Wednesday, March 30, 2011

There is a reason for everything...

And these are my two most important ones!  On the days I don't want to get up at 5:30AM to workout, I imagine these faces.  On the day I don't want to watch my point intake, I imagine these faces.  On the days I just don't feel like running, I imagine these faces. 

There are so many reasons why this healthy lifestyle is worth it - but I honestly can't think of two that are more important than these (okay, husband is a VERY close third!)! 

Enjoy my girls and their smiling faces today - I KNOW I DO!!!

 

Monday, March 28, 2011

I think I can...

So, I completed my first running 5K a couple of weeks ago.  My next plan was to run a few more 5Ks throughout the summer and then possibly train for a 10K or 10 Miler toward the end of the year. 

Well, the gauntlet has been thrown down.  A good friend of mine at work heard me and Missy talking about signing up for the 5K at the Get in Gear event on April 30th.  He told us he would run with us if we did the 10K instead of the 5.  We both laughed at him and said maybe later this year we would do that with him.  And then we started talking about it.  He gave us his theory as to why he thinks we would totally be ready for a 10K in a month!  The funny part about the whole conversation - I started to believe him!!!!! 

Last night I got on the computer and started researching 10K training programs.  I have 5 weeks to complete what most of the sites recommended doing in 8 weeks.  I doctored up a calendar and modified one of the training programs to fit within my time frame.  The training calendar is now hanging up at work and at home. 

Tomorrow I am going to sign up for my first 10K race.  I am fairly certain I have completely lost my mind.  The best part is that I am excited about it.  I am ready for a new, exciting challenge.  It will be great to have something BIG to focus myself and set my sights on! 

Wish me luck friends - I am going to need it!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Yoga Meltdown

Hello world!  It has been a long week!  I had recovered by Monday night from the 5K I ran on Sunday and was able to get a workout in.  I decided that it was time for me to take the cellophane off of Jillian Michael's Yoga Meltdown.  I know a lot of people that swear by yoga but I have NEVER done it - I have never taken a class and I have never done it in the privacy of my own home - until now!  I was thinking that it would be nice to get a good stretching workout in since my legs were still a little tight from running.  I am not sure what I thought I was getting myself in to - but there was a whole lot of "other" movement along with the stretching I was looking for.  I love Jillian's workouts - I don't think that is much of a secret so regardless I knew I was going to get a good burn and feel great afterward.  I learned some new poses and finally learned the proper way to do some of the common ones I have heard before (downward dog, sun salutation, etc).  My favorite though - that was the warrior pose - it felt powerful!  If only I had been doing the move on the beach with some sunshine pouring down on me - that may have made it a little better!  I have decided that I am going to work this yoga DVD in at least once a week. 

I have gotten a few more good workouts in the rest of the week too.  I have moved up to Week 2 on the Ripped in 30 and I really like it.  There are some intense moves but I feel so accomplished each time I am able to do the "bad ass" version as opposed to the "beginner" version of a move.  And the feeling I get when the workout is over and I know I have my activity in for the day is hard to describe!  It's such a great start to the day - heart pumping, muscles aching and sweat dripping - does it get any better?!?! 

I also had my weekly weigh in at WW on Wednesday.  I was not anticipating much this week - after Sunday I was tired and HUNGRY all of the time - or at least it felt like I was!  Well,  I was delightfully surprised when I was told I had another great week by one of my favorite receptionist.  I looked at her, and said "really?" and she replied with "yes, another 2 pounds, your progress is nothing to sneeze at!".  I wanted to hug her but there were others around and I thought it might be weird!  It felt great to have a loss when I had honestly felt like I wouldn't have one.  So, with the two pounds lost this week, that brings me to a nice round number of 58 pounds total since Sept 23, 2010.  I have basically been at this for 6 months - I have lost count of the number of weeks - and there are days when I feel like I am brand new to this weight loss gig and there are days when I feel like this has been my life forever.  I am really hoping that the latter feeling becomes more regular as I continue on this path. 

I am now the smallest I have been in many, many years - I truly don't know if my husband has ever known me at this size.  I don't recall how "big" I was when we met almost 12 years ago - I should really dig up some of those old pictures and see if I can tell - my weight gain/loss shows up in my face so I am sure it will be pretty obvious! 

The best part is that I FEEL better than I have in many, many years.  I am starting to get my confidence back, my energy is back and my overall love of life is back.  It sounds so cheesy but it's so true - there were so many days when I was just tired and didn't want to get off the couch - even to play with my babies.  Now, being on the floor with them, throwing them on my legs and bouncing them all over the place and seeing the smiles on their faces, it's so awesome!  And I know my family and friends see it too - they are so great about telling me how good I look and how proud they are - it just makes me so appreciative when they take the time to say those things! 

We have a busy weekend planned - bridal shower for me, Firkin Fest for the hubby with friends, girls off to stay with Grandma S. and then I will meet up with Rob and friends later on for some grown up fun!  I am planning on getting a run in there somewhere too!  Have to make time for the other important stuff too! 

Have a great one friends - be well! 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Human Race Recap

My dear friend Melissa and I started a running clinic about 10 weeks ago and the goal race was the St Patrick's Day Human Race in St. Paul.  We survived our 10 weeks and I might be so bold as to say that we thrived in our 10 weeks.  For the last couple of weeks we were running about 34-35 minutes and hovering around the 3 mile mark.  We were ready for that first 5K!  Bear with me, this could get long! 

This morning was RACE DAY!  This race is a later start because they shut down Summit Ave so they wait for the local churches to let out so that traffic is not too heavily disrupted.  It was a well put together race, we were able to pick up our race packets on Saturday so we didn't have to worry about getting there real early to get our chip and bib.  So, Missy and I got to campus with about an hour to spare - we had wanted to make sure we had plenty of time since we didn't know what the parking situation would be - turns out it was pretty good!  We had some friends and family coming to cheer us on so we were able to meet up with them before the race start which was nice. 


Pre-race - do you like our knee highs with the shamrocks?

We also ran in to a friend from The Running Room so we made our way to the start line with her.  It's funny cause Missy and I have done a TON of 5K walks together but we have never been concerned about a start line, etc before so it was a new experience.  The race started and the crowds started moving - slowly, but they were moving.  We crossed the start line and we were off!  Our plan was to stay together and run our program just like we had been doing. 

Less than half way through a couple of men started coming back in the other direction - those guys averaged about 5:30 minute miles and finished in under 17 minutes!  That is amazing - I don't aspire to be that fast but I can appreciate the endurance and strength that requires and think it is pretty darn cool! 

We stayed loose and enjoyed the run despite the rain that had fallen earlier, it was a little bit chilly but nothing that about 10 minutes of running couldn't cure!  When we hit the half way mark we were both very excited and felt great!  We had a great pace going and gave each other a high five and kept trucking! 

About the 2.5 mile mark my legs were tired and I was feeling it.  I may have decided to jump to Week 2 of Ripped in 30 on Saturday and at that moment in the race was really regretting it!  All of a sudden we could see the 3 mile marker sign and we looked at each other and knew it was time to kick it up a notch.  We had a great time going and we wanted to smash it!  Our friends and family were there at the 3 mile mark and the minute I saw my husband and kids I just got a chill from the top of my head to my toes.  Even as I type this I can feel it all over again - it was so exciting and emotional! 


Almost there!!!!
We got to the intersection and the finish was about 100 or so yards away and we started sprinting.  We crossed the finish together just like we had planned and it felt so wonderful!  We had a great hug and then it was time to walk it off a little bit!  We met up with our supporters and just enjoyed the moment.  I have played competitive team sports most of my life and have honestly never felt as accomplished as I did today. 

The thing about this race is that it really wasn't even about the race.  At the end of this race whether it had taken me 30 minutes or 40 minutes was not important - it was about finishing.  It is about this journey that I am on - living a healthy and active lifestyle.  It's about finishing what you have started and being proud and happy about the effort that you put in.  It's about remembering that life is short and you need to live it to its fullest every day because we just don't know what's next. 

I can't thank Missy enough for being my partner in crime for this running journey - and believe me when I tell you that it's not over, we have only just begun!  Today was the first of many "races" and I look forward to all of them!  To my family and friends that came out to the race today - THANK YOU!  It was not a beautiful, sunny day but you came anyway - you knew how important today was to me and you stood around in the wet and cold to support me.  Each and everyone of you that was there today has played a part in this journey I am on and I am so lucky to have all of you in my life!


Tammy (RR friend), Missy, me and Betty (running instructor)
  

Friday, March 18, 2011

Do I hafta?

The other day I was thinking about how I am not always perfectly honest about this journey.  I realized I haven't really had many posts that talk about how hard this journey is and how some days (sometimes several in a row) I have ZERO desire to workout!  It's true - you heard it here - I am human and some days I just don't want to do it.  Fortunately, there are more days when I do - even if I don't want to, but the reality is that there are tough days. 

I have not had what I would consider a major fall down on the eating side of it - if I eat something that is not "healthy", I write it down and move on.  I try not to beat myself up over it - life happens and you have to figure out how to move past it.  There was a time in my life when I would eat something - say, a burger and french fries from McDonald's, and feel guilty about it for days.  But, the way I would handle that guilt was not the best - I would use it as an excuse to continue to make bad choices - and for sure there was no exercising involved to burn off those extra calories either! 

I feel good mentally most days about the food choices I make but the part where I still really struggle is with the exercise.  I know that I need to do it, in fact there are even days when I MAKE myself do it.  I just wish I was already to the point where I just can't get through my day without it!  I am just not there yet.  I know people who are so I know it is possible. 

The funny part about the whole thing is that I know how much I love the feeling I have after my workouts but I can still make almost every excuse known to man to avoid starting the workout.  My time frame for being able to work out most days is in the early morning before work.  So, as you can imagine, there are many mornings when I am just plain old tired and don't feel like it.  About two weeks ago I let myself "sleep in" on way more days than I am willing to actually admit.  As a result I saw a slight dip in my ability to lose weight that week.  The following week I attempted to redeem myself - got my workouts in and saw 3 pounds come off.  Reason would say - workout, you lose weight, don't work out - you won't lose weight. 

It's amazing that even with that simple logic there are days when I just don't want to do it.  My goal for the next few weeks is to just do it - when I am tired, when I am busy, when I would rather do something else - I am just going to do it.  I need to do it, my kids and my husband need me to do it, my family and friends need me to do it.  And maybe, just maybe there will be a day when my mind goes from "needing" to do it to WANTING to do it. 

One thing I do want to do - finish my first 5K run on Sunday.  I am prepared, I have trained and I have by far THE BEST support system to cheer me on as I do it.  I am fortunate to have all of you in my life and I can't wait to update all of you on how well it goes!

Be healthy friends! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

25% and counting

This is going to be a quick one today.  I have a couple of ideas rolling around in my head for some other posts but want to give them spotlight attention!  So, today I will update you on my weekly weigh in. 

I lost 2 pounds this week!  Putting me at a total of 56 pounds lost.  I still haven't set my goal weight at WW - and I know I should soon because in my head I am about 8-10 pounds away.  It's funny as I get closer each week I ask myself - well, maybe I would rather be at such and such weight instead of stopping at such and such weight!  It's a tough decision but one I am in complete control of so I feel good about that. 

What I really wanted to tell you about though, what I am most proud of and excited about is this: since Sept 23, 2010 I have lost 25% of my body weight!  What?  That is the craziest thing and I can barely comprehend it to tell you the truth.  Today at my meeting we talked about all of the good changes that happen when you shed 10% so I can just imagine the improvements I have made shedding almost three times that much! 

I am gearing up to run my first 5K on Sunday with my best friend - we have gone through this weight loss journey together, joined the Running Room run clinic together and look forward to so many more years of healthy living with our kids!  If you are going through this journey and you are not sure you can do it on your own - call a friend, a brother, a sister in law, a parent - and do it together!  I swear it makes such a difference.  And if you are not comfortable asking someone that is currently in your daily life - get online, find a weight loss blogger that inspires you and has similar goals - you will make online friends and the support they provide is amazing as well.  I am so fortunate to have both support systems in place and I know that it has been key to my success thus far. 

With that my friends, go forth and be healthy!  And think of me this evening as I go splashing through my neighborhood running - like the wind!  Haha - okay, maybe not like the wind - but you get the idea!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Night Musings

It's Friday night, the girls are asleep and I really should go to sleep.  But here I am, jotting down a couple of things I accomplished today (thank you for the inspiration Ann). 

Normally I work from home on Fridays but today I had an important meeting that I wanted to be physically present for so I went in to the office.  My new boss invited me to lunch and we went to Umbria (pizza buffet - yikes!) to eat.  So, my win at lunch was that I had ONE piece of pizza and a mixed greens salad with a little bit of Italian dressing.  It felt good to go to a place I haven't been in months and be in control and feel good about the choices I made while I was there! 

This afternoon I got out for a quick run - only had about 20-25 minutes to get it done before the man left for work.  I headed out on my normal route from the house, I had intended to follow my running program today and do two sets of 10 min run and 1 min walk.  At about the 8 minute point I decided to just keep going until I felt like I HAD to stop.  All of a sudden I was 15 minutes in and I was feeling pretty good.  At this point in my training I haven't done any runs over 34 minutes (roughly 2.8 miles) and I have been pretty diligent about following the 10 and 1 training program.  It has seemed to really work for me, I have been injury free and have built up some endurance - slowly, but its definitely increasing.  Back to today's run, I ended up doing a 1.8 mile loop back to the house in 20 minutes and I ran the entire thing - NO one minute walk break for me today.  I felt really invigorated after my run and more confident than ever that I will be just fine next weekend during my first 5K race.  I know a lot of people can run for 20 minutes straight with their eyes closed, but this was a pretty big deal for me today.  For the last 10 weeks I have really concentrated on following this running program and I am glad I did.  If I am not careful I just may be able to call myself a runner pretty soon!  

During this healthiness journey I have really tried to break out of my old standbys in the nutrition category.  At the beginning I was eating a lot of the same things because I knew the nutrition value and it was easy - I didn't have to stress about what I was going to cook all of the time.  The last couple of months I have gotten a little braver and have started trying some new things.  For me the biggest change I have made is introducing shrimp in to my routine.  I have never really been a seafood person - I like tilapia and salmon - that was about as seafoody as I got!  Even as a teenager on a trip to Maine with my family I had the opportunity to eat lobster so fresh I swear they had just pulled them out of the water and I couldn't do it.  First of all, it was way too much work and it grossed me out and I have not tried it again since.  Lately I have started cooking shrimp at least once a week and when I am eating out I tend to select dishes with grilled shrimp in them!  The nutrition benefits of shrimp are even better than I had thought - they are a great source of several vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids and some good cholesterol.  Who knew?  I am going to try and keep introducing new foods to my diet - so far its been pretty fun experimenting with new food and recipes.

These are a few of my accomplishments today (this week).  Nothing mind blowing but just a few more things to remind me of where I started and how far I have come.  And for me that is what it is all about!

Have a great weekend friends - be well and healthy! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day off and a weigh in...

No work for me today, my in laws are on vacation and they normally take the girls on Wednesday so I opted to take the day off and hang with my girls.  Truth be told I was a little anxious about it because Wed is my weigh in day I normally do that at the WW by my office.  So, plan B it was!  We went to lunch with my mom and sister-in-law in Burnsville so I was able to swing by the WW center that my mom goes to and weigh in there. 

Good news folks - I lost 3 pounds this week!  This loss brings my total to 54 pounds.  According to my calculations that leaves me with about 10 pounds to go to hit my goal weight!  It is very surreal to be so close to the "end" because I know in my head it's not really the end.  I know that my journey of maintaining a healthy weight will always be front and center for me, it has to be.  I will always read nutrition labels, be aware of fat, carbs, fiber and protein and take care with everything I put in my body - or at least I will be trying to do that.  While I have been in losing weight mode I am hyper aware of all of those things right now and my plan is to be just as aware once I am maintaining.  But, just like right now, life happens and I will make choices that work for me in the moment. 

I have seen some varying opinions lately about Weight Watchers on some of the blogs I read.  I think it's great, I think the more people discuss a topic the more we learn from each other.  Not everyone believes in WW the way I do and that is okay.  If there is one thing I have learned through this process, it is that, not all programs work for everybody - we are all so different and require different paths.  I found myself really troubled with some of the thoughts people had about WW and I couldn't figure out why - it doesn't matter what other people think about it - it works for me so get over it.  And that's when it clicked - IT WORKS FOR ME.  I am quick to defend WW because it is working for me, I have changed my eating habits, I have changed my activity level and it all started on Sept 23, 2010 when I joined WW.  So, even though I was perfectly rational and understood that some don't think as highly of the program as I do, because we all have to find what works for us, I still felt the need to defend a little bit because I am so happy and proud that it has worked for me.  Ironically, one of the bloggers that had a different opinion to mine is someone I had not read before - but because of one post I have found a new blog to read and she is a runner and I can't wait to read more from her and learn from her. 

We are getting very close to running the first 5K of the season - Human Race in St Paul on March 20th.  I am actually very excited - RIGHT NOW - I am sure as I get closer the nerves will creep up.  I have my last "learn to run" running clinic this Saturday at the Running Room.  I am already all set to sign up for the next class.  Some may wonder why I would need to continue taking the class but for me it's all about accountability - I like knowing that at least once a week I will have a fellow group of runners to meet up with.  That is worth the registration fee in my book! 

I feel really great about this week - my food and activity were on point.  I am really looking forward to taking this momentum in to the next few weeks and seeing how quickly I can get to the maintenance status at WW.  I do know that these last 10 pounds are going to be tough - but I am ready for the challenge. 

I mentioned starting the new Jillian Michaels DVD "Ripped in 30" on my last post.  It's intense!  I was so sore after the first workout it was crazy - my triceps and hamstrings hurt so bad! I have done it a few more times and feel better now.  According to her recommendation I should be starting week two of the program on Friday - color me nervous! 

That's all I have for today friends!  Be happy and healthy!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wow - where did that week go?

Hello everyone - I have been SO busy with work, kids, working out, etc I have been absent around these parts.  I did a bunch of catching up on my beloved blogs today and thought I better take the time to update my own while I was at it! 

I had a loss this week (3/2/11) but not a huge one - 0.6 pounds.  It brings my total weight loss to a nice round 51 pounds.  I had a couple of rough food days  - gave in to a couple of my chocolate cravings.  I am human.  That is the best part of this journey - you give in, make a mistake and MOVE ON!  Before losing this weight if I had a bad day or made a bad choice I would let that turn in to a reason to just keep making bad choices.  Now, I am so aware and know that if I slip up, it's okay, I need to fix it with the very next choice.  For me, that has been a huge hurdle to jump over and I really feel good about my progress. 

My running is going really well.  I have had a hard time getting in my runs during the week but despite that I have done well on my Saturday runs with my running group.  Today, 6 of us ladies ran together and we went out for a 34 minute run.  I haven't mapped it yet but it had to be about 2.5-2.8 miles.  Being able to complete these runs is really making me feel better about the 5K we are running on 3/20/11.  We are going to participate in the Human Race in St. Paul.  My goal for the next two weeks is to get my mid-week runs in NO MATTER WHAT.  Last week I let my work schedule and several other things dictate whether or not I could run, and of course the NOT managed to win. 

I had pre-ordered a copy of Jillian Michael's new DVD - Ripped in 30 a few weeks ago.  It came out this Tuesday and arrived in my mailbox that very day (thank you Amazon) when I got home from work.  I was so excited to throw it in and try it but didn't manage to get around to it until last night.  Yes, on Friday night at 9pm I did a new workout DVD.  It's a very exciting life I lead!!!  I have to tell you - I was expecting just a jazzed up version of 30 Day Shred but instead I got a totally new, fresh, intense workout.  The concept is still the same - 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, 1 minute of abs and 3 circuits in a workout.  The difference is it is split in to FOUR different workouts, to be done for one week each.  The Week One workout had a couple of familiar moves from 30 Day Shred but mixed in with some new stuff.  It was really good and I look forward to having a new weapon in my arsenal.  Now that I have about 10-12 pounds left to lose I suspect they are going to be the hardest 10-12 pounds I have had to shed so switching things up a bit may be just what I need.  I will try and keep you posted as to how this one goes - when I actually decide to go to the next level and how hard that next level is when I get there! 

My clothes are starting to get too big again.  My options for tops is very limited and my pants are starting to loosen up on me too.  May need to make a visit to the outlet mall or consignment shop to get some items that fit me correctly until I am in my "forever" sizes!  I got a new running jacket last weekend at REI and I wore it running today for the first time - it was so comfortable to run in and really made feel like a real runner! 

That about sums things up for me this last week or so. I am feeling good about the last few days, I have gotten some good workouts in, my run this morning felt really good and my eating has been on track since Wednesday.


One last note before I go.  I attended a funeral on Friday (3/4/11) for a wonderful, amazing, strong and beautiful woman.  She was a good friend to me in college, we hadn't seen each other in quite some time but kept in touch through some mutual friends and Facebook.  She had been battling cancer since 2005 and the cancer finally took over and we all lost our dear friend last week.  She taught me so many things back in our college days - she was a couple of years older than me and she was smart so I listened to her when she had advice to give or thoughts on a subject.  She was a good friend to so many and there were many broken hearts at the service yesterday - but we all have so many memories, the smile on her face, the sound of her laugh and the face of her adorable son to hold on to.  I strongly dislike cancer and its hard to understand why something like this could happen to a person with so much to give, so much left to be done and so much love in her heart.  I won't waste time trying to figure it out, what I will do instead is try to live my life the way she did - loving my family and friends, not taking any moments for granted and treating others the way you want to be treated.  When the day comes and I am no longer here on this Earth I truly hope that people will be able to say about me, at least HALF of the things that they were able to say about Angie yesterday.  Even though she was not a daily fixture in my life anymore - I will truly miss her.  But, I am comforted knowing she is no longer in pain and that she is in a better place, alongside her mother and they both will be watching over her little boy. 

Be well friends!