Thursday, September 30, 2010

Caden's Cause

This is the letter I will be sending shortly, and the posting currently on my fundraising website. Thanks in advance to all of you who will read and care.

Dear Friends and Family,

As many of you know, this has been a big year for me. Back in December 2009, at nearly 210 pounds, I decided that it was time to take serious steps to get my weight under control. Consequently, I started a weight-loss blog ( “Shankspeare Gets Skinny”) and on December 28, 2009, I joined Weight Watchers. I had no way of knowing how much that decision would change my life. Now, nearly ten months later and 50 pounds lighter, I am profoundly thankful to be fit and healthy.

But this letter isn't about me and the success I've been blessed with. This letter is about how I want to celebrate that success, and how I would like to ask you to celebrate with me. A couple weeks ago, a friend here in Greenville presented a tremendous opportunity to me. She had signed up to run in a marathon with T.E.A.M.-in-Training. This organization trains regular people to participate in endurance events—half marathons, marathons, and triathalons—in order to raise funds for cancer research and for families affected by cancer.

Ladies and gentlemen, please meet Caden. She is six years old, and to the Greenville T.E.A.M.-in-Training, she is a hero. For quite some time now,Caden has been battling leukemia. Around her neck, she wears a necklace that falls to her waist; the necklace is strung with tiny beads. Each bead represents a procedure that Caden has undergone. After five times passing through the same procedure, Caden no longer gets a bead for that type of procedure, yet still the chain grows. Two of the beads have pictures of little girls with curly hair on them—one bead for each time that Caden has lost all of her hair.

Today, I signed up to train and run a marathon for Caden, for her family, and for the research that will help hundreds of cancer champions like Caden. To have lost 50 pounds and to be approaching a weight that I can live with for a lifetime is a great accomplishment, but nothing compared to the GIFT of a LIFETIME. Please keep Caden and her family in your prayers as they struggle with the day-to-day fight against the ravages of leukemia. Please consider supporting me as I celebrate the gift of health by running a race to support those heroes who run a race everyday with no guarantee of a finish line. Please give generously to create a future with a cure.

I hope to have all funds raised by December 1st; however, I can receive donations right up until marathon in January. Just remember to donate before December 31st to assure that your gift will be tax deductible for 2010. Thanks to the many, many of you who have read my blog this year, and who have supported me with your love, encouragements, and prayers. I am blessed to have each one of you in my life.

With my sincere thanks,

P.S. If you would like to support Caden and the January 8, 2011 marathon, you may either make a donation on-line through Paypal at,
or you may send me a personal check or money order made out to LLS (Lymphoma and Luekemia Society). Please do not make checks out to me!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's Not Easy Being Lean

You know, Kermit the Frog got a lot of props for singing "It's Not Easy Being Green," but if it had been Miss Piggy, and if Miss Piggy had spent the last 15 years dieting (she's done with that now, thank goodness), I think the whole song would have come out something a little more like this.

No, it's not easy being lean,
Having to spend each day the shape of a carrot stick
When I think it could be nicer being a muffin, or a cupcake, or fritter
Or something much more plumpy like that.

It's not easy being lean
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary shoppers
And people tend to pass you by because you're not
Standing out in a Sequined fashion by Thick Madame
Or some other hot plus-sized designer.

But lean is the shape of good health
And lean can be cool and friendly-like
And lean can still be big hearted,
And broad smiling, and amply blessed otherwise . . .

It seems lean is all there is to be
If you watch TV, and it could make you wonder why--
But I've done it, and I'm lean, so I'll say it's lovely
And I'm pretty sure it's what I want to be.

Well, o.k., it's not that bad being lean--in fact, I'm liking it a lot--but I will say, it's not easy STAYING lean. It's definitely a trick of balancing the cosmos some weeks. Last week was my first full week of marathon training, and I now have 15 miles under my currently size 12 belt. The drawback: BIG APPETITE. I've already confessed my late night session at the binge bar, but a couple days later, I started to realize that it wasn't just failed self-will going on. I was burning some serious calories, and I was going to have to make some adjustments.

Tuesday's meeting was not exactly blue skies and sunshine. I had gained 3.4 pounds. In one week, I had gained what it had taken me almost four to lose. Sick and wrong. I tried not to let the number get to me, and to stay rational. First of all, I did eat a surplus of food, and I didn't exactly eat smart. There was pie. There were cookies. There were dagwood sandwiches. Secondly, I feel leaner this week--not necessarily lighter--just leaner; so I think I may have put on a little muscle as well.

Regardless, I projecting a swing in the positive direction at next week's meeting, because I'm already making adjustments. Mentally, I accept that my weight loss may slow (though not stop) because I'll have to take in enough nutrition to stay fueled for the challenge of marathon training. I also talked to my enthusiastic friend Eunice at Weight Watchers, about what I might do to counter my cravings. She suggested doubling my servings of lean protein each day, for four total servings. I'm giving it a try, and so far, so good.

Other news on the marathon front, I am officially SIGNED-UP. I got my fund raising packet last night, as well as my group run shirt, and best of all, I got to meet Kaden and her family. What struck me the most, is that their family is just like ours. Kaden's mom--Sommer--looks to be my age. Her husband doesn't look to be much older than Wade. They also have a son. Same family unit, different circumstances; but I couldn't help thinking, IT COULD BE US.

And if it was us, I would be unspeakably thankful for every single person who would pin on a number and run a ridiculous distance for the sake of my child and the research that could save her. It is going to be my tremendous priveleged to be involved in this effort!

No, it's not easy being green, and it's not easy staying lean, and it's not easy training to run a marathon. But borrowing words I saw printed on a TNT (team in training) t-shirt: You think running a marathon is hard . . . TRY CHEMOTHERAPY!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oh Be Careful Little Teeth What You Chew!

Last week my son and I were working on school, and we were finishing up our Bible time with some songs. The last one we sang was "Oh, be careful little eyes what you see," and we had been through all the verses (little ears what you hear, little mouth what you say, little hands what you do, etc). Just when I thought the song was over, my four year old belted out a verse that I hadn't thought of: "OHHHHHH, Be careful little teeth what you CHEEEEEEW!" At the time I laughed, but I've thought about it many times since then.

Indeed, I thought about it last night, as I found myself approaching the edge of the Binge Fringe. Probably due to my much higher level of activity, I have been hungry all week. Last night I only 12 flex points left, which is unusual for me on a Thursday night. All day, I had fought the urge to eat everything in sight, so at dinner I had eaten a mountainess green salad with lean chicken breast on top. About an hour later, the hungries hit again, so I ate 2 ounces of leftover chicken and put a pan of roasted asparagus in the oven. I ate the whole pan (about 2 cups!) and went on with the evening. I was already at 23 points.

So, as God and Judy are my witnesses (she and I were talking on the phone when I put the asparagus in the oven), I TRIED. At 10:30, I lost all self control. In thirty minutes, I finished of a serving of leftover pizza, 2 cups of 1% milk, 2 oatmeal raisin cookies, and a turkey and cheese sandwich. In half an hour, I had eaten an entire day's worth of points (about a thousand calories). Did I go to bed guilt-ridden and full of remorse? Weeeeell, no, not actually. I was happy as a fat cat. But did I want a repeat performance today? Absolutely not.

After my trip to the binge fringe, I was at 43 flex points, which is a good trick, since I only have 35 to spend each week. Now on the fair side, after my 4 mile run today, I have racked up 15 activity points (which I have not eaten), which reduces my total to 28 flex points. I also plan to run another four miles on Monday, so that will buy me another 5 activity points. I'm going to try to make the cosmos balance between now and next Tuesday's meeting, and I will be talking to a trainer post haste about some nutritional suggestions that can balance my Weight Watchers lifestyle and my marathon preparations.

Speaking of the marathon, I did hear back from the co-ordinator, and I will be getting signed up in the next week. In the meantime, I am staying right on top of the training schedule. Today was the first time I have ever run 4 miles in my life, and it was awesome! I didn't look at the clock at all until I was done, and I was very happy to discover that I had completed the session in 40 minutes. The extra mile had not slowed my average time per mile down at all. Next week's training schedule is as follows:

Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday: 3 miles
Thursday: 1 hour run
Saturday: 6 miles

I will admit, I'm a little intimidated by Saturday's run, but what's the journey without the regular presence of new challenges? This week I also have to draft my support letter, and get a mailing list together. So don't be surprised if you hear from me about giving to the Luekemia and Lymphoma Society. It's a very worthy cause that is helping a lot of people, and searching diligently for a cure. I am choosing to celebrate my weight loss by giving me time and energy to something bigger than myself. I feel so fortunate to be fit and healthy! Please DO consider celebrating with me by making a donation to LLS!

I'll have my fund raising website up and running soon (Paypal). Donations can be made there or checks made out to LLS (Lymphoma and Luekemia Society) and can be given (or mailed) to me to turn in. Send me a private message if you would like my address. In the meantime, I promise to be careful what my little teeth chew--even though they probably deserve to chew a little extra with all my running around in circles!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Marathon Time

I think I must be a little crazy, but I suppose that's a foregone conclusion. In anycase, this week, I'm signing up to run in a marathon! But wait? Hasn't this year already been a marathon? Well yes, but I needed a new physical challenge to help me finish this year out well, so when a friend here in town contacted me last weekend about being involved in a T.E.A.M.-in-training race to raise money for the Luekemia and Lymphoma Society; I was instantly excited.

Nevertheless, I did take a few days to consider the what the committment would mean. Obviously there's a huge time committment, a huge physical committment--and then there's the fundraising. In the end, I decided to sign-up. The time I put into the project would be well spent. After all, I have to exercise anyway, I may as well be burning calories for a cause. Physically, I'm at a good place to face the challenge. I've been consistently active since January, and though it does look as if our family is going to be passing through some changes (another blog; another day), exercise has never done anything but HELP ME COPE with the stresses in my life.

And fundraising? Well, let's put it this way. If the girl scouts can bring home the bucks selling calories, I should be able contribute to a good cause burning them! I don't have all the details on the race and the needs yet, but expect future posts that will include information on T.E.A.M. in training (in case somebody else out there wants to get involved), the Luekemia and Lymphoma Society, my progress in the training process, and of course, the little girl that our Greenville team in paired with to support. Her name is Kaden. She is six years old, and she is battling luekemia. I can't wait to tell you some of her story!

My race date will most likely be January 8, 2011, and I am already on track with the training schedule this week. I ran 2 miles Tuesday, 3 miles Wednesday, 3 miles today, and on Saturday, I'm scheduled to run four. Please keep me in your prayers as I take on this new challenge. After all, I don't want to end up like the original runner of the marathon. He ran 26.2 miles to deliver news of a victory to his king. When he got where he was going, he delivered his message, and then . . . oh, dear. Never fear though, it would take more than death to make me miss a free breakfast, which there will be--the morning AFTER the race!

Which is why I will always be a Weight Watcher. Because there is always free breakfast somewhere.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fifty Big Ones!

Today was the big day, and I was antsy. For the last three days, my scale has stuck fast on 157 (I NEED it to say 156!), and even though I had stayed within my flex points, exercised, and had not had more than 20 points a day for the last three days; the needle on the scale was not moving in a favorable direction. If I thought getting down on my hands and knees, and BLOWING, would have improved the situation, I would have done it.

After all, there was practically a family reunion happening at the Tuesday meeting. My hubby was off, so he and the kids were coming along. I'd also invited my family to come, and I knew my mom and my grandma were going to be able to make it. On Monday morning, when the scale still read 157, I nearly called the whole thing off, thinking we'd have to wait another week; but in the end, I didn't. I knew as soon as I canceled the get-together at the scale, I'd wake up and have miraculously lost 3 pounds.

Instead, I just told everyone I'd call them Tuesday morning and finalize plans. Well, it was a good thing! Tuesday morning, the previously recalcitrant scale read 155. We are a go! Repeat. Houston, we are a go!!!

The morning felt ETERNAL. My meeting was at 12:15, and I was ready to go at 8:00. All I could do was carry on with my scheduled activities and wish time would move quicker. I put my sneakers on and expended some of my excitement-related hyperactivity pounding the pavement. I ran 2 miles, fed the kids breakfast, showered, and then took them out for their walk. By 9:15 we were ready for the school bell to ring (I'm home schooling my son in K4), and for about and hour, I was distracted by catechisms and reading lessons.

By 10:30, I was pacing around the living room, trying to focus my energy on something constructive. Little Wade was cutting and pasting, so I was left with time to kill. Laundry. Make-up. E-mail check. Is it time to leave yet?

It's no wonder we got to the meeting 30 minutes early, but mom and grandma must have been as excited as I was, because they were there early too. I felt like I was winning an Emmy. Mom brought flowers from she and dad, and Grandma brought me a coffee cup that's going to inspire me many a morning. My WW leader and friend Eunice was waiting for me at the door, and having already pottied and removed all my jewelry, there was nothing left to do, but stand on the scale.

The moment had come, and my hands were shaking as I stepped up on the scale. And waited. Suddenly, there was a smile on the receptionist's face as she announced I was DOWN 1.2 pounds for a total loss of 50.4 pounds! The moments that followed were pentecostal. I totally did the happy dance, and I was not alone. Eunice and mom and grandma and the kids all got in on the action, and daddy even got some of it on video.

So what IS a milestone? What do you visualize when you hear the word? Well, for me, I remember the hard part of a run--the part when I'm feeling tired, but I'm getting close to where I want to be to finish. To make it, I pick out a close-by marker, and then I purpose to make it that far. Then I pick a new marker, and I run there. I don't ever STOP there, but goal by goal, marker by marker, I make it to the finish line. Today was a milestone and a place I am very happy to reach, but by no means, am I going to stop. I've still got a finish line to reach.

Can I do it? Well, let me tell you what Grandma's coffee cup said.

"Dream it. Believe it. DO it!"

And I will! Thank you Lord, for this wonderful milestone!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Running in Circles

"When in trouble,
When in doubt,
Run in circles,
Scream and shout!"

I am not sure to whom I should attribute this fine adage; however, it seems to fit my current affinity for running perfectly. First, let me set your minds at ease. No, I have not relapsed into my panic attack phase. Praise be to my Heavenly Helper, I have only had brief visitations of anxiety lately. Truth be told though, a return to exercise probably does have a little bit to do with this happy fact. Speaking of exercise, today's saying--albeit trite--describes a great experience I had at the track last week.

The track has been a real God-send. You see, I have discovered something about myself. I am not a home exerciser. I will always find something else "more important" to do, and I am very easily distracted. Even if I've started on a planned workout, I will give it up at the drop of a hat. Inevitably , one of the children wakes up; or the phone rings; or the washing machine starts clunking in the middle of the spin-cycle, and threatens to take off of it's own accord, if I don't go down and balance the load.

Consquently, I started looking for another way to get out of the house and exercise. The aerobics classes earlier in the year were wonderful, and I may try to get back to them eventually; but right now, I can't afford to pay for classes. I needed something close, and preferably free. That's when I found out my Alma Mater had an indoor track on the third floor of their new gym (well, new since I went to school), and Alumni could use it for free. This gym is about two minutes from the house. Problem solved.

So how does the adage fit in, you ask? Well consider. "When in trouble . . ." Back in December, I was at a turning point. I was either going to resign myself to the weight gain that just kept happening, or I was going to REALLY lose the weight. I was on the edge of an obese lifesyle and health problems galore. I'd call that trouble.

"When in doubt . . ." Stress. Stress is a big contributor to a lot of bad things. For me, patterns of emotional eating, insomnia, negative thinking, and panic could all be traced back to stress in one form or another. Honestly, I believe that if it had not been for the presence of regular exercise--and God--last spring, I would have succumbed to my anxiety problems a whole lot sooner. On the days that I had an aerobics class scheduled, in the thick of the day's battle, I looked forward to the exercise like it was cake and ice cream.

Why? Well, I think, perhaps, the following elements had something to do with it: removal from the scene of the stress, an increase in seratonin uptake resulting from the exercise, and mental solidarity. I had to leave home to go to aerobics; home was where I was caring for six children under the age of four, five days a week. When I got done with the exercise, no matter how hard the day had been, I felt 95% better and able to go home and enjoy the evening (until I had to think about the morning). As for mental solidarity, I was caught in a multi-tasking vortex. To be able to involve myself in something that required my complete and singular focus, was extremely theraputic.

So this is where we get to "running in circles." Somewhere along the way, I discovered that I enjoyed running. For any of you folks out there who believe whole-heartedly in the doctrine of cessation (basic jist: certain spiritual gifts such as propheticism, speaking in tongues, and miracles, no longer apply) I'm about to blow a whole in your catechism; because me LIKING TO RUN is a modern-day miracle. I'm telling ya', it rates right up there with Mary's face showing up in pizza pan. If you don't believe me, ask my high school P.E. instructor.

I hated running. I hated running because I was already awkward, and running around panting and sweating did not exactly improve the self-image issues going on. I hated running, because we had to run around the outdoor track. In the center of the outdoor track, boys were playing sports. I hated running, because my sports gear was not up to par, and stuff bounced. Stuff bounced while the boys were playing sports and occassionally looking--boys that I had to see next hour in U.S. History.

There you have it. Me, liking to run, is a MIRACLE. I actually LIKE to run around and around and around the track. I like to see how many times I can do it, before I have to call it quits. I like to plan how I'm going to go farther next time. Granted, there are no boys playing sports while I run (but even if there were, they'd be down three stories) and let's just say that sports gear for women has improved a lot in the last twenty or so years.

Now we get to the "scream and shout" part. On Thursday last week, I ran three miles in thirty-two minutes. For me, this is an accomplishment. Again, I have to transport myself back to high school. P.E. was not my favorite subject. In other subjects, I could study hard and do well; in P.E., it didn't matter how hard I tried, I just didn't excell. In fact, I outright flunked tennis. I had a depth perception problem that had not yet been diagnosed (hence, much of the awkwardness, tripping on sidewalk cracks, falling off curbs, etc), and I could not hit that stupid ball to save my life!

Then there was the President's physical fitness test. To get the award, you had to run the mile in 8 minutes 30 seconds (I think). I tried and tried, and finally, on the last day, I did it. I'll never forget my P.E. teacher, standing there with the stop watch, jumping up and down. I was so excited. But I couldn't do a pull-up--one stinking, lousy, good-for-nothing pull-up. So there went the award. No screaming. No shouting.

Thursday, when I got done running my three miles, I was having a private party on the third floor. Then, who should I see three floors down, doing the same thing she'd been doing almost twenty years ago--but my former P.E. teacher. Suddenly, I really DID want to scream and shout. I wanted to yell "Hey down there! Check it out!"

Sigh. Alas, I wanted to continue using the gym in the future, so I restrained myself and kept the party private. On the way home, I contemplated next Tuesday's meeting; I fully anticipated reaching my fifty pound goal! Apparently, something good actually can come from running around in circles. Who'd have thunk?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

So, so, so, SO CLOSE!!!

It was 6:00 on Monday, and I was about to weigh in. Last week I weighed-in at 157.8 puonds, which left me only 1.8 pounds to lose before I reached that milestone of 50 pound lost. I had been a very good girl all week, and true to my Week 3 commitment, I had re-evaluated my activity and started running again. I had only used 7 flex points. As Monday approached, I felt like I had a good chance at success, but you just can't know until your staring down that little black box.

Well, here I must confess a certain level of cowardice. I'd walked into my meeting wearing my lightest cotton dress, but when I saw an available scale, I just kept on walking. Maybe I'd go to the bathroom just one more time. After all, it's not fair to get weighed with your last glass of water sloshing around in there. And then it got ridiculous. As soon as I found myself locked behind the bathroom door, I dug through my purse for a ziploc bag (yes, I have a ziploc in my pocketbook; if I was weighed WITH my pocket book, it would set me back 20 pounds).

Anyway, into the ziploc bag went everything non-essential that I could decently remove--my watch, my wedding rings, my earrings, my necklace, and my sunglasses (usually propped on my head). Yes, I sincerely hope I am not the only Weight Watchers members who is this pathetic, but if they had a locked room in which you could remove it ALL, stand on the scale, and have your report print at the front counter; I would be using that little room every week.

Alas, denuding myself of extraneous bling still did not get me quite to the mark. This week I have to lose 0.6 pounds to reach my next goal of 50 pounds. I know I can do it!!!

In the meantime, I need to know what my next goal is, so I don't slow down after the victory dance is over. I know I'd like to see myself running 3 miles, two to three times a week, and I'll also be doing some callistenics along with my husband. Other than that, I just need to keep up all the other good things that I've been doing all along--eating well, blogging, evaluating, and yes, even forgiving myself when I mess up. I just need to start over again at the very next opportunity.

After my 50 pound goal, I will be pressing on towards 149.9. I do not believe I have been anywhere in the 140's since pre-adolescence, and since I didn't have then, things that I do now (hem, skirting TMI here, for my guy readers), I feel like getting into this new realm is going to be a real accomplishment. I'm considering lifetime at about 145 . . . but I won't know for sure until I get there, so no total commitments yet.

For this week, I hope to blog at least twice, because I had big non-scale victory while I was running last Thursday. I'm finding that those victories are just as significant as the ones I have on the little black box. And usually, I can enjoy non-scale victory dances, with all of my accessories ON!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cowboys and Indians

Have you seen the dust cloud billowing from my general direction? Well, if so, let me explain. Please hark back to the last time you saw an old western. Enter cowboys, steerhands, wagon train, etc, over horizon stage left. Enter Indians, squaws, teepees, and other steriotypes, etc, stage right. Stage left and stage right descend upon one another. The shooting and whooping are deafening. Soon, there is a large dust cloud filling your TV screen, with nothing to distinguish the two sides but muskets and feathers, except perhaps a lucky glimpse of John Wayne somewhere in the midst.

The dust cloud has pretty much been my post-vacation life until this week. Enter "US" stage left--in weary van, with weary drivers, and weary children--on August 17th, late. The first set of Indians was already in place in the form of an invasion. I won't go into pain-staking detail here, but suffice it to say that it took me almost two weeks, 14 cans of Raid, 4 pounds of baking soda, 5 vacuum bags, a jug of detergent, and unknown gallons of water to fix the problem. I had left my house immaculate, so I was not expecting to have to come home and do it all over again.

Enter other Indians in pompous parade, epic style. There was the pile of medical bills, a Medicaid mix-up, and the surprising absense of a particular piece of mail. There was a room that needed to be emptied, taped, tarped, painted, untarped, untaped, and filled--before we planned to start homeschooling on September 6th. Then, five days after our return, my mom ended up very ill and in the hospital. Poor mom! She was there a week before it was all over. The day after mom's surgery, Maggie had another seizure, and it was off to see our friends in the ER. The kids had regular physicals, Wade and I had the dentist, and Maggie had the neurologist and another MRI. Yes, the dust was impressive, and John Wayne was nowhere to be seen. (I suppose this is a relief since The Duke's appearance would have exceeded dust cloud, and rated in the "supernatural event" category, but I digress.)

Anyway, all that to say, the Cowboys and Indians came and went, I kept my trusty tracker by my side at all times, and all was not lost among the choking chaos. As I mentioned last week, on vacation I managed to lose 0.6 pounds. During the week of hospital and doctor dashes, I miraculously left behind 0.2 pounds. Going into the third week, I wasn't sure what to expect of my body, since I didn't seem to be going anywhere fast, but I dropped another point, and used a flex point here and there when I was hungry. Last Tuesday, I lost 2.4 pounds!

Hence, this week I am naturally hopeful that I will be able to lose the 1.8 pounds between me and the big FIFTY POUND victory! It's getting so close, I can almost touch it! This week is week 3C (Week 1C was the week of the pesticides, Week 2C was the week of hospitals and doctors, in case you're wondering). I was supposed to re-evaluate my activity level, and I certainly did. I have discovered that I am a terrible home exerciser. I plan to do it, but I just don't. I have to get out of the house. Consequently, I've found a local gym with an indoor track that I can use for free year round. Perfect! Tuesday, I ran 2 miles, and walked my third in about 40 minutes. Thursday, I pushed hard, and ran 3 miles in 32 minutes. A 10 minutes 20 second mile is a new record for me, and I can't wait to go again next week.

This coming week (starting Tuesday) I will be sending a couple extra blogs your way. I need to lay out what my plans are for the last 17 weeks of this year, and I need to talk about where I am in this whole process anyway. There just doesn't seem to be as much to write about--but that's because this is a process and not a destination. In a process, you're bound to re-visit goals, challenges, failures, and victories; because everything is a cycle. I starting to realize it's how you cope with the cycle that matters.

So how am I coping? Pretty good overall, I'd say. I only had one true black out. I woke up in the middle of the dust cloud, surrounded by the din of stress, hormones, and circumstances--and in front of me lay three carcases: an Angus 1/3 pound burger box, a french fry bag, and a forlorn and empty milkshake cup. DID I DO THAT?! Well, bless my heart!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Well, you're probably wondering why my two week vacation was only 3 days long, huh? Arg. It really was two weeks long, I promise; however, my return home derailed the blog train, and now I feel hopelessly behind in that department. Consequently, I shall acquiesce to circumstance, and take a lesson from past scrap-booking endeaveors. I shall summarize high-lights and move onto present events.

First of all, to satisfy morbid curiosity—yes, I returned home victorious. I missed two meetings while we were away, but regardless, I hosted my own Monday morning motel meetings with my family gathered round. Yes, much to my husband's chagrin, the little pink scale traveled with us all the way to Maine and back. I continue to maintain that a sense of accountability is the ounce of prevention that's worth a pound of cure with me (of course the pound of cure doesn't count on weigh-in day). Along those same lines, I did indeed, maintain. Upon my return to Greenville, I weighed in having lost 0.6 pounds.

So what were my other lessons and highlights during the road-trip of the decade?

Highlight: I fit beautifully into my bride's maid dress. It was even a touch big on me. I won't ever have to look at those pictures and regret what I looked like on that special day.

Lesson: If there is a CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN at a wedding reception, get your skinny butt in the line. If your butt is not as skinny as you want it to be yet, get in line anyway! Tomorrow is another day, and pretty sure there is not a chocolate fountain in it.

Highlight: Having your husband ask you where the new you was on the day you got married, and being able to assure him that you were really in there all the time. Duh. Like he didn't know!

Lesson: A plan can get you through about anything on target—even three hour stop-and-go traffic trying to get over the George Washington Bridge in New York City.

Highlight: Enjoying family, and still feeling comfortable enough with your new lifestyle that you don't feel uncomfortable doing what you need to do to take care of yourself at meals.

Lesson: Tracking and planning the 95% of the time that you CAN, will make up for the 5% of the time when chaos, mayhem, and leftovers make tracking and planning impossible, impractical, or at the very least, no fun.

So there you have it. On August 17th LATE, we returned home. I was refreshed and without regret and I was ready to Giddy-yap into the final 17 weeks on 2010. Of course, that's when the Cowboys and Indians showed up and started to kick up a real dust cloud, but you'll just have to read about that next time, won't you?