Monday, June 27, 2011


I started watching this show, the Extreme Makeover, Weight Loss Edition.  If you haven't seen it, basically instead of the Biggest Loser "game" they take one person at a time through a 365 day transformation in a one hour show.  The last few weeks they had guys on there, and tonight they had a girl.  The emotional difference this week is incredible to me and I was moved to tears just moments ago as the show started.

I remember what it felt like, not to be 433 pounds as I never passed 300, but I was almost 300 pounds.  I was 285 pounds.  Knocking on 300's door.  Just a few months away from it really.

I look at her face and the tears rolling down it as she is on the scale facing that number.

I remember being so embarrassed when my doctor pointed out the "fatty hump" that had appeared on the back of my neck.

I see the determination in her eyes and then the pain through her tough first workout.

I remember my feet bleeding when I first started walking regularly...because I couldn't reach my toenails to trim them and was too proud to ask for help.

I see her struggle with her eating, learning what and how to eat.

I remember shoving back feelings of remorse after a huge meal (pretty much every meal was a huge meal) and wanting to hide instead of having anyone see me eat.

I hope with all of my athletic accomplishments that I never forget what it felt like to hurt walking out to the mailbox.

I hope I never, ever disconnect myself from who I once was. 

I hope I can help others realize their own potential through my trials and tribulations.

I hope that people are inspired by my story...realizing that their own story is waiting to be realized.

There is potential in us all.  Will we all be marathoners?  Probably not.  I don't think I will.  But we can all do something more than we are doing today.

You might think I've accomplished so much that I'm levels above people who are still struggling.

You are wrong.

There is only one difference between me and the person still struggling.


There is a fire in my belly and my heart is more committed than ever to being healthy.  I will see my goal reached in a few months.  But the hard work will continue, forever.

I can hope all day long, but I know I will never stop trying to be stronger and healthier.  My life will never be the same.  And neither will hers. 

That, my friends, seriously rocks.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

She Believed She Could...So She Did!

Quote by Suzanne Berry

Exciting day for me today.  I ran 5 miles non stop for the first time ever!  This is HUGE!  My furthest distance up to today was 4.5 miles and that was a few months ago.

I had planned on trying to get to 10k distance by fall since the heat of summer is upon us.  Well, a few mornings have been pretty cool.  Last week I ran 4 miles one day.  So I decided I was going to go for 5 miles.  And today...I did!

Part of why it was successful is that I was completely mentally prepared. I had decided I physically could do it.  Then I decided I really wanted to do it.  Then I decided to tell some people I was going to do it. 

What kept me going that last half mile (which was haaard) was knowing I would have really achieved something and how exciting it would be to tell people about my accomplishment.

I ran it in 58 minutes.  I feel like that is pretty good (avg mile time of 11:44).  My 5k record is 35:30, an average of 11:30 minutes per mile.  I'm not the fastest person, but I really didn't slow much to add almost 2 miles to my 5k.  In fact, when I ran 4 miles last week I ran it with an average of 11:22 mpm. 

SO I am a happy camper today.  Feet a little sore, left knee tender and left ankle (my bad ankle) a little sore.   I was also nauseous for awhile after I ran until I refueled with a blueberry, banana, spinach, almond milk and chocolate whey protein shake (yuuuum!).

But overall I can't believe how great I feel.  And that feeling of accomplishment is SO worth a little bit of nausea and soreness.  I'll be flying high on this one for awhile.

So if you are sitting there reading this and thinking, "man, I could never do that."  Well, you are me, exactly 2 years ago.

The difference?

I believed I could.  And I did.

You can too!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Getting my Zig and Zag on...

Hola!  Here is my latest comparison photo:  June 2009 - June 2011, 94 pounds lost:

Things for me are quite busy but doing well.  I had a good weigh in this past Thursday, officially 94 pounds down again (ha).  Man, I can see 100 pounds down.  I'm almost there. Maybe soon?

So I'm researching a caloric intake method that has peaked my interest.  I've looked into it briefly in the past and then moved on...but the more I read, the more I'm convinced it is worth a try.

The goal is to Zig Zag your calorie intake to trick your body out of the starvation mode it goes into when you drastically cut calories.  I actually do this quite by accident - usually have a day I'm over during the week at some point; but I don't do it intentionally and not necessarily with the best food choices.  Here is what a Zig Zag week should look like for my weight, height and activity level:

Sunday 1536
Monday 1536
Tuesday 1844
Wednesday 1536
Thursday 1536
Friday 1690
Saturday  1536

The theory behind it is that in order to build muscle, you have to add calories in, and in order to burn fat, you need to reduce calories.  So the average "dieter" reduces calories by alot to try to drop pounds but sacrifices muscle in the interim.

I actually think that this has been part of why my weight loss is slow.  That I'm building muscle at the same time as burning fat by not being crazy restrictive.  BUT I try to stay around 1400 calories/day and am not seeing the results I want to given how crazy active I am.  AND I don't always make the best food choices when I go over my goal.  One article I read suggested that instead of just eating more, maybe try adding a protein shake after a workout.  Novel idea - I just bought some new whey protein so great timing.

Really, my goal isn't to lose this last 30 pounds overnight.  Duh, right?  Instead I'd like to really understand how to continue building muscle and burning fat.  I want to really support my athletic ventures, get faster and stronger at running, and continue to see some beautiful muscles emerge. 

As much as I exercise, I also need to be sure I'm eating enough.  So here goes nothing.  I'm going to try this zig zag thing and see if it works for me.  I'm going to give it two weeks starting with today.  I'm hoping we see some real results, again, not looking for "fast" weight loss but good muscle building and fat burning is my goal. 

Will keep you posted.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tried a Blog Break...and Look What Happened!

Hey Everyone!

I am so sorry I have been MIA since end of May!  It has been crazy with several unplanned last minute trips for work that turned EVERYTHING upside down.

I also planned a mini-blog break, that I wasn't really intentionally keeping secret, so I could focus on working on my book.  Well, I have had lots of ideas swarming and yet not the progress I was hoping for.  But tonight as I was writing a confession message to my SparkPeople Biggest Loser team for June, it became a blog post.  And here we are.

These past few days have resulted in some scary realizations.  And some very very bad choices.

SO.  I'm here to confess.  Ready for it?

On Tuesday I learned that I would be traveling to TN and VA on Wednesday (there and back in the same day via plane - I live in FL but work in AL).  SO  I was in 4 states that day.  I'm pleased to say that I started off with a green smoothie, ate a larabar for snack on the way to the event, then was veeeery careful at the buffet.  Mostly fruit, veggies and some crackers/cheese (just 3 cubes of cheese).  And...3 chocolate covered strawberries.  Still not that bad.  I was pumped and proud of myself.

Thursday morning I was glad to be back in my office and then decided I had to go to Lakeland, FL for work.  I had to leave within an hour of finding out and since I was driving (6+ hours) I rushed home to pack my bags, find someone to watch my dog and hit the road.  I tried really hard to pack my running clothes.  Got as far as my shoes, sweatband and sports bra...but just one problem.  No clothes to wear to the hotel gym.  And all I had otherwise was denim and my suit.  SO.  I did not run on Friday morning as I planned to. 

Let's back up a bit as to why me not exercising one day would be THAT big an issue.

On Thursday for lunch we ate at my favorite BBQ place and I had smoked turkey, cole slaw, baked beans, and, wait for it, 2 pieces of garlic toast.  Seriously.  Seriously?  So I figured I'd eat a light dinner.  WRONG.  Instead I opted for a fried chicken sandwich, waffle fries AND a milkshake.  Did you hear me?  A milkshake.  Oh and a diet coke.  Quadruple-past-life-whammy.

I began feeling a little...OUT.OF.CONTROL.

The next morning we had the breakfast buffet at the hotel (greeeat).  One biscuit, one piece of bacon, a spoonful of gravy and a bowl of strawberries and pineapple and small glass of OJ.  Was a little proud of myself even.  Not terrible.  I could have  made a waffle and slathered peanut butter and syrup on it.

AND then there was lunch.  We ate at a great mexican restaurant as I was craving avocado (i.e. guac).  Their guacamole was pretty healthy but I'm sure the chips were not.  And instead of opting for a salad without the cheese and salsa as my dressing, I opted for one chicken enchilada and one chicken and bean tostada.  I only had one bite of the creamy potatoes they serve with it and didn't touch the refried beans.  But I was so stuffed to the gills that I didn't feel good.  Sheer volume of food even if the choices weren't the worst.

I continued letting the wagon drag me and I had a hot fudge sundae from McDonalds with extra fudge and a bacon cheeseburger for dinner.  I did make one good choice at dinner and opted for a side salad instead of the fries.  Because really, I don't like fries anymore at all.  Thank God!

Today would have been the day to redeem myself.

Did I?


Great run this morning followed by a green smoothie.  On the right track.  Lunch was half a cheeseburger and half a chicken sandwich (hubby and I split it).  We threw away the onion rings as, much like french fries, they taste like grease.  WIN!  Followed by a HUGE LOSE when we split a large bag of popcorn AND I ate a bag of pretzel M&Ms (2 servings worth).

Tonight at dinner I had two things.

A leftover turkey burger.  And a huge side of remorse.

It serves to remind me that I am not "healed" from my former issues with food.  I'm beginning to realize that much like an addict, I will always be just one cheeseburger away from the edge of the healthy wagon I've been driving for so long.  It's like I'm driving (blogging, logging into spark people every day to track my food), then I decide to be a passenger and watch for a while (i.e. blog break and slipping on my daily tracking).  And eventually I just jump off the back and let it drag me for a little while.

And much like any type of sin in one's life....once the dust settles, day breaks and you are once again where you should be, the poor decisions made are like open gaping wounds.

These wounds cause you to question your own integrity even.  What kind of example am I?  What kind of person preaches good health and wise decisions and then goes on a 5,000 calorie spree in a weekend of weakness?

I'll tell you what kind.

A REAL person.  And I've never been anything but real with you folks.

So this blog really is embarrassing to me.  It is tough to admit I've failed.  It is challenging for me to suck it up and say, hey, look at the damage I've done these last four days.

And besides just the sheer issues the scale and I will face in the next few days...imagine how sick to my stomach I feel.  Not just from guilt.  More from my body rejecting all this crazy and unnecessary junk I literally inhaled this last few days.

So if you are on a really good track right now, please PLEASE let my failings these last 3 days keep you on track and help you realize it is not worth the ick I'll be going through the next few days.  Have a treat every now and then but good gracious, don't jump off the wagon without a parachute or a rope.

As typical of me, my failing has helped me learn a few MAJOR lessons I'll share.

1) It is NOT NOT NOT worth it.  I would trade all the cheeseburgers and milkshakes in the world for my stomach not to feel so bleh right now.  I would also feel so accomplished had I made healthy decisions 90% of my time with all this travel.  I would have been that much stronger.  I KNOW it is possible.  I lost most of my weight when my job required me to travel regularly.  Every place I visited had healthier choices than I made.  Ick.  It's also not worth the mental anguish I'm going through tonight as I realize just how badly I treated my innards this week.

2) Much like running and athletics, food choices and healthy living are MOSTLY mental.   What does that mean exactly?  It means that when you DECIDE in advance you will eat healthy, you will.  I did not take the time to make any conscious decisions besides jumping off the back of that wagon.  And I didn't try to get back on.  Good thing my foot was caught by a rope (this blog and all of you).  I'm climbing on now, sheepishly, humbly, and validly embarrassed.  3 days into gastro-distress.  So much like running, when I feel like stopping at 2 miles, but push myself and end up running 4 miles, I know for a fact that I am capable of making better choices.  I just have to keep pushing myself past that challenging situation and triumph in each leg of this race, one good decision at a time.

3)  The occasional treat every now and then is necessary.  I think the stricter you are, the more you set yourself up for a huge binge and FAIL.  Which is why I always harp about dieting not working.  That isn't necessarily what happened in my case as I'm pretty much an 80/20 girl, but even so.  I obviously had wanted a milk shake for awhile and just suppressed that feeling.  Should have just bought some mildly healthy ingredients and made myself one at home!  Much safer than the 570 calorie, 26 gram of fat one I consumed at chick fil a...when you deprive for too long you can end up with weaker resolve.  Had I had just ONE less-than-perfect decision each day I could have probably stayed in my calorie range.  OOPS.

I may have lost this battle.  But I WILL win this war.  Am I disappointed in myself?  Sure!  Do I wish I could have a redo?  Of course!  But I also believe in the value of lessons learned.  During this journey, I have learned that each failure becomes an opportunity if I so choose to look at it that way.

And I see the opportunities here.  To share with you my struggles.  To become stronger and more conscious of my decision making going forward.  To make planning such a priority that I stop everything I'm doing to plan my next meal or meals if I'm traveling.

I have more travel and events coming up this week.  And I am right now planning to make as many good choices as possible. 

Thanks for listening, and ultimately for forgiving me of my failings.  I've forgiven myself and already feel better.  Because I know that while I might slip up again in the future, I'll never fully go back to who I was before.  And I will lose this last chunk of weight in 2011.