Friday, January 29, 2010

Monday project link up: Hello Me!

Our project (homework) this week with the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans was to write a letter to ourselves from our future selves. This was designed to make us "reflect" on the goals we set and to celebrate our accomplishments. This was a tough project for me, but here is my letter:

Dearest Bari,
Hello there 2010 me!
Boy, if you only knew what 2010 was going to be like for you, you'd blow a gasket. Oh wait, that's what I'm here to tell you. I don't want to spoil all the fun and surprises, so I'll just hit the highlights.
You really started 2010 with a bang. Must have been that midlife crisis you were having about turning 40 and Thing 1 and Thing 2 becoming teenagers. (More on that later.) Whatever it was, it finally gave you that kick in the ass to get back on track with your health. You finally got serious about getting back to a healthier weight. You bought a wii, got an iPhone with some running and food tracking apps, and found all these awesome, supportive friends through the blogosphere! I always knew you were kinda techie, but who knew you could use that to get healthy and make some new friends. Well girl, with all your hard work and the support of your family and friends, you definitely met your goal of being in the 140's before you hit 40. And you look fab, if I do say so myself :)
In April, you celebrated your 15th anniversary! That's certainly nothing to shake a stick at. You are one lucky girl to have such a great guy by your side. Not to mention, you are a good 3 sizes smaller than you were when you got married!
Part of going crazy must have prompted you to sign up for that 10K race. I know at the time you were thinking "OMFG, what have I done?", but you trained all spring and crossed the finish line in May with 6.2 miles under your feet. You weren't the fastest on the course, but you weren't the slowest either. You even managed to run more than you walked. Way to go! All the running has really helped you get that weight off-keep it up this time! Better than finishing the race, your daughter signed up to run it with you and you crossed the finish line together! It still brings tears to my eyes!
Speaking of those awesome twins of yours...they completely rocked their first year of middle school. To celebrate their 13th birthday in August, you spent a week at Disney World. The kids had an absolute blast! It definitely was "The Happiest Place On Earth"! You and the hubby were even able to get some alone time on this trip since your very responsible kids were able to do some things on their own, too. Excellent!
Summer came to an end and you came home from Disney and hit that 40th birthday right between the eyes. You were fit, and you were fabulous! To celebrate, you bought yourself a new pair of Silver jeans-from the junior's department! Those size 14's you bought yourself for Christmas in 09 that were already getting baggy in January 2010?-totally sold them on ebay since you will never be that size again.
Keep going strong, Bari! You accomplished a lot in 2010. 2011 is going to just get better and better. But, some advice before I head back to the future:
  • Listen to your body. Use food as fuel. Make sure you eat enough but don't get sloppy again with the portion sizes. That's how you put the weight back on last time. Keep tracking with your iPhone-that's why you bought the damn thing.
  • Schedule that mammogram and stay out of the sun. I know you think you look better with a tan, but you know you just burn anyway. Stick to the spray-on kind. You know what will happen if you don't and your kids don't need to lose their mom like you did at their age. Harsh, but true.
  • Accept that you will never be able to be everything to everybody. Get over it.
  • Hug your kids and husband EVERY SINGLE DAY!
  • Love yourself. You have become one strong, HOT, rockin' woman. Celebrate that fact! This is very hard for you to do. It is going to take some work, but with friends like those righteous gals at the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, you can do it. If you don't, they'll come up to Michigan and give you the swift kick in the ass you need! Those gals are the ones who suggested I write you this letter. Pretty cool and insightful, huh?
I love you, 2010 me, and I'm so proud of what you accomplished this year!
2011 Me

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Re-Think Your Shrink: Week 4 Weigh-In

I have to admit I'm a bit disappointed in the scale this week. I did have a loss, but a very small one. I'm down .4 to 157.4. This is a loss of 3.8 lbs for the challenge and 8.4 overall. I really thought I'd be into the 156's this week, but I guess my body just wants to take things really, really slow. Sucks for me since I am so NOT into delayed gratification and have no patience whatsoever. ARRGGG!

I have been tracking my food consistently and avoiding late-night snacking. I'm also getting in lots and lots of water. Aside from the brownies debauchery this weekend (damn husband!), I'm doing really well in the calories dept. I'm also exercising every day, but maybe I'm not working out enough or with enough intensity. I've completed the EA Active 30 day challenge and just started on the EA More Workouts 6 week challenge, but some days it doesn't seem like enough of a calorie burn. On the other hand, some days my net calories are under 1000 (after exercise), so maybe I need to eat a little more. Who knows. I've also felt really run down the past few days, so I might be coming down with something. I know, excuses, excuses....

An update on my son's sports/fitness dilemma: he signed up for the middle school swim team and has had 2 practices so far this week. As of right now, he is really liking it. No meets yet, but he has some other friends on the team and seems to be having fun. Whatever works, I guess :)

I hope you all had a shrintastic week. Thanks for being there.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Monday Project "I Rock" Link Up

Ok, this is going to be a really short post, because you crazy ladies at the Sisterhood are making me think good things about myself. Holy Crap, that's hard. I tend to be very self-depreciating, which I suspect is the reason for this particular homework project. Many of us who have struggled with weight and body image probably don't spend a lot of time giving ourselves pats on the back. Well, here goes. My short list of why I ROCK:


  1. I'm very good at my job. I'm a Speech-Language Pathologist and I love my job. I make it fun and I have a knack for establishing rapport with my kids and their parents and getting results (most of the time). Many of my students are actually sad when they "graduate" because they don't get to come hang out with me anymore. I usually miss them, too.

  2. I'm extremely organized. This Type-A, totally anal, personality helped me get infant twins on a schedule and to this day, 12 years later, manage to get them to all their crap. Not to mention, I have never been late with a documentation deadline (see #1). However, you would not know this about me by looking at my house or office. They are not so organized :)

  3. I have really nice eyes. I love their greenish color. I tried colored contacts in high school, which made them almost jade-like, but that was just too much.

  4. I'm pretty good at Sudoku. I even like to work on the "diabolical" level puzzles, and sometimes I even finish them.

  5. I think I'm a pretty good mom, at least most of the time. My children and I butt heads on a few issues (like what I feel they should eat for dinner and when to go to bed), but I think that means I've set some reasonable limits which will serve them well in the long-run. Maybe someday, my son will actually like a vegetable other than corn-on-the-cob. I've also helped them become independent when they need to be. I think I have the only middle-school students who get up on their own (on time) and get themselves ready for school without being asked.
  6. I make a mean Creme Brulee. I almost didn't put that on here, but there you go. Friends request it if we are having them over for dinner. Sad, but true. Probably why I need the Sisterhood :)

There are probably more things I could add, but at 9:45 at night, this is what I came up with, even though I've been mulling over this all week. I mentioned this little "project" to my husband and he told me to make sure I add this one: I'm very good at spending money. Probably not something that says "You Rock", but my awesome new blinds arrived today! He'll be installing them in the morning :)


Thanks for a great "re-think" project. Someone I follow on twitter said, "Remember to be awesome everyday" with this picture. If you can't read the caption, it says, "words cannot express the awesome." Pretty good advice. Be awesome everyday.



Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Re-Think Your Shrink - Week 3 Wed Weigh-In

What up, sistas! I am very happy to report a loss this week, albeit a small one. I am down .6 to 157.8! That puts me at 3.4 lbs down for this challenge and 8 since I joined the sisterhood. I'm getting closer to that 10 lb button. For me, 10 lbs is the number that tells me I'm serious about this and I've actually lost weight. I know, weird.

Considering the weekend I had (you can read about it here in my true confessions post) I am very pleased with my loss.

I need a little advice (or maybe just validation since what's done is done). My son has been taking karate from a complete a-hole for 3 years and is currently a black belt/white stripe (one belt below black belt). Our "contract" (yah, according to this guy I signed a 3 year contract-I clearly must have been stoned) ends in February. Yesterday, I gave the guy my final check and told him my son would not be back. He just looked at me and said "ok". (We are clearly oil and water and I'm sure he thinks I am a total bi*ch for calling him on the crap he tries to pull. I honestly think he isn't used to women standing up to him.) He pulled my son into his office and told him that he was one of his best students and good luck. Pretty nice of the guy, actually. Now, my son has been fighting me over going to karate for the past several months. He's a very intelligent 12 year old who I think realizes what a joke this guy is and really didn't see the point in going anymore. I'm sad that this guy has taken a sport my son loved, and has completely turned him off to it. I told my son that if he wanted to continue to study martial arts at another school, I would gladly look for one. He said, "no." Maybe someday he will decide to try it again.

Now, here is where the advice part comes in. Do I try to get my son into something else? He has never been a team-sports kind of kid and feels very inferior to his twin sister, the total jock, in the athletic skills department. I did encourage him to try the swim team at school. It is a no-cut sport and I really just want him to get some exercise. He signed up today, but now I'm having second thoughts about swimming. I'm afraid it is going to be one more area where he is going to compare himself to his sister (she swam last season and was one of the competitive divers on the dive team as well). Help a sister out...feedback...opinions...anything!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

True Confessions Tuesday

Here it is...in all its glory:

After having 2 very successful weeks in the food-logging and exercise-doing category, I had the weekend from "do everything you can to sabatoge your weight loss efforts" land. I had to go out of town for my daughter's first gymnastics meet of the season. This meant eating on the road (including - gasp! - McDonald's) and very minimal exercise. I brought my laptop so I could continue to log my food at dailyplate, but it crashed and I couldn't get it running again. We also had the worst hotel stay we've ever had, complete with a flithy room, someone's kids running up and down the halls all night, a "fitness center" with no working equipment and cold showers in the morning. I'm not proud that I went off on the hotel staff, but I did get our room rate reimbursed. I also yelled at Jill (our Garmin) for taking us some backasswards way back to the highway after exiting to put gas in the car. Apparently she doesn't like to go back the way she came. Clearly, yelling at a machine was not one of my prouder moments.

Although we had a long, exhausting weekend and I'm scared to see what the scale is going to say tomorrow, I got to watch this...



and this.....


and this...




and finally this....

That's my baby girl in the green! 5th, 3rd, and 2nd place finishes, plus a great fundraiser for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Even if my weight is up a bit, it was worth it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Re-Think Your Shrink Week 2 Weigh-In

I did not make my goal for this week, but I came damn close! I had hoped to lose 2 lbs, but I managed 1.8 - I'll take it. That brings my weight to 158.4, and a loss of 2.8 for this challenge so far. More importantly, I've lost 7.4 since I hooked up with all you lovely ladies at the sisterhood. I'm getting closer to that 10 pound button! I've even had a few people ask lately if I've lost weight - yippee!

I worked very hard this week at logging all my calories in at www.livestrong.com and I've been downright religious about completing my EA Sports workouts. I even upped the intensity to "high" this week because I felt the workouts were not really enough for me. In addition to the Wii, I've made it to the gym for some strength and cardio classes. I have never been an early morning workout person, but I've found if I get up a little early and do my Wii workout before school, I'm more likely to eat right during the day and I've even gone to the gym to work out after work on a few occasions. I've also been trying to "eat" most of the calories I've been burning because I have had times in the past where my body would freak out over the lack of calories and NOTHING would come off. Here's hoping my current plan continues to work for me in the weeks to come.

I have to say, though, I'm very nervous about how well I'm going to do this weekend with the plans we have. Friday night Mr. Shrinking Chick and I are going out (to a sports bar of all places) for my school's holiday party. Lots of good, healthy food there - NOT. Then, we hit the road Saturday morning to head to Southern Illinois for my daughter's first gymnastics meet of the season. We'll be eating on the road, going out to dinner, and then spending all day Sunday at the convention center. There will be no good choices there. At least the hotel has a basic fitness center, so I'll be able to use the treadmill or something, and I hope to get my Saturday EA workout in before we leave. I'm going to miss my 1st one on Sunday :( but I'll make it up on my "rest" day on Monday.

Wish me luck (and that all the athletes have a fun, injury-free meet) and I hope to be able to report a loss next week!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

True Confessions Tuesday

Hey all,
I'm proud to say I really don't have many transgressions to confess this week because I've worked very hard to get on track this week. So, I'm going to post a few successes (forgive me, but I'm proud of myself this week).
  • Got my hair done today and after not seeing my stylist for 10 weeks, the first words out of her mouth were, "Have you lost weight?" I didn't realize the 6 or 7 lbs I've lost since I saw her last were showing. Cool.
  • I've been logging EVERYTHING I eat and all my exercise at Daily Plate. I've actually had a number of days where my net calories were really low (like under 800) but I haven't really been hungry. I know not eating enough is a pattern that I've gotten into in the past so I need to watch that.
  • I have not missed a workout this week and have upped the intensity on my EA Active workouts to "high".
  • Confession time: since my calories were really low after 2 workouts yesterday (and I was feeling a bit shaky), I ate a bologna and cheese sandwich at 10:00 last night and had some trail mix - yikes. Tight rings this morning-hello salt!
  • I went over my calories on Sunday night thanks to one of my girlfriends bringing over mojitos.
  • I've been workout out a lot, but have been severely neglecting my abs. Haven't done anything for them.

Now for some pre-emptive confessions:

  • I'm very concerned about this upcoming weekend.
  • My daughter has a gymnastics meet 6 hours from home. We are going to be on the road driving (hello-fast food) and then eating at the Peoria Convention Center during the meet (can you say, nachos and pizza?).
  • I'm going to miss my EA workouts this weekend, but the hotel has a very small fitness center, so I'm hoping to at least do some walking on the treadmill.
  • The hotel has wi-fi so I'm planning to bring my laptop and hopefully still log my choices. This should help keep me accountable.
  • I'm hoping the high potential for bad eating doesn't derail me this weekend.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Monday Project #1 - Full Circle

Wow, what a doozy to start with. I've been randomly thinking about what I was going to write in the post and I honestly have no idea where to begin. I guess that's not entirely true. I know where to begin, I'm just not thrilled to go back there.

Before I talk about 2009, I need to talk about the summer of 2000. This was the year of my big "ah-ha" moment when I decided I needed to do something to take control of my life...and my weight. My kids were turning 3 and I was turning 30 (gack!). I was tired, my knees hurt, I couldn't get up and down off the floor to play with the kids, I'd get winded chasing them in the yard, and let's face it...I looked like crap. I had gone on a hiking/camping trip with a bunch of my husband's friends from work. We hiked a couple miles a day (on pretty easy trails) and it kicked my butt. When we got the pictures back, I wanted to cry. I look happy, but I also look huge. This is the most I've ever weighed (aside from when I was pregnant with Thing 1 and Thing 2). 189 lbs.

I decided I couldn't go into my 30's looking and feeling like I did. I joined Weight Watchers and started taking community-ed aerobics classes. After a few months, we bought a family membership to the YMCA and I started doing group exercise classes (step, double-step, kickboxing, strength training classes-you name it). Funny thing-I found out I'm actually pretty coordinated and picked up on the routines quickly. Imagine how my different life could have been if my parents had encouraged sports when I was a kid. (My dad is very obese, over 300 lbs, and has all the health issues to go along with it. My mom died of skin cancer at 42, but was also overweight-15 to 20 lbs.) Exercise and outdoor activities were not really a part of our life. I wish they had been.

One of the questions posed by our wonderful sisters was...What did work? Well, the combination of Weight Watchers and exercising for 45-60 minutes 4-5 times per week REALLY worked. In one year, I lost 50 lbs. I'd managed to get down to 139 lbs and was easily a size 8. Wow! Through generally watching what I ate, going to Weight Watchers every month to weigh-in (I was a lifetime member at this point), and continuing to exercise, I stayed at this weight for about 6 years. This picture was actually taken in August of 2003 - 2 years after hitting my goal. This hiking trip was easy.


Now, we get to the part of the post where I think about what didn't work. Laziness and getting sloppy is what didn't work. Getting wrapped up in my kids lives and activities and not making time for myself (selfish as that sounds) didn't work. Larger portions and less working out didn't work. Reverting to old habits, like snacking in front of the TV at night, didn't work. I think you see where this is going. I feel like my downfall had been building all of 2007 (I'd gained back about 5 lbs-the "danger sign" from a Weight Watchers standpoint), but really solidified in the summer of 2007. We went to St. Lucia to a beautiful Sandal's resort with all the food and booze you could consume. Needless to say, I was on a very slippery slope. I had received my SCUBA certification before we left and I dove every day, but it wasn't enough exercise to combat all the calories. I gained another 5 lbs or so that week. Things have really snowballed since then. I'd managed to put on a total of 25 lbs and was back up to 165. My clothes didn't fit and I was horrified to need to buy some new pants in a size 12. Depressed doesn't even begin to cover it.
I'd had my 2nd "ah-ha" moment. This summer I decided I needed to get back on track. I linked up with the Sisterhood and started counting points again. Only, this time, it didn't work. More specifically, I didn't make it work. I was burned out on points and felt horribly deprived by the limited number of points I was allowed each day. I'd do well for a few days, then I'd fall off the wagon. I was exercising again, too, but definitely not at the level I had in the past. My husband and I were training for a 5K (my 4th, his 1st). We ran it in July 09 and crossed the finish line together, with a time I'm not proud of, but a finish nonetheless. Except this time, the weight was not coming off like it did before. Here I was, turning 39, and weighing 165 lbs. Since joining the sisterhood, I've managed to lose 5 lbs. But I was hoping for so much more.

Turns out hoping you'll lose weight doesn't work either! I've decided to bring my A game. I've been exercising daily since mid-December and have been counting calories using The Daily Plate at livestrong.com. I'm feeling more energized and optimistic. We'll see how the scale responds, but like this challenge says, it's not just about the scale. This is a journey. One I've been on really all my life. I need to be realistic. I am never going to weigh 120 lbs, I'm never going to have a 6-pack (hello-twin skin!). However, I can strive to be fit and be the wife and mother my family deserves.
This is me today. I've really come full-circle. 10 years ago, I embarked on a serious journey to lose weight and get healthy. I've hit some bumps in the road, but I haven't been completely derailed. I've just gotten a little lost, but I'm back on track. I'm ready to head into 2010 (and my 40th birthday this summer) as One Fit Momma. "Fabulous at 40" is my goal.

Is anybody out there?

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