Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Our Sweet Baby Turns Two!

I have not posted a ton about my kids since I started focusing the blog more on my weight loss journey - but today it is imperative I share with you - a little girl who turns TWO!!!!


Ava,

When you arrived in a flurry on that hot Monday afternoon I knew my life would never be the same. I now was the mom to TWO beautiful little girls (18.5 months apart). You were a great baby, so calm and chill. You liked to sleep as long as it wasn't too far away from me, in those early days. We bonded over midnight, 2AM, and 5AM feedings and I couldn't have asked for anything better. You are my sweet girl and I only hope you keep that spirit in you forever. We can already see your sassy side coming through - but if my big sister was Zoe I would have to be pretty sassy too! You hold your own and get what you need. I look forward to watching you grow up and seeing the bond that you and your sister have keep growing. But, if you could do your momma a huge favor - stop growing up so fast!!!!




Happy 2nd Birthday Ava! We love you so very much!



1st Bday Cupcake with Zoe





Big Sister Kisses!

Ava and Mommy!







Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lifetime Member!

It feels like every time I go to write a post I am apologizing for being away for so long!  I really want to start posting a couple of times a week - you wouldn't think it was this hard, but geesh it really is! 

A little update on me - last Wednesday I earned  my Lifetime Member award at Weight Watchers.  My mom came and crashed our meeting because she was so excited for me!  So, there I was with Melissa on one side and my mom on the other.  My meeting leader Jaime is awesome - she was so happy for me!  I told the people at the meeting a little about my journey and what got me to Lifetime status.  I really felt proud in that moment - everyone was looking at me, just like I used to look at Lifetime members, and looking forward to the day that they get to stand up in front of the room and tell everyone how much they have lost and how they did it.  I still have about 5-6 pounds that I would like to lose (still well within my healthy weight range) and then at that point I think I would be content with what the scale says and the tag on the inside of my shirts and pants!  Hopefully that doesn't sound too vain - but it's honest! 

Sept 11, 2010

June 4, 2011


LEFT: BEFORE

RIGHT: AFTER

Total Weight Lost:
     69 pounds (so far)












I have been running a few times a week and I recently started throwing in the Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 DVD.  I had neglected the DVD/strength training portion of my workouts for quite some time while I was concentrating solely on running.  My friend Alexa posed a challenge on Twitter one night to do The Shred for 30 days (at least three times a week).  I gladly accepted as I need the motivation and accountability!  So far so good! 

I am also playing around with changing the name of my blog and my twitter handle in the very near future.  I am wanting to make the name of my blog more healthy lifestyle focused as that is what I would like to write about the most from here on out.  And once that name change is done I am also toying with moving this little blog of mine on to Wordpress and buying myself a domain!  I am getting all grown up over here! 

With the holiday weekend quickly approaching I am working on staying mindful when it comes to eating and working out.  I have had a few instances lately when I have eaten things that just haven't been on my radar as of late and I feel really gross afterwards.  I need to keep that feeling in the forefront of my mind as I continue to navigate this healthy lifestyle.  I am all for the occasional treat, but I also think a mindful treat is the best one!  One that I have planned for, not one that could potentially derail an entire day of goodness! 

Be happy and healthy friends!

Come back tomorrow - it's a very important day in our household and there are going to be a TON of CUTE PICTURES to enjoy! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New Direction...

I have always considered myself to be of a charitable nature.  I don't have a ton of money, we don't have a money tree in the backyard but when a cause speaks to me, I like to answer if I can and with what I can.  Over the last several years we have done walks for Susan G Komen, American Heart Association, the Lung Association and the Humane Society.  They all are very important associations and contribute to great causes but I have never felt drawn to do more than pay the registration fee, maybe raise some funds to donate as well and then attend on the event day and show support.  Up until recently I have felt that was "enough" and to be honest it may have been. 

Ever since I did the 5K with the #PriorFatPack on Memorial Day I have felt this pull in my heart and I just don't think I can ignore it.  Gary Westlund is the man behind Charities Challenge and I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Memorial Day race.  He has such an enormous heart and a love for health and fitness.  He's really an amazing man.  I couldn't help but think that he was such a great example of the kind of person that I have always wanted to be.  He is a fitness professional and his joy in life is watching people stay active and learning to be active all in the name of health.  He's my version of a superhero!

This weekend I ran my second 10K at Lake Calhoun (race recap on that this week) in support of the Kids Against Hunger organization.  Originally I picked this race because I needed an event to train for this summer and it landed on a free weekend.  As I did more research online I found that this org is doing amazing things to feed the starving population around this world.  Here are some facts taken from their webpage: "One billion people around the world live in chronic poverty and hunger.  40,000 children die EACH DAY from starvation and illnesses related to malnutrition.  And yet, the world produces enough food to feed every man, woman and child a healthy diet every day." Those statistics are unreal and unimaginable.  The proceeds from the race yesterday will be used to purchase the supplies for the Meal Packathon this coming Saturday.  The meals packed this coming weekend will be going to the people in Haiti.  Last year this event made it possible to pack 150,000 meals and they are hoping that this year will be even bigger.  I have already signed up to help pack those meals next weekend at their New Hope location, Melissa will be joining me as well.  And I am seriously thinking about bringing my daughter Zoe with me as well.  I talked to one of the organizers at the booth yesterday and they said kids are more than welcome and if they get bored packing than they let them color on the boxes and write messages to the kids that will be getting these meals.  I think it is imperative as a parent to make sure that my children know how fortunate they are and how different we live than in other places around the world.  I know that Zoe may be a little young to fully grasp that the kids we are sending food to don't get to go to Subway for lunch/dinner when they want to - but I also believe that is never too soon to start teaching her to give to others in any way she can. 

So, after saying all of this - I am sure you may be wondering what it all means.  It means I feel like I could be doing more.  It means I feel like I have not yet tapped my potential to make changes.  When I told my husband the other day that I just don't feel like what I do (as in my job) changes anything and it doesn't really "matter", he answered "we can't all save the world".  I disagree, I think we can save the world - maybe not tomorrow and maybe not even in my lifetime.  But, I feel like I have the ability and the knowledge to do something that really makes an impact.  I don't think I am capable of saving the world, however, I feel like the things I do or don't do now can change how my daughters feel on the subject.  I don't ever want them to think that something is so hopeless they would never move to try to change or fix it.  I don't want them to think that children starving in other countries doesn't affect them, because it does and it should.  My girls have such big caring hearts and I don't want that to ever change, in fact I would be so happy and proud to know that their hearts just got bigger and more caring as they get older and if I can be any part of that I have done my job.  Now, don't get me wrong, my husband is an incredible man, but he is a realist and somewhat practical - and I love that about him!  I am not saying I am going to get on an airplane and go to Haiti and attempt to save the world.  What I am saying is that I have a strong desire to do more and by golly I am going to get out there and do it. 

Side bar: don't worry parents - I am not going to quit my job, start a non-profit organization and stop paying my mortgage!  I am going to indeed find something to do in my "free time" that makes a difference though - you can count on that! 

In the meantime, I am going to keep my heart open and figure out what all of this means.  And I will keep giving to causes that mean something to me and make the difference I am capable of, for now.  With hopes that I can do more, much more in the near future. 

Be happy and healthy my friends!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Weight loss update

Hello all!
Not sure if you have noticed but I haven't talked a ton about my weight loss since I reached my WW goal a few weeks ago.  I had a week where I gained a little bit and I have had some weeks that I have lost a little.  I am now as of yesterday 5 pounds under my WW goal and would like to lose about 5 more pounds to get to MY goal!  Yesterday was the first day of my LAST WEEK of maintenance for WW.  Next Wednesday I will be awarded my Lifetime status at Weight Watchers.  I honestly did not think I would ever get to this point in my journey, let alone 9 months in to it.  My current total weight loss is 69.8 pounds.  I am really hoping for that .2, maybe more to be gone by next week so I can hit the 70 pound and Lifetime milestones in the same week.  This whole experience has been kind of surreal for me.  I still look at pictures of myself before and can't believe I allowed myself to get that big and unhealthy.  It's amazing how much you can fool yourself in to thinking it's not that bad.  Even some of my family members have commented that they really didn't consider me to be "fat" back then but seeing me now it's obvious that there is a huge difference.  Fortunately for me the huge differences are not just the number on the scale.  I have more energy and more determination than I have had in a VERY long time. 
When I look in the mirror now I see the woman that I always knew was inside of me, I have finally set her free and she is loving every minute of it! 
Melissa and I are running our second 10K this weekend at the Fill Their Plate (Kids Against Hunger) event at Lake Calhoun tomorrow morning.  If you are bored at 8AM tomorrow come by and cheer all of the runners on! 
Have a great and healthy weekend friends!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shopping...a whole new world

When you start losing weight you get to the point when your clothes start to get loose and its such a wonderful feeling.  The day you put your pants on and you have to pull your belt a little tighter - nothing better!  Or is there something better?  Here is what I have found is better than having to tighten your belt: going shopping and buying clothes in a smaller size than you have worn since probably high school. 

I don't write this to toot my own horn, I write this to remind my friends/family/strangers (myself) that there is more to this journey than worrying about the number on the scale all of the time.  There comes a time when the pounds don't come off like you may want them to so we have to find the other things that keep us motivated so that we don't lose focus.  For me, one of the things that has been my source of continued motivation is seeing how my clothes fit and how new, smaller clothes fit better.  At first I was reluctant to try on smaller sizes because I have been big for so long and grabbing an XL or 2X was just second nature.  Fortunately I have pushy friends and a mom that were there to tell me when something was too big and grabbed me a smaller size. 

I enjoy shopping now.  I enjoy trying clothes on.  I enjoy grabbing sizes that I have literally not worn in probably 15-20 years.  I don't always enjoy the hit it takes to my bank account but at least I know I will be able to look as good on the outside as I feel on the inside!

If you know me in real life I have not been a person that was overly wrapped up in my outer performance.  Maybe it was because I didn't feel like I had much of a canvas to work with so I didn't put the time or energy in to it - who knows.  I am still not that interested in being a girl that takes two hours to get ready in the morning but I will settle for being a girl who cares what she looks like and dresses appropriately! And for being a girl who feels good about who she has become, the spirit that I have found and the new zest for life that I have!

So, if you see me at the mall - know that I am having a great time and loving the new freedom that I have and that my wallet is probably being emptied!

Be healthy and happy my friends! 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Personal records..friend or foe?

Side note: I have been trying to write this post for weeks!  I am so behind on the blog it's ridiculous!  This is my take on the importance of personal records.  I hope you enjoy it!


Personal records.  Up until recently I hadn't put a lot of stock in such a thing.  When I started running I did not envision personal records being important to me.  I just wanted to stay alive!  About a month ago I ran my first 5K "alone".  Up until this race I had done all of the other ones with my bestie Melissa.  She was unavailable for this one but my aunt was running it so I thought I would be okay.  My aunt has been running for a lot longer than I have so I was not going to actually run side by side with her but it was fun to hang out before the run.  My uncle was there too - he's a great supporter of my aunt (and me)! 

My aunt and I ran the Lucky 13 5K in Mendota Heights.  When I woke up the morning of the race, it was raining - shocking!  It had rained or was cold for every other race I had done - so it was no big surprise.  We hung out in the pub until the start - it was nice to stay dry before the race started.  The race was in support of breast cancer and all the money went to the Susan G Komen - one of my many favorite charities. 

The race was not a huge one - but enough people to have some "fast" runners and some walk/run folks as well.  It was a good mix.  My aunt and I lined up about half way back from the start line.  This was not a chip timed race so I made sure to start my Polar when I crossed the official start so I would know my exact time at the finish line.  There was a light drizzle and it was cool but I knew by the one mile mark it would be just fine.  The race was an out and back on the trail overlooking the river so it was a nice scenic run if nothing else. 
My aunt started out faster than me which I fully expected and made sure she knew that I expected it.  I didn't want her thinking she had to slow herself down to hang with me!  We got about half mile in to the race and I could still see my aunt up ahead of me.  At that point I decided that if I was able to keep her within my eyesight and about that same distance from me I would probably make pretty good time.  I could feel that my pace was a little quick but it felt okay so I kept with it.  I recall getting to a point where I could see the turn around (there was a water stop there) and I could see my aunt turn the corner and come running back toward me.  It was so great, I knew that I was making good time when I looked down at my Polar after I made the turn (no water for me during a 5K). 
I think it was about the 2.5 mile mark that an older gentleman came up from behind me and used me as his new pacer!  He started running right next to me and he sounded like he was hurting.  He was breathing real deep and seemed like he was as ready as I was for the race to be over!  We got to the road to cross where the cops were and I could hear and slightly see the finish line so I knew it was time to turn it up a notch.  I had lost sight of my aunt as she went over the hill but I knew I was still in good shape.  As I got closer to the finish line I started to be able to make out the finish clock.  Did that say 26 minutes?  I could not believe my eyes so I glanced down at my watch and sure enough the time was right.  As I got closer and could hear everyone cheering I turned on the jets and made my close to the finish line.  As I crossed the finish I looked over at the clock and it read 27:11!!!!  Again, looked at my watch and confirmed that their clock was not malfunctioning!  My aunt and uncle were there at the finish cheering me on! 
Previously I had not done a 5K in less than 30 minutes.  So, I basically shaved 2.5 minutes off my previous best time.  And that my friends is a 9 minute mile!  What the heck!  I think I was possessed or something during this run because I could not believe that I had just run a sub 30 minute 5K race.  My aunt also broke her previous best time that morning as well. 
Before I ran this race with my aunt I had never focused on finding my pace with another runner.  In every other race I had just focused on finishing - ALIVE!  It felt really good knowing I had a little bit extra in me.  I never realized that I was holding back or not pushing myself hard enough until that day. 


My aunt Jeanne and I after the race


Jeanne and I after the race!
So, now I am a big fan of personal records.  Beating a personal record is another way to show yourself that you are putting in the work and the work is paying off.  I know that I will not always be able to run a 9 minute mile, but I know that I can and for me that is enough to keep me motivated and ready to push myself.  Bring on the next race!  (I have done another 5K since this race happened and finished at 28:38 - another sub 30!)