Thankful Thursday

I don’t usually have topical posts, but I’m feeling pretty thankful today so I thought I’d chime in.

  • For starters, I’m quite thankful for my job. I work as a Youth Employment Specialist which basically means I put teenagers on jobs through federally funded grants, and help them find their own jobs. I love what I do… when I have something to do. Its very rewarding and I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else. 
  • I’m also very grateful for my mother. She’s awesome. We’re going to Hawaii in three months and I am so excited I might pee myself before we leave.
  • Doctors. Yesterday my bff’s 3 year-old son had a lump removed from his chest and biopsied. It was a outpatient procedure, but they just don’t know whats going on. I am very glad the doctors got all of whatever the hell was in there.
  • Alaska’s 24 hour sun. Okay, so its more like 19 hours where I live, but trust me, 19 is plenty. It makes sleeping a joke during the summer, but you’re so hopped up on vitamin D that you just don’t care!
  • Payday! Within the next week or so, I’ll be buying my madre’s flight to here in September, and then all the major purchases (that I’m responsible for) will have been taken care of!

How to " " in " " days!

I hate those. You know the ones. The “How to lose 10 lbs in two weeks*” or “I lost 25 lbs in 12 weeks*!”

source; plz dont click. You’ll hate yourself later.

*Results vary because we paid and photoshopped these people. But srsly, it WORKS!

They’re so… uninspiring, and yet I always think, “Well, if they can, why can’t I?”

I make up some crazy plan in my head to do the same thing. I pick a day to start and then the next thing I know, I’m eating a carton of ice cream.

Wait, what? That wasn’t in the plan!

Ads, commercials like that always make me feel so lousy about myself. Its hard to explain to people why I never watch TV (like I’m the weird one) but its because we are bombarded with these images on a minute by minute basis.

I want the easy way out of this body I’ve created for myself, but I know it took a lot of effort to get here, and its going to take a lot of effort to get out of here. I’ve finally made that commitment, a true commitment, no matter how many restarts, or setbacks, upsets, or long hauls. One day I’m going to wake up and realize I achieved what I set out to do: lose weight and get healthy. If it takes 10 days or 1000, it will happen.

My plan, the rules, my goals… they’re all the same thing ultimately. They’re going to help lead me down my path of health and weight loss.

Setting smaller goals like:

  • Drinking enough water
  • Eating salad for a week
  • Tracking my calorie intake
  • Lifting weights three days a week

These are a lesson in discipline. I can’t tell you how much I hate making salad at home. I don’t mind eating it, but making it just kills me every time. Tracking my calories sometimes is easier than others. The more I do it, the more little changes like these I make to my everyday life, the easier its going to be to make healthy decisions in the future.

The rules including:

  • Photograph everything
  • No eating in front of moving pictures
  • Be aware of serving sizes and stick to them
  • Find an exercise program and do it (in this case, c25k)

These are a lesson in accountability. I still do all of these things on some level because sometimes I need a little extra accountability. When I started this over a year ago, I had no idea what I was eating, or how much. I wasn’t exercising. I was making decisions based on whether or not I wanted to climb my stairs. That’s what incapable looked like to me, what it felt like. I never wanted to be the person who couldn’t get upstairs in her own house, but I was well on my way.

Me; Whittier, Alaska 2011

My plan is to be healthy, to be capable, and to succeed in reaching my goals, whether they’re completing c25k by August, eating salad every night for a week, or shopping in the all the other stores at the mall.

I have never declared what weight goal I’m trying to attain, nor what size clothing I’ll be happy in once I get there, for a reason. I just want to feel happy and normal in my own skin- to be able to run like the wind, to say, “hey, I want to climb that mountain over there!” and then actually be able to do it. Whether I’m 240 when that happens or 130 or anything in between, as long as I’m living my life to the fullest, then I’ve succeeded.

Friends and Weight Loss

I have two friends. (okay, so I have more than two friends, but for this post, I only have two!)

My two friends are roommates.

One is very active and likes doing things like walking through tunnels and climbing mountains and sweating in general (followed by eating earned calories).

The other likes to wander under the pretense of shopping, actually shopping, followed by a meal full of calories that may or may not have been earned at that point.

Its kind of an interesting experience, and I’ve found that the only thing the three of us really do together is eat. A couple of weekends ago I met up with friend #1 to participate in a race, went home and changed to meet up with friend #2, shopped around at a used book store, grabbed lunch and then later we both met up with #1 to eat dinner.

Before I started on my weight loss journey, I can’t say that I spent a lot of time with #1. We had all the same friends of course, but it always more of group situations as opposed to our own little outings. That has changed now, because I am looking for all sorts of new and exciting ways to move my body and make it sweat. (That sounds kind of dirty, but I like it!)

What I’m finding now is that I’d almost rather spend less time with friend #2 because her lack of interest in sweating kind of annoys me. I understand I don’t necessarily have to spend all my time with either/or, but I would like to do things with her that don’t involve just eating delicious albeit high calorie junk food. I’m not going to let this affect our friendship. There are always healthier decisions to be made, and I’m well on my way to making them. I just wish all of my friends would join me, instead just the one.

That said, I’ll take what I can get.

How do you manage your times spent with friends who don’t enjoy sweating as much (or at all) as you do? Have you noticed a change in your relationship?

The Good Days and The Bad Days

Food wise, this has been a very good week. While I didn’t “count” calories, I know I stayed pretty well within my guidelines I’ve created for myself. I’ve also had a great week of exercise. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I killed it at the gym, Thursday I made sure to get an endorphin release after walking three miles and climbing 400 stairs didn’t do the trick. Tonight is Zumba at the bar.

Today has been absolutely gorgeous. I met one of my friends for lunch at Uncle Joe’s Pizzeria where I had a very saucy piece of pepperoni and a side salad. Afterward we went to get some ice cream. I got a waffle cone double scoop. For breakfast I had a delicious raspberry mocha and cheese coffee cake.

Ultimately, I know I should have made wiser decisions regarding today’s food intake, and I know I say this all the time. What I’m hoping for eventually is that the wiser decisions I make will become more prevalent in the very soon future.

So does that make today a bad day? Only compared to some, I guess. 

Zumba In Real Life

Today has been quite an interesting day, that’s for sure. I woke up super early this morning, and went on a 3 mile walk. I climbed the stairs of doom (which I tried posting to twitter several times, but my phone is a lame) 4 times, for a total of 400 stairs. Then I went home, and could not seem to… relax. Everything, my cats, the fact that I have a roommate, my TV, the windows, the dirty dishes… everything seemed to piss me off.

I decided my endorphin release simply wasn’t high enough, and what I was feeling was just adrenaline, so I turned on Zumba Flat Abs, and went to town for the following 20 minutes.

I felt much better afterward.

I got ready for work, locked my door, stepped out side, and right up the street were 5 cop cars surrounding a a house that had recently placed a sign in their yard that said:

If you steal something from this property, you will be shot with a shot pump. Call 911 for medical help.

So naturally, I was curious and a little frightened as to what was going on. I flagged down an officer who gave me the  OK to go ahead and walk up the street. At the end of the block, my neighbor rode up and explained that HIS neighbor had been dabbling in some substances, and ended up stealing a car. Someone got tazed, chaos ensued, etc.  But at least we’re all okay, right?

This winter I went on and on about how much I loved Zumba, and how it was nearly akin to Avocado (yeah, I went there) but my whole experience of Zumba has been up until now, completely in the privacy of my own home.

I don’t mind going to the gym- I’m there to sweat, and so are you. I don’t mind running along outside, because the generalized other is being lazy in their car.

But dancing? In front of people? I can barely stomach the thought.

A local bar in town has started offering Zumba on Friday nights, before the big rush. Apparently its a big what-to-do because you get to Zumba and drink at the same time. But I’ve never been to a group event like this. I regularly avoid going to bars because I don’t want to have to move in front of people. I am not sure I’m even explaining this correctly. There is a certain level of comfortableness one needs to have in their own body, not to just dance, but to dance in front of other people and I have never gotten to that level.

Luckily my friend Rachel will be joining me, and she’s attended several times before hand, so she has an idea of what I’m about to get myself into.

Its easy for me to feel confident at home, because its the same 4 routines over and over. This isn’t going to be the same at all. I don’t even know what this is going to be. I’m trying not to stress out about it, and hopefully it’ll be as super fun as I expect it’ll be once I get over my anxiety, but I am stressed, and full of anxiety! That’s all there is to it!

What was your first Zumba class, or fitness class like? How do you manage your anxiety in situations like these?

Whittier Tunnel Walk 2011

Entrance to the the tunnel

On Sunday, Fathers day, The March of Dimes hosted a walk through the Whittier tunnel. A fun fact about this tunnel, its the longest combined train/automotive tunnel in North America at 2.5 miles. Whittier started out as a Military outpost during World War II, but to get supplies there they had to drill through the tunnel. In an effort to save time, they started drilling at either side of the mountain, and met in the middle. Turns out they were off, but only by about an inch.

Me and my Friend Rachel

When we reached the visitor’s center, it looked as though they were wrapping up. I couldn’t quite figure out what was happening- where were all the people?! Suddenly a women hollered, “All walker’s on the bus! The bus is leaving now!”

Turns out the walk didn’t start at the visitor’s center, it started about two miles further down the road, at the actual tunnel. Who knew?

Me in my required hard hat.

It was so neat inside. The tunnel was lit at the top, and all sides were covered by netting, and it was kinda wet inside.  (Thats what she said.)

The light at the end of the tunnel

 The further we got in, the more stale the air became. At two points, volunteers were handing out water bottles. I grabbed one, even though I had brought my own. I always bring my own.

Upon exiting the tunnel, to the left.

 When we reached the end, we weren’t really sure what was going to happen next. Did we have to walk back to the otherside? Where were all the finishers ahead of us? Why did it have to be so dreary?

Turns out, they loaded us into the buses once more, and took us into town. Rachel and I grabbed some halibut and chips, and a beer. The thing is about this, the walk was technically free. There was no registration fee. If I had known all that went into organizing this event, I would have actually tried to donate. Next year, I definitely plan to.


We sat at a table for 6 people, and so two others joined us. One was a retired designer, the other a school administrator. We had a fantastic conversation about life and where we came from, death, and of course, bear attacks. 

Me at Portage Lake.

God, I love Alaska.

Saruman the Chatterbox (Rated R for Language)

After a long day of wandering around the mall, I met up with my friend Rachel and we went on a “run” not far from my place of residence. As I was getting ready to leave, Saruman walked in, and I causually invited her. She decided to join in, and after waiting for her to change, we left.

Rachel is a very fit person and went off running at a pace I can only dream about. Saruman and I stayed behind, I wanted to get a longer walk in before I started off running, and she decided to stay with me. At first she seemed surprised at how slow I was going, and kind of made comments about it. “Oh, I thought were were going to go at a full tilt pace” and “this is a lot easier than I thought” “this isn’t hard at all, some people just run really slow, I guess.”

Foul Language Ensues….

I wanted to punch her and say, “bitch, I weigh 300 pounds. The fact that I’m jogging at all is a fucking miracle, now shut your fat fucking mouth before I toss your fucking ass in the ocean!”

Instead I just tried to focus on my breathing and nodded along to her incessant chatter. Usually I’m a good and happy listener, but then she starts saying things like, “Oh yeah, my friend trained me to run 6 miles 12 years ago. I guess I still have my endurance,” and “not much of a runner, hm.” and I take a hit on my confidence because clearly she thought I was more capable than I am.

I’m trying to be understanding and listening and calm and all those things that good people do, and I especially don’t want to start a conflict with her, but dammit, I wish someone would rip out her vocal chords already.


I’m really excited about tomorrow. I have confirmed my plans with Rachel and the three of us will be going to Portage Glacier, the start of the Whittier Tunnel Walk. Its the longest tunnel in North America, and Whittier is one of the most magical places I’ve ever seen. I’m hoping having a familiar friend around will make it easier to be around Saruman. And hopefully I’ll actually be able to post pictures from my last three walks. I know I’m laggin’ on that front.

Until next time, friends.


lI am super excited that it is Friday, and I have a three day weekend. While I don’t have much in the way of plans, what I DO have is a new attempt to get back on track. Solstice is a pretty big deal up in Alaska, as some parts of it actually have a full 24 hours of daylight, so I’m hoping to enjoy some of those festivities tomorrow. I think Anchorage pans out at about 20 hours of light or so, but it never actually gets “dark” those other four hours. More of a twilight blue sky. It has definitely made sleeping the last couple of weeks nearly impossible. Sunday I’m hoping to talk one of my friends with a car in to going to the Whittier Tunnel for the March of Dimes walk. The March of Dimes is having a Fun Walk through the tunnel, and with Whittier being on the other side, I just have to go. Its beautiful there.

Next week I’m going to start it off by renewing my early gym experiences and challenging myself to go even earlier than I used to so I can spend more time there. Hopefully I’ll also be able to convince my supervisor that I need to change my Monday schedule to come in later so I can go to the gym in the morning. What I’ve learned about myself these last two weeks is: If I don’t do it first thing in the morning, its not going to happen. In that, I am a product of my Mother.

I have less than 90 days before I go to Hawaii. A lot can happen in three months, and I intend to make the most of it.
My goals for the next three months:

  • Be more proactive at tracking my food, and trying to stay within a calorie budget being accountable about it.
  • Work myself up to two-a-days because I really want to be the kind of person who does two-a-days.
  • FINISH C25k training, and rock it!
  • Remain uninjured
  • Stop eating out, thus saving ALL of my money since that’s ALL I spend my money on these days.
  • Feel Awesome.

Sweet Dreams are Made of These

Last night sucked. All I dreamed about was my friend who recently died by suicide. Trying to schedule an appointment with her adopted mother. Sitting in a living room with her adopted sister. Having that conversation, the one where the details come out about how it happened. Trying to talk to her brother and save him from himself. Trying so hard to believe she was at peace, but really feeling like she still in turmoil, upset at the balloons released in the atmosphere killing the whales in her honor. Knowing being re-stationed in a town that was unfamiliar, no matter how beautiful it might have been must have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Going home (in my dream) collapsing and crying so hard I woke up with tears running down my face. Falling back asleep and experincing it all over again. And again. And again.