FFTFL premiere

FFTFL premiere

Friday, August 31, 2012

Saying Goodbye To Summer?

So it's been feeling a LOT like fall around here in the morning! 58*! It was perfect for a quick morning run before the little ones came. I tried to run faster since our 5k is on the 8th and I want to beat our old time of 30:36 for that 5k. With pushing myself and the usual hilly-ish route I managed to do 3 miles in 28:20. Hopefully race day adrenaline can keep me at that pace.

Then, after the kids went home I hit the gym for "The Machine Mixer." I found the idea on Pinterest (of course) posted by Spark People. Basically, you take the time you want to workout and divide it amongst your favorite cardio machines to help beat boredom and increase your calorie burn. I really mixed it up this time and threw in the stationary bike, which I haven't used since I joined the gym! I did 15 minutes on the elliptical and covered 1.5 miles, rode 3.5 miles in 15 minutes on the bike and then walked 1.2 miles on the treadmill for 20 minutes, at varying inclines. That's after having done my run in the morning! I'm really trying to stay extremely active since my niece is getting married today! Have to combat all of those calories I'll be enjoying, although I do plan to "cut a rug" tonight!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

HIIT Happens

So yesterday was an interesting day. I've had my niece over since she's back from her trip to visit her dad. There was less than 2 weeks left of summer vacation, so my sister didn't bother to put her in camp. I can NOT believe that school starts on the 4th. This summer went too fast and I don't feel like we have much to show for it. Anyway, I also had the two little ones I babysit, and we desperately needed to go grocery shopping. I usually leave my kids home and I would've left my niece with them, but they all wanted to come! That's right, I had a 16 yr. old, 14 yr. old, 11 yr. old, 7 yr. old and 5 yr. old with me in the grocery store, for almost TWO HOURS. They were actually really good except for the volume level. Some kids just don't have INSIDE voices!!

After everyone went home, I got dinner done for the kids (Charlie works late Tuesdays and Thursdays) and then went to the gym while little Charlie was at karate. He can't do much with a broken hand, but Sensei had him doing one-handed modified push-ups and crunches when everyone else was doing things he wasn't capable of. Poor thing's stomach is killing him. I wanted to try out a new HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout I found on Pinterest for the treadmill. It starts out slow and then...

Holy sh*t!!! All I have to say is that the FIRST 8.0 was just WAY too fast. I knocked it down to 7.5, and I managed all of those intervals, modified to 7.5. Then, when I got to the 8.5 intervals, I managed to do them at 8.0, because it was only 30 seconds. When the 20 second intervals rolled around I managed to eek out 1 interval at 8.2 and then I was D.O.N.E.! I just couldn't hack it. I finished up and ran 3.16 miles in 30 minutes. That was an extremely tough workout! I was sweating buckets and after I was resuscitated, I felt great! Next time, I'll kick the 7 minutes at 5.5 up to 6.0 and then continue on with the modifications I made last night. It's not following the workout to a 'T,' but it's definitely going to help my speed! I've slowed way down since working on distance and I don't like it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Great Run

Can't believe I'm writing it, but it's true. Yesterday, my husband and I went on a run at 7:15am and the conditions were nearly perfect. If it had been a bit cooler I would have been ecstatic, but I'm not going to complain AT ALL. On Saturday, Charlie said if I was planning to run the 8 miles at an 11:00 pace, that he would do the entire thing with me. Remember last week I ran 4.5 and then picked him up for the last 2.5 miles? Well, he didn't want to do that. I was really concerned with him running that much. His longest run with me EVER was 3.1 miles! That's a HUGE jump, to say the least! He hasn't run that much (if ever) since his teenage years, many moons ago.

We got out and walked for our warm-up and as we started to run, I decided I didn't want to do my usual route, going up and down the streets in my neighborhood. I figured it would be too boring and I didn't want to do all of those hills, since each street has at least 1 hill in the half mile span. So we took a left and headed down William Floyd Parkway south towards the beach. I've always wanted to run to the beach, but it's FAR. Well, it wasn't too far today.

I figured when we hit 4 miles we would turn around and head home. Well, Smith Point Bridge wound up being about 3.8 miles into our trip, so I decided we'd run over the bridge, a big giant hill. We get to run over the bridge during the Smith Point Bridge 5k, but we've never done it on our own. The view is spectacular and the breeze off the ocean was perfect. I'm so glad we did it. As we were crossing, we were planning a run so that we drive our car to the beach, park and then run out and back so we can dunk in the ocean when we're all done!

The bridge spans Moriches Bay in the middle of the photo. The Atlantic Ocean is to the right
Want to hear something funny? I just did a Google search of the Smith Point Bridge for a picture and 2 pictures of me and Charlie popped up from the 5ks! Anyway, when all was said and done, we ran the 8 miles in...

1:26:36! I got it in under an 11:00 mile! And Charlie did great! He ran every step of the way with me. Having him with me helped a lot. He was another distraction along with the new route to keep me going. We'll see if he wants to run 9 with me next week!

Don't forget to like the From Fat To Finish Facebook page to enter the Rise nutrition bar contest and head to our website- www.fromfattofinishline.com - to read about our team and help us with our Kickstarter campaign, please!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Food Finds

Can you believe they are actually going to be SAVORY items? The first one?

I had this genius idea when I was grocery shopping a couple of weeks ago to make one of my husband's favorite sandwiches. I enjoy making sandwiches, putting ingredientses (Teresa G, holla!) together and making it a meal. ANYWAY, I took ciabatta bread and made it into garlic bread. Then I layered on some deli roast beef and swiss cheese. Then I put the sandwich in the toaster oven to melt the cheese. Finally, with the horseradish, I made a sauce by adding it to sour cream and mayo. Don't ask me about amounts because I was truly winging this. I slapped that on the sandwich and was done. Oh. My. Word. LOVE horseradish! After that meal I made London Broil and had some more horseradish sauce... Then I put it in ketchup and gee, cocktail sauce! I think I like shrimp cocktail so much BECAUSE of the sauce!

Then, a couple of days ago, I went to the store and found this on sale for $.99!

So in the past three days I've had it on a toasted everything bagel, tossed into spaghetti with some parmesan cheese and on my tuna fish sandwich! Sadly, it is all gone. :(  The best thing, other than it tasting magnificent, is that it's 25 calories for 2 T. It had whole green olives in it, chunks of eggplant and tomato... I guess I should learn how to make it? Why bother if I can find it already made for less than the cost of 1 eggplant? Duh.

Oh, I have an 8 mile run planned for tomorrow morning. Wish me luck and little pain. I'll need it.

And another thing... go to From Fat To Finish Line's Facebook page for a great giveaway! Like the page and then enter to win a 12 pack of Rise nutrition bars. They are all natural, gluten free, vegetarian and Kosher! Jen loves them!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Frickin' 40 and Frustrated

So, I think I told you the kids I babysit will both be heading off to school full-time this year. 2nd grade and kindergarten. (I made it sound like I was dropping them off at their dorm rooms!) That really means that the need for me to watch them has dwindled down to about a 1/2 hour, 3 days per week and days off from school. I can't continue to stay home and watch them when I really need to make money to cover things like my Kohl's bill (a nasty side effect from losing weight- somehow your waist shrinks and your bill grows!) and dance classes for Chelsea. Thankfully I don't need to make tons of money, but if I could bring home $200/week from a part-time job, I'd FEEL rich!

I went and filled out my first application and what a reality check. When I had to fill out my previous employment I got so upset. I worked at a place called Cheap John's, which was by far the best dollar store that ever existed, in my opinion. In 1989, candy bars were 3/$1. A 1 pd. solid milk chocolate bunny was $.97. School supplies? The cheapest around. I know it was '89, but it was still WAY cheaper than anywhere else. I worked there the summer before I left for college, then 2 summers after that, then I wound up working my way up to bookkeeper until I left in 1993.  I got great experience there, but they no longer exist.

From Cheap John's I wound up at Sam's Club, from August '94 until February '96. I left because I got pregnant with Charlie and it was a difficult pregnancy (remember, I was obese with pregnancy-induced hypertension). I could only remember the 1st name of the woman that was my supervisor. I couldn't remember any contact info or the address. I felt so unprepared. I didn't think to write any of this down before I went in there! It was like the time my friend Joann took me to get my permit and as we were walking into the DMV I said "Gee, I hope I don't need any special ID." I am a nit-wit.

I forgot to write down the job I had at a pre-school my senior year of high school. I forgot to write down the job I held at college for 2 1/2 years. There's a place on the application to explain your gaps in employment. I wrote that I was home raising my 2 children. I didn't write down all of the babysitting I've been doing while I've been home raising my kids. I have been helping my sister take care of her daughter the past 10 years. I have helped watch and transport the 2 little ones almost 7 years. For 2 years I've been helping neighbors with their 2 kids by getting them on and off the bus. I haven't been home watching 'General Hospital' and eating bon-bons all this time, but that application made me feel like that's all I did.

My Charlie-boy at 3 years old

It was a battle to keep the tears in on the drive home. My son was sitting next to me and my niece was in the back seat, so I was trying hard to keep it together. All I wanted was the bus monitor position. Something a few hours a day, with the same schedule as my kids. Even though they're 16 and 14, I would still like to be home for them. I can't stand the thought of them sitting at home on a vacation or all summer long (God forbid), twiddling their thumbs. Not to mention, they ARE 16 and 14. I don't have much time left with them.

My Chelsea Rose at 3 years old

I vented on Facebook. Friends said I had to be creative with my resume. I don't even know how to create a resume! I am so out of the loop. One friend told me to just go for the bus driver's license. I barely have the confidence to work outside the home, let alone drive a big ass bus! She made a convincing argument, since the bus company pays for your training and your license. I'll seriously have to consider it. It would definitely be the same schedule as the kids...

So I'll keep at it. I don't really have a choice. I do need some money. I just have to say how grateful I am for my husband and for providing for us. I can't imagine the stress he must feel about making ends meet. He doesn't let on how he feels (except usually around January when the Christmas bills start rolling in), but it must eat at him sometimes. I was very fortunate. He always said he would do whatever it took to allow me to stay home and raise our kids. That was a job I was paid very handsomely for. Two great kids that still love us and are turning into amazing people. Now if I can just get that to translate on an application...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Three Mile Run

After running 7 on Sunday, I figured I'd be toast for a run this morning, but sleeping in until 4:40 am made it a little easier. Yeah, "sleeping in." I would much rather sleep 6 hours straight then continue to suffer through what was happening this past week: fall asleep, wake up at 2 or 3am and then lay back down at 5am for a couple of hours only to wake up like I slept through an important presentation! Grrr. I have a feeling that mother nature is starting to play evil tricks on me.

Anyway, (I go off on so many tangents!), I told my husband I was going out early for a run before the little ones came over. He wound up waking early and decided to come with me. Prepping for our 5k on 9/8! I decided we NEEDED to run faster than Sunday. We managed to keep it under a 10:00 mile. Not great considering I ran my last 5k on 6/9 in 26:35! But I'm distance training now, so my speed will have to suffer somewhat, right? Charlie was huffing and puffing a bit, but he fought through it and we finished strong!

Do you think I'll EVER sit down and figure out how to sync this thing to my computer?
That's a 9:45 mile. (Duh. It says it right on the damn watch!) Blah. But I'm not trying to break any records with this next 5k, seeing that I am in the middle of training for the half, AND there's that big hill named Smith Point Bridge on this course. I just want to beat our time for this 5k from last year, which was 30:36. Our time this morning was for only 3 miles. We're going to have to push it a bit harder on race day!!

In other news... my son got his cast on yesterday. 4 weeks in it and hopefully he'll be good to go. He's not thrilled, to say the least, but I think he's learned his lesson!

He picked a pretty blue that will match his dress shirt that he's wearing to his cousin's wedding!
And in MORE news, there's only about 3 weeks left of our Kickstarter campaign for our documentary, From Fat To finish Line. If you click on this link, you can read about all 12 runners and even see a slide show of what some of us looked like through the years. If you click on the green 'Kickstarter' button, it will take you to the pledge page. The most popular pledge is the $25 level, which rewards you with a special "backers only" DVD. If you can't do $25, you can pledge as little as $1. If you can't pledge at all, we only ask that you can help spread the word about our project by blogging about it yourself or posting the link to our website on your Facebook page. Maybe one of your friends or family members will see it and be inspired to help. Remember, this isn't a donation, it's a pledge. If we hit our goal, you'll be charged and receive your reward. If the goal is not reached, you are not charged and there will be no reward. Don't you want a copy of me possibly making an ass of myself? I've pledged for my copy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Another Anniversary

Apparently I do nothing all year and wait to cram it all in August? Not really. My birthday, wedding anniversary and my husband's birthday are all next month. Today's the 20th right? I'm wondering because it's 3:20 am, I've been up since 2 and I'm not sure which end is up. My mind just didn't want to shut back down after my nightly visit to the bathroom. So I'll write.

Anyway, it was one year ago today that I hit my goal weight, under 150 pounds! 149.4 to be exact.

All I've ever wanted was to weigh less than my very active, naturally thin husband. Why does he have to make it so difficult?? So where am I now, one year later? (I just ran downstairs to take this picture!)

God, I can't stand my feet! But I won't weigh-in with unnecessary things like socks!

As you can see, I'm up 7.6 pounds in a year. That sucks. And it doesn't suck. Any other time I've lost weight, 1). I never, EVER, reached goal, and 2). whatever I did lose, I would have gained it all back, PLUS some. I'm not happy because I still want to be in the 130's. I also said somewhere about a month ago, that I would be back to goal by now or around my niece's wedding, which is 8/31. Some bad habits (like snacking at night) have crept in. I need to work more on that, but I am content in knowing I STILL am such a LONG way away from the Linda of 2009. The 229 pound Linda would never have believed she would be able to run one mile, let alone 7, 8 or 9!

I really need to learn how to sync my Garmin to my computer!!

This Linda ran 7 miles yesterday. I've fallen behind in my half marathon training and I have a 5k and a 10k coming up on 9/8 and 9/15. Saturday it was raining cats and dogs, so of course I couldn't run then. I knew yesterday was supposed to be cooler and pleasant, so I made a plan. I told my husband I would go out first, hopefully do 4 miles and pick him up for another 3, since he needs to train again for the 5k. (The poor thing works 6 days/week. Before or after a 10 hour day, the last thing he wants to do is run.) I ran slowly. I wanted to make sure I didn't crap out and not finish. I went around my neighborhood, encountering my first stray dog, a pit bull, of course. She didn't look pleased with me and my heart rate skyrocketed, realizing I had nothing but my phone and iPod for protection. She decided to let me go, thank God. I headed back at 4 miles and about a 1/4 mile away I see a dude running. It was actually Charlie looking to meet up with me. What a sight for sore eyes!

I ran home for a 2 minute break and some water I left out on the porch. I'm surprised I didn't need to use the bathroom. We headed back out and ran another very slow 2.5 miles. I couldn't make small talk. Hell, I couldn't hardly look up. I just put my head down and tried to plow through. When we were done and had about 1/10th of a mile walk to the house, my legs felt like lead. I said to Charlie, "Oh my God. I can totally see how some people lock up just feet from the finish line!" It was horrible, but I made it home without Charlie having to carry me. I drank my water and stretched, a lot.

When I got in the house I ate some leftover chocolate chip coffee cake I made for Charlie Jr's birthday get-together and drank another cup of coffee. Mistake. It totally killed my g.i. tract. Thankfully, this didn't happen ON my run. So, I decided to skip church and take a nice long, hot shower. But when I got in, I remembered I had some Epsom salts, and I thought maybe a long soak in a hot bath would be better, so that's what I did. And I think it really helped. I'm not as sore as I have been in the past after a long run. I can walk down the stairs! I think that might become part of the routine now.

So, a year later and I need to take a refresher course in all of the tactics I used to lose those 75 pounds. I'd say it's the lack of control that creeps in around dinner time. I need to go back to my "no food after dinner" rule and eat my dessert earlier in the day. That should do the trick. Getting out of this house and getting a job might just help, too!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

In Other News...

Thursday night my son finally got back to karate. He has been going since February, 2004. For the most part he enjoys it, but then there are those days when he's just not into it, he doesn't want to spar or doesn't want to stop what he's doing (which is usually nothing, like playing video games or browsing YouTube) and gear up for a workout and usually an ass-kicking, either his or someone else's . I don't blame him, really. When his classes were at 8:30 pm, I didn't really want to leave the house. I mean most days I'm already asleep by that time! If I did get him out, I'd hit the gym.

So, I drop him off and go to the gym. I knew that at 8:30 pm, after class, two of his friends were testing for their black belt and the students get to participate in the testing when the sparring portion of the event occurs. I also wanted to watch. I got caught up talking to another mom in the parking lot when I came back from the gym. She had her absolutely gorgeous Great Dane with her and we talked about the similarities between him and my Molly. He's a leaner, too, but with his size he knocked me off balance on more than one occasion!

Anyway, I got into the dojo to see everything, starting with basics through kicks and then katas and weapons, etc. When it came time for sparring, Sensei sent everyone to get their gear on and Charlie came walking over to me with his right hand out, and this is what I saw:

WTF!!! As he was sparring in class, he punched another kid in the elbow. Needless to say, the elbow won this bout. The poor kid wasn't able to participate in Ken and Matt's sparring test, which pissed him off to no end. Is this the same kid that dreads karate BECAUSE of sparring? He had to watch from the sidelines and then jumped back in when testing ended with innumerable jumping jacks, push ups and crunches.

When he got home, we iced it and he took some Advil. He said it hurt when he did certain movements, but he wasn't in agony. I know my son. He curls up into the fetal position when he has a hang nail (typical male!). So for him to say it wasn't that bad, Dad and I thought, it couldn't possibly be broken, could it? The boy went to sleep and didn't wake up until morning. You couldn't possibly sleep through the night if your hand was broken, could you? The knuckle was still swollen and it seemed that more of the back of his hand had blown up. To be on the safe side, I decided we needed to have it checked out.

Of course, the doctor I go to has an x-ray machine, but my insurance only covers in-office chest x-rays. If I went there, they would only be able to give a prescription for an x-ray somewhere else, and then we'd still have to go to another doctor to have it casted, if need be. The easiest option was to walk into the emergency room. I was dreading that because 1). the closest hospital doesn't have the best reputation and 2). since it was a non-life-threatening emergency, we could have been in there for days! Knowing that it wasn't life-threatening made the decision to go to the closest hospital a little easier. I have to say it was the best emergency room experience I've ever had. That's not really saying much, since me nor the kids have ever been to the ER! We walked in (after a parking lot fiasco- there's like no damn ER parking!) at 10:23 am. A nurse brought him right into a triage exam room and took his vitals. Then, another nurse brought him to a regular exam room. Radiology came in about 5 minutes later. X-rays took less than 5 minutes, since radiology was across the hall. Then, a doctor came in and gave his hand a physical exam and told us she'd go read the films.


 She then came back and gave us the news...

A "metacarpal fracture." Only this schnook didn't break it across, horizontally. It seems it's sorta split down the bone, vertically. Damn. Anyway, we were home by 11:30 am, which has to be some sort of record for ANY sort of doctor's visit/lab testing/medical procedure EVER! I just read the discharge papers. We see an orthopedist in a week. The break is splinted for that time and then can be casted for 3-6 weeks. If it's really bad, he could need surgery. ugh. How long ago was I complaining that life was pretty ho-hum and there wasn't much to write about? What a way to spend my 3 year anniversary!

Friday, August 17, 2012

It's Been A Long and Bumpy Road

It's here, my three year anniversary of the day I began to take back control and live a healthier, happier life. It hasn't been easy. It hasn't been smooth sailing. It hasn't been perfect. But I am SO much better off today, no matter what the scale might say on any given day of the week. To celebrate and commemorate my special day, I hit the high school track where I thought it would be a bit cooler for a 3 mile run. I was mistaken. It was hot. 75*. 62% humidity. It was sunny. But I did it. I took a water break after mile 1 and mile 2. But I did it. It was a very difficult, slow run. 29:53. But I did it. I could have quit after mile 1. But I didn't. I could have quit after mile 2. But I didn't. The old Linda would have.

my alter ego, "Sweaty Spice"

This is the new and improved Linda. Even after all the trials and tribulations, I don't give up anymore. A bad day does not turn into two bad days, which then turns into a horrible week, which then makes me throw my hands up in the air saying "I'm done." I never realized that maintaining my new weight would be just as much work (if not more) as losing it.  But I am fine with that. I'll work out an hour a day for the rest of my life. I'll continue to eat double fiber whole wheat bread with tuna or turkey breast. I'll keep track of my calorie consumption and work in a treat here or there (usually both here AND there). I'll do whatever it takes to continue to look this way. Most importantly, I'll continue to do the hard work required to always FEEL this way.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I know a lot of you guys follow Katie already, so you might know that she just finished her 30 day challenge on the Wii Active. (YAY KATIE!) That got me thinking about the Wii Fit again, especially when I was in Gamestop with my son while he spent his birthday money that was burning a hole in his pocket. Katie made it sound like a really good workout without a huge time commitment. I really enjoyed Insanity, but I won't give up my runs or time at the gym, so it was hard to fit in another 45 minute workout. Our Gamestop didn't have Wii Active or Wii Active 2, but then it dawned on me, when my f-i-l got me the Wii Balance Board he also got me a Jillian Michaels' game with it. I NEVER opened the damn thing up!!

I've had it since 2009! Holy crap! Do you know how many exercise DVDs and exercise equipment I have bought since then? There was some more Leslie Sansone, some Gilad (hunk!!), the Brenda Dygraf air climber, a couple of Firm and Biggest Loser DVDs, Insanity... That's just in the last three years. I can NOT imagine the amount of money I have spent on fitness equipment in my lifetime that I thought would be the key to it all. With the major pieces like the Denise Austin manual treadmill, the Brenda Dygraf rowing doo-hickey, the Susan Powter step system, my Tony Little Gazelle(!), the Total Gym knock-off from QVC (who am I kidding, almost everything I buy is from QVC), then the Firm butt lifter package, the Ab-Doer, and my Richard Simmons stepper (that was EXACTLY like the one I just bought, but it broke from me actually USING it!), and all the tapes and DVDs along the way (not to mention my gym membership for the last two years...), we're talking THOUSANDS of DOLLARS!! And guess how I've lost the majority of my weight through the years? WALKING, which is free! Even running now doesn't cost anything, just replacing worn out sneakers now an then.

So, I'm calling for a moratorium on any more fitness purchases (except possibly a hydration belt- I need that for my long runs!). I will use what I have and I'm going to start by trying out that Jillian game. My balance board is all charged up and ready to go. I'll let you know if I want to curse her out like y'all do when you're ripping or shredding it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

I wish I had more to write about. Life is pretty boring and uneventful when we're back in the every day routine. I guess I should be thankful, right? Yesterday was a typical summer vacation day without the kids I babysit. I did the usual on the computer and then spent an hour at the gym on the arc trainer. Holy crap- I miss the Olympics! I wound up watching Hoda and Kathie Lee, and they can be pretty entertaining. It really cracks me up that they're regularly consuming alcohol at 10am. Great gig if you can get it, huh?

I got home and spent an hour mowing the back yard and attempting to avoid all of Molly's piles of poo. If you didn't know we had a dog, you'd probably assume we had a horse! I then took a long shower to wash off what seems to be every spider web known to man that I managed to walk through while mowing and dumping grass clippings in the lot across the street. Nasty.

Bad girl on Chelsea's bed!

After getting pretty, I made dinner. Exciting, no? We were done early and it's been so beautiful so I asked Charlie if he'd like to go for a walk. We wound up taking a two mile walk around the neighborhood and did not get eaten alive. That's because we were actually armed with bug spray. Had we not brought it along, we both would have been two enormous, pulsating bug bites.

Today I babysat for the 1st time in almost 2 weeks. I was on vacation starting the 2nd, and then they were on vacation (to Disney World, the lucky ducks!) last week. School starts three weeks from today. The kids I watch will be in 2nd grade and kindergarten- full-time school for both of them. So, "working" from home will be coming to an end for me. I have not worked outside the home since February '96. I haven't applied for a job since August '94. It's nerve-wracking. I would REALLY like to do something with our school district, either being a teacher's assistant or a bus matron. I would prefer to still be off when my kids are off, even though they are 16 and 14. I don't want them sitting at home, fending for themselves or waiting for me or their dad to come home to help them with what they need, be it a ride to the library or to a friend's house. I feel I still need to be here and they still need me. The time when they won't need me will be here sooner than I think. Until then, I want to be around for everything.

So, I guess there are some things simmering on the stove. I need to find a job because we definitely need the money and, if you haven't heard already, our documentary From Fat To Finish Line needs money, too. If you can help it would be greatly appreciated. A pledge of $25 gets you a special edition DVD, and if you make a pledge and by September 13th (my 41st birthday by the way) we don't make our goal (God forbid!) your credit card does not get charged. You can pledge as little as $1!! My girlfriend Belinda helped out last night- thanks Belinda!!! Maybe I can work on a special thank you for my blog readers that help us out...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Change It Up

I knew I had to get some kind of activity in but I was just NOT feeling the gym and the arc trainer today. So, you'd think I'd pop an Insanity DVD into the machine and "dig deeper," but I didn't. I was hoping to get my husband off the PS3 and go out for a jog/walk. Even though I ran yesterday, it's beautiful out, sunny with an actual BREEZE, and I didn't want to waste that. Instead, Charlie suggested some tennis! We haven't played yet this year. Tremendous idea!

1987- Frickin' 25 years ago! Gee, which one am I?

We asked the kids if they wanted to head out with us, since A). they need some physical activity too, B). Charlie, Jr. played when we went away and he said "I SUCK!" (so he could use some practice) and C). it would be nice to continue to enjoy some time together before the chaos of school takes over. We are very lucky that our high school, which is 5 minutes from our house, has 8 courts. Thankfully only 1 out of the 1st 4 courts were being used, so we headed to the 2nd set of courts, so as not to interfere with the real practice going on. We only own 2 racquets, so we had to take turns. The odd man out was deemed "ball boy" and got to play fetch. I warmed up with Chelsea, if you could call it that. I think it was the 1st time she held a racquet. She was a good sport about it and seemed to attempt to learn.

After a while, I let my husband have my racquet, but I wasn't about to run after balls. I figured I could walk around the perimeter of the 4 courts while they played. Then I thought I could do a very slow jog instead. So I ran 8 laps. Then I played some tennis and then I ran 8 more laps. There was an awesome wind coming across the courts so it was SO much more pleasant than yesterday's run (it was also 5pm)! That made me think that maybe I should head out to the track more (I mean AGAIN!) for my runs. It's really a catch 22. I can run out on the street and the time goes by relatively quickly (not really) since there's so much to pay attention to, like the pitfalls of gravel driveways and oncoming vehicles, but I guess houses curtail the wind. I could run at the track out in an open field and enjoy the breeze, but you tend to feel like a hamster on a wheel, running around in circles. Then there's the treadmill at the gym, where I can play with the speed and run like the wind and get it done and watch the Olympics (What am I going to do with myself after tonight??!!??) That can get old, too. What to do, what to do??? Gee, maybe I could do it all? Duh.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Holy Frickin' Humidity

75*, 88% humidity. That was rough. 5 miles in 53:59. That SUCKED. Of course the sun was shining when I was out there, too. Do I have a visor yet? Uh uh. That might have helped, but I think it would have made my head feel hotter, if that was at all possible. Oh, and along those 5 miles only 1 person had sprinklers going, after 4.25 miles. I ran through them and managed to wet my knees. I shall have to work on my somersaults so I can get in and out of them like a ninja next time and manage to cool my head off. Of course while I was out there I thought about the cooling towels I've seen numerous times on QVC and in Bed, Bath and Beyond. When I got back to my front porch to stretch, my running capris were dripping onto my shoes. Everything was dripping. I nearly stripped outside, but I didn't want to cause a ten-car pile up from blinding drivers, so I left a trail of hard-earned sweat to the bathroom.

Well, it's done, at least I can say that. Only 8 weeks until my half-marathon. I think I can still pull this off. Pray for me!

In more interesting and exciting news, the From Fat To Finish Line- the movie website is up and running! You can read all about the team members and their success stories there. Content will be added continuously, so you have to keep visiting! There's also a link to the Kickstarter page to make pledges to help this film hit the ground running (pun intended). I've already got a special "Backers Only" DVD coming to me when everything's done!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Snap! Back to Reality

Vacation's over. Wah wah wah. Lots of laundry to do and a house to clean. Damn dog hair. We had a great time at my sister's sister-in-law Linda's house on Lake Wallenpaupack in the Poconos, PA. Funny weird, right? Two of my sisters married two brothers and they have a sister Linda, too. And a sister LoriAnn (our sister is Laura Ann) AND an Aunt Roseann, with the same frickin' birthday! ANYWAY, we left Sunday and returned yesterday. We played volleyball and swam and played games and cooked and ate and drank (a little) and watched a lot of the Olympics. It was fun and relaxing at the same time, very laid back and casual. There was no running or rushing around for four days. Perfect.

If you guessed Lake Wallenpaupack, you guessed right!

The cat was let out of the bag yesterday! I wrote that post on Saturday because I knew I would have limited computer time while away and I wanted to let you know the big secret. It actually did post. No unforeseen technical glitches or "flat tires." And then it posted on AOL's Welcome Page this morning! It was only up for a few hours, but it was there, right on page 23 of 23!

That's me and the kids on the Brooklyn Bridge on my 37th birthday, 9/13/08.

AOL had to pick the most hideous picture. It drums up interest, just like a fight on a reality tv show. I love that my kids were in the shot with me! Too bad my husband wasn't included, but when I was selecting photos there weren't many to choose from. As a fat person, you never want to be in the picture. And I'm the family photographer, so it made it that much easier to be excluded. I'm just glad I couldn't find the few shots I have of me in a bathing suit, HONESTLY! Then I would have been apologizing to all that went blind while viewing the article!

If you missed it just click on this link: the Huffington post article. If you visit the site, you can read about women who have changed course and succeeded at so many different things later in life, not just weight loss. Anything is possible with hard work and dedication.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Big Reveal!!

So, what I couldn't tell you before because I was so afraid to jinx myself was that my weight loss transformation is actually featured in an article and it's posting today! The last two months have just been surreal. I got the phone call on June 1st from Jen (you know, from our Ragnar team/Media Meld and her blog From Fat To Finish Line) that somehow, after hearing about our RR team, Ragnar Relay and Lori Weiss, a writer for the Huffington Post, had been in contact with each other and they thought my "later in life" reinvention would make a great story!

I spoke to Lori on the phone for about an hour so that she could get a good feel for my story and whether it would pass the test for her editor, 'That Girl' Marlo Thomas! (I know her as Phil Donahue's wife and the ambassador for St. Jude's Children's Hospital.) I was concerned that I'm not post 50 and my transformation began in my late 30's since the section Marlo manages is about life after 50. Lori said not to worry.

I got the phone call from Lori about a week later to say that the story was accepted and we then had to schedule a time when we could sit and talk, for about THREE HOURS!!! I thought, "What the hell do I have to talk about for 3 hours???" Wouldn't you know we wound up on the phone for 3 1/2 hours!!We talked about everything, starting from early childhood all the way up to my trip to Miami for the Ragnar Relay. I just never thought my story was all that special, but because I have no problem chiming in and "conversing" with complete strangers (namely commenting on Katie's blog!), all of these amazing things are happening! The stories of each and every one of my Ragnar team members are extraordinary because we are part of the 5% of people who have lost weight and are keeping it off. We are hoping that the documentary as well as this article will inspire others to believe in themselves and do it as well, no matter what your age.

After the phone conversation I had to get together pictures representing my life and the ups and downs of my weight. I also had to write down all of the information for each picture, like, for example, my kindergarten picture. I'm one of seven kids, and my mother was terrified that one of us would come home with lice and then the house would be infested, so she cut our hair so we ALL looked like little boys, not just our brothers! Add to that the fact that my shirt was turquoise covered in flower-filled vases atop gold end tables and you get the gist of my childhood in the 70's. Oh, and I'm chubby. FML?

I can't think for the life of me why I'm SMILING!!
So, Lori said that the picture gallery in the article can hold up to 30 pictures, so I sent 30 pictures! They can edit whatever isn't worthy, but make sure you click on all the pictures so you can see me through the years- too bad there can't be a soundtrack! I think I covered all the major milestones in my life, high school graduation, college, my wedding, the babies... Then the good stuff is covered, like my different races and finally THE MAKEOVER!!! I hope my new look meets all of your expectations since the anticipation must have been building for over a month! (NOT!)

The cherry on top of this most unbelievably decadent to-die for dessert? The Huffington Post article could make the AOL Welcome page, since they are owned by the same company. I'm on AOL daily because we have an AOL e-mail address since the dinosaur days of dial-up, (You've Got Mail!), so I click through all of the top story screens, from top world news to celebrity gossip. It's how I keep abreast of everything! Anyway, this could happen as early as tomorrow but up to a week later. Lori's last story did make it to AOL's home page, so *fingers crossed*...

About two weeks ago, Lori called to read me the article. I couldn't believe it was MY story. It brought tears to my eyes to hear what I lived the past 40 years from someone else's perspective, written so beautifully but so succinctly. My weight loss journey, the trials and tribulations, milestones and victories in less than 1400 words.

It boggles my mind that this is my life.

Head to www.huffingtonpost.com/50/ to read the article!

Friday, August 3, 2012

525,600 Minutes

I can not believe I started blogging a year ago already. It has been a great year. My mom and dad are doing well. My husband and kids are healthy and Charlie and Chelsea are thriving in school. My extended family is growing with nieces and nephews getting married and having babies of their own. We are doing well. Thank God. This is what's most important.

I've done so many new things in a year. I ran in Yankee Stadium and Central Park. I ran a 10k and have a 26:35 5k personal record. I experienced 'Sleep No More' at the McKittrick Hotel. I've also met some amazing people this past year. It all started with a Spark People post on Facebook in June of last year. One of their members had lost 125 pounds and posted a video of her journey, set to one of my favorite songs, 'Move Along' by The All-American Rejects. As the video played, I couldn't help but cry. There were pictures of her journey from every ten pounds down. WE may not see the difference when we stare at ourselves in the mirror, but the camera doesn't lie. It tells us the truth, whether we need to lose weight or we have taken it off. I was crying because I could sense her joy; I could feel the pride and sense of accomplishment she felt. I understood where she had been and where she finally had arrived, GOAL!

From that video, there was a link to this woman's blog. You may know her, (who am I kidding, most of you found MY blog through her!), she's Katie at Runs For Cookies. I started reading Katie's blog and I couldn't get enough. She had been blogging for a long time and I had a lot to catch up on. I loved how she discussed the difficulties of weight-loss and maintenance while being a stay-at-home mom, fitting in running and exercise around the boys' schedules, (we're all in the same boat), while weaving funny anecdotes about her life in general into her posts. I would comment on her stories, letting her know I was out there, a loyal follower! From Katie's blog I found other writers who were also on their weight-loss journey, either still working toward their goal or at their final destination, maintenance, like Jen, who lost 100 pounds, at From Fat To Finish Line. Every morning, when I woke up, I would take care of my morning chores, make my coffee, grab a bite to eat and sit down at my computer. First, I'd hit My Fitness Pal and log in breakfast, then I'd check Facebook for notifications and then I would log onto Blogspot and see what Katie or Jen was up to. It was fun hearing about what races they were training for or what their opinions were on nutrition and health products. I could commiserate with them, since no one I know was doing it here with me.

I had been reading for a couple of months when the urge to write my own story down hit me. "I can write a blog. I have thoughts." (What an awesome movie, 'Julie and Julia.' Writing and food. The only thing that could have made it better was if Julia Child was a runner. I'd love to have seen her in a sports bra and some spandex capris!) So, on August 3rd, 2011, I wrote my first entry about my story and how I finally decided once and for all to just do it, put in the hard work and effort and stick to it. The first day of my journey was August 17th, 2009. I can't believe it's almost three years. I hit goal on August 20th, 2011. I had my first child August 2nd, 1996. I guess August has been a really big month for me.

So then, just from reaching out to a woman and letting her know I appreciated her words, Katie learned about me and the things we had in common, our weight loss success and running. In January, Katie e-mailed with an invitation to run a Ragnar Relay with other people who had also lost weight while running. I hemmed and hawed over the decision, but after hearing about Katie's other Ragnar experience and realizing this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I accepted the chance to make those memories for myself.

I am so glad I did because so many unimaginable things are coming from joining this amazing team, Weapons of Mass Reduction. Jen, who has had a successful career working in television production, has a production company with people she has worked with in the past. Media Meld Studios had produced a documentary called Happy On The Ground: 8 Days at Grammy Camp among other projects. She realized that our story can hopefully inspire others to commit to their health and see that what we accomplished can be achieved by them as well. From Fat to Finish line- The Movie was born.

So I'm going to be in a documentary? WHAT?!? I was brought into NYC for two days of incredibly fun things like a crazy workout with WWF wrestler Gene Snisky, a shopping spree with stylist Amy Acton in Macy's Herald Square and a complete hair makeover with Amalia Moscoso and makeup by Julio Rios. HUH?!? If that wasn't enough, I have a really crazy thing next week, but I just can't mention it yet. I'm just not one to say something and then be disappointed if it doesn't work out. Ask my kids. I don't usually tell them anything. They found out they were going to Sesame Street Live! in the parking lot of Nassau Coliseum, just in case we got a flat tire or someone got sick before-hand... I would just hate to tell them we couldn't do something. I also didn't want to field the 1,000 questions you get from little kids who have no concept of time!

Quite a year it's been. I KNOW this next year is only going to be better.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

What Was I Thinking?

So I never got around to that 8 mile run this weekend. I did workout at the gym for an hour on Saturday, which I feel good about, but then, on Sunday, there was a blood drive in our parish center, so I decided to donate for the two free Mets tickets. I'm a Yankee fan, but our son likes them, so it would be nice for him and his father to go on an all boys outing together.

I sent my kids home with my parents and I filled out the donor form. I got my health screening done (my blood pressure was 128/70, a long way from where it was when I was obese!) and then got in another line for donating. I got on a stretcher and from start to finish was done in about 15 minutes. Removed needle, applied pressure, put arm down, removed gauze and blood pours out! I have NEVER had that happen before! The (cute) guy asked me if the prick on my finger continued bleeding, but the woman actually had trouble getting the 3 or 4 drops out of my finger that she needed to test my iron level. This was just a freak thing, of which he assured me he has seen before. We got the bleeding to stop, I sat and had my bottle of water and Lorna Doone's (I only get to eat them after donating blood!) and then I went to my parents house.

I decided to take it easy and not work out at all on Sunday. I remember having a horrendous run the day after giving blood, so I knew exercising the same day could only be worse. So on Monday I babysat and in the afternoon, instead of going to the gym, I decided to get back on the horse and do the Insanity Fit Test. I guess that's not "taking the easy route." I performed horribly. Now, I know I haven't done Insanity for almost two months, but some of my results were actually the same or WORSE than when I started! And by the end, I thought I was going to puke and die, simultaneously. I downed plenty of water and got in the shower since we were going to my husband's co-worker's house for dinner last night. The shower did not help, so I had to turn the water to almost cold. THAT helped. I can NOT believe how frickin' bad I felt! (I did recover and managed to get myself to dinner that night, but I am STILL feeling it! I am so sore.)

There are some great things coming up. The first thing is that we're on vacation starting today. My sister's sister-in-law (her name is Linda, also!) has a house near Lake Wallenpaupack in the Poconos, PA, so she asked if we'd like to go for a few days with them. I'm excited and anxious. First, a change in routine always (ok, almost always) sucks for getting in workouts and eating well. Second, my son has been experiencing anxiety lately about going places and I'm nervous for the long car ride and whatever else we might want to do. I'm hoping it's only because he's been home from school a month and has been in his little cocoon and needs to push through and realize everything is ok. He actually asked if we could stay home for his birthday dinner tomorrow instead of going to a restaurant. What kid doesn't want to go out to eat? It's definitely upsetting me and if things continue we'll be seeing someone to help him cope with it. And finally, when we go away I have to get someone to help with Molly, and I HATE asking people for help. Of course not one person could stay the entire time, so I have my niece and my sister staying with her. So now I have to go over the ins and out of the dog and the house and get them keys... I love my puppy, and I'll worry about her while we're away!

Happy birthday Charlie!

Along with going away, it's my son's 16th birthday today! I still can not believe it! He can get his driver's permit now. He doesn't seem to want to, since he hasn't been studying for it, but I want him to. I waited until I was 23 to get my driver's license and I don't want him to be like me! And thinking about his anxiety, I want him to start as soon as possible so he doesn't develop a fear of it. He does want to drive my car, though, so that should be incentive for him!

So then on the 31st my niece is getting married! She will be the first niece/nephew married on my side of the family. My husband's sisters kids are either married or engaged. Two of the three kids have kids of their own already. It makes me crazy when I think about it! The babies are having babies! I'm with my husband since 1991, so I've known them since they were about 8, 6 and 3. I hope my niece starts having kids relatively quickly so my parents can be great grandparents also.