Thursday, January 31, 2008

152.6 - The family that runs together....

Sophie had an appointment with an ENT yesterday for a 2nd opinion on her dizziness. He is having her go through the only other testing available (that he's aware of) for inner ears-- an electronystagmography (ENG). It's on Friday afternoon. Then she has a follow up visit with the ENT next week to discuss the results. He was doubtful it was her inner ears, but at least they are doing a test to get some kind of conrete evidence.

She and I came back to the office to finish some work, then I picked up the boy and took the kiddos to the gym. They both like it there now that it's back to the normal setting (after the summer gym fire), so I'm not feeling nearly as guilty leaving them as I did when it was in the temporary location.

I was so tempted to skip working out--I was just not feeling like it--but knew I needed to badly. So I warmed up on the treadmill with a 15 minute walk to get some mojo going. That helped a lot. I ended up doing 5.1 miles in 60 minutes. I ran 4 of those miles: run one mile, walk and drink water for .1 miles, repeat. I kept a 10:54 pace for 3.5 miles, and then the last half mile I sped up to 10:00. I just felt like kicking it up a notch and did fine running at that pace for 5 minutes.

It wasn't a "I'm king of the world!" type run, but I did feel much better after sweating and moving my body for an hour.

The kids like to run the indoor track, so after I was finished I fetched them from the day care and let them run. Sophie did 8 laps (~10 laps is a mile). I was so proud of her. She has complained about always being last at school when they run or at soccer practice, so it gave her a boost to do all those laps. She ran and walked, of course, (just like her mommy does) but it was an accomplishment for her nonetheless. Luke runs like a mad man all the time. That boy is a running fool.

I'm planning for a repeat of all that again tonight, with a trip to the grocery store thrown in afterwards. We're supposed to get snow tonight, and might be stuck at home tomorrow. Any time they predict snow around here, we either get nothing or get dumped on. So it will be interesting to see what tomorrow holds. At least it's almost Friday.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

153.6 - Get me off this ride, please

Some of You may know me well enough by now to know I have up and down moods that can be quite pronounced. My life is a roller coaster most weeks.

Monday was a going up the hill day--felt great, loved the excitement and anticipation of the fun to come. Yesterday was a going down hill day, but not in the fun way. More in the "I'm falling falling falling and I'm gonna go splat."

I did okay at work, but then as I was changing to go to the gym, I started feeling weird. Like when I had high blood pressure at the end of both my pregnancies. I couldn't catch my breath and I felt really revved and charged up. So I figured it would be prudent to go check my blood pressure. I learned back when I had pregnancy hypertension that you can have a stroke from high blood pressure. It's nothing to mess around with.

So I went to Walgreens, thinking they had a doityourself cuff. No such luck. I got back in the car and drove to Target, which I knew had one. I got in the store around 4:30 and had been rushing to get there, so my first reading I expected to be high, regardless. It was 143/87. Not great, but not a life threatening 2nd number (systolic? diastolic? I can't remember which is which). I waited a minute, took it again, and the top number came down into the upper 130s.

I walked around and shopped for about 10 minutes, then went to check it again. It was down to 124/82. My heart rate was 67. I breathed a sigh of relief and went to the check out line. I'm not ready for medication yet. The top number being high could have caused me to be feeling breathless and strange, I suppose. Who knows. I'll keep my eye on it.

Anywhoo, the plan then was to get the kids, take them to the gym's day care, and run for 30ish minutes. Unfortunately, the weather chose that moment to change--a cold front came through and brought 70 mph winds, rain, hail, and tornado warnings. As I was driving through McD's to get the kids' their dinner, my mom called me on my cell and said there were tornado warnings and I better get home where it's safe. Okay, I said, so much for the gym.

As I lowered the garage door, the wind and rain/hail hit. It was really bad, but not as bad at our house as it was in other parts of the city and state. I heard this morning on the radio that two people died. An elementary school on the south side of town was damaged so badly it had to close today. Roofs were torn off in nearby Illinois. We were lucky the only thing we suffered was a missed gym date and eating our dinner in the hallway (we don't have a basement, so it's the "inner walls" near the water pipes for us).

Along with the barometric pressure, my mood continued to drop to the floor. I felt crappy and crabby and my dinner consisted of Entemann's blueberry muffins (2 packages) and the rest of the pint of Vanilla Bean Haagen Dazs. I figure it was about 1100 calories. Oh, and I ate about half of Luke's french fries from his Happy Meal. With the high calorie chicken salad I ate at lunch, I estimate my day was around 2800 calories. With no workout. Ouch.

This high calorie day in and of itself is not the end of the world. I've got some water weight gain today. It will come off with healthy eating and a workout this afternoon. So intellectually, I know it's okay.

What really got me last night was the sight of my butt in my workout pants as I walked past our bedroom mirror. I swear, from last Friday's step class to last night, I felt like I'd gained 20 pounds. Is my ass really still that big? Holy saddle bags, Batman. Those are scary to behold.

You all know the pose--stand with your back to the full length mirror and a hold a small one in your hand. Check out the back side. Cringe, cry, swear you'll start saving up for liposuction.

And this morning wasn't any better. I feel like a fat cow. I hate this. Even though I've lost all that weight, it doesn't feel like it. I feel like I'm still fat and I still need to lose the butt and the belly. My fat head is winning right now.

Guys, seriously, I am not looking for compliments. I know it is ridiculous to be whining about this, when last year at this time I still hadn't even started to lose weight and was nearing my heaviest, well over 200 pounds, stuffing my face with powdered sugar donuts every single day.

It just absolutely freaking sucks that I cannot wrap my head around where I want to be with my weight right now. Two months ago I was determined I would get the rest of the weight off (ala my Pretty Woman post). Last week I was totally fine with maintaining and feeling good about what I've accomplished. Today I'm convinced I look awful and need to lose at least another 10 pounds, and really more like 15.

What the hell is wrong with me? Stayed tuned. I'm sure tomorrow I'll be Miss Mary Sunshine again. Unless I check myself into a mental hospital first, because I'm surely close to being certifiably crazy.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

151.8 - A Few Good Miles

I did it--I got a run in at last. It had been almost a week again since my last run, and even though it was out of my routine and I had to put the kids in the gym's day care, it was totally worth it. Here's the way it went down:

I picked up the munchkins and dropped Luke off in the gym's day care, then got Sophie changed into her swim suit for swim class. She jumped in the pool and swam for a few minutes before her turn for class. She wants so badly to go in the deep end each week, but I won't let her unless there's another adult with her. She's only 6! It's 12 feet of water! No way am I comfortable having her out there by herself.

I watched her start class with the instructor in the deep end. Even with a trained swimming teacher out there, my heart was in my throat as I watched my daughter freestyle across the deep end twice. She was completely oblivious to the 12 feet of H2O and swam perfectly fine. She's still working on her stroke--it's not like she went across in a flash. But she did it and was happy as a clam.

So with her all set, I took off to change and grab a treadmill. I had less than 15 minutes, so I warmed up with a fast walk for 1 min. and then ran a 10 minute mile. That was tough. I haven't run that fast consistently for a long time. But I did it. I kept repeating the mantra from my old kickboxing class days*, "You can do anything for 60 seconds." That got me through the last 4 minutes.

I jumped off the treadmill after one mile and got back to Sophie just as her lesson ended. We got her showered and changed and hair dried, and instead of taking the kids home like I normally do, I dropped Sophie off in the day care so I could run some more.

My training plan for the Indy Half called for 35 minutes of running, so I aimed for 25 more minutes. I set my pace at 5.5 mph (10:54) and ran a mile, then took a water break walk for .6 miles, and picked it back up. Around 1.8 miles I started to fatigue badly and backed my pace down to 11:30. I got to 25 minutes but was so close to 2.5 miles that I just kept going. So with the 1 mile from before I ran a total of 3.5 miles.

And as I cooled down and stretched, I felt like I could conquer the world. I love a good run like that.

Food was OK yesterday, but I had some ice cream last night. I'm estimating around 400 calories worth, which isn't horrible and I'm not freaking out about it. I ate lots of veggies thanks to the Veggie Lasagna I mentioned yesterday, and the rest of my food was on target. And the scale is still playing along.

Today we have lunch with a client, and I will go for a run around 4 p.m. at the gym. Wind and rain today and a 30 degree drop in temp from this morning to tonight, so it's the treadmill again. I'll probably aim for another 3ish miles.

*Back in the day, DH and I went to kickboxing classes taught by a guy who looked just like Billy Blanks. He had created his own version of kickboxing and called it Budo Kai. We didn't punch anything but air, but it was an empowering class. He called the different segments "rounds" and said he'd work us the equivalent of a 5 mile run in one hour (which was probably not far from the truth). One of the things we'd do was stand in a plie squat and hold our arms out like airplane wings. And we'd stand there forever. He'd keep saying "Come on, you can do anything for 60 seconds." I use that phrase all the time.

Monday, January 28, 2008

152.0 - Weekend Stuff

Saturday was a pig fest. I swear, I just could not stop eating. Sunday morning's scale reading was 153.8. Thankfully the urge passed yesterday and I was back on track, and the water weight came off overnight. Back to my maintain weight this morning.

No running this weekend. DH worked all day and most of the night Saturday (hmmm... alone with 2 kids couped up in the house all day, is it any wonder all I wanted to do was eat?), and then yesterday DH came down with a major cold and was in bed all day. And I just was not going to put my kids in the gym's day care with all the germs out there right now. I'm highly paranoid they are going to catch something again.

I did do something uncharacteristically productive yesterday--I cooked! Yes, an actual homemade dish from a recipe. I've been perusing Roni's new site, and found a recipe I thought I could manage and looked delicious (I'd never cooked spaghetti squash before, but her video made it look easy, and it is). I highly recommend this recipe. I ate it as a side dish with a ground turkey burger (no bun, just the turkey). I've got lots left over for lunch this week. I can't wait to make the zucchini & black bean filling for tacos, which is next on my list to try.

Sophie has swimming class tonight, and I'm planning on getting some running in while she's in the pool. Luke will have to go to the day care, so I'm praying he'll be okay and not pick up any germs. I'll wipe him down with antibacterial wipes after. Fingers crossed he'll stay healthy.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Surprise Step Class & a Bouncy Revelation

I got to the gym last night around 5:30 and had planned on doing 60 minutes on the treadmill of running and walking. The goal was just to hit a full hour of working out.

So I'm warming up and after a couple tenths of a mile, one of the aerobics instructors that I got to know last summer through her classes and because our daughters are the same age and played together at the pool and in the gym's kids club, comes up to me and asks if I'd take her Group Step class. She's got to have 5 people and is videotaping herself so she can get certified. It's not a class that's on the schedule, so she asked some friends to attend and recruited people off the fitness floor to come.

I'm a sucker for helping people out, so I said OK.

It's been months and months since I took a group aerobics class. And I did well, considering. My aerobic capacity is so much better than the last time I took a class, because I did all the moves easily and didn't get that winded. I didn't push myself too hard because, frankly, I didn't want to hurt myself and end up with an injury that would keep me from running.

Step classes are tricky (Alicia, you are well aware of this now, right?). The foot work and cross overs and jumps across the bench provide ample opportunity to screw up a 37 year old knee or ankle if I hit something wrong. So I didn't go all out. I was conservative but got a good workout. My favorite part was the jogging on and off the bench (we took the risers out from underneath, so it was just the bench which is very low to the ground). Imagine that--I loved the jogging parts. It's the runner in me.

One extremely beneficial thing that came out of the class is this--I got smacked in the face with the fact that I need a new sports bra. Holy crap, The Girls were all over the place. I can't see myself when I'm running, even at the gym because there's so much between me and the mirrors. In step class with mirrors on three walls, it was painfully obvious that my 34D's need more support than they are getting from my Champion double layer of bras. I wear two, but they aren't underwire and one is just a plain old cotton sports bra with no structure at all.

I can't believe I've been running all these months with so much up and down movement. I know every woman has some bounce, but this is just not acceptable. Oy. I'm going to just pretend that no one cares what I look like when I run and so it doesn't matter a whit. But, you know, people do look and I don't want to be the girl with the big jiggly butt and the bouncy boobs. I won't even go there about my behind bouncing around. Nothing I can do about that but keep doing what I'm doing.

So I bit the bullet and just spent $54 on an Enell this morning. At The Lingerie Store they have free shipping for orders over $50, so I did pretty well, considering the Enell site was gonna cost around $75 for the same bra because it wasn't discounted and the standard shipping was $13. The thing looks like it's a straight jacket for your boobs, but they promise no movement and that's what I need.

When it gets here and I've tried it out, I'll review it for you all. I know the grass is always greener, but I would love to be a 34B right now. The aerobics instructor didn't even wear a bra--just a cute little tank with her perky natural boobs. They are small, yes, but at least they don't smack her in the face.

Friday, January 25, 2008

152.0 - Hair Cuts Then and Now

Getting my hair cut when I weighed 200+ was not a fun event. There used to be something awful about sitting in my stylist's chair after a shampoo with my head wrapped in a blue towel. Without my poofy 'do to balance out my puffy face, I felt exposed and extra super fat sitting in the swivel chair in front of the giant mirror.

But yesterday my face looked normal and fine in the mirror, even with my hair in a towel. And the stylists just went on and on about how little I was. I have to tell you, it felt great. I'm thinner, yes, but I don't think of myself as "little." But I've been going to my hairdresser for over 10 years and she knows me well and is a speaker of the truth. So I'm gonna have to believe her on this one.

I've got my sassy bob back and colored it last night so the roots and gray are gone. I even feel lighter with the extra hair gone. Since around 6th grade I've been obsessive about my hair, so it's a big part of what makes me feel good about myself.

But now I don't have to use it as some kind of camoflage for my fat. It can just be part of what makes me, me.
I got a battery for the scale yesterday, so this morning I weighed myself with the expectation I would still be around 152, and looky there--I'm smack dab at my maintain weight.

Yesterday I didn't get to run (pooh) because of work stuff, but I'm planning on going today. It will be inside again because it's so damn cold here. I never thought I'd see the day when I would be irritated at not being able to run outside.

Food was good--I was around 1800 calories. I wasn't perfect with the LAWL food list and exchanges, but so what? I'm not striving for perfection.

Which is obvious since I indulged in a cold weather lunch today--grilled cheese and chili. Yummy. I am warm and full and all toasty inside. If I figure out how many calories I ate, I'm guessing it won't be a small number. But whatever. I'll work it off and dinner tonight will be light.

Thankfully the kids are still healthy and life is moving along normally. No plans for the weekend, which is just the way I like it. Maybe I'll even get myself a run in on Saturday or Sunday.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Yeah Baby, I'm BACK!

First, thank you all for your encouragement on yesterday's post, and truly during this entire month. Y'all know it's been pretty much a bitch of a January.

The fantastic news is I finally got a run in yesterday (it had been 8 days since my last run). It's freezing here, so I was at the gym and on the treadmill. I warmed up for .25 miles at a quick 4.0 mph walk, and then increased my speed to 5.5 mph (10:54 pace). With Dave Matthews Band in my ears, I ran my first mile feeling strong.

As a rule, I'm a run/walk girl. I run faster than I probably should and then need to walk to recover, and then I start over again. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you know, it's one of those things us beginning runners like to think we need to improve.

Anyway, yesterday I kept the treadmill at that 10:54 pace and kept on running. At mile 1, I said, "Okay, just make it to 1.5 miles and you can walk." I felt okay at 1.5, so I kept going to 2 miles. During that half mile, my self talk was "How freaking cool would it be to run 3 miles straight without a walk break? You've been out of it for so long, feeling like crud for too many weeks--how amazing would it feel to come back strong? Just go for it. Run the whole 3 miles and don't stop."

And that's what I did. I kept pushing and didn't take a break. The last half mile was tough, and it was all mental to get through it. I didn't take any water breaks, either, because I can't drink and run at the same time, so I was getting parched too. But there's a line in the sand that, once you draw it, there's no going back. I was going to run those 3 miles no matter what.

I felt so proud of myself and happy and jazzed about what I'd just accomplished. The mental toughness I'm building when I push through those runs is, I know, what I need to be developing just as much as my heart and lungs and muscles to complete that half marathon in May.

I cooled down for a quarter mile with a slower walk (had to get my heart rate down--it was way up, like 179 when I finished running), and drank my water. I finished 3.5 miles in 40:56. A couple minutes of stretching and I was on my way to pick up the kids.

I'm getting my hair cut today at 1:00 (it's way too long and full now because I haven't had it cut since November, when I took my profile picture), and if work isn't too crazy I'll be back at the gym for another 3 miles. Not sure if I'll complete the same feat as yesterday, it just depends how I feel and I might want to do fartlek stuff instead. Doesn't really matter, as long as I'm putting in the miles.

Oh, and food yesterday was stellar. I couldn't even eat all the food on my plan. I finished around 1300 calories, which is low for what I usually eat. I just was too busy and didn't think about food much. Plus, seriously, this is the best antidepressant I've ever been on. It's either working already and keeping me from wanting to eat everything in sight, or else it's got a fantastic placebo effect. Or, I am just so elated that my children (knock wood and wipe everything off with anti-bacterial wipes =) are healthy and things are normal, that I feel 200% better. Whatever it is, I'll take it.

One more thing (I'm just a rambling fool today)-- I don't have a weight to record because I had to steal the battery from my scale yesterday for my garage door opener. I looked every where for a 3V 2032 battery, but the only place I knew there was one was in the scale. As nuts as I am about weighing myself, I have to get into my house so it was the garage door opener over my obsessive compulsion about the scale. Hopefully today I'll get to the store and buy a battery or two.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stabilization - LAWL weight = 153.8

I went back to LA Weight Loss today. I hadn't been there since January 2nd. My official weight was 153.8, which was down 2.4 pounds from my 1/2/08 weight. I was fully dressed in pants and a sweater, so really if I was naked it would be closer to 152. How's that for creative (weight) accounting.

I told the counselor I was ready to be done with dieting. I needed them to help me maintain. That 152 is what I want to call GOAL right now. So now I am on the 6 week stabilization plan, where we add foods back to my plan until we see how much I can eat without gaining weight.

This means, of course, I'm back to journaling my food and eating according to a plan. That's not exactly what I had in mind, but truthfully it's what I need.

Even though I have been eating whatever I want the past few weeks and have not gained. Even though I'm semi-successfully dealing with my emotional eating issues without going too overboard. Even though I'm feeling better emotionally (thank you God for antidepressants).

I still need a plan. Can you just hear the Eeyore tone in my voice? I do not want to keep writing food down, to track how many proteins and starches and fruits and dairies and fats I'm eating (I get to eat unlimited veggies the first week of stabilization--oh joy). I'm stamping my foot in protest like a pouty 3 year old.

But what else am I going to do? Do the "whatever" plan and end up fat again and grow out of my skinny clothes? NO THANK YOU, nuh uh, not me. It's just not going to happen.

So, for today, I can write my food down. I can eat according to my plan. I can maintain. For really reals, this year will be the Year of Maintenance.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Back at work, Kids on the mend

I took Sophie to the after hours clinic last night after she continued to run a fever around 101*, and I'm so glad I did. She has strep throat, which is treated with antibiotic and she was already feeling better this morning. She's home from school because of the 24 hours fever free rule, and my mom was generous enough to take a vacation day to keep her so I could go to work. Mom knows how precarious my mental health has been lately and figured I needed her help more than she needed a relaxing day off. She's a saint, I tell ya.

And I'm swamped, since I've been out of the office this month more than I've actually worked. It's good to be here and feeling better, and knowing my kids are on the mend.

Jess, I love the idea of a "flea dip" for kid's illness. That's definitely what they need. Vickie, I wish oh wish I had the time or energy to keep my house that clean and disinfected. No doubt it's why we are all sickos. I suppose it's just like anything--you put the effort in on the front end so it doesn't take so much time on the back end, but we've just been snowed under on all fronts and got into survival mode.

I hope to catch up with you all soon. One of these days I'll have a run report again....

Monday, January 21, 2008

152.4 - A productive day at home, but we still got the ick

It's a stay home day, as Sophie likes to call them, thanks to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. I could have taken Luke to the sitter's (he's been feeling better since Saturday morning, thank goodness), but just kept them both here for a day of staying in our PJ's.

I've not been lazy, however. As pathetic as it is, the Christmas decorations were all still up (with the exception of the tree, and it was only down because it got knocked over on Christmas night and we had to put everything away). I was truly beginning to think it would be Christmas at Valentine's Day around here.

But thankfully either the antidepressant is starting to work a bit or else I just am tired of being a lump on the couch, and I got busy and put everything away. We are clean and back to normal. Well, at least there are three rooms that are clean. The bedrooms and play room/formal living room (is that an oxymoron or what? but that's what it is) are all disasters. They will have to wait for another day.

So I've not had a chance to run for almost a week, what with the sickness of the boy last week. And I don't know when I'm going to get back at it. Tomorrow, maybe. It's still a freaking germ fest around here. Now I've got a cold, and Sophie has a sore throat and has been running a low grade fever all day (is 100* low grade?) and complained of some dizziness this morning. That does not bode well for what the rest of this week may hold for her, health wise.

I am just unbelievably ready for us all to be healthy again. It is so true what they say--if you have your health, you have everything.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Binge, Interrupted

Friday night I did something I haven't in a long time. I planned a binge.

I thought about it and longed for it, and then I shopped for it.

The setting was right. I'd be all by myself, since Mark was taking Sophie to the Martina McBride concert. And my binges, of course, have to happen in secret.

My mood was right. Totally in the dumps, because I was stuck at home on a night I should have been out with my girlfriends having fun and feeling human again instead of a Mommytron. Poor poor pitiful me. I needed to get rid of that feeling, and numbing myself with food always does the trick.

The price was right. Who cares if Haagen Dazs is $4 a pint? One each of vanilla and chocolate should hit the spot. And oh yeah, let's throw in a box of Pop Tarts (my favorite, brown sugar cinnamon) for good measure. That's a measly $10 for a night of sugared-out bliss.

I didn't wait to be alone before I started in on the Pop Tarts. I opened a pack to feed to Luke with his antibiotic (a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, after all) while everyone was still here. I had one and my Mom ate the other; Luke didn't want anything to eat at all.

Then it was just me and the boy. He watched Dora the Explorer while sitting on my lap, and I picked up my recent book purchase about keeping weight off forever. I've got a fiction book going too, but wasn't in the mood for reading about the oppression of being a woman in Afghanistan, so I figured why not read about how someone else has stayed thin. Maybe it will sink in by osmosis.

Turns out, even though so far I'm not impressed with its disorganized structure and standard platitudes (like "don't eat unless you feel hungry" - I mean, really... who doesn't already know this? And I'm only in chapter one), the book made a difference for me tonight.

On page seven, a simple exercise of "The Old Me" and "The New Me." The questions under each:
The Old Me
I used to see myself as:
Most of all I wanted to be:
More than anything, I wanted to be able to:
Every day I hoped:
If I had one wish it would have been:
My favorite dream for my future was:

The New Me
Now I see myself as:
Most of all I want to be:
More than anything I want to be able to:
Today I hope:
Now I wish:
My favorite dream for my future is:

Since I had Luke on my lap, I didn't write out my answers. But I completed the sentences in my head and by the time I was done and had muddled through a few more pages of the book, the desire to binge had gone away. The desire to eat chocolate ice cream is still here, even as I write this late Friday night, but the desire of "More than anything I want to be able to keep this damn weight off for the rest of my life" is currently outweighing anything else.

I wrote the other day about there not being many books available for weight loss maintainers. Maybe that's because maintenance is a bitch. A bitch that isn't easily tamed and apparently is as ugly and frightening as the one Sigourney Weaver battles in Alien.

Only this one doesn't have a big Hollywood ending. This is going to be an endless battle. There is no finish line. There is never going to be a day when I can say "Okay, that's it, I'm all done and I don't have to do this anymore" (well, okay, the day I die I can say that, but you know, that's a long way off, God willing).

This idea of "it's never going to end" isn't new news, I realize that. It's just a small little epiphany in a likely endless road of epiphanies that will add up to be my life.

And The New Me says, "Most of all I want to be a weight loss success, for now and for good."

Friday, January 18, 2008

151.4 - And the hits just keep on comin'

Oh guys, you are just not going to believe this. Luke has pneumonia.

It's not horrible and he's not in the hospital, so that's the good news. The x-ray at the doctor's yesterday showed it's in the bottom of his left lung. His blood count (I'm assuming white blood cells, the doctor wasn't specific) was 16,000--normal is 12,000 and really bad is above 25,000. He got a huge shot of antibiotics at the doctor's, and will be on augmenten, which is a horrible tasting antibiotic and also causes diarrhea (can this get any better or what?!). He slept with us last night, fitfully but for the most part slept.

My mom surprised me and came down again this morning (she only works half days on Fridays), so after I got Sophie off to school I went back to sleep. I slept until 11 a.m., and of course now have a sleep-over headache, but hey at least I'm rested right?

The doctor put Sophie on prevacid for 3 weeks, because of her vomiting/diarrhea episodes from the past two weeks.

We were at the doctor's office for 2 and a half hours. Needless to say I got no running in, and today is probably not going to happen either, since I still have to get Luke's Rx filled (that will take at least an hour probably) and Mom needs to leave by 5 p.m. to go with her husband to buy a new/used car (his is shot, and he's paying someone $20 a day for gas to drive him to work--he needs a car quickie quick, so it's a priority or else she'd stay late).

I was supposed to be going out with my girlfriends tonight for a birthday surprise party for one of the girls, but of course that's out for me now. I think DH is still going to take Sophie out, which will be good for her since she needs to feel special right now. Luke's getting all the attention--even though it's because he's really sick, it's still attention and apparently 6 year old princesses have a low tolerance for the spotlight being pointed elsewhere.

Thank you all for continuing to read my blog even though it's been nothing but a downer the past few weeks. Eventually I'll be back to being Miss Thang Who Runs and Spreads Sunshine Wherever She Goes.

***Bonus points for anyone who can tell me where the title for today's blog came from. Hint: It's a movie.***

Thursday, January 17, 2008

151.4 - Maintaining, Kids Stuff, Weight-related Books

Well at least my weight is holding steady. I'll probably never give up weighing myself regularly, but if I miss a day I'm not going to freak out about it. I have a rule that if I eat or drink anything before I weigh, then I don't weigh that day. I've got to be naked and empty of as many fluids as possible to get an accurate reading on the scale. That's my ritual, anyway.

Yesterday was a decent food day, especially considering I stayed home all day with a sick kiddo. I actually ate veggies and fruit! YeeHah! No workout though, since DH didn't get home until after 9 p.m. and I was zonked out on my lovely little relaxation pill by then.

Luke is still a sick little boy--his temp was 103.6 before I left for work (my mom's with him today while I'm at work for a while), so he's got something that probably needs antibiotics. Our appointment for both kids is this afternoon at 2:30. He slept most of the night, with the exception of around 11:30 p.m. when he woke up crying, I gave him some Tylenol, and then I slept on the floor beside his crib for a few hours. Not comfortable for me, but at least he went back to sleep.

We got around 2 inches of snow last night, so school was on a 2 hour delay. Sophie got to play in the snow before school, which was exciting for her since it was the first semi-substantial snowfall we've had all winter. It was only big enough for her to make a 12 inch tall snowman on the deck, but hey--it's better than nothing.

I got a new book from Amazon yesterday, Winning After Losing. Did you know there are practically no books out there about maintaining weight loss? There is Thin for Life, which I read most of last year, while I was losing weight, so I'll go back and revisit that one. But I Googled and looked on Amazon and this was the only book that came up (there's more books on dealing with weight loss after gastric bypass surgery, but I didn't want anything for that specific market). The girl who wrote Winning After Losing also had gastric bypass, but what I've read so far doesn't focus on the surgery recovery and how to eat for that. The forward by a noted psychologist made me think this book should help--she pretty much nailed what I'm going through right now, being worn out by the diet but still needing a coping mechanism other than food to deal with the stuff life throws at you. I'll let you know what I think as I read it.

And, in most exciting news, The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl is on its way to me from They had sold out, but an email today tells me it's now been shipped. I guess I'm all set until Pasta Queen's Half Assed comes out in May. Even though I've never met them, I feel like these women are kindred spirits. Just like all of you guys are--and I promise if you write a book, I'll buy yours, too.

Do any of you AFG's know the status of Frances's new book? I hope she's doing well. EDIT: I just checked her blog. There's at last an update. I've missed that woman.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

When it rains....

So last night before bedtime, the boy started coughing like a smoker and had a fever. He was up most of the night crying and burning up with a temperature. I'm home with him today, and starting to lose my mind (Sophie, thank God, was all better yesterday and has been back at school the past two days, and no dizzy spells at all). I've called my mom to come tomorrow, because I have to take Sophie (and now Luke) to the doctor in the afternoon and I just can't do all this by myself. Bless her heart, she works full time too, and every time she comes to rescue me has to take a day of vacation.

Yesterday was mostly normal during the day. I went to work, and actually got a workout in--3.5 miles in 41 minutes. I walked a lot, but when I did run I ran hard. It was inside on the treadmill and I didn't use my Garmin to track miles manually because I haven't taken the time to figure out how to do that yet.

Another productive thing I did yesterday was go to the doctor. I have been fighting SAD, PMS, depression, anxiety--whatever--for too long. Instead of outlining my entire history or a long explanation, let me just say that I know myself well enough to recognize when I'm into a "chemical deficit" of happy chemicals in my brain. And with all the shit I've been dealing with since late last year, I'm officially depleted. They don't come back by magic for me, and I'm sinking fast into darkness and becoming a world class bitch.

Dr. Feelgood prescribed a new antidepressent (the one that doesn't cause weight gain--I specifically told him I would not go on something that is shown to cause weight gain, that's the last thing I need) and a lovely little pill that makes me feel all numb for about 4 hours (those are temporary until the antidepressent kicks in). Better living through chemicals--bring it on.

I will eventually get back to being a normal, lovely person who eats well and runs on a regular basis, with children who are healthy and a husband who isn't a giant stressball of nerves (he doesn't handle all this very well--he's at the office without me and doesn't like it, and of course hates being powerless to help when the kids are sick). At least, that's what I'm telling myself right now. This is only temporary, this is only temporary, this is only temporary.......

Monday, January 14, 2008

152.2 Not a good day

Sophie woke up this morning with another stomach virus--vomiting and diarrhea. I am home with both kids, since I couldn't take Luke to his sitter while Sophie was sick and DH was out the door early for work.

She's feeling better now, but we are all still home and in PJ's. I'm putting Luke down for a nap soon and Sophie and I are going to get a shower while he naps. Maybe we'll both feel better after that.

I called her doctor this morning because this is the 3rd time in 2 weeks she's had something stomach related. We are going on Thursday to see him.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a brighter day.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Day 323 - 152.6 - To diet or not to diet?

This morning after I got off the scale and saw a gain, which I expected since I had an emotional eating disaster last night and no running yesterday, I started thinking about whether I want to keep doing this diet thing.

I don't mean I want to throw out my healthy habits so I can regain a bunch of weight. Just stop the daily weigh ins, the daily recording of food, the 3 times a week visits to LA Weight Loss, the obsession over a goal weight.

Other than the weigh ins and obsession, I've stopped the other stuff already. Here we are, January 11th, and I've stopped the free-for-all eating frenzy of the holidays, but it's become more of a burden than anything else to stick to a plan and write things down. And I haven't gotten anything out of my meetings at LAWL because of this--the whole point of meeting with them is to go over your food intake, and if I'm not writing things down then there's no reason to visit (other than to weigh in, which I do at home and report here anyway).

So why stop now, you may ask, since I'm this close to meeting my goal? Why not persevere, kick it up a notch, suck it up and Just Do It?

Because I'm a chicken shit and scared to death my plateau is going to turn into an excuse for failure and I'm going to go completely off my nut and start regaining weight. Every day I don't stick to my diet plan, is another day of failure. Every week I don't lose a pound or two and keep it off, is another week of failure. Every month I don't see a net loss, is another month of failure.

And right now, my energy level and mental health just aren't strong enough for what it's going to take to finish this thing. I'd rather go out strong than meander and dwindle down (up?) to a floundering failure.

Besides, who's to say what my "goal weight" really should be? I picked 145 because that's what I weighed when I met my husband. At that weight in my 20s, I felt like I needed to lose 10 pounds. So maybe my real goal weight should be 135, which means I've got quite a ways to go and I'm definitely not up for that right now.

Or maybe my goal weight should be 152, where my body has settled into for the most part since October. I'm older, I'm more muscular from running, and I look great in my clothes which are mostly size 8s and mediums and even some 6s and smalls. Most people who know me well think I don't need to lose any more weight and are surprised when I tell them I have more to lose.

And I feel good about myself. Well, as good about myself as someone who's been dealing with her weight since she was in her Teens can. Do I really want to screw that good feeling up by half heartedly attempting to lose more weight, which frankly I don't even know if my body can do right now?

When I started LA Weight Loss last February, I felt like I'd finally been released from prison. I had a lightness of being for a solid eight months; there was freedom in the structure and the success. It was a beautiful thing.

Now, I feel weighted down and heavy from the diet. Well, not the diet per se, but from my lack of ability to stick to the diet. And the whole point of losing 50 pounds isn't to feel weighted down.

I lost a crap load of weight and there is NO REASON WHATSOEVER that I need to be feeling bad about myself right now.

So that's the fine point of it, isn't it? I feel bad about myself because I'm not the perfect little dieter any more. And I will not allow myself to feel bad any longer. I have worked hard, and I have earned the right to BE HAPPY about what I've accomplished instead of lamenting a measly 7 pounds.

I'm not sure what kind of plan I'm going to follow--when I'll weigh in "officially" and what I'll do about LA Weight Loss. But today, I'm going to eat well and eat to feel good. I'm going to run this afternoon around 3 p.m. and maybe it will even be a long run.

Above all, I'm going to appreciate me and feel good about myself. That, my friends, is no small feat, and just as worthy a goal as weight loss.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Day 322 - 151.2 - 4 Miles

I got a good run in yesterday. It wasn't 5, because I screwed around too long at work before heading out and didn't have enough time for 5, but I got in a solid 4.

4 miles = 43:15
Lap 1: 10:39
Lap 2: 10:52
Lap 3: 10:50
Lap 4: 10:54

I am still loving Garmin. I forgot to mention how awesome it is that I can stop at a stoplight for traffic, and the timer stops, too. Before with my stopwatch I had to do that manually and wouldn't always get it started at the same time I started running and my times wouldn't be spot on. The only bad thing I'm finding is that I like to look at my wrist way too much while I'm running. I'm sure that will get better as the novelty wears off (at least, I hope so).

Yesterday's weather was nice--45 and sunny. Today we are back to rain, and I think I'm probably going to end up with too much work to get out of here on time to run anyway. So it might be a rest day for me. We'll see.

Sorry for the boring ole report. I'm swamped and have no time to be interesting. Hope y'all are having a super day.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Day 321 - 152.0 - Weather Report

No running yesterday--I ended up getting stuck at work with an account issue and there were tornado warnings on the drive home, so it was a double whamy against me getting any me time. I decided it was better to get the kids than leave them in day care at school or the gym with the bad weather; I just have this thing about wanting my family together in the face of potential disaster.

When I got to Sophie's school, all the students were sitting in the hallway because of the tornado warning. Do you remember those days (those of you in tornado land)? I was glad I got to her an hour earlier than normal and she didn't have to sit in the hallway for long. There's nothing worse than having to sit still and be quiet with nothing to do and hundreds of other squirmy students all around, and oh yeah, a tree might come crashing through the ceiling at any minute.

(Random side note: When I was a kid, my dad was a tornado chaser. He was a HAM radio operator and while we got sent to the basement during a tornado warning, he drove off in the car to find the tornados and warn other HAM radio folks of where the storm was. He was still doing this as recently as 1996 or 97, which I remember because during one storm, DH and I were newly married and in our new house and I turned on the weather to see the local weather man talking on the phone with my dad. It was so bizarre, Mr. Weather Man saying...."We have Jim H. on the phone, a HAM radio operator in Gibson County, who's tracking the funnel cloud." My newlywed husband looked at me like, "WTF?" I'm sure I just rolled my eyes and said something like, "Yeah, I know, try living with that your whole life.")

I got both the kids home safely, and thankfully the storms were short and not destructive, at least in our area. They were both moody and whiny (I blame that on the low pressure system going through so quickly--those with kids or who have taught school can attest to how low pressure systems mess with the little guys), and I was too. So I set Sophie up with a painting project (ponies!) and turned on Luke's favorite TV show, Little Einsteins, and popped a pizza in the oven.

So no running and pizza for dinner, quite a healthy lifestyle I've got going, eh? At least I left it at just pizza. I went to sleep at 9 p.m. and didn't eat anything else the rest of the night, so I did okay calorie wise for the day.

Today the weather is back to normal with abundant sunshine and upper 40s, so I'm planning for a 5 mile run, barring any interruptions. I can't wait to run with my new running partner again.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Day 320 - 152.4 - Garmin!

I took Garmin out for its first run yesterday. It is so freaking cool. Forgive me all you Garmin veterans while I gush for a moment.

Garmin showed me how fast (a relative term, of course) I was running, while I was running. I didn't have to plan a route before I headed out.....I just RAN. When I felt like I couldn't run much longer, I looked down and saw I was running 9ish minute miles and went DOH! This is why I run 5 minutes and then have to walk a minute. So Garmin helped slow me down to a reasonable pace. When I thought I was running too slowly, Garmin said "Oh No! You are just fine at 10:45. Keep it up."

And I can share actual splits. At last I am officially a geeky runner with data. I comfort myself in my geekiness with the fact that I'm in excellent company.

3.23 miles in 35:21
Lap 1: 10:37
Lap 2: 11:16
Lap 3: 11:06
Lap 4 (.23): 10:09

I walked quite a bit in miles 2 & 3. I now have actual hard data confirmation that my legs like to run fast, even though my heart and lungs aren't ready for lengthy bouts of 9:30s. But at least I now have evidence that I am running faster than I thought, even if I have to walk to recover.

The weather yesterday was grand, and there were lots of runners out there on the streets with me. Today, however, the cold weather front is making its way through and causing wind and rain. So it's the treadmill today for me. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny again with highs in the upper 40s/50ish, so maybe I'll be able to take Garmin out again then.

I *heart* Garmin!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Sheila from Kentucky!

If you check back here, please post your blog's address or email in a comment or on your blogger profile. I'd love to get in touch with you but don't have any of your contact info.

Day 319 - 153.6 My Year of Weight Loss In Review

My weekend was totally blah... we did absolutely nothing but church yesterday. Laid around and watched TV and read books. I ate Moe's burritos and chips for lunch and dinner, so I definitely have some extra weight today. The weather is weird here--it's in the upper 60s and humid. I'm hoping to get a run outside before the rain comes this afternoon. Tonight Sophie has swim class.

So, even though I'm late to the Year In Review bandwagon, I thought I'd recap for you my monthly weight loss totals, and how 2007 broke down into a 50 pound loss for me (at one point, I was down a total of 55 pounds, but I had some gains). It was steady, consistent loss that made it happen.

My starting weight at LA was 207.2 pounds.

February - 7.6 .... I start writing in this blog in earnest, tracking my days and recording my weight.

March - 6.8 ....I start working out. I walk/run on the treadmill, take group exercise classes, and track my workouts and progress in Excel.

April - 5.8 .....I run a mile straight through without walking (@12 min/mile) for the first time.

May - 8.2 .....I get into size 12 pants.

June - 6.4 .....I hit my half way mark of 175 pounds. And I run for 2 miles straight without walking.

July - 5.4 ....I get serious about running and training for a 5K. I even do Fartlek runs and run 1 mile in 10 minutes.

August - 5.2 ....Size 10s fit easily and I can wear some size 8s.

September - 5.4 .....I race my first 5k in September, finishing in 32:03. My gym has a fire and I start running outside all the time, which spurs my running on to new levels.

October - 1.4 .....October's lowest weight is pretty much what I weigh now. I run my first 5 miler in October. I'm wearing size 8s easily and can wear size 6s from several stores.

November - 1.2 ....I run for the first (and only) time in the morning. I get new running shoes.

December - 3.2 pound gain ....I beat my 5k time (32:01). I run 7 miles for the "8 on the 8th" virtual race, and even though it's a DNF, it's still my farthest distance yet. This is my first month to have a net gain. Obviously I let the holidays have their way with me.

I am so glad that I tracked all this in Excel. It's helped me keep perspective when I've felt like a failure. Recapping this here gives me some renewed energy in getting to goal. And boy, do I need some renewed energy.

In other news, I've heard from a couple people in the past two days that LA Weight Loss may be closing. I looked on Google today and it appears that several franchises across the US have closed. I'll be talking with my center today to see if they can share the skinny with me. My guess is, they won't tell me anything. I may be joining Weight Watchers before you know it. I sure as heck am not going to let something like a franchise's failure derail my success.

Hope you all have a healthy, productive week.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Day 316 - 151.2 - The "How to Lose Your Chrismas Weight" Diet

How do you lose 4 pounds in two days? Get a stomach virus, that's how.

Yesterday morning when I woke up around 6 a.m., my stomach had that sick feeling, the kind where you know you're in trouble. Just after this lovely revelation, the power goes off. No storms, no winds, just a random power outage. This is the second time in 6 weeks that this has happened, and both times it's been around 6 a.m.

I laid in bed for an hour, praying the heat would come back on and my stomach would get better. No such luck on either count. DH got Sophie ready for school, and I was barely able to pack her lunch and see her off on the bus.

And, sure enough, by 7:30 I was throwing up and sick as a dog. I had to call my mom to come and take care of Luke, because he had been sick with diarrhea the night before and couldn't go to day care.

Thankfully we got the power back on after only 2.5 hours, right before my mom arrived. DH got ready for work in the dark and left when she got to our house.

I spent the day in bed, alternating between sleeping, eating crackers and drinking Sprite, and throwing up. I had two pieces of toast, but they didn't stay around long. I figure I had a net negative caloric intake yesterday. And of course I'm pretty dehydrated.

So that's how you lose your Christmas weight in 2 days. I don't recommend it.

Wednesday, I am happy to report, I did get a run in and it was fabulous. I did a total of 4 miles, running about 3.5. I had a plan to run 10 minutes/walk 1 minute, for a total of 30 minutes running. By the time I was cooling down, I was at 3.65 miles, so I kicked it back up and ran another .25 miles fast, and then cooled back down for .10 miles, to round out a 4 mile workout in 46:30. I felt so great afterwards. A stark contrast to how I felt yesterday, obviously.

Today I'm at the office, feeling better but not 100%. I'm not running today, and I barely have an appetite. Just gonna take it easy and hope the icky stomach stuff goes away and stays away.

Sophie was dizzy this morning and I had to drive her to school, and even though she complained of being dizzy the whole walk in, I made her stay because she had been fine at home until it was time to get on the bus. Her teacher is keeping an eye on her and is really close to the whole situation (I totally trust her--she's wonderful, and as a bonus lives just a few streets down from us), and will call me to pick Sophie up if she gets bad.

Good thing it's the weekend and not a holiday. We all need a break at our house.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Day 314 - 155.2 Hooray, the New Year's Here

Thanks to you all for leaving such positive comments on my last post. I really, really needed to hear that today. I am feeling all of those 3.5 pounds, smack dab in my thighs and my tight pants. Whether it's my imagination or reality, I swear it feels like I've gained 20 instead of only a few. Freaking fat head is tougher to lose than anything else.

Our new year's day was not so good. Both the kids were sick--Luke threw up at 2:30 a.m. and we were up with him until 4:30, and as soon as he was back in bed, Sophie woke up and had a bad tummy ache and threw up, too, and I was up with her until 6 a.m. So I had a New Year's Day sleep hangover, but not because I was having any fun. They are both doing fine today, thank God. Hopefully we can get back to something resembling a normal life.

I still have yet to run. On Monday DH twisted my arm and we went to a movie. We saw Juno, which was delightful. The first 10 minutes I was doubtful, because the dialog was too heavy with current teenage slang, but it mellowed out and became a super character movie. The soundtrack I could have done without, but with the lack of movie choices nowadays it's still a winner. It's a small screen movie, though, so you can wait till DVD and still enjoy it just as much.

So, today I am getting a run in at the gym (the high today is supposed to be 23* and I am unfortunately keeping Garmin in his resting place in my purse), come hell or high water. I really truly am aching for physical activity now, and I'm pinning my hopes for a renewed commitment to a healthy life on running. I've got that Half Marathon in May to train for, and a training program is just what I need to keep accountable and on track. I haven't been to LA Weight Loss in a couple weeks, so I'm going to do that today too. I hate to weigh in with such a big gain, but there's no sense in waiting until I've lost it. That's what they are there for and I surely don't need to be hiding my head (or rather, my big ass) in the sand and hoping it will all be okay.

And I still haven't made myself write down any New Years goals. I'm thinking Groundhog's Day goals might be appropriate for me this year. Yeah, I think that's what I'll do. On February 2nd, get ready for some rockin' resolutions.