Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What If?

I'm admitting it.  Lately I've been thinking about how hard I've been working off and on and how little weight I seem to lose.  It's a struggle to keep going recently.  I can't figure out why.  I seem to be doing the same things over and over with no different result.  It makes me wonder if it's all worth it.  Oh sure, I'm proud of the muscles I'm growing and the working out that I do.  I'm proud that my pants from 2007 riding season fit me again.  I'm proud to be in an XL shirt instead of women's sizes.

This weekend I took this picture of Pete:
Pete heading up the hill at Ft Snelling to where his parents are laid to rest. 
Look how skinny he is!  And yet, when he reads off the BMI chart, he is still considered obese.  He now fits into a size 36 pants.  At his heaviest, a 48 was very tight and a 50 fit okay.  I look at him and I have to admit that I wonder what it would be like to have the gastric band.  I wonder if I would be able to drop weight easier and actually keep it off; instead of doing this 10 pound drop & gain circle I've been in since January.  I wonder if I'd qualify.  I wonder what my life would be like afterwards and if I'd have the same experiences as Pete.

If I'm honest I've wondered all these things for the last month or so.  Secretly.  On the inside.  This weekend Pete seemed to be able to read my mind.  He can see how much I'm struggling.  How much I want this thinner me.  And he asked me what is holding me back from seeking out the band.  My number one response is fear.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of the surgery process (I've had some bad experiences in the past).  Fear of what my family would say.  Only when he asked, I told him that thinking about having it made me feel like a failure.  And as soon as I said it I realized that I had insulted him.  I had spent months telling him that he was not a failure and not to think of the band like that.  Yet, here I was admitting that this is how I would feel.  I felt instantly bad.

We ended up in a long conversation about it.  Nothing was decided and I haven't made an appointment to seek out the surgery.  But it's still back there.  I'm starting to think that it may be an option for me unless I can figure out a way to change and see some results.  I'm thinking that I need to give myself the summer to work out and eat and re-evaluate my status come the end of September.  Time to figure out all the what ifs.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pete & I

Since I missed the weekly Pete thread I thought I'd update you.  He's fluctuating between being happy with how the band is and thinking that it needs tightening.  Last weekend we went to a restaurant and split a meal because neither of us needs to eat a whole meal.  Halfway through Pete's meal he felt a little full.  He took another couple of bites to see what would happen.  Sure enough he was overfull and in agony.  He's figured out that there is a little spasming of the esophagus when he is getting full and he needs to listen to that.

Today he announced that he was 4 pounds up.  He's is upset and tends to think in the here and now instead of the overall picture.  So he has plans to exercise a lot and measure his food for the next week and see what happens.

Me?  I lifted weights yesterday because I didn't get to it earlier in the week.  Today it hurt to put my deodorant on because my pec muscles were sore.  Too funny.  I tried to jog today at the gym and it just wasn't happening after my weights yesterday.  My legs were tired.  So I walked and kept my heart rate in the fat burn zone for the 45 minutes. 

As for food, I purchased $60 in fruit & veggies at Costco yesterday.  No chocolate, crap or snacks.  My plan is to keep eating fresh, clean foods as much as possible and keep doing what I'm doing.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Boredom Equals Eating

I work in an office.  I'd say an average of 85% of my day is spent in front of my work computer, at my desk.  It's a great set up.  I have 2 wide screen monitors for the work that I do.  I have a great lamp over the two monitors that lights them out nicely with no glare.  I have a computer desk that lets me adjust the height of my keyboard and the angle of it.  I have an ergonomic keyboard and a trackball mouse.  My chair is blue and it also adjusts the height, the angle, whether it rocks back and the position of the arm rests.

Next to my computer desk on one side is my windows.  I'm on the third floor and I look out into a yard on the campus.  It's filled with leafy green trees (currently), green grass and other buildings.  The window sill is filled with various things:  pictures of my nieces/nephews and Pete and I, a greeting card or two and a big box of tissues from home.

On the other side of the computer desk is my desk...uh desk.  I have a digital picture frame with lots of pictures on it.  I currently have a 3 wick lilac candle that reminds me outside.  I have a 3 tier mail sorter for the documents and mail that I go through.  I have a tiny toy motorcycle that Pete gave me when I passed my motorcycle test.  I have a few rocks from up north that Pete and I collected on our first "trip" away.

When I sit at this set up I work on computer files and in a database unique to my agency.  As I said, I sit here about 85% of my time during most weeks.  The other time is spent on different floors or in different offices consulting with coworkers. 

2 weeks out of every 90 days I spend in another office.  I meet with clients and therefore do so in the main office.  When I am in there I must remind myself to eat.  I have no desire to snack, even if my day is slow.  My office however, is a grazing buffet.  I have red licorice, almond thin crackers, Kashi granola bars, oatmeal (usually used for breakfasts), some canned soups, english muffins (again breakfast), orange marmalade and peanut butter.

I just realized today that I graze at my desk when I am bored.  Not hungry.  Bored.  I wonder if this is why it felt better and I had better success when I was eating 6 small meals a day?  I always felt like I was snacking and that's what my brain expects when I sit in my office chair.  At any rate I need to figure out a way to retrain my brain not to snack.  Unfortunately we don't have a kitchen or eating area other than our meeting room on another floor.  That room is sometimes booked so I can't utilize it.  I need to eat in my office if I want to eat at the office.

Any suggestions?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Still Learning Lessons

Yesterday I spent an hour on that treadmill.  It's getting easier, but not much more fun. 

After getting my Target errands and then grocery shopping done, I headed home so Pete and I could hit the gym.  I was determined.  I set the treadmill at 60 minutes and started in.  At the end of the 6 minutes I texted Pete the following:    595 cal, 1 hr, 3.75 mi.  In other words, I burned 595 calories in 1 hour and went 3.75 miles.  On the way home I remarked how I had not only jogged for 3 minute intervals, but pushed myself to run at a 5.5 for a minute.

That's when Pete unknowingly told me my day's lesson:  It's not fun, it sometimes hurts, but you have to push yourself.  I realized he's right.  I spend my time on the treadmill thinking that I'm accomplishing a lot and pushing myself because I run or jog a few intervals.  Yet when he said that I realized that I could certainly push myself harder.  Much harder.

That  minute at 5.5 was hard.  But I did it.  Now I wonder if I can do a minute at 6?  I can jog 3 minutes at 4.1, but can I do more?  I can run a minute and and half at a 5, but can I do 2 minutes?  What I'm doing certainly hurts at times, but it doesn't leave me exhausted.  It doesn't leave my legs shaky and knowing that they worked hard.  I know, deep in my exercising soul, that I have been cheating myself lately.  I need to push harder and see what happens.  I need to do the random minute a t a 6, 7 or 8 to believe in myself and my ability to work hard. 

I can't wait for the gym tonight.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I Am An Addict

For years now I'd read articles and watch programs about people who were food addicts.  It was interesting to see and hear their struggles.  But after each one I'd sit and think that it just didn't apply to me.

I was wrong.

I think I've finally figured out that I am an addict.  An Addict to and unhealthy lifestyle and that includes my eating habits.  It's not in my nature to always eat healthy, always eat 1500 calories, never eat sweets...  It's not in my nature to get up every morning at 4:30 to head to the gym and exercise.

The good news is that after my wildly emotional start this week, several people have pointed out that while these things don't come naturally to me, it doesn't mean that I can't practice doing them.  I may struggle with them, I may dislike doing them at times, but I CAN do them.

I've been to the gym 4 out of 5 days this week.
I've been tracking my food since Tuesday on my SparkPeople app on my phone.
I've been drinking more water each day.

Since Tuesday I've made better choices.  Not perfect choices and that's ok. I'm not asking perfection, I'm asking for continued daily attempts.  My calories (1800, 1700,1600 respectively) have been getting better.  My exercise could be better and that's what I'll shoot for next week.

But the bottom line is that I am an addict to an unhealthy lifestyle.  As with any addiction, there will be relapses, temptations, cravings, starts, progress and struggle.  It's a natural progression and I need to realize that it's ok and keep going.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Therapy

I think I had the perfect storm take me over on Tuesday.  I was hormonal (more than usual), frustrated, upset, angry and a whole host of other emotions.  I went home and cried to Pete.  I needed him to listen and just be.  He kept asking me if I was going to snap out of it.  Not meanly, but matter of fact.  I tried to explain that I was overly emotional and I couldn't just snap out of it because of the hormones.  But true to nature, he is a man and really doesn't understand all that.

So yesterday I did what any hormonal girl would do.  I rode this for a few hours:

Roxy, The Harley Sportster

I went into work early, put in 4 hours and went home.  Pete and I got on the bikes and rode for about 200 miles.  Wind blowing through my hair (which I regretted this morning trying to comb out snarls in the shower).  Sun on my face.  Stevie Ray Vaughn, Johnnie Lang, Santana, Johnny Cash, Bon Jovi, Doobie Brothers, the Eagles and Bob Segar playing through my speakers.  Lush green grass, blowing trees, noisy cars, other bikes, flowers in front yards and lilac bushes blooming.  I took it all in.  And I Breathed.  Deeply.  And amazingly all my stress and worry and frustrations were forgotten.

Me; After riding, happy...windblown and sunburned.
So my therapy is my motorcycle. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mid Week With Pete

Pete had his band tightened last Friday.  He's up to 9.5cc out of a possible 11cc.

He experienced his first issue on Saturday.  We were at a motorcycle club event and lunch was served.  He went through the line first and loaded up on potato chips, beans and took 2 brats.  This is what he would have eaten last summer and had no problems.  Instead he got about 1/2 of the first brat down and had to get up, go outside and walk around.

When I went out to see him, he said that he was overly full and it hurt.  He admitted that his eyes are still thinking that he weighs over 300 and he needs to retrain them.  So this is where the band comes in.  He understands that the cues it's been giving him are indicating that it really DOES work.  He spent a while walking around Saturday and didn't eat much the rest of the day.

Sunday I made really moist chicken and veg for dinner.  He ate slowly, chewed well and stopped at about half of what he would have otherwise eaten.  No problems.  His plan is to take half of what he would have taken before, eat that and evaluate where he is at.

The band is working!  And he's down to 238.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Sabotage

I currently have 2 packages of red licorice (one home and one at work), 1 package of mini Reese's PB Cups (home) and 1 package of PB M&Ms (work) in my possession.  As you can see I really set myself up nicely, huh?  Wanna know something else?  I have 1.5 bottles of Sprite (which I really dislike) in my fridge at home with prepared frozen limeade.  And let's not forget the package of low fat Chocolate Chex Mix that I ate in 2 days.

And as I picked M&M's out of my work bag yesterday to put them back in the package safely, I realized that I had really self sabotaged myself.  I went out an purchased things that were comforting for situations where I felt I'd be bored or uncomfortable.  I purchased junk because I thought I deserved it for some reason that I now cannot remember.  No wonder when I weighed myself Saturday morning it said 240 (although, it is my up time of the month also).

I thought about it long and hard on my way home.  Then I made a meal of grilled hamburgers and grill fries.  No junk, but not as healthy as it could be.  But I just couldn't leave well enough alone because I made strawberry shortcake for dessert.

And my honest admission is that I didn't get up to go to the gym this morning. 

Basically I'm saying that I suck.  I suck big time in the journey that I started. 

I'm frustrated.  I can't seem to get back on track with working out.  I can't seem to get my eating back to what it was.  I cannot journal to save my life.  And the thought of tracking food again seems overwhelming.  I'm upset that my weight is not going down.  Yet, I can't or won't do something about it.  And I can't figure out why.  I think I have some answers, but really I know nothing other than I like to eat and dislike working out.  I can't decide if I need a break where I don't worry about working out and eating and then get back to it or if I just need to make myself do it and struggle through whatever it is that is disrupting my journey.

I need help and I don't know where to go for it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I hated every minute

Pete helped me make sure that I got up this morning for the gym.  We headed there in a sleepy fog and picked out treadmills next to each other. 

I walked, ran, jogged for 40 minutes and I HATED EVERY MINUTE OF IT.


I know it will get better again and I'll look forward to the gym, but for now I really dislike it. 

The only good thing - I realized that I don't need to go from walking to running.  I know that this is going to sound stupid...  When I started with my trainer I had been fast walking on the treadmill at about 3.5/3.6 for 40 to 60 minutes.  She developed a plan for me to use slow walking to warm up, fast walking and then running at a 5.  So from then on I'd walk fast at 3.6 and then put one minute of running at a 5 in here several times in the 30-60 minutes I was on the treadmill. 

Last week it occurred to be that I didn't need to go from walking to full out running.  I could jog.  This was such a revelation to me.  Silly as it sounds, it never occurred to me to not go from walking to full out run like someone was chasing me.  I can walk at at 3.5, jog at about 4/4.1 and run at a 5.  This is what I am hanging onto.  The fact that I can put a 1 minute full out run in but also 2-3 minutes of jogging also. 

I hope the hate disappears soon.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ten In Two

I apologize for not posting late last week.  I was fighting a migraine, behind at work and like sucked me in.

I have been trying to be more open in my relationships.  To practice being vulnerable and letting myself sit within it.  Reminding myself that it's ok to be uncomfortable.  I dislike the uncomfortable awkward feeling.  I think that's what I hate most about being vulnerable.  The feelings that come from it whether it's a good feeling or a bad feeling.  But I'm working on it.

I am tired and I can't figure out why.  Is it the late spring and the fact that I'm not outside enjoying life like I usually am?  Is it because I'm not working out?  Am I over scheduled?  It's to the point that my alarm goes off in the morning, I turn it off, fall right back asleep and have no memory of my alarm when I wake up later.  None.  I think I need to set my alarm across the room to get myself up.

After talking about this with Pete I decided that my immediate goal was to get to the gym 10 times in 2 weeks.  And my reward was the Harley dealer charm from Zylstra for my charm bracelet.  The charm is $25 so it's not a huge amount of money, but it's something that I want and can't justify just buying right now.  So by Memorial Day I should have 10 gym sessions in. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I hate to be vulnerable

I feel like I'm becoming more introspective with trying to lose weight.  Like I have the whole process down on how to lose and how to eat and how to exercise.  Yet something stops me.  Since I have the physical things down, some of it must be mental.  The whole idea of using mentors was a big thing.  I realized that I need to take the experience that others have and use it.  That's why it's there.  I'm still in the midst of reading Ashley Judd's biography and it's giving me more insights, almost as though she too is a mentor of mine, from afar.

It dawned on me (while reading her book) that I don't like to be vulnerable.  I'm the person who doesn't make really good friends, but has a lot of friends.  I don't jump in head first to a party, I hang back to see what's going on and figure out my place first.  I generally don't say Hi to people first, I let them say hi to me and then reply.  I walk with my eye's down and look up only after I've passed a person on the street.

I remember as a kid (maybe 10?) my Dad was trying to find something for a gag gift.  He explained to me what a gag gift was and that he was going to look for broken fishing tackle.  I went with him to the basement to check out his tackle box.  Nothing was broken so I suggested that he break one.  He said no and made a comment about how that would be pretty dumb.  I immediately got embarrassed and ran upstairs to my room.  When he came in I was hiding in my closet.  He explained that he didn't want to waste money doing something like that.  I remember feeling dumb.  I remember the feeling so vividly that it floods me again now, writing this.  And while it wasn't my Dad calling me dumb, that's how I took it and the damage was done.

Have I ever told you all that I was 5'6" by 10/11 years old?  I towered above the other kids in elementary school and was made fun of.  I was the first girl to wear a bra and got my first period when I was 11.  My shoe size was an 8 at 11 years old and my Dad called my feet "gun boats".  I wanted to disappear into myself as a tween.  I realize that my Dad didn't really know what to do with a tween girl or what impact his words would have on me as a tween, teen and adult.  But the damage to my confidence and self image was done.

I say all this not to imply that my Dad was a horrible man.  He cared about us, but I think that both he and my Mom were ill prepared to be parents and didn't know how to ask questions themselves.  But what came of it is that I realized as a kid and a tween-ager that I didn't like being vulnerable.  I can clearly remember thinking that I'd do it all by myself and hated asking for help.  I'd never open up to my parents about issues that I was having, I kept it inside and was very emotional as a child/teen.  I learned to hide lots and lots of things so that I didn't appear vulnerable, even if I was.  When I think about it there are examples that jump out at me at every stage of my left that support this.  I still don't like to ask questions because I may appear dumb.

How does this effect my weight loss?
1.  I don't like to ask for help.  Yet I NEED help to succeed.  The mentor thing?  I need to know what worked for other people, what didn't work and get ideas for myself since I clearly don't know the path I should be on or I'd never be this weight.
2.  I think I use my excess weight as a costume to hide within.  I'm safe from being vulnerable and out there when I'm heavy because I fade into the background.  No men stare at at heavy woman, that's all for thin women.  Employers don't expect much of me because I'm overweight.  If I was thin I'd have a lot to live up to.  Reality is that people are going to stare at certain people no matter what.  Employers don't think I'm competent based on my dress size.
3.  I don't didn't like working out at a gym or taking classes.  People stare at you at the gym.  Unlike the real world where they stare at the thin people, in the gym everyone stares at the overweight person trying to work out.  In reality, I stare at everyone at some point while I work out.  I'm bored and people watching is a way to pass the time.
4.  I don't didn't like shopping for healthy food.  Everyone stares at the woman buying the low fat/no fat items and judges you, thinking that the items must not be working.  No one cares what you eat!

I'm sure there are other ones.  I'm sure that if I sat down in a quiet place I could come up with at least 30 additional reasons. 

I'm also realizing that the inability to be vulnerable has negatively effected my personal relationships.  I struggle sometimes to be vulnerable with Pete, thinking that he would judge me harshly if I was really that open and honest.  When in my heart and my head I know that he wouldn't.  But my initial instinct is to protect myself.  Sometimes I cry when I tell him things and he smiles and tells me I'm silly for thinking that he would judge me.  Sometimes I think I test his love for me by not following through on something that I should just so I can prove myself right and say, "See you were vulnerable, look what happened."

In fact, just writing all this out makes me both anxious that I am opening myself up to the public about my insecurities.  My breathing has quickened and my heart is beating and I feel all hot and flushed.  Yet I also feel somewhat free in knowing that I will hit publish and one of my secrets is out there.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

My Journey With Mentors

Have I told you that I read? A lot? Growing up I was the kid who had a book everywhere. I'd read anything, anytime. I remember reading in front of a fan on a warm summer day in my living room. I remember laying in my bed reading all night, secretly. I love books for the knowledge, the escape, the mind challenges and the relaxation. When I'd go to our condo in Arizona, just out of college, I'd read constantly. I'd buy 6 books and pack them in my suitcase to take with. While I was there I'd buy another 5-6 books to read the rest of the 10 days. Once I ordered books online to be delivered to the condo so I wouldn't have to pack them.
Currently I'm reading Ashley Judd: All That Is Bitter And Sweet. I'm about 1/3 of the way through it. She is currently talking about meeting Archbishop Tutu and how he was and still is such a mentor to her.  She talks about how he was one of the people who inspired her to activism while she was in college at Kentucky State. 

Although we are born alone and we die alone, mentors are important in our lives and if you look, you see them everywhere.
  "...they have gone ahead to where we have not yet been, perhaps not even in out dreams, and they look back at us with the love born of wisdom, grace, mercy and compassion to give us hints as to have our own experiences with integrity."
I have to admit, that up until now I thought the whole mentor thing was hokie.  A bunch of crap.  It felt like a parent who wanted to control you.  I'd get paired up at different jobs with a mentor and I'd resent that they thought they knew more than me and could teach me something.  I'd get the opportunity to work with someone on a project, but not listen to their experiences because I knew it all.  But when I read her words it was like a light bulb went off.  I realized that I have mentors everywhere and that it's natural.

My motorcycle mentors are Pete and the motorcycle club.  My work mentors are the agents who I work with.  My cooking mentors are the blogs and recipes that I find online.  My weight loss mentors are the bloggers that I read every day.  MY life mentors are my Grandmas and my family in general.

I read a lot of blogs in addition to my books.  For well over a year I've been reading PriorFatGirl.  And I think that what I like about her as a mentor to me is that while she helps me find my way, she readily admits that no one way is perfect.  She admits that the mistakes she's made are natural and ok for me to make.  She leads the way, but doesn't demand that I follow her exactly.  I've seen it with TwelveInTwelve also.  She's human and on her journey and shows you her way, but doesn't demand that her way is the only way.

I was so humbled reading those words in Ashley Judd's book.  I realized that for all these years I've had so much knowledge in my path, but I haven't been taking advantage of it.  I'm now going to take full advantage of those who have gone before me. 

Friday, May 06, 2011

234 and A Plan

234.  Which means that despite note working out and eating not so good, I can maintain.  I don't now how, but I can.  I need to figure this out.

Back to the gym this morning with Pete for a kettlebell class.  It was good to work out again.  I miss it when I don't do it.

My Plan
I wrote in my journal last night.  10 minutes worth.  Easy.  My plan is to recommit myself to going to the gym at least 5 days a week.  That means I get 2 rest days if I need them.  My plan is to drink more water.  At least 75 ounces at work.  I can do this.  My plan is to eat better and that involves planning out my lunches and any snacks each day for work.  My plan is the journalling to see if there are any patterns.  30 days in this plan - mid June.  I can do this. 

Do you have weekend plans?  I do.  Tomorrow we are getting together with my family for Mother's Day.  We're going to have make your own shish-ka-bobs on the grill with yummy veggies and some bread.  Then I'm making banana cake for dessert.

Sunday is the first event for our motorcycle club.  An ice cream social about 30 minutes from our house.  Mother Nature - could you please let us have no rain and some sun?  Riding in the rain sucks.  Thanks.

Thursday, May 05, 2011


You know how some couples have a second marriage ceremony or a commitment ceremony after a while of being together?  Well I'm recommitting to myself.  I've had some health issues this winter that made me start and stop my working out.  I've had some health and busyness issues that prevented me from planning out good meals and snacks for myself.

Today I am shouting from the rooftops; "NO MORE!!!!"

I'm recommitting to myself to start working out on a regular basis.  I'm recommitting to myself to eating better and planning out my week so that nothing is left to chance and I take the easy way out with food that is not good for me.

I'm leaving work soon because of my weird schedule this week.  My plan is to go grocery shopping and do some prep work for menus so that they're easy for Pete and I.  My next plan is to create a contract for myself for the next 30 days.  I don't feel the need to challenge myself persae, but to commit to myself to resume the things that I know, deep in my soul, are good for me.  One of those things is going to be that I set a timer for 10 minutes before bed to journal my day. I'm not looking at this as a goal setting session for the future, but just a confirmation of what I was regularly doing and to make it a habit again.

I need this as much as I needed Chicago.  Chicago reminded me just why women friends are important in life.  This will remind me why I'm important in my life.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Mid Week With Pete

Burn out.

For the last week Pete's had a hard time exercising.  It's not coming easy and he is losing interest in the battle that he's been waging for the last 7 months.  This is usually about the time that he gives up, stops exercising and starts eating more.

The good news? 

He's got the band to help him through.  He's got the band to help him relearn how to maintain his weight.  He's got the band to learn how to eat successfully and be healthy.  This is the time that he'll really figure out that the band was a good idea.

The bad news?  He had to go back on his blood pressure pills.  The initial decrease in his pressure is gone.  His pulse is still in the range of a daily runner, but his pressure is up.  So he's back on them, only in a much much lower dosage.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

My Lack of Emotion

I spent an emotional weekend in Chicago.  The days leading up to it were busy and I was always running.  I don't think I had time to really think about what was going on.  In fact I think I spent the time leading up to is purposely busy and filled so that I wouldn't have to think about it.

Friday morning I was up and out the door by 4:30am.  Halfway down 494 to the airport I started crying.  The enormity of what was going to happen caught up with me.  Only I stuffed it down.  I made myself think happy thoughts and continued my drive.

When I got to Chicago, things were so spur of the moment that I was caught up in a whirlwind of following along and going with the group of 10 other women.  We did some touristy things like Navy Pier, walking in downtown Chicago and eating at Harry Carey's.  And still I did not let those emotions overtake me.

Friday night there were stories about Traci, the friend we lost.  There were stories about us and our seven years at Internet friends.  There were stories of how we saved each other, supported each other, loved each other and told each other the hard truths.  And I laughed and smiled and listened, but did not really feel.

Saturday night we had our memorial to Traci.  We each placed something in the time capsule.  We each sprinkled in some of her remains and planted a tree in her name.  And there were tears.  Lots of tears.  I shed a few, but not proportionally enough in relation to the situation.

I am struck by how powerful a group of women are.  Some of whom have never met in person.  Others who see each other regularly.  I'm awed by how much a part of my life they are and yet this is the first time that I've hugged them.  I'm amazed at how 11 women can come together and exist and be with each other when the relationship started online, continued on line and has existed for seven years.

And yet, I am saddened.  I feel as though I was so caught up in the whirlwind of it that I was never fully present in the moment.  I am saddened that for some reason I felt like I couldn't sit in my emotions.  I am upset that I didn't fully participate to the best of my ability.  And I am dumbfounded that I cannot figure out why I was like this.  Why did I not remember to fully live within the moment?  It's what is so very important to me in everything, why did I not do it?

And the bigger question - Why am I not living my life in the moment and giving myself the okay to feel the emotions in the situation and however they manifest on the outside and BE OKAY WITH IT?  I feel as though I need to figure this out to move forward with everything in life.  My relationships, my weight loss, my love, my family, my work...

This is my new challenge to myself.