Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Biggest Loser 13 - For The Love of Money...and Zumba!

Money money money money...MUH-nee!!!

Cue the O'Jay's and Donald Trump. He can share his theme song with another show on the same network, right?

The previews led us to believe that the entire episode would be about the money. But that was not the case, and I for one am glad about that.

In fact, the show started out with a challenge that led to Newman's Own donating a truckload of groceries to each contestant's local food bank. I can't think of a better way to start out the week. For the record - I love me some Newman's Light Balsamic...the very dressing Bob showed off in the promo spot. Not only is it great on salads, but you can marinate chicken or veggies in it before you cook them and the flavor is fabulous. God bless Paul Newman, for a variety of reasons.

This week's excuse was that exercise is too boring. Well, it can be if you don't find something you love to do or do the same workout over and over again. I love to mix up my workouts with spinning, Pilates, tennis, walking...and my favorite, Zumba. I loved seeing Dolvett take his team to a Zumba class and watching them get thrown into the mix. It reminded me of my first ever Zumba session. My friend Kristen invited me, and it wasn't just the regular one hour class. Oh no...it was a 90 minute Zumba Party! Talk about trial by fire. I somehow kept up for the whole time, getting a majority of the moves down pretty fast. Kristen was impressed - and so was I. Actually, happily stunned is more like it. But those of you who know anything about me know about my love of dance, so of course Zumba became a true joy for me. Most of the time you forget you're working out because it's so much fun!

Jeremy and Megan were the ones with breakthrough moments this week. Dolvett talked to Jeremy about the issues with his dad, which Jeremy said he had swept under the rug before being on Biggest Loser. Dolvett reminded him that it's better to address and deal with your pain instead of hiding it. Pretending it never happened means you never deal with it so you can move on to a better life.

Megan was still holding back, so Bob made her videotape her entire week to keep her focused, especially since her mom just went home. Megan still has a long way to go, but she's on her way to realizing just how strong she is and how much she can motivate herself without outside help. Let's face it - as much as we love help from others, there are times when they are not able to - for whatever reason - help us or understand where we are coming from. But we know what we need to do to be our best selves...so we must motivate ourselves so we don't get down if our support systems falter.

Yes, we did get to the challenge where one player won $1,000 for every pound lost this week on the scale. That person was Kim, who is also really coming into her own strength. She lost 7 pounds, and $7,000 will go a long way for Kim and her kids. I'm really proud of her. And it was nice to see Vinny, Becky and Antone from last season judging the cooking challenge, even though the whole concept turned out to be very strange.

Mark and Megan fell below the yellow line, and Megan was sent home. But at least she had her "a-ha" week before she left. She's back to barrel racing with her horse again and is doing really well at home. Kudos to her boyfriend Michael, who lost 80 pounds while she was away...AND proposed to her when she got home. She looked stunning trying on wedding dresses, and I know her future is very bright indeed.

Next week is MAKEOVER WEEK!!! I always look forward to it, but I really can't wait for Chris to get rid of her gray hair. Plus, they all get to go to the White House, so it all promises to be exciting. I know you'll be tuning in as well!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Biggest Loser 13 Challenge - Much Needed Success!

I really needed this...thank you God!!!

After missing my weigh-in last Sunday due to being sick (partially stress, partially stomach bug) I was nervous about it this week. After all, it's been a rough one, which I posted about in my blog a couple of days ago. I wasn't sure what I'd see on the scale today.

Well, I saw a loss of 2.4 pounds! I allowed myself one Shamrock Shake on Monday night after the "I-knew-it-was-coming" fiasco earlier in the day, but other than that I ate healthy foods. Just because one thing went wrong, I wasn't going to let everything go wrong.

I also think it helped that I was able to walk a lot outside to help deal with the stress, instead of eating my stress. I prayed and thought things through on my walks...and I burned calories! Even though I still have stress from the situation, I'm making the most of every day and moving forward.

Which means I'll be back to Pilates and spin this week, stressed or not. At least the stomach bug part of things has calmed down so I can get stuff done. Also, since I don't need ginger ale for my stomach now I can drink even more water to clean out my system.

So I pray that this week will be much better, and I will do my part to make it so. I'm pulling the positives out of the situation (like my 2.4 pound loss) and working to improve in all areas. And I know - God will do His part because He is faithful!

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Own Personal March Madness

March Madness has new meaning for me.

I guess it started as February
Madness, with the new job I'd started in the middle of the month. At first things seemed to be going well...it was a medical billing position with a lot to learn but I was picking up some of it quickly. I was also told that it takes more than two months to really get everything down, so I kept that in mind as I took on my tasks.

As March began, more pressure was put on me to know everything immediately. (Mind you - I'd only been on the job for two weeks at this point.) I was thrown into several tasks that I had not been trained for, and if I asked questions because I wanted to do it right I was met with anger for asking. But if I tried to do it on my own they got angry as well. Over and over, everytime I didn't do it right or asked a question, I was told that if I couldn't get this part of the job down then I wouldn't be able to stay on. (I was also misled as to my job description when I was hired, but I won't get into that now.) When I asked for help so I could learn it properly, I was told to just keep trying by myself and was refused help or additional training.

Needless to say, this all was bound to come to a head. And it did on this past Monday. I don't have the job anymore, and I'm looking for something else to help pay this bills. I believe this is actually a blessing, since the way I was treated gave me panic attacks and I almost threw up a few times at work. My thought is that they decided they didn't need the additional person in the billing department, but instead of telling me that they put pressure on me so I couldn't perform my job. You also can't perform the job if you are not trained properly. It's been a rough week, but I'm finally able to think about it this way...not every job is the right fit for every person. There are good days and rough days no matter where you work, but there are also times when you realize that something didn't work out because it was a bad fit.

I'm thankful for the month's worth of paychecks, and with that I move on. I've already been out and about putting in applications at several retail establishments. That kind of position is more "me", and I'll be able to balance my writing with this type of job. And I have an interview at one of them on Tuesday, so I would appreciate your prayers.

I know God will lead me to the right place, and He's taught me some very important lessons this past month. I appreciate the beautiful weather He provided this week, to go out and apply at other places and help me get back into my fitness routine. Being able to take long walks outside is helping me clear my head and think, along with working the tension out of my body. Plus my editing and revisions are moving along better without the anxiety and pressure playing repeatedly in my head.

I trust God. I have faith in Him. And I know He will provide so I'm operating now from a place of calmness. He doesn't want me to be anxious for anything, but to place my trust in Him. So I will make it through my March Madness and into peace and joy...and I will be a better person for the experience.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Biggest Loser 13 - Cowgirl Up With Bethany Hamilton

This is the inspiring episode I've been waiting for all season.

The way Season 13 has been going, this week's show was sorely needed. Sure, it's been getting better the last couple of weeks, but they finally gave us what we really wanted.

Not just a trip to Hawaii. How about surfing with Bethany Hamilton?

I adore Bethany Hamilton. I saw Soul Surfer the first night it was out in theaters and own it on DVD. This is a woman who personifies this season's theme of No Excuses. As a teenager, a shark bit off her arm while she was surfing. Did she let that stop her? No way - she was back up on the board in a month and still competes, blowing away the competitors who have both of their arms. Her Christian faith strengthens her and keeps her going. I love that she's such an amazing role model for young (and not so young) women and girls to look to God and persevere no matter what.

So who better to teach the Biggest Loser contestants to surf in Hawaii? Just try using one of your excuses on her. She never gave up even when she lost her arm. None of the BL excuses could even hold water with her. (Yes, pun intended.)

One of the best parts of the surfing lesson was watching Kimmy and Dolvett deal with their fears of the water. Who would have thought that Dolvett was scared to death to surf? It just goes to show that all of us, no matter who we are, have our weaknesses and fears that we have to deal with. Kimmy finally decided to "cowgirl up" and do it. I loved the look on her face when she conquered that wave. And I guess you could say that Dolvett cowgirled up as well, though I'm sure he'd just love that comparison. (I have the song "Cowgirls Don't Cry" running through my head now...) He also made it through his fear and the waves. It's pretty incredible what you can do when you can get your mind past being scared and just do it.

I also loved how Dolvett got Kim to reveal her softer side. She was afraid that showing her vulnerability was bad, and that other people would use it against her. Dolvett taught her that acknowledging that part of her was essential, so she could see all sides of herself, accept them and still be her best. I admit to feeling the same way myself. Sometimes you don't want others to see your weaknesses, but we're all human and we all have them. The world would be a much better place if we could all be real with each other and ourselves. Then we could help each other reach our true potential!

When both Megan and Kimmy fell below the yellow line, I knew Kimmy would sacrifice herself for her daughter. I'm really proud of what Kimmy's done at home. She realized that you have to go for your dreams, so she joined up to help out with a theraputic riding program for people with disabilities. She wants to have her own program someday, and she's finding a way for others to be their best no matter what the odds. When you learn about yourself and conquer your own demons, it's so much easier to help other people reach their potential. I'm so glad she's paying it foward.

Next week looks to be pretty interesting as well. But for now, I'm on my virtual trip to Hawaii. Time to pull out the Soul Surfer DVD again and be inspired!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Biggest Loser 13 Challenge - I'm Sure I Lost Some Weight

Yes, I know that's a strange title for a weight loss blog. So let me explain...

I've been sick since Thursday evening with a stomach virus, which has also been making the rounds at work. I'm sick of being sick and stressed, but right now I haven't done a lot in the exercise department.

I did have Pilates on Monday and spin on Tuesday, took a walk on Wednesday as well. But since then I've been too sick and weak to do anything else.

I've also been unable to keep much down food-wise, so I'm sure I've lost weight just because of that. I did not weigh myself today, since it seemed pointless while I'm still dealing with this. I'll have to pick up with the scale next week once everything settles down.

The main thing right now is to get my energy back so I can be back to whatever normal is. ;o) Here's to a better week for all of us!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Biggest Loser 13 - Finding Your Confidence

Sometimes it's harder to find confidence than you may think. I know for a fact that some people think it's easy...of course these are the ones who don't have self-esteem issues, who assume that since they believe in themselves it should be easy for everyone. This is not the case.

We saw this firsthand tonight with Emily. Even though last week she seemed to have a breakthrough, Bob still had to have a talk with her about believing in herself the same way her family and friends believe in her. I can vouch for the fact that just because you gain confidence and insight, it doesn't mean smooth sailing from then on. You will take steps forward, backward, and forward again on the path to confidence. And yes, even though it's difficult this is NORMAL!

Conda and Kim had a fashion confidence moment with Jessica Simpson. (I sure would love to have a room full of clothes and accessories to shop through for free!) As the weight comes off, you feel good knowing that you can wear stuff that never fit before...and that is much more stylish than you used to wear. You could see the two of them stand and walk taller in their new clothes. When you need a confidence boost - wear something amazing, and you will feel amazing.

And Kimmy conquered her fear of heights when Dolvett had her climb a 40 foot rock wall. She always cheered other people on when they faced their fears, but neglected herself. (I can sure relate to that, but I'm learning to cheer myself on as well.) It was so cool to watch her make it to the top and announce that she believes in herself. Take it from me - facing those fears and conquering them definitely makes you feel better about yourself...and you come out on the other side of it a stronger person.

The elimination was heart-wrenching tonight, because both of the women up for elimination have come far but still have a long way to go. Emily was sent home, but she had a surprise for all of us. She's an aspiring opera singer, and with some help from Season 11 winner Olivia she is working with a vocal coach. Emily already sounds really good, so I can't wait to hear what she sounds like with more training.

You really do have to go for your dreams...with every bit of confidence you can find. It's the only way to live a full life!!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Biggest Loser 13 Challenge - Progress?

I THINK I made some progress this week.

I lost .6 pound...slightly more than last week, but since I was sick all week I didn't really work out much. And we had a major family party yesterday - which included my celebrating my dad's 80th birthday, which is technically tomorrow. All in all I did OK.

It's very frustrating, however. I need more hours in each day. Yes, I know I'm not the only one who needs that. But I'm so stressed that I don't sleep well, which doesn't help me with any of my activities, and probably didn't do me any favors when I got sick and needed rest. I NEED to lose this weight. I NEED to finish revising my novel and do more writing. I NEED to be creative - and working the full time job is causing me stress over all of this because I have no idea how I'm supposed to do it all, yet I know I need to do all of those things to be my authentic self.

I also know we need my paycheck very badly. I feel trapped, suffocated, and depressed. There has to be a better way, and I'm praying every single day to God to help me find it.

If you would please pray for me as well, I would really appreciate it. Here's hoping for a much better week.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Biggest Loser 13 - Comfort Zone, Schmomfort Zone

OK, tonight we're doing the condensed version of a recap - because my sinuses feel like crap and I only want to focus on the positive stuff this week. (Good luck, right? Maybe it won't be that bad!)

Alison took the teams out of their comfort zones by switching their trainers for the week. Jeremy and Conda actually had the advantage here, since they've been there and done that already. But I'm still amazed every time someone has to leave Bob and they totally lose it. I love Bob - but come on everybody...Dolvett is an amazing trainer as well. It's not like you're being told that you have to starve in the desert or train with Bozo the clown instead. Of course the trainers are going to get switched at some point. Deal with it! ;o)

The positives that came out of this switch were Emily's and Buddy's breakthroughs with their new trainers. Emily admitted she gets in her own way sometimes and is scared of change. Let's face it: most of us are. What is it they say about sticking with the devil you know instead of the devil you don't? Dolvett really got her to work through it. No matter what situations we find ourselves in, we have to deal with the change and get through it. It may take some time, but we will get there!

Speaking of situations, Buddy's story of his baby daughter dying broke my heart. I can't even imagine what that had to be like for his family. He opened up to Bob, who made him realize that he is being reborn now himself. Even when things are really dark - there is always light.

Now the ballet class was right up my alley. That was a hoot to watch! It proved that you can get out of your comfort zone and try new things, even if they look scary at first. You might even find a new pastime, or even a new way of life!

Of course there had to be some drama with gameplay and alliances and all of that. Plus there were some really weird numbers (and a very strange vibe) at the weigh-in. I just don't want to focus on that because I've had more than enough drama for one season.

Thankfully, this week there were more positive moments than negative again. (Hmmm...I think I notice a trend here.) See, it wasn't all that bad after all!

And though it stinks that Cassandra went home, she's in New York pursuing her writing dreams and down 90 pounds. You go girl - and you inspire me!!!

And here's hoping and praying that I don't have a sinus infection!!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Biggest Loser 13 Challenge - Still Looking For That Balance!

I still haven't found what I'm looking for...

Yes, thanks to my new job and U2 I have that song stuck in my head. And for good reason. You know that balance I talked about last week? I'm still looking for it. Now, I know it takes time to find it. You don't just switch from one type of schedule to a completely different one without some struggle. But when you're a writer who is determined to finish revising your manuscript and you have only a few hours left each week to get that done - along with housework, exercise, family time, prayer, etc. - you want that balance and you want it NOW.

Throw into the mix that I caught whatever bug is going around at work. Since I'm new I have to go in, so I must get some rest when I get home. The job itself is going pretty well so far, and I know that once I'm past being sick I can start to find my rhythm. (Rhythm is any form is important to this music & dance girl!) It's just a little frustrating.

I did see a tiny bit of progress on the scale today. I lost .4 pound, which is more than last week and pretty good for being sick all weekend. I'll take it...and I'll move on to the new week determined to make it better.

As for my frustration, I'm trying not to let it get to me. I'm on my knees often, asking God to help me find the balance I need so I can get everything done and be a healthier person in every way. Sometimes it's hard not to worry, but I know I have to let go and let God so I don't lose my mind.

And I'm off now to do some more revisions!