Sunday, December 30, 2012

1 year weight loss anniversary

I'm kind of sad to see 2012 go. It was such an amazing year and I'm almost afraid that my ride has risen as high as it can. But looking back, most of my accomplishments this year were because of ME. It wasn't luck or was pure dedication and motivation. I was in control of my own destiny. And here I am about to stare my one year anniversary in the face. I killed 90 lbs this year! It's been the best year EVER.

I started this year deciding I wanted to change. On January 1, my husband and I challenged another couple to a weight loss challenge. We all decided we would go until April which was the date of our Submarine Ball.

I started out by taking my gym membership more seriously. I worked out 4 days a week religiously. If I couldn't get a workout at the gym, I made sure to pop in a Jillian Michaels didn't matter...where it was...I had to get my heart rate up. The other thing I did was download the app Myfitnesspal. It helped me track calories and I was quickly learning how much I overate when I realized how fast my calories would go with just one meal. I eventually got more dedicated and bought a food scale and a heart rate monitor. I wanted a very accurate account of my calories in and out.

Here are my day 1-70 photos. In this time I had lost about 30 lbs.

By the time April had come around, I was down 39 lbs. I was feeling so good and had the energy I haven't had in years! My confidence was bursting out of me. I would take hikes on my own, which before  I never would do because I was so tired, lazy and insecure. I started enjoying the outdoors with my children and I even started cleaning my house more...I was always a pretty tidy person but these past few years I noticed I was even too tired to do those things. I had issues with my legs and feet hurting from my weight. Around this time my snoring had stopped as well...I guess all that extra weight was causing me to snore so badly, one night my husband recorded me and it was pretty horrific. Anyways, my husband and I won the competition although to really was never a competition with was a competition within myself. It was kind of stupid because sometimes I felt bad for "winning" ... I sometimes wish we never entered a "competition" because our relationship became strained with our friends but over the year i've realized this: When you are successful there are two types of people in this world, the ones who are happy for you and the ones who aren't, the difference in those people are those who care for you and those who do not.  I don't like to focus on the negative and I look back at that experience as a tool we needed at the regrets. After the competition ended, I found myself asking, why would I stop here? I was horribly overweight, so why would I stop when I've worked so hard? I kept going!!

Here we are before the submarine ball. I had went from a size 22 from the year before and now in a 16 by this point

During the summer I had seen so many people posting about color runs, color me rad, ect. I decided what a great way to do my first 5k. I was a horrible runner. When I first started adding the treadmill to my workouts, I could only run a tenth of a mile before I was EXHAUSTED and hurting. I signed up for the Color Run NYC for August. I was so scared and nervous. I began wondering if I would ever be able to run a full 3.1 miles...Even in high school I was a terrible runner. Everyone thought these long legs would make me fast...haha, the exact opposite. I've always been slow, even a slow walker.

Ran my first 5k! I was slow but I did it!!!

August came around and I had by then ran at least 3 or 4 5k's on the treadmill but never outside. Oh well. Ready or not!!! I was excited to pick up my packet and get my hotel room. Another trip to the city was always welcome in my mind. The night running partner backed out...My heart sank...because had I known she wasn't going to be there, I would've made sure my husband would've been there with me. I gathered myself and dusted myself off and said, I still have to do it! I was proud of myself b/c the old me would've backed out. I was so scared to run out in public...but I knew I had to do this. I shed a few tears but moved on. The next day I went to Brooklyn and almost missed the entire thing. The line for the bus was INSANE!!! Finally vans started pulling up and we crammed inside...I swear I think there were about 40 people in a 15 seat van. It didn't matter...I was on my way. I got there, people had already started in their waves. It was a sad feeling sitting there by myself. Everyone around me was with a friend or a group of friends. I ended up tagging along with a group, trying to look like I blended in so I didn't look like such a loser. It was kind of an awful feeling. But once again, I like to focus on the good things...and in this lesson I learned..I found myself stronger than I ever realized. My wave finally begun...and I was on my way. I ran the entire thing, took pictures and was so incredibly proud of myself. I will never forget seeing that finish line, knowing that my life had completely changed. I was strong!

My proudest moment in 2012!! I even walked around Times Square all colored! 

In November we moved from Connecticut to California. I was so stressed about the road trip because I wasn't sure how I was going to keep eating as healthy as I had been. After 2 weeks of traveling and even some cheating, I came to face my scale and hadn't gained a single pound. I think I was keeping track more than I realized and was staying pretty active.

On our road trip, maintaining my weight

Here it is..the end of the year. It's been a great year. I started out at 267lbs and I've lost a total of 90 lbs and am now 177 lbs. I went from a size 22 to a size 12. I love love love how every pound shed has been like a piece of me unpeeling. I feel more like myself than I have in so very long. I wanted to make it to the 100 lbs mark and probably would have if we hadn't went on this insane long trip and then spent a month trying to adjust in our new home. I'm okay with it because I know 2013 will bring me my goal weight. I cannot wait to celebrate my 100th pound lost!

This was the submarine ball from the previous year, here is me trying on my Khaki ball dress. At this point a difference of 85 lbs. 
 The picture on the left was me in 2011 at my daughter's fifth grade graduation. At the time I had no idea how large I was...I was in absolute denial
This is one of my favorite side by sides. 
And this is me just yesterday. I was shopping for my outfit for an upcoming holiday party. I couldn't pick so I bought both to bring home to get my husband's opinion. We both decided on the dress for the party but I'm keeping the second outfit just because I LOVE IT!!! 

Friday, December 28, 2012

From Connecticut to California: Viva Las Vegas

This was our last stop before making it to our home for the next 2+ years. We wanted to spend a few days in Las Vegas. We've never been and I was a bit nervous for what our children may see. Before we even left I did a ton of research for hotels and found the Venetian was what were were most looking for. We wanted somewhere we could sprawl out since being on the road for so long. Las Vegas was pretty amazing and we knew we wouldn't be near home for Thanksgiving so we thought, why not spend it in Las Vegas. We got to the Venetian which was gorgeous, although getting from the parking garage to the check in to our hotel room was quite the workout. Las Vegas was pretty amazing, we walked the strip, saw the fountains at the Bellagio & went to the Hoover Dam. Our hotel stay was not all that great. Our room was wonderful except the very first night we were awoken by a horrible loud sound, the ac unit. I called and they said someone would be hour later someone finally showed up. They said it was fixed, we decided to just stay up and get ready for our day (this was Thanksgiving day). I decided I wanted to go to the best buffet in Vegas...which probably wasn't the best idea on Thanksgiving but my mind kept thinking..who does that? I've always been about family..and on Thanksgiving you spend with family cooking, cleaning, chatting...I didn't realize most of Vegas would be out at the buffets. Ya...we stood in line for the Caesar's buffet for 4 hours. Four hours later...we were so tired, beat, our feet hurt and it hurt so much that none of us really enjoyed our food. I promised my family I would never put them through that kind of torture ever again. So we take that walk back to the hotel...we dreaded the walk after standing in line for four hours....only to come back to our room with a  that sound we were awoken to but 500 times worse. I called the front desk and they said they would move us...I'm thinking maybe they'll upgrade we got the same room one floor up. Whatever...I was beat! I had to gather all of our things by myself (remember my husband's hand just had surgery) and my 3 exhausted children. We finally get settled...and go to bed....when around 3am, I'm hot, the kids are hot...everyone is miserable. Our AC was broken. I couldn't believe it...I call front desk again...maintenance comes up and says the motor has to be replaced...I'm thinking wow...what kind of luck is this? I don't ever complain...but this definitely made me want to. Our last day we went to Madame Tussaud's wax museum & took the kids to M&M world. All and all...even with the crappy luck at the hotel and I look forward to going back to Vegas without the kids someday. I don't think they were scarred too badly from the naughty cards all over the ground...we kept saying, just don't look down. haha. But then the truck that advertised the girls had my lil one saying, "ewwww, gross, butt".

Ryan and I in front of Serendipity
 The beautiful Christmas tree in front of the Venetian
 This was on my to do list. Gondola ride with Ryan.
 Had to take a picture with Bradley Cooper because of Hangover and the fact that I just listened to him on Howard Stern a few days prior.
 Ol' Blue Eyes & Lil C
 B ready to take over as president someday
 Our hotel room
 Watching the fountains at the Bellagio

Hannah & B
 Waiting for our meal at Serendipity

 The lobby of the Venetian
 Hoover Dam
 Hannah & the Hoover Dam

From Connecticut to California: Utah

We drove from Denver, Colorado to Richfield, Utah. Talk about a gorgeous, breath taking drive. It took me by surprise because I had always dreamed of retiring in Missouri...haha, you're probably thinking what? But seriously, I wanted to retire on a farm in the country...but after seeing Colorado and Utah..I'm so CONFUSED. The scenery is amazing. We stopped so many times to take pictures. This was the only part of the trip that I wasn't falling asleep at the wheel from boredom...the views kept me awake!
A few views from the road
Lil C & B in Utah
 Lil C & I
 Hannah & I

 The kids loving the Holiday Inn!

From Connecticut to California: Kansas & Colorado

Well we finally made it halfway. Somehow my spirits were still high, even after all those miles & Ryan breaking his thumb and needing surgery. I'm not sure how my attitude stayed so great...I like this new me...who pretty much accepts things and just moves on. I find that it's just easier to accept it and go. I don't know how long it will last but I'm hoping forever. It makes life so much easier. Anyways, we stopped the night in Sabetha, Kansas, I find myself lucky to have family scattered around. It makes road trips a bit more fun. We stayed with my uncle and aunt and I got to see their new home, well new for me since I hadn't been to Sabetha since I was a young teenager. I spent two summers in Sabetha and have tons of memories with my cousins. My aunt made potato soup & yummy cornbread. My kids got to admire the elk rack from the elk my uncle had just hunted a few weeks prior in Colorado. It was really neat for my kids to see how much family they had scattered around the country.
My cousin taking the kids on a ride

Next stop was Colorado. This point of my trip was a bit tough. I was afraid to see my aunt because she's my mother's sister. And those who know or don't mother committed suicide in 2010. I've struggled everyday since. We live in a constant state of guilt...what we could've done we could've done more....I still don't go a day without thinking of my mom...and I think that's okay. Even tho it makes me sad...I love that I think of her daily. Seeing my aunt made me crave my aunt cooked for me just like my mother always did. My mother LOVED cooking for me...mainly b/c I LOVE Korean food. The spicier the better and my mom and I really bonded over food. It was hard being there without my many things reminded me of her. It was something I needed to do..I needed to face seeing all the things that reminded me of her...I hadn't seen my aunt since the funeral and of course all those old memories came back from the tragedy that last brought us together. My children needed to see my aunt, I did as well. I know my mom would've loved that we stopped to see her sister. The last time we traveled across my mom made sure my aunt was ready for us...even telling her my favorite soup to make. Anyways...before I start crying all over myself...It was a good visit...I definitely needed it.
Conner & Emo (Aunt in Korean)
 Ryan trying to eat jajangmuen with his left hand...yikes!
 Beautiful Colorado
 Breath taking. 

From Connecticut to California: Milford, Iowa

Being a military family, we just don't get to go home as often. Mostly because our families mostly live in the midwest and we are always stationed on the coast. For Ryan, especially...his family lives in Northwest, Iowa and it's been a long time since we've all seen one another...actually 7 years ago. I regret not making more time to go but it takes a lot of planning and to be honest, I haven't always felt close to his family. But after losing my mother in 2010...I really wanted my children to know their family. I knew they, mostly my boys, wouldn't remember any memories with her. So in an instant I felt I needed to do more. I wanted our nephews to know who we were. Ryan has always felt a huge connection to his nephews...they really are good kids. So from Green Bay we went to Iowa and spent a few days..not enough time but we spent quality time. It was great getting to see our children play and hang out. The boys mostly wrestled and that was okay because my poor boys spent too many days cooped up in the car or a hotel room. I really appreciated the time I spent with my brother in law and his wife. I felt we got to know each other this's a bit sad it took this much time but sometimes we have to lose things to truly appreciate the other things we have around us. The whole time was great...even up to the point where Ryan broke his thumb. On our very last day, Ryan wanted to spend some quality time with his big brother...he knew his brother loved to hunt...Ryan doesn't know anything about hunting but wanted to get some bonding time in and went along to do something with a tree stand...I'm not familiar with hunting either..but I'll explain the best I can. Basically, they were clearing brush and branches...well Ryan went to clear a tree with a big branch, well the big branch came for his head and he protected it with his hand...and broke his thumb. He went to the ER and then found out it needed surgery to have two pins placed. I thought...YAY (sarcastically), we're driving two in the world am I going to do this all by myself? It wouldn't be a normal trip if everything were absolutely perfect. And once positive self tries to just focus on everything good...And I did just that...

Hannah with her uncle and cousin
 Hanging out
 Ryan about to be beat up by his big bro
 Yup, I think you lost
 One handed too!
 Ryan and his big brother
 Sexy couples (haha)
 Dog cousins!

Ryan about to go into surgery, smh

From Connecticut to California: Green Bay, Wisconsin

So how can I put this.....My husband is the biggest Green Bay Packers fan. He gets crap about not being from Wisconsin...look people, Iowa doesn't have a team...doesn't make him band wagon anything! Especially since he grew up without any football influence..he became a fan on his own as a child. He's loved them whether they win or lose. Since we have no hope of ever being stationed near Green Bay..we decided to take the opportunity to go to Green Bay....would you believe there were no games at all during our trip but we decided we just had to go! It didn't matter if we could see a game or not..we wanted to go visit Lambeau Field. So we did, we drove out of our way and the moment we started to see Green Bay signs on the interstate, I could feel the excitement waves flowing off my husband's car (remember, we drove separately). We decided to stay a few days in Green Bay...just incase we didn't get to do a tour on the first day. After many hours and then finding the dog kennel, we went to Lambeau...I could see the light flowing off of Ryan..He was like a child on Christmas morning...I've never seen him so excited. We've been married for 13 years and I've seen him accomplish so many that moment I knew this trip out of the way was completely worth it. I wanted him to get to see the place he's always dreamed of...and someday we'll get to go to a game. We had a blast...the entire tour was amazing and our children learned so much about why their dad loves the Packers so much. I think the entire trip will be a memory that's cherished forever. Go Pack Go!

  You know in the movies that sound when something beautiful shows up? Yeah..I know we heard that music in our heads when we saw this. 
                                 Putting on our bands for the tour
                               Taking our picture with the Lombardi statue
                           This is what happens when you sit in a car all day
       Ryan was wearing his U.S.S. Green Bay hat and this was on the wall in Lambeau field for the U.S.S. Green Bay. Pretty amazing.
                                        Hannah and I posing
                                     We're a tad bit excited to get started
                         Sitting in the club suites...a beautiful site
                                      The kids and I with Curly Lambeau
                     sitting in the club suite...something I'm sure will never            happen again. haha
             Magical moment...walking through the tunnel. That music is playing again in our heads.
                        yeah, pretty much like Christmas morning
                           Amazing family pic that is now up on our wall
                                                         My loves
                                 yes, we even ate at Curly's Pub
                            The boys in the Packer Hall of fame.
            A replica of the dressing room, which by the way, I learned on the tour is the shape of a football. Pretty awesome.
                                   My boys doing the Lambeau leap.
                              Ryan and I with all the Lombardi trophies.
                                   My cheeseheads
                   We ate at Titletown Brewery. It was pretty delicious..especially the elk burger!
                   Ryan in front of Brett Favre Steakhouse. We never got to eat there but he had to have a picture and a shot glass.
  And yes this got turned into our Christmas card. :)