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.

But... it was 147.5.

Now, I know that gaining 8 pounds in the week I was in Tennessee means that it will probably come off quickly too. It's mostly water weight, blah blah blah. But the point is, that number puts me back in the "overweight" category for my BMI.

How I spent 90% of my vacation ;)

Was I surprised to see the number? Hahaha, not at all!  Once I got to the cabin, all of my good intentions went out the window. My dad (who is a total junk food-aholic) brought tons of candy bars, cookies, chips, dips, donuts, etc. to snack on.

I always used to hate donuts (even as a fat person, donuts just disgusted me). However, I tried a Krispy Kreme donut on vacation and it was delicious!! So I had about 5 of those over the course of the week.

I can't count the number of mini candy bars I ate. I drank 4 bottles of red wine (by myself--I'm the only wine drinker in my family). I probably had about 6 beers.

I had hamburgers, turkey dinner with a second helping, tons of chips and dip, a couple of bowls of ice cream, about 6 cookies, 2 pieces of pizza, loaded nachos... I can't remember what else. I didn't "binge", however--these things were all eaten throughout the week, sporadically throughout the day. My body is not used to eating that much junk, and of course it just packed on the 8 pounds in 7 days.  The exercise I got was a 3-mile and a 7-mile run. I also went for a few walks and there were TONS of stairs at our cabin.

On the 8-hour car ride home yesterday, I read Portia de Rossi's book called Unbearable Lightness. It was an AMAZING read for anyone that has disordered eating. I'm not bulimic or anorexic, but I AM a binge eater and I definitely have done my share of dieting (a form of disordered eating).

So much of her book really hit home for me. Reading that book really got me thinking about all the ups and downs--I'm either bingeing or dieting/restricting all the time. More than anything, I'd love to find balance in my life and my way of eating. To not binge and to not restrict. "Ordered" eating, instead of "disordered" eating.

And I'd like to live each day the way that I'd like to live forever. Each meal, even. I've been keeping that in mind now--when I want to eat, I ask myself, "Is this something that will help me maintain a healthy balance?" For some reason, that really resonated with me.

Anyway, that was my vacation damage. I'm going away again on Friday to Indianapolis for my first half-marathon. We'll be gone from Friday to Sunday. Thankfully, my dad isn't going, so I won't be loading up on junk! ;)  Last year, I actually lost weight when I was in Indy. Hopefully that will be the case again.

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

Zip-lining!

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.

We drove into Gatlinburg (OMG, downtown Gatlinburg was awful--SOOO touristy, and I'll never go again). The kids did one thing there (a ski lift-looking thing, up a mountain) and then we had lunch (Subway). I stopped at a little shop and bought a half-pound of peanut butter fudge (I know, I know! But it was worth it--DELICIOUS!)

Then my mom took the kids out for a while so the rest of us could zip-line. We used this company called CLIMB, and according to the reviews, it was fantastic.  We got there, met our guides who were very nice and fun, and we suited up (after stepping on a scale!! I didn't ask what I weighed, because I truly didn't want to know. I'm sure it was horrible).

Jerry and I suited up in our zip gear
We headed out and I was terrified. I had taken a couple of Xanax, but they weren't helping much. We climbed up to the first platform and I was third in line to go. My dad went first. Then Brian, my brother. Then it was my turn.

I had a hard time stepping off the platform, but finally I did it. And it was fun! It didn't go nearly as fast as I was picturing in my head, and it was very comfortable (kind of like a little seat). The guides give you signals if they want you to "ball up" (go faster) or "starfish" (go slower). Balling up is exactly what you think--you curl your legs to your chest and lean back a little. The starfish position is where you push your chest forward and stretch your legs out and open them a little.

We did 9 jumps total, and then from the last platform, we got to rappel down to the ground (fun!)  I had a BLAST and would definitely do it again. The guides we had were fantastic, and I'd recommend that company for anyone visiting near Gatlinburg.

Here are some pictures:
Just before my first go on the zip-line

The gorgeous scenery!

Jerry and me

My first landing... it was harder than it looks!

A "ball up"

The "starfish" position



I even attempted to go upside down :)

At the end, we had to rappel down... it was fun!

Jerry, Shawn, Jeanie, Brian, me, and my dad


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 a bottle of the Hollywood 48-Hour Miracle Diet. Yes, laugh your ass off, I don't care.

It was on sale for $10, and I thought, "What can it hurt?" A juice fast for 2 days will drop a lot of this extra water weight I packed on the last few days. Now, I know that the H48-HMD is not magic... it is simply fruit juice. But if I'm paying $10 for a quart of this stuff, I'm much more likely to stick with it for the whole 2 days.

I normally don't do fad diets, but I know that I'll at least feel better about myself starting my vacation if I don't FEEL so fat.

Since I had this brilliant idea just yesterday, that meant today was going to be Day 1... and Thursdays are also my long run days. Which meant fueling an 11-mile run with just a cup of juice! However, I think all the crap I ate yesterday was still sitting in my digestive system, so I'm not too worried about it ;)  I actually felt pretty decent during my run (as decent as one can feel while running 11 miles). 

I parked at my friend Renee's house and ran out 5.5 miles, then turned around to head back. On the way back, I impulsively cut down a different street--aptly named "Hollywood". I actually hit a dead end(!!) which is NOT cool when you're on a long run. I didn't want to do a tenth of a mile more than I had to.

It ended up adding 0.13 miles to the run, so all-in-all, I ran 11.13. I got bad stomach cramps during mile 4, and I prayed they would go away quickly. They did. I kept my heart rate at around 156, and my pace was terrible. My pace just keeps getting slower week after week. Today my average ended up being 9:49/mi. I really need to start doing some speedwork every week.

I'm completely exhausted right now, but I still have to pack for vacation. I have a ton of laundry to do first, though. I just want to lie on the couch and recover! I'm actually starting to look forward to relaxing in Tennessee. I really don't feel like DOING much on vacation--just relaxing. I am going ziplining on Monday, and I'm kind of nervous about that. I'll see if I can get pictures to post.

I'm bringing my computer with me, because the cabin we are staying at has free wi-fi, so I'll and try and post there.



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 :)

BREAKFAST-
Coffee (x2) with half & half

Cookie Dough Smoothie/Oats

Lunch- 
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

Dinner-
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.

KATIE, YOU'RE AN IDIOT--THERE WAS SUGAR IN THE GRANOLA! (Duh!)

The whole time I was preparing my snack, then eating it, it never even crossed my mind. It's funny that it had such an effect on my cravings, too--I instantly was craving something sweet after eating the granola. And then, being the all-or-nothing person I am, I decided "What the hell... might as well eat sweets today."  I had a (large) Reese blizzard from an ice cream shop, and then I made cookie dough and ate way too much of it.

I was SO TIRED afterward. I went to bed at 10ish. At around 11:15, I woke up and I was sweating horribly. My heart was racing so fast and hard. I stood up to get some water and got really nauseous and hot. Exactly how I felt before I fainted in November. I hurriedly got some water then went back to bed to lie down in case I actually fainted. It was like I could FEEL the sugar rushing through my veins. I woke up my husband and told him I thought I was going to die from an overdose of sugar. It sounds ridiculous, but I honestly FELT like that. It was awful!

I couldn't sleep at all after that. I so badly wanted that sugar out of my system. You know how when you're drunk and ready to go to bed, how you just feel so sick and you want the alcohol OUT of you?? (Again, maybe that's just me! lol)  That's how I felt about the sugar.

So I'm back to total detox mode--no sugar whatsoever. I'm terrified that sugar is going to kill me one day.

Anyways. I was NOT HAPPY to find THIS when I looked out the window yesterday:


Snow!! In mid-April!  I had a 5-mile run scheduled, and decided to do it on the dreadmill. I HATE the dreadmill (obviously, since I've renamed it 'dreadmill' from 'treadmill'). It is so boring! After 3 miles, I called it quits.

Today, I am supposed to do 5 miles again--and it's cold and rainy. I'm hoping it clears up by this afternoon, so I can do it then. We leave for Tennessee on Friday--we're vacationing there with my parents, my sister, and my two brothers at a cabin in Pigeon Forge. I'm hoping to do as little running as possible in the hills of TN, but if the weather doesn't let me run much this week, then I'll be stuck doing it on vacation.

I tried a new oatmeal recipe this morning. I modified this recipe a little. It had me at "cookie dough for breakfast"  :)  Instead of using stevia, however, I threw 3 dates in the food processor with the oats. I'm not a fan of stevia.

I omitted the nutritional yeast (don't have any) and the cinnamon (I don't like cinnamon + chocolate together), and I used 1/2 ounce Baker's unsweetened chocolate. The whole concoction was pretty good! If you make it expecting it to taste like actual cookie dough, it doesn't. But it's pretty good, and has a doughy taste.


I'll probably update later with a food log. I really ought to do it EVERY day, to hold myself accountable.

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. I haven't been counting calories, but I haven't been pigging out either. I don't know if I mentioned this, but I'm not eating artificial sweeteners, either. I've never liked them, and I don't plan to keep trying them until I do, so I just have been curbing my sweet tooth with fruit. I have to be careful with the dried fruit though--dates and prunes especially. I could eat a ton of them in one sitting.

I went garage saleing (I know that's not a word, but that's what I call it!) today with my mom and aunt. There was a city wide sale. I bought a bunch of shirts and two wool coats. I've always wanted to own a wool coat, but I've never wanted to spend the money on them because I was "too fat" and I was "going to lose the weight". 

I actually went about three years without a winter coat at all! So today, I saw a cute black wool coat from American Eagle for $3 in a size small. Yay! Then at the very next sale, I saw a cute gray wool coat from American Eagle for $3 in a size small. Seriously?!  So I had to buy that one, too. The gray one looks brand new, but the black one needs to be dry cleaned. It'll probably cost more to clean than it was to buy the coat!

My kids went out to a few sales with my dad, and Eli (my 5-year old) found a big box of Legos. My dad asked how much, and the guy said $2. If you've ever bought Legos, you know that is a STEAL. They are boxed sets of Harry Potter Legos--and because I wanted to see JUST how much my dad robbed this guy of, I looked up the prices when Eli brought them home. The value of all the Legos he got for $2?  Yeah, they're $185 if you buy them at Wal-Mart! It's disgusting how much Legos cost.

I spent the whole afternoon helping Eli put them together. I'm probably a total freak for this, but I LOVE following instructions and putting things together. Anytime we buy something that has to be assembled, I get all excited.

Right now, I'm sitting here blogging while my poor husband cleans the house that I neglected all day while putting together Legos. I told him I'd trade him a sexual favor or two in return for his cleaning. He happily agreed. Is that horrible of me?  I think not, because we both win this way!  ;)

I added a Recipe page to my blog. I spent a good two hours TRYING to put links at the top of the page to jump down to the recipe you're looking for, but they just wouldn't work. Or I'd get them to work, and then edit something else and they'd stop working. GRR! Hopefully someday I'll figure out a better way to navigate recipes.  I also added a bunch of new stuff to my About Me page.

My food log for yesterday:

Breakfast-
Grape-Nuts with almond milk and blueberries
coffee with cream

Lunch-
toast with peanut butter
pear with cinnamon
Spicy Carrot Bisque (recipe is up on the Recipe page)

Spicy Carrot Bisque


Dinner-
2 slices homemade pizza
handful of grapes

Snacks-
hummus with veggies (my hummus recipe is up too)
pretzels
prunes
almonds
grapes

Exercise-
Ran 5 miles

And today's food log:

Breakfast-
Green Monster
coffee with cream

Lunch-  (this lunch keeps me so full until about 4 PM... love that!)
toast with cashew butter
grapes
Spicy Carrot Bisque

Dinner-
Meatball Soup

Snacks-
hummus with veggies
I'll probably have one more snack today, probably pretzels or a banana

Exercise-
none scheduled

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:

Breakfast-
Green Monster
coffee with cream

Lunch-
bread with almond butter
apple with sea salt
Spicy Carrot Bisque (I really need to post the recipe for this--it's SO good!)



Dinner-
mahi mahi cooked in coconut oil
sweet potato fries (again, cooked in coconut oil--the combo of the coconut oil & sweet potato was AWESOME)
grapes

Snacks-
carrots with guacamole (the Wholly Guacamole doesn't have sugar--thank goodness!)
pretzels
3 prunes and 3 dates (my "dessert")
handful of almonds

Exercise-
Ran 10 miles!

Not too bad! As you can see, I'm still eating sugar, just not refined sugar. I'm still eating the natural sugars found in fruit/veggies. The only real physical difference I noticed yesterday was that I wasn't extremely tired in the evening. Normally, when I eat a lot of sugar, I experience the sugar "crash" that has me practically asleep on the couch.

My runner's knee flared up after my 10-mile run yesterday, and it's been KILLING me ever since. Trying to fall asleep last night was bad. And every time I woke up during the night, it would be throbbing. This morning, I said no WAY am I running today--and then I ended up running 5 miles anyway. The funny thing is, the only time my knee stops hurting is when I'm running (after the first mile or so). I'm going to rest it all weekend and hopefully it'll be okay again until after my 11-miler on Thursday.

On my last entry, someone asked about my husband's support during my weight loss. I am very fortunate to have an AMAZING husband who supports everything I do. I'm really surprised that I even found someone willing to marry me, because I am probably the bossiest person you'll ever meet. I like to be the one calling the shots and making decisions. My husband is the total opposite of me. He is extremely laid back, and just goes with the flow of things. I think that's why we've been able to be (happily) married for the past 8 years.

When I decided to start losing weight, Jerry (that's my husband) wasn't really interested in doing it along with me, but he definitely lost weight "by default" as he likes to say. I was cooking healthier and I got rid of all the junk food in the house, so he didn't really have a choice ;)  I know that a lot of husbands would not be willing to change their lifestyles for the sake of their wives, but again, I'm super lucky to have Jerry.

He cares more about my happiness than he does eating pizza and ice cream four times a week. He never pressured me to "splurge" or have something "just this once". He never ate things in front of me that he knows I love. Eventually, he set some weight loss goals too, and now he really enjoys our healthy lifestyle. (He's lost almost 80 pounds now).

I imagine it would be very difficult to have a spouse that is not supportive of your quest to lose weight or get healthy. If that was the situation, I guess I would just try to make the most of what I was working with.

I'd give my husband his own cupboard for his junk so that I wouldn't have to see it. I would cook healthy meals and maybe add a not-so-healthy side item to full-fill his need. If he wanted to order out, I would probably make my own meal to eat while he ate restaurant food. I would definitely NOT let him stop me from reaching my goals, however. It might make life more difficult with an unsupportive spouse, but it can be done if you make a plan.


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. 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

Discouraged

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.

I tend to quit blogging whenever I'm doing badly, and I need to get out of that habit. If anything, I should blog when I'm doing bad... to help myself through it!  I'm bummed to have to start over with Day 1 tomorrow. I HATE the first 4 days of counting calories. I always feel like I'm starving and my sweet cravings are uncontrollable.

I know I said I didn't want to jinx it, but I will explain the reason I wanted to reach goal by the end of June. The PR director of Sparkpeople contacted me about submitting my story to People magazine's Half Their Size issue. He would have to make the submission by July, and in order for him to submit my story, I obviously have to be HALF my size--126.5 or less pounds.

I was SO close in December--128! I have literally dreamed of being in that issue of People for years. Long before I began losing weight, I hung up the cover of that issue on my bulletin board because it's the biggest dream I could even imagine.

And now there is a very real possibility of it coming true, but I'm having such a hard time doing what I need to do to make it happen. I've lost 125 fucking pounds, and now I sit here trying to lose 10 and I just don't want to do what needs to be done?! It sounds ridiculous, I know. Suck it up, Katie, and just DO IT. What better motivation than making my biggest dream come true?!

I hear a lot of people saying that they "can't do it" or "it's too hard to do it" or something along those lines. But honestly, it's all about whether you are WILLING TO do what needs to be done to lose the weight. Anybody CAN lose weight--but you have to be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to do that. And instead of being willing, I've been making excuses lately.

What needs to be done? I have to be willing to weigh/measure everything that I eat, and count the calories for it. I need to be willing to turn down food that doesn't fit into my plan. I need to be willing to stick it out until my taste buds change again, which could take 6+ months. I need to be willing to put myself first and screw what everyone else says about it.  And I definitely need to quit being a baby about it when I don't get to eat what I want when I want it.

Anyways, enough of that. I've laid it out there and now I really need to make up my mind about whether I want to go for the last 10 pounds or not. "Shit or get off the pot", in other words.

I got hit by a car today while I was running. I just had a short 3-mile run to do and so I went around my neighborhood. Someone was backing out of a driveway with a van, and didn't see me. I tried to jump out of the way, but there was nowhere for me to go. I barely got bumped by the van, but I flipped out and started yelling at the driver. I feel bad about it now, because it wasn't like he hit me on purpose, but it scared me half to death.

I took my new running shirt to a place yesterday to get lettered on the back for my half-marathon. I really like how it turned out! Here is a picture:


I was a little worried about how it would turn out, because it's an Under Armour shirt--not cheap. But I like it!

Well, I guess that's all for now. Tomorrow I'll do a weigh-in, as much as I don't want to, and I'll count calories.

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. I was pissed when I saw 9:38. Seriously?! I felt like I was running pretty well--not my hardest, but at least under a 9:15/mi pace. So I started running a little faster, and a little bit later I looked again. This time it was 9:46!

I was really discouraged when I saw that, so I went even faster. Then I looked again about a mile later, and it was 9:55. It wasn't until THEN that I realized I was looking at the time of day instead of my pace!! LOL, what a smart one I am.  My actual pace ended up being 9:11/mi, which still isn't great, but it's much better than 9:55!

I went to Dunham's today to buy an outfit for the Indy half-marathon in May. It's a really big deal for me this year, and I want to look good in the pics :)  I've walked the half-marathon three years in a row (even at my fattest--that's where my "before" picture came from).

This year will be the first time I actually RUN it.  This races means a lot to me because it is what inspired me to lose the weight in the first place. In 2009, I saw the pictures from the race and was disgusted with myself. And the whole time we were in Indy, I felt like "the fat friend" and just plain crappy about myself. I have since lost 125 pounds, so I'm hoping to get some good pictures for comparison.

I tried on a skort, which I think looks cute, but I was worried about chafing on my thighs. I don't run in shorts because I have loose skin on my thighs and I would just feel self-conscious. I really like Under Armour clothes, and so I decided to get their 'heat gear'.

I bought capri-length running tights and a t-shirt. I'm going to get "Half My Size" lettered on the back of the shirt for the race... is that lame? I don't know. I wanted to get a shirt made, and wasn't sure what to put on it, so that's what I decided on.  If it's cold, I'll wear this black shirt under it.

So here is my outfit for Indy... does it look okay? I hope so.


My husband and I actually have real PLANS tonight. We never have plans on a Saturday night, so this is exciting for us, haha.  We're going to my friend Renee's house to play cards and have a couple of drinks. I've decided to have two glasses of red wine, for a little over 200 calories. I won't eat anything there.

My family requested pita pizzas again tonight for dinner--so that's pretty easy for me :)  I don't think I could ever get sick of pizza.  Oh, some of you asked what "pineapple fluff" is. It's nothing special--just pistachio pudding mix + can of crushed pineapple + 8 oz container of cool whip free. It makes a fluffy textured pudding with crushed pineapple in it.

Today's food log:

Breakfast-
Green Monster (189)
coffee with cream (25)

Lunch-
1 egg + two whites with mushrooms and green pepper  (122)
1 waffle with almond butter  (129)
pear (98)

Dinner-
pita pizza  (256)

Snacks-
Vitatop with cool whip  (160)
Fiber One bar (140)
popcorn (225)
wine  (212)

Exercise-
Ran 4.51 miles in 41:23 (9:11/mi)  (+474 calories)

Total calories eaten:  1555


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 starting 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.

But I kept thinking about how guilty I would feel for eating it, even if I worked it into my calories for the day. So I decided to think of a treat that I could have that wouldn't make me feel guilty, but I could still indulge in. And I decided to go to a bakery and buy a good quality cookie.  Not Mrs. Fields, because that is too 'binge-like' for me.

I went to a local bakery instead and asked what their most popular cookie was, and she said chocolate chip. So I decided to get that. I weighed it when I got home, and it was 3.3 oz. According to Sparkpeople, that would be 460 calories of yummy butter, sugar, flour, and chocolate.


My husband said something today that really made me stop and think. I was whining, naming off all the reasons why I hate counting calories and measuring food, and I should just eat whatever I want and screw the goal of getting to 126. He told me, "Do you realize that you're looking for reasons to binge? Quit looking for reasons TO binge, and start looking for reasons NOT TO binge."

Well duh. That's such simple advice, but it makes so much sense! I realized that I really was looking for reasons to binge. So now, hopefully I'll be more conscious of it when I start to have thoughts like that, and I can change my thinking.

I feel like all I've been blogging about for the whole week is bingeing. I think it's just a really hard time for me right now because I'm just getting back on track and all I can think about is food. I will come up with other things to write about. But this really goes to show that losing the weight means you won't still struggle every day to maintain it. I've been at this for 20 months and look how much I struggle!

I made pita pizza for dinner tonight. My family does "Pizza Fridays" and usually I make a homemade whole wheat crust, but lately I've been into using pitas for a crust. The pitas I bought were HUGE (probably 9 inches in diameter?) and super thin--and only 138 calories each.

My very very very favorite pizza topping is feta cheese and green peppers. My husband (normally a meat-lovers guy all the way) is now hooked on that combo too. He actually would rather have that than meat on his pizza now.

I buy fat free feta, and it's only 35 calories per ounce (mozzarella is 80 calories per ounce!)  So I use 1/4 cup pizza sauce, generous sprinkle of garlic powder, 1/2 ounce of mozzarella + 1 oz fat free feta + 2 tsp. parmesan. Then top with the green peppers. It is the. best. pizza. EVER. (It looks small in the pic, but it's literally the size of a small pizza from a pizza shop)


I was just entering my food into Sparkpeople, and when I added the turkey for the turkey sandwich I made, I was shocked at the sodium. When I glanced at the label, it said '340 mg' for the sodium. But that was for ONE slice, and I used THREE slices on my sandwich--along with a piece of cheese (more sodium) and mustard (even more). Yikes!

Today's food log:

Breakfast-
Bran flakes with almond milk and blueberries (128)
coffee with cream (25)

Lunch-
turkey sandwich (223)
apple with salt (63)
roasted cauliflower (29)

Dinner-
pita pizza  (255)
roasted cauliflower (29)

Snacks-
pineapple fluff (181)
chocolate chip cookie  (460)

Exercise-
none scheduled today

Total calories eaten:  1391


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.


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.

I just wanted it to be over!

That's the positive about an out-and-back run. You feel great the whole way out, feeling like you can run forever, the whole time getting farther and farther from your car (or house, or wherever you started). By the time you turn around and head back, it's too late to change your mind about how far to run. You have to get back somehow, right? When your legs feel like lead, you have no choice but to keep going. And I never stop to walk, because walking will just take longer.

My pace was terrible. I don't know what my funk is lately. I did great at the 10k on Saturday, but other than that, my pace has been slow. Today I averaged a little over a 9:30/mi pace. I really ought to be under a 9:00/mi pace.

Anyway, enough of that!  Today is my brother's birthday, and my mom invited us over there for dinner. She decided to bring home Chinese food. I told her last week about how important it is that I reach goal by the end of June, and I even told her not to be offended if I turn down dinner offers, etc.

I told her I wasn't going to go, and she got mad, so I told her that I'd go but just bring my own food.  So I made General Tsao's Chicken for me and my husband. Then I bought Smart Ones peanut butter cup sundaes for us to have instead of her dessert. I wasn't really tempted by the Chinese food, but refusing the Reese cup pie took some serious willpower.

My brother brought his new girlfriend to my parents house for dinner too, and I met her for the first time. I'm sure she thinks I'm a total self-righteous freak because I brought my own food. But I got over that a looong time ago. When I got very serious about losing weight, I quit giving a crap what other people thought about my food choices, and I learned to say NO.

By the way, if there is ONE change that you make to your diet for the better, it should be to give up restaurant food! I can literally count on one hand the number of times I've had restaurant food in the past year (maybe even two years!)  And that includes fast food. It was hard at first, but now I have no desire whatsoever to eat out (or order in).

I burned almost 1,000 calories during my run today, so naturally I ate more food for the day. Usually if I'm craving junk food, I eat it on my long run day. I was tempted to get a monster cookie today for that reason, but decided against it. Maybe next week for my 10-miler :)  Today I've just been snacking a little more than usual.

After seeing the plug on the 100-calorie packs of Wholly Guacamole on The Biggest Loser, I definitely had to buy some! I found them at Kroger. It's a 3 pack for a little under $2. I had one today with some baby carrots, and it was SOOO good. I may or may not have even licked the pouch until there wasn't a speck of green left ;)

Another snack I've been eating a lot lately is apple slices sprinkled with sea salt. I don't have a clue what possessed me to sprinkle salt on my apple, but it was fantastic! So I've been having that almost daily.

Today's food log:

Breakfast-
Green Monster  (189)
coffee with cream (25)

Lunch-
1 egg + 2 egg whites with Laughing Cow cheese (139)
waffle with almond butter (129)
pear with cinnamon  (98)

Dinner-
General Tsao's Chicken  (197)
brown rice (160)
Smart Ones peanut butter cup sundae  (170)

Snacks-
pineapple fluff  (181)
carrots with guacamole  (128)
WW carrot cake  (90)  <---these are soooo tiny and unsatisfying!
Caramello  (200)

Exercise-
Ran 9.36 miles  (+984)

Total calories eaten:  1705


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.

Again, I was super duper tempted, but I didn't do it!

THEN, I really DID say "eff it" and decided I was going to buy a monster cookie. For my new readers, THIS is a monster cookie:


Two sugar cookies with a fuckload of buttercream frosting. They should seriously be illegal. Anyway, I went to the store to buy one, pulled into the parking lot, and then used EVERY OUNCE OF MY WILLPOWER to turn around and go home. I did! I'm not lying!

If I don't see some serious progress on the scale soon, however, I may not be so strong. I reeeeally need to reach my goal by the end of June.

I did buy some new pj's today, which made me feel good about myself--because they are a size small. I haven't tried on new clothes in a while because I just feel crappy about the 10 pounds I'd gained back.

Yesterday, my husband mentioned how when I was fat, I wore his 2X-3X t-shirts to sleep in, and I always used to say that if I ever lost the weight, I'd wear cute nighties. And I did wear them, for a little while. But lately, since I've been feeling fat, I started wearing his (now size large) t-shirts again. So I bought 3 cute nighties to wear, and a robe to throw over them when I wake up.

I can remember going to Target 2 years ago and trying on clothes--all the XXL things I tried on were TOO SMALL. Now I'm wearing a freaking size SMALL. It's just so hard for me to wrap my head around it. I keep thinking "Okay, they just made the clothes a lot bigger and labeled them smaller." (Yes, I really do think like this)

Even my jeans--I wear size 4 jeans, and I have literally 15 different brands of jeans in size 4. I have to do all the different brands just so I actually believe that I'm a size 4. If I had just one or two brands, I would assume that they were just vanity sized. But I can't argue with 15 different brands, can I?

It's really messed up how much weight loss screws up your mentality.

Today's food log:

Breakfast-
bran flakes with blueberries and almond milk (127)
2 cups coffee with 1 Tbsp. cream (25)

Lunch-
turkey sandwich with cheese and mustard (223)
apple (81)

Dinner-
homemade vegetarian fried rice (292)

Snacks-
pineapple fluff (181)
chocolate vitatop with cool whip (160)
popcorn (225)

Exercise-
none scheduled today (but my long run is tomorrow! I'm dreading it--9 miles!)

Total calories eaten: 1314


Weigh In

139.5

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

Tangled

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.

I'm just doing what I did to lose almost half my weight in the first place--weighing/measuring my food, counting the calories, and continuing to run for exercise. I *do* plan on keeping a food log here, to hold myself accountable. I will also do my Wednesday Weigh-Ins again. When I broke my jaw, I kind of got out of routine, and it's been very difficult to get back into a routine.

I'm still wearing size 4 jeans, although they have gotten very snug. I don't own any 6's, and I refuse to buy any, so it is mandatory that I drop these last few pounds. I know that I CAN do it; it just helps when I know that people are going to be reading about it! ;)

Anyway, I ran a 10k race yesterday and set a new PR of 55:05. I was very happy with that! I really wasn't expecting to set a PR, because my knee has been bothering me. The weather was great for running and the route was really fun. My next race is going to be the half-marathon in Indy on May 7th. Can't wait!!

Here is a picture from the 10k yesterday. Tiffany, Jessica, me, and Renee



Today's Food Log:

Breakfast-
Bran Flakes with almond milk and blueberries (127)
coffee with 1 Tbsp. half & half (22)

Lunch-
peanut butter & jelly sandwich (261)
apple (81)

Dinner-
2 eggs (140)
english muffin (100)
bacon (56)

Snacks-
Vitatop muffin (100)
hot cocoa (110)
popcorn (225)

TOTAL: 1222 (I didn't exercise today, so I ate the minimum calories recommended)

How did you lose the weight?

ETA: I've written a much more detailed post to answer this question, and you can find it here: The Habits That Helped Me Lose 125 Pounds.

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!

ETA: I've written a much more detailed post to answer this question, and you can find it here: The Habits That Helped Me Lose 125 Pounds.

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.