Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Biggest Loser & Me - My 2009 Goals & Inspiration

Looking back on 2008
It's really funny to me just how much a TV show has affected my life. Those of you that know me are probably rolling your eyes and thinking "Really Rachel? You are a TV JUNKIE!" And that is 100% completely true...I love my TV. I love my shows. I have had TV nights with two of my friends in the past. Wine & food included. I LOVE LOVE LOVE reality TV. But for me, it's an escape...a way to release my own problems/stress/issues and engage myself in others! I have a friend that I text with on a regular basis to discuss the pros & cons of Speidi, Bromance and who's being the biggest bitch on The Hills. It's great to watch other peoples lives and think: Glad that ain't me!! But as much as all those shows are an escape for me, the Biggest Loser is my reality. It is in every fiber of my body, it affects what I do on a daily basis - the choices I make, the way I feel, the motivation I have. Everything. Season 7 started last night. The season that I auditioned for. The season that changed my life. MY SEASON. And as I watched it last night, I cried. Pretty much through the whole thing. Not because I was sad that I didn't make it. Not because I was angry that these people got the opportunity I would have died for. Not because I was jealous. I cried because the people on the show are inspiring. I cried because I saw myself in those people. I cried because I heard my thoughts coming out of their mouths. I cried because I realized that THIS is the path I've been searching for my whole life. There's this kid - 19 years old and 454 lbs with a life expectancy that won't exceed 30 if he doesn't make some changes. And he's making them. Why? Because all of a sudden reality dawned on him. The way reality dawned on me. We are all the same. They are me and I am them. And the Biggest Loser is changing our lives....whether I'm on that ranch with Bob and Jillian and healthy food to choose from or at home doing it on my own with tons of temptations facing me life is forever changed. Thanks BL....I owe ya one!

Things I'm looking forward to
*I start a new boot camp next Monday. Two days a week for six weeks. I'm stoked.
*My company just approved another round of the Biggest Loser Contest here - this time it'll go all year with quarterly prizes. I'm heading the committee.
*My friend Carisa got me into a Biggest Loser Contest that is run by someone she knows - we paid into it and will win money if we win it....and not a little bit of money....the last round they did had a pot of upwards of $1,000.
*Carisa and I will also be participating in a Lifestyle Makeover through our chiropractor that starts on 01/31/09 and that will have a pretty cool grand prize - like a trip to Disney World.
*That I'll be in New Orleans in less than two weeks

Things that make me happy
*Waking up at 4:30 in the morning to be at the gym at 5
*The girls meeting me this week and working their asses off
*My recent shopping spree (two-three sizes down) that got me $1500 worth of clothes for a fraction of the cost
*Being chosen to work on a big project at work starting in February
*That it's less than two weeks away until I go to New Orleans
*That I maintained my weight during the holidays
*That alcohol is no longer a good friend of mine
*That I have been smoke free for 19 weeks. That's almost five months.
*That I've been (mostly) alcohol free for 23 weeks. That's almost six months!! (I drank at my Christmas party and on New Years Eve.)

Things that inspire and motivate me
*A 20 year old bikini (Read it right...NOT a 20 year old IN a bikini)
*The girls meeting me this week and working their asses off
*Another shopping spree
*Florida in April
*My family
*Boot Camp

2009 Goals
*Reach my goal weight
*Wear a bikini
*Run a 5K
*See great results for the girls that have been working with me
*Strengthen my relationships
*Be the very best I can be

Word of the Year
I'm TOTALLY stealing this idea from another blogger - instead of making a resolution, she is focusing on a word to incorporate into her life...a word to strive for, to achieve, to define....and I fell in LOVE with that. But I have two words.....and they are:

I want to release the weight, release the past, release the hurt, the anger, and the pain that I have been holding on to. I don't want to just be a healthier person, I want to be a happier person. And I will never be completely happy until I release all the bad that I have been holding on to like a security blanket and face the reality of my life. My life is good but I can make it better.

I am making an effort to make forgiveness a part of my life. I am going to forgive myself for the mistakes I've made and the mistakes I'm still sure to make. I'm going to focus on forgiving the ones that have hurt me in the past, and the ones that will hurt me in the future.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Team Challenge - Race for the Cure

So I participated with my friend Carisa and her parents in the Race for the Cure in Denver this weekend. It was going to be a team challenge but we couldn't find Judith and Jen couldn't make it. Regardless, it was so worth it!! This is the first time I've ever done something like this and it was so much fun. As I looked ahead of me, behind me and all around me, it was a sea of pink - there were over 60, 000 participants this year. It was amazing to see the diversity of people participating. Men, women and children of all ages and races. Survivors walking in celebration of their victory against cancer as well as in memory of their loved ones that lost the fight. There were a lot of people that had pink "In Memory of" or "In Celebration of" signs pinned to their shirts...fathers, brothers, uncles, nephews, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, friends....all walking in memory of someone or in celebration of someone. I saw one lady whose In Celebration of sign had at least 10 names. Although it was inspiring to see she knew so many survivors, it was also so sad to realize the many friends she's come close to losing! It was definitely an experience I'll never forget and one that I look forward to participating in again.

Some of the things I found totally cool were:

*Different types of music all along the route. LIVE BANDS in most places.
*Middle School & High School Cheerleaders along the route cheering everyone on - cheers of I AM THE CURE and high fives to all passerbys made me feel like I was accomplishing something with every step I took.
*The route goes through neighborhoods and there were tons of people watching the 'parade of pink' - taking pictures and just cheering us on.
*Cars passing underneath us (part of the route was on an exit from the highway) honking to show their support.
*The music being played! Sheryl Crowe, Melissa Ethridge, U2 to name a few.

The one thing I didn't find cool:
All Women 5K Race: 7:00
Co-Ed 5K Race: 8:30
Family 1 Mile Walk

I participated in the Co-Ed race....and there were children of all ages....some carried, some in strollers, some walking until they got tired. I didn't expect that since the FAMILY WALK was at 9:30. I was irritated - I know, I's a good cause and I should be happy that there are so many people participating. And I was. But....the Family Walk is named that for a reason...that's the one that you should participate in if you want to include all your children (this is mostly directed at the people with children under the age of 10!!) Anway - that's my only complaint. My goal is to RUN the 7:00 race next year and then volunteer for the rest of the day.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Releasing and The Sisterhood of the Traveling 2 Milers

So some of my girls and I went on a little trip this past weekend. Andrea and I like to call it the Girls Weekend Mountain Retreat....we rented a house in Divide, CO - well, it was actually halfway between Divide and Cripple Creek - that was very secluded, tucked into the valley surrounded by trees and mountains. The leaves were changing colors and looking back, it seems so appropriate and somewhat poetic to have been there at that time - since I am in the process of changing my own colors. Was it Cyndi Lauper that sang about it....I see your true colors shining through.....

It's funny how things seem to fall into place at the exact time you need them to. In my first blog on this site, I talked about how I believe in fate. This weekend proved to be another thing that I believe was meant to happen. I believe that I was exactly where I was supposed to be with exactly the right people. There were six of us that went this weekend. Four of us got up early and went on a hike in Mueller State Park. It was me, Michele, Andrea & Meagan.

We started off on an easy loop and ended up on a moderate loop. Moderate? LOL. If what we hiked was moderate, I'm super duper scared to try the Difficult!!

We ended up hiking for 2 miles and let me tell you - the scenery was beautiful and the company was amazing. Michele has gone through personal training before so she knows how to challenge herself, Andrea is super supportive and always telling everyone that they can do this or that, and Meagan...well, Meagan's my best friend from a thousand years ago and I give her much respect - she's a smoker AND she had a cold. Yet she never gave up and she never complained.

Here's where fate...signs...destiny...whatever you want to call it....comes into play. One of the trainers in this Fitness Challenge likes to say that you don't LOSE RELEASE it. If you lose it, then it can always find it's way back to you...but if you release it....well, that just means you let it go!! A few weeks ago, Jennifer, Andrea and I went to the Metaphysical Fair. The psychic that I talked to told me that at some point, I should find a quiet spot - alone or with friends - and that I should take some rocks and label them and that I should then throw the rock stating that I RELEASE the.....Hurt. Pain. Anger. Worry. Doubt. Disappointment. Loss. Insecurity. Guess what? I found the spot while on this hike. I didn't know if anyone would join me or if anyone would think that I was a bit off my rocker but I decided to do it. And so did the group. We threw rocks and RELEASED all these feelings that keep us down. And when we were done, we prayed....holding hands among the trees with nothing but the sound of the wind and Andrea's voice. She prayed for us individually and as a group. She asked God to keep us safe....she prayed that we'd be able to be better people.....she thanked God for blessing us with each other and for taking away everything we released. Most importantly, she prayed that we'd finish our hike unscathed!! LOL

I'd like to say that all of the releasing worked but I know I'm not 100% there yet. I feel that I released my pain. I tried really hard to release the boy.....but that one is going to take some time. But it's a start right?

In the meantime, I'm striving for more positivity in my life. I'm releasing the fat, releasing the negativity, and changing my colors. I want to let everyone see my true colors shining through. The weekend brought new clarity to my life. I want my light to shine. I want my colors to be bright and vivid and full of energy. I want to have women like these in my life all the time. I am blessed with the women I have in my life besides this group. I am blessed with the people that I can call friend, that support me, encourage me, that keep me on track when I need to be and let me stray off my path when it's necessary.

Peace, Love & Fitness

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Not falling back into old habits

So this journey so far has already taught me so much. The 'old Rachel' would normally fall back on the things that comforted her when she was sad or stressed or, cigarettes, alcohol....not necessarily in that order. The death of a friend or family member, the dissolution of a relationship, the stress levels of her job...all of these would drive the 'old Rachel' to drink, smoke, and eat. But something happened last night that made me realize that the 'old Rachel' is being replaced by a new, better Rachel. Last night, I went and worked out with Judith and Jen and raced home to cook dinner and start watching Monday Night Football....for those of you that don't know, I'm a Dallas Cowboy fan and last night they played against the Philadelpia Eagles. So needless to say, I was excited to get home and watch the game. I rushed inside once I got home and asked my mom to quick change the channel so I could see what the score was. Then I rushed upstairs, got dinner cooked and down to the basement I went to watch the rest of the game. In my first blog, I talked about the things that have led me to this path. A boy who broke my heart. Well, that boy was on my mind a lot last night. You see, he's a Cowboys fan also. And we used to text each other during the games or watch the game together. One of the first times I hung out with him was on a Sunday night during which the Eagles beat the Cowboys three years ago. It made me sad. I had no one to text during the game and was acting a big fool screaming and yelling at the tv all by myself. It made me miss him. I have been so busy working out these past six or seven weeks that I haven't really had time to think about him...let alone miss him. But I did last night. And so after the game, I went upstairs to get my food ready for today and I told my mom how I was feeling. The comment she made was "Now, don't go eating wrong!" (She also talked to me about everything else but that comment just goes to show she knows the 'old Rachel' better than I do!!) But I didn't eat wrong. I just made my lunch with tears streaming down my face, missing him. Then I stopped crying and went downstairs proud that I didn't feel the need to smoke, drink or eat just because I was having a bad half hour. This journey is helping me learn how to deal with things that happen in my life on my own and without a crutch. I don't need to eat or drink or smoke to "fix" me. Don't get me wrong - there will be times that I will eat something that isn't part of the plan....I will have some drinks every once in a while....I WON'T smoke but I'll want to. But I am really becoming stronger...physically and emotionally. I can't thank Judith enough for the opportunities she's given me. I can't be more grateful to the people that I've met that support and encourage me and are always there for me. And to all my friends that I haven't seen in what seems like years.....thanks for leaving your comments, supporting and encouraging me and most of all....for understanding why I'm not around right now. I love you all!

Friday, September 12, 2008

On my way......

So I got my most recent circumference measurements from Judith last night and I am so excited to say that so far, I have lost a total of 13.25 inches. I have included a breakdown below:

-1/4 inch Neck
-1/2 inch Hips
-1/4 inch each Calve
-1/2 inch left Bicep (right stayed same)
-3 inches Waist
-5 3/4 inches Umbilicus
-2 3/4 Chest (not bustline)

I did have a slight gain in my thighs but that is not uncommon. I gained 3/4 in my right thigh and 1/4 in my left.

For those of you that don't know, I am also participating in a Biggest Loser-ish competition at work. It has been going on for five weeks now. It is a weekly competition and awards are given out based on weight lost and points accumulated (points are given for water, correct food choices, exercise and are taken away for eating sweets or drinking sodas). This week, I won the weight loss portion and was only 17 points away from the highest points. This is very exciting for me to have won at least ONE week since my going to the Biggest Loser Casting and sharing that experience was a catlalyst for getting this competition started at work.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Body Distortion

Over the past two weeks, I have learned just how distorted my view of my OWN BODY is! And I've realized that I don't know how to take a compliment. When someone tells me that I look thinner or that my pants are getting too big for me......instead of saying 'Thank you' I say....Oh, shut up! And I laugh and shake my head and change the subject. Why? Partly because I am not good at accepting a compliment...but I've realized (in the past two days really) that that's only a small part of it. The larger part of it is that I may see the changes that my body is going through but I still see a big fat blob in the mirror. I think I am the biggest chick in any room.....I feel like I've got the biggest rolls, the largest double chin, the flabbiest arms....In short, I always think that there can never possibly be someone that weighs more than me......I must be the fattest person on the planet! This past week I've gotten a lot of comments on my weight loss...people have really been noticing the difference in my body and making sure to tell me that they notice. People at work, my friends and team members. So yesterday, I took a really long, hard look at myself in the mirror (YIKES - LOL)) and really looked at the new flatness in my tummy, the smaller back fat rolls, the cut in my arms, the muscles in my legs.....and I know that one of the things I need to work on is my view of my body. I may not be thin and as healthy as I should be yet....but I'm getting there. Today, I am so proud of my body - I am proud that my donut tummy is shrinking...that my flag arms are getting tighter....that my face is losing some of it's 'baby' fat and my cheekbones are starting to show.......and from now on, I'm going to try so hard to say 'Thank you' when someone pays me a compliment instead of 'Shut up'......I just need someone to kick me in the ass if I go too far to the other extreme and start thinking I'm all that and wearing things that are just plain know what I mean!!!! LOL

Friday, September 5, 2008

End of week thoughts

So it’s the end of week one of the 2008 Body Makeover Challenge. It’s been hectic and chaotic. The holiday weekend, appointments at the chiropractor, work outs and seminars…..they’ve all contributed to the chaos. My life consists of work, Judith, my team, and sleep. I’ve spent a total of probably an hour - two at the most - with my mom and my dogs this week. I haven’t seen my best friend or her children in about a month. I haven’t watched Jeopardy in six weeks! (I used to watch five nights a week to keep my brain healthy!) It is a rather ‘disconnected’ feeling from my life and I have to keep reminding myself that it’s the path to a better life. A longer, healthier life that will totally benefit not only me, but my family, friends and pets!! It’s hard to stay focused and encouraged somedays. But I am focused. And encouraged. It is so great to see everyone working hard to attain their goals. To achieve such great personal accomplishments. It’s great to be on the same path with so many others…going through the same things….having the same feelings….So today I just wanted to reaffirm my pledge to my health, to my team, everyone involved in this challenge, to Judith….I am here for the duration. I am committed to changing my life. I am blessed with this opportunity, blessed by the people I’ve met and blessed that we are on this journey together.