Project Finish Line: Shit’s Getting Real

Why is shit getting real? 

Because one of my three goals has proven itself to be in the stage where I can settle or dig deep. 

Not an ounce came off this week. Not. Even. One. 

   Last Week’s Weigh in

This Week’s Weigh In

Yes, yes, I know – it’s the holidays, we’re all eating a bit more crap, and thank goodness I didn’t gain anything. 

But that’s where goals get into trouble – they get into trouble at the place between comfort and complacency, the place where you find out if you would prefer something to change or you demand that it change. For me, it is time to recommit to this self-imposed challenge, to not accept mediocre but require my desire to be reality, to dig deep and through relentless focus on the execution of my goal believe in the sheer force of my indomitable will to succeed. 

When you see results like this after three months, when things look just fine, how do you recommit?

Remember me mentioning in The Genesis that I looked like a pork loin in shrink wrap in one of my Goal Dresses? Well…this is Goal Dress 1. With room to spare!

I decided to see where my Goal Dresses were fitting. Goal Dress #1 zipped up so effortlessly I nearly busted out the pom poms and threw myself a victory party!!!

But wait. 

There was still…(cue ominous music)…Goal Dress #2. 

Goal Dress #2 was worn in my tattoo & piercing shop days where I was the illustriously titled Shop Girl (read: clean, organize, fetch coffee, look pretty, use cleavage as the primary accessory, flirt shamelessly, and sell, sell, sell). This was sometime between 21 and 22 years old. 

And 20 pounds ago. And it was extremely form fitting even then. 

So on it went. 

Well…let me be clear. On it went AFTER repeatedly buttoning the screaming buttons; on it went after buckling the belt in such a way that said buttons were less likely to pop off and imbed themselves like shrapnel in one of my dogs; on it went after sucking in certain parts of my voluptuous anatomy and standing in such a way that I could stand in the mirror, snap a selfie, and not run back out of the room to cry into a gallon of ice cream. 

And the results were thus: 

It’s on. That’s progress. But progress is NOT the goal.

Not as flattering from this angle. A little more real. And it wasn’t all that flattering in the first place. Eek.

Yep. THIS is how you recommit. 

You remind yourself that, although we are all beautiful as we are at any moment in time, there are few fashion statements accentuated by fat rolls – back fat, belly fat, that wierd fat that somehow gets stored as psuedo-chicken wings right under your armpits and above your bra strap…

Goal Dress #2 WILL FIT AGAIN. But it’s gonna need some help. Like…at least another 10-shed-pounds of help. 

Adequately inspired, I knew I needed help. How can a girl sculpt quickly? How can we shed fat when we, the fairer sex, are intended to store fat for some mysterious childbirthing purpose? I’ve been at this for three months and am only averaging 4.5 pounds lost a month (that 1-ish a week for those keeping track). What’s the secret? Is it diet and nutrition? More cardio? Less? Weight lifting, dirnking more water, endless crunches, zero carbs, no fat, body wraps – what?!?!? 

So I went to the font of all knowledge to ask my question and throw myself on the mercy and counsel of – you guessed it – social media. 

Thus far I’ve heard: more cardio, do situps, keep eating healthy. 

Ugh. 

Fine. 

I’ll get through this week as a holiday slacker (though a gym-going-mostly-healthy-eating-slacker), because I also believe goals need to incorporate a dose of kindness and reality in order to succeed, and then I’ll buckle down even harder and strive for 2 pounds lost per week, only one controlled cheat day per week, commit to 5 days per week in the gym, and add a sixth where I can. Honestly, five is hard for me given my job, but this WILL happen! I want my body back!!!

That’s where I’ll leave it for today, kids. You’ll be hearing from me again soon as I have the week “off” (off meaning not in the office, but on call and chained to my email as always…), and thus I hope to provide a sneak preview to my inaugural novel. 

I may also be sharing a bit of information on a fourth goal added to Operation Finish Line…

Here’s wishing you success in anything you wish to acheive. 

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Project Finish Line: Finish Line Friday! (On Sunday)

How can a Finish Line Friday be on a Sunday, you ask?

Because I weighed in on Friday morning and it’s taken me until this fine Sunday evening during a very stressful Seahawks football game to sit down and catch you up. 

This week was another week of life happening – totaled car, late night meetings, trouble with the boss…I’m feeling pretty beat up. Happily, progress towards my goals continues.

 

Goal 1 (Size 8 by August 2015) met with limited success, although one more pound down is one more pound down. Two days in the gym (ugh – so sad), but a decent week of nutrition got me there. And may I please remind us all I started at 167 lbs. My last Size 8 days saw me at about 140-145. Eight-thirteen (what I suspect will be very hard won) pounds to go…

Week 8 Weigh In


Week 9 Weigh In

I’ve also started working on pursuing a passion that may translate into more exercise – Roller Derby! 

When I was a kid I loved to skate (roller blade, really), and the good thing about being curvy is you have a lot of weight to throw around. What better marriage of my natural talents than strapping on eight wheels and…well…throwing my weight around? 

It will also give me a chance to release some pent up aggression and my naturally competitive nature. Perhaps Seahawks football will become less stressful. ūüėČ

Now if only the Denver Roller Dolls or Rocky Mountain Roller Girls would get back with me.. 

Goal 2 (Finish My Novel) got little more than a few passing thoughts from me this week. I’m quite stuck as I near the end, but I plan to take the week of Christmas off from work (we’ll see if that means I am actually off or just not in the office), and at least one of those days (and probably a few nights) will be spent click-clacking away on my lap top fueled by the fervent hope that someday I’ll get to print my “masterpiece” and finally have completed something tangible. 

And, finally, Goal 3 (Go to Europe in 2015)…You may recall last week I was feeling a bit unsure of this one. Is it the right thing to do? Shoouldn’t I be 100% focused on paying off debt? Can a girl this buried by loans of every variety and trapped on the hamster wheel of working to pay bills instead of working to live my life truly, in good conscience, spend the next 8 months paying off a credit card just to rack up the charges all over again by taking something as frivolous as an international vacation?

  Southern Europe – Suggested Route

 

I’m still waffling. 

But today…today, I think yes. Today, I think I must take this opportunity before it passes me by and is gone forever like so many other missed chances I should have taken. 

My poor husband got to experience one of my random almost-meltdowns over the stress of our debt – brought on, I suspect, by a combination of holiday expenses, a newly replaced dishwasher, a totaled car, the recent loss of a dear friend, some new personal experiences, and a bad work week – and was subjected (and dealt with gracefully) to a rant inspired by my reading on Dave Ramsey’s book. 

God help the man who marry’s a passionate (Aries) woman who reads.  

In fact it’s highly likely that you’ll be seeing another Emo-series post from me sometime this week, but don’t worry – I’ve got a much less self-indulgent DIY piece coming soon as well. ūüėČ

 

So another week down, and many miles to go before I sleep. 

Feel Unpretty Too

I’ve been on¬†a little bit of a journey recently. Okay, longer than that, but if I get into all the details of my journey it will end up being a How I Met Your Mother 10-season situation, and ain’t nobody got time for that. So we’ll call it recently, as in like the last two months.

It started when I signed up for a six week “fitness transformation” competition. After spending the months of June-October physically, mentally, and emotionally abusing myself at work (my job is…complicated…), taking a break over the holidays, and then subsequently finding myself in a near-cataclysmic-depression at the thought of returning to work, I decided I needed to take some kind of action – no matter how small.

So for five weeks now I’ve been eating green smoothies for breakfast, sticking with lean proteins and veggies for the rest of my meals, and participating in a cross-fit-like group workout three times a week. And let me tell you, I LOVE it. Minimal weight-loss, no visible differences (that I can see), but it just feels good, dammit. It’s made me feel a little more confident and happy about taking care of myself.

But, inevitably, the typical life stuff has continued to occur around this, and in the last two weeks I’ve really found myself giving into insecurities. This is pretty typical for us all, right? Right. So why did it take my husband saying, “How is it possible that one person/event/comment do this to you?” to get me to really recognize just how stupid that is?

What he meant was that I seem to be this larger-than-life badass, seeking and achieving success, impressing (some) people at work, making friends, leading a humble but incredible life, always up for adventure, and fairly consistently emerging as the natural leader in any group. I go to my workouts and beast through them like a champ, stick to my nutrition plans, start loving myself enough to get a little selfie-obsessed, start receiving tons of compliments, and then… A single person, an off-hand comment, a minor event (that of course I obsess over and ultimately overthink into a much bigger deal than it is until it starts festering and chews me up from the inside out) sends me into a tailspin.

Loving my job, my life, my appearance, the person I’m becoming is suddenly turned into feeling incompetent, second-guessing my career, believing I’ve been consistently lucky and not deserving, wanting botox & a boob job, and shaming myself for eating dessert because my cellulite-encrusted fat ass does not deserve chocolate cake! What am I? A pizza-faced 14-year-old? Have I developed adult-onset bipolar disorder?

This is frustrating to me because, as we all know, I value logic. If you weigh the hard facts, there’s no reason for me to be so insecure as to allow a few individuals or minor stressors to tear down the very¬†fabric of my self-worth. So I did what I do when I get obsessed (and, yes, this is the third time in one blog I’ve used a variable of the word “obsess”¬†– I’m obsessive; you’ll get used to it) and I took to Google to research.

Turns out, according to Psychology Today, I’m not bipolar or regressing to my teenage-angst-phase, or even all that unusual. I’m just a narcissist.

“As humans, once our basic needs are met, much of our conscious and unconscious behaviors are meant to make us feel loved and valued. But this love and value can come from external or internal sources. Internally, the source of love and value is self-esteem. And externally, this love and value tends to take one of two forms ‚Äď either the long-term reinforcement of the self that comes from good friends, family or a committed relationship, or the short-term benefits of narcissistic behaviors in which we seek attention, admiration or adoration. One is a cure, the other is a band-aid. If enough of your external validation comes from attention, it can become an addiction ‚Äď a dependence on the affirmations of others in order to feel a sense of worth.”

Ouch.

I may not go out “seeking” attention (I’m actually something of a crowd-avoiding introvert. Unless alcohol’s involved. And, c’mon, who can’t say the same thing when alcohol’s involved?), but I definitely seem to let the external forces dictate much about how I feel about myself.

Ugh. You’ll have to pardon me – I’m a little grossed out by myself at the moment.

If this was one of my girlfriends talking to me I’d be inclined to slap the shit out of her (I’m sort of a tough lover) and then hug her and stroke her hair and tell her how amazing and kind and beautiful she is (because I’m also pretty sympathetic and nurturing at the same time).¬†We are ALL beautiful – really! I actually believe that. I love to watch people – maybe it’s that introvert in me; I tend to be an avid observer. And I have been fortunate enough to observe beauty – real beauty, not the airbrushed, over-pornographied version of beauty that suffocate magazine stands and music videos – in many forms.

I remember vividly a moment in high school when a senior guy was walking toward me and spotted his girlfriend. His face lit up, and when he hugged her he really hugged her. He wrapped his arms around her, closed his eyes and inhaled her sent, and smiled this amazingly contented smile that I didn’t think teenaged boys were capable of. That was beautiful.

I’ve seen the wide brown eyes of a curious little Iraqi girl who couldn’t speak to me but wanted to know everything about me; I’ve been in a roomful of¬†friends and strangers¬†singing Don’t Stop Believing on¬†karaoke night; I’ve¬†been lost in the¬†contrast of icy blue eyes¬†in the ivory face of a boy with dark hair; appreciated the luscious curves of a full-figured woman with tattoos; adored the¬†strawberries-and-cream complexion of my niece when she was just a baby sleeping on my chest; longed for the intimacy and lasting love of an eighty-year-old couple still holding hands as they walk down the sidewalk together; seen the kindness of a good heart behind the eyes of a horribly scarred woman in the checkout line at the grocery store.

This and so much more I’ve experienced, and still – for me – I can’t simply have a good heart, or do good work, or be in an amazing relationship with the sweetest, most¬†attentive man on earth. I have to do all that AND have the unanimous approval of everyone else around me, no matter how much or how little they mean to my life.

And that. Is. RIDICULOUS.

So what to do?

Well…I haven’t decided yet.

But it feels like it’s time for an experiment. One based on sound logic and factual information that will recondition my brain to stop being such a needy little bitch and start auto-reinforcing the badassedness that makes up the woman I want to be.

Stay tuned.