Saturday, August 27, 2011

Preparing For the Worst, Hoping and Praying For the Best

I think I have everything under control. We have water, food, snacks, candles, clean clothes, a tub full of water for flushing, the kids charged all of their electronics, there's gas in the car... Thankfully where I live specifically has not been evacuated, but my parents and my sister in Mastic Beach have. There's seven kids in my family, one boy, then five girls, then one boy. My mom and dad were busy Catholics! Surprisingly enough, we ALL still live on Long Island, all in Suffolk County, all within 20 minutes of each other. We are all pretty close, for the most part. None of us fight, we're all speaking to each other and we all love our parents dearly. Our family sure was tested this year.

My mom was diagnosed with bladder cancer in November 2010. On January 18, 2011 she had a complete hysterectomy, a radical cystectomy and reconstruction for a urostomy. So, my mother now lives with an external bag that collects her urine for disposal. After this grueling four hour surgery she found out that she would need an 8-week course of chemotherapy. She was not happy about this at all, but said she would do what she had to to be cancer-free.

The course of treatment was to be a 6 hour treatment, followed by a 3 hour session, then a week off. Three cycles of this and she would be home free. After the first treatment on February 16th she was so sick. The chemicals that flow through your body to sweep all of the cancer cells out kill all of the good stuff along with it and the toxicity made her violently ill. So, she missed the 3 hour session. When she went in after feeling better, she found out she had to start back at the beginning with another 6 hour session. My mother was extremely upset, depressed, angry, etc. We just kept telling her to do what the doctor said, drink plenty of fluids, eat, rest...trying to convince her to stay the course and push through. At one point Mom told my brother and I that she was done, that she'd take her chances and everyone else will go on. I couldn't stand to hear my mom talk like this!

Continuously visiting and helping out at the house managed to keep my mom going. She did stop talking on the phone because just talking would make her nauseous. Because she had a couple of lapses during the cycle (once due to a low red cell count) Mom's last treatment wasn't until April 27th. Our family managed to get her through not 2 months of this torture, but 3! Unfortunately, my mom started experiencing some stomach pains through the last 2 weeks of treatment. The doctor prescribed some Prilosec since chemotherapy is infamous for causing digestive tract issues. Well, on Tuesday, May 3rd, Mom was in such agony that she couldn't get out of bed. Of course when these things happen my Dad's not home. He was out picking up the new car he just purchased about 40 minutes away from home. Mom managed to call my brother-in-law at his job since she knew Dad was stopping to show off the car. She told him that when my dad got there to send him home.

Steven knew that something was wrong in my mother's voice. He immediately called my sister and she called me. When I got to the house dad had called Mom's urological surgeon's office and was waiting to hear from them. Mom was still in bed and she was in pain from the slightest touch or movement. My dad finally called the office AGAIN and someone told him that there could have been a complication from the ileostomy and she needed to get to the hospital. The closest hospital to us SUCKS, and that's where an ambulance is obligated to take you. My mom's doctors are all at the University Hospital, so that meant getting her in the car and taking the 40 minute drive there.

Mom couldn't fathom getting up, dressed and out of bed to get to the car. We decided to get her seat/walker, get her in that and then wheel her to the car. Once she got seated she was in such agony that she actually fought with us to get back in bed! I told her if she didn't get in the car, an ambulance would take her to the bad hospital. That was enough to keep her moving.

I rode in the back of my dad's new car with my mom. It was the longest car ride ever. Mom sat, slumped over with her eyes closed, moaning with every bump and turn the car made. I could see her pulse in her neck she was in THAT much distress. I was constantly checking this because I was afraid the pain was going to literally kill her. Thank God we made it to the hospital and got her in the ER. Then we answered all of the RIDICULOUS questions that should be in her fucking charts at that hospital!!! UGH!! You just want to scream "WILL SOMEBODY JUST FUCKING HELP MY MOTHER??!!??" We sat in the hallway for what seemed like forever, my mom looking up at every person that passed, hoping he/she would be the one to make it better. Once she got in an exam room she seemed SO much better.

Then we all sat vigil around my mom. There was only 2 of us missing because of childcare issues. We made the best of the situation. When all of us get together it's just about who can get the most laughs. I think I win this competition every time. My other siblings probably think this about themselves as well. So, after hours and hours of blood tests and cat scans and x-rays, the doctors determined my mom had pancreatitis, another LOVELY side-effect of chemotherapy and dehydration. With a few days in the hospital and plenty of fluids we were hoping Mom would be released by Mother's Day. Everyone else left and I stayed with my dad until my mom was admitted to a room. We got home at 4:30 in the morning.

That was the morning of May 4th. That afternoon I got a phone call from a doctor looking for my dad. I asked if everything was ok and he said he just wanted to touch base with him. Not an hour later the family finds out that my mom's extreme pain was being cause by a perforated ulcer of her duodenum. The doctor calling was looking to get clearance to do an emergency surgery on my mother. She needed to be operated on right away to save her life. The ulcer was allowing stomach contents into her abdomen causing a horrendous infection. My sister and I got there just in time to see her before surgery.

We waited. The surgery only took about an hour and a half. The surgeon came out to tell us he was able to close the ulcer without any dissections of the intestines, etc. which would have made the surgery that much more complicated and life-threatening. He also told us because of the infections my mom was "a very sick young lady." After talking to the surgeon my dad sat down and sobbed. We found out he wasn't crying because of how sick my mom was. Dad was crying because my mom SURVIVED THE SURGERY. Little did we know she was only given a 50% chance of making it through. She refused consent for the surgery because she wanted to see my dad before-hand because she wanted to talk to him and tell him she loved him. My dad didn't think he would see my mom alive again.

Next day, my sister and I went up to ICU to visit mom. She was asleep so we just turned to look for a nurse to get an update. When I turned my head back towards her bed she was awake and asking me how long I had been standing there. Can I tell you the relief I felt when I heard her voice? It was like music to our ears.

We had to visit with Mom in the hospital on Mother's Day, but she was in a regular room by then, with a roommate. She did so well, she was released only a week after her surgery. She was very weak, but insisted she get up and walk so she wouldn't have to go to a rehab facility. Mom had a nurse come every day to change and wash her incision. Can you believe the wound was left open to heal from the inside out???? I shudder to think of what that must have felt and looked like, but my dad did it all. He's been amazing throughout this ordeal. That night in the surgical waiting room was the only time we saw him break down and let us know what he was feeling. My mom and dad would be lost without each other.


Mom and Dad at Mom's 75th birthday celebration
 So, it's August 27th. Mom and Dad are weathering this storm with my sister and her family. But Irene can't scare them. They have been through the worst storm of their lives this year and came out the other side with some scars, but by looking at them, you'd never know it. The house can get destroyed but it doesn't matter. It's all just stuff. Stuff can be replaced. People are what matter. Love is what matters. None of us are truly prepared for the worst, but we cling to each other to get through it all and we'll manage.


Mom blowing out her candles on her 76th birthday cake- thank you God!!!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Trying Out a New Toy! (Get your minds out of the gutter.)

So SlimKatie started the lending program for her spare Garmin and I'm the first of her followers to try it out. I finally put my feet to the pavement this morning. It was probably a little foolish of me to start my run just before 11am, but I had to suck it up and get her done. The temp was 78* but there was quite a billowing breeze out on the track (at least for one half of the lap) so that made it a bit more tolerable.

It took me about 5 minutes to get the Garmin to the screen where you enter your age and weight, but that's all I changed of the programming since I'm fine with the stats that Katie already followed, which was your total time, average pace, distance and calories burned. So, for my first run out on the track in a while, with the Garmin, I warmed up with a walk for one lap in my first mile, followed by a 3 mile run, followed by half a lap walked, 2 laps ran and 1 lap cool down. Here's the breakdown:

           Mile 1- 11:13
           Mile 2- 09:50
           Mile 3- 10:32
           Mile 4- 12:46
           Total Time- 47:15
           Total Distance- 4.25 miles
           Calories Burned- 665

Not my best times. Not my worst. It was off by a tenth of a mile and I think it's because I run the inside lap at the track. I hope to get out Saturday morning before Irene decides to rear her ugly head and try it again. I actually ran without my iPod, too! The 10k I'm doing on 9/17 doesn't allow headphones, so it's 6.2 miles with just my thoughts and my labored breathing to keep me entertained! I'm kinda nervous about that one. Not only is it the first time I'll be running in a 10k, but I'll be sans husband. It's nice to have him around- he kinda pushes my pace since he's an entire foot taller than me. He also gets a wee bit annoying as well, like he should read my mind when we're approaching someone to pass. You go right, I go left!! UGH!!!

Anybody else have a running partner? Would you like MY running partner? LOL!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

That Dreaded Time of the Month...

Yeah, so I usually do a mid-week check-in on Wednesdays to see if I'm on track or if I need to kick things up a notch for my official Saturday weigh-in, and the scale really hit me where it hurt! Just 4 days ago I was at my lowest weight ever of 149.4 and this morning the bitch read 152! I know why and I understand the "how comes" but it's still obnoxious, no? I guess I should be thankful I'm still getting it, right?

Speaking of my age, only 20 days left of my thirties. Boggles my mind. I don't think, no, I KNOW I didn't count down when I was approaching my thirties, so why do it for my forties? I think I'm actually looking forward to what the second half of life has to bring! I'm definitely a much healthier and fitter person and that has made me happier. My kids are older (my son is 15 and my daughter is 13), so there's a lot less work in that regard. They are pretty independent which gives me more free time to devote to taking care of myself. I do feel selfish about the time I spend in the gym or at the track sometimes, but they do reap the rewards because I AM a lot more pleasant a person now and this should only increase my longevity to be around for THEIR kids. I so look forward to seeing them raise kids of their own!

Time goes by SO fast...this has to be 11 or 12 years ago.
Look at me, counting the days until I'm forty and then jumping the gun on probably a whole other decade! I guess maybe I should make myself one of these lists of the things I want to do in the next ten years, huh?


What's on everyone else's "To Do List?"

Monday, August 22, 2011

It Is Christmas Morning For Me!!


The Garmin came!! The Garmin came! A very kind and generous SlimKatie had a spare Garmin Forerunner 205, which is an awesome device you wear on your wrist to keep track of your distance, speed, time, etc. while walking, running or biking. I saw that she had one on her blog, Runs For Cookies, and I asked her about it. There was so much interest in it that it's now going to be on loan, like a library book!  I can't wait to play with it tomorrow on my long run!!!



Here is the Garmin on the Christmas Tree that sits in the middle of my "craft" room.
 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mission Accomplished!

I met my original goal! I never thought I would do it. I was stuck at around 180 pounds for the LONGEST time. Then I found My Fitness Pal. I didn't want to count calories and be obsessive about every morsel of food that passed my lips, but what I had been doing wasn't working for me anymore. So, I decided to give it a try. That was April 1st of this year. I weighed-in this morning and the scale read...
(Stole this idea from SlimKatie---it's a great idea! What do they say- "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?")

So, with My Fitness Pal I have lost 32.2 pounds!! I have always wanted to weigh less than my husband, and now I FINALLY do. The man is 6' tall and weighs 150 pounds. He made it damn-near impossible for me!!(My son has been blessed with his incredible metabolism. My daughter takes after me, solid and curvy, but only a size 2.) The thing is, I am 5' tall. According to those frame-size charts I have a large frame, but the high end of that chart would put me at 137. So, I'm thinking I'd like to get to 140. My husband thinks I'm fine and that I might be taking things too far. I don't know why he's so worried. I eat A LOT and yes, I exercise every day, but I do that so I can eat a lot! But, it's gotten to the point where I feel I can't tell him about my successes because I think it will upset him.

I definitely need to figure out what weight I can realistically maintain and not be obsessive about it. For now I just want to soak this moment in...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Major News!!!

Back-to-school shopping today with the kids. I am very lucky here on Long Island to have two Tanger Outlet Centers within 30 minutes or less of my house. Well, the kids are stuck on Adidas sneakers, and since they're not brand-name hounds and their sneakers always last them the entire school year, I oblige them this one desire. So, we hit Adidas and then Old Navy. I always do so well at that store, and with my 15% off $75 purchase or more coupon, I'm a very happy camper.

Since everything was on sale, I figured I might as well look at some stuff for myself. My jeans were on sale for $15 (then that extra 15% off!), so on a whim, I thought I'd try the size 6. Me and the kids went into our own dressing rooms to try our stuff on and----- THEY FIT!!!!! So I bought TWO PAIRS!!!!!! I'm over-the-moon happy right now. It's surreal. I have never worn a size 6. I have been overweight/obese my ENTIRE life. I could cry.

By the way, I bought 8 pairs of pants, 1 pair of yoga pants, 9 t-shirts (some long-sleeve), 1 sweater (should have gotten myself one!), and 1 button-down shirt for $157.02 with tax!!!! The original prices totalled $338.20 WITHOUT TAX!! I saved $187.58. Yay me!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Two Year Anniversary!!!

I can not believe I ever let myself get this big.

At our nephew's wedding- 7/17/09- exactly one month before I made the decision to start living.



Actually, I have been heavier, especially at the end of my first pregnancy with my son. I only gained 17 pounds, but it brought me up to a whopping 251 pounds. The only reason why I didn't gain more was because he was born five weeks early!!
This is probably the only item of clothing I have left- it is not the biggest size I ever wore. When I was pregant with my son, I bought a dress for my girlfriend's wedding shower- it was a 26/28W.



I missed out on a lot of great experiences in the past because of my size. My size always made me fearful of going on amusement park rides- I never thought the restraint systems would hold. One specific adventure I held myself back from going on was when my husband went parasailing on that trip to Florida in July of '09. You had to tell the guys your weight and then you were put into this strap-contraption and slowly suspended 100's of feet in the air. I can't imagine what my fat ass was going to look like spilling through those straps! I hope I have the opportunity again. Next time I'll do it!


I never thought when I was that size that I'd ever be running! One month from today (on my 16th wedding anniversary!) I'm running in my first 10k! 6.2 miles! And in less than a month I will be 40! Just now, I did my mid-week check-in to make sure I'm on course, and the scale said 150.2 lbs, not once, but twice!!! I will definitely hit my original goal of 150 pounds before my 40th birthday. But I don't think that is my ultimate goal. I am 5' tall, mind you, and I feel I do have more fat on my body that can vacate the premises. I would like to see what I look and feel like at 140 pounds. Right now I fit into size 8 pants, so maybe I'll get to a size 6. I do know that maintaining this weight will be work, A LOT of work. But I am willing to do it because I will not go back.

77 pounds gone (official weigh-ins are Saturdays). At first I started eating better and exercising because my 20th high school reunion was on 10/17/09 and I didn't want to go being the fat one. How much weight did I think I was going to drop in two months? Well, I didn't go anyway. My biggest inspiration and encouragement, though, came from my husband. I thank him for igniting the fire inside me to achieve this. While watching the Biggest Loser marathon (the season with kick-ass Tara) he asked me if I ever thought about running a marathon. I knew in my present condition I wouldn't be able to do it, but I always thought that crossing the finish line after 26.2 miles would be a MAJOR accomplishment and something to check off the "bucket list." We started walking together and adding some S L O W jogging every lap. The Couch to 5k also gets some credit here. I picked it up at about week 4 or 5 of the 9 week program. I highly recommend it to anyone contemplating running!

So, now I can run a 5k, no sweat! I ran 6 miles this past Saturday, but on the treadmill. I have to get outside and do it on regular land to make sure I'm ready on 9/17. I'll be thinking about a lot of stuff while running that race, especially since there are no headphones allowed. I'll be thinking about how hard it was to run that first time, barely getting myself around half of the lap. I'll remember when I ran my first mile and I asked my husband if he was proud of me and he said "I was proud of you from the moment you first started." I'll think back to my first 5k on 6/5/10 when I couldn't run the entire thing and finished in 42:42. So, in a rematch on 6/4/11, I ran the entire thing with my husband and finished in 34:25. So many accomplishments to be proud of, so many milestones I hit. Most importantly, I am proud of MYSELF for all of this. I did it.








Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ran the Damon Runyon 5k at Yankee Stadium!!!

We did it! We started out our day before 6am to catch a 7:40am LIRR train into Manhattan and then the subway up to the Bronx. We were backpacking it because there's a regulation on bag-size in the stadium, so we had all we needed for 4 people for 3 days in 3 backpacks. We got to the stadium by 10am and with some confusion and running around, we got the kids to the skybox to watch us run the warning track, and we got on line, waiting for our heat to be called.
waiting on line to start!

We ran at around 11:30am and it was a bit hot and humid, but not a cloud in the sky! I ran without gum, my iPod and my sweatmop! We started out very slow because the course was pretty tight (the concourses, ramps and stairwells of the stadium) and we couldn't get around anybody. (I felt like Ferris' dad in the scene where he's trying to get home and the old lady is driving at a snail's pace in front of him, waving his arms like an air-traffic controller to coax her out of the way!) The warning track laps were towards the end of the 1st mile and it was amazing! Running past the field, bullpen and dugout was surreal, and then to look up into the stands and see our kids cheering us on was priceless. We crossed the finish line in the Great Hall at 37:33 (more than 5 minutes slower than my personal best) and were handed medals! My first race medal! We grabbed our t-shirts and swag (nice tote bags!) and found the kids up in the Delta 360* Skybox to watch others run the track.
My husband Charlie and I on the warning track!

After the run we found our hotel in SoHo and got ready for our night out. Our first stop was Jacques Torres Chocolates, an amazing chocolate shop where we saw Morgan Freeman! LOVED him in 'Seven!' Next was dinner at Ninja New York, a restaurant featured on the Travel Channel's 'Most Extreme Restaurants.' It was sort of a theme restaurant set in an 1800's ninja castle with the wait-staff acting like ninjas, surprising you and pulling knives on people. Fun. Good food. $$$$!!!
$1.60/piece- nibbled like a squirrel on mine (the one with grapes on it- dark chocolate complemented by fine red wine)

Morgan Freeman enjoying the shop as well!
While walking back to our hotel I made us stop at Wooster Street Social Club, the tattoo shop where TLC's 'NY Ink' is filmed, and we got to see Ami James, owner of this shop and the shop that the show 'Miami Ink' is based on, giving a girl her 1st tattoo, on her HEAL! I asked her if it hurt, since I want one badly but my husband prefers I not get one. We'll see.
Ami James of 'NY Ink' and 'Miami Ink'

The next day we set out for the Today Show in Rockefeller Center and of course Al was off for the day. There were no big celebrities on (Kate Gosselin was there but of course she didn't come out to see us) but I did have a short conversation with Ann about her killer Louboutin shoes! 
Ann Curry's gorgeous shoes!

After the Today Show the kids enjoyed browsing Nintendo World, where you can buy anything and everything Nintendo-related. After that we headed over to Grand Central Station. It is gorgeous. Then we went to the New York Public Library, another beautiful structure, inside and out. I got some great shots of the stairwell that is featured in the first "Sex and the City' movie. (If you haven't noticed, I'm a HUGE film buff and I love to see where things were actually filmed!)

the famous clock at Grand Central Station
NY Public Library
Wow, I'm just half-way through the day! I dragged my poor family everywhere! After the library we went to Bryant Park, probably my son's new favorite place. We got to sit around and watch people on their lunch break enjoy the beautiful weather. There's people playing chess, ping pong and some game called Petanque, a French game which looked a lot like Bocce. On the way we also explored HighLine Park, a park built on an old elevated freight train track. Then it was back to the hotel to get ready for dinner at Les Halles Downtown, the restaurant where Anthony Bourdain used to be Executive Chef. On the way downtown we stopped at Ground Zero to see the progress being made. Can not believe it will be 10 years since that horrific day.
Rebuilding World Trade Center
Dinner was delicious- I had the boeuf bourguignon, which was good, but not as good as when I make it out of Julia Child's cookbook! The pommes frites were amazing, though.
my boeuf bourguignon at Les Halles
On Tuesday morning, my husband and I checked out the hotel gym. I ran a couple of miles, which I don't think was very wise considering we ran the 5k and then walked all over Manhattan for 2 days. There were a couple of hours to spare before we had to check out of our hotel so we hung out at Washington Square Park and people-watched. Then it was back to the hotel to check out.

Washington Square park
We walked up to where we would need to get the subway up to Yankee Stadium. It was below the Manhattan Mall, so we did a lot of window shopping and enjoyed some drinks while sitting and talking. Then the skies opened up. We weren't sure if the game was going to be called, but we decided to make the trek up to the Bronx, seeing that the trip already cost an arm and a leg, what was another $20 on the subway going to hurt?

We arrived and it looked like a monsoon! We ran into the Hard Rock Cafe, which is in Yankee Stadium, figuring that would be the best place to stay updated on the game situation. My son thinks that was the best meal he ate in Manhattan. All he had was a burger! While eating dinner the rain started to let up. We went up to the museum to check it out and it's filled with all sorts of memorabilia. It was the first day that Jeter's jersey from the game he hit his 3000th was on display. That was a nice bonus for my husband since he was working that day and I kept calling him with updates.

Charlie and Jeter's jersey he wore when he hit his 3000th
The sky cleared and the game was played. It was a great game, but the Yankees wound up losing 6-4. So, it was back to the subway station to Penn Station to catch a train back home to Long Island. Of course things couldn't go smoothly. There was a medical emergency and the train was stopped a couple of stops from where we had to get off. So, we walked another mile or so to Penn! It actually was pretty cool walking through Times Square at midnight! NYC truly is the city that never sleeps! We made the 12:16am train by the skin of our teeth and pulled into our driveway at 2:30am. It was an exhausting trip, but the experiences we priceless. SO ready to do it ALL again next year!!


Charlie, me, Charlie and Chelsea at the game

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Damon Runyon 5k for Cancer Research

Tomorrow is the big day! My husband and I are running a 5k in Yankee Frickin' Stadium! It's going to be extremely challenging with all of the stairs in between concourses, so it definitely won't be my personal best, but I can't wait for just the experience of it! We get to run around the warning track twice and our pictures will be up on the jumbo tv in centerfield! So cool. AND, the best part is that the money raised goes to funding cancer research, and since my mom has just battled bladder cancer, a cure needs to be found!

This is going to be an exciting trip because we'll be staying in SoHo for two nights and then head back to the Bronx for a Yankee/Angels game on Tuesday. Since we're from Long Island we've been to the city numerous times (not enough in MY opinion) but we've never actually stayed there. The hotel looks beautiful and we have reservations for a restaurant called Ninja New York, which was featured on the Travel Channel, and on Monday night we are eating at Les Halles Downtown, Anthony Bourdain's restaurant, famed author and host of the Travel Channel's 'No Reservations.' Hopefully all of the walking around we'll be doing will negate quite a few of the calories I'll be ingesting. Les Halles is in the financial district, so I'd like to finally get down to Ground Zero and pay my respects to the thousands of lives lost on 9/11/01.

So, hopefully the weather holds out for us on this trip. There's not much more annoying than walking the streets of Manhattan with an umbrella!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My New Passion

I started my weight-loss journey eating better and exercising nearly every day. My go-to tried and true exercise while I was extremely overweight was Leslie Sansone's 'Walk Away the Pounds' DVDs. I think I have about 10 in my library now. Her routines are great because you can "walk" at home with her and really work up a sweat. You can also MODIFY everything she does to your fitness level, which is very encouraging for someone just starting out. Now that I am 77 pounds less I can still pop in a Leslie DVD and add wrist or waist weights and make the routine that much harder. I'll even grab my Firm step and hop up and down on that with Leslie.

I mentioned in my first post that I was looking to lose weight for my 20th high school reunion. That wasn't the entire story. I must give credit where credit is due. While watching "the marathon episode" on Season 7 of the Biggest Loser (the one with badass Tara Costa), my husband nonchalantly asked me if I ever thought of doing "that." Well, being the type of person that cries (with pride) when the Yankees win the World Series or when someone crosses a finish line, I think that would be a tremendous sense of accomplishment and I would love to be able to say "I did that!" So, he told me that if I ever did it that he would do it with me. It had to be a year after that conversation that I was retelling it to one of my sisters and he overheard our conversation. He didn't realize that our talk during the Biggest Loser was the catalyst for my weight-loss and my love of running. I will be forever grateful to him for finally putting my feet to the fire and inspiring me to be better.

So, the ball started rolling. Along with my workouts at home, I started walking at the track. Charlie (that's my husband) or my kids (Charlie, Jr. and Chelsea) would come with me. Eventually I'd add a jog for half a lap. I continued to add some distance until I could run about a mile and a half non-stop. Then I discovered the Couch to 5k program on Facebook. I picked that program up at either week 4 or 5. At that point, I had already signed myself up for a 5k on 6/5/10. It was already sweltering at 9am and I wasn't up to running a full 5k yet, so I finished in 42:42. Not horrible for my first attempt, but I knew I could do better.

Mind you, I was still around 180-190 pounds at that time. I figured as I lost more weight I would get faster. I continued working on the C25k program and finished it with around a 11:30-12:00 mile. Our 1st 5k together was on 9/11/10 here in our hometown on Long Island. I ran the entire thing and finished in 34:25! I got my revenge on my 1st 5k on 6/4/11 when I finished in 31:55 (almost 13 minutes shaved off my time)! Our next 5k is this Sunday (8/7) at Yankee Stadium and I couldn't be more excited. We get to run the warning track at Yankee Stadium! And it's for a great cause- the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.

I am now training for my first ever 10k on 9/17/11 (my 16th wedding anniversary!). I'm up to running 5 miles at a little under a 10 minute mile. My goal is to finish in under an hour. If I don't do it this time, then I will continue to train until I do accomplish that. I'm not sure I'll be able to get my 5k at Yankee Stadium under 30 minutes since the course is throughout the stadium and up stairs, etc., but we have a rematch with our Shirley 5k  on 9/10/11, so I'll work on that goal then. This is why I love running. There is always room for improvement. You can either work on getting faster or train for longer distances. So, this year I've worked myself up to a 10k. Next year I hope to run a half-marathon and eventually, if my body holds out, I'll manage a marathon, maybe in 2013. I just hope my husband can hold up his end of the bargain!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fabulous at 40


                            Before- 7/17/09
So, in about six weeks I will be 40. Still can't believe it because some days, I swear I just graduated high school and I feel like I'm playing house. Now, my weight has been an issue my ENTIRE life. I think the only time I wasn't overweight was at birth (7lbs. 3oz.)! Yo-yoing all my life just made me bigger and bigger. So, on August 17, 2009, I thought it would be a good idea to start shedding some pounds if I wanted to not shock my classmates (and make them feel better about themselves) at our 20th high school reunion on 10/17/09. I just cut out A LOT of junk food, not eating late at night (Sneak-eating when the husband and kids went to bed was my forte, although who am I kidding? You're not sneaking it if the cookies/ice cream/chips have all disappeared and your body is getting BIGGER) and exercising somehow every day.

I didn't count calories or points or cut out carbs or drink cayenne pepper-laced maple syrup/lemon water (yuck) until I had hallucinations of seeing Jesus (so Sherri Shepherd says!). I just ate less and moved more. That worked really well for the first 50 pounds, and then I was stuck. So, a friend had recommended My Fitness Pal, but I really wasn't looking to count calories and obsess over every morsel of food I put in my mouth. I decided to investigate it and see what it was all about because what I had been doing was no longer working. I liked the idea of not only watching my caloric intake but keeping track of my caloric "burns" as well. So on April 1st I started logging in.

I have lost almost 29 pounds since then. I now weigh 152 pounds and I am in a size 8! Now, at my all-time heaviest, with-child mind you, I weighed 251 pounds! So, technically I'm a pound away from a 100-pound loss, right? No? Well, my all-time heaviest before child was 234 pounds. I'm 5' tall! I was a size 22/24W. I really had no clue how big I was. Anorexics don't see how skeletal they've become and I was blind to my size as well. I mean, I knew I was shopping at the plus-size store and that I was "heavy," but I would have never thought I was morbidly obese. On August 17th, 2009, I was done trying to fool myself.

I didn't go to my reunion after all. I was still feeling way too big to be comfortable seeing people I haven't seen in 20 years, letting them witness the fact that I let myself go, even more. Even though I didn't make it there, I didn't stop my quest to be healthy. I decided this wasn't for any wedding or vacation. I was losing the weight for me, to like myself and to start living.
After- 7/10/11