Saturday, January 01, 2011
In all honesty, I don't like odd number years. Something about them makes me uneasy since some of the worst years of my life have been on the odds. 2009 was TERRIBLE for me - it was one of the worst health years of my life given that I had let myself balloon to a whopping 313 pounds on my tiny 5'2" frame. I spent many days in hospitals, waiting rooms, and being poked and prodded testing me for any and all possible diseases that I was convinced were contributing to my obesity. Fortunately, the only disease I had was a bad case of "Fat Head Syndrome", but unfortunately, that lead to a lot of pain and huge doctors bills that it would take me until the middle of the following year to pay off. But 2010 was one of the best years I have ever lived having found SparkPeople, reinvested in my health and myself and setting personal goals that I was able to achieve in all aspects of my life - family, health & career. I lost 70 pounds, sunk my teeth into my therapy to treat my "Fat Head Syndrome", and as the General Manager of my company managed to almost double our budget size in one year. Life is now good.
But I'm willing to go out on a limb and end my odd year superstitions with this one starting today - 01/01/2011. I vow that no matter WHAT happens this year - good, bad or ugly - I AM the one that ultimately has the power to make this year truly wonderful and everything I wish, hope and dream it can be.
2011 for me will be "The Year of the Ones".
I have 30 pounds to go until I will have lost ONE HUNDRED POUNDS with SparkPeople. My estimate for that goal is sometime around April, but if I can step things up a notch here with my training and eating schedule, I'm hoping that I may even see it a little sooner.
In April I will celebrate ONE YEAR of Spark - a program that in addition to my therapy has completely changed my life. I cannot express how grateful I am to the whole team at Spark and to all of you who make this program what it is - an absolute gift and Godsend.
Following up that anniversary (and hopefully not long after) I'll be making my debut in ONEderland - a place I have not seen in over a decade. I am so excited to get there - I hear it's ONEderful!
And since I deem that the two little 1s look like a pair of legs, I've decided to put mine to good use, get the most out of the gifts that Santa brought me (a Garmin Forerunner, new iPod with armband, SmartWool socks, YakTrax, and a couple of running magazines - he spoiled me, eh?), and make this the year of running as well! Who knows - maybe I'll run 11 races this year! The first one to kick of the Chicago race season is the Shamrock Shuffle 8K in April with my friend Kathy (LOTUSFLOWER), then I'm thinking about doing the Ravenswood 5K with my friend Stephanie (SLFRISBEY), and I'm definitely doing the Hot Chocolate race again this year - maybe aiming for the 15K this time...eek! To top off all of this running, I am so excited for my trip to the land of the running record holders the world over - Kenya! My African Safari trip will be in September, and it's not lost on me that the top elite runners in the whole world come from Kenya and Ethiopia - two of the destinations in our travel plans. Unless I'm running from a lion, I'm not sure how much training I'll get in over there, but I'm thinking it's almost going to be like seeing the Holy Grail to run on Kenyan soil. Wow.
So there you have it - my year of ONES. Not so unlike a year of Firsts, I think this will absolutely be a year for the memory bank - achieving goals, making new friends and cherishing old ones, seeing places I've never been, and living life every day to the absolute maximum.
Happy New Year Everyone! Let's do this 2011 Style!!!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I just ate half a cake.
OK - I'm lying. I just ate three quarters of a cake.
This is not me falling off the wagon. This is me sitting in the wagon...with my cake.
I denied myself the cookies all day long. I'm trying like mad to get back on a proper eating schedule without all the sweets and treats. But going from 3000+ calories a day over Christmas to 1800 is just proving to be SO DAMN DIFFICULT!
Problem #1 - I still don't have ANY groceries in my fridge. I cleaned out everything before I left for Germany and then didn't restock when I came back because I was only home for a week before going to Ontario for Christmas. And now I've only been home for a day and haven't yet had a chance to shop, so all meals have been out, which means they're high calories and high sodium. Yuck.
Problem #2 - My office mate gave me a birthday cake and Christmas cookies yesterday. AH MAN! I thought coming back home would rid my life of those things for another year. Not so much. Combine this with Problem #1 and you have the only really edible item in my house being a whole chocolate cake and a batch of cookies. Lord have mercy!
Problem #3 - I stayed at work late unexpectedly tonight which was NOT good for trying to get back on an eating schedule. I was SO hungry by the time I got home that I PLOWED through dinner...and then the cake started staring me down...
I was disappointed to discover that even though I chose a healthy salad and falafel in a pita for dinner, it still put me over my 1800 daily calories. I thought for sure that I'd still have a little room for a post-dinner treat. And for whatever reason that tiny thought of possible sweet treat deprivation triggered the "Well, you've blown it already - you may as well eat cake" voice in my head.
So I ate cake. I almost ate the WHOLE cake. But I stopped. Because IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO START AGAIN!
I may have blown the budget today for sure. But I put down the fork, I brewed a cup of tea, and now I am back on track. Right now. Not tomorrow, not in the morning, RIGHT NOW. In fact, when I was done with the cake, that silly voice in my head - you know - the one that said "Well, you've blown it already - you may as well eat cake"? That voice came back again and said "Well, you ate the cake...you may as well have the cookies too". But I put my foot down. No - I'm NOT eating the cookies right now. Why? Because IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO START AGAIN. And I'm starting right now. Which means the cookies will not own me, they will not beat me, and they will not be eaten. I'm taking them to work tomorrow and leaving them for the staff. HA! Take THAT cookies! And the quarter cake that is left? It's in the garbage. With the cat litter. I have come too far and worked too hard to be run down by some sugar, flour and cheap chocolate frosting.
For the record, the colleague who gave me this crap is a food pusher. She's also the one who just lost a pile of weight herself and I honestly think that she's starting to feel a little threatened by my success - it puts her out of the spotlight that she's been enjoying for some time now since people aren't commenting on her appearance so much anymore, but have certainly been commenting on mine. So beware acts of kindness wrapped in foil! She takes every chance she can get to feed me, and now I'm sitting up and taking notice.
But back to the message of the evening, and one that I really feel is SO important for everyone coming back from those high-calorie holidays and for all those who will join this site come January 1st - IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO START AGAIN. We all have bad days. We all have days where we just need to sit in the wagon and eat cake. But you don't have to eat the whole thing just because you took one bite. The choice is yours to start again at any point. No matter how big the snowball, all snow melts eventually with a little sunlight. So no matter how far off the path you've gotten over the holidays, with a little hard work, you can find the trail again. And all your Sparkfriends will be standing here waiting for your return.
This is me picking myself up, dusting myself off and plodding along into the New Year. More on track than I have ever been.
See ya cake!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Hello my wonderful Spark Friends. I have a challenge for ALL of you! I just did this myself last night, so I'll be all set for going home.
I know that we're all about to embark on a crazy journey of yumminess over the weekend. Cookies, cakes and holiday savories that only come around once a year. And when you see these items so rarely, it's SO difficult not to stuff your face and wish it were Christmas EVERY day. With me in particular, since my birthday is also 2 days before Christmas, I get not only my mom's home cooking for the holiday, but also my special birthday cake (Flaming Baked Alaska) made ever so lovingly on the 23rd.
So the challenge is this:
Pick THREE of your absolute favorite, cannot possibly say "No" to, Holiday items that you KNOW will be on the table this Christmas. Call you mom, or your Grammy or your funny Uncle Ted and ask them for the recipe for that wonderful dish - every scrap of lard, every pound of butter that is in it. And then enter all 3 recipes as they are in their original form into SparkRecipes and figure out a serving size.
Now - come Christmas morning - you are all armed and ready! You know exactly how many calories, grams of fat and hidden nutrients are in your favorite dishes! So go ahead and EAT THEM! But make sure when you do, you track them as well! And we'll all make a promise here to track those items every time they cross our plates. Since so many things WILL cross our plates, knowing what's in just THREE of them will be a huge help.
Once you're done entering your recipes, post a blog and a link to them. I'm really interested to see what all your favorite items are!
I still need to get the recipe from Mom for my Baked Alaska, but here are two of my other absolute favorites!
Christmas Morning Quiche - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
Aunt Edith's Welsh Cakes - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
Merry Christmas Everyone! Happy Eating (and Healthy Eating!)
Monday, December 20, 2010
So I'm definitely NOT on vacation any more. The jet lag has faded, the memories are growing distant, and WORK will not let up long enough to let me breathe let alone get anything accomplished before Christmas. I MISS Spark, I miss reading articles and tracking throughout the day, and updating my status and wishing the Done Girls Happy Birthdays. I'm afraid that my time away from this community has become a little permanent and since I got in the habit of NOT logging in every day while I was away, it's no longer as second nature as it was before I left. I need to make that better!
I've been on the scale a couple of times this week and it hasn't budged an inch since my fantastic post-trip weigh-in. No chance of shedding a little vacation water weight I guess. Like I said - I'm pretty sure the reason I dropped weight in the first place was because of that flu bug I got the day before I came home, so I shouldn't be surprised that my body has fluctuated back up this week, but it's disappointing! I was really hoping for that magic 75 pound weight loss by Christmas. But I really should be happy with 70. I should. So 70 pounds gone is what I'm taking home with me for Christmas. In a Size L sweater from the Gap.
Since getting home I have tried to resume my running routine, and since the pool is closed until the New Year, I have added back in my 3rd day of weekly running. But for whatever reason (most likely that I am fighting a really bad chest cold), I have been hitting a wall at 1.5 miles and just can't seem to run any further than that before having to walk. I'm on my 5K route, so I'm only run/walking 3.1 miles anyway, when before I left for my trip I was up to running a full 4 miles. So 3 times this week I've gone out, 3 times I've stopped running just past 1 mile, walk for 5 minutes, run again, hit another wall, walk, run - and so it goes for the full route. It's FRUSTRATING!!! Yes, I know the weather has been 9 degrees when I'm running outside. Yes, I know I'm fighting a cold. But I HAVE to break through this wall if I'm to keep training for my 8K in March.
I guess I am just realizing how important my cross-training with swimming and Zumba have been for my running as well. I'm feeling flabby all over. Running is great for my legs and my core, but Zumba had me toned nicely and swimming is amazing for my arms. I might be smaller than I was before my trip, but I don't FEEL smaller and that's really getting to me - especially since the compliments on my appearance have kicked in to high gear since coming back to town. You leave for 3 weeks and people forget what you looked like, and then coming back and clearly being smaller than the last mental picture they had of me has shocked a few people I think. My office mate actually exclaimed "OMG your face is so thin!" So that makes me feel good I guess, but guilty at the same time because I'm just not in "Top Shape" right now in comparison to where I was before I left.
I had a great photo session yesterday for a show I have coming up. The photographer is a friend of mine and he took some REALLY beautiful shots of me (I get a disk tomorrow so I'll be sure to post a couple). But again, it was yet another reminder that no matter how fabulous I feel about where I am right now, I still have a long way to go. The great shots are great and made me feel really pretty, but there were definitely a few outtakes that had me saying "Oh God - I look like THAT? Where'd THAT roll come from? And I thought my double chin was on the way out?" I have certainly come a long way since 313 pounds, but I'm not even half way yet. There is so much work left to do.
So I'm on autopilot through the holidays. I have come to the conclusion that if I can make it to New Year's Eve and still be down 70 pounds, that's a huge accomplishment and I should take that and be happy for it. But we all want MORE don't we? We all want to be super fabulous AND lose weight during really stressful holiday times. I think I'm perfectly normal to feel a little "blah" about the scale not moving when I'm rocking it out as hard as I can right now! And I haven't forgotten about my WW2 Challenge which I won't now see the end of until well into the new year.
I just don't want this Slow Down to become a trend. I fear trends like this. I was on a roll, and even though I didn't gain in Germany, I need to stay on that roll into the new year. I still have 125 pounds to lose! I need to hit that perfect balance of food and exercise again to see those results on the scale.
So tomorrow I'm aiming to run at least 2 miles without stopping. After Christmas I'll be back at Zumba every Saturday. And then back in the pool shortly after - on track to being down 100 pounds by April at the latest!
I just have to ride this frustration through the holidays, do the best I can with what I am given, run, run, run like a rockstar, and HOPE that everything I'm doing now will continue to work when the stress of the season wears off in January.
Wishing all of you as little stress as possible over this next week. We'll all make it through - good or bad - but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing less of all of you in the New Year! (In the best of all possible ways!)
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