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Thursday, January 20, 2011

I've been having a lot of problems lately with obligations. You see, there are two different kinds of obligations - those that you agree to (dinner with a friend, showing up at work every day, scheduling a morning run or an evening zumba class, general housework, etc.) and those that you don't (a work project that is forced on you, drop in company on a Saturday afternoon, having to pay for an expensive car repair, you get the picture...).

While I tend to pack my life very full of obligations that I agree to, it has come to my attention in the past couple of months that there is a big imbalance in my life between welcome obligations and unwelcome ones, or things that people just expect of me without asking my permission about them. And that is NOT cool.

This imbalance is throwing me off my game. That big, fat "I Don't Wanna" hat that I've been sporting for the past couple of weeks is due to this imbalance. Since we tend to lump ALL obligations into the same category and since I am harbouring hatred in my life for all of the people and situations that have been put on me since I got back from Germany, I have confused my desirable obligations with the things at which I am truly angry. And this is helping no one. I don't want to run in the mornings because my boss expects me to finish a huge project by the end of January that is not in my job description. I don't want to leave my house to spend time with my friends because my staff called and woke me up early on Sunday morning (during my personal time) with an issue that needed to be fixed immediately. These two things have NOTHING to do with each other, but in my mind, they are all things that I HAVE to do, and because I am angry about one of them, I have therefore become angry about all of it. And when I'm angry I cover up the emotion with one of three things: food, sex or shopping - the Band-Aid vices to which I cling when I don't really want to feel what I'm really feeling.

I'll be honest - most of this has to do with some issues at work right now. But so much of my personal life overlaps with my work life that it is impossible for me to separate the two into two different issues. My "ME Project" is a full time job in and of itself. This journey for me is much deeper than what is spelled out here on Spark; in my blogs, on my page or on the message boards. In order to revamp my life, lose weight and become an overall healthier person inside and out, I am devoting a ton of time and attention to ME - my behavious, my interactions with people, my food, my exercise, my reactions to situations - I'm working on all of this all of the time, and so a lot of what I accomplish with regards to my "ME Project" just happens to be while I'm otherwise on the clock at work. Thankfully I have the perfect job to be able to devote time to both it and myself in a day. I love that. What I don't love is when work throws me a curve ball that opens up something new in my "ME Project" that I didn't know existed before but that becomes a huge issue in both worlds until it is addressed. If left unaddressed I start to resent my day job AND reach for the fast-food/sex/retail therapy fix - because two negatives make a positive right? Right? Not so much.

My other issue with unwanted obligations is that I tend to have a bit of a Wonder Woman complex. When something is broken, I have to fix it. It makes me feel important. But that can also backfire when the thing that you have to do doesn't have a sure-fire positive outcome. Superheroes aren't supposed to fail. And I'm not sure this time around that I will succeed. Big, stupid, Kryptonite curve ball.

The first step in figuring out this curve ball was in defining what in my life is a welcome obligation and what is not. I could point to the things that I wanted to do, and I could point just as easily to the things that I didn't want to do (which until today was pretty much everything). But it took some work to dig deep enough to find the true culprit of my anger which was causing this ripple effect of negativity through everything that I have on the schedule. Knowing what I'm really angry about is one thing, fixing it is quite another. It's going to involve work. But being able to understand the cause and effect in this case of my reasons for rejecting all of the good things that I've been putting into my life lately is a relief. Now comes the hard part of learning to accept and love and DO those healthy things again, whilst still being angry about this work situation and not letting one affect the other.

This is a pretty big step for me. This is the point at which I would have quit before. This is the place in the past where things would get too hard, too personal, too unmanageable and I would give up. Give in to the vices and throw my hands in the air. But not this time. I can see my anger this time and I'm not going to let it get the best of me. Yes, I am still obligated to do the thing I don't want to do. But there are ways around it and people who can help and I do not have to hold myself 100% accountable for the success or failure of this project. I am laying down the Wonder Woman cape. I do not have to save the day this time. I will do the best that I can with what I am being given and if I do fail I'll figure it out then.

In the mean time, my running schedule, healthy food prep and personal life shouldn't suffer. Wonder Woman needs to rock her Spandex suit!

*Pic courtesy of

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARBEAR100 4/1/2011 2:20PM

    I often have to force myself to do the fun social activities my friends want me to, because the "other" obligations overwhelm my time sometimes. Unfortunately, my "other" obligations usually involve my family, and specifically my mom. They are things I really do have to do, but I occasionally resent them, and then I resent the fun activities when they fall around the same time. But now I do make sure I fit in the time I need to workout and eat right. Obligations come and go, but I need to take care of me.

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SPUNKYDUCKY 1/29/2011 9:06PM

    I agree, it is hard to balance the me project with everyone else, sometimes even when we are succeeding it can still be exhausting. Great to spend some time working out what you want and what others want.

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/26/2011 9:52AM

    Ohhhhhhh, I just love this. It is just so self-aware as you tend to be, but the distinction between the types of obligations and how both require a precarious balance is just brilliant.

Work does seem to get in the way when it is so intertwined with my "real" life - I am trying to initiate boundaries and it has never been my forte. It's definitely tricky.

But the whole thing where people place obligations on me without permission.

***Oh, hellz no****

Good on you for picking at all of the scabs to see what's underneath [gross analogy - but unusually accurate.]

That is the real work and you clearly know how to handle your business.

Battle on, warrior. The ME project is all that matters as far as I'm concerned.



Comment edited on: 1/26/2011 9:53:37 AM

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MADEBYMARZIPAN 1/25/2011 10:37AM

    Wow, extremely insightful. It really got me thinking... about things I needed to think about. Thanks for sharing.

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RIGBY31 1/23/2011 7:47PM

    Definitely the "Me Project" stays on the front burner. Life's juggling act often makes a mishmash of our emotions, starts the domino effect. The fact that you're looking these issues square in the eyes is huge. Progress will be made.

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CYD1057 1/22/2011 1:11PM

  Insightful post and congratulations on thinking through and separating out these issues in your life. There are many people whole go their entire lives not developing the maturity to analyze and distinguish how situations affect other aspects of their lives. You have not only done this in a stellar manner, but have articulated it too! Your post has given me reason to pause and think today. Thanks!

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MEADSBAY 1/21/2011 12:14PM

    We all stive to find that fine balance of being Wonder Woman and satisfying the desires of our inner child/woman.
You deserve to live the long healthy happy life you want while meeting all your needs.

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LOTUSFLOWER 1/21/2011 12:04PM

    You rock, though, seriously!! Great insights here, thank you for sharing them with us, and brava to YOU!!!!! emoticon

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SARAWALKS 1/21/2011 9:36AM

    emoticon that you are figuring this out!
I deal with this all the time in my job in which added obligations pop up all the time, most of them in my job description, but unpredictable. Learning to ask for help is crucial, as is realizing that you can't always be at your top form, but you will do the best you can, given where you are.
And learning to say NO has been a big part of this for me.
I don't enjoy socializing if I'm worn out so sometimes I say no to that...but am trying to organize myself so that I can do the things I truly want to do which pop up.
It's a journey... emoticon

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JESSSPARK 1/21/2011 8:46AM

    This distinction is really interesting, and something I intend to think about. Thanks.

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-POOKIE- 1/21/2011 4:52AM

    I so know these feelings...pressure at work means I dont want the pressure to have to work out today... its daft and ultimatley self destructive, but yet it happens.

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NEWNECK 1/21/2011 12:37AM

    Great insights about voluntary obligations and imposed obligations and the tendency of the latter to taint the former when things get overwhelming. You've given me a lot to think about in my own life. Thanks!

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WYND10 1/20/2011 10:56PM

    You can be your own Wonder Woman. I am happy to hear that you're making strides in figuring out what makes you tick. And tock. And chirp. And sets off your alarm. Ok, enough clock references :). But it's great to see you evolve. You're amazing.


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LAURIETAIT 1/20/2011 10:28PM

    You've made enormous improvements in your physical health and wellness but I think I am most impressed with the progress you've made in understanding the reasons for any destructive behaviors you may be battling. Don't let your anger short circuit your ME Project. You've worked too hard and come too far. I'm rooting for you.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 1/20/2011 7:35PM

    Glad you are finding your balance.

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JENJESS48 1/20/2011 7:31PM

    Congratulations on what is obviously a very big breakthrough. I know this required a lot of soul searching and courage. But now that you've identified the problem, you'll beat it. Cuz that's just how you are. emoticon

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MELTEAGUE 1/20/2011 6:38PM

    Wow, taking that next step is a big thing for you I can tell, so DO IT....step on ahead and I can relate to trying to balance everything and learning to say NO is a hard thing, especially when those things we are saying NO to have the appearance of being so "good" but not necessarily good for me!

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An Apology to My Chiropractor

Monday, January 17, 2011

So I walked home tonight. Remind me not to do that again after a bout of freezing rain. In a 45 minute walk home I slipped and caught myself more times than I can count (throwing my back in about 100 different directions - and after I JUST had an adjustment on Friday) after actually falling once right outside the doors of my office. Whoops. I landed hard on my right knee, straining my right groin muscle on the way down, but oddly enough, though I can feel the bruise on that knee as I write this, it's my left knee that hurts. I must have twisted it trying to hold myself up as my body wrenched in the other direction. My physical pain will heal, my pride - maybe not so much. I HATE falling in public. Urgh. And I did it right in the middle of a busy street in front of a ton of cars and people. Oh well.

I think my decision to continue to walk home after that was pig headed at best. I was pissed and so I was going to beat that damn ice. Every time I slipped, I picked up and just kept going. At one point I started laughing out loud (after shouting profanities of course). People must have thought I was a crazy person. Haha.

Anyway - I'm recuperating now at home, listening to the rain continue to fall outside. I'm disappointed. This likely means I won't be able to run tomorrow morning unless it warms up a bit and melts the ice. Freezing rain of this kind that coats everything isn't something that even my YakTrax can handle.

But maybe, if I can't run tomorrow morning, I'll bring them with me to work and try that walk home again tomorrow night. And this time I'll stay on two feet!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RABIDHAMSTER87 1/23/2011 6:36AM

    Hope you're okay! You're a braver woman than I am.

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CYD1057 1/22/2011 1:04PM

  Just found you and your awesome blog! You are an amazing inspiration!! Sorry that you hurt yourself; that stinks. But I am also sorry to say that I found myself chuckling at your blog because I think all of us who live in Chicago (or any other snowy area) can TOTALLY relate to this post. I know I felt like you were describing situations I have been in - especially the falling in public thing - more than once! Hang in there!!! And take care.

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RIGBY31 1/18/2011 2:35PM

    Cannot imagine slip sliding around town! And as for those cars and people at the intersection, they probably thought *dang, glad that's not me* and went on their merry way. Hope your knee doesn't take you out of action.

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WYND10 1/18/2011 2:00PM

    Yikes. That doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun. I am sorry you hurt yourself. I can only imagine you walking around outside cursing out loud. Take care of you.

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MEADSBAY 1/18/2011 11:05AM

    I know- we're getting it today.
I had to go pick up my granddaughter Lucy this morning but, other than that, I am not leaving the house!
I hate ice!
Hope you're ok.
Should you ice your knee?


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JENJESS48 1/18/2011 10:40AM

    Ice is the absolute worst. Snow is no big deal, but ice really scares me. We got about an inch of snow last night, followed by freezing rain. We had the option of taking a vacation day or going into work, so both Pat and I are taking vacation: both of us know how to handle ice but most of the yahoos here in DC don't. So rather than risk getting smashed into by some Southerner or foreigner (lots of Latin American immigrants in our neighborhood), we're staying safely indoors. Pat doesn't know this yet, but I'm going to make him set my bike up in the stationary rack so I can do some cardio. emoticon

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JMEPAYNE 1/18/2011 9:05AM

    giiirl! that was a crazy idea! i almost busted my butt just walking about 5 feet on the sidewalk to take the dog out last night. it was such a mess!
hope you're okay. take a rest day if you need to! gotta keep your back and knees healthy!

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KEC1974 1/18/2011 8:46AM

    I am so scared of ice and wet leaves. The metal manhole covers have been wet these past few days and my foot has slipped often. I haven't fallen, but I get this adrenaline burst and my stomach lurches and twists and I have this fear that I will hurt myself.
I hope you heal completely and have a safe winter!

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-POOKIE- 1/18/2011 7:02AM

    oh my, I HATE ice, Im so scared of slipping and hurting myself badly.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 1/18/2011 12:39AM

    Ice is so dangerous, becareful out there sweety!

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LAURIETAIT 1/17/2011 11:09PM

    I hope you have a swift recovery. I think sometimes it's better to just let yourself fall when you feel you're going down. It may damage your dignity but the rest of you stays relatively in tact. Fighting to keep your balance just seems to put your whole body out of wack. Whereas if you let yourself fall, it's most often just your butt that suffers. The YakTrax sound like a good plan. Tomorrow you can cruise along while all the other pedestrians are scrambling to maintain their dignity.

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LOTUSFLOWER 1/17/2011 10:53PM

    It was so slippery out! I'm glad you're ok, sorry that you fell though. But good for you to laugh out loud at the situation! That is such a sign of the change in you, I think it is awesome to be able to laugh at ourselves. Great plan for tomorrow to bring your Yak Trak to work and try to walk home again. I hope your bruises heal soon and that your back isn't too hurt from the icy walk. I was insane enough to bring Lucy and Marlo to a local concert tonight and I almost slipped twice while holding Marlo, it was scary.

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75 Pounds and 7 Bags of Clothes

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Here's what 75 pounds of weight loss looks like:

And that's not all of it! I have already sent over 10 bags and boxes of items to Sparkfriends and local charities over the past 9 months. These are a select 7 bags of clothing that are going today to people who need them here in Chicago. Sweaters, jackets, one winter coat, about 6 pairs of jeans ranging in size from 26-18, skirts, a blazer, 6 good bras, socks, mittens, and tops, tops, tops. Winter clothes, summer clothes - they said they'd take them all, but I was selective so that they wouldn't end up with piles of things they couldn't use.

75 Pounds, 10 Pant/Dress sizes, and a whole lot of inches later, that's what it looks like, packed neatly in bags.

I can't believe I spent so many years in some of those items. Wishing for change. Hoping it would get better. Buying bigger and bigger items off the rack.

I have more room in my closets now for sure (I definitely don't have as many clothes, but it's also that the clothes are smaller so they take up less space!) but they don't feel empty. I don't feel empty - like I've lost something from my life - like I have so many times before with other diets I have tried. In fact, I feel fuller now than I ever felt with closet doors bursting wide with new items. Clothes used to fill me up. Food used to fill me up. I used things to fill me up that were material and not substantial. And giving things away was always so hard for me because it was like losing a piece of myself that I would then need to go out and fill again.

Today I don't feel like that. Today I am happy to, quite literally, remove this baggage from my life. Sure those bags contain some cute clothes that I really used to love to wear. But the clothes don't make the girl. I don't need those things to make me happy anymore. And a whole new WORLD of clothes awaits me at a smaller size. I can have whatever I want, and I know that now.

And though I feel full, I also feel lighter. Emotionally lighter, physically lighter - moving through the world has gotten so much easier for me these past few months. So here's hoping that these clothes will go to the people who need them most so that I might be able to help lighten someone else's burden today too.

Spreading the Spark, one t-shirt, one pair of pants, one pound at a time...75 different ways!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLONDIEZ73 1/31/2011 11:13PM

    You are amazing! I'm so inspired! I love that "unloading" feeling of the old stuff. Of course the last time I did that it was smaller sizes, but hey, it will be that much more fun when I get to do the reverse. emoticon

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MANLEYSANDY 1/19/2011 4:37PM

    Love the hair color! As always, you are amazing!

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SARAWALKS 1/19/2011 10:05AM

    It seems to me that Milan Kundera wrote a book titled something like "the Lightness of Being" - I know that's not all of it - but I may look it out because lightness is appealing to me as well.
and I love the space in my closet these days! It seems to leave room for the future.
enjoy the lightness, and I know there's even more to come! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPARK-A-LICIOUS 1/18/2011 10:08AM

    you, my sparkfriend, are amazing!!! keep it up pretty girl!!'


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-POOKIE- 1/18/2011 7:58AM

    Thats wonderful, I took most of mine to a charity called the PDSA, Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals, they provide vetinary care for people, like me, who are in recipet of benefits on low income. I felt good giving something back.

I now have a wardrobe of things that fit, I have kept a skirt though from my biggest, because its a reminder I want to keep, hidden away, but KNOW I dont want to be there.

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CHICAT63 1/18/2011 7:39AM

    Missed this blog, woohoo congrats on your 75 pounds lost ! Totally agree they should have 5 pound markers i.e.: 75, 85, etc. I did the same this winter I had to purchase all new work clothes - shopping gets to be more fun !

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WYND10 1/16/2011 11:38PM

    That is fantastic! I was supposed to clear out my clothes this weekend, but alas I did not. Maybe tomorrow (yay holiday).

Is it weird that the first thing I thought when I saw your pic was..."damn I love the color of her hair"? :D

You look great.

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    way to go !! you rock!

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RIGBY31 1/16/2011 2:03PM

    Hey gorgeous! What a wonderful, cleansing feeling. I like how you mentioned the smaller sized clothes take up less room. Nice perk!

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JENORAMA1 1/16/2011 2:56AM


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LAURIETAIT 1/16/2011 1:44AM

    You worked hard. You deserve to feel great for your accomplishment and your generosity. Here's to all the joy and satdfaction the nest 75 will bring!

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PELESJEWEL 1/15/2011 11:44PM

    Great blog! Your progress is inspiring!I am so proud of your lightness!

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MEADSBAY 1/15/2011 11:24PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
I 'liked' this blog and I loved it!

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KRAWRS 1/15/2011 8:07PM

    Fanatastic! I bet it felt SO GOOD looking at all those bags of clothing! Because of your progress, because of your good deed, and because of being set free!

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DIASTER 1/15/2011 6:22PM

  Your joy radiates from your blog. Thank you for sharing your success, you have come such a long way this year. Thanks for taking us along on your journey. Now I need to catch some of your enthusiasm and get off my duff.
Think of the joy on the girls face that gets your cute clothes, so great of you to pass them along.

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TOOSH731 1/15/2011 5:44PM

    Congratulations! That's wonderful!

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RABIDHAMSTER87 1/15/2011 4:23PM

    That is awesome!! I know how you feel about not wanting to let things go. I need to learn from you.

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SWEETS86 1/15/2011 3:15PM

    Woot!! Good job girl, keep it up!!

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OFFDREA 1/15/2011 3:14PM


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LOTUSFLOWER 1/15/2011 3:09PM

    You are amazing!!!!! I love that picture of you, and you can just see how much lighter you feel. You are a true inspiration!!!!

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JENJESS48 1/15/2011 3:06PM

    Fantastic job! You really have done amazing. And I'm sure the charities you give to really appreciate it.

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AUTUMNPOTTER 1/15/2011 2:50PM


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KT-NICHOLS-13 1/15/2011 2:18PM

    This is so true, "... the clothes don't make the girl."
Awesome job!

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THEAPPLESASS 1/15/2011 2:18PM

  wow! incredible! that is some seriously proof of how far you've come!

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JULIESDREAM 1/15/2011 2:14PM

    Congratulations! Doesn't it feel great. I've lost a little over 100 and I just gave away 6 big garbage bags of clothing. Keep up the great work.

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The Rolling Stones Weren't Runners

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Any of you who read my status yesterday know that I wasn't having a wonderful Monday. In fact, I haven't had a wonderful Monday since the turn of the New Year (I know there's only been two of them, but neither one of them have been a good day). When the alarm goes off in the morning, I hit snooze about 4 times, then turn it off, roll over and fight with myself about getting out of bed - which usually results in falling back asleep, waking up late and setting the whole morning off from the start. I don't want to work. I have ZERO energy. And I end up sad and depressed all day long. Last night on my way home after a confrontation with a friend and work partner where we ended up shouting at each other I started crying on the bus and for the life of me could not figure out why. The blues had claimed my heart and there was just no shaking them off. Like Keith Richards says - I couldn't get no SATISFACTION - not even if I paid for it.

But enter this morning - Tuesday - my running day. I won't say that I "bounded out of bed" or anything over the top like that, but I got up - and earlier than I normally do - without a huge to-do over it. I caught enough of the news last night to know what I was about to face. Chicago is finally receiving it's just reward for being virtually snow-less amidst the crazy dumps that the East Coast has gotten since December.

The ground was already blanketed in white and coming down fast. But I accepted the challenge, laced on my shoes, and donned by new Fila running jacket (it's so super sexy, I think I got out of bed just so I could wear it this morning).

It wasn't an easy run - the fresh snow underfoot makes it like running in sand. My calves were burning within 5 minutes and then that burn spread to my hamstrings, but I kept running. I resolved myself to a slower speed, but settled into a really nice groove with an easier breath than I've had over my faster runs, so I didn't feel like I was pushing myself past my maximum. The snow was pelting my face sending streams of water down my hot cheeks as it melted, but I just kept wiping it away and sticking out my tongue to catch the big flakes. I was having fun! I only ran a 5K this morning, but I'm proud of getting my butt out there in those conditions and making the best of it. And a 5K is nothing to sneer at even on a GOOD weather day!

Given the fact that currently I am ELATED, I have wicked high energy, I'm happy - jovial even, and just feel an overall SATISFACTION with myself, I think I am finally safe to admit that I have a problem ...a running problem. I am officially addicted to endorphins.

Now this could be seen as a good thing, a good addiction to have and I agree. But if it means suffering through my rest days, that's no fun at all. So maybe it's time to give up the rest days. After this morning, I am convinced that I need to make Monday a running day since the exact same pattern happened last week too. The proof is in the pavement kids - my Monday rest days are starting to hang on me like lead weights (quite literally I felt "heavy" all day yesterday) until I get my Tuesday a.m. endorphin kick and life is roses again.

But I'm worried. I don't want to overdo it. If I run Mondays, do I also run Tuesdays? I've never run two days in a row before. I know some people run every day of the week - but am I one of those people? Here's the current schedule:

Sunday - Bootcamp Video x2, Light Cardio (cleaning or walking)
Monday - Bootcamp Video, Cardio Rest Day
Tuesday - 5K+ Run, Bootcamp Video
Wednesday - 1.5K Swim, Bootcamp Video
Thursday - Bootcamp Video x2, Cardio Rest
Friday - 5K+ Run, Bootcamp Video
Saturday - Zumba, Bootcamp Video

So can I fit in more? I currently burn in the neighbourhood of 4000-5000 calories a week just on my regular schedule. Adding another running day will put me almost to 6000 a week and I'm honestly nervous that it's going to backfire in the weight loss department if I start training too hard.

So I don't know. I think I'm going to switch it up for a week and see how it goes. I feel like a crazy person. There is still a good chunk of my brain that believes that you should only run if something is chasing you. That's the part that makes it hard for me to get out of bed in the morning. But more and more, the jack-rabbit in my soul is winning this battle. And I have to be honest - the new gear helps immensely. I'm hot to trot kiddies, so I best get out there and prance!

If someone had told me a year ago (they probably did and I probably looked at them like they had a face full of maggots) that today I would discover the cure for winter depression, I wouldn't have believed a word of it. But I'm so glad that every day that I get out of bed, pull on that sports bra and discover the cure over again, I continue to prove my old self wrong. Because in this case, I am willing to admit that I knew nothing back then. And my reward for the purging of that old belief system is pure enlightenment, reams of energy and complete SATISFACTION. Sorry Keith, ain't no drug on the market that's gonna come close to achieving this high.

*Photos courtesy of &

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAWALKS 1/13/2011 9:18AM

    Jack rabbit in my soul too even though I'm 65! I'm working up to it. That jacket is VERY inspiring...
Glad I didn't miss too many of your blogs while I was in Paris!
I do so remember that Chicago snow. The only place I've lived where my nose hairs froze...
emoticon emoticon

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KATH02 1/12/2011 8:04AM

    You ROCK! Just make Monday a fun run or a walk/run! When I was at my running peak a few years ago, I had the same problem. And I can't wait to have it again. I wanted to run everyday. It's not a bad problem to have.

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YOGINI18 1/11/2011 11:13PM

    If we're lucky your fitness mojo is contagious and we'll all wake up tomorrow and want to put in a little 5k run in the snow!!! It sounds like you should definitely try and switch or add a run to Monday to start the week off on a high. And like the other folks - I totally dig your running jacket! Keep it up you rock star!

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HEARTANDMUSIC 1/11/2011 10:16PM

    I agree that that jacket is hot! You go girl!

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/11/2011 9:57PM

    There is a jack rabbit in your soul?! That is so very cool. I love that and I love this blog.

Winters are tough to stay motivated for me - the lack of sun, the cold, the snow, the dreariness... blah blah. But I have to admit that morning workout is miraculous and sets the right tone - even if it is tough to get out of bed.

So maybe endorphins are the cure for the winter blues.

I am mighty impressed that you ran in the snow. That is awesomesauce. And no one chasing you either - kudos, rock star.


Run baby run!

Comment edited on: 1/11/2011 9:58:15 PM

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LAURIETAIT 1/11/2011 6:15PM

    I say go ahead and mix it up. Can't hurt and sometimes the shake up has extra positive effects in the weight loss department. Something you might want to consider for winter running are Yaktraks. I just read about them in a blog by KARVY09. They prevent slipping and sliding. I'm going to get me a pair of those.
Your exercise regimen is amazing. No wonder you are having so much success. You go girl!

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LOTUSFLOWER 1/11/2011 5:27PM

    I want your running jacket too! I have jacket envy!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 1/11/2011 5:01PM

    I actually snorted out loud when I read, "I only ran a 5K - you are a rock star!
My two cents on the running on Monday and Tuesday .... Monday can be a fun run, and Tuesday your training run. You'll know if it works for you soon enough, just remember to listen to your body.

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JENJESS48 1/11/2011 4:43PM

    I'm with LOTUSFLOWER: I'm totally impressed you even got up and ran this morning. I haven't stared C25K because of the cold and it's barely cold enough to snow here. Yes, living in DC has made me soft and I am now a weenie. I have accepted this, lol.

Also, I think people are spot on when they say that you should just try it out and see what happens. You'll never know until you try. Plus, you could try switching up the order of your rest day and light cardio day such that you're not running two days in a row but still getting more impact earlier in the week.

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LOTUSFLOWER 1/11/2011 3:58PM

    Did you actually say I *ONLY* ran a 5k?? Seriously? In this snow? GIRL, you are the BOMB for getting out and running this morning! It was a pain for me to walk to my car to drive to work, lol. I hear you on the winter depression, the oversleeping, overreacting, I've been there all too often these past weeks!! I think you're right, the remedy lies in the running. I finally got a run in on Friday and am going to run again tomorrow. I don't personally run two days in a row because it makes me too sore, but I know lots of people can and do, I'm just not one of them. You burn a lot of cals per week, baby!!!

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RED_WRITINGHOOD 1/11/2011 3:51PM

    I want your running jacket!!! So cute! I'm working on getting into that groove. I need your energy!

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SLFRISBEY 1/11/2011 3:36PM

    Running you say... outdoors you say... interesting. I need to get in the habit of going to the YMCA For my morning jogs (they have an itty bitty indoor track!), I am so deep in the winter blahs I can't stand it! What other gear do you wear or suggest to brave the Chicago deep freeze? I am not against trying to run at home before work!

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WYND10 1/11/2011 3:09PM

    You're amazing. I think you should send some of that fitness mojo my way, mkay? ;)

I think switching it up is a good idea. See if it works for you. If worse comes to worst you might have to up your calories a bit to account for the extra calorie burn. That's not such a bad thing, right? More veggies for you! ;)

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KRAWRS 1/11/2011 3:08PM

    Try it! If it doesn't work, mix it up again!

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CECE0330 1/11/2011 3:07PM

    Love this blog! I'm about an hour west of Chicago (Rockford) and got out of bed this morning to try my brand spanking new running pants/top. The snow was falling, and yeah, it WAS a harder run than usual on account of it, but it felt sooooo good!

I think as far as the schedule goes, there's no hurt in trying. For me, i NEED rest days, but it always helps my mental being to have super strong workouts at the beginning of the week. Sets the tone, you know? So on account of my schedule, I use Thursday as my rest day.

I SO agree with the endorphin business. I am NOT a pleasant person when I don't get my workouts in! My patience wears thin, my stress levels go through the roof...I honestly RUN (and zumba) for my sanity as much as my physical health!

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  Funny, I was just listening to Keith on my iPod and agreeing with him as I struggled through my 60 minute walk/run. Sounds like you are doing great and only you will know about that Monday run.

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2011 - The Year of the Ones

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!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RABIDHAMSTER87 1/15/2011 4:50PM

    I can't wait to see you in onederland! I'm hoping to get there this year too.

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    I LOVE YOUR YEAR OF ONES! This is going to be GREAT! I can't wait to see what all this year holds for you. I wish you much success this year!!! I love all your running gear you got for Christmas. Those are GREAT gifts. I'm glad you had a great holiday.

You rock!

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MELTEAGUE 1/5/2011 6:12PM

    Say HI to Africa for me... I was born in South Africa!

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LAURIETAIT 1/4/2011 5:51PM

    I just know that 2011 will be the best year ever for you! You are on a definite roll. I can't wait to hear about your runs but I am soooo looking forward to the Africa blogs!

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CALLIKIA 1/4/2011 2:44PM

    You know, we really should have some April party for the both of us! ;) I can't wait to be able to post both those "I lost 100 pounds with SP" and "One year with Spark" blogs. I'm so excited to see where I'll be by then that I refuse to waste a moment of the time I have now! (Remind me of that later, mmmkay?! *lol*) And, uhm, can I switch Santas with you? Mine didn't really get the memo this year...he tried, but I was still a smidge disappointed. (Got my Kinect, but no BL or Zumba game...dangit!!)

And OMG you have to run in Kenya and then we'll get you a shirt that says, "I run like a Kenyan!" Yep. Yep. Yep.

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ANDREA963 1/4/2011 2:30PM

    I'd take a wager that you make it all happen! I like the sound of the year of the ones. :) This past year I maintained. So if I could weigh a minimum of 11 pounds less next January 1, 2012, I'd feel pretty good about that. (I'm on the slow plan as you can tell). :)

Have a ONEderful year!

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SLFRISBEY 1/4/2011 10:48AM

    Wow, 2011 is going to be amazing! I love you're plans and especially going to AFRICA!!! I just want to get out of the country this year :) Can't wait to run with you in April!

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LUNADRAGON 1/4/2011 10:39AM

    This is fabulous!

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LOTUSFLOWER 1/4/2011 10:32AM

    I love it!!! You can and will make this a year of 1's, I can't wait to join you in ONEderland! My estimate is around March or April as well, at my slow rate of loss, but I'm hoping for sooner, too. We can do this!! And Santa was good to you! Were you kissing him under the mistletoe? LOL.

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WYND10 1/4/2011 10:29AM

    You will do Onederfully! I have no doubt :).

Happy New Year!!!!

Comment edited on: 1/4/2011 10:34:59 AM

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    You've already accomplished so much, I know you can keep it up!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 1/3/2011 7:13PM

    I love it and yes, Santa was good to you! Here is to a great 2011!

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MANLEYSANDY 1/3/2011 6:14PM

    This is going to be a great year for you!!! You are truly an inspiration!

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HSMOM2FOUR 1/2/2011 8:43PM

    Sounds like a great year ahead of you!

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PHOENIXK26 1/2/2011 7:54PM

    Your blogs are such a joy to read! I think you have done wonders and will continue to do so. Can't wait till you get to One-derland!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/2/2011 7:08PM

    Wow, sweetie. It sounds like you have a lot to look forward to this year - ONE-derland and 11 races. Holy smokes! Rock this thing.

I can't imagine this year being anything but fabulous for you [whatever the number is.]


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CHICAT63 1/1/2011 10:54PM

    Woohoo on your sucesses so far, wishing you all the best for 2011. You are doing fantastic emoticon

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SWELL10 1/1/2011 10:29PM

    Awesome blog! I'm right there with you on the onederful one's goals. I have 20 lbs to hit 100 lbs and 17 lbs to hit onederland! Lets vow to do it -- the sooner the better! I oneder when that will be? emoticon and so can I!!!!!

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TES5061 1/1/2011 10:07PM

    Fantastic! Truly inspirational! This year will be great for you. I have no doubt about that!

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KRAWRS 1/1/2011 10:04PM

    I was just going to say, break the curse of the odd numbered year! You are way ahead of me though. I love how you took a look at your life, your options, and your attitude and decided that everything about this year is going to be positive. I KNOW YOU WILL DO GREAT THIS YEAR!!!

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RIGBY31 1/1/2011 7:57PM

    Yessss! Let's move it, let's get there in 2011.

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MEADSBAY 1/1/2011 7:01PM

    Yes, ma'am!

2011= emoticon

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ADK_RUNNER 1/1/2011 6:10PM

    What a marvelous way to start the new year! Good luck with all your goals!

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JENJESS48 1/1/2011 5:09PM

    Way to break that old pattern! 2011 is going to be one good year in so many ways!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 1/1/2011 3:59PM

    I raise my arms and do a fist pump in celebration of your goals!

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TEAWONDERFUL 1/1/2011 3:46PM

    Congrats on the great outlook and success so far. You sound like you are doing great. I think this year is going to be your year. Enjoy it.

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