Monday, March 31, 2014


I am so happy to see this month from the depths of fucking hell come to an end!!!  I realize that ending the month is no promise that things will improve starting tomorrow, but I have allowed myself to have some hope that it will.

Starting last Tuesday, I threw everything out the window.  It has been an eating FEST since then.  So a whole full week of feeling sorry for myself and eating just about everything I can get my hands on.  Was I an emotional eater back when I was fat?  I honestly don't remember.  Back then I ate what I wanted whenever I wanted, so I never gave much thought to the reasons that I was eating.

But now?  When I'm in the emotional state I've been in nothing satisfies except carbs carbs carbs.  I exercised really well this weekend, which just further made me justify the mass quantities of food that I kept cramming down my throat.  

And then I have the unmitigated GALL to be shocked and horrified when the scale was WAYYYYYY up this morning.

They are calling for temps near 50 tomorrow.  I want to wish for it, but I am so sick of getting my hopes up and then having them dashed that I don't even want to think about it!

So as we kick March out the door, I am going to say that this is a new start.  And I'm going to take inventory and try to look at what good happened ending out this month:

The plumber is at the house right now fixing our shower, so - FINGERS CROSSED - I might be able to shower in our shower tonight.

I ran 15 miles on the treadmill yesterday.  That brings March's running total to 143.1.  And the total for the year is 485.  Not too bad.

I was a cleaning maniac yesterday.  I got a whole bunch of cleaning done and organizing and wash and Marc even installed this shelf I've been waiting for him to do.  So that's some things off my to do list - I suppose there are some benefits from being TRAPPED in the house!!

So tomorrow - a fresh clean start.  I need to get my eating back under control, first and foremost.  I'm ready to push the RESTART button.  How about you?  Now is a perfect time to re-evaluate, make changes and restart if necessary!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

One step forward and two back...

In an attempt to lift the blackness that has threatened to overtake me, I decided to break out of the rut yesterday.  We had talked about going down to the local park that we love to go to, but were unsure whether the trails would be accessible.  I knew I would be disappointed if we got down there and it was still snow-packed, so I suggested to Marc that we head down to a park in Syracuse that has a long-ish walking trail.

We headed down and temps were in the low 40's.  Still too cold for me, but at least bearable.  I had on some thick gloves and my hands actually didn't get cold the whole day.

The dogs were THRILLED.  And, on a side note, they were SO well behaved!  As I've mentioned on here, Chakotay has had some issues in the past with leash aggression that I've worked really hard on him with, and he was fantastic yesterday!  He didn't even react when this young lab came running at us full speed having gotten loose.

Anyway, we ended up walking 9 miles.  Walking is very different for me then running.  When I run, I have complete and total tunnel vision.  I don't notice people and things around me.  Walking is totally different.

Marc walks a little slower then me, so I paced him.  We were still walking a good pace, but slow enough to enjoy.  The park was relatively crowded and I watched some of the runners on the path.  Some were bundled up others in shorts.  There were fat runners and skinny runners and high school aged kids and older people.  Marc and I chatted some and walked in silence in our own thoughts some.  It's wonderful to have a partner that you can just walk along with quietly and be content.
We saw lots of people with dogs which I, of course liked.  We saw all your common breeds, but we saw 2 different people with Newfoundlands, a Swiss Mountain Dog and an Irish Wolfhound.

After walking for well over 2 hours, we made it back to the car and headed home.  I made my tomato soup that we paired with a lean roast beef wrap and then settled in to watch Gravity.

All and all it was a wonderful day.  And as I sat there last night, I realized that it is about impossible to be anxious and worked up when you have spent a long day exercising.  Your body just won't let you do it.

So I felt some life returning to me - some hope and a sense of peace.

And then?  Well, I woke up this morning to discover we had a HUGE FUCKING BLIZZARD last night.  There has to be at least 8 inches of new snow, and we're getting a miserably windy cold ice/snow mix this morning.  So I felt my heart just PLUMMET.

I just feel like I can't win.  


Friday, March 28, 2014


Do you hear that squeaky sound?  It's pretty loud.  It's my attempt to screw my head on straight.  I've got a ways to go, but it's getting there.  

Some good has happened in the past couple of days.  First and foremost, the person that I told you about who had the mild heart attack?  Marc saw her yesterday as she was released from the hospital.  She was tired but in relatively good spirits, all things considered!  The heart attack was mild, she has a stent in and should be okay!

So that's the best news.

Yesterday we had our big graduation celebration.  It went extremely well!  Here is a pic of me with one of the graduates:

But then I got home and the thought of running on the treadmill just made me want to collapse.  So I bundled up and took the dogs on a 5 mile walk, the whole time berating myself for being a lazy pig.  You see, I ate a GIGANTIC piece of cake, too.  Sigh....  I keep thinking that I am making advancements in this area, but then it floods back.

Today is a new day though, right? 

Marc has a plumber coming over to fix our shower.  And the forecast is calling for 40's for all next week.  Still WAYYYYY colder then I like, but at least it's not that BONE CHILLING cold.  We should be getting our baby chicks next week!

I'm hoping that this weekend will shake me up in a good way.  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Finding the time to exercise...

Marc recently did a wonderful post on his blog about finding - or rather making - the time to exercise.  It is complete with his story as well as some testimonials from other readers - including yours truly.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The winner is....

"Sometimes the shadow wins" - Sara Bareilles

 She's right.  And that's who is winning today.  I'm not going to go into too many details because frankly I'm even sick of myself being such a whiney little bitch.

 But I'm cold and exhausted and worn out.  My stress level is at a point where I feel like snapping.  Which apparently is a reasonable justification to stand in the kitchen shoveling spoonful after spoonful of peanut butter into my mouth and washing it down with crackers.

 And while I'm doing it I'm asking myself what the FUCK is my deal?  Things are not all that dramatic enough for me to be in this state!!!  But KNOWING something intellectually doesn't erase the feeling now does it?

So I WILL get through tomorrow's stress and come through it.  I know it.  Bear with me.  I'm trying to bear with myself.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I'm losing it!!

Geez I feel a little like I'm losing my mind.  I seriously can't take one more thing going wrong!!

This week is another graduation celebration for the clients.  I love these celebrations because it's a chance to really see how much the work that I do impacts not only them.  Usually they bring their families and after the "ceremony" we get to talk to parents and kids and spouses and hear how they are experiencing the change in their loved one's lives.  

BUT - it's a TON of work for me to prepare for these celebrations and I'm totally feeling the stress.  

Last week our dishwasher crapped out.  We bought a new one and - of course - it doesn't fit right in our 200+ old house.  So Marc is stressed out trying to get the stupid thing to work right.  And we he is stressed, it definitely effects me.  

AND his father has been laid up with a broken arm and a bad infection.

AND then yesterday we wake up to the news that someone very close to us had a "heart incident" - read a mild heart attack.  She was transferred to a very good hospital today about 90 miles from us and had to have a stent put in.  

AND then our shower handle broke.  We can't get hot water at all.  So we had to transfer all of our crap to the guest bathroom.  You know how well I deal with change, right?  So it totally stressed me out this morning to have to change my routine.  

AND it was 4 degrees this morning.

Can you see where I'm totally feeling sorry for myself?  None of this stuff is anything to get overly worked up over.  It appears that the heart attack was mild and she's going to be fine.  And Marc's father is feeling better and healing.  And we'll get the dishwasher working and replace the shower stuff - I've ordered a new system from Lowe's.  And I have almost everything done for the graduation party so I just have to finish up a couple of things tomorrow.  But I couldn't convince myself of that last night when I was laying in bed with my chest tight and worrying.

I'm pessimistic that it's EVER going to warm up.  Forget Global Warming - I think we're entering another ice age!!  

Yeah, I'm just in that pity party mode.  But I am almost able to smack myself for being such a drama queen.  And I'm not stress eating so my weight is down and I got on the scale this morning and was happy.  So there's that.

But is March over yet??!!!???!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Exercise and eating...

I have seen people commenting that they don't exercise because it makes them too hungry and they eat more.  To me, this argument is ridiculous because you know how I feel about being FIT and HEALTHY as opposed to just being thin or a certain number on the scale.  But we can't throw this argument out completely - research shows that the average person gains 10 pounds while training for a marathon!  

I've never run a marathon.  The longest distance I've ever run is 18 miles.  Usually exercise actually dampens my appetite.  But, a very long run like that does make your body start demanding fuel.  I have found that consuming a gel on anything longer then a 10 mile run seems to help me keep going.  But yesterday I had run 11 on the treadmill and came upstairs for a potty break and the thought of even eating a gel made my stomach lurch, so I didn't have one and managed my goal of 2 more miles with no problem.  

Now, I've also lectured on here about not eating back exercise calories for a number of reasons.  And I'm certainly not going to advocate that you start doing that.  But I also think that we need to use common sense and listen to our bodies, too.  

This morning I was sitting at my desk at work and I felt thrashed.  I just felt like everything was so much of an effort.  I was completely run down, but not exactly tired.  Just weak feeling.

So I took a body inventory.  I had slept really well last night.  And I went through what I had eaten in the day.  All healthy and good food.  And a lot of it.

But then I got to thinking.  I wore my heart rate monitor when I ran and it said I burned 1200 calories in the 13 mile run.  And then later in the day the dogs were just WOUND UP and pestering.  I knew they needed to get outside - so I bundled up - yes it is still unbearably cold here - and took them for a 4 mile walk.  250 calories burned. 

I got home and felt stiff and so Marc and I did an hour long yoga DVD.  It was not an intense yoga, but I still had to have burned some calories.

So adding it all up I realized - I ate about 2200 calories yesterday - higher then normal - but I had burned about 1600!  So I netted 600 calories!  Oops.  And no, I wasn't intentionally restricting like that, I just didn't think about the extra calories, and because it felt like I was eating so much more, I lost track.  For example, I had made turkey chili (which was delish if I do say so myself!) and I paired it with a huge amount of raw spinach and some strawberries.  As you know if you have ever eaten raw spinach - it was a huge bowlful, but actually contained very few calories.

So once again, this comes down to listening to your body and being mindful of calories in and calories out.  Exercise - even vigorous exercise - is not an excuse to start eating with careless abandon.  But you also need to fuel your body!  What's the number on that?  Unfortunately, it's not an exact science.  

But I will remind myself that I do need to fuel myself appropriately.  Not doing so is unhealthy and can lead to injuries.  So I need to eat more at times.  This news makes Fat Jen very happy but it scares Thin Jen.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Be like WHO?

This happened towards the end of last week and I've really been thinking about it.  Someone I know came in sat down and sighed.  ""Why can't I be more like you?"  she said.  I turned to her starting to laugh thinking she was being funny.  Then I saw that she was staring at me with the serious look on her face.

"What do you mean?" I said.

"I just look at you and think 'She did it!  So can you!'  But I have tried this so many times and I just screw up over and over.  I guess I'm just going to be fat forever."  And then she burst into tears.  "You look so fantastic!" she continued "I just want to have that...."

Two things came into my mind.  My first instinct was to say that I don't look good.  You see when I see myself, I see hanging ugly skin on my thighs and disgusting stretch marks.  But I stopped myself.  For someone who is overweight, looking at someone like me - that's clearly not what she sees.

And then immediately my heart just went out to her.  That guilt, shame and desperation in her voice.  It's a powerful feeling that I remember OH SO WELL.  The desire to give almost ANYTHING - and I mean ANYTHING - to be thin.  Or maybe not even thin.  I didn't ever think about that, really.  I fantasized about being NOT FAT.  A size 14 would have been a dream come true.  

I didn't know what to say to this person.  I can offer all the tips and tricks in the world.  But I can't take the journey for anyone.  And I have no great words of wisdom that will suddenly make someone get it.  Hell, I am clueless to why I got it!  How am I supposed to help anyone else?

All I could tell her is that I'm there for her and can and will offer any support that she needs.  I felt that my words rang hollow.

This journey is so hard.  But the good news is - if you're anything like me - once you make all the sacrifices and go through the struggles - it doesn't have to be hard forever.

At least, that's my experience.  I still struggle at times to make good choices.  BUT, I am gaining confidence and learning that I can resume a close to normal life.  Last night I had a Boston Cream "walking sundae" that I bought from Price Chopper.  It was fricking delish!  And I didn't give hardly a thought to the calories even though there had to be a ton.  I ate it and enjoyed it and didn't feel a bit guilty.  I can do that now.  

Because today, I ran 13 miles.  And as I type this, there is a wonderfully healthy and yummy turkey chili simmering on the stove that will be our dinner.  For me, this is working.  I hope - with all my heart - that this can find a way to - gulp - be like me - even though it's still hard for me to believe that anyone wants that!!


Friday, March 21, 2014

Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples


  • 1 large sweet potato (approximately 1 pound) cut into 1-inch dice
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 2 apples of your choice
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Cooking Instructions

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2) In a large bowl, toss the cut up sweet potato generously with some olive oil, salt, and cinnamon.  Lay the sweet potatoes out on a sheet tray, place them in the oven and roast until they are very soft and mushy, 30 to 35 minutes.


2) Cut the apples into 1-inch dice. Toss them apples with the lemon juice, some olive oil, sea salt and the rosemary. Lay them out on a sheet tray and place in the oven during the last 15 minutes of the cooking time for the sweet potatoes. When done, the apples should be soft and cooked through but still hold their shape. Sprinkle the walnuts over the apples during the last 5 minutes in the oven.


3) Transfer the sweet potatoes to a large bowl and coarsely mash them with a potato masher. Stir in the cooked apples and walnuts.

Tonight I paired mine with Swai and steamed kale!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The law of averages...

I don't think of myself as a "numbers" person.  I hated math when I was in school.  But, I do LOVE statistics.  Not so much calculating them, but when they say a certain percentage of people like this or that or succeed or fail doing something, I find that really interesting.  I also am a little obsessed with averages.

As you know, my goal weight was to get below 120.  I hit that in July 2012 when I stepped on the scale and it read 119.7.

In May of last year, I started using to track my weight.  I wanted to see the fluctuations of my weight in a more "formal" way and this was an easy chart to use.  So since then, I have tracked my weight on a close to daily basis.

As of today, my chart looks like this:

As you can see, there are some wild fluctuations.  The highest I have recorded is in September last year - a WHOPPING 127.5 after returning from vacation.  The lowest recorded is 115.6 recorded just over a couple of weeks ago.

One thing I don't like about this program is that is has no advanced calculations.  So where I can see the fluctuations, I was wondering what my average weight was.  So I decided to add up all the numbers and calculate.  There were about 250 entries.  And guess what:

MEAN :  119.77
MEDIAN:  119.0

Which means that since May, with all the complaining, worrying, stressing, crying, beating myself up, et cetera - I am averaging EXACTLY what weight I was when I hit goal!  Frankly, I was pretty shocked.

In adding up the numbers, one thing did become clear - while I would LIKE to hover between 115-119, I ACTUALLY hover 118-122.  

Intellectually, I know that it is absolutely STUPID to be bothered by 3 pounds - 3 FREAKING POUNDS.  But I have to admit that it does irritate me a little.  

But all in all, I would say that since STATISTICS show that most people who lose weight gain it back, that 1 year and 7 months into maintenance averaging my goal weight ain't too shabby.  

This whole thing is a learning process, and I am learning every day what I can and cannot do as far as my eating goes, and what works for me.  

If you want to chart your weight, it might be a good idea - so you don't get so freaked out by fluctuations and can instead see where the general direction is.  You can also record your photos and enter how you are feeling, eating and exercising and cross reference that with your weight.  And you can set milestones that you want to meet and it will tell you how you are doing.  Again, it is

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Get off my island!!

At work they do this thing twice per year called Survivor Island.  It's a similar challenge to what many clubs and workplaces do.  Basically you join for $10 with a partner and weigh in every week.  You have to have lost at least 1 pound total between the 2 of you to remain on the island.  You can gain immunity by losing at least 2 pounds each I think after week 2 to use in case your team doesn't lose at a later date.  There are prizes for most lost in a week (percentage wise) and at the end, there are prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

They've done this for a while.  Pretty much every time in my past my buddy Peg asked me to join and I would refuse.  I don't do competitions unless I'm prepared to give it my all, and at that time I knew that I wasn't going to put any effort into losing weight, plus the thought of weighing in in front of someone filled me with guilt and shame.  So, no island for me.  

But then I started losing weight on my own.  Peg had retired and a woman I worked with me told me that since I had been losing weight that she and I should team up and try the island challenge.  So this time I said yes.  And I found it was fun.  I don't know that I needed this challenge to keep me on track, but we'd all line up and weigh in and when I'd see the number drop, I'd come out of the super-secret room and raise my fist like Rocky and everyone left in line would cheer.  Once I dropped 5.5 pounds in one week and that was very cool.

We took 3rd place that time, if I remember right - right before the holidays in 2010.  Boy, time flies!  And then we joined again in January when they started the next challenge and I remember telling the weigh in woman in February after seeing my weight that this made exactly 100 pounds down and even though she worked in a completely different department and we only knew each other from this somewhat awkward relationship, she was so complimentary.  It felt good to share my victories with other people's victories.

This takes someone to step up and organize, so they don't always do the island.  I next remember anything about the challenge in late summer 2012.  They were starting a new challenge after Labor Day and sign up sheets were going around.  And as I walked by the sign up sheet I was thinking "Oh! I totally need to join this again!" and I even had the pen in my hand when I remembered - as stupid as this sounds - that I had hit goal and didn't need to lose more weight.  And even though this fact should have been on my mind, it actually stopped me in my tracks.  I was not overweight any more! 

Now they just started another island challenge - the first weigh in was today.  I realize how ridiculous this sounds, but I almost feel left out that I don't get to play on the island.  I'm a SUPER competitive person, and I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to lose more then other teams but I also liked being part of people all working to improve themselves.  Don't get me wrong, the face that I have been able to maintain my weight loss makes me pretty proud, but there is still the feeling of sitting on the bleachers while everyone else is on the field.  

And so the last time they did this, I would eagerly ask every week to people "How much did you lose?"  "Who's in first place??"  But I came to fear that people were thinking that I was asking out of judgment or nosiness rather then just wanting to still be included in the "fun".  

So if your workplace does anything like this, I encourage you to get involved.  Join in and use it as motivation to keep yourself on track.  And when someone who is not part of the challenge asks you how you're doing, please don't assume that they are asking for the wrong reasons!!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why so angry?

I have said many times that I am still the same person now that I was when I was fat.  But there certainly has been personality changes in me.  One of those is anger.

I used to be angry a lot.  Or at least I could be provoked into anger easily.  I liked anger.  It made me feel powerful.  I was extraordinarily good with my anger.  I think I can read people pretty well.  Which meant that when I was angry I could hit people right where it hurts.  And I was VICIOUS.  I would say terrible things in the heat of anger - some things that I have said to people years ago I still remember with shock - I can't believe I really said those things.

Why was I angry?  I guess there's a lot that fed into that.  I was physically uncomfortable a lot of the time.  I also think that I felt like I didn't have control of myself and anger made me feel like I did?  And when I was embarrassed or ashamed, it was a lot easier to get angry then to feel those other emotions.

I find now that I just don't have the time or energy to waste on anger.  Now, don't get me wrong, I still get angry and still have my moments.  But that uncontrollable seething anger is just gone.  

Yesterday I was behind a woman in traffic and she was screwing around with something and the light turned green so I tapped my horn to get her to pay attention and go.  This pissed her off so badly that at the next light she actually JUMPED out of her truck, ran back to me and was screaming at me "What is your fucking problem??"  I just started straight ahead and actually began laughing.  This woman was ENRAGED because I honked my horn?!?!  Seriously?!?!  Now the old me might have engaged in a confrontation but I was totally calm inside and thought that I couldn't be bothered to get that worked up over this crazy bitch.  If felt pretty good.  

BUT the exception to my change is my anger at myself.  It is something I still can't let go of.  I think often of how my life could have been - should have been - different.  If only I had done something about my weight years ago!  I think how going through my 20's as a thin and fit person would have made my life so much better then how I spent it.  

I sometimes just hate myself for not changing sooner.  And that guilt and shame and anger at myself - I just have not been able to get over it.  Sometimes when I eat something that I "shouldn't" or miss a workout, that anger at my weakness - that comes back in spades and I feel so defeated.

In my best moments, I'm able to think "better late then never".  But that rarely lasts.  

I hope that someday I can forgive myself, because living with regret and spending any time thinking "what if?" is really a fool's errand, isn't it?  But for now, I still can't help being angry for choices that I can't go back in time and fix.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

You totally don't get it!

The other day I was wearing my Bondi Band that says "I Run So I Can Eat!" and I came back into work and one of the security guys looks at me and points at it and laughs.  I said something like "That is totally true!"

His smile kind of falters and he says "What do you mean?  You don't like to eat a lot now that you are skinny!"  And I was like "Are you kidding me?  I still love to eat - that's why I exercise so much."  He continues to frown and says "I can't believe that!  Your stomach has shrunk - I wouldn't think you care about eating that much at all!" I said to him "When I go to an all you can eat buffet - which I almost never do - my goal is for the place to LOSE money on me!  You would be amazed at how much food I can still eat!!"  The guy just went "Huh!" and then walked away and I'm sure he didn't believe me.

He totally doesn't get it.  But how could he, I guess.  He looks like a guy that has always been thin.  So he doesn't see what I see when I look at food.

And then that made me think about Larry.  Larry was a heroin addict that I worked with when I worked at an outpatient clinic.  And he was doing really well in his program and ended up completing outpatient and had a great recovery program going.  And then I heard that Larry had relapsed and was in the hospital after a bunch of drug dealers beat the crap out of him.  Larry returned to the outpatient clinic where I worked and I asked him what had happened.

Turns out he had gone to the doctor's office for some rotator cuff problem.  And the doc wanted to put him on opiate pills.  Larry said that he told the doctor he was a drug addict and the doc asked him how long he had been clean and he told him 14 months.  The doc apparently said "Oh geez!  You'll be fine!" Larry told me that he hesitated because of how I drill into their heads that there are good drugs that are bad for addicts.  But, he said, a doctor told him that he would be okay, so he began taking the hydrocodone.  Sure enough, that led to abusing the hydrocodone and then back to heroin within a short time.

You see that doctor didn't get it either.  A drug addict will NEVER be able to take an opiate pill without it triggering something.  And I will never be able to see a brownie as just a brownie.

That doesn't mean that it's horrible terrible insurmountable.  I mean, everyone's life experience leads them to see the world differently.  If you were bitten badly by a child by a Doberman Pincher, you're never going to see that breed of dog the same as someone who has never been bitten.  That doesn't mean you will always fear a Dobie or that you couldn't have one as a pet.  But you won't look at Doberman's through the same eyes as someone who hasn't had that life experience.

For me, I've come to accept that my relationship with food will never be the same as a person who has not been obese.  That doesn't mean I don't get to indulge at times or that I have to constantly obsess about food (which sometimes I think I do, and I live in hope that the longer I spend in maintenance this will fade).  But it means that for me, I accept that this is a major issue that I have.

I have not had the experience of having lost a significant amount of weight and then put it back on.  I wonder if the many people that have forgot that they can't ever let their guard down so to speak when it comes to food.  In AA they talk about "Keeping it green" - meaning you can never ever forget where you came from and how bad the addiction was.  I will forever need to "keep it green" when it comes to food, I think.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Shamrock Run

Today Marc and I raced in the 5 Mile Shamrock Run.  I was really looking forward to this and was hoping the weather would cooperate.  I must be out of my fucking mind to have actually thought it might be a nice day after the HELL that has been this winter!!

Sure enough, we awoke to a rain snow combination and it was really windy.  And I was thinking as we headed out - we are PAYING to run in this crap!!

So here we are before we left - as part of my anniversary gift, Marc got me a RUNNING TUTU!!  It would have been more visible if I didn't have to have a thick jacket on, DAMMIT.
 We got there early and this race was part of the Irish Festival so we headed into the nearby building to keep warm.  The vendors were still setting up so not much to see.
Finally we went outside.  For ONCE I got smart and lined up near the front.  And after 6 minutes of jogging in place the gun mercifully went off.  I took off but right away but as soon as we started, the snow picked up.  It was a miserably cold and wet snow and it was blowing RIGHT INTO our faces.  By the time we hit a mile my legs felt like LEAD.  We were out of the city and into a more rural area so there was nothing to protect from the wind.  I was panting hard and trying to wipe the wet snow that was sticking to my face.  About 1 1/2 miles in we ran up a STEEP hill.

This is the first time EVER in a race that I seriously thought that I was going to quit.  My chest was ACHING and I couldn't feel my feet or my hands.  The gloves I was wearing were soaked through.  I was near the front of the pack and was about 2.10 miles in when the first place guy past me having already made the turnaround.  He was in tiny little shorts and a sleeveless running t-shirt.  INSANE!!

I pushed on and made the turnaround.  With the wind at my back it was like I had entered a different race.  I immediately started to warm up and the feeling returned to both my hands and feet.  Normally that doesn't happen once I've been so cold, but that wind was blowing so freaking hard that it made that much of a difference!

My goal was to finish under 40 minutes.  I made the turn towards the finish line and crossed at 38:51.  So I made my goal.  

I waited outside for Marc who finished a few minutes after me.  There were so many runners and a bunch of walkers doing a 2.5 mile so I had absolutely no idea where I placed.
In a GLOWING testament to how smart people sometimes do very dumb things, I didn't change into dry clothes and instead went back into the main building where they would be handing out awards.  I was soaked to the bone and soon was shivering uncontrollably.  
They started the awards.  I took 2nd place in my age group.  Blah :(  Out of 392 total racers, I finished 60th.
The 2nd place finish did get me some new hardware for my medals box.  

Friday, March 14, 2014

A sucky week in review....

Boy, am I glad to see Friday arrive!!  I know that there is a lot of people who have things a lot - A LOT - going on in their lives that are a lot worse then I have it!  But I just can't shake this general feeling of defeat that I feel and until this weather breaks, all I can do is hang on and hope to muddle through.

So it was a jammed packed week and coming off losing an hour over the weekend it just made me feel completely off kilter.

I haven't discussed this here.  First off, let me say that I don't think there is going to be a decision to be made, but it has caused me to re-evaluate some things.  On Tuesday I had a job interview.  This is a job within the same system that I work in, but would completely take me out of the counseling field and place me into a more administrative position.  To be honest, I don't really want the job, and don't think I would enjoy it.  BUT it pays over $30,000 more per year then I make now!!!   

Certainly money isn't everything and Marc told me that I would be nuts to take a job that I wouldn't like even for that amount of money.  But thinking of having that much more money not only now, but it factors into my retirement - that's a hell of a temptation!!  I found out that someone interviewed that I think is the logical person to get the job, so I don't think I'll have to make the decision, but if I am offered the job?  I don't know what I'll do!!

I've been a wreck emotionally due to the weather and I think that has effected me physically.  Yesterday I went to do my noon workout (Bob Harper's Totally Ripped Core) and I felt totally and completely wiped out!  It felt like I was moving through thick mud.  I was sore and exhausted.  I was worried I was coming down with something but my run on the treadmill went fine last night so I'm not sure what made that workout so bad.  I'll be taking it easy today - Yoga and maybe some walking - and hoping to kill it in the run that I'm doing tomorrow.

So, here's me trying to look at the bright side of things:
  • Marc and I just scheduled a trip to visit family next month and I'm really looking forward to that!
  • My weight has been good all week in conjunction with me eating really well and exercising.
  • It is supposed to hit 40 degrees today.
  • Weather should be good - not great - but good for the race tomorrow.
  • Two elderly family members - who I love very much - are recovering from serious physical issues, but they both got good news at the doctor's this week!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


That's all I got.  This just sucks so bad.  I know that a lot of the country is going through it so I can't even bitch that it's all about here!!

It was so bad that they actually sent us home from work 2 hours early.  That NEVER happens.  And I would love to report to you that I came home and immediately made productive use of the time.  Instead I'll report that I came home, used the computer and pouted while feeling really sorry for myself.

I just heard on ABC News that this is the coldest last 6 months for much of the country in the last 100 frigging years!   Ya think???

 I am trying to keep a glimmer of hope as they are PROMISING warmer weather on Friday - I am really looking forward to the Shamrock Run and I'll be CRUSHED if this doesn't melt and I can't run a good race.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Wish versus a dream...

I had an opportunity to run across this statement today:

A dream and a wish are two very different things.
A wish is a desire without a direction. An outcome without effort. And if it ever comes true, it’s thanks to an external source. Wishes are granted.
Dreams, on the other hand, are created. They begin with a vision, and require work to create over time. Dreams are driven by their owners, as they are the only ones that can truly make them happen.

Wow - I found this something that made me step back and think.  

When I think about my half-assed weight loss efforts in my past, they could be described as wishes.  I would wish that something would happen that would make me start losing weight.  But I never put in a true effort.  I'll even admit this to you guys - I used to wish that I would become anorexic, and - at probably my lowest point emotionally - I actually found myself wishing that I would get cancer so that I wouldn't be hungry and I would lose weight.

How absolutely fucked up is that?  

I can't tell you what changed that made my wish become a dream.  But at some point, I became willing to WORK for my fantasy.  That fantasy was still a little vague at first.  It involved me thinking of shopping in regular stores and being able to go to a restaurant and not worrying about fitting in a booth and not hearing people laugh and being convinced they were laughing at me.  I started to suck in my cheeks and envision my face being thin and what that would be like.  

The keys words in that statement above, in my opinion, are WORK and TIME.  A wish is granted instantly - like the lucky bastards that look at their winning lottery ticket and realize that their lives are going to change forever.  

I think it's true that dreams don't work that way.  Dreams require effort and take place over a period of time.  Even having hit my goal weight, my dreams are still changing and evolving.  

When you think about the effort you are putting it are you WISHING for something to happen or is it a DREAM you are working for?

  Oh by the way - they are predicting a MAJOR snowstorm here starting tomorrow.  Blinding winds, 12-20 inches of snow and freezing cold temps.  If and when that happens, I expect to have a complete and total nervous breakdown.  So don't look for posts - I'll be in a straight jacket in the mental health unit, hopefully doped up until JUNE.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Family (and friend) systems....

When we talk about looking at your relationships with family or friendships or even co-workers, you should think of the people in it as a big circle with everyone holding hands.  Now imagine that someone in that circle changes something drastically.  What that means is that everyone else in that circle has to also change or the circle falls apart.

I read recently on the weight loss site where someone's husband told her that he liked her better when she "was fat".  Look, lots and lots of things changes when we lose weight.  We look different, we might get more attention from the opposite sex, we often grow more confident.  Our priorites might change - we might want to work out for an hour instead of sitting watching tv.  

This means that people in our families have to make adjustments!  Kids might be angry that you're not bringing crappy ass food into the house anymore.  You're husband might feel threatened or resentful.  And this can lead to friends and family trying to sabotage your efforts - often unconsciously.  

Imagine someone you love is a raging alcoholic who is desperately trying to get sober.  Would you bring home a 5th of Jim Beam and wave it in front of the alcoholic's face and say "Here, just have a little sip?"  No, you wouldn't do that, because that would be cruel and insensitive and not a sign that you love the person very much.

So my question is why would you tolerate your husband bringing home a dozen donuts and placing them on the counter?  That is NOT ACCEPTABLE.  Whether he has a weight problem or sugar problem or not.  It's not ok to not support the person you love.  

It's not okay for your mother to make snotty remarks about your weight loss.  Or to tell you that you are selfish.  Or to say it won't last.  

Remember - this is THEIR issue, not yours.  Don't own something that isn't yours and don't feel guilty for making a choice to better your life.  And trust me, your life WILL be better! 

So what it comes down to is that if you are making changes, the people in your life MUST change or else it falls apart.  I have lost friends due to my weight loss.  These people would never say that it had anything to do with me losing weight, but I know it was not a coincidence.  Once I stopped feeling inferior and letting them treatment me a certain way, suddenly I was not welcome in their world.

After reading about that couple last night, I got up and went over and kissed and hugged Marc.  I am so lucky that he and I took this journey together.  I can't imagine us not supporting one another in every venture and this life altering journey was one of them.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


That's the sound my brain made as we lost an hour today. For someone like me who is CONSTANTLY bitching about not having enough hours in the day, losing an hour of my day sucked.

 I dragged myself out of bed and looked at our outdoor thermometer and it said 14  degrees and I quickly sucked down a cup of dark roast.  I went downstairs and briefly glared at the treadmill.   For some reason climbing on an hour early was mentally so difficult.  But I put the time in, anyway and was glad I did.
 I've felt like I'm been chasing my tail today, and I know tomorrow when the alarm goes off I'll be even more pissed then I normally am.
BUT I'll admit - when Marc went to get our chicken off the grill tonight and the clock read 7:00 and it was still light out?  It made my heart lighten a bit.  I almost - ALMOST - felt a glimmer of a little thing called..….HOPE.
 As you know, that's a precious gemstone that has been completely missing for a while now.  And next Saturday is my first race of 2014.  It's not that it's a special race, it's just that it's something outside with other runners and it's something DIFFERENT.
 Plus I'm wearing something OUTRAGEOUS!  I can't wait to show you!!!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Simple things...

I am trying not to let this desperate feeling continue to consume me.  So today, even though it's still miserably cold, I put on 2 pairs of pants, a thick sweatshirt, my winter coat and my thickest gloves and Marc and I went to the local park and took the dogs for a 4 mile walk.

As we got ready to go, the dogs were running and jumping around - so excited. And they sprinted to the Edge and launched themselves in - overjoyed.

As we walked they clearly were just enjoying every part of it.  Chakotay saw a squirrel and whined and hopped and kept looking at me - hoping to get my permission to give chase.  And as we began climbing up a steep hill, Archer looked wide eyed and delighted at some kids sledding there.

 Chakotay saw another dog and I praised him for not lunging as we walked by, and you would have thought he had won the doggie lottery he was so proud.

When we got home, they collapsed on top of one another - happy and tired.  And then a few minutes ago I gave them each a bully stick to gnaw on and you would have thought I gave them so Prime Rib they were so happy.

I want - no, I NEED -  to be more like my dogs.  To enjoy life to its fullest and appreciate all the little things that make my life pretty great.  I can't quite get there right now.  But they are teaching me and I imagine they want me to be a good student.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Thoughts versus behavior....

So I know you're all dying to know what happened yesterday.  Well, I'll tell you...

I went and got 2 big greasy pizzas and then stopped at the grocery store next to the pizza shop and picked up a box of chocolate chip cookies and 2 pints of Ben and Jerry's.  I told myself that my pizza was healthy because I got mushrooms on it (Marc's had pepperoni).

I then got home, changed into sweat pants and buried myself under a heated blanket in front of the tv.  I proceeded to dive into my pizza - finishing every single piece.  I even pulled the cheese off that was stuck to the bottom of the box and ate that.  I then munched on some chocolate chip cookies.  For dessert I started in on the pint of Ben and Jerry's.  About 1/4 way though, my stomach hurt but I perservered and ate the WHOLE THING.

And I didn't feel a BIT guilty.  In fact, I didn't care at all!


None of that happened.  I thought about it.  I wanted that to happen.  I fantasized about it happening.

Instead, I came home and used the computer and then went downstairs and ran 7 miles on the treadmill.  And then we had dinner.  Grilled chicken breast with some navy beans that Marc had cooked in the crockpot all day and a side of kale.  For dessert I had an 80 calorie Greek yogurt.

I'm not telling you this because I think that I deserve a pat on the back or applause or anything else.  But, as I always tell my clients - you don't get in trouble for your thoughts, only your behavior.

I felt like shit on a stick yesterday.  Frankly I still do today.  I have the FUCK ITS.  There is part of me that still wants - very badly - to give up.

But this is where the rubber meets the road.  Where I reach deep inside myself and find the strength to go on.  To fight against the addictive voice that tells me that I'm not worth it.  That nothing matters.

The healthy and sane part of me won last night.  I can't promise what will happen tonight.  I still feel absolutely miserable and empty and broken and LOST.  But I can have all the mental fantasies I want - it is my behavior that will make the difference.  It's all about choices...

What choices are you making?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I give up - you win....

Dear Mother Nature,

I give up.  You win.  I've tried so hard to hold on to a positive mental attitude despite this incredibly shitty cold miserable winter.

I have run hundreds of miles on the treadmill in my dark basement.

I have trudged through snow and ice and felt like I was going to break in half due to the cold just walking from my car into my office.

I have maintained my weight loss despite craving carbs so badly - and giving in at times.  

I have organized and re-organized my house and my office at work.  I have cleaned and then cleaned some more.  

I have tried to keep 2 very active dogs entertained and active despite not being able to be outside for more than 5 minutes without shaking so uncontrollably that I had to run in the house and sit in front of a heater for 2 hours to feel remotely normal.

I have done countless hours of yoga and tried to get my mind settled and fend off anxiety and depression.

I have tried to laugh with others about the misery and have told myself countless times how lucky I am and that there is nothing that we can do about the weather.  I have believed  that spring sun and warm temps would arrive.  I signed up for my first race of the year.

But then today I woke up and it was -13 MOTHER FUCKING DEGREES outside.  

It happened.  You broke me.  I got in the shower and - out of nowhere - burst into tears.  I put my head against the cold ceramic tile and just let the tears flow.  I am defeated.  I am helpless.  I am slipping into an abyss within my own head.

I found myself today thinking that I don't give a shit.  I don't want to eat right.  I don't care if I gain all the fucking weight back.  I don't care if I look good in shorts or a bathing suit, because the reality is that it's never going to warm up, so I won't be wearing these items EVER AGAIN.

You have won the battle.  I will go home and sit on my ass under a warm blanket and stare mindlessly at the television while stuffing myself silly with as much bad food as I can find.   I. GIVE. UP.   I am normally a fighter but I have fought and fought and have broken.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Ok, today's post has nothing whatsoever to do with weight loss or fitness.  It will just be me ranting about a company, so read on and be warned.

I HATE companies that don't stand by the products that they make!  In February 2008, I purchased a Samsung LED television.  I paid just under $2,000 for it.  My mother had the exact same television in a smaller size that she had just purchased and was pretty happy with it.

The tv was great - at first.  Then my mother told me that hers was starting to have white spots show up in her screen.  She said that after doing some research that this was due to blown pixels, and that it was a common problem with these Samsung televisions.  

Sure enough - only a short time later, Marc and I noticed a white spot right in the middle of our screen.  One spot led to another and within a very short time our screen was LITTERED with all kinds of white spots.

I did my own research and there are literally DOZENS of complaints on the internet about this problem with these Samsung televisions.  Although at this point the television was out of warranty, since this was clearly a manufacturing defect, I thought that Samsung might do the right thing and fix a television that was failing less then 5 years from purchase.  And it's not like it was cheap!!

First here is what the screen looks like:

You see all those white spots all over the screen?  Those are from blown pixels.  

So I had an online conversation with Samsung.  After the initial information I gave them, this is the representative's response:
Susana S: After thorough research, it was determined that only specific models exhibited a slightly higher-than-normal failure rate.  Although your TV has similar symptoms, research indicates that this is due to normal wear and tear.

In reading on tv sites, there are DOZENS  of other customers who bought this or a similar tv, this is apparently the company line".  That PIXELS BLOW all over the television due to "normal wear and tear".  You have to be fucking kidding me, right?

More of our conversation:
ME: It is incredibly frustrating. I live in a smoke free, child free home and take VERY good care of my home and products in my home. Samsung CLEARLY has a bad product on their hands that they are making no effort to make right. I would never buy a Samsung product again because of this, and I think other people should be warned not to buy.
Susana S: Our engineers have determined which models have the particular parts that tend to fail at a slightly higher-than-normal rate. These are the only ones that are being covered outside of the warranty term.
ME: But 5 years is completely unreasonable time frame for this to fail. And this appears to be par for the course when it comes to the chip failing. So Samsung has chosen to use the phrase "normal wear and tear" REPEATEDLY instead of standing by its products
Susana S: I understand your concern with this issue however the model number is not in the list given by the engineers so you need to pay for the service. 
Surprise, surprise, I didn't get anywhere.  I realize that there are bigger problems in the world then having a television that now has a crappy picture.  However, when I shell out my hard earned money to a company, I would expect that they stand by their screw ups and just do the right thing for their customers.  As a multi-million dollar company, they could easily make this right and have chosen not to.

Needless to say, I will NEVER buy a Samsung product again, and I am warning other consumers to beware of what they are getting into when they buy from this shitty ass company.

So, ultimately, we are in the market for a new television from a manufacturer who stands by their products.  Let me know if you have any recommendations!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Happy birthday, Dad...

Today would have been my father's 66th birthday.  I was telling Marc that there seems to be a comedy of errors to keep my father in my head this year.  In three short months I will be turning the age that he was when he died.  This has been really "renting space" in my head lately.

Then last week, a co-worker who lost her father at a very young age wanted to talk to me about her father.  She said that she was only comfortable talking to someone who had also lost their dad suddenly.  And then, I watched Mike & Molly this week and it was all about the issues that Molly has because of the death of her father when she was very young.

I don't know why I think about this - it's not like anything can be changed.  I do think that some of my issues come from not only losing my father but the fact that we were not close at all before his death.  I was never "Daddy's little girl" and it is almost embarassing for me to admit that I wish I had that experience.  

My father was an imperfect person.  But he supported his family.  He also was unfailingly loyal and loved my mother deeply - I credit this with why I ended up with a man who is passionately devoted to me!  I wouldn't settle for less because I saw in my household how a man should treat the woman he loves.

There is a tendency in us all, I think, to romantisize people that are gone.  I sometimes think about what my father would be like and what our relationship would be like if he had lived.  And it's probably not even close to what it would be like in reality.

But I just feel sad today.  Sad about what might have been...

Yesterday was a good day celebrating our anniversary but you know how I was struggling last week.  I am feeling extremely unmotivated and discouraged lately.  Waking up to 4 degrees and snow is not helping matters.

I am hoping that March is storming in like a lion and the lamb is about to emerge.  Once I close the door on today, I'm hoping that the melancholy will disappear and I can get my groove back.

Monday, March 3, 2014

9 or 25....

25 - holy crap - 25 years ago - this month I met this guy.  He was older than me and I thought he was really weird.  But the connection was immediate and intense.  I'd never experienced anything like it.

9 years ago today I stood next to this same weird and wonderful man in the local courthouse and vowed to love and cherish him forever.
 Yes, today is Marc and my anniversary.  The fact that we met 25 years ago and have stayed together through thick and thin is almost as unbelievable as the amount of weight we lost and have kept off. 
 Just like weight loss, maintaining a long term relationship is not easy.  It takes hard work and determination and a daily commitment.  And, if you're doing it right, it should involve intense cardio frequently ;))))

In all seriousness, again like the journey of losing weight, being successful doesn't just happen.  There is a reason why there is over a 50% divorce rate in this country.  I've felt that I just couldn't do it any more more then once in the 25 years since we've been together.

On paper - there is nothing that indicates that Marc and I should be a couple.  We are so different in so many ways!!

But somehow the stars aligned to bring us together and we celebrate that every day.  Some people have opined that they need their "space" and they can't understand how and why we spend every moment we can together.  It works for us.  I believe that it is what makes us who we are.

I don't know where I would be without Marc in my life.  So HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my best friend, my soulmate, my partner in everything.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


One of the "side effects" of my cabin fever and anxiety is the need to do something productive.  Usually that thirst is quenched by some intense exercise, but it has not been cutting it.  I've felt a need to change something in my life.

So how does that manifest itself?  Well, by engaging in a home improvement project.  And when I get something like this in my head?  It's like a horrible itch that I can't scratch.  And it has to get done NOW!  IMMEDIATELY!  I can't stand one more day!!

So, that means I dragged poor Marc to Lowe's yesterday and gathered up a bunch of supplies.  I say poor Marc because most of the time these projects are ones that I can't do on my own, so he gets dragged into helping me complete them.  But fortunately for him this one required a lot less from him then the typical project!

So I got up today, after tossing and turning all night thinking about all I had to do, and of course, including getting in a long run.  I dilly-dallied for some odd reason and didn't get down to the treadmill in the time I would have liked.  And I was fine as I ran physically, but my mind was not - I wanted to be running and starting the project at the same time - which, believe it or not is not possible.  

So I made it 10 miles only before getting off.  A shower, some lunch and then on to the project.  It's not even going to be that big of an accomplishment to anyone but me.  But I did spend the next 4+ hours scrubbing our laundry room and entryway and repainting as well as partially enclosing our washer and dryer.  

So I feel like I was productive today, but not having run a true long run is also stuck in my head.  I just can't win against myself.  But when I sit down tonight and make some virtual cross outs on my tablet "to-do" list, I think I will feel a little better.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Are you screwing with me?

Today's post is a complaint that is NOT a complaint.

 Bear with me, OK?

Did you play video games as a kid?  Did you ever become convinced - CONVINCED - that the computer was cheating because it wasn't possible to keep losing or the computer to have that much good luck?

 Sometimes I feel that way about the scale!  Remember a few weeks ago when the scale was stuck between 120 and 121 and no matter what I did - no matter how well I ate and exercised it just SAT THERE?

 Well let me tell you about this week.  I went to a party last Sunday for the Daytona 500 and ate and ate and ate.  My weight popped up but then dropped down.  But as you know I've been anxious and stressed. Which has led to nervous nibbling and eating some not so healthy things and skipping a workout.

 So I got on the scale this morning sure that my weight was going to be up.  And - bang.  The lowest number I have seen in months!!

 So I'm not complaining! But there's part of me that is CERTAIN that the scale is an artificial intelligence and likes to fuck with my head!!

In all seriousness - our bodies are complex and illogical machines.  All you can do is be on point as much as you can.  Your body won't always respond as you want it to or think it should.  BUT if you ride it out it will ultimately reflect your behavior - good or bad!!