Monday, January 31, 2011

Of Note: Nike+

I've always used the Nike+ iPod system for keeping track of my runs.  I think the Nike+ iPod system (uses a sensor in your shoe) works fabulous.  I have used another GPS app for tracking runs outside while also using the Nike+ just to make sure it's accurate.  It always has been within .08 of a mile.  So I'm happy with it and I keep using it.

When I love it most is on the treadmill.  I think it accurately measures my stride on the treadmill and keeps me on track.  This is important because no matter what speed I set the treadmill, I make sure my pace is calculated at around 11 min/mile by Nike+.  My "easy" pace outside is currently just over 11:00 min/mile so I want keep this pace on the treadmill.  Sometimes my pace per Nike+ is faster than the treadmill setting would indicate, so I'm glad I have my gadget to fall back on.
As I said, I'm Type A, love numbers and have a passion for gadgets.  All this adds up to a positive relationship with Nike+ iPod, and I highly recommend it for a simple mileage/pace tracking system.

*These opinions are my own and Nike did not pay me anything.


No, I've not gone crazy, I know what day it is.  What I'm saying is

Thank Goodness it's Free!!

Fruit, that is.  On the new Weight Watchers PointsPlus plan, fresh fruit is zero points, that is free!  I love this change so much.  I eat way more fruit now, especially bananas.  Bananas used to be 2 points which was not a great value to me.  I preferred to spend my points on protein or fiber rich foods.  I did eat plenty of fruit on the old plan, but not as much as I do now.  My snacks or fruit more often now and sometimes I even end the day with leftover points because of it.  This is an awesome change.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Great Debt Reduction

My husband has been out of work for sixteen and half months.  What a great eye opening experience this has been.  What we've learned:

1. We're stronger than we thought.
2. We can live on way less than we thought.
3. We have a problem with credit card usage.
4. We need to be smarter about budgeting.
5. We need to plan better for our future and possible financial catastrophes.

I'm not ready to disclose the amount of debt we're talking about, but suffice it to say it is A LOT.  A LOT.  The sad thing is we have consolidated our debt twice before and never manage to stick to the plan and pay it off; well we've paid off the debit consolidation loan, but we accrued other debt at the same time.  We always manage to keep racking up the debt.

We have lived with a lot less during these past sixteen and a half months, but unfortunately we have used the credit cards too, especially at Christmas.  I've justified some of the expenses as necessary, like new clothes because none of mine fit, or new running shoes because of my knee pain.  But we are faced with some huge problems if we don't make some changes.  We need to get things under control.

I have been working on our budget.  I love numbers and budgeting and accounting and I've always handled the finances in our family.  I'm really good at making a budget, but as a couple we are really bad at sticking to it.  But I get excited about the prospect of being debt free and last weekend I went to a women's retreat at our church and I feel like there was a reason God led me there.  I wasn't planning to go, but then I decided to attend and I'm so thankful I did.  One of the speakers has a family of 7 and lot of debt (hers seems more justifiable because some of it is medical bills and student loans, plus she's a stay at home mom with 5 kids and her husband is a teacher.)  Anyway, I really gained a lot of insight from this woman and I'm excited to kick the debt reduction into high gear.

One of our major expenses is groceries.  I cannot seem to get a handle on this expense.  I make a menu, I use a list, yet this expense category is completely out of hand!  Cash only.  That's how we're going to tackle it to start.  I am also going to start tracking what we're buying, everything from toilet paper to lettuce.  I want to know where the money is going.  I know there are savings to be had by using coupons and shopping sales; the girl at the church has been known to have a grocery bill of less than $300 for the month for her family of 7!  She's a master couponer.  Be she also looks at it like a job and doesn't mind spending a few hours a week on her planning and couponing.  I don't have that kind of time so right now I'm just going to focus more on sticking to the prepared lists and tracking what we're buying and we'll see how it goes, make changes as necessary.

As for the budget we are also being very honest and thorough about the categories we need to budget for.  Car tabs, car maintenance, fundraisers, clothing, etc....all these things have never been planned for in advance so when the come up we're not prepared.  I like preparedness so I have revamped our budget and itemized many things.  Each month we will set aside the allotted amount for each expense and keep track of it.  We will constantly evaluate and make sure we're tracking all we should.

There is a big unknown for all this which makes me a bit anxious and that is whether my husband finds a job or not.  The new budget is based on our income as it stands with my salary and his unemployment.  The reality is the unemployment could run out one of these days or he could find a job making less than unemployment pays before or after that happens.  Uncertainty is my enemy, but I'm trying to deny my tendency to always focus on the worst case scenario and just live in the now. Right now this is what we are working with and we'll cross the next bridge when it comes along.  In the meantime, we are going to live on our income and not our credit cards and reduce our debt one payment at a time.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nasty Habit

I bite my fingernails.  Seriously.  It's disgusting and absolutely detest how my nails look, yet I still do it.  I go through at least one haitus a year when I stop biting and my nails start growing.  They look pretty good, I polish them with Nail Envy or get a manicure, but then one breaks and I'm back at it.  Terrible, nasty habit!  My son has this habit too.  I'm convinced he will be without fingernails on a couple fingers by the time he's a teenager!

Today is about sharing.

Simplifying and Minimizing Part 2

Last month I posted about how I think our lives are too complicated and that I wanted to simplify my life

The first thing I focused on with regard to technology was whether Facebook was worthwhile or necessary.  My conclusion is that it's neither and I'm keeping it anyway but using it differently.  I want to make it clear that I am not a person who spends hours on Facebook nor do I update my status every 20 minutes and share every mundane detail of my life.  I have been known to read status updates from others, comment, then read the comments that come after mine, sometimes commenting again.  For what?  Not much.

So I went through my Facebook "news feed" and hid everyone and everything that does not relate to my daily life.  I also quit reading Facebook on a daily basis.  Sometimes if I'm watching TV I'll check in with people a bit.  I also use it for sending messages to my friends or just saying hi.  I'm happy with this change.

As a side note, you will never see a Facebook page for this blog.  I honestly don't see the point and it would just be something else I have to update.  And Twitter?  No way, I definitely won't go there.  That's just my personal opinion and I how I feel about those things for me.  I only want one place to update and keep track of and that's this blog.

For my next simplification, I will be removing a couple gadgets from the blog sidebar.  I use the Nike+ iPod system for keeping track of my runs.  I love this little system and recently started using the Nike+ GPS app for iPhone to track my outdoor runs which is even more fun because then I can look back at the running course.  Unfortunately, the Nike+ website doesn't provide any gadgets or widgets for your blog so I've been using Daily Mile to share the information.  This means I have to update Nike+ and sync the information with Daily Mile in order the share it on the blog.  Not a huge deal, or even time commitment, and it's been something I've liked having on the sidebar.  I've even gained a few friends on the Daily Mile site.  But I've decided going to dump it anyway.  One less thing.

I've also decided to remove the weight tracking gadget from My Fitness Pal.  Again, it's one less thing I need to update, one less app on my  iPhone.

The simplifying plans I have are not just about technology.  I also want to reduce the amount of stuff and clutter in other areas of my life too.  These include but aren't limited to:

Craft supplies

I'm a fairly clutter free person and it bothers me to have anything out of control or complicated so I look forward to cleaning up some other things soon.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Three Things Thursday-Office Edition

I feel like participating in Three Things Thursday so here I go with the Office Edition (cell phone pics, sorry for the poor quality):

1. I work on the 13th floor of our building, and I have an awesome view.  The spring and fall seasons are wonderful because I can watch the colors changing all over the place.  Right now, however, I get to watch the desolate landscapes and dream of sunshine.  Especially on a foggy day like today.

2. I love the color purple (not the movie).  I have so much purple I sometimes get sick of myself!  Well, not really; I think others might get sick of me, though.  Right now, on my desk at work I have a purple water bottle, purple pens, a purple pencil, a purple iPhone case, purple headphones, a purple toy my son gave me, a purple Mini DryLine, purple post-its, a purple Life is Good mug, a purple binder, a purple tissue box, and on my door handle is a a purple placard.  And that's just what I can see; I didn't even cover what's in the drawers and my bag!  Seriously, I am in love with purple.  (Why oh why didn't I have purple as a color in my wedding?)  Here is a photo of some of the items. 

3. Friends is my all time favorite TV show and I bought a coffee mug just to prove it.  I keep it on my desk filled with mints.  Also in my office is a Friends Trivia game which I have never played but display proudly nonetheless.  Sorry, no picture of it. :)

What's your favorite color?  Do you buy anything and everything just because it's your favorite color?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011



Yesterday I was so thrilled because I noticed I have 50 followers! Today I have 51!  I love that!  Now I hope you're following because you want to read about me and my life and not just because I'm following your blog.

What is the blog etiquette on that one?  I mean, I don't follow everyone who follows me.  I follow the blogs I want to read.  I hope you do the same, but is there an official etiquette rule on that one?

I have been thinking about this blog lately and what I want to do with it.  For sure I want to keep using it as my place for talking about weight loss and running, and if I can inspire even one person to make changes in their life, I will feel awesome!  I mostly want to use it for staying accountable and continuing my own efforts towards a healthy life.  I love the outlet of this blog for bragging, venting, or just reflecting and evaluating.  Staying committed to this blog will help me stay committed to my goals.

I also love having this place to write!  I love writing!  I wish wish wish I'd gone to college to learn how to do it with skill.  I wish I could get paid to do it!  When I was a kid I used to write stories; my first one was in elementary and it was about My Little Ponies meeting Cabbage Patch Kids!  I wish I still had that story as a keepsake.  On into junior high and high school I wrote teen romance novellas.  Mainly to fulfill the dreams I had of finding love.  I have since destroyed all evidence of those stories which is kind of a bummer.  I wish I had those too.  Now, as an adult I still love to write, but I don't write stories anymore.  I have kept a journal since high school and I still use that somewhat, but for the past year, I have written here more than anywhere.  I love it!  Whether I have skill or not, I love getting my thoughts out of my head into the written word.

I like to read healthy living blogs, but the ones I enjoy the most include everything.  Not every post is about eating or running or fitness, there's a bit of everyday life thrown in too.  So with that in mind, I'm planning to add more about the other parts of my life here on this blog, either with more pictures, more words or both.  I know I've posted about some of the family stuff before, but usually as it relates to my running and dieting.  Going forward there might be no connection with any of it, and there might be no major revelations or self discoveries involved, I might just like sharing a picture of my super cute cat!

This is Tucker.  He is one of my cats.  He is super cute.
 Anyway, I thank each and every reader and follower, whether here by choice or default (because I follow you).  I really appreciate you following along and sharing in my life.  It is super fun to have this blog!   

Do you blog?  What do you love about it?  Do you share it with people you know?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Weekly Weigh In Update

I weighed in yesterday.  Remember Friday, I weighed the lowest ever at 153.8.  Well, yesterday I weighed, and I don't remember the exact number, but it was something like 157 or 159.  I didn't record it because I didn't want to, plain and simple. 

I've looked back at my weight history and have observed something.  My highest weights are always on Mondays, and my lowest weights are usually on Fridays.  Hmmmm.  Not anything too earth shattering, but clearly represents how I toe the line during the week and indulge a lot more on weekends.  I know this isn't that big of a deal and is very normal.

So I didn't record yesterday's weight and today I weigh 154 which has been recorded. 

I recently changed my weigh in day to Monday, but I might change it again.  Or I might just record the lowest weight from the past week.  There is no harm in that.  Life doesn't really take place in one week increments and should not be lived week by week.  I don't want to focus on it like that. 

I have been guilty of looking at Mondays as a fresh start for everything: a new week to start achieving those workout goals, a new week to get things accomplished at work, a new week so start a better work/life schedule, etc. etc. etc.  But every day is a new day and a day in which you can change yourself, start a habit or stop one. 

Don't put off to tomorrow what you can accomplish today.

This is part of the reason I weigh more than once a week.  I know lots of people who weigh in then go crazy for a day or two, knowing they won't have to face anything for a week.  I don't subscribe to that theory when it comes to weight loss anymore.  Everyday counts and whether you choose to indulge today or tomorrow, you face up to it and own it.  Because it's how life works.  One day at a time.

I am not morning person.

I'm just not.  And I can't apologize for it.  So why do I feel like I should?

I finally talked to someone yesterday who works out at night!  She's a night owl like myself and prefers to hit the gym about 8:30 at night.  She works out for about an hour, then goes home to shower and hit the hay.  This sounds good to me, but also hard to stick with.


Take this week for example.  My mom is here visiting, arrived yesterday and stays until Thursday.  So if I head to the gym at 8:30 at night, my husband is stuck entertaining her, not to mention that she's here to visit so shouldn't I be visiting?  Then I think, well, fitness and health is important, not selfish.  Yet, I would still feel incredibly guilty heading out at that time and leaving the household and guests behind.

But don't be fooled into thinking I got up to workout this morning instead.  I did not.  Or yesterday.  Or tomorrow.

Because I am just not a morning person.

If I can get up and spend some time waking up, say an hour, and then head off to the gym, I'm fine.  But to roll out of bed and hit it is just not me.  Don't get me wrong, I have had some great runs first thing in the morning, and I think I still will again someday, but as a regular thing it doesn't seem to be in the cards for me.

So when does changing one's goal become failure and when is it just a shift?  And why does setting and achieving goals have to be so important?  I read a book recently entitled Focus by Leo Babauta (thanks, Alan, for the recommendation).  Among several awesome insights in this book, the author talks about abandoning goals in favor of living in the present.  He says, "We're always thinking about the future (goals) instead of the present.  I prefer to live in the present."  He goes on to say, "Goals are a way of saying, 'When I've accomplished this goal (or all these goals), I will be happy then.  I am not happy now, because I haven't achieved my goals.' This is never said aloud, but it's what goals really mean.  The problem is, when we achieve the goals, we don't achieve happiness.  We set new goals, strive for something new."

I have always subscribed to the theory that goals make life worthwhile and without goals we sit and twiddle our thumbs all day.  I don't know if I can completely buy off on Mr. Babauta's theory of abanding goals completely, but I do see how focusing too much on goals and where you want to be can take away some of the joy of living in the present.  Doesn't the saying go, 'it's about the journey not the destination' or something like that?  Anyway, this blog came about so that I could focus on the journey of reaching my weight and running goals.  And while I am learning a lot on this journey, I have gotten caught up in thinking that once I achieve my goals, only then will I have succeeded (be happy).  Working out when I can doesn't seem like enough because my goal is to work out faithfully on certain days, for a certain amount of time, at a certain time of day.  If I don't get up in the morning and workout (reach my goal), it throws a wrench in my whole day, and I feel like I've failed AGAIN.

I need to stop this because it's really self destructive and negative.  It doesn't go along at all with my 2011 goal (there's that word again) #3:

3. Become more satisfied with myself and my efforts.

I specifically set forth very unspecific "goals" for 2011, yet I have spent a lot of time this January laying out specific plans for myself with regard to running and working out.  I've had a hard time reaching the goals and it hasn't felt good.  It feels like I've failed.

So I'm going to try and let go of the specifics (again) and go with the flow, and live a bit more like Leo Babauta suggests by not forcing things and doing what comes naturally; focus on what I'm doing, not what I haven't done or what I "need" to do.

What about you, do you focus too much on goals (future)?  If you change goals or abandon them, do you feel like you've failed?  Do you think goals are important?

Friday, January 21, 2011

A New Low..on the Scale!

This morning I weighed in at 153.8 which is .2 lower than I've ever seen the number (well during this journey anyway)!  I am so stoked.  I have had a great week with regard to diet and exercise so far.  I have used very little of my weekly points and I have worked out 3 times so far.  I can tell that the earlier water retention is gone and my clothes are feeling better.  I feel just great!  It's not my official weigh in day, but as of today I'm down

83 pounds!!!

I went to the gym this morning with a five mile run on the schedule.  I didn't even make it 3 for some reason.  I can only assume it was lack of proper fuel prior to the run.  I ended up finishing about 30 minutes and then I used the bike for another 15.  I'm okay with it, though, I know by now that not all runs will be great.

Today I am treating myself to a movie. "No Strings Attached".  I love Ashton Kutcher (not from his TV show, but from "A Lot Like Love") and Natalie Portman is one of my girl crushes.  I'm ready to settle in with some popcorn and watch two of my faves make magic on the screen.

I hope you have a great Friday!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

After the Run

Running outside is a beautiful thing.  I cannot wait until the temps are warmer!!! 

Today's run was only about getting out there, and not about pace or distance.  I ended up completing 4.8 miles with a pace of 11 min/mile.  I am happy about that, but mainly I am just grateful for the sunshine today (and also for my job which allows me to work at home occasionally.)

"Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it's hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run". Monte Davis, runner

Negative Nelly

Why do I gravitate towards the negative?  Why do I latch on to that which is sad or tragic? 

I need to stop this for fear of losing my mind!!

I have briefly mentioned my struggle with depression and anxiety.  It's not something I like to go into depth on for a couple reasons.  1) I'm not sure how much of that stuff I really want public, and 2) I don't know who is reading this blog [see item 1].  But I do feel like that part of me contributes to a lot of my weight issues so it cannot be completely ignored here.

I am prone to SADness at this time of year.  Even the happiest people can be affected by the darkness so it's no wonder that long about mid-January and February I am usually at my lowest of lows.  This year is a bit different because I feel so much better about myself than I have in years past.  I feel more fit and more healthy and I am exercising, even if it's not as often as I'd like.  But the dark days are still getting to me now.

Just this morning I spent time reading someone's blog who is going through a tough time, then I searched out other information she mentioned, and the next thing I know I'm feeling really down.  That type of thing is so detrimental to my mental health and I know this.  So why do I do it?  I finally took charge, closed the browser window, and now I am trying to get all that nastiness out of my mind. 

Today I am working at home for one purpose: so I can run outside at lunch time.  I need to get out there and run.  The treadmill just doesn't give me that same release that the fresh air can give.  The sun is shining today and I cannot wait to feel it on my face.  I know that getting out there will help me feel better and chase away some of these winter blues.  And as long as I stay away from the negative stuff, I will be doing much better this afternoon than I am this morning.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Figured as Much

As suspected my salt weight gain is gone today and I weighed in at 3 pounds lighter than yesterday!  Oh well, planning for a great week this week so I should be able to rack up a loss on the next weigh in.

Alas, my gym trip was not to be this morning.  My body seems to want to wake up in the 3 o'clock hour lately which according to my mind is unacceptable.  So then I lay there for awhile trying to get back to sleep and if I finally do, by the time the alarm goes off, I feel like I never even slept.  It's a little frustrating.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to fit in any workout tonight.  With family activities and homework, I am sure a trip to the Y is out, but perhaps I can fit in the Shred or at least a walk on the treadmill after my son goes to bed.  We'll have to see.

For now, my lunch time is over and I must get back to work!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Gain with a Trip to the Gym

This week's weigh in: a gain of 2.2 lbs!  I weighed this same amount on 11/22 which was before Thanksgiving.  I'm not happy about it, not at all.  Salt is not my friend.  I hope tomorrow shows a loss because right now I'm feeling sad.

But, on the other hand, I went to the gym this morning!  I ran a 5K on the treadmill and completed some ab exercises.  I'm already looking forward to tomorrow when I'll do the bike and watch Netflix.  The gym has wi-fi which is a fabulous thing for video watching.  I haven't mastered running on the treadmill with my phone sitting on the console--I am always worried about accidentally knocking it off by hitting the headphone cord.  But on the bike I won't have that problem.  Yahoo.

I'm going to focus on cardio this week as much as getting up and getting out the door.  Today I was a bit later than I'd like, not arriving home from the gym until 7:45!  That means I didn't get to work until 9:30.  I must back that time back by at least an hour!

So goodnight.  Hope for a loss on the scale and a successful early wake up.

PS. Yes, I had to work today.  Not at all fair.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ready to Get the Year Started

I haven't been as strict this January as I said I'd be.  You see, January is super busy in our house because my husband birthday is 1/3 and my son's birthday is 1/15.  For this reason I am in full birthday planning mode from Christmas until after my son's party is over.  Last night was the party I am now breathing easy and feel like I can get on track and focus more on my goals.

It's not that I've put everything aside until now, but I just haven't been watching things as closely and tracking my foods very well.  I haven't eaten anything terrible, but I have been eating a lot of snacks and some are not completely on plan.  Lame pretzels.  Dumb Chex Mix with Goldfish.  Stupid chips.  This weekend I know I have eaten waaaaaay too much salt and I'm dreading the scale tomorrow morning.  I can tell the news won't be good just based on how my rings are fitting.

All is not lost, however, because I don't feel terrible about what I've been doing.  I don't feel like I've failed or slid back to old habits.  I just feel like I've been living life without focusing on the goals at hand.  I've not abandoned them, only postponed a bit.

The only thing I do feel bad about is that I only ran twice last week for a total of 8.24 miles.  NOT ENOUGH.  I know that I have to keep up my exercise in order to maintain my weight.  Exercising needs to be a habit, a must-do in my life.  I can't omit the exercise no matter what I eat. 

Last weekend I cancelled my YMCA membership.  Ever since we joined in July, I think we have been there a total of about 6 times.  I have gone a couple times on my own and the family has gone a couple times.  But I think it's really only about 6 times, maybe 8.  Each month, when the payment is deducted I feel guilty about spending the money and not utilizing the membership, especially given that we are supposed to be cutting back expenses, not increasing them.  I justified the cost as an investment in our family's health.  I have thought about going many, many times, but in the end I decide to use my own treadmill or just sit on the couch.

So I cancelled.  But then I thought all last week about how much I have been having to force myself to use my treadmill and how bored I get with the red wall.  I talked with a gentleman I work with who belongs to a health club and goes to it 6 times a week!  I thought of the options available to me at the Y, how being surrounded by like-minded individuals when exercising can be very motivational, and how it helps to get out of the house and change up the routine, especially at this time of year.  So after contemplating all week and having lots of conversations with myself, I went ahead and cancelled the cancellation of my membership on Friday.  And then I ran 5.14 miles on one of their nifty treadmills.  Other than the fact that it seemed super hot in there without my fan, I loved it!  I felt like I was really doing something for me and it was motivating to be there running along side others who were there doing the something for themselves.  I even did some ab exercises when I was done.  Yay me!

Whether we will visit the Y as a family remains to be seen, but I have a dream of being an active family.  My son plays team sports and my husband does as well and also golfs, but as a family we don't have a lot of active activities we do together, especially in the winter.  In the summer we visit the pool quite a bit, or go to the lake, but in the winter we tend to hibernate.  My son is only 9 so he can't use all the Y facilities and my husband isn't interested in working out right now because he has a bad back.  But we all can swim and that's what we shall do, I hope.

I plan to start going regularly until at least spring.  My goal is 5 days a week, before work!  If I can't get up to exercise in my basement, seems a little crazy to think about getting up and going out into the cold to do it.  But I'm actually excited about it.  Not to mention how I'll look carrying my new sporty bag!
I will say that going to a gym is slightly outside of my comfort zone at this point.  I am not sure of how to use all the equipment and I hate looking like an idiot.  You can say all you want about how other people don't notice what you do at the gym, but I know better.  I'll be okay, though, I just have to suck it up and do it.  And ask for help if I need it.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

One Year Later

I must post today as it was one year ago today that I started on the journey to health.  Unfortunately, I am not feeling all that creative or philosophical tonight so this will be quick.

Some of my accomplishments:

  • I have lost 80 lbs (officially 79 at weigh in, but 80 as of this morning, and before Christmas).
  • I started and completed the Couch to 5K running program.
  • I can now run a 10K without stopping to walk, longest run to date is 6.5 miles.
  • I can run for an hour on the treadmill, all the while staring at a red wall.
  • I have run a mile in less than 10 minutes.
  • I have gone from a tight size 18 to a comfortable size 10.

Some things I've learned:

  • My passion for cooking is coupled with my passion for eating.  The less I cook (new, fancy recipes), the better off I am.
  • I can accomplish that which I put my mind to.
  • I don't actually want to be skinny, I want to be fit and healthy.
  • I actually like running in the cold weather.

Some goals to reach in 2011:

  • I want to reach my goal weight of 136.8 and learn about maintenance.
  • I want to run (on average) a 10 minute mile pace.
  • I want to run Bloomsday in May (a 12K) without stopping to walk, even on the dreaded Doomsday hill!
  • I want to run 10 miles without stopping to walk.
  • Mostly I want to make it through winter intact, still running, and weighing less.

Now, on to year 2!  There will be more accomplishments, and more learning, and more goals.  As long as I'm moving forward, I'll be happy.  Of course I'd like to reach my goal weight like tomorrow, and run those 10 miles like next week, but one day at a time....

Thank you for reading my blog! I appreciate it so much!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Day Later, My Weekly Weigh In

My official weigh in day is now Monday and I weighed yesterday.  I thought about blogging about it all day and into the evening, but in the end, laziness won out and I watched a movie instead.

But I know you're all glued to your computer screens each week for my update so here it is:

This week's weight 157.2!  That is a loss of 1.4 lbs.  I'll take it.  I'm nearly back to what I was just before Christmas.  (Today's weight is 156.2, lower than before Christmas.)

My Monday Morning 5K was postponed to Monday evening and then further to Tuesday morning.  Last week my husband and I had a conversation about my desire to become a morning exerciser.  He's supportive but also reminded me of my desire to sleep in and my lack of being a morning person.  He thinks I'm setting myself up for disappointment in myself.  Actually he agreed with me when I said this about myself.  But the deal is, as I've said before, mornings are consistent and evenings aren't.  So many things can get in the way of evening workouts, only one thing gets in the way of a morning workout.  One obstacle seems easier to overcome even if that obstacle is my own laziness.  So I got it done this morning and I feel great about it.  Rome wasn't built in a day and neither are goals.  But one day at a time, that's how my goals are built.

Ps. It's 1/11/11!  Don't you love it?!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Not a Stellar Day

It wasn't a stellar day with regard to eating.  Ugh!  Do you know what is a lame snack?  Pretzels.  They hold no nutritional value, even the carbs don't give me a lift.  Yet, I took them to work anyway.  Dorky!  I know better, but I was too lazy to get some almonds out of the freezer this morning instead.

Speaking of morning, I got up on time to workout, but decided that getting to work early was more important.  Yeah, I'm a winner like that.  So, instead of walking this morning on the treadmill I played some Just Dance tonight with my son.  I think the walk probably would have burned more calories, but the dancing and mother/son time cannot be beat.

Back to my eating, I was starving all day today!!  Usually I have a dish of almonds in my bag at all times just in case, but poor planning made it not so today.  I ate the pretzels before 11:00 a.m. and then had lunch around 12:30, all the while telling myself that I wasn't really hungry when in fact I felt like I was starving!  I had oatmeal with almond butter for lunch (not a fave) and Chobani, along with two mandarins and a banana.  But since I ate my afternoon snack in the mid morning, it was a very long hungry afternoon.  So when I walked in the door from work, where was the first place I headed?  The pantry for more...yep, pretzels.  Lame!  Dinner was chicken chili which is not a bad choice, but what was a bad choice was the macaroni and cheese that I shared with my son.  Grrr!  I'm so mad at myself.  I have the power to avoid these things, yet I don't seem to use it lately.  Why is that?!

I talked with a friend of mine last night, the one who runs 3 times a week and does yoga 3 times a week. She has always been fairly active, but she started running and yoga only last spring.  She's done so well!  She is love, love, loving her workouts.  I, on the other hand, have some great runs, but usually it's after going through a big long talk session with myself about how I should just do it, need to do it, better do it.  It really takes the enjoyment out of it.  So perhaps I'm going about things all wrong. I keep thinking I need a plan to stay motivated and keep focused, but maybe it's the plan that's wearing me down.  Here I am supposed to embarking on a 9-week exercise plan, and I feel like ditching it on day two in favor of flying by the seat of my pants and going with the flow.  Taking an every other day approach or just a Monday, Wednesday Friday run (distance TBD) and something else on the off days.  But then when I think about cutting my runs in favor of variety, I panic a little.  What if the next time I plan to run 5 or 6 miles I can't make it?  Welp, then I better keep doing it at least weekly whether I want to or not.  And then all of a sudden I have that "have to" mentality about it all and I find myself dreading the next one.

I'm just rambling.  I don't know what my plans are for the long term, I guess.  As of now I need to go to bed so I can get up early and run those intervals.  But right now I'm saying I'll run them if I want to.  Otherwise I might just run.  We'll see.

Oh, one more thing, I was also talking with a coworker today who is planning a 50K race in April.  I can't remember how many times she said it's not that far.  Finally I'm like, why do you keep saying that, it's very far!  She's never run that far before, but she has done at least 2 marathons.  She's like it's only about 30 miles.  It so irritates me because here I am saying that 5-6 miles feels like plenty of distance, and that Bloomsday in May is a 12K and might be the farthest I ever run, and she's going on and on about how 50K isn't that far!  Give me a break!  So then I start wondering if 5-6 miles is enough, should I take on at least a half marathon?  And so it goes and goes and goes.

And before I know it I'm eating pretzels and macaroni and cheese and at that very moment I'm thinking that I never want to run again in my life.  What's wrong with me anyway?  I think it's time for bed.  Forgive this post, I think it's the winter darkness getting to me!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday Weigh in with a 5K


Just have a quick moment during lunch to post my weigh in for today.  Unfortunately it's another gain.  +.6 this week!  I know that I ate over my points on a couple days, but not by much--even the cheesecake didn't put me that far over because I had weekly points.  It's discouraging because I think about maintenance and how I didn't eat that much and I still gained.  How will I ever maintain?  It will be a learning process, I'm sure. 

Today I got up to run my Monday Morning 5K.  A great way to start the week, I think, and a great start to my 9 week plan!  More on this later...

It's my husband's birthday today so we are going out for dinner.  I am vowing right now that I will not eat too much!  I won't!  I have told you all now so I must keep my word!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Still Chasing 100

Happy new year!!  We had a fabulous time ringing in the new year with friends last night.  In fact, I think it was our best NYE in years!  We didn't get home until 1:30 (late for us) and then I was up until almost 4:00 a.m. waiting for the cat to come home (he didn't show up until noon).  While I am more often a night owl, 4:00 is a little much even for me.  Ugh!  But, it's okay because at 2:00 a.m. I decided to eat a piece of pumpkin cheesecake.  Yep, I did it.  I avoided it at Christmas and I didn't have any at our friends' house while everyone else ate it  But after thinking about it all evening and for a bit after we got home, I thought the following: this is a life change I am making, it is not a diet.  I can have a treat once in awhile.  Pumpkin cheesecake only happens once or twice a year.  Bring it on!  And it was delightful.  I loved it.  I make the best pumpkin cheesecake I have ever had. (Olive Garden's is pretty good but mine's better!)

Not only did I eat cheesecake yesterday (or today, I guess), I ate cookies yesterday and Thursday.  Not a ton, but since I did get that Kitchenaid mixer and I needed to test it out, I indulged in the cookies that I lovingly prepared for my family.  ;-)  Luckily they contained oatmeal and PB so they were lower in points than most.  I'm sure that makes a difference in some universe.

So, it was certainly a way to ring in the new year, by indulging in sugary treats that I've not had in months. (Last one was on 8/31 when I had a HUGE ice cream cone, not that I'm keeping track.  Okay, I am.)  I actually think if you indulge once in awhile and then get right back on plan, you're destined for success over those who never indulge.  You can't deprive yourself forever and my lifestyle change is not about deprivation, it's about making a lifelong habit of healthy living and enjoying life.  Once in awhile, that means cheesecake.  Yes, it does.

Anyway, today is 1/1/11 and since I love numbers, there will be four super cool days this year.  1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, and 11/11/11.  Actually November is going to rock because it's 11/11 all month!  I know, I am a nerd.

So on this cool day of 1/1/11, I'm still chasing the elusive 100.  That is, 100 pounds lost.  I have lost 80 (give or take a pound) and my goal was to lose 100 before 12/31/10.  Not a big deal to not have made that goal.  It sounded fun to lose the weight before the year was over, but I'm fine with reaching my weight goal in 2011.  As long as I'm moving forward I feel good about my efforts.  I'm proud of my efforts, as a matter of fact.

That said, let's get this party started!  Let's not beat around the bush and teeter totter our way to 100!  I'm ready to get this done.  To that end, I prepared a 9 week running plan today!!  It was actually prepared for me by  (If you don't know this site, it's actually quite cool for designing training plans. I'm sure this is where I'll get my half marathon training plan if I decide to do it.  Or not.  I'm fickle.)  My plan includes one day of speed intervals each week, one long run, one easy run, and one run at a slightly faster pace.  4 runs a week should be achievable.  Prior to December that was my schedule anyway.  (December mileage was one of my lowest since June!)

One idea I'm kicking around, however, is to remove the weekend run and run only 3 days a week and walk the other two.  Then on my two walk days, I will add in some strength training.  My goal is to include strength training this year.  Nothing hard core and nothing really formal, just some basic moves with light weights either on my own or with a DVD.  You're probably wondering why I would omit a run to add two walking days.  Well, it's become very difficult to get in the weekend run lately so if I remove the pressure of doing it, maybe I can workout 5 days a week instead, Monday through Friday.  With this schedule I can avoid running three days in a row, something I don't like doing as of now.  Two is fine, three is not. I worry a bit, however.  Will I lose momentum if I cut down my running mileage?  Or will I be doing better if I walk those two additional days and strength train?  See, I'm thinking if I do this plan for the next 9 weeks, I'll be closer to my goal weight and closer to running outdoors again.  And since one training plan will be done, I can start another and change the schedule again if I want.  This will also be a great time to decide about a half marathon for 2011...

You see, my other goal is to become a morning exerciser.  Mornings are constant and evenings are not.  Evenings are either complicated by activities, darkness, or just plain laziness.  (Laziness is not limited to evening as is evidenced by my lack of ability in getting up early on a regular basis.)   And when I get up and exercise before work, I feel strong.  I really enjoy it once I've done it.  It's doing it that I need to work on.  But as with all habits, it's a process and I don't think it's just a 21 day process.  It's not just getting up earlier, it's a whole new routine including going to bed earlier and establishing and sticking to a regular work schedule.  It will not happen overnight, but I hope it will happen during 2011.  So I add it to my goals for 2011.

I am not writing a 2010 wrap up post because I'm thinking you have better things to do and so do I.  Just know that 2010 was a monumental year for me and I plan to continue on this healthy path in 2011.  I plan to keep running, learning, and sharing.  In other words, keep moving forward.  (That's my new tag line, folks.)

2011 Health Goals--Official
1. Reach my goal weight and learn about maintenance.
2. Keep running.
3. Become more satisfied with myself and my efforts.
4. Add strength training to my life.
5. Become a morning exerciser.

Keep moving forward!