Losing It In Chicago

This is my goodbye post.

I realized I had a lot of baggage with this blog. I had my happiest moments–losing 47 pounds on the Fittest Loser–and I also had so many bumps and struggles and gains, and it got me down. I want a fresh start, with a fresh blog and a fresh outlook.

My goal is to create a more organized and well-designed blog to help keep me accountable and motivated. It is much easier (and cheaper) to find designers for Blogger, and it would be too time-consuming to go back through all these old posts and categorize them.

Thus, I’ve started a new blog using Blogger, at www.losingitinchicago.com. I am very excited to start my new journey and I hope you will join me there. I’ll be hosting a giveaway next week to celebrate the new blog–a free entry to the Pretty Muddy 5K. And beginning in a couple of weeks, Kendra at Key Lime Digital Designs will be creating a fresh new look for the site.

I am ready to really take the reins of my life and do this now. I want to be healthy and fit and energetic. And I also really want to be a mom. I know I can do this–and I will.

I hope to see you over at my new blog!

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Time to get Pretty Muddy

I haven’t run more than half a mile in months now, but I have a very persuasive friend who convinced me to sign up for a 5K that takes place in seven very short weeks.

And it’s not just any 5K….it’s a mud run with obstacles. These are two of them:

I think it looks incredibly fun and, in my current shape, just a tad (okay, extremely) daunting!

The run is called Pretty Muddy, and it’s currently scheduled in six places across the country: Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; New York, New York; and three locations in Florida: Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami. I’ll be at the Chicago event on September 15.

To get the latest news on the various events and sneak peeks at more obstacles, you can like Pretty Muddy on Facebook.

It’s not a timed run, so you don’t have to be a super-competitive athlete to participate (or at least that’s what I keep telling myself!). If you’re planning to go, let’s meet up! And if you’re running in another location, send me a note about your experience and some photos, and I’ll post them along with mine.

Full disclosure: I am an affiliate for the Pretty Muddy run in Chicago, which means I received complimentary registration and get a small commission for registrations that come from the affiliate link in this post. But I’d have participated even without the perks.

After all, now that we’re adults, it’s not often that we can play in mud puddles. So let’s get dirty and have some fun!

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The power of compliments

It’s day five of my 30-day commitment to recording the happiest moment of the day (see original post here), and I’m discovering that I’m either incredibly vain or have very low self-esteem—because my happiest moment every single day except for one was when I received a compliment.

Day 1′s happiest moment is outlined in the entry I linked to above.

Day 2 was walking my dogs in the beautiful weather after WEEKS of oppressive, muggy, boiling heat.

Day 3 was when my coworker said I looked good in a dress I was wearing (I feel so self-conscious when I wear dresses and skirts!).

Day 4 was when a reporter for a major media outlet called me incredible. (All I had to do to earn that adjective was get him an interview by his deadline. He is now my favorite media contact.)

Day 5 (today) was when I met with the hospice coordinator to inquire about volunteering and she told me that my orientation time would be cut in half because she could tell I was a good person and had a natural instinct for it.

Aside from revealing that I am apparently self-absorbed, this has made me realize how easy it is to brighten someone’s day with a compliment. I often think, “Wow, I love her shirt!” or “She looks so nice today!” and I don’t come out and say it. So today I made a point to tell my coworker when I noticed she was looking really fit and I told the hospice coordinator that I loved her dress. I am not going to assign myself a silly rule like “I must compliment three people per day” because I want it to be spontaneous and genuine. But I *think* compliments at least three times per day, so it should be fairly easy to say them out loud.

Overall, this 30 Days of Happiness challenge has made my really grateful. While I listed just one thing for each day above, most days I’ve had a lot of great moments. Today, for example, the computers were being worked on when I got to work, so my coworker and I chatted for a bit. As we talked, I was reminded of how lucky I am to work with people I genuinely really like. It happened again when I had lunch with another coworker. Enjoying the people you work with each day makes all the difference in the world. I also stopped longer than usual to appreciate the gorgeous sunset tonight. Because of this challenge, I am consciously appreciating tings more each day.

Something else I am happy about:  I’ve decided to launch a new blog (likely next month). I will likely keep this one too, but the new one will provide more resources for those aiming to get healthier–tips, success stories, interviews with trainers, reviews of workout DVDs and weight loss books, etc. It will also be MUCH more organized, because I’ll take the time to set up categories, links to great resources, a calendar to some local health events, etc. The real motivation behind this is to get myself increasingly focused on activities that will improve my health and restart my weight loss. And hopefully I will help others in the process!

And one more thing to be happy about:  I’m hosting my first blog giveaway (co-hosting it, to be technically correct, with Betsie at Super Suburbs)! More details to come soon.

 

 

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30 Days of Happiness

I follow the OWN network on Facebook (yes, I’ll happily admit it. Sappy and schmaltzy could have been my middle names, and there is plenty of that on the network!), and saw this today:

 
Join @Oprah in the 30 Days of Happiness project by sharing the happiest moment of your day, every day for the next 30 Days.  Start sharing here on the page today!
 
For a girl who kept a gratitude journal of not one, but five, things she was thankful for every day for a year, this is a perfect new project!
 
 
You can record your moment in a private journal, tweet it using #Happiness, or post it on OWN’s Facebook page. I’ll be keeping mine on my blog.
 
The tough part will be picking just one per day. I have five from yesterday alone:
  • Finding 11/22/63 at the library when I was planning to buy it on Amazon that night
  • Chatting about a dream vacation with Jon…and wondering if we’ll actually take it or if we’ll decide to become parents first instead
  • Sitting outside with Jon and friends eating grilled pineapple (yum!) and feeling the cool evening breeze
  • Playing the Big Bang Theory game with said friends and laughing at our unparalleled nerdiness
  • Being overcome with love for my puppy when she jumped into bed with me and laid her head on my shoulder

The little things mean a lot to me!

So let’s get to today’s, since this is technically day 1 of the project:

When Jon gave me a kiss before he left for work, pet the puppies, and told us that he wished he could spend the day with all of us instead.

Sometimes it’s easy to take for granted the good things in a marriage and focus on each other’s annoying habits and flaws instead. But I need to remember that I am very lucky to be married to someone who I really enjoy spending time with, and who still gives me a kiss and tells me he loves me before he goes to work each day–and many other times throughout the day as well.

The runner-up to my happiest moment was sitting in the pedicure chair, with my feet in the warm bubbling water–and later looking down at my freshly pedicured toes. And I’m already looking forward to another happy moment tonight: curling up on the couch with Friends With Kids and eating a dessert of angel food cake and fresh berries.

Tomorrow will be more difficult as I am not a big fan of Mondays. But I think this project will inspire me not just to appreciate my happy moments, but to pursue more of them. If I know I have to record a happiest moment, I am more inclined to make time in the day for things that make me happy.

So tell me–what is your happiest moment in the past week? What do you think will be your happiest moment this week?

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30 before 30: An update

In November 2010, I made a list of 30 things I wanted to do before I hit 30. Now that the big day has passed, I have to confess that I did fewer than a third of them. Oops?

The good news is that I visited two new states (in fact, I visited three):

Arkansas:

Missouri:

South Carolina:

I also ran two miles. I ran a 5K twice, actually. And the first one was probably the proudest moment of my life:

Here’s the sad one. I did lose 40 pounds. Actually, I lost 50. And proceeded to gain 40 back. I am so sad and disappointed in myself–but I am also determined to get back there. Here I am with my personal trainer on the celebration night after my weight loss contest:

I tailgated at a Jimmy Buffett concert:

And I also got promoted and was published under my own name (as a guest blogger on Super Suburbs and the Faithful City Mouse).

I could focus on what I didn’t do, but why? There’s plenty of time for that in the future. Which leads me to wonder…maybe I need a 35 before 35? :)

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30

Wasn’t I just at TGI Fridays with my boyfriend and 15 closest friends celebrating my 21st birthday with an electric lemonade and coffee filters in my hair? Could that really have been nine years ago?!

Wasn’t I just 24 years old and walking down the aisle toward a new life with the sweet, funny guy waiting for me at the altar? Has it already been six years?!

Time flies when you’re having fun. And somehow time flew so swiftly that I went from 24 to 30 in about five minutes. And that’s really the only thing that gives me pause about this milestone.

30? Yeah, I can handle that. In fact, I think I’m just coming into my own. I have no doubt that I’ll love my 30s every bit as much as my 20s–and maybe more because I’m not as shy and inhibited as I was then. Some people settle down at 30. I’ve been settled down forever–I’m ready to take some (not-too-crazy) risks. Bring on the new decade!

But I’m THIRTY. In such a brief, slippery sliver of time, three decades have passed. Life is good–can’t it just slow down a little?!

I’m told that when I have kids, it will go by even faster. I need to make sure I take time each day to do something special and take a few minutes to consciously appreciate the day. Because the day will soon be a month and then a year and then a decade.

This week, I’ve done my very best to usher out my 20s in style–from tailgating at a Jimmy Buffett concert to taking a few days off work and spending some time in the city with my mom and at home with my husband and two pups. Tomorrow I’ll start my 30s by renting a pontoon boat with my husband and friends.

Do I wish I’d have done a few things differently? Yes. I should have studied abroad and lived in the city. And yet, truly, I have no big complaints. I’m happy and I love and am loved–and what more could I ask for?

In looking at my regrets, I realized that the adage about only regretting the things we DON’T do rings very true. This decade, I’m going to break out of my shell a bit more. I’m going to DO, instead of just watch or dream. 

I stood in the corner in my 20s. Now it’s time to get on the dance floor. I may not dance very well–but I can only get better if I practice.  

30, you arrived sooner than I thought you would. But, please, stay awhile. Don’t leave too soon. We’re going to have some fun together. 

 

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Trampoline aerobics

If you are looking for a totally unconventional, very fun and EXTREMELY effective workout, I have two words for you:  trampoline aerobics.

XTreme Trampolines in Buffalo Grove, IL, holds a trampoline aerobics class every Tuesday, and my friend Jen invited me to go. I was a little nervous (my coworker’s daughter recently needed surgery due to a trampoline accident and my insurance-agent father is forever pontificating on the dangers of trampolines), but I decided that I need to say yes to more things in life–and so I went.

ImageWe got there early to practice because we’d googled trampoline aerobics videos and were sort of traumatized. As we watched teenagers leap and flip and tumble, as though their bodies weighed mere ounces and were made of rubber, we struggled to figure out how to fall on our butts and leap back up (okay, *I* struggled. Jen got the hang of it quickly!). 10 minutes in, I was pooped, and class hadn’t even started.

Five minutes into class, I was FEELING it. And, um, so was my bladder. I have no idea how all of these moms were jumping gleefully away when this non-parent had to sneak off to the bathroom five minutes in.

Once that small matter was taken care of, I got back into jumping…and jumping….and jumping. It was quite a workout. We read that you can burn 1,000 calories during one class, and I believe it! We did regular jumps (as high as you could go), jumps where you thrust your legs out horizontally in front of you, jumps where you tuck your knees in like a cannonball dive, jumping jacks, jumps where you raise your legs like you’re doing the splits, etc., etc. We also got down on the tramps to do pushups, burpees, squats and more.

Whew!

If you are getting bored with your usual routine, I highly recommend investigating whether you have a trampoline aerobics class near you! Bring a towel and lots of water–and be sure to pee before you get started. :) 

 

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