Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I met my goal!

I did it! I met my goal of losing 15 pounds!! I can officially check off numbers 7, 11, 14, and 21 from my "30 Before 30" list.

Before and after, June and November, 2010 are pictured above. Just like in the commercials, I'm also tan in the "after" picture! Haha, that was not planned! The first one just happened to be not only before losing the weight, but also before spending several months outside running and three weeks at the cottage water skiing.

15.4 pounds, 3.6% body fat, and 22.5 inches is the total change (plus, back to my just-started-college-have-not-yet-discovered-the-never-empty-table-of-cookies-yet size!!). I feel like a new person! It's really strange, but really good. And all I really want to say in posting this is (1) I'm really happy and proud, and (2) you can totally do this, too, if it's something you need/want!!

I don't want to sound like some kind of advertisement, but I never knew how much 15 pounds would change me (both by gaining in the first place and by losing after the fact). It's still hard to believe this has even happened. I felt chubby from ages 13-26, half of my life. For most of that time I wasn't really that chubby, I was just a teenager thinking I needed to look like a model. Then between the end of college and my first few years being married and holding a real job, I gained 15 pounds. I didn't like it, but I just worked on making it the new normal. It wasn't normal though; it was uncomfortable.

Quitting teaching in May offered me a lot of free time; time to be free of this weight. It wasn't easy and it took about two and a half months longer than I anticipated. I remember back in July crying to Matt about how much of a struggle this has been for me for a long time. I really, really didn't believe in myself in this way, and quitting teaching had really slashed my confidence across the board.

I brought it to God, and he literally said, "Brooke, you're going to have to actually try." I was surprised and realized he was exactly right. I had the mentality that I could just casually work out and eat better and just quickly become healthy. It wasn't that easy, for sure, but once I started trying, it wasn't as hard as I thought either. The main thing was persevering in believing I could do it.

I wanted this change to be lasting, so I didn't do anything crazy. I simply exercised more and ate less. I didn't even go to the gym. I worked out at home with the TRX, walked, ran, and biked. Also, the types of food I was eating were fine, it was just the portions that were outrageous! Oh, and thanks to my friend Beth, I logged all of that exercise and eating into I think I would have gone crazy without FitDay (which is FREE) because it calculates your foods, calories, exercises, nutrients and everything for you with all kinds of graphs and scales. It made it SO convenient (once you get the hang of entering food into the log online, it goes quickly and I found myself really looking forward to it).

Anyway, that's it. I just really wanted to share this with you! It's so very empowering and confidence-boosting. The biggest thing is that I feel like now that I know I can do this, I know I can really do "all things through Christ" (Phil. 4:13). I wonder what's next...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Korea and Dog's First Hike

I logged out of my email this morning to see this article on Yahoo News. Normally I would probably pass it up, but with all the recent discussion in our home about potentially moving to Korea (via USAF) I was intrigued enough to read it. I am pretty uneducated when it comes to history and international affairs/politics, but I have come a long way through The School of Matt's Personal Knowledge. To his credit, he really knows his stuff. He's always been interested in history (he nearly majored in it), he's very knowledgeable about it, and he makes it so someone like me can understand!

Anyways, "skirmishes" as the articles refers to them, seem fairly common between "the Koreas" (as Lisa and I have begun to refer to them), but this one got me thinking about our potential move there. Plenty has to happen (if you're in to acronyms, they are TX, IFF, and RTU) before this could occur, but there's only about a year standing between now and then. If Korea's in the Plan, I'm all for it.

As I mentioned before, I've been meaning to catch up on posting. A few weeks ago, we made it up to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, pictured above. It is just an hour or so north of us, and offers light hiking, decent views, and famous Meers cheeseburgers! The burgers are definitely the best part, and you feel better about eating the gigantic thing after walking around on the trails for a few hours.

We brought Charlie with us for his first hike. It was pretty hilarious to watch our fluffy while poodle jump, climb, and scramble up large rocks and in between cacti. He LOVED it, and was actually really good at it! His only probably was moving so fast that his lungs couldn't keep up!

I love this picture. Charlie looks huge compared to the earth below; like he's standing on top of the world.

Matt and I really enjoyed getting out of town and into much so that we went again a couple weeks later:)

Monday, November 15, 2010

A bit of this and that

Aahhhh. Deep breath. It is (finally) a delightful time to write to you. To me. To whomever (definitely me), if anyone, reads this blog.

The last few days have been marked by remarkable frustration. Nothing big - no need to worry. It was just one of those bouts of not-being-able-to-put-your-finger-on-it-ness that had me in a funk. It started with Veteran's Day (no offense to the Veterans; I'm very grateful for you). Matt had the day off, which made it feel like Saturday. Then Friday (he went back to work) felt like Monday, and Saturday felt like -well- Saturday, but then Sunday felt like Saturday, too (we thought the Killians were going to have their baby, and due to a series of events neither of us went to church, so a day off without church of course feels like Saturday). You would think three Saturdays would be awesome, but it was just rather strange for some reason; hence, the funk.

Wow, I am really ranting and pouring on the parentheses. You're so patient to read this. Anyway, today, after a delicious night's sleep, the funk is gone! I prayed and prayed and tried to see the positive. I tried with all my heart to put my "delight in the Lord," and he delivered "the desires of my heart" (peace and lack-of-funk) for sure (Psalm 37:4). And so it is no coincidence that I would be delighted to write to you now.

It is quite lovely as I sit here and write to you with a hot cup of one of my favorite brews. This tea is actually a kids' tea, the package covered in giraffe spots, but it is sooo good. My throat was a bit scratchy, so I thought this "throat coat" might do the trick. Also, it is made even better by the 60 degree air that is filled with a healthy dose of midwestern style cloudiness above. Maybe it will make you laugh, as it does me, to know that whenever it is overcast here, it reminds me of home! Heck, I'm even wearing a sweater!

My posting has been so sparse in the last few months. I have no idea why except that I seem to make every other thing a priority. Well, there's a bit of a new game plan and it includes a bit more time for posting. This is good because, I like being able to share with you about what's going on in our lives.

There are lots of little things lately, many including this new dog of ours. Here he is, a bit cautious looking, after our first at-home haircut. I took him to PetSmart the next day to have them trim it up and do his face. It looks much better now! In fact, it's grown out a whole month's worth, which tells you just how long it's been since I've posted.

Coming this week to blogland: dog's first hike, adventures in babysitting, and a few good recipes.
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