Still Kicking

My ear kicked my booty. It morphed into bizarro ear- like, I couldn’t smile, laugh, or eat (not that it stopped me) because it hurt so much. I couldn’t hear, my ear swelled so much. Yeah…. I went to the doctors, got my antibiotics on. I went back to work today. Without really thinking about it, of course I took my meds. Without thinking about it, I also had the surprisingly woozy side effect that makes me briefly feel like I just had a glass of wine. I’ll time my meds tomorrow to coincide with my lunch a little better.
Today the ear opened up. It’s not pretty. I won’t describe anything, but I will say that OH MY GOSH it feels soooooo much better. Insanely better. I’m starting to be able to hear again, laugh again, smile… Yup. Eat too. (Damn!)
I was going to go for a run today. I thought I’d just force a mile or two out of my body, but Bradley looked at me like I was cuh-ray-zay. He informed me that people who have infections definitely aren’t supposed to add the additional stress of healing muscles from a workout. Duh. How to make the infection last longer. Hopefully tomorrow? The day after? I’m getting paranoid that I’m spending too much time away from my running shoes.
I instead went and watched my girl take first place in her triple jump and third in both her relay and 440. There’s not much more she could do to make me feel proud. What a blessing, that kid is.

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Ear With Bandage
(What a gripping life I do lead, eh, Bridget?)
***
I was just informed that as my husband and son were walking out onto the track field today my son just started talking to no one in particular in a loud voice…
“Hey, my mom’s losing weight.”
“My mom is a runner now.”
No one was listening except Bradley and one guy who looked sideways at our funny boy and laughed. Clearly, Bradley said, this information was meant for the masses in the casual, off-the-cuff way it was delivered. Bradley wanted to announce as well that, “It’s true. She’s lost over a hundred pounds. It’s kind of a big deal.” But of course, he didn’t. He instead just told Jude that Mama will decide when and where to celebrate her news. I don’t care, but it is a bit of a strange thing to just randomly shout out! Ha!
While it was funny in one of those ‘the kids say the darndest things’ kind of way, it also really made me understand the pride that my son sees inour family and me. He understands the importance of our project and he is proud to be a part of it. I love that kid, too. Love-fest at the Lj’s!

Couching

Yesterday I mentioned an interest in sharing my thinking about some of my strategies and thoughts on this whole weightloss project I’ve embarked on.
From the beginning of my project (sorry, I just hate the word ‘journey’ for some reason) I decided that I wasn’t going to deny myself things. If I wanted a donut, I would have a donut. Or at least a taste of it. My thinking was that if I had a ‘diet’ of denial yet full of foods that are tasty but not personally fulfilling that need for something special, then I was going to go bonkers.
I relate to food in an intimate way – I think we all do- but over the years with my husband I’ve observed that food has a stronger hold over me than it does him. Food calls to me, even when I’m not hungry. I get the munchies so incredibly easy- it’s ridiculous. If there is anything delicious in the house- ice cream is my greatest down falling- it talks to me. I can’t leave it alone. My husband, on the other hand, goes through life with very few cravings, very few treats. He needs to be reminded to eat. Food is mostly just fuel to him. For a long time I felt shame about this issue, as though my genetic or psychological predisposition for elevating food to a higher level of need and desire made me less evolved, or worthy, or justified or… whatever! More recently, though, I’ve started to realize that I just need to have an action plan for dealing with food. Denying that these food cravings exist does me no favors. In fact, it makes me long more for some creamy, delicious thing… Instead, I realized that I love sour cream- the real full fat kind. Ice cream + me= true love. Chocolate is an old friend of mine. Chips are the perfect accompaniment to most sandwiches. I’m nuts about nuts and nut butters. I’m never not going to feel this way. I will always crave fat (I’m a fat eater, Bradley is a sugar eater- example- my favorite candy is always peanut butter plus chocolate something, his is sour or hot tamale sugar something). It’s where my mouth guides me. So I have to do things to insure my success with these kinds of foods.
1. I never say no. If I want ice cream, I’m having some ice cream. We only buy it in single sized servings. Right now our local bargain grocery outlet (we call it the ‘Gross Out’) is carrying these 150 calorie skinny cow ice cream individual serving cups. I keep them in the freezer and when I want ice cream, I don’t even have to measure. I just eat the whole thing and don’t worry about it. And I’m only allowed one a day- they are too expensive at .50 per serving otherwise.
2. I have one tablespoon of sour cream now. Not half a cup.
3. We buy all of our chips at Costco in single sized serving bags. I’m addicted to BBQ flavored pop chips right now. They are 100 calories per bag, so not a bad trade for a craving. Again, I never eat more than one a day. The expense is high, at about .50 per bag, so I’m judicial with them. They also carry the baked lays and sun chips at our local business Costco. Those run between 180-240 calories per bag though so I tend to stay with the pop chips. I’m glad my family had a healthier alternative though.
4. I don’t keep any candy around. If we want it, we explicitly go out and get it. And I’ll tell you what, you have to really be having a strong craving to get off the couch to drive to the store to buy a candy bar. I’m not saying it has never happened, but not keeping it in the house is a great deterrent.
5. I will trade exercise for food. The best thing about being a runner is the calories you burn. I’m dieting, right? But when I burn 2200 calories on a 55 minute run I have every right to devour an awesome and delicious sub sandwich. The coolest part is even after the sandwich I still usually fall way short of my calorie allowances. I have no problem paying extra minutes in exchange for a particularly high calorie food. Usually I get a super yummy meal on those days, but, yes, once it was a trip to Ben and Jerry’s!
Anything I do while losing weight should be a habit towards maintaining my weight once I get there. I plan to continue to enjoy all of these foods for the rest of my life. I love to bake. I love to eat. I love desserts!!! Cutting them out would take away a lovely sensory experience in my life. So I integrate them. You can ask my husband how whenever I do eat a piece of cake or something how I discuss it over an over with him, insuring that I won’t go into a frosting fueled cake eating frenzy if I do decide to have a slice (actually not a cake fan, FYI). I worry about it, that the treat will start me down a path that will degrade this project. So far so good.
*There are seeds of thought here from my head and all over the Internet, but if i borrowed anything it is from Katie at runsforcookies.com.
***
WARNING: gross description coming up…
I have this weird thing on my ear. It felt like a pocket of fluid and it just built, like a tiny, enclosed bubble that was attached to the inner part of the ear- that part where you have to swirl a q-tip inside to clean it. So the last time it happened, it grew to the size of a BB gun pellet and then one day it just drained. It was gross, yeah, but I didn’t think much of it. It didn’t hurt or seem infected, just one of those weird body things that happened.
Then it started refilling. Faster. This time it seemed bigger after just a few weeks, and the day before yesterday I decided to help things along by giving it a good squeeze. Well, it popped- backwards. Instead of expelling the fluid outside of my ear it did it backwards, creating a new pocket among the cartelidge. It hurt a little. Then it hurt a little more. And then it hurt so much that moving my jaw to talk or chew hurt.
Today, this is me:

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There will be no running today. Or much of any movement. I’ll watch The Biggest Loser, heat my ear and boss people around from the couch. LOL!

Purpose

When I began writing this blog it was all about me. Me, me, me. It still is. Ha ha! As time has marched through the months, I have remained determined, I have continued to lose weight, I have become an athlete and I have been answering a lot questions along the way.
I totally get that. Seeing other people and reading the stories of other weightloss warriors was so important to me in the beginning. I was like, “If she can do it, so can I.” Seriously, at 340 pounds I was feeling like I needed to make a choice to live this lifestyle of an morbidly obese woman, or to lose it. Gaining more and giving in seemed easy and, to be frank, gluttonous fun, but it also just meant the climb back to health was going to be that much harder. Giving in to the fat seemed simple, easy, like a choice, but really it was just the lazier choice for me. For me, an unhappier choice. A limiting choice, but a choice nonetheless. Obviously I decided to take the hard route, the one with miles to run and food to control.
Anyhow, I have arrived at this point where people want advice and if you have spent ANY time with me or spoken on the phone with me over the past few months or the past few years, then you know how much I love to talk about diet and exercise. You know how much I would just love to sit down with you and make an action plan to get you moving, to clean your cupboard, to get your ball rolling… You know how much I love goal setting, for me AND you! I love to talk about this.
I have been careful on this site not to try to be inspiring (what a weird thing to say), to not give too much advice, to appear as just myself and let my story speak for itself. My reasoning is because:
1. I have only my own experience to speak from and my own knowledge base. Aside from the one nutrition class that I took in college, I have no professional training or expertise. I get my information from online, from a few doctors and from a few texts. But I would hate to give stupid advice that ends up in a lawsuit. So, let the record show that this site is never ever to take the place of your medical professional’s advice!
2. I have seen several weightloss sites where the women focus on inspiring other people as their primary source of motivation. I’m not going to deny that when people tell me that my choices have prompted a healthy shift in their own thinking it is incredibly motivating to keep moving forward and personally fulfilling. It feels good to affect positive change. But inspiring others seems like a dangerous thing to rely on for forward momentum. Eventually I will stop losing weight and just to maintain. Will I be as inspiring then? And if not, where will my feedback come from then? I need to build habits that encourage me to be self reliant, or reliant on my immediate support team more than relying on inconsistent feedback.
3. I don’t want to look like a know-it-all. A bragger. A compliment seeker. A glory hound. A narcissistic prat. Giving too much unsought advice can make me seem like all of those things.
4. Many ideas come from other sites, but much like an informational report, it is integrating into my lifestyle seamlessly and becoming mine- my belief system, my thought processes, my way of maintaining focus. But many of those ideas started as seeds at runsforcookies.com or theboringrunner. That said, I don’t want to reference their sites every time I talk about the way I process my life or get called a plagiarizer if I don’t. So I think I’m just going to write and talk. I’ll give as much credit as I can, but I wonder if I’m worrying too much about things like that. I just freak out in this litigious world.
All those things said, I am starting to realize through conversations that I am accumulating wisdom and thought processes that are working for me. I have smart things to share with people, so I think I’m going to start. I’ll still post all about me, but maybe I’ll throw some of my thoughts on eliminating bad foods, exercise and my tougher thought processes about the fixing of metal blocks and fear that hold me back a little more. I know for me, the mental work is the trickiest.
As always, I welcome your thoughts, questions and success stories!
*
Today when I was running I sweated my phone to death. She’s gone on to other places, greener pastures… Her twin will be here in a few days. Until then, a dirth of photos. I apologize in advance that you won’t be able to look upon my glowing apricot skin and cascading chestnut locks for a few days.
*
I met my goal on my Wii Fit today! Woohoo! I made a new goal to lose 10 pounds in the next two months. If I make it that will be my 40!
*
Goals:
I think I’m one run away from hitting 100 miles. What a perfect time for my phone to break! Sheesh!
I ran 3.1 today
Goal: 12
Abs: 0
Goal:3-4

Running

I don’t quite understand what is happening with my body right now. I’m not pregnant (yes, I am certain, it is impossible thanks to my OB), but I’m days ‘late’ at this point and my body is acting like I’m in weightloss warrior week, completely skipping the misery of PMS and the aftermath. I’m not complaining. I have been teary- the end of the school year is particularly emotional this year as I truly love, adore and will miss my students terribly. But otherwise… Nada.
I’m embracing it. When I started shedding again this week I started dieting a little better, but I didn’t amp up the workouts or anything. Each day as I step on the scale I’m down a pound. Today the scale couldn’t decide if I was 235 or 234.8. Doesn’t really matter. It’s down, that is all I really care about. So I think next week I’ll amp it up a little more and push some more mileage. See if I can burn some more. Coz know what? I am ten pounds away from my 40 before 40! 225 is the magic number. It looks like I’m going to make it!

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Today we hit the track and I ended up running 4.5. I decided to make sure to do a few things to insure my success:
1. I let Bradley know that at the track I really need to keep my focus. One of the ways to do that is keep music or a podcast playing in my ear so I’m nicely distracted instead of dreading each step or turn of the track.
2. I decided not to count laps. I started my Lovecast (love Dan Savage) and decided I would run until it ended and that would be my mileage. I ended up running a mile more than I planned!
3. I decided to let the idea of ‘training’ go and instead just focused on going. I have a bad habit of apologizing for my speed, as if a 235 pound woman is going to be running consistent nine minute miles. I had a friend tell me what is important is that I’m DOING IT. It doesn’t matter how slow. And 10.5-11.5 minute miles are nothing to be ashamed of.
***
Miles ran: 11.5
Goal: 10
Abs: once!
Goal:3-4 (but this was a soft goal this week)
***
Next week:
Goal: 12 miles
Abs: 3-4

Numbers

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My husband, at his heaviest, was 240pounds. This morning this fact occurred to me- my husband and I now have shared a weight! Three- actually- 240, 239… I know that doesn’t seem like an amazing feat for some, but if you have ever been more than 100 pounds heavier than your spouse you understand that feeling of inequity, a little too reminiscent of the Jack Sprat nursery rhyme..
I think my husband is cute. A babe. To steal from Wayne and Garth, magically babelicious. Now, I know, wife blinders and all, but I seriously look at this man with jaw dropping awe. Often. It’s a weird thing, to walk alongside him through the mall sometimes. People look at him, look at me, back to him, at our kids, again at me, to him… The puzzle has not always been obvious. When people meet him for the first time after knowing me a bit, they often have the reaction of, “Wow! He’s cute!” They always seem surprised… I’ve been called his friend, his sister and, early in our relationship, people were more comfortable putting him and his mother together, rarely assuming he was with me. Such a handsome man would never be with a big, fat girl like me. But he was.
To be absolutely clear- my husband has always adored me and worshipped the ground I walk on, just as I do with him. Between us, there has never been a sense of inequity. It is the outsiders that draw my attention to it. But really, it’s my own bias that allows me to so clearly see what they see. My own insecurities are what make me infer the thought processes of those who rapidly look from one to the other, and I assume the worst. Clearly I need to stop that destructive behavior.
Anyhow, being more than 100 pounds was tough. I remember finally passing the point where I ‘only’ weighed 100 pounds more. And slowly- ever so slowly- the gap is shrinking. Right now we are only 43 pounds different in weight – he is obviously the lower weight. Two months ago, however, he weighed 220. He seemed thin and fit to me. Dashing as ever. That is only 16 pounds away from where I stand today. Granted, I’m 4 inches shorter than his 6’1″, but still, I never thought I’d see the day again.
***
Ross is my store. I can take a risk on a dress or pants and only spend 15.00. And the Ross by my house? Bomb. No one goes there (but those of us who do make up for it with the volume we buy) , always stocked, usually awesome. We went today to pick up another shape wear running tank* and as long as I was there… Size 14 people. I can’t even… And every 16 I tried on fit! I turned around with the gray dress on and asked if Gigi thought there was any chance at all it might zip. She answered by zipping it up in one smooth stroke. I was last in a 14 at the tender age of 18. A 16 soon thereafter. Of course I had to bring them home. Both dresses bagged for 35.00. BOOM!
*
I have found that when I run my belly flops around and hurts. You know how most women need a running/sports bra? Yeah. I need a torso bra. Like one of those bras that cars wore in the eighties. Remember those? What was up with that?! Anyhow, I have found that shapewear does for my tummy what bras do for ‘the girls’! At first I felt stupid for adding another sweaty layer, then I went running once without it. Ouch. My skin hangs down, but it has mass on the end of it- imagine a hammock. It really can shake so it needs to be controlled. Shapewear. One of my workout secrets. Nuff said.
***
Yes, I’m obsessed with the comparisons. Thank you for humoring* me.

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I’m getting shapelier. Looks like slightly perkier too- like skin is shrinking. That is nice. πŸ™‚
***
*When I typed ‘humoring’, autocorrect changed it to ‘hump ring’. Where does it come up with these things?!

I Do Run Run

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Goals:
Miles – 6.3
Goal- 10
Abs- 0
Goal- 3 (4 for the goodie)

I am clean tuckered. It is a crazy work week, I think I’m going to go ahead and forgive the negligent abs this week. I’m not saying I’m giving up, I’m saying I’m not going to worry if I only get two workouts in. Or one.
***
I’ve had a bit of a struggle lately. I get doubtful sometimes and over-think things to the point of worry and I start brooding. Usually it’s about my interpersonal relationships, and when I get broody like that I start to sabotage myself. I think that is what happened this weekend. I was not making poor choices, or at least too many poor choices, but I was letting go a little. I was cutting loose, getting comfortable and started playing those games you play when you really don’t feel like making healthy choices… Broken cookies don’t count… A handful doesn’t count… It’s ok to walk… Or quit early… Or just not go at all.
Then it was like the universe saw and gave me a hug. There have been a few things that have happened over the past two days that have puffed me back up, made me want to stand tall and pumped me full of motivation again.
I feel amazing again. I weighed 238.4 this morning- a drop since my bloated 244 of last week.
***
One of my dearest friends contacted me. She is one of the people who I saw start losing and she started feeling amazing. She inspired me to start. She was indomitable! Then life happened, she fell out of practice and now she’s searching for the path that is going to make her the strong mother and wife she wants to be. So she called me. It was such an honor to have her reach out to me for help just like I did to her years ago, I’m so flattered to repay my debt.
In this conversation we were talking about exercise and what the doctors say. She has a series of injuries that prevent her from doing pretty much anything. She’s in a tight spot as each doctor prescribes another joint or muscle area to rest or exercise to avoid or perform. It’s tricky, but I also wonder what is the equational benefit between saving that joint and prolonging her life. If the exercise might compromise her knee but add ten years to her life, which is the better choice?
As my Grandma Johnson would have said, “It’s a deep subject.” <3

Goals – Win Some, Lose Some

That moment when you wake up on Sunday morning all content… Only to bolt upright in bed with the realization that you literally FORGOT to do your final abs workout to earn the goodie. I was so mad. (Not really, disappointed.) The super annoying part is that Bradley asked me if I wanted to go to Old Navy last night when we drove by, I said no and felt all smug that all I needed was to finish up one more workout last night to earn my shopping prize. Then I came home and heavily invested hours upon hours in TED Talks, thereby completely COMPLETELY FORGETTING my abs. Booooooooo! No present for me.

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On the other hand… I did make my basic goals. That is cause for celebratory booty shaking dances.
***
Workout Tally
Abs Workouts: 3
Goal: 3
Goal for prize: 4 (BOOOOO!)
Miles ran this week: 15.4
Goal: 15 (I did it!)

New goals:
Abs Goal: 3
Goal for Prize: 4 (again!)
Mileage Goal: 10
I’m lowering my mileage for two reasons:
1. I’m tired. My muscles are tired. My joints are tired. I need to take an easier, healing week.
2. I have an insane work week coming up, staying late at work and getting home late all week. Every stinking day. Running will be a lower priority and I don’t welcome the added stress.
***

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We went for a run yesterday at the track. I ran my 2 miles and then got out of there. Afterwards Bradley and I talked about our feelings about the track. It was funny because we have the exact arguments and feelings about those places, I just feel the way about street running that he feels about track running and visa-versa!
Track running is really good. The track is flat, so no undue stress on the body. It is cushy, so less impact on the joints. But even more than that, we can all go. Jude is not quite big enough to run more than 1/4-1/2 a mile. Gigi regularly racks up mileage, but Jude is still babyish, slow and, of course, not terribly interested. When we go to the track, three can run together while the other plays in the sand pit, climbs the track and field or football equipment, or he plays soccer in the field. It works out well, family-wise.
However, I feel very self-conscious running on the track. Whenever we go, I am the lone woman, circling. On top of that, and this is just my own issue, I am usually the fattest person at the track. I feel like a minority that doesn’t belong, similar to the way people probably feel working out at a gym next to the ‘hot bod’ babes. I feel highly visible and prefer the unassuming nature of the street. Of course I also like the natural world better, with hills, valleys, leaves and blossoms. I like the changing view, people’s houses, people and watching the world change.
Bradley, on the other hand, enjoys the track because he feels like it is where you are supposed to run. He feels self conscious, like running on the street is shoving it in people’s faces, all pious and judgey- you know, for the same reason people hate it when other people post about working out on Facebook.* I suppose it reminds people that they need to work out and no one wants to work out, usually, so he feels like a nag by default.
Street running, for me, is the exact opposite. To me, street running has no airs. If I’m doing it wrong, no one is going to mock me. I hear people make comments at the track all the time, “He has a weird style, but it works, I suppose.” “Yeah, I’ve been watching him. Slow and steady, he’s not fast, but good for him.” Pseudo-compliments from pseudo-experts. On the street they might think things, but there aren’t groups of ‘experts’ judging the ‘best’ way to do things. It’s just people in cars, houses or yards who see this person run by a few times every week. Furthermore, I like the hills, the views and the fact that because I run I am becoming a personality in my neighborhood. I’m starting to know people (and dogs) in my neighborhood and they are beginning to know me. I like that.
***
I spent some time studying my Strava account yesterday and found the following:

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A few pieces of amazement:
1. Yesterday I was averaging 5 runs per week. If I ran today I’m sure I’d get the same result.
2. In the past 28 days I’ve run 55 miles and gone for 19 runs! WOW!
3. My total distance is 79 miles. I’m close to running 100 miles- AMAZING! I went from only having ever run 1 little mile in my life to having run almost 100 times that. Wow. Just… Wow.
I’m kind of in awe of myself. Meaning- I don’t sit around all self congratulatory all the time, but if someone from work told me this story I would be impressed. So I’m allowing myself to be impressed with myself. πŸ™‚
*
Ooh goodness I am proud when i have just worked out. I ran a mile, a half mile, three miles- whatever! But if you post stuff like that on Facebook people hate it, to the point that they make memes mocking people who do it. I don’t get it. We should be proud of those things that make our hearts pump with joy and lust for life, not luridly fascinated by people’s sad lives.
I pick and choose who I share with personally. I post a lot here, yes, but if you come to this website you know what you’re going to find- workout stories and weightloss successes and struggles… maybe some failures. But there is a group of folks online and at my work who have I have kind of linked arms with and I tell them everything, spam them with pictures, brag when I worked out- all that. I NEED that. I hold myself accountable by sharing what I’m doing. I’m proud, yes, but also trying to build the expectation that I’m the person who works out, eats right… And if I ever stopped people would harass me about it, wonder about it, ask about it… I can’t quit if everyone knows. That would be humiliating. Being able to use Facebook for support like that without social retaliation would be nice, don’t you think?

Guess What I Ate Today?

It could have been worse. Much much much worse. This is my most loved week because it is Staff Appreciation Week at my school. Our PTSA supplies lunch all week long, negating the need to pack something. Instead it is delicious, hot, fresh, yummy- like I said: my most loved week at school. At the end of the table every day was a huge array of desserts to end each meal sweetly. I’m proud to say that I didn’t over eat the whole week. I ate about half a cookie all week. And then today happened.
I love Frost Donuts. On my birthday I don’t get cake or pie or ice cream. I get Frost. And I savor every delectable bite. If you go, I advise any fritter they serve and/or the salted caramel old fashioned. You won’t be disappointed.
Anyhow, guess what was for breakfast this morning? Yup. FROST DONUTS! I was such a good kid all day. I ate an old fashioned donut and then half a chocolate cruller. I scored two donuts for my kids and a banana, but that was it. Honest. When I came home? It was like all that energy telling myself no just burst out and I said YES YES YES!!!
Today’s diet:
Morningstar sausage
English muffin
1/2 cup yogurt
2T granola
Banana
Old fashioned delicious donut
1/2 cruller
4 chik nuggets
Carrots (gotta stay healthy, yo)
Pop chips
Baked lays
Cilantro lime dip for baked lays
Burrito
With more cilantro lime sauce (thank you PTSA for the leftovers)
1/2 burrito more
…drenched in even more cilantro lime sauce
Caramel covered with chocolate

How could it have been even worse? There were many delicious donuts to try. Muffins. Chips. I was called back to that stupid table all day- it was right next to the freaking copy machine – torture! I’d lean over it, inspecting this, that, considering a nibble but I’d walk away. Every time except the one when I ate the extra 1/2 cruller.
Apparently I can’t walk away from that cilantro lime dip though. Sheesh. I think I ate 1/2 cup of it. I was going to ask for the recipe but I think I had better abstain.
***
On top of the stellar diet today it was also an abstaining from exercise day. I’ve been running really hard all week. I realized that this is the first week I’ve been running ALL of my miles and not hiking any. On top of that, I upped my mileage from 12 miles to 15 so I’m actually running a substantial amount this week. Woot for me! I’m planning on running my final two miles tomorrow and I should make my goal with no problem.
Workout Tally
Abs Workouts: 3
Goal: 3 (Booty shakin’ going on here!)
Goal for prize: 4
Miles ran this week: 13
Goal: 15
***
I worked my abs a few minutes ago. I’m having difficulty finding photograph worthy things to post so I tried to take a picture of myself mid-crunch and captured… Something that doesn’t need to be shared. So I rolled over as soon as the crunching and took this one instead.
Happy Friday

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