Friday, May 31, 2013

The foods I've long broken up with

It's funny but my food life in no way resembles what it once did.

I can name about fifty foods I've permanently given up in my quest not only for weight loss but for good health. (Not to mention the gluten thing.)

I often laugh over what I once thought was healthy.

I would turn to Subway or Wendy's Chili and think I was "eating healthy" with total disregard of the chemicals, GMO's, preservatives and colorings in those foods. All that mattered at the time was the fat and calorie count. Made of plastic? Who cares? It's only a 6 point sandwich! Oy.

So here are the foods I've broken up with. It wasn't easy and I'll admit once in awhile there might even be a shady booty call (I'm looking at you mayonnaise and bacon - and for shame… sometimes at the same time) but for the most part they are out of my life:

1. All wheat. This is not because I'm noble or awesome but because I want to avoid the awful stomach ache that I finally figured out gluten (that bastard) was giving me.

2. All frozen 'diet' meals. I used to live on those Healthy Choice, Weight Watchers and Lean Cuisines. In my "must lose weight" mind these were healthy alternatives. Not so much. Filled with preservatives, sodium and many things I can't pronounce they are no bueno.

3. Splenda. I said good bye very clearly in February 2012 and talked about it in this blog post. No one loved this little 'miracle' packet of sweetness more than me. But after finally getting my head out of my ass and realizing that no good can come from a chemical I kicked my sweet frenemy to the curb and never looked back.

4. Diet Coke. This was a tough love to give up. I'm not sure when my last diet coke was but I think I can boldly say it's been over a year. Soda = poison in my mind now. Especially diet soda. I will never have another again.

5. Mayo. It's just too many calories and crap. I still have a little on very rare occasion but it's no longer my daily obsession.

6. Bacon, hot dogs, cold cuts. I also booty call these guys once in a while but they no longer are live-in boyfriends. I recognize the danger and very, very rarely will take a walk on the wild side. Bacon is just too good to give up forever…

7. Fat-free shit. I lived on fake-0-calorie butter spray, no fat mayo, fat free ice cream, fat free pudding, 94% fat free popcorn, 'light' bread, fat free cream cheese, fat free salad dressing. Name it, I ate it. YAY!  it's 0 calories and 0 fat grams! Who the F knows what these ingredient words are and who cares!? Whoopee!! Again. Finally figured out that I am probably better off with a little fat over eating shitty processed, plastic foods.

I don't miss most of these foods. I'm happier, healthier and better off. Somedays I will admit I miss the convenience - it was so easy to just throw a WW or LC meal in the micro.  When my weight is creeping up, I sometimes miss the idea that I'd just use the fat free shit to save some calories. Oh well. The new me would rather carry an extra 2 pounds and eat an avocado than give myself disease and bad health.

Have you give up any foods in your quest for health or weight loss?


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

ING New York City Marathon Good news and bad news

This was not a kind way to find out. Cold.

Well the good news is I have $255 dollars to spend on something else, I don't have to face down a 20 mile run and I don't have to figure out whether I'll be following the Nike + training plan or something else…

The bad news?

Waaaaaah! I didn't get in.

The good news? Whew. I didn't get in.

Truthfully it would've been so tough to get the training in.

Truthfully, I would've loved to have tried though.

Oh well.

For now it remains securely on the bucket list.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Getting it together

On the right - highest weight. Please Lord - never again

It just never gets easier.

When you have the audacity to start a blog and share your weight-loss journey with the world (or in my case, about 361 on/off followers) people look to you for advice, inspiration - the 'secrets' to success.

Well shit. The truth is, some days I just feel like a big-fat fraud. And fat being purposely used in this case.

My weight is up and has been up for months. Not obscenely so. My happy, "I want to be this weight forever weight" is right about 144/145 pounds but I've been stuck around 150 for months. And this month I have been flirting right around 151/152.  

at approx. my happy weight

I tell myself, 150 is not horrible. It's my 'official' Weight Watcher goal and technically I'm still a free 'lifetime' member since I've managed to continue to be within 2 pounds of goal. 

I tell myself - even though some of my clothing feels snug. They still fit.

I tell myself that "you know what to do."  And like a drug addict or alcoholic, "I can stop at any time right now I'm just a little extra hungry."  

But deep down I'm panicking. If I could let these 5/6 pounds come back and let them hang out for months - what about the next 2 or 3 pounds. And then the next 5/6 pounds. 

The alarmist in me praying that I don't suddenly wake up with 20 pounds to lose.

Not to mention that my running has been woeful lately too. Sure I've been traveling 2 weeks out of every month for business and when I'm not traveling I'm juggling work and family but deep down I know I can be better. I feel like the crappiest weight loss/running blogger in the world… (or at least on Blogger.) 

Why can't I get this together?

Well. I can get it together. I know I can. Years of counting calories/points and worrying about portion sizes made me weary of it all so I've been lax about it. Which I got away with when I was running 20- 30+ miles a week but now that my schedule has me running maybe 10 -15 miles a week (and lately, that would be a good week) I have to cut the crap.

I know where I can improve. I just have to do it.  

In my fraudulent state I got word yesterday that I made the 100 most influential weight loss bloggers of 2013.  I'm number 64. At first I felt a little uncomfortable. Like, "I don't deserve this. I'm struggling right now." 

But after thinking about it - I guess it's a nice thing. Some of the things in my blog (I think) has at least entertained people. And it's a personal challenge to live up to my 64th spot on the list! 

I guess it's never going to be easy. Some races are a struggle and some are smooth sailing. This is part of life. I have to just get back up and keeping moving forward. 

And my 4 point bowl of oatmeal was tasty.

How do you get back on track? 



Saturday, May 18, 2013

IronGirl Tri training and coupon codes for you!

I'm very excited for to start tri training for my first triathlon: The Iron Girl Sandy Hook event!

I have purchased a pair of googles, identified a bike I can borrow from my friend Roxy and just got these sweet sneakers:

I love new sneakers! 

I am still figuring out the pool. :/ Thankfully I have a little time still.

Baby steps. Got the goggles
now just have to find a pool

The most exciting news at least 10 of my Mom In Motion running buddies have decided to take the plunge and sign up too! We'll be representing at Iron Girl :-)


If you're ready to take the plunge too - you can sign up for any of these races near you and when you use the coupon code IGFINISHLINE you'll save $10!  Visit the IronGirl site and pick your location!

Lake Zurich – June 16th
Webster – July 21st
Pleasant Prairie – August 11th
Seattle – August 18th
Cherry Creek -  August 24th
Sandy Hook - September September 8th 
Bloomington -  September 22nd (Duathlon)
Clermont – Septmber 29th
Las Vegas – Oct 26th

Keep me posted!! Tell me if you'll be doing Iron Girl this season!! :) Hope to see you at the finish line :)


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Stop fat-bashing Kim Kardashian

Stop fat-bashing Kim Kardashian already.

Seriously. Just stop.

I'm sick of looking at magazine covers and seeing them beat up Kim. Really. It's not cool.

No. I am not a fan. I don't even watch the show. (Well, there was that one rainy Sunday where I got sucked into a season marathon of episodes but that's not the point.)

I think it's absolutely disgusting that we are picking on a pregnant woman. I mean this is a girl so scrutinized in public for so many years and so used to having to meticulously worry about her diet that I wouldn't be surprised if she did let a little loose now that she's eating for two. I know I did. Many women do when they are having a baby. Is it necessary to make a villain of her because she's been having a few cravings?

I regretted my decisions to over-indulge because I faced gestational diabetes and the daunting challenge of taking it all off and Kim may or may not have the same challenges.

Yeah, yeah. She "reaps what she sows." Yeah, yeah - she "signed up for it" when she decided to become a celebrity but can't we as people have a little more class for a mother-to-be? Can't we imagine ourselves or our mothers, sisters or friends in her shoes and have a little compassion? I am sure that any pregnant woman with a changing body and tons of hormones surging that a little less cattiness and a little more kindness would be welcomed.

I don't know why it bothers me so much. Perhaps it's because, I was Kim Kardashian. I watched my body become something I wasn't familiar with and I battled with my own emotions of feeling out-of-control, insecure and not comfortable in my skin even though I was thrilled to be carrying my precious child. I don't know if I could've handled one person saying an unkind thing to me about my weight, never mind being publicly beat up on magazine covers. It just doesn't seem cool to take cheap shots at a woman's weight for any reason but particularly when she's pregnant and nourishing a baby.

Did you struggle with body issues when pregnant? How hard was it for you take off the weight? Do you think Kim is getting beat up or getting what she deserves?


Monday, May 6, 2013

Victory! New Jersey Half Marathon Anniversary race report

In case you've missed the million times I've mentioned it in this blog, the New Jersey Marathon is very, very special to me. It's the half marathon that started my running life and I consider this race to be one of those dates that I look forward to every year.

This year was no exception, except - I was not very trained and a little concerned over that.

No matter. I decided a few days ago that I was going into this race with joy. This race was going to be extra special because a whole bunch of my friends from Moms In Motion were going to be running. A few were doing the relay and a few were doing their first 13.1 races. One of the Moms going for her first half was Rox.

Hot Mammas: Me, Rox, Coach Dana, Monica, Jen and Kerry at the Expo
I decided to pace Rox in this race. It was her first half marathon and poor girl had only ran 4.5 miles up to this point in her running life. (Her own training got derailed because of illness and other life stuff that comes up.) So, I figured that she could use a little friendly support and I could use a little friendly support with all of my non-training nonsense. I had no doubt Rox would cover the miles even if her training was lacking. She is one tough chick.

We got to the site early - before 5 AM! This year things threatened to be backed up because of added security but truthfully, everything was very smooth and the race was extremely well-run as always.

I'm so glad Rox and I ran it together. The first few miles flew by as we chatted, danced/run, thanked spectators and chuckled over some creative signs. We walked, hydrated and kept our pace around 12:20 for most of the early miles just to make sure we'd be OK by the end. Several times I'd look down at my garmin and we'd be in the ten's or eleven's and I had to pull us back as to not 'over-do' it. Those early miles felt great.

Right around mile 6 we saw my "running angel" Alison. I used to work with her years ago and she is a Team in Training coach. I seem to always see her just when I need to at random half marathons. I even saw her in San Diego during a very rough patch during my full marathon and she was a gift sent from heaven then. The second time I saw her on the course yesterday she got her fellow Team and Training coach friends on the sidelines to cheer me on as I ran by and that was awesome. I love seeing her out there!

By mile ten my troubles started. The cramping started, in spite of gels, salt tablets, hydrating, magnesium supplements leading up to the day, lots of walking and stretching. I was OK enough for miles 10 and 11 but mile 12 was really tough and both legs were seizing. Now Rox was really helping me! It was a bit humbling because I felt like I was holding back this girl who had only ever run 4.5 miles as a long run. This was my 11th half and I had even covered 26.2 once! I should not be the one falling apart right now. I stretched, walked when I had to and was fortunate enough that she was by my side. I told her to go on. She refused. She said "We start together, we finish together." Her goal was to do this thing under 3 hours. And if it weren't for me having to stretch out my cramping muscles, we would've made it but we did it in 3:03. Rox was awesome and I was so happy to be by her side as we crossed the finish line.

The Moms ready to get in motion!!
I am learning that some people can half train for a half and be OK. I cannot. No amount of slowing down or popping salt pills will ever take the place of banking the miles and building up the distance gradually for me.

Still smiling
In any case. All in all it was a beautiful day. I had a blast. I loved hanging out with my Moms in Motion  friends and the bling this year was particularly beautiful.

The middle flips - side one 
And the other side of the medal:

I also LOVED that I thanked the race on their website and they personally responded to me. It's just a nice touch:

Is there a race that is very sentimental to you?


Friday, May 3, 2013

Book review: Honey, Do You Need a Ride?

When the team for Jennifer Graham's book, Honey, Do You Need a Ride - Confessions of a Fat Runner contacted me to read and review the book I eagerly accepted. Judging a book by its cover - I immediately felt connected to this person and thought this was a book that would speak to me. I wasn't wrong.

The book, like many races you may run, takes you on an emotional journey of highs, lows and everything in-between; she talks back to "the voices in her head" and she pushes herself to keep going. She made me laugh with some of her more witty experiences (think scrambling to wrangle two pet donkeys as they trot down the street with abandon) and she made my heart break as she candidly discussed the crumbling of a marriage that she desperately wanted to save.

Jennifer Graham with Foggy and Jo-Jo

I could relate to so much that the author has been through. She too has struggled with her weight and has been up and down. She too needs to run.

Graham says:
"In running, there are starting lines, and there are finish lines. Then there's another line universal among runners, whether or not they enter a race - the Never-Going-Back-To-My-Old-Life line. Once you cross it, you won't stop running until you are in jail, vegetative or dead."
This rings so very true. It's actually the whole point of the From Fat To Finish Line documentary film we are working on. I personally know this truth.

During the book Graham talks about her running coaches, two running greats who 'live' in her head and pushes her along her journey. I could relate to that too. There's been one or two times Jillian Michaels has taken up a training place in my head shouting that her "Biggest Loser contestants who are still 100 pounds overweight run faster than you in their sleep! Pick it up." Or something like that.

Graham also discusses how 'sensitive' us 'fat runners' can be. I would add that many in our tribe also often compare ourselves to one another. I couldn't help but to find myself comparing and feeling a little sensitive at parts! (I think its in most 'fat runners' DNA!) For example her 'fat weight' is dangerously close to my 'goal weight.' And her slow, "gee, I wish was my pace was faster" half marathon time is right around my PR time. But then, I thought, well this is the point - isn't it? Someone will always be faster, slower, thinner or fatter than us. It doesn't take away from our own journeys and someone's "fat" is another's "goal'. It's how it goes. I'm sure that my own slow, "wish my pace was faster" is someone else's PR.

I also felt a bit sensitive when she wrote about those oval 13.1 stickers for your car, "I'd never put one of those on my Jeep. To me "13.1" means, "Can't run 26.2." She went on to say it was kind of like advertising mediocrity.

I deeply disagree. I proudly put my 13.1 right next to my 26.2. There's nothing mediocre about making the commitment to move your body 13.1 miles. Nothing. There's nothing mediocre about making the decision to move your body even 3.1 miles or 1 mile. Especially as a "fat runner." Especially when you've convinced yourself and others have convinced you that running would be impossible for you.

But again, I don't fault Jennifer Graham for her view on this and to be fair I think she said it half in jest. I also appreciate her honesty. It struck a chord with me because I've had to fight to acknowledge my accomplishments my whole life. The urge usually being, "Yeah, I only run an 11 min mile. I only ran the half (not the full), I only whatever." We all need to take pride in the things we accomplish and I wouldn't take 13.1 away from anyone. 13.1 is what started this blog and changed my life. Without 13.1 I wouldn't be the person I am today.

I also think that the author does herself a disservice too by not allowing herself to bask in her accomplishment - by somehow finding it 'mediocre' on some level. She trained hard for her halfs. I know because I read the book.

But I digress. See, it's a book that will make you self-reflect and 'discuss amongst yourself.' :)

I actually read this book during my last business trip to KY - I finished it during my first flight home and the day of the 2013 Boston Marathon. While flying, the marathon was just starting - I had no idea what was to come. I read about Graham actually living on the marathon route and how every year she'd go and cheer on the runners. I thought to myself, "how lucky!" I also thought it was such a coincidence I was reading about her going to the marathon on marathon day. I envisioned her there at that very moment. My runner's heart swelling with excitement for her and the day.

When I got off my flight and learned of the bombings, along with my friends who were running, I thought of Jennifer, spectating and rooting on our tribe. I could only imagine what she must've went through.

All in all, I loved this book. It was funny, honest and often poignant.  I would recommend it. I think most will really like it but I think it's particularly for you if you've ever trudged along, thighs rubbing, wishing your turtle pace was just a little faster and know the struggles and joys of going from couch potato to running tribe member.

If you want to order the book or learn more, click here.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

NJ Half Marathon at the Shore - Bring it on!

As I told you in my last post. I am woefully undertrained for this half.

And I have had some tough experiences when not properly trained.

But - WHATEVER. I am super excited for Sunday.

It's going to be a beautiful day. At race start it'll be around 58º and the high expected to be around 68º.

I'll be running through the streets of our beloved Jersey Shore, that was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy but we're showing that we are "Jersey Strong" and coming back.

I will think about the Boston Marathon. About the runners and spectators affected. And how they are coming back, "Boston Strong."

I will think about Heather Boyum, the runner (and Mom in Motion member) who lost her life when a drunk driver struck her on her bike during triathlon training.

I'll be running amongst my fellow Moms In Motion runners - many who will be running their first half and I can't wait to see the joy they experience when they cross that finish line.

And as important to me, this is a significant race for me. It'll be my fourth time running it and it was four years ago, at this race, when my life changed forever. It was my first finish line. The first goal I set in running and the first time I proved to myself that I could do things I never dreamt possible. It was a life changer for me and I will forever have a place in my heart for this race and place.

after my first half with Angela who flew in from CA to pace me!

The second year I did the race, I had this incredible experience and last year was when my husband crossed his first finish line! This race has never let me down.

last mile of year number two of this race and experiencing complete
joy in running

On Sunday, thanks to not being trained, I won't break any PRs, I will be doing a lot of walking, taking some breaks for stretching and will definitely be amongst the back of the pack. And it's gonna be fabulous and beautiful and awesome.

Hubby and me last year
First or last, I'll cross the finish line and I can't wait.

My friend Linda reminded me of this awesome lady this morning. There is no quit, just moving forward until you get there.