Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Earn That X

Back in January, I decided for every day I work out I am going to denote the day with an X in my planner. Yes, I still keep a planner. I tally up all of my marks and compare month to month my weight loss to workout ratio. As of October 27th, I have 142 “X” marks.
October 27th is the 300th day of the year, which means I’ve worked out a total of 47% of days. That’s pathetic. Battling the plague last week thus missing a gym day and doing light workouts when I was there have me feeling pretty gross this week. I’ve been really discouraged by the slowdown of my weight loss lately so I said to myself, “If you’re not happy with the results, it’s time to step up your game.” November is quickly approaching and it’s time to kick my ass into high gear. I’ve noticed that my workouts are becoming easier and I’m not changing them quick enough. My body is bored and not being challenged. I can’t remember the last time I was sore. Monday, October 27th, marked day 1 of my new training regime. I’m upping my gym days from 4 to 5 and am committing to running on Sundays. I’ve also broken out my weight training into smaller muscle groups that will rotate week to week, which allows for more time to focus on specific areas. Yesterday, was quads and glutes day versus just “leg day.” My morning consisted of squats, leg press, leg extension, squats, lunges, donkey kicks and hip thrusters. If I see positive results, I’ll post my calendar for those of you interested.

I sold a bunch of clothes at a garage sale this past weekend in order to get rid of fat Sarah’s stuff. With my earned money, I treated myself to some new gym clothes. After having two different pairs of spandex capris fall down during spin class, I decided it was time for some new ones in a size that fit. I downloaded some new music and created new gym playlists to power me through. I have 5 weeks until goal and 11 pounds to go. It’s time to take it to the next level and do everything possible to meet my upcoming goals. I’ve worked too damn hard to back off now.

I want these to be the days that define my journey. These are the days when old Sarah would give up because it feels like a goal isn’t in reach. Muhammad Ali said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” I will, sir. I am going to push myself, test my limits and earn my “X.” I don’t want to look back and wish I had tried harder.

I really slacked on the Ab-Tastic October challenge with all the travel and sickness plaguing my life. I’m not going to quit on it though! I’m slowly working through the days and will finish it by November 5th. Whoops! For November, I know I contemplated doing a lunge challenge but I’m having some issues with my left knee and lunging aggravates it. I’m going to do another squat challenge and, since it already has a cute and fitting name, a plank challenge. Say hello to Planksgiving and Turkey Squat November! I have no idea what a turkey squat is, I made it up and it sounded cute.

Happy (almost) Halloween!  I'll be on my couch eating peanut butter, drinking water, watching Hocus Pocus and dreaming about candy bars.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fat Girl Walking

It’s the dreaded words that everyone hates to hear, “We need to talk.” Usually, they’re said by your significant other who has finally decided they can’t stand you and want to break up. Or, worse, it’s your boss telling you that they’re restructuring and you’ve been chosen to be relocated to another job at another company. This time was not even close to either of those scenarios. It was my friend, Michelle, and she had a serious look of concern on her face. I sat down in the chair in her office (we’re also coworkers) and I asked, “Okay. What is it?” What came out of her mouth next, I never dreamed. Michelle said, “We need to talk about your walk. You still have a fat-girl walk.” I countered, “Me? I walk like a fat girl? What does that mean? Do you think other people have noticed?” I think she could hear the panic in my voice. She calmly told me that it’s okay and we can work on it. She then had me strut past her office and I focused really hard on walking up straight and as normal as possible. She said I wasn’t doing it that time but I was instead walking like a zombie. Well, great.

We made plans to go to the mall the next day with plenty of area for me to walk and her to critique me. It was decided that my fat-girl-esque walk comes from me lowering my shoulders and occasionally swaying when I walk. After years of self-esteem issues and wanting to blend (aka be lower than everyone), I don’t walk up straight. The swaying, however, is a habit derived from a self-consciousness over hearing my thighs rub together. Every girl owns a pair of pants that’s made of that specific fabric that makes the swish, swish noise when you walk. No, not corduroy. I’ve never owned corduroy. My office is a very quiet environment at times and I can hear myself walking down the corridor, so I sway. I’m sure that’s why so many girls strive for that thigh gap, so that they can walk confidently in quiet places. It’s embarrassing and it’s like I’m announcing to my floor that I have arrived for the day. Sarah’s here! You can hear her and her thighs coming up the stairs.

With research, development and some thigh toning exercises, I hope to shed my fat-girl walk. I’m admitting it to all of you in my world with hopes that you help correct me. Feel free to make a buzzer sound when I slouch or sway. It takes a village and I strive to one day glide confidently from room to room. I want to thank Michelle for providing me an opportunity for self-improvement. I love you for your honesty and willingness to still be seen in public with me despite my fatty-person gait.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Is a Cough Drop a Carb?

I thought drinking and dieting was hard but being sick and attempting to stay on track is rough. It all started last Wednesday as a slight discomfort in the back of my throat. Armed with hand sanitizer, tissues and Mucinex, I braved the elements and tried not to succumb to the germs. By Saturday, I’d reached full blown plague status. I don’t know about you but all I want when I’m sick is comfort food. The only thing that sounds appetizing is my momma’s chicken and dumplings. Thankfully, momma lives 2 hours away (y’all know she’d drive some up to me if I asked nicely because she’s the best). Dumplings aren’t exactly on my eating plan and, normally, I would forgive a day in the name of sickness but this girl has goals to meet.

I took Sunday to rest and only left the house to get more meds. Here’s a not so fun fact- cough drops have 6g carbs and 5g sugars for just 2 measly drops! What the heck?! The first ingredient is sugar on all the brands I looked at. Is this real life? Help a trying-to-get-fit girl out. Purchasing the sugar-free drops were not even on my radar as they’re rumored to give you other issues. If you’ve ever read the reviews on Amazon for the Haribo sugar-free gummy bears, you know what I’m talking about! Gross. I skipped spin class on Monday morning because I really needed the extra 2 hours of sleep. I hated not going but I didn’t want to push myself. There’s also a courtesy of trying to not infect those around you that, obviously, someone didn’t pay to me. I hit the gym yesterday for leg day Tuesday because I couldn’t stand to be out of the gym for 4 days in a row. I made sure to wipe down anything I touched with sanitizer. My balance was severely off, and since I’m prone to falling, I cut the leg work short and just walked on the treadmill. I’m also 3 days behind on my Ab-tastic October Challenge because I’ve been too exhausted. This challenge is a difficult one but I’m definitely feeling results! I won’t get any more of the “rest” days of the calendar because I’ve used them up.

I’m praying for some relief by the end of today because ain’t nobody got time for this. I need to be at full strength because tomorrow marks 40 weeks completed of this journey, which means 6 more weeks until goal. Holy shit. It’s insane to think that I could have grown a human at this point. Instead, I chose to lose 80 pounds.

I posted this picture to IG and Facebook on Tuesday in honor of #transformationtuesday. This week, I’m Supa Proud and SO overwhelmed by everyone’s encouragement and support. Your amazing comments and messages mean the absolute world to me! It would be incredibly difficult to keep going without amazing friends and family like you guys! The photo on the left was taken October 25, 2013 at a friend’s wedding. I despised the way I looked in every picture we took at this event. Looking back, I don’t remember being that girl. The photo on the right was taken on October 20, 2014 while I was organizing my clothes for a garage sale this weekend. My mom reminded me of the photos from that wedding a few months ago. When I saw myself, I had a look of disgust on my face. She promptly yelled at me and said that I was beautiful then and am beautiful now. I know she’s right but LIFE is more beautiful now.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Motivate Me Monday

I’ve been lacking inspiration in the blogging department lately. You guys have to realize, I wrote the posts prior to launching this blog in my head for a VERY long time. I poured over each of the entries for nearly 6 weeks before deciding to put them out there to the world. If I were smarter, I would have saved some and not posted them all at one time. I seriously feel a huge pressure to be witty and, unfortunately, I don’t feel very funny lately. I’m pretty sure I’ve nailed down where my inspiration to write came from and now it’s gone. Long story, which could honestly spur its own blog. Luckily, one person I always find incredibly inspiring is Tim Tebow. ::Swoon:: For those of you whose hearts don’t skip a beat at his name or picture, thank you. Less competition for me. Anyway, this former Gator and current SEC Nation commentator was hired recently to Good Morning, America to host a segment called Motivate Me Monday. I am going to emulate Timmy and offer you some motivation sources on your Monday since I have a bad case of writer’s block!

I find quotes I love and that speak to me…
“Today is my tomorrow. It’s up to me to shape it, to take control and seize every opportunity. The power is in the choices I make each day. I eat well, I live well. I SHAPE ME.”

“Strive for perfection & progress will come. Success is the good fortune that comes from aspiration, desperation, perspiration & inspiration.”

“When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you.”

Sometimes, I write notes to myself on my mirror…
“I will beat her. Not just in the number on the scale or size on a pair of jeans. I will beat her regardless of my faster pace and physical strength. I will beat her because even when I’m tired, when every fiber of me hurts, when my muscles are screaming in pain, I manage to put one foot in front of the other and take another step or push another rep. I will beat her because I keep going when she had given up.”

“Suck it up, Buttercup.”

“If Britney Spears can make it through 2007, you can make it through this.”

On special occasions, I buy myself pretty things to fit into…
For the two weddings I was in this year, neither dress fit when I bought them. They did when I walked down the aisles!

Last Thursday, I purchased a grey wool Michael Kors coat (humongous sale) that WILL fully zip before Florida winter rolls around.

Randomly, I’ll put on old clothes to show how far I’ve come…
Like my prom dress from my senior year of high school.

Or the Gator sweatshirt that was tight in May and is baggy now in October.

I can tell you all the secrets to my success, which aren’t actually secrets at all. I can tell you what I eat, post workout ideas and give you funny anecdotes about falling at the gym. What I can’t do is make you change or want to succeed. Find sources of motivation for yourself and splatter them all over your life. It’s easy to focus on the negative and the huge mountain ahead of you. If you are struggling with weight loss, I hope that I can serve as a source of motivation for you, but I urge you to discipline yourself to be your own cheerleader, believe you can accomplish anything and take your first steps up the mountain. I’ll be waiting for you at the top with a high-five.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Regrets? Yeah, I've Got Those.

I’ve been thinking a lot the last few days about regrets and why people have such an aversion to them. There are a million quotes out there about not regretting things because they are what have shaped you to who you are. I think people adopt the mantra of “regret nothing” without thinking about what it actually means. I believe that if you don’t have regret over a situation or decision made then you won’t do differently the next time and it won’t be a learning opportunity. I’m currently dealing with regret over eating all the cake in the state of Alabama last weekend. You can’t tell me that if Doc Brown and Marty showed up in a DeLorean you wouldn’t have a few moments you’d like to revisit from your past. I can think of several that I would like to use a flux capacitor on. Regret, to me, signifies that you acknowledge a decision you made and wish you’d gone the other way. Having regret, means that the next time a similar situation comes along, you’ll know what side to choose.

I have major regret over not starting this journey sooner in my life. I would wholeheartedly go back in time and slap that girl in the face and tell her that she needs to get her shit together. I missed out on so much of my life because I was stuck in a body that couldn’t keep up. Feeling this pit of regret deep inside me, makes me appreciate how far I’ve come so much more and forces me to remember how I don’t want to ever go back to how I was. The regret hangs over me and will fuel me forward to not undo all that I’ve accomplished these last 10 months. Losing weight would have been much easier when I was younger and it certainly would have made high school and college better. Sometimes we’re not successful at things because we’re not ready. Before this point in my life, I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t reached the point where I could achieve long-term success because I hadn’t accepted how big of a problem my weight was to my life. The consequence is dealing with the, “What if?”

I don’t see feeling regret as a negative. I positively accept regret and consciously use it to be a better me. I regret hurtful words I’ve said about people in the past and now practice taking the high road. I regret being a bitchy teenager to my parents and now use every opportunity I can to appreciate them and see them as often as possible. I regret being scared about taking risks and am making plans to seek more adventure. I regret not dreaming bigger and am striving to conceive life-defining goals. I regret leaving words unsaid, burying feelings and holding back out of fear of a broken heart. I’m still working on this one, okay? I can’t do everything at once. :)

Basically, I’m telling you that I’m going to live with regret because it will inevitably lead to a better Sarah. She’s a work in progress, y’all. She’s learning from her mistakes, striving for better and stripping off layers that she used to hide beneath.

I’m not doing a Supa Proud award this week because I’m just not feeling it today as I have the heaviest of hearts on this day every year. I will instead do an In Memorandum. Today marks 12 years since the passing of one of my best friends, my Uncle Tom. It’s hard to believe that I’m just a few years away from being without him as long as I knew him. His death was sudden and didn’t give us a chance to say goodbye. I know that he would be supa proud of me and my family and all that we have accomplished and come through over the years. Take today and every day to be thankful for what you have, tell people you love them and be kind one another. Life is incredibly fragile and short. We have to live it while there’s living to be had.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sweat Bombed

I selfishly ate cake on Friday night while at dinner for a friend’s birthday. I was so mad at myself over this cake that my punishment was going to spin class on Saturday morning when I really could have used the time to sleep in. I’m so glad I got up because it was, honestly, one of the best classes I’ve been to in a while. What made this class so much better than the nearly identical ones I go to every other time? The A/C was out. Not only did I probably sweat off that cake but also the filet mignon and piece of bread with garlic butter that accompanied it. Holy moly, it was HOT in that spin room! Imagine nearly 45 people all working up a giant sweat with no air conditioning. The floor had a pool accumulating beneath all the bikes. It’s so gross I could throw up at the thought. I had to stop looking at the man next to me who was melting onto the floor below us because it was making me gag, and that is coming from someone who sweats a lot herself! After class, I peeled myself off of my bike and walked over to the gym wipes and grabbed 3. That’s when it happened, on my way back to my row, the man riding next to me sweat bombed my bike.

Listen, I appreciate a funny photobomb just as much as the next guy. I also look forward to the day that I am able to glitter bomb someone or be glitter bombed myself, frankly. This sweat bomb is not something to laugh at and should be a punishable offense. I keep my handlebars sweat free, with the help of my towel, on my bike because otherwise your hands can slip and it can be very dangerous. This man next to me, while stretching out his quads, put his sweaty arm all over my bike. I died. Now, I not only have to clean my own sweat off my machine but I have to wipe yours off, too? You, sir, are gross. I stared at this huge, drippy, glistening mark for half a minute pondering what to do. I thought, maybe he’ll reach over and wipe it off. Wrong. He went about his day and let me wipe down his faux pas. I’m not disgusted by the fact that he was sweating, obviously, as that would be quite hypocritical of me. Everyone leaving the class looked like they had showered with clothes on. I’m offended that he left his mark on my bike and didn’t have the courtesy to clean it.

I am happy to report that I reached the 79 lb. mark! I hit it on Monday and have kept it a secret all week until today. That is 4 lbs. ahead of goal and why I am awarding myself the Supa Proud award today. I’ve been busting out in the gym and really focusing on food (minus the aforementioned cake and bread). I for real couldn’t do it without everyone’s love, support, and recent Facebook photo likes and comments. I've been feeling really good this last week and bought my very first pair of regular size Levi's over the weekend.  Strutting around my apartment in them, I was inspired to put on an old pair of shorts.  I wore these shorts just a mere 9 months ago and now I can fit both legs into one side. Sometimes, you just need to put into perspective how far you've come.

I am ‘Bama bound tomorrow to see my friends get hitched and I am publicly promising that I will not blow this weekend out. I’ve packed gym clothes and sneakers and plan to only take Saturday to enjoy carbs/sugar. My ass will be back on that spin bike Monday morning at 5 a.m. praying the sweat bomber slept in.

Happy weekend, y’all!

Monday, October 6, 2014

What's With All The Happy?

I get a bunch of inquiries as to why my blog is what it is and why my slogan has become, “Choose happy.” Obviously, from one of my first posts you can see that venturing on this journey was a clear choice: do it or don’t. I’ve believed for quite some time now that happiness is not a destination, it’s a state of being. People can often get wrapped up in unhappiness and think that happiness is a place that they have to get to. Happiness is the journey. It’s not some magical land where all of your problems are solved and everyone eats cake all day. Happiness is a choice, if you ask me. Every day I wake up, I choose what mood I’m going to be in. I can choose to hit the snooze button, skip the gym and fall back into my old self or I can choose happy and get up, lace up and sweat. I realize that I’m annoying and sound like an anti-depression commercial but my life is comprised of a series of choices and I’m always trying to choose the best side. So, am I a ray of sunshine and happy all of the time? HA! No way. Those of you who see or talk to me every day are witness. But I do consciously try to be better than I was yesterday and not let a bad day turn to a bad week. 

Accomplishing my goals and following my dreams will be woven with happiness. Of all the words I could pick to describe what can define a life—fortune, fame, family, friends, beauty, health, marriage, kids, blissful, wonderful, exciting, adventurous, thrilling, etc.—I chose happy. If I can have all these words then I will be happy. Happy is my all-encompassing. Audrey Hepburn famously said, “I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.” I’m with Audrey on that one. Life is too short to waste on things that don’t make you sublimely happy. It’s not entirely true to say that old Sarah was totally unhappy, either. She was happy on the surface but under all her squishy layers was a pretty sad girl.

This weight loss is just step one on my journey. There are still many goals and dreams to check off the to-do list for the life of Sarah. I can’t give them all away now as that would be no fun. I will continue to crave, chase and choose happiness. I genuinely hope you do the same. Cue Pharrell.

Friday, October 3, 2014

It's October 3rd

Happy Mean Girls Day!  I would like to apologize to everyone that attended the 6 a.m. spin class today at Gainesville Health and Fitness Center. Yes, that smell was me. Here’s a tip from this pale girl to you, don’t ever use self-tanner if you plan on sweating a lot. I made the horrible mistake of using self-tanner yesterday in order to start building a base for my friend’s upcoming wedding. However, I’m back at the start because I, essentially, sweated off any color I managed to get. If any of you have ever used self-tanning products, you know the smell that accompanies it. While most products try to mask it, it still has the same chemical odor lingering on your skin. It took me about 3 minutes to realize that the smell attacking me while I pedaled uphill this morning was me. My light pink towel now has an orange tinge. This is so disgusting. I wholeheartedly apologize and promise that I will remain a ghost to spare those around me the stench. It honestly works out for the best because self-tanners just never look quite right.

In less than a week I will be ‘Bama bound to attend the wedding of my (former) #1 single friend, Jen. I played a risky little game with my bridesmaid’s dress and, now that it fits I can reveal, it was a size too small at the time of purchase. Since my weight loss has naturally and obviously tapered off in the last few months I was extremely nervous about getting into this dress. My hard work paid off and I got the dress to zip up about a month ago. Since then, I’ve been diligently working on getting to where I can breathe in it. Success! I plan on taking a break the day of the wedding and eating whatever I want, which will still be limited because there isn’t THAT much room in the dress. Starting this Sunday, I’ll be going to a HEAVILY protein diet while limiting all other food and drinking only plain water. No artificial sweeteners and no dairy. Go ahead, say what you want about it, but it’s my plan and I’m sticking to it. In this dress, I will publicly be in the least amount of clothing I’ve worn in a while with the exception of a bathing suit. I’m usually very uncomfortable with my arms exposed and this dress exposes those and my whole upper back. I chose this dress style and I’m hoping it highlights what I’ve worked so hard for over the last 9 months. You also know this means another transformation photo will be coming at you! Get excited.

Happy weekend to all! I’ve got a date with a loofah and some lemon scrub.