Sunset run with Jerry

Yesterday morning, I had been hoping to go for a sunrise run, but with Jerry's work schedule, it didn't work out (I don't want to leave the kids home alone). So, I just decided to call it a rest day and I showered and got ready for the day.

Even after my seven-day challenge of doing my hair and make-up every day was completed, I'm still doing it! The only two days I skipped were when I was painting and working on my bedroom--otherwise, I've gotten dressed in decent clothes, done my hair, and my make-up daily. I talked to my therapist about it, and she loved the idea. It's kind of amazing how much better my mood is when I take that extra 20 minutes or so (15 minutes for hair, 5 minutes for make-up) to get ready, even when I don't have plans that day.

Me, now, as I am sitting comfortably on my bed typing this post ;)

My Favorite Health Apps

People are always asking me what apps I use for this or that when it comes to running, weight loss or maintenance, and habit tracking. I decided to put them all in one place on this post!

These are the apps that I use daily, or almost daily...

Sunrise run

I completely forgot that Noah had a track meet yesterday, so our evening was kind of rushed. We always eat dinner early (4:00 pm) and Noah's meet was from 3:30-5:30--which kind of throws off our routine. By the time his meet was over, we were STARVING.

Noah's been doing really great with track this year! He'll never be the fastest on the team, because he just doesn't want to commit to the type of training that would take, but he's certainly improved a lot since last year. Yesterday, he did the 70-meter dash and came in second place. I'm not sure where he placed in the long jump, but he is one of the best out of probably 25-30 kids that do it.

He also participated in a 400-meter relay (four kids run 100 meters each, passing a baton, around the track). He was the "anchor" on his team, meaning he was the one to run the final 100-meters of the race. I was super nervous for him, because that's a lot of pressure!

The bedroom is done!

So far, so good on our no-grocery-shopping challenge--of course, it's only been two days. I forgot to mention that the challenge also includes dining out, so we can't do that, either. Eli asked yesterday if we could get milkshakes from Sonic (we've only gotten them once or twice before, but they were insanely good, and he remembers that). I told him that if we make it through the whole no-grocery-shopping challenge (through June 30th), we can reward ourselves with a milkshake from Sonic. Big incentive!

Last night, I made Beans & Rice for dinner. I used to make this a lot when I was losing weight in 2009-2010. It's a super filling, hearty meal for very few calories, and it tastes great! We had some corn muffin mix in the pantry, and that actually sounded really good to have with the Beans & Rice, so I made a batch of those as well. As far as putting a dent in our pantry food, this meal used up the muffin mix, two cans of beans, some rice, and a can of tomatoes. From the freezer, the rest of a bag of frozen corn. (I love using up the last of something!)

I cooked extra rice, so I'll probably use it to make vegetable fried rice (or maybe with some shrimp). We LOVE rice, so you'll probably be seeing it a lot this month (well, until we run out...).

A June food challenge

In May 2013, Jerry and I realized we were spending way too much money on groceries. Luckily, we have a pretty big pantry, but we were being kind of wasteful with our food, and we only actually used about half the items in the pantry on a regular basis.

At the time, we had a pantry full of food, and decided to see if we could go an entire month without buying any groceries (milk, eggs, and fresh produce were the only things we were "allowed" to buy). It was actually a really fun challenge! We had to get really creative toward the end of the month (by "we", I mean "I", since I was doing the cooking) and made some interesting meals, but we completed the challenge.

(Oooh, I had forgotten about the homemade English muffins I made until I linked to that post above. They were delicious! I think I'll make some of those soon.)

Anyway, we are back in the same predicament--too much food in the pantry, yet we're still grocery shopping. So, we're going to do the challenge again, starting yesterday! I didn't do "one last shopping trip" at the grocery store, stocking up on our favorites, either. What we have is what we'll be using until the end of June.

Week 41 Weigh-in

I had a post about 90% ready to post yesterday, but I literally didn't have a single free minute once the kids left for school. I spent 14 HOURS prepping, priming, and painting my bedroom. I wanted to paint the trim white, and I'd never painted trim before, so I wasn't sure how that would go. Also, our walls were pretty dark (and sponge painted) so I wanted to make sure to get them covered well.

The first couple of hours or so, I spent my time taking the doors off the walls (closet, bathroom, and bedroom); taking the TV off the wall; removing the light and socket covers; moving the furniture to the center of the room and covering it, filling in holes in the walls from screws; sanding and washing the walls. Then, I did a coat of primer, which took FOREVER. I had to carefully prime the trim around the windows, doorways, along the floor, and at the ceiling. By the time I was done with a coat of primer, eight hours had passed!

I had been thinking that I would need two coats of primer and two coats of paint to cover the previous dark color (with a light yellow). Once I finished that first coat of primer, I wanted to just quit the whole project and go back to how it was before, haha. My back was killing me, and my muscles were just aching. Not to mention that I was ravenously hungry (how is it that painting takes so much energy?).

A visit to the Lego store

Yesterday, Jerry and I decided to surprise the kids by taking them to the Lego store. Eli has been really into building things with Legos lately, and he's been working to earn as much money as possible for Lego sets (he cuts the grass at my parents' house, and they pay him for it). The Lego store is pretty far away, at Somerset Collection (a "fancy" mall), so we let the kids withdraw $100 each from their savings accounts and then we made the hour-long drive to the store.

We stopped and had self-serve frozen yogurt on the way there, too. We hadn't done that in nearly a year, and the kids were totally thrilled. Yesterday was my high-calorie day--and thank goodness for that, because I can't seem to just get a tiny portion of fro-yo with fruit toppings or something when I go to places like that, haha. This place even had mini buckeyes for toppings! It was delicious.

Notable Race Experiences

Today is the four-year anniversary of running my first marathon. Can you believe it's been four whole years?! I wish it had been a better experience, but if I'm being honest, it was one of the worst race experiences I've had since becoming a runner. It was 85 degrees with 100% humidity that day, and I was on the course for nearly 5-1/2 hours. I was dealing with a knee injury, and it was causing me problems throughout the whole race. I lost my running partner, Jessica, during the first mile or so (we reunited at mile 20, which was awesome). Due to the heat, I was taking in much more water than normal, and I wound up with terrible stomach cramps in the last 10K of the race--which led to a long bathroom stop in a porta potty that felt like a sauna. Let's just say that I was thrilled when it was over!

Thankfully, I've only had a few races that have been miserable, though. The majority of my races have been good experiences, and a few have been amazing. In honor of the anniversary of my first marathon, I thought I'd reflect back on some more notable races over the last six years.

Week 40 Weigh-in (and a change to Wed. Weigh-ins)

I'm back! While I did miss you all, I had a really nice week off of the internet. I didn't realize how refreshing it would be--for the most part, I enjoy writing in my blog, but sometimes, I need to just do things without worrying about taking pictures for the blog, or what I'm going to write about. For the last couple of days, though, I was ready to get back to writing. Even though I've been super busy this week, I felt very strange not blogging.

I've done a lot of thinking this week, and I decided to make a change in my weigh-ins. Since I've been going to therapy, I've been working on discovering what contributes to my anxiety--and one of the things that I hadn't realized was having a big effect was actually my weigh-ins. I like the weigh-ins, because they help me feel accountable, and I think that if I stop doing them completely, my weight might get out of control again.

When I was trying to lose weight, I loved weighing in on Wednesdays, because it was fun to see the losses add up each week; but now that I'm trying to maintain my weight (my goal is to stay at or below my "goal weight" of 133), the actual number itself isn't really anything to look forward to. Each week that I stay under 133, I feel like I'm successful, and I am happy with the weigh-in.

Week 39 Weigh-in

I feel like I'm really getting back in the groove of my routine, which is nice. I had a great week, and my weigh in this morning was good:

I was at 128.4, which is up 0.2 from last week, but I don't even really consider that a "gain"--just another successful week on maintenance with a minor fluctuation. My average calories this week were right around 2,200 per day. I'm still gradually trying to find out how much I can eat without gaining weight, and my calories have been increasing ever so slowly over the past several months. When I first started counting calories, I never imagined that I'd be able to eat over 2,000 calories a day and not gain weight! 

Mother's Day cook out

I hope all of you moms out there had a great Mother's Day yesterday! I had a fantastic day with the family. I headed out for my long run in the morning--just five miles--and it was nice to have it done by 8:00. I'd gotten so used to running in the late morning after breakfast, that I forgot how much I enjoyed getting it done early. During the summer, I'll probably get out early every day before it gets too hot. Jerry brought home doughnuts from Monica's for breakfast. I hadn't had a doughnut in a long time, and it sounded so good! I got a glazed sour cream doughnut, and it was delicious.

The boys went to church with my parents, and they each made a gift for me while they were there. They made a bookmark and filled out a sheet about me, which was so cute! Eli's made me laugh out loud:

Mark your calendars! :)

It's been four years in the making, and we finally--FINALLY--have a release date for From Fat to Finish Line, the documentary!

This whole project started in late 2011. I was recovering from my lower body lift surgery, and I got an email from a man named Rik. Rik told me that he had the same surgery a few weeks after I did, and he was very grateful for the posts I wrote about my experience. He said it helped to see what he had coming as far as recovery goes.

In his introduction, he mentioned that he'd done a Ragnar Relay, and I told him that I'd done one as well. We wrote about how much fun they were, and how cool would it be to run a Ragnar with other people like us? (People who had lost a lot of weight and become runners.)

Fat Secret

After thinking about it all week, I decided that I'm not going to set a big goal to work on this summer. I talked to my therapist about it yesterday, and she agreed that it was a good idea. I'm going to try and focus on the present, instead of always looking into the future. There is nothing wrong with setting goals, but when I constantly focus on a goal in the future, 1) I'm missing out on the present; and 2) I feel very let down and lost after the goal is over with (like I don't even know what to do or think about anymore). That is exactly what happened after the 10K--I felt kind of lost and unsure of where to turn next.

My plan for the summer is to hopefully maintain a weight at or below my goal weight (focusing on one day at a time). I'm going to continue to count my calories as I've been doing, because it's working out very well. I'll run for exercise, even though I'm not "training" for anything right now. I'll also do other things to stay active (bike riding, walking Joey, etc.).

It feels kind of odd not to be training for something. I've always been working toward an end goal (whether it's a race or particular mileage or something like that); and right now, I'm just concerned about the here and now. It's actually pretty refreshing!

Week 38 Weigh-in (and thoughts on The Biggest Loser NY Times article)

This week was much better than last! I pushed myself out of the funk I was in last week, and felt much more motivated. I felt really good about my eating this week, too--I tried to stick with my 8:00-12:00-4:00-8:00 schedule (I do best when I eat at particular times of the day--otherwise, I convince myself that I'm hungry all day when I'm really not).

I said last week that my goal for the week was going to be feeling at peace with food--not try to cut back or anything to get to my pre-vacation weight, but just focus on getting back into my pre-vacation routine. I didn't realize how much a vacation would mess with my normal patterns! I thought that once I got back home, I'd have no problem getting back to normal. But it took a couple of weeks to make it happen.

For my Wednesday Weigh-in, the scale is exactly the same as last week, which I am happy with:

Speaking of maintenance, I've gotten several emails from people asking my thoughts about the article that was in the NY Times about The Biggest Loser contestants.

Track Tuesday

On my TimeHop today, I was reminded that it was seven years ago since my infamous "before" photo was taken during the Indy 500 Festival Mini Marathon. I can't believe it's been seven years! I walked that half-marathon with a time of 3:51, which earned 29,458th place out of 30,280 finishers. Surprisingly, I felt pretty good throughout that race--MUCH better than I had the year before, despite being 40 pounds heavier. I had trained for it, which made a big difference.

Anyway, I kept that outfit--the blue shirt and black pants that I'd bought especially for that race, so that I could look good in my photos ;) Hahaha, I was horrified with my photos from the year prior, so I wanted to have photos I was proud of. Instead, when I saw the race pics, I nearly died on the spot. I couldn't BELIEVE that the girl with the blue shirt was me! Was I seriously that big? As a size 24, I didn't see myself as that large--I thought I probably looked like I was a size 16 or 18. But the race pics confirmed what I just wasn't able to see.

Weekend bullets

I haven't really had much to say lately at all, so I haven't been writing. I've been having a good week! Just nothing exciting happening around here :)

Here are some bullets:

  • I still haven't decided on a goal for fall, and after talking to my therapist about it, I actually think I'm going to choose NOT to make a big goal for this fall. Because I always feel the need to be hyper-focused on something in order to stay on track with my eating and exercise, I haven't learned how to stay on track without setting a huge goal. This summer, I'd like to be content with where I am and how I am doing things. Maybe in the fall, I'll think of a spring goal to work on. (There is nothing wrong with having goals, of course; but I want to learn to be content even when I'm not actively working on a tough goal.)

  • I went for my first bike ride of the season last week, and it wasn't as fun as I'd hoped, unfortunately.