Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Remnants of Sandy

I don't have a nice ass yet, but I'm hopeful...soon.

This is what I was thinking this morning as I dragged my sorry butt out of bed.  I would have loved to stay under the covers, but I can't use bad weather as an excuse or I won't run all winter!  It was windy, but the rain had let up...for now.  The worst of the storm was supposed to come while we slept.  Much to my relief, nothing fell on my house, most notably my neighbour's tree.  A big heavy branch of it already fell on my deck last year during a storm, so I was expecting the whole thing to come down this time around.  But nothing.  Thank goodness!!!  Anyway, back to running!  So I ran. The streets were a mess with leaves, but everything else seemed intact. Good news indeed.  I know our friends south of the border did not fare as well.  The television footage from NYC and the Jersey Shore is incredible.  I can't believe that happened just a ten hour drive away!

Toronto's finest guarding the live wire hanging from a
still standing tree.
As I drove into work today, this is what I was presented with.  Our street was blocked off because a tree fell onto a parked car and brought down a hydro wire with it.  We could still get into work (unfortunately), but they closed down the street as it was a one way.  And the live wire made things tricky no doubt.  I also tried to get a photo from inside the office, but couldn't get a good one due to glare on the window.

A lot of window glare...I hope they had the "Act of God"
insurance.  I believe it's extra!
The storm actually started last night. Wind and rain began just as my clinic was starting.  I wasn't expecting many of my group to come out, but of a possible nine, six showed...and one I knew wasn't coming because she is injured.  I tell you, my Learn to Run group is BAD ASS.  Although they complained a touch, everyone ran even though we didn't make it an expectation.  I love this group of people.  They are eager and resilient. They don't give up! One of them is recovering from a stroke, and one young girl struggled the first couple of sessions, but I see such a difference in her endurance already. She reminds me a lot of myself when I took Learn to Run.  A little low in the confidence, but wanting to give it her best shot!  You can't ask for anything more!

I'm going to miss teaching this clinic next session, but there's no going back now.  I've officially signed up for the 1/2 marathon clinic.  No refunds!  So I'm committed.  And I'm really looking forward to it.  I'm just excited to be running with a group again.  It will be much more pleasant during long runs.  Right now I listen to books on tape while I run, which is fine as well.  But sometimes it's nice to have a conversation with someone.  You can learn a lot about someone just by running with them.  And what is said while running is confidential!

Julien's excited about Halloween.  He's going to be Super Mario and I got the costume from a thrift store.  I just bought overalls, a red long sleeved shirt, white gloves (from the girls' department at WalMart for 60 cents) and a hat from Dollarama that I hot glued a white felt circle with an M cut out of it.  I'll draw a moustache on him and call the costume done!  He was wearing it tonight and looked super cute.  I need to wake up super early tomorrow so I can get an 8k in before I prep him for school in his costume.  I'm a little freaked out right now.  My little cat ran out of the house earlier this evening and it's raining pretty good out.  I just want her to come home soon or else I won't be getting much sleep at all!  Damn cat!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fast girls have a better time

Today was a very wet and dreary race day indeed! I was up, once again, before the dawn to pick up my gal Beverly by 7am so that we could drive to Toronto and run the Toronto Women's 8k at Sunnybrook Park.  I was hopeful that the rain would let up by 9:30am for gun time.  We were not so lucky.  It rained pretty steadily the entire time we were there.  There was no shelter, so we stood around and ran in the rain for about 2 hours.  Very pleasant indeed.  But we are runners, and runners are tough.  No sleet, or rain or snow will slow us down!

Over 850 women ran the 5k and 8k combined.  This picture
was taken through the plastic bag my phone was in.

That is true because even though my run started out pretty slow due to the high volume of runners and being at the back, I nailed my best 8k time ever!  My gun time was 57:38 and my chip time was 56:25 which gave me an average pace of 7:03.  I placed 307 out of 420.  Again, I'm no speedster, but my times are improving which is all I can hope for.  My last timed race gave me an average pace of 7:21 and that was a 5k back in August.  My last 8k that I ran (just in everyday training) was 59:39 on October 8th.  So definite improvement.  I didn't get many pictures today due to the crappy weather.  

Bev and I in my car waiting for gun time!
The course was flat and fast.  No hills to speak of and the water station was serviced by Toronto Firefighters.  A touch disappointing.  None of them were shirtless or wearing suspenders to hold up their low-rise uniform pants over their washboard abs.  Very disappointing indeed.  They were wearing their full on firefighter gear which kept them dry, no doubt.  Sissies!  I felt good during my run which was a change from the last two runs I had.  My average pace for my last two runs was 7:20 because I was still feeling the crick in my neck which was causing my back to be stiff.  I took some muscle relaxants last night and this morning and voila!  Problem solved.  Maybe being stoned also caused my time to improve.  No matter, I'll take it!

The last kilometre of the race I was plugging along with a woman that I'd been neck and neck with since about 5k.  I always get faster near the end of my runs and I started to pick up speed and I passed her.  Then she passed me.  Then I passed her.  You get the idea.  But during the last kilometre, we were running beside each other...and pretty quickly.  As we approached the finish line, we were trying to get in front of each other.  We ended up crossing the finish line together and I looked at her, smiled and congratulated her. We shook hands and I hope that that is the picture the photographer got.  I guess I'll find out in a couple of days.

So I do have some exciting news.  Exciting for me anyway.  I'm going to finish up teaching this Learn to Run clinic (6 more weeks), then I'm taking a break from teaching for a few months. I'm going to join the 1/2 marathon clinic that starts on November 8th. While hanging out with my friends Scott and Elin last weekend, Scott sort of put an idea in my head and I'm going to act on it! I really need to run with people again.  Other than the clinic I teach, I usually run alone.  

Now that winter is upon us, I'd like to run in a group again.  For safety reasons as well as motivation to get out there no matter the weather conditions.  I can already run 11k without stopping, so the 1/2 marathon is definitely the next thing to start training for. Scott mentioned the Chilly 1/2 Marathon in Burlington, so that will be my goal race.  It's the 1st weekend in March and the Around the Bay is the 3rd weekend in March.  I'm super excited because Carol will be teaching this clinic and it will be her swan song.  Sadly we are losing her to Illinois   She's moving there in the New Year with her partner and the Running Room will be without their fearless leader.  This is quite poetic in a sense.  Carol taught me how to run, and when she teaches her last clinic, I'll be her pupil once again.  I'm thankful to have the next few months with her before she moves onto her new life.  She's a fabulous person and my running mentor.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The good, the bad, and the ugly

This morning was an ugly run.  I was up before the dawn and ran in thick fog.  I didn't mind the fog or the drizzle.  Since I'm running a race on Saturday morning with my gal Beverly, my plan was to do my long run this morning.  I ran 11k and man did I have a difficult time with it. About 5k in, I felt the urge to use the washroom.  And not to pee.  If I happened to slow at all, the urge would come on stronger.  I also slept badly the night before and had a crick in my neck which caused me to be stiff when I ran.  And I had a pain in my foot that I had to walk out several times.  Just in case you're wondering, I did make it home before really needing to use the washroom.  I didn't even take my shoes off before running up stairs to use the facilities.  I also ran this 11k about 3 1/2 minutes slower than I did on Saturday, and that one was uphill for 5.5k.  So all in all, my morning run sucked the big one.

I have received a few emails from readers asking me about loose skin on my abdomen and they wondered how bad it was.  I've made reference a couple of times to my wrinkly stomach.  I thought it would be good to answer everyone at once and put it in a post.  Surprisingly enough, since the summer, the skin on my abdomen has started to firm up significantly.  I lost 100+ pounds 13 years ago, and my stomach is in much better shape this time around.  You wouldn't think so because I was under 30 then, and have had a baby since, so the only thing I can attribute this to is exercise. The last time I lost a significant amount of weight, I did absolutely no exercise. Although my only form of exercise right now is running (I swam in the summer...but not a lot), I do believe that the running has contributed to my "not so bad" midsection.   When I run, I hold myself erect and suck in my stomach.

We had a guest speaker come in for my clinic when I was learning to run back in April 2012.  I just remember his name was Paul and he was a physiotherapist who talked about injury prevention and the biomechanics of running.  Anyway, he said that when running, we should have our shoulders back, chest out, and stomach in.  He also said that holding our stomach in would give our abs a workout, so I have done it religiously since.  And I really believe it has worked well for me.  I also hold in my stomach when I'm walking and am very mindful of my posture.

I thought about this post all the way from Hamilton to Peterborough and back today and toyed with the idea of including pictures or not. Although the skin is loose, it's not as loose as it was, but I'm still self-conscious about it.  Since it's all part of my story I decided to share some photos.  Now this is about as risque as my pictures will ever get.  My hubby would freak if I wore anything less, and my family and co-workers do not need to see me in my skivvies.  I did wear my low-rise skinny jeans for the occasion just to give some validation that exercise is key when losing weight.  I do wish I took pictures in the summer just to compare.

For those who are new to my blog...I'm 42, have lost 117
pounds so far and had a baby 5 years ago.  I weighed in at
310 just before delivery.

I have done no exercise to target my abs except to hold in
my stomach when I run.  Since I run for about 5 hours per
week, that's a lot of stomach muscles being used.

Yay!  No back fat!

I'm actually not disappointed with how my abdomen is doing.  I think that with some exercise to tone my stomach, it will look better minus my last 13 pounds.  I have decided to give hula hooping a try. My friend told me that her stepmother had a pretty flabby stomach after birthing several babies.  While in her 50's she started hula hooping and within a few months, there was a dramatic change in her flabby skin.  She now has a pretty solid abdomen.  I'm sold.  I've also seen mention of it in a few blogs and I understand that the bigger the hoop, the better for working out your abs. It's inexpensive and 20 minutes a few times a week is all you need to see a change.  You can even do it while watching TV.  Now I just need to find a hula hoop which won't be easy since they're a seasonal item.

Now don't get me wrong, I also have bad loose skin.  I won't be sharing pictures of any those areas (and never the boobs) yet because I'm not that brave.  My upper arms are a mess, my boobs need a lift, and my outer thighs have saddle bags.  I'm hoping that my last 13 pounds will help with the saddle bags, and I'm going to start reciting the Lords of Acid song lyrics for "I Must Increase my Bust". Maybe not. I'm okay with my bust being MUCH smaller (I went from being a plus sized D cup to a regular B).  It means no discomfort when I run. I'd just like them to be a touch perkier. Nothing a good bra can't fix.  My arms on the other hand...they will likely require surgery. Bat wings are a horrible thing to have, especially when you're not a bat.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Who are you?

I think I've mentioned before that I was adopted into a Polish/Scottish family.  My mother was Polish and my father is Scottish.  I, on the other hand, am of Native Canadian heritage.  Describing my background has always made me feel uncomfortable because I don't actually know what the politically correct term for the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada is.  Am I First Nations?  Am I Native Canadian?  I know I'm not Indian.  I am Ojibwe...Anyway, I have a Certificate of Indian Status which enables me to receive a portion of sales tax off of purchases.  In order to receive this rebate, I must show my status card when I am paying for my purchases.

I went to use it today, and the girl who was cashing me out, kept looking at the card and looking at me.  She puts the card down in front of me and says, "You aren't allowed to use someone else's card".  I know I look different, but there is some resemblance between me and the picture on the card.  So I have to explain to her that I am using my card and my appearance has just changed over the past year.  She looked skeptical so I showed her my driver's licence and health card as well.  She looked genuinely shocked and blurted out, "OMG! What did you do?"  I'm used to getting this reaction from people I know, but not so much from strangers.

I know that this says I am an Indian, but even I know that
"Indian" is not politically correct!
My job requires that I sometimes attend court to support and assist clients.  I went to court a couple of weeks ago and got the same type of hassle when I showed my work ID to get into court. Usually I just flash my ID at the Court Services Officer and they let me through without searching me.  This time, I was searched and told by the female guard that I looked great, but needed to get a new ID picture taken so that this didn't happen every time I came to court.

Today I sat in a training all day that included several people I haven't seen in many months, and some I haven't seen in over a year.  One person in particular kept staring at me, then would look away when I noticed him looking at me.  He never approached me except to say hello, but I could tell he wanted to make a comment.  Sometimes I just don't feel like giving people the "in" they need to say something about my appearance.  Today was one of those days.  It was raining and miserable and I wasn't feeling accommodating at all.  One of the trainers did approach me to tell me that she started running in the summer and heard that I was also a runner.  I smiled at that because she called me a runner...and someone told her I ran, not just that I lost a bunch of weight! She has also fallen head over heels in love with running.

In my Lucky number 13 post, a couple of people commented that they hoped I wouldn't stop blogging once I reached goal.  Blogging has become such a part of my life that I can't imagine giving it up now.  My story's just begun.  Maintenance is a whole new chapter that I look forward to sharing with anyone who wants to keep reading.  Amazing that you even want to read about my boring life!

Tomorrow is a potluck at work. In the past I have always made pierogi casserole.  It's similar to pierogi, but made in casserole form with lasagna noodles, mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese and a ton of butter and onions.  It's an incredibly rich, carbohydrate and fat drenched dish.  I made it for last year's potluck but didn't eat any because I had already started my lifestyle change.  This year I contemplated making it again, but decided instead to go with ratatouille.  I shouldn't be encouraging others to eat bad food especially if I have nothing positive to say about the dish.  Lets face it.  It's a heart attack waiting to happen! There will be enough "bad" choices at the potluck that I certainly don't need to add to them.

I'm also on snack for team meeting tomorrow morning but my team won't make out quite as healthy.  With having to prepare the ratatouille (which is in my slow cooker as we speak) I'm taking the easy way out and bringing chocolate chip banana bread and cranberry lemon loaf from my freezer.  I'll be eating my hard boiled eggs while everyone else enjoys my home made baking.  I'm good with that because any time I feel the struggle start, I pull out my phone and look at the picture on the left (I keep it on my phone as a deterrent), and my desire to eat crap goes right away. Go figure!

July 2011
October 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

This is my gym

The Hamilton - Brantford Rail Trail
Taken this morning by Beverly!

I've had a couple of good running days.  Yesterday I did my second ever 11k.  I was a rock star. My average pace was 7:04 per kilometre, which for me is not too shabby for such a long distance. The first 5.5k was running uphill.   It's a gradual incline, but you can definitely feel it.  I felt great after my run.  I initially was dreading it because it was raining...and cold.  But by 9:30am, the rain cleared, the sun came up and my run was beautiful.  Here are some snaps I took while on my 11k yesterday.

The halfway point.

So pretty with all the fallen leaves.

11k afterglow:)

This morning my gal Beverly met me at 7:15 at the Running Room.  She was injured about 6 weeks ago and wanted to try a run again.  We planned on getting in a run before we ran with our clinic at 8:30 am.  I gotta tell you, she was amazing.  For someone who hasn't really run for 6 weeks, she did FANTABULOUS!  We ran a 5k doing 10:1 intervals and her pace was not much different than what it was 6 weeks ago.  I'm so happy for her because I could tell she was anxious before the run, but she totally nailed it and proved once again that she is a running Goddess:)

My gym partner...after our 5k!

I'm in love with running, but you already know that.  I'm especially in love with running in the great outdoors. I don't think you could get me on a treadmill if my life depended on it.  No matter the weather, I will always run outside.  There's just no better feeling than running with the wind at my back, or in my face. I've run in inclement weather, and although it can be dread worthy to think about going out in it, once I'm wet from the rain, or sleet, I don't care anymore...because I'm already wet!  And I'm very blessed to have so many great trails to run on.  There's never a shortage of beautiful places to run in Hamilton.

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I mentioned that I was at Value Village and found a corduroy jacket that I loved but when I went to try it on, it was too big for me?  Well, I ended up finding the same jacket in a medium on Friday and picked it up for $9.99.  It's brown and not camel like the first jacket I found, but I still love it!  It is in pristine condition and fits me like a glove.  So yesterday, I go to my girlfriend Elin's house to hang out for the afternoon.  She takes my jacket after I gush over it, looks at the label and says, "hold on, I have something to show you".  She comes down stairs with the exact same jacket, in the exact same size.  Never in a million years did I think I would be able to borrow clothes from Elin!  Next time I'm over there, I'm going through her closet!

Separated at birth?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lucky number 13

I took this tonight.  I've never seen
a rainbow at night before.
It makes me happy:)
Today was my official weigh-in day.  I weighed in at 172 which means I'm down 7 pounds from last month.  Which also means...drum roll please...I have 13 pounds left to lose before I reach Dr. Stephen's goal weight for me.  He told me, just like Dr. Marmina told me last month, that they don't give the certificates out anymore.  I told him that he needed to give me one.  Dr. Stephen has also promised to find me one.  Even if they have to draw me up one with crayon, I want my certificate.  I worked for it dammit!!!! Alright, I'm not that irate, but I'd really like one regardless. You know me, I like stuff like that.  Certificates, medals...

I'm feeling good about moving onto maintenance.  I figure I'll just keep eating the way I am now.  I eat A LOT.  Ask anyone who frequents the Mandarin with me.  I eat a lot of meat and salad and veggies, and always until I'm full.  Right now my weight-loss is slowing down a bit, but I figure that my body is going to just stop losing when it's reached it's desired weight.  I haven't changed the way I eat at all. Right now my body fat percentage is 32.9 which puts me in the healthy range.  Who would have ever thought that I would have a healthy body fat percentage? Not me!

Something I need to work on is obsessing over running.  You think I'd obsess over the banana bread in my freezer, or the homemade chocolate chip cookies in the tupperware container on my fridge, or the unopened Halloween candy I got on sale.  But no!  I'm freaked out because I'm obsessing over my mileage for the week.  Due to circumstances beyond my control, the last two runs I did (Tuesday and Wednesday) were not the runs I had in mind.  This puts my mileage back about 5k for the week, and I'm playing over and over in my head how I can get the 5k back into my runs by Sunday.  Bottom line is I can't...without overdoing it.  And I can't take the chance of overdoing it and getting injured.  Then I can't run at all!  I just need to relax and move on already.  I will plan better for next week and all will be right with the world again.  Funny that, how running has taken over my life.  Again, who would have ever thunk!

Yesterday was Team Day at work and I spent the day with my new team.  We toured a local youth shelter in the morning, went for coffee and lunch, then did something I haven't done in years. We bowled.  It was fun, but I was done after one game.  Especially after I broke a nail!  By the time I got to my practice run last night, my arms were hurting. It was good to spend time with my co-workers because I'm new to the team and haven't really socialized with them much.  Nothing says I heart you like a stinky bowling alley!

Brings me back to high school when it was
actually fashionable to wear these.
I look like I'm modeling a bowling ball for
the Price is Right.

Check out that form!

So I didn't win, but I came in an admirable 3rd.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their ongoing support, wonderful comments and emails.  It's been 13 months since I took control of my life, and I couldn't have done it without all of you.  Keeping myself accountable has been a huge factor in the success of my weight-loss. Writing my blog has been therapeutic in the sense that I have been able to be honest with myself and all of you about my lifelong struggle with obesity.  I hope I have become knowledgeable enough now not to make the same mistakes yet again.  Thank you for sharing your stories with me as well.  It's comforting to know that others have the same struggles, and really do understand where I've been.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Runnin' down a dream

This is how I spend the majority of my week.  In my car.  I commute about 1.5 hours each way to work...when I'm in the office.  When I'm on the road, I travel all over the greater Toronto area and beyond.  So I am sitting on my butt A LOT!!!!  I've made some rules for the car.  No eating in the car (except for breakfast which is 2 hardboiled eggs) and if I'm doing longer trips to Barrie or Peterborough, I must allow myself a half hour to get out and walk around after my appointment with my client.  It is important to get up and stretch a bit before my long drive home.

The eating rule is obvious.  I used to frequent drive-thrus regularly.  Before (losing weight), while I was driving I'd mindlessly shovel snacks into my mouth.  Snacks that were completely unhealthy. But now, I can fall into the pattern of eating too much of a good thing (ie: almonds).  No more almonds for me except in very controlled circumstances.  I can't handle bulk almonds anymore. Sadly, I have no willpower where they are concerned.  Almonds are not evil, but it just reminds me that I am thisclose to binging if the inclination ever took hold of me.  That is scary to me.

This is what I look at...a lot!

The best way for me to pass time in the car is to listen to books. I download them for free from the library, and sit back and enjoy.  It makes the time pass quickly, and prevents me from daydreaming about inappropriate things like eating.  If I find myself feeling sleepy, I will stop, get out, get a coffee, and get on with my trip.  Sometimes just walking around for ten minutes can wake me up too.  Because I spend so much time in my car, it is imperative that I run most mornings.  Which means waking up super early.  My morning run sets the stage for the rest of my day.  I've had some really bad days and I'm convinced it's because I didn't run.  I also get real cranky when I don't run.  Running totally lifts my spirits.  That's why I run 5 out of 7 days. I force 2 rest days on myself because I know I need them.

My new trail shoes.  Although they are boys shoes yet again,
they do have purple in-soles and purple markings on
the back!!!!

I bought trail shoes today.  They were a super good price and since I run on trails 70% of the time, I figured, why not?  My hubby fell in love with the same shoes and he bought them too.  Now we truly cannot run together.  That would just be silly!  I also wanted to buy my 3 season coat today, but I waited too long and there were no mediums left.  I was a tad bit bummed but my boss Carol called the Burlington store, they had one and she's going to get it for me on Thursday!  Score!  And because of my employee discount, I get it at 55% off!

My soon to be 3 season jacket.
I, of course, got it in purple!

Yesterday I met a woman at the Running Room who used to be a sprinter and wanted to try long distance running.  Who knew sprinters had no running endurance?  Makes total sense.  They are trained for short bursts of speed.  Makes me feel good that if I had to run a 10k race against an Olympian sprinter, I'd have a fighting chance of winning.  She's currently doing 2:2 intervals (2 minutes running, 2 minutes walking).  She needs 2 minutes to recover and I just know it's because she's sprinting for two minutes and tiring herself out.

She's promised to come to the run club tomorrow night so I can teach her to run.  Carol (my RR boss) introduced us and showed her my newspaper article from the Spectator.  She was amazed that seven months ago, I struggled to run for a minute and can now run 11k without stopping and with a 7:09 per kilometre pace.  I amazed myself to be honest with you.  I never dreamed I'd be able to accomplish what I have with running. I was a complete couch potato, and now I'm a pretty decent runner. Just goes to show you that if you really want something bad enough, you can do anything! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stand-up comics, younger men and an 11k

Last night my good friend Beverly treated me to a night out on the town.  I don't know the last time I went out with a girlfriend and had a good time.  She had tickets to see John Pinette at Hamilton Place and her hubby couldn't go, so I graciously accepted her invitation.  I'd never seen a stand-up comic before in a theatre venue.  It was a night of firsts.  I also had never been to Hamilton Place.

John Pinette was funny, but he joked a lot about being overweight and I didn't know how to take some of the jokes.  I mean the former me would have found them quite funny...but now I don't think being overweight and unhealthy is so funny.  It's actually not funny at all, and all I kept thinking was "dude, you need to lose weight"!  That's the judgemental me talking and I need to work on that.  He's made a living off of his size and weight issue because it's the basis of his act.  It wouldn't be worth it to me to stay unhealthy for a buck.  But perhaps it is to him.

Beverly and I waiting for the show to begin!

Afterwards we went to Slainte Irish Pub.  I had never been there before and it was another first for me.  It was a mix of younger and older, but we were there quite early, so the action didn't start until we were leaving.  We ordered a glass of red wine each and a steak salad.  It was yummy, and I was just glad to be out for the night.  About an hour into our visit three young men came and sat beside us. The one next to me started making small talk with me.  As Beverly said, it was totally random.  I mean we weren't inviting the attention or anything.  We were some of the oldest females in the joint.  He started getting real familiar like and just before we were getting ready to leave, he puts his hand on my leg.  Talk about a shocker!  It was dark in there, so I'll give him that, but jeez Louise, I was old enough to be his mother!  Bless the hearts of the  young and clueless. Made me chuckle.  I even wished him and his friends a good night as I got up to leave and get home so I could get to bed and up early with my son the next day:)

This morning I ran my first 11k.  I felt a little under the weather when I got up.  Jules had been sick, so I think I'm starting to get what he had.  It's mostly in my throat, and not in my chest, so I was good to go for my run.  I ran my first 3k with my former LTR (learn to run) student, Sher.  It was nice to converse with someone for a bit.  The sun was out and, even though it was almost freezing (1 celsius, 33.8 fahrenheit), it was a beautiful morning to run.  I was pumped because I was running like the wind on a beautiful fall day.  I love the fall!

Lots to do today.  Gotta make chocolate chip cookies for Julien's party tomorrow, assemble loot bags, do laundry, make dinner, go grocery shopping...all before bed.  And bedtime is sacred right now.  It's when I get to read this new series I've become addicted to.  Don't ask why.  I'm just into reading filth.  My co-worker got me into the J.R Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  It's complete trash, but quite enjoyable.  But hey, I got my most important task out of the way first thing...my run!  I'm a happy camper:)

Yay!  My first 11k!
Sweaty, but happy.  I LOVE running!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

(S)he's a runner and a rebel

I was up before the crack of dawn to do my shorter 7k run this morning.  If I had cajones, they would have frozen!  Two degrees celsius (35 fahrenheit for my American friends) indeed!  Thank the heavens that my winter running gear I ordered online from Old Navy arrived yesterday.  I had one pair of too big compression pants left, and they were in the laundry.  I am now the proud owner of 3 pairs of compression pants in size medium...and a couple of long sleeved mock jackets.  The timing couldn't have been better. And let me tell you, I was soooooooo tempted to stay in my warm bed this morning. But I didn't.  I ran, and now I am rewarded with a rest day tomorrow!  Yay me!

I forgot what it was like to run in the colder weather because it's been so long.  This will be my first official running winter.  Or is that winter running?  Either way, running long distances in the frigid cold is going to be a new experience for me.  When I came back this morning I was a hot snotty mess.  Doesn't matter how cold it is, I'm a sweater and my nose is like a tap.  A very attractive look for any woman first thing in the morning.  Running makes me a snot mess, but no matter. I still felt great when I got back home and stepped into my steaming shower.

Yesterday I stepped outside of my comfort zone at Value Village.  I saw a gorgeous leather Danier coat that I loved.  It was a size small.  It was european sizing (12) which according to my sizing converter is a US size 8.  I decided to throw caution to the wind and try it on.  It fit me.  My heart started racing and I got a bit choked up.  I had to buy it.  It cost $19.99.  Man I love a deal! Although before I start getting all smug and stuff, Danier sizing is larger than most.  So the size 8 is probably a true 10.  Either way I scored a great leather coat...with a removeable thermal lining!

I am a clothing rebel:)
Yes, those are also my
thrift store Brazilian leather
boots!  $7.99
I'm getting better at seeing
my rear end.  And my size
12 jeans are looser.

Five years ago today, my little peanut was born.  Where has the time gone?  I can't believe that he is such a big boy now!  He's beautiful, smart, loving, kind.  I couldn't ask for a better kid.  I am truly blessed to be his mother and I always, always remember that he is my true inspiration and motivation for getting healthy.  I love him so much, and when I ever think of faltering, I think of him. I could never do that to him.  He means the world to me and I want to be able to share my life with him.  I'll never again tell him that I can't do something with him because of how big I am.  I've said this before and I'll say it again, nothing tastes as good as enjoying his childhood!

October 11, 2007
October 11, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The post without a title

This is going to be a quick post.  The boy's been sick and I just got him to sleep.  I hope he's well soon.  His birthday's on Thursday and I really hope he's feeling better.  He's super excited about being the VIP at school. That is quite the change from last week when he didn't want to go to school at all.  I sense that once his birthday week is over, he won't want to go again next week.

Thanksgiving weekend was a great family get together all around. I had dinner with my brother and his family on Sunday, and with my in-laws on Monday.  I missed dinner with my father because he was enroute back from Nova Scotia with my cousin.  As always, everyone accommodated my diet and served lots of protein and veggies.  I'm truly blessed to have such supportive and loving people around me.  It had been a while since I saw my in-laws and both my father and mother-in-law were shocked by my appearance.  I think the last time I saw them was Canada Day long weekend which was the beginning of July.  My father-in-law told me not to lose anymore weight.  I didn't have the heart to tell him I still had a little ways to go before I got my certificate!

I thought I was going in for my weigh-in this Thursday, but after being all confused like and seeing the date in my book for next week, then calling the clinic, my next weigh-in is scheduled for October 18th.  I haven't stepped on a scale since I was weighed almost three weeks ago.  And since I've gone this long, I can wait another week.  I do know that my size 12's are getting a little baggy.  And I'm a bit bummed because my fitted Levi Strauss denim blazer is getting loose.  I'm gonna be super bummed if I have to let it go soon.  I love it!

Running is going great for me.  I'm fitting in all the practice runs I need and clocked over 40k last week.  When  started tracking my runs on my Nike+ Running app. back in June, my average pace was 8:30 per kilometre.  My last run had my average pace at 7:09 per kilometre.  I'm still not Speedy Gonzales, but I can definitely see improvement.  My legs are definitely getting stronger, and I'm losing weight, which makes me faster.  Have I mentioned lately how much I love running?

The new body still takes some time getting used to.  I always over estimate my size.  I was in a thrift store today and got super excited when I saw a size 12 corduroy blazer that was fitted with a touch of lycra.  It was brand new and still had the original sales tags.  It had a cool lining and was camel coloured.  I whipped off my coat to put it on, only to be super disappointed that it was too big for me!  Well not terribly disappointed, but I wish it came in a size 10!  But if it did, I likely wouldn't have seen it because I wouldn't dream of looking in the size 10 section...until my size 12's are falling off of me!

This cracks me up.  My father-in-law bought the cake and
has a very thick Sicilian accent...they obviously didn't speak
Sicilian accent because he told them to write Julien!

He's so happy to finally have the Happy Birthday song
being sung to him:)

He loved having a birthday cake, but didn't even have a
crumb of it.  My kid does not like sweets!  Can you
believe that?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Feast of burden

My absolute favourite time of year!

Let the games begin!  Every time there is a holiday celebration...or a celebration of any kind, I like to have a little competition with myself over how well I will do staying on plan.  So far I am undefeated...against myself!  I don't actually fear celebratory meals.  My family (both extended and in-laws) always make a protein of some kind with salad.  So I always know I'll be covered.  This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving.  My absolute favorite holiday!  No pressure with gifts...just food and family.

I know for some of us who are on special diets, the holidays can prove to be very daunting.  The temptation to throw everything out the window and start fresh at the beginning of the week can be overwhelming.  I'm here to remind you of how hard you have worked up until now.  Is it worth it to throw it all way on a splurge? I say no.  For me (and this is why I can't deviate from the lifestyle change), I know that if I splurge one day, that will lead into two, which will lead into a week, which will lead to a weight gain of 100+ pounds.  Far fetched you say?  Not even a little.  I've been down that road way too many times to not know how it will end.

I'm a binge eater.  In my post My Life in Pictures, Part 2, I shared that I was bulimic in my late teens. I had been binging since I was a child.  I used to hoard and then secretly gorge myself on food.  I'm not sure why I did it, or why I needed to have that full feeling, but I did.  When I was 18 and living away from home for the first time, I started binging and purging.  I would do this several times a week, and on the days that I didn't purge, I wouldn't binge, but I would eat very little (ie: two slices of bread with peanut butter).

I was able to drop weight doing this...not a ton, but enough to keep me at a fairly "normal" weight, and by normal I mean I was still over-weight, just not obese.  This behaviour lasted for about 2 years.  The reason why I stopped purging is because my mother heard me and confronted me.  I didn't admit or deny that I was making myself vomit, but I know she knew.  The shame of being caught caused me to stop the purging.  What didn't stop was the binging.  I continued to binge eat myself to 300 pounds.

I have recently cut raw almonds out of my diet.  I am allowed a serving of said almonds (ie:10), but then realized that they became too snacky for me.  I started to obsess over them when we were apart.  Sure almonds are healthy, but not when you eat 3x more the suggested serving size.  Then I found myself justifying the behaviour by saying, "well I run 35+k a week, I can splurge on almonds".  Not so when you still haven't reached goal.  Although it may not sound like a lot, these little behaviours add up into all the bad behaviours of my former life.  A place I refuse to return to.

I'm going to have to live with celebrations and holidays for the rest of my life.  I'd rather that they be fun and enjoyable, not something that makes me anxious.  I'm the one in control of my destiny. I'm the one who will have to live with the consequences of my actions tomorrow.  I have a dinner tonight, and a dinner tomorrow (neither of which I am preparing).  I already know what is being served, so I am totally prepared.  Planning is key in any worthwhile situation and my health and well-being is a priority.  Walking into social situations blind and reasoning that there was nothing there you could eat because you didn't know what was being served is just an excuse.  A bad excuse to eat off plan.  It takes little effort to pack something you can eat...just in case!

What I am most thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Around the bay in 171 days

Older than Boston:)

My one year blogiversary is coming up next week.  October 10th is when I wrote my very first blog post. It's amazing to me that I've been able to keep writing regular blogs for a whole year and the lot of you haven't told me to shut up yet!  I thank you for that.  This blog has been an integral part of my weight-loss journey. Without the on-going support and guidance I get from all of you, I may not be where I am right now.  There are so many people in the blogesphere and on Dr. Poon's facebook page, that I find inspirational.  Some I've been reading right from the beginning (of my blog), some of the blogs I used to read have gone dormant (but I still get the odd comment or email from the authors of those blogs), and some of you are new blog friends.  I appreciate each and every one of you.

Blogging is a lot of work!  Not only keeping up my own blog, but reading and commenting on the hundred or so that I try to regularly read. I am currently guilty of not commenting as much as I'd like to.  I read all of them, but have to work on the commenting more regularly.  It's time consuming, but that is just a lame excuse.  Like everything else in my life, I need to work on finding a better balance and not be as inconsistent as I have been of late.  I started this blog for me, but I now keep it up as regularly as I do for my followers and regular readers.  It's still super helpful for me, and I toy with changing the name once I reach goal, but I think I'll always be Poonapalooza. Dr. Poon deserves the props.  He gave me my life back!

Beverly and I began our second Learn to Run (LTR) clinic on Monday.  We have 8 participants, all pretty much at the same running level which means, no running experience.  And 2 men!  It's a real novelty to have men do the LTR clinic.  I have always said that they are too proud to be taught how to run.  My husband was taught to run via private lessons by me, but he readily agrees that he never would have taken a LTR clinic. Maybe a 5k, more likely a 10k, definitely a half marathon, but never a LTR!

I'm still running 10k as my long run.  I think that next week, I'll add on a kilometre and see how that goes.  I need to get to 15k by March 24th for the Around the Bay.  I know that won't be a problem. What may be a potential problem is all the hills I have to run during that 15k.  Beverly is doing the first half of the 30k (we're doing a 2 person relay), and I agreed to do the second half, knowing that it is mainly hills.  Why you ask?  So that I can train on said hills and get killer leg muscles, but also so that I get the glory of running into Copps Coliseum where the finish line is.  Picture if you will, a sports arena with the finish line where the ice would normally be when there's a hockey game on, and stands filled with spectators. I get to run into that.  Ok, so there really won't be that many spectators (by the time I finish), but it will still be a huge rush.  I'm very excited!  I'd better get my ass cracking and start training on those hills!  Only 171 days left before the big day!

I think this was taken last year...

I need to get fall/winter running gear.  I have a pair of running capris I've been wearing all summer that wore  this morning for my 8k.  They kept falling down.  They are a regular large and 10% lycra. It makes me feel super good that I no longer fit into my large sized running or yoga pants.  That is so crazy to me!  Last year at this time, I'd only been on the diet a couple of weeks but was still sporting the 3x.  I can't believe I'm going to be a medium person.  Right in the middle, ordinary sized medium.  I'll take it.  Just for the record, I'm very happy to be run of the mill.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Invisible me

This post has been floating around in my head for at least a month.  I need to finally get it written down because it's keeping me a little preoccupied.  It's a bit of a difficult post for me to write and I hope I can keep my thoughts organized enough to make sense.  Sorry if I ramble.  Here goes!

Since you all know my story from reading My Life in Pictures, Part 1 and Part 2, you know that I have spent the majority of my life obese.  Obese and invisible.  Now how does an almost 300 pound woman go through life invisible?  Well I'm actually not, nor have I ever been invisible.  I just felt that way.  People ignore you, look through or past you, smirk at you, make judgements about you.  Generally, they treat you like shit which in turn makes you feel small and invisible.

Now I've always been a pretty vocal person.  Probably because of the line of work I do.  I work with a vulnerable population and have never been shy when I need to advocate or speak up on a client's behalf.  Me on the other hand? I've rarely stuck up for myself and often ignored any snide comments made my way.  If someone made a comment about my appearance, my heart would start to race, I'd pretend I didn't hear and I'd get as far away as possible.

Once I started noticeably dropping weight, things began to change for me.  I started getting better service in stores and sales people would go out of their way to help me.  I had never truly experienced hospitality like I do now.  Complete strangers talking to me on the street, saying "hello", commenting on the weather, beginning conversations in elevators.  You get the picture. Pretty much every person I make eye contact with smiles at me.  I get this treatment from both men and women.  This is all completely foreign to me.  I had no idea that the general public is so friendly and outgoing.  But only if you are a "normal" looking person.

I don't think I will ever feel comfortable with the new found attention that I get from men.  When they make (usually) sexual comments to me (I work in the heart of downtown Toronto and there are plenty of shady characters near my work), or call me terms of endearment even though they don't know me, it makes me feel like my former fat self being called bad names because of my size. My heart starts to race, I pretend I didn't hear, and I get as far away as possible.

I am exactly the same person I was 110 pounds ago.  I'm married to a wonderful man, I'm a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. None of that has changed.  Only my appearance has changed, and although there is a noticeable difference, I still have the same values, hopes, dreams and morals.  No matter how much weight I lose, that will never change.

We all have struggles and demons  Some of us more than others.  My daily struggle is food.  Even though I have been following a healthy lifestyle for over a year now, I struggle just as much with food and the desire to binge as I did when I weighed 300 pounds.  That's the honest to God truth. People I see frequently think that I have this iron clad will power.  I do not.  Everyday is a struggle and I live with the fear that I am a hairsbreadth away from a binge that will throw me right back to where I started.  That is the scariest truth of all.  That I am thisclose to reverting back to old behaviours.  That is why, for those of you who continue to ask and wonder, I CANNOT have just one.  Phew, that wasn't as hard as I thought!