Wake Up!

First off – so sorry for no post last night. I’ve apparently still got Eggnog brain (actually…no I don’t…eggnog disgusts me)…so take two: I’ve apparently still got sugar plum brain and didn’t even realize that yesterday was Monday. Oops.

With that being said, I hope that all of you had an amazing Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanzaa or whatever else you might celebrate. I hope you received everything you asked for.

Santa left me with a few extra presents that I didn’t ask for…one being a little of his big round belly. Thanks for the poundage, Kris Kringle! Next year you’re getting celery sticks and not cookies.

 

He also left me with a weird attitude. The right side of my brain is the new-found positive me. The left side of my brain is the old negative, condescending me. Why?!  I thought the left side was gone. Maybe it’s the weather. Maybe it’s because I didn’t get to sleep in my own bed on Christmas Eve. Maybe it’s because I gained a little bit of weight. Who knows…I just wish it would go. This negativity scares me. I’ll catch myself questioning whether or not I’ve truly made any progress. What the hell am I talking about? I’ve lost 50 pounds. Way, way more than I’ve ever lost at one time in my life. Why do I question my progress? Why do I discount myself? Why do I feel less beautiful today than I did a week ago?

Maybe my focus waned a little bit over the holiday and my fear of reverting back to my old ways is allowing some of this negativity in. I’ve got to wake up and stay focused on me. This whole journey is about me. This roller coaster ride of life is taking its toll. I’ve got to wake up and focus on what this is all about. I’ve got to wake up and focus on how far I’ve come. I’ve got to wake up and focus on the continuing to make progress. I cannot stop now. Wake up, Hannah.

Wake up.

There’s a new day waiting for me and it’s passing me by while I lay under the covers until the last minute every morning, wishing the world would go away. But the world’s not going anywhere. The world always keeps turning, it’s always spinning…the world doesn’t care if it continues to move with me or without me.  I’ve been in the dark so long that the world has just about forgotten all about me. Maybe it’s time to make it remember.

It’s time to get up and start moving.

Time to move toward my dreams. Time to move toward the life I know I want and deserve. I’ve wasted day after day, year after year, but it just doesn’t matter. Yesterday is gone, and today is right here, so bright and beautiful and full of possibility but…

My life gets in the way. I’ve got deadlines and responsibilities. I’ve got conference calls and reports. I’ve got sales tracking and inventory inquiries. I don’t have enough time to get everything done.

But wait…
Do I really think I’m the only one with deadlines and responsibilities, pressures and complications?

Sure, life is hectic, hectic, hectic, and there’s never enough time to do everything.  But, there’s always enough time to do the most important thing, and right now the most important thing is for me to GET UP.

Get up and start moving.

Get up and start living.

I’ve been feeling sorry for myself so long that I think that’s how I’m destined to feel.

Of course my life could be so much better.

So I’ve got to make it better.

It is within me to grab the reins of my life and take control. I have started to do so for the last 50 pounds. I cannot and will not stop now. There is still half the journey left to go. No, it won’t be easy. Did I honestly expect it would be? But I know it will be worth it. I know that this isn’t where I want to be, where I am meant to be.

I can lie where I am, feeling sorry for myself or I can get up and make something out of this beautiful day. I didn’t get where I am overnight, and it won’t get better in a matter of days… but it will get better. I know in my heart of hearts it will get better.

 

I’ve been hiding under the covers for far too long.

 

It’s time for me to wake up.

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” ~ Joe Lewis

You Might Be Gluten-Free If…..

Jeff Foxworthy did his redneck style. I do mine GF-style. Minds out of the gutter people!

I’m in a cheesy mood tonight…Not that it has anything to do with the amazing queso fresco I just ingested – but in a dorky, witty, joking mood. Perhaps it’s because it’s Monday…perhaps it’s because the new job has me a little frazzled, but regardless, you’re the lucky one that gets to enjoy light-heartedness this evening…

So without further ado ….You Might Be Gluten-Free If….

…your bar tab went up exponentially when you had to stop drinking beer and start drinking liquor.

…you keep at least 5 kinds of flour in the house and none of them start with ‘W’.

…you can’t eat at a buffet.

…the smell of freshly baked pizza makes you on the verge of postal.

…Five Guys sees you coming and instantly changes their gloves.

…you get stomach cramps walking through the bread aisle.

…you question your ‘Southern card’ since you can’t remember what fried chicken tastes like.

…you’ve ever deliberately slammed your shopping cart into the Wheat Thins display in a fit of rage.

…you spend more time reading ingredients than actually eating the food.

…your happiest moment this year was discovering GF bagels at the grocery store.

…someone could rob you with just a club sandwich and Doritos.

…you’ll hug people with a nasty cough but keep someone eating a cookie at an arm’s length or farther.

…you’re considering converting to the Aztec religion, so people will accept your corn-worshipping ways.

…you pack your own toaster to go on vacations.

…you have written “CONTAMINATED” on containers of cream cheese.

…you’ve considered strangling friends/relatives who say “It can’t hurt if you only eat a little, can it?”

…you can find hidden gluten on food labels in the blink of an eye and some people around you couldn’t find it if they had a magnifying glass, a dictionary and a Ph.D.

…you burn your toast and eat it anyway because those two tiny pieces of bread cost $1.50.

…during the holidays, visions of guar gum dance in your head.

…you are afraid of spices and in restaurants, ask for your food “naked.”

…people think you’re on a low-carb diet.

…you’ve ever asked for a bunless burger and been looked at like you have 3 heads.

…you kiss your date before dinner instead of after.

…you write a GF blog!

…you’re feeling better than you EVER have in your life and still losing weight! Go me!!!

 

 

Still chipping away at the pudge. And I do not miss it at all!!

I’m going to work on updating my ‘Goals’ page sometime this week – but wanted to let you know the two new ones that I have set for myself in the meantime.

1)      To lose an additional 50 lbs by my sister’s wedding. Wedding is May 19, 2012…that amounts to about 10 lbs a month. Completely attainable goal – although I’m a little off this week – my next goal should help me get there with more certainty…

2)      To start working out. The scary thing is that I really am itching to get active. I’m imagining myself doing physical things and yearning to get a good aerobic sweat in. I’ve never wanted to sweat before so I’m a little shocked that I feel guilty about not doing anything at this point.

Now that eating better is second nature, I can focus on my other arch nemesis: moving my behind. I certainly need to work on toning and firming up. Nothing sexy about excess jiggle. And there will certainly not be anything sexy about loose skin if I manage to lose (I’m sorry…WHEN I LOSE) 100 pounds. I commit to you, loyal followers, that by the time I post a blog next week, I will have started my workout regimen.

 

Before I sign off this week – I want to mention something I mentioned last week…There’s only one day left and the way it stood a few days ago, it will take an absolute miracle (or divine intervention) for me to come out on top…but I need votes! Please go to http://jovialfoods.com/blog/7362654553-2/ and vote for #13 (If mine is your favorite) and help send me on the GF/culinary trip of a lifetime. (See last week’s post for more details.)

I really appreciate all of you that have voted for me thus far and helped to spread the word. Voting ends tomorrow (12/20) at midnight and results will be announced on the 22nd. Keep your fingers crossed that the next time you hear from me, I’ll have to add renewing my passport to my to-do list! What an amazing Christmas present that would be!

 

I hope that each of you has a Merry Christmas…may Santa bring you everything you’ve asked for and more!

“Faith is believing that the outcome will be what it should be, no matter what it is.”  ~Colette Baron-Reid

Walk On Water

I’ve always been of the belief regardless of your specific spirituality that it is sometimes hard to deny that there is a divine power. A higher being of some sort watching over all of us.

Being a person that is so nerded out in the science world, having things happen that I can’t explain really throws my brain into a complete tizzy.  As much as I want to believe that there has to be a scientific explanation for everything, I know this isn’t always the case. While I might have a hard time wrapping my mind around it…I know there are many occurrences that can be explained only as something heavenly or godlike.

I had one of those Tim Tebow-esque interventions last week…

It was Tuesday afternoon. I was in my car, stuck in random mid-afternoon traffic, feeling the initial tinges of road rage creep up as I got frustrated with sitting through the same stop light one too many times.  The fear of my impending unemployment was extremely heavy on my mind.  Stressful thoughts were firing one after the other: Right now is a horrible time to be searching for a job.  What path do I take? What direction do I go? Is it time to go back to school? Do I follow my passion and pursue a medical career? Do I take a safe route? What about money? What about insurance? Will I lose my ground? Will I lose my faith in myself if I can’t find something right away?

A wave of emotion rushed over me as I sat there. I felt defeated. I felt myself going backwards 10 steps in that moment and didn’t know what else to do but sit there at that red light as my mascara started to creep down my face.

The radio had already been turned up…I was listening to K-LOVE. Partly because there had been commercials on all the local stations it seemed like and partly because I thought I’d explode if I heard another Katy Perry song that hour.  I wasn’t really paying attention to the songs that were on…my brain was too busy pumping me full of fear of the unknown.  But then a song came on that I’d never heard before, and my mind stopped running 100 miles an hour…so I listened.

I didn’t know who was singing the song or even the title of it…but the chorus hit me in the stomach like a ton of bricks:

When you take that first step into the unknown
You know that He won’t let you go

So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities, they try to alter you
But you know you’re made for more, so don’t be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes, and you can walk on the water, too

“Walk on Water” by Britt Nicole

Here’s the whole song in case you want to listen – the lyrics are on the video…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The song’s message and the moment it was played can be explained by nothing other than divine intervention.  I had to pull over I was so moved and blown away by what had just taken place. And when the song ended, I wiped my tears. Put a smile on my face, and drove away knowing that no matter what happens to me, I have faith in my ability to handle it, I have faith in my ability to face it, and I will no longer afraid to move.  This feeling that I’ve had about myself over the last few weeks (aside from my minor breakdown at the intersection) has been me walking on water.

I got home and my entire week turned around…which is purely coincidence I’m sure…

I got fantastic news that afternoon…I entered a contest a few months ago sponsored by Jovial Foods, makers of amazing GF pasta. Contestants were required to submit their favorite food memory. Entries would be narrowed down by Jovial the first week of December to 15 finalists, and then the ‘general public’ would vote on their favorite of those finalists. The person with the most votes after the voting closes on December 20th wins an all-expenses paid trip to Italy!!! And if that isn’t enough, there will be cooking lessons alongside my most favorite GF chef and author of all time: Gluten-Free Girl.   I wrote about my sweet Grandmommy and her swimming spaghetti, and found out after I got home that I’m one of the finalists!!! One of the 15!!!! Can you believe it?!   And so I need your help now! Please go to https://www.facebook.com/jovialfoods and ‘Like’ their page…then click on ‘Vote Now’ on the left-hand side – click the link to vote, and then scroll down to the bottom. Please vote!! If you deem my memory your favorite, please take a second and vote for me…I’ve got a lot of ground to make up and would thoroughly appreciate your help!

As if that news wasn’t amazing enough…it didn’t stop there…

My position was being eliminated because one of us was not needed in every single market. In lieu of 1 or more per market, the company was consolidating to 1 per region…my region being the Southeast.  I interviewed for this new regional position, hoping that there might be some chance that I wouldn’t have to be unemployed after all.  Well, my loyal blog followers, I am happy to say that after 2.5 years of hard work, I got the promotion, and got the regional job. Yay! I no longer have to stress (at least not right now) about all the things that I fret over at the stoplight. I am relieved. I am grateful. And most importantly, I am proud of myself and the name I’ve made for myself within the company thus far.

But no…that’s not it either…my week got even better this morning….

Pudge has a lot less pudge now!  I am officially down over 50 pounds!!!!!! 50 pounds – are you serious?! Me?! The girl that has failed at a million diets and attempts at weight loss in her lifetime? The girl who thought so little of herself that she didn’t feel like she deserved to be happy or healthy? The girl who refused to look at herself in the mirror for fear of taking her level of disgust to a new high?  The girl who so many times in her life didn’t feel like fighting anymore?

Yes, this girl. This girl is now happy. This girl is now on her way to being healthy. This girl now thinks she’s beautiful and amazing. This girl now can’t help but stare at herself in the mirror and admire how fantastic she’s beginning to look.  This girl has never been more in love with herself.  This girl has overcome the depths of hell. This girl has overcome her eating disorder. This girl has proved the naysayers wrong. This girl has conquered her fears and overcome her demons. This girl is walking on water.

“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”  – Voltaire

Celebra-She-On!!!

By all accounts I should consider this a really crappy week….

1)      For starters, my beloved Dallas Cowboys lost in the most horrendous, stupid, ridiculous fashion yesterday. Dumb. Just dumb…”Let’s employ really poor time management skills and instead we’ll kick a field goal from here to the South Pole, and after we miss it, we’ll let our defensive guys completely lay down on the field and not do their job. How does that sound, guys?!”

2)      As if the Cowboys loss wasn’t bad enough yesterday – it’s only a blip on the radar compared to my UNC loss the day before. There is no love like the love I have for my Tarheels.  There was a lot of yelling at the TV…even managed to cuss out a poor sweet soul who innocently called me before the game was over. Again…just dumb.

3)      To mimic the inabilities of both my favorite teams – my fantasy football team also sucked ass yesterday.  For those that don’t know how competitive I am, watch out if you’re ever matched up against me. I am mean. I am a smack talker. I am brutal when it comes to winning…and even more so if there’s a monetary prize on the line.  My relaxing Sundays filled with NFL games have now turned into Sundays of high blood pressure and 4-letter tirades. I LOVE it when I’m winning…but when I’m losing…I will warn you now: earmuffs

4)      To top all of this off with sprinkles and a cherry – I found out Friday that my position at work is being eliminated. So, after 2.5 years there, I will be unemployed as of December 11th. I had a sneaking suspicion that the restructure was coming…just didn’t know when and was certainly hoping it wouldn’t be before Christmas. Merry Christmas to me!

And I hear it’s a fabulous job market…not. I don’t know a lot about one thing, but I do know a little about a lot of things – and that’s tough to convey on my resume unfortunately. I’d love suggestions on what my next career path should be: private chef, teacher, nurse, clown?

So given my week of losing and termination, I really should be down in the dumps…I should be sad and dejected…I should be angry at the world. But I’m not. “Why?” might you ask?

Well look who picked a fabulous week to cross a milestone she hasn’t hit in over 9 years?!!!

2-4-6-8 – who’s the chick that’s losing weight? It’s me!!

Oh yeah that’s right! Under 200!!! Woot woot!

I want to thank you all again for your continued support. Whether via a text message or email or comment or in person…the encouragement you all have given me the last 10 months is priceless. Thank you for continuing to remind me that I’m not doing all of this just to entertain myself at a later date.

I came across a picture of myself from Thanksgiving last year. Decided to put it next to a picture from Thanksgiving this year.  It’s amazing how much less swollen I look. Haven’t done any before and after pics…well here’s your first installment…what a difference a year makes:

Here is Thanksgiving 2010 vs. Thanksgiving 2011 – the Royal version. (My sweet cousin, Mary Kate, crowns me the queen of every family holiday…yes, that’s right. I’m kind of a big deal.)

I know there are still more pounds to go, but I can’t help but be proud of myself in this moment. Can’t help but look at how far I’ve come and how baggy my “starter” clothes are.  I didn’t let the stupid humdrum crap happening around me get me down. I let what I have done build me up.  Who am I right now?! I’ve never been that way! I feel like I could take on the world.

I continue to be shocked by my own personal growth every day.  For the first time in my ENTIRE life (no lie…entire life), I looked in the mirror and actually liked what I saw. I had to stand there for a second and take it all in. It’s as if I was seeing myself for the first time…understanding myself for the first time. I liked the girl I saw staring back at me.  I couldn’t look away.  I actually think this girl is pretty cute…and pretty awesome…and has another pretty amazing milestone to cross next week!  Stay tuned….

“I’m not the greatest; I’m the double greatest. Not only do I knock ’em out, I pick the round.”  – Muhammad Ali