Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I am not Obese

The first time my name and "obese" were used in the same sentence--to my knowledge--was in the early 90's. I had to have a physical before I began working in a hospital-owned daycare.  The doctor wrote a note stating something like, "Julie is morbidly obese woman who is in good health."  I was shocked and embarrassed. Yes, I had put on some weight (about 10 pounds a year), but obese? And morbidly obese?  But I didn't make changes. It was another 10 years later--when my Daddy died--that I first got on the diet roller coaster. Then my weight went down (as low as 220) and up (as high as 306) a few times.  But I always remained "obese".  No longer.  As of this morning, I am OVERWEIGHT!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Only Half Crazy

Here's the short story: I am going to run the Yosemite Half Marathon on May 12, 2018!

Ready for "the rest of the story?" Call it karma or fate. I'd like to call it evidence of God's hand at work!

I first saw the Yosemite Half Marathon advertised a couple of years ago--on my birthday! Seemed liked a great idea, but it sold out almost immediately.  Why Yosemite? We grew up 90 miles from Yosemite, and my Daddy pastored a church less than an hour from there. We went often.  John and I went to Yosemite often while dating. My sister got married in Yosemite. We've lived in New Mexico for almost 14 years, and we have not been to Yosemite since we moved.

Earlier this week, I shared a post about the Yosemite Half Marathon on Facebook.  I meant to tag my sister and ask if she wanted to meet me there. But I forgot to add a comment.  My aunt asked me if was going to try it.  I responded:
I would love to. Not sure I can afford the entry fee or the travel. The last one sold out in no time. Anybody want to sponsor me? Since I'm slow, you'll get more for your money! 
We laughed, and I thought that was the end of it. The next morning I got an alert from Facebook Messenger from an old friend, Sharon Moyer. (Old as in we knew each other 30 years ago--neither of us are old, right?!?!?). She asked:
Julie...if you are serious about the Yosemite race, I am willing to help. I have a timeshare at Bass Lake. It's a two bedroom condo. You can use it no charge and I'm willing to pay the entry fee. You just have to get there...
I just about fell out of my chair! After a quick call to my husband, I graciously accepted her offer. She asked me to wear a pin honoring her step-father Roger Williams who had recently passed away.  She was getting ready for his celebration of life when she saw my post. I told her I would be honored to run for him.  Today, I got my official registration confirmation.

I've already had two people promise to be there to cheer me on.  Maybe some of my other Nor Cal family and friends will be able to make it!

Now, I have 10 months to train!  I've already started looking at training programs.  The first site I looked at (Runner's World) said,
Believe it or not, if your long runs are up to three miles, you're ready to train for a half marathon.
That's cool. I can run 3 miles!  As bad as my last 10K was, I ran fine for 4 miles.   I have ten months to train. And the course is all downhill! They allow four hours to complete the course--which is an 18 minute mile. That is an average speed of 3.3 miles per hour.  I generally run between 3.5 and 4.0 MPH. The Disney Half Marathon (my dream some day!) requires a 16 minute mile (average of 3.75 MPH).
I also have ten months to save up and/or find sponsors to pay for the trip. If you (or your business) would like to sponsor me, let me know. I will be posting regularly (I'll shoot for at least once a week!) during training, as well as often the days leading up to and following the race. I'll be happy to add a shout out and/or #hashtag for you or your business.  

What in the world have I gotten myself into!?!?!?


Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Scale Isn't Moving Much

But something is changing!

Here are my latest side by sides.  In April, I went from 220 down to 209. Size 20!
In May, I got down to 205.
In June, I got down to 196. Size 18!
 In July, I got down to 192. And size 16!

Even though the numbers have not been huge, the changes have been.  This is why my number one suggestion to people who are just starting out is: "Take LOTS of pictures!!"

Larger than Life

For the first time in forever....or so it seems... I fit into a size LARGE shirt. A large shirt. Not squeezed into a 3XL or a 2XL or even an XL.  A LARGE!!  And not just one. I actually tried on 6 different large shirts.  And they all fit!  I honestly cannot remember the last time I wore a large shirt. I'm flipping out here a bit.  Excuse the messy-end-of-the-day hair.  And the horrible selfie angles.  But see the look of pure joy!! I snapped pictures and sent them to my hubby, and my sister, and my former co-worker, and my friend who gave me most of the shirts I tried on.  I'm ecstatic!  

This last picture... Shortly after I started working for the state, our Regional Office Manager brought a couple of boxes of shirts. Unfortunately, they were medium and larges.  I knew they wouldn't fit.  After everyone had taken what they wanted, I decided to grab a couple "just in case".  They have been hanging in my closet.  Guess what I'm wearing to work tomorrow?!?!?!

I'm not sure if I put enough !!! in this post to convey my excitement!

Sunday, July 2, 2017


My first 5K and my 3rd 10K

Every sport, profession, and hobby has it's own set of acronyms and alphabet soup. In running, two race terms are DLF and DFN. Dead last finish and Did not finish.

On Saturday I ran the local Alien Chase. I did a 10K. I finished DLF. But I probably should have finished DFN. There were several reasons the race didn't go well:

  • I haven't done a lot of running lately. 
  • I was on call last week, and I worked almost 30 extra hours between Sunday and Thursday. 
  • I was up late the night before awaiting news of my brother's medical procedure. (He's okay!) 

But I decided to run the 10K anyway. I did okay keeping up my (slow) pace to about the 4 mile (of 6.2) mark. I was maintaining a healthy "lead" of 4th from the end. Then I hit a wall. I would not run another step. I managed to walk the rest of the course. But throughout the final two miles, I wrestled with the questions I've asked before:
How do you know when you have hit your limit? How do you decide if it is time to give up?
I've asked those questions before. Sometimes I push myself and I find I can do it. Other times I give in and back down.

This time, I honestly believe I should have stopped. I should have marked this race off as a DNF. I was not in good shape. The three trailers passed me and finished the course long before me. I thought about stopping and sitting on one of the benches I passed, but I knew I would not get back up. My stomach was bugging me enough I almost used a porta-a-potty! (Almost!)

 When I finally crossed the finish line I had to sit down for a while. When I got in the car, I leaned the seat back and sat with the air conditioner blowing on me. When I stood up to walk in the house, I felt a bit woozy and nauseated. As I laid down, I felt like I needed to vomit, but I was too tired to move. I should have. Fortunately I only had water in my stomach. I returned to bed and stayed there most of the day. I was worn out, had a huge headache, and I could not keep my eyes open.

 I don't know if there is an easy answer to determine when I have reached my limit. How do you decide if it's time to push forward or retreat?

This was just a little bit before I hit the wall.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Unfinished: A Masterpiece

I participated in my first ever paint party, and I created an amazing painting. I am not an artist, but by following the instructions of my teacher, I created a beautiful piece. Each member of my class had the same materials and the same instructions. But each picture is unique. Scroll down, and you will see some of the steps I took to create this piece. But first some thoughts...

The final product. But it didn't start out this way.

I heard a song on the radio the other day. It reminds me, not  only of my faith journey, but of my journey to become Half a Julie.  It also made me think of the painting I had done. There were times when my picture did not look like it would ever be a masterpiece. But I trusted the one who was guiding me, and I kept going. If I had given up in the middle of the class, the painting would have been incomplete.

Here are some of the words (followed by a video with the lyrics).

No, my God's not done
Making me a masterpiece
He's still working on me
He started something good and I'm gonna believe it
He started something good and He's gonna complete it
So I'll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain't through
I'm just unfinished

"Unfinished" by Mandisa

The song is based on Phillipians 1:6.

Another verse I thought of was Ephesians 2:10. Last week my pastor spoke about this verse, and how we are God's masterpiece.  He had an empty picture frame, and he asked for volunteers to see themselves as God sees them. I stood and held the empty frame and declared, "I am His masterpiece."

Found this beautiful masterpiece at Art by Erin Leigh
Steps to creating a masterpiece:

1. Start with a  teacher who knows how to create a masterpiece.
My teacher (who started painting at 47--my age!)
2. Start with a blank canvas.
My friends and I all started with the same blank page.

3. Divide the canvas into manageable sections.
We "cut off" the corners first.

4. Begin adding details.
After drawing the stars, we outlined them in paint.

Then we filled in the sections around the stars.
5. Don't be afraid to start over.
I drew and erased the jar several times until I was happy with the design.
6. Use guide lines and boundaries.

I added the outlines for the bouquet and the red stripes.
7. Sometimes there will be places you can't see the line, but stay on the path.
Our teacher encouraged us to follow a strip all the way across, rather than complete the left side
and then go to the right side because it is too easy to get mixed up on the stripes.
8. You are not limited by the colors you start with--mix things up a bit!

For the jar, we mixed turquoise and white and used texturing. We used the edge of the brush to outline the  jar.
9. Sometimes the instructions will be unexpected and won't make sense. Just obey and wait.
When it was time to create the flowers we started with yellow circles.

Next we began outlining the flowers.
10. Sometimes the colors blend more than you expected, but it's okay.
Yellow + Blue = green. I didn't like it. But I kept going.
11. Fill in gaps.
We added extra flowers where there were holes.
12. Contrast helps with perspective.
We outlined stripes and the jar in black--and the stars in silver glitter.
14. Add extra details.
I added glittery stars and gold sparklers to the flowers.
15. Learn from people around you.
I didn't like how dark the flowers were, and I noticed a neighbor adding silver glitter to the flowers.
It was just the lightener I needed.
16. Realize that your masterpiece will be different than everyone else's, but it will be beautiful!
My co-workers and I with our unique masterpieces. All similar, but different. All beautiful!
17. Display your masterpiece!
I moved things around on my patriotic wall at work to fit the new painting in.

Onderland is a Beautiful Place!

Just over a month ago, I announced that I could see Onderland.  The last 4 weeks have been torture. I was about ready to throw out my scale. I was down to 201. Then I went up and down and up and down. As high as 207 and as low as 200.4. But I just could not cross that line. Until yesterday.  And today too. (I was afraid after all of the ups and downs I would be back over the line this morning.  But I wasn't!!)  And I was not just barely into Onderland (although I would have taken that!!) I was at 198.6! I made it with a pound to spare. I am now about 45 pounds away from my tentative goal of 153.2 (half a Julie).  As I get closer, I'll figure out where I want to stop.