Saturday, July 27, 2013

13.1 is So Much More than a Sticker

I remember years ago seeing an oval shaped sticker on a car that simply read 13.1.  I didn't know what it meant so I "googled" it and immediately car will never have one of those.  Things change....I will be adding a sticker to my "Mom mobile".  On Saturday July 20, 2013 I participated in my first half marathon.  The Windhorse Run was a fundraising event for school supplies for children in Mongolia.  The race was in Bellingham, WA which is an hour and fifteen minutes from my home in Everett.  The race was very small and extremely low key. 

Here are 13 things that I experienced on race day
  • Friendly and supportive people within the community of running.  This included the volunteers, organizers and participants.  Even though this race was a down and back I didn't feel any pressure or sadness as the other runners "lapped" me.  Actually they were quite supportive and kept saying "good job", "you're almost there", "keep going".
  • Beautiful scenery-Bellingham, WA is a gorgeous place (well at least the interurban trail and greenway are).  The majesty of the forest coupled with breathtaking views of the bay was a gift.  This was by far one of, if not, THE prettiest trails I've ever run.
  • The reminder that I should run more than once a week (or maybe even once every two weeks).  Shame on me, yes I know.  Before the 20th I hadn't run since July 5th and that was a 14 mile run.  No wonder why at mile 10 my calf was cramping so badly that one of my toes actually curled up under my foot involuntarily.  Sheesh....not fun Janelle....YOU MUST DO BETTER!
  • Joy, serenity and peace.  Yes, there were moments of pain, frustration and challenge, but overall I had a BLAST.  My friend Leslie suggested to me that I smile the entire way.  I'm so glad to have taken her advice.  It made the run easier and so much more fun!!!  I had peace in knowing that I had done 14 miles before so unless a major mishap occurred I would cross the finish line.  There was joy in running with friends and knowing that my body was healthy enough to complete the race.
  • A deep and fulfilling sense of accomplishment.  I was reading my journal just this morning and it placed this accomplishment into perspective.  On Aug. 18, 2011 I tried to jog one lap around a local park in NC.  The distance of this lap isn't even a .10 mile.  And to think I was so happy that I almost finished it.  I think I've come a long way in less than two years. 
  • The stirring in my heart once again that anything can be an act of worship.  This was my FB status on Friday night before the race "In a matter of hours I will willingly be running 13.1 miles. No one will be holding a gun to my head and nothing will be on fire. My prayer is not that I will win because that won't happen. My prayer isn't to change the world through running because my small donation (entry fee) isn't the answer for children in Mongolia (Jesus is). My prayer is to run FREE in Him, to enjoy the trail, offering my body as a living sacrifice and my effort as worship to the One that has allowed me to progress from running less than 13 feet to 13 miles in a few short years. Tomorrow isn't a race it is an act of abundant living!!!"
  • Love unconditional and support from my husband.  Better than my medal for finishing my half marathon.....I came home to a CLEAN home (Nathan swept, mopped, vacuumed, cleaned the oven, kitchen counters, all the bathrooms and there wasn't a toy in the floor). It was my gift and I'm so glad that Nathan and the kids could be proud of me in that way.  My race would not have been possible without their sacrifice to allow me to train. Next race is going to be tougher and we are going to have to work through some logistics. A long bath, a nap and dinner were a perfect way to unwind. 
  • A reminder that we are very close to Canada and that we live in a beautiful part of the country.  It made me want to seriously get out and explore the scenery and get a passport so we can see British Columbia.  We don't know how long we are going to live in the pacific NW and I want to enjoy as much of it as possible. 
  • The pressure of trying to find a spot in the woods to pee, do it quickly, pull up wet, sweaty compression shorts while not holding up your team too much.  My team was gracious, but not my favorite part of the race.  No matter how much I try to hydrate pre race (days in advance) and pee before the race...I always have to pee during a 10+mile run. 
  • NOT making it to the finish line in time for the awards OR the post race bbq.  That won't happen AGAIN!  I knew we were "slow", but sheesh.  However, we did beat the old people and the walkers.  Actually I think there were 8 racers behind us. 
  • A sense of awe and wonder again at the complexity of the human body.  The way that the muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments etc. work together to allow the human body to run.  The grace and beauty of the runners that make running look easy and the peace they exude as they work like a machine was fascinating.  The winner finished in 1:30.  AMAZING!!
  • The fun and joy of friendship.  I was blessed to run alongside my friend and pastor Tim Moore, my friend Karol and to have trained with my friend and pastor Joe Chambers (who couldn't race due to being out of town).  Although I am relatively new to WA I am blessed to be making real connections.  Slow, but steady...just like my running ;-)
  • A renewed sense of hope.  I have forty pounds left to lose to get to "goal' weight.  Although the numbers on the scales have been stuck, the numbers on my pedometer are increasing and I am taking hope that as I keep learning the groove of my life here in WA that the numbers of my measurements and weight will begin to scoot downward once again.  I am making new goals, revisiting old patterns, journaling again, re-reading Made to Crave and actively starting on my Bible memorization (one verse per pound I've lost).  I'm also praying about joining a gym or finding a trainer.  Finding's hard, but possible.

Thanks as always for following me on my journey.  I'm looking at another race in October and dreaming of one next August (2014).  Maybe I'll share about that one later..

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Little Off Balance

     I'm going to invent a new sport. I know that in the Highland Games or any other Scottish Festival there are throwing events. I'm going to add the "Scale Fling". I'm OVER what my scales say. I logged 29.5 miles jogging this week and NO budging.
     I'm starting to think something is up with my calorie recommendations. Not out, but down a bit today.  My Fitness Pal recommends a different max caloric intake than my friend and former trainer/teacher.  Also it's difficult for me to get in my proper balance.  The night before a run I don't think I'm eating enough or the right food.  I still wig out about mile 6.  Trying to balance losing weight and training my body for longer distance running is a fine line.  I still haven't found my balance of cardio/yoga and strength training to mix in with my half-marathon preparation.  My head knows that I have the tools that I need, but after years of not exercising I still tend to lean too much on support.  Not having my group fitness class has really thrown me for a loop.  I admit that my feeble attempts are failing. 
     So I'm going to try and run/walk 3-4X week (one long, one medium, one short and one walk).  I'm going to do body weight strength training and/or 30-Day Shred DVD 3X week.  I'm going to up my caloric intake which means I'll have to shift some "goals" on MFP.  Water intake increased.  Rest increased.  Back to journaling.  Early to bed, early to rise and a better balance of faith and family.
     Speaking of balance I've also learned some valuable lessons lately in terms of relationships.  When I moved here I had a small group of women that spoke truth into my life.  Actually I had two separate groups.  I had my 12-step group of ladies and I had my workout group.  Here in WA I don't have that support system YET, but I feel it coming.  I'm working daily on establishing and building relationships.  I'm praying for authenticity and I'm asking God to help me be a friend and have a friend. 
     We are getting ready to start the process of building our Celebrate Recovery program for Restoration Church Mukilteo and the idea of opening myself up to another group of women can be intimidating at times.  I have LOTS of junk in my trunk (literally and figuratively...hehehehe) and although I've processed many things there are new things that need working on/through.  I however, have trust in my God and in the DNA of the program of Celebrate Recovery.  I don't have anything to hide and I know that in God's time He will provide me an opportunity to communion with Him, myself and others that I trust.  Also I'm realizing once again that there are seasons in life and the friendships that God blessed me with in NC...some will continue and unfortunately some will not.  That is just the way it is, BUT I know that I have the gift of eternity and I will be reunited with some of those people there.  Some relationships that had priority there have taken a back seat and others have been renewed through snail mail, and texting.  It's been a gift.  There have been differences of opinions, people who have become a bit guarded and others who haven't spoken to me in years that feel confident in sharing openly. 
     At first I felt a bit saddened that people I used to talk to almost daily seem to have too busy a life to call/text, but with the time difference it is inevitable.  Also, I realize that they have their own life and I have mine.  I LIKE my life here in WA.  Instead of mentally and physically listing the things I miss (as I have been) I'm going to focus on the things I HAVE and like here in WA.  The ugly monster of co-dependency can rear it's head on occasion.  Sometimes via FB or other media I find myself feeling a bit sad as to who is talking to who, who gets to go places with who, what is happening in NC...etc.  I see inside jokes posted and I feel saddened that I'm not included.  There are pictures posted, goals celebrated, achievements happening, life without me.  I hear the joys and sorrows of lives of those that touched me daily and I feel a bit displaced.  However, I share in new joys and goals here.  It is all a bit surreal and I'm still learning to make sense of it. 
     Finding balance is truly exercise both spiritually and physically, but I'm up for task!!!  Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


You couldn't convince me that I would ever be a runner. To tell you the truth I'm not sure that I still qualify as a runner. I jog. Being fast will never be an issue for me. I'm not looking for my next "PR". I don't belong to a running group or have the latest gear. However, I have discovered the gift of moving my body in a rhythm outside in God's creation. The freedom, joy and peace that comes when walking/jogging/running is empowering, liberating and worth celebrating.

I found this song a while back and I want to share it with you. I have spent most of my adult life dealing with anxiety, fear and shame. Running from things and avoiding confrontation was a way of life. Facing my "stuff" head on wasn't something I embraced until 2005 when I was introduced to a ministry called Celebrate Recovery. So this song is about my new way of viewing life. I'm not running from, I'm running TO something. I'm running toward my loving father.

Be blessed as you learn the joy of running (whether literally or spiritually or BOTH)!!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Very Puzzling Question

Yesterday as I was doing a training jog with my pastors, Joe Chambers and Tim Moore, I was asked a puzzling question.  Tim asked if I could realize emotionally or physically the transformation I have undergone.  He mentioned how the change is very evident to other people.  He said that almost weekly he and his wife Melissa could see a difference. 

I really am going to have to think about this one.  This is a very good subject for me to grapple with and honestly inspect my thoughts and feelings.  I believe there might be some left over hurt, pain and ways of thinking that might be clogging my continued progress.  The finish line is in sight and if I want to cross it, I've got to regain focus.  A new sense of passion and purpose can come from celebrating successes and making small, realistic goals.

In terms of spiritual and emotional progress the answer came more quickly.  A resounding YES!!!  I know that I am a much different woman in the areas of my thinking, habits, approach to food, realization of my food addiction, etc. than I was in Oct. of 2010.  I don't say that lightly.  I still struggle and there are days that I want to overeat.  However, the conviction/realization of my error comes so quickly and I am able to slow down and realize that the food didn't taste as good as success. My body is NOT my own.  I've been bought with a price and for me to just mindlessly eat food, or even worse, to make a purposeful choice to overeat or eat unhealthy foods is an issue to me now.  Yes, I'm aware that this sounds crazy, legalistic and super spiritual to some of you.  For's part of my faith.  It's part of my daily living out my love and honor for the One who saved me, redeemed me and changed my life forever!!!

Of course I realize I'm smaller because I am having to buy new clothes.  However, I still don't really truly "get it".  The other night JoyAnn and I were shopping at Target.  I kept holding up these clothes and thinking "these must be for really skinny people".  I brought some things into the dressing room and some of them were the right size and some of them obviously weren't.  I'm somewhere between a large and a medium.  Although women's clothing is ridiculous.  I have everything from a medium to an XL in my closet.  It's just hard to know what will fit and I don't always have the time to try everything on before I leave the store.  It was nice to know that I can fit into different things.  I'm not pleased that most medium/large shirts are sleeveless or have very short sleeves.  My arms will NEVER be what I want them to be (without skin removal surgery).  My three year old James says they are "flappy dough arms".  I'm not interested in "skinny jeans" EVER.  I don't even want to try anything that says "mid rise".  The scales and/or tag might say a certain number but my body tells a VERY different story.  Years of obesity, five children, two sets of twins, shame, guilt, up and down weight fluctuations really take a toll or your physique. 

This is a struggle for me.  I'm very proud of how far I've come.  I KNOW that it is worth every tear, every drop of sweat, every run, jog, walk, lifting session.  However, I don't want to become prideful, obsessed or "miss the mark" when it comes to the true point/depth of this transformation process.  Skin removal surgery would be helpful in terms of cosmetic, but is it the right thing for me?  Nathan loves me, even though I look like a Shar Pei.  He is the only one (minus a doctor or physician) that will ever have to see the not so pretty, complete picture of who I am.  Nathan sees that physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally and loves me unconditionally.  On the other hand after YEARS of hard work, wouldn't it be worth the pain of the surgeries to finally realize my goal and SEE it with my own eyes.  We don't have insurance, so is the cost worth it?  Are the scars worth it?  Should I endure pain and long recovery times just to fit into a certain size or wear a sleeveless shirt and not be ashamed?  Maybe, JUST maybe the issue isn't my sags and's still a wounded heart???  I'm not sure.  I'm praying through all of this. 

I need to update my site with a most recent picture.  I need to keep the transformation ever before me so I don't lose sight of who I am.  Thanks as always for taking the time to read as I take the time to continue to I realize, can I realize the depth of this process???

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Training I will register for my first half-marathon.  I can't even believe I'm typing these words or considering pushing my body to run 13.1 miles.  If all goes well on July 20, 2013 I will be participating in the windhorse run.  I will be running alongside of my pastors.  We had our first training run yesterday.  Not quite four miles.  My mind tells me I can't do this.  My heart tells me I can.  Praying that my heart wins.

I've only run 10+ miles once.  It was on a series of trails in Montreat, NC.  Our group ran leisurely.  It was about fun, distance, enjoying the sunshine.  We stopped when we needed to stretch, get a drink or use the bathroom.  I don't know how I'm going to do this, but I'm going to try.  My crunchy knee reminds me of the years of obesity. 

Speaking of which...seriously how much weight does a girl have to lose before she's not "obese" anymore.  I think if I hear the Wii Fit program say "that's obese" once more I'll vomit.  109 pounds isn't good enough?  Runtastic says I'm obese.  My scale says I'm obese....guess I'm still OBESE.  124 will NEVER happen.  140...that's more like it.  Trying to stay positive in a world with mixed messages and charts, graphs, numbers, sizes, measurements can be tough.  One pound at a time, that's all I can celebrate. 

We've had several days of sunshine here in Everett.  This entire weekend is to be sunny and in the 70's.  I am hoping today involves a walk, run, hike or trip to the park.  I'm praying that I can spend time with my friend Melissa on a trail.  Sunshine is a GIFT and I'm not going to take it for granted.  Keep reading.  Keep trying.  Keep believing in me AND in yourself.  Change is possible.  I'm missing my running gals from back home, but oh how you would love the view here.  Blessings to whomever might read and have a fabulous weekend.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Fine Line of Grace

Yes....I should extend myself grace.  I realize this is a weight loss journey.  However, I can't extend grace to myself when I overeat in a premeditated setting.  Nathan and I had a date on Monday night and AS we were walking into the restaurant I remember thinking "ask them NOT to bring chips and salsa".  However, when the chips came I ate my weight in guacamole.  I also didn't mind ordering dinner after I gorged myself.  Yes, the conversation was nice.  I enjoyed my husband's uninterrupted time IMMENSELY, BUT I didn't make wise choices and I could have.  I should have ordered a salad.  I could have.... You get the drift.

Yes, sometimes there are unavoidable bobbles when it comes to eating/overeating.  However, I could have avoided the pineapple casserole at last nights dinner.  I could have made a different choice at Avocado's on Monday night.  I don't have to buy sweets at the grocery store.  I CAN decide to eat healthy, "real" foods.

Grace...yes there is grace.  Today IS a new day.   Each meal holds its own choices.  However, I HAVE to keep it real.  I have to grow from my mistakes and I have to keep on keeping on in this journey. 

Thanks for letting me rant.  Today I WILL be under my calorie goal.  Today I WILL move my body.  Today I will plan my meals and feel good about them.  Today I WILL drink enough water.  Today I will remember that I've lost 100+ pounds BUT I have more to lose and that can't happen if I keep ignoring the small things. 

Have a good day and yes I'm thankful for God's grace that even allowed me a four hundred and seventy second chance (ok...maybe I exaggerated a bit) to lose weight. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Accountability is where it's at!  I had forgotten the power of allowing people into your lives at many various levels.  Awareness set in AGAIN that if I want to see the numbers budge on that scale I'm going to have to get real and be aware of my food choices, my activity level and my thought patterns.  Here are some of the things I've done to increase/establish great accountability:
  1.   I've logged back onto My Fitness Pal and I've added some friends. 
  2.   I joined a rewards group at Walgreens that gives points for fitness goals.
  3.   I'm going to start blogging here again REGULARLY. 
  4.   I'm helping my daughter keep a food journal for her and we've set a goal for the both of us. 
  5.  We are trying to get onto Wii Fit Plus daily. 
This week I am hoping to make a trip to a supplement store and get the entire family on Vitamin D and pick up some multi-vitamins for the family.  I've set a goal and I want to share it publicly (so you can hold me accountable).  I weighed 177 today and by May 31st I would like to be 165.  I know that is PUSHING it, but it's a goal AND if Nathan says that we have the funds I'm hoping to sign up for my first half marathon in July.  Our pastors are running and I would like to be a part of this race (it's for a good cause). 

Have a great weekend blog friends.  I think there is gonna be some sun again I've GOT to get outside of this house.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

In Case You Wanted to Know

Do you remember months ago when I posted that I was gifted with $199 as an incentive to get below 200 pounds?

I'm not sure I posted what I bought with that money.  I want to share you.  I spent the last $20 this week. 

1.  A dress and jacket were purchased for my 100 pound party (which I didn't get to have...YET)
 They were in a size 14/16 and the first dress I've purchased in a decade or longer.

2.  2 pairs of shoes (heels)

3.  A pair of jeans (size 14)

4.  A coffee date for me and a friend

5. Two new bras

6.  Paid registration for myself and Mandy Dunham to run the Valentine's 5K (this was her 1st race)

So...thank you to whomever blessed me.  It was truly a miracle and I pray you are pleased with my purchases.