Our Quest to change our lives began in Feb. 2010 and we lost 224 lbs. This is the story of our continuing Journey through the ups and downs of maintenance.
(For the fullest effect, begin at the beginning in Feb. 2010 using our Blog Archive on sidebar)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Defying Gravity

I can run 10+ minutes without stopping!  I have proven to myself and can do this!  I was talking to my friend who has run a marathon and a triathlon and telling her I was up to 9 minutes, and she said that if I can run 9 minutes then I could run the whole 5k being that my system has built up it’s endurance.  Just her telling me that gave me courage and I went out and did an hour run in sets of 10 minutes and the last run being 14 minutes.  It ended up being 4.4 miles.  That is amazing that my body can do that... that my mind can tell my body I can do that!!  Just  3 weeks ago I could barely run 1 minute!
I feel like Elphaba in “Wicked” when she sings “Defying Gravity”!  I so relate to this:
Something has changed within me - Something is not the same 
I'm through with playing by the rules, Of someone else's game 
Too late for second-guessing, Too late to go back to sleep 
It's time to trust my instincts - Close my eyes: and leap! 
It's time to try Defying gravity 
I think I'll try Defying gravity 
And you can't pull me down! ...
I'm through accepting limits ‘'cause someone says they're so 
Some things I cannot change But till I try, I'll never know! 
Too long I've been afraid of Losing love I guess I've lost 
Well, if that's love It comes at much too high a cost! 
I'd sooner buy Defying gravity 
Kiss me goodbye I'm defying gravity 
And you can't pull me down

Everything I do that is new feels like I’ve conquered my old self!  It feels like I’ve taken my limits off.  It feels like I am defying gravity and refuse to be pulled down by old limits.
Here is a new case in point:  
I totally screwed up my eating this weekend by BINGING on sugar.  I made brownies Saturday night and a double batch of sugar cookies Sunday and helped myself to Way Too Many (I don’t want to even list the number).  I even had my daughter hide the cookies from me sunday night or I would have finished them all!  I felt guilty and bloated and disgusted with myself.  
While I ate these sugar bombs... I enjoyed them and felt like I “deserved” them and that all my good efforts would counteract this indiscretion.  I was lonely and feeling sorry for myself.  I wanted and deserved to be comforted.  I rationalized my eating.  It doesn’t end there... this morning, I convinced my daughter to let me have just a few more.  At first she would NOT let me (good girl), but then my other daughter defended me and and told her to give them to me and then they did.  And I ate another like 10 cookies.  Drat!!  Then I felt guilty again.  Thankfully, my son finished those blasted cookies off, now the temptation is GONE.
So as I was driving my kids to swimming today, I was feeling defeated somewhat and wondering how often this is going to happen... when I just thought: 

This doesn’t define me!  This doesn’t have to “happen” anymore!  I choose for myself!  I will say how my story will go.  I don’t care what the statistics are... I am the captain of my boat!  
And I realized that in these “temptation” situations, I did NOT turn to prayer for help.  
So I am NOT defeated.  I am wiser!  I will NOT have boxes of brownies in my house from now on... or cookies.  I will keep temptation far from me and remember to ask for the Lord’s help Daily or hourly if needed.  I refuse to beat myself up and give in to self-loathing thoughts again (no more calling myself horrible names!)  I’m through accepting limits!  I WILL defy gravity.  Who’s with me?
BTW - Saturday night (after the brownies), I went to the gym and ran/walked a 5K in 46 minutes!!  WOO HOO!  So I have this last week to build up to hopefully running the whole 5K on Saturday.  Brent comes home this week, and my oldest graduates... so much fun stuff going on.  AND we’re hoping to hear that one of the houses we have offers on will be accepted this week.  Hoping and praying and DEFYING GRAVITY!!  
How will YOU defy Gravity? 

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Only Sports Team...

That I have been on was 9th grade basket ball in high school when I was 14 years old!  There I am number 31 on the left.
I LOVED basketball, thanks to my 5 big brothers (as well as baseball, camping, playing outside, bike riding... and most things “tom boy” style).  But I was so extremely lacking confidence.  I spent the whole season debating if I should quit.  I felt like the mis-fit of the team and it was shortly after this time that I started gaining my weight and nurturing my self-loathing thoughts and habits... 
BUT
It has always been my favorite sport. 
SO
Finally... 28 years later, I played me some BBALL!  With my knees wrapped up and a few quick prayers (social anxiety) I made myself go to our church’s women’s basketball night.  I was one of 5 women that showed up and we played some FULL COURT scrimmaging 3 against 2.  WOW, does that get the heart pumping and it was dang fun!  Yes, I sucked... I missed most baskets except for one here or there... but I was guarding like a hawk.  Defense was always my fort-ay, because I am a shorty at 5’3” (you’d think I’d pick a better sport to love).  I'm the one on the right.
The tall lady in the middle is a friend I've known for years and she bragged me up about losing all my weight.  That was nice.  Feels SO good to be able to play and run.  I felt so alive!  All these ladies have 3-4 kids each and they are GOOD players.  I feel inspired to keep playing and get good again.
As far as food.  I’ve been back to my plan this week.  Today, I splurged off a little but from Monday - Wednesday I was pretty self-disciplined.  My weight tipped up over 140 at the beginning of the week but was down again today to 137.  I will be monitoring myself and learning what I can and can’t eat to maintain my weight in the 130’s.  
It must be a huge fear for every morbidly obese person who looses their weight... that fear that you’ll gain it back.  It is a strong fear for me.  It’s like when I eat something sugary and high calorie Or I just eat too huge a portion - I can feel my stomach bloated and yucky.  I instantly feel like I’ve gained it all back again right then.  It is truly terrifying.  Even though I know I haven’t, the yucky feeling inside makes me FEEL like I have.  Mind games... gotta learn to control the thoughts.  And forgive mistakes so I can move on and not keep making the same ones.  It’s all in the journey!
This week I made some tuna steaks using this recipe.  Yum! (Yes, I’m in maintenance so I treat myself to pineapple now).  Also, I like these teriyaki chicken from Costco (pre-cooked).  Great to put on my salad - fast and simple and tasty.
Take care my friends!! Life is good!
XoXOxo ~Margene

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bad Bad Bad and Good Good Good

Have you ever seen Thumb Wars?  There’s a scene with Thumb Lea where she meets Thumb Vader and she says something like “You are Bad.  Bad is Bad.  I am Good.  Good is Good.  Bad bad Bad.  Good Good Good.”  It's hysterical and I laugh every time I see it.  Maybe it's those dorky thumb faces, but it's funny.  Anyway, I think this weekend, I have played both Thumb Lea and Thumb Vader!!

THE BAD:
I think it’s because Brent is home, but I have thrown caution to the wind a bit (okay, a lot) with my eating.  I have let myself splurge... dang it.  I have been so bad bad bad!  Fruit Pizza, beef jerky, 1/2 PB & J sandwich, carmel popcorn, movie butter popcorn, diet soda, chips (just a couple, tho)... at least it wasn’t all in one sitting.  And I actually did say “no” to licorice.  Yay for that.  I don't like the way most of this food makes me feel.  Yucky.  It’s BACK ON PLAN tomorrow for sure!!!
THE GOOD:
But the GOOD has been fabulous.  Thursday was our 26 mile bike ride, Friday we hung out and went to yard sales.  I got some new boots with heels... again, I haven’t worn heels like... EVER!  And I got a new hot pink purse and hat.  Those who know me, know that I name my purses.  And lately, my daughter and I are getting back into listening to the “Wicked” soundtrack so I had to name my purse “Galinda”, of course!  
Friday night, some awesome friends of ours hosted an open house for us to be able to say goodbye to our friends before we move next month.  It was truly thoughtful of them and SO wonderful to see everyone.  So many friends showed up (over 70)... how amazing is that!  Very humbling actually!  Actually it IS amazing because I have convinced myself many MANY times that I have NO friends - which has been the source of my greatest heartaches.  That will be a whole different chapter to cover in the book of my life, I tell ya.  I am mighty good at convincing myself of anything negative but that has been an IS  changing!  We are really going to miss all the friends we’ve made here in Oregon... I can’t even think about it right now, because it brings an immediate lump to my throat.  We are so blessed!

Then Today (Saturday), we went and climbed Multnomah Falls.  We can’t move from Oregon without having climbed this!  

At the Very TOP of the Falls!
Squirrels... practically ran over my shoes... SOO cute!

WOW!  You know what?  It totally didn’t kill me at all!!  It’s about 1 mile up at a steep incline.  It was amazing and perfect weather with an overcast sky but not too cold.  On the way down, it was a little hard on Brent, but he did awesome.  

I can’t imagine how hard it would be with 145 more pounds on me!  I treasure EVERY new experience.  I kind of feel like a kid experiencing life all over again.
We didn’t bring any flowers!  Drat!  What were we thinking?
Then, later on, we treated ourselves to the new Pirates movie in 3D.  

My new pink hat and purse, Galina.  This is what cool looks like!  Talk to the hand.
(Brent told me to pose like this - he likes it when I have an "attitude"!)
SO.... training for my run is resuming on Monday.  I’ve got some friends joining me on this 5K run in just 2 weeks.  How cool is that!  I’m so excited to have Joy running this with me too... and she WILL be kicking my butt because that woman rocks hard!  It is key for me to BELIEVE that I can accomplish anything - including this run.  It’s a daily effort for me to believe that the best will happen; and to believe and think positive thoughts about myself and others, and then to act on it.  But the more I practice... the easier it gets to believe.  And there is power in believing!!  
God Bless.... XOXO ~Margene

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Movie Marathon & Pizza Galore...

Brent is HOME!  All is well... peace abounds... smiles galore!
(I kind of have a funny story from picking him up at the airport... I may put it in another post)
Okay, so in times past, a fun day date with my hubs would be something like having a Lord of the Rings marathon (using the extended edition DVD's, of course) and ordering some large Pizza Hut pepperoni & supreme pizza’s.  Shoving it down with loads of diet soda or chocolate milk, and making a double batch of brownies or cookies and pigging out while we watch.  Seriously, that used to be our ultimate date!
BUT NOT ANYMORE!
Today, instead of sitting around watching Frodo traverse the beautiful forests of Rivendale... we RODE OUR BIKES through our own gorgeous Oregon Rivendale.  (Mind you, I love LoftheR).  But nothing compares to the date I had with Brent today.
Just starting out

We conquered the Oregon Vernonia-Banks trail!  Our first plan was to try and go 6 miles in and then come back for a total of 12 miles.  That’s a lot of miles for people who haven’t been riding bikes for any distance consistently.  The paved trail is lined with the most beautiful trees, barns, trestles, railroad tracks, green fields, pathways to explore, ponds, little streams, little animals, cool bridges and Blue Skies (at least or today).  Brent said it was the "best day ever" and I have to agree!


What we ended up doing was 14 miles in... with more than 1/2 of those miles at an uphill incline.  Then we came 14 miles back out for a total of 26 miles!!  It took us about 4 hours.  Four hours of the best date ever!  Yes, my legs burned, I panted, I got hot, I got cold.... but it felt AMAZING!  Just a year ago, I wouldn’t even dream of being able to do this.


At the end - 26 miles!
We were both remembering almost a year ago when we first got our bikes out after I had lost 70 pounds and rode about 5 miles and we felt we were superstars!  That had felt amazing.  I am amazed at what I find that I can do - that I didn’t ever think I could do.  
What do you think you can’t do?  
Maybe you should re-think that and just go for it!
The Lord has also blessed me with my knee feeling better!!  I am now running up to 7 minutes at a time.  Can’t wait to go jogging with Brent, who apparently feels that I am going to kick his butt.  He’s put 10 pounds back on while he’s been in Utah (mostly due to stress) and is feeling that he’s not in as good of shape.  (This is quite the role reversal, I’ll tell ya, as Brent has always been more the athlete than me since High School).  But he worked it today - He IS the MAN!!!  I like the idea of kickin’ his butt, though... is that bad? 
You know, life is hard.  We move in a month, Brent did not get a position at work he applied for that he really wanted (which would have been more money and less stress), money is scarce, the homes we’ve been trying to buy in Utah have not come through for us yet - so we’re moving with no place to live, there are issues with our kids that need addressing... and on and on.  
But you know what?  Life is still so good!  
For me, it used to NOT be good.  Everything brought me down.  I still get down at times.  But my outlook has changed.  
You know what is different from a positive person vs. a negative person?  
It is their PERSPECTIVE.  


It is about looking beyond the moment or the situation.  It is about seeing the whole picture.  It is about seeing things as they really are and what is really most important.  
I am so thankful to start a new perspective in my life.  After so many years of negative... I am so thankful to shed that.  My chains are gone - I have been set free.   
So bring it on... Life is SO GOOD!!  

Monday, May 16, 2011

Zumba Zumba GaZumba Zeng!

I went to my first Zumba Class this morning!  
Was it way Fun?  YES.  
Did I get all the moves?  No.  
Did I do moves that I wouldn't do anywhere else?  Yes.  
Can I salsa?  No... not yet.  
Will I go back?  Yes!

I'm pleased with myself for going to this even without a partner (like I did with Yoga as well).  In years past, I was so insecure I wouldn't go try anything new without someone with me, usually my man.  I like noticing my growth especially when it's so easy to think self-defeating thoughts.  No more.
Here's proof:  Me right after class.  I had my left knee in a wrap which it needed.  I felt a little strain on it so I took it easy.  Tomorrow I'm going to try running for up to 7 minutes if my knee will let me.

I also made some new Knox Blox flavors:  Raspberry/Huckleberry and Peach/Pineapple/Banana.  Yummo.  Brent comes home Wednesday night!!  Can't wait.

Have a FABULOUS day my friends and remember:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Learning as I go...

I am learning about my body!  Imagine that.  I think when you overeat constantly, you get used to “tuning out” so that you can continue to over eat irresponsibly and be in denial about your health.  Or at least that was true with me.
So, I really am on the maintenance wagon.  The training wheels have come off (mostly).  I have experienced binges and cravings.  I have experiences major guilt and last minute work outs to make up for calories eaten.  It’s a new way of thinking.  I can’t beat myself up, and I can’t let myself off the hook.  I will forever be mindful of what I eat!  It’s a new way and attitude about living.  But it’s all good... it keeps me relying on prayer, ya know!
I have kept my weight below the 140 mark... fluctuating as low as 132 and as high as 138.  This morning, the scale said 136.  That’s all good... I just don’t want to get above 140.  Having said that, I don’t want to be a slave to the scale either.  It’s about getting more tone and building my endurance.
Which brings me to my 5K training.  I am 3 weeks away from “running” my first 5k!  This week was my 5 minute run / 2 min. walk.  Monday, I did great but by Wednesday, I had a pretty swollen and painful knee!!  I was limping and in pain.  Drat!!  I iced it, and took ibuprofen and tried to burn calories using my upper body... at least one day I did.  
This morning, it felt better enough for me to try running.  I had support wraps on both my knees and headed out.  Well, I did the first 5 minute run fine, but on the 2nd run my knee started hurting after 3.5 minutes.  And on the 3rd run it hurt after 1.5 minutes.  Drat!  So I walked the rest and walked a good hour in the BEAUTIFUL Oregon sunshine.  I even found a little trail among the trees that lead to a park.  It reminded me of pics that Suzi often posts... just gorgeous!  I pulled off my headphones and listened to the birds and trees.  I felt a rush of gratitude for such a beautiful earth we live on and for my Heavenly Father and all He’s given me.  I’m going to miss Oregon, but I look forward to exploring new trails in Utah!

So here I am today in my most sexy work out clothes.  Yes, those are Brent’s PJ bottoms... uber cool, don’t ya think?  Had my knee braces on underneath.  Major dorko.  I really need to invest in active wear.  But I’m so glad to even be active!  I don’t care as much what people think.
My man comes home for 3 days this next week.  It will be so wonderful to see him again.  Our move is next month and we still don’t have a house nailed down.  I KNOW the Lord has something in store and the timing will all work out SOMEHOW but right now, it’s all up in the air.  I’ve learned to do all I can and then Trust HIM.  Life is GOOD!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Is it really me?

So I may not have been one of the Medifast “Happy After” winners and get a makeover, shopping spree and photo shoot.... BUT I got something better:  SUPER COOL friends in my life!!  What could possibly have more value than that?  :)
Speaking of one SUPER COOL friend, she arranged and then took me to her SUPER COOL sis-in-laws home (which is an hour away) and they gave me a MAKEOVER yesterday!  This is my first makeover ever!  How totally amazing is that?  This incredible woman has a gift and talent for style and beauty.  She knows how to take a person and bring out their best features.  She has 6 kids of her own and just looks fabulous.
First, she put some brown back in my hair which is my original color, and then she painted my toenails, which is the 2nd time in my life I’ve ever had them painted!  How sweet was that?  I loved it!

Then she added some carmel highlights to my hair.  And the she CUT it, and layered it, and styled it.

Then she put make up on me.  I haven’t worn make up consistently since my last daughter was born... over 14 years ago and a lot has changed since then.  I was actually taking notes to learn as much as I could.  I got so much wonderful information.
She told me before I saw my finished self, that it may be shocking to see myself in makeup, but that I don’t look like a clown and that it looks good.  So for a split second, I pictured myself in clown makeup with the white face and outlined mouth in red and big poofy colored wig... and almost laughed.  Just a little Margene humor.

BEFORE:

After:

And then... voila!  I did NOT recognize myself!  It was quite surreal because it was really like looking at a picture of someone else.  The person didn’t look like she had too much makeup but being that it was ME... it felt like I was wearing a lot.  My eyes just seem to pop out!  I was so overwhelmed.  I felt so pretty!
My friends were trying to read me to see if I liked it, but I seriously was overcome and did not know how to respond.  I felt so humbled and so thankful... and unworthy (I know I shouldn’t say that word, but it’s how I felt) of their time and attention and efforts on my behalf.  These women both have several children and busy homes and yet they took several hours out of their day just for me.  

With the last few minutes, she had my try on some of her pants and tops and gave me some tips on clothes I can look for that would accentuate my positive features.  It was very cool.  She had these pants with a big belt and I actually tucked in my shirt (which I NEVER do) and it wasn’t half bad!  Too much fun!  I would LOVE to go shopping with her as I know nothing about what really looks good.  
She is on a very tight budget but 3 things she feels are worth investing more money in are 1. Good bra, 2. Good shoes, and 3. Good Make up (she told me about Bare Minerals).  Awesome clothes can be found at thrift stores if you know what to look for.   And it’s okay to look your best.  It doesn’t mean your vain.  You look your best and take care of yourself so that you can serve your family and those around you and feel confident.

Here is an interesting comparison from me at Christmas in 2009, and me just yesterday (a year and half later).  Is this really the same person?  I still feel like the gal on the left inside... but I’m daring to be that more confident woman on the right!

When I got home, my 10 year old did not recognize me and even acted a little scared or freaked out.  I don’t know if this is a good thing or not but it was funny!  My daughters, on the other hand were way more enthusiastic.  I just hope Brent doesn’t check out this blog until he comes home on the 19th for the weekend... I CAN’T WAIT to see HIM!!!  What will HE THINK? Life is Good!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What's the cost?

Just thinking about all the little expenses that add up.  Then two days ago I figured this:


Driving to daughters track meet 
in our gas guzzling Suburban:  $6.00


Brought knox blox, cut up apples 
and red peppers for her:           $4.00


Hearing her exclaim when she saw me:  
"Mom, so glad you're here, 
I want to show you off to my friends!": PRICELESS!!!


Never thought I'd hear that and it made me feel like a MILLION BUCKS!

Joy suggested I share this on my blog.  Life is GOOD

PS - I totally rocked my run today and now I think I have the running for at least 3 minutes down!

** JOY **

I met JOY yesterday!  We met for lunch and had a fabulous visit.  Wow, this woman is major strong and gutsy and she's also beautiful.  Check out our pic below.  She could wipe me out easily on the treadmill or in any area.  She works so hard and is so committed and has gone through SO much.  I was impressed and inspired by her tenacious and kind spirit.  Check out and follow her blog and you'll be glad you did.

Today I go do my second work out of the week to train for my 5k.  It is gorgeous out and I think I'll be running outside.  Wish me luck.... NO mind games.  Eye of the tigar... GRRRRRRRR!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mind Games...

The thought occurred to me today that weight loss, exercise, good health... it really is 90% in the MIND!  I knew this before but today it really hit me.  Wanna know why?

Because I was on the treadmill this morning, starting my 2nd week or training.  My plan says to run for 2.5 min. and then walk 2.5, but I've been trying to push myself so I was going for 3 minutes.  So as I start running, I focus on relaxing and breathing and try to let my mind focus on certain topics.  When I think I've run for quite a while, I look down and only 30 freaking seconds have passed!!!  Then my mind starts to think "Crap, I have 2.5 minutes left... how am I going to do this?  How am I going to run for a full 5K come June?  I can barely do this...." and on I go.  I even thought I wouldn't be able to finish this work out.

So I try to STOP those thoughts and think "I am strong.  I feel so light.  My body feels lighter now.  I can do this."  But then only like 10 seconds have passed.  I realize that I need to CONTROL THE MIND GAME!  It's so easy to go into a panic mode.

There was a mirror in front of me about 30 feet away and I could see my face and how I'd tilt my head back as I jogged in kind of in a sense of exhaustion.  So I decided to put my head straight and look at myself straight on... directly.  And tell myself:  I CAN DO THIS!  Eye of the tiger, girl!!

So for 6 of the 11 sets of running I did 3 minutes at 4.5 speed, the other 5 I did for 2.5 minutes... and on the last run, I bumped up the speed to 5.5 the last 30 seconds and KICKED IT OUT!  And it felt good.

I see how mind games can mess up your eating, and your exercising if you don't control what you say to yourself!  And not just what you say to yourself... what you BELIEVE about yourself.  Believing it's possible is half the battle!  That has been my core mantra in this whole journey and it always comes back to that!  I will be working on my self-talk and belief continually - one day at a time because there is no going back for me!

Yesterday it was SO GORGEOUS here in Oregon, that after church, the kids and I went for a bike ride.  We found some new trails at a park close by and it was so fun!  I will miss the trees and gorgeous green here in Oregon.

Then, the kids stopped to swing on the swings and I joined in too.  Here I am a 42 year old nut, swinging like a monkey... I'm such a dork.  But dorks are fun!  Life is Good!!