Sunday, February 27, 2011
If you remember from the holidays, they did Hold the Stuffing. Now, with the March upon us we have a new challenge!
March Health Madness Challenge!
The goal is to complete 23 out of 31 healthy items on the calendar . Everything from incorporating veggies into every meal to taking a meditation break to not adding any additional salt to your food for a whole day.
I am taking the challenge. I will blog about my progress each week and tweet using the #HealthyMarch hashtag.
So, won't you join me on this challenge? I already have a few peeps on board. It's easy to print out the calendar and keep it by your desk at work to check off items as you complete them. Please comment below or tweet me if you want to join in!
Last week's weight - 278.6
This week's weight - 280.0
1.4 pounds GAINED
49.4 pounds lost since June 2010
As I watched the scale stay firmly in the 278-279 range and then suddenly creep up late this week, I knew I'd likely see a small gain this morning. I did not expect this large of a gain, however.
The week after large losses (last week was 5.4 lbs) aren't going to be followed by another huge loss, but I expect to at least maintain that loss.
Yes this is frustrating.
As I have solidly for the last 5 months, I tracked every bite and was well within my calorie range every day (1600-1900).
I exercised 6 out of 7 days this week. Yoga, water aerobics (x3), walking (3 miles), upper body strength training, powerlift. I'm considering going back to my 3x a week walking schedule I had for half-marathon training. My body seems to respond well to walking.
So food in check and burned 2,400+ calories this week. Isn't calories out > calories in supposed to be what this weight loss thing is all about? From what I found, not always.
The human body likes to be a stubborn b*tch.
The only thing keeping me sane and preventing me from stomping my foot and breaking down in tears is that over the previous 3 weeks I had lost 11.4 pounds, so I'm still down 10 for the month and right on track to hit my goal of 250 by July 1st.
All I can do is press on. After a gain, it doesn't help to get depressed or give up. Where will that get you? Only a series of gains and before you know it you've gained back everything you've worked hard to lose. I'm a firm believer there are no excuses as to why I am not losing weight each week. If I gain, then there is something to improve. So this is what I am doing to improve this week.
I will float myself with water. 64+ ounces a day minimum. I haven't been drinking enough water.
I will start major walking again. Below will be my workout schedule this week. I'm putting it here so I do it - none of this loosey goosey workout stuff.
Mon - yoga
Tues - walk 3 miles
Wed - yoga (this may be an off day - I have a friend visiting for the night from out of town)
Thurs - walk 3 miles
Fri - water aerobics
Sat - Powerlift
(next) Sun - walk 6 miles
Don't worry about me, I got this.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
This is huge to me! I started this blog in a size 28 - the biggest size you could find in most "plus size" stores. I don't even remember the last time there was a "1" in the first digit of my pant size. Honestly, I was probably in middle school - age 13 or 14.
Today, I started thinking about where I started. I started this journey well before I started writing about it on the internet. My highest weight was 355 in February 2008. It was a about a year after I graduated college during which I was in a toxic work environment causing me to sometimes eat fast food 3 times a day. After being unemployed for 6+ months, I lost about 15-20 lbs when I went back to work. And then I lost another 30 lbs in late 2008 after enrolling in a weight management class. I hovered around 320 most of 2009 before gaining 10 lbs back and starting this blog in early 2010 at 330.
For visual effect, I wanted to share a photo history of myself from the last few years.
Probably around the 340-350 mark. The whole family was on vacation in Destin.
I remember feeling uncomfortable in everything I wore on that trip.
This photo makes me say, "wow" out loud.
Don't mind the hideous hat. I just don't look good in them!
So about Powerlift...
This is the description from the group fitness schedule: "Strength training workout emphasizing toning and muscle definition with high reps; targets every major muscle group."
Simple enough, right?
So Saturday, after taking an easy 4 mile walk, I headed to Powerlift. First of all, I got there later than I wanted to so it was already CROWDED. Walking into a new class when it's already full? Bad news. So, my spot was conveniently in the middle of the room, in the very front, RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE INSTRUCTOR. Nerves.
Next, cue the squats. And the overhead presses. And the bicep curls. And the push-ups. And the tricep dips. And what ever other form of medieval torture we performed that day. 40 minutes in I started getting lightheaded, dizzy, the room went white and I had to leave the class. I tried coming back in twice, but both times the same thing would happen as soon as I started to move or lift. I'm not sure I had enough fuel in my body. I only had a banana and granola bar for breakfast and at this point I was on hour 2 of my work out that day with only water to fuel me. Bad choice. So I only made it 40 minutes of the hour long class.
So now, yesterday - and even more so today - I can. not. move. Seriously, it hurt to type and click the computer mouse at work today. It hurt to lift the ceramic coffee cup to my lips this morning. Forget going to the bathroom, I'll just hold it. I was more sore today than I was either of the two days after the half-marathon last week. It's hardcore.
What did I learn though? Well, I learned that strength training is HARD WORK. This isn't a free ride, y'all. So fuel up! Also, I won't be doing any kind of walking before this class again. And the (very nice) instructor says it takes going to the class 3 times to be comfortable with it.
I am not quitting. This class has challenged me as I've never been challenged before and now I must conquer it. So, if you see me hobbling around, don't worry, I've just been working on my fitness.
Monday, February 21, 2011
I've been following the principles of the Carb Lover's diet since the end of September, with great results (35 lbs lost since starting, 50 lost total). One of the great things about the Carb Lover's book is that it is filled with easy to prepare (AND DELICIOUS) recipes. My "go tos" are things like their black bean or fish tacos, the chicken pasta primavera and the Shrimp Stir-Fry.
The week before my marathon, in an effort to carb load, I wanted to make a new pasta dish. Enter Baked Two-Cheese Penne with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. Despite the length of the title of this dish, the ingredient list isn't very long, nor is it filled with hard to find items. Although, I did make a few substitutions based on ingredients I had or could easily acquire (see below).
Used: 1 ounce Gouda and 2 ounces light Haverty
The recipe called for whole wheat penne and I used whole wheat shells since I had it on hand already.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
This week's weight - 278.6
5.4 pounds LOST
50.8 pounds lost since June 2010
I am thrilled to see a new second digit number on the scale. My goal was to be in the 270's by the end of February, and a whole week early - I'M THERE!
This also marks 50 lbs gone since I started the blog. 50 lbs I will never see on my body again - EVER!
Friday, February 18, 2011
So what now?
Well, I could do another half-marathon. But I've been there, done that. (Not to say I'll never do another one, you better believe I will later this year or early 2012).
Instead, I am coming out completely from my comfort zone and doing something that scares the sh*t out of me most. Being that horrified of heights and plummeting to any sort of injury or death, it's time to climb over things and get dirty. September, 17, 2011 I will compete in...
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Thank you to EVERYONE who commented, emailed, tweeted or said any form of congrats to me the last few days. I am overwhelmed with the support and I feel so blessed to have each and every one of you in my life, whether we just know each other through the screens of our computers or you are the friends I lean to in my everyday life - I love you all!
That is a video of me finishing the half marathon on Sunday. Look at my cute little waddle run. Ha. Ha. The rest of the photos can be found here. Can't say I like any of them.
Official finishing times also were posted. I originally estimated I finished around 3:40. Well, the half-marathon Gods shone down upon me and my official race time was 3 hours 34 minutes 55 seconds. That's a 16:25 minute per mile pace!!! I exceeded everything I thought I was capable of on this day and the resulting confidence in myself and my body is astounding.
What's even more unbelievable to me is that my 10K time (6.2 miles) was 1 hour 34 minutes and 26 seconds or a 15:14 minute per mile pace. That means, my goal of a 45 minute 5K (and maybe 1:30 10K are within my reach).
Though, for now, my goals lie in other fitness areas (more on that tomorrow).
Also, in case you missed it, Emily over at Skinny Emmie was kind enough to allow me to guest post my half marathon training tips on her blog. She's doing her first half-marathon in April and I couldn't be more thrilled to watch her as she shares her journey to the finish line over the next few months. So for any of you who may be thinking a half-marathon is on your horizon, take a gander. And if you think a half-marathon is out of your reach, it's not. Trust me, just a little over 2 years ago I couldn't walk 3 miles if my life depended on it. Especially not at a 16:25 minute per mile pace.
Monday, February 14, 2011
As far as the actual race, it’s hard to recall all the details I had racing through my head at the time they happened because now that we’ve all crossed the finish line, I can only recall the feelings at the end – the reward. The one where you feel like the world is in your hands and you can accomplish anything.
Saturday night with the 5 of us racing the next day (and spouses) gathering at the lovely Jen West’s house for a delicious carb loading meal and Apples to Apples. It was a great, low key way to spend the night to get our minds (at least mine) off the impending race the next day.
There’s something about big events and races where I don’t sleep well the days and nights beforehand. I didn’t sleep well Friday anticipating my trip to Birmingham. Saturday I tried napping and never was able to fall asleep and Saturday night was the worst. I was in bed by 9:30, didn’t fall asleep until 11, woke up again at 2AM, couldn’t fall back asleep until 3AM and my alarm (all 3 of them!) went off at 5:15AM. Sigh. Luckily, I had enough excitement pumping through my veins to get me through with no cause for worry.
I was out of bed by 5:30AM and getting ready. First, I brewed a cup of coffee and ate my breakfast (whole wheat bagel, almond butter and banana). I wanted to do this step first in my routine to, ahem, let things settle. I followed the half a cup of coffee with about 12-13 ounces of water. Then I got dressed, put my race number on and did one last bathroom check and out the door I went!
I was lucky enough to be staying just 2 blocks away from the start line. So, I got down there quickly and just hung around. Fortunately, I ran into Jen and her husband Mike to snap a few pre-race pictures and get some excitement out chatting it up. About 20 minutes till start time we parted ways and I made my way to the back of the start chute. The slowest corral they had marked was 13+ minute miles. Ha! I am about a 17 minute mile, so as the corral filled up, I moved further back as to not block the way of those who were actually running.
I forgot to look at the clock when I crossed the start line beginning my official time. My guess would be it took the back of the chute a minute or two to get up there. The act of actually crossing the start line was pretty anti-climatic and off I went. I didn’t put my ear phones in right away. I wanted to take in my surroundings at the start.
Mile 1-3: Pretty non-descript. The course as a whole was a little boring for me as I was in a foreign city and had no idea where I was walking, though I did end up seeing several familiar spots I visited on a previous trip to Birmingham. It was also different for me in that I had no chance to see anyone I knew unless it was on the course, as everyone I know in Birmingham was doing the race. Chez, who I met the night before, did pass me during the first 2 miles and I cheered her on. The first few miles felt slow. I started my strawberry banana Power Bar Energy Gel Blasts at Mile 3.
Mile 4-5: I finally felt in the groove. I did the first 3 miles in around 47 minutes. Pretty typical for me, but I still found myself being concerned with those passing me or trying to pass people. I struggled with this until Mile 6. I also kept looking over my shoulder to make sure the sweep up crew (those who take people off the course that aren’t keeping pace within the maximum time) wasn’t coming for me. I know it sounds silly, but I’m paranoid like that.
Mile 6-7: Despite hearing sad news that Jen blew her knee out and gracefully ended her run to prevent further injury, this was the portion of the course where I finally talked myself down from feeling self conscience about either getting passed or passing people. I kept repeating to myself, “This MY race and I’m going at my own pace. I am not doing this for anyone but me.” Finally having that in my mind helped me relax and get in my own world. Around Mile 6 the marathoners started passing us (not the cause of my passing anxiety, because…well duh) since it is a double loop course. It was pretty cool to see the leading runners pass by. I had 2 more Energy Gel Blasts at Mile 7.
Mile 8-9: At this point, I was staying strong on my 16 minute pace and it crossed my mind I had a chance of finishing at my never-vocalized, aspirational goal of finishing in 3:30. I held on to this thought, though not too hopeful, until about Mile 11 when my pace slowed. Mile 8 I was very excited as I counted on my fingers, “ 8 to 9, 9 to 10, 10 to 11, 11 to 12, 12 to 13 – only 5 miles!” I also started getting really emotional at Mile 9. After I had swore up I would never do another one again, I was doing another half-marathon. And quite frankly every mile was infinitely better than the first marathon I did in April 2009. This realization made me teary-eyed.
Mile 10: THERE ARE RAZOR BLADES IN MY SHOES. Really, that’s what it felt like. This is when the pain from blisters on both feet started. It felt like knives were stabbing my feet with every step I took. I can’t really explain why I got bad blisters. I haven’t had a blister at all throughout training and I did everything exactly the same. Wicking socks, Vaseline, same shoes. The only thing I can figure is that it was a combination of it being so hot outside (aka sweatier feet), my insoles wearing down (I’m ready for new ones) and my shoes being a half size too big, since my feet are shrinking with weight loss. I continued on, hoping the pain would subside. I was glad to only have 3.1 miles left at this point. Two more Gel Blasts before mile 10.
Mile 11-12: The emotions started pouring in again at Mile 11 where Lulumon was cheering on racers with inspirational signs. I started thinking about my brother, for who my journey for health was started for. After his death in 2006, I made a promise to myself that I didn’t want my parents to have to bury two of their children. Had I continued my life the way it was back then it could have happened that way. At Mile 11, I had to hold back as to not become a blubberer 2 miles before the finish line. The blister pain subsided temporarily, but I also slowed down considerably the last two miles (to about am 18-19 minute pace). I had the last two Gel Blasts at Mile 12.
Last mile: Felt like the longest on the course and there was a very clear hill ahead. A hill at the end - REALLY? This also happened to be when I received text messages from both Jen and my former co-worker, Liz who also ran the half, telling me they were waiting to cheer me on near the finish! What a boost! I love, love, love how encouraging everyone is on the last mile. Between the racers who are already done, walking opposite, or the spectators there who tell you, “just a little further” or “right around the corner and you’re done.” I love it. This was probably my favorite part of the race (besides finishing). At the top of the hill I saw Jen and Mike and was SO ENCOURAGED, I sped up a tiny bit to finish strong.
Finish line: So, one of the cool things about Mercedes is that they announce your name as you approach the finish line. Since I was the only one coming down the half-marathon chute at the time, I felt like I had my own personal cheering section. They announced my name and I took off running towards the finish. Yep, I ran the last couple hundred feet or so. AND THEN I WAS DONE and got a pretty medal. My unofficial time (as in, my guess) is 3 hours and 40 minutes. A 16:45 per mile pace.
I grabbed water and met up with Liz briefly, which was really fun since she is from Nashville. It was so exciting to see seeing a familiar face from home at the finish line. Then, I stretched out and headed over to where Jen and Mike were waiting for Chez to come in, within minutes she was crossing the finish line.
Then, it was time to see Stephen and Will across the finish line. As they were nearing the home stretch, Jen had the great idea to go down to cheer them on and support them by walking with them the last quarter mile or so to the finish line. It was overpoweringly emotional to see them cross the finish line and have the race director there waiting for Stephen to hand a medals and beer off to them. We were all across the finish line!
Mimosas and brunch at Silvertron followed and made a perfect celebration for all of our accomplishments.
It’s hard for me to find words to describe the immense accomplishment I feel. I don’t know why, but I didn’t I feel that when I did my first half-marathon. This time, for the first time in my life, I felt like an athlete. Whether I am or not, well, I guess that just depends on who you ask. But the point is, I’m encouraged. If you can’t tell, I’m very competitive with myself. Shaving approximately 38 minutes off my half-marathon time from April 2009 until now encourages me that I can make this body of mine do whatever I set my mind to. I already have my eye on the next prize – details to come soon.
A couple notes about the course/day:
- Well organized event. Great supply of water, Powerade and GU for constant hydration and nutrition during the race.
- Perfect weather – in the 30s to start, hoodie was off by mile 3 and Sunny and 50s most of the race.
- Some of the roads on the course are in need of some major resurfacing. It was hard on my ankles to navigate all the tiny holes and cracks.
- Major hills! There weren’t a lot of “OMG I CAN’T WALK UP THAT” moments, but it was definitely very up and down throughout the course.
I feel incredibly lucky to have the friends and family that were rooting for me from near and far. Thank you to everyone who tweeted me along the way and throughout the race (I’m looking at you especially Brittany and Cyndi). Thank you to EVERYONE for your Facebook messages of encouragement and congrats (Sarah, we WILL walk a half-marathon together). You will never know how much those messages and tweets mean to me and how much it encouraged me along the way. Many thanks to Stephen, because if it wasn’t for him I never would have decided to do another half. Thank you to Jen and Mike, who are honestly the most genuine people I’ve come across. To KG; Miss Lynn; Jenne, Joe and Audren; Kari, Drew and Emmalyn and the rest of my Nashville and St. Louis friends, who continually tell me they are proud of me. Of course, I can’t forget my mom who replied to my text confirming I finished with, “That’s fast walking!”
UPDATED: Here is Stephen's post-race recap.
Friday, February 11, 2011
This week's weight - 284.0
1.4 pounds LOST
45.4 pounds lost since June 2010
I will totally take this number since I had a couple higher than normal calorie days (dang it, snow!) and I was technically "resting" so I only burned 1,400 calories exercising this week vs last week's 4,000.
I'm posting the weigh in for this week a day early because 1) I won't have access to a scale tomorrow and 2) want to focus on the race tomorrow, and not a pesky number on the scale. I am heading to Birmingham today for the Mercedes Half Marathon tomorrow!
I. Am. So. Ready.
I can't wait to get down there, pick up my packet and just chill before the 7 AM race Sunday. It couldn't be a more perfect weekend than I have planned. I'm staying at the closest hotel to the start/finish line (no parking headaches!) and the lovely Jen West over at www.thejenwestquest.com has invited a group of people doing the race over to her house for dinner tonight and I am so excited to meet her in person. She is the main reason I bought the Carb Lover's Diet book and is just an all around inspiring blogger and person.
I have so much built up excitement from my this week's "rest" week (read: lack of exercise) and just all around pre-race anxiety.
Expect a post-race recap first thing Monday morning! I hope the hotel has free wi-fi in the lobby or I can find a coffee shop to post from.
Wish me luck!
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
When you stop hearing from weight loss bloggers regularly, there's usually a chance that they have slipped into the black hole of negativity, despair and multiple gains. Quite the contrary, although prior to this week I was MIA, things have been going really great - I just had a few computer issues to deal with and now I'm back and I have updates!
101 in 1001 update
In December, the website I used to begin my 101 in 101 list went down. Crashed. Without very much communication from the website owner and having not backed up my list on my desktop or blog, I thought my list was gone forever. Although incomplete at the time (and still is), I was sad to lose the work I put in to documenting thoughtful goals and milestones I wanted to complete in the next 3ish years of my life.
37. take a spin class - January 2011
43. Go to a drive in movie - October 2010
49. Make my Halloween costume - October 2010
51. Start taking a multivitamin - January 2011
64. Have a BMI that does not indicate morbid obesity (under 40) - November 2010
As of next Sunday, I will have completed another item: 23. Complete another half marathon
My next step is to finish the list, I still need 17 more items. Then, it's time to make a plan of attack. Time is ticking away!
Do you have a 101 in 1001 [or bucket, or 30 in 30 or plain ol' life] list? What's on it? If not, what would be on your list if you had one?
Monday, February 7, 2011
Served with Baked Lays.
I ended up having a few bagel crisps with the buffalo chicken dip, a couple veggies and white bean hummus, a few baked lays and dip, probably about a serving of chips and salsa (my friend makes the best damn salsa in the world - I want to bathe in it.), 2 chicken wings, approx 4 oz of pork and a fish taco (1/2 fillet and 1 corn tortilla).
Sunday, February 6, 2011
This week's weight: 285.4
4.6 pounds LOST
44 pounds lost since June 2010
Not much to say except BOOYAH!
I knew with my gain last week this week could turn out exciting. Of course I always wish it was a little more. But I am certainly happy with almost 5 lbs.
Yesterday I did my last long walk for the half marathon a week from TODAY. It's a bit bittersweet that training is coming to a close. Over the last 3 1/2 months, I've pushed myself harder than I previously have, I've hit milestones on the scale (and lost 18 pounds since training began) and I am ready for new challenges.
I definitely plan to continue my long walks on the weekends, but I am also looking towards new fitness goals to push my body further.
This week is technically a rest/taper week, however I will still do my yoga and water aerobic classes and do a couple 2-3 mile walks. I will take Friday and Saturday off in preparation for the Sunday half-marathon.
I'm off to go make some good (some healthy, some not) food for our Super Bowl party. I'm not partial to any particular team, so GO PACKERSTEELERS!!!
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
KG: Hey there's a crossfit place [near our house]. I'm pretty sure that's how you train for the Warrior Dash.
Me: uhhhhhhhhh I'm scared.
KG: Oh yeah crossfit is scary. Like for real.
Me: [looking at website] There's a coupon for a free week at that place. We should do it.
KG: Oh lordie, I think I would have a mental breakdown. I kinda wanna cry just thinking about it.
Me: "15 Skin The Cats then 200 sit-ups" I dont want to know what skin the cat is.
KG: haha me either!
Me: [Googles 'skin the cat' and finds video] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-TpLJYJU5o
.... [Watches video] ....
Me: Okay...I don't want to try crossfit anymore.
KG: Fuck that
Me: Um YEAH.