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Friday, September 30, 2011

Tomorrow I will run in my first half marathon!

I can't believe it, after months of preparation, days of running even though I didn't want to, my first half marathon is tomorrow! Let me start by saying I am not running half of anything, I will be running the entire half marathon. I don't like that they call it a half because it makes it seem like I can't do the whole thing. Anyways, for those of you who don't know I will be running in the Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World. It's a unique race because it begins at 10pm! The course will take us from Wide World of Sports, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios (can't wait to see my Cast cheering me on!), the Boardwalk, and then to the finish line at Epcot. After the race, the park will be open until 3am for runners and spectators to enjoy the attractions and Food and Wine Festival. In celebration of the Food and Wine Festival, each runner will be served a beer or glass of wine at the finish line. I have decided to allow myself the beer at the finish line! :)

This time last year, I had never even run a mile. Tomorrow I will run 13.1 miles. This time last year, the only famous runner I knew was Flo Jo but I really only remember her for her fancy nails. Today I was so excited to meet Olympian Jeff Galloway and was even more excited he signed my race shirt. This time last year, the only thing I knew was carbs are the devil. Today and tomorrow I will be focusing on having my meals consist of 85-95% carbs. I am a new girl.

A good friend of mine, Tia, is a marathoner and gave me a running schedule that I have followed. Last weekend I ran 11.25 miles and felt great! It was an awesome practice run! I have learned how my body will feel during and after, how to fuel my body, and stay hydrated. I felt so prepared after that run.

Because I don't belong to a running club I've had to rely on the resources I have to learn how to be a runner. Tia was obviously a great help in giving me a training schedule. Fortunately my WW leader is a runner so Kerri helped me a lot with learning about how to fuel my runs. I didn't even know people ate on the race course. I thought it would be frowned upon but now I totally get how important it is. Kerri gave me a lot of suggestions on what to use. For this run I will be using Sport Beans. For future runs, I'm going to try vanilla bean GU and Power Bar Energy Bites.

I've always heard that you need to eat carbs before you race but that was about the extent of what I knew. Oddly enough, this months Runner's World came in the mail today and there's a whole article about carb loading! (Perfect timing Runner's World!) In the article, it talks about how most runners know they need the carbs but don't know when to start and how much. It explained that when you eat simple carbs like rice and potatoes, the carbs are stored in your body as glycogen. When you run long distances your body burns glycogen and fat for fuel. But, it takes your body longer to get fuel from fat which causes your body to slow down. When you're running and you feel your body "hit a wall", that's what's going on. So to avoid your body from slowing down it's important to store as much glycogen as possible. You can't do this with one meal so you need to begin carb loading 2-3 days prior to the race. Your body will accumulate the glycogen in your muscles and liver. It will hold on to it until you burn it off. 85-95% of your calories should come from carbs. It sounds so scary to someone who's trying to lose weight! It also said that if you get on the scale and you see you're up about 4 pounds, you're carbo-loading correctly. Every gram of stored carbs makes you store an extra 3 grams of water so the weight should be gone after the race. It also means that your body should be good and hydrated. It was such a great article! It was nice to really understand the science of it. To start my carbo-loading tonight I made a chickpea curry. It's so delicious and the easiest recipe ever! I've put the recipe up before. You can find it by clicking here. Here's a picture of the final product tonight. I served it over brown rice. I'll probably have more for lunch tomorrow.

Well I think I'm ready. I completed the training. I've learned how to fuel and hydrate during the run. I picked up my race packet and tested out my timing chip. My belly is full of carbs and will be tomorrow as well. The only thing left is to pick out what I'm going to wear! I think I have the right outfit in mind. I have to look great for the photos along the route! It's so important! :)

I'm so excited I'm afraid I won't sleep tonight. I need to though cause I'll be up very late tomorrow. On Sunday I have a day of beauty and relaxation planned. I will get a hydration massage, spray tan, manicure, and pedicure. This just may be the best weekend ever!!

**If you are my friend on Facebook, I would really appreciate the support during the run. I will post when I start running and every time you 'like' or comment on my post, it pauses my music and plays the sound of people cheering. It's so motivating knowing people are cheering me on! I'll probably be running from 10:15 until possibly 1am. (please lord let me be finished my then!) thanks!!**

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy One Year Anniversary!

One year ago today I walked in to the Hunter's Creek Weight Watchers. That's where I met Kerri who has inspired me everyday. Since then I have met some pretty incredible people that have gotten me this far. After one year, I weigh 71.2 pounds lighter. It's incredible. One year ago today I was so determined to make it all the way but very skeptical that it wouldn't last but it did, and grew stronger. I want to thank everyone in my life that has encouraged me through this journey and has stuck with me.

Today Kyle and I went grocery shopping at Whole Foods and Publix. I still get a kick about how healthy our cart is. It is 100% the opposite of who I was. I am so different today from who I was before. After I go grocery shopping I always wash and portion out all of my fruits and veggies. It really helps me have a successful week. I figured I'd share some photos and recipes from now on.

Here's a recipe that I love! Today I used a different protein powder so I'm excited to see how it turns out. This bar is great after a workout! Here's the recipe.

Apple Protein Bars (3 points plus)

2c Rolled Oats
1/2 c Natural Nut Butter ie. almond or other (I use PB2 if you're interested)
1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil (available at health food stores)
1 Tbsp Ground Flax Seed
4 scoops Protein Powder (I used a strawberry flavored one today, hope it's good)
1/2 c unsweetened natural applesauce

Mix well, use a rectangular or square baking dish lined with parchment paper and pat the mix into the shape. Freeze for at least 30 minutes. (I usually leave it in overnight and need to put it in the microwave to thaw it for a bit in order to cut it.) Cut with a pizza cutter into bars or squares. Can keep in freezer. Serves 12.

These are the ingredients I used minus the PB2. It was the last of my PB2 and I ended up throwing it away before I decided to take pictures for my blog. PB2 is powdered peanut butter and amazing! It's only 1 point plus for 2 Tbsp!

Here's the finished product ready for the freezer. I'm excited to try it with the strawberry flavored protein powder. I'm hoping it'll be like a PB&J flavor with the strawberry and peanut butter. Yum!

Something else I've done for awhile is portioned out my fruits and veggies and put them in my "free box". The "free box" has been my saving grace many times! It's great to have fruits and veggies on hand when you're starving. I use them especially when I'm cooking cause I'm hungry and it saves me from snacking on something dangerous.

This is my "free box" or should I say "free boxes" as I had to have 2 this week.

This week we have celery, baby carrots, pineapple, apple slices, jicama, and grapes. They're all washed and portioned to 1 cup each. They're the best to have on hand when making lunches!

I also pre-cut veggies for cooking. This week I have zucchini and yellow squash. I bought butternut squash too but it was already pre-cut. Those things are so hard to cut!

Prepping some zucchini for the week.

Here are my zucchini and yellow squash ready for me to cook! (I don't know how to rotate the photo. I'm impressed with myself enough that I even knew how to add photos to my blog.)

And last but not least, here's how I portion things in my pantry.
Again, I don't know how to rotate the photo. Anyways, this is Fiber One cereal. It's the original one that's 57% of your daily fiber. I add Fiber One to almost everything! I add it to my smoothies, yogurt and fruit, oatmeal, and my new favorite is having a banana, dipped in PB2, and then dipped in Fiber One. Super yummy!! I portion them in little bags and write the points on them so I know what each serving is. It's such a huge time saver!

Almonds are high in points for such a small portion but they're good for you. I portion them in little bags with a 1/4c portion. Then I put it back in the container so it's easy to see in the pantry. I love to have almonds with a banana.

Well these are just a few of my tips and tricks that have gotten me through this year. I will make sure to add more photos and recipes in the future, now that I (kinda) know how to do it. So here's to another successful year and many more!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Biggest Loss Yet!

So after all of this positivity and great change the unbelievable happened... I lost 8.6 last week!! It's insane! It's my biggest loss yet! Not only was it a huge loss but, it finally got me at my lowest weight since joining Weight Watchers. It's amazing how much cutting out processed foods really affects you. I didn't work out as much as usual but I was so good with my food.

I am prepared that I may gain this week because it was such a huge loss last week, my weight may even out. I am trying really hard to do well and lose again to prove to myself that I truly earned my loss last week. I have continued to eat well and cut out as much processed foods as I can. I did however increase my activity this week. I worked out probably too much. My body was beyond tired and I didn't listen to it and kept working out. I finally forced myself to rest on Friday.

Monday I fell and twisted my ankle. It's the same ankle that has always bothered me. I've been working out on it, running on it, and walking at work on it and today it just gave up. I tried to take Body Step this morning (my whole body was too tired already so I knew I shouldn't go) but I ended up leaving 30 mins into the class cause my ankle hurt so badly I was starting to tear up. I felt bad leaving in the middle of class but I have to learn to listen to my body. I went home and elevated it and iced it. I'm going to do my best to stay off of it until I work out with Donna on Monday before WW. I'm realizing that if I don't rest now, I won't be able to race in 2 weeks.

It's so crazy to me that I have to force myself to stop working out. I never thought that would be me. Never. I love exercise! It makes me feel great mentally and physically! I love knowing that I'm doing something great for myself. I'm even seeing the results, I even saw my triceps for the first time the other day! lol

Friday, September 9, 2011

I'm Feeling Great!

This morning I woke up at 4:30, took BodyPump at 5:30, walked on the treadmill for 30 mins, had a quiet breakfast by myself at First Watch at 7, grocery shopped at Target at 8, and was at work by 9! It was a great morning! I have so much energy and motivation to do things like this because I'm getting back to the healthy me!

I am loving where I am right now. Lately, Friday/Saturday is where I lose steam for the week. It's when I start letting myself have small, untracked cheats here and there. I don't feel like exercising. As I was making lunch today it suddenly hit me that today's Friday. And I'm not losing steam, in fact I'm full steam ahead! I am so motivated still! The same motivation I had Tuesday! I'm so proud of myself. I don't want to lose this motivation!

It's interesting that I blogged so much in the beginning and lately I'm wanting to blog more often. I hope that's a sign that this really is like a week 1 for me again. I want this so badly.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back on Track

I thought things were going so well until I completely went off program for the first time. Saturday-Monday I just ate what I wanted, didn't track, and I felt gross the whole time. On Tuesday when I weighed in, the scale said it was a 5.4 lb gain. That's crazy. I completely deserved it. I was horrible and in a way I think it was kinda good. It made me remember how horrible it felt eating that way. I was tired and didn't want to do anything. I felt like a bump on a log. Which is so different than my current life. I got to have foods that I have been depriving myself of for a long time. And (hopefully) it's out of my system.

I am thinking of yesterday as day 1, back on WW. Back to being serious about my weight loss. I've been watching Ruby and Heavy on NetFlix and it really made me remember what it's like to be so heavy that you would do anything to be thin. I needed that. So Tuesday I faced the scale, which I didn't want to do and started tracking again. I also got up early and ran. I haven't done that in awhile but I reminded myself how much I want this!! I ate much better, stayed within my points, and got in all of my healthy checks. And on top of my running, I also tried a new class at the gym called CXWORX which is 30 mins focused on your core. It kicked my ass! And just after that class I took Body Combat. O...M...G... I don't think I've worked and pushed myself so hard in a long time! That class is crazy!! But it felt so good! :)

I feel good today except for the fact that my body's so sore I can't move. hehe :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Figuring things out

I may have figured out my plateau. The meeting last week was timed perfectly because it was about overcoming plateaus. The weekly had yes or no questions and they were very humbling. At first I was thinking how I'm perfect and obviously the scale's wrong, not me. Well, I'm thinking that's not the case. Here were the questions...

1. Are you tracking everything?
*At first I thought, 'Of course! I track everything I eat!' But I had a moment at my parents' house the other night. I was in my parents' kitchen and randomly grabbed a cookie. It was a bland tasting sugar-free cookie. Before I took the first bite I stopped and thought about what I was doing. I didn't need this cookie, in fact I didn't even want this cookie. That's when I realized that it was those BLTs that were getting me. Bites, licks, and tastes have stalled my weight. It's funny that I'll get upset that I accidentally ate the wrong applesauce that cost me 3 points compared to the unsweetened 0 points, but I have no problem putting a cookie, or whatever else, in my mouth and not even tracking it. This was a huge eye opener.

2. Do you eyeball portions?
*This one I can honestly say I weigh and measure close to everything I eat. This one I've stayed pretty strict on. I'll share some photos soon of all of my measuring cups/spoons and my portioned food.

3. Are you filling up on fruit?
*Having fruit be 0 points is very liberating but I have to watch this now. Obviously it's better that I choose fruit over cake or chips but I have realized (thanks to my leader Kerri) that sometimes I eat fruit even when I'm not hungry. Sometimes I just want to eat and I chose fruit cause it feels "safe". So I've become very conscious of when and how much fruit I eat now.

4. Do you attend meetings every week?
*Yep! And lately I've been going twice. It's helping hold me accountable throughout the week.

5. Could you be overestimating activity points values?
*I don't eat my activity points so I'm not so concerned about this one. I typically add them up so I can track how I'm doing throughout the week. It's good to think about this one though incase it does become a problem in the future.

6. Are you combining points plus with the previous plans?
*uh no.. who would do that?!

7. Do you follow the good health guidelines daily?
*As close as I can. I typically have trouble getting my oils in but other than that I'm pretty good. I even track other things in my tracker like calcium chews, whole grains, protein, and even when I poop. :)

So obviously I learned the most from thinking about the first question. Today there was a chocolate cake at work. I was so tempted. I said no at first and told myself that they got it out of a dumpster to make it seem gross. Well, I eventually gave in. I truly had the tiniest piece. It was maybe 3 bites. In fact, it was so small I considered not tracking it. I didn't want to see it in my tracker and I didn't want my new personal trainer to see it either. But I had to be honest. I ate it. Tracking it or not, I had the cake. Not tracking it doesn't make it go away so I tracked it as 7 points. I was good the rest of the night and still stayed within my daily points. And in case you were wondering, the cake was crazy delicious and so super worth it!! :)

After the plateau meeting week, I lost a pound! I'm coming back! I'm still up 2.4 pounds from my lowest weight with WW but I'm headed there. I want this so badly!!! I'm so determined to make it to goal! I'm so sure I will get there.

To help me get to goal I did something I never thought I would do... I hired a personal trainer. It's crazy expensive and I can barely afford it but I feel that I can't afford to not do it. I am trying to get to goal before the year's up. I've been really good about going to classes at the gym, I've been so-so with my running, and now I have Donna to really hold me accountable. Teresa told me about her and I couldn't be happier with her! Today was the first day I worked out with her. It was great! I can't wait to see what else she has in store for me. Donna has already shown me 110% commitment to me so I need to make sure that I match her commitment. I am so excited to have someone giving me individualized attention. It holds me more accountable. She likes to look at my tracker too, that holds me SUPER accountable because I know how well the traveling tracker worked!

Time for bed, cause I have BodyPump at 5:30 am tomorrow...