Wednesday, September 7, 2011

So, um, you still struggle??

This question has been weighing on my mind all day. Someone asked me the very same thing last night.
I just think...uh, yeah, food is good. I am a recovering food addict. I get tired. Tired of logging my food. I mean how many times can you write down your food? Tired of working out...the word "work" is in there for a reason. Tired of making healthy choices but then I remember.
I remember the girl who couldn't tie her own shoes. Couldn't walk a mile without wanting to die. The girl who hid oreos in the couch as a chubby little child. I have battles and demons and reasons and excuses but I shut that bitch up with a good work out.
I can't go back there. I am not that person anymore. I know that and I choose to make good choices but I still dream of and endless supply of M&M's and a cherry coke. My struggle is my own but it is the same for many many people out there. So I guess it's not really a struggle but I have to be in the present about my choices and actions. I choose to eat one serving and not the whole shabang :o) Shabang being a 5 lb cheesecake ;o)
Today I also went with my mother to buy a scale. She hasn't weighed herself in a long time and I have been pleading with her to get healthy. Just looking at the scales made my palms sweat. My scale and I have a nice understanding. We love each other. I do my part and it reports back kindly. I don't want to cheat on my scale.
Anyway she had been telling me what she weighs and I had been calling bullshit (tough love right?). Late tonight I got a phone call. She weighed about 40 lbs more than what she thought. How does that happen?? Easy. We eat. We make excuses. We buy bigger pants blaming the manufacturer for a funny "cut". We struggle. My hope is that she is ready to listen. Because if there is anything I have learned during this journey it is that we don't have to struggle alone.

Paying it forward..

As time has gone on I have picked up clients interested in losing weight and getting healthy. I never thought I would be the crazy woman preaching at people what not to put in their mouths and telling them to move their asses. I mean hell some days I have to yell at myself to move MY ass.
Speaking of my ass. I just purchased a wonderful pair of size 8 petite dress slacks. I love them. I think I secretly used to dream of them while I was inhaling cheeseburgers like I was Joey Chestnut  at an eating competition. Those dress slacks make me feel wonderful. That is the feeling I want to share with the people I am helping. The joy of meeting new goals. The strength and confidence to finish what they started. The ability to look back and laugh, cry and grimace at what they went through but to look forward with nothing but excitement .
I have set some lofty goals for next year. I may need my head examined. I have the constant need to set a goal, push to the goal and attain the goal.  So next year it will be an Iron Man 70.3. AND, I am going to race road bikes.
I have an adrenaline problem. I probably need a 12 step program to get over my need for speed on two wheels. Matter of fact I got the coolest compliment from a good friend and former pain in the ass running coach. He says " You ride like a guy" hahah. I love that. It is true. I am fearless, aggressive and fast. It is my strength.
We all have that strength. It may not be on 2 skinny wheels but we all have it somewhere. Running, yoga, cycling, swimming, boxing...there is something that will click. It will just feel good. It will make you feel good about your self and when we feel good we make better choices. Food choices and life choices. So I urge you to go out and find your physical activity that makes you feel good and then share it with a friend.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fickle Friends

I am not a very open person. It takes me a long time to open up. I am mouthy and have a hard exterior. This is only because once I consider you a friend you are a friend for life.
Few people know my whole story, few know where the hardness comes from. The ones that do know don't question it. They roll with the punches.
Recently I handed my heart to a group of people with great apprehension. I know better. People are fickle. They change their loyalties with the blink of a trend. As I expected the minute my life got hectic and I had to focus on me and my family they quickly disappeared. Fickle.
The experience only makes me mad at myself. Mad for trusting and opening up my heart. This anger has translated into some amazing work outs though. I have so much pent up frustration I just ignore the burn in my legs. I am in the best shape I have ever been in my life.
In the last month my family also lost someone very close. A man that I have know my whole life and that was my father's best friend. Red was his name. Uncle Red. I never new him by anything else. He is gone. He had been suffering from Parkinson's for a long time so his death was bitter sweet and hurt horribly. He was my dad's friend for life. Never Fickle.
I know this is a weight loss blog so maybe it will help to read how I use the pain to push myself. The time on the road is better than therapy for me. It is fuel for my fire. What fuels you?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bloggity Blog blog

I spend all these crazy hours every week riding, running and lifting. While I am doing so I always come up with these brilliant blog ideas. It never fails that by the time I pull in the driveway and hear my children bugging and whining that my mind goes blank.
I will just be honest and tell you where I am. I am fighting tooth and nail trying to get the scale to move 14 more pounds. And to be honest I was hoping this saggy fat filled kangaroo pouch would of diminished more but it hasn't. I am terrified of the surgery to remove it. Even more terrified of the 6-8 weeks of not being able to work out.
While training for the 25k I had to greatly increase my carbs and overall calorie intake. When I strapped on the feed bag I quickly had an amazing burst of energy but the scale stopped moving. About 2 weeks into eating like a pro wrestler and I got tired. I didn't want to run and the scale started to go up. Back to the books.
I quickly discovered that eating the extra carbs made me exhausted and gain weight. I kept reading how endurance athletes would store the carbs as fuel reserves for when the body needed them. I was storing all right but even running 30 miles a week I wasn't getting rid of them.
I dropped the carbs...stepped away from the bagels and oatmeal..and started to feel a million times better. This probably doesn't work for everyone. I am sure most people can't ride 20 miles on nothing more than and apple and hard boiled egg but that is when I feel the best. I don't know why and at this point I am not going to mess with it because the scale is moving again.
More importantly athletically I am a beast. I don't get cocky about much but I have been working my ass off on my bike. I can consistently hit 15 miles of hills at almost 20mph. No pack riding, just my husband and I. There is a spoof race here of 30 miles, a few good climbs and donut stops of 10 miles. I never thought I would say this but my goal is to place top 3 in my age group. I may even be going for the win unless some Pros show up. 
So there it is, nothing profound. Nothing overly funny.Just me. Still working on me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The wheels on my bike go round and round...

I hit my first 100 mile week for the year :o) Mostly cycling but some running. I have been having a foot issue so the running has been light. Since the foot pain is starting to fade I plan on ramping back up the running mileage soon. As much as I want to finish  full marathon I have decided on GR Half.

This choice was totally selfish. Long endurance runs don't help me lose weight or tone up. Mostly because you need to eat to run. I am surprised runners don't wear feed bags like race horses. I have never experienced such hunger. I would probably beat someone for a snickers after most 10 milers.
So since I am on a mission to not only hit my goal weight but to try to reduce body fat I am only willing to train for the half .The full will come in time. The jiggly bits need to go now.

I finally succumbed to the lure of a Jillian Michaels DVD. Yoga Meltdown since P90x yoga was starting to get old and Funky Buddha is an hour away. I did level 1 and it was ok. I am so used to Tony Horton that anything else just seems so easy. I broke a nice sweat and it was a good stretch. I still love her and am hoping level 2 is a little harder.

Besides the half marathon I am not making any plans or setting anything in stone. I am just enjoying the freedom of summer. I am even going to float down the river in a bathing suite a few times. Being comfortable in my own skin has definitely opened up  whole new world and I am loving every bit of it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Worst Diet Mantra EVER!

Thanks to Kate Moss we have been hearing it for years. To me it is like nails on a chalk board.

"Nothing tastes as good as thin feels"

Obviously she has never ate things such as a really good gelato, the first grilled sweet corn of the season ,baklava or a fresh tomato off the vine. I mean seriously.  Food tastes good.

I m not saying being thin doesn't feel good. Even with 15 more pounds to lose I am relatively a thin person now. Average. I have curves and muscles but I am not where I was and it feels great. The strength , energy, confidence and athleticism all feel amazing.

The thing is, when you have food issues, mantras like Ms. Moss’s ode to anorexic chain smokers do nothing but make us feel out of control, guilty and fatter than ever. The gorgeous supermodel is telling me I shouldn’t be enjoying this slice of cheesecake more than being a size six (or four, or two). WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?!?! Nothing – you enjoy food. How else do you think you ended up overweight, and Moss ended up an underweight poster child of the size zero revolution?

One of the biggest challenges — and breakthroughs — for me was to STOP FEELING GUILTY ABOUT EATING. Yes, I have will power to a certain extent, but the moments where it fails me doesn’t make me a failure. A certain self-awareness about eating is necessary – you can’t let yourself off the hook indulging all the time. But in the “everything in moderation” moments where you indulge and — God forbid! –  actually enjoy the taste of something MORE THAN YOU WANT TO BE THIN — if you guilt trip yourself? It becomes a negative-feedback loop of doom. Trying to police yourself on eating culminates in your eating more than you ever would if you had a healthier, less-guilty attitude towards food. It’s difficult to accept. It seems so wrong. Counter-intuitive. What do you mean, I shouldn’t feel guilty about eating ice cream? Ice cream is… bad.
Reprogram yourself. Eating ice cream is not bad. Eating a pint of ice cream in one sitting? Yeah, that’s probably bad (but even that you should be able to let go of, in time). But if you let go of the guilt of eating a normal serving, heck – maybe even TWO, of your favorite, super delicious “better than thin feels” ice cream and then actually eat that – normal serving size – on a regular basis, you may find your overwhelming, emotional need to devour an entire carton diminishes.

Then again, you also have to know yourself, and realize we don’t have an automatic reset button. You’re not going to go from being a Ben & Jerry’s pint-devouring monster to daintily eating four spoonfuls overnight. Sometimes you need to completely go cold turkey on a “red light” item/trigger food whilst you reprogram your guilt feelings away from the food. It works differently for everyone, but the fact remains: guilt over eating usually leads to MORE EATING.
Most importantly, once you admit to yourself that, dammit, some food IS worth it, it becomes easier to define how much food is NOT worth it. All food is not created equal, and the guilt complex that is foisted upon the unhappy fats for eating leads to this reverse landslide where you consume any and all food, desperately, because you’re bad anyway, so who cares what it tastes like? Though it may feel counter-intuitive, trust me on this: admit that you like eating some things more than the illustrious idea of being thin, deal with it, and then begin the long and arduous journey to dropping your food guilt. We may never approach food “normally,” but we sure as hell can approach it with less guilt.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Goal met, Goal reset. 15 pounds and a marathon

Sorry my blogs have been sparse I have been cheating on you with another blog but the affair is over. Last week I saw a number on the scale I never thought I would see. Three years ago a picked a number out of thin air and set it as my goal. My goal has changed many times over that time but Thursday morning I saw that number. Amazingly I didn't cry. Instead I went for a run :o)

The numbers don't mean much to me anymore. I am more concerned about how I feel about my body. The shape of my thigh, the curve of my bicep. The abdominal lines that peek out from my loose skin, the dip of my cleavage and strength in my body. I am more focused on the miles I log and living my life than the number on the scale but I still want that last 15.  That last 15 pounds is mine. I am not happy with being average. I want to be exceptional. That last 15 for me is about control and not the number on the scale. The rest of the jiggle to my wiggle now has an eviction notice.

That brings me to my next goal. Grand Rapids Marathon. 26.2 miles. Just thinking about crossing the finish line brings tears to my eyes. I want this as badly as I want that last 15 pounds. Probably more. So I will be here more. No more cheating with other blogs, I promise.

I can and I did...a 25k recap :o)

This is going to be long…you have been warned. You may want a snack.
I have said this before and I will say it again. I have learned  more about myself in the past 6 months than I have in my entire life. You would have to know me as well as the other Road Warriors do to know I am an “all or nothing” type of girl. I am like a very strong coffee, an acquired taste.
The seven days prior to race day were going well. My piriformis syndrome seemed to be under control and I rocked my last long run of 8 miles in 1hr 26 minutes. Wednesday, I ran my fastest mile ever on a dare from fellow warrior Amy P. I was ready to rock!!
Friday we all pranced in front of the spaghetti dinner in our Gazelle Sports outfits like true runway models. If you were there you know how completely professional we were. *wink *wink.  I was also on the front page of the Grand Rapids Press. The whole page was just me. I am still overwhelmed. I have lived this so to me it is not headline news. It is reality. Being fat is hard, losing weight is hard. You just have to choose your hard.
So I am sure you are all on the edge of your seats wondering how my race went. About 20 minutes before the start the nerves kicked in. I am surprised someone didn’t have to push me out of the hotel kicking and screaming. I was scared. It was humid and rainy. I was about to do something that most people can’t do.
I lined up with the 10:30 pacer and as the gun went off we were not moving. So many people, such excitement flowing all for a walking start. Finally we are running. I look down and I am running at about a 9:30. I knew I had to back off.
I shouldn’t of backed off. I couldn’t find my high gear again. I think it was out of fear of blowing myself up and not finishing. 2 miles in I see a familiar face. It was Rick (Team Maddy). He was moving. As he flew past me I screamed 2:15, go get it. A goal I knew he wanted.  2 miles later I saw him  on the side of the road helping Maddy get comfortable. I asked if she was ok and with a nod of his head he was off again.
I ran into people I have run with in the past 6 months. I always asked how they were doing. Everyone I chatted with seemed to be concerned with hydrating. I felt the same. Like I couldn’t get enough water.
8 miles in and I was still feeling good. If I could hold my pace I would be looking at 2 hrs 50 minutes for finish time. The rain and wind picked up. My shoes were soaked but I still managed to high five as many people as possible.
Mile 10 I started to break down. I was losing my pace and I was starving. If there would of been someone with lunch on the course I would of mugged them. I started to think of my friends. People that have supported me through all of this. The ones that think I am crazy but still cheer me on. The struggle of losing weight and how far I have come. My team. My coaches. My family. I knew my husband was done running already. I was pretty out of it for 2 miles. I had to do walk/run intervals and watched my goal time slowly slip away.
I came upon the zoo and was fixated on that sea monster thing. I had to laugh because I just wanted to jump in the pond and then it happened. Someone was smoking a cigar. It made me throw up. I wish I could tell you I puked on the road but it went back down as quickly as it came up.
At that point I just wanted to be done. I held my grandmothers pentathlon medal and I picked up the pace. I felt like I was moving in slow motion but I was moving forward at least. Turning on to Ottawa was like seeing the gates of heaven open up. I felt like I had just won the lotto. I don’t know where the energy came from but I saw my husband (1:47..sorry I have to brag) and my legs felt light again and then I saw Coach Mike. I called upon my inner Kenyan and sprinted across the finish with a huge smile on my face.
My time was 3:06. I would be lying if I told you I am happy with that. 2:45 was my goal but my bigger goal was to finish. I am setting my goal for next year right here and now. 2:30.  If you don’t think I can manage that then you obviously haven’t been reading for the past 6 months. I CAN and I WILL. So can you. Whatever it is you want, GO GET IT. Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
Just remember to Run Happy.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Changing the Latitude of my Attitude

Historically, I do not play well with others.  Really. I am not a morning person and I like to do things my own way. This attitude was not transferring well to my runs.  Something needed to change or I was going to break.
I decided to be proactive and change my outlook on running. Six months ago if you were to ask me why I was going to run the 25k my response would of been simple.
“To prove I can.”
That was the first problem. Who was I trying to prove it to? This mindset made running work. It made getting up at 6am for 7:30am runs seem like the stupidest idea ever. It made speed work even worse. I decided to change that. I NEEDED for this to be fun again. Small shifts made big changes. I am faster. I am smiling. I WANT to RUN. Most of all if you ask me now why I want to run 25k my answer is.
“Because I can.”
So what did I do? I just started to look at things from a new perspective. A few examples:
  • Eat to run, don’t run to eat. I was still living in weight loss nutrition mode, not long distance. When your body is starving, you hate the world.
  • Morning runs are better than a triple espresso to start your day.
  • When it gets tough, I smile. Why not? I am sure it could be worse.
  • I turned speedwork into a game. A little race against myself.
  • I was very very very picky about my new shoes and now I run pain free.
  • I respect the distance fully. I enjoy the rush of the start, the speed of the middle miles and the struggle for the finish. I can cover the distance so why not embrace the challenge.
  • I am no longer bummed that I am not as fast as other people. I have seen so much improvement in myself that every run is a learning experience now. I will get there and someday I may just pass them. I can dream right?
  • I take gummy bears on long runs along with my GU. The irony of someone who has lost almost 200 pounds running down the street eating gummy bears make me laugh. They are a funny little fuel .
  • I promised myself to run once a week without music. It has made me lighter on my feet and the rhythm of my breathing has evened out.
These are just a few things that have lightened the mental load of training for me and made running fun again.  I said when I started running that if it ever stopped being fun I was done. It just took a little time for me to realize it was up to ME to make it fun again. So I say find what makes it fun for you, smile and eat some gummy bears. We are almost there :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rambling, Resting and Rehydrating

81 days until my first 25k.
Sometimes I feel like it will be no problem, that my training will pay off and I will pace myself the 15.5 miles. Other days I am scared out of my mind. Sometimes I worry I won’t live up to the goals I have set for myself. The worry tell me that this means a lot to me.
During my weight loss journey I have pushed to do things beyond what I should. I did my first Triathlon with pneumonia. 800mg of ibuprofen, 2 halls cough drops, a GU and lots of water and I made it to the finish. Last summer I worked out  for 93 days straight.  I rode well over 1000 miles on my bike. My chiropractor didn’t understand how I could handle the pain.
Today though, I am tired. In the past 33 days I have had 2 rest days. That means on the other days I have either ran, hit the weights, worked with kettle-bells, cycled on the trainer or practiced yoga.
Yesterday, I crashed and I crashed hard. I was at 3.5 miles of a 7 mile run and that was it. I regret stopping for walk breaks during the last 3.5 because I think that made the run only that much harder. It gave my legs a chance to tighten and my mind a moment to realize how good stopping would feel. I came home and slept for 4.5 hours. I drank over 150 ounces of water.  I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get warm, I was just so tired. My answer was poor hydration and fatigue.
I know better. Our coaches, Mike and  Sheila, have trained us better.  Sometimes the day gets away and I am surviving on coffee instead of water. Sometimes time management isn’t my friend and I find myself finishing up loose ends at 2am and falling asleep at 4am only to be awake again at 7am.
This weekend wasn’t a total loss. It’s all about learning for me. I will learn to relax and rehydrate. Oh and I ran a PR at the Heart and Sole. It wasn’t the fastest I have ever ran 3.1 miles but it was the fastest “official” 5k by over 4 minutes.  My last 5k being Fifth Third Riverbank Run 2010. Most importantly it was 14 minutes faster than my very first 5k in October of 2009.
This Sunday’s scheduled long run will be the longest I have ever ran. 8 miles. I am going to treat my body right this week so I can come back here and blog about how exciting and gratifying it was to hit that new distance. To push on to new mileage. This week I will not stop because I have learned once my body is in motion, it needs to stay in motion.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

To inspire.

I am pretty straight forward. I am sure if you have read back to 2008 then you know that. I have left more than half of me on a gym floor or on the streets of Greenville. I have laid it all out there. The tears, the struggles, the loose skin. The weeks without the scale moving. All of it. You know me. I don't pull punches and I speak my mind.

Lately, I have found a quiet strength. I listen more than I ever have. I listen with my eyes and not just my ears. I am overly perceptive of the way people treat me.

Before people would treat me as if the fat was contagious. I don't recall in 10 years time anyone opening a door for me other than my grandfather or my husband. When you are heavy you tend to take extra care of your appearance. You never want people to think you are fat AND don't care about how you look. Because the makeup and expensive clothes will detract from the morbid obesity, right?

Now here is the problem. No matter how hard I smile at a larger person in the store or say hi they look at me oddly. Like I am no longer in the club. Being strangers, they don't know that I was however a member of the club. I often want to hug them and tell them it will be ok and then spend 6 weeks changing their life. Because trust me. No matter how happy they look. They aren't.

So now my goals are about more than finishing a 210 pound weight loss. I really have the desire to inspire everyone around me.  These people need a weight loss coach that has been there. They need someone that used to sit on their ass and eat loads of ice cream and smuggle cheeseburgers home from McDonald's. The struggle doesn't have to be a lonely one and I think I am finally in a place to share that.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Just an updated picture............

Friday, January 7, 2011

Still working, still alive.....

Just busy.

Running 20 mile weeks is hard on weight loss. The problem I have is that I am starving. Seriously, physically starving. Hangry is the word. So hungry I am actually angry.

On top of the 20 miles I run I try to hit my trainer for 10, lift weights 2 days and do a yoga and kettlebell workout in the middle of the week and pilates on Tuesday nights. I am a tired girl. The scale went up the first week of speed work but has since gone right back down. I have had to start depending on GU for long runs.

My running pace has drastically improved in the last year. I am still trying to consistently break a 10 minute mile. I know for a fact I will get there. My fastest mile to date is 9'30". My fastest half mile is 4'20". Some days I feel like a beast and other days I am just so tired. It is getting better as I get strong though.

I have a time goal for my 25k. As time goes on and runs get longer we shall see if I want to adjust my goals. 18 weeks from now I will run 15.5 miles. 126 days.