Friday, November 5, 2010

Freezing My Skinny Tail Off!

Today, you cannot tell that I have lost almost 55 pounds, because I am wearing jeans, socks, a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, a jacket, a bathrobe, and slippers, to make up for the several layers of fat that have been gloriously compromised during 2010. In about eight weeks, I will celebrate a full year of commitment to life style change, and a CHANGE it certainly has been. I look at pictures from this time last year, and I just can't believe the difference that loosing this weight has made in my life. I won't say it has solved all my problems, or been the magic cure for everything; however, it sure does give you something very positive to cling to when things aren't going so well.

Seriously though, now that the temperature is dropping, I am finding that I get cold much faster than I did last winter. Layering fashionably is a challenge with my closet in it's fluctuating condition. Try looking put together in a size 14 pants (now way to big), a size large t-shirt, and an x-large sweatshirt. I had a fairly functional summer wardrobe, but my winter clothes were mostly very large. Big sweatshirt I can get away with, but over-baggy pants are more of a challenge. Oh well. This problem is a good problem to have, and I'm finding, with a little work and creativity, I have put together 4 or 5 decent casual outfits, and a few dressy ones, for going out in. Who cares what I look like in the house?

I wanted to do this post, because it's been awhile since I just did a blog on how the weight-loss process is coming along. Ironically, about 10 days after I posted about my plateau, I was able to break through and lost 2.8 pounds. Last week I dropped 0.6, less than I'd hoped due to the curse of the moons and tides, but I'll see the weight come off next week, so it doesn't matter. I also dropped a point this week, since I am so close to 151 pounds.

151 POUNDS! I really cannot believe I'm talking about ME. I don't always recognize myself when I walk past a mirror. I have a collar bone and shoulder blades. I have correct proportions. My husband can pick me up and throw me over his shoulder (but I told him if he was gonna go all Indiana Jones on me, he'd better carry me over the threshold first!). I am going to need to put size 8/10 clothes on Santa's list for Christmas. So yes, there's been a whole lot going on in life outside of Weight Watchers and and the LLS marathon (alas, another blog), but this Thanksgiving is going to find me thankful for a great many things—including not being mistaken for the turkey!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Me, Myself, and I Have No Idea What I am Doing!

On October 30th, I got to go trick-or-treating with Buzz Light Year and his Inter-gallactic Bunny Buddy. We would knock on neighbors' doors, and folks would melt like chocolate at the sight of my travelers from outer space. The Buzz Light Year Costume had taken a bit of alteration as my son is still small for his age. I'd put scrunchies around his ankles to keep the pant legs from falling over his shoes, and I'd folded the long sleeves into his jacket. I'd also made sure he'd been to the potty before he suited up, because getting to the porta-star in that get-up would have created an inter-gallactic incident.

My next job, was dressing up my daughter. Initially, I had planned for her to be a clown. I had a great blue curly wigg, some cute clothes to miss-match, a couple different shoes. She would have been adorable, but alas, her majesty had strong objections. I got her dressed, and she looked down at her mis-matched shirt and shoes, threw her wig on the floor, stomped her foot, and announced, “I NO PRETTY!!!” Now I do not normally cave-in to such tirades, but since it was supposed to be a fun evening, I consented to her opinion. I just didn't assume she was old enough to have an opinion. After a brief dig in the play clothes box, she emerged with her Easter headband and said, “I BUNNY!”

There. All that settled, and we were off, and we had a great time. These challenges are always interesting, but somehow, I feel much more qualified to handle them than some of the fund-raising issues I have faced in the last month. Have you ever felt like a fish out of water? Well, that's precisely what I have felt like the night before each one of my three fund raisers so far. Six weeks ago, I was a brave little marathoner-wanna-be with my notebook and my cup of coffee, thinking of brilliant ideas to change the course of LLS fundraising as we know it. Now, after a largely unattended yardsale/bakesale fundraiser, a piano recital for three, and a Denny's benefit night with my anxieties carefully tucked into an awesome looking two-piece suit, I confess. I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing.

However, I am cluelessly trying very hard. And, lest I sound too downcast, let us recount the positive. My first fundraiser caused me to have some very good thoughts about all the folks around me that I am so thankful for, and my second fundraiser found me seated behind a very handsome grand piano and playing my favorites for some favorite ladies. Thanks mom, grandma, and Mildred for attending. In regards to my third fundraiser, well, I won't say practice makes perfect, I'll just suggest that prayer and planning come highly recommended.

When I called Denny's four weeks ago and booked their family room for a silent auction event, I had no idea how involved the whole evening would become. First, I got flyers out about the event, and then I started scavenging my own home for possible auction items. The next Saturday, I took my flyers to the mall and started canvassing businesses for donations of gift cards and small merchandise. In this endeavor, I will thank heaven for the generosity of individuals, because aside from Sears, most said their hands were tied by the corporate office. Donations I did receive, came from people who were willing to purchase items from their place of employment and donate them personally.

On Friday, a week before the event, I received a phone call from Denny's asking if I would be willing to come in at 2:00 and meet with a manager about the event. I thought they just wanted to meet me (I had arranged the event on the phone) and get some paperwork; however, when I arrived the next day (mercifully, dressed to the hilt because I was going straight to my piano recital fundraiser from there), I realized I was there for a MEETING. The manager ushered me to a table, where another manager and a district manager waited with their laptop computers and calendars. I had to pitch my whole event right there.

Nerves and all, I blundered through, and in spite of having no idea what I was doing, I left an hour later with Denny's totally on board. They let me post a large poster board sign, flyers, a tip jar, and table tents for the entire week previous to the event. In addition, they sent e-mails about the event to the 2,600 people on their mailing list. I no longer felt like I was in the effort alone. Not only was Denny's a great fund raising partner from start to finish, but once again, family and friends rallied around with auction items, ideas, encouragement, and helping hands.

So how did it go? Well, that's coming in another blog. I am very close to having a final total for the event, but I'm not quite there yet. Suffice it to say, it went better than the first two fund-raisers. Trick-or-treating with the kids did make me think that my approach has been all wrong though. I need to follow Olivia's sage advice. (Olivia is a fashion savvy, little girl piggy, on children's television). Olivia's Rule-of-life #14 is that there is no problem that the right costume can't solve. What I need is the right costume—maybe Hello Kitty?--and then a super-cute candy/money bucket. Then when people open the door, they'll listen to my LLS pitch, and throw all of their available funds into my super-cute bucket and wish they had a Hello Kitty outfit like mine. Naw. I think I'll stick to prayer and planning. With my luck, folks would just call the police. =)

Monday, November 1, 2010

God Bless the Broken Road

I know you're all waiting to hear how the Denny's fundraiser went, but I'm still waiting on a couple of totals to come in. In the meantime, please excuse the delayed drumroll and backtrack a couple of weeks with me . . .

I dreamed about the years I spent
On diet flukes
Hoping for the day my pants
Would fit like Daisy Duke's.
But now I've lost that fifty-some
I think my skinny brain's gone numb
Cause I've signed up somehow to run
Clear to Timbuktu!

I think about a little girl
Every hill I climb,
I think about what she's been through
When I improve my time,
For we all run this marathon
So she's not alone on the path she's on,
She's the hero of this song!
The one who's fighting through.

Cause every hard fought mile
Leads me to where you are,
Heroes who've gone before,
They are like morning stars,
Leading me on my way
Past aching legs and arms,
This much I pray is true,
God bless the broken road,
That finds a cure for you.
(borrowed from “God Bless the Broken Road”, Rascal Flatts)

About two weeks ago now, I had the incredible experience of my first cross-country seven mile run. I had been keeping up well with the mileage, but I needed to know that all that running around and around the track, was actually helping build the endurance I would need for the open road.

The Thursday afternoon I was scheduled to run seven miles, it was so beautiful outside, that it wasn't hard to get adventurous, strap on my gatorade laden backpack, and set-off on a pre-mapped seven mile course. Over the course of the next hour and a half, I ran into obstacles of all kinds—steep hills, sidewalk cracks, catwalks with four flights of steps, and stretches of road that seemed to never end.

Finally in the last two miles of my adventure, I came around a corner that changed my direction almost directly west. The sun was about an hour from setting, and in the distance the mountains were bathed in amber light. The beauty charged me—propelled me forward. I felt like I was running on a street of gold, like I was getting a sneak peak into a glorious part of my eternal future.

About a mile later, I was home, and getting home had rarely felt so good, because of all the work I'd finished getting there, and because of the people waiting to welcome me. In that way, running and coming home are briefly prophetic, short sooth-sayers of what waits for us at the end of our last mile. When I cross the yellow tape near the River Jordan, I will be ready to give up my sneakers for a barefoot wade through the cool waters. On the other side, I will meet the author and finisher of my faith, Jesus Christ—otherwise known as the Great Physician. Jesus, keep Caden in your capable hands. Teach us your goodness through sickness and healing. God bless the broken road.