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It’s easier to change than I thought – how I lost 25 pounds

26 Oct

I’ve never been comfortable showing my body off to the world, but here it is! The two pics on the left are my after pics in June 2012. The two on the right are my before pics in Feb 2012. It still floors me!

Weight loss was a long time dream of mine and getting to where I am today was a long process. My weight has yo-yoed through much of my adult life.

Through my 20s, as I rollerbladed, danced salsa, trained for marathons and then competed in triathlons, I stayed lean. I felt fit and great. Maybe I gained a couple of pounds here and there, but then I’d get super active and I’d lose the weight.

Then I met my husband. He’s active, but not like me. After we got married, I gained a couple of pounds. A couple of years later, I started working on my Master’s degree. I stayed active, running and cycling as much as I could manage with my school work. But it wasn’t enough to keep me from gaining weight.

I had thought that the ups and downs of weight gain and loss were normal until reality smacked me in the face; I was at the Pier to Pier ocean swim, a 2 mile swim from Hermosa to Manhattan (in the LA area in California), when I saw “the picture.” It was of me in my competitive swim bikini. The love handles spilling over the edge of the suit made my heart sink in sadness. I was heavier than I thought I was, and I had been in denial about how much weight I had gained over the years.

I had continued to see myself as I was before I got married, denying the reality of my heavier body. When I saw that picture, my heart dropped and it was then that I knew that I needed to make a change.

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You Win Some, You Lose Some: Always Celebrate the Victories

5 Feb

Celebrate good times. Photo by Michelle Brannin

The idea that you start to realize your full potential in your 30s, becoming more confident, sure of yourself, and thus more attractive, is one that I believe that many of us hope for.  When I turned 30, I hoped that some magic switch would be flipped, and I would wake up feeling good about myself.   The morning of my 30th birthday, I felt a sense of disappointment; self confidence can’t be turned on and off just because you get a little older.

That said, I know that I have come into my own in the last 5 years.  I find myself speaking up, asking for what I want, need, or think is right without worrying about how others might perceive me a lot more.  My biggest risk in taking care of myself is when I got the guts up to leave a job that I knew would not make me happy in the long run, as I recounted in my previous blog posting.

When I was younger, I was much more averse to putting myself out there for possible rejection or worse, indifference.  Perhaps you are the kind of person who has always spoken up for yourself, and I say, “Kudos to you.”  But if you’re like me, and I’m guessing there are a lot of people who are, you haven’t been comfortable to brave the world of chance too much.  My deepest fear was, and if I’m honest with myself, still is, that I will be rejected or passed over because of who I am.  Step by step and risk by risk I’m getting over that.

Recently, I’ve taken a couple of other risks that make me understand how far I’ve come in terms of my self-confidence.

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Rough waters for a pregnant job seeker-am I the only one?

2 Feb

I feel like I’m out alone in choppy unemployment waters, on a raft with just enough food, water and hope to survive until I hit land, yet I fear that my boat could tip at any moment.

Out at sea

Okay, it’s a little dramatic.  The point is, I feel like one of the few job seekers out there (all of my friends are either employed or stay at home moms), worried that I’ll never find a job in this tough economy, and conflicted about my next steps.

Nearly three years ago, I realized that I would be better off working in something other than teaching.  It wasn’t that I didn’t like the job, but there was always something not quite right for me in it.  I decided to go back to school and get a Master’s degree in communications.

What I could not anticipate was that during my two years of study, the economy would tank, communications jobs would become sparse, and it would become almost impossible for an entry level applicant to find a position.  To further complicate things, my May 2009 graduation coincided with a scheduling conflict.  My husband and I would be moving to the Bay Area from Los Angeles in October.  I had to either find a part time job/internship or wait out the long period. Continue reading