November 30, 2015

Motivational Monday #131

Happy Motivational Monday! This week was a GREAT one for me, considering I hit my goal weight on Wednesday :) I also ran a 5K on Thursday (giving my best effort), which was a fun way to kick off my first week of 10K training. All-in-all, it's been an awesome week for me. I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving!

Here are a few Motivational Monday stories for you to start off the week:

Amanda recently registered for an 8K Turkey Trot--a new distance for her. In choosing between the 5K and 8K, she figured it wouldn't hurt to burn a few hundred extra calories for Thanksgiving dinner ;) She did amazing, finishing in 52:26! It started to rain with just about a mile to go, but she still had a blast running the race.

Lucy said that in July, she was "done being fat". She started tracking her calories on My Fitness Pal, and has since lost 36 pounds! She also started the Couch to 5K program, and ran her first 5K on Labor Day weekend, finishing in 42:02. On Thanksgiving, she ran her second 5K, and PR'ed with a finish time of 38:56! (Lucy blogs at Losing Anonymously)

Julie became injured after running six half-marathons in eight weeks. She ran through the injury until she couldn't anymore, and then she just quit racing. Her track club sponsors a Turkey Trot each year, and for the past several years, she's paid for a registration but hasn't gone. This year, she decided she was going to run it--and she finished the 5-Mile race in 42:19! After the death of her husband a couple of years ago, Julie also struggled with binge eating and her weight. She is proud to say that she is on a current binge-free streak of 316 days and nearly back to her goal weight!

A huge congratulations ladies! Keep up the great work!

Also, and this is random... I just noticed that the Garmin Forerunner 620 (the watch I have and love) is on sale for $249 (including heart rate monitor) for today only. Including free shipping! If you've ever been thinking of getting one, you won't see it cheaper than that. I paid $450 for mine two years ago.

November 28, 2015

First long run of 10K training

Today, I was scheduled for my first "long run" since August. My last long run was August 9, when I was in Portland. I ran 10 miles while Thomas biked next to me on a hot morning. It was SO HARD! That was before I started losing weight again, and the extra weight combined with the super hot temps made for a very difficult run. My pace was 10:58. I had forgotten to pack my heart rate monitor, which disappoints me now, because I'm curious to know what my heart rate was during that run!

The weekend after that is when my injury flared up again, so I stopped running for six weeks. And meanwhile, I focused on riding my bike and on losing the weight via calorie counting. I started running again on September 28, and I couldn't believe what a huge difference the weight loss made in how I felt! My pace was 9:46 for my first run in six weeks, which really surprised me.

I was so worried about getting injured again that I decided to stick with short distances (2-3 miles at a time). I've been doing that for two months now, and I feel ready to start building my mileage up. I am training to PR a 10K, so my maximum distance for a long run will be just eight miles, which is nice. Today, though, I was scheduled for four.

I feel kind of silly calling four miles a "long run", but technically, that's what it is on my schedule. My target pace for long runs is 9:18-10:35 per mile. It was pretty cold this morning, so I dressed in my Cold Gear tights and a warm long sleeved top. I used to really dread my long runs (probably because they were so, well, LONG), but today, I was looking forward to it. Four miles isn't far, and at an easier pace, it would be pretty enjoyable. I even decided to take my earbuds with me, so I could listen to music with my phone. (I've been doing that for the last few runs for some reason; I hadn't listened to music while running since early 2013, but I thought maybe it would motivate me as I try to build speed).

As soon as I started running, I could tell it was going to be a great run. I felt light and springy, the air was crisp and cold, and my playlist started off with a favorite Eminem song (Berzerk). I had my sleeves pulled down over my hands, so it wasn't convenient to look at my Garmin; and then I decided that I was going to do the entire run without looking at my pace. I felt really good, and I didn't care if my pace was in the right zone or not, so I just didn't look. I did make sure not to push myself hard, though--I wanted it to be an easy pace and enjoyable, without gasping for breath.

I did a simple out-and-back route, and it went by really quickly! When I was racing the Turkey Trot on Thursday, I was dying and kept hoping it would be over at each turn. But today, listening to music and running in the cold, I wouldn't have minded adding a couple more miles!

When I hit mile four, I stopped my Garmin, and didn't feel super tired or anything. In fact, I felt pretty energetic. Imagine my surprise, then, when I saw that my average pace was 9:06!

After the 5K on Thursday, I was worried about what I was getting myself into with this 10K goal, because it seems like I have SO FAR to go. But I remember when I got relatively fast in late 2012-early 2013, it happened really quickly. Once I started going speed work, my body adapted well and I progressed from a 10:45-ish long run pace to an 8:45 long run pace over the course of about three months. And that was for 12 mile long runs--so, hopefully, considering my long runs are going to be much shorter this time around, I can actually pull this off ;)

Today marked the last day of my first week of 10K training. My first week went really well! I did an easy run; speed work (hitting my target pace); a tempo run (which ended up turning into a 5K race); and a long run. This week coming up looks pretty much the same, except for the race. I'm looking forward to it!

Don't forget to send in your submissions for Motivational Monday! I probably won't be posting tomorrow, so I'm just writing a reminder now. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

November 27, 2015

How I calorie counted my way back to my goal weight

Recently, I've been getting a trillion questions about calorie counting, and how I managed to do so well with it in getting back to my goal weight. The reason I chose to count calories is because it's very simple (not to be confused with "easy")--you just count the calories in everything you eat. I really didn't want to overthink anything... so I didn't.

In this post, I'm going to answer a bunch of the questions I've been getting lately, because it's easier than explaining it over and over elsewhere. I say this all the time, but I want to stress again that everybody is different, and what works for me may not work for others; and what works for others may not work for me. I am not trying to tell anyone how to do things, because I don't know you! I think it's important that each person finds what works for him/herself.

What I'm about to write is just how I chose to do calorie counting--and who am I? I'm not a doctor or scientist or nutritionist, or anything like that. I just tried to keep it simple and something I could do for the long haul. That said, though, here is how I utilized calorie counting to lose weight...

I want to start by saying that I don't have any set of "rules" that I follow. By taking away rules, I feel much less pressure. I'm not following a particular program or anyone else's guidelines. I typically just make stuff up as I go along, and learn from my mistakes.

Q. What app do you use for calorie counting?

A. I use My Fitness Pal. The two most popular apps seem to be My Fitness Pal and SparkPeople, so I did a comparison of them, which you can read here. (Update: I now prefer Fat Secret over any other app--it is very clean and neat looking, with no ads, and much less confusing. Here is a post I wrote about it.)

Q. How many calories do you eat a day?

A. It varies every single day. I don't aim for a particular number, because I think that if I were to aim for one specific number (for example, 1,500) and I were to go over just a bit (1,510), I would feel like I "cheated" or "failed" somehow. By not having a specific number that I must stick to, I don't ever "cheat" or "fail". However, when I plan out my day ahead of time, I usually aim for roughly 1,500; and I just change things as needed. (If I'm hungry, I eat more; if not, I eat less)

I averaged all the calories I ate each day over the last 15 weeks, and it worked out to 1,568 per day. My Fitness Pal suggested a goal of 1,200, but obviously, I didn't adhere to that. I just ate what was comfortable for me (enough to not feel hungry, and also what I felt was a "normal" amount of food) and it worked out to be an average of 1,568 per day. I think the best way to find out how many calories to eat each day is just to experiment and see what works! Some days I eat much less, some days I eat much more. It just depends on my appetite that day.

An example day:

Breakfast: Larabar (which is just dates, nuts, and dried fruit) with 8 g. peanut butter; tea with 1/2 tsp. sugar and 1-1/3 Tbsp. half and half (301 calories)
Lunch: Panera lunch date with a friend- 1/2 chicken caesar salad, 1 cup tomato soup, piece of baguette, unsweetened iced tea (680 calories)
Dinner: Homemade roasted red pepper and turkey sausage pasta (394 calories)
Snack/treat: homemade fudge (198 calories)

Total: 1,573 calories

Q: How did you determine the number of calories to eat per day?

Answer: I didn't. I never set a goal for the amount of calories I would eat--I just started logging my food, eating three meals and one "treat" a day, and it ended up working out to being about 1500-1600 per day. That was enough to keep me from being hungry and to fuel my runs, but also able to lose weight. When logging my food, I just wanted the total calories to be "reasonable"--but I didn't (and still don't) aim for a particular number or range.

I think the best way to find out how many calories to eat is to experiment! Pick a number, and try it for a week--if you lose weight and feel good, awesome. If not, try a different number. When I first started counting calories, I had no idea how many would work for me. I knew I wanted to be able to eat as much as possible, but still lose weight. So, I just started eating what felt like a "normal" amount of food, and it worked out to be around 1500-1600 calories on average. In maintenance, I've been eating more than that, but I've still lost another five pounds.

The way I've lost the weight is truly as simple as it could possibly get--counting calories. I don't look at the macronutrients (fat, carbs, protein), or anything else. I wanted to go back to the basics and keep it as simple as possible. So, I just eat whatever I want, and I log the calories for it, trying to keep it "reasonable". The bottom line is, with any sort of weight loss, to experiment and see what works best for YOU :)

Q. Do you add in extra calories for exercise?

A. No. (They get added automatically to My Fitness Pal because it syncs with my Garmin, but I don't consciously think, "Oh, I burned 275 calories on my run today, so I can eat an extra 275 calories today.") However, because I don't have an actual calorie target each day, "adding in" calories for exercise wouldn't really make sense. Like I said, I wanted to keep it very simple and not overthink anything! If I was trying to stick with a particular calorie target each day, I would probably add my exercise calories in, just to give myself that option to eat more. But because I don't have a target, there is no number to add to, if that makes sense. If I'm hungry, I eat more; if I'm not, I eat less.

Q. What is your "high calorie" day that you talk about?

A. Once a week, I choose to eat more calorically dense foods and go over my "typical" calories. I usually end up eating about 2,500 to 3,500 calories on a high-calorie day. I don't binge, or call it a "cheat day" or anything like that. I eat the same volume of food I do any other day, but I choose foods that have a lot more calories than my normal days.

For example, my kids love getting pizza once a week, so I might have three small pieces of pizza for about 1,000 calories. Normally, my dinner is about 300-500 calories, even if it's the same volume of food. I usually use the high calorie day if I'm going to be going out to dinner or if Jerry is off work and we have something special planned. I do the high calorie day to keep my body from getting used to eating the same general number of calories per day.

Q. Do you track your macro nutrients (carbs, fat, protein)?

A. No. Again, keeping it simple. I track just my calories, and I don't worry about any other numbers. I've found in the past, when I've tried to track nutrients like carbs or protein or fat, I get a perfectionist attitude. If I don't hit the target, I feel like I failed. Then, I typically binge and quit altogether.

By keeping it very simple, tracking just ONE number (calories), then I don't get overwhelmed. My Fitness Pal automatically keeps track of macros, and on the very rare occasion that I glance at it, I see that I eat mostly carbs and fat--ordinarily, that would freak me out, because "everyone" says you should eat less carbs and more protein to lose weight. I just keep in mind that I am not "everyone", I am ME. And I will do what works for me.

Q. Do you track your fruits and vegetables?

A. Yes. There are calories in fruits and vegetables (more than I thought, actually! Being on Weight Watchers for so long, I tended to think of vegetables as "free", but the calories really do add up). I track everything I eat, even the 5 calories in my tea. Not tracking something doesn't mean I didn't eat it, as much as I wish that were true ;) Only three people see my food log: myself, my husband, and my best friend. So, there is no reason to hide things from my food log! I would only be kidding myself.

Q. What kinds of foods do you eat?

A. Anything I want. Whatever sounds good to me at that time. Again, keeping it simple! If I try to restrict something, I'll just obsess over it; so, I don't have any "rules" about what I can or can't eat. Some of my favorite foods that I eat a lot of: Larabars (I eat one with peanut butter every day for breakfast), scrambled eggs with cheese, pizza, all sorts of soup, sweet tomatoes, pasta, Hostess apple pies, and dried cherries.

Q. How do you count bites of food here or licks there? Do you count them?

A. I actually got into a really nice routine with my meals, and I very rarely stray from it (not because it's a "rule", but because it's comfortable). I eat three meals a day and one bedtime treat. I don't do any snacking, because I don't like to spend calories on snacks--I'd rather eat higher calorie meals three times a day. In the evenings, I enjoy a treat of some kind--a couple of cookies, a glass of wine or two, a mini apple pie, candy, dried cherries... whatever sounds good. It's usually about 200-300 calories; but again, I don't have a particular target. So, because of my routine, I don't do any bites, licks, or tastes--just meals.

Q. How do you track the calories in recipes?

A. My Fitness Pal has an awesome recipe tracker on the app! When I'm cooking, I can literally just scan the barcode of ingredients and build the recipe right there on the app. Then it's saved for the next time I make the recipe, too. You can even import recipes from websites and swap out ingredients if you change things up. It's a really great tool!

Q. What's different between how you're eating now and when you were doing Weight Watchers?

A. Weight Watchers is a great program! (Edit: I am no longer a fan of WW.) That's how I lost the majority of my weight. However, when I was doing Weight Watchers this year, it took FOREVER to lose weight--I lost four pounds over a couple of months. I was staying on program, so I just assumed my metabolism had slowed or something. However, now that I've been calorie counting for a while, I am starting to see what the problems were.

I learned to "work the program" in order to get the most calories possible out of each PointsPlus (something that, once you learn, you can't "unlearn"). For example, I learned that 25 grams of peanut butter and 28 grams of peanut butter had the same number of PointsPlus; so naturally, I would choose to eat 28 grams. When you do that with all of your foods, you eat a lot more calories than you would otherwise!

I think the biggest issue, however, was the fact that I was following all the "rules" of WW. Since WW gave me a target number of PointsPlus to aim for each day, I would always try to work it like a puzzle, getting in a particular number of PP each day--no more, no less. I ate all of my activity PP and weekly PP, also, so even if I wasn't very hungry one day, I would still eat the PP that I was "allowed". If I was extra hungry one day, I would still try to stick with my allowance. While counting calories, I'm listening to my hunger cues much more, and I don't feel the pressure to stick to a particular calorie target.

Also, Weight Watchers has you thinking in terms of weeks instead of days. For some people this works really well; but as a binge eater, it didn't work so well for me. My PP started fresh every Wednesday... so if, for example, I binged (or just overate) on Thursday or Friday, I wouldn't have any weekly PP to carry me over until Wednesday. A lot of times, I would just say "screw it" and not count my PP for the rest of the week. So, it wasn't the fault of Weight Watchers that I wasn't losing weight; it was just the way that I was working the program.

To put it simply, calorie counting (the way I do it) has no hard set of rules, so I can just make it up as I go, fitting it into my life. I like that!

Q. What do you do if you don't know how many calories are in something? Say, you go to a friend's house for dinner, and you don't know the recipe for what he/she prepared. How do you count that?

A. I make my best guesstimate. I just search for the food in the MFP database generically (if your friend made lasagna, for example; with garlic bread and salad). I would search lasagna, and then pick the one that I would honestly think makes the most sense. Obviously, it's not going to be exactly accurate, unless you have the recipe, but it's close enough. I would search garlic bread and salad the same way.

I do the same thing when I go to a restaurant that isn't a chain or doesn't have the calories listed. I just think of something similar, and count it as that item instead. The most important thing about it is not to lie to yourself. Don't say, "Oh, that looks like it's about half a cup" when clearly it's a cup and a half ;)

Yeah, I'd say that's 1/4 cup of dried cherries, wouldn't you? ;)

Q. Do you still have urges to binge? And if so, what do you do? 

A. I do still have urges to binge, and sometimes I have to white-knuckle my way through them (my kids arguing with each other is my biggest trigger!). But, the more time that passes since my last binge (115 days and counting right now), the more determined I am to keep the streak going. And the urges come less and less often now. It's much easier to cave in on Day 4 than it is on Day 104, for example, because you don't want to ruin the good streak!

One thing that has helped is that I have a drink to sip--usually, I'll have diet tonic water with lime, or flavored seltzer water. Vodka tonics are my favorite cocktail, so when I have the diet tonic with lime, I can at least pretend I'm having the real thing, haha.

Other things I do to pass the binge urge: text a friend, take a shower, play a game on my iPad, work on a puzzle, take Joey for a walk, plan out my meals for the next day, do a load of laundry... basically ANYTHING that either gets me away from the kitchen, or takes my mind off of the food.

Finally, I make a mental note of what it is that I want to binge on, and I tell myself I can have it on my high calorie day. When my high calorie day comes around, I usually have forgotten all about it; but if I'm still thinking of it, then I'll go ahead and eat it (measuring and counting it, of course!).

Edit: I wrote a four-part series about binge eating that details my eating habits very well. Probably way too much info, actually! Hahaha. Here is the link.

Q. Does your old post about eating a dessert every single day to resist binge eating still hold true?

A. Yes! I still have a dessert/treat every night, and I definitely think it helps me not to binge. It gives me something to look forward to all day, and by eating just a small portion, I am still excited to eat it again the next day (whereas, after a binge, I feel sick and vow never to eat it ever again).

Goofy picture, but I was expressing my excitement over my
bedtime treat--a York Peppermint Patty! ;)

For a very in-depth look at my diet and how I refrained from binge eating, and all that, you can check out this series of posts.

I think that pretty much sums it up! I can't stress enough that it really helps to experiment to find what works for YOU. Try making your own rules and change them around until they fit for YOU. I think the approach I'm taking is very similar to intuitive eating--I'm eating what I want, I'm listening to my hunger cues, I'm not following any "rules"--only I happen to log my food and track the calories, so I can keep myself from getting out of hand.

For anyone who is struggling like I was struggling to get back to goal, my advice would be not to overthink it, and do what makes it easier for YOU. For example, if counting macros helps you to stay on task, then do it! If it stresses you out, like it does for me, then just focus on the calories.

If having a target calorie goal each day helps you not to overeat, then do that; but if it makes you feel bad about yourself for going over your target once in a while, then try having a target range, or no target at all. That's basically what I did--I just looked at what made things easier for me, and made up my own rules. Hopefully that helps!

I also want to make it clear that I am not trying to tell anyone at all how they should or shouldn't eat. Like I said, I've been getting a lot of questions lately about the calorie counting, so I wanted to answer those in one spot. As I always say, find what works for you--something you can do for the long haul--and do that :)

November 26, 2015

Ann Arbor Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5K race report

I'm glad that I recruited my brother to do this race with me; otherwise, I certainly would have said "screw it" and gone back to bed this morning. But, I got up at 5:00, and left the house at 6:30 to pick up Nathan. I wish that I had something festive to wear for the race, but I didn't have anything even close to resembling Thanksgiving to wear, so I just wore plain boring running clothes. I knew that no matter what I wore, it wouldn't compete with Nathan's costume, so it didn't matter anyway ;)

I will start by saying that this race went SO smoothly! Last year, in Detroit, everything was so chaotic and stressful that I vowed never to do another Turkey Trot (but of course changed my mind a few days ago, haha!). We didn't sign up online, but the race offered on-site registration, which was a nice option (if the weather had been terrible or something, I wouldn't have wanted to go).

I picked up Nathan, and we found ourselves driving up to Ann Arbor at 7:00 this morning. There was next to NO traffic, which really surprised me. I had heard this was a big race, so I was expecting it to be stressful to find a spot to park; but we found a parking garage, which was free, and then walked two blocks to the registration tent.

The on-site registration was listed as $35, but they said they didn't have any shirts left for people who hadn't preregistered, so it was only $25. That was awesome! I really don't need any more race shirts, so if given an option to pay less for the race and skip the shirt, I would do it all the time. We did get a nice hat, though!

After we registered, we still had 45 minutes until the start, so we went back to the car to get Nathan's costume. He required a little help...

I couldn't believe he was going to run in that thing! I told him that I was hoping to run my best effort (not a PR, because I'm nowhere near that, but I wanted to do my best). He told me to go ahead, because he had no idea what pace he would end up running in that costume.

When we lined up, I saw a bunch of people with kids and strollers and stuff toward the front, so I actually ended up placing myself very close to the front--something I never normally do, but I didn't want to get stuck behind strollers. Nathan said he was going to line up in the back. I figured this might be my best shot of EVER beating my brother in a race (we'll just ignore the fact that he was wearing a ridiculous costume and running for fun).

Starting line

The announcer was really great at getting the crowd excited and ready to run. At 8:45 sharp, the race started. There was a woman with a stroller right in front of me, so it took me about 20 seconds to make my way around her, but after that, I didn't have any problems maneuvering around people.

I've raced in Ann Arbor before, so I knew it may be a little hilly, and it was. Maybe not impressive hills to most people, but considering I don't have any hills to train on, they were significant to me. Thankfully, they were short enough that I could see the peak, and I knew a downhill was coming. The first mile had a lot of uphill, and then the second mile had a lot of downhill. The third was about even.

I was so surprised at how fast a 5K goes by! After running long distances for so long, racing a 5K feels like it gets done so quickly. Don't get me wrong--it's not any easier than running longer distances, if you're actually giving it all of your effort--but it goes by much faster.

At around mile 2.9, we rounded a turn and I saw the finish line ahead. I knew it wasn't going to be a full 3.11 miles, which was a little disappointing (if I had been going for a PR, I wouldn't have counted it if it wasn't a full 5K distance). But considering I was just doing this race for fun and to see what my current 5K pace is, it didn't really bother me. I crossed the finish line at 3.03 miles.

My pace was pretty much what I was expecting! My main goal was to run each split under 9:00. Bonus if I could finish the race under 27:00. My "official" results:

While I would be thrilled to count my finish time as 26:14, I just had to adjust for the short course. At my actual pace (which, according to my Garmin, was 8:41), my finish time would have been 27:00 even. So, regardless of the course length, I am very happy with that!

I love this app... it color codes the route based on your pace. So, the blue areas were about an 8:00 pace, and the brown areas were about a 9:30 pace (the brown areas are probably where I was going uphill). It even shows where your fastest consecutive mile was (not just the even mile splits, but exactly where on the course you ran your fastest mile--mine was the last mile, from 2.03 to 3.03, which I ran in 8:23). The app is called ConnectStats, if anyone is interested--it downloads your runs from Garmin Connect.

Immediately after I crossed the finish line, I felt like I was going to die (or just vomit and pass out). I had really put in 100% effort, and I was exhausted! I sat on a curb, and worked on catching my breath. A couple of minutes later, Nathan came across the finish line--I wasn't even ready to get a picture, because I thought he'd be another 10 minutes or so!

I teased him for a second about beating him, and then he checked his results:

Say what?! Since he had started in the back, his finish time was faster than mine, even though he crossed the finish line after me. Who the heck runs a 5K for fun, while wearing a costume like that one, and finishes in 24:15?! My very best 5K time, when I was in my very best shape, was 24:04. Running the pace I ran today was extremely difficult! Needless to say, I was super impressed with his finish time. And I've yet to beat him at a race ;)

It's nice to have a starting baseline of my current 5K pace. I have to take about 46 seconds off of my 5K pace and double the distance in order to PR my 10K... that's going to be extremely difficult! But honestly, I am really looking forward to the challenge. I'm going to put in all of my effort during training, and then even if I don't PR the 10K in April, I will know that at least I gave it my best shot. Nathan thinks I'll get my speed back quickly, though, so it's nice to have his confidence.

Overall, I really enjoyed this race, and would certainly do it again next year! Now, I need to roast a turkey... :)  Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2015

Week 15 Weigh-in (a good one!!)

I will spoil the ending right off the bat... I am back at GOAL weight!!!

Fifteen short weeks ago, I never would have guessed that I would hit my goal so soon. I am so glad that I decided to give the calorie counting a good hard try, because it turns out that it works well for me and I really enjoy it. Not in a "I hate it, but I still do it" kind of way... but I actually kind of enjoy calorie counting. Probably because I love numbers, and (as of now) calorie counting is still fairly new to me.

Anyway, today I was down 1.5 pounds from last week, bringing me to 133--my "official" goal weight. My body fat was 22.7%, which is down 0.2%; and my waist remained steady at 25.75 inches. (Because someone always asks, this is the body fat analyzer that I use.) As of yesterday, I was at 133.5 pounds, so I wasn't sure if I was going to hit 133 this morning; but it was a very nice surprise to step on the scale and see that I actually did it!

I keep thinking of the phrase "Just get it over with" that my friend Andrea discussed with me when she visited in January. I wrote a post about it, but basically, she said that we spend SO MUCH TIME of our lives fretting over losing weight (particularly when we've gained some back). It consumes our thoughts day after day--some of us for YEARS (I worried about it nearly my entire life). But Andrea said if we just get it over with (spend the weeks or months or couple of years it takes to lose the weight), then it's done--we don't have to constantly worry about losing it!

I spent all of 2014 feeling like a failure for gaining some weight back, and I felt an enormous pressure to take it off. I was very hard on myself. I tried to make peace with my new weight/size, but I never felt really good there. For the first half of 2015, I was trying to lose it, but not to the best of my ability. My weight went up and down, gradually climbing to the highest it'd been in five years (since I lost the weight in 2009-2010).

I'm not sure exactly what clicked for me when I started counting calories, but I became super motivated to get the weight off and get back to goal. It was like I put blinders on and just focused on the goal in front of me. In retrospect, I wish I had done this in 2014 right after gaining it! If I had just gotten it over with then (it took all of 15 weeks--not much time at all in the grand scheme of things), I could have saved myself from the mental torture that I put myself through for a year.

Getting back to my goal weight wasn't "easy", even though it may seem like it was, based on how quickly I got there... there were some days where I was SO TORN about whether to binge. I knew it would have made me feel better in that moment to binge (only to feel terrible about myself afterward), so it was really hard to make that decision not to. But, as of today, I am 113 days binge-free!

I'm the first to admit that losing weight does not equal happiness; but freeing up all that mental space that used to be consumed with guilt or feeling like a failure has done wonders for my happiness. I feel really, really good right now--not just with how I look, but with how I feel mentally as well.

I decided to reward myself by booking a trip with my SkyMiles... I'm going back to the Pacific Northwest in April! This time, I'm going to spend a few days in Seattle with my friend Laurel (who is a blog reader that I met when I went to Portland!). Ever since I went to Portland, I've been dreaming about visiting Seattle; and since the two cities are pretty close, I can do both in one trip. I'm going to do a 10K in Washington on April 10th, and I'm making that my goal race for a PR. It's nice to have a race to plan for! It makes me even more motivated to get faster (and maintain my goal weight).

So, now, the big question is... what's next? I clearly don't want to regain the weight, so I'm going to continue to count my calories. I'd like to maintain a weight below 135, so I'll have to experiment with my calories to find out what will make me maintain. I wasn't sure if I should continue to do Wednesday Weigh-ins, because I expect my weight to go up and down by a couple of pounds each week; but I think I will continue to post them. I won't do my body fat and waist measurement every week, since I don't expect that to change much, but I will continue to post my weight.

I know I should say this more often, but I want to express a huge thank you to those of you that have stuck with me through this never-ending journey of mine. I try to post about the good AND the bad, the ups AND the downs, to give a realistic picture of what weight loss and maintenance is like. I've had lots of crazy ideas, and set some silly goals, and changed my mind dozens of times about what I'm doing... but each thing I do is a learning experience. I've gotten SO MUCH SUPPORT from so many of you, and I can't thank you enough for that! Considering tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you for the kindness and encouragement over the last four years.

That said, I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving tomorrow! I'm looking forward to doing the Turkey Trot with my brother, and then making dinner for my family.

November 24, 2015

Ahh, speed work

Other than when I was doing the run/walk method to get back to running after injury, the last time I did real speed work was December 2nd of last year. Yikes! It was shortly after that when I developed the stress fracture, and ever since, I was doing all run/walking and easy running. Today was my first day back to doing actual speed work, if only for a short duration. 

On the schedule: 4 x 400's @ 7:08-7:32/mi with a 60-second rest between intervals.

That just means to run a quarter mile at a 7:08-7:32/mile pace, and then rest for 60 seconds. Then repeat three more times. I love the short duration of the 400's, because when I was training for the Chicago Marathon, my intervals were much longer (400, 600, 800, 1200, 1600, 2-mile, and 3-mile intervals!). At my fastest, I used to do the 400's at a 9.0-10.0 mph setting on the treadmill; today, I was hoping I could do 8.0 and keep up. 

I probably could have done this run outside, but I actually prefer doing intervals on the treadmill. It's easy to set the pace and just try not to fly off the back of the treadmill. It was freezing outside, so I dressed like I was going to run outside--and then I went into the garage (where we moved the treadmill). It was kind of fun having a new environment to run in. Jerry hung a shelf in front of the treadmill for my computer, so that I could watch Netflix while I ran. 

First, I did a half-mile warm-up at 6.0 mph. Then I bumped it up to 8.0 for the first interval. It really didn't feel too bad! It wasn't easy, but it wasn't miserable, either. The best part is knowing that it'll be over with very soon, because the intervals are so short. 

I chose to do rests between intervals, instead of walking or jogging. Walking or jogging is probably preferable, but I find that I actually enjoy the speed work more when I rest between intervals. I'm able to run the intervals harder, and I have that little break to look forward to. A one-minute rest goes by so fast! It was just enough time to catch my breath, and then I had to hop back on the treadmill and start running again. 

The whole workout went by really fast. When I was doing the cool down, I had that bad muscle spasm in my abdomen again, so I only did a quarter-mile cool down. I really hope that spasming doesn't continue! It's more painful than any injury I've endured.

After the run, I felt like I had worked hard, but I also felt like I probably could have pushed it harder. Next week, I'll probably try 8.2 mph and see how it goes. I'll also be doing 5 intervals instead of 4. Even though speed work feels totally miserable during the workout, I feel absolutely amazing afterward. 

I was going through my Pinterest recipe boards, and through some of my cookbooks, and I really want to start trying some new recipes. I'm going to try to bring back "Taste Test Tuesday", where I try a new recipe and review it here. One of my goals for 2016 is going to be to try a new recipe once a week; but it doesn't hurt to start now! 

Today, I made a crock pot recipe that I came across on Pinterest. It's called Bourbon "Crack" Chicken (Crock Pot Style)--which is an odd name, because there is no bourbon in it. After some searching around, I saw that it was based off of a style of chicken from Bourbon Street in Louisiana. 

Anyway, I know nothing about the name or origin of this recipe; I just thought the ingredients sounded good, and I happened to have everything on hand, except for apple juice. Since it only called for 1/4 cup of apple juice, I just substituted water. I didn't want to go buy apple juice for that tiny amount. 

I love recipes like this where you don't have to do any prep work--you just toss everything in the crock pot. I had to trim the chicken, but other than that, there is nothing to prep. We ate it over rice for dinner, and it was delicious! This recipe is definitely a keeper, and one that I will make again when I have very little time to prep. The kids liked it, too (I decreased the red pepper flakes to 1/2 tsp, because of the kids; but it was very mild, so next time, I'll use the 3/4 tsp it calls for). 

The recipe yielded nine 1/2 cup servings of the chicken, which made it only 176 calories per serving (not including rice). 

Jerry brought home a turkey from work this morning. Every year, the company gives out turkeys to all the employees... but it's always the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and the turkeys are frozen solid. Thawing a 17-lb turkey takes forever! Usually, we don't cook it until the week or two after Thanksgiving, but this year, I'm going to cook dinner on Thursday. I filled the sink with cold water and I've been thawing the turkey submerged in the water (it's still in the plastic). I hope it's thawed in time! Meanwhile, Estelle claimed the box it came in...

We've gotten the same box each year, and in 2005, I found Noah playing in it. I took this picture, which we used for Christmas cards that year :)

How cute is he?!
Yesterday, on a whim, I decided that I want to do a turkey trot on Thursday morning. The one in Detroit was a huge mess last year, and I remember thinking I never wanted to do it again. There is one in Ann Arbor, so I asked Nathan if he would want to run that one with me. He was hoping to do a turkey trot as well, so we decided to go for it. I'm going to try and run it hard, to see what my current 5K pace is!

November 23, 2015

Motivational Monday #130

Happy Motivational Monday! It's been a very uneventful week for me, and I haven't had much to write about. I "officially" started my 10K training yesterday, so I'll be focused on that for the next 20 (yes, twenty) weeks. I was also just 1.5 pounds away from reaching my goal weight as of my last weigh in, which is super exciting! I was hoping to be there today, so I could post about it for Motivational Monday, but I'm not there quite yet... hopefully by my Wednesday Weigh-in! :)

Here are a few Motivational Monday stories for you to kick off Thanksgiving week... enjoy!

Sarah has made some serious progress on her quest to get fit!
"After breaking my tibia and fibula while mountain biking at the beginning of this year, I was unable to work out in order to lose the significant amount of weight I have gained over the last 3 years. I started working on my strength training and cardio on the first day I could walk in June after my injury. Since then, I started using my Fitness Pal and have been using it daily to watch my intake. Since July 1, I have lost 11.6 kg (25.5 lbs), over 107 cm throughout my various measurements, and logged almost 700 kilometers (430 miles) walking and riding my bike! I still have a long way to go, but I'm proud of my accomplishments thus far."
June 2015 vs. November 2015

Colleen and her husband went to Vegas along with several of the From Fat to Finish Line community members. (From Fat to Finish Line is the documentary that I took part in--finally to be released in January!--and there is a pretty big community on Facebook of people who have gone/are going "from fat to finish line"). I actually got to meet Colleen and her husband at the Detroit Marathon last month!
"We had such a blast running/walking the 5K and 10K in Vegas Nov. 14-15. I PR'ed my 10K and it was by about 40 seconds. It was Ken's first 10K ever! Our 5K, we both had a PR. I was so proud of myself because I beat my 5K time by 7 minutes and 17 seconds.  I can't wait to sign up for more races and especially Rock N Roll ones. Very well organized event and the bling was AMAZING!  We also were able to meet a bunch of the members and followers of From Fat to Finish Line. Great group and such supportive new friends of ours."

Erin is proud of her friend for finishing her first 5K; and she and her husband joined in on the fun!
"My friend Pam has been doing a couch to 5K plan, so when she mentioned she might try the Ferndale Michigan Holiday Hoof, I knew I had to tag along.  Little did I expect that it would be snowing and sticking on Saturday morning!  My husband, Josh, who is a frequent race partner and a big motivator for me, joined us for the race (the attached photo is a pre race shot, I chugged my tea before the run started). Pam did a great job run-walking her first 5k in about the same time that I ran my first one. And, we all got warm at the FestivAle Christmas Beer festival after the race." 

Margaret and her friend, Lori, "conquered the cold" at a race last Friday! (I LOVE the photo)
"Much like your weather, we got hit pretty hard with about a foot of snow on Friday night.  My friend, Lori, and I had registered for a 6 race series called Conquer the Cold.  The series is one race a month from October through March.  The November race (The Elf Run) was scheduled for Sunday.  It was SUPER COLD (4 degrees when we left home) and the snow and ice would have been a great excuse not to run.  Instead we went for it.  I ran 2 minutes slower than my October race but I'm going to excuse it due to the ice and technical issues with my GPS and music.  It was a great race and we are so glad we completed it.  2 down and 4 to go!" 

Ruth uses zero excuses to get in some exercise at work! And it's paying off.
"I've been portion controlling and really trying to make healthy choices for the past couple weeks and I'm down 8 pounds! This is me walking the warehouse aisle at lunch, about 1 1/2 miles for three laps."

A huge congratulations to everyone who had a great week! Thanks for the motivation :)

November 22, 2015

10K training, Day One (an icy run!)

Just three days ago, I was wearing capris and a tank to run in; and then yesterday, it snowed pretty much all day long, and the temp dropped into the 20's. The roads were terrible when Jerry drove to work last night--his commute is normally 20 minutes, but it took him an HOUR to get there. I was supposed to go to dinner with some friends, but Jerry had gotten mandatory overtime, so I wasn't able to go; as it turns out, I'm actually glad I didn't have to drive on the roads last night.

Surprisingly, the snow accumulated and stuck around overnight. It didn't stick to the roads, though, so I was glad for that. This morning, I was thinking about running on the treadmill, but decided that I'd better run on the roads while they're still clear. So, I dressed really warm (the "feels like" temp was 14!) and headed out for a three-mile easy run.

It was awful! The roads looked clear, but they were actually very icy, so I was basically tip-toeing around as I ran, trying not to faceplant into the concrete. Thankfully, my pace was just supposed to be easy today anyway--between 9:16-10:12 per mile. With all the ice dodging I had to do, I wasn't surprised to see my pace was even slower than that. I was feeling really good, and wanted to run faster (my legs felt energetic) but I didn't want to fall.

I finished out the three miles, and my overall pace ended up being 10:10, so it was within the easy pace range after all.

The jacket I'm wearing is the Brooks one that Runner's World sent me for my photoshoot last year. I can't remember exactly what I weighed during that shoot, but I think it was about 138-140, and the jacket was definitely snug. I was happy to discover that it fits really well now! I hadn't been able to wear it at all since the photoshoot. This was the picture they used in the magazine:

Photo by the talented Peter Hoffman

Today's run marked the start of my "official" 10K training plan. I made a minor adjustment to it yesterday, in order to get rid of one running day, and only run four days a week. I'd had a fifth "optional" run day on the original schedule, but when something is optional and I don't do it, I feel guilty. I don't want to feel guilty for "only" running four days a week! So, I just adjusted the plan to be four days total: one short, easy run; one interval/speedwork run; one tempo run; and one long run.

Here is what the first 11 weeks looks like:

This is meant to prepare me to run a sub-52:00 10K. I'll probably start at the slower paces for each run, and gradually work my way to the faster end of the ranges by the end of the training plan. Then I have another (similar) plan for the next nine weeks to prepare me to go from a 52:00 10K down to a 49:00 10K. Hopefully, all goes well! The tempo runs and speedwork will have warm-ups and cool downs attached, of course. I may end up having to make adjustments as I go, but this is similar to what I was doing before, when I got relatively fast.

When I was working on my training plans, I realized that 2016 is a leap year. In 2012, I ran the Leap Year 4 Miler, which was an evening race on February 29. The next "annual" race would take place on February 29, 2016. I cannot believe it's almost been FOUR YEARS since that race! I did the race with Renee and Alicia. These were the sweatshirts they gave out for our registration fee:

I love getting sweatshirts for races! I really hope that they have this race again; I haven't seen any info about it online, so I don't know if they will.

I'm getting really excited about the thought of doing 5K's, 8K's, and 10K's again. I have to be somewhat selective, because racing gets expensive, but it's going to be fun to watch my times improve (well, hopefully--haha!).

I'm thinking of traveling for my goal 10K race next year--there is a Cinco de Mayo race in Portland that would be fun, and it's May 1st, so I think I could be ready by then (also before it gets too hot). I know I went to Portland this year, but it has become my favorite city to visit, and I really can't get enough! I could also drive up to Seattle for a couple of days as well, which is another city I'd like to visit. I have a ton of sky miles saved up right now, so it's fun to plan a destination race!

Don't forget, tomorrow is Motivational Monday! I don't have any submissions yet for this week, so if I don't get any, I won't be posting tomorrow. Remember, whatever you share doesn't have to be an enormous milestone like running a marathon or losing 100 pounds... anything that you've accomplished and are proud of is worth bragging about! Here is how to submit a photo (please send it to the MM email, and not my regular email--it helps me stay organized). You can send them any time during the week. Thanks Friends!

November 21, 2015


I haven't had much to write about lately, and it feels weird. I don't know what I used to write about every day! Yesterday, Jerry was off work, so I decided to make that my high-calorie day for the week. Noah had a friend come home with him from school, and we went out to Anson's for pizza. Jerry and I shared a small Reuben pizza, which is my favorite. It has all the stuff you would expect on a Reuben pizza: thousand island dressing, corned beef, sauerkraut, and cheese. It was delicious!

It looks super messy because it was super messy--the best pizza is a messy pizza ;)

When we got home, the kids asked if we could separate their bedrooms. We have three bedrooms, and the kids had been sharing one because they didn't want to be separated (we tried giving them separate bedrooms before, but they were scared at night). They've been asking lately to have their own rooms, and on a whim last night, we decided to move things around.

We had a futon in the spare bedroom, so we had to move that out. We put it where the treadmill was, and then moved the treadmill to the garage. I kind of like the idea of having the treadmill in the garage! It'll be much cooler in there during the winter, obviously, which is good (I like the cold, but the snow/ice is hard to run on--so now I can run in the cold, but on the treadmill).

We just built the garage last summer, and it is Jerry's pride and joy. Prior to building it, we had no garage, no basement, no attic, and not even a storage closet. Basically, we couldn't store anything at all. Jerry and the kids dreamt up this idea of building a three car garage with one third of it being a "man cave". The garage was finished a year ago, but we hadn't got around to making the man cave part until this summer, when my friend Andrea was moving. She gave us an old couch, a coffee table, and a TV. My mom found a big area rug that someone was throwing away, so we took that. And Jerry turned a corner of the garage into a nice little place to relax!

This is a picture from Halloween (I watched Scream while passing out candy)
Anyway, now we have the treadmill right behind the couch in there. I still need to come up with a shelf or something for my laptop, so I can watch Netflix while I run.

Eli moved into the spare bedroom, and was thrilled about it. Even though the room is smaller, he was really excited to have his own space. Apparently, he missed Noah a little though, because sometime during the night, he went back into Noah's room ;)

I'm not sure what possessed me to start this project yesterday, but I am slowly but surely going to update my entire blog before the end of the year. Yesterday, I updated my blog header (the font on the old one was fuzzy-looking, and I'd been wanting to fix it for a long time). I don't have Photoshop, and I haven't the first clue about creating stuff like that, but I managed to figure it all out and use a program called GIMP to create a new one from scratch. It took forever, but I am happy with how it turned out! I also created a new header for my Recipes blog--the old one had a picture from 2010 on it, so it really needed updating.

There are a ton of pages on this blog that need updating, and it's something I'm always procrastinating working on. I'd like to have it all done within the next month or so, though.

Oh! While I was doing the blog headers, I did a lot of Googling about the problem I was having with the Photos app on my computer. Basically, I would download a photo from an email (or upload one from my phone) into the Photos app; but then when I would try to upload it to my blog, or into another email, it wasn't there. It was driving me CRAZY. For months, I've been just taking screenshots of photos for Motivational Monday because I couldn't get it figured out. I got a comment from someone else who had the same problem, so I wanted to share the solution here:

Today, I found the answer. *Cue angels rejoicing* Someone in a forum asked the question, and it turned out that the answer was fairly simple. I leave my browser open ALL THE TIME. I never turn off my computer, and I just put it to "sleep" when I'm not using it. But the browser is always open, because I use it so often. Your browser "thinks" that the current date is whatever date you opened that browser window. So, when you download a photo to Photos, then try to upload it in the browser, the browser "thinks" that it's days/weeks/months ago, so it doesn't "see" the photo. To get the photo to appear, you just have to close the browser and open a new one. I have no idea why it happens with Photos and not iPhoto, and it's still rather annoying, but now I can stop doing screenshots of pictures!

I feel like I just rambled on about a whole lot of nothing... but like I said, I haven't had anything to write about recently. I hope everyone is having a great weekend! (It's snowing like crazy here right now).

November 21, 2015

RECIPE: Cheesy Chicken & Rice

This is another recipe I came across on Pinterest. It was called "slow cooker" recipe, but considering you have to cook the rice on the stove, I don't really consider it a slower cooker meal. So, as written below, it is not a slow cooker meal. Regardless, it was REALLY good--and my kids loved it, too!

Cheesy Chicken & Rice

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
8 oz. box of yellow rice mix (I used Goya brand)
1 can of yellow corn, drained
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Cook the chicken breasts however you'd like (I boiled them, but you could cook them in the crock pot for a few hours). Cook the rice mix according to package directions. Shred the chicken when it's done cooking, and then combine the cooked rice mix, chicken, cream of chicken soup, corn, and cheese. It will be hot enough to melt the cheese. Makes 6 servings (approximately 1 cup each).

November 21, 2015

Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas (Recipe)

I went through a short phase of trying to eat only whole foods for a month, which led me to a website called "100 Days of Real Food". I found this super simple recipe for whole wheat tortillas on there, and I decided to give them a try. They were AMAZING. I was really shocked at how much better they were than store bought tortillas.

Here is a printer-friendly version!

Whole Wheat Tortillas

2-1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of oil
1 tsp. salt
1 cup warm water

Combine all ingredients into a dough until it is smooth. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll them into balls, and then flatten them on a cookie sheet until they resemble tortillas. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, and spray with cooking spray. Cook the tortillas one at a time, about 30-45 seconds per side, and transfer to a plate. Keep refrigerated if you don't eat them right away.

November 21, 2015

RECIPE: Mushroom Onion Rice

This recipe is typically called "Stick of Butter Rice", because it calls for a full stick of butter. I found this on Pinterest, and made it as-written (with a full stick of butter); but I thought the whole stick seemed a little excessive, because there was butter left in the bottom of the bowl I was eating from. I tried this with "light" butter, and it didn't turn out as well. Finally, I settled on using about 2/3 of a stick of butter, which was perfect.

Mushroom Onion Rice

1 (10 oz) can condensed French onion soup
1 (10 oz) can of beef broth
5 Tbsp. butter, sliced
1 cup uncooked white rice
8 oz. can of mushrooms, drained

Preheat oven to 425. Combine all ingredients (the butter can just remain in slices) in an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake for another 30 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

November 19, 2015

And so it begins...

Last night, I was completely wired at the time I would normally go to bed; so I stayed up until midnight and worked on a training plan to PR my 10K next year. I looked at my training from 2012-2013, when I got relatively fast, and saw that it took 20 weeks from when I started training to when I ran that 10K PR. I wasn't even training for the 10K, though--at first, I was training for Ragnar, and then after Ragnar was over, I just kept in shape by following a half-marathon plan.

My pace for my long runs each week leading up to that 10K went like this: 9:55, 9:53, 9:36, 10:12 (ran with a friend), 9:26, 9:30, 9:20, 9:12, 9:02, 8:48, 9:18, 8:52, 8:44, 8:39, 8:51, 8:44, 8:44, 8:33, 8:47. I started with 6 miles the first week, and toward the end, I was running 12 mile long runs each week, all at a sub-9:00 pace. I only ran a handful of sub-8:00 miles throughout my entire training, but somehow, during that 10K race, I managed to pull off a 7:55 average pace. It boggles my mind now--and it seems SO impossible to ever get to that point again!

This was the best, and most excited, I've ever felt after a run! Probably
because it was so unexpected and I wasn't actually trying to do it. 

Anyway, my current PR is 49:23, so I'm aiming for 49:22 or better. I wrote out a plan that is 20 weeks long--the first 11 weeks will focus on training for a 52:00 10K time (if I was to jump into PR training right away, I wouldn't even be able to hit pace for the workouts). Then, the following 9 weeks will focus on training for a 49:00 10K (assuming I'm successful at getting my 10K time down to 52:00).

I have the schedule written for five days a week, but my Sunday three-mile run will be optional--so I'll most likely just be running four days a week. I'll be doing speed work on Tuesdays and tempo runs on Thursdays. I'm actually looking forward to doing those again, especially because I'm not marathon training! The distance (for even the training) is so much shorter.

Even though I don't have a goal race picked out yet, I'm going to start following the schedule next week (I'm excited to get started). If all goes well, I should be able to shoot for a spring race. I was planning to aim for a fall race, but training through the summer is killer. I think I would have a better chance of hitting my goal in the spring. And if I don't, then I can try again in the fall.

Today, I decided to do a short tempo run--10 minutes at easy pace, 10 minutes at tempo pace (8:23-8:36/mi), and 10 minutes at easy pace. I actually brought music with me today--that was the first time in about two years that I listened to music while running! I hoped it would motivate me a little while I was doing the tempo segment. I thought I sent my workout to my watch, but once I got outside, I realized it hadn't been sent, so I spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to set up the workout. Finally, I just set the run/walk function to beep at 10 minute intervals, and I would just manually press the lap button every 10 minutes.

The first 10 minutes, I just kept reminding myself, "Keep it easy, keep it easy..." because I knew it was going to feel really hard for the second 10 minutes. It was SUPER windy, and right around the time I started the tempo pace, I turned a corner and was heading almost directly into the wind. It was tough!

I'm used to running by mileage rather than time, so I wasn't sure exactly where I would end up at the 15-minute mark when it was time to turn around. Turning around gave me a bit of a relief from the wind, but it was still coming in sideways. That 10 minutes at tempo pace felt like forever! Finally, at 20 minutes into the run, I was able to slow down again.

Almost immediately, my abdominal muscles cramped up really badly. This is something that has been happening on the last several runs I've done, and it's never happened to me before, so I have no clue why it is now. My entire abdomen, from the bottom of my ribs down to just past my belly button, gets extremely tight and painful. It's not my internal organs--just my muscles. It even happened the second I started running the Chocolate 5K with Eli, and that was at a really slow pace.

Today, the cramping was so severe that I had to take a walk break. Once the cramping subsided a bit, after a minute or two, I started a slow jog again. When I got home, and checked out my stats, I saw that I did manage to stick to my tempo pace despite the wind--average for that 10 minutes was 8:26/mile.

Today was humbling in that I realized that I have a LOT of work in front of me if I am going to PR the 10K. I'm in nowhere near the shape I was in then. Since I did it before, I know it's possible... it's just going to take everything I have to make it happen! ;) And in some ways, I'm really looking forward to putting all of my effort into this goal. (Remind me of that when I'm complaining about speed work in a few weeks, haha).

November 18, 2015

Week 14 Weigh-in

Yesterday, I spent pretty much the entire day driving. I drove Joey to and from Lucky Puppy, his doggy daycare (three hours total); and I drove with a friend of mine to the boudoir photographer's studio to look at her pictures (two hours total). I also had to drive to get the kids from school, which is another 40 minutes or so. I had nothing to write about yesterday, because I spent so much time in the car ;)

Anyway, I had another awesome weigh-in this week!

I was 134.5 on the scale, which is down two more pounds from last week. My body fat was 22.9%, which is down 0.5% from last week; and my waist was 25.75 inches, down half an inch from last week. Every pound makes a huge difference in my body at this point, and it feels awesome (kind of strange, but awesome). For example, I have a couple of pairs of jeans that are too tight in the thighs at 138 pounds, but they fit well at 136-137 pounds. Then at 135, they are too loose in the waist.

My average daily calories for this week was 1457. I wasn't able to do a high-calorie day this week, which kind of threw me off. I planned to do a high calorie day on Saturday, but my lunch plans fell through, and I wasn't sure what else to eat to make the high-calorie day "worth it". Anyway, I plan to average 1500-1600 per day this week, and have a high-calorie day. Only 1.5 pounds until goal!

A lot of people have been asking me if I include my high-calorie day in my average daily calories--at first, I wasn't including it, but it was difficult to explain over and over; so from now on, I'll just include all seven days in my average.

My daily steps averaged just under 8,000... still not great, but up about 1,000 from last week. I did deliberately try to get in more steps, so I'm going to try and do that again this week. Maybe I can get in over 8,000.

I can't even describe how good it feels to be back at this weight! I went to the thrift store today to get a few pairs of jeans and a couple of cardigans (I'm on a cardigan kick right now--I like wearing a tight t-shirt and jeans with a cardigan). I probably tried on a dozen pairs of size 3/4 jeans, and all but one pair fit me. I feel like I did when I was losing the weight in 2009-2010... I would look at a pair of jeans and think, "Those are tiny! There is no way I can squeeze my butt into them!" And then I put them on. And I still didn't really believe it. When I was at the cash register to pay for the stuff I was buying today, the cashier held up my jeans and said, "Did you get these from the kids' section or the women's section?" Haha!

I've been looking for a goal 10K race for next year. As I mentioned before, I am going to keep my distance at or under 10K, but I am going to try and get faster--and if I could PR my 10K, I would be thrilled. Getting back to goal weight was the first step. Next, I need to pick a goal race and come up with a training plan specific to a 10K. I'm glad to have this goal to focus on, so that once I reach goal weight, I won't feel like it's "the end" and I'm done. If I keep working on goals, hopefully I can keep the weight off.

After a great weigh-in today, I'm feeling optimistic! :) Anyone else want to check in on how you're doing with your goals? I know there were several people who said they wanted to stay accountable on Wednesdays as well!

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