17 Down

I am about a week and a half out from my first 5k. I’m a little behind schedule on C25k, which kind of sucks. Originally I began it with enough time to practice running a 5k for about a week before the actual run, but it’s looking now like I may not finish the program before then. I am still going to do my best and give it all I’ve got.

Last week I had to run 20 straight minutes. I’m not gonna lie – it was hard. I failed the first time. The second time I did it, but only by decreasing my pace pretty much the entire time. I have been jogging at 4.8 MPH for a few weeks now. I ran the first 8 minutes at my usual speed and then turned it down to 4.4 for the rest of the time. I’m not very happy with that, but everything I have read about running says not to focus on your speed but your ability to finish and keep going, that you can focus on speed later. So, I’ve been trying to remember not to run myself too hard and listen to my body.

I decided to start taking progress photos. I took my first set the other day. I am down 17 pounds in this picture, which kind of makes me cringe because clearly, I have a lot of work to do. That just means I was really heavy. I’m kind of glad I don’t have any starting pictures. When I began tracking my calories on December 17th, 2012 I weighed 209 pounds. This is me on March 18th, 2013 at 192.

Like I said, I have a long way to go but I am happy with my progress so far. I am down 17 pounds in 13 weeks, and that’s pretty awesome. 7 weeks ago, when I began C25k, I could barely run for a full minute and now I’m up to 20. That is also pretty awesome.

 

What Would Michonne Do?

You should be excited, because this is yet another post about running.

If you don’t want to read another post about running, here’s another goat-screaming video.

These videos, unlike the Harlem Shake which I was obsessed with for about a day and a half, will NEVER GET OLD. EVER.

If you’re still here, I’m going to keep talking about running. So I’m on week 5 of C25k. Day 1 was easy enough, and day 2 scared me. It was an 8 minute (or 3/4 mile, whichever came first) jog, followed by a 5 minute (or 1/2 mile) walk, and then another 8 minute jog. I was scared. I wasn’t sure I could do it, as the longest period I had run before that was 5 minutes. I mean hell, that’s a three minute increase (just in case you can’t add. No judgments, third grade math level represent).

I originally said I was going to reward a 20 pound weight loss (still 6 pounds away) with a new pair of good running shoes. After careful consideration, I decided to bypass the wait and just buy some. I went to an athletic store and got measured, tried on about 6 pairs of shoes that the salesperson recommended after watching me walk and getting a little bit of running history, and before I knew it I was dropping more money than I would like to think about on my very first pair of running shoes.



That’s either the sound of a choir of angels singing, or my wallet crying. I’m not sure which yet. They are Saucony Hurricane 15’s, if you are curious.

I got to the gym, strapped them on, and could not believe the difference from simply walking in them. I was suddenly excited about my run. I won’t bore you with the details so long story short – I did it. Those 8 minute jogs? Not that difficult. Don’t get me wrong; those last two minutes were rough. I flipped my timer so I couldn’t see it, and just ran until my app told me it was time to walk. When I finished, I was drenched in sweat and was so proud of myself I was actually grinning like an idiot during my last minute.

After my run I did a little bit of strength training, including a core/ab/murder-cise that I saw Michonne on the Walking Dead do. She made it look super easy so I tried it. Let’s just say I am not as badass as she is, because I did five reps of what she did and then when I tried to do another set, my muscles were like LOL NO. Seriously, I tried to flex my ab muscles and they wouldn’t budge. I could barely get up off the floor. Every time I tried, I’d get my shoulders off the floor, shake like I was having a seizure, and then flop back down like a big flabby fish. I tried about five more times and even started hissing swear words at my weak abdominals under my breath. “GOYOUSUCKGOPIECEOFSHITSTOMACHNOWNONOWDOITAHHHH *flop*”
Note to self: do more Michonne exercises. She has survived the zombie apocalypse and OBVIOUSLY if you do the exercises she does, you will as well.

Anyway, tomorrow is my last day of week 5 and just like day 2, I’m afraid. Tomorrow I run 2 miles without stopping. They aren’t fucking around anymore. They were like “run 3/4 of a mile. You did it! Feel good about yourself? TIME TO RUN TO THE MOON, MOTHERFUCKER!” and I’m like “don’t be stupid. You can’t run to the moon. That would take too long and ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat”.

It’s daunting, but I know I can do it. I just have to ask myself: What would Michonne do? She would run those 2 miles and chop the heads off of like, ninety zombies on the way, that’s what she’d do. Maybe I should bring a katana to the gym. What do you think? Katana? Yes?

 

For the Love of Running

Somewhere between week 2 and week 3 of Couch to 5k, I began to love running.

Now, believe me when I say this: those are words I never thought I would say or type. When it comes to physical activity, I have always preferred the elliptical machine and cardio classes. But somewhere along my training I fell in love with running.

The first two weeks hurt. My knees hurt, my shins hurt, my feet hurt. I sped up my jogging pace, focused on how my feet were hitting the treadmill, and the pain subsided. I found myself looking forward to my running days (M, W, F) and dreading my elliptical days. The elliptical days are so boring. With my C25k, I have a goal. I am pushing myself to run farther, to run harder, to reach that goal.

I know that I’m not the fastest. My pace has slowly increased; when I began running my top speed was 4.4 MPH on the treadmill. I am now up to 4.8 with my first big goal being 5.0. I find that the stronger my legs get and the more accustomed to running my body becomes, a slower pace actually hurts my legs and knees more than pushing myself to a faster one. I’m on my fifth week of C25k. Wednesday begins day 2, which will be challenging… I have to jog 3/4 of a mile without stopping. I know that I can do it. I have to remember to breathe, focus, push myself, and realize that YES, I can breathe and NO, my legs aren’t going to stop working.

My first 5k is in a little over 3 weeks, and I am feeling pretty confident that I might actually be able to run the entire thing! I am planning on making my first weight loss reward to myself at 20 pounds a new pair of running shoes. Right now I’m using just my basic tennis shoes (which is bad, I know) but once I hit 20 pounds gone, I am going to go to a store and get fitted for shoes that are solely used for running.

What are your favorite running shoes? Any tips about buying my first pair?

 

ALL THE FITNESS and Also Goats.

Oh my god I have been the worst ever at internets lately. I opened my Google Reader this evening to catch up on some blogs, and I was so behind I just slammed my laptop shut and started weeping.

Okay I didn’t really do that but I wanted to.

So the main reason I’ve been so lazy with blogging is because I have been crazy busy. Working full-time is enough, but I’ve added at least 45 minutes of gym time to my routine almost every single day. Once I leave work I go to the gym. Then I have to drive to get Nellie from daycare. Then we drive home. Then I make dinner. Then I do bedtime with the girl. Then I flop on the couch and Josh and I zone out to whatever show it is we are catching up on (now that American Horror Story is over, it’s mainly Walking Dead. I am also obsessed with Downton Abbey but can’t watch the third season without paying for it. WOE IS ME) and then we crash at around 9 P.M.

WILD TIMES.

My workouts have looked mostly like this:
Monday: Couch to 5k
Tuesday: Elliptical
Wednesday: Couch to 5k
Thursday: Elliptical
Friday: Couch to 5k

Recently I’ve added strength training in on my C25k days. I just finished Week 4 (my Chicago trip and then a few days of feeling kind of sickie threw me off) and will begin Week 5 on Monday. So far, I am down 11 pounds in about 11 weeks. I only just started taking measurements, so I do not know how many inches I have lost and from where. I do know that the pajamas I bought for my Halloween costume (in case you need a refresher, here is my costume from this last year)

Are now fitting better. When I bought them, the bottom button struggled to close, and the top didn’t really fit down over my hips. Now when I wear them (because they are actually very comfortable – definitely a Goodwill win), they fall easily down over my hips and all buttons close with ease. So I have definitely lost inches in my hip region, and I am pretty sure my waist has narrowed a little. I have a habit of resting my hands on my stomach when I’m in bed (I got so used to doing it when I was pregnant, I guess I just never really stopped) and I noticed that last night my lower stomach is not as round as it once was.

Progress. Yay! The most important part of all of this is that I feel so much better. I feel strong, healthy, and I sleep better at night. I have a pleasantly exhausted sensation in my entire body most nights when I snuggle into bed.

I still have a long way to go. My last weigh-in was 198, which is nowhere near where I need to be physically but with every day that passes, and with every step I take, I am getting closer to a healthy weight.

I don’t have much more to say, so I will leave you with this video of a goat screaming at Taylor Swift.

 

After a Month of Silence…

It feels kind of weird blogging after almost a month of silence. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to talk about – by all means, I should really be writing something pretty much every other day – it’s just that I haven’t really felt like it.

I have been busy. I am going to the gym almost 5 days a week. When I leave work, I go before I head to Nellie’s daycare to scoop her up. Three days a week I do Couch to 5k and crunches/arm exercises and the other two days I usually do the elliptical machine. It’s funny, I’ve always hated running but since I started seriously getting into C25k, I have found myself actually looking forward to it. Once I got past the pain in my legs the first week and a half, I found my rhythm and my stride and kind of morbidly enjoy killing myself on the treadmill. I’m on Week 4 now, which alternates 3 minutes of jogging/2 minutes walking with 5 minutes of jogging and 90 seconds of walking…. I think… All I know is the first time I tried I quit after the first 5 minute run, because I thought I was going to throw up. I felt nauseated for a half an hour afterward. But on my second attempt, I did it. My shins are a little achey so I’m taking the weekend off and will start day 2 on Monday.

I’m down 11 pounds so far since beginning counting calories on December 17th, and joining a gym on January 15th. It’s a little slower than I’d like (even though it evens out to about a pound a week) and I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not in any hurry to lose this weight. It is frustrating to be busting my ass and still not be seeing huge results in the way my clothes fit yet. I have to keep reminding myself that in the past, it’s been more like 15 pounds when I begin seeing a difference on my body. Now, I can tell a difference in the way I feel. I have been sleeping better, can play harder with Nellie, and don’t feel like I’m about to drop dead when I haul her around. Yay!

My heart isn’t really in this post so I’ll end it here. I have more to say – last weekend I made an impromptu solo trip to Chicago to see my family so there’s a lot to tell about that – but I’m not really feeling it right now.

Weight Loss, 2013, Resolutions

This weekend, and the first anniversary of mom’s death, have come and gone. Friday night was difficult, but I had a lot of love and support pouring in from friends and family but that made it easier to deal.

2012 is ending, and 2013 is beginning – JUST IN CASE YOU LIVE UNDER A ROCK. I’m not a huge believer in resolutions, because I have made several over the course of the years and have not really kept any. I feel sometimes that making resolutions just sets a person up to fail, especially if those resolutions are things like “LOSE ALL THE WEIGHT” or “RUN FIVE MILES TWICE A DAY” or “MEMORIZE THE HUNGER GAMES AND RECITE IT IN ITALIAN WHILE LEARNING TO PLAY THE FIDDLE”.

I mentioned in a past post that my last doctor appointment showed that I weigh the same as I did when I had Nellie almost 3 years ago. Seeing that number on the scale triggered something inside me, and since then I’ve used MyFitnessPal to track my daily calories and exercise. With the exception of a bit of calorie-overage during the holiday weekend (and really, it wasn’t MUCH calorie overage), I have been consistently under my daily calorie allowance for almost two weeks. This is the best I have done so far in my efforts to lose my baby weight. It seems that my resolve is stronger this time than it ever has. I have also been seeking support and encouragement from the website/app LifeKraze. The community there is full of really positive people who love to give virtual high-fives and support.

I am trying to take it slowly with a goal of being 20 pounds lighter by my brother’s wedding June 1st. This goal is completely attainable; in the past, I have lost 20 pounds in just under two months’ time. I am being realistic about the rate at which I can lose weight now – I do not have the free time nor energy to lose at the rate I used to. So 20 pounds in 5 months is my first goal. My ultimate goal is to reach the weight that is pretty healthy for me: 160 pounds.

I have a long road ahead. Losing 50 pounds is more weight than I’ve ever needed to lose before. I’m determined to do it, though. I think this time my resolve is set.

The first month of 2013 will bring exciting things. I turn 29 (WHAT THE EFF? How did my 20s go by so quickly?) on January 9th, my daughter turns 3 (again with the WTF) on January 20th. My brother and his fiancee are coming for a visit. I’m looking forward to what 2013 has to offer. 2012 went by in the blink of an eye; I know that sounds like a cliche, but that is exactly how it feels. It was January, I closed my eyes, and when I opened them my daughter was opening Christmas presents.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year celebration. I will be spending it with a quiet evening at home with my family. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2013.

I’m in Shape. Round is a Shape.

After I dropped Josh off at work today, Nellie and I had a little breakfast at home while waiting for the sun to come up. Once it was light out, we hit a nearby walking track.

As I walked, one foot in front of the other, my knees ached. My shins hurt. My leg muscles groaned in protest and I realized just how miserably out of shape I have gotten. As I pushed Nellie up a slight incline in the track (and I do mean slight), I found it harder to breathe. And I realized even further just how out of shape I’ve let myself become. I used to be able to take an hour-long power aerobics class and only be somewhat out of breath. I reached my goal of running a mile about three years ago and now?

Walking makes me tired.

This is not okay.

We walked for about 30 minutes this morning, time which is usually spent letting Nellie crawl about the living room while I check my e-mail in the morning. I’ve decided to use the time that I have in between getting home from dropping Josh off and having to get ready for work more wisely: I’m going to take walks with Nellie during those 30 (or so) minutes. I’m not going to make any big promises to myself because I have continually let myself down when it comes to fitness and losing weight.. But this I can keep. I have to keep this. Because huffing and puffing when I push my kid up a slight incline isn’t acceptable. I’m 27 years old. My knees shouldn’t ache and pop when I walk and the muscles in my legs should be strong.. Not weak from sitting in a chair all day at work.

One foot in front of the other. One step at a time. I’ve gotta get my body back.

 

Wiggle Room

One of the worst things about losing weight is the tracking. The constant documentation of what I’m putting in my mouth. I have found this to be the most effective way to drop pounds, as it makes me accountable. When I see at the end of the evening that I’m already at 1,500 calories and my goal range is 1,460 – 1,800 I know that I don’t need that beer. I don’t need to eat a small bowl of ice cream. And while technically, at 1,500 calories a small bowl of ice cream wouldn’t put me over my goal range, I like to stay at the low end of the spectrum.

I’ve been effectively and diligently tracking my calories for about 5 days now and each day, I’ve been on the low end of my goal range. I hate keeping track of my food. It’s a pain in the ass. But at the end of the day when I look at those numbers, I feel satisfied and proud of myself.

The other thing I hate about losing weight this time around is that since I’m not getting any exercise and am relying solely on eating healthier to help me jumpstart my weight loss, I feel little to no place for wiggle room in my diet. Three years ago when I dropped 20 pounds, I was tracking my diet and exercising 4-6 days a week. I allowed myself one cheat day per week to eat whatever I wanted without tracking or feeling bad. It helped keep me sane and gave me something to look forward to. However, without that exercise I feel like a cheat day would be counterproductive. I’m thinking of allowing myself one cheat day every two weeks, or maybe even just one cheat day a month.

It’s the pits, because I love food. I love to eat. I don’t like watching what goes in my mouth but I guess I’m paying the price of being so complacent & lazy during my pregnancy. I looked fantastic pregnant but now that the shiny hair, glowing skin and adorable belly have been gone for almost a year I just look squishy. I do feel a certain sense of pride when I see that calorie tracker within my goal range. It does remind me, however, just how far I have to go. I am hoping that I can find some time somewhere to start exercising. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, even a 30 minute walk a few times a week would be an improvement from what I’m getting now.

Blah. All of you women who dropped the baby weight once your child was born & don’t really have to work at having a flat stomach suck. I say it affectionately, but you suck. My stretch marks and cellulite hate you just a little. Working at being fit & at a healthy weight BLOWS, especially when you have such a passionate love affair for food like I do. And beer. I like beer but I can’t justify drinking ANY with all this excess weight on me. I have had the occasional glass of white wine while I’m cooking dinner, but a glass of white wine is only about 70 calories.

Okay, bitchfest over. To sum up: I’m fat, I hate it, but I also hate tracking my calories. P.S., it just started snowing. Unrelated.

The end.

Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)

This is not an image of me. Photo credit.

So back in June, I started my Body After Baby Project which was my mission to stop being obese (which, medically speaking, I am though I think I carry my weight pretty well). I failed miserably. I started this whole big project that I couldn’t carry through with. The weekly check-ins, the weekly blog posts and the fact that I was leading a group of other bloggers sharing in my goal was a little too much for me.

However, I am still fat. And before you try and comfort me and tell me that it’s probably “not that bad”, I am here to tell you:

It is that bad. I haven’t weighed myself in a while but the last time I did, about two months ago, I weighed over 200 pounds. I am 5’3″. And over 200 pounds. That, my friends, is fat. I wear a size 20 jeans which is the largest I’ve ever been in my life.. And the kicker?

My size 20s are feeling a little tight.

MOTHERFUCKER.

I got my hair cut yesterday and my cute, blonde stylist came over to me with her perfectly round 30-week baby belly, sat me down in the chair and said,
“Tell me what you don’t like about yourself.”

Ok, she didn’t really say that. She did really sit me down to ask me what I wanted, haircut-wise. She sat me down in a chair that was in front of a FULL LENGTH MIRROR. While I was sitting there watching her fluff my hair, my eyes drifted downward to the overstuffed sausages attached to my ass my thighs and I sighed inside.

I look at old pictures of myself and marvel at how fit I looked. How thin. How young. I remember feeling healthy. Feeling confident.  I want to feel like I’m in a healthy place again but it’s so damned hard to find time to exercise with a baby, a (nearly) full-time job and one car shared between my husband and myself. On days that Josh works, we don’t get home until 8 in the evening.. And by then we still haven’t eaten and have to get the baby to bed before we do anything else.

It’s very hard for me to find time to exercise and I’m not just making excuses. It’s damn difficult, because I’ve tried. I’m just so tired after driving all over creation, getting my kid to bed, eating, etc that I just want to veg. I want to veg, and go to sleep.

I want to take time for myself again. I want to get back to a healthy weight, and a healthy habit of eating. I’ve eaten pretty well the past two days and for right now, that’s honestly all I can find the energy and time to do. I can change my eating habits. Exercise will have to come later when I can carve out more minutes into my already-hectic day. But for now, I can change my eating habits.

I’ve already made one decision as far as change goes: no more soda. I don’t drink real soda anyway, but no more soda period. No Diet Cokes, no Coke Zeros.. I’m doing away with soda completely for the time being. I have to take small steps and change my habits. In the past it’s been relatively easy for me to change the way I eat my food & live my life but after being sedentary, pregnant, and then sedentary again it’s really hard to not eat those fried cheese sticks. Or to not have another Hershey’s Kiss. Or to choose the salad over the cheeseburger. It’s really hard, because I really like food.

It’s not going to be easy but I want to be healthy for my daughter and give her a good foundation of healthy eating.

I also have to get myself into the mindframe that my worth as a person does not lie within my pants size. Yeah, most of my mommy friends are looking fab a year after they have their kiddos. Sometimes I feel like the only mom in the world who is still so heavy one year postpartum. I have to learn to be kinder to myself and not be so self-depracating, because I have a baby girl who is going to pick up on that. I want her to learn that she is beautiful, regardless of how much she weighs or if her pants size is in the 20s one day. She is a unique, amazing soul with so much to offer the world and none of her fantastic qualities have anything to do with the number that pops up when she hops on the scale.

I want to teach her that, and I want to learn that for myself. I want to be healthy, yes, but I also want to finally beat into my skull that I’m beautiful and fat.

So here’s to changes in the New Year, ones that will hopefully stick for good this time.

Fat

On Sunday, I made my first postpartum trip to the gym.

It was also my first trip to the gym in two years.
Yeah, I wish I were kidding. When I embarked on a weight loss journey two years ago after my miscarriage, my goal was to become healthy so I could work out through my pregnancy when I DID get pregnant again.

*THUD*
What was that sound? That was the resounding noise of me falling off the bandwagon. Two years later and you can STILL hear that one.

When I gave birth, I tipped the scales at 208 pounds. I’m 5’3″, ya’ll. I carried my pregnancy weight well, which is a blessing because I was a whale.
6 weeks postpartum, I weighed in at 194 pounds.
As if that isn’t enough to make me want to vomit in my mouth, yesterday at the gym, I weighed in at 198 pounds.

I HAVE GAINED FOUR POUNDS. Baby weight is supposed to come OFF, not go back ON. I finally had to give up the dream that I’d be one of those women whose bodies just go back to normal after giving birth. You’re out there, you know it, and the rest of us hate you for that. OK, so hate is a strong word. Maybe it’s more like “are really jealous and give you the stink eye behind your back”.

Now, in my previous years I would lament at how fat I was. How chunky. How gross. Looking back at it, I was never legitimately fat.
Now? I am legitimately fat. I am a Fat Girl. I wear a size 20 jeans, and I am 5’3″. Any way you look at it, that is Fat with a capital “F”.

And yes, yes. I know that “my body created and housed a miracle for nine months” and “I should be amazed and proud at what my body did” and blah blah blah. The fact still remains: I am Fat, my daughter is now almost 5 months old. The miracle is now on the outside and becoming more and more independent every day and now I’m left with a spare tire, stretch marks, and thighs the size of Andre the Giant.

I have a lot of work to do. Ideally, I’d like to get down to 140 but for now I will settle for 150. I was walking on the treadmill at the gym yesterday and it hit me: I need to lose at least 40 pounds. That is daunting, guys. I understand how to lose weight. I have done it before. But now… It’s actually doing it. It’s not just going to “happen”. I have to work and make it happen.

Part of me wants to say, “Screw it” and just be a Fat Girl.. But I’m so uncomfortable in my own skin. Part of me wants to wait, because I know within two years we will be wanting to get pregnant again.. And I’ll just have to lose that weight all over.

I decided to take this weight loss in small bites, so to speak. Ten pounds at a time. Don’t look at it as “I have 40+ pounds to lose”, look at it as “10 at a time.”

This is gonna suck, ya’ll.
Hard.