Monday, January 09, 2012
I will admit it. The Presidential test made me feel...unfit. I am second guessing using my run time vs. a walk time since I was only in the 20th percentile for running. Had I walked instead, I would have done much better. I mean, really, who cares if I'm a slow runner, that doesn't affect my V02 score. Some people are just slower runners. Period. Guess the President wants us to run fast. But, I digress.
Anyway, I was going through some paperwork at home and found my test results from when I was in a Mommy Boot Camp class after I had Marlo, who is my 2 and a half yr. old daughter.
The results made me see, like a smack in the face, just how far I had come.
My fitness goal at the time was:
To be able to run 6 laps straight (that's half a mile).
Now I can run 7 miles straight.
The number of push-ups I could do? 10.
Now I can do 22 in a minute.
My V02 score was 21.1, which was worse than "Very Poor" and wasn't even on the chart. The instructor had to draw a special line for me to show me where I was.
Now my V02 score is 37, which is considered "Excellent"
My BMI was 47
Now it is 31.16
But the biggest eye opener for me was how many inches I've lost. Over my entire body I have lost a total of 43.3 inches. That is the size of a flat screen TV.
I have lost 100 lbs. I am not at goal yet, both the numbers on the scale and the level of fitness I'd like to be at, but I'm so much further than I was. I am going to get fitter and get stronger, and it feels good to have goals to strive to.
Last year I ran my first 8k and 10k. This year I'd like to run my first 15k and next year my first half marathon.
I am putting one foot in front of the other until I reach my goals. And once I do, I will continue to fight and push to maintain my goal.
One of my favorite quotes is, "It's never too late, in fiction or life, to revise."
That is so true. Keep pushing and follow your own dreams and goals. You are worth it!
Friday, January 06, 2012
I am posting this here so that I have a record of it. This is the first time I've done the President's Challenge, in past Done Girl Seasonal Challenges I avoided this test, usually done at the start of each challenge. It intimidated me and I didn't want to do the push ups or sit ups or time my run...but I'm glad I did it. It showed me areas I need to improve on, and reminded me of why I'm on this journey. I want to be healthy. It's not about the number on the scale, or any individual number below in my results. But...all of these numbers add up and they tell a story. And my story still has an unhappy ending - a high risk of disease.
My current results are:
Congratulations! You scored above average on 2 of the 4 elements of the adult fitness test. Your score was average or below average for your age on 2 of the 4 tests. You may wish to talk with a fitness or exercise professional about activities you can do to improve your performance on these tests. Keep up the good work! Remember to be active every day and work to maintain a healthy weight.
Half Sit-Ups (in one minute)
Overall Score (based on percentile average):
Current wt: 200
Waist measurement: 40.2
BMI: 31.3 Obesity, Very High Risk of Disease
I do need to look back and see how far I've come, if only for my pride's sake. Seriously, if I focus too much on these results I will get down on myself and ask myself the sort of questions that don't get me anywhere. Questions like, why didn't you run faster, you've run 10 minute miles before. This was ONLY 1.5 miles, couldn't you have pushed it? Gotten a final time of 15 minutes vs. 18 min. 15 seconds? Or pushups, couldn't you have done a few more?
So I'm going to look back for a moment.
At the start of my journey my results would be something like this:
My aerobic fitness - I wouldn't have been running, that's for sure.
Flexibility - don't think I would have reached far at all.
Muscular strength - maybe I would have gotten out 5 pushups and maybe half of the sit-ups I did.
My highest known weight (before I stopped stepping on the scale): 298 (vs. 200 now)
Waist measurement: 52 (vs. 40.2 now)
BMI: 46.7 (vs. 31.3 now)
Still Obesity, Very High Risk of Disease, but there is an end in sight. When I was 46.7 30 seems very far away. Now I know I can reach that. I think just 10 more lbs. and I'm there.
And I scored "above average" on 2 of the 4 elements in the test! I can't overlook that.
And this test has fueled my fire. I don't like that my BMI is still obese and says that I am at a high risk for disease. I want to change that. I am even more motivated to reach my goal weight. Enough of this holiday yo-yoing in and out of Onederland. I am done with it. From now on I want to just keep going downward, and soon I will be under a 30 BMI, which will make me just "overweight" vs. "obese" (isn't that a terrible word?)
But 51%, well, I guess I'm "average". And coming from a place where I would never have made that score previously, I guess I'm ok with that - for now. It gives me room to grow, and that's always a good thing.
I know I can lower my BMI, lower my weight and ultimately reach my goals. And I can't wait to do this test again and beat my own times. After all, my biggest competition is myself. And I'm gonna win.
If you are intersted in taking the test yourself the link is below.
Monday, December 26, 2011
I have had such an amazing last couple of days that I had to share with my Spark friends. I had what were possibly some of the worst days I've ever had near Christmas, almost cancelling our Christmas Eve plans, but God had other things in store for us.
Some of you may know that my daughter was to get surgery to remove a cyst in her neck this past Wednesday. That surgery got cancelled due to a fall she had on Monday; the doctors determined that it wasn't safe to put her under as she may have suffered a slight concussion and the anesthesia would worsen things, and possibly cause more problems. So her surgery is rescheduled until Jan. 25th. At first I was frustrated, but I realized that sometimes the answer to a prayer is not the answer we seek, but the one that we do need.
On Thursday I received a text message from my bank saying that we only had $50 to last us until the following week when I would get paid. We were not done Christmas shopping. We hadn't purchased food for our Christmas Eve feast that we were hosting for the first time. Doctor bills and other unexpected events had taken their toll on our wallets. I transferred what was left in our emergency fund to cover bills so that we wouldn't be withdrawn on our bank account. I should have felt panic, but instead I was left with a deep peace. I was done Christmas shopping. I hadn't decided that, but God decided for me. I refused to add any more debt to our credit card. We were done and that was it.
I did get worried about having guests for dinner the following day and cried about how we would afford it, and said we should probably cancel. But my family was looking forward to it, and I knew that if all we could do is give soup or sandwiches, we would still be happy. I prayed that we would somehow provide.
That afternoon the director of my daughter's old preschool stopped by with a gift of books for the girls. Inside of the bag was a card for us with a Trader Joe's gift card worth $100. This was amazing to me. What a gift, and what timing! It was God's perfect timing. We had also received $18 to Panera in the mail that day due to an error they had made with our order the week before. We would use that for fresh bread, and Trader Joe's for other things we needed for dinner.
A few hours later I got a text from a woman at my church that said there was a surprise on our front door. We looked and there was a 23-lb. turkey and a loaf of sourdough bread waiting for us on our doorstep. It was an answer to prayer. I cried, I was overwhelmed. I hadn't told this woman about our financial situation. I don't tell many that we are struggling, except for close family and friends, and only when they ask. I don't like getting handouts. This didn't feel like that. This felt like a huge gift, a blessing. I explained to her that we were just talking about how would we be able to afford hosting Christmas Eve dinner, and she said "God knows, honey. God knows."
We took turns hauling the huge turkey inside, the girls were dancing around it. It was fun. My husband and I have never had a full turkey before and had no idea how to defrost it, let alone cook it, but we got advice from my mom and dad. I felt like the richest woman on this earth. It was starting to feel like an "It's a Wonderful Life" Christmas - seriously. It was amazing.
The following day the Christmas Eve feast was amazing. My one sister brought wine and a cheese platter, another sister brought bacon puffs (yes you read that right!), another sister brought juice boxes for the kids, my Dad brought a ham, we had the turkey (which turned out delicious, we had basted it with olive oil and herbs), I baked my pecan chocolate pie, also made Swedish Pecans, it was just incredible. We also had lots of other goodies thanks for our Trader Joe's gift card. It was so nice to see the kids open gifts and to spend that time with family.
As our family was leaving, my husband said that someone left their gifts outside. I went out and there were two huge bags full of wrapped presents, addressed to my daughters, and simply signed, "Santa".
I called my Dad, I called my brother-in-law, I tried to figure out who had left these gifts, and I can tell you I still have no clue who. I can't thank this person, which is killing me. This was a huge, huge blessing. I don't know how else to describe it. It was going to be sparse under our tree this year and now we had these gifts for the girls on top of what we had already bought them.
You may think this is the end of the story but it's not. My husband and I couldn't afford to exchange gifts this year. He is an artist and was going to make me something for Christmas, but he didn't have time. I did buy him a few t-shirts as he loves t-shirts, and they were on sale, but he felt bad he didn't have anything for me. I told him the best gift would be if he would go to Christmas service with me at church the following morning. He sort of rolled his eyes, I knew he didn't want to go. He said he'd think about it.
The next morning, after the girls opened gifts and we had breakfast my husband was still in his pjs and Marlo was naked (due to a potty accident). It was ten minutes before I had to leave for church, and I told Lucy to get her shoes on or we'd be late. She stood, defiant, and said she wasn't going to go. (Lucy is my older daughter, 5 1/2 yrs. old, and is the only one to go to church with me). I was crushed. But I didn't want to force her to go, and on Christmas Day no less, so I let it go. I said something to my husband about it going to be lonely going to service alone (yes, us Irish can lay on the guilt thick), and Lucy jumped up and got her shoes on. I was so thankful, and told her so. She said "I wasn't going to let you go alone, Mama." So off we went, out the door.
In church we were singing Christmas carols and it was a joyous time. I saw the front of the church turn around for some reason, and wasn't sure why. I kept my eyes forward and then out of the corner of my eye I saw my husband, Jim, with my daughter Marlo on his shoulders. He came! I was so shocked and happy, and glad. I can tell you I couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the service. My heart was full, glad, and just thankful. It's so not about the gifts, but I feel like we were blessed with so many gifts this Christmas. We have love in our hearts. We have a loving and supportive community. I have an amazing family, a wonderful Spark family, and I have a church family I love. I am rich indeed.
These are just a few of my Christmas miracles this year. I wanted to capture them on paper and share them with you in case this Christmas may have been a darker one for you, or if it was an amazing one too. It's a reminder that magic does exist in this special, holy season. Whether you believe or not, the magic is there, an undercurrent under all of the glitter and baubles, underneath all the hurt and pain, there is magic. All you have to do it close your eyes. And listen.
Wishing you peace and joy this Christmas season.
May joy and peace surround you,
Contentment latch your door,
And happiness be with you now
And bless you evermore.
Monday, December 05, 2011
My family talked me into doing this one, I thought I was finished with race season for 2011, but once I heard you get a Santa beard, a hat, a tech shirt that looks like Santa's shirt, and cookies and candy on the route and Christmas music streamed in, well, I was hooked! Plus a coupon for $5 off entry and I was set.
I was so excited to run this race was going to be my sister Kris' first run since having her daughter, Stella. Kris is the one who got me into running 5ks, and I was so excited to be able to run her first race back with her! Also my husband was going to join in the race with my Dad as walkers.
Left to right, me, my hubby, my dad, Kris and Baby Stella
My sister and I
This was my second race at Montrose Harbor, and I swear this place is cursed for me - it was raining AGAIN! Really cold rain that comes down slanted. I usually never wear a running jacket running unless it's very cold out, but I took out my Hot Chocolate jacket and I was actually still cold!
Me and hubby in our beards.
Me and Kris - we are not gonna let this rain beat us!
And we met up with my cousin Kim, and her husband John, who were running it, too, along with their friends Michelle and Ed.
We met under the bait shop, which I remember well from my first 10k, huddling underneath that.
The start line was insane. There were thousands of Santas all lined up, it was amazing to see them all! The Travel Channel was there to film as it's the largest event of its kind with so many Santas.
As we started off, my headphone cord got stuck in my beard, LOL. Then some of my beard flew in my eye. I ran with the full beard for about a mile, then I'd had it.
I told my sister beforehand that I would stay with her, run or walk. She hadn't trained for it, and I knew we would be going at a slower pace, but I didn't care. She ran my first 5k with me and didn't leave my side, so no way was I gonna leave hers.
It was nice to run by the lake, and the awesome thing about this run - other than the chocolate, which yes, I did have 2 Hershey's kisses, bringing them up to the air in a fist punch and saying "hell yeah!" (I am not ashamed, lol), the awesome thing was that I was not winded at ALL. I was casually talking with my sister and my cousin throughout it. I felt FIT! I felt HEALTHY! And I realized - this was actually EASY for me! Who would have thunk it?
We ran the first mile and then stopped for water (I had to pretend I needed water, my sister was too proud to stop for herself, lol). Then we started running again, and then walked a bit and then ran. After mile 2 my sister said she was going to walk the rest and to go on ahead. I told her no. I was not there to beat any times (and, hehe, I already met two PRs in Nov) and I didn't care about my time. I really didn't. But the funny thing was, I did want to run just for running's sake, which I think is awesome and still surprises me that I like to RUN!
We saw my Dad and hubby walking but they didn't hear us screaming.
So we walked a bit, and she got a little peeved at me for not running off...and then decided that she would run to the end, and she did! I'm so proud of her!
We finished in 41:30 which I think is darn good for all the walking breaks we took and for stopping for candy and water.
It was a FUN time. It was chilly, very chilly, it took me a while to warm up afterward. But it was simply heaven to run along the lake with my family.
We waited at the finish for my dad and husband, and my cousin had already finished up.
I recommend this one. Very fun!
Thursday, December 01, 2011
I'm starting back doing my monthly reports.
Start weight: 198
End weight: 199.5 (as of yesterday, but at my last weigh in I was 203.5...)
Weight lost: Gain of 1.5 lbs.
Total weight lost this year: 26.5 lbs.
Goal weight progress: 21.5 more lbs. to go to reach goal weight!
Total weight lost: 98.5 – (WAS 102 lbs. at the end of October)
To lose 4-6 lbs. this month. (Yes, I know given my track record around holidays I should just be happy to maintain, but I will not be happy with that. The holidays are no excuse to overeat).
My yearly fitness minute goal was go reach 11,871 fitness minutes for the year.
I’m at 10,448.
There are 30 more days left in December.
I need to reach 1,423 fitness minutes this month in order to reach my goal.
That’s about 48 minutes per day.
I can break that down into 24 min. in the morning and 24 in the evening on my non-running and non-boxing days.
For my running and boxing days I’ll log 60 minutes vs. 48, so on those non-running/boxing days I can slack off a bit.
But I need to move every day.
I can DO THAT.
I also started back doing the Spark boot camp, I’m finished Day 4 today. It is my goal to finish it out and have that trophy on my Spark page.
I also want to incorporate yoga back into my routine.
I reached 762 fitness minutes in November. My goal was 1,000 – need to step it up.
It’s been a month of PRs for me!
New PR met at Hot Chocolate – ran a 5k race in 35 min. 25 seconds.
New PR met at Bonfield Race – ran a 5k race in 34 minutes, 5 seconds.
New PR met in running group – ran a 5k in about 34 minutes.
Now I have my sights set on doing a sub 30-min. 5k. I love having new goals!
I used to look at boxing as something I couldn’t do. It intimidated me. Now I’m in a weekly boxing class and I LOVE it and am noticing changes in my body. I actually think since boxing is an endurance sport that is what has helped my running time improve. And all the core work has helped me to stand, and run, straighter.
8 – 10 glasses of water per day.
Only 2 cups of coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.
NO dairy – going cold turkey. (working on this!)
Get all of my freggies in.
Popcorn – break out the air popper and make it truly healthy. Then I can have 2 bowls.
Wine – only 1 – 2 glasses on special occasions (Thanksgiving, Xmas). No more casual drinking.
Track all of my food into the fitness tracker and check my stats nightly to see where I need to tweak anything.
My size 14 jeans are too big on me.
Sweaters from last year (size 14) are too big on me.
I now wear a size small shirt.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
That this is truly a journey and that the focus should be inward and outward, but not downward at the scale.
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