Sunday, December 30, 2012

Running in a winter wonderland

When I got home, I discovered my ponytail had frozen!

I am not going to lie!!!!!!! I dreaded getting up for my long run this morning.  It was -6 Celsius this morning when I headed out to the Running Room.  That's 20 Fahrenheit for my American friends.  I know there are much colder places on earth right now, but have I mentioned that since I have lost all this weight, I am perpetually cold?  I can't ever seem to get warm.  I dressed in 4 layers, wore a bandanna and a hat and two pairs of gloves.  I also wore my ski socks which kept my feet toasty warm.

Now about the ski socks for a minute.  I buy them at Walmart and they are technical socks.  You can buy technical socks at any sports/running store and pay $10 to $15 dollars per pair.  I get 2 pairs for six bucks and they work just great.  They are dry wick and come in funky colors.  Today was the real test because not only was today my coldest running day to date, but it was also snowy out and I ran in snow for 1 hour and 25 minutes.  My feet stayed toasty and comfortable. Definitely worth the 3 bucks per pair.  Now back to my run...sorry Lou!

Although we ran along a route that was cleared because it was plowed, there was still a layer of soft snow on top of the packed snow and it was similar to running in sand.  Man did I work my glutes and calves today.  My glutes are still crying, oops no, that's just me.  I hurt!  I did need the extra rest day yesterday because although I felt good while I was running, I'm hurting now.  It hurts so good though.  That hurt that I know will turn into a nice ass and slimmer calves.  The reason why I do crazy things like run 12K on soft snow with a 6:58 pace.  Not too shabby, considering the conditions!  And there was a nice big hill thrown in for good measure!  Ah the glamorous life of a runner.

Love this picture of my gal Tanya.
When you gotta go, you gotta go:)

Food.  I don't know if anyone is interested in what I eat, but I thought I would share my menu for today, just to clarify that I eat a TON of food.  May sound boring, but I don't care what I eat, just so long as I get rid of hunger when it strikes.  I had 2 hard boiled eggs this morning, and 2 mini Clif bars (at 100 calories each).  When I got back from my run I drank a coffee with cream and ate 2 slices of cantaloupe.  For lunch I made a HUGE salad with iceberg lettuce, tomato, carrot sticks, a HUGE amount of left over roast beef, feta cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing.  I'm snacking on baby carrots right now with tzatziki dip and a glass of red wine.  For dinner I'm eating this ham bone soup in my slow cooker with tomato (canned no added sodium), onion, cabbage, rutabaga and left over ham that I froze from Christmas Eve.  The liquid is low sodium chicken stock.  I'll eat this until I'm full!  And I'll likely snack later on fruit.  I have no idea how many calories I've eaten today and I don't care.  I burned 1076 calories this morning.  I've been eating like this for months and months.  Running is my savior...aside from the real one that is.

Very hearty and yummy:)

Now the plan for the week ahead?  I'm running a couple of short runs Monday and Tuesday. I have to run tomorrow because it's the last day of the year and that's how I want to finish my year.  And Tuesday because it's New Years day and I have to run on the first day of the year because it's how I want to begin my year.  Wednesday is the dreaded hill repeat night.  We're doing 5 this week. And Thursday is my clinic night. I plan to take Friday off as a day of rest.  Saturday will be a short run followed by my long run on Sunday.  We're doing 14K on Sunday.  My longest run to date.  I'm excited and nervous at the same time.  I know that if I can run 12.5K, I can run 14K no problem. Carol always said I needed to work on my inner cheerleader and give myself more credit.  She's 100% right!  I am definitely my worst critic!

It took 15 minutes and a ton of conditioner to get the massive
frozen knot out of my hair!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I've got nothing for a title...

Finn enjoying his winter wonderland:)

I am a tool!  I got a bunch of spam comments that were actually published on a post I wrote last 10 of them. So I thought that perhaps I should moderate my comments.  I've not gotten a bad comment (unless you count the Pizza Chicken debacle of last March) yet.  Knock wood.  Anyhow, in an attempt to moderate my spam, I've deleted three comments.  One from two posts anonymous comment from a "big fan south of Ottawa" (thanks for your kind words:), and two from my last post. Sorry PaulaMP and Enyonam:(  Your comments are always much appreciated!  So now I have resolved myself to just taking off the moderation and I tried word verification for like a day and took that off too.  I'm just gonna have to live on the edge and see what happens!

Today I had planned to go on a quick 5K run before my lunch company arrived.  My girlfriend, her hubby and little girl are coming over for a holiday visit.  I got up at 6:45am to put my slow cooker on, then thought I'd lie down for 15 more minutes...and I woke up at 8:30am!  I never sleep in that late.  I guess my body needed it.  So I didn't get my run in, and my friend called ten minutes before they were supposed to arrive to say they'd be another hour at least.  So in hindsight, I could have run...if I knew that they were going to be late earlier!

I'm not feeling too guilty about the skipped run today.  At our clinic on Thursday we did foam rolling and I'm not gonna lie,  I got tears in my eyes when I rolled out my IT Band and my quads.  It hurt like a (fill in expletive here).  Between that and the deep tissue massage earlier the same day, I've been sore. I'm up early tomorrow morning anyway to do my long run with my clinic and I'll likely run Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before taking Friday off.  Shorter runs, but runs just the same.  The last time I took two rest days in a row was September 6th and 7th.

I'm looking forward to my lunch today. It's curried chicken with rutabaga in place of potatoes.  I cut the rutabaga into chunks and add it to the curry like I would potatoes.  You can use any root veggie for this.  Parsnips, turnip, even sweet potato.  Today is going to be a very good eating day. I have to prep for my long run tomorrow.  Lots of healthy food and water.  And maybe a glass of wine to balance everything out.  Cheers!

Wearing my size 8 jeans.  Man my
photographer is short!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sayonara Carol

My brother-in-law is in the Dominican Republic and likely won't see this post, so it's mostly about running!  Yesterday morning, I got my sorry ass out of bed early, ate some hard boiled eggs, drank my coffee and met Tanya at the Running Room at 8:30 am.  I knew I was going for a deep tissue massage this morning, so I wanted to get my hill repeats out of the way. It was windy, cold, icy...and we were the only two losers running.  I met her in front of the store (which was closed), and she said in her cute shrill voice, "what the hell are we doing here?"  Good question my friend. But we ran a 2.7K warm-up, then did four 400 metre hill repeats for a total distance of 6.5K.  Not too shabby since it was freaking cold, and the wind kept taking my breath away!

We are BAD ASS!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday my family came over for Christmas dinner.  I made a delicious roast in my slow cooker, squash, green beans with chilies and garlic, roasted Rosemary potatoes (for my dad), rutabaga and sweet potato mash, and a salad (spring mix, feta cheese, red onion, raspberry vinaigrette). It was super yummy!  I ate a lot (minus the Rosemary potatoes) and had fruit for dessert. My sister-in-law brought a fruit tray and a cheese cake.  I think I may have mentioned this before, but I eat a lot right now. More than I ever have in my life.  And despite the copious amounts of food that I eat, I managed to lose 7.5 pounds at my last weigh-in.

I convinced myself that I had a slow metabolism, when in fact, my metabolism is working over-time because of the food I put into my body and the physical activity I do. I never had a slow metabolism, I just abused my metabolism and used it as an excuse for being over weight.  Proper food choices and running has my body in great condition and for the first time in my life, people are telling me that I should eat more and run less.  It's not possible for me to eat more, and I don't want to run less.  Running more is likely, but less?  Nope.  My father and father-in-law both comment that I'm too skinny. No way!  I think I look healthy.  With flabby skin!  And did I mention that I eat tons of food?  Whole foods, healthy foods, lean protein, vegetables, fruits.  All the good stuff that I find myself craving these days.  All I could think about on my way home from the Running Room tonight was the Asian pears I bought this afternoon.

Last night was my former running instructor's good-bye party. Even though it was in the middle of a snow storm (17cm), I ventured out to say good-bye.  Carol has been a wonderful mentor to me. She believed in me when I didn't believe in myself.  She's always been supportive, encouraging and always so much fun to run with.  I'm glad I got to spend that last couple of months taking her clinic.  We got to run quite a bit together over the past couple of months and it meant a lot.  She will be missed.  She's headed out west to manage a Running Room until spring, then she's moving to Illinois.  Perhaps Bev and I will road trip down there one of these days to run the Bix 7 in Davenport, Iowa which is only 30 miles from where Carol is moving to.  Carol has invited the entire Running Room to run the Bix 7.  She's going to have a very busy house!  I ran half of my run tonight with her and we got to say a final farewell after our clinic run tonight.  I'll always remember her fondly.  Even though Enz brought me to the Running Room for the first time, Carol kept me there.  Her passion for the sport of running wore off on me!

Carol (center) and 2 of her 5 Learn to Run participants!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Good health does not take a holiday!

He was so excited to get this!

Let me start off by wishing all a very Happy Holiday season!  This morning was fun.  Julien was so excited that Santa came and left him not just one, but 2 filled stockings for being such a great boy all year.  He got the 2 things he really wanted...Risky Rails Bridge Drop, and a Wii.  I really struggled with the Wii, but he wanted a DS and I figured the Wii was more interactive, so I compromised.  I can also do workouts on the Wii, so I think it's a win, win.  And Hubby can watch Netflix, which is all he really cares about.

Yesterday we spent Christmas Eve with  my in-laws.  We did Christmas a bit different this year. We usually spend Christmas Eve with my family, and Christmas day with my in-laws.  My sister-in-law left for the Dominican early this morning with her kids and husband's whole family. Seventeen people in all heading down to the Caribbean for some fun in the sun.  Sounds more exhausting than relaxing, but I hope they have a fun and safe trip.  I'm heading out to celebrate Christmas with my childhood friend Nokomis and her in-laws later this afternoon.  And tomorrow, my brother, his family and my father are coming out to my place for a Boxing Day dinner.

I ate a ton of meat yesterday at my in-laws house.  Meat, salad and rapini.  No ravioli or pasta for me.  I was stuffed when I left.  I definitely overate.  But I don't feel guilty about it.  Maybe just a bit. I ended up running 12.5K this morning.  That was the best Christmas present I could give myself. The gift of exercise.  Loved my run today.  I felt strong.  I love that feeling.  Like I could run forever. I'm not going to talk about running too much here.  My brother-in-law says I talk about running too much on my blog now and he gets bored.  I have to take that constructively and remember that not everyone cares about running.  Briefly though I just want to add that I'm not looking forward to my run tomorrow morning.  I have to do 4 hill repeats by myself.  That will truly suck!  But I'm getting up early, driving to the running room, just so I can getter done!

I'm looking forward to tonight's dinner.  Turkey!  I love turkey!  I'm bringing a salad and a bottle of wine...and a cranberry banana cake.  Two out of three ain't bad.  All I care about is the turkey. And I think I'll have a couple of glasses of wine.  My Christmas treat.  Hope you are all feeling good about your Christmas choices.  Just remember, control is a nice thing to have.  Control and healthy choices.  The best gift you can give yourself all year round:)

What a difference a year makes!
Christmas 2011, 250 pounds.
Christmas 2012
167 pounds.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A post about nothing...really

I survived my first night of hill repeats!  We did three ginormous hills last night during my clinic's practice run. I was pleasantly surprised that about 25 people showed up to run hills.  I figured if there were going to be skippers, that the night we do hill repeats would be a good night to skip. My total run was 5.7K and I did it at a 6:38 pace which is not too shabby considering I had the three hills to run.  Basically, we ran down a 400 meter hill, ran back up it, just to run down and repeat two more times.  I'm not gonna lie.  I was tired by the third hill and all I could think was, I'll never be able to add another hill for next week!  Every week we add a hill until we do it 9 times in a row.  All I can say is that I better have a smokin' ass when this is done!

Tonight was a clinic talk and a we had a guest speaker talk about running safety.  He's a former British Bobby who emigrated to Canada and now works for the Halton Regional Police Marine Unit. He was very informative and also does motivational speaking.  He gave us a little motivational talk before we had to leave the warm safety of the Running  Room and head out into the cold, windy, rainy night.  Not many people showed up tonight.  There were only about a dozen of us. Small attendance for a 30+ person clinic.  I was promised a short easy run to recover from the hill repeats the previous night before. I made it an easy run and stayed with a couple of runners at the back.  But it was a 7Kish run as opposed to the 5Kish run I thought we were doing. Makes no difference.  I got home from the run soaking wet, bitched and complained how horrible it was, then said yes when my hubby asked me to run with him in the morning after he drops Jules off at school.  He knows I won't say no to a run!  I'm a glutton for punishment.

Good to know I can be seen running at night!
Safety first folks!
Just back from my run tonight and I'm a wet,
sweaty mess!  That's Tanya in the mirror:)

I'm officially on Christmas vacation.  Today was my last day and I don't have to go back to work until the 2nd of January.  All this time to plan more runs!  I may need a twelve step program.  I'm not ready for Christmas. I have last minute shopping to do tomorrow.  And although I did a lot of baking on the weekend, I have more to do this weekend.  The goodies are leaving my house as fast as I can make them.  This is a good thing.  Hubby would eat it all if I let him.  Everything is in the freezer.  I'm hoping that frozen cookies and desserts is a deterrent for him.

I finally got a bumming around winter coat. Found a down filled one at Value Village for $12.  Just the style I wanted and looks brand new.  I have three leather coats, but no proper winter coat, until today.  I also bought a top, three pairs of pants (H&M, Jacob), yoga pants, and a brown leather belt.  All for $40.  I know thrift shopping isn't for everyone, but I can't go back to regular retail now. I can buy clothes that are like new for a fraction of the price.  I can buy so much more and I really only look for name brands because I can finally afford name brand clothing.  I'm becoming a snob!

I just checked the weather forecast.  Looks like hubby and I will be running in some mixed precipitation tomorrow morning.  Good times!  It's December for Pete's sake.  I'd rather run in the cold with snow, not the cold with rain.  I just know I'm gonna get hypothermia or something. No actual injury due to running (knock wood), but hypothermic because of the weather conditions. Or maybe the world will end tomorrow.    Do we have a time for doomsday?  I'd like to get my run in first!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


No truer words have ever been said...

That is the number of kilometers I've run since I started tracking my runs on my Smartphone on June 27th of this year.  Not too shabby.  It's interesting to see how I've evolved as a runner over the past 5.5 months.  My weekly mileage was about 25-30K when I started tracking, now I run 40+K per week.  My average pace at the end  of June was 8:30 per kilometer, now my pace averages around 6:30 per kilometer.  My long run in June/July was 7K. My  longest run to date is 12.5K.  I would be further along except I decided not to add any more mileage until my half marathon clinic caught up to me.

Being able to track my progress like this makes me feel like I'm truly a runner.  I have some running goals.  Not just the half marathon or full marathon (hopefully in fall 2013), but other goals like running a sub 30 minute 5K.  I think I ran one last week with my half marathon clinic, but I mean an official race one.  Haven't done that yet.  Perhaps I will register for a 5K early in the New Year to see if I can get an official sub 30 minute time.  Running that race would be challenging, 'cos I'd have to run hard for the entire race. No slowing to drink or take walk breaks. Just full on running like I do every Wednesday and Thursday with my half marathon clinic.  It's not easy to do, but I feel really strong when I run fast.  It's tempo running for me because I can't comfortably talk. The people I'm running with are usually running their comfortable pace.  I'm huffing and puffing along, but at lest I know I can do it!

800 kilometers is far.  That's about 500 miles for my American friends.  That would be the distance from Hamilton, Ontario to Virginia Beach.  We drove to Williamsburg last summer.  That was the catalyst for my whole lifestyle change.  Not being able to do anything with my son who was three at the time.  And although it only took me 12 hours to drive there, I have run that distance in a mere 5.5 months.  I am proof that you really can do anything you set your mind to.  Remember me as the former 290 pound couch potato!

This has been a week of merry. I've taken out a client for a Christmas the Mandarin (Chinese buffet) again. I frequent that establishment waaaaaaaay too much!  I'm not gonna lie, I'm getting real tired of eating at the Mandarin.  But since meals with clients isn't about what I want, I must endure!  There are Christmas treats all over the office. And everyone has chocolate within arms reach.  Sitting in supervision today and staring at my supervisor's bowl of Lindor Truffles was fun.  You need to have iron clad will power to work at my office.  The table in my work pod is where all the treats are kept. They are literally right behind me.  I just need to turn my chair and I can have an assortment of nuts, mini cupcakes, and chocolate panettone.  I got a little over friendly with the Cashews today and had to physically remove them from the area.  We are no longer on speaking terms.

Yesterday was a special day. I met my birth mother's sister (would be my maternal aunt) for dinner.  It was the first time we met and I was looking forward to it because I can't help but remember that this time last year, I was Christmas shopping for my birth mother. I knew she was coming to Toronto for Christmas, and we met on Boxing Day for lunch.  It's when she met my son and husband for the first and only time. Anyway, getting to meet her sister made me feel closer to her.  I still can't believe that she's gone and it hurts that I had so little time with her.  I only met her for the first time in April 2010.  It almost feels like the last couple of years was just a dream.  Even though she's gone, I keep her in my heart.  That is where both my mothers are and where I get my strength from when I feel weak.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tis the season to treat your body like the temple it is!

Nina keeps sending me these gems, and I keep posting them:)

First off, thanks to all for your lovely comments from my last post.  I truly appreciate all the love:)

What a busy weekend!  I had three events yesterday.  One was even hosted by me.  I had a couple of good friends over for a Christmas lunch.  Dear friends of ours who are following a similar lifestyle to me.  So I made Phase 2 friendly curried chicken, sauteed cabbage and served some carrot sticks and dip as an appetizer.  I had a very packed day yesterday, so I had an entire schedule made up so that everything would go as planned.

6:45 am: Get up and put curried chicken in crock pot.
7:00 am: Start new load of laundry and fold two loads from the previous night.
7:20 am: Put on running gear and getter done!
8:00 am: After procrastination, leave house for 8k run.
8:58 am: Return from run.
9:00 am: Go to grocery store to pick up needed items.
9:30 am: Drink coffee and eat.
10:00 am: Shower and dress.
10:30 am: Dress the boy.
11:00 am: Start meal prep (ie: chopping cabbage, plating hors d'oeuvres).
11:30 am: Switch laundry over again and fold dried load.
11:45 am: Company arrives...entertain for the next 2 hours 45 minutes.
2:30 pm:  Clean up from luncheon.
3:00 pm:  Switch laundry over again and fold dried load.
3:15 pm: Attend Christmas open house with Jules until 5:45 pm.
6:00 pm: Stop in at Shopper's Drug Mart and liquor store for gifts to bring to party later in the evening.
6:30 pm: Make dinner for Jules.
6:45 pm: Get ready for evening Christmas party at one of my BFF's homes.
7:00 pm: Switch laundry over and fold several loads that hubby dried.
7:15 pm: Wrap gifts to bring to party.
7:25 pm: Spend time watching Madagascar 3 with Jules.
8:00 pm: Leave for party.
12:00 am: Return from party...switch laundry over...go to bed!
7:00 am: Get up for long run (10K) in the pouring rain....

So there you have it.  My complete schedule from yesterday.  Today is a baking day.  That's right, I'm getting all my Christmas baking done in one day.  I'm only making four things so it's not too much, but is still time consuming when you have a "helper" who means well, but really slows you down!

I attended 2 Christmas parties yesterday and had ZERO problem staying on plan.  People asked me at both events if I couldn't just have one cookie or treat since I worked so hard and "deserved" it.  I'll tell you what I deserve.  To treat my body like the temple it is and not eat anything that is going to be detrimental to all my hard work.  Why would I work so hard to change my entire lifestyle and just throw it away by putting crap in my body?  I wouldn't.  Defeats the purpose.  I ate veggies, shrimp and my splurge?  1.5 glasses of wine at the second party.

I knew I had a long run this morning.  There's no way I was going to feel bad for that.  The most important meal before a run is the meal you have 12-18 hours prior to that run.  I ate on plan, drank tons of water and had a great long run with my best pace to date.  I did 10K with my clinic at a 6:49 pace.  Not too shabby considering there was a GIGANTIC hill 7K in .  I rocked it and felt stronger than ever running up that hill.  My pace didn't slow once.  I was running with Tina today and we were near the end of the pack, but after the hill, were at the front.  Hill training doesn't seem so scary now.

Hill training begins on Wednesday.  We do a warm up run of about 2K, then down a 400 meter hill, and run up it at a pace where we can't talk, but hopefully won't vomit once we reach the top and repeat 2 more times.  Each Wednesday we add one more hill until we run 9 hills at once.  Sounds like fun eh?  I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little anxious, but at the same time, I like a challenge!  Bring on the hills!  I need this for my Around the Bay training.  I'm running the second half and it's all hills.

I have a confession to make.  I've been talking smack these past few weeks.  I keep saying I'm training for a half marathon...the Chilly Half Marathon on March 3rd...but I was never registered. Until this morning at 7:15 am.  Last week I made a goal to register before my next long run, which was this morning at 8:30 am.  I met my goal.  Over the last 15 months, I have stopped making promises to myself that I can't keep. I've pretty much kept them all.  What a difference from the HUGE procrastinator I used to be.  There's no going back now.  I'm done lying to myself!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The post where I officially go on maintenance

This morning I went to the Pickering clinic to see Dr. Stephen.  I lost 7 pounds last month which brings my total weight loss to 122 pounds.  I weighed in at 167 pounds, 8 pounds above my "goal weight".  Dr Stephen and I decided that I would begin the maintenance program today, but I did admit that I wouldn't be eating much different than I do now.  If I drop more weight, then it's meant to be.  I think my body will stop losing naturally on it's own.  Trust me I still have plenty of junk in my trunk.  And besides, I don't think I can eat more than I eat right now.

I'm gonna be completely honest...I eat constantly.  I believe that I eat more now that I have ever eaten in my life, it's just the kind of foods I choose to eat that are the difference.  I am living proof that not all calories are created equal.  Don't ask me how many I eat in a day, I have no idea.  I just always eat until I am full and I have about three or four snacks a day as well.  Snacks are usually fruit or carrot sticks.  Sometimes popcorn.  And before a run, I'll eat an energy bar if my last meal was more than three hours prior to my run.

I'm still off the processed carbs, and that's not gonna change.  Eating them scares me. I haven't had any for so long, that I have this vision of eating a slice of bread, then finishing off the entire loaf in one sitting.  It could happen.  I've done it before.  And I just know that if I let one carby thing past my lips, I'll suddenly be a full on addict again.  I know, I know, I'm a little unstable and I need counseling.  Agreed!  Maybe it wouldn't go down that way, but this is my nightmare and I'm painting it the way I see it!

My goal was to get into a size more than to a number on the scale.  That goal was met yesterday. I went to Value Village and not only scored a great red leather coat for $12.99, but I also bought a pair of real skinny jeans (size 10), and a pair of size 8 jeans that were gonna be my "goal jeans". When I got them home, both pairs fit.  So I am officially wearing a single digit pant size!  Yay me! Pictures to follow.  I just got back from running and don't feel like trying on stuff right now.

Today was a special day.  I met up with an old college friend that I haven't seen in 15 years.  She has only ever known me obese.  She was just floored when she saw me and couldn't believe the difference in me.  She's always been beautiful and looks exactly the same as she did in college.  I can't believe that she has a teen aged son and a tween daughter!  She looks like a teenager herself.  Anyway, it was nice to catch up and I hope we connect again soon.  So much to talk about and we had so little time.

I took my car in for winter service today and my mechanic said he didn't recognize me when I walked into the shop. He only saw me a month ago.  I don't think I look any different from last month. But he said it took him a minute to register who I was.  Sometimes for fun, he gets me to show my before picture to other customers in the shop.  He loves to tell them about how hard I've worked and loves to hear about my running.  He, along with everyone else in my life, is in denial. He can't remember me being as big as I was. I'm back there tomorrow and I'll show him the comparison photos below.  I can hear him now, "Unbelievable Leigh, just unbelievable".  He says unbelievable a lot!  I have to agree.  I never believed I'd get to where I am today.  But here I am beginning a new chapter in my life.  Sounds exciting and adventurous!  Then why am I so scared?

I likely weighed about 295 here.
Taken tonight just before my
clinic run.  I look tired because I am.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The importance of fitted clothes

This morning I wasn't really planning on going for a run.  I had a massage yesterday and had planned to take today as an extra rest day because my quads have been extra sore...especially after getting stripped again yesterday morning.  Although Mark (massage therapist) said he was going easier on me than the massage before, they were already sore to begin with.  He said he could feel my resistance so didn't strip them as hard as he wanted to.  I woke up, without provocation, at 5:45am and decided to get out of bed, get my gear on and go for a run.

I thought I was running real slow, but my pace was actually faster than my pace on Sunday.  I ran 6k and it was so quiet and peaceful during the run that I knew I made the right decision to get up. It was also snowing, and real pretty.  Although my quads are still a bit sore, I think the run actually helped them.  They should be good by tomorrow night when I run my tempo run with the half marathon clinic.  I was back home and in the shower by 7am.  I love running in the morning.  It sets the way I feel for the rest of the day.  I've decided that since I'm doing longer and faster runs with the half marathon clinic, I will run 5 days per week instead of the 6 days I was running.  That's an extra rest day per week.  With tempo running, hill repeats and later Fartlek training (speed intervals), I'll need the extra rest day.

This Thursday is my last weigh-in before I go on maintenance.  I struck a deal with Dr. Stephen a month ago that I'd follow Phase 2 for one more month before officially going on maintenance.  I know I've lost weight.  My size 12 pants are way too big for me now.  I can take off my former skinny jeans without undoing the zipper or button.  They are now my way too baggy jeans. I'm hitting Value Village this week.  I desperately need pants.  Even my size 10 pants are getting loose.  That's the thing about this diet.  I can go two months with no significant movement on the scale, then suddenly get a big drop in weight even though I'm following the diet the same as I always have.

I'm excited about my doctor's visit on Thursday.  I get a $20 store credit to the Ontario Nutrition store.  I belong to this awesome support group on Facebook for people following Dr. Poon's diet. Every month members can vote for the "member of the month".  I'm so honored that I was chosen for the month of November.  It's a great group to belong to because everyone is so understanding and helpful to one another.  It's fabulous to see how encouraging and caring everyone is.  There's a lot of positivity and emotional help that happens in this group and I'm blessed to be part of such a wonderful bunch of people.  Dr. Poon's support group ROCKS!!!!!

Last night I attended my first Christmas party.  It was a party for the youth that I work with.  It was a huge turkey dinner with all the fix'ins. The only things I could eat were the turkey and squash. And the squash was questionable because it was mashed and I'm not sure what else was in it.  I had two helpings of turkey, two small servings of squash and three bottles of water.  I didn't even look at the dessert table.  The dinner was set up buffet style and the servers were really pushing the carbs (stuffing, mashed potatoes, peas and lasagna), but I just said "no thank you".  Easy peasy.  This weekend I have two parties I'm going to on the same day.  One in the early evening, and one at night time. Both will be over flowing with food.  I'm eating before I go to both...and I'll enjoy my two glasses of wine at the later one.  Plus, there's always veggies and shrimp at the night time one, so if I feel so inclined, I'll have a snack!

If this was my monkey, I'd have fitted the coat a little better
in the waist. Makes him look boxy and bigger than he is.

I will leave you with a photo of Darwin, the Ikea monkey.  This made headline news all day yesterday and was everywhere I looked.  My workplace has a television in the lobby and I was meeting in a room just off the lobby where the TV was in my line of vision.  How embarrassing to burst into laughter right in the middle of the meeting because of the ridiculous headlines they kept flashing across CP24.  All the headlines were focused on the monkey's "posh" and "unique" style. I'm not gonna lie.  Faux or not, I'm a little jealous of that shearling coat!  This is a good lesson though.  Holding onto clothes that are too big for you, just make you look bigger than you are. Take a lesson from Darwin.  Fitted and slimming is the way to go!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tis the season for burning quads!

My cute little tree:)

So yesterday was a total write off.  Julien slept till afternoon, hubby and I still felt off, and we basically laid around all day in the house.  Although I felt off, I still made it out around lunch time for a 7k run.  Not  my best pace to date, but I still ran.  I made a huge pot of chicken soup with cabbage, onion, celery and carrots and we all ate that throughout the day.  I must have had three good helpings.  I tried to get as much energy into myself as possible because I knew I was going to do my long run this morning with my half marathon clinic.

The long run.  Again, definitely not my best pace to date.  We ran a route I had never run before. There were lots of hills and a good part of it was through a very hilly trail.  I loved the route.  It was very pretty and gave me a great workout, but I felt slow and I was trudging along at the back.  I wasn't last, but a close 6th to last.  We ran 10k and my quads are screaming right now.  I was able to get in 40+k this week which was my goal, but I need to accept that it's not necessarily a bad thing if I fall short in a week.  I'm thankful that I have a massage booked for 9am tomorrow morning.  I need it!

While I was running today, I ran past my former yoga instructor.  She yelled out to me, then sent me an email saying "hi".  Made me miss her class all over again.  Although I don't usually do New Years resolutions, my resolution for this year is to take her class beginning January 8th.  I really enjoyed yoga when I took it in the past and I know that my muscles and massage therapist will thank me.  It will definitely help out with my running...again.  I'm convinced that I had my best runs the day after I had my yoga class.

Today we went to get our tree.  The pickings were slim at Ikea, but because of my cheapness or frugality, which ever you choose to believe about me, I wasn't going to go anywhere else.  Jules picked the tree and it was the first short tree I have had in my house.  We have 10 foot ceilings and I normally get a 9.5 foot tree.  This tree fell about 3 feet short.  No matter Jules loves it and it's all about him.  We spent the afternoon decorating it and he's quite proud of his tree.  Some of the ornaments need to be separated at a later time (ie: after bedtime), but all in all, it's a pretty little tree.  Sort of Charlie Brownish!

We look tired.  We just got
over the plague!

Many are struggling about what to eat over the holiday season.  My plan is to stay on plan.  The way I eat today, at Christmas, at parties, at New the way I'm eating forever. My indulgence this holiday season?  Wine.  I will allow myself an extra glass or two of wine.  See, I can do that when I'm burning 4000 calories per week and I'm not replacing them with food.  It's all about moderation.  My wine fix?  Just for the holidays.  I'll go back to my regular glass per day on the weekends when the holidays have died down.

Since food and I have a new relationship, one built on respect and need only, then I am resigned to my choice now and for the rest of my holidays from here on in.  I love being in control of my life.  I will never use the excuse that I had no other options because nothing I could eat was at a dinner or a function I attended.  Careful planning is all it takes.  I've been doing this lifestyle for over 14 months now.  Making the excuse that I had no other options is just a bad cop out, and everyone who is close to me in my life knows it.  They would never let me hear the end of it!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sick and tired

Even though I felt like death a
mere 2 hours after running
this route, it's my best pace to date!

My Thursday post is a day late.  I've been under the weather.  Remember that stomach bug that Julien had a couple of posts back?  Well hubby and I got it yesterday.  It was very strange because although hubby told me from the morning that he wasn't feeling great, I felt fine.   I worked, went to my half marathon clinic, ran my best pace to date, then came home and felt like I was dying.  It was almost as though the minute I walked in the door, I felt like crap!  My stomach started feeling off and by 10 pm, I had the chills and had to go to bed with a bucket beside me.  I didn't end up getting sick, but boy did I feel wiped.

My husband thought I was insane, but I got up to go work today and got dressed, leaving the house by 7:30 am.  I got home by 11amish just to get right back into bed and I slept until 5:30pm. I'm feeling okay right now, just a bit dizzy and slightly off still.  Julien came home from school, got into bed with me and slept for 2 hours. He asked to go back to bed at 7:30.  He's got a cough now, and his eating's been off all week.  I hope my peanut feels better soon.

At yesterdays clinic, Paul came to talk to us again.  He's a chiropractor/foot dude who does talks about bio mechanics and injury prevention.  He's the one who told me way back in April to hold my stomach in while running.  He reiterated once again that running does give the abs a workout and you use 4 abdominal muscles while running.  So I'm not crazy.  The reason why my abs are in pretty decent shape is because of the running.  Here's a comparison from photos taken October 25th to ones taken moments ago.  Although my weight has not really gone down (maybe a few pounds), my skin has gotten a bit wrinkly down the middle over the past six weeks.  But I also went down a clothing size.  Dr.  Pitt said my weight was redistributing and that with on-going exercise, everything should firm up on it's own within a year of being on maintenance.  Not sure if he's just trying to make me feel good, but I'll believe him until it doesn't happen. I'm gullible like that.

October 25, 2012

October 25, 2012

December 7, 2012

December 7, 2012

On Wednesday I did my first ever tempo run with my half marathon clinic.  A tempo run means you run fast enough that you're breathing hard and can't really talk comfortably.  My friend Michael asked why I would do something like that...well, it helps build your speed.  It wasn't a long run, 6k with a 1k warm-up, a 4k tempo and a 1k cool down.  Well I had some abdominal discomfort due to cramps and probably needing to use the bathroom.  I ran at a 6:13 pace for 3k after the 1k warm up.  By the 5th kilometer, Dawn and Eric and I were taking up the rear.  We just stopped. All agreed that a short walk was in order.  We were all hurting.  Dawn also had some cramping going on due to some Christmas party treats earlier in the day, and Eric had taken a month hiatus from running after running a marathon at the beginning of November, and he ate just an hour before.

We were able to complete the run, but even with the burst of speed that we did near the end (because Eric challenged me to a race...which I won), my pace was the worst pace I ever ran with the half marathon clinic. As soon as I got home and used the bathroom, I felt much better.  Turns out, I got my period during the run too.  I'd have to chalk up Wednesday's run as my third worst in the history of my running experience.  It's good to remember the bad runs because it makes all the other runs seem so much better!

My eating's been really off due to the stomach bug.  I only ate two slices of melon (this morning), air-popped pop corn (lunch), and baby carrots with two hard boiled eggs tonight.  I've taken out chicken thighs from my freezer and I'm making home made chicken soup for tomorrow.  Julien's been asking for it and I will deliver. I loved when my mom took care of me when I was sick.  Every time I'm sick, I wish I had someone to make me home made soup and rub my back.  It's times like today where I miss and think about my mother more than ever!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Concave arm pits and skinny butts

So I am officially an athlete.  Or at least that's what my resting heart rate says.  I went for my first physical in 1.5 years.  Dr. Pitt was hilarious.  He's the busiest doctor I know and every time I see him I have to wait for at least an hour before I even make it into the examination room.  From the examination room, it's another 20 minute wait.  So anyway, he starts talking to me about my lifestyle and spends a good 15 minutes just shooting the shit with me even though he's got a ton of people waiting for him.  Then he finally gets onto my physical and just for giggles, he compares my last physical to this physical.  In June 2011 I weighed 292 pounds and had a resting heart rate of 80 beats per minute.  This physical I weighed 172 and had a resting hear rate of 50 BPM.  Dr. Pitt was floored because he said not only do I have the heart rate of a VERY fit person, but that an Olympic runner would have a resting heart rate of 35 - 40 BPM.  He was incredibly impressed and said that I added years to my life and I was in great shape.  I felt fantastic after seeing Dr. Pitt and wanted to do nothing more than go for a run afterwards. So I did.

A resting heart rate of 80 BPM is BAD.  That just goes to show how incredibly hard my heart had to work to accommodate my size.  That and I was completely inactive.  Before I started running in March 2012 (I took a Learn to Run clinic through the Running Room), I never did any form of exercise and even walking up a flight of stairs winded me.  I hated exercise.  Even though running was hard when I first started, and I wanted to give up several times, I promised myself that I would stick it out the duration of my Learn to Run clinic and by the end of the clinic, I was hooked.  I have never felt better in my life.

Last night was the last Learn to Run clinic that  Beverly and I will be instructing for a while. Perhaps we will re-group in the spring and look at teaching another clinic, but we are both on hiatus for the time being.  Beverly for a medical leave, me for running. I'm going to focus on my own running for the next few months and train for a half marathon at the beginning of March.  The very down side to giving up the clinic instruction, besides the great people I get to meet and support, is the employee discount I get. I used my employee discount for the last time today and bought a new pair of shoes to last me until the spring.   Super Nova Glide 4 Adidas!  They are black which I love, and glow in the dark on the toes and heels and tongue.  Now I have three pairs of shoes to rotate, so I think I'm good until the spring.

Looks like there are lights
on my shoes!

I know I shouldn't complain, but there are a few things about my new body that I find troublesome. Things I have never had to deal with before.  First off, my ass is bony and I can't sit on hard surfaces for too long without getting uncomfortable.  Even as I sit here and write this post, I can feel the bones on my but digging into the padded chair I'm sitting in.  I guess it will take some getting used to.  Secondly, shaving my legs and arm pits is something I must relearn.  I cannot do it without injuring myself.  My knees and ankles are too bony and I always slice off a piece of skin. Makes me wince just writing that.  Don't even get me started on the concave arm pits!  How do normal people shave their arm pits? I can't get a good shave because my arm pit is now too hollow to get a close shave.  Who knew that these issues would plague me?  I have skinny ankles, knees, ass and arm pits but pretty fat calves still.  Where's the justice in that?  I still can't wear normal width knee high boots because they won't zip to the top.  And I can only wear boot cut "skinny" jeans because the calf area is too tight.  I'd gladly give up an inch around my calf and stick it back in my arm pit.  Or even on my ass.  Maybe this is why butt implants are growing in popularity.  Skinny assess need padding too!

I promise to catch up on blog reading over the next couple of days.  I've been a very bad blog friend.  I haven't been commenting which makes me feel bad because people are struggling.  This is not an easy time of year.  Try to keep in mind how far you've come, or focus on where you have to go.  It's not worth it to go backwards.  I'm staying focused this holiday season.  I'm not going to eat any different than I am right now. I have learned that food is not my main source of entertainment.  I still love me some slow cooker roast with winter veggies, but I know that holiday sweets and treats will send me into a downward spiral that I may have a hard time digging myself out of.  Can't imagine what that would do to my running performance either.  And I don't want to find out.  I'm tuned to peak performance now.  If I keep giving myself the right kind of fuel, I'll continue to improve and I'm excited to see where I'll be a year from now.  Running a marathon or die trying!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Santa Shuffle 5K fun run

My newest bling!

I'm gonna start with some complaining.  Okay, this entire post is a complaint!  First off I have a crick in my neck.  I slept extremely poorly last night.  Jules has a stomach bug and vomited all over his bed at bedtime, then all over mine at 3am.  I had to change all of my bedding and started washing sheets at 3am.  Then to add insult to injury, this morning was the first time I ever called in "sick" for my Sunday Morning run.  So my weekly mileage this week?  A piddly 25K.  I am so going to crush running this week.  I'm incredibly antsy and can't wait until my last Learn to Run clinic tomorrow night.  Not because it's the last clinic, but because I really need to run.  I will miss my group, they are wonderful people and it was a pleasure instructing them.

Beverly and I before the Santa Shuffle.
I know we look like shit.  We're runners, not super models!

Yesterday I ran the Santa Shuffle 5K with some of my LTR group.  I was annoyed by a few things. First off, the race was supposed to start at 10am.  They made us stand in the cold and freeze our asses off while children I did not know did a 1K fun run.  Call me an old bitter cow, but I didn't care to watch the children run.  I was freezing my cojones off!  Okay, so I don't have cojones, but I was freaking cold and not happy to stand around for an additional 15 minutes.  Second, the course was not was 4.5 (as was noted on my Nike + Running app).  There's no way I ran a 33 minute 5K with my LTR clinic.  Not because they are slow...they are pretty fast, but I just managed a sub 33 minute 5K myself.  Thirdly, they made us wait around after the run, through the medal ceremony, before they would give out the regular medals. Any other race I've been to, you get your medal as soon as you cross the finish line.  Turns out they didn't have enough medals so if they gave them out as you crossed the finish line, the last people wouldn't get any.  Instead they let us fight over them in line afterwards. I'm not gonna lie, I elbowed some people out of the way.  Don't mess with me when it comes to medals!  Not sure if I would do this run again.  I may not have a choice depending on whether or not I teach LTR or 5K this time next year! And the upside is I did get a medal.

Showing off our bling!
L-R: Lianne, Amy, Beverly, Me, Kim

A very short post today as I'm extremely tired.  I did not sleep last night except for maybe 3 hours. I was too freaked out that Jules would vomit in his sleep again and my rest was minimal.  My hubby on the other hand?  He slept till 10am this morning. Nice!  I'm still doing laundry and I have to make a grocery list for tomorrow, get my running gear ready, prep for work...and I missed calling my dad today to say happy birthday. He's 82 years young today.  Happy birthday daddy:)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Work in progress

Today was my 4th half marathon clinic.  We did a 6.1K run and even though I felt like I was running like a snail, I still had a pretty decent pace of 6:37/kilometer.  I decided to pull my mileage back this week.  I normally run 40+K per week, but by the time everything is said and done, I'll likely do between 30 and 34 this week.  There's a couple of reasons for this.  I'm way ahead of my half marathon group and I really should follow the curriculum since I am training to run a half marathon. I was also a little sore the past couple of days after my last massage and didn't have great runs the last two days.  I think my body is telling me to take it easy this week.  By the time the week's done, I'd still have only rested for one day (Friday), but my other runs would have been shorter distances.

I'm not running my usual 12K this week.  I have my Learn to Run's graduation race on Saturday morning.  The Santa Shuffle which is a 5K fun run.  Since it's a fun run it is not timed.  But there is a medal of course.  How exciting for my clinic.  For some of them, it will be their first race.  I'm hopeful that none of them will show for the Sunday morning practice run. If no one shows, I can do the half marathon clinic's long run.  It's only 9K, but better than nothing!  Although it bothers me that I'm reducing my mileage this week, I know that I need to listen to my body and rest.  I will end up getting injured and we all know how that would play out.  It would drive me insane if I couldn't run.  I would be the nastiest person EVER to be around and the consistent sobbing would be extremely annoying.  Running has become such an important part of my life that I can't imagine not doing it.

Something that I get a lot from people who comment on my weight-loss is that I must have great will power. I suppose, but I always make it very clear to them that every day is an on-going struggle.  I'm a binge eater and every day the thought of binging enters my head.  I'm not gonna lie, it's not easy.  The thought is there, but I am able to prevent myself from acting on the thought...most days.  Something that stays in the forefront of my mind is that I am thisclose to binging again.  And I have acted on it, but it's what I choose to binge on that is different from my binges fifteen months ago.  I'll eat an entire head of iceberg lettuce for the crunch, or a bag of baby spinach right out of the bag like I'm eating chips, or an entire stalk of celery.  Better choices for sure, but it scares me that the behavior is still there.

I have permanently cut pasta out of my life.  Even though I could have whole wheat pasta on maintenance, I won't.  When I used to work in residences for troubled youth thirteen years ago, I'd do a lot of overnight shifts.  My charges would be asleep and I'd have access to tons of food.  The food room was like a small grocery store.  I'd boil pasta in liberally salted water,  then serve it with melted butter and Parmesan cheese.  I would eat huge amounts of pasta.  Enough that at 290 pounds, I was stuffed and unable to move.  That was my binge of choice.  This bingy behavior with pasta never left me until I began my lifestyle change in September 2011.  Even when I made pasta for my hubby and I, I'd always make too much for a regular serving and I'd just shove the rest of it right from the colander down my throat.  Makes me cringe to think of right now.  Pasta would definitely be a trigger for me.  That's why it's not worth going down that road again.

Running keeps me from binging.  Nothing kills the thought of binging quite like lacing up your shoes and pounding the pavement.  Running keeps me from a lot of things...a social life with people who aren't constantly sweaty, time with my family, television.  So television is not so bad, but I always feel guilty that I'm not home as much as I was in the past because of the running.  I need to let it go and accept that I need to do this for me so that I can be there for my family.  I'm a better, more active mother because I lost 117 pounds.  Running is therapy for me.  It makes me feel good about my health and has built up my confidence as well.  Without running in my life, I don't know if I would be as far along in my journey as I am.  I need to remember that taking care of myself is an important piece to taking care of my whole family.

Self acceptance is something that is an on-going struggle.  Don't think that when you've reached goal, that all your problems will be solved.  There's so much emotional baggage that goes along with losing weight that you may never fully heal from obesity.  My outside may look good,  but inside, I'm a bit of a mess. That's the truth Ruth and I'm not ashamed to say that counseling could be my magic ticket.  Counseling or daily affirmations.  I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!  I'm definitely still a work in progress.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You're only as good as your next healthy meal

April 11, 2012
One month after I began
November 21, 2012
Eight months after I began

Second to how I lost weight, the most common question I get from readers is about running.  I thought I would do my best to answer everything in a post. I've always been fascinated by runners. Not just recently, but always. One of my very best girlfriends used to run cross country when we were kids and I always admired her for that. I couldn't because by middle school, I was already morbidly obese.  When we had to do laps in gym class, I was the kid that would be walking and getting yelled at by the teacher.

Anywho, I regress.  In January 2012, I met Enz from Downward TrENZ and she talked to me about running and how it had enriched her life.  We decided to take a Learn to Run clinic through the Running Room and we started that clinic on March 9th.  I weighed 230 pounds when I started running.  I completed the LTR clinic, then signed up for the 5K clinic.  After completing the 5K clinic, I started teaching the LTR clinic and I'm just about finishing up my second session of teaching LTR with my gal Beverly.  Over the summer, I ran by myself and was able to get myself up to 12K,which is my farthest distance to date.  I currently run 40+K per week and am training for my first half marathon which will be March 3, 2013; 6 days shy of my running anniversary.

Running has changed my life.  I am happiest when I'm running.  Although I procrastinate on my long run days, I have never come back after a run and said, "I wish I hadn't run today".  Just this past weekend, I didn't want to go out on Sunday morning to lead my 5k clinic run. I bitched and complained the whole way because it was cold and snowy.  After the run, I looked at my clinic participants and thanked them for coming out but also confessed that I wasn't feeling it that day...until I actually started running.  There is absolutely no better high (for me) than the way I feel after a run. Dare I say it is better than sex!  Okay, maybe not, but it's definitely a very close second!

I learned to run using the LTR program through the Running Room.  Couch to 5K (C25K) is another program that lots of new runners use.  You can download the app on your phone and it prompts you when to run and when to walk.  There is also the Ease into 5K program which is similar to C25K and comes with a downloadable program as well.  All good tools if you want to learn how to run.  I'd suggest a LTR clinic through the Running Room if you're a social person.  It's always nice to run and chat with people who are into the same sport.  I'm not going to lie.  It was hard and I wanted to quit many times when I first began.  But I persevered and it was totally worth it.  I can't imagine not running now.

If I could offer any advice in regards to diet and exercise, find an eating plan you can stay on forever and a physical activity you enjoy and can maintain.  I LOVE running and know that I can do this for as long as my body will let me.  I went for my second massage today and had my quads stripped.  It wasn't as bad as I anticipated and I only wanted to shank my massage therapist a couple of times.  He said he couldn't wait to strip my quads with his elbows.  WTF?  It sort of sounds sexual, but trust me it is so not.  I don't find elbows particularly sexy.  Especially when he's using those elbows to dig into my glutes.  That hurt like a mother...

Another reason why I love running is because it's changing my body so much.  My legs are getting more muscular by the week, my stomach is firming up (shoulders back and stomach in works yo!), and I'm finally losing some of the outer thigh fat that's been stubbornly hanging around.  I also eat a lot more than I ever have and I'm losing sizes.  Not necessarily pounds, but sizes.  In the photos below, there is only a 4 pound difference.  In the photo on the left I'm wearing snug size 12 jeans, in the right, size 10 jeans that fit comfortably.

September 16, 2012
Size 12
November 27, 2012
Size 10

Although I'm going to continue going for my weigh-ins and I will still visit Dr. Stephen for maintenance, I know that for me, the scale really is just a number.  My body is changing regardless of what my weight says. I'm continuing to maintain, but jeans I couldn't get over my hips and button two weeks ago, fit me like a glove now (see photo above right).  I'm going to fit into a size 8 when everything is said and done.  That is my goal.  I've never been a single digit size before and I believe I can get there and maintain that size.  After all, I don't have to eat any different than I'm eating now because on the most part I'm maintaining now.  The running will continue to firm me up, and I'll continue to eat the low carb, low sodium, low fat diet that I have become accustomed to.  As a runner I need to eat well so I can  perform my very best.  I need that high.  And I'm only as good as my next healthy meal.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Unrecognizable me

Checkout the frost on my headband, eyebrows
and was COLD!!!!!!!!

This weekend's run was tricky. Yesterday I was better at getting out for my long run, but it's still hard to do longer runs alone.  Only one weekend left and I can run with the half marathon clinic for long runs.  Really looking forward to this because with the cooler, winter weather, I'm basically alone on the trail.  Except for a few bikers and dog walkers, there are very few runners out.  I also had to be conscious of the ice patches.  That would truly suck if I fell and broke something.  What a nightmare for me!  And this morning was just cold and snowy.  Getting out is half the battle. Once I'm out and running, I always feel better!  It took a much longer time to warm up this morning once I started running.

Last week at work, a few people approached me and told me that they didn't recognize me.  They would have only seen me the previous week, but for whatever reason, they insist that I look different from last week to this week.  I don't think so.  Maybe my hair was different or something, but unrecognizable?  Not likely.  I do get ignored by people every once in a while who haven't seen me in over a year.  That I get.  I do look very different from last summer to now.  When I see myself reflected in a store window, I often don't recognize that person as me.  My husband asked me how that made me feel.  I'm not gonna lie, it's strange. Getting used to the way I look is going to take some time.  I still see myself as a 300 pound woman.  Regardless of whether I am needing to accept myself as an obese woman or a "normal" sized woman, self acceptance is an on-going process.

May 2011
November 2012

Last night we went to the Flamborough Santa Claus Parade.  It was extremely cold and Julien didn't feel great.  He complained of a sore stomach pretty much the whole time we were there.  My feet were numb, Jules was under the weather, and it was cold, cold, cold.  We ended up going home after a half an hour.  That's too bad because the parade is so nice.  It's all lit up with lots of lights and bands.  Perhaps we will fair better next year.

Waiting for the parade to begin.
My brother-in-law is also in this
pic, but refused to let me post it
with him in it... 

This afternoon I went to my friends Elin and Scott's house for a Grey Cup party.  I didn't actually stay for the game, but I was there long enough to lose to Elin's SIL Heather at ping pong.  I also enjoyed some delicious Jackson Triggs Shiraz and some roasted almonds.  They had lots of yummy treats including these...

Elin works at a cupcake shop called Bitten and these were picked up for the Grey Cup party.  Now these were not tempting in the least and I'll tell you why. First off, it's been many, many, many months since I have had any kind of processed carbs.  And it has also been many, many, many months since I have had processed sugar.  I eat carbs and sugar found in fruits and veggies. That's it.  Having one of these would have made me feel sick, no doubt.  And I would have spent the night on the toilet.  So not worth it.  It is also not fuel for my body.  It is junk.  And junk I do not need.  I need good wholesome food that will keep me running my absolute best.  Running and not weighing 300 pounds ever again is my motivation.  What's yours?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The difference of 14 pounds...

So tonight was my third 1/2 marathon clinic. I missed the tempo run yesterday because I had to run with my Learn to Run clinic, but I realized as I was plugging along on the 5.6k run we had tonight that I am doing a tempo run when I run with the clinic. My average pace alone is around a 7 minute kilometer.  When I'm with the 1/2 marathon clinic I run at a 6:34 pace or better. Tonight was better.  I ran 6:32 per kilometer.  I was tired when I was done, but felt great!

Last night I had a bizarre dream. I dreamt that I got lost during a clinic run and ended up running for hours alone.  When My clinic instructor Carol found me, she told me that I ran the equivalent of a full marathon and perhaps the 1/2 marathon clinic wasn't the right fit for me.  As if!  I can't keep up with the serious runners in my clinic, so I know that I am right where I'm supposed to be!

I don't know if I said this during my last couple of posts or not...I love running!  Running has changed my body, allowed me to eat more than most people and been the best therapy I could invest in.  Check out these pictures.  There is a 14 pound difference and at first I didn't think it was very noticeable, but I can definitely see it in my arms, boobs, hips and abdomen. Not so much in my legs.  And although I still follow mostly Phase 2 of Dr. Poon's Diet, I will admit that I have never measured the measurable veggies. I have always eaten as much as I want because running takes care of any additional calories for me.  I have also been following some of maintenance this month, mostly on long run days because I burn 1000+ calories during those runs.  We'll see how or if that affects the scale next month.

A couple of weeks ago, my elderly neighbor cat called me!  Shocking I know, but it's in his nature to do something so crass.  So he sees me about a week ago and apologizes by saying that he hopes I wasn't offended, he was just shocked when he saw me.  Said he couldn't get over my body and my long black hair.  My hair is brown and ick that he was looking at my body!  He also said that if he was younger, my husband had better watch out...or something to that effect. Then he says that my hubby had better put a chastity belt on me. WTF does that mean?  That I'm gonna start sleeping around because I lost weight?  Or am I a slut?  My parents taught me to be polite to my elders, so I just smiled, got in my car and drove away.  I'm letting it go because he's likely developing dementia or something.

I bought a pair of size 10 (very) skinny jeans a few weeks ago that I couldn't do up.  I tried them on last night...and they fit!  Picture to come soon.  I'm going out with my BFF Nokomis tomorrow night.  Perhaps I will wear those skinny jeans and get her to snap me.  She a professional photographer and I'm sure she'll take a much better picture than my regular photog (my 5 year old son).  Good night beautiful people, and I hope all of my American friends had a very Happy Thanksgiving that does not find them regretting anything in the morning:)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Food is fuel NOT therapy

It took me 41 years to realize this.  I used to eat for comfort, out of boredom, for entertainment.  I have been successful at weight loss.  One of the most important things I changed to make this journey successful was the way I thought about food.  I used to obsess over food.  It would be the first thing I thought of when I woke up, and the last thing I thought about before I fell asleep.  Food controlled me. It made me happy, and miserable.  It was my best friend and my worst enemy.

When I explain to those who ask how I have lost weight and detail the diet I've followed, they often scoff and say, "I could never be so limited in my eating".  I usually just nod and move on.  It's not my place to make judgments.  But in my head I'm judging.  What if the option is limiting what you eat or dying young riddled with disease that could have been avoided?  Would you limit what you eat then?  I didn't get it until last year.  Even though I was morbidly obese, I made excuses and justified my obesity. I argued that I was still fairly healthy so therefore had time to adopt a healthier lifestyle later on.  Just another cop out if you ask me.

I'm not going to dwell on the what ifs.  I've played this over and over in my head during the last year enough times that I have ALMOST let it go. What if I did this years ago?  What if I was able to make the changes I needed to when I was 31, or even 21?  Well truth be told, I just wasn't ready then.  You absolutely need to be in the right mindset or whatever diet you are entertaining will not work.  This is where the yo-yo diet effect enters the equation.  You are either ready or you are not. I know that the people who need to make lifestyle changes and scoff at  my eating plan are just not ready to make the change in their own life.  And maybe they never will be ready.  This is a lifetime commitment, not something that you do until you reach goal before going back to your old ways.  Changing your whole lifestyle is hard work.  If it was easy, everyone would do it and we would all be fit!

If you want something bad enough, you will do it.  For whatever reason, something clicked in my head and I was ready.  Perhaps it was for the love of a child.  Perhaps I finally discovered the love I had for myself.  Either way, the planets aligned and I was able to commit to something I have failed miserably with the past 30+ years.  I have dieted consistently over those 30+ years and lost and gained weight.  The past 14 months is the longest I have ever stuck to a "diet".  That is because I have accepted that this is now my lifestyle.  It is my "normal".  I will have to do this for the rest of my life.

Others wonder how I can walk away from tempting treats and my old trigger foods.  It's very simple.  The food I put in my body now is fuel so that I can run my next 12k.  I eat so I can function at work during the day.  I eat so I can keep up with my 5-year-old.  I eat so that I can enjoy every other aspect of my life that I missed out on because I was morbidly obese.  I eat to keep myself healthy.

At this moment, I am the healthiest I have been in my entire life.  I have worked hard to get to where I am today.  Eating junk and processed crap is just going to get me back to where I started and I have invested too much time, energy, sweat and tears to go back to 300 pounds. Squandering my investment would be bad business.  Very bad business indeed.  Perhaps the single most important thing I have learned over the past year is that I am definitely worth investing in.  Think long and hard about where you are in your journey.  Aren't you worth the investment?  Be kind to yourself, you definitely are!