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Archive for November, 2009

Me:  (Happily discovering that another food I like is cheap-o WW points)  Yes!

Princess: (Spying on me instead of picking up her room)  Mom, what are all the points for?

Me:  (Ignoring the question)  Is your room done?

Princess:  (Ignoring the question)  Are those points anything like Webkinz Kinzcash?

Me:  (I’m hooked.  She got me.)  No these are points that add up to a certain total I get for the day and then for the week…(long explanation trails off when her eyes glaze over)

Princess:  (Waking up from the glaze when she realizes I’ve stopped talking)  But what do you GET for the points?

Me:  I get to lose weight.

Princess:  Sounds like a rip off.  You should be able to use those points to buy something, like in Webkinz World.

Me:  I get to lose weight.

Princess:  How much weight have you lost?

Me:  I’ve only been doing this since 8 o’clock this morning.

Princess:  (with complete sincerity)  Yeah.  How much weight have you lost?

Me:  (after staring at her in disbelief during a long pause)  Is your room done?

[Princess exits with lightning speed.]

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There will come a day when you can no longer run;

today is not that day.

 

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I did it.

I signed up for Weight Watchers three days before Thanksgiving.

Which proves that:

EITHER I am completely desperate to not be carrying the equivalent weight of a preschool toddler the 26.2 miles of the marathon I’m running in February

OR I have truly lost it.

I vote for both. 

It’s rally time, friends.  I’m really gonna need your support to unload some of this beloved blubber before I get to the starting line at the 26.2 with Donna Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer. 

And lots of you are actually embarking on fitness adventures of your own!  Chris is on board with me.  My new friend Carla signed up last week.  My pal Jackie is now considering a marathon!  Woo Hoo!  Who else is in?  I know it’s the holidays, but think of it:  what better present could you give yourself for the holidays than a healthier YOU?! 

Thanks for the encouragement, everybody!  The rubber meets the road tomorrow.  I might really be able to do this!  🙂

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Well, one of my friends just lost her 100th pound on her 40th birthday.  (I would post her name here, but I don’t know if she’s willing to be a public figure, so you’ll have to die of curiosity.)  Another friend is in size 9/10 jeans as of this weekend, in spite of her PMS.  (I have absolutely NO qualms posting her vitals here, since she’s crazy bold enough to share them with the world herself!) 

I am SO happy for them.  Not a bit jealous.  Not. One. Little. Bit.  Okay, well maybe a little.  But sheesh, these ladies have quite literally worked their fannies off, so it’s not like I can begrudge them their awesome achievements.

This just ain't right.

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As for me, faithful readers of this blog know just exactly how much weight I’ve (not) lost.  Indeed, LOTS of you have weighed in (No pun intended…I leave the puns to Linda and Charlie, who are really, really good at puns.  My humor usually occurs by accident.) with really great recipes in my recipe contest, designed to give me ideas and inspiration to be able to cook/eat/feed my family in a more healthy manner.   (Do you notice how often I interrupt myself?  Imagine being my husband (known here on this blog as HH).  Constantly being interrupted by my bursts of inspiration.  He’s such a lucky guy.)  Thanks for your entries!  I will be using them!

Anyway, it is not that I haven’t worked hard enough.  As you (may) know, I’m training for a marathon, so I am getting bunches of exercise.  And as you (may) know, distance runners are particularly weight-loss-challenged because of the distinct nutritional requirements of their sport. 

However, it occurs to me that my sport does not require me to have a burger and fries twice in one day.  And it also occurs to me that I now do have LOTS of awesome recipes from my faithful friends who read this blog. 

Further,  it occurs to me that I have this most salient reminder of two friends that have had MEGA success in the fanny-shrinking department, that these women are really normal, nice, friendly gals, who weren’t doing anything faddish or into some wierd trend.  They were just doing the Hard Work of monitoring what they put into their pie-holes.  These women aren’t supermodels, but they’re superheroes–at least in the weight loss department (and my eyes).  Worse yet, they are totally likeable.  I really LIKE them.  You can’t hate someone who you like, so since I like them I am now left with:  No Excuses.

Since I found myself today at the crossroads of No-Excuses and Forever-Fat, and since I found myself at the end of My Own Strength and Will-Power to Do Anything About It (seriously–I’ve made this a pretty public journey–the public nature of any “failure” would have been enough to have caused me to change if I’d been willing/able/ready to do it), I did the only thing that there was left to do.  I prayed.

[Time out now, because this is something I’m actually serious about.  I take myself pretty lightly, but God?  Now, I take Him seriously.  Just because God has a sense of humor doesn’t mean He’s a joke and He is one of the few things you won’t find me kidding about.  Just wanted you to know.]

SO, I prayed that God would just help me care.  Seriously.  I obviously hadn’t cared enough to do something about it.  I’m not trying to be hard on myself and I’m not trying to make light of God Almighty here.  But I knew that He cared about me taking care of myself, and I obviously wasn’t caring enough to make the necessary changes in the Eat Less curriculum of the Eat Less/Move More game plan I’d taken on. 

If God cared and I didn’t, then I had a problem.  So I asked Him for help.  And of course, He gave it to me.   [Aside:  Even if you’re not a Christian, the exercise/weight loss/diet stuff you’re about to read will probably interest you.  It’s worth it to continue reading.  If you are a Christian, please do not believe for a minute that I “heard from God” just because I said so.  Test it.  If you don’t know how, then message me or ask your pastor.   I’ll be happy to share my testing-process with you personally, but that’s way beyond this post.  Listen, the important thing to know is God does care and He does talk to us, but our “feelings” are not the litmus test for the will of God.  Even if you love everything I say, I don’t speak for God.  God is perfectly capable of speaking for Himself.]

SO…very surprisingly, the help that I received was in the form of several distinct and unassociated people who’ve had great success in this weight loss program called Weight Watchers.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it. 

Now, I’ve done WW before and was quite successful with it.  I have clothes that used to fit me in my closet to prove it.  The problem was that I “did” WW before and I’m now really, really looking for a permanent lifestyle change.  One that can accomodate my new lifestyle as Mom-Who-Runs.  One that I can do as a Normal Person (which I desperately would love to be) instead of either a Dieter OR as a Rebelling-From-Being-A-Dieter-And-Doing-Whatever-I-Please-Person. 

My big objection to WW was that I would have to go to those meetings.  Now, when my world operated on a different schedule, the meetings were not a problem.  At this point in my life, though, the meetings are Out Of The Question. And so, WW was out of the question.  Until now. 

I know this is old news to some people, but it’s new to me, and I’m kinda excited to hear it.  Weight Watchers now has an ONLINE program.  Which means no more (stupid) meetings!  No more needing to get a babysitter so I can step on a scale!  No more lecturettes!  

And *ahem* no more excuses.  

Undaunted, I had one last remaining excuse.  This bit of being an endurance athlete.  Seriously, people.  We need CALORIES to run 26.2 miles.  Or 13.1.  Or 10.  Or 6.  Reasonable people understand that there’s no way to safely crash diet and safely train for a marathon.  But THEN, while poking around on the WW site, I discovered something I’d forgotten entirely.  ACTIVITY POINTS.   

Hallelujah, activity points!  I don’t remember the way they are calculated.  (It’s been a long time since I achieved lifetime WW member status.)  But essentially, activity points help to account for the activity you do by giving you more points that you can/must consume for that day.  So there was actually a chance that I might be able to lose weight, train for my marathon, and not starve/injure myself in the process. 

There was a light at the end of the tunnel.  I just needed to reassess my WHY.

My motivation to lose weight is no longer what it used to be.  I’m not even willing to tell you what it used to be.  Seriously, I don’t even know if I can get my brain to go there.  NOW, however, my desire to lose weight has to do with not having to caring this extra 40 (to 45) pounds with me as a passenger on my marathon on February 21st.  My motivation is to lose some of that weight so that it doesn’t have to come along for the ride on my first marathon, or even most of the training for it.  Losing the weight will help me avoid injury, improve my time, and enjoy the experience (not to mention take a cuter picture) during that race.  So THAT’S the motivation.  And I can’t wait until January 31st to start thinking about it.

So here’s my question:  Who among you has tried (or knows someone who’s tried) this Weight Watchers Online thing?  Would you recommend it for someone as random as me?  Would it yield itself to the odd requirements of an adult-onset-endurance-athlete with a sweet-tooth husband and two athletic daughters to feed?  Would I injure myself trying it while training for this marathon?  Would you recommend it?  In essence:  HELP! 

Please, please, please give me your comments about this if you’ve got an opinion.  Even I’m not such a lover-of-contradiction that I’d start WW three days before Thanksgiving, but I’ll be making a decision about What To Do very soon.  It would be great to have input from people who’ve been there.

As it stands now, the extra weight I’d be carrying would be like carrying a preschooler in my arms for the entire 26.2 miles during my race in February.   Um, pass.  Clearly, it’s time for drastic measures. 

Can’t wait to hear your words of wisdom.  I thank you from the bottom of my…well, never mind. 

P.S.  Another benefit:  HH doesn’t know that there is a WW for Men Online available.  I feel a master plan cooking up.  This could be good!

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It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.   ~Theodore Roosevelt

Today was a “rest day” in my marathon training schedule.  But it wasn’t restful at all.  And I’m glad.

We spent the greater part of this day screaming our lungs out at our local high school, where our team, the Danville Vikings, were in the 6A state semi-finals.  An hour and a half before the game, the stands were packed.  Packed.

Not so long ago, our local program was in the cellar of the state.  Then native son, BJ Luke came home and accepted the head coaching position.  The team began to win and Viking Fever was epidemic.  The entire community embraced the team and rallied around these players.  Their hard work, their passion, their toughness, their fight, their refusal to quit was contagious.  The entire community has a shared pride in these valiant young men, whose efforts went way beyond football and caused hope to burn bright in our little corner of the world. 

I pass this house on most of my training runs. Funny thing. After seeing this sign, I don't give slowing down or stopping a second thought.

You would have thought they’d won.  Sadly, the Vikings were defeated in today’s game.  After the clock wound down and the season was over, the crowd grew still and…didn’t leave.  The crowd waited quietly until the Viking players had respectfully choked back their personal heartbreak and congratulated their opponents.  Then as the team turned to run back to their locker room, the crowd erupted in a roar of pride and encouragement. 

This team had given our town so much hope and passion and vision.  This undefeated season had been a win for the entire community.  Written-off, and yet, coming back and winning.  Again and again and again.  Underestimated, and yet, giving it all.  Again and again and again.  These young men reminded us all that it is possible to overcome obstacles and be victorious.  They reminded us what it means to be valiant. 

And for the next days, weeks and months, we’re going to have a whole lot of valiant people in this community.  Valiant teachers.  Valiant runners.  Valiant parents.  Valiant secretaries.  Valiant waitresses.  Valiant students.  Working hard.  Giving it all.  Refusing to quit.  Exceeding expectations.  Setting new standards.  Working and playing with heart. 

For that, this community owes Coach Luke, his staff, and especially each member of the DHS Vikings a debt of gratitude.

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doghouse

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Several days ago Helpful Husband said to me, “Look in the mirror.  Just look.”  Thinking I had food on my face, I looked and saw, well, just me. 

Me:  “What?” 

HH:  “Your face.” 

Me:  “Yes?” 

HH:  “Your face is really getting thinner.  Look how your hair falls around your face.” 

Hmmmm.  I looked more closely.  Saw some chubbiness, covered by some loose skin where chubbier cheeks used to be.  Was HH trying to compliment me?  Give him the benefit of the doubt. 

Me:  (with suspicion)  “Well, I hadn’t noticed.  Um, doesn’t really seem that way to me, but thanks.” 

HH:  (clearly proud of himself)  You’re welcome.

Twenty-four hours later, I was still trying to determine what he’d REALLY meant by that statement.  Then it hit me.

Me:  (sweetly, approaching HH who’d been snoozing in front of the TV)  Honey, remember yesterday when you said my face looked thinner?

HH:  (confused)  Um, yeah.  I guess.

Me:  Well, I was wondering if you said that because you’d looked at the rest of me and were noticing how in spite of all the running I was doing, my behind was really NOT getting thinner.

HH: (clearly alarmed and terrified that he’d been boxed into this position so quickly)  What?!  I never said that!

Me:  Yes, but you only said anything about my face.  Clearly you meant that my butt was still big.

HH:  (awake now,  nearing panic.)  I did NOT say that!  What are you talking about?!

Me:  Don’t you remember complimenting me on my face being thinner?

HH:  No, I was complimenting your hair.

Me:  WHAT?!  Now you’re taking back the compliment you I did give?  Are you saying my face doesn’t look thinner?

HH:  I was talking about your hair!

Me:  So now not only my butt is fat, but my face is fat too?!

HH:  I was talking about your hair!

Me:  You’re even saying my HAIR is fat?!

HH:  I never said any part of you was fat!

Me:  Yes you did, I heard you.

HH:  I cannot believe this!  I bet you don’t remember all the times I’ve complimented you on how great you’re looking over the past few months.  How proud of you I am.  How…

Me:  All I can think about right now is that you’ve just called me fat three different ways.

HH:  I cannot believe this!  This is so unfair! 

Me:  I feel a blog post coming on.

HH:  Oh no.

Me:  I’ll only print the truth.

HH:  I’m planked.

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Well, today is long run Friday, and I am completely clueless how this happened.  While this did seem like one of the Longest Weeks in the World, it also seems like last week’s Long Run was just yesterday. 

So I’ll hit the road again today on my scheduled Long Slow Run, cleverly designed to get me ready for the marathon I’m running in 13 weeks.  And as always, I’ll post my results here for you to enjoy. 

Now, a word about these results.  I recently read a blog wherein this Very Serious Runner posts a link to his Runner’s World running log.  This is very cool, a wonderful tool and looks quite nifty, except for one teeny little issue:  I ain’t ever going to do that.  Props to him for being willing to post his weight and pace and fuel intake and about every other vital statistic every time he runs.  But that’s an awful lot of sharing for a newbie like me.   I mean, I’m fine making a little note of these things for myself, but sharing it with the known universe?  Way Too Much Information.

So, I’ll be keeping these reports to distance, times and pace (if I like them), how I was feeling, what the weather was, what crazy things I saw along the way, and the general random things that occur during my runs.  I will not be posting my weight or my breakfast here.  Just so you know.  That’s classified information. 

Photo Credit

THE PLAN:  6 mile run today.  It’s one of those “recovery weeks” on the old training schedule, where the long run backs off a little.  Feels kinda like cheating.  But that’s now, before I get out there…

PREDICTION:  Awesome, of course.

THE REALITY:  To be determined.  I’ll update you all afterwards, assuming I survive.

[UPDATE]:

This was a 6.4 mile run on a beautiful, sunny cool day.  That is the nicest thing I can say about it. 

I wanted to enjoy running today, I really did.  But this day seemed to be met with all kinds of delays and glitches and hindrances.  Frustrating, but I did finish and ran the entire time.  My pace was slower than usual, but faster than Virginia Beach and a few recently long runs.  I have to keep reminding myself that I’m intentionally making myself go even slower than my normal (slow) pace on these long runs, so I can maintain that discipline in the marathon and not run out of steam before the end.  Still…

The problems started before I got out the door, since I was way overdressed for the temperature.  Helpful Husband has been freezing and told me that he thought it was going to be really cold.  Walked out the door and turned right back in and changed tops.  Kept the gloves and the thermal headband.  The gloves were a mistake, but the bigger mistake was relying on a non-runner for temperature advice for my long run.  He was trying to be helpful, he really was.  Cold wimp.

I also learned today that when I have the slight thought that maybe I should go back inside and go to the bathroom before running more than six miles, I should listen to that little voice inside my head (bladder) instead of just pushing forward in an attempt to avoid any further delays.  I spent the first half of the run messing with my too-hot gloves and hoping that my mom would be home and her HalfWay House potty stop would be open for business.  (Thankfully, it was.  Got to drop off the sweaty gloves there too.)

The second half of the run was full of bad timing on the stop lights and some crazy drivers.  I can’t be sure how much additional time all the stopping and waiting for lights to change and dodging added to the overall experience, but it was not pleasant.

I finally started feeling good at about 5.3 miles.  The last mile of my route is a slow, moderate uphill climb followed by a very step, short, decline.  It’s fairly challenging, so you know when that’s the most enjoyable part of the run, it’s been rough out there. 

But I am committed to remaining positive. 

I’m grateful I got to get out in my lighter weight shoes and that the day truly was sunny and beautiful.  I’m grateful that my mom was home at that very critical moment.  I’m grateful that  I got the mileage in and I can check it off my training schedule.  I’m grateful my running mentors told me there’d be days like these, so I’m  not overly devastated by it.  I’m grateful this day-like-this  happened during my training and not during a race. I’m grateful it happened on the 6-miler rather than the 20-miler.    And I’m grateful that this day’s run is over and tomorrow is another day.

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