Monday, July 27, 2015

Not as Scary as You Think...

If I was going to subtitled this blog entry, it would be "Slow Runner", but the real point is "Not as Scary as You Think."

I am, in fact, a slow runner. There I said it. To be completely honest, sometimes it bothers me, sometimes it doesn't. I'm human. I have insecurities. Where the growth in life comes is what I chose to do with those insecurities. I choose to push through them, and not let them consume me. Again, one of those life keys....consumption. Not everything in life is going to feel all sunshine and rainbows. That's just not feasible, and quite honestly it reminds me of Stepford Wives, and THAT scares the everliving shit out of me.

When I started getting back into fitness and watching what I ate, and loosing weight again, I noticed that my run times were significantly slower. It was weighing on my mind a little, but I was doing a pretty good job of not letting it weigh on me. Then I realized WHY my running was slower: the last time I was REALLY running, I was 30 pounds lighter. I'm dragging an extra 30 pounds with me as I run. Now, I've made peace with the fact with I've gained thirty pounds back from my lowest weight and am still able to run up to 5k, and am ready to start running beyond on my way to 10k. While gaining 30 lbs back is a setback, there is a big triumph that is coming out of it that I can be very proud of. Success is not linear. Big life lesson in that one.

I never wanted to be a runner. I remember running the mile in elementary school and always being one of the LAST to finish. I was HUMILIATED. I HATED it. That hatred stuck with me. I thought running had to be the most absolutely STUPID way to achieve physical fitness. ZERO cells in my body got it, ZERO. I MOCKED runners. Then one morning I woke up and decided, "I'm going to become a runner." There was no real be conversation that I had with myself, or anything big that happened that made me decide that this was a good idea. If you know me really well, you know these "mighty pronouncements" are pretty much how I roll when it comes to these sorts of things, and a majority of the time, they always turn out well.

How does one become a runner? Duh! BY RUNNING! However I needed three things first 1) permission, 2) a goal and 3) a plan. By permission, I'm talking my physicians permission. I had already been swimming at that point, but I wanted to make sure that at my weight my joints could take it. Her answer was "good for you", and yes, just train smart. OK, goal....I found a 5k on Spectacle Island that would happen in enough time to train.  Now plan.....I had heard about Couch to 5k....downloaded it....checked it out....that looks reasonable. So I was all set. Time to start running....right?

Eh...not so fast. I was TERRIFIED going on that first run. TERRIFIED. I don't know what I was so concerned about. Was it that I physically unable to do it? That people would make fun of me? Probably a little bit of both. I very vividly remember telling my coworker that if I was not back in 40 minutes to come to the Public Garden and look for me. I was dead serious. But guess what? I did not die, and no one pointed and laughed at me. YES!!!! I concurred one thing that thought I would NEVER do, and I was SO PROUD of myself. It was not as scary as I thought. I was hooked.

Now I venture to guess that no matter how much weight I lose, I will never be a "fast" runner. (Whatever that means.) My time will improve with more running and weight lost...I've proven that before and look forward to that happening again. Maybe it just goes with my personality, but I can withstand just about anything for a specified period of time just as long as I know when it's going to end. To me, 10k is a MAJOR distance and I can't wait to get their again. According to my plan, it'll happen in 70 days. I doubt that I'll ever run a 1/2 of full marathon...but never say never.
As much as I love how running makes me feel, one little quirk about me is that initial mile. I BLOODY HATE IT!!!! It starts pretty much 30 seconds in, "what the f%ck are you doing? Why the hell are you doing this!?!?" It continues for an entire mile, and then it miraculously vanished. I've learned to laugh at it, because the negative chatter is so blatantly indignant...I just have to.

But once I just past of that I do some of my best thinking, enjoy spending time in nature while still being INSIDE the city, listen to the sound of my own breathing, and be proud of every single bead of sweat. Running is how I mediate. I've tried traditional meditation. I can't sit still that long. I really think running makes me a nicer person. Lord knows I work a good part of that aggression through the music I choose to listen to.

So what can this mean for you? Start running? Maybe. Only if it feel right for you. That's a gut thing. I totally believe in and trust my own gut feelings and think everyone should be more in touch with those things. I think you should, however, do something that scares you and you don't think you can do. You'll probably end up surprising yourself. Remember that success is not NOT linear. Real growth comes from dealing with your insecurities. While life is not always sunshine and rainbows, the Oracle that is Dolly Parton did impart on us that "The way [she sees] it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." That's a lot of wisdom that I've gained by putting one foot in front of the other and just keep running.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Back At It!

I'm back! (And wow, has it been awhile!) It honestly took me a little while to remember how to do a post in Blogger! I've been back on the weight loss train for about 3.5 weeks now, and in that 3.5 weeks I've been from running 1.5 miles to 5k and have lost right at 5 lbs. (I had a little gain this week). I have to tell you it feels great to be back at things and to be successful! I really did miss the accomplishment I felt by watching the lbs. tick away and watch myself achieve my fitness goals.

Speaking of my goals...what are they? Well, 1) I'm 65 lbs away from my goal weight (a number that is flexible) and 2) to FINALLY crush that competitive 10k. (Many thanks to Pretty Pretty Princess for agreeing to run that with me!)

Speaking of all know I do the weight loss reward thing: small things for stopping on a 5, bigger things for stopping on the 0. For this last 5 reward I got myself an Antique Kochi ring from Afghanistan at the SoWa Market. Pretty!

I should make a point of saying that getting back on track wasn't easy. I had been trying to for several months with zero success. (I did run that one time while I was in Texas for three weeks.) It took my boss having a 4 week fitness challenge that made ALL the difference for me, so thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I think the biggest takeaways I had from that was 1) follow the 80/20 rule - eat 80% of things that are good for you and you can have 20% of those things no so good for you, and 2) read 10 pages a day of a book that could benefit you as a person. Just 10 pages. That's easy, right?

No new super exciting narriative to report. Just that I'm back at it and really proud of myself. It would be easy for me to get wrapped up in why I didn't stay on the wagon, but I think that's just silly. Forward. That's the only way to go.

I had forgotten how much better eating well and working out made me feel. There's some pretty substantial change going on in my life, and I shudder to think how I'd be navigating it if I weren't taking care of myself.

More soon!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Is That A Canyon On My Forehead?

I'm back! Yay! I shouldn't have been gone for so long, but I was....aaaaaand enough with the pleasantries.

I'm in my mid 30's. There I said it. Later this year I will be in the front side of my later 30's. HOLY BLEEP!

I don't feel my age...whatever that means, I don't think I LOOK my age, whatever that means (more on that later).

I spend the majority of my time - like the rest of the world (you know what I mean) does at work. I work with a people who are mostly quite a bit younger than I. While I love their youthful exuberance, seemingly endless stores of collagen....wait, I'm starting to sound bitter, I don't mean that. I do truly like them...a lot. We're just in different places. I'm in the place where I have canyon's on my forehead. They're not

Let me explain.

I'm boycotting the mirrors at Sephora.

Let me explain more.

After I got off work today I had a perfectly beautiful and sunny Monday afternoon to myself. I took myself to get a slice..ok two...of pizza and a tasty fermented apple beverage and then to Sephora to pick up some new lip color said young friends had told me about. I haven't never met a red lipstick I don't like, and w/ the promise of being long lasting and shiny...I was IN!

While I was there, I decided to try on all the other colors this particular lip color came in. I've never liked makeup mirrors in retail stores. I feel like they make me look green and uneven. So, when I'm trying on makeup there, I take special care. I TOOK special care. Right up to the moment where I liked I color, backed up to see it in context and BOOM....






I'm sure the Griswold's are going to be coming by my forehead any second now....

So what do I do? I do the mature thing.... look at my forehead in EVERY SINGLE MIRROR in Sephora in the most nonchalant manner possible. Then when I get home...? Stare at myself in a mirror in the bath room for a REALLY LONG TIME.

As I stare, I start to realize....they're not canyons. They're "worry lines". FUCK. I worried my way through my teens and twenties, and then I hit my 30's and am FINALLY living my life free from stifling worry, and what to I get? WORRY LINES, like some screwed up tattoo I got with magical delayed ink. Guess all sins are never absolved. Personal evolution can only take you so far. I would find all of this "ha ha ironic" IF IT WEREN'T ON MY FACE!


To acompany the canyons - worry lines...whatever, are boulders. The boulders are my makeup that get in the canyons and makes them look 10x worse than they already are. So what? Quit wearing makeup? Not going to happen. So we must build a better mouse trap.

I do the logical thing, google "makeup tips for women in their 30's". Really interwebs!?!??! Really!??! Give me some tips better than not to be fushia lipstick or bright blue eyeliner.

I'm kinda set in my ways when I comes to makeup. I've been using the same types of products for a very long time now, but just tweaking the colors.

Perhaps I should go to someone that get PAID to do this. Maybe all I need is a primer. Just to fill in the canyons, but not color them. I don't know....

Now I'm self conscious.

I pride myself that I don't act old or boring or old and boring. This is the first real signs of aging I've noticed. OK, that's a was the grey hairs, but that's so easy to cover up.

All the other people my age that I'm regularly around are men. They get better looking with age. It's not like women get uglier, but I feel that societally we devalue a little. I hate myself a little for even typing that, but it's true. At least that's what the world at large tells us.

I'm in a better version of my body than I was in my 20's. Hell probably since I was since I was 19. I want to feel fetching and sexy and youthful. I know it's all in my mind. But right now all that's on my mind are these damned canyons.

I want to age gracefully. But if I do, when why are lines on my forehead sending me into a little mental free fall.

Maybe I need a complete mental overhaul about how I view aging.

Or maybe I just need a tube of primer.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Time for Healthy(ier) Food Choices

I know, I know...this is craziness. It's the 7th of the month and this is pretty much my third post for the year. In all seriousness, I've got some time on my hands between days off, snow days, and having a 24 hour lucky y'all...y'all get a lot of me. Please try and keep your cheering to a minimum.

If 2013 was all about getting my exercise groove on, 2014 shall be about making healthy(ier) food choices. What brought this on, you ask? I think that it was a over dose of rich holiday foods, coupled with stress eating while preparing for my final. (I didn't go hog wild, I still managed to loose a little bit.) I just went into 2014 feeling sluggish, bloated, weighed down, a bit emotionally down, and more anxiety than normally experience.

Time to cut out some of the crap. Notice I said SOME of the crap? It goes right back into my previous post. Now not only will I be eating less, I'll be eating MORE quality. I look at it this way: I'm not making this adjustment with the PRIMARY thought of losing weight - I've already proven that I can lose weight the way I was doing things - but to be healthier; and if you look at my reasons for wanting to lose weight, not dying unnecessarily young was one of the big two. I'm going to go ahead and draw a correlation between eating healthier and not dying. Makes sense, right?

How do I plan to go about doing this? First big one: continue the moderation thing. If I try to cut out everything, I WILL BINGE AND FALL TO PIECES. Know thyself.

I have to be mindful as not to go whole hog and make all these healthy food chances. My husband should be allowed to eat what he wants to eat. Just because I'm doing this doesn't mean he has to do this. This is not how our marriage works.

Here's my plan. It's my goal to focus on two major elements: cut back on caffeine and healthy snacks (that can also be mini meals for work and class days). Thus leaving dinner time for more wiggle room. GENIUS!!!!

Caffeine, particularly cokes is my Achilles heal. I figured it was playing into three health issues I'd been having recently and was told to cut back on: 1) heartburn, 2) digestive issues as a result of having my gall bladder removed and 3) anxiety. I won't cut out all caffeine, but I will cut WAY back. Yesterday I brewed some iced green tea - I know there's still caffeine in there, but there's a lot less than what I normally you can't ignore the health benefits - tomorrow I plan on taking a trip to David's Tea to get some nice fruity herbal options, and also reacquaint myself with the Polar Seltzers. That's my caffeine cut back plan.

As for healthy snacks, I was very inspired by this list. My plan is to go down the list from top to bottom, three a week. I'll skip anything that is too complicated to make easily and quickly, as well as those that I know I just won't like. These snacks can also double as small meals for me to eat at work or something quick and portable that I can eat right before my class. I'm taking A&P this semester, BTW.

So that's the healthy eating plan for 2014. Have any of you made changes like this, lovely readers? If did it work out for you? Anyone with these changes on the horizon? If can we help keep one another motivated?

Friday, January 3, 2014

There Is No Right, Only What Works

Two days off blissfully doing nothing but sleep, eat, watch TV and run (OK, maybe drink champagne), added to two days of snow days, equals quite the case of cabin fever....this particular brand of cabin fever has me feeling a bit preachy.

It's the beginning of the year, and I'd venture to guess that close to 90% of the public's New Year's Resolution is to lose-weight-get-healthier-exercise-more or something of the like. Listen to me and listen to me closely: THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT, and if they insist upon it....THEY ARE FULL OF CRAP!!!!!

Find what the motivation for what makes you want to lose weight and then tailor your approach around that. For ME it was to not die unnecessarily young and fit into designer clothes. Those two things together have given me this meta game plan...well, part 1.....

For me, it really is that simple. Now...there's some other things that come into play like: find an exercise that you really love (swimming), how about tackling something that scares you (running), setting in public fitness events (5ks and Swim Across America), reward yourself (I'm super good at that! Here's what I've picked out for my 80lb. reward, come on pay day!), and make yourself accountable (I choose to use the LoseIt app and log all my food - yes, it does get exhausting and tedious, but it works for me.)

Also, there is no super food that's going to cure all your health problems...conversely, there is no one demon food that's going to kill you just for eating it (given you don't have some wicked allergies). So this I say...meta part 2...

Some days you just need to eat the steak, and the cake, and drink the champagne. Life's meant to be lived, not to be deprived. OK, my life. I can't say this will work for you, maybe it will...maybe it won't. Give it a try.  I believe this type of control can be exercises in OTHER areas of our life...and we enjoy being a bit out there, but there are consequences that will later be paid.

Let me add one more thing in there.....

Yes, I know that I have the ability to lose 5 pounds in a week, but I also know that that's a REALLY GOOD WEEK! It won't happen every week, and the more you lose...the harder it gets. That's been my truth. I spent the entire month of December yo-yoing up and down 5 pounds and then losing an addition three, but more on that later.

Realize that your way is not the only way. I would venture to guess that if someone who was my weight and height ate the same exact things I did and did the same workouts I did over a set period of time, we'd still lose different amounts of weight. Why? Simple. We're different people. Our metabolisms, our body chemistry, our jobs, our lifestyles....all different. We are all unique snowflakes.

That in mind, when talking about weight loss, be kind. You never know who is reading, and how it may being affecting them. Kindness. Totally under-rated human trait.

Don't be a door mat though, and sell yourself short. Be proud of what you've done. Be fucking proud. It's HARD work....both physically, and (what a LOT of people don't realize) mentally as well as emotionally. Shout your successes from the rooftop. Just do so mindfully.

I hope this blog entry serves some good to you if you're on a weight loss journey, just thinking about starting one or simply observing/cheering on someone who is. More than anything, I needed to write this entry for myself. As I said before, December was HARD. Between the EXTREME stress of a final exam in FOREVER (yes, the extreme needed to be in all caps - if you know me, know knew how stressed I was), working retail at Christmastime, and holiday food...swimming 5 times and running I think 3....I somehow, SOME WAY ended up with a net loss. It was my smallest net loss since November 2012, but it was a net loss nonetheless.

I'm 20 pounds from losing 100 pounds (already got a great celebratory bauble picked out) and 40 pounds from reaching my initial weight loss goal. I'm feeling a great bit of not disbelief, more like awe that I'm a mere 20 pounds away from losing 100. I want to make a list of 100 things that happened/didn't happen because I was so over weight and post them on the day I loose 100 pounds, and then have a list of 100 new opportunities that I have FROM losing the weight the next day.

Each pound isn't simply a pound, they MEAN something.

New year = new goals. (I hate resolutions.) Here are my new goals....
1) Swim two miles continually
2) Compete in a 10k
3) Compete in some sort of Triathlon (indoors counts)
4) Curb my anxiety

So, lovely readers, what weight loss adages have worked for you? What are your health/life goals for the new year? Share for me in the comments..

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Year in Pictures

What a year 2013 was in my life! It was a year of great personal growth and change, yet was not without its dark times and trials. I'm not feeling very verbal today, and since a picture - they say - it worth 1,000's about 80,000! Enjoy my 2013 in pictures! You may just find yourself included.

Started the year off right with my favorite champagne
Early year trip to the Berkshires
I completed a cleanse to kick-start my weight loss, and rewarded myself with this Alex & Ani Path of Life bangle
Decided to reward myself every 5 & 10 lbs. lost, these Kendra Scott earrings are an example
Winter storm Nemo. BTW - I think naming winter storms is LAME
For awhile, my favorite morning OJ gave me positive affirmations
Al and I perfected the art of at home margaritas
Joined a gym and got to working out
Started to see a real transformation in my body and documenting it
Much smaller size leggings, MUCH bigger victory
I enjoyed a lot of oysters
A LOT of oysters!!!!
Started swimming pretty seriously
Started to see real changes in my face. (This is my FAVORITE picture of me up close from the past year.)
Enjoyed many lovely girls night with my other Other Half
The tradition of pay day sushi lunches
Started Couch 2 5k...on a treadmill
Spring finally sprung
Fit into my first non plus sized dress
The Boston Marathon Bombings hit really close to home, even closer to work
But we stayed Boston Strong...
...and breathed a collective sigh of relief when it was over
Amy had the best recital ever! THERE WERE BAG PIPES!!!!!!
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In the bombing aftermath there were Therapy Dogs AND Cats
Ventured into the world of running shorts
Al and I enjoyed some classy date nights; and some not so classy ones
I started to dress outside my comfort zone, perfect the art of selfies and refuse to clean my bedroom
Further transformation
Hair & face shape transformation
Lunchtime sunshine on the Comm Ave. mall
My other Other Half graduated from Law School and I couldn't be more proud
Finally fit into things from Betty Paige Clothing
First of many trips to Cafeteria
Amy and I ran our first 5k together....
....on Spectacle Island
All while being on a quest for the perfect red lipstick
Jumped, pulled, and tugged my way into a wet suit for the first time
It was time for new specs
Quality brew time with Amy before she moved to LA
And the transformation continued
Celebrated the 4th on the Esplanade with friends
Swimming at Walden Pond - this my FAVORITE picture of the year
Ready to go Swim Across America and raise some funds for local cancer research
It was THE hardest but THE most fufilling thing I have EVER done
Got brave and posted a picture of myself in a swimsuit on the intertet
Mom and Allison came to visit and a fun time was had by all
My favorite new to me song of the year
Best anniversary gift EVER
"Zoe! Come look!! There's a giant chickpea walking down the street!!!"
Anniversary dinner date time
5k #2: Chestnut Hill Reservoir
Took the art of relaxing baths to a new level
Swam my first continuous mile
Back to school to get my RN starting with Human Biology
Took Ezra to a staff meeting
Celebrated my birthday in style, with elegant shot taking.....
showing a little leg...
& kayaking on the Charles.
A grand time was had by all
Watched Olympic medal winning swimmer Alex Mayer swim in Boston Harbor
Best caption ever: "All you need is love...and Ben & Jerry's!....and good sex, lipstick, tequila and kitties. Oh, and a swimming pool. THAT'S all I need!
Almost the same size and when I was 19/20
Ezra continued to be adorable
I cut my hair - for me - all off and added bangs
Walked for the Humane League with Roxy and Zoe
5k #3: and Al's first, the Blacklight Run
Back home for 5k #4: Compassion Hospice's Color Run
Harley continued to be adorable as well
Learned how to run in 19 degree weather
Bobby and I looked killer on  Thanksgiving
Started 5k to 10k
5k #5: Jolly Jaunt to benefit Special Olympics
Celebrated the Mr.'s birthday in style
Celebrated the end of my first semester back to school AND making an A
Cafeteria time with my LUSH Puppies
Ezra and I admiring the pretty Christmas lights
We found a Currier and Ives setting in Sutton
Christmas 2012  / Christmas 21013
Finished the year with a hotel staycation and a FANTASTIC view of the city