ten feet off the ground

Sometimes I think losing weight should be easy. Maybe not for everyone but for me. For me it should be easy. I'm young. I don't have children to care for. I can cook whatever I want for dinner. My husband is supportive and pushes me to go to the gym even on the days that I don't want to.

But it isn't easy. It's really hard.

But it's not impossible. It's never impossible.

The Biggest Loser episode Tuesday night touched on the excuse of "I can't do it on my own." Weeks into their journey on the ranch and many of the contestants said that, were their trainer taken from them, they felt like they would fail without guidance. It made me want to reach into the television and shake every contestant because they already have something I don't have: eight hours (at least) a day to dedicate to exercise and meal planning.

The red team (spoiler alert) spent a week in the gym without a trainer telling them what to do. They were responsible for pushing themselves, for creating their work-outs, for making sure they burned every calorie possible. They did everything I am doing on a daily basis.

There are plenty of days when I don't do as well as I should. There are plenty of days when I don't push myself as hard as I should in the gym. Days when I choose something else over going to the gym. Days when I decide it's easier to eat something quick and unhealthy instead of spending the time to chop vegetables and cook a lean meat.

I don't have anything to tell anyone who is just starting out - other than my story. There's no trick to this whole weight loss or healthy living thing that I've found works 100% of the time. Yes, you need to watch what you eat and be active. But how each person does that is different. What I do works for me, most of the time, but it might not work for someone else.

Weight loss is constant. Meals need to always be planned and sometimes replanned. There's a choice to be made every night: sit on the couch at the end of the day or pack lunch and dinner for the next day.

My goal for this week has been to be prepared. I started the week off strong and didn't waiver from my already prepared meals on Monday. But then tonight happened, and my emotions got the best of me.

It would have been easy to say the week was a waste. A part of me wanted to say just that - to curl up on the couch after Community Group and simply watch The Biggest Loser. But hearing all their complaints about how the red team simply couldn't do it without a trainer made me realize how important it is to show myself that I can do this and that I won't let any excuses get in my way.

I'm continuing with food. I finished the baked scallops for lunch Tuesday and ate turkey chili for dinner Monday night. Lunch today will be turkey chili, and I threw together my own variation of Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken (excluding corn and adding green bell pepper and onion as well as extra diced tomatoes) before slipping into bed last night.

Foods like ice cream, pizza, and fried chicken sandwiches I could eat for days on end. But I grow tired of baked chicken and fish, so my menu needs to constantly adapt. Baking bay scallops over the weekend and changing up the Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken recipe did just that for me. Not only is the pallet change good but it reminds me that I can (and should) continue to stretch myself in the kitchen.

I think that's one of the reasons weight loss doesn't come easy for me. My love of bad-for-you food currently outweighs my love of good-for-you food. And I have to watch every single morsel of food I put into my mouth. I am constantly calculation how many calories I ate in a day, checking MyFitnessPal to see how many grams of protein I ate, and reminding myself that the ease of some foods is not worth it.

Some people can just watch calories. I'm not one of those people. Some people can spend hours in the gym and lose the weight. I'm not one of those people, either. For me everything has to be in line, so even though I don't have children to tend to, it's still hard for me.

There are times when I let other people's comments about how this is the time of my life to lose the weight get to me. Times when the voice inside my head takes their words and turns those words on me - causing me to wonder what it is that is so wrong with me that I've only lost 36 pounds in a 10 month period.

There is nothing wrong with me. Or with anyone who takes longer to lose the weight. Because as long as you're getting healthy, you're doing what you need to do for you.

Not everyone has the chance to go on The Biggest Loser. I don't - that's for sure. But I also remember that not everyone needs to be on The Biggest Loser to change their lives. I would love the opportunity, but I also love the fact that I am dispelling the excuse of "I can't do this without a trainer" every single day.

Baked Bay Scallops
1 lb. bay scallops (I used a frozen package of small scallops)
2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice (or to taste)
1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary (or to taste)
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme (or to taste)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Pre-heat oven to 400. If frozen, thaw scallops per instructions.
2. Combine all ingredients - mixing well.
3. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I ate the baked bay scallops alongside homemade ratatouille, and it was delicious. A great combination of flavors! The lemon with the scallops, I think, makes this recipe.

(title from "apologize" by onerepublic)

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