Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weigh in today...

Well, this was an encouraging weigh in this morning.

I lost 2 pounds!

I wasn't surprised. I worked hard for it.

Last weekend, I gained 2 (or was it 3) pounds just in what I ate on Saturday and Sunday. If I hadn't done that, I'd have lost 4-5 pounds this week. Well, actually I did. It just isn't reflected in my official weigh in. I really didn't go all hog wild last weekend, I just made a few small indulgences. But apparently, that's all it takes for me now a days.

So my workweek started off great because I went running on Monday. And I made one small (though apparently significant) change to my weekly routine. I upped my water intake. I've been having problems drinking enough water throughout the day. I know WW says 6-8 cups of "fluids" a day, but most doctors I've talked to and read books about say drink half your weight in ounces every day. So if I'm 170(ish), I should drink 85 ounces a day. So this is how I accomplished my water intake each day.

I bought a 6-pack of 24-ounce water in sports bottles, the kind with the pop top where you have to squeeze out the water. And then bought a couple of gallons of drinking water (the water out of my tap isn't the greatest). And I took a permanent marker and marked a big number 1, 2, 3, & 4 on each of 4 of the bottles and set them out in plain view in my kitchen. Then each day, I could visually see my water goal. I would take #1 and #2 to work with me and then when I came home for lunch, I'd usually drink half of #3 and then in the evenings the rest of #3 and #4. There was only one day that I didn't drink all 4 (I only drank 2) and that was yesterday.

I'm not saying that drinking that much water caused me to lose 2 pounds (or rather 4 pounds, depending on how you look at it) but I'm sure it helped.

Although I only exercised one day last week, I did count my points and stayed around 22-24 points a day. It's just so hard to stay down under 22 each day. I ate sensible food and reasonable portions and monitored my hunger. Last week at WW's, we talked about monitoring your hunger. Where I have my most challenging troubles with that is in the evenings. I just want to snack on everything. But each evening, I kept placing my hand on my tummy and asking myself if I was craving or if I was really hungry. There was only 1 night I was actually hungry. The rest, I was able to resist the snacking and I was just fine with it.

I bought a bag of Dove dark chocolate and whenever I started getting snackie in the evenings and couldn't resist it, I would go and get a piece of chocolate. ONE PIECE. They're only 1 point. And they're my favorite chocolate.

Yesterday was my triumph. It's the day before weigh in and hubby wants to go out for dinner. We haven't eaten out all week, so I cave in. Where do we go? A pizza parlor! Yes, pizza the day before weigh in. Ugh!

So I decided I'd order one slice of cheese pizza and a side salad with Italian dressing. Not the greatest, but a huge triumph because when the garlic bread hit the table, I didn't have one piece of it. The salad was mediocre, but the slice of pizza was heaven. I've never had pizza at this place before (usually lasagna or some goopy pasta dish). But the pizza was amazing!

Then when I went home, I drank one whole bottle of water and nothing else (except the piece of chocolate).

So all in all it was a rather successful week.

Let's hope I can do the same thing next week.

I'm down to the weight I was at the beginning of last October. So I'm slowly getting caught up to my lowest weight, which was 167.8 in mid-December. I've got 5 1/2 pounds to go to get back down to my lowest weight. I know it might take me another couple of months to get that much weight back off of me, but at least I'm headed in the right direction again.

P.S. I signed up for the 5K today. It'll be next Saturday morning! Can't wait!!!


Monday, January 26, 2009

Midweek update...

Well, to start with, I gained another 1.2 pounds this past Saturday.

I totally deserved the gain, though. I loosely tracked my points and did NO exercise whatsoever.

I WILL have a loss this week, though. (Or at least a break even.)

I've already started out great. Although all for my flex points are gone for the week (not intentional), I tracked every point I ate over the weekend and even walked 45 minutes on Sunday.

I got up early Monday morning and went running outside. YAY!!! It's finally warm enough to run outside again. Well, it was 50 degrees, but that's plenty warm enough, right?

I met a friend from work and ran with her. I've been having the hardest time exercising on Monday mornings. I don't know what it is about Monday mornings, but that bed is way too comfy to get out of.

I ran kinda slow for the first 30 minutes (heart rate between 140 and 145) and then kicked it in gear and really pushed for the last 30 minutes (heart rate between 165 and 170).

I burned 1,050 calories!!

I've NEVER burned that many calories from one session of exercise before!


One thing that might have helped was I set up my heart rate monitor last week so it is now linked to my gender and weight. I manually punched in my heart rate zones to be accurate to The Eat Clean Diet, Body By God and The Seven Pillars of Health, and alot of other articles and websites that have all agreed on the method of setting the zones. So it will be interesting to see what kind of calories I burn the next time I run.

That's right, I haven't ran since Monday morning. Yesterday, I have no excuse. This morning, I woke up from the absolutely most relaxing night's sleep I've had in months. I've been so cold (constantly) lately and especially at night (well, especially all the time, actually). So last night I put an extra blanked, doubled over top of me, on the bed. I was so warm and comfy. Oh my goodness what a great nights sleep.

So this morning when the alarm went off, I naturally didn't want to wake up. But then I laid there having an argument with myself. "Get out of bed, Cara!" "But it's way too comfy!" "Get out of bed you lazy bum!" "But what if something happens to me in the dark?" The argument went on. I finally talked myself into staying in bed and not running because I was afraid someone would jump out of the trees and attack me. I even fell back asleep for a few minutes and actually dreamt that someone attacked me while I was running. Now I'm completely freaked out about running by myself.

Hubby promised he'd get up and go with me in the morning. I sure hope he does. I really need to exercise. So far, I'm up about a pound from last week's weigh in. And I know if I don't exercise, no amount of restraint and sticking to my 22 points is going to work.

P.S. I wore my belt again today. I just can't resist wearing that thing as much as possible.

Oh, yea, and Laurie, if you're reading this, I heard you have your own blog, now. I'd love to stop by and visit. If you leave me a comment, I'll automatically be able to find your blog by clicking on your name. Or you can email the link to me (if you want to): carashow at gmail dot com.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My trophie belt...

I haven't been posting much lately, because I haven't really been up to it. I'm becoming disillusioned again by this whole thing. I haven't been eating like I should. I've probably eaten an average of 24-28 points a day (I'm only supposed to have 22). I ate all my flex points before the weekend was up. I haven't exercised to speak of. I did two "aerobic" workouts from FitTV on demand. Both were very fluffy and less-than exciting. I'll bet I burned 100 calories each time I worked out.

It's been WAY too cold here to run. Each morning was between 30-35 degrees. I can't work out at the gym without hubby going (his membership, me his guest). So I really didn't have any activity points to add to my overages each day.

I've felt good with myself this week, though. I'm not happy about my weight loss, or rather my lack of weigh loss, but with myself, I'm okay.

I put on a pair of pants today that were WAY too huge on me, but they're the only ones that are "casual" that I could wear to the office and so I had to pull out a belt to help keep them up. The only belts I have are my size 26 belts. Being as I'm probably about a size 12, now, the holes were way too far out. I had to punch a new hole. Funny thing was, it was about 10 inches from the last hole I used when I was a fattie. I have to find a ruler or tape measure and measure the exact distance between the two holes.

Whatever it ended up being, it was WAY to huge of a belt. But I wore it anyways and showed it off to everyone I could at work.

I was proud of my big fat belt. It wrapped all the way around my waist and I had to tuck in into itself in the back.

It's things like that, that make me remember why I'm doing all of this.

I really couldn't believe that belt really ever fit me. But the evidence was in the stretched out hole that was 10 inches away from the new hole I punched this morning.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A great day in history...

Today was a great day in our nation's history. I still find it hard to believe that we have a black man in the office of the presidency. Our nation has come so far. And we made a HUGE step forward today.

Here are some memories of today:

This last photo is quite amazing. I hope this works... you should be able to click on the photo and it'll show you a larger view of it. It's a view from space of the crowds that gathered on the Mall in DC today to witness the inauguration of our 44th president:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

perseverance and a cupcake...

You know I completely forgot to show you guys what Audrey (a lady at my WW meeting) gave me yesterday. She knits and usually brings some knitting project to meeting with her. She knows I LOVE the cupcake so she knitted me a cupcake.

Isn't it just the cutest thing????!!!!

She's making me koala bear, now. She's so talented.

Thanks so much for your encouraging comments yesterday. I wondered, too, if it wasn't muscle gain, but I really don't think so. Because I haven't been in any pain whatsoever all week. No sore muscles or tired muscles. My legs don't feel heavier or anything. It's weird.

And you know, I don't really feel like I've gained or lost anything in months. My jeans are a little tight on me, but I think they always have been. I mean, I'm only 6 pounds heavier than the lowest I've ever been. And when I was at my lowest, I felt skinny, but I think it was my mind playing tricks on me. I was so psyched that I was that low, I felt like the skinniest person on the Earth.

And I don't really think that I'm supposed to be at 170. I really believe I'm supposed to be lower. I mean, I took a good hard look at my body yesterday. At the curves and bulges. And I really feel like I should be thinner. I mean, I know I'll never be skinny as a model or skinny as I used to be when I was in my 20s, but I do have a bunch of flab left. I just don't understand why it's so hard to break this 100 pound barrier. Maybe it's my mind that's messing with me and not my body.

I mean, get this, after my 4.8 pound loss last Saturday, you know what the first thing is I did? I went and got a pizza. Mind you, I only had 3 pieces and it was Pizza Hut's new whole grain crust Natural pizza, but it was still pizza. And of course, I can't go to Pizza Hut without getting their garlic bread smothered in mozzarella cheese. But I wonder if whenever I have a good loss that my mind falls back on rewarding myself with food.

I've gotta work past this. I know I've made great strides in the past few weeks. I'm really looking at food differently. I'm trying so hard to look at it as sustenance with the occasional appreciation for the food God has given us. I still have my moments, but for the most part, I'm making much smarter decisions on my food intake.

Another thing is before I went to WW, I weighed myself at home and I was 172.8. Then at WW, I was 174.2. Usually my scale is up to a pound lighter than WW, but this was almost a pound and a half more. I'm not saying their scales were inaccurate, but I just wonder if either their scale or my scale is getting it wrong. Sunday morning, I weighed myself at home again and I was still 172.8. So who knows.

I just know that I haven't indulged or splurged this weekend. I've written down everything I've eaten. And I can't wait to get out on the road again tomorrow morning to go running again.

I just gotta put the scale behind me and do my best. I'm not a number. Right?

One thing I need to work on this week is my water intake. That might have been some of it last week, too. I'll drink plenty of water while I'm exercising, but in between, I was kinda sparse. I know that makes a difference, too.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

A week in review...

I'll start off by telling you a little about my run yesterday and then I'll tell you about weigh in this morning...

Yesterday, I'd only planned on running for a half hour. Monday, I ran 4.5 miles (an hour an fifteen minutes), Tuesday I ran 3 miles (an hour), Wednesday I took a break, and Thursday, I ran 4 miles (in a little over an hour) so I figured Friday, I should back it back down to maybe 2 or 3 miles so as not to overdo it too much.

But I ran 4 miles in an hour.

I shouldn't have, though. You ever get those feelings that tell you that you should or shouldn't do something. Well, to start off, I checked the temp and it said 48, same as Thursday. Not too bad. It felt fine on Thursday. So then I headed down the road in my community to do my 5-minute warm up walk. Well, it was anything but a "warm up". Was more like a "freeze your buns off". The wind was blowing about 20 mph straight in my face. Ugh! I pushed through. As soon as I rounded the corner, now the wind was blowing cross ways but I was in between some houses so I couldn't feel it. So I headed out of the community to start my run.

I got a couple of blocks down and there were some sprinklers going across my path, so I had to run out in the street for about 50 feet. No cars came. Until I got about 5 feet from the dry sidewalk and a school bus rounds the corner straight at me. So I speed it up and jump onto the curb to avoid being hit by a school bus driver (they're ruthless, you know?!) and when I came down on the pavement, I didn't notice there was a little patch of grass there and my foot went right into it and my foot went sideways and down I went. All the way down to the ground. In slow motion, too. I rolled over onto my hip and put my hands down to catch me and took the brunt of the fall on my right forearm and elbow. My cell phone, house key and water bottle scattered across the sidewalk.

Okay, I paused for just a second to access any injuries and I didn't feel any. So I picked up my phone, key and bottle and started right back into the run. Other than feeling self-conscious about just falling in public, I didn't feel any scrapes or bumps or any pains at all. So I kept running.

About a couple of more blocks down the road, I passed by a big ole dead bird. Looked like may a sea gull. It wasn't decayed so I thought it probably died very recently. It's big ole wing was sticking straight up in the air as it lay there on it's back with it's beak facing up. I thought, is this another sign? Should I stop and turn around now.

First the bitter wind, then the tumble on the sidewalk, now a dead bird in my path? I should have turned around.

But I didn't.

I kept running.

The rest of the run was completely unremarkable. Other than I started getting really tired and my back started aching about three-quarters of the way through. I wanted so badly to call hubby to come an pick me up and take me home. But I pushed through.

I wish I wouldn't have, though, because after I got back home, I felt exhausted. I felt tired the whole darn day. I wanted to badly to just crawl in bed and take a nap when I got home for lunch. But I didn't. And then there was horrible news at work. They had to lay off a few people. Seven actually. In a company of almost 300 people, that's not bad. Though I know 6 of the 7 people very well. They're making other cut backs to as not to have to lay anyone else off. So the day just trudged along in pain.

The more the day went on, the more my back ached. Now it really hurts. I don't know if it was the fall or if it was me over doing it. I really shouldn't have run yesterday. I should have listened to the signs. I will next time.

And then comes this morning.

I gained.

Yup, I gained 3.2 pounds.

I know. I can't believe it!

I actually gained those three pounds last weekend. I can't remember all I ate, but I know I had eaten all of my flex points by the end of the day Sunday. And by Monday morning, I was up 3 pounds. (Yes, I've started weighing myself at home again, but I have a much better handle on it, emotionally and mentally, so it's okay.) Throughout the week, from day to day, I was up a pound or down a pound but I was able to maintain that 3 pound gain from the weekend.

You know, you'd think with all that running I did EVERY MORNING, that I would have been able to actually lose something! I ran 15.5 miles altogether. Wow! That's almost 4 1/2 hours of running. I just don't get it.

Am I bound to this weight for eternity?

Everyone keeps telling me that I don't need to lose any more weight. As much as I love hearing that, it's so discouraging. It makes me feel complacent. I truly don't think I was meant to be 170 pounds. I still feel fat. I have lost of flab and cellulite all over my tummy, hips, legs and arms. How can I be bound to this weight when I still have so much fat all over my body???


Thursday, January 15, 2009

What a run...

Well, this morning I had another great run.


I ran 3 miles on Tuesday and took a break on Wednesday (my knee caps hips were sore) but then back at it this morning (joints felt fine before and after). Tomorrow (Friday) I'll run at least 3 miles, maybe 4 again. The run this morning was just so beautiful.

It was still dark when I headed out so most everything was dimly lit by the streetlights but then as I rounded the corner out on the main thoroughfare, a little bit of sunshine started peaking through the horizon, which was on my left.

I remembered thinking about this route and how long it had been since I had taken it. I'd ridden my bike on it last summer, but it had been a very long time since I'd walked it. Now I was running it. I remembered when I used to walk this path how I could only go so far down the road because I needed to get back in time to get ready for work. And now I was going to go all the way to the end of the path and back around because I was running it, now. Actually, it's a big loop.

And in the midst of my thoughts, I glanced over to the left and I saw a beautiful, darkly lit sunrise just over the water. There's this curvy lake that wraps through a neighborhood of houses, condos and apartments. Very few people go out on the lake because it’s rather small. But this morning, it looked so magnificent. It was a deep midnight blue color in the distance and the closer it got to me it turned into a light grayish blue. And the dark early morning clouds were reflecting on the water. There were orangish-yellow streetlights far across the other side along the shore of the apartment grounds that were reflecting on the water. They made long ribbon stripes of golden sparkles inching across the water. I was totally lost in the moment. Completely forgot I was running.

I was listening to This American Life and the show was about "match makers". Was really cool, because there were three segments, one was about a man in Afghanistan (or some place like that) who had found the love of his life but couldn't marry her because it wasn't pre-arranged. An American couple helped fund the wedding. The 2nd segment was about a lady who finds kidney donors for people, who she doesn't know from Adam, who need a kidney transplant. She posts all over the internet (Craig's List, etc.) looking for people who will donate their kidneys and then she finds people who need kidneys and hooks them up. The last segment was about an "adoption agency" in FAO Swartz in NYC who helps young girls adopt these life like baby dolls. This was the most precious story. The "sales people" were the adoption agents who were trained to present themselves as just that—not sales people. They weren't allowed to say things like "cost" or "price" and they actually interviewed the little girls with questions like "will you read to your baby each night?", etc. Was adorable. Here's a link to the broadcast if you want to listen to really great story telling.

I was so engrossed in the stories, that the time just flew by. I think I've found something to occupy my time so I don't get bored with the running as much. At least for now. I've found things like this in the past that helped me get past the boredom of walking and they each lasted for a while, but I inevitably get bored with that and then have to find something else.

I thoroughly enjoying running, though. It was so cold this morning, too. The temp on said it was 45, but it felt like 35. I could see my breath and my fingers were popsicles when I first started out. I had thermal underwear on and everything. Funny for Florida, right? But about 20 minutes in, I got warmed up.

I'm really doing terrible on my eating this week. I'm trying so hard, but I keep sabotaging myself every time I turn around. I'm afraid I might have gained those 4 pounds back. And I was doing so well, too.


Monday, January 12, 2009

What's in a number?


Would you like to take a guess at what that number is?

Pounds lost?


Days left until the weekend?

Well, maybe, but nope.

Number of points I have left for the day?


Would you believe the number of miles I ran this morning????!!!!

Ding, ding, ding, ding. That's right! You guessed it! Okay, with a little help from me, but what are friends for, right? :D

Can you believe that??!! Me, the one who a year ago was afraid she was going to die from jogging down the road just 30 feet. Me, who had panic attacks every time I took one step into a jog. Me, who has never beat any of the fears in her life. Me! That's right. Me! I ran FOUR AND A HALF MILES this morning!

Now, mind you, it wasn't the fastest 4.5 miles. It took me an hour and fifteen minutes to do it. I think I might have walked faster. :)

I burned almost 800 calories, too!

It was time to get up this morning and hubby didn't want to go to the gym. I said, goodie (to myself, mind you)! I'll go running outside. So I decided to take a route that I haven't done, walking that is, in maybe a year. I actually had to really work myself up to this route when I first started walking. Probably took me 6 months of steady walking before I was up to this route. It's actually only 3.75 miles, but I walked around my neighborhood once for a warm up (3/8ths of a mile) and once for a cool down (3/8ths of a mile).

It's a beautiful route—lakes and trees, residential and business. Too bad it's dark while I was running. Especially this morning because it was overcast. It's a very busy route, though. Major roads the whole way. So I'm safe and out in the open. Plus, there are two different cop stations along the way, too.

My iPod pooped out on me 16 minutes into the run. Ugh! I'd just gotten to a good part in the story of This American Life and it just died. I'd charged it the night before. Who knows why the battery went dead. I actually had to unplug it from the computer this morning before I left to go run, so I know it was fully charged. But the silence was nice. I focused on me, the trees, the wind, and prayers for my family and friends. Was very nice.

I don't think I want to do that every morning. I mean, it didn't wear me out. I felt the same at the end of the 4.5 miles as I did at the beginning. Very comfortable pace. I just don't want to overtax my body. I want to take this slow. I want to build up my body to be able to go for the long run. So I think I'll stick to 3 miles, or less, for now and maybe do a 4.5 mile run once a week until I'm more conditioned.

Hubby and I have worked out a great system for the mornings we go to the gym. He only likes to stay for a half hour and I want to stay for an hour, so what we've decided to do (actually my idea) was to go to the gym for a half hour and then as we get home, I'll just take out into the neighborhood for another half hour so I can get an hour of running in each morning. Where there's a will there's a way!

I went walking tonight after dinner—my usual 30 minutes after dinner. It was trash night so the neighbors had their trash out on the curbs. I saw some very interesting things tonight. There was a CD rack at one house, a computer monitor at another house, a perfectly good grill (looked like a gas one) at another one, and at another house was a kitchen sink. :D Yes, I saw everything including the kitchen sink while walking tonight. LOL

I earned 12 activity points today. Wow!

I've added a blog ticker up and to the right. I set a goal of running 100 miles—no time limit. I started it week before last. I'm up to 20.75 miles so far. Almost a quart of the way to goal. So exciting!

My eating was pretty good today. I've taken on a whole new outlook on food lately, with the help of Karyn. She's really been a good inspiration for me to get my thoughts about food straight. I'm learning to think of food as something wonderful from God but not something that I crave because it has some warped hold over me. I'm learning to enjoy food without having it rule my life. It'll be a long journey, but I'm taking baby steps to make my way through the first part. I really have to be conscious about my feelings and emotions when I'm eating. And then realign it to the right place. I can enjoy food without craving it and with it controlling my every thought. I know I can. It's still hard, because it's all still so instinctive to crave and depend on food to make things better for me. But I'm working at it. I'll get it. I know I will.

P.S. Hey, did you notice? I moved my Healthy You Challenge badge back up to 90 pounds!!! I'm truly only 8/10ths of a pound away from 95 pounds gone. I'm getting close!!


Saturday, January 10, 2009

The perfect ending to a perfect week...

Weigh in was amazing this morning!

My hard work this past week paid off!!

I lost 4.8 pounds!!!

Big Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!

I worked so hard for that loss! I think that's what I'm going to have to do from now on. It used to be easy to lose weight. A year ago, if I wanted to lose 4 pounds, all I'd have to do is cut back a little. But a year ago, I was about 40 pounds heavier and I weighed about 210 pounds than I do now. I'm learning that the more weight you have the easier it is to come off. Now, though, I'm really having to work my butt off—literally—to see a result.

I had fun doing it, though. I ran 5 days last week.

Wait a minute! 5 DAYS IN A ROW!!!
I can't remember the last time I exercised 5 DAYS IN A ROW! I have the hardest time with Monday mornings. I don't know what it is about Monday mornings, but I just CAN'T get my butt out of bed on to go exercising. That bed is so warm and fuzzy. It's like I'm laying on a warm, creamy layer of whipped cream—breath that visual in (you like how everything relates to food with me?). And I usually feel so rested, too. The last thing I want to do is upset the harmonious feelings—physical and emotional—to go work out. It's like throwing a brick in your lap. You know?

I have to admit, though, that I would not have gotten up this past Monday morning and exercised had it not been for hubby. He's rededicated himself to losing again. He's gained quite a bit, love his heart, this past year. He's been through so much, too. Twice in the hospital, doctors telling him to take it easy on the exercise for fear of it increasing his risk for heart problems, losing his job and fighting so hard to find a new one (which used to be a snap—but not in this economy any more). It's no wonder he's gained some of it back. But he's not liking it one bit so he's been re-energized to get back at it again. Which is good for me, because now I can go to the gym.

I don't know if I've mentioned it, but we have a gym membership that's in his name, only, and he has unlimited guests he can bring with him every day (for only $10 a month, not bad, huh?!). So, although it's affordable, its inconvenient when he doesn't want to go. But this week, (and some last week), he wanted to go every morning. Which includes Monday morning. So he peeled my lazy butt out of bed and made me go.

I was so grateful!!

It started the week off great. My thoughts were, if I could exercise on Monday, surely I could do it all 5 days. And I did!

We only went to the gym 3 times, but the other two days I ran outside in the neighborhood. Which I really like. I just have to get past the boredom of it. But you guys had some great suggestions for me yesterday. Like head washers anonymous (which is such a funky blog name, don't you think?) suggested listening to This American Life. Wow, I'd forgotten all about Ira Glass and his wonderful "This American Life" show. I've watched many of his Showtime specials and I catch him on the weekend on the local NPR station. (I put a gadget over to the right if you want to check it out.) And I can download his radio show podcast free each week. Sweet! I also LOVE A Prairie Home Companion. I'd forgotten all about that one, too. I can download his podcasts, too. I LOVE hearing the news from Lake Wobegon! And JC reminded me how I love watching my neighbors' yards. Though when I go outside of the neighborhood, I run between the road and a wall the whole way, just about. But I love looking at the other houses and seeing how they've landscaped their yards. I love the eb and flow of the neighborhood, too. I can depend on it, if that makes any sense. Thanks guys! You mean so much to me. I love reading your comments because you think of things that I just don't think about sometimes.

I think over the weekend, I'll just do my evening walks. To give my legs a rest. But come Monday morning, I'm back at it. At least that's the plan.

If hubby can't go to the gym, I'll just run outside. Now I know I can do that. After my huge victory yesterday!

I can't believe I'm this excited about weight loss again. I really didn't think it would happen again. I've been so down and so depressed about all of the sacrifices not paying off for the past several months. Especially after my huge let down for not reaching my 100 pound loss by Thanksgiving. That was really a huge blow for me. I tried to tell myself it was okay and I'd just have to wait and reach the 100 pound mark at a later date. But it really hurt. I really started to question why I was doing all this hard work for.

Then after Thanksgiving hit with a vengeance, Christmas brought me TONS of baking and indulgences. Remember I gained 8.4 pounds in one week—the week of Christmas. Which, by the way, I'm still trying to work off. I still have 1.6 pounds to get off to put me where I was the weekend before Christmas. I'm not worried about it, though, I know now that if I can just exercise, preferably running, it'll come off.

Of course I'm not going to expect 4 pounds again. My goal is one pound a week but even I know that's completely unrealistic, given how close I am to goal. My realistic goal is a half a pound a week. I have to keep myself firmly grounded in the realistic right now.

Well, I gotta get off here, now. I gotta get ready to go do something I haven't done in months, maybe even a year. I really can't remember the last time we've done this. We're going to the park to fly remote control airplanes. Hubby and his dad are RC enthusiasts. And I dearly LOVE going to fly planes on Saturday mornings. It's so much fun. I get to sit and talk with his mom uninterrupted for an hour or two—which is awesome. And they're always doing something silly and having great fun flying. And we usually get a plane stuck in a tree maybe every other time we fly—not hubby's plane, though. :) It's just so much fun!!!

So I'm off.

Hope you guys have a great Saturday!

P.S. Donna B, the 5k is the first week in February. I'll get the details and post them so you guys can start cheering me on.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Last Chance Workout!

Tomorrow's weigh in so this morning was my "last chance workout". Though I'm sure it wasn't as hard as those poor people on Biggest Loser doing their last chance workout. In fact, I know it wasn't. But it was a last chance workout for me. That's for sure.

And what a victory it was!

I did something this morning I've been wanting to do for over a year. I finally worked my self up to where I could run outside of our community. So far, I've only been running around the loop in our community (each loop being 3/8ths of a mile). I knew I'd get bored with it, but it's where I have to start.

My community gives me the comfort and the courage to be able to walk, bike, or run distances. And I recommend this to everyone—if you can't start in a gym, find somewhere you can start walking or running that's not far from home. Or choose small distances from home so it's not overwhelming.

When I first started walking, I would only go one lap around my community and I worked myself up to being able to take it outside. I didn't want to pass out from exhaustion on a major thoroughfare. Plus, if I kept it close to home, I could quit whenever I felt I was overdoing it. But once you commit yourself to walking a certain distance in one direction, you always have to be able to make it back home that same distance.

So I'd finally worked up my endurance and my courage to run out in the real world this morning. And what I did was run a huge loop around my part of the city. I've been walking this route for the past year and I've tried running on it, but only for maybe 20-50 feet at a time. I remember the first time I decided to see if I could run, I was probably 50 pounds heavier than I am now, and I only ran about 20 feet and I literally thought I was seriously (for real) going to die—I had to stop after 20 feet. My fear overwhelmed me. It was a long time before I'd try it again.

But now I know I won't die so I wasn't afraid at all to go as far as I did. The loop I took was a 3-mile loop. And what a victory.

I ran the whole way!

I still can't believe I did it. This was a HUGE day for me!

When I first started out, I was listening to Nichole Nordeman's Brave CD (here's a link to her MySpace if you want to listen to some of her music—she's my favorite Christian artist). The first song, while I was still doing my 5-minute warm up, was Brave. Listen to these lyrics:

You're safe and sound and
Until now it's where I've been
'Cause it's been fear that ties me down to everything
But it's been love, Your love, that cuts the strings
So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave

Isn't that an amazing song to hear as you start out to embark on an adventure that you're a little nervous about? From that point on, I had absolutely no fear at all. I felt so brave.

After my 5-minute warm up, I headed outside the community and started down the first big road. I felt fine. Calm. Relaxed. Breathing low.

Then I noticed as I passed by a street sign and got a big smile on my face. That street sign used to be my first marker for a quarter mile when I first started walking. I knew if I walked to that sign, it was an eighth of a mile so if I turned around and went home at that point, I knew I'd walked a quarter mile. I ran past it.

Then I came to the half mile street sign. It was a speed limit sign. I ran past it.

Then the one-mile sign. Was a cross roads. I blazed past it with a big smile on my face.

I was really doing this. I was really running past my old walking benchmarks. And I felt fine.

I blazed past the 2-mile marker, which was 1 mile from home and a major cross roads (4-lanes both directions). But then just after that, I thought I wasn't going to make it. I had started day dreaming and wasn't focused on my music. I started getting bored. And that made me feel tired.

Then I kicked myself in the butt and started focusing on the music and her wonderful lyrics and didn't look back. After that was no turning around because if I did, it would take me longer to go back the direction I'd come from than to just finish the huge 3-mile lap.

I still can't believe I did it!

I'm so signing up for that 5K. It took me 40 minutes to run the 3 miles this morning so I know I won't win any prizes in the 5K but at least I know, now, that I CAN do it!

Actually, after I got back to my community, I really felt like I could keep going. I wasn't tired. I was breathing low. I felt fine. I think I might have gotten bored with it, though, if I went around for another 3 miles. I think that's going to be my major stumbling block is the boredom. I remember how bored I got with walking. That's why I had to find walking buddies. How do you stop from being bored. Am I the only one who get's bored exercising?


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Running won't kill me...

Well, so far, I've run for the past three mornings. I sure hope I can do it for the next two and have a running streak of 5 days in a row.

I was at the gym yesterday and day before but today I was out in my neighborhood. Boy what a difference it is on the treadmill than on pavement! I started out this morning and thought "oh my gosh, my legs are so heavy!". :D

Ran for a total of 30 minute and, of course, walked for 5 minute before and after. I wish I could get my lazy butt up out of bed in the mornings. I keep oversleeping and it's cutting my exercise time in half.

I guess its okay, though, because I've been burning anywhere from 400-500 calories each morning. That's spectacular! On average, I've been burning between 300-400 calories running and then I've been leaving my heart rate monitor on for the next half hour to hour (before I have to get ready for work) and I'll burn another 100-200 calories depending on what I'm doing. Like on Monday, I was baking breakfast for the office when I got back from running and I burned 200 calories just moving around the kitchen.

I talked to Jason at and he said that's the effects of the running. That my legs muscles get so revved up that they keep burning calories long after I've stopped running. Can't beat that—burning 200 calories from cooking!! Love it!

There were a few of you in the comments from my last post asking about how I got started running or saying they wish they could run but are leary. Well, I have to say that I didn't get this way over night. Absolutely not! It was a very long process.

I first started out at 275 pounds and a couch potato 20 months ago. So exercise was excruciating. I first started out walking. Weight Watchers had this GREAT walking plan that I did to get me started. It is six 8-week parts and if you stick to it, by the end of a year, you'll be able to walk a half marathon (13 miles). It's really a great plan because it starts you out so slow. Like the first day, you just walk for 10 minutes. The 2nd day is 13 minutes, then the 3rd day is 15, then 20 on the 4th, then 10 on the 5th and 6th days and then you don't walk on the 7th day. That was totally doable for me. I actually followed the plan through the first part—8 weeks (I actually went 9 weeks).

But then I got bored with it. I tried everything, listening to audio books, listening to sermons, listening to new music, memorization. I just couldn't get past the extreme boredom of walking and walking. Was so monotonous for me. I know it was all in my head, but I just couldn't get past it.

So I found a walking buddy. I think it was more the accountability than it was the boredom. So that helped me out so much. But then she had to quit walking. It took no time and I was able to find another walking buddy, then two, then three. So there are four of us now, that walk 2 days a week. (Actually, I just had to quit walking with them this week (permanently) but that's a whole other story.)

By the time I found the three walking buddies, I'd been walking for about a year. On my off-walk days I would try other forms of exercise. Mostly running and biking. I got hooked on biking for quite a while and actually can't wait to get started at it again (soon as the weather in the mornings starts getting warmer—I got sick the last time I went biking in the cold). But at one point I started running.

I started the C25K program (Couch to 5K). This is literally starting out as a couch potato and being able to run a 5K in 9 weeks. I have to say this was very ambitious of me. I don't think I made it past the 2nd week. For me, I had a mental block towards running. I thought I was going to die—literally.

Last night on the Biggest Loser (which by the way, I HATE right now after the stunt they pulled last night at weigh in!) and there was one woman running on the treadmill who was crying. She was so scared. Jillian didn't understand but I do. I was literally scared I would die if I ran. I was afraid I'd trip and fall and break a leg. I was afraid I'd drop dead of a heart attack. I was afraid that I'd just quit breathing because I was breathing so hard. So when I ran, I was extremely tense. I would hold my fists tight. I'd hold my shoulders tight up against my neck. And I'd be breathing like I was running a 500 mile marathon!

I was freaking myself out!

Then when I realized I was going to be okay (after about a week), I realized I just need to relax. So I focused on my breathing and would wobble my head around while I was running to loosen the muscles in my neck and shoulders.

That worked, but I was still so out of breath that I quit doing it and switched to biking. There I found a great friend. I could get out and ride my bike around the neighborhood like I was a kid. Wind in my hair. Sun on my shoulders. What a blast!

But then it got cold and I had to quit. I started doing inside workouts but didn't really like them. Then I came across Jason's blog called Run4Change. And I read his About Me and his story from obesity and realized his story was a lot like mine (except he reached his goal after only a year and I'm going on 2 years and still have 30-40 pounds to go). Then I read his page on how to get started running and it finally hit me. I was pushing myself too hard. I didn't know that you're not supposed to huff and puff while your running. I thought being out of breath was par for the course.

I had no idea.

So I took his advice and I went slow. I didn't let my heart rate exceed it's maximum 60% and took it slow. If my heart rate started reaching the 60% mark, I'd just slow down but not stop running. I was at first just run/walking. I'm sure I looked ridiculous out there. But I really wanted this to work. If I started breathing heavy, I'd slow down. I was amazed at how far I could run like this. Blown away at how easy it was!

This was just last week, so I still have a long way to go, but I truly believe I could run as far as I wanted to and not pass out. Not even come close to passing out. In fact, I'm thinking about running a 5K the beginning of February.

I just found a 5K for that is raising money for underprivileged women to provide mammograms and pre-screenings for them for free. It's perfect. My grandmother had breast cancer and my mother-in-law's sister died from it. I've always wanted to run a 5K and I've always been a huge breast cancer research supporter. And this is a real competition, not just a fun run. They're giving out prizes for the top 3 finishers in each age category.

Now, do I think I can do it? Hmm. Not sure. Well, I know I just said up there that I could run for any amount of distance/time, but here is were I put my money where my mouth is.

I'll let you know what I decide.

I haven't signed up yet. I have until the end of this month to sign up.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Two huge victories...

You know, I was so emotionally wrapped up in my last post that I completely forgot to tell you guys about the great news.

Two wonderful things happened to me last week!

#1, I ran! And not only did I run, but I ran 3.75 miles without stopping or walking at all (well, I walked 5 minutes before and after—warm up and cool down). This was last Friday morning. I've NEVER run that far before (except for in high school and that doesn't count cause that was like a million years ago). The furthest I've ever run at one time (without walking breaks) was a mile and a half and that was just last Tuesday. Before that, the most I'd ever run at one time was 3/8ths of a mile (one lap around our neighborhood).

The way I did it was to run extremely slowly. I've been reading Jason's blog "Run4Change" (and chatting with him) lately and his advice was to start slow. So I started about as slow as I could possibly go. If I calculated it right (because I run outside and not on a treadmill), I was doing a 13-minute mile. Pretty slow! But I figure if I want to do this, the only way I'm going to be able to do it is "barely" and by barely I mean start as absolutely slow as possible. So I did.

I hadn't intended on running a 6K (yup, that's what it ended up being, WOW, I still can't believe I did it). I had originally started out telling myself I was going to go around the block 4 times—a mile and a half. I had just done it Tuesday, so I figured that's how I'd start out slow. Then do 4 laps for a few more times (on different days) and then add another lap after that and so on.

But when I got to 4 laps I felt wonderful! So I thought, I'll try another lap and see how I feel. After the 6th lap, I said "okay, Cara, let's go for 8". I think I even said that out loud (thank goodness it was early enough in the morning that no one was around). I figured 8 laps would be 3 miles and I've been wanting to run a 5K since I started this weight loss thing 20 months ago. I really felt good and I knew I could do it. So I did.

But then somewhere along the way, I miscounted my laps and didn't notice until I got home that I'd clicked 10 laps on my heart rate monitor watch rather than 8. So I went an extra three-quarters of a mile and didn't even know it.

I can't wait to do it again!

Oh, and I burned 503 calories! Though I'm not sure how accurate that was because I just learned that you burn different calories according to what heart rate zone you're in and that depends on your age, gender and resting heart rate and I've never input my age or my gender into my heart rate monitor. I have no idea how to even do that. All I know is push butt, start, push button, stop, review heart rate & calories. I just learned by accident how to tick away the laps as I'm going around.

My heart rate stayed between 145 and 159 the whole time so I could try and burn the most amount of calories as possible. I made sure of it. I kept looking at my watch like every 10 seconds and then I'd speed up or slow down as needed so it wouldn't go above or below that rate.

Since then, I went to the gym twice this week so far and both times have ran for 30 minutes (because I can't get my lazy butt up out of bed to spend more time there) and went 2.25 miles. Hopefully I can get up early enough tomorrow to run the whole hour and see just how far I can go. It's SOOOO much easier running on a tread mill than outside!


Finally, my gaining streak is over!

I really think the two running stints I did last week helped a lot. I hope. Because I'm going to try and do it a few more times this week and see if it makes a difference.

I'm still having major problems staying within my measly 21 points each day. But maybe the extra exercise will help balance it all out in the end.

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been commenting lately. Your comments have really be a huge source of encouragement for me. And if you ever want to email me, feel free. I've been emailing back and forth with a few of you and that is so extremely helpful. Your words of encouragement are helping me through this really rough time in my weight loss journey.

God bless each of you.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

My precious food...

Wow, Karyn, I think you're on to something. "I'm thinking that you still see certain foods as necessary to your well being and happiness." When I read your comment, those words stopped me in my tracks.

My "precious foods" are just that. They are my emotional tie to happiness. And I think this goes deeper than "comfort food". Thinking back to the happiest times in my life, I can tie each one of them to a specific food item or meal. Celebrations always rewarded with great food. Family gatherings (which are so completely rare in my family) all center around a great meal. Getting together with people I haven't seen in years—think big hearty extravagant meal. Something horrible happens in my life and I try to mend the hurt with those same "celebration" foods to try and bring back the happy times.

My "precious foods" also represent monetary success for me. I've never been the smartest with money so we've struggled from time to time over the years and as soon as we have some extra money, what do we do but go out and buy an expensive meal that we shouldn't spend the money on and of course I'll get the richest most decadent foods (naturally accompanied by the biggest and sweetest dessert on the menu). In our last house, the food pantry had two accordion doors. You know, I never could bring myself to close those accordion doors because that would hide the food. I had to see the food so that I could feel safe and secure. If there was food in the pantry, I felt safe and successful. That sounds so sad.

This blog has always been a place where I can pour out my honest thoughts and emotions, but with this post, I'm taking it to a whole other level. I really can't believe I'm being so completely honest. In fact, I will surprise myself if I actually end up hitting the "Publish Post" button when I'm done.

But this is therapeutic. So many of you have offered such sage advice to help me past this huge hurdle (which, by the way, looks more like Mt. McKinley rather than a little wooden hurdle). And every word has meant so much to me.

They say identifying the problem is half of the solution. So if this is the problem, then how to I solve it?

How do you change something that is so fundamentally ingrained into who I am?

My "precious food" helps me stay sane. It helps me cope with life. It helps me know that things will be alright. It helps me see both feet firmly planted on the ground. It tells me that no matter what happens in life, it'll always be there to make things better.

How do you solve something like that?

Is it even a solvable problem? Or is it a problem who's solution is a "work around"?

My first thought is to contemplate the next time I'm eating for any reason other than to fuel my body. Let's see, that's about 90% of the time. So it shouldn't be hard to spot. It'll still be hard to identify, though. I can always use the excuse—"well, I have to eat, you know".

Hmm. The more I think about it, the more I need to switch from looking at food as my savior to looking at other things to congratulate and comfort me. Other things to let me know that I'm successful. How do I even do that?

How do I have a celebration without involving food? What would I replace it with?

How do I comfort myself when I'm feeling down without food?

I can't imagine what could possibly replace food.

Let's see... there's buying clothes or shoes. Too expensive. There's going to see a movie (which I LOVE). There are only so many movies out there. There's exercise. I've heard that's great emotional fuel. I have been having alot of fun running lately. Maybe I could switch to exercise rather than food. But will it satisfy me the same way? I get the warm and fuzzy feelings after taking a few bites of something wonderful. Exercise sounds awfully rigid, not soft and cuddly.


Okay, so I'm half way through the solution. I've identified the problem. The rest of the solution is just going to have to come in time because it's not coming to me right now. What do you guys do to make yourself feel safe, wanted, secure, satisfied, comforted, and "right with the world"?

Maybe there is no solution. Or maybe the solution is already there, I'm just not seeing it. Or maybe the solution is just identifying the problem.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

I think I'm headed for a train wreck...

I finally upgraded my blog design. I got a hint from SpunkySuzi's blog. I've always enjoy her backgrounds. So I went to the website she told me about and found out just how easy it is to add a different background. So I created my own custom designed background and used their code to get it posted on my blog. I even figured out how to change my font colors and divider lines and everything.


But then I had to do a very sad thing...

I change my ScaleJunkie badge (to the right) from "95 pounds lost" back down to "85 pounds lost". :,,[ sniff sniff

I was so proud of that 95 pound badge! Back in October, I dipped below 95 pounds but I didn't have the heart to change it because I knew I'd be back up above 95 pounds in no time. Well, it took me a month or better to get back above 95 pounds, but I did it. But now, I'm all the way below 90 (87.4 to be exact). So I thought it was time to face the music and switch it out.

It's a depressing time, but I have to be honest with myself and confront my weight gain. I'm the type of person who's always "glass half full". Actually, my glass is always most of the way full, no matter what's going on. But it's time I look at the glass realistically so I can access what's going on in my head and get back to losing.

I thought I was doing good since last Saturday's huge weigh-in debacle of gaining 8.4 pounds in one week! Actually, I was doing good. I was down 3 pounds!

Well, until I weighed myself this morning. I'm back up again. Gained 3 pounds in one day. Ugh!

Cara, what are you doing!??!!

I was so dedicated and determined. I wasn't really sacrificing or depriving myself. I really WANTED to eat healthy and on plan. And I was even exercising and giving it extra effort. Then we got paid yesterday and the flood gates broke loose!

For lunch, I had 9 pieces of sushi (crab, cream cheese and avocado with brown rice) and 7 steamed dumplings. All-in-all, sushi and dumplings are actually healthy for you and low in points. But not when you eat as many as I ate! I ate until I was stuffed! Pegged the Momentum™ hunger scale all the way up to 5+!

Then for dinner, of course we went out, it's pay day! Went to Chili's because of their Guiltless Grill menu. I ordered the grilled salmon with steamed broccoli and black beans. Not a bad selection. According to their menu (which I've been told is NOT entirely accurate) it was a 10 points. I actually was already over by 1.5 points for the day (before I started dinner) but I had to eat, right?

But we ordered chips and salsa before the meal. Why? Who knows. Neither of us were particularly hungry. We could have waited for our meals. But alas, we pigged out on the HUGE bowl of chips and two cups of salsa.

Needless to say, by the end of my meal, I'd pegged the huger meter all the way up past 5 again!

Again, the food I ate wasn't bad for me. But the quantity was HORRIBLE!

Then (and there's always a then), when we got home, I made chocolate pretzels (dark chocolate kiss melted between two Snyder's Butter Snaps). And I think I at about 20 or 30 of them (finished the rest of them off this morning).

I have no self control!

Why am I continually sabotaging myself.

It's almost like... Okay, Cara, you've flubbed up this past year, lets see how badly you can flub up next year!


And I know what I'm doing, too. I'm not proud of it, but I know exactly when I'm doing it that it's wrong and will make me gain! But I continue to do it anyway.

I don't want to eat anything else that's bad for me, or rather too much for me. I really want to start losing again!

My skinny jeans are getting tight on my. No, I take that back, they're not GETTING tight on me, they ARE tight on me.


Somebody stop me!!!