Sunday, October 13, 2013

Living, Learning & Loving

Hey all!

So it has been a very good week back on track.

I found myself feeling 100% better about pretty much everything.

Let's start with the workouts.  This was week 3 of the Gamma phase of T25.  Every workout in this program is HARD, but there are a few that qualify as killer in my book.  My favorite is Speed 3.0 (love me some fast cardio), then Rip'T Up which incorporates weights.  I don't love Extreme Circuit or the Pyramid.  Oh, the dreaded Pyramid! It has tons of reps counting UPWARD.  I instead love to count DOWNWARD.  I don't know why, I just do.

Either way it was a tough week.  And I did a few additional running workouts as well.

First, I ran 5k last Sunday morning in my neighborhood for two reasons. Reason numero uno was that I needed to know I still could.  Reason numero dos was that I knew I had a surprise 5k race coming up that next weekend. Since my friend Wendy follows my blog, I had to stay totally mum about the fact that I was sort of training for that race!  I was not very fast on Sunday morning running alone (37:32).  My IT band quit working at the last quarter mile, but I just don't run very fast on my own and when I'm not pushing myself (more on that later).  In stalking Wendy, I found she was running more like a 34-35 minute 5k.  GULP.  I foam rolled multiple times during the week and ran another 2 miles on Wednesday with zero pain, and a little faster than she ran hers (found out by random texting questions to her - I cannot believe I still managed to surprise this girl!  haha).  Anyway, I hoped I would be ok, but would be seriously challenged!  Enter mutual friend of Wendy's, Sarah, who is also a runner, and was texting me encouragement all week. So thankful for that!

Here is a picture of  me surprising Wendy!

Not the best angle of my arm, but I didn't care.  Was so glad to show up and shock her by telling her I would run her first race with her! Wendy really impressed me, training alone for this race, her first 5k, and doing it on her birthday!  Sarah and I decided there was no way she could run this race alone...since Sarah had a work function to attend and I only live 2 hours from Wendy, I signed up for the race and then did all I could to keep my big mouth shut before it! (if you really know me you know how tough that is!)

Here's a better picture of me in that dress - I found it in my closet on Friday before leaving for Savannah, and was super excited it fit!

Also a picture of us on the way to Savannah.  We were so excited to surprise our friend!

So, my body was pretty sore when we got to Savannah Friday evening.  Of course, Pyramid was the last workout of the week, and I completed it that morning.  This week I tried really hard to go up a little in weights and my forearms and hands actually felt it and were a little sore.  Apparently that just takes some time to improve and get stronger.

In talking with Wendy, I realized she had a pretty aggressive goal for the race.  Her plan was to get a PR even from the 3.1 she had run the week before! (GULP again!).  Anyway I told her my goal was to get her across the finish line in whatever time she chose, and if I for some reason had to slow down she could keep going and not to look back.  She wanted to finish in 34 mins or less, so that's what we shot for.  I knew we needed our pace to be between 10:45 and 11:15 so I tried to keep us there.  The first half mile we never went over 10:30!  I kept looking at Wendy and trying to decide if I should tell her we needed to slow down or what - this was HER race after all.  We slowed a little a few times but that girl was determined to be fast.  Since she informed me we would not be talking (haha - I'm a talker when I run which is probably why I am slow!) I had both earbuds in and put my playlist on shuffle.  God knew what songs we needed - a few times I was really struggling - this pace was truly all-out effort for me for over 30 minutes.  I was not sure I would be able to finish but determined to hit the goal she had set.  The course was pretty flat and nice, through the campus of a local college in Savannah.

We finished in 32 mins and some change (or 33, I thought 33 but cannot remember, and forgot to hit stop on my Garmin - of COURSE).  Close to my PR from 2011 of 32:16.  I was in shock!  I'm hoping they post race results soon, as I'd like to see the actual time.

Here's us after the race:

So, you know I always have some kind of learning or takeaway from something challenging like this.  You ready?

1) I loved having a reason to have to push myself.  Knowing Wendy had a goal and really wanting to do all I could to support that fueled me during this race.  I really wanted to make sure her goals were met.  I of course, wanted to survive, and did not at all mind finishing the race 4 plus minutes faster than I ran last weekend, but my true focus was on the birthday girl (did I mention yet it was also her birthday?  Isn't she amazing to have such a huge awesome goal to accomplish on her birthday?). Focusing on someone other than myself and my goals was really refreshing.  I loved every minute of this time with my friend, watching her achieve a huge goal. 

2) I am capable of way more than I thought I was.  Before yesterday I would have told you, hey, I have NOT been training to run, there is absolutely no way I would be able to run a 5k in less than 35 minutes right now.  But I think I realized I haven't been pushing myself like I could.  Amazingly, with little running training, my brain and heart kept my legs going and I was virtually pain free.  I know this is due in large part to how strong I am getting.  I am living in these moments of "aha" and realizing I am so much stronger than I gave myself credit for, both physically and mentally.

3) I may not be at my goal, but I am no longer a fat girl.  OK, don't roll your eyes here and say duh...when you've been as heavy as I was (285 pounds remember?) sometimes it is tough to shake that feeling of being a big overweight person.  I'm not petite, trust me, I realize that, but when I looked at the picture above, I also noticed more curves than rolls.  And more muscle than fat.  I've been really impatient for the last 15-20 pounds to come off, but while I have been busy worrying about that stupid scale, I've been missing the fact that my body is busy reshaping itself.  I'm pretty OK with the girl in the picture above.  Curves, muscles and all.  I feel more like an athlete than a fat girl.  It's so awesome to say that out "loud."

On another topic, nutrition was good this week.  Definitely felt SO much better being on track!  I did have some sweet potato fries last night and yogurt covered raisins (ewww) but other than that have been 100% where I need to be.  And I lost 6 of the 10lbs I had gained in 3 days (yep, I gain quickly, I'm telling you!) and my belly has stopped bloating.  The rest will come off this week, I'm sure of it.

So there you have it.  Successful surprise, successful race, successfully stayed on track with my eating pretty much all week even with travel.

And most of all, success in my way of thinking.  This week I'm excited to start a 10 week program with Jill Fit Physiques ( where she will be emailing me some educational information and homework every day for the next 10 weeks to help me change my mindset.  I'm super excited about this and ready to really tackle the mind issues associated with eating and health head on (pun totally intended).  If the head game is as much of a challenge as it has been for the last 4 years, even with successfully losing the number of pounds I've lost, I think everyone could benefit from this.  I'm excited and promise to tell you how awesome it is (without giving her program away lol).

In the meantime...I'm gonna keep living, keep learning from my good and bad days, and keep on loving myself.  I know that's paramount in my journey to be the best I can be physically.


Monday, October 7, 2013



I'm back!  Haven't really been gone, not completely.  But definitely needed a break from the counting, tracking, picture making, blog writing streak I was on.  See, this is where I prove that I'm not a super human.  My crazy work travel schedule, busy ministry life and quest to be the healthiest I can be sometimes catches up to me.

I was pushing myself HARD to hit that goal of getting into the 170s.  I'm so glad I did.  Now I know there is such thing as pushing yourself too hard. While I don't feel I did that exactly, I felt the walls closing in on me and I had to stop (collaborate and listen, not in the name of love this time - ha!).  I had to reassess.  I had to have a break.  I had to offroad some.  Enjoy some treats.  Not count a dad-gum thing for awhile.  And that's what I did.  For a few meals/days in the last two weeks.

And here I am.  Well back into the 180s.  Nauseated, bloated (like literally, my stomach is puffy!) fur growing on my teeth (that sugar coated feeling) and completely shocked that even though I off-roaded quite a bit the last 5 days (trickling down from a few indulgences a week the few weeks prior), I still managed to do something active and/or work out EVERY DAY!  WOW!

Let's go over that.  Started the Gamma phase of T25.  First, I have to celebrate that I finished 10 weeks of the first two phases of T25.  I could not believe I did that.  Huge huge accomplishment.  I saw great results from the program, got so much stronger, my body began to really lean out.  Then I started realizing that it may not be just 14 pounds left.  It may be more like 20-30.  That was a little staggering.  I thought I was so close!  But looking at my body I can honestly say I don't think I'm as close as I thought. (the funny part is, people comment that I already look like I'm at my ideal weight.  No, friends, I just know how to dress my shape and hide the bulges.  They are there!  Stephen knows though I'm blessed he would never point them out!  lol).

That final week of the 10 weeks, I only lost .2 of a pound.  That was SO disappointing!  Especially on the heels of coming to the realization that my goal may be more like 150 something instead of 165 which I have shot for this ENTIRE journey.  Additionally, it was one of the weeks I had tracked EVERY gram of protein, every morsel, every thought of food!  AH!  How in the world? 

Interestingly, I was still in the 170s. was my bloat week.  Hello???  But I allowed it to get to me.  Really really get to me.  Way more than I should.  Which again, once again, seriously, proves that so much of this is completely mental and you can talk yourself INTO our OUT OF your own successes.

Even with the encouragement of my fellow renegades, friends, and the pictures that were showing me the changes I've made in the last few months, I still allowed that to discourage me a little.  Or alot.  Enough to make me kinda blue.  And kinda emotional.  And kinda craving stupid food that didn't really make me feel any better at all. 

It was then I decided to take a break.  From blogging, from taking pics of my food, from logging every single thing I ate and ultimately, from Whole 30.  I still ate W30 probably 90% of the next week, but that started sliding down to 80% the week after that until I hit a 5 day slide of sugar every single day.  We all know what happens with that.  I'll have this one treat.  OK, I'll have one treat meal.  OK, now I'll have one treat DAY.  And ok, might as well start on the first, so a few treat days.  And the sugar dragon woke up, consumed my brain and settled comfortably where my brain used to be.

Hello, Mud Mountain, remember me?  I've slid down you before.

It wasn't the first time, and it won't be the last. 

Some interesting things I  noticed this time around.

1) I have not felt horrible about myself.  I've felt physically bad, but not emotionally bad.  I don't like seeing my puffy gut in the mirror, don't get me wrong.  But I tried to really fully enjoy every treat I had.  And I did.  But I also missed my healthy food when it wasn't available.  Funny, huh?

2) I ate less of each item than I normally would have.  This is really an interesting realization.  Yesterday our church had homecoming, and if you've ever been to a baptist church homecoming you know that there is a TON of food from all kinds of amazing southern cooks.  It was dessert I was really looking forward to (though the maple bacon wrapped green beans were amazing).  I hit the dessert table and had a half a piece of chocolate pie, which I ate about 2/3 of, a brownie with marshmallow/chocolate on it, which I ate 2 bites of, and a piece of chocolate cake in which I ate the frosting off of it only.  Yeah, alot of junk, but I actually threw a bunch of it away too.  Very uncharacteristic of me.  But a good sign.

3) Nothing, not ONE thing I indulged in, tasted as good as I recalled in my food memory.  This was a fantastic discovery, as I will likely crave these indulgences WAY less next time around. 

4) Normally, I would have ended up so off plan I wouldn't be able to work out.  I not only worked out EVERY day in some form or fashion, I had extra workouts too.  Ran 5k on Sunday morning (to prove I still could) and discovered not only can I still run 5k, but I did so with zero training prep, and while my IT band was unhappy in the last 1/4 mile, holy cow, who else can say they haven't run in 2 weeks at ALL and haven't run 5k since July and can go eek one out like that?  SLOOOOW but ran the whole way.  Pretty stoked about that.  I feel like that just proves my cross training has not only made me stronger, but maintained my fitness level if my running is still in a decent place. 

5) While I did seize certain opportunities, I did not seize every opportunity to indulge.  So here it is - I traveled for work last week and was particularly exhausted.  When I'm tired, I'm way less likely to make good choices.  Example 1: I purchased 2 dozen hot and fresh krispy kreme donuts for the group I was doing team building with that morning.  Said donuts rode in my car for over an hour.  Breakfast at the hotel had been crappy.  And I didn't eat one.  Wasn't even tempted.  Sipped my black coffee while I drove and almost forgot they were next to me.  That day at lunch I was offered my favorite, all time dessert.  Pumpkin Cheesecake.  Oh my.  Covered in pralines and caramel. It sounded absolutely amazing.  But it won't be the last time I will have pumpkin cheesecake available to me.  I politely declined.  YEAH!

6.  I need accountability with my nutrition.  I don't know if that means forever.  It might be another 2 months.  It might be another 2 years.  I'm not willing to put a timeline on it.  I'm going to do it for as long as I need to do it.  Period.  Because doing whatever it takes to be successful is what this whole thing is about.  And I'm committed to seeing this journey through.

So I don't count everything in the last few weeks as a loss.  Did I gain weight?  Duh, yeah.  I gain weight if YOU eat a cinnamon roll, remember?  Ha. 

But I also gained some perspective.  And that will last longer than this wheat belly will.

Today I ate better.  Today I began to detox.  Today I ordered my FitBit (finally!).  Today I took pictures of my food.  Today I purposefully drank water like it was my job.  Today I worked out hard, even though it was my least favorite workout yet in the entire program. Today was a success.

Now to get about 100 today's to be more like today and less like yesterday, that, my friends, will equal certain success.

Still not sure I will start tracking my food again.  I may when the Fitbit comes in, depends on how easy it is to do.  And how I'm feeling.

Will keep you posted.  Thanks for following me through the ups, downs and everything in between.  It means alot.