The Shrinking Jeans of April – 2/8 –


May 30, 2010 By april

I put the sort of out there because I’m still very new to this idea of getting into cycling.  But, I’m going to give it a good honest go.

We have an excellent place to ride here, called the Roanoke River Greenway.  This is the same place that I take my German Shepherd for walks/runs.   But here’s the thing, I was nervous about taking my bike there.

I spent a good portion of my childhood being made fun of for various reasons.  I remember there was one boy on the bus who was ruthless just because the color of my skin wasn’t like his. (I’m part Cherokee.)  Luckily for me, I’ve grown to love my nice olive skin tone, yet, whenever faced with a new situation I get nervous.  I know better than to think that a bunch of adults on bikes are going to make fun of me, but the need to be able to blend in is still there for me.  My bike is obviously OLD, but times are what they are and for now it’ll have to do.

So. I did the next best thing.  I spent way too much money on a pair of biker’s shorts and top.  I brought them home, tried them on, took them off, laid them on the bed, thought about it, stared at them, and finally, put them back on and headed to the Greenway.

By the looks of the parking lot, I would have the most of the Greenway to myself which for me, at least for the first ride, would be fantastic.  I could tell immediately that my bike still needed tweaking so I decided to not take it far, but I did decide to open her up a bit.  I rode 3 miles averaging 14mph.  I got it up to 16mph or so a few times.

There was one point in my ride when I became aware of not just the ride but myself.  I was grinning.  Not just smiling but grinning.  The wind in my face, the power I felt, I LOVED every single second of it.

At one point on my way back to the car I passed three “real” cyclist.  They had the fancy road bikes, the one piece suits, the fancy helmets.  Uh-oh.  So much for blending in, I thought.  They’re going to be able to tell I’m a fake.  Just stick a fork in me, cause I’m done, were the panicked thoughts I was having.  Yet, they just smiled, said hi as if I were just another cyclist.

Hmmm.  Maybe I am.

May 29, 2010 By april



Any questions?

February 24, 2010 By april

Okay, FINE.  You people win.  Despite my best efforts, despite fighting with all of my might to deny this, you all (especially YOU ChristieO.) have made it clear that I’m no longer a non-runner.  So this week, I give you…

Thoughts from a runner.

But I still don’t like to run.  I know many of you keep telling me that I will find that love one day.  That it will come.  So, I’m going to humor you and smile and say, “okay”.   But until that day comes, I’m going to just continue to run for other reasons.  For my teammates.  For the cause.  Because I can.

It cracks me up that 3 miles is increasingly becoming a “short run”.  And I’m quite certain that the first mile of any run is always going to be pure hell for me.  This past weekend the long run was a 4 miler.  We all know what mental blocks I’ve had with getting past 3 miles, so I dreaded this run for most of the day.

Despite the nice weather we had, I chose to run on the treadmill.  I’m actually one of those weird-o’s that doesn’t mind running on the treadmill.  Why?  Because I like having my speed, time, and distance right in front of me.  I like being able to know how much longer I have to go.  I also like pushing myself on the treadmill and “seeing” how fast I can go and for how long, but I admit that running on the treadmill can be boring.  Luckily, there’s a TV in the gym at work, and while I also listen to music, I find something to watch every single run (unless someone has beat me to it).

Now, I don’t know how many of you have been keeping up with Olympics, but I love them.  My favorite sport to watch during the Olympics is curling.  I have no idea what the rules are, just that you throw a big rock on ice towards a bulls-eye and you want to hit the other team’s rock out of the bulls-eye.  Oh and you get to sweep da ice with these really cool brooms.  Yeah, that’s it.  I can sit mesmerized for hours watching a curling match.

So, I rocked my four-mile run to Eminem, Metallica, and Curling.

And it wasn’t so bad.

Now.  What am I going to do when the Olympics end?


On the weigh in side of things today starts a brand new challenge!  It’s called the Sisterhood Spring Fling, and we’re doing teams again!  Who’s excited?!

That nasty Aunt Flo is near, so I’m up this week.  I really hate Aunt Flo.

Starting weight for challenge: 152

Good luck everyone!

February 17, 2010 By april

I won’t lie, folks.  Training-wise, it was a rough week.  I struggled with just not wanting to run.  My run on Sunday was the best of example of the way I’ve felt this week.  I’ll try to replay my thoughts…

Man, I don’t want to run today.  I just don’t.  Okay, if the temperature is above 35 degrees, I’ll run.  37.  DAMMIT.  Okay, I guess I’ll run.  I did eat a spoonful of frosting after all.  Does my butt look big in these runner’s pants?  Who am I kidding?  I don’t have a butt.  Was that the wind blowing?  I can’t run if the wind is blowing.  No, trees aren’t waving.  Shit. I guess I do get to try out my new Skullcandy ear buds if I do run.  I’m pretty excited about that.  Okay, outdoor running gear on.  Hat on.  Gloves on.  Ear buds in, playlist set, let’s go.  OH.MY.GOD.  It’s cold out here. Stupid snow.  Stupid sun reflecting on the stupid snow.  Oh look at that guy looking at me as if I’m nuts.  Yeah, he’s right.  I really don’t want to be doing this today.  I want to be inside eating more frosting.  STOP.  Think of your teammates.  Think of what you’re raising money for.  Okay, I’ll keep going but if my knees or ankles hurt, I’m stopping.  Oooh, I really like this song.  Ouch, knee a little sore.  Not bad.  I guess I can push throught it for a little while longer.  Man, I really don’t want to do this today.  That’s it-oooh, Eminem’s Lose Yourself.  I love running to this song.  FINE.  I’ll keep running.  Yeah, okay, and I like this song too.  And now it isn’t so cold right now anyway.  I’ll just keep running…

I do admit to stopping after 3 miles because my knee never did quit hurting.  But I promise you that I pushed myself as hard and long as I could.  And I did run this morning before work (Which, by the way, means I have to shower at work, which means that I’m pretty much having a bad hair day.  It’s okay, I’m fine with it.  Mostly.).  Melissa is my “running buddy” and it makes it much easier to get up and get it done when I know she is too.  Also, am I the only weirdo that will “race” against other people on the other machines?  It’s like if someone is next to me, I automatically push myself harder.  Hmm.

Oh, and I guess since it is Weigh-in Wednesday I should report my 0.4 loss.  Go me. ;o)

February 10, 2010 By april

So we’ve reached the end of another challenge.  Weight-wise, I report no loss, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t become stronger or grown.  Because I have.

We were rethinking our shrink after all.

So, rethinking over it all, I look and see that before this challenge I had never run more than 3 miles.  I never wanted to run more than 3 miles.  I laughed at my friend that has tried for 2 years now to get me to join TNT with her.  (Not because I didn’t want to raise money or a amazing cause because I HATE TO RUN.)

Now, here I sit in training for a half marathon with Virtual Team In Training with a bunch of my fellow sisters (and new dude!) and I’m going to run 13.1 miles.  I’ve told some friends and family that there is no part of my body that ones to run 13.1 miles, but every part of my heart yearns to do this.  To prove that I can, to raise money for a good cause, and to have this amazing experience with my sisters.

By doing this, by committing do to this, I will shrink.  I know I will.  And if that’s not getting stronger or growing, I don’t know what is.

January 27, 2010 By april

Did you know that last year, I got all the way down to 142.6 lbs?  Did you also know that currently, I’m sitting at 150lbs.  What happened, April?  Well, let me tell you.  I took a break.  I spent a bit of time annoyed with myself for letting myself actually GAIN what took me so hard and forever to lose.  How could I be a role model to others, if I let myself GAIN weight?  What was I doing here writing for this site if I couldn’t get a handle on what could very quickly become out of control?

Why am I telling you this?  I’m telling you this because I’m human.  I needed a break, and my break lasted longer than it should have.  And I got down on myself because I’m human.  I questioned my abilities to write and to be a positive influence because I still have insecurities about who I am, and how far I’ve come and who I want to become as a result of this weight loss journey.  I have insecurities because I’m human.

As are you.

Look, we’re rethinking our shrink here.  It is time that we realize that this journey isn’t about weight loss.  This journey is about making healthy choices so we can live healthier lives and set an example for those around us.  Just by being here, it is possible for every last one of us to be a inspiration to someone else so that THEY may live a healthier life.  Weight loss is just a benefit of this journey, and there are going to be times when you have a bad week.  And yes, you may get down about it, but instead of hanging onto that let down, learn from it and use it.  The destination (your goal weight) isn’t what matters here, it’s the JOURNEY that matters.  The “what you learn” and “how you get there”…they are what’s important.

So, I’m asking you to take a deep look within yourselves.  ARE you rethinking your shrink?  Are you focused on your journey?  Are you taking the time to learn how to enjoy the journey.  If not, then I ask you, challenge you, dare you, whatever it takes to get you to refocus yourself.  Find a sister(or brother).  There are plenty of us that will give you a swift kick in the ass.  MAKE some time for yourself to just sit an BE…figure out what you need to do.  I don’t care how you do it, just do it, refocus and move on.  Because I promise you that if you focus on the journey, if you rethink your shrink, the shrink WILL happen.  I promise you.  And if you doubt me, just tell me, I’ll find you, and give you a good pop, mkay?

Now, you may carry on.

January 13, 2010 By april

This morning, I stepped on the scales looked down, did a double take, stepped off the scales, stepped back onto the scales, looked down again.

Three pounds gained.  Three pounds.

My initial thoughts were WTF.  Pre-coffee, this plain just pissed me off.  I ran twice, beat my 3 mile barrier, worked out two other times, ate better than I have in a while and gained three pounds?  Screw this.

Then, I thought again.  I went out to lunch yesterday.  Yes, I got a salmon salad and soup.  Yes, I told them to hold the bacon (after visiting Christy last November, bacon is just not appetizing to me.  Can’t imagine WHY.), but I didn’t tell them to hold the cheese.  Or the corn.  I did have a few pieces of that yummy bread, too. Well, I got tomato soup, oh wait, it was tomato CHEDDAR.  DAMN.

My body holds onto water weight like nobody’s business, so just that “little bit” of cheese was enough for my scale to show that big of a difference.

My point is that even when you think you MAY have had a great week, I’ll bet there is something that has affected your weigh-in.  I’ll bet that if you think about it hard enough, you’ll find some place in your routine where you are “off”.  It could be your food or maybe your work out has become too routine for your body, or you could be stressed to the max (you do know that stress can cause you to hold onto weight, right?)

All that said, that three pound gain was enough to foul my mood for quite a while.  A few people tried to reach out, I pushed back.  All I could see for hours was that three pound gain.  Even though I knew where I had gone wrong and I know how to fix it, all I saw in my head was +3.  Luckily for all you fine people, someone got an LOL out of me and my bad mood was ruined.

And you know, all of those who were trying to tell me that I was real, I was human, we’re not perfect, and to move on were right.

It’s okay to be bummed about a gain, it’s okay to brood about it for a while, but to you can’t hang onto it.  And if you feel like it’s holding onto you (like I was today), then find a friend, a sister, SOMEONE who will drag you back out of it, figure out where you went wrong, and fix it.

That’s what I’m going to do.

January 11, 2010 By april

As you all know, I hate to run running and I aren’t exactly the best of friends.  I was forced challenged to run a half marathon with a lot of you super fun people.  This is something I want to do, not only to meet some of you, but also to raise money for a really good cause!  (Hey, wanna go here or here to help us get there?! THANKS!)

Knowing that I have such a hard time with running, I decided to give  myself a head start on training.  A few weeks before Christmas, I started running on the treadmill at the gym.  For whatever reason, I cannot mentally get past 3 miles.  I know physically I can do it.  I can now run 3 miles and not be too winded or sweaty.  But once I hit that 3 mile mark, my mind shuts down completely.

I have even told myself “today, I’m going to run 4 miles.  I’m going to do it” and then get on the treadmill, hit three miles and I’m done.

Today, Brooke and I were chatting over email.  At one point, I told her, “today I’m going 4 miles.”  I thought that maybe by telling her this instead of just myself, my mind would commit to running 4 miles, but I still had my doubts.

Then Brooke says, “you have to do 4 miles today. cause that’s how much i’m doing. and you don’t want me to show you up do you?”

Everything about that screamed CHALLENGE.  I heart a good challenge, so here we go:

Mile 1: Mentally mile 1 is a tough one.  Remember, I’d rather be playing Guitar Hero doing a work out DVD, so mile 1 is not my friend.  Physically mile 1 is a piece of cake and is beginning to pass more quickly.

Mile 2: Nowadays, my brain begins to say “screw it” during this mile.  It has accept the fact they we’re going to do this and takes the “let’s get it over with” attitude.  This mile passes quickly and physically is no just as easy as mile 1.

Mile 3: Here is where my brain is seeing the finish line.  It’s telling my body, we’re almost done, just one short mile and we’re done for the day.  Physically it’s more challenging, but it’s doable.

Today, I’m watching the treadmill as it nears the end of the third mile.  My brain is happy because we’re almost done…oh, no, will I stop again today?  Remember, I’ve been issued a challenge.  2.98, 2.99, 3.0, and I keep running.  I slowed my pace a bit so that I wouldn’t crap out.   My mind is screaming, “what the HELL are you doing?” My body isn’t that happy with me either.  I’m testing it’s limits right now.  I’ve never run this far in my life. I’ve never run this long in my life.  3.5…I pick up the pace because I figure the faster I run, the more quickly this will be over.  I watch the treadmill count the distance.  My body is drenched with sweat.  3.75…I REALLY want to stop now, can I stop now?  Please?  But you’re almost there.  Come ON.  3.9 …let’s finish this; bump the speed up to 6.0.  4.0…DONE.

I ran 4 miles in 44 minutes.  I broke the 3 mile barrier.  I’m sore, going to be more sore tomorrow, my brain is tired, and I feel AMAZING.

Now. Only nine more miles to train for.

January 8, 2010 By april

When I first began my weight loss journey, I thought, if I could just lose this weight, I’ll be happy.  Being thin and fit and healthy will make me happy.  Looking hawt on the outside will make me happy.

What I didn’t realize then, that I know now is that I wasn’t unhappy because I was overweight.  I was overweight because I was unhappy.

I’m not exactly sure when unhappiness set in.  My best guess is that a variety of things over the course of my 20′s happened which weighed on me causing me to become lazy.  Lazy caused me to slowly gain weight.  With each 5-10 lbs that I gained, I would say, “oh no worries…I can lose that at any time.”  Only I didn’t.  Next thing you know, I was 76 lbs overweight.

While working to fix my outside, I came to the realization just how unhappy I was.  I needed to figure out why I was unhappy and then I needed to work to fix this.  I knew that if I didn’t, I was headed down a very dark path.

My rock bottom didn’t come at 206 lbs.  My rock bottom came at about 160 lbs.

My rock bottom was realizing and accepting that I didn’t love myself.  In fact I really kind of hated the adult I had become.  I hated the fact that I had no confidence in myself.  I hated the fact that I seemed to fail at most of the relationships, whether it be romantic or just friendships, I had ever had.  I hated that I had not found my place on this earth.  I hated that I didn’t trust myself with my happiness.

And there was my rock bottom.  I’m not sure when I lost trust in myself, but at some point along the way, I did.

If you’ve ever lost trust in anything, you know that trust is something that has to be slowly re-built.  I started rebuilding that trust with trusting myself with my weight loss.  I knew that was something I was good at, and I loved it.  I loved the new body that I was building.

Building on that, I slowly began to trust myself with more and more.

Today, I am happy.  I won’t lie…happiness is something I will probably always struggle with, but the difference between now and then is that I have surrounded myself with people that I know will pick me up if I fall.  That will pull me out of the darkness and back into the light.  Because I do love the light.

So, I guess I should get back to weight loss, eh?  What didn’t work for me in 2009?  Not working out didn’t work for me.  I found out that in order to maintain and continue to lose weight, I HAVE TO WORK OUT.  Don’t get me wrong, I needed a break because after two years solid of working out, I was ready to lose my work out mind.

What did work?  Having routine.  This has and forever will work for me.  I’m a creature of habit and love my routines.  Which with being forced training for this half marathon thing will give me the best of routines, no?

So, I guess that’s it…oh, that’s right…before and after pics…okay, okay…

Here ya go:

Pre-weight loss journey.  Yes, that’s an elephant in the back ground.  I like animals. ;o)

I realize I’m a sweaty hot mess in this one, but I had just hiked a mountain!  Something I could have never done in the previous picture.

So, do I get an “A”? ;o)

January 6, 2010 By april

I weighed in this morning, and I’m exactly the same as I was last week.

Now, I COULD be mad at myself.  I could be stomping the floors at the fact that I didn’t lose weight this week.

But I’m Rethinking My Shrink here, so when I “re”think about it, I know that all I did was enough to hold steady.  I drank dark beers instead of light beers, I had treats that I normally didn’t have, and I did just enough so that I didn’t gain.

If I’m rethinking my shrink, I know that I made that choice for this week.  There is no one to blame, not even myself because this was my plan for the week.

If I’m rethinking my shrink, I’m okay with that choice that I made, but I know that it’s not a choice I need to make a habit because I do have a goal I AM going to reach this year.

If I’m rethinking my shrink, I know that this week, I’m making healthier choices because that’s what I WANT to do.

If I’m rethinking my shrink, I love myself because the mindset I’ve taken this challenge is that every day is a new day and I’m going to make good and bad choices throughout my life and learning to be okay with my choices and learning from them is part of growing while on this journey.

Yeah, I’m rethinking my shrink…are you?