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)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Struggles Make The Prize Greater...

I am not one who likes to struggle or suffer or be full of heartache!  I don’t like feeling like a mis-fit or friendless or lonely or ugly or fat or unwanted!  I absolutely detest feeling like a 3rd wheel or forgotten or unappreciated or insignificant!  I hate feeling like I have no value and that my life is of little worth to anyone!  
Who does?  
(okay, that might be a question for a psychiatrist).
Yet I have felt (and often still feel) many of those things... 
Life is so ironic, though!  I see that because of my struggles - my triumphs have HUGE meaning to me.  The times I overcome and conquer those feelings have been the SWEETEST of victories - even tho they may be seemingly small.
Perhaps what seems small to us, are viewed as HUMONGOUS strides to the angels who watch us!  Perhaps the obstacles in this life - swimming upstream so to speak - make any upward movement, no matter how small, a triumph worth celebrating!  I am convinced this is true.
I overcame some things this week.  I overcame extreme guilt and self-anger at indulging in two servings of a high-sugar dessert I hadn’t planned.  I overcame self-pity at having no running buddy.  I overcame some lonely feelings and sadness that no friend called me when I really wanted it.  I overcame the hurts I felt from some family members.  I overcame some self-doubts I was having...
I can forgive myself.  
I can forgive others.  
I can keep moving forward.  
I can SMILE everyday at the Goodness that is in my life!!
I have my life back!  I have my health back.  I can run.  I can ride my bike.  My relationship with my kids is so much better.  I have the most amazing supportive husband ever!  I have a stronger relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I know He suffered for me and I am of great worth to Him!  I have wonderful friends in my life.
My life is a Miracle!  
I have what my mother didn’t have... a SECOND CHANCE!  
(She died at 56 from heart disease)
I will take it
and live in HER honor 
and become that daughter that is worthy to bear her name!
I have to post this video... that reminds me how much greater the prize is - because of what we go through to get it!  NEVER GIVE UP!  

Updates:

I am Loving playing basketball again - even tho I’m the oldest one there by like 10 years (didn’t even realize that till I thought about it).  It’s okay... I’m living my life and excited I can play!


Got some running shoes!  (I took back my Costco ones)  I went to a running store and got “fit” for these and I’m so glad I did.  I learned some tips on running and how to avoid knee damage.  So far this time in training, my knees have not been hurting at all!  So happy about that.  I still wear knee supports every time I run or play bb because I don’t want to damage them.
I have been ROCKING IT with my running.  Went last Friday and ran 10 sets of 4 minutes with the last 2 sets I pushed to 5 and then 7 minutes.  I ran nearly 4 miles!  Yesterday (Monday), I ran on the treadmill and did 8 sets of running for 5 and 6 minutes.  I am getting close to being able to run longer periods without having to stop and walk.  It's kicking my tushie but it feels fabulous to be able to increase that time.  BOOYA!

Also, I am now the Young Women Camp Director for our church group!  I get to head up girls camp this year!  So excited - it’s going to be so fun to be there with my girls again!  My plate is getting fuller all the time but it’s all good and I love it!!
LIFE IS GOOD!
How are YOU celebrating YOUR life?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Opposition...

Dang that opposition!
Well.... I lost my running body.... errr, I mean buddy.  
So many things ran through my mind this morning as lay in my bed under my electric blanket with my little dog Zoey all cuddled up to me.  This 1/2 marathon I’ve signed up for in May.... it’s in Oregon.  I’m already going to Oregon with my girls in March.  I am happy to make another trip because I LOVE Oregon and all our friends there.  I am so excited to see them!  
However, 
  1. The friend I signed up to run with is probably not as committed to running the whole thing as I am.  No other friends in Oregon are interested in running this with me.  This means I’ll most likely be running it alone all the way up in Oregon.
  2. There is no one to run any 1/2 marathons in Utah with me here.
  3. There is no one to TRAIN with here!
  4. I have always struggled with motivation to exercise... I’m sure this contributes to why I was so heavy for so long.  I’d practically rather have a root canal than go running in the past.   I’m trying to change that.  But it’s SO hard on my own.  Running with someone makes it go faster and is SO much more enjoyable.
  5. It was cold and snowy out today and it felt so much better in bed.
  6. Our car is broken, I’ve been stranded for over a week, I feel bummed!
  7. My daughter was mean to me & hurt my feelings the other day (throwing this one in for good measure!)
  8. I feel lonely and somewhat of a mis-fit (What else is new, right?)...
I somehow still dragged myself out of bed and after a little prayer and change of clothes, I opened my front door and began running immediately.  My face felt frozen after about 30 seconds.... but I ran.  I planned on 10 sets of 3 minute runs.  Two minutes was good but that 3rd minute was a work out.  On my seventh round, my mp3 player died.  I pushed myself and did my last two runs as 4 minutes each only listening to the patter of my feet on the pavement.  
BOOYA!!
I put the wrong date - It was Jan 25th  2012 - oopsy
I can’t say that all those thoughts I have listed above went away... but at least I didn’t wallow in them - I went out and did the harder thing!  Yay for me.  I hope to conquer opposition as it keeps coming to me.  Today at least, I didn’t give in.
Life is GOOD!!
XoxOXo ~Margene

Monday, January 23, 2012

Charge!!! (4th day of training)

Last friday I found a running buddy!!  Woo Hoo!  What an answer to my prayers.  :) So we went running outside in this Utah COLD, but it was good.  I always love running outside more.

Not only that, but I also went and played my first BASKETBALL scrimmage here in Utah.  I really do suck and can't make many baskets but for some reason I LOVE this game.  I ran my heart out and my legs felt like rubber and my chest was burning and it felt so good!  It's not like exercise when you find something you love doing!

This morning, my buddy and I went out again.  We ran 13 sets of 2 min runs/ 1 min walks.  What a great start to the week.  Coming home from our run, we both felt like rockstars!  I had been tempted to just stay in bed under my electric blanket but I made myself get up.  It feels good to take over from what my body wants.  Mind over matter, baby!

Life is GOOD!!  I hope YOU kick it this week.

XoxoxXO
~Margene

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I kicked my own tushie!

Today was the 2nd day of my running training build up schedule thingy mabob.  Whatever you call it.  

I began on monday running 1 minute and walking 2 minutes in 13 sets.  

Today I bumped myself up to running 1.5 minutes and walking 1.5 minutes and it was WAY more of a workout for me!!  I felt the push my 2nd run in and I had 13 runs I was doing.

This is how I remember training last year when I was first running after 20+ years.  

That weazing and feeling like you can't make it until the end of the timer - and then dreading when the walking time is over and you have to run again.  

Half way through I seriously felt like I was going to vomit.

But I didn't.  
I made it.  
I could do it.  
I've done way harder stuff.  
Easy smeazy.... (not really, but it will be)


Feels so good to just DO IT.

Don't think about it so much... just move forward and DO IT!

Friday my sets will be to run 2 minutes and walk 1 minute.
Okay... I'm gonna do it.  
It will kick my tushie again but I'm up for a tushie kickin'

Life is GOOD.
Peace out
XOxoX
~Margene

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cookies be gone! I'm gettin' my MOJO ON!!!

There has been way too much rationalization going on in my mind lately... one more this, and one more that and then I’ll start.  My weakness has been those frozen yogurt places that you serve yourself.  I mean, they are healthier than ice cream right?  And also cookies, which I can’t seem to ever have just one of.  I do have a sugar addiction as just a small serving or bite isn’t enough.  I have to AVOID it altogether.
But something has to be said for JUST DOING IT!  
I can’t just wait until I find motivation.  
I must CREATE motivation! 
So I made my own training schedule to build myself up to a 5k again in 5 weeks and then I’ll start my 1/2 marathon schedule to build myself up to 13 miles.  It’s written down and it’s ready to check off.  I also researched and invested in a good pedometer.  

Saturday I went to the bridal shower of my lovely niece, and the host of the shower, Emily, has also done TSFL, and now she runs marathons!  Rockstar Material!  Booya!  

How lucky to meet her now!  I got some great advice - one being that I really NEED to get good shoes.  I think I’ll be taking my Costco shoes back and invest in a pair more fitted to my feet.  I need to do that to not risk injury to my knees which are already sensitive due to the years of being heavy.
I also found on Casey’s blog, something I want to post by my mirror and read every day:
Is it possible that I love and rely on food more than I love and rely on God?
God never intended for us to want anything more than we want Him.
Today I started my runs!  It’s a simple start but that’s how I started before.  I run 1 minute and walk 2 minutes and do it 13 times.  It gave me a good work out and toward the end, those 1 minutes runs were starting to push me.  It feels good that I just did it.
There are no cookies in the house, and I have lots of good healthy foods available... so I’m good to go.  I was thinking today as I was doing my runs, how running just 10 seconds used to spike my heart rate and literally kill me.  I am so thankful I can run now!  I never want to forget how grateful I am for that... even when I’m pushing it and want to stop.
Life is good!!  
How are YOU CREATING your MOJO?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

TAG.... You're IT!!

I got tagged!  Thanks Joy!!  I know I've been tagged before and didn't make the time to respond but I always feel so flattered when I am tagged.)  So here ya go ladies (and gents if any are reading)...

First the rules:

1. Post these rules. 
2. You must post 11 random things yourself. 
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post. 
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer. 
5. Go to their blog and tell them that you've tagged them. 
11 Random things about Margene
  1. I have an odd kind of silly humor
  2. I’ve been a mobile dance DJ since I was 14
  3. I’ve made a huge levi quilt by myself 
  4. I used to dream of having red curly hair and freckles
  5. I was a Tom-Boy growing up (have 5 brothers)
  6. I love watching Little House on the Prairie
  7. I am the only girl my hubby has ever kissed on the lips! 
  8. I cherish friendships - I seek out my “Kindred” spirit friends!
  9. I actually got Lalaloopsy dolls for Christmas (my girls did too) this year
  10. I have held the hand of a loved one while they passed away - two times over!
  11. Would love to go on a cruise with Brent sometime!
Now for the 11 Questions I've been asked to answer:
ONE -  If money wasn't an option, what would you really want to do for a living?

Be a motivational speaker, travel, sign up for and do any and all physical activities that I could think of (runs, biking, rock climbing, horse riding, hiking, sky diving, etc.), Help people reach their weight loss goals and financially help if I could too.
TWO -  What is the one thing that you are really afraid to do?

Kill big spiders and plunge flooding toilets (oops, that’s two things)
THREE -  What brings you the most joy?

Time spent with family and friends.  Visiting, playing, parties, get-togethers, games, exercising together... anything like that with family and friends just makes my day!
FOUR - What exercise is your favorite?

Riding my bike!!!  (and playing basketball)

FIVE -  What is the one thing that pushed you to start your weight loss and fitness plan?

I had given up and was destined to die young like my mother did.  I got an answer to my prayer and I knew this would work.  I finally began to believe that I could lose all my weight where before it was just too huge of a mountain to climb!  So I would say it was God that gave me that answer and that push!  I learned that my life has more value than I had ever supposed it did!  I hope no one feels as horrible and self-despising as I did!
SIX - What keeps you motivated?

The fear of gaining weight back and going into the prison of obesity! Yes, fear motivates me!!
  
SEVEN - Who inspires you?

My angel parents who left me a legacy of love, service and integrity.  (Plus my first name in a combination of both of their first names, so they are truly apart of me!)
EIGHT -  Is there anything holding you back from achieving your dreams? If so, what?

My own self.  Fear of loss and rejection - my biggest fears!
NINE -  Are you a hugger? When was the last time you got hugged? 

Yes... I’m a repressed hugger in that I’ve been afraid (as a heavy person) to hug anyone for fear they would be grossed out by me.  I am still cautious about hugging people if I feel that they might not like a hug from me.  But I love to get and give them.  I have years to make up on that!  I got hugged today from Brent and several family members at a bridal shower.
TEN - What would your perfect day look like? 

Sunny and warm with family and friends around me.  Brent and I just reminisced today about a perfect day we had back when just he and I biked the 26 miles on the Vernonia Trails in Oregon last year.  That was a perfect day!
ELEVEN - Are you going to reach your goals? If so, what's your plan?

Yes.  Maintain a healthy weight and eating plan.  Do as many active and fun things as I can fit in and share it all with my family!



11 Peeps to Tag 
(Note - If you want to answer these, consider yourself TAGGED!! And if you are on this list and don’t want to do it - No worries!!!)
  1. Casey     
  2. Gracey   
  3. Kristin      
  4. Jennifer   
  5. Loretta    
  6. Sarah     
  7. Sharon     
  8. Jane      
  9. Dawne    
  10. Becca    
  11. Lori       
11 Questions for You to Answer:
  1. What would be the greatest piece of advice you would give someone at the beginning of their weight loss journey?
  2. What is your biggest fear in life?
  3. What or who has inspired you the most?
  4. If you had $1000. right now with no strings attached - what would you do with it?
  5. If you could do anything you wanted to one day what would it be?
  6. Do you have a BFF and if so - how long have you been friends?
  7. What does friendship mean to you?
  8. What is your favorite healthy food(s)?
  9. What is your favorite exercise or activity?
  10. How do you stay motivated?
  11. Where do you want to be next year at this time?

Life is good!! :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hello 2012!

Hello my friends!  Hello 2012!  I hope everyone is off to a super charged start for this new year.  I am excited for it, myself.  
Right now, though, I have a sore throat and swollen glands.  I’m downing the vitamin C and garlic which seems to ward off sicknesses for me.  But I am having a bit of a struggle finding my MOJO in the short term.
Long term, I have a 1/2 marathon to train for, trip to Oregon with my girls in March, warm Utah summer to look forward to, climbing the mountain here in our valley, and enjoying our new area and life here in Utah.  
We were counting up just today how many friends & family parties we've had these last two and a half months and it came to 9 parties/get-togethers at our house!  (The latest one was just last night!)  How fun is that!
However, in the short term... I’m cold, isolated, and fighting feelings of loneliness.  January blues maybe?  I’ve got to stop worrying about how to motivate myself and just DO IT!  
Life Is Good. 
I am So Hugely Blessed!
So, since I’m making knox blox quite often, I decided to buy a bulk amount of the unflavored gelatin.  I should have done this long ago!  This is gonna last me!!

I also got some running shoes from Costco.  Yes, I know I should go in and have an expert get me fitted with the right running shoes, but time and money don’t agree with that right now.  These ones seemed to fit well and I think they’ll do fine.  So next challenge is to really put these shoes to USE! 

 
Here was my lean and green tonight.  
Rotisserie chicken and sauteed zucchini & mushrooms.  A quick and yummy meal!
What are you doing to stay motivated?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

How to Loath yourself in 9 simple steps

How to Loath yourself effectively and consistently in 9 simple steps!  Guaranteed to work and last for years!  You too, can become a self-loathing MASTER!
  1. Negative self-talk. This is the foundation of loathing oneself and you must master this, young padawan!  Practice this at night as you lie in bed.  Think of all the mistakes you made and stupid things you said and note every tiny detail.  Include calling yourself names like dork, idiot, jerk, geek, loser, moron, etc.
  2. Do not make your bed. This is so when you see your bed after getting up, it will look inviting to just slip back in it again.  Then proceed with #1 while you lie there thinking that you will sleep.  Add a little weeping in for good measure!  Get up later with a humongous headache.
  3. Listen to mean people.  Imagine that someone like Simon Cowell is there nit picking you after every move you make.  Critics are the most smart and correct people ever.  Analyze everything you hear them say and take it all very personally and to heart - even if they were referring to someone else.
  4. Meditate on your flaws.  Spend hours doing this.  Make a list if you need to.  Exaggerate them as that will really help in extending your meditations.
  5. Don’t believe any compliments.  Better yet, learn to forget they were ever said.  After all, most people aren’t honest anyway - at least with their compliments.
  6. Focus on all your failures, even the tiniest of ones.  Forget about any successes you’ve had as they were just flukes.  Your failures and mistakes reflect the real you.  Be sure and relive the most painful ones several times a day!  
  7. See through people who are “just being nice”.  Most kind things are said only because someone doesn’t want to say what they really think and hurt your feelings.  You can bypass that and go right ahead and feel hurt by whatever they say!  
  8. Remember that you are the victim.  This is essential.  Everyone is smarter, has a better job, better family, is more liked, has more friends, is better looking, more fit, more emotionally healthy, has a better house, nicer garden, sweeter car, cooler eyebrows, funnier wit, more beautiful voice, etc. than you.  And they are all generally happier without you around.  You are only a charity case to others.  And remember, if others were only less judgmental, truly caring, saw the good in you (even though you don’t), and treated you with the love and respect you deserve then you might have a shot at being happy!  But that will never happen!  Consider going outside and eating a worm, but then, feel bad because that worm could be ingested by anyone better than you!
  9. Develop the “who cares” attitude.  Since you are nothing in the totem pole of life, you might a well not waste your energy on anything fun or productive.  Go ahead and let your house get messy, who cares?  Go ahead and not wear make-up or put on any nice clothes, who cares anyway?  It’s not like anyone is going to notice or that it will change your circumstances (see #8), so why waste that energy?  It makes more sense to plant yourself in front of the TV and enjoy a big bowl of ice cream, fresh baked brownies or better yet, both!  Who cares, right?  
Okay, so this sounds absurd and silly - but for me it’s been a reality not that long ago.

Even after striving to have a close relationship with God, I still sometimes fall into this negative thinking.  And what the truth really is:  It is all a big LIE.  I have learned for myself that all these negative thoughts I’ve believed about myself have all been LIES.  All of them!!  Whatever I give my belief to, I give my power to.  So, I refuse to believe it anymore! 

Now, if by chance you DO NOT want to become a self-loathing master - or maybe you are a master and want to loose those self-loathing skills... here are the 4 tips that have helped me:
1. Pray.  First and foremost for me has been to pray for help!  Things had to get bad enough, I had to feel desperate enough and basically be miserable enough to lay it all out before my Maker and be willing to work my way out of this deep pit.  I needed help to do that.  I made prayer a huge part of that.  Sometimes praying several times a day - even several times an hour sometimes.  This has become the core of my strength to overcome.
2. Read Positive books.  The scriptures are a great start and also other good books that build you up.  It’s about creating NEW PATHWAYS in your thinking so you practice filtering out those negative thoughts.  I found the book:  The 4:8 Principle by Tommy Newberry to really help me change the way I think.  I put quotes from this book all over my room and house to read every day and remember how I want to change my perspective in given situations.  
Some of my favorite quotes from this book are:
  • Marinate in the solutions to my problems
  • I can build any virtue into my mentality by dwelling on that virtue every single day
  • Whatever I give my attention to expands in my experience.  I will experience more of whatever I dwell upon
  • Stuff happens - move on.  Never let an old wound fester due to excessive attention
  • Forget failures and relive my joys
  • Become a forgiveness machine!
  • Joy NOW - live each hour as if my full potential has already materialized.  Proceed moment by moment with the attitude I would have if my most heartfelt prayers have already been answered.
  • Look with eyes of Faith - see what wold be if I would change my attitude and allow God to work in the situation.
  • Behave as if my prayers have already been answered.
  • Speak only what I seek
  • Do my words emphasize my blessings or my worries?
  • Do not talk about myself as the person I no longer desire to be.  Avoid making repeated, passing references to my mistakes and fears.  Cast out all self-deprecating remarks.
  • How would the future me respond?  Imagine myself with the habits I would have if I were already living my best life.
  • Whatever I dwell on becomes increasingly prominent in my own mind.  I will always feel what I dwell on.  Whatever I focus on, I am going to experience.
  • Replace negative thoughts with thoughts of gratitude
  • Extinguish negative thinking by not feeding it.  Refuse to nourish negative thoughts or give them any attention.
  • I am Responsible
  • Always give the other person the benefit of the doubt
  • Each moment is a new beginning
Other books that have proven very helpful to me are:
Wake up to a Happier Life - Amanda Dickson
Stop whining, Start Living - Dr. Laura Schlessinger
Life is Short - Wear your Party Pants - Loretta Laroche
Boundaries - Cloud & Townsend
3. Listen to Positive Music.  I love inspirational music.  I also love a huge array of pop and rock music.  I can easily get caught up listening to my many playlists, yet I find that when I listen to my inspirational music during the day - I seem to find it easier to think positive and to feel the Lord’s influence in my life.  I gain more power to overcome the negative thoughts.  
4. Seek Counseling.  I am a firm believer that there are times when we each need to talk to a professional counselor or therapist.  This may be especially true if struggling with thoughts of depression.  Sometimes we do need professional help and that is no negative reflection on ourselves - but just the fact that life is hard.  
I’ve actually had this post written for over a year - but it’s been too close to home to publish until now.    
There is power in believing.  There is power in Faith.  (This is why I named my blog what I have).  This has been a bigger battle to me than even losing my weight, and it goes hand in hand with it actually.  As I let my weight go, I am working on letting these old beliefs go.  I choose to listen to the source of all good, who made me in His image and who has born my griefs and heartaches, even my savior Jesus Christ.  I hope anyone reading this who has any of these self-loathing tendencies like the ones listed above can let them go too, and learn to see the beauty in yourself and to love yourself, and to know WHO you really are.  Self-loathing is a painful suffering that I have worked SO hard in overcoming.  I pray that others who suffer from this can overcome as well!  Life is SO good and Life is TOO short to waste feeling negative!!