Friday, May 29, 2009

I've Moved

New blog, new attitude... come visit me over at

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Let's Start at the Very Beginning

I decided that this summer is the time for me to get back on track with my weight loss and fitness. Last summer, I had a lot of personal stress on myself, and luckily, this summer, it's all gone. Instead, this is going to be the summer of me. My job is to be my most fabulous self. That's what everyone's goal should be, since everything else just falls into place from there.

Anyway, like one of my favorite songs from the Sound of Music, I decided to start from the very beginning, because it's a very good place to start! I figured I would get myself out on the rail trail and run a mile. After I ran the mile, I decided to tack another half mile onto it, and I have to admit that at the end of the 1.5 miles, I was tired. It's been a while since I've run that far. But I did it... 1.5 miles! I rock! I came home and did some weight work, and I feel pretty darn good.

What have YOU done today to make you feel proud?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Stepping outside of my box

After not doing much of anything over the past week (I hit a spinning class on Monday and then took the rest of the week off because of my work load), I decided to tag along with a group of friends who were going rock climbing on Sunday morning. I've never been rock climbing, and maybe I should have been grading... but instead, I decided to go for my very first rock climb. My first time up, I think I got about three feet off the ground before I was begging Dave(our belayer) to let me back down. After some time, and with a little encouragement, I decided to try it again. I got about half way up the rock, which was a lot further than I thought I would every get, and I got stuck in this really difficult part that everyone got stuck at. My hands are a lot more raw than I ever expected them to be, and I have a really nice bruise on my knee (which is huge... in the pictures, it just looks like some scratches. No way... it's about the size of a half dollar and nice and red). But I'm hooked. I think I'm buying a pair of climbing shoes this week in prep for our climb on Friday morning... it is summer for us in the academic world... try not to be jealous :)

Check out how red my hands are in this picture. This is pain and love:

Monday, May 4, 2009

Where Have I Been?

Hi guys. Sorry that I haven't been updating the blog lately. My life has been crazy busy lately. First off, work is insane. Research wise, I have a ton of balls up in the air, and I'm trying not to drop any of them. I've done that before, and wasted a good year of research work. My classes are almost over, so while the grading has kind of calmed down at this point in the week, I'll be spending all weekend grading final exams. Secondly, I've been really busy personally. Lots of six mile walks with friends outdoors, giving myself some well deserved Kiki time now that spring has sprung. I'd like to get back to blogging regularly, but I don't know when. You'll just have to keep checking for updates.

My biggest issue right now is stress eating. Between my research and my grading, I've been nibbling on candy here and there. Luckily for me, I'm still losing, not gaining, but obviously, I'm not losing as fast as I probably could if I was not eating candy throughout the day. Also, at this time of the year, I have no motivation to cook, so I've been eating lots of Subway (seriously, Jared, how did you do this for extended periods of time?), sandwiches and frozen meals (yes, I know, sodium, but it's going to have to do for now).

So, really, I am here, putting in the time at the gym, but at the same time... I'm so busy that I can't really update my blog regularly. Thanks for wondering where I've been, all the same :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Confessions Part II

I went to spinning class today (it rocked) and while I was sweating it out, I noticed what a nice waist I'm whittling. Woo!!!


I hate anything Miley Cyrus or Hannah Montana related. But I *love* when "See You Again" by Miley Cyrus pops up on my Ipod. I'm such a nerd.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: Fitting Things In

This week has been all about my work. And I've gotten a lot done. But as the end of the semester nears, I'm starting to find myself in a familiar place: guilt ridden at going to the gym or for spending time outside rather than working. This week, I've gone for runs, done the elliptical and enjoyed some long (5 mile) walks outside, while still accomplishing all I need to get done at work. And it feels great to take some time for myself and to see the scale moving, but also, to see my body changing.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Change of Plans

This weekend ended up a little differently than I had planned. Originally, I thought that I would squeeze in another run on Friday and Saturday, but that didn't happen. On Friday, I went for a six mile hike with some friends on the rail trail in town. It was a gorgeous afternoon, and being Friday, it was nice to be able to vent to each other about our lives. Saturday found me at the local arboretum for a 75 minute hike. It was a lot warmer than I expected, but wandering through the arboretum and then down to the rail trail made me a happy camper. My blisters told me to take Sunday off, but I was back to running... in the rain, no less!... this evening. I was challenged by a Facebook friend (who just happens to be my best friend from Pre-K, that's going way back) to run a 5K with her over Memorial Day weekend. I'm in it, maybe not to win it, but to complete it would be a win in itself!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: I'm Still a Rock Star

One of my favorite songs of the past year or so is Pink's "So What?" It reminds me that stuff happens, but at the same time, we continue to be the awesome person that is way down deep inside all of us. My first So What? of the week is that I gained 0.4 pounds this week. Where did it come from? Well, I went home to see my family for the first time since Christmas break. I ate everything that my family put in front of me, within reason, of course. A few people at Easter dinner noticed that I didn't take a ton of food the first time around the buffet spread and that I didn't go back for seconds. At dessert time, my cousin and I split some of our desserts. My second So What? is that lent was FINALLY over and I did indulge in some Cadbury mini eggs and Dove truffle eggs. My tummy is still recovering from the reintroduction of that kind of dairy in my diet, but at the same time, I was so hungry for it. So, that half pound? So what? It'll be gone next week, and I have some great memories with my family.

The last So What? I want to share with you is something that I read in Us Weekly (I know, it's my thing, leave it alone). It was about celebrities with cellulite and how they're putting it out there and saying So What that I have cellulite? I love it! Kim Kardashian, Sophia Bush, Kate Winslet, even Reese Witherspoon! How awesome is that? As someone who has cellulite as well, I'm glad that celebs are coming forward and saying that pretty much everyone has cellulite. It's true. Get over it.

I went for a run yesterday afternoon (2 miles) and am going for another one today and tomorrow. Gotta enjoy the sun while it's here! Hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Finding My Motivation

I was away for a long weekend... seriously, my weekend started on Wednesday night and I didn't get back in town until yesterday afternoon. During that time I did not work out once, which makes my gain really no big surprise. However, it's back in the saddle today. I did the 30 Day Shred to get back in the swing of things since I didn't have the motivation to get out of bed and get to the gym. However, I'll be there tomorrow morning unless it's really nice and I can go for a run :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fitness Weekend

After the past few weeks of being a bit lazy on the fitness side of things, I decided to kick it into high gear. Friday, I did a good 45 minutes on the elliptical. Saturday, again, another 30 minutes on the elliptical and Level 3 of the 30 Day Shred (seriously, not as ass kicking as Level 2... which made it that much better!). Sunday was a mile run with a three mile hike. It's funny when you think about fitness, we do it because we want to look better, and therefore, feel better about ourselves. Honestly, I've been working out consistently for about a week now, and even though I might not *look* any different, I feel much more confident about my body and what I'm capable of doing. I think those of us who have been slacking, er, too busy, to work out need a reminder like that every once in a while :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: Progress!

I lost .6 pounds this week. To me, that's a pretty big deal considering all the fluctuations I've been dealing with. Anyway, I think I'm back on track eating and fitness wise. I went for my run on Wednesday night, did another run with a friend last night, and hit the gym for some elliptical goodness this morning. I also did Jillian's 30 Day Shred yesterday and will do it again tonight. I think part of what I'm missing has to do with my lack of weight training. I'm hoping that Jillian will get me through this busy time of the semester until I can get back on track at the gym. Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring has Sprung!

Well, maybe at least for two days. Yesterday was supposed to be rainy all day, but around 3PM, the sun came out and the weather turned nice. Would you blame me for letting my late class out a bit early in order to get in my first outdoor run of 2009? It was great. I drove over to the stadium and ran a two mile loop around the various campuses of my university. Running outside is a lot harder than what I remember it to be :) But it felt WONDERFUL. I'll be doing it again today before the rain returns on Friday!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Graduation Time

Okay, March was a complete bust. With all the work and travelling that I did, there was no way that I could keep up with my workout schedule. Lucky for me, April is a completely different month. I only plan on being out of town for a weekend to visit some family, but other than that, my eye is on the prize: the end of the semester. It's just about seven weeks away, so I've linked another prize to that special shiny day of May 17th: I'd like to set up another 10 pound goal. The scale is FINALLY moving in the right direction for me, and I want to keep up that momentum and move past the weight I was at for graduation last year. Granted, I'm already 10 pounds slimmer than what I was at graduation 2008. Wouldn't it be GREAT if I was 20 pounds slimmer at graduation 2009? I think it would be :)

I'm also keeping my fingers crossed for some nice weather later this week. I want to go for my first outdoor run in a looooooooong while. I'm looking at Thursday at this point. Until then, it's the elliptical at the rec for me.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: What a Bust

So, last week was a complete bust for me, health-wise, exercise-wise, and work-wise. I spent much of the week trying to get over my jet-lag from my Vancouver trip. At work, I was overwhelmed by our advising schedule, which basically takes on a life of its own mid semester, every semester, but I guess it caught me off guard. The end of the week was me looking forward to a number of things: my birthday and visit from a guy I've been seeing for the past month. I got both of those things, and had a wonderful weekend, but I also realized that the past week was just lost. The time just slipped through my fingers.

Therefore, I'm heading to bed, preparing myself for a 7AM appointment with the elliptical at the rec. This next week won't be written up as a bust, because I plan on accomplishing a ton and, in the process, losing a ton!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Post-Travel Musings

Why is eating well while travelling so hard? I stock my fridge with healthy food while I'm at home, and when that isn't accessible to me, it's like I don't know what to do. I'm hoping that today is the day that I get back on track with eating.

Jet lag has seriously ruined my life over the past two days. I was exhausted when I got back into town on Sunday night. Yesterday, I felt like I was the living dead (even to the point where I almost fell asleep during the movie I showed during my late class, how classy would that be?) and today I slept until 8:45. Weekend trips to the west coast just don't agree with me.

Which brings me to my final point: the gym. My friends, I have not been to the gym since last Tuesday. I did walk a lot while in Vancouver, but since I've returned, I just can't get up. Then I have these panic moments, like I'm forgetting something. Oh, yeah, I didn't go to the gym. I didn't sweat it out this morning. Tomorrow, I will be back at the gym. I will sweat it out. And something tells me that tomorrow will be a much better day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: Spring Break Edition

Hey crew! This week is spring break at my university, and for the past two days, I've actually been enjoying the spring weather. How gorgeous! What else is gorgeous? I lost 1.4 pounds since my last weigh in, which...drumroll please... brings me back under 180 pounds AND back to my 50 pound goal! Woo! I'm so happy that I finally got back there. This is also my 10th weigh in of the year, and you might notice that I didn't reach my 10 in 10 goal. However, I did lose 5.2 pounds, which is still pretty average (0.5-1 pound a week). Right now, I'm pretty happy with myself.

I'm about to head out of town for the weekend, off to Vancouver for a work conference. I plan on doing lots of walking like I did last year in San Francisco. Unfortunately, it's going to be cold and rainy. Still, a bit of rain never hurt anyone. Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Pic!!

Did you see my new "current" pic. I felt that December was a long way off, and I needed to put something a little more current up there. I had to wear my FSU shirt... my Noles are in the ACC championship game today. Go Noles! Beat Duke! We've done it before... let's do it again :)

Week Two Bootcamp Check In

I almost forgot to post this! Week Two of our Bootcamp Challenge proved to be challenging for ME because I spent the first half of the week NOT working out. I got overwhelmed at work again, and so, instead of the Bootcamp Challenge, I supplemented my workouts with two 30 Day Shred sessions (Level 1 of course). I figure that in these videos, I work my arms, legs and midsection, so that took care of my five minute BC workouts. I did get four days of cardio in, which made me happy in the end.

How about YOU? How's your challenge going? We're half way there!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: Woke Up This Morning

Good news! I lost 1.8 pounds this week! That is my largest loss since the beginning of the year! Woo!

I had a kind of Sopranos morning. If you're not a Sopranos fan, sorry for this post, but it's so true. I kind of moped around my apartment for a while, not really feeling motivated to hit the gym. I was tired because I went to bed after midnight last night after a long, but fun, phone conversation. My gym buddy wasn't meeting me at the gym. I could have had a Tony Soprano morning, and sit around my house in my bathrobe (no wife beater tyvm) drinking coffee. But one of my friends who I was chatting with via email pushed me to go to the gym. So, I went. I figured that since the rec is going to be closed over the weekend, I might as well hit it up now.

Got to the rec and picked out a treadmill. I really wasn't feeling the whole running thing today, but still, it was Friday, and so that's what my schedule told me to do. While I was warming up on the treadmill, I noticed a few objects in the pond. They were ducks! It has to be spring if the ducks are out on the pond, fighting over the females! Does this mean that we'll be able to observe some ducklings out in the rec pond in a few months? I'm so excited about this.

So, I start running. I've been doing a lot of thinking on the treadmill lately, and I've come to realize that I'm still scared of it. I ran for ten minutes at 5MPH and a 1% incline before I took a three minute walking break. My right shin/calf was killing me, and I couldn't figure out what it was. So, I took off the incline and decide to run like that. I ran for 15 more minutes, first at 5MPH, then at 5.2, and the last five minutes at 5.5. The last five minutes felt great. I think I need to start stepping up my speed. I actually think I'm running too slow, and that's what tiring me out. Sheesh. Why didn't I realize this before?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

That's Not Me

KK's post about self-image has really hit home with me for a number of reasons. I've been having a lot of "fat" days lately. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. (Gentlemen who read my blog... do you get these too?) You feel humungous, like everyone is looking at you because you're so big and sloppy. I think I've been feeling this way because my weight loss has kind of grinded to a stop. But, last year when I got to this point in my weight, I was talking about how slim I was, how I felt great, blah blah blah.

Well, this morning, I had a bit of an epiphany at the gym. I finished my morning run and was returning my towel to the service desk, which is when they give your ID back to you. I told the guy at the desk my name, and he went through the IDs and was looking at my ID for a moment before I finally said, "Yes, that is me." That picture was taken in August 2006, and (obviously) I had a lot of weight in my face, considering I was just about 50 pounds heavier (as of this morning, I'm about four pounds away from my 50 pound mark). I use my ID every day, to get in the rec center, to get a towel, to access the classroom technology when I teach. I try to avoid looking at my ID, because I know which face is smiling back at me. It's my fat face. It's not my current face. And, yes, I'm too cheap to shell out the $20 to get a new ID right now... that's not going to happen until another 50 pounds are gone :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Real Quick!

Because that's all the time I have while I'm finishing up this other conference paper! I didn't work out at all over the weekend. Saturday, I had other plans (hee hee!) and Sunday and Monday were swamped with work. I finally got off my butt and did the 30 Day Shred today, but only after I figured out some data discrepancy and ran some new tests. When I get home tonight, I'll be catching up with my Boot Camp videos. Craziness!!! That's all I have to say :)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

March Boot Camp Check in

How are you doing with your five cardio sessions and seven workouts? Is it too little? Too much? Did you find any of the sparkpeople videos challenging? Check in in the comments below!

As for me, I find the strength training to be a little easy and not enough. Six minutes of lifting, for me, is not enough. Granted, I'll admit that I haven't been doing that much lifting over the past month, so something is better than nothing. I also skipped the Thursday and Friday videos because I was too busy and made up for it by doing the 30 Day Shred on Friday. I'm going for a run today, and when I get back, it's all about the core video, which I found the most challenging.

Weekly Weigh In: I am a runner

The best response I got to some of my previous posts are the ones that just say You ARE A Runner (thanks Cammy and Jason). But, one of my non-blog friends read that post and sent me an article about what makes you a runner. You can read the whole article here on Runner's World, but I picked out the reasons that I felt made me a runner.

I AM A RUNNER because my shoes are training equipment, not a fashion statement. The best shoe for me is the one that makes me a better runner. I choose the shoe that goes with my running mechanics, not my running outfit. (Trust me, the Brooks Dyad? It almost looks like an orthopedic sneaker. But it works!)

I AM A RUNNER because I know what effort feels like, and I embrace it. I know when I'm pushing the limits of my comfort and why I'm doing it. I know that heavy breathing and an accelerated heart rate--things I once avoided--are necessary if I want to be a better runner. (One of my biggest fears as a runner is being a loud breather. Who wants to be that person? Well, guess what? If that's what makes me a better runner, then so be it.)

I AM A RUNNER because I value and respect my body. It will whisper to me when I've done too much. And if I choose to listen to that whisper, my body won't have to scream in pain later on. (And if that means that I can't push it to be a faster runner just yet, well then, so be it.)

I AM A RUNNER because I run. Not because I run fast. Not because I run far. (Trust me, I can run faster and farther than what I used to run at this time last year. That definitely doesn't mean I'm the fastest one out there!)

I AM A RUNNER because I say I am. And no one can tell me I'm not.

Excuse me, it's time for my Saturday run :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Crazy Links

My post on Monday (Fly on the Wall) hit home with a lot of you, whether you've been obese or not. This is taking it to the extreme: A trainer in Australia is gaining weight so he can "empathize" with his clients. Um, not cool.

I know, I stopped watching Biggest Loser. But I have been reading updates other places online, and I was amazed to hear of kicked off contestant Dane running a marathon since he's been off the ranch. Then I read this. Oy. You either DID run a marathon or didn't. It'd be like me saying I ran a 5K because I went out and ran three miles one day. WTH? I'm a girl who likes a side of honesty with her cup of fitness.

Running Mad Libs

This morning, I hit up the gym for my usual Monday, Wednesday, Friday run. Got my towel, put my stuff in the little cubby I use, and walked up to my treadmill (isn't it funny that my treadmill has become "mine"?). As I started to run, I got tired. Granted, I'm still getting over this bug that has had a hold on me for the past week, so even though I had planned on running for 25 minutes, around 13 minutes, I was beat. Then, I got to thinking, I AM A RUNNER. But what kind of runner am I? Am I a competitive runner? I've never been much of an athlete, especially a competitive one. I was the kid who used to cringe at the mention of field day, hoping that it consisted of games of kick ball not 100 yard dashes. I would love to run a 5K, and I thought that goal was within my reach, but the more and more I run, I feel like I'm not moving along... I'm not getting much faster, I'm not running for longer periods... I'm just running. So does that make me a runner who just runs for exercise? And if that's what I am, so what? What's wrong with running for my cardio fitness? Isn't it the same as spinning? I'm "cycling" with no real place to go, other than to burn calories, be healthy, and look hot? Is that what I'm doing with running? There are lots of people who fall into this "non-competitive" category. So, by the end of my run (which ended up being a 13 minute run, 90 second walk, 5 minute run, 2 minute walk, 3 minute run, cool down), I started thinking, "I AM A ____________ RUNNER". I just need to figure out the blank.

Boot camp peeps! It's Day 4, and you should have done the core workout today. Yesterday's upper body workout was, again, too short, but I did feel challenged by today's core workout. Holy cow! Planks ON the balance ball? Who created that?

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Fly on the Wall

It's kind of interesting to "hear" what people think and say about obesity when they don't realize your history. For instance, I've made some new friends since I've dropped these 50 pounds. In the back of my head, I always wonder, would they like me if they knew me when I was 50 pounds heavier? According to the BMI index, I'm still obese. Granted, I've moved from "morbidly obese" to "severly obese" and now I'm just plain old "obese". I can't wait to be just plain old "overweight"... granted, that's 30 pounds away.

Back to my original observation about people and their thoughts on obesity. A few months ago, all these "notes" on Facebook started going around. (Since when did it become kosher to start "forwards" on Facebook? Oy!) A girl I knew since high school who has always been thin "confessed" that one of her biggest fears is getting fat. Are you kidding me? I mean, no one wants to get fat. But, when we talk about biggest fears, for me, it includes plane crashes, losing loved ones, not making enough money to pay my bills, etc. Then again, I'm very conscious of treading that line where health is a part of my life and how it can easily become an obsession. A few weeks later, I read on someone else's facebook page (another thin... and I mean THIN... girl) about how she takes that hydroxicut daily to be able to eat what she wants. Um, okay.

Another blog I follow had a discussion earlier this week about our state proposing a law like the one in NY where calories have to be posted on the ordering board in fast food restaurants. I'll gladly admit that the discussion spun out of control and has moved far far away from the original topic, but what stood out was one of the commenters saying how he won't look at obese people because they lack beauty. OMG. When I was morbidly obese, I knew there were people who thought I was disgusting. *I* thought I was disgusting, even though I dressed up, took care of myself, and put on a good face every day. I'm sure there were some people who found me repulsive. It's just different when you hear someone say that out loud.

I have a few students who are morbidly obese and I feel bad for them. I'm sad when I see them stuff themselves into those fun desk/chairs. I'm really sad because they are smart kids (one of them has the highest average in a certain class) and I know how hard it is to go through life when people meet you and the first thing they notice about you is your weight. I also know how hard it is to lose weight, and how easy it is to fall back into bad habits and to give up when you hit a plateau. I wish it was as easy as "calories in, calories out", but we all know that it's a bit more than that, emotionally. We have to change our relationship with food.

Sorry to be such a downer, but this has been brewing for a while. I finally hit the gym today... did a 20 minute run for my first day back post-cold and I also did the boot camp lower body challenge video. OMG... one footed squats? Those lunges with the balance ball? This one was a challenge!!! BTW, I got a balance ball at Walmart for $8! Just wanted to share with y'all. How's it going with you?

Have a good Monday!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Boot Camp Challenge Day 1

Today, we tackled the 10 minute workout with Coach Nicole. My main complaint is that it isn't 10 minutes long. It's more like 7 minutes long with a two minute cool down. That really disappointed me because by minute seven I was working up a good sweat, and she cut it short. Ugh! So, I did a Walk Away the Pounds video to keep my momentum going for at least a half hour.

My suggestion on the Spark People non-music issue? Pull up, set the "station" to a workout song you like (for me, it's Britney's Womanizer) and they'll play a whole bunch of songs that are similar to that song. On the Womanizer station, I hear a lot of Kanye, Christina, Lady Gaga, Pussycat Dolls, etc. Helps me move rather than hearing the tapping of Coach Nicole's feet.

So, I bought a balance ball at TJ Maxx and it was a complete bust. The damn thing wouldn't inflate. I'm returning it later today and hitting up Walmart instead. Saving $10 vs. having an inflatable ball? Hmm, no contest there.

How are YOU doing with the first Boot Camp workout? Ready for some cardio tomorrow?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: Treading Water

So, at the beginning of the year, I said I was going to take this 10 pounds in 10 weeks approach. How have I been doing? Well, I've lost a total of 1.4 pounds in seven weeks. Actually, this is what my weight has looked like over the past seven weeks:

Basically, going to New York really tripped me up. I have to learn how to find a balance between "go! enjoy yourself!" and "ugh, well, I've already been off the wagon all weekend... a few more days of eating whatever won't hurt me". I've definitely gotten back on the wagon this week, but at the same time, I haven't worked out for the past two days. Thursday, I had my ankle issues. Yesterday, my cold finally reared its ugly head (it's been sitting in my sinuses for a while... that little tickle that lets you know that something is coming). Not to mention that for the past few days, I've been putting in 8+ hours at the office and coming home to do even more work. I'm very consciencious about not falling into the trap I fell into in grad school when I was too busy to work out and ballooned up into the 230 range... but at the same time, the elliptical and running a 5K isn't going to get me tenure. This is what I deal with every time I get stressed.

I have three weeks left out of the original 10. There is no way that I'm going to lose 8+ pounds in that time, but as long as that chart keeps its downward movement, I'll be happy.

BOOT CAMP STARTS TOMORROW... are you ready???? I am psyched!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Moving On Up

Today is/was a running day, but I've decided to take it easy instead. I've noticed this pain in my ankle (or is it my upper foot... it's basically the front part of my ankle, where my leg and foot meet). Anyway, I've had it for the past few days, and it's still not feeling any better today, so I'm not going to run, but instead will do a spin class later this afternoon for a little cardio goodness.

I'm so excited about my running though! Ever since I started my new relationship with the treadmill, my running has gotten a lot better. I'm running a 12-12:30 minute mile when I'm running, which for me, is a huge improvement from my previous run-ins with a treadmill. Anyway, I think I'm ready to move onto running long runs, not just the C25K intervals. Looking at the C25K program, it's built around the assumption that you're running a 10 minute mile. Uh, no, not me. So, for now, I'm going to concentrate on working on my running time. I'm bumping it up to a 25 minute run for the next few runs, then 27 minutes, 29 minutes. When I get comfortable with a half hour of running, then I'll start working on my distance. But I'm kind of hoping that it just comes with it.

Yay to those of you who signed up for my boot camp challenge! I'm so excited to be starting it soon. Hope you are too! And for those of you who are still in need of a balance ball... TJ Maxx is the place to go!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Okay peeps, here's the info on the boot camp challenge. We're going to start on March 1 (Sunday) and run through March 28 (Saturday). It's a four week challenge, and yes, there is an activity to do every day. However, don't sweat it if you can't completely commit to working out every day. I'll tell you right now that there are two days that I won't be able to work out, because I'll be flying to and then flying back from Vancouver. But I plan on working out the other 26 days of the challenge. In fact, Sparkpeople says the following about skipping one of these workouts: "If you miss a day, you can move on to the next day or do two videos in one day. Think of the New YOU workout plan as a guideline, so if you mess up here and there, don't worry—just get back to it!"

So, how does it work? SparkPeople have posted a short video (5-10 minutes) for us to do each day. (You can find the videos here. Page down and click on the corresponding day.) To do the videos, all you need are a set of hand weights (I suggest 5-8 lbs) and a stability ball (I'm going to buy mine at TJ Maxx this weekend!)

Along with the videos, we will all be doing 30 minutes of cardio, 5 days a week. So, what will your week look like?

Sunday: Kickboxing video
Monday: 30 minutes of cardio and lower body sculpt video
Tuesdays: 30 minutes of cardio and upper body sculpt video
Wednesday: 30 minutes of cardio and core strength video
Thursday: 30 minutes of cardio and lower body workout video
Friday: 30 minutes of cardio and upper body sculpt video
Saturday: Core Workout Video

I'll post a check in every Saturday to see how we're all doing, if we find the videos challenging, etc.

I'm ready to commit! How about you? If you are willing to start this boot camp challenge with me, hit me up in the comments! My goal is to feel fit and fine at 29 (which will happen on March 27)... how about you?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Vision Board

Ever since MizFit has been talking about her vision board, I've been contemplating putting one together. I started saving clippings of things that I find motivating, whether it's pictures (the running chick, the gorgeous brunette in the stunning pink dress), quotes (my favorite Sex and the City quote and another one from Eat Pray Love, a book that has made a huge impact on my life), as well as random things (I heart hydrangeas and orchids). I finally took some ME time to put it together yesterday, and I'm so happy with it. Another thing that I've adopted from The Secret is the Law of Attraction: the idea that putting out positive energy into the world will help you to achieve what you want. It's so easy to get lost in the negativity that we're all guilty of. One thing that I did when I went through my divorce was to get rid of a lot of negativity, especially since the X was a very negative person. I can't believe how many people have commented on what a different person I am since I started doing that. However, I think I've gotten a bit lazy on that front. 18 months ago, it was all good, but I've found more negativity creeping into my life. Time to start using that scalpel to cut all that bad stuff out!

What do you do/ what tools do you use to keep yourself motivated?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another Brick in the Wall, Part III

We don't need no education,
We don't need no thought control,
Hey! Teacher! Leave them kids alone!
This song was going through my head this morning as I was in cardio hell. I decided to try out a "cardio challenge" class at the rec. I had been to another class with the same instructor, so I was ready for a workout and a challenging one. Class started at 7:30, and by 7:45, I was finished. The instructor had us working on Bosu trainers, which was fine, except she had the most intricate footwork for it. Translated: I was trying to figure out where my feet should have been going more often than doing the actual exercise the rest of the class was doing. She had us running laps around the room, and I think the breaking point was when we had to SKIP laps around the room. I couldn't imagine staying until 8:30, so at 8, when the group went for more laps, I picked up my Bosu, put it back on the rack and walked out. I heard later that two other people took my lead and left soon after. Let the revolution against ridiculous group classes begin! I ended up spending another 20 minutes on the elliptical, where I knew I was burning calories instead of scratching my head, trying to figure out where my feet should be.
I'm not doing a weigh in this week. Considering I was "off the wagon" until Wednesday morning, there is no reason for me to publicly admit my indulgences over the long weekend (oh, wait... I just did). Let's just say that I'm much more focused on next Friday and making it there than I am about my current status.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Snow Daze

When I finally got my butt out of bed this morning at 7:45 and dragged it to the gym, it was kinda sorta flurrying. By the time I got to the gym and was at the end of my first 10 minute interval (that's Week 6 Day 2 of C25K if you're keeping track) we had a huge snow squall. I love snow, don't get me wrong, but running on the treadmill which is placed in front of a ceiling to floor length mirror while snow was coming in crazily with the wind? It was almost dizzying. Then, after about a minute or two of this squall, things returned to normal, and I completed the rest of my run.

I COMPLETED THE REST OF MY RUN! I'm so glad that I decided to switch over to the treadmill for these training runs. Today was the first day that I did W6D2, which is a 10 minute run followed by a 3 minute walk and then another 10 minute run. I admit that I was a little tired towards the end of interval 2, but still... I rocked those 10 minute runs. I think I might do that day maybe one or two more times and then start moving onto the longer runs, building my distance. Eep! I'm starting to feel like a runner again :)

Wow! I'm so excited about the response to my Boot Camp Challenge, which, in my head, I keep referring to "Fit and Fine for 29!" I'll put more details up here soon, but I'd like to start on March 1st since it's a four week commitment and the big 2-9 is on March 27th. Yay!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Does anyone remember that old SNL skit, Mary Katherine Gallagher? It was huge while I was in college, and my friends and I used to love that skit a ton. Maybe it was because I was a former catholic school girl myself, but sometimes, I just think to myself "I'm a SUPERSTAR!" just as a little pick me up. Sometimes we all need things like that :)

I went back to the gym yesterday and today. Yesterday, I did another C25K run on the treadmill. You know, I think I might be in love. With the treadmill of course! I concentrated on my speed yesterday (Hello, 5.2 mph! I don't think we've ever met before!) as well as my stride. I loved it. Today, I tried out a new Super Sculpt class. It was great. A bit of a cardio warmup, then all sorts of squats, lunges, and weights. I really enjoyed it. Another goal of mine today is to get back on the healthy eating bandwagon. Going to the grocery last night should help with that... kind of hard to eat healthy if there's nothing in your fridge!

So, it's my birthday next month... and while it isn't a milestone birthday (next year will be though), I'm thinking of having a blogging even for it. Anyone interested in doing the sparkpeople bootcamp with me throughout the month of March? I want to be fit and fabulous for the last year of my 20s. Let me know if you're interested, and if so, I'll give more details in a future post.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Behave? Me?

I had a fabulous weekend in New York. Ate ate ate, drank drank drank. But I'm not going to complain about the weight I gained for two reasons. First, I'm at the weight that I usually am at the end of one of my weekend splurges, so no difference there. Second, I live in West Virginia for goodness's sakes. Where else am I going to get my fill of Irish pubs, Cuban and Southern Italian cuisine? (And, any WV people... WV "Italian" food is so not Italian.) I had a blast. I had an anti-Valentine's Day date with one of my best guy friends. We went to see August: Osage County, which was a fabulous play. Okay, it was a bit depressing, but in no way did I feel like I was sitting in that theatre for three and a half hours. Then we went to eat at Il Gattopardo near the Museum of Modern Art. It's in the basement of a townhouse, which sounds kind of odd, but we were seated in the heated patio/greenhouse part of it. It had great ambiance, so if you are in town with your SO, I definitely recommend this place. I flew back to town yesterday, and today it's back to the usual routine. I already had a date with a treadmill, and I'll be leaving for the office shortly. It's kind of fun to look back on my whirlwind 48 hours in the busiest city in the US and smile to myself as I go back to the same old same old of every day life.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: Happy Hour Edition

I'm maintaining... and at a moment like this, I have to wonder, what would Jimmy Buffett do?

I'm off to NYC for the weekend... I'll try to behave, but I really can't promise anything :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Me Against The Treadmill

Don't ask me why, but I'm just really not feeling the Biggest Loser this season. I know! Me! Of all people! Maybe I'm just bored that they're all lovey dovey contestants, even when they try not to be (Helen, I'm talking to you and your "game playing" speech). Maybe I think the challenges are dumb (balance yourself on this yoga block! keep your arms raised above your head for four hours!). Maybe I'm just busy with work and other things going on that I'm not into it. So the weekly Kiki Biggest Loser recaps are going on hiatus until something GOOD happens on that show. If not, I'll just be bored for the rest of the season.

Today was a running morning. I was supposed to get my butt out of bed and meet E at 6:45 to do our run and then go to a strength class. I don't know what's been up with me (stress? the weather? my allergies?) but when my alarm went off at 6AM, I shut it off. I then texted E at 6:30 to say that there was no way I was going to make our 6:45 meeting time. I ended up sleeping until 7:20 and then going to the gym. I've been experiencing motivational issues while running on the indoor track. I feel slow, I hate going around the turns, and it's just an overall bad experience. I had decided earlier to try the treadmill again, but KK's post yesterday made me definitely want to try it out.

I walked up to my chosen treadmill like a woman approaching an unbroken horse. I wanted to have the upperhand, but really, I knew that the treadmill was in control of the situation. I started off with my five minute warm up, then very cautiously nudged up the speed. My Ipod died (it might help if I charged it every once in a while) so I listened to the noise of my feet hitting the belt and the whistling tune that the machine was making. I ended up finding my own rhythm quickly, and increasing the speed again, outside my normal comfort zone. Overall, it was a GREAT experience. I completed my C25K run for the day and not ONCE did I feel like I was going to fly off the back of the machine. I've "broken" the treadmill!

I ended up leaving the gym with a big smile on my face. Not only did I feel accomplished in my run (which, for the past few weeks on the track, I haven't been feeling like a runner much at all) but I know that the treadmill is now something that I can use as a training tool instead of something that freaks me out.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Reminding me of me

Yesterday, while I was working on my paper (the draft is complete! just need to work in the tables, bibliography, and some citations), I had a thought. I was mindlessly eating my way through a bag of pita chips when I realized that I have this cycle: work hard during the week, go to the gym, eat right... and on the weekend, forget about it. Grr. So I wrote down five things that I think will help me:

1) I will not allow myself to throw away all my hard work on the weekend. I get one "cheat" day a week... that's it.

2) I will hit the gym five or six days a week (at least one of those days on the weekend).

3) When I go out, I will dress up. Dressing up helps me feel better about myself. A sweater and jeans just makes me feel sloppy and not in control of my weight.

4) I will focus on eating right and not snacking (read: eating another meal) before bed.

5) I will focus on being the best me and the rest will come.

As we move into the sixth week of the year, is there anything that you need to remind yourself of? Anything you notice that isn't working and that you need to change to see some success?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: Stress Eating

I appreciate all the comments that reminded me to breathe while working on my paper for this conference next weekend. It's going well now that I'm actually writing it. I sometimes get paralyzed by stress: you know, when you reach that point where you realize how much time you have left, you start to worry that your tests aren't really that original, you are concerned about members of your panel or the audience sneering at your work. It's amazing how catty the world of academics (and especially my field) can be.

The unfortunate response is that I stress eat. Yes, I do. I restrained myself from actually going to Kroger this week to pick up bag after bag of pita chips (hello, salt, thank you for being a friend). Instead, on Thursday night, after grabbing a beer with some work colleagues (in a super sized pint, which I didn't ask for), I came home, ate a healthy dinner of a 3 oz steak, asparagus and spinach. Then, I had a minor paper-related freak out. I tried to calm myself down with some Grey's Anatomy, but really, I wanted the remaining honey wheat banana bread that was in my freezer. I took it out, defrosted it, toasted it, buttered it, and gave into the beast called "Stress Eating."

Not surprisingly, I had a bit of a gain on Friday morning. That's why I waited to weigh myself in today. I worked hard all week on my nutrition, and I didn't want it reflected after my Thursday beer and bread and butter episode. I lost 0.2 pounds, which isn't a lot, but at the same time, I didn't gain. Also, because I've been stressing over my time commitments, I only made it to the gym four times this week. I usually aim for five or six times, but I just couldn't do it this week. Trust me, I'm not beating myself up over this... the paper is coming along nicely, and it's better than being stressed out over my paper while at the gym.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Kiki Success Squad

First off, sorry for no new Biggest Loser update. I've been so bogged down by this conference paper that I didn't even get to watch it myself on Tuesday night. I heard it was a good episode (and yes, I already know who was kicked off) so if I get around to watching it this weekend, I promise that I'll give you my thoughts in a seperate post.

Every morning, while I'm drinking my coffee, I read the Daily Spark. The other day they had a post called "Assembling Your Success Squad." I find it funny that most of my success squad is here on the internet. Yes, I have people in my every day life that are essential to my success: my gym buddy E. My walking buddy (y'know, when it isn't 10 degrees outside) D. My old neighbor J, who helps me to complain about my weight loss and exercise pains.

But a lot of you have come into my life through this little blog right here. C and Marcie, who started out at the same time as me. RooBabs, KK, and Angie, my running gurus. Miz, PTG, and Cammie, my all around start my day off with a chuckle gals. And Kelly, my fitness buddy who was "introduced" to me by Miz. Every time I post, I look forward to seeing all your comments, suggestions, and pick me ups. So, even though I haven't been posting as much lately (trust me, my work life is pretty much hell for me), you guys ARE my support system. And even though I might not have mentioned you by name here, I always enjoy the random passerby who has a helpful comment. It's amazing to know where I was last year when I started this blog (geez... a year already?) and how far I still can go with your help and support. So, here's a big THANK YOU and a hug!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day

Puxatawney Phil saw his shadow today, meaning six more weeks of winter. Those of us in the Midwest and the Northeast are considering finding Phil and giving him a good beating.

I went grocery shopping yesterday, and one of the things that I'm trying to be better about is eating my fruits and veggies. I view the day in thirds: morning, afternoon, evening. I try to eat at least two fruits and/or veggies in each part of the day. I've discovered the usefulness of Glad Steam Lock Bags in steaming veggies like broccoli or asparagus (YUM!). Helps me to not feel so lazy while I throw my dinners together after a long day of working.

One thing that frustrates me about the Hungry Girl emails is that she uses all these ingredients (Tofu Shiraki anyone?) that you can't get unless you 1) live in a big city or 2) have a Whole Foods near your house. I've looked and looked at the fancy schmancy new Kroger that has been all the rage of Motown...nope, no Tofu Shiraki. Just plenty of expensive veggies. Oh, well.

Exercise wise, I did my first long 20 minute run in a looooooooong while. Probably since Thanksgiving. Saturday, I dragged my butt to the gym and hoofed it around the indoor track. I ran a 11:20 mile! I can't believe myself!!! Isn't that awesome? I slowed down a bit after I hit that mile mark, but still. Yesterday was the elliptical, and today I did Week 6 Day 1 (five minute warmup, 5 min run, 3 min walk, 8 min run, 5 min walk, 5 min run). I admit that on the Monday morning after the Super Bowl, I was a bit dehydrated (what's that, Sam Adams Light?) and over stuffed (huh, artichoke dip?) but I made it through. I'm going to be trying a new class at the gym tomorrow, so, we'll see how that goes.

Have a happy Monday!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: Snowed In

I haven't left my apartment since Wednesday evening. I'm lucky that for my job, I can work from home 3 days a week and that I really just need to be there physically twice a week. I've been working off my patootie on a paper for an upcoming conference (which is due to the discussant on February 10... 11 days and counting). Seriously people, I watched Lost and the Biggest Loser with my laptop open, working on my data! Also, since I've not been going in the office, I obviously haven't been going to the gym. I haven't been since Monday. That doesn't mean that I haven't been using my videos and starting up the 30 Day Shred again!

And... drumroll please... that brings me to my ONE pound loss that I had for the week! Ta da! I think most of it has to do with paying attention to my diet rather than all the exercise I've been getting in. So, three weeks into my Ten Pounds in Ten Weeks Challenge, I've lost 2.2 pounds, which averages out to about 3/4 of a pound per week. Not to shabby :) I think that eating right and exercising does a lot for your self esteem as well. I've been feeling fat lately (could you tell from my last post?), but knowing that I'm taking the time to eat right and to make time to work my body at the gym (or at home) makes me feel good about myself.

So, my goal for next week will be another movement down on the scale (woot!) and to keep it up with my healthy eating. I'm going to a Super Bowl party on Sunday, but I promise not to indulge. After all... there is always celery associated with wings right? I'll just concentrate on the green stuff :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pilates Punishment

I don't think I've told you all, but I've started doing Pilates twice a week. It's a lot more difficult than I remember it to be. When I lived in Tallahassee, I used to go to a women's only gym with a friend's girlfriend. She was into going to yoga and pilates classes, while I was trying to peel off the pounds by hitting the cardio machines. However, I did go to yoga and pilates with her. Pilates was difficult, but I remember being able to do planks, side planks and all sorts of different things.

Granted, that was about 5 years ago. And (while I know I'm not 105 years old) there is a difference between being in your early 20s and now in my (sniff sniff) late twenties. So, when I went to Pilates for the first time a few weeks ago, I didn't think it was so bad. We did a lot of core work, and it was fine. When I went back for Friday's class, our instructor told us to get foam rollers and some gadget that was an exercise band with wrist and ankle attachments. To me, it looked like something completely from the Inquisition. Was I going to be put on the rack? And then bound and quartered?

My main nemesis is the side plank. I get along fine with the front plank. No problem at all. But get over onto that side, and I'm all sorts of wobbly and uncoordinated. I feel like my instructor looks at me like, honey, you're a big girl, you can't do it all at once. (I believe her exact words to me when I asked her for help with the side plank after class was "you're new. you can't expect to run a marathon tomorrow if you've never run before in your life.") I want to scream "I'm in the best shape I've ever been in my life!!! Yes I'm still a big girl, but I *should* be able to do this!!" I guess that's why Pilates frustrates me so much. I hang in the back with the "Plus-25 crowd" which ranges from those of us in our late 20s and early 30s to some women who are easily in their 50s and 60s, while the front of the classroom is filled with 18-22 year olds that weigh all of 95 pounds. They can bend and stretch and balance with no problems. Drives me crazy.

But it just makes me want to get stronger and practice that side plank every friggin day!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Biggest Loser: It's a Trap!

Okay, while I did watch BL last night, I'm having a hard time recalling specific details. So, you'll just have to help me out in the comments section. I was working while watching... and I'll be bogged down with work until Valentine's Day. Lucky, lucky me :)

Bob's team felt betrayed by Jillian's team, because they voted Damien off last week instead of Joelle. Filipe was wound up: If you want to play the game, let's play the game! Bob did some team building exercises with them and everyone was happy. Except... we got to visit their partners at home. Um, excuse me David? You're smoking AND pigging out? Laura? Partying it up in Miami Beach? Your friends on campus will be pissed when they find out.

Ali shows up with another NFL themed challenge (how lucky were they to get Kurt Warner... not knowing the Cards would be in the Super Bowl). It was a cooking challenge with that Australian hottie Curtis Stone, who hosts Take Home Chef on TLC. Now that's not an offer I'd argue with :) They had to guess the calorie content of fatty Super Bowl foods like chicken wings and seven layer dip. Then, Helen, Kristin, and Dan competed to have Curtis visit their partners who are at home plus a 2 pound advantage in the first couples weigh in. Dan won, and Curtis went to visit David in SC. At this point, I'm getting so annoyed at any BL product placement. They are just sooooooooo fake! (hey guys! don't eat that oatmeal! quaker's not a sponsor any more, even though we pushed it big time last season! eat fiber one instead!!!!!)

Their challenge was similar to the one they did last season with Steve Young and Jerry Rice... run footballs to each other's bins, fill them up, and the contestant gets disqualified. Helen won, beating Joelle (!!), and was able to guarantee that she and her daughter will be back next week.

Before the weigh in began, Ali had a surprise for everyone... their partners were back already! But would they stay? After the weigh ins, the brown team and Dan (orange) were in the bottom two. Ron, the Brown dad, cried, saying don't take this experience away from my son. David, on the other hand, was like, eh, you need to send me home, I don't care. Yeah, you probably want some more smokes and wings, no? At the voting table, I was so worried that the Brown Team would be going, but I'm glad that some people (Tara and Felipe) reemed David for his "I don't care" attitude. But wow... DANIEL!!! He lost 101 pounds since he's been home. He actually looks like a different person. He should be very proud of himself, since he obviously doesn't have the support of his teammate.

Next week... first 10 minutes, the at-home contestants weigh in. Let the fur fly! WOOO!!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Note to Self

Yesterday, I went to the gym after mass to do some cardio and strength training. I picked up some sort of US/People/Hello! type magazine, and was looking through it while I worked on the elliptical. Finally, I got to a story on Jenny McCarthy. Say what you will about her, but you do have to give her major props for losing weight on WW. Anyway, she said something that resonated with me and is now a part of my "note to self" for the week: Weight loss is 90% eating and 10% exercise. She said, "I can be a toned fat person or a toned thin person. It depends on what I eat." Amen! I haven't been paying much attention to food lately (work stress... ugh!). That's what I'm going to focus on for the week.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: Not Going Anywhere

I can't believe that I hardly blogged this week. I've been really focused on work, especially since I have a conference coming up in two and a half weeks. That being said, I did awesome with my workouts this week. I took a day off on Tuesday, but other than that, I've been at the gym every day. I've had a little difficulty with my runs now that I bumped it up to two intervals of eight minutes running and five minutes walking. About half way through my second set yesterday, I got the worst side cramp and had to walk for about 30 seconds. Ugh. Don't you hate when that happens?

I didn't lose any weight this week, but I maintained. I'm happy with that, mainly because cooking has been such a pain in the butt. Mondays and Wednesdays are my late teaching nights, and I usually just have leftovers. But even on days that I have time to cook, I'm kind of in a rut. I put in a lot during the day that I'm kind of exhausted when I get home. I full admit to having a "grazing" dinner on Tuesday night, even though I had the time to cook something. However, I'm starting to turn a lot to soups and sandwiches as meals, just because they are easy and healthy. Do you ever get into a rut with your cooking? Or find yourself completely lacking motivation to face the stove? What do to you to move past that and yet still maintain your healthy lifestyle? I've also started weight training again, so I think that has contributed to the non-movement of my scale this week.

Hope you have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mind Games

I've started weight training again, and it is so tiring :) I'd say it's been a good six or seven weeks since I picked up a weight or did a lunge. On Sunday, E and I decided to start our strength training along with our C25K. We did some weights, lunges, squats, and crunches. I was tired afterwards, but not really sore. Monday, we went to Pilates and did a C25K run (still repeating W5D1). Since it was a holiday, I went home and worked from my couch while watching Rocky II (the only Philadelphian athlete who never disappoints... hint hint Eagles defense). When I tried to get up to get a drink... OMG. I. Was. So. Sore. I ended up working from my couch for the rest of the day and popping two Tylenol before I went to bed. I almost didn't work out yesterday, but I figured that something is better than nothing. So, I did the strength training workout from the Biggest Loser Vol. 1 DVD. I felt a lot better doing something... and I definitely wasn't sore this morning.

We've been moving along on our journey back in the C25K. Since it has been so long since I've run, I've been repeating lots of days. And trust me: three intervals of 5 minutes of running followed by three minutes of walking is ALOT if you haven't run in seven weeks. Today, we decided to progress and move onto W5D2, which is two intervals of 8 minute runs and 5 minute walks. I didn't think I was going to make it through the runs, and yet, I did. Part of it was that E and I switched our running positions. I had been running on the outside lane and E on the inside. In running on the outside, I felt that I was always trying to catch her, that I was going too slow, etc. I told her it was messing with my head, and that's why I was so out of breath while I was running. After our first interval, she totally got what I was saying... there's just something about that outside lane that makes you go crazy... all the speeding up and slowing down to pass people that are walking, going around the corners make you fall behind... it's a big old mind game! We're planning on next Friday being our long 20 minute run... ugh. It seems so far away, and yet, I know we can do it!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Biggest Loser Update

I'm sorry to inform those of you who want my usual Wednesday BL commentary. Sorry kids, but I'm too busy watching the Neighborhood Ball on ABC. This week, Michelle Obama's dress (oh, yeah, and our new president) ranks higher than the BL. I promise to be all caught up for next week's show :)

Something New: Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms

As I promised, I will be trying out one new recipe per week. It helps me out in a way, since I don't get home until 6:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays and by the time I do get home, I'm starving. So, I'm planning on making these new recipes on the weekend, in order to have leftovers later in the week. This week, I tried the Hungry Little Catepillar's Chicken with Caramelized Onions. I added the mushrooms :)

Chicken and Caramelized Onion and Mushrooms:

1 onion, cut into large pieces

1 cup of mushrooms, sliced

1-2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tsp. butter or oil

1/4 cup chicken broth

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1/2 - 1 tsp. basil

salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet over med-high heat, add the onions to heated butter/oil. When onions are beginning to become translucent (cooked through, about 5-10 min) add the chicken broth. Cook, stirring, until the broth has fully evaporated. (about 10 min) Add the mushrooms Add the vinegar, and continue to stir until vinegar has fully evaporated. (another 5-10 minutes) The onions should be dark brown and limp. Remove onions from a pan to the serving plate.Add the chicken to the skillet (do not clean it - broth/vinegar residue flavors the chicken) and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and basil. Cook until chicken is cooked through. If onions have cooled, you can add them back to the skillet for a minute or two to re-heat them. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings if you only use 1 chicken breast (like me!).

I served it with brown rice to cut some of the sharpness in the onions from the balsamic vinegar. What did it look like? Voila! And it tasted great. The only thing I would warn is that it does take time to make this meal... it certainly isn't a quick stirfry.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Total Frustration

I received a phone call yesterday from my mom... she was really concerned about my aunt. My aunt is extremely obese for her frame. I think her BMI is somewhere close to 60 (if you need a reference, obesity starts at a BMI of 30). Anyway, throughout her life, she's had her ups and downs with her weight. About four or five years ago, she got down to a healthy weight, but unfortunately, a series of surgeries plus quitting smoking has made her bounce back up in her weight, making her get to her highest weight ever. I've tried to help her, especially since my own BMI was about 45 when I started losing weight, but her response to everything is that it may have worked for me, but I'm younger than her, I exercise, etc.

So, my mom calls me yesterday to tell me that my aunt went to her family doctor for a check up and that, in response to her weight gain, her doctor said, "Well, there's nothing else we can do for you. You should go get a lap band or gastric bypass surgery. That's the only way you'll lose weight." And like my mom, I was FURIOUS at this doctor. How can you tell someone that's the ONLY way they'll lose weight? I'm not saying that my aunt gained weight out of the blue. Obviously there are things that contributed to her gaining weight, including her own bad habits. But for a doctor to have this defeatist attitude, that this "quick fix" of gastric bypass will solve all my aunt's problems... it disgusts me. Gastric bypass is a last resort for many people. But before you get to this point, you try things: why not send her to a nutritionist or even a therapist to talk through her food issues? Why is it this "all or nothing" attitude?

I admit that when I was tipping the scales at 230 (I think closer to 240 if we're being honest... I never weighed myself when I was really heavy), I thought about how I would never be able to lose that weight. That I would probably just keep getting bigger and bigger. How I would never be able to have kids, because how could my body handle being a 300 pound pregnant lady? Once in a while, the idea of a lap band or gastric bypass would find its way in my mind. But finally, I got to the point where something in me snapped. I didn't want to live life as an obese American. I wanted to be thin, healthy, and to be able to shop in stores that weren't called "Lane Bryant".

But I think all of us who have been on this weight loss journey experienced this kind of epiphany, something that made us start eating better and moving our bodies. What happens when someone doesn't reach that point? What can we do to get them there? Unfortunately, I'm finding out the hard way that you can't do anything. I've tried with my aunt, I've actually written down what I eat and what I avoid for her (there is no magic recipe, but this is what works for me), I've encouraged her to not give up (which is SO important)... but I am so frustrated. It makes me sad to know that she's seriously considering some form of gastric bypass even though she was completely against the surgery for many years. I'm not saying gastric bypass is bad. It's a surgery, and like any surgery, there are possible issues. I'm concerned about her getting through the surgery, possible complications, etc. I just wish she wouldn't give up so easily on other methods of weight loss that don't involve anesthesia.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Run for your life!!

I know that it's been a theme on some blogs lately... exercise for your life, make it a part of your life, live longer, etc. But no, the title of this blog is somewhat literal. E and I went for a run at the gym again yesterday. Except, we didn't go at 7AM... well, at least I didn't go at 7AM. At 7AM it was -6 degrees. I went at 4PM when it was a balmy 6 degrees above zero. I figured, it's cold, it's Friday, there can't be that many students around. Wow, I couldn't have been more wrong.

There were herds of boys running on the track. HERDS. And they were running with no rhyme or reason. It seemed that a lot of them were running to be the fastest on the track and be damned who was in their way. There was no attention paid to the signs that said 'slower runners stay on the outside of the track, while faster runners stay inside'. These boys were just running all over the track, and almost running over people to be the fastest. I'll say, it's enough motivation to make me get up early in the morning and get my butt on the track to run with the "old" folks, not the young testosterone-y bunch!

As for my run, I did Week 5 Day 1 of C25K again... 5 minute runs with 3 minute walks. Still getting winded. Boy, am I out of shape! But sticking with it will help me over this hump instead of just giving up completely. I'm also going to start weight training again today. Little by little, I'll get back to the shape I was in prior to my Christmas binge!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: Shake those Maracas!!!

My first week back on track and I lost 1.2 pounds. I know, y'all are going to hate me for this, but I am a little disappointed. My eating didn't go as smoothly as I would have hoped, and I feel that this held me back a bit in the numbers game this week. So, I won't sit here and pout like a Biggest Loser contestant. Instead, I'm going to tell you a trick I'm going to use this year. I'm going to focus on 10 pounds in 10 weeks. Doctors will tell you that losing a pound a week is good... the slower you go, the more likely you are to keep the weight off. So, I'm looking at small steps... 10 pounds at a time. Therefore, I'm changing my ticker up on top and moving my long-term stats off the page. When I reach a milestone, trust me, I'll let you know :) I'm still keeping track of those via Excel.

On another note, I fully admit to being obsessed with the movie Dirty Dancing. I've loved that movie since I was 10 years old, when my tap class did a routine to "Do You Love Me" and I was introduced to the world of Johnny Castle. This year, I had a hard time finding a replacement for my trusty workout calendar that I keep on my fridge... until I found an official Dirty Dancing calendar. There are pictures from the movie and quotes too. This month, it's Baby's infamous "I carried a watermelon?!?" line. I thought I was in love until I found this on a recent Target excursion:

You seriously do not realize how close I was to spending a portion of the gift card that was burning a hole in my pocket on the OFFICIAL Dirty Dancing workout. How awesome does this thing look? And the preview that Amazon has up looks fun. I'm adding it to my netflix list as I type this. I'll let you know how much I enjoy it!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

I think everyone in the country (even my friends in Tallahassee!) could agree that it is mighty cold. So cold that I spent the morning catching up on work emails, paperwork, etc, in my pajamas, slurping down hot hot coffee. Is it wrong that I keep looking at and saying, okay Saturday will be back in the 30s. I can handle the 30s! I can handle the 20s! What I can't handle is single digit weather!!

So, even though it's cold outside, I've been staying on top of my gym going. It helps to have a gym buddy. However, on Tuesday, I went to the new gym by myself. Oh, that was an experience. Like I said, my new gym is the rec center on campus. I'm definitely not old, but I'm a good 10 years older than some of the kids that go there. Since I could only sign up between the hours of 10AM and 6PM, I figure I'd go at 10ish, work out and then come home. I found myself an elliptical and settled in for the next 45 minutes. Who knew it would be so amusing to watch the New Year's resolution crowd kick in?

There was a girl on another elliptical wearing the TIGHTEST clothing I've ever seen. Her racerback top was about two sizes too small. She wasn't a big girl, but she definitely wasn't a twig either. And you can tell she was self-conscious because she kept tugging at her shirt. Oh, goodness. Then, the same pair of 18 year olds kept walking around, waiting for two machines next to each other to open up. I don't know... when I go to the gym, I have an in and out mentality. Get on a machine, do my 45 minutes, and I'm done. I wish I had the time these girls did to waste walking around, waiting for two contiguous machines to be open. Then, my favorite: The "we're so in love" couples. These bf/gf combos are also looking for machines together. The guy constantly offers his lady some water, making sure she's okay, blah blah blah. But do they get much work done? They're too busy BEING together for that nonsense!

I'm excited about my run tomorrow morning because I'll be able to use my NEW running shoes. When I was home, I was refitted for shoes, because I had a suspicion that my shoes were too big (hence the blisters on my instep). I was right. The guy who runs the running store apologized for whoever put me in those sneakers... he said that he had hired a new guy right around the time that I was fitted, and he suspected it was him. Makes me kind of hesitant to go back to that store, but at least I have an idea of what kind of shoe I should be looking for, even on my own. Anyway, I bought a pair of Brooks this time, just to try some other brand out. I'll let you know about the maiden run on Friday :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Biggest Loser Couples: Bleep Bleep Bleep!!!

Things have been going well with me so far this week. Yesterday, I officially signed up at the gym. Yay! I did 45 minutes on the elliptical and went home. Last night, E and I agreed to meet at the gym at 7AM, but we woke up to 12 degree weather and a bit of ice/snow on our cars. Are you kidding me? I got up for this? We ended up meeting at 7:15, but still we GOT there. We did Day One of Week Five from the C25K program. Let's just say that we're going to have to do it over again. The runs are 5 minutes long, with a 3 minute walk in between. The first five minutes were fine. The second and third runs? Oy... I had the worst cramp on my right side. But I pushed through it. I just kept thinking of Bob yelling at me :)

Speaking of, ahem... time for some BL analysis!!

Joelle just ticked me off from the beginning. Ali approached the contestants with a temptation: Take $5K and walk away from the game. Seriously, girlfriend, you thought $5K was going to turn your life around? And this show (and Bob) isn't? Grr... Ali then raised the ante from $5K to $10K to $15K. Joelle was the ONLY ONE who seriously considered it. And it ticked everyone off.

Next they faced their challenge: They had to kayak to shore and then hike up a hill (it was a mountain, but they only went up a little hill of it). Blaine (Black Team) and Tara (Green Team) were in the lead. I loved how Blaine kept shouting back at her. Ali called it egging her on, but really, Blaine was challenging her and encouraging her to keep going. Who knew she would pull it off and WIN immunity for the week? I know Blaine didn't!! Then, the contestants came in, one by one, some winning a phone call home, others just glad that they didn't get the one pound penalty. At the end, it was Daniel (Orange Team) and Jerry (White Team)... the heaviest contestant vs. the oldest contestant. Jerry ended up making it in ahead of Daniel, but at the same time, I was so touched that Blaine, Tara, and Helen (Pink Team) come back down to help Daniel all the way up the hill. Awesome job of bringing the spirit back to the BL guys!

Then, there was the official Bob freaks out moment. (and yes, I found Bob to be super hot, cussing a storm up... ah, passion) Joelle was half-assing her workouts all day. And Bob got pissed, just like he has every right to be. You're on the ranch, supposedly WANTING to be there, and you don't put in the effort. WTF? I was waiting for a Bob's team mutiny... I want to know who shouted "stop thinking about yourself! think of us!" when they had to do the sprints for the third time after Joelle jumped early. I'm starting to think that Carla was right about not wanting to leave Joelle on the ranch. I'd be pissed if my friend ruined it for me too.

So, the weigh in... Joelle was thisclose to being in the bottom two, but because of his one pound penalty, Daniel was under the line with Jerry. Okay, I wanted to cry at this point. The two people who needed to be on the ranch the most were in danger of leaving. I completely understand why the contestants decided to keep Daniel instead of Jerry... Daniel needs to LEARN so much more than Jerry does. But at the same time Jerry is so inspiring. But wait! What about the where are they now segment? Jerry lost 80+ pounds!! And looks AMAZING (as does Estella! Can't forget about her!) But I love the fact that the two of them put their noses to the grindstone and did it... all by themselves. Great job guys!

Ugh, more Joelle drama next week. I hope she doesn't turn into this season's Vicky. Your thoughts?

Monday, January 12, 2009

And the year begins...

For some people, the year begins on January 1st. Not for me. The first day of the year starts on the first day of the semester, which for me is today. I could use this post to rant about the ten pounds I gained over break (and the three of them that I already lost), but I won't. Instead, I'm going to take the time to put some 2009 goals out there.

1) Live Healthier: This includes eating better (which I did not do over break) and going to the gym consistently. I've decided to join a new gym this year, the student rec center, which I tried out last night. I love it. It is bright and airy, which my old gym wasn't. It also has a bunch of classes and new things (climbing wall anyone?) that I want to try out. I want healthy living to be exciting, not mundane.

2) Try one new recipe a week: I subscribe to a lot of magazines, and there are always these great recipes in there that I rip out, but never get around to making. Seriously! They fill a binder up on my bookshelf. It reminds me of that Queen Latifah movie "Last Holiday": She had this book of possibilities, which included recipes she never got around to making. That's me. I think they look scrumptious, but I don't really know. So, I'm going to try one new recipe out a week and share it with you!

3) Focus on my weight loss goals: Looking back on 2008, it was a good year. I lost 30 pounds (before I gained back 10 of them). But, in looking at my weight loss record, I lost 20 pounds between January and May... and then gained and lost and gained the same 10 pounds from May to December. What the heck? I think the second half of the year was pure laziness on my part. I ate what I wanted, didn't track, didn't do much of anything regarding healthy eating. Instead, I wanted exercise to cover it all. I know that doesn't work. So, instead of saying the cliche "2009 is the year where I lose the rest of my weight", I'm going to say that 2009 is the year where I pay more attention to what goes in my mouth.

4) Run a 5K: Oh, you'll be so disappointed. I didn't run the 5K on New Year's Eve. First, a couple ice storms disrupted my training. Trust me, I walked over to my aunt's house one day and realized how many people DON'T clean their sidewalks (after I fell on my booty a few times... no worries, it has plenty of padding). Then, a couple (okay, a couple dozen) cookies disrupted my training. THEN, one of my very best friends from college came to visit me and left on New Year's Eve at 2PM. The race was at 1. Notice the laziness? Oh, well. 2009 is the year I will run a 5K. I promise! I even got new running shoes!

5) Be Positive: Sometimes I get really down about my weight loss progress. But you've lost 40+ pounds, you say! Yes, you're right. I did. And I've kept it off. However, thinking back to that May-December 2008 trend I had, it really sucked. So, I'm going to focus on being positive about this journey I am on. I'm going to think about all the things I'll be able to do with my new body. (5Ks? Skiing? Shopping for cute clothes without worrying about size?) I'm in the process of putting together a vision board to help me on this journey as well as some other more personal goals I have.

So, there you have it. A new year brings about new chances and new beginnings. We can dwell on what we didn't do in the past, but it's so much easier to just look to the future.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Biggest Loser Couples: Meet the Couples... or Not

Okay, I fully admit to not taking close notes last night on the BL, mainly because my mom and I were talking the whole time and I was also texting E through the whole thing. But overall, here are some thoughts.

I am so glad (kind of) that White Team dude didn't pass out from Jillian working him too hard. That was seriously my biggest fear, because lots of people think that Jillian and Bob push these people too hard. I mean, I didn't enjoy watching him pass out, but at the same time... he made himself pass out from his own workout. Wow. I also mentioned that I was watching with my mom, who will be turning 62 years young next week. In looking at Jerry and Estella, I told my mom that even though she is out of shape and overweight, there are people who are in a much worse position than her. I really think that last night's show motivated her to start moving. Y'know, when there isn't ice on the ground, which seems a constant here in my hometown over the holiday.

I seriously can't believe how young some of these contestants are... and how big they allowed themselves to get. Seriously. Makes me thankful that I had my wakeup call while I was in the mid-200s (wow, did I just say that?) instead of letting myself get into the 300s. Oh, and if I was the last

Teams I like: The Blue Team (cousins), The Yellow Team (sisters), The Black Team (cousins), The Red Team (the engaged couple), and the Green Team (former models). Teams I don't like: The Silver Team (more on that later), The Purple Team (seriously? you picked Bob over Jillian? J trains WINNERS...), The Brown Team (don't like the dad). The rest? No opinion just yet....

I am seriously upset about the twist, where each team (minus the Brown and Black teams) had to send ONE person home. This is just dumb beyond belief because there are people who NEED to be on that ranch. They ALL need to be on the ranch, and to send them home right away, it's like not even giving them a chance. Also, the Silver Team kind of drove me crazy. Right away, Carla seems like a game player. She threatened Joelle when they were discussing the split in the room, and then at the table, she said that this was a real test of their friendship. Um, Joelle, you'd better lose weight and get Carla back to the ranch or she won't be your friend anymore. Nice.

Sorry that I didn't give you a more complete update... but I am enjoying my last few days at home. NBC made it easier for me by splitting the teams, less names to remember :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy 2009!!!

I've been meaning to write a 2008 wrap up post (which I've thoroughly enjoyed all of yours!) but I've been too busy relaxing these past two weeks! I promise to get around to it sometime today or tomorrow... but until then: WHO'S READY FOR THE BIGGEST LOSER COUPLES STARTING TUESDAY NIGHT?????

I know I am :)