremely long time since I posted and, as you can imagine, a lot has changed. This post would be novel-length if I tried to tell you everything that has happened in 2+ years so I'll just give some highlights/lowlights and, hopefully, I'll be back on a semi-regular basis to fill you in on more of the details. I'll start by answering some questions I would want to know if I were you.

Q: Why did you stop blogging?
A: I was never a consistent blogger but after I went back to work I just didn't have much time. Aside from the time issue, there was so much going on in the world that it seemed kind of frivolous for me to be worried about something as insignificant as my weight. Not much has changed. I'm still crazy busy at work (aren't we all!) and the world is even more full of events that make me want to crawl in a hole or run away to a faraway place to be safe but, luckily, I am safe and blessed in many ways so I need to get over that. This is the world we live in and I need to find a way to not let all the violence and sadness of the outside world bring me down. It's certainly not easy. I can't even watch the news some days because it makes me so sad. I just don't understand all the hate and violence. It is so scary.

Q: Why did you change the name of the blog?
A: When I started this blog I thought it would help me figure out why I could lose weight, feel great and then gain it back over and over again. I've come to realize that the weight doesn't really matter. It's not about a number on the scale, or the size of my pants, it's about being healthy and feeling good. That's what I'm going to try to work on. It's more about what is going on in my head so I'm hoping by writing about that, it will help me work it out and once I get my head in a healthy place I will be able to get control of all the emotional eating and start taking better care of myself.

Q: Did I regain ALL the weight I lost?
A: Yes, I'm fat AGAIN! It's amazing how long it took to lose 101 pounds and how very quickly and easily it was to gain it all back. Sit at a desk for 10+ hours a day, don't make time to go to the gym, don't cook healthy meals at home regularly, try to stuff down your emotions with food and it is very easy to find yourself back where you started. Hello, Square One.

Q: Are you still going to those cardio kickboxing classes?
A: Unfortunately, no. I haven't been to the class I loved in years. When I went back to work I tried going to class twice a week on my lunch hour but the gym was on the other side of town and my bosses got upset when I was taking almost 2 hours for lunch so I stopped going.

Q: Are you still working out?
A: I'm not a total slug but I'm not working out consistently or with much intensity. I walk about 3 miles a day, to and from the train station, when the weather cooperates and I get on my bike once in a while but that's about it. I do have a gym membership but it isn't convenient for me to get to so I haven't been more than a few times in the past 6 months.

Q: Anything major happen?
A: It is so hard for me to even write this since I'm still in shock over it. My Mom passed away in September at 70 years young. She was often a pain in the ass and drove me crazy but she was my mother and I loved her. I miss her so much and only wish she were still here to drive me crazy. She was supposed to visit for a friend's wedding in June and the day before she was scheduled to fly up here she went to the hospital because she had a cough that wasn't getting better and she was having trouble breathing. She was diagnosed with lung cancer. Initially they said it was a very small area in her left lung, very treatable and she would be fine after 6 weeks of chemo/radiation. Three weeks into treatment her doctor called and LEFT A MESSAGE saying she was too weak to receive anymore treatments, they were admitting her into hospice and she was going to die. My brother and I flew down to Florida the next day and spent a month with her in hospice. It was brutal and I'm still in shock. I can barely see the screen through my tears so I'm going to sign off for now.

I'll be back...soon.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Give Me a Break!

There has been so much going on in my little world I don't really even know where to begin. It would probably help if I didn't go weeks/months between posts but I honestly haven't had a minute to myself these days.

Where to start....

We finally moved 25+ years worth of stuff out of our third floor apartment into the new house. You can imagine the great stair workout I got over the past few months carrying box after box down 3 flights of stairs and going back up again and again. It was exhausting and more challenging than any day at the gym but it is finally done. Now I have a 2 car garage full of boxes to unpack but at least I'm away from the toxic environment and all the family drama.

Our place in Vermont got broken into and we had thousands of dollars worth of stuff stolen. We got to the camp around 11pm Friday night of Labor Day weekend to find our beautiful new French doors to the addition broken and every bag and drawer emptied and strewn all over the floor. Our relatively new tv was gone and they stole a bunch of random stuff. Snowboard, snowboard boots, snow shoes, backpacks, tools, CDs and other stuff we haven't realized is missing yet. The key to our plow truck is missing and they tried to steal the riding lawn mower but couldn't get either of them started. Luckily they couldn't get at our snowmobiles or the ATVs but it is little consolation. So creepy to know total strangers have been in your house going through your stuff. I had been so stressed and was looking forward to a relaxing long weekend but that didn't  happen. We spent the weekend installing new locks and securing the place as best we could.

I was almost numb to it all by the end of that night. As sad as it is I keep trying to look on the bright side. The thieving ba$tards shut the door when they left so the house wasn't full of insects and animals, nobody was hurt and it is just stuff. Stuff can be replaced but it is hard to get over the fact that we are not safe there (or anywhere). Some of our neighbors up there haven't locked there doors in 30 years but they are starting to now.

I am in the middle of a visit from the Mothership and I'm losing what little patience I've been hanging on to. She really knows how to push all of my buttons and I'm afraid I haven't been biting my tongue as much as I should and usually do. It cracks me up that the things I actually remember she tells me didn't happen and the revisionism she believes is mind boggling. She is such a worrywart and has a non-stop commentary about everything that is bad for you. You shouldn't eat this or that, you shouldn't drink (as she sucks down another scotch), everything is dangerous and you shouldn't do this or that. It's exhausting dealing with some so negative when I'm trying so hard to get my head in a better place but she is my mother and I must try to keep the peace.

I finally got my Wii hooked up and weighed myself. I was right. I haven't gained it all back but a good 80% found its way back on. I'm doing the best I can to just hold on these days but know I have to get serious about weight loss again. It is so hard to see my friends wearing all my beautiful fat clothes that I gave away when I could wear them again now. Even sadder is all the beautiful clothes I have that I can't squeeze my a$$ into anymore. I swore I would NEVER fill out those fat clothes again so there was no need to hold onto them. When will I learn?

What is it going to take for me to lose it AGAIN and keep it off? Your guess is as good as mine but I'm determined to keep fighting for it.

Thanks to all you beautiful souls who keep checking in on me, cheering me on and inspiring me. I'm determined to make you (and myself) proud again and I'm going to try to check in more regularly so you don't have to read such long rambling posts.

I best get my butt to bed since I'm hosting my first big BBQ at the new house tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What are we waiting for?

Hey Strangers -

Long time no blog. Yes, I'm alive! I've missed you! Luckily, I've been able to keep up with things going on in your world thanks to a smart phone, a long(er) commute and Google Reader (please tell me what I should use for a reader now-I'm clueless).

Today is July 1st, my birthday month, and I can't help thinking about how different I felt just 2 year ago and how I really need to get my groove back. Two years ago I was closing in on 101 pounds lost and felt amazing. I was in the best shape of my life when I reached my goal in September that year only to climb right back up the scale like the statistics said I would. I'm trying to look on the bright side - I'm still better off than I was 6 years ago at my heaviest but that's not very comforting. What am I waiting for? I'm certainly not getting any younger.

You can't imagine the things I've been through these past months. I don't even know where to start without boring you to tears with all the gory details. I'll just give you some highlights or, in most cases, the lowlights, to catch you up on the major happenings.

  • I'm a Bostonian. I work two blocks away from the finish line where they set up the medical tent. I was supposed to work that Monday but (thank God!) I was nowhere near the chaos and carnage that happened that day. I think He knows I couldn't handle it because I wasn't in the city on 9/11 either. I wasn't at the Marathon and I didn't know any of the victims personally (lots of friends of friends) but I was still devastated by what happened. I just can't comprehend all the hatred in the world and it makes me want to run away (to where? I don't know). Our city was in lock down and it was scary having something so horrific happen here.
  • I was forced to move from the apartment I've lived in for over 25+ years by a family member who returned from out of the country to cause havoc and take advantage of people's generous nature. I call those generous people "enablers" and I just couldn't stay and be a witness to it. Home is supposed to be a place we feel safe, a place we can relax and unwind but that became impossible to do. When someone is in your house screaming, slamming doors and disturbing that peace there is no way to avoid hearing it and getting involved in the drama. It was intolerable and, as much as I didn't want to move, I had to get away from the toxic environment. 
  • We bought a house! I still believe everything happens for a reason and I'm trying to see how being forced out of my apartment brought me to a better place. We closed in March and spent months renovating. We worked our full time jobs and then worked at the house every night and every weekend until we were able to start sleeping here in June. There are still lots of renovating to do and we still have a ton of stuff to pack and move out of our 3rd floor walk-up but we are away from the drama and that is a good thing. I even thought about doing a "What's Blooming?" post like Lori when I saw my tulips, daffodils and lilacs come up in the spring.
  • The same weekend I started sleeping in the new house was the weekend they moved my desk to a new floor. I've only been at this job for less than 2 years but the move was still hard. I've certainly had my fill of packing and moving and I'm not even done yet. My desk faces a different direction, the equipment on my floor is terrible and it takes longer to get everywhere except, unfortunately, the cafĂ©. I really don't need to be any closer to free food (Lord help me!).
  • The Answer to the $264,000 Question? I honestly don't know what I weigh at the moment. The scale and my Wii got packed away a while ago and I haven't found the time to dig either of them out. I've been working day and night but haven't stepped foot in the gym and haven't been able to get to those kickboxing classes I love. I haven't been making the best choices and have, more often than not, gone for convenience over substance. Some nights we got home so late I was too exhausted to even bother having dinner. I haven't gained it all back but I'd guess I've found about 80% of the fat I painstakingly lost. It is just one more thing to be depressed about but I'm determined to get out of this pit I've put myself in.
  • Once again, I'm having a bit of a pity party for myself. How do I get back to that happy place? How do I make the time to do what I need to do? How do I stop numbing my emotions with food? Obviously I don't have the answers or I wouldn't be back here AGAIN. I really believed I was going to keep it off. I thought I figured it out, finally, but I was wrong. I honestly don't have a clue but I'm going to try, try again.
There has been more family drama and some other major happenings but I don't want to shock you or bore you with all this "woe is me" stuff. Believe me, I realize I have many, many good things in my life and lots of people would be happy to trade their problems for mine but I'm finding it hard to keep up the positive attitude when I really just want to sit down and cry.

There are so many of you that truly amaze and inspire me and I thank you. Just so you know I'm not just blowing smoke when I say I've been keeping up with you....
  • Happy 50th to Shelley! I picture you jumping up and yelling "I'm 50!" like Mary Catherine on SNL. You just keep getting better and better.
  • Happy 45th to Lori! Inspiring weight loss/maintenance with biking and bagels.
  • Happy 1000th+ post to Cammy! Making Tippy Toeing through maintenance look easy.
  • Marion, I love your gym photos and your tough love. You are a rock star!
  • Best Wishes to Suzi as she starts her new life as a married woman. We've both lost and gained but through it all, no matter our weight, we've had the support of great guys and we can get back there.
  • Biz, you are INSANE! Love those sweaty photos - keep 'em coming! You make me want to cook and I hate to cook. I love your pictures, getting a peak into your life and your tales of getting bizzy in the kitchen.
  • Elle, I know exactly how you feel. I'm there and we both know what we need to do to get back to where we want to be.
  • You, you and you too...I'm cheering you on, giving you a kick in the butt or sympathizing with you even if I can't comment much, if at all. I'm there for you in spirit and praying we all find our way.
I'm not giving up because once you reach the bottom of the pit there is nowhere to go but up and out or die trying. What am I waiting for?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

I'm still alive but I'm barely breathing.... could have something to do with the fact that all my clothes are pulling apart at the seams and I can barely zip my fat pants. Those size 6s and 8s have been buried under piles of 14s, 16s and 18s and it makes me want to cry. How could I do this again? I swore I wasn't going to let it happen AGAIN. I guess I'm in good company because it's happened to the best of us. Even the weight loss rock stars who lost the weight, wrote books, appeared in commercials and went on whirlwind tours promoting their weight loss only to be in the exact same position I find myself in. Why? Why? WHY? Why do we do this to ourselves over and over again? We are so much happier and healthier but we find ourselves right back to where we started or even further back from our starting line. Why?

I so desperately wanted to be one of those success stories. I want to break the trend and KEEP IT OFF. I worked extremely hard to lose 101 pounds and I wanted to prove to myself that I really did figure out how to take care of myself. Obviously, I still have a lot to learn.

I'm still reading and finding inspiration in your blogs but every single time I sat down to post my own all I came up with sounded whiny and depressing. Who wants to read that? I work long hours at a stressful job (although it is better than the last place I worked). I haven't been able to get to my kickboxing classes or make anything but sporadic appearances at the gym. I started eating out more often and stress eating just like the bad ol' days even though I know better. Little by little I let it all (almost) slip away again. I've just been having a big ol' pity party for myself because I've regained so much weight and I like my pity parties to be solitary affairs which is why I didn't invite all of you to join me. I thought I learned my lesson this last time. I thought I was going to be able to have Adventures in Maintenance just like these amazing ladies (Lori, Cammy, Shelley, Debby and Lynn) who finally figured it all out.

Losing the weight isn't enough, I've done that. Learning to love working out isn't enough, I've done that too. Whatever I've been doing and not doing this past year and a half isn't enough and I know I can do better. I have to do better. I have to find a way to lose the weight AGAIN and, more importantly, KEEPING IT OFF.

I want to crawl in a big, deep, dark hole every time I see someone I haven't seen in a while. I know what they are thinking ... "what happened? it's so sad she regained all that weight back." Of course, that is nothing compared to what I say to myself when I look in the mirror or try on pants that were falling off me 2 years ago that I can't get past my thighs. It is NOT pretty.

What is it going to take for me to learn this lesson? Why do I keep making the same mistakes? Where is that determination and focus I had? Was it just a matter of having the time to take care of myself? How do I make the time I need to take care of myself a priority? How do I stop eating my feelings? I know, I know...JUST DO IT! Oh, it's so simple...but so much easier said than done.

I'll come back soon and fill you in on all the family drama, job opportunities found and lost and big moves happening in my life and hopefully I'll be able to report that I'm back on track to lose this fat suit AGAIN and will, eventually, join my heroes in the Adventures in Maintenance.

Here I go again...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Never Say Never anyone still out there?  I've never been the most consistent blogger but a post once a month shouldn't be too hard to handle, huh?  Thought I'd drop in and tell my sad tale of weight loss (regain) woes.  If you want to be inspired I suggest you check out my blogroll and visit those who are rocking the healthy lifestyle because I certainly haven't been one of them lately although I'm not giving up so there is still hope for me yet.

I really need to think long and hard before I use words like "NEVER" and "ALWAYS."  It seems as soon as we utter the word "never" circumstances change and we find ourselves doing exactly what we said we would NEVER EVER do.  It seems like the universe conspires to make us eat words like "never" and "always."  How many weddings have you been to where people promised to "always" love each other 'til death they do part only to be divorced in a few years.  I swore I would NEVER EVER regain the weight I worked so hard to lose. I thought I had it all figured out. I learned how to love exercise and looked forward to sweating my ass off at the gym.  I thought that was the key but I'm sorry to say that has not been the case.  I haven't gone back to binge eating but I have been eating too much, too often, and way too many meals out.

Exactly one year ago today I hit my goal of losing 101 pounds and went back to working a full time job after being unemployed for 22 months. During my unemployment I was able to focus my time on getting in shape and it worked.  I felt great and swore that I would NEVER let myself get fat again.  I guess I have NOT really figured anything out.  Well, that's not true, I've figured out that I can lose weight, exercise regularly and eat right as long as I don't have to work a full time job at the same time.

I'm not back at square one but I honestly can't even tell you how much weight I regained because I'm afraid to get on the scale.  It's crazy that I weighed myself almost every single day for years but I'm afraid to get on the scale and see the actual number now.  I would say I'm at about square 50 and it's depressing as hell to think about trying to lose those pounds all over again.

I have learned that I don't handle stress well and I suck at time management and forcing myself to get up early enough or go to the gym after work when all I want to do is get home and de-stress.  I'm still walking to and from the train station (3+ miles) everyday.  I'm still going to my favorite cardio kickboxing classes when I can get out of the office but I haven't been able to regularly make it to both classes every week.  The biggest problem is the stress eating and not taking the time to make healthy meals when I get home so late and I'm just too damn tired.

It really sucks to keep going through this.  I've run into a few people I haven't seen in a few years and they ask if I've lost weight and compliment me and tell me how great I look so all is not lost (regained).  I don't have 101 pounds to lose but even if that number is 50 it is still a tough pill to swallow but I'm going to have to face the scale at some point and figure out a way to lose weight and work for a living.

I'm not giving up.  I'm going to figure out a way to do this once and for all.  Time to get back to square 50....  Wish me luck.

Rock on!

Thursday, July 5, 2012


I know FAT is NOT a feeling but when I attempt to squeeze into pants that fit loosely just a few short months ago that is exactly how I feel...FAT. I've been kicking myself a bit for giving away all my fat clothes because I was so sure I was NEVER going to go back there but here I am. I'm not back into the biggest sizes, thankfully, but I'm not going in the direction I want to go.

Fat, bloated, stuffed, depressed, stressed, anxious, frustrated, disappointed and confused - that is how I've been feeling.  How could I let myself regain AGAIN? I swore I wouldn't let it happen AGAIN and here I am AGAIN.

I had good reason to be scared of regaining weight when I went back to work last September because I've done it so many times before. I really thought this time would be different.  I thought I had finally figured it out.  I had finally learned to love working out and thought that was the key to keeping the weight off.

I was able to find a way to get to my kickboxing classes twice a week and I get in at least 3 miles of walking almost every day but that just hasn't been enough to keep the pounds from creeping back on.  I know there is no amount of exercise that can make up for overindulging on a regular basis and when I'm stressed or bored at work the first thing I want to do is eat. Stress eating and emotional eating is my thing and I need to figure out a way to prevent myself from reaching for snacks all day long when I am NOT hungry for food.

Something has got to give because I've already lost so much ground and I need to stop it.  Aside from quitting my job, which, unfortunately, I just can't swing financially, I don't know what it's going to take but I'm going to find a way.

I need to stop feeling FAT because I know FAT is NOT a feeling.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Alive and Kickin'

Yes, I'm still alive and kickin', working my butt off (not literally) and trying to stop the scale from climbing back up. Why oh why does lost weight find it's way back so easily? 

I recently did a google photo search for kickboxing and look what popped up?

Yup, that's me!  I guess I've written about how much I love kickboxing enough that I made it to google's search engine. 

I've been having a hard time keeping up in my kickboxing class lately which is probably due to the 30 pounds I've regained but I'm still fighting and I'm not giving up. 

I really wish I didn't need a paycheck because I would love to be able to spend hours at the gym everyday instead of sitting at a desk shuffling papers all day.  I'm still trying to get my ass out of bed early enough in the morning to go for a run or get to the gym but that just hasn't been happening.  I'm walking over 3 miles a day back and forth to the train station, walking at lunch when weather permits, kickboxing two days a week and staying active but it just hasn't been enough to compensate for sitting on my ass all day at work and snacking way too often.

I'm still here reading all of your posts while commuting but my service is sporadic so I haven't been able to comment much which I miss.  I hope to get better at this time management stuff, get my ass out of bed early enough to work out and hit the lottery so I can quit my job and get back to the gym full time.  A girl can dream...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rage Against Regain!

I'm so frustrated.  I can't seem to figure out how to make things work.  You may remember when I reached my goal of losing 101 pounds back in September on my first day back to the grind and how worried I was about finding a way to maintain my hard-earned loss.  Apparently I had good reason for my fears and they were not unfounded.

Since reaching my goal last September I've been steadily gaining bit by bit and struggling to find a way to fit in my workouts after a long stressful day at the office. I struggle every day to stay away from all the free food they push around every single day. Last week alone they had a big breakfast one day and ice cream sundaes another day.  I don't understand why they feel the need to reward employees with fattening crappy food. 

I know it's possible to find a way to fit it all in.  I know it can be done. I see many of you not only work full time jobs and take care of your families but also put in the hours you need to stay fit.  I just can't seem to find my way.

I miss my two hour workouts and my daily walks.  I miss having the time to go to the market every day and cook healthy meals every night.  I miss it! 

I knew it was going to be difficult to find the time to workout but I didn't think I would regain so much so quickly.  It's depressing to think how much sweat and effort it took to lose and how easy it finds its way back.

I walk over 3 miles every single weekday back and forth to the train station.  I make every effort to get to my cardio kickboxing class twice a week during my lunch hour but that doesn't always happen because there is always some "emergency" that pops up just as I'm getting ready to leave for class and then I get extremely upset that I can't go which makes me even more stressed out.

Something has got to give.  I have to find a way to make it work or hit the lottery so I can be a lady of leisure who can spend as long as I want hanging out at the gym and taking care of myself. 

I'm not giving up on this fight but it is HARD and I need to find the time to make it work because I don't want to go back to where I was.  I'm not where I was but I'm not where I want to be either. 

I'm sure you've all heard the saying "it's better to have love and lost than to never have loved at all," right? I was wondering if it is the same sort of thing with weight loss. Is it better to have lost and regained than to never have lost at all?  I'm not sure.

The battle continues....

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Numbers Game

You can't win if you don't play. I thought for sure this was my winning ticket even though the odds were better that I would be struck by lightening 7 times on a sunny day. No matter how terrible the odds, I still wasted a few dollars so I could dream about what I would do with all that loot. Sadly, I still have to go to work for a living and I will not be able to give cold hard cash out to my family, friends and strangers on the street but the dream lives on.

If you live in the United States you probably spent at least a dollar during the recent MegaMillions frenzy because the jackpot was as high as a half a BILLION dollars. Almost everyone I know had a ticket and we all had lofty dreams of what we would do with the money if we won.

I started thinking about how I used to dream about getting in shape while sitting on my ass watching infomercials of the latest quick fix, easy weight loss, diet craze. I wanted it so badly but realized that no matter how much I wanted it, wanting and dreaming about it was never going to make it happen. It just wasn't enough. Like the lottery, you can't win if you don't play. You can't expect to win the weight loss battle if you never get your ass off the couch just like you have absolutely no chance of winning the big lottery jackpot if you don't buy a ticket.

So remember, no matter how badly you want to win, you have to be in it to win it.

Get out and play!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Best Weight Loss Blogs

Crabby McSlacker at Cranky Fitness compiled a great list of the best weight loss blogs of 2012 and I'm not surprised to see many of my favorite blogs on the list and excited to check out a bunch of new-to-me ones. If you are looking for some fresh blogs or wondering if you made the list, you can check it out here.

Did you make the list? Were you surprised to see certain blogs there (I was)? Who is your favorite fitness/weight loss blogger? Do tell - inquiring minds want to know.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses....

Hey There, Hi There, Ho There - long time no blog. This working thing really sucks up way too much living time. I've been wanting to write here but just can't seem to find the time to sit at the computer and do it. Something had to give and, unfortunately, as much as I love blogging I just couldn't get to it. If I had a choice between working out and writing about working out I've been choosing to sweat. Priorities, right?

I've been keeping up with what's going on with you by reading blogs on the train during my commute to and from work but service is spotty and it's almost impossible to comment from my phone so I'm sorry if I haven't been a good blogging buddy. I continue to cheer you on even though you don't see it in a comment. I hope you understand and I hope to get better with my time management and get around to commenting once in a while. I miss you guys.

I keep seeing this commercial for a local health insurance company where a couple asks each other every day whether they went to the gym. Their excuses range from "I forgot my ponytail holder," "I missed the cat," "I don't think I needed it today," "my Mother called," and the most common excuse I used other than "no time," "toooooooo tired." It got me thinking about the million and one excuses we use for not living the life we want to live. There is always an excuse for not being able to get to the gym, right? We can always find a reason why we can't go for a walk, why we can't eat healthy, why we can't resist the tempting fattening foods in our face every day, why we can't start our diet today, why we'll put it off until tomorrow or next Monday, after the holidays, after the birthday party, etc. etc. We need to stop giving ourselves excuses and start finding ways to work around them.

It really comes down to making a commitment to take care of ourselves and making it a priority in our lives. We have to eat to live so we need to focus on more fruits, vegetables and lean proteins and less fried, sugary fatty processed crap food. Sure, we can indulge now and then but not every day at every meal. A treat should be a treat, not an everyday thing. I know what that store bought cake tastes like and I don't love it so why should I waste the calories on it?

We can't survive without water but we can certainly live without soda. I'm still amazed that I haven't had a Diet Coke in almost 4 years! I used to have Diet Coke running through my veins and I'm not even tempted to drink it anymore. I don't crave it and could care less if other people around me are drinking it, I don't even want it now and there was a time I thought I couldn't live without it.

We can change our habits. It is possible. We have the technology and the ability we just have to believe we can and make it happen. It won't happen overnight but it will happen if we keep believing it is possible and keep working towards our goals. We will never be perfect but we can keep getting better and better with each little baby step in the right direction.

My biggest excuse these days is I have "no time" to do anything but I'm squeezing in exercise where I can and trying to rein in the mindless/stress/social eating. Between working long hours, the holidays, and vacation, I've regained some weight but I'm not freaking out about it (yet). I don't have the time to spend hours at the gym everyday anymore so it's no surprise I'm up on the scale but I'm fighting to keep it under control and deal with my circumstances. I finally worked up the courage to ask the boss about taking an extended lunch twice a week so I could go to my kickboxing class and he said YES ;).

So, what's your biggest excuse? and what can you do to work around it?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Dawn, New Day, New Life

New Year Resolutions are great but we really shouldn't save them up for the New Year, we should make them every single day. We don't know what kind of challenges we're going to face in the coming year so as soon as something gets thrown in our path or gets in the way of those resolutions we tend to give up in frustration. Resolutions made on January 1st usually hit a giant brick wall by the time February 1st comes along. The gym has been so packed with New Year Resolutioners that I've had to wait to get on a treadmill the past couple of weeks but the crowds have already started to dwindle down and its only the second week of the year. The New Year is the perfect time to clean the slate, forget the past and look forward to the possibilities that lie ahead. Look at all those little boxes on the calendar just waiting to be filled up.

This healthy living thing is a life long process. Even when we reach our goals, it's not the end. How many people do you know who got to their goal weight only to regain most or all of what they worked so hard to lose? We're not done once we see that sweet number on the scale or fit into those goal-size jeans.

We're not THERE yet, we're HERE, right now is where we're at. Right now, right HERE is where we're always at. This is a life long process not a short term project to complete and forget about. We are never done with healthy living. If something is really important, if something really matters, it doesn't get completed in a day. It can't be reached in a day, a week or a month. If you can finish it in a day it's not that big of a deal. If you can finish it in a week or a month it's not that big of an accomplishment. If it takes a lifetime it is a very big deal and totally worth the effort.

When our dreams seem such a long way off, we tend to decide that HERE is THERE and we settle for HERE instead of striving to get THERE. We settle for HERE because THERE seems so far away. HERE is not bad, it's ok, but we need to keep moving forward to get THERE. A new year is the perfect time to forget the past and look forward to what lies ahead. Put the past behind you, forgive yourself and others for any wrongdoings and move forward. The past is the past. The past is not today and it is not the future. We can't start working on what comes next until we put the past behind us. Don't let the past define your future. Let it go and focus on today and the possibility of what lies ahead.

We tend to get so overwhelmed with the mundane details of surviving day to day that we stop dreaming about the future and settle for HERE. This is not all there is. We are not THERE yet. Keep those dreams alive and keep looking forward to what lies ahead. Remember, it doesn't matter how long it takes to get THERE as long as you keep moving in the right direction.

Where are you? Where do you want to go? HERE or THERE?

Happy New Day!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy 2012!

Happy New Year! Happy New You!

How has 2012 been treating you so far? Are you working on those resolutions. I don't like making them because if it is important on January 1st it is important every other day of the year. Start now, no matter what the date on the calendar is. Don't wait 'til the first of the year, Monday or after that big event, start right now. I hope this is the year we all reach our goals or at least take those baby steps to get closer to realizing them.

Long time no blog, huh? I've written a ton of posts in my head but just haven't had the time to sit at the computer and put them out there. Working really sucks up way too much of my life but it's a necessary evil since I wasn't lucky enough to have a big fat trust fund. I've been contemplating posting short and sweet updates just to keep the crickets from taking over this space but I still need to find the time to do that. I really miss unemployment.

I know most people assume that when a weight loss blogger disappears it's because they've fallen into the rabbit hole vat of chocolate and started packing on the pounds again but I'm not too far gone. Yes, I've gained a bit but I'm still hanging on to the wagon. I'm still fighting to get back to my goal weight that I saw for a nanosecond back in September but I've been able to maintain an average loss of 90 pound for a while now. Vacation and the holidays were filled with temptations but I did the best I could to get my workouts in and abstain from stress eating.

To catch you up on what's been going on with me, I'll start where I left off. Las Vegas was a blast. I don't know why it took us so long to get there. We gambled, partied like aging rock stars, barely slept and ate way too much crappy buffet food. I wasn't sure I could do it but I managed to pull an all nighter on our last night there. Of course, at 40+ it took me a few days to recover from it all but recover I did, just in time for the holiday party season. We did escape the sensory overload of the strip a couple of days to check out the Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon and the Valley of Fire. It was nice to get away from all the lights, bells and whistles and be able to check out the quiet desert scenery. It's such a vast contrast to the landscape here in the northeast. It was beautiful but so weird to not see any trees or greenery.

There was way too much family drama over the holidays that's still going on but there really isn't anything I can do about it so I'm trying not to stress out over it. There is always drama in my family and I have learned that the less I get involved the better. I try to be the peacemaker and smooth things over but only end up getting caught in the crossfire so I'm doing my best to stay off the battlefield.

Work has been stressing me out and seriously cutting into my gym time. I barely worked out at all the whole month of December and I was starting to feel like a slug. I did get a few workout in here and there and I've been walking to and from the train station, taking the stairs at the office and going for walks at lunch when I can actually get out but it is not the same as a good sweaty workout at the gym. Ok, are you sitting down? I'm thisclose to completing the C25K program. I completed Week 9, Day 1 which means I only have 2 more days of the program left to do. Not bad, it's only taken me over a year and a half to complete the 9 week program but, you know by now, I'm speedy like a turtle. I never ever thought I'd be able to run for 30 minutes straight without having something chasing me but I've done it. I may be SLOW but I'll get there. I have no doubt about that.

Even though I haven't been able to comment much, if at all, I've been reading and keeping up with what's been going on with you so please know I'm there in spirit cheering you on. I've said prayers for people going through tough times and danced the happy dance for your successes.

Keep rocking it, my friends. HAPPY NEW YOU!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tis the Season ....

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Winter Solstice or just a holiday off from work, I wish you and your loved ones peace, love and happiness no matter what the season.

I hope you do or continue to do what makes you happy and healthy in 2012.

Remember the reason for the season and love the giver, not the gift.

Peace out!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!

Guess what?

I'm going to Vegas for Thanksgiving!
For years we've been saying we'll go to Vegas for Bill's 50th and it's finally here. He doesn't actually turn 50 'til the day after we get back but we're celebrating early. We're wondering if it might have been better to have gone 10 or 20 years ago when we were able to pull all nighters and party like rock stars but I'm sure we'll have a blast.

I certainly need a vacation. I don't think it will be very relaxing in the city that never sleeps, oh, wait, that's New York, isn't it? Well, I don't think Vegas sleeps either but I may have to sneak in a few zzz's on the plane or by the pool. I even packed some workout gear so I can check out the gym at the hotel. That's a first for me even thinking about working out while on vacation. Oh, how times have changed.

Bright light city gonna set my soul,

Gonna set my soul on fire

Got a whole lot of money that's ready to burn,

So get those stakes up higher...

How I wish that there were more

Than twenty-four hours in the day'

Cause even if there were forty more,

I wouldn't sleep a minute away...

Oh, there's black jack and poker and the roulette wheel

A fortune won and lost on ev'ry deal

All you need's a strong heart and a nerve of steel

Viva Las Vegas, Viva Las Vegas ~Elvis

Wish me luck! If I hit a big jackpot I won't have to worry about finding a new job. Keep your fingers crossed.

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm truly thankful for all the love and support you all have given me over the years. Thank you for everything! You guys are the BEST! Enjoy your turkey and football for my fellow Americans and Happy Thursday to the rest of you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Two Years Later

November 2009: 242 lbs. (Highest Weight Ever!)

August 2010: 198 lbs. (Onederland ~NEVER to be in the 200s again!)

November 2010: 179 lbs. (1 year ~ 63 pounds lost)

June 2011: 146 (I'm NORMAL ~ BMI)

September 2011: 141 lbs. (reached GOAL ~ 101 pounds gone)

November 2011: 147 lbs. (2 years ~ 95 pounds lost)

I know it's been a while since I checked in but I couldn't let this day go by without mention. Today marks two years since I got laid off from my soul sucking, miserable job and the beginning of my body and soul transformation. What a long strange trip it's been.

After 11 years of hard time at the same law firm I was blindsided, shocked and hurt to get a pink slip but it ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me. Who knew getting laid off would be the sweetest blessing. Fortunately, I was lucky to be in a position to be able to survive on an unemployment check for 22 months while I focused on getting healthy.

I knew I had to take advantage of my time off so I joined a gym immediately and spent at least an hour a day, at least 5 days a week working up a sweat. I went to the gym like it was my job and it was the best job I ever had.

I started off huffing and puffing on the elliptical on Level 1 and struggled to hang on for an hour. I always avoided the machines near the mirrored wall and wore big, baggy t-shirts and sweatpants. After about six months I started mixing in some circuit training with weights and some treadmill work. After the first year I tried a few classes and got turned on to cardio kickboxing where I looked forward to getting my ass kicked twice a week while I continued the cardio work the other 3 days.

I didn't do any extreme dieting. I ate what I wanted in moderation. I ate cake and cookies, ice cream and carbs, nothing was off limits. The more I worked out the more I wanted to eat better so I didn't negate all the hard work I did at the gym. I started craving green monsters instead of crap. I stopped feeling the need to binge and stuff my feelings down and started eating normal sized portions. I wasn't stressed and miserable all the time so I wasn't stuffing myself trying to numb the pain.

Slowly by surely the weight came off. I didn't let myself get hung up on the numbers, I just kept working up a sweat and not eating like a crazy person. Some weeks I gained but I didn't let those gains mess with my head like they had in the past. I knew if I continued working out regularly and eating relatively healthy 90% of the time I would continue to see results. I didn't lose fast but I lost consistently and I think that is the key to keeping it off. Slow and steady has been my motto and I'm still working it.

Unfortunately after 22 months the unemployment checks stopped and I was forced to go back to the daily grind. I'm going crazy trying to figure out how to juggle a crazy work schedule, find time to workout and have some sort of social life.

I did reach my goal of losing 101 pounds but I was only there for a day, ironically it was my first day back at work (9/19/11). On the bright side I've been maintaining a 95+- weight loss since June, almost 5 months of straddling the "normal" BMI line, just under 150 pounds. I haven't been able to get to the gym more than twice a week if I'm lucky and I'm chained to a computer for the better part of 7.5 hours a day but somehow I'm managing to maintain.

My head is spinning out of control, I can't breathe, and I can't focus on what's important because I'm too busy focusing on other people's stuff. I feel like I'm losing myself again because I'm too busy working crazy hours that I don't have time to take care of myself and I miss it. I never thought I would say this but I miss the gym, I miss kickboxing and I miss my stress-free days.

Work totally sucks! I'm stressed out, working crazy hours and have no time to do anything. I barely have time to take care of the basics, you know, laundry, food shopping, cooking, cleaning, sleeping. It's only been two months but I'm already thinking about looking for another job because I just can't handle this kind of stress anymore. I need a paycheck but I just don't want to do this anymore. Thanks for coming to my pity party.

With all that said, I think I'm still better off than I was two years ago. I am so thankful to have had those 22 months but it's so depressing to go right back to the grind. I've come too far to lose myself again. I'm hanging on by a thread but I'm fighting to hang on.

How do you do it? How do you juggle work, family and friends and still have time to hit the gym? Inquiring minds want to know.

Rock on My Friends!