Saturday, February 27, 2010

GLOW Run 5K Recap!

I did it!!! I ran my first 5K Fun Run and lived to tell the tale! And let me just tell you - it was crazy! Who goes running at 9:00 at night? Me and about 1,500 other people, apparently! From the cold temperature of 46 degrees, to the gusty 25 mph north winds, which gave us a wind chill of 37 (but I swear it felt colder), to dodging (and being dodged by) roller skaters, unicyclists, skateboarders, dogs and walkers, I kept running and made it all the way to the finish!

Pictures:Waiting in line to check in...all layered up, which helped my body, but my face was freezing!Me and Jenny - nervous, scared and cold!
Doing the all-important task of making my glow stick into a bracelet while Jenny and her husband, Daniel, watch and freeze.Me, Linda and Jenny - all bibbed up and ready to run! Btw, thanks to the suggestion from Friday commenter Ann, I brought extra safety pins so our bibs weren't flying in the wind!In the "runners" section moments before the run - Linda is giving us some last-minute tips. My hand is on my Nike+ Sportsband, ready to push the button once we start (can you say "raring to go"? LOL)

And then we were off! Jenny and I lost sight of Linda, her son Regan and his friend Hayden almost immediately - there was a huge sea of people and they dashed around them. We tried to keep a slow, steady pace as it seemed like EVERYONE was passing us! It was wild, and I now see why they call it a Fun Run as opposed to a Race, because all of a sudden we were overtaken by the "wheels" group, who were behind the walkers, who were behind the runners at the start. People on roller blades, skateboards and several unicyclists were zipping between and around us and even dogs were passing us - it was a little challenging to keep running while all of this was going on. At one point, a couple on a tandem bicycle rode past us! It seemed like everyone was having a great time - it was a very relaxed atmosphere, and we came upon the one mile mark pretty quick.

Jenny and I tried to keep a steady pace - it was a bit unsettling when some walkers actually passed us (to be fair, they were speedwalking), but we just kept on and eventually ran past them. Another thing that we found challenging were the run/walkers - they would run past us, and then walk for a bit, at which time we would catch up to them and have to run around them to keep going...and then a bit later on, they would run past us again, then slow down to a walk.

It seemed like it took forever to get to the two mile mark - we both swear it was way more than two miles, but as it was dark, I couldn't see my Sportsband to read what the mileage said. We later decided that because we kept having to put on these little bursts of speed to get around people, that was the reason we kinda got pooped out at about 2.5 miles in. Well, that and the fact that we were running into the gusty winds...oooh, that was tough! At that point I had pretty much quit talking, but kudos go to Jenny for realizing that and working to keep me going - she kept up a nice little stream of encouragement, which I needed - where the heck was that three mile mark?!? I thought I'd never see that one! But then we finally saw that AND Linda, who had crossed the finish line and ran back to find us - yay! Jenny got her second wind, and I believe the runner's term is that she "kicked it" - girlfriend RAN that last one-tenth toward the finish! Linda ran with me, and I was able to pick up some speed and FINALLY saw the end and Jeff with the camera - I raised my arms in victory, and finished the run!!!
I'm on the left with my green jacket tied around my waist; Linda is on the grass running next to me - woohoo, my first 5K finish!!!
Same shot without the cropping - I was guessing that the girl in the orange jacket with the yellow tape around her was the finish line...
Then I walked down a path to calm down and whaddya know? Tears came!
The Ironwomen - me, Jenny and Linda, along with Ironboys Hayden and Regan!

After we were finished, we all piled into Linda's huge SUV, which had the most awesome seatwarmers, and drove to our local frozen yogurt place to get our reward. No matter that we were still cold - that yogurt was ours!!!

I have to give a shout out to my husband, Jeff, and Jenny's husband, Daniel, who were our official photographers and pit crew - they held t-shirts and all sorts of stuff for us. Plus they were extra cold, since they didn't run to warm up like we did. And thank you for all of the wonderful bloggy support - the comments and emails have meant so much to me and I really appreciate it, more than you will ever realize. This was a fun thing to do and I can't wait for next Sunday (March 7 - Blogger Run Day™!) to do it again.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Catch Up

Deep breaths. Deeeeeep breaths...inhale...exhale...

So yeah, this was pretty much me all day on Thursday - I am so excited and nervous and just on this side of freaking out about the GLOW run tonight! I've been checking the weather - supposed to rain this morning, stop around 1pm, and then the temps will drop and the wind will kick up - really? For my first ever 5K? I suppose it could be snowing, but still! I have my list of gear for the run - want to see it? Of course you do! Here goes:
  1. Nike+ Sportsband, so I can keep track of my time
  2. Visor (only if it's raining, to keep most of the drops off of my glasses)
  3. Black long-sleeved wicking shirt
  4. Purple workout shirt (our workout group will be all matchy-matchy!)
  5. Long workout pants or capris - not sure which I'll wear; depends on how cold it really is
  6. Black vest (again with the cold)
  7. Gloves (sense a theme here?)
  8. Ageless lime green socks*
  9. Shoes
  10. Camera
  11. Water bottle
  12. Coat
Am I forgetting anything? Jeff will have a backpack to hold my race t-shirt, camera, water bottle and coat...and we were dorky enough to go outside Wednesday evening and practice with the settings on my camera so he can get my picture as I cross the finish line (my neighbors were in their garage as we were doing this - and yes I was running about twenty feet toward Jeff, he would snap the picture when I got close, we would check it, adjust settings, and repeat...and repeat...and repeat) - dorrrrk alert! Our little group is going to meet up and carpool to the race because parking can be an issue on campus. Um, what else, what else? Oh yeah...inhale....exhale...

*I have been issued a sock challenge by Tracy Harris of Thorlo - seriously, go read her comment in my last post! So be sure to look for my review of the hopefully Ageless Experia socks (yes, I have renamed them...and you're welcome, Thorlo) next week. Y'all know me - I will tell it like it is - but I'm hoping that I do like them as they are so cute and athletic-looking!

In other news, I actually ended up working out on Wednesday - I was able to do a make up session with a group at 5:30 pm. More negatives! This time with our arms - I was doing push ups (from the knees, thankfully) and Brad was pushing between my shoulder blades as I was on the downward movement! A couple of times I nearly bit the dust and smashed my face onto the floor, but I was able to catch myself. That was CRAZY! I also got the giggles...I guess the absurdity of what I was doing cracked me up! Anyway, I'm glad I got that workout in.

And my last bit of excitement: Kelly from Happy Texans has made her hotel reservations and registered for the Armadillo Dash - she will be running the 5K with us on March 7, otherwise known as Blogger Run Day!!! Fun times - can't wait to meet her and her sweet husband, Chuck.

This is going to be a long day, waiting for 9pm to get here. Cross your fingers for me that I don't hyperventilate before then!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update - Snow Edition!

Well, I only have one day to talk about because we got snow in south Texas - what is up with that? I have lived here for over 17 years and never experienced as much snow as I have in the last couple of years! Any case, it was lovely - giant flakes of snow that fell after a lot of sleet, which made the roads pretty icy, and since we Texans can barely drive when it rains, ice and snow are out of the question! Thus, my Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning workouts were canceled. Which may be a good thing, because both Brad and Linda tried to kill me on Monday!

First Linda had me do the "350" cardio workout - pull 50 calories on the rower, then do 50 push ups, then 50 butterfly sit ups. Then do it all over again, and again - for time. I tell you what, the last 25 sit ups were so hard - Linda was holding my feet down for me and I was doing them in slower-than-slow-motion! I did it in just under 30 minutes, which was a great improvement from the last time I did this - I think I was in the 45 minute range.

After that, I got to go to the gym, where Brad had us doing "negatives" on the leg press and T-bar row. It is a real challenge for me when it's time for negative leg presses - half is mental, because I know I will be sore afterward, and half is physical, because the muscles right above my knees get shaky and it's just plain hard to do. I don't know why I feel like my legs are not as strong as my arms - the T-bar row negatives are hard but I'm not afraid when I'm doing them. Ugh - I hate having a mental workout along with my physical one! We ended the session with leg tosses, which really work your abs, which of course were about spent after the 350 I did in cardio. We had to do 50 each with Brad and Linda, and if we rested, our count started going backward! Toward the end, mine did - I could barely lift my legs! When I was all done, I just laid on the floor. If someone would have brought me a blanket, I think I might still be there!

I know it seems like I complain a lot about my workouts - really, they are fun and I wouldn't keep going if I didn't enjoy them. I pay a lot for Brad and Linda to beat me to a pulp, and I get my money's worth, that's for sure!!!
Paco and I out playing in the snow - he loved it!

And now for the running update:

While I was running on Saturday, my sock got kind of bunched up under the ball of my left foot. It bothered me the entire run, and I should have stopped and straightened it out, but of course I didn't - once I get started, it's full speed ahead...don't want to lose my forward momentum! By the time I was finished I could.not.wait. to get that shoe off and FIX my sock! While I was complaining about my dumb sock, Jeri showed me her cool new Thorlo Experia running socks, so I decided that I should try a pair - don't need any bunching on my first race, you know! I went right to the store she got hers at and happily plunked down an exorbitant amount of money for a pair of socks - but hey, if I run more comfortably, it's worth it, right? Besides, look at the cool color - they match my green running shirt! Anyhoo, after I got them home and tried them on (and yes, snapped some pictures, lol), I decided to look them up on the interweb. Imagine my surprise when I watched this video, where a floating head basically told me that I'm too old for these socks! Really?!? That is the weirdest marketing strategy I've ever seen! Now I haven't worn them yet, but I'm really hoping to prove them wrong...I don't know, I guess I consider this a challenge now.
Top view of my supercute new running socksSide view - look at the technology...I'm sure I will run faster while wearing these socks!

Anyway, even with the sock issues, Jeri and I managed to get our run in. Another 3.1 miles - this time we ran the entire distance of the park trail, which ironically goes right behind our local Sonic...we joked about stopping for a burger, but in the end kept on running. I had a bit of a hard time on this run - don't know if it was the combination of warmer weather plus a little humidity (68 degrees), or the PB&J that I ate about an hour before the run not sitting right in my stomach...or the bunched sock, but I felt like I was going a lot slower. According to my trusty Nike+, I was about 2 minutes slower than my last run, which, considering we had to wait for the signal to cross an intersection twice (coming and going), that wasn't bad.
Seriously, do we look too old to wear those socks?!?

Two more days until my first ever 5K Fun Run - eeeek!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Follow Up to 115

Wow, yesterday's post really struck a nerve with y'all! Thank you for the support and outrage - you've validated me and I love you all for doing that!

At the photography studio where I worked for four years, our unofficial slogan was "People are Stupid" - and that's all I could think when I read in yesterday's comments what so many of you have been told about your weight as well. What is it with educated professionals who don't have a clue, and who don't see us as individuals? We are more than a freakin' number on a chart.

I told my trainer, Brad, about what the doctor said and he just shook his head and said "it's the BMI chart - that's all he is going by" and then told me that according to that chart, he should weigh about 30 pounds less than he does...and let me tell you, that man does not have an ounce of extraneous fat on him. It's muscle - and it weighs less than fat (I know, a pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat, feathers, whatever, but it takes up less space). Argh! I am still so frustrated.

I will say that I have had two people recommend another doctor to me - a woman who, according to a person who works out in the group after mine, is very supportive of her weight, workouts and overall fitness. Sounds like a winner to me, and I will use her as my PCP from now on. Now for the interesting part: Do I quietly go away from the first doctor, as the non-confrontational pleaser in me would like to do, or do I take several of your suggestions and write him a letter explaining why I will no longer see him, in hopes of getting him to change his way of looking at weight, charts and overall fitness?

Monday, February 22, 2010


So last week I did the responsible adult thing and paid a visit to the doctor for the works - well-woman check, blood know, all the fun things. I haven't been to a doctor since last summer when I was having gallbladder issues, and the doc that I saw then was not the doctor I started my weight-loss journey with, as he had left town to go practice in Germany for a year. Anyway, we switched insurance in September, so I had to start all over with a new doctor. I chose one whom I had heard good things about from a couple of friends.

I think I need some new friends.

I walked in feeling pretty confident - at long last, I knew I wouldn't be dealing with that whole "you need to lose weight" speech from the doctor. I had my list of questions ready (including what was going on with my fat blob), and for the first time in years - nay, decades - I was in a good place with my body. The doctor came in, introduced himself, and noted (because I wrote it down on my intake form) that I had lost 100 pounds. He asked how I did it - I said pretty much counting calories and exercise. Then he asked me if I was planning on losing any more weight. I said yes, I would like to get down to 138. He fiddled with his computer chart (tres cool, btw) and then said "you should weigh 115 pounds."

Now, I weighed in on his scale, fully dressed (in jeans, even), fed and hydrated, at 156 pounds (morning weigh-in at home was 152). So he thinks I need to lose another 40 pounds?!? I was dumbfounded. He barely looked at me - obviously he was referring to a standard weight chart...but still - 115? As is, I am in size 8 pants now. I can't imagine what I would look like at 115! I sputtered something about "I workout and have a lot of muscle, which weighs more than fat" but he didn't respond. At which point I pretty much lost interest in anything else he had to say. I mean, if he can't even SEE that I would resemble a skeleton at 115, why should anything he says have merit? The only way I am going to see 115 pounds on this body is if I have a serious bout with anorexia - and frankly, I've been there once and have no intention of revisiting that again!

I am just stunned that in this day and age of healthy body awareness, I encountered such a clunker of a doctor. I am grateful, however, for the last (nearly) two years that I've spent here in blogland, because I immediately knew that he was full of crap and to neither take his recommended weight seriously, nor let it bother me too much.

You see, one thing that I realized early on in my journey was that the key to making this my last diet was being able to maintain my goal weight without struggling every day. That's why I chose 138 - and that's what I would have told my doctor, had I been given the chance. I suppose I could have fought for my right to speak up, but I was still in shock. The anger came about an hour after I got home, and I started writing this post, but had to stop because I was just making myself even more mad as I wrote it. Plus once I started deleting the cuss words, there wasn't much left, lol!

I got what I needed from that doctor - referrals (as required by my insurance plan) for a mammogram and a visit to the eye doctor, but quite frankly, I don't plan on going back to him. I just don't have the trust necessary to put my health in his hands.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Randomness

Hi there...notice anything new? Wooooohooooo, I am so excited to finally get my blog make over! I put in my order with the Blog Fairy on December 31 and finally made it to the top of her list yesterday - she is one popular, busy lady! So what do you think? I have to say that I am thrilled and just love it! She did a great job getting inside of my head and making sense of what I wanted. Now I have to get busy and get the page links done - good thing Jeff is going camping this weekend and I can spend all the time I need to play with my blog, without feeling like I'm neglecting him! Funny, two years ago when he would go camping, it was a free-for-all-food-fest; now it's just me and the computer!


So today marks one week from my first ever 5K race. It's a night run, and last night when I was out at 8:45, I realized that it was pretty darn dark (really, Captain Obvious?) - I sure hope those glow sticks are strong!


Last Sunday, when I was out running with Jenny, every time I checked my Nike+ sportsband on my wrist I was startled - it took me a moment to realize that the little arm with the (getting more) prominent wrist-bone belonged to me! What a strange phenomenon to not recognize a part of my body!


I had the double-whammy of a dentist appointment (regular cleaning) and a doctor appointment on Wednesday afternoon. Someone who shall remain nameless goaded prodded gently reminded me to take control of my health and check my "heart healthy numbers," among other things. So I did. I then rewarded myself for doing something that is a necessary part of being a responsible adult, but not necessarily something that I like having to do, with a new lip gloss AND a trip to our local frozen yogurt shop. Sometimes, you need a treat. Or two. By the way, stay tuned for a rant about the doctor visit on Monday. I've started writing it, but will need the extra days to delete all of the cuss words. Oh yeah, it was a doozy!


Saturday is supposed to be a beautiful warm, sunny day and I'm going to run another 3.1 miles. Jenny is out of town, but Jeri is supposed to run with me. Even if she can't make it, I WILL RUN by myself. There - I've made the commitment in I have to do it!


Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update - With Apologies to Clint Eastwood

I'll begin with the good - I ran 3.1 miles (yes, a 5K!) on Sunday without stopping! Jenny, of box-jump fame, met me at our local park and we set off with the goal of being able to carry on a conversation while running, and to go as far as we could. Jenny had never run more than a mile and a half before and wasn't sure how long she would last. Well, I'm telling you, she did great! When my Nike+ told me we were at 2.45 miles, we decided to go for 3.1, and we did it - even ran some sprints from light post to light post for the last 2/10ths - yes, we were practicing running toward the finish line, lol! It was awesome - I felt great through the entire run and was so pleased to see that we did it in 38:43. It was also very special to see Jenny's joy at running that far for the first time - what an accomplishment!

Taken with my cell phone right after the who looks like she ran 3 miles and who looks all fresh-faced and pretty?!? Note to self: a little mascara would might help!

OK, here's where it gets bad - even though I stretched a bit after the run, and again later in the evening, my legs were quite sore! I should have taken some ibuprofen that night, but I didn't (too lazy to get out of bed and go get it), and as a result, I tossed and turned all night - my legs were letting me know that they had worked out hard that day.

And now onto the ugly - Monday's workout. I haven't felt this worn out at the start of a workout since I started working out a year ago, which wasn't a good sign. Brad had me, Jenny and Kathleen in the gym for a Fight Gone Bad (yes, this name still makes me giggle) workout with ball slams, ring pull ups, thrusters using a 45 lb. bar, chest presses using 20 lb. dumb bells, and quad extensions with 75 lbs. One minute at each station, counting our reps and adding as we progressed. It wasn't pretty. On the second go-round, I spent close to 30 seconds at the thruster station just trying to get up the gumption to flip the darn bar so I could get started. I'm telling you, this extreme fatigue was unusual for me...and weirdly, both Jenny and Kathleen were struggling as well. We finally finished that workout and went to the cardio room, where we completely wimped out on what Linda had planned for us. It was pathetic! I don't go there to be a wuss, I go to get a good workout in - but it just wasn't happening on Monday. I guess I really shouldn't run that much on Sunday...but the weather was bitterly cold on Saturday, plus neither Jeri nor Jenny could run that day, and I like to have a partner when I run. I know, excuses, excuses...

I'm happy to report that I got my mojo back for Tuesday afternoon's workout, and today's was tough but good. Another Fight Gone Bad in the gym - this time with different stations, including a split squat using a 35 lb. bar, which was challenging just getting all of the motions in (think Molly Shannon doing her "Superstar" move, only put a heavy bar in her hands, and that's what it looked like). I can't imagine doing this with actual weights on the bar, but if I know Brad, that's where we are heading! At least when we got to cardio with Linda, we didn't embarrass ourselves today.

I mailed in my registration for my first 5K race, which is on February 26 - my $10 will get me a "t-shirt, glow sticks and fun!" according to the website, so how can I go wrong with this as my first ever 5K race?

I also want to give a huge shout out and thank you to Meg of Meg Runs - she sent me her old Garmin! It's an amazing piece of equipment that will be great to run with - really, it's more than I need right now but will be so nice to have as I move forward with my running. This kind of support for a newbie runner like me is so awesome and makes me feel like I'm welcome in their world...THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MEG!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Let's Be Real, Here...

In the latest issue of Good Housekeeping, Helen Phillips, who was last season's Biggest Loser winner, is on the cover looking fit and thin. I can relate to her because she is in her forties and was about the same starting weight as me, although she is a good four inches taller. I have to say that she looks great - she's gained a bit of weight back from the sickly-thin 117 pounds that won her the prize, and is now, according to the magazine article, a "healthy size six and weighs a more realistic 128 pounds."

What caught my eye right from the start was her cover picture. Doesn't she look fabulous? Her arms are thin, and her tummy is perfectly trim. I was impressed, and I have to say, more than a bit envious, as I have been struggling to camouflage the blob above my waist that has made its presence known. I'm not sure if the blob is fat, flab or excess skin, but the more I shrink the more it stands out. So imagine my surprise when I read, deep into the article, that Helen said she has excess skin on her torso and will need surgery to remove it. Now that's a personal decision and I don't fault her one way or the other for making it. But take a look at her cover picture again. There is no excess skin showing on her torso. Are Spanx that good? I doubt it...which means that Good Housekeeping photoshopped that picture. I shouldn't say that I'm shocked - shoot, fashion magazines photoshop skinny models to look downright bony - but for cryin' out loud, this is someone who has lost an entire person's worth of weight. In her forties! There is bound to be some fallout on her body, and yet you wouldn't know it by looking at her picture.

I know we all want to put our best side forward to the public, especially after years of not feeling good when we see photographs of our formerly overweight selves, but it sets an unrealistic expectation for those of us who do manage to lose a large amount of weight. For example, my aforementioned's showing up in most of the clothes that I have...knit tops are clinging to it, jeans that fit everywhere else are squishing it upwards and making it even's becoming something that I'm focusing on. And I don't like that - neither the hyper-focus, nor the way it looks. After having a mini-breakdown in front of Kara, she got me in touch with a friend of hers who is the manager of our local Talbots. Long story short, I had someone who knows clothes pull the right ones for me that fit better and took what I felt was a neon sign pointing to my stomach and made it go away. Don't get me wrong - the blob is still there. And you would certainly see it if I wore a top like Helen is wearing in that picture. But with a pair of pants that have a different waistband, and a well-cut blouse, it's gone into hiding, while I continue to try and make it disappear through diet and exercise.

I guess what I want to say is that we're all in this together. Pretending that a post-extreme-weight-loss body is perfect is unfair, and really, sets us up for disappointment and possible weight regain. There is nothing wrong with posing for pictures with your body in the best light, but don't go there with the photoshopping, please.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Guest Post - My Husband!

On Friday's post, I had a comment from MizFit where she mentioned that her husband had recently lost 60 pounds (nice job, RenMan!) and as I read her comment I wondered what that must have been like for her to live with someone who was actively dieting. Then I realized that I had someone nearby who was doing the same thing, so I asked my husband to answer that question in a guest post. (I also told him that he should feel duly honored, as I get a lot of requests for guest posts (what is it about certain medical degrees that they have to publish and think that my blog is where their info should be?) and as this is my blog, I'm the only one who posts here, which is why it was a little quiet last October when we went to Maui). So where was I? Oh yeah, Jeff's post. His stipulation for writing it was that I could only edit it for grammar, which explains why the last sentence was left in. Without further ado, I present to you my husband, Jeff:

What it is like living with someone who is losing weight? Well that depends on where you are in the process. In the beginning, I was hopeful, but like a lot of things Shelley thought were good ideas to try they would crash and burn after awhile – even when she was getting good results. This is not the first time the weight loss journey had been started. We did “fat free” for a while, which I was keen to the idea and it showed results, but then back to the old ways. But there was something different this time, something I had never noticed before in this person I have lived with longer than anyone else in her life and something I would not understand until she got close to breaking the 100 pound goal.

So what’s it like? Great! Really great! It is more than the weight loss and all the benefits associated, it is watching her grow past and burst through the ceiling that has kept her down all her life. Not just weight, that’s just a symptom, its sloughing off years and years of other people’s expectations of what you should be, should look like, should or should not have done. This journey to fit has been completely – one hundred percent – of her own doing. Every choice, every decision, every movement forward – was hers. That journey and any success that comes from it does wonders for a person’s self-esteem and outlook on life. And I get the benefits of it in a happy wife and partner.

OK so what about the hard stuff – the pain of living with a dieter, the doing without? News flash this is how we are supposed to live. I do without bad stuff, stuff that is not good for me, stuff that will decrease my life expectancy or quality of life. She took all that away from me and I am grateful. If I never eat at McDonalds or plow down a Denny’s Grand Slam breakfast I have not lost anything. I really like living like this – I have lost (a little) weight as well and I feel better which is a result of me following her example. I would rather eat something she prepares than go out to eat. I have tasted clean food and it is better. This is the benefit of healthy living - there is no real drawback other than going without crap you should go without anyway.

Oh, and did I tell you she also looks freaking hot!?!

I know in my post on Friday I said that we normally don't exchange valentines, but I consider this to be a pretty good one!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Randomness

While at Target the other evening I looked at a cute little rice cooker that had a steamer basket for chicken or veggies. It was only $12.99 and my oh-so-romantic husband said "well, do you want a Valentine's gift?" - of course I turned him down...after all these years, I can't believe that he still doesn't realize kitchen appliances are not gifts!

The upshot of this is that I most likely blew my only chance at a gift. Dang!

(Please know that I'm being silly...we haven't exchanged Valentine's Day gifts in forever. I will go buy it myself, if I decide that I would really use it.)


Last week I tucked my shirt into my pants! Haven't done that in more than a decade. Decided I should wear a belt and actually found a very dusty one that didn't look too dated (i.e. braided leather) and put it on. Went to work and felt great, but forgot one thing: undoing a belt adds a few precious extra seconds when you need to run to the bathroom, which, considering the amount of water I consume, I do a lot. Must get better about planning my potty breaks!


It feels weird to be writing a Friday post and not have a giveaway winner. So, since she never wanted anything I was giving away, I hereby declare POD this week's winner of nothing. Whew, I feel better now!


My trainer Linda also takes a workout class with Brad, so she got to do her skills test on Thursday. Girlfriend did 128 burpees in 10 minutes, and then did a 35" box jump! I bow at her feet...she is one determined, fit lady!


To the weather gods out there: I think I can safely speak for everyone in the country when I say "We give! Enough already! No more wet stuff, no more freezing temperatures!"


Have a good weekend - I hope to see some sunshine and go for a run. See y'all back here on Monday!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update - One Year Later!

I really can't believe I'm writing this, because if you knew the old me, you'd know how NOT ME this is - but this week marks my one year Exerversary - yes, I have worked out with my trainers for an entire year now! I have to give props to my trainers for pushing me along, because I would not be where I am, physically, without them. So thank you from the bottom of my heart, Brad, Linda, Kara, Andreas and Will. You guys are the best!

In this year, I went from barely walking on the treadmill to running my first mile; yesterday I ran a mile on the treadmill in 11:10. There were tears of frustration shed over box jumps, and finally victory at doing the 12" box jump (still love my medal, Tina!). Along the way I lost nearly 20 inches from my neck, bust, waist and hips, and 43 pounds. I went from wearing size 16 pants to size 8; from XL shirts to medium; my workout capris were size XL and are now size small. I am running every week outside of my workouts - so far this week I've run more than six miles! Amazing - I still shake my head in wonder at all that I am doing. We did skills testing this week - Brad likes to do this every few months to assess our progress. I did a 4:02 plank hold - looking back, I lasted for all of 30 seconds on my first plank hold. I can do a maximum bench press of 105 (one rep), and I did the T-bar row (gotta work those shoulders) with 45 pounds (10 reps). I did 100 curls with 15 pound dumbbells in 3:59, and easily did a 5 minute wall sit.

There are days when it's easy to get up and go to my workout - usually it's nice and sunny outside, and the temperature is warm. Then there are days like today, when I have to drag myself from my nice warm bed, put on cold workout clothes (I should stow my sports bra in bed so at least that would be warm), brush my teeth and hair and run outside to my equally cold car where the outdoor temperature reads 34 degrees, drive through school traffic, doing 20 MPH so the motorcycle cop won't pull me over, and finally arrive at Brad's, where I work my tail off for an hour. The beginnings might be easy and they might be hard, but either way, I'm always glad I went. And that has a lot to do with the people there - my trainers, and the ladies in my group, who are so supportive and just a lot of fun to suffer with workout with! Here is a picture of us today - taken at the end of our workout, so please excuse the sweaty messes that we all are:
L to R: Brad, his wife Kara, Kathleen, me, Linda, Jenny, Nancy

Here's a few pictures of Jenny doing some AMAZING box jumps - for comparison, I did mine yesterday...I managed to hit the 14" jump (after not making it on the first try - surprisingly I didn't hurt myself).
Flying through the air with ease!
This one cracks me up - check out the look on Jenny's face as Brad measures how high she was going to jump (he kept adding weight plates for more height). I believe this was 22" high.And she jumps it with no problem!Moving on to even higher levels, Jenny peaked at 32" - I bet next time she will clear it no problem...she was getting tired at this point.

And just for fun, here's Kara at the start of our five-minute wall sit - she's quite pregnant but doesn't use that as an excuse to not work out.
Arnold is watching her...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Yesterday my husband, Jeff, successfully defended his thesis and now has his Masters of Science in Public Health - woohoo! The tradition at his university, when presenting a thesis defense, is to provide food to everyone in attendance. I joked that is sounds like bribery, but whatever - I got a little lunch spread together and set it up all pretty. That, along with proofreading his thesis over and over (and over and over) was my part in all of this.

Sandwiches, chips, pickles, homemade chocolate cookies, sodas and water - plus flowers to match the plates and napkins (and yes, I do get a kick out of doing things like that!)
Um...I may have taken the lime theme a little too far?

Yesterday I liked my outfit and felt really great in it until I saw this picture - then I felt, I don't know...short. And yes, I know I'm short, but I guess I was feeling so confident that maybe in my mind I was tall? Or else the pants are getting too big.

Yesterday after the head of the thesis committee congratulated Jeff, everyone ate lunch - including me. I had a sandwich, and some bbq chips and a couple of pickles. And then I had another sandwich (to be fair, they were small) and opened a bag of jalapeno chips and had some of those. It has been so long - I'm talking more than a year - since I've had chips, and these (Mrs. Vickie's) used to be my favorite. But you know what? They weren't that good. And then I had a chocolate chip cookie - the same cookies that I made Sunday night and worked so hard (and succeeded) not to eat. They didn't taste very good, and although I made the same recipe I always do (the Tollhouse recipe from the bag of chocolate chips), I wasn't impressed. I had a second one to double check...nope, still not good. I mentioned this to Jeff later and he thought they were great; does this mean that my tastes have changed that much? Basically, what I came away with is that I haven't been missing much by not eating chips and cookies. Good to know.

Yesterday, even though it was a crazy morning with setting everything up for the defense, I still went to my workout. Because that's what I do.

Yesterday, when we finally came home and unloaded the leftovers I discovered that I had been pretty tense about this day. Defending a thesis is a big deal, and I think that living with someone who was stressed out spilled over to me, and I didn't realize it until it was done. I ended up vegging on the couch with a good book (Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls - I highly recommend it) and eventually I took a nap. Had another sandwich for dinner and finally got to read some blogs.

Yesterday is over. Whew!

Monday, February 8, 2010

And I Run, I Run So Far Away...

So I didn't set out to do this, but I ended up running nearly five miles this weekend! I know, I can't believe it either. What happened was that I ran on Saturday afternoon with Jeri for close to three miles (30 minutes without stopping - woot!), but I hadn't calibrated my new Nike+ Sportsband, so I knew the mileage wasn't entirely accurate - in fact, it seemed like it was overestimating how far I had run (that's why I'm saying I ran "close" to three had me over three, and I knew based on the time frame there was no way that was correct). To calibrate it, you have to run a mile, which meant I needed to map out a mile, and the park where we run doesn't have mile markers.

After we were done, I still felt pretty good, and I really wanted to get the thing calibrated. So I drove home and then mapped out a mile in my neighborhood with my car's odometer. Just as I was ready to run it, Jeff came home and decided to ride his bike with Paco the Wonder Dog to keep me company. Off we went. Got my mile in - it took me 13 minutes, which is longer than normal, but hey - at that point I was getting tired. Came home, uploaded the sensor to the Nike website and then made the gigantic error of logging in before clicking on the tiny "i" on that page. At that point, I couldn't make any changes, which I needed to, because it showed that I ran 1.15 miles, when I KNEW it was only a mile. ARGH!!! And then I had to decide to run a mile AGAIN on Sunday, or else wait until Wednesday...and my impatience got the best of me, so Jeff and I drove to the local middle school track (because running on the high school track will get lasers shot at you), only to find it being repaved - yes, on a Sunday (I guess that makes sense to do it when school isn't in session, but geez, universe, what are you trying to tell me?). Back in the car, we drove to the other middle school (this town isn't that big and frankly that was my last option) - hurray, the track was open!

Now, I have seen tracks many times as we have gone to a ton of high school football games, and it's quite possible that I may have even run on one while I attended high school (but that was back in the dark ages and all I remember from my P.E. classes is how hard I worked to get out of them). Let me just say that this track looked really big...and I needed to run around it FOUR times to equal a mile?!? I don't know, somehow it just seemed so much more daunting than running through a park. But, I saddled up and did it. I brought my iPod to listen to music (now that the "shake to shuffle" setting was turned off), but I only ended up listening to two songs - it was weird to not hear myself breathe, and the wire from the earbuds was bouncing around and I was getting distracted, which I did not need when I was trying to get a decent running time in. Cutting to the chase of this very long story, I did my mile and got it uploaded and calibrated successfully - whew! Some observations about my running this weekend:
  1. I wasn't hungry for several hours after my Saturday afternoon run - I ate my normal Fage/Kashi/Craisins for breakfast, and a pb&j made with 1 T. of natural peanut butter, 1 t. of jam and an Orowheat Sandwich Thin, along with a small banana for lunch. Ran probably three hours after lunch. I would've thought I'd have been pretty ravenous after running nearly four miles, but no. Wonder if that's normal?
  2. My legs felt a little tired on Saturday evening, but overall, they were fine.
  3. After my mile run on Sunday, my legs were TIRED. And a little sore.
  4. I don't think I should run on consecutive days. It's too disappointing to go from a great run one day to a struggling run the next.
The other weird thing that I've noticed is that lately, once I start running, I keep going until I hit the time that I predetermined to run. It's almost like I flip the switch to automatic and just keep on chugging along with a pretty even, albeit slow, pace. I'm hoping that this will carry me through my first 5K, which is coming up!

Depending on how hard Brad works us this week, I would like to go for a run on Wednesday afternoon, and then again on Saturday. I know twice a week isn't much, but with my other workouts I'm having a hard time trying to fit everything in. Which is such a weird thing to write - I still don't recognize myself and what I'm doing sometimes!

I can't end this without wishing a Happy Birthday to my firstborn son, Sam, who turned 23 on Sunday - he's away at college and it's hard to not be with him on his birthday, but I hear he had a fun weekend with his brother and friends.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fiestaware Winner!

Woot! I finally figured out how to use that "Print Screen" button!

The winner of the Fiestaware fruit bowls is:

Congratulations, Tina - now that's what I call good karma! Email me ( your mailing address and color choice(s) and I'll forward everything on to csn stores, who will fulfill your prize!
This week I was once again reminded of just how grateful I am for the blogging community. It's not only the wonderful support I receive when I post things like my loose skin, or my weight reveal; it's the "atta girls" you all give me for doing my workouts and running - things that I really put a lot of effort into. Compare that with having to spend time Thursday evening with someone who is very opinionated and didn't have a problem letting me know how "trainers don't have your best interest at heart - that they push their clients to the point of injury to make themselves look good" (my experience with my trainers has been nothing but positive). And how "running is terrible for your feet and knees, no matter what kind of shoes you wear or how careful you are to train." I just don't know why this person feels that I need to hear crap like sure makes me feel crummy, because of course I never stick up for myself beyond a few weak sentences, which then get run over by more and more opinions. Sorry if this is vague - I really try not to disparage anyone publicly on my blog, and I do like this person, except when this becomes the subject matter. Needless to say, it was a long night. I was glad to come home and check in on my bloggy friends - y'all have the right attitude!
So...guess what I'm doing on Saturday? Why, I'm going for a run! With my running partner, Jeri! And my new Nike + thingie that will track my mileage! I'm looking forward not only to the run, but to keeping track of how many miles I go (and I seriously cannot believe I just typed that - did you not see the picture of the old me (or "larger than life" as POD so eloquently put it) in my previous post? That person could barely ride a mile on her bike and had no intention of ever running a mile - or more!). But the sun is supposed to be shining, the rain will have stopped (shakes fist at sky...stop with the wet stuff, already!) and I am ready to GO! BTW, my first 5K is three weeks from today - I've passed scared and am now approaching excitement about it. I know, I'm crazy. Just ask my Thursday night friend.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update - Girl Scout Cookie Edition

No, I have neither bought nor eaten any Girl Scout Cookies - rather, we've been working off the calories in those.damn.cookies this week at my gym. And it's been tough! Did you know that a serving of Thin Mints is four cookies and contains 160 calories? Peanut Butter Patties are 150 calories for two cookies! Combine those and we got to do a team workout of pulling 310 calories on the rower Tuesday and Wednesday - one person on the rower, everyone else on other machines or doing ab work - the rowing person would row until they couldn't anymore, and then we would switch machines. Just so you know, pulling 310 calories on the rower takes nearly the entire 30 minutes of cardio, so you have to work pretty consistently to get it done. And then, we got to go to the strength room and work off MORE cookies! Believe me, I will not be eating any Girl Scout cookies this season! Brad said he wanted us to be aware of how high the calories are in them, as it's not unheard of for someone (*looks around innocently*) to polish off an entire sleeve of Thin Mints in one sitting. So, when I'm approached by the cute little Girl Scouts this year, I'll just give them a donation and let them keep their cookies!

My triceps are pretty sore, thanks to doing 80 per arm push ups where one arm is on a 12" high box and the other is on the ground - so you are doing them at an angle. I also did 150 tricep pulls with an exertube, and 150 bicep curls, again with the exertube. At this point, I'm lucky to be typing! Of course there were a bunch of other things included in my workouts this week, but the one that stands out is burpees - yes folks, it's February, which means that my burpee exemption is over. I did 45 of them today. And as my form is not perfect, I'm sure there will be bruises on my knees tomorrow. Oh well, the exemption was fun while it lasted.

One thing that made my workouts great this week is that I had Fran with me! OK, not Fran in person, but I was wearing the black sports bra that she sent me all the way from Holland! Or is it The Netherlands? Aren't they one and the same? Anyway, a couple of weeks ago she offered to send me one and I gratefully took her up on it - and I have to say that while I'm still wearing a pullover sports bra over this one, it seems to hold me tighter and there is a lot less bounce. Plus I'm having fun knowing that I'm wearing something that my friend picked out for me - thank you, Fran!

And now onto the running update, or, as Roxie likes to call it, "Adult Onset Athletics" - I love this term and am totally adopting it as the perfect description of my new lifestyle!

Here is a picture of my calendar for January (please note it's a desktop organizer, hence the coffee ring and other smeared stuff on it):I kept track of the days that I ran by scribbling the word "run" along with the time and or distance, if I knew what it was. I meant to do this with cute stickers, but obviously I forgot to buy some. The important thing, for me, is that I ran 16 times during the month of January! And on Sunday (although I messed up and put in on 1/30 instead of 1/31), in the cold temperature of 38 degrees, Ironwoman Jeri and I ran, ran, ran - all through her neighborhood - for a total of 3.2 miles - yes, we covered a 5K distance! Now, before you get too excited for me (and I just know you are!), we did stop and walk a few times - but at least we covered the distance! And then the next day I ran a mile on the treadmill at my workout! Funny, but that mile seemed to take forever (in actuality 12 minutes) while running a mile outdoors goes by pretty quick. I guess what they say is true - having some constantly changing scenery make the run go by faster. We have another run scheduled for this Saturday - go us!

Oh, I added one more thing as a goal for this year - to run on the first of every month. So far, so good...just a little goal, but a fun one.

All right, I'm going to leave you with a before picture that I hadn't seen until a couple of days ago when my dad emailed it to me...this was taken June 3, 2008, when I was about two weeks into my diet and had already lost around 13 pounds.
Riding with Paco the Wonder Dog around my street - I was probably up to four whole laps before I pooped out. This was also before I got my gorgeous pink cruiser that is shown in the pictures on my right sidebar. Dang, I have come a long way!

If you haven't already, don't forget to enter my Fiestaware giveaway - it ends tomorrow night at 10:00 pm CST. Click here to enter.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What Happens When a Body Loses 100 Pounds

I've seen a lot of bloggers post about having loose skin after they've lost a significant amount of weight. Some are pretty philosophical about it, while others seem to fret and some have even had surgery to remove it. As for me, I tend to fall into the philosophical category - yes, I have it, but that's what happens when you are in your mid-forties, have been overweight for nearly two decades, and lose a lot of weight.

It's funny how the loose skin can surprise you - for example, I have a bit of a belly flap. Not horrible, and since it's still shrinking as I lose more weight, I don't think it will end up being all that noticeable - when I'm dressed. It would be, say, in a bikini, but I gave those up after my first pregnancy left me with some lovely stretch marks all over my stomach. So while I'm pretty accepting of that, I will admit to being shocked not too long ago when I was in a dressing room (oh those three-way-mirrors!) and caught sight of the back of my thighs. There was this funny-looking crepe-y skin that hung down when I lifted my leg to try on some pants. It was so weird looking that I had to stop and check it out, moving my leg several different directions and watching what the skin did. I guess I never thought about the back of my thighs looking bad because the fronts look ok - still a little on the ham-hock side, but much better than they used to look, that's for sure!

My first thought was that I won't be wearing any shorts now. My second thought was that I could still wear some bermuda shorts - you know, the ones that go to the top of your knee. My third thought was that I remembered enjoying wearing some sundresses last year, and why not just embrace that idea further? Bada-bing, problem solved. Don't you wish everything was that easy? Well, there's no use wailing and gnashing my teeth over it...and even if I did, the result would still be the same. So why not skip all of that and just move forward?

Speaking of sundresses and other body issues, a while ago I posted about the lovely batwings that my arms were sporting. Well, nearly a year and about a gazillion push ups later, my arms are looking better. But they still have that flappy skin sag, and because of that, last year I wouldn't even consider any sleeveless sundresses. But, thanks to Kristen over at Low Fat Dressing, I am learning all about layering - she is a pro at putting cute outfits together - and if I find a cute sleeveless sundress, I won't automatically dismiss it - instead, I'll look for a thin t-shirt that I can wear under it to make me feel more comfortable about my upper arms. Another problem solved. By the way, Kristen has lost a lot of weight and is enjoying dressing her "new" body - something that I am relating to more and more!

The other strange thing that has happened to my body since losing all of this weight is that my legs are thinner than they've ever been, relatively-speaking. I've always carried my weight in my thighs - even when I was tiny in high school, I still had heavy thighs. But the combination of diet AND exercise has really changed their shape. My calves, while still too big to fit into most boots, are thinner and shapely, and my knees no longer have a glob of fat surrounding them! It's like they are improving from the feet up in firmness (exercise), and the thighs down in size (diet).

My jewelry wardrobe has also changed since I lost weight. Necklaces are longer on me now, and I actually need to get a 16-inch silver chain...the standard size that comes with so many necklaces that I couldn't buy in the past because it was too short. Not anymore! Now I need the shorter length for several of my necklines. I am able to wear a silver cuff bracelet that I received as a gift several years ago - it fits now - along with two other silver cuff bracelets that I wore in high school. I have a bunch of rings that are too big, and another bunch of rings that fit me again - including one that I have had since I was in high school (can you tell that my love for the bling goes way back?!?). It's like getting new jewelry, for free!
These don't fit anymore - some resizing is in my future...
These fit me now!
Scary picture of a 46-year-old hand wearing a 16-year-old's ring!

Do I wish my skin was taut and perfect? Of course - who wouldn't? But seriously, this is where I'm at...a 46-year-old woman who looks pretty decent when fully-clothed. I will take that any day over the 44-year-old me who looked downright terrible no matter what she wore!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fiestaware Giveaway!

I know I said that last Monday would be the last of the giveaways for a while, but how could I pass up the offer to give y'all a chance at some Fiestaware?!? Answer, obviously, is that I couldn' here's the deal: Jason, from csn stores, which is a huge umbrella shopping organization with over 200 specialty web-based stores, contacted me about promoting one of their sites that sells stools - and in return, let me choose something from any of their online stores (within a certain budget). Now, I have to say that I've checked out their site and let me tell you, if you can't find a barstool there, it probably doesn't exist...they have tons of styles and sizes! If we ever move to a house with a kitchen counter that has a breakfast bar (or if my husband gets his way and remodels our kitchen counter to accommodate bar stools), I will definitely be perusing this site.

But, getting back to the giveaway, obviously something as large as a barstool wasn't in the budget...but I found some Fiestaware on one of their other sites, so today the giveaway is two fruit bowls in your choice of color(s)! They are little - measuring 6 1/4 ounces, but actually hold a nice serving of fruit (or nuts, or whatever your heart desires...) - I already own a couple of these, and this is what my morning dish of strawberries looks like in one:
I'm happy to report that this giveaway ships to both the U.S. and Canada (sorry international people) and all you have to do to enter is leave me a comment telling me what you would use the fruit bowl for. The winning comment will be drawn by Giveaway closes at 10:00 pm on Thursday, February 4; winner will be announced on Friday morning. Good luck!

FCC Disclaimer: Giveaway will be fulfilled by csn stores, who will also be sending me two fruit bowls as well!