Archives for May 2012

Mayday, Mayday!

We were out running errands last Saturday: shopping, picking up odds and ends for our upcoming trip, and looking at cargo carriers for my Subaru (yes, we’re officially one of those cars you see on the highway!). I had been feeling pretty great about my weight loss efforts but was still kind of dreading the dressing room mirrors in Old Navy. I was almost prepared to face those darn mirrors, but I was not prepared for walking by one their ginormous mirrors in the middle of the store. Oh my. Ohmyohmyohmy. The unexpectedness of seeing myself like that almost made me crumple to the floor and cry. I know, I know…that sounds so dramatic, but I really don’t like looking at myself from a profile angle because it’s so unforgiving. This huge mirror caught me mid-stride at my least favorite angle and I was just totally caught off-guard. I hadn’t even made it to the dressing room yet and already felt terrible about myself…you can imagine how fast everything went downhill from there.

Looking back, I think what bothered me the most was that I was still frustrated and disappointed with my appearance. I knew that I had been working hard since January. I knew that I was so much stronger, could work out longer, and could run. I knew that I had already lost over 20 pounds. Yet I still let the reflection in the mirror become my enemy. That sucked.

Once again, I vented on Twitter and once again, my dear Twitter friends helped me through this little bump in the road. (There were more responses than this but some are private accounts and I didn’t want to post their info.)

I specifically posted these two responses because both of them really hit home with me. Scribble_Nibble didn’t know yet that the person ‘taking it away from me’ was ME, so reading that really opened my eyes. Jen’s tweet reminded me that I was making progress, and it was good to hear it from someone else. I know that I gush on and on about how much I appreciate my Twitter and blog friends, but it’s true. I do. You will never know how much your support, encouragement, reality checks, and honesty mean to me. <enter group hug here>

I’m sure you’re all crying out of pity for me and you feel so bad that I was sad, but I have good news for you! I turned that frown upside down! I took those lemons and made lemonade! I stopped making a mountain out of a mole hill! (You get the idea.) :)

So here’s a quiz for you, my lovely friends: What did Dawn do when her self-confidence took a nosedive?


Yep, that’s right! All of the above! I felt sorry for myself, I whined on Twitter, I moved on and scheduled workouts, and the next day, signed up for my second 5k. That 5k truly brought me back to normal and reminded me of how far I’ve come. I think I’ve lost my mind since then, because last night – get this –  I signed up for an 8k with my friend Whitney. That’s almost five miles! And it’s in a month! And between now and then, I’ll be on a work trip for a week and have a 3.5 mile mud run! Like I said, I think I’ve lost my mind, but I kind of like this new crazy me.

So here are my questions for you: Have you ever had a sudden drop in self-confidence? What happened and what did you do to turn it around? Let’s figure out how to help each other through the rough patches!

P.S. – Please forgive me for my overuse of exclamation points in this post. :)





Dear Norma, I was wrong

I’ve never been one to shy away those who leave comments disagreeing with something I’ve said. Comments which point out a different way of thinking about things, a different idea or giving me something to think about. In fact, I look forward to comments because there are so many people in the world and I know my way is not always the right way, nor is it the only way.

What I get frustrated at, is when comments are left disrespectfully, with no regard to the fact that we are all humans and deserve to be talked to as adults. It’s okay to disagree, to point out another idea but be civil about it. I cringe at those who comment, sometimes hiding behind the “no sugar not included” tagline and spill their opinions in a tacky, sinister and disrespectful way.

That is not Norma. Norma is a woman who has been reading about my journey for years. I’ve never met her but have gotten to “know” her through her comments. She has never told me what I wanted to hear. She tells me her thoughts, whether it’s in agreement with me or pointing out a differing idea. Sometimes, she gets very candid and blunt but it has never been disrespectful. There have been times when other readers feel as though she’s gotten too close to the line between respectful & disrespectful. In those times, she has handled herself very well, coming back to clarify, not argue. And in those times when a comment-conversation has ignited, she emails me personally and apologizes. Those email exchanges between Norma and I, we don’t pour our entire personal lives to each other but we do bond. We aren’t best friends, but I understand her and appreciate her comments.

I appreciate everyone’s comments – and that is part of the reason why blogging is so important to me. Because of the way comments can help change my life.

A few months ago, I wrote a post and Norma commented. It wasn’t until this week that I realized I need to apologize to Norma. Here is my letter to her.

Dear Norma,

I was wrong.

I had stuck in my mind a pre-conceived idea which I had developed when I was a teen. I don’t remember a specific moment but I just had it.

I hated oranges.

Oh yes, I’m apologizing to you about oranges. For over TEN YEARS, I was adamant they were horrible. Sour. Tart. I had no idea why anyone would them let alone buy a WHOLE FLIPPIN’ bag of them! Ew – citrus! And now? Well, take a look at this:

A couple weeks ago, Carlos put a grapefruit in our shopping cart. I scrunched my nose up and made noises that were un-girly. A few days later, he cut into it and as Carlos often does, he insisted I try it. I declined but…. he insisted. And insisted. And then shoved the piece in my mouth. As I chewed the grapefruit, I realized it was actually kind of sweet – and there was no sugar on it.

Fast forward a week, I found myself standing in the produce isle, staring down the grapefruit. I carefully picked out what I thought to be the perfect grapefruit and dropped it in my cart. I walked around the grocery store, sneaking looks at my little ball of courage, proud of myself. I was going to eat a grape fruit. And I did. I liked it.

The next week, I put a grapefruit in my cart and as I stood there, the oranges crept into my line of sight. I remember the post about oranges, Norma’s comments and somehow, as I was checking out, I realized an orange had jumped into my cart. Whatever. I checked out and later, carefully peeled the orange.

I admit it, Norma.


WHO KNEW?!!! Oranges are amazing! They are so sweet and juicy! Oranges are crisp and perfectly balanced. Peeled and eaten as just as they are or cut up & and served on top of a bed of lettuce and chicken.

And what else? This past Sunday, I bought AN ENTIRE BAG of oranges!

Norma, you were right. Oranges are amazing – and if you hadn’t of commented months ago, I probably would have never tried them. So thank you – thank you for your comments!

Weigh In Week 21

I am always nervous after milestone weigh in’s.  I’m very afraid of suddenly gaining and losing the milestone that I’ve achieved.  This week was no different.  It is true that I have hit 50lbs, which I am so proud of.  But it is also true that it is just a portion of the bigger number I have to lose and I don’t want to lose my way.  Sometimes I wonder if I work myself over nothing, but other times I wonder if it is this concern of slipping up that is keeping me on track.  Either way this week went well enough for me as I posted another loss today.  I’m glad too as my workouts didn’t seem quite as focused this week – mostly due to circumstances beyond my control.

-1.4 Pounds

-52.2 lbs Lost to Date

I am glad to keep the scale moving.  I still live in dread of the plateau.  Even if this isn’t as big of a loss as I’d prefer to see it is still a solid loss and I will take those any day of the week.  Plus I am having to go down some more clothing sizes.  I began in Jan exclusively in 26/28.  I’m now mostly in 22/24 on the bottom with 18/20, but the 24’s are really way to big now.  See, this was yesterday:

Today on the other hand I am in an 18/20 skirt and a 1x top.  And I think I look pretty darn cute too!  Sometimes the progress isn’t so much the number on the scale but how you are feeling overall with clothes and energy and confidence.  All of those are definitely going up as my numbers go down.

And of course I did have a non-scale victory this week too.  I’ve had High Blood Pressure forever but could never test at the grocery store machines since my arm was too big.  This week I got my arm in the cuff and tested it – 114/61.  Which is great and possibly a sign I should head into the doctor to see about getting off my medication.  Medication I have been on for over 10 years.  That will be a big day and I am getting close!

It just goes to show, there is a lot to celebrate.

What are you celebrating today?

Dealing With Cravings Part Two

On Sunday I posted the Tale of the Cheese Popcorn as my first craving story I want to share.  In short, that started with a craving and an ill-advised grocery store trip that ended up with cheese popcorn in my cart.  It was not a planned indulgence of a craving but I still managed to get control over it.  Those are one type of craving – you see something and suddenly you’ve bought it and brought it home.  Then you have to figure out what to do with it.  Or maybe it is saying yes to the “Do you want a bakery item for 99 cents?” question at Panera.  In a moment of weakness you are confronted with a craving and then need to decide how to do damage control.

There is another type of craving though.  This is the kind that lingers but you are strong enough to avoid until you can really satisfy it properly.  Instead of having a moment of weakness you go into a situation planning to indulge in your craving from the beginning.  And so I bring you The Tale of the French Fries

The Tale of the French Fries.

Here is the thing about French Fries.  I love them, but 99% of the time I am disappointed by them.  When you get the perfect batch of fries there is almost nothing better, but that perfect fry is allusive.  It doesn’t matter if it is McDonald’s or some hoity-toity restaurant, I will judge you by how well you can make fries.  The perfect McDonald’s fry – hot, crispy and salty is great, but most of the time they just fail to live up to expectations.  So when I started craving fries I knew that I was going to have to do some work to meet the craving in such a way that didn’t make it worse.

You see, sometimes if I give into a craving and it doesn’t satisfy me I keep searching for the solution that will satisfy me.  So when I am craving fries I don’t want to give in to the craving 4-5 times in order to find the particular fry that satisfies.  Which is one of the reasons that this particular french fry craving I had for nearly a month before I chose to eat some french fries.

Last week I ended up having an impromptu lunch with Erica at a restaurant called Yum! – They have excellent food and I happen to know they have amazing fries.  The kind served in a newspaper cone with aioli dipping sauces.  I also knew that eating a whole order of these fries would completely trash my day.  So there was only one option – split the fries with my friend.

I think that sharing food can be the best way to deal with cravings ever.  First of all you won’t eat the whole thing that way.  Portions are way out of control when eating out, whether it is fries, desserts or appetizers.  Sharing allows you the taste of things that you are craving without the temptation to eat them all.  Secondly, you are not eating alone!  I don’t know about you but eating alone can turn into a binge very easily, especially when it is something that you are choosing to indulge in.  If I was alone at Yum! I wouldn’t have ordered fries because I knew I would eat them all.

Instead, we split the fries and I relished each one.  I used the dipping sauces because that was part of the experience too.  And we chatted and had a great lunch together.  It is always good to have someone to chat and share with and since Erica is working on weight loss as well (100+ lbs lost – GO ERICA) then I know that we were both indulging responsibly.

Best of all is that I haven’t craved fries, or even deep fried food since.  It took care of my craving and I could move on.  So I tracked my fries, and my grilled mahi fish tacos and went back to work satisfied.  That is the biggest thing to cravings – how can you eat it successfully (not going over calories or points) and in such a way that satisfies you.  If I had given in and had drive thru fries earlier I would NOT have satisfied my craving.  Instead it took a place that really had great fries to satisfy me.

Consider a craving you have right now?  What would it take to indulge responsibly and to satisfy you completely?  If you can do those things then why not indulge.  We need to learn to not let food control us, but that also means that we need to learn to listen to our bodies and make good choices about foods that we love.  I don’t think it is bad to love french fries, but it would be bad to eat them everyday.  So I am trying to learn how to indulge cravings well.  As always it is a work in progress, just as I am a work in progress.

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