April 30, 2012

Motivation Monday: Choose Happy

Yup. It's my birthday week. I can run (and I have) but I can't hide. So this week, I'm going to choose happy.

I confess. I've been a bit of a negative nelly. Between job interviews and life in general, frankly my outlook has sucked. When a couple friends blew off my birthday dinner, instead of looking at the bright side I bitched and moaned about it. I was heading out to the restaurant with my two dearest friends and I realized that, "I'M HEADING OUT TO THE RESTAURANT WITH MY TWO DEAREST FRIENDS." What more could I want? It was a wonderful night and I had so much fun catching up with my ladies. I chose happy.

While there was nothing I could do about my exhaustion yesterday (coming home at 2:30am will do that to a mama), I didn't complain about it. I had a great day with my family at the Zoo and even got some preschooler cuddle time which happens so rarely nowadays. Worried about how many horrific choices I was going to make at Burger Jones last night, I stuck to my plan and ordered their Tiny Tummy Tatanka (buffalo burger) and side field greens salad with balsamic vinaigrette and splurged a little on a beer and just a taste of their excellent fries. I feel good about my choices. I chose happy.

Today was my InBody scan at Medifast. Let's face it. I drank much more alcohol than usual over the weekend. I am plagued with woman issues today. I was pretty sure it wasn't going to be a good scan. Negative nelly strikes again. Hanging my head, I walked in to my weekly weigh in and to my surprise:

TODAY'S WEIGH IN: 157.9 (7.9 left until goal!)
I lost 1.1 pounds for a total of 30.4 pounds lost since January
I've lost a total of 50.4 pounds since January 2011. 
I gained 2 lbs of muscle in the last month (this is a good thing and explains slow scale movement)
My BMI has gone from a 32.3 down to 27
My PBF (Percentage of Body Fat) has gone from 38.5 to 28
I have lost 4 inches for a total of 16 since January 
I am 12.1 pounds UNDER what my driver's license says (a first in my lifetime)

I have been struggling with how slow the weight has been coming off because I'm almost to my goal and I am more than ready to be done eating Medifast meals. As much as I hate dwelling on the scale number, graduating from Medifast means having to reach my goal weight. I have been frustrated. Going through today's scan I got a different perspective. There has been progress in other ways that I have ignored: I gained muscle and I lost inches (3 of the 4 inches I lost came from my abs!). As my counselor said today, "Great job. You should be proud." Of course I need to be continually conscious of my food choices and I can't let up on my activity- with that in my arsenal, I will make 150 lbs. I am CHOOSING happy.

My goal this week is to stay entirely on plan. No cheats this week. None. I am also going to get back into the gym to do my workouts. There is something energizing and motivating about being amongst other people working out and I think it will help me to keep my fitness on track.

Time to catch myself in the act of negativity and squash it before it even starts. So my biggest goal this week: 
CHOOSE HAPPY!

How are you choosing to stay motivated this week?

April 27, 2012

Fabulous Fit Friday: Birthday Weekend

So this weekend begins my birthday weekend. My birthday is actually on Tuesday, but who celebrates their birthday on a Tuesday? Thus, the celebrating will begin early.

I'm telling everyone that I'm turning 35 for the 2nd time. I mean... do you even really remember how old you are after 35?

I told my husband that I didn't want him to get me anything and I actually did mean it. Why? Well, being so close to goal, I have already spent a small fortune on new clothes (and a new Coach tote may or may not have been included in those purchases. Shhhh.). FYI, one of the best gifts of all was fitting into and buying a size 8 suit today.

Besides, what I really want more than anything for my birthday is to have a date night. Despite the fact that I had to set it up (ahem), next Saturday, my mother-in-law is coming up to watch the kiddo and we are heading out to dinner and sitting VIP at The Avengers. Yeah, yeah... we're seeing a dude flick. I am aware of this and yes, it makes me a really awesome wife. Again, I really want to spend time together and I know he was aching to see this movie. Plus we get to drink booze sitting in the VIP section at the theater. Score, right?

Saturday, I will be going out with my two best girlfriends for some sushi, live music and some piano bar singin' at Nye's Polonaise Room. Sunday is my family day. We are heading to the MN Zoo to check out the Farm Babies and then having dinner with my parents later that evening at Burger Jones. The kiddo happens to have swim on Tuesday night, so really, I will probably be celebrating and basking in the quiet in my house while the boys are out. I will be savoring every moment of it.

I was bitching early this week about how birthdays are so disappointing. You get your hopes up and then usually get dropped down. Then I realized what a horrifically negative statement that is. My birthday is only what I make of it. I will be gloriously spending time with my family and friends, getting pinged on Facebook all day and you know what? That is more than good enough for me.

The only thing dragging down my fun is having to remember to make decent choices with my food and drink. I will have a salad & small sushi roll with my friends and I'm sure a few glasses of wine to round out the night, I'm having the Tiny Tummy Tatanka (Lean ground buffalo on a 100% natural multigrain thin bun with
lettuce, tomato and onion. Only 7 points on a popular diet plan) at Burger Jones with field greens and balsamic vinaigrette (MAYBE a mason jar cocktail) and with the hubby I will enjoy beef tenderloin with vegetables.

Doesn't sound THAT bad does it? Despite my sour face at HAVING to make healthy choices, the food is also so much more delicious than I think it will be and I never feel like I'm missing out on the naughty stuff.

Happy Birthday Weekend to ME! 

April 25, 2012

Wordful Wednesday: Friends For Life

My friend Angie and I from college have been through a lot together over the years. Roommates. Parties. Boyfriends. Breakups. New jobs. Lost jobs. We had a falling out. We found our friendship again. Engagements. Marriages.  We endured our infertility together. I think God has the inside track on our friendship because despite our struggles with infertility, we were able to have our babies just 6 months apart. Nothing touches my heart more than to see our boys becoming friends.

Angie & I at the Earth Day 5K
Sticking Close together
Ready, set, GO!!
Our Little Mountain Climbers
Little Slugger
Such an awesome evening. Our families had so much fun together.

April 24, 2012

National Infertility Awareness Week: Don't Ignore The Heartache


Don't Ignore The Heartache of Infertility.

When I heard that Resolve.org had a blog challenge on how to bring attention to infertility, I flip flopped on whether or not to participate. Let's face it. I have made more than my fair share of comments on the subject. I have gone through the stages of grief and feel as though I have finally come to the acceptance phase of my  infertility.

Why would I want to dredge this up again? Because it matters. Because there is hope. Because it is real. Because I'm tired of infertility being ignored.

My Miracle Baby: Jackson Robert
As I read back the posts during my early days of TTC, I am reminded of why I started this blog in the first place. I started it to rant about my issues getting pregnant. Rant about the people who got pregnant so easily. Rant about why this has to happen to someone like me. Rant about why infertility has to happen to anyone. Rant about how expensive the treatment is for a disease that affects 1 in 8 couples of reproductive age. My husband and I wanted to have a family right away and didn't waste any time in getting started. While I didn't think getting pregnant would be a piece of cake, I had NO idea how frustrating and heartbreaking it would be. We got pregnant quickly after just 5 months of trying, but it was a pregnancy that sadly ended in an early miscarriage. For the next 2.5 years we tried. Every month, the same empty pregnancy test. The same tears. The same frustrations. Not wanting to endure anymore infertility treatment, we started to come to terms that having a family may not be in the cards for us. In late January 2008, our prayers were answered: I was pregnant. Looking at how extensive my endometriosis is, we have no idea how or why we got pregnant. We don't ask questions anymore. We just thank God every day for Jackson Robert, our healthy little miracle. 3.5 years later, I still stare at my son in wonder. Despite Jack's adoration of little babies and my deep desire to have another, I was told in not so many words by my doctor: "You will not be able to get pregnant again."

Even though I have accepted my fate, I have not forgotten. I have not forgotten about the loss, the anguish and the heartbreak. I have not forgotten how expensive infertility is and not just emotionally, but the pocketbook as well. 6 years ago, I was lucky to have even a small amount of infertility coverage on my insurance. It was enough to get through the basic testing. Enough for a few rounds of Clomid. Enough for a couple rounds of HCG shots. Today, my infertility coverage is ZERO. My husband and I actually joked that if we won the MegaMillions lottery that we would finally be able to afford to have another child. We could hire a surrogate and even genetically engineer the perfect daughter (yes, I still dream of what it would be like to have a little girl). Guess what, we didn't win. Perhaps if we had caught the endo sooner... so many what ifs that are just too late.

Our Miracle Babies
I know I am not alone in my infertility battle and that makes me sad. It makes me sad that anyone else has to go though this agony. One of my dearest and oldest college friends has been beside me in the war against infertility. She suffers from PCOS and also requires expensive medical treatments in order to get pregnant. She has suffered multiple miscarriages. She miraculously was able to have one little boy, the same age as mine. It's like it was meant to be. Like me, she has had to accept that she will only ever have one child. We will forever have to explain to the world why- a question I dread. We both agree that our miracle babies are more than enough for us and WE ARE BLESSED. 



Deep in my heart, I really can't let go of the thought of having another miracle baby. It happened once, it can happen again. Right? My goal this year was to at a minimum stop taking birth control pills that I have been taking to control the spread of my endometriosis. I am hoping that my weight loss will have helped. PRAYING that my weight loss has helped. The pills have been nothing short of awful. Mood swings. Breakthrough bleeding (yeah... TMI. Sorry..). Last summer following an ovarian cyst rupture (caused by none other than endometriosis) I am now down an ovary as it had to be removed so I know my shot at getting pregnant is low. My ongoing endometriosis makes it even lower not to mention the ridiculously high risk of miscarriage (upwards of 60%). The odds are not in my favor, yet I still dream of it. I still get jealous when I hear of anyone being pregnant, but at the same time, I still want to hear all about it. Talk about mixed emotions.

For National Infertility Week I am not going to ignore my infertility. I won't hide. I'm going to scream to the world that it exists and tell everyone not to ignore it. I want to thank organizations such as Resolve.org for giving infertile couples hope that miracles do exist and for giving all of us who are infertile a voice to say THIS IS REAL and that other family planning options do exist. Is there something you can do? The answer is a resounding YES. Learn more about it. Support your friends that are suffering from infertility. Don't try and tell them you understand if you don't, so please make sure you educate yourself on the disease. Sometimes saying a simple "I'm sorry you have to endure this," is enough.

Lastly, if you've stuck with me this long, I want to take a moment to remember my angel baby who I lost 6 years ago. Dear baby bean: My heart will never forget and you are always in it little one. I know you are there to watch over my earth baby and keep him safe. I will see you in my dreams, angel. This song is for you:


Daughtry, "Gone Too Soon"

Today could have been the day
that you blow out your candles
make a wish as you close your eyes.
Today could have been the day
everybody was laughin'
instead I just sit here and cry.

Who would you be?
What would you look like
when you looked at me for the very first time?
Today could've been the next day of the rest of your life.

Not a day goes by that I don't think of you.
I'm always asking why this crazy world had to lose
such a ray of light we never knew.
Gone too soon.

Would you have been president?
Or a painter, an author or sing like your mother.
One thing is evident,
would've given all I had
would've loved ya like no other.

Who would you be?
What would you look like?
Would you have my smile and her eyes?
Today could have been the next day of the rest of your life.

Not a day goes by that I don't think of you.
I'm always asking why this crazy world had to lose
such a beautiful life we never knew.
Gone too soon. You were gone too soon, yeah.

April 23, 2012

Motivation Monday: Winning The Race

I read a blog post last week that hit home with me. Especially for those of us who are in a weight loss program, our success is tied pretty heavily (no pun intended) to the scale. On Weight Watchers, you aren't considered a Lifetime member until you make your goal weight and maintain it. On Medifast, you can't stop eating their damn food until you make your goal weight. It makes it hard to celebrate those important NSV's.

Her blog post was about buying the dress in the window. The dress in the window that fit. If you have every been overweight, you understand what a victory that is. It was a reminder to me of how far I've come and how I should be celebrating all of my NSV's rather than dwelling on the number on the scale. I am a healthy me now and it is time to embrace it.

This past Friday, I ran in the Earth Day 5K with approximately 1,600 other runners including one of my closest friends. No, of course I didn't win the race, but I proved to myself that hard work pays off. After months of training, my goal was initially to finish the 5K in 35 minutes. Last Friday as I started getting nervous about failing that goal, I decided that if I ran the entire race without walking, it would be a victory regardless of my finishing time.

Not only did I run the entire race from start to finish (and I swear to you my legs are still feeling the agony today), but I ran it in a time of 33:46 (chip time). Did I get emotional? Yup. I killed that race. I owned that race. It was amazing.

The final stretch
Crossing the finish line (that time is gun time... takes a couple minutes to get through the starting line)
One of the most startling things to me in my weight loss journey is not realizing how different I look now. How is it possible that I look in the mirror and still see the same 208 lb girl staring back at me??

I have changed. These pictures are proof:
The first of many before & after photos to come. The left is me at 194 lbs, the right is me at 159 lbs.

Pre-Race Festivities
Signing the Runners Wall
Post-Race Glow. We did it!
From running a great time to hanging with my good friend, the night was simply awesome.

Celebrate your victories. Even the smallest ones.

How are you going to be motivated this week?

April 20, 2012

Fabulous Fit Friday: It's Race Day!

I am revved up and ready to go today.

It's FINALLY here! Race day!

I know for many runners, this is just a wee little 5K. For me, it's a big deal. Not only is running a continuous challenge for me as a whole but training for this 5K has been a key part of my weight loss over the past 4 months. I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish and this race is sort of the pinnacle to my success. It is my finish line.

While I still have a remaining stubborn 9.5 lbs to lose, I will be taking a little break from running to focus on other aspects of cardio and weight training. As much as I have enjoyed the challenge of running, I am also excited to get back doing the other things I love such as Group Fitness (Step, Zumba, Kickboxing) and weight training. I have been asked a lot why I haven't been doing those things anyway and the truth is that my cardio is somewhat limited on the Medifast diet, so my focus had to be on my running training. It's not to say that I won't go on a run every now and then but it is time to put that gym membership back to work.

What is my goal for the race tonight? For awhile I was very time focused- I wanted to be able to do the 5K in 35 minutes or less. At this point, I'm not going to worry about how long it will take. I want to be able to RUN the whole 3 miles with no walking. If I can do that, then I will have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

Off the subject of my 5K, I have a pretty big NSV: I am dropping my wedding ring off to officially be resized. Yes this is a picture of my hand with the ring on my middle finger as it is no longer safe to wear on my ring finger. I have come a loooooooooong way- about two months after giving birth to Jack, I tried to wear my ring and... it got stuck. I ended up in the ER and the ring had to be cut off. Not only was the mortifying but I had to sever my precious ring! There is a picture somewhere out there of my bloated finger that my oh so hilarious husband took... If I locate it, I will let you know (maybe).

Speaking of NSV's: my sister-in-law said she didn't recognize me in this picture of me with my Godson, Connor:

I look forward to posting pictures (and yes, a little before and after fun!) and results from the 5K. Meanwhile, I'll be looking forward to your cheers (and jeers?) from Facebook and Twitter during my run!

April 16, 2012

Motivation Monday: Make It A Great Week

I know, I know... if you are in Minnesota, you looked outside the window this morning and saw fricking snowflakes. What the what? And here I am telling you to make it a great week?

That's right! No more Debbie Downer. No more Negative Nelly. My husband teased me the other day about my negative attitude lately. I didn't even realize how negative my thoughts and words were becoming. I'm kicking Debbie and Nelly to the curb. 

I'm going to make it a great week. 

Last night as we were watching the storms roll in and the rain pour down, my 3.5 year old was so sad. He said, "Oh man. Now I'll never get to play outside again." My husband told him that there might be snow on the ground when he wakes up. Jack's eyes lit up and speaking very fast he said, "So we can go get a sled and go sledding? YAY!" Not wanting to ruin his enthusiasm, we told him if there was a lot of snow on the ground, we would go sledding. Who am I to take that twinkle out of his eye?

So yes, the weather is crap, but remember, this is Minnesota. It could be 70 degrees and sunny by the end of the week.

Look on the bright side. Make it a great week. 

I am happy to say that I lost 2 pounds this week after a lot of hard work. When you cheat as I did so gloriously on Easter Sunday, it is so hard to get back on that wagon and last week I worked hard to stay completely on plan. I am also happy to report that I finally broke the 160 pound mark (barely) at 159.5 lbs, I am just 9.5 pounds to goal. Single digits. Surreal. No lie, I never thought I would make it this close. I just didn't think it was possible. That light at the end of the tunnel is shining brighter than I ever imagined.

Last Year's 5K- 194 lbs
It is race week for me- I am running the Earth Day 5K in St. Cloud, MN with a good friend this Friday evening. Not only am I excited to spend time with her and her family, I have been working towards this goal for a long time and am excited to see how I'll do. I am even more excited that my husband and son will be at the finish line cheering me on (it rained last year so he had the little one in the car most of the time- I literally crossed the finish line and jumped into the car). It means everything to me to have my husband's support- I have worked insanely hard for this and NEED him at my side. The picture here is from the 5K I ran last May. Yes, I will post new ones after Friday's race so you'll get a little sneak peak at some pretty crazy before and after of my Medifast body transformation. After this race, I will be taking time off from the running craze. My Medifast counselor (also a personal trainer) told me that to finish my weight loss, I am going to need to start doing some cross training as the running is burning calories, but not burning fat so we need to switch it up and "trick" my body a little bit. I am actually excited about it. As much as I have enjoyed running, especially since there is always a specific goal (i.e. run faster, build endurance), I have found myself dreading it a little bit and that is no good for me in the long term so it is most definitely time to make a change. Since I am quite close to goal, it is time to start planning for my transition and maintenance. During transition I'll still be mostly eating Medifast but adding in things like dairy, fruits and whole grains. Maintenance is the challenge. Going back to real food I plan to track using Myfitnesspal.com (which also has a pretty dope iPad/iPhone app). In order to maintain, I will need to track for the rest of my life. Seriously. Sounds crazy but there is NO WAY I am going to regain the weight. Not this time.

Medifast has asked me to write a testimonial about my experience and I am THRILLED to do so. Look for my testimonial post to come in the next few weeks as I close in on my goal weight.

Another motivator (and major adrenaline rush) for me this week is that I have a job interview for a GREAT opportunity that is a perfect fit for my skills and aligns with my overall career goals. I am really fired up about it and positive that this is the one I will get. No Debbie Downer Negative Nelly self-deprecating talk here. This is mine for the taking. Send me your positive vibes so I can ROCK this interview and start a new chapter in my life. The timing is quite perfect don't you think?

I feel motivated. Powerful. BRING IT ON!

How are you going to make it a great week?


April 13, 2012

Fabulous Fit Friday: I Am A Fat Girl No More

I have lost 50 pounds (more if you want to count the 35 I gained during pregnancy), am 4 sizes smaller and up until last night, I hadn't had that "I have changed" epiphany. I felt like the same person. Still the fat girl, accepting of her fate to always be the plus size bigger girl who was always hiding. Hiding behind clothing. Hiding from a justly deserved career. Hiding from life.

When I started Weight Watchers nearly a year and a half ago, at one of our meetings we did an exercise where we would visualize and imagine what it would be like at goal. I remember writing things down like being able to wear fabulous clothing, wear a swimsuit without fear, running faster and simply looking beautiful.

How can I be 8 pounds from goal and not have noticed these things??? People keep telling me I look incredible but I find it so hard to believe! Why did everyone else see it and not me?

My epiphany begins here: 
A few days ago, my husband was perusing some pictures he took at Christmas (yes, the Christmas that was just 4 months ago). He prompted me to come in his office, saying that I had to check something out. Up on his screen was a photo of me with my baby niece. I did a little bit of a double take. Was that me? The chubby face? And to think at that point I was down 20 lbs from Weight Watchers. Last night, my husband came home from work a little later than usual. I was already in my running outfit and he said, "You look awesome." Maybe all along, this was all I needed to hear from the most important person in my life.

I went on my run, which I had been dreading for some reason, but a half mile in I just felt... awesome. I felt strong. Beautiful. Fast. I completed 3.1 miles in my fastest time to date.

In all my sweaty glory, I went to clean up and really LOOKED at myself in the mirror. All those things I dreamed about? They are now my reality! How could I not see that?

So today, instead of agonizing over what to wear as I have done for so many years, I proudly pulled on my William Rast skinny jeans, my too big company logo dress shirt with a belt cinched around my newly discovered skinnified waist and pronounced to myself and the rest of the world:

I AM A FAT GIRL NO MORE!

P.S. When I officially reach my goal weight I will post before and after picture. Soon my friends, SOON! 

April 12, 2012

Remedy For My Not So Green Thumb

This post brought to you by Scotts®. All opinions are 100% mine.

As you all know, I don't often do sponsored posts, but this is one I am excited about. Why? Every Spring I think, "This is going to be the year that I start gardening." Every summer, my efforts seem to have failed miserably. What am I doing wrong? Well, that remains a mystery.

The one and only thing that has helped our gardening efforts is using Miracle Gro. Despite my apparent inability to keep plants alive, the ones that I used Miracle Gro always fared 100 x better than the ones that were ignored. What I REALLY like about this new product from Miracle Gro is that Expand ‘n Gro™ Concentrated Planting Mix is different from basic potting and garden soils. It is a unique blend of Miracle Gro plant food and coconut coir fiber, a compact, lightweight, easy to carry (because I'm a wuss you know) and easy to store bag of Expand ‘n Gro can do everything a big, heavy bag of soil can do, only better. This concentrated planting mix expands up to 3 times when mixed with water, feeds plants for up to 6 months, makes native soil more workable and retains up to 50% more moisture than basic potting soil.

The best part? Big, beautiful flowers and plants!! I am really excited to try this product should Spring ever decide to come back to Minnesota again. I have two huge flower barrels on my front porch just waiting for beautiful flowers.

Here is why you need to try Expand 'n Gro:

  • Up to 3X the Flowers and Vegetables versus native soil
  • Significantly improves soil for multiple years
  • Concentrated planting mix expands up to 3X when water is added
  • Feeds for up to 6 months
  • All natural fibers hold up to 50% more water than basic potting soil (good for lazy people or forgetful people who don't want to water their plants all the time...)

If you are excited about the Spring and Summer gardening season, you should give this product a try.

Miracle Gro products have never let me down and Expand ‘n Gro™ makes it easy to prep for your Spring & Summer growing season. Happy gardening!

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April 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Easter Edition

Me and my sweet boy in our Sunday best. 

Showing his 96 year old Great Grandma how cool the iPhone is.

Hunting for Eggs. 
What a glorious Easter it was! One of the highlights was singing with my best friend's praise band at her church. I don't need to tell you how much I love singing and I absolutely relish moments like this. Here is one of the songs I was lucky enough to sing lead on:


April 09, 2012

Motivation Monday: I Cheated and I Know It

I confess. I cheated on my diet.

For the first time since I started Medifast in January, I openly and blatantly cheated on the plan for Easter Sunday. It wasn't because I couldn't take it any longer. It wasn't because the temptation was just too great for me to resist. I woke up and made the decision not to eat on Medifast just for one day. I woke up and decided that I wanted to eat the same meal as my family. I just wanted to eat foods that I enjoy.

Much like Easter represents, I wanted to renew my relationship with food and just press reset. It could have been worse, I suppose. I ate 3 of my 5 Medifast meals and had just small portions of ham, pasta salad and potatoes. I skipped the buns and had a serving of asparagus. I did have a 1/4 cup of ice cream for dessert and admittedly a few glorious pieces of chocolate.

I have ZERO regrets. Frankly, anyone who tells you they don't miss "that stuff" (i.e. chocolate, potatoes, etc etc etc) is lying. My stomach is different now. I can't eat nearly as much as I used to which will help when I step on that scale today but boy oh boy, did I enjoy it.

I'm supposed to have been at goal today and I didn't even remotely make it. I have 10.5 to go and I am fairly certain it is going to be a tough road to get there (my .5 gain today is not helping the situation). My body is definitely not wanting to let go of these last pounds.

Despite my lashing for missing my water goals and my day of cheat, we are looking to the future. My weight loss counselor and I focused on the positive: I am just 10.5 pounds to my goal, I am getting compliments galore and let's face it, I feel great. Nonetheless, goals must be set for the week to come:

  1. STAY ON PLAN. The program works, but I have to work the program. 
  2. Shake it up with my lean and green. I am actually going to try shrimp and mahi mahi this week. FYI: I have always disliked seafood so if this is good, it will be a victory. 
  3. WATER WATER WATER. 120oz (minimum) for the next few days and then I can drop back to my regular 60-80oz.
My Earth Day 5K race is NEXT FRIDAY. I can't believe it is almost here and that it has been almost a year since my last race. While I plan to continue running, I promised my weight loss counselor that I would start bringing in other forms of cardio into my program to kind of "shake up" my routine in hopes that it will help shed these last stubborn pounds.

It goes without saying... I am very ready to be done with Medifast. Yes, it worked. I will tell the world how awesome it works. I have so much respect for those who are on it for 6 months or more. It takes so much self-motivation and persistence to remain loyal to the program. It gets old after awhile no matter how much you try to change it up. You start to miss having more "normal" meals like cereal or a low-fat Subway sandwich and especially yogurt. Not that I intend to fall off the wagon when this is over- I intend to make smart choices; however, I just want to get back to real life. Or, rather, I'm ready to get started with my new life.

What are YOUR goals for this week?


April 06, 2012

Poised For Leadership

It is no secret that I have had my future on my mind. I'm not going to talk about weight loss or how to be a perfect parent. Let's have a little career talk today.

I have been a little hesitant with this blog post. I don't often talk about my career and feel like I may just taboo myself by putting it out there. However, being the honest Mixed Bag that my blog is, I think it is a topic worth writing about and one that will help me put some clarity to a very tough decision.

I attended a seminar a couple weekends ago at my good old college, Concordia University, called "Poised For Leadership. Ignite Your Career." It was a women's leadership coaching seminar and I was BLOWN AWAY. Have you ever felt like someone was reading your very thoughts? That's how I felt at this seminar. They touched on all the pieces in my career that have been nagging at me; most importantly, the question: How do I get the leadership experience without the job and how do I get the job without leadership experience? Our coach, Jo Miller, also brought to light the fact that I am the one allowing the stagnancy in my career to happen- it is nobody's fault but my own.

This seminar truly ignited me. I have put a lot of thought into who I want to be and what I see myself doing. I know for sure that it is time to move forward in my career. It would be super easy to just keep the status quo and keep doing what I'm doing. I'm good at it; however, it is so second nature that I no longer feel like I am growing. Working for an extremely small company (43 employees), the promotional opportunities aren't exactly available either. However, despite the lack of career opportunity within my current company, at least in the form of job title, that doesn't mean I can't step up and do great things. I can still be a thought leader without having the title.

Yes, I intend to start the search for a new opportunity. One thing I am learning this time around in my search, is how to recognize when a company or position isn't a good fit. I am very fervent in my commitment to find something that really is perfect for me and I am not just going to settle for the first thing that lands in my lap (which is what I did 5 years ago). Importantly for me, there MUST be a work/life balance. My career path is important to me, but frankly, being a good parent must be a top priority. No, I do not expect to come and go as I please, but being able to work remotely at 10:00 at night after being with a sick kid all day would be a plus. Of course, being a working mother and all its intricacies is a post for another day. 

The Poised For Leadership seminar left me with some great takeaways:
  1. Dress for success: dress for the job you want. I have been dressing up quite a bit lately and it has given me a feeling of power and importance. You know what? I look pretty too. It's fun to look pretty. It's also fun to buy size 8 suits. 
  2. Network, Network, Network! Don't fear reaching out to the people you know to ask for an opportunity no matter how awkward it feels.
  3. Just because you don't have the title doesn't mean you can't do great things. 
I know the burning question is still out there: Do I still think about being a SAHM? Sure, I do. What mom doesn't? I do feel that keeping my career allows me to continue to keep a huge part of who I am as a person. I want to be the best person I can be for my son.

And for those inquiring minds... I am looking for an opportunity in Marketing Communications Management. And yes, I am very good at what I do!

 
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