Friday, September 28, 2007

Day 218 - 154.6 It's all mental

TGIF! I am so happy it's Friday. We're supposed to have great weather this weekend, and hopefully we can get outside with the kids and do some fun stuff.

I ran another 4 miles yesterday, and my time was much better-- 44:19, which is pretty fast for me. I realize that 11 minute miles are not fast in the running world. I'm taking walk breaks to drink water and catch my breath about every mile or so, which means I'm running faster than 11 minute miles, but who knows how much faster. It really doesn't matter, but I still enjoy improving my time. The first time I ran 4 miles it took me 50 minutes!

Wendy commented on my last running post that the weather is "all mental. Disregard the weather and eventually it goes away." That totally explains how she is able to run the miles she does every week in South Florida's heat and humidity (and recently, the pouring rain). And it's great advice that I will have to repeat in my head over and over and over when it feels like I'm running through pea soup.

Dieting and maintaining (which I'm thinking about more and more, the closer I get to goal) are all mental too. How many times do those of us with food issues salve our mental hurts with food? When we are strong mentally, our bodies follow.

It takes a lot of energy to get mentally strong and do what's right for your body. This year has been about me finding that energy reserve and getting strong--putting myself as a high priority, making time for exercise, choosing healthy food at the grocery store and at restaurants, not letting work or kids be an excuse for failure.

I've had to give up a lot this year to gain the energy I needed to make this happen. I gave up antidepressants. I gave up donuts and ice cream as daily crutches to cope with my emotions and feelings of failure. I gave up cereal and milk, a food combination that's been my comfort since I was in my early teens. I gave up the martyrdom of motherhood-- no longer would I feel guilty about putting my kids in day care at the gym and leaving them for an hour, an investment in time that pays all of us back ten fold with my added energy and mental stability (at least, most days I'm stable).

I can't say I give 100% every day. I'm just not built that way--some days, I give 60% and I'm a failure. But the majority of my days have been about consistently being mentally prepared to stay on plan, to log my food, to exercise, and to avoid junk food at night. And all those days, built one on top of the other, have added up to what I am today.

Here's to making TODAY count!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Size Update

I wore clown pants to work today. Seriously, they were so huge on me they were goofy looking. It's been a while since I've worn them, but I thought they were okay when I left this morning, until I got a look at myself in the bathroom mirror at work and realized they looked ridiculous.

So I trotted myself off to the mall at lunch to buy some new khaki's. The offensive pair were a size 8 from Dress Barn. I tried on a pair of Dockers at JCPenney in a size 8, and they were too big and fit funny (the waist was too high). I also tried on a pair of Levi's in a size 8, just to see what size I'd be, and they fit great (didn't buy them, though).

Next stop--J Jill. Every size 6 pair I tried on fit. I decided on a comfy stone colored pair that were on sale. And several size Small 3/4 length sleeve tops in cotton, for the fall season (if it ever gets here).

And my jeans were feeling too big this weekend, so I went down to Old Navy and tried on a pair of 8s in the Flirt style. They fit.

This is unreal. I still have 11 pounds to go until goal. I'm going to end up a size 4 at 145 pounds! It's no wonder there are size 00's now. What else would the truly skinny girls wear? And, please, I'm getting thinner but I am NOT skinny. I'm overweight on the BMI table until I hit 149 pounds.

Day 217 - 154.8 "It's not the heat, it's the humidity"

Yesterday I headed out after work about 4:15. The temperature was 77 degrees--not too shabby right? Well, the humidity was around 90%, and it was just as tough running in that as it was in 95 degree sunshine. I am sorry to bellyache so much, but this weather sucks. I could, and have, run so much better if the weather were decent. I am grateful my 5K race day was a practically perfect day.

I have always been a pansy, you see, when it comes to being comfortable. I grew up in the country, spending my summer days at my grandparents (they lived down the hill from us) with my cousins and whining that I didn't want to go outside with the other kids because it was hot and buggy and I didn't like to sweat. Seriously, I was a City Girl at age 8 and wanted to be inside in front of a fan (they didn't have AC when I was little) reading a book.

So this suffering in the weather thing is new for me. I'm still a pansy, obviously, since all I can do is whine and moan about it. Eventually, I suppose, I'll get over myself and stop the bitchin'. Or not. At least I'll try not to whine so much to you guys.

At least the scale is cooperating with me again. Yesterday's weigh in at LAWL was 156.0, which is an official loss of 51.2 pounds. I think I've said this before, but that's around what my 6 year old daughter weighs. Freaking unbelievable that a) I used to carry a 6 year old around on my body and b) I've stuck with this long enough to unload the 6 year old.

I'm noticing more definition in my upper body--bones and muscles are emerging since the thick layer of fat is disappearing. I'll be adding pilates or weights or some kind of cross training again soon (gotta get the group exercise schedule from the gym to find out when classes are) so I can get my abs in shape.

Other than my saddlebags, which I've had forever and will only go away if I get "Dr. 42420" to suck out the fat (which ain't happening, not because I'm against liposuction but because I don't have the cash), my stomach is my nemesis. Don't get me wrong, there's lots going right with my body--no more back fat (hooray!), I'm getting a waistline again, my legs look nice from all the running, but I still have a fat roll when I sit down or wear a tight waist band. It's the price I pay for getting older and for having those kids, I suppose. Frankly I don't think losing 10 more pounds is going to get rid of it, so I may have to just get used to the belly like I have my wide-load ass.

Can you tell I'm in a crappy mood? Man, I need some chocolate. At least it's almost Friday.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Day 216 - 155.4

Ahhhh, that's much better. Guess a two pound drop in one day means it was water weight, eh?

Food was good yesterday. I actually cooked fish and asparagus for dinner (for me--no one else in the house will eat my food =) and no late night snacking. No exercise, though. I worked later than normal and had a meeting at church at 6:30, and didn't want to go out for a run through the predicted thunderstorms at 8:30 at night.

I set my alarm to get up at 5 a.m. this morning to attempt an a.m. run, but heard thunder and rain so I hit the snooze and went back to sleep. I am so not motivated to run in the morning, especially if the weather's bad. I'll get in a run this afternoon, hopefully a 4 miler outside if it's not pouring down rain. Otherwise it will be the dreadmill for me.

I'm really feeling restless today--do you ever get that way? Like I left the iron on (even though I don't iron anything if I can help it). It's probably just the weather and the busy work atmosphere and me feeling like I'm stretched in too many directions right now. Maybe it's not working out yesterday. Not getting my "me time" is probably the culprit.

Next weekend I'm going to Arkansas to visit my best friend that I haven't seen for at least 3 years. She's my daughter's Godmother and I love her to pieces. She and her husband just moved from the Dallas area because he took a job with WalMart corporate. I'm leaving on Friday morning and coming back on Sunday, so it's a quick trip but just right for two girls to catch up and do a spa day and drink and eat. And it's all for ME--no kids, no husband. I love airports and flying and travel, when it's just me. I am so freaking excited.

Of course, it helps that I'm going to see her thinner than she's ever known me. We've been friends for eleven years. And I was always the fat friend. It's also the first time I've traveled as a thinner person by myself. I wonder if I'll be treated better because of how I look now? It will be fun to find out.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Day 215 - 157.4

Not much time to post today, but did want to say thanks for the encouragement, guys. I sure need it. Not sure if my gain is due to water weight or my discretions are finally catching up with me. Either way, it doesn't really matter. I'm giving myself the advice I give others--do the right things and eventually the scale will show results.

I did run outside yesterday. Oh. My. God. Too hot. I did 3ish miles in 35ish minutes, and it was hell almost the whole time. When I was finished and got in my car to leave, the temperature reading in my rear view mirror was 95. It's supposed to rain the next couple of days and by Friday be in the 70s. SEVENTIES! That will be heaven.

Sorry for the short post. Work is nuts, which, when you're self employed like we are, is a very good thing. But it's bad for my goofing off habit. Hope you all have a super day.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Day 214 - 156.8

Saturday night we took the kids to the drive in movies. There's one about 45 minutes from us, and we try to go a few times a summer. We saw Underdog, which was cute for what it was (my daughter loved it), and had a fabulous time with the kiddos. We played soccer before the movie started and shared popcorn and M&Ms and Twizzlers. Even the boy played nice and hung out during the movie instead of trying to run away like 23 month olds are want to do. We saw a preying mantis as we were packing stuff up to go home. It had flown into Sophie's hair (we just thought it was a moth at the time) and had completely freaked her out about half way through the movie. It had then flown over and buzzed my husband and landed on the popcorn bucket. It just looked at me as I went to throw the leftovers away, like "Hallo, Ma'am, are you quite finished with this?" Those are some freaky crazy bugs, man. Fascinating.

Before the movie, I did make it to the gym, as promised. My afternoon run on the treadmill was near torture. Now I know why it's called the dreadmill. My gym's temporary location of the fitness equipment is like working out in a cheapo gym--no TV's, no personal fans, no comfy locker room. Hey, there's nothing wrong with cheapo gyms, but when you're paying for the fancy gym, cheapo sucks.

Not that that's the reason my run was torture. Yes, the personal TV's and all the pretty people make for a better gym environment and was somehow less torturous. But it was almost as hot inside on the treadmill as it was out, and I've gotten spoiled for the out of doors.

Today, then, will be a run outside at 4 pm. It's gonna be so freaking hot. 93 today. Not sure about the ozone levels, but I haven't heard any warnings yet. I'm planning on at least 3 miles.

No night eating yesterday, because I fell asleep at 8:30 in my daughter's bed. I moved to my bed around 10, and although I have been known to go grab a snack at that time, last night I refrained. My food yesterday was okay, not stellar but within a decent calorie range. I had a couple bites of birthday cake at a friend's kid's 1st birthday party, and banana bread at lunch. Perfection on a Sunday is hard to come by.

And yes, I'm having food issues. I am feeling quite lazy about making food for myself and want a personal chef. Short of that, I am settling for a lot of non-meat proteins (eggs, peanut butter, lite cheese, frozen Amy's Kitchen pizza pockets) and restaurant salads (I make the rounds from McDs, ChikFilA, and Panera and call it "variety" in my diet, ha). These, my friends, are not the foods of losers. And they don't make my body feel as good as it could, and so I'm thus eating a little of this and a little of that to make up for it. My house is also a wreck, and I didn't do any laundry this weekend like I normally do. I read a book instead. I'm either slipping into a mild depression or having an extended bout of laziness or PMS or all of the above.

Cooler weather will help, I think, as I tend to come alive in the fall. But, as our autumn is usually not more than a month or so long, and seeing as it's almost October and we're still in the 90s, we're on course for a typical southern Indiana season and I don't know that getting my hopes up for 6 weeks of blissfully cool and sunny weather is practical. The good news is that this will be my first fall ever where I'm a runner. So I do have that to look forward to.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Day 212 - 156.8 A Rare Saturday Post

Usually I don't post on the weekends, what with being chained to the kids and all, but the boy is getting old enough that he plays by himself or watches TV long enough I can sneak a few minutes on my laptop. Right now the Backyardigans are on. I love that one.

So I ate like a fiend last night. I have no idea why. Had a good day food wise, passed up a bunch of junk at our friends' house (we do a Friday night group with our church friends about once a month, where 7 couples with about 50 kids between us get together and eat and play), but when I got home and after the kids were in bed I had 2 bites of my daughter's cupcake, 2 Slimfast snack/candy bars (have GOT to stop buying those--they are mini Butterfinger bars and completely addictive) and yogurt with Grape Nuts (yummy).

That doesn't sound like much, but it's over 500 calories and I've had a couple nights like that this week. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that an extra 1500+ calories a week are enough to stop weight loss from happening. Or even a weight gain.

Some of the gain is likely water weight, but I still don't like to see gains for several days in a row. It frustrates the hell out of me and makes me feel rebellious even, which is definitely the wrong way to go with this. So I'm blogging my feelings and trying to work this out here instead of eating my way through a box of cookies.

I didn't get to run yesterday because we were at a funeral visitation for a friend's grandmother for longer than we had planned. It's probably best I didn't run, even though I wanted to badly, because my left hamstring ached last night and my left heel was feeling really tight. But today, I am getting in at least 3 miles. That will put me at just over 14 for the week, which is a by-the-book increase of 10% per week. I want to run more, but I'm too old to be trying to prove something and getting myself injured. There's no hurry, so I'm just gonna take it easy on the miles like a good girl.

Oh! And my gym has reopened.... kind of. It is so serendipitous how things worked out with the gym fire. There was a lot of water damage from a pipe breaking and from the firemen on the roof. The lobby, dressing rooms, indoor tennis courts, offices, day care area, fitness center, and b-ball courts are damaged. The serendipity comes in like this--the club had ordered new fitness equipment and it had come in this week, after the fire, so they have all the new stuff ready to go; there's an empty huge building space across the street from the gym where they've set up all the equipment, dressing rooms, and a day care area. The pool is functional, so Sophie can have swim lessons Monday. And that's all I use so it's all I care about. Ha.

So I don't have to run today in 90 degree, ozone-laden air. I have to admit, though, that the fire was a good thing for me. I'd never had run outside 3 times and learned that I can run like a real runner. I've been married to the treadmill for so long, I was a little afraid of running outside. I know it's stupid, but it was true. I suppose the race really broke that mind set first, but this past week has proven that I can keep pace and keep moving without flashing red lights giving me constant feedback.

But I sure likes me some instant feedback. Maybe if I'm good Santa will bring me a Garmin for Christmas.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Day 211 - 156.2 Night Running

See, I knew the scale would be back up, even after I ran 4 miles last night and ate zucchini for my before-bed snack. The scale is a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

Sophie had soccer from 6 to 7 last night, and when I got home, my husband had the baby boy in bed already, so it was easy to get Sophie settled down with Dad and a movie. I had warned Mark at work that he'd have the kids that night because I was going out for a run. And so there were no excuses--it was a nice evening with temps in the mid 80s and a light wind.

And my Road ID bracelet came in yesterday, so I felt better about running outside. My husband gets the mail everyday and as he gave me the package with the ID bracelet inside he said "what's that?" I pulled out my black mesh wrist band and replied "Oh, it's a Road ID. You know, in case I get hit by a big truck on my run they'll know who to call." He just stood there with this look on his face, as I'm showing him the phone numbers engraved on the silver plate. Then he said, "I guess that makes sense. But be careful, okay?" It was really sweet and kind of cute.

Anyway, I tucked my cell phone in my sports bra, grabbed my water bottle and headed out at 7:30. I did the loop around the neighborhood first so I wouldn't have to make that "Left turn/Right turn" choice at the end of my run, and got a solid mile done in just over 10 minutes. I was flying! It felt great. The rest of the run wasn't as fast, which was fine. There are several inclines (not really hills, but there's some elevation) and they slowed me down. I cut 2 minutes off my 4 mile pace from the day before, finishing in 48:10. No sunshine, lower temps, a water bottle, and no side stitches helped a lot.

Running at night was a completely unique experience. I took my Shuffle and listened to the B side of my song selections. I noticed a lot of smells that I didn't on the daytime run--someone was smoking a pipe, the dryer sheet smell from a clothes dryer exhaust (I love that smell), a musky fallen-leaf smell on a tree-lined street. I noticed that the street I drive down every day is lined with street lights. I mean, I knew they were there, I guess, but they've never meant anything to me before since my car headlights outshine them. Last night they were beautiful--an amber glow that illuminated mile 2. There was a good stretch down the tree-lined boulevard that was nearly dark; it's a half-mile long with only 2 street lights. That was strange--running without seeing my legs or arms or more than a couple feet in front of me. It's flat asphalt so I wasn't worried about tripping on anything, which is perhaps a bit naive, and I'm sure once I fall on a tree limb I'll rethink this attitude. I ran through a spider web, which was creepy and I just prayed I didn't take the spider with me (I hate spiders). Car lights cast my shadow to make me look like a super model, all stretched out and lanky.

The last mile was tough. I can tell I'm still building endurance and that 4 miles is far from easy for me. But I didn't have a choice and had to keep running to get home. I felt like walking because I was tired but instead ran faster, wanting to beat my previous 4 mile time and frankly just to get it done.

When I got in the house, I was sweating and panting and so happy that I did it. I heard my son crying, though, because he hadn't gone to sleep while I was gone, and Dad was trying to rock him to sleep. Big mistake--DH doesn't know that once the boy's in bed he stays in bed and only gets pats on the back, his passy and a sippy cup of milk if he's fussy. So I took over and had the baby back in his bed and quiet in about 3 minutes. My daughter was still up and needed PJs, but DH took care of her while I changed out of my sweaty clothes.

After she was asleep, I thanked Mark for taking care of them that night. He said he was so proud of me, just in awe of what I am doing. That a year ago it was impossible to imagine me going out at night and running 4 miles. And it was impossible back then.

It surprises me still, that this is who I am now. It also excites me to imagine what next year holds.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Day 210 - 155.4 Skinny-girl hair, 4 miles, Mad Men

I want skinny-girl hair. You know, the kind of hair-do that doesn't require teasing and poofiness and lots of hairspray to offset the chubby chin and cheeks. I've had a styled, layered hair style for about 4 years, and I've really enjoyed it as a change to the shoulder length bob I had for most of my 20s and early 30s.

Now I am growing out my layers and want to get rid of the poofiness. I want to be able to wear it back in a pony tail, or down on my shoulders all sexy and swingy and soft. I couldn't pull those looks off with 50 extra pounds on me, because I carry a lot of weight in my face. But I told my hairstylist yesterday what I wanted and she agreed it would look good on me now. So my stick straight hair is in the growing out phase, and maybe by the time I reach goal, I'll have the skinny-girl hair to match.
I headed out in the 90 degree heat yesterday. It wasn't as bad as it could have been--the humidity seemed low(er) and there was a breeze. I ran in shade probably half the time. The first mile was blissful, then when I cut over to the lovely tree-lined street, I got a side stitch. Haven't had one of these since I started running, and I don't remember what causes them (dehydration? overexertion?). Will have to research that, or just wait for you knowledgeable people to tell me what the heck causes that miserable pain.

Anyway, I walked a few minutes and then ran and then walked, ad naseum, until the freaking stitch went away. And I was pretty stupid in that I didn't take a water bottle with me--I know, I know. I just got in a hurry and forgot to bring it. Lesson learned.

By the time I got back to my neighborhood I'd done 3 miles and I was ready to quit. I had a choice--to turn right and go home or to turn left and put in the 4 miles I promised myself I'd do.

I turned left, of course! And I must admit that thinking of my online runner friends and the miles they put in and the heat they run through was quite a motivation for me. I kept thinking, "What would Wendy do?" Well, she'd finish 4 miles and run 10 more. But, what would Wendy do if she were me and had one more mile to go? Would she quit? Hell no.

Boy, it feels good to say I ran 4 miles (even though I walked part of it) in 50:13. I was out there in the heat and on the concrete, and I didn't quit even when I wanted to. Tigerlilly, you are right--I am one of them now!
Have you all watched AMC's Mad Men? It's on Thursday nights. I am so in love with this show. It's set in 1960, in a Manhattan advertising firm. We've been watching the earlier episodes from iTunes (Mark got an iPod adapter so you can hook it up to the TV and watch iTunes movies on the TV--it ROCKS!), but there are still new episodes on now. I think it was a summer series, so I'm not sure how much longer it will be on.

Since there's no more Sopranos or 24 (which better be a lot better than it was last year or I'm done with that one), I've got no TV to watch. I'm not into reality TV and haven't watched Grey's Anatomy or Desperate Housewives since their first seasons. I really liked Dirt with Courtney Cox when it was on, but it got mixed reviews (it was a pretty weird show) and I don't know if it will be back. So Mad Men is a welcome distraction. It's interesting to see how women were treated back then. We've really come a long way, baby.
If I get a run in today, it will be after the kids go to bed, which is always doubtful. Sophie has a dentist appointment at 2:50 and without the gym day care, I have nowhere to put her once she's out of school's day care. There's still no news on the status of the gym. I'm guessing it will be months before it's open, though, because (according to the TV news footage) there were firemen on the roof with axes and fire hoses. And certainly the water and smoke did major damage that will take a while to repair. An afternoon run today wouldn't be a good idea anyway, because there's a stinking ozone warning out for our city--that means the air is not safe to breathe.

Ahhh, Southern Indiana. A runner's paradise.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Day 209 - 154.8 Edicts of Exercise

When the scale drops this fast, I know it's water-retention related, meaning I was either dehydrated this morning or I have been retaining water. Either way, I love seeing a lower number on the scale. It will likely go back up tomorrow, but once I see that lower number on the scale I know it's gonna be mine again soon. 154.8 puts me at less than 10 pounds from goal. YeeHA!

No run yesterday. Decided I needed a break. I get my haircut today at 2:30, and then plan on going home to change and then doing a 4 mile run I've planned on It's a lovely course, down some shady asphalt streets in a nice neighborhood. It will be the first time I've run 4 miles, but I'm SO ready. It's gonna be hot (90* today) and I'll just have to gut it out. I'm a real runner, dammit, and real runner's run outside and in the heat. Ha!

If you have time to read this list, you should. It's excellent motivation and perspective. I stole this from Marla's blog.

Dave Draper wrote this, "The Edicts of Exercise."

Edict No. 1 - Exercise done badly works better than no exercise at all. Of course you are much better advised to learn good training and workout technique and I would most definitely urge you to do so in order to avoid injury. But assuming you don't do something too foolish, at least you have gotten off your butt.

Edict No. 2 - Exercise done half-heartedly works half as well as exercise done with desire. As a gym owner, I often observe people who simply go through the motions. They never challenge themselves. They stick to easy isolation work with light weight. This covers them under the umbrella of Edict No. 1, but if they'd just put some heart and soul into the endeavor, they'd see some results.

Edict No. 3 - Exercise done occasionally does little. Just because you join your buddies in a game of pick up ball on sunny Saturday afternoons won't do anything except make your muscles sore the next day. It's very important to schedule in three or four hours of exercise a week for yourself. On occasion something will interfere; that's just the way life is. But most of the time the only excuse is laziness.

Edict No. 4 - Exercise done regularly does much. Someone who shows up for almost every planned workout, trains with intensity and pays attention to what they eat will, over time, reap tremendous benefits.

Edict No. 5 - Exercise done to please others is work. Just because your significant other or good friends like to go on 10-mile runs doesn't mean you enjoy it. Maybe you'd rather be in the gym improving your squat numbers. Do what you enjoy or you will soon be doing nothing.

Edict No. 6 - Exercise done to please yourself is joy. It's like anything else you do that you really like to do. Physical activity is the same.

Edict No. 7 - Exercise done in private is deeply rewarding. All too often people think that if they're not with a group of people, exercise won't be fun. This is nonsense. Exercising alone allows a deeper concentration and if you do better than you did the last time you attempted something, you will reap great personal satisfaction.

Edict No. 8 - Exercise done with friends is bonding. This may sound like a total contradiction to Edict No. 7, but it's not. It all depends on the activity. Cardio classes are especially popular with women who get a chance to "compare notes." Team sports provide camaraderie. The best is a nice mix of Edicts 7 and 8.

Edict No. 9 - Exercise done to kill time is time well spent. Got a half hour with nothing to do? I realize asking overly busy people this question is going to get a huge laugh out of many readers who wonder if I've lost what few marbles I have left. I'm not telling you to get out of your car on the freeway when it's pretty obvious that you're going nowhere for a half hour and do pushups against your car, but it's not a bad idea! Certainly you can do a few ab crunches or stretches during boring commercials.

Edict No. 10 - Exercise done to start the day is enormous. This doesn't necessarily mean you need to go into a gym for a grueling weight training session, although this type of plan suits many individuals. You've been sedentary for the past 7 to 8 hours. It's a good idea to spend a few minutes loosening up your joints and doing some stretching just to get the juices flowing.

Edict No. 11 - Exercise done at the end of the day is consoling and healing. A decent weight workout or cardio session after a hard day of toiling on the job is the best way to relieve the stress of the day and it costs less than Prozac.

Edict No. 12 - Exercise done to raise the spirits never fails. That's because the body releases natural endorphins which are the best anti-depressants and pain killers known.

Edict No. 13 - Exercise done because you must builds discipline. There are times when you face an after-work training session and think, "I just can't do it today." Unless you are ill, don't give in to those feelings. Show up and get started. You will be surprised that you will probably have a better than normal workout. Add to that the fact that you didn't listen to that little voice. You did what you ought, and that sort of perseverance carries over to all things in life.

Edict No. 14 - Exercise done to calm the storm empowers. If something is bothering you, whether it's a short-term problem or an on-going situation, exercise will relieve the mental stress and strain. In this case, exercise is actually relaxing and when you're done either things won't seem quite so bad or you will have a clearer head with which to think them through.

Edict No. 15 - Exercise never done is a great, great loss -- a loss of good health, good appearance, a feeling of wellbeing and self-confidence.

Edict No. 16 - Don't expect permanent or healthy weight loss without exercise. It is the key. Accepting that fact is good. Embracing it is far better. Practicing it makes the big difference.

Day 208 - 155.8

I think I'm hooked.

I ran outside yesterday after work, deciding it wasn't that hot and I just needed to suck it up and do it. It felt great. And I ran 3.3 miles in 38:30. And now I don't want to go back to the treadmill!

There's a park close by my office that has an asphalt running surface, and showed it as being .81 miles around the loop. It's a little less than a mile to run to the park, so I ran around the loop twice and then ran back to the office. It was a pretty afternoon, with a nice breeze and I was in the shade most of the run. I even got to watch some cross country kids run--my God there were some tight bodies out there, and they were FAST. I wish I'd discovered running when I was 17 and had looked like that in high school. I had a few minutes to spare before picking up the kids, so I drove the course to find the exact miles.

My quads were pretty sore yesterday from the race, which surprised me. I guess the extra speed and the concrete worked my legs differently than usual, which is a good thing, I'm sure. They're still sore today, but hopefully they'll loosen up so I can run this afternoon. I had injured my quad last summer (when I was still 200 pounds and running just enough to hurt myself) and it took a couple months for it to heal all the way. I don't want to do that again, so I may rest today. We'll see.

I've got a dentist appointment to get my new crown put on (I hate getting older and having things on my body fall apart). So I'll sign off and wish you all a super Tuesday.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Day 207 - 156.2

Thank you all so much for your kind words of support and congratulations. It means a great deal to me.

Yesterday after the race, we all puttered around the house and did nothing. The kids stayed in PJs all day, and we had a lot of fun playing with toys, watching movies, and hanging out. It was a nice family day at home.

And of course, that's a recipe for me to eat whatever the heck I want. I had a nice lunch of fish and veggies, but it all went down hill from there. Mostly I just grazed on carby foods (there were no pints of ice cream or raw cookie dough consumed, so it wasn't a total meltdown), but I was definitely not on plan food wise and didn't write everything down.

My attitude about it today is, so what? It's gonna happen, that's life. I'm back on track and that's what matters. As long as I'm not having snacky slip-up days frequently and my weight's not going up, then all is well.

On the bad news front, there was a fire at our gym last night. They think it started with a heater in the sauna. Thankfully no one was there and no one was hurt. BUT, MY GYM IS CLOSED! I called and got a recording that said the gym is closed and to call back tomorrow. Who knows how long it will take to get things operating again. Smoke and water damage can take forever to clean up. My daughter had swim lessons tonight which obviously are cancelled. And the temps are creeping back into the upper 80s this week, so running after work is going to be hot and humid.

WAAAHHHH! I do NOT want to become a morning runner.... but it sure as hell looks like that's what's going to happen if the gym doesn't get all fixed up soon. Guess I'll be visiting Mapmyrun this afternoon.....

Sunday, September 16, 2007

5K Race Day Report

I did it! I ran my first race. When I called my husband to let him know I was done (he had stayed home with the kids), he asked "Did you win?" He was totally joking, and I had a great laugh.

I am so proud of myself.... I finished in 32:03 (the 3 is an estimate, not sure what the official time is, but that's what I saw as I crossed the finish line). My stop watch has me at 32:13, but I forgot to stop it until I was half way through the finish chute. Whatever the last few seconds are, I am thrilled with finishing in 32-ish minutes.
Rank, name, age, gender, finish, pace
371, Laura N, 37, F, 32:01, 10:19

I got a call from a friend from the gym at 7:10 a.m. asking for a ride to the race, which was a welcome surprise. She is the girl who worked at LA Weight Loss and met me when I weighed 207 pounds, and we've kept in touch since we both work out at the same gym (she got fired from LA--long story, she totally didn't deserve it and I love her to pieces). She has lost over 70 pounds and has kept it off for over a year. Anyway, she made it such a fun experience. Getting to talk and hang out with her before the race was excellent.

I picked her up at 8 a.m. and we parked at the gym and walked about 5 minutes to the mall, where the Komen 5K race is held. There were 16,300 participants this year-- a record for our town. It was amazing to see all the breast cancer survivors in their Pink t-shirts. Very inspirational. The race started at 9 a.m. and the weather was perfect at around 60 degrees with mostly cloudy skies.

We lined up close to the front of the pack, because Elizabeth wanted to run for time (she finished in 28:42) and heck, so did I. So it only took about 5 seconds after the start before I got over the official starting line.

For the first mile I got passed like crazy. It freaked me out for a while, seeing kids and out of shape men in jean shorts running past me. Then I just got in my own little groove and put on my blinders and ran my own race. I'm sure I eventually passed some of those who passed me, but I really didn't notice. I was shocked at mile 1 to see a time of 10:02. I figured they'd marked the course wrong (see how much faith I have in my running ability?). Then at mile 2 the clock said 20:35 and I thought, hey I'm keeping up a great pace! I ran the whole thing, walking only through the two water stations.

When I saw the finish line with the pink balloon arch, it was all I could do just to keep my pace steady and not sprint for the finish. I knew I couldn't hold a sprint for long and didn't want to cross the finish line walking or ready to pass out. I kicked it up a little bit, but just enough to feel like I was making an extra effort. I forwarded my iPod to the last song in my 5K song list and thoroughly enjoyed running the last distance listening to Cake sing "The Distance."

He's going the distance.
He's going for speed.
She's all alone, all alone in her time of need.
Because he's racing and pacing and plotting the course,
He's fighting and biting and riding on his horse.
He's going the distance.

My first song on my race song list is "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield. It's usually the first song I listen to any time I run, and it says so much about who I am right now and who I am becoming....

I am unwritten,
Can't read my mind
I'm undefined
I'm just beginning
The pen's in my hand
Ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words
That you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Elizabeth and me at the gym before the race.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Day 204 - 156.0

Feeling much better today--thank you all for the well wishes. I'm back at work, planning on a run this afternoon, probably an easy one on the treadmill. The high temp will be back in the mid 80s today and even though that's a lovely number compared to 95, with the sunshine and humidity it will still make for a hot run outdoors, and I'm a wimp when it comes to heat.

So this is two days in a row I've seen 156.0 on the scale. I'm 11 pounds from goal. Counting down every pound now feels like a huge success, since they are getting harder to come by.

I was looking for some Tylenol this morning for my still a bit achy throat and head (usu. I take Advil, but Tylenol seems to help better for this cold stuff), and I found a bottle of Excedrin Migraine that expired in late 2006. It reminded me that I used to take that OTC medicine a lot.

I used to eat so much sugar--I lived on a regular daily diet of Mt Dews, powdered sugar donuts, pop-tarts, candy bars, and cereal--that as soon as the sugar left my body it craved more and would signal that craving through a headache. Usually I'd take 2 or 3 Excedrin Migraines before eating my next serving of sugar/flour/fat foods to make the headache ease up.

Now I only get headaches if I have dark chocolate, a glass of wine, too many pecans, or if I'm sick with a sinus headache, which are all rare occurrences now a days. It's a refreshing side effect of a healthier lifestyle, one that I wouldn't have anticipated but am happy to enjoy.

Another side effect? All my fall shoes are too big. Yes, my feet have lost weight. I am no longer an 8 1/2 but a size 8. Too freaking weird. Good thing I love to shop for shoes.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Being sick sucks

So the head cold is a full blown something awful. Chills and fever last night, sore throat and sinus infection-type stuff this morning. I am home sick, and Sophie has it too so she's home from school with me. I am drinking OJ and taking Zicam tablets, and getting rest. Hopefully this will blow over soon.

I didn't run yesterday because I could feel it coming on and had zero energy by quitting time. Probably was for the best, but I hated not being out there.

Keeping my fingers crossed I'm all healthy by Sunday.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Day 202 - 157.0 A "real" run

Stayed on plan food wise yesterday, and had no extra food last night, which paid off with that extra pound gone this morning.

The big news is my run. I ran outside on an actual road for the first time ever. Not on a treadmill and not just in the neighborhood in a circle, but on the actual road where cars drive and "real runners" run. I put 1.5 miles between me and my house, and I ran back 1.5 miles. I wasn't fast--I finished in 36 minutes--but it wasn't a smooth course and I had to stop a few times for traffic and also took a couple walk breaks. I'm guessing I ran mostly 11 - 11:30 miles.

When I left work yesterday to go to the gym, the weather was simply amazing. There was no way I was going to run inside and miss the first beautiful day of my running year. So I decided to run outside.

Driving home to change, I was excited as if I was going on a first date, I couldn't get out of my work clothes and into my running stuff fast enough. It was kind of funny, but I loved the rush of knowing I was going to run "like a real runner"!

I know, I know. I'm a real runner on a treadmill. But there's something special, I think, about putting miles on the road. It was a different workout than a treadmill, that's for sure. I had to lateral-step a lot, going off the pavement onto the shoulder (usually grass and sometimes not-runner-friendly torn up asphalt and even gravel in several places) and back onto the pavement. I ran between 4:20 and 5:00 p.m., so I hit going-home traffic toward the end of my run and was on the side of the road more often than not.

I almost turned my ankle once, which freaked me out but thankfully I somehow recovered quickly. And once when a big truck blew by me I had one of those irrational thoughts of "what if that truck hits me? No one knows I'm out here, I have no ID on me, no one would know who to call if I died, and who would pick up my kids from day care?" Okay, so it's not that irrational and I probably need to start carrying my drivers license on me if I continue to run like this, and maybe let my husband know I'm running outside, just in case.

It's another gorgeous day today-- I'm looking forward to a good old fashioned road run again. Maybe I'll get 4 miles in today. But....

I think I'm getting a head cold, which is making me feel pretty crappy and headachy, and I am not happy about it. It better be gone by Sunday's race. I'm going to go get some cold-eze stuff after work that will hopefully help make it all better. I have no time to be sick, darn it. Please send healthy vibes my way. =)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Day 201 - 158.0

I didn't get to LAWL yesterday for my Day 200, 50 pounds lost event. Just too busy at work. I wished I had made it, because today I'm up a bit on the scale. I probably won't hit that magic 50 today at weigh in.

I'm sure the small gain is because since Saturday I've been having snack attacks around 9 or 10 at night and eating 400-600 calories of starchy crap. Last night was the worst--I'll spare you the food porn. Let's just say that being up a pound is a nice wake up call. I'm going to get diligent about keep my calories down around 1400 calories so I can get to goal. It's just silly to work hard and do great all day, then blow it in a span of 10 minutes.

On a positive note, I ran 3.7 miles yesterday and ran my fastest 5K yet--32:51. Today I hope to run 4 miles.

It is finally cooling off outside and the first touch of fall is in the air today. Tomorrow the highs are supposed to be 70-75. I have 2 long sleeve shirts and 2 pairs of pants that fit me, that I bought this summer on the 70% off rack. I don't have an overcoat or sweaters or business jackets that fit. So I need to go shopping. What an excellent problem to have. I just hope I can find some Fall sales so I'm not paying full price to replenish my wardrobe.

I've added a sidebar with my total running miles in 2007. I spent part of my Saturday night updating my exercise spreadsheet with addition formulas to calculate my total mileage each week. I was completely surprised to see I'd already run over 100 miles since March.

It's for totally practical reasons, so I know when to replace my running shoes. Uh huh, yeah right. It's because I'm a numbers nerd when it comes to goals and I *need* those numbers to help me keep moving. I'm sure Wendy will be very proud of me. =)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Day 199 - 156.8 - $50 on the line for May

I saw some friends at church today that I hadn't seen all summer, and we talked about my weight loss (it's impossible not to when I haven't seen someone for 3 months) and about running. Lori ran a marathon earlier this year in St. Louis, and her husband is a runner too. So it was neat to talk with some people in "real life" about running.

I mentioned wanting to do the Indy Mini Marathon in May, and they said "Is it sold out yet?" WHAT? Sold out? It's in May for crying out loud. Turns out, the Indy Mini is the biggest half marathon in the country. 35,000 people were in it this past May, and it sold out in November of 2006. Since it's September, I beat the rush and I am signed up!

It cost me $50 to register (holy cow! this racing thing may get expensive ;-) and I don't want to blow that much cash and not show up. So I'm running 13.1 miles in Indy on May 3, 2008.

We even get to run around the Race Track. How freaking cool is that?!

I may be a little insane to sign up for this before I've even completed my first 5K, but WTF I say.... what's the worst that can happen? I get addicted to running and want to run a marathon next?

Hmmm..... a marathon in my 40th birthday year (2010) wouldn't be a bad idea, now that I think about it. Okay, okay, I'll slow down and get that 5K under my belt first.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Race Stuff

I got my race stuff in the mail today! I am so excited about the 5K next Sunday (9/16). So excited, in fact, that I pulled up a training program for a half marathon this afternoon. There are two I want to run next year, and I totally think I can do them both. One's in May in Indianapolis and the other is in October in Evansville.

The training plan from has "pre training," which is where I'm going to start. It will mesh well with my last week or so before the 5K.

Pre-training is this many miles, run on 5 days:
3 mi, 4 mi, 4 mi, 3 mi, 5 mi

Actually, I'm probably going to do "pre, pre training" because the most miles I've run in one week is a little over 11. I don't think that doubling my miles in one week is a good idea. So I'll be working up to pre-training, which sounds hysterical but when you think about it, I am a total newbie to all this and have only been running since March.

Wow. I've been running since March. That's 6 months of running. I guess I'm not really that much of a newbie. Woohoo!

On the weight loss front - I have "officially" lost 49.8 pounds, as of today's weigh in. Monday will be my 200th day on this weight loss plan, and by God if I have to I'm going to strip naked at weigh in Monday to get to 50 pounds down. What a beautiful day of ending in zeros that will be.

Day 197 - 157.0 Missing my other half

My husband left for Colorado Wednesday for a brother/sister reunion. He is the youngest of four--one brother lives in Hopkinsville, KY, his sister lives here in Evansville, and the other brother lives in the mountains outside of Golden, CO. The CO brother has remodeled his house and is probably going to be selling it soon, so he wanted to have one last hurrah with the siblings before the house is gone. Mark will be home on Sunday afternoon.

This sounds horrible, but usually I welcome a break from my husband. He can wear me out sometimes. I am a tad bit codependent (is it possible to be a little bit codependent?) and so I worry about how he's feeling and if he's happy or not and when he's not, then I feel like it's my responsibility to make him feel better. I'm sure this mostly stems from my childhood with a moody father.

But I miss him this time. Not because I miss his help with the kids (which is why I've missed him in the past), or because I need help with the house or with work. I miss his presence, his friendship, our conversations.

I've taken him for granted for a long time, I think. I get resentful about his messiness, his absent-mindedness, his self-centeredness, and his lateness (he's late for everything, but totally denies it, which drives me crazy). In the worst of times, I've thought I could do just fine on my own, if I had to, because I do everything anyway.

But that is so very wrong. I need him in my life, and not just because he's my kids' father. He's my best friend. I need to start treating him like he is.

We've been together since 1993. We had a rocky start, which I'll have to post about someday--it's quite a story. And we've been married since March of 1995. In a lot of ways we've beaten the odds. I can't imagine ever getting divorced, but there have been times when I thought that's where we were headed. Before we had Sophie, we went to marriage counseling for a year. It was the best thing we could have done at the time; sadly, my being 50 pounds overweight was a huge issue in our marriage. Mark married a skinny girl, and he ended up a few years later with a fat girl. He had a hard time dealing with it, and I of course was resentful and subconsciously (and, let's face it, consciously) didn't want to lose weight just to prove that he had to love me even if I was fat and that it shouldn't matter what I looked like--he married me for better or for worse.

He stuck with me, obviously. And even though we had some horrible years relationshipwise because of my body and his attitude about it, he finally got to the point where he loved me no matter what. I think age and kids mellowed him quite a bit. Plus he went through some heavy duty stuff himself and had significant counseling a few years ago which helped him immensely.

Now that I'm getting closer and closer to the skinny girl he married, he's in awe of me. He told me on Tuesday night after our dance class that he couldn't believe how thin I felt in his arms. He had a look on his face that I remember seeing that first night we met in the summer of '93, when he held me on a dance floor in a bar called Rookies in Henderson, Kentucky.

I was in awe of him back then. I cherished him and loved him with every ounce of my 23 year old body. Maybe when I'm back to my 23 year old weight (12 more pounds to go), the weight will no longer be an issue in my mind, and I will be able to get out of my own way and find the awe in our relationship again.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Day 196 - 157.2 - A slower running pace

Woohoo, down some more today. I don't know what did it, but it seems the plateau has been broken. I'd like to think it was all the junk food I ate this weekend, signaling to my body that I'm not starving it and it's okay to let go of some more poundage. But who the heck knows....

I did something different on my run yesterday. I've been having a hard time running for any distance. I'll run a mile or so, then have to take a walk break before starting up another mile or so stretch of running. I really want to run the entire 5K on race day (9/16), so knew I needed to do something other than what I have been doing.

So I slowed down. And it felt great. I ran 3.21 miles at 5.0 mph (12 min miles). I could have kept going, too. I hit that magical place of "I could run forever" at 3.1 miles (ironic, isn't it?) but had to quit shortly after because I'd run out of time and had to get the kiddos.

It was an enlightening experience. I've been wanting to push faster and faster, and have done well with speed for the most part. I have, afterall, only been running regularly since March and am 37 years old and ran for the first time ever last summer. So running a 10 minute mile was a huge deal for me.

What I want more than anything is to endure--to put in the distance. I think (hope) the speed will come later. Just last year, I couldn't imagine running what I can run today. Next year--who knows where I'll be.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Day 195 - 158.4 Progress?

Hmmm. Down a bit today. I was down 2 pounds on Saturday, too, but was back up 2 pounds on Monday. We'll see if this one holds.

I made it to the gym yesterday at lunch, and it wasn't the best run but at least I was there. I think 3 days off from exercise makes it tough to get a great run the first day back. Maybe today will be better.

I have to share this picture from Monday. I am pleased with what I see--even in 2-D, my body is looking so much better. And here are the glorious Sophie and Luke for your viewing pleasure. We took them to the park to feed the ducks on Labor Day. It was humid as heck and the ducks are clearly overfed because they were ambivalent at best at our saltine offerings. Perhaps we should bring cheese to go along with the crackers next time.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Day 194 - 159.8 Post "Holiday"

It wasn't even a "real" holiday (sorry, all you Labor-ers out there--I know it's real to you! ;-) but I sure ate like it was. I was totally relaxed about food for 3 days, but not necessarily in a good way. More of a "I'm not losing so why not eat whatever I want" way.

Saturday night I made chocolate chip cookies with my daughter. I knew this was a land mine and I did it anyway. I think I ate 8 cookies, raw. Yep, the uncooked dough. Then 3 more out of the oven. I figure I had about 1,000 calories in cookies.

Then Sunday morning we went to Bob Evans for breakfast and I had the strawberry-banana crepes. They were so decadent and delicious.

Yesterday wasn't too bad, but I had two servings of dessert at our friends' house. I did skip the burgers and hot dogs, so it could have been worse.

No gain on the scale yet. But these things can sneak up on you when you least expect it.

So today I'm working on getting back on track, including a run at the gym this afternoon.

This plateau is messing with my head. Jack Sprat has a blog entry on plateaus that I keep returning to, and I know it's the truth. I'm definitely at that point where my desire to change is equal to my desire to stay the same. Kicking it up a notch to get the rest of the weight off isn't in my plans right now, because I've just got so much going on. So it's got to remain status quo for a while longer.

I just hope I'm not still saying that a few months from now.