Tag Archives: walking

Commuting Confusion

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A little over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about my daily commute into the city.  I was so excited that I was able to do the commute without pain or difficulty. It is so liberating to be able to walk and stand without a problem.

Since I wrote this post, my commute into the city has changed, quite drastically.

Let’s start with this cool new train line called the Silver Line. The Silver Line is eventually going to make it’s way out to Dulles airport, which is not far from Sterling, Ashburn, and other far away lands in the exurbs of DC. But for now, the Silver Line only goes out to Reston. The addition of this train completely screwed up my morning commute.

I live and work on the Blue Line, which shares tracks with this new line for part of the trip. Now, the Blue Line trains already have a pretty raw deal. It shares tracks with the Yellow Line and the Orange Line in different areas. Where it shares tracks with the Yellow trains, you could see 3-5 Yellows before an over crowded Blue train shows up. The same is true where it shares tracks with the Orange Line trains.

Now that the Silver Line trains have been added, they reduced the Blue Line service. One now shows up every 12 minutes during rush hour, because that’s what the over crowded Blue Line trains need, less trains.

Fortunately, there is a bus that travels directly from in front of my apartment building and now drops me off 4 blocks from the office. To make up for the loss of train service, the genies at WMATA re-routed this bus. During the summer, I was walking 1.3 miles from where this bus dropped me off. Now, I only have to walk 4 blocks. It’s cheaper than the metro and closer to my office. What could possibly go wrong.

Let me tell you…

The bus drivers do not know the new route.

Today’s driver, missed her turn onto 18th Avenue from Constitution. She then did a u-turn on Constitution, which I didn’t even know was possible during rush hour, let alone on a bus. I was a little bit terrified. Then, she turned right onto Virginia Avenue and not 18th. This is generally not a problem because in 25 feet you can then just turn right onto 18th from Virginia. She didn’t do that. She continued on Virginia Avenue for a few blocks.

I don’t know where she went after that because I got off the bus. Perhaps she just gave up and drove back to Virginia to start again. I walked from 20th and C to 20th and M. That’s about a mile. It’s not a bad walk, and I do not mind doing it, but for the love of all that’s holy, can we please get some bus drivers that know how to drive in DC?

I really do not want to have to move just to get a better commute into the city. And I really do not want to drive! I only live six miles from the office. Surely, it does not have to be this difficult to get to work every day! Maybe I should just walk.

Exercise – Walking Challenge

I have to admit, I’m not much of an exercise buff. I do walk and sometimes I go to the gym. That said, I have joined the walking challenge at my office. I think the goal is 10,000 steps a day, 70,000 steps a week. Whoever does the most steps at the end of the month wins a $50 gift card. They gave us free pedometers which basically fell apart after two days. I have been using a free app on my iPhone.

I have been doing really well, too. Right now, I’m in second place. I’m not sure I will be able to catch up with the person in first place. She’s just too far ahead. They also let us calculate other forms of exercise. She does a lot of biking and plays baseball.

I have been swimming. My apartment complex has a pool. I try to get an hour of swimming in every couple of days. I would do it every day, but some days I just do not get home in time. Pool closes at 8pm and sometimes it’s just to chilly in the evenings to swim.

To date, I have a total of 72,052 steps and my daily average is over 12,000. Here are some things I do to increase my daily steps.

  • Take bus all the way into DC and forgo the Metro. Walk from where bus drops me off on 23rd Street NW and Constitution Ave to my office. This adds a little more than 1/2 a mile each way to my daily walk to/from the office. That’s an additional 2473 steps per day.
  • Expand my  lunchtime walk. It is currently now 1.7 miles. I bumped it up to a solid 2+ miles.
  • Add swimming as an exercise: moderate swimming is 174 steps per minute. 30 minutes of swimming is 5220 steps.
  • This week, I walked all over DC with my friends. I’m going to have to get more creative next week to keep that level of activity going.
  • Add an additional walk after I get home from work and have dinner.

Most of these are small additions just to bump up my current level of walking activity.

The swimming is a pretty big step for me. This requires putting on a bathing suit in public, something that I have not done in more than 10 years. Once I’m in the water and swimming, I do not even think about what I look like. I can only think about breathing and finishing my lap. I take it slowly. I do one lap and stop for about 15 seconds. Then do another lap. I keep thinking, “after this lap, I’ll stop.” Then I finish the lap and feel OK and think, “OK, one more lap.” I try to do this for 1/2 hour at least. I try to vary my laps between the breast stroke and the backstroke. The backstroke is easier for me. But in either case, I’m not thinking about how I look in a bathing suit, I’m just concentrating on swimming.

I am going to wait a couple of weeks of this increased level of activity to weigh myself. I am hoping that the increased exercise will help the scale to start moving down again. We shall see!

Let The Games Begin!

My month of blogging has begun.

I had a lot of great suggestions from people on topics, so I think I will have a lot to write about. Everything from talking about the emotional journey, the physical procedure and the aftermath, and recipes.

My posts are going to be a little bit more organized. Sundays will be my week wrap-up and planning for the week ahead. Monday and Wednesday will be about food, meals, and recipes. Tuesdays I will write about the physical aspect of things, from the surgery itself to changes in my body. Thursdays will be about my emotional journey, the ups and downs, and how things have changed. Fridays will be about the different kinds of exercises I am doing. Saturdays I think I’m going to keep kind of random. I want to do book reviews and talk about health, food, and weight in general. That will also be the day I will keep open to answer questions people may have.

I am doing two other things in June apart from this daily blogging. I am participating in a wellness activity at work. I am doing the walking challenge. They gave us all free pedometers. Here is mine:

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I am also doing a postaday challenge with WordPress.  They are supposed to send us prompts to use, but I may or may not follow their prescribed format. Depends on what I feel like writing that day. I’m a rebel like that.

So, here are updates for today and what I am doing this coming week. Today I walked all over DC with my brother and his little girl. Instead of doing our usual museum circuit, we went to some monuments.

We walked to the Lincoln Memorial, the MLK Memorial, the FDR Memorial, and the WWII Memorial. My walking through DC was 5192 steps which is about 2.5 miles. I also bought the first bathing suit I have had in 14 years and went swimming for about an hour. Now I’m completely exhausted.

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I used to love swimming when I was younger, but I haven’t been swimming in more than 10 years. I am actually a very good swimmer. I feel very natural in the water and once I’m swimming, I completely forget to be worried about what I look like in a bathing suit. When I lived in Phoenix, I would swim in my cousin’s pool, or in the pool in my apartment complex, but it’s been a very long time. I’m glad to be swimming again.

I’m going to the beach the week of the 4th of July with my friends. I want to be practiced in swimming again before I get there. I probably will not do a lot of swimming in the ocean. I’ll probably mostly bounce around in the waves or do the boogie board. But still, I want to strengthen my swimming muscles and get used to wearing my bathing suit in public.

This week, I am taking a couple of vacation days. I have friends visiting from Phoenix and I am going to do some sightseeing with them. That will be a lot more walking. I am also going to change my commute a little. I normally take a bus and then the metro. Then walk 1/2 mile to the office. This week, I am going to take the bus all the way into the city and then walk 1.5 miles to the office. I am also going to continue doing my lunchtime walks. I can usually get 1.5 miles in at lunch as well. That will help me boost my pedometer steps for the work challenge.

So, to recap, this is what you can expect from my blog for June. If this format works, I may try to keep it going as long as I can.

  • Monday and Wednesday – Food & Recipes
  • Tuesday – Physical aspect of surgery, body changes, body image
  • Thursday – Emotional journey
  • Friday – Exercise
  • Saturday  – Random & Questions
  • Sunday – Weekly recap and prep for week ahead

As always, I will always answer any of your questions, even if it is a repeat of a previous blog post. Let the fun begin!

Some Good News At Least – NSV

Trying to remain positive about weight loss when it’s been six months since you’ve lost any way can be very difficult. My weight has not changed. The good news is I haven’t gained any.  Sometimes the scale fluctuates and goes up two or three pounds, but it always comes back down to 171. I’m told not gaining weight is an accomplishment in and of itself. I know it, but I do not always feel it.

That said, I had some really great health news this week. A few weeks ago my work did an employee health screening where they brought in the vampires and asked people to join in the process. They offered Amazon gift cards and free salad bowls if people signed up.

I can get free books? I’m in!

I received the results this week. My blood pressure was slightly elevated at 140/89. Not great, but a damn sight better than the unregulated 210/125 it was just a couple of years ago. I used to have to take three different meds to bring it down to the 140/89 range. Now I take none. I will share that number with my doctor when I go in July for my annual physical, and if she feels a mild medication is in order, I’ll consider it.

The better news is this.

  • Blood Sugar – 89
  • Cholesterol – 173
  • HDL – 52, (should be a little higher, but this number is vastly improved).
  • LDL is 101, (should be a little lower, but still a huge improvement).
  • Triglycerides…wait for it…97!

I am astonished by the triglycerides number. Heart disease runs in my mother’s family. All of her siblings, (and she has 8 of them…8!!), have experienced some kind of heart problem, either open heart surgery, bi-passes, blockages, etc. My mother has high bp and high cholesterol, but to date, no major issues, thank goodness.

One of the reasons I did the bariatric surgery was my fear of heart disease. My blood pressure was out of control, and my other numbers were totally out of whack. My triglycerides alone were well over 200.

I have been trying very hard to raise my HDL number and lower the LDL number.I eat ample quantities of nuts and peanut butter…maybe that explains the weight loss stoppage. Hmmm. 

I make sure that I use canola oil, sesame oil, and other oils that have monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fat. I do not use margarine ever! No trans fats for me. If I’m going to have bad fat, I’m going straight for the butter. Honestly, there is no substitute. At least saturated fats are natural fats and your body does need them!

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I really do not eat so much fat that I need to worry about a little butter now and again. And besides, what isn’t made better with butter?

But I digress…

I am really happy with those numbers. I’m sure my doctor will be thrilled to.

Update on my spring walking tour of DC…

I have accomplished everything except the walk to Roosevelt Island. I have a friend coming to visit me this weekend. I may try to do that with him. I know I am going to drag him to Eastern Market early Sunday morning for breakfast and shopping. I went there this past weekend and I got two really cool skirts and some fresh fruits.

 

New Summer Challenge!

I am thinking of doing a blogging challenge every day in June. This will take some planning on my part. And I’ll have to think of something to blog about every day. I’m going to be returning to the gym in an attempt to lose some of 46 pounds I’d like to lose. But if anyone has ideas on new subjects, please shoot me a message or comment after this post.

Spring Fest – The Cure For Boredom

So today I am going to try posting from my iPad. I am supposed to be hanging out with my sister today. She’s running a bit late. There are only so many naps, tv shows, or rounds of Words With Friends I can do before my head explodes. I knew that Spring Fest in my neighborhood was happening, so I grabbed my poncho and iPad and walked down the hill.

The festival is pretty darn festive. Lots of music and beer drinking. I haven’t had any alcohol since the surgery and honestly I do not really miss it. So I’m just here enjoying the music and watching people make fools of themselves. I cannot really justify paying $30 to not drink beer, so I’m just enjoying a cappuccino instead.

Now Coffee Fest – that’s something I can get behind!

Ok I forgot my point.

Oh yeah, so I walk down here to Caribou Coffee only to find out that tomorrow they are closing and never opening again. They were bought out by Peets’ over a year ago. Nobody is happy about this. I will miss Caribou. They have been good to me.

But all things change and we knew this was going to happen. They have been putting off the conversion for a while now. So, farewell Caribou! I have enjoyed you coffees and teas and the yummy blueberry oatmeal.

Apart from that, I am really enjoying this festival. I love that I can go to these things and walk around. I might not be able to drink or eat much, but I can walk to and from. I can walk around and socialize. And most of all, I can dance!

Enjoy the pics!

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Blossom Walk Update

This gallery contains 19 photos.

As many of you who follow my blog know, I set some goals for myself this spring. Two of those goals were to walk around the Tidal Basin and to attend the Cherry Blossom Parade. I walked around the Tidal … Continue reading

Another NSV Victory – Spring Goals Accomplished!

I had a major non-scale victory today. I walked around the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC to see the cherry blossoms.

This is the route I took. I parked on Jefferson just before the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, DC. I marked my starting point as 1400 Independence Avenue, which is just a block away.

Along the way, I saw the Jefferson Memorial, The George Mason Memorial, The FDR Memorial and the MLK Memorial.

This morning was a gloriously beautiful morning. Chilly and windy, especially along the water, but beautiful. I am planning on going to the Cherry Blossom parade next week, so I will do this again. Hopefully by then, the Cherry Blossoms will be at the peak bloom. I cannot wait to see those pictures.

In the meantime, Enjoy these pictures! Some facts first though:

  • Before today, I had never walked around the Tidal Basin before.
  • I had never seen the MLK memorial or the Jefferson Memorial.
  • The walk from where I parked and back again was about 2.5 miles.
  • I am exhausted and need a nap.

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Springing Forward With Panache! (Good-bye Winter!)

This winter was rough. I am using the past tense because I really want to put this winter in the past. I know technically, it is in the past and already spring as March 21 was the official first day, but it has still been cold and snowy here. We even had some flurries yesterday, in fact.

Spring keeps threatening to pop up, but winter just won’t let go. Here is a picture I took the other day of Cherry Blossoms trying to bloom.

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A few posts ago, I gave myself a list of things to accomplish this spring. Stuff that I could not do before  the weight loss that I can do now.  I have some dates picked out for these events. I even bought some new ponchos for all of my walking events, so I’m totally prepared!  (I love ponchos and have very fond childhood memories of wearing the ones my mother made for me. Regrettably, I have no talent with knitting needles and crochet hooks, but I’m glad she did.)

April 5 – Walk around the Tidal Basin, see Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, and the MLK Memorial.

April 12 – Attend Cherry Blossom Parade. The kite festival was supposed to be Sunday, March 30, but was cancelled due to inclement weather. Hopefully, that will be re-scheduled for this weekend.

June 4-6 ish – Lots of DC touristy type stuff that will include a lot of walking. I might try to put my walk to Roosevelt Island during this time frame. A friend of mine is bringing her family to DC and they want to be, in her words, “complete tourists”. I will join them. I am so happy they chose now to visit so that I can show them the city.

I am now officially adding one more thing to my list. (insert drum-roll here)

My friend Sushmita, who owns Studio Pause, is a graduate of Empowered Women International.  Their motto is “Helping Immigrant, Refugee, and Low Income Women Create Sustainable Livelihoods.” They basically teach them to run a business, mostly around arts, crafts, cooking, something they are good at, passionate about, and turn it into a business that can sustain them and their families.

Sunday, April 6, 2014, Sushmita is hosting a fundraiser at her studio, Studio Pause, and I’m helping. We are going to cook Indian food, and serve meals to our friends and family in an effort to raise money for their scholarship program. I will be making my famous chicken saag, (recipe on this blog). And I might also make my curry chicken salad with mango chutney if the mood strikes me, which if I know me, it will.

Here is the Facebook page for the event.

If you’re in the DC area, and wish to attend, please do! It should be fun!

I Have Always Wanted To Do That

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I have had a rough winter, physically, emotionally, food-wise. I have just been making myself crazy. Like most people in the US, I will be so happy to put this winter behind me.

With spring making an appearance in the DC area today, I feel inspired. I got up early this am and went to a Women’s Day luncheon for Empowered Women International. My good friend Sush took part in their program and now has her own art studio.

When I woke up this am, I was not feeling well. I had a bit of constipation, which is quite painful. I had to pick up my friend at 10am, and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to make it. I forced myself to deal with it and just go.  I am so glad that I did. I had a great time. I also came away from the event inspired.

I also started thinking about all of the things that I never did because of my weight and all of the health problems that I had. I had trouble walking and breathing. I felt that I could not fully participate in events because of that. Or I was depressed because of my weight and health problems, so I did not even try.

One of my biggest fears, now that I have lost 127 pounds and can do so much more, is going backwards. I do not ever want to find myself in that place again. So, when I got up this am not feeling well, it was tempting to just say home under the covers and whine about not feeling well. I probably would have too if Sush had not called me.

I dragged myself off the couch, took a shower, put on a pretty dress, styled my hair, and left the house. As Sush would say, “The New Colleen goes out!” I did. And I’m glad for it.

So, I decided I would make some goals for myself this spring. There are all kinds of things that I never did that I really want to do. Here are 5 things I have never done that I am going to make myself do this spring.

So, we’ll see how much I get done. I have to do the Tidal Basin walk and Cherry Blossom parade at particular times, obviously, but the rest I will give myself until the first day of summer to complete.

I want to kick off the warm weather season right. I need to dust off the funk from this winter. I think getting out and doing stuff I have never done before I a great way to jump into spring!

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The Challenges Of WLS – Keeping Inspired & Staying Focused Pt. 2

As promised, here is Part 2 of The Challengers of WLS – Keeping Inspired & Staying Focused.

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This is the post where I discuss what helps me stay inspired  and keeps me focused on staying the course.

First, I want to say that this past year has been absolutely amazing.  The changes that have happened to my body, my health, and my life have been many.  People think losing weight through bariatric surgery is the easy way out.  Nothing could be further from the truth, and yet at the same time, it has sometimes been easy.

I have really ridden the emotional roller coaster from the moment I started this journey.  I had a lot ups and downs.  I dealt with a lot of very strong emotions before I had the surgery, and many of them were amplified after the surgery.  It was a difficult decision for me decide to have surgery.  I resisted it for many years even though friends suggested it and family begged me to consider it.  Once I made the decision to have surgery, I had no idea what I was in for.  I knew that through the surgery, I would lose a lot of weight, but I had no idea where the journey would take me, and the emotional ups and downs I would experience. This has been a hell of a journey, and although I’m not done yet, I have no regrets.

That said, how do I stay focused and keep inspired?  Here are some of the things that have inspired me over the last year. The first part of the list will be the people who have supported and inspired me over the past year.  They say when you face adversity, you really learn who your friends are, and I believe that is true.  The second part of this list will be the changes I have made and other things in my life that keeps me inspired.

  • My niece – I have to put this at the top of my list since she is, in part, the reason I wanted to take steps to drastically improve my life.  I have written in the past about how I have wanted to improve my health so that I could keep up with her and be there to watch her grow up and experience life.  That little girl has changed our entire family, not just my life.  She’s the first child that any of us had.  She is our next generation, the future of our family.  She turned this motley collection of adults into a family the day she was born.  She loves the new Auntie Colleen.  In fact, I don’t think she even remembers the old, pre-surgery Auntie Colleen. We go to museums together and hang out all of the time.  I love experiencing the world through her eyes. It’s like living life for the first time.  To think that I would miss watching her grow into a child, teenager, young woman because of my addiction to food broke my heart.
  • My sister Sandy– I have the greatest sisters.  I really do.  My sister Sandy lives about 20 miles from me.  She has been the greatest inspiration.  She changed her own life by changing the decisions that she was making.  She has her own incredible story.  But she also helped me change mine.  She confronted me about my health and my weight and begged me to do something.  Once I made the decision to have the surgery, she stood by me 100%.  She helped me with the many Dr. appointments. I stayed with her for a month after the surgery.  She bought me new clothes after I lost 100 pounds.  She writes my new weight and total weight loss on the wipe-erase board on her refrigerator.  She’s amazing.
  • My sister Jenny – Jenny is an incredible young woman.  I have seen her take terrible situations in her own life and completely turn it around.  She is another woman who has an incredible story of triumph over adversity.  But she has also been there cheering me on through mine.  When I tried out for The Biggest Loser show on TV, she drove to Richmond, VA with me and sat out all night on the sidewalk waiting for me to have an interview for the show.  She could not be here physically the way Sandy was because Jenny lives in Minnesota, but she texted me words of inspiration. We had many tearful phone calls as she talked me through some pretty difficult times.  She reads my blog all of the time, comments, sends me emails.  I know she reads my posts to her husband, (Hi Dean!!).  They are both wonderfully supportive.  She even cut, styled, and colored my hair for me for free.  I couldn’t have done all of this without her.
  • My brother & his wife – They have been so supportive of everything I have done.  While everyone else was cheering my decision to have the surgery early on, my brother was the voice of reason.  He expressed his concerns about the surgery and asked me some very difficult questions, making sure that I had truly considered all of the consequences of the surgery.  He was definitely worried.  He wanted me to improve my health, yes, but he also knew that this surgery can have complications. He was worried.  His wife was wonderful as well.  She helped me get a Baby Bullet so that I could puree my food.  She cheered me on and celebrated all of my changes with me.  And she’s always included me on every celebration with her own family.
  • My mom – My mom was so happy when I decided to have the surgery.  She was one of the people who had been asking me for years to consider wls.  She came here for my surgery and has celebrated all of my successes.  She also helps me keep things real when she thinks I might be falling off the wagon.  She knows how sick I was and does not want me to go backwards.
  • My friends – I really do have the greatest friends.  My best friend Jerry came to stay with me for a week a month after my surgery.  He helped me get my apartment set up after the surgery so that I wouldn’t have to exert too much energy to live my daily life while I healed.  He’s also been one of my biggest emotional supporters through this whole thing.  My friend Sushmita has also been a source of inspiration.  I have never met a more positive, energetic, happy person.  She inspires me.  My friends Lisa, Vicky, Jennifer, Joanna, & Lauren (hello my RHLS friends!) have also been hugely supportive; reading my blog; listening to me tell my weight loss stories; celebrating my successes; telling me how great I look, which I can never hear enough.
  • The Arlington Writer’s Group – Some of the people I mentioned above are members of the AWG, but I still have to make a special mention of this group of people.  The group has a whole has been supportive and celebrated my decision.  The day of my surgery last year, they had a writing session dedicated just to me.  They took words that described me and used them as inspirations for a writing exercise.  Then they mailed me the stories to read while I recuperated.  They have all also cheered on my successes.  Every week, they tell me how great I look; ask how much I have lost; given me exercise suggestions; the list of the support I have received from them is endless. I am so lucky to have them in my life.
  • My former & current co-workers – The day of my surgery, all of my co-workers at the time called all day to check up on me.  They came to see me while I recuperated.  They really cheered me on.  When I saw my former co-workers a few weeks ago, they all cheered on how well I have done.  My current co-workers also congratulate me on all of my success.  When I show them pictures of what I looked like before the surgery, they cannot believe it.  They all also comment on the weight I have lost since I started working there.

Those are many of the people in my life who keep me inspired focused.  Here are the other abstract things that keep me inspired and focused.

  • Pictures of myself – I can really see the difference in the before Colleen and the after Colleen.  I have never been able to see that in previous weight loss journeys.  I think that is pretty remarkable especially since the weight has come off relatively quickly. That is a huge change from my previous attempts to lose weight.
  • My breathing – I can breathe!  I have struggled with asthma since I put on so much weight.  I really had difficulty walking and moving because of that asthma.  That has mostly cleared up.  I know I still struggle a little with asthma, but it’s nothing like it was before.
  • Back pain – My back pain is nearly gone.  I could barely stand or walk because of back pain before the surgery.  Now, this does not bother me very much at all.  It’s still there a little bit, but it does not prevent me from doing what I want.
  • Walking – I can walk!  I can walk for miles and miles if I want.  Before I could barely make it a block before I had to stop and rest my back and catch my breath.  I do not have to stop for that anymore. Whenever I feel frustrated with my weight loss, I just talk a walk and revel in the fact that I can do it so effortlessly.
  • Clothes – I know this is shallow, but still, it is important.  I look good in clothes for the first time in a very long time.  I love that.
  • Cheese – I can each cheese again!  OK, I know this is a crazy thing to include, but it’s important to me.  I was allergic to milk and cheese for a very long time.  Some time shortly after the surgery, I started including milk products into my diet in an attempt to try to get some protein.  My allergies have apparently gone away for the most part.  That alone makes the changes I’ve made worth it.
  • Attention/Being Visible – OK, I admit it, I’m an attention seeker.  I have written posts in the past about the invisibility that comes along with being obese.  This is very isolating and lonely.  Now people see me.  I see men looking at me, which is  crazy to me.  Before men did not really talk to me much.  Now random men strike up a conversation with me.  One gentleman a few weeks ago talked to me in Starbucks for almost an hour continually looking for reasons to interrupt my writing and ask me questions.  Then later when he saw me in Trader Joe’s, he came running up to say, “Hey! I just saw you in Starbucks!”  And the whole online dating thing has been interesting as well.  So many of the men tell me how pretty I am.  I’ve never really had that much in the past, certainly not while I was obese.  Even if I never actually meet a man that way, but having the ones who see my picture tell me how pretty I am is a huge ego boost.
  • How incredible my life has become – I know this sounds vain, but it really has.  I am having so much fun.  My life has become so busy that I can barely keep up.  I am out all of the time.  Yesterday, I did some campaigning for the guy running for governor here in VA. Then I went to a political rally where Hillary Clinton (omfg!) was speaking. Then I went to my friend’s art gallery where I was one of the people speaking.  Every weekend is like that now. OK, maybe every weekend I don’t go see extremely famous politicos, but I am always out and about doing stuff.  I barely have time to clean my apartment and do laundry; or write in this blog.

OK this post is getting very long.  But I think you get the point.  My life has changed in incredible ways.  I have wonderful people in my life.  Nothing is better than seeing the joy in their eyes when they see how well I am doing.  I am doing incredible things with my life.  Even the simplest tasks that took so much effort before are a joy and inspiration.

I never want to be the girl who could not walk and breathe again.  I never want to look in the mirror and see the 300 pound person that I was staring back at me.   I never want to look in the eyes of the people who I love and who have supported me only to see their disappointment reflected back to me because I went backwards and gained the weight back.

I want to make the people around me happy.  I want to see my niece grow into a beautiful woman.  I want to be an inspiration for her to emulate.  I want to live each day to the fullest. I want to be open to whatever good things life has in store for me, for however much time I have left in this world.  I want to make it difficult for death to find take me from this world.  I will not go quietly from this life.  I want to spend the rest of my days raging against the dying of the light.

The fact that I see that as a possibility now, is the biggest inspiration of all.