Tag Archive | victories

Ropes Course Goal Complete…50 Lbs Early!

This past weekend, I spent 4 days with 16 teenagers in a training called GAP!  First of all, up until this training and the planning of it, I did not like teenagers.  They were scary little aliens that sent me right back to my awkward high school days that I hated…who wants to spend time in the presence of people feeling like that?

Now, I have discovered a whole population of people who are pretty freaking amazing!  I mean seriously, this is a training for teens that focuses on beliefs we have about life and interrupting the limiting ones that get in teh way of what we want.   You know the ones I’m talking about.  These kind of limiting thoughts/beliefs are not unique to teenagers, we have them too about losing weight or about anything else we want to do in life but for some reason DON’T.  They are the ones that say “I can’t lose 100+ lbs.”  or “I don’t know how to eat right or exercise.” How about this one that says “I can only lose weight and stay on track if this, this, and this are in place. (for me that would be…if I were living in GR, had my Y membership back, and had my friends within 5 minutes of me again.)

Anyway, here is one example of how sweet it is.  On day one, the trainer asked the kids what they were here for.  What do they want to change about their life?  I had to push my jaw shut when a teenager, the youngest one there at that, stood up and demonstrated what it meant to be honest and real and vulnerable about what he wanted to change about his life.  In my mind, this was pretty risky.  I mean I still had lingering judgements about teens.  They don’t share, they don’t have deep thoughts and they certainly don’t think about what they want for their future, they just want to have fun, no matter what the cost.  Um yeah…so not true!

I have been blessed beyond measure to have been a part of this weekend and to get to hear the deep heart longings of teens to have better realtionships with their parents and friends.

As a part of the weekend, the kids get to do a ropes course.  With my own feet firmly planted on the ground I was quite excited for the kids to be able to do this!  Until…we had enough time for some of the team to go…at which point Aaron, Jason and Elizabeth knew that I was pretty scared at the possibility of doing this. I tried everything to avoid this…at one point I saw that the kids were wrapping up and the team could start doing it and I did everything I could to stay out of the eyesight of those three people.  I started playing a game with some of the kids when I was caught though…and once the kids realized what was going on, there was no way out., as if there was before!

I know guys.  A ropes course is on my goal list to do when I reach my halfway point (in another 50 lbs!).  So really, why would this be so bad to have an opportunity to check something off the list early?  Well, there is a reason why it was a halfway goal mark.  I have had opportunity to attempt a ropes course twice in my life. One time, I got halfway up the pole and realized once I step off this thing the only way down was to free fall and let the ropes and my balayer catch me.  I had not even come close to working on trust issues at this point so let’s suffice it to say that there was no way in hell I was going to trust these people who I barely knew.  The other time I was at a camp and I would have trusted this group, but to my horror, the harness wouldn’t fit and so I could not do it.  I was so embarrassed!

Thus why I had placed that goal at the halfway point in this journey. So THAT would not happen again.  See, I am not necessarily afraid of being 45 feet in the air.  My fears are more related to falling (a.k.a plummeting to the earth!) and really being mortified if I cannot do it because the stupid harness wouldn’t fit…again. So here I am, in front of all these teens.  They have now gotten wind that I am scared, but they have no idea of what, and now they WANT to see me do this thing.

Great…all eyes are on me.  I should have gone and done this quietly so that if it didn’t fit I could slink away, with hopefully not too much noticing.

So the guy (I will call him Travis because I think that may be his name) comes over with a harness and says he hears I have been nominated to go first among the team members.  Yep, that would be me.  He begins to put this harness on me, which in itself was awkward, since he had to actually touch me!  He starts talking to me about how this course is Challenge by Choice.  I don’t have to do this.  I know this, of course, and in reality I DO want to do this.  My adventuresome side thinks this would be pretty cool to do.  But I still don’t know for sure if this thing is gonna fit or not!  So I stopped him and looked him in the eye and just asked.

“This thing is going to fit me right?”, I asked.

“Of course it is, not a problem.”

“You don’t understand, I will be mortified if it doesn’t fit, seriously, if there is any doubt at all, let’s stop now.”

“I have no doubts, it will fit and you will be able to do this.”

He continues to hook me up in this contraption that goes between my legs and around my thighs and up over my hips and somehow all connects together. It fits.  Number 1 fear…conquered!  Ok maybe not conquered but definitely proved to be unfounded.

It is decided that I will do the grapevine, which is a wire 45 feet above the ground that has ropes hanging from another wire above it.  The idea is to walk the wire and move from rope to rope.  Imagine George of the Jungle swinging from the vines and you may have an idea of what I am to do…except I will be shuffling, not swinging.

I go to get started and my balayer is this 140 lb woman.  Seriously?  If I fall off that wire, the laws of physics say I will come down and she will go up.  Now there may be something that counteracts that phenomenon built within the rope mechanisms, but this is where my next fear lay.  Travis and others come around and assure me, my fear will not happen.  They will all, if need be, hold on to her to make sure it doesn’t happen.  While comforting on some level, not cool to think others will have to hold my balayer on the ground.  Again, I don’t know if this was necessary or if they were just setting this up for me to make me feel more comfortable.   Either way, it worked…sort of.  Fear #2…thwarted but not gone.

The next step is to climb a really shaky ladder halfway up a telephone pole where I then climb the rest of the way up the pole by stepping on these big staples in the pole before I step out onto the wire. The worst part was the shaky ladder.  I was certain it would break or fall.  It didn’t.

The next was stepping out onto the wire and reaching for a rope.  I had no idea how physical this task was going to be.  I thought it would be be fairly simple once I got up there to move across.  Not so much.

I started out going ok.  I was shaky and wobbly and terrified of falling off the wire. Then I looked down and realized it is a loooonnggggg waaayyyy down. Oh crap, maybe the heights area factor after all!! I started to freeze up and I knew I was starting to panic.  I tried to focus on one spot.  Unfortunately I chose a spot on the GROUND to look at and focus on!  Aaron moved into my line of sight and started talking to me and I heard many other voices…but I have no idea what any of them were saying.  I imagine it was similar things to what I was telling the kids as they went along and were scared.

Things like…”You are doing great, just keep moving!” and ” Don’t look down!”  “You are stronger than you think you are!” and “Breathe!”.  Oh yeah breathe.  “You are almost there!” or “Great Job!!  I am proud of you!”  You know, stuff like that!

In the end I made it about 2 1/2 ropes which probably equates to 12 feet or so before I froze up and then eventually physically I couldn’t do it anymore.  My legs were shaking as were my arms. I had stood there so long!  I kind of wish I hadn’t froze because then I might have been able to make it further.

Now to get down from here. Oh yeah, it involves sitting back, trusting your balayer, and letting them lower you down.


Amazingly it worked.  After another few minutes of trying to come up with alternate ways off this wire and finding none, I finally sat back and had the absolute slowest ride ever to the ground.   When I was halfway down, I was wishing they would let it go a little faster so I could get my feet on solid ground again!

All in all, I did it.  I did a ropes course…50 lbs before I was supposed to.

Now, remind me to tell you about the climbing wall later.

I have pictures but am not sure I am ready to have them online yet.  Me in this contraption is sooo not attractive in the least!!


Just A Fat Day!

First off let me just say….I am not despairing…

However, I feel fat today.  I know…I know…how silly of me to feel so…when it is true. 🙂

However I am thinking on some level I am syking myself up for tomorrow’s weigh in.  I am somewhat nervous about it. Last weeks weigh in was a gain, despite doing everything right.  This week I walked 36 miles in 3 days due to my job and stayed within calories all week as well.  I should be able to expect a loss, maybe even a significant one.  However, I am noticing all of this walking is causing water retention.  I notice my feet are swollen by end of day as are my hands.

My wrists and hands have become my favorite part of my body.  I have long fingers and despite my size I actually have little wrists….I like to look at them as it gives me some indication of where I will be someday, soon. But this past week and particularly today they have looked fat to me and I am certain it is the water retention.

So with all that said, I am nervous about tomorrow mornings weigh in. I would love to lose 5-6 lbs, but know that is not realistic.  I would be really happy with 3 and ok with 1 or 2.  I will however be incredibly disappointed if I held steady or even gained.

On another note, I saw a video taken of me this weekend.  It was only on for a second.  But my first thought after seeing it was…oh my goodness…where did I go?  When I look in the mirror I do not see a lot of physical differences, but if I look at certain pictures or in this case, a video…I am shocked at what I see, or rather what I DON”T see. 🙂

So I thought I would remind myself of some non-weight related successes as I gear up for tomorrow.

  • I can climb a flight of stairs and still breathe
  • I can walk up a hill and carry on a conversation
  • I can run
  • I walked freakin 36 miles in 3 days!!!
  • I am 3 sizes smaller
  • I have lost 51 LBS and should be and am proud of that!

Those are just a few of the things I can do now and have done already.  I look forward to adding to the list!

ON a side note, while talking with my 4 year old nephew, Garrett, he says this to me.

Garrrett: “Auntie, are you married?”

Me: “No Garrett, I am not.”

Garrett: “You need to get married with flowers, I will give you a flower!”

Later, while talking with the almost 9 year old nephew, Gavin, he was also talking about me and marriage.

Gavin: “You know Auntie, I have taken you out of time out, you are allowed to get married now.” (He used to tell me I am not allowed to get married because he didn’t want to share me!”

Me: “I know Gavin, but I kind of have to find a guy first.”

Gavin: ” Well you know Auntie, boys kind of like it when you smile at them a lot, and kind of hang around them, and look at them, and laugh at all their jokes.  Oh and you have to touch them too.  Boys like that.  If you do that, you will get married because a boy will know you like them…”

Well, there ya have it folks…that is a 8 yr old boys perspective on dating/relationships/marriage!

I am curious though, men who read my blog…how far off base is he, if at all?

This past week…

This past week has been a full one, at least as far as the spectrum that my emotions have run.

At least 4 days this week, I seriously had no motivation to get to the gym. I only succumbed to one day though, so that is a victory! Then on my scheduled day off, I struggled with feelings of guilt that I was not at the gym. Crazy thoughts I know. (Note to self: Be careful that you don’t swing to the opposite extreme of food obsession to exercise obsession. While it is good to exercise and work towards health, irrational feelings of guilt are not the direction I want to take exercise, jsu tleads to more disordered thinking instead of a wholly healthy me!)

I have had some fear and anxiety this week as the reality of moving home began to hit as I gathered boxes and at least began the mental/planning process of packing up my life. It seems that for many moments this week, the “peace” I had last week was gone. Doubts about my ability to keep this up came in again, especially as I struggled with motivation to go to the gym. Ultimately, I know I can and will keep it up. I know I am much stronger than ever before. I know I have what it takes. And I know I am not alone in this. The fear and anxiety are just feelings and they are temporal.

Then there is the time I spent with friends this week. Sitting at Founder’s or travelling to the Piston’s game, I am just noticing what I am going to miss. The easy comfort of conversation that covers everything from teasing to comfortable silence. From encouragement to the deep thoughts and purposes of life. The huge amounts of laughter at and with each other. Even as I type this though, one might think it is all depressing thinking of all that I will miss. While it is sad and I WILL miss this with these people terribly, I am somewhat excited to create something new with new people and in a new place.

The one question I have been getting all week long as the circle expands to who now knows I am leaving is, “Are you coming back?” and “How long is this for?”

I am trying not to dwell on those answers too much. My heart instantly goes to “of course I am coming back and as quickly as possible!” But that heart perspective is not going to be very helpful as I try to create something new in Detroit. People I meet and current friends and family will know my heart is not truly with them, if I am continuously focused on being back in West Michigan. So while I would love to be back, I don’t know those answers. I don’t know what God has for me. I don’t know where He will send me next. But I do know, after driving around Detroit yesterday, that it doesn’t feel like home yet. I felt like a visitor in the place I grew up. But that is just for now. Soon, I will make it my home again. Then I will have 2 homes and perhaps the best of both worlds! And it is this thought that helps the fear go away and that eases the anxiety.

On a final note and a completely different subject ( so I don’t do a 3rd blog in one day!). Last week while watching TBL, Bob lost it on a girl who didn’t seem to be trying. His request (ok demand) seemed simple enough. Run for 30 seconds at 6.5 on the treadmill. I have been running 30 second sprints like these at 4.5 for the last couple of weeks and thought, “good grief girl, just stay on the treadmill for a flipping 30 seconds and you will be done!” I was pretty harsh in my judgement of her and while she may not have been pushing herself as hard as she could, I decided to see just how hard 6.5 for 30 seconds really is. I went Wednesday after spin class for my 1st attempt. I don’t know what I was thinking! I had no legs left! I could barely do my 4.5 sprints. What was I thinking trying to jump to 6.5!!! Thank God Coach Mike was there to speak some sense in to me. I went back Friday for attempt #2. I DID IT! One time. I am done with that for now. I will never judge a contestant so harshly again, at least not until I have run 30 seconds in their shoes. In reality, I could feel the impact on my feet. Jumping from 4.5 to 6.5 is probably not the best idea from an “I don’t wanna get injured” perspective. So I am now safely tucked in at a 5.0 speed and will work on doing longer sprints for a while instead of speed.


Yesterday as I was thinking about my Saturday, I realized I had one time slot in which I could work out, which was the morning. However, I stayed out waaaayy too late and actually ended up not crawling into bed until 6:30 AM after taking my roommate to the airport then deciding to get my grocery shopping done. I crawled into bed and decided that 11 AM was my designated time slot to work out regardless of whether or not Mike called to say he was going or not, which would give me almost 5 hours of sleep.

11 AM came and I did NOT want to go. I did not want to even open my eyes. I thought, who can I get to go with me so that I would be motivated or at the very least, I wouldn’t let someone else down. Laurie-couldn’t, Mike-hadn’t called me back yet, assume he can’t go in the AM, Adam-won’t/can’t go in the mornings, Aaron-probably still sick, Virg-out of town….the list goes on.

As I pondered who might want to go to the gym, battling the horrible roads…and who would be up for going RIGHT NOW, this thought came to me. “How come it is ok to let myself down and break a commitment to myself, but not to others?” How come I am not getting my but out of bed with urgency and focus simply because I said to myself last night that I was going to the gym today? Why do I need a commitment to someone else to propel my ass out of bed to go to the gym?

Then I pondered going and doing just enough to say I went. Well after my previous thoughts, half assing it just wasn’t going to work for me. Either I was going and going all in, ready to burn some calories…or I wasn’t going to go. Simple as that. I had a choice to make. Am I important enough to myself to keep commitments to myself about the things I want regardless of if anyone else is involved or not? Who knew that a decision to go to the gym or not on a really cold snowy morning with little sleep would turn into such a huge deal!! (and all of these thoughts happened in the first 30 minutes of my first attempt to open my eyes…this is kind of like a miracle…ask my brother!)

I went.

Soooo Victorious! Perhaps I am getting one decision closer to a wholly healthy ME! Now THAT my friends is Beautiful!!

Unfounded Fears

It has been an interesting and challenging week and a half since my last 1lb gain. From the day that I found I gained 1 lb through that first Sat, I lost 3 lbs by very carefully counting my calories, discovering that I don’t eat ENOUGH, and meticulously logging my time at the gym. I was ecstatic as I was on track for a 4-5 lb loss for the week, which would have been amazing!

On Sunday, I found out that I really needed to go home for a few days to help with my nieces and nephews while their mom and dad spent much time at the hospital with their oldest, Gavin. I was gone from Sunday night until Thursday afternoon, staying with 5 young children, and pretty much becoming a single mom overnight! It was a lot of work and after having a week of feeling really good about my eating and exercising, I had no idea how I was going to keep it up while at home. I felt very out of control of my environment, my time, the food that was available to me (their church was bringing in meals), or my ability to exercise. My drive home was full of anxiety as I worried about Gavin and worried about how I was going to choose to be successful in this and not resigned to failure.

On Monday after my first full day with the kids. This is what my schedule looked like.
6 AM Wake up to some child needing to “go potty” or wanting to be fed.
6:30 AM all the kids are awake by now and demanding to be fed, changed, dressed, or something
7:30 they want a snack

Pretty much the whole day was spent, preparing food for meals or snacks, cleaning up from meals or snacks, or trying to figure out the caloric count in foods that are brought in for us that I have no idea what is in them…Since I had little idea, I went for eating small amounts of things or eating fruit (which doesn’t stay with you long-therefore feeling like I had been eating all day! Then on top of that feeling like, how in the world do you fit in exercise when you have 5 kids hanging on you all day and no stroller to fit them all.

SO here is what I did. I took control. I called my brother Ken and asked him to come sit with the kids for a bit so I could go out for a walk/run. Thankfully, he has been reading my blog (Yes Ken, I know you came back 🙂 I have a handy tracker 🙂 and therefore he knows what I have been up to and he came to my rescue. Thank You Kenny! So, I was able to go for a mile walk/run and it felt good. Not that I like exercise yet, but it felt good to feel like I had some control over my circumstances and that despite what looked like might turn out to be a bad ending to a great week, I was able to end it well.

On Tuesday, I went and found a scale to weigh in on. I do NOT recommend weighing in on a scale different than the one you have been on. I got on and it said I had gained 13 lbs since Saturday! Now in reality, I may have eaten a few extra calories on Monday, and may not have burned as many calories as I have been burning at the gym during my run walk, however in order to have gained 13 lbs I would have had to consume 45, 500 calories in a day and a half and not burned anything! I laughed at this scale, walked out and said…until I get back home I am considering my Saturday weight to be my weight for today!

Thursday and Friday was crazy busy and so today I went back to the gym, and weighed myself…I am on track. But since today is not my normal weigh in day, you will have to wait until Tues to find out where I am.

I didn’t get to work out after that first workout on Monday, but it is not like I was sitting around either. 5 Kids under the age of 4 is a LOT of work and you move a lot taking care of just there actual physical needs. I must have gone up and down the stairs at least 30 times each day. Then there is all the toe touches as I picked up toys from the floor each day! Then there is carrying the 25 lbs of 1 yr old around each day! And that is just the work of it. That does not include all the playing, wrestling, and dancing with the princes and princesses at the balls we had!

All in all there were lots of victories this week. The biggest being that my fear that being home means inevitable failure or back tracking or gains or whatever you want to call it, does not have to be true! I decide. I am in control. I can win this war!

Now for a cute kid story since I spent the week with them. All of the kids love to play dress up. Their favorite is to be prince and princesses with the beautiful gowns and whatever clothes Garrett determines are the best for a prince to wear! While in costume, they are really in character. And of course all fairy tales that involve princes and princesses also include an evil witch. That role always falls to whatever adult is around. AKA Me. Emma, the 2 yr old princess wanted an orange peeled. After asking nicely to have one and I began peeling it for her, she looks at me and say “Do it _itch, Do it” Ummm “Excuse Me?” The princess says, “I saaiiiiddd, Do it _itch, Do it!!” Yeah she was calling me WITCH! She was still in character! It did NOT sound like WITCH!! Gotta love these kids!