Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dr Results (Jennifer)

Its been a tough few months, but especially the past few weeks.  The stress ate me alive for sure.  Or should I say I ate my stress.  I am disappointed in myself but at the same time know it doesnt define me and I know I can get back to where I was and even better as far as the weight goes.

Today I had my appt with the ENT for the results of my CT scans I had before Christmas.   I hadnt heard anything about them so I was assuming all was good.  The other day they called with the automated system to remind me of my appt.  Fine, until I heard that I was scheduled with the dr?  I usually the the nurse practitioner and that is who I scheduled my appt with.  But whatever...maybe it was nothing.  So I go there today and I waited an hour just to get into a room.  The nurse talked to me about my symptoms and said "they didnt find anything in there".  Oh good, I thought.  Then as she was leaving the room I asked who I was seeing today.  She looked and said the doctor and the nurse practitioner.  I thought to myself, Oh God, thats not a good sign.  I waited another half hour in the room and decided it was because I had to wait for both of them to be free at the same time.  Thank God my mom came with me.  Then the nurse practitioner opens the door and tells me to come out.  What?  Um...this is the exam room and you are supposed to come IN!!!  I didnt say that of course.  What I did say was "OH GOD".  She must have see the worry and said not to worry its wasnt that bad.  I go out and there is the dr at the computer looking at my scan.  He showed me how I have sinus blockage which is probably causing my discomfort.  He said I also have TMJ which is contributing to the issue.  I knew that.  I have had it for years.  So, six weeks of therapy for my jaw (who knew there was such a thing) and then some sort of sinus surgery which is not as invasive as it used to be I guess.  And since the right side doesnt look normal either, but not as bad as the left, he will *fix* that too. He used all sorts of big words and medical terminology which totally lost me.  But, at least I wasnt crazy all this time. 

And on top of that(yes, its gets better), the new practice I saw a few weeks ago for a new primary care dr...well they called yesterday morning to inform me my thyroid function is low.  Hypoactive thyroid, and now they want me on medicine.  I have an appt next week to discuss that.  I have been tested tons of times for thyroid disease and nothing has ever been *off*.  Why now?  The thought of taking a pill every day for the rest of my life....I think I just need more information and be a little more educated.

So, I hope all of you had a great holiday.  I wish mine wasnt so stressful but overall it was a great time.  I definately gained some weight and I feel absolutely nasty.  And I mean that.  NASTY.  There is a roll hanging over the pants again, at least the ones that still fit(not kidding) and I have got some awful acne which I am sure has something to do with how poorly I have been eating.  Today someone from the gym said they were wondering where I have been, and that I look tired.  Yup.  Thats about it!  But I am on my way back.  Not having the frustration of not feeling well without knowing why is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  Getting back into my healthy routine is tough but I am doing it!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

No news... (Jennifer)

My scan was Tuesday afternoon and I havent heard anything yet.   My hubs is a big fan of "no news is good news".  I hope he is right.  I am off to bed.  Thanks for the prayers and thoughts.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I went (Jennifer)

After trying to talk myself into rescheduling my appt for my catscan today I decided to get it over with and I went.  So now I wait.  I am waiting to NOT get a call back that something is wrong.  If all that is going on is from TMJ (they say this is a possibility) then I will gladly accept that and deal with it.  Really I would.  It beats many of ther alternatives.  My follow up appt is at the end of the month "unless something is wrong, then they will call sooner".

I forgot to share a little story in my post last night.   Yesterday I went for my allergy testing.  I am allergic to most things apparently but dont have many symptoms so that is good.  This testing, however, is one of the *straws* they are grabbing at for a diagnosis.  I dont buy it.  Anyway, I was there for quite a while because apparently when you are allergic there are several rounds of injections to see just how allergic you are.  So, I got chatting with the lady who was stabbing me with needles over and over again.  I was telling her how I have lost over 60 lbs and she screamed (she was a very outspoken kind of lady) "Wow!  You would never know!  You are such a tiny little thing!".  Me?  Tiny?  Um...I immediately thought about how this was going to have to make it into my blog.  She was a smaller lady, much smaller than me in my opinion so I was shocked to hear that come out of her mouth.  And it felt good, even though the scale revealed I gained...are you ready???....9.6 lbs in the past few weeks.  Between the steroids, not feeling well and just plain giving in the scale was there to remind me of the consequence.  But, I wont let it get me down.  However, I DO feel it in a major way.  The pants are tight, I feel the roll over the pants, and just plain fluffier.  Its a good reminder that 10 lbs can change things so much.  Sometimes when losing weight, slowly especially, its hard to notice the difference a few pounds makes.  Until you put it back on and feel like a house. 

I am not giving up at all.  I will continue on with this journey to a healthy me.  And I hope that I can turn the stress off and refocus on my exercise and eating.  I have been praying the test went well today.  Thanks to you all for your thoughts and prayers.  They are much appreciated.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Stressed (Jennifer)

Most people claim to be stressed around the holidays.  Maybe its the shopping, or spending lots of money, lots of things to get done and much busier schedules than usual.  Me...I have always loved Christmas time.  I love the music, I love the shopping, wrapping, spending time with family, and this year decorating the tree with my girls was the best time I have had in ages.

But I am stressed for a different reason.  Most of you know I havent been feeling very well lately.  I have had swollen glands, been to several dr visits, three rounds of anitbiotics, steroids, antihistimines, mucinex, allergy testing, x-ray...etc.  They have said its pneumonia, then the chest xray was clear, maybe its allergies, or TMJ.  Lots of maybes but no feeling better.  Today was my follow up visit with my ENT.  I told her how my left side of my neck is still feeling swollen and uncomfortable and my ear still hurts.  It feels like it goes right down into my chest and I dont really know how else to explain it other than my left side of my face, neck, ear, throat, and  part of my chest dont feel right.  They decided its time to do a CT scan.  They scheduled it for tomorrow.  While logically I know it is the next step in figuring this whole thing out (its been going on for months now), I am very stressed over it.  I have mentioned before that becoming terminally ill is one of my biggest fears in life.  Now...I know this is jumping the gun but for some reason its always in the back of my mind.   In my mind, I fear that they will find something, call me a few days before Christmas with bad news, I would be upset for the holiday, and it just goes on from there.  I honestly dont know where this fear comes from.   I cant figure that out no matter how hard I try.  But, it definately plays a big part in my fear of going to the dr. 

That was a big deal for me to share *outloud*.  Call it, (and me) what you will but that is just how I feel.  I wish I didnt have this fear, believe me.   It definately isnt pleasant.  So now I know that I will have this test tomorrow afternoon and then spend the rest of the day(s) petrified that they will call and tell me something is wrong.  Part of me (the fear in me) wants to call and reschedule the test for right after Christmas so that in the event that something is wrong so it wont ruin my Christmas.  The logical part of me wants to just get the test done.

So thats it.  Pretty deep right?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Getting there (Jennifer)

I have been doing pretty well in my eating since getting back on track.  But, tonight we had dinner with the inlaws and while the day was going well and I ordered a salad for dinner, I then started picking at my daughters food...then some other left overs.  Then, my mother in law had fudge in the car and it was all over from there.  Those of you who read regularly know this is a roadblock for me!

But it was not a complete failure.  In the past if I overate I also gave up on exercise.  Always.  I am an all or nothing kind of girl usually.  Thats why when I was on steroids and eating everything in sight, I also did not exercise. And not feeling well didnt help.  I figured...what's the point?  I am too far gone today so I will start tomorrow.  I said that day after day after day until it was two weeks later.

Today, after overeating and feeling bad about it, I told myself right away that I was going to hit the treadmill tonight.  Some exercise is better than no exercise.  This very statement is a huge accomplishment for me to even be able to think!!!!   So, I went home and even though the hubs was too tired to exercise, he came down with me and napped while I did.  I could have easily skipped but I actually *wanted* to do it.   Like I had something to prove to myself or something.

Last night I planned on one fast paced mile(fast pace for me is 6mph).  I ended up doing two miles alternating between 6mph and 7mph.  I pushed myself and did 2 miles in 19:19.  Then I walked for  a quarter of a mile and ran another mile at 5mph for 3 total running miles yesterday.  Tonight, I was unsure what I was going to do.  I got on and started at 6mph.  I ended up doing 2 miles at 6mph (20:20), walked for a quarter mile again, and then did another 2 miles at 5mph.  Four miles tonight.  I never walk in the middle of my runs but I figured since I was running a faster pace than usual I would give myself that little recoup time in the middle.  

So, since Wednesday when I got my act back together and decided to try to meet this 26 mile challenge by the end of the month ( I had not run at all this month before then) I have completed 13 miles.  Wow.  Thats half way to my 26 mile goal.  Tomorrow I will most likely take a rest day but will try to focus on my eating.


Friday, December 17, 2010

The dreadmill (Jennifer)

Last night I got on the treadmill for a run.  I joined Jess's challenge to run 26 miles in the month of December.  As of the 15th I hadnt run even one mile yet because of how I was feeling.  So I was asking myself if its a possibility to run 26 miles in 16 days.  And I decided that all I can do is try.  I sure like a challenge.  My glands were a little less swollen yesterday so I hopped on the dreadmill and went at a leisurely pace, although even that seemed a little tougher than usual.  I ran 4 miles to make my total of 6 miles this month so far. 

My run last night was not as enjoyable as some I have had on the treadmill.  There was no runners high making me want to keep running.  Instead, there was a lot of watching the laps blinking (I covered up the time but still knew how far I was running by watching the laps-such a cheater I am) and waiting for it to end.  There are no changes in scenery or distractions like there are on an outdoor run.  But at the same time I am so very thankful to have one in my home(even though I almost sold it a dozen times in my big girl days). When all was said and done the treadmill said I burned over 600 calories for my 4 miles.  I am not sure how accurate that is though.  I have asked Santa for a new calorie monitoring watch  :)

Another run is in the plans for tonight.  I am hoping I am feeling this one a little more.  Its so hard after a tough run to convince myself to go at it again.   But then I tell myself its only 30 -45 minutes and there is no excuse!  I came across an article about losing weight and running.  The article was saying how when we run our bodies can get used to it after a while and refuse to drop any further weight, or even gain weight...even with a proper diet. Doesnt that seem so unfair???The guy recommended that if this happens (or to avoid it) that a person should change one or all of these things up....change intensity of run, speed, and/or distance.   I am thinking i will do a quick mile on there tonight.  Short and intense.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Amazed (Jennifer)

I am nothing short of amazed by how different my body feels in just a few days.  I have spent much of the last two weeks eating poorly and being hungry most of the time.   My tummy hurt, I felt guilty, my pants were tight, I felt frumpy and I swear I saw a fat girl in the mirror.  I got back on track in the last few days and I am just totally amazed at the difference.

I have been putting my *normal* healthy things(more protein, less sugar, whole grains, veggies, etc)  into my body and in return my body has had no hunger pains, cravings, no bloated feeling, etc.  Wow.  That is just the affirmation I needed.  And mentally, just feeling like I am doing good for myself makes a world of difference.  I dont like to feel like I am letting myself down.  Does that sound stupid?

The hubs will be home from work soon and I will attempt a run on the treadmill.  Yesterday I did a run( also on the treadmill since it has been snowing here by the feet for the past two weeks) which while it was successful in the end, it was not the smoothest thing in the world.   I was also trying to make sure my girls were staying out of trouble.  They are two and three so it was hard to run and keep my attention on them too.  Its impossible to get into *the zone* that makes running even a possibility for me.  In fact, I am not sure I will try it again any time soon. 

So, thats it.  I am learning lots throughout this journey.  Eat good things and I will feel good.  Eat crappy food and I feel crappy..well, other than for those few short minutes while actually eating it!  Its not worth it.  I am actually glad to have had this experience.  Its okay to splurge and eat some yummy stuff here and there but not every day all day like I was.  I cant even believe that is how I used to live every day for years.  The other day I looked back and actually got sad that I missed out on so many years of my life, good years too, by being obese.  It restricted me in so many ways from being the person I now know I am capable of being.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I am back (Jennifer)

I cannot even tell you how awful it felt eating like crap.  I mean, the food that I ate was yummy but most of the time my stomach was uncomfortably stuffed to the gill yet I was hungry(thanks to the steroids) and I was feeling guilty.  And to be honest I kind of treated it  like it was a *break* from my healthy lifestyle and almost like the steroids were the excuse.   

Looking back I learned some huge lessons.  First, once my appetite increased and my stomach expanded it was very hard to go back to eating smaller portions.  I would start the day off with the best of intentions and end up caving for one thing or another swearing tomorrow would be a better day....the day to start.  I caught myself in the act though, and recognized this vicious cycle.  Start what?  This is my life, not some game.  I am glad I had the willpower to get back in control and out of the cycle before too much damage.  And I am happy that although I did gain some weight, that a few pounds was enough to make me feel gross and *want* to get back to my healthy ways.  I am avoiding the scale for a bit to focus on my my healthy behaviors.

Second, although I have been stressed about not feeling well lately, knowing that I was not eating well and not exercising much made my mood even worse.  I felt bad about myself.  I was failing myself and I knew it.  I caught myself with a damaged self esteem and outlook again.  I talked with my husband about it and he agreed that I was pretty cranky and feeling not so great about myself.  He must have told me 5 times over the past week to go for a run.  Does it really make that much aof a difference?  Apparently so :)

I went for a run today.  I started with two miles since its been a while.  It was nice.  I wish I could say that I am feeling better physically but I am still not.  My glands are still all swollen and my ear, neck and chest all hurt...mostly on the left side  :(   Nothing back on the blood work yet.  I think I will call tomorrow and maybe even make another appt.  I am hoping no news is good news .  My allergy testing with the ENT is Monday but I am doubting that is what is causing all this. 

Thanks to you all for your continued support and kind words.  Its amazing how words from someone you never even met can make your day, right?

Jess-think I can do the 26.1 miles by the end of the year?????? Today was the first I ran this month I think  :(


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tomorrow (Jennifer)

I dont think that when I created this blog that I intended to use it for accountability.  But I have to say that right now, that is exactly what I am using it for.  I have been struggling with not feeling that well.  And I still have swollen glands and I am not feeling that great(still no answers by the way).  But I am now off the steroids (which I dont believe helped anything at all including my weight) and I am hoping to get back into the swing of things. I have really let myself go and I dont like how it feels.  It is like a blast from the past and I need to take my life back into control before I undo much more of my hard work.

Tomorrow.  I need to have a plan.  I havent been exercising because I just havent been feeling that great.  But not exercising isnt really making me feel better either.  So, I am back at it tomorrow.  I plan to get up and run in the morning.  Its my best shot of jump starting myself back into the lifestyle I want to live.  With the exercise, it is much easier for the healthy eating to follow.  Its odd how that works for me.  An all or nothing girl I guess   :)

Water, I need to drink tons of water too.  That should combat some of the hunger I am struggling with now that my stomach seems to have stretched and I am wanting to eat more before getting full.

I need to get back to blogging regularly too.  That helps me immensely.  I am also going to go back and read some of my older posts to hopefully reinspire myself.  The scale will be ugly tomorrow no doubt.  But I must face it.  This isnt a game.  This is my life.

I am a bit disappointed in myself that I let myself fall out of my healthy habits.  I had been in *the groove* for so long that I thought it was my norm.  I was shocked I let myself fall out of that .  I partially blame the steroids as they did make me soooo hungry, but part of me kind of gave into that as well.  Like I had an excuse.  But, whats done is done and there is no point in dwelling on what I cant change.  What I can change is the choices I make from this day forward.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

A few appointments (Jennifer)

The other day I had my appt with the ENT.  I saw the nurse practitioner who after hearing my symptoms went and brought the dr in.  They did a scope of both my nose and throat right then and there.  The good news is that everything *looks* good in there.  He said it is possible that my symptoms are being caused by allergies causing fluid to drain into my chest.  But he didnt think so.  He said another option is that it could be from my severe TMJ.  I have had TMJ since I had my wisdom teeth out as a teenager.  He said that can cause intense inflammation and radiate into the neck.  I still feel like I have this swollen feeling in my neck and chest...all on the left side.  So, I am having allergy testing done next week and he wants me to see a physical therapist for the jaw which is said is a quick fix???  Hmmm... I can only imagine.  Anyway, he said if things arent better in 4 weeks he would like to do a CT scan of my face and neck.

Today was my appt with the new primary care practice.  I had decided I had enough of the very large(an ineffecient) practice where I was going.  This new practice has 1 dr and 1 PA.  I felt welcomed there.  I met with the PA who had excellent bedside manner and actually took the time to hear me out.  She said it is great that the xray I had is negative but that she disagreed that I had been put on 3 consecutive rounds of antibiotics.  She listened to my chest and said I have rough(I think this is what she said??) on the left but there is no pneumonia sound.  And apparently thats okay?  I am not sure how it works since I am not a dr.  But if it sounds different doesnt that mean something isnt right? She did take some blood work, which I dread because it just means I have to wait for more results and stress over it!  I am totally like that.  I wish I werent!  Amongst the bloodwork is a thyroid test.  qAnd, I got a flu shot today too. 

I would love it if all of this were *just* allergies.  Odd that just the left side is swollen and its all the way from my ear to my chest...hmmmm....  I am trying to be patient. 

Thats about it for now.  I am off the steroids today so that is a plus!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Checking in (Jennifer)

Just a quick check in.  Tomorrow I see a nurse practitioner at the ENT practice.  I made the appt last week because I am getting fed up with how I am feeling.  My glands near my ear and down the left of my neck are still swollen.  And I am pretty sure the antibiotics(all three rounds now) arent helping whatever it is that is going on.  I am weaning off of my short treatment of steroids, 8 days total, and surprisingly I am not sure they helped that much either.  They certainly did NOT help as far as my eating is concerned.  And to be honest I cant wait to feel back in control of what I put in my mouth.  My appetite on steroids is so hard to explain.  Its more than just being hungry.  I am ravenous. My stomach is growling and hungry(starving it seems) yet my tummy is full.   But I eat anyway, as if I hadnt eaten in days.  Its kind of like the whole middle step of thought processing before eating is non existent.  This experience has taught me a lot about myself.  It made me realize how(before this week) I was really doing pretty well with my thought processes in my everyday diet for the last several months.   I have been able to exercise control and eat proper foods that made me feel good.  I look forward to getting back there.

Thanks for all your thoughts, well wishes and prayers.  They are much appreciated. 


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quick update (Jennifer)

The good news is that they called Friday evening and said my chest x-ray was negative.  The bad news is that I still dont feel  normal or like any of the meds are fixing it...AND I am on steroids which is a nightmare for someone trying to eat well.  I am hungry, VERY hungry.  I had actually forgetten (and this is definately a huge reminder) how it feels to be so out of control hungry.  My pants are tight, I feel bloated, and my self image has plummeted because of it.  Only a few more days on this medicine though.  I have an appt next week that I made with an ENT and also a new primary care practice.  So...I will keep my fingers crossed and keep praying.  Thanks to you all for your kind words and thoughts.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

No update (Jennifer)

As expected, I did not get a call back about my chest xray yesterday.  And also as expected, when I called today they said they didnt see the results and my dr isnt in today so I wouldnt hear anything anyway.  Tomorrow I will call again and hope to hear good news.  She isnt in until mid afternoon.  Getting bad news on a Friday afternoon would totally stink :(  Trying to be positive.

I did, however, decide that it is time for me to get out of that practice and into a smaller one.  So, I made myself an appt for next week.  They were just so nice on the phone so I am hopeful. 

Fingers crossed.  I really appreciate the thoughts and prayers.  I have been praying a lot.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Getting nervous (Jennifer)

I have been saying how I have been back and forth to the dr and they kept saying bronchitis, then it was bronchitis on its way to pneumonia...etc.  I have now been on antibiotics for what seems like forever.  I went back in for my follow up this morning and told her I really dont feel much better.  I still feel like there is something in my chest I cant get out.  She listened and said it sounds wheezy and like pneumonia.  She also said the glands on the left side are extremely swollen and I have quite a bit of fluid in my left ear.  I got a chest x-ray and I am waiting for the resuts.  But I have to be honest.  I am getting really nervous that it is more than pneumonia.  She put me on round 3 of antibiotics and now steroids too (ugh).  Which is odd because she said today that she has already used the "big guns" on me (Cipro and Levaquin).  To me, (I am not a dr by any means)  if it were pneumonia wouldnt it be getting better with all these antibiotics?? 

So now I wait for the dr to call me with my xray results.  She is off tomorrow so I am hoping I hear something today.  I get myself all nervous waiting for results like these.  I am a nervous nelly.  And, I am a little sour with my previous medical experiences, as I have posted about before, so that doesnt help either.  I have been so tired.  It just isnt like me to feel like I want to nap during the day or to still feel exhausted when I wake up in the morning.  I am hoping this all gets cleared up fast.  I am petrified there is something really wrong.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Something to prove (Jennifer)

All your comments yesterday were so encouraging, so instead of hanging around sulking about my large gain on the scale yesterday I decided to fight back.  I had something to prove to myself.  That the darn scale was not going to rule me.  I did the weight class at the gym yesterday morning and then intended on going for a run later in the day outside.  Well, the day got away from us and it wasnt until after the kids went to bed last night that I had some time.  So, I hopped on the treadmill (aka- Dreadmill).  I thought I would do around 3 miles and burn about 450 calories if I had it in me. 

MUCH to my surpise, something came over me when I was running.  I drudged through mile 2 and then decided I could go longer because it seemed to get better for me.  I would aim for 4 miles.  I kept it on a leisurely pace for me, 5mph.  I had my tunes on and felt great.  I  had new running shoes the hubs bought me and this ROCKSTAR bra that I am sure couldnt be better for me!!!  Around 4.5 miles in I definately got some kind of burst of energy.  I was singing and hootin and hollerin...I think I startled the hubs who was quietly watching TV after his workout. 

So, when all was said and done.....6.6 miles on the treadmill!!!!!!!!!!!!   That is a record for me as my longest run was 5 miles and that was only one time.  I completed a first ever!!!!   My 10K time was 73 minutes.  Once I got to 6.2 miles(10K) I decided I would try to make it to 7 miles.  And I could have...except apparently my treadmill shuts off and stops when you get to 1000 calories burned.  Interesting right?  Nonetheless, I am so proud of myself for my accomplishment. 

Today between the two exercise events yesterday my body is sooooo sore.  Even walking seems a task.  But its okay with me!!!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Disgusted (Jennifer)

For the holiday weekend I went home to visit my family.  The hubs and I ran a 5K turkey Trot (see last post) and it was a great time.  I had decided that I would let myself enjoy a little of the holiday food, but I had no intention of eating the way I did.  And, although it wasnt nearly as bad as the Old Jen would have eaten, I ate things I havent had in ages.  It was a choice I made.  I didnt feel out of control or anything.  It was more like I wanted to let myself enjoy for the holiday. I had some wine, cookies, cake, dip, pie....So while I was home visiting with this person and that person I made bad choices.   And my tummy paid the price for it.  I cant believe how awful the food left me feeling!  But, I knew I could and would get back on track if I gained a few lbs.

A few pounds??? 


I am disgusted to say that after eating like crap for 4 days, the scale says I am up 7 lbs from last week.  Yup, 7.  My husband was like shocked when I got on the scale.  He said I didnt deserve that amount of weight.  I am honestly not sure what it is with me that if I stray from my allowed reduced calorie range my body revolts.  The hubs and I discussed it a bit and wonder if my body is still in starvation mode with 1500 calories I have been allowing.  That would make sense that when I go over it for a few days I put on large amounts of weight very quickly.  That is just what was happening when I was taking in 1200 calories. 

So, I am changing my calories to about 1600 per day and I will keep up with my exercise.  I am thinking this will be good for now.  I am happy, yet ashamed, to say that on Wendesday morning before we left town I did a sneak peek at the scale and saw 159.  I was overjoyed!  I had been waiting for this number for what seemed like forever!  So really since Wednesday the scale is up 8 lbs. 

Despite all of this it never once even crossed my mind to give up and go back to the Old Jen.  That is not an option..  I am more ticked that I undid my hard work and have to redo it!!!  But, that is just what I will do.  I am going to the weight class at the gym in a little while, and since it will be in the 40's today (whoo hoo!!!) I can plan a run too.

I did complete most of my goals that I set for myself to complete by Thanksgiving.  I completed my 25 mile goal that I set back on Nov 2.  The turkey trot 5K completed it!!!  Here is a pic of me on the way home after the race(Karen-your before/afters were way better!  Missed you!)  I felt accomplished!  

This accomplished feeling when I exercise is what I choose to hold onto.  Its who I want to be!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Trot 5k (Jennifer)

The hubs and I did a Turkey Trot 5k while we were home for the holiday visiting family.  This is my third one I have done, my first one being last month!  I figured I better get them in before it is too cold to do anymore.   And boy was it cold yesterday!!!  This time we didnt have any *supporters* there to watch us(Karen- I was missing you and your awesome sign!!!) so we had to leave our coats and camera in the car, and we had no one to take our pre and post race pictures.  So waiting around for the race at 30 degrees was pretty chilly!  But as usual I warmed right up when I started running.  Thank God!

I just cant get over how each race is soooo diferent.  There are so many variables that go in to each race making the experience unique.  The last race we did was about 1000 people with fewer spectators, my first was like 2500 people with lots of spectators, and the race yesterday was 7000 people with lots of spectators mostly around the beginning and end.  It was run in the city on the city streets and it makes you realize just how wide the streets AREN'T when 7000 people are running in the same direction!!   There was again no mat so I wasnt sure where the exact starting point was but I knew I must have been somewhere near the front-ish.  I could hear the man talking on the microphone but couldnt see or understand him.  We took off and then stopped.  Then started again...and stopped. There were just soooo many people!   Finally we started running and kept running.   People were bumping other people left and right trying to pass.  It was bound to happen with that many people.  The hubs and I tried to stay together but must have both agreed it was just too hard so we stayed within eye distance of each other but ran on our own.  People were tripping and I even saw a girl fall.  The poor thing.  I wasnt far behind her.  We were probably 2.5 miles into the run and someone bumped her from behind and down she went.  She did some kind of a impressive ninja roll move and popped back up, but boy she didnt look amused.   I asked her if she was okay.  She was.  Then I saw another girl sitting down rocking her ankle in pain.  I actually rolled my ankle at one point but it seemed to be okay.  Luckily I didnt fall.

Then came the hill.  Before the race I was looking at the course map and I heard these girls talk about the hill.   Hmmmm...what I read online said *flat*.  Nope....there was a hill after mile two at some point.  I remember looking up and seeing the people running up it and thinking....OMG!!!  It did slow me down a bit but I managed.  It was more steep than it was long. 

I had bought myself a new cheap stopwatch at Walmart, and I was excited to use it.  But since I didnt really know where the start point was and I didnt see any mile markers/time board until mile 2 I wasnt sure what kind of time I was making until then.  Then the hill came, the girl fell, and I almost forgot about it!  I remember seeing more spectators and thinking that we must be nearing the finish.  I tried to pick up my speed a bit at the end, but I was tired and there were still tons of people.  7000 people is the biggest crowd I have run in yet. 

But there it was, the finish line.  And I could see I was over 31 minutes and I felt a sense of disappointment, although I am ashamed to even say that now.  I crossed the finish line at 32:01 and my chip time ended up being:  31:01.  So....23 seconds slower than my last race.  But when I got thinking about it, I realized I cant ALWAYS better my time.  Plus, there was a hill, it was cold, and 7000 people!  I really think that running with that many people made it more difficult than the other races.  I was constantly watching where I stepped, who was around me, etc.  But yet, it drew a larger crowd which was awesome! 

That was probably the last 5k until spring with the weather getting darn right chilly.  I cant wait to do another!!!  Maybe over the winter I will work on my speed and do shorter intervals on the treadmill... I just cant even get over the thought that these thoughts are coming from me.  I used to be so non-athletic!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BLAH (Jennifer)

Between this crappy weather and not feeling great, and then taking medicine that made me feel less great, I am kinda BLAH today.  And yesterday too for that matter.  Yup, BLAH.  Then I go to check into blogland and I see that so many of you are struggling these past few days too!  It must be the change in weather, less daylight, or just something in the air.  While I dont wish the BLAH on anyone, its nice to know its not just me!  I spent today wondering what my deal is.  Why the BLAH?  I dont think my antibiotic (round 2) is working, and to be honest I am not sure I had/have bronchitis to begin with, but hey, I a not a dr.  I have to trust that she examined me well last week.  It just feels like there is something in my chest I cant cough out.  Nasty, I know, but thats how it is.  And I have been tired...really tired.  Even took a nap when the girls did today.  That is something I never do. 

In addition, I think part of the BLAH is that I did not run yesterday or today, or have any plan of a run in this weather.  Its windy, rainy, and cold.  I am not a fan of the treadmill.  I also havent been to the weight class at the gym and with the holiday and such I dont foresee that happening until next week either :(  

I did, however, CHOOSE to work out with Tony Little tonight in front of my TV.  I think that having roadblocks in the way of my normal exercising has bummed me out a little and added to the BLAH.  So, I figured a little Tony Little spunk could do no harm.  Feeling like I am helping myself is the one of the things that I have learned helps my motivation. I do feel better having exercised, but all the way through it I wanted it to end.  I did give my all but just really was not feeling it.  I was considering a Turkey Trot 5k on Thursday but the weather the last I checked wasnt sounding great.  Do people run these things in rain and sleet?

With all the BLAH has come the want to eat bad stuff.  And for the most part I have been good.  I am logging my calories the best I can, drinking my water, eating my protein but still it doesnt seem like I am giving my all.  Odd right?  I even had a brief moment where I thought "yaaaaay, Biggest Loser is on tonight.  I can sit and watch on the couch with a treat".  Wow. Now that was a blast from the past speaking.  I quickly realized I had the thought and that my calories for the day are done.  No treats.  One word explains it best:  BLAH.

But, my chin is up!!!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Weigh In Results (Jennifer)

Thank you all for your kind comments on my 5k pictures I posted yesterday!  It was so much fun!  Its Monday so its weigh in day.  This weekend the girls went with my parents, and the hubs and I had a weekend to ourselves.  It was nice, but we ate out a lot.  We dropped them off Friday night and went to dinner.  Then on Saturday I made the hubs a breakfast he loves, but for lunch and dinner...we went out...both meals.  This was typical behavior for the Old Jen.  To the New Jen it felt more like a treat.  I tried to make excellent choices but experience tells me that eating out is tough when it comes scale time.  We did run 5k on both Saturday and Sunday, but after the 5k yesterday we went to our local Firehouse for their pancake breakfast....which was fabulous.  The problem was that after running we were pretty hungry!    But to be honest, I didnt feel too bad about eating it.  I have been exercising and was supporting our local firehouse.

At any rate, the weekend came and went with 4 meals eaten out and 2 5K's run.  The scale said:  160.8 this morning. Last week I was 160.7 so I will call that the same!  Not bad for eating out all weekend.  I am actually proud of my choices for the most part.  I am so close to the 150's I can taste it.  And I want it.  No gym today for me though.  I am pretty tired between the runs and being sick and on all this medicine.  I am going to give my body a day off. 

This week is a tough eating week for many.  So, I am going to do my best to be prepared.  I am even considering a Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving morning.  We will have to see.  But, I cant think of a better way to start out on of the biggest eating days of the year, right?


Sunday, November 21, 2010

My second 5K (Jennifer)

The dr says I have bronchitis "on its way to pneumonia" so back on antibiotics I went last week.  So, I wasnt sure if I would be up for the 5K I had been hoping to do today.  But I did it!  The hubs ran it with me and it was much different than the last one(my first one) I did.  My friend Karen came to watch and cheer.  She even made a sign for me!  How nice is that???  The race was the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis...a great cause in my opinion.  We got to wear bells for the run and I even saw Santa running.  Anyway, it was pretty cold when we left the house this morning.  We did a practice run yesterday and it wasnt too great.  It was windy, cold,  and my lungs just hurt after mile 2.  So I wasnt sure what to expect today. 

We all lined up and off we went.  There was no mat to step on this time to start our time but we did wear a different type of chip that was attached right to the bib.  My husband said there were speaker type looking things that he thought started our time.  There were far fewer spectators than at my first 5K event.  I did miss the tons of people along the way,  but I did have my own personal cheerleader with a SIGN so that was even better!  Thanks again Karen!  There were no mile markers for this race so I wasnt sure until we did a turn around which they said beforehand was the halfway point.  The hubs stuck with me for the race.  It was his first race but he only stayed with me because I have bronchitis and he wanted to make sure I was okay.  He is nearly a foot taller than me and is clearly capable of running much faster than me.  I thought it was sweet he stayed with me.

My time?  Well...I was shocked.  We were turning the bend to the home stretch and I was thinking how I didnt have much left in me.  My lungs hurt.  It was cold.  And, even though I like to push myself at the end, I didnt think I could go any faster than my current speed.  We came up on the time clock at the finish line and my husband saw it and looked at me immediately.  I looked up and saw we were under 31 minutes?!?!  What?  Was it true?  My last 5k time was 35 minutes and a chip time of 33:33.  All of a sudden I got this burst of energy and sprinted to the finish where I saw 30:40  on the clock.  My husband is still accusing me (jokingly) or trying to race him...haha.  I honestly have no idea where the burst of energy came from! 

Chip time:  30:38...a personal best for me!

Here are some pics...

This was actually after the race.

Getting ready...too cold to take the coat off yet!

A Christmas mouse :)

Yup, cold.

My personal sign!  How sweet right?

How do we get the Christmas tunes on?

Almost race time.

Karen, my awesome personal cheerleader and sign maker.

We are in the center waving...

Almost there!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tagged-Some Honest things about me (Jennifer)

Thanks to Jessica for this award!
The rules of this award are simple...list 10 honest things about yourself and then pass it on to 4 people who have shown their honesty through their blogs.

1)  I am a stay at home mom to our two little girls.  I never dreamed we would be financially able to do this.  We may pinch pennies but it is totally worth it! 
2)  I have a psychology degree. 
3)  I get nervous knowing that someday I will have to go back to work and I dont know what I want to do! Starting over scares me!   I am considering going back to school and getting my masters, maybe in Social Work, or maybe going to nursing school.
4)  We are trying to fix up our house room by room.  We bought it so we could have some land and make the house what we want it to be. 
5)  I fear getting deathly sick and dying.  Not being able to help myself scares me.
6)  Joining the gym turned out to be one of the best things I could have done for myself.  I never thought I would be a gym kinda girl but its different than I thought.  The gym I go to is all women, and they are just real women.  It allows me to have some "me" time and also to better myself.
7)  My daughter was sick when she was a baby.  Blood transfusions, failure to thrive, etc...  It was a hard and stressful time in all our lives, but has made me a better person.  What they say about  what doesnt kill you will make you stronger is totally true.  Today she is a bold little 2 year old with the best laugh ever :)
8)  Creating this blog has been the best support I ever could have asked for in this journey.  I dont *know* any of you,  yet I value your comments and thoughts beyond belief!  I also love sharing my journey hoping that it can help someone in some way.
9)  Running is not something I ever would have seen myself doing, or enjoying for that matter!  It gives such an accomplished feeling and burns calories too!  A year ago I couldnt have run even 30 seconds.  Now I keep track by the miles!
10)  Yesterday, I bought my first pair of size 10 jeans with the most adorable pockets.  Who knew buying new clothes could bring such joy???  I had gotten very used to NOT enjoying shopping or how I looked in anything I tried on.  This is more expensive, but better :)
So there you have it.  I need to tag 4 people on this award.  I choose:
Kelly, Jen, Ann Marie, and Dawne.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Considering another 5k... (Jennifer)

Yesterday, the hubs and I went for a run together.  Now, when I say together, I mean we ran 3.1 miles together with each of us listening to our own music on our Ipods.  Even though there are no words spoken (I am not sure I can run AND talk...hehe) it was nice to have him run with me.  It doesnt happen very much but yesterday we had someone to watch the girls for an hour.  
I am thinking about a 5k this weekend if the weather is good.  My friend Karen said she would come to cheer me on and the thought just warms my heart.   Thats how you know who "your people" are.  The hubs said he might even run it with me.  Anyway, my point is that I have been trying to keep an eye on my time when I run.  I run a route outside that is 3.1 miles-ish.  I track it with the truck.  So...the other day  I was running and had to stop because there were two dogs loose and they were chasing me and barking something fierce.  They werent on leashes and I could see the owner stressing as she was trying to get ahold of them...and it wasnt working.  So I just stopped.  She told me I could just grab him but I knew better.  He didnt look like he would let me just grab him.  The one dog jumped up on my back(he was good size) and continued barking.  Finally she got him.  I am an animal lover so it wasnt traumatizing to me or anything. stopping messed up my timing!  When I got home I saw that I had run my 3.1 miles in 32:09...even with the stop?!?!!?  Whoo hoo! 
Then , last night one of the neighbors saw us running and we stopped for a quick second to say hello.  And when I attempted to pause my music it actually stopped the stopwatch...again.  But my hubs said he had set his.  I thought that I must have been running slow because I felt really good.  I was not tired, neither in the legs or in my breathing.  When we were almost done I decided to give it all I had and sprinted.  And to my surprise it felt awesome.  Not something I would do for a long period but at the end for a few seconds it was great!!!  And the best part...when we stopped he had us clocked at...are you ready??....   31:50.  That is my best time ever.  Yaaay!  I really prefer to run leisurely, but when I think I might do a 5k its fun to give it all I got, right?

I have completed 16 out of my 25 miles that I have challenged myself to run by Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weigh in #2 since my increase in calories (Jennifer)

I was anxious to get on the scale this morning.  I am weighing once a week these days.  It seemed impossible that eating MORE could make me LOSE weight so I was curious what the scale would say.  I was so anxious I actually got up before the kids did which is brave because I knew if they heard me (and they did) the morning would be off to an earlier start than usual(and it was).  Anyway...the results:

Last week:  162.9
Today:  160.7

That is 2.2 lbs down from last week and 6.2 lbs down in two weeks!  I almost fell off the scale when I saw it.  I wish that I had followed the knowledge I learned several months back that said I needed eat more than 1200 calories a day for my height/weight/exercise level.  But I feared gaining more weight.  Finally, I had enough and decided to give it a whirl.  I recognized that I have been in a cycle for the last several months.  The cycle went like this:  I had been eating around 1200ish calories a day.  Then on a day that I would eat more, yet still not all that bad,  I would gain 5 lbs or so.  Then I would spend several weeks getting that 5 lbs off.  It went on and on like this for 5 months.  It just didnt seem possible that adding more calories in could be the answer.  Other than my ankle sprain, I have kept up with my exercise.  So, it has been two weeks now of about 1400-1500 cals/day and it seems that my body wanted more calories afterall.  It must have been holding onto everything I put in so when I ate any more, even though it wasnt tons, it grabbed it and held onto it.  Interesting.  I havent seen losses like this in forever.  My goal to see the 150's is just around the bend I hope!

As for my other goals:  I am still exercising 5 days a week, I am 13 miles into my 25 mile goal by Thanksgiving, I havent had pizza so eating too much of it hasnt been an issue, I am drinking 100 oz of water a day, and I am tracking my calories.  I also think my increase in protein(bars mostly) has helped a lot. 

I am amazed, and happy with the results so far!  I never dreamed that eating more would be the answer.  It wasnt like I was starving myself or eating some crazy small amount of calories.  I really thought I was being healthy by eating 1200 and exercising.  And it wasnt like my exercise was over the top either.  I dont exercise for hours and hours or anything.  But my body was not getting enough, and I sure learned a tough lesson here!

Thanks to you all for your continued support.  It has really meant the world to me.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mature (Jennifer)

This weekend we had company at our house.  My parents came and as usual it was a great time.  I usually struggle with my eating when we have company.  But to my surprise I really didnt.  So it made me ask myself what was different this weekend.  We even had a little birthday party for my dad and it involved the usual cake and ice cream. 

This morning I had a "mature" conversation with my mom.  She brought cinnamon buns to bake in the oven.  She was all excited when showing the girls and then looked at me and said "I'm sorry".  Hmmm... sorry???  I felt bad she apologized!  I told her that in the past it would have been very tough for me but that something has come over me that is hard to explain.  I want to be thin, yes, but I am really enjoying how I feel when I put good things into my body.  She reminded me just how awful I used to eat and how proud of me she is.  And she was right.  Just about every meal of every day was garbage.  It was bad.  I want to feel good about what I put in my body now.  I want to be healthy. 

And after we had this talk, I stopped and realized just how shocked I was to say such things...and mean them.  I posted the other day about how I feel like I am seeing the big picture lately.  And I think part of that is because I saw progress last week on the scale(I was down 4 lbs as a result of my changes) that it really amped up my committment.

Tomorrow is weigh day.  The number on the scale surely isnt everything, but it definately is icing on the cake when it is a nice one :)

I hope you all had a great weekend.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The big picture (Jennifer)

I am thinking about the big picture lately.  I have realized that my mindset is very different than it was in the past.  I used to be in the *diet* mindset.  But eating the way I used to wasnt practical.  Good for one week, bad for a few days, then good again for another few days, etc.  There was always eating good or eating bad.  That was my life story for years and years.  I never realized that there is a happy medium where I can eat things I like AND be healthy too.  Hmmmm....  Now, are there meals that I struggle at here and there?  Yup.  I am human.  But for the most part I know what I want and I am going for it.  And what I want is more than just to be skinny. I want to be healthy and to feel happy with myself. 

Today I was grocery shopping and picked up a loaf of bread.  I havent eaten a slice of bread in ages.  There are so many whole grain/high fiber alternative wrap style things out there that I enjoy.  Anyway, I picked up a loaf of light oatmeal bread.  I was standing there reading the label on it trying to figure out if it was whole grain.  Then it dawned on me.  Wow...this feels normal to me.  This must be who I am now.  I knew I didnt want it if it wasnt whole grain and it wasnt a battle at all.  I always choose whole grains these days.  I realized shopping tonight that I skip right past the ice cream section, the bakery, etc.  It isnt even a thought anymore.  I find myself picking things up all the time and if they arent up to *my standards*, well then I put it down and move on.  None of this "but I really want it" or "I so deserve this".  


Because I want health.  I *choose* health.  And let me just say that increasing my calories per day makes it so much easier to eat the way I want to.  I am making healthy choices for the most part, and I usually feel satisfied with eating just a little more.  I feel good about making good choices.  Who knew?

Today was one of those eye opening days.  I realized that this is my life now and there is no start and end to this diet.  Because, this is not a diet at all.  This is LIFE.  I used to hear people talk about how the only way to be successful is to make a lifestyle change.  I used to hear "blah blah blah".  But now. my eyes are wide open and I see the big picture.    I am on my way to a healthier lifestyle.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Today's run (Jennifer)

Today I went for a run knowing that I set myself a goal/challenge to run 25 miles before Thanksgiving.  I did a 2 mile run today because I just wasnt feeling like doing it.  So instead of taking my time which usually results in a longer, more satisfying run, I decided to push myself for those two miles.  I set the stopwatch on my Ipod and off I went.  I got past the one mile marker and saw I was just over 10 minutes.  hmmm...   So, I cranked up the tunes and ran.  I ran...not jogged.  I could feel the difference in my run.  It was more tiring.  I was praying for the end.  hehe.  And at two miles I was at:  20:02.  Not too shabby.  My distance is only tracked with my vehicle so it isn't as accurate as a gps, but good enough for me.  I came in the house and I was out of breath.  Even gasping to speak.  My husband asked me a few times if I was okay.  Usually I come in sweaty but all "la de da" after a run.  It felt good to push myself.  It did remind me that I do prefer to leisure run, or jog.  Its much more satisfying for me, and I feel way more capable!

As of today:  I have done 5/25 of my goal.  Only 20 miles left...


Monday, November 8, 2010

Weigh in. Did my changes make a difference? (Jennifer)

Thanks for all your comments on my second workout attempt with the weight training class.  My last workout was Friday and my body was still sore enough that I couldnt go today.  But thats okay.  Last night I got on the treadmill and walked.  I kept increasing the incline and before I knew it I was really doggin it and burned over 400 calories.   It was a great change up for me.  It was about 45 minutes of exercise and a different kind of intensity than running.  Its a great new alternative for me and loosened up my sore tight muscles.

Now...onto the excitement...

I  have been adding more calories into my diet to see if that will make the scale budge.  I have been eating between 1400-1500 calories a day and I have exercised 5 days this week.  I ate more protein, and I did drink my 100 oz of water per day this week too. I stayed away from sugary snacky treats other than a little tiny fudge when my mother in law came out this weekend.  I ran 3 of my 25 miles I have challenged myself to run by Thanksgiving.  I have some miles to make up for!

The results:

 Last week:  166.9 (undeserved in my opinion). 
Today:         162.9. 

That is a loss of 4 lbs this week!  The guilt is gone.  I dont feel guilty about eating more everyday like I have been for the last week.  I thought that most likely more calories would result in more weight gain.  That is why I have hesitated to do it for so long.  But instead, it could be that this is what my body has been asking for all this time?!  More food everyday, not just on a minor splurge day where I would eat more and then my body would hold onto every calorie and I would gain several lbs immediately.  My body must have been holding on to every ounce of fat in fear that I was not feeding it enough.  Amazing.  Five months of frustration...

Can you believe it?!?!?!   Whoo hoo!  Now, while this is not the lowest number I have ever seen(but close!), but this is a HUGE learning lesson for me in this journey.

Thanks to you all for your continued encouragement.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

My second attempt at the weight training class (Jennifer)

Its been tough making myself eat more calories.  I mean, of course I totally WANT to eat more but mentally I feel kind of guilty.  But I have done pretty well and have been pretty consistent with my calories between 1400 -1500.  Hopefully the scale will shoo the guilt away tomorrow, because honestly, I feel more satisfied and in control of my eating when I am allowed to eat a little more.  I know 200-300 more calories isnt much to some people but for me its huge!  It also allows me to make better choices because I am less hungry.  The protein bars are working out great (Pure Protein brand is the one I have tried so far).  I really like the chocolate deluxe one the other day but was not a fan of the peanut butter one.  But thats fine.  This is a learning lesson.

I was talking to one of the girls at the gym the other day.  She is taking part in the weight loss contest they are having.  I asked her how many calories she was eating and she said around 1700.  She is smaller than me for sure.  This gave me hope.  It made me realize that my 1200/day  probably wasnt enough and reassured me that my choice to up it was a good one.  But I know everyone is different and its up to me to figure out what works for me. 

I have completed my 5 days of exercise goal I set for myself.  In fact, I went to that weight training class on Friday that left me in rough shape last time I took it(I literally couldnt function well).  Although it was much better afterwards this time, I am still having a problem sitting on anything harder than a puffy cloud.   The muscles in the back of my thighs and my butt are killing me.  I was hoping to make it back to do the class again tomorrow but that is still up in the air.  I know when the instructor said  "okay...we are ready to tax out our right leg now"  that I was in trouble.  Yup.   But it feels good.  No pain no gain, right?  Although, I find myself wondering if the other women who take the class as regulars are sore? 

Hope you all had a great weekend.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Protein bar (Jennifer)

Today I went to the store looking to purchase some protein bars.  It is another change that I am making along with upping the calories and my newly set goals.  I figure if I can have one as my mid morning snack I might not be so hungry the rest of the day, and its also a good way to add some calories that are benficial to my body.  I have been tired lately.  And I have to say that today, despite my trouble sleeping last night, I had more energy.  I dont know if it is from the protein bar or just a coincidence.  But whichever, it feels good not to be exhausted.

The protein bar I bought is called "Pure Protein".  It has 20 grams of protein and 180 calories.  It was the first I tried of the many different ones I bought to sample.  And I have to say I am shocked it was so good. I had the Chocolate Deluxe flavor.  The consistency was enjoyable for me.  It was thick, chewy, chocolatey, and down right tasty.  I almost feel like I had to *work* to eat it, yet I enjoyed every second.  And, it was a good size bar that left me satisfied!  Whoo hoo! I am not sure how any of the other ones could possibly come even close I enjoyed it so much!

I totally wish I could review products for a living.  I love to do this stuff.  If anyone has any connections for how I could get into something like this please let me know! 

Today's reason for losing weight:
* to lose as much of my lower stomach as possible.  This is definately my problem area, and is a big part of my self image issue.  Two c-sections didnt help the situation any either.  It has gotten much better than it was but there is much room for improvement.

Today I am thankful for:
*My renewed committment.  Today and yesterday I worked out with Tony Little.  It felt great.  The muscles ache and I am excited!  Aching means progress!  Oh...and remember a few months back I did that weight training class at the gym that left me like unable to MOVE for like 4 days?  I am actually excited to try it again...tomorrow morning!  Wish me luck...


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

In addition (Jennifer)

Tonight I worked out with Tony Little.  I used to work out with him lots when I first started losing weight.  I lost about 40 lbs and then the dr put me on prednisone and soon enough(I was on for a month) I gained at least half of that back.  And for some reason, there hasnt been much working out with him.  Which is a downright shame!  Tonight, thanks to my new challenges/goals I have set for myself, I knew I needed to get a workout in and I didnt make it to the gym today.  So, I popped my good ole DVD in "Total Body Weight Loss".  Its only 20 minutes and I quickly remembered that there is no excuse for me NOT to be doing this DVD.  In fact, I also realized that none of these exercised would have impacted my ankle injury a few months back and I could have been helping myself out!  Anyway, it is only 20 minutes, targets your main big calorie burning muscles, and you feel it.   It's 8 simple exercises that once made a difference for me and hopefully will again.  I have been a little blah in the weight training dept, so maybe this is just what I need. addition to my current goals, I am going to try to throw Tony Little into the mix a few times a week.  My hubs and I used to work out all the time with him.  And tonight when I did it, I felt all the core muscles actually working for me.  Burning, but in a good way!  Whoo hoo.  I am not going to make this an offical new goal, but just try to make it part of my 5 days of exercise goal.  If it worked once, maybe it can again.

I have also decided to bump my calories up to 1300-1400 a day.  It's not much more, but I just dont think that 1200 is enough for my exercise level.  And, I am thinking that its probably why when I do have a day or two of higher calories I gain several pounds immediately.  According to what I have read, I am supposed to be able to eat 2000 calories a day to maintain.  WHAT???????? No way in heck!  If I eat even close to that I would gain immediately.  It has happened time and time again.  And the research I have done shows that I should be eating more than I have been for my personal stats.  So, a few more changes to try in this journey.  At this point, I dont think it can hurt.  I embrace learning new things and trying to find what works(although finding it would be better sooner than later!).  And really, it just makes me excited to feel like I am fighting back at the not so nice scale.

Today, the hubs who barely ever comments on my weight loss journey unless I beg for some insight, said that he too feels that I probably need to eat more.  He said he doesnt understand why all my hard work isnt paying off.  I am not sure why it was such a validation in my head, but it was.

Today's reason for losing weight:
*to learn to be a healthy person.  I think I have come so far in this aspect.  Its coming full circle I hope.  I am learning what foods are good for me and which ones to stay away from.  And even more important than the knowledge is that I am acting on that knowledge to make my body a healthier me!  I am finally treating my body with respect and care after all these years.  I actually can say that I look forward to learning how to better myself!

Today I am thankful for:
*A trip to a different grocery store revealed a new product that I am so excited about.  I stumbled upon these:

I picked them up and knew when I saw they were all natural, only 16 calories, 4 carbs, no sugar and no fat that I was going to have to try them.  And to be honest I expected it to taste like a rice cake.  So I was pleasantly surprised that it didnt!  And apparently my kids love them too because I couldnt keep one in my hand without them coming for more...again and again.  I got creative.  I put some whipped cream cheese(1Tbsp) and some Polaner jelly (1Tbsp) on there for...81 calories total.  And let me tell you because its hard to tell from the pic, but this is a pretty good size "round puffy thing".  I just went and checked and it is called an "all natural multigrain snack", and I would say its about 6 inches in diameter.  Yes, I am totally thankful for this product.  There are endless possibilities!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

So far so good... (Jennifer)

Day one of my goals is going well.  I drank enough water, no sugary snacks, exercised a lot and did my best to count my calories.  It gets tough when you go out.  I had a big ole salad for lunch with what they call "light ranch" which tastes awfully yummy to be light to me.  And I had one little biscuit and a turky mini for lunch.  SO, I dont know how to count that so I just said 500 calories.  We dont eat out all that much so it isnt a huge problem to guestimate here and there. 

This morning I went to the gym.  I worked out hard.  50 minutes of cardio and then some upper body weights.  I was sweating good.  I love that.  Then I went to my lunch and came back home.  I was sitting on the couch feeling absolutely exhausted.  The hubs was home and playing with the kids.  I was really considering a nap.  Not even on the bed because I was so tired!   

I read some blogs and thought maybe I should go for a run.  I was tired from this mornings workout but decided after much contemplation to go for it.  Afterall, its November and there arent many nice days left!  I set out for 2 miles.  The first 3/4 of a mile was tough.  Awful. I was tired, panting, cold(the shining sun was deceptive), wishing I hadnt gone... but not willing to give up. And then whaaalaaah, all was better.  I wasnt tired, I had warmed up, and my breathing was in check.  I took it easy and ended up with a 3.1 mile run.  And it felt good!!! 

Today's reason to lose weight:
*to lose the sluggish, tired feeling that I sometimes get.  I hate that. 

Today I am thankful for:
*a while ago I mentioned that I wanted to have to wear a belt.  That moment happened!  I have these jeans I love and just above the waist they are just too big and I am always hiking them up.  I bought a belt, size XL.  I had never been able to fit in a belt before.  I got home and guess barely fits because it is almost too big!!!  Whoo hoo for belts, and whoo hoo even more for big belts!


Monday, November 1, 2010

My goals and personal challenge (Jennifer)

I have been doing a lot of thinking about what I can do for myself to push past this plateau.  Because I have to be honest.  It is getting tougher and tougher for me.  Then it dawned on me.  Maybe this isnt a plateau and maybe,  instead,  its like this:  There is so much room for improvement and I should consider myself lucky to have been able to maintain this weight.  There have been challenges and slip ups and blah blah blah.  So really, after almost 5 months at this weight, I have finally decided that the only thing standing between me and my success is...ME.  This isnt a plateau anymore.  In the beginning it was, but now it is just self sabotage. are my goals I will try to accomplish.

1) I will exercise 5 times a week
*Whether its zumba, running or a walk, I want to exercise more.

2) I will journal my food and count calories
*No more excuses that I ate something bad so the heck with the rest of the day.  Nope, no more.  That is an old mental game that is trying to sneak its way back into my life.  Gotta stop it right there...

3) I will not eat any sugary snacky treats
*No donuts, cake, candy, fudge(not even pumpkin fudge)....nada. 

4) Between now and Thanksgiving I would like to run 25 miles.
*even thought it was SNOWING here today and I dont care for treadmill running.  No excuses!!!! 

5) I would like to lose one pound per week.
*this is a big deal these days!

6) I will drink at least 100 oz of water each day.

7) I will eat no more than two pieces of pizza for dinner on pizza night.  Period. 
*this is a struggle spot for me week after week.

So there.  I dont like to fail.  Thats just who I am.  So now that it is out there as an official *challenge* I can settle into the mindset I need to succeed.  If there are other goals that any of you think might tickle my fancy please feel free to mention them. 

And Jess....yes, I would love a cheerleader!!!!!!!!!!!!   Its your list of goals that got me headed down this path.  So thank you!!!!

Tomorrow is day 1 of my challenge.  And I have to say...I am excited!


Breathe in....breathe out... 

Now...bring it on!!!!


And the winner is....

The winner of the CSN gift certtificate giveaway is:


Tim, I have given your email info the CSN and they will contact you directly.  Congrats to you!

And thanks to all of you who entered the giveaway.  Giveaways are so fun.  Of course they are "funner" when we win, right?

I will post again later with some more info regarding my newest set goals for myself.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

My hope (Jennifer)

This week was a tough one with the little one being sick.  And I was sick too.  There were some undereating days (believe it or not the stress does get the best of me in that way) and some overeating days. hope was that maybe it would all even out and the scale wouldnt be mean.  Wrong.  Today, 164.2.  Thats up 2 lbs in one week.  But, I am working at getting it back down there.  I am not sure I deserved 2 whole pounds but whatever.  There has been a lack of exercising and so many things have been out of the norm. 

I am feeling better although I think this cold is going to hang on a while.  But I need to pick the exercise back up.  And I need to come up with a plan.  We get together with the inlaws all the time.  And it is a great time. I love to have company.   But something comes over me and I lose control of my eating.  They bring so many treats that are extremely hard for me to pass up.  And the treats arent going to stop.  I accept that.  But I need to get a better handle on my self conrol not to eat them!  Any ideas?  I even ate before they got here so I could eat *my food*.  Yeah...and then I ate theirs too... What the heck?

Today's reason for losing weight:
*I have used this reason before but it is weighing on my mind a lot lately so I will say it again.  I want to see the 150's!!!!

Today I am thankful for:
*reading other blogs where people set goals for themselves.  They have inspired me.  I havent really set any specific short term goals to challenge myself  to make progress.  So, I think it is time.  I think I will write about it in my post tomorrow after I pick the winner for the giveaway(deadline is tomorrow at noon EST)!

Happy Halloween.


Friday, October 29, 2010

This week... (Jennifer)

Thanks to all of you who have entered for the giveaway from CSN stores so far.  If you havent entered yet you can enter here.  Good luck!

I havent posted much this week.  My daughter has been sick and the docs where trying to figure out what was going on.  It was a long and stressful week.  It involved several trips back and forth to the dr and also for other tests.  The diagnosis suspected and confirmed today:  pneumonia.  My poor baby.  She is almost 4 and has only been on antibiotics once before this.  And they said that is probably why they worked so well and fast this time.  Needless to say, it was a stressful week.  I was concerned, the drs were concerned, and it was scary.  Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers.

On another note...I was sick too this week.  I had an awful cold.  An old fashioned nasty cold.  I didnt really give into it though because it was much more important to focus on my daughter and get her better.  For most of the week I didnt have a problem with my eating.  I couldnt taste or smell, and the stress made me actually need to force myself to eat.  But inlaws came to town yesterday, my daughter started feeling better and I let go a bit.  I have said before that when my inlaws come there are so many temptations.   I need to learn to take control of my actions when this happens.  And for this reason, I am going to avoid the scale tomorrow even though it is weigh day.  There was no exercise this week and I am still not up for it.  My head was dizzy just walking around earlier from this stinkin cold.  Running is probably not an option right now.  But soon.  I am back on track and I dont want to even see the damage I did or make myself feel even more awful about it.  Even so though, it is very evident that I am a changed person. 

Today's reason for losing weight:
*Sometimes it seems that some people respect an overweight person much less than they do a non -overweight person.  Being on the overweight side of that equation for so long I dont think I respect a thin person any more than an overweight person.  But I do remember feeling like maybe I wasnt respected at certain times.  I have spent much time thinking about this wondering why this is.  Maybe it is something I had created in my overweight head? Maybe just a lack of self esteem?  I dont know.  Either way I would much prefer to be respected than not.  Does anyone have any thoughts on this?  I would be curious to hear them...

Today I am thankful for:
*the doctors who took the time and had genuine concern to help my daughter this week.  So many recheck visits and calls to check on her, running this test and that, and their excellent "bedside manner".  Many of you know how my thoughts about the medical field have soured after some awful experiences in the last few years.  So, having this positive experience, despite how scary and stressful it still was, was very important for me.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

MY FIRST GIVEAWAY!!!! (Jennifer)

I am so thrilled to offer my readers a giveaway with CSN. CSN is a network of over 200 online stores, selling everything from dog beds(I bought an awesome one from there) to dining room chairs. My next purchse from them will most likely be a hanging light fixture for our foyer.  I cant wait!  Anyway....CSN is offering one of my awesome readers a $35.00 gift certificate to use on any of their shopping sites.

Stop by and check out their website:

To enter, leave a comment in the comment section of this post telling me what you will use the gift card for. Be sure to include your email address so that I can contact you and let you know you've won.

This contest is open to residents of the USA and Canada. (Please note: extra International shipping fees MAY apply on Canadian orders.)

The contest ends on Monday, November 1, 2010 at 12:00 noon, EST. I will select the winner via, and I will also post the winner on November 1st.  So, be sure to stay tuned, and Good Luck!!!

Thats all from me today.  My little girl isnt feeling well.  The dr's are trying to figure out what is going on.  I am just praying its a virus that disappears as fast as it showed up.  Luckily I typed this up yesterday so it didnt take much time.  Please keep her in your prayers.  Thanks.

Monday, October 25, 2010

So close I can taste it... (Jennifer)

I have decided to wait until Saturday to weigh again.  Once a week is good for me at this point.  It keeps me motivated and less frustrated I guess.  It makes a loss, any loss, seem so exciting when it has been a week since the last weigh in.  If I follow my proper eating plan and keep up with exercise then any loss is appreciated at this point! 

Having said that.  The 150's are so close I can taste it.  I want it.  Dont get me wrong.  I am thrilled with my overall weight loss on this journey. But most of the loss happened in the first half of this journey.  The last 4 months things have stalled out.  I have been talking about this for a while now.  But I feel remotivated and excited about losing weight again.  Today marks 8 months since I started blogging.  I have changed in so many ways since then.  I hear the longer you do something, the more committed you become and then it is more likely to become a habit.  And that is what I want for myself.  I want it to be a habit to eat properly and exercise regularly.  Even when I get to my goal(I have hope this will happen someday!!!!) I still want to have the same habits.  I  like how I feel now compared to how I felt a year ago. 

Today's reason for losing weight:
*I went from loving shopping back when I was 150 lbs to hating shopping 75 lbs later.  I hated how I felt shopping for big girl clothes.  It was a reminder that I was a failure in the weight department.  Plus, being a stay at home mom we have one income and it really wasnt a possibility to shop at Lane Bryant where the prices seem so high.  I remember being so frustrated.  There arent as many options for big girl clothes out there.  Now, having lost 65 of that 75 lbs I gained, I can shop just about anywhere and it is much easier to find great deals!  I am such a bargain shopper. 
Today I am thankful for:
*I got a shirt in the juniors dept the other day. It may have been an XL but hey, it was still in the jr's dept. I am 31 years old. I wish I hadnt missed out for so many years on wearing the younger stylish clothing that was out there. I am doing my best to make up for it now...age appropriate and within our budget of course :)  Its amazing how putting on a piece of clothing that I love and fits so well can really make me feel good about myself.  Certainly not cocky, but confident maybe.  Does anyone agree with this???

Hope you all have a great day.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yesterday's Weigh In (Jennifer)

Yesterday's weigh in:   162.1.  That is two lbs down since last week.  This is a number I have seen several times over the last few months.  Up and down, up and down.  My real mini-ambition is to get below 161 which is the lowest I have seen on this journey, and then to see the 150's.  But, I am happy with a two lb loss last week.  I worked hard for it.  And I know I only did great things for my body along the way regardless of the scale.  I was focused in my eating, and I exercised regularly. 

Having siad that, last night I had some "treats".  Should I have had less of them?  Yes, but it wasnt awful.  I have been craving graham crackers.  So I had some.  And it wouldnt have been as bad had I not found the chocolate and marshmallows that were with them in the Smores bag from this summer.  Oops.  And this is exactly why I dont have this stuff in the house.  Because in a week moment it all goes down.  Although I have to say there are fewer weak moments than in the past.  And, I really dont feel too bad about it.  The sample menu/guide for eating that my gym provides allows for 6 days of eating a 1200 calorie diet and 1 day of letting loose and enjoying.  Now, letting loose and enjoying for me is much different than it was in the past.  A few graham crackers and smores is fine.  It wasnt a whole day(or every single day like it used to be) of eating crappy food.  This morning, for breakfast I had 1 cup of light yogurt with some frozen raspberries with a packet of granola from McDonalds.  I save the packets when I get a fruit n yogurt parfait there.  Again, a sign of the new Jen....getting yogurt at McDonalds!  My breakfast today...about 150 calories and very filling. 

Today's reason to lose weight:
*In the past when going to parties and such I was always self conscious about how much I was eating. I always compared what/how much I was eating to others to make sure I didnt get the "she is fat and shouldnt be eating that" look.  Although I must say it didnt stop me from overeating I just found ways to eat unnoticed.  Today we have a party to go to and I have no concerns about eating too much.  I feel in control.  I dont think people will scrutinize what is on my plate.  I am hoping this will only get even better with time!!!  Even on the days when I dont count calories because it is not food I prepared I feel I have a pretty good idea of how much is acceptable for my journey.

Today I am thankful for:
*being disappointed that my husband went back to bed this morning(which by the way he never ever does).  Why am I thankful for this?  Because the reason I am all bent out of shape is because I would like to go for a run before I have to shower and go to the party.  What a great way to start the day off when I  know there will be party food.  But we have two little ones so I have to stay with them if he is sleeping.  I am THANKFUL that I WANT to run!!!  I should say... my hubs would certainly get up in a heartbeat if I asked him to.  I didnt even tell him a run was in my thoughts so he had no idea.  But since he rarely sleeps in I think he deserves it.