January 2017: What if you simply devoted a year to loving yourself more?

I start things with great intention and life happens as it does to most; my personal testimonials and promises are quickly the thing I have to let go of. The end of 2016 was rough. From finding out I screwed up our taxes 3 years ago and now we are paying  back, Scott losing his job, among the other struggles we already felt (to each his own,its all relative to the life we live) we had a nice bag of shit to tote into the new year; a year so many hoped would be better than 2016.

Honestly  2016 isn’t  one I will look back with fondness but with the wide eyes of life education. 

I attended 14 funerals, 4 family and 10 from work. This alone was so mentally and emotionally painful it shut me down. 

I didn’t meet any goal I set for myself, in fact I shut that train of thought down in February after being told there wasn’t anything wrong with my ankle but there was also no hope of a marathon in my 2016. 

I witnessed families grieve, for a multitude of reasons and more than once I had an itty, bitty, pity party for poooorrrr me…oh and there ws me turning 40. 

Now one month into this new 2017 I look back and I feel the relief of 2016 being over. I have so many positives in front of me, maybe that struggle was for some greater purpose. I have a happiness in me I haven’t felt for a very long time; when hiccups arise I don’t feel like my world is at the brink of extinction. I wake up most mornings ready to kick some ass and live life to the fullest. I’m getting to experience my children daily, their laughter and tears (girls cry a lot who knew?!) their success and their struggles….

Caution Parental Honesty Ahead:

My Ailey whom gets the raves at school for straight A’s and exemplary behavior, my bookworm who reads like its going out of style, loves science, Star Wars, a good snuggle and oh my the creativity – she may look like her daddy but that child is me reborn…until faced with her sister and then watch out!

My Piper…oh that little girl. As hilarious as she is rotten, a very average student, a moderate behavior problem (honest parenting observation) spunky, independant and my word teenage years will be a challenge. At home she is loving, helpful, snuggly and everybit my baby. Her demeanor much like her daddy, “….don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be alright…” the victim of her sister’s agression, why we have no idea.  

I enjoy every moment, I felt like I had been missing that, I had really been feeling like being a parent wasn’t my calling. I make being mommy a priority now, as much as taking care of myself. We are all better for it.

Ready to run?!

 Heck yes I am. It is a slow, slow journey but I re-joined weight watchers at the end of December and gave myself one month to get practical eating under me, down 8.8#. Month two-  I am now adding in a running/walking/yoga plan. Excited that I have created a little yoga space at home with a heater (since I ūüíú hot yoga) my mat and I will meet before work and prepare me from the inside out for my day ahead. A personal challenge of a 5k a day for the next 30 days and perhaps the Heart Mini 15K if I can score a free entry. Mentally I am in the best state I have been in longer than I can remember. I am on the lowest dose of antidepressants,every-other-day in fact than I have  been in 6 years, this goes to show when you free yourself of the things you really cannot control and the toxic people in your life, the change that can manifest is liberating. 

Life for now 1/12 of the way through 2017 is good. It feels full and right, for me. There are challenges that exist, but I feel confident that I am equipped to face them and endure.

Running plan for 2017:

March: Heart Mini 15k (9ish miles)

May: Flying Pig Half 

July: 4th of July 5k – goal of a 34 min finish

September: Air Force Marathon 

October: Queen Bee half (long shot to squeeze this one in)

November: Honorrun Half 

Weight loss goal for 2017: 60#

What if you simply devoted this year to loving yourself more?


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Competition

I am an incredibly competitive person.

I hate to lose.

I love having a goal to push toward.

 

Last weekend I went back to Weight Watchers after two weeks of using My Fitness Pal; results, personally I lost 3.2#, for WW I lost 1#. So it was a success and I really like the tracking aspect much better than the WW ap – I feel that tracking calories and being accountable for everything eaten is not only a better method, but makes me think more before I consume anything. Had I been totally honest and tracked every single day of the 14 I would have lost more.

 

When I arrived home I started the fun task of cleaning out my closet of the winter items, some of which I am going to be donating next fall because they are too big, and as I looked through things from last summer I notice that some garments still fit and some do not – they are too tight.

 

Then like many women do, I dared myself to stand in front of our mirror naked and take an honest look at what I saw.

 

I often think about the difference between what I see and what my husband sees, what other people see, and I looked again.

Conclusion:¬†The only opinion that means anything is my own. If I don’t like it, no showering of compliments or criticisms is going to make any difference, and the mirror needed some Windex.

 

So why then do I make myself feel like I am competing against women in their 20’s, who haven’t had kids, or have more time to work out, etc… the competition shouldn’t be with any of those outside forces!!

 

Reality Check:¬†I am never going to be in my 20’s again, I am never going to have the body I did before kids, it’s not likely that I will ever have the time to give a few hours for working out a day, or hours a day to plan and cook the perfect meals. But, what I do have is an idea in my head of what I want, and how I can make that happen

Exercise is only 4%

The past few weeks I have been asked by people what I am doing to slim down (that feels darn good, especially when I am making very slow progress). I tell them Weight Watchers and running, and the conversation goes on and on and I share a little about how I got into running, and then I hear it “I can’t because…<insert lame-o excuse.>”

I know that running isn’t for everyone, but for everyone there is something! A class or video, walking, swimming, yoga, weights, the important thing is to find the thing that you love to do and do it. Pour all you are into it, make time for it, not excuses.Make a friend or find a partner or coach and make it happen more days than not.

¬† “I don’t have an hour to give to working out?”

¬†I personally struggle with this statement, one hour is 4% of a day, ¬†I give 32% of my day to my job, 8% to traffic, 44%to sleep, cooking, cleaning, kids, and other domestic duties….guess what that leaves 16% of my day to give me.

 I selfishly take some of that and run, this week I am adding in some videos that I have and used to really like, free weights that have been door stops for far too long, and reading.

¬†It’s difficult to make exercise a habit, it’s part of you; speaking for me it’s a crucial part of my day.

¬†My journey is far from over, I really want to be below 200 before the end of the month, I have been so close the last two months and I can’t seem to break through. The impending holiday season is my inspiration we have a work event to attend for the husband and I have an amazing dress in my closet I haven’t worn in over 5 years – I WILL WEAR THAT DRESS.

I love pinterest and a lot of the pictures I post in this blog I find there but this one (to the left), really hit home because for a long time what I saw in the mirror was this fat lady, with rolls, stretchmarks, full of imperfections…today when I look at me I see the progress, I know what I will be, I know that the desire to look like the sexy woman I feel like will push me to my goal, and I will not quit until I reach that goal.

¬†4% of my day that’s all it takes to inch toward that goal….I can make the time can you????

How many sticks????

This wasn’t the progress I was hoping to see this month. a minuscule .4#’s and 1/4″ isn’t very much, however it’s still progress toward the goal. I started to feel disappointed in myself, but I can’t. I stopped tracking, measuring, controlling food instead I let it control me, I didn’t say “no thank you” as often as I should…now I look to the left and see that massive pile of butter – 120 sticks ¬†and realize that even though I didn’t drop as many pounds as I wanted to, I have still made progress. I didn’t gain any, I maintained, and that itself isn’t an easy feat. I also realize that if I was paying more attention to what I ate combined with the calories I am burning I would be seeing the loss I desire – note to self: it works if you work it.

¬†This month’s “during” photo features a skirt I have kept in my closet as a go to when nothing else fit. I wore it to work one day and had the realization that it was a little too big to keep wearing and then I put it where it should be worn, at the waist and this is what I saw! There’s enough room in there for a lot more of me! This was the last time I ever wore this garment, it now resides in the trash. I had to part with this favorite to remind me that is not the body I want¬†any more¬† I don’t want it to fit, EVER AGAIN. Then I re-visited my wardrobe and sure enough there were a few other items that needed to go.

Motivation for the next 4 weigh in’s: I am so very close to being below 200#, I haven’t seen that since April of 2008, yup the month I got pregnant with Ailey I was in the 190’s and since then I have gotten close but never broke through – this is it. This month I will say goodbye to the 200’s FOREVER.¬†

MEASUREMENTS for August Progress:

Bust¬†¬† 44″ now 42.5″

Rear¬†47″ now 42″

Waist¬† 42″ now 36″

Arms¬† 17″ now 14.25″

Thigh¬†¬† 29.5″ now 24″

Calves¬† 20″ now19.25″

BMI  37   now 32.1

Pants  14/16 now 12/14

Shirt  XL now L

Total measurable loss ¬†¬†21.5″ and 30.4#

Miles ran: 75.23

 

 

One Weekend, Two Events

This weekend was a busy one….

 

Saturday: I did the Color Run in Cincinnati. I highly recommend this as a good first event, family event, or gathering of friends who want to get a little exercise and have some fun. Standing in the chute waiting for the wave to begin the DJ humored the group and color was flying. Pink, blue, yellow, purple the pavement stained with it, the air thick with residue. The weather was optimal, cool and sunny; the course was laid out in a zig-zag pattern near Paul Brown Staduim and the first dose of color came within a half mile. In less than thirty minutes I toed the finish line, this was not a officially timed event but runkeeper says I completed the 2.76 miles (it was advertised as a 5K which is 3.14) in 29:06 my personal goal was the 3.14 in less than 36 minutes, I most certainly would have met that goal with ease.

Sunday: I joined this event due to the large participation of the Sunday Fundayers at WW in Erlanger. It’s modest $10 entry fee made it difficult to say no. This 5K course took me through old parts of Erlanger beginning and ending at the Kenton County Library. My mother, Uncle Ken, and littles were also present to push and encourage me. Crossing the finish line in 35:44 – next year I will win my division, I was only 2 minutes behind the second place finisher and 3 behind the winner – I know I can accomplish this. The girls were able to participate in the kids fun run around the parking lot and they had fun being chased by mommy and their Ms. Kris; both are quite proud of their participation medals.

 

How these events measure my progress: In seven weeks I have cut a little more than three minutes off my 5K pace. When I finished the event on July 4th I knew then that I could do anything I set my mind to. My bib and timer for the Komen 10K showed up today and I am revising my personal goal from 1:45 to 1:15. In this last month I have also decided to set a long term goal – I am going to run a full marathon by the time I am 40, I have 3 years to meet this goal.

 

Katy Perry: ROAR   http://youtu.be/e9SeJIgWRPk

 

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire

Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR

Louder, louder than a lion

Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR

Now I’m floating like a butterfly¬†

Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes

I went from zero to my own hero

24 Trips to the Scale

MEASUREMENTS:

Bust¬†¬† 44″ now 42.75″

Rear¬†47″ now 42″

Waist¬† 42″ now 36″

Arms¬† 17″ now 14.25″

Thigh¬†¬† 29.5″ now 24″

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Calves¬† 20″ now19.50″

BMI  37   now 32.8

Pants  14/16 now 12/14

Shirt  XL now L

Total measurable loss

¬†21″ and 30#

Miles ran: 79.44

Another four trips to the scale, another month where the loss was more in inches than pounds. I have finally broken through into the 200’s and¬†, my goal is to make it below 200 before the month is out.

¬†RUNNING…has become quite the obsession for me. I lace up 6 days a week and rarely run less than 3 miles. I have created several routes at home that I enjoy and am slowly increasing my distances in preparation for the 10K in September – this past Saturday I did my first 6 miler in 1:15 I was pretty pleased with that time, and last night I had my best 3 to date with a pace of 11:57/mile.

 The best moment had to be last week when the girls asked to run with me. When I got back from my 4 miles, they both put their shoes on and we ran to the stop sign, its a good little distance for a 3 and 4 year old and they were amazing Рthey ran the whole thing. They and Scott are so supportive, without them my progress would not be possible.

¬†The Battle with Food…I tried this past month to be a more faithful tracker.

 I have found that I eat well during the day Рclean, fruits, veggies, bread, lean protein and nuts, when I get home and run my appetite is for protein, I am no longer living to eat, I am eating to live. This is a monumental task.  For when I eat to nourish my body and choose the right things, I am satisfied longer.

I can’t say we haven’t splurged, but I have kept it smart, allowed myself to enjoy pizza at a party, ice cream with my kids, a few chips now and then but I have come a long way.

¬†This membership to Weight Watchers has come at a point in my life where I really feel like I can live it, it’s not a weekly struggle to lose, it’s about accepting my reality. Knowing that loss every week isn’t realistic, and when I have a gain, I am not crushed¬† because I know it means I have to think more the next week.

 

 

 

 

 

How to eat?

I have never really contemplated how I eat so much as what I eat. I understand the principles of proper nutrition, plenty of water, fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains and real fats. I regularly utilize measuring cups, spoons and before it broke a scale, I pay attention to portion size recommendations and try to shop smart. Our recent venture into clean eating has led me to appreciate the freshness and simplicity of food.

 

But never have I given much thought to How I eat…so today while I had little to do I was reading articles about eating and weight loss, and came across some tips that actually enhance the experience of a meal.

 

Eating as a family¬†– at the table, engaging in conversation? People do this? We manage one night a week, between our work schedules and our commute often the adults are not hungry and the kids are, so we feed them and then we eat later. There are two reasons why this isn’t aiding in our success to be a healthier family; we miss out on the shared experience of mealtimes and we adults end up eating late and in front of the TV.

 

Tasting each bite¬†– chewing slowly and savoring the product of cooking. I am guilty of this, when I do eat I feel like it’s a race, I eat quickly and often standing in the kitchen or parked in front of television. How does this defeat me? I don’t enjoy what I have made = I am not satisfied. Then I am tempted to eat more, when in reality I am not “hungry” I am not “satiated”.

 

Cooking with a loved one Рexploring new recipes together. When we were first married we cooked all the time, now one of us is tending to the kids, cutting grass, folding laundry, out for a run, or just not in the mood. When we share we foster not only our nutritional needs, but our relationship.

 

Listening to bodily cues¬†– realize the difference between satisfied and stuffed. I was not a forced member of the clean your plate club as a child, we had to eat a bite of everything and then when everyone was done we could be excused. For some reason as an adult I have this need to finish what I have served myself; being on Weight Watchers I have a point target for the day and often I have more than half of my points left for home eating. I feel like I have to finish what’s there – and then I am miserable. Why do I do this? I think in the coming weeks I will try to evenly spread out my points through the day unless I know we are ¬†having a higher point dinner, then I won’t feel like I have to eat everything.

 

There are so many facets to a healthy lifestyle and each tip I learn is one step closer to my goal; to reaching a point where I don’t battle my demons with eating.

 

Biggest Loser – Halfway through

Well The Biggest Loser at work has reached week 6 – I finally had a decent loss for there and have reached 10# loss according to their records.

 

At the outset I had a goal of 3# a week which I knew was crazy, but I am not unhappy with 10# in 6 weeks. What I am more pleased with is the inches I have been able to trim – I have two more weeks and then I will remeasure.

 

The leader as of last week has had amazing success, and I know that I am out of the running for anything but getting back my entry fee (possibly as I may be switching jobs if the odds are in my favor). I am still focused on reaching my personal goal weight and breaking through that zero over the weekend really felt like things are back on track.

 

I am hoping this weekend to hit my 30# milestone ….

 

WW: Indulgence and Choices

Definition of indulgence (n)

in·dul·gence

¬†[¬†in d√ļlj…ônss¬†]

  1. yielding to somebody’s wish:¬†the act of gratifying or yielding to a wish
  2. something allowed as luxury: something that somebody lets himself or herself or another person have, especially a luxury
  3. tolerant attitude: a kind or tolerant attitude toward somebody

Synonyms: luxury, extravagance, pleasure, treat

 

Yesterday when I went to my meeting and the word “Indulgence” was used and then we were asked if that evokes a positive or negative response. A few of the members said “positive” a few “negative”, I say “both”.

Of course I get asked why….

To me indulgence is taking part in something that makes you feel good, it’s how you manage the indulgence.

I could eat an entire pint of Coconut Almond Chip Ice Cream, easily, in the past that’s exactly what I would do, all us fat kids know a pint is one serving; but this recovering fat-kid knows better. I can allow myself to indulge in a serving, I can “backload” (adding in a planned indulgence to my tracker so that I don’t lose sight of my daily point allowance) to my day, and then my indulgence is permissible. I don’t have to think of ice cream, donuts, chips, or drinks out with friends, as bad, or stressful – I just have to plan for it…and what if I don’t pre-plan indulgence? What if I never allow indulgence?

I remember back in ’03 when I had my best success at weight loss, I simply told myself trigger foods were off limits. If I didn’t allow it, if I didn’t buy it, if it wasn’t there then I wouldn’t have to fight the temptation. How is that setting myself up for life long success? It’s not.

I remember the day I fell. It was cold out, maybe February or early March. I was 6-8 weeks into lifetime status. I had slept at my parents house and there is a bakery near by. As I headed to work I could smell the donuts frying, I remember the thought process, asking myself when was the last time I had a doughnut? I couldn’t remember. I walked my then size 6 self into the bakery and got one. One chocolate, cake doughnut covered in glaze, so sticky because it was still a little warm and milk, when was the last time I drank milk? Probably 6 months or more. I sat in the car and I swear I swallowed it whole, the milk in one gulp….and immediately I felt guilty and sick; and that led to a day of food disaster. Not every day that followed was one full of bad choices, but they increased, I stopped tracking, vending machines at my second job became a habit….and so I ended up back at weight watchers after all this time again, fighting the same demons, but this time I posses the knowledge of success and failure. I understand that depravity isn’t realistic, and that self-discipline is the only means by which to overcome.

So when I hear indulgence, I say yes, indulge, sensibly…and sometimes not. Everyday is an opportunity to succeed, living life is the most important part, existence alone is empty. So grab a pint, share it with a friend, be proud of the baby steps, count the baby steps and the ice cream – life is good.

 

Training for a 10K

After reaching my goal of completing the 5K I knew I needed something else between now and the Tough Mudder in October. I spent some time looking for events and came upon the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure on September 14. I have previously completed the 5K walk for this cause, I know the course goes through downtown Cincinnati, and the Newport/Covington area. I think it’s the perfect opportunity.

The next step was finding a training schedule – it’s only 10 weeks away. Finding this information was easy but all the plans slated for 12 weeks, with 4-6 weeks of pre-training (my goodness a bit redundant right?) however, the “pre-training” involved being a totally beginner, I am a beginner but I don’t need to start at 30-60 sec intervals(how awesome it feels to be able to say that). I have created a plan that helps me grow in my endurance in the time I have, leading up to the weeks before are runs from 2.5 miles to 7 miles, coincidentally my goal for the Mudder was 8-10 so I will be ready for that as well.

When I spoke with my main athletic supporter I conveyed that some of this training I cannot do on my lunch hour, so I will have to spend some of my evenings and weekends devoted to this challenge – he is on board with me and has promised to be there when I cross the finish line this time!

70 days of work ahead and I will be one year older by the time it comes – my goal is to finish in under an hour and forty-five minutes.

So let’s lace ’em up and head on out day 1 is today 3 miles at lunch.

Give a little snap to the my athletic supporter as he took his tenny-bops (as he calls them) to work today so he can walk on his lunch…ripple in effect.

 

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