Friday, November 28, 2014

Post-Thanksgiving Report

Checking in the day after.

It went fine!

I'm a daily weigher and the damage wasn't bad. I was hoping to stay at or under 315 (I was 314 yesterday, my lowest weight so far), and I did – scale showed 315. Works for me!

I worked hard for it yesterday, let me tell you. I was up at 6am and on my feet cooking for hours. At least four or five total. I mean, that's Thanksgiving, right? I made the whole meal solo. We had some yummy food and I had some of everything. Basically, I had a one plate full, one glass of wine, and one dessert. And it was more than enough.

Then, because I pledged to do it with my FUDiet Facebook group, I set out on a personal 5K after dinner – and I'm determined to make it a new tradition. All hail the 1st Annual Turkey Stroll, where it's the distance that counts, NOT the time.

We haven't had much snow in my neighborhood, so when I started my walk all was clear and it was really kind of perfect cold weather conditions. Still, I was really tired and wasn't sure if I was going to be able to complete the whole 5K distance. I thought, "Well, I'll get started and let's see how it goes." You always just have to get yourself out the door. Anyway, I found myself about halfway through when I practically turn a corner and BAM! The weather drastically shifted to snowstorm. By that time, though, I was in a groove (listening to music really helps!) and I was determined to finish. When I made it home a half hour later, about an inch of snow had fallen and I could barely see out of my glasses.

Always an adventure. I ended up doing 3.34 miles in 1 hour, 8 minutes. Not bad for a stroll, and for struggling against less than optimum conditions.

Today I was exhausted. You can imagine.

Still, I needed to get in my 30 minutes of activity for Roni's Thanksgiving week challenge. Well, there was snow, so what does one do? Shovel! It wasn't too bad and I ended up supplementing it with some walking, but I got it done. It felt good, even though I really wasn't up for anything, quite frankly. Yet once I finished that, I came inside and did a Seven Minute workout app thingy. Energy begets energy!

So there you have it. I lived through Thanksgiving. Go figure!

Oh, and what I am thankful for today? Warm blankets and fuzzy kitties to snuggle with on lazy, wintry days.

What turkey stories do you have to share?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Challenge Day 3

Keeping up with Roni's Thanksgiving Challenge, today I went for a 30-minute walk on my lunch break as I so often do these days. I tell you what, though, if it wasn't for the challenge, I'd likely have stayed in! It's about 40 degrees and very, very, very windy. (Yes, it's that windy!) Not exactly the best walking weather.

Except that it kind of was. I ended up having an energetic and very pleasant outing! I'm starting to realize that being out in colder weather for walking and running doesn't bother me much – in fact, I think I kind of like it. I just have to remember that for the future, is all. It's easy to forget.

Today I am thankful to have a job with pretty OK benefits including vacation and personal time. This allows me to take off tomorrow ahead of the holiday, and I'll have off on Thursday and Friday as a gimme as well. Who doesn't love a five-day weekend? I know that not everyone has the luxury, and I am grateful.

Last night I also did my second round of the Seven Minute Workout thingy. I plan to squeeze it in every day – boy, it is challenging and makes you sweat in that seven minutes! Love it.

See you tomorrow with the next challenge update!

What are your plans for Thanksgiving, all you American folks?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Small and small

Small plates are rad.
Photo from

While I am not too worried about how I'm going to do on Thanksgiving with my eating and stuff, I really liked the ideas this article suggests. And yes, the small plate tactic really works! The other day for dinner I just wanted a little bit of what we were having, so I thought, "Why don't I just use a smaller plate – I don't need all that space," and lo! I had a smaller portion and it was just enough. I like the coziness of a small plate.

I like using small forks, too. (I guess those are dessert forks?) I don't know. My boyfriend thinks it's weird, and I suppose it is. But the plate thing makes sense. In fact, I'm having a revelation – why not use the small plate ALL the time? Hmmm...

I actually think I will.

Oh my gosh – there is an actual movement for this kind of thing. Small Plate Movement. What do you know.

In other news, my 32-minute walk for the Thanksgiving Challenge was indeed a challenge. Some days are like that, I guess. Today, I am thankful that I indeed have the ability to go walking around without too much trouble. I am thankful for having beautiful neighborhoods to walk in, both at home and at work. Amen.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving Challenge!

I have really enjoyed Roni's blog over the years. For this coming Thanksgiving week, she's hosting a challenge and there are prizes! (Not least of which are the physical and mental benefits.)

Anyway, here's the info if you're so inclined. I got my 35-minute combo walk/C25K training in this afternoon, PLUS one of those treacherous seven-minute workout apps – made me sweat like nothing else, wow!

Today, I feel thankful for all my kind family and friends who look out for each other. This past week's weather had a lot of people in need of help and a lot of people who were able to help them. It sort of restores your faith in humanity, maybe just a little.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Progress, ever and always

I can't tell you how many times thoughts have crossed my mind that I want to share here in the past week +, but it just doesn't seem to happen. Laziness, I guess, and partially writer's block.

I've had a stay-at-home week since Tuesday, too! I didn't get snowed in my neighborhood, but much of the rest of the region did in a big way and so lots of things just shut down, including my office. Instead of feeling productive, though, I ended up doing a lot of lazing around contrasted with a good deal of physical activity – nothing creative like I really should have. (Here goes my feeling like a failure as an artist thing...) BUT I have been feeling this unexplainable sense of unbridled energy, or not being able to stay still for too long. I think exercise begets exercise, in whatever form, and I've been doing more than ever. Five days a weeks two weeks in a row now!

Big news is that I walked a 4.1 miler last weekend. I'd set out to do another 5K distance just around the neighborhood (I decided to do this on most weekends from here on out), and ended up detouring to Devil's Hole State Park and walking the easier part of trail there – it was a chilly morning with a dusting of snow on the ground and the river at my side. I ended up walking all the way to Whirlpool State Park because I was feeling good. It's amazing how you can surprise yourself when you go outside your comfort zone just a little.

I also started training to run for 30 minutes with a Runtastic app. I just finished the third and last session of week 1 today. It runs for 6 weeks. It's a little bit more challenging than the C25K program and so I may end up just jumping over to that instead, but we'll see. Either way it feels great to be back into running, however slow I do it. (Pretty damn slow!)

Eating has been just fine. I guess one of the reasons why I like exercising so much is that it lets me eat more, quite honestly. It affords me the ability to eat, say, something decadently sweet almost every day. On the other hand, I am careful to balance out what I eat with many healthy choices, too – lots of fruits and veggies for sure. That balance is what it is all about and is what will make this life choice sustainable forever. I don't even feel silly saying that, because it's really, really, really real this time.

I finally got it right. I'm eating great, I'm feeling great. I'm feeling powerful and strong from the workouts I do – a combination of easier walks (30+ minutes), longer treks, running sprinkled in, plus intense strength training sessions. You guys, weight work is SO important. Soon I will be on my own with it as I finish up my "subscription" with my trainer, but I have learned a lot since May and feel confident that I can continue doing what I need to do on my own – though I will bump into my trainer at the gym once in a while, I am sure! He's the best!

My weight is down to 315, something I was hoping for in time for Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Thanksgiving. If you're reading this, maybe you're wondering whether I am freaking out over it. I think a lot of folks who are trying to lose weight are, or at the very least trying to figure out how to healthify the holiday.

No, not me. To my mind, Thanksgiving (or any other special event) is but one day to deal with. It only comes once a year and I do all the cooking for it. I love it. I am NOT interested in healthifying it whatsoever, either. I will eat what I want to, and I will super enjoy it. Chances are, I won't eat as much as I did in the past simply because my appetite is smaller (though I did eat a huge bowl of home-popped popcorn by myself today), but I'm not going to worry about it too much. I will log my food at MyFitnessPal as usual but not freak out over going over calories.

At the same time, I'd like to start a new tradition for myself – do a person Turkey Trot and run/walk a 5K later in the day. I'm really enjoying being active and think that getting an hour's worth of fresh air on Turkey day will be really nice.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

180 Days

Well, today's the day: 180 days, six months, whatever you want to call it. That's how long I've been logging my meals and MyFitnessPal and it was then that I really started this thing for real.

I just couldn't wait for this day to come! And now it has and all I can do is really think about the next six months and where I might find myself then. It's exciting! While I don't see this as a race or anything, I want to speculate a little bit on what I might be doing on May 12, 2105 or thereabouts.

• I will be a month away from turning 45.

• I would love to see another 50 pounds off my body, which would bring me down to 268. The last time I weighed that was over ten years ago!

• I expect to be able to totally run a 5K distance, maybe under an 18:00 pace? (Wow, to think it!)

• I can't even speculate what else. Wow. Another 50 pounds.

I can do it. Whether I do it in six months or not, I can do it.


(and then on to the next 50 after that.)

Monday, November 10, 2014

At 320

I finally decided to take some real progress shots. The bathroom at work provides a fairly decent place in which to do that. Here I am, front and side, at 320 pounds – over 50 pounds lost so far. (I'm 5' 8", by the way.)

My face these days...

Oh! And here is a photo of me at or near my heaviest, for comparison.

And this one really shows the weight in my face. (That's my lovely cousin Margaret with me.)

Looking forward to the next set!

Edit to add: And here is a nice side-by-side, showing me at my desk in September 2013, before I started doing anything, and just today (November 12, 2014). Wow, I didn't quite realize what a difference there is in my face! Awesome.

5K redux

Today after work (and probably after dinner), I'll be headed out the door to walk (sprinkled with a little running) my second virtual 5K. I was going to do it yesterday and plain ran out of time. It's nice to have a rest day anyway, right?

Saturday I had an hour-long appointment with my trainer, among my last ones. I've been doubling up so that I fit them all in before my gym membership runs out on November 22nd. A double on Thursday and Saturday, too, and then Tuesday and Thursday the next and final week.

And then what?

More outdoor activities – neighborhood walks, hiking for sure. But I'm also going to carve out an area in my basement to do some at-home training. I've learned many good bodyweight exercises from my trainer and from various sources online – that will be my focus. I also want to start doing pilates again, and finally try yoga. I don't think I will have any shortage of physical activities I can do on my own, and I will certainly enjoy the convenience of simply walking down a short flight of stairs to work out, anytime I like.

Originally I had considered investing in a piece of equipment – namely, a rowing machine, but ultimately thought that I would be able to work out and strength train without spending the money. I'll likely get a good yoga mat at some point, maybe some more weights, but otherwise... I'll keep it simple.

I would love to hear what kinds of things you do at home to keep in shape! Do you have a favorite workout to share?

Sunday, November 2, 2014


On my first hike back in late August, and on my latest hike this past weekend. Same jeans and hoodie.

So... just so that I don't forget, I wanted share some fun news.

Yesterday I walked my first 5K (just over it, actually!) in a long, long time. It was fantastic. I felt great the whole time and even ran for two short segments. It took just a minute or two over an hour.

Today I didn't expect to replicate the feat, but while on a hike with my partner today, we ended up walking about 3.6 miles! We were very slow – he was taking photos, so we stopped a lot – but we still covered the distance. Above is a photo I had him take of me to document the adventure. I weighed in at 318 pounds this morning, 54 pounds lost.

My sense of achievement in so many ways, pretty much through the roof. I know I have so far to go, but I have also come a long way. I am really making this happen. I will achieve my goals. 

There is no question.