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Yup, I went there.

Call me crazy, wacko, batty, kooky, nutty, screwy, fruity, or whatever. I don’t care; I totally believe in this stuff. I also believe in ghosts, goblins and ghouls too. But, that’s neither here, nor there.

Here’s the thing: I don’t know any pet owner who doesn’t talk to their animals. I talk to my boys constantly when I’m at home. And I think I’ve got somewhat of a grip on what they’re trying to communicate to me … sometimes.

Lovie

For instance, I can usually understand Lovie’s actions & meows. When he meows and reaches his paws to my thigh, he wants to be held and snuggle. When he sits next to the couch just looking at me, he wants me to make space for him so he can snuggle. When he follows me from room to room, he wants to snuggle …. Actually, he’s waiting for food. But then it’s right back to snuggle time.

Yeah, Lovie and I, we get each other.

It’s Loki I have trouble with.

Loki

Loki … *sigh* I think of him as my little goth teen who hates when his mom hugs him or gives him a kiss and just wants to be left alone, because nobody understands the angst. I haven’t learned his language yet. It’s getting better – he now demands a little love fest when I get up in the morning and sometimes curls up on the couch or bed by me. He’s a bit skittish sometimes and a little aggressive at other times. But, I love him to death and wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world.

So, just like any mother, I sought out someone to help me understand my kids better. Little did I know this would help me understand me better.

I met up with Asia Voight at Botanical Indulgence in Neenah and had a fantastic session with her. I learned my boys are very preceptive and know exactly what’s going on. Loki, surprisingly, was my little chatterbox and jumped right in to the conversation with had a LOT to say … or rather, ask. (And here I thought I was going to be asking the questions!) He wanted to know why he couldn’t go outside (because it’s dangerous); what happened to Scott (we separated and he moved out); are we moving (some day, but yes, possibly soon); and can we get a screened-in porch (um, sure?). Lovie, my sweet baby, let Loki chatter away – cause he would have interrupted anyway – and then chatted about his past home (apparently there was a screened-in porch and he’s been telling Loki about it) and how happy he is here with me.

What I wasn’t expecting was for Asia to tell me that they are proud of me and that they think I’m doing the right thing. Could that have been hype? Sure, but I like to think my boys know what’s going on and can sense the change in me in the last few months.

Two funny things that came from this (both from Loki, of course): 1. Please don’t date anyone anytime soon. (Selfish little buggers, huh?) and 2.No babies, please. The visits from the neighbor’s little girl are great, but screaming kids are not welcome.

Did I get all the answers? No … I still don’t know why Loki feels the need to wake me at 6:30 every morning when he has food. Or why he doesn’t want to be held. But, I do know that yes, they are just playing – most of the time – and how very special they are. I’m trying to be more aware of my feelings and how they act around me. I’ve noticed that Loki seems to seek out snuggles more often and actually has started following me around sometimes.

Would I do it again? You betcha. In fact, I told her I’d be calling her after I moved – to a place with a screened-in porch, of course.

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I’m way pumped about the results, so here they are:

Starting:
High waist (smallest point): 33 inches
Waist: 37 inches
Hips: 39.5 inches

Ending:
High waist (smallest point): 30.5 inches
Waist: 36 inches
Hips: 37.5 inches

Total loss: 5.5 inches.

Um, is my math correct, cause that sounds freakin’ awesome!!!! Here are some photo comparisons. The before photo was taken in October/November when the first whittle my middle challenge happened. (Sorry the photos are terrible – it’s hard to take pics of yourself in the mirror!)

Before whittle my middle

After whittle my middle

Before whittle my middle

After whittle my middle (like my jammie pants?)

I’m definitely not sporting the “oh my god, I could grate cheese on your abs” abs, but I’m totally pumped with these results. I love that I’ve still got curves and a little bit of  softness – makes me feel like a woman. I do feel like there’s definition now and I certainly feel stronger! It’s amazing what 30 days will do to your body. I’ll keep doing some kind of ab workout – esp. planks & side planks, I feel like those were the most useful. Thank you Angela for doing this challenge again!

(P.S.: The scale said 134.4 today!)

Day 29: The day totally got away from me, so I’m adding a day to my challenge.

Day 30:

  • Front plank: 2 min
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 40 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 31:

  • Front plank: 2 min
  • Side plank:  1 min 30 sec. each side
  • Torso twists: 50 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 22:

  • Front plank: 2 min
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 35 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 23: 2.6 mile run +abs

  • Front plank: 2 min – This was REALLY hard today.
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 35 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 24: rest

Day 25:

  • Front plank: 2 min
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 35 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 26:

  • Front plank: 2 min
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 40 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 27:

  • Front plank: 2 min
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 40 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 28: 2.8 mile run. & rest day

Three days to go in this challenge!!

Day 15:

  • Front plank: 1 min 30 seconds
  • Side plank:  45 seconds each side
  • Torso twists: 30 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 12 reps
  • Boat pose: 45 seconds
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  12 reps each side

Day 16:

  • Front plank: 1 min 45 seconds
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 30 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min (KILLER! I hate this one)
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 17: Run 2.1 miles (abs rest)

Day 18:

  • Front plank: 1 min 45 seconds
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 30 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 19:

  • Front plank: 1 min 45 seconds
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 30 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 20: abbreviated version as it was SUPER late when I got to this.

  • Front plank: 1 min 45 seconds
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 30 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 21: Took a 2-hour belly dancing class! SO much fun. I decided I could skip the WMM routine after that. 🙂

Day 8: Accidental rest day (oops)

Day 9:

  • Front plank: 1 min 15 seconds
  • Side plank:  45 seconds each side
  • Torso twists: 25 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 12 reps
  • Boat pose: 45 seconds
  • Bicycle: 40 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  10 reps each side

Day 10:

  • Front plank: 1 min 15 seconds
  • Side plank:  45 seconds each side
  • Torso twists: 25 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 12 reps
  • Boat pose: 45 seconds
  • Bicycle: 40 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  10 reps each side

Day 11: 1.5 miles run outside.
Almost didn’t get my ab workout done today, but I squeezed it in before bed. Those plank ups are KILLER!

  • Front plank: 1 min 15 seconds
  • Side plank:  45 seconds each side
  • Torso twists: 25 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 12 reps
  • Boat pose: 45 seconds
  • Bicycle: 40 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  12 reps each side

Day 12:

  • Front plank: 1 min 15 seconds
  • Side plank:  45 seconds each side
  • Torso twists: 25 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 12 reps
  • Boat pose: 45 seconds
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  12 reps each side

Day 13: Rest day

Day 14: Accidental rest day – I realized as I was falling asleep that I forgot to do my workout! oops.

Definitely not a great week on the running front, but overall I’m not that disappointed. Half-way there!

Ok, I have more than one pair, but I’m talking about a specific pair.

They’re cargo pants from Old Navy that I bought about 3-4 years ago. At the time, they were a little too big – as in, I could pull them on/off without unbuttoning them.

Then life happened and I seemed to balloon …. At my heaviest (158ish), I tossed the pants in the back corner of the closet, knowing I’d never get back into them.

Then, I changed my attitude, my eating habits, my activity level and kept thinking about those pants. I knew that if I ever got to the point where I could pull them on/off without unbuttoning them again, I’d be successful in this fitness endeavor.

Well, the day has come, and I’m happy to say those kahki cargos I love so much are falling off! Sweet success!!

Bonus: The scale this morning (and yesterday morning) said 135.6 … Officially 20+ pounds lighter than I was 10 months ago when I decided enough was enough.

Was it hard, yeah. Was it worth it, hell yeah! Not only do I feel great & think I look pretty darn good, I’m learning to love my body and nourish it in all the right ways – good food, exercise, & positive thoughts.

Can you do it too? HELL YES! And I’ll be here cheering you on as you do it. 🙂

WHEW! What a week! I’m damn proud of myself. This is definitely a good start to the year. Best part is, I’m almost 7 miles into my 150 mile goal for the year. If this keeps up, I may have to increase my goal.

Day 5: Abs + 30 minutes snow shoveling x2

  • Front plank: 60 seconds
  • Side plank:  30 seconds each side
  • Torso twists: 20 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 10 reps
  • Boat pose: 30 seconds
  • Bicycle: 40 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  8 reps each side

Day 6: 45 min snow shoveling, gave the abs a rest!

Day 7: 1.6 mile run + abs

  • Front plank: 1 min 15 seconds
  • Side plank:  45 seconds each side
  • Torso twists: 22 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 12 reps
  • Boat pose: 45 seconds
  • Bicycle: 40 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  8 reps each side

Quick update on how the Whittle My Middle challenge is going:

Day 2: Rest

Day 3:

  • Front plank: 60 seconds
  • Side plank:  30 seconds each side
  • Torso twists: 18 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 10 reps
  • Boat pose: 30 seconds
  • Bicycle: 40 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  8 reps each side

Day 4: Abs + run 2.32 miles

  • Front plank: 60 seconds
  • Side plank:  30 seconds each side
  • Torso twists: 20 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 10 reps
  • Boat pose: 30 seconds
  • Bicycle: 40 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  8 reps each side

I sure do feel MUCH better after that run & abs workout. I almost feel like I’m glowing 🙂

I only got through about a week of the first whittle my middle challenge by Angela at Oh She Glows. This time, I’m determined to go the distance. I’m going to be posting my workouts here in order to keep myself accountable and see my progress.

Here are my starting stats:

High waist (smallest point): 33 inches
Waist: 37 inches
Hips: 39.5 inches

Day 1:

  • Front plank: 60 seconds
  • Side plank:  30 seconds each side
  • Torso twists: 15 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 10 reps
  • Boat pose: 30 seconds
  • Bicycle: 30 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  8 reps each side

I did this last year and thought it’d be a good idea to see what has changed in the year since.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

  • Traveled outside the country.
  • Ran. Even did two races – a 4-miler and a 2-miler.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I had some foodie resolutions that I kept, and I’ve got some resolutions for outside the kitchen this year:

  • Run 150 miles
  • finish my gram’s cookbook
  • start my health counseling practice

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My friend Laura had a little one on April 15. She’s so precious.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thank God, and hopefully no one will die this year.

5. What countries did you visit?

Spent a week in Ireland – it’s a beautiful country.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Work/life/friends balance.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Several events will be etched in memory, but the specific dates elude me.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Losing almost 20 lbs and learning to have a healthy relationship with food. Making the choice to go back to school and get certified as a holistic health counselor.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Relationships.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Not personally, but family members continue to battle that evil monster called cancer.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Digital camera & a CSA share.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My mom – for battling breast cancer with a smile and a laugh; My dad – for taking care of my mom without too much complaining. All of my family – for being so supportive.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The way corporate companies treat their employees.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Bills.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Starting school at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I’m about a third of the way through the program and I am LOVING every second of it.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

“If today were your last day” by Nickleback

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier – I’ve done a lot of soul-searching this last year.

b) thinner or fatter? Almost 20 lbs. lighter!!!

c) richer or poorer? Poorer when it comes to money, but richer in experience.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Called friends to see if they wanted to do something – even if it was just hang out and watch a movie.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Work 🙂

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Working – but I spent the week before in North Carolina with my family and it was fabulous.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Yes … with myself & I hope to help others learn to love themselves.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Hm, I really don’t know. Nothing new really jumped out at me and I’m quite behind on the shows I do like. I did spend a day engrossed in Nip/Tuck season 4, though 🙂

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I’m trying to eliminate the word “hate” from my vocabulary.

24. What was the best book you read?

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I’m so musically illiterate it’s not even funny.

26. What did you want and get?

  • My two beautiful cats love me unconditionally. One is even growing out of the awkward rebellious years and starting to like snuggling – on his terms, of course.
  • Got to visit my parents – twice! – and got to see my sister – twice!
  • Support from my family and friends in my somewhat crazy healthy living adventures.

27. What did you want and not get?

A new job.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Julie & Julia, though I’m sure Food, Inc. will be up there too once I see it.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 29 and I honestly can’t even remember what I did on my birthday – probably worked 🙂

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Less stress.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Laid-back … and smaller 🙂

32. What kept you sane?

My cats, Zhena’s jasmine dragon tea, running and the light at the end of the tunnel.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

The clusterf*ck that is our Veterans Affairs Department and their inability to provide basic needs/treatment for soldiers returning from war with PTSD symptoms.

34. Who do you miss?

My parents and my sister. I wish they lived closer.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

I’ve met some of the most wonderful, encouraging, supportive people through my studies at IIN. I love being connected to like-minded people!

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

Listen to your heart. No one knows what’s best for you, but you. It’s never easy, but you will feel more at peace and balanced when you listen to yourself.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas.” – “Waking up in Vegas” by Katy Perry