My Health Journey

Spring time always has me feeling reflective about my health journey, so to speak.  My epiphany came one Saturday evening in April 2012 while I was eating a vanilla cupcake.  I remember sitting at my desk in front of my laptop & feeling miserable as soon as I finished it.  I had watched Curtis shed a lot of weight by following a ketogenic diet so I thought maybe I could do something similar.  I finished my cupcake & immediately headed to the grocery store where I proceeded to buy lots of low-carb foods & made the decision to start the next day.

But first, let’s back track.  I was never an athlete in high school or college and rarely worked out.  I think I had a pretty good metabolism and could eat just about anything without gaining weight…. until my senior year of college rolled around.  I was 21 which meant more drinking along with lots of fast food & just an overall unhealthy lifestyle.  I would workout occasionally by doing some group fitness classes but I never changed my diet.

My poor habits continued post college when I started working full time & living on my own.  I worked second shift (3pm-11pm) so I was staying up until the wee hours of the morning & then sleeping until noon or after.  This was BAD BAD BAD.  I joined Anytime Fitness & had these grand plans of working out after work.  This only lasted about a week or so & I gave up.  Going before work was out of the question because I was usually sleeping!  Along with not working out, I was also eating like crap.  I would eat fast food several times a week and drink nearly a gallon of Mountain Dew every. single. day.  I would snack on things after I got home from work or even hit up the drive-thru on my way home.  I knew I was eating junk & knew I needed to exercise more but I just didn’t have the will power to change anything.

I never owned a scale so I’m not sure what my true heaviest weight was.  I weighed myself occasionally at Curtis’ place & remember 168 being the highest number I ever saw so I’m not sure if was ever above that.  I think the summer/fall of 2011 was probably my heaviest just by looking at pictures.   Keep in mind that I’m only 5’6″….

May 2011
August 2011
February 2012

The bad habits continued on.  Still eating junk & still not exercising.  I can only imagine what I would have looked like if I worked a sedentary job (my job was pretty physically demanding & I was on my feet nearly the entire shift).  I remember trying on bridesmaid dresses at David’s Bridal with Alice who was getting married later that year.  I hated how I looked.  I hated that I was having to grab a bigger size than what I thought I should be wearing.

It also hit me at that time that my stepsister’s wedding was coming up in just a few months.  I guess you could say that her wedding was a huge motivator for me.  I had cancelled my Anytime Fitness membership awhile back & wasn’t planning on signing up at another gym because I was trying to find a new apartment in a different part of town.  So, I started walking in the mornings before work.  Amazingly, I would get up before noon & walk about 2 miles.  (I’m not a runner nor have I ever been a runner so walking was the best I could do).  After about a month of consistent daily walks, I was feeling pretty good.  The night before my cupcake epiphany, I stood on the scale at a friends house & saw 154.  So, I had lost some weight from the year before.  But it wasn’t enough & I still wasn’t happy with how I looked.

As I mentioned above, Curtis lost a lot of weight by following a ketogenic diet so I started following something similar.  As in, I could eat whatever I wanted as long as my carbs didn’t exceed a certain amount.  I drastically cut the number of carbs I was eating per day but definitely not as low as keto.  That first week was miserable.  My body was detoxing from all of the shit I had been putting in to my body for years.

A few weeks into the start of this “diet”, I moved into a new apartment & joined an amazing gym.  I was still working second shift but I started getting up even earlier in the mornings to attend a 10:00am weight lifting class on Tuesday/Thursday/Friday that was similar to Body Pump.  Other days I would try to get up & do a kickboxing class but that rarely happened or I would just use a cardio machine.  I also started playing volleyball on Wednesday evenings after work with a bunch of co-workers.  The weight literally fell off me throughout the summer & fall.  I felt amazing!  My clothes fit & actually felt comfortable.  I was so happy with my progress & felt good about how I looked for the first time in my life.  I remember my lowest weight being 132 in December 2012 which was when I felt the best.  

And then I started a new job in January.  A desk job.  I went from being on my feet & constantly moving to sitting ALL day.  While I needed the job change for my own sanity & mental health, my weight loss completely stopped. But I was able to attend more classes at the gym which I really enjoyed.  Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday was my weight lifting class while Monday/Wednesday were kickboxing or a HIT class.  Since I was adding in more cardio, I stopped being super strict about my carb numbers.  In the spring of 2013, I did a 60 day challenge at the gym where they took measurements/weight at the beginning & the end.  While I gained about 4 pounds during this time, I actually lost inches overall which was a huge eye opener.  I had become so focused on the number on the scale but this challenge showed that it really doesn’t mean anything.

Fast forward to today, five years later.  

I’ve kept up with working out about 4-5 times per week.  I moved to Omaha in 2013 which meant leaving that amazing gym that was such a huge part of my life (they don’t have any Omaha locations…YET!).  I discovered my love for boot camp style workouts & have kept them up as long as I’ve been living in Omaha.  Our Y offers a similar class that I’ve been doing on Tuesdays & Thursdays ever since I moved here.  On the off days, I’ve done everything from Body Pump, to cycling, to other HIT classes, and just making up my own HIT/tabata workouts.  I’ve also discovered kettlebells & incorporate them into just about every workout that I do on my own.  I tried Crossfit for the first time about 6 months ago and while it was an awesome workout, I don’t have plans to make it part of my routine.  Lastly, I’ve trained for & completed Trek Up The Tower the past two years and plan to make it a yearly event!    The one thing you will never see me do is run for fun!  Give me burpees over running any day.  

At the health assessment for our insurance last month, the scale says I weigh a lot more than I think I actually look .  I like to think that it’s because I’ve put on a lot of muscle over the years.  😉  I stopped following a low carb diet quite awhile ago as I needed balance in my life.  To be able to eat pizza & drink beer without feeling guilty.  To enjoy going out with friends and not worry about how many carbs are in a slice of cake or chips & salsa.  I’m not back to my old habits of guzzling several cans of Mountain Dew every day or eating huge plates of spaghetti for every meal but if I want some bread, I’ll eat bread (in moderation), etc.  While I’ve given myself some grace with the things I eat, I know I can improve, that’s for sure.  I don’t eat near enough vegetables & probably drink too many Michelob Ultras on the weekends.   I never weigh myself & let my clothes dictate whether or not I need to make any changes.  I’m bulkier than I was a few years ago which makes that fun & I’m constantly questioning if my pants are tighter because of fat or because of muscle.  Learning to accept how I look has been a work in progress which goes along with giving myself some grace.  I’ve always had bigger legs than everyone else I know and not to mention having cellulite since I was 12 years old.  Obviously these things are not going to change overnight, if at all.  Thanks genetics!  But seriously, accepting these things is something that I am really trying to do these days.  I don’t mean to sound ungrateful or ‘woe is me’ but I think a lot of women can relate to what I’m trying to say.  Especially with social media being such a huge part of our lives these days.  

One of my goals for this year is to find a health coach and/or trainer.  Someone who can maybe give me a little more direction as far as workouts go, meal prepping/macro counting, etc.  Maybe someone who has been in my position.  I’ve been feeling like I’m in a rut for far too long and it’s time to get myself out of it!

Phew, this has been a novel!  If you stuck around this long, thank you for letting me ramble!     

Weekend– Puppies!

Ugh, Monday.

This weekend wasn’t anything too crazy which was kind of nice.  However, it was cold, rainy, and just plain miserable on Friday and Saturday.  Like barely even 50 degrees both days so I’m hoping mother nature gets her act together this week.  Last weekend it was near 90 degrees and this weekend it was snowing in some parts of the state.  Come on!!  

Friday evening after work, it was awful & rainy so we hit up the grocery store for a few things and then Qdoba before spending the rest of the night on the couch.  I was in bed before 10 and I think asleep some time after 11.  

Saturday was also pretty uneventful.  Spent the morning reading some blogs, cleaned up the kitchen, ate lunch, and then did some shopping.  I had to get a few things from Walmart & Target but I also went to the mall which was nuts.  I finally found a new pair of black shorts for only $15!  The ones I’ve been wearing have definitely seen their day so I needed a replacement pair.  That evening, Curtis’ friend Jeremy and his girlfriend came over so we grilled some burgers & hung out for awhile.  

And then Sunday.  We went to the gym from about 11 to 12, came home, and got ready for the Pints & Paws Pub Crawl which featured the rescue that we have been fostering for.  We haven’t been able to help out with any other events & this one wasn’t too far from us so we helped wrangle some of the dogs that are currently up for adoption.  

These puppies.  🙂 🙂 🙂   They were just brought up from Arkansas on Saturday by some volunteers with the rescue.  Apparently they are a pointer/Catahoula mix that were surrendered by a family who couldn’t care for them.  By the way, I had never heard of a Catahoula before?!  Definitely not a breed that you see around here.  

And then Mabel posing with the sign.  She was such a sweetheart!  Ah, I just love basset hounds!  


Once we finished volunteering, we hit up Krug Park for a quick drink before heading back home.  

The rest of the evening was pretty typical– grocery shopping, dinner, and prepping for the rest of the week.  I was spent by the time 7:00 rolled around though & had to power through everything else I needed to get done.  We did a lot of walking + working out the gym + trying to wrangle Carl the Beagle as well as people wanting to grab the puppies constantly was exhausting!

Only 6 1/2 more working days until a much needed vacation so I’m kind of hoping that this week goes by fast!  Also, the outdoor boot camp finally starts up again for the season on Tuesday!  So, I won’t have my usual indoor HIT class on Tuesday/Thursday as it switches to the boot camp class until the end of August.  

Well, time to wrap this up!  Have a great week everyone!  Linking up with Biana!      

Friday– They Found Her!

TGIF!

What a week!  If you caught my post on Monday, last weekend wasn’t the best.  Monday was actually kind of a blur.  I got a call from the lady that adopted Sophie almost as soon as I got to work to let me know that they were going to go search another area that they thought she might be.  Nobody had seen her since Saturday afternoon when she first ran away but they thought that she would be in a wooded area & away from people/traffic.  

As you can tell, she was not impressed with our photo shoot that day

I was worried sick almost all day & even cried to my co-worker when I told her what happened.  She even cried a little because she’s heard all of my stories about Sophie for as long as we’ve had her!  And then I get a call around 4:45. 

SOPHIE WAS FOUND!  

Anita called me right after she got a call from animal control saying that they had Sophie.  OH MY GOODNESS, what a huge relief!!  I was so happy that I cried.  And my same co-worker also cried because she heard me on the phone & came over to my cubicle right away.  I still don’t know for sure where they found her but she was picked up by the animal control in Raytown (where she ran away) so she didn’t get too far.  She spent the night at the vet & was able to go home the next morning.  I got some videos of her at her new home & she acts like nothing ever happened!  That dog…. haha.   She handled her heartworm treatment & spay surgery like a champ so it shouldn’t surprise me that she’s perfectly fine after being out in nature for 2 days.  It sounds like she is fitting in nicely with her new mom & Beagle sister!  I’m excited to see how she progresses!    

We’re taking a quick break from fostering for now.  Mostly because we won’t be around after next week so we didn’t want to take in another one & then have to try to find someone to watch it for a week & a half.  

In other news…… six more work days until a week & a half vacation.  HALLELUJAH.  🙂  It has been far too long since I’ve taken any extended time off from work.  Actually. it’s been a year— our wedding!   I’m trying to keep up with everything at work so I don’t have a lot to come back to.  That has been the biggest deterrent for taking a vacation lately.  Everyone in the office is pretty swamped thanks to being short staffed so there doesn’t seem to be a lot of coverage when people are gone.  Which means coming back to a TON of work.  I think it took me a good week or so to catch up after our wedding last summer!  

This week really hasn’t been anything too special.  I’m ready for a day to SLEEP as I think I’m still catching up on the last several weeks from Sophie wanting to party all night.  This weekend looks like it will be pretty crummy, weather-wise.  Cold & rainy!  At least Sunday looks like it will be nice.  I think we are going to help out with the rescue for an event in Benson during the afternoon so that should be fun.  Have a great weekend everyone!  

Linking up with Andrea, Erika, Narci, Amanda, and April!

A Not-So-Happy Adoption Weekend

She was really confused why the furniture was moved in order to set up the camera. This was the best we could do, haha

I knew this weekend would be emotional however, I did not think it would end up being this bad.  My heart is heavy & my stomach is in knots– Sophie ran away from her new home on Saturday afternoon & has yet to be found.  

If you’re new around these parts, Sophie was the pup that we had been fostering since the end of November.  She was finally adopted & this was supposed to be her first weekend in her new home. 

We had scheduled to meet up with a friend of the lady who adopted Sophie as he agreed to drive her down to Kansas City.   After packing up all of her things & taking way too many pictures with her, we dropped her off with the guy who was getting ready to leave Omaha.   You could tell that she was very nervous with him but then again, she has been nervous with just about everyone that comes in contact with her.  It was tough to see her go, especially since the day started out like any other & she had no idea what was happening to her.  But, I knew she was going to a good home as the lady already has another Beagle plus she would have a lot more time for Sophie than we did.

Around 2:00, I received a call from the lady & the first thing she says to me was “I have some bad news”.  My stomach flipped & my heart sunk.  We had just dropped her off around 10:15 so my mind immediately went to thinking they were in an accident or something (KC is about a 3 hour drive from Omaha).  She went on to tell me that Sophie bolted from the car when they got to her house.  I was leaving the library at the time of the call & I had to sit down on in order to continue talking to her because I was just losing it.  Like not hysterically crying but I was asking her a million questions & trying to give as many suggestions as I could.

I called our foster coordinator about what we could do, especially being 3 hours away.  Since the rescue has several contacts in Kansas City, I posted to the Facebook group & thankfully they were able to share it on many of the Lost Pets pages on Facebook for the KC area.  Two of the KC fosters even went out & tried to help find her!  The last sighting that they had of Sophie was her entering a wooded area on Saturday afternoon so they went in there with lots of food but no luck.  

By Sunday morning, they still hadn’t heard anything.  That’s when it hit me the hardest.  It’s hard to not let your mind go to the worst case scenario.  She’s so incredibly skittish & does not trust people right away.  Not to mention the fact that she would always hide under our table or in the bathroom whenever she was nervous.  We figured that she would be hiding out somewhere & would stay away from traffic/people at all costs.  Sophie was an outside dog before we had her so I’m sure she knows how to find food & water.  I just hope that she ends up in an area where someone sees her or is able to catch her.  They mentioned setting up a trap of some sort in the area where she was last seen but I’m not sure if they ended up doing that.    

I am typing this at 10:30 on Sunday evening & haven’t heard anything all day.  I am thankful for social media & all of the Facebook groups dedicated for lost pets.  The rescue recently had a foster dog go missing for a WEEK & was eventually found thanks to Facebook.  I’m trying to be hopeful in the sense that maybe the same could happen to her.  In a way, I’m glad she ran away while she was in the city where there are people rather than along the side of the interstate in the middle of Iowa or Missouri.

Cross your fingers that there is at least a sighting of her SOON.  I can’t even imagine what is going through her mind right now & how scared she must be.   

Go hug your pets a little tighter everyone.