Friday, May 31, 2013

New bathing suit...

Ok, so I've had mixed reactions on this suit and I'd like your opinions.  But don't be too mean, I've had a hard week... ;)))

Let me first say that I have a few bikinis, so I wanted something a bit more modest and a bit more sporty.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A terrible tragedy...

Ok, in terms of really, really bad things that could happen to us, this isn't the end of the world, but it is a tragedy for us and Marc and I are both really upset today.  As if I needed something more to bring me down.

Last night all was well.  Marc went to collect the eggs and the chickens were - as they always are slightly before sundown - happily picking at the ground near the chicken coop.  They wander all around our land during the day, but as it starts towards dusk, they move to the coop and graze there before turning themselves in at night.  The coop is really close to our house.

Marc went out after dark as he always does to close the small door that the chickens use to go in and out and discovered that all the new baby chickens and the guinea fowl were there, but there was only one chicken.  He looked around outside and there had been a massacre.  There were feathers all over and no sign of any of the other chickens, or the rooster.  

He locked up the coop and went in search but did not find any of them.

This morning, he checked over the remaining hen and she is missing feathers but otherwise ok.  He ended up locating 2 other hens who apparently were able to escape their attackers and were ok.  He also find the remains of our poor sweet rooster.  But that means that the rooster as well as 5 our our 8 hens are dead.  

This is SO upsetting for a number of reasons.  Not only for the death of the hens, but I can't believe that the predators - we are pretty sure it was foxes - would come that close to our house and kill them!  Even the coyotes won't come close to the house because of the smell of our dogs!  

As Marc said - what if one of our cats gets out??!!  Then they would be eaten in a second!  And now we can't let the chickens out to free range because we are certain they will be killed.

I don't know what we are going to do!  

This morning I talked to one of my clients who has some live traps that he is going to loan me - it is illegal to kill foxes apparently - the sons of bitches...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My projects...

So, are you sick of me being a self-pitying whiny ass bitch this week?  Yeah, me too!  So let's talk about something else!

Ok, so first an update on my baby boy Chakotay.  It has been only 3 weeks since we started trying to assist him in his own weight loss journey.  The poor bugger.  It's hard with animals - even with young kids you can kind of explain things to them, but not to pets.  I think he is starting to get it a little anyway.  I took an updated picture last night and tried to get the same angle.  I think that you can see a little difference - what do you think?

May 8:

May 28:

I think he definitely looks thinner.  You know I should take measurements since it is next to impossible to weigh him on a regular scale!  We will continue to work with him and hopefully continue to see positive results!

Sometimes I think to myself that my life has become all about food obsession and exercise.  But I do have other hobbies, honest!  Did you guys know that I crochet afghans?  I finished this one last night:

I find crocheting relaxing.  I sit down at night while watching tv and I feel like I'm doing something productive, but it's not taxing on either the mind or the body.

This is one that I've made several times.  It makes a great wedding gift.  It is pretty fun to make.      

I made this one for our niece Mary for her baby, Maxine.

So I do have a life outside of what I always talk about here!

Today is a better day emotionally if anyone is wondering!  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A victory of sorts....

Yesterday, we traveled quite a distance in order to check out this recreation area that Marc found to try out some new hiking trails.  We decided not to work out in the morning and to just have lunch early and head out.

The place was AWESOME.  Much better then anticipated.  There are tons of trails to hike, and, for us, one of the best parts was that dogs that are well behaved are welcome to be off leash!  There were many dogs owners taking advantage of this.  

There was even a place where the dogs could head in to swim.  My boys had a blast:

I have been realizing lately that there are some experiences that I am not enjoying because I can't get out of my head thinking about weight and weight loss and calories.  So yesterday I was determined - before I left the house - that I was going to enjoy the hike and not think about time and calories burned.  

I was successful!  I stopped and took pictures and just enjoyed the wonderful hiking trails and didn't think about how far we were going and how many calories I was burning!  It helped that I asked Marc to track our miles with his hand held GPS that he brings with him when we walk on trails.  That way I didn't wear my watch and obsessively check it like I usually do.  

So that was my minor victory.  Of course, as it always seems to be with me, it was short lived.  I stepped on the scale this morning and weighed 121.2.  I was so incredibly discouraged.  It seems that I can't get down and stay down to where I want to be.  And so then that starts my head going and going and going.  I "should have" worked out in the morning.  I "shouldn't have" eaten that granola bar after our hike.   

I think I'm just - weight lossed out.  I'm sick and tired of thinking about food all the time.  I'm sick of worrying about every single calorie that goes in my mouth.  But the thought of not doing that and just cutting loose?  That is terrifying.  I've been doing this weight loss thing now for over 3 years and it has become a pattern.  

So my birthday is next Monday.  For this week, I'm going to try to eat healthy, listen to my body, and develop my goals for the summer. I'm going to try to get out of my head.  I'm not sure what this will mean mentally or physically, but I'm only talking a week.  We'll see....

And, just for shits and giggles, I wanted to share of pic of how tired out the boys were last night!  

Are they not the cutest things in the world??

Monday, May 27, 2013

The veggie garden!!

Yesterday ended up much better then anticipated after I was in such a crappy ass mood yesterday morning.  I reluctantly headed out for my run and promised myself that I only had to run 10 miles.  I took a little bit of a new route, and was able to get into the groove.  I took the turn for home, got to the sign that I know marks 3 miles from home and was shocked to discover I was at 11.75 miles.   So I ended up running 15 miles.  

Then, after a hearty lunch, I got to work on the vegetable garden.  Marc had rototilled it earlier and then went over it quick again last week to remove some remaining weeds and to loosen it all up for me.  

Planting a large garden is no easy task!  At least not if you are doing it by hand!  I would take a tool and dig a trench for the seeds all the way across the garden.  Then drop the seeds into the trench to the right depth.  Then go back over and bury the seeds.  

All told it took about 3 hours.  It was hard work, especially after running in the morning.  But this is what I planted and it will be worth it:

  • Sweet corn
  • zucchini
  • summer squash
  • spaghetti squash
  • tomatoes
  • cantalope
  • watermelon
  • green beans
  • onions
  • yellow beans
  • peas
  • snow peas
  • sugar snap peas
  • lettuce
  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • eggplant
  • cucumber
I cannot wait to have a crop of fresh veggies!  It doesn't look like much now, but hopefully we'll see the seeds start to sprout!  My goal this year to to WEED more, as last year weeds totally took over!

Anyone else doing a garden this year?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hanging out in Crazytown....

The highs and lows of this journey is what often gets to me.  How I can possibly be so happy and content one minute and then crashing low the next boggles my mind.

So I've had a pretty rough week.  Being out of my routine started it, and even though I feel like I've caught up on my sleep, I think that I'm still a little fatigued.  

Plus the shitty weather we've had the last few days hasn't helped.  On Thursday, I ran, as per usual, on my lunch hour.  It rained the ENTIRE time.  I get back to work, change my clothes, try to dry my dripping wet hair and sit down at my desk to eat and..... the sun comes out.  I was able to mostly laugh that off.  But then Friday, the temps dropped into the 40's.  I head out for my Friday run and it's raining - again - except this time it is a cold, nasty rain.  I get about 4 miles in and I'm freezing, soaking wet, and miserable.  So I tell myself that I only have to run 5 miles, not my usual 7.  And that thought fills me with panic.  Yes, panic.  So, of course, I run 7 and get back to work.  My hands are so frozen that I had to have someone open the door for me because the hands don't work.  I spend the rest of the afternoon chilled and angry.

Yesterday, the plan was to plant the garden.  Except it was cold and windy.  So we went shopping instead.  I've been looking to buy a tankini or one piece bathing suit, since all I have are bikinis and there might be occasions this summer where I want to be in something more modest.  I try on suits and everything looks terrible on me.  Whether it actually looks terrible, or it's just the mood I'm in, I'm not sure.  Maybe I'll get the courage to post a pic of what I ended up buying.  Or maybe I'll return it.

I weighed in this morning at 119.0.  That is 2-3 pounds higher then I like to see the scale and so I'm depressed.  Which is RIDICULOUS.  I also don't feel like running this morning.  Who says I have to run?  Well me of course.  All of this CRAP is self-induced yet I don't know how to change it when I get like this.  

So, once again, I'll try to ride it out because I know that it gets better.  That miracle I spoke about a couple of days ago?  I'm waiting....

   Dear self, this is for you:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Waiting for the miracle...

I've talked here on many occasions about how much the journey of weight loss has in common with the journey of recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.  I think that I am especially attuned to it because I work every day with drug and alcohol addicts and hear their stories and struggles and can identify so strongly with what they are going through.

In Alcoholic Anonymous, they have a slogan:  


So what are they talking about?  Well, one of the definitions of miracle is the following:  A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment.

I think that it is a miracle that I lost 228 pounds.  Nothing - ABSOLUTELY NOTHING - in my history would have pointed to me being able to accomplish this!   

So what is the miracle you are looking for?  Because miracles lie all over the place:
  • Being on a plateau and suddenly dropping 3 pounds in 1 week
  • Turning down that piece of cake and eating your salad instead
  • Realizing that you are exercising because it feels good, not just because you "have to"
  • Walking 4 miles and realizing nothing hurts
  • Hugging someone you love and realizing that their arms go all the way around you
  • Getting up in the morning and looking forward to starting your day
  • Running 30 minutes without stopping
  • Putting on a size 8 dress and realizing that it is loose
These are all small miracles at times for those of us who have struggled with weight.  And just because a miracle happens, doesn't mean that every single day is a miracle.  There will still be those days when you eat the brownie instead of the carrot.  And there will be days when it seems like an impossiblity that you can lose the weight you want to.

The point is DON'T QUIT!  The miracle you are seeking could be 5 minutes away!  When suddenly you "get it".  When the world makes sense.  When your dreams start to come true.  

What has been a miracle for you in this journey?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Summer is approaching!

Memorial Day is coming!  Though the calendar doesn't say it, we all know that is an official kick off to summer.  How is everyone feeling heading into the summer months?  

Even though we are all out and about, summer can be very challenging!  Lots and lots of parties, picnics, weddings, family reunions, - the list goes ON AND ON.  Do you have a plan for how you are going to handle these events?  If you haven't thought about it, NOW is the time to do so.

The more developed your plan is, the more you are likely to stick to it!  Know what you are willing to eat and not eat.  Know what you are going to tell people when they question you or criticize your choices.  

Has anyone been bathing suit shopping yet?  I did a little bit on Monday when I was out of the area for a training.  I tried on the new style that everyone seems to be wearing - the monokini.

Needless to say, I looked like a brick.  It looked TERRIBLE on me.  Soooooo.... no monokini for me!

The suit looked a lot like this, but I DID NOT look like the model in it!!!

May has been an extremely challenging month for me both in terms of eating well as well as other aspects of my life.  I've felt good at times, but also very stressed and emotional.  I've had a lot going on, and as I've shared with you - I don't handle changes to my routine well at all.  This was true over the last couple of days while I was at the training.

Monday night we went to eat out and landed at Ruby Tuesdays - where I had the salad bar.  Good choice, right?  Well, not when I made the decision to eat my BODY WEIGHT in sunflower seeds and croutons!  Then the hotel we were staying in - a cheapo hotel but it was nice - had a HUGE and FANTASTIC and COMPLIMENTARY breakfast.  Sigh....  

I did make the decision - while everyone else was out having lunch - to run when we were given our midday break.  It was 86 degrees, 90% humidity, and the area was very hilly.  I felt sorry for myself and ran 7 miles anyway, and at the end I was glad I had.  So there was one tiny victory.

I want to get my garden planted this weekend and then will be my birthday and hopefully things will be calming down a bit!  Hope everyone else is heading into summer on a positive note!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Things I LOVE - CamelBak water bottle.

As you all know, drinking water is SO important.  Not just for those of us trying to lose weight, but for everyone.  We are dehydrated as a nation and we drink crap that has unnecessary calories.

I am a water-o-holic!  Which is why I love my CamelBak water bottle

In fact, I have 2 of these - one for work and one for home.  And Marc has one as well.  What I really love about these is that me, being the clumsy goof that I am, I am constantly knocking crap over.  The have like a vacuum seal and water only comes out when you bite the valve.  Therefore when you drop it or knock it over it doesn't spill.  I have dropped mine a couple times and it didn't break.  So it is well made.

You can drink the water without tilting it back.  The top has a hook that is convenient to strap things to - you could also hook a carabiner through it and then stick it on your belt loop or purse.  This version, which I have, comes in a couple different sizes.  I would say that I drink about 5-6 full bottles a day!

CamelBak also has a lifetime guarantee.  Which I know a lot of companies say that, but Marc recently had the valve not tilting upright after a few years of use.  He wrote to CamelBak and they sent him a new one without any drama.  Nice to have a company that stands by their product, huh?

So, you will see me with one of my CamelBaks at just about all times.  It helps remind me to drink.  They come in a variety of colors and, of course, both of mine are orange!  

Sunday, May 19, 2013

1:30 AM

So can I first address my last couple of posts?  Some of you may or may not read the comments that people post at the end of my blog posts.  "43 Going on Dead" pointed out to me that some people who read this blog have a tremendous about to lose and would LOVE to be in my position, and that bitching about whether I should lose a couple more pounds....?

So let me say that I GET IT!  When I weighed well over 200 pounds, I read posts on 3 Fat Chicks talking about how people couldn't lose those last 5 pounds and it used to just PISS ME OFF.  But my goal on this blog has always been to be as honest, real and raw about my experience.  It isn't easy sharing my true feelings or talking about things like my pooping issues!  But I do it with the hope that it might be of value to someone out there.  Plus, it's my blog so I get to say whatever I want ;)))))

So I hope that you guys understand this and try to empathize with me not being perfect and having doubts and insecurities!

So last night I didn't sleep very well.  Sleeping is usually not a problem for me, so I'm not sure what the deal was.  But I found myself WIDE 12:30 AM.  Which turned to 1:00 AM and then 1:15.  I took a Melatonin then.  At 1:30 AM, as I was trying to keep thoughts out of my head and just go to sleep, I asked myself this - in what ways would my life be better if I weighed 110 pounds?


Hmmm... there must be something, right?

Silence again.  

I couldn't think of anything.  So I tried again this morning when I stepped on the scale and it read 117.6.  I asked myself again - how would my life be better if I stepped on the scale and it read 110?  And then I was reminded  of something the nutritionist said to me when I saw her - she told me that I'm not a professional athlete.  It's not my JOB to have extremely low body fat or be in absolute PEAK physical condition.  I'm strong and healthy and that's good enough?  

So sit down for a minute today.  Look at your goals and ask yourself WHY you want to lose weight.  Make those reasons good ones!!  There are lots of reasons to lose - but I think we should all take time and remember WHY we are doing this.  Because this journey is SO HARD and gut wrenching that we better be traveling it for the right reasons!  I'd love to hear what you come up with!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

When is it enough?

I got into an argument with my friend/co-worker yesterday.  I have a client, you see, who has a girlfriend who is a bit of a health nut.  She is extremely fit and attractive.  She is 5' tall - just an inch shorter then me and she weighs around 100 pounds.

So this is what happens to me - I'll be cruising along, pretty happy with where I'm at and then I see someone like this.  And I start calculating in my head.  My weight has been up this week a little after this weekend's indulgences and I weighed in at 120 pounds yesterday morning.  So I start thinking that she weighs 100 pounds - I am 20 freaking pounds heavier then her!  

And that voice - that damned voice in my head - starts saying this "OMG - you weigh 20 pounds more then her!  You are still so fucking fat!  What the hell?  You need to lose weight and NOW!"  

I told my friend this and she got really mad at me.  Neither of us know the background on this girl, but looking at her, she is really small framed and I'm betting that she always has been pretty trim - not taking anything away from her, because it's obvious that she works out and works hard on her body.  But my friend is like "What is wrong with you?  She's probably always been fit and that's where her body wants to be!  Your body likes being around 120 - can't you just accept that?"  

No, no I can't.  

Will I ever get to the point where I just accept myself?  I honestly don't know.  My friend asked me what more I could do and pointed out all the sacrifices I have made and how healthy I eat.  My response was "I do eat really well most of the time, but I clearly need to eat less of that healthy food!!"  She was so frustrated at this point I thought she might storm out of my office.  

So, where does this leave me?  I don't know, but the voice that tells me that I suck is pretty strong this morning.  And then I see this:

And you know, I have made a lot of sacrifices in this journey - and I guess it's something to be proud of.  Today there is a big pizza party here at work - I will be running during the party and will come back and eat the healthy lunch I have packed.  Will that drown the voice?  Would getting down to 110 pounds drown the voice?  And is it healthy to strive for that?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Who am I?

This is weighing on mind - not in a bad way - but I'm feeling a little like I'm living in a parallel universe this week and I want to post about it.  I'm not sure that anything I ramble about today will make sense, because I'm not sure I can adequately express in writing what I'm feeling, but I'm going to try, so bear with me, please!

Over the last few days some things have happened that have kind of thrown me - again, they are not bad things at all, but they are throwing me  First off there have been two people here at work that have cited me specifically as their inspiration for losing weight.  Both times, these people did not say this to me personally, but rather while talking to other people and it got back to me.  

Then, since running the 1/2 marathon, I have had at least 3 people ask me for advice on running.  There have also been comments about how "fast" I am and wanting advice on how to improve their time.  Mind you, these are RUNNERS who are asking me these questions.

When I was in high school, if they had a category for "LEAST LIKELY TO RUN A HALF MARATHON" I might not have won, but I certainly would have been a finalist in that category.  (Incidentally in high school I was voted "Dirtiest mind" - that I owned and still do ;) )  So to have people asking ME for advice about running?  I honestly and truly can't wrap my head around this.  

I almost a phony.  What I mean by this is that I can't see the progress that I have made or the accomplishments that I've attained as that big of deal.  I really and truly don't and I can't get there mentally.  So when someone says that I am their inspiration, for me it's almost....scary?  Like I don't want them to use me as an inspiration because I'm NOT someone to be inspired by.  

Or when they ask me for advice or comment about how impressive my running is, it makes me uncomfortable.  You know what it's like?  It's as if I CHEATED on a test and got a 100.  So I guess I feel like I'm going to be CAUGHT - that everyone will soon realize the truth and feel betrayed and I will be humilitated.

Does this sound batshit crazy to everyone?  Because I haven't "cheated".  The weight loss is real, my running times are real, but I think because I have difficulty owning that this is really ME - that it's really my life now - that I think that it could all be snatched away in a minute.  That suddenly the clock strikes midnight and I turn into that fat, unfit, unhappy person again... I still see myself as that person at times, you know?  Not all the time but it's not all that rare, either.

I wonder if I will get to a place where I can accept that this is me - that it is a-ok that people look up to me, or even that it is healthy for them to use me as an inspiration.  That seems silly to me right now.  But eventually, I hope that I will see the new me as ME and not like I am living on borrowed time, in someone else's life, and that it can and will be taken away at a moment's notice!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Happy Birthday Marc!!

Today is my wonderful husband Marc's birthday and I want to take a moment to wish him Happy Birthday!!  

I don't know where I would be without Marc in my life.  In fact I can't imagine a life without him considering that we went on our first date in 1989!  Holy crap we've been together a long time!

We are such different people but for some reason it totally works for us.  Both he and I are in the best shape of our lives and although we've always been close, the journey that we have been on has strengthened our bond and brought us even closer together.

Marc has great genes - his father is in his 90's.  As you guys know, me - not so much.  I used to think about how Marc would deal with what I saw the inevitable - that I would die very young and he would be left without me.  

Now I don't think that way.  Although it's hard for me to believe that we are in our 40's I see a whole future laid out in front of us.  I can see us actually growing old together.  So birthdays are not a march towards something bad, but rather something to be celebrated.

So, I know I don't say it nearly enough, Marc, but I love you and hope you have a great day!!  You are my best friend, my soulmate....


Monday, May 13, 2013


A belated Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there.  I've been so pre-occupied with my race I hadn't really thought of it being Mother's Day.  I had a great day yesterday spending it with my mother and other family.  

I ate too much, but I'm refusing to stress about it and the number on the scale this morning.  I'll get myself all worked up and for nothing because if I eat clean this week - and I will - the damage will be minimal.

I was having a great day that was until - MY BELLY BUTTON RING RIPPED OUT.  Fucking A :(
I am so upset.  I've been having a problem with it the last week or so - I changed it and it had gotten a little infected and pus came out.  It's been loose since then and last night it literally ripped out.

So now the stupid freaking belly button looks worse then it did before!!  I'm going to call the place that did the piercing and maybe try getting it done again after it heals - give it one more try.  But I was really happy with how it looked and now it's gone.

I can't believe that it only happened last night and the bottom hole is already closed up.  I guess my body wanted it gone.  Well, guess what body?  I want a freaking belly button ring - so stop fucking around like that!!


Oh, one more thing for today - are you guys weighing and measuring your foods like I recommended?  I already have a kitchen scale, but have been keeping my eye on a nicer one on Amazon.  I haven't bought it because I really don't NEED a new one, but this one is pretty cool.  Well guess what - they just dropped the price AGAIN.

This sucker is a steal!  So if you've been thinking about getting a scale you  might want to try this one :

The reviews are really good on it and it seems to have some great features - especially for the price!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

13.1 baby!

Ok, so I'm afraid this post is going to be really long and self-indulgent. You've been warned!!  Read on at the risk of getting bored!

So I ran and finished my first (?) half marathon race today. Why I had so much anxiety leading up to this race - I'm not sure. After all, I've run 13 miles and more several times, so it's not like I was worried I couldn't run that far! Maybe it was something about timing chips and it being "official". Or maybe being that I'm slightly competetive and running with/against others made me nervous?

Whatever the reason is, I felt a lot of pressure headed into today.

I slept pretty well with a lot of running dreams. I woke up shortly before my alarm went off - Marc was already up. As the weather forecasts had warned, it was grey and rainy. My first order of business was to make some coffee to, well, help with doing some business.

Dark roast went into the Keurig and I started to get ready.  I was a little hungry, but decided not to eat anything, because I usually don't on my runs and they say not to do anything different the day of the race then you do in training.  Only other runners that have had issues totally will get while I was so thrilled when I was able to take a crap shortly before we left.  I excitedly said to Marc "I POOPED" - like a toddler waiting for some praise while potty training!

Here we are right before leaving:

 We loaded ourselves into the SUV at 7:10 AM. As we drove it started DOWNPOURING and I wondered what the hell was wrong with me - was I really up at the crack ass of dawn preparing to run 13 miles in cold rain?  Was this really the same woman who just a couple short years ago used to drag herself out of bed at 10:30 AM on Saturday and sit at the computer playing games for a couple of hours?

We arrive and check ourselves in and get our timing chips. I make another trip to the bathroom and all seemed well, but I popped a couple of Immodium just in case.  It was really chilly, so we sat in the vehicle with the heat cranked. Then it was time to get in line. Marc gave me a kiss and wished me luck (the 10K and 5K runners started one hour after the halfers).   As I stood there shivering at the start line in the rain I again wondered what the hell I was thinking.

There were a couple of guys in front of me, one squatted down like a sprinter and when the horn blared, he took off like a bat out of hell, as did some others. I had my MP3 player on and kept reminding myself to just run my pace and not burn myself out. My goal was to finish with an average 8 minute mile pace.

Mile 1 was slow - 8:15 - so I let myself speed up a bit.  Mile 2-3 went by fast and I started getting into the groove.  At mile 3 it started downpouring again.  But I started passing people who were fading and felt like I was really cruising through mile 4.  We were right in the suburbs and I felt good despite the rain.  We made a turn to head back out of the City.

I was soaked but ok until mile 5.5 as we headed out into farmland - big open fields and the wind started really blowing hard.  So mile 6 sucked - and I was only 1/2 done.  Fortunately the rain was tapering off and stopped by mile 7.

I was steadily passing both men and women at this point.  However a girl that I had passed earlier suddenly passed me. She had a long ponytail that was dripping wet. I tried to resist the urge to race her, but we ran neck and neck for about .75 miles. It was then that we hit a steep hill.   After running this race, you will never, ever convince me that weight training isn't good for runners.  On some nasty hills it became very obvious which racers had weight training and which ones didn't by how quickly they could conquer the hills. I was able to once again pass ponytail girl.

Miles 8 and 9 were long straight stretches and during this time, I was chasing a girl in a tight blue racerback tank. I thought she must be FREEZING - I was in a long sleeve shirt that was plastered to me and I had to keep opening and closing my hands that were pretty stiff and cold. I had caught up to racerback girl but I was about 100 feet behind her and it seemed like she was suddenly running my same pace. I couldn't make any headway but was reluctant to push myself to run much faster still having 4-5 miles to go.

I was concentrating so hard on racerback girl that it actually scared me when ponytail girl passed me on my right. We started climbing yet another hill and at the top, racerback girl stopped running and pulled a pink concoction out of her fuel belt and began drinking.   This was my chance!   She resumed running before I got to her, but I passed her easily and left her in my dust. Ok, there was no dust, it was too wet, but I didn't see her again.

Ponytail girl began pulling away from me - she was really moving - the rotten bitch.  Oops I mean good for her!  I didn't think that I was going to be able to keep her pace so I was just hoping that she had turned it on too much and in these last 3 miles she would start fading.  Mind you, I had NO IDEA what place any of us were in and how far back in the pack I was.  I calculated that she looked much younger then me, so at least she wasn't going to be competing against me in my age group.

My left IT band was getting quite tight, but I wasn't in pain. I realized this might be from running on such cambered roads so I moved over to the right side of the road.  Much better.

About mile 11.5 ponytail girl took a moment to look behind her to see how close I was, which was not close at all.  I knew I wasn't going to catch her.  Oh you rotten bitch part 2.  BUT the good news was that I was feeling great and with only 1.5 miles left in the race, I knew I was going to finish and finish quite respectfully, so that brought a smile to my face. 

At mile 12 we turned onto the last stretch and joined up with the 10 and 5K walkers and runners, so I was in a good sized crowd for the first time.  I began dodging strollers and walkers.  It was here that I took off my headphones and soaked in the atmosphere.  I was squishy wet and received smiles and thumbs up from the 5 and 10K'ers who had started after the rain stopped and must have known that I had done the half.

Then it was there - the finish line.  I made a mad dash and crossed the line and saw "1:39:09" - WOO HOO!  I had done it!  I had run an official half marathon!

My mother had came to see me finish and took a pic: 

The halfers got a medal just for finishing.

I grabbed some water - although with conditions, I hadn't sweated very much and wasn't that thirsty.  I sucked down a banana and Mom and I waited to for Marc to finish his 10K.

He came running across the finish line. 

Here we are:

We waited around for the awards ceremony and for them to post results.  Unfortunately, they had a problem with the timing chips and announced that they would not be having the ceremony, because they had no results other then the 5K'ers.  Most people had left anyway, because the temps had dropped even more.  I was frozen to the bone and we took off.

Later in the day, they did get everything straightened out, and posted the results:
  • 97 people ran the half marathon
  • I placed 14th overall
  • I was the SECOND FASTEST FEMALE (behind ponytail girl - the rotten bitch part 3)
  • I was FIRST in my age group
  • Marc placed 2nd in his age group

 Not too shabby, I guess.  I would have like to have placed first since I was so close - thanks for the advice to "run faster next time", Mom - I wouldn't have thought of that.  BUT, since I ran a mile outside for the first time ever almost exactly 2 years ago, I can't complain!

There you have it - now all I have to do is decide whether I want to go full on dork and get a 13.1 sticker for my SUV!!       

Friday, May 10, 2013

All that's left is the running!

Tomorrow is the big day - my first half marathon!  I took today off since the race starts so early tomorrow and I am NOT a morning person.  So, I slept in and took it pretty easy today.  My only exercise was a 6 mile walk with the dogs this morning.  

I've got everything out and ready for tomorrow.  I'm nervous and excited.  The bad news is that the weather is supposed to be quite cool with rain.  That is going to SUCK.  Cold I don't like, but I can handle.  Rain, same thing.  But together?  It's not going to be the most fun I've ever had, I'm afraid!

I hope to have a good finish time - if you can spare a moment to send me some good vibes tomorrow, they would be appreciated!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ripped from the headlines...

Ok, so there have been 2 stories in the news this week that have to do with weight issues.  

The first is Gov. Chris Christie.  It was revealed that he had "secret" lap band surgery a couple of months ago. I know that his health has been a grave concern, and he definitely was looking a I really hope this works for him.

To piss Republicans off, I've been saying "You know, when Bill Clinton gained some weight, he took up running and eating better rather then having surgery!"  But I really am saying this only to piss off Republicans - come on, it's fun.  In reality, I believe weight loss surgery is a very personal choice.  I couldn't imagine myself doing it, but that was my choice.  I don't care HOW someone loses their weight, as long as they lose it.  And, as many people can attest to - any of these surgeries are not a "quick fix".  A lot of lifestyle changes still have to take place for the weight to come off!

I just wish that he would be a little more honest in acknowledging that a probable Presidential run HAD to have some impact on his decision making.  Be it right or wrong, he would never win being as obese as he is.  But, he is a politician, so I can't expect too much!  I am glad that he has admitted to having the surgery rather then lying about it.

Secondly, the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch made headlines this week for saying that he targets "attractive, All-American" types to work at and buy at his stores, so therefore the stores don't carry anything above size Large.  Apparently he doesn't want fatties shopping in his stores. 

He freely admits that they are "exclusionary".  Not sure how much business sense this makes in America today, but that is his absolute right as the CEO of the stores.  It is also the absolute right of THIS shopper (who wears size extra small/small) to not buy a crappy ass jean skirt for $78.  Thanks but no thanks. 

Incidentally I find it interesting that someone who is as fucking HOMELY as he is to be talking about targeting only attractive people.  But maybe he doesn't wear their over-priced, pretentious clothes, either...

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Teaching an old dog new tricks!

I mentioned in a post last month about my 2 Boxers and about how even though they both have access to the same food and exercise how one is skinny and one is kind of porky.  

My porky boy is Chakotay and he is extremely strong and muscular, but he also has too much fat on him.  As a brachycephalic dog, he already has some issues with exercise and breathing, especially when the weather gets warm.  But his weight makes things much worse.  Already this year - when it hasn't even gotten that warm out - we've taken him on a couple of walks and only a couple of miles in he is gasping for breath and sounding like he's about to keel over.

This is not good for many reasons.  And Marc and I are obviously a very active couple who take the dogs with us everywhere.  So Chakotay has to be able to keep up and join us on long hiking excursions.

So about a 2 weeks ago, I started doing some research.  Everything that I have read tells me that I can't "free feed" and expect my dogs to be a healthy weight.  Well I know that this isn't true, because I have always free fed my dogs and Chakotay is the first to have weight issues.  

Ok, says the websites, but there is no way he will lose weight unless you start feeding him twice a day controlled portions.  I thought about it for a bit and then said "BULLSHIT!"  You know lots and lots of people - including experts, told me that there was no way I could lose 228 pounds without surgery or another type of aggressive intervention.  I was told that relying on myself to lose that amount of weight wouldn't work.  I mostly believed it myself.  And you know what?  I DID IT ANYWAY.

So for the last week or so, I've been working with Chakotay to try to help him manage his eating.  I have noticed that if he is not distracted he will just continue eating - out of habit or boredom.  So now, he goes over to the food and starts eating.  And once he's eaten a few mouth fulls, I call him over to me and start chasing him and playing.  If he's actually HUNGRY, he will keep going back to the food.  But, if I call him away and start playing with him and he's not eating out of actual hunger, he will forget about eating and move on to other activities.

Guess what?  In just one short week, I've noticed that he is already doing better at moderating himself.  He will eat and then look around and come see what Archer or I or Marc is doing, rather then just continuing to eat and eat.  I always praise him when he does this.  AND guess what part 2?  I think he may have already lost a pound or so, and he has a TON more energy outside.  

Usually he lays around in the shade and watches Archer play.  But this week, he's been chasing after the frisbee and wrestling Archer for it.  It's awesome to see!

If I can do it, so can my beloved boy - with some help from his mommy and daddy.  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Let's talk clothes!

I work in a job where I have to dress up every day.  I don't have to be in ULTRA business attire, but I do work as a professional and have to look the part.

In my former fat life, dressing for that role proved difficult.  I had gotten to the point where I was so fat, that I couldn't shop at regular stores.  Not for professional attire at least.  Instead I had to shop online.  The main criteria for choosing clothing was not whether I would like the style or color, or even whether it looked good on me, but whether it was something I could fit into.  It really sucked.  

And, because clothes manufacturers believe that all fat women have HUMONGOUS boobs, this flat chested chick would have tops to suits that hung loosely in the boob area just so the rest could fit.

I remember the day that I went into Fashion Bug after losing a lot of weight.  As most of you probably know, Fashion Bug carries both "regular" as well as plus sized clothing.  I came running out to the car and said to Marc "I just bought a skirt and it was a LARGE!  There was no X anywhere!!"  He was happy for me, but it's different for men - I don't think he knew what it meant after years of going from XL-4XL and back down what it meant to just buy something without that dreaded letter. 

And for years I dressed in as loose materials as I could to hide my body.  I, of course, paid premium price for everything, because they know that the really obese are a captive audience.  Because my clothes size was so limited, I took what I could get and didn't get to wait for sales.   

That has all changed now.  I get to shop on major sales racks.  This is especially true because I am mostly wearing an X again - Extra Small that is!  So I get great deals!  I find myself liking form fitting outfits that accentuate my body.  I can order things online and guess what?  They almost always fit perfectly.  And I usually am pretty happy with the way things look! 

And the selection - WOW!  I never knew how many choices there were out there.  I have to actively remind myself that I don't have to buy something just because it fits.  I can pick and choose!  

Between the new stuff that I have bought and the things that were given to me by my wonderful family and friends, I'm becoming a bit of a clothes hound.  But since I get good deals - I'm not spending a ton.  

Check out a couple of new summer outfits...

And this was a $5 STEAL from Kohl's that I'm wearing today...

So in addition to all the benefits of losing weight, here is something else that you can look forward to!

Monday, May 6, 2013

And nothing hurt!

I am flying high this Monday morning!  Normally I hate Mondays - and I still do - but I'm coming off a FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC weekend, and I'm still feeling great from it!

Temps were in the mid 70's and I think Marc and I were outside literally 90% of the day both days.  I got SO MUCH accomplished!  

Which brings me to the topic at hand today.  On Saturday I got up and lifted weights early in anticipation of spending most of the day outside.  Then I washed my new vehicle and had lunch.   Then it was off to work on my flower beds.  I have a number of beds and every year they need some work done to get them ready for flowers, especially since we have had clay-like soil.  One bed I started only last year, so that needed a ton of work.

So for the next 3 hours, tools in hand, I weeded and worked up the soil in 7 large beds.  I also carried large bags of topsoil to fill in spots that needed extra dirt.  It was hard work.  

I thought about a couple of things - first, I talked here not too long ago about defining exercise.  This weekend was proof to me that the exercising that I am doing is what I would call FUNCTIONAL FITNESS.  Meaning, it's not just for cosmetic changes, but it truly reflects fitness that is applicable in the "real world".  We all have all seen these body builder type guys who have amazing muscles and look fantastic BUT they are useless when it comes to "real life" activities.  Anyone who has watched reality competition shows has seen that these muscular guys have no endurance and their ginormous muscles don't give them an advantage when it comes to overall athletic challenges.  It is not unusual to see them one of the first ones out.

That's one of the things I really like about P90X - it focuses on body exercises that you can use for "real life" activities - not just in the gym.  My strong arms and core were put to the test this weekend, that's for sure!  I used my garden claw to work up all the soil and repeatedly used a hand claw while on my hands and knees to rip up and dig out the weeds.  And there was a hell of a lot of squatting and bending over.  

In my prior life, these were tasks I dreaded!  My back would be KILLING me before 20 minutes had passed and my knees would hurt so badly.  Not to mention I would be tired and out of breath.  Not true anymore!  I also noticed in the middle of the night when I got up to pee that previously after a day of work like that, getting on and off the toilet would leave my muscles SCREAMING.  Nope, nothing - and I mean nothing - hurt!  

It is such a good feeling to know that I am fit and strong for things that really matter!  So when you are pushing yourself to get fit, remember - this is not just about looking good in a gym - you are building the base to make everything in your life easier and more enjoyable!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

"Spending" calories.

Have you ever thought about calories like they were money?  Let's say that you have the amount of money to spend in a day corresponds to your calorie goals and you have to spend it all by the end of the day.

Certain items might cost more but they are high bang for the buck so to speak.  Now if you are a 24 year old guy who works out all the time and is maintaining his weight, you are going to have a lot of money to spend.  But if you are a 39 year old woman and actively losing weight, you might have only $1400 to spend.  How are you going to spend that $1400?

So many people WASTE their money on foods that provide little benefit for the body?  I see people at salad bars who think they are doing a good thing by piling up on veggies.  But then they COVER their salads with full fat Ranch dressing.  Right there you just spent $200 to basically have someone come punch you in the face.

Do you know you could have a whole handful of almonds for that $200.  And they are full of healthy fats rather then rotten sugar.  They will help you lose weight and keep you full for longer.

How about "saving" $150 to the end of the day so you can have that ice cream bar?  Well, it's your money, but for $150 dollars I could have a bowl of oatmeal with a tablespoon of PB2 and I will be filled up and satisfied, not hungry again in 2 hours.
For dinner, spend you money on proteins like fish and chicken that are so good for you and will leave you filled up and energetic and will build muscles.  People don't like to piss away money, but they will piss away their calorie allotment.  
Then they wonder why they have no energy or their hair is falling out.  It because you are not eating the right things!
Educate yourself and realize that you calories every day are as precious as money and spend them right!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Things I love: Campbell's Healthy Request Soups.

I love Campbell's line of 100% Natural Healthy Request soups.  Now I know what some of you are thinking - that fresh is better.  And I agree with this.  But there is nothing wrong with having some of the pre-packaged, easy meals once and a while, as long as it is not an every day thing.

And these soups are delicious, easy and low-cal.  I have tried a variety of them and have been completely satisfied with the taste and they are really filling.

Today, I will be having the Butternut Squash Bisque for lunch.  Here are a list of the ingrdients:

  • Water
  • Butternut Squash
  • Cream (milk)
  • Sugar
And then "less the 2%" of:
  • Lower sodium natural sea salt 
  • onions
  • carrots
  • apple juice concentrate
  • constarch
  • salt
  • celery
  • potato flour
And the entire can has 220 calories.  The biggest downside to these soups is that they do have relatively high sodium levels.  Any of these pre-packaged meals do.  But if you don't need to watch you sodium - I don't - they are quick and easy.

What I like so well about these soups also is that they don't have any sort of artificial taste.  They taste like what they claim to be - healthy and natural.

I've tried several varieties and liked them all.  They have the vegetarian options like the squash and 2 varieties of tomato.  And then they have ones with chicken and whole wheat pasta.

So if you're looking for a quick and healthy lunch - I highly recommend these soups!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Welcome May!!!

May 1st is here!  The warm sun is finally shining brightly and is bringing the promise of a wonderful summer.

I am starting this month in a fantastic place physically and mentally.  I feel the happiest then I have felt in years.  I am right within my "correct" weight  zone and looking forward to accomplishing a major goal of running the half marathon.  I am confident in my ability to tackle this summer in a healthy way.  I am getting better every single day at accepting myself and giving myself permission not to be perfect.

I want to spread this joy out like peanut butter on a hot bagel, so visualize me sending some of these good vibes to anyone out there who is struggling or just needs a pick me up.

A new month, a new start.  Time to begin the push towards summer.  This journey is not easy, but it is WORTH it.  

Think of waking up every day and loving yourself and your life.  Imagine putting on a dress and loving how it looks on you!  Visualize how you want your life to be and make it happen.