Tag Archives: weight

Weight loss Journey #1: On Progress and Patience

I had meant to write about this the first time around, but having to stop a few weeks before the wedding never gave me an opportunity to blog about the journey so I’m rectifying that now. I’ve just completed the 6th week of T25, which is the same amount of weeks I’d completed the first time around. It’s also the 1st week of Alpha Round 2, as the program is technically only 5 weeks long, and I’m doing Alpha twice because I know I’m not ready to move on to Beta yet. Heck, I might need to do Alpha three times before I feel like my body can actually handle Beta, to be honest. On Saturday’s I always do an extra workout, because I don’t trust myself to take two days off, and that workout typically ends up being Tae-Bo Cardio, but in the 3rd or 4th week I thought I’d give Beta Cardio a shot and holy crap was it so much harder than I could have imagined. Now, I made it through it, and felt totally badass for it in the end, but it’s definitely not something I could do everyday yet and so I’ll stick with Alpha for another 4 weeks before I decide whether I’m ready for the upgrade yet.

 

So how has it been, now vs. before? Interesting? That’s a bad answer. Challenging? Yeah, that’s better. And challenging is good, because growing bored in this certainly wouldn’t keep me motivated. I must admit, though, that some weeks have been harder than others.

 

In week 1, making it a habit again was difficult. I found myself barely making it home in time to swallow some dinner, workout way too late, shower, and head to bed before midnight. For someone who gets up between 4 and 5 AM everyday for work, this is too little sleep. It left zero time for anything else, stressed me out, and left me constantly tired in a dangerous way. The best thing about week 1 was being able to actually do the recommended 2 workouts on Friday. I couldn’t do 2 in one day until week 4 the first time!

 

In week 2, that tiredness in week 1 caught up with me and my workouts suffered for it. Where I should have been able to give them a little more oomph, I was giving them a little less because I just didn’t have the energy. But, the habit felt formed already, like something I couldn’t skip – something my body needed – something I must do! Even though my muscles ached, I’d started to crave the pain because it reminded me I was doing something right.

 

By week 3, my priorities surrounding my schedule started to shift. Feeling like I must workout everyday forced me to make the most of the minutes in all the other things I do everyday. It also forced me to ax some non-priority activities like TV and social media from my everyday to-do list. If it couldn’t be done on my phone in a handful of minutes, it’d have to wait. I managed to make getting at least 7 hours of sleep a real thing and my muscles and mind were grateful for it.

 

In week 4, frustration set in. When you physically push yourself hard 6 days a week, you expect to see significant or noticeable progress. And when you don’t, it’s so easy to just want to throw in the towel. For as much as I loved the aching of my muscles, I hated it too. I hate how much my knees crunch every time I go to stand up or squat down. I hate how old it makes me feel to move stiffly after being seated for too long.  I hate how I have to take ibuprofen on leg intensive days just so my knees can even handle the workout. I hate standing on the scale and seeing the number either not move at all or even move up, when everything about your body feels tight and awesome until you step in front of a mirror and confirm that nope, you’re still giggly and fat. In week 4, my insecurities wanted me to just give up and stop wasting my time, but mentally I knew that wasn’t the answer. And I kept praying desperately for just the slightest evidence of progress, a 1/4″ even would have helped, but it hadn’t come. Thankfully, I didn’t quit and it was probably the sermon at church that week that kept me going. Things happen in God’s time, not ours – Pray for patience, not progress.

 

In week 5, frustration turned into obsession. Truthfully, I’m surprised it took that long. I suppose the feeling of working out as a must was the beginnings of it, but fitness obsession was in full-blown effect by week 5 and it’s not going away anytime soon.

 

 

Screenshot_2016-03-20-13-54-37

At the start of this second attempt of T25, I’d sold the unopened Fitbit Flex I got for Christmas and got myself a Garmin VivoSmart band to track my steps and sleep activity. My husband and mom have older model Garmin bands and it’s made both of them revive their naturally sedentary lifestyles. I wanted to do the same, but I wanted more features so I went for the newer “smart” model and quickly became obsessed with it. It’s thin and unobtrusive on my wrist and it acts like or appears to just be a digital watch whenever you touch it, but swiping and pressurized touches will give you a whole series of other options like: how many steps you’ve taken for the day, how many you still need to hit your goal, how many calories you’ve burned, or how many miles you’ve walked today. It also does even cooler things like when you’ve been sitting still for an hour, it vibrates at you and tells you to move and won’t clear itself until you do it to it’s satisfaction. If you ignore it, it will continue to vibrate at you every 15 minutes until you’ve hit 2 hours. It takes a lot longer to clear it if you let it get to that far without listening. It also tracks activities, so whenever I do T25 (or any sort of “workout”), I tell it to track the activity and then when I’m finished it stores them all on the app so I can later compare the actives on a week to week basis to see how I’m improving. It can track an assortment of different types of activities and it breaks each of them down by your fastest pace, a graph of your movement, how many calories you burned, etc… The sleep tracker is one of my favorite features though because it not only tracks the hours you sleep, but your light vs. deep sleep hours too so you can tell which things might be making you get more or less of the different kinds of sleep (for instance, my sister discovered her lifelong habit of sleeping with the TV on was leaving her with very little deep sleep every night). It even knows when I’ve gotten up to pee in the middle of the night. And you can set a little alarm on it, so you wake up to a vibration instead of the jarring sound of a regular alarm. Lastly, it can sync so seamlessly with your phone that you could control music from it, if you were in the middle of a workout and wanted it louder or softer or just to change a song, and you can have notifications sent to it, of which you can actually even read right on the band! I currently have my phone calls, text messages, and emails linked to it and it’s extra convenient for knowing when I NEED to check one of those things right away or if I can wait a minute until I’m near my phone again.

 

 
Sleep Tracker

 

Activity Comparison

 

Screenshot_2016-03-20-13-53-46Looking back, that all sounds a bit advertise-y, but it’s just because I really do love it. So much so that my sister has also since gotten one and now my whole family competes against each other daily in steps. You can “friend” people on the app and set challenges or just see their general daily progress every time they sync. My sister and Heath are so competitive they will literally run in place for 10-20 minutes several times a day just to get more steps and there’s a ton of trash-talking in the daily comments; it’s quit funny really. Having a job that requires I actually SIT at my desk means that I don’t beat them often, but I have on a few occasions and it was such a victorious feeling! My best day so far was over 16K steps and since I’ve had the band, I’ve put in over 400,000 steps total! I’ve found myself so obsessed with the steps that I have a hard time sitting down for too long now. Heck, I delayed a whole week in writing this post because I didn’t want to sit at my desk long enough to write it when I could be stepping. You can imagine what that means for my reading. If I can’t read it while I’m walking around the house, I haven’t touched it (which means, I’ve basically only read comics these days). Even while I’m doing menial tasks like the dishes, I’m stepping or dancing in place as much as I can to get those steps in.  I’ve joked that by this time next year, everyone will ask our family how we got so fit this year and our answer will be out stepping each other, but it could be true. I never thought I’d ever see us so motivated before and who knew we were so competitive?!

 

Anyway, I rambled about all that because it’s feeding my fitness obsession right now and in week 5 signs of spring started to make an appearance outside so Heath and I started walking after my T25 workouts. At first it was just a mile or so, but since then we’ve wandered halfway through our town, walking up to 3 miles a day now in addition to T25! That’s like an additional 3-5K steps just for walking around for a half hour. We both signed up for the Color Run in May this year and while I know we’ll likely just be walking it since the kids are going with us, I’m excited that if we keep up this walking every night thing, we might actually do the Color Run (walk) without being winded at all.

 

This past week, week 6, was a re-start of the program and you might think that since you’ve done it before and already made it past 5 weeks, that going back to the start wouldn’t be very challenging, but it is for a couple reasons. For starters, I can do a heck of a lot more now with the group than I could in week 1. I almost exclusively followed Tanya (the modifier) in those early days, and while I still need to for the high impact knee moves (primarily any that involve jumping), I’m otherwise doing everything else with the crew now. I’ve also been struggling with the tiredness again, but this time not of my own doing. Turns out that despite taking prescriptions for both of these things, my thyroid and vitamin D levels are back in dangerous places. I’m currently working with my doctor to rectify these things, but my week 6 routine definitely suffered for it. Hopefully it will be all sorted out before I hit week 8.

 

Yesterday I did the stretch session for the first time since having T25 and I’m not sure why I waited so long to check it out. My muscles are in a constant achy state, even with Sunday being a rest day, but doing that stretch DVD after my Saturday workout yesterday not only settled my heart rate and mind to a calm place, my muscles also felt SO relieved for a change. They’re achy again today, which is to be expected since I murdered my legs yesterday, but I think that stretch session is crucial from here on out. In addition to this, I’m going to continue to up my step goal by 1K every two weeks and try one of Blogilates daily mini workouts for the month of April. With all of that, my T25 schedule, and neighborhood walks with Heath, I’m bound to be reporting even bigger progress the next time I blog about this journey.

 

For now, I’ll leave with this… Anything worth having in life takes time and it’s important to track any and all of the things you want in life so you can later reflect on them in a better light than you might have had along the way. I’m on a mission to lose a significant amount of weight, on a journey to feel strong and be healthy enough to house a baby. Nothing about that will happen overnight. So, celebrate the progress, no matter how small or how long it took to happen, because it is happening. You are changing, little by little, for the better – just don’t give up!

 

Current Stats:

 

Weight: -6.2 lbs (-20 total since first starting in September)

Bust: -1/2″ (-4″ since September)

Waist: -1″ (-4.5″ since September)

Hips:  -1/2″ (4.5″ since September)

Arms: -3/4″ (1.25″ since September)

Thigh: -1/2″(1.5″ since September)

 

Self-Misperception

This is no new thing for me to suffer from; if you’ve been reading me long enough, you know I’ve already spoken on it before. But sometimes it seems to sneak up on me like a snake, and takes a bite out of my heart (aka: what little confidence I might have built up since the last time I was bitten) so big it knocks me off my feet and depression rakes my soul.

 

In the last two years I’ve made legit efforts to work on both my inner and outer appearance; to wear clothes that were more representative of my style and figure, to be brave enough to express myself with funky hair and makeup the way I always wanted to, to take care of myself with better eating and fitness for both my overall health and weight issues, and to actually “feel” pretty on occasion. And as several of my posts have indicated, I did feel pretty on occasion for the first time in a long time because of these efforts. There have been several days I’ve finished my makeup and hair and even considered taking a selfie to mark the moment because I was so impressed with the look. But those pictures never seem to look the way my eyes or mind see myself, which brings me to this latest snake bite.

 

I finally got my wedding pictures back this past weekend and to say I was excited for them would be an understatement. The whole day was over so fast, I feel like it was more like a something I dreamed rather than something I actually participated in. My memory of the details of that day hardly exists; I just know I was happy. I remember feeling like a million bucks, gorgeous the way every bride wants to be on that special day. But as I look through these pictures I feel like I shouldn’t have lied to myself about feeling so pretty. Every little flaw seems to beam at me brighter than anything else in the pictures; my double chins that have almost eaten my neck whole at this point, my waistline, which a tape measure swears I have, but certainly isn’t evident in the pictures, how my unnecessarily big boobs that had just went down 2 bra sizes still manage to look even bigger than my already big head, the way my fat bulges out of the sleeve, even though I had to have them taken in and they were nowhere near tight on me… I could pick apart these pictures forever. In fact, the more I look at them, the less I love myself in them.

 

Everyone I’ve showed them to says I’m crazy and I know I should probably listen and stop tainting such a special day with self-hatred. But while a big part of me knows it’s not healthy to pick on myself as much as I am, I also don’t believe it’s a wise idea to lie to yourself about your appearance because then pictures like these fall into your lap and the shock of what you truly look like is almost too much to bear.

 

All of this being said, I still intend to share the pictures and recount the day in my next post. I recently read a very thought provoking article about photographers, this particular one being overweight like me, always capturing someone else’s memories and never putting themselves in front of the camera because they don’t want to remember being that big or flawed. That one day they’d regret not having those memories of their own because they kept waiting for that magical moment when they wouldn’t hate the way they looked and it never came. I already feel this way at almost every family gathering. I’m there to capture it for everyone else, but I almost never put my camera in someone else’s hands to capture me being there too. Not just for my own memories when I’m old and losing it, but for anyone I leave behind when the end of my days comes.

 

I haven’t had this sort of hatred for myself in a long time and I doubt it will just vanish overnight, but I’m going to keep trying to improve myself both physically and mentally and hoping that one day pictures of important moments in my life won’t make me cry the way these did. That if there are tears, they’ll only be the happy, nostalgic kind.

 

2011 In Review: Weight Loss

Maybe some of you remember my goal to lose a large amount of weight this year, especially before my sister’s wedding in September? Maybe you don’t and that’s okay, but I’m going to preach to you about its moments of success and failure.

In my attempts to lose weight this year, I joined Weight Watchers with my mother in late March, which I had dubbed “AA for Fatties” to be a smart ass since going was not my idea. After going for the better part of the year, my snarky attitude towards the program has drastically changed. Sure, it is a little structured like AA for a group of overweight people, but there’s a reason AA works for those inflicted with addictions and those same reasons are why WW works for overweight people.

There’s something about being around people who can completely relate to your struggle and who, unlike the average outsider, can understand your excitement over the most menial milestones like one pound a week. Most people would look at you like, “so what?” when you’re jumping for joy over that pound a week, but not WW people. WW people find this achievement huge because you lost something at all. Something about that encouragement, even over the smallest things, makes you work harder at making those achievements bigger each week. You never feel like you’re being judged in a WW meeting. You feel like you know these people, even though you never even see each other outside of that 30 minute meeting once a week.

Honestly, it took me a while to realize this. I knew that WW in general worked if you stuck to the “program” but because my mother was forcing me to go I sat in the meeting against my will and angsty for the first couple months, not absorbing a damn thing about what it had to offer. Now you’ll find me in the front row, asking questions, and making friends. It’s funny how much my attitude has changed.

The thing about WW, though, is that you have to go. You can’t just go for a little while and then think you’re fine on your own. You might succeed for a little while like that, but I assure you you’ll soon find yourself right back where you started. And so this is almost where I am now.

Once Rachel’s wedding had arrived, planning got intense and “extracurricular activities” like WW (and reading and writing, etc…) lost its priority. At that point I had lost 23 lbs. (on track to have probably lost 40 by now). I already felt fantastic, even though I still had a way to go to reach my desired weight. I thought nothing could break me. I thought for sure there was no way I’d let that weight come back because I’d worked so hard to make it fade. We virtually stopped going to WW in September and my theory of how well I’d do without it was totally wrong.

I have gained almost all of that weight back in just the last few months.

I could sit here and blame the holidays, and how the food is just too delicious to resist, and in an unusual abundance too, but I won’t. It’s called control, and I lost it. It’s about structure and routine, and I walked away from it. But it doesn’t mean I can’t make it happen again. I already know where I failed, I just need to get my shit back together and do it.

My overall weight loss goal still remains. I will not turn 30 this year feeling the way I do, carrying a fat suit that does not belong to my body.

January 2012, I return to Weight Watchers. This time, I won’t stop.

For those of you who struggle with your weight, how successful were you in 2011?

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We Need a Resolution

With the first of the New Year finally here, it’s time to re-evaluate the year behind us and decide what can be done in the year to come to improve our lives. We should always be working on ways to improve ourselves on a day to day basis, but it seems wise to decide on the long term goals at the start of a New Year. While I was fairly pleased with the things I accomplished in 2010, I know there are several things I can work on to make 2011 even better.

In 2011, I hope to achieve the following things:

Writing:

– Complete my current WIP by June and by complete I mean ready to shop around with. I’m not that far away from its completion (maybe 40,000 words?) and if I devote myself to it more than I did in 2010 there is no reason this shouldn’t be possible.

– In order to continue to improve my writing ability I plan to use the Webster’s Vocabulary Builder that I got for Christmas regularly. There are 25 units in the book, which divided across the year would mean I need to do at least 2 units a month. Within each unit there are 6 quizzes. If I study the book 3 times a week (doing 3 quizzes) I feel confident that I will greatly increase my use of new words while writing this year.

– Write more short stories. Being a part of an actual critique group now has drastically changed my self esteem when it comes to writing and sharing short stories. I hope that as a group we will set out to write several short stories throughout the year to share with each other as well as online.

– Begin my next WIP. What that will be, I’m not entirely sure. There are several stories that scream for my attention, but I refuse to entertain them until it’s actually time for fear that they’ll interrupt the current WIP. When the time comes, I’m sure one of them will be loud enough to let me know they’re next.

Weight:

For a very long time I’ve been struggling with my weight and in the last year in particular it has basically spiraled out of control. As a result I’ve got a lot of work to do, but I’m okay with this. Getting my weight under control and being healthier overall needs to happen now, while I’m still fairly young and capable to doing this. I don’t want to wait a couple more years to take it seriously and then be in such a bad place it feels impossible. I also don’t want to look back and regret not changing when I wanted to just because I was too lazy. This is the year I will “get my sexy back” (not that I was ever sexy, but you get the point).

My plan is to lose 60 lbs. by September (because that is when my sister’s wedding is) and this amount is completely reasonable in this time frame. That would average about 6 1/5 lbs. a month which shouldn’t be too hard if I actually stick to a stricter diet (which means a heck of a lot less fast food and carbohydrates) and daily exercise (with cool things like my new body ball).

To make sure I see this goal through I intend on taking a picture of myself at the start of every month as well as logging my measurements and weight along with the picture. At the end of 2011 I hope to be able to do an “In Review” post that features my weight loss and share that progress in the form of pictures with you all. Hopefully the change will be drastically different from start to finish.

Reading:

For the most part I was able to read about 4 books a month last year. Sure there were some months where there were less and others where there were more, but overall I averaged about 4 books a month. I feel this is a reasonable amount of books to read and still be able to do all of the other things I need to work on so I will shoot for a similar reading goal this year.

Since I already have enough new books in my possession to achieve this goal my plan of attack for that To-Be-Read pile is to blow through the thinner, standalone novels first (while I work on finishing my own book), and then jumping into the series that I know once I begin I won’t be able to put down until the series completion. My main concern when it comes to reading is finding a healthier balance between reading and writing and I hope that my “plan” will help create one.

Also reading related I hope to return to reading my Bible more regularly. I always seem to forget about the comfort it brings me until I’m so distraught that I’m reaching for it out of desperation. I’d rather keep up with it on a regular basis and maybe by doing so I won’t find myself in such a low place as often.

Those are my 3 main goals for 2011. I’m sure there will be smaller less important ones along the way, but before any of those are attended to these 3 must be met. I refuse to face failure when it comes to these things and I truly hope this time next year I can gloat about my success. Wish me luck!

LJ friends, care to share what kind of resolutions you’ve made for 2011?

Peace – Sarah

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6 on the 6th (On time for once!)

This past month seemed to have passed by far too quickly, but then again I’ve noticed with every year I age time seems to slip away faster and faster. ::Sigh:: Anyway, it’s that time of the month again. Goal review time. Let’s see how I measured this month.

As usual, a review of last month’s goals are shown in italic, while my comments on their success are shown below each in bold.

1. Write – I’m shooting for 20,000 words again. I came close last month and if I just stay focused I can do it this month.

FAIL – Honestly, with as much as I read this month I didn’t leave much time for writing, but I didn’t completely drop the ball, I just didn’t reach my goal. I finished the month with just under 11,000 words which isn’t terrible, but it’s not 20,000.

2. Read – I can’t pretend I’d be capable of staying away from a book for longer than a week so I’m not going to even attempt to tame my addiction right now. Plus reading keeps my writing sharp, I have to do it! But since I’m proving to blow through books at ridiculous speeds now (for me at least), I’ll up the goal by 1. Read 4 books for September.

SUCCESS – And a huge one at that. Seriously, I never thought myself capable of reading as much as I do now, but every month that passes I impress myself more and more. I reached my monthly goal shortly after the first week of the month and it just seemed like after that I was testing myself to see just how much I could actually read if I tried (not that it was hard considering I was reading something highly addictive in nature, but still). Anyway, I finished the month with reading 11 books total! 11, can you believe that? I don’t know if that’s common, but I feel like patting myself on the back for it because never in my life could I have seen myself blowing through books like that.

3. Buying Books – So I’ve already ordered the next three Dark-Hunter books, even though I bargained with myself last month after my sick shopping splurge that I wouldn’t be able to buy more books until October. The idea of that, I realize now, is just ridiculous. This is me we’re talking about here. I’m like a wild beast for them. But I will try and keep it a bit tamed. I have a book on pre-order this month and if I buy anymore books it will only be more Dark-Hunter books as they are fairly cheap and I will have almost all of them soon anyway.

SUCCESS – In my mind at least. I said that if I bought any books this month that I would only be the remaining Dark-Hunter books and so that’s what I did. Now, there were apparently quiet a few more to buy than I thought originally, but still I stuck to my word. The other books I received this month were either already pre-ordered and paid for or won.

4. Weight – 5lbs. This has to happen. It’s no longer something I can keep overlooking. My weight is at the ‘spiraling out of control’ point and I can’t even stand to look at myself. That’s a problem. Plus I already promised my sister we’d do weight watchers together in preparation for her wedding next year. I have a lot more to lose than she does, but somehow it’s easier when you’re doing it with someone else. As far as working out (which is a necessity in my battle with this fat suit), I have to find something. I did Wii this weekend and thought I was going to die, but it was fun. It’s something I may steal from my Mom. Or I suppose with fall drawing near I could actually go to the track. All I know is I need cardio – BAD!

FAIL – My weight has been on a rollercoaster ride this month. First I lost weight, then I grained half of it back, then I lost some more and gained it back. Then I got sick and lost 5 lbs in 2 days (likely water weight), then I gained some more weight back over the weekend. I just can’t get this under control.

5. Music – Let it keep coming. Obviously it’s helping me write more consistently again and so I won’t stifle it. Time to update the book’s soundtrack though as it has changed greatly from what it once was.

SUCCESS – I did update my books soundtrack and the new music I’ve been listening to has given me loads of ideas for future chapters and edits.

6. Pray – I’ve fallen out of this habit and nothing good ever comes of that. Maybe it’s why I continue to get little spikes of depression more than usual lately and maybe my stress level over other issues wouldn’t be so high if I remembered to pay Him the respect He deserves.

SUCCESS – With the bonus of answered prayers. Had that scare with my Dad this month (remember the almost heart attack?), but luckily it looks like it might have just been stress induced, part of said stress was that fact that my father, like me, works in the engineering field and because of the fallen economy has been out of work for a year now. But our prayers for work have finally been answered and the weight of that stress has been lifted because he starts a job next week as Senior Project Manager at one of my companies rivaling engineering firms. Yay Dad!

So my grade for the month is a ’C’, which still was never passing in my home growing up, but it’s better than the failure I faced last month so I’m going to try and see the bright side of things and hope it motivates me even better next month. And speaking of next month….

New Goals for October:

1. Write – I’m going to reduce the word count this month. I’m starting to think my ability to produce 20,000 words in one month was a one time thing/fluke and maybe if I drop the number I won’t be as intimidated. So for October, I want to write at least 10,000 words.

2. Read – No problem here (obviously as I’m officially a book-a-holic). But since I blew my goal away so much last month and I already know I’ll be reading at minimum 3 more Dark-Hunter books alone as well as THE REPLACEMENT and BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS closer to Halloween (for their scary factor) that will be 5 books total this month. So as long as I can at least do that, I’m good (which I have no doubt I can accomplish).

3. Buying Books – It’s forbidden. I will receive BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS this month, but it was pre-ordered two months ago and is already paid for. I told myself I will not buy anymore books until after Christmas and I’m sticking to it. I have plenty to read.

4. Weight – Really work for those 5 lbs. and keep them off. Rachel and I are already going dress shopping (for her wedding) the last weekend in October and I’d like to be a little less heavy for the first round of dress testing. My goal is to lose at minimum 50 lbs by next September (her wedding). If I really dedicate myself to it, there’s really no reason why that’s not feasible.

Four goals shouldn’t be hard to work at as long as I practice managing my time better and stay focused. Truthfully, reading seems to be my worst distraction which is odd. Most of the writers I know say it’s the internet, but like I mentioned in my post yesterday it seems I’m going backwards in the way of technology. If it weren’t for the fact that I can only communicate with most of my friends via the internet I doubt I’d even miss it. But I do miss my friends and this is why I feel guilty for bailing on it for too many days at a time (not to mention it takes so much longer to play catch up).

Anyway, hope everyone attempting goals this month has success with theirs and hopefully by the 4th of November I’ll be reporting an ’A’ for the month!

Peace – Sarah

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Note: I spent a great deal of time today catching up on what appears to be weeks of missed posts. Where the hell was I? Aside from all of m_stiefvater’s Tour posts and the short stories on tangledfiction, merry_fates, and sistersfate I’m finally caught up (I think). I will tackle the rest another day, probably this weekend when I have more time to soak up the content better!

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**7 on the 7th

**This should have been 4 on the 4th, but with my mind locked in another realm the internet was foreign to me at the time. Sorry, better late than never I guess…

As usual, a review of last month’s goals are shown in italic, while my comments on their success are shown below each in bold.

1. Write – This is always goal #1. I am so incredibly eager to finish my book (for the second time) and get it in motion. So I’m pushing hard on this one. This month my word count goal is 20,000. If I was able to do all that I did this month in basically a week there should be no reason why I can’t do it in a month. And I’m really hoping I will double the goal again next month. That would really put me ahead of the game.

FAIL – I came close, but I only finished the month with 19,200 words (not all of which I even kept). It could have been so easy to get to 20,000 but Sherrilyn wouldn’t let me. Yeah, I’ll blame her. (J/K)

2. Read – Read at least 3 books again this month. This number doesn’t intimidate me and so I will stick to it. Plus of the writing I’ve done this month and shared with my mother she is just blown away by the improvement in ability in just the last year and the fact that I’ve learned it all just from reading. So obviously it’s not something I should cut back on, it’s important. Like free schooling since I’ve never been officially trained. As far as buying books goes. Well I still have 2 books from last months purchases to finish before I should let myself buy more so I will try and uphold myself to that, but my dad is in the process of building me a bookcase and something tells me the second I have it I will be even more tempted to buy what’s waiting for me in my Amazon shopping cart. Those books are: “Captivate” by Carrie Jones, “The Iron King” by Julie Kagawa, and “Fantasy Lover” (Dark-Hunter Book 1) by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

SUCCESS/FAIL – I’m going to have to start separating these two goals into reading and purchasing because as far as reading is concerned, I read more books this month than I’ve ever read in a month. Finishing six books total, one of which I read twice. As far as purchasing is concerned however, I failed miserably, buying over fifteen books this month.

3. Weight – At least 5 more lbs. I really need to take this weight loss thing more seriously for more than one reason. The most important is my health though. I am wearing 60 more lbs than I should be for my height and age and with those high cholesterol levels the combination is not good. Now the hypothyroidism could be playing a part in this inability to lose weight lately, but hopefully I can get that under control too in the next couple of months. But I’ve also got a little over a year to be ready to stand in my sisters wedding and I don’t want her looking bad with me as “the Blob” in her wedding party.

FAIL – I gained 5lbs. That’s all I have to say about that. Pitiful, I know.

4. Music – Stop Avoiding it. I can’t believe I’m really saying that because Lord knows it can be so distracting to me at times, but I’ve found over the last week with my newly acquired obsession with “Local Natives” that new tunes are necessary sometimes and since my old playlist isn’t exactly giving me the motivation it used to it’s time to let some new songs into my vision. My sister is making me a mix CD based on my acceptance and enjoyment of her “Local Natives” suggestion so hopefully there will be some more goodies to get addicted to on there. Any other suggestions are welcome :)

SUCCESS – I listened to several new tunes this month at the aid of my sister and Heather (aka edgyauthor) and they’ve been quite beneficial to my writing.

Overall grade for the month? A sad “D”, which as stated in previous month’s goal reviews was never a passing grade in my home, even a “C” wasn’t passing. Shame on me. You would think with less goals to focus on it would have been a lot easier to complete them, but apparently my mind wanted to be elsewhere for the better part of this month.

Fingers crossed this is not the case this month….

Now, new goals for September:

1. Write – I’m shooting for 20,000 words again. I came close last month and if I just stay focused I can do it this month.

2. Read – I can’t pretend I’d be capable of staying away from a book for longer than a week so I’m not going to even attempt to tame my addiction right now. Plus reading keeps my writing sharp, I have to do it! But since I’m proving to blow through books at ridiculous speeds now (for me at least), I’ll up the goal by 1. Read 4 books for September.

3. Buying Books – So I’ve already ordered the next three Dark-Hunter books, even though I bargained with myself last month after my sick shopping splurge that I wouldn’t be able to buy more books until October. The idea of that, I realize now, is just ridiculous. This is me we’re talking about here. I’m like a wild beast for them. But I will try and keep it a bit tamed. I have a book on pre-order this month and if I buy anymore books it will only be more Dark-Hunter books as they are fairly cheap and I will have almost all of them soon anyway.

4. Weight – 5lbs. This has to happen. It’s no longer something I can keep overlooking. My weight is at the ‘spiraling out of control’ point and I can’t even stand to look at myself. That’s a problem. Plus I already promised my sister we’d do weight watchers together in preparation for her wedding next year. I have a lot more to lose than she does, but somehow it’s easier when you’re doing it with someone else. As far as working out (which is a necessity in my battle with this fat suit), I have to find something. I did Wii this weekend and thought I was going to die, but it was fun. It’s something I may steal from my Mom. Or I suppose with fall drawing near I could actually go to the track. All I know is I need cardio – BAD!

5. Music – Let it keep coming. Obviously it’s helping me write more consistently again and so I won’t stifle it. Time to update the book’s soundtrack though as it has changed greatly from what it once was.

6. Pray – I’ve fallen out of this habit and nothing good ever comes of that. Maybe it’s why I continue to get little spikes of depression more than usual lately and maybe my stress level over other issues wouldn’t be so high if I remembered to pay Him the respect He deserves.

So that’s it, September goals… Let’s hope it’s a better month next month than it was last month.

Peace – Sarah

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Self Image & Style

This is a topic that almost always interferes with my thoughts, even when the person deep inside of me doesn’t want it to. I am not shallow. I am not concerned with my outward appearance. But then again, I am. There are things I wish I could wear, things I wish I could rock, but a pain exists inside of me in knowing that I can’t, that I will never be that kind of girl.

It’s not that it’s not in my blood, in my soul. It’s just that my body isn’t built for such beauty. The worst part of it all though is that, my mind wants to see me as something that I’m not. And when I say this, don’t go assuming I mean in a negative way. I have the absolute opposite of POV when it comes to my self image. I don’t know if that’s an actual disorder like bulimia or anorexia where girls who are actually sickly skinny still see themselves as fat, but it’s something. In my minds eye I am fit, tiny and athletically built. Someone with tone muscles and lean. But I am not and the reality is no matter how hard I try it’s unlikely I ever will be. I’m not designed that way. Being in front of a mirror reminds me of this every day.

I am short; barely 5’1” and my bones are thick. Even if I could be the weight doctors recommend my wider structure would just look awkward. I naturally have large breasts (which sadly just might be my best aspect) no matter how skinny I am and my hips are wide to match their girth. I can’t remember a time I was ever under 100lbs. and doctors say based on my height and age that I should be no more than 115 lbs. I can’t see this ever happening, no matter how badly I’d like it too or how hard I work for it.

Still, my mind sees me like this. It envisions me as this tiny, petite awesomely built person that I am not and will never be no matter how much I try. I used to work at a gym and I had unlimited access to personal training and equipment and back then I was in the best shape of my life and I still wasn’t my recommended weight. And I still had these drastic curves between my top and bottom and clothes still didn’t work on me. Clothes I want so desperately to be able to wear. (Such as the pictures included in this post, btw.) And all of this saddens me. I mean shit, I can’t even represent a band t-shirt without looking like the blob which is what I’d probably most often wear if my body let me.

I would never be one of those people to have *work* done to be the person I see myself being, but I wish I could make it happen naturally. That God would grace me with what my mind tells me I look like if I tried really hard for it. Because I hate that instead of representing myself on the outside the way I feel on the inside I must resort to frumpy clothes and sizes that disgust me because I am who I am.

In truth, I can’t believe I relieved this because I’ve long accepted the fact that I will never be who my mind imagines, but something tells me I’m not alone, that I can’t possibly be the only person who sees themselves differently than they really are and because of that alone I felt the need to reach out to you.

How many of you feel this way? If you could be the person you are on the inside on the outside what would it look like?

Peace – Sarah

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