Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Insert GRRRR face here.

Yes, that's right.

I am making a squishy, probably highly unflattering BLERGGGHHH, grrrrrr, blehhhhh face right now.

Why, you ask?

I'm fluffy.  That's why.

Sarah who used to be 320+something pounds would be quite infuriated with 200lb, size-14 Sarah for complaining about her current state of being.  But, while I once was a tight, fit, size-12ish, 200lb lean, mean, dense, muscle, awesome-machine...

Now?  I am 200lbs of less muscle and a lot more wiggle.

Here's the thing.  Life happens.  It is pretty easy to commit to getting super buff and being in full-on-workout-super-mega-beast-mode when you have a part time job, a lot of time on your hands, and a large part of your very humble income is committed to the gym.

"What shall I do on my day(s) off?  Hmm.  Work out for 2 hours.  Oh - friend wants to go for a walk and then work out later, also?  Cool!"  And then I just worked out for almost 4 hours.

This would happen a couple of times a week, along with the more "normal" workouts that were only 1-2 hours.  But let's get real, yo.

Who has 2-4 hours a day to work out when you also work at least 45 hours a week, have a home, have a life, have people you love and want to see, and you need to...oh, you know - SLEEP.  Or eat.  Or, like, actually engage in life.

I don't know how to do it all.  I don't.  I have tried to figure it out, but I really don't know.  And this, my friends, has been the single biggest struggle over the last 2 years.  I should be grateful that I am 200lbs and not 330.  I should enjoy that, while I'm not small, I'm at least still in Curvy Girl Land instead of You're Slowly Killing Yourself Land.

This brings up two huge things that are plaguing my brain of late:

1.  How do you accept where you are?  Others have lovely things to say, especially those who haven't seen you since you lost the initial weight and are so excited for you.  It's strange how, even though they're right, even the loveliest things fall on deaf ears when you aren't succeeding how you feel you should.  It's almost angering.  And, why do I still see myself as a big person?  I don't think other people who've only met me since I've been this physical version of me see me that way.  When is everything good enough?

AAAAAAND two.

I want to be really physically fit again.  How do I do that while committing more realistic amounts of time per day to fitness?  I want to commit 30-75 minutes a day to physical activity.  My knees are in a bit of a state of disarray due to my weight history, so there are a few limitations.  But I want to be STRONG again.  I want to firm up again.  How do I do that knowing full well that I can't be the person who lackadaisically spends her multiple days off per week doing whatever she fancies, part of which happens to be working out for hours on end.

Readers who are fitness types or who have already or are struggling with this - throw a girl some pointers (but please avoid squats and lunges - my knees can't take it).  I really, really need it.  I want it.  Need it, dare I say.  No, no dares.  Definitely need it.

And those of you who are or have struggled with self-perception and trying to find a way to be content with where you're at:  lend me your thoughts.

I know it may seem as though I kid when I seem as though I'm talking with you all, but I really am.  I picture you all chatting right back to me.  I've got quite a soft spot for you, I do.  There are some things that I've experience and am going through that I really hope can help others know what they're getting themselves into when they lose weight.  But also?  I'm a girl who wants to hear from others who've already gone beyond where I am.  This is a conversation - not a lecture.  So let's chat.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Let the Little Victories Commence.

Little Victories, friends.  Little things add up to such big things.

As I've talked about in this here blog many times before, one of the truest of the most true things I can relay to you (even when I'm not doing it myself...) is this:  I will never cease to be repeatedly amazed at the mighty things that can happen when you simply choose to "do."  

Pyramids weren't built in a day, blah blah blah, insert cliche here, etc.  You get it.
(Speaking of pyramids, Fat Archaeology is SO happening again.)

While I most certainly have not been perfect since my last post, here's what I have been:

Honest.

With myself, that is.

Today, I didn't stick to my calorie goal.  But, I logged it.  I put it all in MyFitnessPal and I made sure to burn off what I ate.  My workout today may not make me lighter, but it will make me more fit, and I won't gain anything.  And working out most certainly did one of the things for which I love it the most:  it made me happy.  I ate a cookie, I had a piece of cheese pizza, I drank two Whitsuns with my work team, and I am still happy.  Not beating myself up, not angry about my poor decisions - content.  And even though I didn't stick to my 1500 calories, you know what I still am?

Happy.

Little Victories are so huge.  I have a tendency to concentrate on the very large, overall picture of where I know things need to and can be, and forget that it takes many a little goal to get there.  If we constantly think about the end result without breaking it down into smaller, regular, attainable and realistic goals, we set ourselves up for a feeling of perpetual failure.  I drive myself absolutely nutty and get nothing accomplished.  It feels infinitely better to meet lots of little goals.

If memory serves me, I think I may know a girl who did just this and lost about 130lbs once upon a time...

Here are my goals for the next week:
I will work out 5 times.
I will stick to my calorie goal a minimum of 4 times.
I will make a new, kickass installment of my Sweaty Beats playlist.
I will spend a half hour per day until Saturday tidying my bedroom.  My closet kind of threw up all over...
I must see How to Train Your Dragon 2.  Seriously, though.  It has to happen.

What've you got up your sleeve?  What would you like to tackle over the next little while?  Pick a little victory in your sights, or perhaps you've already had one recently!  Share away, friends.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Fashionably Late-r than ever.

It has been over a year since we've chatted, readers.  I named my blog partly because of the fact that I am very much a late bloomer, and largely because I am almost always late.  Well...  Better late than never.

To try and catch you up with everything my mind, body, and heart have gone through and learned in the last year in one blog post would just be silly.  So where do we start?

The end.  The beginning of the end.  Or, well...  A new beginning.

This blog began when a late bloomer was asked by so many to share her weight loss story - of growth, of struggles, tips, advice, hope, inspiration, defeat, a fair few archaeological discoveries, and a handful of other things that became part of her life changing.  The pounds began to shed.  My mind and body became stronger.  Becoming part of a community of you all who have been, are going, or are about to go through it by sharing through this blog helped me accomplish great things.  It gave me accountability.  It helped me sort through the remarkable chaos that is my brain at times.  It gave me support, goals, and so many people who helped me succeed by becoming a part of my little journey.

But what happens when things aren't so great?

You stop writing in your blog for over a year.
You can't do a single push-up.
You can't plank for 3 minutes anymore.
That pilates video that was too easy now seems impossible.
You don't make healthy meals at home on the regular.
You eat thoughtlessly and have developed a sweet tooth.
Your clothes still fit, but where they once were up against 190lbs of lean, mean, muscle machine, they now slightly cut in to 205lbs of wiggly, wobbly, fluffiness.
You now look like you weigh 205lbs, whereas before, that 190lbs was a toned-up-almost-size-10.
That picture of you 2 years ago when you were healthier and happier than you've ever been is now more difficult to look at than a photo of you from 4 years ago when you could barely work out the logistics of which bathroom stall you'd fit into best.
You forget that you can once again ride roller coasters.
You forget that you can shop in pretty much any store you want, and you own clothes that legitimately fit and have the size Medium in them.
You forget that walking a 5k in less than 40 minutes is the usual.
You forget that you now opt to ride your bike to work, and then go on bike rides for 20 miles like it ain't no thing.
You forget that so many people who worried about you for so long, but loved you as you were, are still happy to see you living life in ways you kept yourself from living before.
You get annoyed that people who know you as you are don't realize where you've come from, but before, looked forward to the day when people didn't know you as you were, but just as you are now.
You forget that you've had so many new experiences that are possible because of how you chose to change your life.
You think you have pretty moments, but don't like yourself as much these days.
You see all the things you didn't do, didn't do as well as you wanted to, or did wrong - and you never think about all the things you did, did well, and did right.
You have the most colorful, varied, brilliant, distinctive, wonderfully ridiculous, perfectly peculiar, absurdly loving bunch of fictional characters that are your real-life friends.
You have little cousins that see you in your bathing suit and say, "Remember when you used to be fat?!"

I am flawed.  I haven't made the best choices.  I've stumbled.
I sometimes feel like a failure.

And then I remember.

I am an intelligent, talented, respected, beautiful person who loves people and is so very fortunate to be loved in return.  I have had my dream jobs.  I've lived in another country.  I have an amazing job at a Michigan craft brewery that has so much potential it's silly, and I work with a cluster of dynamic, passionate, driven, supportive people.  I've had little adventures that you think only happen in the movies, but really happen every day.  I have so much to be thankful for, and so much to look forward to.

I was Sarah Bauman who lost 123lbs, her life changed, then wound up a bit lost.

As of today, I'm Sarah Bauman who's lost zero pounds, is choosing to change her life again, and can see the path off to the left, but just needs to cut through some overgrown shrubbery and will be right back on it.

I'm a late bloomer for life.  Sometimes things take a little while.  But while I have life, I choose to accept that blooming late is better than never.

I'm back.  I've missed you all.  Here we go again.




Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Visitor - A Tale for Valentines

I've often likened myself to an island.  I love people, and I love music.  Those two things quite suffice.

However, one of dearest friends in Liverpool said something that got me thinking way back when.  She said, "Sarah, you know, it's strange - I'd consider you one of my best friends, but I know very little about you."

She was right.  I know so many people and could chat the day away, but as excruciatingly social as I am, I am also intensely guarded.  I've always figured that I had a certain amount of transparency and that people could just inherently "know" me.  Well, they may, but I'm not the greatest at getting very close with people.

I'm even worse at using the word boyfriend.

I am a lover of humans.  I thrive on human interaction, and am happy to galavant about and join in whatever people just might get up to.  It is as though the entire world is my boyfriend.  

I had an odd thought lately, but I'm going to share it with you anyway.  You should expect this by now.  

When I'd started dating someone a bit back in the day in Liverpool, a friend of mine said, "Sarah - it's just strange.  And this isn't meant to sound horrible, but it's almost like you're asexual.  I just can't imagine anyone being attached to you."

I thought that was hilarious, and actually quite accurate!  As I said, it is as though the world is my boyfriend.  It's almost as though I have this silly sense of duty to the world to love everyone and be everything I can be for them, so to have someone, one person, who I call my boyfriend or even, maybe, you know, fall in LOVE with, would just be ludicrous and a huge disservice to all of the lovely humans.

I did tell you it was an odd thought.

But, here's the thing.

This island had a visitor.

The visit was far more brief than I'd have cared for it to be, but it happened.  Someone got to this island.  It was good.  It was fun.  He was lovely.  I wasn't expecting it, and I got more out of it than I could have possibly anticipated.  Even when it ended, it ended with a three hour, wonderful conversation that literally ended a phase of chaos and helped me learn a great deal about myself.  

I'm not an island, I suppose.  And letting someone get to me, while possibly a disservice to all the other humans in the world (oh gee, laugh out loud, etc.), turned out to be wonderful.  

A few things that I got from this:  

I know even more lovely humans.
I learned that it turns out, I'm a pretty good girlfriend.
I learned that I don't have to worry about being able to handle work, working out, dieting, a social life, plus having a companion along for the ride.  I can do it.
I was reminded how wonderfully we all deserve to be treated and can't wait for it to happen again someday.

I also got Mister Breakfast.  It just happened, and we had to elaborate...  See below.

I'm spending Valentines Day running around town in a red polka dot shirt my Mom got for me handing out silly Lego Star Wars & holographic kitten and puppy valentines with candy hearts in them to all of my favorite humans, and probably a few I don't even know.  And then I'm going to have dinner with one of my favorite ladies in the world.  And then I'm going to smile for a moment and look forward to when I have another island visitor to share it with someday.

I do have copious amounts of love for you all.  Have the happiest Valentines Day.











Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Feeling good feels good.

It's impossible to not feel slightly more good after listening
to this.  Walk down the street playing this in your earbuds
and tell me you don't smile.  Impossible!

It's funny how life has its ebbs and flows.  This is nothing new, but somehow it seems like an epiphany over and over again.  When you're in the thick of it, some part of you is very logical and aware that it will most certainly pass, but another part of you just can't see past it.  It's hard to remember how to get back to feeling good again.

Once I got the hang of tracking my food, eating healthier and exercising regularly, it got to be second nature. It seemed so easy.  It was the norm.  It wasn't a challenge.  It was my way of life.  It was all so simple and so good.  

I forgot how easy it can be for that to not be the norm.

After a summer and an autumn of struggle, things are finally getting back to normal.  Being the person of extremes that I am, I expected to just start back up and rule the world as I remembered doing before.  But, therein lies the problem!  I had to break my mindset of trying to get back to where was.

I
am
not
THERE anymore!  That was then.  This is now.  Move along.

A lot has changed since then.  But, things have settled down and I'm in a better place in every way now.  I love it when you finally feel something break, something give way, and you know that you're on the right path again.  Well, it's not even that you're on the correct path again - you're at a great pace and making some serious headway towards whatever intersection, bend, bridge or whatever might be on the way.

I met up with a friend last Sunday who is a dietitian.  The initial plan was to talk about food, get some good ideas for new ways of eating, and new things to eat.  It ended up being a great conversation about where I'm at in life in general and what I've got to do to progress.  

It was a healthy dose of divine intervention.  Even though the things we talked about are things I already knew, it sometimes takes the right person at the right time saying something they didn't even know they needed to that hits you, breaks you down, builds you up, and propels you all at once.

I keep forgetting that life is a process.  Things don't magically find a perfect groove forever.  You may have a good stretch, but you'll have rough ones, too.  And they will come and go, and then come and go again.  

I'm finally starting to get it.  

I don't have to do it all at once!  There are so many things I need to do, both at work, and for myself.  But I've been working on a few things at a time.  This week, my goal was to go grocery shopping and return to my regular eating and exercise habits, remembering that even if I only get a half hour of something in, it is better than nothing.  I've also tried starting my days with 10-15 minutes of some kind of exercise.  One morning, I did a 10 minute Pilates video.  Another morning, I did a bunch of core exercises.  I've overcome my urge to buy peanut butter, because if that's in my house, well - it's over.  

I've also done necessary but boring things like scheduling appointments with doctors and insurance agents, rethinking my spending habits and reworking my budget, getting organized, and figuring out a regular schedule of exercise.  I just might start going to bed earlier, too.  

You've heard me say this before, and I will say it over and over again.

It is amazing what happens when you make calculated, boring, conscious choices to simply do things.  

I'm learning that feeling good and being content is not as simple as "feeling" good.  Right now, I've got a lot to work on.  But feeling good is a choice, and it's choosing to make good decisions that will lead to a life of good, not a season of good.  

It's a new kind of goodness, but nonetheless, it feels good to feel good once again.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Y'all best appreciate.

Admit it.  You do it, too.

Sometimes we get so focused on the things that we need to work on that we forget to stop and appreciate the things we've already done and what we've got.

Me?

I've got a bum.  Yup.  I've not been the biggest fan of this bum and, in fact, started to focus on trying to trim that little lady down.  But, the street I work on and walk up and down multiple times a day lends itself to forgetting anyone else is on the other side of those windows and checking yourself out in the reflection.  (Seriously - ask my friends who work inside a media hub on the corner, and they'll have a few goodies to share about things people do in those windows' reflections, including me doing the running man while they're in meetings.)

Today, while strutting past those windows, I noticed my bum.  And I also noticed that it's not too bad of a bum.

I'm doin' alright.  You're doin' alright.  And if you aren't doing' alright, then do a little something about it. Take .3 seconds and remind yourself about the things you DO like about you.  There's a lot more good than we take the time to remember. Y'all best appreciate.


Monday, January 7, 2013

A New Resolve for a New Year.

Ending 2012 trying to remember how
far I've come!
Dear, dear readers!

A year ago, and feeling amazing.
Oh, my, so much has happened in the last couple of months.  So very much.  And you can be sure I intend to fill you in little by little.  It would be too much for one conversation.  Silly as it may seem, I do view these blogs as more of a conversation with all of you lovely humans I picture as I write.  I have missed you all.  I have missed our chats.

So, let's get reacquainted.  Catch up a bit.

How are you?  Did you have happy holidays?  What did you get for Christmas?  Did you indulge happily, satisfyingly refrain, or a bit of both?  Did you kiss someone on New Years' Eve at midnight, or did you make the most of a bit of mistletoe?  Did you make any resolutions this year?  If you made any last year, how did that go?

The New Year has never felt particularly new to me.  I've never felt like January 1st is anything other than a new day on a calendar.  I've never felt any particular significance to the magic date change that begins the next year.

Since I can recall, my year's always begun around August to September.  Having parents in education, being a student once upon a time, and working within the entertainment industry lends to things winding down in June and kicking back into high gear in August and September.

It just so happens that something's been brewing within me for quite some time, and the resolve to push forward finally made its way to the forefront.  I like that this happened to happen right now, the beginning of a brand new year.

When people have talked about "plateaus" in the past, I always surmised that it was a physical one.  Turns out, it can be mental, too.  And mine certainly has been.  A few things have happened in the last week, though, that have renewed me and instilled a drive and lust for life that I've been missing for a while.

A dear friend of mine put it like this:  there's a wall in front of you, and you've got a few big cement blocks you can stand on just enough to see over it, so you think, "Sweet!  I'm out of it!"  But, it turns out you aren't over it - you just got a view of the other side.  Then, something happens - and whatever it is, it puts its hands together, gives you a foothold and a lift, then nudges you on your way up the wall.  Before you know it, you're on top of the wall and all you have to do is start down the other side. Or, if you're like me, you just jump.

A year ago also, thrilled to be turning 30
and DJing alongside friends.
So, with this new year, I will not make resolutions.  I will embrace this new resolve and the faith that things are better, will continue to get better, and remember what I have done and what I am capable of doing.  I will be thankful for the things I've done and experienced in 2012.  And I will start out 2013 with the resolve to work on these things:

I will be thankful for the wonderful humans that have entered into my life, some of these even in just the last couple of months.
I will work harder.
I will focus, organize, and start ruling the world once again.
I will start tracking my food and working out a minimum of 5 times a week (and attempt to do so in the morning).  This is not because of a desire to be thin, but because of the satisfaction and contentment and happiness an active, healthy life brings me.

And I'll tell you all about it along the way.

Happy New Year, friends.  I hope and pray your 2013 is one full of truly living life, and things that may not be comfortable, but will be very, very good.

Cheers.