Monday, May 31, 2010

Weekend Recap

We have had a fun time visiting our sons - we even planned ahead and brought a cooler of food (turkey lunch meat, cheese, bread, fruit, yogurt - oops, forgot that) so that eating in would be easy and convenient - and it worked! I am proud to report only one trip to Panera this weekend, which was planned-for and enjoyed very much - I had their Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken salad - so good! I need to remember to start adding strawberries to my homemade salads again now that they are abundant.

Jeff and I took a walk on Saturday - the boys live really close to the town square, so I slathered on sunscreen and off we went - it was 93 degrees but really wasn't bad - of course, I was wearing shorts and a sleeveless top (sometimes I just don't care who sees my fat arms, which are getting less fat - yay for my workouts!) so that helped. Many of the shops were having Memorial weekend sidewalk sales, and I had fun going through the clothes racks, looking for and actually finding things to try on. This was so cool - for YEARS I've been the one to stand back (and pretended not to mind that I couldn't participate) while the people I've been out shopping with have looked through the clothes for fabulous bargains - none for me, as we all know that they never have plus-sized clothes at those boutique stores. I remember one such trip - I was visiting family in Oregon, and my mom, sister-in-law and I were shopping - my sister-in-law was trying so hard to find something that would fit me - she was very sweet and being so positive, but if the store didn't have "Lane" or "Bryant" in the name, it was pretty futile. But that was then. On Saturday, I found a couple of cute tops and brought them inside the store to try on. My favorite one fit - oh happy day! The other one that was just ok was too big(!) - which was shocking. Here's a picture of my new top, which will make its debut on a Fashion Friday post in the near future:

Wild, eh?

And here's a close up of the price tag:Can you believe this top started out at $80??? I feel like I scored big time with only paying $10 - not that I EVER would have paid $80 for a knit top! I wondered about the "as is" on the tag, but all of the stores in the square write that on their sale merchandise - weird, but there was nothing wrong with it.

Oh, one other place we discovered on the square - a newly-opened frozen yogurt shop! I swear, I think I'm like a homing pigeon when it comes to finding these places, lol! This one had more of the "sweet" flavors - my favorite is still Red Mango, but when in Rome Denton, you make do.

I got up early on Sunday to go running - we took Paco and went to campus - I figured it should be pretty safe to run there (as I have already established in this post that I'm a chicken when it comes to running in strange (to me) places). Here we are, all ready to go:

As the sweat has been pouring into my eyes lately (thank you hot Texas weather), I tried wearing a Bondi Band under my hat (and had my hair in a very short ponytail) - this worked great! I also wore for the first time an armband that held my iTouch - I've been carrying it in my hand, and I'm always afraid that I will stumble over a curb or something and it will go flying. This also worked great - I just turned the iTouch upside down so the speaker was closer to my head and I heard the music just fine! (I don't like to run with earbuds for safety reasons).

The run on campus was nice as there was a lot of shade from the buildings and trees. Plus at 7:30 on a Sunday morning I had the place to myself! As I hadn't run for a week, and it was already 80 degrees, I wasn't at my best - but I enjoyed both the run and looking around at all of the cool things on campus. And since I was just running for fun, at one point when I was running down a street and came to the bottom of a hill, I turned around and went a different direction - I figured I was already working hard for this run - why kill myself? Although when I told Jeff what I did later, he was very disappointed in me...but when he runs three miles in the heat and humidity, then maybe I'll listen to him (probably not).

My eating has been much better this visit - really, it's the eating out that kills me - not that I go off the deep end with what I order (well, except for those two breakfasts last week), but I just feel better when I eat my "normal" food. Bring our regular food to Denton was a good idea...plus my wallet is a lot better off!

I'll leave you with one more picture of Paco's favorite place in the boy's apartment - Max's bedroom window!

Paco loved laying on Max's bed and looking out the window - being on the second story gave him a whole different perspective on the great outdoors!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Randomness

I very nearly needed a Panera Bread intervention when we were in Denton earlier in the week - we went there four times! I just love that place, and we don't have one in my town, so of course I have to take full advantage of going there when I can. I liked that they post the calorie counts on their menu board - and I had a flashback of years ago, when my Uncle Bob was telling us about driving somewhere - Wisconsin, maybe - and seeing the speeding fines posted next to the speed limit signs - he would say "I can afford that!" and zip on down the highway! Ahhh, good memories of a very funny man. Anyway, I looked at the calorie count and thought "I can afford that" - and somehow ended up with two breakfasts - a four cheese egg souffle AND a cinnamon crunch bagel with light cream cheese! WTH, Shelley? Now, I didn't eat lunch, but still - that was crazy, wrong, and yet...so good! We are heading back up to Denton this weekend, but have already decided to eat in almost every meal (which will be easier now that the boys are all moved into their new apartment)...but you know I will have to have Panera once - however I will show a bit more restraint this time (I'm eying their new Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil salad - yum).

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We took Paco with us on our trip last weekend, and I have to say that I've never seen a happier dog. He normally is very tense in the car, but I think the fact that we were all together calmed him, and he really seemed to enjoy the ride. I took a few pictures, and what does it say about me as a mother when I was trying to choose which picture to post and was thinking "Paco looks so cute in this one but Max is making a funny face - I'll post it anyway" - luckily for Max, I found one where they both looked good!

Oh boy oh boy oh boy, we're going for a car ride!

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My quads and glutes are so sore after doing the leg press negatives on Wednesday - they feel bruised, which is a normal occurrence and why I hate doing them so much...I'm sure there is some reason why Brad thinks we should be doing them, but for the life of me I can't figure it out. I had to be aware of my whimpering and groaning as I sat down and got back up while at work yesterday - didn't want my co-workers to wonder what was wrong with me!

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And now for Fashion Friday - I only have one outfit this week, but two pictures - can you spot the difference?

It's the shoes! I was going for a *pop* of color with the turquoise sandals, but wasn't sure that I liked it since I had no other turquoise going on. So I changed to the black sandals, which is what I ended up wearing to work (I can be pretty casual when we aren't having receptions). Here's a close up of the shoes:

Dana Buchman via Kohls, 2009Mossimo via Target, 2010

Which shoes would you have worn? Oh, and those Bermuda shorts bothered me all day - they just felt big, which in turn made me feel fat. So after work I went to Target and tried on the same brand (Merona - love that I fit into the cheap clothes now) in a smaller size - and they fit! Now, I do think that is an anomaly and there is no way in hell's half acre that I am really a size 6 (hello vanity sizing!), but you know I had to buy them.

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Have a good weekend, everyone - I pledge to not lose myself in Panera Bread this time!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update - Late Edition, and Announcement !

I feel like we have been going non-stop since last Friday, what with the boys coming into town for Jeff's graduation (he and I thank you for the messages of congrats - y'all are so sweet!), the graduation and everything that went with it, driving up to Denton on Sunday, helping the boys move into their new apartment on Monday, driving back home on Tuesday...it's been crazy and I'm tired! And, it looks like we will be heading back up there on Friday after work to spend a little relaxing time with the boys - they will both be busy this summer and probably won't make it home for another visit until August, so this long weekend will be the best bet for a fun visit.

Ok, here's my WWU - and it's kind of pathetic, so I'm including Sunday in it as well.

Sunday: I knew it was going to be hot, so I set my alarm (on a Sunday - now that is dedication!) so we could be up at 7:00 am, get coffee'd up, read a little of the newspaper, and head out to the park for a run (me) and bike ride (Jeff) by 8:00 am. Great plan, right? Except that apparently my alarm clock has weekday and weekend settings, along with two alarms, and somehow I didn't get it set for the weekend. Woke up and it was like that scene from Four Weddings and a Funeral, minus most of the cursing. Oh man. How can it be so dang hot at 8:30 in the morning?!? Not only hot, but humid and windy. It was in the low 80's already! I set out for my run - I was planning on stepping up my distance, from my normal 3.1 miles to 3.5. It was tough. Seemed like the wind direction kept changing and no matter which way I ran, it was always into the wind - at one point, my hat even blew off! Do I get bonus points for running after it? I ran for two miles and ended up taking a quarter-mile walking break - then ran for the next 1.1 miles. So I did a 5K, but didn't end up increasing my distance. With the hot Texas temperatures here, I will have to get up early in the morning to get my running in - it's just too unbearable otherwise. Funny, because a few months ago I had to wait until mid-afternoon to run just so it would be warm enough!

Monday: Unpacked boxes and set up the boy's kitchen. I will say that at the end of the day I was tired, but my feet were not swollen nor were they killing me like they were when I helped Sam move into his first apartment three years ago. Amazing how much better I felt...just another benefit to weight-loss!

Tuesday: I brought my running shoes to Denton and planned on going for a run, but I wasn't comfortable running by myself in their new neighborhood - it's not a bad area, but it is unknown to me and I am a big chicken. If I had more time, I would have run on campus, but we had to drive back home (which took 3.5 hours) because I had to work that night.

Wednesday: I actually worked out! I was a little worried at the start - afraid that all of my endurance and strength had disappeared since I missed Monday's workout. Unreasonable? Yes. But true. Linda abandoned us to go on a field trip to a water park with her son's class - lucky kids - so Brad tortured us in the gym for an hour. Team Jelley (Jenny/Shelley) was reunited - one member was on the leg press, having negative pressure applied by Brad (I hate these so much and usually cry, but actually didn't this time) for ten reps, while the other member got to do mountain climbers. Then we switched, for a total of five times each per exercise. After that, one member got to do a one minute wall sit while the other member did more mountain climbers - five times each again. Have mercy!

My legs were like my team name at that point - jell(e)y! But we were only halfway through our hour. Next up was The Chief (cue ominous music) - this one is a killer! You do three curl presses with dumb bells (I had 12 lb. ones), then six push ups, then nine squats. Lather, rinse, repeat, for five minutes. Then you rest for one minute. Of course, Brad had us doing "active rest" which meant doing a plank hold for that minute. Then back to The Chief. We did five rounds of this! I was able to do four sets each round, which surprised me after doing all of that lifting and moving on Monday.

Even though I did run and workout this week, I kind of feel like I cheated. And next week will be the same, because I will miss the Monday workout due to Memorial Day/being out of town. But I WILL get more running in...and that leads me to my next topic:

Running!

...or why you should never say never.

She wore me down with her enthusiasm. After a few months of back and forth, what ifs, we can do this and look at the shiny medal, Kelly has convinced me to do a half marathon! We are going to do the Seawall Half-Marathon in Galveston on November 20, 2010. Click on this link to read all about the race and everything that goes with it - I think the entire day is going to be a blast! Shoot, with a web page so cute, how can it not be, right?

So apparently now I need to start training for this shindig. Or I can just wing it, which is what I normally do in most all aspects of my life. Why change now?

The other funny thing about deciding to do this, is that I received a package in the mail the other day - ever get a package when you are not expecting one, and try and figure it out before you open it? No...just me? Well ok then. Anyway, I opened it to find this book...
...which threw me even more. It was like a sign - "The Ultimate Runner" with stories and advice to keep you moving - how perfect, right? But who sent it to me? There was some paperwork including a press release, but I'll be darned if I remember telling a publisher that I would review this book. Weird. I settled down and started reading it, and finally after a couple of hours thought to "search" my gmail account with the book's title, and there it was! Turns out I had won it in a giveaway a couple of weeks ago. I knew I had won a running book in a giveaway, but somehow thought it was Run Like a Mother - nope, it was this one. Which ended up being exactly what I needed!

So in nine months' time, I will have gone from running my first 5K to running a half-marathon. Never thought that would be in the works, but that's what happens in The Evolution of Weight-Loss and Fitness-Gain!OK, how cool is this badge? Tina made it for me - after Kyle posted that he was thinking about doing a marathon sometime during his 42nd year, we emailed back and forth about how much we've evolved from losing weight to this whole fitness thing, and I got the idea of doing this badge to show how far I've come...I remember mentioning to Linda almost a year ago that I would like to run a mile, and the next thing I knew, she had me running a mile. Then I put as one of my New Year's resolutions that I would like to run a 5K sometime this year, and BAM! - I ran my first 5K less than two months later!

The running bug has certainly bit me, and while I have times where I hit the wall immediately upon starting my run and wonder why in the world am I doing this, by and large I do enjoy running, what it does for my body and my weight-loss goals, and especially the feeling of crossing the finish line - that never gets old!

So I'm putting it out there - me, who doesn't like to set real specific goals (what if I fail - then everyone will know) - I'm telling you that I am going to run a half marathon in November. If you are a runner - even if you are just starting out - and have running goals like a 5K or beyond, you are welcome to post this badge on your blog, to let the world (well, blogland anyway) know about your evolution!

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Little Bragging...

Saturday was Jeff's graduation, and I was up bright and early - like 1:00 am! Apparently, my mind treats a morning graduation ceremony the same as a race - and I don't sleep very well the night before. Oh well, that's what naps are for, right? I think this is the first college graduation ceremony that I've attended since my brother graduated from Chico State, and that was in 1989! How do I remember the year? Easy - I was very pregnant with Max at the time, the ceremony was held outdoors, it was hot, and I was wrangling two-year-old Sam - ahhh, memories! But I digress...back to 2010.

This was a Masters and Doctoral graduation ceremony - there were 83 graduates, so it was a little more personal then the huge undergrad ceremonies. It was fun to see all of the faculty in their colorful "regalia" (caps, gowns, sashes, medals) - it looked like they had fun dressing up!

It was great to see the graduates walk in - Jeff was beaming as he came in wearing his hood and honor's cords - he was Summa Cum Laude - had a perfect 4.0 the entire time (he says he had to make up for his crummy Bachelor's GPA, lol). We were given a really nice program as we entered the auditorium, but the graduates didn't get to see it until after the ceremony. So while we discovered that Jeff was going to be presented with the Departmental Achievement Award, he had no idea, and it was fun to see the shocked and surprised look on his face when they announced it as he started to cross the stage! He was given a nice plaque from his department head. Then more handshakes, the diploma, and a Spanish-English pocket dictionary, which the commencement speaker, Sen. Judith Zaffirini, traditionally gives to all graduates. How funny is that?

Afterward, we went out for the traditional post-graduation meal of Chinese food, followed by the newest tradition, frozen yogurt. A good time was had by all...and then it was, indeed, nap-time!

Jeff worked hard to get his Masters - he attended classes while working full-time, wrote and successfully defended his thesis, and suffered (as so many did) the loss of his mentor and advisor, KC Donnelly, who died last summer. This was his journey, and just as I've been making changes in my life these past two years, so has Jeff. I'm proud of what he has accomplished!

And now, of course, pictures!

L to R: Sam, me, Jeff, Max
Look at the fancy hood!Jeff and his "three" sons - Max, Sam and Kevin (Max's best friend, who practically lives at our house when the boys are home)Happy diploma man!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Randomness, Plus A New Feature!

Ooh, a new feature - what could that be??? Hah - Dana knows! At her behest, I will do a Friday Fashion Feature - hopefully every week, but you never know, I might not have any good outfits some weeks! Anyway, as I've lost weight, I have discovered a whole new interest in clothes - and along with that interest comes uncertainty, as I have not dressed a normal-sized body in decades. So, here's where you come in...I'll post an outfit (or two) and you tell me if it's ok for my body shape or what I could be doing to improve it. I'd say be brutally honest because you won't hurt my feelings, but truth is, if I get a lot of "you look horrible" comments I will probably start to cry. And you don't want that, right? It's not pretty - just ask my workout peeps! OK, here goes:

Outfit #1 is a delightful ensemble...oh wait, I'm not narrating a fashion show! The jeans are the same exact pair that I wore in this post, only they are a brand-new size 8. And - get this - they were on clearance at Kohl's for $7.39!!! I was thrilled, as you can probably guess. The top is something that I tried on several times before I finally bought it. I've seen this style (with the gathered waist and then the peplum, for want of a better word) everywhere lately. I wasn't sure about it because it's so loose-fitting. Almost something I would have worn in my heavier days. I wore it when we had a reception at work, and was both gratified and mortified (that's the problem with shopping at Kohl's in this small town - everyone shops there) to see another woman wearing the same top - and she was thin, so I felt like it was ok. What do you think?Outfit #2 - Bermuda shorts paired with the top that I wore in my two year diet-and-blog-iversary pictures. I could wear this to work if the A/C weren't so blasted cold. I'm trying this summer to stay away from capris and instead wear Bermudas, because I'm so short and most capris just look like I'm wearing floods. The shorts and blue top are from TJ Maxx, white layering tank is from Target (the dog is from the pound and my glasses are no where to be found - lol, I'm such a rhymer).Outfit #3 - bonus outfit. This dress was on clearance at Kohl's for $6 - how could I resist?!? This is one thing that I'm discovering about shopping in the normal sizes - you can actually find great bargains! Layered with the white Target tank - got to keep the cleavage under wraps, if ya know what I mean!

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A few weeks ago I wrote about how we transformed Dirt Island into Lily Hill - with Rocks. The lilies finally began blooming, so I thought I'd share a picture of our masterpiece:
These are called Ruby Red lilies - I love them!

And, because we are so original they grow so well and come back after hard winter freezes, here's more lilies - this bunch is next to our mailbox:
Not sure what these are called, but I love them because they are so abundant and thrive on neglect!

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Finally, lookie here:
Why yes, that would be purple toenails - I hit 149 this week and don't you know I hightailed it to the local nail salon for my reward!!! I can't believe I am in the 140's - even when I lost most of the baby weight from my first son (who is now 23), I never got down that low! This is decades in the making!!! I hope to lose a bit more before my body goes on maintenance once again - but lately, weight loss has been so subjective for me that I don't know if that is a possibility. What I do know is that the combination of more running (cardio), less processed carbs (bars, crackers, etc.) and more veggies (thanks, Lynn, for encouraging me to cook some asparagus that night last week when I was tired and all I wanted to do was pour a bowl of cereal for dinner) has added up to a few more pounds FINALLY gone!

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Hope everyone has a nice weekend - Jeff is walking the stage on Saturday - that's right, he's graduating with his Masters of Science in Public Health! Our sons will be here so it should be a busy weekend - more on that in Monday's post.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update

Monday: It was just Jenny, Kathleen and me today - my favorite ladies to work out with! Linda had us pulling cards for individual workouts - I pulled a lot of upper body, including 75 push ups, 50 kettle bell swings, 50 butterfly (thunder thigh) sit ups, 100 ball slams (thank you Kathleen for spotting me 20 of them), 100 mountain climbers and 100 jump ropes - the good news is that I've finally gotten much better at jump rope, and can do 50 without tripping myself up. Of course, the bad news that comes along with that is no trip ups means no rest breaks! Oh well.

Brad had us rotating through stations in the gym - doing twelve of each exercise before moving on. It was hard but manageable, until I got to the station where we were supposed to do step ups on the 18" high box, holding a 25 lb. dumb bell in each hand. I froze. I always feel like my legs and knees are very weak, and the thought of putting my foot on that box and then lifting myself, one that one leg, to a standing position - well, it got me. I hate feeling like that, and of course tears came. It's so frustrating to come to a dead stop when I'm confronted by these boxes! And yet it happens more times than not.

Very slowly, with bad form and a lot of breaks, I got my twelve in...and then I had to switch legs. Ugh. Finally I was done, and we rotated through the stations again, only doing fourteen reps this time. The second go-round with the step ups was a little better, but still so freakin' hard. I did seven before I had to take a break. Of course, this wasn't counting the tries leading up to the first one...holding those weights makes me feel like I"m going to pitch forward and lose my balance, when really, they are there for stabilization (and to make it hard, lol).

Tuesday: I met Jenny, who had just finished an extra workout, for a run - I'm telling you, that woman is strong and tough! We ran 2.25 miles in extremely muggy conditions - these evening thunderstorms make for steamy mornings! Even the palms of my hands were sweating...yeah, it was pretty gross. But fun, as always! Later in the day, my hamstrings and to a lesser extent, my quads, started hurting a lot - let's just say that that sitting down and getting back up was painful. I don't think it was from the running; rather, a delayed reaction to the nasty step ups from Monday. Jenny and I consulted each other about the pain via text and plotted our revenge on those boxes (um...burning them and/or termites were mentioned)!

Wednesday: Still so sore from Monday's workout - Brad said it was DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) brought on by the single leg deadlifts we did on Monday, but I still think most of it is from the step ups. Tomato, tomahto. Anyway, Linda had us doing a Fight Gone Bad workout in the cardio room, then we went outside for some sprints, and back inside for another round of Fight Gone Bad. I wasn't at my best, that's for sure.

Then we went to the gym with Brad - I have decided that he really is trying to kill us this week. We did Tabata sets - but instead of being done after eight rounds, we were done when he and Linda decided we all, as a group, had put our ALL into it. Seriously, with the DOMS in my legs, I thought this was the end of me! I did jump squats, sit ups, calf raises on the leg press, dead lifts, burpees with 8 lb. weights (instead of doing the 18" box jump, no thank you), something with a kettlebell and squats - ouchies. I can already tell that this will be a day of Motrin and lots of water. But you know what? I made it through the week. And that's about all I can say - sometimes that's all I can do, just get through it.

And now here's a bonus for you! Last week while I had my camera with me, our group convinced Linda to show us the proper form and technique for doing a set of Tabata squats (20 seconds of squats as fast as you can followed by a ten second rest - holding the squat - and repeat for a total of eight times). The bonus for us was that we got to take a rest while watching our trainer work - shhh, don't tell her about our dastardly plan!
I would say that her form is very good!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Of Cheesecake and Running...

Thank you all for the sweet comments on my last post - I was pretty tired when I wrote it and forgot to mention that the reason why I have been successful this go-round with dieting is because of blogging - the support, feedback and camaraderie that I've received over the past two years has made me feel like I was a part of a wonderful group of people who have my back. You peeps are the best!

So, you may be wondering what one does to celebrate a two year diet-and-blog-iversary...here's a hint:

Nom nom nom...

Actually, Jeff was being inducted into the Delta Omega society because he has such an awesomely fit wife he is so smart, and the luncheon served this amazingly good chocolate cheesecake - you can see that I already dove into it before remembering that I had my camera and should document such deliciousness. Man, that was good! The topping was white chocolate and fudge...oh yeah, definitely worth the splurge!

Of all days, it was ironic because I was sitting next to the wife of the head of Jeff's school, and while we were eating she said something to the effect of "you are about half the size from when I met you two years ago" - how funny was that?!? Then she asked me the question that I seem to be getting a lot - "did you have weight-loss surgery?" and when I said no, it was just changing the way I ate and adding in exercise, she announced it to our (luckily small) table! But one thing I realized, and I did say to her, was that a year ago, I probably wouldn't have eaten anything at this luncheon except for the salad and raw veggies that were served. Now, I am ok with having food that I normally wouldn't eat (lasagne made with white-flour noodles, for example) (oh, and that dessert!) because I know that I'm not going to gain it all back in one day, and I'm also not going to go off the deep end and start eating the way I used to. It was a good thing to verbalize so that I didn't beat myself up for eating what was served. Still learning, I am!

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I went for my regular run yesterday morning - I brought my camera and asked Jeff to take a few pictures so I could show you what this park looks like...unfortunately, my photographer didn't get a lot of shots (I guess you get what you pay for, lol), but here goes:
The start - walking toward the big puddle of water just ahead of me...I didn't want to start out the run with soaking wet socks so I made my way carefully through this mini-lake......and I'm off! This park has about two miles of paved paths, so I kind of run in a figure eight.Crossing the road to the "American Mile" path - there are brick dividers throughout the path that are engraved with high points of American and local history. Usually I run it backward and can't read them, but this time I remembered to reverse my normal route and got some learning in!

I was aiming for my weekly 5K, but when I hit mile 2, I about died...it was not super hot, but the grounds were saturated from thunderstorms on Friday and Saturday, and the humidity was really up there. I considered walking the last mile, but then thought about that bottle of purple nail polish sitting on my bathroom counter - I want that pedicure, people! - so I kept running. I got my 3.1 miles done in 35:32 - slowly but surely, I'm getting faster!

See this red face? This is not sunburn - the sun wasn't out - it's just what exertion looks like on a pale-skinned person. Also? The sweat burns my face...so much so that I carry facial wipes to use as soon as I'm done running. The pain of exercise - who knew it wouldn't always be muscular?
After running (Jeff biked), we went out for our traditional bagel/egg breakfast sammie - I have got to get better at taking food pics, because the couple I took of it made it look ginormously weird. But here I am with my coffee and my skin tone back at its natural state.

Not sure if I will be able to fit a run in on Tuesday - I will be doing an extra workout that morning as a favor to Brad (more on that in my WWU). I am tempted to run anyway, because I really think that is what is helping me lose weight and I want that purple pedicure (have I mentioned that already?)!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Two Years!!!

My, how time flies! I can't believe that today marks my second Diet-and-Blog-iversary!!! Yes folks, on May 14, 2008, I started what I hoped would be my final journey into weight loss. Never did I think that a mere two years later, I would weigh 105 pounds less, easily fit into size 8 pants and medium tops, consider fruit and veggies a staple in my daily diet, workout regularly and like it - oh and there's that whole running thing, too - if you would have told me back then that I'd have six races under my belt I would have laughed myself silly!

But here I am. I weighed 256 pounds on May 14, 2008. Today, I weigh 151. I am in the best shape of my life - better than high school, when I did a lot of biking and walking and was thin but not really fit. Today, I don't have to flex to see the muscles in my arms (although it is *quite* impressive when I do, lol) - and the thought of doing burpees, push ups, box jumps and anything else that Brad throws at me doesn't immediately fill me with fear - instead I see a challenge to overcome (and then I see fear). By losing weight I have gained confidence, both in myself and in what my body can do. I don't have to stay at home anymore. I can get out and DO things. My feet won't swell and my thighs won't chafe and I have the energy and desire to live and enjoy life.

Those of you who have gone on your own diet and fitness journeys will understand what I'm talking about; and for those of you who are thinking about it, or or already on your way, I want to tell you that it is SO worth the trip. Join me, won't you?

Pictures - of course I have pictures!
Left - me at the beginning (256 lbs) Right - me now (151 lbs)!L - May '08; M - May '09; R - May 10!


Once again, thank to my son Max for doing these photo montages!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update

Warning - this post is picture heavy (hope you have a fast internet connection).

Monday: Worked out. (Sorry, brain is dead and I can't remember what we did. I'm sure it was hard and sweaty, though!)

Tuesday: I met up with Jenny for a run! And it was a good run, even though it was already hot and humid at 8:30 in the morning (gotta love Texas!). We ran 3 miles altogether, with a couple of walking breaks thrown in. I've missed running with Jenny and we had a lot to catch up on, so much chatting ensued as we ran. I felt great during the run - very energized! My legs and knees were a little sore later in the day, but nothing that a little Motrin and work with The Stick couldn't handle.

Wednesday: Have mercy. Today was the day we completed our Spring Fit Point Challenge - we had to weigh in and then do a repeat workout that Brad timed back when we started - we got a point per minute of improvement. Of course, we didn't know what workout was going to count for the challenge, so we couldn't deliberately throw it in hopes of showing a huge improvement (rats!). Today, we found out that it was the Sweaty Sixty workout (eight stations, sixty reps at each station that must be completed before you can move on) - my last time was pretty bad and I was the last person to finish. So, I'm thinking that I'll do better, right? Um...not so much. I am just slow! And even though I started with what I thought was my worst exercise, push up thrusters, to get them out of the way, I didn't pick up speed as I went through the rest of the stations. Luckily for my team, Jenny killed it and improved her time by six minutes! At the end, I finished four minutes faster than my old time, but believe me, I was still very slow. Going into this challenge, Jenny and I were a distant second (to the killer team of Abbie and Linda) - I doubt we'll end up winning, but we did give it our all, that's for sure!

And now for the pictures:
Push up thrusters - ugh!Cool shot of movement during the "thrust" part - Ashley is taking a breather next to me, Jenny (pink shirt) doing cable/bar thrusters, Jeri doing skull crushers.
Jenny doing skull crushers - you bend from the elbow toward your skull (don't drop the bar or the name will come true!) and then straighten. Do that sixty times - eek!One, two...
...and lift! My arms were like limp noodles by the time I got to this exercise!15 lb. dumbbell hammers (and yes, "Hammer Time" was going through my head, lol!)Keep your elbows by your side when you do this one...raise your arm up without swinging (of course I had some swinging, but Linda caught this picture of me doing it right, yay!)Squat thrust with a 20 lb. weighted bar and 10 lbs. of weights. You pop the bar above your head...this one was a killer!Jenny finished her workout in something like 20 minutes!!! Thumbs up means she lived through it - you go, runner buddy/teammate!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Purple Nail Polish - The Reward Awaits...(Alternate Title: Kashi Stock Plummets)

This is sitting on my bathroom counter, waiting for the scale, which has finally been dropping, to hit the 140's - at which time I will take it to my local nail salon and reward myself with a pedicure. (I like to bring my own polish so I can do touch ups if when I need them.)

I know - can you believe I just wrote that the scale has moved for me?!? I, along with Biz, Debby, Lori and Kelly, have recently been working on losing a bit more weight - in my case, I'm trying to get off fifteen pounds. No time limit - just actively working a little harder...and over the last ten days, the number on my scale has actually dropped. After about five months of unintentional maintenance, I wasn't sure that this was possible. I almost hate to mention this as I don't want to jinx myself, but I'm too excited and motivated not to!

So, what have I done differently? Along with my Monday and Wednesday workouts and running about 7 -8 miles a week, I've cut out crackers at lunch - even though I was carefully measuring out a serving of Kashi TLC crackers, the 130 calories weren't doing me any favors. I've also, for the time being, swapped the quarter cup of my beloved Kashi GoLean Crunch cereal for half a cup of Fiber One cereal - I eat this with my equally beloved Fage Greek yogurt and fruit . The Fiber One has a lot more fiber, which helps me to stay fuller all morning, but more importantly, while it tastes good, it's not as tasty as the Kashi cereal, so I'm not snacking on it, or popping a few extra bites in my mouth while I'm measuring and pouring it into my bowl. I'm telling you, those extra bites add up! Also, my bar habit has been put on hold...no more Luna, Lara or Kashi TLC bars for me. Again, if I was hungry, I needed to be eating something better for the calories (hello broccoli and asparagus, I'm looking at you).

Mostly, I'm trying to be a little more aware of what I'm eating, scaling back a tiny bit on the calories, and moving more - the running is definitely helping. So far, so good - I may get that pedicure soon (I hope I hope I hope)!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Running Ramblings

For the past 13 weeks, I have run at least 3.1 miles on Saturday or Sunday (with one Friday thrown in there for the GLOW run) - either for official races or on my own. Me. Running, voluntarily, a 5K or more, every weekend. I've gotten up the last two Sundays and gone for a run - and these are my sleep-in days, people - I've been dressed, fueled up by both coffee and my athlete's candy, and have hit the ground running by 8:30 am. So weird.

There are times when I still don't recognize myself, and it's not just when I look in the mirror...this whole "runner/athlete" deal is strange. For example, yesterday when I was running at the park, I passed some women who were walking their dogs, and realized that to them, I'm a runner. I'm now the person who used to pass ME. I'm now the one who I used to watch run by, thinking I'd never, ever do that. And yet, there I am. Wow.

Oh, and guess what? My pace for my first mile was 9:27, which is really really fast (for me). I knew I was going fast - too fast, really, to keep it up for the entire run - but I felt good and it was just fun to be so speedy for a change. And this was running all by myself, with just my iPod to keep me company! I was rockin' my 70's and 80's playlist - started out with Right Back Where We Started From (good stomping beat...no wonder I was running so fast), on to Rock the Boat, I Think I Love You (Partridge Family, anybody?), Boogie Fever, Turning Japanese, Mexican Radio, Kung Fu Fighting, Why Can't We Be Friends, She's A Beauty, and finished the run, appropriately, with I Am Woman (go Helen Reddy!).

After my run, I had some VitaCoco water, which is really good - this flavor reminded me of Hawaii! Love the ingredient list: coconut water, pineapple puree, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). Only 80 calories, no fat, low sodium...and a whopping 680 mg of potassium, which is great after sweating like a fiend...you know when even your wrists are sweaty that it's time to replenish!

I'm looking forward to Tuesday morning, when I will run again - hopefully with Jenny, who will be back from vacation. But even if she can't run with me, I'll be out there, with iTunes playing and feet flying!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Catch Up

Caution: I am a Wordy McWorderson today...

I edited in some pictures into Wednesday's post, so please go check out A) my awesome headband/Olivia Newton-John look; and B) my newfound tire flipping skilz, yo. And also naptime at the gym (lol).

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I am not a fan or believer in most 100-calorie packs, but the other day at the grocery store (HEB to my fellow Texans), I discovered the GREATEST 100-CALORIE PACK EVER. Ladies and gentlemen, I present...Wholly Guacamole's 100-calorie packs! Perfect for a turkey/guacamole sandwich, or for topping a turkey burger...really, the possibilities are endless! I love these because it's a decent amount of guacamole (2 oz.) and since you use the entire pack, you don't end up with brown guacamole (or waste part of an avocado). Now this is a 100-calorie snack pack I can get behind!

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Oh, and speaking of turkey burgers, I made some the other day using my running buddy, Jenny's, recipe...you throw a package of fresh mushrooms in the food processor along with some celery and a handful of cilantro, then mix everything with two pounds of extra lean ground turkey and add whatever seasonings you like. Mine came out pretty good, despite the fact that I bought flat-leaf parsley and not cilantro, and didn't discover my mistake until I was about to make the burgers. So I just used the parsley...not bad! Next time I will pay more attention at the grocery store and actually buy cilantro, as I love it and I'll bet really makes a good addition. I used a quarter cup measuring cup to make the burgers and froze them...they cook up really quick right from the freezer. I've had a couple for dinner, and topped them with the guacamole - yum. To save on calories, I've eaten them "fork" style - no bun. Pretty tasty!

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OK, the belt. To everyone who commented or sent me an email, thank you! I appreciate your ideas, suggestions and of course compliments! I played with the belts a bit more - moved them higher, lower and tried the silver one with a different outfit. Still not sure about the silver one - it may be going back. Oh, I returned a cute white t-shirt (decided it was too big) and bought this berry camisole, so now I have a brighter color to work with. And I'm wearing higher heels as some of you suggested. Let me know if you think any of these are better:
Belt is higher than I would normally wear it, but I think it looks good here - thanks, Kristen, et al, for that suggestion...feels a bit weird but I guess I can get used to it.
Belt at my "pants waist" (thanks for that term, Tina!) - I see what she means...not flattering at all - my belly is really showing.Buttoned boyfriend sweater - I love this look - slightly librarian, but fun. Not digging the shoes - I normally only wear them with pants, and I think I'm right about that.
Silver belt worn higher (wrong shoes).
Silver belt lower in the front - meh.
Silver belt on a boring black dress...I kinda like it. Dress still needs a pop of color - maybe a bright camisole? And of course some jewelry! Bad shoes.

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Finally, this is for Kristen - she bought a bunch of, as she puts it, "Kick-Ass Kohl's Dresses" and I loved one so much I went and bought it for myself! This is what I wore to work yesterday - we had one of our biggest receptions of the year and I wanted to look dressed up.
Thanks for all of the great ideas, Kristen - keep 'em coming so I can keep stealing getting inspired!