102 Things

60 inches gone

8 days in California for Biggest Loser

7 pairs of running/workout shoes

6 months of physical therapy

5 pant sizes

4 gyms

3 personal trainers

3 shirt sizes

2 major ankle sprains

2 years

1 torn quad

+1 MAJOR goal met

_____________________

102 pounds lost!!!

{Really 101.6, but I was always taught to round up if the decimal is over a 5, plus it made the math easier :D}

I NEVER thought I’d meet this goal, y’all. I have been flirting with the number for over 6 weeks now, and it seemed like the cycle of 1 step forward and 2 steps back {in this case, pounds} was never going to end. I’ve hit plateaus before, but this was different. In the past, I’ve just had to push through- workout a little harder, watch my food a little closer, the usual. But I had to FIGHT for these last 8-10 pounds. There have been countless tears. I thought about giving up and just being okay with how far I had come. I worked out more. I ate less. I ate more. I lifted heavier weights. I did everything I could think of. I STRESSED about it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

So when I finally got on that scale this morning and saw that 205.4 {I started at 307}, I barely believed it. Seriously, I got on the scale 4 times y’all. I even moved it to make sure it read the same thing in a different spot {not sure what I was thinking would change, but I wanted to be thorough!} I am so excited!!!! But I will be even MORE excited when I knock out these next 5.4 lbs and enter ONEderland for the first time since I was a teenager!! Now let’s just all pray it doesn’t take me another 6 weeks 😀

Hugs and Love,

A

PS- Check out the sweet shirt I’ll be wearing Monday, courtesy of my precious sister!!

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Why Today Sucks (Sorry, Mom!)

I tried to think of a super creative title for this blog post, but decided to just go with how I’m feeling…

Today marks the end of a chapter that has consumed the better part of the last nine months of my life {and no, I’m not talking about Jessica Simpson’s pregnancy, but congrats on that baby, girl!}. Almost nine months ago to the day, on a fabulous Saturday morning in Austin, TX, I got up early and took myself down to the Long Center. I sat in a looooooooong line for over 5 hours (praise the Lord that those last 2 were inside). Everyone in line was given paperwork to fill out, asking us to describe ourselves, our lives, our strengths, and our challenges. It took all of about 20 minutes, and y’all know I can talk, so I spent the rest of the time getting to know the people around me. We exchanged stories about our families, our favorite restaurants and vacation spots, our hopes for the future, etc. Finally, after what felt like forever, I made it to the front of the line! As luck would have it, our group of six that had spent the morning bonding got called in to the conference room together, which helped calm the butterflies I was feeling, if only slightly. There were 8-10 of us in my group, and we had been prepped to keep our answers short and sweet, but to let our personalities shine as much as possible- no problem, right?! The interview was over in the blink of an eye, and as we all stood up to leave I thought, “Well, at least I gave it a shot!”

“Alexandra? I have a question about your application.”

I was halfway to the door when I heard these words, and as I turned around to face the interviewer, I felt my palms go sweaty and I got that “I’m gonna be sick” hot feeling… I honestly don’t know what was wrong with me, but I knew she hadn’t had a chance to even pick my app up off the table, much less look at it. So I slapped as natural of a smile on my face as I could manage and walked back toward the table while the other ladies said they’d wait for me outside.

“You’re exactly what we are looking for…You’re definitely getting a callback.” {**edited for continuity’s sake**}

“Holy crud, this is it, the shot I have dreamed about for years- a casting person from one of the most watched reality shows on tv thinks I have what it takes!!” My mind was racing and I could not have been more excited! The only problem was that they knew they were casting teams and I needed a partner. You better believe I got the best one I could have hoped for later that day, but that’s her story to tell, not mine, so I’m going to keep this about me.

This post would be pages and pages long if I wrote about everything, so I’ll try to keep the less important parts brief. Over the next two months, there were on camera interviews, home videos, miles of paperwork, and a TON of waiting… But every time I was ready to completely give up, a phone call would come saying everything looked good and we still had a shot at making the show. The call came in mid-August. My partner and I were headed to LA for finals week!!!

The ten or so days between that phone call and leaving for California went by in a blur, and yet they seemed to take forever at the same time. I had to make preparations with work to potentially be gone through early March, plus I have my two sweet pups and my house to think about. Somehow it all came together seamlessly, and my partner and I left Austin bright and early on the last day of August.

I’ll spare you the details of the next week, partly because 7 days sequestered in a hotel room is pretty boring and partly because I’m pretty sure I can’t give you many details! It was an intense week, full of meetings and appointments and tests and so on. By Wednesday, my partner and I were exhausted- as fun as it was, it was real and intense and hard beyond anything I had imagined. That day, we had an interview with a producer, and I left feeling beat up emotionally. I just knew in my gut that it hadn’t gone well even though I couldn’t pinpoint why, and I spent the entire next day rehashing and analyzing those 35 minutes. We knew Friday was the day we would know if we were headed home or if our lives would change forever. Needless to say, sleep was an elusive stranger that night, and my partner and I had been up and dressed for HOURS by the time the knock finally came sometime around 11am. I got that sweaty palm, hot-sick feeling again as I took what felt like a plank walk to the door. I am so thankful that one of the two faces I saw on the other side of that door was the face of Kerry, the girl I first interviewed with in Austin, because it was just as I had suspected for the past 44 hours. Our journey was over- we were headed home, not to The Biggest Loser ranch. 😦

I was devastated. I gave myself two days to mope and feel sorry for myself, but on the night of that second day home, I decided that I could stay miserable and angry about making it that far only to get sent home, or I could do something. Rejection has always been my greatest stumbling block, and I was honestly ready to lay down and just quit. But I couldn’t. With the support of my bosses, a few really great friends, my family, and Kerry and Holland (our other casting girl through the whole process), I have slowly but surely continued my weight loss journey. {Side note- at the time of the audition, I had already been working on it for over a year.}

Something about getting sent home made me more determined than ever to do it on my own. I guess it’s because no one can take credit for what I have accomplished in the past 7 months since I came home. But that doesn’t take away the sting of today. The BL finale will surely be over by the time I finish writing this, but I won’t have watched it. I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch any of this season, though I still believe it is an amazing opportunity for those that make it. I know that things work out the way they do for a reason, but it has been so hard to hear about the contestants that did make it whining, complaining, and even quitting the show this season. Every pound I’ve lost (and there have been 48.6 of them since Oct 11, 2011- 95.6 since April 27, 2010) has been a victory, and yet it’s all been bittersweet. I haven’t been able to keep myself from wondering what I could have accomplished if given the chance. If I lose 2 pounds in a week, I wonder if it could have been 8 on the ranch. If I accomplish a physical feat for the first time, I think about how much stronger, better, faster I could be if I’d had that time training with Bob and Dolvett. I just haven’t been able to let it go, but I’m determined that it ends tonight. Okay, maybe tomorrow or the next day, because let’s be honest, it’s gonna be all over the Internet tonight and tomorrow and I won’t be able to avoid it.

So for today, I’m sad. Today, I’ve cried… a lot. Today, I’ve felt sorry for myself. But I also powered through an intense workout. I ate well and treated my body right. {And I bought the smallest pair of pants I’ve been in since the 10th grade- woohoo!!} I may not be the Biggest Loser at the end of tonight, but I am a little bit better than I was yesterday. So maybe today doesn’t suck after all…

Hugs and Love,
A