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Thursday, May 21, 2009

I love to run. I really must be a different person now than I was pre-Spark.

When I was a kid, I didn't know how to run properly. We had those mile runs once a year in middle school gym class; I'd sprint out ahead of everyone and get a stitch, walk, and after lap #1 I'd tell the gym teachers that I had asthma and needed to stop. I just assumed running was not for me and never would be.

I first started visiting gyms during the days when people believed in the "fat-burning zone" myth. I was told by a personal trainer that walking was better for me than running if I wanted to lose weight. I think some part of me intuitively figured out that working out hard was better than working light, but since "running wasn't for me," I stuck with StairMasters, step classes, and later, elliptical machines.

One summer - I think it was the summer I was 22 - I made one attempt to run outside while visiting a friend in NYC. I had just read _Body for Life_ which recommended working out in cycles of easier, harder, hardest, and beyond your hardest, and then back to easy again. Well, after one cycle of hardest and beyond of running in the Queens summer heat, I was done. Running was too hard. It was not for me.

I can't pinpoint the time that I started running on treadmills - it was at my current gym, which I've been going to for five years. I started with trying to run a mile without stopping. I remember being impressed with myself for going 5.0 mph, and then shocked when I could handle 5.5 mph. I didn't do this regularly at first, just once in a while to see if I could do it. After being quite irregular with this, I eventually added a one-mile run to the end (end? what was I thinking?) of my cardio routines on a regular basis. My goal was to finish that mile as fast as I could. This must have been around the time I started being serious with SparkPeople (and Weight Watchers... early 2007). I was super impressed with myself when I could do a mile in under ten minutes. Then I decided to see if I could do TWO miles in under twenty minutes. And then to see if I could do three miles..... at all!

A few months into this plan I had lost a bunch of weight (way too much too fast, I later realized), and I was extremely motivated. Around that time I'd befriended a seasoned Sparker named WannaBeSize2 (something like that anyway) who was fit, raced regularly, and inspired me (she has since had a baby and rarely uses this site anymore, I think). I remember looking up races in my area but being afraid to actually sign up until WannaBeSize2 wisely suggested that I "just do it." So I did. I was in my first 5K in April 2007, and finished in just over 30 minutes.

Fast forward to May 2009. I have now been in three 5K races, two 10K races (well, same race two years in a row), and have gone on countless non-race running excursions on my own. There have been some setbacks - not sure how much running I was doing while I was gaining back over 30 pounds twice - and also times when other activities, like Zumba or the elliptical, took the front seat over running. But I find that nothing quite combines the sense of power, effectiveness, and convenience of running. I feel powerful when I run because I realize that not just anybody can do it - you have to have a certain level of fitness before you can run with ease, at least without stopping to walk often. I know it's effective because it always makes me sweat, raises my heart rate, and makes me breathe heavily - and I think it might make my butt and thighs look better than other types of cardio, but that's just a theory. :) And it's so convenient because you can do it anywhere, any time! (I love biking too, but how much easier is it to just step outside and run than to get the bike down from its hook in the shed, worry about the bike functioning properly, having my lock and helmet and bike light with me, etc...)

So running is my preferred activity right now. A typical workout for me these days, especially since it's spring and so beautiful outside, is to go to the gym for strength training only (about 30 minutes of chest and abs, legs, shoulders and back, or arms) and then to head outside for a run of anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours! I have been running everywhere I can think of between my town and Boston, and I love the variety. Last night I ran at dusk at the Arnold Arboretum with its lovely scented lilacs...Jess was with me, but he was walking, so I'd run two minutes ahead and then turn and run back to him, and repeat (45 minutes total). I run in the suburbs around my neighborhood (boring) and along the Charles River in Boston and Cambridge (exciting). I love to run!

My mom gave me a few Runner's World magazines the other day and I've been falling even more in love with running as I've been reading them. They make me wonder whether I should attempt a race longer than a 10K, which I have so far avoided thinking about - I know that my speed gets drastically lower and my soreness higher when I hit around seven miles. But when I read about other people's first half and full marathons, I always feel like, "Yeah, I could do that." Yesterday I read a whole article about qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I will tell you right now that I will NEVER qualify for the Boston Marathon, but something in that article caught my eye... it said that certain people are allowed to officially run in the Boston Marathon without qualifying, and one group that doesn't have to qualify includes people who live in the towns along the marathon route! Hello - the marathon goes right past my condo complex!! Not that I'm even contemplating a marathon right now. I think it would put my body through more harm than good. But that's an interesting little tidbit. I also recommend reading running magazines for motivation - it was more motivating than reading a general weight loss magazine - those seem more geared toward beginners who only want to change their looks rather than their fitness level.

So where do I take my running from here? I still am undecided about the race my friend is doing at the end of June - it might be too hot to run then, but it's at 9 a.m. before it gets really hot... My friend who is doing that race told me yesterday that she's fallen off the wagon, so I'm not even still sure if she's planning on doing the race at all. I'll definitely do the Tufts 10K again this October (you reading this, Terri? Hopefully we can make more effective plans to meet this time? :) ) and I'll definitely aim to beat last year's time... but for the most part, I still want running to be something fun, not something that makes me feel stress and pressure. That means more emphasis on just doing it, less emphasis on pushing pace etc. (Except when I intentionally do speed work.)

This is getting long but I also just want to add that my strength training and stretching are both coming along too. I have recently increased weight for several of my strength moves:
*My biceps concentration curls have just gone up to 20 pounds from 15
*My bench presses (do you still call them that if you use dumbbells instead of barbells?) are now done with 25 pounds in each hand up from 20
*I now squat with a bar with 25-pound plates on each side instead of 20...and I'm sure I could handle something heavier still if I really pushed (I get nervous about my back with these squats...)
I'm also focusing on stretching in general and hamstring flexibility in particular... I have tight hamstrings so for me it's progress just to be able to wrap my hands around my shoes when I sit with my legs straight out in front of me. I can do that now!

So here's to running - the exhiliration, the sweat, the lowered resting heart rate, the tighter butt, the chance to explore new parts of the city... and here's to every Sparker who ever helped inspire me to run - thank you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROGUE_1 5/24/2009 4:14PM

    I really enjoyed reading this blog! I started running not too long ago so far the farthest/longest I've run is 45 minutes (4.5 miles) without stopping. I've been kicking around the idea of running a 5k and found one that's taking place on June 7th, but have been too chicken to sign up (geez what is wrong with me arrghhhh). ! I think that reading your blog is just the motivation that I needed. I'm so impressed with your progress and positive outlook. Keep up the great work, and thanks for the inspiration!

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TERRIANGEL 5/23/2009 10:23PM

    What a fantastic blog!!!!!! I can feel every emotion you are portraying. And yes, indeedy, running is AWESOME!!!

I am not signing up for the Tufts 10K this is at the same time as the Bay State Marathon that I've already signed up for. (GULP!!!!!) Now, I don't know if I'll be up for it, but i sure am SIGNED up for it! I'm nowhere near where I thought I'd be at this point. Asthma and allergies have taken over my exercise life (at least outdoors) and I jsut can't drag my butt into the gym on beautiful, sunny days. I'm still experimenting with inhailers (got my new one today, and went out for a run/walk but...FORGOT TO TAKE IT. So, will have to try it tomorrow. :) Duh...

Every time I go to the state house, though, I think of Tufts. What an amazing day that was. I think I'll have to go watch it, even though I won't run it. Just so inspiring...and I'd definitely have to meet up with you this time (how did we NOT meet up!!?? We even said where we'd be! But I guess 7,000 runners will do that) and give you a big "knock em dead" hug!

Looking forward to reading about all your upcoming running accomplishments. And yes, I agree, Runners World is SUCH a great mag!!


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SEEHOLZ 5/22/2009 10:14AM

    I LOVE to run! If you told me 10 yrs ago, that'd I'd run a marathon or anywhere beyone a few miles, I'd be like: No, not me... I'm not a runner, I'm not athletic...
It wasn't until after I finished the Chicago Marathon in 89 degree heat in Oct 2007 that I finally realized: I am a runner ( no kidding!)
I still don't want to put all my eggs in one basket, so to speak, because a) I love other forms of exercise b) cross training is good for the body and my mind c) it's hard to run outside in the winter and to be motivated to train on the treadmill for me and also, because if I run " too much" I tend to get injured.
For me, running is a challenge---- I'm NOT a natural and totally have to work on it, so I guess I appreciate it even more....
I love your ATTITUDE about running! NO pressure-- I've been doing that more lately--- running for fun that is!
Enjoy this week-end and with regards to racing? Just see how you feel... it'll come to you...

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DORIANRW 5/21/2009 7:18PM

  I love this blog. I love running too. I can really relate to how you feel when you run. I love Runner's World!! I find new inspiration in every issue. I am a lot like you in that I was never a "runner". It's a recent obsession for me. I would encourage you to push for that half marathon and even a full marathon. You'll be surprised with how far you can really go. Keep up the running. You are an inspiration.

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FIZZIBETT 5/21/2009 5:44PM

  Thanks for sharing your story - for me it was timely.
I have been working out, doing spinning classes and weight training, lost some weight (but not enough), improved my fitness and I know that I really should start running to take things to the next level. But, like you, in the past I have hated it and have always been convinced that I am not an athlete. I just started to play around adding a bit more intense running on to my treadmill work outs and even looked up the "couch to 5K" training schedule.
I guess that I should stop faffing around and just do it - sign up for a race. Will let you know....

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SWEATONCEADAY 5/21/2009 5:40PM

    great blog susan. out of all the distances i have run i prefer 10k+. take the leap! do a half or a 10 mile race! i really wish that high school gym teachers taught people how to run instead of just doing that test. i feel for years i was like you and hated running cause no one taught me how. it seems simple but running is hard to learn.

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LIL_EZZY 5/21/2009 5:40PM

    Hear Hear!!!!!!!! I am so with you on this. I also NEVER thought in my wildest dreams that I would love running but it just came to me. And it was because I joined sparkpeople and was offered advice on how to start and now I can't stop. I am signing up (on Sunday it opens) for a 14k run in August. (City to Surf) You are right about it making you feel powerful. Good on you You should feel proud.

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ZIRCADIA 5/21/2009 4:46PM

    YAY!!!!! I LOVE RUNNING!!! HEAR HEAR!!!!! :D hahaha I just subscribed to Runner's World. I can't wait to start actually getting it in the mail!!! :D Kudos on upping your weights as well. And that IS a cool tidbit about the Boston Marathon!!! The coolest thing about doing that would be knowing that you're running with elites. :)

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RA4945 5/21/2009 4:40PM

    I love this blog, Susan! Well said!!! I totally agree with you on how running makes me feel. I want to encourage you to set your sights on a half marathon. You can totally do it!!! And don't worry about time on your first one. Who cares! Just get out there and do it! I have done several halfs but have not mustered up the gumption to go for a full marathon. Maybe someday... until then, keep enjoying the sport of running. It truly is a wonderful feeling. emoticon

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SKYFYRE 5/21/2009 4:09PM

    Wow! You are making progress on so many fronts! I think it is great!

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KJNE8O 5/21/2009 3:56PM

    I love to run too and I love the feeling of power and strength you mention as well. I'll even agree with the legs and tush! Altho, I have to say that I find my quads even stronger and my running even easier after doing a lot of spin classes - that's what kept me going when I couldn't run after my broken ankle!

But - I do think that taking walk breaks during a run isn't a bad thing at all and I am a big fan of Jeff Galloways theories. I don't always practice them, but without the walk breaks I couldn't have done 12 miles and I did them with an average of a 12 mph pace. Not bad if you take into consideration walking for a few minutes every 2 miles!

Don't be afraid of the longer distances and maybe think about training for a half before a full and maybe a smaller full before Boston... But how COOL would it be to be in the Boston Marathon! That would be awesome!

Keeping Running!

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KENSINGTONC 5/21/2009 3:13PM

    You GO, girl! ;-) Great post - I still remember the day a couple years ago when I stepped on the treadmill and ran 0.5 miles - I was so proud!!! I think it's important to remember those times, and to reflect on how far we've come. I'm jealous that you get to run regularly in Boston, one of the greatest running cities in the world!

I read Kristin Armstrong's blog "Mile Markers" on the Runner's World website - talk about inspiring! I agree that reading about running is totally motivating and fun.

Thanks for this post!

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BRUIN2 5/21/2009 3:05PM


Thanks Susan!! What a fabulous blog.

I must say that while you might *think* the following:

"I think it might make my butt and thighs look better than other types of cardio, but that's just a theory. :) "

I KNOW IT!!! Running is the absolute best thing for the thighs and tush!! No doubt about it! Especially when you're running hills!! Woot woot!!

I don' t think that running further distances necessarily means slowing down a ton - I actually think me slowing down too much was part of the reason I got injured. I would suggest just trying to go a little bit further each time at your speed - just like you got into running, that's the way to increase your mileage too!!

Happy Thursday!!

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Maintanence Plan!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Now that I have defined my goal weight as 140, I have a whole new perspective. This is the first time I have had a goal weight that I absolutely knew I would achieve. On all my pre-Spark diets I had no idea what I was capable of, and on both of my previous weight loss attempts with SparkPeople, my goal was always to lose a little more and a little more - that is NOT a sustainable goal, of course!

Now, in contrast, I have a realistic goal based on reflection of my own needs/abilities as well as on my knowledge of healthy weight. I have chosen a goal that is well within the healthy range (my BMI at 140 pounds will be 22.6). It is not the lowest weight I have ever achieved (that's 132), but it is a weight that I have never attained without months of hard work (carefully monitoring my eating and exercise). At 140 pounds I will likely settle in around size six. I won't be asked to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but considering I was overweight as a teenager and throughout most of my adult life, 140 is challenging enough. In short, 140 is the happiest medium I can come up with between being challenging yet attainable.

I know I will reach 140 - I'm just 17 pounds away! I will probably hit my goal by mid-September if I continue to lose about a pound a week. I have two and a half years of practice with losing weight and I feel like I have that part down pat. However, from September until infinity (or pregnancy, whichever comes first!) I plan to MAINTAIN that weight. That's the part I don't know how to do yet, but I WILL LEARN and I will do it! It may take a little trial and error, but I already have a lot of knowledge from weight loss that I can apply toward weight maintanence, plus I have the wisdom of my Spark friends who are already in that stage to help guide me. :) Also, I have a perfect role model at home - my boyfriend maintains his weight by practicing healthy habits without even thinking about it. Maybe I'll get there someday.

When I hit 140, the first thing I think I should try is maintaining my exercise efforts while increasing my calorie range - let's say by about 300 calories per day. I am hoping that the extra calories will give me enough energy to push myself with my workouts so I will continue to get stronger, faster, more flexible, etc. I will have to continue tracking all my food and NOT fall into a trap of feeling like I can let up my guard because I'm at goal. However, I must also not fall into the opposite trap - not increasing my calories, continuing to try to lose more weight.

Having a calorie range rather than a precise amount, I know I can manipulate things enough to make things work the way I want them to. I will continue the frequent weigh-ins and look for patterns. Daily fluctuations are expected, but I won't want any overall trends of increase or decrease. I'll have to continually monitor until I feel like I really have a good idea about what calorie range and exercise level helps me maintain the best. After that, I'll have to check in frequently to make sure I'm sticking to course, but it should get easier.

Beyond that, I'll just have to work on preventing emotional eating. Infrequent single large meals or treats will be fine for special occasions, but they'll have to be balanced out with lighter eating the rest of the day or even the day before/after- I should never have a full-day binge, and heavier than normal eating will have to be countered with heaiver than normal exercise! If I find myself having trouble sticking to this, I might have to reconsider my maintanence weight, but hopefully it won't come to that. I want my permanent weight to be something that makes me feel good, not hungry and miserable.

I'll have to try to satisfy emotional needs in other ways besides having big meals, and I will have to satisfy my desire to improve myself not by trying to lower my weight more, but rather by setting other types of goals, like new racing PRs, heavier weights for strength training, adventure vacations, etc. I'll also be able to reward myself with clothes, since my size will be stable.

Finally, I'll be able to plan mini changes to goal weight as stuff comes up in my life, but afterwards it'll be right back to 140.

I feel ready to take this on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEEHOLZ 5/21/2009 2:23PM

    ITA with EVERYONE! It sounds like you have put quite a bit of thought into this and are at peace with this plan. Sounds like you're on your way to 140 girl!

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 5/21/2009 11:45AM

    Yeah, I agree with everyone else this is a GREAT plan! I love all the specifics!!!!

I also agree that NOT continually redrawing that line in the sand is one of the hardest challenges. Good for you for picking that out right off the bat. You know what you are doing. You know what has tripped you up in the past. And YOU LOOK UBER HOT AT 140!!!! So bring it on!

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FITGIRL15 5/21/2009 8:46AM

    Awesome! The plan has really come together! I love it!

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SKYFYRE 5/21/2009 4:27AM

    Very positive, Love it! Go Girl! See you at 140!

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ZIRCADIA 5/20/2009 6:00PM

    You sound EXTREMELY prepared and ready for attaining your new goal AND maintaining it. :) Your plan is specific, measurable, realistic, and time focused (The SMART Formula for goal setting), AND you have a great idea of the possible flexibility you will need to get there, and ready to maintain it. :) I am so happy for you! You ARE ready.

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KENSINGTONC 5/20/2009 4:33PM

    WOOHOO!!! I love this! What an inspiring blog - and hey, you can TOTALLY do it!

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KJNE8O 5/20/2009 3:54PM

    Somehow I lost getting notified of your blogs so I found you here with this post and it's really hitting me close to home! I've been struggling lately myself with my own goal weight and what it takes to get there and even though I have been there before I had (and still do have) a lot of diet rage wrapped around it. I'm 5'5" and right now around 140-142. I've been here since the beginning of March. I've been thinking that what I need to do is rather than resist my weight and try to push myself to 130 which I haven't been doing very much of lately obviously, that I need to make 140 my goal weight. That way I am already there - when I am over my foods I don't feel like such a failure - I can relax some as well. They do say "That which you resist persists." Hmmmmm... I should blog on this as well...

But I think that 140 is a great goal - you are healthy - you are happy - isn't that what is the most imporant thing in the end??

I think you've nailed it right on the head!

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JENONTHEROX 5/20/2009 3:37PM

    I think this is so well written & thought-out... sometimes when I read your blogs, the things you write are/have been what's been on my mind too. Totally identify. . .

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BRUIN2 5/20/2009 2:12PM


Awesome, awesome plan Susan!!!

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Saturday Night with the Parents

Monday, May 18, 2009

On Saturday night my boyfriend, Jess, his parents, and I all went to my parents' house for dinner. It was his parents' first time at my parents' house, and it went really well! This picture is his parents (his mom is holding my parents' dog), us, and my dad. I'm posting this picture for two reasons - one, to show my new haircut... I usually keep it long, but I'm 31 now and feel like shorter is more professional-looking. Maybe I'll go even shorter than this next time. The second reason to share this picture is to document what I look like at 158 pounds and size 10.

PS - Great run on the treadmill this evening...I didn't even want to go to the gym...had the Monday blahs (had the munchies and wasn't in the mood to work out - does this happen to anyone else on Mondays??), but once I got to the gym I did my full back and shoulder routine and then the treadmill. I did 5K in 29 minutes, and that included my warmup walk!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITGIRL15 5/19/2009 11:48PM

    I'm glad you had a fun family dinner!

I also think you look great in this pic! Very healthy and super happy! YA!

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ZIRCADIA 5/19/2009 3:50PM

    I totally agree with SEEHOLZ - you look adorable. I LOVED having super short hair. Now it's growing out and I'm going for it so I can see what I look like at this size with long hair, but it's tough not to want to just chop it all off again. :) And yes, I totally had the Monday blahs yesterday. I forced myself to do a Lower Body ST routine and felt better for it, but the actual feeling that Monday was munchiemunchiemunchielazy. HAHAHA. :) It doesn't happen every Monday, but sometimes. but WOOHOO on a great workout at the gym and a blazing 5K time! :)

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SEEHOLZ 5/19/2009 1:31PM

    I think you look normal at this weight--- definitely not fat at all! ( don't tell me that it's hiding underneath...) I think you definitely look happy and that's what truly matters, you know?
All that underneath is like the extra bonus for working hard, but it certainly doesn't give us happiness... I know you'll reach whatever goal you want, but I love that you're not wasting any time to enjoy your life for no reason!
I think you guys make a nice family!

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SKYFYRE 5/19/2009 2:18AM

    Getting quick! How about that your families are really blending! Hair looks cute! I'm 31 and have long hair, keeps me looking immature for sure! A lot of my younger trauma patients think I look like I'm 25, and I love that! Hahahaha!

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BRUIN2 5/18/2009 10:22PM

    I love that you guys take so many family pics!!

And yay for the workout!!!

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KENSINGTONC 5/18/2009 9:48PM

    WOOHOO to that awesome 5K time, and a bigger WOOHOO to just getting yourself out there - that's ALWAYS my problems on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays...

I remember when my husband's parents and my parents met, I was so nervous! Glad to hear that it went well. And your haircut is cute!


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Sunday, May 17, 2009

I finally decided to commit to a goal weight of 140 pounds. To make it official, I changed my Spark Page goals and weight loss ticker to reflect this.

I intentionally picked a goal weight that is NOT the lowest weight I can achieve. It is a challenging goal, meaning it is lower than I have ever achieved without hard work, but it is also realistic. I am happy with how I look at 140 pounds - that is how much I weighed on Halloween when I dressed up as a nurse, and I like how I looked in those pictures. I know there is room for improvement when I weigh 140, but I know that ultimately a consistent weight is far healthier than trying to achieve a "perfect" body. Plus, just because my goal weight is 140, that doesn't mean I can't go on mini-diets to achieve something a little lower temporarily now and then, like for going to the beach, on vacation, or to a wedding. I can also temporarily allow myself to gain five pounds (holidays!), but I want to always stay within five or so pounds of 140, and then always get back to it.

I also changed my start weight on my ticker to reflect how much I weighed when I started keeping track in early April 2009, 165. (I weighed more than this before I started keeping track, but was too ashamed to record it.) So...that means I'm down 7 pounds, with 18 to go...140 here I come!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACYZABELLE 5/20/2009 7:36AM

    LOve the hair! Looks great on you!

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    Yay! Since I'm the same height as you and had the same 130 goal as you I'd just like to chime in that it's easier for me to maintain around 140. I have yet to get to 130, but i feel like if i do i'll have to really bust butt to stay there.

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MARLIE13 5/18/2009 11:33AM

    Sounds like a great goal and one that you will be able to maintain well!

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 5/18/2009 11:30AM

    That sounds like a REALLY SOLID PLAN! I think you are so right about getting to a doable weight and staying there rather than yo yoing. And girl, you look hot as Hell in the nurse photos so - yeah - good plan!

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SKYFYRE 5/17/2009 11:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SEEHOLZ 5/17/2009 3:19PM

    I'm sure that you'll be both healthier and happier at the same time!

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BRUIN2 5/17/2009 3:08PM


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ZIRCADIA 5/17/2009 2:10PM

    It also doesn't mean you can't then set goals based on other types of progress -- lowering body fat %, building muscle, running faster, whatever. :) I love it. Congratulations on setting a goal!!!! :D

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MARYBETH_OHIO 5/17/2009 1:29PM

    i think it is good to have a goal weight and I am glad to see you are so committed and I wish you all the luck in the world..
Believe and you shall receive.

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Week 6 Ends

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Week 1 -1lb
Week 2 -2lb
Week 3 -1lb
Week 4 -0.4lb
Week 5 -2lb
Week 6 -1lb

...and it would have been two or even three pounds this week, BUT I had the "perfect storm" of a big dinner at my parents' house (WHY do I ALWAYS OVEREAT at my parents' house?!?!) plus TOM, so I'm actually relieved I lost any at all. But for the most part I've been making good choices and I'm pleased with my progress.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUN_LIFT_EAT 5/18/2009 11:30AM

    That is awesome! I call it a definite triumph to lose in those circumstances. My parents house the devil, as well :P

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SEEHOLZ 5/17/2009 3:17PM

    You are such a weight loss machine--- I think it's because you eat so healthy... I'm going to peak more at your trackker---- you so have it figured out girl!


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RA4945 5/17/2009 1:11PM

    You are doing awesome!!!! Keep it up! I'm rooting for you!!!

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PAMELA984 5/17/2009 11:11AM

    Look at how consistent you are - that is great news!

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PAMELA984 5/17/2009 11:11AM

    Look at how consistent you are - that is great news!

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ZIRCADIA 5/17/2009 11:05AM

    WOOHOO! :D Glad to hear things are still going well for you and you were capable of posting a loss in spite of a big meal AND TOM --that's pretty awesome. :)

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