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!