Monday, August 27, 2012

What a Fabulous Weekend!

 I have been a little busy in the past several days!

On Thursday I took half a day off work to organize some clothes that I needed to sell. I'm glad I took the time off because by the time I bought the things I needed (stickers, new Sharpies, a lock box, etc.) and did all of the organizing, the day was about over. I did a morning workout that day but did not get to do an afternoon/evening workout. By the time I got home (meaning back to my parents' where I stayed for the weekend) and had dinner, it was just too late to go out and bike or run. I was glad to have done something earlier in the day!

Friday was sale day. My clothing sale turned into part yard sale too, with a few household items.  Not many of the yard sale items sold, but I did manage to sell lots of clothes, so that made me happy. I was there from eight until about three and needed to get a run in, since I was going to be running on Saturday morning.  I left to go home and get something I'd forgotten and get ready to run.  I was able to get about a 40 minute run in, so that was nice.  It felt good to get out and run, although it was pretty hot. I met a couple other friends who wanted to look at clothes around five that evening, then it was back to the house to shower and get ready for a party.  I was home by 10:30 and in bed shortly after and, of course, could not sleep.  I think I was too excited and nervous about the mud run on Saturday!

Saturday came and I didn't feel as nervous as I had. I was still a little fearful but definitely excited. I got up and got ready, made my protein shake for breakfast, and met my friend around seven.  Our race was at 10 but we needed to be there a little early (by nine) for registration. We got there, registered and walked around for a little while as we waited Finally it was time to line up and get it started. By that time I honestly didn't feel nervous or scared anymore. I just felt like "I'm here and I'm going to go run through the woods, do some obstacles, and deal with a little mud." I had an odd sense of calm.

The run started as just a little run, then we encountered some small mud pit areas with some hills to climb. We ran a little more and then we got to what looked like a muddy obstacle course. There were lots of muddy hills to go up and then down into mud pits.  I can't even remember how many hill and pit combos there were at that point, but the pits were fairly shallow. There was a set of tubes that we had to crawl through too. It wasn't too bad; the muddy was pretty runny...More like brownish water. The thicker mud we encountered in the woods was a little harder; the shoes wanted to stick in it. 

After that part of the course, we ran a little farther and encountered some obstacles... Climbing a wall that was about six feet high, running for a bit, then climbing another wall (this one made of tires)... I think there was another wooden wall in the mix too. There was so much, I feel as though I forgot a couple of the ("easier") things...Like the walls, which I had feared. Honestly? They were not much of a challenge (until the second lap when my arms were a little shaky).

We ran through the woods again, jumped some logs, went into more mud pits and climbed out of them. We found more tubes to crawl through; smaller than the first set. Rather than crawling through them, we had to do a "worm" type maneuver. Then there was more running and more mud. We got to an open, sunny area and finally got some water, then had a straight run for a short while. We had more walls too go over (really looked like higher, plastic, wide hurdles). I think there were three of those in the set.

Then we waited in line.... There were waits for a few of the obstacles, like the tubes to craw through but the biggest wait was for the giant (60 foot) mud slide. Our wait was probably a good five minutes for the slide. The line was very long, wrapped around a corner and took a bit of time to go through. We slid down and then climbed back up the hill. There were options to skip the obstacles but we wanted to do them all; wait or not!

 After the hill we did a short run and found a set of logs to duck under, then there were a series of three or four pretty high sand hills to climb up and down (no mud this time!).  After the sand hills there was a barrel type set up with a net over all the barrels. We had to weave our way back and forth, bent over.  Then we encountered the large net that we had to army crawl under.

 Then it was more running and jumping logs for a short time, and then we hit the huge mud pit and hill. The water in this pit went up to our chests and it was by far the largest, and hardest to navigate (lots of drops throughout). The hill was a bit of a beast to climb up, as it was super slippery. Naturally we took the harder side of the hill (we didn't realize it; it was just less crowded) the first time through. then it was back up the trail past the starting area and through the course a second time. Honestly by that second time I was getting worn out; especially after the mud hill and pit area...PHEW! The obstacles were easier the second time through because we knew what to expect, but they were also harder.... My body was like "what are you doing to me?!" My muscles ached and thinking back I don't know how I pushed on.

Apparently I am a heck of a lot stronger than I realized.

I think part of my success in completing this course was my friend.  It's a lot harder to give up or let the "I can't" mentality kick in when you're alone. At least it is for me. Having someone there, doing it with me, made me keep going. I didn't experience the "I can't mentality" at all. I slowed down a lot, complained about the extra five to seven pounds I was carrying around (mud) and how heavy my feet felt but I kept going. I walked for a couple brief periods but then ran again. I know that toward the end my jog was very slow, but I kept moving.

My friend is a much faster runner than I am and could've probably done the course a little faster than we did, but she stuck to my pace. We were doing this race for fun, not time, so she didn't mind sticking with me. Time would've been hard to focus on, especially with the waiting lines for obstacles.  One guy made a comment that he thought he was at an amusement park. I also kept getting stuck behind people who were slower than me, with no way to get around them. That wasn't helpful. I'd finally hurry and get around them and catch up with my friend (a couple times she had to wait for me). This was a lot different than the average 5K race. Running on pavement is much different (easier, in my opinion) than trail running... I also don't generally encounter obstacles when I run!!

I feel such a HUGE sense of accomplishment and pride in myself after finishing this race. A few years ago I never would have considered something like this. I spent my childhood years being fearful... Fearful to climb too high in a tree, fearful of falling off of something I was climbing, fearful of riding my bike too fast... I was fearful of getting hurt (physically).  I was also fearful of other things because of the risk of being hurt emotionally. I loved sports but quit basketball because I was afraid I wasn't good enough and wouldn't pass try-outs. I didn't try out for tennis (okay, I KNOW I wasn't the best at that but enjoyed it) or volleyball for the same reason. I gave up some of my favorite things, and being active, because I was afraid I wasn't good enough and didn't want to risk the rejection. I stuck to the the things that I KNEW I was good at rather than challenge myself with the things I'd need to work on. I spent the rest of my adolescence this way, and it continued into early adulthood. I was just too afraid of being rejected or failing to try new things so I avoided them. 

In the last couple years since I've changed my lifestyle I'm finding that I can do more than I ever thought I could. I don't allow my mentality to hold me back. Sure, it took me a while to decide that I would definitely do the mud run. I was still afraid....Until that morning. Then I just... Did it. I just went out there, knowing that I had a goal and was not going to let myself quit. I was surprised that it wasn't nearly as scary or as hard (but it WAS hard) as I imagined it to be.  It wasn't TOO hard for me. I didn't get last place (always a fear; I wouldn't want first either because I don't like standing out). I didn't fall and break anything (sure I slipped in mud, but I laughed about and I think a lot of people did!). I came home with bruises, bumps, scratches, and sore muscles but those things heal. Until they fade, I'll be wearing them like a badge of honor. When someone asks what happened, I'll gladly tell them that I completed a mud run with obstacles and that I now feel like a bit of a bad ass. I've earned the bragging rights to that. Plus the more I say it out loud, the more it reminds me of what I accomplished.

My family was proud of me for doing it, but they were also shocked. They know the girl who never attempted anything like that. They know the girl who would not voluntarily get dirty let alone run a race through pits of mud. I texted my parents and sent them pictures after. My Mom said that my Grandparents couldn't believe it. I think they wondered if I knew what I was getting myself into. The cool thing? I did.  I knew I'd get dirty. I knew that I would ruin the clothes I was wearing. I knew I'd be sore. I wasn't as aware of the fact that I'd smell so much like a swamp, but I was okay with it.

This is such a change for me! I'm proud of myself for changing. I'm proud of myself for trying new things. I feel like a new person! As much I feel I allowed myself to miss out on things, I'm not going to look back at that. I'm going to keep moving forward and keep trying new things. I'll continue to challenge myself physically. I love the feeling of accomplishment and knowing that I CAN do things I didn't know I could. I believe in myself now... Talk about a refreshing change in thought!!

I was pretty exhausted after the race. My body ached and was tired.  I went home and babysat my cousin's little girl. I'm glad my Mom was around to help out.... I'm not sure I would've survived chasing an almost two-year old after pushing my body toward its limit (I don't think it was at its limit though!). That was my only workout on Saturday. The three of us girls went out for dinner and I had what I felt was a well-deserved beer. One was a good reward, definitely enough, and was all I needed. I laid down with my cousin's little girl (to put her to bed) around 9:15...and I fell asleep too! Worn out? I think so!!

The next day I decided that I didn't want to run so I'd do some biking instead. I planned a routine from my parents' house to my dad's business which is about six miles when doing a "straight shot." I added some distance and it ended up being about 10.4 miles one way.  I had originally planned on my Dad driving me back to the house, but he said "it's only six miles. You can bike 12 miles."  So? After re- hydrating I rode back on my bike. My route back was also longer than six miles... It ended up being 8.3.  My "light" biking workout ended up being 18.7 miles.

Yesterday afternoon I wasn't feeling the greatest. At first I feared that I had caught some kind of "bug" in the mud. I felt hot and kind of flushed, almost like I had a fever. My stomach felt a little irritated like maybe I was going to vomit or I had some indigestion. I dismissed the idea of feeling ill when I started feeling a little better in the evening. I realized that it was probably just from pushing my body so hard over the weekend. I do not normally run through muddy obstacle courses or bike nearly 19 miles. I spent the afternoon with family and rested a little. I think that helped me feel better, and that my body just needed to recover from all the activity. I definitely put it under some stress that it wasn't used to. I am still sore today!!

I suppose that's about it for the weekend re-cap. It was physical and a bit exhausting. I loved every exhausting minute of it, but I was probably most fond of my time spent with the little one. Of course, there's not much that can top spending some quality time with a child.

Have a wonderful, healthy week!!!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Finally - An Outdoor Run!

Sometimes you can have a bad week. Sometimes you can have a bad day. Sometimes you can have a bad... hour, or moment!

Yesterday I had a bad moment.  I got home from work (after having gotten a few groceries, so I was a little later than usual), and was super hungry. Legitimately hungry. I wasn't bored. I wasn't emotional. I wasn't thirsty. I needed food, or so my stomach was telling me (loudly).  I did not opt to eat dinner as it was too early for me. I decided a snack would be okay.  Well the snack lead to a bit of a mini-binge. Uh-oh. I didn't really eat all that much, but I ate a dinner that was not so healthy... Crackers, hummus, fudge bar.... It was all fairly low in calories and such, but really, that's no dinner! It was too much to be considered a snack, so I decided it would be dinner. Naturally it put me over my 1200 calorie mark (a typical day of eating does, because then I subtract my exercise/calories burned). I had worked out in the morning so I wasn't too far over, but still needed to burn a bit.

Did I burn? Oh yes!!! Almost 1000 calories (plus 235 from that morning). I decided that, since the mud run is coming up this weekend, I needed to get outside.  I waited a bit after eating and of course by the time I went outside I wasn't feeling it, but I told my self, "you need to; you'll feel better," so I did. My plan was to jog/walk a 10K. When I started I thought about cutting it short. After all, I am only doing a 5K on Saturday, and I didn't need to burn THAT many calories.  I thought about shortening the run but I did not give in. I did a 10K... Well, a little over a 10K but not that much. My time was okay.... I reached my time goal (which I think was pretty generous) so I was happy about that... Especially considering that it was my first outdoor run in while and I did quite a bit of walking at first.

I seem to have this problem with going too fast at first. I go at a pace that makes my heart rate soar up into the 170s to 180s. That's a bit fast. It's taxing on my body. It makes me tired fast and I cannot sustain distance.  I did that for the first... half, well maybe not quite half, of my run. I did a lot or run/walk intervals because of that. I finally fell into my (slow) steady pace and felt much better. I ran at least the last half without any walking breaks and even busted out a sprint home toward the end. I kept my heart rate in the mid to high 160s, which is a good rate for me. I feel like I'm working (and definitely sweat) but not pushing too hard. I can sustain my pace and I don't exhaust myself. I'm also working within my target heart rate zone (usually between 80 and 90 percent of my max heart rate - using the old 220-age method).

After my 6.2+ mile run/walk last night... I felt SO good. Mentally, anyway. Physically I was pretty tired and sore (still am!).  I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. To some a 10 K might not sound like much, but that's the longest outdoor run I've done. That's almost half the distance of a half marathon (which will be here in February!). I'm feeling pretty good with what I'm doing. I know that I can, at least, finish a 10K (I wasn't fearful of that anyway). I may still be slow (and doubt I'll ever be a fast runner - do I even want to be?) but each thing I do makes me happy.  Every new fitness goal achieved is such an awesome feeling. Whether it's distance or time, or doing something you didn't know you were strong enough to do, it's the best feeling.

Think of your own goals. Do you want to improve your fitness level? Pick up or pace? Complete 5K? Walk a mile? Bike five miles? Do you want to build muscle? Climb a mountain? Whatever your goal is, you can take steps to get there. I'd guess that after reaching each new milestone, you'll feel pretty awesome. I can't guarantee it, because that's all up to you and your own thinking.... If you complete something and think "oh that sucked" you're going to miss out on the positive feeling of "wow, I actually did that!" Each small goal reached is going to help you work your way toward your ultimate goal. You should celebrate all of your accomplishments, no matter how small.

Oddly, I just got a bizarre craving for warm apple pie and vanilla ice cream. I honestly don't know why... Something smells like cinnamon.  Maybe that's it.  Anyway, I'm not about to run to the store to get supplies and then bake a pie. I don't need pie or ice cream in the house. That's just asking for trouble! My pies are super yummy... DANGER!! I have a workout to go do which will be much more rewarding and fulfilling than baking a dang pie (in this heat, of all things!). 

I was so tired from my run last night that I just did not want to get up this morning. So? I didn't. Instead I slept in for a bit, and then just enjoyed the comfort of my bed for a while. Also? My knee was sore, my back was sore (still is...grrr), and it felt as though someone opened me up and put some heavy rocks in my legs last night.  I'm sure that makes you all want to go out and run, doesn't it? Here's the thing though.... When you feel that way, you know you worked. Your muscles are tight and your body aches!! Why? Becuase you went into beast mode and worked hard, that's why. The soreness goes away, but the results are lasting and the sense of accomplishment far outweighs a little soreness.  When I wake up feeling that way... I think that it's wonderful (unless it's due to injury, then not so much - and if that happens be sure to rest!).

It's about time for BBL and then a short run. I'm not feeling up to a long run (and two long runs back-to-back probably isn't the best idea).... Can't wait to get back outside and run! I'd like to skip BBL and go now, but I know that I need to continue both programs. I am not exactly out to burn calories... Now I just want to work out for the sake of working out, to feel fit, to feel healthy, and to feel happy.

Stay positive, and keep reaching your goals!!!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Playing in the Mud.

The Mud Run that I'm doing is less than a week away! I'm not sure I'm prepared. Honestly it's making me feel a little anxious and I'm experiencing some self-doubt about my abilities. I have this fear that I'll be the worst runner there... That I'll come in last; that I won't be able to do all of the obstacles.  At the same time, though, I'm excited to do something new!

This week my workouts will be focused on training for this run.  I would love to go run in some mud, but unfortunately it hasn't rained. I don't have the ability to create my own little course. I do not have access to climbing walls, mud pits, tubes to crawl through, and tires to run through.

I haven't ran on uneven surfaces in a while... Since my 5K in June! Only part of the course was on a gravel area. The rest of the time my runs have been on a street, paved path, or the treadmill. The "trail" near me is paved so even going on that isn't going to help. I'm slightly scared to go running by myself in the woods.... It just creeps me out. I also don't want to slow my friend down, but I'm thinking she'll go on ahead and wait for me at the finish if need be (probably since she is a much faster runner than I am).

My focus? Will be just to keep running. Inside or out, street or trail, I need to run this week. My most recent runs have been mixed with walking. I do know though, that even without much outdoor running I'll do okay with the running portion. In June, I had very little pre-race training because of surgery. I didn't run outside much... I didn't run much at all. I finished the race without any walking. I'm not concerned about my ability to run. It's the muddy surface and obstacles that are scary.

I'll also continue doing my BBL workouts, and to add some extra to them (as well as get a little ST in) I'm going to start using dumbbells too. I'll use them for all of the arm movements. Why should my lower half have all the fun of being worked? I don't think that the moves are so challenging that I won't be able to use them. I've been a bit lax with my ST lately, so I'm sure I'll have to stick to my 10 pound weights.

I'm really trying to tell myself that this race is just about the fun. That whether I'm first (ha! NO) or last it won't matter. My time isn't what's important...Or shouldn't be. I need to remember that I'm doing this for fun. I'm not in competition with anyone. I want to do it because it's a new, fun, healthy activity. I will try and try to convince myself of that this week. I think that the largest obstacle I'll have to overcome for Saturday is...ME. I need to not let my fears make me think negatively. If I believe in myself, I'll do well. I'll be able to finish. If I allow myself to think "I can't," my performance will be much less than it would otherwise.

I think that my fears come from years of being fearful.  I keep thinking about that climbing wall. I've seen a picture of one of the walls (and hopefully the other is the same) and it won't be too difficult to scale. It is ladder style so I can actually climb it. I was terrified that the wall would be flat and I'd have to figure out how to get myself over it. We are allowed to go around obstacles after a reasonable attempt, but I'd like to get through it without having to do that!

I had to do a team building exercise at eighth grade camp that involved a climbing wall.  We had to help one another get over it. I dreaded that wall all week. I did NOT want to have to have people lift me over it... I wasn't even THAT big at that time. Yet, I still feared it and didn't want to do it. When I think of climbing a wall on Saturday, I immediately think of that big, flat wall. I think it's about time I let that go.... Hopefully, even though the walls are different, I'll be able to do that on Saturday.

Nervous yet excited... That definitely describes my feeling toward the run. Obviously on some level I know I can do it and I want to try. If not, I wouldn't have signed up! We definitely plan on doing before and after pictures so I'll post those when I post about the run.

This weekend was another busy, but fun weekend. I went to a couple different family parties and had a lot of fun just talking and catching up with people.  I don't see my extended family much (my Mom's cousins and their families), so it was nice to spend some time with them. Naturally food and drink were part of these parties I indulged. I tried to watch it, stick to the more healthy options, and limited my drinks to two. It's definitely easy to get off-track when parties are involved, but I think I did pretty well.

On Saturday I babysat for my cousin's little girl most of the day. She's always a lot of fun, but is very busy! I also spent some time organizing clothes and sold some of my old clothes. The babysitting made this a bit more challenging. It was difficult to organize and watch her, so I am afraid things were a bit disorganized but that's okay...People still dug through the massive amounts of clothing and purchased some! I made a decent amount of money and really didn't have that many people stop by (I think it was eight).

I'm going to do some more organizing on Thursday and plan to have an advertised garage/yard sale on Friday. I have SO many clothes... It'll be good to get rid of some, especially those that no longer fit! I even went through and pulled a bunch of shoes that I don't wear anymore. I usually have trouble letting go of my shoes, even if I don't wear them often. Over the last couple years I've slowly been decreasing my collection of nearly 100 pair of shoes to... Whatever it will end up being! I can't see myself getting below 20 pair of shoes. That probably sounds like a lot to some people, but I need variety... And I DO love my shoes!!

Tonight's workout agenda includes... BBL (done; right after work), and Zumba this evening. As difficult as it was (no verbal instruction, just copying the instructor - apparently this is not a beginner class!), I'm excited to go back. At least three of my friends are going to be there so that will make it even more fun... Even if it means jumping around like a chicken (how one friend described what she did last time). It's good to get out and socialize, especially while being active. I'm sure that a whole lot of laughter will accompany the workout, so it should be a fun evening! I think that I'm going to see if I can squeeze in a walk or run between now and Zumba. Since I'm currently eating dinner, running may not be the best of ideas, but I can at least take a nice long walk and burn a few extra calories!! 

Oh... I did not get up early to workout this morning. I was in bed fairly early and slept pretty well. Obviously, after my busy weekend I must have needed it.  I was not planning on today fitting into my schedule anyway, because of Zumba this evening.

Have a healthy week!!!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Big Legs

It seems that no matter what I do, my legs are always huge. I realize that they're getting smaller but some days they're my focal point.  I honestly think it's worse now that I've had liposuction.  I feel like they look horrible compared to before.

Liposuction is supposed to make your legs look better, right? That might be true for someone who has always been on the thin side and just wants to make the thighs look better.  My problem is that I was a super overweight (obese; morbidly obese). I lost weight and still had some fat on my thighs that my surgeon said I just would lose on my own, so.... with my tummy tuck, the first step in correcting my lower body was liposuction.  The lipo that I had done promotes tightening of the skin.  It takes a while for that to happen...Like a year before the final results will be see. Until then, I guess I just go on, continuing to hate my thighs (possibly more than I did before).

 I feel like, as with the rest of my body parts, they looked better when they were filled out with fat.  That seems silly right? Well, if you've ever dealt with excess, sagging, icky skin, you'd understand. When the body is filled out with fat, the body looks smooth (big, but smooth). When you lost a significant amount of weight, there's just no place for that skin to go. No matter what anyone tells you, no amount of creams, lotions, brushing, or toning will prevent you from having excess skin. Some people, usually due to age and skin elasticity, have less than others.  If you lose twenty pounds you probably won't see anything too terrible.  I've lost over 100.... Well over 100.  Those pounds were mostly fat. I hadn't thought of it that way in a while...EWWW!

Anyway... when a large amount of fat leaves the nicely filled out areas, you've got a bit of a skin issues. So now that more fat has been removed from my thighs.... They look worse. You can now see the excess skin. At least before it wasn't AS bad.  Of course, my legs do look smaller, so there's the trade off.

I hate the look of my saggy skin. Some people wear it like a badge of honor. They have a positive attitude and say "look at what I accomplished." I do not have that same mentality. Maybe it's age. Maybe I'm just more into my appearance than other people. I don't know what it is, but for me, it's a big deal. It's frustrating to work so hard and not appear tight.

Honestly? I cannot wait to get my lower body lift. I thought about waiting until a year from this fall because I didn't want to wear a body shaper in the heat again.  Now that I'm out of the shaper and healing well, I think I want to do it sooner rather than later. I COULD have surgery again this winter; only six months of wait time is required between procedures.

Recovery really wasn't THAT bad. I had some light headed episodes and a bit of fainting but I did well. I was tired, which I'm sure happens with most surgeries - that's a bit of trauma and stress on the body! Other than being hot and whining about wearing my compression garments constantly for two months, life was okay. 

As much as I'd love to, I'm not doing this.  First, I did a financial plan that if I pay mine off in a year, there will be no interest. My payment amounts are a lot higher than someone who takes more time. To add an even higher payment to that just isn't realistic. I don't want to ask my parents for even more money to help... I'm sure that they would, but this is something I want to do on my own as much as possible. They're already helping and I don't want to ask for more help right away.  So... I'll be waiting until this is paid off until I do another one, which will be next Spring. I might do it a little earlier than before, like in April, so that I'm out of the garments before it gets TOO hot. Of course if next summer is like this one, it really won't matter.

The other BIG reason I don't want to do it right away is that I am going to be training for a half marathon, starting in October (official training according to the schedule; I'm already working to build up my runs and pace). Two weeks off from any physical activity right in the middle of training is probably NOT a great idea. I deconditioned like crazy after my last surgery and certainly do not want to have that happen while I'm in training.

I also don't have enough time to take two full weeks off of work again...At least not in the next few months. I could use vacation time, but I'm already planning a week off in February for the half marathon (it's at Disney World, so I'm making it a vaca too!). I also don't want to use my vacation time in that way. By Spring I'll have my sick time built up and I can use that.

I am getting anxious to have more surgery and am excited about it. The first one has been worth the pain (which wasn't bad), the annoyance of the garment, the drains....Everything. I feel better about my belly; a huge flap of skin is gone. 

Although... I will have to have a revision of my tummy tuck with the next surgery. There's still a little more skin that needs to come off, but it's not a lot (obviously). This is pretty normal for someone who had as much skin as I did. I'm hoping that it can be done with the lower body lift, and I can still do my arms at the same time. If not, two surgeries will become three (BLAH!).  Of course... If two turn into three, I just might get a breast lift when I have my arms done. My doc will only do two procedures at a time (safety reasons) so the arms will wait if the revision counts as a full procedure.

Until then... I sit and feel disgust in my thighs.  Hey, I'm human. It happens.  We ALL have things we're not fond of. Sometimes you just have to wait for them to be corrected. I'll continue to workout and build my muscle, but no matter what I do, I'll eventually have to have a little help!

My calves are big too.  They're not floppy like my thighs. They're just big. I've always had bigger calves. I don't have a lot of fat on them. My muscle is pretty awesome. There's just not much there to grab onto (fat or skin). I like my big calves.  They make me feel strong and powerful. They've also received compliments.  I work hard for those calves.

Isn't it funny that I can love one part of my big legs but not the other? The difference in appearance is the reason. I'm okay with my body parts looking big if they're tight or toned and without excess anything just flopping around.

Please don't get me wrong... I do not hate my body. My self-esteem is good... Probably better than it's ever been. There are just things that I don't like and want to change. That's why I keep working. I know that I can't do it all without the help of surgery, but I will put in as much work as I need to in order to make my body the best it can be. I don't just mean how it looks... I'm talking about how it feels and how it functions too (more importantly than how it looks).

I love myself. I love what I've done; the gift I've given myself. I've changed so much and become a stronger person inside and outside. I feel better. Yes, I look better but... I want to look my best. Some may call it vanity but I call it pride. I want to show off what I've done. Not for attention. Not for others. I want to do it so that when I look in the mirror I have a constant visual reminder of what I've done for myself.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Missed Workout

Well, my streak of getting up early to do a morning workout ended with a total of...ONE day.  I don't know why, but I was SO tired this morning.  I didn't just hit snooze because I didn't want to get up. I had a hard time actually waking up. I was sleeping hard and don't even remember hitting snooze the first two times.  By the time I was becoming coherent, I only had 30 minutes to try to let the dogs out, get ready for a workout, and workout. I'd have had 15 minutes, so I decided I'll workout this evening instead.

Sleep... It's something we all need. We should get no less than seven hours of sleep a night. It's health. Our bodies need to rest, and it's been proven that people who get a minimum of seven hours a night lose more weight than those who get less than that (Google it, if you don't believe me). Apparently I was tired enough that my body needed it.... Eight and a half hours of it, to be exact.  I don't usually sleep that long during the week (I try to get no less than seven though). Actually, I don't think I even sleep that long on weekends. Sleeping for that long was rare, but obviously something I needed. Maybe it has to do with getting up early and doing two workouts (a short one in the morning and longer in the evening). Or my body just wanted the rest.  After I was up for a while, I felt great...And I felt pretty good all day. I didn't really feel myself getting tired throughout the day.

I hope that I adjust to the increased workout time soon. I did in the past, so I'm sure my body just needs to figure out what I'm doing again. I love that working out makes me tired, but I don't want to be too tired to get up and do it every morning. Maybe I should go to bed a little earlier... I've been aiming for 10:30, which works out well with the other things I do in the evening. Maybe I'll start getting ready for bed a little earlier so that I'm in bed by 10. Yikes! That seems early!!

I am finding myself a bit overwhelmed lately.

I have lots of social obligations, mostly on the weekends (thank goodness!). I have three different parties to attend this coming weekend; one on Friday evening and two on Sunday afternoon.  Luckily one starts at noon on Sunday and the other doesn't start until three. I should be good to make both of them without feeling rushed.  I was supposed to go to two on Friday but the earlier one was cancelled. 

I love summer but it's always so busy. I'll be happy when things start to slow down a bit.... Hopefully in September! I have at least one event going on every weekend through mid-September. After that... I only have one scheduled (so far!) in October. Wow!! I can't believe that's only a couple months away. It's crazy how time flies - especially this summer!!

I definitely have not been putting in the time or effort with my Beachbody stuff. Since singing up, I've done my workouts and drank my shake, but that's it. I've done nothing as far as networking, phone calls, reading newsletters, responding to things... UGH. I'm so behind! I think that being new to that is a bit overwhelming in itself. It is definitely proving to be much more time consuming than I thought it would be when I signed up. Of course, you can put as little or as much as you want into it, so it's not like I'm actually off-track with anything. I just feel kind of bad about missing out on some of the info thus far. I need to review it so that I have a little better understanding or things and figure out exactly what I want to do with it. I just can't seem to fit it all in.

I guess like everything else, I'm going to have to try to schedule it. Blah. I hate having to schedule things, but sometimes that's the best make to stay organized and keep from getting so overwhelmed. I have devised a Monday through Friday schedule (as of now Saturdays and Sundays are going to be insane to try to schedule anything).  Of course, I have Friday evening events too, so things will be likely to change a bit, but that's okay. I think that as long as I have a general idea of how I will use my time, I'll feel a bit better.

Here's a look at what I've come up with so far


Get up: 5:45 - 6
Start workout: 6-6:15
**Workout for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on what time I start**
Get ready for work.
Work: 8-4
Afternoon workout from 4:30/4:45 until 5, 5:15, or 5:30 (depending on the day and the length of my morning workout).
Dinner: 6:30
Beachbody work time: 7:30 - 8 or 8:30
Free time: (clean, write blog posts, relax - TV, study personal training info, talk on the phone): 8 or 8:30 - 10 or 10:30

There are some days where things will be different...Like the next two Monday evenings; I have Zumba at 7 pm, for about an hour. On those days I'll change things around, have a light dinner before I leave (maybe around 5 or 5:30), and then head out for the workout. I may walk for at least a half an hour before Zumba, just because I don't burn as much as I'd like during Zumba, but then I need time for other things (plus 25 minutes of drive time) sooooo I'm not sure what will happen, but I'll figure it out as time goes on. I'll adjust what I need to, when I needed.

I think that the biggest things in the schedule will be getting up to do morning workouts and starting my afternoon workouts on time.  If I don't start a workout by 5 (giving myself a little wiggle room in case I work a little late), my entire evening will be off-track and I probably won't accomplish what I need to.

Until life calms down a bit, weekends are going to be all over the place.  I'll take a rest day one of the weekend days (probably Sunday), and the other day I'll squeeze a workout in where I can. Of other things I do, cleaning will be the priority, because I generally do that on the weekends. I'll also do my grocery shopping during the weekend; usually Sunday afternoon.

I'm not really initiating this until next Monday, since the week is nearly done, and I have a busy weekend ahead of me. I'll be following it somewhat over the next few days, just to help myself adjust.

I like schedules... I like knowing times of when I'll do things, but I like them as a general idea. I'm not a fan of scheduling so much. When I travel I like to say "on this day we'll do this, this, and that."  I don't have it broken down into time increments though.

Currently I plan to workout in the afternoon, but I don't have a set time. Some days it's right after work, and other days I don't start until 6 or later... It just depends on the day, my motivation, and what else is going on. So. The schedule will be interesting for me... It will take some adjustment and self-discipline (which I've been lax on lately). I have a feeling that I'm going to have to try hard to like the idea of my after work time being scheduled. I'm trying not to look at it negatively. We'll see how this goes....


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Better Wednesday

I'm feeling much better than I was yesterday...

First... I dropped three pounds from yesterday morning to this morning.  Yup, water weight, gets me every stinkin' time.  I'm glad I KNOW what it is (most of the time) and that it WILL come right back off. I anticipate being a little lighter tomorrow too.  I feel much less cow-ish today.

Second... I managed to get to bed early enough to get up a little earlier this morning. I'm not quite to the time schedule of being able to get up early to do a major workout, but 30 minutes is a good way to start the day - for now. I plan on continuing to modify my schedule so that I can continue to get up earlier.

Third... My mood, in general, is just better. I am actually looking forward to my evening workout. I will most likely to BBL again... I'm not sure if I'll do one or two workouts, but if I do one I may do some biking as well.  We shall see!

I suppose that's it for my short list of reasons as to why today was better than both Monday and Tuesday.

So....running... I haven't done that it in a little while. I felt it today. WOW! My knee (I've had problems with it off and on, usually just when I haven't ran enough) was pretty sore. I actually stopped for a couple minutes to put a knee brace on, due to the pain. I stopped a little later to take it back off because it seemed to be making more of my leg hurt (maybe I had it too tight?).  Anyway I have this tumor on the outside of my right leg, near the knee...Where the two bones meet. Apparently I had a fracture there at one time, which I didn't know I had until a while later when it was found on an x-ray.  Anyway... So if I'm away from running for a little while, I start to hurt in that area. It usually feels better after a couple runs. I just have to allow my body to adjust.  Oddly, this time it was sore for a little while after, but that went away after I was at work for a while. 

In addition to my knee, my legs were pretty sore. I'm sure it has something to do with BBL and biking last night, and then running this morning.  I didn't feel wobbly right after, but my legs felt a little like Jell-O when I was walking into work this morning.  They were sore most of the day, but that's to be expected. That means I worked!

Aside from the soreness, the run was good. I didnt' have any issues with cardio endurance (which sometimes happens if I haven't ran in a while). I was surprised, and happy, that I didn't decondition too fast. Of course, I did a lot of walking over the weekend, so that may have helped. I also think that time of day was a HUGE factor. I KNOW that I run better early in the morning than later in the day. I'm not as tired and my overall performance is better. Had it not been for the pain, I think I would've ran a little faster today.

 I really hope that I can continue waking up early to run...One day down, a lot more to go! I feel better when I start the day with a workout... I do a better job, that's for sure! I have more energy (although now I'm starting to get a little tired) and feel so accomplished. I feel better in general when I do a morning run than an afternoon/evening run.  It is definitely my best time to run. I'll save the BBL or other workouts for evening.  Those aren't as rough to do when I'm tired.

I wish it was lighter a little earlier, now that I'm getting up early. The treadmill is too boring for me again (I seem to cycle with this). I didn't feel as much dread today, but there was a little bit there. I suppose I should invest in some reflective clothing so I can start running outside.... Mornings have been cool, so it would be nice to get outside!! I also need to do this in order to properly train for my half marathon.... I still don't know what I'll do in the Winter, but I will figure something out.

OH! I decided to do another 5K soon... In a week and a few days actually. I'm doing a mud run with a friend on Saturday the 25th. It should be a fun, messy time!!! I'm excited to do another run (although I walked the Color Run) where I'm not going to be worried so much about time and focus more on just having a good, healthy time. I'm a little nervous about the obstacles... I guess I should go find some trails to practice; maybe a few tires to jump through, and something to climb up too...HAHA! This will be an adventure (and possibly a show, too) but I expect it to be tons of fun!!

As far as other races, I'm contemplating a 10K in a few more weeks; early September. I know I can do one. I'm not sure if I'll run the whole thing, but that's okay... I'll finish it! Part of that is on a beach so I really should take some time to go run on the sand before that time comes. I'm also doing the Monster Dash in October; the Sunday before Halloween. It's on the Lakeshore ( downtown Chicago) so it should be an awesome day for a run.  A cool fall morning, dressed up in some crazy costume sounds pretty nice right about now!! I wish they had a 10K too. I could use the practice. There's only a 5K and a half marathon (which I will not be ready to run by then).  I'm excited for another 5K... Maybe I'll work on building up my speed!

I am definitely excited to be doing more, fun, healthy activities with friends. I'm more excited about these runs than I have been about going out to the bar or out for dinner. I love these runs... They make me feel good (physically and mentally) and they're a good, fun way to spend time with family and friends.

Think about spending more time with your family and friends being active... It's a great way to have fun together and you'll be getting the benefits of exercising!

It wasn't quite as early as I wanted but... I made it to bed early last night and up early this morning. Off to get a 30 minute run in! Yay!!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Things I NEED To Do

1. Start going to bed earlier.
2. Start getting up early to workout. This is dependent one number one.

Any tips? I'm horrible about both.

3. Socialize with other fit-minded people.... Focus on healthy activities rather than dinners out and/or drinking alcohol.

Once upon a time I was SO good at those things. Then summer came and I've been busy... Events revolve too much around food and drinks. It's time to get back to exercising better control.


Color Run... Some of the Pictures.

Before and after pictures...

My cousin, her daughter, and me before the run.
My friend Sara, her son, and me before the race.
My cousin and I after the race.
My cousin post-run.
    My cousin's daughter... She seemed to enjoy it!
    After we got back from the race. Aren't we lovely?
    I'm a hot mess.

A Bad Day Equals...

.... More workout time.

I've been in a bad mood since yesterday. I was highly emotional (an shouldn't be), possibly because I was tired from my mini-vaca/long weekend.

That mood continued into today. I did not get up early to workout because I was cranky and didn't think I felt well. I had a dream in which I vomited into the trash can under my desk and was sent home from work against my will (ha!!). I got up at my usual time, still cranky but aware that I wasn't sick.

I felt a little better as the work day went on and then I came home....

And I was hungry. I ate an early dinner. An early, unhealthy, big dinner.

Homemade panko chicken nuggets (not so bad), too many whole wheat macaroni noodles (cold) with Italian dressing.... And then later decided to eat popcorn. Later being about an hour after I ate.

I already felt horrible about myself... Weight is up, likely due to eating out all weekend (hello, sodium). On the plus side, I didn't drink like I have other weekends, but drank a little. I actually did well with calories, thanks to a whole lot of walking and not eating tooooo terribly. I also squeezed in a workout on top of the walking, so thy was helpful.

But. I still felt like a cow today. Ugh. That doesn't help my mood. Eating is an old coping mechanism and I rest why. I feel even worse when I binge like I did tonight.

I followed the binge with a workout... An hour of Brazil Butt Lift workouts and 30 minutes of biking. I felt awful throughout (uncomfortable tummy). I felt tired... Sluggish I guess. I still felt like crying but kept moving.

Tonight will be an early-to-bed kind of night. I really need to get back to morning and evening workouts. I know I'm going to be busy after work Friday do a morning workout will be critical.

I cannot stand feeling this way. My workout helped but I have got to pull myself out of this depressed slump I've found myself in.... Without another binge!!! That's been the first in quite a while and I am not especially fond of the idea of another one. Not at all, actually.

The weekend was fabulous... The last two days, not so much!!

Here's to a better week for me and a great week to all of you!!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Brazil Butt Lift

I was supposed to do my long run last night, but I didn't have as much time as I would need to do it. I opted for a different workout instead.  Brazil Butt Lift (BBL) arrived over the weekend and I was anxious to try it, and it fit into the time I had available.

It was a good workout. Honestly last night I wasn't quite sure if it was enough for me.  I worked up a sweat (but it was a hot, humid day so I thought maybe it was that), so I know I burned some calories.  I just didn't feel like I got the burn I was hoping to get, and that Beachbody is known for (of course that's TurboFire). I did the basics DVD, which teaches the moves, and the Bum Bum workout. You do them over and over for a short time to get the hang of them, also picking up the pace a little.  I liked that.... It was nice to have that instruction and practice. I obviously needed it because when I did the Bum Bum workout, I was a little behind. With no instruction at all, I'd have been totally lost.

The Bum Bum workout goes at a pretty fast pace.  I picked up the concept of the moves pretty well, but trying to do them quickly was a challenge at times. Balance was also a little tough for a couple of the moves at the faster pace. I'm sure this was just because it was my first time doing the workout.

Today I learned that I did more work than I realized last night. My thighs and butt have been sore all day today. This? Is a good thing and makes me super happy! I definitely know that I worked the muscles. The workout has a bit of a cardio component to it too (fast pace, jumping movements), so not only did I get some good body weight work done, I also got some cardio in! BBL will definitely have a place in my usual workout routine.

I just have to figure out how that routine will work... I REALLY need to start getting up early to do my training (running) workouts. It'll be good to get those out of the way, especially since it's so much cooler in the morning. Even if they're not running days, I'll still need to do the CT in the morning. I'll then do BLL in the evenings.  Yes, this is my plan.

I'm not a morning person. I generally fail miserably at getting up early to workout. I don't even like to get out of bed ON TIME, much less early! I know it's possible. I've done it. I just don't like it. I suppose I need to find a way to remind myself that when the alarm goes off I need to get up and workout. The comfort of my bed seems to beat getting up just about every time. This also will depend on me getting to bed earlier at night, and getting a full night's sleep. Sometimes I wake during the night and that throws my body off.  I don't do well when my sleep is interrupted.

This week I'm just going to do whatever workouts I can, when they'll fit into my schedule. I like, and need, a change of pace now and then.  It also helps me to choose what to do because the idea that I "have" to do something isn't appealing to me. I don't really have a plan that I'm following for the week. It has been, and will continue to be, a busy week, so I'll be happy just working out!  My 10K training is just about done (I just have to do my six mile run, which I've been working up to). Soon I'll begin half marathon training, and another dreaded plan. The idea that I'll soon be training for a half marathon hasn't quite sunk in yet.... It's still a bit surreal to think that I will be the person doing this.  I changed my lifestyle 2 1/2 years ago, started running 2 years ago (I think), and sometimes my brain still has trouble realizing that THIS IS REAL LIFE!!! I guess when you're in a pattern for so long, it takes a minute to for new ideas to set in.

My workout this evening will be more BBL....Just a different routine (I hope the moves aren't much different!). I'm getting ready to enjoy a little mini-vaca (as in a few days off work, no huge trips planned - but lots of fun!). I think maybe that's why I'm a bit more relaxed with my workout routine. I know that I will workout, I'm just not worrying about what or when. I'm hoping to do some "fun" exercise too... Not the typical running, weights, or DVDs....Something outside would be nice! We'll see what the week brings. I'm hoping my time off doesn't go by TOO quickly!

Happy Wednesday!!!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I did free Zumba at a local park last night and it was....Interesting to say the least. I'm glad it was free! I liked it. I heard that the classes are much different than the DVDs, I did recognize some of the moves.  Others were completely different.  Given that it's been a while since I did my at-home Zumba, I was a little lost. The pace was very fast and the newer moves were definitely a bit confusing. Luckily two friends went with me so we all looked silly together. 

One of my friends really got into it, even though she was making up some of it. Hey, if you don't "get it" you might as well jump around and get some cardio in, right!? Overall, it was fun...We definitely laughed a lot, especially on the more challenging, more confusing moves.

Zumba burned some calories, but it definitely isn't as intense as what I like. Maybe if I knew the moves and could really bust it out like the instructor, I'd have burned more. When you're trying to understand the moves and not moving with as much intensity, you're obviously not going to burn as many calories. I DID burn more calories then when I do it at home. Obviously the DVDs are at a bit of a slower pace.

One thing about at-home Zumba that I liked better? That I can do it at home!! I'd much prefer the privacy of my own home than in front of others. It wasn't so bad with others in the class around, because they didn't really pay attention to what I was doing (I did watch a couple of them to get the hang of the moves though, since the instructor was facing us and everything was backwards). Being that the class was in a local park, we had lots of spectators... How embarrassing. They probably thought we were some group (HAHA!) and actually knew what we were doing. Some of us, clearly, did not! I definitely feel that Zumba classes are not a spectator sport. If you're in a group and planning to perform, that's one thing, but classes are for learning and working out.....Definitely not for an audience!

Will I be going again in two weeks? Probably.... My friends seemed interested in going again too. It's free, it's fun, it's socialization, and a bit of a workout...Why not enjoy!? I think that it's important and fun to try new things, whether you're good at them or not! If anything, the laughter that may accompany you will burn a few extra calories!


Color Run!

I did a Color Run over the weekend... This is a 5K where you have color tossed on you as you pass certain markers.  I didn't run this time because my cousin, who refuses to run, was my partner in crime.  Rather than leave her behind, I thought it would be more fun to just run with her... Also there were about 10,000 people there and I didn't want to get separated.

 It's not a time race and since I manage to keep forgetting to buy a battery for my HRM, I'm not sure what our exact time was, but estimated it was a good walk. Lots of people walk a 15-16 minute mile and we were under that...We probably clipped along at about my running pace (about a 13 minute mile and I'm generally running 12-13). Even though we walked it was a fun time, and a good workout. There were some hills and we took her little girl with us so we had a stroller to push too. I'd say we split pushing about 50-50; she took the first half and I took the second half. Pushing a stroller definitely makes for a bit more of a workout!

It was fun, and worth getting up at 5 AM (the race waves started at 8, we planned to meet our group at 7:30, and had a bit of a drive to get there).  We were tired after we got home and ate some lunch (definitely worked up an appetite). We napped for part of the afternoon which, for me, is rare. Despite the nap I was still tired, but slept pretty well last night.

Tonight I'm headed out for some free Zumba.  I've never been to a class before. I have Zumba DVDs and have done them several times.  Those sort of became more for fun or a little fitness bonus. I wasn't getting a very high calorie burn so I didn't want to do just those DVDs. I loaned them to a friend a few months ago, so it's been a while since I've done any Zumba.  I've heard that the classes are pretty intense, so I'm hoping for a great workout. My expectation is that it will be better than the DVDs! The instructor who is conducting the class is giving free classes for three Monday nights in August. I think it'll be a nice way to get some CT in, and it's different so that should be fun! Tonight is kind of a trial for me....If it's not what I expect or not a good use of my workout time, I may not go again.... Or I may double up on those days.

I'm considering doubling up on workouts anyway. My Beachbody order came this weekend. I'm excited to try Brazil Butt Lift (BLL)...Hopefully it'll be a good workout! From what I gather, to see really good results, people have to be pretty consistent with it. I'm not going to be able to just use it for CT days. I'll have to do my 10K training as well as BLL. I'll probably start it tomorrow.

My new plan is to get up in the morning to do one or the other and then do whatever I didn't do in the evening. We'll see how that goes... I'm not a morning person! I think, though, that I'm pretty much going to have to do that otherwise I may exhaust myself. I get tired running so I can't see doing anything before, or after...Unless it's a short run day and I do CT. I guess it'll take me seeing how BLL goes for the first time to determine where it will fit in my schedule. 

I definitely need to do something. I've stalled at weight loss and should be losing. I know a couple things that I can change that should make a difference.... One being not as many adult beverages. There's something about summer and enjoying a beer or a glass of wine in the evenings.  A little doesn't hurt, but at the same time....It does. It can make you bloat, which I don't like. Not at all. My version of a little isn't one or two a day a day. That's too much, in my opinion. I've enjoyed too many cool, refreshing beverages recently, so I need to get back on track as far as that's concerned.

I also feel like I need to beef up my workouts, by adding more....More time, more variety...Just more!  I workout but I feel like lately it's not been enough.

Eating is going well...No real problems there. Yesterday I was at a family reunion and disregarded my plan. I didn't go wild but I also didn't know what was in most of the dishes, so I probably ate some things that were not "real food." I had plans Friday, babysat my cousin's (very busy) little girl on Saturday, and with the run yesterday morning I just didn't take the time to plan as well as I could've or make something. I'm back on track today.

I suppose that's the latest.... I'll be sure to update on my Zumba experience!