Thursday, November 15, 2012

Back in the saddle again.


These are a few of my (least) favorite things.

As you know, they have been some of the most prominent things in my life over the last while, however.  So I went back to the beginning: what started all this?  What did I do that made this work?


I didn't feel.  I didn't analyze.  I didn't get all bent out of shape about things.  There was no "A-ha" moment that made me magically start doing anything.  I made boring, calculated, measurable choices that eventually led to bigger changes both physically and mentally.

So I did it again.  I just started.

I'd gotten back up to 200.6 lbs as of about a week and a half ago.  I made myself get on the scale because I knew I needed to see it.  I broke down crying at the gym and felt like an utter failure.  Then, I went a bit numb for a few days.  

I made a boring, calculated choice to start doing what I know I should do again.  

1.5 weeks back into it?  This is what happened.  

I.  AM.  BACK!!!!!

Here we go, people.  I shall never cease to be repeatedly amazed at the simple truth that great things happen if you'll simply just do it.  

Carry on, people.  Carry on.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Breaking fat.

I’ve never thought of myself as “fat.”  I’ve always quite liked quite a few things about me.  But, how would I describe me if asked?  Do I see the same person in the mirror that others do?  How do I perceive myself? 

I’ve been struggling intensely over the last 6 months with a battle of projecting my leftover “fat girl mentality” onto others, by assuming their perception and potential reactions towards me are ones that only I have toward myself.  I’m consistently a bit baffled by all of the ways my weight affected me, and I really had no idea just how much it had influenced my mind.

That's me there, on the far right... Cowardly Lion at your service.
For years, I was literally an obstruction.  I was well over 320lbs at some point, and there’s just no getting around it – I was an obstacle at times, both physically and mentally.  I’ve had people in my life who’ve rolled with it the best they could and never made me feel as though I was a burden.  But some part in the back of my mind was and still is perpetually in this mode of constant apology, always feeling and assuming that I am an imposition. 

Something as simple as wanting to text a friend to hang out with her: 
Well, I don’t want to bother them…

I see people I know and I want to walk up to them: 
Should I? Shouldn’t I?  I don’t want to bother them…  Will they think it’s weird I’m just out and about by myself?  Will they mind if I join them?  I dunno…
“Sorry to bother you guys… Do you mind if…”

If I want to talk about anything personal with a friend, or, God-forbid, maybe show that I’m not 120% happy and ruling the world all the time, I’m petrified and just know it’s a bother, so I don’t.  I keep it in, or as you've heard me mention before, I "pull an ostrich."

Why would they be bothered? They are my friends.  If they were to walk up to me, I would most likely be overly giddy and delighted that they were there and wanted to join me.  Why do I assume people have such negative reactions to me? 

It is because it is not nearly as much about perception for me as it is projection: a projection of this bizarre, intense fear of vulnerability, rejection and failure.  At some point along the line, I allowed myself to be a defeatist.  I’ve come leaps and bounds since beginning this process, and sharing with all of you, in realizing that I have such a propensity to sell myself grossly short and prematurely fail.

Premature failure: the tendency to over-analyze things to an excruciating extent before actually taking action because, despite all potentially good outcomes, the result is nothing short of impending doom, hurt, and/or humiliation.

Problem sorted. Crisis averted.  Humiliation avoided.  Progress: none.

When it boils down to it, the problem is fear. 

Fear can be a crippling, stifling, cruel beast if you give it too much power.  I have no idea why my tendency is to submit to it, but I’ve reached my limit. 

It has been really, really tough. 

Here is what I am going to do about it.

I’m going to talk about it. Both to you all, because you deserve to know about all the mind-bending wonder you might encounter through the weight-loss process, and to someone who’s a pro.  I think it would be good for me, especially if I can find someone who's talked to people going through the weight loss process.  I’m going to make a conscious decision to do the opposite of what my fear is saying in hopes that, eventually, I’ll have ignored it enough to have overcome it.  I’m going to create a structure for better managing my time, my budget, and my work. I’m going to track my food more meticulously for the time being.  I’m going to create a new list of goals and desires to strive towards.

As someone said to me recently before I set off on a cold walk alone in the rain, “Everybody’s gotta be a big girl sometime…”  And it’s about that time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Love & do. And don't stop.

I wanted to remember something, so I grabbed my little cork notebook that I carry with me at all times. I suppose it's a journal, but for some reason I have an aversion to the word "journal." It's full of thoughts; sometimes a word, sometimes a few pages.

I opened it up and came across this. I really needed to remember this today, and thought I'd share with you.

You are great. You are unique. You are special. And the same applies to you.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Progress and preparation!

I'm looking to let go of a whole lot of clothes. Some in person, some on eBay! I'll keep you all in the loop. I have a lot of great barely/never worn shoes, winter coats, great jackets, skirts, tops, belts, accessories - you name it.

I couldn't help but smile at this moment below while organizing... Progress is great, but I really do miss some of my stuff. It's certainly a nice problem, though.

Here's the thing: whether we are 125lbs or 325lbs, we all deserve to feel good, look good, and have fun with fashion. I just so happen to have had a bit too much fun at times! So if you need some new duds, I may be able to help.

More details headed your way soon!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Run, Sarah, Run.

Tonight, I ran.

The forecast said rain.  Dusk had already set in.  But, something about getting caught in the midst of what will most likely be the last warm, rainy deluge of the season just sounded enchantingly refreshing.  IPhone in Ziplock baggie (yeah, makeshift waterproofing...), Tanlines in earbuds, I set off.

I hit record on my my MapMyRun app, and set off walking to Green Grass by Tanlines (which I have listened to at least 30 times today - no exaggeration).  Then, I started running.  What felt like about 2 minutes later, I heard the lovely voice from my app tell me, "Time:  Eight minutes and three seconds.  Distance: 1.0 miles."

Ehhhhh...  That can't be right.  I'm restarting this app...  Yeah, that can't be right.  Do over.

So, I started recording my run over again.  This time?

Lovely-app-lady voice:  "Time: Seven minutes, thirty seconds.  Distance: 1.0 miles."  She said the pace and whatnot, too, but I just couldn't believe it.

Me:  "WHAAAAAAAA?!!!  NO way..." and decided to push myself a bit.

The next mile was under 7 minutes.  So, I kept running until I heard her say, "Time:  Twenty-nine minutes, 23 seconds.  Distance:  4.0 miles."

In the middle of the sidewalk just outside of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, I exclaimed, "HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!  HECK yes!"  Surely, everyone walking out of the museum exhibit there tonight could hear the lovely woman's voice giving me such delightful news in my ear, too...  I actually felt myself accidentally smiling at this elderly man as I walked by as though he should be really excited for me, too.  Ah well.  Worst case scenario, he'll think I'm weird.  Best case scenario, he'll get a chuckle out of it.

Forgive the rambling - I am writing this while post-run endorphins are in full effect.

Part of me wanting to keep going - just because.  Why not?  I'm feeling up for it.  And then, like a kind little nudge saying to be happy with what I'd done but not push too hard, the rain began.

Point is:  I ran 5 miles in about 38 minutes, and this is something I never imagined that I would be able to do. Little by little, I'm improving.  Push a little harder.  Run a little further.  You will be happily surprised.

Update:  I'm thinking my app was totally off.  I did some figuring, and it was really more like 45 minutes, but I am still pleased as punch with that!

Monday, September 24, 2012

I can fly.

By the seat of my pants.
Over the first big hump and giant fall on a rollercoaster.
Off a diving board.
Through my favorite online shops in .2 seconds flat and pinterest the heck out of them.
Through 2lbs of raw green beans in 30 minutes flat.

And out the side of a mother-loving plane 13,000 feet up.


So much has been up in the air.  My living situation, my job changing yet again, plus all the magic, random, greatness summer throws at you 794 times a week; all of these have made for a few months of so very much uncertainty, and a scrambling-frazzled-slightly-kookoo Sarah.  It's all I've talked about!  Because: it's true.  

In the midst of a run a while back, I got a call from one of my nearest & dearest who was having a rough evening due to some general douchebaggery that she had, unfortunately, experienced.  After calming down my inner rage-monster (don't mess with my loves, and don't keep me from working out - I go green and play with SUV's like they're Tonka Trucks), I met up with my friend, and a pretty grand opportunity arose.

Her:  "Wanna go skydiving?"

Me:  Instant elation, mental image of running and jumping out of a plane at full bore, intense desire to do it immediately.  And then I used my word(s)...


I've never had an intense desire to skydive, but as soon as this opportunity presented itself, it was done.  I was smitten with the idea.  I could not wait until the moment I got to jump out of a plane, and this mental video clip, of sorts, just kept replaying in my mind of me sprinting unreservedly out of a plane with the biggest grin on my face ever.  It was done.

As soon as we got there, I saw this guy.  He was nutty.  He was loud, hilarious, rough around the edges, and looked like he'd be a whole lot of fun and/or trouble.  So, when I heard him say, "ALL RIGHT - which one of you's SARAH?!" I was pleased.

I kept waiting for the moment when I'd get nervous or have second thoughts, but it never happened.  They even had to make us wait to resolve an issue with the plane, and that made me even more excited.

Fast forward past some coffee, great tunes, and watching others make it back to planet earth a few times to me, dangling out in mid-air, strapped to the chest of Crazy Todd.  My eyes are closed, yes, but it was a moment of happiness, I assure you.  

The butterflies that accompanied the initial drop were unreal. That moment of dropping straight down, feet first, was one of the greatest feelings I have ever experienced.  Falling.  Just falling...

I've felt a bit like I've been falling all summer - having jumped off of something with no bottom in sight, no person strapped to my back ready to pull the cord for me, and a frenzied, flailing, rather ungraceful fall.  I've been so concerned with seeing what I'm about to come careening down into, that I've neglected taking in the view of all the great things that have happened along the way.

Before I jumped, I had a chat with another one of the divers who worked there.  He asked how I was feeling about it, and I let him know that at this point, my only emotion was thrilled anticipation.  He gave me some great advice: no matter what, do not look down.  It wasn't that it's scary to look down, but he said, "Why bother staring at the ground, when all of the good stuff is straight ahead?"

So I took his advice.  I checked out the landscape a few times, but I spent what felt like an hour watching the skyline.  I watched as I grew closer to the clouds and then blew right through them.  I watched as the skyline faded into a slightly lighter blue.  And I smiled.  I smiled so much my face hurt when it was over.

Was it scary?!
What about the whole you-could-die thing?

I didn't think of that...  I really didn't.  There was a pro stuck to my back, and all I wanted to do was run and jump and fly.
Why not?  

It was so quiet.
It was so peaceful.
It was magical.
It was absolute bliss.

The combination of being out of control yet completely at peace with the moment was just...  Correct.  I can't think of another word.  It was right.

Learning to be at peace with where you're at is something that I've been trying to learn for a long time.  During one of the key moments in my life, totally disconcerted and depressed with life as it was, my Dad told me, "Sarah.  You will not be able to progress until you are at peace with where you're at."

This is something that has come to mind more times than I can possibly recollect, and has been a bigger lesson than what I could have imagined.

So, what now?  Instead of feeling as though life is currently an ungraceful, frenzied, frightening fall with nothing but uncertainty and an impending rocky abyss awaiting to meet me, I'm going look ahead.  I'm going to remind myself that while I may be in mid free-fall, I need to take in the view and appreciate everything that's going on right in front of me.

I gave myself some time this summer to take a break and remember what it's like to live without being so overly control-freaked-out that I missed out on life.  I ate things I shouldn't have.  I drank things I shouldn't have.  I went places and did things at the drop of a hat.  While it was great, I've also been guilt-ridden the whole entire way. We'll talk more about this soon.  But, what do I have because of my giving in a bit?  Some amazing memories and life lessons, including learning to realize that the difference between falling and flying is as simple as putting my chin up.

Even if my face looks like this:

PS - Don't even pretend you haven't used "Pinterest" as a verb, too.  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Little Victory

Sometimes, I see an article of clothing that belongs to me and just can't believe that it's mine. How is it possible that I fit in that? I don't see myself as I was, but I still can't quite fathom what I am, either. Perception is a funny thing.

I remember when the drying rack wasn't wide enough for my shirts. My clothes stay on hangers now... Oh, the little things.

Monday, August 13, 2012


An installment of Sweaty Beats is well overdue.

What music has you kicking fat's miserable little bum these days?  I am a strange creature with music running through my veins and brains nearly 100% of the time.  I usually wake up with a song stuck in my head.  I often dance around the office while getting things done if I'm alone.  I dance around my house unabashedly singing along, and have a strange tendency to do things on beat.  Putting dishes away to music?  Yup - on beat.  Walking to my bathroom?  Same.  I have a playlist for both walking and using the elliptical machine, and yes - I do them on beat.  I even chew gum on beat.  I love to work out, but when a song moves me, it gives me a boost like almost no other.  Combine that with espresso, and it's dangerous.

Call me crazy if you will - it's how I roll.  

And here is what has kept me rollin' in the gym...   Please enjoy these 10 gems that I absolutely can not get enough of lately.  

2.  Damaged Goods - Gang of Four
3.  Tryouts for The Human Race - Sparks (My favorite for the last month BY far.)
4.  Yeah (Crass Version) - LCD Soundsystem
5.  Hey Boy Hey Girl - The Chemical Brothers
6.  Heart of Hearts - !!!
7.  Champion Sound (Alt. Version) - Crystal Fighters
8.  Ready to Start - Arcade Fire (I can't get sick of this album, The Suburbs.)
9.  Date with The Night - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
10.  Chains of Love - The Dirtbombs
11.  Disarm - Smashing Pumpkins (Good pace, but slowin' down. Classic.)

You know I can never choose just 10...  I am utterly shocked no 60's music made it in.  There are plenty more, so keep an eye out on twitter or the facebook page for when the spirit moves me while working out and I post a goodie or two on there.

Happy working out!  Kick some bum.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Somebody got a smart phone...

Me. Yes, me. I finally have an iPhone. And in homage, here are some photos that have been apped up the wazoo.

Last night, I made the light eggplant parmesan again for the family, and it turned out awesome. Hard pressed to find anything non-awesome with it when it's less than 250 calories for a big serving and has homemade red wine tomato sauce... Naturally, dessert followed care of my dear friend Krista - Snickerdoodle ice cream sandwiches that were a dream.

Coming soon: a recipe for amazing personal pizza, and my elated face 13,000 feet up in the sky.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mystery Workout Gadgetry

A while back, I decided to start trying random things around the gym for which I absolutely could not tell their intended purpose.

After a bit of awkward staring at people while they used the mystery gadgetry to try and scope out what it is they did with said enigmas, I've tried a few out.  My favorite so far?

I use this...                                         to do this...                                    while holding this against my chest.

I feel pretty fierce every time I do it.  I do 3 sets of 15, 3 ways - first to the center, then turned to the right, then turned to the left, totaling 90 reps.  If need be, I sometimes I take a break and put the weight down for a set.  It works my back, bum, calves, back of my thighs, and my obliques remarkably well.  It always leaves me satisfyingly sore the next day.

My challenge for this evening: to conquer that again, as well as to plank for 3 minutes.  But, instead of my usual routine which consists of 1 minute of planking then 30 seconds of rest repeated thrice, I'm going to do do 1 minute 30 seconds with 45 seconds of rest twice.

Any new, interesting things that  you all have tried lately?  

My week of getting back on track is a success so far!  Granted, I'm only 1.5 days into it, but it's going well nonetheless.  

I hope your week is going well, too!  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

YO. Reality Check (one two, what is this?!)

So, you remember that on and off switch I mentioned a while back?  Well, I know I said that I was ready to turn the whole weight loss thing up a notch because I've been too casual about it lately.

That hasn't happened yet.  

Time for some honesty, people.  When I go quiet, it's because I'm ashamed.  And here is why.

I've been burning the candle from both ends and then once it was out, picked up the wax, melted it, stuck a piece of yarn in it to try and reuse it as a candle until eventually I was out of light and had acquired a pointless ball of waxy stuff.  I burned myself out, but it's been fun.  Downside?  I'm back up to 196lbs, peoples.  I was down to 188, but I've had a complete lack of self-control with food in the midst of all the fun I've had.  

I made myself take a break from freaking out and being so obsessive over losing weight.  I needed to lighten up and do a bit of living.  The problem is, I let myself go a little too far.  SWITCH - off.  I had such a good balance going around the beginning of July and got down to 188, but then started finding comfort in food when a lot of life changes began overwhelming me a bit.

What do do you when life comes at you from every which way?  I've freaked out a little bit, which I'm sure you can tell looking back at my more recent blogs.  Finding balance, questioning things, feeling defeated, losing focus - these things happen.  But, it sucks.  I got it together for a little while, but I'm still a bit flustered.  

In an effort to regroup, I've been reading up on some of life's biggest stress-causers.  Change, even great change, can throw you for a loop!  I'm still in mid-loop-throw, it would seem.  But, a good chat with your parents, some organization, and structure go a long way.

So, unless it involves some sweet, old-school hiphop, no buggin' out necessary.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

When it's my turn, I'll bring your shoes...

In a few hours, I'm going to meet my family at a little lake in a small town not too far from here.

A few months ago, my Uncle passed away.  He was an awesome man.  He was a lovely human being, a cool Uncle, was as goofy as the rest of us, could tell a story a mile long (a few times...), loved the outdoors, loved music, and loved us.

They have a little cottage on that lake I'm going to visit tonight, and this is the first summer we've been there without him.  It was bizarre, but it felt like he'd just taken the kids out for a ride in the boat and wasn't back yet.  And then, I caught a glimpse of a silly thing.

I thought, "Oh - his shoes..."  Then, I remembered those were my dad's.  The guys loved these shoes.  My brother got them, then so did Dad.  Then, Jim did, too.

And then I remembered, "Wait.  No.  Those aren't his shoes..."

And it hit me.

My Aunt gave me a hug and told me that my Uncle was so very proud of me and would have loved to tell me so himself.  The way she said it, I could just see him, pleased as punch, knowing that I'd made this huge change in my life.  Allowing myself to really live.  It's been great, and I know he was proud.  He was when he saw me at 40lbs lost, and I know he'd have been just as delighted at nearly 130lbs lost.

Tonight, his ashes are going to one of his favorite places; this quaint little lake where we all have years of great memories with him.

It feels good to know that I made him proud.  I'm going to miss him.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hot diggity dog.

This is my family's dog Kylie.  She's pretty much wonderful in every way.

Except when I'm trying to work out...

As soon as she sees me in workout attire, she gets so excited it's ridiculous and knows that the likelihood of a W-A-L-K is significantly higher.  She'll swat at my legs until I give in.  Or, if I opt to do something like, ohhhhhh - I don't know...  Stretch, or do pilates, or something, she's instantly all up in your space and ready for a cuddle.  "Yes, Kylie, doing these pilates moves on my side just happens to be the ideal position for you to spoon with me, but this isn't working out so well..."  On the elliptical?  She'll sit there, stare at me, and occasionally swat my foot as it goes by.

This time?  Well, there you have it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I've found "the one."

Yes, that's right.  It's tough, you know.  It takes a lot longer than most of us would like, and there's a whole lot of trial and error involved.  So many times, you come so close, but you know it's just not right.  There are little things you know you can compromise on, but other little things you know will just lead to disaster, or at least severe dissatisfaction and doom later on.  But, sometimes holding out is worth it.

I've searched far, wide, high, and low - and it finally happened for me.

I found a bathing suit that I actually like.

It is with much trepidation, my hands covering my face and a blanket over my head, that I show you THE bathing suit.  This was so much easier when I didn't think about how many people might see this.

Old Navy.  On sale.  Fits like a glove.  Curves like a 50's fox.  Bam.

That is all.

Last August, nearly 50lbs down.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


When life gives you a box of chocolates, or some lemons, or a tornado or a big sunny double rainbow - I don't know.  Feed the tornado some lemons while you juggle chocolates trying to explain to one rainbow that the other one just forgot it's not its turn that day.

Life makes just about that much sense.

These last couple of months have been interesting!  I feel as though I've fallen into a trap of apologetic blogger who means well but doesn't post enough, etc.  So, let's just get that out of the way.  Sorry I haven't been posting as diligently as I once did.  But, well, rainbows are fussy and it turns out tornadoes love lemons.  The chocolates?  Well, they looked delicious - but I'm trying to maintain my girlish figure, so I thought I may as well learn to juggle.  With chocolate.  It's been interesting trying to figure out how to balance it all.

Which brings me to today's lesson:


How does one obtain this?  Some people just seem to inherently have it.  Others never have it, but they're really good at juggling.  Some people learn it eventually...  Others just don't have it, don't get it, and never will.  I'm not quite sure where I fall on this spectrum, but the last few months have been a lesson in this department - that is for certain.

As I've mentioned before, I don't have a dimmer.  My switch is ON, or it's off...

Kalamazoo State Theatre, Kalamazoo, MI.  My home away from home.
I work at a beautiful, historic, old theatre.  Tucked in little coves along the theatre walls are these fantastic Liberace-esque candelabras.  Until a few years ago, their only light setting was on.  Really, really on.  We wanted to install dimmers so that we could dim the lights during our events to still have that romantic, old-school aesthetic, but we knew that it was going to be quite a tedious and laborious process to get it done.  This place is nearing 90 years old, and changes like this are always quite a feat.  Getting to wiring tucked in walls made of plaster, horse hair, and more is always a bit of a trick.  Every time I sneak into the theatre during a show and see the gentle glow, though, I'm reminded of how very much it was worth it.

I've been trying really hard to install my own dimmer, but apparently it required a couple of meetings, some brainstorming sessions, a cost-analysis, some compromise, and then some difficult rewiring to install this stinking dimmer.  Actually, I'd prefer to not think of it as a dimmer, but more of a...  balancer-thingamadoojob.  Yes, that's much better.

Nearly 90-year-old light control panel.  The
switches next to the tape marked "on" actually
turn on stars and clouds on the theatre ceiling.
I'm quite hard on myself when I'm not as diligent about my food.  I stress out when I have a day that I didn't work out, and I really get perturbed when there are a few days in a week where I don't work out.  But there is so much life happening - meeting people, changing circumstances, fun things that pop up, and more.  I've had so much fun getting out and about, making an effort to be present, do things, have fun with people, enjoy new and old friends.  My role at work has evolved in a wonderful way, bringing along new, interesting challenges, and I am one busy, busy bee.  Finding time for everything I want to make happen in a day is a challenge.

So many interesting, and thankfully, good things are happening.  I've been reminded recently by a few of you outstanding people who I've gotten to know through this blog that, sometimes, it is good and it is necessary to pause, reflect, see how far you've come, and appreciate where you're at.

I'm in the mood to turn the lights on full blast again.  Brighten it up a bit.  But, I suppose adjusting my balancer-thingmadoojob to let life happen every now & then won't kill me.  I may not be as full bore at all times as I have been, but I'm certainly enjoying the glow.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Yo Gabba Gabba on wheat with avocado, please.

Apparently, my core instincts are about the same as they were when I was about 5.

Some dear friends of mine are getting married this evening, so I knew that today was going to be a great day.  It is, however, now even greater because it started off like this.

Only 288 calories!  (See my breakfast entry on

And then, this.

Judge me all you like.  I love Yo Gabba Gabba.  No, I don't have kids.  No, I'm not babysitting.  I am a full grown woman who just so happens to thoroughly enjoy parties in her tummy (so yummy, so yummy) with vegetables, Mark Mothersbaugh teaching me how to draw silly things, and appearances from the likes of Andy Samberg, Flaming Lips, Devo, MGMT, The Faint, Weezer, Biz Markee, and so very many more.  This show is awesome, and you bet your bum my kids will be subjected to it when I have them someday.  And they will dance!

Speaking of dancing, I am sure I will doing quite a bit of that later after two of my dearest friends get married this evening!  I hope your Saturday is as lovely as mine has been thus far!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Accidentally delicious.

I don't have photos - boo.  BUT!

Last night, I stopped by my favorite grocery store, D&W on Parkview and Oakland in Kalamazoo, MI.  My, oh my, do they ever have a wonderful meat counter.  Their fish selection is fantastic.  I got 1.13lbs of tilapia for $4 on manager's special, ran to my parents' house to meet a friend and work out, then realized - I need to eat.  What to do with this fish?!

Here's what I did.  I made a marinade.  An awesome, delicious, super awesome, yummy marinade.

It included...

2tsp honey dijon mustard
1tbs-ish of fresh orange zest
2tbs of orange juice (squeezed from same orange as the zest)
1 clove minced garlic
bit of basil
bit of dried minced onion
a whole lot of awesome

I mixed that all up, threw it in a baggie and let it marinate for 40 mins while I went for a walk/jog.  Which reminds me, I was pleased as punch to have completed 3.1 miles in 40 minutes!  How many miles per hour is that?  I don't know...  Rate = distance / time or something?  3.1 miles divided by 40 minutes, times 60 equallllsssss...  4.65 miles per hour.  Not bad!

After said brisk walk/jog, I returned, threw that fish and some zucchini (which I sprayed with a bit of Pam and tossed with Italian herbs & garlic) and cooked up in about 10 minutes.  The marinade was awesome.  My Mom laughed at me when I exclaimed, "This is so good...  I can't believe I made it."

Bonus?  The whole meal was 275 calories.  Next time, I'm going to do this up and let things marinate over night, and it will be even more stellar.

I keep asking this, and I'm serious - any of you have some yummy, healthy meals you've stumbled upon?  I wanna know!  I'll try it!  And I'll even take pictures, I promise.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bathing Suit Shopping...

The one! Almost...  St. John's Bay -
Bandeau Swim Dress, only $42 at JC Penney
Memorial Day weekend has just passed.  The weather was sensational - the kind of weather you hope for in the dead of summer for 4th of July barbecues, last minute trips to Lake Michigan, or wonderful, summery tomfoolery in general.  There was so much to do!  Most of these things to do, of course, required a bathing suit.

No problem.  JC Penney has oodles of cute bathing suits in all shapes and sizes, and their new pricing is outstanding.  No clearance or sale needed.  Whereas most places the price of a bathing suit will quite easily start at around $80 and we keep our fingers crossed for a sale, their one piece suits were mostly between about $35 and $42, and a two piece could range from $18 to $50.  Yeah, I'm plugging - I was impressed.

I wasn't sure what my struggle would be trying on bathing suits 120-some pounds lighter, so I went in with an idea of what I wanted.  It needed to have some kind of skirt to hide my weird thighs (loose skin from weight loss is a bugger, I tell you...), and not be too big in the bust.

I really thought it would be a piece of cake!  However, over two hours and dozens of bathing suits later, I left empty handed. I found myself having the best luck with size 14 one piece suits, or size 10/12/Large tops and 14 bottoms.  The plus size 14's worked great for the length I wanted in skirts, but were constantly too busty.  I'm such an inbetweeny!  There was one suit that was just about the most perfect thing ever, except that it was made for a person with the torso of a 10 year old girl.  It had a lovely vintage flair to it, the skirt was the perfect length, it hugged my curves like a glove, but I was in danger of having it slide down & make for some awkward moments if I didn't constantly pull it upwards.  I never have issues with that because I'm so short-waisted, but alas...  The hunt will have to continue.

Whether we're a size -8 or 28, bathing suit shopping is always interesting!  What are some of your issues bathing suit hunting?  Have you had any luck?  If you've got some tips or favorite shopping spots, share!  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dinner on the fly.

I'm hungry.  What am I going to do?  I have fresh salmon, fruit, and frozen vegetables, and I'm in the mood for balsamic vinegar...

Light bulb!

Here's my dinner from a couple of nights ago.  I reduced some balsamic vinegar by letting it simmer on medium heat, stirring it regularly and letting it thicken and tossed in about a 1/2 cup of blueberries, chopped up peach, and a bunch of basil.  Then, I threw my green beans in a pan to steam, and my salmon in another pan with some garlic powder, ginger, lime, and pepper.  After the green beans were done, I tossed them with a smidge of garlic powder, a bunch of ginger, and a teaspoon of soy.


The whole meal was 450 calories, which is higher than usual for me, but the piece of salmon was 5.5 ounces, about 1.5 ounces more than I usually eat and the balsamic fruit reduction added a few calories, too.  Was delicious, though!

Any random experimentation you've all been up to lately?  Share!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I want to ride my bicycle!

It's only May 20th and I've already had the immense pleasure of sitting poolside.  Twice!  I've also had the immense pleasure of getting into said pool, but it's only been filled for a week and despite the solar cover's best efforts, it was chilly. Quite chilly.  

After a lovely, lovely weekend of gardening, tan lines, bachelorette parties and more, I found myself overwhelmed with the urge to do one thing.

Well, two...

Bike.  Beer.

This afternoon while sitting outside sunbathing with my Motherperson, the mood struck me.  So, I declared that I was going to ride my bike tonight. Wherever, for however long I like.  

A couple of hours later, one pit-stop for a Miller Lite, and one gargantuan hill conquered, I'm home and a happy camper.  

Have a good week, my friends.

By the way, if you're looking for a tool to help you log your jogs, walks, bike rides, and so on, is awesome!  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Restart - Take 2

I just got hit by a rogue shell.
Fire power gone...
No worries!  There's a box with a question mark.
It better not be a coin...  I need a "big."  Right.  Now.
NO.  No.
Okay...  I can be little Mario and try to finish the level, orrrrrr...

Annnnnd I'm dead.

Meh.  Restart...

If only starting over were as simple as smacking a button on the top of my brother's Super Nintendo system...  So many times I'd get to a point where I'd try the same level over and over, and in a fit of frustration, "SMACK!!!!!"  Reset.  Do over.  Restart.  "Stupid moving pipey things with fireballs coming at me and a wizard that just keeps appearing...  OVER IT."

I said I'd start over in my last blog.  I did, for a couple days.  Then blew it...  Then I did again for a couple of days!  And then I blew it for a few days...  I'm not sure what my problem is, but I am all out of sorts lately!  It seems like every few months, I've got to sit down and hash out a game plan.  Get organized.  Get back on a schedule.  Plan out my eating.  Clean my abyss of a bedroom.  Oh, Lordy - here we go...

Step 1 
Pre-planning my food again as usual.  As I mentioned before, a key to my progress has been making sure that I have good food available to me, things that are quick and easy to grab, and often planning out what I'm going to eat for the whole day either that morning, or the night before.  I haven't been buying groceries as thoughtfully as I used to. I've got to be honest with myself.  For whatever reason lately, I've had a very difficult time sticking to my guns and I have to make sure there is nothing in my cupboard that will allow me to splurge thoughtlessly.  Usually, I've got it down. I've got control.  I don't have as much control lately, and I've got to keep things away from me that will tempt me to do the wrong thing.  It's about to get real.

Step 2
The bedroom!  They say messy house messy mind, yeah? This is true.  I'm a bit of a discombobulated thingamabob right now trying to sort out quite a few aspects of life. When I get frazzled, I let my room get uber-frazzled.  It is time for a top-to-bottom clean of my room, and a purging of the wardrobe.  Anything that doesn't fit must go.  What will I do with all of those clothes?  I will have a garage sale at my parents' - date TBD.  I've got a lot of great stuff in very gently/never used condition.  I'll keep you all posted.

Step 3
I love flying by the seat of my pants.  But, I've got to have structure.  I need to get to bed earlier, get up early and work out, and make the most of my day.  Structure may seem restrictive, but oh no, no, no, it is not.  Structure allows you to get done what must be done in a timely fashion so you can do more with the time you have left over.  I spend too much time trying to figure out what I'm going to do and how, easily distracted by - well, I'm easily distracted period, and end up spending too much time on random minutiae instead of just getting to it.  I'm a list-maker extraordinaire.  I will tackle lists like nobody's business, but if it doesn't make the list...  Bad news, bears.  I've got to give myself guidelines, timelines, lists, and things of the like or else it all goes to pot.  I'm better at this at work than I am with my personal responsibilities, and this is a change of the most critically imperative nature.

Now, if only I had a Yoshi I could ride around - everything would be sorted.  How? I don't know, but I've always wanted to ride a dinosaur with a shell on its back that can reach things from long distances with its tongue.  Haven't you?!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

5k and A New Day.

Sunday.  It should have been a great day.  I should have been really pleased with myself.

Should have...

Last year, my grand ol' city of Kalamazoo became host to a new marathon - Borgess Hospital's Run for the Health of It.  The company I work for decided to sponsor any of us who wanted to get involved, so I decided it'd be a great idea and a great example of my new-found healthy lifestyle to take part.  I had a hard time coming alive that day, but I pushed myself through it and I finished in 52 minutes.  I was disappointed that day because I knew I did over 3 miles regularly in a little less than that, but I was pleased that I'd decided to partake.

It's so interesting looking back.  One year ago, I was about 285lbs and had lost about 30.  I was in better shape and feeling really good about myself.  I walked along with my friend Erin, each of us with our pump-you-up tunes channeling into our brains through one earbud so we could chat along the way.  We huffed it!  We did the math, and we walked an average of 4.13 miles per hour and I was really pleased with the steady pace, even uphill.  It's really weird to think that I did the same thing today as I did a year ago, but about 90lbs lighter, and about 10 minutes faster.  It felt good to improve and feel how far I've come.


After all of that, I couldn't stop thinking about how my lack of diligence has caught up with me and I spent the better part of the day feeling so very disappointed in myself.  I know I've put on a couple of pounds.  I've had a rough month, which is no excuse.  But instead of my exercise enhancing my weight loss, it's helped me juuuuust about break even.  I've realized that if there are easy, yummy things around me, I don't say no very well.  I'm just fine when I can control the foods around me and how they've been prepared.  When I'm not in as much control as I'd like, though, I find myself either eating without even realizing what I've consumed, or almost having an anxiety attack about how what I'm going to do so that I stick within what I know I should consume.  I've had a few awkward moments at restaurants when I pretty much have an anxiety attack over what I'm going to eat because it seems like there isn't anything reasonable for me to eat.  True story.  Ask my Mom.

What am I going to do about this?

I've gotta celebrate!  I've come so far!  I'm perfectly capable of making good choices, but I realize I'm still in a phase where I have to log my calories the majority of the time, because while I am a better eater overall, I still have times where I eat thoughtlessly and end up eating things that I shouldn't.  Work in progress here, people.  Work in progress.  And while this is nauseatingly overused, tomorrow really is a new day.  Today was a new day, too.  What did I do with it?  What shall I do with tomorrow?

I decided that today, I would reboot - get back to my good, ol' healthy eating standards and let my body get back to normal and recover from all of the things it's not used to processing.  I already feel better.

And what surprise awaited me on this day of getting back on the horse?  A phone call from my gym.  I work out regularly at my local Snap Fitness, and they started a weight loss challenge in the beginning of March.  We had to do the final weigh in last Monday, the last day of my gym membership.  I was really sad that I wouldn't be able to afford to keep it up, but it turns out  I will have 3 more months of gym membership.

For free.

Yep - for free.  I won!  Diligence pays off, and just because I may have flubbed up for a while...  Well, I am human, and I mess up sometimes.  Thank God for reminding me, though, that just because I screwed up, it doesn't mean that I am a screw up.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Outfit! Recipe!

I couldn't think of a witty title, so I figured adding exclamation points to the basics might just do it for you.

Top & Cami - Old Navy.  Skirt - random find at TJ Maxx.
Belt - Anne Taylor Loft.  Shoes - Madden Girl.
Bracelet Set - Lane Bryant.  Necklace - Paisley Acoustic
Guitar from Forever 21.  
I wore this...

And I ate this.  Well, I ate this last week - but it was so good, I felt that I needed to share it.  This meal, while  healthy, was not light.  It was about 500 calories.   My suggestion?  That wrap was huge.  Share it.  
But, not today.  :)

Lawash  Sundried Tomato Flatbread
1oz Spartan  Neufchatel  Cheese
4oz Nova Lox Smoked Salmon 
Fresh Basil Leaves
1 Roma Tomato sprinkled with garlic powder, salt, and pepper
1 cup Spinach
2 cups Red Leaf Romaine
.5 cups Sliced Mushrooms
5 Sliced Strawberries
1/2 Small mango - about 1/4 cup
1/4 cup Green Pepper
1 tbs Pompeian Balsamic Vinegar

Friday, April 20, 2012

Goodbye, 200's!

On a work-out date night with
my friend, Lindsey.
I was prepared for my weigh-in Tuesday morning.  It is a huge time of transition, and I must admit – I lost control the last couple of weeks.  I worked out hard, but I am hugely aggravated that, in a mentally and emotionally difficult time, I allowed myself to be comforted by indulging in food.  Well – and a few pretty magical craft beers.

I actually left the 200’s the week prior, but I didn’t want to commit to it because I knew that I’d messed it up.  I was certain.  So, I braced myself, stood on the scale, and to my complete surprise, I saw these numbers:


ONE HUNDRED ninety seven point seven pounds…

I’m really not in the 200’s anymore…  My weight really starts with a 1…  Can you even remember the last time you were in the 1’s?  The smallest weight I can remember is 216.  You are really, really for real in the 1’s, Sarah.  You’re really still there.  That sounds…  Normal…

Things are changing; so many things both in and out of my control.  And while there are many different ways these things have manifested, I realized it all boils down to this: 

I am finally okay with being me.

“Why is this a problem?” you ask?  Because more than being content and confident in myself, I have this little voice inside my head telling me to “know my place.” 

“You can’t say you’re pretty, or go for that, or try this, or think great things are possible for you – be humble,” I hear from some cruel, bossy place within me.  That is not humility. That is confusion, doubt, and fear rearing their ugly head. There has been a big, mean battle within me, and I seem to pull no punches.

No more.  I’m done with the 200’s, and I’m done with this battle.

Eat my shorts, 200's.  I kick and I punch.

Here is what has begun to sink in over the last couple of weeks:

I am a beautiful, loveable, smart, confident person who absolutely adores people and life, and has a good head on her shoulders.  I have no reason to doubt myself.  I have no reason to not stick to my guns.  I have no reason to cower.  I have no reason to feel unworthy.  I never used to be this way, I never should have begun, and I am finished with it.  

Moving into the 100’s, I’ve got to tell you – it’s an interesting time.  It’s a little scary.  And sometimes it’s hard.  And sometimes I freak out a little bit because I’m in a transition between who I was for a while, who I am, and who I’m becoming.  

I like who I’m becoming.

From top left to bottom right:  Me at about 320lbs in January 2011, me at over 300lbs in March of 2011, then
me at 60, 70, 80, 90lbs, and 100lbs lost!

If you'd like to catch up on the big milestones since I've started this here blog, feel free to check these out!

Sixty, Shimxty: Another 10lb Benchmark Smashed.
70lbs - Gone To The Fishes.
81lbs Get The Boot.
30's, Here I Come: Gained a year, and lost 90lbs.
Lost 101 Pounds and Found Myself.

Readers, have you already gone through some of these changes or find yourself in an interesting time of transition, yourself?  I would really love to hear from you.  How are you doing?  How did you get through it?  What advice can you give the rest of us, or what advice do you need from others?  There’s a pretty great group of you out there with invaluable life experience, so let’s share.