Saturday, December 31, 2011

Resolve to be a better You

I'd like to think mine is the only blog you read (yeah right), but I'm under no grand delusions so you've probably seen PLENTY of posts around the blog world about New Year's resolutions.  I thought it might be a nice time to tell you a little story about the year I made the same resolution so many of you are planning to make this year.

I was one of those people who made a resolution on January 1st to lose weight.  It was January of 2008.  I had my last baby just 3 1/2 months prior and I was ready to reclaim my body.  After three kids and a pretty much sedentary lifestyle, I had reached my highest weight ever.

 weighing in at 158 pounds (I'm 5' 4")

So, what was the key to my success?   I'm not really sure exactly, but upon reflection I'm aware of a few things.  First, I was FULLY committed.  I did NOT go into this weight loss thing half heartedly.  I wanted to lose weight and eating poorly and not working out just weren't options.  I was focused on my resolution and I allowed it be a priority.

Secondly, I didn't really have a goal in mind other than to lose weight and "regain my body".   I didn't say I wanted to lose XX amount of pounds.  It didn't matter what the scale said as long as I was making good choices.  I didn't say I wouldn't happy until I lost 10 pounds or 20 pounds.  I was happy as the scale inched down day by day.   After all, a loss is a loss even if it's 0.1 pounds.

I probably ate about 1200 to 1500 calories per day and exercised 4 days a week.  You know what happened?  I lost weight and I lost weight quickly (about 2 pounds a week). Not rocket science here, just plain and simple-- eat less, move more.  By April I had lost 30 pounds and was looking and feeling good.

At my lightest since college.  128 pounds. 

One thing I think everyone should know is that none of this is easy.   There is no EASY way to lose weight.  Eating less sucks.  Yes I said it.  Despite knowing how to eat healthy and what I should do, I still prefer to eat potato chips and cookies, but you're never going to lose weight if you diet consists entirely (or mostly) of those foods.   So suck it up for awhile, lose the weight and eventually you'll get to a place where one or two cookies won't be a big deal.  

Guess what else?  Exercising isn't easy either.  When I first went to the gym I was a mess.  I had NO idea how to use an elliptical or the treadmill and don't even ask me to glance over at the weight section of the gym.  But, eventually I got comfortable on the elliptical and I moved on to something else and so on and so on until I'd tried almost every piece of equipment and every class in the gym.

The first time I went to a spin class I couldn't do anything but sit and pedal.  You heard me right.  I sat there, I never adjusted my resistance, I couldn't stand up, and I couldn't speed up when the instructor said to do so.  I just sat there and pedaled and it was HARD really, really HARD, but I didn't give up.   I went back and gained a little knowledge and a little more confidence each time.   Eventually, I took the spinning outside and now cycling is one of my favorite forms of exercise.

I could go on and on about the things that scared me that I tried (I'm looking at you pilates and yeah you too swimming), but I didn't let fear keep me from doing something.  Sure I felt stupid at times, but I seriously doubt anyone was sitting around the dinner table talking about the sweating, red faced girl that sat in the corner of the spin class and just pedaled.  NO ONE CARES.  Hell, most people were probably you a few years back.

Guess what else (I know I keep saying this but it's for dramatic effect)?   Sometimes I still feel dumb.  I'm not the best athlete, I don't run fast by most people's standards, and I'm generally finishing somewhere in the middle of the pack.  Um,  remember when I tried to ride 100 miles on my bike and instead crashed at mile 83?

The point is, life is full of failures, it just makes those times we succeed so much sweeter.  So while it would be simple to sit on the sidelines, wouldn't it be a lot more fun to get out there and find out what CAN be, what success you can make.

And yes it is cliche, but why not take the clean slate that comes with the new year and resolve to make yourself a better you.  I promise two things:  It won't be easy, BUT you won't regret it.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Just another Perfect Day

It was a gorgeous day today in Austin, TX (70 degrees) so the Tirch Clan decided to take to the great outdoors.  I wanted to go "hiking" and so George looked up a family friendly trail.  Turns out there is what they call a greenbelt in downtown Austin.  So we packed up our water bottles and set out on an adventure in nature at the Barton Creek Greenbelt.

Did I mention how beautiful it was?  Look at that sky?  You really couldn't ask for a better day and it's December!  I feel spoiled.

Speaking of spoiled...

In Nicholas' mind he had to dress for the occasion and he was camp from head to toe, testing out his new "hunting" boots Santa brought.  To me, he seems a little too comfortable in this get up.  What?  I don't do camo (and all that goes with it). 

This one is a little more my speed.  A little overdressed for the weather she was able to sport her bedazzled shirt for all the other tree huggers hikers to see.

Jack was beyond excited about the hike.  He was in his element for sure.  This child is ALL boy ALL the time and he was literally jumping for joy.

I was probably the only one in the woods with a Cannon Rebel, but you never know when a photo opportunity will occur and several did, in fact, occur... so there!

We saw a road runner and some squirrels along the way, but Jack was intent on finding some deer (or deers as he would say).  We never saw any, but Jack had his stick-gun just in case we did.

It is kind of sad that the Barton Creek Greenbelt is not actually a creek at all, but a dry creek bed.  Although it looked beautiful, it is just a reminder of the harsh summer Texas underwent.  Speaking of harsh, did you see the house?  Tough place to live right?

We wound up walking/hiking just over two and a half miles, which took us right around 2 hours.

We did stop along the way to play and explore.

Including learning to skip some rocks.

Just so you know, every day should be just like today.  Did you hear me God?  Please.  Thank you!  That is all. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ten Years Later

In honor of our 10 year anniversary today, I'm dedicating this post to pictures from our wedding day.  These are pictures I took from my iPhone from our album so the quality isn't great, but the memories are there.  

This is my favorite picture of me.  I generally don't like pictures of myself (hard to believe I know with the  magnitude of pictures I post, but it REALLY is true), but I loved my pictures from this photographer.  

So much goes into planning a wedding.  So much time, so much money, etc. etc.  There were so many little details and a lot of them turned out as I had envisioned while other did not.  I don't think I've ever confessed, but there were a lot of things I actually disliked about my wedding, including my dress.  I don't hate it, but I definitely didn't love it.  Still don't.  *sad face* 

I also hated my flowers as there weren't to be any greens and I was to hold the flowers by the stems and this had a base on it.

None of these little details really mattered, however, which is probably why I didn't make a big deal about it.  All that mattered is that at the end of the day we were married and we were happy!

Who did I marry?  Oh yes, there was a groom as well.  Look at him!  Isn't he handsome?

This is also one of my favorite pictures from the day.  I don't remember much from my wedding to be honest (the day goes by so quickly), but I do remember this moment.  I was having kind of an out of body experience.  I was lost in the moment, thinking in my mind how epic the event that was about to occur.  You can tell by my face that my mind is somewhere else.  Then, my dad leans in and says,  "last chance if you want to run away" or something like that.  Typical dad!  Love it!

I was overcome with emotion coming down the aisle.  I had NO idea that I would react that way, and still to this day can't tell you why I did.  I was crying uncontrollably and I'm taking the ugly cry, but I remember forceable trying to smile so I looked good.  This is how it turned out.

We got married at Heinz Chapel on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh.  Ever since my sister got married there I KNEW I had to as well.  It is absolutely gorgeous.  

I don't remember the kiss at all, but here it is.

Finally, I'm smiling and probably for the first time that day at ease.  

I think this picture is cute in theory, but I hated my arm in this pic (then and now).  Funny!  

Sadly, this is one of the only pics of us on the alter.  I feel like a deer in headlights, but it is what it is.  

The wedding party.

The boys.

 My girls.

Another one of my faves.  I'll let you guess why.  

I remember walking into the reception hall nervous once again that everything had turned out as I had envisioned.  You make phone calls, you pay money, you dream, but you never know if what you've planned will all come to be.  I remember asking my cousin how it looked.  She promised me it was beautiful.  When the doors opened and we walked in, I was in awe.  The room looked gorgeous.

George and I planned a special surprise for all our guests.  We took dancing lessons and did a swing dance for our first dance.  No one knew about it except my best friend Jen.  By most standards the dance was pretty lame, but at the time I thought it was quite an accomplishment and above all it was fun. 

The night went by so quickly.  I barely remember anything about the evening, which is a shame.  There is no video of the day.  We just couldn't afford another $1200 so it was the one thing that had to go.  I regret not having a video, but am incredibly thankful for my beautiful photos.  

One thing I'll never forget about the day is the love I had for George.  I never once had any doubts about the man I was marrying.  I never questioned if I was doing the right thing.  I just knew I was marrying the perfect man for me.

Now 10 years later, we have been through A LOT.  Marriage is not easy and we, like every married couple, have had hard times, but our love is still there.  I still don't have any doubts that I did the right thing on this day 10 years ago.

I love you George then, today and always.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Short and Sweet

Today I left the house looking like this.

Well not exactly like this because this was taken about 10 days ago and I wasn't wearing that dress and I didn't have my arm around Julie, but I think you get the idea.

I was really sick of my longish, boring, straight, brown hair.  Nothing says soccer mom like a hair with no style.  You see, I've had the same hair stylist for over 6 years.  I trusted Tim from Denham and Co and he always made my hair look good, but sadly Tim is in Pittsburgh and I am NOT. So if you live in Pittsburgh, hit up Tim (he's the salon owner) for a cut or color and you WON'T be disappointed.

Here are some of my more recent styles from Tim.

George likes my hair short, but I haven't been getting it cut because, let's face it, 1200 miles is a little too far to travel for a good cut.  So in honor of our 10 year anniversary (tomorrow) I set up a covert operation to secretly have my hair cut to surprise George.   Thanks to my blog friend Lindsay for hooking me up with her stylist Cassandra (she told me to tell you Lindsay, you've earned yourself a free cut with my referral) from The Salon at the Domain.

Hard as it was to trust another stylist, after 16 months of living in Austin, I FINALLY did it and I'm NOT disappointed.   This is a horrible picture of me, but you'll get the general idea.

Ok, ok that's not me, but that IS the picture I took in to show Cassandra how I wanted my hair cut.  

Soccer mom be gone.  Happy Anniversary George, I'm lookin' just as good as the day you married me.