Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update

It was a rough week for me, not just with my workouts but with my mental state.

Monday we did the "Sweaty Sixty" in the gym, for time. This involved a series of stations where we had to do 60 reps at each station before moving on. Now, I'm slow. I'm a slow runner, I'm a slow (weight) loser, and I'm slow in the gym. Obviously, my speed is 33 1/3, while it seems like the rest of the world is playing at 45. (For those of you who are too young to know what I'm referring to, the hint is vinyl). Most of the time, this doesn't bother me. But this week, it has. I'm always last in finishing these workouts. Last. Behind people that, on the surface, seem to be in worse shape than me. It's discouraging. Couple that with getting weighed, measured and having our body fat percentage checked with Brad's new hand-held monitor for our Spring Fit Point Challenge, and you have one unhappy camper. My weight has stayed the same. My body fat? After losing 100 pounds? Thirty-four percent. That's right folks - I am one-third fat. Have I mentioned that this is AFTER I've lost 100 pounds? Geez, I would hate to know what that number was before I started my weight-loss journey. Although, come to think of it, I probably wouldn't be as upset with whatever number it was, because I was really overweight. But now? I'm not that overweight. Apparently I'm retaining a large amount of fat, though.

So there was my Monday. I was upset all day long. A few tears may have been shed.

On to Tuesday. Jenny, who got to witness my meltdown in the gym on Monday, offered to go running with me even though her foot was still sore. She is such a sweet, caring friend - I cannot tell you how much her encouragement has meant to me. We met at our park in the morning and had a good run - well, good for me. Her foot was really hurting and she ended up having to walk, which is frustrating for her. I got 2.78 miles in, which was good. Came home, showered and dressed in fresh gym clothes for my 4:00 pm workout. It was going to be hot on Tuesday afternoon, so I dressed in my new workout shorts. I was going to force myself to wear shorts, for the first time ever, to the gym. I figured if I wore them all afternoon, I would be comfortable enough to do it. I even took a couple of pictures - white legs and all. So 3:30 rolls around - time to lace up my gym shoes and head on out. Guess what? I couldn't do it. Ended up wearing my workout capris - back to my comfort zone. My thighs are muscular, but over the muscle is a nice layer of jiggly fat - pale, jiggly fat. And even though it was 79 degrees outside, my discomfort at seeing those thighs exposed was more than the discomfort I would feel at being overheated. Capris it was.

Caution: legs in picture are paler in real life - do not approach without wearing dark sunglasses!

Which I paid for dearly, as we had a team workout - Becky and I against three other ladies, and Becky and I had to draw straws to see who got to wear the 20 lb. weighted vest during the entire workout. I was the winner(?). Ever tried jumping rope with a weight vest? You get winded quick! I also had to do the rower, run on the treadmill, do ab crunches (on a Swiss ball, luckily), hip adductors and push ups - OMG, the push ups nearly killed me. I did ten from the toes before switching to my knees (which I don't normally do anymore) - I just couldn't move my body otherwise! When we were finally done (we lost - no surprise as the 3 vs. 2 team got done faster) and I got to remove the vest it was like I was floating on air! And had lost 20 pounds! Can't believe that I've lost a total of five of those vests. Of course, there is no way I could be doing those workouts if I were still at my starting weight.

Wednesday brought the Easter Candy workout (you know how Brad loves his holiday themes). For cardio, an Easter basket was brought out, we were paired up, and had to dig for our candy treat - which instead of getting to eat, we had to work off the calories! First up, Michelle and I got a cute carrot-shaped bag of Reeses Pieces. One serving (the bag was two servings!) was 110 calories. Our machine was the treadmill - one of us ran to exhaustion, then we switched. While the non-runner was waiting, we got to do things like crunches, wall sits, plank holds - fun fun! Then we got to choose another candy treat - and this time it was that cute tube of M&M's - you know, the one that has a plastic topper in the shape of the red M&M guy on it? That tube where you pop the top off and pour the M&M's into your mouth? Yeahhhhh...that freakin' tube has a total of 420 calories' worth of candy in it! I was shocked, because I remember how fast I used to down those suckers. Luckily Linda took pity on us and only had us work off half of a serving, which was 105 calories on the rower. I swear, I'll never look at those little tubes of M&M's the same way again!

Gym time brought a machine of destiny workout with negatives, which I loathe. Put that with it being Wednesday and I am still feeling Monday's workout in my quads, Tuesday's workout all over my body, and I was just not doing well. Negative bench press means that the trainer (Linda) provided resistance on the way down - lift up, ok, down - you are resisting her pushing the bar. If you stopped to rest, the count started going backward. Let's just say that I was in the 20's for a long time. Them, my nemesis - negative leg presses. I know a lot of it is mental with these, because I am usually so sore for days afterward - it's hard to start something when you know you will be feeling it for so long. Plus, my head has just not been in a good place this week. Brad was doing the resistance on these, and again, my count started going backwards while I was still in the teens! This was rough. Did not think I would get through them, but I finally did. My fellow sufferers - er, gymmates - were cheering me on through the last few - as my eyes were both closed and full of tears I didn't see them but I did hear them, and that meant a lot to me.

So this week of workouts is done. It's been rough. I feel fat and blobby and slow as a slug. I actually tried on my size 8 Bermuda shorts to see if they really fit - that's how off my mind has been. I'm hoping I will snap out of this funk soon. I know this isn't my normal "Yay, I made it through another week of workouts" post. Sorry, I just wasn't there. And it's not for a lack of support from Brad and Linda - they are really good about seeing when I am in a bad place and certainly tried to boost my spirits up. In the end, it's all on me, and I have to believe that I am doing good. I'm trying.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Downtown Derby 5K Recap!

My third 5K race is in the books and I have to say that I'm getting better - what is fun about being so new at these is that I'm pretty much guaranteed to get a new PR for each race, lol! This one was no exception: My finish time (according to my Nike+) was 35:49, which is just about 3 minutes faster than my first 5K!

This was the first-ever Downtown Derby 5K, put on by the Junior League. Considering that it was their first race, I think they did a pretty good job with everything. It was easy to get to, parking was plentiful, there was fun music playing before the race, the starting area was clearly marked, and there was a lot of bottled water, fruit and bagels afterward. I will say it was a nice change to run a smaller race - we actually started running right away, instead of shuffling through the crowds. I heard there were anywhere from 150 to 200 runners/walkers/strollers/dogs (no unicycles this time). The race course, which looked like it was going to be a crazy mishmash from the online map, turned out to be fine - there was a railroad track separating the two sides, and they had people and signs at every turn so it was very easy to follow.
The race route didn't end up being as crazy as it looked on the map, thankfully!

Jenny (who was running on a sore foot) and I started out a little fast - our pace at one mile was about 11:38. We slowed it down a bit and did well - I felt fine...I know her foot was bothering her, but she kept on going - yay Jenny! We were coming round the bend to the home stretch - I think we were at 2.75 miles - when Brad, who finished the race in about 23 minutes, came back to run us in to the finish line. It was great to see him and very comforting to hear his encouragement! We really picked up the pace at that point, and just like in the GLOW run, Jenny kicked it into high gear and took off! I was sucking wind and about to die - I really have to get a handle on the whole "breathing" thing. While I was a little discouraged to once again crash so close to the finish, it was so helpful to hear things like "there's the finish line" "look at the crowd" and my favorite "ten more seconds and you're done!" - so THANK YOU, Brad - you really kept me going!

Thanks also have to go out once again to my pit crew - aka husband, Jeff, who got me to the race in plenty of time, held my warm up top when I shed it right before the race, and took lots of pictures so I can share my memories with you all! I should have a pit crew t-shirt made for him.

Oh, and here's something fun: We made the local newscast (this really is a small town). You can see the backs of Jenny (pink shirt) and me (lavender shirt) as we go running by the cameraman, and what I think is cool is that we really are running! I know that sounds strange to say, but having only seen pictures of myself running, and knowing how slow I run, I sometimes wonder if I really am moving very fast. Well, I got my answer with that video - good to know!

OK, enough with the words - here's the pictures:
Brad (with his neon new shoes!), Jenny and me (in my supah-cool new sunglasses, which worked perfect for the run!)
One thing about running a race with your trainer - when he suggests warming up, you do it. Here we are walking to a street behind the starting area to do a few warm up laps. Luckily the race announcements started after we only did a few - I didn't want to use up all of my running before the actual race!
My new shirt from One More Mile - I got a few laughs from it...mostly as people were passing me!
Starting clump line...
And we're off!
Here comes Brad - I wonder, what does it feel like to be so far ahead of the pack?Brad, running for the finish!At this point, sweat was pouring into my eyes, which then made them tear up and it looked like I was crying - I wasn't, I swear - but I need to address this issue. Maybe wear my Olivia Newton-John sweatband? Or my Bondiband, even though I look kinda goofy in it? Anycase, it's only going to get hotter, so I need to figure out what to do.So funny - Jenny's friend was running and taking pictures of her!
This is where Jenny left me in the dust...look at the determination on her face - I love it!!!Brad is saying to me "ten more seconds and you're done!"Finished!!!Table of goodies waiting for us!Me and Jenny - sweaty, happy, done!
(P.S. It was so nice of the race organizers to give put our ages on our bibs. What?!?)

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's About Time!

For quite a while, just about every time I post a picture of myself I get a comment (or three) that my glasses are too big for my face now. I kept putting off getting new glasses because A) they are expensive; and B) I didn't want to fork over the cash until my face had stopped losing weight (such a weird thing to write...but when you lose over 100 pounds, the weight comes off everywhere).

I finally gave in. In a big way, too. Not only did I get new glasses, I got glasses with what used to be called bifocals, but are now called progressive lenses (to make us baby-boomers feel better about wearing bifocals, lol). I was so excited when I picked out my frames - I fell in LOVE with the colors - something totally different than what I have been wearing. I got fitted and went home to wait the expected two weeks - this is some high-tech stuff that they sent to a lab in Dallas to make, yo. I dreamed about these glasses. I planned my first outfit to wear with these glasses. I couldn't wait! They finally came in on Tuesday...and I have been seasick ever since.

Dang, these are hard to get adjusted to! You have to turn your head to see clearly - and apparently I am a shifty-eyed person, because I have to make a conscious effort to turn and see what I am looking at, if that makes any sense. I will say that the nice thing is that I can see the food on my fork, and that whole "reading" thing is much easier now. I hear that after about a week I should be accustomed to these crazy lenses. Who knew that at age 46, I would be learning how to do something so basic as see again?

Alright, I've made you wait long's the big reveal:
Purple and turquoise - I love these colors, as evidenced by my clothes and earrings.
Different angle...

When I first tried the glasses on at the optical place and looked in the mirror, I was shocked at what was looking back at me - where did all of these wrinkles and huge pores come from?!? I thought I was aging gracefully! Apparently my old glasses provided me with that special effect - you know, the one where they put a thin coating of Vaseline on the camera lens? Ignorance was bliss. I think that along with your new glasses, the optician should hand you a gift certificate for a facial - it's the least they could do!

I also got a supah-cool pair of sunglasses - very sporty, with mirrored lenses. I've never had anything this cool - they didn't used to be able to do sunglasses with their curved lenses in prescription, but apparently this has changed. I will be wearing them tomorrow morning when I run in my third 5K - the Downtown Derby! I may not be fast, but at least I can look like like an athlete, right?!? Hopefully I will have some fun pictures, along with a race recap in a couple of days. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Now THIS Is What I Call Carb-Loading!

Fettuccine Alfredo - low fat and so tasty!

Since I am a runner now, you just know I had to subscribe to Runner's World magazine - and color me surprised to find a super-delicious low-calorie recipe in the April issue for Fettuccini Alfredo! The magazine usually has carb-loading recipes that the dieter in me ignores, but when I read the list of ingredients, I thought "Hey! I can actually eat this and not feel guilty!" - which is not something you normally think when you read the word "alfredo!"

Any case, I made it Wednesday night and loved it. The only thing I did different, other than to serve it with a vegetable instead of a piece of bread like RW pictured (they love their carbs), was to use 2% Greek yogurt instead of 5%, because I couldn't find anything higher than 2% in my local grocery store. If you like Greek yogurt, you will like this recipe. I put that disclaimer in because my husband, who will pretty much eat anything, wasn't too thrilled with this - in fact, he suggested adding tomatoes, which would make it NOT fettuccine alfredo. ::rolleyes::

I stole am reprinting the recipe from RW's website - hope that is ok to do. Click on the link to see their picture of the dish - the coloring looks a little funny in mine because the sun had gone down and my kitchen lights are odd. Oh, and if you haven't tried grilling asparagus - what are you waiting for?!? It's so good! Pam it up (be generous *wink*), add some salt and pepper and grill the heck out of it - you will love it!

From the April 2010 issue of Runner's World

Rocco's Fettuccine Alfredo
DiSpirito's latest cookbook, Now Eat This!, transforms heart-stopping dishes like this pasta, traditionally laden with heavy cream, butter, and cheese. Here, he re-creates the sauce's velvety texture with Greek yogurt and chicken broth.

8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine
1 tablespoon butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Pinch of ground nutmeg
3/4 cup low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3/4 cup 5 percent Greek yogurt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add fettuccine; cook according to package directions.

While pasta cooks, melt butter in a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook two minutes.

Combine cornstarch and nutmeg in a small bowl; whisk in chicken broth until smooth. Pour into saute pan, raise the heat, and bring sauce to a simmer, whisking occasionally.

Whisk in 1/2 cup of the cheese until melted. Remove pan from heat.
Whisk in yogurt until smooth.

Toss fettuccine with Alfredo sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Top pasta with remaining cheese. Serves four.

FAT: 10 G

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update

Monday: Fight Gone Bad (I really love that name, btw) - we did five stations at one minute each, counting our reps and adding on as we went, for a total of three rounds. While we were midway through the first round, Brad announced that with person with the most reps would win one bonus Fit Point, and since Jenny and I are already down five (she missed Monday's workout due to a previously planned getaway with her husband - totally understandable), I was motivated to get that point! My total: 398 reps - Ashely was very close behind, but I was the winner - whew! I also ran on the treadmill for 10 minutes and did the (dreaded) stepper as well while in cardio.

Tuesday: A beautiful Spring morning. Jenny and I met up at our local park for a run, and run we did! Ended up with a total of 4.5 miles, with a couple of walking breaks interspersed (I was trying to keep track via my Nike + and don't think we walked more than three-quarters of a mile, total). It was a great run - we chatted most of the time and had the energy to keep going, which was good considering I had forgotten to eat anything before we met up (picture a poor little banana waiting on the kitchen counter).

That afternoon, I went to the gym where Brad had a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad workout waiting for us: the 25/50/75. First, we did 25 push ups, then 25 sit ups, then 25 squats, then 25 ring pull ups. Then we did the set again, only with 50 reps each time. Then we did it again, with - you guessed it - 75 reps each. I.thought.I.was.gonna.die. Especially when Brad stationed himself next to me for the push ups - and made my stomach touch his fist for each rep to count. Thank god I have a big stomach - that probably saved me a couple of inches every time I had to lower myself down! It was really, really hard - I would do 5 or 7 reps and have to rest...and my shoulders were sounding like Rice Krispies at that point - you know, Snap!Crackle!Pop! I finished in just under 32 minutes, and as I left, I couldn't believe I would actually be back for more torture in a mere 15 hours.

Wednesday: Linda had us burning 50 calories on every machine or doing 50 reps of other exercises (like ball slams, kettlebell get the picture) in Cardio. I hit my 50 calories on the treadmill really fast - of course, I was running at a 6.0 pace, so that helped, lol! Then we went to the gym - why hello Brad...we meet again! Did a circuit doing isolation exercises, as many sets of 15 as we could do for three minutes. Calf raises/shin stretches, ring push ups, curls, narrow bench press - I managed to do three or fours sets of each of those in the allotted time. Killed it with nine sets doing crunches; managed to eek out one set of fifteen doing the "limbo jump" - a PVC pipe balanced on upended weights, for a height of 14 inches. Basically a box jump without the box. That is still such a mental exercise for me...I think it took me about ten seconds to do each one.

And now I'm D-O-N-E, done! I have my next 5K run on Saturday - Jenny and I are going to run together, although I'm a little worried, as her foot started hurting really bad a few hours after we finished our run yesterday. I hope she can make it...I will be so lonely without her!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Re-Committing, or I Should Be Committed - Something Like That...

OK, I've been messing around long enough. It's time to get some more weight off - and what better time to start than with a new challenge that Brad is doing at our workout? For the next eight weeks, those of us who want to participate are partnered up (I'm with Jenny) and we will earn Fit Points based on all sorts of things - which include:
  • Not missing any workouts
  • Running in an organized race (woohoo, already have that one!)
  • Improving our reps on certain exercises - which we won't know when we are setting the baseline to prevent any of us would ever consider doing that ;)
  • Completing an outdoor obstacle course (this one has me a little scared)
  • Keeping a food journal for a week (easy for me to start this back up)
  • Every % of body weight lost earns a point
So I figure it's time to make this happen. My goal is to lose five pounds over the next eight weeks - I know, dream big, right? How am I going to do this? Well, I'm re-committing to eating "clean" - or cleaner than I have been. My downfall over the last month has been bars - not the ones you drink at, but rather Luna, Lara and their brother, Cliff - all fairly healthy things, but not stuff that is helping me lose weight. Maintain it - yes, I've been doing that just fine. And even though my size has gotten smaller, I still weigh too much for someone of my short stature. I've been eating some really satisfying meals lately (the added healthy fats seem to be helping curb my extreme hunger, thankfully) and thought I'd share pictures...btw, I don't know how you daily food bloggers do it - most of the time I've already started eating before I remember that I wanted to take a picture!
Strawberries and blackberries, with a 100 calorie whole wheat English muffin topped with one T. organic peanut butter (total)Fage, more strawberries (they are really good!), 1/4 C. Kashi Golean Crunch and 1/4 C. walnuts (yes there really is yogurt under all of the toppings!)
Grilled chicken, 1/2 C. brown rice, grilled asparagus (sprayed with Pam and seasoned with salt and pepper - so good!)
Salad with a black bean/corn/pico de gallo mixture, half of an avocado, some grilled chicken and 1 T. parmesean cheese. I made a dressing of plain yogurt mixed with bottled taco sauce which was pretty good - forgot to add it before I took the picture.

Anyway, I am hoping that by eating such appealing, tasty food, I won't be tempted to fall back into the bars. And I am going back to my self-imposed once a week trip to the frozen yogurt place - things got a little out of hand while my kids were home for Spring Break. Five pounds - begone!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cleaning Out My Closet; Making Way For ME

Spring cleaning fever struck me big time last week, and I attacked my closet. It's a walk-in, with some built-in shelves, which is nice since we don't have any dressers to store our clothes in. Jeff has his own closet, so this one is mine, all mine! Funny thing, though. For a big closet, lately I was squishing my clothes into one little section. It finally occurred to me that I didn't used to have that problem.

For years, I really only had the bare minimum of clothes. That's what happens when you are constantly changing sizes (going up) AND are not thrilled with how you look in clothes. Then, almost two years ago, I started my weight-loss journey, and my sizes started changing once again - this time, getting smaller. I still didn't have a lot of clothes, because I had high hopes that I wouldn't be in those sizes for too long before needing to go down. And while I am a firm believer in wearing clothes that fit, and know that feeling good in my new, smaller sizes (18 and 14 were huge milestones for me) was a big motivator, the practical side came out and I didn't overdo it on purchasing the smaller sizes.

But now, I'm not really changing my size - well, some of my pants are getting to be a little big - but the tops are not. (Let's face it, even when you are smaller, having a larger bust keeps you in the medium-sized shirts most of the time - oh, and for any men who are reading this, sorry for the TMI). Therefore, it was time to figure out why I couldn't fit everything into my closet comfortably.

Well, once I pulled everything out, the problem became obvious: I was storing old schoolwork from my kids; books; tons of photos that need to be sorted; office supplies; was crazy! So I did a lot of rearranging, culling (watch the show Hoarders on A&E - boy will that make you want to clear things out fast), hung a new hook rack for my purses so I can actually access them, got another shoe storage box - and wow! I have a closet that I love! Everything, from my jewelry to my shoes to my belt (yes, singular, haha) - it's all in place so I can play fashionista.

Also, since there is a lot of wall space in my closet, I have tons of pictures and things that make me happy hanging all over. A few years ago I really wanted to add a cute chandelier (I know, how awesome would that have been?!?), but instead frugality prevailed and I got my Dad to install a second fluorescent light fixture (thanks, Dad!).

I'm having fun with clothes. Things fit when I go to try them on at the store, and I've now adopted the "must love it" approach in order to actually purchase any piece of clothing. Which is a huge change from the "thank god it fits I have to buy it" way that I used to live. I must mention that I've found quite a few things that I love in the past couple of months...and I also have to say how nice it is to fit into the clothes on the 70% off clearance racks at Macys - being able to buy a gorgeous purple sweater for $3.60? Niiiice!

Plus, I have exercise clothes. The more often I workout, the more I need to have a couple of spare sports bras - something is always draped over my bathtub, drying out, and I now have some technical shirts to run in as well as shorts (!) to keep myself from having heatstroke in the upcoming Texas summer. That takes up new space.

I didn't think to take "before" pictures of my closet - much like the old me, my closet didn't want to pose much for pictures. But take a look at it now!

View from doorway - my clothes can breathe now! There are still some pieces that are too big, but I love them and am too sad to put them in the Goodwill bag at the moment. Some of the pants are Barbara's and don't quite fit me yet. Workout gear is on the shelves just as you walk in; running shirts are hanging. I figure if I see it, I'll be more apt to use it, right?
Stuff I'm still saving; shelf it too high to be of much use to me, anyway.
My wall-o-fun...
I used to hang my clothes where the shoe boxes are - there was another rod that I removed. Two of the shoe boxes used to be on the floor as you walked into the closet (where my clothes are hanging now). I added the third shoebox and put old wallets, mini purses and my clutches in it...and more shoes, of course! I also added the hook rack for my purses - most of which I don't use anymore, but I love to see them, and now that I can actually reach them, I might just change out my purse every once in a while! (They used to be crammed on the shelf to the left of where my dresses are hanging). There is a pretty scarf hanging with the purses - it has all of the colors that I wear, and was on clearance for a couple of bucks. I've always wanted to be chic and wear a scarf. Have I worn it? No. Can't bring myself to - it feels like I'm an imposter when I put it on. Oh well. One day...oh, and please note the silver scale on the floor to the left of the shoeboxes - it's still on vacation, hanging out in my closet.
Top of picture - the good empty boxes that I kept. And yes, I do distinguish between "good" and "so-so" empty boxes, lol!
Jewelry central - I have been a jewelry fiend from way back! I actually still wear some jewelry that I got in high school. Lots of these long beaded necklaces were my Grandmother's - I used to play dress up with them. The mirror is an antique (can't remember who it belonged to) that I found in our attic when I was a kid. It's hung somewhere in my room ever since I was about 12 years old. The black box on the shelf has drawers that hold my earrings, pendants, pins and bracelets- all sorts of treasures! The plastic drawers that are reflected in the mirror hold desk stuff, scrapbooking supplies (I made one for Paco), cards and more necessary things.
I hang my Christmas pictures behind the closet door - this way they are out of the way, but I can still see them. Socks in that nifty holder...I really need to let go of a bunch of them - they are old and the elastic is shot, but they are fun, even though I don't wear 75% of what is there anymore.

It was great to get that closet cleaned out - I feel really happy when I walk in it, and have a much easier time getting my outfits together. Plus, it is nice to see all of the choices that I have now, thanks to the work I've put into losing weight!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Randomness

Back in the olden days - before my journey - I had a favorite item to order when I was at the drive-thru. It made no difference whether I was at Taco Bell, McDonalds, Wendy's - you name it - they all had it. Can you guess what it was?

"And a..."

The phrase "and a" was uttered a lot during my orders. For some reason, I got it in my head that one meal was never going to be enough, so there was always the "and a" - be it an extra double cheeseburger, bean burrito, junior bacon cheeseburger...this was in addition to my Big Mac meal, or the crispy taco get the idea. Crazy that I could (and would) routinely eat that much! The only time I didn't order an "and a" was when I got the Box Meal at Taco Bell. That one was extra big...perfect for me. Imagine my chagrin and shame when I later discovered that they were marketing it to hungry men. Not 5' 1" women. Oops.


Sometimes I entertain the thought of quitting my workouts (usually after a tough one when I am incredibly sore) in favor of just running, because running is so much easier than what Brad puts us through. But then I remember that running IS easy (to a degree) because of the strength training that I do - I truly believe that I've had an easier time, with less pain, because I had so many months of conditioning under my belt before I started running. And really, who am I kidding? I am as addicted to my workouts, trainers and my group as I used to be to Taco Bell. I'm not going anywhere!


What's been working for me lately: Starbucks Via coffee - those little tubes of instant (and very good!) coffee. I have one every day after lunch and it really seems to stop my brain from wanting to eat. Hey, anything that turns off the munching machine AND keeps me from wanting to take a nap is a good thing in my book!


Speaking of what has been working, adding the good fats seems to be helping tame my extreme hunger. I will say that after a few days of eating 1/4 cup of almonds in my morning yogurt, I cut that amount back to 1/8 of a cup and added 1/4 cup of the Kashi Golean Crunch cereal. I missed the sweetness of the cereal, and the almonds were getting a little strong for my taste. I will try that meal with walnuts in the next couple of days and see if there is any difference. I've also been LOVING the avocado at lunch! I bought a bunch of little avocados - they were 50 cents each - and that size equals out to about 125 calories for the entire thing. They are so good, and again, I'm not ready to gnaw my arm off an hour after I've eaten.


Finally, here's a shout out to my little brother, Jeff, who had to undergo heart surgery yesterday and will have to go through some more in a couple of weeks. Hang in there, dude. Love from your sister and the rest of the gang.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update - All Things Burpee

I go to my workouts to get fitter and stronger and lose inches and pounds. I go to my workouts to get fitter and stronger and lose inches and pounds. I go to my workouts to get fitter and stronger and lose inches and pounds. I go to my workouts to get fitter and stronger and lose inches and pounds. I go to my workouts to get fitter and stronger and lose inches and pounds. I go to my workouts to get fitter and stronger and lose inches and pounds. I go to my workouts to get fitter and stronger and lose inches and pounds.

Sometimes, I need to keep reminding myself of this, especially when these workouts are really hard. And I am tired. And it's raining. I need to remember that I CHOOSE to do them, even when I am questioning why in the world would any sane person willingly push themselves like I do. And then it comes back to me: I go to my workouts to get fitter and stronger and lose inches and pounds.

Monday: I ran 3/4 of a mile on the treadmill at a 5.2 - 6.0 level...took me 9:18 minutes. I felt good, which was a relief after Sunday's suck run. The rest of the workout was hard - we hit lots of muscle groups in the gym, and worked with partners (yay Jenny!) which always makes it seem more fun.

Tuesday: Linda was our afternoon trainer!!! She hasn't been able to work in the afternoons since last Fall, so it was like old times to see her at 4:00 pm. She came up with a new workout based on the Uno card remember playing Uno, right? That fun game with colors and numbers? Yeaah. For Linda's Uno rules, Red = Burpees, Green = Ball Slams, Yellow = Push Ups and Blue = Mountain Climbers. So a red nine would mean nine burpees. If the next card drawn was a "plus 2" - well, we did two more burpees. Add in the reverse card and we repeated the previous exercise. It was crazy! We actually got through the entire deck in 30 minutes on Tuesday - I was spent...and then had to go to the gym for fun with Brad.

Wednesday: Different group from Tuesday (except for me), so we got to play Uno again! At least Linda took pity on me and let me do high knees and squats in place of the burpees. We didn't quite make it through the deck before it was time to go see Brad in the gym. In honor of Spring Break week, he had three brightly-colored beach towels folded in the middle of the floor. We, as a group, were to choose one towel, and whatever exercise that was written on a piece of paper and hiding within the towel would be our destiny for the day. While several of us were attracted to the polka dots (I know for me Twister came to mind), we ultimately choose the green-striped towel because it was St. Patrick's Day. Then Brad played Monty Hall (anybody remember Let's Make a Deal?) and showed us what we didn't pick. Polka dot towel contained Speed Tubes. Orange-striped towel contained the Chief (3 curls, 6 push ups, 9 squats) - whew! Dodged a bullet with that one!!! Then came the winner, and I say this loosely...if you are familiar with Let's Make a Deal, we got the goat. Or, in our case, 20 minutes of BURPEES!!! Linda fell on the floor laughing at our luck - after being killed moments before with a mega-ton of burpees during Uno, we now had more.

I did 107 burpees. In twenty minutes. After doing at least 60 the day before. And for the rest of the day, I will do whatever I want, because I did 107 burpees.

I go to my workouts to get fitter and stronger and lose inches and pounds.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Follow Up to Yesterday

Thank you so much for your advice regarding my post yesterday. I was really having a rough time, mentally and I think the bad run just was the capper on some negative thinking that had been brewing in the back of my mind for a while now.

I am going to change up some of what I eat and see if that helps with the extreme hunger AND keeps me on a healthier track. For example, instead of having half a cup of Kashi Golean Crunch cereal with my Fage yogurt and fruit (blackberries at the moment), I had a quarter cup of raw almonds, coarsely chopped.

The stats before:

250 calories
41 grams carbs
3 grams fat
22 grams protein

The stats after:

325 calories
27 grams carbs
16 grams fat
24 grams protein

I'm hoping that the addition of the "good fat" will help keep me satiated longer; plus, even though the Kashi is whole-wheat, it does add a lot of extra carbs to an already carb-y breakfast, thanks to the fruit.

I also had some avocado on my turkey sandwich yesterday at lunch - again, adding some healthy fat to keep me full longer. I really feel so much better when I eat good food. And if I can get some more weight off, while feeling less starving-like, well, then that would be a nice bonus.

Couple of other things that helped get me out of my funk...I made it through a tough workout on Monday morning, and even ran 3/4 of a mile on the treadmill at a 5.2 pace, which is fast for me. I felt "normal" while running - whew! I also ended up doing something that really helps remind me of where I am with my weight - I went out and tried on clothes. Fitting into size 8 shorts and capris reminded me that I am smaller and two years ago would have killed to even entertain the thought of wearing that size. I bought two pairs of Bermuda shorts (which fit this short person perfectly - to the top of my knees) at Target - Target, where I never used to be able to shop...even their plus-sized clothes were always too small for me. I know it sounds funny to be thrilled to buy clothes at Target, but the "normalcy" of it is what made my day.

Between my hot run on Sunday and another hot workout on Monday, I finally decided that I might need to ditch the workout capris in favor of some shorts. I went to my local Academy and pulled tons of sizes and styles off their racks - my gosh, some of the shorts looked really really short - were these adult sizes? Apparently they were...but not for me, lol! I found a style in Academy's brand - so yay, reasonably-priced! Kind of loose and baggy, but when I practiced doing squats in the dressing room, they felt comfortable. And, on the advice of Linda and Jenny, I also got the compression shorts to wear under the shorts, which I can see is necessary for some of the positions we get in during our workout (modesty, thy name is Shelley). I can actually run in these shorts, although I don't know how that will feel as I am used to wearing compression capris that hold all of my jiggly bits taut.


Here are the answers to Friday's "Creative Writer" award - no body guessed my one truth!
  1. I was in a Trident gum commercial when I was in college. I auditioned - at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, no less, but wasn't was one of those things where you were supposed to say what chewing sugarless gum meant to you, and the only thing I could come up with on the fly was "it doesn't rot your teeth" - gee, I don't know why that didn't make the commercial!
  2. I dressed in the Humboldt State marching band uniform, carried cymbals, and marched with the band into a football game at San Francisco State to avoid paying the $2 entrance fee. Nope - it was a basketball game.
  3. I marched in the Capitola Begonia Festival parade dressed as Raggedy Andy when I was a teenager. Truth! Barbara and I were candystripers at Kaiser Hospital in my hometown, and our Director of Volunteers had a huge outreach program where we would dress up as Raggedy Ann and Andy and visit children's wards, do parades - all kinds of things. As Barbara and I were usually paired up, I had to be Andy because, as she put it, her hips wouldn't fit into the costume. I can assure you that they would now! Anyway, the Begonia Festival was always a lot of fun...good memories!
  4. I had my own sailboat as a teenager. Well, my dad would say no, but I liked to think that it was mine. Again, lots of good memories sailing as a kid.
  5. My favorite books as a child were the Anne of Green Gables series. Nope - I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder "Little House" series of books.
  6. My first "real" job (where I got an actual paycheck) was at Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors. A lot of you guessed this one and you were close, but actually it was at a discount clothing store where we had to cut out the labels of the clothes - anybody remember when that was common practice? Anyway, BR was my second "paycheck" job.
  7. I piloted a Cessna airplane all by myself as a teenager. No, but I did get to steer the plane while my friend flew was fun until he needed to practice "touch-and-go" landings, and after a few of those, I got motion sickness so bad that as soon as he landed the plane, I opened up the door to vomit on the runway. Good times, lol!

Monday, March 15, 2010


I had the suckiest of suck runs on Sunday. Sorry for the language, but there is no better way to describe it. It was our first warm day of the year - about 80 degrees - and the sun was beating down. No sunscreen - it just didn't occur to me. I barely made it a mile before I had to stop and walk! What was up with that?!? I've been running 3 miles without stopping for a couple of months now! My breathing was all ragged and I felt sluggish. We eventually started running again, but I had to stop and walk. Run, walk, repeat. It never got any better. What an embarrassment. And now, a few hours later, I sit here with the backs of my thighs sore, a slight sunburn, and a head full of self-doubts about all of my running plans. What happened to the person who ran a 5K last Sunday and felt great afterward? How am I going to be able to do my next 5K in less than two weeks? And the duathlon is a month part in it is two 5K's! And then there is a 6K a week after that! And a 10K in July - what the hell was I thinking?!?

And here's another thing: What is up with the super-hunger that I get after a long run? I've noticed that after I run 3 miles (race or practice), I am HUNGRY for a couple of days afterward. It's just a constant hunger - I eat what I consider a normal, healthy (protein/fat/carbs) meal, and am ready to gnaw my arm off a couple of hours later! This is not good for weight-loss, people!!!

Speaking of weight-loss, while I am still on a scale vacation, I don't think I've lost any weight. I've had a few occasions to eat with other people, and "white carbs" have been consumed. It's weird, because while the calorie-count has not been horrible, the way I feel after eating such food has been bad, both physically and mentally. I'm trying to have a balance between the "diet Shelley" who is very strict about what she eats, and the "living-while-dieting-Shelley" who is trying to be a little more open to foods that she previously avoided. And what's sad is that I'm really not happy with myself when I eat the less-than-healthy foods.

I don't know what to do about this. I'm not happy with where my weight is; I want to lose about fifteen more pounds. But here's the thing: I haven't hit a weight-loss goal since I was in high school - about 30 years ago. And that didn't exactly end well - I hit that number and kept on going, right into anorexia. What if, this time, I can't do it? What if this is as good as I'm going to get with my weight? I will admit it's a hell of a lot better than the 256 pounds that I started at, but it's not where I want to be.

Doubts - I have a few.

Sorry for the downer of a post. Here's a picture of me and Linda, taken before the start of Suck Run 2010. Please to note my cute new Nathan water bottle - you slip in onto your hand and it stays there for the entire run. Or walk, as I found out.
One of us was ready for the heat, at least!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Randomness

My husband Jeff has been bicycling in preparation for our upcoming duathlon and this morning he wanted me to unearth the scale from its hiding place so he could weigh himself. This was AFTER he'd showered, dressed in jeans, ate breakfast and downed several cups of coffee. I was all "that's not how you weigh yourself" - but then got to wondering...IS that how you weigh yourself when you're not a chronic dieter? Hmmm...


On Wednesday night, when I was preparing everything for our "big salad" dinner, I had the brilliant (if I do say so myself) idea of prepping extra so that I could have a salad for lunch at work the next day. Witness the beauty of a traveling salad:
Ready to assemble:
Romaine lettuce, turkey, marinated asparagus, cucumber, strawberries, mushrooms, green onions, toasted pecans, Gorgonzola cheese, Newman's Own Lite Balsamic vinaigrette

Ready to eat!A forkful of goodness!
(Yes, I eat lunch at my desk - that way I still get paid!)


Both Sunny and Barbara gave me one of the funnier awards that has been floating around blogland lately - the "Creative Writer" award. The general rules are that you have to list seven things, with only one being true, and let your readers try and guess which is the truth. Here goes:
  1. I was in a Trident gum commercial when I was in college.
  2. I dressed in the Humboldt State marching band uniform, carried cymbals, and marched with the band into a football game at San Francisco State to avoid paying the $2 entrance fee.
  3. I marched in the Capitola Begonia Festival parade dressed as Raggedy Andy when I was a teenager.
  4. I had my own sailboat as a teenager.
  5. My favorite books as a child were the Anne of Green Gables series.
  6. My first "real" job (where I got an actual paycheck) was at Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors.
  7. I piloted a Cessna airplane all by myself as a teenager.
I'll reveal the one true statement in my next post...can you guess which one it is? Thanks, Sunny and Barbara, for giving me this award - it was fun! I'm supposed to choose other bloggers to pass it on, but I hate to leave anybody out, so consider it open to anyone who would like it!


Finally, I'd like to leave you with an image that has been seared into my brain since Sunday's 5K:
Kelly and I referred to him as "Santa Claus"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update

It was Tabata week.


For those of you lucky enough not to be familiar with Tabata, it's where you do one exercise for 20 seconds as fast as you can, then rest for 10 seconds, then repeat...eight times. I did not think there were enough different exercises to merit three days' worth of Tabata, in both the gym and cardio, but apparently there were. Here's just a partial listing:
  • flat bench press
  • leg press
  • calf raises
  • squat thrusters
  • seated rows
  • crunches
  • dumbbell curls
  • ab dolly crunches
  • box jumps
  • kettlebell swings
  • tricep dips
  • mountain climbers
  • boxing
  • spinner
  • rower
  • ball slams
I'm sure there were more; my brain is fried. Three days in a row of Tabata. In the gym, we would keep track of our reps and the lowest one is what counted, so you tried to never have a bad set. Most of the time I would pick a number to hit depending on the exercise and if I had a couple of seconds left before time was called, I got a little extra rest. I did ok for the most part, but guess which was my worst? Yep, those dastardly box jumps. They get me every time! I did a couple sets of four (I know, impressive, lol) and then had a mental breakdown and only got one in. At least I recovered and went on to finish the rest of the sets with four each, but ugh, that one just kills me!

I went into Monday's workout feeling really good, considering I ran a 5K the day before. Jenny and I got to talking before the workout about how we need to get our running speed up a little, and she suggested that since we would already be sweaty after the workout, why not go for a quick run? Sounded like a great idea to me, so after the first day of Tabatas, she, Jeri and I headed out the door to see how fast we could run a mile. We started out at a pretty good clip, but when I asked Jenny to see how long we'd been running, and her watch said only a minute and a half, we quickly revised that mile to a half-mile. Hey, we were tired! Anyway, we ran a half mile in 5:05, which was good...but on that day, I don't think we could have kept up our pace to hit a mile in 10:10. Still, it will be a good goal to work toward, as there are more races in our future!

Yes, what a lot of you told me is true - once you run your first 5K, you get the bug! In fact, while we were doing the GLOW run, Jenny told me about an upcoming duathlon, where you run a 5K, bike 12 miles, and run another 5K. The cool thing is that you can do it as a team, and she and her husband are going to do it - so I talked to Jeff about it, and he's in! We ladies will run both 5Ks and the men will do the biking. I've already told Jeff that he has to get that bike ride done fast, as the race is only open for 2.5 hours and god knows I will need a lot of time to get that second 5K done! Hence the need for speeding up our running times.

Jenny and I are also going to do a 5K on March 27th, which should be fun and also some good practice for the duathlon, which is April 10th. And if we can swing a free hotel room (Jeff accumulates points for all of the travel he does through work), I will sign up for the 6K that Kelly and her family are doing on April 18th. If it weren't for my work schedule, I would sign up for more, but with me working on Saturdays, it really puts a crimp in running these 5Ks.

I have never been a participant in sporting events - I've always been a spectator. I've willingly and happily cheered on my sons in soccer, karate, baseball and football, and have gone to more high school football games than I can count. So for me to be the one doing the sport is just such an amazing thing...and it's fun! Why did I not know how much fun this could be?!? I guess maybe I'm making up for lost time, or on a pink cloud of running - but either way, I'm going for the gusto!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Blogger Run Day Recap!

Blogger Run Day was a great success, with a bunch of you running on March 7th! Here's a recap - you can click on the links to read everyone's stories. Thank you all so much for participating and making this so much fun - I loved knowing that while Kelly and I were running our 5K together, so many of you were also running that day!

Beth did her 5K with a 17% improvement - nice work!
Debby ran her best mile with a time of 10:35 - she is speedy!
Destination: Athlete cut off 8 minutes from her record 10K time - congrats!
Errign ran nearly 4 miles on her treadmill, without stopping, in 41 minutes - way to go!
Fran ran her first race of the year, a 4K through the woods, and finished in 26:51 - wow!
Hotch Potchery ran her half marathon in under 3 hours - congratulations!
Jen got her bad self to the gym and ran a 5K on the treadmill - great job!
Kelly not only ran her 5K in 39:13, she ran for 2 miles straight without stopping - woohoo!
Lori ran 3 miles for fun, with snow on the ground - now that's dedication!
MizFit was a princess and ran (and finished!) her first half marathon, at Disney World, no less!
The Merry ran 3 miles on her own - good job, Merry!
Robin, who thought she would be sidelined by illness, rallied at the last minute and ran the Disney princess half marathon - so glad you got to do it!!!
266, on an impulse, joined us and ran a fast 5K after midnight - glad to have you along!

Poor Kyle was rained out - he has been a real go-getter with his C25K training and I know he was disappointed to miss the run. Next time, Kyle!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Armadillo Dash 5K Recap!

What a fun weekend! From meeting Happy Texan Kelly and her husband, Chuck, on Friday night, to running my second-ever 5K on Sunday - this has just been a blast!
After dinner - we left the table before remembering to get a picture!

We met up with Kelly and Chuck at Luigi's, a fun Italian restaurant. As we pulled into the parking lot, Jeff asked me how would I recognize her - I was all "I've seen her picture on her blog" - and you know what? She looks just pretty in person as she does on her blog! The fun thing is that with all of the blog and email interactions I've had with Kelly, I felt like I "knew" her already...and after preliminary hugs, we fell right into jabbering away. It was a great dinner - she and I ordered the same thing, chicken Marco Polo (go check her blog for a picture...Chuck took one) and the conversation flowed nicely. Chuck is funny and sweet and as my husband put it later, "obviously really likes his wife" - what better compliment could there be? After dinner, we went over to our local frozen yogurt place (did I mention there is no calorie counting in blogger meet ups?) where we had some tasty treats and I finally found someone who would put one of the more perplexing toppings (to me) on their yogurt - Chuck braved the sweetened condensed milk...and liked it! After more laughs and good conversation, we parted ways until Sunday morning.
And now, the Armadillo Dash recap! First, I have to say that I was a lot less nervous about this run, although I had a moment of panic and started to sweat profusely when I went to pick up my race packet on Friday. But looking at my pretty race t-shirt and bib with the timing chip calmed me I got some free GU and lip balm - score!

After attaching my bib to my shirt and chip to my shoe, I got everything else together - a ziploc bag with some bars (Lara and Luna) for after the race, extra safety pins, lip balm, camera, sunglasses, visor, water bottle and banana (for before the race). I am nothing if not prepared! Then came the sleeping (not). I was like a kid waiting for Santa Claus - I tossed and turned all night! Oh well. Got up at 5:30 am, showered and dressed, and we finally left the house at 6:26 am. Now, we live one mile from where the race was held. The road outside our subdivision was going to be closed on race morning, as well as the entrance to the park on that side, so we had to go about three miles out of our way. Figured we had PLENTY of time to get there and meet up with Kelly and my workout peeps. Well, 2,000 runners converging from three directions onto one little road was insane - it took us 30 minutes to get there! Texting and phone calls were flying - I calmed down a little once Linda said that they had to delay the start of the race last year due to heavy traffic. Next year? We will walk to the race.

As it was, we got there around 7:05 and the half marathoners, which were scheduled to start at 7 am, started at 7:09 am. We had time for a few pictures, and then the horn sounded and we...slowly made our way to the starting line - dang, there were a lot of people there! I think we crossed it close to a minute and a half into the race, but since our shoes were tagged with timing chips, it really didn't matter.

Kelly and Shelley - Blogger Run Day!
My workout peeps - Jeri, me, Karen, Jan, Linda and her son Reagan
Look at the crowd! This is how far back we were from the start line!We finally crossed the start line and were off!Kelly, me, Jeri - hitting our stride!

The 5K race route had to be changed due to road construction, and while they gave us an updated map when we picked up our packets AND had people directing us, it still got a little confusing. Linda and her speedy son, Reagan, were well ahead of us, and a couple of times we passed each other going opposite directions (it was fun to wave to people you knew). Well, just before Kelly, Jeri and I came across the two-mile marker, Reagan came up from behind us...and as I shouted "Go Reagan, Go!" I thought "wait, that can't be right...he was far ahead of us." I caught up to him and he said "I've seen that sign before" (meaning the two-mile marker) - and I was all ut-oh, you ran this loop again. He then realized that he had made that loop several times already - poor kid! Well, at that point, Kelly and Jeri took a little walking break, so I just ran ahead with Reagan. It was nice, actually - I got to talk with him about baseball (he had practice later that afternoon) and it brought back memories of when my son Sam played. And actually, my pace increased while running with Reagan because he is so fast! I knew Linda would be worried about him, since he WAS close behind her until he got on the runner's roundabout, so I tried to keep up with him for the rest of the race. Here's a map of the route - you can see the last loop could be confusing:
Click to enlarge - the big loop is what I have renamed "Runner's Roundabout"

You know what's fun about running with a ten-year-old boy? Hurdles. He jumped every traffic cone on the way back down the road toward the finish line! Love his energy! I got a second wind as we came close to the park, and kicked it into high gear and RAN! I didn't realize it at the time, but there was a mat positioned a couple of hundred yards from the finish line and when I crossed it, my chip was read so they could announce my name - and that was VERY COOL to hear as I ran toward the finish line!

That's Reagan in the white shirt in front of me - I'm clapping - not real sure why!
Woohoo, crossing the finish line!!! My chip time was 38:10; I finished 396th out of 592, was 29th in my age division, and my pace was 12:14.
Finish line - I love the look on my face! (picture taken by Kelly's husband, Chuck)Right after I finished - no tears this time, just smiles.
Two sweaty bloggers - 5K finishers!We did it!!!

After we recovered a bit with some water, orange slices, bagels and such, we went back to the sidelines of the finish line so we could wait for the half marathoners to come in. The first guy was way ahead of the rest - he must have been flying the entire race! We cheered and clapped as everyone came in, but kept our eyes on the clock...Brad was running his first-ever half marathon, and his goal was to come in under two hours. Finally we saw him - and just in the nick of time as he finished in 1:58!!!

Run Brad, Run!
This is one happy finisher! (photo by Chuck)
Reagan, Linda, me, Brad and Betsy (another workout peep, although she did not get the memo about wearing our purple shirt, lol!)

Did I mention how much fun this was? Oh, I did? Well, it really was great! In fact, I noticed a few hours later that I had actually bruised my finger by clapping so much for all of the half marathoners! Good times, yo.
Come back tomorrow for a Blogger Run Day recap - by then hopefully I'll have updates of everyone who ran.