Sunday, March 30, 2008

I am not the Biggest Loser

The Biggest Loser competition is over on Tuesday. I will not be the winner and let me tell you why. I just did not want it bad enough. Trust me, I wanted it bad...just not bad enough.

I have lost nearly 30 lbs in the last 13 weeks. A feat which I am very proud of. The pressure of publishing my weekly weight loss was enough to keep me moving and eating right. And I was ahead for the majority of the competition. Oh it was neck and neck but I was 1st or a tight 2nd every week. I was so confident that I could win this that I had already mentally (and to a degree literally) spent the $1000 prize.

But then week 11 happened.

I lost nothing, nada, zip, zero. That in itself is not such a big deal. All of the competitors, including me, had weeks of zero loss or even the dreaded gain. But in that same week, my fiercest competitor lost 4 lbs. IN ONE WEEK! Again, those weeks were rare but not unheard of. But most often that dramatic loss would follow or precede a gain or zero week. Not in this case. While this competitor took a sizeable lead (no pun intended), I re-committed myself to my workouts and eating plan. "I can do this" was my mantra. Just get moving and you can regain the lead next week. That was my plan that is, until I discovered the lengths my competitor would go in order to win. Was I willing to burn 1000 calories every day working out? Was I willing to starve myself quite literally? I considered it. I looked deep inside my competitive heart and tried to find that piece of me that wanted the money so badly that it would convince my stomach and my muscles to sacrifice. And you know what? I couldn't find that piece of me. It just isn't in there. He just wanted it more than I did. So I gave up. Well first I got mad. But then I gave up.

Not completely mind you, that wouldn't be in keeping with the spirit of the Biggest Loser. This competition began as a way to motivate each other to lose some extra pounds and get healthy. And that is what it has done for me. I continue to work out and eat right everyday. But now it's not for the money, it's for me. I would like to lose another 20lbs and if my only motivation is a weekly weigh in that ends this week, I will never achieve that goal. So I had to find a new motivation. Come to think of it, I haven't a clue what that motivation is. I guess I haven't found a new motivation as much as I've found a new strength. I used every excuse in the book to be lazy and eat crap. That was weak. But losing 30lbs has taught me that I am strong. I can do this. What's another 20lbs when I've already lost 30? Piece of cake. Scratch that, bad metaphor. No problem! I am not hungry. I eat enough good, healthy foods to keep me very satisfied. I am not exhausted. Thank God my little guy is a good sleeper. But that too would be an excuse. I can get up at 5:45am and work out even if I'm up in the night with him. No more excuses!

I've also learned that it would take more than $1000 to motivate me to starve myself. I'm not sure what that magic dollar amount is but I do know that it isn't $1k. I could use the money, don't get me wrong. For one thing, I am gonna need a whole new wardrobe soon. But in a tug of war between my stomach and my wallet, I guess my stomach is going to win. I am proud of my weight loss so far. I am proud of my newly discovered strength. But I am also proud that I didn't want it bad enough to do something stupid. I am not the Biggest Loser...and I'm okay with that.

Edit: In a surprise upset, Laura (McKenna's mommy) is the Biggest Loser! Somehow she managed to stay under the radar for most of the competition despite her steady weekly weight loss. But through hard work, she won by a margin of 1 pound! I am so amazed at her will power and commitment. Congratulations Laura!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

iGive made easier

Now joining iGive is even easier! Just click on this link to go directly to the Walking With Angels page and sign up. It's free. And just by shopping as usual, you will be raising money to cure cancer.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Home Visit #2

Our second and final post-placement home visit was yesterday. It was somewhat ironic that I had to take a half day off from work on my second day back. But since I came in for a half day meeting last week, I'm calling it even. Anyway, the home visit was again brief and painless. There is certainly less anxiety when you already have the baby. The pre-adoption meetings feel a little more like interviews. Like if the counselor doesn't like you then there will be no baby. I know that's not true but it doesn't stop me from worrying a bit. But with the post-placement visits, I pick up a little but there is not nearly as much cleaning involved. The level of cleanliness is my anxiety gauge I guess.

The second visit is done at 2 months and preferably after the 2-month doctor appointment so that they can get the latest height and weight info. The counselor asks about any medical problems, daily routines and bonding. I guess they want to make sure that the baby is developing normally and that we are all feeling like a family. Like I said, these are pretty easy questions folks. Ian was having a particularly good nap so he managed to sleep through the entire visit. After a half hour, the final post-placement home visit unceremoniously concluded with a "thanks" and "good luck." It's so funny how much anticipation and excitement accompany the process before the placement. Then once the baby arrives, the process doesn't seem as important. In our hearts, Ian is already completely and forever ours. Alas we have a couple more months before the legal system agrees with us.

At this point the counselor will type up the visit notes and send them to our attorney for filing. This is the last step before a judge can finalize the adoption. Of course, that will still take a few months. With Lillian, it took 6 months before the adoption was finalized but we are using a different attorney with Ian's adoption and he thinks it will only take 3-4 months this time. So we're at least halfway there! Again, the finalization is rather unceremonious. One day we'll open the mailbox to find the signed adoption paperwork and birth certificate. And with that one envelope, we will be legally Ian's parents for life.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Back to Work

Well, for multiple reasons, I am returning to work a month early. I attended a meeting today for a few hours but next week I'm back full time. I am so thankful that Jeff is a stay at home dad. Not only so that I have the flexibility to go back to work anytime but also so that I can feel secure leaving my 2 month old little boy. But that still doesn't make it easy. Then this morning as I was getting ready for work, I looked down at my arm and got a little chuckle. A few weeks ago I burned my blindingly white arm with some hot oil and only today did I notice the shape of the burn. Let's see if you recognize it...

Yep, I managed to brand myself with my company's logo. Some people get tattoos with the swoosh but I did it the natural way. Or do you think that is God's way of telling me that it's time to get back to work?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Relay for Life

Relay for Life is still 4 months away but we are already knee deep in the planning. Walking with Angels is defending our title as Spirit Award winners so we have to be on top of our game. Plus I have a lot of internal pressure to maximize this event. I feel like Relay for Life is my way of finding some purpose in Lillian's illness. I want to raise as much money as I can in memory of my little girl. Maybe curing cancer is to be her legacy in some round about way. Mayber her story will inspire people to dig a little deeper. And one of those extra dollars could be the one that funds the research that ultimately cures cancer! I may not be able to find the cure but I can sure help fund the cure.

There are so many ways that you can help Lillian's legacy. Here are just a few:

  • Donate money: You can donate online at my website. Every dollar helps!

  • Donate stuff: Donate any item or service to our silent auction. Contact me at with the details on your donation.

  • Donate time: Join our team! The event is 7/12-13 in Lake Oswego. You can be as involved as you want to be; from just walking a few laps to hard core fundraising and anywhere in between.

  • Donate ideas: Do you have a brilliant fundraising idea? Or do you know someone that we should contact for donations? We'd love to hear about it. Leave a comment with the details or e-mail us.

Oh, and there is one more thing that I've mentioned before but it's worth saying again. If you are shopping online without registering on, you are throwing away money! Seriously. Just register with and selecting Walking With Angels - Relay for Life as your cause. Then shop online as usual. When you buy from one of their 690 stores, that retailer will donate a portion of your purchase price to Relay for Life. It is completely free to you. And the stores range from Ann Taylor to Zappos and everything in between. The more you shop, the more you give.

As we get closer to Relay, I'll keep you posted on all the details about our efforts to cure cancer. Thanks for your support!

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