Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Beyond Measure

This blog post really is not going to be much about fitness or working out because let's face it....I've not done either very well lately.  I'll just air the dirty laundry first then get to the good stuff.  I have been emotional eating.  I said it..I've been emotional eating.  I had a good grasp on that but life is life and I am who I am and it was either drink way to much wine or eat to much..I chose to eat to much.  Second thing to get out in the air...I haven't had a drink of alcohol since August 13th.  People that I've told I'm no longer drinking have asked if I'm going to drink again and my answer is I don't know.  I don't really want to because it had become a place to me that wasn't good.  I'm not saying alcohol is bad for everyone but for me...it's just not a good thing and not helping me reach my goals.  

So now that we've played taxi cab confessions and have that out of the way I just want to gush a moment.  I don't really know if anyone reads this stuff and really I don't care.  This is more of a reflection for me so I can go back in my journey and reflect on what I did good and what needs improvement.  

I just want to share how I am blessed beyond measure.  Some might scratch their heads and think really, you're feeling blessed.  You have a TON on your plate and you're feeling thankful and grateful for the stress and pain.  The answer is yes because behind hurt, pain, sadness for me it forces me to take action and usually actions that are the right actions. 

As you all know Jack, my 7 year old, is Autistic.  He is so adorable, so handsome, biggest blue eyes, longest eye lashes, deep dimple and just a handsome kid.  That's his saving grace!  Plus the fact that I carried him in my womb for 9 months and I feel a deep sense of obligation to love the child...I guess that's called being a mom (sorry bad attempt at humor).  As adorable and charming as he can be he is equally difficult to manage.  Last Tuesday was a really, really bad day.  Think of your child's worst day or your worst day at the office and multiply that times 5 and that was my day.  It was also the best day.  It was the best day because I do what I do best.  I cry it out (in this case hysterically cry it out and lose all sense of looking decent for the rest of the day) and then take action.  

Monday the 22nd Andy and I met with key staff that works with Jack through out his school day and in the meeting were others from the district to discuss what is the best environment to help Jack be successful.  We all agreed he needs more supports and that he can't learn at the same level as other kids and that he needs a little more TLC to get him to where he needs to be and actions forward were made to get him to where he needs to be.  We're meeting with all the staff again in 6 weeks to evaluate where we are, what's working, what can be removed, what's not working, etc.    

About 6 weeks ago we noticed Jack starting to have what we think are seizures.  It scares us, yes I cried and we took action.  We went to the ER, went to the doctor and he's had a MRI done to show that his brain does have some abnormal function but it's not injured, no masses or tumors (thank God).  Tonight as I write this he is with Andy at Blank undergoing the last of his 48 hour video EEG.  While I'm not thankful for him now having seizures I'm thankful he's had recorded events in the hours he's been in the hospital.  I really should be sleeping right now because I'm so tired but I just felt I had to write this out before I hit the bed.  Jack has a great team of doctors and a wonderful chiropractor who support him/us.  

I'm so thankful to my parents who have been watching Anna so Andy and I could be with Jack.  Making sure she's well cared for, brought her to the hospital to see her brother and gave her the same love and care that Andy and I would here at home.  I'm so thankful for Anna.  Gosh that girl is wise well beyond her 1st decade on this planet.  She is such a sweet hearted loving child.  She loves God with all her heart, loves her brother despite him truly being the picture perfect younger pesky brother.  She respects (most of the time) and loves Andy and I and has such great manners.  She loves her friends and has a great group of young ladies in her life.  So thankful for my sister, her husband and their kids for helping when they can and just loving us.  My immediate family is so much more than what is inside my 4 walls.  My immediate family are my 4 and the other 7.  Together the 9 of us are a great crew and I couldn't do this with out them.  Last week was so emotionally draining and it is such a blessing to know that on your way into work you can call your sister and just let it all out and get it out with out judgement and just receive great advise, support and wisdom.  I'm so blessed to have all of that.  

What I've realized today while life has thrown us some lemons really we have the best lemonade stand on the block.  I am so blessed by God, love and family.  With all of those at the center and the core of my life I can't help but too succeed...

So in writing this I guess it does come down to fitness and healthy living....It's all a cycle and it's all life.  We do what we can in the moment and do our best the next day.  So while I've been emotionally eating the good news tomorrow is a new day and I get to make new choices.  All I need to do is show up.... 

I was looking through pictures that I snapped last Saturday while I took the kids to the park to get fall pictures and after the pictures we played at the park area.  I love these two pictures because it just shows the joy in their faces and I'm so thankful for that joy because they belong to me (Andy and God to of course).  These pictures inspired me to write this blog entry and I just felt compelled to share my heart.   

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Gift of Physical Fitness

Today I really did not want to run.  I restarted the C25K program with my girlfriend Wendy to train to do a race in the near future.  It's kind of cold and windy here today but I'm committed to getting back into running and committed to my running partner.  I sent Wendy a text saying something along the lines of give me some mojo because I'm not feeling it today.  She sent me a text back of course filled of wonderful words of encouragement and so I went.

My son's school is about a 1/4 of a mile from our house and they have a great walking trail on the school grounds.  So off I go.  I start walking as the C25K program says and then begin to run.  In the beginning of the run I really didn't have any specific thoughts but I got about 15 minutes in and my legs felt great and I thought why am I complaining and having second thoughts about running today?  What a gift it is to be able to run. What a gift it is to be able to do any kind of physical fitness.

I have a pretty amazing group of women in my life who lift me up and encourage me.  Recently an email went out to these women on writing a daily gratitude list.  I have had a lot going on just like every other wife and mother out there but I was getting sort of a cold heart.  I typically see the glass as half full rather than half empty and I was beginning to feel empty.  Even in my work outs with my personal train that I LOVE and look forward to every time we work out I was beginning to not look forward to and during the work out just run out of gas.

So today I am so thankful and grateful to have the gift of physical fitness.  I feel so amazing and refreshed when the work out is over.  I love seeing the changes in my body and the little aches that come with it knowing that I worked my muscles and I worked them hard!  It's their little way of thanking me for a job well done.

So if you're like me and not feeling like getting out there and doing it...go do it.  You'll feel so much better for it.  For nothing more than the feeling of cool air on your face and to smell the fall air.

Here is a picture that I took today while out on my run.  This is on the track at my son's school.  I love this little walking track.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Hi Stranger

Gosh it's been AGES since I last used this blog.  It's not that I haven't been blogging it's that I've been blogging for Family Circle Magazine.  As I'm sure you know we were part of a six month challenge with Family Circle Magazine for healthy and fit living.  It was a great experience and one that I miss.

Since the challenge has completed I lost my mojo.  I have a pattern.  I do so good for so long or I set a goal and I reach it and then once it's over I kind of go into self.  It's not on purpose I think I just get burnt out.  Although I am happy to report that I didn't totally lose myself like I did after the half marathon last October.  I've not gone into "post race blues" or anything like that.  I am still training 3 times a week but my food intake has suffered.  I have gained back 8 of the 30 I've lost since the beginning of 2012.

Yesterday here in my hometown was the Color Run.  I had plans on doing the race but I just didn't follow through.  I had people ask me about it in passing and it just came and went and I never did get signed up.  Last night I was texting with my good friend, Wendy, who did her first race and her excitement and her new addiction lit a fire in me.  We decided we are going to run the Fairgrounds 5K next month.  It was my very first race I ever did when I started on this journey.  It's a very hilly race but I really love it!  I'm so excited to be doing this with Wendy (and anyone else that wants to join us).

Today I went out for my first run in AGES.  Felt great to be out there again and pushing myself.  My goal is to train with my personal trainer, Lass, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening and do the Couch-to-5K every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.  The C25K program is a great program to add into a fitness routine and one that will help ease back into running with out injury.

I'm going to do my best to write a blog at least 3 times a month to help hold myself accountable.  I did so much writing over the last 6 months that I was kind of burnt out but I'm ready to start back up.  Plus this blog is just for my friends and not for the masses that check out Family Circle's website.  Plus here I can ramble, I ramble a lot with the FC blog too but this is different.  This is my own, this is my baby and something that is all mine.

I hope those reading this are living a fit, whole, and well life.

Monday, March 12, 2012

How full is your plate???

Oh goodness has today been a roller coaster.  My plate is feeling so full right now that I have so much going on that I can't process it all at once and I don't know where to begin.  It's seriously ADD and I'm not ADD just life is ADD.  

Not a ton is going on and really I have nothing to complain about however... I have so much going on in my little world that I feel I have to much on my plate.  Really what I realized today is I need to make a to-do list!  I have to start making lists or a schedule for myself so I know once this is done then do this.  We make visual and written schedules for Jack at home and at school  that I think I need one for myself too.   A "Mommy To-Do List" if you will.  

As you know I'm in an extreme fitness challenge at my gym at work.  Well today was circuit training.  Usually I LOVE circuit training however one of the exercises the trainer had us doing was almost impossible for me to do.  It was hold plank while doing an upright row with a heavy weight (10-15 pounds).  We were doing stations and it was go at your own pace but get the stations done.  Well I was being lapped and I don't like to be lapped.  Show me some one that likes to be in last place and I'll show you a last place person.  I know that is harsh and wrong to feel but in my mind it's how I think when it comes to working out.  So while doing the exercise I got over come with emotion and I finished my set and I had to walk out of the class room because I just broke down.  The trainer leading the class came out to make sure I was OK and I told her how I felt and she encouraged me telling me I was doing a great job and to keep giving my best.  So I went back in still crying and finished.  I was the last one finished at the end but by the end I didn't feel like I lost but that I won.  The old me would have said forget it, this is to hard, I'm out.  I would have found an excuse to quit and let myself feel good about quitting although I wouldn't have called it "quitting" but just finding a reason to not finish.  

So the lesson I learned today is to evenly portion the plate, give up some control, realize that the house is not going to be white glove clean 7 days a week (who am I kidding...this house will NEVER be white glove clean.  I like to call the Little Lehman Pad an organized disaster), there will be dishes in the sink and always laundry to fold but I'm so thankful for my messes because it means I'm living a great life with my husband, kids and our adventures we have in our life!  Most importantly I/we are doing what is necessary so that we can be around to do our best to keep the house white glove clean...HA RIGHT...WRONG!   To expect perfection in this area while having children is almost laughable and the joke is on the one thinking it's possible!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Growing HUGE on the INSIDE while SHRINKING on the OUTSIDE

Hello from Dallas, TX.  I'm at a leadership event and had the honor to listen to Rick Goings give a lecture yesterday.  He talked about the science of personal achievement and gave eight steps. I'm going to share with you what they are and what they mean to me.  I'm not going to go into all of them right now because this blog would turn into a book so I'll break it up.   I'm going to to a little mini-series because it spoke so loudly to me and I feel like it's my responsibility to share this with anyone and everyone that reads this blog regardless if I know them personally or not.

Step 1:  MINDSET.  What is your life's philosophy?  What do you want to do when you grow up? What is your calling?  Do you journal?  How are you growing?

What is philosophy exactly?  Per dictionary.com it's "A system of principles for guidance in practical affairs."  So in life and weight loss you have to have a plan, if you don't have a plan then you really don't have much.

My current life philosophy is to always give thanks to the one that deserves it the most!  Things don't happen by accident and I don't believe in luck.  I believe in blessings.  Everything happens for a reason it's how you react to it is what will determine the outcome.  It might be an immediate reaction or it might be something that takes years.  I can think of so many things that have happened in my life that I wanted so bad and when they didn't turn out the way I thought it should then I was upset and now standing here today and reflecting back I'm so thankful that those desired events didn't happen.  I'm so thankful for the pain I endured to get to where I am today and you know what....I HAVEN'T EVEN STARTED.   I haven't reached an 1/8 of my potential.  I can't imagine the blessings that will be poured over me and my family when I truly live by my life's philosophy.

What is your calling?  For me..My calling is to serve.  I love to serve others.  Sure I'm selfish and I want to have it all but in the process I want to touch as many hearts and lives that I can in all my actions not just in fitness and weight loss.  As many of you know I have a little side business that I run where I go and pamper busy women!  There is nothing that gives me greater joy then to go into a woman's home and pamper and spoil them.  You need the time for yourself and you deserve it!  Best of all I bring all the treatments and it's FREE!!  This isn't a sales pitch honestly but I'm just opening up a little about how I love to serve others and how by me providing service to you deeply feeds my soul and answers my calling.

I have had so many people come up to me and tell me how much they love my blog and that they never comment but read it and that they check to see if I've written anything new.  That means so much to me. I'm so inspired by others who truly love and live life.  We have to little time on this earth to be negative.  If you want something it is your job to go out and get it and if you don't go out there and get it then you don't have anything to complain about.  Now I'm not saying you never should be frustrated but take that frustration and say to yourself how can I turn this into a positive, what have I learned from this?  

How are you growing?  Well in my case I'm shrinking but that is only on the outside.  On the inside I'm growing by the minute.  Really focused on the end goal and the small goals in getting to the end.  Honestly there is no end.  I saw picture not long ago that said "Train like there is no finish line."  Simple as that...train as if there is no finish line.

So with that for now I leave you with....Get out there and train like there is no finish line...not just in fitness and weight loss but in your own life and your own personal growth and development.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Motivation (the title doesn’t tell the story)

WARNING:  This is not going to be a shiny, happy, pretty blog post

What motivates you? For me I would always say it was my family that motivated me, my friends who have been successful in their fitness and weight loss journeys, great sayings with pretty fit women posing their hot rock hard bodies telling us to “Just do it”, a community of like minded people doing what you’re doing in life and succeeding (for example, SparkPeople, dailymile and facebook groups). All of these are great tools to help one stay motivated and they have helped me.

I’m no longer motivated but I’m on FIRE! You want to know what has put a fire under my butt…HATERS! Until recently I’ve NEVER experienced what it was like to truly have someone bash me for trying to be the best that I can be for myself, my husband and my kids.

Back story quick…As you know my 6 year old is on the high end of the autism spectrum and was diagnosed when he was 3 years old (his official Dx is PDD-NOS and he has been and still at times can be very physically aggressive because his expressive language is delayed) and we’ve done all we can do and will always do all we can do to make him the best child he can be. Recently I was told by someone this: “Jack (my son) won't behave is because you spend time on so many things, marathons, magazine competitions, holistic therapies, while never being trained by a professional behavior specialist (we've been seeing trained professionals since he was 3) on how to care for your child. You were told by multiple people to get Jack evaluated and get services from the day he was diagnosed and you waited ...what...2...3 years while you, your children, and children of others got beat up (Jack has received services since he was Dx, not stated funded services until very recently...read below for that update).” When I first read that I thought OMG how can anyone say such hateful things to me and I felt like I wanted to die and in true Tiffany Lehman fashion cried like a baby, full on cry, not being able to breathe cry, shoulders moving up and down, belting out weird noises cry, face red and headache cry…you get the picture. I felt guilty for trying to better myself so I can be better for Andy, Anna, Jack, other family members, friends, God, work, etc. I spent a lot of time letting that comment really get to me and it hurt to the bottom of my soul.

So now the sadness and anger is over and it’s full on! How dare I let someone more or less tell me I’m a bad parent because I want to get out of the morbidly obese range and be fully present in the lives of those that I love the most and those that need me to show up. How dare I try to make my sons symptoms of autism be treated first and foremost by diet, vitamins, minerals, thearipies, etc before I turn to western medicne.  How dare I give this person the time of day because the more time I give this person in my mind means that I care and you know what I DON'T.  What I do care about is being the best me I can be, being the best wife I can be, being the best mother I can be, being the best friend I can be, etc, etc, etc.  So you know what I say to the haters…BRING IT ON…You will no longer get a second of my time, you have no power over me but I will channel your anger, your bitterness and your venom to push me to be stronger and to do all that I can do for myself, my husband and my kids.

So I guess in the end…Maybe I should thank this person????  We’ll see how the results pan out, with my son, with my journey to be fit, healthy and to continue to be the best wife and mom I can be. I will say to this person thank you for giving me the blazing fire that I need to make sure that I am the best me I can be and we are the best family we can be.

For anyone wondering how Jack is doing right now…Autism is a daily thing and it will never just go away after taking 10 days of medicine like an ear infection. It is here for the long haul but I can report nothing but good news. Jack is doing amazing! He is doing so well in school, he’s bright, he’s communicating his needs and wants much better, he’s getting along well with his teachers and peers and he’s also being really nice to his big sister, Anna. What the teachers tell him to do he’s doing without causing any troubles for them, transactions are easier for him (he struggled going from a desired activity to a non-desired activity, recess to reading). For the last 3 weeks he has been either the class “Super Star” or on green (which means a good day). After years of being on a waiting list for services we are going to get some services for Jack. He/we will get respite care and other services. I’m not all sure what that entails right now but trust me when I say it’s a great thing for him and for us!

I leave you with this!!!  The best 3 minutes on the internet!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ode to my sweet Andy

Oh Andy how do I love thee...let me count the ways.

I just wanted to take a minute to write a blog about my precious husband.  I love him more today than I did the day I said "I do".  I've known he was the one by the time we went out on our 2nd date, New Years Eve 1996.  His face is so sweet, round, nice, happy, caring and his eyes twinkle.  He's my gentle giant with hands that are so soft and sweet but equally big and strong.  He has amazing wisdom and and even better sense of humor. He's crazy smart not only in books but in life.  He is such an amazing cook (Mom, you were right I needed a man that can cook and thank God I found him).  What he loves he is so passionate about.  He's simple and doesn't require much and his life is an act of service.  He is always serving others before himself.  He is devoted to God, me, to our kids, the family outside our 4 walls, friends and would do anything to help in times of need.

We've been married for 13 years together for almost 15.  We have had many more ups than downs but the times in the down is when we've become stronger.  When the love isn't about romance and flowers but trust and respect.  To know you can trust a single person with everything and to know that no matter what he will always be there loving me unconditionally.  That is powerful.

Andy has been and is my rock...You are my shelter, my best friend, my comic, my personal weather man and you're all mine.  You're stuck with me until we are parted by death.

Thank you Andy for giving me the freedom to do what I want, for letting me be bossy only to realize that really I should have listened more to you and for not throwing it my face when really I deserved it.  Thank you for your constant and un-wavering support in all that makes me passionate about my life, our lives and our kids' lives.

Thank you for giving me you... I love you, then, now, forever and always!

I heard this song today for the first time and it touched my soul.

I love you and I thank God for you every day...Thank you for being mine!  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

39...The Year of ME

I'm very proud to say that I'm 39.  I don't hide behind my age I get better with age.  I'm like a fine red wine, I get better with age.  OK so enough of me and my obnoxious self.

At first when I set out 2012 it was about what this year was going to do for ME.  All month leading up to today it's been about how I'm going to change this and I'm going to change that and I'm going to do it for me.  Well today I had such mixed emotions knowing that I really can't just do this for ME.  It has to be about others.  Today I realized that I want to improve my health, wellness, waistline, and athletic ability for myself but also so that I can be around a long time for my wonderful husband, so we're able to grow old together and have a fun life, watch our kids grow from babies, to toddlers, to school agers, to middle school, to high school, college, first heartbreak, first time they fall in love and when they get married and have their own kids and finally figure out how GENIUS mom and dad truly are (Yes, Tom & Cathy Syferd...you are genius) ...but seriously this is what I want in my life.  I don't want to be tired because I am to heavy, I want to be tired because I worked my tail off all day and at the end of the day I truly need rest so I can be strong and serve.

Serving to me is showing others love and showing God's grace and mercy.  Serving is taking care of my body so I can serve the way I feel the Lord calling me to serve.  I really don't know what this looks like in a year, 2 years, etc but I know God does.

Today while running I was really not having a good run.  I really just wanted to kind of mope and fizzle.  About half way in I said to myself..come on you can do this....just do it and own it.  Then I remembered my good friend, Connie and her husband, Don and how they started their weight loss journey and their passion of running exactly 2 years ago.  They have come so far and have gained so much of their lives back this is what I want for myself and for Andy.

I realize that while I take time for myself to work on my health and physical appearance that it's not selfish and it's not just about the year of ME it's about the year of you and how on this journey I hope to serve as many as needed.

Thanks for letting me share this with you and thank you for all the well wishes on my facebook wall, emails, texts, and phone calls.  I really like to use my car as a reflection tool and like many I use this time to talk to God.  Just talk.  I guess you'd say prayer but God wants a personal relationship so I talk and He listens and when I am quiet long enough I hear him whisper and I know when I hear that whisper I really need to listen.  I'm so blessed....just beyond measure.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Hello...I haven't seen you here in a while.  What happened to you?

I am so proud of achieving my goal of completing my half marathon last October.  What I failed to do after doing that was to right away have other events in line to train for and to help stay on focus.  I experienced the post race blues.  The week after the half I was in so much pain there was no way I could work out in the least.  Then I would go to the gym and the pats on the back and way to go's wore off and so did my spirit for running and really for any kind of fitness or weight loss because let's face it...this skinny girl is still trapped in a fat body.

I won't bore you with excuses of why I didn't work out, why I didn't eat right, why I gain 15 pounds from the half to 12/26/11 when I decided that was it.  I'm DONE.  Funny how life comes and goes.  Christmas comes and goes...you have the parties, the food, the wine, cookies, etc and life is just bliss but when it's all over and you're lying in bed on Christmas night reflecting on how you're so thankful for all you have and what events transpired to give us Christmas and as the house is quiet and things are scattered the tired sits in and you start to reflect...man I fell really fat.  I need to get on the scale tomorrow morning and just see the damage and re-start and re-focus.

Side Note here:  Don't you love the idea of a new year?  Maybe I'm just corny that way and if so...I really don't care but I love the thought of a new year.  You get to start fresh and new.  My daughter has been sick this last weekend and I was home with her today and watching the Today Show on NBC and there was a woman on the show talking about willpower and how we all have it but we have to train it.  It's just like training for a race...You don't just say I'm going to run 13.1 miles and do it tomorrow, it takes time to be able to build up to the point of being able to do that race and it takes willpower.  We have to flex our willpower muscles.  I thought that was just a brilliant idea!

The morning of 12/26/11 I get on the scale and see the dreaded number  and think holy Sh*t what have I done!?!?!?!  The past me would have started crying and internalized telling myself how much of a failure I was and how sure I did this half marathon thing but you didn't "run it" you're not a real runner you had to walk more than half of the race, blah, blah, blah ....self hate, self hate, self hate.... Rather than do all that I said this is it I'm taking myself back.  NO MORE EXCUSES.   I told Andy, my husband, the number on the scale and I said I'm not telling you this for pitty or for you to coddle me and try to fix it but I'm telling you so you know where I'm starting and you can help hold me accountable the way I'm going to hold you accountable.  I came to the realization that I either do it or I don't and you know what if I don't I'm only hurting yourself and those that love me the most.  Since December 26th I've worked out daily.  I've ran 6 miles total and I've worked out (non-running) for a total of 110 minutes.

So my plans for 2012 are to train like there is no finish line.  Life is a daily race and I have to endure it and finish it.  I am hoping to have an event planned for every month in 2012 so that I can stay focused on the event and know what is coming and know what I have to train for physically and mentally.  January I'm going to train like no other.  I'm going to kick my own A$% in the gym (by the way my gym got a rowing machine...I can not wait to kill that thing), The annual red flannel run is on Feb 11th, American Lung Association's Fight For Air Climb is in March.  This will be my 3rd year doing this climb.  April, Loop the Lake, May..Not sure...June Dam to Dam and I want to do the 20K, July, August and September not sure but October RUN (not walk at all) The Des Moines Marathon (for me the half).

To help aid in my weight loss I'm currently doing an online challenge on SparkPeople doing the January Jump Start and that combines strength and cardio together.  I will win the iPad 2 as the grand prize (yea right but a girl can dream can't she??), In February the gym I'm a member of is starting a Kosama type work out program and I'm going to join that and of course run as well.

So that is where I've been and where I'm going.  I have claimed 2012 to be MY year!  I will be 39 years old on January 17th and I will not go into my 40's being obese.  So bye bye you great little girl who is almost 39 and chubby and here's to 40 and fabulous!!!  I can't wait to see how 2012 unfolds.