Friday, September 30, 2011

Photo Phriday

I know how much you guys like photos, so I thought I would try something new. Every Friday, I'll post a picture (or two or three). Today's photo is from the CURE Childhood Cancer Quiet Heroes Luncheon last Saturday. My friend Jenny Wilkins is one of the strongest women I know. I first met her and her precious daughter Catie at the Ronald McDonald House while Catie was being treated for medulloblastoma at Children's. Though sweet Catie lost her battle in 2007 at the age of 4, Jenny continues to fight. It was so good to see her.

Erika and Jenny Wilkins Sept. 24, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sweat a cold, starve a fever?

Boy, have I been grumpy.

Last week, I felt a cold coming on. And I did what the old Erika never would have done:

I decided to try to sweat it out.

Let’s just say that was a big, fat fail.

Last Tuesday night, my throat started feeling scratchy. But Wednesday I did a hard cardio class thinking it would be good for me. Thursday I felt worse. Again, I thought a good workout would help. It didn’t.

By Friday, I was coughing and achy and overall miserable. I spent most of the weekend on the couch, whiny and feeling sorry for myself (this seems to be a theme lately).

This cold took a hold of me. It must have really loved me, because it didn’t want to let me go. So before last night, I hadn’t worked out since last Thursday. And I really felt it.

It’s funny. I didn’t gain any weight. My clothes weren’t tighter. But without the scale, I would have told you I’d gained 10 pounds. I just felt so gross from the lack of activity.

Not only that, but it’s made me realize how much I need my workouts to balance me emotionally. I’ve had a few major crying sessions this week, mostly because I haven’t had my physical release to help with stress.

Last night, I ventured back to my intense zumba class near my home. I felt loads better. So much better, I went again today at 6 a.m., despite staying up late last night to watch my Braves (sniff!) lose in extra innings.

It was just another realization to me of how much I’ve changed. Old Erika would have kind of welcomed a cold—it would be an excuse to wallow on my couch and eat. New Erika? Thought she could work out to overcome it and was sad when it wasn’t so successful.

I’m on the mend and back to my schedule now. And I’m pretty sure all my friends and family are super glad I’ve got my stress reliever back (Sorry, y’all. But thanks for listening…really).

Now you tell me: How does exercise help you beyond just the physical benefits?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Things I heart

It’s time for a favorites post. Yay! Here are a few things I’m loving lately.

Retail therapy
Fall is here (thank goodness) and I was in serious need of new clothes. Not one thing fits me from last year, so I needed to shop. And shop I have. Plus, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I have really enjoyed myself. Buying size 12s is a lot nicer than buying size 24s, I can tell you. I’ve spent a lot of time (and money) in Loft. Such cute stuff there that can really go from work to weekends. I also bought a few things from New York and Company. When the woman asked me for my email address to put me into the system, she was surprised to find I wasn’t already in there. Of course, what she didn’t know is that I haven’t been able to fit into clothes in that store in like 10 years.

Oh, and I also made the ultimate in retail therapy purchases—a new car. Isn’t she pretty?

Rediscovering my cooking mojo
I had once again been slacking in going to the grocery store and making healthy food. I’d been relying on going out to eat, which of course costs money and calories. So, I’ve been really trying to get back into cooking. My plan of attack before heading to the grocery store is to plan at least two recipes to make each week. Skinnytaste is still my absolute favorite go-to website for healthy recipes. This week, I made Chicken rollatini stuffed with zucchini and mozzarella and Pork chops with dijon herb sauce.

I have always been a fan of seafood, but am not always great about cooking it for myself. I’ve discovered individually frozen tilapia that makes everything so much easier. You can defrost them in no time (if I forget to take them out to defrost, I just put them in cold water and they’re ready to go in 5 to 10 minutes) and cook them even quicker. My favorite recipe (again from the awesome Gina) is this one. So fast, easy and healthy.

Men’s undershirts
This is a bit of a weird thing to love, right? But these shirts are part of my workout essentials. I like to layer when I work out, especially since I’m such a sweaty Betty. My typical gym uniform is workout pants, an undershirt and a tank top over it. I like that they’re long enough that they stick out a little from my tanks, and they provide a nice foundation for my outfit. Plus, they’re fairly cheap and come in packs. What’s not to love?

You guys
I’ve been a little down lately, and admittedly, not feeling super great about myself (look for this in a future blog), but you guys have boosted me and affirmed me so much lately. Though the attention sometimes makes me uncomfortable, I really am grateful that so many of you come up to me, almost on a daily basis, to comment about how I look or how I’m doing. Few things can boost a girl’s confidence than hearing “You’re looking good!” Y’all will never know how much I cherish and need that—some days more than others.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The patriarch

Happy Wednesday, everyone. I am back from vacation, during which I spent some time with my grandfather in Florida and then came home and got some things done around here. It was nice to have a break.
My sister-in-law, Beth, and I out for a walk/run in Florida.

I know I have mentioned before that my relationship with my much-beloved grandfather has, at times, taken on a negative aspect because of my weight. He’s been tough on me about my size, and, at one point, offered to give me $5 for every pound I lost.

When I first started my weight loss, I told him I’d take him up on that offer. He decided our deal would end when I lost 50 pounds (perhaps he didn’t think I would actually succeed? He’d owe me big if he had kept it up the whole time).

My grandfather struggled with his own weight most of his life. So, for most of mine, he’s told me what a pretty face I have. And if I just lost weight, maybe I’d have a boyfriend. Sigh. I know he means well, and I know he loves me. But those words were hurtful at times.

I hadn’t seen him in 124 pounds. And I was a little nervous. I’ve kept him posted on my progress. I’ve sent him pictures. But I was still worried I wouldn’t be good enough for him.

When I first saw him, though, he couldn’t have been more excited to see my progress. He told me dozens of times how good I look. I guess I made him proud after all.

He even gave me money to go shopping. I used it to buy a pair of size 12 (!) pants.

Thanks, Grandpa.

Friday, September 2, 2011

45 and goal

Since I started my weight loss, I have been adamant about taking baby steps. One pound, five pounds at a time.

I was always fearful about talking about my “final” goal, whatever that might be, because it always seemed to be so unattainable. But in the past year and half I’ve watched the first number on my scale change from a 3 to a 2 and finally to a 1.

It seems like it might be OK to talk end game. I’m still going to take it a little bit at a time to get there, but now the overall number seems like it might actually be possible. Maybe I won’t jinx it, after all.

At this point, I’d like to lose about 40 to 45 more pounds. It’s funny. That sounds like nothing to me. I guess, after having lost 124 pounds now, 45 seems like a drop in the bucket.

More importantly? It seems do-able.

It kind of shocks me to know that I might actually, for the first time in my life, reach the place where I want to be. The weight I want to be. The me I want to be.

45 pounds to goal? Watch me do it.