April 30, 2011

The vacation damage

OHMYLORD... I just stepped on the scale after my week-long vacation in Tennessee. It was NOT a nice number. In fact, this is the heaviest I've been since JULY 2010!  I was so very tempted not to write the number here, because it's horribly embarrassing.

April 27, 2011

Cade's Cove Run

My older brother, Brian, actually woke up at 6:00 this morning to go running with me at Cade's Cove! I was completely surprised, and I was actually hoping he'd sleep in so that I'd have an excuse not to go. Cade's Cove is about one and a half hours from our cabin. I'd read some really great things about running there, and since I had to do a long run today, I figured it'd be a great place to go. But I'm on fucking VACATION, so I just wasn't "feeling" it. But since my brother woke up early to go with me, I didn't want to let him down.

My parents decided that they wanted to go too, just to sight-see. We arrived at Cade's Cove at around 8:45. Brian and I started running the 11-mile loop. The first mile was great. Then I started running into hills... and I am NOT a hill-runner!  I avoid hills like the plague. But let's face it, I'm in Tennessee. So I was okay with the hills, and then came the WIND. It was about a 40 mph head wind and at times, I felt like I was running in place. My hat blew off my head a few times and I had to chase it down. It was a CRUEL wind!

I had read that the loop was closed to traffic on Wednesdays and Saturdays before 10:00 AM, so that runners and bikers could go without worry of getting hit by a car. When we got there, we discovered that it doesn't actually start until MAY, so we still had to worry about traffic. My parents ended up driving up a couple of miles ahead of us, and then when we reached them, we had a drink of water and kept running. Kind of like leap-frog.

A gorgeous view at 3.5 miles in... the pic doesn't do it justice

The hills were KILLER, and the wind was nearly impossible. And to top it off, it started raining at about mile 6.  I decided to keep going, because I'm stubborn, but then at mile 7 I could tell that Brian wasn't into it anymore. So I told him it's fine if we stop. We ran to my parents car at mile 7 and hopped in. I didn't get to do my long run like I'd hoped (12 miles) but with the hills + wind + rain, I think I paid my dues ;)

Running just before mile 7

We decided to call it quits during the pouring rain at mile 7

It was a GORGEOUS run at times, and I loved the view. I just wish the weather had been better, but I still enjoyed the run!

Turns out that later that day, Tennessee was hit with a lot of devastating tornadoes! We finished up just in time.

April 26, 2011


I'm terrified of pretty much everything. Well, I guess that's an exaggeration, but I have bad anxiety about all kinds of things. Which is why it was surprising that it was MY suggestion we go zip-lining, but that was months ago when I was feeling a little brave. When it came down to it, I really wanted to back out, but we'd already paid $90 per person, and my husband and I don't exactly have a lot of money. So yesterday (Monday) was the big day.

The hills of Tennessee

Well, we made it to Tennessee. We left on Friday morning at about 8:00, and drove straight through to Pigeon Forge (stopping for lunch at a Waffle House in Kentucky). The kids were pretty good in the car, surprisingly.

Our cabin is AMAZING. It's absolutely huge, and it sits right on top of a mountain. I'll overload you with pictures...

April 21, 2011

My Hollywood 11-mile run

I realize that what I'm about to write about may make some (most?) of you roll your eyes. But drastic times call for drastic measures, and after a terrifying experience on the scale yesterday, I am officially in drastic times!  My weight has been on an upward trend the last couple of weeks, and that is NOT cool--I'm supposed to be LOSING weight.

I leave for vacation tomorrow, and I was just feeling really crappy about my weight, so I decided to do something a little drastic--I bought

April 19, 2011

Photo Food Log

Since I wrote a long entry earlier today, I'll just do my food log now... in photo form :)

Coffee (x2) with half & half

Cookie Dough Smoothie/Oats

1 cup Spicy Carrot Bisque, 1 slice toast with almond butter, and an apple with sea salt

Afternoon Snack-
Homemade hummus with carrots and celery

My dinner was SO good! I made omelets (for the whole family I used 4 whole eggs and about 1 1/2 cups egg whites). We stuffed them with a black bean + salsa combo (hot), cheddar cheese, and guacamole. And we had broiled asparagus on the side. I was SO full after eating this--the omelet was huge!
Omelet with cheddar cheese, black beans + salsa, and guacamole, and asparagus on the side.

Nighttime Snack-
I bought some medjool dates from Sam's Club... Holy shit! What have I been missing?! These things are SOOO good. I had 1 medjool date and a handful of pistachios.
Medjool date and pistachios

Sugar will be the death of me

It started so innocently. I was doing GREAT on this no-sugar thing, and feeling really good; not having many cravings. For a snack, I quartered an apple, spread with natural peanut butter, and topped with granola. As soon as I was done with it, I instantly wanted something else--something sweet. I hadn't had a thought like that since before I gave up sugar, so I thought it was weird. Then it hit me.

April 16, 2011

Wool coats, Legos, and sexual favors

I made it through two more days without refined sugar. I'm really surprised how easy this has been for me so far. I'm a HUGE sugar addict (literally--I can't stress that enough!) but I haven't been craving it much in the three days that I've gone without it. I think it might be BECAUSE I haven't had any sugar that I'm not craving it. Ever notice how when you eat a cookie or something sweet that you suddenly have a ravenous appetite for more sweets?

Or maybe that's just me.

Well, anyway, I haven't had many cravings.

April 15, 2011

Mr. Slim Katie

I made it through the first day of being sugar free, and I am quite surprised at how well I did. I expected it to be extremely difficult and my cravings to be overwhelming, but the cravings were only mild and only out of habit (my usual after-dinner dessert). I'll try and run through all that I ate yesterday:

April 14, 2011

30 Days Sugar-free

Okay, I lied. I said I was going to weigh in yesterday, and I didn't. I couldn't stand the thought of seeing a huge number on the scale (which usually leads me to binge in the first place), so I decided to give myself a week before I see the damage from the last few days.

I'm going to do a 30-day 'experiment'.

Let me give you some back story, and then I'll explain the experiment. When I first started losing weight, after a couple of months, I noticed that I was getting acne. Which was weird, because I was 27 years old. There was a little bit on my face, but it was mostly on the small of my back. I went to the dermatologist, and he said, "OH, that's nothing! Don't worry about it--you can barely see it." I wasn't happy with that answer, because it was noticeable to ME and that's what matters. So he gave me some cream that he said to be careful with the amount I use, because if I use too much, it'll make my skin look like "raw hamburger".

Well needless to say, I was terrified to use it, so I didn't. After about 6 more months, it went away on its own. My skin was pretty clear after that... until I broke my jaw. After that, I started breaking out on my chin and along my jawline really badly, and I also broke out all over my chest and shoulders! I told my surgeon, and he said it could be a reaction to the many drugs I was taking or to the anesthesia. So here it is, five months later, and I still have it.

I started thinking about my diet, and what changes had been made during the times my skin was clear to the times it was not. And I realized that there were 2 things in my diet that could be causing this (or just a coincidence, we'll see):  sugar and dairy.

When I first started losing weight, I was counting WW points. I was trying to get in the recommended 2 servings of dairy every day, usually with milk. I also made sure to save some points every day for dessert--because I have a raging sweet tooth. Eventually, I started counting calories instead of points, and I basically cut way back on dairy (not consciously--I just used my calories in other ways that appealed to me). I also was eating less sugar, because I was really cleaning up my diet. My skin was pretty clear.  Here is a picture from September 2010, a month prior to breaking my jaw:
You can see my face and chest pretty well, and it looks normal. Then, after I broke my jaw, I (obviously) couldn't eat solid food. And I pretty much lived off of smoothies made with milk and homemade pudding (milk + sugar). The only protein I was getting was from milk. Then I started making shakes with whey protein (which comes from milk). And I also started bingeing on sugar again in late January/early February.

And now I have acne along my jaw and on my chest. I refuse to show you a picture without ANY make-up, but you can still see my jawline here...
Without make-up, it's a lot worse. And I cannot wear low cut shirts because of my chest. I have no idea if this actually IS related to the sugar and dairy in my diet, but I've been reading a lot online about it, and it sounds like it's a very real possibility. Which is why I'm going to try going without sugar for 30 days, and have VERY limited dairy (no milk, a little cheese here and there, but that's all). I had Jerry take some "before" pics today without make-up (scary! lol) and I'll compare them after 30 days and see if there is a difference.  I'm not using any acne products on my face at all--I've tried that, and they just don't work.

I will still have natural sugars (i.e. fruit), but no refined sugars or corn syrup or anything like that. I'm such a sugar addict and I know this is going to be super hard, but I think mentally this will help me as well. I like to challenge myself once in a while and it gives me self-confidence when I achieve something like this.

I went through the cupboards yesterday and couldn't BELIEVE some of the products that contain sugar. Like bouillon cubes--really?! Mayonnaise. My coconut milk creamer for my coffee. Ramen noodles. Stuff that you wouldn't normally think to contain sugar. I went grocery shopping today to buy some staples. Bread was really hard to find without sugar (or corn syrup)--but I bought some Ezekiel bread from the freezer section. New almond butter, because the Maranatha stuff I had contained added sugar. Chicken and beef bouillon without added sugar. I make homemade soups a LOT and I couldn't go without the bouillon! Cereal was really hard to find as well--I ended up with Shredded Wheat (plain, obviously, not frosted) and Grape Nuts.

Right now, I'm not going to count calories--it would be too stressful to worry about sugar AND calories. And without the sugar, my calories will naturally be much lower. When I'm gaining weight, I can easily eat 2-4,000 calories worth of sugar on TOP of my regular food (in the form of sweets, of course, not bouillon, lol).

I realize this is a long post, so I'll end it now. But PLEASE do not try and convince me that going sugar free is stupid or that I should just eat it moderately, etc. I'm only doing this for a little while to see if it has an effect on my skin. And also because I need a serious sugar detox right now!

OH, and before I go... I did my longest run to date today. 10 MILES! It was exciting to go that far and not die ;)

April 12, 2011


I've been off track for a couple of days. I haven't been counting calories and I've been eating too much junk. I was getting so discouraged because I was counting EVERYTHING I ate and my weight wasn't budging. I'm seriously fighting my body to lose this last 10 pounds.  I know I shouldn't let the scale dictate what kind of day I'm having, but I was so discouraged a couple of days ago that I just quit trying. I've still been running--I will never give that up!--but I haven't been counting my calories. So I'm guessing my weigh-in tomorrow is going to be terrible.

April 9, 2011

Picking up the pace

I really didn't want to go for a run this morning, but I had a 4.5 mile run scheduled, so I did it anyway (after stalling for about an hour). I brought the Garmin 305 instead of the 205 that I usually bring. The 305 has a heart rate monitor on it, so I decided to see how my heart rate is on my runs. It's been a while since I did that. Anyway, I changed the display on the screen to show things like pace, average pace, time of day, heart rate, etc. Then I went out for my run.

A couple of miles into it, I glanced at my Garmin to see my pace.

April 8, 2011

A better choice

Today marks Day 7 of counting calories again.  I can't believe I made it a whole week with out a binge! It's been a looong time since that has happened. Probably since September or October.  I'm started to feel that urge to keep going strong and I'm hoping I get the "nothing can stop me now!" attitude that I had when I lost all the weight. I still don't feel confident enough to keep certain foods in the house (chocolate chips, marshmallow fluff, Dove Promises, frozen yogurt, etc). I'll get to that point again though, hopefully.

Today, once again, I started thinking about getting a monster cookie.

April 7, 2011

9 Miles

I had a scheduled long run today--9 miles. I always dread my long runs, and I even get nervous before them. I like to have a Green Monster before my runs, so I made that for breakfast (www.greenmonstermovement.com). Then I drove to my friend Renee's house to park and I did a 4.5 mile out-and-back run (actually, I overshot and went about 4.7 miles out, making the total run 9.36 miles. The first 5-6 miles, I felt totally fine. Then around mile 7, I just felt like I was dragging ass.

April 6, 2011

Nothing short of a miracle

I'm in AWE that I actually made it through the day without a binge! Seriously. I was so mad at the scale this morning that I just wanted to say 'eff it' and eat a bunch of junk. I really thought about it. I even went to Kroger for a couple of things we needed and was thisclose to buying cookies or cake or something. Then later, I decided to go to Target for some new pj's (and to kill some time away from home, so I wouldn't be tempted to eat!) Well, Target is in the mall and so is Mrs. Fields, and you know my love affair with cookies + frosting.

Weigh In


Even though I expected it (see previous entry), I'm totally bummed. I was 139.5 today. Which means, after 4 days of strict calorie counting, I'm UP by half a pound. This has actually never happened to me before. When I was actively losing the 125 pounds I lost between Aug 2009 and Dec 2010, I went 53 weeks before I had a gain.

April 5, 2011

Holy sodium!

I do NOT have high hopes for my Wednesday weigh-in tomorrow. This morning my weight was UP even though I've been counting calories--I was bummed. Then I looked at my food log from yesterday and saw that I consumed 3500+ mg of sodium yesterday. Good grief!

April 4, 2011


I just got done watching Tangled with my kids. It's a cute movie--reminds me of the old-school Disney movies, like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.

I went for a run this morning. Looking at the weather report, it said it was supposed to rain all day except between 8 and 9 AM (strange) so I took that as an opportunity to get my run out of the way. It was the worst run I've had in a long time! I wasn't trying to go fast or anything, but I was still surprised to see that I was running a 9:40-ish mile pace--which is very slow for me lately. I'm used to running about a 9:00/mi pace. I had a bad stomach cramp and just wasn't feeling up to par today. I did 4.6 miles in 44:07.

I was SO tempted to binge today.

April 3, 2011

Motivation to get to goal

For those of you on Sparkpeople who have asked about me, I'm doing well--thank you for thinking of me! I guess I just haven't blogged because I feel I don't have anything interesting to say.

I am extremely motivated right now to finally do what it takes to reach my ultimate goal of 126 (half my starting weight). As of now, I am 139, so I have 13 pounds to lose. I also have a deadline to reach this goal--June 21st. I'll explain more about the deadline later, because I don't want to jinx anything, so I'm just going to leave it at that right now.

I'm not doing anything radical to lose the weight.

How did you lose the weight?

Ahhh, the million dollar question.

Whenever people learn that I've lost a large amount of weight, the first thing they want to know is HOW I did it. So I will dedicate this post to answering that question and get it out of the way now.

weight loss

The short answer is: diet and exercise. Sorry to disappoint, but I did not take any magic pills or eat magic food. I did not sit on my couch all day and stuff my face with food and lose weight! Shocking, right? I actually put in a lot of hard work, dedication, and made lots of sacrifices to get where I am now--and it was all worth it.

Usually this is where people stop listening, or stop reading. It's not what anyone wants to hear. However, if I still have your attention, I'll give you some details.

I am a binge eater; and when I was fat, I frequently ate a lot of food in one sitting. I ate restaurant food very often (known for their huge portions); cooked heavy meals at home (again, large portions); and in order to "relax" at night, I would eat large amounts of comfort foods (namely ice cream).

 In August of 2009, at 253 pounds, I once again made a decision to lose the weight. I'd made the decision at least a thousand times before; but for some reason, this time I was very determined to stick it out to the end. I wanted to quit so many times, but I persevered. And in December 2010, I weighed in at 128 pounds (125 pounds lost).

As far as the changes I made to my diet? I did not cut out carbs, or eat just fish and broccoli. I didn't live on salads for 16 months. In fact, I only ate maybe two salads the entire time I was losing weight, because I just wasn't a big fan of salad!

I cut back on my portions by weighing and measuring my food. I counted the Weight Watchers Points in my food (I did not join WW or join their online program--I just found that counting Points easier to keep track of in my head). I used their Winning Points program (they typically change it up every couple of years, but I stuck with Winning Points).

At first, I ate all the usual stuff that I was eating before; I just ate less of it by portioning out my food, and I counted those calories. Over many months, I began to make healthier changes (because I wanted to, not because I felt like I HAD to). At first, I ate roughly 1800 calories per day on average; as my weight got lower, my calories (Points) lowered as well. (I was never willing to reduce my calories to 1200 per day, like a lot of weight loss programs recommend.)

I did not exercise at all until after I'd lost about 60 pounds. I hated exercise, and I just didn't want to make that commitment at first. My sister asked me to walk a half-marathon with her in May 2010, and I (reluctantly) agreed. (We had walked it in 2008 and 2009, and I knew how tough it would be to train for.)

I began training to walk the half-marathon. I also made the ridiculous goal that I wanted to try to RUN a 5K race--something I thought was completely impossible. At the urging of my friend Renee (a runner), I began running three times per week (You can read about how I got started running on my Running page) and doing a long walk on the weekends to prep for both races at the same time.

I walked the half-marathon in May 2010 and finished in 3:23; about 30 minutes faster than the previous two years. In October 2010, I ran my first 5K race and finished in 27:16! I was hooked on running by this point, and I kept at it. I continued to run and set my goals higher. This year, I'll be running the same half-marathon that I walked for the last three years!

If there is one thing I learned on this journey, it's that there is no such thing as a quick fix. If there was, I would have found it--believe me! I tried it all. And the only thing that worked for me is to make changes that were doable for the rest of my life. I didn't give up my favorite foods, or exercise for hours every day. I just cut back on my portion sizes, started exercise when I wanted to, and the weight came off consistently!

April 2, 2011

Martian 10k

A couple of weeks ago, I got talked into registering for a 10k that took place this morning. My friends Renee and Jessica signed up too (they are going to Indy with me for the half-marathon). I wasn't training for it, but I was prepared, since I've been training for the half marathon. I ran 8 miles a couple of days ago and my knee has been killing me ever since, so I was nervous about the 10k this morning. I always get nervous before races, which is kind of ridiculous. I got zero sleep last night because I kept thinking about the race.

Anyway, I was nominated to drive, so everyone met at my house in the morning. We also picked up a girl named Tiffany on the way, who was a friend of Jessica's. There was a half-marathon, a full marathon, a 10k, a 5k, and a kids marathon, all with different starting times. We got there super early, at 6:30 AM--and the 10k start time was at 8. We walked around a little and hung out in the car until race time.

Renee, who is the fastest of us, went up to the front of the start line. I was in the middle, and really didn't care where I started because we had chips on our shoes for official timing. When it started, I found a good pace right away and was passing a lot of people. The course was really fun--we got to run on an on-ramp to a freeway and then run part of the freeway and turn around at the halfway point, then run through some sort of park on a paved path. It was mostly a flat course--just a few hills.

I felt pretty good through the whole thing, and my knee wasn't hurting at all. About a half mile from the halfway point where you turn around, I saw Renee (meaning she was about 1 mile ahead of me). I also saw a girl I went to high school with, and I recognized her instantly. She didn't see me, but when I got home, I found her on Facebook and asked if it was her--it was.  Anyway, I had pretty much no hope of setting a PR. My last 10k was on Halloween, at the peak of my running and before I broke my jaw. My time was 56:25 (9:05/mi). Lately, I've been running about a 9:20 mile--I just feel sluggish or something.  So I wasn't really going for a PR. That is why I wasn't even excited about this race.  After the first mile or so, I looked at my pace and I was doing about an 8:40 mile, so I was happy about that. Then I thought, "If I just stay under a 9:00/mi, I'll set a PR."

Turns out I DID actually set a PR!  My finish time was 55:04.5.  I finished 316th out of 946 overall, and 34th out of 149 in my age group (20-29). I'm pretty happy about that!!

This is Tiffany, Jessica, me, and Renee. I'm bummed I didn't put on my race shirt for the pic! But I didn't want to transfer my bib over.

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