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

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weigh-In ... No Workout Week

Today's Weight:  161.5
Loss/Gain:  +2.0 lbs

I totally forgot to post yesterday.  oops.  I wasn't avoiding reporting I just got busy and forgot.  

I'm not worried about this gain one bit.  After the half marathon last Saturday I decided I would take a week off of running and all exercise actually.  I feel better and am ready to get back into the routine on Monday.

This week has shown me that I really do need exercise to lose weight and if I'm not super careful with my eating I need it to maintain my weight as well.  

Thanks for checking in and I'll be back Monday with some ideas about my fitness plan now that training for the half marathon is over.  

I hope you're having a good weekend and enjoying some nice autumn weather like we are. :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My First Half Marathon

Four days later and I still can not believe it.  I can not believe I actually ran 13.1 miles.  But I did.  Last Saturday, after 15 weeks of training, I got up at 5:00 am, got ready, headed out to the race location, and at 7:00 am I joined with the crowd of over 700 people to run a half marathon.  

My friend, Stephanie, had flown in from Oregon earlier in the week and we ran the last few training runs together each morning before the race.  We also shopped and lazed about and even enjoyed a free pasta dinner provided by Olive Garden for the runners the night prior to the race.  

It was a great week and I wasn't hardly nervous for the race.  

The morning of the race we planned it so we'd get to the race location an hour early.  The race was on the base and I wasn't sure if there would be a lot of traffic getting on the base for the race.  This is a pretty popular race in the area and I knew from the dinner the night before there were people there from out of town running.  It turned out to be good that we arrived early, because we got decent parking and had plenty of time to warm up and use the restroom before it got really busy.  

Like I said, I wasn't really nervous.  I was super excited and couldn't believe I was really going to run 13.1 miles, but I wasn't worried about being able to do it.  We both kept reminding ourselves it was just another long Saturday run.

The weather was supposed to be really nice and I knew I was ready.  I was hoping to run at about a 12:00 pace, but made it my goal to simply run the entire distance, even if I had to slow up a bit.

I hit both goals.  I ran the entire 13.1 miles without stopping and I averaged just under a 12:00 pace, finishing at 2 hours 36 minutes.  Glory!!!! 

Everything about the race was wonderful.  Both participants and volunteers were polite and kind and the weather was nice.  It was more humid than it had been earlier in the week and then sprinkled early on in the race.  The clouds gave us a nice covering for the duration of the race, but no more rain came after the initial sprinkling. 

If there would've been a "bad" part of the race it would only be the first mile or so when I always deal with feeling so slow as the crowd surges on ahead.  There were a couple of ladies I thought I'd be able to keep up with, but as they went on ahead of me I felt I needed to stay where I was.  I checked my pace on my Garmin and confirmed holding back was a good idea.  

This has happened at every race I've participated in so far and it's really the only part of the race that intimidates me a little.  However [insert dramatic pause] once again as the race progressed I began passing people and knew my slow[er] start paid off. 

In fact, just as before, it didn't take but more than a couple miles for me to start catching up to people who were taking walk breaks and as I passed the halfway mark I started passing people I didn't even recognize from the beginning.  Only a few of the people I passed came and passed me up again.  

This, my friends, is my one glory and my best advice.  Slow and steady wins the race.  

I may have been towards the back of the crowd at the start, but as miles passed by I continued on strong and steady and even began to increase in speed naturally.  It wasn't until about mile 11 that I began to feel it a bit in my legs and even then I was able to finish strong.  
Just before mile 13 Stephanie jogged over to me and finished out the race with me. She had finished strong at 2 hours 2 minutes, also running the entire thing.  Woot!! 
At .1 mile I sprinted across the finish line and gladly received the finisher medal I was handed.  My legs were a bit sore, my emotions were a bit raw for a minute, but I gloried knowing I did it.  I finished something I never dreamed I'd do.  And I ran every single part of it.  *contented sigh*

After taking pictures and allowing my legs to rest a bit at the race location we headed out for breakfast with my girls.  Then we went home, showered and rested a bit more before Stephanie and I went for spa pedicures sporting our new 1/2 Marathon t-shirts.  They massaged our calves and feet and the whole shebang and we enjoyed it immensely.  It was a great way to finish off the day. 
Stephanie had to return home this past Monday, but we sure had a great time while she was here.  She's been with me since the beginning of my weight loss journey and it was a blessing to have her come and share with me in this great undertaking.  

I'll probably think about more things to share about the race later, but this will have to do for today.  This was a race I'll never forget and I'm already looking forward to doing another one sometime in the future.  :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Weigh-In ... Visiting Friend Loss

[Yesterday]'s Weight:  159.5
Loss/Gain:  - 0.5 lb

I began carb loading for my half marathon race last night, so I'm using my weight from yesterday morning as my official weigh-in this week.  Even if I don't overeat per se, carb loading causes my weight to go up a bit.  

Here's my Body Media Report: 
I've been having a great time with my friend and was super thrilled to see that I have not gained while she has been here.  Woot!
Today we picked up our race packets and now it's time to lay out the clean race clothes and things we need to take with us.  The weather is looking very promising.  I've only felt nervous when I really stop and think about what I'm about to do; 13.1 miles is no joke, but you know what...I've trained for this moment.  

If times allows I'll stop by tomorrow with a quick little picture of us after the race, but for sure I'll be posting all about it on Monday.  

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Motivational Monday - Ready to Run

Today is Monday.  I am going to run my first half-marathon on Saturday, less than a week from now.  

Tomorrow my friend Stephanie flies in from across the country to finish out the last couple days of training and to run the race with me.  I've known her since 6th grade, not seen her in person in almost 8 years and yet she has been my biggest support and fan from the beginning of my weight loss journey (thank you cheap long distance on cell phones!!).

I have a map of the course, I have Nuun and energy gels stocked and my workout clothes will get washed one more time for sure before then.  Packet pickup is on the agenda Friday evening and by then I hope to have decided whetherI'll play music for the race or listen to a podcast first as I normally do.  

The weather is supposed to be pretty nice with some rain showers that I'm hoping will stick to the afternoon.  I've been checking the temperatures at 7:00 am every morning (race start time) and it's getting cooler and cooler.  Glory!!! 

This will be my biggest fitness undertaking thus far in my entire life and I am ready.  I am ready to go out and one more time be proof that change is possible.  If this formerly overweight, 37-year-old wife and mother of three teenagers can lose weight and train to run for 13.1 miles, then anything is possible.  

I'll be back Friday with a weigh-in.  In the meantime, I'm going to go finish some last-minute tasks before Stephanie gets here.  It's going to be a fun week! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Weigh-In ... Emotional

Today's Weight:  160.0
Loss/Gain:  - 3.0 lbs

*deep cleansing breath*  My mind knows to be super excited about getting down to 160, and I am very happy with that.  However, my just-entered-TOM emotional self is like, "Oh good...I couldn't handle the rejection of a gain today."  

My PMS'y emotions tend to die down the first day or two of my cycle, so I should be good by tomorrow.  Then, I'll be able to really rejoice that I did good this week, because I was trying.  lol 

Here's the weekly BodyMedia report: 

Funny, now that I look at this report I see that I did fine.  In fact, one of the things I'm really loving about the Body Media Fit is I'm learning I can eat more than 1200 calories a day to lose weight; I actually need to eat a little more to lose. 

It's a subject for another day, but suffice it to say I've been hearing some success stories lately where the ladies said they suddenly realized they were starving themselves and that's why they couldn't lose anymore weight.  Now, I've never starved myself, but it's been interesting to me to see that since I've bumped up my calorie minimum to no less than 1400 a day weight is coming off again.  

Eating more to lose weight?  Like I said, a topic for another day, but definitely some truth behind that.  Hopefully, I can get some resources together that I've come across and share more with you on that subject next week. 

In the meantime, have a great weekend!  We have a birthday party tomorrow for my son who turned 13 yesterday (yes, all my kids are teens now...) and a high school home football game tonight to go watch.  Fun!  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering 9/11

I remember where I was on September 11,2001 and how I sat in stunned silence with my husband, brother and our three small children as the horror of what was occurring played before our eyes on the news.  

Over the course of today I've taken moments to say prayers for the families who are remembering their loved ones who were lost on that day, whether from the attack or in service to helping rescue lives.  I also pray for those who have continued to serve our country and support the fight against terrorism. 

Thank you to those who have sacrificed for our freedom and protection and may we never forget.

Now I'm Just Happier

Yesterday I posted about how the joy in my life has not come solely from my weight.  While I was overweight the majority of my adult life I had a very full and happy life. 

In my post I mentioned having some issues that few people knew of with regards to my weight.  In all truth, the only time people really started learning how I really felt was when I started this final weight loss journey.  One friend has been my listening ear from day one and this blog has allowed me to share deeper feelings that others may not want the burden of knowing.

Of course in public there were the "Oh, I wish I could lose weight." and "I need to lose weight." comments, but I never really told anyone how I felt deep inside.  Until one conversation almost a year before I finally made the decision to try and lose weight where I finally told the above mentioned friend I had to get rid of my boxes of smaller clothes because every time I looked in my closet I just saw failure.  I felt like a lady laying on a shrink's couch as I poured out my heart to her.  She agreed that I probably needed to let those clothes go. 

To me, getting rid of those clothes was removing the reminder that I hadn't been able to lose weight enough to get back into them, but it also felt like I would also be getting rid of the hope that I might ever lose weight.  It was freeing and discouraging all at the same time.  However, I decided then and there to love myself as I was, and my friend lovingly agreed that was a good idea. 

Five years later my husband just mentioned to me that when he saw those old pictures of me he was shocked because he never saw me as that large.  He asked me not to be offended, but he used to wonder how men could love a larger woman, never once realizing he was married to one whom he loved very much.  He said he has seen a such a rise in my confidence and he knows I must feel a great sense of accomplishment in both the weight loss and increase in physical fitness. 

My reply to him was that yes I do feel more confident and I am proud of what I'm able to do now.  I try and maintain a humbleness with regards to my weight loss, because I know what it's like to be on the other side.  But I also am still learning tohave to own the fact that I did the work to get where I am and I'm proud of it all.  

I told my husband it's like the weight loss is just the proverbial icing on the [already good] cake of my life.  I was happy all those years, but it's like I'm happier now.  Yes, I still want to make sure that the scale doesn't control my happiness, but I have to tell you that I don't want to go back to where I was.  I'll take this new happier Leah any day and pray that every day I maintain the weight loss I can be an example of hope to someone who is in the place I was all those years ago.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I Was Fat and Happy

Last week, upon my request, a friend of mine emailed me a handful of pictures she had from when we lived in Oklahoma.  Before we moved she had mentioned once that if I ever got to feeling fat she could give me some pictures to remind me of just how big I used to be.  

Here are a few of those pictures: 

Besides being overweight, do you notice another common denominator?  

Look at my face.  I am smiling in every picture. 

Although my weight periodically brought moments of sadness in my life it did not rule how I lived every day.  I've always been pretty outgoing, but I had also been overweight for the majority of my life.   There were insecurities deep inside that only few people knew of, but I never let my weight stop me from living life to the fullest.  

Basically, I was fat and happy.  

I don't mean to sound so nonchalant, but everyone of these pictures brought back good, happy memories.  I was truly happy and I know it's because of a couple major things I'm blessed with: 

  • First of all, salvation.  I gave my life to Jesus at an early age and he has helped me over the years to love myself for who I am and not cow to what this world says I need to be.
  • I was raised in a family with parents who always loved me for who I was.
  • I have a husband of almost 18 years who has been faithful to love me in every way no matter what my size was.
  • I'm blessed with friends who are real and loving, not people who are only my friends because I make them look better or can do something for them.
I share this with you, because when I showed those pictures to my kids they were a little stunned.  They said they never knew I got so big and don't remember me like that.  We kind of laughed, sat in awe and then I pointed out the fact that I was smiling in every picture and shared with them the same reasons I've just shared with you.

While I knew deep inside I did not like how I looked when I was overweight, and I really never felt hopeful I'd be able to lose weight, my joy did not come from my weight and I wanted my kids to know that.  

They need to know that they can find joy and happiness in life being who they are.  They need to know that their relationships should not be dependent on their appearance.  They need to know that we strive for better health because it's what's best for us, not because we need to please others.

My prayer is that I will always focus enough on my exercise and eating habits to stay in a healthy weight range, but that I will not let the scale replace the things that truly make me happy.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Weigh-In ... Busy days and Five Fun Things

Today's Weight:  163.0
Loss/Gain:  - 1.0 lb

I am happy with this loss, because it is a loss.  Considering the week I had there was a good chance I could've had a gain.  Unfortunately, two days I carb loaded for a long run that never ended up happening (I'll write about that sometime..what a vex.); I carb loaded counting on the fact that I'd burn a lot of it the next day, which is not so good.

One of those days I did not journal my food at all and I think it showed a good calorie burn on my report, which messes up the averages a bit.  Anyway, here is that report:
School is back in full swing and soccer has started up with my son.  I'm hosting a breakfast at my house next week and I've already baked my first batch of pumpkin treats for the fall to mail to some men overseas who will miss most of the season.

The good thing is as the days get busier I am still making time for exercise.  In fact, in light of the fact that I'm not back down to that lovely 159 I saw a couple weeks ago let me share some good things that happened this week:
  • I put cashews in my sons lunch for a snack since his class doesn't go to lunch until about 1.5 hours before school is out and he replied, "Thanks, Mom!"  He even asked me to show him how much and gave me a look of approval when I showed him.  
  • When I was running on Tuesday I greeted a neighbor out for a walk and she said, "Wish I could do that.".  I desperately wanted to tell her she could, because I never dreamed I could.
  • I also realized that I can because I am in good health.  There are those who really can not physically push themselves to try heavier sports, so I'm grateful for my body that is enduring the running well. 
  • I bought a new dress and had to grab a size smaller than I thought because the one I tried on first fit perfect and leaned towards loose.  I walked around the store pondering whether or not to even try on the smaller one.  It fit wonderfully with a little room to shrink, which is good, because I didn't want to spend money on something I could possibly shrink out of. 
  • Pardon the TMI... but I needed some new underthings and decided to do a bra fitting.  Come to find out my measurement around the torso has shrunk, while the cups haven't.  This explains why my bras haven't fitted well, nor have the ones I tried on in stores and thus why I haven't gotten any new ones.   That was a fun surprise..I can't remember ever buying a 34-anything ever.  Woot!
I'll stop with five fun things.  I hope to get back to blogging at least one more day a week, but I've been working on projects, taking care of kids, planning events and living life.

Thank you for stopping by and have a great weekend!