"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." ~ Anonymous

Friday, November 30, 2012

Weigh-In ... A Gain & Two Things

Today's Weight:  168.5
Loss/Gain: +2.0 since last Thursday, but -2.0 since last Friday.

As my mom said, "Happy Holidays, huh?" Sigh...yes.   Needless to say I wasn't "on track" over Thanksgiving and the only silver lining on that cloud of gain is that I am down from last Friday.  Unfortunately, I'm having a bit of a time getting back on track and am worried about my Finish Strong challenge. 

I am one month away from the finish and I've actually gained a couple pounds since the beginning of the challenge.  *rolling eyes*  Sheesh.  *shamefully shaking head*

But instead of getting depressed I want to share two things today:

1)  Thank you to my fellow bloggers who commented and encouraged me to keep pressing towards my seemingly impossible weight goal.  I have been discussing with a good friend about how a girl I know has put some weight back on (after reaching a healthy weight) and keeps mentioning that she thinks she's just good at that weight and it makes me want to justify not losing any more myself.  

I think this girl might be about where I'm at now - if we did a heigh:weight ratio, so it's been almost like an excuse for me, because I find myself thinking, "Well, if she feels fine and is staying active, then why should I try and lose more??"  However, like I said earlier this week I know my eating is not where it needs to be and thus I can not allow myself to make excuses about reaching a healthy weight.  

So, I won't give up and I know I must press on.  

Which leads me to my next thought...

2)  Wednesday I had my physical assessment with the trainer at the gym.  The results were amazing to me and reminded me of how far I've come and why I want to continue towards my healthy weight.

Okay, well, honestly...they were another reason I could see why the girl I mentioned above might not worry about getting back to a healthy weight...when you've seen yourself come so far you almost don't feel the need to continue. 

The trainer doesn't know my story, but I do and so I was very pleased to see these this information on my assessment printout: 

My "body age" registered at:  31  ,  but I'm really 36.  
My body fat percentage: 20.3 ...and fell in the "optimal" range
Max VO2 (cardiovascular testing):  67.7  ...or at the top of "Very Good" .. next level being "Elite"
My overall fitness fell 2/3 towards the top of "Good"..next level was excellent and the top of the chart.


In GOOD fitness shape and with a body fat percentage in a good range...with 25 pounds left to lose?  

You know I understand the need to get to at least the high end of a healthy weight and thus the need to stay focused and keep working on weight loss, but it felt really good to see on paper Wednesday that I'm no longer the couch potato, overweight mom who never thought she'd be "like those people" who were healthy.  

So, I still need to lose more weight.  I will.  But for today, and in the face of this yucky holiday gain, I feel good and I resolve to do my best to complete my Finish Strong challenge and ... well... finish strong.  

As always, no matter what... I won't quit.  Thanks for checking in on me.  

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Maybe I Should Feel Ugly and Fat?

So, after posting yesterday I also had another thought about how the taller lady feels so fat and ugly and I'm about the same size, but don't feel fat and ugly.

Maybe I need to feel just a little ugly and fat..just enough to urge myself to finish the weight loss already.  I'm kind of joking, but kind of serious here.

Three-and-a-half years and 65 pounds lost and I feel so good right now. 

I can run 3 miles like no big deal, I'm in a comfy size 14 and I get complimented on how small I am.

But I'm thinking this is the flip side to loving yourself. 

Just like I realized ten extra pounds and nine months later after reading the article by Geneen Roth that loving myself doesn't mean allowing myself to eat whatever and whenever and however much I want, I need to realize I am still not a healthy weight.

Yes, I'm healthier.

But I'm too close to being obese to settle.  I need to finish up what I've started. 

Trust me, my not losing more weight is not because my body isn't responding to diet and exercise anymore.  It's because I still eat more calories than I burn on a regular basis.  

*openly honest moment here*

I haven't eaten like I'm trying to lose weight for a bit now and I know it.  I have good moments - meals or even a day or two - but well....I know I can do better. 

I decided last week that I wasn't going to quit my Finish Strong challenge, but I've had the darndest time getting back into the healthy-eating-and-weight-loss-portions groove.

And then my phone rang on Monday.  

"Are you still interested in a personal trainer?," she said.  

"Oh yes.", I said and then almost laughed because of where I'm at right now.

So, today I have an appointment with her for an assessment.  The gym I go to on the base offers a free personal trainer for six weeks to help you figure out a good routine that works with your needs and fitness/health goals.  

I'm thinking it's just the push I need to get back on track.  

She said she'll be checking my body fat percentage and the like...yep, I'll feel just fat enough to remind myself that I'm still not a healthy weight.   Okay, well, I've felt that fat often enough...but now someone else is going to see it and remind me that I can do better.  Yikes.

But you know what...it couldn't have come at a better time and I'm grateful, because being honest with ones self is also love.  Facing the facts is love.  And I'm going to love myself right over to that trainer and figure out how to get back on track.

I'll let you know how it goes.  :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

But I Don't Feel Ugly or Fat

So, the other day I was perusing some new-to-me weight loss blogs and I came across a lady who was sick of how fat she was.  As she was beginning her weight loss journey and blog she bemoaned the excess fat on her body and vented about how disgusted she was with herself.  

If I remember correctly, as of that post she was 5' 8" and 185.5 pounds.  

Um, I'm about 20 pounds lighter and a full 4 inches shorter.  So, basically I'm about the same size or even bigger than this person.  And, well, trust me...my body doesn't look as thin as hers in my underthings. 

But I don't feel ugly or fat.  

Now, I understand it sounds like she is at her highest weight and I'm at my adult lowest right now, so we are looking at this size from two very different angles.  However, the self hatred that came across in her post reminded me of an issue I've seen in the weight loss world since I began my journey that saddens me. 

Over the years I have watched women verbally abuse themselves about how fat they have gotten.  They are disgusted with how they've let themselves go and put on so much weight.   

Many of them are motivated by that disgust to do something about the weight.  However, more times than not I see women get to the goal weight and they still don't like what they see.  

The self loathing that prompted them to lose weight is still there.  

Sometimes a small amount of weight creeps back on and the loathing begins again; or some constantly chase the strictest diet or exercise regimen in the hopes of getting that perfectly flat stomach, etc. etc.

They've reached a healthy weight, but they still can't love themselves as they are.  

And I find it all very sad. 

You see, I remember an article* I read the summer before I started my weight loss journey wherein the author said a person deserves to love his or herself "even if you never lose another pound".  I remember I looked in my bedroom mirror and realized I couldn't truly say I loved myself the way I was - 5'4" and 220 pounds - and I decided then to try and accept who I was, as I was.  It was hard, but I worked on it.

To this day I truly feel letting go of that self loathing was the real beginning of my journey.

So, to this lady, and all those like her, let me encourage you to learn to love yourself as you are.  Self acceptance will make the journey to lose weight a little bit easier.  And in then end you'll be happier because you'll not only feel strong and confident for succeeding in your weight loss journey, but you'll feel content because you've come to accept the body God gave you...imperfections and all. 

*True Kindness Has No Calories by Geneen Roth for Good Housekeeping Magazine

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Running Discrepancy

Ever have that feeling something is too good to be true, and then you find out it is?  

Well, I've enjoyed hearing my Nike+ tell me on my runs that I'm averaging a 9:20 - 9:30 minute mile, but I've just been so surprised...and wondered if it was true, because I just didn't think / couldn't believe I was that fast. and chalked it up to cold weather running.

So, today I wore my Garmin on my run to compare.  The times were the same, but the distances were not.  And my gut instinct seems to be correct. 

My Nike+ on my iPhone said I ran this today: 

But my Garmin said this (bottom right is distance): 

To figure out who was closer to the correct distance I took my car out and drove the path I ran and the odometer came out with this: 
So, it appears my Garmin is correct and the Nike+ GPS is not, which would explain why the Nike+ has this option: 
Edit my run?  I thought the whole point of having this app was to have the Nike+ tell me how far I ran, not for me to program it.  :(

Needless to say I'm a bit sad, but not surprised.  In the races I've ran I used my Garmin and my time/distance is usually only seconds different than the race timing chip clocks me at. 

My main upset is that I bragged about my fastest 5K on Thanksgiving morning, which is probably not true.  I'm still around a 33 minute 5K.

Oh well...That's okay..it just doesn't sound as good as less than 30 minutes did.  :) 

Has anyone else had this problem?  I'm going to look into it further and even email Nike+ people and see if I can find out if there is something I'm supposed to do to correct this issue.  

I'll keep you posted if I hear back from them. 

In the meantime, it was a beautiful day to run today and I enjoyed it immensely.  :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Weigh-In ... The Thankful Healthy Blogger 5K

Today's Weight:  Yesterday morning I was 166.5.  I was not that this morning, as expected.

I've decided not to post a regular weigh-in post this Friday.  Instead you can read about how I was feeling about my Finish Strong challenge here, and I'll share with you a new Thanksgiving activity I took part in this year.

After posting the other day I decided to commit to participating in this:
So, I planned ahead, got a few things done early and made sure I had time to get up and run before getting started on Thanksgiving preparations.
You'll notice I beat my 5K time from Tuesday...and came in at under 30 minutes...for the first time ever!! I was super excited about that!!!

Even more fun was that I had talked my friend, Sarah, into running Thanksgiving morning as well.  Since she lives on the other side of the country from me she texted me when she finished her run.
She took a picture too, proof that she was running.

While I did eat more than normal (or like normal overeating on Thanksgiving) I started my day out with activity and it felt great.

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankfully Not Quitting

I can hardly believe it's the day before Thanksgiving and the official start of the Christmas season.  It seems too soon!  I don't even feel "in the mood" for it, though my house is cleaned, the laundry is almost caught up and I have all the fixings ready to prepare the traditional Thanksgiving feast tomorrow. 

So, what's a girl to do when she doesn't feel quite in the spirit of the days?  She sits down and blogs, blogs to the people who have come along her journey and supported her no matter how imperfect she is.  

You see, one of the reasons I am not "feeling it" is because I've been failing at my Finish Strong challenge and that negative feeling is lurking behind all of the wonderful things going on in my life.  It's bothering me so much so that I want to quit...and yet I don't. 

Because one major thing I've learned on this three-and-a-half-year-long weight loss journey is I'm not a quitter.  I may quit in moments, but overall I will not give up. 

Yesterday I told myself that no one would blame me if I came on here and posted that my challenge just wasn't going to work out too well this year, so I decided to stop it.  I know people would understand.  

But I thought to myself, "Do you want to quit, or do you want to make yourself get back on track and do your best to finish strong?"


Yes, because the goal is to finish strong, and that doesn't always mean every step is perfect along the way.  

Maybe I went on vacation with the full intention of exercising at least 4 days that week, and only exercised two days. 

Maybe I haven't been eating the healthiest foods, or in weight loss portions every day.

Maybe I'm not reaching 64 oz. of water drunken daily. 

Maybe I'm remembering that this weight thing isn't easy, no matter how long you work at it.

BUT - comma - ...HOWEVER,

I am forcing myself to remember something else, something totally spectacular for me this week. 

Yesterday, while feeling like a bit of a loser, I made time to go out for a jog.  I decided I'd make it a quick 3 miles, or even just 30 minutes.  No rush for a quick pace, just a jog.  My Garmin was dying, so I used the Nike+ (free) app on my new iPhone to track my distance and time.  As I ran along I heard, "Mile 1, Your average pace is 9 minutes 42 seconds" 


I just kept going....enjoying the beauty of autumn leaves and brisk air.  Then I heard, "Mile 2.  Nineteen minutes and 28 seconds (or something like that). Your average pace is 9 minutes 38 seconds. (again, approximately)" 

You know that last mile of the run was wonderful as I realized I was running a sub-10 minute pace.  I've dreamt of the day I could run a 5K at a 10-minute pace...well, I finished up my run clocking in ....

3.65 miles in 34 minutes and 36 seconds....averaging a 9:28 pace.  

This is a personal best for me, and I didn't even feel like I pushed myself hard.  I just went and did it.  

Yea, I'm not the perfect weight loss example and I have many more shortcomings than some very health-conscious friends of mine when it comes to eating and exercise, but I am improving.  For every little bit I fall back I push forward a little harder, and the outcome is progress.  

I may not be at my goal weight yet, but I am in the best shape of my adult life.  

So, my grandparents are coming into town tomorrow for two days to spend Thanksgiving with us and I know I may be over my calorie budget for the days, but I am determined that after the family leaves it's back to the challenge for me.  I will do my best to get down to 159 by the end of the year, and if I don't?

I'll keep going.  I won't give up.  

I know one can get tired of hearing it, but it took many years of neglect to get to my highest weight, so as long as I keep going in the opposite direction I'm choosing to be okay with that.  I'm also choosing to be thankful for the progress I've made and to enjoy every moment along the way.  

Please know I've not fallen into the depths of despair over this.  It's just something that's been nagging me and I really didn't want to unload on any one person.  Since this concern is completely weight related I wanted to journal it instead.  So, later when someone tells me how vexed they are I can say, "Oh, you should read a post I wrote back...I've been there and it's okay."  

Plus, I know my reader friends will understand, and that's another thing I'm thankful for.  I know I'm not alone in this journey.  

Now, I leave you with some beauty I've been blessed to look at every day recently as I go to and from my house.  These trees line the street entering our neighborhood.  They only stay this color for a week or two, and I enjoy every minute of their autumn glory.  

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2012


Well, I was going to post this yesterday, but I was not feeling well at all.  My stomach was upset and I don't do nausea well.   I have no idea what happened, but I'm feeling a bit better today.  

The fun non-scale victory story goes like this....
Sunday I wanted to put on my lounge pants, but they were dirty.  So, I tried my husband's and  THEY FIT!! I was so thrilled I tried on his t-shirt too.  It also fit.  

I was just a little tickled.  :)  My daughter took my phone and took some pictures for me doing the happy dance that I fit comfortably in his clothes.  It was silly, but I was super excited because I never have fit into his stuff like this before.  

Sometimes you have to celebrate...
....even when you're 25 lbs away from your goal...
...that has taken forever to reach...

Friday, November 16, 2012

My Brother Joel

Good morning and Happy Friday!  I don't have a weigh-in post to share with you today since I'm still out of town til tomorrow.  However, I do have something exciting to share regarding weight....

As I said, I'm currently visiting my brother, my one and only sibling.   He and his wife just had their first baby...darling Miss Lucy.  (See pics from earlier post this week)  It has been a nice week of holding the little one, hanging out and seeing some changes in my brother.  Namely changes in the way he eats.  

The biggest change I see is if he's still full from a large lunch he'll eat a light dinner.  He has said a couple of times this week, "No thanks, I'm not that hungry."  His choice of foods is a little different too.  He eats Lara bars and has had them on hand for me to try.  This is all due to the fact that he is on a weight loss journey of his own.  

The funny thing to me is that he just kind of started doing this and I didn't even know about it.  He knows I've been working on losing weight, but we don't really discuss the subject much.  He mentioned losing some weight a few months ago and then I saw some pictures and was both amazed and inspired by his success.  So, I asked him if I could interview him for my blog. 

When I read his interview answers I was so encouraged about his approach to weight loss.  It's real.  It's something he can sustain forever.  Read on and I know you'll agree.  

So, Joel : 

How much weight have you lost? 
I've lost 50 lbs.
How long did it take (is taking, if applicable)?
I've lost that weight over the past 11months.
When did you first feel, or realize, you had a weight problem? 
I've always been unhappy with my size, probably since I was a teenager.
What made you want to do something about your weight?

It's a complex set of ideas and attitudes that cause a person to lose control of their health and it takes facing that and working through that to turn things around. There were a lot of things that were finally falling in to place for me, but I think there was one event that really triggered something in me and that was not being able to find anything that fit at Target. True story. I think going into Target and realizing that they don't make shirts and pants that are big enough was a small spark that lit a big fire.
How did you decide to get healthier?  A diet? Exercise only? 
I needed to find a way to eat healthier. I've done exercise-only before, but that didn't deal with the root cause, which was skewed idea of the role of food in my life.
Was it easy or hard to begin making the changes necessary to be healthy? 
It's never easy to make a change like that. 
Did you have a support?  Wife? Kids? Peers?
My wife was very supportive of me. I also have friends and co-workers who were very encouraging.
What has been the hardest thing about losing weight? 
Breaking bad habits. Over the years food had taken on an unhealthy level of importance. Reversing that trend was, is, difficult.
Has their been an easy part of losing weight? 
Not really.
Do you see any difference in attempting to lose weight as a man, versus women working on weight loss?  
I think biologically men don't have quite as difficult a time shedding pounds. That said, there is a cultural norm that disparages men eating smaller portions and salads as being feminine. This is especially true for guys like me who over time developed a reputation for being a big eater.
Please share a tip or two with us that you've learned, or a tip that has made the most impact on your weight loss.
Being healthy doesn't mean carrots and work-outs the rest of your life. Its all about balance and moderation; quality over quantity.

And because I know we all like to see the visual proof, here's he is.  I'm stealing a little of his glory, but that's only because I happen to be visiting him this week as well.  So, of course I wanted to snap a picture of us together.  :)  

Here we are at his wedding in March 2009 and this week.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Being Careful on Vacation

I find I'm having to be careful on vacation by not eating too much, but also of not thinking or feeling too much.  Today someone finished a post by asking,"What are you working on today?" and I replied:

Today I'm working on not feeling guilty for choosing to hold my new niece on vacation instead of go for a walk/run. I'm visiting and keep reminding myself that after  this week I don't know when I'll see her again, but the gym and neighborhood (for running) will be there waiting for me next week.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Meeting My New Niece

I have not been blogging, or reading blogs, because I am out of town visiting my brother and his family.  I'm enjoying my days holding precious Lucy and hanging out with my sister-in-law.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Weigh-In .. Finish Strong Update #3 (or not)

Today's Weight:  167.5
Loss/Gain:  + 2.0 lbs

(Pardon the TMI...)
Welcome Aunt Flo.  Yes, I was happy to see her arrival because otherwise I would have no reason why I was so emotional for a couple days and why I couldn't seem to get enough chocolate and not care one tidbit about eating for weight loss.

Yesterday morning I thought I wasn't due for my monthly until next week and I was wondering what the heck was going on.  Then she arrived and all was right in my world again.  The trend for me is to PMS and then right about when I start the emotions are good again and the need for chocolate dwindles back down to somewhat normal proportions.  Whew!

So...let's add to that no exercise and you have a gain.

Part of me feels I should be upset about this, but I'm not so much and here's why.

It's my monthly.  It happens.

This is the week I knew I wouldn't exercise because I've been busy from sun up to sun down helping and participating in a Bible conference at our church.  Literally, the most sitting I've done all week is in the car taxying my kids to and from school and in the church seminars.  That's it.

So, instead of an official update on my Finish Strong challenge because I didn't get the other things done perfect either
I'm going to leave you with two NSVs (non-scale victories) from this week:

  • There was a donut break at the morning seminars and I didn't have one.  They served fruit as well and I had fruit and one day had a cheese stick with mine.  Obviously, I had the chocolate and other junk, but that is why I refrained from the donuts.  I knew I'd had enough.  

  • Yesterday my daughter tells me this, "Last year at conference I was so tired, but this week hasn't been so bad.  I think it's because of basketball practice every afternoon."  Yes!!!  She realized that exercise gives you more energy!! It was a happy moment.  
I hope you have a good day.  We're very excited everyone is off on Monday for Veteran's Day so we can recoup from our busy week.  

Have a good day, and thanks for checking in!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Meet Dave

Yes, it's Monday and yes, I do have a motivating story to share with you.  :)

A little over a month or so I received a text from a friend of mine that went something like this, "I know he doesn't really want the attention, but I just have to brag..Dave has lost 100 pounds as of today!" 

I knew my friend's husband had been trying to lose some weight, but since we don't live near each other I had no idea just how much he'd been losing.  It was such good news to hear.  My friend has been on weight loss journeys with me in the past and we've both talked about how it would be a little easier if our husbands would get on board with regards to eating better.  

And he did. 

Plus,  he finally agreed to let me interview him for my blog.  We did this email style and his wife sent the pictures.

So, without further ado, please meet Dave ... 

How much weight have you lost?
I have lost a total of 100lbs. I started out at 347 and am now 247

How long did it take (is taking, if applicable)?
It has taken me a year

When did you first feel, or realize, you had a weight problem?
I have always been a big guy but got real serious about losing weight in July 2011

What made you want to do something about your weight?
 I was feeling more and more lethargic and went to the doctor. My blood pressure was way to high due to the excess weight and lack of exercise. I was put on high blood pressure medication. I went to the doctor for monthly check ups and after 2 months of medication and losing some weight I was taken off the medication. Once I lost some weight I started to have more energy and feel better.

How did you decide to get healthier? A diet? Exercise only?
Eliminating the 2 or 3 44oz sodas that I drank every day. As well as diet and exercise. Changing what I ate. Not really a diet. But changing my eating habits. And exercising. At first I could only ride the bike for 15 mins and each time it started to get easier. I ride now every other day for an hour.
Was it easy or hard to begin making the changes necessary to be healthy?
Once I had it set in my mind it was fairly easy. There is always some temptations to eating things you shouldn't but once my mind was made up it was easier.
Did you have a support? Wife? Kids? Peers?
It was something that I really decided to tackle alone but I certainly had support from my wife with meals and playing games with me while I exercised. But having it in my mind that this was something I wanted to do it was what I wanted to do.
What has been the hardest thing about losing weight?
Patience. It something that takes time to see results.
Has there been an easy part of losing weight?
Once you find a exercise that fits your needs it soon becomes easy. I found that the exercise bike was something that was somewhat easy for me. Something that didn't hurt my knees. I have had 2 knee surgerys.
Do you see any difference in attempting to lose weight as a man, versus women working on weight loss? 
 I think for men it's a much easier thing to do alone. I necessarly don't want or need to talk about it. But for women they feel they need a friend to go through it with. To have that support. Women need to talk, men don't.
Please share a tip or two with us that you've learned, or a tip that has made the most impact on your weight loss.
I'm sure that everyone is different but for me embrace the scale. Most people weigh once a week. But for me I weigh myself 4 times a day. When I got up, before I exercised, after I exercise, and before I go to bed. For me it helps me keep myself on track. Find a exercise that works for you, something that you enjoy. You shouldn't hate your exercise.

Dave, thank you for allowing me to share your story on my blog, and a big CONGRATULATIONS on your weight loss!!! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Weigh-In ... Staying Focused

Today's Yesterday's Weight:  165.5
Loss/Gain:  +/- 0

We had an unexpected family emergency and I ended up driving my sister-in-law to the airport yesterday morning to go care for my mother-in-law.  All will be fine, but it was not into my plans for the day (of which there were many because I'm readying for company and a very busy week next week.)

So, I didn't post yesterday, nor did I exercise.

Speaking of didn't do's ...

  • I want to break 160 on the scale.  I want to see 159 or lower.  Started at 166.0.  I maintained this week.   Still 0.5 of 7 down.
Sub goals:
  • Exercise 4 days a week minimum, shoot for two days of running and two days of something else.  Runs can be 30-35 minutes, but everything else 45-60 minutes.  Only exercised 3 days this week.  I am adjusting this goal to 30-45 minutes of exercise, instead of 45-60.  It's just more realistic for my hectic life.
  • Track food, even if over calorie budget.  Only tracked half the week.
  • Drink minimum of 64 oz. water daily.  I think I did this the best this week. Some evenings I was sipping water like crazy getting that second 32 oz. bottle down, just because I knew I had this goal.  :) 
As I told my friend yesterday.  I was very busy and didn't make myself focus enough on my goals to lose any weight this week.  While I'm glad to know I didn't gain weight, I need to focus a little more.

This is a very busy time of year and the reason I started this challenge for myself was to be reminded that I need to keep my health a priority.  I don't think my goals are unrealistic.  And I do think I can do it.  Every day I need to remind myself that on top of taking care of every other commitment in my life I need to keep this one.  

I will enjoy the holidays, and that will include enjoying the knowledge that I finished out 2012 strong and healthy.  :)