Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Goals

Jen inspired me to get a schedule figured out. We are just shy of eight weeks away from the half marathon! I need to get my butt in gear and get training!

My biggest obstacle is my kiddos. Don't get me wrong, love 'em. But crabby, sick, tired, etc all make for difficult trips to the gym. Not napping makes it hard for me to get in a workout at home.  Feeling guilty about leaving my family on the weekends to do long runs keep me from outside training.  All excuses. I need to bust through those and realize running is making me a better Mommy AND a better wife! That 45-60 min that I can run by myself? Those minutes make me better. I'm happier, I feel more accomplished and I'm not carting around a boatload of guilt about what I am NOT doing to prepare for this scary exciting race.

So here is the first few weeks of January on my calendar. As my son nears his first birthday(*sniff* in two weeks) he's starting to be able to get away with no morning nap. I'm going to use that to my advantage and start hitting the gym every school day (E is in preschool Mon & Wed AM) Tuesday mornings will be left open for play dates, trips to the children's museum and other errand needs, so I will be doing Jillian's 30 day Shred videos in my basement while the kids take quiet time/naps in the afternoon. Thursdays from 1/5-2/19, I have signed up for a pilates class at the Y. I am VERY excited about this! I took a pilates class years ago at Bally's and it was always a great workout. My YMCA only had cardio pilates last time I looked into it, so I was thrilled to see "regular" Pilates when I looked last week!  Friday mornings both kiddos are enrolled in swimming classes. Because A is a little guy, I will be with him in his class while E is unassisted in her class.  After the lesson, I think I will take hte kids to child watch and go for a swim myself. I used to be able to get a mile in under 30 minutes, so it will be interesting to see if I can still reach that goal!

I will be checking in here with my progress. But here's my calendar for the first two weeks of January. Feel free to hassle me about whether or not I've been to the gym or done my scheduled activity for the day :-)

So here goes nothing. 2011 was the year I started running, but 2012 will be the year I become a runner!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Time to Move

I'm still here! I've just been swamped with working two jobs - one of which was retail during the Christmas holiday... Yikes! I haven't had time to consistently be in the gym like I would like to be, but I have been careful about what I eat. Like Nicole, my sweets have been allowed, but minimal. Rather than grab a dessert plate at Christmas, I picked one cookie and ate it off a napkin so I wouldn't be tempted to pile up the goodies. I peeked at the scale on Monday morning to have it read: 138.8! I am at my goal weight, even slightly below it! Of course, I still have muscles I'd like to improve. But I'm happy that I am at a healthy weight and have really changed my eating habits!

I went to put in my measurements on my WW tracker a couple weeks ago. To my surprise, one day several months ago I had put in my measurements! So here is the change to date:

Feb 2011 38"
Nov 2011 30"
Change: -8"

Feb 2011 42"
Nov 2011 36"
Change: -6"

Feb 2011 41"
Nov 2011 40"
Change: -1"

Feb 2011 12 pants; XL or L shirts
Nov 2011 8 pants (loosely); M or S shirts
Change: 2 sizes

I didn't realize how far I had come. I still don't feel small. Just ask Nicole - I squirm or make a funny face when she calls me skinny, even more so when she adds the word "super" in front of it. I will try on, even buy, shirts that are a size or two too big because I just haven't adjusted to the reality that I can wear a small. The weight loss portion of this journey is over for me. I'm where I have spent the last several years dreaming about being. Honestly, it still kind of feels like a dream. It almost doesn't seem real.

But the journey of a healthy lifestyle is never over. Now, my focus becomes on my fitness. And with the half marathon less than two months ahead, the gym will easily become my second home. Here is the 8 week training plan I will begin and stick to

This is the training plan I used for my very first half marathon, so I know it works. It will have me in the gym 6 days a week - that's 6 more than I have been doing. But 2 or 3 miles will go quickly. I have a tendency to avoid the gym because getting off work at 10pm, I just don't have the energy to be working out until midnight. But if I keep telling myself "these miles will be done in just X number of minutes" it feels doable.

I'm still trying to figure out how many of my runs I should do outside versus on the treadmill at the gym. It's freezing right now, and it certainly won't be this cold in Florida - even in February. My current plan is to get outside and run the Sunday long runs at the lake if the weather is nice enough to do that. If not, then the treadmill will suffice. Any other tips or tricks or ideas for me as I jump into training?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Well, we survived. :-)  Four days of family, food and fun! I'm still here to tell about it.  I did relax my restrictions on sugar a little. But something is different now.  Last year, I would eat a piece of candy, then another, then two more, then maybe another 3.....  until it was gone!

This year, my aunt flew in and made peppermint bark and espresso bark with my daughter when she got here. I tasted a small corner (maybe .5"?) and I was done.  I didn't want any more, I didn't crave any and I certainly didn't eat any! I did have a chocolate covered pretzel now and again (probably less than 10 over the last 5 days) but I wasn't compelled to eat them - I did it because I wanted to eat them!

I did gain 1lb this weekend, but I haven't tracked my WW points now since Thursday, so all in all, I do't think 1lb is too bad. I plan to get back on track starting tomorrow, EVEN with all the treats still in the house!

I knew I've reached a new place in my life on Christmas night. Everyone left for the hotel and I was cleaning up. I saw the top of a sugar cookie Chrsitmas tree and popped it in my mouth. I started chewing and thought "What the heck am I doing?!" and spat it out.  It just wasn't WORTH it to me to even finish chewing and definitely not to swallow it!

I have been getting my running in gear lately. Last Wednesday I ran 4 miles and today I went to the Y and ran 4.5! I'm getting my distance up by doing intervals. I am by no means a FAST runner, but I am trying to work on both running longer and further. The half marathon is officially TWO MONTHS from TODAY! Eeeekkkk!!!

So while nothing "bad" happened when I ate sugar, I do feel better when I don't. I plan on sticking with it, allowing incidentals and the occasional treat (most likely a 79% dark chocolate - 85% was too bitter for me still). I LOVE the way I feel, I am LOVING that I fit into smaller clothes (hello, it's been YEARS since I wore a medium ANYTHING!) and I love that people are starting to NOTICE the work I'm putting in! I am definitely staying on this track for awhile!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I have been keeping with no sugar, although I admit I'm getting more relaxed - I missed ketchup like you can't believe!! I tried some of my ALL TIME FAVORITE sugar cookie dough the other night - probably half the dough that it would take to make a typical sugar cookie. It made me I'LL. My stomach was in knots for HOURS!! Very eye-opening to see such a strong physical response!

The busy all starts here tomorrow am when my family starts flying in from Ohio & Georgia. I'm excited for my family to see me - I haven't been this light probably since shortly after my wedding!!

I will say I had a total "Biggest Loser" moment the other day! I was going through jeans and held a pair of size 16s up to me - the difference is INCREDIBLE!! I didn't realize I've lost that much until that moment. I will be posting a picture of my "transformation moment" soon!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Eight Weeks - Complete!

Today is the END of week 8 for my detox! It's been a HUGE challenge to do this, but I'm so glad I did!

Here are my stats as of today:

So overall, I'm VERY pleased! This might give you an indication as to why I'm so thrilled:
If you'll notice, I was swimming right along until about July. Then - stopped. I didn't do anything different, I just went into a plateau mode.  And also notice - detox begins the day after I turn the big 3-0.  And look at me now!

Please excuse me blending into the wall...
I would like to note - my jeans are now 2 sizes smaller than the first picture (they were 16's in the first picture!) and the 12s I wore today actually have breathing room!

I've set a new goal weight (as you can see in my WW screen shot) of 150lbs. I would love to be down to that by the Disney Half Marathon, but we shall see. :-)

People have asked what I plan to do now. Heck if I know! :-)  I definitely won't be headed back to the lifestyle I was leading before! I do, however, look forward to some fruit being added back into my diet! I miss that a lot. Similarly, I won't be going back to my 4-bananas-a-day habit... but I do look forward to having ONE once in awhile!  I won't be SO militant about the "hidden sugars" (ie, I will eat at restaurants without having to fuss about ordering) but I won't be bringing HFCS/corn syrup/evaporated cane juice/agave into my house. We'll use Stevia when we can and leave it out as much as possible.

I went to a potluck Christmas party tonight and made whipped sweet potatoes (you know, the dish that is usually filled with brown sugar and topped with marshmallows??)  I didn't use *any* sugar - just sweet potatoes, butter and cinnamon/allspice and got RAVE reviews! It was a sign to me that you don't ALWAYS need the sugar. I almost slipped for a Christmas cookie that looked TDF, but I made it out without one.

So stick around. There are big things coming - half marathon training ( and trying to navigate a detoxified life!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cake Day!

(Subtitled: Congratulations, Adam & Hillary!!) ;-)

So my cake weekend (aka Hillary's wedding weekend) didn't turn out at ALL what I had expected.  Friday, I survived the airports, as I posted. However, by 2:30am, I was so sick, I could barely stand myself. I have an awesome friend in Canton who stopped at Target and got me meds, crackers and coconut water (with pineapple flavoring) and delivered them to my hotel. I almost blacked out going to meet her in the lobby. It was quite bad.

So I managed to drag myself out of bed for my friend's wedding.  I made it to the reception and was feeling pretty good (relatively speaking!)   I was able to eat some dinner and it tasted great.

Then came cake. She had a LOVELY display of cupcakes, all different flavors, but I went for the most beautiful of them all - red velvet.

I sat down and stared at it.  I was waging war - I SAID I was going to eat cake. I DECIDED I would allow cake (it wasn't an impulse, this was a conscious decision!) and now? My stomach rumbled just thinking about it!

I nibbled the corner. It was... okay. I mean, don't get me wrong, it was tasty cake! But it wasn't GRIPPING and SOUL CRUSHINGLY AMAZING like I remember cake to be. It was just .... cake. I ate about 1/4 of it, and happily put it aside.

I did have a bit of sugar on Saturday, just to try to get myself rehydrated. I still avoided hfcs but I did have the coconut water with pineapple juice (12g in the bottle) and a LifeWater that had Stevia in it.

Proud of myself that I didn't fall. I don't know how the story would be different (would I have fallen off in week 8 had I not been sick?) but I guess, in a round about way, my body was protecting me from it!

So I'm midway through week 8. I'm not being quite as militant about it - I'm allowing some incidental sugars in things that are harder to control (dining out primarily) but still avoiding all "obvious" sugars. 

Did anyone take me up on the one week sugar free? I'm curious to know how it went for you. I KNOW people think they can't do it, but it is doable. And it DOES change things!

I will definitely do an update post, but as of Monday, I am THREE POUNDS below my first goal weight!!!  Now to set my next goal :-) Onward to the Disney Half Marathon, which is in approximately 70 days!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Airports are rough!!!

I'm on a mini trip to see a dear friend tie the knot tomorrow. I'm traveling alone, so I have no "busy tending to others" excuses to slip.

But MAN was the airport a challenge!! I was an hour early for my flight- my 6pm flight, so right around dinner time. I wandered around and saw Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robbins.... Sugar, sugar, sugar!!!! I wound up snacking on some nuts I had packed and mixed with cocoa nibs.

A note on cocoa nibs: I do not like them on their own. I DO like them mixed with nuts!! Yummy!

So my quick 36 hour trip has started. Tomorrow is wedding day!! I'm allowing myself to have cake - I'm interested to see how I feel afterwards!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Not a Diet, a Lifestyle

Although I didn't stick to the 8 week plan as flawlessly as my partner in crime (seriously... I am so impressed by and proud of Nicole!), I followed the plan for the most part. Yes, there were a couple slip ups. But I learned from WW that one bad night doesn't have to be followed by a bad day, and it doesn't undo all the progress you've made. It's life - there are bumps in the road, but you cross them and keep going. I love the quote by Robert Frost: "In three words I can summarize everything I've learned about life: it goes on." And I've found the same is true of this weight loss journey.

So now I've spent the last couple weeks not sugar-free, but more sugar-light. I eat fruits now (and oh, I appreciate them in a whole new way)! I had ketchup with my fries when I went out to eat last weekend. But I would rather put a teaspoon of olive oil and some spices on a salad instead of sugar-loaded dressings. I would rather have coffee with a tablespoon or two of a natural half & half than fill it with the sugary flavored creamers. I see ice cream as a rare, portion-controlled treat rather than a comfort from stress. I will go a few days in a row without any added and/or unnecessary sugars... and that's without even thinking about it!

This week the cold weather and snow flurries hit. It makes me want to snuggle up on the couch in my sweats under lots of blankets and watch Christmas movies. It also brings out my inner Betty Crocker and I feel the need to bake. My kitchen calls to me. So this week, I baked. I found a new chocolate chip cookie recipe that sounded good. I made it a little healthier using whole wheat flour and dark chocolate chips. When the gooey treats were out of the oven, I had a couple warm bites of heaven with my roommate. And then I stopped. I put them in Tupperware and didn't look at them again. Last night, I saw the container on the table and once again passed them without a single bite. I had what I needed. I got what I wanted, and that single serving was enough for me.

So today, these yummy treats were a gift for the office. My coworkers love them! And even now, I pass them on the counter and they don't make my mouth water or my stomach growl the way homemade cookies used to. This is a big accomplishment for me! Old Jen would have easily taken the Tupperware container to my room and munched on countless cookies as a bedtime snack. I left a few cookies at home as a treats for my Roomie, who is spending late nights serving at church and is often rushed for meals and snacks. But I really don't want any more. They were delicious, but I had my fix. I'd rather eat an apple or a banana with some peanut butter! (Seriously, I missed fruit with all of my heart. I will never, ever take "nature's dessert" for granted again.) I feel like this really has become a lifestyle and it has changed what I eat and how I read nutrition labels and ingredient lists. I guess I'm in the "maintenance mode" of this experiment - and I'm only 3.0 pounds from being in maintenance mode of WW too.

What does that mean to me? I've changed my perspective on it a little. I realized it just means I'm going from a "diet," from trying to lose weight, to just keeping up with this healthy lifestyle. It means I've learned the lessons and reached my goals, but that I want to keep making the effort to stay healthy and active and being smart about what I eat to fuel my body with. It means that I refuse to let junk food or emotional eating or laziness control my life. Instead, I'm in control now. It's actually an empowering place to be and I'm excited to enter this new phase!

Monday, December 5, 2011


This was almost my un-doing on Friday. 
It's my (former life) most favorite frosting recipe. And in this batch, I replaced the vanilla extract with peppermint. Peppermint chocolate is (was?) my favorite flavor combination.  In my favorite frosting. Why did I do this?!   I've been trying to use up the sugary treats in my pantry by making delicious desserts for my parents' group that meets Friday night. I thought "I've been 'sober' for 7 weeks now, I surely can handle this!" 

BOY WAS I WRONG!  My hubby found me in the kitchen, staring at my frosting covered hands. I felt like Jasper in the party part of "New Moon" (yes, Twilight fan, Team Jacob if it matters) - desperately wanting it, but knowing it just wasn't okay.  I KNEW I couldn't blow seven weeks without sugar, but I wanted it SO BADLY. I'd like to believe I'm strong enough to say no, but peppermint chocolate frosting has a LOUD voice!  I'm hoping to get to a place where it's just a whisper.

Then I started thinking.  This "experiment" is almost over - my eight week detox comes to an end on December 16. I've completed six weeks without sugar. Still, the cravings are there. At times, the cravings are bad.  I have planned to have wedding cake next weekend and now I wonder if I will be able to handle it! Will I be able to have a few bites and stop, or will the "old" me come out in a big way and devour all the sugar in sight? 

So to my friends who have quit before me - do the cravings go away? Once an addict, always an addict? I need a little perspective! Will I always turn into a lunatic at the smell of sugary goodness?!  

Don't get me wrong, I know I'm much healthier now. I feel better, I'm looking better - but I still crave that something sweet after meals. 

In the end, I DID NOT cheat, I didn't have any sugar on Friday. My hubby caught me just in time and started saying (in a VERY insistent voice) "Wash your hands! Wash your hands!", which I did.  I don't know that I could say that I didn't have sugar if he hadn't walked in at that moment.