Category: Making a Change


It has been an extremely long time since I have posted anything.  Time has a way of passing quickly without one being really aware of it.  So…  Here’s a long overdue update!

 School:  The good news is that I passed all three classes this last semester.  The bad news is I blew my 4.0 GPA. (sigh)  I managed an “A” in Intermediate Algebra (who would have thought?) and got a “B” in Intro to Emergency Management and American History II.  So it wasn’t horrible by any means, but less than perfect and that’s a hard pill to swallow for a perfectionist.  Someone commented on one of my posts that being a single mother, working full time and going back to school were a lot to deal with and I may have to accept a less than perfect 4.0 GPA.  She was right.  I’m still happy with my grades, but life is busy and kids and work are more of a priority.  Life goes on…  I am taking a break this summer and will continue classes in the fall. 

 Weight loss:  I am down 57 pounds in 8 months!  I’m down about 6 sizes, I no longer shop in the “women’s” department and rediscovered not only my hip bones, but my ribs as well.    I feel nothing short of amazing and I’m still working hard to lose those last few pounds to reach my goal weight.  I gave up with Phentermine about two months ago.  I’m still doing Focus T25 sporadically, no fast food or pop, Shakeology every day (still my favorite part of the day) and I’ve added strength training to tone up.  A detective I work with created an “All Buff No Fluff” workout plan for a coworker and I.  We stay after work every night and work out in the gym and curse his name (smile).  But ~ it’s working.  And that’s all that matters.  I will be participating in my first 5K next month.  I’m suffering horribly with shin splints, but I will crawl if I have to.  Whatever it takes, I will cross that finish line.  Period.

 Work:  Winter was hell and lasted until May.  Now that summer has finally arrived, it has been busy on midwatch.  The natives have been restless and are out in full force.  I’m fine with it being busy at work.  It makes the shift go by so much faster.  We are finally at full staff in dispatch with no one in training.  This is a rare occasion in dispatch centers across the nation.  I’m hopeful it will last.  Training a new dispatcher is exhausting, regardless of how well they are doing.  It’s difficult to sit back and observe for weeks at a time.  It’s hard to give up that control.

 Kids:  Austin is doing well in Chicago.  He took a six week break to come home and get tested for sleep apnea.  He has a severe case and although we discussed surgery options, we won’t be able to do that until he graduates from college.  The recovery time is lengthy and painful and he really can’t take any more time off of school.  He was sent home with a breathing machine and seems to be adjusting to that better as time goes on.  For the first time in a very long time he is getting quality sleep at night.  I really had no idea how little sleep he was getting.  I’m amazed he could function at all.  Taylor is busy with softball this summer.  I think she’s happy to have the break from school though.  I’m thrilled I don’t have to take her to school in the morning every day!

 Love:  One of the biggest changes in my life occurred recently.  After six years of being on my own and completely losing all faith in love, it appears I have found everything I have ever wanted right in front of me.  Somehow I managed to miss the forest for the trees. 

 I met Tim when I was 14 years old in Biology class.  He sat in front of me.  He had blond hair, gray eyes and I was his from the moment my eyes found his staring back at me.  He was 15, beautiful and wild.  And he loved me.  I fell hard for him and I loved him fiercely.  Circumstances beyond our control tore us apart.  He moved to the southern end of the state and I moved to the northern part.  Although we tried, we failed miserably at making a long distance relationship work.  We were kids and we were human and it tore us both apart.  I can honestly say I have never loved anyone the way I loved that boy ~ until recently when I met the man he became. 

 Tim and I remained in contact over the years.  He has always been my anchor, my rock, my constant…  He has loved me unconditionally for 27 years.  He has been there to help me pick up the pieces of my life time and time again.  He knows every mistake I have ever made.  He knows about all of my bad decisions.  He knows my thoughts, my dreams, my fears.  He knows it all.  When I needed honesty, he gave it to me ~ even when I didn’t want to hear it.  He didn’t always take my side.  He disagreed with me on more than one occasion, but supported whatever decision I made.  And he loved me.  Always.  There were years we went without talking, but whenever we connected, it was easy to pick up where we left off.  I have battled my own demons over the years and he fought most of his without my knowledge.  There were times he called me to talk, to cry, and to ask my opinion about something he was struggling with.  Regardless of the fact that I loved him, I never really considered “us” as a possibility.  He lived in Indiana and I lived in Minnesota.  My kids were younger and I couldn’t just pack up and move.  And we didn’t have the best track record with making things work with the distance between us.  So I loved him and prayed for him to find happiness, even if it wasn’t with me. 

 We spent some time together last month for the first time in over twenty years and I fell in love with him all over again.  He is no longer the beautiful, wild boy I fell in love with ~ although I still see that boy when I look into his eyes.  He has become this amazing man I don’t even have the words to describe.  He has surpassed even my wildest dreams of the man I knew he could become.  He looks at me and I am home.  He holds me and I know where I belong.  I have been drawn to him since I walked into that classroom at 14 years old.  He is my best friend, my lover, my soul mate…   He is my gravity.  He always has been.

 He is more myself than I am.  Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.  ~ Emily Bronte

The Up Side of Falling Down

Fall down stairs

In the past week I have fallen twice.  I’m not sure what my problem is with gravity, but both occasions were not pretty.  The first time, I crawled out of bed in the morning to weigh myself.  I don’t weigh myself every day, but I try to check in on my progress about every three days.  Stumbling through my “I just woke up” fog, I stepped on the scale wearing a super soft t-shirt that I sleep in and underwear.  I was incredibly happy with the number on the display ~ I had lost 23 pounds!  In my joyful state I practically danced down the stairs to the kitchen to make my morning ShakeOlogy (my favorite part of the day!).  As I be-bopped down the steps, I managed to miss one and landed on my derriere.  I proceeded to “bounce” down three more steps on my rear end until I hit the bottom of the steps.  In the process, the underwear I was wearing managed to become a thong and I now have carpet burn on my bum.  OUCH!!!!  Truth be told, I said a few choice words and thanked God I wasn’t injured enough to call 911 since I was home alone.  Believe me when I tell you no one wants to see that!  Since there was no one home to give me any sympathy, and I wasn’t bleeding anywhere, I slowly managed to stand up.   I did somehow injure my lower back, so workouts were out for the day, but I was back in the game the next day.  

The second time gravity slammed me to the floor was last night as I was leaving for work.   I was running late and had my backpack, purse, keys and a glass of ice water in my hands as I went into the garage to get in my car.  Minnesota winters are often a cold mess of frigid air and copious amounts of snow.  This year has been a doozy.   As I was walking to my driver’s side door, I managed to hit some black ice on the cement floor of my garage and I went flying ~ forward ~ and landed hard on both knees.  I dropped everything except my glass of water.  Pain radiated upward from my knees.  It hurt.  BAD.  The worst part was now my pants were soaked from the muck on my garage floor and I had to take even more time to change.  Even more painful than my knees as I hobbled upstairs (sniffling and muttering under my breath) to change was the dreaded knowledge that I was unlikely to find ANYTHING else that fit me.  I have been down to one pair of pants for a long time.  Since I started on this weight loss journey, I have not tried to squeeze myself into my smaller clothes.  I was concerned that if I was not able to fit in a smaller size it would put me in a tailspin toward a major depression which has always included eating copious amounts of unhealthy food.  The only other pair of pants I could find was TWO sizes smaller than the pants I had on.  I closed my eyes, said a silent prayer and put them on.  I expected them not to move past my thighs, much less my hips.  GUESS WHAT?????  They fit!!!!!!  I could even button and zip them without laying on the bed!  Woo hoo!!!!!

I have lost a total of 25 pounds so far.  I have 50 more to go.  I am 1/3 of the way to my goal weight in only 6 weeks.  I am beyond thrilled!!!

In an earlier post, I listed several things I was doing to accomplish this goal.  I have been soda/pop free for 6 weeks.  I have had fast food one time in those 6 weeks and it was GROSS.  I had a Taco Bell Chicken Salad that did not sit well in my stomach.  I have been doing ShakeOlogy for 4 weeks and I LOVE IT!!!  Seriously, it’s my favorite time of the day.  My favorite is a vanilla banana smoothie with unsweetened vanilla almond milk.  YUMMY! 

I started the FocusT25 program about a month ago.  Believe me when I tell you this program will kick your a**.  The first time I pushed play I was sweating within two minutes.  It is extremely fast paced and high intensity, but it is a great workout.  Tania is the modifier on the program and I love her.  I am still modifying more than I would like to, but each time I do the workouts it gets easier.  At times, I can keep up with Shaun T, but not completely at this point.  Regardless, I’m seeing results.  I’m losing pounds and inches and my muscles are toning up.  I adore my coach and my accountability group.  It is a very supportive environment and it really helps to hear how others are progressing.  I love the encouragement and the fact that I’m not the only one who struggles with exercising and eating right. 

I did give up the Couch to 5K treadmill workout for now.  I just can’t do both.  My legs are like jello after the FocusT25 workouts.  I may pick that back up in the spring.  I am also still taking the Phentermine and it has helped quite a bit with appetite control.

All in all, I’m making progress and that makes me happy!  I feel better physically and mentally.  I recently discovered my ribcage.  I really wasn’t certain I still had one.  I’m still searching for my hip bones, they have yet to make an appearance, but I remain hopeful. 

This past week I have been educated by the random assaults of gravity, but I have also learned that regardless of how many times I may fall, whether it be physically (with carpet burns and bruises covering my body) or mentally (listening to the negative voices in my head and falling off the weight loss wagon), I always have the ability to get back up.  A friend of mine posted the following on FaceBook:

“You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” — James Allen

One of the best things in life is our ability to choose one thought over another.  I am choosing to ignore the voices in my head that tell me I can’t do this ~ that I will never lose the weight ~ that I’m too old to change.  I am choosing to put my health as a top priority instead of at the bottom of my list.  I will succeed ~ regardless of how often I get knocked down (gravity be damned!! ~ smile).

The Battle of the Bulge

 Many a dispatcher has fallen victim to the battle of the bulge.  In the past five years, I have allowed myself to gain 75 pounds.  Ugh…  The reason?  Yep…  A broken heart.  After my divorce, I lost 30 pounds, looked great and felt even better.  I started dating a man who I really thought was a perfect match for me.  After moving in together (after 2 ½ years of dating) and getting engaged, I discovered some information about him that he had failed to tell me.  I won’t go into details, but let’s just say it was a doozy.  My heart was absolutely shattered and I completely lost all faith in love.  I just flat-out didn’t care anymore.  And I proceeded to wallow in self-pity (and ice cream) for five years. 

  I have never been this heavy in my life.  Add wallowing in self-pity to a job that has me sitting on my butt for 10 hours a shift, and you end up with what I have become.  I absolutely cannot stand it anymore.  So I’m making a change…

             This is what I’ve done in the past two and a half weeks:

  1.  I have given up pop and sugar
  2. I have not eaten fast food
  3. I have been making better food choices and counting calories
  4. I went to “the fat doctor” and got on a prescription for Phentermine (
  5. I have started the “Couch to 5k” treadmill workout (
  6. I have signed up for an accountability group at with a high school friend as my coach
  7. I have started drinking Shakeology once a day (
  8. I will be starting FocusT25 on Monday (            

  If I don’t lose this weight now and keep it off, I’m going to wind up being 300 pounds of misery.  Who wants that?  I am not relying on just myself to accomplish this goal.  I am doing some extra things like the Phentermine and Shakeology to help me get there.  Is that cheating?  Maybe.  Do I care?  Not one bit. 

  I blame no one but myself for gaining this weight.  No one forced me to eat unhealthy meals.  No one chained me down and refused to let me exercise.  Broken heart or not, I led myself down this path and it’s time to turn things around before it gets too far out of control.  There is nothing worse than shopping in the “women’s” section of a store.  I miss cute clothes.  Seriously.  I find myself staring ~ longingly~ across the aisle at the “misses” section with huge amounts of envy.  It has been so long since I have been able to look in a mirror and smile.  Not only do I miss looking good in my clothes, I miss having energy.  I have been carrying around the weight of a 10-year-old child for so long that I’m exhausted.  I have worn jeans for the past three summers in 90 degree heat because I can’t stand the thought of wearing shorts when I am this heavy.

 So…  I’m saying enough is enough.  I set out two and a half weeks ago to lose 75 pounds and I’ve lost 15 so far.    I have 60 to go!  I am hopeful that by next year, at this time, I will have reached my goal. 

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