Friday, August 31, 2012

So Long 270's

It is Friday and it is WEIGH IN day....I dropped below 270 today to 267.6...WooHoo!!!  The movin and shakin is paying off and all of the support, ideas, funny stories, thoughtful words and gifts have been instrumental in these 1st 2 weeks.  Thank you all!  You are all amazing! I hope you will hang in there with me for the next 50 weeks...and join me for a raucous game of Volleyball on Saturday August 17th 2013..time and place TBD!!
So today was a recovery day for me...and my body and mind are thankful!  I am finding that after the Tues-Thurs workouts, my "Recovery Friday" is needed.  I will tell you that I am already noticing a shift in my energy levels (in a good way) and some of this activity is starting to get a little easier!!  I am still using Weight Watchers as a way to control my food..however, am reading a few books and may start incorporating some different food plans into my current program.  I am still having some struggles eating too late...but I will say that my night grazing has diminished significantly.  I have fallen in love with a couple of snacks (to satisfy my sweet tooth)...almond butter and bananas (my Dr. told me I needed to increase my good cholesterol-thus the almonds).  I have always loved fruit...but am just eating it more often.  My Mom has been making me smoothies with ice, a small amount of skim milk and assorted them! 

Here is the Week 2 Recap:

  • Started this week weighing 274.2
  • Worked out Sat, Sun, Tues Wed. (2x) and Thurs.
  • Shopped for Fluffy girl workout clothes
  • Got some amazing and unexpected support
  • Had a Funky Monday...but made a solid recovery on Tuesday!
  • Busted through the One Mile mark and am now walking 1.5 miles...MonDOO!! (for Brig, Jilly and Linda)
  • Found out I would be coaching Emily's Church league Volleyball team! Yay!
  • Double workout on Wed.  Two-a-days!!!! Awesome
  • Talked music and shared some fun workout music
  • Got even more amazing support from friends and family
  • Got "prayed" through another week!
Let's Talk Tunes:

No workout is complete without some kick butt Blues: So here is a little Stevie Ray

Here is Adele singing Sam Cooke....

Here are another few on my current listening list!

Roll Away your Stone-Mumford & Sons
Good Girl-Carrie Underwood
So What-Pink

Today's Blessings:

Music Friday at work!!
3 day weekends
One step closer to goal! I am going to the lake this weekend with "my people" and I am concerned about wireless blogging might be a challenge.  I have loaded the blogging app onto my phone however, am not sure about signals or lousy phone typing skills!!!  But I will give it my best shot!  So my workouts this weekend will most likely be a lot of walking...and I will be enjoying some down time with Tone Tone, Donna, Emily, Bill, Greta (the Shih Tzu) and Riley (the Schnauzer). Fun!

I  hope everyone has a safe and happy Labor Day weekend...Enjoy your time and again, thank you for all of your support.  I love this quote by Robin Roberts below...really inspiring from a woman fighting against illness...with dignity and grace.  I don't want to miss one moment of the meaning!!!  Journey 120-"Mawa Inspired" (Good luck to Kerri Walsh as she plays in a tournament in Cincy this weekend)

"There’s a quote that really resonates with me when I think about this time in my life. ‘Life provides losses and heartbreak for all of us. But the greatest tragedy is to have the experience and miss the meaning.’"~ Robin Roberts

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shake your groove thing

Hello Thursday....tomorrow is the 2nd weigh in with only 50 more to go!!!  After my morning swim yesterday...I decided that my workout was a little light.  So, last night I worked on my upper body (machines and free weights) and I did another 15 minutes on the treadmill.  I was wiped out afterwards but I felt much better about my workout.  This morning I did my 1.5 mile walk and hustled into work...As I told you guys previously...when I walk early in the morning, I don't really listen to an I-Pod or anything... I like the quiet.  However, when I am on the bike or lifting weights...I have to have some motivation. 
So...this brings me tonight's general topic.  Work out music!  Of course, most treadmills, elliptical, bikes, have T.V.'s attached  Which I must admit...I like.  I am a T.V. junkie and being able to watch a little television while I pedal away is kinda nice.  However, music is inspiring!  Music gets my blood pumping and helps me get my groove least what is left of my groove!!!  Anyway.  I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite songs/artists with you and maybe you can send some of your workout faves back to me!!  BUT...before I do...I must say that some of my workout music may not all be typical ...largely because I love singers!! Big, powerful singers, soulful bluesy singers, iconic singers and not so well known singers!  Great vocalists really serve as a source of inspiration for me and always have!  But there is nothing wrong with a great back beat..straight up jammin song that just makes you want to dance. 

So my first selection is actually a contemporary christian song and for those of you that don't really listen to this style of music, this song to me is universally fun!!!  Great way to wake up!!! Mandisa (of American Idol) and Toby Mac.

So here are a few other songs that I have been listening to: 

Rumor Has It-Adele ( Amazing vocalist--but the drums rock in this song)
She's a Bad Mama Jama-Carl Carlton- pure FUNK!!!
Brick House-Commodores-More old school!!
Tightrope-Janelle Monae
Party Rock Anthem-LMFAO
Moves Like Jagger-Maroon 5
Pumped up Kicks-Foster the People
I wish-Stevie Wonder

These are just a few from this week...each week I will be posting more great music...It is what makes working my rear end off (literally) manageable for me!!!

 I still want this next year to be the time of my life!!! I want to make this transition from Fluffy to Fabulous as much fun as possible.  I want to continue to be inspired!!!

OK...check back tomorrow for another weigh in!  For those of you playing along...let me hear from you!

Blessing today:  I have almost made it through week 2!

God Bless and Good Night

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Things are going swimmingly

Happy Hump Day Everyone...I hope you all are finding your way through the middle of the week...having a few laughs along the way.  I must say that is a great thing about my job...I get to laugh every day.  We all like to laugh and do...often!  Though being independently wealthy would be my first choice...having a job that I get to laugh at while I am working...that isn't a bad thing! today was swimming day...I did not exactly bound out of bed this morning...but I made it to the Y.M.C.A and got in about 20 minutes worth of swimming.  I felt like I could have gone a little longer today but did not leave myself enough time to do I will be back in the gym tonight.  I love the water and have always enjoyed swimming.  As I have said in previous posts, it is a lot harder than I guess I expected but I like the way I feel when I am done.  Not as much pressure on my middle aged joints!! much as I love swimming...I cannot imagine loving it so much that I would be would  want to swim the English Channel or some big open water Diana Nyad. 

I don't know how many of you are familiar with Diana Nyad...but she is pretty unbelievable when it comes to endurance/long distance swimmers...what amazes me about her (and inspires me) is that she is now 63 years old and STILL is swimming long distances in open ocean waters...I am attaching a link about her most recent swim...I cannot even comprehend how she does what she does...not only does she swim long distances...she does it in jellyfish infested waters...with sharks, stingrays  and lions and tigers and bears...oh my!!!  I figure if she can fend off a few hundred jellyfish for 70+ miles...I can go an extra 15 minutes in the pool. HA!  Though if I am being completely honest...I think swimming in the ocean...getting a million jellyfish stings...swollen lips and salt-water blisters all over my face sounds a little cuckoo... but her endurance and drive..inspiring.

Inspiration is the best kind of rush for whatever form it comes in!  I would love it if you guys would share some of your inspirations with me...things that motivate you to go beyond your comfort zone.  I love my comfort is cozy there...however, in order to accomplish the goals I have set for myself...I have to take some giant leaps into places that may not be so comfortable at first. 

Before I go...I got my confirmation that I will be coaching Emily's VB first coaches meeting is next week.  Here is quick shot of my volleyball girl!

Also, a co-worker of mine recommended a high protein, low calorie/low carb shake.  I have been using them as a little protein boost during the day.  There are pretty good.  Here is the website.

"Tune" in Thursday...I am thinking it is time to talk about good workout Music...Have a great rest of today...Love the comments, emails, FB posts...keep em coming!  "MaWa" Inspired!!!

"Do one thing every day that scares you.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Can I get 2 Quarters with that MILE

Good Tuesday evening to after my Funky Monday...I had to shake it off this morning and start FRESH!!! So again...I was up by 6:00 AM and at the park by 6:30 for a walk.  I am trying to keep these morning workouts interesting so that my body does not realize that I am up so early AND working out....sneaky!!!!  So tomorrow will be swimming...and Thursday will be the bike! You get the picture.   Anyway, once I got to the park and did my stretching...I struck out on what has been a mile long walk in this cute little, heavily wooded park just down the street from our apartment.  I really love being outside (in tolerable temperatures) and early morning temps are fairly doable if you don't mind the humidity.
So....I start my walk and so far...the 1st quarter mile or so I really have to push my body and mind to participate...I am not a "fast out of the gates" kinda girl.  However, once I get past that 1st quarter actually gets a little easier and I really find myself enjoying a somewhat peaceful environment...listening to the birds and the crunch of the gravel as I walk is kinda nice.  I choose not to listen to any music while I am outside...just my preference.  I like the sound of nature (with a little traffic mixed in) and it gives me time to say a few prayers and get my head wrapped around what I have going on for the day. 
I typically turn around at the 1/2 mile marker on the trail and loop back to the parking area to complete the full mile...but today...TODAY....I made the entirety of the trail...which is 1.5 miles or 2 Quarters with my mile (hehehe).  I had a few "push through" moments (as I call them)...moments where I think I cannot keep walking and I just keep pushing and push right through the discomfort. It worked...and I finished the mile and a half...without any trauma.  I am sure for some of you walkers...1.5 miles is no big twig...but for me...It felt great to push through to another level.  No going backwards...just forward.  Two miles here I come. 
I am hoping that with each week's challenges come moments like today when I get a dose of accomplishment to counteract the "funky" moments!!!  There is that wonderful HOPE again...gotta love it!

I got an incredibly sweet email today from a friend and I thought I would share it as my blessing for today:

I read this and thought about you.

As you are.
Stronger than you know.
More beautiful than you think.
Worthier than you believe.
More loved than you can ever imagine.
Passionate about making a difference.
Fiery when protecting those you love.
Learning,.  Growing.  Not Alone.
Warm.  Giving.  Generous.
Quirky.  Sexy.  Funny.  Smart.
Flawed.  Whole.  Scared.  Brave.
And so, so, so much more.

Be Strong.  Be confident.  Be you.

God bless you, Jaime.

I am so proud of you.

Thank you for the beautiful words of encouragement...can't ask for kinder friends and family...not possible! 

OK....Tomorrow is HUMP DAY people...Halfway to weigh in #2 and week #3...I hope all of you taking this Journey with me are taking good care of your mind, body and spirit and keep me posted!!!

How bout a little James Brown to cap off the night

"I feel good, I knew that I would, now
I feel good, I knew that I would, now
So good, so good, I got you"

Monday, August 27, 2012

Funky Monday

Hope everyone has had a good Monday...though my cynical self there such a thing as a good Monday.  Honestly, I have never been a big fan of Monday...I guess I should be grateful that I get to see Monday each week..but that is not always the case.  This Monday has been a little tough...I am struggling with a little lethargy today and am so busy at work that I am a bit overwhelmed.  So...I am a little stressed. 

Guess what...Stress can cause weight gain...particularly the production of Cortisol in the body...don't worry...I am not going to give any medical lectures on the topic and will leave it up to you to gather more info on the topic if you so desire.  After reading some of the appears that there are varying opinions on the topic...too complicated for my somewhat addled brain this close to 9:00 PM at night (and I am still at work).  But here is what I do know...for me, stress leads to a whole cornucopia of issues none of which are good and managing stress..well, I am no good at it!!! 

Sadly, I have been known to stress over things that have not even happened!! pattern of behavior often looks like this:

  • I worry and stress about life know, money, work, semi-imaginary issues (ha,ha)
  • I get overwhelmed/lose focus/have to work late to keep up 
  • I can't sleep
  • Eat late, eat poorly, etc...
  • Get exhausted, get headaches...and the list goes on...
It is actually really difficult for me to write all of this down...not my best personality trait.  However,   given all of of my secondary goals on this Journey is to incorporate better stress management into my life..really practice setting boundaries with myself and managing my time and stress levels in conjunction with the eating and exercising.  Given that I am still at the office...I still have quite a bit of work to do in that department. 
BUT...I have HOPE...I love HOPE!  It really is always right there to choose as an option to any situation.  I do know that exercise can relieve stress and I am pretty confident that the healthier my body gets, the easier it will be to manage some of the emotional stresses in my life (and vice versa). 

I feel compelled to say this about this blog of my is my intention to be completely honest.  I think that for me, that is part of this Journey.  No pretense, or disguised feelings..just the truth. 

I had somebody,who has been down a very similar road, remind me that there are going to be "funky" days...that is just the way it goes...but you get up and you start the next day fresh...ODAT!

Despite this Funky Monday...I do have blessings to share...

  • Tomorrow is NOT Monday
  • HOPE--I have it!!!
Before I go for the evening...Just a couple of administrative things...

  1. I have added several ways for you guys to follow this blog...Please see the right margin for Follow options.  You can follow, subscribe or get email notifications...
  2. Please share this site with your friends, family, absolute strangers :)...the more people, the more input, the more wisdom shared...the better the Journey!!!
Tuesday here I come....Journey 120-"MaWa Inspired"

God Bless and Sweet Dreams!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Taking this Journey Gracefully

Good Sunday afternoon to everyone.  As usual, I hope this day has been filled with laughter, worship, fun, family and most of all,  L-O-V-E!  Today was Church day for us and was a big day for Emily as she started Confirmation classes this morning and tomorrow will begin 6th GRADE...unbelievable!!! 

So today has been filled with Church, lunch with my girls and then off to the Y-M-C-A...for 35 minutes on the bike ( a little over 5 miles), 20 minutes in the pool and a little whirlpool time.
While working out, I am aware that my brain still believes that my body is athletic but my actual physical body strongly disagrees.  What I mean is that while I am working out...I am in that mindset to push through the discomfort, to go a few extra minutes, or laps...but my body...well she is a little slow on the uptake!!!  Don't get me wrong though...I am really grateful that I am able to recall what is was like to work hard within the context of sport/physical activity...but I am clear it is going to be a while before the body catches up to the brain... baby steps I guess.  My brain is just going to have to be patient!

 Patience, a virtue that I have not mastered...which leads me to another thought I have been having...As I have said several times already, this is going to be a long process...that is why I called it a Journey in the title..I vision this as some long trek across country...months of travel through different places and different experiences...expect in the back of my head I hear my own voice saying..."Are we there yet"...ha!  Strangely, I really don't want to rush it!  I was inspired to choose this way of accomplishing this goal for a reason.  I think of the Olympics and again that the event that inspired me only happens every 4 years and takes years upon years to prepare achieve.  There are obviously quicker options for weight loss these days...Medicines, lap band, gastric bypass...etc...but I chose This Way with intent...I want to take this Journey and I want to do it Gracefully. 

I looked up the definition of Grace and found the following definition on the  Grace: Seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form, or proportion.
OK...clearly this is not the grace of which I speak...effortless beauty, charm of movement OR proportion are not my strong suits!!  However; I found the following definition in Webster's:  a : unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification b : a virtue coming from God.  "Grace can be defined as the love and mercy given to us by God because God wants us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it" ( 
I want this Journey to be "Graceful" be about all of the Gifts I have received that are God given, to take care of those gifts and to re-gift all those blessings wherever I can!!  So...though I will not be wearing toe shoes, a tutu and dancing the most stunning version of Swan Lake you have ever seen...I do hope that I am able to take this Journey and make it look as Graceful as possible. 

I had some fun pics to share with you guys today...but technical difficulties kept me from posting.  Will add them another day. 

A little fun news:  I will be coaching Emily's volleyball team (Church league play) and am looking so forward to it!!

Blessings for today: Every minute of the DAY!

Tomorrow is DAY 10...Let's get fired up and ready for another week of exercise, healthy food, laughing our butts off and weight loss galore!!!! 

Only 355 days left...the quest continues to reach my weight goal and PLAY Volleyball...Thanks to Kerri and Misty for continued inspiration and thanks to Lori P (one of my best buddies from HHS) for another shot of inspiration!!!  Journey 120-"Mawa" Inspired!!!!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Little Retail Therapy-Sweet Saturday

Happy Saturday all...I hope your day has been filled with great things!!  I must say that I started this day with a little pep in my step...which is profoundly unusual for me...My pep has been pooped in the last several months and hopping out of bed on a Saturday was not in the cards!!!  So this makes the last 2 Saturdays special for me...Last Saturday I was up and ready to go before 7:00 AM and today I was at the park by 8:15 and ready to go!  Riley ( the white dog) was my walking partner today and we walked a little over a mile today...I am trying to push beyond my comfort zone each day!!  At the end of our face was  red as a beet and Riley's tongue was dragging the ground (not quite).  But we both had least I think she had fun...she doesn't say much!! 

After the walk, I decided to stop by and see my Sweet Pea (Emily)...a quick 20 minute visit but always a blessing... just hanging out with my girl and looking at all of her school stuff...she starts 6th grade on Monday (I can't believe it).  I arrived all sweaty with my "Mawa" Inspired head band on...She looked at me and just shook her head...I am fairly certain she thinks I have lost my mind...She is not used to seeing her Aunt Jaime in workout clothes rockin' a cool head band.  She'll!

After my visit, I headed home, ate a little breakfast, rested for a while and then Tone Tone (my Mom) and I headed across town for a healthy lunch and some shopping.  If you live in Houston...try Hungry's in The Village (Rice U area)...decent healthy menu options, nice weekend lunch place...THEN...we headed to the stores for a little shopping.  I desperately needed a few new workout clothes and decided to go ahead and get a few...Now for those of you that are not familiar with shopping for workout clothes for Fluffy is no easy task.  Now in my mind, workout clothes for fluffy people should be on every corner...Instead, there are generally only workout clothes for the average human!!!  I know....Fluffy people have a tendency not to work out and therefore the demand for fluffy workout clothes is limited...blah, blah, blah...BUT trust me...if I am working out next to definitely want me fully covered in appropriate workout clothes...OK, I digress...Bottom line:  I found workout clothes...bought them and am now official and properly dressed!!!

Forgive me for giving you a blow by blow of my day...that is generally not my intention.  However, this blog is about my Journey and all the changes that will take place over the next year.  So it is important to me to point out that the fact that I have been up since before 8 AM...walked over a mile, hung out with an 11 year old, fixed breakfast, got dressed, drove across Houston, had lunch, shopped for 4 hours and am sitting down to write this blog by 6:00 a huge change for me.  I have not been able to be active in what feels like forever.  I love being active...the person inside this body has always loved being active.  But, bad health has slowed that significantly over the past 10+ years and that is why today is worth a "blow by blow".  Today was a change...a really good change!!

Just a few miscellaneous items before I go...I snapped this pic of my Mom at Hungry's  today and thought it was blog worthy :)

She just so dang Cute!

And this is a pic Mom found of her and I from a loooong time ago...She has made it into and "motivational" tool and placed it on the fridge!


Today's Blessings:

Unexpected gifts that make this Journey so much more joyful!
Words of support and kindness from strangers!
Time with "my people"

Be grateful for the tiny details of your life and make room for unexpected and beautiful blessings.

I am beyond grateful today.  Thank you!

See you tomorrow! jlp

Friday, August 24, 2012

Little Victories...

TGIF....Hello everyone and happy Friday!  So today was my 1st weigh in and as you may have noticed on the weight tracker (right margin) that I lost 4.2 pounds this week.  Not too bad.  I have known from the start that this would be a sloooowwww process but...I will take that as a positive start to this Journey...a little victory! 

I also have experienced another little victory this week.  As you may know, I have Type II diabetes (My Mom and I call ourselves "Diabeticals") and I have been on insulin since the Fall of 2010.  I have to take long acting insulin at night and I take sliding scale (short acting) insulin during the day.  Typically, I take long acting insulin at night and as much as 30  units of short acting insulin per day.  My doctor has really wanted my fasting (morning) sugar to be 130-140 and that has not been happening over the last few years.  SO....Since I started this adventure....7 whole days ago.  My fasting sugar has dropped 40+ points and is right at 140.  That is really pretty amazing.  It would kinda be like me dropping 20 pounds in the 1st week...Another bonus is that I have only had to take approximately 10 units of short acting insulin per day for the last 3 days.  Less shots for me!!!!  More great things to come from this journey health wise I am sure!!!  Can't wait!

So today was a day of recovery for the this fluffy body of mine and I needed it...but tomorrow brings more exercise and the beginning of Week 2.  More swimming, biking and walking...I am actually looking forward to it and like I said, Can't wait to see what lies ahead.  But for now...ODAT (One Day At a Time)

I have decided to do a quick recap of this first week...just for fun...
  • I, while watching the Olympics and particularly while watching Misty May and Kerri Walsh win their 3rd consecutive Gold medal in Women's Beach Volleyball, became overwhelmingly inspired to make a big change in my life.
  • I decided that big Change would be to lose 120 lbs by August 17th 2013.
  • Furthermore, I decided to blog about my Journey on a daily basis as a motivational tool for myself.
  • To up the ante, I decide to tell everybody I have ever known that I am taking this Journey and asked them to follow along.
  • After doing this, surprisingly, I do not wake up the next day and say "What was I thinking"
  • As a fun final goal I decided that I wanted to plan to play a real, full on, hind end kickin', volleyball game on August 17, 2013 as a way of celebrating my new girlish figure.
  • I also decided that both Kerri Walsh and Misty May must know about this and I will make it another goal to contact them hopefully without making too big of a fool out of myself.
  • I had one last Fluffy Girl fling with Food and took part in the destruction of one of the largest Chocolate Eclairs on the planet. 
  • On the first day...I walked 1 mile with my BFF at 6:30 in the morning...A miracle mile!
  • Also on the first day, Kerri Walsh commented on Twitter about my blog and retweeted to it to all 130,000 of her followers. Wow!
  • I joined the YMCA (and have not formally paid homage to the Village People (YET)
  • I found out that Laughing is a good way to improve your health and lose weight...which works out well for me!!!
  • I have gotten tons of wonderful words of encouragement from family, friends and people I do not even know...Golden!!!
  • I have waxed poetic about being from the South and my love of food.
  • I have seen God's Blessings around every corner of this past week.
  • I have worked out even when I did not feel like it-Unexpected Will Power
  • I have made it through the 1st week and STILL am inspired....Journey 120-"MaWa" Inspired.
I hope this weekend is filled with fun, rest and lots of healthy living for everyone.  I will see you on Saturday!!!

Here is a great website my co-worker sent to food tips.  Good for Weight Watchers.  Thanks Lindsey!

Blessings for today

  • Funny Friday at work
  • Saturday and Sunday!!!

Have fun...see you tomorrow!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Feeling the Burn....

Tomorrow is a big day (sort of)...It is the 1st weigh in for me on this Journey.  I do not want to put too much emphasis on the the weigh in because...I have a long way to go and this is only the beginning.  But...I made it through the 1st week and this weigh in marks that for me...I MADE IT THROUGH THE FIRST WEEK...WOO HOO!!!
Starting something new is so hard for me.  I often feel overwhelmed during the "beginning" of anything and I usually medicate with food...which is no longer an option. 
Starting today was actually hard in general.  Out of the 1st 6 far, this has been the most difficult.  I woke up really tired, with a headache and not really all that interested in an early morning workout. HOWEVER, I got up, threw on a lovely wrinkled pair of shorts and my favorite t-shirt and went to the park.  I completed one mile ( in not so record time again) and well..quite frankly, felt better.  It felt really good to have pushed through the "I don't want to's" and accomplish something positive.  It is funny though...this whole daily blogging thing is working like it is supposed to I guess...there was no way I could NOT work out...I knew people would be waiting for a check in today and I did not want to less than a week I am already not wanting to work out...NO WAY...this is too important.  It is worth "feeling the burn" (and boy did I) :)

So far every day of this Journey has been a gift.  Something unexpected everyday.  Just imagine how fabulous having 365 days of gifts is going to be AND I will be 120 lbs lighter at the end.  I am thinking though that I am going to get so much more than just being lighter and healthier...I don't know exactly what that will look like today...but I am excited to see.

Please keep the comments, suggestions, tips, stories...coming.  Your words motivate me more than I can express! 

Hey....if anybody out there has any good ideas for stretching/strengthening the lower back muscles..please back is not fully cooperating!!!

For those who have joined me on this Journey _________ (fill in the Blank)...I would love to know how you are progressing tomorrow.  We can do this!! Tomorrow is the end of the 1st week and the beginning of another week full of new experiences, blessings and great gifts. ( I can Feel IT!!!)

Blessings for Today:

1.  Unexpected Will Power
2.  A long conversation with an amazing, brilliant person that has a gift for tying together the loose ends!!!.

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

That's what I like about the South

Happy Wednesday and for those of you playing at home...Happy Day 6.  Another morning swim for me and then off to work.  I am pondering adding an evening workout tonite.  I think it is really benefiting my stress levels. 
Besides losing weight....I really need to learn to manage my stress better.  I sometimes don't even realize I am stressed until...well usually, until I have a big massive headache and  I find myself aimlessly foraging for food in the Kitchen at 1:00 AM...I have already addressed my issues around using food as a pacifier, pain killer, comforter...etc...but I think that a little window into my love of food is important.

 Actually, I do not think my love of food is the primary reason for my being is part of my culture, my way of growing up and I really don't mind that...I have lots of family that loves food as much as I do that do not have issues with their weight.  You see I am severely southern and in the South... the love of food is a way of life and that has been my experience within my own family.  Certain foods are associated with certain occasions and the success of those occasions is often dictated by how good the food least in part.  I do not want to whole family gets together at the holidays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter....big birthdays, anniversaries....etc... and we laugh, play games, name it.  But....we love our food.  I associate different foods with people in the family (I am fruit salad), foods that we make or even foods we love to eat...My Aunt Bobbie ( chocolate pie/lemon pie), My Aunt Lois (sausage balls, fudge), my grandmother (fried chicken/pumpkin bread), my cousin Kathy (broccoli and rice casserole) to name just a few...It is part of who I am...Food isn't just represents Love...lots of love and thought goes into a meal in my is not just the ingredients on the is the time and energy it takes to prepare, the thoughtful planning...and I love that about my family and it is certainly one of the things I like about the South.
My challenge from August 17th keeping that love in perspective.  I believe I can still enjoy loving food without it being a crutch.  That's all! :)

Today I met another Southerner in the whirlpool after my swim...I am guessing she was in her late 60's...and the first thing she said as she entered the whirlpool was "Thank you Lord Jesus"...she was serious too....I had my eyes closed but she kept on talking.  I opened my eyes and sat up a little straighter....trying to pay attention.  She told me that had been at the Y since 4:30 AM and that she was feeling a little stiff and sore...and that this whirlpool was just the answer.  She proceeded to share quite a bit about herself and particularly that she just could not seem to lose weight because as she said "Lord the sugar...I can't stays away from the sugar"....She proceeded to talk at length about a piece German Chocolate Cake that she had the night before and that she had a skinny husband who could eat anything he wanted and that he made her bake for him and how she would end up eating it.  She was much funnier than I can convey in this blog.  So...I decided to share with her about my Journey and she got really quiet....listened to my story and then at the end asked me what my name was...I told her and she said I am going to start praying for you today...and then she out for the devil...he will throw every obstacle he can in front of you...all kinds of German Chocolate Cake!
Blessings for the day...being a Texas girl with a great family (who can cook!), great friends...and of course, the lady in the whirlpool...more prayers are not a bad thing!

Today, I am praying for perspective, strength and the courage to complete this Journey with the same energy and inspiration I have started with...

Day 7 is just around the corner...1st weigh in on Friday...Journey 120-"MaWa"Inspired:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

5 Golden Days

Good Afternoon...this will be an early post today...Got lots going on today and am afraid it will be too late when I get home to here goes...It is DAY 5 and things are GOLDEN.  This morning I was thinking about today being Day 5 and all I could think of was the Twelve Days of Christmas song, specifically the "FIVE GOLDEN RINGS" I just changed the words to 5 GOLDEN DAYS....haha!  I like the Golden theme for today...this is a Journey inspired by a Gold Medal and the 2 golden girls that won it...and I am I trying to improve my life so that I make it into my golden days (lol). 
Today started at 6:30 am in the pool at the Y...did about 20 minutes in the pool and felt good.  Swimming is harder than I remembered...easier on the joints that don't quite work as well as they used to...but hard from a stamina stand point.  But...I did it.  I think it is still one of the better exercise options for me though...and I will keep it on my schedule! 

I have had several people send me food ideas, websites, pinterest ideas...etc...thank you so much and I am going to share some of them here.  I love, love, love, the fact that several of you are doing this with me...Makes me feel like I am on a team.  The "I" becomes a "WE" and I love being a "WE"! 

Let me say I suspected that when I decided to start this Journey and announce it to my own little "world" and beyond...that it would open all kinds of opportunities to be inspired, to be touched and reminded that God has blessed me in so many ways regardless of my size, shape or ability to swim a lap or walk a mile...golden opportunities.  I had no idea!  So many great things are happening.  Such love and inspiration in each day...5 GOLDEN DAYS...
Given the fact that I have decided the theme for today is Golden....I have a few golden moments to share with you today.

1.  I met Billie today at the Y...she is 85 years old, works out everyday at the Y and has for past 12+ years.  She stopped me today at the pool to give me a few water exercise tips.  She said she thought I was new to this whole water exercise thing.  She comes every morning...she lost her husband 3 years ago but says she knows that he is "home with the Lord" and that she carries him in her heart. She wanted to welcome me and hopes that she will see me around.  Golden...

2.  Today is my friend Patsy's 70th Birthday...She will probably say she can't believe I mentioned her Birthday in my blog...but secretly,  she will love it!!!  She has been a dear part of my life for a long time and when I recently posted that I hoped I could still be funny after I lost weight...this is how she responded..."
I had a margarita this evening to celebrate your new life. And, don't worry you will never lose your "funny". Just don't think you're gonna be funnier than me. God bless you, Jaime. I love you.

Tomorrow is Wednesday...HUMP Day...Day 6 and another Day for more Golden opportunities...Who is with Me?????

"There's too many things I haven't done yet
Too many sunsets I haven't seen..." Sara Bareilles-Many the Miles

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Hunger Games is Day 4 and things are going amazingly well.  I knew one of the challenges I would face particularly in the first few weeks would be feeling hungry...or at least thinking I feel hungry.  See...I am a stress eater.  When I am overworked, overtired, overwhelmed...I eat.  When I feel bad and am in a ton of pain, I eat.  It is funny.  It is not that I eat a lot at one time or eat a whole cheesecake or anything..I just eat, regardless of time of day and more often than not, at night...when my brain is working on overdrive and I have tolerated the pain as long as I can.  In other words, it is an addiction.  The food serves as a way to distract me from the issue (whatever it may be) and satiate whatever hunger I have real or contrived!
So I have decided to really work on managing that need in a way that is healthier and supports THIS journey...I guess you could say I have come up with my own "Hunger Games".  I am trying to convince my brain that it is not FOOD that it needs...but instead a more appropriate response to the issue at hand.  I am hesitant to say I am trying to "trick" myself...but...I am doing my best to redirect my responses to the stress/pain/etc...with little "games".  The workouts, the inspirational phrases, posters, funny little sticky notes and this blog have all been new things that I have done in these first four days...and here is the cool part...I am not hungry today...not at all!  Not to say that I have not had to remind myself that I am on a mission (so to speak) and that reaching this goal will change my life..but today has been better.  AND I am guessing that the more I learn to manage the stress and the more I take care of my body...the better things will be!

Your prayers, messages of support, progress updates and creative ideas will all help me win this battle.  LOVE is a powerful "thang"!!!

Blessings for the Day: 

1.  Funny Co-Worker who made this for me today! 

Cracks me up....

2.  A great (funny) message from a friend:


I know this is the first week and and that there are 51 more to go...but so far..I think this is the best decision I have ever made.  Journey 120-"MaWa" Inspired!!!!

For those that are taking on your own challenge...Let's tackle Tuesday and remember to Laugh!!!
"Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything."
Napoleon Hill

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Laugh it OFF

Good Sunday Evening to all of you.  I hope this day has been filled with rest, love, worship, joy and most of all....laughter.  This is Day 3 ( if you are keeping count) and given that it is Sunday...I have a well-established routine that goes something like this:  Church, lunch, errands, nap, more nap, followed by a nap (unless it is football season when it is Church, Lunch somewhere with TV's, quick errands, football with nap, nap, more football with nap...I think you get the picture.  So today started the same up and went to Church, went for a HEALTHY lunch, errands, no football (My Texans won yesterday), AND...this is where things get interesting...No Nap...instead got home, changed into my swimsuit and headed off to the Y-M-C-A!.  Seriously, this really happened.  I went to the Y where I worked out in the pool for 20 minutes, changed clothes and did some bike work for 15 minutes (2.5 miles on the bike).  It was great...though there are a few little observations I would like to make...One...when you are Fluffy...bathing suits are the Devil!!! Two...there are WAY too many mirrors at the Y. That's all...just needed to say that out loud! 

OK. So back to Church.  This morning we had a guest speaker, Susan O'Donnell, from KSBJ radio.  For those that do not know, Susan is the Program Director and On-Air personality with the popular Christian station here in the Houston area (actually located in my hometown of Humble, TX).  She has been at the station for 20+ years and there is one particularly fun detail about her...She is hilarious!  I have heard her speak before but today, her topic was Laughter and how laughter can positively impact our life, health and well-being..etc...She talked about studies that had been completed by Loma Linda University and Stanford U that scientifically prove that laughter is a great stress reducer, immune system booster, cardio workout and more.  More importantly, she talked about Laughter as a gift from God.  I love that.  I love to laugh, love to make people laugh and have depended on humor as a coping mechanism for my whole life. 
I have always believed that God gives us our sense of humor and we should USE it!  Lastly, it has been proven that laughter can increase heart rate, burn calories and help us lose I say...Laugh it OFF!!!

Tomorrow is Monday and will be a day of physical recovery for me...I don't want to break the ole' body down...but I will be posting whatever great things God has in store for me tomorrow. 

A few Blessings before I go:  When I got home on Friday evening, the following was posted on the door I use everyday to go to and from work, play, etc...

Made by my Momma...she cracks me up and I love, love, love the support.  It works too!!! It has my slogan, pics of Misty May and Kerri Walsh...the whole enchilada ( no enchilada though...I swear).  You can't ask for a better Mom. 

Next, I received a gift from Emily (my niece-11 years old) and Harper ( my cousin-10 years old) that they picked out themselves.  Something that would encourage me everyday.  My orders are to hang this in my bedroom where I can see it every morning when I awake! 

Aren't kids the greatest...<3 my friends who are playing along on this Journey...let's make this a great week and Laugh our butts off...Literally!  Journey 120-"MaWa" Inspired!

"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."  Proverbs 17:22 (ESV)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

AWWW...Snap, Crackle and Pop

No....I did not have Rice Krispies for breakfast...The Snap, Crackle and Pop  I speak of would be the sounds my knees, ankles, neck...etc...made as I rolled out of the rack for a 6:30 AM walk.  Yes, a 6:30 AM walk on SATURDAY morning...I had two new walking partners this morning...Mom and this four-legged beast.

The walk was good...I had to laugh body creaked and popped...I am pretty sure other people could hear my knees as they walked by...only 363 days to go...come on old can do it!
After our walk...a little breakfast was in order and a nap ( It is Saturday after all).  I told my Mom...I knew that just because I decided to do this did not mean that all of my daily pain, migraines, etc...would suddenly disappear so my prayer is that I can push through the pain and that the inspiration to be healthier will make all of that more bearable.  So good. I have to  FORGE ON ( that is my standard answer when people ask me how I am coping with having a chronic migraine since April) Some days are better than others. 
Food stuff is probably the most challenging however, I am using Weight Watchers as a starting point. It will be a process but I am truly looking forward to the change to healthier eating habits. If anyone has any great food ideas, recipes, snack ideas...please share! 

So...after my nap, house stuff and lunch...Mom and I went and joined the Y-M-C-A!!!

I liked the being the major dork that I am...I took a picture to post here.  I am looking forward to swimming, walking...maybe some circuit training...Pretty soon I am might even get my Zumba on!!! You never know. 

I have a few Blessings to share...First, I got my first 2 comments from people I do not know who have come across my blog and have read it!  Yea!  AND....I have gotten messages from 3 different people saying that they will be joining me on the Journey that is exciting.  It is nice to know that other people will be taking on this challenge as well.  Of course, they might not be trying to lose as much weight...or maybe they just want to get in better shape...but I like it!  JOURNEY __________ (Fill in the Blank). 

Lastly, and there will be pictures to follow Sweet Mom (Tone Tone-as Emily calls her)...has made a few creative posters and  (with the help of Emily and Donna) even made me my own Journey 120- "MaWa Inspired" water cup!  She is a great Mom and I am hoping that my Journey helps her in her own Journey!!!!

This Journey is less than one week old and already the Blessings flow!   Journey 120-"MaWa" Inspired!!! Have a great Sunday and to God be the Glory!

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
–Albert Einstein

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Miracle Mile

It is 8:30 PM on August 17th 2012 and I have had a great 1st day!  I started this day at 6:00 AM ready to take on this 1st day of a new life for me...corny yes...but oh so true!!!  I must interject right here that for those of you that do not know...I am so not a morning person. Really! Typically if I am up at 6:00 AM it is because I have never been to sleep!!!  However, I did get a few hours sleep and was at the park at 6:30 AM.  Ready to Roll!!!  I had on new shoes and my new headband that my Mom decorated with my new slogan-Journey 120-"MaWa Inspired"...motivation and inspiration abounds!!! 

Just in case you are not familiar with August in Houston...the humidity was about 200%...never good for a fluffy girl!  But...I stretched and we struck out for a walk.  Now I must also tell you that I am 5'4" (and 3/4) and my BF is pretty close to 6' it feels like for every 1 of her steps, I have to take 3...but...she was really quite sweet and took a stroll while I scurried along.  It was a great start to this journey...yea it was gross outside and I am so out of shape it is frightening..but it was exhilarating and for me a MIRACLE.  We walked a full mile in not so record time and I enjoyed every step.  My miracle where near 4 minutes, or 10 or 20...but a mile nonetheless!   So it begins....Day one of what I hope is really a new beginning to a revamped life. 

Tomorrow brings a new membership to the local YMCA ( and yes, you can expect me to work in my homage to The Village People), lots of swimming and walking and praying that my body does not realize what is going on before I can get it back in to shape!!!  Tomorrow morning...another early morning walk only this time my Mom is joining me along my little white dog (Riley...who is also fluffy as chance would have it).

Before I go...I have a few blessings to share...I have decided that no matter how hard this gets...everyday, I will share the blessings of the day.  God has given me this strength and He has provided a whole world of blessings in just these 1st few days. 

First...on my Last Meal and Testament Day...My very sweet co-workers surprised me with cupcakes (love) and this card and healthy snack.

OK...most of them are young enough to be my children...(had I had kids when I was incredibly young-:))...and I am definitely the geezer of the group...but they are quite funny, kind (sweet hearts)  and a great group to work here is your shout out Kyle...and Lindsey, Amanda, Kristen and Claire (I am not old enough to be your don't go there).  You guys are great!  Your support means tons...especially since I spend more time at the office than anywhere!!!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart! something else really fun happened today...I have been facebooking, tweeting, begging whatever it try and get both Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings to check out this blog and see all this craziness and inspiration that is going on up in I sent a tweet to Kerri today (again...) asking her to check out my blog and the start of my Journey 120-"MaWa" inspired adventure.  Now I must say Twitter is a very limiting tool for a girl like me...a girl who has very little capacity to keep her thoughts to 140 words or less...I am probably the only person on the Earth that will spend 30 minutes trying to make something concise...but I did!  So I had crafted what I had hoped was a well worded, to the point statement that might get a response from her...and guess what..I tweeted  and asked her to check it out and she responded...just 2 words... Will do!  I was goofy excited!!  I am such a dork!  But I was thrilled!  Now I know that some of you may be questioning whether she has people to field all these requests from fans...but I CHOOSE to believe...that she is going to read my story...say a few prayers for me and along with all of you....Will me to be a happier,  healthier, Volleyball playing, middle aged wonder woman!  Can I get an AMEN!!

The very last thing I am going to post the single most horrifying, crazy thing I will probably do this entire journey....I am posting my STARTING WEIGHT.  It is not pretty....but I am going for accountability so here goes...My starting weight for this journey is 276.6 pounds.  My goal for August 17, 2013 is to weigh 156 we go....are you with me????

Goodnight-May God bless you and keep you! JLP

"You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith."  ~Mary Manin Morrissey

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Last Meal and Testament

Tomorrow is the DAY...the new beginning of what I hope is a life-changing journey.  I am excited and nervous.  Excited about making a change and nervous about....making a change.  Funny but true! an effort to give a warm send off to my old eating any good, loyal Fluffy girl would do...I ATE!  I had one last unhealthy Hurrah!!! 

Last night, I met my best friend for a great Italian meal and a Cosmopolitan. I needed to share with her my master plan and that I wanted to make this an adventure.  Her support is key for me.  So, being a good best friend..she told me to meet her at the park in our neighborhood for a walk at 6:30 AM in the MORNING...Bless her heart...she may be trying to kill me :)!  No is fantastic and a great way to start my first day..with my friend who has seen me struggle with  my health for a long, long time! 

Today I got to have lunch with my precious Mom and my sweet Aunt Bobbie along with my sweet cousin Harper and my Sweet Pea (Emily-my best friend's 11 year old daughter and my niece by choice).  We chowed down on great deli food and the biggest  Chocolate Eclair known to man.
Harper, Emily and THE ECLAIR
Mom and Aunt Bobbie

Some of my favorite people in the world!! 

So with the food fest done and Friday 8/17/2012 at 6:30 AM just around the corner....I am ready.  I feel inspired, thrilled, scared and grateful.  Grateful that I have a relationship with God that is giving me the strength to take this amazing family, a wonderful group of supportive friends, and the inspiration of doing something I love again...inspired by people I don't even know. 

There are a couple of things I want to share before I get ready for tomorrow.  First, my very first Volleyball coach sent me a message last night and it ended with the following statement "Looking forward to the journey and to seeing that same 7th grade girl enjoying the game of volleyball again. Jaime, may the Lord bless you on this journey!!"  Can't tell you how heart warming and encouraging that is for me.
I got this message from one of my High School coaches. "Well Jaime, They say it's all about the journey! You can do this.....I know.......I was one of your volleyball are tough! See ya at the game next year!!!"  I am ready Coach (or at least I will be in a year).


You are going to see a phrase or "slogan" I guess you could say...that I am choosing to use as a daily reminder of my original fun inspiration to make this change.. Misty May and Kerri Walsh used the hash tag or team name #Mawa during the Olympics...I have "borrowed" that and added it to my little motivational slogan:  #Journey 120-"Mawa Inspired"

 NOW for the Testament:

" So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the WILL, they soon become inevitable"~ Christopher Reeve

Here is to the Inevitable....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Grieving the Loss of the Fluff....

OK...I am another day closer to the start of this Journey and I have shared what I am doing with quite a few people.  My fear is that I would wake up today and say WHAT HAVE I DONE!!!!.  You the past, I have attempted to lose weight, eat healthier, live happier but...I did NOT want anyone else to know I was doing it.  Though I usually did tell people because I like to talk....alot.  But really, I just did not want the pressure of people asking me how it was going and how much weight I had lost and I certainly did not want anyone monitoring when I ate a cupcake or downed a Coke (which I refer to as "The Juice of Life").  So...ultimately the accountability factor was pretty low...and I liked it that way.  I also did not stay committed to the process.  That is reality. 

So yesterday, I told upwards of 40 people that I have started this new adventure and I did it with intention with a little fear mixed in (OK...a lot of fear).  Why?  I guess I am older, sicker, maybe a little wiser or crazier and know something about myself that I did not use to know...I NEED help from others, I need to be accountable and I need to make this process unique, fun, challenging and a priority.  I don't like to let people down and I like to compete, play and win!  Again, the combination of acknowledging that I need a strong support system around me combined with the goal of doing something I love again ties right back in to my inspiration for starting this journey in the first place...Watching 2 Great friends win a 3rd Gold medal in the is a perfect combo for me...a real team with really great people winning a really wonderful honor!!  Cool.

So Ok...what is next...well with any big change typically comes some grief. I expect some grief/loss feelings, adjustments, some aches/pains and some serious shifts in reality. 

Believe it or not...there are a few things I will miss about being "fluffy"...

1.  Babies and puppies (two of my favorite things) LOVE to snuggle with the fluffy me...they get all cozy and happy....nice! 
2.  Jeans without zippers...I just know that after I lose weight...I am going to feel compelled to dress more fashionably....and that means the return of zippers...
3. Friday Cookie Day at the office---I think this speaks for itself.
4. Fat Man Pants...some of you will know what I am talking about...for those of you that don''s kind of a long story!!!
5. An endless supply of self-deprecating humor topics.  I hope I can still be funny!!!

Those are just a few things...I do want to make one thing clear.  It is my firm belief that what we have on the inside, who we are, how we love, how we serve our community, our integrity, our willingness to give...these are the important things.  The outside is just the Fluff....and for me losing the fluff means I just get to work on being a better person a little longer.

The last 2 things....Firstly, thank you to all of you that have committed to follow me along this means so much to me.  Thank you for your comments, kind words and great ideas...please keep 'em coming. Lastly, a co-worker of mind shared a funny little story with me yesterday and I am going to post a little bit of that here...I hope none of my "thin" friends will be offended :).

Excerpts from That Lean and Hungry Look By Suzzanne Britt Jordan~

"In the first place, thin people aren't fun.  They don't know how to goof off, at least in the best, fat sense of the word.  They've always got to be adoing.  Give them a coffee break, and they'll jog around the block.  Supply them with a quiet evening at home, and they'll fix the screen door and lick S&H green stamps.  They say thing like "there aren't enough hours in the day".  Fat people never say that.  Fat people think the day is too damn long already. 
Fat people are convivial.  They will like you even if you're irregular and have acne.  They will come up with a good reason why you never wrote the great American novel.  The will cry in your beer with you.  They will put your name in the pot.  They will let you off the hook.  Fat people will gab, giggle, guffaw, gallumph, gyrate and gossip.  They are generous, giving and gallant.  They are guttonous and goodly and great.  What you want when you're down is soft and jiggly, not muscled and stable.  Fat people know this.  Fat people have plenty of room. Fat people will take you in."

Have a great day!  Much love, JLP

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Beginning on an Inspired Journey

New Beginning on an Inspired Journey:

Where to start?  I guess the obvious will do.  My name is Jaime and I am 45 years old  and  well...I am FLUFFY (that is what we call it around my house). As you might imagine, I never have been too fond of other descriptive words used to describe Fluffy was a good way to teach my best friend's young daughter how to state the obvious with a little diplomacy and it stuck!

I have been Fluffy most of my life but was blessed most of my young life to be very athletic and successful at sports, particulary volleyball and softball...but I loved playing Volleyball the most.  My success in sports kept me from ever really having to deal with what would be a lifelong struggle with weight control.  However, by college, my health took a turn for the worse and began to change.  Today, my health is poor.  I have a chronic illness, diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic migraines...I am a hot mess!  It has been a constant challenge for me to find inspiration amid pain, hospitals, working, you get the picture!  I survive on  the Faith that God has a plan for me (still), LOVE from my family and friends and a whole truckload of mostly self-deprecating humor!!!  So you can imagine my surprise when I suddenly felt inspired...truly inspired by a sporting event and 2 professional beach volleyball players that I have never met, have no relationship to and in a sport I couldn't physically play today even if you put a gun to my head.

  So...I think a little back story is important here to help this make a little more sense...As long as I can remember I have LOVED the Olympics..winter, summer...whatever, I love them both.  At the age of 12, I decided I wanted to be an Olympian.  I chose track (not sure why), I called my Mom at work and told her I wanted to a find a coach and I wanted to be in the Olympics.  She some research and see what you can find out about track programs in Houston.  So....being 12 and not having the benefit of the internet...I called Directory Assistance and told the operator I wanted to be in the Olympics and was looking for a track coach.  Amazingly, she (Bless her heart) found the name of the Head track coach at the University of Houston and gave me the number.  I called him, he gave me the name of another local coach and I began training for the Olympics. I trained quite diligently for a while. Now for those that know me, you already know that I did NOT become an Olympic runner but I had experienced inspiration for the 1st time and I loved it.  I so loved the Olympic spirit that I got my hair cut like Dorothy Hamill, had posters of Greg Louganis and Eric Heiden in my room and (the highlight for me)...I got to see Flo Hyman, one of the greatest women's vollyball players of all time, play in Houston less than one year before she died in Japan during a volleyball game. 

I have had lots of other inspirations in my life that have led me down lots of different paths. But it has been a while since I  have had that feeling...a long while.  So again, you can imagine my surprise when I began following Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings during their Olympic run to Gold this year and suddenly felt INSPIRED.  I had followed them all along with their wins in 2004 and 2008 and really enjoyed watching them play VB.  But something was different this time.  While both of them are amazing athletes and the best at what they was their friendship, the respect, the love they clearly had for each other that was amazing to watch.  So very rare to see these days too...two people that are great at what they do, have kind hearts and that appear to be really great people.  Something about the combination of great talent and great people lifted me to a level of inspiration that I have not experienced in years!  I guess that this next part is the strangest part of how this has manifested for me...just hours after I watched them win I decided that I am tired of being sick, tired of the fight against being tired and in pain and most importanly, ready for a change.  All of ideas that will be pouring out in this blog over the 12 months have flooded my head over the past week. 

So...I know this has been really long for a 1st post.  Trust me...It could have been a lot longer...

Here is the plan: 
 I have set a goal to lose 120lbs by August 17, 2013. 
I am going to write daily about my Journey
I am going to have as much fun as humanly possible over the next year
I am going to completely embrace the entire process with a Joyful, God-filled heart.
I am going to share this with my Family, Friends, Co-Workers, and hopefully Misty May and Kerri Walsh (lol)
AND on August 17th, 2013....I am going to play Volleyball again...full on, butt kicking VB.  Watch out...because I was pretty good for a short chick. 

I hope that those of that follow along enjoy my journey.  I hope you will laugh with me, pray with me and WILL me to a better, healthier life.  I need it!!!!

The JOURNEY BEGINS August 17th 2012. 

"The winds of Change are Blowing Wild and Free, You ain't seen nothing like me yet"~Bob Dylan