Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I'm taking part in YOOVIE's WTF??? Challenge (a/k/a "What the Fall???). She's making this challenge open to everyone, which is totes awesome. You have no idea how jealous I was of all you Tiki girls! For the original template, please see YOOVIE's blog post here:
For the excellent background info- including rules of the challenge, see her blog post here:
The challenge runs 9/15-11/30, so it's a great way to lead up to the end of the year and get the habits necessary to fend off the holiday embiggening.
I strongly encourage you to use her original template, because mine is probably not as easy to read. I ramble. And I removed some of the background info, which you really might want to have. Plus, I'm "allergic" to all caps.
~*~ WTF??? Entry Card- Template for 9/15-9/19 ~*~
Starting Weight: 202
Measure your Waist - 40
Measure your Hips - 44
Measure your Thigh - 23.5
Measure your Upper Arm - 12.5
Measure your Boobies - 38.5 (D)
Current BMI: 30.7
During this challenge, I have a general goal of: getting so far below 200 pounds that I never see 2xx on the scale again, even if I fluctuate a little.
My biggest challenge will undoubtedly be: stress, lack of sleep, poor time management.
My nutrition goals for the next 10 weeks will be focused on: sticking to my calorie range 6-7 days per week, being honest about my calorie intake, enjoying what I eat within those boundaries. Eat five Honeycrisp apples a week. (I love them so much I had to include them in the challenge!)
My cardio goals for the next 10 weeks will be focused on: improving my pace, building miles, cross-training on non-running days.
My strength training goals for the next 10 weeks will be focused on: getting regular strength training, trimming down my wee "bingo wings," working on push-ups.
My rest and flexibility goals for the next 10 weeks will be focused on: getting at least 6-7 hours of sleep per night, shifting my day forward by 1-2 hours, always leaving work on time (even if "on time" moves up an hour).
PART ONE - DIET & EXERCISE
Between now and 9/19, I am going to: run on Thursday (half hour) and Saturday (5.5 miles).
Between now and 9/19, I am not going to: leave work after 5:15, go to sleep after 11:00, skip any prep duty that might interfere with sticking with my goals the next day (i.e., always prepare coffee maker, always prepare my lunch, always pack my gym bag). Eat any fast food.
These 3 excuses will be unusable for the duration of this template:
I'm too tired.
I don't have time.
There's something good on TV.
***BONUS CHALLENGE- ADD UP HOW MANY CALORIES YOU *DRINK* THIS WEEK! (NON ALCOHOLIC AND ALCOHOLIC ALIKE!)
You can motivate me by: joining this challenge, too! Being just as wonderful as you always are.
PART TWO - THE REST OF YOUR LIFE
(Note: Because there are no emoticons for knitting or watching TV- a valid hobby, IMO- I claim this pirate in the name of all people who don't need 15 emoticons for babies, and would like just one little cartoon ball of yarn or sewing needle or TV)
This week, take the time to do one of the following just for yourself.
A. complete a fun project
I started knitting a hat two years ago, but got distracted by the rest of life. I picked it up once, but didn't stick with it. Last year, I wouldn't buy a new hat because I kept thinking, I'll just finish that gorgeous hat. I'm finishing that doggone hat!
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.
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.
Monday, September 13, 2010
So, checking the results of yesterday's 5K, they clocked me at 41:59 and a 13:33 mile. The next person to cross the finish line was the first place finisher in the women's 65-69 group. So I beat a first place finisher, that's something, right?
Well, as I told my niece, finishing upright and running was our goal, and raising money to help people with cancer was our medal. Well, actually, starting on time and with the pack was really our goal, after the original 5K fiasco last month. We managed to do that and I think we ran pretty well. I'm not sure I believe I ran to the best of my ability, though. I know I can run for three minutes, so why am I clinging so hard to the 2:1 intervals? I think it's time to come up with some new interval tracks and try something new tomorrow night.
My niece ran in a 5K cross-country invitational on Saturday as well as the 5K race on Sunday. She was pretty tired on Sunday, both from lack of sleep (some mean ol' auntie had her up later than usual watching "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" on Saturday) and from running. She has a big problem with side stitches. I told her I'd do some research and try to find a solution, but I think that it will just take time and training. She was also disappointed because she finished a lot slower than the fastest girl at her invitational, but a) it was her first event; b) she joined the team very late (on Tuesday, in fact); and c) she's only a freshman and didn't run track in middle school. She's got a lot of potential, but has commitment issues.
Anyway, it's time for me to run off to the gym. No running today- just a lot of ellipsing and lifting!
Friday, September 10, 2010
I have received an astounding number of compliments this week. First and foremost, I've gotten an unbelievable lift from Spark teammates and friends through blog comments, wall posts and fun goodies. I think it probably goes without saying that I enjoy writing blog posts. I worry that I make them too long sometimes, but well, I'm chatty. I "talk" too much whether it's speaking or writing. I did almost put a reference to seeing a "teal deer" in the woods in my Up North running post, but I thought that might be silly, even for me. ("teal deer" = TL, DR = "too long, didn't read") Anyway, I'm so happy that so many people have enjoyed reading my blog posts. I know that reading other Sparkers' blogs inspires me so much and I love knowing that I'm doing my part.
Earlier this week, I had an unexpected compliment from a complete stranger. A guy was walking through my office and first asked me about gaining access to a classroom, something I was unable to help him with. Actually, come to think of it, it went more like this:
Me: (addressing passing stranger who was obviously looking for something) Hello. How are you?
Passing Stranger: I'm fine. (Pause.) You made eye contact.
Me: Yes. I do that sometimes.
... Exchange about classroom I was unable to help with...
PS: You have pretty blue eyes.
Me: Thank you. (Awkward pause.) I'm guessing that right now I have pretty red cheeks to go with them.
(Pause while I flutter and dither because, honestly, how do you deal with unsolicited compliments to your physical appearance by complete strangers while in your workplace?)
PS: I guess I should go so I don't embarrass you any further.
Me: Thank you. Really.
It was both flattering, and a little bit awkward and creepy. Later on, a completely different person looked at my face and did a double take. In a good way, I mean. Despite the fact that I clearly do not have much skill at accepting compliments gracefully, I resolved then and there that I'm going to wear that aqua colored cardigan more often. It's very flattering.
Finally, last night at golf, one of the ladies on my league wanted to see my outfit (I take my credo of "I don't always golf well, but I usually golf cute" very seriously) and her partner said, "I'd rather see Jenna's diet. What are you doing? You look great!"Naturally, I referred her to Spark People!
I do believe that all of these compliments are turning me into some kind of flattery-seeking monster. And since I'm nearly alone in the office today and I can't count on random strangers to feel compelled by my pretty blue eyes to feed my ego, I'm going to pay myself some compliments.
Me: Hey, Jenna, you're seriously rocking the weight loss! You look awesome and your butt looks really great in those jeans!
Me: Um, thanks. They're a little bit too big for me, but the other pair was dirty. I really need to buy some new jeans, but I don't want to spend the money while I still have so much weight to lose...
Yep. I really gotta work on that whole "accepting compliments gracefully" thing.
Friday, September 10, 2010
I've seen this in a couple of places, most recently FOXXYROXXYD's blog. Posting a meme just seems like a very "Friday blog post" thing to do.
A - Age: 39 (I initially wrote 40. Weird.)
B - Bed size: Queen
C - Chore you hate: All of them (honestly, I think cooking is the only household chore that doesn't fill me with dread)
D - Date of Birth: March 15
E - Essential start your day item: the snooze button
F - Favorite color: Green
G - Gold or Silver: Platinum, baby!! But since I own no platinum, I usually wear silver
H - Height: 5'8"
I - Instruments you play: I used to be an untalented flute player in high school. Then I was a beginning guitar player for about a month. Now the closest thing I do to playing an instrument is stinking up Guitar Hero for Wii.
J - Job title: Senior Information Developer (I'm a technical writer/course developer for an engineering software company)
K - Kid(s): None of my own. One niece and one nephew, both adopted. Numerous honorary nieces and nephews who have "adopted" me!
L - Living arrangements: I live in a two-story condo with my elderly cat, Dinah (a/k/a, my furry twin)
M - Mom's name: Irene
N - Nickname(s): I refer to myself as Jen to my family, but I have no nicknames. My brother does occasionally refer to me as "Little Dipper" because he used to call me "Dip."
O - Oatmeal or donuts? Oatmeal. OMG, I loooove oatmeal. Especially steelcut oatmeal with just a little bit of brown sugar and a drizzle of milk.
P - Pet Peeve: Misplaced apostrophes. People who don't use their turn signals.
Q - Quote from a movie: "Hello, gorgeous" from "Funny Girl"
R - Right or left handed: Right
S - Siblings: One sister, one brother. I'm the youngest.
T - Time you wake up: About 5:30 on weekdays. About 8:00 or 9:00 on weekends.
U- First word that comes to your mind for "U": Uvula
V - Vegetable you dislike: Lima beans
W - Ways you run late: Reading, Bejeweled Blitz, Wikipedia, message boards
X - X-tra thing to tell us: I developed the majority of my adult friendships online, discussing television shows (mostly "Buffy")
Y - Yummy food you make: lemon bars
Z - Zoo favorite: RED PANDA! I honestly can't say it without shouting.
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
I don't know if it came across in yesterday's blog post, but I really have an outstanding relationship with my parents. I was beyond lucky to be born to those two and I know it. My parents- indeed, my whole family- have always been supportive of me and my endeavors and have never failed to let me know how much they love me and how proud they are of me. Like I said, I'm lucky. Blessed, even.
I'm not going to deny that there have been times that they've overstepped their bounds. My relationship with my mother has bordered on codependent at times, more so on her part, but I bear my share of the blame with that. I have worked to make things more healthy and I think it works out very well for both of us. Anyway, if she starts trying to exert more control over my life than I'm comfortable with, I let her know that. We grown-up girls need boundaries, after all. But enough about that. I just didn't want to represent my relationship with my family as the best thing ever without also explaining that all that togetherness hasn't had its negative side, as well. You couldn't look at me and look at my mother and not see the similarities, not just in looks, but in what I could become if I didn't fight.
My mother raised a strong, capable, confident young woman who bears a shockingly... robust ego about 90% of the time (I'm prone to sharp flares of self-doubt, but they're becoming much more infrequent). I'm likely to be heard saying, "I'm awesome" or "I rock" or "I can do that- I can do anything" without a heck of a lot of provocation. It hasn't always been the case, but it appears to be something that happened as I got older, not just as I lost weight. My attitude shift happened before I started losing weight, and it's only gotten more positive since January.
So you would think that my mother would also be pretty confident in herself since she encouraged it so much in me. Not the case. My mother has been overweight to morbidly obese since before I was born. I've seen pictures of my mom as a skinny young thing, but that person seems to belong to another life. I would guess, though, that in that girl were planted the seeds of self-doubt that would lead to the poor self-esteem that has plagued her for as long as I've known her. I think my mother is beautiful, loving, and wonderful. My mother thinks she is ugly, undeserving of love, and doesn't think people see past her fat. She actually thinks people look down on my father and us, her children, because of the way she looks. She's incredibly nervous about meeting my friends because she thinks they will judge us. I pointed out to her that I'm not friends with the kind of people who do that. My friends are pretty awesome, too.
Lately, though, there's a light in her. She and my dad started working together to help her lose weight about a year ago. Actually, Dad secretly logged her daily calories for a week and then had a one-man intervention. He does most of the cooking and now he does her calorie tracking, too. For a while, her resolve to stick to it kind of flagged and her weight loss petered out. And then she stopped cheating on her diet. She started eating more healthy foods. A couple of weeks ago, she and my dad bought a used exercise bike. She's using it daily and very gradually adding to her minutes. Before I left for home on Monday, after hearing her tell me how proud she is of me all weekend long, I told her how proud I was of her. And I confessed to feeling like I'd inspired her in some way. She told me that was definitely true. She's seen how committed I was to changing my life and knew she could do it, too.
According to SparkAmerica, I've logged over 4800 fitness minutes this year. My Nike+ tells me I've run almost 60 miles since July (and burned over 14K calories). My scale tells me I've lost over 30 pounds since January. With all of the trophies and awards and accolades I've gotten, inspiring my mother to work at being healthier is the thing I am most proud of. And that, in turn, inspires me to work even harder.
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