How YOU Doin’?

Well.  So here we are again.  Me, at my computer.  You, well, wherever you are.  It’s destiny.  Either that or the internet – I’m not sure which.

So I actually wrote a blog post on my iPad while putting on my make-up and drying my hair today (I’m an excellent multi-tasker), then came over here to post and it and discovered that hey!  I wrote almost the EXACT SAME POST about a month ago!  So I was hit with a dilemma – do I use the old post or the new one?  Of course, being the recycling hero that I am, I knew I couldn’t just throw out the old post.  I had to use it.  So here it is – then I’ll tack the new post onto the end.  See?  Now you get to read the same boring stuff TWICE!!!  Bless your heart.

Well, here it is anyway – written January 21, 2013 and saved from the “drafts” folder:

Hi.  It’s me, Britany.  I mean, it’s really me.  Not a copy of a post I wrote back in September – I’m actually writing a REAL blog post!  In case you haven’t been paying attention, I’ve been re-posting my blog posts from September that I put on a different site, in order to sort of catch everyone up on this whole boot camp thing I’ve been doing.  So far, you’ve read all the way up to September 16th.  Which means what you are reading is pretty far removed from reality.  And since I have stopped writing posts on the other blog (my intention was to consolidate the two here), I think it’s time to be honest about how I’ve been doing now that we’re halfway through January.

The short answer is not great.  It’s been a really tough month and a half.  See, from the time I started working out until early December, I hardly missed a day.  That meant I was exercising 5 days a week and being held accountable for what I was eating every day of the week. (Despite not being at the gym Saturday or Sunday, on Monday the trainers randomly pick from Friday, Saturday or Sunday and you have to be ready to read off everything you ate that day).  But in early December, Brad got sick – really sick – with what our doctor labelled a “flu-like virus”.  He then told us that the flu wasn’t here yet (our pediatrician said he was wrong) so he didn’t actually test Brad.  I got a milder version of it from him, then one of the kids got sick so in the end, I was out two weeks prior to leaving on our cruise December 22nd.

After 2 weeks of dealing with sick people, all my resolve to eat well and exercise on the cruise went out the window.  (I did try to run on the track once, and actually accomplished 2 miles of darting around people taking pictures from the most scenic place on the ship.  I think it was something like 17 times around equaled 1 mile. And there was a mini-golf course in the center of the track, so it was like running the school track during a football game.  Not my cup of tea.)

I thought I would get right back into the swing of things upon our return, but in the car on the way home from Galveston, Samuel started having coughing fits that were so bad, he even threw up at one point.  So we got back on Saturday and were at the doctor bright and early Monday.  This time our doctor said Samuel had the flu – even though he said it was pointless to test him since his symptoms matched.  He was sick the entire week of New Year’s, but since Brad was home, I was able to get back to the gym three days that week.  However, I didn’t have my food because, if I’m completely honest, I didn’t want to admit that I was not back on track with my eating yet.  We didn’t even make a trip to the grocery store until the kids were back in school!

(Corey, our trainer, gave me grace the first day I told him I didn’t have my food.  The second day I did 50 push-ups and the third day I did 100.  By Monday, my food journal was up to date and ready to be checked!!!)

With the kids back in school, I was ready to really get serious about losing weight again.  Then Matthew got strep and was out for 3 days week before last.  Last week, the nurse sent him home from school with similar symptoms but the doctor said it was allergies.  Still, I missed a day for that.  And finally, last Thursday Brad came home from work sick – again – and this time tested positive for the flu.  Yesterday, Samuel started running a fever and that brings us up to today (we have an appointment for him this afternoon.  They want to see him because his fever was spiking at almost 105 in the night.)

Honestly, I think the last time we were all this sick was when Peter started Kindergarten.

Regardless of how sick we have been or are going to be, however, the bottom line is this: I’ve been using it as an excuse to eat whatever I want.

If you’re wondering why it ends so abruptly, see the part where I wrote Samuel had a 105 degree fever.  In case you’re wondering, he had the flu as well.  Then I got it. And then I slept and so I don’t remember much except that I haven’t been exactly stellar at working out and eating right.  Which brings me to the post I wrote this morning:

I have something to confess.  I have been avoiding you.  Not you literally – I’m actually not even able to tell who you are.  McGee on NCIS would know everything about you, down to when you took your first step and where you were when you got your first kiss.  All in the time it takes Gibbs to say “McGee!” and McGee to answer “I’m on it boss.”.

But I digress.

What I was trying to say is that I have been avoiding the blog because I don’t want to admit out loud that I’ve fallen off the UBS wagon.  UBS, for those who may not know, stands for Ultimate Body Studio – not Unlimited Boy Solutions, like I first thought.  No, I didn’t really think that.  I actually couldn’t remember the name at all for the first few months.  I have always just called it the gym, because my mind can usually find that when searching for it.  UBS is too hard for it to dredge up usually.

I’m clearly still avoiding. {Deep Sigh}

Here’s what happened.  I joined, with a real goal in sight – our Princess cruise over Christmas 2012.  And I lost 20 pounds plus a lot of inches and gained a tremendous amount of energy and confidence.  Then I came home.  And found myself without any kind of goal, and a whole lot of sickness in the house.  Then the sickness left the house, but I didn’t start back at the gym regularly.  And I didn’t start eating right at all.  I just couldn’t seem to make myself care.

I mean, the trainer/owner of the gym, Ron Lyons, keeps telling us to imagine swimsuit season, imagine being at the pool, etc. And I’m all like, really?  Because the only pool we will be visiting is the community pool, and I couldn’t care less who sees me in my swimsuit there.  It’s usually just some neighborhood kids swimming unchaperoned anyway, even though the sign CLEARLY STATES children are not to swim without a parent in the vicinity – and sitting at your kitchen table drinking sweet tea is not considered in the vicinity!!!  Just had to get that off my chest.

Also, I don’t mean to seem ungrateful but after I lost 20 pounds, I sort of stopped and thought about all that HARD WORK and began to wonder if it was really worth it.

I mean, yeah, sure I climbed that RIDICULOUSLY TALL pyramid in Belize, and conquered a major personal fear in the process (climbing a pyramid in front of a bunch of people watching.  What?  Did you think I was going to say heights?).  And yes, I wore my swimsuit in front of a LOT of people on the ship when I took Samuel swimming one day.  That was all nice, but was it worth it?  And what if we don’t go anywhere or do anything this summer – which is totally normal for us.

So it has taken some time and introspection, but I think I’ve found my true reason for going through all this pain everyday.

Simply put, it’s because I’m supposed to.  I can’t explain all the theology behind it – well, I could actually, but it’s not important – but for me, it’s about simple obedience.  One foot in front of the other.  Once choice about what I’m going to eat.  Then the next one.  One step, then another, never worrying about all the other possible things that could happen or question all the whys every day.  It’s just. about. doing. it.

So, with that, I’m going to commit to you that I will try – really try – to be honest and keep a better record of what’s happening with all that in real time here on the blog.  I will consider you my accountability partners.  Whoever you are, wherever you are and despite where you were when you got your first kiss. (Mine was standing before God and man at the altar on my wedding day.  Not really, but I can pretend.)

So.  There it is – the good, the bad, and a whole lot of ugly all laid out for you to read at your leisure.  And so I will end this with one final thought.  I had my cheat meal yesterday, so I can’t have another one all weekend long.  And now that I’ve put it here, I have to stick by it.



Those Are NOT Tears of Joy

[Originally posted on 8.30.2012]

I heard it would come to this.  They warned us during orientation.  They said the tears would come, and I figured “Yeah, for some people.  But I just don’t cry in public.”

I cried today.  In public.

I’m guess there were somewhere between 10-15 women in our class today.  And we started by going around the room, reporting our food from yesterday.  I was at the very end.  And when they got to me, I had to make a snap decision: do I lie, or do I tell the brutal truth?

Let me backtrack for a moment.  Yesterday was the first day of my cycle, and I was in immense pain.  On top of that, Brad is traveling this week, and won’t be back until tonight.  I have handled the first week of school for all 3 boys, plus started this ridiculous 20 week boot camp.  When I got home from doing those arm weights yesterday, I took a very hot bath, then fell asleep with wet hair for some amount of time – I’m not sure how long.  When I woke up, I actually felt much better.  So I went to the kitchen to have lunch, and just couldn’t face having tuna fish again.  Since I had not yet been to the grocery store, I had no fruit, no vegetables (except the frozen variety) and very little in my pantry that would count as healthy.

Then I spotted the half-eaten bag of Tostitoes w/lime flavoring.  My absolute favorite.  I remembered the half container of refried beans in the fridge and I made a decision.  Forget Ron Lyons, forget exercising, forget all that.  I’m having a plate of home made nachos.  And as long as I’m blowing it, I’m drinking a can of Coke from the case I purchased that’s in my fridge.  And when I was done with all that, I ate the rest of the bag of Tostitoes and drank a second can of Coke.

About middle of the afternoon, it began to really sink in that I was going to have to find a way to deal with what I did.  So I decided just to call it my “Cheat Meal” for the week.  I can have anything during my cheat meal, as long as I eat it in one sitting.

By evening, I noticed something: I felt guilty about what I had for lunch.  And the feeling was so familiar, what caught me off guard was the realization that I had not felt that guilt for the first 3 days of this week.  And it was the first 3 days in recent memory that I did not feel guilty about what I ate.  I’m sure there was a time when I ate healthy and didn’t feel guilty, but I can’t remember it.

So then I had to go face the music in class.  By the time I arrived this morning, I had overslept my alarm, woken up in a panic, rushed to get the boys ready for school, then couldn’t get the garage door to close, couldn’t get in touch with my husband, who has been out of town since Sunday, and finally figured out how to close it manually in time to just make it to class by 8:30.

They started at the opposite end of the room, then worked their way around to me.  I was the very last person to share what I ate yesterday, so I told about breakfast and then said “Lunch was my cheat meal” then skipped to dinner. But I was informed that we have to share our cheat meal, so I read off what I had, including the two Cokes.

I heard several women gasp audibly when I said I had 2 Cokes yesterday.  Seriously.

Next, Trish (trainer) asked if this cheat meal was planned, and when I said “no” she said that it’s not how it works.  You can’t cheat, then just label it our cheat meal because then, before you know it, we’re having 2 or 3 cheat meals per week.  So she told me I was going to have to do 25 push ups.  When I (honestly) told her I didn’t know that, she let me off the hook – this time.  The girl on the bike next to me said she had to do 100 push ups last week for eating a cinnamon roll and something else one morning.  Then she said if you cheat too often, she will make the entire room of women do the push ups (!!!!).

I was so humiliated.  I wanted the ground to swallow me whole.  I wanted to disappear and never reappear.  But it was time to do cardio.

Trish was in the military prior to having this job, so we had a “military-style workout” this morning.  It started with warm-up on the bikes, followed by 90 push ups.

That’s right – I said 90 push ups.  After doing arm weights yesterday.

I got to 30 and thought I was going to die.  I hit 40 and by then, most of the girls were done.  When I got to 50, I was done.  D-O-N-E.  But no, at that point, several of the girls got down with me and asked me what number I was on.  Then they waited while I did 51, and they all did it with me, counting out loud.  Then 52, and so on.  Everyone was shouting encouraging words at me, but that only made it worse.  I wanted to disappear.  It was humiliating, so humiliating.

And so I cried as I finished 60, then 70 and finally reached 80 (I think).

No one noticed the tears since they mixed with the sweat dripping off me, but it was one of the worst moments of my life.  It ranks right up there with those days in P.E. in 7th grade when I would be the very last person running around the track.  Even Elsa – a fat girl (and I wasn’t fat in 7th grade) – beat me when we ran.

Now, don’t misunderstand.  I appreciated what those girls were trying to do.  It’s just that I HATE to stand out.  And being on that floor struggling to push myself up (and I was doing these modified, on my knees) while everyone watched was just…awful.

After class everyone kept saying “Good job” and “Keep it up – it will get easier” and “Everyone struggles in the beginning”.  It was all I could do to keep from yelling back at them all “SHUT UP.  SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP.”

As I said in my last post, these are very nice women.  Who else would get down and do push ups with me just to encourage me?  But sometimes it feels like they are from a completely different planet from the one I live on.  Like I’ve been transported to a different world, where the people are not just a different race, but an entirely different species.

It’s almost 1pm, and I’m better now.  I’ve had my tomatoes and avocados for lunch (threw out the rest of those re-fried beans) and you better believe I’m not going to make the same mistake I made yesterday twice.

Next time I blow it, I’m going to lie like a dog.

I Only THOUGHT I Knew The Definition of Pain

Standing in the San Diego airport

[Originally posted on 8.30.2012]

The word “pain” has taken on a whole new meaning today.  I don’t know if I have ever hurt this badly.  In my entire life.  Ever.  Even during childbirth.

Of course, I had an epidural during childbirth, so that doesn’t exactly count.

Maybe I should say, while I was recovering from childbirth.  In between doses of Vicodin.

Which makes me wonder…do I still have any of that???  ‘Cause I’m seriously going to take some if I do.  I don’t know if I can sleep otherwise.  I’m afraid I will scare the dog when I wake up screaming in the night the first time I try to roll over.

And if it’s not enough that every muscle in my body is currently crying out in pain, I also went completely off my rocker at lunch today and ate a plate of nachos.

Question: How am I going to convince Ron and the others that I believed it was healthy?  “Why yes, I thought canned re-fried beans were a good source of protein!  And all that cheese?  Well, it’s got calcium in it!”  Even if I could say that with a straight face, there is just no way around the tortilla chips.  And the two cans of Coke.

Yes, I’ve blown it, and tomorrow I’m going to have to confess it to everyone in that group.  All those skinny girls with their iPhone apps to track calories and fat and protein and fiber.  I want so badly to hate them.  Except most of them are super nice.  They were calling out all kinds of encouraging words to me and Heidi during cardio on Tuesday.  Here we were, hardly able to move out of their way in time and so out of breath we couldn’t say a nice word if we wanted to (and we didn’t) – and they were cheering for us like we were on a team or something!  Watching them bounce from the bike to the floor and back up again was one of those things I wouldn’t have believed if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.  I mean, they made it look easy.  I want to make an hour of push-ups/sit-ups/biking through mud look easy.

But for tonight, I just want my body to stop cursing at me.  And I want to go to bed and sleep until the pain stops.

Corey (trainer) said today that people who work out like this for a while, then take a break, dread coming back because they remember how much it hurts that first week.  And one of the girls who stopped to talk to me afterward said the same thing – one week off and when you come back, you really feel it.

Hearing them say that reminded me of something a friend of mine wrote on Facebook.  She said during her “transformation” as they call it, her favorite quote was “If you are tired of starting over, don’t stop.”  I like that.  If I don’t want to have to start all over again…I can’t stop.  I may slow down sometimes, but I can’t just stop without knowing I will have to face this kind of week again.

And oh, for the love of all things sweaty, I NEVER want to go through this again!!!!!!!!




[Originally posted 8.29.2012]

Took the kids to their first day of school, then drove straight to the new workout facility. Got there in time to see that 1) The previous class was running wind sprints, followed by push ups, then more running, etc. 2) The big man himself – Ron – was our trainer for the day.

I was literally shaking when I exited my car. Ron was here? It was supposed to be Trish! Ron will know – he will KNOW – that I’m afraid and he will push me because of it! He said so himself! Ron will also know that I’m fudging on what I claim to have thought was healthy!

It was like showing up for a test and realizing you forgot to study the really critical part.

Worst. Feeling. Ever.

It turned out okay since he skipped the food (whew!) and went straight to weights. It was “leg day” so we found ourselves trying to compete for machines (we being me and my new BFF Heidi) and pretending to jog around the building.

The strange part happened as I got into my car after it was over. I turned on the music and cranked the a/c and started just singing at the top of my lungs on the drive home. I was just so stinkin’ happy. It felt like Christmas and my birthday all rolled up into one day. I came home, put Snickers on a leash and took her for a walk. I still don’t know what possessed me to do that. I just wanted to be outside, praising God. Then I took a long, hot shower and began getting dressed for the day.

As the day wore on, the “endorphin high” – I suppose that’s what it was – stayed with me. I think it was about Noon when I started to notice I was crashing. And crash I did. I went from practically jogging around the house doing one thing after another, to staring blankly at the kitchen, trying to remember what I was supposed to do next.

I was able to revive somewhat when I went to pick up the boys, but by dinner time I was sucking wind. I have a miserable headache I haven’t been able to knock and even though it’s only 10pm, I’m in bed and ready to go to sleep. I probably could’ve come at 9:30. I’m just so exhausted. That’s a good thing, right???

I Finally Thought Of A Post

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!!!!