The pounds have been coming off pretty slowly lately, but I'm noticing more and more that my clothes are getting baggier. That pair of size 14 jeans I was so proud to get into last fall? They won't stay up any more.  

So...I was just wondering if I might could squeeze into a size 12.

I did! And there they are. Size twelve jeans. These are the same brand and style from Kohl's that I got last fall, only a size smaller! Woohoo! 

I don't think I've been in a size 12 since before college. I know I was a 10 when I graduated high school. 

Back in 2011, when I was around 240 pounds, I found a pair of cute a.n.a. jeans at the thrift store. They were a size 10, a size I could only dream of getting back to. They were $3, so I got them to hang up on my wall as my *ultimate* goal pants. But instead of motivating me, looking at them used to depress me. They looked so small. My arm could barely fit inside one of the legs. 

It's so crazy to think that those jeans are only one size away from where I am now! And you know what's even stranger? They aren't looking as ridiculously tiny as they did two years ago. It's so weird how your perception changes with weight loss.

Anyway, this is just a reminder that a number on a scale isn't always the best measure of your body. Don't let how many pounds you weigh discourage you.  

Spring Is Here!

I'm so excited- today marks the first day of Spring 2013!

Too bad it doesn't feel like it outside. I needed my coat and gloves this morning. This weekend really spoiled me with its clear, sunny skies and highs in the mid-seventies. I'm craving more weather like that! Oh well. Soon.

I always think fall is my favorite time of year until spring rolls around. Then, of course, I think spring is my favorite until we're in October. I guess they're really about equal for me. They both glow with colorful beauty, just in different ways.

To me, one of the best things about spring is gardening. I always get this irrepressible urge to head over to Lowe's and buy out their garden center. This year, that urge is stronger than ever. I've never planted anything this early, but a couple of weeks ago, I bought an indoor herb growing kit that contained seeds of basil, parsley, cilantro, and rosemary (I think?). It only cost $6 at Dollar General, so I had low expectations. But I've already got some tiny baby sprouts shooting up! No idea what they are, though, because the seeds were all mixed together. Should be a fun surprise!

This will be my first spring living in an apartment, so I've been trying to research things you can grow in pots on a patio and such. Does anyone know anything about this? I'd appreciate any tips. I'll probably try some tomatoes, but I'm not sure what else.

Oh, and I made a new layout for spring. Isn't it so springy? I love pastels.

I hope you all have a great season!

2013 Goal #14. Read 4 Classic Pieces of Literature I've Never Read. - Part One

#1 – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

            First off, let me say that I’m a little embarrassed about how long it took me to read this novel. The only reason for this? Poor scheduling.

            I’ve been waiting until I get in my bed at night to read. So there I am, in my PJs, all nicely tucked beneath my covers, when I finally grab the book from my nightstand. About ten minutes later, I’m yawning and bobbing my head.


            So, I only read about one chapter (or sometimes less…) at a time, even though I often wanted to keep reading to see what happened next. I was just too darn sleepy. (I’ve not been able to adjust to my new work hours very well. Having to wake up before 5 every morning, then not get back in town until 4, then going straight to the gym to kill it for an hour, then cooking, then cleaning, then showering…then it’s time for bed again. Oh, the woes of adult life.)

            Even though I majored in English, I’d never read Jane Eyre or seen any of the film adaptations of it, so I didn’t know the storyline. And let me say that I really enjoyed it.

            I found this novel pleasantly easy to read. A lot of 19th century British literature is dull and boring and filled with paragraph-long sentences that you have to re-read three times to comprehend. But Brontë s style of writing was surprisingly modern. The characters were still relatable. There were even a few bits of dialogue that actually made me laugh out loud!

            Despite many contemporary elements, the story also, of course, is your typical 19th century classic. It’s got a lonely orphan as the lead, a dark Gothic mansion filled with secrets, a mysterious unconventional male love interest with a few secrets of his own, lots of brooding, and a looming supernatural aura from beginning to end.

            So, of course it was right up my alley.

            And I really liked Jane. I felt I could identify with her in a lot of ways. She struggled with a sense of alienation, a search for “kindred spirits”, a community, a place to belong. But she also dealt with a feeling of imprisonment. She wanted independence. The battle between love and freedom.

            I really cared about what happened to Jane, and I did so all the way until the last page. So many times, I’ll love a story until that ¾ of the way point where it becomes mediocre and I lose interest. And even though it took me, er, two and a half months to finish it, I never lost interest.

            I’m gonna have to get busy watching the movie versions now. Which one’s the best? There's a BBC version on Netflix instant queue, I noticed. Is it good?

           Oh, and I also need to find my next unread classic to dive into. If you have any suggestions, feel free to share!

From First 5K to First 10K

You've probably noticed how much I love doing side-by-side photo comparisons. Before and after pictures encourage and motivate me even more than a lower number on a scale or a smaller size jeans. Nothing shows the progress more obviously to me.

So, here's my latest one.

On the left, I have just finished my first race, the Woodstock 5K in August 2012. On the right, I am about to do my first 10K, the Adam's Heart Run in February 2013.

I should note that the one on the left was taken after the race, while the better one on the right was taken before (which explains the former purpley-ness and subsequent lack of it).

But wow.

So don't delete or throw away those hideous fat pictures. Keep them hidden away somewhere, then pull them out when you've made progress. The changes will amaze you.