Tag Archives: one little word

Velocity: Month 1 Update

7 Feb

I’m still not ready to make my scrapbook layouts public. I chose to take pictures with my belly showing, and it makes me feel to vulnerable to know anyone and everyone can see those. It’s different when I know my audience can empathize, because they’re on the same journey; but it’s harder for me to have people who aren’t struggling with their weight (or perhaps never have) see me exposed in that way. So, for now you’ll have to live with this summary of the first month’s work along with copy of my scrapbook journaling, below.

  • Number of workouts: 26
  • Pounds lost: 16
  • Inches lost: 3.5
  • Distance from goal: 74 lbs
  • Favorite workout: Yoga
  • Least favorite workout: Boot Camp
  • Favorite new discovery: mint water
  • Biggest challenge: Eating less than 1500 mg of sodium


So, um. Yeah. That happened.

16 pounds. Half inch off my waist. An inch off my bust and thighs. The hips and arms are being stubborn, but we’ll forgive them. One month. A lot of change.

First months are always big ones. If you make it through (which is FAR from a guarantee), it’s usually the month you lose the most weight. I’ve done this enough times in the past to know that. And while I’ve never lost that much before, I’ve also never had so much to lose.

But what I’ve gained this month has been something else. On January 5th, when I took my first yoga class, I was dripping with sweat within the first minute, collapsing on every downward dog and trembling through every pose. A month later, I find myself bending and stretching in ways I couldn’t have imagined before. And that transformation is as much internal, as it is external. A week ago, when the intensity of a boot camp class brought up all my worst body insecurities—when I actually had to fake wiping sweat, but I was actually wiping tears—I somehow managed to push through. I finished. I claimed the exercise back for myself. I let go of whatever I thought other people were thinking of me, and I finished the best I could.

I am, and almost always will be a recovering perfectionist. And I have allowed myself to be imperfect on this journey. I have eaten cheeseburgers, ice cream, and yes, birthday cake. I have also pounded it out six times a week at the gym. Sweating, panting, and yes, twice, crying. I have done it when I hated every minute of it. I have done it complaining and groaning. But I have done it for me, for my heart and for the life I now believe I deserve to have.

It has taken me so long to get to a place where I believe I deserved better. It has taken me even longer to get o a place where I believed I was strong enough to deliver better to myself. But right now, this is place where I’m living. A place where I believe I am capable. And a place where there are no expectations, no standards I have to live up to. It’s only me—being mindful, and dedicated to delivering my body and mind the things they’ve been begging for: nourishment, movement, and forgiveness.


Velocity: one little word 2011

22 Jan

Motion + Direction + Acceleration = Velocity

Velocity is distance, over time.

Velocity is the next chapter of the one little word I chose for last year, Movement. I’m proud of the movements I began and the steps I took. I’m proud of the skills I enhanced and then launched into a new business.

In 2011—the year I will be full-fledged adult at 35-years-old—I’m looking to take what I began last year and kick it into high gear. I want more than my career and business moving forward. I want my health to move forward. I want my body to go places I haven’t allowed it to go, because I’ve been afraid of failure and terrified of pain.

In 2011, there will be movement. But it will more deliberate than it was last year. And more balanced, too.

As I spent last year honing my photography skills, building my web site, acquiring licenses, and devouring any and all information I could find…I was battling recurring episodes of vertigo. I was left winded after climbing the smallest flight of stairs. Minor exertions would send my heart rate soaring. An hour on the dance floor could leave me barely able to walk for days.

On January 26th, I turn 35-years-old. But I am currently living with the diseases and health problems of someone twice my age. That way of life has become unthinkable to me. And I am now on the very first steps of a two-year-journey to regain my health.

And now, I’m going to say something publicly that I didn’t think I’d be able to say:
I have 90 pounds to lose. Virtually, an entire person.

Taking a breath.

It’s a lot of weight.

Most of my friends would be stunned to know how much I actually weigh. Because I gain primarily in my thighs, I don’t look the same as a person who puts on weight primarily around their waist. But I know the truth, and so does my heart when it strains to pump blood through my veins. So do my aching knees. So does my lower back.

My body knows how poorly I have been taking care of it. And so do I.

Shortly before Christmas, I decided that I would begin to make serious changes in the new year toward a healthier and more balanced me. So, on January 3rd I joined a gym for the first time in my life. And on January 4th I worked out for the first time. And at least five times a week since then, I have continued to show up.

Preventing preventable disease is no longer optional in my life. I want to run faster and longer in February than I did in January. Repeat in March. Repeat in April. And so on. I don’t care about being thin. My goal weight was chosen only to help me live with a BMI that does not put me at risk for disease. I am in no hurry. I have no end date in mind. I merely guess that it will take years. It may take more. Or less.

I know the direction I want to go and I am moving toward it. Right now, I am putting a lot of mental energy into my weight. But I have big plans for the direction I want to take my business this year, and I am excited to see that evolve.

I will be sharing a small part of my journey toward health on this blog, I know how annoying it can be to get hot over the head with someone’s newfound religion. Sharing publicly keeps me accountable in a way that keeping my weight loss effort a secret does not. I am maintaining a food and exercise diary using My Fitness Pal and I am sharing scrapbooking pages monthly with a Move More Eat Less 2011 flickr group. It will probably be a few months before I feel confident enough to share those pages here. But when I am ready, I will share.

In the mean time, I’m making conscious choices to move me toward inhabiting a healthy and balanced physical body. I hate the elliptical and the treadmill. But I love lifting weights and doing yoga (oh man, do I LOVE yoga). The end of the month is fast approaching and I will share some progress then. Until then, I’m celebrating living for 35 years on this planet and feeling incredibly optimistic about the years that lie ahead.

one little word for 2009

7 Jan

When I chose last year’s one little word, it was (as many thing’s in my life are) the perfectionist’s choice. I was still raw and wounded. I was caring for an infant who had only sat up for the first time a few weeks prior. I had no idea how different things would be when she was mobile and active, and could move without my moving her. I hadn’t been through an anniversary of the trauma. Nor could I have known what difficult it would be for anyone remain optimistic as Russians attacked Georgians, our own quagmires deepened, Ike destroyed Houston, and bail out became a new vocabulary word.

But there I was, shooting for joy, when I was in the midst of misery. I wanted an A when I was two months behind in my homework. I could have simply aimed for content. It’s not sexy, but it had the possibility for success. Joy was definitely possible, but it wasn’t really probable. I was so far from joy (so far from content, even) that my having chosen that word a year ago seems downright absurd. It was the perfectionist’s choice, after all. I wasn’t content with a good enough word, I wanted the absolute best word.

So, this year…

hand on the wheel by jbrownell

Photo: hand on the wheel by jbrownell



I’ve approached my one little word quite differently. If last year was about stasis, this year is about progress. I’m not trying to win, to reach some unseen finish line. I simply want to move beyond the place I am today toward a stronger and more fulfilling place tomorrow.

My one little word for 2009 is : Movement.

It’s the movement of my body as its wounds continue to heal. It’s the muscles getting stronger, the tendons regaining their flexibility. It’s the movement of my mind and I learn new skills and knowledge. The movement of my hands as I use them to create. It’s the movement of my career, as I return to full-time work.

It’s baby steps toward our forever home in our forever place. It’s a slow crawl through our debt on a long road to being free. It is the natural movement of my hair, as I slowly let my relaxer grow out. All of it is movement, the word that will be guiding focus for the year. 

When there are decisions to be made, I will ask myself, Where does this move me? If the answer is not toward one of my goals, then the path I should take should become clear. I also want to be open to being moved. Emotionally. Spiritually. Into action. Activism. Whatever form it might take. 

I am so looking forward to moving, being moved–to movement–this year. I hope to do a better job checking in and letting you know what shape the word is taking.


If you’re curious about one little word, you can read about it here and here.