This article was originally written and posted on May 29, 2019. I’m reposting it here for your enjoyment!
My husband travels a lot. A LOT a lot. It is currently May, and he has already accrued 55,618 miles this year. And that’s not including the flight he is currently on, which is coming from overseas and is scheduled to land in about an hour and a half. We have over a million “award miles” just waiting to take our family somewhere exotic this summer (that is, if one of us gets her butt in gear and plans the trip!).
So when Brad got a phone call from American Airlines with the news that he had been granted the coveted “ConciergeKey℠” level by American Airlines, neither of us was surprised. ConciergeKey℠ is a secret level that AA doesn’t advertise, but reserves for the most frequent fliers. We knew about it because several of Brad’s co-workers have achieved this status, but since they don’t advertise it, no one knows how to qualify. One day, they just got the call.
There are supposedly a lot of perks for “CK” but Brad had not seen many of them – until yesterday, that is. Yesterday, my husband and I learned there is another world that exists, and for a few brief hours, he was a part of it.
If you stand in the right place, you can see that the apartment walls don’t go to the ceiling. I guess that’s probably a safety issue.
He had his own personal chef who wanted to make him something off the menu!
My mother had a saying when we were growing up. When we were behaving in a way that was socially awkward, Mom would say, “We’re just country come to town!” with her best southern drawl. Well, I’m afraid Brad was acting like “country come to town” last night, and I was experiencing it with him, virtually!
I could put more of his pictures here, but I think this video does a better job:
I’ve been experiencing writer’s block, in case you haven’t noticed.
That’s not entirely true. I’ve had lots of ideas cross my brain but not enough time or energy to create an actual post from them. So, sort of like writer’s block, only not.
But I have fodder, I have time, and I’ve had coffee this morning, so here goes!
Last night, I went to the mall to make some returns and decided to see what was going on in my favorite plus-size store – the Encore part of Nordstrom. It’s pricey, but I only buy a few key pieces and can usually get them on sale. Anyway, what I really needed was jeans, so I took the size 20W and 18W back to try on since I didn’t really know what size I was anymore. Prior to joining UB, I was wearing some 22W, but they were tight, and I probably needed to be in 24W’s. So I tried on the 20W, and they were a little big. I put on the 18W, and voila! They were beautiful!!!! I went ahead and tried the 16W, and they zipped but were pretty tight, so I decided to wait until I was actually there to buy anything in that size. But then I started trying on tops, and to my amazement, I fitted into 16W on top! I am still in shock – I haven’t seen these sizes – anything in the teens – for probably 9 years.
Here are some pictures I took during my shopping session last night – just for comparison’s sake, I’ve included some pictures from Thanksgiving a year ago.
Looking at the old pictures reminds me of the pain – emotional and physical – I felt during that trip. The 8 1/2 hour flight was the most miserable I’ve ever been in my life, mostly because I was squeezed into my seat like a sausage. Everything we did required physical strength I didn’t have, so I was grouchy and exhausted the whole time. But mostly, I was just sad that here I was in Hawaii, and I wasn’t fully enjoying it because of my size.
So today is Thanksgiving, and I want to say that today I am grateful for UB and what they have done for me. I have my life back – and I owe it all to Trish and Corey, the 8:30 class. You know who you are. 🙂
I have no idea if that is the correct spelling of that word or if that is even a word. I just know that I’ve heard my children say it (kind of like the Marines) and Heidi said it to me at the gym this morning. And it is a perfect expression of how we both were feeling after our workout today: BOO-YAH BABY!!!! FOUR WEEKS ARE D-O-N-E!!!!!!!!!
So. Let’s assess the situation.
20-week membership – 4 completed weeks = 16 weeks left. Eh, not so encouraging. Especially since we are probably looking at TWO 20-week memberships in order to lose all the weight I need to lose.
100 pounds to lose – 5 pounds lost = 95 left. Ugh. Not encouraging at all.
Getting dressed after my shower in my old(er) jeans and seeing them fit more loosely. VERY ENCOURAGING.
Having lunch with a friend at Chili’s without blowing my diet. VERY EXCITING.
Feeling my muscles when running errands today. WAY BETTER THAN EVERYTHING ELSE ON THIS LIST.
Because to me, feeling sore means I am pushing myself. And I have not pushed myself physically in a looooooooonnnnngggggg time. So that’s a huge victory. I could feel myself holding my head up higher all day today, and in general, had a better attitude. So to me, that’s the payoff. Yes, I’ve still got a ways to go, but hey, FOUR WEEKS is FOUR WEEKS!!!
We made it! We’ve survived the bicycling through the mud backward, the double-speed crunches, and lower-ab scissors. We’ve crab-walked and run jogged around that building too many times to count. We’ve lifted weights to strengthen our arms, our abs, our legs, and even our shoulders. We’ve done squats, jumping jacks, squats followed by jumps, lunges, push-ups, full sit-ups, crunches, planks, one-handed planks, and more that I’ve forgotten. I’ve never been so exhausted in my whole life. And I’ve never felt so exhilarated. Something is happening. Something is changing in me, and I LIKE IT!!!!
Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox. Proverbs 14:4
So I’ve been complaining a lot lately about how frustrating it is that I can’t seem to keep up with everything, now that I’m working (that should really say WORKING) out and wearing myself out every morning.
But thank you, Lord, for giving us Oxen.
Yes, it’s true – if I had never joined this gym/bootcamp, I would have more time to do laundry and cook and all those other things. But rather than complain about the lack of time, I want to be grateful that we have a house to keep clean, plentiful clothes that require laundry, and indoor plumbing that must be cleaned.
If we had never had children, the house would be so easy to keep clean. Then again, if it wasn’t for the children, we wouldn’t need such a big house.
If we had never gotten a dog, the floors would stay cleaner. But what would be the point of shiny clean floors if I had no one with whom to enjoy them when I’m here alone during the day.
If I had never joined the gym, I would have more hours in the day, but what would be the point if my energy level just continued to decline over time?
Yes, I’m having my butt handed to me on a regular basis. Yesterday was probably the hardest day of cardio yet. However, I’m going to be thankful that I am still young enough to make these types of changes, and my body is able to be handle the calisthenics without (so far) sustaining injury.
So thank you, Jesus, for all the oxen today. Life would be simpler without them, but oh how grateful I am to have them.
I read in a Flylady email tonight that part of every evening routine should be time to reflect on everything we have to be grateful for. Flylady keeps a gratitude journal, and so I thought I would take a few minutes tonight to reflect and journal on what I am grateful for.
There are, of course, too many things to mention in one entry, but tonight, I am especially for Snickers. She is such a sweet puppy. She is curled up next to me on the bed right now (don’t tell Brad – he’s traveling tonight), and just having her close is such a comfort. I know that my ears won’t be the only ears listening for strange sounds in the house, and she hears much better than I do, anyway! She is so pretty and has such a sweet disposition – especially when she’s tired or sleeping – ha! Anyway, she tops my list tonight.
I’m also grateful to the people God has brought alongside me to support me in this journey to lose weight, learn to eat healthy food, and get in shape. Heidi is my new friend who keeps me laughing during our entire hour together. Well, except when we’re in too much pain to laugh. I have told her – and it’s true – that I couldn’t do this without her. She encourages me, and I hope to encourage her – and I think we will be good for each other over the long haul.
My mom has been another source of encouragement, and I appreciate her willingness to indulge me as I talk her ear off about everything I’m learning. She’s one of my very best friends, and I’m excited that she’s making some of the same changes I am at the same time. I think we can learn a lot from each other.
Of course, Brad is the one I have to thank for helping me make the decision, despite the money it is costing us, and he has been nothing but supportive, even choosing to make his own personal changes toward getting more exercise and eating better. I love him for doing that without me even asking.
Finally, I’m grateful for my boys tonight for the way they say little things to encourage me each day. They ask – and actually seem interested – about what we did in class today. They commented on my new outfit this morning (!). And they offer to give me back rubs and let me take naps – they have just been behind me 100%, and that means the world to me.
Those are just a few of the very top of my gratitude list. I have a feeling it’s going to take all 20 weeks for me to get through everything I’m thankful for! But that’s okay – it beats the alternative! I know because I’ve been ungrateful before, and it’s a miserable place to live!!! (more…)
Halloween offered a bit more excitement than we bargained for this year. As it was our first year in the new house, we were totally unprepared for the – how shall I say it? TOTAL LACK OF PARTICIPATION ON THE PART OF THE NEIGHBORS. In the old ‘hood, by the time the sun was starting to set, the littlest ghosts and goblins were already ringing our doorbell and by the time the big kids were coming around demanding candy, we were running out. And I always buy 3 huge bags of candy, so that’s a lot of kids!
In the new place, the neighborhood formerly known as Christie Ranch (not sure if the name is The Estates now or what), it was well after 7pm before a SINGLE KID ever rang the doorbell. And our 3 bags of candy? We maybe gave away one. Not that I’m upset, since I wisely purchased only my favorites! (Ahhhh 3 Musketeers bars, we meet again for our yearly rondevue!)
So when 7:15 rolled around, the doorbell rang and suddenly we found ourselves face to face with ALL the neighborhood kids – in one very large group! They were like a snowball rolling down the street, collecting kids as they went. Our kids got caught up in the snowball and Brad and I found ourselves racing around the house, locating flashlights, bags, keys – then I went running down the street behind them yelling “Wait! Wait!” while Brad stayed back to answer the door at the house.
Somewhere along the way, Matthew set down his gun. This is not your ordinary storm trooper gun, either. This was his $20 birthday present around which his entire costume was purchased built. So after trick-or-treating down both streets that make up the neighborhood formerly known as Christie Ranch, we realized Matthew was missing his gun.
At this point, we were ready to head over to Ryan and Jillian’s neighborhood since let’s face it, ours was dead. So we headed down Langdon, thinking we could spot the gun on someone’s front porch. In front of about the 3rd house stood four adults, drinking wine and eating Skittles. They said two kids had come by not long after we had and one of them had a white plastic gun that didn’t go with his nerd costume.
Brad knew just who they were talking about since they had come by our house too. They were older kids – one dressed like a gorilla and one like a nerd – and the nerd was talking on his cellphone when Brad answered the door and – no lie – said to the person on the other end of the line “Hold on, I need to get some candy. Trick or treat.”
So we were off like a shot, driving up and down streets, looking for a gorilla and a nerd. It took us about 10 minutes to find them, and when we asked if they had seen the gun, the nerd produced it immediately (which I appreciated since it was hidden in his HUGE candy sack). They could have lied, but how thankful we all were that they were honest, um, nerds and gorillas.
When we drove away, Peter told me that he had been praying for the return of Matthew’s gun, so we talked about how God was so gracious to give it back to Matthew after he left it on someone’s doorstep. In the end, I found it quite poignant that God provided us a moment to teach the kids about Him in the midst of the most pagan holiday of the year.