Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Can I do this right now?

Sometimes when I focus on how far I have to go it becomes extremely discouraging. I know that I need to take it 10 pounds at a time and not focus on the huge, seemingly unobtainable...because...120 pounds is unobtainable. However, 10 pounds...I can do that! I can meet that goal. With all of that in mind, I can do this, and I will try to not look at the entire picture at this time...just one piece at a time.

Well, this last week went pretty well, except for super bowl Sunday where I consumed a couple thousand calories of food in one sitting :-/ I've been enjoying group fitness classes at defined. I tried a new class this week call Bodycombat...it was a blast. It's defined as, "the empowering cardio workout where you are totally unleashed. This fiercely energetic program is inspired by martial arts and draws from a wide array of disciplines such as Karate, boxing, Taekwondo, Tai Chi and Muay Thai." Doesn't that sound like a blast? It definitely got my heart rate up quickly and I burned a ton of calories...I also learned some "kick-ass" moves....so don't randomly surprise me or I may roundhouse kick you in the face...it's a natural reaction now! :)

I've been trying to run...but it's hard right now. First, I'm not on the cardiovascular condition I was in a couple years ago. Second, I've gained weight, making it even more challenging to run. It's extremely frustrating remembering where I was and coming to a realization of where I am now. I don't know what this weight loss will look like this time around...somehow it seems a lot more overwhelming then when I first started...but again...taking it one day and 10 pounds at a time.

I used to have weigh-in's once a week...this time around I think I'll post a weigh-in once a month. So I'll give y'all an update at the beginning of March.

So what is my plan for the days that are coming when I don't think that I want to pack my lunch, go to the gym, or quit eating chocolate...My plan is to ask myself, "Can I do this right now?? Not looking forward 120 pounds from now, can I go for a walk right now? Can I make my meal right now? Can I make it 1 hour through this class right now? This is my plan for the making it through the days that I don't want to do anything.

"You may encounter many defeats
but you must not be defeated."
- Maya Angelou
In the mean time--I'm continually learning to love where I'm at in life. Everything that I've been through and walk through is shaping and molding my character. I'm thankful for those who have reached out to me and encouraged me. There's such beauty in everyone's story, we're all so much stronger than we believe. We're all worth the fight! So right here, right now, can you do this right now?!
 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Believe

Why hello stranger. You know, I've been fighting against the fight to get fit. Ha! Ironic isn't it? The very fight I started I've been fighting against for the last year. Well, I surrender.

I was talking recently to some family and in two separate conversations we discussed the ability of individuals to change. In both conversations we discussed the concept that one person can't change until the idea that they can indeed change has been solidified in their own mind. You can try to will someone to change and better themselves, but if they don't believe it themself, then change will never happen. I believed that I could make change on a small scale. I don't think I ever believed I could make a lasting change in my life. I never believed I could really hit my weight goal. And when I hit 198 and then went back to 200 I just mentally gave up.

Unfortunately, because of my decision to quit, I now weigh 293.6. This is so discouraging for me to write. There was a point when I had lost 100 pounds and I've gained that all back. Now, I can look on the bright side and say that I'm not where I first started. My highest was 320. I'm not in the 300's...yet. But if I continue on the path I'm on I will certainly be in the 300's in no time. I don't want this to happen.

While I still don't know if I truly believe deep down that I can make it to my ultimate goal of 170...I know that I'm capable of losing weight. I know that I'm worth the fight to fit. I know I will feel so much better when I start to make better food decisions and when I start to exercise again on a regular basis.

It's time for me to stop allowing school, work, social life etc. to be a factor that gets in the way of me and my health. So here I am. Again. Writing in vulnerability and transparency. As long as I want time to be a factor on my journey to health, there will never be enough time to workout. As long as I want lack of resources to be my excuse to health, there will never be enough resources. So today I choose to make time for me. Today (or tonight as it may be) I choose to take it, one day at a time. Moment by moment.

Binge eating is still a real struggle for me. Laziness is a real struggle for me. Convenience is a real friend of mine (and my worst enemy). Sleep always sounds better than an early morning run. Bed always calls my name after I get off work. Fast food always sounds easier to me than making my own meals. Today I've made poor food decisions...but I know that the rest of the night and tomorrow doesn't have to be like this day.

I have friends, family, mad-cooking-skills, and resources (myfitnesspal, group-fitness) etc. at my fingertips...willing, ready, and waiting to help me along the way. I love myself. That is why I choose to make better decisions. I have so much to offer and my ability to live to the best of my ability is dependant on my health.

There are times when I still doubt that I am capable of reaching my goal. But every day I promise to look myself in the mirror and say, "you can...and you will reach your goals." Until one day, I believe it. I used to see gaining weight as a failure...which meant I was a failure...this is such a lie. I'm not a failure. I'm beautiful, inteligent, loving, kind, compassionate, determined, and driven. None of that sounds like failure to me. So I refuse to let a rough past year deter me from reaching my goals.

With all of that being said, I hope you're ready to start hearing from me on a more regular basis. Updates, highlights, lowlights, celebrations, frustrations etc. Sharing reminds me I'm not alone...and hopefully helps others walking through the same mesiness I like to call life. We all have struggles...some are more visually obvious than others. But one thing I know is that love conquers. Transparency and vulnerability allows for life transformation. Words, while they can tear down, also build up. So, I hope my words encourage you and build you up. Time to rock the scale again! :)



Sunday, September 18, 2016

Routine and discipline

Let me start this post off by saying I've been having to write my posts on my phone because my computer is giving me attitude so I need to get it tended to eventually. I say that to attempt to excuse any misspelled (auto-corrected words) that may occur and any huge grammatical errors. You all know I'm a master writer (hahahahaha....I have you all fooled) so if there are a lot of mistakes it's clearly my phones fault! Great, now that we have that settled we can proceed. 

You know what? The scale is a liar sometimes but I'll share what it said anyways. 288. Super frustrating but I'm moving on because I had progress in other areas these last couple weeks. As far as working out is concerned...that is getting easier to be consistent about. A huge part of that is my friends are also wanting to workout and eat better and so instead of just chilling and eating crap food, we're going to the gym, going on bike rides, walking/running/hiking, and making better food choices. I'm a lot more involved and invested in people's lives than I was several years ago when I initially started this journey so learning to incorporate fitness and nutrition into my personal time with my friends has been a huge step in the right direction. Here are a few fun pictures over the last couple weeks:

Post-rain run

Salsa class

Bike ride in the Bosque 

Hike in the Sandia's

Saturday morning run with my sisters

As you can see, working out can actually be fun. It's also a lot easier to do when you have family and friends who are not just willing but happy to do it with you. It's becoming more routine. My sweet friend, Patrice, and I were talking today about how it's just becoming our norm and a part of our daily activity...and honestly we're both happier people when we workout. 

Nutrition is still a struggle. I meal prepped last week and that really helped but there were still days when I ate more chocolate than I should've. It can only be me though who can do it. I'm the only person putting the food in my mouth. So I need to be more disciplined at counting my calories and making better choices. I know I can do it. My goal this week is to just eat more veggies. I'm not going to worry about focusing on decreasing my chocolate intake at the moment (even though that's a definite goal) I just want to eat more veggies.

It's my last week as assistant nurse manager on my current unit and then I'm transferring to critical care as a staff nurse. That means that 1) there's going to be a lot of potlucks and food this week. 2) I'm about to face a lot of change. That's why my main focuses this week are being consistent in my workouts and increasing my veggie intake. 

That's where I'm at. I'll try to post more soon, it's just challenging (and a little frustrating) writing and editing posts on my phone! With that being said, until next time...goodnight! 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Dear Maggie...You are ENOUGH!

This is where I'm at...and it's beautiful!
Well look who we have here: ME! I know, it has been a while. I haven't wanted to write about the struggle. I have felt like a failure and I've been super disappointed with where I'm at. Admitting that sucks. Alas, it's time to stop hiding and get back to the grind. So...here it goes! I weighed in yesterday at 277.6. 2 weeks ago I was back at 280. Seeing that number terrified me. 20 pounds from being back in the three-hundreds. It has been a quick climb back to this 277...in the last year I have gained 60 pounds. That's humiliating, frustrating, embarrassing, and dissapointing. I didn't know where to start with this post back so I've decided to just write myself a letter. On a hike today I had this thought and a mentor of mine mentioned just writing something for me...well this post is for me...I'm just letting you in on it:

Dear Maggie, 

I know you're frustrated and disappointed in yourself. I know that you feel like a failure. I know you're angry at yourself for allowing the weight to come right back on. I know you don't think that you can change. I know that you feel like there's no way to recover from this set back and move forward. I know you hate running right now because your physical conditioning is not what it had been. I know you hate getting dressed because all the cute clothes you bought last year don't fit right now. I know you hate working out outside because you're scared/terrified of what people might yell or throw at you. I know when you look in the mirror you feel like a failure...but sweet Maggie, YOU. ARE. ENOUGH! 

You always were...you know how Beks gave you that pendant and that the Holy Spirit told her that necklace was for you because you needed that reminder...well, it's true! You, just as you are right now, are worth being loved, cherished, faught for, encouraged, and held, not because of how much you weigh but because you are YOU! 

It's okay to be frustrated and even angry at where you are physically, but that does not make you any more or any less of a person. Yes, you have experienced life at a much lighter weight and know that it's much easier on you when you weigh less, but that doesn't mean you are a failure. You are a masterpiece. You're fearfully and wonderfully made. You are a leader, encourager, fighter, and an advocate. You're a friend, mentor, daughter and sister. You are loved. Did you hear me? You're loved! By your friends, family, church, and by our precious Lord and Savior. You are gifted, called, chosen, free, forgiven. You're a conquerer, an overcomer, and survivor. 

Today as you were hiking there were memories everywhere of who you were a year ago, two years ago, and more. Look at how you have grown. Look at how you have allowed the Holy Spirit to move through you, transform your heart, and use you. Look at how you've overcome sexual abuse and the tidal wave of poor decisions that followed after that. Look at how you've grown in your career and seen God faithfully guide you each step. Look at how you've seen God protect you and how He is teaching you to trust in His timing. 

Mags, you're not a failure. And don't you dare stop this journey. 'Cause you're worth it. Listen up kid, YOU'RE WORTH IT! You won't be worth it when you're 20, 50, 70, or 100 pounds lighter...you're worth it now. So don't let fear and doubt ruin your life. Don't let the enemy come in and distract you with "what ifs" and the "I can'ts" because you can! So push on you beast. Ask for help when you need it. Run when you don't want to. Lift when it hurts. Push when you feel you have nothing left. Persevere, endure, and you will succeed! 98 and 3/4% guaranteed! 

I love you! And I'm thankful for where you're at. I'm thankful you've seen where you've been and what you're capable of. Im so glad you know what you can do. I'm glad you have loving friends and family who are just waiting to walk through this with you. You're not alone. You are loved. And you're worth this fight! So go kick some butt you sexy beast!

Love,
Mags

My sweet necklace from Beks:
"You are enough" and the back says,
"You always were"

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Time For Silence...And a Time To Write

Sometimes I don't have anything to say. Now, for those of you who know me very well may feel that this is a lie...and while I may not always seem to be lacking in the vocabulary department...there are days, weeks, and months where I don't have anything to write about. It has been a time of silence for me. I'm thankful for the silence I've had....because I have learned about myself things that if I had continued to write I may not have discovered. I may not cover everything I've learned in this post (because it would take me days to write and who wants to read a post that long...lets be honest)....but I'll share the main themes I've learned and then I'll touch on them in greater detail in later posts. Today, right now, in this season, in this moment...it's time to write!

So what have I learned in this time of silence:

1) Weight is easy to gain :) (last weigh-in I was sitting at 259)
2) The scale and the number it reveals says nothing about my value as an individual
3) Everyone has a struggle...no matter your age, gender, religion, career...we all struggle and need someone to love us anyways
4) This is not a quick fix...this is a forever earthly battle *SIGH*
5) Homemade food is delicious...but that also requires time...but it's worth the time!
6) People I don't know read my blog...and some of them have reached out to me...and knowing that you reading about my struggle encourages and motivates and helps you...makes the pain and the struggle worth it
7) Binge eating is still very real and such a struggle...especially at night right before I go to bed. 
8) Success needs a new definition

I would say those 8 items are the main themes that I've been learning about and walking through this year. I think the theme I want to walk through with you today is #8....Success needs a new definition. 

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary the definition of success is, "the correct or desired result of an attempt". While ultimately in order to know if you succeeded you have to set a desired goal. For me that was 170 pounds. That's how I would know that I had been successful is when I hit 170...and when I didn't in the amount of time that I would've liked I stopped...because to me I felt like a failure. Sure, I had lost 120 pounds but that wasn't enough for me. I got angry. And from the beginning of the year I've been struggling with this. I've been mean to myself. I've called myself a quitter...a failure...a mess up...a no-good-never-going-to-meet-my-goal girl. Lies, right!? 

I've had the opportunity to have some beautiful and vulnerable conversations with friends and acquaintances and strangers on their struggles and feeling like failures because they're not a certain weight, they can't run a certain pace, they can't this...they can't that...want to know something? I never saw any of them as a failure. I saw them as over-comers, fighters, strong, finishers, courageous...but when I spoke that to them they didn't want to hear it...they had told themselves what failures they were and were not open to seeing that not meeting a certain goal means you're a lost cause. 

It has been through these conversations that I've seen that I have been doing the same thing. When someone asked me about my half marathon I would say, "yeah I finished...but I didn't get the time I wanted..." "sure I've lost weight...but I've gained so much back..." We minimize what we've accomplished and maximize what we feel we failed at. I don't want to do that anymore! Yeah, sometimes on runs I have to walk, yeah, I've gained back weight, sure I'm not a fast swimmer, there are things that I wish were better...but I'm walking through this...and you know what?! It's amazing! 

I don't know yet what I think success for me will look like. In this moment though...success just looks like never quitting. Never giving up. Continuing down this journey. Fighting for fitness, for health, for joy, for peace. I'm not all about giving everyone a participation award...if you came in first place you earned that medal...but I'm also not about beating yourself up when you come in second, fifth, twentieth, or last...because guess what?! You finished! So in this moment success for me is just getting outside and being active. Success is speaking kindly to myself. Success is loving on others. Success is eating a little less chocolate and a little more veggies (because I feel better when I do this). That's success. 

You can agree or disagree...but don't beat yourself up if you don't finish a race in a certain time, if you haven't met your optimal goal today, if you're still struggling with your diet...you're walking through it...and that's success enough for this moment. I'll touch more on the other topics at a later time...but thank you for those who have encouraged me in my silence. For speaking truth to me when I was lying to myself. Life is a journey...I'm just taking it one step at a time!

Before I go I have to introduce a new friend of mine. I have never met Raelene before but she is friends with my oldest sisters and I had the pleasure of meeting her...and before we were even introduced she excitedly came running towards me saying, "OH MY GOSH!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!" and embraced me in the sweetest hug! It's moments like this that I'm so thankful for the opportunity to touch the lives of people I haven't even met face to face! Raelene...you're so sweet, so precious, and so encouraging...thanks for loving on me!!! 

Me and Raelene <3

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Finish Well

"Here they come!"...you see the two runners coming over the hill...racing for first place...huffing, puffing, giving everything they have, every last ounce being poured into each step. Finally, one inches past the other and finishes the race claiming victory and first place. Then the other thousand-plus racers trickle in continuously for the next several minutes to hour. The last racer comes in...just as determined looking as the individual who came in first. She's huffing, and puffing, and giving everything she has and pouring out every last ounce to finish. Some may say she didn't finish strong...that she didn't put it all out there...but does strength, speed, and ability define the way you finish? Do these things ascribe value to the way she finished or who she is as a person? Finishing well and finishing strong are not the same thing. While the person who came in first may have felt extremely strong and invincible this last finisher may have felt incredibly weak and exhausted...yet they both finished well. 

The whole concept of finishing well has been on my mind a lot today and in these last few weeks. They say comparison is the thief of joy. I know this to be true. The unfortunate part is I keep comparing myself today to where I was at last year. As those thoughts begin I easily become frustrated, discouraged, angry, and disgusted. I thought I finally had this whole weight-loss thing down. Losing weight is easy. Consume 500 less calories each week in your diet and you'll lose a pound a week. Consume 1000 less calories each week and you'll lose 2 pounds each week. Add exercise to that and you're on a fast track to quick weight loss. That part is easy. Life in addition to all of that, however, is not. 

 When September came around I left labor and delivery, went back to my beloved med-surg floor, and became assistant nurse manager on my unit. While all of this has been exciting and a huge learning curve it has also made my diet and exercise complete chaos. I thought working 4 - 10 hour shifts each week would give me more time to workout and eat better, yet, I feel like it has done the opposite. A lot of it probably just has to do with the stress of learning a new position and making the time to workout and plan meals. I'm just going to be honest though...life has kinda slapped me in the face and knocked me out for a round. 

Running my 5k today I just wanted to quit. I wanted to be done and throw in the towel. Thankfully I had a cheering squad by my side running at my pace encouraging me each step of the way. Nearing the finish line Erika, Elise, and Tracy were all waiting to finish with me! I'm not a tough love kinda girl. I'm a sensitive girl who is easily discouraged by the thoughts and voices that say, "you can't do this!" So, when David took the time on the run today to share how the past couple months have been hard for him when it comes to running...when on his last half marathon there were times when he too wanted to quit and throw in the towel, when he felt discouraged that he had taken steps back from where he had been (due to an injury) it was encouraging. When my group of family and friends sprinted to the finish line with me...it encouraged me and reminded me that I'm not alone on my journey. It's easy to get stuck inside of a box and remember that you're not the only one who struggles. We all have areas that need improvement...some manifest themselves in physical terms: weight, temper, etc...others show in ways that are invisible to the eye: depression, anxiety, etc. One thing we all have in common, however, is that we will all finish one day. Our time on this earth is short and what matters is how we finish.

I feel like Jesus keeps bringing to my mind the reminder that He finished well. Beaten, bleeding, bruised, and mocked he didn't have much strength...He even asked for a sip of wine before taking his last breath to moisten His lips so he could speak. After taking that last sip He yielded up His spirit. He finished well. I think the reason He is reminding me of this is because finishing well doesn't always look like strength. It sometimes looks like sorrow, defeat, death...but what makes the finish one that can be described as being "well" is the time between the first and the last breath. I think Acts 20:24 shows us what finishing well looks like, "But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."

So I guess the long story short is I'm being shown that finishing well has to do with walking through each moment. Walking through the ups and the downs. Enjoying the moments when there seems to be endless time and energy to focus on diet and exercising. Persevering when there seems to be no time at all. Asking for help when you become overwhelmed and feel like you're drowning. Allowing yourself to feel emotions, to laugh, to cry, to hurt, to wonder. Walk through it. Life never stops happening. I'm frustrated with where I'm at with my weight...but I'm walking through this season and I'm going to finish well! I will persist, endure, and press on...I will finish well!



Saturday, February 6, 2016

Get It!

The last few days have been very good! I'm so sore. My body aches, my bones throb, my joints are stiff...and I'm moving about as fast as a snail running through peanut butter...but I'm up and moving and that's all that really matters! I've had some good workouts these last few days. I forget how good I feel when I workout. Getting out the door is definitely the hardest part...and sometimes the first 10 minutes of the workout...but once you're going it's best to just enjoy it as much as possible. Erika joined me in a late night workout Thursday! We went to the gym and rode bikes, I used the row machine for a while, then we did some circuit training...using the large rope that you see them use on the biggest loser (dang is that a good workout), did ab work, jumped rope...made Erika stick her hand in a super sweaty boxing glove (sorry about that sis!) and then used the kettle ball! It was so much fun to be working out like that again...and with my sister. Workouts are so much better with someone! 

I went home then, had dinner and went to bed! The only chocolate that I had Thursday was from a pre-planned luna bar...nutty over chocolate is what the bar is called. When I got home Thursday night I remember looking in the mirror and saying, "Maggie, you are beautiful!" It feels good to speak kindly to myself. There are times that I look in the mirror and roll my eyes...but I'm trying to stop myself when that happens and make myself find something that I like about whatever I'm groaning about! It's a process...and it's slow and harder than one would think to be kind to ones self...but it feels good!

YOU! Are Beautiful!

Yesterday I got to go on my run...it was slow and I had to walk a bit because I am so stiff...but I got my 4 miles in...I even got to go swimming in the evening with Erika and her family! I'm such an awkward swimmer. I wish I could watch myself swim...I'm sure it must be entertaining...but Erika reminded me it was my workout and it didn't matter what it looked like! So we both swam 1,000 meters and then played with Andrik and Ander for a while! I almost died laughing when we walked into the shower room on base and I saw the most fantastic sign. I'm thinking there must be a high rate of MRSA occurring on base because there are signs everywhere about MRSA prevention...I told Erika I had to take a picture with the sign...

Bare Buns Pass MRSA...well, there go
my plans for the night!
I made it through yesterday without any chocolate. I did dream however about chocolate...so my subconscious is definitely struggling! I woke up and my mouth was watering...but I survived. I'd say my average calorie intake for this week is around 1500! That is really the perfect amount. It allots for a decent breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and a couple of snacks! My favorite snack lately has been a tablespoon of peanut butter...not the norm for me...but I'm enjoying it while it taste good. 

This morning I went on a run with Erika and our dear friend, Erin. I got to meet Erin initially while Erika and Drew were stationed in Florida. Erin and her family are here at Kirtland for a little while as well before they go back to Florida. Erin will be running the Dallas Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon with us...it has been so much fun to run with her. She's such a joy, so real, so honest, so transparent...my kinda gal. I can fart on my runs with her, spit, cough up phlegm....it's a beautiful friendship. She and Erika have been so encouraging and loving to me on this journey. A couple weeks ago after one of our runs they both could tell I was struggling. When asked what was wrong I told them how frustrated I was with myself and how tired I am of fighting my weight. They held me, let me cry, prayed for me, and then spoke life and truth into me. I can't begin to say how thankful I am to have these two amazing women in my life. They love me...mess and all...and haven't left yet...until the Air Force tells them otherwise! 

Me, Erin, and Erika...Kindred Spirits <3
Todays run was a little rough. I've been hit with intestinal distress the last couple days...and so with 1.25 miles left I had to make a pitstop at a gas station to expel my insides. The struggle is real folks. Don't try and pretend that you don't know what diarrhea is. When the goosebumps and abdominal cramps happen...you've got to make a dash for the closest bathroom! I'm still getting over this darn cold as well...this run helped me expel more than my bowels...it also helped me clear my lungs...As David told me when I first started running, "Mags, when you run...if you have to fart, fart! If you have to burp, burp! If you have to blow a snot rocket, blow a snot rocket!" My brother is a wise man and today I more than headed his advice. My sleeve looked like a kleenex by the time I was done running!

Got snot?!
A girl has got to do what a girl has got to do! Well, I've got to jet...off to get this weekend started. My run is in, I'm going to go have breakfast with the women at my church and then see what other kinds of shenanigans I can get into! Have a great weekend!