Sunday, November 7, 2010

Coming into my own...

Still not sure exactly what that is, but I know I am not the same person I was a year ago, or even a month ago. I have lost about 30 pounds since I went to Spain. Every time I have traveled somewhere, I have come home lighter. Can't put my finger on it, but I guess I ate better and wasn't sitting behind a desk all day.

I have lost 221 pounds. More than most of my guy friends weigh. I haven't worn the size I am in right now since I was in high school. I am actually starting to feel good about myself, first time I have ever given myself the right to do that. How sad. Just happy I found out I am worth it before it was too late. Still young in the scheme of things to be miserable and feel so unworthy.

Never thought having gastric bypass surgery would change my life the way it has. Yes, I knew it was a wonderful thing, a tool to help me be a healthier person, but I just didn't realize it would change much more of me on the inside than it has on the outside. I still have moments of crippling self-esteem issues, but they are fewer and farther between now. Still have to convince myself that I do deserve to be happy, that life is mine to embrace. Tall orders from a self-proclaimed hermit/couch potato.

Exercise is my new best friend. Who would have thought the same girl who struggled to walk up the basement stairs from the garage in her own home would be walking 5 or 6 miles now? I love how it makes me feel. Never ever thought those words would exit my mouth. My friend and I just signed up for a half marathon in March. Never thought I would ever do something like that! We are so excited. Plan on walking most of it, and it doesn't hurt that it is in Seaside of all places-who woudn't want to walk along scenic 30-A along the coast-but just glad to think of ourselves as strong enough to accomplish 13.1 miles. Got to start training soon...March will be here before we know it.

Lots going on in my life right now...a little bit of good, little bit of stress and some contentment all rolled into one. Just glad I am in a better place to deal with whatever comes my way.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A few pics...

I am actually finally beginning to tell a difference in myself, physically. Couple of before and after shots.

Today, I had surgery 17 months ago. So I consider myself 17 months old. My life started over that day. So grateful....
Still have some to go and probably some plastic surgery but so grateful to be so far from where I was before.


I've been back from Alaska for a few days now and I am still adjusting to Alabama life. This was honestly one of the best trips I have ever been on. I had been to AK before but did a cruise/tour and it was much different than this trip. We were traveling in groups of 50 vs my group of 12 this time. Much more intimate and much easier to navigate through this vast state. We had WONDERFUL weather. It was so nice that even the Alaskans were shocked! Could probably go back 10 more times and not have the weather we had while we were there. Crisp mornings and that deep blue fall sky with not a cloud in site. It was spectacular.

I had an affair with life while I was gone...did things I would have never dreamed I would do. Lots of walking and hiking--and I survived and didn't huff and puff my way through like I had to in Italy. Getting to know new people and actually enjoying that--usually so shy I tend to keep to myself and be a loner but not on this trip. Made it a point to get to know new people--and have gained wonderful friends in the process.

Took an opportunity to fly back through Denali National Park on a tiny plane. It looked like something you would see in a happy meal. Anyway, I never would have done that in a million years. It was the most amazing thing I have done thus far...

Had someone share with me that it seems I am now I am finding out what it means to be alive. I think I like it. Traveling is such a big part of that. I don't want to stay home now! This is from a recovering hermit. There were times I didn't leave the house once I got home on Fridays until I left on Monday morning. Not anymore.

Hope you can keep up with me...I am not going to stay still long! Next trip---somewhere out west I think. Missing California, want to start at San Diego and drive up the coast. Or maybe Yellowstone, or heck, I may just go back to Alaska. I don't know if I can wait that long for my next trip though so I think a nice beach trip in October is in order.

Happy traveling....

Thursday, July 22, 2010


So I have been back from Spain a couple of weeks now. Trying to settle back in to "real" life. The mission trip was the most amazing experience I have ever had. I can't wait to go back. I miss those kiddos like you wouldn't believe. And we all lost weight while we were there. I lost 11 pounds! Lost a few more when I got home and have now lost 201 pounds. Yeah. Crazy.

I wish I could talk more about Spain and our work there but I can't say much due to security issues, including our exact location. We did a 6 day English camp in a small village and even got to attend the village's Fiesta (much like Carnivale in South America but a much smaller scale) and we saw so many of our kids and they were thrilled to see us. We even did a traditional circle dance that was the pinnacle of that night. I have never felt joy like I did that night. Magical.

Decided to do a list--you learn a lot about people when you spend 14 days with them!

Things I Learned on My Trip
  • The seats on the plane in front of bulkhead don't recline
  • Always get pasta on the plane
  • Rugged, comfy sandals leave weird tan lines
  • You get sun even with SPF 70
  • Spain doesn't like to let cats fly to the US
  • Some people can't eat with their glasses on
  • I took 3000 pictures
  • I can do a devotion in front of 7 other people
  • Round either love them or hate them
  • Spain has amazing pizza
  • Futbol fans are a little maniacal
  • I bought a Espania futbol shirt
  • I can sleep just about anywhere
  • I can do without TV for 14 days
  • I can't do without email, Facebook, or Twitter for 14 days
  • Loved Skype. What an awesome way to communicate.
  • Even the world's busiest airports are deserted at 1 am
  • A/C? In Europe? What's that?
  • All the A/C units must be with all the escalators somewhere
  • 14 days with 5 other people. If I didn't love them before, I can't help but to love them now.
  • I don't speak Spanish
  • The kids for the most part didn't speak English
  • And it didn't matter--smiles and hugs don't need a translator
  • Don't look in the shot glass at a Chinese buffet
  • I wish I was there now
  • I can't WAIT to go back
  • I feel like I left my family behind
  • Praising God for such a life-changing opportunity to serve alongside some amazing people
  • Rocks weigh a lot
  • So does chocolate

My heart is still in Spain. I tear up every time I think about it. I will never be the same!

Monday, April 26, 2010

I've Done a 180...

Yeah, I have done a 180.


I have officially lost 180 pounds.

I know grown men who don't even weigh that much.

Maybe I should find one and try to carry him around on my back all day.

Then I could really see (and feel) the magnitude of what I have lost.

Thankful for being given this gift.

Just plain thankful.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Surely it hasn't been that long...

Yikes! I can't believe I hadn't written since August. I guess that is a testament to how busy my life has been since then.

I did get moved over to my new position at the church and I think I am finally getting settled. I felt like I was brand new, that I had just started at the church. I was doing two totally different jobs and I won't sugarcoat was a rough few months! I had all these new responsibilities that really stressed me out. I still love my job and I love the guys I get to work with everyday. I love being back over at the main building, though I sure miss my youth buds. Makes it more special when I do see them though.

I had really come close to losing some friendships due to me not putting anything into them. I am happy to say that that isn't true anymore! I have had so much fun getting to know all these folks again and getting to hang out with them.

Still working on the house...will it ever be finished?!? Doesn't seem like it. The list seems to get longer and longer.

I celebrated my "surgiversary" on February 19th. I can't believe it has been over a year since I had my surgery. I am glad to be 176 pounds lighter. Still have a ways to go but I am so glad to have come this far. I have discovered I have no spring clothes. Time to hit the thrift store. I am so blessed with wonderful friends who spent this year encouraging me, loving me and giving me hugs and pats on the back...I couldn't have done it without y'all! I went back through all my emails from that time around my surgery and I just sat at my desk and cried. It was overwhelming. I am going to try to upload some pictures...

March 12, 2010

February 18, 2009...Night before surgery

I was so miserable. Inside and out. Now I am within 5 pounds of the weight on my driver's license! :o Now I have to get ready to bed since daylight saving's time is kicking my tail. I HATE it.

Peace out, bro.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Good Times

We celebrated my sister's birthday last night...had a wonderful time. I have been trying to get them to eat with us at Fox Valley for years and we just never made it happen. This year, Alison mentioned going so I got us all together to go for her birthday. Mom and Alison, who aren't big seafood eaters, trusted my judgement on Fox Valley's famous crab cakes and ordered steak and cake. Dad loves crab cakes so I knew he would love them. Well, they all cleaned their plates. Alison was even trying to get to the sauce on my plate! If you haven't been to Fox Valley, I highly recommend it. A great date place since it's a tad pricey. Everything you put in your mouth makes your eyes roll back in your head. It is that good. I went with one of my best friends right before I had surgery as my "last meal" and I think I ate enough for three people. I have had just a crab cake since and did very well with it so that is what I ordered last night. Delish. Anyway, I will now get off my shameless plug soapbox.

We all came back to our house to open presents and play some Wii. Alison brought her controllers so we could easily play with four people. Dad wanted to watch so mom, Alison, Mark and I started a game of bowling. I have done well with bowling until last night and I stank! Mom was hysterical. She never really learned the technique but it didn't matter since SHE BEAT ALL OF US! I wish I had a video of her bowling. I came in 2nd, Mark 3rd (so he still has yet to beat me) and the birthday girl was last. Dad took Alison's place in the 2nd game and mom was determined to beat him! She is so competitive but won't admit it. I did better the 2nd game and actually won, mom came in 2nd and I don't remember who came in last. We had so much fun! Alison and I decided to play tennis and she smoked me. Twice. We had some good matches though. One lasted forever. We are pretty evenly matched. Wish we could play more often!

I am so blessed to have my family so close. Mark's family isn't too far away either and I wish we saw them more than we do. I don't know what I would do without our families. I hear so many sad stories of estranged families and I am so thankful we both have parents and siblings that are such a huge part of our lives.

I know I talked about moving in my last post...and I still want to! We are trying hard to get our house ready to put on the market. It still needs so much work but Mark and dad have worked hard to get it to where it is now. New floors, paint and light fixtures have already brought it into the 21st century! We just got vinyl siding and new windows and it has really added a lot of curb appeal. Still have tons to do, though. Hoping the housing market will pick back up. I want to live on some land which means moving north of town. We will be closer to both our families so I am hoping we can make that happen in the next couple of years. I really want a garden--I love fresh vegetables and I would love to spend summers canning veggies and fruit preserves to enjoy throughout the year. I inherited that from my grandmother. We canned many jars of tomatoes when I was growing up. I miss those days! I gave Alison my last jar of pear preserves I made last year and she proclaimed them as liquid gold. Made me feel like a million dollars! I made four jars of peach preserves earlier this week and it really got me in the mood to can some more stuff. The pears on our (neighbor's) pear tree are ready so I think I will tackle that soon!

But for now, time to relax and enjoy my Saturday...hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!