Thursday, June 11, 2015

Week 7, 8, and part of 9

I'm behind updating you all on my progress.

The park that I jogged around three days a week for the past two weeks. Gorgeous! 
The pond. This part's pretty gross. And mosquito-y.

I've been so busy with grad school weekly reading and writing assignments, helping with my daughter's 2-week cheer camp, babysitting my nephew, and adjusting to having the kids home all day now that summer started.

This is a park shot after a bike ride.
I've been enamored with the mountains this June. 

My exercise has been consistent, though I still haven't upped my running mileage. I've been running, biking, doing arm and leg exercises, and swimming.

We're only two weeks into summer and we've already hit 4 parks. That view. Seriously, this is the best place on earth. 
Here's my progress:

Weight: same. 181
Waist: 35 (-1.5 in)
Hips: 45.5 (-.5 in)
Thighs: 26.5 (-2 in)
Arms: 12.5 (-1 in)
feeling good. 

I also tried a 2-day juice fast, but at the end of day 2, I felt extremely woosey. So I've cut it down to one juice meal a day.

My new Frasier exercise bicycling game: Sprint for a minute every time Frasier or Niles says something pretentious about wine, theater, art, or coffee.

No doubt this scene broke a pretentious-meter. 

Anyhoo, there it is. Sorry it's belated.
Wish me luck.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Week 6: New Scale, New Benchmark

I'm not really sure what to do with all this mixed data. I've replaced my old scale. It was screwy, off by like 10 lbs.--and, no, not in my favor--and would jump all over the place. Here's a graph of what my defunct scale read over the past three months. Looks like the read out of a heart monitor, huh?
Go home scale, you're drunk.

I weighed myself on my new scale four times this week. And it went from 
and 183. 

And today, this morning, I weighed myself again: 181. 

This is going to be my new benchmark. It's high, I know, but I'm being optimistic. According my new scale I lost 8 pounds this week! Woot! 

Also this seems more accurate compared to the doctor's scale from last week.

My new toy. $25 at DI.
If you're curious about my workouts, about what I've been doing after discovering my injury (runner's knee), I found a tiny stationary bike at a thrift store--just in time, too, as we've had so much rain lately. It looks brand new and there's NOTHING wrong with it. Here, it retailed for $141, and I got it for $25! 

Folded up, it looks like a pink praying mantis. 
It has a teeny screen that displays calories, distance, speed, and time. If I set at the end of my bed, I can also read one of the MANY books I have to tackle before leaving for Vienna, for grad school. 

The day I brought it home, I biked for an hour, burned 286 calories, and covered 11.8 virtual miles. You can see from the pics below (from my second ride) that I've already improved my stats.

 I haven't given up running, but following doctor's orders, I've traded some runs for interval training and I've added 2-3 strength training workouts a week.

Saturday workout: I alternated hiking at a 4.5 incline, 3mph speed for a half mile with running at 6mph for a mile. I burned 700 calories.  

Wednesday: I'm trying to get a mile under ten minutes. So close!
Note: This was after strength training. 

Monday: I can't remember if I did intervals or if I did a warm up and cool down walk before running. It was one of those. 
I've decided that taking weekly measurements will help if I have another scale snafu.

Hips (around the largest part of them): 46"
Arms: 13.5"
Thigh: 28.5"
Waist (around the belly-button): 36.5"
Dress size: 10 - 12 depending on the cut and brand.

Food wise, this week I've had a lot of quinoa and brown rice, oatmeal, eggs, and almonds because I read here that some foods act as natural appetite suppressants. I can tell a difference. I'm keeping my calories around 1350, and the last time I checked, if I keep it up, myfitnesspal says I'll weigh, "165.9 lbs." by the time I catch my flight to Austria.

That would be fine with me. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015


I'm calling a mulligan.
Week 5 was rubbish.

Just a taste of my crappy-diet week 

The run down:


After a full day of teaching, I hopped on tready.  My knee ached so much that I crapped out after a mile. Even with the brace on it hurt so much. I walked two more miles, but did not feel worked out. That afternoon, I got a chiropractic alignment that made breathing a wee bit more comfortable. Think, "ahhhh", versus the previous sound I emitted, "wheeze", which is only good if I'm saying the first syllable of the best band in the world (Weezer).


I made an appointment with the doctor to get my knee checked out. Let it be noted that we are a one car family. I had to bicycle almost two miles to my appointment, where the nurse found my blood pressure a point too high (which can only be a result of the ridiculous number that popped up on her scale: 182! WTW?! I blame the fact that it was midday and I was fully clothed. And that scale sucked and its screen was smudge-y and I never liked it anyway.)

To top off my trip, the doctor diagnosed me with Runner's Knee.

DOC: You see, it's common in people with wider hips--


DOC: No really, women's legs don't aim straight down, they curve in at the knee which often causes the knee cap to slide around and rub uncomfortably. ... You look confused.

ME: My knee cap slides around? Like loose change in my leg-purse?

DOC: Um...not exactly.

ME: What's the treatment? A new titanium one? Is this the first step to becoming a Robowriter? Oooh. Is there an adamantium option?

DOC: You have to stay off of it...but I can see by your face that you don't want to do that. So you should pay attention to your body, do leg strengthening exercises and swap out running for cross-training when necessary. Bicycling is especially good, because it strengthens your quads and that will protect your knee from further injury.

ME: [deflated] Okay.

Yeah, so let-down of the year. I biked back home.


Work. And a pinterest leg workout. Then, I took my daughter to a church activity, but I didn't eat anything. Not the brownie, not the jello salad. Not the chicken salad on a crescent roll. I didn't even eat the fruit. Not because of my ironclad will, but because I was full from my dinner before the activity--two chocolate-glazed donuts. Ugh. If you're new to my blog, then you might not know that I am the worst stress-eater. You also might not know that I am hella stressed all the time. What with teaching, grad school, writing, querying my memoir, being a mom and wife, conferences, CUWP responsibilities, church callings, etc. etc. etc.


This was the first day of a three-day, intense writing conference. It was brilliant. I learned so much, got some great feedback on my writing, and encouragement to keep querying my manuscript. My mentor writer loved--LOVED--my memoir and I pretty much broke down in tears, because I was thrilled to hear it. I didn't eat junk on this day, and I ran 3-miles before the workshop.


Awesome day. Long day. Like 16-hour long day. I crammed in the classes, intensives, and writer mixer, and sustained myself on adrenaline (sparked by my love for writing and writers) and conference meals: taco salad for lunch and pork chops for dinner. Not to mention the 1.5 servings of tiramasu that I gorged on to keep from biting my nails off. STRESS, people. I have it. I'm the embodied PSA for it.

Storymakers kicked butt this year. 


Shorter day, but not by much. I ate better during breakfast and lunch AND (or BUT depending on your POV) after another stretch of classes, I came home, ate Papa John's, and ran 4 miles, walked one. Since I started widening my gait, my knee hasn't bothered me as much, so I'm kinda glad the doc gave me the info about my "curvy, ultra-sexy, there's-nothing-wrong-with-your-proportions, you-might-as-well-be-Marilyn-baby!" hips. His words.

Also, on Saturday, I finally bought a new scale. (Remember, mine was acting all indecisive.) I stood on it at the end of the day, at the end of my 3-day conference and stressmageddon, at the end of a week of PMS cravings and a sports injury diagnosis.  I mounted the thing then I threw it in the trash.

Screw that scale.

This week doesn't count. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015


I think my scale's busted. Yesterday, it was needled all over the place. It went from 180 to 185 to 174 to 183 each time I stepped on it--consecutively! Weird, right? So I'm going to pick up another one tomorrow. That said, I'm not sure I can even celebrate today's weigh-in, because I'm still wary of the scale's indecisiveness. 
Someone thinks MY pillow is HIS pillow.
"Give us a kiss." 

The scale says that I lost 5 pounds this week. Phew. I'm almost back to where I was before the last weigh-in. 

CURRENT WEIGHT (week 4): 175 (-5) 
Some of the uplifting notes on myfitnesspal. 
How cool would that be? Doesn't seem that healthy though.

Working out was tough this week. I did 4, 4, 4.5, and 3.5 miles. My body took a serious beating after my 4.5 run on Friday morning, which I did outdoors, and when it came time to do my Saturday run I slumped. It was raining, so a tready day, and I ran a mile and couldn't do any more. My muscles were so sore from the day before that every move ached. I ended up walking the rest of the way (2.5 mi). 

My knee is causing me more problems, too, and I think I might need to a) see a doctor and b) give myself more time between runs to heal. Both kind of make me feel like a failure on my journey to run a 1/2 marathon. Grrr. 

This week I'm supposed to do 5, 5, 6, 2-3 miles. I honestly don't know what's going to happen, but there will be a doctor's appointment in there and I have a 3 day conference that might interfere with the schedule. 

Wish me luck. 
Mother and daughter feet.
Oh, and diet's going good. Today I didn't do great, because I had some ice cream for mother's day/my anniversary. 

This is doable, I think. A healthy number. 

13 years. Fist bump.
I have 3 weeks left of school. I wonder if I can get under 170 by then...
We'll see. 

High five everyone. 
Feeling good. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Week 4: Mid-week Progress, The Blunder Years

I'm still embarrassed about how poorly I did last week, so during week 4 I'm paying extra attention to caloric intake in hopes to remedy the SIX pound--yes, folks, you heard right--SIX pound weight gain from week 3.  I've tried to take screen shots of my calories and projected progress according to myfitnesspal as well as my runs on tready and outdoors. 
This is a typical day this week. Though, I usually go over a little on running days. 
I don't find these terribly accurate, but it's still motivating. 
I haven't stepped on the scale at all this week. Frankly, I'm a little nervous. 

This would be ideal! 

 I did not have birthday cake on my birthday. I skipped it. It took enormous effort, but I felt empowered at the end of the day for exercising will power on the one day out of the year that I usually reward myself with a slice of carrot cake from The Trolley.

One of my 4-milers this week. 

Time is okay. 

The view from my five-miler this morning. I accidentally only did 4.5. I'll make it up tomorrow. 
My right knee has been giving me trouble. So I've been running with a brace. I also started leg exercises to strengthen it while I run. It was a tough run. Time was 55 min. Yikes. 

That view. So distracting. It's a good day to be alive. 

Monday, May 4, 2015


It didn't go well, last week. I don't even know quite what happened. I had some stress--two deadlines--but not THAT much stress. I ate some naughty foods--my friend D. took me out for an early birthday dinner at Macaroni Grill and though I ate a loaf of rosemary bread all on my own, I only had half of my entree and half of the dessert, and before that all I ate was cucumber salad. And then I fasted on Sunday! My inner tube is shrinking, and my rear is tightening up, but the number on the scale yesterday was NOT KIND.

But, before I reveal the number, here are some of my outdoor runs. (Tready runs not pictured.)

Notes: On today's, I had to come home to make sure the kids were getting ready for school and then I finished the last 1/2 mile on tready. You might also notice that on 4/30 - it says that I only did 2.85 miles, but it's because I forgot to turn on my mobile data. 

See, this is the path I ran, but it shows that I started it two blocks from where I REALLY started. 

This is what it should look like. Start and end in the same place. 

I tracked my walk through Wal-Mart as I did my grocery shopping. I always wanted to know the distance it takes to get all the stuff I need. 

Strawberry, cucumber salad with poppyseed dressing and feta. (Just a recipe I found on Pinterest)

So here it is. The embarrassing results of this week (and on my birthday week too. [sad face]):

START: 178
WEEK 1: 175 (-3)
WEEK 2: 174 (-1)
WEEK 3: 180! (+6) 

HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?! I'VE BEEN RUNNING SO DANG MUCH!!! I mean, I know that you can gain muscle, but 6 lbs of muscle in a week?! Doubtful. What HAPPENED?!

My body hates me, that's what happened.


Ok, I know it's not that, but I had to figure it out, so I did a little research. This website helped. 

Here are a few possibilities for my gain.
I gained weight due to:
1. inflammation (retaining water)
2. an increase in muscle
3. I didn't follow my diet carefully enough
4. the stress on my body made me more stressed and I ate more.

Advice to handle it?
1. eat fewer calories
2. be patient
Paleo stuffed peppers. I made it with spicy turkey sausage. 

Running as much as I am (I'm up to 16 miles a week now) does increase the appetite, so I'll need to keep a tighter leash on my caloric intake and cut out the crap (sweets and snack foods), which I've already made GREAT efforts to do. Hopefully that will help. Because I need the help. I'm going to start taking screen-shots of myfitnesspal too, just to make me that much more accountable.

I'm leaving for Vienna in two months, and I really want to lose 10 - 15 lbs before then, I was on a pretty great streak, until WEEK 3.

Sigh. I guess I'll skip the cake tomorrow. Instead, I'll stick a candle in a broccoli floret.

De-stressing in my backyard and listening to The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig
Wish me luck. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Week 2: Weigh-in and VOMITMANIA

My motivation to exercise on Saturday dissolved at around 4:30 in the morning.  I woke up, balled up at the end of my son's bed, to his whimpering sobs. I sat up and rubbed his back as he dry heaved over a pot. (I'd camped out in his room after his last vomit-sesh, the third one in five hours, and had been too exhausted to return to my bed.) He wiped his mouth, and choked out, "I just want to go to bed!" He didn't realize that he'd slept intermittently. 

"I know honey." 

I helped him wipe his mouth and tucked him back in bed. His forehead was warm, but not scorching, thank goodness, because I was quite certain he would throw-up the chewable Tylenols. I rinsed out the pot, moist with mucus-bile, and returned it to side of his bed. After his second up-chucking, I had switched out his quilt, sullied when he didn't make it to the pot quickly enough. Even with the quilt gone, the rancid scent of illness lingered. I found an gel air freshener, raspberry, under the bathroom sink, cracked the seal, and set it on his nightstand. 

I dragged myself back to bed and passed out. 

In the morning, I was overwhelmed with gratitude that I'd woken naturally, and that I had been asleep for four straight hours. Woo hoo! I checked on Vin, careful not to wake him. He was sleeping like an angel. All was well. I let the dog out and saw that Rick had went out before work and picked up Sprite and saltines. Best man ever.

On the way back to my room, I passed the treadmill and thought, "I'll see you later. Much later." I crawled back into bed. Even if it was only for a little while. 

After lunch, I started to smell ripe. Like somehow the puke effluvia had seeped into my hair. Shower-time! I enlisted my 10yo daughter to keep an eye on Vin while I cleaned up. I was on my second rinse when Lane rapped on the door. 



"I just threw up." 

"Oh geez. Where?" 

"The bathroom downstairs." 

"Are you okay?" 

"Yes, but some of it got on the floor." 

I sent her off to bed, finished showering, and went down to assess the damage. Most of it did land in the bowl, but some, a watered-down cottage cheese substance, had splooshed down the seat and onto the linoleum. I mopped it up with one hand pinching my nose. 

Then, an hour later, Lane woke up from a nap and, for some reason, was compelled to go downstairs. Half way down, she grew dizzy and retched. It cascaded down three steps and soaked into the carpet. I scrubbed it with carpet cleaner and a towel, and I announced to the world: DAY OVER! 

I went back to bed. Okay, I made Vin chicken noodle soup first, but THEN I went to bed. Okay, first I did the dishes and wrote 2,000 words on my second memoir, but THEN I reeeeeaaaaaallly went back to bed...and read a novel for grad school

The last thing I wanted in the world was to jog. In fact I was willfully fighting my own commitment to run. I'm too tired. I might be getting sick too. No one would blame me for taking a day off from my training schedule, I told myself. And I won the argument, until 7:30pm, when I suddenly had to run. Nothing else in the world would make me happier. (Except for healthy babies.)

I hopped on the tready and jogged for three miles like it was no big deal. My pace wasn't great and, despite the terrible night's sleep and vomitmania, it was the easiest run in two weeks. Something clicked. It's supposed to take 21 days to develop a habit, but maybe I did it in 14? Anyway it felt great. 

And the best news is that the kids are both keeping down food and their fevers are subsiding. Vin is still complaining of a tummy ache, so he might need a doctor's visit, but they both look much healthier. 

So here's the weigh-in: 

Last week: 175 
Today: 174
I lost a pound. Considering my week and weekend, I'll take it. 

Love you guys! 
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