Mostly Good

Some parts of this year have been extraordinarily tough, but as I was wasting time on Facebook tonight I saw an awesome app that recaps your status messages for the year. And the truth is that the tough times definitely seem the longest, but I had some amazing times this year.

I traveled to Las Vegas, Aruba, Mom’s house, Dad’s house, Nashville, Texas, etc. I watched strangers walk around Times Square at 5 in the morning…I rode my bike along the Hudson River and the Bronx River Parkway. I jogged on the beach – something that was impossible only a couple of years ago. I learned to knit and made some awesome hats and booties. I’m going to learn to crochet pot holders soon. Yes, really…;)

I also reached an awesome milestone when I lost 100 pounds. I met people who motivate me and support me. I learned that even in the toughest times there are moments that make me smile. I completed my first 5k. I successfully baked my first, second and third NY cheesecakes. I loved someone with my whole heart. I grew closer to my sister, watched my niece grow…

My sleeping habits improved. I danced when there was no music playing. I learned about humility (I’m sure that’s a good thing, right?) I discovered a love for sushi, saw Brad Paisley in concert and spent quality time with my dad.


I know the year isn’t quite over yet, but I’ve been thinking about how ready I am for the new year to begin. I’m definitely ready, but “My Year in Status” reminded me how thankful I should be for all of the incredible things I experienced this year. And there’s more to come….

The holidays are upon us, and I love them. I’m excited to go head to Mom’s house to celebrate Christmas. I’m also excited about sitting a few rows up from the ice at a hockey game this weekend. And I can’t wait to exchange gifts with Janna in our 12 Days of Christmas Swap.

My life changed this year…my heart broke, and I struggled physically for a few months. But even in the toughest of times, I’ve had reasons to be thankful. And I am. I’m looking forward to settling into my new life, living alone…just me and my future dog. :) I’m excited about rocking my food intake and workouts and getting closer to my goal and much more that I don’t even know yet.

What will you remember most about this year? What are you looking forward to in the new year?

A Few Reasons

The second half of this year has been tough for me, but I still have many reasons to be thankful. And as I was eating dinner yesterday, I found myself thinking on those things. I also found myself thinking about a quote I heard earlier in the week.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

Life hasn’t been perfect, and I was forced to leave a lot of things behind. But I have a loving family that supports me and accepts me just as I am. And that matters more than the Kitchen Aid mixer my mom gave me or the scrapbooks that took years to make…and even the Christmas ornaments that I had from childhood…

Earlier this year, my sister told me that she loved me and that she was proud of me – no matter what I chose to do with my life. She promised me that it would get better, and now I know she was right! :) I can’t express how thankful I am for the relationship I have with her. We weren’t always close, but I know I can tell her anything now. She’s a wonderful sister and mother to the best girl on the planet.

I’m also thankful for my body’s endurance. I won’t win any races today, but I will swim a mile in the pool after a couple of miles on the elliptical. It makes me feel strong, and that makes me feel good.

And the guy I talked about in my last post texted me today. I didn’t seek him out, but I woke up to messages from him. And we had a good little chat. It was a pleasant surprise. ;)

I’m also thankful for Mom and Dad. If you read my blog often then you know how important my parents are to me. Mom is always there to talk, and Dad is too. My relationship with each of them is unique, but I know I’m lucky to be close to both of them.

I got an awesome crock pot last night for $10! I’m thankful for that because it’s usually $34, and I’m craving chili and buffalo chicken dip. Yum!!!! I’m also thankful for the awesome recipe book I found at Barnes & Noble over the weekend. I’ve written so many recipes in it over the last few days that my hand might start cramping soon. ;)

I’m thankful for true friends – those few that are like family….the ones who stick around even when life isn’t easy.

And my twitter friends and blog friends mean so much too. The toughest months I faced were much easier because I never felt alone. There’s always someone here to remind me that it’s going to be okay.

And OMG, I’m thankful for Weight Watchers. My life changed when I walked into my first meeting, and it’s different now. I’m different now…and skinnier too. ;)

I’m most thankful that God is so real to me these days. He seems to be proving Himself to me over and over. When I wasn’t really looking for Him, He found me anyway…I know He cares, and I know He’s working in my life. He loves me, and that gives me so much peace.

I’m also thankful for the direction and strength that I feel brewing in my heart and mind.

There’s so much to be thankful for in my life today. And it feels good to recognize some of those things and say them out loud. What reasons do you have to be thankful? Are you counting your blessings?

Friend Makin’ Monday: Top 10 of 2010

This week my friend, Becca, at The Texas Darlings is hosting FMM! Thanks for hosting Becca! I love the topic because we all have reasons to be thankful. Be sure to head to Becca’s blog to link up!


Here’s my list of personal reasons to be thankful in 2010…

1) My shrinking body…I am much thinner than I was this time last year.

2) My friend, E, who is an angel on earth proves time and again that there are caring and compassionate people in this world. I’m thankful to have her in my life even if she’s far away now.

3) My relationship with Dad. I am closer to him now than I’ve ever been. He is my champion and my safe place, and I love him. I’m thankful for the rest of my family too…my sister and her family rocks..and my mom is incredible. I am so blessed to have the family I have.

4) I am thankful for music. I have many favorites, but there are songs that stir my soul. One of my favorite quotes is “When words fail, music speaks.” And I think it’s absolutely true.

5) I’m thankful for my blog friends. I’ve been fortunate to meet some lovely ladies..and I’ve even met a couple of them in person. Rhonda is such a caring soul, and Tammy is wonderful too.

I feel so thankful to have met these ladies this year. They are both blessings to me.


6) I’m going to talk about my body again. I’m so thankful that I can swim over a mile without stopping. And I still can’t believe how much I can accomplish on the elliptical machine, treadmill, etc. My body’s balance is so much better, and I feel so light on my feet.

7) DVR is a another reason I’m thankful. On days like today, I need to get lost in mindlessness. And DVR provides that. I’m also just excited that I finally get to catch up on some of my favorite shows.

8) I’m thankful for the improvement in my teeth. They’re almost completely straight, and they’re pretty white. It’s amazing how much more I love to smile. Thank you Invisalign!

9) God loves me. I’ve never been so sure that He is real and that He loves me. I have a long, long way to go in forming the kind of relationship with Him that I should have, but He is refining me. And I’m trying to let Him.

10) I’m thankful that I have a future…I don’t know what it holds yet, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to grow into the person I want to be.

Why are you thankful? Be sure to link to this post on Becca’s blog! Happy Monday Friends!

Thankful Thoughts and Things I Need To Remember

I spent a big part of the summer writing about my sad, lonely feelings, and you all listened and supported me. You guys rock! And now it’s time to share some of the reasons I’m thankful. Even through the heartache I faced recently, I know that I am blessed. And I’ve never been more sure that God is real and that He loves me.

Today I’m thankful for my family and the opportunity to spend time with them this week. I know I’ve already mentioned how happy I am to be here, but I can’t say it enough…I love my mom more than words can describe. It’s so wonderful to be surrounded by people who care about me so much. And I’m enjoying every moment…

Earlier this evening, I made a list of things I need to remember in order to refocus completely. I’m trying to settle into a healthier eating and workout mode, and notes have helped me several times along this journey. So tonight I wrote this list, and now it’s hanging where I’ll see it several times a day. I’m counting on the things I know to help me bounce back, and I’d like to share those things with you.

You can click on the photo to make it bigger. Just saying…


I’m taking it one day at a time, and I can honestly say that I’m happy with myself when I consider the things I listed above. How do you motivate yourself when you’ve been out of your routine? What helps you keep your eye on the prize?

And one more thing…I will not go to sleep tonight without working out first. I’m telling you because it’s a good way to stay accountable, and I need that right now…just saying.

More About Me…Yes, Really…and H2O Spotlight Photos

Once in a while I like to post random pieces of information about myself, and today is one of those days. Just saying..:)

1) What is your favorite month of the year? It’s hard to choose one month. I love Christmas, but I also love July (because it’s my birthday month.)

2) Do you wear glasses/contacts? I do wear glasses sometimes…usually when I’m reading or if I’m tired.

3) Describe the best vacation you’ve ever taken. I feel lucky to find this hard to answer. I’ve been to some incredible places in the last few years, but my favorite has been Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. I also love Aruba, and I’m looking forward to going back in the fall.

4) What is your favorite outdoor activity? Riding my bike…:) Swimming tops the list too. I spent time in the pool over the weekend, and it was glorious..!

5) Ankle socks or crew socks? Ankle socks are the only way to go..

6) List your three favorite movies. Hmmm, I have several favorites..currently I’d say The Notebook, Last Holiday and the Twilight movies..

7) What is your favorite quote? I have many favorites one of which is “A year from now you’ll wish you had started today.” It is so true. My life is dramatically different, and I’m so glad I didn’t wait any longer to get started..

8) How often do you exercise? 5-6 times per week.

9) What are you most attracted to in the opposite sex? Height..I like ‘em tall…but also personality and smile and lots of other things.

10) What is your favorite TV show? White Collar. If you don’t watch it, you should. The characters are so clever, and Neal is just amazing. ;) Brown hair + blue eyes = perfect combo. ;)

11) What do you drink most? Uh, water…;) I had 14 glasses yesterday..

12) PC or Mac? I have both, but I prefer my Macbook. I love all things Apple! I just ordered the new iPhone 4, and I blame Sarah for that. After playing with hers I knew it wouldn’t be long until I had to have one too. :)

13) Are you a talker or a texter? I am a talker and a texter. I enjoy all forms of communication.

14) Facebook or Twitter? Again, I like it all, but I suppose I’d choose Facebook.

15) If you had to choose between love or money which one would you choose? “To love someone is nothing..to be loved by someone is something, but to be loved by the one you love is everything.” I’d choose love.

16) Are you a girly girl? Hmm, I think so..yes. I get manicures and pedicures regularly..I’ll actually be doing that later today. Just saying. I also wear dresses, knit, giggle, love to shop, etc. I suppose I have a lot of girly habits. :)

17) What day are you most looking forward to this week? Thursday is usually my favorite day, and this week it’s especially exciting. I’ll be at my last WW meeting with friends before missing the next few meetings while I’m out of town. Friday should be pretty awesome too. It’s been too long since I danced the night away with my favorite local band. Hey..two weeks is too long..;) Saturday should be fun too. I’m going to spend the day having fun with people I love in Connecticut. It’s shaping up to be a great weekend. I can’t wait to get started!

18) What are you doing right now? Taking a break from tidying things up – the cleaning lady is coming in the morning, and I try to be sure that all of the dishes are done, etc. Right now, I’m typing my post and chatting with a very special lady in Oklahoma. =)

19) What is your favorite food? Thai is my favorite. I think I’ll be eating it Thursday. Yum..

20) If you could be anyone for a day who would you be? I can’t believe I’m saying this and meaning it, but I’d be myself. There are so many wonderful things in my world now..I couldn’t ask for more.

I love questions like these, and I’d love to read your answers too so let me know if you answer them. :)

Now let’s talk about water. I drank 14 glasses yesterday, but I’m not the only one owning the PEWC. Shelli Belly is drinking it up too. You can find her blog at http://www.shellibelly.com!


Tammy is also pretty in pink with her awesome water bottle. :) You can find her at From Fat To Fab. :)


I’ve decided that I’m definitely going to take a picture with my pink Tervis Tumbler later today! If you’d like to share a water photo, it’s not too late. Just e-mail us at seanboy105@hotmail.com or shrinkingkenz@gmail.com, and let us know how the water challenge is working for you!

Bottoms up Friends!

Happy Birthday To Me! =)

My weekend was full of fun and friends, and I feel more blessed than ever to be living the life I live. Last night about 30 friends came over to celebrate my birthday with me. My little shin dig was catered by Depot Market which is locally owned, and the waitress/bartender/super star was fantastic. I’ll definitely have her back here at Christmas. :) And the executive chef, Dave, did an amazing job with food preparation. Everyone loved it.

There are so many photos, and of course, I’m going to share a few…

These are some of my favorite ladies. :) Just saying.
The food was quite tasty, and the company was wonderful too. My friend, Sue, made friends around the table and kept watch over everything. See the little sliders? There were pulled pork sliders and cheeseburger sliders, and both were 3 WW points each – a fantastic calorie value in my opinion.
My cake was adorable…I loved it. :)
Dave makes these chips himself, and they are life changing…seriously. OMG! The fiesta station was incredible.
And the reason I chose Depot Market – the highly anticipated international cheese platter. There are no words to describe how much I loved the pretty cheese! I had a few bites of it, and it definitely tasted as good as it looked.

The sushi came from my neighborhood sushi take-out restaurant, and the owner delivered twice as much as I had requested. He said “Just enjoy it.” I certainly did enjoy it. I’m a big fan of brown rice California rolls.

Sarah and I had such a wonderful weekend together. She’s kind of my hero. Just saying. ;) She headed back to Boston then she was off to spend the day on the cape (Cape Cod.) I’m looking forward to seeing her again soon.
I made a wish, and I’m confident that it will come true. =)
More friends…I’m so glad that everyone came.
My workout buddy and friend, Carol.
And here’s one more picture of the cake. The top layer was white with butter cream, and the bottom layer was chocolate fudge with homemade cookies infused..It was delicious.


There are so many fun photos, but I had to put up a few of my favorites! :) I posted pictures of those who don’t mind being a part of my blog, but I feel so fortunate to have everyone in my life – even those who prefer not to be on the web. Ha..:)

I think that the upcoming year will be a tremendous one. I’m so lucky to have loving, caring and supportive people around me everyday. And now it’s time to look ahead to all of the good times that are coming. Bring it on 30! I’m ready. =)

Ten Things I Love About Dad

1) He loves talking about current events and politics as much or more as I do.

2) He’s good at seeing the bright side when we talk about life, the future, etc.

3) If I needed to call him at 3 AM to talk or ask him how to fix something, he’d gladly answer and talk me through it.

4) He loves music as much as I do. He writes songs, plays the guitar and even sings now too.

5) He works hard.

6) He is very supportive of my weight-loss journey. He’s proud of me for many reasons, and he’s not afraid to show it.

7) When he visits me in New York, he gets up early to touch up the paint in the living room and in the stairwell while I sleep in. He also fixes things that need to be fixed like the bathtub shower thingy. (See why he needs to be on top of things? I call it ‘the shower thingy.’)

8) When we walk together, he doesn’t walk in front of me or behind me…he walks beside me..always has..

9) I can talk to him about boys. Seriously…he listens, gives advice and shares his opinions…and he never rushes to change the subject when I feel like being chatty about it.

10) When I need him, he does anything in his power to be there for me…wherever he is.

Growing up, sometimes I thought Dad was mean, and sometimes he was (like the time I was strictly forbidden to listen to New Kids on the Block. Still scarred over that one Dad. hehe) But he did his best, along with my mom, to give me the foundation I’d need to make it as a grownup. He wasn’t perfect…he’s made mistakes. But he’s never stopped trying to be the best father he could be. And I think my sister would agree that his kids turned out pretty well. ;)


I like my dad more as a grownup than I did as a kid. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve always loved him, but now I don’t fear him, I respect him. I wish I could give him a hug today and take him to Golden Palace, but that will have to wait until late next month. Until then, I’ll just be grateful that I have some time with him to look forward to.

Happy Father’s Day Dad. I love you…

It’s Weigh-In Day and I’ve Come To Realize…

It’s Thursday again which means I’ll weigh-in later today. I’m excited because I did pretty well this week, but I’m always nervous because I hope the scale reflects that. So instead of focusing on what if, I’ll just wait for the results and do this fun little survey instead. Thank you Andrea, you are the queen of blog fun.

************

I’ve come to realize that my body works a lot better than I thought it did! It has been changing so much in the last year, and it’s going strong. :)


I’ve come to realize that when I’m driving I should not be text messaging or holding the phone to my ear or checking Facebook…or twitter…

I’ve come to realize that I need to workout 5-6 days per week to feel as good about myself as possible.

I’ve come to realize that I have lost a lot of weight! Seriously..it’s awesome. I can do this! :)

I’ve come to realize that I hate it when I don’t make a good impression.

I’ve come to realize that if I’m drunk I ‘love’ everyone around me. Ha.

I’ve come to realize that money
isn’t as important to me as it used to be, but I like it..a lot. And sometimes, I take it for granted.

I’ve come to realize that certain people are going to be memories and nothing more…

I’ve come to realize that I’ll always remember
what it felt like to be at my heaviest weight – sad and afraid that maybe I just couldn’t change…now I know I can because I am. Just saying.

I’ve come to realize that my sibling is a beautiful woman and a brilliant mother who is actually pretty fun to be around. :) I’m sooooooooo excited that she and my niece will be visiting Mom when I visit. She got a job yesterday (yay!) that we thought would keep that from happening then it just worked out..so awesome.


I’ve come to realize that my mom is a worrier and a giver and the glue that binds our family.

I’ve come to realize that my cell phone is an addiction, and I’m oddly okay with that. Seriously, iPhone users, have you played Words with Friends? It’s awesome.

When I woke up this morning I realized that I still don’t feel 100%, but the sun is shining…and that makes me feel a little better.

Before bed last night I realized that I needed to take NyQuil so I did.

Right now I am thinking about the fact that I will not see Pearl Jam at Madison Square Garden tonight. And while my heart aches because of it, I know that if I really wanted to be there I would be. I’ve spent some time bouncing ideas around in my head as to why I’m not going, and I think I know the answer.

I’ve come to realize that my dad is wise, loving and hard working.

I’ve come to realize that when I get on Facebook I’m disappointed if I don’t have new notifications. What? Just keepin’ it real. ;)

I’ve come to realize that today is the day that I could maybe say that I’ve lost 100 pounds though I know it will most likely be next week instead.

I’ve come to realize that tonight will be an outstanding night with The Amish Outlaws and friends even though part of my heart will be at Madison Square Garden…


I’ve come to realize that tomorrow could be the day that I see Pearl Jam at MSG…they’re here two nights in a row. ;)

I’ve come to realize that I really want to win the hearts of other men and women who are similar journeys to change and become the person they want to be…:)

I’ve come to realize that life is about accepting who I am and loving myself without apology. I’m still working on that, but I’ve come a long, long way..:)

I’ve come to realize that this weekend will be a good one.

I’ve realized the best music to listen to when I am upset is Pearl Jam. I listen to them when I’m happy, sad, angry, in love, motivated, unmotivated, etc.

I’ve come to realize that my friends take me as I am – faults and all. :) For the first time in my life I am surrounded by people who truly ‘get’ me…and I am thankful for this everyday.

I’ve come to realize that this year has been incredible so far. And I think there are more exciting things on the horizon.

I’ve come to realize that my husband is non-existent, but I know who he will be. And I think that might be part of the “exciting things on the horizon.” Just saying.

I’ve come to realize that maybe I should start scrapbooking more often. It’s a hobby that I love, but I don’t spend enough time doing it anymore. I did a little with girlfriends last week, but there’s so much that I want to do. I just need to get started! :)

I’ve come to realize that I love my niece more than life itself.

I’ve come to realize that I don’t understand how people can be so cruel and judgmental. But for every person out there like that, I meet many who are just the opposite.

I’ve come to realize my past is just that – past. It does not define who I am today unless I let it.

I’ve come to realize that parties are one of my favorite things. I love being with friends, presents and games.

I’ve come to realize that my life is better than I ever could have imagined. :)

Mind Over Matter

If I had known that I could enjoy the weight-loss process so much I would have started it much sooner. I think I had a lot of misconceptions about losing weight because I thought the only way to do it was to diet – to forsake every food I had ever enjoyed, replacing all of my regular hobbies with grueling exercise. Wow..I was so wrong!

It’s not easy every day, but I certainly do not live a life of depravity…not. even. close. I eat real foods that are healthy and filling, but I eat cheesecake sometimes (not often..just sometimes) too. Over the last year, I’ve learned how to balance my cravings with what I actually need, and I’ve even seen big changes in what I crave.


I don’t diet. I dislike the word immensely because I believe it sets people up to fail. I make good food choices most of the time. I eat healthy foods and journal what I’m eating (good or bad) so I know I’m consuming just enough to lose weight. Before I began losing weight I had no idea that eating enough was just as important as not eating too much.

And I actually enjoy exercise. Who knew that was possible?! I certainly did not. I don’t always enjoy lifting gigantic weights or doing squats until I puke, but at this point, it’s not necessary for me to do that on a daily basis (though some days I try.)

I do lift light weights, and I do squats and crunches and plank exercises. I also ride my bicycle, walk with friends or solo, dance to exercise videos that have a fun beat and I use a fitness stick to tone my arms. I mix up my workouts, and I do things that I enjoy. It’s much easier to stay motivated when you don’t hate what you’re about to do. I’ll never understand why people put themselves through that!

So, for me, this experience has actually been a fun one so far. Sure, there have been times (more than a few) in which I suffered through saying no to a Kit-Kat or a slice of pizza, but I don’t remember most of those instances. I do, however, remember how happy I feel each time I step on the scale and weigh less. I also remember the first shirt I bought off the rack at Old Navy and at Kohl’s. I remember the first time I jogged up a flight of stairs without feeling winded and the first time I could button one of my winter coats. I also remember the first time I could buckle the seat belt in the car without an extension and the first time I could use the table in front of me on an airplane. I also remember the feeling I got a few days ago when I put a belt through the loops of my jeans. (More on that later…that was a huge accomplishment!)


Weight-loss is not easy, but it’s also not as terrible as I thought it would be. I have learned that I can do so much more than I thought I could do with my body, my heart and my mind. I have ups and downs, but when you add it all up, you see one big success. I’ve said this before: I’m nowhere near my goal, but I already feel like a new person who possesses a bit of personal style, class and confidence. And while I certainly wish I could have felt this way sooner, I’ll just remain thankful that I feel it now.

Happy Easter!

I’m not sure how old I was in this picture though I’m sure Mom and Dad will be able to tell me. This picture of me when I was little made me smile when I saw it so I had to share it. ;)


Happy Easter Friends!