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WTF Before pictures plus my villain...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Okay, I want to preface this show of pictures by saying that it really took a lot to have my husband take these pictures. One, because I felt SO naked, and I do such a good job of hiding my body....and because I feel skinnier than I look. My inside does NOT match my outside.... But, hey...there's a point to posting before pictures. I just wish I had done this at 280 rather than at 169!

So, here goes:

Just for fun...

Now you can see just how much damage by weighing so much and then gaining so much during pregnancy did to my stomach!!! Not gonna lie, I'm cringing right now.

Okay, so who is my villain? Here she is:

Ursula...When I look in the mirror, she looks back at me and says "You won't succeed. You will fail. You'll gain all the weight back. You'll never be beautiful, you'll never be happy! You NEED all that yummy food. You want to eat until your heart is content. Forget the tears of shame and pain. YOU NEED ME."

Yes, I know I am using the villain here loosely and putting my own spin on her, but my biggest villain is myself. My own critical, negative, put down-y self. I have proven to you and myself that I am definitely my own worst critic, and I have the tendency to put myself down when I really shouldn't be, as if I am setting myself up to fail rather than achieve my dreams.

Right here is a picture of my motivation:

Kaylee is the light of my life, and I would do anything for her. Anything. This journey? Started because I knew I wanted to live past 50 to see her grow up, get her license, go to prom/homecoming, graduate, go to college, graduate, get married, have children...maybe not all in that order. You get the idea ;o}

And I want her to be healthy. I want HER to live a long, happy, healthy, meaningful life, and I want to be a role model for her.

So, that all being said, this WTF challenge (along with the 10 pounds lost by 10/10/10 and the Periwinkle Biggest Loser challenges):

emoticon I will reach my goal weight of 155 pounds.

emoticon I can run my first half marathon!

emoticon I will register for my first full marathon in May 2011!!

emoticon I will look in the mirror and see me, beautiful happy me...

emoticon I will live my life the way it is supposed to be lived, truly enjoying and embracing every moment.

emoticon I will be there for those around me, my friends, family, and you!

emoticon I will maybe lose a few battles, but I will win the war!! I will not lay down and die in this journey.

Now, off to do my crunches before bedtime!

Love you all!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Simply put, YOU are amazing!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MISSCOFFEY 9/17/2010 9:54PM

    You will reach your goal!!!

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RLHOTAN 9/17/2010 8:45PM

    You are in a great place! We are all so proud of you, all you have accomplished and all you still have planned. emoticon

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TUBJUMPER 9/17/2010 7:26PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARLIMOO 9/17/2010 7:23PM

    Girl - I have the same issue with my stomach. TRYING my damndest not to think I have to resort to help. I have the pouch from my 2 c - sections. You are so ballsy- taking these photos- holding yourself accountable. You rock and you WILL do this. You have ALL the support and then some from everyone. ROCK ON and Kick URSULA's ARSE sistah. I have to take my befores again and will make sure I get All to show the story. I know you will make all those goals as well.

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RUNNINGOLLIE 9/17/2010 5:18PM

    Great job so far!!!!! emoticon emoticon

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EVRLNGFOO 9/17/2010 5:14PM

    don't listen to that villian!

i'm right there with you on the whole "because I feel skinnier than I look. My inside does NOT match my outside". i feel the exact same way!

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RAVENSONG37 9/17/2010 5:04PM

    Great job Erin! I think you look fabulous. I totally identify with the insides not matching the outsides. Cheers to your awesome journey.

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POOHLA711 9/17/2010 3:29PM

    It was hard for me to take my before pics as well. I applaud you for doing it! And I agree with BRIAL... Your arms and legs look awesome!

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SUNNY2010 9/17/2010 2:19PM

    Erin, what a great mom you are! Once again you gave me tears when I was reading the part about your daughter's future event and you being a role model. I was relating to it. What a nice and eloquent way you put it into words!
And thank you for sharing your photos! You have come so far!!!!!!

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LEAG0628 9/17/2010 11:53AM

    I think the pictures are great. I hope to have enough balls to do the same some day. Not quite there yet.

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DELPHYNE 9/17/2010 10:39AM

    You are awesome! Keep it up!


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NITELITE72 9/17/2010 9:45AM

    You have come so proud!! I know those pictures were hard for you to post, but just think how great it will feel when you compare them to the pictures at the end. You are strong and you will reach your goals!! emoticon

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ILIKECACTI 9/17/2010 7:23AM

    Truly incredible! I'm my own worst enemy too... and your accomplishments help me see that I can conquer too :)

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POOKAQUEEN 9/17/2010 7:21AM

    Great motivation! You are doing so well, you can keep it going!
And wow, that's a lot of challenges at once!

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POOKAQUEEN 9/17/2010 7:21AM

    Great motivation! You are doing so well, you can keep it going!
And wow, that's a lot of challenges at once!

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RED_WRITINGHOOD 9/17/2010 7:20AM

    You are doing a fabulous job and you are in inspiration. Just kick that villain to the curb and become your biggest fan!!

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BRIAEL 9/17/2010 7:12AM

    Perspective is a very personal thing. You look in the mirror and you see the "problem" parts. I look at you and think "holy cow, she has incredible arms and legs and I'd kill for those".

I was reading a Tom Venuto article (you know, the dude from Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle) about how loose skin can be firmed up by choosing the right fuel and the right exercise. Apparently, it's tied to how the cells shed fat and the tiny fat layer that stops it from shrinking back. If it bothers you, I'd certainly recommend checking out his website for more information, as you seem like one very committed and successful lady.

Huge congrats on your awesome achievement, I don't have a single doubt that you'll do whatever you put your mind to! and Hurrah for your bravery in posting the photos. That's a real mental milestone, right there! :)

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-SHIMMER-ANN- 9/17/2010 6:11AM

    You are incredible!!! I'm so proud of you for posting these :) I love that your goal weight is so healthy, kudos to you!! If you don't end up with the tummy you want, have you considered a tummy tuck? I've seen some awesome results :) I think you look fabulous, and I'd kill for your BUTT!!!

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FLYINGB16 9/17/2010 5:43AM

    You are awesome & BRAVE! I see a strong woman with a strong body. Sure you have extra skin but it will tighten up some. I was told by my doctor that it will continue to improve for up to two years once I am at my goal weight. Our tummies are actually twins! Running is going to continue to help you reach all of your goals. You are Beautiful!

I LOVE your goal list!

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-POOKIE- 9/17/2010 4:23AM

    You are a star for sharing those pictures. And your motivation is adorable and the goals to see her achieve are wonderful goals.


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IRISH_AGUIRRE 9/17/2010 12:29AM


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HHI0901 9/16/2010 11:33PM

    Awesome attitude. You are so brave for posting these pictures - but you have come soooo far and you will look great when you're at your goal!

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MAMADWARF 9/16/2010 11:24PM

    Kick her face in!!!
You have come sooo far and your daughter? Not much cuter than that!!!

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MADEMCHE 9/16/2010 11:17PM

    You look amazing! So proud of you!

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SWEETNEENI 9/16/2010 10:58PM

    Never mind Ursula - just look at your success so far! You are just gonna kill it!

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JUST_SIMONE 9/16/2010 10:34PM

    I agree! You have so much drive, that villain has no chance!

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MADDEELOU 9/16/2010 10:32PM

    I know you will do it! Your motivation is so much stronger than your villain.

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I hate days off...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I know some of you feel this way! This morning, I did wake up at 4:15 to go on my 7-mile run, but as I came out of the bathroom, I remembered that tomorrow I am running in an 8K race. A lot of my fellow gym-goers and also people from the running group I attend are also racing, so I know that I will be pushing myself and will be walking minimally (only at drink stations I am hoping).

Because of that, and also because I also realized that I haven't taken a day off since Sunday and won't be taking another day off until sometime next week (probably Thursday), that I better put that 7-mile run on hold and take a day off.

Ugh, but I HATE DAYS OFF! I went into my fitness tracker this morning, and I added my usual 2 miles that I walk with my dog on my breaks, but that is all I could add...I love the feeling of accomplishing my runs or my other workouts and the mileage.

I know my muscles, and especially my legs, need to recover and they need the rest, but I sure am not going to like it! Okay, I did like the extra 2-1/2 hours of sleep. I liked that a lot. But right now? Nuh-uh. I am thinking of the fact that I really have to watch my intake today because of the lesser calories burned.

Moving on....I had my daughter until 10 a.m. today as my daycare lady needed to go to the chiropractor. So, ended up going to the grocery store I used to work at (and my husband still works at). I never go in the daytime, always in the evening, so I ran into a few people I used to work with. Amongst the hugs, I got a lot of comments, such as "Look at YOU, skinny!" and "How in the world did you get so skinny?!" and "What pills have you been taking, and where can I get them???" Hehe, the last one was said with humor, so I wasn't offended ;o}

It was certainly fun but disconcerting to have so much attention paid to me. I am really not used to it. The last time I went in to that store at that time of day, I had barely a hello, but of course my daughter got lots of attention (and she loves it!!). She still got a lot of attention today, as she is my princess and acts like one, but it was weird to have 50-50 split attention between us rather than 95-5. I will have to get used to it! I really am not complaining, I just feel awkward when I get attention of any kind!

So, planning on going to the French Fry Feed after work with my mom and daughter (my mom really wants to go). I am planning on NOT having the french fries, but will eat some fruit before going. I am planning on making chicken and mashed potatoes with veggies for supper.

Tomorrow is the Potato Bowl 8K, like I mentioned above, and I am excited as it is my first race above the 5K mark! I was supposed to do a 10K last month, but I was injured and so had to back out.

The day after tomorrow is the Potato Bowl Parade, which is a pretty darned big parade, and I am going to be on or next to the Weight Watchers float ;o} I am looking forward to it! I hope I am walking next to it as that will be good for steps, and will warm me up to the 8-mile run I have to do later that day! But I would be smarter to run that 8 miles BEFORE the Potato Bowl so I can't talk myself out of it later ;o}

Until later, Friends!

ETA: I would like to finish the 8K under 1 hour, and I would be SERIOUSLY happy with 50 minutes or less.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILIKECACTI 9/17/2010 7:17AM

    Good luck!!!

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MADDEELOU 9/16/2010 10:34PM

    Good luck with your race. Have fun!

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IRISH_AGUIRRE 9/16/2010 4:12PM

  Good luck on your race! Looking forward to reading your recap of the events.

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CLITTL5 9/16/2010 3:58PM

  Wow, you have an incredible story and it inspires me. Good luck on the 8k and having good weather for it too. Do you have a time you'd like to finish with or under?

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-POOKIE- 9/16/2010 3:52PM

    emoticon eee exciting! Good luck for tomorrow!

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HALLORAN84 9/16/2010 2:02PM

    Good luck on your run and I can't wait to hear how everything goes! Take lots of pics...I've never seen a potato parade bowl before :)

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CECE0330 9/16/2010 1:31PM

    GOOD LUCK with your race! I hate days off, too, but your body will thank you for it later! (and good luck avoiding those fries!) emoticon emoticon

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LOSING107 9/16/2010 1:20PM

    Rest is just as important as being active! (I'm saying this b/c I need the reminder too) =))

I don't know if you have a time goal for the 8k, but hope you do well!

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JMEPAYNE 9/16/2010 1:19PM

    just take it easy today... your body will thank you. you can keep active without having a calorie torching workout.

good luck on your 8k!

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What I do when I don't get up to go to the gym....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oh, I was more than a bit miffed at myself when I glanced at the alarm clock next to my husband and it says....6:30!!!

My alarm is on my phone, and I have it go off at 5:10 a.m. so I have enough time to snooze once, then get ready, eat a banana, and head off to the gym for my 5:40 spin class.

Apparently, the previous morning I had turned it off because it was my day off from the gym (I was planning on running 3-4 miles last evening with the running group).

Well, forgot to turn that bugger back on! I hate that! I signed up for 6 weeks of Monday and Wednesday spin, and just feel accountable for it.

So, I fell back asleep (may as well; daughter wakes up at 6:45 anyway). Got up at that time with her, she ate breakfast, as did I (Lucky Charms, yum yum), and after I brought her to daycare I went to work! I was feeling motivated to do SOMETHING, and since I knew my husband was working 8 a.m. until midnight (high school teacher and then working at the local grocery store) I knew that anything after 5 p.m. was off limits for working out since I had to watch my daughter.

So, I decided to do my 4-mile fartlek on my lunch hour at the gym on the "dreadmill." For any who don't know what that is, according to my half marathon training, it has me doing this:
1. Warm up brisk walk for 5 minutes.
2. Hard run for 1 to 1.5 miles at 8 to 10 mph (I stuck around 9 mph).
3. Brisk walk for 5 minutes.
4. Easy run (6 mph) with sprints of 1/8 mile each mixed in for however many miles you want (I did 1.5 miles of this).
5. Hill running at incline at 6.0 mph (UFFDA) for 1/2 mile.
6. Easy run until 4 miles total reached.
7. Cool down walk and stretch.

OMG. I didn't realize just how hard that would be until I started the hard run of 9 mph. Holy moly. My shins are just dead now! I have been battling shin splints for a couple of weeks....

I did run the full 4 miles for a total of 4.10 miles at 39 minutes. I was surprised I did this well given how much walking I was doing, though I sure needed those walks!

So, back home for a quickie shower and back to work. Walked the dog on my breaks for a total of 2 miles. Spent the evening with my precious little girl, went grocery shopping, then went to Target and bought a new pair of yoga-style pants to wear running outside now that it is about 45-50 degrees at 4:30 in the morning!

Put daughter down at 8:20, then started my strength training that I had missed this morning in class. That ended up taking me 40 minutes as I added in some extras (I did rows, chest press, flies, push-ups, supermans, a gazillion different type of crunches, ovals, arnolds, bicep curls, etc.etc.). I am now pooped, and need to get to bed!

My plans for the morning are to get up at 4:15 and be out the door by 4:30, for a total of 7 miles to run. I don't have an MP3 player (it was lost/stolen at my last 5K), but I ordered a new one on Amazon for cheaper than if I got it at Target. It's okay, though....I hope to just be able to focus and push through it. I will have my handy-dandy pepper spray on along with my CamelBak hydration system. I should be set to go! I just hope my shin splints don't KILL me. I plan on an out and back, as that will really be what gets me finishing up 7 miles. I just can't do the dreadmill again...not only is it SO boring, and I feel like I am going nowhere, but also I should be training outside!

Until tomorrow, fellow Sparkies!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DELPHYNE 9/16/2010 10:32AM

    Wow! That's impressive! Which training program are you following?

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LEAG0628 9/16/2010 9:33AM

    OMG that's insane! If I ran at 9 mph the damn thing would spin me right off! LOL Good for you!!

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POOKAQUEEN 9/16/2010 7:52AM

    Wow! That's a heck of a run!
Good job getting a good workout in, despite the set back!

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-POOKIE- 9/16/2010 5:05AM

    wow, busy busy lady!

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MADDEELOU 9/15/2010 10:44PM

    Wow! I am impressed. Your "easy" runs would kill me. I am definitely the turtle. emoticon

Have a great run!

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MADDEELOU 9/15/2010 10:44PM

    Wow! I am impressed. Your "easy" runs would kill me. I am definitely the turtle. emoticon

Have a great run!

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

While I was walking my dog just a bit ago, I was thinking about things...about how I am feeling now and things I am observing at a near-normal weight compared to when I was in the class III obesity range:

~ My jeans are actually lasting a lot longer than they usually do as my thighs are no longer rubbing together.

~ Shopping is SO much more enjoyable now, and easier to do...I no longer have to search for the plus-size section in the store, if there was any, and no longer have to leave the mall near or in tears.

~ Sitting in a smaller seat (i.e. airplane seat, theater seat, etc.)? No problem.

~ At the Renaissance Festival this year, I saw a catapult thing where you are strapped in a harness and jump super high in the air and do flips. Normally, I would be walking right by...but this time I stopped. The sign said "Highest weight allowed 180 pounds." In the past, I would have been enraged, or ashamed, or both. This time? I could have done it! I didn't....but I had the opportunity.

~ When I look in the mirror, I can look below my neck and not cringe ;o}

~ I sleep much better now...When I was about 280, parts of my body (mainly legs and arms) would go numb when lying on my side. When lying on my back, I couldn't breathe right. Forget lying on my stomach.

~ I remember at the gym, when I was about 240, I saw this woman running on the treadmill. I was envious...I was even more envious when after my 30-minute workout on the elliptical machine, she was STILL running. I couldn't IMAGINE running for that period of time. Now? I CAN.

~ I remember watching Tara of the Biggest Loser finish a marathon. I remember Michael of this last season's Biggest Loser finish a marathon. That is what started me thinking..."why can't I?" And I will. I know I can.

~ I see veins in my hands. Who knew? Turns out I wasn't a "hard stick"....just a "fat stick".

~ Thinking of wearing a swimsuit no longer gives me heart palpitations.

~ Thinking of dressing up for Halloween doesn't have me rolling my eyes.

~ I no longer worry if the chair I am sitting on will crack in half.

~ I no longer worry I am crushing my husband if I jump on him (hey...get your mind out of the gutters...I am talking about playfully wrestling!! ;o}).

~ Dresses are now a YAY!!! Instead of a NAYYYYYYYYYY.

~ Heels? They actually make my legs look good now rather than highlighting how big they were. I have CALVES! (thank you, running).

I am sure I can think of TONS more, but I have to get back to work at SOME point ;o}


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY2010 9/16/2010 12:33AM

    What a great blog to reflect on the changes!!!!
And I hope with so much work-out that you do you still find time to "wrestle" with your hubby. emoticon

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WILD22 9/15/2010 9:17PM

    I can relate to so many of your before and after list!! Reading how well you are doing and how far you have come helps me believe in myself that much more. Thank you for reminding about all the good things we now have going for ourselves!! emoticon emoticon

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HHI0901 9/15/2010 9:15PM

    So awesome!! I agree with the "hard stick" one - they still have some trouble because of my tiny veins but not nearly as much!

Great list ;)

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IRISH_AGUIRRE 9/15/2010 6:37PM

  Fabulous!!! I love the positive energy of this blog. Way to go!

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    LOVED YOUR BLOG emoticon

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POOKAQUEEN 9/15/2010 3:05PM

Good job! What a great list, you are a great inspiration!

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ELLABELLE66 9/15/2010 2:21PM

    Awww I LOVE LOVE LOVE this blog! You have really come such a far ways :-D


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DIXIECHIC60 9/15/2010 2:13PM

    Congrats to you!! What an inspiration you are! Thanks for posting and thanks for some of those terrible reminders that are now in our past!!


emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SROUS1340 9/15/2010 2:03PM

    You Rock Erin!!!

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RUNSWITHDEER 9/15/2010 1:56PM

    Wow, you've come a long way! Transformed into a butterfly!
I loved your comment about "wrestling." lol
Happy trails to you.

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RUNNER4LIFE08 9/15/2010 1:55PM

    Great list!!! You deserve major kudos!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TERRIJWALL224 9/15/2010 1:47PM

    I love happening opon blogs such as this. It keeps me inspired as I struggle to lose this weight and feel like it is taking forever.
I am so happy for you in all you have accomplished thus far. I can't wait to look back on my progress with similar observations.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEGS4148 9/15/2010 1:30PM

    You definitely deserve to do all those things now! Your hard work is definitely paying off.

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MDEAL72 9/15/2010 1:19PM

    What an amazing blog! You are such a wonderful example of why the hard work we are putting into having better lives is totally worth it. You rock!

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-POOKIE- 9/15/2010 1:14PM

    I loved all these observations in myself as well, its amazing the 'little' things you notice along the way

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BLEIGH711 9/15/2010 1:11PM

    You should be so proud. In fact this brought tears to my eyes. I can't wait til I can honestly agree with everything you said. You just re-lit my fire. Thank you!

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KEEPGOING87 9/15/2010 1:01PM

    aWWWWWWWWWWWWWW YAYYY! great accomplishments! you should be proud!

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~*~ WTF??? Entry Card- Template for 9/15-9/19 ~*~

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

~*~ WTF??? Entry Card- Template for 9/15-9/19 ~*~

NOTE: I will be adding the rest of my measurements and also today's pictures of me this evening***


Starting Weight: 173
Starting Measurements:
Measure your Waist - ***will measure later with better tape measure***
Measure your Hips - ***ditto***
Measure your Thigh - 22.5
Measure your Calf - 16
Measure your Upper Arm - 12.5
Measure your Boobies - 38
Current BMI: 27.1

emoticon During this challenge, I have a general goal of getting into a size 8 pair of jeans, losing inches in my waist/belly area, and reaching my goal weight of 155.

emoticon emoticon My biggest challenge will undoubtedly be balancing working out and eating. The more I work out, the worse I am tending to eat.

emoticon My nutrition goals for the next 10 weeks will be focused on working on portion control, eating more fruits and veggies, chicken/fish, and less red meat and sugars. Keeping my calorie range between 1200 and 1555 with as few days as possible going under or over.

emoticon emoticon My cardio goals for the next 10 weeks will be focused on endurance and speed while running, pushing harder while spinning, increasing intensity on the elliptical.

emoticon My strength training goals for the next 10 weeks will be focused on overall core strength, which is still my weakest area of my body.

emoticon My rest and flexibility goals for the next 10 weeks will be focused on taking 1-2 days off consistently from running/ST/gym, but not more than that. Definitely work on stretching my calves properly as well as my quads!


Between now and 9/19, I am going to run today with the runners group, run an 8K on Friday, and do my long run on Saturday or Sunday. Yesterday I did my ST session, and will do so again tomorrow and Friday. I will spin tomorrow, as I did yesterday. I will take either Saturday or Sunday off.

Between now and 9/19, I am not going to eat mindlessly. I WILL BE AWARE AND TRACK EVERY BITE, LICK, AND TASTE!

These 3 excuses will be unusable for the duration of this template:
emoticon I DON'T WANT TO GET UP.
emoticon I'M TIRED.
emoticon I'M TOO BUSY!


You can motivate me by reminding me of my first half marathon coming up, and my 30th birthday coming all too soon in November! Also, I like Yoovie's answer about telling me about how YOU are kicking butt. I love reading about other Sparkie's accomplishments and motivation.


This week, take the time to do one of the following just for yourself.

A. complete a fun project
B. start a fun project
C. brainstorm ideas for something you can do just for yourself over the winter, something that will take a semi-long time to complete. - Like make your own new bag, or put together a family photo album, or redecorate a room, or start a journal, or make a quilt, etc
D. Make a list of things you loved as a child but have not done or participated in for a very long time. See which ones you can incorporate into your grownup life.
E. Volunteer.

Practice setting time aside for yourself, either every day or once a week, and allow yourself to be selfish for a little while, and recharge, so you can better handle the rest of your life and be better for your family or job and friends.

I am SO ready to rock this challenge (which will benefit my other challenges I am participating in!!) Let's do this together!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY2010 9/14/2010 11:35PM

    Nice plan, Erin!!! Can't wait to hear about your progress!

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TUBJUMPER 9/14/2010 10:01PM

    Good Luck!!!!

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RLHOTAN 9/14/2010 8:41PM

    Lookin' good! Keep up the great work!

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ILIKECACTI 9/14/2010 8:25PM

    Looks great! can't wait to hear how it goes!!

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BUTTERFLYBLUE67 9/14/2010 5:51PM

    Good luck on your challenge. Looks like you have a very good plan.

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ELLABELLE66 9/14/2010 3:49PM

    I've decided to do this one too! Can't wait to do it with you

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