Hello From San Diego!

I didn’t get a chance to post before I left on my vacation, but I wanted to take a quick moment and post right now!

I left my house at 5:30 am yesterday morning to start my trip home. I arrived to the airport with plenty of time, went through security and headed to my gate to wait for my flight. Everything went great and we left Seattle on time headed for San Francisco. We even arrived early!

I had a scheduled layover in San Francisco of about an hour, so I found my gate and decided to just hang out there. I watched my plane come in through the windows and watched while they refueled and re-stocked the plane. Then waited for them to start boarding us… and waited… and waited. It wasn’t until our scheduled take-off time that they announced there was an issue with the plane, so our departure time was being pushed back an hour. Twenty minutes later they finally told us the issue was with one of the “forward lavatories” (ie first class bathroom). As we crept closer to our second departure time, it was pushed back again… for another hour and 15 minutes! At this point, I was wondering what the heck was going on in that bathroom that was taking two hours to fix! Finally, they announced that we could board the plane. Because of the long delay a lot of people jumped onto another flight that was leaving for San Diego, so our flight was actually pretty empty (it started out full). Our original take-off time was 10:59 am, we actually took off at 1:45 pm.

We finally landed in San Diego about 2:47 (20 minutes after the other flight people were jumping on). My parents were there to pick me up and then we went out for dinner (was originally supposed to be lunch) at Chili’s. There are no Chili’s anywhere near me in Washington so I had been craving their Chicken Crispers. Then it was on to home and some much-needed rest!

Today I spent the day hanging out with my mom and my aunt and we’re getting ready for my dad’s amazing tacos for dinner. So far the trip home has been exactly what I’ve been needing! Though I am missing my kitty! Tomorrow night I will be meeting up with my boys and spending the weekend with them, then will be back here with my parents for a few more days before heading back to Seattle. I will blog more about the entire trip later!!

The Blog I’ve Been Waiting To Write

This is the blog I’ve been waiting to write, and at times I really wasn’t sure that I would ever be able to write it! But now it is official, so I can shout it from the roof-tops and share it with all of you… I have officially lost 50 lbs and am halfway to my goal weight! Actually, I have technically lost 51.8 lbs thanks to a 2 lb loss this week!

Having been overweight or obese for pretty much my entire life, I never really believed that I could lose weight. I tried so many times only to give up quickly afterwards. At one point I managed to lose 20 lbs, but quickly gained all of that back plus more. Even with my interest in fitness and nutrition (and a minor certification), I still could not seem to find something that worked for me. I have talked about Sparkpeople before on this blog, and it was through using this site that I lost 20 lbs in the past. It has also helped me on this journey of 50 lbs lost (so far). But while I absolutely love the Sparkpeople community and everything they have done to help and support me, this has not been the key to my success.

I believe that the biggest reason I have been so successful this time around is because I completely changed my life. I stepped out of the old life that I lived before, where it was so easy to fall back into old patterns, and created an entirely new life for myself. Moving to Washington was the catalyst for the progress I have made in my life and my weight-loss journey. I was suddenly in a place where no one knew my limitations, so I was able to push them aside and redefine who I am. I was no longer the lazy woman who would rather snack on a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos than walk around the block. I had broken through my shell and was now looking at the world with new eyes, ready to explore new directions and try new things.

I still have a long way to go before I reach my goal, but I know that I will reach it. Even with all of my success, I am still technically obese, at least according to the BMI charts, but I am only 5 lbs away from hitting the overweight range of BMI. From there its only about 25 lbs to a healthy range. When I picked my initial goal, I picked a number right in the middle of the healthy BMI range for my height. I still think it’s a pretty ambitious number and I am not sure if that is where I ultimately want to end up. I will be happy to finish in the healthy range, but will work until I find the right weight for my body. I am not looking to be thin or skinny, I want to be fit and healthy… and I’m getting there!

Here’s a look at the numbers:
Starting weight: 215 lbs
Current weight: 163.2 lbs
Overweight BMI: 158 lbs
Healthy BMI: 132 lbs
Goal weight: 115 lbs

Choices

It doesn’t matter how small they are, the choices that we make in our lives define us and shape the paths that we take. While some choices seem insignificant, their effects are still felt and they impact every other choice that we make. I make choices every day about how I live my life… salad or burger for lunch? walk or take the bus? stay in or go out? While it may seem like they don’t have a lot of impact over my future, they do. Am I choosing to live a healthy lifestyle or an unhealthy lifestyle? Thankfully most of the time I choose to live a healthy lifestyle, but I also believe in balance, so I occasionally choose the burger or the night out.

Then there are the big choices, the ones that you know are going to change the course of your life. I’ve made a lot of those choices lately! The most notable was of course moving to Washington, though there were a lot of choices over the years that led up to that decision. Then there was the choice to go back to school, that one didn’t lead where I thought it would, but it certainly pointed my life in a new direction and brought a great friend to my life. And of course the choice to move from Marysville to Seattle was also a huge one. Every one of these choices was crucial in bringing me to the place I am in my life currently. I know each of these choices were the right ones for me to make.

Of course there are also the slightly stupid choices, like deciding to carry a 20 lb tub of cat litter 2.5 miles home from the store. I had to keep stopping along the way and my arms felt like jello by the time I finally got home. I am sure that I will be incredibly sore tomorrow!

Right now I have a lot of choices to make about my future. I don’t have to make them today or tomorrow, but they are coming up soon, so its time to start weighing what the best course of action will be. Do I continue in my current job or look for something different (with more money) while I prepare to move into a fitness career? Do I go back to school (yet again) for a degree in exercise science? Do I start looking for a place of my own even though I have a great roommate and like where I live (and honestly can’t afford to move right now anyway)? Do I pursue my writing or let that dream die out? Like I said, lots of choices to make in the near future!

What choices are you currently making in your life?

What choice has made the biggest impact on your life so far?

Friday Five~ Under the Wire

I have just about 20 minutes to get this Friday Five posted before its officially Saturday, but that’s pretty much how things have been going lately! I’ve been slightly sick for the last couple of days, plus with the sleeping issues I feel like I’m always just a few steps behind lately!

After all of my talk and anticipation, I am leaving on my vacation on Wednesday! Just 4 more days to go! Here are 5 things that I need to take care of in the next 4 days:

1. Work! Yes, I work every day up until I leave, so with commute about 10 hours a day will be committed to work

2. Pack! I have pulled out my suitcase and thrown some random clothes in it so far, but I need to put together outfits and figure out what I still need to pull together before I go.

3. Get my room together! While it’s not a complete mess, my room definitely needs some cleaning before I head out… namely the floor, my pantry & changing the sheets on my bed. My bathroom needs a good cleaning as well.

4. Get myself together! Trim my hair, manicure, pedicure, etc.

5. Stay sane! And get some rest!

On that note, I need to head to bed, I have an early day tomorrow.

Photo Catch-up

As I was uploading pictures from a recent walk and saw how many pictures I had not uploaded yet or shared with you all, I decided I really needed to do a quick photo catch-up blog from the last month! I’ll be posting my regular photo walk photos tomorrow, but here are some things that have been happening:

Our dog (ok technically she’s my roommate’s dog, but I still claim her) had surgery to remove part of her ear due to a malignant tumor. She is thankfully 100% cancer free and fully recovered now!

I randomly shot this photo of our backyard one day. We found out last night that apparently our yard is city property and they are going to put a road through it for new construction. The swing set would be torn down. (We rent, so of course this has been turned over to our landlord to dispute and is out of our hands).

Not a pretty shot of my wrapped leg while recovering from my injury. Thankfully I feel great now and will start running again after my vacation.

My textbooks for studying for the ACE Personal Trainer Certification

I went to the horse races for the first time ever! I won a few, lost a few and had a great day all around!

And we experienced summer-type weather up until just this past week, when fall arrived with a vengeance!

I’ll show you some of the signs of fall in tomorrow’s photo walk blog…

Sleep Disturbances

I think one of the main contributors to my melancholy mood of late has to do with the quality of sleep that I’ve been getting for the last couple of months. I wake up at least once every night, usually multiple times. Most of the time I fall back to sleep right away, but there are some nights when I am awake for at least an hour before I fall back asleep. There have even been 3 nights, including last night, when I am awake for 3 or more hours before I fall asleep again. If I work late or have the day off, this isn’t as much of a problem because I can just sleep a little later in the morning, but when I have to work early, it makes me drag for the entire day. And honestly I’m really not sleeping any later in the mornings after those nights. I wake up between 7 and 8 almost every day, even on those nights I wake up multiple times. I cannot remember the last time I slept through the entire night.

I’ve had sleep disturbances in the past, including intermittent insomnia over the years and one very notable period (about a week and a half to two weeks) where I couldn’t sleep at night at all and ended up grabbing a few hours in the morning or early afternoon each day. Most of the time these bouts of sleeplessness are accompanied by major stress or hormonal imbalances (insomnia around TOM). But this time I am not really under a lot of stress (though I do worry about money, so it’s a possible contributor). And I’m not aware of any hormonal imbalances happening, though I am at an age where its possible that I’m perimenopausal (and I think this is a definite possibility).

I don’t believe in taking sleep medication, though I have taken a homeopathic aid that helps calm my racing mind so I can sleep on occasion. But right now, my mind isn’t racing when I go to bed and I fall asleep easy, I just don’t stay asleep. I take a few other supplements that also help to promote restful sleep, but while I noticed the ability to fall asleep much quicker than before, I still wake up intermittently. And I should note that I don’t drink a lot of caffeine (an occasional soda or natural energy drink), or take any stimulants (guarana, green tea, etc.).

I’ve always slept well when it rains, but Seattle hasn’t seen a lot of rain lately (though we did get some during the day yesterday). I am hoping that we’ll get some overnight rain here soon and maybe that will help me sleep. Of course the other possibility is to evict the kitten, but she has always slept with me and it hasn’t been an issue in the past, so I don’t have the heart to do that.

In the meantime, I am going to try a few different things that might help me sleep better and hope that something does the trick. I really don’t like being so tired throughout the day, and when my mood gets affected as well, it’s just no fun for anyone!

Retreat and Regroup

Every once in a while, I need to retreat into myself and withdraw from the world for a little while. Lately I have really been feeling this need. Last night I withdrew, but didn’t completely close myself off from the people around me. Today I have closed myself away for a while to just sit with myself and figure out what my next step is. Of course, I will have to venture out at some point because I do have to go to work a little later, but for now I am embracing solitude.

While my need to retreat can sometimes indicate a bout of depression coming on, it doesn’t always mean this. Sometimes its just a hint that there is something out of balance in my life or something that just isn’t working quite right. I know that this, combined with the sudden change in the weather, is what is driving me right now.

For the last several weeks my life has felt like its running out of control with work and other obligations. I have cut back on several of these obligations, but am having a difficult time shifting gears back to what I need to be focusing on. Other changes in my life (mentioned in yesterday’s blog), have me re-assessing how I spend my time as well. Like figuring out what to do on Friday and Saturday nights now. Like looking for ways to meet new people that will fit with my very limited budget and time constraints.

I know that I won’t have a lot of time to really withdraw this week, I have way too much that has to get done before I leave on my trip. But I also know that I need to spend some time in solitude to really figure out what’s going on in my head and where I need to go next. The only certainties regarding my next step are my devotion to fitness, studying for my certification, and building my blog. Everything other than those things are possibilities for change.

In truth, I am not unhappy, though I am a little discontented with things the way they are now. This tells me that I definitely need to make a change. And I need to consider what I need to fulfill myself, not necessarily what others think I should do, when I am making changes.

Hopefully I will have some answers soon. Perhaps my trip will help me realize what I need to do next, since it will take me out of my regular day-to-day world. If not, at least it will provide me with some much-needed rest and relaxation time!

Odd Numbers

Life is about change and growth, welcoming people into your life and sadly saying goodbye to others. I have gone through a lot of transitions over the last year and a half, grown a lot and really come to know myself better than I ever really did before. The one thing that really hasn’t changed though, is that I usually feel like the odd one out. And with one of the newest transitions in my life, it has been brought to the forefront of my mind lately.

All of my friends are now paired up with someone and I am the only single person in the group. I still get together with friends one on one, but most events seem to have everyone partnered up together, creating an odd number when I’m there. My friends have never made me feel unwelcome at these events, but I definitely feel my singleness on occasion. And now that my last single friend has someone in her life, I feel it a little bit more. Especially since the times we usually used to hang out together are now spent with the new guy in her life.

Am I jealous? Maybe a little, but not so much that there is someone in her life now (or any of my married/ partnered friends’ lives) that takes time away from me, but because I want someone in my life too. At least most of the time I do, there are other times when I wonder if maybe I am better off remaining alone, or if being alone is what is meant for me. Afterall, I have been single for a really long time and have rarely dated during that time. I’m used to being on my own… to being a party of 1 (or 3, or 5); its safe. But it’s also lonely at times.

In our society, it seems like everyone is supposed to be in a couple. I often get pitying glances when I eat in a restaurant alone. I have friends offering advice on where to meet people and what websites to sign up for, and telling me just to hook up with someone for sex once in a while. And I have signed up with various internet dating sites over the years, but I haven’t had much luck. And while I don’t condemn anyone who goes for the casual hookup, I just can’t do that. I need more of a connection before I can be intimate with anyone, and that kind of connection doesn’t come in a night at a bar or a club.

I’ve always said that I don’t need a man in my life to be happy, and I don’t. I am totally happy most of the time on my own. But I know that having someone special in my life would only enrich it further. I still believe (most of the time), that there is someone out there for me, and that I will meet him when the time is right. But there are days when I really wish he would hurry up and get here!

Random updates

Just a few random updates on the Saturday night (that yes, I am spending sitting in front of my computer).

1. I promise to post some pictures soon! This blog has been without pictures for too long!!

2. My computer guru tells me he is close to figuring out my website and getting it ready to release

3. I wore my size 10 pants to work today!!!!!

4. The offending issue mentioned in yesterday’s blog has been discussed with the person in question and I have been assured that it was all a mis-understanding. I will move forward under this mindset.

5. It looks like I might be getting a car sometime in December. A co-worker is looking to get rid of theirs and offered to sell it to me cheap.

That’s really all I’ve got for tonight. I am trying to make sure that I am posting more frequently and am working on an entirely new format for the launch of my website, so my posts may be a bit random and/or brief over the next week and a half before my vacation!