Friday, April 25, 2008

Hasta la pasta

Friends, I'm outta here (for a week, anyway). Time to get some last-minute word done, pack, and go on vacation!

Oh, how I need a vacation.

For those of you who didn't see my added stuff yesterday about my liver MRI test results, I heard from the doctor. There are no definitive answers. They suspect this is a typical not-of-concern hemangioma, but they don't know for sure. Now they're sending me for a Nuclear Medicine Scan. That'll have to happen after I get back from vacation. I'm going to do my best to not think about it until I return, too. I need a vacation from that mess as much as I need a vacation from work!

Although work is kicking my arse right now. I found out there's a big presentation the day after I return. Um, no, I can't have those analyses ready for that meeting, folks.

I can't wait to sit on the beach with my wonderful hubby of 5 years (happy anniversary to us!), relaxing, listening to the ocean, and forgetting about anything and everything stressful. Yay!

Have a wonderful, on-plan, healthy, active, run-like-the-wind kind of week. I'll be back around May 5th or so.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

"Don't spoil your dinner!" ~~ EDIT: Test results

I posted a comment on Ashley’s blog, and then decided to expand on it here, because I wonder if others had the same childhood learning that they had to unlearn (or if you learned it but it still works for you).

I know a lot of us were members of the “clean plate club” … you couldn’t leave the table until you finished your dinner, there are starving kids in China, blah blah blah. A lot of us had to drop out of that club and change that learning before we could successfully lose weight.

That's not the club I'm talking about, though. I was a member of another club. I was a member of the “don’t spoil your dinner” club. I remember being RAVENOUS waiting for dinner to be ready. Mom was cooking, kids were helping out, and OH the hunger. And I remember not being allowed to eat anything during that time because it would “spoil my dinner.”

I carried that idea into my adulthood … if I was cooking or especially if I was going out to dinner, I wouldn’t let myself eat anything. That way I’d be good and hungry at dinner.

Oh my gawd! Talk about a recipe for overeating!

I really had to retrain myself on the whole eating before dinner thing. It’s extra-important for me these days, since my husband gets home from work fairly late. Now, I have a late afternoon snack with some protein (often a vitamuffin and skim milk – 3 points and oh so good), and then sometimes an even later right-before-dinner snack of raw veggies. I find it really helps me keep the overeating at dinner in check, and I make better food choices when I’m looking at a menu because I’m not ravenous.

Was anybody else a member of the “don’t spoil your dinner” club? I’m curious – have you dropped out of the club?

Tangent … the phrase “ruin your dinner” makes me think of this video, which makes me very happy:

Can you tell I’m totally trying to distract myself from thinking about the fact that I still haven’t heard from the doc with my test results? I called the office four and a half hours ago (after three hours of watching the clock), and asked them to call me, and they said they’d call me back. No word yet. ARGH!

I did get my MyShape clothes, though. I’m holding off on the review for now … details to follow (I wouldn’t consider the MyShape experience over at this point).

I heard from the doctor. STILL no definitive answers. STILL they THINK this is a typical not-of-concern hemangioma, but they don't know for sure and they need to know for sure because the alternatives are bad news. Now they're sending me for a Nuclear Medicine Scan. That'll have to happen after I get back from vacation.

I guess inconclusive news is better than bad news, right?

I was really hoping for good, or at least reassuring news, though ...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Eager anticipation and anxious waiting

For some reason it really didn’t hit me until yesterday that I’m going on vacation in a few days. Only a few days! Yay! But, damn! I have a lot to get done before then.

One thing I meant to do before I left was go get a new swim suit and a couple nice sundresses. I have a couple swimsuits that’ll do (getting new suits was just for the fun of it), but the dress thing is a little more necessary. Most of my clothes are casual or (in rare cases) business casual or business attire – I don’t have much in the way of pretty lightweight feminine dresses or skirts. I definitely don’t have enough of that sort of thing for a week’s worth of dinners. Last time I had to dress up it was for a trip in the fall … methinks the velvet and long-sleeved stuff isn’t going to work (at least without me getting heatstroke).

Yesterday, I looked at the calendar (soon! We leave soon!), and looked at my closet (oh crap, what to wear!), and I decided that desperate times call for desperate measures. I decided to take a shot at ordering the dresses online. When it comes to clothes, I don’t usually buy anything but tops online, because it’s sooooo hard to know if something will fit. But maybe, just maybe, there’s a way around that …

Have you guys heard about I saw it on the news a while back.* You enter in all kinds of measurements, and then the website categorizes you into body types and gives you specific recommendations for clothes that will (at least in theory) look good and fit. It chooses the size for you … you know how when you go shopping and you’re a size 14 in one skirt and a size 4 in another? (Yes, I’m exaggerating, but you know what I mean.) The website matches your measurements against the fit of each outfit and figures out that in this dress you’re a 10, but in this you’re a 6. And if they don’t fit, there is free return shipping.

Interesting, right?

I have no idea if it works. But I figured what the hell. I have no time, no time, no time to go try on 14,000 different dresses to find two that actually fit and look good. Why not let a website do the work for me? So yesterday, I ordered two dresses from them. I spent waaaaaaaaaaaay more than I would usually spend on pretty damned near anything clothing-wise, but I was so intrigued by the concept and if the dresses truly are fabulous …

Now I’m waiting at the window, obsessively checking, and at the same time obsessively checking to see if they’ve put up any new clothing options for me. I can’t wait to find out if the system worked. Granted, the clothes are so darned expensive in most cases that I couldn’t shop there often, but what a great option for a splurge on rare occasions. IF it works.

We’ll find out soon! I’ll let you guys know.

And speaking of anxious waiting, I still don’t have my MRI test results. Argh! I did get a call from the nurse on Monday with news that my chlamydia test results were negative. Uhhh, great. I didn’t even know they tested me for chlamydia. I recognize the need to rule out all possible causes for abdominal/pelvic pain, but really? An STD? *sigh* I understand that you truly never know, and some couples sometimes aren’t quite as monogamous as is assumed, but, um, yeah. This test result was not something I would have been terribly worried about (if I’d even known they’d run the test in the first place). I feel pretty safe from STDs at this point in my life. Thanks for checking, thanks for the phone call, but can’t you just get me the MRI test results, please? I’m so tired of waiting. On Monday they told me it would likely be today (not Tuesday as I’d originally heard). So … soon. Hopefully I’ll know something soon.

Oh, and speaking of possibly damaged body parts, my knee has very slight but definitely still present soreness from my run on Saturday. I think my Monday workout wasn’t as low-impact as I’d intended. Grrrr! I really want to stay in the running habit! I want to keep the momentum going and eventually build more speed and endurance! But I think for my long-term well-being I need to stay off the knee today. Maybe it’ll be better tomorrow or Friday.

* Can I just say that it seems strange to me that this was on the news? Is this truly NEWS? Don’t get me wrong, I love that I found out about it, but “news” … come on people, really?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Where am I? Volume 11 (Alternate title: There was a little girl …)

It’s Tuesday – time to take a step back and get a feel for where I am in my weight loss health and fitness journey.

Weeelll … do any of you remember the poem:

There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good
She was very, very good*
And when she was bad she was horrid.

Basically, I’m that little girl.

Well, minus the curl … my hair is straight as a board.

But “very good” and “horrid” describe the past week for me, when it comes to health and fitness.

Let’s get the “horrid” unpleasantness out of the way first. My eating. Ugh! The past week was horrid, at least until yesterday. I ate junk and crap, and then some more junk. I stress-ate on Friday and mindlessly ate socially on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday I pigged out on cookies and indulged in fried goodies food; Saturday I ate too many pancakes with full-calorie syrup and butter and later drank lots of beer and ate fried chicken strips; and Sunday I had lasagna, then went to a hockey game and ate (I kid you not) a couple cups of popcorn, a small plate of tortilla chips and salsa, 1 beer, 2 Dr. Peppers, part of a cookie, some cotton candy, and part of piece of cake. My stomach ached Sunday night, not surprisingly.

And also not surprisingly, the scale reading isn’t looking the way I’d like it to look at the moment. It’s above the maintenance range I’d set for myself. I’m over my 134 “stay below this weight” target, and my past-week average is over 133. The numbers did drop today vs. yesterday, and I’m back on track now so I expect it to get back down into my goal range in the next few days. But MAN! I lost it there for a few days.

Thank goodness that a few bad days don’t undo months and months worth of work.

And, from a health and fitness perspective, the past week was not all bad. Despite my complete lack of being on-plan from an eating perspective and slightly over goal, I had a very, very good week when it came to exercise.

In fact, I even earned my exercise badge:
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My goal last week was to do two couch-to-5k runs during the week, and run an official 5k on Saturday. I also wanted to do one full-body strength training workout and, later in the week, an upper-body strength training workout. I did it! I did all of it!

And in running the 5k, I beat my goal in terms of time. I’d walked a 5k in the past (with an occasional jog thrown in) at around 45 minutes. That time was without any real training – I was doing step aerobics so I wasn’t completely out of shape, but I wasn’t training to run or walk at all. I decided I’d try to beat that by 10 minutes, and aimed to come in at or around 35 minutes. When I did my test run on Wednesday I hit just over 35 minutes, and when I actually ran the 5k on Saturday my chip time was 32:08.

Not only did I meet my goal, I beat it! Woo hoo! And I officially graduated from the couch to 5k program – Hooray!

So, looking back at the past week, it wasn’t a bad week, but it wasn’t a good week either. My goal for this week is to be able to look back and say it was a good week.

Goals for the week:
- Eat on plan from Monday-Friday (Monday went well – yay!)
- Go to Mexico for vacation on Saturday and eat reasonably (but not perfectly)
- Do cardio and strength training Monday (done), and then run 30 minutes on Wednesday and Friday (or Saturday in Mexico … I’m aiming for Friday, though). I want to get an upper body workout in before the end of the week, too.

I’ll be away next week on Tuesday “where am I” check-in day, since my husband and I are going to Mexico for vacation for a week to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. We leave Saturday and return the next Saturday. I’m looking forward to a nice, relaxing week. I’m actually excited to be going to a place that I can wear a bikini. My body is by no means perfect (far from it!), but I’ve worked really hard on it, and it looks better than it’s looked in a long, long, long time.

My plan for the week of vacation is to eat reasonably (but I have no delusions that I’ll be perfect), and to do 3x cardio and 2x strength training (with one strength session being only upper body if my cardio is a 30+ minute run). There’s a fitness center, but I’m hoping there’s also a place for me to run outside. Cross your fingers for me.

I’ll post a couple times before I leave, but for those of you who are Healthy You Challenge Tuesday-only check-in-ers, have a great couple weeks!

* Apparently this line should actually be “She was very good indeed,” but that’s not how I learned the poem. I’m mis-quoting it the way I learned it. Also, this poem was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Who knew!?!

Monday, April 21, 2008

I think I might be a runner now

I ran my first official post-c25k 5k on Saturday morning. Yaaaaaaaay!!!

I enjoyed it thoroughly. My husband and I invited lots of friends to join us at the run, and since there was a 10k, a 5k, and a 1k, there was a little something for everyone. Our group had a total of 17 people running or walking – 7 of us ran the 5k, 3 of us walked the 5k, 4 of us ran the 10k, and 3 of us walked the 1k.

When it came to the seven 5k runners, I was right smack in the middle in terms of finishing times – two guys finished significantly ahead of me, two finished later, and three of us were right in the middle. I was the only female who ran the 5k – most of the women walked the 5k or 1k, although one ran the 10k (she graduated from the couch to 5k program in July of 2007).

My official chip time was 32:08 minutes. I am completely satisfied with this time. My goal was to be at or near 35 minutes; I beat my goal!

I ended up running the entire distance with my husband, which was fun – we’d planned on running separately but figured we’d start out together and separate once one person needed to slow down or speed up. But instead of separating, we stayed together the whole time. I think his ability to run faster than me was offset by the fact that I’d trained more consistently, and I'd recently done much longer training runs than he’d done.

The run felt very right to me. I feel like the couch to 5k program prepared me for the run … well, it prepared me for everything except dodging strollers and waist-high children, anyway. There were LOTS of little people who would sprint forward and then abruptly stop, and lots of folks moving not-so-quickly while pushing strollers. I don’t know if my time was hurt by the obstacle course-ness of the beginning of the race, or if I actually ran faster to get out of the first-mile chaos.

Unfortunately, my knees are a little sore. I think I upped my distance a little too quickly in the last couple weeks. I’m going to rest my joints for a day or two (maybe I’ll do the recumbent bike tonight rather than running), then get back to 30 minute runs 3 days a week.

I’ve definitely caught the running bug. Right now I’m contemplating doing a 5k a month through the summer, and then beginning to train for a 10k towards the end of the summer or in the fall. I need to figure out what 10k will be my goal race and plan around that. There’s a 10k in August, but I’m not so on board with doing a 10k in August in Texas. I’d rather do a 10k after it’s cooled off a bit.

I also need to settle on a 10k training program. I was originally leaning towards Hal Higdon’s 10k program for novices, but now I’m considering the Becoming a One Hour Runner program instead. I really like training based on time instead of distance … I think that works better for me.

It’s good that being active is the game plan – with the way I ate on Friday and all weekend I’ll need to find ways to burn calories. I had some stress eating on Friday, then on Saturday we went out for pancakes after our race, and then we went for beers. On Sunday I did fine all day, but we had Stars hockey tickets for that night and I went a little crazy on the stadium food. The scale and I … let’s just say we’re not friends this morning.

Thank goodness for Kathy’s “one perfect day” challenge … hopefully that’ll get me back on track.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Diagnosis: Unknown

Yesterday wasn't the best day I've ever had.

First, I took my new car in to the shop to get window tint added, and I ended up sitting in the car rental place for an hour before they had a car for me. I was sooooooo late to work.

Then in the early afternoon I went to my doctor's appointment to get the results of my CT scan, and (before she'd even talk to me about the test) my doc (TMI warning) gave me a pelvic exam. Not my favorite activity, let me tell ya.

The good news is that the pelvic was fine, but when we (finally) talked about the CT scan I found out that the CT scan results were inconclusive. There is a lesion on my liver that could be nothing at all to worry about, or might be something to worry about. Guess what I get to do this afternoon? I'm going to get an MRI. Joy. Not only do I have to wear a paper outfit and get injected with strange contrast chemicals again, I also get to spend yet another weekend wondering what the hell is going on with my body. I hate waiting on test results. I'll probably hear results on Tuesday.

There's also a cyst on my ovary, which she suspects is just your typical uninteresting and not-of-concern cyst. She's going to leave it alone and re-check the size in 3 months. So in three months, I get to have an ultrasound.

Woo hoo! I'm so excited, because you really can't have too many radiological tests!

Yes, that's sarcasm.

Anyway, to top it off, I get back from the doctor's office and I find that the mailman brought me a present. The car dealership had sent me a big tin of cookies as a thank-you for purchasing my car.

Yummy, tasty, chocolate-chip cookies.

What do I do? I eat a big freakin' pile of them. Yes, I totally regressed into stress eating late yesterday afternoon. I hadn't done that in a loooooooong time.


Hey, at least I ate them with non-fat milk, right?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Couch to 5k: Final Week

I’ve completely lost track of what week and day I’m on in the couch to 5k program. Week 9, maybe? Is that the last week? I guess that’s the downside of switching to my own music rather than using the magical podcasts that help me keep up with this stuff. Oh well. Bottom line: I’m done with the prep-work for the 5k, and I'll be a couch to 5k graduate after I run my official 5k run on Saturday.

Yesterday I did my final pre-5k run, and I approached it differently than the other c25k runs. The couch to 5k program is set up such that you can run based on length OR time. All along, I’ve been running based on time … time was easier to keep up with, and I could pace myself as needed as I built up to longer and longer runs. But yesterday, for the first time, I ran based on distance. Instead of running for 30 minutes, I went to and created a course that was exactly 5k. Then I didn’t set my timer to beep at 30 minutes – I walked to my starting point to warm up, and I ran until I got to the end of my 5k distance.

I ran 5k yesterday!

It took me 35:35 minutes to run my own personal unofficial 5k. When I’d been running based on time I’d only worked my way up to running for 30 minutes, so this approach increased my running time by a little over 5 minutes. I could definitely feel the difference. It was hard. My original plan was to finish the couch to 5k program about a week or week and a half ago, and then work gradually up from the 30 minutes to longer to get to 5k. I think that extra time would have benefited me from a comfort perspective. But whatever – comfort schmumfort – I did it, and now I know with confidence that if I pace myself on Saturday I can do it then, too. Woo hoo!

I was very pleased with my 35:35 time. My hope was that I’d be at or close to 35 minutes. I’d run/walked a 5k and the time was around 45 minutes, so 35 minutes seemed like a good first-run goal. Now, the question is whether I can do the Saturday run in around 35 minutes. I figure I’ll have the adrenaline going for me, but I know the actual race route is a little hillier than my completely flat neighborhood. But I also had the wind working against me during some of my run yesterday, so if the wind is calm Saturday morning, maybe … just maybe … I can still be around 35 minutes.

And hey, ultimately, it doesn’t matter all that much how long it takes. The primary goal is to RUN the entire 5k. If the running is slow, so be it. That’ll just give me another goal to work towards.

5k, here I come!

(Oh, and PS, I did watch BL last night. Yay!)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Coming soon

I feel like there will be so much to talk about SOON and nothing to talk about NOW.

Soon, tomorrow afternoon, I should get the results of the CT scan I had last week.

Soon, tonight, I will bottle my homemade wine. Yes, I'm making homemade wine. It's a Merlot. I expect it won't be wonderful, as it's my first attempt at wine making. I won't be able to tell you how it us until a month after bottling, though - it won't be ready for consumption until then.

Soon, Saturday, I run my first 5k. (I've done a 5k before, but never running.)

Soon, this afternoon, I do my last pre-5k run.

Soon, sometime very soon, I will get to see the Biggest Loser finale that's saved on my DVR. (NO SPOILERS PLEASE!)

Soon, in 10 days, I go on vacation to Mexico.

I'm full of anticipation, but I'm not full of things to write about at the moment. But soon! I'll have stuff to write about soon.

EDITED TO ADD: OK, I really want to go catch up on everyone's blogs, but I'm coming across unexpected and without-warning Biggest Loser spoilers. ARRRRGH! People! Warn us only-watch-TV-on-DVR folks before you go abruptly giving away surprises! Come on! I'll avert my eyes, but work with me here and warn me that eye averting is necessary!


No more blog reading for me today!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Where am I? Volume 10 (Alternate title: Look at the bright shiny badges!)

It’s time to ask the question I ask every Tuesday … Where am I in my weight loss health and fitness journey?

Except I didn’t ask that question for the past two weeks. I was MIA for a little while. You can see my last couple posts for an explanation of that mess. The important thing is that I’m back now.

Anyway, where am I? I am at goal and maintaining! Woo hoo! I made goal a few weeks ago, and I’ve been able to successfully maintain the weight loss, staying within my goal weight range. So, a badge is in order.
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And actually, come to think of it, even though I’m maintaining I technically get another badge or three, because my weight has crept down a little within my goal range and within the past week my exercise has been on track. Let’s look at the numbers:

Weight loss since fall 2007 (most recent leg of weight loss journey): 20.8 lbs (152.4 vs. 131.6). Hooray, a 20 pound badge!
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Total weight lost (entire weight loss journey): 35.4 lbs (167 vs. 131.6). Woo hoo, a 35 pound badge!
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While I was MIA my exercise fell off some … I wasn’t feeling up to working out as much, unfortunately. I did get at least one run in per week (although one week it was just 1 mile – not an official C25k workout) and one weight training session in per week. But I definitely didn’t do as much as I would have liked.

Last week, my goal was 3x cardio via couch to 5k workouts and 2x strength training. And I did it!

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I’m on the last week of the couch to 5k program. Wow. Yesterday I ran 30 minutes. THIRTY MINUTES! I never thought I could do that. In that 30 minutes I went approximately 2.8 miles (I'd definitely be over 3.1 if I included my 5 minutes of warm-up walk and 5 minutes of cool-down walk, but I'm not counting that). Tomorrow I’m going to measure my run by distance, and I'll run a little further - at least 3.0 miles. And then my real-deal 5k is Saturday! After that I’ll be an official couch to 5k graduate. Woo hoo!

So my exercise goal for this week is my 3x/week couch to 5k runs, including running my 5k on Saturday. I also want to do 2x strength, but I’m going to say only upper body for my 2nd workout, since I don’t want to mess with my ability to run my 5k.

Wish me luck on the 5k! I wish all of you luck on your weight loss and fitness journeys, too.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Symptom, my ass

In my post on Friday I mentioned that I’d been having some abdominal pains, and I went to the doctor, and she ordered a CT scan. Still no results of that scan – I’ll keep you posted. Anyway, I want to share one strange twist to this story, which I thought of when I was eating my low points, high fiber lunch this afternoon.

Last week, the doctor did an initial exam and asked me a few questions, and then she referred me to the radiology center. When I took the referral papers from the doctor’s office to the radiology center so I could pick up my barium (YUMMY!), I saw the following on the “reason for ordering” section:
Reason for ordering: Abdominal/Pelvic pain and weight loss
Um, hello??? If weight loss is a symptom, it’s a symptom I sure worked hard to get! After months of tracking my points and water intake and increasing my exercise and changing my life, it was somewhere between humorous and annoying to see my weight loss being listed as one of the reasons the doc ordered a CT scan.

What the heck?

And yes, we did talk about the fact that my weight loss was intentional. We talked about how she herself suggested I lose a little weight and increase my exercise, since the last time I was at her office I had slightly high cholesterol. We talked about how I’m doing weight watchers and running.

I guess the doc has to cover her buns and go ahead and list weight loss as a symptom, but damn! I went in expecting to be congratulated for losing weight, and instead I added concerns to an already concerning situation!


Friday, April 11, 2008

How many points in 2 bottles of barium?

Yes, I went MIA for way too long.

Things have been wacky in my world the past couple weeks. I bought a new vehicle, my best friend's mother died, I got a raise, I had severe abdominal pains and today I had my very first CT scan! Let me just say, the barium isn't sitting so well for me this evening. I am not so much HappyBlogChick as GassyBlogChick at the moment. I haven't a clue what the abdominal pain is all about - it is fine this week but last week was a nightmare. I'll keep you all posted and you'll know soon after I know.

So anyway, I apologize for being out of touch. Everything got a bit overwhelming and I had to take blogging off the list for a while.

I hope all of you are doing fabulously on your weight loss and fitness journeys.

As far as my exercise and weight goes, I stalled on the running last week completely, and maybe part of the week before that ... it's all running together (so to speak. Or should I say all NOT running together? Anyway...). But I'm back at it this week - I ran Monday, I ran Wednesday, and I will run Saturday. My couch to 5k schedule is all whacked, but I'm up to running 28 minutes. Unless something gets in the way, I'm still doing the 5k on April 19th.

Weight-wise I'm maintaining. I've had a day or two when my weight bobbed up into the above 134 danger zone, but only a couple times. I'll update my weight tracker soon and you can see for yourself.

Chances are in the next couple days I'm going to hit everyone's most recent posts and get caught up at least a little. And I will try to post again before too much time passes - really! I will!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Body fat & other test results - woo hoo!

Yesterday I went to the gym and got a follow-up fitness test. I was originally tested back in October, right before I started working out with the personal trainer once a week. The plan was to re-test in January. The assumption was that I’d be at my goal weight in January – let me just say HA! to that. But anyway, now I am at goal so it was time for the re-test.

I am pretty darned happy with the results of the test. Check it out:

Some observations:

  • Based on my body age, my husband is officially robbing the cradle. OK, maybe not, 15 years isn’t THAT much, but still. I’m a young’un.

  • My husband was concerned that my blood pressure was too low, but I looked it up and I’m fine.

  • I’m disappointed that my biceps don’t seem that much stronger. I can only lift 3 more pounds? Come on, really? That just seems downright WRONG to me. And how annoying is it that bicep strength is the only strength measure? Hello … I have a LOT of other muscles. But nevertheless, that’s the measure. I think I’ll be exercising my biceps a little more in preparation for my next fitness assessment. Full body workout, schmull body workout, I always say. (Kidding, I’m kidding.)

  • My body fat is nice and low but not too low … either the low end of normal or in the athlete range depending on what chart you look at. I do wonder if it's accurate, though. Not to geek out on you or anything, but I really wish she'd repeat the test over a few days so we can assess test-retest reliability here. I'm half tempted to see how much it would cost to get a DEXA test done.

  • My weight ALWAYS measures higher at the gym than at home. I figure that’s not a concern since when I weigh myself at home it’s the morning (vs. the evening at the gym) and I’m near-nekkid (vs. wearing workout clothes and running shoes at the gym).

  • I wasn’t focusing on flexibility, but somehow I got more flexible anyway.

  • In my real age, I got a year older. Dammit.

  • All in all, those are big changes!


In other news, my weight is 0.2 lbs above my goal (looking at the past 7-day average). I think this is completely annoying and I’ve decided the answer is to change my goal to “below 134” because I’m perfectly comfortable with how I look at the moment, I'm making healthy eating choices, this is normal fluctuation, and, quite frankly, to think I’m over goal right now is nuts. SO THERE. I thumb my nose at you, you stupid scale.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Couch to 5k Week 7: DONE!

Last night I completed week 7 by running my last 25 minute run. The run was extra-special and extra unusual. How so? My husband and I ran together! That has never happened in the history of our 7.5ish year long relationship. Granted, we’ve only been running for a few months, but even so … wow!

Hubby called on his way home from work saying “I’m heading to the gym to run.” At the time, I hadn’t done my run yet. I figured what the heck, and invited him to run with me here in our neighborhood. I was nervous about the idea … he runs faster than me, I’m used to running with music but didn’t want to be rude and play music while we ran together, we’d never done it before (what if I look funny when I run; what if we end up fighting about running and all hell breaks loose and bad things happen; what if my heavy breathing repulses him … or excites him…) … I wasn’t sure how it would go. But I figured it couldn’t hurt to try.

So try we did. I set the pace, which meant that he started out slower than he was used to. He said in the long run it was OK, though, because the pace felt right for him towards the end. Maybe it’s because this was my last 25 minute run but his first 25 minute run, I don’t know. Whatever made it work, I’m glad it seemed all right to him. And it worked for me, too. Although strangely enough I found I went a little slower yesterday than I’d gone in my last 25 minute run. I can’t explain it – I don’t know if I was just tired, or if having him with me changed my pace. I guess I’ll find out, because guess what?

Now we’re talking about making this a weekly thing! Woo hoo!

Wednesday night may become husband/wife running night. We might even invite a friend who works with my husband to join us – he was doing c25k too, last I heard. As long as he can tolerate my turtle-pace, the more the merrier. If I head across town to meet him/them near their office we could go to a number of different pretty running trails instead of running around our neighborhood.

This plan would be great for both hubby and me, since it means I have another reason to get out of the house (yay!) and we’ll end up always working out at least twice a week, on Monday (with the trainer) and Wednesday (doing our together-run). Some weeks hubby has a hard time getting all his workouts in – maybe this structure is the key.

My husband was SO sedentary when we got married. Looking back to 5 years ago when we were just about to be married, and then looking at now, it is AMAZING the difference. He’s eating better, he’s working out, he’s lost weight, and he’s gaining muscle. He’s no super-athlete, but that’s not what I’d want anyway. I’m just so happy for him that he’s becoming healthy.

And from my perspective, it’s great for selfish reasons, too. It’s easier for me to stay on track with healthy eating and exercise when he’s on the same page. It makes me soooo happy that this increases the chances of us having a long life together. And … um … TMI WARNING … the healthier we both get, the better the sex is (and I tell ya, it was good before).

Now THAT is a benefit! Hooray for being healthy!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Where am I? Volume 9 (Alternate Title: Second verse, same as the first)

It’s Wednesday, so it’s time to ask the question I ask every Tuesday … Where am I in my weight loss health and fitness journey?

Yeah, I’m late this week. Oops.

Anyway, where am I? Well, as I mentioned yesterday, I am AT GOAL in terms of weight! Yay! The last few weeks I've been de-emphasizing weight because it was making me crazy to focus on the scale when the numbers were decreasing soooooo slooooowly, but this week I’m all about talking about weight. I’m at goal! All my pants fit again, shopping is fun again, I’m satisfied when I look in the mirror. There’s nothing crazy-making about being at goal.

The thing is, there’s nothing FINAL about being at goal either.

This isn’t the end of anything, really. I get to eat a wee little bit more, I increase the calories some, but otherwise I have to keep doing what I’ve been doing. Don’t get me wrong, I have a sense of accomplishment about reaching goal and I’m going to reward myself for getting here, but I’m also well aware that the journey isn’t over. Heck, it’s hardly begun.

I’ve been at goal before. Actually, I’ve been at goal a couple times. I’ve never STAYED at goal. When it comes right down to it, my big overriding goal isn’t to be at my goal weight, it’s to stay at my goal weight. That, for me, is the true challenge.

So, a quick moment of celebration and badge-tasticness:
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(It says at goal and maintaining … I am at goal, and since I’m looking at the average weight from the past week, I’m calling that maintaining. Yay for a pretty badge!)

Now, back to the business of living a healthy life, because the journey isn’t over.


Exercise: My goal for last week was 3x cardio via couch to 5k workouts and 2x strength training. Uhhh, yeah. I’m glad I got that “goal” badge because I sure wasn’t going to get the exercise badge this week. I did 1x couch to 5k and 0x strength training. Thank goodness for new weeks – this week has already gone better than last week.

And thank goodness my slackerness last week doesn’t seem to have affected my ability to run 25 minutes. I did OK with my run on Monday (which is, for me, the start of the new week). It was hard, but I took it slow and it wasn’t impossible. I’ll do a 25 minute run again today – wish me luck! Today will be couch to 5k week 7 day 3 … later this week I start week 8 and increase my time to 28 minutes. YIKES.

Oh yeah, and let’s do the official numbers on the weight loss:

Weight loss since last Tuesday: 0.8 lbs (134.0 vs. 133.2).

Weight loss since fall 2007 (most recent leg of weight loss journey): 19.2 lbs (152.4 vs. 133.2). Hmmm, I bet I’ll get a 20 lb badge at some point. We’ll see. I’m happy with my weight right now, but it never hurts to see a bright shiny new badge, and it falls in my weight goal range …

Total weight lost (entire weight loss journey): 33.8 lbs (167 vs. 133.2).

I want to thank all of you for your support on this journey and helping me celebrate my new at-goal status. It means a lot to me. I’m looking forward to having all of you join me here in maintenance-land!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I'm illegally accessing Blogger from the office. This will be fast, as any moment the computer police will swoop down upon me, confiscate my computer, and lock me away for eternity.

But I wanted to let everyone know the big news. Not only am I at goal today, I was at goal yesterday!


But d'oh! I could have already been celebrating!

Apparently I was temporarily unable to average numbers yesterday. Please don't tell my boss ... I'm supposed to do analysis type things for a living. Averages should be the least of my analytic worries. Ha!

Anyway, did you hear what I said? I'm at my goal weight! My past 7-day average is a tad under 133,* and my goal was to get an average of 133 or below.

Woooo hoooooooo!

* Please feel free to check my math. Because it seems that's necessary, you see.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Worst timing EVER

I need to go into the office tomorrow (like, real live in-person drive aaallll the way to the office kind of go in to the office), and the timing could NOT be worse.

I may weigh in tomorrow morning and officially be at my goal weight.


But can I share the news with my blogger friends tomorrow morning, one way or the other? NO.


People, people who need people ...

This past week was officially the worst couch to 5k training week I’ve had. I ran one time – only one time! – out of the three times I was supposed to run. I also did ZERO strength training. Phhhhhhhht.

When I look back at what I did instead of run, I have to say it was very good for me in a non-physical way. I saw my friends more this past week than I have in a loooong time. It sounds frivolous, and it was fun, but it was also a very good thing for me. Working from home, I really need opportunities to be around people. When I was working SO much week before last, I was getting a little crazy. My poor husband tolerated at least one meltdown that probably would have been prevented if I’d just gotten myself out of the house and into a face-to-face encounter with friends. It is hard on me mentally and emotionally when I go a while without seeing anyone but my husband, and I only see him a couple hours a day at most on weekdays. The working from home thing has its benefits, but it also has some serious drawbacks from a mental health perspective.

So although my physical health from an exercise standpoint went to hell this past week, I feel better mentally and emotionally than I have in a while. Although my not-running on Tuesday was due to house-cleaning, the rest of the time it was all about PEOPLE. I did dinner with friends on Wednesday, happy hour with different friends Thursday, girl-time shopping and dinner with yet another friend Friday, lunch out with friends and my friend’s new boyfriend Saturday, dinner out and then going to a bar with husbands/significant others Saturday night, and then my husband and I had our neighbor over for dinner last night.

Human beings! It was so nice to spend time out of the house with real-live-and-in-person humans. How I’ve missed the human beings! Oh, the joy of human contact!

I know you think I’m kidding, and I am being overly dramatic, but I’m dead serious about needing human contact to stay sane. And not just contact with people who bag your groceries or ring up your purchases – contact where you connect with people via in-person conversation.

The challenge for me is to figure out how to fit in exercise AND human contact AND eating well all at the same time. This past week I definitely got the human contact, and (even with all the eating out) I did fairly well at the eating well. I ate a lot of grilled fish and veggies, asked for lots of substitutions, and avoided a lot of breadbaskets. The scale is up a little this morning, but the pattern isn’t different from the pattern I see most weeks (up a little on Sunday, up a little more on Monday). The scale numbers will start dropping again tomorrow or the next day.

But anyway, how do I fit in all three – exercise AND human contact AND eating well – every week? I think that’s something I need to work on. I have some ideas, but if you guys have suggestions, I’m all ears.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Six Word Memoir

This week I was punished by tagged by CDJ write my six word memoir.

Six words! To sum up my life! If you've read my posts before, you know I'm lucky to limit myself to writing six paragraphs on a run that lasts less than 30 minutes. Now I have to write six words to sum up a life that's lasted over 30 years? Hmmm.

Not easy.

No no, that's not my memoir. That won't do; it's only two words.

I had lots of false starts, many that summed up one small part of my life ("Overworked, underpaid; Calgon take me away!"), many that were true at one point but not so much anymore ("Why doesn't spell checking work, dammit?"), but I only came up with one that seemed to sum up many aspects of my life over many years. Drum roll please ...

"Without goals she would get nowhere."

So there you go! My life in six words.

Now I get to torture tag six people. Hmmmm ... how about Ashley, Briy, Sauchagirl, LoserIrene, MomOf3, and JavaChick. Are you guys up for the challenge?

Friday, March 21, 2008

I think the cart looks rather nice in front of the horse

I really need to focus on work today, because mid-afternoon I’m going to skip out of work early and go shopping with an old friend of mine. So what am I doing? Reading blogs and writing a blog post. Brilliant. At least I have my priorities straight.

Hooray for going shopping this afternoon. I haven’t reached goal yet technically, but you wouldn’t know it from how I’ve been buying clothes lately. Over the past two weeks or so I’ve been clothes shopping more than I’d been for the past year. Actually, that doesn’t mean a whole lot since I hadn’t been at all in the past year … but it’s safe to say I’ve hit about 5 different stores in the past few weeks, and I actually purchased things at most of them.

I’m not usually much of a shopper – when I’m not in pajamas working here at home, I live in jeans and t-shirts typically. But I’ve decided that I need to clear out most of my old tee’s and try for a more interesting look. If nothing else, I should aim to pair my jeans with cute tops. Over the past couple weeks I’ve gotten rid of approximately 4.6 million t-shirts and purchased 8 or so tops. It makes me happy to look in my closet and see fun clothing options. It makes me feel good to wear clothes that flatter my slimmer, fitter figure.

To make room for new, cute stuff that fits, I’ve managed to clear out quite a bit of my old clothes … the old stained and/or pill-y and/or stretched out and/or hole-y and/or too-big t-shirts are gone. The jeans and pants that are two big are sitting on my dresser waiting for a trip to the consignment shop. I’ve given some hand-me-ups to my Mom, some sweaters went to a friend, and I have some other clothes that are homeless but I’m actively looking for a new home for them.

I might be putting the cart in front of the horse to do this cleaning-out and shopping before I technically reach goal, but I’m so close. Over the past few weeks I’ve felt good about how I look physically, and any physical changes that’ll happen between 2 weeks ago and actually reaching goal (which will happen very soon) will be subtle to the point of being non-existent. And I tell you, it’s a lot of fun to go shopping when you’re comfortable with how you look! Trying on clothes and having some of them look flattering is a great feeling. Not everything looks great, but some things do. I've found that some jeans are still disturbing-looking, but some look good. Maybe today I’ll even have the guts to try on a bathing suit – I haven’t gone there yet. *shudder* Anyway, for the most part, shopping lately has been very fun.

So if I’m putting the cart before the horse, so be it.

Speaking of putting the cart before the horse, lately I’ve been contemplating what to do AFTER I finish the couch to 5k and run the April 19th race. I know, I know, I’ve got a month to go. But I’ve been wondering … what comes next? I think I’ll need to find a new goal/program. The couch to 5k has worked out so well for me; it motivated me to exercise in a way I hadn’t experienced before. I think the key for me is structure and having a solid end-goal.

I’ve been contemplating the Hal Higdon 10-K Training for a Novice program. I like it because it is a running program that isn’t ALL about running … I can actually cross train, so that (to me) means that in addition to running I can do aerobics or bike or something else I enjoy. The running has been fun, but I do miss the other things I used to do. Incorporating these other activities into a training program is really appealing to me.

I think I’ll have to come up with some “in between the couch to 5k and Hal’s program” program for myself, to work myself up to exercising 6 days a week … right now I’m only exercising 3 days a week. I’ll start mulling over what that in-between program will look like as the next month passes.

I’m not 100% sold on the Hal Higdon program, though. It looks good, but I’m sure I’m not aware of all my options. As someone new to running, I don’t really know what programs are out there. If anyone else has any suggestions for what might come next, I’m all ears.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Couch to 5k Week 7 Day 1: It didn't kill me

So much for going into the nearest office this morning – yesterday afternoon I got caught up in an urgent project at work, and I it ended up that I needed to be online bright and early this morning. That meant driving in to the office wasn’t an option. Maybe I’ll head out later this afternoon … I’ll call Mr. Computer Man and see if he thinks we can knock this “getting the laptop set up” thing quickly.

Anyway, first thing this afternoon I finally took advantage of the working from home situation when it comes to doing the couch to 5k workouts. I snuck out of here around 12:30 and went and did my week 7 day 1 run. With some working-late days last week, working over the weekend, and working late yesterday, I can’t say I feel bad for skipping out of work for 40ish minutes. And actually, at that time of day I can just claim it’s a lunch break anyway, right?

The run went OK – this was my second 25 minute run. It wasn’t easy, but I didn’t keel over so that’s a bonus. I think (don’t quote me on this) I have two more 25 minute runs before my time increases again. I’m glad, because I feel a little like my body needs more practice at the 25 minute level. Three more minutes … well, MAYBE I could have done it, but it wouldn’t have been pretty.

I accomplished something else this morning, too. My entry form and fee is in the mail to the 5k organizers. It’s official – 5k day is April 19th. It’s been official in my head all along, but I hadn’t managed to pay the money and make it official to the people organizing the race yet. Now that is done, too (well, it’ll be done once the postal service does its part).

Now that I’ve knocked out some decently long runs, I’m excited about the actual 5k. April 19th – that’s less than a month away! I can’t say I feel ready yet, but I feel like I’ll be ready by then. Or ready enough, anyway.

Quick subject change: I said I wasn’t going to focus on weight while I take off these last couple pounds, because the last pounds come off slowly and I was beginning to make myself crazy. And I’m NOT obsessively focused on them, although I am watching what’s happening on the scale. Do you see those scale numbers over there on the right? How exciting is that? I’m not at goal yet (remember, I need to average 133 or below for a week before I consider myself at goal), but I’m darned close.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Missing: One run

In my couch to 5k program, I made it through weeks 1 to 6 without getting behind in training. For the past six weeks I’ve religiously been getting my three runs per week in.

But this is week 7, and unfortunately I’ve officially missed a run for the week. Ugh!

This week I didn’t work out with the trainer on Monday – our trainer was out of town PLUS it was St. Patrick’s day. The plan was to work out last night (Tuesday) instead, which would keep me on track if I did the Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday/Monday schedule. But did I run yesterday? NO.

Instead, I cleaned the house. I couldn’t ignore the building chaos anymore. With working so much lately it was getting out of control … and yes, I’m here all the time, but when I work from home I’m working, not cleaning. If I could have done a run in the neighborhood I probably would have squeezed my run in, but it was raining like mad and I didn’t manage to get myself to the gym.

I’m quite annoyed at myself this morning. My options are to let myself fall behind in training, or to do two runs in a row without a rest day, which isn’t recommended. I’ve never tried to do two runs in a row – at this point in training it means I’d be running 25 minutes two days in a row. Yikes. Neither option sounds good to me, so … who knows. I’m going to see how the week plays out, see how I feel, and decide what to do based on that.

Not good news on the C25k front. Assuming I don't run two days in a row, I’ll still finish in time for my 5k, but I won’t have as much extra time to build speed and endurance.

On a brighter note, I just heard that a new work laptop is ready for me. Yaaaaaaaaay! I won’t be online tomorrow, as I’ll need to drive into the closest office and get that squared away.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Maybe the multi-tasking isn't so wise

I just re-read my post below and I am laughing hysterically.

Um. Yeah. When I said "I ran 25 miles!" I meant "I ran 25 minutes!"


I've got to stop working so hard. I'm completely losing it.

Where Am I? (Volume 8) … Answer: RUNNING!

Life has been kicking me around a little this past week. I’m overdue on the blogging and out of touch on the reading. Rather than having a fun-filled weekend, I ended up working all day on Saturday. Instead of socializing on Sunday, I did long-overdue yard-work (which is fun in a way, but I'm beginning to miss human beings). To top it off, neither my husband nor I are sleeping well … he has the “can’t get to sleep” insomnia and I have the “stressed out about work and waking up extra-early” insomnia. It’s a barrel of fun around here, I tell you what.

In the midst of all of this, exercise and eating are going pretty well. Let’s discuss the gory details, shall we? Because it is Tuesday … time for the “where am I in my weight loss exercise and wellness journey” stats check.

Exercise: My goal was 3x cardio via couch to 5k workouts and 2x strength training. I did my couch to 5k runs, but (once again) I only got one strength training workout in. I probably worked my muscles some by doing the yard work (it involved hauling heavy stuff around), but in my opinion that doesn’t count as OFFICIAL strength training. So, technically, I did not meet my exercise goal.


I’m THRILLED to say that I successfully ran 25 minutes this past Saturday! Woo hoo! Twenty five minutes! That’s a lot of running. I ran slow but steady and I got it done. It wasn’t even that bad. I think the run before it was harder (two 10 minute runs separated by a 3 minute walk), which makes no sense at all. Thinking about what made that run hard and the Saturday run easier, I bet some of it was the time of day. I ran the two 10-minute runs at the end of a very long, hard work day. On the other hand, I did my Saturday run in the morning, post coffee but pre- everything else. Plus, it was a beautiful day, and I was able to enjoy my own music for the first time, and … it was a good morning.

I am NOT a morning person, but maybe I could become a morning person when it comes to running. Hmmmm. I’ll have to consider it. I can always try it, and if it doesn’t work out go back to afternoons. Besides, if I keep waking up well before my alarm, I might as well get something done, right?

Today I run 25 minutes again, then I do it again on Thursday (come to think of it, Thursday would be a perfect day to try a morning run, since I’m busy that night), and then on Saturday I go up to 28 minutes! Wow.

I read an interesting post by MomOf3 - she’s also doing the couch to 5k program. She mentioned that sometimes when she runs for periods of time that she’s never run before, she has the urge to just STOP. She isn’t in pain, she isn’t incapable … but something inside her tells her to stop. I SO can relate to this. I’ve experienced that many times during this couch to 5k program, and it’s very odd. What is it that makes us feel that stopping is the answer, even when the messages from our body tell us that we really can keep going? I have no idea. But the good news for me is that during my 20 minute run, I didn’t hear that "time to stop" voice. I had no strange urge to stop running … and I tell you, those last five minutes were uncomfortable. But I REALLY wanted it, and I did it.

Again, another example of how mental this running thing is. Who knew?

Anyway, the running is going well, and every time I put those running shoes on I’m able to do more than I ever thought I could do. That feeling is GREATNESS.

Now, on to weight loss (which, if you recall, is not my primary focus these days, but I still have my eye on losing a couple more pounds) …

Weight loss since last Tuesday: 1.4 lbs (135.4 vs. 134.0). I’m glad to see I took off that 0.2 lbs I gained last week, plus more. More than I expected at this point in my journey, actually. I guess there’s something to be said for working your tail off all the time … if you’re heads down at work, you’re not out making bad eating choices. (Honestly, I’d still choose less work, though.)

Weight loss since fall 2007 (most recent leg of weight loss journey): 18.4 lbs (152.4 vs. 134.0).

Total weight lost (entire weight loss journey): 33 lbs (167 vs. 134.0).

All in all I had a good week when it comes to eating and exercise. No badges earned … but I earned the “I ran 25 miles!” badge that exists in my head, and that’s good enough for me!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Couch to 5k realizations

I considered going to yoga yesterday, and then based on the feedback I got in my comments I decided that wasn’t the best idea ever. Instead, I went shopping. That’s always better than an extra workout, right? OK, maybe not always, but it’s better for me right now while I’m doing this couch to 5k thang. Someday I’ll add in additional workouts. I’ll get back to you on that in a couple months.

About the couch to 5k program … yesterday I had two realizations about the program and my progress, and my husband realized something else and shared it with me. My two realizations are happy – his not so much. I’ll start with his … might as well get the unpleasantness over with first.

Realization #1: Hubby (who is also doing the couch to 5k) looked up the program info on and calculated the miles per hour it assumes we’re running.

It assumes I’m running 6 miles per hour. HA! Now that’s funny. Or depressing. It kind of depends on the moment as to how I feel about that news.

It’s just not happening. I am NOT going that fast. I’ll have to work my way up to that. This info changes nothing, really, but I hated to hear that I am OFFICIALLY slow. Oh well. When I finish the couch to 5k official program, I have a couple extra weeks before my 5k … I’ll keep training and hope my speed increases during that time.

Now, on to happier things …

Realization #2: Over my last post or two I’ve talked about how my Week 6 Day 3 run today will be 25 minutes. Last Friday I did a Week 5 Day 3 run that was 20 minutes, then this week for Week 6 Days 1 and 2 I went back to doing walk/run sequences. I assumed after my Week 6 day 3 run I’d go back to doing walk/run sequences for next week, too.


This week’s Wednesday run was my last run where there is walking in between periods of running. From here on out, I’m scheduled to run 25 minutes straight, then 28 minutes straight, and then 30 minutes straight.


I didn’t realize that I was at that point in the program until yesterday. When I was doing my run on Wednesday I had no idea it was my last day alternating walk/runs. I may have been blocking this out. It is overwhelming to think about those long runs. But hey, I’ll try. I’ll try, and if I am not ready I’ll back up a week and then try again. Hopefully I’ve progressed enough that if I run slowly I can do it, though.

Anyway, despite the long-and-concerning-length, there’s something wonderful about this “I will be running X minutes at a stretch from now on” thing. I can now discard the podcasts and listen to my own music. Woo hoo! Plus, I figured out how to use the timer on my heart rate monitor yesterday*. That means that once I finish my 5 minute warm-up walk and set my timer I won’t even have to watch the clock. After 25 minutes an alarm will sound. Cool stuff!

Yay! I’m so looking forward to my own music. And it’ll be good for me to not be reminded how far I still have to run while I’m doing these long runs. In the early weeks, the “you’re halfway done!” messages were reassuring – now they’re becoming a little anxiety provoking. Only halfway!?! Yeah, I didn’t need to know that.

Realization #3: I’ve been plugging along on the couch to 5k program, and somehow I did not notice until yesterday that I AM MORE THAN HALFWAY DONE WITH THE PROGRAM! Now granted, as noted in Realization #1 I’ll need to keep training for my 5k after my official Couch to 5k program is over, but still! Yay! Lookie here:

That’s where I am right now, before doing my run today. Woo hoooo! Look at that pie, with those more-than-half-finished numbers. (…mmmm pie…) I'm over 60% done, even before I run today! And next Wednesday is officially one month out from my 5k.

It’s all very exciting and intimidating at the same time.

Wish me luck on my run tonight!

* This makes a whopping two things I’ve figured out how to do on my heart rate monitor … 1.) look at the time and 2.) use the timer. Note that my heart rate has nothing to do with either of these things. Ugh. I’ll figure the durned thing out at some point.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Help! Questions for you yoga-doers.

On Monday I finally had to give up and set everything in Google reader to “read.” I hated to do it, but I just couldn’t get caught up. And now, after a busy work day yesterday, I’m behind on my reading/commenting again. Ack! Hopefully I can get caught up this morning. Yesterday at work I worked my ass off to get some stuff sent out, and as of yet NO ONE has responded to my email, given me feedback, nothing. So I’ll take some time to get caught up on ME stuff until I hear back from them (or until my next meeting, whichever comes first).

My point is that I'll be stopping by your blog soon.

Anyway, tonight my husband has a poker game, so I have an evening to myself. I looked at the gym schedule and there’s a yoga class I could go to. I’ve never really done yoga before … I did it one time around 6 or 8 years ago at the Bally’s I used to belong to, and I couldn’t walk for two days after that. I hear that’s not typical. I got a yoga mat for Christmas, though, so I’m tempted to try it. But I have a couple questions for those of you who do the yoga thang.

First, today is a rest day for my couch to 5k run. I try to take my day of rest as truly a REST day … I don’t do aerobics classes or strength training or anything that might make it harder for me to run the next day. This is especially important today, since I do a *gasp* 25 minute run tomorrow. So … what do you think? Would I regret going to yoga tonight? I tell you, my one other experience with yoga suggests the answer would be YES. But the way some of you talk about yoga I’m not sure that’s true.

Also, I’m truly a yoga beginner. They have beginner’s yoga classes at our gym, and the one tonight isn’t one of them. Do you think I should wait and attend the beginner’s class first?

Those are my questions – what do you guys think? I definitely want to do my run tomorrow; I don't want to do anything that'll prevent me from running. I don’t have time to run on Saturday, so if I miss my run tomorrow it’ll set me back in my training schedule. And FYI, I don’t know anything about the yoga classes at my gym, so I won’t be able to answer questions about the class tonight.

Any answers/opinions/advice/suggestions/warnings/encouragement is appreciated!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

And it wasn't even on a silver platter

I got my ass handed to me at work today. Damn. I’m not a fan of the super-intense 10 hour days, no sir I’m not. If I could take a break and talk to someone every so often it wouldn’t be so bad, but working from home on days like this I just … work. I don’t trust myself to start reading and commenting on blogs because I can get carried away, and I didn’t have time to get carried away today. Just heads-down work work and more work, with breakfast and lunch in front of the computer, and a little more work.

But the good news is that the analyses I had to do before tomorrow morning got done. Thank gawd. Granted, there's always more work to be done, but at least SOMETHING got finished.

And you know what? I sat in front of that computer all day, and after I sent out my work the first thing I did was go running. Yes I did! I got out of my pajamas at 6 PM (seriously – it was that kind of day), and got straight into my running clothes, and I did my week 6 day 2 run.


It wasn’t the best run ever. There were two 10 minute runs with a 3 minute walk in between. It started off great, but went downhill. It went something like this:

Minutes 1-5: Walk walk walk, glad to be outside walking
Minutes 6-10: Run run run! Yay running! I’m happy to be running! Running feels great!
End of minute 10: (Dude on podcast comes on and tells Day 1 that their first 5 minute run is done. But I'm day 2, and I run 10 minutes.) What? I’ve only been running 5 minutes? Oh crap!
Minutes 11-13: Oh so tired. Oh run run, so tired, keep running, tired, must run run more run.
Minute 14: "Bark bark bark!" Oh crap, a dog! It’s running towards me! Too tired to run faster! Should I kick it? I don’t want to kick a dog! Oh, it’s tied up. Good.
Minute 15: Running running … can’t wait to walk …
Minute 16: Walking! Yay!
Minute 17-18: More walking. So good. Nice to walk.
Minute 19-21: Run again! Go slowly, go slowly, slower, you can do this, keep going…
Minute 22: Oh no, my side is starting to hurt. Breathe, breathe, breathe and step in time with the left leg and … what did that website say? Breathe …
Minutes 23-25: I have no memory of these minutes. I may be blocking them out because of some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder reaction. Or maybe the endorphins took over. Who knows.
Minute 26: What!?! I still have three minutes? Ugh! Run run run. Breathe breathe breathe.
Minutes 27-28: Must keep running. Almost over. No one ever died from side
stitches. Must keep running. Almost over. No one ever died from side stitches. Must keep running …
Minute 28: I did it! I finished the running part! Hooray! Time to walk. Ahhhhhh…
Minutes 29-32: More nice walking all the way home.

That was my run. Hey, I didn’t enjoy every moment, but I did it and I feel great now. Hopefully I can say that (or something even more positive) about my next run. Next time I run 25 minutes straight.


That's a lot of running. Wish me luck!

You know, I hope that someday I can feel the way I felt during those first five minutes of running for a lot longer than 5 minutes.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Where am I? (Volume 7)

Happy Tuesday! It’s time for a “where am I in my weight loss fitness and wellness journey” update.

I’m still losing weight, but last week I said the focus would be on exercise, and I mean it. This week I’m starting with exercise and non-scale victories and THEN I’ll talk about the scale.

Exercise: My goal was 3x cardio via couch to 5k, 2x strength, and 5x abs/planks. I met my cardio goal, but other than that I only got one strength session in and only did abs/planks 2x. I think the 5x abs/planks may not have been feasible with my busy week, but I should have been able to get my other strength session in. Oh well … it’s hard to be concerned because I had a fun week.

NSV #1: My brother commented on my weight loss and an old friend commented on my weight loss. Both comments were unprompted and they were said as soon as I saw them. Note to self – spend more time reconnecting with people who don’t see me often – they can see the changes!

NSV #2: I went on a mini shopping trip and I was able to fairly consistently fit into size 6 clothes. There were times I brought three different sizes into a dressing room because I wasn’t sure what size I would be, and most of the time the answer was a 6. I ended up buying a skirt and a dress. I didn’t try on jeans or bathing suits … I decided to stick with the more forgiving articles of clothing for this first shopping trip. Anyway, size 6 = good as far as I’m concerned.

NSV #3: I had a wonderful week which involved no obsessions about the scale, and I didn’t completely lose control … I ate reasonably the majority of the time, and I got some exercise in. I wasn’t in any way perfect in my eating, but I’m not striving for perfect.

With all those non-scale victories, I think a badge is in order:
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Weight: Weeeell, I’m up 0.2 lbs. But my body fat percentage over the past week averages lower than my body percentage over the week before my last weigh-in. My goal was to maintain or lose each week for the next 1.5 months … I think I’m going to call this maintenance. Close enough, right?

My goals for next week are the same as for this week – 3x cardio via couch to 5k, 2x strength, and 5x abs/planks. I’m also aiming to maintain or lose from a weight perspective. I'm on week 6 with couch to 5k ... that means that on Friday or Saturday I'll be doing a 25 minute run! Ack!

I think it can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can ...

(A big thank-you to Wikipedia for the image.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Couch to 5k Week 5 Done: Oh hell yeah!


Well, I mean, I didn’t run straight the whole time, I ran around my neighborhood so I actually went in circles a little, but you know what I mean. I ran 20 minutes without stopping.

I almost didn’t do the 20 minute run. The 20 minute run was week 5 day 3, and I almost repeated week 5 day 2. I just couldn’t imagine that I was ready for a 20 minute run. I’d almost talked myself out of trying, and then I told myself that I should at least TRY. If I can’t sustain a jogging pace for 20 minutes, fine, no harm done, but I should at least TRY. And I tried, and I did it!

I look back at the fact that I almost didn’t try it, and it makes me wonder how many other things in my life I didn’t do because I didn’t think I could do them. I suspect I’ve missed out on a lot because I was scared I would fail, and failing seemed worse than not trying.

That is so messed up.

So anyway, I ran! And it was good! I was grinning like a fool when I finished.

Truth be told, I ran slooooooowly. I’m not sure I’m going as far as I’m supposed to go each time I run. The program is set up where you either run a certain distance or a certain time, and I’m going with time so I don’t know if I’m getting my distance in. But I’ll worry about that when I’ve finished the program – I can work up to running faster/longer. One thing at a time, right?

Hmmm, what else do I need to tell you guys? It seems like ages since I’ve checked in. I completely fell out of the blogosphere for almost 6 days. I have a lot of catching up to do on everyone’s blogs … my Google reader overfloweth! If you’re reading this and I haven’t been to your site yet, I promise I’ll stop by soon.

My time away was lovely. I had a great time with my brother and the rest of my family. I hadn’t seen my brother since Christmas, and guess what the first words out of his mouth were? “Hi, skinny! You’ve lost more weight!”

I love that man.

I took the day off work on Wednesday, and it was fun. We didn’t do anything too exciting … we met some old friends for lunch, then did some shopping, met some other friends for dinner, and then went to see the Spiderwick Chronicles. I bought myself a couple of treats … I got a Nike+ gadget for my iPod that will track my run distances. I don’t have the special shoes, but I found something on Amazon that I can attach to my shoes that should do the trick. The attacher thang should come in this week – when I get it and I’ve had a chance to play with it I’ll let you know how it all works. I also bought myself an on-sale skirt from Old Navy in a size 6. Woo hoo!

On Thursday I went back to work, but my parents and brother came over and spent the night that night, then my brother flew out Friday morning. It was a great few days. Over the weekend I had to get caught up on work … with a day off and people in my house for part of two work days, I was a little behind.

I’m still a little behind, actually. I have a TON to do at work. It’s going to be a busy week.

Oh, and did I mention that my eating got a little off track during the family time and the weekend? But it’s all good; I’m back on track today. I have to say that any gain was worth it. Last week was a great week.

I hope the last week has been wonderful for all of you, too!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Happy goes missing

Hey everyone!

I mentioned in my last post that my little brother is in town. (If you can call someone who is 33 and taller than me little, that is.) I'm going to be spending some time with him, trying to get some work done (that pesky job - ugh!), and getting that exercise in, so I don't think I'll be around much these next few days.

I'll catch up with everyone this weekend, I promise.

You guys have a great rest-of-the-week!

Where Am I? (Volume 6)

Happy Tuesday! Where am I in my weight loss journey, you ask?

Weight loss since last Tuesday: 1.4 lbs (136.6 vs. 135.2). Yay! I’m super-close to goal!

Weight loss since fall 2007 (most recent leg of weight loss journey): 17.2 lbs (152.4 vs. 135.2).

Total weight lost (entire weight loss journey): 31.8 lbs (167 vs. 135.2). I earned my 30 lb badge last week, so nothing new to report here.

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I’m having some minor motivation issues. Nothing that is going to derail me completely, but I do think my heart isn’t in the weight loss groove as much these past couple weeks. I’ve been close to goal but not AT goal for a while now. My goal is 132-133, and I’m currently at 135.2. SO. CLOSE. I have to say that I’m eager to get to goal, but maybe not as eager as I should be. It’s a little frustrating to be so close to goal but not there, but …

While one part of me is a little frustrated, another part of me is OK with where I am, as strange as that sounds. Like I said, my goal is 132-133 lbs. Why such a strange number as goal? Because I bought a lot of clothes the last time I was at 132-133. I’d like those clothes to fit again, and I need to lose a couple more pounds and firm up just a little more for all of them to fit.

Right now most of the clothes fit, but a couple things don’t fit perfectly. The non-fitting clothes? One pair of shorts and a pair of Capri pants are a tad bit tight in the thighs. I can put them on, but the thighs are just a tad too big for them to be a perfect fit.* But have you looked outside? SNOW. I’m not exactly in need of shorts and Capri pants at the moment, and the jeans I bought at the same time do fit.

Right now, if the scale moves slowly downward I’m a-OK with it. I think I’m going to officially take my focus OFF the scale and focus more on exercise. I’ve decided that as long as I get these last couple pounds off by mid-April, I’m happy. The key for me is to not let it start moving BACKWARDS. As of right now, I’m aiming for a maintain or a loss every week for the next 5 or 6 weeks. If I can do that and exercise at the same time, I’ll be back in those shorts and capris just in time to wear them on vacation at the end of April.

So everyone, I have a couple favors to ask. Please support me in thinking that maintaining or tiny losses are great, wonderful, and exactly what I need.

Also, I want you guys to know that for me, reaching goal isn’t touching it one day. I weigh daily, so my scale goes up and down and up and down and up and down. In my mind, I’ll have reached goal when the average weigh-in for a seven day period is 133. I’m telling everyone this so that I don’t get lots of premature congratulations when I have a downward blip in my weight. It’s disheartening to have to say “Actually, I’m not at goal. See, the scale every day since then is 2 pounds higher.” Maybe on my daily posts I’ll start giving the running last 7 day average so we’re all on the same page.

Anyway, enough about that damned scale.

I think that I’m much more focused and motivated about exercise. This is a change – usually that’s the hard part for me. But I’ve really gotten into this couch to 5k program. I love seeing the progress, I love finding that I’m capable of more than I think I am, I love having a specific goal (running a 5k on April 19th), I love that I can do it outside when it’s nice and in the gym when it’s not … I love it.

Now, we’ll see if I keep loving it after this week. Tonight I run a couple of 8 minute periods – 8 minutes! Ack! Then the next run after that, I run 20 minutes straight. TWENTY MINUTES! I don’t even know what to say about that.

How did the exercise go this week?

Exercise: I did it! I earned my exercise badge! My goal was 3x couch to 5k runs and 2x strength training, and I did it. It feels good to say I met that goal.
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My exercise goal this week will be very similar: Couch to 5k runs 3x, strength training 2x, and this week I’m also adding in a short abs workout 5x. As the week progresses I’ll keep you posted on how the progressively longer runs on the couch to 5k program are going.

It’ll be a challenging week to get all my workouts in. My brother is visiting from out of town, so my free time isn’t very free. But luckily I think he’ll understand completely, so I should be able to sneak out to get a quick workout in when I need to. I’m so excited about seeing him! I’m also curious if he’ll notice that I’ve lost weight since Christmas.

Anyway, I hope all of you have a wonderful week, and that you are successful in meeting your goals.

*Yes, some of that is muscle. But I can look in the mirror and easily see that it isn’t all muscle. Saddlebags do not equal muscle!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Just keep on keepin’ on

I have to confess; this past week I’ve been feeling a little weary when it comes to my weight loss journey. I’m losing weight, there’s no doubt about it, but for the past month my average loss is less than a pound a week, so it’s slow going.

I’m not giving up – I’m on plan and actively working to find my motivation. I tell myself that losing slowly is the way to go, since I’ll be more likely to keep it off. And I tell myself that going at weight loss reasonably, without depriving myself all the time, is going to teach me how to watch my weight and still live life at the same time. I tell myself that I should focus my mental energy on exercise, and try to get my mind off the scale. And I tell myself that I’m close to goal, and to hang in there. But all the messages I’m sending myself aren't always effective motivators.

I think learning how to send ourselves positive messages is an important part of the process of getting healthy. I think that what we believe will come true - if we send ourselves negative messages we’ll lose faith in ourselves and get off track, and if we send ourselves positive messages we’ll have faith in ourselves and stay the course. But, no matter how important positive self-talk is, sometimes the positive self-talk isn’t enough. Sometimes re-energizing words come from other people’s mouths.

I get an enormous amount of positive energy from reading other people’s blogs and the comments on my blog. I get positive energy from hearing people’s weight loss and weight maintenance success stories. And sometimes, I get positive energy from VERY strange places.

Over the weekend I was in the car clicking around to find a radio station, and I ended up on a 70’s station. Time passes, I’m day dreaming and chatting with my husband and half-listening to the radio, and Ease On Down the Road by Michael Jackson comes on the radio. I’m half-listening, but the more I hear the closer I listen. As strange it as it sounds, I found that song very comforting. I’m not a huge Michael Jackson fan, the man clearly has issues, but put that aside for now and look at some of the lyrics …

… Come on, ease on down, ease on down, down the road

Pick your left foot up
When your right foots down
Come on legs keep movin’
Don’t you lose no ground
You just keep on keepin’
On the road that you choose
Don’t you give up walkin’
‘cause you gave up shoes, no

Ease on down, ease on down the road
Come on, ease on down
Ease on down the road
Don’t you carry nothing
That might be a load
Come on, ease on down
Ease on down the road

‘cause there may be times
When you think you lost your mind
And the steps you’re takin’
Leave you three, four steps behind
But the road you’re walking
Might be long sometimes
You just keep on steppin’
And you’ll just be fine, yeah

Ease on down, ease on down the road
Come on, ease on downEase on down the road …

(Etc. etc. etc.)

I’m sure ol’ Mikey was not thinking about weight loss, but his song is so appropriate for what we’re all going through. It sends a message about just keepin’ on keepin’ on through the long journey down the weight loss and maintenance road, and not getting discouraged when you take a few steps backwards, and if you keep on walking down the road you’ll be OK, and … I tell you, back in the day, Michael Jackson might have been able to lead a Weight Watchers meeting or two.

So, as cheesy as it sounds, my Monday message to you all and to myself is that the road we’re walking might be long sometimes, but just keep on steppin’, ‘cause we’ll be just fine.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

My inner critic has shut up for the moment

Last night I ran my couch to 5k week 4 day 3 run – I completed week 4! Woo hoo!

When Stephanie told me in my comments that the first 10 minutes of a run always sucks, she was spot on. In my case it was more like the first 8 minutes, given that I was running in 3 and 5 minute segments. The first 3 minute segment and the first 5 minute segment were so much harder than the second 3 and 5 minute segments. I guess endorphins really are our friends.

Sunday* I’m on to week 5. Yikes! (no no no, stop with the yikes. I can do this.) I mean, yay! (there, that’s better.) AND I met my exercise goal for the week! Extra-yay!

So I’ve managed to smother the inner critic for a while. While I was running yesterday I felt so good about what I was doing. I am 100% doing the best I can, and it kicks ass. What is there to get frustrated about? Nothing. So what if I finish a couple minutes after my husband in the 5k. I’m extremely happy that he’s working out. It’s all good.

Actually, I’ve realized part of what bothered me about my relative speed is that we’re doing this 5k with quite a few of our friends, and I expect all of them to finish before us. So, what I really mean is: So what if I finish absolutely dead last amongst all our friends. I’ve finished! I’m good with that. Especially since I’ve decided that I clearly need to find someone who runs more slowly than me to join us in the run. Problem solved!


No, seriously, starting out slow gives me lots of room for improvement, and getting faster will be an excellent, satisfying new goal to work towards starting in May.

*My workout with the husband/friend/trainer has been moved from Monday to Sunday because I somehow double booked myself for Monday night. Thank gawd everyone else was able to reschedule.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Telling my inner critic to piss off

I was talking to my husband yesterday about the couch to 5k program. He’s also doing the program, although he’s doing his 100% on the treadmill and I do mine on the treadmill 1-2 days a week and on the road 1-2 days a week. I’d been out of the loop on how it’s been going for him, since I’ve tried to stay out of his business about it. He’s relatively new to exercise, and I didn’t want to seem like a nag or a critic. Because of our different work schedules and his commute we’re not really doing the program together as much as we’re doing it over the same span of weeks. Over the past few weeks we’ve ended up on treadmills side by side only once or twice, and those times we each had our headphones on listening to the podcast that told us when to walk and run.

So anyway, the topic came up, and we chatted about how we’re feeling about the program. We’re both feeling good, the podcasts are helpful, blah blah blah. Then the topic turned to how fast we’re running.

Dammit! The man is running MUCH faster than I am.

For some reason I find this irrationally maddening.

He’s 6 inches taller than me so that’s a very slight advantage perhaps, but other than that it seems like I should have the advantage here. He’s been inconsistent with his training, but I’ve been on track (with the exception of one missed workout). He’s skipped parts of weeks, and I’ve been following the training program religiously and by the book. He started out at a lower fitness level than I did. When we do the personal training together weekly, he lifts heavier weights than I do, but I seem to have better cardio endurance than he has and I seem to be able to handle physical discomfort better. He’s never been an athletic person; I’ve had two periods in my life where exercise was the norm.

Right now I’m feeling annoyed at myself for running slowly, bewildered at how the realities above translate to him running faster, and, well, just COMPETITIVE.

I didn’t want this running thing to get competitive.

I’ve been surfing around online trying to get a sense if I’m at least “normal” when it come to how quickly I’m running. I’m not finding many answers – what I am finding is repeated suggestions to do it slowly and to pace yourself. Great, wonderful, I’m doing what I’m SUPPOSED to do with the program.

Why isn’t that good enough?

I need to find a way to silence my inner critic and to stop comparing myself to him or anyone else. It does NOT matter how fast I run, it matters that I run. It matters that I’m stretching myself and doing something new, something I never thought I could do. I don’t have to do it better or faster than anyone else. In my heart I know all this. And I also know that once I’ve run 5k, I can move on to building my speed, and/or building my distance, and/or move on to some other completely different goal. I know this.

So why am I having such a hard time with the speed thing? I guess I’m a competitive person – I don’t think of myself that way, but I guess I am. And I really didn’t want this to be competitive – I wanted to do this for myself. Now I’m a little worried that when we do run our 5k, I’ll be disappointed in myself when I cross the finish line many minutes after him. I hate the thought that I could let something like that take away from how I’ll feel about accomplishing this goal.

If you guys have any suggestions about how I can tell my inner critic to piss off, please, suggest away.

In the meantime, it’s payday. I’m going to head out after work to buy a heart rate monitor.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Q&A Day

I've had some questions in my comments over the past couple weeks, and I'm not sure of the best way to answer them. At risk of being tremendously boring and/or having the longest post in the history of blogkind, I'm going to answer them all at once.

If I missed any questions, let me know!

So, here goes ...

What do I do on my “intense” workout days?
For me at this point, my intense workouts happen once a week on Monday night. On Mondays, I head to the gym, do my couch to 5k run on the treadmill, and then I spend an hour working out with my husband, our friend, and a personal trainer. We save money on the trainer by all working out together. The trainer wants us to warm up before we get to her so that we’re ready to really work out by the time our hour starts – she loves that I do the couch to 5k run beforehand.

The trainer does a lot of strength training with intervals of cardio. I can’t tell you exactly what we do because the exact workout varies week to week, but by the end of each session we’ve always done a full-body workout. Sometimes we use weight machines, sometimes we use free weights, sometimes dumbbells, sometimes bosu thingies, sometimes balance balls, sometimes medicine balls, sometimes equipment-free exercises like planks and pushups etc. etc. etc. After the first couple months, she started having us work multiple muscle groups at a time. So, for instance, we might be doing bench presses while lifting our hips and holding a medicine ball between our knees with our feet up on a bosu. That crazy move works arms and legs and core at the same time. The cardio intervals could be sprints around the track, or running up/down the stairs, or jumping jacks, jump rope, etc. etc.

What strength training program are you doing?
I think “program” implies a degree of structure I don’t have! I do strength training 2x per week (or that’s my goal anyway). One day it’s with the trainer, and that’s described above. On the other day I do strength training post-running on my own. That workout could either be on machines or at home. At home I have dumbbells (5, 10, and 15 lbs), a balance ball, and an 8 lb. medicine ball. I don’t do the same strength exercises each time, but each time I try to get a full-body workout with a little more focus on abs and arms than legs (since the running is leg-focused).

For instance, last night after my couch to 5k run I worked out at home and did:

- 1 set of 20 reps of wall squats with the balance ball while holding 10 lb. dumbbells
- 1 set of 15 reps (x2 – one time for each leg) of single leg squats with the balance ball
- 2 sets of 20 reps of one-arm 15 lb. dumbbell rows with the balance ball (x2 – one time for each arm)
- 2 sets of 20 reps of 10 lb. dumbbell shoulder press on the balance ball (note that in this video the gal takes her dumbbells low – lower than a 90 degree angle. My trainer tells us not to do that.)
- 2 sets of 20 reps of 10 lb. dumbbell chest flys on the balance ball
- 2 sets of 25 reps of crunches on the balance ball, holding the medicine ball between my knees
- 2 sets of 20 reps of 5 lb. dumbbell triceps extensions on the balance ball
- 2 sets of 20 reps of 5 lb dumbbell reverse flys lying on the balance ball
- 2 sets of 20 reps of oblique twist using the medicine ball (in link, scroll to where it says “twist”)

I downloaded the workout above from – I tweaked it minimally, adding on the oblique twist and the use of the medicine ball when I did the other crunches. Sometimes I browse through a couple books I have or websites and come up with my own full body workout - but the SparkPeople site has made me a little lazy lately.

Am I running an actual 5k? When?
Yes, my plan is to run this 5k on April 19th. I don’t have a speed goal – I just want to be able to say I ran it. I’ve done 5k runs before where I walked most of the distance and ran a little, but this time I will run the whole time. (Notice how I say WILL instead of WILL TRY TO. Will Will Will. I’m working really hard to believe myself here.) I suspect I may run more slowly than some people walk it, but so be it. Speed will come later if I decide to continue this running thang.

What do you listen to on your iPod when you do your couch to 5k runs? Is it inspiring?
There are these free podcasts you can download for the couch to 5k program that tell you when to walk and when to run. They work great for me because I’d get very annoyed and probably lose track if I tried to check my watch the whole time. From what I understand I might be able to program a heartrate monitor to tell me when to walk and run, but I don’t have a heartrate monitor yet. The podcasts have music, and the music is good (not what I usually listen to, but good for running). The music does help keep me going, and it’s nice that the guy on the podcasts tells me “you’re doing great!” and “keep your shoulders relaxed and arms loose” and all. I’m looking forward to being able to run using my music though – it may help a little with the motivation, from what you guys tell me.

What do you look like? Where are your pictures?
You know, I have to tell ya, I'm a little freaked out by the idea of posting my picture on here! I have no problem with revealing my innermost self and thoughts and twisted sense of humor, and I’ll willingly share my outermost stats (like weight), but I could be in a very bad position professionally if someone I works with runs across this blog and reads about my frustrations with someone I work with, or my thoughts about possibly changing careers, etc. I don't think I've said anything that would get me fired (yet), but I’ve definitely said things that would make for a sticky situation. And better safe than sorry … being dooced is not something I want.
So ... yeah. I say “Not yet, maybe never” on the request for me to post a picture … or maybe someday I’ll post an "after" picture from the neck down (although unfortunately I didn't take a before pic). Maybe. I know the chances of any of the abovementioned folks coming across this blog are slim to none, but it is a small, small world. I've run into friends at gas stations hours away in different states, my brother ran into someone he knew when he was in London, I ran into someone I knew at an airport halfway across the country ... these things can happen!* It might be irrational, who knows, but I’m not paranoid about most things so I’m going to trust my instincts here. I don’t think my concern is unfounded. Hey, what did you say? Are you talking about me? Stop talking about me! I’m not paranoid! I’m not!

You’re almost at goal. How will going on maintenance change what you eat?
When I go on maintenance I can add a few more points a day to my daily points target. I start at 4 more points (so, approximately 240 more calories), and then experiment, gradually adding on from there if I keep losing weight (since the goal will be to stay the same weight). But from a “what exactly are you going to add,” I’m not sure. I’ve contemplated doing more to wipe artificial sweeteners out of my diet. I eat yogurt with artificial sweeteners almost every day, and ice cream bars with artificial sweeteners every couple days, and the occasional diet soda – I could switch from those products to the real deal, which will up the calories/points. It’s quite a debate, though, because being able to eat MORE food would be awfully nice. My points target right now is 20 points a day. That’s not a lot of food. So … I'm not sure. I guess we’ll see how it shakes out when it happens.

When you had the healthy-eating meltdown and ate the McDonald’s food over the weekend last weekend, was it at least good? Sadly, no. The burger was not fresh. It was a total waste of points. On the other hand, the French fries were a little bit of greasy heaven …

* Given the small world we live in, I recognize that theoretically someone I know could stumble on this blog, read it, think “this sounds just like someone I know!” and ask me about it. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.