Tag Archives: weight loss

Stuff and Things

A roundup of randamity. Also known as the randomness of what’s been going on in my life and what’s been floating around in my head:

  • I ran a hole in my favorite pair of running shoes. Sadly, my go-to running store didn’t have any in my size (not my favorite shoe, not any shoe). After way too many emotions about a pair of shoes, I tracked down one pair in the city. Unfortunately, the colors are … well … they speak for themselves:
New shoes

Love the shoes. Don’t love the colors.

  • My favorite springtime running jacket — from my first half marathon (in 2011) — no longer fits comfortably over a growing Baby B belly and, mostly, growing Baby B boobs. I zipped it up Saturday and could barely breathe; there was NO WAY I was going to be able to run in it:
Running jacket not fitting

I am the most sad about this jacket (temporarily) not fitting me. (Apparently the mirror needs cleaning — please ignore.)

  • This weekend, I was due for nine miles as part of my Gazelle Girl Half Marathon training. I was really hoping to get in 10 miles, though — knowing that I could get in 10 at least a couple of times between now and April 13 would leave me feeling more comfortable about the race run. Well, Mr. B wanted to go for a run Saturday morning. Always happy to oblige, I said “of course!” And we went out for two miles together. After he left for work, I laced up the new shoes and headed out for my planned training run. I got in my 10 miles. But, it wasn’t pretty. The first eight miles were good. I felt good — mentally and physically. But at about 8.5, everything started hurting. And my IT band gave me the first fit it’s ever given me since I started running. It was horrible pain. But I limped/ran/jogged/walked through my last 1.5 miles to make it to 10. Only when I was driving home did it hit me that I’d actually run 12 miles Saturday. No wonder it was so hard on my legs: it’s been a long, long time since I’ve run that much in one day. I’m proud of my 10 miles. Slow and painful as it was (for me), I’m proud of that run. Because I finished it. For me and the little one:
on my run

A smile at mile 7. Before everything started screaming.

  • I am blessed with the most wonderful husband. He’s kind, compassionate, generous and loving. And he puts up with a lot of emotions from me (which have only been made more “interesting” lately). But, best of all? He gives the best IT band massage in all the land. It hurts oh-so bad. He doesn’t even get mad at me when I  accidentally smack at him when it hurts too much. He’s so much better than my foam roller.
  • This weekend Mr. B and I head north to spend Easter with my family. I’m so very much looking forward to it. I’ve been feeling homesick lately — a feeling I’m thinking is only going to get worse as the pregnancy continues. (It’s SO WEIRD going through all of this without my mom by my side.) There will be lots of family time and lots of yummy food. And Son-Rise Service at my mom’s church. I’m not an overly churchy person, but there is just something about Easter that I’ve always enjoyed. My favorite songs are Easter songs. Especially these ones:
  • Since I’ve told people that Mr. B and I are expecting a darling Baby B, I’ve had a lot of interesting reactions. While the reactions have been mostly happy and excited, I’ve heard my fair share of “Wow! You work fast!” — as if our family planning decisions are anyone’s business but our own. It’s quite bothersome that anyone would want to steal one tiny ounce of the joy and over-the-moon excitement that Mr. B and I are feeling. Letting it roll off my skin feels so good. Because we couldn’t love this baby more. And, like our entire love story, Baby B is happening at exactly the right time — for us.
  • I’ve also had several people wonder about how I feel about pregnancy weight gain. “After all that hard work you put in to lose weight, you’re just going to gain it all back.” That’s the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever heard because:
    • Part of the reason I wanted to lose weight and get healthy was so that I’d be able to have a baby (or babies) some day. Because I wanted a healthy pregnancy and to give my child the best possible start he/she could have.
    • I lost 100 pounds. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to gain back 100 pounds during this pregnancy.
    • Getting my life in order, taking care of myself, eating right and losing weight has given me all of the tools I need to take care of myself before, during AND after this pregnancy. For me and my family.
    • Whatever weight I’ll gain because of this baby is weight I’m happy to carry. Because I’m growing an actual human being. And I am proud of what my body is doing for this baby.
    • My weight gain (or lack thereof) during this pregnancy is no one’s business by mine, my husband’s and my doctor’s. Trust me, I’m all over it. I do enough worrying for all of us.
  • My tiredness is starting to fade. Instead of “needing” a nap every day when I get home from work, I’m operating on just two or three naps a week. Sadly, the bazillion trips to the bathroom a day are not waning. I drink a lot of water, so I’ve always been a frequent flier to the bathroom. But this? It’s ridiculous.
  • I am already so very much in love with this baby.
  • Some days, at the end of the day, when all is quiet and life is calm, I find myself just sitting on the couch thinking about my life. Full of disbelief that this really is my life. Married to my best friend — and the best person I’ve ever had the pleasure to know (not to mention lucky enough to get to spend my life with). Expecting our first child. Working in a job I love that teaches me something new every day. Surrounded by family who are friends and friends who are family — people who want the best for me, who bring out the best in me. Even on the worst of days, my life is blessed so big. And I am so humbly and unbelievably grateful.

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Better Than I Used to Be

As I was running (a very tough, dragging-on-too-long-for-as-short-as-it-was run) along the path that runs along the freeway the other day, I looked up to see the following on a billboard:

“You’re in front of the person behind you. Stay there.”

It’s for a nearby university. But it’s fitting for fitness, too. Particularly for those who may be just starting out on the path to reaching their fitness goals. (Whispery aside: Or those who need a reminder of how far they’ve come — no matter what their disordered thinking has them believing. I’m looking at you, Mrs. B.)

You see, contrary to what the sign is saying, it’s not always about where you are in relation to the other people around you. It’s about where you are in relation to yourself.

Then and now

Who I am is who I was, but that’s only part of the story. Cuz I’m more than that, too. And my story is far from over.

Every step you take is one in the right direction. Whether it’s a fast step or a slow step, you’re still in front of the version of yourself who would otherwise still be sitting on the couch.

“I ain’t as good as I’m gonna get, but I’m better than I used to be.” ~Tim McGraw, “Better Than I Used to Be”

I think people — myself sometimes included — believe they have to be perfect to be fit. They have to be a fast runner to be a runner. Or a long-distance cyclist to be a cyclist. Or a race winner to be a race runner. Or a … well, you get the picture.

It doesn’t help that there are judgy people out there that look at you and say (all rude-like with a case of the side-eye), “Um, there’s no way you’re a runner.” (Yes, this happened.)

You’re not going to get it perfect right out the door. You’re probably going to be slower than some people (you’ll be faster than some, too). You’re probably going to have more soreness in the beginning than you anticipated. But look at what you’re doing! You’re walking a mile when normally you would have driven; you’re running for 5 minutes straight when that used to be a thing of dreams; you’re swimming two laps when you used to just dangle your feet; you lost “only” 1 pound when before you just maintained.

And don’t get me wrong, there will be setbacks. Everything in life has setbacks. Even the biggest steps forward. And there will be days you’re slower than you “should” be or can’t run as far as you “should.”

Case in point: When I stepped back into intensive training in December, I was regularly hitting sub 8:30 miles for runs up to five miles. Today? I’m lucky if I can squeak out an 11-minute mile for a two-mile run. Thank the bronchitis and a lot of travel in the month of January and a couple of other health issues that popped up. A month of off-and-on running due to situations out of my control has taken its toll. And, quite frankly, it’s pissing me off. I want to be back where I was in December. But, I have to listen to my body and take care of it when it needs rest — because I need it to go the distance (figuratively and literally). I’m fighting my way back slowly. It’s frustrating that it can’t happen overnight. It can’t, right?

So, I’m having to take another look at my training schedule and my plan. I probably won’t be hitting that half-marathon PR I was hoping for in April. And the half marathon immediately followed by the 25k in May? We’ll have to see how training goes.

But the setbacks won’t make me quit. In fact, they’ll make me push myself harder — within reason. Because I am a stronger version of myself than I was before. In that time when a setback would send me back to the sidelines.

Because I want to stay in front of that person behind me,
that version of me in my past.

So, if you’re like me and you need to hear it (over and over and over again), I’ll share the pep talk I’ve been having to give myself lately:

Breathe. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Do the best you can in the situation you’re in now. And remember — you are far ahead of that version of yourself sitting on the sidelines. Lace up your shoes, and get out there. One step is better than no step. And if you can get two in, do it.


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A Letter

As we sit down to celebrate Christmas with our family and friends, I’d like to share a quick note to those who are already looking ahead to 2013 with hopes of taking control of their health and fitness — once and for all.

Dear New Year Newbie,

Welcome! I know this was a big, scary step for you to take after all these years of saying “tomorrow’s the day.” I know because I’ve been there. It wasn’t the new year when I took that first step in to the gym. But, for me — like for you, it was a brand-new start.

I’ve walked in your shoes, and I know that it can be hard to take that step, wondering what those other people must think of you when you walk through that door. But, don’t be too scared. Most people in the gym are there for the same reason: To take control of their health and to reap the benefits of exercise.

Now, you may hear people bemoaning the presence of the “Resolutionists.” I won’t lie to you: it’s true that some people will roll their eyes or make snide comments about your presence in the gym, knowing that many who “start fresh” on Jan. 1 don’t last through February.

But, I also promise you: it’s not everyone. Some people will welcome you to the gym and provide encouragement and advice (sometimes unsolicited). A majority, though, will go about their business, lifting weights, running on the treadmill or punching the heavy bag. They probably won’t even know you’re there. Because when they’re in the gym, they are there to do work — and, truthfully, they don’t care what anyone else is doing.

That last type? That’s me.

I go to the gym to get stuff done. Don’t be offended it I don’t make chit chat or approach you and say hello. Granted, if we make eye contact, I’ll absolutely smile and say “hi.” And, if you come up to me with a question, I’ll take out my headphones and answer. (OK, if I see someone looking really lost, I’ll ask them if they need help.)

I do know it’s scary to go to the gym alone because you’re afraid everyone’s looking at you, judging you. Rest assured, they’re not. Most people are like me: They want to get a good workout in, so they’re really not judging (or even noticing) the other people who walk through the door.

But, I do offer a few words of advice to make your first days in the gym a little smoother:

  • Learn the gym’s rules. If there’s a 30-minute limit to the cardio equipment, observe it. If you have to pre-register for a spin bike, do so. If there are certain lockers reserved for specific members, don’t use them.
  • Learn the “culture” of your gym. There’s a certain cycle/personality of every gym at different times of the day. For instance, I’ve learned that I’d rather lift in the morning because that’s when people are less chatty and more business when it comes to the gym. And I seldom have to push through a crowd of gossiping guys (and, yes, at my gym, it’s always the guys) to get to the weight bench. It may take time to really figure out the pulse of your gym, but you’ll be glad you did.
  • Use common courtesy. Don’t stand around blocking equipment while you’re chatting or resting or (for whatever reason) texting/gabbing on the phone. Be aware that there are other people in the gym, too. And be respectful. Oh, yeah, please (dear, God, please) wipe down the equipment after you use it.
  • Take advantage of the gym’s resources. Many gyms offer information, get-to-know-the-gym sessions, classes and nutrition resources that will help you reach your goals. What’s even better? Most of it is free.
  • Learn how to use the machines or weights or whatnot. If you don’t know how, ask. You’ll save yourself a lot of time — and injury. There is gym staff for a reason. And, if they’re not helpful, find another gym (if you can) where they are. Other gym-goers will most usually help when you ask them — as long as you do so courteously and appropriately.
  • Have confidence. Know that you’re there for one reason alone: you. And have faith in your own strengths and abilities. One thing about this new life you’re stepping into: You’ll quickly learn that you’re stronger than you ever imagined.
  • Forget them. Stop worrying about what other people in the gym are thinking about you and do what you know needs to be done. Once you get past that “ohmigoshwhataretheythinkingaboutme” hurdle, you’ll have a much more pleasant gym experience. Trust me. As soon as I realized no one really cared what I was doing in the gym (unless I was in their way), I stopped dreading the trip and started looking forward to it.
  • Don’t quit. You’re not going to be perfect at everything you attempt in the gym. I’ve failed at a lot — T2.5 often has to teach and reteach (and reteach) me how to do a lot of things. As someone who strives (STRIVES!) to be perfect in everything, this is hard for me. But, I grow so very much in the learning that it’s worth every failure when I finally succeed. So, please, please don’t give up. Love yourself to know — truly, deeply — that this is the best gift you could give yourself. And you are worth the work and the time and the money.

So, please, try not to be too nervous about the gym. I know that it can seem to be an intimidating place. But, once you get to know your gym, you’ll grow to love it and the feelings of empowerment and strength it can help you realize. And, if you ever doubt your strength — or your place in the gym — tell yourself, “I am worth this. I deserve this. I belong here.” Because you are, and you do.

I’m not an expert by any means, but I do know about my experiences (and my successes and my failures). And if you’d like to reach out and ask questions at any point along your journey, I’d love to answer them.



P.S. I’m really proud of you for setting these goals and making this commitment to yourself. You deserve only the best, and I’m excited to see how far you can go!

NApolean New YEar


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What’s Next?

Lest you think I’ve stopped thinking about my health and fitness goals, here’s an update on where I am.

Full disclosure: I’m still 28 pounds away from my “goal weight.” The closest I ever got was within 10 pounds. And then I trained for — and ran — a marathon. And I gained 15 pounds. And then, over the last year, I’ve gained 3 more.

I’m not mad. Or disappointed. Or stressed.

Sure, I like seeing the scale go down and feeling my efforts pay off. I like watching my muscles come out from underneath my loose skin. I like working really hard at a goal and succeeding. I like fitting into clothes I never thought I’d wear.

I mean, sure, I get mad at my body sometimes. Sad for a lack of progress. But I know why I’ve not made progress — it’s because I consciously made the decision over the past year to maintain where I am so I could focus on other areas of my life. (And, yes, I count the year’s 3-pound gain as a maintenance.)

I had been actively focusing on losing weight since late 2009. My mind, my body, my soul needed a break from the obsessive counting of what went in my mouth and calculating of calories for every activity I did. I needed a reminder of why I want to do this, why I want to be healthy. I needed to enjoy my progress and just live.

Besides, just because I’ve gained some weight doesn’t mean I’m a failure (she says to herself). It means I’m a 100 percent normal human being. This is normal life. A normal life I’ve loved living.

Making an effort at health and fitness isn’t so I can reach an ultimate goal weight. It’s so I can do things like, well, live an active life.

me and mr. b hiking

And do things instead of just think about them. And see things I never thought I’d get to see.

on the appalachian trail

Besides, the beautiful thing? I have the skills I need to get where I want to be. I know where I want to be and what I need to do to get there.

sitting on a rock

I’ve had my year to focus on enjoying my life, maintaining my fitness — treating myself sometimes more than I should and sleeping in sometimes more than I should. But it’s time to keep moving forward — and make the changes I need to make so 3 pounds doesn’t become 30 pounds.

The next step, as I look forward is to bring together what I know about leading a healthy, active life and incorporate that as Mr. B and I start our new life together as husband and wife, ensuring we’re both living our best lives possible — and taking care of ourselves so we can enjoy many more adventures together.

at niagara falls

Stay tuned as I dive back into training — a few half marathons on the horizon, and a brand-spakin’-new program from T2.5 to jumpstart things in the gym.

I hope Mr. B is prepared for what this means …


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Looking Back, Looking Ahead

I have been so very busy with being in love and planning a wedding that I nearly let one of my most important anniversaries pass me by. Today was the anniversary of the day I made the decision to take my life back from the obesity that was slowly taking it away from me. Three years. Wow. Time surely does fly.

I suppose it’s a good thing that my life is so full of blessings right now that I’m no longer spending so much of my time looking at the past and am instead living in the present while joyfully looking toward the future. But, truth be told, my past is part of me — it is who I am and who I will become. And there was a lot of fantastic that happened in my past. Fantastic that I wouldn’t have traded for anything in the world. There is no “before” and “after.” Because I am the same person living the same life — I’m just in a different place on my life’s journey.

But, I would be lying if I said losing weight and getting healthy didn’t have a HUGE effect on my happiness today. Because it did. It ohsoverymuch did. In fact, that portion of my journey feels like a lifetime away.

Before I continue with what I want to say about how losing weight and regaining my health has changed my life, I want to make one thing clear: I do not look at old pictures of myself and see someone ugly. I do not think that because I weighed nearly 300 pounds that I was less than beautiful.

Me in 2008

I remember feeling really pretty that day in that green shirt and my sister’s cute brown hat.

I think there’s a misconception that because I show “before” and “during” photos that I’m saying I was a less successful, intelligent, beautiful person than I am now. Because I’m not. The physical changes I’ve undergone are simply visual representations of the major changes I’ve undergone in the past three years since taking my life back. Changes that have happened with my mind, my body and my spirit.

Let me be clear: I believe the human body — in all of its forms, male, female, large, small — is extremely beautiful and, quite honestly, amazing.

But let’s not lie to each other, either. I was not healthy. I was on the verge of being put on high cholesterol and diabetes medication. I had my gall bladder removed at the ripe old age of 21. After viewing an ultrasound, my doctor told me that my liver was full of fatty deposits that were becoming difficult. I had stopped having regular periods and was told I would probably have a difficult time conceiving.

I may have been beautiful, but I was not healthy.

Thankfully, with my change of diet and addition of exercise, I’ve reversed all of these things. Well, all of them except the gall bladder removal. Because, well, clearly, once it’s gone, it ain’t comin’ back.

But, more than that, the past three years have shown me that I can do the things I once thought were too hard for me. I have shown myself that I am incredibly strong. And that, indeed, I have the power to change my situation.

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” ~Christopher Robin

So how has this journey changed my life? In so many ways. And it goes far beyond the list of improvements made to my health — my life expectancy.

  • Mr. B  and me? We probably never would have happened. Not only would I not have had the courage and confidence to send that silly little message to him on the online dating site, but Mr. B wouldn’t have looked twice at me. And it’s not because he’s shallow — because he’s not. He is a kind, loving and wonderful man who loves without judgment. He wouldn’t have looked twice because I wasn’t the person he was looking for — I didn’t have a sense of self or a lifestyle that fit with what he was looking for. Back then, we wouldn’t have been a match. This is another reason I don’t regret my past. Because my past gave me the lessons I needed to be ready for the gift of Mr. B’s love.
  • Running … dear, sweet running. That most certainly wouldn’t be part of my life. Not only was I uninterested in pushing myself in that way, but it wouldn’t have been safe for me to run — pounding nearly 300 pounds of person on joints is not really a good idea. Running has given me so much. It’s my therapy. It’s my reward. It’s my happiness. It’s my challenge.
  • That marathon? One of the proudest moments of my life? Would have been impossible for me. Yes, I said impossible. And I mean it. I can’t imagine missing that experience. It changed me. Forever. And, no matter what, I will always have that.
  • Friendship. Through this blog — and the one I started at the very beginning — I have been given the gift of friendship. From all over the world. These men and woman are the most of inspiring, hard-working, encouraging people I have ever known in my life. Some I’ve met, some I haven’t. Either way, they are my friends. And I can’t imagine my life without them.
  • Faith in — and love for — myself. I have always been proud of myself and my accomplishments. But watching myself grow and change — over hills and in valleys — over these past three years? I am so much more than I ever gave myself credit for. And I continue to fall in love with who I am becoming every day. (Even though I still struggle sometimes.)

So, you see, it’s not just about how much my pictures have changed over the past three years. Those are just pictures. But they do represent something. They show what I see when I look in the mirror now: A happy, healthy woman who is getting stronger every day.


Enjoying hiking and climbing sand dunes with Mr. B.


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Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

I have, admittedly, been busy lately and not writing as much as I’d like. Between wedding planning and working and spending time living, other things have taken precedence.

I’ve been so preoccupied, in fact, that I almost missed one of my most important anniversaries. It is kind of a big day for me. It’s the three-year anniversary of the day I decided to take control of my life, and tomorrow marks the day I actually took the steps to make those changes.

  • Starting weight, July 2009: 271 pounds
  • Current weight, July 2012: Healthy and happy
then and now

On the left, July 2009. On the right, July 2012.

I still cry when I see that picture on the left. And I (apparently) cry when I see the picture on the right. For two very different reasons.

In an effort to constantly improve and challenge myself, I sometimes forget how far I’ve come. And I sometimes forget to be proud of myself. And I sometimes forget to enjoy the ride. Reflection* is an important part of a life-long journey as well.

*You can guarantee that a reflection post is soon to follow.


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Knowing Love When I See It

I had a very different post planned than this one. It goes something like this:

There’s something happening in my life right now. And it’s pretty big. I’m at the point where I am living and loving life. And my pure joy and happiness is shining through. Lately, it is in my most candid photos, my silliest moment, where I am seeing what “healthy” truly looks like, what “happy” really is.

Me laughing

Enjoying the company of family. And a margarita.

me and a fish

Checking out one of the fish of our labor.

Some people may not think these are the best photos of me, but in them I see a happy, healthy woman who wasn’t concerned about sucking in her gut or posing with her “good side” forward. She simply lives.

But then something happened that had me feeling a lot of feelings. Feelings I’m not exactly proud of. And feelings that are so very not me. And I’m a little mad at myself for something I did last night — something that even made Mr. B give me a few moments of (well-deserved) silent treatment.

me and Mr. B by the bay

A moment in time, captured by a dear friend.


My friend — a friend I’m lucky to have gotten to know through Mr. B — posted the above photo after our weekend together up north. It’s a really lovely picture that captures a really lovely moment between Mr. B and me.

But instead of seeing the picture for what it is, I only saw this:

calling out my own weaknesses

Instead of seeing the love, I saw the loose skin and back fat.

When I looked at it again this morning, I’m reminded that in the morning light, with a different attitude, everything looks different. And I recalled the very post I had already started to write, the post I shared above.

This experience was just another reminder that I am a work in progress — physically, mentally, spiritually — and need to continually work at being nicer to myself. And I need to listen to my own advice; I would never let a friend say the things about herself or himself that I was thinking about myself last night.

I am happy. I am healthy. And a little saggy skin and back fat takes nothing away from that.

This morning, after a reflective hour-long drive from Mr. B’s house, I am able to look at that picture and see this — and mean it:

me and mr b with a heart around our cute heads

It’s love. It’s really, really love.

I am a work in progress, but I’m getting there.



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