Finding purpose

I mentioned it awhile back, but last night a bunch of us went to see the Jillian Michaels Maximize Your Life tour.

If you willingly take a picture with me, you should know you’ve got a 100% chance of showing up on my blog.

I’m not going to rehash everything that went down in the show. Trust me, I could, but who wants to read my rewrite on what all she said? (If you do, uh, email me? I guess I can try to rehash but not today. I’m too damned tired.) Why am I so tired? Well, we got hit with a winter storm while we were there and on the way back home. If you look in the background, you can notice it’s coming down through the window. This meant that we had to take it slow (and by “we” I mean Amber because she was driving and I was just her ride along. She was way more cool, calm, and collected than my frantic self would have been.) While we were on our way, Amber asked me what was the biggest thing I took away from the show. After I rambled for a good 15 minutes because God knows I can’t pick just one favorite thing about anything, (example: favorite color? Blue, no purple, no pink, no…) I would say I had 3 things I took out of the show.

1. Know Your Why.


I know there are probably people reading this going “duh.” I hear ya. I know everyone has heard the whole focus on the why and the how doesn’t seem so bad. I’ve heard it. Hell, I’ve even said I was doing it a time or two. There are times, however, when I get too wrapped up in my head. I make my “why” too complicated or something that almost seems impossible to achieve to me. Going to this event, however, reminded me that whys don’t have to be “I want to lose weight and get healthy because I can cause world peace by doing so.” When I was talking to Amber, I realized that my “why” for right now is I’m going to NYC with my sweet Swedish-chef Karolina in just less than 3 months. I want to be able to fly without my hips and or thighs touching someone else’s. If you’ve got a big bottom half, you know exactly what I’m talking about with this item. You have to shove the arm rest between you down to try to contain your thighs but they still manage to slide under and then it’s painful because you’ve got an arm rest cutting into your thigh. I don’t want to have to deal with that painful ride. I want to be as comfortable as possible. If there’s a thigh being cut into, I’d rather it be my neighbors than mine.

2. Stop cutting myself down.


Again, I know, Duh. During one part of the show, Jillian spoke about when contestants on the Biggest Loser are taken to see the old cutout of themselves. She says (and I’ve seen on tv) that the contestants are always like “Yuck!” or stronger reactions than that. Jillian stated that after they have their reactions she always points out to them that they should stop being so hard on that person. Yes, they were overweight and extremely unhealthy. That person, however, also made the decision to get healthier. That person they were so ashamed or appalled by had the courage to start a journey that led them to who they were on that day. This doesn’t just apply to Biggest Losers — it applies to everyone who’s started and continues to go on a personal journey. It isn’t always about weight loss. Maybe you look back 15 years ago and see that you worked in the kitchen at McDonalds. A part of you is almost ashamed about that but, if you stop and think, that reality may have been what pushed you to find a better job — to go back to school — to find your passion. If it hadn’t been for that person, that person you used to be who had the courage to change, who knows where you’d be today. I need to remember this and remember how hard me from a year ago had to work to become the me of today. She did a helluva job and it’s about time that I give her a break.

3. Don’t let your fear rule you.


This may actually be the biggest thing I took away from the show. Everyone, sit down a minute because I’m about to use some circular logic and I don’t want anyone to get dizzy and fall down. Alright, now that we’re prepared, let’s talk about one of my biggest fears.

I’m terrified of gaining all the weight back that I lost. Beyond that, I’m terrified of getting back up to my heaviest weight (260). Due to this, if I step on a scale and see that I’ve gained anything, and I do mean anything, I get this tight knot in the pit of my stomach. I can just feel my body expanding, the skin stretching back out, the pants getting too tight. Some people might say the solution would be to not weigh myself, but I just don’t work that way. I have to weigh myself every so often. I need to know where I stand on that scale of judgment. As I’ve said before, I may get past this some day, but today is not that day. Anyway, if I see that weight go up, I feel like I’ve already failed and I’m heading straight back to being over 200 pounds. A logical person would amp up the diet/exercise/meditation to get their shit together. I, however, am not a logical person. I, instead, will eat a box of cookies. Yes, to fix the problem of gaining weight that was most likely just a fluctuation that’s perfectly normal from an intense workout or Mother Nature, I do the action that is most likely to make me actually gain weight because I’m afraid of gaining weight.


Jillian talked about it some but Amber helped me talk it out some more on our way home. What’s the absolute worse thing that could happen? Well, I could give up all hope and just start eating constantly, becoming so large that they have to either get a crane to get me out of the house when I die or go all Gilbert Grape on it and burn that bitch to the ground.


I should stop and mention that Amber pointed out that I’m being complete insane with this scenario in my head. She’s (probably) right. The worst thing that could happen is that I do gain all the weight back and have to start again. Would it be a huge blow to my ego? Yes. Would it kill me? No. I know what I have to do to be successful. I know I can be successful. I also know I don’t want to have to start from that point again because it was so incredibly hard. I can’t, however, let my fear of failure keep circling around. I can’t keep setting myself up to fail. I have to keep moving forward, where ever that may lead me, and quit letting fear make me feel like a failure when I’m not.

Well, that was a whole big dose of reality from yours truly today. It’s not always easy around these parts. On the positive side, at least I’ve got friends to tell me I’m being completely crazy because sometimes that’s what I need to hear.


Practice what you Preach

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned it, but I teach R.I.P.P.E.D. two times a week.

I've only mentioned it 4,508,387,383 times, I know.

I’ve only mentioned it 4,508,387,383 times, I know.

The other day, I was doing some self evaluating. I’m not going to say I was picking myself apart because, for once, I wasn’t. I was just sitting down and trying to come up with a plan that I thought could work for me, with both working out and eating. It may be a little known fact (sarcasm font) but I love me some carbs. I’m not talking like the healthy dark chocolate ones either. I’m talking pancakes and donuts and beer bread and hell, just beer.



Due to this, any effort at a low carb diet just doesn’t work for me. I wish it did. I’ve known people (aka my mother and brother) who have been insanely successful at the low carb lifestyle. It’s just not built for me, or I’m not built for it. The three of us have talked about this before. I’m pretty sure a bit of my sanity hangs on knowing I can have pancakes in my life.

Susan Vs Food - Pancake Edition - Coming Soon

Susan Vs Food – Pancake Edition – Coming Soon

Anyway, let me try to get back to the point even though I’m basically fantasizing about pancakes right now.

(Long pause to get pancakes out of my head…or as far as they ever get)

Anyway, I was working on developing a plan that would work for me. It was in a moment of shopping (Yes, shopping) that it came to me.

Practice what you Preach. What do I preach? R.I.P.P.E.D.


I mean, I’m already preaching that people should go to R.I.P.P.E.D. the three times a week that we’re offering it. I’m not just preaching this without any backing — since I’ve started doing it 3 times a week, I’ve started losing inches on my hips and thighs (as mentioned last post). As I mentioned, this isn’t just a small change either. These are significant numbers. Today, my mom mentioned how much weight I’d lost recently in my legs. I had actually noticed it earlier in the day when I put on a pair of boots and they were fitting loosely on my meaty calves. I really do attribute these changes to this program. How does this tie in?

I am going to follow the R.I.P.P.E.D. diet plan.

I mean, preach, practice, all that jazz. I’m a believer in the R.I.P.P.E. elements — let’s give the D a try. It doesn’t seem like that crazy of a diet plan. It seems doable for a lifestyle change, not just a short term fix. (Read more about it here.)

So, for the next 4 weeks, I’m following their suggested diet plan. I’m two days in and really, honestly, it hasn’t been that hard. My attitude hasn’t been any worse than it normally is and, if push comes to shove, I can still have my pancakes…even if they may be really tiny with an egg! Also, for this 4 weeks I’m going to do something that seems completely insane to me…

I’m not going to weigh in or measure myself.

Holy hell. I may have a nervous breakdown. Hear me out on this one though. Yes, if I see changes, I feel motivated to keep going. If I don’t see changes, however, I feel the urge to EATALLTHETHINGS and give up. Thus, 4 weeks cold turkey from the scale and measuring tape is the solution I’ve come up with.

Please, lord, don’t let me gain like 20 pounds in 4 weeks.


I’m failing at healthy living

Subtitle: And other lies my scale tells me

For a brief, shining moment, I weighed 164 pounds. It was the absolute lowest I had weighed since, honestly, probably the 6th grade. If it weren’t for the fact that it happened when it was mother f’n cold outside, I probably would have went out and danced naked in the streets. (So, all of y’all bitchin’ about winter, take a moment to thank Mother Nature for keeping that what-has-been-seen-can’t-be-unseen moment from happening.) That moment lasted a matter of about a week before I added some Mom’s birthday/My birthday/Christmas/New Years weight back on. It didn’t go nutty but it went up. Then, after doing the 10 day diet, my weight got close to 164 again, but not quite there. I was driven. I could get back down to it.

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Inside my head

So last week, I wrote an amazingly eloquent post about how I was having problems coming up with things to post about and asked for some suggestions from you all. Well, one of the suggestions was to write about my classes. I thought this was an amazing idea, but then I was like “Well, what the hell am I going to say about them?” It was this exact thought that made me decide to write about what’s going on inside my head when I’m teaching.

As always, this is your language warning. If you’re going to get offended, trust me, stop here. Inside my head uses the f word …a lot.

Not mine. ..and yet hilarious

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Ideas, anyone?

Wow. I mean, WOW, it’s been forever since I blogged. Well, that’s not 100% true. I have wrote a few blogs in the past few days but…well, they just didn’t feel right. I wrote them, read them, and hated them. It was like the words were mine but the “me” was missing. That sounds completely way deeper than I mean it but that’s the best way I can describe it. Thus, I’d add those blogs to a pile of “drafts” that I keep, thinking that I’ll one day go back and spruce them up. (Note: I never go back!)

This blog is just me babbling.

However, this lack of blogging has left me just wondering why on earth I’m not blogging? I have things I want to talk about but it’s just not coming out right! I know the big problem I have right now is the same problem I have every year when I’m deep into college — the different styles of writing I utilize jacks me up. For instance, when I’m writing on collective bargaining, I have to be very concise and to the point. It is SO not me. I like to ramble. If I ramble, though, I get horrible grades, thus, no rambling. When I turn on the “stfu susan” mode, however, I can’t turn it off. Even right now, acknowledging that I have this problem, I’m actively fighting with it. Honestly, my normal dialog probably won’t come back until May, when classes are over.

And more babbling

The problem is that I miss blogging. I have so much going on in my life right now that I’d like to talk about. I mean, I’m teaching a class all on my own now and really enjoying it. I can’t explain how great it feels to see students make little improvements that they don’t even know they’re making! It’s like I’m their mama bird and I shoved them out of the nest and they took off flying before they hit the ground. (Okay, I’m bad with..uh..metaphors..or is this a simile? Shit, I don’t know. I think this is about parenting too and GOD KNOWS I don’t have that instinct. What was I talking about again?) 


Anyway, there are ideas there but I just can’t seem to put all the words into something that I’m happy with. I guess, long story short, I’m asking for ideas from those of you out there who read this. What should I write about? Or do you ever hit a “blog idea drought” where you stare at a white screen with a blinking light and almost hyperventilate?!

Well, what do you know, I do still know how to ramble.