The Art of Saying Yes!

After typing the title of this entry, the Jim Carey movie where he has to say yes to everything comes to mind. If you saw it, you will recall that he was quite the practiced curmudgeon and made himself — and everyone around him — pretty miserable. After he changes modes cool things start happening. He gets the girl, starts doing things he loves, and has a pretty wild ride… until it all goes horribly wrong.

I think that potential — the part where the wheels come off — is the reason so many of us are so practiced at turning down wonderful opportunities. We are intrigued, but then we start our litany of what-ifs and what-would-they-thinks and it’s-too-good-to-be-trues.

We’ve learned — often the hard way — that it’s a better bet to stick with the plan. Even if it makes us miserable.

You may have heard the term “calculated risk” bandied about. Finance people love it. Well, I am proposing a different approach. How about a calculated leap? A delicious risk?

The best thing about saying yes is that you get what you want on the other side of it! Expanding our options, offering gratitude, and leaping for those proverbial rings all allow new life into our days.

As the saying goes, “If you aim for the moon and miss, you are still among the stars.”

So, next time someone offers you a chance of a lifetime, jump…

for joy!

Swimwear Shopping or How I Faced the Dragon…

Watercolor Sun Collage -- Gina Lynette & Ned Andrew SolomonI last bought a swimsuit in February 2005. I weighed in the 190 pound range, and everything I tried on looked like what it was: a rather snug garment doing its level best to hold in all of the lumpy parts without splitting a seam. After trying on no less than three billion suits, I finally found one that I could tolerate. I have to admit that it did a pretty decent job of snugging in the bulges and holding up the flab and I wore it faithfully to pools and gym spas for over a year.

I don’t know when I noticed how large it was. Probably around the time it got warm enough to put on a swimsuit—so, June? But then life exploded and I just lived with it because, quite frankly, I would rather pluck nose hairs—even strangers’ nose hairs—than try on those latex sausage casings. That is, I used to prefer all sorts of tortures over facing the three way mirror in my almost-nakedness. But how was I to know that even this trauma could be reduced to a memory??

Labor Day is officially the best day—price wise—to purchase swimwear. Everything is 75% off and the racks still have loads of options. Any other year of my life, the following paragraph would be filled with how much I hate swimsuit shopping. Not this year. I will say that it took my very best friend practically dragging me to the mall to even get me started in the direction of replacing my trusty casing. He is a very, very patient man, (he would have to be to be my best friend after the couple of years I have had, no?) but even he was getting tired of hearing me bitch about how huge my suit was and how un-pretty I felt in it.

So we went shopping. He asked my size—in past years that would have been met with an “oh—I don’t know—um—huge??”—and I said, out loud, “Let’s start with 12s and then we can adjust.” He proceeded to pull one of every—and I do mean every—size 12 possibility off of the 20 rounders. When he had a good arm load, he handed them to me and shoved me toward the dressing room saying, “I’ll keep digging; you get started.” And so he did and I did. Out of those first 30 suits, 25 were just wrong—cut, color, fabric, or bra just didn’t do anything for me—but the other 5 were definite possibilities. When I found a suit that I was feeling pretty good about —sit down—I walked out of the dressing room and asked how it looked. Each time, I would bring an armload of non-contenders and he would replace them with his latest finds.

We finally narrowed it down to 3 that did all the stuff I wanted. (Made me look incredible, supported my post-pregnancy and weight-loss self, and covered my ass—there is nothing worse than a bulgy, saggy, up-the-butt suit.) I wanted 2 suits (75% off!!) and we decided on 2 of the three just before we noticed an adorable suit on a mannequin (I have never been the size of a suit on a mannequin!!) and said, “I might as well give it a shot.” It fit perfectly, I look fantastic in it, and long story longer I walked out of there with 2 terrific suits that I cannot wait to wear in public!

So, yes, weight-loss groupies, even the dreaded swimsuit phobia can be a thing of the past. I feel invincible!! Well, except for that little gall bladder thing that sent me rushing to the hospital last Thursday, but that is for another post.

Status Update…

Since this is a pseudo-fitness blog I will start out with my current weight: 147 lbs. I have not done my fat percentage in months, so that is completely out-of-date. I have managed to walk and do other minor forms of exercise, but I haven’t been to the gym and my count remains stuck at 75/200.

Now, that we have the preliminaries out of the way, we can move on to my New Year’s challenge. I have not really gotten going on the list of talents and training needs. I have taken a look at the master’s programs that I am interested in and am narrowing them down in case that is the direction I end up pursuing. I printed out the FAFSA worksheet in preparation for applying for financial aid, and have filled in all the blanks I am able. If I am going to grad school, I have to have everything in order, and I don’t want a form or two to prevent my getting started. So, I am working toward what I want in my life.

In even more impressive news, I have both of the Christmas trees down, all of the ornaments and lights boxed up, and everything in the attic. There are a couple of stray Santa decorations and Nativity sets hanging around, but they will be outta here in the next 24 hours. Once all of the Christmas stuff is gone, I will set another step in the clutter-cutting goal. So, I am making great progress on the elimination side of the plan.

Now, to keep the momentum…

Given Everything Going On…

The fact that I can move the car seems somehow of very little import. Well, except for the fact that it makes my son happy. Oh, and it means I am only 3 pounds from goal. And, yes, it is a sign that I am still taking care of myself as I struggle through this period of my life. So, maybe it isn’t such a tiny deal after all. So, let’s see where a half-pound loss puts the car.

Yup. I weight 152 pounds. Never mind that it took me 3 days to lose 3 pounds and then 3 weeks to lose another half pound. Never mind that I was hoping to hit goal by Halloween. Well, if I can lose 3 pounds in 3 days, I could still, theoretically, hit goal by then – but I ain’t countin’ on it. As Jules pointed out, I am very close to goal, have an optimal BMI and look and feel pretty great about where I am.

I do think I will aim a little lower than 149 lbs, though. Probably another 10 pounds lower. That puts me at 10 pounds over my college weight. I know there was a study about adult weight gain that said that 11 pounds of gain over the course of your adult life is the upper limit. I am taking that seriously. I will say that at 129, I was rain-thin and really don’t want to get that small. So, 149 is good but 139 will be my next target. I figure then that the 4 pound fluctuations I do through the month will still keep me under 145. 145 will be my “OMG I should probably run an extra mile” number.

All of this babbling to avoid the real topic of my thoughts. The appointment with the attorney went fine. We have everything nailed down but one last number. You know the number. Yeah, that would be the child support. My wasband is self-employed, and as such is hard to pin down when it comes to income. But, I am officially not going to worry about it. I am perfectly capable of taking care of my children. If we can’t come to an agreement, the courts will make a decision. It is not within my control. So, I am not going to spend energy attempting to control something that I cannot.

Having said that, I am off to do the things I can control. Namely, taking care of my kids, eating properly, getting some form of exercise, and doing my homework for Marketing. Eight months from now I will have my Bachelor’s. The timing of this split will not derail my dreams. So there.

Down In Back…

No, not you. Me. My back is in knots and I am very, very whiney about it. All I did was vacuum. And, snap! My lower back twisted into some reasonable facsimile of a pretzel and refuses to ease up. Even with powerful strong meds. Waaaaaahhhh!! I wanna feel good! I wanna work out!

I did take advantage of the horizontal nature of my day and read all of Karen Armstrong’s The Narrow Gate. I have a thing about feminine spirituality memoirs. It is part of my quest to find me – the genuine me – under pounds of fat, years of abuse, and layers of dogma. Sheesh, it is hard. Every time I think I am making progress I realize that the process is a thousand times more complicated than I first thought.

It is like cleaning out a closet. At first you are just going to straighten things up a bit – but before you know it you have everything out all over the room. And you are reading old letters and checking the pockets in purses you haven’t carried since high school – and then it is midnight and you can’t even see your bed under all of the stuff and you just want to go to sleep, but now you have this huge mess.

Well, it is midnight around here. Everything is piled out in front of me and I am trying to decide whether to throw it on the floor and get some sleep or to dig in. Hmmmmm…

Why We Keep Track…

On this fitness adventure we like to mark progress and milestones. By we, I mean I. Anyway, I am very resistant to writing everything down for fear of turning into my IronMan brother-in-law who is famous for his shoe mileage charts. However, every once in a while, I manage to jot something down that turns out to be very inspiring. Case in point: when I got home from my first elliptical run to nowhere, I wrote this on my calendar:

Elliptical Trainer: 7 min. 700 Strides.

That is 7 minutes at 100 strides per minute. That statistic is meaningless unless you compare it to my last workout. I didn’t write it down, so this is an estimate, but it is fairly accurate.

Elliptical Trainer: 57 min. 7000 Strides.

That’s almost an hour at 122 strides per minute – and keep in mind that I was hurting the entire time. I can recall hitting nearly 9000 strides in previous weeks. That’s an hour at 150 strides per minute. Just over two months ago it was all I could do to move for 7 minutes at a walk. Now, some 40 trips to the gym later, I literally run for an hour straight and then go on to do weights and have energy left over to function for the rest of the day.

Our bodies are amazing.

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