Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Person I Don't Want to Be

I know I said I would be back, and, once again, I'm really not sure why I haven't been back. I actually have been doing pretty well. My Biggest Loser team at my office, the Legal Losers, won our weight loss competition. I lost the most weight, but I wasn't the overall winner since my percentage wasn't as high as others. I lost 18lbs over the 11-week competition, but I have to admit that I had some help with that loss from a nasty bout with both salmonella and c. diff. They really are miserable. It took 2 months, but I think I am 90% recovered.

While the weight loss has been a good thing, of course, there has also been sadness as well. Our dear friends, Mandy & Ed, lost their adorable 17-month-old daughter, Hudson, to an incredibly aggressive case of bacterial meningitis. We were devastated for them and still wonder sometimes if it's all just a bad dream. Mandy & Ed are incredible and determined to move on in a world that is forever changed. They had 2 beautiful memorial services for Hudson, one in DC (where they currently live) and one in Chapel Hill. I hope that every day provides more happiness and laughter for them than the day before. They have unintentionally started a movement called "One Good Thing." At the memorial service, Mandy talked about how she had been planning on teaching Hudson this lesson as she got older. Every time something bad happened, she was going to have them pick one good thing that came out of it. Now it is Hudson teaching all of us that lesson as we struggle to find the good in the midst of unbelieveable sadness. Mandy & Ed are dealing with all of this with an amazing amount of courage and grace. Those of us who loved Hudson are simply trying to support Mandy & Ed and wishing there was SOMETHING we could do to take away even a small amount of their suffering.

Yesterday, Amily and another friend of ours from law school, Sherry, took a road trip to Williamsburg, VA. Mandy drove down from DC and met us at Busch Gardens for some roller coaster therapy. It was an awesome day. The weather was perfect. It wasn't too hot, and the humidity was really low. We walked all over the park and even brought our lunch so we didn't have to eat the heavy park food and then get on roller coasters (okay, I should amend that to say that Mandy, Sherry, and Amily brought lunches and I mooched off all of them because when I went to pack something yesterday morning, I realized I didn't have ANYTHING to bring with me). We started off the day riding Griffon twice. AWESOME ride. We also rode Alpengeist and a few others.

I had confessed to Chris the night before that I was worried I wouldn't fit on a ride. But I didn't REALLY think it would happen. That morning we saw several people who couldn't fit in the seats and had to get off. My heart just hurt for each of them. But after I fit on the first couple, I wasn't really worried anymore. On one of them the guy did have to push a little to get my harness snapped, but nothing major. I will say they all dug into the sides of my thighs pretty badly, but nothing that was too big of a deal.

After lunch we went and got in line for Apollo's Chariot. That ride just had a lap bar, not an over-the-shoulder harness, so I assumed I would be fine. We got on the ride, I lowered my lap bar, and thought we were ready to go. Then a staff member came over to me and said my lap bar wasn't down far enough. She indicated a red line on the bottom of the bar that needed to pass a certain point. It was just a few millimeters away from where it needed to be. They unlocked EVERYONE's lap bars several times as she encouraged me to scoot farther back in my seat and "just pull really hard on the lap bar". Yeah, it didn't work. I think if she had given it a push, it would have gone, but no one offered and I wasn't willing to ask someone to do that, even though I had seen staff do it a ton of times on all the other rides.

After an unbelieveable humiliating few seconds (seemed much longer than that to me), they said I couldn't ride it. So I began the very embarassing journey of getting off the ride and exiting with everyone watching. The other ladies I was with got off with me, which I was grateful for so I wasn't leaving by myself. I took a few minutes to myself, cried, called Chris, got myself together, and then rejoined with them.

As I saw this happen to other people in the morning, I wondered what it must be like to be THAT PERSON. I don't mean that in an ugly way. I felt awful for them and wished I could just give them a hug, but was also grateful, of course, that I wasn't THAT PERSON. And then I became that person. Or, more accurately, realized I really was that person. It was humiliating. I told Amily that I just still don't see myself that way. It's not like I see myself as a size 2, either. I am well aware that I am very overweight. But to not fit on a roller coaster? Am I also going to be the person who has to buy 2 seats on an airplane?

The answer is no. I can't do this. I've already lost 18 lbs., and so I am going to rededicate myself to this. I am dying to get back into excercise. I really, really miss my Jazzercise and want to get back into it. So I'm going to. I'm going to start blogging and keeping my food journal again. I have to do this. I hate the way I look right now. But more importantly, I hate the way I feel right now.

And there is one thing I know for sure. Deep down, I am NOT that person. And I don't want to look like I am anymore.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Legal Losers

I know, I know. I promised I would be back soon and that was almost 3 months ago. *Sigh* What have I done since then? Gain weight, mainly. Well, maybe not gain, but certainly not lose.

However, last week we started a Biggest Loser at my office. I am certainly one of the largest people here, so I knew I would participate. I am on the team "Legal Losers." Clever, huh? We also have the Fat Fighters, Diet Defenders, and Habeas Porkus. I know, we're pathetic. But we think we're hilarious! Anyway, I weighed in last week and was almost at my highest weight ever. It made me disgusted. But I still only felt the motivation to do things about half-way. I haven't exercised at all, but I did really try to watch what I ate and watch my portions. And the result? I weighed in today and I've lost 3.5 lbs in the last week.

On one hand, I'm obviously very excited. On the other hand, I am incredibly embarassed. I mean, I really only half-assed it this week so if I was able to lose 3.5 lbs, that shows me just how bad I've gotten. I'm DESPERATELY trying to just use this as the kick in the ass I need to get me back on track, for good. But I'm so pissed at myself for getting into this position in the first place that it's hard to try to get motivated. I think this feeling is what has kept me from really trying to get back on track before now in the first place. I really just haven't wanted to acknowledge how far off track and off the wagon I've gotten. Cause then I have to deal with all these emotions and all this anger at myself.

But if I'm going to have to deal with that sooner or later, then it might as well be sooner so I can start trying to get the weight off. So here we go. For real this time.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009: Year in Review

I know, I know. I promised to come back over a month ago. I really need to stop promising that I'll post again soon, cause I always seem to break that promise. I am planning on getting back into the swing of things, but at the moment I am in a funk and I had the urge to come write here again to try to get out of it. So before I start moving forward, I figured I would give a quick look back to catch everyone up.

The first few months of the year were filled with wedding planning and work. Melissa and Beth came to Durham on Valentine's Day weekend and shocked me beyond belief. I actually was speechless, which doesn't happen very often. We had an awesome time and I was so glad to see them. Chris hit the big 3-0 in March, on St. Patrick's Day. We had a party at my brother's house and I had a blast teasing him about what an older man I was engaged to.

I did almost nothing in regards to my weight. I did go to Jazzercise in March-April-May, but always stopped before I got a real routine going, for some reason. Chris hurt his back in April, and it really laid him out for awhile. He took a long time to heal and even by June wasn't back to normal. We had several work weekends during that time period at the River (to get ready for the wedding), and my little sister, Lillie, graduated from college in May (well, except for one little class...).

I finally pestered Chris into going to see a doctor about his back in the summer because he still wasn't getting better. He saw an orthopedist and started physical therapy and made some improvements. In early June, Chris also came home one day and asked if I had noticed a house nearby that was for sale. We went and walked around it and really liked it. We were sure it was out of our price range, but we checked anyway. We were amazed when we realized we could afford it. We contacted a real estate agent, toured the inside of the house, made and offer, and were under contract all within 2 weeks. Our scheduled closing was July 31st, just over one month before the wedding. That was NOT part of the plan.

Over July 4th we went for another work weekend in the mountains. My Mom's birthday was July 5th, so we celebrated that as well. On July 6th, my cell phone rang while I was still at work. It was Chris, telling me that someone had broken into our house (our old house, that we rented). They took our television (aka Chris' baby), the Wii I had given Chris for Christmas, my laptop (with our ENTIRE wedding guest list on it, complete with addresses), my backup hard drive, our bedspread (to wrap things up in we assume), and other various items. We spent the evening with the police at the house, taking statements and fingerprints. I'll admit it was a little odd being on the "victim" side of the criminal justice system.

July continued to progress while we fought with our insurance company over our claim. The end of July approached and we were preparing for closing on the house, as well as FINALLY getting our wedding invitations out (thank goodness we had sent out the save the dates). I took the last week of July off from work and spent a couple days at the beach with my family, then came back to Durham to begin packing the house up. We lined up movers to help on August 1st, as well as my family. We closed on the house on July 31st with no major problems. My parents came that night (Friday) to help begin the process. Our plan was to have the movers move just the furniture on Saturday. Well Saturday dawned and the movers didn't show up. With Chris' back still out, moving everything fell to me and my Dad while my mother frantically packed boxes (since of course Chris and I hadn't finished nearly enough packing). Once again, a horrible moving experience. We don't have a good track record where moving is concerned. However, we LOVE our house. It's huge, and a lot of it is empty right now. But we have lots and lots of plans. No money, but LOTS of plans.

August began with us trying to unpack and settle into our house while wedding plans were in the final push. I went on a bachelorette weekend in Charlotte, which was awesome, with my best friends from childhood on up through law school. My mom, sister, and brother's better half, Rebecca, also came. Kristi came all the way from Tennessee and surprised the hell out of me. We had a blast. We stayed at Ashley's house Friday night (my roommate from college who just moved to Charlotte from Michigan - YAY!), hung out at Lake Wiley at my aunt and uncle's house on Saturday, and went out clubbing on Saturday night. It was an awesome weekend with my girls.

The rest of August was mostly a blur leading up to the wedding. It was wonderful, fabulous, everything we could have hoped for. But telling you all about the wedding weekend will be another post.

The day after the wedding (Sept. 6), we packed up with most of Chris' family and drove from the mountains to the beach. We stayed at Topsail the rest of the week as Chris' family slowly left to go back home. On Saturday, Chris and I left for our "real" honeymoon in Negril, Jamaica. Also an awesome trip. But that will also be another post.

We got back from Jamaica and while our wedding had been everything we had wanted it to be and more, we couldn't deny that Chris' back had gotten a lot worse. I went with him to see the orthopedist who recommended an MRI to see what was going on and put him on steroids, as well as more pain killers. While that was pending, Chris called me on October 8 to tell me that our house had been broken into. I told him he was wrong and that we had already done this, but he was insistent. Turned out our NEW house had been broken into and they had taken a bunch of stuff, including my jewelry (except my wedding rings which thank goodness I was wearing) and a bunch of wedding presents. Once again, we spent an evening with the police dusting for fingerprints.

As we dealt with insurance over that claim, Chris' back just kept getting worse. The MRI showed a definite ruptured disc that was likely pressing on the nerves causing the pain. The orthopedist sent Chris to the orthopaedic surgeon who recommended surgery since neither physical therapy nor the steroids had worked. The pain killers weren't very effective, either, so the surgeon thought that was the best option. We agreed, and Chris had a microdiscectomy on Nov. 19th. We were both pretty nervous, but the surgery went smoothly and he woke up in almost no pain (our shed was broken into while we were in the hospital, but at least they caught the guys this time and got out stuff back - 3rd time's the charm I guess). Chris was only allowed to be flat on his back with minimal standing for the first few weeks of recovery (that was interesting, to say the least), but after a scare where we thought he was going to have to have the surgery again, he recovered and is doing very well now.

We spent Thanksgiving in Durham and my whole family came to join us since Chris was only a week post-op so he couldn't travel at all. It was nice having everyone here and my Mom was great and did all the cooking so I only took care of Chris. I've always heard how stressful your first Thanksgiving at your house is, but this one wasn't since I wasn't in charge of anything. :)

On December 10th, our 2nd nephew was born! Austin Lee Collins is the 2nd little boy of Chris' brother, Scott, and his wife Jennie. Big brother Aiden is now 2. We haven't met Austin yet, but we're hoping to make a trip this spring to Oregon to see them all.

We were supposed to go to Colorado for Christmas this year, but we made the decision to stay here since we weren't sure Chris would be up for travelling that far. It was definitely the right decision, but we hated missing Christmas with Chris' parents. We were able to get to my parents' house (only a 1 hour drive), so we spent Christmas there. I was sick the whole time and we were also prepping Lillie, my younger sister, for her trip. On December 29, she and her friend, Amanda, left for a 1-year trip around the world. They arrived in Santiago, Chile on Wednesday morning and are doing great, so far. They'll be in Chile for about a month, then Argentina for several months. This summer they'll spend a month in South Africa, and then they'll head to Southeast Asia and spend 4-5 months in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia. I already miss her like crazy, but I'm so excited for them. My parents are going to meet them in South Africa and my brother and Rebecca are going to Argentina to meet them. Chris and I are going to try to meet them next fall (since I used up all my vacation for the wedding!).

So that's it. That's 2009 in one very long post. It certainly hasn't been a bad year since it was the year I got married and some other wonderful stuff happened, but it also hasn't been the easiest of years. I begin 2010 at close to my highest weight, struggling both mentally and physically and very frustrated. But I also begin 2010 with more determination than I've felt in a long time that I will get this weight off. That determination hasn't transformed into motivation yet, but I still feel very confident that I WILL transform my life and become the healthy person I've always wanted to be. So here I go again.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Real Wedding Pictures!

I know the link didn't really work last time, so here is a link to ALL of our wedding pictures!
Under "Guests", enter username: collins and password: 4551

And I will be back later today to post again. I've GOT to get my butt back in gear. Literally. And I would love to say that life has been calm and "normal", but that has not been the case. Lots going on. Back later!

Friday, September 25, 2009


We had an incredible photographer, Steve Exum. I would highly recommend him for ANY event where you need a photographer. One of the coolest things he did was that he showed a slideshow of pictures from our engagement session, the rehearsal dinner, the wedding and the reception the NIGHT of the wedding! It was so cool being able to see those pictures right away. Here's the link to our slideshow. Make sure your sound is turned on because the music adds so much to the show. Enjoy!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stupid Grass...

So we bought a new house and moved into it on August 1st. We've only rented before, so we didn't own a lawnmower. We had a guy come by every month or so at our last rental house and mow the lawn. Well, our new yard is substantially larger, so he doubled the price he was charging. We drew the line at that. He mowed it once over 3 weeks ago, and we decided we wouldn't have him do it again. So when we got back from Jamaica, our grass was ridiculously high. Yesterday we bit the bullet and dropped over $250 on a lawnmower.

I came home from work today ready to feel like a homeowner. I still had plenty of daylight left, so I tore the lawnmower out of the box and started putting it together. Chris and I fairly quickly realized that it wasn't set up properly. After struggling with it for awhile, we gave up. Now we're going to have to take the stupid thing back to Lowe's and get a new one. I am REALLY not looking forward to putting it back in my car since it must weigh 100 lbs. And have I mentioned Chris' back is really hurt and he can't lift anything? Ugh.

What the hell do I do since my grass is almost knee-high at this point?? Stupid grass.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Settling In...

Chris and I got back from our honeymoon in Jamaica last night. We had an amazing time, and I admit it was pretty hard to come back. We're getting laundry done and unpacking and getting settled back in to our house. And I will be restarting this blog as we've made a commitment to begin our marriage by getting healthy.

But for today, here are some pictures from the wedding that I've stolen from people who posted them on Facebook.

My hair that my sister did. Isn't it incredible?? And can you find my Mom's wedding ring that's hidden in there?

On the rock after our amazing photographer, Steve Exum, and his assistant got me out there in a canoe!

Yes, they got both of us out there for the coolest pictures ever!

My family, right before the wedding

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Not That I'm Bragging...

... But guess who is on her way to Jazzercise class bright and early this morning???

Okay, yes. Yes I am completely bragging.

How Time Flies...

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