Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Oh what a difference a year makes...

Oh what a difference a year makes....
One year ago this week I decided to take control of my life... more so to take back control of my "out of control" life which has always been good, but full of busyness, obligations, work, more obligations, family, friends, my ongoing struggle with my weight, my health, my emotional being, and blah, blah, blah... the list goes on (you can read more about my story by going to the About my Blog section or My Story under the label section)...I am sure there are some of you who can relate....  I was trying to please everyone.... that I got caught up it everyone else..except for myself.  I forgot to take time for me...sure, I found time for stupid late night reality TV shows, dinners with friends, random last minute road trips...but I failed to take time for my own self improvement... I became so busy trying to "fix" everyone elses' life (yes, I am a "fixer" personality and so I like to try and "fix" everyone but myself).  I have also been one who keeps busy, sometimes too busy and in the busyness I lost myself..... so, I decided to make a change, I was feeling tired, run down, and honestly a little depressed.  My journey this year all started my very first ever visit to a therapist, or as I refer to him as "life coach", who finally gave me permission to "fix" myself and to stop worrying about everyone else... and that is what 2012 was all about for me!  It is so amazing to see what happened when I decided to take the wheel of my own life instead of just being along for the ride on so many other people's journey.... Of course this decision came with me having to make a lot, and I mean a lot of hard changes in my life in which I had to make some difficult choices resulting in a lot of tears...(maybe even more tears than I shed while watching the new Les Mis movie)... but it has all been worth it!  2012 has been one damn awesome year for me full of tears of both sadness and happiness, ups and downs...but over all a wonderful journey. 

Some of the AWESOME things that have resulted from me "taking back control", becoming, vulnerable and doing things that I never thought I would do include: 

1- Survived turning the big 4-0 by throwing my own pretty darn awesome birthday bash... "Reception" style... I figured since I wasn't married, I might as well have a "reception" and I registered for gifts, had a reception photographer and videographer, and was able to celebrate a often times difficult milestone birthday surrounded by the people I love.  It was a magical night and I loved every minute of it... Thanks to all that helped me make it happen...JILL! 

2- Joined a gym, weight watchers, and tried to make getting healthy a priority...which resulted in me losing 25 lbs.  I know, 25 lbs doesn' seem all that much over a year's time, but I have come to accept that my journey is going to be a lot slower than others... I am definitely not a black or white type thinker and because of that.... I have a hard time not being too flexible with any "diet" plan I have tried.... in the words of Captain Jack Sparrow... I use Weight Watchers as "mere guidelines" instead of hard and fast rules... so, my journey is taking a long time... but I am still committed to the journey.  I went to the doctor's for a physical last week and I was excited to hear that my blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels were all normal...yay!  I think a lot of that has to do with eating better...or in my case, LESS and exercising. 

3- By meeting with a therapist I was able to let go of a lot of unhealthy beliefs I had about myself and self sabotaging thinking errors that had over the years become my best buddies and a way to stay in the funk that I was in.  By doing this...and continuing to use some of the tools he gave me, I was able to open up a lot more to those around me, and as my therapist said.... become more "vulnerable" and let people into my life... and not just my "surface" life.  Because of this, I feel like my friendships have become even stronger and I was able to open up to not only family and friends... but to single men (which has been an impossible thing for me in the past...and also meant signing up for an online dating website).  Yes, I signed up for online dating website which was scary at first... really scary... and I felt like I was opening myself up for a lot of rejection, but instead, I met quite a few really decent guys, opened up myself to a lot of new experiences, and found that the online dating thing actually boosted my confidence and I was able to enjoy a year of a pretty active dating life (which had been DEAD, and I mean DEAD for at least the past 15 years).  And from all of those online dating adventures, I was able to meet a wonderful guy and this new year, I rang in 2013 by celebrating it with my boyfriend...yep, I said it, my boyfriend Joe (and a Big Gulp of Diet Coke LOL) and I am looking to many more fun adventures with him in the future....

So there you have it my 2012 in a nutshell... I look forward to 2013 and continuing on my journey and hearing from all of you! 

Thanks again for all your love and support!  I am blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life and have been overwhelmed by the amount of support I have received from you on this crazy journey. 
Cheers to you and 2012!  Bring on 2013!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

My Top 10 List

So, I am a little late getting this posted...but since when have I ever been early for anything LOL... so, here it is, my Thanksgiving post. 

I love this time of year, Thanksgiving, autumn, leaves, the beginning of the Christmas season and New Year...yep, I love it.  I especially love the month of November, I know, kind of weird huh...but I do, maybe because I love cooking, being with friends and family, and cool weather, beautiful fall leaves...and of course, heart full of gratitude.  Sometimes I look at my life and am just amazed at how blessed I am, seriously, I am blessed... in so many ways.  Of course, not everything is perfect (I am still pleasantly plump..hehehe), but things are good and I feel very, very, very lucky and grateful, especially when I see so many wonderful people around me struggle with so much hardship and trials... I guess I just feel lucky.... so I just wanted to take a minute or two to express just a few things I am grateful for, of course, I can't list out everything that I am grateful for, but I was able to narrow it down to 10, so here it goes:

 1) My family
yeah, so we are not perfect....not even close....we laugh, we cry, we fight, we say mean things to each other, we talk really, really loud, we but head on political issues, we do crazy things, but all in all.... I love my family, and I can't imagine life without them.  I am especially grateful for the people my siblings have married...Melissa, Sarah, Matt and Adele, you hear horror stories of people's sister/brother-in-laws and how crazy they are, but I have been really blessed because of my "in-laws" rock and I am so happy my brothers and sister chose such wonderful people to marry and bring into our crazy family.  
Along with my family, I am so blessed to have these kiddos in my life, my nieces and nephews...they have brought such joy and laughter into our family, and I consider being an Aunt one of life's greatest blessings.  I am also blessed to be called "aunt" by several of my friends kids and I feel honored to be able to be a part of their lives as well.

2) My friends who have become my family
Wow, I think the Beatles had it right by saying "I get by with a little help from my friends"...seriously, I have the most wonderful people in my life, people I can call on when I am feeling down, discouraged, overwhelmed, stressed out, bored,  need a good laugh, need a good cry, and no matter where they live..near or far, or how much time comes and goes in between seeing them, we can always easily reconnect.   Friendship is something that I value and take seriously, so having good friends in my life is more important that gold, silver, and even chocolate or Diet Coke...so thank you friends!  Thank you for being in my life!

3) A job I like and great people to work with
It's not always perfect, but I love that fact that I can leave work at work, I have flexible hours, and awesome coworkers...even the really eccentric ones LOL.  I have made some really great friends working at the DLC and feel blessed to be able to have not only a job, but one that for the most part, I enjoy going to.
4) Laughter
"Humanity has unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century; but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand". — Mark Twain

5) Good mental health
Seriously, I thank my Heavenly Father almost every day for my mental health...maybe it is a weird thing to thank him for but if you worked in the same field as I do (some of you might), than you how much easier life is if you don't have to struggle with mental health issues....  Statistics are that 1 out of every 4 people have a mental illness...that is a staggering number.  Mental illness doesn't show on the outside, but it is a silent struggle/battle/fight that a lot of people I know, some very close to me deal with every day...and I am extremely grateful that I personally don't have to have that struggle.  Life is tough for everyone, but even tougher for those with a mental illness.  Although my life isn't perfect, nor has it worked out as I had planned back when I was a young girl... I can still wake up each morning and find joy and happiness in just being alive... and I think that comes a lot easier for me because I have been blessed to not have the added challenge of things like depression, anxiety, mood swings, personality disorders, delusions, compulsions, ect...and I recognize the gift of good mental health that I have been given, and it is one that I am thankful for, because like with anything else, it could always change.   

6) Spirituality and my religious beliefs
I love my Savior, I know He lives and is aware of me.  I am thankful for  modern day prophets.  I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and the principles that are taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I am thankful for parents who taught me those principles when I was young, and for church leaders and friends that have helped me figure out who I am, which as it says in the Relief Society Proclimation "I am a beloved spirit daughter of God, and my life has meaning, purpose and direction".

7) 2012 and the many great experiences I have had this year and new people who have come into my life
I will post more about this later, but this time last year I made a decision and committment to "Sieze the Day"....to take back control of my life and make the year I turned 40 one of the best years of my life...and I will say with all of my heart, that 2012 truely has been one of the best years ever, for many reasons and I am grateful for all of the experience I have had this year and for both my old and new friends who have played such an intregal part of it!

8) Physical health improvements over the past year
I will be starting 2013 (provided the world doesn't end on 12/21/12) 30 lbs lighter (I know that might not sound like a lot...but to me it is) than I was last year, several inches smaller... and several months under my belt of consistently going to the gym.  Last spring when I stepped into the gym, I was a little nervous and intimidated... this morning when I went to the gym...and almost every time I go I am greeted by name and I don't even have to show them my membership card...they have it memorized because I come often enough...yay!  I am thankful for those who have supported me with this goal...especially my gym buddy Jen.  I will also be starting this new year with the same resolve to continue on my weight loss journey, no matter how long it might take me.  I have better physical stamina than I had last year and I feel better physically than I have in a long time. 

9) A roof over my head
I have been living in this apartment for 6 years, it honestly feels like home to me and I am grateful that I can come home every day to a roof over my head.  I drive by the homeless shelter on my way to work every day which reminds me over and over again, how lucky I am to have a place to call home. 

10) Peace and balance in my life (mostly)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How Millie got her groove back....

So, I know this blog was primarily set up to focus on my goal of losing weight and getting healthier, but like I have explained in some of my earlier posts... getting emotionally healthier was part of my year of taking control of my life.  One of the things that I decided to try was online dating...yep, you heard it... I have joined the ranks of many other desperate and not so desperate singles looking for love...  I have many funny stories from my online adventures, some good... some not so good... but all adventures.  When I first got online and saw some of my options... let's just say, I was scared... really, really, really scared... I debated posting these pictures, but I couldn't help it (I figure if they were willing to put it online, then I can repost it)... these are ACTUAL pictures from the website I have been using...

Now, I am guessing that these guys are probably nice, and maybe even mocking my profile pic at the moment... but really, what's with the seductive pose with the stuffed animal, or the deal with yellow flower? 
Anyway, I digress... I did have to switch my thinking a little in order to not get discouraged... once I did that, online dating became kind of fun... a challenge.... an adventure.  I think why I resisted online dating so much in the first place was the fear of getting rejected... that somebody would look at my profile and say, wow, she is too fat for me, or too ugly, or I hate girls with short hair.... blah, blah, blah... my running joke was "why would I pay to get rejected by boys when that happens to me all the time in real life for free".  Interestingly enough, as I got online and started searching all the profiles, I rejected a lot of them, just like they could potentially be doing with me, so it no longer became a fearful thing... I no longer feared rejection from men.. because if they rejected me online, I honestly would never know so why was I so worried.  Once that switch was flipped in my head, I had a whole new perspective on things (also going to a therapist helped a bit too).  Anyway, some day in the future I will share my tips with online dating since I have had several people tell me I should write a book.... but, I'm tired and that will have to be another day. 
So over the past year, I have gone out with 12 men... yep, 12... that is 11 more men than I have gone out with in the past 10 years (sad but true).  All these years I have been going to a singles church group, trying to find men (and spirituality of course), hoping that some boy would notice me and my awesomeness and declare their undying love for me... but nobody did.  Then, when I went online, I met lots of people who were interested in me enough to to want to go out with me... it was kind of empowering in a way.  I was no longer just a participate in life... waiting for the man of my dreams to be dropped on my doorstep, but I was out, actively searching for him.  The first boy I went out with was a really great experience for me.  He was a cowboy, simple, nice, easy to talk to, and just a good guy.  Even though that didn't work out, I still think he is a good guy, who feared commitment and just wasn't ready for a serious relationship.  There were a couple more guys over the months... several that had an interest in me, but none that I was particularly interested in.  I look at online dating kind of like interviewing for a job... you got to throw a lot of resumes out there to find a job... so that is what I did.  In the summer I met another person, my latin lover... and that is how I got my "groove" back.  Now here is where this post gets a little personal...I have kissed a couple of boys in my life... but none in the last 15 years, sad but true...I even "dated" and I use that term loosely a guy over the period of 2 years back in 2007 and we never kissed... or even held hands... but on the second date, my LL just went in for the "kill" when I wasn't expecting it and kissed me... and we kissed for awhile... sadly, that kissing was not all that enjoyable, but for the first time in years, I actually felt like I could potentially be desirable...even if I was fat.  The story of the whole kissing episode was funny, since most of you know, I am not a touch feely person and barely hug my friends... so having a man all up in my grill was way too much for me to process at once... a little overwhelming..  but again, it was a confidence booster.. maybe I was desirable.... As some of you know, that relationship was on and off quite often, so I decided to continue to date other people... I had a month or two when I had consistently lined up 2 or 3 dates in a week, all with different men.  It was crazy, fun, tiring, awesome, stressful all at the same time.  Several men I went out with numerous times, some I only met up with once, and even a few I talked to on the phone and decided before the meeting that we would NOT be a good match.  Anyway, I met two other men who have profoundly changed my life.. in a good way... and gave me one of the most precious gifts I have ever received... the gift of being with a guy and feeling like I was "enough"... that I was pretty enough, smart enough, funny enough... and desirable enough.  One of the guys, I will not actual use his name... is someone who I will care about forever, who changed me, and I will always love and care about him, but I was not in love with him.  He would tell me all the time, things like "You know Millie you are actually much pretty than you give yourself credit for", or "I have never met anyone like you, you are not like anyone I have gone out with, you are special".  He valued me for me, I felt like he was one of the few guys that I had met that actually "got me".  Of course with the talking and emotional connection, there was also a lot... and I mean a LOT of kissing... all of which I enjoyed, and again boosted my confidence and helped me change some perceptions of myself that I had held onto for years ...  Of course along with the good (he is an amazingly tender hearted guy), there was the bad...he has a lot of issues and in getting to know each other, I realized that we have very different goals and values, so after a night of shedding many a tear, on both of our parts, I had to have the "talk" with him, and boy was it hard, and let him go as a romantic interest and be "just friends".  Again, he is someone that I will always care about and be grateful for meeting.  The other guy who has profoundly changed my life... well folks he and I are "in a relationship"... we are dating seriously and I have now cancelled my online account... he is my boyfriend...yep, I said it, I have a boyfriend... and I think he is AWESOME.  He has 5 kids...yep, I said it 5 kids... from the ages of 6-13, but I have yet in my single life found a boy I enjoy being with more than him.  He is funny, goofy, energetic, steady, determined, kind, easy going, emotionally stable, faithful member of my church, overcome a lot of challenges without letting them get him down and an awesome dad... and most important... adores me (lol, it's all about me...hehe) and I adore him.  So there you have it, I have publicly announced that I have a serious boyfriend...whoa, big, big, big step for me.  Anyway, in any relationship there is always the possibility that things might not work out, and of course that is a possibility with this relationship, but for now, I am going to enjoy every minute of it and move forward with the hope that this one will work out... and I will of course post some pictures later...
So there you have it, how I got my groove back, and one of the reasons that I haven't been posting as frequently as I should. 
Thanks again for following!  I am so blessed to have such amazing people in my life... so thank you! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

The zombies are coming....

So a couple of months ago I saw an advertisement for a very interesting 5k race called "Night of the Running Dead Race" where everyone comes either dressed like zombies or humans.... so, I signed up and posted on facebook to have others come and join me.  Now, I am NOT a runner, nor did I even plan on running any part of the race, I just wanted to participate in something active where at the end I could feel like I accomplished something...and luckily several of my friends saw the post and decided to join in the fun and do the race too. 
Before the race several people came over to my house for some "pre-run" festivities, we chatted, laughed, ate, and just enjoyed getting all made up in our zombie gear and preparing for the race.    Because all of my friends are at different fitness levels than me, we all seemed to get a little separated at the beginning...well, except for me and my sweet friend Beth who decided to hang back and take things slow with me.  As we began the race I swear to you it was all up hill... really up hill... and I was so not prepared for that and I seemed to go slower than even I thought I would be going, but I had Beth by my side and we just chatted as we walked...up hill... but we kept walking.  Part of the course was to walk through a neighborhood and the awesome part was that most of the people living in that neighborhood were all out on their porch cheering the runners on... even Beth and I, the very last ones in the race... but they were out there, cheering.... encouraging us to keep going.  I think it would have been pretty fun to watch 3000 runners come through your neighborhood...some dressed as zombies all chasing the humans... awesome.  Anyway, literally Beth and I were the very last people in the race... but still, there were people standing on the sidelines cheering. There were several points during the course where I just wanted to give up, I was getting tired, it was uphill, my legs and feet were killing me... but we kept going... sadly, after about 2.25 miles, we got lost, yes, I said lost... because we were so behind everyone else, there was nobody directing the runners/walkers anymore and we took a wrong turn that ended up with us at the finish line, without actually finishing the entire race...  it was kind of funny really... but hey, what can you do... I am still claiming that I finished the race LOL and it was a fun evening! 

Later on in the week the race got me thinking just about how in life we all need people on the sidelines cheering us on... even when life seems hard, and it's all uphill, we need someone who will tell us to "hang in there" or "keep going".... people who will stay by our side through the difficult times... we all need cheerleaders just to get by... and luckily I am blessed to have many cheerleaders in my life..  and I can't tell you how much you all mean to me!  I am truly one lucky chick! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Just for fun

This is how I am feeling today.... Just thought I would share it!  LOL

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I'd rather be a comma

So one of my favorite feel good songs is "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall" by Coldplay. I could seriously listen to this song over and over again.. it just makes me happy.   One of my favorite lines from it is... "I'd rather be a comma than a full stop" which I have now kind of turned into a life "mantra"..... I'd rather be a comma...

The last couple of weeks have been a little bit crazy, busy, stressful, overwhelming and I had a viral infection for about a week and a half where all I did was cough all day...and I mean all day and night long, I felt awful, crappy, and even missed like 4 days of work.  I also had my roommate move out and been trying to find a new one, and dealing with all that, I have gone out on a couple of dates and trying to balance that with the rest of my friends and family, and because I have been sick, and all the other stuff, I really have not been very diligent or focused on my weight loss efforts.  Because I have been feeling so crappy the past couple of weeks I haven't been to the gym in about 2 weeks, I haven't been consistently writing down what I eat and paying attention to calories/ww points, I have ate out more than I should and haven't made all the right choices and I have even fallen back into my old habit of "over booking" myself.  With all this going on though I NEVER once thought... "I'm just going to give up, this weight loss thing is too hard"... no, it was more like "I really miss the gym, I need to feel better soon" or "I need to feel better so I can go back to planning and prepping my meals instead of going out or just grabbing something".  When I am going to the gym, doing my meal planning, writing down what I eat, attending my weight watchers meeting and and updating my blog... I feel more in control of my life, and I have missed feeling in control for the past couple of weeks!  I went to the gym yesterday and it felt AWESOME!   So even though I took a brief "pause" for the past couple of weeks.. I did not come to a "full stop"... yay!  It was also a great reminder to me of how important this journey is for me...there will be "pauses" along the way I am sure, but I don't want to ever come to a "full stop".  So, I am writing this for all of you who may be on "pause" for a bit as well as a reminder to keep going... don't stop.  I am also writing this so when I come to a "pause" again, I can remember why I started in the first place.. to feel better and more in control of my life. 

Thanks again for following my blog and all your supportive comments!  Take a minute to listen to the song, even if you have already heard it a million times, I think it deserves another listen, especially to the lyrics...

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly....

Where has September gone?  Seriously, it is going to be Fall in just a few days.  This summer has flown by.  I don't know why, but I am having writers block or something and I can't think of anything really witty or charming to say in this post, but I thought I needed to post... so, it's going to be a bunch of random thoughts...Good, Bad and Ugly

The Good:
Several times over the past week or so when I didn't want to go to the gym or track my points... I did it anyway... so whoot whoot!   There was a night last week when I didn't want to go to the gym or my weight watchers meeting but I basically talked myself into going, and then since I had already gone to the gym, I was able to talk myself into going to my weigh in, lost 1.2 pounds... so I am glad I did.  One of the good things as well, is that even though the weight loss has been slow... I am still committed to it and still going to the gym and trying (some days are better than others) to follow the weight watchers plan and track everything... but I'm still here!  Yay!   I just keep thinking that even if I only loose 25 pounds every 8 months, that is still 25 pounds less than I was 8 months ago... so, regardless of how fast or slow it comes off... it's still coming off  so YAY!  Oh, and somebody actually noticed my weight loss and asked if I had been losing weight.. so, that is also exciting and a really good thing.  I also was really proud of myself over the past couple of weeks paying better attention to serving sizes...  I had purchased this very small container (I think like the half pint) of ice cream in my new favorite flavor Black Raspberry Dark Chocolate (it is the Premium Select Brand from Smith's) and instead of just eating the container in one serving, I followed the portion sizes which was 4 servings (very, very small servings) and ate it over a week.  I know, it seems like a stupid thing to be proud of, but to me, it is proof of some of the small changes that I am making on this journey to become healthier and lose weight.

The Bad:
So I am still struggling to figure out how to still be able to eat out with friends, but stay within my weight watchers points.  I don't know why but social eating is a big thing for me and when I am out at a great restaurant surrounded by amazingly delicious food choices...it's hard for me to always choose the "grilled chicken" option.  For example next week I am going with some friends from out of town to Red Lobster...like I am not going to eat one or two of their amazing cheesy biscuits and some sort of seafood covered in butter... I only go there like twice a year and I am not going to just order the grilled chicken, that would not be any fun at all!  So friends, any ideas on how I can do better with staying within my points while eating out?

 The Ugly:
Well, at my work luncheon the other day I ate 3 desserts from Kneaders (they were however darn delicious and worth all 25 points).... I also had been craving a hamburger, for like a week and I finally broke down and went to the drive thru on one of my lunch breaks and got one of these babies... the Jr. Pastrami Burger....oh, it is like heaven, so tasty.  When people ask me what my hypothetical last meal would be it usually involves Crown Burger..although if it was my last meal I would order the Jr Crown.. but would go for the big one.. the full Crown, the heart attack in a bag.  Anyway, I digress.. I guess the good thing about my lunch date with Crown Burger would be that I recorded it in my daily points, even though I didn't want to (it's a lot of calories... and a ton of points) and I got back on track the next day.   
So there you have it friends.. my life for the past couple of weeks, well not everything about my life LOL... so thanks for following, and I always welcome any suggestions from readers or things you all have found successful in your weight loss journey. 
Thanks for following!