Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Night time snacking

Night time snacking is my weakness. I can do very well during the day, but night time can be the worst.

I have found that I need to stay busy and distract myself from potential night time cravings.

I started turning off the kitchen lights at night. It symbolizes to me that the kitchen is “closed” for tonight and whatever I want to eat, I’ll just have to wait until the morning. This trick seems to work very well for me.

Sometimes, I still feel my self-control diminishing, I have to turn to something else. Recently, I have started to turn on the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods. This show instantly curves my appetite.  Not only do I not want anything to eat anymore, sometimes I can’t even finish drinking my water.

If you have never watched this show, try it!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tis the Season...

This time of the year is quite difficult to maintain an exercise routine and continue to eat healthy, however I am still going strong.

Last year was the first year where I watched what I was eating during the holidays. I underestimated how difficult it actually was. I faced the challenges of eating healthy while being faced with the traditional holiday temptations. I remained strong and determined and actually lost weight during the holiday season.

This year will be no different.

I will be surrounding myself with healthier options including a bowl full of fruit and a veggie platter. Blackberries were on sale at the store, so I stocked myself up! I chopped some vegetables up last night. They are already for snacking during the days to come. I found a way to enjoy the holiday flavors without any extra calories. I really enjoy coffee and found some Christmas coffee and pumpkin pie coffee that I’ll be enjoying for the next couple of days.

My tennis shoes and workout clothes will be readily available.  Since we recently had a snow/ice storm here in Michigan, outdoor exercise will be limited. Brrr!! See picture below!

 
 
 

 Happy and Healthy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving

I really like the meaning behind the Thanksgiving holiday and setting aside the time to be with family and being thankful for our blessing, however I wish the part of the holiday where we eat until we’re stuffed wasn’t an annual tradition. After we all take the time to truly be thankful, we eat and eat until our “fat pants” are tight, then we take a nap and continue to eat. Usually, I always turn back to my bad eating habits on thanksgiving and the days after until all the leftovers are gone. I’m choosing not to this year. This year, I’m going to be mindful of what I’m eating.

This will also be the first thanksgiving as a Vegetarian. This is will the 2nd year in a row where I have eaten turkey at Thanksgiving. Last year, it was by accident. The time slipped away and I wasn’t in the mood to prepare a Turkey. This year, instead of focusing on the turkey, I am focusing on other foods.

I was at a local farmer’s market recently and I found these Brussel Sprouts! I had never seen Brussel Sprouts on stalks!

 
When it comes to any pie, I just can’t get enough. I’m going to try make a “Healthy” pumpkin pie with less than 5 ingredients AND without a crust. Save the calories, skip the crust. I am also going to make apple pies. I made apple sauce from fresh apples a while ago and I saved the apple skins. I’m going to cook those down, add some spices, portion into egg roll wrappers and bake. I’ve made apple pies before with egg roll wrappers. I’ve also made strawberry, pear and blueberry pies. I cook down whatever fruits and spices I would like, portion into egg roll wrappers and bake for 15 minutes, or until egg roll wrapper was brown at 350 degrees. It’s such an easy way to make a delicious pie.

I was getting nervous about having all the food around and the possibility of being tempted by the foods. I realize I am strong, power and I have a lot of self control. I am determined to make it through this holiday season still losing weight.
Whatever your thanksgiving traditions, I hope you have a great thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Fallin’ in love

I just love this time of the year for running. The weather is just perfect for breaking a sweat. On a recent run, I found myself in the middle of the woods, running a trail that was just covered with leaves. It was a sunny, but chilly day. The trail was absolutely gorgeous. Most of the leaves had already fallen off the trees, but still a few remained on the trees. On that sandy trail, I ran by a lake and ran over a few streams.

As I was running, I noticed I was singing, quite loudly, along to the music. I made sure to stop singing when fellow runners were around, out of respect. I was laughing out loud and just loving the run. I was in a daze and not paying attention to the ground. Before I knew it, I was on the ground. I was running on the trail and tripped over a tree root that was covered by fallen tree leaves. My knees were covered in sand and I couldn’t believe I fell.

After realizing I was on the ground, I quickly looked around the make sure nobody saw. Thankfully, nobody did. I walked for about 30 seconds to make sure I wasn’t injured, then, I walked the 30 seconds back to where I fell and started to run the trail again. Thankfully, there was another runner about 3 minutes away, so if I needed help after the fall, there was help available.

As I started to run again, I told myself to turn the music down (a little) and start to pay more attention to the trail.

I love when running outside seems so fun. It’s such an amazing feeling when you don’t have to push yourself that much and by the time you know it, you’ve already ran over 5 miles.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Breaking the tradition

My birthday is quickly approaching. Only two days away. I have told family members that I do not want a birthday cake this year.

My reasoning is this-

1. My birthday is going to happen whether or not there is a birthday cake.

2. If I had a cake, not all the pieces will be eaten at once, so I would have leftovers. At some point, the leftovers would have to be eaten and I don’t want the temptation of having a half-eaten pan of birthday cake in the frig staring at me.

3. I could make a "healthier" cake, but again there will still be leftovers.

4. I have a difficult time avoiding having a 2nd, 3rd or 4th piece of cake, if they are available, and I DON'T need or want any temptations.

5. I love cake, cookies and all desserts, but the only reason that I can think of to have a birthday cake is because it’s tradition. That’s not a good enough excuse for me (anymore).

I started the tradition of not having a birthday cake last year. Last year, I was out of the house the majority of the day. When I returned home it was about 9:30 at night and that is way too late for me to eat anything, let alone cut into a birthday cake. I started a new tradition instead of eating cake, we take a family walk. Instead of eating, we continue to celebrate my birthday by all breaking a sweat together. I hope to continue this new tradition this year, even if it’s raining.
My birthdays have really evolved the past few years. Two years ago, I bought myself a cookie cookbook for my birthday. That day, that only thing I wanted to do was bake cookies. If you didn’t know this before, I loved cookies. I made over a dozen cookie recipes. Each recipe made a dozen or more cookies, so I had a whole bunch. I have cookies stacked on top of cookies all over the countertops in the kitchen. The freezer was just filled with bags of homemade cookies. And yes, I continued to snack on them, because they were available.

So to go from baking dozen upon dozen of cookies, literally all day long, to the next year of eliminating my birthday cake and incorporating a family walk, my birthdays have definitely evolved with my healthier lifestyle.
Traditions don’t have to be broken to stick with a healthier lifestyle. I have learned that I need to take control of the situation and reduce, and sometimes, eliminate my temptations all together. The positive side of breaking a tradition is creating new ones. A birthday walk is now my new birthday tradition!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Trick or Treat? Yes, please!

This year for Halloween I reinvented my tricks and treats. Usually for Halloween I always associate the holiday with candy, and who doesn’t?!? You see a lot more candy displayed in the store and many more decorations. Traditionally, I wouldn’t associate Trick or Treating with living healthy, but this year I definitely did.

I have a little trick that I do whenever I went shopping. Whenever I was in the stores and would walk by a Halloween candy display, I tighten my grip on the cart, continue to look straight ahead and avoid all eye contact with the candy. Usually I would avoid the candy aisles and displays all together, but sometimes you have to pass them. I refused to buy candy and I was successful. I made it through the holiday without any candy or sweets.

My treat this year was to wear a fun costume and exercise. I attended an exercise class days before Halloween and everyone who attended wore a costume. I dressed up as a 14 “Carrot” Wedding Ring.

Below is a picture! (Notice the 14 carrots, the hula hoop representing the Ring and the white dress and obnoxious bridal makeup.)

 


Besides the exercise class, I also treated myself to something else. Instead of buying candy for myself, I bought a new bicycle helmet. Not only did I avoid all candy, I gave myself treats to encourage myself to continue on my new healthy lifestyle.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pink Banana

I have really been enjoying myself the past couple weeks. I have been going to as many farmer markets as I can find. On one of my farmer market trips, I came across of local stand where the majority of the produce was squash. That’s not really surprising given the season. While I was at this place, I found myself looking at all the different kinds of squash that were available. I came across a Carnival Squash, Sweet Potato Squash and, the most shocking, Pink Banana Squash. I have bought squash before, but usually stick with only a few varieties. My curiosity got the best of me and before I knew it I was loading  Carnival, Sweet Potato and a Pink Banana into the car. As I was driving home, I was getting more and more curious and anxious to cook these different squashes up.

Below is a picture of the pink banana squash that I bought.

 

As soon as I got home, I began preparing my kitchen for a squash bake-athon. Besides purchasing these three new squashes that I never had before, I also previously had Acorn squashes, a spaghetti squash, a large Hubbard squash and two Butternut squashes awaiting for this bake-athon. As soon as the oven was preheated, the bake-athon began. It was raining that day and the smell of the something in the oven made it an ideal fall day. As the squashes were done cooking, I removed the skin and began filling zip-lock bags.

Here’s a picture of my madness! (Only about 1/4 of what was I was doing.) The long squash in the front is the Pink Banana.
 


Out of all the squash I baked, the only one I tried that day was the Pink Banana squash. I was the most curious about the taste of that, so I had to try some. I stocked the freezer with pre-baked squash and kept as many seeds as I could. I kept the seeds with the intention of trying to grow my own squashes next year. I also had another motive for keeping the seeds. Baking them! Since I had so many different kinds of seeds, I used a different spice and herb for each one! The only baked squash seed that is still available for consumption is the Pink Banana squash.
I really enjoy finding new produce to cook with and try. Especially if it’s in season and cheap.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

13.1

Yesterday was the big day, my first half marathon!

The morning began with a quick panic attack after having a dream that I overslept, ignored my alarm and missed the race. I thought the dream was real and I was so upset. I had been waiting for this race for a while now and this was my opportunity to prove to myself that I could do this. I was so thankful to know that it was only a dream and I still had plenty of time to get ready.
After getting ready, I ate a quick breakfast, and it was time to go. Upon leaving the house, I noticed it was raining. Despite all my preparations, I forgot to check the weather. It continued to rain during the drive to the race and as I waited around for the race to begin. As I was walking to the start line, it was still raining. As the sun was coming up, the race began and the rain continued. It finally stopped raining as I approached mile 2. The first 3 miles seemed to go by fast, although I had to prevent myself from thinking about the 10 miles that I still needed to do.

Since it rained the majority of the night before, the course was wet and muddy in some places. I just continued to run, listen to my music and enjoy my "ME" time. Around mile 4, I had a huge boost of energy. I felt like screaming with excitement, singing out loud and engage in conversations with fellow runners. Even though I did none of these, I still had a huge smile on my face while I continued through miles 4, 5 and 6.

Once I was at mile 7, I thought to myself you are halfway done. I was running with a running belt. I had two bottles filled with Gatorade and water. I also had a granola bar. I wasn’t sure if I was going to hit a wall and not be able to keep running. I told myself once I got to mile 7, I would have that granola bar. It was very difficult to keep running and eat that granola bar at the same time, but I did it. Miles 8 and 9 seemed to take a while. During mile 9, I told myself “Just get to mile 10 and then go into 5k mode”. I don’t really know what I was saying. I don’t have a different mindset when going into a longer race or a 5k. I kept saying that to myself and somehow it helped. I got to mile 10 and told myself, only a 5k is left. I felt myself begin to slow down around mile 11. During mile 11, I felt that I was on autopilot. I wasn’t even thinking about running anymore, I was just doing it. I was telling myself that I probably couldn’t have stopped if I wanted to AND I didn’t want to because I have 2 miles to go. I was thrilled to reach mile 12.

During the final mile, I began to hold back tears. I was so proud that I was pushing myself and proving I could do it. I thought it was silly that I was beginning to cry as I was coming into the home stretch. I was so happy to know that I was running every single step and also that I could see the finish line. During the last 30 seconds of the race, I started sprinting.


I didn’t know I had any more energy left in me, let alone one final push to the end. I crossed the finish line and I was so overjoyed. After finishing, I tried to walk, but it was difficult. It hurt to walk! I probably looked like a calf that was walking for the first time, but I didn’t care. I was drenched in sweat and walking like a baby calf but I had the biggest smile on my face.
 
 
I still can’t believe I did it!
 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A new chapter

I’m embarking on a new adventure. Becoming a vegetarian!

I’m going to do my research and find new recipes that will be easy enough to make and tasty as well. From the beginning, I have slowly been incorporating other sources of protein in my diet besides meat. I very rarely eat red meat as it is. The last time I can remember eating red meat is many months ago and it was only a ½ of a hamburger. I eat sources of protein, but typically it doesn’t come from meat. I do eat fish and chicken on occasion, but it's been a while. I do still plan on eating dairy and eggs.
Eventually I would like to consider myself a Vegan, but for now I’m going to try being a vegetarian.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My nightly indulgence

I have found myself going through phases where I just crave certain beverages. I have gone through a tea phase, orange juice phase, apple juice phase and for the past months I have been in a hot chocolate phase.

This all started when I saw spray cool whip on sale at the store. After the purchase, I raced home and made some. To be honest, the cup was filled mostly with cool whip. I drank many cups of spray cool whip with a side of cocoa. After buying multiple spray cans within weeks, I told myself that I needed to cut back or stop buying. I have since stopped buying it because I could cut back. I had to stop cold turkey!

When it comes to the cocoa itself, I have bought the cheapest cocoa and the flavored cocoa, but I now buy the diet 25 calories cocoa. Some nights I drink a few cups of cocoa, so I knew I needed to continue to be aware of the calories.

One of the last times I was out of town, I stopped at a fast food restaurant and purchased hot chocolate with skin milk. After I ordered the drink, I went to that restaurant’s website and found out that I was sipping on 400 calories. My mind was blown. Never again! I will make my own if possible.

Below is a picture of tonight’s cocoa. You'll notice I have stirred in some coffee creamer. I use coffee creamer and cocoa instead of buying the flavored (creamer) cocoa. Save the calories, without eliminating the flavor!
 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sassy, Classy and Colorful

Last Saturday I ran in my first color run. For those of you that don’t know, during this untimed 5k run, volunteers throw color powder on you while you ran by.  

I knew that the color could stain my clothes, so I wanted to wear as much white as I could and just have fun with it. I wore a two white shirts, white shorts, colorful leggings and old tennis shoes. I rarely run without my mp3 player, and I knew this race would be one of those exceptions. So the mp3 player was left in the car. I started the race wearing white, but by the time the race was over, I was covered with blue, green, pink and orange powder. The color washed out of the clothes easily enough, but was still stuck on my skin for a while.  


 

It’ll be a while before I sport this running outfit again, but I wanted to be sassy and classy yet practical for this run.

I used this race to distress after all the preparation that I’ve done for the half marathon, that’s quickly approaching.

a love/hate relationship

I have a love/hate relationship with lunges and squats.

I hate lunges. I seem to always be off balance when I do them. I have a fear that I’ll start leaning to one side or the other, which results in me not going low enough.

I also am not a huge fan of squats, even though I do them quite often. I'm getting better at them though because I find that I push myself to go lower and lower.

Even thought my love for lunges and squats is limited, I still do them. I know if I just grin and bear it, eventually it’ll starting paying off and it already has. I noticed my bottom in the mirror a while ago and I saw that it’s changing shape. Instead of looking like a pancake, like it always has, it’s starting to look like I always wanted it to look.

It almost goes without saying, but now that I’ve seen these results I know I need to keep the lunges and squats in my exercise routine.

I love seeing the hard work pay off. It’s great motivation to keep going.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Scale-mania


Usually when I leave town, I take my scale along. This time I wanted to change it up. I weight myself every day and keep track of it on a calendar. I don’t dwell on what my weight is nor do I used my weight as the only form of success. I do like to be mindful of it though.

When I first was deciding on not taking it along, I immediately became nervous and uncomfortable. I felt like I was neglecting to pack something essential, but I wanted to put myself to the test. I told myself I need to remove the comfortable of knowing what my weight is daily and go with it. It was only for two days anyways. While I was gone I continued to eat healthy, drink a lot of water, exercise and write down my food portions. I didn’t crave into nighttime eating either, even thought I was tempted.

It was nice, in a way, to not have to worry about my weight. I told myself to continue to do what I normally would have, so if my weight didn’t change it would be okay.

The morning after I got home, I did weigh in and I actually lost weight while I was gone. I was down two more pounds!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Less than one month to go

I have less than 1 month until my first half marathon. I am really looking forward to accomplishing this next big milestone. I am not focused on my time at all, I know eventually I will run many more half marathon races, so I am only focused on running.

When I starting running, I was apprehensive that I could run a 5k. I signed up for the race and started training. I didn’t care how long it took to run the race, I just wanted to finish and I did. Since then I have ran many more 5ks and my time is now 10 minutes faster than when I started. When I signed up for my first 10k, again I was apprehensive. I was only focusing on running the distance. I have now ran 3 different 10k races and have time has improved by 5 minutes. I went into my last race with the same mentality. “Run the entire thing, no matter how slow or fast you go, just keep running." I know eventually I will run the 10 mile race again, so I will improve my time eventually. I just wanted to prove to myself that I can do the distance.

I’m starting to feel apprehensive about my half marathon, but I know I will be able to do it!  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

10 miles of pure determination

This morning I ran in a 10 mile race. I have never ran that distance before. I knew I definitely had to prepare and train for the 10 miles. I ran a 5 mile race at the beginning of the week and went for another long run days later. Throughout the week, I drank more water than I normally do and continued to stay active. Yesterday, I drank even more water and took the day off from exercise. I got more sleep than usual too. I was extremely nervous because I never ran 10 miles before, so I wasn’t completely sure I could do it. I became excited for the race as I picked out my running clothes and charged my mp3 player the night before.

As I was getting ready this morning, the nerves were still ever so present. After getting to the race and in my assigned corral according to my pace, I was getting more and more excited.

 
 I knew this 10 miles would be a challenge, but I also knew I was going to do my best and push myself to run every single step. The first mile went by fast. Around the 2nd mile, I thought about walking. Even though I thought about it, I was not going to let myself start walking at the 2nd mile.  I knew if I walked it would take even longer to get to the finish line. I continued to run through the 2nd, 3rd and 4th miles. Between miles 4 and 5 there were some large hills, which I didn’t expect. Those hills were definitely challenging, but I still continued. I also continued through miles 5, 6 and 7. Around the 8 mile marker, I thought “I got this. I so got this!”. I  had gotten a second wind and didn’t want to give up with only 2 miles to go. I saw the 9th mile marker and became so excited that I was almost done. I continued and once the finish line was insight, I picked up my speed. It was wonderful to cross the finish line. I was so happy that I made it, but was quite tired.
 
I was so glad when I finally found a shaded spot to sit.

 
I’m so surprised that I was able to do that. My next big challenge will be my half marathon. Only 3 more miles to add on, but a lot of training still to do.
Once I got home, I thought about trying to go for a bike ride later in the day, but now I think  I'll push that off to tomorrow.
Besides all the excitement of my first 10 mile race, I also hit another huge milestone earlier in the week. I have now lost 180 pounds!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In competition with myself

This past Sunday I ran in another 8k race. My previous 8k was months ago and the course was on trails and quite hilly. I knew this race would be much different. This one was mostly on country roads with the race ending after one lap around a track. I know I could definitely do the distance and wanted to improve my time.

Once the race began, I found myself trying to compete with other runners and match their speed. I wanted to run faster to make sure nobody would pass me. I soon realized that I should not be competing with other runners, I need to only compete with myself. I no longer watched the other runners, and instead ran my best. I was focused and had a great run.

The 5 miles seemed to just click by. During the last ¼ mile, with the finish line in sight, I started sprinting. I ran this race 8 minutes faster than my previous 8k. I was very excited about my time and I think the lack of hills had something to do with that. I also was quite surprised how thirsty I was once I was done running. I think I drank 3 or 4 waters immediately after I finished.



Although I love running, I also love the feeling of crossing the finishing line.

 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Inspirational Quotes.

These statements below have given me strength and courage when I needed them the most. Enjoy!

1.    You can lie to everyone, but you CAN NOT lie to yourself.

2.    No one can help you, but YOU!

3.    You are your biggest support and biggest critic.

4.    You DO control food, it doesn’t control you.

5.    You CAN really do this. DO NOT give up on yourself.

6.    It’s not about what you’re losing. It’s about what you’re gaining.

7.    There is ALWAYS a healthier alternative.

8.    Focus on ONE day at a time.

9.    Tomorrow is NEVER granted to anyone, there is ONLY today.

10. Go! Drink water.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Redemption

Last night, I ran my 20th race since the beginning of 2013. Earlier in the day, I told myself that this 5k road race would be my redemption. I had an embarrassing 5k last week and I wanted to redeem myself. During the past week, I have had some difficulties avoiding food temptations resulting in eating larger portions and continuous snacking throughout the day. Even though I slipped back a little into my old mentality, I was able to control it enough so it didn’t affect my weight loss, in fact I still continued to lose. Yesterday, prior to the race, someone asked if I ate better during the day than I did last Thursday. My response was "Yes and I’m back." I said I’m back because I picked myself back up from the temptations and was ready to show myself that I still had it. I was motivated, determined, ready to run and ready to push myself until the end.

I had a GREAT time running. I kept myself focused on the goal and I was truly enjoying it. While running the course, I kept looking down and noticing these sewer covers. Half way through the race, I felt so good that I actually leaped over one and continued running. After that I actually chuckled at my confidence, bravery and determination to not fall during my impromptu leap. The course was similar to a figure 8 and once I realized I was turning back on the main road, I turned my music a little louder and kept on running. 

One of the song that was on my playlist was “Never Give Up On A Good Time” by the Spice Girls. I thought that was so appropriate. I was having such a good time and that silly song definitely help. I knew if people weren’t around, I would have belted it out like I was the 6th Spice Girl. Hmm, maybe Running Spice?!

I love when running seems easy and the time (and distance) just clicks by before you realize it. That helped during the race and before I knew it we were making the last turn and I knew the finish line was just down the hill. Another runner picked up her pace and actually passed me. I didn’t want that to happen, so I sped up too. We were running the same pace until the very end, I sped up even more. I ended up passing her and as a result achieved my fastest time ever. (See picture below)


 

 Once I finished I was so proud and excited about my time. I felt amazing. (See picture below)


 
 It’s such a wonderful feeling to have a goal in mind and push yourself beyond it. Talk about a redemption!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Final Countdown.

Exactly 2 weeks from today is my first 10 mile race. Today is also exactly 8 weeks until my first half marathon. Wow! Those races are quickly approaching.

With these milestones in mind, I do not have any time to slack... at anything. I don't have time to give into food temptations or even miss a workout. I need to lace up my shoes at every opportunity possible, even on days I don't feel like it. I know I need to push myself a little harder than I usually do.

For these races, I'm not focused on my time, only my ability to finish. I know eventually I will compete again in 10 mile races and half marathons, so I'll have plenty of time to focus on improving my time and getting faster.

I am very excited for these two major milestones. I feel determined, motivated and confident. I know I'll be ready. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A disappointing run.

Earlier tonight I ran a 5k race. Before the race began, I was quite excited and motivated, but also felt a little off. Once I started running, I knew I could keep going, but had thoughts about starting to walk. I told myself that you can do this, but if you absolutely had to, you could walk. Half way through the race, there was a water station, I got a second wind and sped up. Moments later, I started feeling queasy. I wanted to continue to run, but my body had another plan and I ended up getting sick. I wanted to keep going, but I knew I should stop. I walked a little and then sat down on the curb waiting for a family member who was walking in the race.

While I was waiting, I was so disappointed in myself and realized I brought this on myself. Since I started running 5ks, I have walked before, but I have never stopped and sat down. After waiting a while, I started to walk again. I walked probably 1 mile, then I turned my music back on and forced myself to start running.

After finishing the race, I started to think why that would have happened. It didn’t take long to realize I didn’t make the best eating choices today. I knew I had eaten way more than I should have. Even though I still ate healthy, I didn't following portion sizes because I kept telling myself that I could probably burn it off during the race.

My portions lately have been slowly increasing and I need to stop that before it becomes out of control. I need to become more aware of portion sizes and stick with them. I need to remind my mind that I’m not who I used to be and I can’t eat what I used to eat nor can I eat the quantity I used to. My body has obviously gotten the memo, I just need to deliver it to my mind and keep myself reminded of that.

As I type this, I am finally starting to feel a little better (a whole 5 hours after the incident). I am now regretful, upset, angry, disappointed, sad, embarrassed and ashamed that I brought that upon myself.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

In the fridge...

Here is a look inside the fridge. Photo taken around 9p.

 
On the top- a tray full of apples, lemons, oranges and plums; blueberries; yogurt.

Below- lemon water; a bowl of premade salad; cottage cheese; raw and boiled eggs.

Next- bowl of peaches; green and red grapes.

Last- big head of cabbage; cartons of grape tomatoes.

Below in a drawer (Not shown in picture)- bag of spinach; roma tomatoes; cucumbers; zucchinis; summer squash; eggplant.

Below in another drawer (Also not shown in picture)- white and red potatoes; green, red and jalapeƱo peppers; white, yellow and red onion.

In the door of the fridge- avocadoes; almond and skim milk; greek yogurt; salad dressings; salsa; carton of egg whites.


I went shopping days ago, so we are quite stocked. I really enjoy shopping for produce especially at local farmer's markets. The fridge is usually clean and organized. Fruits and vegetables are always available in bowls for a quick snack.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Another victory for me!

This morning, I ran my 3rd 10k! The first mile was pretty difficult because I kept having thoughts that I should start walking. I knew if I let myself walk, the 10 mile run, now only weeks away, would be very difficult. I reminded myself that I ran a 10k before and I knew I could have done, so I kept running and overcame those negative thoughts. I stayed positive, focused and determined. After I ran the first 3 miles, I knew I could finish and I knew I was going to finish.

At one point in the run, I was running away from the sun and noticed my shadow in front of me. I stared at my shadow, not believing it was actually mine. The shadow seemed much smaller than I remembered. As the miles passed, it felt easier and easier to continue running until I cross the finish line. I ran the whole race and even ran this course faster that my previous 10k by 5 whole minutes!

Below are pictures from today's race. The first picture is running into the home stretch, almost crossing the finish line. The second is immediately after I finished.


 

My next race is a 5k on the 8th! BRING IT ON!!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

No excuse

About an hour ago, I faced the following situation- exercise or not exercise? I knew if I didn't exercise, it would become a free day, meaning I would purposely derail my eating by using the excuse "You can restart tomorrow. Plus you're running a 10k in the morning". I tried to justify a final decision by using that excuse, but I knew I should not give in. So, instead of thinking about the snacks that I was going to have, I threw on my exercise clothes and laced up my shoes. I knew I made the right decision, but once I got to the park, I found myself procrastinating by cleaning my purse and car. I forced myself out of the car and went for a 2 mile bike ride.

I know the 2 mile bike ride isn't much, compared to what I'm used to do. I KNEW I had to do some exercising or else I would have found myself in the kitchen multiple times before bed. I know it's still early in the evening, but I plan on exercising soon more. I WILL avoid the kitchen until tomorrow morning.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

An exciting month

I always look forward to a new month beginning. I usually mark my weight on a calendar and keep track of it throughout the month. I like to see how much weight I've lost during the month and what days I struggle. I don't like to focus solely on my weight to show progress. I keep track of it but also keep other signs of progress in mind. At the end of everyday, I write down what exercises I did and add those up.

Below are some of last month's statistics-
     15 miles of Running;
     12 miles of walking;
     over 68 miles of biking;
     over 4 miles of swimming;
     over 20 hours of Aerobic activity;
     3 races including 2 5ks and 1 10k and
     3 days throughout the month with no exercises.

I'm going to use the statistics from last month as goals for August. I'm hoping I can surpass these numbers. Days ago, I signed up for some races for the month of August. I signed up for 2 5ks, 1 8k, 1 10k, and a 10 mile road race. I'm really looking forward to all of my races. This Saturday will be my first race of the month, a 10k!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sharing my story


I wanted to be honest in sharing my story. Everything that was published in the Huffington Post article was true (I.E. taking the large amount of diet pills).  I have come a long way in my journey and learned to embrace the struggles along the way. I have only told a few people about the major struggles I  faced and those who know are extremely supportive and I very much appreciate that. Those who criticize my journey, 1) Don’t know the entire story and 2) haven’t been through my journey. I knew when I shared my story, I may have gotten a few negative comments. I don’t have to satisfy anybody with my journey because after all it’s MY journey.  

It took a lot of courage to be honest with myself and have hopes of inspiring others. Whenever I reread my story, I’m still surprised that I’ve been through those struggles and have improved myself in such a positive way.  

After reading the first few negative comments, I reassured myself that I didn’t need their approval to continue. I also told myself that everybody has haters, even Jesus. I’m going to continue on my journey and ignore those haters. This journey is all about improving myself and I will continue to do so.  I’m so glad that I’ve been receiving such positive comments. I’ve received way more positive and supportive comments than the negative ones. I’m so grateful that my story had been seen by so many people.

For those who read my last blog about my shoeless week, the blister is now healed and I’m back to running. My next 5k is this coming Saturday. During the month of August, I’m going to run in 6 different races, including a 10 mile race at the end of the month. I’m looking forward to that 10 mile challenge. Onward and upward, nobody can pull me down!

I am a strong, determined, positive women and nobody can deny that.

I’m going to change it up a little bit. Instead of blogging every few weeks, starting in August I’m going to write smaller posts daily. I already have a list of topics that I want to cover. I think this will be a fun change to make and will hold me even more accountable.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Overcoming my latest obstacle

Last week, I ran two 5ks within days of each other. My first was Thursday evening and my second was Saturday morning. The race on Thursday went well, it was very hot but I still ran every single step. I used Friday as a lighter day for exercising.  After a short walk on Friday, I noticed a blister was starting to form on my heel. After that walk, I changed my shoes, biked a few miles and then swam. After the swim, I tried my best to get rid of my blister ASAP since I had a 5k the next morning. The blister wasn’t gone by morning, but I still wanted to run. I covered my blister with bandages and prepared for the race. I ran the race, ignoring the pain of the blood blister. After the race, I removed my running shoes as soon as I was able to and noticed the blister doubled in size.

*Picture below was taken after the 5k on Saturday. And yes, my shirt does say "Never Stop" ;)


I’ve been trying to speed up the healing process with Epsom Salt foot baths so it could heal ASAP and I can get back to my normal exercise routine. After doing research, I realized it would take about a week or so to get rid of. So, backless shoes for a while. Once I realized the blood blister would take about a week, I instantly became nervous about working out and eating healthy this upcoming week. I immediately thought that this would be a week without any exercise, also resulting in a week of bad eating habits. On the days I don’t exercise, I have a very hard time continuing to eat healthy. Usually on those days, I start the day off well, but after dinner I start snacking and the snacking continues until way late into the evening.

During these “fat attacks” I tell myself that you are limited to eating what is already in the house, because if I left the house, I would, most likely, buy baked goods or fast food and just let my cravings get the best of me, only to instantly regret it. Needless to say, limiting my “fat attack” to what's in the house is the best alternative. Recently my “fat attacks” have included eating a whole package of baked green beans, Greek yogurt, pretzels, granola bars or cheese. Not as unhealthy as I was used to eating, nevertheless I do not to need to pile on the calories right before bed. Usually I can talk myself out of the cravings, but on days I don’t exercise it’s very difficult. During those cravings, I go back to thinking that I can just restart the next day. When these thoughts come into my mind, I tell myself that if you quit on your diet, you’re just quitting on yourself. Yes, you can restart tomorrow, but what about all the progress you had already today. Are you going to throw that away to eat something that you can wait until the morning to have?
So, you can see why I started to panic after thinking that this would be 1 entire week without exercise. Lucky for me, I thought of some alternatives to the normal exercise routine that won’t involve wearing shoes, such as swimming, biking, workout DVDs, and of course using weights. I’ll need to watch my eating more closely since my workouts won’t be at the intensity they normally are.
I hate to think I caused this blister to happen by not properly taking care of feet. I now know that I need to be better about that in the future. I’ve researched a few ideas that hopefully in the future will prevent more blisters from occurring. For now, I need to stay focused on trying to help this blister to heal so I can lace up my running shoes sooner rather than later. I also need to not rush the healing process because I don’t want to make it worse. And, I shouldn’t completely rule out races at the end of the week because I still could do it, that is if my blister is gone by then, because running with it in the first place was a bad idea.
On the positive side, I felt like I’ve been stuck in a rut with exercising. Usually I do the same activities. I've been wanting to start swimming more, so yesterday I kicked of the week of shoeless workouts by swimming. I ended up swimming 100 laps. My goal for the week is 300 laps. I initially set the goal of 250 laps, but I bumped it up because I knew I could to do more.

I’m going to turn this week into an obstacle that I will overcome and I will prove to myself that you can still workout, exercise and lose weight no matter what the conditions. I’m not totally giving up on running, I’ll get back to it as soon as I can. I don’t like when something interrupts my scheduled routines, but this is an obstacle that I will overcome. I’m determined to keep going. This will not be a slack week and I will not give in to my “fat attacks”. I will continue to exercise and eat healthy this week. I will prove to myself that you can change it up and it’ll be okay. Stay focused on the goals at hand, don’t give into temptations, and most importantly take care of yourself.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Changes

Yesterday, I ran my second 10k. It was such a great accomplishment to be able to run that distance for the 2nd time within 2 weeks from the first 10k. I did have some difficulties when the race began. I had this thought in my head that I couldn’t do and I just wanted to start walking instead of continuing to run. I kept having to tell myself you CAN do this. You already HAVE done this and you WILL do this. Keep on running. The more the kilometers that passed, the more confident I became. Even though I already ran a 10k, I had doubt that I could do it. I know I had to, once again, prove to myself that you can do everything you set your mind to.

I also kept believing that the spectators were teasing me while I ran past. I kept having the thought that the spectators were talking to each other and saying “Look at that slow runner” while I was running by. After they said it, my sassy response was “I may be slow, but I am a runner!”. Nobody actually said this while I ran by, nor did I say my cleaver response, however I believe it was my mind doubting my ability and trying to convince me to walk the remainder of the race. I did not let these negative thoughts get in the way, although it seemed like I had to battle them the entire 6.2 miles. I ran every single step and finish it. My time was slower than my previous 10k time, the 15 miles of biking the day before probably didn’t help, but I still did it! I still set that personal goal and achieved it! I felt so accomplished once I ran over the finish line, even using my saved energy to pass the person in front of me at the last minute. Once I finished I felt like I could do anything.
 
 
I think the more I run, the more I will continue to build on my distance and also speed. In fact,  I have decided that I want to push myself again to run a longer distance, so I’ve decided that I want to run a half marathon this October.
I listen to music while I run to help pass the time. Sometimes, even while running in a race, I find myself singing along to the songs. Also, occasionally while still running, I move my arms and pretend to dance. Somehow while keeping up the energy to run, I also find the energy to sing and dance. How? I have no clue. Although I didn’t sing or even dance while running my second 10k, I did notice many people clapping and cheering me one during the run. Or at least I thought I did. While I was running, I thought someone behind me was continuing to clap and cheer me on. I felt like that person probably had something better to do than run behind me clapping for me. I occasionally looked back, but saw no one. I soon realized mid-run that nobody was clapping for me. Instead the clapping I heard was actually the excess skin on the arm  “clapping” against itself. Once I realized this, I was so embarrassed and tried to not move my arms as much, but soon realized I needed to be proud that my arms are clapping together. My arms has shrunk to ½ the size it used to be and my excess skin is a reminder of how far I have already come. The “clapping” is just a part of the process and I need to embrace it. Plus, I may have excess skin now, but eventually I won’t.

In addition to running, biking, swimming and zumba, I have begun using arm weights  at night to work on tightening and toning my arms. Everytime I use arm weights, I instantly regret it, however I preserve and finish the workout. The soreness will eventually go away the more I do it and so will my excess skin. Since I started regularly using arm weights, I have seen my biceps starting to flex when I want them to. I can see the muscles trying to contract. I haven’t seen this before and I know my 10 pound arm weights are to thank for it.
I am loving the process of getting healthier and seeing my body changing. I often take a 2nd look when I catch of glimpse of myself in the mirror. I can’t believe my body has been changing so drastically since my heaviest weight. I have found “new” collar bones. I call them my “new bones” because I’ve never seen them so prominent before. I also love that the pants I now wear are ½ the size they used to be. My underwear are also ½ the size they used to be. I can now wear t-shirts that are 4 sizes smaller then what I used to be. My waist has gotten smaller, which I’m thankful for, but also my chest and my hips are shrinking, which I’m not too thrilled about. My chest is now a few sizes smaller and my hips are not as wide or “curvy”. I do remind myself that even though my chest and hips are smaller, I can still shake it like nobody’s business at zumba.
I’ve decided to change my ultimate goal and  my ideal weight. I thought I was 80 pounds away, from my target weight but I’m now about 85 pounds away. I would love to someday say that I lost 250 lbs-the natural way! In order to lose my last 85 lbs, I know I need to keep it up. I need to keep excersizing and eating healthy. I need to persevere. I need to overcome those negative thoughts that try to doubt my abilities. I need to not become upset if I gain a pound or two the morning after a big workout, that’s a part of the process and I need to trust the process. I need to. I will, but most importantly I CAN!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Pictures

Below are some pictures throughout my journey!


              At my heaviest-
  


Before and after the 1st triathlon, Summer 2009-
Distances- 300 meter swim, 6 mile bike ride and 3 mile run.

 


After 2nd triathlon, Jan. 2010-
Indoor triathlon- 20 minutes of each, swimming, biking and running.




After my first 5k, July 4, 2012.





After another 5k run, October 14, 2012




Another 5k, December 8, 2012





Another 5k, March 17, 2013




After my first 5 mile race, June 1, 2013





Another 5k, June 19, 2013




After my first 10k, June 22, 2013



*These are not all of my races. I started running July 2012 and have ran almost 30 5ks so far. More pictures to come!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Welcome!


I have recently committed myself to losing weight and change my life and health for the better. It has been 4 years since I was at my heaviest weight, I am still not at my goal weight. I have to remind myself that I am not doing this just for losing weight, I'm changing my life, so this is not the quick solution and will take time, patience and perseverance. Four years ago, I was 19 years old weighing over 400 pounds.

 (Photo below was taken at my heaviest weight)  
 
 
 
At one point, I had to sit sideways at the movie theatres because the seats were too small. I was even pulled over by the police one time for not wearing a seat belt while driving. At that time the seat belt was too small and wouldn't fit. I could not walk up a flight of stair without wanting to stop after a few steps to catch my breathe. I looked for any excuse to walk as little as possible. I ate anything and everything I wanted. I was even a closet eater, meaning I would hid my excess eating from my family and friends. I was hiding my eating from everyone, with the thought that nobody would know. I knew I was only fooling myself.  I ate fast food whenever I wanted to, even in between my regular 3 meals. I ate large qualities of food without thinking twice. I became a regular yo-yo dieter. I would try a fad diet for a day or so, maybe a week, then I would go right back to my "bad" habits. I changed the way I looked at dieting and realized that if I wanted to lose weight and keep it off, I need to change my lifestyle rather than simply follow the latest fad diet. Losing weight is not all about eating healthier and exercising more, you have to change your mentality. It wasn't until I changed my mentality that I realized I was making a lifestyle change. I still have difficult days where I sabotage myself and end up easily regaining some weight that I worked so hard to lose.

Since my heaviest weight in 2009, I have lost 165 pounds and still have about 80 until I reach my ideal weight.

Hopefully, this blog will be a place where people can find encouragement, tips and advice on losing weight. I hope to post picture of myself along the way, share the ups and the downs while still continuing to improve myself in order to be a healthier version of me that I know I can be. I, by no means, consider myself an expert, but I do know what had worked for me. Since I am still continuing on my journey, you will not find any "after" pictures, only "before" and "during".


(Photo below was taken almost 2 weeks after running my first 10K race) 


Hopefully we can inspire and encourage each other along the way!

Thanks for reading my first blog post!


Love and Success,

Laura