Monday, August 29, 2011

Earthquakes, Hurricanes and Fires... OH MY!

It is never a dull moment in Virginia! Vacation was wonderful and we were welcomed home by smokey air, an earthquake and Hurricane Irene! I am keeping on with my running and healthy eating. I am missing Body Back classes, and am ready to get back to it!

Hurricane Irene left our family without power. We are on day 3 of no power, headed into day 4. We have been staying with my sister since Sunday. She and my parents both have power, so we can get hot meals and showers and do laundry!

Today I ran my three miles on my own, in the dark! It was a little bit intimidating, but I did it! 3+ miles and then a 1/4 cool down walk, followed by stretches. I felt good afterward. I'm trying to get up to running a comfortable 4, and I think I'm getting close to being able to do that. Getting up there will allow me to get faster in my 5K! I look forward to being faster, but most all, I just enjoy running. I never believed those words would be a part of my life! HA! Funny how life changes.

I need to post my after pictures from this past Body Back class. The difference is amazing... running is changing the shape of my body. Body Back is sculpting my shoulders and chest and back, and running is sculpting my legs. I'm just amazed at the difference in my definition. I still have a very long ways to go (just around 100 lbs)... but from where I started, I am well pleased with the results.

OK, I must get ready for bed. I am going to attempt to make it to a drop in Body Back class in the morning. I just wanted to check in, so that you know I am STILL on my journey and not giving up, even through the craziness that life throws at us. I'm loving the changes. Lord knows, I already feel so much better!

We are feeling so blessed to only have our power out. Our friends had a tree drop through their sunroom and continue on to crush their SUV in the driveway, beside the sunroom. I cannot imagine.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Heading Out!

This could be my last post for a week... just wanted to give a heads up. I mean you never know, I could post next week. We'll see! Heading out for a 2-3 mile run with a friend. Then it's breakfast with Spiderman at the Children's Museum... never a dull moment! ;)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

8 Week Assessments! June 21- August 11

Today, after 8 weeks of working hard, we had our assessments! Of course, my alarm did not go off (It was user error, of that I am certain!). I woke up and saw light, and I KNEW something was amiss! I grabbed my phone, and it said 5:49 --- WHAT????!!!! I set the alarm for 4:50, so unless that alarm went off and I never heard it, then I guess I set it incorrectly! I jumped up, ran to the bathroom, threw on clothes, brushed my teeth and put on deodorant... no time for fixing hair... just had to GO! Jumped in the car and drove (carefully and not recklessly) straight to the TreeHouse. Thankfully, people were still weighing in and they'd not started assessments by the time I rolled in (without my shoes and socks on).

I weighed in, and dag if that mean old scale didn't say I'd gained 1 lb. since Tuesday! HUH??!! It did not matter, I was still down to my goal! I lost the 15 lbs needed to take me to a total of 50 lbs. lost since March 1!!! Super exciting! My goal was to lose 50 by vacation, and by golly, I DID IT!!! I'm going on vacation a full 50 lbs. lighter! Amazing.

After weigh in, Alex took our measurements. What a difference 8 weeks makes. My chest dropped 3 inches. My waist dropped 3.5 inches, my hips 2 inches and my thighs 2 inches! My goal was to lose 1 inch in my thighs this 8 weeks. I did that PLUS! A total of 10.5 inches lost this session!!! I'd say, so far, WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!

Then came assessments... This was frustrating for me. I did not hold my plank for 1:30 like I'd so hoped to do. However, my side plank, I held for longer than I thought was possible for me! My situps improved by 2, my pushups by 5. My squats did not improve... I was doing them too slowly I think, but I was trying to do them perfectly. My bicep curls did not go so well, not awful, just not where I wanted them to be. BUT, then comes the biggie -- Our 1/2 mile run. At the beginning of this class, my 1/2 mile run was 6:10. Throughout the session, we ran the 1/2 a couple of times. I brought it to a 5:48, then to a 5:32. My hope today was to bring it to a 5:30. When I crossed the finish line (and I sprinted at the end... I'll quote Annette "Lisa, I can't catch up to you!" -- she'd had already finished and came back to run me in when I suddenly burst forth with my sprint.) -- as I was saying, when I crossed the finish line, I was panting and grasping for air and all I wanted to do was lay down. My time for this 1/2 mile was 5:18!!!!!! Unbelievable.

Now, you know, we are running with others. The others in my class (the majority) run this 1/2 in under 5 -- as in some of them run it in under 3:30!!! So, I have to remember that I am not competing against their time. I am competing against MY previous times. So, while I want to be as fast as they are... I'm just proud of myself for being faster than my last time. And when you look at where I started in March... my 1/2 mile was 7:43 -- 5.5 months later, to have a time of 5:18 -- I cannot complain. Now, I do have to say, my goal for the next 8 weeks, is to shave that 18 seconds OFF of my time. I can! I WILL!!!

Over all after 3 sessions:
Start on March 1: 288 lbs
Finish on August 11: 238 lbs.

1st session-
-18.5 lbs
2nd session-
-16.5 lbs
3rd session-
-15 lbs
Total: -50 lbs

1st session-
-8 inches
2nd session-
-9 inches
3rd session-
-10.5 inches
Total: -27.5 inches

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Good Things

Sometimes I think, and I am guilty of this myself, that people think you have to give up all the good things in your life in order to lose weight. Give up all the good foods. It is not about deprivation at all. It is not about starvation. It's about moderation. Oh yes, I know... blah blah blah -- "Everything in moderation." I've heard it all before. Only, every time I'd heard it before, I wasn't in a place to accept it. I wasn't in a place to believe it. I wasn't ready to learn moderation. Moderation takes active thought and participation.

I'm going to tell you the BIGGEST secret to my recent success. FOOD JOURNALING. It's as simple as writing down everything you eat. Can you cheat and not write things down? Well, sure you can! But, how will that help you? Do you really want to see a difference? If the answer is yes, then start journaling. Remember this quote the next time you want to just skip writing something in your journal: "If you cheat, you are only cheating yourself." -- My friend Laura told me that, back when I first started Body Back in March. Those words have stuck with me these past 5.5 months. Journaling has been a key factor in my success. When I'm struggling, I can usually pinpoint where my problem is in my food journal, and make an adjustment.

OK, so now you are journaling, and you see that you are eating some foods a lot and other foods not nearly enough. Start switching it up... you don't have to make a drastic change over night, you just have to be willing to start making a change. For breakfast you are eating waffles and syrup. Switch it up, eat 1 waffle (fiber plus if you can) and put a tbsp. of a natural nut butter on it... Yum! And then on the side, have a boiled egg and a piece of fruit... You will be full, I promise. Now take a look at your morning snack -- is it yogurt? Yoplait? try Chiobani instead!!! (Greek yogurt has more nutrition!) -- I hate yogurt, so this is not easy for me. I'd rather have a lite english muffin with tomato and pepper jack cheese, melted under the broiler -- can't do that at work? Grab an Emerald Nuts 100 calorie pack of walnuts & almonds, eat with an apricot or some raisins. OK, so you forgot lunch and you step out to McDonalds -- would have been just as easy to go to Subway? Or even Taco Bell? -- Instead of a Cheeseburger and Fries, why not 2 chicken fresco tacos from Taco Bell? -- Bringing lunch from home? Try making a caprese salad and a turkey wrap on whole wheat tortilla with hummus rather than mayo! -- afternoon snack grab some cut up carrots and celery ... make dip from greek yogurt, dill and cucumber (or whatever you think might taste good) just limit the dip to 2 table spoons. For dinner, fix a yummy salad using baby spinach and feta, go easy on the dressing (tip: put dressing on the side, dip your fork in it before taking a bite of salad) -- serve with grilled chicken or fish and some steamed veggies of your choice. -- You'll find that you are satisfied all day long, and you actually enjoy these foods. It will take away the craving for constant sugar throughout the day. Then when you are at a party or out with friends, if you want a special dessert, you can indulge, but split it with a friend. Eat it slowly and purposefully, because that will be more satisfying. You will feel satisfied without feeling guilty or over stuffed!

Another secret that works... MEAL PLANNING -- Plan ahead for your week, shop according to your plan, and allow for substitutions and spur of the moment changes. If you know you have a party coming up, then plan for it! Going on vacation? Figure out where you are eating PRIOR to your trip. Research their menus and pick the best options. I'm living proof that this works!

Try to get the processed foods out of your house. If you don't have them to reach for when you are hungry, then you'll choose better options! Limit alcohol. It's empty calories and can make you eat MORE! Be sure to drink your water. Learn to eat in the calorie range that is right for your body and goals. My Fitness Pal (.com) is a GREAT tool for helping with all of this.

So, don't give up the good things. Just learn how to manage them in a healthy way. And enjoy them when you have them. Take time to savor. As I always say, "If it doesn't have flavor or taste good, I won't stick to it!"

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A look back...

So today, I got a message from my mom on FaceBook. The "conversation" as FB refers to it, showed an excerpt from earlier messages -- this is what I read:

"Just thinking about some hurtful things that were said to me on the school bus, and it was of course about my weight... anyway, with raising Maegan, I know I need to be setting the example for her for leading a healthy life, and sometimes I let the words of these girls echo in my head and then I get that defeated feeling, and I need to break the cycle... it's the same with the way Grandma treats me -- I need to learn how to get past those words and not let them effect me. I just really want to help Maegan never be fat so she won't have to experience those hurtful things that "Mean Girls" do ... ya know?"

I wrote that to my mom in November of 2010 -- well before I started Body Back. You see, my decision to start Body Back was being made even back then, only I didn't know it! I was struggling with letting go and moving forward and getting healthy to be a role model for my children.

Here I am 9 months later and 47 lbs. lighter and running a mile in under 14 minutes. I'm amazed at how far I have come. I'm happy that I have such supportive friends family that help me get here and remind me to keep going, but to take it one step at a time. I am beyond happy that I have made these changes in my life! From 288+ down to 241 since March 1 -- I've lost more than my son weighs (just 10 lbs. less than what my oldest child weighs). I just hope that my kids are comprehending these changes and applying the healthy habits to their own life.

On a side note: My run today was a difficult 3 miles. Difficult only because I was pushing myself to run faster. That's why I opted for the shorter 3 miles rather than the longer 4. Running 3 comfortably is no problem now, today I needed to get out of my comfort zone and work on picking up my speed. If I were to run 4, I would not have been able to maintain the increase in speed. So, I ran harder, and Kay and Angie pushed me to finish hard -- and I did. I finished my 3 miles in under 45 minutes! In all actuality, I finished at a pace under 14 minutes! -- Part of our run was a little eventful. As we rounded a corner (using the sidewalk rather than the road), we got back down on the road for the home stretch of our run, when a car came barreling toward us. We both had to jump out of the way. We don't believe the woman ever saw us, even though there was plenty of day light and I'm not really an easy target to miss. Angie had on a tomato red top, so we were clearly visible. I think someone needs to find that woman and start a caffeine IV STAT! She had to have been half asleep or not paying attention... I seriously hope she didn't do it on purpose! She scared the mess out of me. Maybe even shaved a couple of years off my life.

The reason why I am attempting to improve my speed, is that I am running the Disney Halloween 5K in October. We have to have a pace better than 16 minutes/mile. I'm trying to get my time closer to the 13 minutes/mile range, so I can feel good and strong about my race.

It's Wednesday, and I'm taking the kids to swim with my cousin this afternoon, so I'd better get busy getting prepared!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Three pounds to goal!

Body Back was awesome this morning. Notice, I did not say EASY... because, it wasn't! We worked hard. I did my 1/2 mile in 5:32!!! Can you believe that??? I can't! :) My goal for next Thursday is to get it under 5:30! I've done great with my goals this session, I blew away my run three miles goal. I think I've hit my 1 inch lost in the thighs. And now I'm just 3.5 lbs from my goal of losing 50 lbs. 3.5 is a lot to lose in 1.5 weeks, but I will give it my all!

I am so thankful to be where I am in my life right now. Now just to get my house ready to sell, and then to build our new home... I'm so ready to be settled in our new home with our children and having a space for everything and a little office area for me and my Children's Heart Foundation work. Body Back has been such a great experience for me. I love how it has helped me in other areas of my life.

One thing I am REALLY looking forward to right now is the Disney Halloween 5K! My friend, Sarah, and I are going to run this, while our husbands cheer us on from the sidelines! As soon as I get childcare all worked out, then the trip will be set in stone! I can hardly wait! I've got the 3 miles down pat. Now I just need to learn to speed up! I'd love to run this at a 14 minute mile pace or better.

It's TUESDAY and time to get the kids off to VBS Extreme Days! Have a great one!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Monday...

It was a muggy one out there! I was late for my run this morning by 6 minutes! I got up at 4:50 to get ready, but I wanted to weigh first. the Wiimotes were not apparently in the mood to cooperate. So, I woke Matt up (which he was actually laying there with his eyes open, and normally I don't think he even hears when I get up and leave) and asked for his help. He got it to work at 5:15 (when I normally leave) but I was determined to weigh PRIOR to my run. (I do this to keep myself in the know, not wanting to lose sight of my goals and I weigh 1 time per day about 4 days per week, always around 5 am.)

Today I ran with Angie, Angel and Stefanie. We have a great little group and we run well together. I always bring up the rear, but someone is always willing to run with me, which I appreciate. Today we dropped Stefanie off at 3 miles, and then we carried on for 1 extra. Four miles is a great run. I'm tired afterward, but I feel good. Working my way up to that 5! I'll get there. I enjoy running with girls training for the 1/2 marathon, because it will help me go farther so that my 8K will not seem like such a daunting task. I am hoping that by the 8K, I'll be running 5-6 miles per run. (apx. 15-18 miles per week)

I truly never knew that I'd enjoy running. My best friend can vouch that I have NEVER in my life enjoyed running and have always said that I'd never run unless someone was chasing me! My whole attitude has adjusted and now I don't enjoy short runs at all, but would much rather run 2+ miles at one time. My legs are so tight on a short run or a sprint, but on the long run my legs warm up and then it is just about maintaining and keeping moving, and not about the discomfort, because on the longer runs, I tend not to feel the discomfort except in the very beginning and then again when my legs begin to fatigue. I wish I could describe it so that non-runners could understand it. I'm not a fast runner by any means, and most people would call me a slogger (slow jogger) -- but the fact is, I am out there, and I am moving and I am burning calories and I am enjoying myself.

I must say, the company I keep on my runs helps make it fun. Angel and I can tell each other anything, and we do. That can provide endless laughs. Then there is Stefanie, I don't know that I've ever met a sweeter and more genuine person. Running with her is like running with a best friend, you know she's there for you and happy to be there with you. And then Angie! She's an inspiration. She never stops going, she doesn't give up and she gives you the courage to keep plugging. She is so encouraging and has a smile on her face almost 100% of the time. The four of us make running look fun, because we all smile while we run. Why do we smile? Some days I smile because if I don't, I think I may not make it through the first mile. Those are days when I'm tired from not enough sleep, or grumpy because something in my life isn't going my way. Some days I smile because I'm just so glad to be out in God's world, enjoying his creation with wonderful friends at my side. We smile because we enjoy our run and we enjoy sharing our lives with each other. We smile because we are doing something wonderful for our bodies. There isn't much for us NOT to smile about! Besides that, all three of the girls I run with have wicked senses of humor, which helps keep me laughing and smiling and enjoying my time!

Shameless plug: OK, today I was DYING for a SweatyBand! I'm telling you... I sweat like a piggy, especially in the humidity. My poor eyes just sting with sweat throughout the run. A SweatyBand would have been a perfect accessory for today's run! Looking forward to receiving my first one in the mail, SOON!