Friday, July 31, 2015

Buh-bye #7...

And by #7 of course, I am referring to July.  

I know that some of you reading remember January.  Remember when the year started?  Where did you think you'd be as July closed out?  Are you there?  Did you meet your expectations?  Exceed them?  Not come close?

I spent today in the weird space of being totally and completely disappointed in myself and completely at peace.  I ran at lunch.  I am still agonizingly slow and my Achilles is still somewhat painful.  But I ran.  When I came home, Marc and I went for a bike ride.

So I then checked July stats.  331 miles biking, 64.7 running, 70.8 walking and 16.9 hiking for a total of 482.4.  Pretty good, huh?

Except I'm still 20 pounds overweight.  Because I won't stop eating.  And having just passed the 3rd anniversary of hitting my goal weight - I feel like I'm a miserable failure.  A failure and a fraud.

So no false promises for me.  No resolving that August marks a new start.

Instead, I will try my best to do my best tomorrow.  Just tomorrow.  

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Another birthday...

Today is my father-in-law's 97th birthday!

97!!  Think about that for a second - he was born in 1918!!  Pretty amazing to think of the changes he has witnessed over the years.

He was a farmer his whole life.  I've talked about how technology can help so much in keeping us healthy.

But he didn't need GPS watches or fitbits or myfitnesspal or anything else - he didn't need accountability.  He worked hard.  Honest physical labor.  He ate meat and potatoes and drank milk right out of the tap so to speak.  And he is 97 years old!

Makes me wonder if I - if we all - make things too damn complicated.  

I don't know how much longer he'll be with us, but he's had a pretty amazing life.  We don't always see eye to eye - he can be a frustratingly stubborn sob (which he probably says about me, too!!).  But I feel lucky that I've known him - years more then I knew my own father!!

And he raised a pretty amazing son.  Lucky for me!!

So Happy Birthday, Dad!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Do you believe this?  I so admire people who live as if everything happens because it was meant to be.

Aren't those type of people so much happier then those of us who worry and stress and second guess ourselves?  

As you guys know, I do a lot of yoga.  I've gotten so much more flexible and physically stronger and my terrible balance has even improved.

But finding my Zen?  The quieting the mind and finding that inner peace?  I don't know that I'm any closer to that today then when I started.

But I know I have improved in one area - I used to be almost obsessed with what others thought of me.  On being judged on how I look.  

 I came home yesterday and it was humid and 87 degrees.  So when I decided to do some running, I decided to put on some short shorts and a sports bra.  I briefly hesitated given the fat rolls making themselves very known.  And then I thought "Fuck it!" it was HOT and I was going to be out there doing it, right?

Of course, I also didn't think I'd see many people given the rural road I live on.  As Murphy's Law would have it, about 1.5 miles in there were a bunch of guys resealing a neighbor's driveway.  

I briefly wondered if they were making fun of me as I slowly ran past them with everything jiggling where it should not jiggle.  I decided that if they were, so be it.  And when I had to run past them again on my way back, I barely thought about what they might or might not be thinking.

Being of strong mind is crucial in this journey, I think, and I am striving to attain this.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Kinder, gentler, FATTER…

Ok, so before anyone thinks this is yet another WOE IS ME post, let me assure you it's not.  I'm actually doing pretty well even given my STILL expanding fatness.  It's been incredibly hot and humid and I freaking LOVE it, which has helped my mood immensely.

Onto my thoughts for today.  I've been thinking a lot about motivation, determination, what I didn't have in the past, what I somehow got and how I've apparently lost it again.

Once I got into the weight loss game seriously, there became strict, unwavering rules I set for myself.  When and what I could eat, how much exercise I absolutely HAD to do, etc. And these rules were followed to the letter.  Any wavering from those self-imposed restrictions meant DAYS of self-recrimination, frantic efforts to make corrective action and intense self hatred.

I became relatively thin and fit following this regimen.  But it got tiring.  I never allowed myself to be satisfied.  I was still horribly ugly and had loose skin on my legs and arms and if I only I had trained harder I would have come in FIRST in the half marathon instead of second.  So I would restrict more.

And then there was a day when I caught myself (this is so embarrassing to admit) walking by a garbage can and saw that someone had thrown out half of a large cookie and I wanted to take that cookie OUT OF THE GARBAGE CAN and eat it?  Well, that was beyond fucked up.

So taking all of these things into account I decided to be nicer and more forgiving of myself.  The rules were relaxed.  I started allowing myself treats once and a while so I didn’t become so crazed.  And I started not DEMANDING that I run a certain speed or certain miles.

I started gaining weight. And that pattern has continued.  Here I sit, at a weight I SWORE that if I ever got back to I would kill myself.  But if it weren't for the jiggle in my belly and the size 2 skirts that don't fit anymore?  I think that today I’d be pretty happy.

As I was thinking about this earlier today, I ran into an acquaintance who had gastric bypass a few years ago and lost a lot of weight.  She looked almost sickly – so thin and ashy gray.  She had always been known as being a little bitchy but she turned into - as I was told from people who knew her - a super bitch.  When I saw her today, she has clearly gained a lot of weight back.  She is nowhere near as heavy as she was, but she is what used to be referred to as "pleasantly plump".  And guess what?  She seems SO much happier then when she was at her thinnest.

So is there no medium for me?  Do I have to live rigidly again, restricting myself, not allowing any deviation and be happy with my weight OR be chunky and learn to accept that?   Are those the only 2 choices?   Because trying to live in what is undoubtedly the healthiest place – between those 2 worlds – is not working out…

Do any of you know where I am coming from?


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Birthday Boy!!

2010 was a big year for me.  I had started to make some changes in my life.  By July 2010 I had cut out soda, was eating healthier and I was trying to be more active.  I had lost around 50 pounds. 

On July 26th of that year, in a town called Penfield, near Rochester, a beautiful Boxer named Mystic was giving birth to a large litter of 11 puppies.

A little white boy with one fawn ear was number 10 out of the chute.

100_1447 I had no idea these babies were being born.  But soon that would become extremely important to Marc and I. 

A couple weeks after their birth, while the breeders were busy assessing the health, conformation potential, personalities and deciding which applicants their puppies would go to, Marc and I were dealing with the sudden and heart-breaking loss of our German Shepherd, B’Elanna.

The rest, as they say, is history.  Marc and applied to be the adoptive home for “puppy number 10”.  We traveled to Penfield and met the breeder, Mystic and her puppies.  And, in late September we brought home our new baby who we named Archer.



I would never have guessed that he would become my running buddy or that we would start his 5th birthday with a 10K walk.

What doesn’t surprise me is how much I have come to love this little shit – even when I want to strangle him.  Or how much I value the unconditional love and support I get from him.

If you don’t love dogs and animals as much as I do, then you probably can’t understand why I celebrate today.

But those of you who “get it”?

Please join me in wishing a huge Happy Birthday to my baby boy!




Saturday, July 25, 2015


Today was the SpokerRide which benefits Livestrong and the American Cancer Society.  This is their 13th year (I believe) having this local race.

I never knew this, but Marc has been wanting to do this race for years but hasn’t wanted to do it alone.  So he was excited when I started biking and wanted to do the race with him.

We got the bikes ready and packed them up the night before.  There was a distinct feeling of forgetting something as I got ready this morning.  But no, we were all set.


We got to the race start and as I’ve mentioned, I‘ve gotten to know a lot of the local racers for running but I didn’t see one other person that I’ve seen at the running races at the bike race.

Once again, though, I noticed people that were clearly “team members” wearing identical shirts and warming up together, talking race strategy and inspecting each other’s bikes.  For the most part, I saw very expensive bikes – names like Giant and Cannondale and Cervelo.  There were also some mid-range Treks like mine and very few cheaper bikes. 

There were 3 distances for the race – a 50, what was originally supposed to be a 30 reduced to 26 (due to a bridge closed for repairs) and a 10.  We did the 26.

We signed in, got our t-shirts and were handed small round timing chip.  We were told where to get  the zip ties.  They had temporarily run out of the ties and we waited for them to bring more.  That turned out to be a blessing, because I was all ready to tie the chip to my shoe like I’ve done in several running races.  Then I saw people zipping the chip to the front fork of their bikes.

I would have felt like SUCH a DORK if I had tied it to my shoe!!!!  I didn’t even think about it!!  The zip ties arrived and Marc and I latched them to our bikes.

We then lined up and they had the 50 milers go first.  5 minutes later they sent our group off.  We started slow – in a tight pack as we made our way out of the village. 

spokerride 2015 (6)

Less than 2 miles a guy in one of the team shirts pulled over and quickly flipped his bike over while talking loudly and quickly into his phone – he had a flat!  That has to SUCK.

I began edging my way around some people, pedaling fast to get by them.  Marc had insisted that he wanted to ride with me, rather than at his own faster pace saying that he had no interest in trying for a faster time when he could spend the time riding with me (do I have the best husband ever or what??!!) so he was slightly behind me letting me set the pace. 

“Pace yourself!!” he told me – afraid that I was going faster than normal and would burn out quickly. 

I passed a woman who I thought was part of the local bicycling group that Marc created on Facebook who said that she would be at the race.  I thought it was her and “introduced” myself as I rode next to her briefly.  She confirmed it was her.  She would become my self-imposed rival for the race, as I made it my goal to try to keep up with this more experienced rider.

We started to thin out a little as the super-riders took off and the slower ones lagged behind and we all spread out in the middle.  We rode on regular back roads – there were some volunteers stopping traffic at some large intersections, but we did encounter quite a bit of traffic throughout the race.

As we neared mile 6 Marc warned me that he thought that there was large hill coming up that was supposed to be hell.  Here is a screen shot of the hill captured from Marc’s Garmin Virb – I don’t know if you can tell how steep it is, but it was a KILLER – easily the toughest hill I have ridden. 

spokerride 2015 (2)

I thought I was going to have to dismount and walk it, but I made it.  My rival however, had passed me and as we neared the top I saw her hop off and push her bike to the top.  I thought I was home free, but then I saw ahead of me yet another hill.  Not nearly as steep but MUCH longer.

I managed that one a little better and passed an older guy who appeared extremely fit but apparently was having trouble with his chain.

The next few miles went by nicely.  It was about 73 degrees, more windy than I would have liked it, but sunny.  I expected to fatigue as I often do anyway, but especially because I had been pushing myself.  But I felt strong today.  The roads were in good shape, which helped.  Marc and I talked as we rode.  We passed some people.

As we neared the halfway point, we were passed by a couple people, including my rival!  She went by and was GONE.

Mile 18 brought a HUGE downhill – which was great except I was going the fastest I ever have – 32 miles per hour – and to be honest?  It was a little scary going that fast.  I passed a woman who is apparently known as being a very fast and skilled biker, but she always rides with her TINY dog in a basket on the front!  The dog apparently loves to ride and I looked over as I FLEW by them and the dog was calmly sitting up in the basket and facing the wind as we whizzed down the hill and appeared to be having the time of his life!


I saw another hill looming in front of us and was thrilled when I saw the riders ahead of us turn right onto a road right before the hill started.  Marc told me that this was the road that would take us to a main state road that I am very familiar with and that we would head back into the village and the finish line. 

“Dang!” I told him with a smile “I was hoping to beat the woman from our Facebook group – but she isn’t even in sight!”  Marc laughed at me.

As we reached this main route, clouds were  starting to move in and the wind picked up drastically.  They had been predicting a cold front moving in with thunderstorms for the afternoon and it looked as if they were right.

We turned and I noted only 5 miles to go, so even though we were headed directly into a strong wind, I knew we didn’t have far and didn’t get discouraged. 

We had been riding mostly side by side for the whole race, but there was a LOT of traffic so Marc told me to go ahead and he followed behind me on the relatively small shoulder.

And there – in the distance – I saw my rival.  As we rode towards the village, we edged closer and closer and at mile 23 I had almost caught up to her.  I threw a look back over my shoulder and there was no traffic so I pulled out and passed her.  A minute later we entered the village and I pedaled like a MAD WOMAN (because I’m batshit crazy) hoping that she wouldn’t catch me.  We flew through the village and took the right turn to the finish line and sped across. 

Woo-Hoo!  I had done it!  Unfortunately, the timing company had a huge fuck up with the timing chips.  They told us that they’re hoping to get it straightened out, but it’s HOURS later and there is still no results listed on the website.  So I can’t tell you our “official” time or where we placed. 

However, according to my Garmin,  the course was 25.72 miles long and I finished in 1:36:16.  That’s an average speed of 16 miles per hour.  Since on a ride this distance, I usually average about 14.5, I’m pretty happy with that.  I’d like to see the results to see how I compare with other women my age, but I think for someone who has been back biking for less than 1 year it’s pretty respectable.


We then went to the tent and ate the provided bag lunch.  Then – BONUS TIME – they handed out the raffle prizes and I totally scored – I won a $200 gift certificate to a local bike shop!!  Shopping time!

There were no awards given due to the timer problems so we hung out for a while and then left.

I feel really happy about the day as a whole as well as my performance.  I hope you guys enjoyed reading about it!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Keep moving on!

I'm pushing along.  Next week it will be 3 years since reaching goal.  And I will be FAR from my goal weight.  But I will also be FAR from where I started.

My first true bike race will be this weekend.  And then the following week I will be the running leg of a triathlon.  Marc will do the biking part and my best friend from childhood will be the swimmer.  This friend and I lost touch for many years and have only been back in communication a short time.  She has had her own weight struggles and is in the process of a weight loss journey.  It will be pretty cool to do this with her!

3 years in and I keep expecting this to get easier.  Not easy, but easier.

Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case.  Eating right and exercising have become integrated into my daily life.  And yet the desire, the PULL - of old habits?  I feel that every day.  Some days the voice is a minor quiet whisper that I hardly notice. And other days it's a screaming loud presence that I can't shut up or shut out.

Although it doesn't hold true for everyone, in addiction recovery 5 years is the benchmark.  If someone makes it 5 years, statistically their chances of staying clean and sober goes up remarkably.  I wonder if the same holds true for "obesity recovery"?

If I can keep *most* of the weight off for another 2 years will my head finally be right?  As you all know, the fight can be exhausting.  But today I want to and will fight.  What is the alternative?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The heat is on...

On Good Morning America this morning, they did a story on the heat wave that a lot of the country has been experiencing.  And they interviewed people who were actually bitching about how hot it is.  

I found myself outright hostile.  I wanted to literally climb through the screen and punch them in their fucking faces!!  Do they not remember the winter we just had?!!  Am I the only one who wanted to kill myself every. Fucking. Night because I was so cold and miserable??!!

There are many reasons that I have started to come out of my funk.  I am running again - not fast and not far - but I am running.  I am excited about the bike race this weekend.  I just came back from a wonderful and much needed vacay.  I am eating mostly like a sane person.  I have found some self control.

BUT I think the main reason for my happiness is the sun and heat.  I ran 3 miles to the grocery store today to pick up something for dinner.  I ran slow and could hardly breathe and loved it!  And I walked through the grocery store sweaty and smelly without a care in the world.  And then I walked a mile back carrying the bags and singing along with my MP3 player like a crazy person.

When I got home I did a weight lifting session.  I rarely sweat while lifting weights.  But it was so hot and humid that my sports bra was soaked.  And I bent over to pick up the weights and sweat streamed off my face and dripped liberally on the ground.


So where do you guys stand?  Love the heat or hate it??

Monday, July 20, 2015

Never too late...

I talked to someone today who I haven't seen in a few years.  She has been through a ton.  As a drug addict she stole, lied, prostituted herself, betrayed her family, and spent time in prison.  She was given another chance, seemed to get it together, and went right out and did it again.

And then another chance.  I heard rumors that she was doing well, but I a tually saw her and talked to her today.  She looks incredible.  She has been clean and sober for a while now.  She has reconciled with her family, and has really built a solid wonderful life for herself.  I am thrilled for her!

For every one of these success stories, as I have unfoetunately seen, there is the tragic story of someone who doesn't get another chance.  It is too late.  

And in between, of course, is a whole array of those who succeed and fail, stride forward, fall back, do great for weeks and then relapse - for days, weeks or months and start over again.

Sound familiar?  The great thing about the weight struggle is we almost always get another day, another chance.  Rarely does our choice to binge or eat badly result in an instant death.

But that's the curse, too, isn't it?  The thought that you can always quit tomorrow.  I promised myself that I would start exercising and eating right "tomorrow" for YEARS.  And tomorrow would come and here I would be - stuffing my face with Oreos while sitting my ass on the couch and getting fatter and fatter.

So that's where the balance comes in, right?  If we want to win this, we have to hold ourselves accountable.  To eat right and exercise as if our lives depend on it.  Because while the heroin addict might make a bad choice and instantly die, many of us are slowly killing ourselves - I was dangerously close, I have no doubt, of being yet another statistic of a woman having a heart attack - maybe it would have even killed me.

But in that accountability, we also should recognize that there IS almost always a tomorrow.  So a day's failure does not give us an excuse to give up.  We live, we learn, and we fight another day!  

If we are lucky enough to get yet another chance, we should not waste it!!  

Sunday, July 19, 2015

If only life were fair....

I know I'm not the only one who does really well during the week and then implodes on the weekend!

After a really on plan week, I spent this weekend struggling to not eat myself into a coma.  

Today started with a 37 mile bike ride.  Tons of calories burned, especially pedaling against some super strong winds.  But I got home and was ravenous.  Which resulted in some poor choices.

So tomorrow marks a new week.  Leading up to my first "real" bike race next weekend.  Back on plan, Jen - let's do this!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The struggle is real…


Tongue firmly planted in cheek!

In all seriousness, since I know not all of you look at the comments in each post, I didn’t want you to miss the link that reader Tungster sent:

I mean it’s nothing we haven’t already known, really, but it’s yet another study showing that for the obese, and especially the morbidly obese, major weight loss – to the point of achieving a normal weight – is pretty much impossible.  And for those who DO achieve it – it’s inevitable that you gain it back.


I read the article right before heading out to take my boys on a long morning walk.  So I had a lot of time to think.  And, as I approach the 3 year anniversary of achieving my goal weight, and knowing how profound of a failure I am going to feel on that day, I was pretty demoralized.

But as I kept walking, I kept thinking.   There are lots and lots of obese and morbidly obese people in the world – not just in the USA (this study was actually British).   This study shows that most of these people fail in their desired goal.  Does that mean that all of them, including me, are defective?  That we lack the very basic self-control?   That we all are LOSERS? 

No, I don’t think that this can be true.  I know many really fat people who are also AWESOME human beings.  So if obesity is a disease – as we’ve come to recognize other diseases like addiction and mental illness which were previously thought of as “moral failures” – that means that many of us are fighting and fighting against ourselves on a daily basis.  Be it genetics or whatever, there is something about us that makes it harder then for the non-obese person.
And then there’s the other part of the story that talks about the incredible health benefits of losing even 5% of your body weight.  So for everyone out there who weighed 250 pounds and who now weighs 200?  You’ve increased your life expectancy as well as your quality of life incredibly.  As have I, even with the weight gain.

Accepting that this struggle will be a struggle forever?  It sucks.  But this study just shows how stacked the cards are against those of us trying to lose and/or maintain.

So we can either throw up our hands and say fuck it, or fight on.  And while we’re fighting, maybe we appreciate that others are in the same boat.  Maybe we congratulate ourselves for the progress we have made. 

I don’t know that I’m there yet.  I still see myself as a pathetic failure today.  But, according to this story, I have won a battle I should not have been able to win by initially losing a lot.  As have many of you!!  And if I win enough battles, maybe I win the war?

What are your thoughts on this?

P.S. – thanks for the link, Tungster!!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Steven Tyler said it...

If this week has taught me anything, it's that it's possible.  I've been on track - with diet and exercise.  I feel good.  I feel sane.

Of course, knowing that it's possible and doing it long term - well those are 2 very different things.

But tonight, when I came home and Marc and I went on what I jokingly referred to as "date night" - an 18 mile bike ride - 

And then we came home and ate some salmon, garlic roasted potatoes and veggies.

And I realized if I can make it through tomorrow I came off of my vacation and did what I needed to do.

I wish I could tell you that I lost weight, but because I'm still not ready and willing to weight myself - I don't know.  But I feel healthier.

Isn't that a weird conundrum?  What does food that is SO BAD for you taste SO GOOD, but when I eat HEALTHY food, I feel so much better everall??!!  Not just "mentally proud of myself" but I actually PHYSICALLY feel better.

So I think it's going to be alright.  We'll see how I manage through the weekend!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What’s in a name?

At the beginning of this week, I told myself that this would be a brand new start.  I'd start fresh - mentally and physically.

But what I've actually discovered is that I'm not, of course, starting over.  I don't weigh well over 300+ pounds.  I haven't been eating massive quantities of horribly processed food.  I'm not an unfit couch potato like when I started.  HELL NO I AM NOT!

In fact I've been a little surprised.  I haven't even felt any sort of sugar withdrawal.  Any "detox" that I've been having is mental.  Like the desire to nibble and pick like I've gotten into the (bad) habit of.  Or feeling "bored" so I need to eat something.  There is some hunger, but, as always, it's so hard for me to determine whether it is "real" hunger or mental longing.

So really what this week has been is getting back to basics.  Eating a normal, healthy breakfast and then not eating again until lunch.  A healthy, high protein lunch.  And getting home from work and not fiddling around the kitchen while reaching for jars of peanut butter and having "just a little" 10 freaking times!!  And then eating a normal healthy dinner.  I even have continued to allow myself a Greek yogurt late while watching TV.  An 80 calorie treat so I don't feel deprived.

Planning my meals for the week, packing my lunch the night before, not allowing FAT JEN to rule the roost...that's what success is made of.

And it's been back to basics running wise.  My Achilles is not 100%, but it's much much better.  Between not running hardly at all in June and the injury and the weight gain, I'm just not able to go out and run 6 miles in 45 minutes.  So I ran 4 - in 35 minutes yesterday and 5.25 today.  With a walking break.  And for now – hell maybe forever - that has to be good enough and I have to allow myself to be okay with that.  I'm continuing to bike and walk and do yoga, etc. – I’m not going to turn to flab.

That is all part of not just the physical back to basics, but mentally getting back to basics as well.  Being calm and patient and focused - that helps keep my eating and everything else in check.

Every skill that I learned during my initial weight loss, what to eat, how to say no, how to be organized - those skills have never gone away.  They are there - have been - I just haven't been using those skills effectively.

Of course, we're only 3 measly days in - big fat hairy deal.  The true test will come during the weekend.  But every single day that I make the right choice is a day I don't make the WRONG choice.  Pile enough of those together???


Monday, July 13, 2015

Wow–Can I really be this bad?

So it was back to reality today.  I thought that I was in the right mindset.  I even joined a freaking 5 day clean eating challenge.  ONLY 5 days.

I squeezed myself into a dress this morning, you could call me sausage girl.


I get to work and 10 minutes after I'm there - in what I am absolutely convinced is THE GRAND CONSPIRACY TO KEEP JEN FAT - in trots someone with some mouth wateringly fresh donuts and bagels from Dunkin' Donuts.

Fuck.  Me.

My resolve lasted 10 fucking minutes.  No, I DID NOT eat anything.  But I wanted to.  I really did.

It's so fucking pathetic.  But, on the other hand, once again we are down to the fact that we don't pay consequences for our thoughts, only our behavior.  So, calorie wise, I was consequence free.  But I WANT to NOT WANT - know what I mean?

The rest of the day was a flurry of catching up on emails and phone calls and paperwork - a welcome distraction.  Distraction from my thoughts and the tightness of my dress. 

I got home and took a quick bike ride and have my salad prepared while Marc makes the chicken for it.

1 day down - only hundreds more to go!!


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Like all good things….


Excuse me while I throw a MASSIVE temper tantrum about having to return to work tomorrow!!

Before my vacation, to say I was a train wreck mentally and physically is not exaggerating. 

Mentally, I’m in much better shape.  I hope I can hang on to it.  Physically…well…SIGH.  Ok, so I’m physically better in the respect that my Achilles is doing much better. 

But in the WEIGHT area?  I am a DISASTER.  I don’t even want to LOOK at my work clothes.  I’m afraid everything is not going to fit.  Not good at all.

I have even considered replacing at least 1 meal a day with a shake.  But honestly, that’s not the issue.  I so know what I have to do, I just WON’T FUCKING DO IT.


And that my friends, is the reality of the situation. 

I did do some things on my vacation right – look at the mileage:

  • Hiking 21.79
  • Walking 35.57
  • Running 16.2
  • Biking 125.5


Total: 199.06

And I got some things accomplished.

So here’s hoping that the 2nd half of the year brings better things – not BIGGER  things, but better!

Friday, July 10, 2015

If I were a rich man….

Said Tevye…

Today Marc and I went on a boat cruise through the 1,000 Islands.  I won tickets last month and today was perfect weather to take on a boat cruise.

Here we are waiting for the boat to take off.


The 2+ hour trip took us through the St. Lawrence river and you get a look at all the STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL homes on the islands:


















Can you imagine being so rich that this is considered your summer “cottage”?

I was just thinking how much easier life would be if I were rich like this.

Not having to go to work.  Having someone to cook meals for you and clean and you could hire a personal trainer.  Having unlimited time during the day to work out and keep yourself healthy.

I could so go for that!

I know that being rich doesn’t guarantee that your life is easy or that staying fit and thin is handed to you.  Looks at people like Rosie O’Donnell or Kirstie Alley or Kelly Clarkson or Jonah Hill or how about Oprah Freaking Winfrey?  They are all rich and famous and have (by their own admission) weight problems.

But it just seems like it would make it all easier for me… I wouldn’t mind trying!!

Hey, and they all have haters, too!! 


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Guess what I've got??!!

When I started this blog I had no idea who would be interested in it.  I thought people that were considering skin removal surgery, maybe people who were looking to lose weight - maybe no one!

And then the blog evolved and I found incredible support and love from strangers.  And I found that I was grateful and humbled by this - and I felt less ALONE.

But now I have my very own HATER.  This person has seen fit to send me several anonymous messages telling me what a self-involved, fat, piece of shit I am.  Lucky me!!

So to Mr. or Ms. Anonymous - let me make it clear.  This is MY blog.  I pay for it.  I talk about ME and MY issues.  Which I will continue to do.  Why you want to spend your time reading and commenting when you clearly can't stand me?  I find it baffling.

Perhaps you could use your time in better ways - like eating shit and dying.  Mmmkay?

Does this mean I've made it to the big leagues??  :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wednesday = WORKday…


HA!  What a perfect quote for today.

My vegetable garden has been VERY important to me the last few years.  I love watching the plants grow and having fresh veggies to eat.  There’s nothing like going out and grabbing some beans or a zucchini right off the stem and eating it for dinner.

I also blanch and freeze vegetables to have well after the season is over.

But this year?  I just wasn’t feeling it.  I think because the winter was SO EFFING MISERABLE that when it finally warmed up I just wanted to be outside doing exclusively fun things, not worrying about “work” – even enjoyable work.

So I reluctantly – and late – rototilled and made a half-assed effort of planting seeds.  My flower gardens suffered as well.

And since then?  I haven’t done a damn thing.  And while on vacation I’ve been ignoring the garden, knowing that the weeds were taking it over.  On Monday, I told Marc that I was dreading weeding the garden, but I didn’t want to just let it go to hell, either.  He pointed out in Lowe’s a small rototiller attachment that attaches to our weed wacker.  He said that this could make weeding a little easier.

Today I resolutely went outside and started in utter dismay.  My neglect was in full display.  It looked like a fenced in grassy area.  FUUUCCCCKKKK!

But Marc attached the new rototiller attachment and I went to work.  5 HOURS LATER I could barely hold on to the weed wacker my arms were so tired and the garden was only about 70% done.

It’ll have to be good enough.  It just shows what a good dose of neglect will get you.

We’ll still have some veggies, although some were choked out by the weeds, so I consider this year’s garden pretty much a failure.

Kinda defines my year this year!!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tuesday travels....

For many years, the communities that run along the old Erie Canal from Buffalo to Albany have been working on making a 500+ recreational trail that runs alongside the old canal.  It's for runners, hikers, bikers, snowmobilers, horseback riders, etc.  The trail is not 100% complete but there are large sections that are, and even the places that aren't finished, you can usually travel on city streets and get to the next section.

Anyway, since Marc got his mountain bike, he's wanted to head down to Syracuse and do a section of the trail.  I have so far not enjoyed trail riding, but Marc assured me that this trail was surfaced with crushed stone and would be relatively easy riding.  What better day then an 87 degree vacation day??!!

So we got around early and headed out.  

We started where the trail basically starts in East Syracuse with no plan about how far we would go.  The trail was indeed crushed stone and my hybrid held up well.  It was mostly flat and we could ride side by side for much of it.  But I found riding on stone is still much more challenging than riding on the road.

It was hot and humid and we cruised along next to water the entire way.  We saw runners, other cyclists and walkers.  In addition, we ran across a ton of song birds, chipmucks, rabbits, some VERY pissed off geese, a blue heron that took off in front of us and - my favorite sight - 4 black weasels that crossed our path!!!

About 17 miles in, we entered the small city of Canestota.  We looked for a park but couldn't find one.  So we continued on a short distance and found a bench along the trail to stop and have the lunch we had packed.

A half sub and a banana.

Feeling refreshed, we continued on, and almost exactly 20 miles in we reached the trail end where we would have to hit the streets.  It made sense to turn around and head back.  

It was HOT and Marc and I had drank most of our water so we made a short detour to McDonald's in Canestota to refill our water.  Pushing on, I found myself getting fatigued about 30 miles in.  We stopped for a delicious energy helper: 

We made it back having traveled 41 miles and were sweaty, dusty, and happily exhausted.  I don't see us becoming regular trail riders, but it was something different to challenge ourselves with.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Another week!

Today started week 2 of my vacation.  The weather has finally gotten hot – FINALLY.

We started off this morning running errands on our bikes.  For those of you who live in a large city, I imagine this is pretty commonplace, but between the rural-ness of the area and the weather it’s pretty rare around here to use anything but autos for travel. 

But we made a nice round trip of stopping off to pay our fuel bill and picking up a prescription – ending up at 15 miles which took an hour.

We had lunch – vacation lunches are hard for me – it’s easy for me to pack a healthy lunch the night before when I’ve eaten dinner and take it to work the next day and then I have no choice of what to eat.  But when I’m home and hungry, there are a vast array of unhealthy choices.  I stuck to kale and a couple of spinach/garlic chicken sausages and felt good about making the right choice.

Then we packed up the dogs and ourselves and headed to our favorite beach.  It is a 2 mile relatively easy hike to get to the water and then we swam and played all afternoon.

The dogs had a blast:





















Hot, hazy sun and calm waters – absolutely PERFECT.

We headed back and stopped to get something for dinner.  Marc and I were both really hungry.

I don’t know about you guys, but when I’m hungry and in a supermarket, the desire to eat something quick, easy and totally unhealthy just screams at me.  We made it past the pizza and calzones that were being cooked and calling my name and safely landed at the fish counter.

We try to eat fish at least once per week.  Even though it’s really good for you, we don’t have Salmon all that often because it is pricey and because it is high in calories.

But they had on sale cheap some Keta Salmon.  Have you guys ever had this?  It is lower in calories than the traditional Salmon.  Slightly less protein and healthy fats, but we went ahead and tried it.

It was AMAZING.  Maybe I was just so hungry that it tasted that good, but I have to say, it was less greasy than regular Salmon (probably because of the lower fat content) and extremely flavorful.

So a great way to start week 2 of vacation – now I just need momentum!!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

I guess it can’t hurt…

Since we’ve gotten home, I’ve been on a mission to get my “to do” list crossed off.  I think that there’s a part of me that believes that if I can get some things in my life under control, I can get ME  under control.

I am such an obsesser and worrier – it definitely is not a good thing.

So I’ve been running around like a mad woman – doing wash, cleaning, giving the dogs a bath, paying bills, washing and waxing my car.  As you can see, none of these thing are life and death issues, but for me they need to get done.

And then of course, there are the efforts to undo all the damage from camping in one day.  We went on a bike ride on Friday – my longest mileage to date as we did just over 44 miles.

I know that the answer is not exhaustive cardio.  It is getting back on track to eating right 90% of the time and using exercise for fitness, not to try to reverse damage.

But I can’t get it through my thick head!

I guess getting things done and exercising, well, that certainly can’t hurt anything.  But until I rein in Fat Jen, the progress that I want to see in the weight department?  It ain’t gonna happen.


Friday, July 3, 2015


We left last Sunday morning.  The weather promised to be cold and miserable and it matched my mood that it seems that I have been stuck in all year.  But my promise to myself was to try to be more positive.

We arrived at the campground and set up as it rained a cold and nasty rain.  We huddled under our screened house.  I spent the night shivering in the tent knowing that I wouldn’t survive on Survivor for more than a couple days!

But Monday dawned sunny and a hot shower helped improve my mood.  We went to a local wildlife refuge site.  Some of the paths were extremely flooded, but we traveled a bunch of paths and enjoyed the birds and other wildlife, and the boys had a great time.


















We then walked over to a lakefront park and walked some more – it was still pretty cool for late June – but the sun was shining and I started to relax a little.

We headed back to the campground and relaxed.  The view from our site:


Tuesday, the weather was calling for rain all day long.  So when we woke up and it wasn’t yet raining and the weather called for rain to hold off, we went over to a trail on the campgrounds that leads to a neighboring town.  It started to rain, despite my app telling me a ZERO percent chance of rain.  I looked over at Marc and asked if he wanted to run back to the car.  He HATES the rain and agreed.  We began running and I was thrilled that my Achilles felt really good.  It was only about a mile, but it felt good to run without pain.

The sun came out later and it turned out to be a really nice day.

Wednesday, we headed out to Finger Lakes National Forest and hiked an extremely challenging gorge trail. 






Again, more unusual wildlife:







Back in the late afternoon I was itching to run – I wanted to start July on a good note, and after the minor success of the day before, I wanted to see if I could run pain free.  Marc was doing some things on the computer, so Archer and I headed over to the trail and began running.  It was slow.  But the Achilles held up well.  I was positively thrilled to get 3 miles in.  Kinda pathetic huh?  But I’ll take it!


When I got back and headed to shower while Marc began cooking dinner, I thought “It’s going to be okay.”  That may be one of the first positive thoughts I’ve had in a long time.  I can get back on track.

We had a great dinner, and sat by a HUGE fire as we wanted to use the wood up.  And we enjoyed a gorgeous sunset.











All week, they had been calling for it to rain yesterday, but at the last minute it changed.  The day was gorgeous.  We packed up our site and because it was so nice we headed over to Fillmore Glen State Park, even though it was 30 miles out of our way.

We hiked a stunning and challenging gorge trail.












And then we headed home and arrived safe and sound.

The bad news?  I ate and ate and ate the entire week.  I feel incredibly bloated and hugely fat.  It’s going to be a long road to get where I want to be.  A very long road…

The good news?  2015 has SUCKED ass so far.  June was one of the worse months for me mentally that I have ever had.  But I started July feeling calm and optimistic. 

So we’ll see how long and how well I can do this.  But I am ready.  At least I hope I am!