In this corner. . . . a short, satin, strapless, candy apple red dress purchased 1 size too small in the hopes of motivating Shannon to lose 15 lbs. For a photo, check out: http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_Short-Pleated-Satin-Strapless-Dress-F14212
In the other corner. . . . a slightly chubby yet still somewhat attractive 30 year old Maid of Honor determined to look hot at her little sister’s wedding.
Tune in May 28th (3pm, Dow Gardens, Midland, Michigan) to see who wins.
I can leave my hat on. . . right?
Time to bring out the digital camera, take off my clothes and hope for the best. This Saturday is the day. Rob has graciously agreed to take photos of me in nothing but a string bikini (to document the progress I’ve made since my “before” photos were taken).
I will share the photos taken on Saturday (as well as, my “before” photos) with you if you’re interested. My hope is that the photos will inspire you to pursue your own unique goals. . . to cause you to view your own body with a little more kindness . . . to help you learn to love (or at least accept) your imperfections, as I do mine.
Although it was my original intention, I no longer want to refer to the photos we take on Saturday as my “after” photos. To do so would suggest that my journey is complete. Instead, how about we refer to them as my “well on my way” photos, or my “halfway to goal” photos?
Preparing to be photographed in a bikini made me think about all that I have achieved since I began my journey last October. But it also reminded me how much more I want to accomplish. For example, during the next 6 months I intend to: reach and maintain my goal weight of 145 – 150 pounds, avoid white flour and sugar, run a 5K in less than 33 minutes and . . . have my “after” photos taken. : )
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The “15 Minutes Versus 6 Hours Phenomenon”
I recently discovered the fascinating phenomenon described below. I am fairly certain that this discovery makes me a scientist. LOL
A couple weeks ago I was feeling depressed, lonely, bored, whatever so I ate a half dozen or so frosted sugar cookies. Although I enjoyed the cookies for about 15 minutes, I felt terrible afterwards (bloated, nauseous, guilty, lethargic, achy, depressed, etc). Approximately 6 hours passed before I felt back to normal. I thought to myself, “Wow. . . I seriously spent 6 hours suffering for 15 minutes of enjoyment?! How ridiculous!”
Without meaning to, I soon had the EXACT OPPOSITE experience. The other night I stopped by the gym to sneak in a quick workout. I ended up running on the treadmill as fast as I could for about 15 minutes. It was tough but it felt so good when I was done. I left the gym feeling terrific and enjoyed my little “runner’s high” until I went to bed that night. . . 6 hours later!
I could not believe it. . . . 15 minutes of exercise earned me 6 hours of pleasure and peace. Conversely, 15 minutes of eating junk food earned me 6 hours of pain and regret.
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A couple treasures that inspire me to keep kicking ass and pursuing my goals …
“Crazy Sexy Cancer” – This is a fabulous film by actress, director and cancer survivor Kris Carr. Don’t be fooled by the title, this movie is not depressing! It is one of the most uplifting, inspiring films I have ever seen. Every time I watch it, I am reminded to cherish and respect my precious, healthy body. It also reminds me to slow down, be present and soak up all the joy I can. Watch this film and let me know what you think! www.crazysexycancer.com
“Oxygen” magazine – This is my favorite women’s fitness magazine! Rather than super skinny models whose bodies resemble 12 year old boys, the pages are filled with strong, healthy, confident, sexy women (who I want to be when I grow up!). When I don’t feel like eating right or working out, I thumb through an issue of Oxygen and always find the motivation I need to put down the cookies and get my ass on the treadmill. www.oxygenmag.com
I have created a monster:
Sis Kelly, Aunt Lori, Uncle Dan, Cousin Seger and I survived the Alma Highland Festival 5K race last weekend. Our next 5K is scheduled for Saturday, October 23rd on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University. Please join us! It’s a great workout and a ton of fun. Once you walk or run one 5K race, you’ll be hooked! An example. . . my sis Kelly can’t wait for October, she wants to run another 5K in July! Apparently she expects me to run it with her. What have I done?
Big news my friends:
Last weekend I wore shorts in public for the first time since 2004. Shorts never seemed to look good on me before I lost weight. I spent many summers in jeans because I was too self conscious to bare my legs. Thank goodness those days are gone! If you see me this summer, be prepared to bask in the glow of my freakishly white legs. You’re welcome. Hee hee.
But wait, there’s more:
I am happy to report that since losing weight I am no longer afraid to wear color. When I buy clothes now I am free to purchase something that is not black. I used to only buy black clothes because: 1.) The experts agree that black is slimming and I choose to believe them. 2.) Black goes with everything and I am totally lazy so I love that quality. 3.) I did not want anyone to notice my outfit or comment on what I was wearing.
I knew that if I kept my clothes black and baggy, I could remain invisible. I thought “the least a chubby girl can do is cover up her body and let others know that she is not proud of it”. But now, things are different. I am not afraid of people noticing me. It’s not traumatic to try on clothes. I don’t have the urge to cry in the fitting room anymore. This is serious progress, folks!
My sugar-free (but naturally sweet!) life update:
Along with dismissing white sugar from my diet, I have also banished white flour (white sugar’s equally nasty twin sister). Those two bitches can take a hike.
Inspirational quote of the week:
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide
I had my annual physical earlier this month. The doctor looked at my chart and said, “Last time you were here (mid-October 2009) your weight was 186.2 lbs. Since then you’ve lost nearly 30 lbs. Congratulations!”
This was really wonderful to hear. Especially considering that during my last physical (in 2008), my doctor warned me, “Shannon, your cholesterol is too high….. I don’t want to put you on medicine but if you don’t change your diet, increase your exercise and lose weight, I will have no choice.” Well, I am proud to report that my cholesterol is now healthy!
However, I did get some not-so-hot news. A blood test revealed that I am mildly hypo thyroid. I need to have my blood tested again in six months. If my levels have not improved I will need to be put on a synthetic hormone to regulate my thyroid. This means taking a pill every day for the rest of my life. What’s the alternative to medication? Glad you asked! My doctor said I can fight back by changing my diet, taking vitamins and minerals that aid in thyroid function, better managing my stress and exercising more. He recommended I avoid white sugar / white flour and animal products that are high in fat. He said to eat more fiber, fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean protein. I am going to give it my best shot and hopefully avoid (or put off for a few years) the need for medication. Wish me luck!
FYI – A faulty thyroid is no joke, it causes the following symptoms (ALL of which I suffered from): fatigue, depression, constipation, hair loss, dry skin, joint pain, slow metabolism, weight gain, feeling cold all the time, low libido, memory trouble, brain fog, super low blood pressure, low pulse rate and low body temperature.
Words of wisdom from Alicia Silverstone (author of “The Kind Diet”)
Balance begets balance. Crazy begets crazy. Start the day with a nutritious and satisfying breakfast.
White sugar is truly addictive and just makes you crave more. That addictive cycle will create weight gain and hijack sanity.
Sugar ruins your immune system. Sugar overworks your liver. Excess insulin promotes cancer growth. Sugar leads to tooth decay, bone loss, weak blood and depression. Not so sweet, eh?
And now for some words of wisdom from Shannon Szydlowski (super cool author of this blog)
“The worst day without sugar is still far better than the best day with sugar.”