Cabin Fever, or…Why I love the cable knit shawl collar pullover sweater (with elbow patches)

So day two. I finally got out of the house after being snowed in the last two days (the non-perks of a small car). Even if it was just going to the bank and walmart, I was OUT I was FREE! 

And then I came home and did one of the craziest things I’ve ever done: I got my mother started on Pinterest. 

Yep.

Why do I do these things to myself? Seriously. 

So while I kept reminding her “you have to name the board before you click create” and “It’s pinned, you don’t have to keep going back and checking”, I started playing around on Pinterest on my phone. 

I have quite a few pins (over 3,000) and many of them are DIY, fitness, teaching, all that good stuff. However, I saw a few pictures while browsing the “Popular” category that had me create a new secret board: “If I had a man, I’d dress him like this”. Well, I don’t like my boards to be just four or five pins, so I went through and pinned every delicious suit worn by Matt Boomer and Neal Patrick Harris on their respective shows, as well as a few things from the “mens fashion” category on Pinterest (but have you seen how many of those guys are carrying PURSES? You can carry a bag, guys, but if it’s a purse, nope. Hand in the man card). 

Derailing. Anywho. I then added lots of pictures of Steven Amell (Arrow on the CW) and the always lovely Jensen Ackles (Supernatural). I am 95% sure that his wife, Danneel Harris Ackles (Rachel from One Tree Hill) dresses him, and she hits it out of the park. The gif above is from the show, so that’s a costume thus Dean’s style and not really my taste. This, however, is: 

I have now learned that this sweater is called a “cable knit shawl collar pullover sweater with elbow patches”. Sold. I don’t know what it is about this particular sweater, but I’ve now seen it on like five different guys and every time it is ridiculously hot. Seriously. 

So as you might have noticed, the title of that pin board was “if I had a man”. Yes, I am, lamentably (?) still single, which actually doesn’t bother me because I don’t actually have the time to devote to any person right now. So that’s sort of in God’s hands, I’m not pushing, I’m not looking, I’m just going with the flow of His plan and if He pushes someone towards me, great, if not, that’s okay too. That’s why my new pinboard is cracking me up. I looked at it once I finished pinning like crazy and it was all over the place, like leather, plaid, sweaters, wool coat, button down, chambray, jeans and a T-shirt, crew neck, v-neck, vests, suits, combat boots and sandals. And then a bunch of cable knot shawl collar pullover sweaters (a few with elbow patches). Actually, there were a lot of elbow patches…not really sure what that’s about. 

So what does this have to do with the price of tea in China? Nothing. Mostly is was a derailment from helping my mom get started on Pinterest, but it was a fun one. Which leads me to an actual point (that has to do with weight loss and everything!!! wohoo!) 

First off, my starting weight might have been a bit off. I’m actually back down to 161. Which is what I was before Christmas…progress, yay! 

Secondly, yes, I am going to talk about weight loss on this blog, but I might bust out football (I’m taking the Seahawks in the big game), or hockey (BEST SPORT EVER) or baseball (five days until truck day at Fenway!), or men’s fashion or have a complete fangirl moment about a TV show (not often, I promise). But here’s one thing that I have learned in the years upon years of trying to lose weight: you have to do it for YOU. 

In college, I wanted to lose weight so I could find a husband. I’m 27 and still single and overweight, so that worked out fabulously. After college, when I was funemployed, I thought losing weight would magically help me get my life together. Nope. Wrong again. And failed again. 

Then I started running. At first I started running because it would help lose weight and magically get my life together, but then I ran a half marathon. That was AMAZING. I don’t think I can explain the pure sense of accomplishment you feel when you run across that finish line. But I fell off the bandwagon. Then I got back on, still working towards the magic life fix. I threw out my back, ran another half anyway, and spent the next nine months doing nothing until I threw the back out again and gave up on running entirely.

That was it. That was when I realized that I was failing because 1. I wasn’t involving God at all in any of this, and 2. I wasn’t trying to lose weight for me.

The first one is easy. Weight loss, fitness, life is hard. It’s easy to give up. One of the things that can keep you going is faith. I don’t know how many runs I’ve spent just talking to God, no ipod, no friends, just me and the Big Guy having a chat. I gotta tell you, those were some of the best runs I’ve ever done. I highly recommend it. 

The second thing takes more introspection, which the first thing can help with. You have to analyze why you are starting this journey or you’re going to fail. I’ve come to the realization that my weight, my clothes size, those are arbitrary numbers that mean nothing. Absolutely nothing. Yes, they can help track the progress I’m making, but they are by no means the reason or the judge of how well I’m doing. If I don’t lose another pound, but I lose fat and gain muscle so that I am a healthy individual who isn’t at risk for heart disease and diabetes (both run in my family) then I have met my ultimate goal

Yes, I’d like to be smaller. I love clothes and fashion and it’s true, things do look better on a smaller frame. And yes, I might get a few more looks from the guys, but that is not why I am doing this. 

I’m doing this because I want to be healthy. I’m doing this because my Dad has gone through cancer twice. I’m doing this because three of my grandparents died from heart disease. I’m doing this because my grandmother had and my mom has diabetes and the rest of the maternal side of my family has thyroid problems and they are on, like, five medications a day. 

I don’t want that. I don’t want a future of pills and issues and increased risks. I’d like to have kids someday, and at 27, it’s starting to look like I’ll be having kids in my 30s, and the healthier I am, the healthier they’ll be. I want to be able to go on a run with my friends and not slow them down. 

I saw this on Pinterest and I love it: 

God created it. Jesus died for it. The Spirit dwells in it. So I better take care of it.

That, to me, is just so powerful. And it reminds me of my goals. So when I start thinking “ug, I’m still single because I’m fat. When I lose weight I’ll get married” (yes, I’m not kidding, I have thought that) I go back to that quote and remind myself of why I truly started this journey. I’m 20 pounds down since August, and moving in the right direction. 

….

So, that went from a goofy post about elbow patches to something sort of serious. I am generally going to try to keep these lighter, but I think if my struggles and my inner monologues can help someone realize the same issues in themselves, it’s a good thing. What’s the old adage? the first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one. And I do. Several, actually. Apparently a fondness for elbow patches is one of them…  


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Here we go again…

So I have completely and totally neglected this blog. Seriously. The only thing I can say is that it’s been a rough few months: full time job, part time job, full time grad student, dad with cancer, holidays, and in general, laziness. However, writing is such a huge outlet for me that I have decided to give this whole blogging thing another go. 

I have a friend who writes a fantastic blog, and this blog renewal is partly inspired by her success. Its called Honey I Shrunk the Gretchen and it is fabulous, check it out if you’ve got a minute. 

So why the blog? 

Well, I need to lose weight. I’m currently weighing in at about 165 lbs., and with a height of only 5’3″, that’s not so good. And I can’t believe I just posted my weight on the INTERNET! Holy cow. Calm down, that’s part of the process: being honest, being vulnerable, and holding myself accountable to the real, honest numbers. I’ve actually lost weight already, in August I got myself a fitbit (love it!), and I’m actually almost ten pounds down since then (yay!) it would have been 15 but…Christmas. 

To that end, I have three goals: 

  1. to be healthier. I’m actually a very active person and I like doing things like playing sports and races and physical activity, so I’d like to be able to do all of that better, for longer, and without getting winded
  2. I’m going on a cruise this summer and I HATE looking at pictures of me from the last cruise (about 180 lbs…not cute) so I want to be able to look at pictures from this one without cringing.
  3. I really, really, really want to run a marathon. My sights are set on the Disney marathon in January 2015. I’ve run two half marathons and there is just this niggling thing in the back of my mind that says “you have to do a marathon”. I’m not getting any younger, and I think that’s one of those things I’m just going to have to do with my life, so might as well get it over with. 
My goal weight, which I hope to reach by August-September this year is 125 lbs. My goal for the cruise is 135. That gives me approximately 5 months to lose 30 pounds. Doable, I think. I’ve got my YMCA membership, and I’ve been good about going. I write down everything I eat (which is still not completely under control, but…I’m working on it). The last thing I’ve done is some motivational sayings and pictures. They are literally all over my room:

I’m hoping the fact that these are everywhere I look everyday, it’ll keep me from getting discouraged and complacent or giving up. I especially like this one: 

“It takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world. Don’t quit. Give it 12 weeks.”

So that’s my promise. I’m going to try my hardest for 12 weeks and see what happens. That will, incidentally, coincide with the end of student teaching and grad school. Finally. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

So here’s to blogging, losing weight, and staying on track. 🙂

Peace out.