FFTFL premiere

FFTFL premiere

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Not Feeling It

I know, I know. If I just get up, dress the part, open the door and go, I'll get into it. 8 miles. That's a long run to push myself through on very little sleep. See, I stayed up to watch the Olympics opening ceremony and I had made it all the way to the P's in the Parade of Nations. Fast forward to 11pm (EST) and I wake up to my husband shutting off the television. Damn it! I missed the United States, (Couldn't we just go by 'America?' I mean everybody knows who we are AND I would've gotten to sleep at least an hour earlier!), AND I missed the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron!! I'll have to look it up and see what happened. I remember seeing David Beckham on a boat, and I thought I heard him say somewhere he wasn't lighting the cauldron, but that could've been just an evil plot to get us to watch and see.

Anyway, I got up and went to bed, only to wake up two times in two hours to use the bathroom. My husband, who was up playing on the PS3, asked me if I was okay. Me getting up several times in a night to release the copious amounts of fluid my body enjoys holding on to (and torturing me with on the scale) isn't uncommon. What WAS bothering me was the fact that I got my period. I, very stupidly, don't keep very good records when it comes to my cycle because I had my tubes tied in 2001 (April 3rd to be exact- now THAT I can remember?!?). So now I'm in bed tossing and turning, wondering when I got it last, thinking I just had it like two weeks ago and something HAS to be wrong! In bed, in the dark, everything always seems worse than it actually is. The diagnosis' are coursing through my head and the anxiety is building...

I fought the urge to just get up and go on the computer. I was too lazy to go downstairs and get the book I'm reading (since reading in bed is always a sure-fire way to put me to sleep, no matter what I'm reading). I just continued to toss and turn and stew in my own self-inflicted madness.

Now that it's morning, even though I've had very little sleep, I can remember thinking "Thank God I didn't get it while I was in NYC for my makeover trip." That was the end of June. So I had it in the beginning of July, and my cycle is anywhere from 23-27 days, so I'm not dying. Do you think this will prompt me to write it down? Don't bet on it. I am excited to try this new thing I discovered called 'Smart Cup,' though. TMI?

So now you know why I just don't feel like running this morning. Maybe I'll bang it out on a treadmill at the gym later. Don't hold your breath.

Just don't have it this minute.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Runner of the Month

I decided to enter the Ragnar Relay "Runner of the Month" contest on Facebook. So far, there's only 18 entries, so I may have a shot at it! I submitted the picture of me with Gene Snisky, before our workout, in my neon pink RR t-shirt. It's funny because I am 5' tall and he is 6'8" and he's standing directly behind me so you can really notice the size difference. And you get a good idea of the size of his "banana hands!"

The temperature was so nice yesterday (minus the torrential downpours)! It was so cool out that I wore jeans and a hoodie! I knew that meant it would be perfect for a run outside this morning. So, I said I would go for 7 miles today (after my 6 mile run last Saturday) and I DID IT! I think that was the furthest I've ever run outside. By the last mile I was really dragging my ass, but I did it. I have to say, the streets by my house seem to all have a hill, sometimes two. The last one nearly did me in, but I never stopped, never took a walk break. I was so glad to see my house and the bottle of ice water I had waiting for me on my stoop.

Not bad considering last year I finished my 10k in 1:04! I mapped out my route on www.mapmywalk.com and it said I did 7.23 miles. Now that would be REALLY impressive!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

More Fortune Cookie Philosphy

I get it! In regards to weight loss and healthy living, smaller changes, like switching from whole milk to skim or walking to the post office instead of driving, are much easier to instill and maintain than big sweeping changes, like eradicating entire food groups (I could NEVER go carb-free!) or expecting to win a Strong Man competition when the only thing you've ever lifted was a fork.

Baby steps...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Month

I can't believe how frickin' long it took me to lose a pound. I am my worse enemy, though. You truly can undo all of the hard work you do with a few poor choices, like eating sweet potato chips or cake and skipping a day of working out. Even though I know eating properly has a greater importance in losing weight, exercise and diet go hand in hand for me. It seems exercising early in the day keeps my nutrition on track.

My niece's wedding is August 31st. I'd really LOVE to be back under 150 pounds by then. That means I need to lose 5.3 pounds in a little more than 6 weeks. Can it be done? It's going to be a tough task... maybe if I blow the dust off my Insanity DVDs and kick it into high gear... then it will be done.

What can derail you from your goals?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Work In Progress

Why is it that I can think I have all the resolve in the world, but sit me around some sweet potato chips or chocolate cake with chocolate butter cream frosting with chocolate mousse filling and my brains fall out?

Katelynn and her dad

Yesterday was my niece's 5th birthday party (this picture was from last year), and I had some noshes that of course I didn't NEED, like the aforementioned sweet potato chips and some pretzels and some veggie straws. Dinner was bbq, so I had a burger, a bit of potato salad (not worth it), a little piece of sausage, a bit of skirt steak and some caprese salad. But then the dessert rolled around. The "eff it" mentality kicked in and I had a CostCo chocolate chunk cookie (SO worth it) and a hunk of that cake. This one had balloons on it, so I got a wad of EXTRA white butter cream on my piece. I dug into it like there was hidden treasure to be found. I couldn't finish. By the last few bites I was getting nauseous.


So, today is a new day. I did my usual arc trainer workout at the gym and came home to mow the front yard. I've been eating lighter today since we're experiencing our 4th frickin' heat wave of the summer. I am disappointed with my choices yesterday, but what I HAVE learned on this journey is that I'm not perfect, nor will I ever be. If I expect perfection, failure will definitely be the result. A day like yesterday would derail me for days, weeks or months in the past. Not anymore. That's progress.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Keeping My Nose To The Grindstone

Or "putting the pedal to the medal" or "holding my feet to the fire..." I said I would run six miles today and I DID! I think putting it out there on Facebook, either on Spark People's feed or From Fat To Finish Line's page, keeps me accountable. It was not an easy run. I went to the gym since I've run the last few times and they seemed to go faster since I became occupied with playing with the speed and whatever trash was on MTV, like 'Teen Mom' or 'Jersey Shore'. Today it was Retro MTV with an episode of 'The Hills.'

I had planned on setting the speed at 6.0 and not touching it- just run and read the captions while listening to my music. I couldn't do it. So, after 1 mile, I alternated between 6.0 and 6.2 every 5 minutes. Then it got tough around mile 4, so I would fiddle some more with my speed. I wanted to finish, and I wanted to finish under the 60:00 countdown the treadmill was set at. After huffing and puffing the last mile, I was done at 59:08. Thank you Jesus.

Glad to say I'm done with it! Do I dare say 7 miles next week? The Diva Half isn't until October 7th. I think I can take it a bit slower. Maybe I'll shoot for 6.5 and be pleasantly surprised when I just go for 7. I'm not promising anything until Friday!

This week has been busy with babysitting and cleaning and visiting with a girlfriend and her son on Thursday. Charlie met Ryan in 3rd grade, and his mom, Donna, and I hit it off. Unfortunately, they moved out of town and we don't see them very often. We all went to McDonald's and I had a hamburger Happy Meal. Have you seen the baby fries that come with a HM now? The cardboard container looks like it belongs in a little kids kitchen play set! They shrunk the fries and added apple slices to add some nutritional content, but they're peeled slices, so there's not much to them!

Not much food, but enough to fill the hole. Between my HM and the 4 others I got for my kids and the two I babysit, we got 5 of the same toys. Anybody need a Manny from Ice Age 16? That is what they're up to, no?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Right On!

So, my son opened an old fortune cookie for a snack (I REALLY have to go grocery shopping! He'll soon be digging into the cough drops!) and the fortune read:

I've always known losing weight IS hard work, but I've never looked at it this way. You may not see the numbers on the scale moving quite as quickly (or at all) as you would like with all of the miles you may be logging, but your body is changing. You may not see the benefits of cutting back on fatty, sugary foods immediately, but everything has a cumulative effect. Do BOTH regularly and results will follow. It may not be several pounds down on the scale, but it could very well be the difference between needing high blood pressure medication, or insulin injections, or having a heart attack or a stroke or NOT.

THAT is a pay off I am willing to work hard for.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

99* In The Shade

So it's 94* right now at 1:17 pm, EDT, which supposedly feels like 95* because of the 36% humidity. I can't believe we're only at 36% humidity on the south shore of Long Island with severe thunderstorms on the horizon this evening. We've broken down and have been using the AC in the living room a bit more often this past week. I kind of like that it's so hot because it brings the family together in the same room (except that I'm in my bedroom right now writing this- oops).

Since I had nothing on the agenda today, I decided to go to the gym and finally make this week a 3 run week. It's been way too long since I've managed to run more than 2 times in a week. That's not at all conducive to running a half marathon in EXACTLY 3 MONTHS!! Holy crap! That just hit me right now. I hope to God it's 45* that day!!! Anyway, I wanted to run more than my usual 3 miles since I haven't been doing so well on working on my distance (as well as frequency). I did a proper warm-up of a 1/4 mile walk and then sped up over the next 1/4 mile. And then I was back. I haven't run on the treadmill in so long, and today I remembered why I loved it so much.

First, I could use my iPod without worrying about traffic. No one SHOULD be coming up from behind me on the treadmill, right? Lip-syncing to all of my favorite tunes really keeps me going. Second, I had a treadmill that had a working tv, WITH closed captioning AND a working fan. You don't know how many of their damn treadmills are missing one or two of those important features! And lastly, I can speed up with a few touches of a button and I can not slow myself down unless I push a button. When I'm out on the road, I'm always looking at that damn Garmin, speeding up, slowing down, telling myself to take it easy, the voices in my head toying with me...

I didn't feel anxious at all about this run! It seems every time I run out the door, I'm saying to myself or my poor husband that I don't want to do it. It's like I always have to do better than the last time. Now I'm TOO competitive! On the treadmill, I know how I'll do because the machine figures it out for me. I actually ran an 8 minute mile for a total of 5 minutes throughout my different intervals. And I managed to run 5.15 miles in 50 minutes. I haven't run that far in probably 2 months! I felt great. I was sweating my non-existent balls off, but I felt great. And then I cooled down with a 10 minute walk at 3 miles/hour, stretched really well and went home.

And when I got in the bathroom to take a shower I immediately felt like shit. I thought I was going to puke. I tried the "hand in the cold water" trick and that was just annoying. So I started rubbing my head, hoping that sensation would get my mind off the desire to puke. And the sweat was pouring off of me in my little cubicle of a bathroom. I guess the  20 oz. of water wasn't enough during my workout. Thankfully, sitting down and reading about Bethenny Frankel's new stint as a day-time talk show helped stave off the nausea, so I was able to jump in the shower and cool off.

So many people have been talking about how hot it is outside, (I know, I know, it's SUMMER, it's supposed to be hot), but I didn't realize how susceptible I am to the heat even INSIDE. What a hot mess I am! Literally! I thought I'd be good to go running inside. Apparently, that wasn't the case. So, PLEASE be careful in this heat, even if you're inside and exerting yourself! And make sure you check on the elders you know, who are most susceptible to this horrific weather!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Before "Before"

Gosh, how many times have you all started a weight-loss program over the course of your lifetime? After reading this month's issue of Fitness magazine (the one with Katie's blog winning a Fitterati award for "Best Weight-Loss Blog") and discovering that 25% of women attempting to lose weight couldn't keep track of the number of attempts, I realized I am one of those women. Now, I never joined WW or NS or JC or did any crazy food restriction (I did try the low-carb thing for like 2 days) or do the cayenne-lemon juice- maple syrup-water fast where if you stay on it long enough you eventually hallucinate, but I have started my "diet" on so many Mondays I couldn't keep count.


I'd say I averaged 2 half-assed attempts at weight-loss a year. I can remember my first effort at losing weight being as young as the age of 12. (One of my sisters is 3 years older than me, and so, being 15 and in high school, she was trying to shed a few pounds, and I went a long with it.) I had been picked on for my weight. I've always been overweight. I can't remember a time when food wasn't the love of my life. So, if you do the math... from the age of 12-37, multiplied by the number of times per year I attempted to lose weight... 50 TIMES!!! 50 times I told myself I was going to lose ___ pounds, be healthy, never eat another cookie, look good, be a size ___, wear a bikini (LMAO!)...

9/17/95- I SO wanted to be a thin bride... a few months later I would weigh-in at 234 pounds at my first ob/gyn appointment, pregnant with Charlie. My highest weight ever was 251 pounds at the end of that pregnancy.

So it seems the 51st time's a charm. I was recently asked many questions about my weight-loss journey during my From Fat To Finish Line documentary interview. The one that stands out is "What made this time so different than all of the other failed attempts?" I think what made this endeavor different was a combination of things. I was older, sicker and more tired of being overweight. The health issues I was having combined with what my mom was going through with her battle with bladder cancer made me realize the toll being obese was taking on my body. There was NOTHING good coming out of it. There was no "pay-off" for me, as Dr. Phil would put it. And the realization that came with one panic attack was that death would come sooner than later if I didn't do something about my health. It snapped me out of it.

On my honeymoon in the most beautiful place in the world, Hawaii, not enjoying myself to the fullest because of my weight. What the hell was I thinking with that get-up???

Creating new goals has also been a factor in keeping me motivated, keeping the weight off; something I didn't do in the past. Running has supplied me with an ample amount of goals to achieve. I'm constantly striving to run faster and sometimes further. This month I'll start my half-marathon training. To be honest, it scares me to death. But I think about how far I've come and about the people who have accomplished astounding things after surviving so much adversity (especially Matt Long) or I think about the people that would give anything to be able to do what I do, and so I will get through it, to prove to myself that I can do anything.

August 2007

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Got To Get My Mojo Back

Is it the heat? The humidity? I shouldn't be feeling like this on the 2nd week of the kids' summer vacation, a week after my tremendous transformation, not when I have so many wonderful things to be looking forward to. Just feeling blah. Before I went to the gym yesterday, (yes, on the 4th of July, my gym was open, until 1pm, thank GOD!), I whined to my husband that I didn't want to go, I just didn't want to workout. I asked him "Why does it have to be so hard for me? Why do I HAVE to workout nearly every day of my existence AND watch every calorie I consume to maintain my weight?" I was just so frustrated.

I said to myself I'd start with 30 minutes on the arc trainer. Start there. See how I feel after that. I did 15 minutes on Level 5 in the Weight Loss Program, and then went down to Level 3 for 15 minutes after that. After working so hard at that, going for another 15 minutes at Level 1 is a piece of cake (and pie), so then I did ANOTHER 15 minutes to make it an even hour, 15 minutes more than my necessary minimum for the day.

I felt great. I came home and logged my exercise on My Fitness Pal, and then logged the food I would consume the rest of the day since I was hosting my f-i-l and his girlfriend to celebrate their birthdays as well as our country's. I knew I was making hamburgers and chorizo, baked beans, some macaroni salad....

I cleaned the house, took a quick shower, prepped the bbq, and then my company came and I put out the noshes. Chips and dips, crackers for the cream cheese with sweet jalapeno pepper jelly (thanks to Tastefully Simple). Then all hell broke loose. I regressed to that 229 pound girl that never knew when to say when. WTF?

I then ate the dinner I had logged earlier and later it was time for dessert. So, adding insult to injury, I had some TS chocolate pound cake (which I DID make with vanilla fat-free yogurt instead of the 1 1/2 sticks of melted butter- hooray for small victories!) AND a piece of apple pie with fat-free Cool Whip on top. I don't usually eat pie. I mean it's dessert, but it's fruit. Never my first choice, but I went right back to that crazy mentality of thinking I blew it already, so might as well go for it.

I seem to be having more of these days lately. Why? I still am not exactly where I want to be, which I thought was 139 pounds. I'm fighting with myself, wondering if it's THIS much work to stay where I am, do I really want to do even MORE to get there? And yet I sit here, feeling as fat as I ever did, even though I KNOW that's not the case, focusing on my imperfections...

And just now, as I was typing, I heard a pinging noise, metal on metal, and it's in fact, meDal on meDal. Hanging from my closet handle are our medals from the Damon Runyon/Yankee Stadium 5k, blowing in the fan-induced breeze. They're a reminder of how far I've come, and I HAVE come a long way. Just 3 years ago I couldn't run an entire 5k and now, last month I beat my PR TWICE! This month I'll begin training for my first half-marathon. "Light bulb!" (Said in your best Gru voice from 'Despicable Me.') That's why I'm doing this, to be proud of myself, doing something all by myself, for me. I was never proud of myself at 229 pounds, no matter what I may have accomplished.

Hitting the gym.

P.S. 9:04 pm: I didn't go to the gym. I decided to eat dinner with the kids and do my workout later at night when it cooled off. So, I got my running shoes on and I hit the road. I actually left my Garmin at home, brought my tunes with me and decided to enjoy this. It was a bit cooler, but I still struggled with the humidity. It felt like what I can only imagine the start of an asthma attack might feel like- heaviness in the chest. I took my time and did my usual route. Turns out I ran 3.06 miles in 29 minutes. Not bad for a hot, slow run. The best part? Watching the sun set and running with the lightning bugs!

Monday, July 2, 2012

What A Week I'm having (Part 2)

Technically, last week is over, but if I changed the title then you would wonder if you missed something. It's just me being asleep at the wheel!

So I ended the last entry with Jen, Angela and I falling asleep watching 'Monster in-Laws' Monday night. That couldv'e ended one of those "You know you're getting old when _____" sentences! I did notice that I was feeling kind of sore after my workout with Gene. You know, the kind of sore that makes you look like an octogenarian bending down to pick up a dime? So when I woke up and Jen was heading down to check out the hotel gym, I decided to pass and take a shower instead. I was surprised when I came out of the shower to see Jen back. The gym had no treadmill! What kind of crap is that? I guess they figure you're in Manhattan, the miles will take care of themselves? Jen decided she'd like to take a run in Central Park and no amount of muscle soreness could keep me from joining her! I've ALWAYS (ok, since I began running) wanted to run through Central Park!

It was a nice walk to get up to the park, about 8 blocks straight up 5th Avenue. The wind sure was blowing, though! Other than a few gusts during our walk, the weather was perfect. Neither one of us knew where the hell we were going, but that made it even more fun. We wound up stumbling on Bethesda Terrace which is a beautiful spot with the huge fountain and a view of The Boathouse. Many movies have filmed there and many brides have wedding photos taken there. It's an idyllic setting.

The Grand Army Plaza, Central Park's southwest corner

Jen and I stopping during our run for a quick picture in front of the Angel of the Waters Fountain in Bethesda Terrace

We ran 3 miles through the park, enjoying the scenery, especially all of the dogs! After our run we went back to the hotel room to clean up, get some breakfast, pack up and check out of the hotel. Angela, Jen and I then headed downtown to the SoHo loft where the salon was to meet up with Molly, the hairstylist, and Julio, the make-up artist. I still can't believe I'm saying those words! My sister mostly cuts my hair or I go to The Lemon Tree and I've NEVER had my make-up done by anyone other than myself! Molly was so excited to be doing such a dramatic makeover. She said they called it the "playground" when so much is being done. We looked at some pictures on the computer to get a good idea of the style and color I wanted and then she went to town!

The consultation... That's Rich, one of Jen and Angela's colleagues, helping with the shoot.

That's Molly mixing my color and Marco, the owner of the salon, toiling away for hours doing a keratin treatment.

And I'm getting some highlights...

It took several hours to get the job done, then I put on the outfit, shoes and jewelry "the team" picked out for me and they took pictures for my "after." After all of that fun being queen for a day, it was time to head back to Penn Station and get on a train home. Angela and Jen came home with me to film my big reveal to Charlie and the kids and to interview us for the documentary. First, both Charlie and I were interviewed. He got a bit emotional talking about me and what I've accomplished. I'm not surprised. He cried at our wedding. He cried when we bought our house. He cried when the kids were born. He's an awesome person and I'm so lucky to say he's my husband and the father of my kids. I think he did a fantastic job.

Then it was my turn to be interviewed by myself. Can you believe I couldn't remember the exact day I finally hit goal? I actually had to go back and check My Fitness Pal. (FYI: I started MFP on 4/1/11 and hit goal on 8/20/11, just over 3 years from the start of this journey). I don't think I'll ever want to see my portion of the documentary! I hate hearing my voice and I probably will sound like an idiot! Y'all will get to make fun of my LI accent!

By 8:30pm Tuesday night, it was time to pack it in and bring Jen and Angela back to the train station so they could be on their way home. I had a wonderful time. I can never get enough of the city and this time it was a girls-only trip! That's new for me, too! So many firsts this trip!

I am so thankful for the opportunity that the Ragnar Relay team and being a part of the From Fat To Finish Line documentary has afforded me- the chance to complete my physical transformation. Now I truly look how I feel- young, healthy and full of life. Thank you Jen and Angela!!

If you want to see the finished product, you'll have to wait until it's posted on the From Fat To Finish Line Facebook page (Like it if you already haven't- there's lots to see about all of the RR team members!!) or when the film's website goes up!