Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Extreme Erin Makeover

So a few days ago I decided that I wanted to start a Blog...so I did...but now I struggle with what to blog about.  So I decided that I am going to start with me...Which means this is going to be a whole lot of thoughts strung together...and I don't know that it is going to follow any logical order, but if you know me, I generally type how I speak...which means I am going to be typing whatever comes to my mind...so here we go.
A little over a year ago I decided it was time for me to make a big change.  I was seriously over weight and not really happy.  I tried diets in the past and I really couldn't commit to any of them-blame it on lack of will power, some random event came up that would make me stray from the diet, I got sick, enter any excuse I could think of here...because I was afraid of failing...I am always afraid to let people down...but when I sat down to think about it-who was I really letting down-me...and I was sick of it. 
Jason, Hannah and I flew out to AZ for our friends' wedding.  I took a few things home with me (thoughts wise-not stuff wise) a) I could probably never live in AZ because in March it was already SUPER hot b) Hannah hated the heat-she literally threw up everyday...sometimes multiple times a day...and if you know Hannah-she doesn't tend to gt sick too often (knock on wood-let's hope that doesn't change-only right now I am pretty sure she is coming down with a cold...ugh there I go...sorry) c) I was fat.  Seriously.  Don't just roll your eyes and say-oh my gosh-she is so dramatic, because I am not-according to my BMI I was on the verge of being Morbidly obese.  Anyway, so I was looking through the photos I took from our vacation, and would say to myself-ew, that is a bad picture of me...whoa-that one is even worse-holy smokes! Who was taking such awful pictures of me...and then it hit me-it was the pictures making me look so bad-it was me...I just looked bad.
I had been in denial about it for a while.  When I would go shopping, if I had to buy a bigger size I would just think that the clothes ran smaller in that store-regardless of what store I was in...and since I was doing less and less shopping-mostly because I knew deep down nothing would look nice-the picture I had in my head of what I looked like did NOT match the pictures I saw of myself from that vacation. 
I was mortified that I let myself get that way...and the saddest part was that I was even bigger just eight months earlier...granted, it was because I was 9 months pregnant-BUT I was by no means in shape before I got pregnant.  (now I feel like I need to back track a bit)
I gained about 34 pounds while I was pregnant...and I lost all of it within 2 months of having Hannah.  I hoped that losing the rest of the weight would be easy...but it wasn't.  My body wasn't the same after Hannah was born...any woman who has ever been pregnant knows what I am talking about...unless you are one of those naturally skinny women who can eat whatever they want and still look great-then I am not talking about you...I kid I kid-you too might have struggled-who I am to judge...anyway...I digress...
So after looking at those pictures I looked at Jason and said "I've had it-this has got to change..." And so I began my battle against weight loss...It was (and still is) a very difficult process.  I had to reprogram the way I thought about food...I HAD to stop eating out of boredom... and I needed to exercise... (again with the need to backtrack)
I had a membership to a gym...Only I couldn't figure out a way to balance my guilt of not spending time with Hannah and my need to get myself healthy...One day at the gym I broke down and cried because I couldn't wrap my mind around everything that I needed to do to get the results I wanted (and yes, it was quite embarrassing).  While we were in AZ I was introduced to the Wii...ahhh the Wii...We bought a Wii the day we came home from AZ...
Alright, so I started writing down everything I ate...and when I say everything I mean EVERYTHING.  If I couldn't find the nutritional information for the food I considered eating, I didn't eat it.  I needed to make sure I was holding myself accountable for everything that I ate...and let me tell you, if there is one key to weight loss success-it is writing down what you eat-call it a food journal-call it an accountability diary-call it a pain in the rear-but it really does help!  I didn't even really use the Wii for the first 2 weeks...I just monitored what I ate VERY closely.  We didn't go out to eat-we cooked every meal at home...I learned the art of portion control-also important when you are not on a diet that supplies prepackaged foods...
So in about 3 weeks, I decided that I was going to start using my Wii Fit.  It was a slow process, and let me tell you, if you actually use the Wii Fit, and don't just play the random balance games-you can lose weight with it-I know because I did.  As I unlocked the newer aerobic exercises I found myself wanting to do more-this was such a great compromise!  I could come home from work-play with Hannah and then when she went to sleep I could do my Wii Fit workout!  About 5 months into it I started going to the Gym-some afternoons and Saturday mornings. 
I found myself actually sad on days that I couldn't make it to the gym.  Eating less and working out just started coming naturally-when I would eat foods that were not healthy I would feel sick.  I did it!  I reprogrammed the way I thought about food.  On Hannah's first birthday I had lost over 80 pounds (including the baby weight) I cannot believe that I was able to do that.  I had reached my first goal (with a lot of support from family and friends and a ton of dedication) and even set a second goal. 
Well, I hit a road block in my battle recently.  I got comfortable with myself, and I slacked off on my diet and exercise plan...and I have noticed that I am starting to go back into my "fat funk" I know I am not as big as I used to be-but as someone recently said to me-Perception is reality...and that is the perception I have of myself, and I am scared that I could go right back to the way I was before- and I just can't let that happen. 
So, as I mentioned before-I am still fighting the difficult weight loss battle...and it isn't easy.  If it was an easy process, we would all be super models...and let's face it-very few of us are...so I am going to get back on track because If I can't take care of myself-how in the world will I be able to take care of anyone else?  I need to finish my battle for me and for Hannah-she deserves to have a mom who can chase after her or crawl around with her-or just keep up with her in general...so I am back on the wagon people...fingers are crossed that I stay there until I am at my goal-my second goal...Because I want to buy some new clothes-and not because my pants scream at me when I try to put them on- but because they are too big to stay on my waist :)  Below Is a picture of me in September of 09

So now that I am commencing with Extreme Erin Makeover-I also need to makeover the Inner Erin too...I struggle with trying to make everyone happy...mostly because I am afraid to let people down...I can't live with the disappointment that I cause in other people because of some decision that I chose-or didn't choose...But for a very long time, I have wanted to figure out a way to make a better me...Enter Coastal Community Church.
For a while now I have wanted to find a church that felt like home to me.  A co-worker of mine sent an email to my dad (who then forwarded it to me) telling him about The Charleston Egg Drop-sponsored by Coastal Community Church.  I checked out their website, saw that Jason was off that weekend and decided to sign Hannah up.  We headed out there the Saturday before Easter and let Hannah run around.  She had a lot of fun.  While we were there, we received a flyer of sorts, that invited us to attend the Easter service the next day.  While we did not attend the Easter Service, I did decide that I was going to make every effort to attend the following Sunday's service-to see what it was like. 
Jason had to work that Sunday so it was just me and Hannah...as soon as I parked the car I felt welcomed!  A member of the 1st Impressions team came out to greet us and tell us where we should go.  I cannot put into words how I just felt like I was immediately a part of the congregation.  Hannah and I have gone back every Sunday since then (Jason goes on the weekends he is off).  I love it- For the first time in a VERY long time I am excited to go to church.  I look forward to every Sunday morning to hear the message...and every week it is amazing.  I never once feel like I have to check my watch to see what time it is...as in, I don't feel like the service drags on and on...
I was reading a blog of a lovely young woman I went to college with-who inspired me to challenge myself to read the Bible.  While she has chosen to read the Bible in a year-I have opted to take baby steps and "wet my feet" if you will, with a modified version of it.  I am reading the key stories of the Bible in chronological order in 61 days.  The plan came from BibleGateway.com.  When I finish the reading plan I am going to go back and choose a different plan so I can get a different take on things.  I am really enjoying it.  I feel like I am on the way to really completing Extreme Erin Makeover...

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Welcome!  I created this blog so people who are interested in keeping up with the everyday happenings of the Phalen Fam are able to.  I lead a pretty boring life-and the people in it make it exciting.  So here we go! 
So as it stands, The Phalen Fam consists of Hannah, Jason, River, Kali and me.  Hannah is a professional doer of all things cute, including but not limited to, trying on all of my shoes, sunglasses, hats, scarves, makeup, and accessories in general.  Jason is a police officer-and has been since before we were married.  He is an extreme University of South Carolina fan, and loves all things spicy... River and Kali are both graduates of Dog Training in Your Home...you wouldn't know it though-if you were to come over, they would lead you to believe that they are never fed or given any attention-all lies-in fact, I know for sure they are hand fed by One, Hannah Phalen-I have personally witnessed Hannah pick up pieces of their food and feed them one by one to each of the dogs...no matter how much we ask her not to, but she is a giver like that...other than being a mom to the world's cutest toddler, I administer government contracts for a living.  It is a far cry from what I ever thought I wanted to do with my life, but no one ever really knows what they are meant to do until God reveals it. 

I cannot believe that Hannah is almost 2. I feel like she is growing up too quickly and I am not okay with that. I would like for Hannah to be my little girl forever, but it seems, almost daily, that she feels the need to remind me that she is a big girl and is no longer a baby. People constantly ask me when I am going to have Baby #2. My answer is generally this: How can I have another baby? I mean, seriously, how would that baby feel knowing that its older sibling is the world's cutest toddler? Sibling rivalry right out of the womb-it can't be healthy. Also, Hannah is not much of a sharer...she does not like to share any attention with anyone else...ever...Also...there is no room in our current house for another baby...I also believe that both River and Kali will attempt to harm us in our sleep if we were to bring another baby into their space...so please, people, until you hear otherwise, please just assume that baby #2 is nowhere in the near future-otherwise you will upset the dogs...

It is hard for me to believe that it is already May. Seriously, after January, generally, the first part of the year seems to drag on until Memorial Day. For me, I do not get a Paid Day Off from work until May 31st. Which is probably why the first part of the year seems to last forever. This year has been different. I feel like the last 5 months have flown by. Don't get me wrong, I am still very much looking forward to my day off-because it means more quality time with my Hannah :)

Alright, I feel that this is a good start for now, so let's see how frequently I remember to provide updates!